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Books Read 2017

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Jeff V
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Books Read 2017

Post by Jeff V » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:46 pm

Starting the thread a few hours early since KC will probably read 6 books between midnight and the time I wake up in the morning.

Last year was a dismal performance, only 56 books read, averaging a paltry 66 pages per day. I look it, too, since most of my reading is audiobooks, and I read audiobooks while I exercise.

Read
Argos by Philip Simpson (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Winter in Chicago by David M. Hamlin (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Filthy Rich by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Bangkok Asset by John Burdett (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
City of Scoundrels by Gary Krist (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Our Bodies Our Data by Adam Tanner (B) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Cold by John Sweeney (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Toddlers Are A**holes: It's Not Your Fault by Bunmi Laditan (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Missing by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
1491 by Charles Mann (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Love for Sale - Pop Music in America by David Hajdu (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
At The Speed of Light by Simon Morden (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

End of Watch by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Different Seasons by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Private: Gold by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Private: The Royals by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, MD (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Work Rules! by Laszlo Block (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Autobiography of Satan by William Glasser (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Terror by Dan Simmons (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A Life in Parts by Brian Cranston (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Humans, Bow Down by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Camino Island by John Grisham (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Renascence by Leigh Goodison (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Lincoln's Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac by Stephen Sears (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (A) :binky: :binky:
Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement by Jonathan Rosenblum (B) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Chase by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Libertine Diaries by Isabella Delmonico (K) :binky: :binky: :binky:
Sinful Pleasures (Anthology) (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Hounds of the Underworld by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Wrecker by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Song of Susannah by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Inish Clare by Jennifer Rose McMahon (K) :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Testament by John Grisham (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Black Book by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A Table Against Mine Enemies: Israel on the Lawfare Front by Larry Goldstein (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Now You See Her by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Lost Order by Steve Berry (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Dark Tower (7) by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Bag of Bones by Stephen King (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Soul of the Unborn by Natalia Brothers (K) :binky: :binky: :binky:

Reading
Timebound by Rysa Walker (K)
The Rooster Bar by John Grisham (A)
Yesterday's Savior by Keith Bliss (K)


Books read: 65 Pages read: 25,620 Pages per day: 71
Key: (K) Kindle (A) Audiobook (B) Physical book
Last edited by Jeff V on Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:45 pm, edited 43 times in total.

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Bad Demographic
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Bad Demographic » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:37 pm

No particular goal this year. I suppose I should do quick summaries/ratings of the books I read. :oops:

Read:
Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Too Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez
Robots Versus Slime Monsters by A. Lee Martinez
Dead Leprechauns and Devil Cats: Strange Tales of the White Street Society by Grady Hendrix
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez
Star Island by Carl Hiaasen
The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett (reread)
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickam
The Dreamweaver's Dilemma by Lois McMaster Bujold
Night School by Lee Child
The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde (reread)
The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde (reread)
Seventy Seven Clocks by Christopher Fowler (reread)
Sweet Silver Blues buy Glen Cook (reread)
Bitter Gold Hearts buy Glen Cook (reread)
Cold Copper Tears buy Glen Cook (reread)

Old Tin Sorrows buy Glen Cook (reread)
"B" is for Burglar by Sue Grafton - audio book - read by Mary Peiffer
Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr - audio book - read by Barbara Rosenblatt
The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman - audio book - read by George Guidall
Sundance by David Fuller - audio book - read by R.C.Bray
Dread Brass Shadows by Glen Cook (reread)
The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson - audio book - read by Gildart Jackson
"C" is for Corpse by Sue Grafton - audio book - read by Mary Peiffer
Hard Truth by Nevada Barr - audio book - read by Barbara Rosenblatt
Red Iron Nights by Glen Cook (reread)

Genrenauts: The Shootout Solution by Michael R. Underwood
The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
Bryant and May: Strange Tide by Christopher Fowler
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman
Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry (abandoned)
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Hunting Season by Nevada Barr - audio book - read by Barbara Rosenblatt
Etta by Gerald Kolpan - audio book - read by Kirsten Potter

"D" is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton - audio book - read by Mary Peiffer
Zeus Is Dead by Michael G. Munz
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks (unfinished)
Carrying Albert Home: the somewhat true story of a man, his wife, and her alligator by Homer Hickam
Shadow Prey by John Sandford
Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam
Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
Alice by Christina Henry
Flowertown by S.G. Redling
Who's Afraid of Beowulf by Tom Holt

Paco: the Cat Who Meowed in Space by Homer Hickam
Redemption Key by S. G. Redling
Last edited by Bad Demographic on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 34 times in total.
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Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2013
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2015

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Books Read 2017

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:24 pm

  1. What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes
  2. Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer
  3. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer
  4. Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James D. Hornfischer
  5. New Spring: The Novel (Wheel of Time)
  6. The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time 1)
  7. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
  8. The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time 2)
  9. The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time 3)
  10. American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964
  11. The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time 4)
  12. Goodbye, Darkness
  13. The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time 5)
  14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  15. Lord of Chaos (Wheel of Time 6)
  16. Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement: The Shocking True Story of the Military Intelligence Failure at Pearl Harbor and the Fourteen Men Responsible for the Disaster
  17. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  18. A Crown of Swords (Wheel of Time 7)
  19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Last edited by Isgrimnur on Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:24 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Pyperkub » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:21 pm

Jeff V wrote:Starting the thread a few hours early since KC will probably read 6 books between midnight and the time I wake up in the morning.

Last year was a dismal performance, only 56 books read, averaging a paltry 66 pages per day. I look it, too, since most of my reading is audiobooks, and I read audiobooks while I exercise.

Read

Reading

Argos by Philip Simpson
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
All of them FREE! on Kindle.

Reserved.
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Holman
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Holman » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:45 am

John le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Who isn't nostalgic for the Cold War now?
Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn, Alex + Ada. Graphic novel AI love story.
Patricia Barker, Regeneration. Historical novel about hospitalized WW1 soldier-poet Siegfried Sassoon.
John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Le Carré really is the best at this.
Richard Overy, The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality. Slim contentious overview.

Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. (Teaching.)
John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy. Second in the Karla trilogy.
Wm Shakesspur, Hamlet. (Teaching.)
Victor Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. (Teaching.)
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness. (Teaching.)
Wllm Shkesspeur, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Pleasure reading!
Frank Herbert, Dune. First read it in 8th grade, I think.
John Scalzi, Redshirts. Fun SF stuff.

Chaboute, Moby Dick. Visually striking but missing Melville's prose.
Mark Bowden, Hue 1968. Strong narative Vietnam War history by the author of Black Hawk Down.
Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem. Hugo-winning first-contact SF in a Chinese context. Arthur Clarkean.
Rick Perlstein, Nixonland. The political history of a less mendacious POTUS.
N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season. Sharply original dark fantasy, 2016 Hugo winner.

(2017 has been a rough and depressing time. I've started a lot of books only to put them away after a dozen pages. Don't know if it's me, the books, or the year. Probably the year.)
Last edited by Holman on Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:52 pm, edited 19 times in total.
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by YellowKing » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:55 pm

I did OK last year - averaging two books a month more or less. I hope to do better this year since I've increased my Kindle reading and will be hitting the ground running on audiobooks - something I really didn't start until later in the year in 2016.

Read:

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film by Mel Brooks

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski

The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality by John Gribbin

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic by Jason Surrell

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Audiobook)

The Manitou by Graham Masterson

Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI by Robert K. Ressler & Tom Shachtman (Audiobook)

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth Behind Pirate Myths by Benerson Little (Audiobook)

The Fisherman by John Langan

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon & Dirk Maggs (Audiobook)

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan (Audiobook)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Your Friend in Time: How Back to the Future Changed My Life by Jeff Tucker

Indefensible:
The Missing Truth About Steven Avery, Teresa Halbach, and Making a Murderer
by Michael Griesbach

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

The Cellar by Richard Laymon

Carrie by Stephen King

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (Audiobook)

The Fall: Book 2 of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Final Girls by Riley Stager

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

The Black Tower by Louis Bayard

Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

The Night Eternal (Book 3 of The Strain Trilogy) by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Slade House by David Mitchell
Last edited by YellowKing on Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:13 pm, edited 34 times in total.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:58 pm

20 seems to be my baseline. Of course, some of that last year came from audiobooks on my drive to and from work, a 1.5-2 hour block per day. Also, I could probably improve it if I switched to fiction from my meaty historical tomes.

Also, I've done a fair bit of periodical reading. I've cut my Wired/Popular Science/Discover backlog down from a year to six months. Those have been done sitting on the back porch with the dogs.

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YellowKing
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by YellowKing » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:07 pm

Finished two to start off the new year:

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone - I'm a sucker for a good horror novel, and this one looked pretty interesting. As you may have guessed from the cover and title, it's about spiders. Swarming, man-eating spiders. Now, I've never been afraid of spiders at all, so this book's creep factor didn't make much an impression on me, but YMMV. Basically this is a quick B-movie romp which attempts to take a somewhat ridiculous premise and make it serious (think "The Strain" but with insects). Entertaining read if you can suspend your disbelief, but unfortunately it ends on a cliffhanger and the next volume isn't due out until May. So just when things start getting interesting, it's over. I do look forward to the next entry, though. (*** 1/2)

Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film by Mel Brooks - This was a super quick read (I blew through it in about an hour) about one of my favorite comedies of all time. You won't find any mind-boggling revelations here - it's more or less just a love letter to the cast and crew and how much fun they had making the movie. Also comes with a lot of on-set photographs of the production. I was a little disappointed there weren't more intriguing tidbits of information here, but at the same time it warmed my heart that this movie had so much love even as it was being created. With the passing of Gene Wilder last year, it's even more comforting to know how much he loved working on this movie. (*** 1/2)

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Stefan Stirzaker » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:11 pm

I'll try to do this, this year. Hopefully I can get some good suggestions like I did last year lurking in this thread.

