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ChrisN
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The Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Hearn. The third in the Tales of the Otori series. Love them!

Isn't that the fourth (a new one that came out at the end of last year)? I read the previous three, and despite the slightly cop-out ending of the third, enjoyed them immensely.

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Has anyone read 'The Dice Man' by Luke Rhinehart? My friend raves on about it so I grabbed a copy from Fopp. They sell loads of good books there for cheap! I grabbed a copy and I think that will be the next book if I ever finish this one!

Yes. I didn't much like it. The first half was okay but it dragged on a bit and got less interesting.

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Just started reading Stephen Hunter's Point of Impact. Had it for ages and never touched it but the other day I saw a poster for Mark Wahlberg new film Shooter and I watched the trailer on Apple. The character is roughly the same as the book (Bob Lee Swagger) but I think thats about all they have in common. It's a good book if your into Tom Clancy style CIA spook shit....it's total gun pr0n when it comes to sniper warfare.

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These three from the Penguin "Great Ideas" series just arrived - they're slim volumes (120-ish pages each) and the design on all three is just beautiful ;)

I had one of those great finds where I saw some of these in a discount bookshop just after they came out for £1.50 each, what was annoying is I had hardly any cash on me so only managed to get a few of them (including that William Hazlitt one). I haven't actually read any of them yet though, shamefully.

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Hey there.

At the moment I'm reading:

Passport to the Supernatural

The Science of Fairy Tales

The Amber Spyglass

Scott Smith's The Ruins

Philip Roth's The Plot against America

Despin out.

The Plot is great. I often struggle to read fiction nowadays (political/social/media non-fiction generally) but I loved that book.

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Just re-posting my earlier comment; the spoiler tag didn't work properly, and I'd like to see what others think.

Just finished reading the "His Dark Materials" trilogy this week.

I actually now regret how emotionally involved with the characters I got, especially in the second half of the last book - and of course, in the heart-wrenching ending. I think Pullman went overboard trying to get readers to understand exactly what getting a daemon ripped out of your soul is like with the last few pages.

As for what happens next, Pullman seemed to wrap up the story very well - the only real loose end he left is when Xaphania explains to Will that humans could travel between worlds in a similar manner to how angels do - this combined with the botanical gardens thing makes a future re-union more plausible. With everything else cleaned up so nicely it seemed a little incongruous. I can't decide if it is genuinely in there to imply possible future events, or if it has just been left in as a life-line to those that find the end of the book too depressing.

Of course, there isn't enough info in the book to substantiate the dispersion of the ghosts into Dust at the end of their existence - and that affects this too. Will and Lyra may have a deeper understanding of it than the reader is privvy to, and might see little reason in pursuing a way to see each other during this stage of existence, seeing as though they will be re-united in the next.

I guess this is all speculation. Apparently he's never again going to write anything containing the two of them together. I haven't read Lyra's Oxford, but I'm presuming there isn't even a mention of Will in it.

I'm pretty torn about whether or not I want more. The ending, though emotionally draining, is heroic - they choose the fate of all others over their love, despite how pure and true it is supposed to be. They also choose the wise decision, to stay apart rather than grow sick and die within 10 years. A romantic ending could have felt kitsch and I guess that could be part of the reason Pullman avoided it.

Despite all that, I still found it depressing.

One of the things it has done though; this is my first time in a while reading fiction this good, from a literary perspective. It's made me realise how so much fiction is drivel.

Onto the Earthsea Quartet next.

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I was reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro but I had to let it go because it was boring me to tears. Beautifully written though.

That's a shame. It was one of the most moving and thought provoking books I read last year.

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I just finished reading that book, "caught in the light"

Now I'm reading Yan martell (or something), A book about a guy called Pi travelling with some tigers or something. I'm not very far, and so far, he's been chatting about zoo keepers.

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I just finished reading that book, "caught in the light"

Now I'm reading Yan martell (or something), A book about a guy called Pi travelling with some tigers or something. I'm not very far, and so far, he's been chatting about zoo keepers.

I've got that in the house. Never got round to reading it. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it.

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I've got that in the house. Never got round to reading it. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it.

I really enjoyed Life of Pi, lots of indian atmosphere at the start. The author somehow manages to keep the story going with just the boy and animals stuck on the boat, it never got boring. Then right at the end theres a twist that makes you rethink everything youve read. Well worth a read.

