Doing any recreational reading? v.5.8

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dv
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Still need to find parts 2 and 3.

https://ia601000.us.archive.org/28/item ... powerI.pdf
https://ia601003.us.archive.org/5/items ... owerIV.pdf

I actually think it's kind of interesting. Note the publisher name - I only found it because I accidentally typed "fark.com" into an Amazon search box.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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dv, those don't load for me. What is it?
dv
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justine posted:
dv, those don't load for me. What is it?


www.amazon.com/Power-Kingdom-Bulgaria-B ... 549669793/

Volumes 1 of 4 and 4 of 4. Couldn't find 2 and 3.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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dv
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Well, yeah, I meant for free. :D

(The other post I had links to the PDF files I downloaded. Not sure why they're not working now.)
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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arkayn Aaarrrggghhhh
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dv posted:
Well, yeah, I meant for free. :D

(The other post I had links to the PDF files I downloaded. Not sure why they're not working now.)


Loads for me just fine.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

This is another of Gaiman's books which deals with his wholly invented mythology which bears only a small resemblance to the more familiar myths that we all know.

The book begins with a man approaching 50 years old returning to the area where he grew up as a small child to deliver the eulogy at a funeral. During a break in the day's activities he drives to his old neighborhood, then gets out of his car to wander around a bit since the old family home has long since been torn down and replaced with new housing. Eventually he walks down an old lane which leads to a farm which he thinks he recalls with some fondness since it was the center of an adventure he had when he was 7 years old, then most of the rest of the book switches to his 7-year-old self going through that adventure.

Back then he meets Lettie Hempstock, a girl from that farm who seems to be 11 but it is a bit more complicated than that:
Neil Gaiman wrote:
She shrugged. "Once you've been around for a bit, you get to know stuff."

I kicked a stone. "By 'a bit' do you mean 'a really long time'?"

She nodded.

"How old are you, really?"

"Eleven."

I thought for a bit. Then I asked, "How long have you been eleven for?"

She smiled at me.

Let me emphasize that while the narrator is 7 years old for most of the book this is NOT a children's story: there are actions by some of the surrounding adults which make Ocean not such, so you have been warned.

I think you've liked Gaiman's other books then you'll probably like Ocean (well, except that it is kinda short). The only thing that I will not compare it to is his collection of Sandman stories which I have never gotten into mostly because I haven't figured out a good entry point (anyone want to point me in the right direction?).
Gaiman's Sandman is a good read. Start at the beginning. They've all been bound into little books these days.

Miracle Man was great too, he picked up where Alan Moore left off and kinda went in a different direction (I like Moore's part better) but still pretty cool.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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I just finished Kenny Weissberg's Off My Rocker: One Man's Tasty, Twisted, Star-Studded Quest for Everlasting Music

I really enjoyed it.
I re-read Ender's Game. I am using my review of the recent movie as a starting point.

Well, it has been almost a couple of decades since I read the book
It's odd but the book's listing at Amazon is a bit misleading since that 1994 copyright date is for this particular collection of Ender books. Ender's Game itself is based on short stories that were published as early as 1977, and the book that I pulled from my bookshelves has a 1986 copyright, so it has been closer to THREE decades since I read the book (I have not re-read it until finishing it just now).

The movie went VERY quickly through Ender's training at the orbital Battle School with little (no?) explanation that the battle games were NOT training for Ender and his classmates to become actual ground-pounding soldiers but as exercises in part to build esprit de corps between them as battle tacticians and in part to get them to thinking about situations different from everyday life (although I think that the book also didn't stress these points much either).
On that last point I was wrong: the book did spend enough time on these points.

Of course the movie very much abbreviated Ender's training at the Battle School. In the movie Asa Butterfield--the actor playing Ender--seemed to be playing around 13/14 (he was 15/16 during the movie production) and if I had to guess the entirety of the movie's timeline seemed to take place over between 8 and 18 months.

