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Just got a package from Ziesing Books with The Hogben Chronicles by Henry Kuttner and a new collection by Ramsey Campbell, Holes for Faces. Much as I love Ramsey's stuff, I've been waiting what seems like my whole life for the Hogben stories to be collected in one volume, as soon as RAW is over I'm reading that sucker cover to cover. For those unfamiliar with the tales, Kuttner wrote two humorous sf series, the Gallagher stories (drunken inventor) and the Hogbens (mutant hillbillies); both are among the funniest stuff I've ever encountered and while the Gallagher stuff was collected way back in 1950, the five Hogben stories have never been collected together, until now. Four of them are familiar to me, but I think there's one I've never read. Coming across a new (to me) Kuttner story is like winning the lottery.

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Book 3 part one of song of fire and ice.

and the new pratchett one about the trains. another moist von lipwig one. GLEE!

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Along with the the book club book, I'm also going through I Am Legend by Matheson. Not sure how I've skirted around so much of his output for so many years...

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X-Men. Lots and lots of X-Men.

I give equal blame to Matt D and Dan Didio

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X-Men. Lots and lots of X-Men.

I give equal blame to Matt D and Dan Didio

I hope that includes Rucka's Cyclops book. It seems your cup of tea (pretend teen Scott is secretly a girl). :)

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Starting to read Stephen King's IT not sure how the fuck I missed this over the years. Curious to those who have read, I read a review the said the last 100 or so pages are like a different book and not as good? Is this true?

 

Yeah.  King has a really hard time finding endings for his books.  I had the same issues with Doctor Sleep; started out great but ended only satisfactory.

 

Currently reading King's new book, Mr. Mercedes.  Beginning is fucking sweet, so I am starting to dread finishing this book.  Hopefully I will be surprised.

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I'm reading Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter.  It's about a member of Naval Special Warfare who has gone M.I.A in Afghanistan.  It goes back and forth between telling the story from his point of view of his training and his life up to that point and his mother's P.O.V during his disappearance.  I'm enjoying it; it reads quickly.

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It's almost a cliche that King doesn't know how to finish a book (he even addresses it head-on in the afterward to The Dark Tower, with the "I've never yet found a 'happily ever after' half as interesting as the 'once upon a time'" line) but I tend to forgive him because of things like The Stand and Road Work and Wizard & Glass.  Oh do I love Wizard & Glass.

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Starting to read Stephen King's IT not sure how the fuck I missed this over the years. Curious to those who have read, I read a review the said the last 100 or so pages are like a different book and not as good? Is this true?

 

Yeah.  King has a really hard time finding endings for his books.  I had the same issues with Doctor Sleep; started out great but ended only satisfactory.

 

Currently reading King's new book, Mr. Mercedes.  Beginning is fucking sweet, so I am starting to dread finishing this book.  Hopefully I will be surprised.

 

 

 

One of the worst for bad endings was Under the Dome. It really felt like King realized the book was already way too long. Took a big hit off his bong and wrote down the stupidest explanation for what had happened.

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I'm reading "The Pacific". It's very good but as a follow up to Band of Brothers it lacks the uniformity of the story of one group of guys. Still, it's a really engrossing read.

I'm officially old, as books about World War Two are the only things that grab me currently.

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Finished The Killing Room (the lincoln rhyme latest one by Deaver) 

 

Found it quite strange in that it was a physical evidence case without the physical evidence. So there was a lot of padding. Not Deaver's best work.

 

And moving onto Pratchett's raising steam.Love a good "Moist von lipwig takes over another industry" saga.

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I'm reading Mutiny: The True Events that Inspired The Hunt for Red October.  Good stuff so far, as it's co-authored by an officer who was on the Storozhevoy.  I'm just to the point where the mutiny goes down, but I've enjoyed it moreso for the slice of life in the Russian navy during the Cold War and your average Soviet naval officer's views on the Soviet system and all that. 

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just read Call of Cthulhu.

shorter than i thought it would be. read half of it, really enjoyed it and found in engrossing. read the other half and was disappointed overall. i think it really just left me wanting more. it's just that there was no resolution of any kind.

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Almost done with the novelization of the film Constantine. SO much better than the film.

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So my two main reads are "His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik and "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx.

 

HMD is being read more out of a sense of obligation (at the risk of being THAT GUY, I was staff on a MUD she ran long before she was famous and hung out with her a couple of times. I have to get her autograph for a couple friends and Dragoncon, and don't want to have to admit I haven't read her novels in the extraordinarily unlikely event she recognizes me.) It's super fun fluff, I have some issues but none of them stand up to the question "Well, if you're willing to read Age-of-Sail-But-In-Space books, why is Age-of-Sail-but-with-Dragons a problem?"

 

Das Kapital is harder. My goal for this year was to read Marx and Rothbard back to back, get both extremes of the political/economic spectrum in close together and re-evaluate my opinions (which generally hew closer to Rothbard than Marx). Marx is a REALLY difficult read. I still expect to finish both by the end of 2014, but it's going to take more time and effort than I had initially expected.

