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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #851

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    Reading "The Force" by Don Winslow


    And listening to "UNSUB" by Meg Gardiner in the car.


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  2. #852

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    So this series:



    My wife found out about it as the author has a somewhat humorous bio on the Amazon site. The first book was on sale so she got it and I stole it from her as I was just done with my last book. I've read the five books and one novella in the past couple weeks.

    The series is a cop story but maaaaaaaaaagic cops. It isn't quite as dumb as it sounds. There is an old, out of date section of the London police that deals with paranormal things. The prevalence of magic has been dwindling so the department is down to one guy. Then the new guy comes in just as everything is going nuts.

    Anyway, the writing is very good. He has interesting things to say, says them in an often humorous way, and paces the story beautifully. The characters are pretty well written and interesting. Each story will have one thing, normally at the end, that will make you scream at the author for how dumb it is. Magic should not be a story crutch but he very often does that. These are quick, easy reads that will mostly entertain.

  3. #853

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    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
    This book has popped up twice in the past couple weeks. Did you like it?

  4. #854

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    This book has popped up twice in the past couple weeks. Did you like it?
    I read the book out of curiosity too. Ended up liking the book a lot. However, it's not something I would re-read. Great story and a quirky yet masterful storytelling style. The characters are well developed and it has it's moments of brilliance/heart-tugging emotion.

    I'll probably read more from the author in the future.

    Hope this helped!
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  5. #855

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    So this series:



    My wife found out about it as the author has a somewhat humorous bio on the Amazon site. The first book was on sale so she got it and I stole it from her as I was just done with my last book. I've read the five books and one novella in the past couple weeks.

    The series is a cop story but maaaaaaaaaagic cops. It isn't quite as dumb as it sounds. There is an old, out of date section of the London police that deals with paranormal things. The prevalence of magic has been dwindling so the department is down to one guy. Then the new guy comes in just as everything is going nuts.

    Anyway, the writing is very good. He has interesting things to say, says them in an often humorous way, and paces the story beautifully. The characters are pretty well written and interesting. Each story will have one thing, normally at the end, that will make you scream at the author for how dumb it is. Magic should not be a story crutch but he very often does that. These are quick, easy reads that will mostly entertain.
    Sounds really interesting. Will add it to my to-read list!
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  6. #856

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    Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens - Eddie Izzard



    Clammed Up (A Maine Clambake Mystery #1) - Barbara Ross
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  7. #857

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    Boiled Over (A Maine Clambake Mystery #2) - Barbara Ross


    Musseled Out (A Maine Clambake Mystery #3) - Barbara Ross
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  8. #858

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    Fogged Inn (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #4) - Barbara Ross


    Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery #5) - Barbara Ross


    Troubles - J.G. Farrell


    The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters - Sean B. Carroll
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  9. #859

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    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - Yuval Noah Harari
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  10. #860

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    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    Troubles - J.G. Farrell
    I'll be interested in hearing what you think about this. I've never read a book about the Irish that wasn't heavily slanted. It becomes annoying. Yes, it's a novel but still.

  11. #861
    tbert is as tbert does tbert's Avatar
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    I got a notice from amazon regarding prime reading and ended up getting a bunch of free books. Cant remember what they were, but I intend to read them on my fire tablet on the beach on vacation the next couple of weeks.
    Stupidity angers me.
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  12. #862

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    I'll be interested in hearing what you think about this. I've never read a book about the Irish that wasn't heavily slanted. It becomes annoying. Yes, it's a novel but still.
    So, I am very biased when it comes to J.G. Farrell. In my opinion, besides Paul Scott (The Raj Quartet) he is one of the few British authors who can portray colonialism in all it's various shades in such a funny albeit tragic/horrific way. His prose is almost too good to be true. There is definitely a lot of disparagement against the Irish by the English characters, but I think Farrell expresses this in a very sarcastic way. Definitely does not depict the British (or anyone in this novel for that matter ) in a good light. A rollicking and serious read at the same time. This book is #2 of his Empire Trilogy. I LOVED The Siege of Krishnapur! Haven't read Singapore Grip yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbert View Post
    I got a notice from amazon regarding prime reading and ended up getting a bunch of free books. Cant remember what they were, but I intend to read them on my fire tablet on the beach on vacation the next couple of weeks.
    Great! I get a free ebook every month with Amazon Kindle First. Some of those are really good reads.
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  13. #863

