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Books Read 2020

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hitbyambulance
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by hitbyambulance »

Rumpy wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:35 pm
I miss the days when most books were standalone. I feel these days everything feels the need to be a part of a series.
this is mostly the case with genre fiction. also these authors feel compelled to do it as a trilogy, which usually leads to bad pacing (a first book with too much setup and exposition, a second book that is just killing time/treading water and a third book that is overstuffed and rushed to the end)

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Rumpy
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Rumpy »

Well, in certain cases the first book is completely standalone and then receives a sequel, and then another. And then there's trying to read a series like Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series which is like 20 books long. I loved what I'd read from those, but had to give up when neither the library or the bookstore carried many of them, and that was before the advent of the e-reader.
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Archinerd
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Archinerd »

hitbyambulance wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:23 pm
(the other one, the Ancillary something by Ann Leckie, i got to page 60-ish and decided i had no interest in getting to the end of this one, let alone three more books)
I read those and generally liked them, but the first was the best. If that didn't hook you then you saved yourself some time.

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hitbyambulance
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by hitbyambulance »

Rumpy wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:44 pm
Well, in certain cases the first book is completely standalone and then receives a sequel, and then another.
with those, my mindset is there are no sequels and i can leave it.

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Archinerd
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Archinerd »

Dust by Elizabeth Bear.
I enoyed the first third of the book, but then felt like the story kind of just railroaded (almost literally in the final chapters) to a more or less obvious conclussion. Sometimes a simple plot can be elevated in how well it's told though, and this just didnt' do it for me. I think part of the problem is how the book handles it's secondary characters, they get introduced but never really develop as anything beyond a cardboard cut out. And in some cases, they just drop out of the story and never reappear. Come to think of it, it's not just the characters that suffer from this problem, the world building is a bit like this too. I think the author is intentionally trying to be ambiguous on some of the details, but there don't seem to be enough clues to piece together to get any real idea of why things are the way they are. As a result, the main conflict and power struggle just seems contrived.

By the time I realized I didn't like the book though, I was nearly done so I just powered through.

Now I'm going to cleanse my palatte and re-read Dune.

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by stessier »

disarm wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:04 pm
stessier wrote:I'm almost done Book 3 of the Expanse series. I think I started the first one around April and I'm really enjoying them. Would highly recommend.
Just wait...next book is an interesting deviation from the norm, then the story really takes off in amazing directions for the rest. It's one hell of a ride.
I'm thinking you were off by a book on your "the next book is an interesting deviation".

Book 4 was Cibola Burn - the story of Illus. I've just started Book 5 - Nemesis Games - and 11% into the book,
Spoiler:
Holden's whole crew has left for other personal missions while the Roci is under repairs.
This seems like it will be different.
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hitbyambulance
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by hitbyambulance »

the local library summer book reading bingo ends in seven days, and i'm going for 'blackout' for the first time this year - one gets entered in the extra prize drawing if one can complete that.

https://www.spl.org/programs-and-servic ... book-bingo

finished one book last night and i still have five more to go - i'm at least halfway through all of them (and one is a graphic novel) so it's doable, but a very tight deadline as of now. won't be going for blackout next year, as it's just too much reading to cram into three months - just a few 'bingos' will suffice, as usual.

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Jaddison »

For those who have watched Picard, I just finished listening to https://smile.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Pica ... 248&sr=8-2 Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope.

Actually I listened to it and it was a very good listen. Gives all the background of what happened during the Romulan rescue effort and how it all fell apart. Still have a hard time thinking that logistically even Star Fleet could have pulled off the evacuation of all the worlds they needed to evacuate. The sheer scale of the number of people and then to put them someplace else and have infrastructure in place to support seems impossible even for Picard.

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by hitbyambulance »

Book Bingo 2020 finished...

Image

not going for full blackout next year, that was a bit too much reading.

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by El Guapo »

Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric, by Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann

Another book in my corporate misconduct series this year. This just came out a month or two ago. It's by a couple of WSJ reporters who have been focused on GE, and it's about GE's decline over the past decade or two. It's a pretty interesting story, about how Jack Welch built up this mythology around GE as this legendary American company built on ubermensch managers who knew better than everyone else and could just run things better. When a lot of the reality was that there was a non-trivial amount built around questionable accounting and using GE Capital's access to cheap money to smooth out earnings as needed to hit targets. Then the transition to Immelt, who had his own issues (and top-down management structure), but who (in part because of the financial crisis) decided to wean GE off of GE Capital, which presented its own issues. With then a lot coming to a head over the past few years.

Pretty interesting stuff for anyone who's interested in corporate culture and corporate misconduct.

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by El Guapo »

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein.

This is about how, despite the widespread myth that segregation evolved mostly naturally (with the federal government declining to intervene until fairly recently), the reality is that segregation in the U.S. became so extreme specifically because it was actively encouraged and set up that way by federal, state, and local governments. It's pretty exhaustive and pretty important. The writing of the book honestly isn't great - it reads more like a legal brief than a history book, and it's a bit of a slog at times, but it's an important corrective to the notion that the current state of our cities is naturally occurring.

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by EvaaWill89 »

1) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2) Gargantua and Pantagruel. F. Rabelais
3) Fantastic night. Stefan Zweig
Yes, I read a few books this year, because I had too little free time to read :cry:

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Jaymann »

EvaaWill89 wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:39 am
1) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2) Gargantua and Pantagruel. F. Rabelais
3) Fantastic night. Stefan Zweig
Yes, I read a few books this year, because I had too little free time to read :cry:
Have you read The Royal Game by Zweig? IMO the best chess novel ever written.
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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Scuzz »

Krakatoa by Simon Winchester

Winchester gives you a history of Krakatoa and the region. Both geologic and social. He explains what makes volcanoes tick and why that reqion of the Pacific has so many of them. The explosion/eruption of Krakatoa was the loudest and largest explosion on earth, and at least of something that originated here. I don't recall Winchester addressing things like large meteor impacts.

Winchester also discusses how the eruption effected the rest of the globe, lowering temperatures for several years. How sound waves from the explosion circled the globe at least 7 measurable times and how the recent advances in technology made the news of the event more global.

An interesting book on an interesting subject. And with the California wildfires effecting my part of the world makes me realize how terrible having the sky darken for weeks must have truly been.

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Re: Books Read 2020

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Re: Books Read 2020

Post by Scuzz »

Second Wind by Dick Francis

I have read several Dick Francis novels. To date all were murder mysteries solved by someone who just happened to get involved. Well, this book is like that except that it is less murder mystery and more espionage story. It is a quick read, I read it in 3 days which is quick for me, and has an interesting main character. It does have a few of those logic missing moments that almost every book in this genre has, and as in most Francis books there is a tie in with horse racing, although not much of one.

Surely not a must buy or read, but if you see it in a used book store, as I did, probably worth the $1.00

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