In contrast, the Battle School portion of the book takes place over about 3-1/2 years. Ender ages from just under 7 when he enters to somewhat over 10 when he graduates to Command School where he spends about another two years before winning the climatic battle.

I'll note here that I was wrong in my personal assessment of Colonel Graff (played by Harrison Ford). My memory of the book was such that I recalled the games portion much more vividly than Graff so I thought that movie must have expanded his role in order to accommodate the actor, but I can see that about a tenth of the book was spent on segments where the adults are talking away from the cadets in which either Graff was one of the participants or Graff's treatment of Ender was the subject of discussion.

Because this movie was less than two hours long, the viewer is given only brief glimpses into Ender's thinking--am I wrong to recall pages of such self-analysis in the book?
Yeah, there were pages and pages of self-analysis, much more than were devoted to the action sequences. There were also whole chapters of the book--completely left out of the movie--devoted to Peter and Valentine, Ender's older brother and sister, where they discuss the actions of the (now dated) Warsaw Pact and how there were moves afoot on Earth to re-engage in a hotter version of the Cold War after the aliens were taken care of.

Although much more time is implied, Ender and his fellow cadets are given very little screen time showing them training in Formics tactics.
Actually in the movie while some time at the Battle School is given to studying in Formics tactics, but in contrast to the book Ender and his fellow cadets are given NO time at the Battle School for Formics tactics; instead ALL of such training was done at the Command School.

A small problem with the book: knowing what I know now about computers, I would have been extremely suspicious of what happened to Ender while he was playing the computer game in which he was a mouse. Card passes this off as just an unexpected part of the game but I know that NOTHING (well, except glitches which usually are fatal for gameplay) ever happens in any computer game which isn't programmed. The movie explained that the unexpected game extensions as the aliens attempting to communicate with Ender, but in the book Card explained that the aliens had replicated scenes from the game as part of their attempts to understand Ender and to talk to him (in the ending section of the book which isn't in the movie).

Giving credit where credit is due: one could replace Card's "desks" with iPads or tablets without a problem (and, indeed, this was how this was handled in the movie, except that current iPads are not nearly as powerful but that may be just a matter of time). The online world of which Peter and Valentine take advantage in a side-story which is not at all covered in the movie bears considerable resemblance with the current network world (and remember that this book was published in 1986), although Card's online world is much more influential than our current one (as of yet).
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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I've reently finished several books.

Nicholas Sparks Ar First Sight

Clive Barker's:

Books Of Blood Volumes 1 & 3
In The Flesh
The Inhuman Condition
I LOVE Mary Roach, simply adore her, so I could hardly wait to get Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal home, and I wasn't disappointed because she carries on in her self-described joy for the gross of a 12-year-old boy.

Roach begins at the top with the sense of smell and tracks the entire path for food through each of her chapters. She starts three of her chapters on the subject of flatulence, although for two of them she gets side-tracked on related issues before finally polishing off the topic in the third.

Near the start Roach spends a chapter on pet food, partly because of the fact it is catered to human "tastes" (meaning lifestyle) and tastes (meaning actual flavors), dropping in the occasional tidbit like the fact that cats have no taste buds for sweetness (being naturally solely carnivores in their diet so any carbohydrates are largely meaningless as a flavor to all cats). She spends some time on the diets for dogs, like: did you know that a dog can eat to the point where they literally cannot digest what they have eaten because their stomachs cannot move enough? This is OK because dogs have a built-in safety mechanism where they will vomit enough so they can digest what remains AND THEN eat what they have vomited. There is a flavoring agent that simply drives most dogs wild, though unfortunately it is putricine which is a chemical that is made by bacteria in the process of breaking down proteins AND unfortunately largely survives the digestion process of dogs. Dog owners would have to suffer twice with any dog food treated with putricine: not only would such dog food smell like badly rotting food in storage and waiting in the food bowl, but the owners would have to fight with the dogs to prevent them from eating their own poop.

