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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 16:36 
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Sleepyhead

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In honour of reading a book for the first time in what feels like years, I went and read three more.

2 - Skin Game by Jim Butcher
3 - Peace Talks by Jim Butcher
4 - Battle Grounds by Jim Butcher


Yeah, just catching up with the latest three Dresden Files books. I had read 'Skin Game' before, but it was ages ago and I thought it would be sensible to remind myself WTF was going on before going in to the new books.

All very much as expected. Despite being very formulaic and silly, they're still extremely enjoyable to read, and packed to the brim with excellent characters, even if everyone is too beautiful and amazing at everything all of the time. Just great fun books.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 17:57 
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Unpossible!

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Fucking love the Dresden books


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:20 
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Hibernating Druid

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Czech Rep - I’m pretty sure I could sing this one better and I’m shite. Tune heavily borrowing from ‘bulletproof’

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:21 
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Romania - Orlando bloom combines bullfighting with disco

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:22 
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You’re in the book thread, Z :D

I agree with both posts, though!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:26 
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Hibernating Druid

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Portugal - Coven of Enya

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:27 
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Hibernating Druid

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Well, I’m settled here now.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:27 
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:D

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:27 
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Hibernating Druid

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I’ll move seats now out of respect for Eurovision x

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:58 
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I want the Italian guy's sparkly suit

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:59 
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Commander-in-Cheese

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Get off the piano though, that's just rude

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:59 
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Fuck's sake Zardoz

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:59 
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Unpossible!

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Cras wrote:
Get off the piano though, that's just rude

Dude. Next door


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 20:59 
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Haha!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2022 10:29 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

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JBR wrote:

I've read many books, but started second-guessing whether any of you would be interested, and stopped listing them,


Keep listing them! I've gotten several recommendations from this thread, but I haven't posted on a lot of them. Also, you're pulling our average WAAAAY up, without you we'd look like a bunch of illiterate goons.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 10:44 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

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Squirt wrote:
1.) Seveneves - Neal Stephenson.
2.) Neuromancer - William Gibson.
3.) Sharpe's Tiger - Bernard Cornwell
4.) Chess 101 - David Schloss.
5.) Count Zero - William Gibson
6.) Mona Lisa Overdrive - William Gibson
7.) White Gold - Giles Milton.
8.) Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery - Field-Marshal Montgomery, obviously.

9.) The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
Somehow I've got this far without reading any of UKL's books, but I really liked this one. I shall read more!


Last edited by Grim... on Tue May 24, 2022 10:50, edited 1 time in total.
Fixing the quotes


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 10:50 
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Grim... wrote:
1) Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
2) The Medium-Sized Book of Boring Car Trivia Volume 2 by Sniff Petrol
3) Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

4) Kill Your Friends by John Niven
Well, I wanted something easier to read after Perdido Street Station and this certainly was easier to read - sadly it was horrifically [everything bad you can think of]-ist. I'm not kidding when I say that it taught me new words for describing people of the opposite sex, different races and (mainly) cocaine.

It wasn't an especially clever or thought-provoking book, but its main drive of "look how terrible the main character is, don't you want to see what he'll do next?" did work fairly well, and it's mercifully short. I have since found out there's a movie, so I'll be watching that, obv.


5) Rum Runner by J.A. Konrath
It's another Jack Daniels book! I thought they'd finished, but apparently I'm very wrong about that and there are two to go. But anyway. Rum Runner sees yet another previously-unmentioned murderer that Jack put away long ago getting out of jail and trying to kill her. But who cares if it's contrived, it's still entertaining, it's still got Harry as a sidekick (this time with a meth-addicted rescued parrot called Homeboy) and it's got an excellent meta chapter about mobile gaming.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 10:53 
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Correction - there are eight more Jack Daniels books after the "last" one, including another "last" one (which itself is only second of the eight books).

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 11:18 
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Grim... wrote:
I have since found out there's a movie, so I'll be watching that, obv.