This week ive read Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut, great writing style though I think I might have to reread at some time to try and put it all in a bit more order in my mind(though I suspect that wont work and isnt the point of the book anyway) and a couple of Michael Moorcocks Corum books(far from his best).

Tomorrow im going to start either Catch22 - Joseph Heller or Children of God - Mary Doria Russell, not decided which yet.

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Finally decided to read an Iain Banks book so got out Inversion. Can't quite be bothered to start reading it yet though...need to psyche myself up as I'm not normally a sci fi reader.

I agree with Hoop V2, if you read Inversions without reading a couple of other Culture books first it just wont make any sense to you. Id go for Use of Weapons and/or what Hoop suggested first.

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Finally decided to read an Iain Banks book so got out Inversion. Can't quite be bothered to start reading it yet though...need to psyche myself up as I'm not normally a sci fi reader.

Grrr. Forum ate my earlier reply.

Anyway, you're better off with "The Player Of Games" as it's shorter, better and is a more sensible introduction to the Culture.

Other good books for the non-SF reader:

Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell

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Bastion suggested this to me a while back and it sounded ace. Can't find the sodding thing anywhere though. Well..it's probably in a bookshop...but I don't BUY books.

A library should be able to order it in for you and it should cost no more than 50p. Failing that, £5.59 from Amazon (excluding postage, so buy more books and get free postage instead!).

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A library should be able to order it in for you and it should cost no more than 50p. Failing that, £5.59 from Amazon (excluding postage, so buy more books and get free postage instead!).

Off to the library later so I will have an asky. I think our library wants 80p though for book ordering- daylight robbery! :unsure: I'll have a gander for those other books you mentioned too. Actually...I'm sure I have a scribbled list somewhere of stuff I mean to read...not sure where it is though...

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Anyone read the "Night's Dawn Trilogy" by Hamilton?

Monstrous fucking read (about 5000+ pages I reckon) but well worth the effort.

A Truly Immersive Space Opera that is.

I read them a few years back when they were first published. I loved the first two, but I found the last of the trilogy to a be a massive let down. It felt to me like Hamilton ran out of ideas after the second book, which made the last one about 700 pages too long. I won't spoil it, but the ending of the last book really didn't help either.

Personally, I'm about 50% of the way through "The Book Thief":

0385611463.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

No one has a bad thing to say about it on Amazon, but I'm currently fairly underwhelmed by it. I'm hoping it'll click for me in the second half, but I have the feeling that I've just not identified enough with the characters to make the book engaging. I guess it's my loss really :(

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16021030N.jpg

.::: It's ok, but seems to miss any kind of propulsion. It kind of floats by and the cross-referencing of sheep-thoughts to human actions isn't half as good as the thought cross-overs in The Curious Incident... Hopefully it picks up soon, but so far the premise is loads more fun than the actual book (which is a flock of sheep trying to solve the murder of their shepherd).

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Personally, I'm about 50% of the way through "The Book Thief":

0385611463.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

That is a totally sweet book cover.

I'm currently on the last chapter of Shipping News now, and I'm going to be starting 'Cosmic Trigger' or 'The Illuminati Trilogy' tonight. Can anyone tell me which one is best to read first?

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The Book Thief is shit, saccharine, sentimental claptrap. People don't dare say so as it involves Jews being killed by Nazis and a child at that. It is utter, utter bollocks. Far too long for a child’s book with underdeveloped characters, irritating faux syntax trying to be style and baffling (not in a good way) leaping around. Just read Anne Frank and Address Unknown.

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The Book Thief is shit, saccharine, sentimental claptrap. People don't dare say so as it involves Jews being killed by Nazis and a child at that. It is utter, utter bollocks. Far too long for a child’s book with underdeveloped characters, irritating faux syntax trying to be style and baffling (not in a good way) leaping around. Just read Anne Frank and Address Unknown.

Wow, so at least I'm not the only one then :( I'm not sure I dislike it quite as much as you do, but as I said, I'm only half way through at the moment... :(

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OK then I'm currently reading:

1561840033.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Basically it is the most interesting thing I've probably ever read.

It is like someone has gotten inside of my fucked up mind and come up with theories and possible explanations from all the crazy shit I've dreamt of. I love how Wilson takes an agnostic viewpoint on everything, and I absolutely love the writing behind this book.

Amazing scenes.

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