Liz

What Are You Reading?

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So, what is everyone else reading and waiting on right now? Anyone besides me use fictfact or something similar to track books read/series watched? Any hobbies related to your reading, such as cosplay or filk or LARPing?

 

I'm still working my way through Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series; I'm on book 11 (Knife of Dreams) and its been... ups and downs for me. Without getting into spoilers, the characters have this bad habit of swooning and falling in love at first sight, and almost every female character has this tendency to faint, puke, cry, or wail at anything troubling. And the male characters can be a little predictable. But I do like the magic system, and the plot remains interesting now that I've gotten over the "fate is a tangible force in this universe" business (which bothered me for a bit). Not sure how he's going to wrap this up meaningfully with so few books left, but, I'll get there when I get there. Also, the plot armor on the main characters is a mechanic of the universe rather than a 'writing flaw', which amuses me. 

 

I also read George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, but that's been inactive for some time. While some of the characters and mannerisms disappoint me here, too, my issues are a bit harder to sum up. And I'm really worried he's writing himself into a corner. But I really enjoy the magic and the dragons (if Dany's begun to annoy me as a character), and the warging and the general question of what really exists, what is story/myth/legend, and what is forgotten history. And maybe he'll clear up this "doom of old valyeria" business.

 

Anyone else read the Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara? I don't want to ramble on too much, but its my favorite take on 'urban fantasy', where 'urban' refers to a fantasy city in a fantasy universe at a pre-industrial-revolution tech level. Her writing is masterful and the races and setting is entirely unique, and she handles the differences and strife that arise from having immortals living with and "equal to" mortals in a settlement in a an interesting fashion rather than... glossing over it.

 

What do other people read? What new series have you picked up on? Old books you've re-read and rediscovered? Old classics you've finally been bullied into reading? 

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Currently re-reading the Imager Portfolio by L. E. Modesitt. I'm on Princeps, the last book of the series I own - I don't know if another one's come out yet. I'm used to just plowing through books, but these are books you have to really chew thoroughly. I think they're best described as "medieval political fantasy"?

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Rereading the entire Ender's Saga. Still hate Bean till third book. Then suddenly favorite character. A war of gifts is terrible and I wish OSC would stay subtle with his preachiness.

I'm all caught up on ASIAF. Arya and Tyrion are officially the only reason I would read another book. Everyone else I had an interest in seems to have died or become increasingly tedious. Circe was interesting for all of half a book.

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Recently I've read the entirety of the Dresden Files (as published... still awaiting the next book to come out), which left me at a bit of a loss of what to read next. Since then I've read Speaker for the Dead and half of Xenocide, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

 

I hadn't read Speaker for the Dead previously, and I thought it was a fantastic book. Xenocide I was less impressed with, and I stopped halfway through because I was tired of hearing about Path. I plan to return to it, simply so I can continue on in the series, but not right now.

 

The Way of Kings was fantastic (it took a while to get rolling, but it did a good job of keeping my interest while setting up), but I deeply regret reading it now that I know that it's the first and only published book in a series (The Stormlight Archive) projected to be ten books long. >_> At least the next book is supposedly coming out in March.

 

The Name of the Wind wasn't as good as The Way of Kings, but I enjoyed it for the most part. I'll probably read the rest of the series, although I don't think I'm going to do that right away.

 

Right now, I'm rereading The Omen Machine as a refresher (I've already read it) before I read The Third Kingdom (both by Terry Goodkind). Rereading the Omen Machine makes me feel like I should reread the entire Sword of Truth series, but that would likely take me all semester, and I can't afford that, because in March, Ruins by Dan Wells is being published. Ruins is the third (and final, I believe) book in the Partials trilogy, and I really enjoyed the first two books. It's more or less an epic fantasy hiding inside a post-apocalyptic setting, and I thought it was really well done. So I'm hoping to have finished The Omen Machine and The Third Kingdom by March so I can immediately pick up Ruins and then the second book of The Stormlight Archive once I'm done with Ruins.

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Recently I've read the entirety of the Dresden Files (as published... still awaiting the next book to come out), which left me at a bit of a loss of what to read next.

If you haven't already, I'd suggest looking into The Hollows by Kim Harrison - its the same genre and sub-genre (enough that they could be set in the same universe, for the first few books before 'big bad things' start going down at least), and has a fantastic protagonist and crew of characters. Read it immediately.