Fuck me, James Corden is in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 17:45 
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Soopah red DS

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ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik.
2. Sad Little Men - Richard Beard.
3. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu.
4. Fake History: Ten Great Lies and How They Shaped the World - Otto English.
5. The Blade Itself: Book One (The First Law 1) - Joe Abercrombie.
6. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah.
7. Duty of Care - Dominic Pimento.
8. Find you First - Linwood Barclay.
9. Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma.
10. Normal People - Sally Rooney.
11. I'm a Joke and so are you - Robin Ince.
12. All the Lonely People - Mike Gayle.
13. Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby.
14. Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond - Dalrymple and Anand.
15. 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World - Elif Shafak.
16. Severus: The Black Caesar - Steve Exeter.
17. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett.
18. Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline.
19. The Gathering - Anne Enright.
20. Better off Dead - Lee/Andrew Child.
21. Call for the Dead - John le Carre.
22. Frank Skinner - Frank Skinner.
23. The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz.
24. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte.
25. The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker.
26. The Last Graduate - Naomi Novak.


Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky. "I was made to be a weapon but I have lived a life. I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me as a thing." I struggle to sum this up properly - other than "it's great". It starts as being about a squad of bioforms, animals made with electronic communications and other modifications to turn them into effective, biddable, fighting machines. But its scope takes in a lot more. The fighting is done well, the politics believable and the ending covers something even more sinister and important than the possibility of cyborg-type enhancements. Excellent sci-fi that doesn't feel that far away.

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - Eric Newby. I was conflicted by this one. I have a different book of his on the kindle, so it must have been recommended by someone I respect, and this is his most famous book, so I'm all set for something I like. He took the walk in the 1950s, and it's an interesting tale of what happened, if a bit scattergun in approach. But there's an undercurrent of yet another bloody British explorer who wasn't prepared (though he's clearly fit to have got where he did) because that's cheating. Meanwhile the natives, as with other mountaineering, can stroll up and down the mountain/hostile terrain at will, helping for and waiting for the rich 'explorer' to get on with it. He's not at all dismissive of local people, but it still just seemed a bit of a shit expedition. Equally, if he doesn't go, we don't hear about any of it, I suppose. So. Odd, intriguingly written, in that it's not just a list or description but something a bit madder, but ultimately a bit unsatisfactory.

Foreign Fruit - Jojo Moyes. A story set in two time periods, of loves lost and gained. She might be the queen of slightly schmaltzy love stories that are also page turners. I finished it, I emoted, but I still didn't really like it. Thankfully the children mostly disappear after the first third, as their voices are not at all convincing, but then the whole thing feels, probably deliberately, a bit out of time. Like stepping into a lovely warm bath if you can go with it, but a bit like walking into a weirdly grinning cult if you're not.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 18:08 
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Gogmagog

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JBR wrote:

Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky. "I was made to be a weapon but I have lived a life. I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me as a thing." I struggle to sum this up properly - other than "it's great". It starts as being about a squad of bioforms, animals made with electronic communications and other modifications to turn them into effective, biddable, fighting machines. But its scope takes in a lot more. The fighting is done well, the politics believable and the ending covers something even more sinister and important than the possibility of cyborg-type enhancements. Excellent sci-fi that doesn't feel that far away.


I've recently read this,and the sequel, and both are great. Well worth a read.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 19:03 
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Soopah red DS

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MaliA wrote:
JBR wrote:

Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky. "I was made to be a weapon but I have lived a life. I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me as a thing." I struggle to sum this up properly - other than "it's great". It starts as being about a squad of bioforms, animals made with electronic communications and other modifications to turn them into effective, biddable, fighting machines. But its scope takes in a lot more. The fighting is done well, the politics believable and the ending covers something even more sinister and important than the possibility of cyborg-type enhancements. Excellent sci-fi that doesn't feel that far away.