Read:
The Lazarus War #1: Artefact - Jamie Sawyer
The Lazarus War #2: Legion - Jamie Sawyer

Reading:

Leviathan Wakes - James S.A Corey

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:05 am

Finished Paladine by Kenneth Eade

"Robert Garcia" used to work for the US military before he became a part of secret enemy assassination program for "the company", then he disappeared, but a man with a lot of money and not much life left found him... and want to fund him to take out the trash... any terrorists on the list, any method, any time. And thus the legend of "Paladine" is born, and God help any terrorists next on his list. But people want to use him for their own purposes. Politicians want to use him to hunt terrorists not on US soil, police want to catch him for vigilantism...

Not a bad thriller thought a wee bit simple as each group of terrorists were dispatched within a few pages, but those are quick hits. 6 out of 8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:07 am

Repost from the other topic:

-----

Finished Advance to Contact by CJ Carella, Warp Marines Book 3

Third Volume of the Warp Marines, where United Stars of America is under siege from multiple hostile alien species and Day of Infamy (in Book 1) had seen hundreds of outposts and such attacked. In Book 2, a counter offensive destroyed one of humanity's enemies, but that's a minor league player, mainly due to deployment of new warp fighters. In Book 3, the warp marines are going to meet yet another test... The Tai-Linn, one of the oldest species in the galaxy, has requested the presence of the humans, possibly to negotiate transit rights (right now, they are prohibiting any hostiles through, and their world is a transit nexus) and the United Stars decided to send Secretary of State plus the veteran company of Warp Marines as escort. Once they got there, nothing is as it seems. They were held hostage on the station, along with their worst enemies, the "Lampreys", and the Tai-Linns are keeping them only for entertainment, to staged "Arena" combats where the two companies are to fight each other... and whatever nasty creatures the Tai-Linn think of, while two factions within the Tai-Linn enlist two humans to destroy the other faction... Then humans discover the secrets the Tai-Linn were REALLY hiding...

Warp Marines so far have turned out to be a better military sci-fi series that managed to be fresh without overly rehashing things unlike the other series I've read previously, mainly by changing the environment and the enemies around. 7 out of 8 if you like the genre.

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Finished Dangerous Attraction by Sidney Bristol FREE on Amazon

Ex-SEAL Travis made one mistake... trusting a guy too much, and he got a felony conviction out of it. Only Aegis Group took him in as security consultant, and they are helping FBI to find a serial killer operating around Las Vegas for over a decade... and ran into Bliss Giles, who wanted to report her sister missing but LVPD wasn't very sympathetic. Travis realized Bliss' sister Wendy is the last victim of this serial killer, as Wendy fit the profile perfectly. Travis needed Bliss' help in retracing Wendy's footsteps, and Bliss wanted Travis. But the psychopath has a plan for Wendy, and it does not include meddlesome EX-SEAL and pesky sister...

Enough too-stupid-to-live moments to cringe. Travis tells Bliss "I'm going to check the place out. It will take a while. STAY IN THE CAR." And guess what she does? She drives up to the house when her panic takes over and she goes into the house, alone. In another one, Wendy was told NEVER GO OUTSIDE. But when her housekeeper arrived, she goes outside to help with groceries, only to find the bad guy holding a knife to her housekeeper's throat, i.e. "get in the trunk or I kill her". In another case, Bliss revealed that her sister was wearing a tracking device because she believed she can kill Daniel alone and she doesn't want cops there to mess everything up. (!)

3/8 even though the rest of the book and the plotting actually ain't that bad.

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Finished The Hunter Bride by Cynthia Woolf FREE on Amazon

Josephine "Jo" Shafter's life as bounty hunter was done when she put her father and her brother's killer behind bars, and now her life is without purpose. Nobody in the East will marry a gun-toting foul-mouthed tough woman... So... she married herself all the way out to Montana, to a little town of Hope's Crossing, to the local sheriff Sam Longworth, and hope she can be as womanly as her mother had taught her so long ago.

Sam Longworth has his own problems. He was a bounty hunter until his wife asked him to settle down, so he did and became a pretty miserable sheriff, until his wife decided it's not enough, left on a stage coach... except she never made it. And he blamed himself. So he just needs a wife, a cook, a cleaner, a partner, but not a lover.

Until Jo's nemesis, the person she put behind bars, escaped, and is looking for her... Can both husband and wife, keeping secrets from each other, show some trust before either of them got killed?

Well, that's decided a more interesting take on the typical mail order bride trope of "weak and meek woman". But the occasional tease about the bad guy around town was not balanced well with all the scenes of domestic bliss, i.e. sexy times, cooking a meal, and so on. The chemistry between the two was somewhat lacking. Still, like the idea. 4/8

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Finished Chrismas Lights: 4 novella anthology

Collection of 4 novellas about Christmas, decent collection on different themes, some comedic, some suspense, some just cozy and warm and fuzzy. 5.5 out of 8

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Finished Riding Dirty by Kara Hart

The title actually had nothing to do with the subject. The subject is actually a pretty decently plotted story about a girl escaping from a nasty ex, falls for a Mafia hitman coming into town for a "job", and it turns out his next job was finding her ex. However, the ending kinda sucked. New characters introduced then disappeared, and catching the ex was way too easy. 4/8

Finished Fleetfoot Interstellar by P. Joseph Cherubino

Fleetfoot Interstellar Freight is in trouble. Ship is getting old, crew is getting tired, and captain Drexler Fleetfoot is barely holding together his family legacy. Then he stumbled into a plot that Reptilians are about to invade the Trade Union... Now he's on the run as a Union Spy, but he has some unlikely allies...

Good world building where one of the planet in the Union is entirely Indian (as in from India) with caste system and royalty and such. But the blah blah about Fleetfoot family's other members, esp. Margaret, who married a senator/prince was not explained very well, even to the end, IMHO, something about search for a legendary "Keystone Ship" that Papa Fleetfoot may have made off with a long time ago. And there's going to be sequels, of course. Call this... 5.5 out of 8

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Finished Searching for Glory by Hunter J. Keane

Gloria Star is rich and famous, with a hit TV show, engaged to one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood, but she got a letter in the mail to go home, and all the past she tried to hide for ten years came back to haunt her. For Gloria Star used to be simply a Mid-western girl named Glory Stark. The only man she ever loved, Johnny Carter, is asking her to come home... and she cannot refuse, for Johnny saved her life... and her future, by sacrificing himself ten years ago one night. Now Gloria is heading back to Missouri to reconnect with her sister Vic and her four kids... to make amends with Johnny... but the small town does not forget, and her fame causes problem everywhere, esp. her outtakes and tabloid appearances, but a family is forever, and forgiveness paramount, for she must confront her past and deal with her present, in order to secure her future.

Family drama AND a bit of unrequited love for, as well as "problem with fame". Tear-jerking at times. 7/8

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Finished Here to Stay by Kristine Raymond FREE on Amazon

In the Old West Arizona, Sam Mackenzie rode into the town of Hidden Springs looking for a home and adventure. He found a job a the Ryan Ranch, and realized the ranch owner is female, who always looks... haunted, yet very helpful to everyone in town. Kate Ryan is a woman determined to make it on her own, but she needed to hire help if she hoped to get her ranch up and running quickly. And she couldn't help but to fall for the handsome stranger who wanted to court her despite having only a few dollars to his name. For she is rich, at least by local standards. But she had to turn him away, because she had a terrible shame she did not dare to reveal to any one...

Frankly, I have no problem with a bit if angst between the two characters, but when the two characters started to make each other miserable for no particular reason I think the author just ran out of ideas and went stupid. In this book, Sam and Kate basically drove each other bonkers by denying themselves and each other and stay away, which leads the other to make all sorts of worst case assumptions (maybe s/he's move on, maybe s/he no longer loves me...) that's just making the book longer, IMHO. And it's not that long of a book! 4/8

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Finished Turbulent Intentions by Melody Anne FREE on Prime Reading

The Armstrong Brothers are a fiery rough but rich bunch, but somehow they can never satisfy their father, and thus they won't get the rest of their inheritance until they marry and settle down. Cooper, the oldest, went on to start his own airline, but he also takes cockpit time as one of the pilots, and while cavorting with stewardesses was fun, he could not forget the one-night stand he had with a girl whom he never saw again, that is, until he ran into her, literally, at the airport cafe as the barista. When he next found her as a tenant in his guest house (thanks to his meddling uncle) he knew that's his Cinderella and he is going to do all he can to woo her into his bed... for good this time.

Frankly, having the founder of an airline who also want to take stick time as a pilot is a bit far-fetched, not to mention being as young and handsome as he is. And also, a 757 with one engine can fly just fine, rather than going into a death spiral like in the book. If it really went into a spiral dive like that, it would have torn the damaged engine and the wing off. But then, this is a fantasy. The author was going for miracle on the Hudson albeit in the ocean. The romance parts weren't that bad, actually. 6 out of 8

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Finished The Trouble With Tinsel by Kelly Collins FREE on Amazon

Mandy and Beau had a thing in Bell Mountain, but they both had dreams that didn't include each other. Beau wanted to go into music, and Mandy wanted to go to cooking school. After a breakup where they each believe they sacrificed for each other, they parted. Beau went on to be a rock star... Mandy went to Paris... and came back a single mother with a boy named Tommy. She was doing fine in New York until summoned back by her mom... Mom has injured her wrist and the family sweet business needs a Sawyer to run it. So she's heading back to town... only to find that Beau is due in right after her. Is there a chance to rekindle the flames between Mandy and Beau? Is mom's injury as serious as it seems? What will happen after the holidays?

