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Books Read 2016

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Jeff V
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Books Read 2016

Post by Jeff V » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:38 pm

Among other failings in 2015, I only managed a weak 55 books read, 60 pages per days, down from 76/80 the year before. I shall endeavor to do better this year.

Read
Enigma by CF Bentley :binky: :binky: :binky:
Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Litigators by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Mourner by C. F. Bentley :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Taming of the Queen by Philppa Gregory :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson :binky: :binky: :binky:
Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Enigma by CF Bentley :binky: :binky: :binky:
A State of Arrested Development - Critical Essays on the Innovative Television Comedy edited by Kristin M. Barton :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Dominions by James A. Burton :binky: :binky: :binky:
Explorers of the Nile by Tim Jeal :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Private Paris by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Gray Mountain by John Grisham :binky: :binky:
I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Golfing with the Enlightened Dead by DC Malloy and DL Lang :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Kraken by China Mieville :binky: :binky:

Revival by Stephen King :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Winds of Folly by Seth Hunter :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Always Hungry by David Ludwig, MD :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Appeal by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
In the Name of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy:binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Thai Tales: The Sunday Club by The Blether :binky: :binky: :binky:
Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Creativity Inc. - Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The 14th Colony by Steve Berry :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Associate by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Street Lawyer by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Broker by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Empress by Alma Alexander :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Jester by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Beyond the Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Third Wave by Steve Case :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Phil Girl by Rose Cuzzion :binky:
Season of the Machete by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Last Juror by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Partner by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Zoo 2 by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Inferno by Julian Stockwin :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Black Sails, Disco Inferno by Andrez Bergen:binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Honeymoon by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Games by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The House of Fox by SK Smith :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson:binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Lafayette Sword by Eric Giacometti :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science by Richard Dawkins :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Reading

Argos by Philip W. Simpson

Total books read: 56 Pages read: 22,224 Pages per day: 61
Last edited by Jeff V on Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:33 pm, edited 41 times in total.

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Bad Demographic
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Bad Demographic » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:01 pm

I never have a particular goal when reading, but after hitbyambulance's visit, I think I'll try to read some Robert Louis Stevenson and maybe some other classics this year.

Read:
Miss Felicity Beedle's The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Rock with Wings by Anne Hillerman
Firstborn by Brandon Sanderson (short fiction)
The Old Blue Line by J. A. Jance (short fiction)
Desert Heat by J. A. Jance
Tombstone Courage by J. A. Jance
Shoot/Don't Shoot by J. A. Jance
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith
Skeleton Canyon by J. A. Jance

Rattlesnake Crossing by J. A. Jance
Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Outlaw Mountain by J. A. Jance
The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman
Small Wars by Lee Child (short story)
Not a Drill by Lee Child (short story)

Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon DeFoe
Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett
Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
London's Glory: The Lost Cases of Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit by Christopher Fowler
The Globe: the Science of Discworld II by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (audio book)
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (audio book)
Me, Myself, and Why? by Maryjanice Davidson (audio book)

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines
Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
Play With Fire by Dana Stabenow
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs
The Highwayman by Craig Johnson
Breakup by Dana Stabenow
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
Hunter's Moon by Dana Stabenow
The Scrivener's Bones: Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

The Knights of Crystallia: Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs
Midnight Come Again by Dana Stabenow
206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson
The Singing of the Dead by Dana Stabenow
Legion by Brandon Sanderson
Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson

Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs
The Shattered Lens: Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
A Fine and Bitter Snow by Dana Stabenow
A Grave Denied by Dana Stabenow
The Water Room by Christopher Fowler
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
A Taint in the Blood by Dana Stabenow
Arf! by Spencer Quinn
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
A Deeper Sleep by Dana Stabenow

The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez
Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez
Devil's Claw by J. A. Jance
Monster by A. Lee Martinez
Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Bran Mac Morn by Robert E. Howard
Pure Drivel by Steve Martin
Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez
Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr
Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
Ruins by Orson Scott Card
Visitors by Orson Scott Card

And All Through the House by Ed McBain
I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas by Lewis Black
Last edited by Bad Demographic on Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:31 pm, edited 44 times in total.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire
He who haha's last, haha's best. ~ Nelson Muntz
Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2013
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2015

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Pyperkub
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Pyperkub » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:14 pm

Currently reading:

Heat Rises Richard Castle book 3

Featuring "I really am ruggedly handsome, aren't i?", as well as a cool firefly reference. These books are fun.
There are three ways to not tell the truth: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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Holman
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Holman » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:37 pm

Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice. Good SF debut featuring a sentient AI protagonist dealing with identity issues.
Michael Herr, Dispatches. Vivid and impressionistic first-person journalism from 1967-69 Vietnam.
Ursula Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea. Read this aloud to the kids. I'd forgotten how good it is.
William Doyle, An American Insurrection: James Meredith and the Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962.
Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. (Teaching it again)

Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot. A fictional biographer obsessively illuminates Flaubert's literary life.
Larry Gonick, The Cartoon History of the Universe I, II, III. 1,000 pages and far richer than I expected.
Francis Bacon, 17th Earl of Oxford, Hamlet. (Teaching.)
Roger Zelazny, Damnation Alley. Better than the terrible movie.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. (Teaching.)

Richard Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich. Volume I of Evans' narrative history of Nazi Germany.
Robert Kirkman, etc. The Walking Dead, Compendium One. First 48 issues of the comic.
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness. (Teaching.)
Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons. Original SF set in Banks' pseudo-Utopian Culture universe.
David McCullough, 1776. Narrative history of the year of American independence.

Arthur Miller, The Crucible. Powerful drama then and now.
Fritz Leiber, Return to Lankhmar. Vol 3 in the collected adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.
Fritz Leiber, Farewell to Lankhmar. Vol 4 in the collected adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.
Rich Burlew, Order of the Stick. Just read all 1,000+ installments so far. Xykon is modern fantasy's greatest villain.
Charles Stross, The Atrocity Archives. Spycraft meets Lovecraft.

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. These guys again.
John Keegan, The First World War. Masterful history of the modern world's traumatic birth.
Joe Abercrombie, The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One). Frustratingly good low-fantasy debut.
H.P. Lovecraft, The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. Great edition for rereading some favorites.
Maximilian Uriarte, The White Donkey. Graphic novel of the Iraq war and PTSD.