I've recently read this,and the sequel, and both are great. Well worth a read.


Oh look, there's a sequel, thanks! I don't know if I realised when I bought it, but I own it, so I'll get to it soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 16:14 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

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I've read a couple of really good Adrian Tchaikovsky novels, one about wasp men fighting antpeople, and another about people who get brain merged with space spiders. Both very fine indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 16:57 
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The first of those is a decent sized series, all pretty good. The one about the spiders I loved but the sequel about octopii I got bored of.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2022 17:57 
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I read Children of Time last year, I think. I liked it too. I think I dodged the sequel because it was described to me as "basically the same thing with different creatures and not as good".

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2022 19:56 
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ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Holocaust by Laurence Rees
2. Cathedrals of Steam by Christian Wolmar
3. United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How It will Come About by Kevin Meagher
4. The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales
5. You Don't Want to Know by James Felton
6. Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore by Emma Southon
7. The Unexpected Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
8. Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy by Tim Hartford
9. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Bucan
10. Meet the Georgians by Robert Peal
11. Houdini: the Man who Walked Through Walls by William Lindsey Gresham

12. So Far... by Kelsey Grammer

Written in the 1990s at the peak of Frasier, Kelsey Grammer's memoirs are about as close to the American Partridge as one could wish for. Yes, the trauma of his life is there, but with very little emotional scarring visible in the text, Grammer preferring to see it as a prelude to his obvious greatness. He uses the book to settle scores with rivals, and needless to say he always has the last laugh. The highlight, and I swear I am not making this up, is a paragraph describing how the teenage Kels concluded he was not, as he had thought, God.

Read for the horror, than toss in the charity bin.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 7:57 
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Posts: 17018
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ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Holocaust by Laurence Rees
2. Cathedrals of Steam by Christian Wolmar
3. United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How It will Come About by Kevin Meagher
4. The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales
5. You Don't Want to Know by James Felton
6. Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore by Emma Southon
7. The Unexpected Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
8. Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy by Tim Hartford
9. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Bucan
10. Meet the Georgians by Robert Peal
11. Houdini: the Man who Walked Through Walls by William Lindsey Gresham
12. So Far... by Kelsey Grammer

13. Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal by Lucy Cooke

A fascinating look at the relatively underexplored world of the females of the species, and how mainstream science has tended to ignore anything that isn't obviously male. We learn how ducks have evolved protections against forced sex, how virgin birth is a thing, how female bonobos exert their dominance, and other fascinating developments in biology and zoology. As with her previous book, Cooke is an engaging and witty author, clearly loving her subject.

It's also a very useful reminder that it's all too easy to project our values and culture onto things, preventing us from understanding the wider picture. The world isn't as patriarchal and binary as we think it is, and using human terms to explain non-human behaviour can be very distorting.

Highlight is the chapter about why some spiders eat their mates.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 8:47 
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Kern wrote:
13. Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal by Lucy Cooke

A fascinating look at the relatively underexplored world of the females of the species, and how mainstream science has tended to ignore anything that isn't obviously male. We learn how ducks have evolved protections against forced sex, how virgin birth is a thing, how female bonobos exert their dominance, and other fascinating developments in biology and zoology. As with her previous book, Cooke is an engaging and witty author, clearly loving her subject.

It's also a very useful reminder that it's all too easy to project our values and culture onto things, preventing us from understanding the wider picture. The world isn't as patriarchal and binary as we think it is, and using human terms to explain non-human behaviour can be very distorting.

Highlight is the chapter about why some spiders eat their mates.


I got the audiobook of this to listen to whilst I was gardening, but I think I’m actually going to return it for another, which I’ve only done once before (Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club, which seemed to be ghostwritten by a fourteen year old). The audiobook of Bit h is read by the author, and that seems to be a mistake. I can get over the slightly grating voice, but the author seems to be shouting everything to me and every single line seems to be punctuated with vocal exclamation of importance and awe where, often, none deserves to be. It’s like watching that physicist chap from D:Ream, who, yes, has a charming enthusiasm, but who gets a bit tiring after a while because is sand *really* that amazing?