Not a bad story about going home and face your demons, but again, each is too quick in "I'll sacrifice myself for his/her happiness" without 1) asking is what the other would have wanted or 2) is there another way. I'm getting jaded in seeing stories like this, I guess. 5/8

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Finished A Valentine's Surprise by Melanie James FREE on Amazon

Adam is a cop that raised his sister after death of their parents. Now in his 30's, he hadn't dated for a long while. When he was injured in the line of duty, he reevaluated his life and decided he should find someone for him... and the nurse seem to be the perfect candidate. Amanda was one of those givers who poured her heart into everyone around her, but never of herself. After caring for two parents, and watch both pass away, she went into nursing, always too busy to love... until she met Adam.

A novelette (only 100 pages), the story really didn't have much tension to it, as there's nothing stopping them from getting together. 4/8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:16 am

Finished Scrapyard Ship by Mark Wayne McGinnis

Scifi pulp adventure fiction. Jason Reynolds is under house arrest with ankle monitor next to a scrapyard and his grandfather's old house. Until one day when aliens invaded almost killed his daughter, captured his wife, and he discovered that there's an alien spaceship buried deep within the Earth under his house. Now he has to take the untested ship, get his SEAL team buddies together... and save the entire human race...

Not enough fact-checking. 3 out of 8

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Finished Flagship: Captain's Crucible Book 1 by Isaac Hooke

Captain Jonathan Dallas, commodore of Task Unit 72, investigates the disappearance of a military research vessel on the fringe of known space when the TU came under attack... by unknown aliens, with superior technology to the Terran ships. Cut off from Central Command, facing with impossible odds, Jonathan must overcome his personal demons to save his ship, his command, and perhaps, humanity.

Good scifi ship combat between dissimilar ships, necessitating very different tactics. 6.5 out of 8

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Bad Demographic » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:01 pm

Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez
While decent, not as good as The Automatic Detective or a few of his other books.

Comedy/science fiction.
The retired Emperor Mollusk, formerly Emperor Warlord Mollusk, who peacefully conquered Earth some time ago, investigates who is trying to assassinate him and why - and he does so because the assassination attempts are destroying the Earth he has come to feel responsible for.
"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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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:28 am

My Kindle library has reached 1100 books, NOT counting the Prime Reading books I've borrowed and returned.

Finished Paladine by Kenneth Eade

Paladine is a legend, a paladin out killing terrorists as a vigilante. People say he's special forces, he's CIA assassin, he's 7 foot tall, he's a shape-shifter. The truth is Paladine is one guy, who often goes by Robert Garcia, and he really was a CIA assassin on kill teams that went after... targets he objected to. So he... quit. And a dying billionaire sought him out... and bankrolled him to go after as many terrorists as he could. But people want to use him, either "recruit" him to do jobs outside the US... or just out to catch him because he's making cops look bad. And this is his story...

Pretty good thriller where Paladine just goes through bad guys like scythe through wheat. He single-handedly took down an entire assault team trying to melt down a nuclear power plant... By taking down the raid from the INSIDE, and got one of the team trapped by SWAT while he got away. Nice fun read. 6.5 out of 8

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Finished Winter's Heat by Cristin Harber FREE on Amazon

Ex-SEAL Colby Winters is trying to retrieve a document that may be critical to national security when he spotted a woman who got there ahead of him, who is clearly NOT a player. He also spotted two Hispanics after the same thing... And they took her, and the disc, and stuffed her in a trunk. He rescued her and the disc, and he should have just dumped her, but he needed to know why was she there and after the disc... while convincing her he wasn't her enemy... and she was VERY pretty... Her name was Mia Kensington, and she's a military psychologist trying to fulfill a last wish of one of her patients... But can Colby trust her? Can she trust Colby? When more Hispanics are after her and the disc, it became a fight for survival... And they learned a lot about each other... When Mia was abducted from Colby's home, Colby will fly across the globe to find her, with the might of Titan Group behind him...

Basically a better written military romance thriller that really threw the pair together, above average for sure. 6 out of 8.

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Finished Loyalty and Lies by L.A. Cotton FREE on Amazon

Eighteen-year old Savanah "Ana" Perry moved 3000 miles across the country to escape from her life, her memories, her pain. Chastity Falls Academy was supposed to be a fresh start, somewhere no one knew her, until she met the mysterious Jackson. And for first time in eighteen months, she started to feel something other than the shell she put out to the world. But the small town of Chastity Falls have a lot of secrets, and Jackson is merely one of them... Nothing is as it seems, and Ana will soon find herself struggling to survive... again... and letting go.

Other than the somewhat cliff-hanger ending, where there is NO happy ending for Ana, this is one heck of a novel, and there are 3 more volume of this shared universe. 6.5 out of 8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:39 am

You have way too much time on your hands.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:19 am

Isgrimnur wrote:You have way too much time on your hands.
You'd be surprised how many books you can go through per day if it was read back to you at 3X or 4X speeds. :)
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by YellowKing » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:47 am

Kasey Chang wrote:You'd be surprised how many books you can go through per day if it was read back to you at 3X or 4X speeds.
I can't bring myself to do this with audiobooks - particularly fiction, due to the differing character voices - but I play podcasts back at 2 1/2 speed. It's the only way I can get through my huge backlog.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:22 am

Finished Broken by Annie Jocoby FREE on Amazon

NOTE: NO HEA ending here

Nick O'Hara is a man-whore and wishes no emotional connection with his bed-mate. He's rich, he's a premiere architect, and he's as good looking as a model. Until he ran into Scotia "Scotty" James. She's a graduate student at Columbia, studying in one of the architecture classes Nick teaches part-time. She believes she's broken from a traumatic experience as a part of foster care and even lived a year on the streets to stay away from abuse. She remained a virgin to 23, having never been kissed or gone on a date. And that innocent beauty and vulnerability were what drew Nick to her. Do they have a chance? And how far will their enemies go to break them apart?

Not too bad, but the saga was drawn a bit long, with random mood swings and assumptions. One day he decides she's as innocent as can be, then one day, jealous, he decided she's playing him and started being extra cruel to her, only to save her a couple weeks later when another got a bit rough on her. Then to setup the next volume in the series, he suddenly "can't turn down a drink" then got drugged. Apparently next volume Scotty got kidnapped. :-P Basically we have a doormat FMC who just takes the abuse until it's convenient for the MMC to flip his attitude. 3 out of 8.

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Finished Out of the Mist by Lauren Giodano FREE on Amazon

Juliet woke up in the rain with no memory of how she ended up alone near an isolated road, and the only person that was decent to her, Matt Barnes, is suspecting her of... something, that he can't talk about. Matt Barnes was taking a convalescent leave for injury sustained in prior operation where he lost his informant, which he held himself responsible for her death. And he knew the local PD is way overwhelmed after Juliet was discovered and brought to hospital. Juliet was found with grade A heroin under her nails and all over her clothing. Amnesia like that only happens in the movies, right? When an attempt on her life was made at the hospital, Matt took Juliet to an undisclosed safehouse. Juliet is in the mess as high as her eyeballs, even though she seems to be unaware of it. Matt wants "Viper", the mastermind behind the whole thing, and who seem to have set up Juliet for the fall... Or is Juliet Viper? Why was Juiet attacked? How did she escape? What did she saw? Can Matt keep her safe?

Not a bad mystery, the amnesia trope was NOT overly emphasized as her memory came back when we're not even half-way point, but she doesn't know enough to solve the entire mystery, and it was a fun read if a bit slow, as the two keep denying they mean something to each other. 6 out of 8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:42 pm

Finished The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello FREE on Prime Reading

As WW2 raged in 1944, a young US Army Lieutenant Lucas Athan recovered a sarcophagus originally excavated from an Egyptian tomb from a Nazi stash, but paid dearly for his efforts. Retired to teach back in the US, he was surprised to find the sarcophagus had been transferred to Princeton, his school, for study. But just like before, all sorts of bad things happened around the sarcophagus. Lucas lost his eye, his sergeant, and several civilians on the day of the recovery. The transport it was on was torpedoed and lives were lost. Crane unloading it malfunctioned and several died. School custodian died by attack of bats (!) the only bright spot seem to be that Lucas made acquaintance of Simone Rashid and her father, both Egyptian archaeologists, the original excavators of the sarcophagus. That is, until older Rashid was murdered, and several strange deaths happened around Princeton, including a knife attack on Albert Einstein himself. What sort of evil has reached New Jersey? What is in the sarcophagus? What does this have to do with Einstein, or with Lucas and Simone?

More of unexplainable horror than technothriller, basically the sarcophagus was used to imprison the devil, and now it's loose in New Jersey, but it's also "kinda" bound to the box. And it wants to bring about the apocalypse by giving Einstein hints to finish the atom bomb and help Oppenheimer. I don't like horror, and parts of the book didn't agree with me, but I guess I like the plotting. 5.5 out of 8

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Finished Twisted Up by Erin Nicholas Free on Prime Reading

The town of Chance, Nebraska has survived three EF-4 tornadoes in three years, thanks to fire chief Avery Sparks, who's also head of emergency management in town. She was a native girl, grew up poor, but made a name for herself. Her only regret... Not going long-term with her childhood crush Jake Mitchell... but he left without a word, right after she gave him her v-card. Next morning, he's gone. Every year he blows back into town, and they had a torrid sex but soon he'll be out again, and he's a disaster preparedness specialist now, with chances to help thousands, perhaps millions if he takes a position in FEMA over in DC, so she'd never hold him back, even if he breaks her heart. But this time, Jake's back in town, and when another EF-4 hit the town, Jake was feeling homesick after too long on the road. Now Jake and Avery must confront their feelings for each other, while helping the town rebuild, and learn from each other what happened that night and what happened later that lead to each other's respective life decisions, and decided if they can have a future together.