These are but a tiny sampling of the info you will learn while reading "Gulp", and she IS a much more entertaining writer than I will ever be. If you want your fill of all sorts of fun facts about eating (though--as one reviewer points out--perhaps not for dinner conversation), read "Gulp" and continue with the rest of Mary Roach's writings.
As I promised here in the movie thread, I did read Mary Poppins. There are 7 Mary Poppins books written by P.L. Travers but only the first is "covered" by the movie. There are considerable differences between the movie and the book. For example: Bert (played with a self-admitted bad Cockney accent by Dick Van Dyke) plays only a small role in the book, appearing only in the chapter which describes Mary Poppins' day-off ("The best people, ma'am,...give every second Thursday, and [from] one to six"), and there are NO chimney sweeps and NO kite-flying at all (these may appear in the other books), and there are whole chapters--and thus whole adventures--that are not mentioned at all in the movie.

The book takes place over the course of a year when early one spring the Banks find that need a new nanny, the old nanny having left without a word to them. The wind shifts to an east wind, blowing in from the park across the street from the Banks' modest home when--to the appearance of Jane and Michael watching from the nursery window upstairs--Mary Poppins seems to have been blown by the wind as if she were a tumbleweed across the street to the front gate then (after being given enough time to open the gate) is blown to the front door (at this point there is nothing about her being carried by the wind with her open umbrella).

In the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" Travers points out that there should be no love interest between Bert and Mary Poppins, and I guess in the book this is true in that everyone who knows Mary Poppins--except for all of the Banks, including the children at the start--LOVES Mary Poppins. She is granted a deference that I suppose would be reserved to a beloved royalty.

My one criticism of "Mary Poppins" is that a few of the tales told in the course of the book are incomplete, most notably the tale of the dancing Red Cow (which, as best as I can recall, does not at all appear in the movie). This is told as if it were a separate tale as told by Mary Poppins to Jane and Michael to explain why a cow appears at the end of Cherry-Tree Lane. It rather abruptly ends with the Red Cow looking for something which kinda-sorta explains why this cow on Cherry-Tree Lane has appeared, but there is nothing beyond this point as the chapter ends.

Points for pure whimsy, but points off for being rather disjointed in that there isn't much linking parts of the books together other than the fact that Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael are somewhat involved (hardly at all as in the case of the dancing Red Cow). I can somewhat see why it could have captured the attention of the young Disney children, but I suspect that the book has a rather limited audience of children sufficiently well-read to have enough vocabulary (or at least the gumption to look up stuff in a dictionary) but not requiring too much sophistication in the story-telling.
Run--do not walk--to the store and get Lock In by John Scalzi.

Y'know, I've tried a couple of times to explain the premise of the book, and--as is the case with a lot of Scalzi's writing--it's complicated (the description on the Amazon page linked above is wholly inadequate). If you like hard science fiction and/or if you enjoy police procedurals on TV (like Law & Order or the various CSI's), I'm pretty sure that you will enjoy "Lock In". Be sure to read the preface of the book which is a better introduction to the state of the world in about 40-50 years from now.
dv
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Redshirts was good, too.
Jaques Barzun (2000) From Dawn To Decadence. Read it while following the BBC Series, "Civilisation: A personal View by Kenneth Clark" A must-read and a must-see for those interested in western cultural history.

Robert Fisk (2005) The Great War For Civilisation The man interviewed bin Laden three times in the 90s but I think places far too much importance on his character and not nearly enough on those who led bin Laden and radicalised him. More of a personal memoir of his mid east war correspondence than an insight into the issues he was covering at the time. Valuable but to be read with caution.
dv posted:
Redshirts was good, too.

My like-wise postage-stamp review of Redshirts way back here. :)
The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross.

