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Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:18 am
by the_wolfs_howl
The Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

I'd given up on Wheel of Time when I slogged through book 6 and realized that I didn't give a flying flip about any of the characters, nothing was happening, and even when a character died at the end, I didn't feel a thing. Since then, I've looked online to find out what happens in the later books, but when I got to book 12, I decided to pick them up again, because Brandon Sanderson had taken over the writing after Robert Jordan died. And I admire Brandon Sanderson like few other authors, so I knew I had a greater chance of liking Wheel of Time again. And what Sanderson has done is absolutely amazing. He took someone else's story, wrote it without trying to imitate Jordan's style, yet somehow manages to make this story feel, not only like what Jordan intended, but what WoT had the potential to be from the beginning yet never achieved until he took the wheel. He writes this story better than Jordan could write it himself. He's taken characters and situations that I found completely annoying and that I didn't care about at all...and I love them now. Characters that were annoying at best before are now my favorite characters. Characters who seemed bland and uninteresting now make me laugh and cry. Female characters maintain their same personalities and attributes, yet they're actually distinct from each other rather than annoying angry clones of each other. I'm riveted to the page. It took me the better part of a year to get through book 6, but I read book 12 in less than a month ._. Brandon Sanderson, you are the king of fantasy.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

As if WoT wasn't enough, I also read the second Mistborn book, and of course I loved it. It was so fun, so filled with political intrigue and character conflict. And of course the battles were awesome. So many unexpected twists and turns, so many wonderful scenes. What became of Sazed, one of my favorite characters, by the end leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I guess I'll see what happens in the next book. The Mistborn series is a really exciting read, and even though middle books of trilogies run the danger of being aimless and boring, I think The Well of Ascension successfully escaped that fate. I highly recommend this series to any fantasy and/or post-apocalyptic fan.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:12 am
by GeneD
Wooo Brandon Sanderson party! Where's Hat'n'Clogs when you need him.

I've read his Warbreaker and recently finished The Way of Kings, the first in the Stormlight Archive. Despite what I said earlier in this thread, I read it in exactly 3 weeks, which is record time for me for something that's a thousand pages long. I also bought the first Mistborn book recently, but haven't had a chance to get around to it yet.

I liked Way of Kings a lot, and his world building is very good, although I couldn't help but think that maybe it's a bit too precise, almost clinical, everything is just so. I don't know if that even makes sense because being well put together is the point of world building, but it's the best way I've found that I can describe my problem with it. Of course it definitely won't stop me reading the next book in the series.

@the_wolfs_howl, you mentioned Robin Hobb before and I've been thinking of getting into her stuff, do you have any advice on where I should start?

After Way of Kings, I read Mister Monday by Garth Nix and the second Hunger Games book. I'm still debating on what to read next.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:30 pm
by AnaniAnime
The City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments)
And waiting for The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus)

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:31 pm
by the_wolfs_howl
GeneD wrote:@the_wolfs_howl, you mentioned Robin Hobb before and I've been thinking of getting into her stuff, do you have any advice on where I should start?

Well, I've only read four of her books, but from poking around on Wikipedia, I think the Farseer Trilogy is the best place to start anyway. (Most of the books she's written under the name Robin Hobb - which is a pseudonym - take place in the same world.) So I'd recommend starting with Assassin's Apprentice, the first book of the Farseer Trilogy. It's an absolutely amazing trilogy, and that book comes the closest to what I want to be as a writer than anything else I've ever read. I'm currently working my way through the Tawny Man Trilogy, which takes place fifteen years after the Farseer Trilogy with some of the same characters. She's also written the Liveship Traders Trilogy and the Rain Wilds Chronicles, but I don't know anything about them except that they take place in the same world.

Also: Keys to the Kingdom series = :thumb:

As for me, I recently read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It's a book of advice and encouragement for aspiring creative writers. Most of the advice is stuff I'd already read elsewhere, in better detail, but the encouragement was highly appreciated. It's written in a very enjoyable, easy-to-read style. I'd recommend it to anyone who dreams of being an author someday, or is trying to pursue that goal right now.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:21 am
by bigsleepj
I've also been delving into Brandon Sanderson. I listened to audio book versions of Mistborn: The Final Empire, Mistborn: The Well of Ascension. Words of Radiance and The Way of Kings, with the exception of Mistborn: The Hero of Ages, which I listened to twice. I enjoy his worldbuilding but what I truly marvel at is his adept multi-volume plotting, which is why I chose to do Hero of Ages twice.

