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Books Read 2015

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Bad Demographic
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Books Read 2015

Post by Bad Demographic » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:22 pm

I know there's another thread around here somewhere, but it seems goal oriented. I expect I'll just read whatever.

read:
Bromeliad Trilogy Book One: Truckers by Terry Pratchett
Bromeliad Trilogy Book Two: Diggers by Terry Pratchett
Bromeliad Trilogy Book Three: Wings by Terry Pratchett
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart by Christopher Fowler
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Unbound by Jim C. Hines
Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson
Goblin Tales by Jim. C. Hines
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett (audio book)
The Handsome Man's DeLuxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smith
Cocaine Blues: a Phryne Fisher mystery by Kerry Greenwood
The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson
The Science of Discworld by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen
The Madness of Cthulhu S.T. Joshi, ed.
Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson
Hell Is Empty by Craig Johnson
Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (audio book)
Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold (audio book)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett (reread)
Murder on the Ballarat train by Kerry Greenwood
A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett
The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The Mapmaker's War by Ronlyn Domingue
The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood
The Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman
Divorce Horse by Craig Johnson (short story)
As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson
Marsbound by Joe Haldeman
Starbound by Joe Haldeman
A Serpent's Tooth by Craig Johnson
Earthbound by Joe Haldeman
Overtime by Tom Holt
Christmas in Absaroka County by Craig Johnson
Knuckleduster by Andrew Post
Any Other Name by Craig Johnson
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
Scents and Sensibility by Spencer Quinn
Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
The Dungeoneers by Jeffery Russell (aka Gryndyl)
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman
eastern standard tribe by Cory Doctorow
The End of All Things by John Scalzi
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome by John Scalzi
The Good, the Bad and the Smug: a Novel Beyond Good and Evil by Tom Holt
Guardians of the Galaxy: the Complete Collection vol. 1 by Abnett & Lanning
Dry Bones by Craig Johnson
Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson
Spirit of Steamboat by Craig Johnson
Guardians of the Galaxy: the Complete Collection vol. 2 by Abnett & Lanning
Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
Word Play: The Official Companion Book by Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley
Make Me by Lee Child
The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman
The Eye of Heaven by Clive Cussler (audiobook)
Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin
Quozl by Alan Dean Foster
The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde (reread)
The President's Brain is Missing by John Scalzi
Bryant & May and the Secret Santa by Christopher Fowler
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
Unnatural Acts by Kevin J. Anderson
Spiderwoman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman
Last edited by Bad Demographic on Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:30 pm, edited 60 times in total.
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YellowKing
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by YellowKing » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:54 pm

My theme for this year is "finish what you start" so with that in mind I'm going to try to read only one book at a time.

Read:

1/10/15 - "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

I've read a few decluttering/cleaning books, but Marie's approach is unique and extremely simple. She ditches all the common methods of choosing what to keep and what to discard, and asks just a single question - "Does this item spark joy?" If not, get it out. While it sounds a little strange (Marie also recommends talking to your items and home), I have to say that I was inspired enough to get rid of a 39-gallon garbage bag full of clothes and totally reorganized my drawers.

The book is definitely written from a Japanese perspective, so you'll have to gloss over some of the cultural differences (for instance, she recommends the best way to fold and store kimonos, which are probably infinitely easier to fold than some of my stuff). However, the fundamentals are sound. I kept an open mind and was pleasantly surprised at the results.

1/18/15 - The Martian by Andy Weir.

I know a lot of folks have read this, I was a little late to the party. I listened to the audiobook version and really enjoyed it. While the math details could at times cause my eyes to glaze over, the narrator's sense of humor definitely elevated what could have been a rather dry hard sci-fi novel into a really fun adventure.

R.C. Bray narrated this one and did a great job personifying the main character. I'm not sure how you capture someone being both likable and kind of a douchebag at the same time, but he pulled it off.

2/10/15 - The Best Horror of the Year Volume 3 edited by Ellen Datlow

Typical mix of horror short stories, some I really liked and some that were just too abstract for my tastes. But an entertaining read nonetheless.

03/05/15 - Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

When I look back on all the King novels I've read (which is all of them except for Revival, so far), the ones that stand out in my mind as being the ones I disliked the most were the ones that featured characters I didn't identify with or just could not feel any sympathy for. Conversely, his best novels tend to be the ones that are opposite of that and feature characters I really grow to love. The plot seems to be irrelevant - ultimately his works tend to fall into those two broad categories for me.

