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  • FIRST POST
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 22nd Apr 17, 8:30 PM
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    UncannyScot
    Lost in a good book? What are you reading?
    • #1
    • 22nd Apr 17, 8:30 PM
    Lost in a good book? What are you reading? 22nd Apr 17 at 8:30 PM
    Quite simple, probably been done or tried before...
    MSE Readers' Club

    What are you currently reading?

    Favourite authors and genres etc

    A wee place to talk about books...
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
Page 11
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 8th Aug 18, 7:21 PM
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    onlyroz
    I have listened to a few audio-books over the years and my favourites are;
    Tony Robinson's readings of Sir Terry Pratchett's books, he just seems to get it spot on with his narration
    The Song of Ice and Fire series (GoT) narrated by Roy Dotrice, again his voice is just perfect for these... and I sincerely hope he gets to complete the series.
    Lenny Henry's narration of Neil Gaimans Anansi Boys is also excellent.
    Like others have mentioned, they are great for listening to on long car journeys

    My apologies - A friend has informed me that Roy Dotrice passed away in October of last year at the age of 94...
    Originally posted by UncannyScot
    The Tony Robinson version of the Pratchett books are abridged so I never bothered with them. Nigel Planer read the unabridged versions and they're very good.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 8th Aug 18, 7:48 PM
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    UncannyScot
    Oooo Must try these as I've heard Nigel narrating before and he's good. Strangely enough, I've always imagined him as Rincewind

    Also think that Dame Maggie Smith would be an astoundingly good Granny Weatherwax and Miriam Margoyles an excellent Nanny Ogg and the late Emma Chambers was who I always imagined as Magrat Garlick
    Last edited by UncannyScot; 08-08-2018 at 7:56 PM.
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • tweets
    • By tweets 8th Aug 18, 8:03 PM
    • 29,848 Posts
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    tweets
    Cassie's Tale Kindle Edition
    by Brian L. Porter

    True story of his rescue dog
    Lost 3st-12lb
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 13th Aug 18, 1:34 PM
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    UncannyScot
    I found a mint hardback copy of Jasper Ffordes' The Eyre Affair in my local chazza HUZZAH
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 13th Aug 18, 3:58 PM
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    Ames
    I found a mint hardback copy of Jasper Ffordes' The Eyre Affair in my local chazza HUZZAH
    Originally posted by UncannyScot
    SO jealous!

    I haven't had a good trawl around the charity shops for ages.

    I've been trying to find various hardbacks to complete collections and try ebay, but most of the time the listing says it's a hardback in very good condition but they send a tatty paperback. It's all science fiction and fantasy that I'm looking for, which doesn't turn up in charity shops much. I did get a complete set of Tad Williams' Otherland series in one a few years ago though.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 13th Aug 18, 4:12 PM
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    UncannyScot
    I have the first two of the Otherland Series in hardback (the second is a signed copy) both from Chazzas.
    Also my local second-hand book shop owner is great (I'm sure he's one of those ancient librarians that got stuck in L-Space eons ago) and he has a list of what books I'm looking for and will update me when I'm in, which is almost every Saturday morning, with whatever he has in, with either a, "nowt so far", or, "Oh, I have that ???? you were looking for!" Waterstones just doesn't have that kinda experience, you know...
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Aug 18, 4:22 PM
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    dustydigger
    Yeah,charity shops are dire as far as SF/F goes.In our nearest town at least the Oxfam shop used to accept any tatty old copies of books,which they kept tucked away in a dark corner.but even they have stopped doing that.Last year I tried to give them some old Hugo and Nebula winners which I had got from Amaz*n,rather old original editions in some cases. The lady in the shop staggered back in horror and refused to accept them.Now they only want new shiny blockbusters in mint condition which they can sell for at least 1.50.
    There are no second hand book shops left in the town at all.And its a university town,for heaven's sake. So more trade for Amaz*n,which means the death of even more bookshops.

    I often feel guiltily that I personally contributed to the demise of the British bookshop

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    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 13th Aug 18, 4:43 PM
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    pollypenny
    Finished reading Robert Harries' Munich about five minutes ago.

