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What Are You Reading? Suggestion/Review Thread

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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited July 2016
    I just finished the last volume (15th) of Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning, a manga series, last night. I've written about the Spiral anime series and consider it one of my favorites. The anime series, like many anime adaptations of manga, was created while the manga was running so it stopped before the manga did. However, many of the big reveals and mysteries aren't at all in the anime. In fact, there are strong hints that a certain characters is dead in the anime, but he's alive and well in the manga.

    There's not too much I can say that aren't big spoilers. There's one character that I really like who is very earnest in the anime, is not so in the manga. She actually does and say a few suspicious things there.
    And I feel really bad for Ayumu, though his eventual ending is less about being all alone in the dark that certain characters try to paint it as, and more a bittersweet ending. He still has people who care about him, in the end. The purposefully vague supernatural parts are odd, and really stick out compared to the manga as a whole.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • TheRevolverTheRevolver Member Full Members
    edited September 2014
    [h=1]The Temporary Gentleman is the best for me.[/h]
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2015
    I have a long-running, under-fulfilled desire to read more books from eastern European authors, and I've been meaning to read The Witcher Saga for a while because I've enjoyed the world in the video games. With The Witcher 3 coming out soon, I let that be motivation to read Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski.

    The mixed reviews online combined with the fact that I read infrequently and slowly had scared me away from it and toward better-reviewed things, but I'm enjoying it a lot. It doesn't bother me at all that Geralt is rarely the focus of the narrative, and after reading Dostoevsky last week, the less dense, but still distinctly EE, prose is a godsend. More than anything else I find myself loving the parts from Dandelion's perspective. There's a drastic shift to a silly, light-hearted writing style in the Dandelion parts that contrasts to everything else, and it just reads like Sapkowski has the most fun then. That fun is contagious to me as a reader, and I get more pulled into the narrative despite Dandelion's goofier way of seeing things than, say, Triss or Geralt.

    We'll see what happens with it, but my only qualm is Ciri comes across as acting too young for a 13 year old as educated as she is. Children are often hard to get right for me, but I tend to be more forgiving of prodigy children who are too smart in fiction over ones whom I think act younger than is appropriate.

    I'm 2/3 of the way through it and it's been a page-turner. I'm definitely getting even more amped for The Witcher 3, too.

    EDIT: Finished the book now, and the weaknesses pointed out in negative reviews showed up in the last fifth of it, which was a long, dull section on Ciri's training. It ends on that weak note, as the plot's cliffhanger occurs 4 fifths of the way through the novel and is never picked back up. So I guess it's 4 fifths of a great read followed by 1 fifth that's a boring prologue to the next book in the saga. A shame.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • SeraphimKittenSeraphimKitten President of Soft Paws Full Members
    I tried to read The Troop by Nick Cutter, but it didn't draw me in. The "horror" novels I've been reading lately have been low on gross out factor, with Stephen King's works being as gross as I'd read before I picked up this book. The basic premise was good, but as the plot starts to ramp up I realized I didn't care about any of the characters. Without spoiling anything that the front cover or self-blurb wouldn't already mention, it's about a Boy Scout troop in Canada on a remote island cut off from the world as things start to go wrong for them. Do not read it if you like cats. I may still give it a try, but at the 50% mark I put it aside in favor of Marc Goodman's Future Crimes. For nonfiction, Future Crimes was more horrifying than The Troop. It deals with current technology crimes, laws, and privacy issues. It's a good read if you want to feel paranoid - I didn't realize that Google maintains there's no expectation of privacy if you e-mail someone on a gmail account (or if you use a gmail account yourself), and you should expect that all of your private e-mails will be sold by Google. I was expecting a little less "this is why the world is so much more horrifying than you were expecting" and a little more "here's how to fix it." Out of 18 chapters, only the 18th goes into solutions. About half of the solutions deal with the zeitgeist of our times and the slow changes in society that need to happen to right the ship; the other half deal with more practical solutions for protecting yourself. If you use Apple or Google products, I'm not sure if I'd suggest reading the book or staying away from it so you don't know what's going on behind the scenes. Still, it had its funny and fascinating moments (China's attempts to hack Russia using toasters, Germany's politicians having their fingerprints 3D printed and added as a prize to magazines so Germans could commit crimes using famous people's fingerprints). I don't know if it's the best book I've read this year, but I enjoyed it.

    I've been listening to Stephen King's book "The Shining" on audiobook while working out or driving. The fact that it's read by Campbell Scott makes it hard for me to tell how much I like the book versus how much I absolutely love the voice actor.
  • atreidesatreides Full Members
    Recently read "The Club Dumas" by Arturo Perez-Reverte, translated from Spanish. If you're into occult mysteries, e.g. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, it is incredible. The protagonist is a "book detective" - he finds rare books for people. Seeking out two copies of a medieval text, he encounters people whose agendas he must unravel, and gradually becomes immersed in an occult conspiracy.

    Of course, what pulls all this off is the writing. The author is well-versed in the actual history he's talking about, and very precise, never saying too much or too little for credibility. The most memorable thing for me was that some scenes where written so they had two possible parallel interpretations, in a way that almost made you believe the coexistence of both interpretations.
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited March 2016
    After a bit of a lapse in reading, I finished off Shadows of Self and started on The Bands of Mourning. Shadows of Self is an excellent book, and while the Wax and Wayne Mistborn novels aren't quite as good as the first trilogy, it's a fascinating look at the aftermath of those novels. The characters are wonderful, too. I'm especially liking how Steris is growing more into her own, despite how she is treated in the first book, The Alloy of Law. She's even joined along on Wax, Wayne, and Marasi's current mission in The Bands of Mourning.

    I have Calamity to read after this as well!
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited July 2016
    The Bands of Mourning was completed some time ago. Another excellent Mistborn novel! I also finished Calamity, and while I did enjoy the book, I thought it kind of petered out in the end.

    What I really want to go into depth on, though, is the final volume of The Wallflower manga, and the series as a whole. After 15 years (12 or so in North America) and 36 volumes, it is finally finished! And good Arceus, it wore itself out about 7 or so years ago. :P This last volume, heck, this entire series is the epitome of the phrase "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Most of the chapters were rehashes of older ones, and after 36 volumes, I expected a much more conclusive ending than the one we got. It's cute and all, but it would have been fine on a series that lasted 20 chapters or less, not one that dragged on and barely had any sort of development for 36.

    The Wallflower has several good ideas, and I don't regret ever starting the manga. I especially liked how, even though the premise of the manga is that four guys try to get their landlady's weird loner niece to become a "lady," it's all about Sunako and the boys coming to understand each other and meeting part way. Sunako doesn't have to give up who she is to become a better person. Sunako also comes around to not being such a loner and enjoying the company of other people. The morals of the manga get skewed at times, but I do appreciate the "be yourself, but don't close yourself off to others" message. I also like how Sunako, Kyohei, and the other characters to a lesser extent develop. I used to love this manga years ago. As the years went on, though, ideas and plots are repeated and character development slowed to a crawl. Now I just like it.

    I am glad it has ended, if only for the closure. It deserved a better ending, though.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    Wowwwww it's been so long since I've seen this thread. In the last couple of years I've finished the entire wheel of time series by Robert Jordan. I've also read through most of Dan Brown's books, all of the Song of Ice and Fire series, memory sorry and thorn, the wayfarer redemption series... lots and lots of fantasy. I like reading as escapism. Anyone else reading these days?
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
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