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  1. #81
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Can't say I have. I don't know much about YA fiction at all. I should probably correct that, given that a lot of people when they get to me, it's a lot of what they've read (and what made them enjoy it in the first place). So it could be very useful for me to know some of this stuff, even if it's just to make comparisons and allusions.

    Still in my political history kick at the moment, but only about 90 pages left in the last one (a huge fat thing on Lord Palmerston), after which I'll get back to some fiction. I'll be travelling for work in about two weeks so want to be in a position where I only have to take one book with me.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #82
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    I just started the book. I am a middle school teacher and I like reading a lot of the YA Dystopic fiction that my students read. For some reason that particular genre, Dytopic Fiction resonates with my students and me, for that matter. The premise of the book, which is the first of a trilogy is below, taken directly from Amazon, book two was released in January, and book 3, later this year.

    Two teens must learn the "art of killing" in this Printz Honor-winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times best-selling Unwind Dystology series.

    A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life - and they are commanded to do so in order to keep the size of the population under control.

    Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe - a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

    Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award-winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

  3. #83
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    That does seem like a very interesting premise!

  4. #84
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    I'm about 80 pages in...very interesting.

  5. #85
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    There’s some good YA fiction that can still resonate with us adults. “On The Devil’s Court” is a book that I read as a teen, and I really want to read it again.

  6. #86
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Since my last post in here I read The Duke's Children, which is the sixth and final book in that old Victorian series I've post about several times in the thread, so I've finished that run now. I'm currently taking another look (after abandoning it as a student) at Stendhal's The Red and the Black, a novel about a social climber set in post-Napoleonic France.

    I can't say I love it so far, but I'm at least getting through it this time. I've got this weird idea of reading everything that I was supposed to read but didn't, and there are only a handful of things left on the list.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #87
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    So I've finished Scythe and its sequel Thunderhead, both very interesting, and the sequel does move past the basic premise and moves into a bigger story and the third book comes out in the fall.

    Once I finished those, I reread Ready Player One and Armada, both by Ernest Cline. Still really good.

    I am going to be picking up JR's book and reading that soon.

  8. #88
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    Really disliked Armada, personally. In Ready Player One the hero is already kind of a Mary Sue, a guy who just happens to be incredibly cooll and amazing at the thing the adventure is about, but at least outside of the game world he was kind of a sad sack and had to work on himself. In Armada, he's just a dude who plays video games, which somehow makes him great at real war, and also he's too cool for school and impresses the cool girl right away and he's just so cool and dangerous that everyone fears him... yeah, just couldn't get into it at all.

    Working through more Stephen King stuff myself, right now reading Desperation which has been pretty good, albeit a bit grim even by King's standards. I got lucky because it's a "mirror novel" with the Regulators, dealing with a lot of the same characters but in a different reality. I'm not sure if it adds a huge amount but it's interesting, and I'm enjoying reading them back to back.

  9. #89
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    I hear you about Armada, I just like Cline’s style. Armada is being made into a movie (sigh) and he is also writing a sequel to RP1, and the way that Armada left off a sequel will probably be in the works.

  10. #90
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    I picked up JR's book, Slobberknocker after reading one of Tito's columns and so far about 1/3 of the way through it is not all that great. It is what you would expect, but it is just getting to the [hopefully] better parts. Tito said that it provides insights to one of the best minds in the business, and I'm hoping for that, but so far it just is background on what JR was doing.

    An interesting read, but nothing spectacular....yet.

  11. #91
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Finished off The Red and the Black and gotten about 175 pages into Dostoevsky's The Idiot while I've been away. That'll probably keep me busy for the next couple of weeks.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  12. #92
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    Hope you enjoy it, love that one!

    Finally taking a break from King and working on Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Really digging it so far, some top quality sci-fi!

  13. #93
    I haven't read the Idiot yet, but it's on my list. A few years ago, I challenged myself with Crime and punishment, which I finished on a trip to Chicago. I loved it, but I had to keep reading, every time I stopped for a few days, I felt lost in the story and had to back track in the previous pages. Russians have so many nicknames! I don't take a lot of time to read, as it's not something I can do at the same time as my other hobbies... But I try to read before bed, I pulled a novel book from Tolstoï for the foreseeable future.

  14. #94
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    I also love Crime and Punishment! Big fan of Russian literature, particularly Dostoevsky. Definitely agree the names can be hard to follow though, sometimes I'm wading through by my felt sense rather than a rock solid certainty that I remember each and every character.

  15. #95
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    On my cruise I finished off another YA Dystopic fiction book, which is the lead book of a series called Unwind. The concept is that we are post Civil War II and this was was fought between the Pro-Lifers and the Pro-Choicers. The war is over and the settlement was that there is no more abortion, but parents can choose to unwind their child between the ages of 13-18, where it is a retroactive abortion, but 100% of the person is still alive. I'll let you read the book to find out exactly what it means, but it is interesting and it takes many twists and turns.

