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Lobby 2. Welcome The Reading Room Reading Challenges 2012 topic #126
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Subject: "Ed's 2012 Reading" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #126 "Ed's 2012 Reading"
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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199 posts
Date Sat Feb-25-12 08:19 AM
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I'm going to go for a challenge of 50 books for the year.

Question: do audio books count?

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1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, Temporus, Feb 25th 2012, #1
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Temporus, Feb 25th 2012, #2
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Temporus, Feb 25th 2012, #3
4. Reign of Lightning by Doru Walker, Temporus, Feb 25th 2012, #4
RE: 4. Reign of Lightning by Doru Walker, Erin_M_H, Feb 25th 2012, #7
5. Star Wars the Radio Drama, by George Lucas, Temporus, Feb 25th 2012, #5
6. Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole, Temporus, Feb 25th 2012, #6
7. METAtropolis: Cascadia by Jay Lake, Mary Robinette K..., Temporus, Mar 12th 2012, #8
8. METAtropolis by John Scalzi, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bea..., Temporus, Mar 22nd 2012, #9
9. Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich, Temporus, Apr 06th 2012, #10
10. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Temporus, Apr 06th 2012, #11
11. Kenny and the Dragon, by Tony DiTerlizzi, Temporus, Apr 15th 2012, #12
12. The Empire Strikes Back, the Radio Drama, by George..., Temporus, May 19th 2012, #13
13. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, Temporus, May 31st 2012, #14
14. Secret Project, by Author undisclosed., Temporus, Jun 11th 2012, #15
15. All's Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Re..., Temporus, Jun 15th 2012, #16
16. The Hero's 2 Journeys by Michael Hague and Christop..., Temporus, Jun 15th 2012, #17
17. Silently and Very Fast, by Catherynne M. Valente., Temporus, Jul 03rd 2012, #18
18. Jumper, by Steven Gould, Temporus, Jul 03rd 2012, #19
RE: 18. Jumper, by Steven Gould, KatsInCommand, Jul 03rd 2012, #20
RE: 18. Jumper, by Steven Gould, Erin_M_H, Jul 03rd 2012, #21
19. Treason's Shore, by Sherwood Smith, Temporus, Jul 12th 2012, #22
20. The Price of the Stars, by Debra Doyle and James D...., Temporus, Jul 19th 2012, #23
21. Reflex, by Steven Gould, Temporus, Jul 19th 2012, #24
22. Moby-Dick, by Herman Mellville, Temporus, Aug 07th 2012, #25
23. Tiassa, by Steven Brust, Temporus, Aug 15th 2012, #26
24. Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines, Temporus, Aug 16th 2012, #27
RE: 24. Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines, RavenCorbie, Aug 16th 2012, #28
RE: 24. Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines, Erin_M_H, Aug 16th 2012, #29
25. Redshirts, by John Scalzi, Temporus, Aug 24th 2012, #30

Mesg #127 "1. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins"
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 08:31 AM
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In response to Reply # 0

I liked it. I can see why it has a sizable following.

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Mesg #128 "2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins"
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 08:45 AM
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This one was good too, but felt a bit of a rehash in some portions of the plot. Not unbelievably but enough to put me outside the story and notice it.

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Mesg #129 "3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins"
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 08:53 AM
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Somehow, this was simultaneously the most interesting, different, and yet least satisfying of the three. Somehow, I felt like the story had drifted away in portions from being Katniss's tale, but the author didn't notice.

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Mesg #130 "4. Reign of Lightning by Doru Walker"
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 09:40 AM
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Novella, I think, so a quick read. I don't normally read Romance, so it was very interesting to read a story where the focus was not the fantastical elements, but the relationship. It really emphasized the difference for me between a true Paranormal Romance, and an Urban Fantasy.

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Mesg #133 "RE: 4. Reign of Lightning by Doru Walker"
Author Erin_M_H     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 10:10 PM
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In response to Reply # 4

Novelette, actually, by SFWA definitions -- between 7500 and 17500, or some such numbers.

Oh, and in answer to your question on the first post, I count audiobooks.

-- Erin

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Mesg #131 "5. Star Wars the Radio Drama, by George Lucas"
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 08:05 PM
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I'm counting it. Not the least of reasons, because it's substantially longer than the movie was, and shows you a lot more about the world and how they edited things down. If you want an interesting study in how to take a long story and trim it to the essentials, compare this to the movie and you'll see just how to get rid of every non-essential bit to make the core of the story stand out.