Patrick O'Brian, Master and Commander. First of the wonderful Aubrey/Maturin novels.
Patrick O'Brian, Post Captain. Second of the Aubrey/Maturin novels.
Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise. Third of the Aubrey/Maturin novels.
Patrick O'Brian, The Mauritius Command. Fourth of the Aubrey/Maturin novels.
Richard Evans, The Third Reich in Power. Volume II of Evans' narrative history of Nazi Germany.

Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad. Powerful alt-history fantasy of American slavery.
Robert Kirkman, etc. The Walking Dead, Compendium Two. Issues 49 to 96 of the comic.
George Orwell, Animal Farm. Read it aloud with the kids.
Scott McCloud, Making Comics. Third in McCloud's series of graphic textbooks.
Last edited by Holman on Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:56 am, edited 34 times in total.
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Isgrimnur
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Books Read 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:20 pm

  1. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
  2. Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed - Ben Rich & Leo Janos
  3. March Upcountry
  4. March to the Sea
  5. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
  6. All Hands Down: The True Story of the Soviet Attack on the USS Scorpion
  7. Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
  8. Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan
  9. March to the Stars
  10. We Few
  11. The War Below: The Story of Three Submarines That Battled Japan
  12. A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
  13. Competition and Innovation in the U.S. Fixed-Wing Military Aircraft Industry
  14. A History of Air Warfare
  15. The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
  16. Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
  17. A Christmas Far from Home: An Epic Tale of Courage and Survival during the Korean War
  18. Now It Can Be Told by Philip Gibbs
  19. Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds
  20. The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB
Last edited by Isgrimnur on Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:41 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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moghedian
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by moghedian » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:45 am

READING

The Bell Witch by John F. D. Taff

READ

Broken Angels by Graham Masterton ( I finished New Years Day so I count it!)
At the End of the Road by Grant Jerkins (Great book!)
Black Irish: A Novel by Stephan Talty
Red Light by Graham Masterton
The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons
Infestation by John F. D. Taff
Last edited by moghedian on Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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freelunch
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by freelunch » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:31 pm

After several years averaging less than a book per year I made an unexpected recovery late in 2015 and managed 11 books in the past two months. Not a great total, but considerably better than I'd been doing, and it gives me hope for 2016..

Books Read in 2016

10. One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 by One
09. David Bowie: Moonage Daydream by Dave Thompson
08. Sex Criminals Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop by Matt Fraction
07. Crumple by Dave Cooper
06. Jack of Fables Vol. 2: Jack of Hearts by Bill Willingham
05. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
04. Horns by Joe Hill
03. Jack of Fables, Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham
02. Will It Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy? by Stephen Cummings
01. Fables, Vol. 8: Wolves by Bill Willingham
Last edited by freelunch on Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:25 am, edited 8 times in total.
Books I finished in: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

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YellowKing
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by YellowKing » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:42 am

2015 was probably one of my worst years on record. I'm going to try to do better this year, but don't have any particular goals other than that I want to finish my current book backlog before buying anything new. Going to start listing graphic novels since I'm collecting them pretty regularly now.

Graphic Novels Read
Wytches Volume 1 by Scott Snyder and Jock - My brother bought this one for me out of nowhere, and it's fantastic. Horrific, engrossing, and original. Can't wait for a second volume.

Conan: Book of Thoth by Kurt Busiek - I'm a huge Conan fan, and love how Dark Horse handled him once they acquired the license. Lots of nods to the original Robert E. Howard stories. This one-off tells the origins of the evil sorcerer Thoth-Amon, and is a fantastic read. One of the few books I've read more than once.

Conan Volume 0: Born on the Battlefield by Kurt Busiek and Greg Ruth - This Conan origin story is entertaining and sets the stage for the much better volumes to follow.

Conan Volume 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek, Cary Nord, and Thomas Yeates - This is actually the first Conan book I ever bought, and I'm only including it here because I re-read it recently after a long absence. I was completely intrigued by the art of this book, and credit it for getting me back into comics as an adult. Excellent tale in which Conan kicks ass - both human and humanoid. Action-packed start to the Dark Horse Conan series.

Batman Volume 1: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo - As a Batman fan I was hugely excited for the New 52 reset of the series, and this Scott Snyder and company did not disappoint. Thrilling debut in which Batman basically gets his ass kicked by a criminal organization more powerful than he ever imagined. Great story arc that will go down as one of the classics of all Batman comics.

Conan Volume 2: The God in the Bowl and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek, Cary Nord, Thomas Yeates, and Dave Stewart - This follow up volume was based directly off Howard's short stories, and finds Conan in thief mode with a murder mystery to boot. Also portrays his first run-in with Thoth-Amon. Great book that I thought topped even the first volume.

Conan Volume 3: The Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek, Cary Nord, and Michael Wm. Kaluta. - This one explores Conan's early years as a thief, and as such seems a little unconventional at first. Highly entertaining though, as there are a lot of monsters and magic. I always like when the artists are given free reign to imagine and interpret creatures from the stories.

Batman: Night of the Owls by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, et al. - While the Court of Owls storyline was playing out in the Batman series, other related series were producing parallel issues about the same night. This book collects the disparate issues from Nightwing, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Batwing, Jonah Hex, Red Hood, etc. to show what was going on with other characters as the Owls attacked separate targets across Gotham. Due to the number of issues covered, this was quite a hefty volume and well worth the price. I really enjoyed seeing other characters take the spotlight.

Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. - This is the conclusion to The Court of Owls storyline, but has a few issues overlap with the Night of the Owls trade paperback. So some of this volume is redundant. Still, if you want to be a completist you need both, and if you don't read the Night of the Owls then the storyline will seem to wrap up a bit too abruptly. Great book, though, and ends with a Mr. Freeze origin story. I always like to see serious takes on goofy characters like Mr. Freeze, and the stories in this volume (also included in Night of the Owls) really turn him into a dangerous character.

Batman Volume 3: Death of the Family by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion - This it the triumphant first appearance of The Joker in the New 52, and boy is it a doozy. The Joker has been missing for a year, and comes back with a vengeance - targeting all of Batman's extended family. Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Robin, Red Hook, Damien Wayne, the Teen Titans - all are in his crosshairs. Great storyline that will probably be looked upon years from now as a classic.

The Joker: Death of the Family by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo - This is the hefty companion piece to the Death of the Family story arc. Pulling issues from Batgirl, Red Hood & the Outlaws, etc. these issues showcase The Joker's kidnapping of the various extended family he was targeting in the Batman comic storyline. Since on the superhero front I read Batman almost exclusively, it was nice to see the Teen Titans and other heroes that I rarely ever see. If you're a Joker fan, this is a must-own.

