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David Meadows Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


quote:

Michael58 wrote:

Is there is anyone at all in the story that's likable?



Well you end up sympathising with the main character, who is just trying to do the best he can to survive. But he isn't really a "hero" in the modern sense of the word. I think the writer is trying to convey that people in those times had an outlook that is completely alien to us, so their "heroic deeds" actually seem pretty despicable to us.

Strangely, though, I have now reached the Battle of Agincourt itself and I'm suddenly cheering on the (despicable, murderous) English and their (selfish, money-grabbing) King. I don't normally count myself as a patriotic person, but I'm rooting for this despicable English army and hoping they soundly thrash those French knights emoticon . I think it's the mark of a good writer that he's drawn me into the story and got me emotionally involved in it like that, especially since I already know the outcome from history, so there isn't really any suspense.

Bernard Cornwell's battle descriptions are great, too. He does a great job of explaining exactly what happened and why, but also describes the carnage from characters' POVs, in vivid terms that don't really glorify it at all -- quite the opposite. The only other writer I can think of who has impressed me so much like that is Victor Hugo describing Waterloo.



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Justbec Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


I haven't picked up a book in a long time but finally decided to get back to reading. I haven't found much I like (I'm into vampires and the supernatural) so I decided to try an older series.

Jim Butcher's Storm Front (The Dresden Files).

I just started it and it seems to be good. The only issue is it's written in the first person and that's something I'm not too fond of.

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Reythia Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


Yeah, first person stories tend to either be written very well or very poorly. A lot depends on how much (and what kind of) personality the author bestows upon the narrator.

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David Meadows Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


The Dresden books are great. I think the first-person narration is needed to make them work, as they read like the classic private eye stories -- Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane always wrote in first person.



I'm currently reading The Invasion of the Moon, 1957-70 by Peter Ryan. Published in 1969, it's a factual account of the first Moon landing in an insane level of detail -- minute-by-minute, with all conversations between Houston and the Apollo crew transcribed word-for-word. I'm half way through it at 102 hours 45 minutes 42 seconds at the moment emoticon



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QS2 Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


I guess your understanding on how the moon landings were run is quite high by now then. emoticon
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Re: What are you reading now?


Word for word... emoticon

I am going to try and read Storm Front this weekend. My eyes were giving me trouble so I got new glasses. Gee now I can see the print. emoticon

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David Meadows Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


quote:

QS2 wrote:

I guess your understanding on how the moon landings were run is quite high by now then. emoticon



It's amazing how much detail my brain can't retain. I first read the book 20 years ago and I'm rediscovering loads of stuff I had completely forgotten.

Wait a sec. Making a 10 degree yaw to reacquire the high-gain antenna signal. Roger Houston. emoticon



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Re: What are you reading now?


quote:

David Meadows wrote:
It's amazing how much detail my brain can't retain. I first read the book 20 years ago and I'm rediscovering loads of stuff I had completely forgotten.


Isn't it, though? The brain is a powerful tool, but sometimes I think it's still in beta!

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You just had to say that with me around, didn't you? emoticon

So anyway, I can confirm the brain is not in beta. I mean that would be like saying it had been properly designed or something. And look at all the bugs, incomplete features as well as some times quite serious issues it has, it feels more like an alpha to me really, an alpha without any real design direction. emoticon
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Hahahaha!! So true, so true. emoticon

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Re: What are you reading now?


7th Son Book Three: Destruction by J.C. Hutchins

It's an awesome sci-fi series, about a group of clones that have to join together to defeat John Alpha, the man who their DNA is originally from.

If you want to listen to it, you can download all three novels in the 7th Son series from iTunes, or check out ]J.C. Hutchins site for download info on the novels.

After this I will finish Water For Elephants, and then it is onto The Odyssey and The Iliad emoticon
 

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I am currently reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

This guy is turning into one of my all time favorite authors. And the lucky thing for me is that he is quite prolific. He came out with a book in July, and he has another two books scheduled for November release! (Ok, so one is a YA fantasy and the other is the Wheel of Time, but he is always writing!)

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Reythia Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


I'm reading the David Weber series starting with "Off Armageddon Reef". It's thoroughly enjoyable, but I find myself getting moderately irked at Weber anyhow. For two things:

1.) In this series, he uses normal, Western names for most of his characters -- BUT, he feels required to alter ALL of the spellings. Specifically, he replaces all Js with ZHs, and many of the I-sounding vowels with Ys. So for example, Jessica would be written as Zhessyca, and Benjamin would be Bynzhamyn. None of the cities in this scifi/fantasy series are similarly named, nor are any other words in the book. Just the names. Which is REALLY furstrating, since it makes it hard for me to remember which character is which, since the names all look similar, visually. (I have to literally say the name aloud to figure out who he's talking about.) Moreover, I just don't see the POINT. Grrrr...