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Mesg #132 "6. Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole"
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Date Sat Feb-25-12 08:08 PM
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A good first novel. Combines military fiction with urban fantasy in a pretty unique way. Though the magic felt a lot more like super powers than what I consider magic, it lived up to the "sales pitch" of X-men meets Black Hawk Down.

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Mesg #149 "7. METAtropolis: Cascadia by Jay Lake, Mary Robinette K..."
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Mon Mar-12-12 09:52 AM
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Mon Mar-12-12 09:54 AMby Temporus

Got lucky with this one, and managed to get a copy when they had it up for free on Audible. It's been making my commute much more enjoyable than radio these days. (And yes, I "read" these out of order, this one first, then had to go back and buy the original in the series.)

The stories within vary a bit in quality, as do the readers. I enjoyed them all, but some stories struck me as stronger, as well as some pairings of reader to story. My favorite of the bunch was "Water to Wine" by Mary Robinette Kowal, read by Kate Mulgrew.

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Mesg #160 "8. METAtropolis by John Scalzi, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bea..."
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Date Thu Mar-22-12 10:36 AM
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Enjoyed listening to this one. The readers were generally quite good, though Micheal Hogan seemed to have some volume consistency issues. Overall, liked it. Hard to claim a specific favorite this time around, but I appreciated getting more of an introduction to each story and how it fit into the process compared to the followup collection. After listening to both of these, I really hope there will be another META heading our way.

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Mesg #169 "9. Queen's Hunt by Beth Bernobich"
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Date Fri Apr-06-12 09:37 AM
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Picking up some months after the events of her first novel, Passion Play, this novel takes the story and expands the world, bringing in characters and settings in other parts of the world. This novel, unlike the first, has several viewpoint characters, which seems to fit well with expansion of the world. Quite enjoyed it.

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Mesg #172 "10. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe"
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Date Fri Apr-06-12 07:18 PM
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Another audiobook that I've been listening to on the way to work. Read by John Lee. I never read this classic, only really knowing it through cultural absorption really. Definitely of a time and style of writing that is not really around today, but Lee as the narrator did an exceptional job bringing this book to life. The fact that he himself is English made the tale work on a whole extra level. It took the first person, I'm telling you this story of my life, narrative voice of Defoe and gave it breath.

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Mesg #179 "11. Kenny and the Dragon, by Tony DiTerlizzi"
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Date Sun Apr-15-12 09:47 AM
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Based off the story The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame (in fact the main characters are called Kenneth and Grahame in clear homage) this was a fun story to read aloud to my five year old. DiTerlizzi's drawings were exceptional, and added wonderfully to the story.

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Mesg #229 "12. The Empire Strikes Back, the Radio Drama, by George..."
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Sat May-19-12 09:39 AM
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This one was not quite as good as Star Wars. Decent enough, but there was a whole lot more telling rather than showing going on. I know some of it was necessary because it's an audio only medium and compared to the movie, you have to describe it all, etc. But it seemed excessive in my opinion. Compared to the first one, this one didn't add all that much more to the understanding of what's going on in the world.

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Mesg #240 "13. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne"
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Date Thu May-31-12 07:41 AM
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This was my first time with this story, but I couldn't resist the audio book because it was narrated by the inimitable Tim Curry. Who did a superlative job as a narrator.

What a Manventure. This was totally old school type of SF. The men went out and did things, while the woman stayed home. Ouch. What made me sad, was that the main female character the Ward of the Professor and Fiancee of his nephew was built up to seem a competent woman in her own right, certainly an intellectual and knowledgeable person in the same specialty (geology). So I'd thought originally that she would be accompanying them on the journey and was disappointed she did not. Overall, the story itself didn't impress me much, and while there was plenty of science bandied around, there were stretches where I was bored. Had I been reading a book instead of listening to the audiobook, I'd probably have skimmed through some of the tedious "lecturing" that occurred.

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Mesg #250 "14. Secret Project, by Author undisclosed."
Author Temporus     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Mon Jun-11-12 11:55 AM
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Not sure if I'm allowed to speak about this yet, as I read this for a friend who wanted feedback. But since I read a whole book, I felt I might as well include it.

