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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2022 11:09 
SupaMod
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Posts: 69107
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover

Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan wrote Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which was a brilliant book, so I thought I'd grab this one and give it a try. And it was... Good? I think? I mean, it was enjoyable and easy to read, it had lots of interesting ideas, and nothing really happened. It was, like, this person wants to try out cooking! Ooh, it's difficult to cook! She wants to open a stall at a farmer's market! It's just... A bit of her life. And don't get me wrong, that's fine - but it didn't even really have an ending. Probably just read Penumbra again.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2022 10:49 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17299
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas

18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel

Enjoyable and timely polemic discussing why anti-semitism is a blindspot for many progressives.

19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx

One of my favourite books, and definitely on the short list for when I get sent to the desert island, is Harpo Speaks!, the memoirs of Harpo Marx. It's a charming book of anecdotes about the roughness of vaudeville in the early 20th century, and the pleasures of being part of the wealthy literary smart sets of the 1920s. I've read it many times over the past twenty years, and after wearing out one copy have a second that might need replacement too. Harpo comes across as someone who was easy-going and just out to enjoy life. I often think our annual Cottage is the closest I've come to his descriptions of holidays on Neshobe Island with the Algonquin mob.

Now, 20 years after her death, his wife tells her story, from her time Broadway and Hollywood careers, to life with Harpo, to what her life after his death (she outived him by 38 years). She talks candidly about her overbearing mother, her general hatred of stage and screen life, her family, and how she struggled to find a role for herself that wasn't just being Mrs Harpo. The most revealing content surrounds her strained relationships with her brothers-in-law and her attempts to curb Harpo's hypochondria that was often egged on by his brothers.

I would, I think, have liked more about her views on Harpo's relationship with Alexander Woollcott which even in Harpo Speaks always comes across as unhealthy (the more I read of Woollcott, the less I like him) but this is a memoir about her life and experiences, not his.

It's an easy read but probably only for those who know and love Harpo Speaks! and Bill Marx's Son of Harpo. It fills in some of the gaps in both those works but rather than just rounding out our image of Adolph Arthur Duer Marx, provides a tale about someone who was pushed into roles she didn't want and how she coped with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:06 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 69107
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan

9) The Transition by Luke Kennard

There was a book swap thing at a hotel I stayed at recently, so I swapped this book for (I think) a pile of coasters. I may have been a little drunk. But anyway - SINISTER SHADOWY CORPORATION THING called The Transition takes people who are facing jail time for non-violent crimes and instead enrols them and their partners in The Transition, which is designed to rehabilitate them and get them on a path to financial success. But the main character thinks that SINISTER SHADOWY CORPORATION THING may have some SINISTER SHADOWY CORPORATION THING MOTIVES. Is he right? Well, of course he is, or the book would be boring.

Sadly, when you find out the SINISTER MOTIVES they're a bit rubbish, really. And certainly not worth spending the kabillions of dollars it must cost to run it.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
Basically, they're actually after the partners of the people that get into legal trouble, and they pair them up with other partners. It's like a really complicated version of Tinder.


In conclusion: meh.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:30 
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Prince of Fops

Joined: 14th May, 2009
Posts: 4181
Grim... wrote:
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
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan

9) The Transition by Luke Kennard

There was a book swap thing at a hotel I stayed at recently, so I swapped this book for (I think) a pile of coasters. I may have been a little drunk. But anyway - SINISTER SHADOWY CORPORATION THING called The Transition takes people who are facing jail time for non-violent crimes and instead enrols them and their partners in The Transition, which is designed to rehabilitate them and get them on a path to financial success. But the main character thinks that SINISTER SHADOWY CORPORATION THING may have some SINISTER SHADOWY CORPORATION THING MOTIVES. Is he right? Well, of course he is, or the book would be boring.

Sadly, when you find out the SINISTER MOTIVES they're a bit rubbish, really. And certainly not worth spending the kabillions of dollars it must cost to run it.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
Basically, they're actually after the partners of the people that get into legal trouble, and they pair them up with other partners. It's like a really complicated version of Tinder.


In conclusion: meh.


Good grief that is about as meh as shadowy conspiracies come.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:34 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

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Posts: 69107
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Right?!

