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Old 12-15-2018, 01:45 PM   #27811
MickeyC
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Which was an excellent fantasy. Most enjoyable.

And now for something completely different: Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin. The second of his Inspector Rebus novels.
I just finished Tooth and Nail by Rankin and, if you truly liked Hide and Seek, you’ll really like this one.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:33 PM   #27812
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Currently still working through The British in India, on track to be my second 5-star read for 2018 at GR. Also reading The Cat Who Turned On and Off as I work through the series, and have just started book 1 in C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner series
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:28 PM   #27813
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I just finished Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder and it immediately made it into my top 10 for the year. I have never read a single "Little House" book and this book was *still* fascinating. I enjoyed the hell out of all the literary cameos as well.
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:05 PM   #27814
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One of the great lines in a great episode:
Back in the early seventies, the college I was attending had a get together for a professor that was visiting from Britain. You should have seen the looks she got, as the get together ended, when she asked one of the American professors if he would knock her up in the morning.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:04 AM   #27815
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Just finished The British in India" and what a great read it was. I learned so much from its collection of individual stories, "personal histories". Even though the author explicitly stated it was "not a book about the Eurasians (in the twentieth century known as Anglo-Indians), people of British-Indian descent who would deserve a book of similar size for themselves", it still filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge and understanding of my Anglo-Indian background. And it was an interesting coincidence to learn that author has also written a biography of Giovanni Tommasi di Lampedusa, whose Il Gattopardo is on my "try to read" list for 2019
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:20 AM   #27816
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Back in my teens, I tried the Brother Cadfael series, but it it just didn't click with me at all. I did really enjoy her Felse series, and thought I'd read them all. I'm now 20% through the first in the series, Fallen Into the Pit, and it's not ringing any bells at all. I am very much enjoying it, though, which bodes well for when I do get to the ones I have read.
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:25 AM   #27817
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Finished "The Epic of Galgamesh", translated by Andrew George and published by Penguin Classics. I really enjoyed this, and learned a lot about Assyrian literature in the process.

Spoiler:

Gilgamesh (which, I now know, should be pronounced "Gil-GAR-mesh", with the stress on the second syllable) is an epic poem whose origins date from at least the 19th century BC, and is thus roughly contemporaneous with the great literary works of the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt.

It tells the story of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk (in modern-day Iraq) who, as was fashionable at the time, was semi-divine, his mother being a goddess. Gilgamesh has no equal on Earth (being a hero and all) and so the gods send him a companion, a wild man called Enkidu. Gilgamesh and Enkidu have all sorts of jolly adventures, but then Enkidu dies. This leads Gilgamesh to the realisation that he too, no matter how great he is, faces the prospect of death, so he sets out to try to learn the secret of eternal life.

After many travels he crosses the ocean to an island where Uta-napishti lives. He was granted immortality after he became the only man to survive a flood that destroyed the Earth. He was warned by the gods about the flood, and built an ark, in which he took all the animals of the earth (sound familiar?). He, though, tells Gilgamesh that the circumstances that granted him immortality are unlikely to be repeated, and that immortality is achieved by being a good king and having your name remembered after your death, upon which Gilgamesh goes home and does Good Deeds as a king.


As many people will know, the Epic of Gilgamesh is the origin of the flood story that made it into the Book of Genesis in the Bible many centuries after its original composition, complete in every detail, a fact which excited Victorian Assyriologists no end when the Epic of Gilgamesh with first discovered in the library of the palace of Ashurbanipal (7th century BC) at Ninevah and the Akkadian language was deciphered.

The Penguin Classics edition, after a lengthy (and very interesting) introduction, first gives a translation of the most complete version of the Epic, which is the forementioned Akkadian version. Subsequent chapters then give the surviving fragments of the older Babylonian version of the text (which is a little different), and finally the very old group of separate Sumerian poems which seem to have been woven together into a unified whole to form the epic poem.

An extremely interesting read!
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:44 PM   #27818
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Which was an excellent fantasy. Most enjoyable.

And now for something completely different: Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin. The second of his Inspector Rebus novels.
Which was much better than the first, but I felt that
Spoiler:
the massive conspiracy in Edinburgh high society
was a bit OTT.

I've been ill in bed all day, so I started and finished Postsingular by Rudy Rucker. A freebie I picked up back in 2009. I now realise that I must have read it back then, but I didn't really remember it. For good reason. 2/5. All rather silly, really.

And now for something completely different: The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsay Davis, the fourth in her Flavia Albia series, which happens to be on special offer at Amazon UK today. Life as a detective in 1st Century Rome.
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:58 PM   #27819
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Finished a book called Hunt: An Urban Fairy Tale by Leslie Claire Walker. Not horrible, but I'm not interested enough to read any sequels.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:23 AM   #27820
CRussel
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OK, all other books need to deal with a slight interruption in their planned reading schedules. Nathan Lowell just released By Darkness Forged, and that takes precedence.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:25 AM   #27821
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OK, all other books need to deal with a slight interruption in their planned reading schedules. Nathan Lowell just released By Darkness Forged, and that takes precedence.
Thanks for that notice, Charlie. I was wanting something compelling to read.

Jim
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:56 PM   #27822
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Did you know there's a new Murderbot short story prequel? Me either.

I found it in my newsfeed this morning and read it in a couple minutes so it's very short (barely more than flash fiction at just over 1000 words) but still enjoyable. And MURDERBOT!

The Future of Work: Compulsory by Martha Wells
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:23 PM   #27823
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Did you know there's a new Murderbot short story prequel? Me either.

I found it in my newsfeed this morning and read it in a couple minutes so it's very short (barely more than flash fiction at just over 1000 words) but still enjoyable. And MURDERBOT!

The Future of Work: Compulsory by Martha Wells
Dang, way too short, but awesome nonetheless.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:49 AM   #27824
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OK, all other books need to deal with a slight interruption in their planned reading schedules. Nathan Lowell just released By Darkness Forged, and that takes precedence.
Finished. Excellent. All sorts of loose ends tied up, but plenty of room for more to happen, with no sense of artificial cliff-hanger.

My one real complaint on this one is Pip. He's really getting to be annoying. What was cute in a quarter-share is far less so as a 30-something Cargo Master and CEO.
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:30 AM   #27825
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And now for something completely different: The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsay Davis, the fourth in her Flavia Albia series, which happens to be on special offer at Amazon UK today. Life as a detective in 1st Century Rome.
Which was splendid.

Next I read Children of the Nameless by Brandon Sanderson. A stand-alone freebie which seems to have been a commission from Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Most enjoyable, with a good resolution. There's clearly more going on, but the story is nicely self-contained.

Then I read Endless Night by Agatha Christie. Which was a bit of a disappointment, despite being one of her later novels.

And now I'm reading Tramp Royale by Robert A. Heinlein. A travelogue of his round-the world trip in the early 1950s.
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