This topic was continued by amanda4242's thread #2.
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I think you can safely assume that I will stop by once in a while, Amanda. xx
I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.
Thank you for also being part of the group.
Hi, Amanda. Just stopping by to drop a star. The Space Merchants is going on my list - love a good dystopian book!
>20 PaulCranswick: "Hated" is a bit strong in this case; there were some parts that were actually pretty good, but the dialogue inspired a lot of eye-rolling.
>20 PaulCranswick: Amanda I am a bit prone to hyperbole and exaggeration as you may have noticed!
How did you like Voices from Chernobyl, Amanda? I started reading it last year but didn't get very far into it, and I want to revisit it later this year or next year.
I'm glad that you liked The Ballad of Black Tom, Amanda. I bought it last year, and will move it higher on my TBR list.
11. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
This is one of those books that is disappointing because it should have been so much better than it is. The world Wilson created is interesting but the first 2/3 of the book just drag on, there are pointless and distracting footnotes, and lines like "every night the brazen sphere dissolves in a molten line, compelling the gaze westward when the sky's dark otherwise" that induce severe eye rolling.
12. Survivor by Octavia E. Butler
I was surprised to find that my local library had a copy of this long out of print entry in Butler's Patternist series. I was even more surprised to find that, despite the author's dislike of it, it's a really good book. It sits uncomfartably with the rest of the series as it takes place on another planet and barely mentions the psionics that dominate the other books, but it's still a great story.
A baker's dozen read already, Amanda. Going at a book a day so far.
Have a great weekend and don't get eye strain!
>39 PaulCranswick: We've had a lot of rain recently so I've had little to do but read...of course, now that the rain has stopped I'll be ignoring all the things I should be doing and reading instead!
Enjoy your weekend.
>40 amanda4242: I will go and pray for rain then so I can catch up my own reading a bit!
>47 amanda4242: mistaking suffering for profundity.
I like that, Amanda.
Have a great weekend.
Amanda, the BAC thread is up:
Thanks for offering to deputise. xx
>53 PaulCranswick: No problem. You have a lot going on this year so do let me know if you need a hand.
23. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett
A collection of some of his earliest works, written in his late teens and early twenties for a newspaper's children section. The stories aren't particularly sophisticated, but they're charming and silly and made me smile. I especially liked the stories of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo, the wildest town in the wildest west of all wests: Wales.
24. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
A year after her dramatic arrival at university, Binti is struggling to find a place among her peers, is living with PTSD from witnessing the massacre aboard her transport ship, and feels guilty over leaving her home and family. She decides to return home to attempt to heal and reconnect with her family, taking her friend Okwu with her as the first Meduse to visit Earth in peace. While initially glad to see Binti home, it's not long before the recriminations start and dangerous tensions rise over her bringing a Meduse with her.
I found myself enjoying Binti: Home far more than I did its predecessor, which I thought was a little weak in the world-building; in this volume Okorafor does a better job in showing what it is Binti does and what it means to be a "harmonizer." That being said, it is still Binti and her journey of self-discovery that makes me want to read more.
I would give this novella four stars but I have to ding it a bit out of spite for the cliffhanger ending.
25. Strata by Terry Pratchett
I feel as if I've been given a peak down the other leg of the Trousers of Time into a world where Sir Terry decided Discworld should be science fiction rather than fantasy. Strata is a hodgepodge of various science fiction tropes mixed together with a generous helping of irreverence. Set mainly on a disc world*, the story is basically about a planet builder traveling around this impossible planet trying to figure out how the hell it works. Truth be told, it's not a terribly good book**, but it has so much in it that obviously was recycled into the Discworld series that I can't help but feel a deep affection for it.
*But not theDiscworld
**Although I've read far worse
26. There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
An excellent reminder that love stories don't have to be about romance or have happy endings.
Hi, Amanda. I saw your post over on the BAC thread and was led to your reviews. I enjoyed them and distributed a few thumbs. I love a succinct, witty review.
29. Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Volume 5 - The Twist by George Mann
Two rollicking good Twelfth Doctor adventures made all the better, imho, for not having Clara in them.