Nicely emotional without being overly dramatic, but it's also about a lot of assumptions, misunderstandings, and in a certain sense, holding a grudge. Avery was brought up by toxic grandma and was virtually adopted by the Mitchells. When Jake basically ran off to enlist in the Army instead of staying home to run the big Montgomery Farm, the family was devastated, and they also wanted to push Avery out of town away from her toxic grandma, so the Mitchells got a scholarship for Avery out of state. Avery saw it as "charity" and "rejection" so she ran off elsewhere and lost touch, only to come back years later with Masters degree and became fire chief, while Jake transitioned to National Guard and became the go-to person for disaster preparedness. Basically it's "prodigal son returns, and decided to stay for the girl". 6.5 out of 8

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Finished Dark Secrets: DARC Ops Book 1 by Jamie Garrett FREE on Prime Reading

Mira Swanson had a natural flair of language and correlation skills, and she found her dream job in a senator's office and quickly built a reputation as an excellent translator. But when she stumbled into a document she was not supposed to be able to decipher, implicating her boss in an arms deal to the child soldiers in Africa, Mira's determined to make things right but have no idea where to go, until she meets Jackson Archer, an ex-SEAL now white hat cyber security specialist. Jackson was initially doubtful of Mira's claims, but her complete lack of situational awareness brought out his protective instincts. On the other hand, messing with a client, even one that's not paying any money, is generally a bad idea. Can Jackson keep his head and keep Mira safe while uncovering the truth and take down the treacherous senator and his cronies?

As a thriller, I have to give this a 4/8, as the threat was minimal, it's more like embarrassment. There was no DANGER to her physically until WHAM! She disappeared in a party, nabbed by senator's personal assistant Chuck, i.e. creepy Chuck, who's the real brains behind the arms deals, but Senator is well aware of the problems. And what's with private security that can just randomly shoot people and have deep connections to law enforcement to take down a senator? Are they working with HSI and FBI too? Sheesh. There are also a lot of spelling mistakes here and there, like thorough instead of though and so on.

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Finished Pretend He's Mine by Lauren Blakely FREE on Amazon

Reeve is an actor out on his luck in New York. He's not getting callbacks, and he just got suspended from his bike messenger gig for backtalking a rude guy who didn't want to share an elevator with a sweating bike messenger ("why don't you take the service elevator?") who turned out to be the company owner. That was when he received a most intriguing offer... Sutton, trying to get the casting director role on a hot new movie, told the director that she'll bring along her fiancee... Except she didn't have one, so she used her talent to pick out the best candidate... from her portfolio of actors, which happened to be Reeve. And Reeve wanted a shot at the hot movie too. But what Reeve didn't say was he had a crush on her a while back, and she very much enjoyed his company now. Soon the pretense goes out the window and he gave her several mind-shattering big O's. But was it really just all pretense? Or is there something real there?

A short read at 150 pages, there aren't too many extra plot points to confuse the matter, and a lot of sitcom quality moments. Call it... 6 out of 8.
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by YellowKing » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:16 pm

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Picked this one up on the cheap (IE free), and the good reviews persuaded me to give it a shot. Mixed feelings about it. On the positive side, the magic system in the book is really interesting. It's the book's single biggest strength, and while it may be a little derivative of other magic systems that use a single element as the power source for spells, I was constantly looking forward to see what new magic the protagonist would come up with.

On the downside, the plot in this first of the trilogy is very thin. The vast bulk of the book takes place in a pseudo-dream sequence, which just turned me off. It's a very short read at less than 250 pages, but I still found myself a little bored with the storyline.

I'll probably get around to the other two books eventually, as the magic system and characters are strong enough that I think there's good potential there. For now, though, just meh.

The Secret History of Star Wars by Michael Kaminski

This lengthy tome is an exhaustive (sometimes to a fault) history of the first six Star Wars films. Every draft, plot change, and character change is gone over, giving an unprecedented insight into George Lucas' mind and writing process. It can get a little dry sometimes, particularly when you're hearing the same story for the third time, just from a slightly different source. However, if you're a Star Wars nerd it is a fascinating treasure trove of trivia tidbits. I liked that it takes a very neutral stance on George Lucas - exposing both his flaws and his strengths - and ultimately I came away from it with new respect for him because of this. And while it didn't change my overall view of the prequel trilogy, understanding the thought process and context behind them did soften my views somewhat.

If you're going to get this one, however, I highly recommend the audiobook version. Performed by Josh Robert Thompson, he actually does (pretty damn good) impressions of all the key players in the creation of the films - George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Francis Ford Coppola, Mark Hamill, Gary Kurtz, etc. It helps the numerous quotes from interviews spring to life in a way that they never would on the written page. Again, be forewarned - this book takes a scholarly approach to the series and will probably give you more minutia than you ever wanted to know. But if you're willing to accept that challenge, it's a highly entertaining experience.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:04 pm

Finished Jakke by Hannah Davenport FREE on Prime Reading

Sydney was a ER nurse when the alien Tureis invaded Earth and turned cities into ruins. Then alien Azziarin came to fight the Tureis. Sydney survived by carefully going out to forage at night and hide during the day. When she encountered a wounded Azziarin, she help hide him from the Tureis and nursed him until he was rescued, and she was taken back to the alien ship as well, and the ship's commander, suddenly overtaken with mating fever (after Sydney was cleaned up) basically pull her over his shoulder, went back to his room, and bonked her silly (and she seems to have wanted it). Then he realized what he had done... He had chosen an alien to be his true mate, despite 3 consorts he had back home, and that means she's NEVER going back to Earth, and she's likely to be pregnant.

What a piece of ****! It's basically "alien rape fantasy" albeit couched as "they're only trying to help" 2/8

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Finished Call of the Dragon by Elianne Adams

Rhiannon "Rhia" Atkinson had been on the run for a long time away from evil creatures that killed her mother, and she had found that she had the gift of energy manipulation that can defeat the evil creatures, but she had never seen it in any one else. Until one day, when she ran into another energy warrior, who called himself Drake Sprewell, who revealed to her that she is the Queen of Avalore that he had been searching for a long time. As they fight off more troll attacks, their attraction for each other grew, as they started to learn the true extent of their powers... They are dragon shifters, except they haven't fully shifted for a long long time. As Rhia reached Avalore, and Drake must do his duty, Rhia must challenge the traditions of arranged marriages to pick her true mate... or else the Kingdom is doomed...

The world building is not bad, actually and the enemy turned out to be a traitor from the humans. But relationship? Wasn't that much of a buildup. It's pretty much "fall for the first guy who understands her". 5 / 8.

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Finished Loving a Cowboy by Anne Carrole FREE on Prime Reading

Saddle bronc rider Chance Cochran did not want to see Libby Brennan, for they had a history... They were married once... for 48 hours, before her father dragged her away and started divorce proceedings. Five years later, just as Chance broke the million-dollar earning cowboy mark, Libby showed up... she is getting engaged soon, and apparently there is a piece of paperwork that they need to clear up, but Chance had heard enough. Chance had a lifetime of people abandoning him. His mom ran off when young. His dad was abusive to them both, then child services got him put him in foster care. When he thought he could have a future with Libby, she left with her father. And now, she's never coming back... ever. Then Chance got injurred badly, and Libby decided she had enough taking orders from her father, and moved to Chance's ranch to help him recuperate... and perhaps, decide on whether their love has a second chance...

Nice emotional push-pull, as Libby's "fiancee-to-be" showed up, then her dad showed up, both to try to shame Libby into leaving, but neither turned out to be purely evil. Ben the fiancee-to-be was... lead on by Libby, and dad believed Chance is just too young, had a history of violence in family to be worthy of Libby, and may even be dangerous to Libby, and Libby was too young (18) at the time. The HEA was eventually achieved when daddy had both a heart attack and a stroke and finally realized that if Libby wanted a man... don't stand in her way. 6.5 out of 8.

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Finished Just One Kiss by Amelia Whitmore FREE on Prime Reading

Annie Holden had been ridiculed by EVERYBODY, including her own family, about her weight, and then her crush was recruited into a brutal prank that embarrassed her in front of the entire school. Annie couldn't wait to get away to college, and there, she met the very handsome Brayden Clark, who is interested in her. She reacted with skepticism, as jocks like Brayden would not be interested in... whales like Annie, and Annie vowed NEVER to love again... But Brayden has a way to breaking down her walls, and let her see how beautiful she is... if only she can recognize that in herself...

Bullying and fat-shaming are serious issues, and this book managed to tackle it head-on without too much preaching. The romance is sweet, but the darkest hour (the breakup) lasted only pages as one night his possessive streak came back and he wanted to get his girl away from the douchebag that humiliated her back in high school, but the girl, not wanting to make a scene. tried to shoo him away, which only made him mad and accuse her of cheating. But you know that wouldn't last very long. 6.5 out of 8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Jeff V » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:56 pm

Argos by Philip Simpson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

aka A Dog's Life. Except the dog belongs to a legendary hero. And the dog is bestowed with godly Wonderdog powers.

This story is largely a tale told by Argos to the great hell-hound Cerberus, guardian of Hades. Argos was different than other puppies of his litter in that he was born with complete understanding of conversational ancient Greek. So the tale beings almost from his very beginning.

Argos proves to be a loyal companion to Odysseus, and each time he does something disruptive that might be chalked up to an over-excited pup, it turns out he was saving his master or family from grave consequences. Consequences in this time usually were at the behest of meddlesome gods, but Argos made himself some mortal, moral enemies as well. When Odysseus leaves for the Trojan War, Argos is left to watch over his family, which he does, again with the help of super powers bestowed by the goddess Athena.

