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So what are you reading this year 2021?

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
By far, Gene Wolfe, Jack Vance, and CAS are the three authors I find myself most having to look up the meaning of words. But the one thing I find with them is that it's not so much using obscure terminology, but obscure terminology that evokes a certain feeling.

For those interested in archaic and unused words, according to Luke Gygax, Poplollies & Bellibones was a volume Gary Gygax frequently had on hand
I find this website to be pretty valuable.

 

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payn

Legend
My brother has a book club with some friends and they have been going strong for about 10 years or so. I join up as a guest for their annual retreat each year. The book this time was Hyperion by Dan Simmons. It was bad, very hard for me to finish. Some ok ideas, but seemed inconsistent, had a poor metaplot, and downright juvenile at times. A little surprised to see it was Hugo winner.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Just finished two books:

Bird by Bird, which is a book about writing. Not my style. Lots of people love this book, though...

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play by Nick Offerman. Preachy. Not for those on the more conservative side of politics. I enjoyed it, but preachy and there are parts where you'll wonder if he knows how lucky/ privileged he is (he does, and acknowledges it at times).

Also reading Aurora and It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences (which is DENSE with information, but seems good so far).
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Still reading Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow.

Still reading Night of the Hunter by R. A. Salvatore.

Still reading The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor.

Still reading Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson.

Still reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Still reading Changes by Jim Butcher.

Still reading An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan.

Still reading Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Critical Role: Tal’dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer.

Sill reading Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell.

Still reading Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones.

Still reading The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

Still reading Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl.

Still reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb.

Still reading Sly Flourish’s The Lazy Dungeon Master by Michael E. Shea.

Still reading Matchlock and the Embassy: A Thirty Years’ War Story by Zachary Twamley.

Still listening to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Sunreach by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson.

Started reading The Black Ice by Michael Connelly. - the next Harry Bosch book.
 

Just finished Lumley's The Transition of Titus Crow. While the first one was very much a love letter to pulp horror, this one is more a love letter to weird fantasy. But I found it less enjoyable; it was fine, but not great. The plot sort of ambles along until it finishes.

Also finished Time-Life Books' Night Creatures, from The Enchanted World line. Oof, is the book filled with some nightmare fuel. Turning the page feels like you're an interloper stumbling on some horrid sight:

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Now I'm reading Tolkien's The Nature of Middle-Earth.
 

Tolkien's The Nature of Middle-Earth went very quickly. It is an impressive work, though perhaps the pages and pages of elvish rates of aging isn't always interesting in itself. But everything in it is a fascinating window into the thought process that went into creating his world. And there is much that is interesting in it.

Tolkien clearly indicates that only dwarf men have beards, for what it's worth (also, that Aragorn, Boromir, Denethor, and Faramir should all be clean-shaven, as a result of the elvish-by-way-of-Numenor blood in them).

Another thing in it is that he completely invalidates every modern attempt to create a lembas bread recipe by saying that it is made from corn from The Undying Lands.

Now, in preparation for the Wheel of Time TV series coming next month, I'm finally getting around to reading Robert Jordan's New Spring.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Here's a bunch of things I have read recently. 1 of which I didn't finish. 3 of them are from various Zinequests.

Rise, a solo game where you draw out a dungeon (like, physically on a piece of graph paper), but you do it from the perspective of the evil mastermind. It uses cards to help guide you in what to draw. It's hilarious when you draw the "adventurers/heros" and they come and wreck everything you have been working towards. I haven't actually done the drawing part, but the game was cool. Here's the Goodreads. And here's the link to the itch.io page. It was one of 3 by the same author that came in the zinequest, but the first one I have read. All for 7 quid - I LOVE ZINEQUEST!

I just a few hours ago finished Bridge of Birds, by Barry Hughart. Really enjoyed it a lot. Loved the fantasy China, and appreciated also the "investigation" angle. Sort of reminded me of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin in an ancient fantasy China. Ultimately, about halfway through the book I realized the entire thing was about love in it's many forms - eros, agape, philos, etc - and it didn't decrease my enjoyment one bit :love:

Usagi Yojimbo Homecoming. By Stan Sakai (duh!). Sakai continues to be incredible. The history packed into this one, as well as the musings on how one can't even really go home; and then the great action scenes that he draws in a way that I love. I highly recommend Usagi Yojimbo to anyone, but this one was even a cut above many of the others I have read. Goodreads.

