Books: 2nd Edition

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Oct 24, 2017 7:27 pm

AJ, glad to hear you've gotten a chance to fully read The Hiding Place! :D I agree that there is a special quality to it that other accounts haven't quite touched.

Jo, have you gotten a chance to read The Flying Scotsman yet? :)

Thanks for your thoughts on The House with a Clock in its Walls, fk! :) I will have to try to pick it up sometime.

Mel, I have a copy of Ready Player One that my uncle lent me this summer (...and I haven't read it yet :ymblushing:) - the funny thing is that I didn't know they were making it into a movie until after he sent me home with the book, and I'm not sure if he did either. ;))

I know I've read a number of books since I last posted (over four months ago! :ymblushing:), but...apparently not many stand out to me. :P Looking back, it looks like I mostly read more WWII accounts (most good), and then a huge book of Russian fairy tales (some good, some familiar, and some downright weird), The First Stampede of Flores LaDue by Wendy Bryden (interesting, and I learned - somewhat disappointingly - that the Calgary Stampede wasn't an actual stampede), and Fields and Pastures New by John McCormack (a memoir of a veterinarian working in rural Alabama during the 1960s - I didn't enjoy it was much as Herriot, but still fun to read ;))).

I am currently reading a book on loan from Mel - Elizabeth Bess by E. C. Scott - and am also working my way through the Scadriel short stories from Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson.
I can't decide if the titular character of the former is funny & sweet or a bit irritating - or both. She definitely reminds me of the sort of character that Shirley Temple would have played, with some major adjustments to plot. ;)) Speaking of plot, the number of times people keep passing "like ships in the night", JUST missing eachother is starting to get a bit annoying - they need to resolve the plot before anyone else (Uncle Jim...or, actually, Elizabeth Bess gets hurt a lot too...) gets hurt...or more hurt. XD
As for the former, I have only read The Eleventh Metal and am almost done with Allomancer Jak and the Pits of Eltania. The Allomancer Jak excerpts are my least favourite bits of the Wax & Wayne stories, so I was surprised to discover that this story is hilarious - primarily due to the footnotes (which, of course, are missing from the newspaper clippings). ;)) I was also surprised to realize that apparently Allomancer Jak is a real person in the series? Or at least so it is indicated with the footnotes.
Considering how many times I've been asked if I've read Secret History, I'm assuming important things are revealed in it...but unless it's hilarious as well as informative, I'm doubting that I will like it more than the Jak story. ;)) Especially if it gets more into the original Mistborn world and expects me to remember how everything woks - like Eleventh Metal, which was okay... I don't remember ever being that interested in Kelsier's backstory? And that story just made me go "I don't remember that?", so... I am, however, looking forward to the Rosharan story, even if it probably won't have my favourite characters in it...

After I finish those books, I have some more books from a recent booksale, plus I commandeered a bunch of books that I hadn't read from the family's to-donate pile. ;)) Also, I still have at least one more WWII book out from the uni library...
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby aileth » Oct 25, 2017 9:13 am

Valia wrote:The First Stampede of Flores LaDue by Wendy Bryden (interesting, and I learned - somewhat disappointingly - that the Calgary Stampede wasn't an actual stampede)

Ha! That is reserved for things like the Stanley Cup playoffs...Ugh! We were living in Calgary at the time, and were glad the Flames lost: there mightn't have been much city left if they had won. As for the official Stampede, it's alright--if you like jam-packed crowds and lots of noise. Personally, I preferred Spruce Meadows.

Does look like an interesting book, though. We knew the daughter of one of the "Big Four;" she was raised on the Bar U Ranch, south-west of Calgary.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Oct 25, 2017 7:19 pm

aileth, I thought the titular Stampede was referring to an actual cattle stampede. ;)) I have never heard of Spruce Meadows either, which is hardly a surprise if I hadn't heard of the Calgary Stampede.. How neat, though, about knowing the daughter of one of the Big Four! :D

I am about halfway through Mistborn: The Secret History and I suspect someone is laughing at me. :P I think it's supposed to be telling how everything connects (is that even a spoiler anymore?), but so far all I have picked up is a mild irritation that it is yet another "everything you thought you knew is turned upside down!" series of moments and a vague idea of why the dead god trope is so common - they must all be Shards that are killing each other off. I also take it that the Drifter is the Hoid character from Stormlight?

On the plus side, I've done some thumbing through the rest of the book and it looks like I can read White Sands and the Threnody story without context, as those worlds don't have any attached books yet - I think?
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Oct 25, 2017 9:32 pm

I am almost finished with Sons and Soldiers, I know I have taken way longer to read it than I should, but, well, life has been/is busy.