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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 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:44 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3041
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.
37. Bear Head - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
38. Maddaddam - Margaret Atwood.
39. Klara and the Sun - Kazoo Ishiguro.
40. The Salt Path - Raynor Winn.
41. One Two Three Four - Craig Brown.


Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir. An existential threat to the world, a lone astronaut working out why he is where he is and what he's doing, and a whole lot of science. There's a lot of hokey "science the shit out of this" which I guess is Weir's schtick, and I found it less charming the second time around. The ending goes off the reservation. But I still enjoyed the whole thing.

Fall - John Preston. The story of the fall of Robert Maxwell. A hugely entertaining read for the early days of his career, revelatory about the middle and then quite dull about the end - I let him off, because unless you're really plumping for a particular view (killed/accident/suicide) then you have to tread a line, and that means sitting on the fence. But those early days, yikes there are some great stories. Possibly there isn't quite enough on what an extraordinary life he had, which explains the later monster, but I guess we can work it out ourselves and I'm looking for too much editorialising. He does a pretty good job of being interesting without drawing firm conclusions, though a general disapproval of Maxwell is clear, but occasionally that means some convoluted writing, particularly around the death, and whether Maxwell was a spy. If you skipped the last few chapters you'd lose very little, but the early stuff is excellent. It's also a little depressing to get a general sense that this just is business - do deals, borrow money you don't have, hope it pays off for the business but make sure you get paid in the meantime. And if it isn't working, cling on, lie, obfuscate until it does (see also: insolvent British banks earlier this century).


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 13:56 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48056
Location: Cheshire
I used to have lectures in his old house in Oxford.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2022 18:15 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3041
MaliA wrote:
I used to have lectures in his old house in Oxford.

Oh yeah! He does say that the house (Headington Hall?) was taken on by the university, with not much of his time left - his old office is something. Cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 12:08 
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Sleepyhead

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 27314
Location: Kidbrooke
Now that I have remembered how to read books, I can get to reading the 3rd and 4th books in James Smythe's "Anomaly" series, about a weird thing in space.

But first! Rereading the first two books so I could remember WTF happened in them.

5 - The Explorer by James Smythe
6 - The Echo by James Smythe


They are very good. The first one I particularly love, but they are both worth a look. Science Fiction, but also about people and relationships more than anything action-based. The first is about a group of people who go on a spaceship to investigate a weird thing found a long way away in space (based only in the near future, this is far further than man has gone before). Obviously shit goes wrong and people die and the weird thing is weirder than expected.

The second is about a subsequent mission to try and investigate the weird thing, but better. Needless to say, this obviously goes a bit wrong too.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 12:20 
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ugvm'er at heart...

Joined: 4th Mar, 2010
Posts: 22083
Curiosity wrote:
Now that I have remembered how to read books, I can get to reading the 3rd and 4th books in James Smythe's "Anomaly" series, about a weird thing in space.

But first! Rereading the first two books so I could remember WTF happened in them.

5 - The Explorer by James Smythe
6 - The Echo by James Smythe


They are very good. The first one I particularly love, but they are both worth a look. Science Fiction, but also about people and relationships more than anything action-based. The first is about a group of people who go on a spaceship to investigate a weird thing found a long way away in space (based only in the near future, this is far further than man has gone before). Obviously shit goes wrong and people die and the weird thing is weirder than expected.

The second is about a subsequent mission to try and investigate the weird thing, but better. Needless to say, this obviously goes a bit wrong too.


If you like that, and haven't tried Pushing Ice by Alistair Reynolds, I'd recommend it.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2022 12:25 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48056
Location: Cheshire
Yes, that's really good

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2022 9:52 
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Sleepyhead

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 27314
Location: Kidbrooke
I'll give that a whirl after books 3 and 4.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:07 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17299
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx


20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner

It was going to happen eventually. I'm now reading history books about my early adult life, even though the fifteen or so years covered by this book (roughly 2000-2015) was only ["How many? Between 7 and 22? Fuck off!" - Kern, doing mental arithmetic] years ago.

Turner covers culture, society, and politics weaving themes and identifying connections between tem. It's amazing to be reminded of how big some of the issues covered in this book were at the time, and probably argued about in this very forum, many of which I'd completely forgotten about. His comparison of the popularity of Roy Chubby Brown compared to other acts with more media exposure was particularly fun read and illuminated the view of the country drifting apart without people noticing.