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2022 21:00 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2949
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik.
2. Sad Little Men - Richard Beard.
3. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu.
4. Fake History: Ten Great Lies and How They Shaped the World - Otto English.
5. The Blade Itself: Book One (The First Law 1) - Joe Abercrombie.
6. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah.
7. Duty of Care - Dominic Pimento.
8. Find you First - Linwood Barclay.
9. Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma.
10. Normal People - Sally Rooney.
11. I'm a Joke and so are you - Robin Ince.
12. All the Lonely People - Mike Gayle.
13. Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby.
14. Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond - Dalrymple and Anand.
15. 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World - Elif Shafak.
16. Severus: The Black Caesar - Steve Exeter.
17. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett.
18. Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline.
19. The Gathering - Anne Enright.
20. Better off Dead - Lee/Andrew Child.
21. Call for the Dead - John le Carre.
22. Frank Skinner - Frank Skinner.
23. The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz.
24. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte.
25. The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker.
26. The Last Graduate - Naomi Novak.
27. Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
28. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - Eric Newby.
29. Foreign Fruit - Jojo Moyes.


Autumn - Ali Smith. The first in her seasonal quartet (guess what the other three are called?) I picked up the other three on Kindle, so got a paper version of this one so I could get on with them. It follows a young girl and her much older neighbour, flitting between their lives and different time periods, culminating in a Britain post Brexit vote. The characters are lovely, the politics on the side are angry but not overpowering to everything else, and it's not overlong. Great.

Leviathan - Rosie Andrews. A gentle monster book? In that the monster is always in the background, just occasionally in the foreground, and there is some mystery and some mythical-type activity, but most of this is from the point of view of Thomas, a soldier who returns to find everything changed at home and dark accusations of witchcraft hanging around. I enjoyed it, but there was a bit of me thinking that not all that much was happening. Hugely atmospheric, but felt like a TV show without much budget to actually show you the monster or any effects.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2022 16:29 
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I keep on meaning to reread 'Autumn' and then start on the rest of the series. If I remember correctly (*hastily searches the BeeX Vault*) I enjoyed it at the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 11:17 
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Squirt wrote:
1.) Seveneves - Neal Stephenson.
2.) Neuromancer - William Gibson.
3.) Sharpe's Tiger - Bernard Cornwell
4.) Chess 101 - David Schloss.
5.) Count Zero - William Gibson
6.) Mona Lisa Overdrive - William Gibson
7.) White Gold - Giles Milton.
8.) Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery - Field-Marshal Montgomery, obviously.
9.) The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin


10.) A Very British Coup - Chris Mullin
A very left-wing PM is elected ( apparently based on Tony Benn, but could easily be Jeremy Corbyn, other than the whole "elected" thing ) and the "Establishment" decides that they're not happy. All sorts of skulduggery occurs, from leaks to the papers from MI5 to the CIA trying to crash the currency. Quite a neat little thriller that goes along at a decent pace and wraps up in under 250 pages. Apparently the TV show was pretty good too, although it looks like they changed some of the plot quite a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 13:32 
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The TV show was excellent

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 13:35 
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JBR wrote:
MaliA wrote:
JBR wrote:

Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky. "I was made to be a weapon but I have lived a life. I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me as a thing." I struggle to sum this up properly - other than "it's great". It starts as being about a squad of bioforms, animals made with electronic communications and other modifications to turn them into effective, biddable, fighting machines. But its scope takes in a lot more. The fighting is done well, the politics believable and the ending covers something even more sinister and important than the possibility of cyborg-type enhancements. Excellent sci-fi that doesn't feel that far away.


I've recently read this,and the sequel, and both are great. Well worth a read.


Oh look, there's a sequel, thanks! I don't know if I realised when I bought it, but I own it, so I'll get to it soon.


