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Thread: Reading in September 2007
August 31st, 2007, 05:57 PM #1
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Reading in September 2007
This is where you tell us what you're reading in Fantasy this month. Good or bad, please let us know what you thought.
Again, a little reminder: the rules on links in posts changed a couple of months ago at SFFWorld. Please READ HERE before you use inappropriate links. Thank you.
Over to the Book Clubs....
The SF Book Club discussion is on Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks.
This month's Fantasy Book Club discussion is on Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.
A little heads up: next month being October and all, we will have the return of a book of the month for the Horror section! The Horror Book Club discussion will be Carrie by Stephen King. (Just to get you prepared!)
Join in if you can!
Last edited by Hobbit; September 30th, 2007 at 02:30 PM.Mark
August 31st, 2007, 09:18 PM #2
Well, although I anticipate my reading rate slowing down in a couple days when school begins, I've begun re-reading The Dragon Reborn, the 3rd book of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan.
I'm actually pretty happy that I started re-reading this series. I always kind of wanted to re-read the early books, which I loved, but I never thought I'd have the time or energy to read them again. Fortunately, they make for a very nice break from school-related thinking, and the early books are just as fun as I remembered. I'm also surprised at how many clues and moments of foreshadowing are in these early books.
September 2nd, 2007, 05:28 AM #3FiresongGuest
songs of pelinor
The Pelinor series again,
nd the sample chapters in a minute
September 2nd, 2007, 11:02 AM #4
finished "king of morning, queen of day" by ian macdonald, one of the rare modern fantasy novels. It's not an easy read with its flowery style and an irish knot of a plot, but originality and richness of ideas make up for the slower pace. it is distantly related to "american gods" by neil gaiman, in the sense that mythical creatures manifest themselves in a contemporary [irish] setting.
i was planning to start another epic fantasy series, but i remembered i've already started on "the algebraist" by iain banks a few weeks back and put it away to finish "crown of stars", so i'm heading to the outer galaxy for the next days.
September 2nd, 2007, 06:23 PM #5
Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow is magical realism, not fantasy.
Set in the fictional African republic of Aburiria, in Wizard of the Crow the author "set out to explore human relationships against the backdrop of a rapidly globalizing world." Thiong'o, naturally, as an exiled Kenyan, has a long history of political activism.
Weighin in at 766 pages, Wizard of the Crow is a work of titanic proportions. And its principal shortcoming is that the pace is at times atrociously slow. Which, in the end, killed this novel for me. Too many unnecessary POV characters make for an unbearably sluggish rhythm in several portions of this book. Indeed, I came very close to stop reading on more than one occasions. . . Even though some parts are quite interesting, others bored me out of my mind.
Sections of Wizard of the Crow appear to be undisguised attacks aimed at the dictatorship of Kenya's Daniel arap Moi. Which is not surprising, given the fact that the dictator's regime imprisoned the author in the 70s, banned some of his books, and then forced him into exile, first in Europe and then in the USA. I believe that, in order to fully appreciate/understand Wizard of the Crow, one needs to be familiar with world politics. Leftists will doubtless enjoy it more than their Right-wing counterparts, methinks.
Though Thiong'o is on the money more often than not, I did find some of his political "comments" to be a bit narrow on the ideological side. While I agree that international financial forces can be disruptive with their efforts to engender development (something this continent desperately needs), following decades of economic stagnation in so many African countries I found that the way he depicted market forces more than a little overdone. Given the author's past, tyranny and egomania are themes that Thiong'o explores through the Ruler and his entourage of sycophants.
Wizard of the Crow is an ambitious literary endeavor filled with great ideas. The humor, however, is more intellectual than funny. The political commentary is quite heavy-handed at times, yet that doesn't take too much away from the reading experience. It's the snail-slow pace which makes what could have been an excellent read merely a good one.
Check out the blog for the full review.
September 3rd, 2007, 02:46 AM #6
I am still re-reading Crown of Swords, the seventh book in the Wheel of Time series. Funny, I expected to feel again the disappointment that started with this book the first time I read the series but nothing of the sort is happening. I guess I've dealt mentally with the difficult parts and now am fully enjoying the reading.
And skipping the braid tugging, sniffing, scowling parts (making at least half of the series) most definately helps
September 4th, 2007, 01:09 AM #7
Reading "Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks. I'm having a hard time making any progress in it. It's not bad in a "Lets take the ring to mordor to save the shire!" sort of way, just not a lot of time to read lately.
