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What are you reading in 2022?

I also took a while to get through the series originally, taking breaks in between books. It's such a densely woven series, I'm sure it'll reveal new depths that way, but I don't know that I'd have it in me to do a back-to-back re-read.

I'll be doing a re-read of the main 10-book Malazan arc by Erikson before moving into his latest books in that milieu. I read it previously over quite a span of years, losing threads and continuity in the process. A book or more a month will be like both coming home to the familiar and finding fresh new things to appreciate.

How cool, I had no idea Dio wrote an autobiography. Will have to check it out!

I need to update my Goodreads page to reflect what I am currently reading:
  • Rainbow in the Dark by Ronnie James Dio > this is his autobiography and since he's my favorite rock/heavy metal singer, I was excited to get it and I'm about 2/3 done. Ronnie was a voracious reader and read a great deal of fantasy literature and his love of those medieval themes showed through in his songs. His death broke my heart, but hardly a week goes by that I don't think about him or spin one of his albums. RIP \m/
 

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hedgeknight

Explorer
Yeah man, let me know when you do, Ralif. I'm about a chapter and a half from finishing; it's been really good and has encouraged me to go back through Ronnie's music catalog one more time.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm about 1/3rd of the way through the "1619 Project" and think it's pretty darn good. I knew what it was advertised as, but the closest thing I'd read recently was the popular consumption history book "These Truths" and for some reason my brain was expecting it to be similar in how it reads. It's designed to be essays with lots of history in them (and poems and the like) instead of a history book though. In one of the Nero Wolfe books a rich character sends 10,000 (iirc) copies of a book out to all kinds of elected officials and the like because she thinks they should read it. If I thought there was a chance they'd read it, that would be a go fund me I'd support.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I'm about 1/3rd of the way through the "1619 Project" and think it's pretty darn good. I knew what it was advertised as, but the closest thing I'd read recently was the popular consumption history book "These Truths" and for some reason my brain was expecting it to be similar in how it reads. It's designed to be essays with lots of history in them (and poems and the like) instead of a history book though. In one of the Nero Wolfe books a rich character sends 10,000 (iirc) copies of a book out to all kinds of elected officials and the like because she thinks they should read it. If I thought there was a chance they'd read it, that would be a go fund me I'd support.
I'm stuck in the prologue, and have been distracted by other "lighter" books. It's one I really want to read though. Maybe I'll commit to getting through half of it in Jan...
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm stuck in the prologue, and have been distracted by other "lighter" books. It's one I really want to read though. Maybe I'll commit to getting through half of it in Jan...
It feels like the "chapters" don't need to be read in order, or require the prologue. So, could jump right into Chapter 2 "Race" or Chapter 3 "Sugar". I can certainly see being in the mood for something lighter being tough competition!
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Doing Andre Norton's "Star Soldiers" and omnibus of Star Guard and Star Rangers; I dimly remember reading them a long time ago, except forgot what they were about, so I bought a used version, it is effortless before sleep reading.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Finally finished Priest by Matt Colville. I am of many minds about how I feel about the book. On the one hand, I enjoyed it. On the other hand, the ending left me feeling like I didn't get an ending. On the third hand, I didn't like all the explaining near the end. Too much telling / translating, among other things. On the fourth hand, I'm thinking I might read the next book, but I'm not sure yet.

Anyway, not sure if I can recommend it or not, in the end. I may need more time to process it.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
I enjoyed Priest, and also Thief. He has an interesting, hard boiled style for fantasy. I also like the theme. "You are better than the worst thing you have ever done". It's a theme you get in Brandon Sanderson's Rhythm of War also, though not in those exact words. I'm always a sucker for a redemption arc.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So on my COVID-induced break I've been wrapping up a few shows and books.

The most recent book was kind of a disappointment, unfortunately. Carthage Must Be Destroyed, by Richard Miles. I wanted to love this book. I've always been fascinated by Carthage, and, um...


spoiler, I guess....??? Really, who knows any more!

Yeah, Rome kind of kicked their posterior, burned the city to the ground, and salted the earth- so there's not a whole lot of history we have from their side.

Any way, this book supposedly told the story of Carthage from the Carthaginian p.o.v. by combining modern archaeological evidence and combing through the ancient histories (which were distorted) to present a more balanced and comprehensive look.