Obviously, like any disaster movie we're all waiting for the big Brexit explosion, and it's the sense that this is looming in the background that provides some narrative motion. I found his argument that it wasn't immigration in heavy Brexity areas per se that some people resented but the idea of a transitory workforce who don't stay around towns long to be an interesting take of xenophobia that I hadn't considered before.

My standard go-to series for post-war Britain has been Dominic Sandbrook's hugely enjoyable tomes. I might start investigating some of Turner's other works on contemporary history as he has a very breezy style and the same mix of politics and culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:06 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3041
Kern wrote:
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx


20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner

It was going to happen eventually. I'm now reading history books about my early adult life, even though the fifteen or so years covered by this book (roughly 2000-2015) was only ["How many? Between 7 and 22? Fuck off!" - Kern, doing mental arithmetic] years ago.

Turner covers culture, society, and politics weaving themes and identifying connections between tem. It's amazing to be reminded of how big some of the issues covered in this book were at the time, and probably argued about in this very forum, many of which I'd completely forgotten about. His comparison of the popularity of Roy Chubby Brown compared to other acts with more media exposure was particularly fun read and illuminated the view of the country drifting apart without people noticing.

Obviously, like any disaster movie we're all waiting for the big Brexit explosion, and it's the sense that this is looming in the background that provides some narrative motion. I found his argument that it wasn't immigration in heavy Brexity areas per se that some people resented but the idea of a transitory workforce who don't stay around towns long to be an interesting take of xenophobia that I hadn't considered before.

My standard go-to series for post-war Britain has been Dominic Sandbrook's hugely enjoyable tomes. I might start investigating some of Turner's other works on contemporary history as he has a very breezy style and the same mix of politics and culture.


Interesting thesis, given the focus on people who don't seem to want to share their homes with the foreigns which makes it seem more like a permanent thing, but actually that works just as well if you're sharing them for a few weeks as for ever.

For more Sandbrook, there's also The Rest is History podcast, with Tom Holland (not that one). I have to be a bit selective, because they're *very* productive.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 14:24 
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Posts: 17299
Location: Oxford
JBR wrote:
Interesting thesis, given the focus on people who don't seem to want to share their homes with the foreigns which makes it seem more like a permanent thing, but actually that works just as well if you're sharing them for a few weeks as for ever.


I probably should read more about people's attitudes and where they come from on this as it's something I struggle to understand (but that's probably down to my personal experiences, privilege, and values). Not about condoning it, but trying to see why someone like that pensioner who Gordon Brown called a bigot after she mentioned immigration would feel that way. A bit of a cliche, but I do get the sense of xenophobia coming in part from a reaction to a changing world that's passed some sectors of society by. I remember some statistic somewhere suggesting that hostility to immigration is usually highest in areas that have the least, but can't recall the source.

Relatedly I popped into town over lunch today and on my way in overheard two old dears complaining about how we sent the EU "billions and never got anything back" other than "bans on light bulbs". I just kept on walking, quietly despairing.

Quote:
For more Sandbrook, there's also The Rest is History podcast, with Tom Holland (not that one). I have to be a bit selective, because they're *very* productive.


Two of my favourite historians but I've never got round to listening to their pod. Must get round to making amends.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 21:22 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6349
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


11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.
The Germans have won WWII and occupied the UK, and Inspector Archer is trying to carry on being a copper whilst avoiding being caught up in resistance clashes and Nazi in-fighting. A good old thriller with a mystery, double agents and triple crosses. This has been on my "to-read" list for years and I finally found a shabby old copy in a community second hand bookshop.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:54 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3041
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.
37. Bear Head - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
38. Maddaddam - Margaret Atwood.
39. Klara and the Sun - Kazoo Ishiguro.
40. The Salt Path - Raynor Winn.
41. One Two Three Four - Craig Brown.
42. Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir.
43. Fall - John Preston.


A Murder of Quality - John Le Carre. As recommended by several of you, I continued this series, and it definitely gripped me more than the first. A murder mystery, well told, if a product of its time. It's kind of a fascinating view of old England as a result.