Oooo just seen this, was given Dogs of War as a Christmas present a few years ago and loved it. Shame about the title, it's a bit generic...'Good Boy' or 'Good Dog' would have been better. I too hadn't realised there was a sequel - To Amazon!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 13:52 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

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Morte wrote:
The TV show was excellent

In that case I shall check it out!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 15:34 
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Soopah red DS

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Morte wrote:
JBR wrote:
MaliA wrote:
JBR wrote:

Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky. "I was made to be a weapon but I have lived a life. I was born an animal, they made me into a soldier and treated me as a thing." I struggle to sum this up properly - other than "it's great". It starts as being about a squad of bioforms, animals made with electronic communications and other modifications to turn them into effective, biddable, fighting machines. But its scope takes in a lot more. The fighting is done well, the politics believable and the ending covers something even more sinister and important than the possibility of cyborg-type enhancements. Excellent sci-fi that doesn't feel that far away.


I've recently read this,and the sequel, and both are great. Well worth a read.


Oh look, there's a sequel, thanks! I don't know if I realised when I bought it, but I own it, so I'll get to it soon.


Oooo just seen this, was given Dogs of War as a Christmas present a few years ago and loved it. Shame about the title, it's a bit generic...'Good Boy' or 'Good Dog' would have been better. I too hadn't realised there was a sequel - To Amazon!


I picked it up as a deal of the day, and those repeat from time to time, so if you're patient...


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2022 19:06 
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Posts: 2949
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1. A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik.
2. Sad Little Men - Richard Beard.
3. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu.
4. Fake History: Ten Great Lies and How They Shaped the World - Otto English.
5. The Blade Itself: Book One (The First Law 1) - Joe Abercrombie.
6. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah.
7. Duty of Care - Dominic Pimento.
8. Find you First - Linwood Barclay.
9. Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma.
10. Normal People - Sally Rooney.
11. I'm a Joke and so are you - Robin Ince.
12. All the Lonely People - Mike Gayle.
13. Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby.
14. Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond - Dalrymple and Anand.
15. 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World - Elif Shafak.
16. Severus: The Black Caesar - Steve Exeter.
17. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett.
18. Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline.
19. The Gathering - Anne Enright.
20. Better off Dead - Lee/Andrew Child.
21. Call for the Dead - John le Carre.
22. Frank Skinner - Frank Skinner.
23. The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz.
24. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte.
25. The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker.
26. The Last Graduate - Naomi Novak.
27. Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
28. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - Eric Newby.
29. Foreign Fruit - Jojo Moyes.
30. Autumn - Ali Smith.
31. Leviathan - Rosie Andrews.


Time away with sun, and a looong time on an overnight ferry means - reading.

Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo. Had this for ages, finally read it, vg. Moves between the lives of several women who are connected to each other, loosely bound around a play one has written that is about to premier as the book opens. A look at their lives, how they relate to each other and how they treat each other and are treated. None of which means it is over-serious or humourless.

A Thousand Ships - Natalie Haynes. Haynes does the "Natalie Haynes Stands Up For the Classics" radio show, and between those and Pat Barker's book, above, I've taken in a fair amount of art giving female perspectives on the classics, and particularly the Odyssey and Aeneid. As a result, there were one or two bits that were a little over-familiar, but overall this is great; there are 42 chapters, some people or groups get multiple, some just one, and the narrative shifts from gods to mortals as she retells the story. The chapters from Penelope, at first understanding, then frustrated, through to outright exasperation, waiting for Odysseus to finish his long journey home, were my favourites.

Nobody Walks - Mick Herron. By the author of Slow Horses (out now on Amazon, vg), this is a standalone thriller, and very well done, if a little standard on the "ooh, what are the intelligence services up to now, and who is acting honourably?!?" front. An ex-agent discovers his son has died and goes home to decide what to do next. Competent thriller, and the ending just about saved it from feeling like every other story of this type.

