Author Topic: What books are we reading at the moment ?  (Read 419429 times)

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5750 on: October 05, 2019, 07:42:15 pm »
The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap. I picked it up back in March at 99p, thought I'd step outside my comfort zone, I wouldn't normally choose a book maked in the "Romance" genre, I dunno, I may have been drunk at the time.

The story is centred around examining what might happen if  a blind person became able to see and is a first novel. Let's get the romance out the way: it wasn't too bad. IME "romance" differs from a novel in the superfluity of relationships and too much detail in the "dot dot dot"bits. With that in mind, I'd classify it as a novel, pleasingly the "dot dot dot" was just that.

The main relationship is an exploratory lesbian one, I found it sympathetic to the point where you feel invested in the outcome, which is always positive. Since finishing I have checked to see that Joe Heap is a man, he is and that surprised me.

The writing is fair to good, and I was mostly able to forgive the pace (staccato) and plot issues (incredulous, predictable) that you may find. The central character who creates the Rules for Seeing is almost too good to be true in many ways, but none the worse for that. Overall, I'd recommend it.

Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5751 on: October 06, 2019, 10:04:37 pm »
Sight Unseen ~ Graham Hurley.  Second of his Enora Andressen series and I fear there will be more to come.  I know They say "Write what you know" but recycling bits of your back catalogue is not what They meant.  Hayden Prentice is Bazza Mackenzie v2.0 and Ms Andressen stretches credibility far beyond its elastic limit.  Bah!

Still, Philip Pullman's "The Secret Commonwealth" is sitting on the coffee table making "read ME next" noises  :)
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5752 on: October 06, 2019, 10:12:27 pm »
Sight Unseen ~ Graham Hurley.  Second of his Enora Andressen series and I fear there will be more to come.  I know They say "Write what you know" but recycling bits of your back catalogue is not what They meant.  Hayden Prentice is Bazza Mackenzie v2.0 and Ms Andressen stretches credibility far beyond its elastic limit.  Bah!


Ah, now I remember why I don’t have that on my radar.  I read the synopsis of the first one and decided it sounded too trippy even for my low standards.
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ian

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5753 on: October 07, 2019, 12:10:14 pm »
Alistair Reynold's House of Suns, which I found unread in the summer house (I know, apt). While an interesting story (so far), my gripe is the two main protagonists are inseparable and have precisely the same voice, and the first-person perspective swaps between them, so I keep having to check back which one is which since the only way to figure it out is to look for a mentioned name or a gender pronoun. The flipping points of view doesn't in any way benefit the story so far and since they're effectively the same, it offers no additional incite of perspective. It would have been a lot better if he'd just picked the one. There are not so many writers who can really do multiple first-person perspectives.
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Riggers

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5754 on: October 07, 2019, 01:06:48 pm »
Fielding's Tom Jones – and yes, even on the first page I'm being flummoxed with words such as: eleemosynary, calipee, contemning. It's going to be a long 636 pages.

Have started also, John James Audubon's biography by Richard Rhodes.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5755 on: October 08, 2019, 06:47:23 pm »
Anybody read the more recent Alistair Reynolds books?
I read them up to On The Steel Breeze and didn't finish that trilogy as I wasn't finding them that engaging.

I see there's another Prefect book and the Revenger series out since then. Any good? Or is he just doing it for the money now?
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5756 on: October 08, 2019, 08:44:33 pm »
I enjoyed the Prefect one,  I've not looked at the Revenger stuff.

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ian

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5757 on: October 08, 2019, 08:45:30 pm »
Anybody read the more recent Alistair Reynolds books?
I read them up to On The Steel Breeze and didn't finish that trilogy as I wasn't finding them that engaging.

I see there's another Prefect book and the Revenger series out since then. Any good? Or is he just doing it for the money now?

I gave up with the elephant books. Don't get me wrong, I like elephants and they've as much right as anything to be in space, they were just mostly dull and to be honest, he doesn't have the writing chops to write from the perspective of African characters. Or elephants. Write what you know, they say.*

I didn't mind The Prefect (or whatever the second one was called, they for some unknown reasons faffed around with the titles) and the first Revenger book (not read the second yet).

I confess I'm struggling with House of Suns, seriously every chapter I have to go back and check which character's first-person perspective I'm in this time, and considering I can see what the ending will be, that will make it more annoying. It would have been far better if he'd picked the one character and run with it. Ironically, I was looking in the summer house for Century Rain which I have read and I'm sure I enjoyed. I'm sure I saw it in there. I figure I must have read House of Suns as I bought it, but that said, it lacked the usual signs of molestation by my grubby paws and evidently didn't make a crater in my brain.

*which is why I'm a female, undead librarian with a taste for fresh blood and weapons-grade sarcasm.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5758 on: October 08, 2019, 08:53:36 pm »
I've read "House of Suns", but can't remember the plot, which is probably not a good sign.


I enjoyed "Century Rain" very much, but for some reason he's said he won't write any more in that setting  :(
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5759 on: October 08, 2019, 09:05:15 pm »
Anybody read the more recent Alistair Reynolds books?
I read them up to On The Steel Breeze and didn't finish that trilogy as I wasn't finding them that engaging.

I see there's another Prefect book and the Revenger series out since then. Any good? Or is he just doing it for the money now?

I gave up with the elephant books. Don't get me wrong, I like elephants and they've as much right as anything to be in space, they were just mostly dull and to be honest, he doesn't have the writing chops to write from the perspective of African characters. Or elephants. Write what you know, they say.

