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  • I am currently re-reading "Heretics of Dune" by Frank Herbert. Frank's Dune series is one of my favorites. His son Brian and his co-author Kevin Anderson have greatly expanded the Dune universe, partly from outlines and notes left by Frank. The new books are interesting reads, filling in a lot of history that Frank didn't live to do himself. However, I still prefer Frank's masterful storytelling over the journeymanly skills of Brian and Kevin.

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    • I have been reading some of the poetry of Christina Rossetti. She lived in 1800's England. She came from a very accomplished family. Her father was a poet of some note in Italy. Her mother was of Italian-English ancestry who had some notable literary relatives, as well. Christina's brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was a very accomplished artist and poet and a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood who were eventually recognized as an important faction by art historians. Christina lived what I would consider a rather sad life. She never married and many of her poems expressed a desire to leave suffering behind and find a happier existence in the life after death that she firmly believed in. However, some of her poetry, which I like very much, is about much happier topics, especially her love of nature.
      Last edited by Cyrus The Great; 04-04-2022, 12:42 PM.

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      • Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
        Started out very well, whipped through the first half of the book. Then the story faltered and seemed to loose direction. It just kind of meandered for about 100 pages and then there was a kind of deep disconnect with the conclusion. So what started out as an 8 or better on the scale, dropped back to at best a 5, and that's reaching. The ending is the problem - there isn't one. She resolved nothing, not even minor plot threads, just left them dangling, let alone the over arcing issues, didn't even attempt to it seemed, and characters introduced in the second half were even less fleshed out than the protagonists, whose surfaces were barely scratched. The reader is left feeling cheated by the lack of a real conclusion or resolution, or even a real direction for the reader to speculate upon.

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        • Originally posted by Ceridwen View Post
          Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
          Started out very well, whipped through the first half of the book. Then the story faltered and seemed to loose direction. It just kind of meandered for about 100 pages and then there was a kind of deep disconnect with the conclusion. So what started out as an 8 or better on the scale, dropped back to at best a 5, and that's reaching. The ending is the problem - there isn't one. She resolved nothing, not even minor plot threads, just left them dangling, let alone the over arcing issues, didn't even attempt to it seemed, and characters introduced in the second half were even less fleshed out than the protagonists, whose surfaces were barely scratched. The reader is left feeling cheated by the lack of a real conclusion or resolution, or even a real direction for the reader to speculate upon.
          Do you suppose she's writing a sequel? Is it that sort of book?

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          • Ceridwen
            Ceridwen commented
            Editing a comment
            I dont see it, it seemed very like 'the end' to me. I suppose she could, however, now that Hulu is making this one into a mini series, and yes I will watch it just to see if they improve on the whole second half. I wish I could tell you the whole problem of the story, but that's not possible without spoilers.

        • Currently reading 'Highlander' by Garry Kilworth and I need to start 'Ronnie James Dio: Rainbow in the Dark'.

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          • I'm currently reading three books.
            Nancy Holder's Highlander: The Measure of a Man
            It's not bad as things go, but the problem I have a lot of the time is overblown villains, and Machiavelli is one of them.

            Diana Gabaldon's Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
            Enjoying it tremendously so far. I find that I can remember so little of the book before it, that I might have to go and re-read it, but at the same time maybe I don't.

            The 19th Deathlands book, Deep Empire, written by Laurence James as James Axler. He wrote 1-33, and has a love of Stephen King's Dark Tower (and other novels), so that odes are scattered through the books.
            Not unlike Duncan MacLeod, in order for his characters to end up in dire straights, they often have to suddenly seem to lack the brains that they have at other times.

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            • I am re-reading "Ringworld's Children" by Larry Niven. I have been a fan of the Ringworld series since I read the first book when I was a teen. I have also enjoyed the tie-in series dealing with the puppeteer worlds that Niven co-authored with Edward M. Lerner. Actually, I am a fan of all of Niven's work. He is very imaginative and incorporates a lot of good science in his fiction.

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              • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
                good premise, good characters - one in particular who appears to be retired black op kind of person is great. The author's constant changing of the tense from past to present from chapter to chapter drives me a bit buggy, but am willing to put up with it because the story is just good enough to make me do so. Once I finish, we'll see if it was worth that much tolerance.

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                • I am enjoying "Fate of Worlds" by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner. It is the last in a series of books that greatly expand Niven's Ringworld and Known Space stories.

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                  • Donna Lettow's Barricades, at least what there is of it that she distributed at HLWW10.
                    All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. This one is often difficult for me, as it is both shifting in time, and shifting in primary character, from Werner's story to Marie-Laure's.
                    Ahab's Wife, by Sena Jeter Naslund. I'm still early in it, but have to shift my attitude often. This is someone's invention of a background for a person only mentioned, from a fantasy book revolving around whaling. Naslund's writing of the character's philosophy feels anachronistic (as in closer to today than to the time it's set). Not sure if she'd qualify as a classic Mary Sue. She doesn't change anything, as of course her life when it intersects with Ahab's is all "off screen".
                    Last edited by dubiousbystander; 08-28-2022, 09:23 PM.

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                    • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig. Rather fun so far. Its a time split novel with a researcher in the first years of the 21st century and her subjects in the Regency era. The Pink Carnation was the name of an English spy along the lines of the Scarlet Pimpernel, who is treated as real in story. The identity of the Carnation has never been discovered, our researcher hopes to be the one to name the spy and get her PhD in the process.

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                      • I am reading some of Tolkien's "Unfinished Tales". Tolkien wrote and rewrote the stories of many of his characters throughout his adult life. It is interesting to read and compare the different versions as compiled by Christopher Tolkien.

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                        • The last book I read was Jonathan Melville's 'A Kind of Magic: The Making of Highlander'. I stumbled across the book by chance when I was looking up Highlander on Google - its a fantastic read.

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                        • I am currently reading parts of Isaac Asimov's memoir "I, Asimov". I have enjoyed his science fiction and science non-fiction books for many years. He was a fascinating personality!

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                          • I just started Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #3) by Tamsyn Muir. I've enjoyed the first two, so expect to enjoy this one, too!
                            I'm also reading, again, Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir. Really quite a good story.

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