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What Are You Reading 2023

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What Are You Reading 2023

Old 05-11-23, 06:27 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. I don't think I've read it since I was twelve. There was a whole lot of sophisticated material that I didn't pick up on back then. For example, after the newly-landed Martians murder the crowd of people looking at the capsule, the narrator barely escapes. He warns his neighbors who live in a commuter bedroom community. They ignore the warning and go about their lives. Don't Look Up!

This is an early description of armored fighting vehicles, lightning advances, gas warfare, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. That was all imaginary when Wells wrote it, but it's the world we live in today.
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Old 05-12-23, 09:14 AM
  #102  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Originally Posted by brainee


Come With Me by Ronald Malfi. My first book by this author and I thought it was very good. More of a mystery/thriller than the ghost horror I was expecting, but that's fine (I can enjoy books of both types). The style of the story being told as narrated by the main character to his dead wife took a little getting used to, but the reason why it was done that way made sense. And overall I liked Malfi's writing. It seems like he's been pretty prolific so there's a lot to choose from if I want to read more.
I highly recommend December Park if you want more Malfi. Really good serial killer/coming of age story. Come with Me was my 2nd Malfi book and I really enjoyed it as well. More Malfi is on my list in the near future, most likely going to read Bone White
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Old 05-17-23, 10:20 PM
  #103  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Just started:



Itís been a while since Iíve read Cormac McCarthy. Itís taken about 50 pages to get used to his writing style again.
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Old 05-20-23, 12:59 PM
  #104  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

The Three Impostors by Arthur Machen. A short novel of Victorian horror. It isn't so much as a novel as a group of stories told by characters, within a framing horror story. It has been deeply influential. HP Lovecraft admired and imitated some of the stories in it, and thousands of writers have imitated Lovecraft.

The Ballantine Adult Fantasy edition below includes an additional short story about the same characters.

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Old 05-22-23, 03:03 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Originally Posted by Nick Danger
The Three Impostors by Arthur Machen. A short novel of Victorian horror. It isn't so much as a novel as a group of stories told by characters, within a framing horror story. It has been deeply influential. HP Lovecraft admired and imitated some of the stories in it, and thousands of writers have imitated Lovecraft.
I've read collections of Machen, but I don't think I ever read this (though a couple of the stories from it were in the collections I read). You're absolutely right how hugely influential Machen was, even if he's nowhere near aa recognized now as Lovecraft. Stories like The Great God Pan and The White People impacted so many later cosmic and folk horror stories.

Finished:

Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson. A very different kind of fantasy story than anything I've read by Sanderson (even though it's set in his shared "Cosmere" universe). Much lighter and whimsical. While the main characters are too old for this to be technically YA, it's by far his most younger-ages appropriate book. Admittedly he's going for a The Princess Bride vibe and I think for the most part he hits it. I like that it can perfectly enjoyed as a standalone book (though there are plenty of references and Easter eggs for long-time fans).

Even though it's not out yet, I'm hearing iffy things (at least on GoodReads) of the 2nd of his 4 "Secret Project" books (The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England). Though I'm sure I'll read it at some point and judge for myself.
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Old 05-23-23, 01:22 PM
  #106  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished:


First time reading Don Winslow. I did enjoy it, but not sure if I was in the right mindset for spending so much time with some pretty terrible people. It was a pretty epic story, and I did enjoy it, but Im not sure how quickly I will jump back into this world to finish the other books in the series. Eventually I think I will, but I need some lighter faire for a bit.
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Old 05-27-23, 02:08 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished:

The Wide, Carnivorous Sky & Other Monstrous Geographies by John Langan. I had previously read and enjoyed his The Fisherman and this seems to be his most read and highly rated short story collection (at least on Goodreads). I ended up having a mixed response. While I can acknowledge his creativity and writing craftsmanship, it felt like a bit of a chore to finish at times. Many stories have a non-traditional narrative style ... one a stage play, a couple written in second person, frequent breaking the 4th wall, a 30 page transcript of an academic lecture, rambling stream-of-consciousness, missing punctuation, one written as if it was the synopsis of a feature-length movie. Maybe I would've had a much different response if I encountered them in their original form (as part of anthologies with other authors). But reading them all together felt tiring. As it turned out, the two stories I enjoyed the most (The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and City of the Dog) were the least experimental in structure ... and I could just enjoy them for being well-written scary stories.

This does feature one of the creative uses of an afterward by an another author (in this case Laird Barron, who's written some great stories of cosmic horror himself).
Spoiler:
It starts off as a standard afterward until revealing itself to be a "help me" letter after it's shown he's being held captive by a psychotic John Langan

If anyone else has read more of Langan's collections, I'd be curious to know ... are they all as experimental and 4th-wall breaking as this one was? Or are they more like The Fisherman was?
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Old 05-30-23, 07:40 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished Maus by Art Spiegelman. Started Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
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Old 05-31-23, 09:48 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished

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Old 06-02-23, 11:40 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

The Dark Crusade by Karl Edward Wagner. I haven't read this book in years. I was surprised at how well-written it is. It's a 1970s barbarian adventure book about Kane, who's a lot more intelligent, sophisticated, and well-rounded than the typical barbarian protagonist.






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Old 06-02-23, 02:09 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

And it's cosponsored by Molly Hatchet!
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Old 06-03-23, 04:51 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Psst, books are for nerds. Pass it on.