Crocodile Hunter - Gerald Seymour. I love Gerald Seymour books, though I've never read two in quick succession. I'll change that with this one, as it in a "Jonas Merrick" series, unusually for Seymour. He writes meticulously researched thrillers about something current, and he's been at it for a long time so Harry's Game is about the IRA, through to insurgents and, here, an elite fighter returning to the UK and planning an attack. Seymour's dialogue is clipped and efficient - I think if he were more famous, it would be widely parodied, and if you don't get on with his style, you will dislike everything he does. I like it, and it works, though it is definitely a bit other-worldly. He also usually specialises in very uncertain, often ambiguous endings where you really can't tell who is going to win, and if they do, whether it was worth it. Here, because Merrick (an old analyst who saves his career on the brink of retirement, almost by accident) had already returned in another book, I enjoyed the slightly lowered sense of anticipation leading to the end. I'd love you to try GS if you like thrillers, but fear you might feel they're from the 1950s. If anyone else likes him, let me know.

Queenie - Candice Carty-Williams. Another book I've had for ages, and been meaning to read but was a bit put off, thinking it might be a bit worthy as an award winner. Um. no. Queenie gets sort-of-dumped by her boyfriend and looks for happiness/a sense of self everywhere, including a lot of sex and whatever anyone suggests, along with telling herself she'll turn over a new leaf at work, even as she heads away from her desk to chat to her friend. It's a bit Fleabaggy, I suppose I'm saying, with a compelling voice and good humour along the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2022 7:07 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17018
Location: Oxford
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1. The Holocaust by Laurence Rees
2. Cathedrals of Steam by Christian Wolmar
3. United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How It will Come About by Kevin Meagher
4. The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales
5. You Don't Want to Know by James Felton
6. Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore by Emma Southon
7. The Unexpected Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
8. Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy by Tim Hartford
9. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Bucan
10. Meet the Georgians by Robert Peal
11. Houdini: the Man who Walked Through Walls by William Lindsey Gresham
12. So Far... by Kelsey Grammer
13. Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal by Lucy Cooke

14. The Tiime-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer

The fourth in his highly enjoyable overviews of life in ye olden days, this one looks at the Regency (loosely defined by the author as 1789-1830). Mortimer takes us through all levels and aspects of life during this period of rapid change, with a wry humour. Using diaries and letters from the time really helps bring the period to life.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 19:36 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 2949
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. A Deadly Education - Naomi Novik.
2. Sad Little Men - Richard Beard.
3. The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Liu.
4. Fake History: Ten Great Lies and How They Shaped the World - Otto English.
5. The Blade Itself: Book One (The First Law 1) - Joe Abercrombie.
6. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah.
7. Duty of Care - Dominic Pimento.
8. Find you First - Linwood Barclay.
9. Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma.
10. Normal People - Sally Rooney.
11. I'm a Joke and so are you - Robin Ince.
12. All the Lonely People - Mike Gayle.
13. Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby.
14. Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond - Dalrymple and Anand.
15. 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World - Elif Shafak.
16. Severus: The Black Caesar - Steve Exeter.
17. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett.
18. Ready Player Two - Ernest Cline.
19. The Gathering - Anne Enright.
20. Better off Dead - Lee/Andrew Child.
21. Call for the Dead - John le Carre.
22. Frank Skinner - Frank Skinner.
23. The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz.
24. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte.
25. The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker.
26. The Last Graduate - Naomi Novak.
27. Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
28. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - Eric Newby.
29. Foreign Fruit - Jojo Moyes.
30. Autumn - Ali Smith.
31. Leviathan - Rosie Andrews.
32. Girl, Woman, Other - Bernadine Evaristo.
33. A Thousand Ships - Natalie Haynes.
34. Nobody Walks - Mick Herron.
35. Crocodile Hunter - Gerald Seymour.
36. Queenie - Candice Carty-Williams.