 

Years and years ago I'd have recommended the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, but unfortunately its gone from 1:100 to 100:1 sex:plot ratio, and the books are pretty much softcore porn when I stopped reading. Maybe this changed, maybe it hasn't, but there'd be a lot of trash to wade through if it has changed, and the reviews I've read said it hasn't. Which is really sad.

 

As I said in my first post the Chronicles of Elantra is an excellent read, and even more so if you liked the Dresden Files series. 

 

Something I forgot to mention in my first post - everyone should read this so I can set up a role play in its universe. The first hit book is free! 

 

Would anyone here be interested in starting a fantasy novel reading club, perhaps? :)

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I'm still working my way through Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series; I'm on book 11 (Knife of Dreams) and its been... ups and downs for me. Without getting into spoilers, the characters have this bad habit of swooning and falling in love at first sight, and almost every female character has this tendency to faint, puke, cry, or wail at anything troubling. And the male characters can be a little predictable. But I do like the magic system, and the plot remains interesting now that I've gotten over the "fate is a tangible force in this universe" business (which bothered me for a bit). Not sure how he's going to wrap this up meaningfully with so few books left, but, I'll get there when I get there. Also, the plot armor on the main characters is a mechanic of the universe rather than a 'writing flaw', which amuses me. 

You missed my biggest pet peeve about the women. "Well-turned calves." Any time a woman found a man attractive, that was the line Jordan used. I'm pretty sure it was at least twice a book. Once in the series would have been too much. That said, I finished the series last autumn and absolutely loved it. It's now in my list of favorite series of all time. 

 

I'm all caught up on ASIAF. Arya and Tyrion are officially the only reason I would read another book. Everyone else I had an interest in seems to have died or become increasingly tedious. Circe was interesting for all of half a book.

I read those books until my dad stopped. And then I didn't want to pay to download the next one to my Kindle. Two weeks later, I'd forgotten what was going on and didn't care. I assumed this was a sign that there was no value in paying for any more. Tyrion was interesting still, though. 

 

 

 

Something I forgot to mention in my first post - everyone should read this so I can set up a role play in its universe. The first hit book is free! 

 

Um, yes! LOVE those books. My second read through, I was a bit disappointed in the editing. I feel like it was a draft or two from perfect. But definitely a wonderful plot and a brilliant world. I'd be happy to see more in that universe. 

 

I'm busy re-reading the Inda books by Sherwood Smith. Sartorias-deles is another wonderful universe. The stories span millennia, and you can read any "set" first. I started with Crown Duel and moved on from there. The Inda stories are probably my favorites, simply because you see so much of the world. Another good one is Banner of the Damned which comes chronologically between the other major story arcs that I've read so far. Honestly, it's a bit complicated

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You missed my biggest pet peeve about the women. "Well-turned calves." Any time a woman found a man attractive, that was the line Jordan used. I'm pretty sure it was at least twice a book. Once in the series would have been too much. That said, I finished the series last autumn and absolutely loved it. It's now in my list of favorite series of all time. 

 

I suppose I've been browsing /fit/ for so long that I've grown my own appreciation for "well turned calves" >.> But I do know what you mean. That, and how pretty much every aes sedai besides the main characters seems to have the same, catty, controlling, and narcissistic personality flaws. THE SAME.

 

 

 

Um, yes! LOVE those books. My second read through, I was a bit disappointed in the editing. I feel like it was a draft or two from perfect. But definitely a wonderful plot and a brilliant world. I'd be happy to see more in that universe. 

There is more! Jade and The Rise of the Red Shadow (the latter of which I just learned about... now. I should read it soon). This is why I love fictfact, it keeps track of these things for me. 

My to-read list mostly comes from my mother (as, up until I left for uni, my "reading" was from her 1000+ collection of sci-fi/fantasy novels), and the Inda books is a series she's been pressing me to read from aeons. Perhaps I'll try to bump it up a few rungs, especially if I can find it in audiobook form (my main method of 'reading' these days since I can 'read' while I do lab wetwork). 

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I've been reading a lot of... a combination of nonfiction and how-to books, I suppose. Quite a bit on "how to write." I reread the second half of How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy (by Orson Scott Card), I've been reading Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint (by Nancy Kress), and a few other books. (I'm not sure if I'm going to go into detail here or in an upcoming blog post reflecting on Month 1 of Sparkbomb.)
 

