2017 Reading Challenge

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DrG2
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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:12 pm

40. Blood Meridian. by Cormac McCarthy. **** Bloody story in the West. A boy from tennessee roams deserts from TX to Mexico and CA, joining first a rogue army company, then a group of scalp hunters. Pretty classic McCarthy.

41. The Witchwood Crown, by Tad Williams. It's a new trilogy set 30 years after a previous trilogy he wrote (which I didn't read). The sentence-by-sentence writing is fine, but the pace was much too slow. He spent 300 words describing the ocean (the POV character hadn't seen it before, but still!). I might end up being OK, but I stopped reading after 100 pages (of a 700 word novel).

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:35 pm

42. The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden. A retelling of a Russian fairy tale. The tale is good. The writing is not, imo.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:35 pm

43. A Song of Stone, by Iain Banks. ****, set in a contemporary world as a civil war seems to have devolved to anarchy. A man and his lover (we are later told she's his sister or half-sister) have left their castle (he's a minor noble) but are stopped by a platoon and brought back their castle. Things continue to get worse.
The writing was very good, if a tad overdone. The story was meh.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:00 pm

44. The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot, by Caroline Carlson. ***1/2. It's hilarious, but at some point the humor made the urgency of the story disappear. The MC is the daughter of the Admiral of the Royal Navy, but longs to become a pirate. Instead, she is sent off to a finishing school. She escapes, becomes a pirate and solves the crime (people stealing magic).

45. Disquiet by Julia Leigh. ****1/2. A woman goes to her mother's house unannounced, dragging her two kids with her. Her brother arrives soon, with his wife, who just had a miscarriage, AND the corpse of their unborn child. Dark things happen. I loved it. Definitely literary fiction.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Oldtimer » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:04 pm

Thought I'd give you some company, DrG2.

Sailing to Byzantium by Robert Silverberg. Five stars.
This is not one book but a collection of six novellas. Each story is introduced by the author. At first he put my back up, as it appeared to me that he was bragging about the awards that he gained - almost as if they were his right. By the time I finished the last novella, I had to concede that he wasn't bragging at all. He writes science fiction really, really well. Some of his subjects (dead people being brought back to life, for instance) didn't appeal to me but I became immersed in those stories all the same. And - the true hallmark of a professional - although the situations that the characters found themselves in could never, ever happen, I never once suspended my disbelief.
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby Hammer 2.0 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:11 pm

Been a while since I've added some books to my list, so it may be a long one this time. So, here they are, in no particular order!
10. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty ***
11. Sacrificed in Shadow by SM Reine ***
12. Crimson Night by Marie Hall ****
13. Influential Magic by Deanna Chase ***
14. Fairy Tales and Ever Afters by Danielle Monsch ***
15. Maggie for Hire by Kate Danley ****
16. Hell's Rejects by MR Forbes *****

That's it for now. Hope I didn't miss any!

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:32 pm

46. Serafina and the Black Cloak, by Robert Beatty. ****1/2. Serafina is a not-quite-normal girl who lives hidden in the basement of Biltmore with her pa. She encounters a black-cloaked man who devours a girl. The nephew of the Vanderbilts becomes her first friend, and they seek to stop the black-cloaked man's preying on children (one a day for 3-4 days).

I liked the first 80% of the novel, then the author had to come up with a resolution and slapped one together. And then the Vanderbilts welcomed the strange girl with no questions asked about her strangeness (amber eyes . . .).

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:00 pm

47. The Actual, by Saul Bellow. ****1/2. An older gentleman is an advisor of a multibillionaire who asks him to accompany a woman (who the billionaire has hired as a designer, and who might have been the older gentleman's first love, decades ago). They reconnect.

This is written in FIRST PERSON, OMNISCIENT from the POV of the older gentleman even in scenes where he wasn't present.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby rob-lost » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:26 am

Haven't read much fiction of late.

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Re: 2017 Reading Challenge

Postby DrG2 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:28 pm

48. The Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut. ***** His second novel, published first in 1959, this is classic Vonnegut (I've read about 5 of his latter novels, long ago, but had never read this one). Basically one MC enacts a plan to bring the worlds countries together (against a Martian army that he created) and in a new religion where God is indifferent to humans. Another MC is a pawn in this plan. However, another distant world might have been using Earth as a message system.

Pretty darn funny!

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