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss. I loved the first book, The Name of the Wind. I enjoyed this one, particularly the first half plus. It's extremely long, over 1000 pages, and the young Kvothe finally gets some sex, at which point the book starts being too much of a male fantasy. But it passes, and we're back to adventures. At some point when reading the first, I realised the story wasn't ending here, as this was a retrospective look at a hero's life, and he was still at university near the end. Book 2 ends, and guess where he is? There's plenty of chat around Rothfuss not finishing this trilogy. If he does, I hope he does it justice - other than the sex, the writing is just as gripping, and the world is convincing. But I don't think I mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2022 21:50 
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Prince of Fops

Joined: 14th May, 2009
Posts: 4181
JBR wrote:
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.
37. Bear Head - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
38. Maddaddam - Margaret Atwood.
39. Klara and the Sun - Kazoo Ishiguro.
40. The Salt Path - Raynor Winn.
41. One Two Three Four - Craig Brown.
42. Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir.
43. Fall - John Preston.


A Murder of Quality - John Le Carre. As recommended by several of you, I continued this series, and it definitely gripped me more than the first. A murder mystery, well told, if a product of its time. It's kind of a fascinating view of old England as a result.

The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss. I loved the first book, The Name of the Wind. I enjoyed this one, particularly the first half plus. It's extremely long, over 1000 pages, and the young Kvothe finally gets some sex, at which point the book starts being too much of a male fantasy. But it passes, and we're back to adventures. At some point when reading the first, I realised the story wasn't ending here, as this was a retrospective look at a hero's life, and he was still at university near the end. Book 2 ends, and guess where he is? There's plenty of chat around Rothfuss not finishing this trilogy. If he does, I hope he does it justice - other than the sex, the writing is just as gripping, and the world is convincing. But I don't think I mind.


Re smiley, it's the next book that le Carre really hits his stride, it's an immeasurably superior book. The spy who came in from the cold.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 16:09 
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Posts: 6349
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
11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.


12.) Westward to Vinland - Helge Ingstad
A fascinating little book from the chap who discovered the Norse settlements in Newfoundland. The author is a crazy mix of explorer, hunter, anthropologist and archaeologist, of the sort that probably doesn't exist much any more and the book is a jumble of scholarly analysis of the ancient sagas, descriptions of their digs and tales of them bimbling about the Labrador coast chatting to native groups of caribou hunters.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2022 13:25 
SupaMod
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan
9) The Transition by Luke Kennard

10) The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb

I enjoyed this a lot. It's a time-loop book, because Harry retains all his memories when he's born (as you might have guessed from the title) but there are rules and another looper starts to break them and things start going very badly, from an "end of the world" point of view. It's very worthy of your time.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 8:43 
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Posts: 17299
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx
20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner

21. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

A tale of the lives of a tight-knit circus family. They think "norms" are the freaks, easily seduced by the glitz of the show and thus easy targets for emptying their wallets. The standout is Arturo, the Aqua Boy with flippers instead of limbs, who is vain, egotistical, arrogant, and ends up starting a cult. Naturally his sister adores him.

I was captivated by the world, the narrative angle, the characters, and the sense of looking in on a real family with all its joys and trauma, but felt the ending lacked the ambition of the rest of the novel.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2022 21:16 
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Posts: 3041
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.
37. Bear Head - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
38. Maddaddam - Margaret Atwood.
39. Klara and the Sun - Kazoo Ishiguro.
40. The Salt Path - Raynor Winn.
41. One Two Three Four - Craig Brown.
42. Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir.
43. Fall - John Preston.
44. A Murder of Quality - John Le Carre.
45. The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss.


Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah Vaughan. For most of this book, I hated it. Hateful people in posh land and government do hateful things to each other and some cardboard cutouts - a minister is accused of rape, what will happen? Briefly, towards the end, I started to care a bit. But then it flashed back to a shocking-in-real-life but dull in a book occurrence, and I stopped. It's workmanlike in prose, dealing with very serious things and, I think, attempting to show the characters' view, which is why it looks so long and hard at Oxford and House of Commons life. But it failed, for me, seeming just a bit too interested in those things. And it constantly uses "for" as "because", which I find incredibly pompous. Again, probably meant to fit the world, but it's such a clumsy device. It probably made for a decent TV series.

