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What books are you currently reading?


Books

6,451 to 6,476 of 6,476 << first < prev | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 | 126 | 127 | 128 | 129 | 130 | next > last >>

Just finished Divergent by Veronica Roth and am waiting with baited breath for Closer to Home: Book one of Herald Spy by Mercedes Lackey to get released in October (I think, or was it Nov?) It's pre-ordered.


Man, I totally forgot about Dilvish, the Damned and The Changing Land, not to mention Jack of Shadows... and My Name is Legion... damn, Zelazny was good.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Man, I totally forgot about Dilvish, the Damned and The Changing Land, not to mention Jack of Shadows... and My Name is Legion... damn, Zelazny was good.

Jack of Shadows is the first Zelazny book I remember reading. My hometown library had a copy. I haven't read it in years. Bet it isn't as good as I remember.

But damn it hooked me, way back when. "Jack Whose Name is Spoken in Shadow".


Yeah, I re-read it recently and, while I still love a lot of the ideas, it's not quite all I remembered it being. Still, how do you not love the Dung Pits of Glyve? And the Compact?


This summer I sat down and read pretty much all of Iain M. Bank's Culture novels (I have not received Excession or Player of Games from the library yet). I was impressed by the novels. I'd read Consider Phlebas a year or so ago and thought it was okay, but wasn't really grabbed by it. Digging back into the series of the books was a very good idea and I'm glad I did it. I've also found that the books tend to get even better on reflection and would highly recommend them to anyone interested in "big idea" speculative fiction.

Also Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath is the best name for a ship.

Qadira

Sissyl wrote:
Thing about Zelazny is that he's clinically unable to make a decent ending for his stories. I forgive him that because the trip there is so much fun. Also, it is always a good thing to remember who is telling the story. Seconded that the first five books outshine the second five. The absolute cream of the crop for me was #2, the Guns of Avalon.

I read like 15 Stephen King books, so believe you me I know the pain of an author who just doesn't know how and when to finish his stories. I don't think I can ever forgive about 80% of the last book in the Dark Tower.

But when I think about it, most writers are kinda bad with endings. The solid, satisfying ending of Otherland is one of the best things about it (because when have we ever seen a good ending to such a long story?), and one of the things I like most about Sanderson is that his endings are simply fantastic. My greatest wish in regards to books right now is that Martin can pull off a good finish for A Song of Ice and Fire.


Lord Snow wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Thing about Zelazny is that he's clinically unable to make a decent ending for his stories. I forgive him that because the trip there is so much fun. Also, it is always a good thing to remember who is telling the story. Seconded that the first five books outshine the second five. The absolute cream of the crop for me was #2, the Guns of Avalon.

I read like 15 Stephen King books, so believe you me I know the pain of an author who just doesn't know how and when to finish his stories. I don't think I can ever forgive about 80% of the last book in the Dark Tower.

But when I think about it, most writers are kinda bad with endings. The solid, satisfying ending of Otherland is one of the best things about it (because when have we ever seen a good ending to such a long story?), and one of the things I like most about Sanderson is that his endings are simply fantastic. My greatest wish in regards to books right now is that Martin can pull off a good finish for A Song of Ice and Fire.

I'm just going to say that whatever complaints some might have about Zelazny's ending, it's nothing like the abomination that was the end of the Dark Tower. Though for me that started nosediving a book or so earlier and just kept getting worse.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:

Another obstacle to more reading.

I hope the books will forgive me while I nerdgasm and try not to be too creepy where Eric Foner might see.

I'm not sure what it means, but coolio.

I think it's funny to mock myself over how much I'm into Eric Foner. :) I'm taking an online course "from" him, but it's really lectures he recorded last year.

...now if I actually met Foner in person. Yeah, that would be horribly awkward. But maybe I would get a nerd tan off his historian halo.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:

While I love the first five Amber novels, the first Zelazny I like to recommend is Lord of Light.

I love what I've read of Zelazny, which sadly isn't enough. Amber has been something I've been meaning to look into for years now. I may just try and find a collection of his works, surely there has to be something available.

Lord of Light is actually sitting about two books from the top of my "to read" pile at the moment, and the only reason it's not at the top right now is that the first two books are ones I borrowed from a coworker. So as soon as I finish re-reading The First Law trilogy, it's on to those ones.

Going to read The Book Thief first, because I'm assured that it's a very quick read... then I'm diving into Gardens of the Moon, first book of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I'm told that may take a while.


Samnell wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:

Another obstacle to more reading.

I hope the books will forgive me while I nerdgasm and try not to be too creepy where Eric Foner might see.

I'm not sure what it means, but coolio.
I think it's funny to mock myself over how much I'm into Eric Foner. :) I'm taking an online course "from" him, but it's really lectures he recorded last year.

The latter is what I wasn't sure about. Coolioolio.

Anyone can watch, or you gotta sign up?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


The latter is what I wasn't sure about. Coolioolio.

Anyone can watch, or you gotta sign up?

