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What are you Reading Now?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Mythopoet, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    The Chill, Ross Macdonald.
    Trying to read The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch but the prose doesn't bear up well next to Macdonald, and the plotting still less so. I've given up on so many fantasy books, though, I'm going to stick this one out.
     
  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Currently rereading The Two Towers and remembering just how great the Ents are as a unique fantasy race. Walking, talking tree-people have become a trope since, but the Ents are really something special. The way Treebeard talks makes them feel real.

    Also reading Vampire Hunter D volume 7: Mysterious Journey to the North Sea part 1. D never fails to deliver. I love these books.

    Also forgot to mention I recently read all 3 (currently published) volumes of the comic Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda and which won the Hugo award for best graphic story the past two years and totally deserves it. Normally I shy away from stories with lots of graphic sex and violence (and in this case it's literally graphic) but somehow this story just completely reeled me in and won't let go. The further I read the more I like the main character, Maika, and want to see the rest of her journey to discover who and what she is. Also the art is breathtakingly gorgeous in full color. (Which I'm not used to since I normally read manga.)
     
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  3. Just started both Red Sister and City of Stairs and I am having such trouble getting into both. Red Sister seems promising but I feel that City of Stairs will be only satisfying in world building. So many authors seem only able to create characters the emotional equivalent of rain soaked cardboard and I have a nasty suspicion this author will be one of them. Purely because of an unplaceable similarity to China Mieville who has a wonderful (if deeply messed up) imagination but falls short in other areas for me.
     
  4. The Two Towers is my favorite out of the LOTR trilogy and I love treebeard and the ents
     
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I'm reading Gregory of Tours (well, jump-reading), which led me crab-wise to a book by Charles Oman called "Things I Have Seen" which is a memoir of sorts. Oman was an important medieval historian. Wrote the classic work, The Art of War in the Middle Ages (long since superseded).

    I'm very much enjoying the memoir, which begins with him seeing Napoleon III and Princess Eugenie when he was a child, to various turn of the century events mostly forgotten now, to interesting chapters on post-WWI Europe. He spent two months on the Rhine in 1919, and went to Italy in 1921. Wrote the book in 1933, so the perspective is interesting. And being a medieval historian, the prose is of course stellar. :)

    May all gods bless the Internet Archive.
     
    Gurkhal likes this.
  6. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Sage

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    Rediscovered the 'Sanctuary' series and am into the third book ('Shadow of Sanctuary'). While I was at it, picked up the first of Asprin's 'Myth' series. I had fond memories of all these but they don't quite live up to them now. Still, decent enough to fill some idle time.
     
  7. Mytherea

    Mytherea Minstrel

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    I couldn't get into Red Sister, myself. I found the number of PoV shifts at the beginning a little too frenetic, and since I wasn't familiar with the world, it gave me a sort of readerly whiplash. Totally unmoored, and couldn't get attached to any of the characters since they zipped past so quickly. As for City of Stairs, personally, I loved it, but it does take a bit to hit its stride. Lot of world-building in the beginning, lot of situational setup for the payoff at the end. BUT I may be biased and remembering it with rose-tinted glasses. It's been awhile since I read that one, though I finished City of Blades earlier this year and quite enjoyed it.

    Just finished Runaway Vampire and Immortal Nights (both by Lyndsay Sands). Technically more PNR than fantasy (though... they kinda stray into science fiction? Sort of? I mean, sort of vampires due to blood-powered nanos, a technology from the lost city of Atlantis? The series... hits a lot of genres) and are super-quick reads (like, I can knock one out in a day and a half of casual reading, a day if I really dedicate myself). They're fun, though the newer/later ones are a bit more serious than the first ten. The first ten, I'd routinely burst out laughing (my favorites still being the one with the 600-year-old social recluse warrior-turned-writer who was writing biographies for his family but his publisher branded them romance novels, and now his new editor has wrangled him into attending a romance convention, and the one with the vampire who'd gone on vacation human, got turned, and her whole town, feeling guilty for pushing her toward the vacation in the first place, adopt her as honorary town vampire). These... eh. They're darker, more serious. Not as outrageously, wonderfully campy as the others.