    Felt like a duty read.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • z1a
    • By z1a 13th Aug 18, 6:59 PM
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    z1a
    Old one picked up at charity shop - Tess Gerritsen, - Gravity.
    Last edited by z1a; Yesterday at 6:25 PM.
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Aug 18, 7:21 PM
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    dustydigger
    Finished yet another Judith Cutler novel,Head Count.I have been following Cutler's novels about a variety of strong women,(polcewomen,reporters,even a young woman working in an antique shop who is rather like a female Lovejoy)for years.The stories should perhaps be labelled as cozy crime,a genre I rarely readnormally,but I always enjoy Cutler,and have been following her books for at least 15 years.

    This latest series is about a headmistress at a primary school who comes into contact with all sorts of problems,this time people smugglers! Very enjoyable.
    Cutler is married to Edward Marston,author of the Railway Detective series.

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    • Ames
    • By Ames 13th Aug 18, 8:06 PM
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    Ames
    No second hand bookshops here, either. I go to Hay festival every year and I'm like a pig in mud, although my favourite shop there closed down last year.

    I keep meaning to go on a trip to Alnwick to the big bookshop there, and to visit Wigtown in Scotland.

    I buy most of my books from Waterstones. There's a big sci fi and fantasy department at the one in Leeds, and the staff are knowledgeable. Plus their loyalty scheme is pretty decent, at least until it changes in a couple of weeks. Although if I want a new hardback by a favourite author I usually pre order it on Amazon as soon as I can because of their pre order price promise.

    Plus I like being able to look at the books and decide what I want - the last time I took a punt on something new from Amazon it was a 3 for 10 deal and all three were rubbish.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 13th Aug 18, 10:17 PM
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    UncannyScot
    Wigtown is an awesome place for book folks

    The bookshop in Alnwick is also well worth a visit.
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Aug 18, 10:26 PM
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    dustydigger
    Ames,I hadnt been to Waterstones in Sunderland for a while and was agreeably surprised by the massive improvement in their SF/Fantasy section. I tend to read old classics and Hugo winners,and a few years ago I gave up visiting because the selection was so poor.The bookshop there before them used to order one particular author's books for me straight from the US,but Waterstone's werent keen to help.then I got a computer and started ordering online instead.
    But I recently went and was interested to see no less than 23 books from the SF Masterpieces series on the shelves.Plus quite a lot of 80s and 90s stuff,not just lots of rather meh generic fantasy like a few years ago,when SF seemed to disappear from the shelves,swamped by fantasy.Maybe there is a better balance developing? Hope so,SF has been fading away for a long while. Its a fact of life,authors go where the money is if they are not to starve.For a while publishers have been pushing YA fantasy. Who knows what the next trend will be?
    At least there is a respect and some demand for older classic SF but sadly little of that seems to have turned up in the crime fiction section,classic old fiction in print is as rare as hens' teeth
    I had been thinking of reading works from crime award winners,bt found few in printor quite expensive,so I abandoned the idea of doing a sustained project.

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    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Aug 18, 10:41 PM
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    dustydigger

    Plus I like being able to look at the books and decide what I want - the last time I took a punt on something new from Amazon it was a 3 for 10 deal and all three were rubbish.
    Originally posted by Ames
    Glad that doesnt happen to me! In almost every case I read a book in the library and if I like it I buy a second hand copy. With 4 kids,6 grandkids and now 2 great grandkids,and living on a pension money for buying books can be in short supply,so I certainly cant afford to just buy any old book Long live Xmas book tokens.
    I have done pretty well though since joining MSE,because I discovered doing surveys and have made about 60 this year in Amaz*n vouchers,which has made it possible to buy quite a few classic SF books.Plus several new copies of books by C J Cherryh and Lois McMaster Bujold,two fave authors whose books show up neither in libraries or bookshops,so I need to buy new,as I cant wait a couple of years till the price comes down

    But still probably 90% of my reading is from libraries.