2.) But moreover, I've come to realize that Weber only knows how to write ONE style of book. He's good at that, yes. But, still, all of his stories sound a lot alike. Which is a sad, sad thing. emoticon

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QS2 Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


I've recently read read one of Webers books as well, yup. He does pretty much tend towards one kind of style, there are some variations, but he's pretty much Military Scifi. Still, he can be really quite good at it, when he wants to be. emoticon
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David Meadows Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


I've only read the two books he co-wrote with Steve White based on the Starfire wargame. Very clever translation of the game mechanics into a believeable narrative but... yep, it's military SF.




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Moreover, it's usually military scifi where one or both sides are undergoing an insanely fast technological breakthrough, resulting in changing battle strategies throughout the series of books.

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David Meadows Profile
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Re: What are you reading now?


Yes, that describes the Starfire books!



It's just occured to me that it also describes every book by E.E. Smith, a writer who I really like. I wonder how many other writers there are whose work can be boiled down into one simple sentence? emoticon



Last edited by David Meadows, 8/10/2009, 10:47 am


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I don't think you can do them true justice with just one sentence, I mean one sentence is a bit little to catch the entirety of what they did after all. But there are plenty of works where you can capture the Genre and a few of the most pertinent details in one sentence though I guess. emoticon
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Re: What are you reading now?


quote:

QS2 wrote:
I don't think you can do them true justice with just one sentence, I mean one sentence is a bit little to catch the entirety of what they did after all. But there are plenty of works where you can capture the Genre and a few of the most pertinent details in one sentence though I guess. emoticon



And also, bear in mind that while there are a lot of books that can be boiled down to the same sentence, only SOME of those are GOOD!

But yeah, I've definitely noticed that some authors are better than others at "branching out".

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I've just finished reading The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper. I massively enjoyed it. It's Science Fiction but not hard/mathematical/science-y Sci-Fi (which I can find off putting). Rather it is social sci-fi with mythology/fantastical stuff woven in. There's a lot about the nature of humanity and religion and divinity.
I'm quite tempted to read it all through again, which I haven't done with a book for a while.

I now want to see what else the author has written and order it in (from work, I rarely buy books anymore).
 emoticon

Last edited by dragonlady, 8/10/2009, 6:21 pm


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I suppose the hard SF can be off putting... though on the other hand, some of the most insane concepts and ideas I've ever encountered only ever got used in those kind of stories. What can I say... fantasy is way more common sense like then hard SF at times. emoticon
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I'm reading the book "Narcissus in Chains" from the Anita Blake series that Laurell K Hamilton writes. So far, I love the series and how she takes each book a little farther into the preternatural world.

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Re: What are you reading now?


I normally grab everything a author writes when it is a series so I'll just say David Weber and Honor Harrington right now (on book 10 in the series) emoticon

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I'm up to Incubus Dreams in the series now

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Well, I'm not reading much fiction (Tintenherz by Cornelia Funke is half read), my main reading right now is Energy Medicine for Women, by Donna Eden.

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Re: What are you reading now?


quote:

Reythia wrote:

Moreover, it's usually military scifi where one or both sides are undergoing an insanely fast technological breakthrough, resulting in changing battle strategies throughout the series of books.



You hit on the one thing I dislike when it comes to Webers books and it isn't like they are really advancing that fast because you will find references of how the new techs took years to perfect. It is more a matter of all those years being compressed into a paragraph or maybe one chapter. There is no real "Manhattan Project" feel even with monumental breakthroughs (such as the FTL communications)...

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Well... I really am following my own rules at work (no surfing the net on company time for non-company related business) but the library is just a couple of blocks from my office and I will sometimes go there to surf between meetings or other work.

Last week the PC reservation system said I had to wait for an hour before a PC was available so instead of doing that I walked down the book stacks and saw this book by Julie E Czerneda titled "Survival." Now I was actually bored and didn't expect much but man-o-man this lady can really write! I enjoyed the book so much I went out and bought the other two books in the series. If you like believable aliens with real personality you will adore this writer and her works. emoticon

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Re: What are you reading now?


Re reading "The Deed of Paksenarrion." Why don't they have such a good book in hardcover?

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quote:

Pastor Rick wrote:
Re reading "The Deed of Paksenarrion." Why don't they have such a good book in hardcover?



Haha! See, I usually have the OPPOSITE complaint! I hate reading hardcovers -- too heavy to read comfortably on my bed. But a lot of books are hard to find in soft-cover, at least the first year they're published. Very frustrating!

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Re: What are you reading now?


A friend of mine just suggested a book for me, which I read. It was really good, so I'll suggest it here as well:

Title: The Name of the Wind
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Genre: Fantasy
Book 1 of a series, of which book 2 already exists.

It's got an interesting setup: a story within a story. The main story is told by Kvothe, an innkeeper who is rather obviously more than what he appears, to the Chronicler, a collector of tales. Basically, it's an autobiography of Kvothe. But he interrupts himself at times to talk to his present day audience and also to deal with some Weird Stuff that is currently happening. One presumes that in future books, the events in the tale of the past will impact on what's happening today.

Anyhow, I don't want to give much of a review, since that'd ruin too much of the story, but it's definitely a good book to borrow from your local library. I've got Book 2 on hold for me now!

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