I also recommend the Farseer Trilogy as a way to enter the Real of the Elderlings.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:29 pm
by raus8891
Recently I just finished the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Probably the best. Nothing I have read, and I've read Sanderson, Jordon, Rowling, Burroughs, Lewis, Lawhead, and Duncan, not a huge variety of authors but authors who are known for creating worlds, none of them compare to Tolkien. It takes a master author to write about a legend and give the impression that the myth has been lost into the annals of history. None of these other authors give you the sense that what you are reading is ancient and that is what Tolkien does. He creates a story that is ever ancient and ever new. Brilliant.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:20 pm
by the_wolfs_howl
The Wheel of Time: Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Another wonderful example of Sanderson's skill. This book was so exciting, which I haven't been able to say about any of Jordan's writing since book 2. It was wonderful to see Perrin really come into his own in this book, and watch everything ramp up for Tarmon Gai'don. The last section, focusing on Mat, was freakin' awesome too, though I totally called SPOILER: Highlight text to read: that Moiraine was still alive as soon as she fell through the twisted red doorway. Another astounding thing that Sanderson has managed to do is take Jordan's lolwut romantic pairings that he just decided were going to happen regardless of whether they made any sense at all, and explained them all in such a way that you could really believe these characters actually love each other rather than just randomly falling in love because the plot requires it (except that it rarely does). Sanderson continues to amaze!

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:56 pm
by scribbledreamer
GeneD wrote:
scribbledreamer wrote:Just finished Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. It's told entirely in letters, a technique I've always loved, but is difficult to pull off. I started it thinking it was going to be a pretty fluffly book, but it was so much more. The characters were strong, the emotion raw, and the writing beautiful. For a lot of it, you could forget it was told in a letter. It was such a great technique, though, because the author brings it back at just the right moment, as a reminder that the only reason the main character is disclosing certain information is because of the letter. So, yeah, it's a book I'd definitely recommend.

Something about this piqued my interest so I looked it up. The plot seems to have been lifted straight from Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster.

Oops, forgot to respond to this. In the author's note, she does mention that she took inspiration from Daddy Long Legs. I've never read it myself, so I can't say how much the details of the story are similar, but I do plan to check it out at some point. Despite that, I still really enjoyed the book.

Recently finished Three by Ted Dekker. I don't read too many thrillers, but this was so good. Also reading the fifth book of the Mitford series by Jan Karon. It's either love it or hate it, I guess, but the characters are fantastic.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:29 pm
by yukoxholic
Currently have 3 books in rotation: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and Sins of the house Borgia by Sarah Bower.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:29 pm
by the_wolfs_howl
I finally finished reading The Book of Mormon (including Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price), which I've been slowly working my way through for the past year. I've been curious about the Mormon faith for a long time (a dear friend of mine is LDS), so eventually I decided I might as well read their book, hoping to understand it better in their own words, rather than all the vague rumors and impressions I'd heard from other Christians. It's certainly been enlightening. I can see some major problems with it, but it's not as...weird as I was given to believe before I read it.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:39 pm
by Furen
Still plugging away at Black in my Circle series by Ted Dekker

Working on a new book called Prime of Life by P.D. Bekendam
It's about senior care home, and a doctor that chose to be a caretaker instead, I'm enjoying it, but so far, I haven't got into anything super intense. Good reviews on the book, and it's a nerdy book for Christians, so I'm there! (Main character is obsessed with prime numbers)

And I was thinking of reading The Tattooed Rats again.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:07 pm
by Sheenar
Recently finished "Till We Have Faces" and "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis.

Now starting "Partners in Independence" --a book about assistance dogs that I'm reading for an online book club I'm participating in. :)

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:57 am
by the_wolfs_howl
The Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

I'm finally finished with WoT!!!!!!!!! :dance: I've been slogging through this series for the better part of ten years, and FINALLY it's over! As much trouble as it's been to get to this point, this last book was freakin' epic. It's basically just one ginormous battle through the entire book. Lots of death, lots of magic explosions everywhere, lots of heroism. A wonderful end to the series.

2,000 to 10,000: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron

Just what it says on the tin. The author shares her experience with trying to increase her efficiency with writing, and gives recommendations for writing in general. It's not possible for me to write 10,000 words a day like she can, because of work and school, but I'm still going to try some of her methods to become more efficient and systematic about the way I write. Discipline is the only way to go from being an amateur to a professional.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:27 pm
by yukoxholic
Watership Down by Richard Adams. Nostalgia...