Severed by Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft

Books Read

Long Knife by James Alexander Thorn

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

The Sixth Key: From the Secret Files of the Magic Castle by Jeff Tucker

Horror Movie A Day by Brian Collins.

Tudor: Passion. Manipulation. Murder. The Story of England's Most Notorious Royal Family by Leanda de Lisle

Modern Horrors: An A to Z of Horror Movie Reviews by Scott Weinberg

The Queen's Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.

Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig

Out of Tune - edited by Jonathan Maberry.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

War Brides - Helen Bryan

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

The Thief's Daughter by Jeff Wheeler

Revival by Stephen King

Bind,Torture,Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door by Roy Wenzl, Tim Potter, Hurst Laviana, L. Kelly

Famous Crimes the World Forgot: Ten Vintage True Crime Stories Rescued From Obscurity by Jason Lucky Morrow.

The King's Traitor by Jeff Wheeler

Reading

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski
Last edited by YellowKing on Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:59 am, edited 25 times in total.

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KeriKitKat
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by KeriKitKat » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:26 am

This is my spot.
If you cannot convince them, confuse them.

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Zarathud
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Zarathud » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:25 am

Currently Reading
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Completed
January
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Last Update: 1/30/2016
Last edited by Zarathud on Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Zarathud
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Books Read 2016

Post by Zarathud » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:01 am

Flashback
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. - Nixon
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867

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Jaymann
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jaymann » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:42 pm

Now reading Reamde, a technothriller from Neal Stephenson. Not sure how this slipped by me in 2011, but this is the real deal, with an MMORPG (from the developers' viewpoint), geeks, hackers, gun nuts, the Russian Mafia, terrorists and MI6, and I am only about a third of the way in. It is a thick tome, weighing in at 1,056 pages, which I like if it is something I enjoy. Unlike some of Stephenson's stuff, this is readily accessible. Often I read to put me to sleep at night - this one keeps me up past 2 AM.
Last edited by Jaymann on Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bad Demographic
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Bad Demographic » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:03 am

freelunch wrote:After several years averaging less than a book per year I made an unexpected recovery late in 2015 and managed 11 books in the past two months. Not a great total, but considerably better than I'd been doing, and it gives me hope for 2016..
11 books in two months is quite good. That's more than a book a week. Or if you had read at that rate all year, you'd have read 66 books!
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire
He who haha's last, haha's best. ~ Nelson Muntz
Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2013
Books Read in 2014
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wanderingoutlaw
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by wanderingoutlaw » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:43 pm

Books Finished:

Old Man's War by John Scalzi [re-read]
The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin

Currently Reading:
Last edited by wanderingoutlaw on Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:45 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Bad Demographic
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Bad Demographic » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:14 pm

On hitbyambulance's recommendation I read Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Overall, a very good story with good pacing. For a while I thought there was too much roaming around with Allan Breck (sp?) but it all worked out.
The hardest things about reading Kidnapped were the Scottish terms (most of which are not in the dictionary on my Sony Reader) and Scottish history. I know pretty much nothing about Scottish history, only the names of a few famous people, that the tartans were at some point banned, and that tartans were later allowed again. I know that the Campbells and Stewarts are enemies. That's about it. Knowing much more would have been helpful.
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Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2013
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Books Read in 2015

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:44 pm

I didn't count, but it should be more than 1 book a week. I'll go back and count. :D And I don't report every book I read.

Feb'15 (4) Sandman Slim, Indigo Squad (Human Legion 2), Legion, Second Paradigm
Mar'15 (4) Seas of Venus, To Honor You Call Us, Dead Run, Northworld Trilogy
Apr'15 (6) Ready Player One, Angel's Ink, Burning Man, Guardians of the Night, Wasteland Saga (Trilogy), The Taken
May'15 (5) Prime Asset, Ancillary Justice, Noble Beginnings, Deadly Distance, Off Armageddon Reef
Jun'15 (7) In Fury Born, There will Be War 1 and 2, The Dead Key, Fighter Combat, How to Win Every Argument, Odd Jobs
Jul'15 (1) By the Blood of Heroes
Aug'15 (7) Option to Kill, Viravax, Five by Five Vol 3, Devil's Water, the Empty Quarter, Maids of Misfortune, Devil's Grin
Sep'15 ( 0)
Oct'15 (5) Smile Now Cry Later, Snow Monkey, Loose Ends Cal Corwin Mystery, Eight the Hard Way, Metro 2033
Nov'15 (7) Day Zero (Jericho Quinn series), The Grave Man (Sam Prichard series), C.R.O.W., Virtuous, The Short Drop, Surviving the Evacuation Book 1, Kill Switch Angle of Darkness Book 1
Dec'15 (10) Rise of the Iron Eagle, SJWs Always Lie, Girl Fights Back, Sherlock Holmes Adventure of Peculiar Provenance, WHen to Rob and Bank and 131 more warped suggestions and well-intended rants, Starship Grifters, The Game by Neil Strauss, Serial Date, The Red: First Light, Cyberstorm

Total 2015 reported: 56

Actual count is likely higher. :)

EDIT: According to my Kindle history... I downloaded 208 ebooks in 2015. I'm pretty sure I read half of them at least. And going through the list I'm spotting multiple books I know I finished but don't see reported here. *sigh* And there are a few not worth mentioning as I didn't finish.

Undated 2015: Leave No Man Behind: Saga of Combat S&R, Quicker (Eli Dorsai 1), Demon's Fury (Final Asylum 1), The Trojan Sea, Princess Bride, Redliners, Adniral Who? (Spineward Sectors 1), Loose Ends, Escorted, Thrill, Game of Shadows, If You Dare, The Tank Lords, On Bullshit, There will be War 3+4, Damage, Last Resort, Viper Pilot, Riding the Red Horse, His Wicked Games, Rise of the Fallen All the King's Men 1, The Smiling Rnager, Future Visions (sponsored by Microsoft), Bite Me Tell-All Tales of an Emergency Veterinarian, Dawn of Destiny Epic 1), Where I need to Be Club 24 1, Terms of Use (28)
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:14 pm

2016 So far...

I Can Barely Breathe -- alternate universe, UFO crashed gave us free tech, 50's have communicators and and such, aliens living among us, a cop who's a serial killer... random almost unconnected elements. Overall, lousy noir killer... in the middle of nowhere Colorado. Complete crap. 2/8 tentacles.

Stalking Sapphire -- Sapphire is a rich (but not filthy rich) girl who has a weird hobby... baiting and trapping serial killers around LA area, and it seems she just met her match... as someone is stalking her... Meh, 5/8 tentacles.

