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Author Topic: Books Read 2012 Edition  (Read 8349 times)
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Scuzz
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« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2012, 09:21:06 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on March 27, 2012, 06:53:59 PM

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

Oddly, Amazon doesn't list a Kindle version for the US, despite the fact that I checked out said version from my local library.

Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, and King George V of Great Britain, all grandchildren of Queen Victoria, heads of state leading into WWI.  And yet, despite their roles, none of them suited for the leadership roles in which they were thrust.

The book takes a look at the rulers from a very personal level, showing off their personalities and character, which was to have a huge impact on the world at large.  Wilhelm, with his inferiority complex to the British, Nicholas with his cloistered reticence, and George, the last to come to rule, with his complete lack of focus.

Growing up in the royal families, it is made clear time and again that they had nothing in their upbringings to make a direct connection to their countries and people, no ability to determine matters of import from trivialities. Each man wants to be the autocrat, yet are trapped by the men around them, fed what others want them to see, badgered or ignored when their presence is inconvenient.

It truly is a sad treatise on the world of the late 19th century that these men, with their lack of connection to reality, were the ones that allowed millions to be driven to their death through their lack of leadership and disconnect from reality.


There is an excellent book called DREADNOUGHT that covers almost the exact same ground, coming at it from a naval armaments race angle but dealving deeply into the strange "families" that made up the European Monarchies at the time.
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« Reply #81 on: June 16, 2012, 05:18:04 PM »

I just finished Blackout by Mira Grant, the final installment in the Newsflash trilogy. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Trilogy and recommend it to anyone looking for a different take on the Zombie genre.
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« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2012, 01:27:24 PM »

Just finished Redshirts by John Scalzi. It's very different from the Old Man's War trilogy, but in a good way. The main story was pretty good, but the last two of the three codas at the end made the overall story so much better.
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« Reply #83 on: June 27, 2012, 06:57:22 AM »

Quote from: KC on June 17, 2012, 01:27:24 PM

Just finished Redshirts by John Scalzi. It's very different from the Old Man's War trilogy, but in a good way. The main story was pretty good, but the last two of the three codas at the end made the overall story so much better.

just finished myself.  it was quick and fun, but if I read it again I'm probably just going to skip the codas.  The first one was decent, the second one was OK, and by the time I got to the third one I pretty much skimmed over most of it.
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« Reply #84 on: June 28, 2012, 03:33:30 PM »

The Falklands War 1982 (Essential Histories) - Osprey

It has certainly piqued my interest about it and likely will lead to more readings about those battles and late 20th century conflict.
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« Reply #85 on: July 07, 2012, 01:33:06 PM »

I just finished Snow Crash, now onto Boy's Life by Robert
McCammon.
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« Reply #86 on: July 07, 2012, 05:52:24 PM »

Finished Assassin's Code, the most current entry in the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry, and now reading Bloodline, the next book in the Sigma Force series by James Rollins.  Loved Assassin's Code and cannot get enough Joe Ledger.  My only gripe, which isn't a knock on the series, is that Maberry seems to treat characters in the same light as Joss Whedon.  It doesn't seem anyone is ever safe.   icon_frown
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« Reply #87 on: July 07, 2012, 06:16:48 PM »

Quote from: Eco-Logic on July 07, 2012, 01:33:06 PM

I just finished Snow Crash, now onto Boy's Life by Robert
McCammon.
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Boy's Life is probably my favorite book of ALL TIME. Coming-of-age tale wrapped in a murder mystery. It is excellent and I hope you enjoy it!
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« Reply #88 on: July 07, 2012, 07:04:46 PM »

I've just finished book 10 of the Dresden Files. Fantastic series! Picked up Side Jobs, going to read that before I continue with the series
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #89 on: July 09, 2012, 07:11:42 PM »

lildrgn, I love it so far. We definitely have similar tastes!  You need to stop keeping these things to yourself.   Are you on good reads?

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« Reply #90 on: July 12, 2012, 04:16:09 AM »

I'm really enjoying The Long Earth by Steven Baxter and Terry Pratchett. Such an odd writing combination but so far the book is great.
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« Reply #91 on: July 17, 2012, 05:21:24 AM »

I saw you finished Boy's Life. What a wonderful book, huh?

Quote from: Eco-Logic on July 09, 2012, 07:11:42 PM

lildrgn, I love it so far. We definitely have similar tastes!  You need to stop keeping these things to yourself.   Are you on good reads?

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« Reply #92 on: July 18, 2012, 04:48:15 PM »

Barnes and Noble has 6 free ebooks right now.  Heres the link:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook-for-web/379003594

The books available are:
1) Map of Bones (James Rollins)
2) Sex and the City (Candace Bushnell),
3) The Vow (Kim Carpenter)
4) The Boxcar Children Summer Special (Gertrude Chandler Warner)
5) Brave (Tennant Redbank)
6) Perfect Island Getaways (Patricia Schultz)

Mainly posted this because of the first on the list.  Its one of Rollins Sigma books and its a very good read. 
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« Reply #93 on: July 29, 2012, 11:00:26 PM »

lildrgn,
I loved Boys Life.  Fantastic book, one of the best I've read this year.  I would have updated this sooner, but our GT friends don't seem to think fixing tapatalk for iphoneis important.

