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What Are You Reading? 2022

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What Are You Reading? 2022

Old 02-15-22, 11:39 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Re-read Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming, the second James Bond book. This is the book that the movie character is built on. He arrives in New York with a cover of being a rich man, goes to the best hotel, and orders the best food. He exchanges witticisms with Felix Leiter. He gets captured by the villain in the first act and shoots his way out. He ends the book spending two weeks in a beach house having sex with the female character, who switched sides when she met him.

It's a great story. It really is. Too bad it's built on a foundation of what might be called Black Peril.

Yellow Peril was a common theme in British adventure fiction where a brilliant, evil "Oriental" man united "the East" against European rule. "The East" meant all the countries from Libya to Japan, so it included Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, Sikhs, and every other religion, nation, people, and social class for six thousand miles. It's obviously racist claptrap.

In Live and Let Die, a brilliant, evil, and Moscow-trained Negro has united all the Negroes in America under his influence. And the scary thing is that those Negroes are everywhere! They're Pullman porters, taxi drivers, nightclub waiters, and so forth. They're all either a member of his organization or too frightened to oppose him. You see, he frightens them with Voodoo. All Negroes are afraid of Voodoo.

But to be fair, when I read it in the 1980s, I didn't realize how bad this aspect of the story was. The book was probably progressive when it was written in the 1950s. But its racial theme hasn't aged well.



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Old 02-16-22, 02:42 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

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Daryl Gregory is one of my favorite authors of the last dozen years, and his two releases of 2021 didn't disappoint. What's particularly impressive to me is how different all of his books are from other, and these two keep that going. Revelator is probably his most "straight" horror story ... a period piece (rural Tennessee in the 30s and 40s) cult folk horror with Lovecraftian elements. Even though the general story may seem familiar, there were good twists and turns to the story. And Gregory always does a great job with characters and atmosphere ... it would've been a good story even without the Lovecraftian monster.

The Album of Dr. Moreau is tough to describe without sounding stupid ... at the turn of the 21st century 5 human-animal hybrid creatures escape from a mysterious research boat and appear in America. So what do they do? Start a boy band! And the story is a locked room mystery when their dominating manager Dr. M ends up murdered in a Vegas penthouse suite. And there's no shortage of suspects with all the members of the band, their crazed fans, and his unhappy wife all with good motive to kill Dr. M. As you can guess, this has a much sillier tone (though like the cover blurb says, Gregory's writing has a way of sneaking up on you with emotional power). At only 150 pages it wisely doesn't overstay it's welcome. I like how the book begins with a quote from TS Elliot listing the 5 rules that all good detective mystery stories should follow... and the book proceeds to break all of them

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Old 02-16-22, 02:50 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

working my way through Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier. Not allowed to discuss the topic here, but it's an interesting read about a new social contagion happening among young girls.
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Old 02-17-22, 02:46 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Now reading the Dark Tower VI Song of Susannah So far Mia's blathering on about the precious Chap is not bothering me as much as last time LOL
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Old 02-18-22, 01:46 PM
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Old 02-18-22, 11:34 PM
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Old 02-19-22, 07:00 PM
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Old 02-19-22, 07:35 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Fletch by Gregory McDonald. Fletch is hired to murder a man by the man himself. Although he lives with junkies, he's actually a newspaper reporter investigating the drug scene. Fletch is a deeply unpleasant character, which may be why Hollywood chose Chevy Chase to play him in the movie. There is no comedy in the book, just lies, heroin, and death. It's a complex, beautifully plotted book with a dramatic conclusion. But I couldn't get into the book until the last act.