Barca - Simon Kuper. Story of the football club. He got, ever humbly, extraordinary access, and was welcomed by a club that comes across as extraordinary, in all sorts of ways. The insight on how footballers see the rest of us (incomprehension at our lifestyles), though not given undue focus, was fascinating and felt like the product of years of experience and attention distilled into a few hundred words. It's pretty up to date, too, as Messi comes more and more to embody the club, which leads to them paying him more every year - hundreds of millions - which is completely unsustainable, even in the world of football. You probably need at least a passing interest in football, but with that it's excellent.

Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout. The story of a life (though not all of it, given there's a second book - Olive Again). It's told through all the ordinary and extraordinary things that happen to Olive, with time allowed to pass with brief sojourns (SEW-journ, if you're American) into peripheral characters' life. It feels very simple, even banal, but hooked me in. The writing isn't flowery or overly descriptive, unlike AoaS, but is always effective, emotive and . Again, unlike AoaS.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2022 21:05 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6349
Squirt wrote:
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
11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.
12.) Westward to Vinland - Helge Ingstad


13.) Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - P.G.Wodehouse
I do like Jeeves and Wooster, and I've probably read most of them now. The plot is inconsequential but I love the writing style and can reread them for ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 17:20 
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Posts: 22266
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KovacsC wrote:
1. The Sentinel - Lee Child.
2. Proud - Gareth Thomas.
3. The Geneva Trap - Stella Remington
4. The Gangster - Scott Siglar (audiobook) - Book 6 in the Galactic Football League
5. The Stone Wolves - Scott Siglar (audiobook)


6. Better Off Dead - Lee and Andrew Child

Another Jack Reacher book. Jack arrives in a town, fucks shit up and leaves. Still a good book.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 17:45 
SupaMod
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Was that the one with the tiny sentences?

[edit] Ah yes, it seems so. But I liked it despite that, apparently: viewtopic.php?p=1076103#p1076103

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2022 19:16 
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Grim... wrote:
Was that the one with the tiny sentences?

[edit] Ah yes, it seems so. But I liked it despite that, apparently: viewtopic.php?p=1076103#p1076103


Yes it was. Andrew’s style is a little different.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2022 12:49 
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Posts: 6349
Reviewing the numbers, I'm way behind on last year but it seems JBR is heading for a PB!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 10:20 
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I wish I could score everything from the pile of shame...


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2022 14:58 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3041
Squirt wrote:
Reviewing the numbers, I'm way behind on last year but it seems JBR is heading for a PB!

Instinctively, I figured this couldn't be the case - what about all the unrecorded years. But actually, the combination of time and motivation means it's probably actually true. Slowed slightly by having no kindle charger for a week, and only reading one book (Mark Watson, Contacts - seemed simple, won me over, laughed a bit) before it died a couple of days ago. It's charging happily now.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:26 
SupaMod
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan
9) The Transition by Luke Kennard
10) The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb

11) Last Call by J.A. Konrath

It's the final book in the Jack Daniels series (after the previous final book a couple of books ago)! It follows the trend of getting progressively more bonkers with some absolute insanity going on (actual gladiatorial fighting pits levels of insanity in this one). These books are a lot like the Fast and Furious movies in that they started off with Jack having problems with her boyfriend leaving her and catching a criminal who killed someone in her patch and now it's just wall-to-wall covert operatives, ninja gymnasts, disfigured serial killers and utter insanity.
But you don't care, because they're fucking great.

Still, sad that it's the final book in the series, now I only have the next six to read. Because, apparently, that's how final books work :shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 11:37 
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Grim... wrote:
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
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan
9) The Transition by Luke Kennard
10) The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb

11) Last Call by J.A. Konrath

It's the final book in the Jack Daniels series (after the previous final book a couple of books ago)! It follows the trend of getting progressively more bonkers with some absolute insanity going on (actual gladiatorial fighting pits levels of insanity in this one). These books are a lot like the Fast and Furious movies in that they started off with Jack having problems with her boyfriend leaving her and catching a criminal who killed someone in her patch and now it's just wall-to-wall covert operatives, ninja gymnasts, disfigured serial killers and utter insanity.
But you don't care, because they're fucking great.