  16. #96
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Man, I forgot how heavy going Dostoevsky could be at times. Been ill at the moment so having to mix up my reading with something lighter and more easy-going - the first in Bob Woodward's Bush at War series. And no, I'm not joking when I say it's an easier read!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  17. #97
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    I also heard about a series called Aberystwyth Noir, which is set in an alternate Universe in which Aberystwyth, the Welsh seaside and University town, has private detectives roaming around and is basically a kind of alternative Hollywood. Needless to say, I'm intrigued.
    Finished the other books I was reading a few weeks ago and quickly rattled through the first in this series I mentioened a while back, Aberystwyth Mon Amour. It's basically a jamming together of the old Noir fiction tropes, Raymond Chandler and all that Jazz, with a lot of the associations of Welsh culture and seaside towns. Very easy read and a decent little crime novel with a quirk to sell it. I do wonder, if you don't have the local knowledge, if some of the welsh quirks might be as off putting as enjoyable. But nonetheless I enjoyed it a lot.


    Now picked up Jasper Fforde's The Fourth Bear, the last of the Nursery Crime Novels (for now), but I'm only a couple of chapters into it so far.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  18. #98
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    I shall be beginning Game of Thrones soon, now that the TV show has finished. I figured it best to watch it in it's entirety before delving into the books.


    I've tried taking up column writing, check it out here!

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  19. #99
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    You'll probably still have to end up waiting for them to finish!

    After finishing Hyperion, which I loved, picked up NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, who is Stephen King's son. The apple doesn't seem like it fell too far from the tree, similar style but I also liked it similarly to a good King book. Speaking of, after the finished his short story Elevation, which was interesting and is (I think?) his most recent work. How the man writes at such a pace while maintaining a pretty good standard of quality is amazing, quite a gift. Not sure what I'll pick up next, got plenty of books on the table!

    How's the Dostoevsky going, Pete?

  20. #100
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I finished it before moving onto the Aberystwyth book. Pretty good, I thought. There's this ongoing thing I've had with reading Dostoevsky before where you have to concentrate quite hard to keep track off who the array of minor characters are, and I think I've had that with most of his books that aren't Crime and Punishment, so I think C&P would probably still be my favourite. This might be 2nd though. That said - I've never read Brothers Karamazov which I've heard is supposed to be the best one of the lot.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  21. #101
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    You'll probably still have to end up waiting for them to finish!

    After finishing Hyperion, which I loved, picked up NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, who is Stephen King's son. The apple doesn't seem like it fell too far from the tree, similar style but I also liked it similarly to a good King book. Speaking of, after the finished his short story Elevation, which was interesting and is (I think?) his most recent work. How the man writes at such a pace while maintaining a pretty good standard of quality is amazing, quite a gift. Not sure what I'll pick up next, got plenty of books on the table!

    How's the Dostoevsky going, Pete?
    Oh I know, he's been writing the last book for something like 10 years I think?

    On the bright side, I picked up the whole series of released books from charity shops for under a tenner.


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  22. #102
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    Nice! And yeah Pete, Karamazov was my favorite. I do find with Dostoevsky it's good to have a bit of a filter, if I come across a name I'm not 100% sure on I tend to gloss over it unless it turns out to be important, then I might page back a bit and make sure I have my head on straight. But you can breeze past those minor folks a lot of the time and still get the important part of the experience.

  23. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    You'll probably still have to end up waiting for them to finish!

    After finishing Hyperion, which I loved, picked up NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, who is Stephen King's son. The apple doesn't seem like it fell too far from the tree, similar style but I also liked it similarly to a good King book. Speaking of, after the finished his short story Elevation, which was interesting and is (I think?) his most recent work. How the man writes at such a pace while maintaining a pretty good standard of quality is amazing, quite a gift. Not sure what I'll pick up next, got plenty of books on the table!

    How's the Dostoevsky going, Pete?
    You should check out Locke & Key, Joe Hill's comic series. it is weird in a good way and it is a really good read. Not as adult as other books, but still pretty good.

  24. #104
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Started reading David Eddings's Belgariad books in the last two weeks. Finished the first and now just starting the second. Mav recommended them when I asked for a fantasy series that wasn't too heavy going or had a bunch of 800 page long books - but something breezier and lighter. These fit that bill perfectly. They're a bit corny, a bit forced at times, and there's a bunch of weird padding every now and then, but generally I'm very much enjoying them.

