What have you been reading recently?

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AuthorTopic: What have you been reading recently?
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #50
It's come up before in related threads, but I think you'll find that "Dune" doesn't age very well. Just as you have come to spot the religious indoctrination points you missed in "The Chronicals of Narnia," I think you'll find that having learned a lot more about the political complexities involved in how the world works, the author's presentation in "Dune" is hopelessly simplistic.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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I am halfway into Terry Brooks', "Elfstones of Shannara" and I will then move onto it's predecessor, "Wishsong of Shannara". Overall, it's an interesting book. I became a Brooks fan with his recent work, so it is nice to take a step back into time and read his earlier series.

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"Suddenly the darkness shifted anew, and a huge, tattered form that was not quite human, but not quite anything else, rose against the flicker of the firelight. It came together in a slow gathering of shadows, taking shape but not assuming identity, never quite becoming anything recognizable, formed of dreams and nightmares in equal parts.

'What is it?' Quentin Leah whispered.

'Truls Rohk,' Panax breathed softly, and his words were as chill and brittle as ice in deep winter."-Terry Brooks' The Isle Witch, pg.199
Posts: 5 | Registered: Saturday, April 5 2008 07:00
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally written by LunaRaven:

I am halfway into Terry Brooks', "Elfstones of Shannara" and I will then move onto it's predecessor, "Wishsong of Shannara". Overall, it's an interesting book. I became a Brooks fan with his recent work, so it is nice to take a step back into time and read his earlier series.
I think you mean the successor, Wishsong. I'm a big fan of the series, myself (it's kind of what kicked me off into the fantasy genre of books). I've found a lot of people don't like them much, though. But Elfstones, I think, is one of the best in the series.

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Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
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Profile #53
The Sword of Shannara was such a blatant rip-off of The Lord of the Rings it almost ruined the later books that started to develop their own style. After Terry Brooks got over the first novel his later works were much better and relied less on copying Tolkien.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Apprentice
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quote:
quote:Originally written by LunaRaven:
I am halfway into Terry Brooks', "Elfstones of Shannara" and I will then move onto it's predecessor, "Wishsong of Shannara". Overall, it's an interesting book. I became a Brooks fan with his recent work, so it is nice to take a step back into time and read his earlier series.

I think you mean the successor, Wishsong. I'm a big fan of the series, myself (it's kind of what kicked me off into the fantasy genre of books). I've found a lot of people don't like them much, though. But Elfstones, I think, is one of the best in the series.
Yes, I did mean successor. Thank you for correcting me. Elfstones of Shannara is shaping up to be far better than The Sword of Shannara in my opinion. Although, in my mind, the Voyage to Jerle Shannara series will always be the best of the Shannara series. Who knows though, Mr.Brooks may produce something even more wondrous in the years to come.

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"Suddenly the darkness shifted anew, and a huge, tattered form that was not quite human, but not quite anything else, rose against the flicker of the firelight. It came together in a slow gathering of shadows, taking shape but not assuming identity, never quite becoming anything recognizable, formed of dreams and nightmares in equal parts.

'What is it?' Quentin Leah whispered.

'Truls Rohk,' Panax breathed softly, and his words were as chill and brittle as ice in deep winter."-Terry Brooks' The Isle Witch, pg.199
Posts: 5 | Registered: Saturday, April 5 2008 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #55
I read "Sword," but found the writing to be abysmal. Thinking I'd give him another shot, I tried "Elfstones" (I think - that's the one with the dying tree, right?), read the first couple of chapters, made a prediction on the ending, verified that I was correct, and that's the last attention I've paid to Terry Brooks' works. If the payoff isn't that great or is pretty obvious, the getting there should at least be worth it, and I found that it wasn't in his writing.

[ Monday, April 07, 2008 18:09: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Agent
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Profile #56
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. It's, supposedly, his best book, and it details the life of an American antifascist guerilla working for the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Pretty good, and I would recommend it to any fascists here.

