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Old 09-22-2022, 10:43 PM   #31066
Uncle Robin
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On the question of reading books in order of publication: while I am not insistent on it, I do enjoy reading the books of an author I like in order to see how s/he develops in terms of style, characters and so on.
Exactly this. Sadly for me, the three authors I've tried it on this year have not delivered. I'm thinking a nice compromise might be to read in publication order but not necessarily ALL. Especially if the characters don't age over time.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:00 AM   #31067
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Thanks Jon, that was interesting to read. Did it change your views on Sayers?
Nope. But that's because her first Wimsey book is too racist.
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Old 09-24-2022, 11:02 AM   #31068
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Next up: Greybeard by Brian Aldiss. Currently just £0.99 at Amazon UK!
An interesting apocalypse. I'm not sure the deterioration would be as rapid as depicted. Only 3/5 for me.

Next up: The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey.
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Old 09-26-2022, 06:22 AM   #31069
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3/5 at thestorygraph for "Murder Must Advertise" - aka "book 8 in the "Peter Wimsey is Superman" series
I'm not going to bother with Gaudy Night - she got 5 novels and a short story collection to wow me, and she miffed it. My final attempts at Carr and Queen coming up soon, too.

Last edited by Uncle Robin; 09-26-2022 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:44 AM   #31070
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The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne. An autobiography-of-sorts by the son of A.A. Milne: Christopher Robin Milne being the inspiration for Christopher Robin in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and child model for E.H. Shepard's illustrations in the books.

This was a bit uneven, but I enjoyed it very much. [...] 4/5.
So I followed that with his second autobiography: The Path Through the Trees by Christopher Milne. I found this a very different proposition. The first book felt intensely personal, but the majority of this second book feels quite distant: events of his part in WWII, lessons on how to be a bookseller in the 50s and 60s. It was only when speaking of his family or of his interactions with nature that we get a glimpse of the person behind the words, and those parts I liked. The rest ... meh. 2/5.
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Old 09-26-2022, 02:01 PM   #31071
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Just finished listening to Stephen King's Fairy Tale this morning. Even though it was a bit of mess, it was still quite compelling. I thought the narrator (Seth Numrich) was excellent, albeit a little slow. But it was nothing a speed increase couldn't fix. I did find the profanity and mild lewdness to be a bit off-putting, but that was because I found it to be very unnatural, not because it was offensive. Some people are just not very good at swearing or telling crude jokes. I also think he must have struck some sort of advertising deal with Turner Classic Movies. The number of times he used the name (or the TCM abbreviation) in the story was just outrageous!

But all and all, a quite pleasant experience that was wrapped up very neat and tidily. Almost obsessively so.
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Old 09-26-2022, 04:37 PM   #31072
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  • I am about 2/3 of the way through listening to Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis. There is an excellent narrator and I am just waiting for Elmer's comeuppance.
  • I am still doing my first buddy read over at StoryGraph for R.F. Kuang's Babel: An Arcane History. If anyone wants to join, send me a message! I am enjoying their buddy read system which locks comments until particular points of story completion to prevent spoilers.
I finished up Elmer Gantry on my commute this morning. Not the satisfactory ending I wanted, but it was worth the read in any case.
  • I'm about 70% through my first buddy read over at StoryGraph for R.F. Kuang's Babel: An Arcane History. If anyone wants to join, send me a message!
  • I started a re-read (via audio) of Dame Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie this afternoon on my commute.
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Old 09-26-2022, 04:44 PM   #31073
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I finished up Elmer Gantry on my commute this morning. Not the satisfactory ending I wanted, but it was worth the read in any case.
Not satisfactory, but realistic. And scarily timely. The last line? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, more’s the pity. My favorite of Lewis’s novels.
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Old 09-26-2022, 04:46 PM   #31074
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Not satisfactory, but realistic. And scarily timely. The last line? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, more’s the pity. My favorite of Lewis’s novels.
As someone who was raised in one of those churches, I 100% agree. But this is why we don't just read for our version of the happy ending, eh?
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Old 10-01-2022, 05:08 AM   #31075
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Thinner by Stephen King (as Richard Bachman).

I never noticed how often King grotesquely sexualises young girls before this. Billy has absolutely no business thinking about his fourteen year old daughter's panties. I had always thought the orgy in IT was an edge case.
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Old 10-01-2022, 12:58 PM   #31076
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On to a Southern gothic title that has been on our DTB shelves since 2017 - Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks
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Old 10-02-2022, 05:31 AM   #31077
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Next up: The Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey.
Quickly followed by Oathbreakers and Oathblood. The latter mostly contains earlier versions of stories in the other two books, but does include at least one wholly original work.

A fun, quick read.

Next up: We'll Meet Again by Anton du Beke. The fourth in his series set (mostly) in the fictitious Buckingham Hotel.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:05 AM   #31078
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Small Spaces by Katherine Arden. A middle-grade, Halloween-inspired, horror story. 3/5. This was fun, even sort of sweet, but I suspect you have to be significantly younger than me to be scared by it. I liked the characters and enjoyed the ride but I did miss the depth that Arden demonstrated in her wonderful Winternight Trilogy.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. Epic fantasy. Maybe this deserves a higher score than 1/5, but I'm not going to find out, having dropped this before the middle of chapter one. I almost dropped it after reading the preface - I'm always wary when the author finds it necessary to explain or apologise for what they've done - but I wanted to see why this author felt it necessary to warn the reader that this would be a "harder journey". Well that became apparent to me very early indeed, so I dropped it, I'm not that short of reading material, but I am that short of patience.
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:32 AM   #31079
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Originally Posted by gmw;4262362[B
Gardens of the Moon[/B] by Steven Erikson. Epic fantasy. Maybe this deserves a higher score than 1/5, but I'm not going to find out, having dropped this before the middle of chapter one. I almost dropped it after reading the preface - I'm always wary when the author finds it necessary to explain or apologise for what they've done - but I wanted to see why this author felt it necessary to warn the reader that this would be a "harder journey". Well that became apparent to me very early indeed, so I dropped it, I'm not that short of reading material, but I am that short of patience.
Well, at least you just saved yourself 9 1/2 books and 3.3 million words
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:20 AM   #31080
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Well, at least you just saved yourself 9 1/2 books and 3.3 million words


There was a time when that would have been attractive to me, now not so much. A bit like military fantasy, I think epic fantasy has lost some of its appeal to me. They've become overly familiar, and they try too hard, concentrating on being epic rather than on character and story. (All personal opinion, of course, just how it seems to me.)
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