Recently, I read Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor #3) by Dani Pettrey, easily my favorite in the series. I really enjoyed the two mysteries being solved parallel and that the characters from the two previous books didn't completely take a backseat to the main characters for this chapter of the series. Really excited about book #4, Dead Drift, I've been waiting to Katie and Luke to have their own story since the very beginning of the series.

Finally made a trip to the used bookstore and found 7 books that needed a new home. :D Three books for me, three for Christmas gifts, and one for my Mom because she was debating over getting it. I was able to trade in 14 books from my to-be-relocated book box ($25 in store credit) and some blu-rays from my brother, so I got the seven books and paid less than the cost of one new book. ;;) Those books are For The Record by Regina Jennings, Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady, Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery, two Michael Phillips (Christmas presents for sisters), Hardy Boys #2 (Christmas present for brother) and Trim Healthy Mama Plan for my Mom.

Anne's House of Dreams is on a shelf in the family room that the siblings can borrow without permission, but my other new books are sitting in front of my DVDs and it wasn't until I had stacked two books that I realized how terrible the titles sound that way For The Record...Tomorrow We Die. ^#(^ :)

So besides reading Sons and Soldiers, I have bookmarks in Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson and A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund and I'm nearly three hours into the audiobook for The Innocent by David Baldacci.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Oct 28, 2017 12:15 pm

I'm intrigued by the First Stampede book... though of course it would require extra effort since it's only in the library system I never visit. ;)) (Also my oooh, sounds interesting! list is about a mile long at this point. 8-} )

re: Elizabeth Bess: It did strike me on my last read that Uncle Jim did seem to get a bit of a short stick... Do you think Elizabeth Bess's misadventures are exaggerated to show how they felt to her or are is the author super casual about how dangerous they actually were??

I'm currently reading a book called The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson; it's a sci-fi story set sometime in the future when society has splintered around their favorite eras: the main characters are a Victorian and a Cyber-Punk, there's an interactive book of fairy tales, a Confucian judge, and a seedy underworld. It's got a very literary style, which distances you from the characters and makes the going a bit slow, but so far it seems worth the effort.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Oct 28, 2017 2:50 pm

Hurrah for the new books, SA! :D And hurrah for getting some Christmas presents taken care of. ;))

Mel, how many books have you added to your "sounds interesting!" list since I last saw it? ;)) (And how many have you gotten to read...?) First Stampede can make a trip your way...
re: Elizabeth Bess: He certainly did. :P Though it is implied he ends up with the nice nurse as...some sort of consolation prize?? Hmm. I lean towards the author being super casual about the dangerous situations? Because everyone else around her acts like they are super dangerous too?
The Diamond Age sounds interesting, for sure! I hope it continues well. :)

I finished Elizabeth Bess and my initial impressions held. I was a little surprised at the sudden ending and the fact there was nothing but a very brief reunion - a sentence or two.
I also finished Mistborn: the Secret History - my initial thoughts also held true. :P Despite Sanderson's postscript, Kelsier not being dead-dead wasn't something that had ever entered my mind. I disliked adding his meddling in, as it was already hard enough to sort out Ruin vs. Preservation in the original series, much less dealing with the level of Deus ex Machina twists. Also, I disagree with another element of the postscript - I think him not staying dead did cheapen his sacrifice/death. I also never thought him dying WASN'T a fitting end to the character - his death was the dramatic and drastic close to a life that was such...
I have additionally made it through the White Sands excerpt - I liked the draft better than the graphic novel part; I found it easier to follow, and it explained a lot more - and through the Threnody story. I'm not sure how I feel about the latter story yet. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby SnowAngel » Nov 03, 2017 5:44 pm

ValiantArcher wrote:Hurrah for the new books, SA! :D And hurrah for getting some Christmas presents taken care of. ;))
:) And now it's the hard part keeping the books on a box until Christmas!

I finished Sons and Soldier, excellent book. Now it's onto The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse (library copy) and Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano (Revell launch team copy). I also have a huge stack of library books and two more review books.

Also finished the audiobook for The Innocent (it was okay, going to read the second book), I am currently halfway through the audiobook GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi.

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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby AJAiken » Nov 05, 2017 2:08 am

A friend of mine recently recommended Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity which I loved. It's about two young women involved in the war effort during WW2 in Britain, one who has been captured by the Nazis. It's a great character and friendship study, though it can be tense and harrowing. I've also read a prequel called The Pearl Thief but I didn't enjoy it so much.

The Faded Map: Lost Kingdoms of Scotland by Alistair Moffat is a non-fiction book about some of the old tribes and kingdoms in Scotland and Northern England. Despite living in Scotland for most of my life it's amazing how much I don't know about my own country. It covers from the Roman occupation to around 1000AD, charting the various languages and people groups. Ancient boundaries still contribute to some of the North/South and East/West divides within the country, and why the Borders is so like Northumberland. It also details the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland. A fascinating book.

