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Old 08-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #13936
CRussel
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Finished listening to Command Decision, #4 in the Vatta's War series by Elizabeth Moon, and am well into A Fine and Bitter Snow. Enjoying it a lot. I think I'll finish this one and go right on to #13, A Grave Denied.
Finished both Command Decision and A Fine and Bitter Snow. The Vatta's War series doesn't really hold up all that well compared to Kate Shugak (but then, what can?) but is good workout material. A Fine and Bitter Snow, however, is simply an excellent book and I'm enjoying the re-read of all the Stabenow books as much or more than the original read via Audible.

In both cases, I'm going to move right on to the next in each series -- Victory Conditions in the Vatta's War series, and A Grave Denied in the Kate Shugak series. Kind of a funny coincidence that I'm hitting both of these books in parallel, since significant parts of them revolve around the problems of young teens and their first loves. (Hardly anything I normally care about these days!)
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:03 PM   #13937
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Cool Earl Derr Biggers and Dana Stabenow

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When I finished reading Nothing Gold Can Stay late last evening I was intrigued by the way the last scene ended and how that ending appeared to tie into the next book in the series in an interesting way. This morning, still intrigued, I peaked into the next (and last) book in the series, Better To Rest, not planning to actually read it right then. Well, you all know about those 'best laid plans', don't you? Oh well!
Better To Rest was really a good read! It's too bad that the week of the release of the Omnibus version eBook ($9.95 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes) of the Liam Campbell series was the same week when I finished reading the last book in the series so I have little excuse to buy it, oh well. Now off to the Sierra Nevada mountains for the last book in the Charlie Chan Omnibus, Keeper of the Keys by Earl Derr Biggers.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:09 PM   #13938
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So: I'll read his Ware Tetrology instead.
Interesting. I'm through the first two books and onto the third. I don't really beleive in the characters, but the technology is fun.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:00 AM   #13939
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Finished The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont. It features Lester Dent the creator of Doc Savage and Walter Gibson the creator of the Shadow in their own pulpish adventure along with L. Ron Hubbard and Robert Heinlein. H.P Lovecraft also makes an appearance. It's a fun read especially if you're familiar with the authors.

There's a sequel which I actually read first called The Astounding, the Amazing, the Unknown which takes place about 10 years later during WWII. John Campbell's Astounding SF magazine is putting the earlier pulps out of business and his writers, Isaac Asimov, Bob Heinlein, and L. Sprague DeCamp are working together at the Naval Yard in Philadelphia. This time they try to solve a science fictionish mystery involving Nicolas Tesla with L.Ron Hubbard tagging along. Again it's a lot of fun especially if you're familiar with the characters.

Next up is The Cloud Atlas.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:18 AM   #13940
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After a few duds I will start The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas. The book was originally published in 1996 but only translated into English a couple of years ago. The author (a historian and archeologist) is a 2-time Dagger Award winner. She has written several other books but this is my first with her.
And my last. This cozy mystery had interesting characters but a lot of introspection. Too many unnecessary and confusing inner musings. Not much action and no real red herrings. I guessed who did it. The word skill was just average. It could be the fault of the Scottish translator though.

Also, the book's pattern was to separate a character's actions from their quotes and I found it hard to determine who was speaking. Example:

He glanced at the waiting taxi.
'Please don't leave.'
'I'll return in three days.'

Again it might be a French/Scottish thing. Overall D+ [2 stars]
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:59 AM   #13941
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And my last. This cozy mystery had interesting characters but a lot of introspection. Too many unnecessary and confusing inner musings. Not much action and no real red herrings. I guessed who did it. The word skill was just average. It could be the fault of the Scottish translator though.

Also, the book's pattern was to separate a character's actions from their quotes and I found it hard to determine who was speaking. Example:

He glanced at the waiting taxi.
'Please don't leave.'
'I'll return in three days.'

Again it might be a French/Scottish thing. Overall D+ [2 stars]
Interesting .... I am entranced by Vargas' books - IMHO her strength lies in the quirky characters she creates - and allows to muse aloud on the page - much like Louise Penny, the emphasis is on the effects of murder on both the community AND the murder squad, rather than solving a who-done-it. Vargas fleshes out her characters in each installment, so that reading her books in order offer a revelation of character, rather than a police procedural. Vargas also creates some of the most unique murder methods/situations you'll find in recent mystery novels.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:48 PM   #13942
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Interesting .... I am entranced by Vargas' books - IMHO her strength lies in the quirky characters she creates - and allows to muse aloud on the page - much like Louise Penny, the emphasis is on the effects of murder on both the community AND the murder squad, rather than solving a who-done-it. Vargas fleshes out her characters in each installment, so that reading her books in order offer a revelation of character, rather than a police procedural. Vargas also creates some of the most unique murder methods/situations you'll find in recent mystery novels.
Her characters were different and the best part of the book.