The Nova Chronicles -- 5 book series of adventures of Nova, bounty hunter, scifi that's a mix of mystery, adventure, melee combat, survival, and so on. Not too bad. 6/8 tentacles.

There Will Be War Vol X -- Jerry Pournelle brought us latest volume of "There Will Be War" series... just in time for the Paris attacks. 6/8 tentacles.

Chronicles of the Old Guy, Space Battleship Scharnhorst, Neoliberal Economists Must Die -- semi-connected series of stories about a cybertank called "The Old Guy", the oldest surviving and not-rebodied cybertank. Given their own sentience, cybertanks performed their duties until one day they realized the humans they were supposed to protect were no longer around, but they kept on going, and formed their own society. The multi-book series chronicles Old Guy's adventures as he encounters exotic lifeforms, fights alien menace, procreates with another cybertank (details are far less exciting), got whisked to visit strange lands, meets vampires, explains why "neoliberal economists" is the ultimate form of evil, fights a civil war among cybertanks, joins a cybership (battlecruiser, promoted to battleship later) in defense of the system, and so on. Basically, BOLO with far more personality and political satire. 6 out of 8

Sky Warriors -- tales of military air power, from a zeppelin that tried to fly from Europe to heart of Africa (and made it back, nonstop) to modern jets fighting in Desert Storm, and all sorts of tech advances in between, like ECM squadrons in WW2, guided bombs in WW2 and Vietnam, logistics in Pacific and Battle of Britain, and so on. 6 out of 8

Mycroft Holmes (by Kareem Abdul Jabar) -- Mycroft Holmes, Secretary to Britain's Secretary of War, visits Trinidad, home of his dark friend Douglas, and got drawn into intrigue so deep it involves international scandal and death of children... and his fiancee Georgina Sutton, who may not be who she appears to be. Poisoned and beaten on the way to Trinidad, the two made it off the boat, found unlikely allies, gained many more enemies, and found betrayal most foul. What will be certain is Mycroft Holmes, once an idealistic young man, with the sharpest intellect that is rivaled only by his brother Sherlock, will never be the same... And yes, that's written by *the* Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the NBA star. 7 out of 8

Collapse Depth Danny Jabo 1 -- A Trident sub was ordered to make a speedy transit to Taiwan, in hopes of averting a show of force with China, but may instead provoke it. On the way, accidents started happening, and people started dying. Someone onboard is sabotaging the ship... Can they find the traitor before he killed them all? 6 out of 8

Black Flagged Alpha -- intro to Black Flagged series, a former assassin was called back to one more job, and was involved in a giant conspiracy that spans the halls of Pentagon to streets all over the East Coast... 8 Al Qaeda organizers in the US were all killed the same night. The only thing in common... they were so professionally done, it seems to be a US black ops program. As FBI close in, CIA wants the killer as they suspect him to have killed one of their operatives in Bosnia years ago. The former assassin is dodging contractors, FBI, local police, and more as he has been black flagged (exterminate with prejudice). But this is all a meta game, for someone else has a different plan in motion, and all this is just... a decoy... What is the true game being played? 6 out of 8

The Red Book 2: The Trials -- The Red is about a squad of Linked Soldiers (cybernetic implants, exoskeletons) that gave them better reflexes, coordination, and mobility. In Book 1, they stumbled into existence of "The Red", a rogue AI that seem to be helping humanity, then someone tried to wipe out Red with a series of improvised nuclear devices against data nodes and trunk lines, resulting in "Coma Day". The squad then had to squash the Texas Secession and avert threats of more nukes, and finally raid Alaskan fortress of the richest woman in the US, vigilante style, and deliver her to Africa to stand trial, as no Western Court would dare try her. In Book 2, the squad headed back to the US to face justice, as they are technically traitors and deserters. They enter court martial proceedings, and there never was any doubt to their guilt. However, Red is still around, and there are powers at work, playing the squad and its leader, Lt. Shelley, as pawns, hoping to influence Red. And there may still be loose nukes in the world...7 out of 8


Autobiography of James T. Kirk -- Kirk tells his story, first-person, from his humble origins in Iowa, how his parents got divorced, how he ended up on Tarsus IV, getting into the Academy, his prior service as captain on smaller ships, how he made friends and enemies, how he impressed Nogura into giving him Enterprise, how he met all the crew (individually), how he fell in love and out of love with various loves of his life, and so on. It's almost like the ultimate homage, as there are backstories and backfill of all the big stuff, like how did Finney came to hate him so much he want to frame him for murder / negligence, how did Bones know Spock, when did he need Gary Mitchell (and had to kill him later), and so on. Finished, ends just before he got on Ent-B and got lost in the Nexus. 6 out of 8
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by YellowKing » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:48 am

Just finished Long Knife by James Alexander Thorn.

This was an older book that I picked up on a Kindle sale. I love history, particularly of the early days of western America. Long Knife is a fictional novelization of a small slice of the actual historical career of George Rogers Clark in the Revolutionary War. George Clark was the older brother of the famous William Clark of the Lewis & Clark expedition, but was an incredible historical figure in his own right. He was instrumental in securing the Northwest Territory for the United States, winning many engagements against British and Indian forces with few casualties and/or up against incredible odds. Unfortunately the government he fought so hard for was not so kind to him, and he died in poverty after the government refused to pay him most of the money he was owed for his service.

The book takes a few liberties imagining the romance of Clark and his Spanish love Teresa, which we know few details about, but otherwise tries to stay true to the actual events. I knew almost nothing about Clark going in, so the book was educational as well as entertaining.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jolor » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:20 am

Reading:
The Traitor Baru Cormorant - Dickinson


Finished:
Last Song Before Night - Myer
From the author's web page: "Long ago, poets were Seers with access to powerful magic. Following a cataclysmic battle, the enchantments of Eivar were lost–now a song is only words and music, and no more. But when a dark power threatens the land, poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a task much greater: to restore the lost enchantments to the world. And the road to the Otherworld, where the enchantments reside, will imperil their lives and test the deepest desires of their hearts."
I've been in a reading funk since Christmas and I'll credit this book with getting me out. It quickly drew me in with interesting characters & quick pace. Deeds most foul, characters with the potential (at least) for redemption and a quest that resolves satisfactorily if not exactlyas expected. Looking back on it now, I'd say that "looking back on it later" was overused :) and some plot details felt rushed as the author sought to wrap things up but this is a first novel and I came away impressed.
6 o' 8 tentacles
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by tgb » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:52 pm

Sam Phillips:The Man Who Invented Rock 'n Roll. Invented may be a bit strong, but he did introduce the world to the likes of BB King, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm, and later Elvis, Jerry Lee, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and on and on.