I'm still working my way through Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series; I'm on book 11 (Knife of Dreams) and its been... ups and downs for me. Without getting into spoilers, the characters have this bad habit of swooning and falling in love at first sight, and almost every female character has this tendency to faint, puke, cry, or wail at anything troubling. And the male characters can be a little predictable. But I do like the magic system, and the plot remains interesting now that I've gotten over the "fate is a tangible force in this universe" business (which bothered me for a bit). Not sure how he's going to wrap this up meaningfully with so few books left, but, I'll get there when I get there. Also, the plot armor on the main characters is a mechanic of the universe rather than a 'writing flaw', which amuses me.

The ta'averen bit bothered you? Odd. I embraced it fairly easily. I'm disappointing you aren't enjoying the series more. I rather adored Wheel of Time.

Suffice it to say that the series wraps up well (for how much it's dragging). The problem, I thought, is how little action happens from The Path of Daggers through Crossroads of Twilight. All that really happens is the major battle at the end of each book (something Crossroads didn't even offer, making it especially painful and one of the breaking points in my reading). Knife of Dreams sets the stage for the ending trilogy, though.
 
I'll be curious to hear how you feel about Sanderson's approach.
 

Rereading the entire Ender's Saga. Still hate Bean till third book. Then suddenly favorite character. A war of gifts is terrible and I wish OSC would stay subtle with his preachiness.

Until Shadow Puppets? Why?

 

I still haven't gotten around to A War of Gifts... and I'm worried about the preachiness. I adore Card's writing, and I'd hate to find a book of his I dislike.
 

I hadn't read Speaker for the Dead previously, and I thought it was a fantastic book. Xenocide I was less impressed with, and I stopped halfway through because I was tired of hearing about Path. I plan to return to it, simply so I can continue on in the series, but not right now.

 If everyone's rereading the Ender saga, I clearly need to as well.

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Maybe a little bit at the very end of Ender's Shadow. Still his character is just so arrogant and obnoxious until he learns that others aren't just obstacles or chess pieces. And I don't buy Carlotta's explanation that arrogance is just an accurate self assessment for him.

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So, I picked up A War of Gifts and read through the entire thing in one sitting. I agree that it was preachy, but the preachiness felt justified. It felt relevant to my grade school experience (at least in the context of one person or a small group ruining something for the whole), and it did a good job of pointing out the question of where the line is between religious versus cultural observance of a holiday as well as religious observance in a setting that disallows any religion.

 

I was also quite pleased at the tie-in to Shadow of the Hegemon.

 

I do have a couple of other thoughts, but... eh. They're fairly minor and spoilery in the context of the Enderverse. That said, I think I'm going to sit down and reread the entire series at some point in the near future. It's been more than ten years since I read the Ender saga (not counting listening through the audio book of Ender's Game last summer). Not quite as long for the Shadow saga, but still several years.

 

Does anyone have any recommendation for other books Card has written? Ideally something that feels... deep. Ender in Exile, Shadows in Flight, and A War of Gifts have all been very... just a story being told without much behind it (besides the scope granted by the greater universes in play). They've been enjoyable reads, but they aren't spectacular reads.

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Ah, I meant to post an update here a week or so ago, but I forgot until now.
 

If you haven't already, I'd suggest looking into The Hollows by Kim Harrison - its the same genre and sub-genre (enough that they could be set in the same universe, for the first few books before 'big bad things' start going down at least), and has a fantastic protagonist and crew of characters. Read it immediately.

I did eventually try the first book of The Hollows after finishing The Omen Machine and The Third Kingdom while waiting for Words of Radiance and Ruins to be released. I wasn't terribly impressed. I can see where you draw the comparison to the Dresden Files, but saying they could be in the same universe is just wrong, and it's obvious from the get go. At the most basic level, magic/the supernatural is out and everyone knows about it in The Hollows, whereas it's pretty much the opposite in the Dresden Files. Also, all of the magic stuff (be it magic spells, magic creatures, or anything else that has to do with magic) works in a completely different way in The Hollows and in the Dresden Files. And I definitely feel like the explanations for those things in The Hollows is generally either lacking or simply inferior to the Dresden Files (although, since I read the Dresden Files first, my opinion is probably pretty biased). My main problem, however, is that I didn't identify with the main character at all, and I found most of the characters pretty bland or underdeveloped. Many times I didn't (and some, still don't) understand why the main character acted or reacted the way she did to situations and other characters (her initial reaction to Trent was baffling, and her entire series of interactions with Ivy ranges from reasonable to bizarre). There are just so many different ways the book stretched my suspension of disbelief that it started to feel like work going through the book. Maybe I'll continue the series later... I'm still undecided.