Still, sad that it's the final book in the series, now I only have the next six to read. Because, apparently, that's how final books work :shrug:


I had not realise there were so many of them, I remember reading the original 6, years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 12:40 
SupaMod
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There are sixteen in total. Get cracking!

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2022 14:10 
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Just downloaded book 7 :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 11:30 
SupaMod
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan
9) The Transition by Luke Kennard
10) The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb
11) Last Call by J.A. Konrath

12) Children of Chaos by Greg F. Gifune

Well, this book has a fucking strong opening line:
Quote:
We all stood there awhile and watched him die.
"I think we just killed God."

After killing God, William and his buds drift apart, but then one of their mothers offers him a bunch of cash to find his mate Martin. Turns out Martin has gone to Mexico and started a cult and weird shit is happening.
The book spends a good five billion pages covering the search for Martin and the resulting journey out to find him. It then spends about thirty pages after they meet dealing with that and then finishing.
It was pretty good, but I didn't find Martin that scary - especially compared to what happened when they ran into a bunch of porn stars (yes, really).

13) White Russian by J. A. Konrath
It's the next book after the final book of the Jack Daniels mysteries, and once again we've got crazy serial killers with unlimited budgets and a vendetta against Jack, but that's not the main thrust of the story - the main thrust is that dead people aren't dead and I hate that (looking at you, Stranger Things S04). Anyway, Jack goes off to rescue them.
There's some nice bait and switch and it's still hugely readable, and Chandler shows up briefly and she's my favourite (even though Jack hates her now for the STUPIDEST FUCKING REASON). It's certainly a case of "more of the same", but - like with the Reacher books - I'm fine with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 11:33 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6349
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
11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.
12.) Westward to Vinland - Helge Ingstad
13.) Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - P.G.Wodehouse


14.) Tamed - Prof Alice Roberts
A little potted history of some of the domesticated species that humanity has picked up along the way. One chapter per species, talking about how and where they were domesticated and how they've evolved to end up as they are now. Easy to read, big picture stuff. Interesting science and history and some of the asides have made me want to read more about the subjects!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2022 10:37 
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Posts: 17299
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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
14. The Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx
20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner
21. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

22.Pompeii by Mary Beard

An overview of the life of a city and its inhabitants before Vesuvius ruined everything. A useful read both before and after a visit.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 20:07 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6349
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
11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.
12.) Westward to Vinland - Helge Ingstad
13.) Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - P.G.Wodehouse
14.) Tamed - Prof Alice Roberts


15.) Space Family Stone - Robert Heinlein
Not one of his best. It reads a bit like your smart but somewhat eccentric uncle who's prone to go down YouTube rabbitholes decided to write a sci-fi novel. My edition was also full of typos and layout errors


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:03 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6349
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
11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.
12.) Westward to Vinland - Helge Ingstad
13.) Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - P.G.Wodehouse
14.) Tamed - Prof Alice Roberts
15.) Space Family Stone - Robert Heinlein


16.) The Cruel Sea - Nicholas Monsarrat
Another old favourite of mine, and I'm pretty certain I remember Nervous Pete talking about it too. The story of the crew of an Atlantic escort vessel, and its replacement after it sinks, across the entire war. No grand climax or arc of redemption, just the spirit of the characters somehow carrying on ( or not ) against the endless background of hardship and tedium, interspersed with brutal terror and personal tragedy.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2022 13:26 
SupaMod
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Posts: 69107
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan
9) The Transition by Luke Kennard
10) The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb
11) Last Call by J.A. Konrath
12) Children of Chaos by Greg F. Gifune
13) White Russian by J. A. Konrath

14) Dead Space: Martyr by B. K. Evenson

This is a novel based on the video game and I have no idea why I bought it in the first place, but it's surprisingly good! The first half in particular troubles an "excellent" rating as some people try to recover a Marker (you remember, those big twisted statue things) from deep under the ocean, and it's mostly set in a tiny sub and it's claustrophobic and tense as hell.

The second half suffers when the plot moves to a research station and monsters appear and the last few chapters are just "and then he cut it with his plasma cutter. And then he cut another one with his plasma cutter. And then he cut another one with his plasma cutter" etc etc.