Let me point out that this is the first of three books that will be published soon as part of the Merchant Princes hexology (no, you read that right). Previously The Bloodline Feud was published as two books: The Family Trade and The Hidden Family. The second book, The Traders War, will be release in November 2014 and will combine The Clan Corporate and The Merchants War, and the third book, The Revolution Trade, will be released in January 2015 and will combine The Revolution Business and The Trade of Queens. As far as I can tell the separate volumes of the hexology are no longer on the bookshelves (at least not at my local bookstores).

Now that I've thoroughly confused you...

I can imagine that this started for Stross as an exercise of "but what really happens to you when you discover that you are hidden royalty?"

Miriam Beckstein is a Cambridge, MA, reporter for a tech magazine in 2002 just as the tech sector was collapsing after the 1990's boom. Along with her friend and research analyst Pauline "Paulie" Milan, they discover that a couple of tech companies are profitting despite the general collapse around them. They have been getting regular cash infusions in the range of $10 million a month despite the general warnings from most stock advisors to stay or get out of the tech field, and Miriam figures out that the money was coming from people in the drug cartels attempting to launder their gains through these losing companies. She goes to her boss along with Paulie to see if she can run with the story, but she neglected one little detail: one of those investing companies laundering their money owns the tech magazine. As she and Paulie get out of the elevator returning from exec territory, they are told to hand over their ID badges and collect all personal items from their desks after being told that they were being fired for abusing their company Internet privileges.

Frustrated and angry, Miriam goes to her widowed adoptive mother for a bit of solace, but instead she is told to retrieve a shoebox of "her stuff" from a closet. Inside she finds a number of old things: a photocopy of the newspaper article that described how she as a 6-month-old had been discovered crying next to the body of her badly wounded and dying presumed mother whose identity was never resolved, her adoption papers, and a necklace with a locket. Miriam is told by her adoptive mother that the necklace was the only identifying object found on her real mother and is given the proposal that she might see if anything about the locket could be useful in identifying her real mother.

Later back at her own home, Miriam sits at her desk and opens the box to look through the items again. She discovers that the locket can split open along the edge with a hinge on the opposite side. Figuring that perhaps there may be a picture or something inside, she discovers instead that there is an intricate Celtic knotwork pattern that covers both halves. Studying the pattern she finds herself getting lost within the pattern when suddenly....

Miriam falls over backward in her chair with a splitting headache. Worse yet: it has suddenly become dark and she can feel the wind moving across her. When she opens her eyes she finds that she is lying close to her overturned chair near a tree next to an open field.

-----

Now, this is covered in somewhat more detail in the first 22 pages of The Bloodline Feud. In general it is a parallel worlds story with lots of interesting details which are humorously told. I shall have to see if I can track down the other 4 books of the hexology because I would like to read the rest of it NOW, please.
arkayn Aaarrrggghhhh
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It looks like all 6 of them are available as Kindle editions, but just a wee bit spendy that way.
DEyncourt posted:
Run--do not walk--to the store and get Lock In by John Scalzi.

Y'know, I've tried a couple of times to explain the premise of the book, and--as is the case with a lot of Scalzi's writing--it's complicated (the description on the Amazon page linked above is wholly inadequate). If you like hard science fiction and/or if you enjoy police procedurals on TV (like Law & Order or the various CSI's), I'm pretty sure that you will enjoy "Lock In". Be sure to read the preface of the book which is a better introduction to the state of the world in about 40-50 years from now.

It sounds a little like Time Quake by Vonnegut.
DEyncourt posted:
dv posted:
Redshirts was good, too.