Update for today:

Finished:
 Boy's Life by Robert McCmannon:  Highest possible recommendation
Thousand Splendid Sun's:  pretty good, I liked Kite Runner better
Fiddler's Gun:  WOW!  I LOVED THIS. 

Currently reading:
Fiddler's Green, every bit as good as Fiddler's Gun, hard to believe these are debut novels for A.S. Peterson
Dune, Herbert


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« Reply #94 on: July 29, 2012, 11:31:28 PM »

Tapatalk works now after reinstall smile
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« Reply #95 on: July 30, 2012, 05:57:56 PM »

A Princess of Mars
Gods of Mars
The Warlord of Mars
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« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2012, 07:55:34 PM »

Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam by Mark Bowden.

This follows on the trend I believe I am done with in reading about the Iran Hostage Crisis.  This one focused heavily on the hostages, their plight, and and a veneer of the political maneuverings of the US and some of what is known about the hostage takers.
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« Reply #97 on: August 17, 2012, 07:59:49 PM »

Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Finally got around to this one.  It's been in my backlog forever.  Got started on it over my vacation after finishing the previous book.  Of course, then I read the Author's Note about how a bunch of other stuff is connected, including The Complete Robot and his other Robot novels as precursors.  Which led me to check out The Complete Robot from the local library.

Prelude was good, but it's evident that it's setting the stage for something bigger. 

I did a thesis on I, Robot back in high school.  Asimov passed away the week before it was due.  I've also read some of his science literature.  He was truly an impressive author.
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« Reply #98 on: August 21, 2012, 02:23:16 PM »

Finished a self published book on amazon called Wool:Omnibus edition.  It combines 5 different short stories (all the same narrative) and it was an excellent read. It's a very original post apocalyptic setting that I don't believe anyone has done before. While the author tended to be a little verbose, especially in the last 30 pages or so, it was a very well done effective story.  Overall it's extremely highly rated on Amazon. Check it out.

Also finished the final book in the Gears of War saga, The Slab. It's a prequel and covers the run up to the first game.  It's probably the weakest book in the series, but this was really the first one where Traviss was hemmed in by the existing fiction of world.  Solid 4/5 and I'm sad to see the journey end.

Now I'm 40% of the way through  A Dance with Dragons and really enjoying. It's not yet up to the gripping standards of the first 3 books or the last 1/2 of the 4th, but I can't wait to get back to it every time I put it down.
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« Reply #99 on: August 22, 2012, 12:54:34 AM »

I finished Fiddler's Green (sequel to the excellent Fiddler's Gun).  Highest possible recommendation.

I then read Ship Breaker and Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi.  I thoroughly enjoyed both and would like to read more by this author.

Currently reading Dune.

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« Reply #100 on: September 08, 2012, 11:49:32 PM »

Finished No Easy Day.

No nonsense autobiography about a seal team leader on the mission to kill Osama.  About what I expected. 3.5/5
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« Reply #101 on: September 16, 2012, 06:05:17 PM »

Finished Dance with Dragons. Very disheartened that my favorite character is now dead.

I'd say this book is as good as the last one, however, it was consistently better.  The last book was saved by an awesome final 1/3.  This one as solid if unspectacular the whole way through.

Finishing up MockingJay.  It's pretty mehrific so far.  Then my backlog is empty.
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« Reply #102 on: September 16, 2012, 06:47:35 PM »

Quote from: ATB on September 16, 2012, 06:05:17 PM

Then my backlog is empty.

I have no idea what this phrase means.
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« Reply #103 on: September 17, 2012, 01:23:58 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on September 16, 2012, 06:47:35 PM

Quote from: ATB on September 16, 2012, 06:05:17 PM

Then my backlog is empty.

I have no idea what this phrase means.

 icon_wink

Trying not to make the same mistake with books that I have with video games. smile
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« Reply #104 on: September 20, 2012, 10:50:03 PM »

The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov

After reading the Author's Note on Prelude to Foundation about the overall timeline and inter-related nature of his works, I decided, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, go back to the beginning.

The collection apparently leaves out Robot Dreams, which is available at the local library.  Looking at the wiki page, there are other Asimov stories that are not robot related in there as well.  Listed after that, it goes to Caves of Steel and progresses up through the Foundation series.

I had actually written the major paper in Honors English over I, Robot, which is contained within The Complete Robot.  I remember specifically that Asimov passed away exactly one week before the final due date.

All in all, I enjoyed the "new" stories that I hadn't read, reading the ones that I remembered, and even rediscovering those that I had forgotten.
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« Reply #105 on: September 24, 2012, 05:55:40 PM »

Hobbit is done. Liked it much better this time.

Onto LOTR.

Mockingjay still languishes. It's just not a very good book.
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« Reply #106 on: September 25, 2012, 11:33:07 AM »

I just finished Anna Karenina. Great novel but it takes a little more effort than your average Stig Larson novel does.
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« Reply #107 on: September 25, 2012, 01:33:56 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on September 25, 2012, 11:33:07 AM

I just finished Anna Karenina. Great novel but it takes a little more effort than your average Stig Larson novel does.