I recently finished the entire 6-volume adventure path "War for the Crown" from Paizo. The mix of politics and court intrigue, as well as standard D&D type adventuring makes this a possible winner in the next campaign I run for one of my groups. I'll probably have to do some sort of conversion to 5e, which won't be easy, but will probably be fun. There are two sub systems that I'm eager to try out. One is court intrigue; and the other is having "agents" go around the countryside and the towns and do your bidding and try to influence things in the various factions and individuals in the games. They are both cool, and cover some areas that I think are often glossed over in typical rules sets.

Another Zinequest item - I wrote up my review of Dungeons and Dilemmas on Goodreads here. Short summary - it'll give you a different way to look at building dungeons and how they can fit into your world. Also, I recommend it. If you want to buy it, you can get it in pdf from Drive Thru here, and in hard copy from the publisher here.

Finally, the item I didn't finish. I backed Command? Dungeon World: A Solo Game About Learning Games thinking it was a game that told me how to use Dungeon World to do solo adventuring. What it turned out to be was mostly a choose your own adventure game. I guess I should have guessed by the URL; but the campaign page itself doesn't make that clear. Choose your adventure's cool; but it's not my bag. So I put it down around p14.
 

Richards

Legend
I'm finished the third book and am now about to start the fourth book in Ruth Downie's "Medicus" series, about an ancient Roman doctor, Gaius Petreius Ruso, who keeps getting involved in solving murders with his Britton slave Tilla. Book four is called Caveat Emptor and will involve Ruso and Tilla back in Brittania and away from his family estate in Gaul (where the action in book three took place), no doubt to the relief of both. Checking ahead in Wikipedia it looks like there are five more novels in the series after this one, but these are the only ones I picked up at the library book sale. However, I have enjoyed them enough I'll probably try to pick up the other books in the series; in that respect, it's similar to how I ended up with all of the novels in the "Sano Ichiro" series by Laura Joh Rowland, detailing the murder investigations by a samurai investigator in feudal Japan.

It looks like I'm a sucker for historical fiction mysteries.

Johnathan
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Still reading Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow.

Finished reading Night of the Hunter by R. A. Salvatore. - This one is a bit...weird. I like that Bruenor still carries some remnants of his time as a semi-Chosen of the dwarven gods (fighting the balor before his death), Wulfgar seems healed. Regis is useful. Cattie-brie is a real spellcaster. It’s a real D&D party now. But Mielikki is now declaring orcs and goblinkin to be inherently evil and a stain on the world. Bruenor is planning to start a genocidal war against a relatively peaceful Many Arrows. I actually liked the establishment of Many Arrows in 4e and was disappointed that they were removing it in 5e. It was a great storyline. But now you have good characters planning a genocide crusade. It’s only made halfway palatable by the fact that the drow are planning the same thing and manage to get it off first.

Still reading The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor.

Still reading Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson.

Still reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Still reading Changes by Jim Butcher.

Still reading An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan.

Still reading Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Critical Role: Tal’dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer.

Finished reading Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell. - very informative and revealing. Learned a lot.

Still reading Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones.

Still reading The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

Still reading Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl.

Still reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb.

Still reading Sly Flourish’s The Lazy Dungeon Master by Michael E. Shea.

Still reading Matchlock and the Embassy: A Thirty Years’ War Story by Zachary Twamley.

Still listening to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Sunreach by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson.

Still reading The Black Ice by Michael Connelly.

Started reading Rise of the King by R. A. Salvatore.
 

I also wish they had kept it. I'm considering bringing back the Many Arrows kingdom for my Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign, but I'm not sure the best way to introduce it. I have avoided using orcs as antagonists in the adventure until I figure that out.

I actually liked the establishment of Many Arrows in 4e and was disappointed that they were removing it in 5e. It was a great storyline. But now you have good characters planning a genocide crusade. It’s only made halfway palatable by the fact that the drow are planning the same thing and manage to get it off first.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I put down Aurora about 60% or so thru. I have no idea why this book is considered great, or even good.

I started The Windup Girl, which already seems 100x more interesting. With actual characters.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Still reading Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow.

Still reading The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor.