The story takes several implausible turns, which are always explained by "godly powers." That's a danger embarking on this kind of story -- it's easy to not be overly creative when this crutch is readily available. I groaned at the end when, upon his death bed, Argos became the first dog to be welcomed into Elysium, the afterlife of heroes. Considering most of his heroics were god-augmented in the first place, this seemed to be a specious conclusion.

As a tale taking place in the world of Homer though, it's entertaining enough if you like the subject matter (which I do). You're just not going to get great literature out of the mouth of a dog, no matter how enchanted he might be.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:02 pm

Finished The Perfect Stroke by Jordan Marie

CC (Claudia Cooper) grew up under a garage-owning ex-hippie named banger when her mom split the town, and she kept a secret... she knew who her birth father is. When Banger died of cancer, she barely handled the bills, and was keeping the garage open with another mechanic called Jackson. But occasionally, she ventures hours away for a one-night stand, and it was a memorable night with a hunk. Except he showed up in town, purely by happenstance, when his car broke down yards away from her garage. But he's keeping secrets too. He is Greyson Lucas, best known for having a sex tape with his golf sponsor's daughter, but also plenty of talent. And one look at CC and he wanted her, period. CC could use a family too, but Grey is there to court the Rivertons, who could be his new sponsor. But courting the Rivertons means getting in touch with Tammi, who is obsessive about getting into Grey's pants and announce to the world she's his fiancee... And seems she has a history with CC as well... When Rivertons put pressure on CC, it would be Grey's family coming to their rescue...

Sex, sex, lots of sex. It's romantic comedy, and it was kinda fun until it got serious. 6 out of 8.

The bonus novel tacked on at the end was only kinda meh. Woman looking for lost brother takes dancer position at strip club, noticed by the boss, who basically ended up laying claim to her, except she's actually undercover cop. But her handler was a former dirty cop under the boss's payroll but became nemesis when he got dropped. Woman fell in love with boss and resists setting up the boss for something he didn't do. The ending didn't even make sense. The bad cop didn't get his karma, and they basically got married because she's pregnant. 3/8.

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Finished Love Unbroken: Diamond Creek Book 3 by J. H. Croix FREE on Amazon

Emma finally escaped the marriage from her horrible controlling husband, and ran all the way to Diamond Creek Alaska to be reunited with her blood sister and a fresh start, and be the only counselor in town. She thought herself too damaged for love and fear the return of her abusive ex-husband Greg and never dated until she met Trey, who's handsome, exciting, and a single father, as well as lawyer and wilderness pilot. Trey lost his wife and mother of his child to a sudden heart attack two years ago, and he was still hurting until he met Emma. And the two wearily dated each other, yet they cannot deny their attraction to each other. But when Greg showed up in town, Emma chose to push Trey away to protect him and his family, but Trey is not ready to let her self-destruct...

Not that tense until the end, and creepy stalker isn't... that creepy. But over all, not bad. 5.5 out of 8.

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Finished Beautifully Damaged by L. A. Fiore FREE on Prime Reading

Ember Walsh's mother died in a mysterious car crash when Ember was 3. She was raised a bit tomboyish, and will throw a punch if needed. While partying with her roomie at a bar, and a stranger got a bit too hands-on, she threw a punch. The drunkard was about to punch back, when she was saved by a tall gorgeous tattooed man... Trace Montgomery. Howeve,r Ember was not interested, as she was still recovering from a bad relationship wand warned off by several friends that Trace is a player. But when Trace keep reappearing in her life, she was very sorely tempted to change her mind. But Trace wasn't ready, as he believed himself to be unworthy of anything good in life, having failed someone when he was young. As Ember and Trace finally share their wounds, they found their pasts and their parents are inexorably linked together in ways they never suspected...

Surprisingly deep as it transitions from meet-cute to protector, the twists just keeps coming and romance turns into a mystery where the layers started peeling off. Was Ember's mom killed for doing something or knowing something she shouldn't? Who was the killer if that's so? A couple bits were a little too cute or convenient, IMHO, but it is worth 6.5/100 for sure.
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:24 am

Finished Escape from Zulaire by Veronica Scott FREE on Amazon

Andi Markriss was sent by her trade company to be a guest to the planetary high lord for one of the prince's wedding. So when the Sector Marine captain Tom Deverane barged it just before the event, intending to evacuate her ahead of the world-wide guerilla attack, she's not about to offend her hosts by running, no matter how urgent the captain insisted. Tom Deverane was counting down his days to retirement when HQ assigned him one-last-job... get this civilian back to the capital, instead of left alone in the middle of nowhere. Someone really has serious pull to get his marines on a babysiting mission... and his VIP was just so... beautiful. Then everything went to hell when the rebels attacked during the wedding. Blaster fire, explosions, everywhere. And Andi managed to get the captain to rescue two members of the royal family, as well as the head priest of the planet as they make their way out of the hot zone. Now it is a matter of survival when Tom fell ill, even as Andi found that the "rebellion" was instigated by off-planet alien saboteurs, who also supplied rebels with advanced weapons. Can they make it back to the capital?

Surprisingly competent scifi military adventure romance that was very competently plotted even though it has at least two parts of deus ex machina but they are hand-waved quite well that you don't really care. Characters flow naturally, and there are no too-stupid-to-live moments. 6.5 out of 8

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Finished Wedding Bands (River's Sigh B&B 1) by EV Bishop

Jo Kendall, ditched by her high school sweetheart Callum Archer, on the night they were supposed to elope, Jo left their small town, broken-hearted. Years later, Jo made a life for herself, centere don the outdoors fishing, and a fine dining restaurant, until her partner and husband embezzled all the money and left her broke and brokenhearted. When Jo learned that her uncle Ray had died and left her and her sister Sam the rural property, Jo returned to town, determined to build a new business, a B&B, and a permanent home, without help of a man... But Sam, ever the practical and pessimistic one, wanted her share in cash... and hired a lawyer to push... and the lawyer happens to be Callum, Jo's long-lost love. And Jo's NOT going to get the time to come up with the money, and she won't be able to borrow it with that bankruptcy from being cheated last time. So Jo puts on her charms for Callum... Can he find a way to save her dream? Is there a second chance for love?

Deeper and longer, with a bit of family drama between Jo and Sam (with a surprise guest coming in late in the book to setup for Book 2, and it's absolutely hilarious), the book is surprisingly easy and fun to read, at times funny, at times OMG, at times tear-jerking, this book is deeper than the simple premise. 6 out of 8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Bad Demographic » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:17 pm

Finished:
Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez --- 4.5 :binky:
Years after his peaceful conquest of Earth, Emperor (ret.) Warlord Mollusk is bored. When mysterious assassins target him, his interest is piqued. Accompanied by his faithful guard beast and a Venusian bodyguard, Mollusk sets out to find his assassins.

An okay light read but not one of Martinez's best.

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix --- 4.5 :binky:
In their sophomore year of high school, Abby River's best friend Gretchen begins to act very strangely. At first they think it's LSD flashbacks but Gretchen's cruelty to her friends leads Abby to suspect Gretchen is possessed and Abby seeks help from an exorcist.

Hendrix's first book, "Horrorstor" is quite good, this one not as much. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a book focused on high school girls.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:21 am

Finished With No Regrets by Julie N Ford

Finley divorced her husband Ken when she caught him with a fellow garden club member doing something very inappropriate on her Bernhardt sofa when she came back one day. Even since her family (esp. mama) was pressuring her to forgive, about shaming family in a public divorce, blah blah, until one day she had a melt-down in garden club meeting and exposed just about everybody's dirty laundry... in public, even though she's 40. Her only solace was her best friend Cathyanne, who had a bout with cancer already. And Cathyanne was determined to see Finley happy, whether it was with Finley's neighbor, the handsome and soulful country singer Quinton Towns on a career upswing, or the hunky personal trainer Sean that was 10 years younger. And Finley, with children grown, and no husband (any more), she may be finally ready to do something for herself... If she can get past her guilt of not fitting the mold and the self-doubt...

Very nice characterization of Finley and Cathyanne and their family, throwing plenty of shade around about expectations and blah blah. A bit slow at times, and a bit tear-jerking (Cathyanne's cancer came back) and Finley will have to make a choice: go back to Ken, take a lover in Sean, or accept Quinton? 6.5 out of 8

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Finished Third Time's the Charm by Liz Isaacson FREE on Amazon

Chelsea Ackerman is going home to Three Rivers Ranch in Texas after losing her fiancee... a second time, practically swearing off men forever. She did not count on falling for the most unavailable ranch hand on her ranch... the wounded Pete Marshall, left with a ton of scars from his time in service. He wanted to start Courage Reins, an equine therapy program at the ranch, and he didn't count on Chelsea's full support, or her deep psychic wounds she refused to talk about. Yet Pete does not want Chelsea's help, as he measured his self-worth in his own ability to provide... and he knew that he can't afford anything and everything Chelsea deserved. Will the two just admit they love each other already?

This book is billed as a "Christian Romance", which basically means other than kisses there are no sex scenes. There can't even be any inappropriate touching. Yet this book managed to fit in multiple genres, as this technically is a contemporary / Western / military / Christian romance, and it is pretty darn sappy at times, but the end just dragged on and on, with the two characters being as stubborn as mules sticking to their principles even when it's out of sheer ornerieness. She has money, but he won't take it. He loves her, but she believe she doesn't deserve it. Etc. etc. 5.5 out of 8

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Finished Perfect For You by Kate Perry FREE on Amazon

Freya, a graphics designer in San Francisco, has lost her mojo, and she needed it back when she landed the biggest account the firm had even got... for a top adult website. Determined to get her sexy back, she posted an online ad, hoping to find the right man to inspire her, but her little sister Anne had other plans... such as setting her up with her upstairs neighbor, Greg Cavanaugh. But Greg was everything Freya did not want... he's a playboy, and he's a lawyer, and the family sworn off lawyers when one of them destroyed their family and contributed to death of their parents (and death of Freya's dreams). But Greg really do make Freya feel alive... and inspired. That is, until Freya figured out she had been played... In the meanwhile, Anne falls for the downstairs neighbor... a chef named Max...

