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Old 09-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #17761
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Read "When the Bough Breaks" by Mercedes Lackey et al in a single sitting last night. This book is the second half of a Baen omnibus called "The Otherworld", and I bought it in Feb 2000. This is a part of my ongoing "read my Baen backlist" project.

I found this book disturbing, to tell you the truth. It's urban fantasy - the usual "elves and motor-racing" subject of this series - but the underlying theme of the book is the sexual abuse of children (in this case a little girl being sexually abused by her step-father). Not an easy read at all.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:53 AM   #17762
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No, that one was NOT a comfortable read, Harry. And that focus for the series tends to continue, though not quite as much so as When the Bough Breaks. Still, good reads.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #17763
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Thanks for the warning, Charlie - I appreciate it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:57 PM   #17764
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Cool Kerry Greenwood & Stephen King

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Well I tried reading The Devil You Know but Just couldn't warm up to the protagonist or get interested in the story.

Charlie Russel's post reminded me that I hadn't read a Phryne Fisher mystery for a while, so I've now dropped The Devil You Know and begun reading Murder On The Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher #3) by Kerry Greenwood.
Boy I sure enjoyed reading Murder On The Ballarat Train!

The next read is going to be Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King which I'm looking forward to with great anticipation.

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Old 09-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #17765
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Now for King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard - another classic I have never read before. This one is from HarryT's omnibusanthology (volume 1 at least).
Another great classic!

Now on to The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett which came in at my library 5 minutes after I finished King Solomon's Mines. Good timing!
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:45 AM   #17766
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Countdown City, the even better sequel to the excellent The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. It is norish detective fiction with the twist that the world is ending in a few months due to an asteroid. I am having to force myself away from it to go to bed, so it is good. I really seem to go for first-person works.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:03 AM   #17767
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Finished Infinite Jest, then read 1Q84 - both of which I enjoyed immensely - and just got done with American Psycho. AP was probably the most disgusting book I've ever read, but the scenes are so over-the-top gross and disturbing that after a while you start to wonder if Ellis is just being intentionally parodic. He seems to suggest at the end that it's all just some kind of psychotic or drug-induced dreaming or daydreaming on the part of the killer, but then he undercuts *that* suggestion a little later with the cab driver episode. So overall you're left wondering, which contributes to lessening the impact of some of the gore, strangely enough. All three are highly interesting books, though, each in its own way.

Not sure what's next. Thought I was going to read Blind Woman, Sleeping Willow next, but after 1Q84 I'm not really into more Murakami just yet. I started Swann's Way, but it was a bit too quaint for me to get into it. I might read Fall of the House of Usher next, simply b/c I have it on my kindle and I've never read it. :P
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:43 AM   #17768
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I finished Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, which was good if not particularly groundbreaking, and followed it by The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson - the Ninth Doctor short story in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary short story series.

As with most of the others in this set, regardless of author and incarnation of the Doctor, I once again wasn't really keen on the pacing - they all seem to suffer from overly long introductory parts followed by far too little focus on the actual plot and a rushed ending. Other than that, I suppose it was okay enough. Readable, anyway.

And as I'm still trying to break out of this current reading funk and tentatively try things outside my usual pick of genres, I started The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett last night - so far (~25% in), I'm not impressed at all. Choppy writing, the banter isn't even mildly amusing, and I think I may end up with alcohol poisoning just by reading this, considering that not a single Kindle screen seems to go by without someone craving a drink, pouring a drink, offering a drink, having a drink, thinking about a drink, talking about a drink, making sure someone else finishes their drink, etc.

I'm generally fine with reading about things I don't personally enjoy in my own life, but this is really pushing my limits, I admit.

At least it's a relatively short novel, so I think I'll try to give it a proper chance and finish it anyway.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:54 AM   #17769
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Boy I sure enjoyed reading Murder On The Ballarat Train!

Yup, that was a good one!

I'm reading Standing in Another Man's Grave, the latest in Ian Rankin's Rebus series. These are excellent Scottish police mysteries, if you like flawed main characters. A bit on the dark side. When I finish, I think I'll try one of Kerry Greenwood's Corina Chapman books. They're contemporary, with the main character being a baker. Not quite up to the Phryne books, but enjoyable.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:11 AM   #17770
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Due to some enforced leisure (a couple of days in bed with a cold), I've managed to get through a pair of books extra quick this week:

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. This had some award attention a few years ago, winning the Locus SF award and nominated for the Hugo, but I can't really see why. It's a fairly straightforward adventure story set in a steampunk Seattle with added zombies. It's entertaining enough, but I'd have liked a bit more exploration of the setting and a bit more depth.

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. The first outing for California private eye Kinsey Millhone. I enjoyed this, although I spotted the villain a mile off. (I didn't really work out the whys and hows, just that tradition dictated that it had to be this person.) A first-person narrative is always engaging. I wonder if they still drink and drive so much now they're up to W?
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:15 AM   #17771
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Next up: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Sep/Oct 2013.
Which was average to good. Some I really liked, some were so-so and only one or two I didn't like.

Now I'm reading The Human Division by John Scalzi, which I bought this year rather than next thanks to a lucky discount code win on the Kobo contest.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #17772
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Now I'm reading The Human Division by John Scalzi, which I bought this year rather than next thanks to a lucky discount code win on the Kobo contest.
Have you read Scalzi's Old Man's War series? You don't have to, to enjoy The Human Division, but it helps, as they are set in the same universe and share some characters and plot devices.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #17773
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I'm in the last stages of The Satanic Verses at the moment and I'm really enjoying it. I'll complete this novel before I continue on with anything else.
I finished this book a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed it. A melange of fables bleeding into a main story which also seemed a bit like a fable. I'm always left impressed after reading a Rushdie book, although I admit that I don't think I quite wrapped my head around quite a few things the author might have been saying.

I've also read another indie book called Bitter Orange by Marshall Moore. This is one for my review site and it's quite small - just under 200 pages. It's an interesting story, but the pacing is slow enough for the first 80% of the book that I thought I was dealing with something allegorical or metaphorical, when at the very end, the story suddenly became quite literal and fantastical. Furthermore, it ended in a way that made the whole book feel like a short story. You know those stories that end like a question mark?

I'm thinking 3 - 3.5 stars because it really wasn't bad and I didn't dislike it.

Next up is another indie work. This time it's Noah's Ark by Andrew J Morgan. I believe it's in the Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic zone. I'm taking a bit of a risk with this one because I didn't read the sample before agreeing to review it. It could either be a pleasant surprise - or an unpleasant surprise. Wish me luck!
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #17774
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Have you read Scalzi's Old Man's War series? You don't have to, to enjoy The Human Division, but it helps, as they are set in the same universe and share some characters and plot devices.
Yes, indeed. It's interesting to see the world from a different perspective.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:37 PM   #17775
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I'm about 3/4 through Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I'm enjoying it much more than the last two King books I read - The Shining and Under The Dome. It has held my attention and I hate to put it down.

Edit: I finished Doctor Sleep and think it is one of King's better novels. As frightening as it was, it was also uplifting. The author of Doctor Sleep is a wiser man and a better writer than the author of The Shining.

Last edited by BelleZora; 09-27-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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