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Old 04-13-2013, 11:54 AM   #16246
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I finished up A Stitch in Time, not bad, but certainly not the best Trek book I've read. I give it 3 of 5 stars.

I started _The Accidental Time Machine_ (the rule is a new book must have a word in the title shared by the previous book.) based on some recos in this thread. I has a good start, I hope it follows through on its promise.

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Old 04-14-2013, 02:54 AM   #16247
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I just started Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. There are a lot of 80s pop culture references, I didn't grow up in the 1980s so I wasn't familiar with any of them but it's really keeping my interest.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:52 AM   #16248
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I just finished the novella Chess (or Chess Story or The Royal Game) by Stefan Zweig. This was a read for the literary book club for April.

Really enjoyed the story. It was only some 70 or so pages so it was a fairly quick story, but still quite an interesting study of psychological torture and its repercussions. I give it 3.5 stars.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:22 PM   #16249
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I just finished The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. That book is funny and full of original twists.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:34 PM   #16250
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I finished The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven this morning. I liked it better than the first book in the Ringworld series; I found the characters to be less annoying than in Ringworld. I liked the story, however, it still doesn't explain a lot of things about Ringworld.

I've started the Mistborn series, Mistborn: The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson. I was in the mood for some epic fantasy. About 12% in and I'm liking it a lot.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:20 PM   #16251
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<snip> I am reading the Book Club selection of A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that I had thought to have read before, but I had not. I am really enjoying the story and, yes, I enjoy the TV program "Elementary".
Finished and loved it, although the middle part (which I finally realized was a back story) confused me for a few minutes while I paged back and forward. I also listened to the free LibriVox version Read by Bob Neufeld.
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I had started another Dan Brown book - Digital Fortress - but got a bit bored so I've moved on to Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel.
I read Digital Fortress back when it first came out in the late 90's and really enjoyed it. Now that the internet is such a common part of life, I wonder if I would feel differently if I tried it again?
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I made my decision! I went with an old favorite; the "Destroyer" series, with Remo Williams and Chiun, the Master of Sinaju. If you haven't read any of these, they are a tongue-in-cheek send-up of the unsung heroes saving the world. A good belly laugh on every page. There are about 100 books in the series, the first being an attempt at making it a serious thriller. But by the second, the writers decided it would work better as humor, and boy did they get that right! Silly, campy, sort of an 'Austin Powers' without the juvenile sex. After the serious tight-laced crew in Ngaio Marsh's book, this is about as far the other side as you can get. Imagine an 80 yr old Korean cursing in Yiddish...

Stitchawl
I just saw that the first book, Created, The Destroyer (The Destroyer #1) by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy, is free and DRM free. I grabbed it to give the series a try, although the reviewers think the humor really starts about book 2 or 3 though.

I just finished The Judas Line by Mark Everett Stone that was free the end of Feb 2013.
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Starred Review: "This delightful Catholicism-infused quest fantasy stars a likable and original duo. Fr. Michael Engle, a pragmatic Catholic priest, and Jude, who has a considerably more uncertain relationship with God, are unlikely friends, but when a blood-covered Jude runs into Mike's church asking for help, Mike listens to him, believes him, and joins him on a quest to find the Holy Grail, which Jude hopes will help him destroy a legendary and dangerous family heirloom. Along the way they encounter Cain, the Norse gods (drinking and watching Bridge over the River Kwai), and a Valkyrie with the requisite 'chainmail-covered pillowy breasts.' When Mephistopheles shows up, Jude manages to label him an Arch-Fiend of Hell without irony and without irritating the reader. Stone's depiction of magic is realistic and intelligent and his treatment of Catholicism refreshingly informed and three-dimensional. Even the obligatory near-apocalyptic ending is coherent, surprising, and exciting."