My like-wise postage-stamp review of Redshirts way back here. :)

Heh--today I was browsing through the SF/Fantasy section of my local Barnes&Noble when I overheard a young man (14-15, maybe?) next to me talking quietly to himself expressing some frustration at trying to find something to read, muttering something about "Star Wars". His mother was approaching him from down the aisle and said hello to me as she passed me. I said hello back and told her that the collection of "Star Wars" books was in a specific shelf at the end of the SF section. We began talking--it turned out that the mention of "Star Wars" was to say that he didn't want anything more from that--so I suggested that he might try Scalzi's books. As it happened there is new boxed set of the first three Old Man War books (why only the first 3 and not the entire series of 5? I don't know) which I pointed out, giving him a brief sketch of the series. I also pointed to Redshirts using a form of my above-mentioned review (and recommended that he take a look at the Wil Wilton/Scalzi reading from Redshirts), but while he was interested he chose to go with the 3-book series (well, it was Mom's money he was spending).
Doing my best to corrupt America's youth.... :)
StaticAge posted:
DEyncourt posted:
Run--do not walk--to the store and get Lock In by John Scalzi.

Y'know, I've tried a couple of times to explain the premise of the book, and--as is the case with a lot of Scalzi's writing--it's complicated (the description on the Amazon page linked above is wholly inadequate). If you like hard science fiction and/or if you enjoy police procedurals on TV (like Law & Order or the various CSI's), I'm pretty sure that you will enjoy "Lock In". Be sure to read the preface of the book which is a better introduction to the state of the world in about 40-50 years from now.

It sounds a little like Time Quake by Vonnegut.

I have no idea. I haven't read Time Quake--for whatever reasons I have bypassed nearly all of Vonnegut and have read a handful of his books.
DEyncourt posted:
StaticAge posted:
DEyncourt posted:
Run--do not walk--to the store and get Lock In by John Scalzi.

Y'know, I've tried a couple of times to explain the premise of the book, and--as is the case with a lot of Scalzi's writing--it's complicated (the description on the Amazon page linked above is wholly inadequate). If you like hard science fiction and/or if you enjoy police procedurals on TV (like Law & Order or the various CSI's), I'm pretty sure that you will enjoy "Lock In". Be sure to read the preface of the book which is a better introduction to the state of the world in about 40-50 years from now.

It sounds a little like Time Quake by Vonnegut.

I have no idea. I haven't read Time Quake--for whatever reasons I have bypassed nearly all of Vonnegut and have read a handful of his books.

It starts off after everyone on earth has been forced to relive the last ten years, but during this period, nothing changes, the people just watch themselves go through the motions of every good and bad course of action they had already lived through once before. By the time the disruption catches up to the moment the reset began, everyone is so unused to being an agent of action that many die in accidents and events they simply didn't react to. Its not the same really, but the idea of people stuck aware but unable to react or engage with the world directly reminds me of the story.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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I just finished 2 memoirs.

Swimming With Maya by Eleanor Vincent. It's a mother story about losing a child, organ donation and dealing with the grief. I cried thru most of the book.

Amelias Story by D G Torrens. This is a story about growing up in an extremely physical and emotionally abusive home and ending up for years in the system. This story ends when she turns 16, but is picked up again in a sequel. I was beyond angry the entire book. The girls mother did not deserve to live for what she did. I'm hoping the sequel offers some sort of closure and happiness for the girl and her siblings.

Both books were emotionally draining for me, but i am so glad i read them.

Now i am starting Amelias destiny
OK, this is going to be a bit involved.

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison which is the first book of the Rachel Morgan series.

I should note that this series of books/stories/graphic novels is more of a septodecalogy (I believe that would be the correct term for a 17-book series) rather than separate books in that the book order is important because events which happen one book affect later books. Here is Kim Harrison's own list of the Rachel Morgan stories, although note that ALL of the short stories/novellas in this list can be found in Into the Woods, her collection of stories--most from within Rachel Morgan’s world but a few not part of that--so I would recommend picking that up instead of the multi-authored anthologies that she includes in the above list if you decide that you like the series. Personally I’ve never quite understood the logic of such anthologies since very often the stories within them are part of multi-part series by each of the authors, and even Harrison puts the first of these stories THIRD in her list above because you have to have an understanding of vampire culture to fully understand it. Do note that the recently published The Witch With No Name is the last--the 13th book--of the Rachel Morgan series.