Elephants in space? I thought Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle had killed that idea utterly to DETH with "Footfall" (Elephantine aliens attempt to invade and terraform Earth. Hilarity doesn't ensue).

Here's a review, which is more interesting than the book itself: https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/footfall
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5760 on: October 08, 2019, 09:18:51 pm »
Elephants in space.  Pah!     Reynolds should always be honoured for giving us Pigs In Spaaaace !      I don't think Link Hogthrob would really have gotten on with Scorpio though......


https://revelationspace.fandom.com/wiki/Scorpio   Contains Spoilers for those who haven't read the Revelation Space books.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5761 on: October 08, 2019, 10:05:30 pm »
I liked Footfall. My first introduction to the Orion Drive.

I'm just about to read today's chapter of Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. A friend put me onto it, apparently it's a thing to read it a chapter a day throughout October. Though yesterday I had to read two chapters as I forgot the night before.

And coming tomorrow I've got Marcus Aurelius'seseses Meditations that I bought on a whim from Amazon today.
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ian

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5762 on: October 09, 2019, 09:44:57 am »
Anybody read the more recent Alistair Reynolds books?
I read them up to On The Steel Breeze and didn't finish that trilogy as I wasn't finding them that engaging.

I see there's another Prefect book and the Revenger series out since then. Any good? Or is he just doing it for the money now?

I gave up with the elephant books. Don't get me wrong, I like elephants and they've as much right as anything to be in space, they were just mostly dull and to be honest, he doesn't have the writing chops to write from the perspective of African characters. Or elephants. Write what you know, they say.

Elephants in space? I thought Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle had killed that idea utterly to DETH with "Footfall" (Elephantine aliens attempt to invade and terraform Earth. Hilarity doesn't ensue).

Here's a review, which is more interesting than the book itself: https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/footfall

Honestly, I never got as far as the elephants being in space, since that was the third book in the inevitable trilogy and I'd given up by then. Possibly the reviews lied. Elephants in space would have relieved the boredom of some seriously dull and two-dimensional protagonists.

Reynold's is a bit hit and miss, he can't really do characters well and tends the labour the exposition and description, but I quite like the broad canvases of the universes he creates.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5763 on: October 09, 2019, 11:31:57 am »
Yeah, I've bounced off a couple of Reynold's operas.  And that other fellow, wossisface, McDivitt?  (Takes his name from a divot, a small clod of earth?)  Very workmanlike authors.

Following Spesh's mention of Neuromancer & C° I'm re-reading it and chuckling at the idea of someone in the future thinking 3 Mb of RAM worth the pinching. Still, it's OK otherwise.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5764 on: October 09, 2019, 01:04:13 pm »
Having just re-read Sir Phil's "The Book Of Dust" for familiarisation purposes I am now well into part two the second, viz. "The Secret Commonwealth".  Good so far.

Edit: perhaps I should have gone to sleep instead of finishing it, especially coz it'll be another two years before the denouement comes out.  Usual mixture of beguiling fantasy and sharp digs at the Church, the Military-Industrial Complex, IS and, on page 592, Bloody Stupid Johnson.

Approved.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5765 on: October 11, 2019, 12:28:49 am »
"Many Rivers To Cross", the umpty-threeth of Peter Robinson's Banks novels.  County Lines drug-dealing seems all the rage these days.  If Mr Rankin does it in the next Rebus, which must be due shortly, Harsh Words will be uttered.

Edit: Thin.  Identity of murderer telegraphed in big flashing neon letters.  Time Banks took early retirement.
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

telstarbox

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5766 on: October 11, 2019, 09:14:19 am »
I'm really looking forward to reading this


Quote
Excellent Essex by Gillian Darley – a long-overdue celebration
Beyond white vans and stilettos ... an original and beautifully written celebration of a much-maligned county

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/11/excellent-essex-gillian-darley-review
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

citoyen

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5767 on: October 11, 2019, 11:21:24 am »
Fielding's Tom Jones – and yes, even on the first page I'm being flummoxed with words such as: eleemosynary, calipee, contemning. It's going to be a long 636 pages.

One of my all-time favourite books. I remember being similarly flummoxed by eleemosynary - a word he seems particularly fond of, uses it often - but if you can get over that, it's a rollicking good read.

And incredibly smutty.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5768 on: October 11, 2019, 02:06:32 pm »
The Three Kings by Leo Moynihan

Not normally a fan of biographies but we got a review copy sent to the office and I'm interested in the subjects, so thought I'd give it a go... It's about the three greatest British football managers of the 20th century - Matt Busby, Jock Stein and Bill Shankly - focusing on their common heritage growing up in mining communities in the Scottish lowlands, showing how it made them the men they became. Stirring stuff. Really enjoying it. You can imagine it being made into a TV miniseries, combining archive footage with a narrative voiceover by Ken Stott or Robbie Coltrane. Maybe some atmospheric Celtic tunes in the background.

ian

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5769 on: October 11, 2019, 09:15:27 pm »
Because of you, one of my emails today featured the word eleemosynary. Admittedly, the last time I emailed that person, I used the phrase lacunaceous diatribe.

I'm really looking forward to reading this


Quote
Excellent Essex by Gillian Darley – a long-overdue celebration
Beyond white vans and stilettos ... an original and beautifully written celebration of a much-maligned county

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/11/excellent-essex-gillian-darley-review

I know what my wife is getting for Christmas.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5770 on: Yesterday at 03:31:03 pm »
The Institute ~ Stephen King.  Think "The Dead Zone" meets "Firestarter".  Better than some of his other recent offerings.
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime