Those Travis McGee stories are kind of boilerplate as regards the action plots (McGee takes assignment, solves problem but leaves a loose end, the loose end causes great grief often capturing and torturing McGee, McGee loses girl due to murder or angst, but eventually justice triumphs), but the fun part is the stuff that's not directly part of the adventure, like the talks with Meyer and the cynical ruminations about the future of the republic.
Just finished Life of Pi. I believe in God.
Well just stepped into a larger world of sci-fi with Ender's Game. I can't believe it took me so long to actually read this. Strategy games, especially Sins of a Solar Empire, look a little different now.
Moved on to The Face of Battle in honor of John Keegan.
Decided to break out some Dune last week. Is anyone else but me amazed at how well that scifi story aged? It's what 60 years old, and the "science" of Dune still just works.
Anyone else pick up Paul Auster's new memoir, Winter Journal? It's on my short list. I'm wary of his newer fiction but have loved everything autobiographical by him that I've read so far.
War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
This is the second book in Wouk's two book set about the Henry family and the history of WW2. The first book is Winds of War. I found this book another excellent read although the story line around Natalie and Aaron and the concentration camps were a little disconcerting. Maybe because I have seen Dachau it is hard to imagine a place like that "coming to life" in a novel.
I would recommend these books to anyone who enjoys sweeping historical novels. Wouk even finishes the book with a couple pages describing exactly which events, places and names were real.
I noticed Wouk has written two books on the founding and history of Israel. Has anyone read those? I will be looking to get a copy of the Caine Mutiny as well.
I've been trying to listen to The Name of the Wind on audiobook based on all the great feedback on Qt3 but it's been tough. I don't know if it's the actual book, the narrator (Nick Podehl), or a combination of the two but I really can't stand the main character. He comes across as a complete douche to me - is he supposed to be really unlikable?
Spoiler: Minor spoilers
No Easy Day comes out next month. Anyone else going to pick it up? Speilberg and Dreamworks already in talks for the movie rights.
I wonder if he plans to share the money with the other members of the team.
Sounds interesting, ElG. Added to my list.
So does Winds of War (thanks, Scuzz). I'm reading more and more history/biography/memoir/historical fiction these days, and the subject matter is personally relevant as well (grandfather helped liberate Dachau, an experience which snowballed and ultimately had lasting effects on many others in our family).
Forgot to plug Qt3's very own Mr. Elhajj whose new memoir (Dopefiend) I read a month ago - good stuff, made a deep impression on me, hoping to see more.
I'm 2.5 books into Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles series now (thanks, Book Thread!), and I'm impressed. He routinely outdoes himself and I have high hopes for the rest of the series, which have been compared to The Dresden Files books here. I also see similarities to American Gods (not just because Hearne's a Gaiman fan himself), but that comparison is looser and IMO he's trumped both.
Last edited by barstein; 08-27-2012 at 07:45 PM.
rowe33, if you're not liking it by then, I'd say be done with it. He doesn't change much.
I'm 150 pages into Perdido Street Station by China Mieville and am really enjoying it. It's just damn well done and imaginative and good. This is my second book by him and I'm really into him as an author. Yay smart people!
I'm not sure I'd rate Hearne above Gaiman, especially American Gods. His stuff strikes me as very competent, well done, but ultimately traditional urban fantasy. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love me some urban fantasy. But it doesn't really reach the levels American Gods does. American Gods is, imho, -mythic-.
Well, I'm not up for a debate with you guys and you probably have good points anyway.
But I will say that the secondary characters in Butcher's books never really held great value in my mind, as far as what made the books great for me. And I'm saying that as someone who plowed through the series like a crazed glutton, loving most of the experience.
And as for Gaiman, I have a lot of respect for him, and I never made and will probably never make the case that Hearne as an author should be rated higher than Gaiman as an author. (You may have misinterpreted my post.) But American Gods was a bit of a disappointment to me when I read it last year, after all the praise I'd been hearing for years and years. I liked it a lot but it just didn't blow me away, and I think this was in part because I felt Gaiman was throwing all of his eggs into one concept basket and that fizzled out, after a while.
This month I've read, or am still reading, in paper form: The Hobbit (for the kth time), Murakami's After the Quake short stories, Ahlfor's Complex Analysis, and Wheeden & Zygmund's Real Analysis. (Hey, it's prelim season.)
And in Kindle form: Never Let Me Go (I guess I started it in July & finished it in August? In any case, I enjoyed it so much that I'm planning to read The Remains of the Day next month.), Year Zero: A Novel, The Ethical Slut, and the Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (still on volume 3).
I'm not sure I've ever managed a more varied month in all my life, but then I've also never spent so many hours on airplanes & driving/riding across the country.
Starting reading Bypass Gemini by Joseph Lallo, which I obtained via StoryBundle. About halfway in now, and it's a fun read, sort of a space opera with elements of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy thrown in. Targeting toward the young adult end of the spectrum, I think, though there are some adult-ish themes.
How are the other books in the "bundle"?
I've been on a tear this month, helped out by vacations:
Ray Banks -- Saturday's Child An excellent bit of hard-boiled fiction set out of Manchester England. A fun read with great characters for anyone who is a fan of the genre.
Drew Magary -- The Postmortal The novel is presented as a series of blog-posts which is a little bit annoying but the ideas Magary's exploring are enough to overcome this fault. The novel is a thought experiment about what would happen to the world if a cure for aging was found. I've never been uncomfortable with the idea of aging but, by the end of this book, I was downright happy about it.
J.E. Fender -- The Private Revolution of Geoffrey Frost A surprisingly good piece of historical fiction set out of my current home state of New Hampshire. Recommended for fans of The Age of Sail genre.
Junot Diaz -- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Interesting but I'm not sure how I felt about it. The tone and subject matter reminded me a little of Johnathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude but the scope was greater and it was more rambling(!). Tons of geek culture references in this story of a Dominican family plagued by misfortune. The Dominican history was fascinating.
Mikhail Bulgakov -- The Master and Margarita I picked this up based on recommendations here and loved it. The commentary and afterword in the edition I read really added to my appreciation. I love how the meta-story of the book's publishing history reinforces Bulgakov's ideas.
F Scott Fitzgerald -- The Great Gatsby I haven't read this since High School and, with the movie coming out, I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered. This time around I was blown away by the precision of Fitzgerald's writing. (The movie looks like it will be a travesty -- Just the sort of extravaganza Fitzgerald was lampooning.)
Currently I'm reading The Outermost House, an amazing (and influential) piece of nature writing by Henry Beston who spent a year living in the dunes of Cape Cod. Rachel Carson cited Beston as the only influence on her writing and I can see why. Really great stuff.
I'm also close to finishing Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus which is thoroughly mediocre.
So yesterday Barnes & Noble was supposed to ship me three books. I have been waiting 3 months because yesterday was the day A Dance with Dragons would be shipping in the trade paperback form. So they shipped the first two books yesterday but not A Dance with Dragons, WTF.
So Barnes & Noble has notified me that the expected Aug 28th release of Dance of Dragons in paperback has been "delayed". Damn. Is Martin printing the books himself?
Oh shit, found this on-line today.
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) (Mass Market Paperback) Pub. Date: 3/26/2013 Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Last edited by Scuzz; 08-31-2012 at 03:51 PM.