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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 15:31 
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Sleepyhead

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Grim... wrote:
Oh, there's a film. I shall watch it.


I wouldn’t bother. I enjoyed the book, but the film isn’t that great from my memory. The style of the book is fabulous, but as you said you can tell it’s been serialised and the continuity is a bit fucked as every other chapter it says “And this was the worst decision ever as it changed everything for ever more” and then actually nothing happens.

The sequel is worth reading too: “This book is full of spiders”

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:46 
SupaMod
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He is good with his titles, for sure. Have you read the third one: "What the hell did I just read?"?

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:52 
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Goddess Jasmine wrote:
1. Linwood Barclay - Fear the worst
2. Linwood Barclay - Too close to home
3. Linwood Barclay - Parting Shot
4. Linwood Barclay - The Accident

5. Linwood Barclay - No Time for Goodbye

Another good one, I had guessed some bits as I went along, but not the main story which is one of the things I am enjoying about reading his work. On to my next one!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:07 
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Sleepyhead

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Grim... wrote:
He is good with his titles, for sure. Have you read the third one: "What the hell did I just read?"?


I have not!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 17:09 
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Isn't that lovely?

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
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Malc wrote:
1) The Problem With Men - Richard Herring.

2) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson

Another classic horror, adapted countless times, and once again the book is very different to any adaptation I have seen. The first three quarters of the book are not told from Jekyll or Hyde's perspective, but from one of his friends. It's also not clear that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person at all. Imagine reading this book 140 years ago, and having that revelation! A very good book non-the-less, although once again, I did find the Victoria English a little jarring (I didn't really get used to it in the same way that I got used to Mary Shelly - written 70 years prior) I do think it's left a little unclear how much Jekyll is able to control Hyde, but that could actually be really clever writing, as Jekyll could be not willing to admit, even in his confession, how much he was in control!)

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 20:23 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
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JBR wrote:
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.


11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi. Story of a man trapped - or completely at home and accepting - in a strange world, full of halls of statues and a sea which swells and crashes below, but very few people. It is presented as reality, even referring to the metaphor it can be taken for overtly, as if to make sure you don't read it that way, but you still could. Otherworldly and excellent. And nowhere near as long as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was her debut.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 19:32 
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Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes

4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler

Another of the recent crop of "what's gone wrong with England and how has it screwed everyone else over" books. Pretty familiar stuff, although I did appreciate his brief discussion of BAME perspectives on Englishness v Britishness and a strong sense of the historical context as arguments for Home Rule v centralisation go back at least as far as the union with Ireland in 1801. The final section is a defence of the Union and a discussion of what needs to be done to both change and save it.

It's enjoyable enough and if Fintan O'Toole's work is too negative this is a decent enough restating of the key arguments. I just realised that I've been thinking about this stuff since my A-Level days and whilst I've long been convinced of the rightness of the remedies Esler suggests, it's getting other people to understand it that matters. I've one more book of this ilk to finish, then I think I shall let the subject rest unless some new approach or angle appears (I'm particularly interested in hearing more from, say, the Scottish Unionist-Brexitist perspective for example).


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:46 
SupaMod
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Grim... wrote:
1) Doctor Sleep - Stevie King
2) John Dies at the End - David Wong

3) Stranded - Bracken MacLeod

This has to be one of the weirdest ways I've ever decided to buy a book - Bracken MacLeod is my porn name, and I briefly considered it for a pen name before discovering that someone is already using it to write books. So I figured "what the hell" and picked one up.

It's really good! It's like The Terror, but set in the present. Dude's knowledge of shipping was so on point I was amazed that he'd never done it for a living and it was all research. Anyway, if you want a modern "lite" supernatural thriller then it's definitely worth giving this a shot, especially as your boy MacLeod is probably going to appreciate the extra sales more than Stephen King is. The only real complaint I had is a bit spoilery, so I'll wrap it up:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
At the end there were still some things unanswered - you didn't find out which family the MC went back to, or why any of the weird shit that happened actually happened. I don't mind the latter so much but the former was a big investment, at least for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:15 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
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Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees


7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
I like Joe Abercrombie - slightly dark fantasy type stuff, without the Game of Thrones-style creepy gross rape stuff all over the place. This one is something like the 8th book in this overall series so I wouldn't start here. Some stabbing, some intrigue, some politics and some magicy type stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:20 
SupaMod
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Squirt wrote:
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
I like Joe Abercrombie - slightly dark fantasy type stuff, without the Game of Thrones-style creepy gross rape stuff all over the place. This one is something like the 8th book in this overall series so I wouldn't start here. Some stabbing, some intrigue, some politics and some magicy type stuff.