Finished reading Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson. - Excellent, as was his first book.

Still reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Still reading Changes by Jim Butcher.

Still reading An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan.

Still reading Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Critical Role: Tal’dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer.

Still reading Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones.

Still reading The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

Still reading Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl.

Still reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb.

Still reading Sly Flourish’s The Lazy Dungeon Master by Michael E. Shea.

Still reading Matchlock and the Embassy: A Thirty Years’ War Story by Zachary Twamley.

Still listening to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Sunreach by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson.

Still reading The Black Ice by Michael Connelly.

Still reading Rise of the King by R. A. Salvatore.
 

Finished Jordan's New Spring. At about 400 pages, it's practically a novella for the Wheel of Time. And yet it has that deep attention to worldbuilding and all the other trademark Robert Jordan-isms. At its best, that detailed approach brings the world vividly to life; at worst, it slows the story to a slog.

I also read Nnedi Okorafor's short story, The Black Pages. After New Spring, that economy of storytelling was a balm.

Now I'm reading Michael Moorcock's Count Brass.
 

Finished up Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan, it was good. The basic idea is that Jules Vern's books 20 000 leagues under the Sea and The Mysterious Island were recounted to him by actual people.

I think if I had read both before this book, it would have added to my enjoyment, even without that the book was really good.
 

payn

Legend
Finished book 8 of The Expanse series. Got book 9 on pre-order for end of month. Pretty decent series that the writers really improved for the screen.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Still reading Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow.

Still reading The Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor.

Still reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Finished reading Changes by Jim Butcher. - Dang. Just...dang. That ending… Everything. Very appropriate title!

Still reading An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire.

Finished reading The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan. - I thought this one very good. The power of massed English longbows vs. Mongol mounted archery would have been interesting to see historically.

Still reading Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Critical Role: Tal’dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer.

Still reading Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire.

Still reading The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones.

Still reading The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

Still reading Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl.

Still reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb.

Still reading Sly Flourish’s The Lazy Dungeon Master by Michael E. Shea.

Still reading Matchlock and the Embassy: A Thirty Years’ War Story by Zachary Twamley.

Still listening to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Sunreach by Brandon Sanderson and Janci Patterson.

Still reading The Black Ice by Michael Connelly.

Still reading Rise of the King by R. A. Salvatore.

Started reading The Sorcerer of the North by John Flanagan. - Next Ranger’s Apprentice book.

Started reading Ghost Story by Jim Butcher. - Next Dresden Files book.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Finished the Windup Girl.

It really should come with a warning label over all the abuse......that said, I enjoyed the book and the worldbuilding quite a bit. Just, wow, if you are triggered by abuse, you really need to NOT read this.

I'm going to re-read Atomic Habits, which I skimmed thru in a few hours a month or so ago. Probably pick up the next Amber book.
 

Finished the Windup Girl.

It really should come with a warning label over all the abuse......that said, I enjoyed the book and the worldbuilding quite a bit. Just, wow, if you are triggered by abuse, you really need to NOT read this.

I'm going to re-read Atomic Habits, which I skimmed thru in a few hours a month or so ago. Probably pick up the next Amber book.
Unless i'm mistaken his other books (Shiper breaker and the two that follow) also take place on the same earth
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Just finished Andy Weir's newest novel, Project Hail Mary.

It is a return to his strengths in The Martian - a story about an isolated scientist who has to handle extraordinary situations. I found the work had the same strengths as its predecessor - it got me turning pages, which is no small feat, as I've had an extremely hard time concentrating on extended reading for more than a year and a half. So that, in and of itself, was delightful.

In Project Hail Mary, Weir dives into more speculative science, and he has to do some hand-waving about subatomic particles and invoke some unobtanium to make it work out. In addition, he didn't stick the landing, emotionally, due to how he resolves one conceit of the work's basic premise.

But still, I was delighted to sit with a book and really want to read it.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Finished the Windup Girl.

It really should come with a warning label over all the abuse......that said, I enjoyed the book and the worldbuilding quite a bit. Just, wow, if you are triggered by abuse, you really need to NOT read this.

I'm going to re-read Atomic Habits, which I skimmed thru in a few hours a month or so ago. Probably pick up the next Amber book.
Much like how "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" should come with a warning that "You will want to kill every male character in this book, when you're done"?
 

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