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Mesg #256 "15. All's Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Re..."
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Date Fri Jun-15-12 09:41 AM
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Another classic I'd never read that I'm catching up on via Audio book. Moving and powerful. Really gets you into the mind of what a life of total war must have been like, and just how terrible such was not only upon those sent off to war, but on the society as a whole. It is narrated by Frank Muller, who does a very good job with it.

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Mesg #257 "16. The Hero's 2 Journeys by Michael Hague and Christop..."
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Date Fri Jun-15-12 10:08 AM
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This audio book is actually a recording of some lectures that the two authors gave during a workshop. It details two similar approaches to storytelling, and while both Hague and Vogler specialize in movies and screenwriting, the lessons they talk about here can be applied to any writing.

Hague has the more general approach to story telling, and is more focused upon hitting the beats at approximately the right time in the story. Vogler's model is the classic "Hero's Journey" as he has developed it from Joseph Campbell's seminal work: The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

The lectures are broken down into two segments, the first focusing on the outer or physical layer of the story/journey. Which they equate strongly with the plot of the story. The second portion deals with the internal layer of the story/journey. This portion they equate strongly with theme. The implication is you need both story arcs to make your story the best version you can.

Both speakers are good, and pepper their points throughout with examples taken mostly, but effectively, from movies. As the lecture was given in LA, it should be no surprise that the majority of the audience were screenwriters. It was short, coming in at just over three hours, and was easy listening. Although I was able to listen to it just fine on 1.5x speed, and didn't notice a problem. It was on discount for just $5.95. I thought it worth the price.

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Mesg #280 "17. Silently and Very Fast, by Catherynne M. Valente."
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Date Tue Jul-03-12 12:59 PM
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Wow. I heard her read the first few chapters at Boskone and was entranced. I bought this one, knowing my wife would enjoy it and I was right about that. For a short work, it's pretty dense, so it gave me the feeling like I'd read an entire novel, even if it was just a novella. Highly recommended.

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Mesg #281 "18. Jumper, by Steven Gould"
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Date Tue Jul-03-12 01:04 PM
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Okay, if you saw the movie that was based off this book? Go read this book. Very, very different feel, and a pretty substantially different story line. Some characters are still there, and a few are even recognizable. But for the most part? Two totally different stories with just some elements in common. Worth the read.

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Mesg #282 "RE: 18. Jumper, by Steven Gould"
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Date Tue Jul-03-12 04:06 PM
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I finished this one last week - very enjoyable.

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Mesg #283 "RE: 18. Jumper, by Steven Gould"
Author Erin_M_H     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Tue Jul-03-12 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the recommendation. I did see the movie.

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Mesg #291 "19. Treason's Shore, by Sherwood Smith"
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Date Thu Jul-12-12 06:08 PM
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The final volume in the Inda series. Wow, is it large. Somehow, I managed to misplace my copy about 2/3 of the way through, and I finally found where it had gotten tucked away during a spout of cleaning. An interesting and enjoyable conclusion to the series. From a writing point of view, there's something odd about how effortlessly Sherwood shifts perspectives from person to person throughout the story. You might be tempted to call it head hopping, and I suspect it would annoy some readers. I can't exactly tell you why, but it doesn't annoy me when I'm reading. In any case, I think if her style clashes with your sensibility, you probably wouldn't have made it all the way to book four. And if you've made it this far, I think you'll be happy with how she wraps things up.

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Mesg #296 "20. The Price of the Stars, by Debra Doyle and James D...."
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Date Thu Jul-19-12 09:20 PM
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This is the first book in their Mageworlds series. I kept getting a bit of a Star Wars vibe coming off the book, even though the plot isn't really anything like Star Wars. And by that I mean the original, not the lame abomination unto the world that is the later Star Wars stuff, but a real Sword and Planet kind of feel that the original movie gave off. There's even a bit of Jedi/Sith like thing going on with the Adepts and the Magelords. Quite fun.