The first story finds the Doctor attending a rock concert on a space station where he meets Hattie, the band's bass player and his companion for the book. Soon the two of them are trying to solve a murder and uncover the hidden secrets of the station. Story two has the Doctor and Hattie trying to help a family with a house that has suddenly become bigger on the inside...
I enjoyed this one much more than I have the previous Twelfth Doctor graphic novels--and not just because it is Clara-free. The first story has the Doctor fighting to protect non-humans from humans, something that isn't seen often enough; the second story, while hardly mind-blowing, is a well told tale with characters who actually do more than sit around and let the Doctor save them. Hattie is an intelligent and thoughtful companion whom I wouldn't mind seeing again. And on top of all that, the art is fantastic.
>60 amanda4242: Next week will see my first attempt at reading Terry Pratchett.
The Discworld books of Terry Pratchett
Are a habit but I've yet to catch it;
Next week is my first try
And I'll know by and by
Where, verily I need to bury the hatchet.
Have a lovely weekend.
Well I am almost finished with my first Discworld book, Amanda and it won't be the last.
I am almost through my first Discworld book, Amanda and it won't be the last one.
>74 amanda4242: Don't know about you, Amanda, but I was a little disappointed with Palin's book. It seemed to lack either the insight or humour I would have expected of him.
Have a great weekend.
>75 PaulCranswick: I liked it as a companion to the series, but consider on its own it's not the best.
47. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman
A graphic novel adaptation of one of my favorite Gaiman stories. The art is fantastic, with a kind of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari vibe to it.
>93 amanda4242: So I make that 4 duds and 3 goods this month so far, Amanda on the BAC which is much better after a dodgy start.
>98 PaulCranswick: Not too bad, and I'll probably find a couple more I'll enjoy.
>99 amanda4242: I really ought to go back and check what is the most BAC books you have read in a month is!
52. The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
When I started this book I thought, "Oh god, another one with an unmarried woman getting pregnant", but I soon found myself warming-up to Miss Jane Graham when she informed her doctor that he should confirm a pregnancy before offering an abortion. I was so pleased that Banks didn't have Jane wallow in misery or spend all her time trying to secure a husband; she created a character who has many flaws, but is generally sensible and who learns and grows.
Despite my affection for the main character, I was sadden by the casual racism and homophobia in the book. I found an interview Banks gave in 2000 saying she was embarrassed by that aspect of the book.
In summary, painfully dated in some ways, but still worth reading.
>101 amanda4242: Your ability to dredge up such information is impressive, Amanda!
>105 PaulCranswick: In this case all I did was look at the links at the bottom of the book's Wikipedia page.
>107 amanda4242: I hope your next read is better for you, Amanda!
Happy weekend :)
16 of your 57 books to date have been B.A.C. books which is mightily impressive. 11 this month so far ties your best ever - a number 12 this month?
>115 PaulCranswick: I'm actually at 19 for the year since I skipped ahead and read a few by Neil Gaiman, a December author. As for this month, while I've read 11 of this month's titles, I finished a few of them in February so my total BAC reads in March is actually 9. I have a few more March titles on hand so I may yet beat my own record!
>116 amanda4242: However I muddle up counting them - it is by any stretch of the imagination impressive reading, Amanda.
Have a lovely weekend.
60. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
I think it is an excellent book, but the middle dragged some and Helen could be a bit preachy. I really enjoyed how Bronte flipped around the Gothic trope of "innocent girl becoming fascinated by mysterious man living in imposing house."
61. The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones
Fascinating and an enjoyable read. The dynasty wasn't overly burdened with likable people, but they did achieve many great things and leave an indelible mark on the country.
>121 thornton37814: It's long, but it's divided into ~100 page sections with short chapters so it moves along pretty quickly.
>126 amanda4242: I think that is a pretty fair assessment, Amanda. xx
>135 PaulCranswick: I haven't been impressed by Byatt, but she isn't completely awful.
If you run out of reading material, there are a few books stores in this country.
