Literary New To You May 2017 => Books you read this month
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation!
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Bookish types love nothing more than a bibliography, especially book lists generated by like-minded (or not so like-minded) readers.

Please share what you've been reading with your fellow gamers!
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1. Board Game: Relationship Tightrope [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2965]
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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One of my high school classmates is a writer of Christian romance novels. And no, I had no idea that was a thing until she asked me to be a beta reader on her drafts. The books are kind of like if a profanity-free Bridget Jones said a prayer when she hit rock bottom.

While the books aren't really my fave genre, her writing is good, and I've really enjoyed editing them. Kind of a fun thought activity.

Here's the first book:

Love Ain't No Soap Opera



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2. Board Game: Space Hulk: Genestealer Expansion [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Jason Cookingham
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
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Good June!

It was mostly a fluff month for me, but I avoided bad books. June looks like it will be a more exciting month, but just as fluffy.

Really Liked It:

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
After reading a lot of stories of violent people trying to survive in a violent world, it was refreshing to read a book about peaceful people just trying to make it in a semi-violent setting. It is a character driven space opera, and it made me laugh and cry.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
A biography of the woman and the cells of that woman that has changed our world. Her cells have lead to the polio vaccine and lots of research into HIV, cancer, and many other areas. The book also covers the racism of her time, and how the fact that the research from her cells lead to millions (billions?) dollars in profits for company, her family are poor and unable to afford health care. It is an important story to know.

Liked it:

With Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley Beaulieu
A sequel to The Twelve Kings in Sharakhai. Exciting revelations, good action scenes, fun characters, and I look forward to what happens next.

The Stone Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
A sequel to The Nameless City. Shocking developments from the first.

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan
The first in a new series set in the Powdermage setting.
In this setting, set in a Napoleonic-like time, there are some that can use gunpowder to fuel magic. This new series hits a bit too many familiar beats from the last series, but it is good--- and there is a big battle that is great. New readers should read the original series.

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld
Graphic novel set in my home town: Poughkeepsie, New York.
Some sort of event has turned Poughkeepsie into an odd Outer Limits-like wasteland. A young woman that lives nearby sneaks in to take pictures to sell.

Wrath of the Bloodeye by Joseph Delaney
Fifth in the Last Apprentice series. It is fluff, but fun fluff.

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey
A companion story to The Girl with All the Gifts. I enjoyed it, but felt it did not add much to the overall story/setting.

Lying by Sam Harris
A small book exploring the idea that we should avoid lying-- even (especially?) the little white lies. Something to think about.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman rewrites Norse myths for a modern audience. I enjoyed it.

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
The sequel to My Brilliant Friend. It isn't as good as the previous book, but I still enjoyed my time reading it. The author does a great job of capturing the irrational, and at times contradictory, way people can behave/think.

It was Okay:

The Spook's Tale by Joseph Delaney
Short stories for the Last Apprentice Series.

Future Quest by Jeff Parker
Hannah Barbara super types brought together in a graphic novel. Johnny Quest! Space Ghost! Bird Man! What could go wrong? The story is rushed and pushes too hard to keep adding characters. Meh.
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3. Board Game: The Slippery Slope [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
United States
Redford
Michigan
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I finished off the final four books of the Series of Unfortunate Events, The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, and The End.

I enjoyed the books, but the final one was pretty disappointing. There were a lot of mysteries and questions that did not get answered, and some characters that didn't get resolved.

I am going to be delving into the spin-off books, and see what kind of connections there are to make in those.
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4. Board Game: Red Steel: Clash Of Armor At Kishinev [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:7412]
Ivan
Russia
Ekaterinburg
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Russian Poetry 1801-1930



The chosen poems of the Russian poets - Krylov, Pushkin, Blok, Lermontov, Fet, Gumilyov, Tsvetaeva and Akhmatova. Very good lyrics, places unusual meter. I read not quickly, but with great pleasure.


Gerasimova Svetlana - Rzhev Slaughterhouse



Tragic page of World War II. An insufficiently well prepared and badly performed defensive and offensive operations since 1942 until the beginning of 1943 have led to big losses at Red Army (unlike the successful Battle of Stalingrad). It is necessary to read, remember the fallen heroes and learn lessons from this tragedy.


Charles Dickens - David Copperfield



Excellent book. To some extent autobiographical novel. The reader watches destiny of the main character from his birth about mature years: sorrows and pleasures, good luck and failure, despair and happiness. Very useful book for youth. I have read it with pleasure.


Bryson William - Notes from a Small Island



Ironic description of a travel of the author (he is American, but considerably time I have lived in England) on public transport across Britain. Weather (yes, rains), - it is interesting to read the tangled schedule of buses and trains, guides and the museums, personal sketches of the author. It is possible to look from our time for life of Britain in 1995.


In Russian:

Русская поэзия 19 - н. 20 в.



Избранные стихотворения русских поэтов - Крылова, Пушкина, Блока, Лермонтова, Фета, Гумилёва, Цветаевой и Ахматовой. Очень хорошая лирика, местами необычный стихотворный размер. Читал небыстро, но с большим удовольствием.


Герасимова Светлана Александровна "Ржевская бойня"



Трагическая страница Второй Мировой войны. Несколько недостаточно хорошо подготовленных и плохо проведённых оборонительных и наступательных операций с 1942 по начало 1943 г. привели к большим потерям у Красной Армии (в отличие от успешной Сталинградской битвы). Необходимо читать, помнить павших героев и извлечь уроки из этой трагедии.


Диккенс Чарльз "Дэвид Копперфильд"



Отличная книга. В определённой степени автобиографичный роман. Читатель следит за судьбой главного героя от его рождения до зрелых лет: горести и радости, удачи и неудачи, отчаяние и счастье. Очень полезная книга для юношества. Прочитал с удовольствием.


Билл Брайсон "Остров её величества. Маленькая Британия Большого Мира"



Ироничное описание путешествия автора (он - американец, но значительно время прожил в Англии) на общественном транспорте по Британии. Погода (да, дожди), запутанное расписание автобусов и поездов, путеводители и музеи, личные зарисовки автора - читать интересно. Можно взглянуть из нашего времени на жизнь Британии в 1995 году.
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5. Board Game: Zen Garden [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:8995]
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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I'm not an avid reader, but I just read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

The author, Robert Pirsig, passed away very recently. Seeing that in the news reminded me that two or three people had recommended the book to me, so--after having put it off for decades--I finally read it.

Turns out my putting it off was ironic in a couple ways:

1. When it became a best-seller in the mid-1970s, I was sure it was just a fad. There were other books around with the word Zen attached, and motorcycles were especially cool (the movie Easy Rider wasn't that old yet). I had reached a point in my life where I was tired of pop culture and wanted to focus on quality material. Well, actually this book is all about Quality; it makes you reassess your values.

2. I was turned off by the term "motorcycle maintenance." All my life I've been repulsed by mechanical contraptions and complicated technology (though I grudgingly admit to depending on them). So the last thing I wanted to read about was working on a motorbike. But yeah--this very "antitechnology" attitude of mine is addressed in the book, and I got to see the error of my thinking.

It's a good book. Deep philosophy for the layperson, with the story of a father-and-son cross-country motorcycle tour to break up (and help illustrate) the thinky passages.
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