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Old Today, 06:30 AM   #27946
stuartjmz
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Next I'm reading Hotel Silence by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, an Icelandic writer. It appeared as one of the "people also read..." next to Convenience Store Woman and then later I saw it was available at my library.
You know you have a pun problem when you see this and think "the author's name is Authur?"
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Old Today, 08:26 AM   #27947
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It's the best book I've read this year! Sadly that's mostly because I've read a couple of duds and a so-so mystery.
I started the year with duds, too. It's going to take a while before I can get my Goodreads average rating back up to the baseline of three stars, much less get it to the 3.2 to 3.3 range that seems like a reasonably successful reading year to me. Even Trollope has failed me; the last Palliser novel which I shall wrap up today is going to come in at only three stars.
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Old Today, 08:57 AM   #27948
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So, since I last reported in a couple of weeks ago I've read some short stories plus...

Looking for Alaska by John Green. His first published book, this one about young adults trying to deal with loss and guilt. It was good, but too self-conscious I think. Something like a 3.5/5, certainly I preferred Turtles All the Way Down and The Fault in Our Stars.

Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore. A mix of real 19th century artists, real art and colour history, with a fantasy tale woven through it. It is undoubtedly very very clever, but I found it quite hard work and lacking in the humour that Moore usually provides. (It wasn't totally without humour, just significantly less than usual.) It was okay, but a bit disappointing because I've come to expect better from Moore. I can only give this a 3/5.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It's really hard to describe this, or to rate it. The alternative history is generally light and humorous in nature (villains enjoying their villainy, puns and poking fun at current standards), but at other times is quite dark and serious (war and loss). Our protagonist, Thursday Next, is a literature detective, and it seems they take their literature very seriously in this alternative world. There is time manipulation, weird physics, characters falling in and out of stories. It is all such an a strange and apparently conflicting mix of things that it should be a mess, and at times it comes close to that, but somehow Fforde manages to push it all into a coherent and enjoyable story. I ended up giving it 4/5.
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Old Today, 09:51 AM   #27949
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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It's really hard to describe this, or to rate it. The alternative history is generally light and humorous in nature (villains enjoying their villainy, puns and poking fun at current standards), but at other times is quite dark and serious (war and loss). Our protagonist, Thursday Next, is a literature detective, and it seems they take their literature very seriously in this alternative world. There is time manipulation, weird physics, characters falling in and out of stories. It is all such an a strange and apparently conflicting mix of things that it should be a mess, and at times it comes close to that, but somehow Fforde manages to push it all into a coherent and enjoyable story. I ended up giving it 4/5.
I admit to being a big fan. Mostly because of the fun, but as you mentioned, there are some dark and serious motifs as well. I will say that the FootNoterPhone in later installments can stretch the limits of what's convenient to partake of in an ebook (depending on your reading device's/app's capabilities), but it's all been great fun for me. That fun started to wear a little thin for me around the fourth book, but that's pretty typical for me with any series these days.
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Old Today, 10:12 AM   #27950
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I admit to being a big fan. Mostly because of the fun, but as you mentioned, there are some dark and serious motifs as well. I will say that the FootNoterPhone in later installments can stretch the limits of what's convenient to partake of in an ebook (depending on your reading device's/app's capabilities), but it's all been great fun for me. That fun started to wear a little thin for me around the fourth book, but that's pretty typical for me with any series these days.
I had enjoyed The Last Dragonslayer, and on the strength of that I purchased an omnibus of the first three Thursday Next books. I'm not sure if the alternative history of The Last Dragonslayer is supposed to be the same as the Thursday Next stories; I didn't expect them to be, and they don't seem precisely the same but there is something similar about how they are imagined. I'm looking forward to reading more of both series, but I do think they will be best spaced out a bit.
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Old Today, 10:25 AM   #27951
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That fun started to wear a little thin for me around the fourth book, but that's pretty typical for me with any series these days.
I've come to the conclusion that it's the very rare series that can be sustained beyond three books.
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Old Today, 11:12 AM   #27952
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I've come to the conclusion that it's the very rare series that can be sustained beyond three books.
That's been my experience, as well. I tend to blame myself as much as the author for that. Even if the author hasn't gotten complacent, I may have. I've become too familiar with the author's style and the characters' habits/mindsets to be as "wowed" as I might once have been. I'd much rather the author left me wanting more, than going too far, and then have me wishing they'd ended it a book-or-so ago and saved me the slog. It's a fine line for me--and I'm sure for the authors as well (at least the ones that aren't simply committed to milking a series for all the book sales they can get out it, anyway).
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Old Today, 12:47 PM   #27953
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That's been my experience, as well.
Agreed, for most series. But for my favorite series (I've mentioned it many times before) - Sigma Force by James Rollins - I am well past book 3 and still fully enjoying the series. So much so, that I am "rationing" the remaining books so I won't run out too soon.
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Old Today, 01:06 PM   #27954
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So much so, that I am "rationing" the remaining books so I won't run out too soon.
That's wise. Enjoy the pleasant anomaly!
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Old Today, 03:03 PM   #27955
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Finished listening to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I realized early on that i'd pretty much forgotten the entire novel since I read it last...
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Old Today, 03:22 PM   #27956
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That's been my experience, as well. I tend to blame myself as much as the author for that. Even if the author hasn't gotten complacent, I may have. I've become too familiar with the author's style and the characters' habits/mindsets to be as "wowed" as I might once have been. I'd much rather the author left me wanting more, than going too far, and then have me wishing they'd ended it a book-or-so ago and saved me the slog. It's a fine line for me--and I'm sure for the authors as well (at least the ones that aren't simply committed to milking a series for all the book sales they can get out it, anyway).
I think it's both of these factors, plus a third factor in series with an over-arcing story line, namely that in the middle books the author's engaged in too much wheel-spinning at the expense of plot advancement. One book (i.e. the second) is generally sufficient for buildup and bringing things to a crisis.
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