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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #8026
    practical experience, FTW Sunflowerrei's Avatar
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    Recently finished Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman and I'm now in the beginnings of A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, the first in her Lady Sherlock series.


    "Haunted Lake," a short story in FULL DARK: An Anthology
    . Out October 30th! Amazon|B&N

    "When Mary Left," a short story| A woman faces her ultimate turning point: an unwanted pregnancy |Amazon|Smashwords|Kobo|Nook|Apple

    Pearl | A former slave struggles to find her long-lost brother in the early nineteenth century
    |Amazon|Apple|Kobo|Barnes and Noble|Smashwords


    Blog: The Sunflower's Scribbles | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

  2. #8027
    practical experience, FTW
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    Henry James, The Aspern Papers. I struggled to get into the first chapter, such long convoluted and indirect sentences. Then suddenly, I found I was enjoying it. I have read this before but decades ago, so have forgotten all kinds of details.

  3. #8028
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    It's been about a month, so another procrastination update...

    Last Finished:
    Finishing School (Cary Tennis and Danelle Morton, nonfiction/writing, paperback): Two writers from different backgrounds present a method for finishing those writing projects that never seem to get done, creating a targeted group to help one's fellow writers get back on track with their goals.

    This is a decent book with a distinct purpose that sets it apart from many other writing books. The "Finishing School" method has become a Thing, evidently, distinct from critique groups in that they do not critique or judge, but merely offer motivation to pick a goal, schedule writing times, and stick with them (by texting or phoning one's partner when one starts or stops, then reporting back to the group on progress.) An interesting method, with proven results, though my notoriously poor luck with groups and "buddies" inhibits me from trying it myself just yet.

    11/22/63 (Stephen King, sci-fi, paperback): A 2011 schoolteacher learns of a portal to 1958 - and a dying friend's thwarted plans to use the portal to change history, saving the life of JFK in 1963. Taking up the man's notes and plan, he soon learns that time doesn't like to be altered... and it fights dirty.

    In reading this, I finally saw the writing that elevated his books to such high status (having been unimpressed with the other book-length tales of his I'd read previously.) It's not necessarily breakneck, particularly early on, but it drew me into the life of the main character, and the tension kept ratcheting up. The parts just after the climax are particularly powerful, a bittersweet payoff to the emotional core of the whole journey.

    Currently Reading:
    The Three-Body Problem (Liu Cixin, sci-fi, Kindle): Classified attempts by China's government to contact alien life may be tied to a recent rash of tragedy and suicides among the world's elite scientists... and one nanotech researcher finds himself recruited as reluctant bait to find out who, or what, is behind the trouble.

    This is an Idea book, especially after the early chapters that deal with the Cultural Revolution; indeed, the further it goes, the more it seems to largely exist to novelize advanced concepts, with characters increasingly marginalized. I'm muddling through as best I can, and the Ideas are indeed interesting (insofar as I can grasp them), but it's really not quite my cup of cocoa as stories and styles go. I also know there's at least one more book after this, so I may be looking at an inconclusive ending to reward my efforts. Nevertheless, I'm pressing onward...

    Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse series, Book 3, James S. A. Corey, sci-fi, paperback): The third book in the Expanse series picks up some months after the conclusion of Book 2. The alien protomolecule that had taken over Venus seems to have completed its "program" with the creation of an unknown, self-assembling Ring, currently out near Uranus's orbit. Captain James Holden of the Rocinante once more finds himself drawn into the thick of political intrigue, danger, and imminent interplanetary war... a position made even more dangerous by a new enemy and by visions of the deceased Detective Miller, who seems to be trying to tell him something important about the protomolecule and the Ring.

    This one got off to a bit of a slower start, with more peripheral characters who take a bit to connect to the main story arc. There's also an increasing religious presence in the books - so far not too preachy or dealbreaking, but a definite uptick that might be worrisome (at least to me, with my low tolerance for religious Messages hijacking stories.) But once it finds its footing it's every bit as intense and high-octane as the previous titles in the series. I already have Book 4 on hand...

    Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, Book 1, Jodi Taylor, sci-fi, Nook): In the nearish future, a specialized institute researches history by sending specially-trained historians into the past to observe events... but time is finicky about visitors, especially when "observation" goes wrong (as it inevitably does.)

    A combination of an e-book discount and a recommendation from someone I know at work led to me trying this title. Thus far, two chapters in, I can't say I'm overly impressed. It seems like a collection of stock characters in vaguely amusing stock situations. The writing's even a bit clunky (every character gets a hair-and-eye description the moment the reader "meets" them, for instance, and thus far the story has followed the standard "person gets recruited to a strange institution, gets a generic tour with eccentric characters, then undergoes rigorous and glossed-over training that they're guaranteed to ace because they're the main character and the book wouldn't exist if they failed" formula), and I can't say I care for the main character - the stereotypical petite spunky redhead lady - or anyone else yet. But it's early, and it reads fast so far, so I'm gamely pushing on.

    It's been a sci-fi heavy month, hasn't it? It also has been a slow reading month; I have other projects eating much of my time, unfortunately. Gotta get a fantasy in once I clear a few titles, I think. I need a dragon round about now...
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
    - from The Daily Humorscope

  4. #8029
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Brandinian's Avatar
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    Less than one hundred pages left to go in The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I really hate myself for finding out about this series now, knowing that I could have lived a happy life without ever having to know the trauma that awaits me with the wait for The Doors of Stone.

  5. #8030
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin micaro84's Avatar
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    I started Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 3 days ago. Only about 100 pages in, but I like it.