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    • tommix
    • By tommix 14th Aug 18, 1:34 AM
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    tommix
    I'm reading 'The History of Glue'...I can't put it down!
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 14th Aug 18, 2:01 PM
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    dustydigger
    Charlie Stross's The Nightmare Stacks was very enjoyable,funny but with numerous sly jabs at the military and intelligence communities. A rip roaring adventure,but as ever Stross gets bogged down in excessive descriptions of action scenes. A bit editing of the final 100 pages would have improved it. But still a fun read.
    All the way through N K Jemison's The Obelisk Gate I was racking my brain ,certain that I felt connections with some other author at least thematically. I try not to read about books and authors till after I have formed my own opinions. It was only on completion that I discovered Jemisin is Afro-American,and then of course the light bulb finally flashed on - Octavia R Butler's Parable series! 20 years apart and from women of very different experiences, but the apocalyptic background and cultural oppression themes are common to both.Jemisin however is much more subtle and multi faceted.Butler just hammered away at her theme without any shading whatsover,so Jemisin is more effective to my mind Both very harrowing though. And Jemisin's world setting is awesome.Will look out for The Stone Sky to finish the series.
    This makes 59/66 Hugo winners read.

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    • Ames
    • By Ames 14th Aug 18, 4:45 PM
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    Ames
    Ames,I hadnt been to Waterstones in Sunderland for a while and was agreeably surprised by the massive improvement in their SF/Fantasy section. I tend to read old classics and Hugo winners,and a few years ago I gave up visiting because the selection was so poor.The bookshop there before them used to order one particular author's books for me straight from the US,but Waterstone's werent keen to help.then I got a computer and started ordering online instead.
    But I recently went and was interested to see no less than 23 books from the SF Masterpieces series on the shelves.Plus quite a lot of 80s and 90s stuff,not just lots of rather meh generic fantasy like a few years ago,when SF seemed to disappear from the shelves,swamped by fantasy.Maybe there is a better balance developing? Hope so,SF has been fading away for a long while. Its a fact of life,authors go where the money is if they are not to starve.For a while publishers have been pushing YA fantasy. Who knows what the next trend will be?
    At least there is a respect and some demand for older classic SF but sadly little of that seems to have turned up in the crime fiction section,classic old fiction in print is as rare as hens' teeth
    I had been thinking of reading works from crime award winners,bt found few in printor quite expensive,so I abandoned the idea of doing a sustained project.
    Originally posted by dustydigger
    The Waterstones in Leeds is huge (I think it's one of the biggest in the country) and has a quarter of one floor devoted to spec fic and graphic novels. They've got a few tables, including one for classic sci fi and fantasy. I try not to venture that far in though, as they're full price. I just loiter around the 'buy one get one half price' table.

    Glad that doesnt happen to me! In almost every case I read a book in the library and if I like it I buy a second hand copy. With 4 kids,6 grandkids and now 2 great grandkids,and living on a pension money for buying books can be in short supply,so I certainly cant afford to just buy any old book Long live Xmas book tokens.
    I have done pretty well though since joining MSE,because I discovered doing surveys and have made about 60 this year in Amaz*n vouchers,which has made it possible to buy quite a few classic SF books.Plus several new copies of books by C J Cherryh and Lois McMaster Bujold,two fave authors whose books show up neither in libraries or bookshops,so I need to buy new,as I cant wait a couple of years till the price comes down

    But still probably 90% of my reading is from libraries.
    Originally posted by dustydigger
    I'm not keen on libraries - they have this totally unreasonable rule that you have to give the books back. Outrageous!

    Seriously though my problem is that they don't tend to have what I want to read. A few years ago I went to the main city library with a list of a few dozen books I wanted to read (it was a challenge to read as many on the 'site users favourites' list as you could). I think they had two. It wasn't as though it was all obscure stuff - didn't even have Frankenstein. You've got to pay to order, and on top of having to go into town to collect it it's not much dearer to just buy a copy on ebay, amazon or world of books.