Ah I see. It started today, but yeah it's free and open to the general public. Not sure if you can still register, but it's all of filling out an online form. There's talk about photo ID and crap, but as long as you audit it doesn't actually ask for that.


Well, let's see. I read Amber, Lord of light, Eye of Cat, To die in Italbar, The dream master... probably something more. It isn't that the endings are particularly bad, it's more that they aren't really endings. I have just never felt any of his endings were spectacular. In several books, it feels like he just didn't resolve the storyline, one just simply stopped. But, as I said, all of them are worth reading despite this. That IS a pretty high mark for an author, I'd say. Lord of light ranks among my absolute favourite books.


thejeff wrote:
I'm just going to say that whatever complaints some might have about Zelazny's ending, it's nothing like the abomination that was the end of the Dark Tower. Though for me that started nosediving a book or so earlier and just kept getting worse.

King writing himself in was a bonehead move, and most of Song of Susannah was filler, but still, not egregiously awful yet. And the first third or so of the last book, up until

Spoiler:
Eddie gets snuffed
was the high point of fantasy, IMHO -- an incredible culmination of an awesome series. When I re-read the series, I just stopped reading there and was really, really happy!

The middle third

Spoiler:
Actually, up until he enters the Tower itself
is sooooooooooooooooooooo baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad that it makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

The very ending? I was actually fine with that.


I lost interest in Amber after just a few books. Zelazny seemed to have said all he had to say therein, and proceeded to wander around milking it after that. (The whole "my creation is the real world" always smacked more than a little of pretension to me, so I don't remember it as fondly as some others.) I feel the same about Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, one of the biggest cash cows/best gimmicks in fantasy history.

Shadow Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm just going to say that whatever complaints some might have about Zelazny's ending, it's nothing like the abomination that was the end of the Dark Tower. Though for me that started nosediving a book or so earlier and just kept getting worse.

King writing himself in was a bonehead move, and most of Song of Susannah was filler, but still, not egregiously awful yet. And the first third or so of the last book, up until ** spoiler omitted ** was the high point of fantasy, IMHO -- an incredible culmination of an awesome series. When I re-read the series, I just stopped reading there and was really, really happy!

The middle third ** spoiler omitted ** is sooooooooooooooooooooo baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad that it makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

The very ending? I was actually fine with that.

This is really kind of how I felt about the whole thing. Song of Susannah was my least favorite of the entire series. All the more annoying because it came right on the heels of my most favorite, Wolves of the Calla, and because I likewise loved the first half of the final book.


Jaelithe wrote:
I lost interest in Amber after just a few books. Zelazny seemed to have said all he had to say therein, and proceeded to wander around milking it after that. (The whole "my creation is the real world" always smacked more than a little of pretension to me, so I don't remember it as fondly as some others.)

Heh. The funny thing is that Amber turned out not to be the "real" world either. Before the creation of the Pattern, there was Chaos, and in particular the Courts of Chaos, which could project shadows just as well as Amber. I think that the pretension was on the part of the princes of Amber.

Anyway, I don't know how many "a few" is, but my favorite volume was "The Hand Of Oberon". I couldn't put that one down. I mean that. I'm a very slow reader, yet I finished that book in under a day. Even when people were watching TV (which I generally find distracting) and urging me to watch that TV show, I couldn't take my eyes off "The Hand of Oberon". (And it was a busy day, when I was supposed to be studying for my final exams. Ah well.)

And my hair stood up when I found out that...

(WARNING: This is a major, MAJOR spoiler!!! Don't click on it if you haven't read the book. I mean it.)

The Hand of Oberon:
...Ganelon was really Oberon. I'm sure that Zelazny hadn't planned this when he had written "The Guns of Avalon", but that he had when he wrote "The Sign of the Unicorn".


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Never having read a Zelazny book myself, all I have to offer is a

Musical Interlude


I'll have to admit that I read "Lord of Light" only once, and don't remember too much from it. Could someone explain to me what that song has to do with the novel?

For those of you who can't watch YouTube (because it's blocked at your place of work, or something) the lyrics are:

The elements that gather here upon this hill
Shall cast no fear
Of lines that match across the world for travel
Which no man has ever heard
The moon that shines it's beam so bright
Of stones that measure the silvery light
Of energy that travels here
It happens on the seventh year.
A day shall come, we shall be as one
Perhaps the Dying has begun
From the realms beyond the sun
Here our lifetime has begun

Maybe this is supposed to be the original colonists planning to make themselves gods?


De Rotlösa (literalal translation: The Rootless) by Marcus Olausson. First in a fantasy trilogy by one of my brother's workmates.

40 pages in, the main impressions are that it's nice to read a fantasy novel with a genuine Nordic nomenclature, and the publisher need a stricter editor.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Finished The Death of King Arthur; or, Knights of the Round Table Make Terrible Decisions Despite Copious Good Advice, Including from Angels, and Then Die Full of Regrets. It was pleasant to trade the extreme gore of The Song of Roland for laments about love and the cruelty of fate, but in the interest of trimming down my meat books, off to the library book sale it goes. Now on to The Ecclesiastical History of the English People!


