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Subject: What did you read in January? rss

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This has sort of been covered in David Peterson's GeekList, but he was asking what people are reading NOW; I'm asking what you all read in January.

I finally started getting back to my normal reading pace in January. I read 10 books this month!

A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston -- This is the end of the Hank Thompson trilogy, and if you thought the first two were dark and dreary, then you haven't read the final volume yet. More brutal fiction from an author who is trying to single-handedly bring back the noir genre.

The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau -- This is the penultimate volume in the City of Ember tetralogy, and I was a little disappointed. It's a prequel to the first book in the series, and actually has very little to do with how everything comes to be. It's more a heavy-handed lesson in politics, and depending on which side of the spectrum you're on, you will or won't like the book.

The Straw Men by Michael Marshall (Smith) -- Thanks to a recommendation from Stephen Tavener, I realized that an old favorite author of mine was still writing under an abbreviated pseudonym. This is a compelling book of intrigue and double-cross and murder, but manages to be something else at the same time. It's dark and nihilistic in parts, but it's still a good read. This one, for a change, is the FIRST in a trilogy. =)

Sunset and Sawdust by Joe R. Lansdale -- The most interesting thing about this book is that my wife read and enjoyed it. She usually reads Southern fiction, and I guess this SORT OF counts, but I never would have expected her to like a brutal crime novel set in Depression-era East Texas. This is a great Lansdale book (as are nearly all of them).

Chasing the Dead by Joe Schreiber -- OK, so the main character gets attacked by oversized lobsters at one point in this book. But it got really stupid long before that point. This is supposed to be a good horror novel, but trust me: If you like horror, this ain't your bag.

Empire by Orson Scott Card -- I'm slowly realizing how gifted of a writer OSC is. I'm working my way toward reading a lot more of his stuff. This one is a political novel set about 20 minutes into the future, and it kicks ass. It'll get you thinking, too, regardless of which side of politics you're on.

La Perdida by Jessica Abel -- I found this one while checking in the library bookdrop one morning, and managed to make it through half of the book then and there. It's an interesting, semi-autobiographical tale of a expatriate's life in Mexico.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham -- I'm digging Fables, and caught up with the story with this standalone collection of retellings of fairy tales. I think those of us who enjoyed Sandman would like this collection.

The Wave Walkers: Pirate Curse by Kai Meyer -- Really, if not for the author (who also wrote The Water Mirror), I doubt I would have picked this one up. It was intriguing and compelling, but not so much as the previous book. I'll probably finish out the series, since it ends on such a cliff-hanger moment (yet another first book in a trilogy).

Eifelheim by Michael Flynn -- I finished this book last night while waiting for my car to be repaired. It took a lot of effort to continue through the story (it's dense, and I felt like I was walking uphill through molasses most of the time), but by the end, I couldn't read it fast enough. I'm interested in reading more from this guy.
 
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Mark Haberman
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I started reading The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. My dad agreed to read American Gods if I read it. Unfortunately I stopped at about 175 pages due to boredom.

The only book I finished last month was There Are Doors by Gene Wolfe. I had previously read The Wizard Knight books, and was surprised to find many of the same themes in this book. A normal man thrust into an alternate world where time runs differently. The story is driven by his Love for a goddess who he would die to be with. The inhabitants of the worlds can visit each other for brief periods, but are ultimately drawn back to their own worlds.

The themes are similar, but the way the stories plays out is completely different. It's very whacked out in a 12 monkeys sort of way.

I love his writing, but his views on women seem to be very old fashioned and non-PC. I'm sure that would be a positive or negative depending on the reader's opinion on the subject.
 
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habermanm wrote:
I started reading The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. My dad agreed to read American Gods if I read it. Unfortunately I stopped at about 175 pages due to boredom.


You gave up on it too soon. By about page 200, it really starts going. My guess is that Peter Straub (a good writer, don't get me wrong) wrote the first 200 pages, and King wrote the rest. There's a distinct difference in style between the first third of the book and the rest.
 
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I finished reading

The Hunters of Dune: Brian Herbert --- All I can say is meh.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller -- Pretty cool Post-Apoc. book, not a lot a hard tech or mutants, but a good read.
 
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The owner's manual of my new Remington Model 11-87 autoloading shotgun.

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Dave Lartigue
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Only non-comics book I read in January is The Book of Secrets by M.G. Vassanji. It was quite good.
 
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I am working my way thought Michael Shaara and his father's series. Not sure which pieces were n January, but I read all three Civil War and am half way through the second Revolutionary War book.

I enjoy reading them, but for some reason it's taking forever to get through these books. I am usually closer to 10 books a month than 3.

I have finished a few more Sharon McCone mysteries by Marcia Muller on tape and Mark Twain's Double Barrel Detective also on tape.

I am going to look for Empire. I really like OSC in general and that sounds like a good topic for him.
 
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FINALLY finished A Feast for Crows.

Then blew right through Slapstick.

-MMM
 
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Octavian wrote:
Then blew right through Slapstick.


Vonnegut?
 
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Maps in a Mirror by OSC. Some really cool stories, some crap, and some opinionated essays that offered interesting insight into the world of the sci-fi writer.
 
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I read most of the way through Stranger in a Strange Land, but I've had to put it down for a bit now that school has started again.

I also read half of Tony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour. I didn't finish it when I was on vacation, but I figure a little time some afternoon and I'll knock it the rest of the way out.

I've been tinkering with my old Palm Pilot, and uncovered a sizable cache of eBooks that I had burned off to CD some time ago. I'm quite excited, as I have 650MB+ of various eBooks, mostly vanilla text, some as .pdf or .html. Lots of great stuff from Project Gutenberg (I used my Palm Pilot to read PG texts of Frankenstein, Moby Dick, Dracula, Treasure Island, The Scarlet Letter, and a number of other classics back when I was living in Germany in 1999.)