Somehow I confused him with Joe Lycett in my head, which made me do a bit of a double take.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 20:24 
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Skillmeister

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
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Dimrill wrote:
okay i'll try to do this one this year.

1. James Lovegrove - Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons.
2. Anne Rice - The Vampire Armand.
3. Anne Rice - Blood and Gold



4. Mortis - John French

Very stampy robots. 9/10.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:05 
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Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler

5."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes

TLDR:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
The North is different.


Perhaps I shouldn't have read this book so soon after finishing his one on Germany as it seems to lack some of the pace and wit of its predecessor. Again, geography is central to his argument but he also brings in the idea that successive elites have been able to co-opt people into their ranks to keep the English down, but this only ever last so long as the oppressed English don't realise this. You can see it's heading to a Brexit-was-inevitable conclusion when he firsts introduces this idea of competing cultures.

He's right to stress that devolution and Home Rule always lead to the English question and the inherent instability of its dominance of the system were it not split into regions, but if the geographical argument holds then a return to Heptarchy or other dividing line (ah, there there Mr Honeybun, just keep playing the long game) would not be as threatening as is proposed, but something to be welcomed by all. Unless, of course, the south-east really does see itself as an imperial power at the centre of the universe, but in that case everywhere else is probably better of escaping its orbit.

In short, there's a lot of ideas in this short work that I haven't yet properly worked through in my mind to see if I agree with them, but it's fun to do so. But I think it's time to take a break from issues with English identity for a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 20:47 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
JBR wrote:
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.


12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps. Decent odyssey-type story, with a retired lucidor in search of an old enemy.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book. Uses the story of the fire at the Los Angeles library as structure to explore the library's history (particularly in Los Angeles) and that of the fire. Kind of a love letter to the library. I feel like the US really loves its libraries more than we do - another oddity, given their even more rapacious capitalism, to go with the competitiveness of their sports - though it might be partly because (as the book talks about at length) they are now perhaps the main assistance services for the homeless. I've been to the LA library, which helps, along with many others, and really loved the line that libraries might become "something more like our town squares, a place that is home when you aren't at home".


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 13:06 
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Goddess Jasmine wrote:
1. Linwood Barclay - Fear the worst
2. Linwood Barclay - Too close to home
3. Linwood Barclay - Parting Shot
4. Linwood Barclay - The Accident

5. Linwood Barclay - No Time for Goodbye[/quote]
6. Linwood Barclay - Broken Promise

This is the first of the Promise Falls Trilogy. Really enjoyed getting to know the families involved, and I always like the detective. Lots of nods to previous novels now (it wouldn't matter if you hadn't read them though).

Looking forward to the next one!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 14:26 
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Skillmeister

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 26677
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Dimrill wrote:
okay i'll try to do this one this year.

1. James Lovegrove - Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons.
2. Anne Rice - The Vampire Armand.
3. Anne Rice - Blood and Gold
4. Mortis - John French


ABORTED: Anne Rice - Blood Canticle

Fucking appalling. A 60 year old trying to write "hip" by using patois from the 60s. Intolerable style.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 15:08 
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Unpossible!

Joined: 27th Jun, 2008
Posts: 37371
1. Battle Ground - Jim Butcher. Book 17 of the Dresden Files. I bloody love the Dresden Files.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:26 
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Joans wrote:
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1) Star Wars: Darth Plagueis - James Luceno

Got this for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I read a few chapters and just never picked it up again. That's not meant to be a reflection on its quality and I can't remember why I stopped reading it.
Anyway, titled after the character that was mentioned in Revenge of the Sith (I think), this covers events up to and including the prequel trilogy. Although it starts with Plagueis killing his own master, the real thread of the story is the rise of Palpatine/Sidious and how he came to be in the position he was in at the start of the Phantom Menace, while name dropping most of the other characters along the way.
Quite enjoyable, but I've lost track of whether it's canon or not anymore.

2. Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors - Matt Parker
A look at what happens when people don't take everything into consideration with numbers/maths/programming, with hilarious (or deadly) results.

Highlights include the time Pepsi offered a $20 million plane for approx $700,000 worth of Pepsi points and trying to work out why email wouldn't go further than 500 miles.

3. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension - Matt Parker
I really enjoyed the last book I read, so thought I'd try another. This one is a bit less humour, bit more maths, and it's been about 20 years since I left university, and I've not really had much use for that level of maths since, so I did find myself glossing over a few bits as I don't really have any desire to reacquaint myself with things like knot theory again.
I nearly bought a third book, but have realised it's just the last one I read renamed (pesky math) for the American market, so I guess I'll have to read something else instead.
4. William Shakespeare's The Merry Rise of the Skywalker - Star Wars Part the Ninth - Ian Doescher

I have to admit, I'm not a massive fan of Shakespeare, but it turns out if you use his style of writing, it can make things kind of amusing. This is the last of the Star Wars in the style of Shakespeare books (or Shakespeare in the style of Star Wars), although I'm hoping he might do Rogue One and Solo at some point. There is a Back to the Future one, but that didn't really click with me for some reason.

5. Serenity: Those Left Behind - Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad

A welcome gift from my secret Santa, set between the series and the film. I should probably have rewatched Firefly beforehand, as I've only seen it twice, and the first of those times was at Grim...'s about 11 years ago (the second was shortly afterwards, not sure the first viewing counts), so I am a bit rusty, but it was enjoyable enough.
Thanks again, Secret Santa (and no, we've still not played that game, sorry).


6. His Bloody Project - Graeme Macrae Burnet

This is a tale of a late 19th Century Scottish "incident", with the majority of the book being the perpetrator's account of the period leading up to the event and the event itself. I found myself sympathising (to an extent), although the latter part of the book is the court hearing, and it seems that his account was perhaps not quite what happened.

7. The Day Italian Football Died: Torino and the Tragedy of Superga - Alexandra Manna and Mike Gibbs

To be fair, this is just a history of Torino book, but their (almost) USP is that the entire squad was killed in a plane crash when the team was on the cusp of its 5th consecutive championship in the late 1940's. The blurb makes it sound like the crash confined Torino to obscurity for ever afterwards, but it seems like it just put them on a path to mediocrity that they may have been on anyway (technically it says unlike Manchester United, they never recovered, which I suppose is a fair comparison). I believe the authors are (or at least were) a couple, one Italian, and one English, and it might be a poor translation, or just the fact that they're a couple of fans and not authors, but the whole thing has a bit of a "school project" feel to it. Anyway, I'm glad I read it, if only because it's been listed on eBay for ages and someone has just bought it off me.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:42 
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I loved "His Bloody Project" when I read a few years back. Reading your comment reminds me how much I enjoyed it so I really need to re-read it!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:44 
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Gogmagog

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Yes, it is superb.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:57 
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Fitness Nut...

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 21555
Location: shropshire, uk
KovacsC wrote:
1) Alan Moore, Brian Bolland - Batman The killing Joke, The deluxe edition.
2) Stella Rimmington - Riptide


3) Blue Moon - Lee Child


Quote:
In a nameless city, two rival criminal gangs are competing for control. But they hadn't counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch.

Reacher is trained to notice things.

He's on a Greyhound bus, watching an elderly man sleeping in his seat, with a fat envelope of cash hanging out of his pocket. Another passenger is watching too ... hoping to get rich quick.

As the mugger makes his move, Reacher steps in.

The old man is grateful, yet he turns down Reacher's offer to help him home. He's vulnerable, scared, and clearly in big, big trouble.

What hold could the gangs have on the old guy? Will Reacher be in time to stop bad things happening?

The odds are better with Reacher involved. That's for damn sure.


I really enjoyed this book. Jack Reacher at his best. Goes to help an old man, to prevent a mugging. Then gets drawn into the towns problems. Will give it an 8/10

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:23 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
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1) The Lip - Charlie Carroll

A young lady struggles to come to terms with family tragedy, whilst living on the outside of the the Cornwall most others see. It's tightly written, and well executed.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:37 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6212
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie


8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp
Quite a spooky book - Kate moves cross country to shack up with her new boyfriend, only to discover he has totally vanished without trace. Various creepy happenings ensue. Not quite as good as the other novel of his I read, The Last Days of Jack Sparks, but not a bad ghosty thriller that keeps you wondering what the hell is going on right to the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 16:41 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
JBR wrote:
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.