Interestingly it devotes a lot of space to his long time secretary and partner-in-crime, Marion Keisker. She was minding the store at Sun one day when a hillbillly truck driver came in to record a song for his mama, and for the next year or so she kept bugging Phillips to bring back "that boy with the sideburns".
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jeff V » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:45 pm

Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Special Agent Pendergast is approached by a fervent wine collector whose collection in a New England small town was stolen. Our hero is determined to deny the request when mention is made of one case that wasn't stolen -- a 1904 vintage from a winery subsequently poisoned by chemical weapons in WWI and a vintage thought extinct in the market place. The market value of a single bottle could be in 6 figures. So instead of the offered fee, Pendergast negotiates for a single bottle of this wine. and heads off to the small town to investigate.

Immediately he notices something amiss on the plaster wall behind the empty wine racks, excavates and finds the remains of a skeleton, one that had been there a long time but recently disturbed. The finger bone was taken for analysis, the person died sometime in the late 19th century and the finger bone indicates he wore it to the bone to try to escape....he had been walled-in. With his companion, Constance, they set about looking for information regarding what actually was going on.

Pendergast reminds us several times that in the course of an investigation, it is not unusal to uncover reams of irrelevant data; the real work is separating the wheat from the chaff. The investigation uncovers evidence of an 19th century ship wreck right off the coast, and when a historian researching this wreck if found dead with indications of witchcraft, Constance pursues that angle. Now it's a murder investigation, and when another body is added to the count, Pendergast supercedes local law enforcement and eventually gets to the bottom of things. The fate of the wine collection was discovered, the murders were culpable for that as well. The witchcraft thing? Well, that, Pendergast assures Constance, is just one of those dead-end side tracks. Except she's not so convinced. And there is still more than 100 pages left.

As they are wont to do (but have stayed their hand pretty much the past 5-6 books of the series), Preston and Douglas move the bizarre and supernatural. Expect more in the next book, as there's a cliff-hanger in this one.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:20 pm

Finished Starship's Mage by Glynn Stewart -- 5/8 tentacles

Starship's Mage is about an alternate future where "magic" (human manipulation of energy and such) allowed jump drives to be created, and these became known as ship's mages. Obviously it requires a certain aptitude, and our hero, a new ship's mage, is forced into working with a ship that just lost their due to a pirate attack (and is barred from hiring any more as the mage that was killed is the local guildmaster's son) and the ship's mage along with captain and crew got caught up in some greater conspiracy as the mage discovered the extent of his power, and how some factions will do anything to possess it. Good mix of scifi and fantasy, though it reads like multiple novellas tacked together than one full novel, as there is a distinct rhythm between the plotpoints.

Finished Midshipman Henry Galant in Space by R. Peter Alesso - 4/8 tentacles

Henry Galant is the first (and only) non-genetically enhanced human in the academy... and have graduated and is now posted to a ship in United Planets fleet as midshipman. He will realize his calling as Earth fights a new threat... a race of methane breathers have been sighted on Titan, and it seems they are amassing a fleet for invasion... When Jupiter Station and its small reserve of battlecruisers and destroyers came under attack, Henry Galant may be the only hope the humans have in stemming the alien invasion.

While the overall plot is fine, the description of the combat is extremely dry and peripheral, as if the author haven't really tried to visualize the scenario in 3D, but instead relied on generic descriptions (they rallied for a fourth salvo, which broke the enemy formation...) and the size of the craft is extremely inconsistent. The "Eagle" was described as a 2-person fighter, but somehow there are "lockers" and survival rations stored within for it to travel for weeks (all the way from Jupiter to Mars, at a low-energy orbit). Space combat is generic enough.

Reading Alpha Ship One, and maybe Darknet.
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jeff V » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:29 pm

Enigma by CF Bentley :binky: :binky: :binky:

Good science fiction begins with some premise of plausibility. Assuming that science advances but society devolves to revive obsolete religious or government constructs is never a good way to begin.

I didn't read the first book in the series, but this volume takes place on First Contact Café, a space station run by a race called the Labrythine. Among the residents is a general from the Confederated Star System (CSS) and a high priestess from the planet Harmony. The contingent from Harmony is the first I have issue with -- it an extremely biased caste system somewhat based on the worst of the fading Indian society: not something I would ever think likely to reappear in an enlightened society.

The book starts with an emergency aboard the FCC. A small ship crashes into the station, creating a breach that kills several aboard. The pilots of the ship, squid-like creatures, are dead. A young woman passenger is injured, and rescued by an arachnoid-like creature that had some tolerance for the vacuum of space. Here's another problem -- the vacuum of space combined with bitterly cold temperatures would make any exposure - even for a creature with an exoskeleton - impossible.

The arachnoid, Mac, is considered a phantom aboard the station. In reality, he's the half-brother of Labby, the Labythine governor of the station. Labby is one of many children (number 7, actually) that his mother had -- each with a different father from a different species (another problem!) Mac himself was the product of his humanoid mother's tryst with a spider-like father. The Labyrinthines, among other races (of which those two squid pilots were the last of their race) all appeared to be having problems of DNA stability of which various attempts at cross breeding were meant to stabilize. The denizens of Harmony were in a long war with the Maril, a race that developed from humans residing on a low-grave world who manipulated their genome to produce feathers so they could fly -- but now they too were suffering and lashed out in conquest. There's the metaphysical undertones too...the Maril and Harmony both think they are spiritually connected to planets, and Harmony in particular reacts in response to its clergy (with the high priest and priestess away, the planet is suddenly rocked by earhquakes and volcanos among other disasters).

Can you check your brain and put that aside? For reasons that will become clearer as the series wears on, the book is mostly about establishing this station as a rather neutral hub of activity for the myriad of antagonists and their interests. General Jake from the CSS seizes power after Labby is found murdered and places himself about Admiral Marcella, spymaster to the CSS and the other ranking military officer aboard. To a large degree, the author is successful here. The book would have been a little more satisfying though if it wasn't founded on such laughable premises.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Kasey Chang » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:43 pm

Alpha Ship One: Stasis by L.D.P. Samways

This first person "space thriller" was... not good. It relies way too much on *deus ex machina* developments that were not properly foreshadowed and the crew that just makes no f***ing sense, resulting in a plot that makes no f***ing sense either.