 

As for The Omen Machine/The Third Kingdom, I enjoyed the entire Sword of Truth series, so I don't mind the levels of anviliciousness Goodkind can reach some times, but in the reread of the Omen Machine and in my read of The Third Kingdom, it was starting to get to me. I think my main problem was that the arguments and lines of reasoning being used by antagonists (I won't say anything more specific to avoid spoilers) were all just so stupid. Also, a plot device used in the last third of The Third Kingdom seemed a little too Deus ex Machina-like for my taste, despite the fact that I saw it coming. I will say that I'm looking forward to the next book as it seems that we might be venturing back into the areas of writing where Goodkind is strongest. No idea when it's coming out that.

 

Also, I'm almost halfway through Words of Radiance and loving every minute of it (well, sans some of the flashback scenes). The new characters are all really enjoyable, and Sanderson is doing an excellent job of conveying a sense of impending doom despite me having no idea what is going to happen. It's going to suck once I'm done with Words of Radiance and Ruins, because then I'll probably have to go find some new books that, in all likelihood, won't hold up to Sanderson or Dan Wells.  -_-

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I love, love, love the whole Hollows series of books by Kim Harrison.  I don't find them terribly similar to the Dresden Files.  I like both although the Hollows series is one of my favorite series of all time.  The baffling nature of her reaction to Trent and even the interactions with Ivy have a lot more to them than what you see in the first book.  There are layers upon layers in this series.  In many series, the main character doesn't really change much over the course of the series.  Every book is sort of episodic but there isn't much movement with the main character.  I've read the first several books of the Dresden Files and this is one of my complaints about it actually.  The Hollows series is different in that there is a lot of change in the heroine throughout the series (and in many of the other primary characters as well).

 

BTW, for anyone who likes the Hollows series I would recommend the Kara Gillian demon series by Diana Rowland which is a great series of books with a lot of depth.

Edited by Neopetsmom

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Well, I may return to it once I'm done finishing other series that I had started earlier. And while it's nice to have some verification that there was reasoning behind some of the actions and attitudes that baffled me, but that still doesn't change the fact that I feel it would have been better to at least explain that in some way in the first book. Writing should have clarity as a goal, and if the author had a specific reason for the interactions being a certain way, then she should be able to justify them through the eyes of her main character at that specific time. Even something simple along the lines of "the depth of her anger surprised her" somewhere in there would have been very helpful.

 

The Dresden Files starts off very episodic (the first three books are almost entirely episodic, just with references and a very small cast of recurring characters tying them together), but the plot really starts to develop when the Sidhe Courts are introduced (which is, I believe, book 4), and events from book 3 gain a lot of relevance down the line. I would agree that Harry himself doesn't get too much development in the first six or so books. However, by book 12 you can see some major development to his character. Of course, the series is pretty long, so if you don't enjoy the books as stand-alones, you're probably not going to be able to hang in long enough for the character development to really kick in.

 

As for what I'm reading currently, as planned I'm going back through Partials and Fragments by Dan Wells in order to gear up for Ruins, which was released a couple of weeks ago. The trilogy contains a lot of motifs and tropes from the epic fantasy genre wrapped in a delicious post-apocalyptic setting. In short, perfect concept for me. Hopefully Ruins will finish off the trilogy well, but I won't know for sure until I've read it.

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Well. I finally caved. I bought the song of ice and fire set. Haven't started reading yet...but I have next week off, so am likely to get through at least one book in that time.

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good. song of ice and fire is some of the best world wide story / plot ive ever read. 

 

I'll work through my series systematically:

 

Lord of the rings/Hobbit/silmarillion

Fav 3 characters: Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas

 

Strengths: good character development, good world, great writing, amazing story.

 

Weaknesses: Predictable, magic is OP, lots of unanswered questions. 

 

 

Song of Ice and Fire

Fav 3 characters: Tyrion, Arya, Varys

Strengths: Best plot series ive ever read. The treason... crazy. etc. etc. etc. Uh, great plot twists, amazing read (and a good watch if your a bit older.)

 

 

Weaknesses: Character development would be good, but he kills off alot of characters. so meh. i dont like that aspect much but i respect it. Uh, lots of sex. unless your into that, not a fan. 