Mr. Mercedes, fortunately, falls into the latter category. I really loved his cast of characters this go-round, and evidently he did too since this book is the first in a planned trilogy which will feature the heroes of this story. This is perhaps one of King's most frightening recent books, since the terror here is the very real mass-murdering psychopath that lurks among us in real life. While this novel was fairly light and breezy by King standards, it sets the stage for a very entertaining series and, I think, also marks a return for King into the realm of good old-fashioned summer beach reading.

4/2/15 - A Night to Remember by Walter Lord.

Written from direct accounts of survivors (book was written in the 50s), this is considered one of the best, most accurate accounts of the Titanic's final hours. Short read but fascinating. The best moments were the tiny details that only those who had been there could provide.

4/17/15 - The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Ugh. This is why I need to stop chasing the latest trendy bestseller. Maybe it was because it was written from a female perspective, but I just could not identify or feel even the slightest compassion for any of the characters in this book. Every character is a deeply flawed, basically unlikable human being. While that may be realistic, it doesn't make for an entertaining read. I thought the "mystery" was pretty pedestrian and the reveal anti-climactic. Thumbs down for this NY Times #1 Bestseller.

5/10/15 - Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill. I'm really fascinated with Scientology, so I was really looking forward to reading this expose by someone who was on the inside for years. While Jenna's experiences were eye-opening (and awful), she unfortunately gets very bogged down in the details. There were times in this book where I felt like I was stuck in the same cycle of boredom as her Scientology peers. The information she reveals is invaluable, but it is also a real slog at times to get through. Still, I recommend it if you're interested in the subject matter, because you won't find someone closer to the truth behind this religion.

7/3/15 - Rise Headless and Ride by Richard Gleaves. Fun, entertaining story that is as charming a blend of goofiness and terror as the original Sleepy Hollow story.

7/28/15 - The Great Movies Roger Ebert. Not much to be said about this one - it's a collection of Roger Ebert's essays on great movies. I had seen most of the US films in this book due to my AFI Top 100 project, so those essays were really entertaining to read. I lost interest mostly in some of the more obscure artsy foreign cinema he goes over, but it was still interesting to hear Ebert's perspective.

8/5/15 - Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - You can read my review on page 5. I really liked this one.

9/16/15 - American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus - Review on Page 6. Meh.

10/2/15 - The Damnation Game by Clive Barker. Review on Page 6

10/3/15 - The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure by Jason Fry. Review on Page 6

10/6/15 - Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. Review on Page 6.

10/11/15 - The Color of Magic - by Terry Pratchett. Review on Page 7.

Reading:

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (audiobook)
Last edited by YellowKing on Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:31 pm, edited 19 times in total.

Jeff V
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Re: Books Read 2015`

Post by Jeff V » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:26 am

I wonder if I can exceed the 76 books I finished in 2014? I should get off to fast start since I'll be sans wife and kid for a month.

YK...in today's multimedia world, one at a time is not efficient. I always have 2 or 3 books working at once...an audiobook for car or exercise, a Kindle book for reading in the can, and sometimes an old-timey paper book that I often read sitting on the deck with a beer on a hot summer day.

Read:

Nine Planets by Greg Byrne :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Shit Just Doesn't Happen II by Bob Mayer :binky: :binky:
Sycamore Row by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
No Fortunate Son by Brad Taylor :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Confession by John Grisham :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Lords of the Sea by John R. Hale :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Red Equinox by Douglas Wynne :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Private LA by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Magicians by Lev Grossman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
White Fire by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Out of the Woods by William D. Carl :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Blue Labryrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Emperor's Tomb: A Novel (Cotton Malone) by Steve Berry :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Manager's Craft: Exercising Control, Building Commitment, Sustaining Productivity by Dr. Glenn A. Bassett :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Bloodletting by William D. Prystauk :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Dead Wake by Erik Larson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Invisible by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever by Christopher Hitchens :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain by Steven D. Levitt :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie :binky: :binky: :binky:
Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire by Margaret Regan :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Black Tide by Patrick Freivald :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The King's Deception by Steve Berry :binky: :binky: :binky:
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Paleo - The Doomsday Prepper: JournalStone's DoubleDown Series, Book VI by David Liss :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Patriot Threat: A Novel (Cotton Malone) by Steve Berry :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Burn by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Bone House by Brian Freeman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen Dubner :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Burying Place by Brian Freeman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Finders Keepers by Stephen King :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Cold Nowhere by Brian Freeman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Private India by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Season of Fear by Brian Freeman :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks by Stewart Gordon :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Deep Storm by Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Expiration Date by Nancy Kilpatrick :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Island by Clarissa Johal :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Private: Vegas by James Patterson :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books by Michael Dirda :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Forgotten Room: A Novel by Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky:
Creating Change Through Humanism by Roy Speckhardt :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Reading:

Enigma by CF Bentley


55 Books completed. Total pages read: 21,780 60 Pages per day
Last edited by Jeff V on Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:27 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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MHS
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by MHS » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:42 am

I always start and never keep up with tracking, but sure, I'll try again.

