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Liam

Goodreads Reading Challenge/General Bookery

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I've read 25 out of 75 graphic novels, which puts me 10 books behind where I should be at this time for my goal.

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I just finished John Darnielle's second book Universal Harvester and... holy shit. I think I'm going to need some time to process this one.

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7 hours ago, Apsham said:

I just finished John Darnielle's second book Universal Harvester and... holy shit. I think I'm going to need some time to process this one.

It was interesting because despite the premise, I went into this book assuming it would be one of those "slice of life" books when in essence it was riddled with such nuances and deeper meanings. I did find it dragged at times though. 

Don Winslow's new book is out tomorrow. At this point I would venture to say he is my favourite living author, so I am beyond psyched.

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I've done incredibly poorly this year - found my time of the tube spent reading Sight & Sound instead of novels. That said, I've nearly finished Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood, which I started ages ago, but have only picked back up recently. Atwood is one of my favourite writers - Alias Grace & Handmaid's Tale are personal favourites - but this one is a little middle of the park, hardly a page-turner, even if there's something interesting going on. I always read more in the summer, so looking forward to picking up a lot more novels over the next few months - I've got a few that Liam bought me at Christmas to read, and a bunch of stuff that's been sitting on my shelf for months, including the 2nd half of Jamaica Inn. 

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I've finished one because I decided not to count comics. I'll jump back in on real books tomorrow.

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Changed my mind. Took my ereader to the pool to continue my book. Didn't spend as long as I'd like because of incoming lightning but now that I'm in I'm gonna pull my recliner out and light my candles then lay out and read.

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I've decided to couple my objective to read more with my objective to write more - in that I'm going to write a 200-word review of every book I finish. Here is the first such exercise, relating to 'Rivers of London' by Ben Aaronovitch:

Quote

A police procedural wrapped up in the supernatural underbelly of modern London and dripping with just enough irreverence to make the whole thing work. ‘Rivers of London’ follows Peter Grant, a PC whose chance encounter with a ghost saves him from a future in the Case Progression Unit (motto: ‘We do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to’) and he finds himself under the tutelage of Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the one and only wizard in service of the Met.

Although occasionally jarred by pop culture references thanks to Grant’s evident geekish streak (there’s a midichlorians joke, for goodness’ sake), the book is a fluid and entertaining read which is well-served by its effortless interweaving of the mundane and the bizarre. It’s remarkable that this novel finds time to both, on the one hand, introduce a convoluted family of River deities (plus ghosts, vampires, and whatever-the-hell-Molly-is), and on the other, dedicate a section to the technological antiquations of police IT system HOLMES 2. A formidable achievement.

Thankfully, with the book being only the first of a series of six and counting, there’s no harm in feeling that we’ve only just scratched the surface of its world. A definite recommendation from me.

My next read? Classic science-fiction Ubik, by Philip K. Dick. Its wikipedia article quotes a review that describes it as ‘a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from’. Sounds lovely.

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Finished Bodily Harm, which really picked up in the last fifty pages as it all tied together, but that didn't overly alter my indifference towards it.

I've decided to stay on the Margaret Atwood train and finally jump into The Blind Assassin. I'm about 75 pages in and it's intriguing and very well written - it hasn't grabbed me like Alias Grace had at this point, but there's already enough in place for me. 

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14 hours ago, stokeriño said:

I've decided to couple my objective to read more with my objective to write more - in that I'm going to write a 200-word review of every book I finish. Here is the first such exercise, relating to 'Rivers of London' by Ben Aaronovitch:

My next read? Classic science-fiction Ubik, by Philip K. Dick. Its wikipedia article quotes a review that describes it as ‘a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from’. Sounds lovely.

Okay, I'm definitely adding Rivers of London to my want to read list, next time I log in.

 

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Rivers of London is great, but the series takes a massive nosedive after that. I read the next two or three, but none were as clever as the original, and in places they're utterly dismal.

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Just now, Skummy said:

Rivers of London is great, but the series takes a massive nosedive after that. I read the next two or three, but none were as clever as the original, and in places they're utterly dismal.

...Well balls.

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8 minutes ago, stokeriño said:

...Well balls.

To be honest, it's been a while since I read them, I might be overstating it. I just remember there being a pretty drastic drop in quality around book two or three, but then picking up a little after that...and then just never followed the series beyond that, as it didn't feel worth it.

Aaronovitch started to get on my nerves as a writer, too, when he feels the need to really hammer home that Peter Grant is black - talking about African mothers and all the rest of it, and it's just so obviously a white guy writing a black lead.

 

Part of it my feelings toward them are coloured by own expectations, too; when I read the first book, I was hugely interested in London lore, and planning to write something along those lines myself, and Rivers of London does a really good job of threading genuine London history and myth through its narrative, while after that the series kind of shies away from all that in favour of its internal mythology, which interests me less.

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I hit my goal of 24 books before the midway point of the year so I'm going to keep going and see how far I get. I think i'll plan to do this every year and go +1 what I read the year before to see what my max level is.

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