14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners. As it sounds - a look, via personal experience, at ultra running (anything longer than a marathon). He's a funny bloke, keen, I think, not to give anyone else too much exposure, but captures the emotion of it well. I wonder whether that comes across if you've little interest in running, though.
15) Samanta (yes, really) Schweblin - Little Eyes. What if Furby-like toys (Kentukis), with a camera, motorised wheels and squawk box (chirps or squeaks, no voice), were connected to an anonymous user. You could pay to be user or owner, if the device runs out of charge or is broken, the connection is lost forever. A look at the bad and the good that results from those relationships. Sometimes it seems a bit clumsy in expression, but I think that's a translation problem. Early on I mostly thought "god, get a life, people", but then, it's safe to assume some people would have that reaction, and they'd be too boring to put in the book, so eventually I joined in and went with it. It's a mostly interesting experiment.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 22:58 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
JBR wrote:
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.


16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us; What we really need to know about Britain. A padded-out 213 pages, it's a short but funny and informative look at Britain. The UK has its 100 year anniversary in 2022, the British Isles does not exist and so on. If you like Mark Thomas, this is great. If you don't, I can't help you.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier. I picked this up when I was exploring Hadrian's Wall last year. It's a dry but interesting overview of the wall, though the pictures make it quite clear that there are much better preserved examples of Roman stuff elsewhere (the bath houses in Britain would have looked like this one, in Libya!). Great to read if you're visiting, or have done, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:44 
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Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes


6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley

A sort-of sequel to his excellent Landscapes of Communism, the book that made me look twice (if still not completely enjoy) modernist buildings. Here he takes us on a tour from Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan, pointing out key buildings and discussing how the places are handling their past and their present. What I find refreshing about Hatherley is that whilst he's open about the nastiest of various regimes, he does try to demonstrate the sense of optimism and a better future inherent in the best of these buildings. He's also more interested than most architectural writers in how ordinary people live in and use these spaces.

As we can't currently travel, I enjoyed my paper-based tour of Europe and Asia, and would often call up the atlas and Wikipedia to see where and what he was talking about. One minor gripe is that whilst he says the photos were taken by him for illustration not for art, on the copy I had many of them were just too dark to make out details.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 18:58 
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Board Mother

Joined: 6th Apr, 2008
Posts: 11101
Location: Mount Olympus
Goddess Jasmine wrote:
1. Linwood Barclay - Fear the worst
2. Linwood Barclay - Too close to home
3. Linwood Barclay - Parting Shot
4. Linwood Barclay - The Accident

5. Linwood Barclay - No Time for Goodbye[/quote]
6. Linwood Barclay - Broken Promise[/quote]
7. Linwood Barclay - Far From True

Second in the Promise Falls Trilogy. I wouldn't say that it could be read as a standalone book. It did leave a couple of cliffhangers, so I'm looking forward to starting book three tonight. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:54 
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Posts: 16393
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley

7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett

After enjoying Guards! Guards!, I naturally followed the chart Wookie posted and read the next in the Watch series.

Just as enjoyable and funny as the original.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:58 
SupaMod
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Posts: 68668
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Grim... wrote:
1) Doctor Sleep - Stevie King
2) John Dies at the End - David Wong
3) Stranded - Bracken MacLeod

4) Artemis by Andy Weir

Artemis is a sci-fi book about a lady who lives on the Moon, written by the dude who wrote The Martian. As you can imagine if you've read The Martian, it handles the science bits really well, and in parts is almost a non-fiction book exploring how living on the Moon could work. As you can imagine, there are MOON SHENANIGANS which our heroine is very involved in. And it's a good book, well worth reading. It also has the only example of Chekhov's condom I've ever seen in literature.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 12:22 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
JBR wrote:
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.
16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier.


18) Ben Fountain - Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk. A US squad returns from Iraq, heroically, for a victory tour and possible movie deal before returning. All about what it's like to be one of those soldiers, with people always talking about your "courj" and how "nina leven" affected them. Brilliant.