Read:
1. Someone You Know by Brian MGilloway. Second in a series of mysteries set in Ireland. I read the first one last year and enjoyed it enough to keep an eye out for more. It being .99 didn't hurt. I'll buy more from this author. 6/8 tentacles

2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Really enjoyed this story that follows a young, blind French girl and a young man in Germany during WWII. It's been all over the bestseller lists the last couple months so I waited until it went below $5 and bought it. Glad I did. 7/8 tentacles

3. One Second Later by William Forstchen. Eh. An apocalyptic novel based on EMP's. Definitely needed a much better editor. I like apocalyptic novels even though most of them aren't very well-written but I won't seek out this author again, despite the book not resolving anything at the ending, but rather obviously setting up for a sequel. 3/8

4. Finding Claire Fletcher by Lisa Regan. Mystery/thriller about a woman abducted 10 years ago. OK book, I had a really hard time finding it plausible but it was ok. Depressing though, with the raping and emotional trauma. 4/8

5. For Once in My Life by Marianne Kavanagh. Chick lit, girl meets boy after decades of near-misses. Destiny, fate, serendipity, etc. Needed a palate cleanser after reading back-to-back death and rape and suffering books. Very much "meh." 4/8

6. Black Dog by Stephen Booth. 99 cent first book of a series that's now up to more than a dozen. II liked it well enough to buy the second and will probably keep reading the series until it gets crappy or I burn out on it. 5/8

7. Dancing with the Virgins by Stephen Booth. Second in the above series. Still decent. 5/8

8. Wreckage by Emily Bleeker. A novel about the events and lies that get told after only 2 people out of 5 survive a plane crash and subsequent stranding/rescue on a deserted island in the French Polynesian. It makes it sound all dark and ominous, but the big secrets are pretty boring and obvious. 4/8

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. A psychological thriller about intersecting, not-quite-what-they-seem-lives of an alcoholic. flawed heroine and the seemingly perfect couple she admiringly spies on during her daily commute. 6.5/8

10. Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell. A young girl attempts to piece together her recently deceased grandmother's past. Interesting but not fantastic. 4.5/8

11. The Final Note by Kevin Alan Milne. Barf-o-rama. Like some sort of Nicholas Sparks meets God mashup. Ugh. 1/8

12-14. The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. Brandon Sanderson says it all. :) Magic, fantasy, and well-developed characters! It took me a month to read through the whole trilogy, which I think clocks in at around 2129 pages (no real pages numbers in the Kindle version, pet peeve), but well worth it. I was late to the party on this one and I'm not sure why, because I'm a Brandon Sanderon fan, but I'm glad I was behind, because now I don't have as long of a wait for the new books expanding the series. 7.5/8

15. Don't Know Much About the Presidents by Kenneth C. Davis. Pretty interesting and entertaining. I'll look at more of his work. 6.5/8

16. Younger by Suzanne Munshower. "Psychological thriller" about corporate espionage and murder in the high-stakes cosmetic/beauty industry world. Pretty meh. 4/8

17. Descent by Tim Johnston. Girl is kidnapped in the Rocky Mountains, family falls apart. Interesting primarily because it's set in my backyard. Not a fantastic read but not awful. 5/8

18. Us by David Nicholls. Same guy who wrote the book which became a movie One Day. Story of a marriage falling apart, during which they try to do a Grand Tour of Europe with their (mostly estranged from his father) 18-year old son. Sad but a nice book. 6/8

19. Everything to Lose by Andrew Gross. I guess this guy is also a frequent writing collaborator with James Patterson. I thought this book was incredibly stupid. A woman makes a life-altering decision to steal a half million dollars she finds in the car of a dead/dying man after he goes off the road and crashes into a tree in front of her. We're supposed to have sympathy for her and her plight, primarily because she's supposedly making these decisions for the good of her "special needs" son- whose special need is that he has Aspergers. Anyway, hard to feel too sorry for her when she lives in a mansion, made $170k a year before being laid off (and still has $26k in savings and 4 weeks severance pay). With a completely unsympathetic protagonist and no character growth of any kind, plus stupid grammatical and other errors and a blatantly racist character (the Hispanic nanny/housekeeper who eez talking like dis, mizz, hokay?), it was painful to get through. 2/8