    At the start of the year I set myself a budget for books. I think I lasted three weeks... it's one of my biggest expenses, but I've been more discerning this year - I've bought quality books rather than going for quantity. I'm not going to run out of books for a few years though!
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 14th Aug 18, 10:07 PM
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    dustydigger
    Ames,I too get frustrated with the libraries,though with all the budget cuts libraries have a hard time satisfying customers wishes.For years my library system have mostly adding SF as paperbacks,and when they wear out,they are not replaced Back in 2013 I decided to attempt to read all the Hugo winners. I checked out the library,they had only 11out of the at that time 60 winners - and I had read 9 of those!
    Ever since I have been tracking down cheap copies as and when I could find - or afford - them.I'm up to 59/66 read now,have located 6/7of the rest,just need to locate a cheap copy of Connie Willis's Blackout, Then I only need to find the time to read them. There are some HUGE books among them.e.g ''Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell'' is a mere 1024pages long
    I tried last year to read it and gave up after 200 pages. Historical fiction is one of my least fave genres and this book is really just an historical novel with a little bit fantasy added. So not my cup of tea

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    • Ames
    • By Ames 15th Aug 18, 7:56 PM
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    Ames
    Oh I loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell! I do like historical fiction though, and love historical/fantasy mashups.

    You could cheat and watch the TV adaptation? I thought it was great, and it had positive reviews but for some reason didn't do well in the ratings.

    I'm ashamed to say I've only read five Hugo winners. I'll have to rectify that when I get chance.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 15th Aug 18, 8:20 PM
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    Ames
    Halfway (ish) through the month, here are my August reads:

    Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees. A brilliant fantasy, decades ahead of it's time (published in the 1920s). It's about a country which shares a border with Fairyland, and anything from there is banned. However, some prominent families become caught up in a scandal involving eating Fairy Fruit...

    Really well written, I really loved this. It's a keeper.

    The Long and Winding Road by Alan Johnson. The final volume of his memoirs, covering his time as an MP.

    Well written and kept my attention, but I didn't like it as much as the first two volumes. Probably because I could remember the events he was writing about and disagreed with him on key aspects. I've got a better understanding of the 'Blairite' issue now though. OK, but it's already gone to the charity shop.

    Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. A perfect satire of religion. Funny and thought provoking.

    I didn't like it the first time I read it, probably because I was a child and didn't find the themes interesting. I also didn't understand that it was satire and thought it was pro religion. This time round I really loved it. Obviously a keeper!

    Early Riser by Jasper Fforde. A detective novel set in a world where humans need to hibernate. The protagonist is a young man who has volunteered for a job keeping the country ticking over through winter and stumbles across something he shouldn't...

    Brilliant and funny, but with a lot of technical stuff to keep in your head. Also, reading it straight after Small Gods I realised how heavily he borrows from Pratchett - including copious use of footnotes. Obviously a keeper, especially since the author scribbled in it, who wants a defaced book?

    The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian A series of linked short stories set in communist china, a satirical social commentary.

    Interesting but I found some of the themes uncomfortable, especially around gender relations. But isn't that the point of this kind of book and of a political author? I wouldn't re read it so I gave it to the charity shop, but still give it a high score.

    Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I think a better title would be 'Young Woman Loses Her Naivety'. She was utterly shocked by the 'revelations' that bad things happened to black people in the past. She made big assumptions about 'all people think...' which weren't referenced, and I suspect that she meant 'lots of people on Twitter think...' Lots of description, almost no analysis.

    Disappointing, especially given all the hype. It's gone.

    Under My Skin by Sarah Dunant A classic whodunnit, but also a scathing feminist critique of the health and beauty industry. The female PI was completely believable and a great, strong character.

    I loved it (I've yet to read a book by her I didn't). Not sure yet whether or not to keep it.

    Finally:

    Outcast by Michelle Paver. The fourth in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, a children's fantasy set in the cold North of Europe a few thousand years ago. About a couple of kids who are fighting magic, the harsh world they live in, and the rigid laws and superstitions of their clans.

    Absolutely brilliant, I'm just sad that I've only got two more to go. I'll try and stretch them out... they have a section of their own on my keeper shelves.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
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