19) Paul Brannigan - This is a Call, Life and Times of Dave Grohl. Can't believe how much Dave Grohl passed me by till I watched Sound City a few years ago. This fills in a lot of the blank, and once you're past "John beget James who begat Isiah and so the band moved on" stage it's interesting stuff. Occasionally a bit florid in language, but he does a decent job keeping it in check, given he clearly adores Grohl.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 13:36 
SupaMod
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Grim... wrote:
1) Doctor Sleep - Stevie King
2) John Dies at the End - David Wong
3) Stranded - Bracken MacLeod
4) Artemis by Andy Weir

5) Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

So this is an odd little book, recommended by a colleague of mine. It's very sad and a bit odd in places, and it's all about a girl who tries to kill herself, and the consequences of that (and, not a massive spoiler, what mental institutions are like). It was okay, pretty bleak and you could tell it was written a while ago, but it was okay.

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I wish Craster had left some girls for the rest of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 13:53 
SupaMod
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Grim... wrote:
1) Doctor Sleep - Stevie King
2) John Dies at the End - David Wong
3) Stranded - Bracken MacLeod
4) Artemis by Andy Weir
5) Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho


6) Randomise by Andy Weir

The Martian dude is at it again, this time going on about quantum computing, randomisation and casinos. It's entertaining enough, and is meant to be part of a collection but somehow I got it on its own :shrug:

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I wish Craster had left some girls for the rest of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 15:58 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
Grim... wrote:
Andy Weir


Artemis and Randomize are both 99p for Kindle, so I've added them to my list, ta.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 20:44 
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Note that the latter is only short. The former is a normal length.

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I wish Craster had left some girls for the rest of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2021 20:47 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
Grim... wrote:
Note that the latter is only short. The former is a normal length.

Thanks - frankly, even better, as it'll get me through the queue more quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 23:35 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.
16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier.
18) Ben Fountain - Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk.
19) Paul Brannigan - This is a Call, Life and Times of Dave Grohl.


20) Kate Atkinson - Big Sky. I have read several of her books before and enjoyed them, but this time the whole schtick - lots of jumping around in time unannounced, characters introduced by a combination of description and internal monologue, just didn't work for me. The story is fine - trafficking gang uncovered partly by work, partly luck - but all that internal thought presented descriptively felt like I was being passive aggressively introduced to thousands of half-thought through ideas. I think the point is that this is how we think - skittishly and without firm conclusions, but I found it tedious and arse-covering. Characters didn't seem real and complicated so much as indecisive and basic.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:01 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6212
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp


9.) Bad Guys - Linwood Barclay

The second in the series and it's a nice little thriller. Car chases! Guns! Murders! Linwood Barclay books fit right into my "engrossing but not too effort" book zone, and I really like them.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 18:43 
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That's the sort of recommendation I can get behind. Bad Move is only 99p, too. Ordereded!

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I wish Craster had left some girls for the rest of us.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 15:24 
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Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 26677
Location: Felelagedge Wedgebarge, The River Tib
Dimrill wrote:
okay i'll try to do this one this year.

1. James Lovegrove - Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of the Stapletons.
2. Anne Rice - The Vampire Armand.
3. Anne Rice - Blood and Gold
4. Mortis - John French
ABORTED: Anne Rice - Blood Canticle


5. Anne Rice - Prince Lestat

Was alright I suppose. Better than the blood canticle terribleness. Rice seems to have one style of long recounted histories, then all the characters have a meeting which then gets interrupted and everything's sorted out within a couple of pages. And everybody declares they love everybody else.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 18:47 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.
16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier.
18) Ben Fountain - Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk.
19) Paul Brannigan - This is a Call, Life and Times of Dave Grohl.
20) Kate Atkinson - Big Sky.


Delia Owens - Where the Crawdads Sing. I thought this was great for about 100 pages, then it faded. The writing is plain, which is great, but means that it doesn't really conjure a mood, and certainly can't conjure characters' internal feelings, so they have to resort to saying things, often out loud to themselves. It's a nice whodunnit, with some average poetry (a contrast to the plain speech, trying to show some depth, but it came across as slapping you round the head with "hey look, not all simple - there's some vague depth, too"), which is self-consciously apologised for at the end. Good but not great.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 23:15 
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Joined: 14th May, 2009
Posts: 3950
Lanny - Max Porter.