20. Hush by Kate White. Psych thriller of a woman who has a one-night stand with a client and wakes up to find him dead. It gets a little convoluted with the fertility clinic misdoings side plot, and it's definitely not Great Literature, but it was ok for what it was. 5/8

21. The Sugar House by Laura Lippman. Political maneuverings and murder in Baltimore in this book from the series featuring PI Tess Monaghan. I'm sure I've probably read some of Lippman's books before, but none are springing rapidly to mind. Decent enough. 5.5/8

22. The Passage by Justin Cronin. Post-apocalyptic with non-sparkly vampires. Liked it well enough to buy the second one in the trilogy but only because they were both really cheap. Had I realized the third book wasn't out yet and has been pushed back several times, over several years, I probably would have skipped, but it stands well enough on its own (although maybe that's just because I didn't care all that much what happens.) 4.5/8

23. The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Book 2 of the Passage trilogy. It was okay. Not as good as the first one. 4/8

24. The Boy from Reactor 4, book 1 of the Nadia Tesla series by Orest Stelmach. Decent-ish thriller-ish book. Some Ukrainian history and some hockey sub-plot (minorly) thrown in made it more interesting. I ended up tracking down the whole series to read. 5/8

25. The Boy Who Stole from the Dead, Book 2 of the Nadia Tesla series by Orest Stelmach. See above. 5/8

26. The Boy Who Glowed in the Dark, Book 3 of the Nadia Tesla series by Orest Stelmach. See above. 5/8

27. The Altar Girl, A Nadia Tesla prequel by Orest Stelmach. See above. 5/8

28. The Stranger by Harlan Coben. Perfectly serviceable standard Harlan Coben. Anonymous stranger blackmails people about things their loved ones have done. 5.5/8

29. Dangerous Women an anthology edited by G.R.R. Martin. Enjoyable and featured several of my favorite authors. 6.5/8

30. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. A Holmes buff investigates another Baker Street Irregulars death as the story goes back and forth between his sleuthing and that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's as he tries to solve a series of murders in London. 6/8

31. The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Book 1 of the Magician's trilogy. Billed basically as Harry Potter+Narnia with sex. It was decent, but with none of the whimsy of Harry Potter, and I spent most of the book watching to punch the protagonists in their whiny, ennui-laden faces. I didn't buy the remaining 2 books. 3.5/8

32. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson. Set in the same universe as the Mistborn trilogy, but takes place several hundred years later. It's much more wild-west-y. It's like Firefly meets Mistborn. I enjoyed it, although not as much as the Mistborn trilogy, in part because it was just a lot shorter and "frothier." 7/8

33. Tell No One by Harlan Coben. Standard HC that I couldn't remember if I'd read or not. Turns out I had, but I was able to enjoy it well enough the second time around. 5/8

34. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. I couldn't tell if this was intended as a YA novel or not. A single mother tries to re-construct what has happened after her daughter apparently commits suicide by jumping off the roof of her private school in New York. Sad, if a little cheesy of obvious, story with all the YA elements- bullying, trying to fit in, sexual exploration. 4.5/8

35. What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. By the xkcd author. If you like the comic, you'll like the book. 6/8

36. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Basically a rip-off potpourri of The Hunger Games, Divergent, Harry Potter, and any other dystopian YA novel, with some Roman mythology thrown in for good measure. Completely derivative but I enjoyed it anyway, mostly. 5/8

37. Golden Son (Red Rising Book 2) by Pierce Brown. Sequel. I liked this one less than the first book, mainly because the whole "We're winning, oh noes, we're failing spectacularly and facing certain and inevitable death, oh yay, some completely unexpected thing has happened to save us" cycle is wearing really thin. I'll still read the finale when it comes out next January because I'm a sucker. 4/8

Reading:
Last edited by MHS on Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:16 am, edited 13 times in total.


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El Guapo
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by El Guapo » Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:13 am

Last edited by El Guapo on Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:54 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Holman
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Holman » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:40 am

I'm gonna try to keep up my list this year.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, Randall Munroe (of xkcd fame)
The Martian, Andy Weir.
Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-1945, Max Hastings.
The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, ed. Leslie Klinger.
Watership Down, Richard Adams. (We've been reading this one aloud. Wonderful.)
Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising #1), Susan Cooper. (Another aloud, although it feels more dated.)
Last edited by Holman on Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Sectoid » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:52 am

I've been reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy for a while now. I'm finally on the last book. Damn, those books are long.
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Odin
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Odin » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:25 pm

Sorry - I've created a new thread right after the ball dropped the last couple years, but I forgot this year. I've also failed at tracking my books about midway through the year, but I can give it another try, I suppose.

