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Subject: What did you read in May? rss

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It's that time again, to tell everyone what you read this past month! And maybe discuss it.

I've had another slow month, thanks to getting ready for the move. I read The Upright Man by Michael Marshall (Smith), another entry into the dark, near-nihilistic series about the Straw Men. I was a little disappointed that it didn't stay focused on the main story created in The Straw Men, but it was a good thriller, nonetheless.

After that, I read Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse, a graphic novel about a gay man coming to terms with himself during the Civil Rights movement in Alabama. I'm constantly amazed at the philosophy behind nonviolent protest, so that aspect of the story was very appealing to me. The story was very compelling and powerful, also, and was an interesting look at the treatment of minorities in that era.

Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape came next, and was fun to read, though it couldn't quite meet my expectations, following the standard Fables series. Jack needs the humility of someone else narrating his stories to make him a more likable character.

Finally, I just finished Monster Island by David Wellington. It was fun to read it after having just watched 28 Weeks Later, but I think it suffered some, having been collected into a single novel. The book was originally published online, one chapter a week (or day, or something), and I think it may have carried more of a punch as a serial novel. As it was, it seemed a bit choppy. Still, it was about zombies in Manhattan, so it entertained.

Anyone else?

 
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Even though it isn't long I've been slowly getting through The Children of Hurin (Tolkien). That is not a commentary on the book - I just haven't been reading much this month.
 
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Gregory Amstutz
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Eldest, by Christopher Paolini. Sequel to Eragon. I can't wait for the third book!
Yellow Eyes, by John Ringo/Tom Kratman. Part of the Legacy of the Aldenata series
Red Lightning, by John Varley. Sequel to Red Thunder
Swords and Deviltry, by Fritz Leiber. A classic in the Fantasy genre.
 
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I'm currently reading (and enjoying) The Two of Them by Joanna Russ. She's one of my favourite writers, so I try to ration her books out to one very year or two. It's been 20 years since she wrote any fiction, so when they're gone, that's probably it. On that note, if anyone has a copy of On Strike Against God that they're willing to part with, geekmail me.

Prior to that I read Greg Egan's Permutation City, which was a nice diversion on the bus. 'Tis worth a read.

And, as usual, more go books.
 
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FOUR books is a slow month? Yeesh!

Good luck with the move. We just did it about a month ago. This is the last time FOR SURE!

This month I'm breezing through Silverfin - A Young James Bond Adventure by Charlie Higson. Apparently the Fleming Estate has authorized a series of youth novels about James Bond adventures as a teen. OK, I'm a little old to be reading youth novels (OK REALLY old) but my wife bought me the book because she knows I'm a big Bond fan. I've read all the official Bond books (Fleming, Gardner, Benson, Chris Wood's novelizations of a couple of movies, and one by Kingsley Amis under a pen name).

The book is a light, breezy read, with James going away to boarding school after being taught by his aunt, and having little contact with kids his age. It begins as a simple story of learning to deal with bullies, but begins to get much more sinister...
 
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I'm making my way through Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

I think May saw:

The Drawing of the Three
Wizards and Glass
Wolves of the Calla
(not quite finished, but about 85% done)

A good series that I started back in 1988, but it was so long between books that I quit after the third book. Now that he's finished it up, I started from the beginning in April.
 
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I read The Children Of Hurin and that's it. I've been very unmotivated to read lately. This is unfortunate. I think graduate school is destroying my desire to learn--I don't like that at all.
 
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Bloodsucking Fiends and the sequel You Suck by Christopher Moore.

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley.

Part way through Blackwater by Jeremy Scahill - non-fiction about George Bush's 25,000 strong private army.
 
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I just finished The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett. I haven't read as much as usual, lately, with summer school and stuff.
 
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I read The Children of Hurin and started Three Days to Never by Tim Powers, which I am in the middle of.
 
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy--It's as good as they say. I found the book terrifying, and I think that's because I'm a father of a young boy too. There wasn't one sentence--not one one word--where it wasn't me experiencing these things with my son, and it was powerful and emotional.

Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick--I was telling a friend how much I liked this short story collection, and it made me want to read it over again, so I did. It lost some of the "sense of wonder," and I knew how the stories would end, but Resnick is a great writer. Unfortunately, nobody knows that more than him--I don't think I've ever encountered a writer more fond of himself. The plot involves a tribe of Kikuyu colonizing another planet in an attempt at Utopia--by going back to the old ways before the Europeans showed up. Highly recommended.


Phoenix by Steven Brust--Fluffy, light fantasy. I enjoy these Vlad Taltos books while I'm reading them, but they immediately flee my brain when I'm done.

Godric by Frederick Buechner--This is a fictional account of Saint Godric, some written by a priest who only includes the "good stuff," the rest added by Godric himself, who also tells of his struggles and failures.
 
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Rindu wrote:
I've been very unmotivated to read lately. This is unfortunate. I think graduate school is destroying my desire to learn--I don't like that at all.


If its of any comfort, I find that when I'm doing a lot of university reading (I'm working on a PhD) I just don't want to read more books, even if they are for fun.
 
