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Books Read 2012

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WYBaugh
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:32 am

Finished Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey

This is the second book in The Expanse series and is excellent. If you guys haven't started reading this series...what are you waiting for??!!

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Jag » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:36 am

WYBaugh wrote:Finished Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey

This is the second book in The Expanse series and is excellent. If you guys haven't started reading this series...what are you waiting for??!!
What he said.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by J.D. » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:20 pm

Reading Winter of the World, the second book in Ken Follet's Century trilogy. This one follows the children of the characters from the first book Fall of Giants through the depression and WWII. The third book will be out in 2014 and will cover the Cold War and fall of the Berlin wall. If you liked Pillars of the Earth and/or are a fan of historical fiction this series is fantastic. Not near as good as Pillars of the Earth, but that's a high bar to set.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by J.D. » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:25 pm

Also, George R.R. Martin can learn a lot from Follett. Follet was able to produce a 1000 page sequel within two years, on schedule, on a subject that required him to do a ton of research. He hired 8 historians to fact check his work and STILL got the second book out on time. That's dedication.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Rumpy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:50 pm

Yeah, I'm reading Fall of Giants and really enjoying it. One thing I do appreciate in this is how there's more of a shade of grey in what the characters are doing rather than it simply being black and white in terms of good and evil, which is an improvement to how he's handled characters in the past.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Scuzz » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:32 pm

Based on a recommendation from here or QT3 I read Empires of the Sea by Roger Crowly. It fit nicely into a part of history that I knew very little about. The history classes I have taken rarely mention that while Spain was getting rich from the New World they were scared of the Ottoman Empire taking over the Mediterranean. This book cover a time period from about 1500-1575 during which the Ottoman Empire was the most powerful force in Eastern Europe. It covers 3 battles in detail and how they effected the history of the region.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good history fix.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Pyperkub » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:49 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Count Zero by William Gibson

More fun in cyberspace. It's an entertaining read. And the fun thing about it is that it's still futuristic enough not to seem dated.
Did you skip Mona Lisa Overdrive ( after I recommended it)? I'm hurt...

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:05 am

I went looking for it, but it's not available in e-book format. I just put in a request at the library, but it will be my 4th unread book out.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:21 pm

History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

This one apparently took me three years to get around to finishing, but I'm glad that I finally did.

It's a bit weighty in places with some not-superficial dives into philosophy and social matters in addition to the normal dates, names and places, which likely contributed to feeling a bit out of my depth and abandoning it for a while.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:27 pm

Finished The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

I am one of the biggest fanboy's of Sir Terry having started reading his books with the release of The Colour of Magic way back in College. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of his books...until this one.

I know I've done this before but I have to channel:

Image

Rock Climbing!! Deep Hurting!!

That's the way 4/5 of this book progresses with the endless reference to earth's stepping or popping or blinking or flashing or flickering by. Good god I got it the first time!

I really think the only thing Terry offered to this book was Lobsang's name. The book really comes off as a lecture in someone's views of alternate evolution and then not in a very entertaining way.

Parts of the book are interesting but the characters are too flat, main plot of the book fails to really go anywhere and when it does, it's anti-climactic. Then the editor decided to stop the book at just the moment it gets somewhat interesting. I'm sure there will be a second book, but for the moment, stay away from this if you want to keep your fond memories of PTerry alive.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:50 am

Finished 14 by Peter Clines

Awesome book that I cannot describe without giving away all kinds of spoilers. If you like Lost then you'll really enjoy this book.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Crusis » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:17 am

WYBaugh wrote:Finished 14 by Peter Clines

Awesome book that I cannot describe without giving away all kinds of spoilers. If you like Lost then you'll really enjoy this book.
This was just nominated for a stoker award. I've had this on my to read list since May. Check out Ex-Heroes by Peter as well.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by GuidoTKP » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:41 pm

I really liked Ex-Heroes. Was bummed to hear the next one would be delayed. Guess I'll have to give 14 a try.