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Mesg #297 "21. Reflex, by Steven Gould"
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Date Thu Jul-19-12 09:26 PM
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This is a sequel to Jumper. It was written about a decade later, and appears to take place about a decade later. It's utterly fascinating to me the kinds of things talked about from a scientific point of view therein. Such as, he mentions a cellphone needing a "national plan" or some such in a few spots, and that kind of made me go, eh? If it's taking place post 9/11 (which it does) having a "national plan" was pretty much the norm. A few other technological bits gave me the same reaction. That said, it was an interesting look at the further story of Davy and Millie, and as it happens pretty much within the first chapter, I don't think it's giving too much away to say this time around, it's Millie's turn to start Jumping, and become the active hero. A very nice turn of events.

Still, a kind of alternate world from the movie and all, but quite fun and a very fast read.

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Mesg #312 "22. Moby-Dick, by Herman Mellville"
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Date Tue Aug-07-12 06:53 PM
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This was another audio book I went through, read fantastically by Frank Muller. I cannot praise his reading enough, for this was over 21 hours of listening, and he managed to somehow keep you engaged with distinct characterizations for almost every character that you could tell who was speaking even when you had no text before you. But on to the tale.

A classic, and an amazing one that I had heretofore managed to miss out on. Probably not what I would call an easy read, for some of the language is a bit older, not quite archaic, but of an older tone and vocabulary that isn't all in common use today. Like many an older book, when you read it, you'll likely think to yourself, how on earth did he get this past his editor? There are huge stretches of text, chapters and chapters of it, that do nothing to advance the story or the plot, but only serve to give you a deeper connection to the profession of whaling, and the knowledge of whales and their behaviors. I would not be at all surprised to find abridged versions of the tale that trim nearly all of that out. How sad, if it's true, because it's some amazing stuff, even as I admit, had I read it instead of listened to it being read, I would have been sorely tempted to skim heavily those chapters instead of reading intently. The challenge being it is hard to rightly know and understand the ship and her crew and their world without being exposed to that life. It would be a shame to limit the text only to the direct course of action of the pursuit of the White Whale, though I admit, I did indeed become more and more impatient for that final battle the longer the book went.

Worth a read if you haven't yet. Worth a listen if you've the time and inclination.

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Mesg #320 "23. Tiassa, by Steven Brust"
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Date Wed Aug-15-12 08:54 PM
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Hmm....a very different sort of tale. Almost like a series of a few novellas lumped together with some connective pieces. An interesting approach to telling a story. They are all intrinsically linked, so it's not exactly improper to think of it as a novel. But each of the larger tales is told from a different viewpoint, and with a different style. It's the first story I've read in this world, and it kept me interested. I'm not sure if I could be convinced to read this kind of writing long term though. The constant change ups in points of view and voice especially in the last main section which contained what felt to me to be a rather affected style of dialog, I just couldn't put up with that novel after novel. It does make me wish I'd been able to find the first book in the series instead, as the world seems fascinating, and I'd like to have that introduction to the world under my belt.

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Mesg #321 "24. Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines"
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Date Thu Aug-16-12 03:15 PM
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A new urban fantasy series by Jim Hines. I'm hooked. (Shocker. Queue fanboy squee in 3...2...1...) I'd go so far as to say that this isn't just Urban Fantasy, but homage to geekdom in general. Definitely worth a read if you are a fan of UF, or Jim. And if you aren't both of those...read it and you might become a convert.

Plus: Smudge lives!

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Mesg #322 "RE: 24. Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines"
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Date Thu Aug-16-12 09:39 PM
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I saw that in the bookstore and it looked interesting. I'll definitely give it a shot one of these days!

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Mesg #323 "RE: 24. Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines"
Author Erin_M_H     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
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Date Thu Aug-16-12 09:45 PM
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I'll have to request that my library purchase it -- I already ordered a heap of books this month.

-- Erin

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Mesg #335 "25. Redshirts, by John Scalzi"
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Date Fri Aug-24-12 12:31 AM
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Wow, I'm half way there. Not a lot of time left.

A fun quick read. Enjoyed it, though it wasn't among what I would think of as Scalzi's best. A little too meta perhaps for my tastes. Still, I expect most Scalzi fans, as well as anyone that ever loved Sci-fi TV shows will get a kick out of this send up of a lot of tropes. It's got a thought provoking idea or two out there for writers as well, though perhaps not any philosophy that's exactly new. But on the whole, Scalzi is having fun, and if you're the kind of geek/nerd that spent a lot of time with SF shows, you'll probably be having fun right along with him.

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