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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
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quote:
I read "Sword," but found the writing to be abysmal. Thinking I'd give him another shot, I tried "Elfstones" (I think - that's the one with the dying tree, right?), read the first couple of chapters, made a prediction on the ending, verified that I was correct, and that's the last attention I've paid to Terry Brooks' works. If the payoff isn't that great or is pretty obvious, the getting there should at least be worth it, and I found that it wasn't in his writing.
I can understand where you're coming from. If I had first read Mr.Brooks' first three books, I don't think I would have given him much thought or attention afterwards. I was lucky enough to get into his more recent works(I started with his High Druid of Shannara series and worked my way back). His later work is a far greater reflection on his skills as a writer. I finished Elfstones and found it enjoyable yet still painfully predictable(yes, it is the story with the dying tree). I think what helped me to get through it was the knowledge I had of his recent works and how great they turned out to be. If anyone were to want to give Terry Brooks a try, I would recommend starting with the Scions of Shannara and then, if they like his style, read his earlier works for kicks. Having said that, Elfstones was, in my opinion, far superior to Swords in it's writing, structure, and overall plot and character development.

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"Suddenly the darkness shifted anew, and a huge, tattered form that was not quite human, but not quite anything else, rose against the flicker of the firelight. It came together in a slow gathering of shadows, taking shape but not assuming identity, never quite becoming anything recognizable, formed of dreams and nightmares in equal parts.

'What is it?' Quentin Leah whispered.

'Truls Rohk,' Panax breathed softly, and his words were as chill and brittle as ice in deep winter."-Terry Brooks' The Isle Witch, pg.199
Posts: 5 | Registered: Saturday, April 5 2008 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #58
"There are no simple questions." - Deep Thought

Thus starts chapter 3 of Myth-Chief the latest in the Myth Adventure series by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye. I wish after the long wait some one had proofed the book after finding a minor mistake in the second chapter and its accompanying footnote to help out new readers.

Also out is Dragons Wild, a new series, by Robert Asprin.

Hey I don't need to do much now that the taxes are in the mail.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Guardian
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Profile #59
Prayers to Broken Stones, a collection of short stories by Dan Simmons.

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Fear us, mortals, but never envy, for though we burn with power, our fuel is our sorrows.

Indeed, mortals, we envy you.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Guardian
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Beginning PHP5. Youpi.

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Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
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I started A Spell for Chameleon, the first book in Piers Anthony's Xanth series, a couple of days ago. Now I just need to find time to read it.

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

ET reminds me of myself before I was taken into a small chatroom by TM, Alec, and various other members. They then proceeded to beat some sense into me...
-Lt. Sullust

My website: Nemesis' Refuge (Last Update: 3/16/08)
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Canned
Member # 7704
Profile #62
quote:
Meanwhile I have finally got around to reading Dune.
Dune is a powerful and well written series of books.
Yes many of us love dune for it's humanity, philosophical ,psychological and biological views on an series of weird worlds and man's distinct nature. we definitely recommend it.

All praise Omnibus the one who was defeated, shall come back once more !

[ Thursday, April 24, 2008 21:21: Message edited by: upon mars ]

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You can jump off a bridge, fire a gun in your mouth, drink poison,or going in to the tiger's pit but you will still end up dead it's a mater of time and how .
Posts: 312 | Registered: Sunday, November 26 2006 08:00
Guardian
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Profile Homepage #63
By Nemesis:
quote:
I started A Spell for Chameleon, the first book in Piers Anthony's Xanth series, a couple of days ago. Now I just need to find time to read it.
No. Don't. The Xanth series is a bottomless mire that will suck dry your very soul. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. I remember the first few being all right, in a campy sort of way. But they just don't end, and all the jokes and plotlines get recycled after a while. I don't remember where I quit, but a quick visit to Wikipedia tells me he's over thirty now.