  6. #8031
    Technical Editing Services larocca's Avatar
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    How to Write Attention-Getting Memos, Letters, and E-mails by Arthur H. Bell, Ph.D.
    Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.

  7. #8032
    Technical Editing Services larocca's Avatar
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    Click: The Magic of Instant Connections by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
    Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.

  8. #8033
    Technical Editing Services larocca's Avatar
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    Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
    Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.

  9. #8034
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's slow going, with a great opening but I'm getting tired of books that start strong then flash back 30 or in this case 50 years and give us all the backstory. Granted, the backstory explains the opening, but I've read a lot of books that do this lately. It seems like a cheap shot to make use of all the character development the authors did but at the expense of story.

    I finished Worst. Person. Ever by Douglas Coupland. Coupland has amazing story ideas and this kne doesn't have a slow part in it, unlike mkst of his others that bog down around the middle. However, I've never much cared for how his characters progress (or more specifically don't progress) and I've always found his endings less than satisfying, and this one is no exception.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  10. #8035
    figuring it all out Peggles's Avatar
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    I'm reading the Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, and I'm enjoying it so far. Can't wait to read the other books in the series too.

  11. #8036
    Have pen, will travel Cindyt's Avatar
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    The Mist - Stephen King
    The only thing you can't fix is a blank page.--Bonnie Hearn Hill

    BLOGS

    Cindy Tapia
    Our Town
    In Loving Memory Brandon Lee

  12. #8037
    practical experience, FTW threetoedsloth's Avatar
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    Recently finished The Illiad by Homer because I wanted to get some of the classics in. Going to move onto IT by Stephen King next

  13. #8038
    Technical Editing Services larocca's Avatar
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    11/22/63 by Stephen King
    Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.

  14. #8039
    Have pen, will travel Cindyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larocca View Post
    11/22/63 by Stephen King
    I've been meaning to read this. Hope it's good.
    The only thing you can't fix is a blank page.--Bonnie Hearn Hill

    BLOGS

    Cindy Tapia
    Our Town
    In Loving Memory Brandon Lee

  15. #8040
    practical experience, FTW
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    Nonfiction, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, by Theodore Roosevelt. After his Presidency, TR got involved in what turned out to be a highly dangerous, epic exploration of one of the most remote portions of the Amazon Basin. He nearly died, and the experience damaged his health and probably shortened his life.. A couple of years ago I read The River of Doubt, Candice Millard's excellent account of Roosevelt's odyssey. Roosevelt's own account is also very good; he was a good writer, and highly readable.

    caw
    Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

    -- Terry Pratchett

  16. #8041
    Sockpuppet
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    On Basilisk Station by David Weber, book 1 of the Honor Harrington series. Read the series before and love it, starting it again.

  17. #8042
    Have pen, will travel Cindyt's Avatar
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    Finally got A Deadly Shade of Gold by John D. MacDonald in the mail, and I've put The Mist aside to read it.

    I hope this copy doesn't go POOF! like the other one. I swear. We may have a bookworm ghost.
    The only thing you can't fix is a blank page.--Bonnie Hearn Hill

    BLOGS

    Cindy Tapia
    Our Town
    In Loving Memory Brandon Lee

  18. #8043
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin meaghangray's Avatar
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    Right now I am reading "Redwall"

    I hadn't read any of the Redwall books until last week, when I picked up "Mariel of Redwall" -- I loved it and was very sad that I didn't discover the series in my youth. I know I would have loved them! So, I am making my way through them now. I can already see that there are going to be a lot of repeated themes and call-backs to previous events and the like, but I am quite enjoying it. I have read a lot of young adult fiction since I stopped being a young adult, but I haven't read nearly as much children's fiction since I stopped being a child. I definitely intend to do it more!

  19. #8044
    figuring it all out pbandj's Avatar
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    Americanah, and then after that I plan to reread American Gods. I want a refresher before I start the television series.

  20. #8045
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Just finished the second book in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. You can definitely tell that he teaches others on how to write, it seems like every chapter builds on the last and everything is there for a reason. However, I am finding that it falls into YA a bit. Might not be bad for some people, but not something I'm really down for. I do want to read the third book, so I guess the YA part isn't that bad.

    I am now reading I Can Taste The Blood, a horror short story anthology from Grey Matter Press. It's really good so far, some great stories in the book.

  21. #8046
    practical experience, FTW HarvesterOfSorrow's Avatar
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    Gold, by Chris Cleave.

    Finished Coldheart Canyon, by Clive Barker, last night. I was liking it for the first four hundred pages or so. Getting into the five hundreds, I was just waiting for it to be over, and it was just downhill from there. For those last hundred pages or so, Barker's editor should have just taken the shears to that fuckin' manuscript.
    "He's gone! He's gone from here! The evil is gone!"

    Sam Loomis
    John Carpenter's Halloween.

  22. #8047
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    The Best American Non-required Reading 2016. I'm just a few stories in, and it's okay. Not their strongest year so far.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  23. #8048
    Technical Editing Services larocca's Avatar
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    A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, which I've followed up by checking out everything else in the library by Ernest J. Gaines. They don't have The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, but fortunately I've seen the movie.
    Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.

  24. #8049
    Technical Editing Services larocca's Avatar
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    Time and Again by Jack Finney, as recommended by Stephen King in the Afterword of 11/22/63
    Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex.

  25. #8050
    practical experience, FTW
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    Just last night started The Treasure of the Sierra Madre by B. Traven. Really good narrative writer with a lot of energy and depth. And attitude.

    B. Traven was the pseudonym of a very private and mysterious writer who lived in Mexico (but wasn't Mexican), and is still a major enigma. But a damn fine writer, worth more attention than he gets.

    caw
    Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

    -- Terry Pratchett

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