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Old 08-23-2021, 09:49 PM   #30226
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Just starting Life and Death in the Woods by Cecilia Peartree. I've read 18 of her Pitkirtly series, and in the opening chapters of this first book in a new series, the lead protagonist seems a bit too much like his equivalent in that series, an Arthur Dentish hapless everyman. We shall see where it goes.
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Old 08-24-2021, 08:24 PM   #30227
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I just read The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, I loved it and zipped through it in two days, even though I've been working full time - read it during my lunch break etc., instead of browsing online. It's not often I do that.
I'll not spoil the book because it is very unpredictable.

Before that I read Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver, which I also loved - about a couple who make a pact to leave their lives together on their 80th birthday. Really interesting book with lots of different permutations worked through. Surprisingly, given the subject matter, highly entertaining.

Both these books were released in the last couple of months - I'm finding it very easy to borrow brand new books on Overdrive at the moment.

I tried and didn't like The Truants and The Hunting Party - seemed corny so I put them down.

Before that I read Fantasyland - How America Went Haywire by Kurt Andersen. It really explained why people here have such fervent beliefs in, well, whatever they believe in.

Possibly this is too much for my first post on this thread - if so, sorry.
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Old 08-26-2021, 01:44 PM   #30228
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Next up: 1636: The China Venture by Iver P. Cooper and Eric Flint. Another recent purchase.
Which was good. Fun with up-timers in 1630s China.

Next up: 1637: The Polish Maelstrom by Eric Flint. Another recent purchase, and the next in the 'main line' of the 1632 novels.

Last edited by pdurrant; 08-29-2021 at 05:09 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-27-2021, 02:23 PM   #30229
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Just finished a re-re-re... I don't know how many times, re-read of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, this time accompanied by a re-watch of Martin Scorsese's brilliant (literally and figuratively) movie adaptation with narration by Joanne Woodward. This book has always been "comfort food" for me - one I returned to when I hit reading slumps, reading burn-out, etc. I think Wharton hit her stylistic zenith in this novel, and I imagine her chuckling at her writing desk as she impaled the mores of New York society.
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Old 08-28-2021, 08:52 AM   #30230
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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. A fantasy set mostly in the nineteenth century. I found I could only read a few of the short chapters at a time before needing a breather - though there is not a lot of action, the mood of each chapter felt quite intense. A large and wonderfully portrayed cast, and the magical Night Circus itself grows with the telling so you can almost smell it and feel it. Part love-story, part magical feast, part myth-building and part almost-but-not-quite-wallowing in the richness of the setting. I'm certain it won't be to everyone's tastes, but I loved it. 5/5.
I read it a while back. I generally enjoyed it but didn't see why the hype was so much.

If you want a book that really gives you the feel of the circus, I recommend A Spark of Justice by J.D. Hawkins.
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Old 08-28-2021, 09:59 AM   #30231
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I read it a while back. I generally enjoyed it but didn't see why the hype was so much.

If you want a book that really gives you the feel of the circus, I recommend A Spark of Justice by J.D. Hawkins.
I think The Night Circus is one of those books where the style and mood of the writing either captures your attention ... or not. For that reason I've been a bit reserved in how I recommend it to others.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll stick it on my list - I see it's only short and not very expensive, the latter being a good way to get from my list onto my reader .

Although I must add that I'm not usually a fan of circuses: crowds, noise, everything so busy and overwhelming, a feeling like everything is a trick or an exploitation of something, and the ultimate turn off of animals forced to do demeaning tricks. One of the things The Night Circus achieved, for me, was creating a circus that seemed like somewhere I might like to go; she even managed to make the crowds feel uncrowded, and like they were real and interesting people.
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Old 08-28-2021, 02:36 PM   #30232
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Finally decided to read The Ark by Patrick S. Tomlinson. A Kobopocalypse purchase. Those were good times.

A murder mystery in a colony ship that's been flying for 200 years to mankind's new home. Sounded intense but it really was a bus load of silliness. The author has some skill in putting together sentences but the plot details were inane. Rated D- [2 stars].

Next, Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs. Library loan.
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Old 08-29-2021, 05:09 AM   #30233
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Which was good. Fun with up-timers in 1630s China.