    Oh, and finished Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which I very much enjoyed and am now on hold for Spinning Silver, though I've got a few weeks to wait.

    And I'm now just starting The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French for an extreme change of reading pace.
     
  8. By now I am most of the way through City of Stairs and I actually love it.
     
    Mytherea likes this.
  9. I'm reading Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones for the second time.
     
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb. I read the first volume a couple of years ago and it barely made an impression. Rather than try to re-read that, I went to volume 2. It says something that I don't really think volume 1 was needed to appreciate 2.

    In any case, despite the fact that I think assassins are pretty much silly in fantasy, and despite the slow start, I am quite enjoying the book now. Hobb has put together some genuinely moving scenes and I'm reading a couple of chapters just about every day. The names of the royal court still grate on me but I console myself with the good names of non-royal characters.
     
  11. My last read by Hobb forever scared me off her :/

    Assassins are one of the things that will make me jump on a book without thinking much about it, lol. I don't even care. They're just fun to me.
     
  12. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Archmage

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    Interesting. I read Hobb when I was younger and could read a 300 novel per week or so, while attending school, training football and such at the same time, and I really liked her. I remember her slow pace but it really wasn't a problem for me as I got to immerse myself more in the setting and get to know the characters more. I only wish I could confidently take on her massive tomes a second time, but my reading pace has slackened to much since then.
     
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    There's definitely room to cut with Hobb. I have spotted her telling me things she's already told me, often in the form of a reminiscence. Or in providing details for a place--she's fond of the kitchen--that she's done more than once. I'm trying to pay attention to where and why my eye starts to slide over the text.

    She's strong on set pieces, such as the speech Ket (can't reproduce the full name) delivers to the troops after an attack from the Forged.
     
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I just finished The Trouble with Wanting, and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales, by Rommy Cortez-Driks. It's a collection of fairytales and stories with faeries in them. It's not a modern-style retelling of classic fairytales, but it does put a modern twist on some of the stories. Well worth the time and highly recommended.
     
  15. I'm reading The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. I do not like it very much except for the magic system. I'm almost 200 pages in.

    I just finished A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi yesterday. Not too fond of that one either. It was supposed to be a story about a Muslim girl growing up in post 9/11 America, which was the good part. But as YA is fond of doing, the book focused mainly on a very boring romance, which I hated. I hate romance in books the vast majority of the time. :/
     
  16. City of Stairs was absolutely amazing though. One of my favorite reads of the year. It was tough to get into but after that it was great.
     
  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Reading The Godfather, by Mario Puzo. It's interesting reading a book after having seen the movie several times. The characters are physically much as they are in the movie (except for Fredo). I can see where the director chose to cut parts out of the book (much more of Johnny Fontana in the book). It's a testament to Puzo's writing that I can still be pulled into the story despite knowing it so well. I'm trying to pay attention to specific techniques, but his writing is so neutral in tone, it's hard to catch him at it.
     
  18. neodoering

    neodoering Minstrel

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    I'm currently reading an anthology, The Year's Best Science Fiction, edited by Gardner Dozois. 300,000 words in 38 stories ranging from about 10 pages to 60 pages long. So far I really like some of the stories, and others don't do a thing for me. That's ok, can't love everything I read. I do recommend it if you want to get a finger on the pulse of the short sci-fi market; these are tales the professionals thought were worthy of publication, and as such they are worth reading.
     
  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Is that the current one? If so, you are reading Dozois' last work. He died last May. One of the great magazine editors, and probably one of the last, given how genre magazines fare these days.
     
  20. neodoering

    neodoering Minstrel

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    skip.knox,

    Thanks for filling me in; I'm sorry to hear about Gardner passing away. I've read his anthology every year for about the last 10 years, and it is tough to imagine anyone taking his place.
     
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