Read
Steelheart (Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson

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moghedian
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by moghedian » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:47 pm

Didn't read that much last year for whatever reason. I'll try to improve this year:

READING

Broken Angels by Graham Masterton

READ

Attention All Passengers: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent---and How to Reclaim Our Skies by (author) William McGee (NOOK)
Seattle Quake 9.2 (A Jackie Harlan Mystery Book 1) by Marti Talbott -- (free from BookBub) --kind of meh, but it WAS free....gave up...didn't hold interest...
Dead Ice- A Dane and Bones Origins Story by David Wood
Blood and Justice by Rayven T. Hill (NOOK/Bookbub)
The Devil's Dream - A Thriller (The Devil's Dream Series #1) by David Beers...really good
Murder as a Fine Art .....by David Morrell .....really great too!
The Devil's Dream: A Nightmare (Book 2) by David Beers
The Devil's Dream: A Nightmare (Book 3) by David Beers
Unforeseen by Nick Pirog
The Gray and Guilty Sea by Scott William Carter
A Desperate Place for Dying by Scott William Carter
Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
3:00 AM by Nick Pirog
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
The Red Church by Scott Nicholson
Critical Dawn by Wearmouth & Barnes
in a dark, dark wood by ruth ware
The Border by Robert McCammon
The Troop by Nick Cutter
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
One Second After by William R Forstchen
The Deep by Nick Cutter
One Year After by William R Forstchen
Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
Come Closer by Sara Gran
Objects of Wrath by Sean T. Smith
White Bones by Graham Masterton
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by rshetts2 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:01 pm

Im working my way through the Expanse series right now. So far ( into book 3 ) its really good.
Well do you ever get the feeling that the story's too damn real and in the present tense?
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by hitbyambulance » Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:44 am

currently:

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Kurt Vonnegut
REAMDE - Neal Stephenson
various graphic novels

in the queue:
Foundation and Empire - Isaac Asimov

and two books a friend gifted me for my birthday that i will have to find time to read:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain
Unnatural Selection: Why the Geeks Will Inherit the Earth - Mark Roeder

and she loaned me two Neil deGrasse Tyson books that i also have to find time to read:
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Z-Corn » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:50 pm

Most everything I read is on a Kindle and purchased cheap. If you follow the Amazon daily deals my reading list will not be a surprise...

I'll list books as I finish them:

1. Doctor No by Ian Fleming

I've never read a James Bond book before and, due to my love of all things Jamaican, I decided to pick this up a few weeks ago when all the Bond books were on sale. Boy, times have changed since this book was written! It was more than borderline racist in many spots. Fleming even used the word "Chinegro" to describe characters in the book that were half Jamaican and half Chinese. It reminds me of that terrible word "octoroon".

Makes me think that nobody in Jamaica has read this book recently because they hold Fleming in high regard there.

The book was OK. Very dated with predictable plot lines.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Pyperkub » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:13 pm

2015

Finished:

Singularity Sky - Charles Stross

Not bad, but definitely early in his career. I had read Glasshouse late last year and really enjoyed it (and wanted to know more about the universe it was set in). Not as good as his Laundry/Halting State books.

Reading:

The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness

3rd book in the All Souls Trilogy. It's fun slipping back into the world thus far.
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Books Read 2015

Post by J.D. » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:59 am

I think I skipped this thread last year for no good reason other than I just didn't post in it. I'll try to keep up this year.

Finished:
Personal - Lee Child
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Not a Drill - Lee Child
Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King (audiobook)
The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters (audiobook)
Gray Mountain - John Grisham
Scorecasting

Reading:
The Stand - Stephen King (audiobook)
House of Leaves
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:35 am

His Majesty's Dragon: A Novel of Temeraire

It's 1804, Napoleon is trying to invade England, and Dragons are real, intelligent enough to speak, and are used as sky ships manned with riflemen and flagmen.

A light, entertaining read, it's the first of at least nine books in the series. The second one's on e-book from the library, so I guess I'm in for at least one more.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jolor » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:22 pm

Oh, what the heck ... I'll give this another go.

Read
The Walking Dead - Compendium 1
The Road - McCarthy
The Walking Dead - Compendium 2


Reading
The Country of Ice Cream Star - Newman


... and much more than that I, obviously, could not be bothered to post or discuss. A Personal Failing. I shall accept this, though, not as a black mark upon my character but rather as a mark of indistinction. My OCD, it appears, is limited to gaming and groceries and not wholly transferable (in part or otherwise) to reading/listening/viewing activities. I'd be willing to accept a grey-ish/brown mark upon my character for those desiring to dole out such markings, fwiw.
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by WYBaugh » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:52 pm

Finished Johannes Cabal - The Fear Institute

Huge nod to Lovecraft where Cabal goes into the Dream World to find the Fear Animus. Found this book not as good as the first two and fairly disjointed but still enjoyable. Looking forward to the fourth book.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Bad Demographic » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:11 pm

Odin wrote:Sorry - I've created a new thread right after the ball dropped the last couple years, but I forgot this year. I've also failed at tracking my books about midway through the year, but I can give it another try, I suppose.