The crew of Alpha Ship One suddenly wakes up from cryo-sleep, having no memory of what happened before. Then their ship got invaded and they're taken prisoner by the Ursines. Apparently they've been sold down the river and dumped on the aliens for having fallen out of favor with the humans... After a bit of sadistic trial where the 4 member crew was forced to kill one of their own, they are put back into their ship, with two guards... to transport a bomb to Earth with three other humans. Those, I kinda get, but the rest of the book... makes no f***ing sense.
Spoiler:
It goes roughly like this. The three other humans, who previously pretended to speak no English, suddenly revealed themselves to be the first man banished into space, a brilliant scientist who invented the f***ing superbomb they're carrying, and some girl who served no purpose. The ship's 2nd, Jess, still feeling guilty after killing their medic earlier as sacrifice, went berserk and killed their prisoner (they overpowered their two guards earlier, killing one) forcing the captain to kill her. Suddenly they came up with a plan that with that one bomb they carry they can cause a chain reaction in all the ships behind them and destroy the ENTIRE alien armada. The explosion was far more powerful than expect, but suddenly the captain developed super-helmsman skills and they "surfed" the explosion wave back to Earth, where they're told this was all part of the plan, they never really were abandoned, it's all a plot for them to infiltrate the aliens, and will take each take a million credits and never say anything ever. WTF, right?
3 out of 8 tentacles.

Where the Hell is Tesla by Rob Dircks

Clarence "Chip" Collins is a bit of a slacker. He got a job guarding some lame government warehouse for the FBI. Most of the time he tries to think of ways to getting his girl Julie, and chitchats with his buddy Pete. Then one day, he came across this journal... hidden in a drawer by none other than Nikola Tesla, who had apparently created an interdimentional travel apparatus... Uh, I better capitalize that, the INTERDIMENSIONAL TRAVEL APPARATUS. Any way, the entire book is a series of emails, supposedly 5000 or so of them (not all of them are in the book) where Chip chronicles his adventure, of him finding the notebook, deciphering the notebook (there's a dimensional gate in the city), and how Tesla is communicating with him via the notebook which seems to exist in all dimensions like an ansible, allowing instant comm)... and Tesla is being held prisoner by some unknown entity... So chip goes to the rescue... along with his buddy Pete, neither of whom knew what they are doing, of course.

Fun read, if you dig the "blogpost" / "diary" style novel. 6.5 out of 8.
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Rumpy » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:12 am

Finished 1984 by George Orwell, finally. The theft had interrupted my reading of it as it was on my Kindle, which is rather ironic given that the thief took his picture with my tablet and had unknowly synched with my Dropbox. My Tablet was my telescreen :D

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Scuzz » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:17 pm

I read The Martion and enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

I started Caliban's War last night as I am watching The Expanse on TV and want to stay ahead of it. I have no idea why as it doesn't really follow the books very well from what I have seen so far.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by hitbyambulance » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:30 am

Hear the Wind Sing / Pinball, 1973 - Haruki Murakami

i had pirate eBook copies of these early novellas from the late 1970s (since they were impossible to find), but never read, as i felt guilty about downloading them in the first place. they've finally been republished and re-translated. it's really hard to go back to the early books after reading the latest stuff, even though these have the _exact same tropes_, i kid you not. it's at the point where someone could just write Fake Murakami Novel because the template is pretty well established. ...spending a few minutes pondering this... well, i guess if you're a fan, you're going to get exactly what you expect - no surprises here. i will say the vignettes in Pinball, 1973 involving the telephone company's wiring switch panel were among the funniest parts Murakami's ever written. the introduction was the best part; an autobiographical piece where he details how he came to start writing stories in the first place (but not the 'why', because he doesn't claim to know).

time to re-read A Wild Sheep Chase, as it's the third book in this trilogy. (also, Dance Dance Dance is the epilogue)

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:53 pm

Ready Player One


Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed - Ben Rich & Leo Janos

If you've ever heard of Kelly Johnson, Ben Rich was his hand-picked successor. Tales of the U-2, A-12, SR-71, and F-117 in terms of the development, production, and operation of the aircraft from the days of Eisenhower through Desert Storm. Right in my wheelhouse of interests. Highly recommended if you like that sort of stuff.
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by YellowKing » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:50 am

Just finished Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry

I subscribe to a daily e-book newsletter that lists sales and deals, so every now and then one catches my eye for a couple of bucks and I'll give it a shot. This book, taking place in the carnival/freakshow atmosphere of early 20th century Coney Island, seemed right up my alley.

Unfortunately, I should have learned my lesson by now - it's rare that I enjoy highbrow literary fiction. I'm a genre guy, and books like this just aren't my cup of tea. There's an incomprehensible plot about an orphaned baby and the search for a missing sister, and to me it was just a sprawling mess. I didn't care about any of the characters, and the book jumps around so much I never could keep any of them straight in my head anyway. This is the equivalent of one of those Best Picture nominees nobody went to see except film critics - it's dull, pretentious, and I didn't enjoy it at all. Thankfully it was short. Two stars.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:52 pm

Just finished The Martian, and unfortunately I had the opposite reaction that Scuzz did...enjoyed it much, much less than I thought I would, and primarily due to the stilted, horrible, first-person writing style. The non-first person parts were written reasonably well, but wow, never have I had so much expectation for a book based on good reviews, to be let down so hard.

Probably a personal thing with me as well...I practically cringed reading things like:
"I went into the HAB. I took 16 paces, turned 40º to the left and bent over with my face approximately 6 centimeters from the floor, which contained 60 stitches in my immediate line of sight. Then I grabbed my ass, and pulled with 8 pounds of pressure on each cheek. Then I farted loudly. Then I took that fart gas, and put it in a .87 liter jar to save for later. Then I screwed the lid on the jar. Then I put the jar..."

The style just REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. It's either really amateurish writing because he is trying to record like a scientist, and not like a writer (fine, but that got old with me after about the first 3 pages), or the author really is just a poor writer. Either way, the result is the same, and I came close to just putting it down altogether well before the end. I felt no sympathy for the main character's plight at all, because the author never made me care about him. I wasn't looking for a feel good love story, but this is a fiction novel after all, and was not excited to read what in essence is a fake technical journal.

If you liked math word problems from 6th grade, this book is for you! 80% of it is written that way, and not much better I might add. I finished it because I wanted desperately to like it, since it's right up my alley, but nay, not in the cards for this one.