Additionally, I've been using BookMooch (www.bookmooch.com) to get a bunch of new books, though I haven't had a chance to read any of them just yet.

And, as usual, I'm reading a body of textbooks with exciting titles like Payment Systems and Other Financial Transactions, Taxation of Business Enterprises, Pension and Employee Benefit Law, and Corporations and Other Business Organizations.

Oh, speaking of schoolwork, I read Nigel Warburton, The Art Question, which takes a stab at defining "What is Art?"
 
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Octavian wrote:
FINALLY finished A Feast for Crows.

Then blew right through Slapstick.

-MMM


I just picked up my copy today. I had read the first 3 books about a year or so ago and started them again once "A Feast for Crows" came out in paperback so the story would be fresh in my mind.

Can't wait for the HBO series.
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Verkisto wrote:
Octavian wrote:
Then blew right through Slapstick.


Vonnegut?


Yeah. His books are like eating potato chips. But healthier.

-MMM
 
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I think Player Piano and Galapagos are my favorites. The former is a blatant rip off of Brave New World, but that doesn't detract from how enjoyable it is.
 
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Finished A Feast of Crows by George R.R. Martin. Martin continues to be one of my favorite authors. Anyone else read his Dying of the Light? This is a book that has just stuck in my mind over the last 30 years. Pretty impressive for a book I've only read once.

Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis. A fun peek into the world of competitive Scrabble.

The Perfect Thing by Steven Levy. Levy is one of my favorite non-fiction authors. The Perfect Thing details the history of the Apple iPod.

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. I got a late start with The Dresden Files series and I'm still catching up. Still hasn't lost its edge.
 
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I read the title of this post but, unfortunately, it was posted too late so I wasn't able to read it until February.
 
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Verkisto wrote:

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham -- I'm digging Fables, and caught up with the story with this standalone collection of retellings of fairy tales. I think those of us who enjoyed Sandman would like this collection.

thumbsup Fables just is great. Gladly I preordered them right from the start. You might also give other Vertigo titles a try: 100 Bullets and Y - The Last Man.

As for Januarys reading:
Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa: The Leopard. This one was newly translated into German, with some additional found material. The story you'll know from the movie by Luchino Visconti. Very good reading!
Fernando Pessoa: The Book of Disquiet. Now this one will take some time, as I find it very hard to read.
 
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Nothing but magazines. soblue
 
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Nova by Samuel R. Delany. Loved it. Very entertaining. Wondering why I waited so long to read it (it had been on my shelf gathering dust for many years).
 
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Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier by Tom Bodett

Yes, the "Motel 6 - We'll leave the light on" guy. I've been a fan of Bodett's writing for years. Light, humorous stuff. This is a collection of his stories about Norman Tuttle, an young boy suffering through adolesence. The book is packaged for young adult readers, but I was pleased to find that he did very little editing of the original stories. Just a few updated references to video games and email. Funny and very touching.

The best way to enjoy Bodett's stuff tho is the audio editions record by the author. He's got a distinct delivery that's part of his charm.

I just wish he'd finally write a new book for adults! It's been 11 years!
 
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A-F in the Sue Grafton series
The first three in the Rebus series by Ian Rankin
Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
Where Sense Meets Nonsense by Shermer again
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk
I finished White Devils along the Silk Road by Hokirk on the 2nd
I read almost as many books as I played games!
 
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I finished off "Watching the English" and started on "Svitjods undergång och Sveriges födelse".... But I guess you have no idea what that second book is about. (Svitjod is the land of the 'Svear' and stuff... And well, In Swedish Sweden is callled what would be the Land of the 'Svear'... Well, It might be Danish from the beging acording to the above mentioned book. Um... yes..)
 
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I read lots in January, because I was away at the beach for 2 weeks.

A couple of Lovejoy novels (no they are not some strange sort of porn, they are about an antique dealer)

Quinton Kicks Off, by Michael Poole (author of "Grimshaw of St.Kit's" "Dick Never-Say-Die" etc. First published 1930, by Cassell and Company, Limited.) - a boys' school story that was on the shelves at the beach house we rented.

A couple of cosy crime novels by Patricia Wentworth - The Alington Inheritance and The Fingerprint - I think I had read the Fingerprint before.

The first two books in Charles Stross's The Merchant Princes series - The Family Trade and The Hidden Family (light, but I enjoyed them very much - I'm now hanging out for The Clan Corporate which is due in paperback in March)

Three crime novels by Donna Leon - I do like Commissario Brunetti

The Thieves of Ostia - a children's book by Caroline Lawrence (Biggie has read the entire series - highly recommended)

and a variety of trashy novels from the beach house
 
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Charles Stross-fest this month. Accelerando, Iron Dawn, the first two Hidden Family novels, The Atrocity Archives. Three more on the way.

Very good writer; and brave too. Not many books actually write about The Singularity (Accelerando).
Edit: ok, not many books write at all. Writers write. Any author who writes about the singularity risks making a fool of himself, but I think Stross gets away with it.
 
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Verkisto wrote:
The Wave Walkers: Pirate Curse by Kai Meyer -- Really, if not for the author (who also wrote The Water Mirror), I doubt I would have picked this one up. It was intriguing and compelling, but not so much as the previous book. I'll probably finish out the series, since it ends on such a cliff-hanger moment (yet another first book in a trilogy).


I read the Water Mirror based on your review and am still waiting for them to publish the second book of that. Yet they translate and start a NEW trilogy?
 
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