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Alright, Mr. Pullman. You've intrigued me. Lets see where this series ends.

I quite enjoyed the tonal shift in this one. I had wondered what was left to tell in Lyra's world after the first book, but my worries were assuaged.

As seems to be the trend, reading these books has destroyed any desire I had to watch the TV show.

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I’ve been enjoying the Arthur Wallace series by Jonathan Wood.  It’s kind of a weird cross section of comedy, action, horror and fantasy.  Aliens, magic, a petite sword-wielding cursing female Scot, a grumpy Pakistani goth, an otherworldly librarian made out of books whose personality is comprised of characters from those books, many references to “What Would Kurt Russell Do?”...and that’s just the first book.  It has that shift in tone on a dime from comedy to horror and back again that I love so much, plus typical British observations.

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A classic for Christmas holidays:

 

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Edited by jose
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Masters of Doom by David Kushner

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This was a fun little read over the holiday break. Some of it I knew, a lot of it I didn't. John Carmack to this day remains one of my idols.

Rumor is that it is being adapted to a TV series by USA. I hope they do it. I think a lot of people would enjoy the story of Id's early days.

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On the difference between the same textbook by the same authors and the same publisher in California and Texas. 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/12/us/texas-vs-california-history-textbooks.html

No wonder some people lack empathy for people who are different. It is literally scrubbed from their textbooks. This is pathetic, Texas. You should be way better than this. 

Edited by TMoney

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Finally went back and read the WaPo's "Afganistan Papers" series from a few months ago. The first of the 6 can be found here: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/&sa=D&source=hangouts&ust=1579547061878000&usg=AFQjCNGSIbHsOFSr6LkfTRmw0_UJWxkRyA

 

Very sad to read it. What a waste. The blunders by both the Bush and Obama administrations look terrible in hindsight. Governing, particularly in a place like Afghanistan, is really, really hard.

Lots of lessons to learn though, #1 being to not start things unless you have a realistic plan on how to finish them.

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Starting reading the First Law Trilogy:

 

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Just finished The Ten Thousand Doors of January — out fucking standing.  Stories within stories, fantasy, an ode to storytelling...the author even starts the book immature and by the end is writing in a much more mature style, mirroring the character growth.  Fantastic.

Disclaimer:  JA—not sure why so many of the books I love are JA/fantasy, but...there ya go.

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Seems like a good day to start a biography of Pliny the Elder and  Younger that Claire got for me at Christmas.  

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Edited by Voltron
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Finished The Amber Spyglass, the final book of the Golden Compass series. Overall the series was an enjoyable read. Not something I'd necessarily recommend, but enjoyable nevertheless.

The third book went in a religious/cosmological direction I think the author maybe though was profound, but the themes and implications didn't really hit for me.

I think I'm going to skip the HBO series. To do this series justice you'd need an insane budget for CG and production, and even then I'm not sure it would add much to my enjoyment after having read through the books.

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Catching up on Alastair Reynolds:  finished Blue Remembered Earth on Kindle, started On the Steel Breeze in actual book form.

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7 minutes ago, Dusty Chalk said:

Catching up on Alastair Reynolds:  finished Blue Remembered Earth on Kindle, started On the Steel Breeze in actual book form.

I haven't read his last two, but AR is one of my favorite writers (I have those two, I just haven't read yet).

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Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski

The translations have been slow coming out, but now that the 5-book series is done, this latest novel (set between the short story collections and the series) was finally released. It's a great adventure – glad to see he hasn't lost his knack for storytelling. There was a 14-year gap between the publication of the last book in the series (1999) and this one (2013, English translation: 2018).

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2 hours ago, EdipisReks1 said:

I haven't read his last two, but AR is one of my favorite writers (I have those two, I just haven't read yet).

One of mine, too.  No-one does hard sci-fi like he does.

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1 hour ago, Dusty Chalk said:

One of mine, too.  No-one does hard sci-fi like he does.

He's brilliant, for sure!

 

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The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski

Really great – the final novel in the 5-part series. Oddly, I have a feeling Michael Moorcock would love reading these books... there was talk of a lawsuit years ago re: the Witcher vs. Elric, but I think Moorcock dropped it. Sapkowski uses a variety of literary devices (moving the story out of chronological order, shifting the perspective to different characters, etc.) to excellent effect and he is able to maintain a lot of the humor and charm of the series while the characters pursue their epic quest. There is also a bit of the medieval brutality and eye for detail that you read in George R.R. Martin's books. I'm not sure if Sapkowski had read them in the 90s while he was writing these books in Polish.

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Edited by HiWire
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Yeah, didn't The Jackpot feature some nasty plagues? Have you read The Peripheral, which is set in the same fictional universe? I've been revisiting all of Gibson's stuff recently.

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3 hours ago, Hopstretch said:

Yeah, didn't The Jackpot feature some nasty plagues? Have you read The Peripheral, which is set in the same fictional universe? I've been revisiting all of Gibson's stuff recently.

yah, I've read all of Gibson's books.  

Spoilers abound, but Agency gets too many things right.

 

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Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

One of the most intense war novels I've ever read. It's a gigantically thick-looking hardcover, but easily devoured regardless.

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So I first read this book as a college freshman and remembered absolutely loving it. It has been about 20 years now, so I figured it would be a fun book to pick up and re-read during all this time while we've been stuck at home.

Wow... times change... I guess I've changed? I couldn't get through it a second time. I really did not enjoy it much at all on a 2nd read, which is not what I expected. A lot of the social/political/sexual things that felt unique and daring to 18-year-old-me miss the mark for me now. I guess I'm not much of a libertarian.

Thought about re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land as well, but maybe its best to remember the fond memories I had of reading it at the time.

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