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What Book are you reading now? (Other than Star Wars)
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:48 am Reply with quote  
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  Dancelittleewok
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Mara Jade Skywalker wrote:
Unfortunately, our library doesn't have any Kemp books outside of Star Wars. But I did find out they have the Deceived and Riptide audios, which I would love to listen to. *adds to 27-mile long list*


We have a suggest for purchase form on the library website. If your library doesn't have something you want, it doesn't hurt to ask. Smile

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Reading The Screwtape Letters for the first time. You hear that, Reep?


The Screwtape Letters is, by far, my favorite C.S. Lewis book. Take that, Narnia! Wink
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:55 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Dancelittleewok wrote:
We have a suggest for purchase form on the library website. If your library doesn't have something you want, it doesn't hurt to ask. Smile


We do, too. But I tend to be a request-o-maniac. So I try to be careful and only request things I will most definitely read. And with my reading performance lately, or lack thereof, I feel bad requesting any book. Confused
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:48 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I'm reading Stephen King's Dark Tower: The Wind Through The Keyhole, and this book really pisses me off! the story is fine, I mean the actual book.

I used to be a huge DT fan back in the day. Like everyone else I was mad at the ending, but before then for DT junkies this series was insanely frustrating because it took him over 20 years to write and publish the seven books in the series. The third book ended with a cliff hanger and then it took six years for the forth one to come out. That is what I mean by frustrating. I didn't get into the series until this point so I was slightly less frustrated being able to get past the cliff hanger and read up till the fourth book and then I only had to wait six more years for the fifth book to come out.

At that point I bought the last three books each on the day they came out and that was where the problem started. The first editions are naturally hardcovers and they are published by Donald Grant. I had the Grant editions of 5, 6 and 7, and the Plume editions of 1,2,3 and 4 because the original Grant editions of those four are insanely expensive and hard as balls to find.

So my stupid books don't match, but I just figured I'd wait for the softcover versions of the new books and buy those when they came out. Well, the softcovers for the new ones are put out by Scribner and for whatever reason Plume stopped making them. So if I want them to match I need to buy all of them over again in the Scribner softcover versions.

Which brings us to the new book which is the only one I don't have and will probably never buy because the hardcover is now put out by Scribner and the Grant version is only in limited edition that you can't find and is also now insanely expensive, so unless you wait to buy all these in the crappy softcover versions, it's impossible to get a matching set.
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:17 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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I hate that to! There isn't one freaking set that matches and as an OCD collector it can drive a man insane!

And I kinda liked the end of the DT series, but I saw it coming.
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:23 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Thank our absent God that Star Wars hasn't started dropping Deus Ex Machina into every storyline like all my others beloved series. GL may be off his rocker, but at least he hasn't yet put in "a wizard did it!' and that's in a series about wizards.

Of course as I say that look for Mortis to tie into every single future SW story now.
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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:27 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Aaaaand now I have to go watch that Simpsons episode where a wizard did everything.
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:03 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Okay, so Splinter Cell started on a bad footing. There's something that I love about the games that isn't present in a lot of spy fiction, and that's actual stealth. I loved Alias, but I hated that Bristow was always called a great agent, because she screwed up so many times! Same with other shows, other books, but Splinter Cell had, for the most part, absolute invisibility. That was its focus. Now, that's not really what happened in this book (so far, at least):

P. 15

Quote:
'I leave the property the way I came, using the shadows to mask my presence. I move like a tomcat, quiet and unobtrusive, sticking to walls and street objects. Stealth is the name of the game and I'm damned good at it.
As missions go, this one went relatively smoothly. No mission is "easy", per se. They all have their challenges. I can't take anything for granted and I must be certain that I do my job invisibly. That's what being a Splinter Cell is all about. Leave no footprints. Get in. Get out. You're done.
A Splinter Cell works alone. A remote team monitors and supports me - professionals that are damned good at their jobs, too - but it's my ass that's out there in the line of fire. Every move must be thought out as if the field were a gigantic chessboard. A single mistake can be fatal.
I like to think I don't make mistakes. I am Sam Fisher. I am a Splinter Cell.'


