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The Portrait of Zool

So what's everybody reading?

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My new favorite author is John Scalzi. In the last month I read his 'Old Man's War' trilogy, 'Agent To The Stars', and the howlingly entertaining 'Redshirts'. Today I just picked up his 'Your Hatemail Will Be Graded', which is a book of his blog posts - yes, an actual, published, book converted from a forest, not an e-book.

 

You?

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Waiting for the final Wheel of Time to come out in paper back. Other than that, I haven't been able to get to a bookstore and see what's out there for quite some time now. Seems that no matter how much detail I can find online, I just don't know if I want to buy a book until I have it in my hands. The feel of once mighty vegetation, brutally torn down and violently pulverized and converted into paper and formed into a book for my perusal . . . well, THAT just makes reading so much more satisfying!

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Ha! I know what you mean. I wasn't interested in 'Your Hatemail Will Be Graded' until I had stopped by the local Barnes & Noble, not knowing what else to do on an otherwise idle lunch hour, and saw it there on the shelf. Holding it in my hands, feeling the heft of the raw irony of everything right and everything wrong about our society in one neat little package, I knew I just had to buy it.

 

'Redshirts', on the other hand, I had been wanting to buy for quite a while, so when I saw it on the shelf it was just self interest. Imagine my surprise, however, when I learned it was the 2013 Hugo winner! Funny thing, it says 'mind-bending' on the back cover, and I could actually feel my mind bending as I read it.

 

I gave my wife a Kindle for Xmas last year and she has been trying to convince me to get one. She loves it. For one thing, she says, it is so LIGHT. For myself, if I'm not sweating, I figure I'm just not having an intellectual good time.

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An interesting story concerns John's novel 'Agent to the Stars'. This was his first book, written, so he explains in an epilog, just to see if he could. After he finished it, he wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Not thinking it was actually good enough to publish, he put it on his popular blog 'Whatever', and requested that if anybody read it and liked it to donate a dollar for his site. He put a stop to that after a short time when he noticed he had collected over $4000.00. Then he had it published. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

Yes, I'd have to say one of the reasons I have come back to the Pen is I am actually feeling somewhat inspired by Mr. Scalzi.

 

He writes good books too.

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This week I received a new book; 'Yma Sumac, The Art Behind the Legend', by Nicholas E. Limansky

 

Yma Sumac was a singer in the 50's and 60's. She had an incredible 5 octave voice and a horrendous Diva complex, complicated by the fact that she was incredibly beautiful and a bona-fide Incan princess. Makes for interesting reading. :)

Edited by The Portrait of Zool

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Malory's Morte d'Arthur...again...with my class.

 

For fun, I'm re-reading Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series. My middle-schooler started reading the same copies I had when I was his age, so I joined in and am rediscovering why I loved them.

 

(I think I'll pass on the movie version of HP 122AR Oscilloscope...unless it's sci-fi?!)

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It has been EONS since I read the Earthsea books! I'm going to have to look into re-reading those myself. :)

 

 

They will transport you back to a more innocent time :)

 

(Did you read them when you "still innocent?" It's a weird sensation reading them 35 years later....yes, it really has been 35 years :girlsad: ...and I remember becoming immersed in the fantasy and learning some important lessons, like you must have darkness to have the light.)

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Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Forests have been destroyed for this one. Currently 8.8 books of the 10 book series have been read.

 

After that I'll read the last Wheel of Time, another deforestation champion candidate series.

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I'm settling in on the couch to read Allegiant, the third book of Veronica Roth's Divergent series. I read a lot of YA novels so that I can talk books with my students ;)

 

(Not the correct thread...but just put this album on the turntable: Jaga Jazzist Live with Britten Sinfonia)

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Am currently reading 'Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz' - because I've never read it, and I love Oz books! :P

 

 

I always loved the character Tik-Tok. I've only read a few of the Oz books.

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Am currently rereading Caleb Carr's 'The Italian Secretary', a 'further adventure of Sherlock Holmes'. For some reason this has three stars on Amazon, but I think it's GREAT, a faithful and atmospheric new Sherlock Holmes story!. If you love Sherlock Holmes, you'll love this too. :)

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I haven't read any Scalzi books...will have to give him a try.

 

This weekend I read a book by another author I hadn't heard of. I picked up the book awhile back on a friend's suggestion, but I never got around to reading it. It's a crime novel -- not a genre I usually read -- titled Beautiful, Naked & Dead by Josh Stallings. It was a fast read which kept my attention because of the protagonist, Moses McGuire. Stallings did a thorough job creating a believable, likable ex-marine/ex-con/bad-ass; I just wish he had employed a better proofreader! (He self-published.)

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10766272-beautiful-naked-dead

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Just finished "Shifted" by Caitlyn Mitchell http://www.amazon.com/Caitlyn-E.-Mitchell/e/B00J2I5PKG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

If, like me, you like well-developed characters that stay "true" to themselves in their actions, interactions, and growth, check this out.

 

If, like me, you enjoy solid well-researched "world-building", check this out. Her grasp of the flora and fauna of 1860s England would've been fascinating enough to keep me reading, even if I hadn't liked the story. Amazing grasp of interesting detail, instead of detail just for the sake of padding words.

 

If, like me, you enjoy intelligent use of Fae and magic, you definitely need to check this out. This is the story of the "Beauty and the Beast" the way it should've been done originally. But just because you know one of the inspirations, don't think you know it all...

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Just finished Alastair Reynolds 2000 classic 'Revelation Space'. Great Sci-fi read!

 

Just starting Dan Simmons' 'The Fall of Hyperion', the sequel to 'Hyperion', which I much enjoyed. If the sequel is half as good as the original, it will be very good.

 

[edit] BTW, your review of 'Shifted' was helpful to me Law. ;)

Edited by The Portrait of Zool
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It Wasn't Always Easy, but I Sure had Fun by Lewis Grizzard

Locke and Key, by Joe Hill

The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, by Matthew Kelly

Trillum, by Jeff Lemire

Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio

The Adventures of Doctor McNinja, by Christopher Hastings

Unsounded, by Ashley Cope

"Lemme Addams", by Sonny Strait and Billy Foster

"scp-wiki", by The SCP Foundation

Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, by Stephen T. Asma

 

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

 

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson


I... Read a lot of comics. I also perhaps need to cut down to one book at a time.

 

(EDIT: I forgot a few, and the lack of underlining was bugging me.)

Edited by Ozymandias

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