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It's the where-is-the-season-going? reading thread!

Lily Fairbairn

Aug 11, 3:24pm

Post #1 of 5 (212 views)
It's the where-is-the-season-going? reading thread! Can't Post

Here in North Texas we're entering the hottest time of the year. Fortunately it's not as hot this year for us as it has been in many previous summers. I'm all too aware, though, that some parts of the world are setting heat records. Frown In any event, the days are getting shorter as the sun heads back to the south, something I always notice because our house is oriented north/south.

I thoroughly enjoyed the latest book in Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series, False Value It has everything I love about the series---geeky references, creative bits of business, and especially Peter's strong and delightful voice as narrator. I did get a bit confused with plot intricacies, but that's par for the course. Aaronovitch ended the book with a situation that should initiate a new story-arc for our characters. And yet the book ENDED already, there was no cliffhanger. Well done!

I'm now near the end of Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson, which was recommended by a friend. It's an interesting and entertaining take on traditional mystery tropes. Since the main character, a Boston book dealer, has already warned the reader that he's an unreliable narrator, I'm eager to see how the plot finally works itself out. The fact that the story takes place in Massachusetts in the winter is an extra, cooling treat Smile

I finished listening to the Great Courses Food: A Cultural Culinary History and both enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. The lecturer is a good speaker, with an affable manner. It's not his fault that I felt a bit dismayed at the end of the course as he detailed how our modern food supply is at the mercy of large businesses who care only about profit. But this comes as no surprise.

I haven't quite decided what to listen to next. Watch this space!

So what have you been reading as you keep yourself safe?

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow....

N.E. Brigand

Aug 11, 4:47pm

Post #2 of 5 (195 views)
"Across the Sea of Suns" by Gregory Benford. [In reply to] Can't Post

Someone left this 1984 s.f. novel in the break room at work a while ago, and now and again I've picked it up and read a chapter or two, and skipping around, I probably read the whole thing. I'm not reading it now, but it's on my mind with the news that New Zealand is locking down Auckland (and taking elevated steps elsewhere) after four new cases of Covid-19 were identified following 100 days of being able to live openly.

As is true of a lot of science fiction, Benford's book has strained prose but also some interesting concepts and situations. What's on my mind is the first step that an invading robot enemy uses to attack humanity as part of a plan to make us so miserable that we attack each other so what remains is easy to pick off. What they do is seed our oceans with an alien life form that hates all things mechanical and thus attacks and sinks our ships, crippling global trade (not to mention our navies).

Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.

Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
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Aug 11, 5:38pm

Post #3 of 5 (194 views)
Finishing up "Peace Talks" by Jim Butcher [In reply to] Can't Post

He's definitely upped the ante in this one, but it's the same formula as before: Harry goes up against an enemy way out of his weight class. Gosh what do we think is going to happen?

Butcher pulled off an amazing reboot of the series in "Changes" and the books that followed. And he is giving us the story I want to read, about how Harry and Molly are dealing with, well, not being exactly human any more. But surely Harry would have developed a bit more maturity too? He still acts like a snotty, horny adolescent most of the time. Butcher's been going through a divorce; clearly a midlife crisis as well, and it makes me want to yell at him "NO, it's not about doing adolescence all over, just harder, faster, and with more expensive toys; it's about finally becoming an ADULT."

Here's betting that's what his wife said before exiting . . . well, maybe he's working that out in his books. Harry is at least acting like a good father and responsible brother.

Didn't mean to get on the soapbox there. Pushed a button I guess.

I've acquired "The Goldfinch" and am looking forward to reading it and then watching the movie. I also have "Comparing Religions" by Jeffrey Kirpal and "Anatomy of Criticism" by Northrup Frye on the nonfiction reading pile, along with books on anti-racism.

And in the last couple of weeks I have re-read, for the third time, all of the Kencyrath series by P.C. Hodgell. Marveling once again at her writing, world-building skills, and grasp of character. She's right up there with Lois McMaster Bujold. I like them both because they include religion in their world-building, and the religions they invent are very different from the usual. Bujold's Five Gods . . . I want to live in their world. Hodgell's Three-Face God, not so much, but it's a compelling take on the Creation-Preservation-Destruction aspects of the One we also see in Hinduism. Both of them posit that God/gods cannot act in the world except through us, and we have to agree to this and prove ourselves worthy . . . but when we do, miracles can occur.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/...id=1590637780&sr=8-1

(This post was edited by Annael on Aug 11, 5:42pm)

Superuser / Moderator

Aug 11, 9:49pm

Post #4 of 5 (184 views)
That seems a bit pointed. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Here's betting that's what his wife said before exiting . . .

Just because Harry can be a bit leery doesn't mean that Butcher's like that in real life. Divorces are messy; let's not chime in when we don't know what happened.

But I agree that Harry essentially saying, "I recognise that she's got boobs to die for and if I were a lesser man I'd be drooling onto the floor, but I'm not so I can't be skeevy", is a tiresome repetition.

An answer to the big question of why Thomas did what he did is handily inaccessible, given how Peace Talks ended. I'm pinning my hopes on that revelation setting up a Big Problem that reorientates the rest of the series rather than it just tying up the ending of the next book in a little bow.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Aug 13, 7:15pm

Post #5 of 5 (140 views)
I hope you're right [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pinning my hopes on that revelation setting up a Big Problem that reorientates the rest of the series rather than it just tying up the ending of the next book in a little bow.

And yeah, I could have been projecting a little with that other remark.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/...id=1590637780&sr=8-1


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