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:37 pm
by Sheenar
Reading a book called "Seeing Through the Fog" --about living with a serious illness. It was written by a pastor who has ALS. I'm a little over halfway through and I've found it very encouraging so far! It's real (no hokey inspirational poster-type stuff), but it points to Christ and hope throughout.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:47 am
by the_wolfs_howl
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

This book is amazing. I think I still prefer his Mistborn books to this one, but it was a very fun read. There are so many vibrant, interesting, hilarious characters whose motivations are all clashing against each other. And naturally, a really unique magic system that just makes sense and is really fun to watch. My favorite character was Lightbringer; I absolutely loved his scenes with Llarimar. SPOILER: Highlight text to read: I loved them from the first scene they shared, and when the revelation that they're actually brothers came at the end, it suddenly all made sense. I love brother relationships, so it's no wonder I instinctively latched onto them! Perhaps best of all, Sanderson is actually offering the entire novel on his website for free, so it didn't cost me a dime to check it out. And it really worked as a marketing strategy, too, even though that seems counter-intuitive. As soon as I finished reading Warbreaker online, I went out and bought a physical copy of my own. It's just that good.

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

I'd read this before years ago, but when you're in eighth grade a lot of the subtler nuances of this story just go right over your head. I loved revisiting it now that I understand stories, literature, and allegories so much more fully. I'm sure I still haven't understood all the little allusions Lewis has put into this gem of a story, but it was amazing to read it again. Now that I understand it so much better, it brought tears to my eyes at the end. :n_n:

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:18 am
by mechana2015
Matter by Ian M Banks.

Funny thing though I was looking for a Sanderson book at the used bookstore when I found this book.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:52 am
by Furen
I am reading 1 Corinthians, but I'm sure I'll be in 2 Cor soonish... :)

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:24 pm
by Panda4christ:3
So I bought a couple books last week and...

Currently reading:

Mort by Terry Pratchett - I love absolutely everything about how Death is portrayed in this book <3. And the characters are fantastic~

Looking For Alaska by John Green - much love for this <3


Cut by Patricia Mcormick - Wow, just wow. Everything about this was just really...good. I think it's my favorite of the books I got XD Definitely going to be reading more from this author in the future :)

The Dead & Buried by I honestly don't remember. Nor do I care to - The only book I've read so far that I really didn't like. It had me going I guess, but only because the culprit only had a few appearances and almost no motive.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:33 pm
by the_wolfs_howl
The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones

This was just a really good story about an American writer for a food magazine who goes to China to interview a Chinese-American gourmet chef. Not only does it have succulent descriptions of really interesting-sounding foods, it also uses this innocuous premise to explore a lot of fascinating differences between American and Chinese culture, as well as the expat and TCK cultural tensions present in those who don't quite fit into either. The only problem I had with this book was that it would make me hungry unless I read it while eating :lol:

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:54 pm
by Sundown
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I haven't read this book in years, and it is still every bit as amazing as it was when I first read it.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:59 pm
by the_wolfs_howl
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven

A short, simple story about a vicar who is sent to a tiny, out-of-the-way Native American village in Canada. As he preaches for several nearby villages and becomes involved in their daily life, he learns about their culture and slowly realizes that he no longer fits in the outside world. An interesting little story, though I prefer writing styles that delve more explicitly into the characters' thoughts and feelings (this book felt sort of Hemingway-ish in that respect).

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:54 pm
by Panda4christ:3
Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained

I also recently finished:
Paper Towns by John Green
I'm Not Crazy (which was just...okay)
Looking For Alaska by John Green

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:46 pm
by Jonathan
I'm reading a Comedy Book called Nightlight.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:57 am
by GeneD
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I decided I want to finish the series before next year March/April when I might be visiting England.

Also reading the 3rd volume of Narita Ryohgo's Vamp!.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:19 pm
by Kaori
Reread the Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin. The first time I read it, I was annoyed by the blatant way in which LeGuin made the narrator into such a sexist bigot, but I was impressed by the strong picture of the two countries, Karhide and Orgoreyn, with their opposing systems of government, which are pretty much opposite to each other. This time, I was just as annoyed, if not more, by the blatant sexism of Genly Ai (I see the point she is trying to make, but she is pretty much bludgeoning her readers with it), and the world-building of the two nations did not impress me so much. Some things just did not completely ring true. Also, while on an intellectual level I can sort of grasp why LeGuin wanted to make this thought-experiment about a society in which everyone can be both male and female at certain times (i.e. male sometimes and female sometimes, not both at once), which is that she was trying to make a point about sexist attitudes, this sort of "what if" question just does not interest me at all.

Finished rereading The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. McKillip at her best. It’s my third time reading this book, and I still find the moral issues worth pondering over; this time around I think that the overall message is anti-revenge, but Sybel does get to sort of have her cake and eat it too at the end, which I don’t like.