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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by silverjon » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:09 pm

Simon Pegg wrote:With The Boys, Ennis' signature gleeful moral depravity is brilliantly realized by Robertson's sly graphics. Sick, funny and disturbing, this rather marvellous collaboration answers an old question, "who watches the Watchmen?" The Boys, of course, and they kick the living, fucking shit out of them to boot.
Delving into this series about a government agency tasked with reigning in America's superheroes. Garth Ennis writes and Darick Robertson draws.

First collection is quite good, but not for the faint of heart.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:47 pm

Finished "American Assassin" by Vince Flynn, how "Mitch Rapp", the super-agent was recruited, trained, and went on a mission (or two). It's sort of a prequel and it's not bad. It's pretty formulaic, but then, when you read a good guy saving the day and give bad guys their comeuppance you don't expect much else. :D This is more about the cold war antics but there's still a lot of Middle East involved (specifically, Lebanon).

Working on "The Invisible Gorilla", "Flags of our Fathers", and maybe another one or two books.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:52 pm

WYBaugh wrote:Finished Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey

This is the second book in The Expanse series and is excellent. If you guys haven't started reading this series...what are you waiting for??!!
FYI, the first book, Leviathan Wakes, is on sale in Google Play for $1.99
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by rshetts2 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:40 am

GuidoTKP wrote:I really liked Ex-Heroes. Was bummed to hear the next one would be delayed. Guess I'll have to give 14 a try.


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I just saw the sequel to Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriots available in the B&N site.
I picked up Ex-Heroes for 3.99.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov

I picked it up because The Complete Robot foreword mentioned that there was a Robot timeline story in this one that hadn't been published elsewhere. Despite the title, the stories were relatively robot-lite, with only four stories common between the two collections.

Asimov was truly a great writer, and while the science of what we know about space and the planets might have moved on since he wrote them, the stories themselves are still entertaining today.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:11 pm

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey - Good urban fiction about an exorcist in modern day London where something has occurred in the recent past to fire up ghosts and other supernatural creatures. He begins an exorcism of a ghost at a book archives and it of course turns into something much more involved.

The book is fairly slow paced (read not Dresden-like at all) but all in all is a good dective-noir type book with good English humour (see what I did there?)

Definitely recommended.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by silverjon » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:38 pm

WYBaugh wrote:The Devil You Know by Mike Carey - Good urban fiction about an exorcist in modern day London where something has occurred in the recent past to fire up ghosts and other supernatural creatures. He begins an exorcism of a ghost at a book archives and it of course turns into something much more involved.

The book is fairly slow paced (read not Dresden-like at all) but all in all is a good dective-noir type book with good English humour (see what I did there?)

Definitely recommended.
I've been trying to talk this series up here for years. Nice to see someone else discovered it.
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

Unless one loses a precious thing, he will never know its true value. A little light finally scratches the darkness; it lets the exhausted one face his shattered dream and realize his path cannot be walked. Can man live happily without embracing his wounded heart?

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:39 pm

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Here is what got me to check it out.

Image

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Scuzz » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:02 pm

American Gods by Neil Gaiman


This is the first book I have read by Gaiman and will probably be the last. I can't say I loved or hated this book, I am just kind of meh about it. It reminded me of some of Heinlein's books where you never really know what the book is about or what is going on.

I liked Gaiman's style, and he does create colorful characters but I guess I just need a little more plot.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Mr. Fed » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:38 pm

"Unlearning Liberty," by Greg Lukianoff at FIRE. Just posted a review of it.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by rshetts2 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:25 pm

Scuzz wrote:American Gods by Neil Gaiman


This is the first book I have read by Gaiman and will probably be the last. I can't say I loved or hated this book, I am just kind of meh about it. It reminded me of some of Heinlein's books where you never really know what the book is about or what is going on.