72. Constantine, Volume 2: Blight by Ray Fawkes
Who the hell thought it was a good idea to turn Constantine into an action hero?!
Some of the many problems in this collection: a story arc that has huge chunks of the story missing; characters appearing and disappearing with no explanation; a Constantine that is slinging around spells like bullets instead of conning his way out of trouble; and, worst of all, Constantine sounds like an American.
Honestly, I'd rather re-watch the awful Keanu Reeves movie than read this crap.
75. What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
Fantastic! It's a collection of blog posts Walton did for tor.com, mostly concerning about her re-readings, but it also has entries on what not to say when you meet an author, different types of series, and a lament that George Eliot never tried writing science fiction. Highly recommended.
Congratulations on hitting 75, Amanda!
And with an appropriate title ;-)
Well done for zipping past 75 so efficiently and giving me plenty of smiles with your succinct and very decided reviews.
Have a great Sunday.
>143 amanda4242: I am slowly (as I am taking tons of notes!) but surely making my way through that one.
>153 alcottacre: Wonderful, isn't it? Of course, it *did* increase my tbr list...
80. Constantine, Volume 3: the Voice in the Fire by Ray Fawkes
Much better than the last collection but still nowhere near the old Hellblazer.
81. Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse by Joe Benitez
Fun steampunk adventure graphic novel. I do wish that someone had told the writer the difference between the pupil and iris and the definition of decimated.
>160 amanda4242: Not read any Delany, so I am going to have to track some of his stuff down!
86. Constantine, Volume 4: The Apocalypse Road by Ray Fawkes
Much better than the previous three volumes. Here we see something of Constantine as he is in Hellblazer: a guy with a bit of magical knowledge saving the world with a con and leaving a trail of dead friends in his wake. Not perfect, but didn't make me want to hurl the book across the room.
>168 PaulCranswick: Have to fill my time somehow as we can't all be jet-setters. ;)
>169 amanda4242: Yeah, I'm done with DC. I'm so over this whole rebirth thing.
I wonder if Trump will read the US Constitution before he replaces it and notice that outlawing slavery would have prevented The Civil War...?
Just prompted by thinking about being done with Washington DC.
>175 m.belljackson: Um, okay. Not sure how you got politics out of a Hellblazer discussion, but I would prefer that my thread remain free of political discussions.
Thank you. I'm new here and so just learning which Threads to avoid.
>177 m.belljackson: You don't have to avoid my thread unless you want to. I like to stay away from politics because they can turn a thread toxic in a heartbeat.
I was going quickly through many of these longer Threads that had never been visited
and so did not read the entire discussion.
From recently reading so many other LT Threads,
I just assumed DC was a new way of saying 'things.'
89. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
It's amazing that the creation of the monster is usually one of the most memorable scenes in the movies, but in the book it's only bare glimpse and dealt with in just a couple of pages. And the eloquence of Frankenstein's creation! His descriptions of gaining awareness and his wonder at beholding nature are incredibly moving passages.
Just catching up after a long tax season!
>66 amanda4242: I think I'd have to agree with you about Clara. I haven't kept up on my Doctor Who reading for some years, but definitely keeping up on the show - I assume you watch? I have to say that I don't care much for many of the New Who companions. The love interest with the Doctor just really turns me off. That's probably why my favorite New Who companion is Donna with the second being Amy - well, technically, I actually think I liked Rory better. And Nardole is shaping up to be quite likeable - I'd rather see him than Bill.
>89 amanda4242: As always, I think most movies really make a hash out of the books. Frankenstein is one that the movies really turned into something else entirely. It's been many years since I've read the book, but I always found the monster to be a very sympathetic character, goaded by others into the horrible things he did. The movies make him something to be afraid of, while I think he was really someone to be pitied or even sympathized with.
>169 amanda4242: >171 drneutron: I'm a Marvel girl, myself!
>160 amanda4242: Been meaning to read Babel-17
>182 rretzler: I've only seen the first episode of the new season but I do like Bill more than Clara...of course, I like Daleks more than I like Clara.