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Speaking of difficult books, I recently read "George Anderson: Notes for a Love Song in Imperial Time" by Peter Dimock. It was the hardest thing I've read in terms of choice of language and syntax. It concerns a memorandum written during the administration of G.W. Bush by a member of the Office of Legal Counsel that basically legalized torture.

The first 40 pages or so felt like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that don't quite fit together. After that, I got into the flow of the novel, because the author re-visits the concepts discussed in the beginning.

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It's mid-summer, I'm in full-on baseball book mode and I've discovered the Oyster app, which is like Netflix for books. Why no, this will not end well.

 

Watching "Battered Bastards of Baseball" on Netflix inspired me to re-read Jim Bouton's Ball Four, which is a 100% absolute must-read for any baseball fan as it's the sport's first "shoot book." Bouton documents his season with the one-and-done Seattle Pilots of 1969, and clearly went in with no fucks to give in terms of exposing the daily life of a major league ball player (and very briefly a minor league player as well), warts and all, consequences be damned. As a result the book was INCREDIBLY controversial for its day, to the point where he was unofficially blackballed from baseball for several years. One of the most important sports books ever.

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Speaking of difficult books, I recently read "George Anderson: Notes for a Love Song in Imperial Time" by Peter Dimock. It was the hardest thing I've read in terms of choice of language and syntax. It concerns a memorandum written during the administration of G.W. Bush by a member of the Office of Legal Counsel that basically legalized torture.

The first 40 pages or so felt like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that don't quite fit together. After that, I got into the flow of the novel, because the author re-visits the concepts discussed in the beginning.

 

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk was a difficult book to read. I got through about the first 50 pages and lost patience with it.

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Finally getting around to reading JURASSIC PARK. Been meaning to for years.

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My cousin finally returned my copy of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, so I am going to start that after I finish up Mr. Mercedes.

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Just finished Roger Kahn's Good Enough to Dream, about his year owning the Utica Blue Sox baseball team. Interesting stuff about the trials and tribulations of running an independent club in the backwaters of the New York-Penn League, one I've always meant to read since we used to go to their games when I went to camp up there.

 

At one point Kahn writes about the Sox playing Camp Northwood in a game of softball ("The Blue Sox managed to lose to the children by one run in the ninth; I cannot imagine a more admirable performance" -Kahn). It suddenly dawned on me that I PLAYED IN THAT GAME. So yeah, my mind was suitably blown.

 

Currently I'm in the middle of Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, about the 1960s battle for Le Mans supremacy. A very fun read so far, especially if you're into auto racing, but I recommend you don't get used to any of the characters: I'm only 40% in and we've already reached a double-digit body count. :blink: Drivers are getting killed off like it's going out of style.

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Dragon Age: The Masked Empire. Thought this was pretty good. The writing and storytelling were on point with no real wasted moments. The fights were interesting and dynamic. And there was a good deal of complexity with most of the characters involved. Should be interesting to see how much of it actually builds into Dragon Age Inquisition.

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Reading because I need to: A lot of what I read wears the dual hat of pleasure/business like this example... A bunch of Russell Gray /Harrison Storm stories from Horror Stories/Terror Tales/Mystery Tales from 1938-1941. Turns out that he's one of our best-sellers at Dancing Tuatara Press, so I'm putting together a third and fourth volume of his stories. That part's business. Of course, Gray is seriously deranged, so there's a good bit of pleasure involved. Some of you might know him from years later when he wrote under his real name, Bruno Fischer. With all but a couple of exceptions his later work is pretty standard hardboiled detective material. His pulp stuff on the other hand... Sick, sick, sick doesn't even begin to cover it. He goes by two rules that guarantee an interesting read (Joe Bob Briggs would codify these later as rules for a great slasher flick): 1. Anyone can die at any moment. (Usually, the hero makes it through, but his S.O. may be dead or worse...) 2. The innocent must suffer. (Generally in horrible ways that you would have to be a pretty sick puppy to imagine.)

 

For sheer unadulterated pleasure: I have four volumes of The Early Jack Vance sitting here. What I've read, I read years ago and loved so it will be nice to revisit some of those stories. What's even better is that I note several stories that are unfamiliar to me. The fact that my favorite author, (who I've collected since the late 1970s) had some stories that I missed is beyond cool. Vance passed away a couple of years ago and I was seriously bummed that I'd never have the joy of reading any new books or stories so the fact that I missed a few is just tremendous. I'm going to ration myself to no more than one a day...

 

Lastly, when the lush prose and mordant wit of Jack Vance becomes too much, I have the new novel by Peter F. Watts. If you ever feel that you are enjoying life too much and like science fiction, I recommend Mr. Watts. To say that his outlook is bleak would be an understatement. He's also a great writer that makes you care about his characters despite the fact that you just know that everything will turn out horribly and that the living will envy the dead. The current book is as a sequel to Blindsight (which should have won the Hugo and Nebula Awards, but the voters never seem to go for gloomy Canadians that depress the fuck out of everybody, instead they'll give Lois McMaster Bujold her umpteenth award for yet another book about Miles whatshisname.)

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