  25. #105
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Finished The Fourth Bear, which incidentally saw my Goodreads challenge tick over to 80% for the year. Not bad for the end of May. I'm anticipating wrapping things up for the year in August, and everything beyond that is above and beyond. I guess I wasn't optimistic enough back in January?

    Now switched things up a bit by starting Sinclair Lewis's It Couldn't Happen Here, which has undergone a bit of resurgence in popularity in the last couple of years.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  26. #106
    Checking out Wolf Hall, see what all the fuss is about.

  27. #107
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    Currently reading Steven Erikson's "Gardens of the Moon", which is a very elaborate and dense fantasy book. I'm a little overwhelmed by the number of characters but the world building is truly extensive.

  28. #108
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    A short while ago I started reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I picked it up on a whim because I had the urge to read some Science Fiction book and this one was held in pretty high regard everywhere I checked online. I'm already over two-thirds done and it's been a really great read. The way the story is structured is great, and some of the stories of the characters got me really emotional. Just great writing overall. I already picked up the follow-up to this book (The Fall of Hyperion) and will dive into it as soon I'm done with the first book.

  29. #109
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    Deg I read Hyperion a few months ago and loved it!! I need to read the next one very soon, for sure. Where are you at in the story?

  30. #110
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle of Brawne Lamia's story at this point, so probably about three-quarters of the way done with the book. I went to sleep way too late last night reading it.

    Every character's story is pretty fascinating, but Sol Weintraub's story hit me right in the feels.

  31. #111
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    Right?? That was possibly my favorite one of the whole bunch, incredibly poignant. I love how different each story is, to reflect all the different story tellers.

  32. #112
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I've read The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, and a bunch of his short stories, but this one is a new one for me. I started it years ago and had to put it down but am hoping I get the chance to get more into it this time.


    I've also been on a bit of C19th American kick generally of late, and have polished of The Bondswoman's Narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Clotel, by Hannah Crafts, Harriet Jacobs and William Wells Brown, respectively.


    Have also just finished my reading challenge for the year, with six months to spare - maybe I should have been more ambitious?!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  33. #113
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    Apparently you should have, that's very impressive!

  34. #114
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Finished Hawthorne, rattled pretty quickly though Benito Cereno (only about 90 pages or so), and now reading Trollope's The American Senator, and I'm about five chapters in.

    Also still working my way through the Bush at War series quietly, probably around half way through the second book, Plan of Attack, which is looking at the process behind the decision to invade Iraq.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  35. #115
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    Currently reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


  36. #116
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Read a bunch of old Southern novels carrying on my 19th century American theme. Also moved on to the next in the Bush at War series, State of Denial, which is a bit later and takes more of a broad sweep rather than being focused on the initial decision making process.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  37. #117
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    One of these days I'll re-read Lord of the Rings... probably when I have kids, if not before. My Dad read them to me, so seems right to pass it on!

    Currently reading Deadhouse Gates, the next in Steven Erikson's Malazan series. The first one really grew on me as I went and so far I'm thinking this one is even better. Very creative fantasy, pretty much ignores the established conventions of Tolkein and the like and creates a new world.

  38. #118
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    What sort of new world? I'm a pretty big fan of some of those Tolkien-esque conventions but I'm also intrigued about how you try and make a fantasy world outside of them, because they've become so dominant.

    Keeping on with the same theme. Read a few more old novels from the South. Most are crap to be honest, but once you've started it can be hard to put a book down. I'm now into the last of the Bush at War series too, called The War Within, which deals with the last two years of the Bush presidency and is really looking at how the various bits of the executive branch were at each other's throat and how it was causing the strategy to fail. I'm at the bit where lots of Donald Rumsfeld's longtime allies are finally starting to call him out in private.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  39. #119
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    Basically it's full on fantasy but there's nothing resembling elves/dwarves/orcs/etc. All the races and creatures are very original and there's a lot of fresh mythology around gods and magic and such. I'd say it's worth a look if you're a fantasy fan in particular.

  40. #120
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I don't know that I'm a fantasy fan in particular, but maybe I'll take a look if the chance comes my way.

    Carrying on with a lot of C19th reading reading, balancing some George Washington Cable (read Old Creole Days and now on The Grandissimes) alongside James McPherson's, Battle Cry of Freedom, which some critics have said is the best single-volume history of the American Civil War out there. Very readable as histories go even if it does take you several hundred pages to even get to the fall of Fort Sumter.

    I'm now about 600 pages in, out of about 830, to the history book. The fiction is very light by comparison even if I struggle with some of the creole dialect at times.

    EDIT: Just logged into my goodreads for the first time in a while and saw these are my 44th and 45th books of the year. Am actually on for one a week for the year, if I keep this up. I don't know if I'm actually *aiming* for 52 books, as such, but it'd be a nice thing to do.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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