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Old 08-16-2013, 07:10 AM   #17401
pdurrant
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Next up: 1635: Papal Stakes by Charles E Gannon & Eric Flint
An enjoyable continuation of the 1632 series.

Then I read one of my Agatha Christies: Crooked House. Very good indeed.

And now I'm reading Danger: Human by Gordon R Dickinson. A collection of his short stories on a theme.

I might have read this one back in 2003, but I'm enjoying it so I'll continue.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #17402
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Next up is another indie novel, Head of Words by Chris Ward. I've previously read and reviewed a post-apocalyptic drama from this author (The Tube Riders) that I really enjoyed. However, this one is more of a contemporary drama. It starts by describing a small flat in Bristol shared by 13 people and a dog.

Seems like an excellent opening to me.
OK - been a while and I've read a couple of books now.

Head of Words was an interesting psychological mystery. The first half bordered on the hilarious, but in the second half it became much darker. The mystery itself was revealed pretty early so it's mainly a matter of seeing what happens rather than uncovering anything particularly new. A 4 star read though.

Snow Burn by Joel Arnold was a brief, intense YA suspense novel. It was very short, almost a novel length short story, but the mood was there and it was dark while still having a good YA feel to it. Might possibly suit boys more than girls.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy has sat on my bookshelf for years waiting to be read. It was time. Man Booker winner in 1997, the book is set in India and tells the story (in a very meandering way) of a death and its far-reaching consequences to a family, especially two non-identical twins. I enjoyed the book. A strong 3-3.5 star rating.

The Passage by Justin Cronin. Another book clamouring for attention for a couple of years in my bookshelf. I finally took the plunge and cracked it open. I've always liked vampires but have been put off them by the endless paranormal romances still in fashion. It was nice to get stuck into a vampire tale that's more my style.

I'm currently reading Sleight Malice by Vicki Tyley for my review site. About a third of the way in and it has been OK so far. Interested to see where it's heading.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:55 AM   #17403
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My weekend reading had dipped alarmingly in interest & quality (more later about that) ... but then I opened Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym - IMHO her funniest novel, showcasing her droll wit and keen observations of North Oxford academics and their follies.
Thanks for the recommendation. I just finished Crampton Hodnet - very funny. I look forward to reading Excellent Women and Jane and Prudence.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:30 AM   #17404
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The Shining by Stephen King

Well I'm all set for Dr. Sleep.

It's been over twenty years since I last read this book and as good I thought it was since then, it's even more powerful than I remember. No doubt because in the twenty intervening years I have become a family man and father myself. My focus on this story has shifted from the horror elements to the characters.
OldDarth's excellent post derailed my reading plan. I pre-ordered Dr. Sleep and am now reading The Shining which I read long ago and have mostly forgotten. Next: back to Connie Willis and To Say Nothing of the Dog.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving had some laugh-out-loud funny moments and actually brought tears in places. Doesn't happen much in this jaded head. Had trouble getting into The Shining because I kept thinking about Owen.

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Old 08-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #17405
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I will have to put that on my list. I've been meaning to finally get around to reading something by John Irving. Maybe soon.

Doughnut by Tom Holt: funny. The first few pages were awesome, the rest of the book is good as well.
The Ocean at the End of the Laneby Neil Gaiman: that was refreshing. A wonderful story. I think his best.

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Old 08-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #17406
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Just finished "A Boy and His Tank" by Leo Frankowski. Entertaining SF from Feb 2000, as a part of my on-going "catch up with all my Baen purchases" project.

The planet New Kashubia is poor in natural resources, and its colonists attempt to raise money by hiring themselves out as mercenaries. This book tells the story of one of the colonists and his tank. A good read, but disturbing in places. Not for the squeamish or the prudish - quite a lot of fairly graphic sex scenes.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:35 PM   #17407
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'Tis been a while since I was last logged in. I'm now reading A Cruel Deceit by Lauren Haney. It's the 6th of 8 mystery novels set in ancient Egypt. Most of the books in the series are a measly $0.99 for the Amazon Kindle. Since I had started reading the dead tree editions, I quickly bought all the rest of the series in eBook format.

