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What are you Reading Now?

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

  1. I'm reading Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones for the second time.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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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.
  5. 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.
     
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  6. 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.
     
  7. 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. :/
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. 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.
     
  10. 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.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I really do think we are losing something permanently here. There simply isn't going to be another generation like that of Gardner Dozois, H.L. Gold, James Blish, James Baen, Ben Bova, Damon Knight, Anthony Boucher (not to mention Gernsback and Campbell). The world has changed; it is too fractured now.

    I'm getting old (am old!). I miss the unity when one listened to that one underground radio station, got the news from this newspaper and that network (Cronkite, or Huntley-Brinkley?), and the number of SF (and fantasy) publishers and magazines could be counted on one hand. One belonged to a subculture that was shared right across the country. Seeing someone at the newsstand looking through the latest copy of Astounding meant you could talk to them. They were of our people.

    The magazine editors played a crucial role in creating that feeling.
     
  14. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Got my copy of "Fire and Blood" a couple of days ago. Everything else is on hold for now.
     
  15. You ever feel like youve run into so many sucky books in a row you dont want to read anymore for a while?
     
  16. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Not quite exactly like this, but close. Last few years, I've come across books that I didn't enjoy for various reasons, but I've still felt compelled to give them a good chance and not pick up a new story before I've finished the ones I've started. This then lead to me just not reading at all. It became a chore rather than a pleasure.
    I'm now trying real hard to not get back into that situation, and I allow myself to put away and forget about books I don't enjoy.
     
  17. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    My trusty reading list protects me from this. I'm slogging my way through Robin Hobb's Royal Assassin. Whenever I get discouraged (which is every couple of chapters), I turn to my reading list.

    I just finished Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. Good story. It also reminded me that good fiction about 19thc or early 20thc rural America is a great place for fantasy writers to find pre-industrial tidbits--not only about material life but also habits of mind and speech. La vie quotidienne.

    At a far extreme, I'm also reading Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman Capote.
     
  18. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    I never thought it could possibly come to this for me, but I feel disillusioned with GRRM at this moment after reading "Fire and Blood" as I realize that I have tricked myself into seeing things that were not there in the story. GRRM is an excellent author and deserves great credit praise for his work, but I can't personally love it any longer, even if I hope I will still appreciate it. The flaws of fantasy stories that I thought he might not have, have become clear to me.

    I don't feel much bitterness but more feeling a bit of emptiness over a wonderful dream I once had, but can no longer recall.
     
  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I gave up on that story years ago. I just gradually stopped caring.
     
  20. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    And right now I am currently reading four books at the same time while jumping between them; Russia: People and Empire, A History of the Archaic Greek World, A Complete Guide to Heraldry and Fire and Blood.

    After these ones are done I hope to continue with Mary Renault and Tolostoy.
     
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