I liked Gaiman's style, and he does create colorful characters but I guess I just need a little more plot.
I liked American Gods but found it to be the least accessible of Gaimans novel. Try Neverwhere or if you want something in the same mythos as American Gods but easier to digest, Anansi Boys. Both are very good reads and are not as convoluted as American Gods was.
Well do you ever get the feeling that the story's too damn real and in the present tense?
Or that everybody's on the stage and it seems like you're the only person sitting in the audience?

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:48 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Here is what got me to check it out.
Great book!

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:18 pm

Finished Dodger by Sir Terry Pratchett - ok book...think a young Vimes in London and you nailed it.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by raydude » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:52 pm

WYBaugh wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Here is what got me to check it out.
Great book!
I was intrigued by that comic-book style summary, got to Amazon and saw Buffy mentioned as a point of comparison. Read the first page and I was hooked. And I've just finished it, five days later. Wow - that is a great book!

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:19 pm

I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I've picked up at least a couple books from the Unshelved recommendations that they post every weekend.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:58 pm

Finished "The Invisible Gorilla"

http://www.amazon.com/The-Invisible-Gor ... 0307459659" target="_blank

The folks from "The Invisible gorilla" experiment explains how our intuition deceives us, and how we can recognize it, and correct for it.

This book is very much like Malcolm Gladwell's books like "Blink", "Outliers", and so on, but is in fact, quite critical of Gladwell in that Gladwell is using post-facto justification, and trying to pass off correlation as causation. That came much later in the book though. The book mainly talks about various illusions, such as illusion of attention (driving into the lake at GPS's direction, for example), illusion of memory (false memories, either implanted through suggestion or through emotion), and such. And it makes a compelling case for such illusions and how they affect us in everyday lives.
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Kasey Chang » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:46 am

Finished "Leviathan Wakes", prequel to Caliban's War mentioned earlier.

Wow, this guy merged genres, quite well. There's grand politics, ship battles, detective noir, AND horror, all rolled into one novel and yes, it's still sci-fi.

One person was dumped into the hold and left there. She escaped, only to discover the horror of what happened to the crew.
Elsewhere in the belt, a freighter receives a distress call, and was ambushed when it arrived.
At Ceres station, a "belter" detective tries to enforce law best he can when his boss piled on another assignment: find a rich spoiled girl.
And it's all connected... to something shot into our solar system billions of years ago...

None of the characters are "normal". One's living survivor's guilt for all the people dying around him. Another talking to a figment of his imagination, and do what's necessary, no matter the cost.

The end is weird, yet believable, and sets up the sequels nicely.

I like it. I think I'll pick up the sequels... when they go on sale.

(And my first book read as eBook... my my phone)
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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:41 pm

In keeping with my recent noir books I just finished The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

Here's a stolen description from Amazon:
Part old timey crime story feel, part fantasy. Bobby Dollar is an angel, working as an advocate here on earth. Advocate being just what it sounds like - a lawyer type. You die and he's there waiting to fight for your soul in a hearing. Fighting who? The other side of course. Yeah... that other side. Luckily there's not much that is bad enough to send you to the dark side, so his job is pretty easy. Easy until weird things start happening, like an unprepared angel being sent down to work with the advocates. Souls disappearing that should not. Deaths that should not happen. There's Bobby stuck in the middle of it all, having to figure out why. Oh, and he's got girl troubles to deal with too.
I enjoyed the book but it's nothing extrodinary. If you like the genre and Dresden-esk angels then you'll like this.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:30 pm

Pyperkub wrote:Did you skip Mona Lisa Overdrive ( after I recommended it)? I'm hurt...
Finally finished up the Sprawl trilogy, and this one kinda left me disappointed. I see the ending as more of a setup into a later story, which there isn't, than an actual ending. So I would say that I consider it my least favorite of the three.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Matrix » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:57 am