I'm reading a little known book called The Hobbit.
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Old 06-04-23, 06:14 PM
  #113  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

The Iron Heel by Jack London. A 1906 science fiction story about the first socialist revolution in the United States, and how it was crushed by the oligarchy. The book is basically three parts: speeches in praise of socialism; a description of going underground while the government gets more corrupt and dictatorial; and the final bloodbath in Chicago. The book is written by a participant in the failed 1930s revolution with comments by a scholar hundreds of years in the future after socialism won.

It's not that good.



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Old 06-04-23, 08:45 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished Winter's Bone - about 40% of it felt too stylized for me, the other 60% was good. Interested to watch the Jennifer Lawrence-starring movie adapatation.

Not sure where to go from here. I've been wanting to focus on women authors of color, but I also have 'It' by Stephen King staring me down from the shelf. It would be a second reading, the first was probably a little after it first came to paperback.
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Old 06-04-23, 08:49 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Originally Posted by L. Ron zyzzle
Finished Winter's Bone - about 40% of it felt too stylized for me, the other 60% was good. Interested to watch the Jennifer Lawrence-starring movie adapatation.

Not sure where to go from here. I've been wanting to focus on women authors of color, but I also have 'It' by Stephen King staring me down from the shelf. It would be a second reading, the first was probably a little after it first came to paperback.
I really like the Winter's Bone movie adaptation. Lawrence and John Hawkes are really good in it. I never read the book though. Debra Granik directed Winter's Bone. She also directed another really good movie called Leave No Trace.
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Old 06-04-23, 08:56 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Originally Posted by lwhy?
I really like the Winter's Bone movie adaptation. Lawrence and John Hawkes are really good in it. I never read the book though. Debra Granik directed Winter's Bone. She also directed another really good movie called Leave No Trace.
Yup. I LOVE Leave No Trace. Kinda surprised how her directing trajectory has gone ...
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Old 06-06-23, 09:46 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished


My third Malfi book, and definitely my least favorite. It wasnt terrible by any means, but it seemed like 80% build up, that just didnt pay off the way I was thinking/hoping it would. The build up was good, but the last part of the book wasnt great IMO.
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Old 06-07-23, 04:11 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Somehow I missed this one when it first came out (in 1996). Recently I heard it brought up by several posters on Reddit as a highly recommended but disturbing sci-fi novel, and was intrigued. I thought I may have had the ending spoiled, but the structure of the novel begins at the end: a Jesuit priest is brought back in disgrace as the only survivor from the first visit to a world with alien intelligence, mutilated, and witnessed by the rescue party prostituting himself and murdering a child. And then the framework of the book is in the context of him telling his story to a council.

I've read and seen lots of first contact stories, but I think this manages to stand out. The author's background is an anthropologist, and that certainly shows itself (and you can see the parallels between historical Jesuit missionary stories). The pacing seemed a bit off ... much of the story has a silly light-hearted tone, and the flashback dialog seemed like it would be at home in something like a sitcom. The grim and dark part of the story is moved through a lot quicker than I was expecting. Although that's probably for the better, since otherwise it would've been a horribly unpleasant read. But there were a lot of big ideas at play which is one of the things I love about the best sci-fi stories. And despite the structure of the story seemed like it would take away the surprise of what happens in the end, there are still twists and revelations that made things interesting. I see that a follow-up came out in 1998 and seems to be well-regarded.
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Old 06-07-23, 04:46 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Paperback came in today so I am going to do a reread.

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Old 06-10-23, 09:39 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished:


Definitely a step down from Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland, which were fantastic, but this was still a quick, entertaining read. Like alot of other books that have come out lately, it is definitely influenced by the cultural events and political environment of the last few years. Thats not a bad thing, but there are times where it felt like it was trying to use the greatest hits of all the terrible things that have happened recently to drive the story. Still, I enjoyed it overall.
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Old 06-10-23, 10:55 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Just started The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.
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Old 06-12-23, 06:02 AM
  #122  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished Eldest (Inheritance Cycle), started Brisingr (Book III)...



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Old 06-17-23, 02:43 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Finished:

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer. I really enjoyed The Southern Reach Trilogy, which was the first thing I read by this author. Then I followed it up with Hummingbird Salamander, which I did not like. But maybe that last one's the exception since I liked this a lot (and it seems to be more in the "new weird" style that is supposed to be VanderMeer's thing). Like classic sci-fi books, there's a lot of world building and story packed into a relatively short length. Despite the weirdness, I found this an easy read that managed at times to be disturbing, funny, and touching. The title creature made me think of what the monster from The Thing would be like if it had the personality of Short Circuit's Number 5.

I see there's a follow-up to this (Dead Astronauts, which has considerable lower reader ratings). Although Borne ended up at a satisfying place and seemed to tell a complete story, while still leaving a lot of intrigue and mystery in the world.
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Old 06-18-23, 09:54 PM
  #124  
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Just finished:



I felt exhausted reading this. Like the intended effect was that *I* was on the Long Walk too.

After finishing it, I read that itís a metaphor for the Vietnam War. It makes so much more sense after thinking of it that way.
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Old 06-18-23, 10:27 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading 2023

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Just finished:



I felt exhausted reading this. Like the intended effect was that *I* was on the Long Walk too.

After finishing it, I read that itís a metaphor for the Vietnam War. It makes so much more sense after thinking of it that way.
Top tier King. I have read that three times I think.
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