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Subject: What did you read in November 2016? rss

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What did you read? What did you think about what you read? Let's share!

The Planetary Omnibus, by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday




Planetary is an organization of archaeologists of the impossible--a force looking for secret histories, keeping the world safe, and pushing back at the darkness. It's made up of three members: Elijah Snow, a man born on January 1, 1900, who can manipulate cold. Jakita Wagner is a superhuman, butt-kicking machine--and she loves kicking butt. Finally there's The Drummer, who can gather and manipulate information with ease.

At first we get fun, one-off adventures that run a variety of genres and tropes (an island of giant monsters, a revenge tale, a tale of exploration and adventure in Africa, etc.). These were good, but I kept wishing these had more room to breath. The stories were fun, but the page limits of a comic book meant they stopped just as they were getting good.

But after a few issues like this, we start to see that there's a much larger and richer story being told here. I'm not for one second going to pretend I understand all that happened. Parts of it were SUPER confusing, but I still had a blast reading it. Ellis and Cassaday worked well together, telling the story with huge vista shots, and intimate close-ups.

It seems like Ellis might have been trying to break down comic books. The main antagonists are a group known as The Four, astronauts who went into space and came back with strange powers. This is just too close to The Fantastic Four to be a coincidence. So maybe Ellis is positing what would happen if ordinary people with ordinary motivations and desires got those powers? Again, I'm not sure.

I tried reading Ellis' Transmetropolitan, but it was just way, WAY too much. Planetary is a perfect example of the power of the graphic novel to tell a terrific story.


Bears Discover Fire and Other Stories, by Terry Bisson




This is a decent mix of short stories. Some good. Some just okay. And a few that made me go, "Huh?" The title story, for example, ended so abruptly that I had to check page numbers to see if the book was missing pages. It wasn't.

I'll give it a generous three stars.


Promise of Blood, by Brian McClellan




Promise of Blood opens with a coup, led by Field Marshal Tamas, overthrowing a crappy king set to enslave his country to another just to play back his bad debts. It's a fantasy of the "political intrigue" variety--no unicorns, orcs, or other beasties. But there's plenty of magic--starting with the Powder Mages, who have a connection to gunpowder, and even snort it like snuff in order to enter a powder trance and gain a heightened sense of awareness. There are indications this is addictive and ultimately harmful, though. There are other magics, too, and even though the powder mages are the "stars" here, these other magics are pretty dang cool themselves.

So, after the coup, Tamas comes to realize that overthrowing a bad leader doesn't just make everything better. There's a government to set up, uprisings to squash, and traitors to suss out. He wears this mantle of leadership in a realistic way, and he's constantly facing moral dilemmas.

At over 500 pages, there were definitely places where McClellan could have cut. And I saw a couple of other "rookie" mistakes. For example, Adamat was one of my favorite characters, and I was happy to come to sections from his viewpoint. He's supposed to be this amazing investigator, but all he does is go from place to place asking questions. You could argue that's all good investigation is, but I still had an expectation that he'd be Sherlock Holmes. Also, bagging on the church seems kinda lazy now. "Oh, wow...a religious leader who's rich, jerky, and having sex with every woman he can find. Way to pave new ground."

Still, his characters were realistic and complex, his writing was solid and workmanlike, and his magic system was fun and unique--not surprising since McClellan was a student of Brandon Sanderson. If you're looking for a solid fantasy that's not trying desperately to be the next Game of Thrones (i.e. over-the-top "gritty"), then consider this first book in the Powder Mage trilogy. I'll definitely be reading further into the series.


Dracula Vs. Hitler, by Patrick Sheane Duncan




When I first saw the title--and the terrific cover--of Dracula vs. Hitler--I assumed it would be a crazy, over-the-top, campy pulp novel. How could it be anything else?! Well, it is something else.

It's actually written in an epistolary style, like the original Dracula. We get chapters from the viewpoint of Abraham Van Helsing, Van Helsing's daughter Lucille, Harker's grandson, and even Hitler himself! The book takes 100 pages before Drac even shows up, and that time is spent immersing us in the trenches of resistance fighters battling the evil Nazis. We could just be reading a well-researched historical fiction of gritty WWII resistance. Until Dracula shows up.

Of course, you have to set aside a great deal of common sense to enjoy the book. And I don't mean the common sense of a vampire's existence, but more that people who had intimate knowledge of Dracula's capabilities, and even lost loved ones to him, would resurrect him for any reason--even the defense of the homeland. Also, Dracula quickly turned from the evil creature of the original book to a remorseful man looking for some kind of redemption. It didn't really ring true.