Aaron Bitman wrote:

I'll have to admit that I read "Lord of Light" only once, and don't remember too much from it. Could someone explain to me what that song has to do with the novel?

Having never read it, I, alas, cannot.

In fact, I would have been willing to chalk it up to coincidence, but I did read somewhere on the internet that the song was inspired by the book...but maybe it was just the acid.


Aaron Bitman wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
I lost interest in Amber after just a few books. Zelazny seemed to have said all he had to say therein, and proceeded to wander around milking it after that. (The whole "my creation is the real world" always smacked more than a little of pretension to me, so I don't remember it as fondly as some others.)

Heh. The funny thing is that Amber turned out not to be the "real" world either. Before the creation of the Pattern, there was Chaos, and in particular the Courts of Chaos, which could project shadows just as well as Amber. I think that the pretension was on the part of the princes of Amber.

Anyway, I don't know how many "a few" is, but my favorite volume was "The Hand Of Oberon". I couldn't put that one down. I mean that. I'm a very slow reader, yet I finished that book in under a day. Even when people were watching TV (which I generally find distracting) and urging me to watch that TV show, I couldn't take my eyes off "The Hand of Oberon". (And it was a busy day, when I was supposed to be studying for my final exams. Ah well.)

And my hair stood up when I found out that...

(WARNING: This is a major, MAJOR spoiler!!! Don't click on it if you haven't read the book. I mean it.)

** spoiler omitted **

I don't know if I'd call the Amber books spectacular, but I definitely found them entertaining as well. I think what made them work was that they were each fairly short for fantasy novels. Just a nice story without much proselytizing on any particular subject.


Done with Melville (poor Billy!), Swords and Ice Magic and halfway through The Lost World. Was gonna continue straight on into The Knight and Knave of Swords, but I think I'm gonna have to re-read Comrade Lenin's "Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder for the umpteenth time for next weekend's Regional Branch.

[Rest of the post redacted due to democratic centralism]


Shadow of the Wolf, by Chris Carlsen. Didn't like it much; was expecting cheesy sub-sub Conan and got thoroughly overripe sub-sub-sub Conan atrocity porn.

Qadira

Kirth Gersen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm just going to say that whatever complaints some might have about Zelazny's ending, it's nothing like the abomination that was the end of the Dark Tower. Though for me that started nosediving a book or so earlier and just kept getting worse.

King writing himself in was a bonehead move, and most of Song of Susannah was filler, but still, not egregiously awful yet. And the first third or so of the last book, up until ** spoiler omitted ** was the high point of fantasy, IMHO -- an incredible culmination of an awesome series. When I re-read the series, I just stopped reading there and was really, really happy!

The middle third ** spoiler omitted ** is sooooooooooooooooooooo baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad that it makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

The very ending? I was actually fine with that.

Interesting. My favorite part of the series by quite a lot is THE WASTE LANDS, book #3. That was the book which expended Roland's quest into truly epic proportions, had the best world building, and felt big and weird and alien.

Spoiler:

The section where Jake is "split" between the reality where he died in Roland's world and the one where he didn't was incredible. The concept of the beams that hold the Dark Tower is really cool. All the characters get very good development. The final sections with Lud were tense and awesome. Blaine is one of my favorite villains of all time.

The beginning of the seventh book really reminded me of the Waste Lands, in a good way. I started hating it exactly where you said.

But how could you possibly like the ending?

MASSIVE SPOILERS:
It completely belittles the entire story we had until then, not to mention that it doesn't explain anything or make sense.

So let's see. During the entire series we thought the gunslinger is on a quest to save the Dark Tower, which is under siege by something called The Crimson King, is the center of the universe and for some reason is falling apart. During the quest, Roland and his friends stop the Breakers from destroying the last standing beam, thus saving the dark tower and reality itself. Then Roland gets there and it turns out that... the Tower was all about him? just an object of some absurd, inexplicable, eternal obsession?
the what was all that business with the Breakers? when Roland is sent back in time, are the Breakers revived again? Is the Dark Tower again in danger of being destroyed? If it will be destroyed, will the universe collapse? Also, if the Dark Tower is the dark entity it turned out to be, than what was up with the rose in New York? the wonderful singing voices, the faces in the suns? the wonderful, welcome feeling it created in anyone who was near it? that was not a genuinely good force, I guess?

And let's say we can look past how the ending seems to conflict with the story that was established up to that point... we still don't have the why. Why is the Dark Tower all about Roland? did the Dark Tower exist before Roland did? Why does it insist that Roland will complete his quest in a perfect manner? and what will happen when he does?

No, as far as I'm concerned King did just about every possible mistake he could with where the story went in the seventh book. it was a giant punch to the face, eliminating the sense of importance the story had up to that point. It's only a slightly more fanciful version of "it was all a dream Frodo had after a night of too much ale".


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

haven't responded or kept up with thread in awhile

Currently over half way through Lies of Locke Lamora. Damn this is a great book...been reading it on lunch breaks at work.

Also Ellen Datlow's edited Best horror of the year volume 5, which i am reading on my kindle right now

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