What Are You Reading?

Innula Zenovka

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Now this is what fantasy is for -- An ork priestess is destined to be a virgin sacrifice to the god of death, but is persuaded at the last minute by a somewhat shady magician to run away from the temple and train as his personal assassin.

Includes lines such as
She was tentative in a way that suggested maybe she hadn’t kissed a girl with tusks before.

 
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Briefing for a Descent into Hell - Doris Lessing

I'd forgotten all about this novel. It's been decades since I've read it. The style is not for everyone. It requires one to have a love of description without worrying about the plot too much, at least at first. A man is found and placed in a mental hospital. He has no identity that they can determine. He believes himself to be endlessly sailing and rafting around the Atlantic with no escape. I don't remember the story and am only up to page 30 but here is an example of the prose:

The sea is rougher than it was. As the raft tilts up the side of a wave I see fishes curling above my head, and when the wave comes crashing over me fishes and weed slide slithering over my face, to rejoin the sea. As my raft climbs up up up to the crest the fishes look eye to eye with me out of the wall of water. There’s that air creature, they think, just before they go slop over my face and shoulders, while I think as they touch and slide, they are water creatures, they belong to wet. The wave curls and furls in its perfect whirls holding in it three deep sea fish that have come up to see the sky, a tiddler fit for ponds or jam jars, and the crispy sparkle of plankton, which is neither visible nor invisible, but a bright crunch in the imagination. If men are creatures of air, and fishes whether big or small creatures of sea, what then are the creatures of fire?
 
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Rose Karuna

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I am reading Stephen King's "The Stand" again. Why during a pandemic, I don't really know, it just fits I guess. This is the extended version so there are some new things.

I ordered "The Book of Night with Moon" because I could not get it on Kindle and I'd like to have a hard copy so I'll probably re-read that when I get it.

I also downloaded "The House in the Cerulean Sea" by Klune and I intend to read that when I'm finished with "The Stand".

Now that I've retired I stop whatever I'm doing at 3:00 and I read from 3:00 to 5:00 and then start dinner. I love reading and why not carve a couple hours out of each day to do it.

Ok - I admit it, if the books kind of boring, I nap from 3 to 5, :shiftyeyes: but sitting up, always sitting up.
 
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Free

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I am reading Stephen King's "The Stand" again. Why during a pandemic, I don't really know, it just fits I guess.
That's the book that stopped me from reading any more Stephen King. Not due to the writing. Not due to the story. Just a section I can't remove from my mind....

I ordered "The Book of Night with Moon" because I could not get it on Kindle and I'd like to have a hard copy so I'll probably re-read that when I get it.
It's not in print! Although Audible has it - weird.
 

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I love Roger Zelazny, so I've been jumping through his stuff in no particular order. Most recently 'Jack of Shadows' (in print) and 'Deus Irae' with Philip K. Dick on audible - which I regret. The reader was getting too cutesy with the sing-songy voices for the not-human characters.

I also picked up a fragile old illustrated copy of Wollstonecraft's 'The Modern Prometheus', (aka Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein'), which as near as I can tell was printed in 1932. I'm not a rare book collector but saw it and had to have it. :)

Lately though, it's been more lite-snack-reading, tearing through Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series, while I wait to get my hands on Brandon Sanderson's 'Rhythm of War', the 4th in the Stormlight Archive. (more like 7th & 8th considering the length of his books!)

That's when I'm reading at all, considering the the harsh "Don't Start Any Long Books" vibe that reality has been giving off this year.
 
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Tirellia

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It's all Innula's fault for mentioning that this book is available. I'd looked at the price of old editions and declined, but it's been reprinted.

Ordinary Men by Christopher R. Browning. Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland.

Chapter one is less than two pages long and I was in tears before the last paragraph.

I was trying to read Just Capital, The Liberal Economy by Adair Turner but I keep having 'who cares, we're all fucked' moments and put it down again.

Other than that, cheap and nameless billionaire/vampire/pirate porn. Shameless escapism.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I've just started A Deadly Education, the first part of a trilogy that's apparently getting a film adaptation


First announced in February, A Deadly Education was described by publisher Del Rey as “a twisted, super dark, super modern, female-led Harry Potter.” Set at the titular hidden school for witchcraft and wizardry rumored to be run by the Devil, the Scholomance series follows protagonist El Higgins, who is gifted with a mysterious dark power and must make it to graduation with her fellow students—or meet an untimely end. An excerpt can be read at Entertainment Weekly, and you can also listen to Novik read from the book herself.

The Tor.com article has a link to Novik's reading.

I've only read the first couple of chapters, and it's great fun. I'm not yet wholly sure of the audience -- young adults, certainly, but I think it's aimed at a far larger audience than that, with its very enjoyable dark riposte to Harry Potter.
 
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I just gave myself a treat of a subscription to The Paris Review. If you aren't familiar, it is a literary magazine that has been around since the '50s well known for interviews and writings by many famous authors (Wikipedia). For the $50 / year subscription I get the magazine and also the entire 67 year archive online. Woohoo! For some reason, I'm interested in Dorothy Parker at the moment. They have a lengthy interview with her and a few other pieces.
 

Rose Karuna

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The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

I'm enjoying this partly because I'm from British Columbia but also because it's an intriguing story.

 

Noodles

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I realized my Audible subscription has access to their newer library feature. There honestly isn't a lot on the free list that seems that interesting, I mostly subscribe when I can get a short term deal for credits, and because subscribers get access to really good sales.

Anyway, I have been listening to these Minecraft books through the library. They are definitely geared towards a younger audience, but they are kind of fun and do keep a fairly decent bit of continuity from story to story. They are almost disgustingly wholesome however. Like the second book involved tracking down a griefer harassing everyone and the end result was basically to forgive and forget because the griefer was sorry.

There is also this weird single mindedness to all of the main characters. Like they sort of have classes, like farmer and potion maker and treasure hunter, and often their "problems" are all things that would be super easy to solve in a world of infinitely generated resources, but everyone acts like they couldn't just collect up a bunch of dirt or wood in like 5 seconds to overcome some obstacle. Meanwhile they all manage to just break out all the Obsidian they may ever need to escape into the Nether at a moment's notice.
 

k_leh

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I'm reading The Book of Law (1904)
A very weird, still an interesting book (a small book review here)

The two quotes will probably interest you:
"The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading."
"Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence."
 

Innula Zenovka

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Just finished reading the The Burning God, the final volume in R F Kuang's Poppy Wars trilogy


It's a quite astonishing military and political fantasy, set in a sort-of steampunk world based on C20th Chinese history, with gods, shamans and monsters thrown in -- Western colonialism seen from the Chinese point of view.

A very impressive series -- I thought I would be put off by the military emphasis but I found it very gripping. If you enjoy Joe Abercrombie, then this is certainly worth a look.

And Rin, the protagonist, really is something.