I have read good amount this year, but most interesting has been Anton Chehov which my mother brought me from russia earlier this year. I grabbed on whim of my shelf about a month ago and since then i have been hooked. Its very in depth look into life of 1800s but mostly how not that different it was from our lifes. When i was in my teens i have read a lot of books, pretty much everything and in massive amounts. though i didn't think i have read many Russian classics (i have peculiar memory when it comes to my early ages). I was sitting down with my mother earlier today and i mentioned that i have been reading Chehov and how interesting it is. Then she tells me "Oh, ya i know, you love chehov... when you were in your early teens, you used to quote him by memory and have read him extensively". 0_o was my reaction. I know i have read a lot, and still remember a few books i have read back then but i could have sworn i have never read Chechov. I certainly know i wouldn't have understood him back then, still, now i need to get few more book of Chehov and see if i can remember what i have read.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Jag » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:57 am

Finished King's Blood, Book 2 of Dagger and Coin by Daniel Abraham (aka James Corey). Great book. Really like Abraham. The series has a GRRM vibe but doesn't go into as much depth.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:27 am

Jag wrote:Finished King's Blood, Book 2 of Dagger and Coin by Daniel Abraham (aka James Corey). Great book. Really like Abraham. The series has a GRRM vibe but doesn't go into as much depth.
I didn't know it was James writing these....where have i been?

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Scuzz » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:12 pm

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour by Joseph Persico



This is an interesting book centered around the last day of WW1. I read it after seeing an hour show on the Discovery or History Channel based on the book. The book gives you an overview of the war and follows the lives of several men leading up to the last day of the war, Nov. 11th, with the Armistice beginning at 11am.

I do recommend the book although Persico does jump around a little too much with the narrative. He ties everything together at the end and so I suppose you can forgive him for some of it.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:38 pm

Finished Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton
In Mindstar Rising, Greg Mandel, gifted—or cursed—with biotechnology that makes him a living lie detector, is hired to investigate corporate espionage by Event Horizon, a powerful company about to introduce a technology that will solve the energy problems of a world decimated by global warming.
I truly tried to move away from detective type novels thinking this was more James Bond-ish but unforutnately it's a detective novel. The book is ok. Interesting post global warming England but he really doesn't flesh out well the normal persons life. You see the ultra-rich and the genetically altered soldiers but not much in between.

Also the book has too much:

Image

and not enough:

Image

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Sherpa » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:02 pm

WYBaugh wrote:
Jag wrote:Finished King's Blood, Book 2 of Dagger and Coin by Daniel Abraham (aka James Corey). Great book. Really like Abraham. The series has a GRRM vibe but doesn't go into as much depth.
I didn't know it was James writing these....where have i been?
Corey is actually the pseudonym for two authors -- Abraham and Ty Franck.

I just finished Dragon's Path myself... after mowing through the Long Price Quartet. Time for a detour to Red Country and then maybe back to Dagger and Coin...

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by WYBaugh » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:11 pm

Sherpa wrote:
WYBaugh wrote:
Jag wrote:Finished King's Blood, Book 2 of Dagger and Coin by Daniel Abraham (aka James Corey). Great book. Really like Abraham. The series has a GRRM vibe but doesn't go into as much depth.
I didn't know it was James writing these....where have i been?
Corey is actually the pseudonym for two authors -- Abraham and Ty Franck.

I just finished Dragon's Path myself... after mowing through the Long Price Quartet. Time for a detour to Red Country and then maybe back to Dagger and Coin...
And I have things totally backwards as usual. Thank you for the clarification.

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Re: Books Read 2012

Post by Scuzz » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:48 pm

J.D. wrote:Reading Winter of the World, the second book in Ken Follet's Century trilogy. This one follows the children of the characters from the first book Fall of Giants through the depression and WWII. The third book will be out in 2014 and will cover the Cold War and fall of the Berlin wall. If you liked Pillars of the Earth and/or are a fan of historical fiction this series is fantastic. Not near as good as Pillars of the Earth, but that's a high bar to set.
So I was in a bookstore and noticed the first one in paperback. $26.95. WTF?

There must be a trade paperback version out there someplace, right?

EDIT: Okay I checked and yeah, there is a $9.99 trade paperback.

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