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No, Lister, what makes us different from animals is we don't use our tongues to clean our own genitals.
- Rimmer (Red Dwarf)

[ Saturday, April 26, 2008 15:55: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Agent
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Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire by Niall Fergusson. It actually makes a decent argument for why the American Empire should stay.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
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Originally by Dintiradan:
quote:
By Nemesis:
quote:
I started A Spell for Chameleon, the first book in Piers Anthony's Xanth series, a couple of days ago. Now I just need to find time to read it.
No. Don't. The Xanth series is a bottomless mire that will suck dry your very soul. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. I remember the first few being all right, in a campy sort of way. But they just don't end, and all the jokes and plotlines get recycled after a while. I don't remember where I quit, but a quick visit to Wikipedia tells me he's over thirty now.
I read Pet Peeve (number 29) a while back and it was definitely... odd. It reads like a novel for fairly young kids, but there's all this sexual content.

Dikiyoba.

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Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
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I'll second the admonition against Xanth. All of his books have curious sexual elements running through them. So on the one hand you have the Adult Conspiracy, which is kind of funny, but on the other hand you have this really misogynistic element, like the nasty depictions of Chameleon, or Humfrey and his five or six wives (I lost count)... one of the Xanth books is even titled "The Color of Her Panties," though that might be better than his non-Xanth book "If I Pay Thee Not in Gold."

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
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Well I'm almost done with this one! I mainly picked it up because I haven't been reading anything in a while, and I happen to have these… heirlooms… on hand! Although I am getting quite a bit of sexual content and whimsical child-ness! That, and Mr. Anthony seems to like exclamation points! A lot!

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Do not provoke the turtles.
They do not like being provoked.

-Lenar

ET reminds me of myself before I was taken into a small chatroom by TM, Alec, and various other members. They then proceeded to beat some sense into me...
-Lt. Sullust

My website: Nemesis' Refuge (Last Update: 3/16/08)
Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
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Profile #68
Wait until you get to the later books and the elipses points.

The problem with all of his writings is that he doesn't make enough per book to make a living so he writes multiple books a year that aren't that good in quality. When I still read him it was 3 per year.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
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I have trouble believing that. The man appears to churn out books that sell decently, and most publishers would refuse books that sell terribly if they have to edit and publish many bad ones instead.

—Alorael, who can easily believe that Piers Anthony publishes deliberately quick work to make more money. That would make a lot more sense if he just wants a living (no crime), can sell them (no crime), and doesn't care about literary integrity (no crime, unfortunately).
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
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It was in one of the introductions for a book. Part of the problem was he had a few children and was trying to save for their future educations.

The figure I've seen is that a basic paper back run nets an author about $20,000. This is higher for an established author that can command more than the basic $5.99 per book price and royalty. This is a few years ago so it will be higher due to inflation.

[ Sunday, April 27, 2008 23:51: Message edited by: Randomizer ]
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
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That would make a lot more sense if his books didn't regularly and regrettably end up on the NYT's list of bestsellers. Something doesn't quite add up.

—Alorael, who still think Mr. Anthony just likes to get more money, and possibly that he lies about it in introductions.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #72
Well, he's been writing books for more than three decades now, and he's always loved gratuitously long, rambling, personal introductions and afterwords. 30 or even 20 years ago I'm sure his financial conditions were quite different.

I do think he loves what he does. One of his early books apparently underwent a disastrous transformation at the hands of six different editors before being published; he later had it republished with all of the editors' edits attached as footnotes, along with his own snarky comments directed at the editors. He does collaborations with lesser known authors, spends time researching new settings, etc. He has his own quirks and a lot of really muddy ideas but I very much doubt he's in it for the money.

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"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Agent
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It's always saddened me that, albeit unintentionally, my middle names were after him.

Only thing I've had time to read recently (surprising since I've been on bed rest) has been Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend.
Posts: 1487 | Registered: Sunday, February 10 2002 08:00
Agent
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My English class had prevented me from any leisurely reading now. Currently I'm reading endlessly through books about the middle ages, and then she's going to cram Les Miserables on top of that. If I ever have children, I'll make sure to warn them about taking an AP English class during their sophomore year.

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