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Old 06-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #20026
speakingtohe
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Finished. Another 3.5 star. Not bad, just not as good as it could be. I enjoy Weber's books, but I sincerely wish he could write "tighter"! Next up is How Firm a Foundation, which also has a change in reader for the Audible version. (Really annoying, 4 different readers for this series!)




I'll start this one once I finish reading The Martian, downloaded from the BC Library.



Hmm. No sign of the first one in the BC Library system, but a bunch of Howard Engle books. Unfortunately, the first one available is #5, A City Called July. Is this the sort of series that really needs to be read from the beginning? Or can I jump in at #5?
These are IMO 100% stand alone in that there is no necessity to understand back story. It plays a small part in that some of the characters are recurring but there are no spoilers I have noticed or any long chattering on and on about what went before. Enough is said, but not too much if you know wat I mean.

I have read several in paper years ago and was kind of keeping my eye out, so I leapt on Dead & Buried #7 and enjoyed it. I like to go in consecutive order when I can, but the best books (the ones I really like) can be read stand alone.


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Old 06-23-2014, 02:13 AM   #20027
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These are IMO 100% stand alone in that there is no necessity to understand back story. It plays a small part in that some of the characters are recurring but there are no spoilers I have noticed or any long chattering on and on about what went before. Enough is said, but not too much if you know wat I mean.

I have read several in paper years ago and was kind of keeping my eye out, so I leapt on Dead & Buried #7 and enjoyed it. I like to go in consecutive order when I can, but the best books (the ones I really like) can be read stand alone.


Helen
Thanks, Helen. The library has all but one of them, starting @#5, so I'll give that a try, and if I like it, I can buy the earlier ones with my Amazon CA account. (They're not available in the US Amazon store, which is my"normal" Kindle account. But I keep an old Kindle Keyboard around that is on a different Amazon account entirely that is on the Canadian store. And then Alf is my friend. )
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:26 PM   #20028
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Just finished The Baer Boys by Alan Hutcheson, and what an enjoyable story it was. Our own plumboz has scored another hit. The characters are well-drawn and very believable, and the story was engrossing. No guns, no explosions, no villains (well, one teenager who was a certified jerk), but the author managed to build and sustain suspense and interest without them by focusing on the fortunes and vicissitudes of everyday life. I found myself rooting for everyone in the tale, even when their goals conflicted. I genuinely liked these characters and didn't want to see anyone lose out or get hurt. The Baer Boys is frequently funny, sometimes poignant, but always full of heart and love of life. Most highly recommended. You can view the author's thread here.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:00 PM   #20029
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I'm about to finish Rescue Mode, by Ben Bova and Les Johnson. Aside from a few typos and a complete lack of chapter numbers (a personal preference), it's really an excellent story about mankind's first manned mission to Mars...as complicated by a collision with a small piece of debris. Bova's got the fiction chops, Johnson knows NASA inside and out, and between them they've put together one heckuva story.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:33 PM   #20030
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Finished What Judgements Come by Dayton Ward the 7th in the Star Trek:Vanguard series. The author moves the story along setting up the finale in the final book Storming Heaven. This was slightly better than previous books in the series with less review of books 1-6. Lots of loose ends to clean up. Interested to see how the next author does it. Rated C- [3 stars].

Next is The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis. The next installment in an alternate WW2 universe.
That reminds me, I still have to read Storming Heaven. How easily I get sidetracked...
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:57 AM   #20031
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I've started another Perry Mason mystery: The Case of the Sulky Girl by Erle Stanley Gardner, the second book in the series. It's a re-read, but I lost the pre-Kindle records I was keeping of all the Mason books I'd read. This one I didn't purchase, however. It's a loner from Amazon Prime. Time to economize every way I can since I'm now retired.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:36 AM   #20032
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I've just finished two very good books:

"A Murder is Announced" by Agatha Christie. This was her 50th book, and was originally published in 1950. When an advertisement in the local newpaper announces that a murder will take place at 6:30pm that evening, at Little Paddocks, everyone in the village of Chipping Cleghorn is surprised, none more so than the inhabitants of Little Paddocks. Everyone assumes that it's a joke, but events prove otherwise. Miss Marple uncovers the truth behind the mystery.

A very good book indeed. I saw the stage adaptation of it a few years ago (which doesn't include Miss Marple) and thoroughly enjoyed that, too.

"The Dance of Time" by Eric Flint and David Drake. The 6th and final book in the "Belisarius" alternate history/military SF series. An excellent and satisfying end to one of the best military SF series around. I strongly recommend the entire series to any SF lover who hasn't yet read it. The 6 books are available in three omnibus editions from Baen.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:56 AM   #20033
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Just started Suffer the Children by John Saul.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:34 AM   #20034
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Now: The Nicholas Feast by Pat McIntosh. The second of the Gil Cunningham Mediaeval Glasgow murder mysteries I picked up earlier this year.
And an enjoyable read it was too. I was disappointed by the intrusion of some entirely unnecessary psychic/supernatural events, but otherwise it was very good, although I feel the main character missed many obvious clues early one.

But I'm pleased that I have several more of this series to read over th next few months.

Next up: Crown of Renewal by Elizabeth Moon. It's looking good - I suspect it may keep me up late tonight. This is the last in this series, so I'm hopeful that it will resolve lots of plot lines.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:10 AM   #20035
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A quick read today: just finished "They Came to Baghdad" by Agatha Christie. This was her 51st book, and was originally published in 1951.

Christie is of course best known as a writer of detective fiction, but she also wrote thrillers, and this is one of the best of them. Christie's thrillers generally feature independently-minded young women (perhaps the way Christie imagined herself?) who stumble across international conspiracies to overthrow governments (or, in this case, the entire world order). Wildly improbable plots, but terrific fun to read.

In this book, Victoria Jones, a very bad shorthand typist who's just been sacked from her latest job, meets an attractive young man in London, who tells her that he's about to set off for a job in Baghdad, and decides to follow him there for the adventure of it. She soon becomes tangled up in a plot involving secret agents, and an international conference that's about to be held in the city, at which a shadowy organisation is determined to sow dissension between the United States and the Soviet Union.

As I say, a wildly improbable story-line, but a terrific read. Highly recommended. The book is very atmospheric, and is of course inspired by the time that Christie herself spent in Iraq with her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:20 AM   #20036
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..."A Murder is Announced" by Agatha Christie....

...A very good book indeed. I saw the stage adaptation of it a few years ago (which doesn't include Miss Marple) and thoroughly enjoyed that, too.....
I recently saw the ITV/PBS TV adaptation staring Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple on Netflix and it was quite good also.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:41 PM   #20037
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A quick read today: just finished "They Came to Baghdad" by Agatha Christie. This was her 51st book, and was originally published in 1951.
Thanks. It sounds quite interesting. I hadn't known she did thrillers. I've added it to my TBR.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:04 PM   #20038
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AAs I say, a wildly improbable story-line, but a terrific read. Highly recommended. The book is very atmospheric, and is of course inspired by the time that Christie herself spent in Iraq with her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan.
Yes, I remember this one. It was a very fun read. Recommended.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:27 AM   #20039
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Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan. It's easily the best book I've read so far this year; very thought provoking and charming.

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THE FUTURE IS COMING...FOR SOME SOONER THAN OTHERS
Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when diagnosed with a terminal illness, he's willing to take an insane gamble. He's built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he'll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began -- but only if he can survive the Hollow World.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:02 AM   #20040
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Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan. It's easily the best book I've read so far this year; very thought provoking and charming.
I'm a sucker for time travel stories. Thanks for the recommendation. And the Kindle edition is only 99 pence on Amazon .
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