Read
Steelheart (Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson
How did you like Steelheart, Odin?
I had a hard time getting into it but after a while I liked it. I liked it enough to get on the request list at the library for the next book (which is "in transit", so it could be there tomorrow or in two weeks). I'm looking forward to it.
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Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2013
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2015

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jeff V » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:51 pm

Nine Planets by Greg Byrne :binky: :binky: :binky:

Nine Planets has some interesting ideas, but also some poorly developed concepts. After reading the book, I still don't understand the whole planets metaphor that the book is based on. There is some bizarre association with "planets" in the mind of the main character, Tower, and there appears to be some association with scent. Neither of which is ultimately important to the outcome of the book.

The book itself is a rather innovative take on the Santa myth. 1700 years earlier, a Greek, Nikolas, is approached by a wizened stranger. Nikolas was wealthy thanks to inheritance, but he was feeling a bit suicidal. In fact, suicide is epidemic in this book -- a curse that brings about despondence and creates a thriving suicide assistance industry. One force is keeping the curse at bay -- every year, on Father Nikolas Day (in other words, St. Nick's Day), everyone receives a mysterious gift designed especially for them.

The gifts, it turns out, are made by one group in a different dimension (so to speak). They pass these along to "The Poor Men", an order that delivers them in a "time-slip" via flying sleigh. Operating in a different time allows them to place the gifts unseen and even though it takes thousands to do so, they are able to accomplish this mission. world wide on a timely basis.

Opposing the Poor Men are the authors of the curse -- the Cabal. At no time does the author explain WHY the cabal issues the curse, or why they wish all of humanity to kill themselves or what they have to gain from it. The leader of the Cabal is known as the second (we don't find out anything about a "first" until the very end). There is a secret Tower has uncovered that will be the Cabal's undoing and end the curse...but he has amnesia after a coma and spends the book trying to remember. For some unexplained reason, Tower cannot lie, and there are warnings about him remembering too soon and blabbing this secret to the wrong people.

Oh, and to add a little urgency to the story, a comet is predicted to slam into the earth, perhaps destroying all life anyway.

This is all a little much. The book seems poorly edited, leaving some things conceptually undeveloped while plodding elsewhere. Some unimportant characters are added on a whim, time is spent trying to develop them but they lack commensurate bearing on the final outcome. The book sidetracks too often and doesn't focus on the main conflict between the Poor Men and the Cabal.

Still, I kind of liked the ideas surrounding the Santa myth. Too bad it wasn't better executed.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by YellowKing » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:35 pm

Jeff V wrote:YK...in today's multimedia world, one at a time is not efficient. I always have 2 or 3 books working at once...an audiobook for car or exercise, a Kindle book for reading in the can, and sometimes an old-timey paper book that I often read sitting on the deck with a beer on a hot summer day.
I used to be an avid multi-reader - had five books going at once, etc. But ultimately you're not adding any efficiency - you're just splitting the same amount of total reading time up differently.

Now audiobooks are a different story. You can really chew through some novels if you can listen at work or during times when you otherwise couldn't just break out a Kindle or paperback. I've been trying to increase my audiobook intake.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by theohall » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:20 am

Read
The Harry Harrison Megapack

Currently Reading
Mind's Eye - Douglas E. Richards

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by theohall » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:23 am

The Harrison Megapack was decent, but there was only one Stainless Steel Rat story (the first one) and there are only 10 stories, not 11. There are two versions of "Planet of the Damned" in the book, so decide which version you want to read first. "Planet of the Damned" was an interesting read with social engineering as a precept and responsibility for doing good as a result of said engineering. All of the stories in the pack have elements of social engineering involved.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by J.D. » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:53 am

Just finished "Gone Girl". Thought the book was fantastic until the third act. Hated the ending. Hated it so much it almost ruined the rest of the book. Thing is, I think we're supposed to hate it, that's the point. Which makes me hate it some more.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by MHS » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:51 am

J.D. wrote:Just finished "Gone Girl". Thought the book was fantastic until the third act. Hated the ending. Hated it so much it almost ruined the rest of the book. Thing is, I think we're supposed to hate it, that's the point. Which makes me hate it some more.
I think so too. Rumor has it that the movie ending is different from the book ending. I haven't seen the movie (plan to sometime this week now that's it's available on VoD) so I can't confirm that.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by J.D. » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:53 am

