prodarwin
prodarwin MegaDork
5/18/24 8:55 a.m.

I don't update here often so I forget where I left off.  Here's my reading for this year:

 

currently working on The Good Guy by Dean Koontz (really enjoyed Intensity) as well as All Your Base Are Belong To Us by Harold Goldberg.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/18/24 9:07 a.m.

DW read The Song of Achilles after it was recommended by my grandniece.  What did you think?

Haven't heard of Blake Crouch.  What are they like?

 

prodarwin
prodarwin MegaDork
5/18/24 10:00 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

Song of Achilles is not what I expected I guess...  The first 30% of the book is basically sexual tension between Petroclus and Achilles until they finally bang.  The war story is the rest and it's not bad.  I'd honestly give it 3.5 stars.  If you are into Greek mythology I'd recommend Stephen Fry's trilogy over it for sure.

The closest I could compare Blake Crouch to is Michael Chricton.  Sci fi, but basically modern tech with one breakthrough.  I found the 3 I've read from him very enjoyable.  Dark Matter is getting all the attention because of the Apple TV show, but I think Recusion is the most interesting story.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/18/24 10:05 a.m.

A few days ago I finished "A Demon of Unrest", Erik Larson's new book about Fort Sumpter and the events that led up to the beginning of the Civil War. Excellent work as usual from Larson, who is probably (along with David Grann) one of the best non-fiction writers working these days. Tells the parallel stories of Lincoln as he prepares to take office, Fort Sumpter as they tried to fortify it, and the seceding states as they fell one by one.

I then started "Like a Rolling Stone" by Jann Wenner. It's a bit self-serving and very name-droppy, but still, the guy was there for a hell of a lot of significant events in music and culture in the last 50 years, so it's an interesting tale nonetheless.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/18/24 10:16 a.m.
prodarwin said:

In reply to Duke :

Song of Achilles is not what I expected I guess...  The first 30% of the book is basically sexual tension between Petroclus and Achilles until they finally bang.  The war story is the rest and it's not bad.  I'd honestly give it 3.5 stars.  If you are into Greek mythology I'd recommend Stephen Fry's trilogy over it for sure.

The closest I could compare Blake Crouch to is Michael Chricton.  Sci fi, but basically modern tech with one breakthrough.  I found the 3 I've read from him very enjoyable.  Dark Matter is getting all the attention because of the Apple TV show, but I think Recusion is the most interesting story.

Thanks for both comments.  I'll have to look for Stephen Fry's books, and the Blake Crouch info.  I like Michael Crichton but his work is hit or miss depending on how much he was concentrating on actual plot versus imaginary VFX for the inevitable screenplay.

 

prodarwin
prodarwin MegaDork
5/18/24 2:05 p.m.

Crichton is hit or miss for sure.  I'd compare what I have read of Crouch his solid titles like Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Jurassic Park.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/22/24 10:40 p.m.

Finished “The Time Machine” by H. G. Wells. It reads quickly and isn’t that long. 

The TL;DR: A man known only as the Time Traveller leaves Victorian England in his creation and first stops at the year 802701. (Not a typo.)

Humans, as we know them, are long gone, replaced by two new species: the easy-going Eloi (food) plus the Morlocks (prey). The Morlocks live underground. The Eloi don’t. 

The big drama: The time machine goes missing. Doh!

Questions raised? Who feeds and clothes the Eloi? Why do they get so nervous at night? Why don’t they do much other than play and eat? Sounds great until you realize they’re kinda just two-legged cows.

Don’t want to give it all away, and you can read the Wiki entry, but he eventually goes even further into the future–like 30 million years and then even further.

The big questions it forces you to consider: What will happen to humanity in the future? Will we evolve? Will we peter out? Will it all be captured in some future Wikipedia entry?

I’d recommend the book. It’s not long and makes you realize that, perhaps, maybe we’re not here for eternity. Plus there’s the historical significance of being an early work about time travel. Without this book, would we have had The Terminator, Bill & Ted and Back to the Future? 

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/23/24 8:52 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Wells's writing is pretty readable, too, considering it came during the tail end of the "use all the words" era.

 

stroker
stroker PowerDork
5/23/24 11:27 a.m.