Still, if you can get past that hurdle, the book is well-told, cinematic, and solid. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.


Forsaken Skies, by D. Nolan Clark




It's 400 years in the future, and corporations rule everything. Which means decisions are made based on whether it's profitable or not.

So when two people travel across space to ask for help after their planet's been attacked, they're told no. It's cheaper to just lose the planet than to send help. But hope is not lost. Lanoe, an ex military hero and his ragtag bunch of ace pilots are willing to help. If it sounds like Space Seven Samurai, that's because it is.

Despite traversing the galaxy through wormholes, humanity has never encountered an alien race. Until now. Lanoe and his crew do everything they can to save this planet, and find out more about the alien threat--and themselves.

The best thing about Forsaken Skies is the characters. They're complex, and believable, and heartbreaking, and strong, and weak, and...well, I just enjoyed spending time with them, and that's what every authors strives for, right?

But if you like your space opera with a healthy dose of space combat, you won't be disappointed either. There are battles aplenty.

D. Nolan Clark is a pseudonym for horror author David Wellington. I wondered if he'd be able to make the jump from horror to science fiction, but he nailed it. Forsaken Skies is definitely a little long, and a little slow in parts, but that's because we're spending a lot of time with these terrific characters. That's the sort of trade-off I can generally live with. I'll eagerly wait for the next book in the trilogy--though I wouldn't mind if it was 150 pages shorter than this one...
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Michael Howden
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Going to be short... too busy.





Contains a character that is easily in my personal top ten. I enjoyed it so much.




This year's Pulitzer and it does not disappoint.




All the cool kids are reading it so I thought I would check it out. The title short story is phenomenal and heart wrenching. Two others are great, the rest stands up well enough to sustain.




I read this twice last month. The connections the author makes between the scientific and spiritual world are refreshing and uplifting. It is filled with ideas that resonate with me personally. I recommend it to anyone that loves science but feels like Dawkins is just keeping a conversation going, but not adding much.


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The Sellout by Paul Beatty
And we have a winner! This one won the Man Booker prize this year, and I think they made the right choice - it's clearly the best of the entrants that I read, and it's also really spectacular in the "I can't believe he wrote that" kind of way. In some parts it seemed to kind of lose its way, but when it's funny and on-target it's a great book.

As an aside, one problem I had with this book is perhaps because I'm uptight, perhaps I was being rational: This book has the N-word. A lot. Often several times per page. On crowded buses and subways I felt uncomfortable reading the book because I didn't want somebody eavesdropping to notice I was reading a book filled with racist language. But I was, and it was a pretty great book filled with racist language.


The Cuckoo's Calling by (ahem) Robert Galbraith
This was a pleasant surprise. I decided to try the free sample of J. K. Rowling's detective book, and ended up reading the whole thing and really enjoying it. Apparently, Rowling can write more than Harry Potter. I've never thought plotting was her strong suit, but Cuckoo's plot is a good one, with lots of suspects, and lots of characters who each have their information to contribute. It was especially nice how even the minor characters have real personalities; for example, Tony Lawson only appears in one or two scenes, but is clearly an asshole in a very specific and believable way. This would get five stars if her descriptions showed more subtlety - this is sort of contradictory, I really like the strong character development, but sometimes it feels like we're given too much description of a character, maybe they could be as well developed with less expository information. Still, a great book. Recommended to mystery or Rowling fans. My favorite part:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
When Ciara Porter was making a pass at Strike, I thought "Sleeping with her would be such a bad idea, you know he'll turn her down, but if he just went for it then it'd be awesome." And then he just went for it, and it was awesome.
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"Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature"
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I am about 500 pages away from my last six months assessment.
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Finished up the "Kingfountain" series:



Probably the best of the three books, in my opinion.
I'll rate it 4 out of 5 and the three-book series can have 3.7 out of 5.
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Once again, I didn't read as much as I wanted to this month, just had too many chores and other distractions, not the least of which was a serious infection in my hand that was *this close* to becoming genuinely life threatening.... oy vey.

[Sorry I'm not up to doing all the fancy cover images this morning, but only one book I read was important in any way.]

I continued my journey through Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, having successfully thrifted the next books that cleared the way for me to read in order. First up was The Affair, which is out of publishing sequence but is in character timeline sequence, then back to the beginning of the publishing sequence with Killing Floor. There's not much to say about these except that they're both crackerjack reads if you like the whole thriller murder mystery genre.