MHS wrote:
J.D. wrote:Just finished "Gone Girl". Thought the book was fantastic until the third act. Hated the ending. Hated it so much it almost ruined the rest of the book. Thing is, I think we're supposed to hate it, that's the point. Which makes me hate it some more.
I think so too. Rumor has it that the movie ending is different from the book ending. I haven't seen the movie (plan to sometime this week now that's it's available on VoD) so I can't confirm that.
I asked my sister who saw the movie and read the book and she says they are both pretty much identical.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by YellowKing » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:44 pm

I hated the movie ending so much I was hoping it was the rumored "different ending" from the book. When I found out they were one and the same, I ditched my plans to read the novel.

I'll have to hand it to David Fincher, though. Even though I hated the plot, the characters, the ending, and just about everything about that film from a narrative perspective, I oddly enjoyed the movie. It really stuck in my mind for days and even weeks afterward.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by MHS » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:13 pm

J.D. wrote:
MHS wrote:
J.D. wrote:Just finished "Gone Girl". Thought the book was fantastic until the third act. Hated the ending. Hated it so much it almost ruined the rest of the book. Thing is, I think we're supposed to hate it, that's the point. Which makes me hate it some more.
I think so too. Rumor has it that the movie ending is different from the book ending. I haven't seen the movie (plan to sometime this week now that's it's available on VoD) so I can't confirm that.
I asked my sister who saw the movie and read the book and she says they are both pretty much identical.
Ah, bummer. I bought into the myth. I'll still check out the movie, though.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jeff V » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:46 pm

The Third Gate by Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Lincoln Child's The Third Gate reads like a sequel to the Mummy movie series. An archeological dig in the Sud attempts to locate the true burial chamber of Egypt's first pharaoh. Locating the tomb by following the trail of bones -- the tomb builders, the priests, and the soldiers -- it is finally located. Of course, what Egyptian tomb isn't booby-trapped/cursed?

Complicating the story is an event that happens at the start of the book. An anesthesiologist working ER duty finds himself trying to save his own wife. Dead for a record 14 minutes she is brought back, and thus begins a parallel story about those with near-death experiences. The doctor himself quits his profession to start an institute dedicated to researching this bullshit. He attracts the attention of the archeological expedition and is hired as the team doctor. Of course, his wife comes along.

It seems being dead 14 minutes is enough time for another soul to inhabit one's body. In this case, it was the pharaoh's queen, who probably killed her dear husband. Thus the prophesized curses have a little help in coming true.

I like the setting, but there was too much implausible mysticism for my taste.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by hitbyambulance » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:31 am

MHS wrote:
J.D. wrote:
MHS wrote:
J.D. wrote:Just finished "Gone Girl". Thought the book was fantastic until the third act. Hated the ending. Hated it so much it almost ruined the rest of the book. Thing is, I think we're supposed to hate it, that's the point. Which makes me hate it some more.
I think so too. Rumor has it that the movie ending is different from the book ending. I haven't seen the movie (plan to sometime this week now that's it's available on VoD) so I can't confirm that.
I asked my sister who saw the movie and read the book and she says they are both pretty much identical.
Ah, bummer. I bought into the myth. I'll still check out the movie, though.

i started to read this based on the comments in this thread, then became increasingly sad that i did. abandoned it a quarter of the way through. bleh. i hate quitting books, but if the writing is indifferent-to-poor, then i don't feel bad about it.
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by silverjon » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:14 pm

mumble, mumble... could have probably told you years ago that you wouldn't like it
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

Unless one loses a precious thing, he will never know its true value. A little light finally scratches the darkness; it lets the exhausted one face his shattered dream and realize his path cannot be walked. Can man live happily without embracing his wounded heart?

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jeff V » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:54 pm

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

I think I'm done with Lincoln Child solo stuff for awhile. Terminal Freeze feels like a script for a typical monster movie. Scientists occupying a former government arctic cold war watch station stumble upon a cave where a cat -- presumably a saber-tooth, is frozen in a block of ice. Media circus ensues, as a big-name documentary team descends upon the camp to create a hyped-up live production exposing the find.

Except upon further examination, the cat is about twice the size of a saber tooth. And one of the scientists had been plagued by night mares of such a beast since he was young (naturally). And then there is a local Eskimo tribe who already warned them to leave now. Well, that can't be good. And then the specimen mysteriously vanishes....who could take the frozen kitty? For something so large, I found it amusing they were searching personal lockers and the cab of an ice road trucker (Child appears to be a fan of the show). As you might have guessed, nobody stole the cat.