I'd like to recap what happened in his mission, prior to that.
He walked in to a casino, sneaked into a closet, changed into his work clothes, climbed into an air duct, stayed there for a while until 4am, then stole into the manager's office. He then accessed the computer, there, and downloaded several files. Just as he was done, someone started to come into the room and he hid atop several filing cabinets. There he stayed while one man sat at the computer, while the other looked around. Of course, when the second man was below him, Fisher's sweat betrayed him and landed on his head, so there was a fight, where he killed the two men (it was stated in the mission objectives that he was allowed to kill, but to avoid it if possible), then, when more guards came into the room, he tried to sneak out behind them, but was caught. There was a brief fight, and then he decided to run through the main room of the casino - while it was 4am, there were still a fairly large number of civilian inhabitants (who saw him). Guards shot at him as he made his escape, and then when he was outside, he hid under a car for 15 minutes, until the guards gave up.

Now, all that's fine - I suppose. People are allowed to make screw ups. However, it gets on my nerves when they say things like 'Stealth is the name of the game and I'm damned good at it.' after having just been very unstealthy and screwed up several times. Or when they say 'this one went relatively smoothly'. Not when they just messed up a mission objective, like stay undetected and don't kill people. Or 'I must be certain that I do my job invisibly' which he didn't. Or most annoying of all 'I like to think I don't make mistakes.' He. Made. Many. Mistakes. Just. Then.

It doesn't track up. And another thing, there are several problems with the prose which I'm finding annoying. Like on p. 10:

Quote:
'I shove off the walls and pile-drive the man to the floor. He drops his Smith & Wesson along the way. For hand-to-hand combat, I exclusively use Krav Maga, and Isreali technique that literally means "contact combat." It's not so much a self-defense martial art as it is a no-holds-barred system for survival in any situation. It combines elements of Eastern disciplines, such as karate, judo, and kung fu, with basic boxing and down-and-dirty maneuvers (sic). It's taught and used by the Isreal Defence Forces, the Isreali National and Military Police, and other anti-terror/special forces in Isreal. Since its development by Imi Lichtenfeld after World War II, Krav Maga has emigrated all over the world and is now widely taught alongside other martial arts. Krav Maga isn't a competitive sport - it's a fight for your life. The whole idea is not only to defend yourself but also to do as much damage as possible to your opponent as quickly as you can.
So with Wong on the floor beneath me, I ram my forehead, goggles and all, into his face as hard as I can.'


Let me just rewrite that passage in a way that I think would improve it drastically:

Quote:
'I shove off the walls and pile-drive the man to the floor. He drops his Smith & Wesson along the way. With Wong on the floor beneath me, I ram my forehead, goggles and all, into his face as hard as I can.'


And here's why: that big chunk that I took out should not have been there. Read that top bit again, out loud. Do you read the first and last bit in a deep, tense, perhaps gritty voice? What about the middle bit? Do you read it in a flat, informative voice? The middle bit is unnecessary information that breaks the action. This sort of information could have been saved for a more appropriate time - like in the Krav Maga class Fisher takes about 20 pages later in the book - rather than in-between a fight scene. Imagine watching Die Hard, and just as Bruce Willis starts to shoot up the place, you pause it and then go on wikipedia to look up information on the history of shopping mall security practices. It's just ... *head explodes* It shouldn't have been in there.

On top of those (and other things, but I'll stick to just those two, because this is too long already), the book switches between first person present, and third person past tenses. I'm not a fan of this switch, but I've decided to be lenient on it so far.
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:28 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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If that was in the opening of the book I'd say that it would work. I kind of like that exposition, but if it's like that all the way it would drive me nuts.