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Old 02-20-22, 01:30 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022


Old Man's War - by John Scalzi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Man%27s_War
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Old 02-21-22, 11:03 PM
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Old 02-22-22, 09:31 AM
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Old 02-22-22, 10:46 AM
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Old 02-22-22, 11:04 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Now reading The Dark Tower book VII. Almost wish I had read wind in the keyhole to make the journey last a little bit longer when I got to book VI.
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Old 02-23-22, 08:39 AM
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Old 02-23-22, 04:06 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

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I'm coming to the conclusion that Stephen Graham Jones just isn't for me. This is the second book of his I read (other one was It Came from del Rio), and I had the same reaction to both. He has an interesting perspective and I appreciate how he takes what seem to be silly horror set-ups and tries to elevate them. And there are moments where things come together and work for me. But there are more times where I'm struggling with his writing style (lots of slang, tangents, and disorienting changes in narrator) and overall just not enjoying the reading.
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Old 02-23-22, 04:13 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Originally Posted by brainee View Post
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I'm coming to the conclusion that Stephen Graham Jones just isn't for me. This is the second book of his I read (other one was It Came from del Rio), and I had the same reaction to both. He has an interesting perspective and I appreciate how he takes what seem to be silly horror set-ups and tries to elevate them. And there are moments where things come together and work for me. But there are more times where I'm struggling with his writing style (lots of slang, tangents, and disorienting changes in narrator) and overall just not enjoying the reading.

I am a huge fan of his - and that book - but you are spot-on with some of your observations. It's not a 'fast' read due to the way he writes. If you feel like experimenting with another of his I recommend his latest: 'My Heart Is A Chainsaw' (especially if you are a fan of 80s horror because the main character is, so the reference are many)
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Old 02-23-22, 09:33 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Moonraker by Ian Fleming. James Bond number 3. This was my least favorite Bond book when I read them in the 1980s. I still don't like it much. It's hard to get past the premise. A man, with a mysterious past, who goes from having nothing to being one of the richest men in Britain in the short ten years after WWII, builds an intermediate range ballistic missile with his own money, and staffs the project exclusively ex-Nazis. Nothing suspicious there, so the British government has only one person on the entire site to keep an eye on things. When that observer is murdered a week before launch, Bond gets the job.

Fully the first third of the book is about how the villain gets caught cheating at cards by Bond, and I think it's the best part. Fleming re-used the idea in Goldfinger, and from there it became a standard bit in the movies.

The worst part is an entire chapter listing the street directions to drive the hundred miles from London to the launch site. "Bond ... swung the big car left at the Charing fork, preferring the clear road by Chilham and Canterbury to the bottlenecks of Ashford and Folkestone." Spare me!



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Old 02-23-22, 10:18 PM
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Old 02-25-22, 07:47 AM
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Old 02-25-22, 05:22 PM
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Old 02-25-22, 07:12 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

couple of books im reading

Relic
Reliquary
Stephen King's Duma Key
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Old 02-27-22, 01:42 PM
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Old 02-27-22, 05:46 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Just finished:




It sort of amazes me that it's taken me so long to read this book, but now that I have, I think that it may be my favorite Stephen King book. I really, really enjoyed it.

Up next:




I read Kiss the Girls when it first came out and enjoyed it well enough to pick up another couple of books by Patterson. This started the series of Alex Cross novels, so I'll read this now and, if I enjoy it, go back and re-read Kiss the Girls later in the year. If that holds up, I'll dig out the others that I bought long ago and try them out.
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Old 02-28-22, 01:26 PM
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Old 02-28-22, 11:42 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2022

Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming. The fourth James Bond novel. Bond is ordered to infiltrate a gang that's smuggling diamonds and report back. By the end of the book, he has killed them all. James Bond is back in form with this book, with lots of excitement, violence, and sexual tension. The author is enjoyably snarky about 1950s American culture.

Here are the missions so far.
Book 1: Bond is ordered to win all the money from a Soviet agent at the casino
Book 2: Bond investigates pirate gold taken from a British colony by someone who isn't giving the government its share of money.
Book 3: Bond takes the place of a murdered security officer at a rocket that's a source of national pride, looking for saboteurs.
Book 4: Bond infiltrates a gang who's taking diamonds from a British colony and isn't given the government its share of money.

James Bond really is the arm of British imperialism. Also, it's mostly about money, not existential threats.




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