Among the survivors is the "Enigmologist" from the last book I read, The Third Gate. He comes into the story late, and seems to be there for continuity in a series of books featuring metaphysical bullshit. That's all well and good -- except this guy seems to be everywhere the bizarre paranormal thrives while the rest of the world carries on in mundane oblivion.

A movie based on this book would make good Saturday afternoon fare. Just don't expect the screenplay to win any Oscars.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:21 am

Throne of Jade (Temeraire Book 2) by Naomi Novik.

The Chinese are pissed that the Brits ended up with the dragon they sent to Napoleon. Off to China to attempt to resolve things.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Rumpy » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:04 am

Yeah, read that one a few books back, Jeff. Surprisingly, I had also read Micro by Michael Crichton, and it made Terminal Freeze brilliant in comparison. But that's not really saying much. The plot was fairly average. And you're right, it feels like a plot taken from a syfy movie. The inclusion of the ice road trucker felt tacked on.
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jeff V » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:39 pm

That is surprising, I've enjoyed most books I've read by Crichton (the unfinished but published after his death pirate book was pretty bad though). I've not read that one, I suppose I shouldn't bother.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Rumpy » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:24 pm

Agreed that Pirate Latitudes was pretty bad. Actually the overall story wasn't that bad, but it did feel unfinished and quite lacking. Micro would best be described as an updated version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids with more of a sci-fi bent. These kids leave their research jobs at a university for the promise of a higher-paying job in Oahu, for a company that promises them tons of new research opportunities. They don't know that this particular company has been working on a way to miniaturize people and objects and when they find evidence of foul play involving a murder and anger the president of the company, he miniaturize them and leaves them to fend for themselves in the forest full of critters. It's incredibly hokey and stupid.

I read those two books back to back, and Terminal Freeze was way better in comparison.
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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Chrisoc13 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:10 am

I'll take a stab at keeping my list updated this year.

Read:

Eragon

Currently Reading:

The Hobbit

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Carpet_pissr » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:36 pm

Reading 'Sword at Sunset' by Rosemary Sutcliff. I guess you can call it historical fiction, as it tries to portray King Arthur's legend in as accurate as possible terms of the time period.

Trying hard to keep going, but I have the feeling I am missing a lot due to lack of something...either knowledge about the Arthurian legend, or maybe some gap in my education, not sure.

One distraction that I keep running into is the name changes of the characters and places. So Arthur is Artos, Lancelot is I think Bedwyn, etc. Even place names were changed for some reason unknown to me and my wee little brain. The way this is done just introduces confusion for me personally, and I long ago gave up trying to piece together who is who, and who in Sutcliff's version is supposed to represent who from the legend.

Would appreciate any enthusiasm for the middle to ending from someone that has read it, to keep me reading this. Otherwise, I fear I will give it up, and I have been giving up a LOT of reads lately for some reason...disturbing trend.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jeff V » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:07 pm

Carpet_pissr wrote:Reading 'Sword at Sunset' by Rosemary Sutcliff. I guess you can call it historical fiction, as it tries to portray King Arthur's legend in as accurate as possible terms of the time period.
Bernard Cornwell wrote a trilogy set in the Arthur myth, most of which is historically plausible. Except, of course, for some of the Merlin/Morgana mysticism. I found it very well done and would recommend it if you have particular interest in the subject matter.

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Re: Books Read 2015

Post by Jaddison » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:06 pm

American Sniper- Chris Kyle. Not anywhere close to a good book about war, the GWOT or really anything else. Guy revels in killing- not sure if that is macho facade or not. Has no trouble saying his priorities are God, country, family yet directly violating the central tenets of his religion continuously- he never acknowledges any disconnect. The movie portrays a Chris Kyle that is not in this book- Eastwood wanted to make a movie about men in combat but not necessarily the Chris Kyle story. It is not an awful book but there are others that I feel are much better. Based on the numerous "super-hero" like events Kyle appears to have invented after he left the service I think he got lost in trying to be some sort of modern day John Wayne (these are not in the book btw- the Jesse Ventura story got pulled out of the book).

Unbroken- learned a lot from this book. Also learned Angelina Jolie didn't make a very good movie if she was trying to do anything other than make Louie Zampirini into a super hero. His story is so much more. Learned we lost more aviators in non-combat accidents than we did in combat. I never really knew we granted amnesty to scores of Japanese war criminals, just as we did by commuting the sentences of thousands of German war criminals, within a couple years after the end of the war. His overcoming PTSD, alcohol and the obsession of killing is prime tormentor is an amazing story. Highly recommended
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