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Old 08-29-2011, 02:32 PM   #10651
Hamlet53
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So I recently completed The Wanting Seed Anthony Burgess. This book turned out to be not at all what I had expected. I had been referred to it by mention in the book The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell. So I was not expecting a science fiction tale much like Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's Brave New World. The dystopian future in this book is a world so over populated that extreme measures by a totalitarian government are resorted to for population control. The ending is if anything more depressing than either 1984 or Brave New World.

I started The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith and I am finding it enjoyable, even though crime/mystery/detective novels are not normally of interest to me.

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Old 08-29-2011, 03:02 PM   #10652
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Finished a new book from the New Books shelf at the library.

The Alchemist in the Shadows by Pierre Pevel is a translation from the French original published by Editions Bragelonne (and it's really annoying when translated books don't include at least a little note on the copyright page giving the original language title, although this one is easy to guess), which got picked up by sf/fantasy publisher Pyr Books' Prometheus imprint.

If you've ever wondered what The Three Musketeers would be like with dragons in it, then this is your book.

Long story short: Cardinal Richelieu is in charge of France and both internal and external forces plot against him and the country, so he has a special elite force of agents, the Cardinal's Blades (in addition to the regular musketeers) who foil said plots. Namely, those of the ancient dragons, which seek to control Europe by replacing human rulership with, well, dragons in charge by means of secret societies using human agents. Apparently instead of the Inquisition, Spain now has dragons.

This is apparently book 2 of at least 3 (book 1 won both Grand Prix Imaginaire and Prix Imaginales, which are moderately prestigious Francophone sf/f awards). Though the story within is reasonably self-contained and pretty much starts and wraps up in this installment, it's also fairly clear that it's also a chapter in a multi-part saga. But it was pretty easy to follow without prior knowledge of the setting or characters.

It's a relatively short but fairly dense book (281 pages), with the sort of large-ish Dumassian cast of characters each with their twisting and ultimately intertwining plot threads and plenty of intrigue and undercover work and just plain backstabbing involved.

Medium-high recommend if you're looking for something of the type. I liked it well enough that I'm going to look up the first book in the series at the library (and perhaps see if I can also find them in the original French to compare the translation).

Minor note: when characters shout at each other, they SHOUT IN SMALL CAPS WITH NO QUOTATION MARKS, which kept making me think that the Discworld's Death was having some sort of schizoid playacting conversation in those scenes.

And on a similar faux-Dumassian fantasy theme, now onto Steven Brust's latest published installment in the Vlad Taltos series, Tiassa, which apparently brings in some of the faux-Musketeer characters from his Phoenix Guards spinoff.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:16 PM   #10653
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Do you have no "TBR" pile on your reader?
OF COURSE I have a huge TBR pile. But when you need certain nutrition, you can't get it from JUST any book. That's like thinking when your doctor tells you that you need more exercise, you take a vitamin!

This is a time for PIZZA and CHOCOLATE, not ... liver and onions!!!
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:17 PM   #10654
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Have you exhausted the front, back and side panels of all your cereal boxes? They ofttimes save my sanity... for short periods of time anyway.
I'll try that. It might help...gasp.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:14 PM   #10655
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I started The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith and I am finding it enjoyable, even though crime/mystery/detective novels are not normally of interest to me.
A very nice series of books. I have (& have read) them all. I hope we'll see more.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:21 PM   #10656
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Have you exhausted the front, back and side panels of all your cereal boxes? They ofttimes save my sanity... for short periods of time anyway.
I do that too!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:25 PM   #10657
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I started The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith and I am finding it enjoyable, even though crime/mystery/detective novels are not normally of interest to me.
The TV series is great too. McCall Smith is a very entertaining speaker, if you ever get the chance to hear him, take it. And this from someone who would run a mile rather that listen to speeches and speakers.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:31 PM   #10658
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Books still not have arrived. Am languishing without these food sources. Should have downloaded. Knew I should have downloaded...gasping...for...books...
B.E.R (before e-readers) when backpacking for a few weeks and finishing a book, we would read and re-read the labels on our clothes... better to wait for the movie to come out...

I'm finishing up a re-read of "The Twelfth Card" by Jeffery Deaver. Every bit as good as when I read it the first time. I guess this is an advantage of getting old; I can re-read a book I read only a few years ago, and have NO idea what is going to happen!

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Old 08-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #10659
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....I can re-read a book I read only a few years ago, and have NO idea what is going to happen!

Stitchawl
but
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:52 PM   #10660
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I finished Bleeder, I'm trying to decide now between Mystic River and Timeline. I have never read any Lehane, I tried Crichton once and found it kind of dry.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:57 PM   #10661
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"Timeline," to me, was not one of his better books, but enjoyable none the less. In this case, the book and the movie were about on equal terms.


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Old 08-29-2011, 11:18 PM   #10662
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"Timeline," to me, was not one of his better books, but enjoyable none the less. In this case, the book and the movie were about on equal terms.


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i thoroughly enjoyed the book, but thought the movie was awful.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:56 PM   #10663
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i thoroughly enjoyed the book, but thought the movie was awful.
I totally agree. The book was entertaining but I despised the movie. The primal scream yawped by one of the main characters as he began the time trip was where I drew the line.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:52 AM   #10664
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Flashpoint

I'm currently reading the miniseries "Flashpoint" released by DC Comics. It's a series that has lead to the complete elimination of the old DC Universe and replaced it with a new universe.

In this new universe there is no Superman, Bruce Wayne is not Batman, Wonder Woman and the Amazons are at war with Aquaman and the Atlantians, and the war between the Amazons and the Atlantians is going to destroy the world. Only two individuals, The Flash (Barry Allen) and Booster Gold, know that the world has changed and they are working to restore the universe back to the one they knew before they completely lose their memories of their old universe.

The last issue of "Flashpoint" is going to be released on 31 August. This issue is supposed to lead to a reboot of the DC Universe, and 52 number one issues are going to be released in conjunction with the end of "Flashpoint."

The series and its crossovers have been excellent, and they features many surprises (such as who Batman and The Joker are in the Flashpoint universe). It's worth a read.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:20 AM   #10665
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Wodehouse's Jeeves and the Fuedal Spirit. I've read lots of Wodehouse and lots of his Jeeves and Wooster stories. Their always good fun.
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