After watching Arrival and realising it was based on a short story, I purchased Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others (though my copy is the movie tie-in). Normally this isn't what happens, but I prefer the film to the short story ... I can't say why, at risk of ruining the great plot twist, but I'd recommend watching the movie first. For those who have seen the movie: the short story reveals the main character's precognition immediately, ruining (in my opinion) all the tension. However, the other stories were worth reading. Even the ones I didn't like threw up interesting questions or ideas, or at the very least helped me to see how someone else might see the world.

At the moment I'm reading Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlante. My dad bought me this book (he was recently in the US; I don't think it's published over here) so I didn't know anything about it other than it's about Louisa May Alcott and her mother, the 'real' Marmee. What I didn't expect is for it to be quite so shocking - Louisa's father was very odd, and seemed to have little or no respect for his wife or for women in general. Abigail May Alcott, by contrast, tried to make her daughters' childhood as good as possible in often difficult circumstances. However it is interesting to hear stories from Abigail's childhood and see how Louisa wove them into her novels.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Nov 06, 2017 8:34 pm

;)) SA, hiding Christmas presents is always hard, but keeping the surprise of a book makes it even worse.

AJ, I know a number of folks on NW loved Code Name Verity. :) (I am a dissenting opinion, so no comment from me. ;))) The Faded Map sounds fascinating, though!! :D
I knew that Alcott's father was...very odd and that her childhood was very odd, but I really don't know anything about her mother. I may have to look into Marmee and Louisa. :)

I finished the rest of the stories I could read in Arcanum Unbounded - I think just Sixth of the Dusk and Edgedancer. I liked both of them. :) Sixth of the Dusk was a bit of a surprise, as I'm not a fan of evil corporation destroys native way of life and PROGRESS IS COMING tropes, but I thought it was a nice twist on it with Sixth coming to terms with progress coming and...the lady whose name I have forgotten realizing not all progress is good. I especially liked the sense of hope that the story ends with, with the realization that the people in the stars are playing with them but that they might be able to be tricked.
As for Edgedancer, Lift's section(s?) in Words of Radiance were probably my favourites out of the interludes, so getting a bit more story there was nice. Also, I loved the messages back and forth with Gawp, and the explanation of Stump and her actions. And Wyndle continues to be hilarious. ;))

I've mostly been reading a few things out of the to-donate basket of books lately. Nothing stands out too much so far, though I did read Dear Papa by Thyra Ferre Bjorn. It was billed as being similar to I Remember Mama, but I didn't enjoy it as much. I haven't been able to formalize why yet, though.

I am currently reading As I Was Saying, which is a G. K. Chesterton reader containing excerpts of essays, poems, and selections from books. I'm still early but so far it's been pretty interesting. :)
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 28, 2017 8:51 pm

I'm at part IV of Oathbringer, and so far I'm enjoying it a lot. However, there is not nearly enough Lift or Jasnah. :p The Dalinar backstory is . . . useful for understanding his character more but I still don't like him very much. Elhokar's death was actually kind of tragic (though not nearly as tragic as Evi's [good grief she deserved better]), and I liked him more in this book than in the first two. So far my favorite part is the conversation between Shallan and Wit where she finally starts to accept all of the different aspects of herself. It was beautifully written and I almost cried. Kaladin and Syl continue to be some of my favorite characters, and some of the best parts continue to be the Bridge Four characters (Rock's family!). Still not very fond of Adolin though.

Valia wrote:I also finished Mistborn: the Secret History

I was wondering what you thought of it. ;)) Yeah, I didn't think Kelsier coming back from the dead was really necessary or an improvement on his character. I'm pretty sure "everything is connected" isn't really a spoiler anymore, but I'm not entirely convinced Sanderson can pull it off. If he does, it's going to be amazing, but the Cosmere seems almost too large for it to work.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Meltintalle » Nov 29, 2017 8:26 am

Valia wrote:Mel, how many books have you added to your "sounds interesting!" list since I last saw it? ;)) (And how many have you gotten to read...?)
I'm afraid the answer is lots and none, in that order. ;))

I finished Diamond Age and overall I enjoyed it. Parts of the ending were very satisfying, but other plot threads seemed to just sort of trail off or ended abruptly after a lot of build-up. I left it with positive impressions but no great eagerness to look up anything else by that author, so...