But it's worth a read for the first half alone.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 15:18 
SupaMod
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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
7) Verity by Colleen Hoover
Eight) Sourdough by Robin Sloan
9) The Transition by Luke Kennard
10) The First 15 Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb
11) Last Call by J.A. Konrath
12) Children of Chaos by Greg F. Gifune
13) White Russian by J. A. Konrath
14) Dead Space: Martyr by B. K. Evenson

15) Shot Girl by J. A. Konrath

Back on my Jack Daniels bullshit after a tiny break - this one is nowhere near as light-hearted as others in the series (as pointed out near the end where one of the comic relief characters says to the author (yes, really) "I've not been in this one enough" and the author replies "Yeah, I know, this one's too dark. I need a break so you'll have a big part in the next book" which was ace).

Gun control is discussed a lot, and the main baddy talks in an annoying "Gen-Z but written by an old man" way, but it's not as bad as it could have been. The series continues to be great. Straight onto the next one, which I suspect I'll finish at Cottage.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 15:46 
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My one and only contribution to this thread.

1. Gamesmaster: An oral history.

Dominik Diamond tells the story of Gamesmaster series by series. It's great.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 23:42 
SupaMod
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Posts: 69107
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Have you read this?
https://littlebitsofgaming.com/2021/08/ ... ospective/

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 0:33 
SupaMod
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"Praisebot"

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Posts: 16859
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I have not... Thanks! I'll take a look at that.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2022 8:54 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17299
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx
20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner
21. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
22.Pompeii by Mary Beard

23.A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

An enjoyable romp across time and the world looking at various aspects of sex: biology, language, practices, and work. Each chapter is an easy and informative read, but be warned that some of the images are pretty graphic so perhaps be careful about opening it up on a busy train. I especially liked how throughout the text the author would put the year a particular slang term first appeared - some were way earlier or later than I'd expected.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 17:23 
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Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6349
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
11.) SS-GB - Len Deighton.
12.) Westward to Vinland - Helge Ingstad
13.) Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves - P.G.Wodehouse
14.) Tamed - Prof Alice Roberts
15.) Space Family Stone - Robert Heinlein
16.) The Cruel Sea - Nicholas Monsarrat


17.) A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
Never managed to read this as a young-un. A jolly splendid coming-of-age-ish story about a young wizard who fucks up and then goes about unfucking up. I shall read the rest of the series!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2022 8:18 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17299
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx
20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner
21. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
22.Pompeii by Mary Beard
23.A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister


24. The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells by Sarah Churchwell

Here's something you might not know about me: I have never seen Gone with the Wind all the way through. A friend and I managed to get to about the burning of Atlanta before giving up, having spent most of the time laughing at how appallingly bad and seriously dodgy it all was. We were probably on to something with our mocking alcohol-fuelled derision.

In this book, Churchwell details just as dreadful Gone with the Wind, the book, the film, and its legacy really is, putting elements in context from the pre-Civil War period, through Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crown, all the way down to the insurrection of 6th January 2021. It's masterfully done, with even the more positive elements of Scarlett O'Hara's character (eg her independence and resilience as model for early feminism) being shown to have very dark roots.

I particularly enjoyed her account of how the book was received in the 1930s and the backlash against it. Indeed, she draws parallels between the old South and 1930s fascism in stark terms that show just how the American example of institutionalised racism and oppression was used by the Nazis to justify their actions.

Quote:
The point is not to overlook the obvious differences between the Confederacy and interwar fascism - it is, rather, to acknowledge how resolutely, and for how long, we've been disregarding the similarities.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2022 16:47 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48056
Location: Cheshire
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky

A space opera about sentient spiders and humans. It's absolutely great, and I loved every page

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2022 16:50 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48056
Location: Cheshire
The Long way To A Small Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

Space opera set on a wormhole tunnelling spacecraft. very character driven, likeable characters, but sometimes it was a bit too nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2022 8:00 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17299
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 Time-Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer
15. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh
16. Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
17. Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
18. Jews Don't Count by David Baddiel
19.Speaking of Harpo by Susan Marx
20. All In It Together: England in the Early 21st Century by Alwyn W. Turner
21. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
22.Pompeii by Mary Beard
23.A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister
24. The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells by Sarah Churchwell

25. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett's take on Ancient Egypt. It's ok but not one I think I'll be returning to.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2022
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2022 12:56 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48056
Location: Cheshire
The Martian - bloody great.

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