Let me begin with a prehistory that I’ve picked up while reading the series (I’ve finished White Witch, Black Curse [book 7] so far):

Demons and elves and witches and assorted other storybook creatures had inhabited a parallel world called the Ever-after. There the demons had been at war with practically everything else, but some of those others found a pathway into our world. About 5000 years ago the witches had abandoned the Ever-after taking with them many other creatures until about 2000 years ago when the elves finally gave up the fight to live in our world. Of course being magical creatures elves and witches (and to some extent humans) have been tempted by the greater magical powers that the demons have, trying to use them by trapping them within summoning circles in our world. Demons lack the ability to move themselves into our world, and can only come here by being summoned here. Demons are very long-lived but they have one considerable disadvantage: in their final action before abandoning the Ever-after, the elves managed to do something--curse, genetic manipulation?--which killed all female demons.

A couple of exceptions to the transplants from the Ever-after: the Weres are humans with a double-recessive gene that enables them to transform into huge wolves (mostly. Harrison mentioned werefoxes but none have appeared in any story I've read so far) with a human’s mass. Until the modern understanding of genetics it was hit-or-miss if any individual would become a Were because any human who had only half of the pair of recessive genes would have no indication that he or she had it, but such half-carriers could pass the gene to some of their children so it could pass unnoticed for generations until a(n un)lucky pairing occurred.

The other exception are the vampires who are humans who get their power through a virus which can sustain them following corporeal death. It is possible for there to be "living vampires" in one of two ways: 1) one attains a sufficient virus load through too many vampire bites, or 2) a pregnancy between two living vampires (it is unclear to me what happens if the female is a living vampire and the male is an uninfected human, but undead vampires cannot become pregnant). Living vampires have only a fraction of the additional physical strength and agility that undead vampires have, but living vampires have the advantages of not suffering from being sensitive to religious objects or grounds nor to daylight. Harrison’s vampires do not have the power of transformation at all, and one cannot become infected with the vampire virus if one carries the Were gene.

Shortly after the discovery of DNA in the 1950's there was a massive push for genetics research such that there had been a number of breakthroughs in gene therapy. Unfortunately around 1964--the then-Soviets blame the Americans, the Americans blame the Soviets--a virus-like gene sequence somehow got out through tomatoes such that by the time it died out about 1/4th of the world’s human population was dead (so nearly all humans today have a deathly fear of tomatoes and of genetic research of any sort. Rachel Morgan talked of how kangaroo courts through the mid-1960’s put a justice veneer on the lynchings that most genetic researchers got). On the other hand: most of the Inderlanders (to use the series parlance) mostly survived untouched--the vampires and the Weres at worst got headaches and the witches were unaffected at all (though the elves seemed to have died out entirely, most suspecting that their desperate efforts to interbreed with humans had rendered the elves vulnerable to the virus). The Inderlanders helped to maintain society during the Turn (as the period of population devastation is called) and as a result they now have developed an uneasy relationship with humanity.

So all of this prehistory leads to Rachel Morgan's story which takes place around "now'" (starting in 2005 2003* with the first book) in and around Cincinnati, Ohio. While she works in that city, she lives in The Hollows, the Inderlander district across the Ohio River (in what we call Covington, KY). She is a dissatisfied "runner" for Inderland Security (IS) which handles much of the police cases involving Inderlanders (since many have preternatural strength and other advantages). Runners do things like track down unlicensed Inderlanders trying pass as humans or black witches doing black witchcraft (which often require a death--sometimes human) or vampires feasting on unwilling victims. Morgan is a white witch who despite her training and abilities has been assigned to crappy assignments by her boss like the one that the first book opens with: tracking down an unlicensed leprechaun. Morgan decides that she will take advantage of her situation--after all captured leprechauns can grant three wishes--and resigns from the IS to form a private runner service (basically a private investigator handling Inderlander-related cases). Naturally there are significant complications involved with her resignation….