Currently reading Stephen King's 11/22/63 and it's fantastic so far...about 1/4 way through. I recognize that King is not the best writer, but he can spin some great yarns, and this one is particularly good.
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:56 pm

Image :text-banplz:
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:59 pm

Heh. That's all? I expected much worse!

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:05 pm

De gustibus non est disputandum.
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:35 pm

Biggus Dickus! :P

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:21 pm

On mobile so can't type too much, here's a short blurb Fixed up now...

Finished Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Wow, what a book. Disappearance of the oldest sister broke the family apart. Dad divorced as he went to investigate himself, before eventually found hung, presumably suicide. One sister went off on drugs and bad company but after birth of daughter went clean. Other sister fell in love in college married a rich man, then 18 years later only to see him murdered in front of her...

Until she found something that doesn't fit. That was when she realized that her life was all a lie. Her husband wasn't who she thought he was... And corruption of the highest levels has covered up depravities that makes soul run cold and dated back decades... Who never wanted the truth to see the light of day...
Spoiler:
Her husband, is, in reality, a snuff film producer, who kidnap girls, torture them on camera, then kill them, personally, often allowing VIPs, such as the local sheriff and a US senator, to watch or participate, both for their patronage AND their silence... and it's a family business. His father started the depravities and he took over and made it into a business. Somehow after killing the oldest sister Julie, he was fascinated to learn there were two other sisters, rejected one for being a druggie, and then proceed to woo and married the other... Until a colleague sic'ed the FBI on him for unrelated matter... the "murder" was FBI trying to sneak him into witness protection, except he then betrayed the FBI agent and went into hiding, while manipulating everybody against each other... Until his wife became the wild card he can't control. He tried by kidnapping the sister... but she found ways to thwart him. And she found everything... including their sister's body, and enough evidence to burn EVERYBODY... by sticking it in an anonymous tor cloud.
7 tentacles at least. I'll be surprised if someone didn't option this for a movie already.

The forgotten girls by Alexa Steele (currently free on Amazon)

Detective Bella DeFranco, SVU, was called out with her recovering alcoholic partner, to visit a rich suburban town where a rich wife was killed and apparently violated. And its linked to two *suicides* month ago of two students (who came out as lesbians) heading to Vanderbilt. The more Bella investigated the case, the more she realized the rich "friendly" exterior is a facade, where secrets lie around every corner. Girls will do anything to get ahead, including pop Adderalls weekly or more often, wives plot social agendas against each other both for themselves and their daughters, and husbands often stray from the straight and narrow, and/or completely oblivious to problems under their noses... And the town shrink... Has a deep dark secret. But who among them would murder three people? As Bella pierce the lies layer by layer, the truth seems to be linked to a scandal long ago...

Characters are fine, though Bella doesn't seem to be that well defined. She's beautiful AND smart, and she can use that as a weapon on anyone who underestimated her, esp. with her partner, the gruffily handsome ex-alcoholic, as the distraction. But she seems to be way too... impulsive for an SVU detective. Plot is okay, but IMHO there's not quite enough foreshadowing.

5.5 tentacles

Harmony Black by Craig Schaefer

Secret FBI division off-the-books security agency known as "Vigilant Watch" who employ witches, warlocks and other magic users, against other evil doers, including a baby snatcher known only as the boogeyman that seems to strike only once very 30 years. Harmony Black took a vacation recovering from her latest op, wondering if she arrested the right perps, when she was called back in... She has a personal connection to Boogeyman... for she was the ONLY one who had seen him... and lived... and because he took her baby sister. Joining a team of other operatives, Black needs to unravel the mystery behind the boogey, and neutralize the threat by any means possible... but in the world of magic, nothing is exactly as it seems...

Tell you the truth, I fell asleep during this book and skipped 50% of it. I'll have to re-read this, but general impression is "meh".

4 5 tentacles

Legend of zero 1: Forging Zero, Moldy Dead, and Misadventures of Flea

Sci-fi with good world building about an earth with a lot of children taken away as combat trainees by aliens and Zero who rose to be leader, and possibly the prophesied one who will rise and destroy the Congress.

Moldy dead is a prequel that explained how treacherous some races can be

Flea is a choose your adventure book in the same universe, mostly for humor.

Interesting but a bit grim. 5 tentacles

Reading Mandrake Company quadrilogy

Scifi Romance, not too bad so far. The military scifi adventure seems authentic enough. Mandrake Company is a merc outfit, lead by Viktor Mandrake, ex Crimson Guard, elite troops of the Galactic Confederation, i.e. Galcon. In the history of Galcon, two planets were annihilated from orbit for rebellion. Viktor is from one of them, and he gathered up as many of the survivors as he could, plus other misfits from the Galcon military.

Book 1: Mercenary Instinct -- Mandrake company is out to collect a huge bounty on Ankari Markovich and her two partners, microbiologist Lauren, and ship's pilot/mechanic Jamie, but they have done nothing wrong. Viktor Mandrake don't generally collect bounties, but he's in the area and money is money. The two are like fire and gasoline. Ankari is determined to get away, Mandrake is determined to keeping her around... Then other bounty hunters want to steal his bounty while Mandrake's shooters are on another job on the planet. Then Ankari escaped with her colleagues as infiltrators snuck onboard... only to crash on the planet in the middle of a hurricane. What's Mandrake gonna do?

Book 2: Trial and Temptation -- Val Calendula has a steady freighter pilot job, but she needs money to bail out her brother or seem him shipped off to a penal mining colony. And Mandrake Company is hiring... If she can get past the first challenge... because she'd be serving under Commander Gregory Thatcher... her old Academy instructor, now Mandrake company senior pilot. But Thatcher has his own secrets... He really liked Val, but he kept quiet, since instructors are not supposed to romance cadets... and because he doesn't know how to express his feelings (think Spock). Now that fate had brought Val back into his life... When Mandrake send both Thatcher and Calendula on a mission to pick up a military advisor and deliver him to a planet, what was a simple mission turned vastly complicated when the advisor went missing, possibly kidnapped, and the two pilots are forced to play spy and infiltrator to accomplish their mission, and learn more about each other as they battle for survival.

Book 3: The Assassin's Salvation -- Jamie Flipkens signed on to be pilot and engineer, but not on a mercenary ship. Listening to verbal harassment daily, even hourly, is tough enough, that she's contemplating quitting... Until Sergei Zharkov showed up at the ship, wanting to talk to the captain. There's a bounty on the Captain's head. It seems like a fair warning, until Jamie learned that Sergei is a trained fleet assassin that even mercenaries tend to avoid... but he's been nothing but nice to everybody... is there a heart under that exterior? As Mandrake plan missions to gather intelligence on who placed the bounty on his head and deal with it, Jamie and Sergei launched their own investigation, and got in a bit over their head...actually, Jamie did. Can Sergei save her in time, and can Jamie return the favor?