Bear Head - Adrian Tchaikovsky. Sequel to Dogs of War. Nearly as good, perhaps just as good, but familiarity bred minor criticism. Nothing I can put into words, really - it's good, it's a satisfying sequel that jumps quite a long way ahead.

Maddaddam - Margaret Atwood. Sequel to Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. I didn't know that, and only read the first. Both are summed up very quickly, and you can get on with this one, though I suspect I have missed out by not reading the one in the middle. Dystopia, with the after shocks of a pandemic having wiped out most of mankind, and a created race taking much of their place. It becomes also a story about innocence, as the new race are taught old ways by what's left of mankind. The book doesn't dwell on it, but you're left to. Excellent, bleak and hopeful in equal (YMMV) measure.

Klara and the Sun - Kazoo Ishiguro. Another eminent writer who does sci-fi, almost by stealth - in that, if you don't go into it thinking it's sci-fi, you might not think of it that way. Klara is an AF, waiting in a window to be bought by a person. You find out what an AF is fairly soon, and it's not a huge spoiler, but I liked not quite knowing. It's seen entirely from Klara's innocent perspective, and I couldn't help pondering how much she was designed the way she's presented - knowing little, and constantly trying to make sense of it - and how much her ability to work things out that other AFs couldn't was by design. It ends philosophically like the best of Westworld - what are artificial intelligences, and what do we owe them? - and without answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 22:10 
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Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 24663
I’ve read the Madaddam trilogy and a couple of years later I still think about those books often, maybe every couple of weeks. Actually, I probably think of Margaret Atwood’s writings more than any other book/film/TV storytelling, because there are so many themes reflected in reality.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2022 13:07 
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Posts: 68974
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Grim... wrote:
1) Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
2) The Medium-Sized Book of Boring Car Trivia Volume 2 by Sniff Petrol
3) Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
4) Kill Your Friends by John Niven
5) Rum Runner by J.A. Konrath

6) Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

JBR wrote about it. I agree with him. Good dog, Rex!

...

I'm sure I've missed a book out, somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 17:32 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17018
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Holocaust by Laurence Rees
2. Cathedrals of Steam by Christian Wolmar
3. United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How It will Come About by Kevin Meagher
4. The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales
5. You Don't Want to Know by James Felton
6. Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore by Emma Southon
7. The Unexpected Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
8. Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy by Tim Hartford
9. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Bucan
10. Meet the Georgians by Robert Peal
11. Houdini: the Man who Walked Through Walls by William Lindsey Gresham
12. So Far... by Kelsey Grammer
13. Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal by Lucy Cooke
14. The Tiime-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer

15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh

An alcoholic author suffers paranoid hallucinations on a leisure cruise. I only kept going because Waugh can turn a phrase but this isn't one of his better works. I was completely underwhelmed by the mystery, how it played out, and how it concluded. Just as well this was a library book as I wouldn't have paid full price for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2022 12:12 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 68974
Location: Your Mum
Grim... wrote:
1) Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
2) The Medium-Sized Book of Boring Car Trivia Volume 2 by Sniff Petrol
3) Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
4) Kill Your Friends by John Niven
5) Rum Runner by J.A. Konrath
6) Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky

7) Verity by Colleen Hoover

What's this? A romantic novel that's also a psychological horror OH FUCK SIGN ME UP BIOTCH. So Lowen is a writer but not really a well-known one, but the publishing house of a famous author called Verity wants her to finish off the series of books Verity was writing, because Verity is in a coma and shit. So Lowen goes to Verity's house to look through her office full of notes and OH NO! She falls in love with Verity's husband Jeremy! And oh no! She finds Verity's first draft of an autobiography and it turns out Verity was a FUCKING NUTBAR but should she tell Jeremy WELL SHOULD SHE?

This is a fucking solid book, and well worth reading. The author normally does straight-up romance novels and this is her first time trying something different, and it really works.

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


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