Next up: 1637: The Polish Maelstrom by Eric Flint. Another recent purchase, and the next in the 'main line' of the 1632 novels.
Which was great fun. I might eventually do a re-read of just the mainline novels.

Next up: Towards the End of Morning by Michael Frayn. A freebie from Kobo back in 2012. I didn't much like the last one, so if I don't like this one, I think I'll give up on the other Michael Frayn novels.
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Old 08-30-2021, 05:07 AM   #30234
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Next up: Towards the End of Morning by Michael Frayn. A freebie from Kobo back in 2012. I didn't much like the last one, so if I don't like this one, I think I'll give up on the other Michael Frayn novels.
Abandoned at 60%. I just wasn't interested. Also discarded nine other Michael Frayn freebies. Just not my kind of thing at all.

Next up: LightSpeed Magazine Issue #5. I bought this all the way back in 2011!
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Old 08-30-2021, 08:09 PM   #30235
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Finally far enough ahead on my L! StoryGraph reading challenges to put English aside and focus on completing my non-L1 challenge with
The Jungle Book in Hindi, Il Gattopardo and La forma dell'acqua. No more English books until at least one of them is done.

All are proving potent reminders that grammar and vocabulary really are inseparable - even if one's grammar is passable, run into a sufficient number of unfamiliar words in any one sentence and the train of thought comes to a shuddering halt. Or gets wildly derailed.
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Old 08-31-2021, 03:11 AM   #30236
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Abandoned at 60%. I just wasn't interested. Also discarded nine other Michael Frayn freebies. Just not my kind of thing at all.

Next up: LightSpeed Magazine Issue #5. I bought this all the way back in 2011!
Which was a Halloween special, so not quite my find of thing. 3/5.

Next up: King of Foxes by Raymond E. Feist. The second in his Conclave of Shadows trilogy. (Which I bought back in October 2008 from Fictionwise for £4.30! Among my most expensive ebooks.)
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Old 08-31-2021, 04:19 PM   #30237
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Next, Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs. Library loan.
Enjoyable and quite comical at times. I did think the plot wasn't as tight as his previously books. In a couple of places I thought the author took the easy way out- glaring omissions and extreme coincidences. Since this is geared toward middle graders, perhaps I'm being too hard. Still eager to read on! Rated B- [4 stars].

Next, a recent purchase, Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. The author is a civil rights lawyer based in Dublin.
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Old 09-01-2021, 02:39 PM   #30238
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Next up: King of Foxes by Raymond E. Feist. The second in his Conclave of Shadows trilogy. (Which I bought back in October 2008 from Fictionwise for £4.30! Among my most expensive ebooks.)
A very good read. Most enjoyable.

Next up: Lucky Legacy by Joshua James. A freebie picked up in December 2020. The second in the series. I thought the first was OK, getting better as it went along. I'm not so sure about this one. And contemplating the remaining seven books, and thinking of them all essentially being the same... umm no. Abandoned at 56%

Next up: Blood Music by Greg Bear. I'm pretty sure I read this in paper a long time agin, but I think I'll enjoy an ebook re-read.
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Old 09-03-2021, 06:26 AM   #30239
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Thanks for the recommendation, I'll stick it on my list - I see it's only short and not very expensive, the latter being a good way to get from my list onto my reader .

Although I must add that I'm not usually a fan of circuses: crowds, noise, everything so busy and overwhelming, a feeling like everything is a trick or an exploitation of something, and the ultimate turn off of animals forced to do demeaning tricks. One of the things The Night Circus achieved, for me, was creating a circus that seemed like somewhere I might like to go; she even managed to make the crowds feel uncrowded, and like they were real and interesting people.
The big cats do play a significant role in this one, but it's presented in a caring and sometimes humorous way.
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Old 09-03-2021, 06:27 AM   #30240
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Next up: King of Foxes by Raymond E. Feist. The second in his Conclave of Shadows trilogy. (Which I bought back in October 2008 from Fictionwise for £4.30! Among my most expensive ebooks.)
I'm thinking I need to read more Feist. Let me know if this one's good!
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