Kate Perry's tales are quite good when it's limited in scope and the chemistry made sense. This one hits all the right spots. 6 out of 8.
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Jeff V » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:04 pm

Winter in Chicago by David M. Hamlin :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

It's the mid-70's. Gerald Ford is president. AM radio is still king. And women have not yet been liberated enough to compete equally in the workplace without constant sexual harassment.

This is the backdrop for Winter in Chicago. Young Emily has a journalist degree, and is committed to making it work in a male-dominated field. Radio station WEL signs her as a part time news copywriter, and she begins the process of gaining favor with a somewhat hostile work place.

Then one day her morning commute was disrupted by a suicide. The victim turns out to be someone Emily knew well -- well enough to suspect this was not just some tragic act of depression. She starts digging into the story, and the path crosses some of the most powerful individuals in the city.

Maybe it's because I'm from this area, but it seems far too often, writers can't resist trying to include a travel log into their stories. One or two judicious drops of a landmark locals will know but outsiders wouldn't think to mention is all it takes to establish whatever "cred" you're seeking. This book has far too much of this -- someone not familiar with the territory is going to glaze over it at best or possibly be confounded by it.

Hidden puns are another thing. WEL is clearly a fictionalized WLS, the rock music powerhouse that began struggling around this time in the face of competition on the FM dial. WEL is at AM980, WLS is AM890 (and in one slip-up, 890 is actually printed in the story). The character "John Decker" is likely based on popular DJ John "Records" Landecker, and the aggressive District Attorney, Tommy Jamison, could be a fictionalized James Thompson (who, unlike the character in the book, would go on to become the longest running governor in Illinois history). That last one I think the play on names and physical description was the only thing in common with the actual person. I'm sure there were others I missed, if only because I was just 12 or 13 years old when this story took place.

The story otherwise is done well enough. Emily is a well-developed character and the drama in the radio station is one part WKRP and one part Office Space. Much of the story resonates with my recollections from that time, although it might just be planting false memories that seem plausible. I don't recall WLS ever being a serious source of news (at least not to the point where they were doing their own investigative stories) then again that's probably the sort of thing I wouldn't remember if they did. My only criticism of the story would be that everything predictably falls into place -- there's no shocking surprises.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:21 pm

Finished Her Soldier Boy by Kathleen Hope

Regan was working in the cafe when Daniel walked into her life. Daniel was guarded, reserved, barely sociable. Turns out he was Daniel Bernhardt, CMOH recipient for rescuing his tank crew from a fire at the risk of his own life, and he's in town looking for his ex-wife and his son. His wife dropped the divorce papers on him while he's unconscious in the hospital, and after months of therapy and rehab, he's back, and he can't find them, and he's here to meet his PI, but he also taken a liking to Regan, who was the only waitress to approach him. But Regan's supervisor, the senior waitress Flo, constantly said Daniel is bad news, being a soldier and all that. The two slowly fall for each other, then when Daniel finally found his son, he had to learn some devastating news that perhaps, he had been played all along...

The book is seriously lacking in karma. There are so many "evil" people in this book that did not get their karma it's f***ing depressing for the amount of **** they dished out. Flo the older waitress thinks any military guy is no good because her old ex used to beat her and was former military. Then by end of the book she got Regan fired for exacting a minor revenge: spilling coffee on Daniel's evil ex. Daniel's evil ex cheated on Daniel while he was in training and gotten pregnant, and told him the baby was his trying to get him to not go on deployment. Already mentioned earlier that she dropped off the divorce papers while he's unconscious. And for all this, there is no karma. 4/8

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Finished Second Chance Ranch by Liz Isaacson

Major Squire Ackerman got out of the military and went home to help manage the ranch so his parents can retire but what he really wanted is to go to Veterinary School. And he can't go when he realized the financial records were a mess... possibly over a million bucks are missing. And he put out an ad to hire an accountant... but the only one who answered as Kelly, the girl that rejected his high school prom invitation from way back when. Kelly filed for divorce and move back to her parent's place with a 4-year old son in tow, trying to figure out her place in life, and she had a masters in accounting. Squire wanted to forgive Kelly and make a second go at it, but with the old wounds, and a million bucks missing from the ranch accounts, it will take more than a bit of persistence and a lot of faith to make that happen, even if Kelly is willing...

Actually a lot of fun push and pull as they are forced to stick together to figure out the mess, even as they each tell "I can't get involved"... Kelly is bitter about her own divorce, Squire is bitter about his bitterness, his dreams, and heck, he applied for Vet school without telling her, thus opening up that "trust issue". Not to mention they had to find the money. 5.5 out of 8

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Finished Christmas on the Last Frontier by J. H. Croix FREE on Amazon

Gage Hamilton is an ex-SEAL in Diamond Creek Alaska to resurrect his dream: Get the Last Frontier Lodge, a ski lodge that had been closed for a decade, back open. That's when he ran into Marley Adams, another Diamond Creek girl coming home. She was traumatized by a home invasion robbery at her Seattle residence that she had go home. Both were too busy at their respective jobs to date, and both felt the sizzle between them, but neither know quite sure how to proceed. But when it appears whatever menaced Marley had followed her to Diamond Creek, and Christmas coming up, can Gage and his friends keep Marley safe? Will there be a kiss under the mistletoe at last?

Not a bad complication to the sexual tension, about a home robbery. Not a can't put down, but everything's competent. 6 out of 8

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Finished Dirty: Ex-Navy SEAL Romance by Stephanie B. Nixon

Vincent is getting out of the SEALs and going back to Idaho to farm, to face the grump Pa, because Ma's gone and he promised her he'll go back. At the going-away party he picked up Tululah, who's not feeling anything for her BF (and they're only together because he's an attorney at her daddy's place, and she's the responsible one) and she decided to have a one-night stand. They had a great night... but they forgot the condom. Three months later, Lula found she's pregnant, and somehow she found Vincent's address... and decided to pay him a personal visit...

Way too many ancillary plot threads left hanging by the end of the book (what about the farm? how about relationship with Pa? How about Vincent's sister and her side business? How about the wedding Lula was supposed to go to? How about....) the book just reads unfinished. 3/8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:05 am

Finished One Last Hold by Angela Smith FREE on Amazon

Wesley Webb was doing great in NASCAR when his chief rival, one that put him into the wall in the last turn of the race, was murdered hours after their confrontation. Evidence found by the police seem to point at him as a prime suspect. And now he's under siege from the press, esp. from Caitlyn Daniels, a girl he grew up with, and was there at his greatest tragedy, then broke his heart by leaving. Now she's back as a reporter, but what she wanted was forgiveness and closure. But is that possible when every look reminded her how good they were together? As they try to solve the death of Wesley's rival, they found some secrets that some people did not want known that reaches back more than two decades...

The secrets they discovered starts to turn really really weird, about twin, identity swap, sons and stepsons, alternate identities, and ended with a double kidnapping and rescue. Mystery wasn't actually that bad, and it's a clever high concept. But somehow it felt as if the book switched gears as the mystery got bigger and bigger. 6 out of 8?

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Finished Meant to Be by Terri Osburn FREE on Prime Reading

Beth Chandler spent her life pleasing everybody except herself. She went to law school to please her grandparents. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend Lucas to please him. And despite her acute fear of boats she took a ferry to see Lucas' parents to please them. During a panic attack on the ferry, a tall handsome stranger came to her rescue, talked her down from her fear, and made her feel something for herself... Only to panic once more... as the stranger is none other than Lucas' older brother Joe. She was already betrothed to Lucas, so there can be no future with Joe, even if Lucas left her on her own at her parent's house on Anchor Island, i.e. more worried about his work than her. And Joe knew that as well. Then Joe's evil ex came back to town for revenge, ready with her daddy's huge budget just to mess with everybody on the island... all to get back at Joe... and Beth is in the crosshairs too. Beth must choose between her expectations, and her heart.

Quite a bit of fun to read, there are so many sitcom-worthy uncomfortable situations and hidden agendas to have you ROFL. FMC was boneless drunk and romp through MMC's room (after he brought her back) and she kinda tried on his cologne on her cleavage, threw up in the sink, and passed out. He had to help strip her (vomit!) and tuck her into bed. Imagine the temptation! And the cliche "Didn't remember a thing next morning" but a panic that something *did* happen... but what? And author managed to get the secondary characters enough to do without being blatantly dropped later (and those characters will be main characters in later novels). 6.5 / 8 (due to a bit on the long side at 340+ pages)
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:40 pm

Finished Montana Cowboy by Debra Solonen FREE on Amazon

Austen Zabrinski is not a cowboy, but an up-and-coming politician in Helena, but a scandal and a frame job means he was disgraced and forced to go home to Marietta to his family ranch... and met his neighbor Serena James. Serena was a California girl, but an online stalker that seem to know her every move forced her to move all the way to Montana with her beloved alpacas when escrow on a farm she wanted to buy fell through. Now she's alone in Montana and cut off with just a burner phone... and having the hots for her landlord's absentee brother that came for a visit. Austen thought he enjoyed the politics and the spotlight, but the framejob left him disillusioned even as others tried to clear his name. Serena thought a tryst with Austen may be a good way to get to know Montana, but one taste of Austen and she wanted more, even though he may be heading back out to Helena...

