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What are you reading this year 2020?

I finished Touch the Dark today and was seriously underwhelmed. The plot was confusing and the author has this bad habit of name-dropping just about all of her vampires - it's not enough that this vampire here is hundreds of years old, he has to be someone of historical significance: Rasputin the Mad Monk, or the man behind William Shakespeare (who was just an actor portraying the vampire bard's public persona), or the inspiration for the Man in the Iron Mask. And even the practically-obligatory sex scene between the incredibly handsome vampire and the human woman protagonist caught up in the supernatural goings-on was protracted to a ridiculous level, spanning several chapters. A sex scene kind of fails to work when the reader's reaction is, "Oh, for Pete's sake, let's just get on with it already, this is boring!" Add to all this the fact that the whole novel seems like a setup for a continuing series and I think I've found another author I'm dropping from my list.

Fortunately, in anticipation of another business trip (which I just found out today has been canceled), I stocked up on some books I know ahead of time I'll enjoy. (I don't mind taking chances on new authors I haven't read before when at home, but when away on a business trip I prefer to hedge my bets and make sure my primary form of entertainment won't fall through on me.) So today I started book two in Dean Koontz's "Jane Hawk" series, The Whispering Room. I enjoyed the first one so much I have no worries about this one at all. Plus, Dean has an excellent track record: I've probably read about 50 of his books over the years and he's only failed me twice. I'll take those odds.

Johnathan
 

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WayneLigon

Adventurer
Lots of stuff since the last update.

Mad Amos Malone is fantasy/old west, with a generous dollop of American Tall Tales thrown in for good measure. Amos is a mountain man, a relic even in the time he occupies, taller than most men and broader than most bears. He has a rep for dealing with the strange and unusual. Like a dragon ripping the gold shipment off stagecoaches, or witches taking up residence where they are not wanted. Collected short stories. This volume includes everything in 'Mad Amos', plus eight newer stories.

Sixteenth Watch is the story of the Coast Guard presence on the Moon, and their desire to head off a shooting war with China over H3 mining rights. Our protagonist is the Rear Admiral put in charge of winning the annual Boarding Party competition with the Navy, Marines, etc. (In this future, military competitions are the latest reality TV rage). By doing this, they hope to get public opinion on their side in order to force a de-escalation of military might on the Moon.

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City is the story of a siege against the Imperial Capitol. Our unlikely hero is a career engineer in the Imperial Engineering Corps (the people who build roads, bridges, fortifications, etc), using his wide and deep knowledge of bureaucratic chicanery to hopefully turn the tide long enough to save the city.

Catfishing on Catnet is related to Naomi Kritzer's Hugo-award-winning short 'Cat Pictures Please'. Steph and her mother are on the run from Steph's abusive and murderous father, changing names and schools every few months. The only stable point in Steph's life is her friends on CatNet, a friendly social media site with no spam, no ads, none of the toxic drivel of other sites. Mainly because it's run by the worlds' first and to it's knowledge only AI. Who takes the welfare of it's friends very, very, personally.

Hella is Gerrold's quasi-sequel to the StarRider series (Jumping Off The Planet, etc); Hella is the colony world those people were going to, and mdway through the book several of the previous series characters make their appearance. This, though, is the story of Kyle and his family's life and survival on Hella - where everything is hella-big and hella-dangerous. This is the first part of a series, but it can certainly be read as a stand alone book.

One Man is a stand-along fantasy novel from Harry Connolly, who did the Twenty Palaces urban fantasy series (which is also amazing). It's a sweeping story of revenge and redemption set among the gutter thieves of a massive city built on top of the bones of two gods who were murdered while in flagrante delicto.


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Nellisir

Adventurer
Takes place in the future on another planet among other sci-fi elements ( I haven't read the series, just the article on wiki)
Yeah, guess what got almost zero attention in the story and probably detracted from it overall? The fact it was set on another planet in the future.

I DID read the story.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
So an acquaintance was cleaning out her house, and asked if I was interested in her (deceased) husband's books.

<sigh>

413 (yes, my gf & I counted) mass-market paperbacks, and three fairly large boxes of Analog magazine.
Dude was really into military SF. Lots of names I recognize but haven't read, like John Ringo. Some overlap with my preferences.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Still reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity -- And Why This Harms Everybody by Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsey.

Still reading Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker.

Still reading The Shepherd's Crown, the last Terry Pratchett novel.

Still reading Night of the Assassins: The Untold Story of Hitler's Plot to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin by Howard Blum.

Decided to throw on the Douglas Adams detective novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency because I binged the two series on Hulu this weekend.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Folks might appreciate my "To Read" shelves. They are in planned reading order, with lower right being next; and upper left being last (I don't know why I did it that way...).

Note, in front of Get a life Chloe Brown is a Zinequest 2 zine i'm sorry, did you say street magic which is short so I'll just give that a quick read. More Zinequest zines after Assassin's Quest, including Egg Embry's Dreamr game from Zinequest 1.

And wow, I don't think I'll ever get to the end of these...

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Nellisir

Adventurer
Folks might appreciate my "To Read" shelves.
Ha! Nice!! Someday I'll post mine, and you can all weep with me.