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    Selection Day - Aravind Adiga


    A High Wind in Jamaica - Richard Hughes
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  14. #864

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    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    So, I am very biased when it comes to J.G. Farrell. In my opinion, besides Paul Scott (The Raj Quartet) he is one of the few British authors who can portray colonialism in all it's various shades in such a funny albeit tragic/horrific way. His prose is almost too good to be true. There is definitely a lot of disparagement against the Irish by the English characters, but I think Farrell expresses this in a very sarcastic way. Definitely does not depict the British (or anyone in this novel for that matter ) in a good light. A rollicking and serious read at the same time. This book is #2 of his Empire Trilogy. I LOVED The Siege of Krishnapur! Haven't read Singapore Grip yet.
    Oh, I've been looking at the Raj Quartet as well. I'll have to put it on the list. Thanks!



    This series is really good. The three books all revolve around the same place and move through different characters so that by the end you kind of understand what happened. Somewhat. The concepts are interesting and, honestly, I'm still trying to think through them. My only criticism is that it really should be one 1000 page book. The breaking points for the individual books is kind of awkward and I think if he didn't need those he might have been able to meld the three sections better. Even then, very good.

  15. #865

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post


    This series is really good. The three books all revolve around the same place and move through different characters so that by the end you kind of understand what happened. Somewhat. The concepts are interesting and, honestly, I'm still trying to think through them. My only criticism is that it really should be one 1000 page book. The breaking points for the individual books is kind of awkward and I think if he didn't need those he might have been able to meld the three sections better. Even then, very good.
    Added to my Kindle to-read list. Thanks!
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  16. #866

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    The Children Act - Ian McEwan


    The Quilt Walk - Sandra Dallas
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  17. #867

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    The Elephant Whisperer - Lawrence Anthony
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  18. #868

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    Anthill - Edward O. Wilson

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  19. #869

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    The Master Quilter (Elm Creek Quilts #6) - Jennifer Chiaverini
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  20. #870

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    The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5) - Louise Penny
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  21. #871

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    A Rule Against Murder (Armand Gamache, #4) - Louise Penny

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  22. #872

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    Matilda - Roald Dahl
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  23. #873
    Moderator frigidlight's Avatar
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    I started reading the Expanse series a few weeks ago. The first one was engrossing and, IMO, really well written. The second one is quite good so far, as well.


  24. #874

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    Just finished "Kill the Father" by Sandrone Dazieri


    Just started "Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid

  25. #875

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian1971 View Post
    Just started "Exit West" by Mohsin Hamid
    I would be curious what you think about this book. Has been on my list for a while now.
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  26. #876

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    The Silver Star - Jeanette Walls


    A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
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  27. #877

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    How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia - Mohsin Hamid
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  28. #878

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    I've been reading.... well, mostly local newspapers from 1890 to 1915. It's a problem BUT I may soon be able to give directions by trolley stop numbers. Honestly, I might be able to die happy when that happens.

    Also I've been reading the Sherlock Holmes stories in order. Have you ever seen those silent movies before they figured out how you tell a story in that medium? You know, they show what one character is doing and then go back in time to show what the other one was doing at the same time as the first. Yeah, that's what these stories are like. It is as if he doesn't really know how he wants to pace the story so, at least the first few, are at least half taken by explaining what happened in the first half. It's weird but it is a thing that stayed in mystery writing through the '30s. So weird though. But they are worth going through.

  29. #879

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    I love the Sherlock Holmes series Andy. Huge fan of the BBC televised series too with Jeremy Brett as Holmes. It's definitely the closest I've seen someone portray Holmes's quirky behavior.

    I thought of you when I was reading A Gentleman in Moscow. It's one of better fiction novels I've read this year.