--Publishers Weekly

I loved this, even though there were a few errors of extra words or maybe left in words when an edit was done. I really can't describe all the elements in the book, so the above review gives a good start on it. The characters were very likable, developed, and the story was additionally told through their eyes and a manuscript of the back story, read piece by piece by the priest, to fill in the action. There was a lot of action, bloody and fast, in places, but the story was so compelling that I stayed up way too late to finish it. Great modern fantasy with elemental magic, divine and not so divine power, mythology, angels (fallen and not) and the quest.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:35 PM   #16252
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Finished and loved it, although the middle part (which I finally realized was a back story) confused me for a few minutes while I paged back and forward.
Ha! I did exactly the same thing. I thought it must have moved on to the next story in the omnibus, and that it didn't seem like a Sherlock Holmes story at all. Glad it wasn't just me .
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:56 PM   #16253
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I just saw that the first book, Created, The Destroyer (The Destroyer #1) by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy, is free and DRM free. I grabbed it to give the series a try, although the reviewers think the humor really starts about book 2 or 3 though.
I agree. When they started out, they were trying to make a serious book about these characters. They laid it out well, but if sort of fell flat. Then they got the idea to really push the envelop about the abilities of the martial arts of Sinaju. I mean REALLLLLY push the envelop. Book 2 is a bit better, but I'd skip it and go right to book 3 after book 1. Although these are books about assassins, it's the character interaction between Remo and Chiun that make the book work, and Chiun's bizarre out-of-character behavior all the time that are so much fun. Because of the skills possessed and taught by Chiun's mastery of 'Sinaju,' these guys can doge bullets, climb up plate glass windows, swim through sand, fight off 20 heavily armed assailants in a closed room (while eating an ice cream cone and not spilling any,) etc., etc., But Chiun will get furious with anyone who interrupts his daytime TV soap operas, and enjoys sitting and chatting with little old ladies as they compare notes about their uncaring children who never write or call...

It's absolutely ludicrous. And absolutely delightful! But you have to get to book 3 to really start seeing that. They are very quick reads and lots of fun!


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Old 04-14-2013, 07:18 PM   #16254
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Started James Blaylock's The Last Coin last night. I love how his subtle, whimsical style lulls you into believing you're reading something very simple (almost farcical), when actually it's quite involved. Bad, apocalyptic things will happen if someone is able to gather together Judas Iscariot's original 30 pieces of silver.

I was also happy to find some of his older stuff finally available as ebooks. I'll likely be re-reading The Elfin Ship, The Disappearing Dwarf, and The Stone Giant when I have some time. Sort of like Wind in the Willows meets Tom Sawyer.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:26 PM   #16255
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I just finished 'Life After Life' by Kate Atkinson - it was so intriguing that I read it straight through (I usually read 2-4 books simultaneously - alternating chapters). It's a very fresh take on the old saw about time travel:

What if you could go back in time and kill Hitler before WW II started?


With a whole new twist. Lots of new twists, in fact. Just when you think you've figured out Atkinson's plot, it changes ... over and over and over .... Atkinson has certainly read and thought a great deal about time travel, human nature, human fallibility, fate, and luck .... and created a fascinating melange that raises questions throughout the reading experience.

The plot centers around the premise "What if we had a chance to do it again and again ... until we finally did get it right? Wouldn't that be wonderful?"


opposed to:

"We only have one [life] after all, we should try and do our best. We can never get it right, but we must try."

It's one of those books where you want/need to read it again, knowing what you learned during your first read through ....

Highly recommended.

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Old 04-14-2013, 08:20 PM   #16256
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<snip> It's absolutely ludicrous. And absolutely delightful! But you have to get to book 3 to really start seeing that. They are very quick reads and lots of fun!

Stitchawl
Thanks. The next books are on my list and I will try the used book store when I trade in a box of my other books.
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Started James Blaylock's The Last Coin last night. I love how his subtle, whimsical style lulls you into believing you're reading something very simple (almost farcical), when actually it's quite involved. Bad, apocalyptic things will happen if someone is able to gather together Judas Iscariot's original 30 pieces of silver. <snip>
Well, that one is also on my list too, as I just finished The Judas Line by Mark Everett Stone and the main part of the story was the "silver".


I just read another story, a short, about the Wendigo and it is still free at Amazon: Nicholas Antinozzi - Odd Whitefeather [Short - Wendigo Myth]. It was more of a "cozy" version, but I still enjoyed it.
Spoiler:
A short read that packs some powerful magic. When Billy Proudfoot and Terry Blackbird return to the reservation for the funeral of a beloved friend, they are shocked to find themselves alone at the funeral home. When their friend rises from his casket, they make tracks to the only man they know who can help them, Odd Whitefeather. The old man explains that a Windigo is on the loose and that the two of them must defeat it, or die trying. This is modern-day folklore that twists the present into the past, sure to bring a smile to both young and old.

So, I picked up and have started Everything Howls by Christoper Lopez when it was offered for free just recently. from amazon - ""Everything Howls brings the Wendigo back with a vengeance, places it in its classic habitat and adds an Algonquin Indian to the mix in a way that makes the story ring true. The effect is a short, entertaining novel that fully engages reader."" This is listed as horror and apparently has a lot of gore, so depending on the type of descriptive gore, I will see how I do.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:37 PM   #16257
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So, I picked up and have started Everything Howls by Christoper Lopez when it was offered for free just recently. from amazon - ""Everything Howls brings the Wendigo back with a vengeance, places it in its classic habitat and adds an Algonquin Indian to the mix in a way that makes the story ring true. The effect is a short, entertaining novel that fully engages reader."" This is listed as horror and apparently has a lot of gore, so depending on the type of descriptive gore, I will see how I do.
I picked that one up too. Tell us how you go.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:04 AM   #16258
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I agree. When they started out, they were trying to make a serious book about these characters. They laid it out well, but if sort of fell flat. Then they got the idea to really push the envelop about the abilities of the martial arts of Sinaju. I mean REALLLLLY push the envelop. Book 2 is a bit better, but I'd skip it and go right to book 3 after book 1. Although these are books about assassins, it's the character interaction between Remo and Chiun that make the book work, and Chiun's bizarre out-of-character behavior all the time that are so much fun. Because of the skills possessed and taught by Chiun's mastery of 'Sinaju,' these guys can doge bullets, climb up plate glass windows, swim through sand, fight off 20 heavily armed assailants in a closed room (while eating an ice cream cone and not spilling any,) etc., etc., But Chiun will get furious with anyone who interrupts his daytime TV soap operas, and enjoys sitting and chatting with little old ladies as they compare notes about their uncaring children who never write or call...

It's absolutely ludicrous. And absolutely delightful! But you have to get to book 3 to really start seeing that. They are very quick reads and lots of fun!


Stitchawl
Ah, I remember those from way, way back. They were funny, and I quite enjoyed them. Not sure how I'd feel about them now.

Meanwhile, finished Kerry Greenwood's Murder in Montparnesse, number 12 in the Phryne Fisher series. And I'm still enjoying them immensely. Also, finished listening to Imager's Battalion, the third book in this prequel cycle of the Imager series from L. E. Modesitt. These are books I find quite successful as audio books, but I doubt I'd like them as much if I were reading them.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #16259
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Ah, I remember those from way, way back. They were funny, and I quite enjoyed them. Not sure how I'd feel about them now.
I just finished Book 3 this afternoon, and it was a delightful farce! I, too, was a bit worried that I wouldn't like them now, some 25 years or so after I had read them, but Remo and Chiun are so far over the top that you can't help but laugh out loud at their antics.

Now it's time for some Sci-fi. I found a writer I'd never read, Timothy Zahn, and have started Cobra 1. Someone mentioned it, and I thought I'd give it a try.


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Old 04-15-2013, 03:44 AM   #16260
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Now it's time for some Sci-fi. I found a writer I'd never read, Timothy Zahn, and have started Cobra 1. Someone mentioned it, and I thought I'd give it a try.
Good military SF. He's a writer whose books I enjoy.
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