I'm not really big on first person narrative, it has to be handled delicately. Remember the idea here is that a character is talking to you or themselves, so they aren't going to be giving a lecture describing what they are doing, especially if it involves action. You gotta keep it punchy.

It reads very videogamey dialogue and I guess that was what they were shooting for, but it is not what I would like to read in a novel.

I finished Wind through the Keyhole and was kind of disappointing. The story just felt flat because there wasn't really any cohesion. It's essentially three novellas and shoehorning them into one story leaves all of them a bit unsatisfying. I would have much preferred a book like Different Seasons, just separate novellas laid out without a connecting device. Or the book is precipitated with the idea of seeking shelter from a storm, which plays a part in the other stories so have that be the connection, but have them still be separate from each other.
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They have taken the hearts and minds of our leaders. They have recruited the rich and the powerful, and they have blinded us to the truth! Our human spirit is corrupted. Why do we worship greed? Because, outside the limit of our sight, feeding off us, perched on top of us from birth to death are OUR OWNERS. They have us! They control us! They are our masters! Wake up! They’re all about you, all around you!


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:37 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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@Life: Just from the excerpts you posted, it doesn't seem to have been written well. It's very...young. Confused

Started Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game was very good, looking forward to this one. Smile
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Anyone read The Wheel of Time series? I was thinking about checking them out.
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They have taken the hearts and minds of our leaders. They have recruited the rich and the powerful, and they have blinded us to the truth! Our human spirit is corrupted. Why do we worship greed? Because, outside the limit of our sight, feeding off us, perched on top of us from birth to death are OUR OWNERS. They have us! They control us! They are our masters! Wake up! They’re all about you, all around you!


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:34 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Anyone read The Wheel of Time series? I was thinking about checking them out.


Heard good things from people into lots of fantasy type stuff, but I haven't had the chance to check them out yet either.
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:44 am Reply with quote  
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  JainaSolo
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
Anyone read The Wheel of Time series? I was thinking about checking them out.


Saw it a lot in the library while browsing through for Star Wars. I glanced at it once or twice and it looked like it might be good but I never worked up the nerve (or enough space on my card after all the Star Wars books) to borrow it. Smile
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 PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:59 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
If that was in the opening of the book I'd say that it would work. I kind of like that exposition, but if it's like that all the way it would drive me nuts.


I'm still under a hundred pages in, so I can't say if it's like that all the way through, but it's like that all the way up to this point Confused .

Quote:
@Life: Just from the excerpts you posted, it doesn't seem to have been written well. It's very...young.


I can always give you a random excerpt from another page, see if it's any different. I recall taking a random page from the last game novel I'd read, Assassin's Creed, and I'd rewritten it in my way, see if I could do better Laughing . It's funny that you say 'young', though. The author is called 'David Michaels', but that's apparently just a pseudonym for Raymond Benson, who must have been around 50 when he wrote this book. According to his bibliography, he'd been writing for seven years (mainly James Bond novels) at the time of this book's release. I think that may be why. My reasoning is that people who write tie-in media (only) have a much shorter time period with which to write a book, and so they might not be afforded the time to look back, review what they've written and learn from it - whereas people who write their own original stories usually write about 1 a year, and thus have much more time for review and introspection, and overall growth of writing quality.
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I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it. These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.

Life is like the Force - Luke Skywalker, Crucible. Damn straight I am.


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 PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:12 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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So I just requested last week that our library acquire the one Ender book that they didn't have on audio, and they've already gotten it! Neutral
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Last edited by Mara Jade Skywalker on Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:06 am; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:04 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I finished "The Neanderthal Parallax"* and am moving onto Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. I'm enjoying it so far. It's the first biography I've read for quite awhile.



*I thought the first book was pretty good, but the other two got increasingly more preachy and naive. The Companions creeped me out. With all its difficulties, I'd take earth over the Neanderthal world honestly.
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