A minor quibble: the timeline within the series is a bit problematic. The time period between the first and the seventh books is from May/June of year X to October/November of year X+1, but in the first book Harrison sets the Turn in 1964 but by the seventh book the Turn was set in 1967, so basically the Turn has been the publication date minus 41 39* years.

There is something of a similarity between Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan and Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake (well, with much less sex involved), unfortunately also including the theme that each of these heroines become much more important than what they were at the start. Nonetheless, I like Harrison's "sciencey" way of involving and even invoking magic--for example: a summoning circle is only the two dimensional projection of the full sphere created by the circle. It can be compromised by wires or pipes leading into or out of or even through the sphere, so this can include cell phone traffic to a cell phone that the summoner has (yeah, it is problematic that all radio traffic isn't directed at any particular device, but let that aspect go). I'm pretty sure that I'll stick with reading the series to the last book.

EDIT: replaced "circle" with "summoning circles" in the first paragraph on the prehistory.

* SECOND EDIT: "Dead Witch Walking" was first published in 2003 but the paperback version (which I have) was published in 2005, so I have made some corrections above. I'll note that Harrison has continued with her "movement" of the Turn in the subsequent books I have read. I am currently reading "Pale Demon" (book 9) which was first published in 2011 but is set in the text in 2008. By her series' internal timing this latter book is about 2.5-3 years after the start of the first book which should have put it in 2005/6 based on "Dead Witch Walking" being set in 2003. Again, it's a minor quibble.

Last edited by DEyncourt on Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:45 pm.

arkayn Aaarrrggghhhh
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I have read For a Few Demons More Book 5.

So far that is it.
TOS
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re-reading "life and fate" by vassily grossman

a huge, epic 20th century equivalent of war and peace (set on the russian front in wwii, especially around stalingrad) ... many powerful observations of nazism and communism and how people exist within them
arkayn posted:
I have read For a Few Demons More Book 5.

So far that is it.

Ah, perhaps you were fooled by the list of books in the series opposite the title page. You might give the series another try starting with "Dead Witch Walking" and forget for the moment "For a Few Demons More" until you get to it in order.

For some reason the publishers have listed the books in the Rachel Morgan series in reverse order everywhere that a list can be found within the books. The only thing I could think of that kinda-sorta explains this would be an encouragement to the casual reader to purchase the first book in his hands because, after all, it can be the first book in that list. This is very counterproductive because although that one sale might be made on that basis, the storylines in the Rachel Morgan series are very much serial where there are actions and characters from previous books that can become dormant for a while and then important in subsequent books, but without the intervening story the reader is likely to become lost because he will not understand the motivations.

The order of that list has become more obvious as more books have been written, but it really is a stupid idea. With 11 books on the paperback shelves in the bookstore I was able to figure it out when I first decided to try Kim Harrison recently, but I had to check the publication dates to make sure that I had the correct order. I discovered Harrison's page with the correct order much later.

Oh, by "septadecalogy" I am including the two graphic novels (which are prequels to the first novel), "The Hollows Insider" (which is a compendium for the series, though note that it does contain spoilers for any of the books published previous to it) and the short story anthology "Into the Woods" with the 13 regular novels.
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DEyncourt posted:
blah blah balh stuff blah blah blah.

So, what would be the first book to read?
justine posted:
DEyncourt posted:
blah blah balh stuff blah blah blah.

So, what would be the first book to read?

Um, you only had to read the first paragraph in my reply.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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Haha! I was really tired when i responded! Thanks. :heh:
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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Here's a list of books i've finished reading. I've been on a memoir/biography kick lately:

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed: A Memoir Of The Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight. Her life could've been so different if people just paid attention and cared. It still angers me when i think about her home life before the kidnapping.

inside/Outside by Jenny Hayworth What can i say about this. The story is about the physical and sexual abuse that occurred in one womans family for generations, and how it was handled within the JW congregations. Riveting. I was also appalled to find out about the inner workings of the JW.