September 4th, 2007, 10:42 AM #8
I can't remember when I last posted here, so I'll just note that I finished a non-genre book, "The Twentieth Wife," by Indu Sunderesan, but I tend to think of historical fiction as a form of fantasy, anyway. I also finished "Silver Hand," the second in the Song of Albion series by Stephen Lawhead. I liked it just fine, but I may just stop there, it seemed like a fine ending to me. I'm currently listening to "It's Superman!" by Tom DeHaven, which is (so far) a somewhat conservative take on the life of the crime-fighting alien. I'm reading, in book form, Patricia McKillip's Riddle-Master trilogy, which I found conveniently bound into an omnibus edition at my local library. McKillip's story has captivated me in a way that no fantasy has in a while. I'm surprised by how much I like it. I think it has something to do with the beautiful complexity of the world as well as the reluctance of the main character to pursue the path laid in front of him. Besides, the idea of an academic system built around answering riddles tickles me.
As a small note, for those of you who have facebook, there's an application I found called "I'm Reading," which I use to keep track of the books I've read and share them with my friends. I've found it useful.
September 4th, 2007, 02:47 PM #9
I have given up on The Seer King once again. This time, just as the last, it simply did nothing for me. There's no flair to Bunch's writing. It's just...we went here and did this, and then we went here and talk to this person, and this is what we said, and then we went here and this happened...and so forth and so on. Just plain boring.
Moving on to another 2nd chance read, Prince of Ayodhya by Ashok Banker.
September 5th, 2007, 01:17 AM #10
September 5th, 2007, 04:16 AM #11
This month I am reading Gormenghast, six years after I read the fabulous Titus Groan.
September 5th, 2007, 02:08 PM #12
Very good choice Ropie. Peake gives an new starting point for looking on Fantasy, and fantastic literature in common.
September 7th, 2007, 10:39 AM #13
I just finished Last Light of the Sun by Guy Kay last night. While I was pretty excited to read it, being a big fan of Tigana, I feel a little bit let down.
The beginning was pretty exciting, with a Viking raid, and all, but after that it slowed down, got a little bit boring, and lacked a true conflict. Towards the end I found myself not really caring about the characters because they never seemed to be in any real danger.
Tigana was one of my favorite books at the time I read it, (about 2 years ago), and I'm hoping I havent lost my taste for Kay, and that this book was a miss rather than a hit. I guess I'll have to come back to Kay again later down the road and give something else a try.
For now I am on to Venhiss Underground by Jeff Vandermeer. The second person narrative voice is certainly interesting, and unique, but the Jury is still out on that book, I'm only about 50 pages into it.
September 8th, 2007, 11:16 AM #14
I just finished reading Pratchett's Making Money.
Following up on Going Postal, Terry Pratchett lets Moist Von Lipwig, he of the golden suit and new Postmaster General, the man notorious for introducing the commemorative cabbage stamp with the cabbage-flavored glue, once again shine in the spotlight. Naturally, familiar faces from various Discworld novels make appearances throughout Making Money.
When Lord Vetinari informs the Postmaster General that he plans to put him in charge of the Royal Mint, Lipwig is acutely aware that this is a man he can't say no to, and thus his life becomes more complicated. As if this predicament wasn't enough, to his dismay he suddenly finds himself running the bank next door. He soon realizes that the mint runs at a loss. He also discovers that a panoply of people want him dead. And, to add to his woes, he must take the Chairman of the bank, a dog named Mr Fusspot, for walks. But Moist Von Lipwig is always up for a challenge, even though he is about to be exposed as a fraud.
Witty humor permeates the narrative and the dialogues, of course. Which is not surprising, for this aspect has become Pratchett's trademark. Like a majority of the Discworld novels, Making Money is, in light of the current market, "light" fantasy fare. Still, after plowing through Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow and then reading the first half of Donaldson's Fatal Revenant, I found Pratchett's latest to be oh so satisfying! You will find yourself smirking and chuckling in every single chapter, and there is not a boring moment in this one.
Watching Moist Von Lipwig trying to dig himself out of this hole makes for an enjoyable reading experience. In addition, it was interesting to witness Pratchett's introduction of the paper denominations instead of gold, as well as the parallel between the repercussions this causes on Ankh-Morpork's national economy and our own, if only from an historical standpoint. Though the Discworld installments can at times feel a little absurd, there is an underlying intelligence which pervades every page. This, in my humble opinion, is nothing short of brilliant.
Making Money appears to contain all the necessary ingredients to make it yet another memorable Discworld novel!
Check out the blog for the full review.
September 8th, 2007, 11:27 AM #15FiresongGuest
I just read star dancer by Beth Webb, Her books are quite good, I read them while i am waiting for the singing or other books