I also spotted Stephen Hunter's Point Blank in a Salvation Army store and grabbed that because it's the first in the Bob Lee Swagger series, and the basis for the Mark Wahlberg movie Shooter, which isn't half bad at all. The funny thing about this book is that I could have *sworn* I'd read it before, but couldn't find my copy when I wanted to reread it after watching the movie, and yet when I did read it this month, it seems clear that I never read it before! So somehow in years past, I've ready a different book about a sniper being framed for an assassination.... hmmmm.

And along those lines, the only "serious" book I read this month was Who Really Killed Kennedy?, by Jerome Corsi.



I've been seriously interested in the JFK assassination since the early years, and always keep an eye out for books that I don't have when I'm in thrift shops or used book stores, so when I saw this one for a buck, I had to get it! The author sums things up quite well, and the book did both solidify and add to what I already knew, however I would issue a strong caution to anyone interested in the subject that you NOT buy this same 1st printing that I found -- it is so loaded with typos and inconsistencies that it is next to useless as a reference text. I've chatted with Mr. Corsi himself about this, and he got me up to speed, assuring me that the printing with a dedication in the front is the corrected edition and the one to seek.

And that's my reading for November.... but I already have some books I'm starting for December that I can hardly wait to tell about, including one that covers the overlap of my personal family history with the murder of President Lincoln!

cool

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His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

AKA "The Sloggening"

That's unfair—it's good when I'm reading it, and I like it just fine, but I'm thinking perhaps I'm not the right reader for it. I have none of that "bookaholic" craving between sessions where you find yourself looking forward to reading time, fantasizing about it, scratching at the bugs under your skin that only reading can kill. I've made it about halfway through, and at this point my overarching desire is to just finish the damn thing so I can get on with my planned holiday reading list.
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OK, I'm a little behind, as I didn't get to post for October, so this is a long list.

I got hooked into James Rollins, who writes adventure novels in the vein of Clive Cussler. They are well-researched novels, grounded in history and science. I like Rollins better than Cussler, primarily because, at the end of each of his novels, Rollins lays out the scientific/historical backgrounds for his story, including a delineation between where reality stops and his flight of fancy begins. He frequently includes examples of non-fiction works that explain things further. My only real fault with Rollins is that (IMO) he tries too hard to explain religious things with science. Oh, and that somehow, in every story, there's a hidden, evil cabal bent on obtaining some ancient unearthed technology for it's own nefarious purposes. These cabals always seem to have access to unlimited funds/weapons/intelligence/whatever, yet are beaten in the end. Lind of formulaic, but I still enjoy them and recommend them as well.

In order, since October, I've read:

Sandstorm - A freak explosion in the British museum in London ignites a perilous race for an earth-shaking power source buried deep beneath the sands of history. Very good, except for the idea of stable anti-matter)

Map of Bones - The bones of the Three Magi and a secret society of alchemists and assassins

Black Order - Horrific experiments in an abandoned lab under a mountain in Poland, and an unknown malady that can turn peaceful monks into cannibals

The Judas Strain A deadly plague arises from the ocean, and it's somehow connected to Marco Polo

The Last Oracle From ancient Greek temples to glittering mausoleums, from the slums of India to the toxic ruins of Russia, two men must race against time to solve a mystery that dates back to the first famous oracle of history – the Greek Oracle of Delphi.

The Doomsday Key From the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint

The Devil Colony The histories of Native Americans and the Latter Day Saints converge.

Bloodline A president's kidnapped daughter, The Staff of Jesus, and the search for immortality

The Eye of God A crashed US military satellite, a "crystal ball", and the tomb of Genghis Khan hold the key to preventing a global catastrophe. (This one really stretched believability)

The 6th Extinction Mysteries of Antarctica and environmentalism gone amok.

The Bone Labyrinth Connects early man and the fate of the Neanderthals, while exploring the evolution of human intelligence from its wellspring to where we, as a species, may be headed next (Scary stuff about genetic engineering/research)
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Drew
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My own books still lie half-read while I spend most of my reading time reading to the kids.

This month we finished up . . .



The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame


How have I never read this book before?! Why has it taken me half a century to finally getting around to reading it?!