You've got some good stuff coming up though. Looking specifically at Robin Hobb, Jack of Shadows, Witch World, and The Diamond Age.

They are in planned reading order, with lower right being next; and upper left being last (I don't know why I did it that way...).
So new books are added at upper left. I can understand that feeling "right".
I'm nowhere near that organized. I try to keep "read" and "unread" separate (its been hard with moving several times recently), but I just pluck what I feel like reading right then off the shelves. I try to mix things up a little; keep some variety going. I've been rereading a fair amount of books though, which is a new thing for me to do in any quantity.
 

Mad_Jack

Explorer
Currently getting back into Lee Child's Past Tense, one of the Jack Reacher books... Started reading it last year, but got distracted and stalled out on it. (It had kind of a slow start.) Spent the time inbetween cycling between other hobbies. Just now got back into a reading mood.

My current "to-read" list is about three dozen books long (three stacks of books about up to my knee, sitting on my bedroom floor, lol), including the Game of Thrones books and a Harry Dresden hardcover I picked up on clearance for $5... No clue when I'll get around to them, though.
 
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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
My current "to-read" list is about three dozen books long (three stacks of books about up to my knee, sitting on my bedroom floor, lol), including the Game of Thrones books and a Harry Dresden hardcover I picked up on clearance for $5... No clue when I'll get around to them, though.

Yeah, that's where they have been for the past couple of years. We recently came into another room in the house, which also came with a couple of bookshelves (long boring story). So I thought hey, good time to put that stuff in order.
 

Jack of Shadows is, so far, my favorite Zelazny book. Jack is petty and spiteful, but also driven and entertaining to read about his exploits. Witch World feels both rooted in its time and ahead of its time, somehow. The blur of fantasy and sci-fi is indicative of older genre work, but the feuding of kingdoms feels like it presages A Song of Ice and Fire, but the pages also have plenty of strong women.

You've got some good stuff coming up though. Looking specifically at Robin Hobb, Jack of Shadows, Witch World, and The Diamond Age.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Finished some mediocre schlock off Kindle Unlimited. It's interesting - the author writes under (at least) two pseudonyms. they have an extraordinary number of books out over the past few years. All of the books have high (4.5 or higher, 4.8 evens) ratings with 300-600 reviews each. Most of the reviews are 5 star praise, and then there's a bunch of 2-3 star reviews that go into actual details. I wonder if they are using some sort of review stuffing to pop up in Amazon Page Rank.

I'm now early in Sidekicks, also on Kindle Unlimited. "Only" a 4.4 with 57 reviews, but so much better. It's about a sidekick-to-be who wipes out, and then -- well, that would be spoilers.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Finished some mediocre schlock off Kindle Unlimited. It's interesting - the author writes under (at least) two pseudonyms. they have an extraordinary number of books out over the past few years. All of the books have high (4.5 or higher, 4.8 evens) ratings with 300-600 reviews each. Most of the reviews are 5 star praise, and then there's a bunch of 2-3 star reviews that go into actual details. I wonder if they are using some sort of review stuffing to pop up in Amazon Page Rank.

I'm now early in Sidekicks, also on Kindle Unlimited. "Only" a 4.4 with 57 reviews, but so much better. It's about a sidekick-to-be who wipes out, and then -- well, that would be spoilers.
4.8?!? That's not usual. Even for award winning books. I mean... my 3 is "good book".
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
4.8?!? That's not usual. Even for award winning books. I mean... my 3 is "good book".
Yeah. I specifically didn't mention the author or title because I think I'm this close to thinking they are doing review padding. The fact that all of their books seem to be in the 300-600 review range, and the fact that the 5 star ones talk about "favorite author" and such but rarely give actual details from the book outside the genre.

I did a quick google search about if Amazon had a place to report such a thing, but you have to do it for each individual review.
 

KahlessNestor

Adventurer
Finished reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

Still reading Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity -- And Why This Harms Everybody by Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsey.

Still reading Exploring Eberron by Keith Baker.

Still reading The Shepherd's Crown, the last Terry Pratchett novel.

Still reading Night of the Assassins: The Untold Story of Hitler's Plot to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin by Howard Blum.

Still reading Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
 

I finished reading King's The Shining. Right now is either the best time or the worst time to have read this novel. Not sure which. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was also unnerved by it.

I also read the recent reprint of the old Usborne's Ghosts book. Loved that as a kid.

And now I'm reading some even older horror in the form of William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland.
 


Bohandas

Adventurer
I'm currently reading The Burrowers Beneath, House of Leaves, and Flatterland, but I don't know if I'll get completely through any of them. They're all in print format, which is prone to damage and inconvenient to bring around to places.
 


I just started Carte Blanche, a James Bond novel, not because I particularly wanted to read James Bond (although I've read most of Ian Fleming's Bond novels years ago) but because I'm a big fan of the author, Jeffery Deaver. I'm hoping for good things. And then I'll probably try to finish off Dean Koontz's "Jane Hawk" series, having enjoyed the first two. (I just found out that series concludes with book five, which has already been published, so I should be able to finish them off back to back instead of with interminable gaps between the novels.)

Johnathan
 

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