In reply to prodarwin :

"Starter Villian" is terrific.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
5/23/24 3:52 p.m.

Finished another John D MacDonald audiobook, The Scarlet Ruse. It's really good, but perhaps not as strong as the others. A few really surprising twists, but it almost gets too complicated. An excellent read.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/24/24 1:43 p.m.
Duke said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Wells's writing is pretty readable, too, considering it came during the tail end of the "use all the words" era.

 

Oh, yes, very easy to read. Length is good, too, keeping the narrative pretty clean.

Still, makes you wonder: What will things here look like in the year 802701?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/24/24 2:11 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/26/24 11:52 a.m.

I picked up some books yesterday (free plug for Orlando’s Park Ave CDs) but am currently reading this: Johnny Cash by Johnny Cash.


It reads pretty easily and am enjoying the style. Oddly, just watch a Columbo guest staring Cash the other evening. 

First graph of the book:

Currently reading about Depression living: picking cotton as a young kid, living in a house without water and electricity, sadly watching his brother die after a tragic saw accident. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/26/24 2:02 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

Yes, that. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/27/24 11:45 a.m.

And my haul from Park Ave CDs: another Glen E. Friedman book plus something about writing and life. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
5/28/24 8:58 a.m.

The island of Doctor Moreau, and other unsettling tales, HG Wells

 

The main book here was good. Apart from Frankenstein, it would be a fantastic look at humanity and our place in the world. In a world where Mary Shelley preceded this idea by eighty years, it comes across as derivative and simplistic. Like reading a kids version of a classic. 

 

One of the latter stories, dreams of Armageddon, was quite good. I really got pulled into that one. A great short story. 

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS HalfDork
5/28/24 9:10 a.m.
prodarwin said:

I don't update here often so I forget where I left off.  Here's my reading for this year:

 

currently working on The Good Guy by Dean Koontz (really enjoyed Intensity) as well as All Your Base Are Belong To Us by Harold Goldberg.

i've read several on this list but recently finished starter villain and enjoyed it immensely (it got a bit forced towards the end but whatever) and Fredrick backman books are always amazing, if you haven't checked out "My Grandmother asked you me to tell you she's sorry..." it's amazing, same world / characters as a man called Ove but told through the lense of a little girl.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23604559-my-grandmother-asked-me-to-tell-you-she-s-sorry

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/28/24 9:25 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Thanks. Cool and, yeah, eager to read more H. G. Wells. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
5/28/24 11:19 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

It was a complete coincidence that I was on a book with the same author as you guys were chatting about above, please don't interpret my short review as a repudiation.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
5/29/24 3:17 p.m.

As some may have heard briefly during my Cadillac Lyriq video, I'm listening to just the last few minutes of The Turquoise Lament by John D MacDonald. 

 

It's stunning. So incredible to see the weakness and vulnerability of the hero, both mentally and physically, even without the over-the-top physical description of some of the villains in the other books. Maybe the reader gets into a dusty area during the epilogue.

 

There are two sections I want to paste here as quotes when I figure out how. Stay tuned. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/29/24 9:42 p.m.

Still enjoying the Johnny Cash autobiography. He does a masterful job of sliding from one time period to another and then back again–or maybe somewhere else on the timeline, all without losing the reader. 

FJ40Jim
FJ40Jim Reader
5/29/24 9:55 p.m.

Just finished reading 'Upgrade' by Blake Crouch.

Fun read, did not go where I thought it would go in several places. Will look for something else by him at the library.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/2/24 1:18 p.m.

Just finished the audiobook "a dreadful lemon sky", again by John D MacDonald. It was great. I've had lots of time with earbuds with all of the truck painting I've done. 

 

A very good book. Maybe the ultimate bad guy was a big vague by MacDonald standards. The [redacted] was unexpected and sad. Great plot. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/5/24 9:08 a.m.

Not getting as much reading time as hoped (work, life, etc.) but still enjoying the Johnny Cash book. Got to read a chapter last night before bed. 

Looking forward to some quiet reading time tonight. 

P3PPY
P3PPY SuperDork
6/5/24 9:12 a.m.

Just finished "till the eyes shut," about an eastern front German machine gunner. Short one, only 5 hours long, but well done. Sad though. Poignantly sad. 

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