Thanks to some Black Friday sales I picked up a bunch of new ebooks and raced through the Beaumont and Beasley series by Kyle Robert Shultz. The premise is a private investigator gets drawn into a series of cases involving fairy tale artifacts. They're wacky and fun despite taking some dark twists with the original tales.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby fantasia_kitty » Nov 29, 2017 9:50 am

Are there any Sci-Fi readers here? I don't usually see sci-fi mentioned here... outside of Dune and Ender's Game that is. ;)) My husband is a sci-fi fan and I'm not, so my knowledge of that genre is limited. I've been looking for some good books for him for Christmas and was wondering if anyone has read 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' by Robert Heinlein and/or 'Old Man's War' by John Scalzi? They both have great reviews and it looks like similarish plots, so I was thinking about them. But I've been guilty of getting movies/books for people that I haven't previewed myself and they have um.... very adult material in them so I'd like to have a second opinion before I spend the money.
I also plan to get him 'Beren and Luthien' and I don't believe we have 'Children of Hurin' so that one as well.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby coracle » Nov 29, 2017 1:37 pm

I used to read quite a bit of sci-fi. Asimov is always a great read.
Heinlein needs to be carefully filtered, as there is a lot of unsavoury material in several of the books.

The more recent Tolkien publications are not yet on my shelves.... but there will be time.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby ValiantArcher » Nov 29, 2017 8:26 pm

Dot, glad to hear you're enjoying Oathbringer. :D I have a feeling I will find it hard to put down (not to mention have a hard time trying to fit it into my lunch bag for work XD ), so I'm holding off until Christmas-time to read it. I just have to remember to track down a copy before then. :P ;))
Ditto your thoughts on Mistborn: The Secret History. I hadn't considered Sanderson's ability to connect everything, but now I am curious. It would be hard to do...But I guess it also depends on how he does it - setting everything in the same universe and have some crossover characters, like he's currently doing, will be much easier than trying to finagle something like a dozen universes into having their overarching stories all line up into a coherent ultimate story. I'm guessing he's trying the latter, though?

Sorry about the lack of progress on your to-read list, Mel. So hard, isn't it? :P
Glad to hear Diamond Age was mostly worth the effort of reading it. :)
And the Beaumont and Beasley series sounds interesting! Too bad I have such a bad track record with reading things digitally... :/

fk, I'm afraid that I've watched far more sci-fi than I've read - and even much of that isn't hard-core sci-fi. I somehow have an impression of much of sci-fi being a) too bogged down in science, b) overly-complex just like a lot of high fantasy, and c) boring. :ymblushing: I should remedy that impression and read some sometime.

I am still slowly making my way through As I was Saying. Despite a break over Thanksgiving, I've pretty much got to the point with Chesterton where I want to throw the book against the wall. :P This is a common reaction to an overdose of Chesterton, but usually it happens after a couple of books, not halfway through one. XD I think it's partly due to the fact that his anti-Protestant, anti-Calvinistic, anti-Reformation comments are concentrated due to the nature of the collection...it should hopefully improve when I make it past the theology section.

Otherwise, I have mostly been working my way through the family to-donate pile I mentioned earlier. I did fit in a reread of The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman (which I thoroughly enjoyed), and also picked up something light and fluffy (sorta) in Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub. I say sorta because the story is set in Verona, post Romeo and Juliet, but with a growing body count. I didn't love it, but it hooked me and kept me reading at a good pace - and a number of parts did make me grin. There was a mini-series made about it earlier this year, by which I'm intrigued - for one thing, the protagonists appear to be more mid-20s than 17, so I'm curious how a bit more maturity changes some of the incidents. ;))
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby Rivulus » Dec 01, 2017 5:30 pm

fantasia_kitty, generally John Scalzi books are good, and relatively low in 'adult material'. I remember language in Old Man's War and the sequels, but not much worse than that. It's been a couple years since I read them, though, so I could be forgetting something.

Another recent sci-fi series that I enjoyed was the Imperial Radch trilogy by Ann Leckie, starting with Ancillary Justice.
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Re: Books: 2nd Edition

Postby daughter of the King » Dec 03, 2017 9:27 pm

Just finished Oathbringer. It is getting harder to track who has which shards, but I suppose that was to be expected. I still don't like Dalinar very much, but the scene where he rejects Odium and accepts the Thrill was excellent. I am still rather worried about Shallan as the split between her various selves is both worse and better, but at least the potential love-triangle didn't become an actual thing. I'm not sure which is better: Lift's point of view or other characters' point of view as they watch her do her various things and get thoroughly bewildered. ;)) Lift teaming up with Szeth and his sword-nimi was great. I need Renarin backstory stat, but at least the royal family finally wised up and decided Jasnah should obviously be in charge. The revelation that the humans were once considered the Voidbringers didn't really come as a surprise, but I do like how the various characters are dealing with the implications of their ancestors being the invading force that ruined the world.

Now that I've finished that 1200 page epic I'm probably going back to Terry Pratchett as I got a copy of Monstrous Regiment for my birthday.
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