At only 160+ pages, it's kinda fun fast read where Serena knows exactly what she wanted and Austen was willing to give it to her... even in the alpaca barn. 6/8

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Finished Deadly Target by Leslie Johnson and Elle Dawson FREE on Amazon

Mia is an ordinary world in an ordinary job when she got a call from her mother saying goodbye. She got freaked and went home, and her mother entrusted her to some secrets and a safe deposit box... then told her to hide. Soon her mother was killed and she fled to retrieve the box... what was in it and why? At the same time Jaxson was given an order to retrieve the content of a safe deposit box by his handler, a matter of national security... It happens to be the SAME BOX that Mia was getting. Jax just lost his wife a few months ago to cancer, and somehow sight of this girl stirred him like no other, so he did not get rough with her, until a third-party broke in and fought them for the content of the box, but Jax and Mia managed to escape together, only to be continually tracked as Jax helped Mia get away from one group of bad guys then another. Then they got the news... terrorists attacks at multiple airports just ahead of the great world peace summit. Mia and Jax are thrown together, with instructions on retrieving another safe deposit box south of the border, as they realize they need each other... But what will they find and how was it linked to the summit?

Actually not a bad thriller but again, the bad guys are just omniscient in finding the good guys again and again. Heck, they even threw in a waterboarding scene for the grand finale. 5.5 out of 8.

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Finished Break the Rules by Claire Boston FREE on Amazon

Bridget was very good at her job of safety supervisor at an oil refinery but constantly frustrated by management's lack of enthusiasm and unwillingness to spend money. Then she learned that instead of being promoted to the management position, that is going to a new guy. She drowned her sorrows at a club, and met the newly arrived Jack, and they had a memorable one-night stand. She discovered to her horror that Jack is that new boss she'll be reporting to on Monday. Jack had no problem picking up where that one-night-stand left off, but Bridget was horrified as she had a VERY VERY nasty experience with workplace romance that she took blame for and was almost blackballed from the industry. But they cannot deny their attraction to each other...

The multiple layers of tension and conflict was done pretty well. Bridget was facing multiple problems, like management doesn't listen to woman, team members whisper behind her back, and can't get involved with fellow workers, esp. boss. Needless to say, Bridget will save the day by the end of the novel. 6.5 out of 8.

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Finished Make Him Wild by Christie Ridgway FREE on Amazon

Alessandra needed to get the cottage at Tanti Baci winery renovated to serve as the wedding venue/guesthouse as a part of her plan to keep the winery running. When her contractor ran for Oregon for a better paying gig, she was forced to accept help from Penn Bennett, star of popular TV home renovation show. But Penn Bennett hated her, and called her "nun of Napa", believing her to be an excellent manipulator. But Alessandra did carry a torch for her former fiancee for five years... He had cancer, and it was in remission, and they were about to marry, but hours before the wedding his heart gave out, and she never recovered. Penn did find Alex irresistible... for teasing, and he was just visiting as he found out he was illegitimate son of a winery tycoon, neighbor of the Baci sisters. He was also in town to get away from the fact that his girlfriend emptied his house of all valuables as well as his bank account... Now they will try to get the cottage ready for a wedding... If there will be a wedding...

Ouch, that's one tear-jerker of a backstory for Alex, and how Penn will just do anything to annoy her, not believe she was that naive. But eventually they turned into lovers. The darkest hour was pretty bad. But the grand gesture... Really? Dunking booth? 7/8
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:56 pm

Finished Hita: Princesses of Silicon Valley 3 by Anita Claire

Hita grew up in America and wanted to be an American girl, making her choices on who to love, but her mom's busy arranging her to meet all the eligible Indian men to marry. She's bright, she's a coder, and she loves sex as any other American girl, only to find that love and job in Silicon Valley is much more complicated than she had ever imagined. But she had the backup of her college friends, all known as princesses due to their Halloween costumes. And as Hita went for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong men, including cooking disasters, visit with the man-child, and one-time fling with her friend's BF that she regretted almost instantly, while dealing with work, her friends' various dramas, her gaming life, and her own dating disasters, she realized that perhaps the perfect match may have been someone close to her all along...

Surprisingly accurate portrayal of Silicon Valley life and a girl's part in the whole thing, the additional pressure of being Indian-American and have your parents out arranging what are essentially blind intros for you and "asking" you go to on basically blind dates can be... interesting indeed. 6.5 out of 8

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Finished The Convenient Mail Order Bride by Ruth Ann Nordin FREE on Amazon

Phoebe answered a mail-order bride ad and travelled to the frontier (with her mom) to make a new life because their living arrangement was at an end at the city. It was to her surprise and dismay that her groom-to-be Abe was not the one who placed the ad, or even wanted to marry! It was a plan by Abe's chief rival Carl, who's actually his half brother but mortal enemy, to take the land from Abe, hoping it will distract Abe. Abe did not want a wife, but there's no stage coach going back for three weeks. Abe is not only half-native American, he's illegitimate son (and half-brother to Carl). Carl hated Abe for all that he is... that Abe's mother "stole" his father from him, while Abe hated Carl for only wanted to take the land from him to pan for gold that probably does not exist and he's tired of being pushed around all his life and life of his uncle and mother by evil white men. And when he was ten, his uncle was killed by a roaming bandit named Carter in front of him. So he didn't have time nor the inclination to keep Phoebe and her mom around. But Phoebe saw through the scruff exterior and saw an honorable man, and wanted a chance to prove that having a woman cook and clean and other will be the best thing that happen to him...

Not a bad twist on the mail order bride stories, many of which are getting trope-ish. This one was actually kinda cool with a reluctant groom, and a bride with nowhere to go, but is NOT desperate. Heck, she even learned how to shoot a revolver, plus all the frontier stuff like setting traps and skinning rabbits, in addition to the womanly stuff. And yes, there will be sex. This is not one of those Christian romances. 6/8

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Finished Yours Completely by Krista Lakes

Essentially a retelling of Cinderlla as modern romance, set in a hotel/resort, with a couple interesting twists on the tale.

Ella will inherit the resort if she was willing to work there, but her (evil) stepmother Dolores is doing everything she can to make her quit, including working long hours, minimal pay, do the dirty work (like scrubbing horses), refuse to pay for proper maintenance, and it's obviously NEVER her fault but Ella's. Oh, and let's make sure Ella can NEVER outshine her little stepsister Alison. But karma has a way when Jace Connors ran into the horse barn, begging to hide away from the crazy girls intending to "help" him out of his cloths as a part of bachelorette prank from a wedding behing held at the resort. Ella mistakens Jace as the groom (he's actually groom's older brother) and refused to kiss him despite obvious attraction between the two, while Dolores sends Alison to seduce Jace as well (but Alison didn't really want to). When airlines ruined the wedding dress of the bride, Ella offered her mother's wedding dress as substitute, earning the bride's undying gratitude... and even further scorn from Dolores, esp. when the bride insisted Ella be their liaison...

Basically one thing and another, eventually lead to the dance, then the evil stepmother came up with a plan to separate them... Only to have some intervention by (spoiler!). Not bad, actually, as you wonder how was the author going to make a parallel situation without being too obvious. 6 out of 8.

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Finished Montana Cowboy by Riley Moreno FREE on Amazon

One-time movie star Jason Walker had to return to Montana to take over his father's ranch, which he just inherited. The ranch was found to be in financial trouble that the trusted family lawyer advised Jason to sell to the neighbor, Tamasin Fleming, who turned out to be a BBBW (that's black, big, and beautiful woman) who inherited from her daddy as well. Tamasin refused to partner, preferring to buy Jason out, and Jason refused, creating a bit of enmity. But Jason realized something was wrong and started auditing records... someone had been stealing cattle from the ranch and selling them cheap to Tamasin's ranch. When Tamasin found out, she was contrite as she did not know, but should have suspected. It also happened that Jason had tried to date online and a blind date ended up being Tamasin, and they had a drink and actually and a relatively pleasant time together. Together, they will solve the problem and perhaps, actually merge the operation in proper partnership, while they enjoy each other's company... intimately.

Not that much tension between the two once the hostility were worked out. 4.5 out of 8.

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Finished Falling Star by Kara Kinsley FREE on Amazon

Melissa just had her heart horribly broken and the proposal she had engineered backfired in her face... her man just admitted to be in love with someone else. She ran all the way home back to her ranch in Montana, even though she's a city girl. And there, she was teased by various cowboys, except for one, Jason. But the recently jilted heart will require a lot of healing a trust to accept Jason's attention...

Not that bad, but not that memorable either. 5 out of 8

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Rumpy » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:58 pm

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore.

Graham Moore wrote The Imitation Game. I didn't read the book, but greatly enjoyed the movie, so I was excited to read his follow up. This is the story Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse and their battle to electrify America. It's really good. Greatly enjoyed reading this one. And being made into a movie called The Current War starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Edison), Micheal Shannon (Westinghouse). Though if the movie follows the book any, you see very little of Edison as it focuses more on Westinghouse.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/283 ... s-of-night
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:40 pm

Finished All of Me by Leanna Morgan FREE on Amazon

Tess was a kind soul. When she read about a couple having their possessions stolen 2 weeks ahead of their wedding, including 4 bridesmaid dresses, she wanted to help as among her and three friends, they have 22 different bridesmaid dresses they can donate. But to find the couple, Tess had to befriend the person she can least afford to get close to... Local reporter Logan. Because Tess has a huge secret that she cannot afford to expose. Logan was a do-gooder too, until an assignment in Afghanistan left him with PTSD and got him to move to middle of nowhere... Montana. And was forced to left a lot of things undone there. Now brought together, Tess and Logan must confront their pasts if they are to have a future together...