Ridiculously inventive and chaotic but at all times utterly in control of proceedings. Ostensibly the story of a child going missing, but much much more. A very short book, and there are parts that will knock the breath out of you. It's both funny and traumatizing, scabrously so.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:12 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16393
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett

8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
As recommended by JBR. A cracking read that really evokes the atmosphere of the W era.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 15:40 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.
16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier.
18) Ben Fountain - Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk.
19) Paul Brannigan - This is a Call, Life and Times of Dave Grohl.
20) Kate Atkinson - Big Sky.
21) Delia Owens - Where the Crawdads Sing.


Elizabeth Kay - Seven Lies. Psychological thriller that's not quite tight enough to be the book it wants to be. Told as a confessional, it kept me thinking most of the way through - is that real? Is that true? Who is she confessing to? - which was interesting, but a couple of major plot points just weren't all that shocking, one not all that realistic. Interesting read if you find it cheaply, and there are a few things to work out - but not quite there.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2021 19:24 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6212
Squirt wrote:
1.) The House Share - Kate Helm
2.) Rebecca -Daphne de Maurier
3.) The Black Cloud - Fred Hoyle
4.) Bad Move - Linwood Barclay
5.) The Longest Afternoon - Brendan Simms
6.) The Holocaust - Laurence Rees
7.) A Little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie
8.) Ghoster - Jason Arnopp
9.) Bad Guys - Linwood Barclay


10.) The Three Hostages - John Buchan.
It's a load of hoary old bunkum, and no mistake. Full of the same old-fashioned shitty nonsense about "mysterious Asiatics" and "devious Jews" and "taciturn Scots" that older thriller novels always seem to include. I bet smarter people than me could write books upon books of class- or race-based analysis on John Buchan's work, and probably have. It's only really a good read in the final chapter or two, where there's a cat-and-mouse chase across a Scottish moor that's genuinely exciting. Otherwise, really don't bother - even in 1924 I doubt this set the world on fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:24 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16393
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain

9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera

A set of essays discussing the history and legacy of the empire on contemporary Britain. It features a lot of things I didn't know about, such as the near-eradication of aboriginals in Tasmania in the 1820s and brutal reprisals during various rebellions in India. Worth re-reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:13 
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Board Mother

Joined: 6th Apr, 2008
Posts: 11101
Location: Mount Olympus
Goddess Jasmine wrote:
1. Linwood Barclay - Fear the worst
2. Linwood Barclay - Too close to home
3. Linwood Barclay - Parting Shot
4. Linwood Barclay - The Accident
5. Linwood Barclay - No Time for Goodbye
6. Linwood Barclay - Broken Promise
7. Linwood Barclay - Far From True

8. Linwood Barclay - The Twenty-Three

Third and final book in the Promise Falls series. A good read at the beginning when it's all kicking off. I had the poisoner pegged from the beginning, but not the other murderer, it's always nice to not know everything. I need to see what the next book is now as I really like the cop (Duckworth) and I always image Cal (Private Detective) as Mike from Breaking bad/Better Call Saul.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 23:48 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.
16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier.
18) Ben Fountain - Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk.
19) Paul Brannigan - This is a Call, Life and Times of Dave Grohl.
20) Kate Atkinson - Big Sky.
21) Delia Owens - Where the Crawdads Sing.
22) Elizabeth Kay - Seven Lies.


23) Joanne Harris - The Lollipop Shoes. Magical realism, the follow-up to Chocolat. Probably influenced by the film, I hadn't remembered there being quite so much obvious magic in Chocolat, but it's here in spades. I also read The Strawberry Thief a few months ago (book 4 in the series) so this felt initially quite familiar. It's a little more sinister than Strawbs, a little less good than Chocolat, but lovely.