Legend of Drizzt

 

Fav: Drizzt (duh)

 

Strengths: just wow. Great read, good books, i fly through them. really fun stories, e they come close all the time to dying, then they kill people off in great ways.

 

Weaknesses: not quite as well written, still good, but fairly simple. Predictable book outcomes.

 

Wheel of time:

 

SIDENOTE: was super bummed when RJ died. But his replacement used his works good and did ok. 

Fav 3: Mat, Perrin, Logain, 

 

Strenghts: BEST CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, i have ever read. granted when the books are so big and you have so much time... they better be. Uh, great world, you learn so much about different cultures. 

Weaknesses: Sexist books at times, very interesting writing, alot of words that i dont even try to pronounce.

 

 

I have read so many things in my life. Enders game and the rest is great (loved the movie). Hunger games is a good (and quick) read. Uh, Peretti, Dekker, are some authors i like. I liked the inheritance cycle... liked the mortal instruments, loved the redwalls when i was a kid. and chronicles of narnia and chronicles of pyradien. 

I like so much. one post isnt enough to talk about. 

Currently reading: Wicked lovely (gf wanted me to read them). 
The mistborn
The black company

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didnt see a response here. 

Ok, well most writers worry about book length. but by the 5th book on, robert jordan would just fill page after page up with like, an overabundance of words. more adjectives, lots of fancy speech. if your into the old school lots of writing, great. if not, its interesting becasue he takes a paragraph to say a sentance. etc. 

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I have all of the Dresden Files on my kindle.  It's my go to series when I have nothing else to read (like I'm on the train from work or something).  

 

I'm currently reading the Iron Druid series.  Like Dresen, it's an urban fantasy, but pulls in old Celtic gods and the like.  So far, I like it.

 

Also, I liked the Wheel of Time, but was not enamored of the ending.  Whether that ending was Jordan or Sanderson I don't know.

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Ok, well most writers worry about book length. but by the 5th book on, robert jordan would just fill page after page up with like, an overabundance of words. more adjectives, lots of fancy speech. if your into the old school lots of writing, great. if not, its interesting becasue he takes a paragraph to say a sentance. etc. 

Ah, okay. Thanks.

 

Also, I liked the Wheel of Time, but was not enamored of the ending.  Whether that ending was Jordan or Sanderson I don't know.

Jordan left pretty extensive notes. The epilogue itself was written by Jordan, as I recall. I think the ending in general was Sanderson's writing based on Jordan's notes.

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I am reading Lex Luthor, Man of Steel. Trying to read some representative things due to the whole sharing a first and middle name thing as well as doing biological engineering projects.

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I am reading Lex Luthor, Man of Steel. Trying to read some representative things due to the whole sharing a first and middle name thing as well as doing biological engineering projects.

How are you liking it? It's been a long time since I last dug into the comic book world, and considering everything on my "To Read" list is Batman, it'd be nice to know if I can add some variety to it.

 

So, since this is basically our book thread, I was curious if anyone wanted to do a reread (or first read) of the Animorphs series with me in the near future? I'm saying this on a bit of a whim (as each book is fairly short, but the series as a whole will probably take a couple of months to get through). I've long since lost my list of the "required" books to read (and while I could find it, I kind of want to reread the entire series, only skipping over #36 The Mutation, as it's some of the worst ghost writing I've ever read). Anyone interested? If not, I might dive into my reread of the Shadow saga.

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I mostly read nonfiction, and do so veeeery slowly.

I'm currently chipping my way through The Second Sex and The People's History of the World.

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I'm not reading anything at the moment, but I am planning to start two books in the next week or two.

 

1) "From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powderful 21st Century Learning Environments" by David Thornberg

 

This book is for work. I'm a teacher (if you couldn't guess from the title of the book) and each summer we have to read a book for professional development. Normally we're all assigned one book as a school, but this year we were given a choice. Being a "Star Trek" fan, I couldn't pass up a book with "holodeck" in the title.

 

2) "Dark Currents" by Jacqueline Carey

 

This is the first book in her "Agents of Hel" series. I've read several of her other books and I highly recommend them. I have high expectations for this book.

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I'm reading Anna Karenina. I haven't touched Russian literature since Crime and Punishment in high school and a good friend of mine convinced me to read his favorite book, so I ended up getting it on Audible and listening to it during my marathon-training runs. It's complicated (tons of characters and relationships to keep up with), but intriguing at the same time.

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