I guess it did the best job possible? The thing is, I didn't learn a whole lot that was brand new to me. It just made me sad ... because it just re-emphasized that so much was lost and will never be fully known.

There was also something about the writing style that didn't quite work for me. The best example is how Miles kept teasing child sacrifice by the Carthaginians, usually in the context of "Oh, the Romans and Greeks always make up slurs against their enemies," and then moved on to something else, and then in what was an aside was like, "Oh yeah, they were totally doing the child sacrifice, even after the Eastern Phoenicians had abandoned it."

It was just a weird stylistic choice.


So if you're really into Carthage (um... that's not a euphemism) you should read it. I don't regret reading it. But I wish it was more.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
So on my COVID-induced break I've been wrapping up a few shows and books.

The most recent book was kind of a disappointment, unfortunately. Carthage Must Be Destroyed, by Richard Miles. I wanted to love this book. I've always been fascinated by Carthage, and, um...


spoiler, I guess....??? Really, who knows any more!

Yeah, Rome kind of kicked their posterior, burned the city to the ground, and salted the earth- so there's not a whole lot of history we have from their side.

Any way, this book supposedly told the story of Carthage from the Carthaginian p.o.v. by combining modern archaeological evidence and combing through the ancient histories (which were distorted) to present a more balanced and comprehensive look.

I guess it did the best job possible? The thing is, I didn't learn a whole lot that was brand new to me. It just made me sad ... because it just re-emphasized that so much was lost and will never be fully known.

There was also something about the writing style that didn't quite work for me. The best example is how Miles kept teasing child sacrifice by the Carthaginians, usually in the context of "Oh, the Romans and Greeks always make up slurs against their enemies," and then moved on to something else, and then in what was an aside was like, "Oh yeah, they were totally doing the child sacrifice, even after the Eastern Phoenicians had abandoned it."

It was just a weird stylistic choice.


So if you're really into Carthage (um... that's not a euphemism) you should read it. I don't regret reading it. But I wish it was more.
"Dread Tanit, whose love is worse than hate" or some such. Though I have heard the child sacrifice were children interred postmortem, it would not surprise me different as the Romans just had the unwanted baby pile they threw them on too. I always wondered about Carthage also, as I guess it may have been timber that limited them? I mean, the ships Rome used to cross the channel they portaged overland, while supposedly, the Carthaginians made it to South America, and some say even brought back cocaine. Roman roads won out versus using waterways as transport.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Still going thru the omnibus collection of Amber books. Just passed a page with no paragraph breaks. Yuck. I'm beginning to wonder if this is just a long, padded, story. I think I'd feel very different if I read the books as separate books, over long stretches of reading other things?
 

Richards

Legend
I'm reading "The Seekers and the Sword" by Michael Jan Friedman, which unfortunately looks to be book two in a series about Norse mythological figures. The main character is a bastard son of Odin and the bad guy from book one was apparently Odin in disguise, and now everybody's trying to prevent him from getting his hands on a magic sword stashed away somewhere in Alfheim. It's okay so far - the author does a fairly good job of "catching up" the reader on what's gone on in book one - but it's nothing spectacular. (I bought it for fifty cents at a library book sale, so I'm getting my money's worth - all I can ask for from a book.)

Johnathan
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
"Dread Tanit, whose love is worse than hate" or some such. Though I have heard the child sacrifice were children interred postmortem, it would not surprise me different as the Romans just had the unwanted baby pile they threw them on too. I always wondered about Carthage also, as I guess it may have been timber that limited them? I mean, the ships Rome used to cross the channel they portaged overland, while supposedly, the Carthaginians made it to South America, and some say even brought back cocaine. Roman roads won out versus using waterways as transport.

So there's a six page stretch discussing the research on tophets (the areas of sacrifice), and what the best understanding of it is right now is this-

1. Child sacrifice was practiced in the Levant (Phoenicians, etc.). This was done in Tyre (specifically, Melquart) and the other Phoenician cities.

2. However, it also appears that by the founding of Carthage, the practice was dying out and was more nominal- mostly burial of stillborn and those who had reached the age of majority ... sort of substituting for actual child sacrifice.

