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Old 10-05-2018, 01:53 PM   #1
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Binge Reading

Something Apache said in the Apocalypse thread triggered a reaction and a thought. For me, the only thing that is better than finding a new author is finding a new author who has a lot of backlist, especially now that with ebooks, that means that the backlist is usually instantly available.

Way back in the late 70's and early 80's when I first had money to spend and bookstores were starting to pop up everywhere and there was a big SF&F boom, I discovered a lot of writers who had been around for a long time that weren't in the kids' section of the library. Heinlein, Asimov and Moorcock just to name a few whose backlist were being re-issued. Sometimes one was lucky and found a stash in one of the used book stores, but frequently, it took a long time for that backlist to hit the bookstore one by one over the space of several years. Over the past 40 years (dang, has it been that long?) I've probably read the vast majority of the major SF&F writers and a whole lot of the mid-tier writers. I won't say that I'm familiar with them all, but it's been a while since someone mentioned an author from prior to 2007 and the indie movement that I haven't at least heard of.

These days, it's pretty rare to find such a treat. Mostly, it's when I switch genres. For example, I didn't find Vince Flynn until after he had died. But sometimes, it's an author who for some reason, I had never heard of, then picked up one book, really liked it and started buying more. Sometimes I find an author, read a couple and then lose interest. Most of the time, I run across a new author within the first couple of books simply from work of mouth.

My most recent discovery is a fellow named Glynn Stewart, who writes a fairly interesting SF/magic series and has written over 30 books. I picked up Intersellar Mage, the first book in the Red Falcon series. I really liked it, but it turned out that the Red Falcon series was a side series to the Starship Mage series. Right now, I've read the first two in the Red Falcon series and the first of the Starship Mage series. So far so good, as they say. I don't know that I would call him a NY Times best seller writer, but very solid and keeps my interest. I would say that he's well worth trying if you like SF&F and haven't read him yet.

So anyone else have a similar binge reading worthy discovery? It doesn't have to be SF&F, just an author with say more than 10 books before you discovered him or her.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:20 PM   #2
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I mentioned this in another thread recently but on August 21st I started the first book in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's war series (Science Fiction). By October 24th I had finished those 5 books and the first 3 books of her Deed of Paksenarrion (Fantasy) series. 8 books and 3,500 pages in about a month; I'd say that was a binge. I understand there are 5 more novels in the Paksenarrion series, she has started a follow-up series to the Vatta's War series, and there is at least one other separate series (Serrano) of 7 books.

I will probably stretch out my reading but I'm set for a while.

I could also mention the Discworld series which I discovered when there were about 30 books available. I believe there are 41 total books in the series (plus some short stories).
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:56 PM   #3
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I didn't discover Haruki Murakami until he had already published 11 of his 14 novels and countless short stories. I stumbled on to him just after I bought my first Nook (which wow, was that thing clunky) and I have never looked back. Vintage was good about making all his titles available electronically, and I've read every single one of them.

I didn't binge him, as his works require digestion, but I make it a point to read at least one a year. The 900+ page 1Q84 got me through losing a job and finding a new one.

I also love stumbling on a good detective series. When they finally released Alan Hunter's George Gently, I snapped up as much as I could.
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:00 PM   #4
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I've been finding myself binge reading by theme lately, rather than by author. A few months ago, I read half a dozen or so novels that focused on school shootings. Now I'm in the midst of reading feminist dystopian novels. Hmm. Wonder why.
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:54 PM   #5
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I've been finding myself binge reading by theme lately, rather than by author. A few months ago, I read half a dozen or so novels that focused on school shootings. Now I'm in the midst of reading feminist dystopian novels. Hmm. Wonder why.
Interesting. I find myself doing that with history books. The last was a series of books on Napoleonic Warfare, before that was a series of books on the Arab conquests and a series on the Crusades.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:06 PM   #6
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There were a few series that I discovered because someone at mobilreads had suggested them. The Walt Longmire and Bruno Chief of Police series are two that come to mind. And that is my favorite thing about mobilreads. I know the people are nice and interesting to chat with, but discovering new books and authors is my numero uno. The Sandman Slim Series by Richard Kadrey is one that I would have been unlikely to read if not for mobilreads and I am currently binging on it.
So thank you to everyone here for some great reads I might never have found with out you.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:29 AM   #7
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There are two series of more than 10 books that I binge read because I was so happy to have found them.

Kage Baker's Company series (the author died in 2010) I only found about four or five years ago.

The Liaden universe series was already on book 14 or so when Baen offered one as a freebie and I was hooked.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:52 AM   #8
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I'm not much of a binger since if I like something, I like to draw it out. But I did binge on Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series for a while - they were good enough to hold my interest, but not so very good that I felt I was using them up too quickly. Eventually, though, that all the books are the same slowed me down.
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Old 10-07-2018, 03:38 PM   #9
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I'm not much of a binger since if I like something, I like to draw it out. But I did binge on Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series for a while - they were good enough to hold my interest, but not so very good that I felt I was using them up too quickly. Eventually, though, that all the books are the same slowed me down.

That is one of my main issues with binge reading and why I try to alternate authors and types of books, especially with audio books. Most authors do have certain patterns in their books that become easy to spot when one reads them back to back.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:29 AM   #10
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I've been finding myself binge reading by theme lately, rather than by author. A few months ago, I read half a dozen or so novels that focused on school shootings. Now I'm in the midst of reading feminist dystopian novels. Hmm. Wonder why.
@Catlady: Which books in this genre have you been reading? This is a genre that interests me but only know of a couple.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:56 PM   #11
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@Catlady: Which books in this genre have you been reading? This is a genre that interests me but only know of a couple.
Which one, school shootings or feminist dystopias?
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:38 PM   #12
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Which one, school shootings or feminist dystopias?
Sorry for not being clear. I definitely meant feminist dystopias!
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:29 PM   #13
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The feminist dystopian novels I just read are:
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, 1986. You're probably familiar with this classic; if not, do read it.
  • Vox by Christina Dalcher, 2018. This one has an interesting premise--women are limited to 100 words a day, and barred from working and reading. It devolves into a thriller against that backdrop, which is unfortunate.
  • When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, 2011. This is basically an updated retelling of The Scarlet Letter; I enjoyed it for the most part.
  • Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, 2018. Great concept here--a "personhood" amendment has conferred full human rights on the unborn, with the additional consequences of outlawing IVF and single-parent adoptions--but it's boring and pretentious and self-consciously literary.

An article in the New York Times just the other day discussed some of these books and additional titles with these themes.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:52 PM   #14
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@Catlady Thanks for the suggestions. I teach a class on the Atwood one, but unfamiliar with the others.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:57 AM   #15
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@Catlady Thanks for the suggestions. I teach a class on the Atwood one, but unfamiliar with the others.
You're welcome.
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