    Newspapers from 1890-1915 - fascinating. What made you go down this perusing path?

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  30. #880

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    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    Newspapers from 1890-1915 - fascinating. What made you go down this perusing path?
    Much rambling follows, editing decided not to. Read at your own risk.

    I've been a regular microfilm reader at library for years. It started with my reading history books and not quite believing the timelines. The run up to WW1 is a perfect example. Everybody thinks Lusitania and then, boom, the US in the war. But it was 2 years after the sinking that we entered. Then you read about the Zimmerman Telegram and... not really. It was more complex than that when you read what people were actually reading at the time.

    That was the impetus but I keep reading because I was brought up reading science fiction. All SF really is is taking the physics of your world and tweaking some variables and seeing what happened. Local history is this exact thing but you know how the book ends; the fun is finding how it starts. And I know this sounds incredibly dumb but it is a sort of augmented reality for me. I now go into the little towns around where I live and I can look for clues of where the rail lines went. I know what was in the storefronts 100 years ago. It is awesome.

    I am the most boring man alive.

    As for the dates, I just am in love with the sheer oddness of that particular time. It is modern but really not modern. If you read things from the 1880s they are like reading about the Romans. It just is too different in speech, thinking and just living. If you read things from 1930s it is different but... perhaps it is because I knew people who lived then and I kind of have a touchstone to it. But they had cars and airplanes and the start of modern medicine and indoor plumbing (mostly) and it was on its way to looking like now. It was weird but you could relate.

    But that transition time between the ancient and the familiar catches America just as we're doing things on the world stage, for better and worse. We still looked inward like we had since the War of 1812 but the concept being able to effect the rest of the world was new and intoxicating (see Roosevelt, Theodore). And we were incredibly ignorant of the 20th century horrors to come. That's the big part I think. It was a transition time when people didn't realize the downside of the choices they were making so there was a great optimism about the future. Optimism is an incredible thing. If enough people think something can happen, it might just happen even if it is crazy. When people see the cost of that optimism, whether it be from letdown or just it being misplaced in things it should not ever had touched, it becomes more guarded. Things become less possible.

    American history has always been a tale of mood swings but that era was definitely on the manic side of our bipolar world. Fun place to read about, wouldn't want to live there.

    Add to that we had a few incredible local newspaper editors at the time. The way the stories were written was beautiful and, honestly, more truthful than today. Now journalists are supposed to hide behind this "I am unbiased" mask even when it is obvious what their bias is. They didn't have that then (and they don't have that elsewhere in the world now either). People had biases and were free to then speak their mind in often insane ways. It is wonderful.

    Anyway, now that my favorite local paper is online I get to spend way too much time reading about tar cough syrups for children: now with heroin!

    And thanks for the "A Gentlemen in Moscow" recommendation. On the list it goes.

  31. #881

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    Your rambling in itself was a fascinating read Andy! Makes me want to head to my local library and browse microfilm I do agree about the differences between the journalism then and now. However, I do believe the 'I am unbiased mask' is slowly percolating itself into world journalism (I can speak for Indian journalism).

    I've been re-reading the His Dark Materials series so I can better enjoy the prequel that just came out (The Book of Dust).
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    The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) - Philip Pullman
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  32. #882

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    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    I would be curious what you think about this book. Has been on my list for a while now.
    I never got around to finishing it and haven't read anything since, been in a bit of a funk reading wise but its time to get over it.

  33. #883

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    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    I do agree about the differences between the journalism then and now. However, I do believe the 'I am unbiased mask' is slowly percolating itself into world journalism (I can speak for Indian journalism).
    I have a friend who is saying the same thing about British journalism. It is a powerful position to be the "unbiased" arbiter of truth. I can understand why people would like to say they are; I don't understand why we let them.


    Quote Originally Posted by smizar View Post
    I've been re-reading the His Dark Materials series so I can better enjoy the prequel that just came out (The Book of Dust).
    I saw that on your Goodreads and I've been wondering about it. Rereading means good to read the first time then. On the list!

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