24) Deborah Frances-White - The Guilty Feminist. There's a podcast, which I haven't listened to. The book's for everyone, of course, but still has a fair amount of affirmation for which I felt I was not the audience. Funny in places, preachy in others, with a decent balance. Probably "alarmingly woke" if you are a twit.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 22:40 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2715
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1) The Dutch House - Ann Patchett.
2) Traitors of Rome (Eagles of the Empire 18) - Simon Scarrow.
3) Night Frost - RD Wingfield.
4) Chessmen of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs.
5) Three Sisters, Three Queens - Philippa Gregory.
6) Away With The Penguins - Hazel Prior.
7) Confessions of a Curious Bookseller - Elizabeth Green.
8. James Acaster's Classic Scrapes - James Acaster.
9) Nina Stibbe - Paradise Lodge.
10) Ann Patchett - Taft.
11) Susanna Clarke - Piranesi.
12) Paul McAuley - War of the Maps.
13) Susan Orlean - The Library Book.
14) Adharanand Finn - The Rise of the Ultra Runners.
15) Samanta Schweblin - Little Eyes.
16) Mark Thomas - 50 Things About us.
17) Alistair Moffat - The Wall; Rome's Greatest Frontier.
18) Ben Fountain - Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk.
19) Paul Brannigan - This is a Call, Life and Times of Dave Grohl.
20) Kate Atkinson - Big Sky.
21) Delia Owens - Where the Crawdads Sing.
22) Elizabeth Kay - Seven Lies.
23) Joanne Harris - The Lollipop Shoes.
24) Deborah Frances-White - The Guilty Feminist.


Conn Iggulden - The Gates of Athens. Historical fiction, covering Marathon and the next Greek-Persian fights at Thermopylae and some of Salamis. I'm a sucker for this stuff, and remember really enjoying his Roman 'Emperor' series (though I wonder whether it was really all that good). My Ancient History A level was half Roman Britain and half Greek 480 onwards (after Marathon). I loved the Greek history, knew the period inside and out, but tend to enjoy books on the Romans more. I don't know why - maybe because tales of cities fighting each other over and over isn't all that, and harder to relate to in a time of nations, and the Spartans are amazing but dull, the Athenians heroic but all over the place (anyone could be ostracised with 6,000 votes out of 30k or so possible, so people go from amazing leaders to making an enemy and being kicked out very quickly). Anyway, this does the job, briefly made me consider watching 300 again and put Gerard Butler's accent in my head for Leonidas, even though he's not in the book that much. And that should be that, but the next one is released imminently, and will surely be on special some time in a few months, and I'll be back in.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 16:31 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16393
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera

10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane

A memoir of his family's experiences during the Irish War of Independence and subsequent Civil War but taking in a wider historical scope when necessary. By focusing on one small community in County Kerry, Keane brings to forefront the trauma, horror, and painful choices made by those who lived through the period. There is a lot of harrowing stuff in this: chapters are filled with accounts of reprisals, violence, and summary executions. He reminds us throughout how the participants were related or associated with each other, and how what happened related to the wider context. A compelling read.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 8:04 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16393
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera
10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane

11. "The Lip" by Charlie Carroll

As recommended by MaliA. Really evocative descriptions of the Cornish coast and out of season small town life.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 books 2021
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 20:25 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 16393
Location: Oxford
Kern wrote:
1."The Impeachers" by Brenda Wineapple
2. "Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube" by Trav SD
3."The Shortest History of Germany" by James Hawes
4. "How Britain Ends - English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations" by Gavin Esler
5 ."The Shortest History of England" by James Hawes
6. "The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space" by Owen Hatherley
7. "Men at Arms" by Terry Pratchett
8. "Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk" by Ben Fountain
9. "Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain" by Sathnam Sanghera
10. "Wounds" by Fergal Keane
11. "The Lip" by Charlie Carroll

12. "Paying the Land" by Joe Sacco

Very different to what I normally read. This is classed as a graphic novel, although "graphic documentary" is a better term as it's not really a novel but a work of journalism. It's about the Dene people of north-west Canada, their traditional ways of life, their relationship with the land, and how this conflicts with the arrival of modern industrial development. Chapters also talk about the severe social problems many Dene face, especially alcoholism, unemployment, and addiction, and how movements are trying to reclaim their culture and land.

The section on the residential schools, where young Dene were taken away to boarding schools intended to westernise them and usually faced missionary-led abuse, is particularly uncomfortable reading and the use of the graphic novel form in stark black and white exacerbates the children's sense of isolation and trauma.

It's a whole area of North American history and contemporary life that I was previously unaware of, and Sacco really highlights the tensions and issues faced by the communities whilst letting his interviewees speak for themselves. I will probably re-read various chapters or segments over the next few months so I can spend more time taking in the stunning artwork as well as using it as a starting point for further thinking about first peoples and decolonisation theory. Highly recommended.


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