I always assumed that The Wind in the Willows was just a standard funny anthropomorphic animal story. But it turns out to be quite a bit more human than I expected. Grahame touches on a wide range of very human emotions and experiences, filtering them through the aforementioned anthropomorphic animals. There's not really a strong central plot (except maybe the reformation of Mr. Toad). Chapters are sort of stand-alone stories, and much of it is rather surreal. In away it's very much like Tove Jansson's Moomin books, except with an English sensibility rather than Scandinavian.

There's just some great stuff here, mostly having to do with Rat, Mole and the rather abusive Badger trying to get Toad to see the error of his ways, and staging an intervention because of his destructive addiction to automobiles. I mean, who can't relate to that?

The book is also much older than I realized. I thought it was more mid-20th Century, but it's over 100 years old (which means, public domain/free Kindle editions! Although the copy I read was a nice dead-tree edition recently bought at a used book sale.)

Really enjoyed it, weird as it was in places.



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Twee Katten en wat Honden / Two Cats and some Dogs
Simon Carmiggelt


Simon Carmiggelt was a journalist who wrote a daily column for an Amsterdam regional newspaper. During the war years he bravely refused to sign the non-jew affidivit, got fired and finally had to go underground. His pieces were about daily life and mild ironic in tone, often imitated and persiflaged at least once. Mr. Carmiggelt was more than popular to read his daily column at the very end of the television broadcasting day. His sad, grey, dreary face never appealed to me, so I never watched. How wrong I could be ...

This book is a selection of columns mostly written around 1960 about his two cats: dominant tomcat Thelonious and the smart puss Picasso (...). The last third of the book is a selection of columns regarding his adventures with dogs and their owners. Almost all his stories took place in Amsterdam.

When Picasso became pregnant of Thelonious Mr. Carmiggelt received letters of readers, who wanted a kitten. "Look", showing the letters to Picasso, "They counted on you. I need at least six.". When he had nothing to offer the ragman noted Picasso or better her fur, "one seventy five for the red one". Then Thelonious unaware showed up, "Two twenty five for the black one." After the front door closed the cats began to stare. "What! I didn't do it!".

The five born kittens were given away. After a year he visited one of them ...
"You want to see him again?", asked the lady.
And there he was in the living room, a fat, arrived, bounder with the dumb, round face of dad and mom's mean eyes of the misjudged ballerina, who nowadays runs a ballet school. It was a gruesome example of the risky hazard of reproduction.
"Isn't he cute?", said the lady of the house

Mr. Carmiggelt is a sharp observer of human nature too. As a kid he was in a café. A few tables away an artist was drawing his aunt, a beauty. His uncle "a chair filled with man" stood up, "Give up!". After a short struggle the artwork was torn in pieces and the artist outside. "How could you! In front of all those people!", shouted his aunt with delight in her eyes.

After more than 50 years I finally discovered him. An highly entertaining read. Mr. Carmiggelt is the author of the common man. However this book is now unavailable in your language. A pity. But I am pretty sure there is a Simon Carmiggelt in every country. So go out to your local book store and find him!
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Justin Case
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Drew1365 wrote:
The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame


How have I never read this book before?! Why has it taken me half a century to finally getting around to reading it?!

[snip]

Really enjoyed it, weird as it was in places.


You and the kids might very well enjoy the stop-motion animation movie -- it's utterly charming, with nice songs, interesting sets, plenty of gentle humor, and fine animation.



There was also a British TV series based upon and branching out from the film, and there are DVDs of that too, but the feature-length film is definitely the place to start.

Here's a video homage to it, with the theme song, that gives a nice feeling of what you might expect:



meeple

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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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The thing about having kids is that it cuts into your reading time. I only get 15-30 minutes a night.

So this month, I dove back into Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash for a re-read. I needed something fun, I've been reminded of Stephenson a lot recently, and I decided to return to this one.

This is a fantastic book. It's still a fantastic book, even though great chunks of it are out-of-date. The internet didn't develop quite the way Stephenson expected, except it sort of did. I mean, where does "prediction" stop and "influence" start?

For one, this is the book that popularized the term "avatar" for an online persona. Stephenson also nails the inability of the internet to communicate tone, and how important body language can be. Famously, Google Earth is based on a description from this book. There are countless ways the Metaverse is like, and yet unlike, the internet we use every day.

Like he always is, Stephenson is chock-full of ideas. Sometimes weird, wonky ideas, but other times he communicates deep truths about the world. This is a terrific book. Recommended for just about anyone.