Actually a pretty good book with secrets and betrayals and redemption and all that. Though the last parts has a bit of tell not show. 6 out of 8

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Finished Married in Montana by Kirsten Osbourne FREE on Amazon

Savannah is tired of dating scene even though she wanted marriage and children, and to force her mother to move on with her life, Savannah went to see a matchmaker... who specializes in couples who only meet each other for the first time... at the altar, minutes from getting married. And Savannah met Scott, and he is handsome, and rich, and nice... but almost clueless about woman. Scott was a childhood friend of this matchmaker, and Scott can't date for his life. Savannah was a dream come true, but can she keep her when they are so different? He's a Montana bison rancher and country boy, she's a East Coast school teacher and city girl. And they literally know nothing about each other before they wed. Can such a marriage last... if they get past the first few bumpy weeks? And what sort of faux pas will Scott commit in the meanwhile that drives Savannah up the wall?

Kinda updated version of mail order bride (instead of the lame "email order bride" or even "youtube bride") this one was kinda short lesson on how to get to know your spouse despite the initial "how would that ever work?" reaction. 6/8

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Finished Call it Even by Edwin Marham FREE on Amazon

Robbie Bowman was a US Army veteran haunted by some of the missions he underwent in Iraq and Afghanistan. His sister ran away when young and his parents are dead. When he was discharged, he and nobody, so he was just wandering through the country kinda like Rambo did. Just as he was leaving a small town in New Mexico, he was suddenly taken into custody with no further details. Through the questioning by two New Mexico State Police detectives, he figured out that he was being held for questioning for murder of a mother and her young daughter at night, only blocks from here he spent the night in a motel. He was released but also questioned by DEA agent out of Santa Fe, as the mother and daughter were family of the local DEA agent Walker that made a huge bust recently. Cops believe this was done by "El Chaco" and his group of mercenaries as intimidation and warning. Bowman realized this was the group that tried to recruit him two days ago as he walked toward the town. As he walked west, he came upon a seemingly abandoned mining camp, then noticed another man attacking to camp. He killed 3 mercs before he was taken down, then was shot in the head. The bad guys then left. Robbie went down, found Walker seriously wounded but not dead. He performed first aid and then ran back to town (20+ miles) to summon help, and the cops were glad for his assistance as DEA, State Police, and more formed a tactical unit and called air ambulance to save Walker. Later, when Bowman recovered, fed, and thoroughly thanked, he went in a different direction, and was recruited by the same folks before... This time he went along, to infiltrate the place from the inside...

A pretty decently plotted clone of Jack Reacher with a lone guy doing the knight errant type thing. The problem is his plotting didn't quite ebb and flow , and he didn't quite rachet up the tension at the end for the dramatic finish, and the ending was drawn out. 5.5 out of 8.
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:55 pm

Finished Wishing in Wisconsin by Kirsten Osbourne

Part of the At the Altar series, this one sets Cindy, owner of a B&B in Wisconsin, blindly matched with Trey, a web developer from Texas. The premise is the psychologist prescreen the candidates and match them up, but neither knew about the other and they meet at the altar, where they get married immediately. Cindy grew up in the town and there are no eligible bachelors around she'd marry while running her B&B. Trey on the other hand, was tired of his crazy sister's plan to match him up with every OTHER crazy girl she can get her hands on back in Texas, and she had been doing this since she was a teenager. So as Trey settled into his life in Wisconsin (as a web developer he can work anywhere) Cindy started to learn about the quirks (like Trey prefers to work in just his boxers). Then Trey's crazy sister showed up with a girl in tow insisting that's the right girl for Trey, despite Trey having already married...

Not much of a darkest hour or grand gesture, the sister was just too crazy to begin with to be a viable threat. 4/8.

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Finished Lazy Love by Kirsten Osbourne FREE on Amazon

Valerie is the star of popular TV series "Lazy Love" and her chemistry with her onscreen BF Jesse was off the charts. Off screen, Valerie has a boyfriend of 8 years... but that's just on the surface. In reality, Valerie was terrified of her boyfriend, who had physically and emotionally abused her, basically taken over her life, often in jealous rage, then contrite and asked to be forgiven the next day. When she finally had enough (after he threw a vase just missing her head) and broke up, her co-star dragged her off to Vegas and get married, partly to head off any negative publicity the ex-BF could generate at the tabloids, but partly because Jesse had pined after his co-star for YEARS, and those on-screen kisses aren't fake, at least on his part. Can such a relationship work? Will Val realize how much Jess loved her?

The crazy ex was portrayed so negatively, but there wasn't much tension in the story. Once they got married, it's pretty much "let's go attend this, let's go film that, let's give an interview" and she slowly came to the realization how could I have missed his intentions for so long? 5/8

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Finished The Montana McKennas Prequel by Maddie James / Jan Scarbrough FREE on Amazon

James is a widower trying to raise 2 kids, Parker and Callie after his wife died of cancer. A blind date had him met Liz and her son Brody from a previous marriage (technically, she got pregnant first, by a cowboy, who married her, only to divorce her eight years later) and they were both interested. Then James got Liz pregnant... but Liz refused to marry him just "to make things right"... Can they successfully blend their families together? (Also sets up the four bother, sister, half-sister, and step-brother for their own romances later)

Nice short little novella, 5.5 out of 8

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Unagi » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:00 pm

I'm sorry - but just how many books have you read in 2017 already KC? Over 30?

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by A nonny mouse » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:06 pm

Unagi wrote:I'm sorry - but just how many books have you read in 2017 already KC? Over 30?
this should be changed to "brief book reviews" since there isn't a whole lot of reading going on. At least I don't consider audio as reading. but the synopses are good.
I find television very educational. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Jeff V » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:28 pm

A nonny mouse wrote:At least I don't consider audio as reading.
Why not? Just because someone besides the voice in your head is enunciating the words?

Sometimes science and history books are more difficult to listen to than they are to read (and yes, I realize this does not apply to KC). Missing various charts, graphs and illustrations is bothersome at times. Audiobooks are often slower, as well. The book I'm listening to now is almost 1300 pages in print and the audio version is over 48 hours long. I'm pretty sure I could read the print faster. But audiobooks do leverage time spent doing things like driving or exercise - otherwise wasted time.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by xenocide » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:17 pm

I've never actually kept track before, should be interesting.

Finished Audio:

Divergent by Veronica Roth - I've read a few YA series (for example: Love Harry Potter -- really liked Partials and Hunger Games -- Uglies was ok). This one didn't do it for me. Will not be continuing the series.

Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia - I've never read a book by Correia I didn't like. His books are just plain fun to read. This is book 5 of the MHI books. Book 4 while still good was the weakest of the series IMO. This one was great, one of my favorites of the series.

Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns - Book 1 by Kevin J. Anderson - Heavy on world building and character, a little light on action. Amazon reviews are mixed but I enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading more in this series.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia
The Lost Fleet: Relentless by Jack Campbell
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Warbound (The Grimnoir Chronicles Book 3) by Larry Correia
Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Timebound (The Chronos Files Book 1) by Rysa Walker
Sundiver (Uplift Trilogy Book 1) by David Brin
The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne Book 1) by Brian Staveley
The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne Book 2) by Brian Staveley
The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne Book 3) by Brian Staveley
Red Rising (The Red Rising Series, Book 1) by Pierce Brown
Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory
The Butcher of Khardov (The Warcaster Chronicles) by Dan Wells
A Forest of Stars: The Saga of the Seven Suns Book 2 by Kevin J. Anderson
Horizon Storms: The Saga of Seven Suns Book 3 by Kevin J. Anderson
Prince of Thorns: The Broken Empire Book 1 by Mark Lawrence
The Last Colony: Old Man's War Book 3 by John Scalzi
Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden by Jack Vance
The Lost Fleet: Victorious by Jack Campbell
King of Thorns: The Broken Empire Book 2 by Mark Lawrence
Monster Hunter Siege by Larry Correia
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Scattered Suns: The Saga of Seven Suns - Book #4 by Kevin J Anderson
Of Fire and Night: The Saga of Seven Suns - Book #5 by Kevin J Anderson
Golden Son: Red Rising Series Book #2 by Pierce Brown
The Eye of the World: Wheel of Time Book #1 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #2 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #3 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #4 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #5 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #6 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #7 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #8 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #9 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #10 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #11 by Robert Jordan
Wheel of Time Book #12 by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Wheel of Time Book #13 by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson



Finished Kindle/Book:

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
The Devil's Only Friend (John Cleaver) by Dan Wells
Eisenhorn (A Warhammer 40,000 Omnibus) by Dan Abnett
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon
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Did Not Finish:

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley at 62%
Last edited by xenocide on Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:57 am, edited 14 times in total.

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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Holman » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:30 pm

A nonny mouse wrote:
Unagi wrote:I'm sorry - but just how many books have you read in 2017 already KC? Over 30?
this should be changed to "brief book reviews" since there isn't a whole lot of reading going on. At least I don't consider audio as reading. but the synopses are good.
I do 97% of my reading on paper, and I have a mixed relationship to audiobooks. Good prose is good on the ear (last year I painted half my house while listening to The Lord of the Rings on CD, and it was great fun), but weak writing is made even worse by hearing it aloud.

My thing is that I refuse to go far with a mediocre book. Maybe audiobooks would help me identify the bad ones faster, but I usually don't get into anything without having some sense (reviews, reputation, intuition) that it will be worth the time. With a completely unknown writer, the first five pages are enough to tell whether they have any talent.
Last edited by Holman on Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books Read 2017

Post by Kasey Chang » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:56 pm

Unagi wrote:I'm sorry - but just how many books have you read in 2017 already KC? Over 30?
Two to three per day, so 30 may be conservative. :) I'm finding, uh... I've downloaded 101 books since January 1st. Haven't read all of them, of course. :) Some of the books are free and really short, some of them I can't finish as it's slow as heck or just so dark and repulsive I can't finish either. :) I think I have about a dozen books I have on hold as I got too bored listening to them.
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