Chalice is not Robin McKinley’s best. For much of the book, the plot was a bit aimless and dragged (although there are some books that make up for not being gripping page-turners by having other outstanding qualities to make up for it, this isn’t one of them). The ending was a very typical McKinley SPOILER: Highlight text to read: magical deus ex machina. Also as expected of McKinley, there was a romance, though the amount was fairly light. So overall, the book was fairly predictable.

The Didache. At sixteen short chapters, it can be read in a single sitting easily, and that is what I did. Contains a lot of the teachings of Christ, a ton of stuff about the necessity of giving to the poor, some explicit prohibitions of murder of children, either already born or still in the womb, the instruction to fast on Wednesday and Friday instead of Monday and Thursday (“like the hypocrites”), and some specific words of prayers to be said before and after the Eucharist. Overall, it contains very pithy and valuable teaching, and I can see why it was so highly-regarded in the early Church. I think that it ought to be read by anyone who has even the remotest interest in learning what the Church was like in the early centuries.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:50 am
by DecooPunk
Reb and the Redcoats. This is such a cute book.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:29 pm
by EventualDay
I'm starting Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, as per recommendation of my friend. Haven't gotten very far but am enjoying the style.

Two questions for anyone out there: first of all, can someone give me a brief idea of what the Discworld series is about? I mean, I recognize it's a huge franchise so I don't need a lot of detail; I guess what I'm more curious about is for those who have tried to read it, was it worth your time? I generally hear positive things, but it's such a long (and ongoing) series that it seems like a big commitment.

Secondly, anyone have any YA books they really like? Genre-wise I like semi-realistic books, usually ones that aren't too dark and that maybe have an element of fantasy thrown in. YA books really help me relax because they're pretty easy reading, but lately I've gotten incredibly tired of the bad writing and plots. I know there are good ones out there. Some of what I like (which probably no one's read?) are Five Flavors of Dumb, Dragonfly (which I personally thought began terribly, but had a strong enough ending that I liked it quite a lot), novels by L.M. Montgomery...

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:32 pm
by GeneD
EventualDay wrote:first of all, can someone give me a brief idea of what the Discworld series is about? I mean, I recognize it's a huge franchise so I don't need a lot of detail; I guess what I'm more curious about is for those who have tried to read it, was it worth your time? I generally hear positive things, but it's such a long (and ongoing) series that it seems like a big commitment.

The Discworld books can be grouped into different, for lack of a better word, storylines or arcs, with each generally dealing with the same people and places. There are also a few more stand alone books, but there is some overlap between these and also between the main storylines.

Copying from the Discworld wiki (with my added notes):
The Rincewind books (featuring Rincewind and The Luggage and often the other Wizards of Unseen University) - Rincewind is a very unlucky (or some would say, very very lucky) wizard who generally lands in his next misadventure by having run away from the last one.

The Witches books (featuring Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg et al) - The Witches go about helping the people of rural Lancre with hard work, "headology" and if they absolutely have to, magic.

The Death books (featuring Death and Susan Sto Helit, often against the Auditors) - Death is the anthropomorphic personification of, well, death, whose job it is to take people into the next life, but sometimes he can't help but get curious about the lives they currently have.

The City Watch books (featuring Sam Vimes and the rest of the Watchmen) - The Watch are the police of the city-state of Ankh-Morpork, one of the greatest (and dirtiest) cities on the Disc. These stories often play out as a bit of police procedural, only occasionally with dragons.

The Post Office books (featuring Moist Von Lipwig and the staff of whichever service he's working for) - Ex conman Moist is tasked to revamp and revitalise several of Ankh-Morpork's public services -or else.

The Wee Free Men books (the children's Discworld series with Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegle) - Tiffany is a young witch who meets, gains the respect and friendship of, and goes on various adventures with the Wee Free Men or Nac Mac Feegle, a clan of fairies who were kicked out of Fairyland for causing fights and being drunk at two in the afternoon. Ties in with the Witches books.

Here's a reading order guide, showing the groupings and the first book for each group.

I know it looks a bit complicated, but the best would probably be to pick a storyline you think sounds interesting and read a few of those books in their given reading order. If you're not sure, the City Watch books might be a good place to start. I don't recommend starting with the first book published, The Colour of Magic, since it's a bit more loosely put together plot-wise than the later books and can put a person off from the whole series, which would be a terrible shame.

As for worth my time, Terry Pratchett is my absolutely favourite author ever and I have read and own almost all of the Discworld books. Feel free to ask me anything else you'd like to know. XD

On topic: I'm just over half way through both The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Assassin's Apprentice, first in the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb.

Re: What are you reading?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:45 pm
by MomentOfInertia
I'll nominate the city watch (Guards! Guards! is the first one) as a good place to start Discworld, and Wee Free Men/Tiffany Aching as a good YA series.