Could not get through it when I was asked to read it in high school. Hated it.  And I love overwritten books.
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« Reply #108 on: September 25, 2012, 01:34:42 PM »

Anyone mind if I count each GOT book as 3 for my tally? slywink  I think 300 pages as a standard book is fair.
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« Reply #109 on: September 25, 2012, 08:53:13 PM »

I finally finished The Dervish House by Ian McDonald.  It was the hardest book to finish all year for me, but I am happy I made it to the end.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1616142049

Now reading "Heroes Die" by Stover and love it so far.
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« Reply #110 on: September 29, 2012, 04:23:02 PM »

History of the Jews by Paul Johnson

This one apparently took me three years to get around to finishing, but I'm glad that I finally did. 

It's a bit weighty in places with some not-superficial dives into philosophy and social matters in addition to the normal dates, names and places, which likely contributed to feeling a bit out of my depth and abandoning it for a while.
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« Reply #111 on: October 06, 2012, 11:29:06 AM »

Quote from: ATB on August 21, 2012, 02:23:16 PM

Finished a self published book on amazon called Wool:Omnibus edition.  It combines 5 different short stories (all the same narrative) and it was an excellent read. It's a very original post apocalyptic setting that I don't believe anyone has done before. While the author tended to be a little verbose, especially in the last 30 pages or so, it was a very well done effective story.  Overall it's extremely highly rated on Amazon. Check it out.

This is on sale today for $1.99
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« Reply #112 on: October 07, 2012, 12:53:35 AM »

Quote from: Laner on October 06, 2012, 11:29:06 AM

Quote from: ATB on August 21, 2012, 02:23:16 PM

Finished a self published book on amazon called Wool:Omnibus edition.  It combines 5 different short stories (all the same narrative) and it was an excellent read. It's a very original post apocalyptic setting that I don't believe anyone has done before. While the author tended to be a little verbose, especially in the last 30 pages or so, it was a very well done effective story.  Overall it's extremely highly rated on Amazon. Check it out.

This is on sale today for $1.99
Ok I bought it. This actually showed up on my kindle daily deal email and I completely disregarded it-I've got to pay better attention to those things. I hope it turns out to be great. I don't think I've ever seen a more highly reviewed book before.
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« Reply #113 on: October 07, 2012, 12:55:56 AM »

Quote from: ATB on September 25, 2012, 01:33:56 PM

Quote from: Canuck on September 25, 2012, 11:33:07 AM

I just finished Anna Karenina. Great novel but it takes a little more effort than your average Stig Larson novel does.

Could not get through it when I was asked to read it in high school. Hated it.  And I love overwritten books.
Why don't you try giving it a shot again? I definitely would not have made it through in high school either. Same with Pride and Prejudice which I also enjoyed.
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« Reply #114 on: October 13, 2012, 07:16:23 PM »

Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov

I picked it up because The Complete Robot foreword mentioned that there was a Robot timeline story in this one that hadn't been published elsewhere.  Despite the title, the stories were relatively robot-lite, with only four stories common between the two collections. 

Asimov was truly a great writer, and while the science of what we know about space and the planets might have moved on since he wrote them, the stories themselves are still entertaining today.
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« Reply #115 on: October 20, 2012, 06:41:14 PM »

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Here is what got me to check it out.

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« Reply #116 on: October 21, 2012, 02:04:11 AM »

I thoroughly enjoyed The Rook, you're in for a treat.
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« Reply #117 on: October 21, 2012, 02:20:36 AM »

I finished it last night.  It was quite an enjoyable read with a good sense of humor. 
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« Reply #118 on: October 22, 2012, 11:55:54 AM »

I'm reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsson.  Wow, is that ever a good book.  That is exactly the kind of book that I love-the kind that makes me want to go running to Wikipedia almost every single page.
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« Reply #119 on: November 08, 2012, 05:26:50 AM »

Just finished up A Game of Thrones.  damn, I wish I had read this a long time ago.  such a good read and in no way spoiled by knowing how the first book ends.  it's quite a long read but it felt like it flew by in no time at all. 

before this, I finished up the Girl trilogy (or Millennium trilogy if you will) and while it was not near as good as the second it was a good end to the story.  it makes the death of Stieg Larsson quite a tragic note. 

I started and stalled on John Dies at the End by James Wong.  It feels like a short story shoehorned into a longer novel.   A bit disoriented but I will probably go back before too long.

I read book 6 of the Wool series, a prequel which sets up the world and hints at future books.  not the greatest when compared to the first 5, but good reading to fans wanting a bit more of the lore. 

in case I missed it, I read Shadow of a Dead Star, by Michael Shean.  A good dystopian sci-fi novel with hints of Bladerunner throughout but a twist that leaves you scratching your head. 

The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters.  a good premise sets up a basic detective story.  Loved the premise of a world with 6 months before an unavoidable extinction but it's hard to recommend as the author doesn't dive into the world he's created as deeply as he could have. 

on to book 2 of ASoIaF
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