Book 4: Ruins of Karzelek -- Mandrake company is retained by Kalish Blackwell to retrieve some documents, explore some underground caves, and if possible retrieve some treasured buried for a very long time. She is wary of the mercs, for they were not to be trusted, and she kept the reasons of the mission hidden, such as her father was kidnapped by some pirate lord to force her to dig up some fabled alien treasure. Except there is an enemy near her... Lieutenant Thomlin, the intelligence officer of Mandrake company, officially there to liaison, but secretly to spy. Thomlin is charming and handsome when he wasn't sneezing from his long list of allergies, but Kalish has no time for romance, not when her little sister and mother is nearby as well, and when they found the prize, which turned out to be real, the stakes are higher than ever... for survival.

The shooting parts are not quite up to the standards of say, David Drake or David Weber, much less Tom Clancy and such, but they are tolerable as they are really backdrops for the romance portions of the book. I can give this 5.5 tencacles for the series, and there are two more books in the series.
Last edited by Kasey Chang on Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jeff V
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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jeff V » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:12 pm

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The is a collection of short stories and novellas, some new, some updated versions of stories previously published. Not all of them really fit into the "horror" genre, and there's a few that might make good Twilight Zone episodes. One recurring theme involves age -- either dealing with people that have dementia or other elderly issues, or reminiscing about events (real or imagined) that occurred in the '60's. Methinks Stevie is starting to feel the specter of old age, but he is embracing it the best way he knows how, by spinning mostly entertaining stories.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jeff V » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:14 pm

A State of Arrested Development - Critical Essays on the Innovative Television Comedy edited by Kristin Barton :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

I am constantly amazed whenever I see what I consider the most shallow form of entertainment broken down and analyzed; pulling out deep, coherent, thoughtful, and scholarly discussion. This book will not make you a fan of the show, and while parts of it are in the irreverent spirit of the show, most of it about parallels to more important issues in society and how it was manipulated to comic effect. Previously, I've ready similar collections that discussed the Stewart/Colbert phenomenon and sociological issues in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Essays here run the gamut of racial issues, psychological troubles, and even on that compares the Bluths to the Corleone family of Godfather fame. There's some amazing stuff here, but I also wonder about the type of person who watches shows such as Arrested Development, make such parallels, and think so deeply about it. I do find it hard to believe that much of what is written here represents intentional effort of the show's creators and actors -- the influence of the modern world may lead to such things incidentally apparent to those who look for it, but I rather think the show's creators are just smart people having a good time.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Jeff V » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:25 pm

The Litigators by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Let me start by saying I have a little bias in favor of this book, as it takes place here in Chicago, where I am familiar with the setting. This legal story is about a couple of sorry ambulance-chaser lawyers, Findlay and Figg, who stumble upon a growing mass-tort lawsuit against a major drug manufacturer for a cholesterol product that might cause heart failure. Neither have experience in this area, but encouraged by larger firms to get more clients on board, they spend money they don't have trying to mount a case. Meanwhile, a young disgruntled corporate lawyer with a Harvard Law pedigree stumbles into their office after being fed up with the corporate world. Bright he may be, David has no experience either.

A typical David vs. Goliath scenario is shaping up, right? The drug company looks at the array of lawsuits and picks one to defend rigorously. And they pick, you guessed it, the case being raised by the equivalent of the Keystone cops.

Although much of the story seems implausible, Grisham at least doesn't insult us with unrealistic outcomes. The judges portrayed in the book don't seem quite right -- rather overindulgent, but all in all an entertaining story, and the story ends more less on a happy note.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Scuzz » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:29 pm

Carpet_pissr wrote:Heh. That's all? I expected much worse!
I liked the King book too, I hope you like it. :)


I can see how the writing style could turn you off. I think maybe I finally reached a point where I just ignored the technical stuff because I didn't need it, I just assumed it was good science but didn't need to know it. But I did learn to care about Watney. Sure the author wasn't all GRRM and use 100 words to describe what a potato tasted like, but I was fine with his style.

But there is a reason ice cream comes in chocolate and vanilla.

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Re: Books Read 2016

Post by Carpet_pissr » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:26 pm

Scuzz wrote:I can see how the writing style could turn you off. I think maybe I finally reached a point where I just ignored the technical stuff because I didn't need it, I just assumed it was good science but didn't need to know it.
Exactly what I did. And when I started just skipping past the parts/pages where he was doing mental math, and "showing his work" to the reader, it went much faster for me.

But after digesting it as a whole, I realized that if this was good science, and even Mars-accurate, I would much prefer to just read an actual science journal or article about the challenges on Mars. If it's NOT, then ugh. Just acts as an obstacle to the pretty thin story IMO. The problem (for me), is that I think the pseudo-technical jargon part IS the story...or at least a large part of it. The main character here seems to be "presumed Mars science/physics", which I think was the surprise/disappointment for me.

I picked up my iPhone 6 (Apple, Inc.). I started reading 'The Martian' (Andy Weir). I read 279 electronic pages, which would translate to roughly1456\9=161.777 pages in an actual paper book. Then I stopped and took a break. I put my phone (iPhone 6, remember?!) on the counter, face up, which I had been using to read the book via the Kindle app, owned by Amazon. Then, after eating a small snack consisting of 8 potato chips, and a banana, I resumed my reading of 'The Martian'. I picked up my iPhone 6, slid to unlock the phone, slid 2 pages to find my Kindle app, and opened the app, which was on the 3rd row from the top, 2nd icon over. I then picked up where I left off before my snack. I proceeded to read 18 more pages before I realized that I disliked the book due to the writing style. I stopped reading, and opened the Amazon app. I wanted to read reviews. Reviews of the book. I wanted to read reviews of the book to see what other had said about it. I wanted to read reviews of the book to read what others had said, and why they liked it so much. I read through 18 reviews, sorted by "most helpful", then by DATE, and read the top 7 reviews. They were all good. They really liked the book. Actually, they loved the book. They loved the book so much that it made ME want to love the book too, so I continued reading..."

:P

PS- halfway through King book now, and it's just getting better as it goes...fantastic, really. I hope it doesn't have a "King" ending though, that some complain about with his other works.

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