3. Unfortunately, this can't be the case for Carthage and the western Phoenician cities; it's often said that immigrant communities hold on to the most conservative traditions, and there is ample evidence (both burnt remains in urns and inscriptions on stele) that they continued the practice. Also? The evidence recovered indicates it was mostly the children of the elite, as it was an honor.

From the books summation-
"The conclusion to be drawn is that during periods of great crisis the Carthaginians and other western Phoenicians did sacrifice their own children for the benefit of their families and their community."

So yeah, Baal Hammon and Tanit had to get their most important offerings in the form of children.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Still going thru the omnibus collection of Amber books. Just passed a page with no paragraph breaks. Yuck. I'm beginning to wonder if this is just a long, padded, story. I think I'd feel very different if I read the books as separate books, over long stretches of reading other things?

Huh.

So, Zelazny is not a straight-ahead writer, at all. In fact, I'd say that the first Chronicles of Amber might be his most ... straight-forward and pulp narrative? Maybe ... Call Me Conrad is a little more digestible?

Anyway, they definitely work better (IMO) when they were divided into the small books. My advice is this- if you aren't compelled by the story and the writing in the first Chronicles, stop. Those are the best in the series- the rest (aka the Merlin Chronicles), while good*, aren't as good as the first Chronicles.

*Good being used advisedly ... IMO, it started out good, petered out a little, got good again, and didn't end very well.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
So yeah, Baal Hammon and Tanit had to get their most important offerings in the form of children.
They do sound like monsters, though the Romans were a piece of work themselves, so it is always difficult buying the "Carthago delenda est!" as being more than a power grab on their part.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
They do sound like monsters, though the Romans were a piece of work themselves, so it is always difficult buying the "Carthago delenda est!" as being more than a power grab on their part.

Well, in fairness the book does provide a lot more context to the rest of the stories- it really does a close reading on everything else and presents Carthage in much much better light.

That's why the child sacrifice section read so weirdly and stuck out- because it was really "set up" to be another example of "this is just more Roman and Greek BS" but then completely swerved and was like, "Yep, that bit was true" and pretty much ignored it the rest of the book. I know I'm reading it with modern eyes, but given he was writing for a modern audience, I really think he might have wanted to provide some real context to help us understand ... just a bit better ... the whole "burning young children alive" thing? Obviously, if it was sanctioned by the community, and a greta honor, and was done by (and to) the elite, it was viewed very differently. But still ... there's an ENTIRE CHAPTER on the Melqart/Heracles syncretism, and child sacrifice gets a five page weird aside? Eh....
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
But still ... there's an ENTIRE CHAPTER on the Melqart/Heracles syncretism, and child sacrifice gets a five page weird aside? Eh....
It sounds pretty interesting still, just from reading through the wiki on Melqart, I did not know about the relationship between the two, and the whole death-rebirth thing either.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
It sounds pretty interesting still, just from reading through the wiki on Melqart, I did not know about the relationship between the two, and the whole death-rebirth thing either.

It is interesting! Don't get me wrong- I don't regret reading the book, which is why I said that if you're interested in Carthage (or just like reading about ancient history- and enjoy the slightly more academic "popular works" that assume you know what a stele is or the names of various famous ancient Greeks and Romans without having to spoon-feed it to you), you should definitely pick it up!

I guess my ambivalence was born out of an essential sadness. So much of the book concentrates on "Greater Carthage" (the Western Mediterranean) and the actions and words of others. I know that the author is trying to rescue Carthage, but in the end, it's still absent- Carthage is almost all negative space. Rome was, for the most part, successful. As much as we try to reconstruct what Carthage was, it will always be defined by trying to understand it through what the destroyers of Carthage told us.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Just finished up Sir Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. While the subject matter is aimed at a younger audience, it treats the audience as a thinking, critical reader and is rather meaty in concept, just like some of his other books like Fifth Elephant are. I really enjoyed it. But I think I can say that about any except his earliest works, the main differentiation is if I loved it. This didn't quite reach that exalted ground.

Currently reading Leviathan Falls, the last Expanse book by James S.A. Corey. Not far into it yet, enjoying the snarky dialog but outside the prologue there hasn't been much plot advancement yet. I quite enjoyed the entire series, though I haven't watched the TV show yet.
 

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