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The rules for ASL







oh, and The Big Show, by Pierre Clostermann
 
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Rindu wrote:
I read The Children Of Hurin and that's it. I've been very unmotivated to read lately. This is unfortunate. I think graduate school is destroying my desire to learn--I don't like that at all.


Too much academic stuff going on in grad school. After grad school I rediscovered reading for fun! Just keep slogging through it
 
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Colin M
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Last month I mostly re-read Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time trilogy and Ian Bank's The Wasp Factory.
 
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Verkisto wrote:


Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape came next, and was fun to read, though it couldn't quite meet my expectations, following the standard Fables series. Jack needs the humility of someone else narrating his stories to make him a more likable character.


I read this too and really enjoyed it. I agree that he is not the most reliable narrator. I wonder where the story could go now. I do like Jack's love scene with Goldilocks and her little pawprint tattoo.
 
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I reread The Silmarillion -- Tolkien again to prepare for the the next book. Well Actually I read to chapter 21 then read

The Children of Hurin -- By dead Tolkien and Son. It wasn't too bad, a bit to biographical and not enough story for my taste. Too much "Joseph begets Isaac, Isaac begets Abraham, etc, etc." The Silmarillion is similar, but it's more of a background history to the "story" Lord of the Rings, so it worked. But they needed to break out from that mold in CoH IMHO.

also read,

Mission To Moulokin -- Alan Dean Foster. Good old timey Foster, like a fine vintage wine. I love old school SciFi.

And finally,

RANT -- Chuck Palahniuk. Who is becoming more and more one of my favorite contemporary fiction writers. I love his style, raw and in your face. Rants is a total trip to read, and stays on edge the whole way through.

 
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Finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, which I found to be an excellent and thought-provoking examination of female relationships in turn-of-the-century China.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Fun and enjoyable to read, though lacking in any particular weight. Fastest I've read a book in years.
 
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Still reading:

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

I've been reading it since January and I'm on page 800 of 1000 (not including the footnotes and the footnotes to the footnotes). Some of the characters are finally meeting each other and it's almost become a thriller! It's actually a quasi-scifi farce with commentary on substance abuse, tennis academies, entertainment and garbage. Pynchon without the bitterness. I'm enjoying it very much. I'm hopeful that I'll be finished by the end of summer...
 
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In the last week: Crime and everyday life by Felson. Interesting look at the social developments behind rising crime (urbanisation, smaller families, women entering the workforce, to name a few) and ways of reducing crime by situational prevention. Also a good reminder that locking people up for the rest of their life might not be the best solution. Why the U.S. and the U.K. have such high levels of incarceration is better discussed in Garland, the Culture of Control.

And further They are just like real people (het zijn net mensen) by Joris Luyendijk, a former Middle East reporter. The book is mostly about the media: why you can't do good journalism in dictatorships, why the Israeli are so effective in leading the media (no, it's not a conspiracy, it's excellent organisation and lazy journalists), and why the Palestians are so awful at it (no, it's not a conspiracy, popular Palestian politicians were a threat to Arafat). And how during the 3rd Gulf War (2003) the Americans even outdid the Israeli (and the Iraqi's underdid the Palestians).

Not a happy book by the time it ends, but then again... the Middle East can be a bit tiring. Nevertheless, Luyendijk shows how life goes on: jokes, pop stars and food amid poverty, repression and at times bombardments and firefights. Good read!

 
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dude163 wrote:
oh, and The Big Show, by Pierre Clostermann


I've heard it's a very good read on WWII fighter tactics and life in the BRitish air force. But not always a very happy book. What was your experience?
 
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Read three in May:

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse.

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.

Lady Windermere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde.

Starting for June: The Abbess of Crewe, by Muriel Spark; On Beauty, by Zadie Smith.
 
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jurdj wrote:
dude163 wrote:
oh, and The Big Show, by Pierre Clostermann


I've heard it's a very good read on WWII fighter tactics and life in the BRitish air force. But not always a very happy book. What was your experience?


I read it in the mid 70s as a 14 year old, and it captivated me, I got another copy a few years back and It still did

I purchased the new version with the extra 150+ pages and it is a lot better.

It has some good parts, exciting, but also sad, due to not being a fiction book, main characters drop out with alarming regularity

so to summarise, I give it 9/10
 
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My schedule being what it is, I managed to read 'In Other Worlds' by A.A. Attanasio in between things. I loved 'Radix' and 'Last Legends of Earth' but had never gotten around to this one till now. Short, but imaginative.
 
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I must have seen this thread seven or eight times before I realized that yes, I did read (most of) a book this month.

I Want a Baby, He Doesn't by Wade & Kovacs is an excellent book for couples who want to come to agreement on the issue of whether/when to have children. The book contains a set of guidelines for discussing the issue (most of which seem to be ideal for discussing any difficult issue), as well as specific aspects of the issue to think about, and case studies of couples and the pros and cons of how they handled the discussion. It's been a long time since I read a book that was so useful to me (us, really) personally.

http://tinyurl.com/2gcrmj
 
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