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Old 10-13-2019, 10:59 AM   #28561
issybird
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I'm reading The Quest for Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessey, which I cribbed from a British friend at Goodreads; otherwise it wouldn't have been on my radar. It's Pope-Hennessey's private notes from his interviews in the course of writing his official biography of Queen Mary; all the stuff he couldn't put in the book, very funny and dishy. There's a lot here for the rabid royalist and the rabid republican, both. (I'm in the second camp.)
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:28 PM   #28562
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The Stars Are Legion is a science fiction epic featuring an all-female cast, biological ship-worlds and vivid descriptions peopling these ships.

It is a rare book that throws me off-balance immediately, yet is compelling enough to keep me engaged for the entire reading. This is one of those books, and I rank it with those books I will reread every year or two.
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Old 10-14-2019, 02:43 AM   #28563
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Since I am in the process of uploading the complete fiction of Aidan de Brune to the Library, I am re-reading (and inevitably correcting) the ebooks I created back in 2017 in conjunction with Gutenberg Australia and Roy Glashan's Library.

As "shockers" or melodramas, they are all quite typical of the era, late 1920s and early 1930s. Fast moving, and no great depth of chacterisation.

I have touched on the strange life of "Aiden de Brune" in the General Discussion forum, an Englishman named Herbert Charles Cull who emigrated to Australia in 1910, settled in Western Australia for a decade, and then moved to Sydney (or rather, walked all 2,500 miles across the continent!) In a quite short span he produced some 20 full length novels and a dozen or so short stories under the name Aiden (or Aidan) de Brune, all but one published in newspapers. Two or three titles were published as books by an obscure Sydney publisher.

It's curious reading them after a gap of two years, as they do come over rather better than they did when I was extracting them laboriously from newspaper automated OCR scans. Not great literature of course: if there had been much in the way of pulp magazines in the US style in Australia then, that's where they would have appeared.

For the most part they are set in and around Sydney NSW in the teeth of the depression, with often very gritty backgrounds, and describe a Sydney before the Sydney Harbour Bridge, when the only way from downtown to the North Shore was by ferry across the harbour, and to take your car you could either drive in a vast loop west to Parramatta and back, or take your car across on a car-punt at no doubt vast expense.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:15 AM   #28564
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Since I am in the process of uploading the complete fiction of Aidan de Brune to the Library, I am re-reading (and inevitably correcting) the ebooks I created back in 2017 in conjunction with Gutenberg Australia and Roy Glashan's Library. [...]
Wow! Fascinating stuff. Thanks very much for you efforts, I look forward to reading some of these. Have you seen anything of the diary from his walk around Australia?
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:00 PM   #28565
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The diary, and an illustrated biography of de Brune by Project Gutenberg Australia, can be had from PG Australia! Full service!

The Amateur Tramp, by Colin Choat PGA
Record Diary of a Walk Around Australia, de Brune, non-fiction, PGA

Last edited by Pulpmeister; 10-15-2019 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:05 AM   #28566
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Thanks for that. With the wealth that appears here on MR I sometimes forget to check other resources.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:46 PM   #28567
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Yippee!! Elizabeth Strout's new Olive Kitteridge novel just arrived this morning -- Olive, Again. I can't wait to delve into the further adventures of this singular, cantankerous, fascinating character.
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Old Yesterday, 06:35 AM   #28568
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The Next I read Hornblower and the 'Atropos' and 'The Happy Return', and I'm following up with 'A Ship of the Line'. These three form the omnibus volume 'Captain Hornblower, R.N.'.

I'm also reading a recent freebie "The Thief of Kalimar', but it hasn't really enthused me yet.
A Ship of the Line was excellent, as expected.

I've abandoned The Thief of Kalimar. I wasn't taken with the characters, or the quest, and especially not with the treatment of the baboons.

Next up: A freebie I picked up back in 2011, but by an author whose other works I've enjoyed. But this one's an Action Romance. Hidden Steel by Doranna Durgin.
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Old Yesterday, 07:30 AM   #28569
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I’m reading - for the first time - Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and loving it. Seasonally appropriate!
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 PM   #28570
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I just started The Eye of God by James Rollins. He is my favorite author. This book is #9 in his Sigma Force series. Many authors can barely hold things together long enough to finish a trilogy, but Rollins is still going strong at #9 in this series. Genre: Thriller/Action/Adventure

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The crash of a U.S. military research satellite in the remote wilds of Mongolia triggers an explosive search for the valuable cargo it holds: a code-black physics project connected to the study of dark energy, the energy connected to the birth of our universe. But the last blurry image from the falling satellite captures a chilling sight: a frightening look into the future, a view of a smoldering eastern seaboard of the United States in utter ruin.

At the Vatican, a mysterious package arrives for the head of Pontifical ancient studies, sent by a colleague who had vanished a decade earlier. It contains two strange artifacts: a skull scrawled with ancient Aramaic and a tome bound in human skin. DNA testing reveals both are from Genghis Khan—the long-dead Mongol king whose undiscovered tomb is rumored to hold the vast treasures and knowledge of a lost ancient empire.

Commander Gray Pierce, and Sigma—joined by a pair of Vatican historians—race to uncover a truth tied to the fall of the Roman Empire, to a mystery bound in the roots of Christianity’s origins, and to a weapon hidden for centuries that holds the fate of humanity.
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