I started on a systems engineering study of a space industrialization concept published for a mass audience. It's interesting, but I'll cover that next month.
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Galstaff wrote:



Contains a character that is easily in my personal top ten. I enjoyed it so much.

The painting is not a Goldfinch, but a Thistle Finch. Even worse ... the Dutch edition is called The Thistle Finch or Het Puttertje and shows a famous painting of a Thistle Finch on the front cover.
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Anna F.
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I read 1 Samuel through 2 kings, and a book by cs lewis.
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snapdragon23 wrote:
....and a book by cs lewis.

Which one? He's a terrific writer!



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Gambiteer wrote:
snapdragon23 wrote:
....and a book by cs lewis.

Which one? He's a terrific writer!





The problem of pain. I usually get a lot out of his stuff but for some reason this book went mostly over my head. I find that to get the most out of a book, in addition to the book being good, I also have to be the right reader if that makes sense.
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anemaat wrote:
The painting is not a Goldfinch, but a Thistle Finch.

Even here on this side of The Big Pond, our goldfinches are also sometimes called "thistle finches", but the bird in the painting is more usually identified as a "European Goldfinch".

My neighborhood is loaded with zillions of American Goldfinches during the summers, and they are so dazzling yellow that they almost look fake, but the European finches are more ornate in their markings.



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Heldenhammer – Graham McNeill
Unbreakable Bond – Gemma Halliday
The Grifters – Jim Thompson
Empire – Graham McNeill
Crashed – Timothy Hallinan
Coward’s Kiss – Lawrence Block

Heldenhammer – Graham McNeill

Book One of the Warhammer Legends of Sigmar trilogy - a kind of prequel to everything else that Games Workshop's Black Library has published. I grew up roleplaying regularly, and WHFRPG was my favorite of many, many systems played. And I was still surprised how much I enjoyed this book. McNeill manages to get in all the requisite battle scenes - both those massive in scale and those of champion v champion - but also reaches for and achieves considerable heart and depth in his characters. Book One charts the rise of Sigmar from prince of a single tribe to king of said tribe with a plan to unite humanity into a single empire.

Unbreakable Bond – Gemma Halliday

Throwawy fluff - a model turned PI whose father wanted a boy and named her James - and enjoyable enough, if implausible at times. Inoffensive palette cleanser, but I don't expect I'll track down the rest of the series.

The Grifters – Jim Thompson

A dark noir tale which held my attention while I was reading then sort of disintegrated in my mind once I finished. Some fun details on the way of the long and the short con, but strangely lightweight when all was said and done.

Empire – Graham McNeill

Book Two of Legends of Sigmar, and this one packs even more emotional punch by tale's end. Sigmar succeeds in uniting the tribes (not a spoiler, given the title of the book, and the fact that this is all pre-history in terms of the worldbuilding already in place) but of course there is a cost. There was the first truly clunky bit of writing midway through here when Sigmar acts out of character, and it is clear to the reader why, but McNeill asks us almost to pretend we don't see the "twist" coming. We do. I would have been far more harsh about this if not for the handling of the reconciliation and later hardships. Looking forward to reading the final chapter on December - spreading them out and making them last a little instead of ploughing through . . .

Crashed – Timothy Hallinan

Another light, fun romp, with a protagonist who is sort of a mix of Bernie Rhodenbar and Bernie from the Dog On It books. He's a burglar, but a good guy. He's divorced but still loves his wife and daughter. He's the smartest guy in any room, getting into and out of complex situations without losing his moral compass. Not life altering by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly enjoyable.

Coward’s Kiss – Lawrence Block

I know, I know. You are all sick of me and my Lawrence Block raves, but the guy seems to have written more than anyone else alive and I'm going to keep reading everything he has written. This one is a by the numbers mystery from 1961 involving jewel thieves and cheating brothers-in-law that still manages a surprise or two along with the occasional absolute gem of prose which leaves me shaking my head at its perfect simplicity.

Quote:
I had the top down and the fresh air was choking me. My lungs weren't used to it.

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Billy McBoatface
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nycavri wrote:
The Grifters – Jim Thompson

A dark noir tale which held my attention while I was reading then sort of disintigrated in my mind once I finished. Some fun details on the way of the long and the short con, but strangely lightweight when all was said and done.