I'm loving the recommendations I've seen in this thread. Several of them have been on my "I intend to read sometime" list -- which never gets any shorter because I keep adding books to it. See:
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Just finished "Wizard's Bane" by Rick Cook, which I bought many years ago from Baen. This is the first book in a series. All worth reading.
On my list!

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I am almost done the last book in the "Rain Wilds quartet" by Robin Hobb. I feel like I'm going to be a bit lost after I leave the realm of the Elderlings.
Also on my list.

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Now onto a freebie: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky, a parody of the Harry Potter books. It's looking good so far.
Just downloaded it. Can't pass up freebies, particularly when they come with a good recommendation.

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Well, I finished off Ships of My Father's, by Dan Thompson. This is a sort of YA-ish Trader Space Opera.
Sounds like a really good book. I added it to the list!

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I'm re-reading The Dresden Files series for the 4th time. Great series for anyone that loves Urban Fantasy. Some say the first couple of books were a bit slow but I've enjoyed every one of them over and over.
These have been on my list for a long time. I have the first two books in hand, so I probably ought to schedule them in sometime soon.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:45 PM   #17408
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I went ahead and read Justice Hall, the sixth book in Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series, and enjoyed it tremendously.

Now I'm reading Earth Star by Janet Edwards - young adult scifi, sequel to Earth Girl (which I liked enough to pre-order Earth Star). I'm quite sure I'd find things to complain about if I wanted to, but it's just my sort of book and so far I'm very happy with it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #17409
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The Shining by Stephen King

Well I'm all set for Dr. Sleep.

It's been over twenty years since I last read this book and as good I thought it was since then, it's even more powerful than I remember. No doubt because in the twenty intervening years I have become a family man and father myself. My focus on this story has shifted from the horror elements to the characters.

Twenty years ago the visceral thrills that the Outlook Hotel gave have been dulled due to the ever expanding boundaries of what horror books/movies etc have shown and told us.

What stands out more in The Shining are the ghosts we carry around inside of us. These ghosts have the potential to be far more damaging and/or terrifying than anything a possessed hotel can throw at us.

Jack and Wendy Torrance are damaged goods trying to cast off the ghosts of their parents. Jack fails and with Wendy it is unclear how she fares moving forward from the end of the book.

And Danny? Ah, poor Danny. With his gift, or curse, of The Shining - the weight of his ghosts is ever so much heavier. Will his ability ultimately help him conquer his demons or will he crash even harder than his father?

Come Sept 24 with the release of Dr. Sleep, answers should be forthcoming.
On the off chance you haven't heard of it, Stephen King wrote a short story by the name of Before The Play. It's a prologue to The Shining and gives some insight to the relationship of a Jack Torrence and his father.

I don't believe it was officially published, but it's a very good read.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:53 PM   #17410
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Before The Play is online in five parts here:

Scene 1

Scene 2

Scene 3

Scene 4

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Old 08-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #17411
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Next up is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I keep hearing good things about it but I didn't enjoy the one short by him that I read earlier this year. We will see.
So far I am enjoying this one. Tomorrow I have a problem though, Hugh Howey's latest Dust is being released and I may decide to read it before finishing American Gods. Nice of him to release it on a weekend when I might be able to read more than normal! We shall see.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:36 AM   #17412
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OldDarth's excellent post derailed my reading plan. I pre-ordered Dr. Sleep and am now reading The Shining which I read long ago and have mostly forgotten. Next: back to Connie Willis and To Say Nothing of the Dog.
Don't know whether to apologize or say you are welcome.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:37 AM   #17413
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On the off chance you haven't heard of it, Stephen King wrote a short story by the name of Before The Play. It's a prologue to The Shining and gives some insight to the relationship of a Jack Torrence and his father.

I don't believe it was officially published, but it's a very good read.
Aware of it. Have never read it.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:02 AM   #17414
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The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. I don't know what it is about these classic horror novels but I find them to be far more scary than modern ones. Maybe it's because they're a slower, creeping horror instead of a ''Blaargh! Here's a monster and some gore jumping out at you!''
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:18 AM   #17415
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DUST by Hugh Howey!!!! Will start it after the kids soccer games this morning.
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