I don't read Marvel myself, but do remember seeing the news that they made Captain America Hydra...sounds like things are as fucked-up there as they are at DC.
>184 amanda4242: Too funny - I would also say that I like Daleks more than Clara...or Rose...or Martha...and I'm not really big on River either, just don't see why so many people like her.
I guess I must have missed Captain America being made Hydra...sigh!
91. Believe Me: a memoir of love, death, and jazz chickens by Eddie Izzard and Laura Zigman
I was excited when I saw this one offered on First to Read because I've long been a fan of Izzard's stand-up. His memoir is written in the same stream of consciousness style as his comedy, but it doesn't work nearly as well on the page as it does on stage; in print, it's rambling and repetitive, with no clear sense of a time-line. I do wonder if it would be better listening to him read it.
Despite the style, it was a fairly interesting book and Izzard isn't given to bragging or name dropping; mostly, he wrote about his family and childhood, and how his success is the result of self-confidence and a lot of hard work.
92. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
In A Wrinkle in Time we learned that the evils of communism could be defeated by the power of love. In A Wind in the Door we learn that sickness is caused by evil attacking creatures which live on mitochondria and that the evil can be stopped by the power of love. Honestly, I don't understand why people love this series.
>192 amanda4242: I suppose it need not take up space anymore now that you've done and read it! Closing on 100 already!
>194 PaulCranswick: Books just keep following me home and I'm rapidly running out of free space so I've decided to try to get to some of the unread books on my shelves so I can decided if they're worth keeping.
96. In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made by Norman F. Cantor
Complete crap. I made a list of some of the major annoyances:
1. Jumps around time and topics so it's hard to establish what the world was like pre- and post-plague.
2. Cantor never passes up a chance to demonize the Plantagenets, except for Richard II, who he describes as a "sensitive, intelligent monarch." I know the dynasty had more than its share of utter bastards, but was it really necessary to ridicule their sense of fashion?
3. He makes claims without providing any evidence. (King John was manic-depressive, Richard II was gay)
4. He treats legends and rumors as facts. (Robin Hood, the story of Edward II and the hot poker)
5. Focuses almost exclusively on England
6. Paints medieval people as stupid and superstitious.
Avoid this one like the, well, you know.
>189 amanda4242: A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books growing up. I think I first read it when I was 8-9 and I was fascinated by the idea of a tesseract and travel through different dimensions and the fact that Meg and Charles Wallace were very smart and misfits at school (I could relate to this somewhat.) This was maybe the first science fiction book that I had ever read, and I loved it. Unfortunately, at that age, I totally missed the religious connotations, which turned me off upon later rereads. The basic plot, like that of many other books and movies, is good versus evil - the good here taking the part of love and family. I like the fact that it sends the message that its okay to be smart - most books are written about the average kid, and the smart kid is the one who gets picked on. I still enjoy the book, except for the religious parts, because of the good sci-fi and the characters. However, I didn't really enjoy the rest of the series, it just fell flat for me - but that's possibly because I read those books as an adult. Just my opinion.
>197 rretzler: I had to read A Wrinkle in Time when I was in sixth grade and I hated it then; I remember feeling like I was being talked down to and that the kids did not speak like any kids I had ever met. My opinion of it went even lower when I reread it last year. Despite the alleged intelligence of Meg and Charles Wallace they don't really solve anything by using their brains, relying instead on Meg's love for her creepy little brother to save the day...and isn't it just typical that it's the girl who's the emotional one? And the sci-fi I found to be really fantasy with some misused scientific terms thrown in.
Well, now that I've had my rant I feel better. Thank you for sharing your experience of the book, even though we will never agree on its merits.
97. Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin
Another one I enjoyed. It's not a great novel, but I do like the detail Le Guin puts in to her worlds.
>200 amanda4242: I have that one on the shelves too, Amanda. She would have probably criticised her daughter publicly and been extremely proud of her privately.
Have a great weekend.
>201 PaulCranswick: She came across as really judgmental, so she may have been even worse in private.
Hope you enjoy your weekend.
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