Swimming With Maya by Eleanor Vincent One womans story about the loss of her daughter ina tragic accident.

Amelias Story parts 1 & 2 by D.G. Torrens The story of one woman experience growing up in an abusive household and then being turned over to the care system. This one really made me angry and i had to keep reminding myself that this occurred back when outsiders didn't step in to help children being abused. When there was no one for kids to go to.


Landed On Black by Zach Fortier A former cops stories about being an inner city cop. I don't know how they do it. The horrible things they see almost on a daily basis. It was a good read. He has several more books i intend to read, also.
TOS
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currently reading detroit: american autopsy

written by a journalist who grew up in detroit, left for many years, worked as a reporter, then moved back with his family

the book reads more like a collection of crazy stories than a single narrative, but damn if i can't put the damn thing down ... so much that's inexplicable, surreal, supremely messed-up

basically he treats detroit not as some isolated basket case but as a case study for what ails the nation as a whole, especially blue collar america

by the way the author was anthony bourdain's companion when the latter visited detroit for an episode of the show he has on cnn ... seems like a milder version of hunter s. thompson
Treason in the Blood: H. St. John Philby, Kim Philby, and the Spy Case of the Century

This book recounts the exploits of Kim Philby and his father, St. John Philby.

St. John Philby was Britain's man attached to Ibn Saud during to formation of Saudi Arabia. He was doing his thing in Arabia while Lawrence was doing his thing with the Hashemites. Britain threw their lot in with the Hashemites and so St John Philby decided to help America get the lucrative oil concessions instead of Britain.

Kim Philby hardly needs a paragraph from me.
justine Elitist Beer Lover
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TOS posted:
currently reading detroit: american autopsy

written by a journalist who grew up in detroit, left for many years, worked as a reporter, then moved back with his family

the book reads more like a collection of crazy stories than a single narrative, but damn if i can't put the damn thing down ... so much that's inexplicable, surreal, supremely messed-up

basically he treats detroit not as some isolated basket case but as a case study for what ails the nation as a whole, especially blue collar america

by the way the author was anthony bourdain's companion when the latter visited detroit for an episode of the show he has on cnn ... seems like a milder version of hunter s. thompson


You might like the series of memoir books that were written by a retired inner city cop named Zach Fourtier. The first one is called Curbchek.
I have finally finished Charles Stross' Merchant Prince series which I began here.

I have been distracted by a number of things away from these books so do not take this as some indication of how good or bad these books are.

Note that I will be numbering the books by the recently published trilogy and not the original hexology.

I DID like them though I have to admit that book 2, The Clan Corporate, was bit slow through the first hundred pages or so, but this was due to the limitations placed on the heroine, Miriam Beckstein, due to what had happened at the end of book 1, The Bloodline Feud. Once actions start happening they go along a brisk pace. If anything I was bit disappointed at the end because I did want to know what happens next. As far as I know Stross is NOT planning to return to this universe.

While the series takes place in a nebulous "now", late in book 3 there is a year given: 2003. I am not sure that this was an addition made due to the repackaging, but it makes clear that the President and VP being cited are Bush and Cheney.

If you like your SF with a bit of economic and sociological theory thrown in, then read this series.
user Stupid cockwomble
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Just finished Raymond Chandler's first two novels, The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely.

I liked them much more than I expected and was intrigued by all the out-of-date references (joints are "Russian cigarettes"). I'm going to keep my eyes out for copies of his later works.
TOS
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i adore chandler

i loved his later work, the little sister (wonderful peek at hollywood, based on his own experiences as a screenwriter) and the long goodbye (gut-wrenching portrayal of himself as a writer)
dv
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Doing any recreational reading? v.5.8

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