It make sense as I didn't care for Louise Penny either although I enjoyed her writing skill more but that could be due to no translating. Sometimes things are lost in them.

Spoiler:
I didn't like the behavior of the police. The Chief goes for day long walks while on duty. The Inspector gets drunk regularly. It was obvious that the elderly professor was the killer. And I thought it unbelievable that he could impersonate a woman for two months. You'd have to wear a lot of make-up to hide 5 o'clock shadow. And Clemence was helping Mathilde with filing but didn't he work. And where and when did he sleep? Too much of a stretch for me.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #13943
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The House Between Worlds is turning into a bit of a forlorn love story. I'm trying not to roll my eyes, and push on and finish it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:01 PM   #13944
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Beyond Armageddon by Anthony DeCosmo-

"Earth is invaded by a collection of alien animals--both predators and prey--as well as extraterrestrial militias of varying technological capabilities. Governments fall; cities are overrun. The landscape grows wild, alien forces attempt to carve out zones of control, and humanity no longer sits atop the food chain.
Trevor Stone finds himself alone and afraid in this chaotic new world when he meets a strange old man who grants three gifts. First, a well-stocked estate perfect for surviving the initial invasion. Second, the ability to control the fiercest breeds of dogs. Third, access to the genetic memories of mankind.
It seems he is all part of a plan; a plan that has set 'rules' to this invasion and one that blurs the line between hero and villain."
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:09 AM   #13945
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I just finished John Sandford's "Buried Prey," #21 in the 'Prey' series. Sandford fans... do NOT miss this one... Actually knocked me back in my seat at one point in the story!
And it's a great 'early Lucas on the force' flashback, giving an idea of how he got where he is today.

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Old 08-11-2012, 02:22 AM   #13946
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I remember I was addicted to them and read his books up to about #12 or #13, I think.

A the time I was reading two other series: Faye Kellerman - Decker/Lazarus Novels & Jonathan Kellerman - Alex Delaware Novels.

For some reason I seemed to have stopped reading them all about the same time. I may have to go back to my shelves and see where I left off.

Just finished a couple of forget-able books and trying to decide what to read next.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:55 AM   #13947
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Currently reading "Notes from a Big Country", also published as "I'm a Stranger Here Myself", by Bill Bryson.

In 1996, Bill Bryson returned to live in the USA, after having lived in England for 20 years. This book is a reprint of a weekly newspaper column he wrote for a British Newspaper, describing his experiences of rediscovering America, and the changes he noticed, having been away for 20 years. The columns cover a wide range of topics, from the Post Office, to garbage disposal units, motels, drive-in movies, baseball, the tax system - about 70 articles (short chapters in the book) in all. All very witty and well-written. This is an ideal book to "dip into". Highly recommended.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:31 AM   #13948
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I just read the sample and it does look interesting.

What is a TV license that you pay at the post office?
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:36 AM   #13949
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I just read the sample and it does look interesting.

What is a TV license that you pay at the post office?
The BBC is funded by the taxpayer through a TV Licence. Every household in the UK (that owns a TV) has to pay £145.50 a year (about $230) for this.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:02 AM   #13950
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I just finished John Sandford's "Buried Prey," #21 in the 'Prey' series. Sandford fans... do NOT miss this one... Actually knocked me back in my seat at one point in the story!
And it's a great 'early Lucas on the force' flashback, giving an idea of how he got where he is today.

Stitchawl
Like Dreams, I halted around #12 or so of the series, though I have always intended to come back to it. Other bright and shiny things keep distracting me, but I'll get to it with encouragement. Thanks for the prompter.

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The BBC is funded by the taxpayer through a TV Licence. Every household in the UK (that owns a TV) has to pay £145.50 a year (about $230) for this.
And worth every penny .

I'm reading First Shift: Legacy by Hugh Howey, #6 in the Wool saga. There is a real step-change in Howey's style - he has fully grown up and this is a mature piece of writing.
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