I loved the movie (Annette Bening was great, and with Anjelica Huston and John Cusack as well, you know it's going to be good), but I had no idea it came from a book. I checked and, sure enough, this is the book the movie came from. I may have to give it a read despite your "strangely lightweight" review of it.
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wmshub wrote:
nycavri wrote:
The Grifters – Jim Thompson

A dark noir tale which held my attention while I was reading then sort of disintigrated in my mind once I finished. Some fun details on the way of the long and the short con, but strangely lightweight when all was said and done.

I loved the movie (Annette Bening was great, and with Anjelica Huston and John Cusack as well, you know it's going to be good), but I had no idea it came from a book. I checked and, sure enough, this is the book the movie came from. I may have to give it a read despite your "strangely lightweight" review of it.

I saw that while scrolling down the page and thought "Huh, I wonder if the movie came from that." Thanks for doing the legwork on that one! Another to consider adding to the pile.
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Gambiteer wrote:
anemaat wrote:
The painting is not a Goldfinch, but a Thistle Finch.

Even here on this side of The Big Pond, our goldfinches are also sometimes called "thistle finches", but the bird in the painting is more usually identified as a "European Goldfinch".

My neighborhood is loaded with zillions of American Goldfinches during the summers, and they are so dazzling yellow that they almost look fake, but the European finches are more ornate in their markings.

Thank you for clarifying. I love such facts! However that's how confusions arise. Especially since the goldfinch exists here too, with the male being largely dimmed red. Known to you as the Eurasian Bullfinch.

Anyway I had the European Thistle Finch on my balcony last summer. It's my second favorite bird ...



... Nothing can beat a group of long-tailed tits. Such jolly birds.
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Erik D
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Mostly catching up on magazines this month, but I did sneak this one in:


Berkeley Breathed - Bloom County Episode XI A New Hope


It's well established that Bloom County was one of the all time greatest comic strips ever drawn. It found the sweet spot between Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes. Breathed retired the strip early, but kept going back to it with Outland and Opus. 26 years after Bloom County, and 8 years after the Sunday-only Opus, Breathed returned with a Facebook-only strip that serves his creative process best (that is, no deadlines).

After the last year, we have needed this strip badly. Most of the regular characters have returned (notably absent: Portnoy and Hodge Podge), but there are some surprising differences. First off, Steve Dallas is shown to have a heart, and his subsequent denial of it works great for him. Also, Cutter John's Starship Enterpoop has been changed to the Aluminium Falcon.

Definitely worth the read, especially the opening strips with their frightening message of "nothing's really changed".

(Fun fact: after Trump got elected, Breathed depicted the world going upside down by having Bill the Cat speak, using big words no less. The last time Bill the Cat spoke? Back in the '80s when his brain was replaced with Donald Trumps. Breathed was on to something.)
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Xander Fulton
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You people read too much. Watch more TV or something?

Anyway, I managed to squeeze in...



This is not a great book. I mean, to be fair, Luceno does as well as he usually does in writing characters and dialog - he's good at it! Just...what he's working with is...*snoooore*

Entire plot of book (no spoiler tag, as if you've seen any of the 'Rogue One' trailers, you know all this):

Galen Erso is a scientist. He's a pacifist, and would never work on weapon-related projects or projects that could be turned to that use. Orson Krennic is a military man, who joins the Galactic Republic and then equally well serves the Empire, to ensure stability/peace/order. They are old school friends. Orson wants Galen to work for his secret project (Death Star). Galen doesn't want to work for him at all.

Eventually Orson convinces Galen to work for him.

Annnnnnd...that's it. That's the whole book.

You're welcome.

(No, I mean, literally...that's the entire story. This isn't some "I read the back of the dust jacket and knocked out my book report based on it"...that's seriously the entire thing.)
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Michael Howden
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anemaat wrote:

The painting is not a Goldfinch, but a Thistle Finch. Even worse ... the Dutch edition is called The Thistle Finch or Het Puttertje and shows a famous painting of a Thistle Finch on the front cover.


I don't speak Dutch, nor could I tell the difference between a Goldfinch and a Thistle Finch but google translates Het Puttertje to English as The Goldfinch. The title of the Dutch painting is Het Puttertje and the book uses that painting as a main symbol and plot device, not an actual bird. Although I do find the ornithological aspect interesting, the painting could depict an elephant and still be titled Het Puttertje.
I'm not sure why any of this is bad, or "even worse?"
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End of Watch (Stephen King), the third in a trilogy, after Mr Mercedes and Finders Keepers. Really good so far. If you read Mr Mercedes, its more of a sequel to those events (rather than Finders Keepers, which just featured the same main character).
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