Rate the last book you read Page 74

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  • Daddy-Doom-Bar 29 Jul 2017 11:25:42 2,872 posts
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    Ready Player One - Ernest Cline 9/10
    Re read this after the trailer for the film came out. Love this book so much. Its not particularly well written, but the whole idea, the 80's references and the whole geekfest-ness of it hits all the right notes for me. Would love a sequel.
    He wrote another book along similar lines - Armada. Not as good, but worth a read if you liked RPO.

    Edited by Daddy-Doom-Bar at 13:51:35 29-07-2017
  • RichDC 28 Sep 2017 07:10:47 7,573 posts
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    Robert Webb - How Not To Be A Boy

    A humouress but powerful look at how gender stereotypes forced upon men are damaging all of us and those around us, using stories from his own life to illustrate his points. It's a great read, both funny and upsetting. There were genuine tears at points. That's not something that usually happens to me with books. Because I'm a guy.
  • riceNpea 28 Sep 2017 09:36:56 929 posts
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    Anne Leckie - Ancillary Justice

    Sci-fi from a perspective that's initially jarring because of its unfamiliarity but so refreshing once you're accustomed to the concept. The use of 'she' as the personal pronoun of choice regardless of the sex of the character, for reasons that become clear, is such a simple conceit but so engrossing in it's execution.

    You follow the story through the eyes of the sole survivor of a wrecked starship, an avatar of the artificial consciousness that controlled it, and its mission of vengeance against the 'Imperial Radch' for the betrayal that destroyed it.


    It's the first book of a trilogy and has won the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, BSFA Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award and Locus Award.

    Aficionados of sci-fi (I'm scarcely read anything else) should definelty read this. It's not hard sci-fi, more space opera if it must be labelled.
  • TheJackKetch 28 Sep 2017 11:33:40 148 posts
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    @riceNpea It is a great trilogy, I was actually recommended it on here by a fellow forumite
  • riceNpea 28 Sep 2017 11:42:12 929 posts
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    @TheJackKetch ive yet to read the other two as i hop between other works but I plan to.

    I've been re-reading my Peter F Hamilton and my Culture novels which I just adore.
  • TheJackKetch 28 Sep 2017 11:53:21 148 posts
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    @riceNpea I love the Culture novels, hmmm might be time to revisit a few.
  • riceNpea 28 Sep 2017 11:59:22 929 posts
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    @TheJackKetch absolutely! I can't get enough of the Minds. Their names, their tremendous dark humour, their wonderfully convoluted social structure, their superior sense of morality, their intricate machinations spamming aeons; there's so much to love.
  • TheJackKetch 28 Sep 2017 12:05:19 148 posts
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    @riceNpea exactly, such rich worlds he created and brilliant characters. I was genuinely gutted when he went :(
  • riceNpea 28 Sep 2017 12:13:41 929 posts
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    @TheJackKetch same. The Culture Universe is so vibrant and diverse. Most authors create epoch-spanning histories but Bank's is so well developed that i buy into it completely. More than that I wish I live it.

    His novels reflect that too in the way they spotlight so many different aspects of it, not always pleasing casual readers of his works who expect variations of a theme.

    Excession may be my favourite but it's a tough choice. Obviously Player of Games is another choice but I also love Use of Weapons.
  • TheJackKetch 28 Sep 2017 12:23:18 148 posts
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    @riceNpea Against A Dark Background for me as it was my first, I really did enjoy The Hydrogen Sonata too, mostly for the ship Mistaken Not...
    I think I found Inversions the most challenging. I know a lot of people that hated Fersumm Endjinn but really liked that too.
  • riceNpea 28 Sep 2017 12:29:57 929 posts
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    @TheJackKetch lol. We're just going to end up making them all. Like children I love them all but at least I can admit to having favourites :D

    I forgot The Hydrogen Sonata. Damn it, you've just made me decide that I've got to find it and read it again. What a fantastic problem to have.

    I know what you mean by Inversions. A sci-fi novel set in the 'middle ages' is going to split the fan base but to me it shows how special Banks was. Having said that it's a book I really appreciate rather than love.
  • CosmicFuzz 28 Sep 2017 13:15:31 32,061 posts
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    Dammit. So that's the Culture series and Ancillary Justice added to 'the list'.

    Going on honeymoon at end of year so will load up the kindle!
  • riceNpea 28 Sep 2017 13:18:34 929 posts
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    @CosmicFuzz oh mate you've got to tell me what you thought when you're back, id love to hear

    Other details about the honeymoon is optional ;D



    Congrats in advance!
  • CosmicFuzz 28 Sep 2017 13:39:23 32,061 posts
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    Haha! Will let you know all about the late nights (of reading).
  • Bambot 4 Oct 2017 12:09:48 865 posts
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    Annihilation: 7/10

    Really engaging for the first two thirds or so. The last bit just drags and doesn't really provide much sustenance or context or development or anything.

    Does the second one have more in the way of a plot to get your teeth into?
  • Stan546 16 Oct 2017 09:58:26 984 posts
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    Right book fans, I'm after some advice.

    What's the best deal for audiobooks? I've realized I spend at least 12 hours a week driving and it'd be really good to listen to an audio book every week. Problem is, they're really really expensive on Amazons Audible thing, your monthly subscription only gives you one book!

    Are there any cheaper ways / Streaming services for unlimited books?
  • Mola_Ram 16 Oct 2017 10:23:08 16,543 posts
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    Bambot wrote:
    Annihilation: 7/10

    Really engaging for the first two thirds or so. The last bit just drags and doesn't really provide much sustenance or context or development or anything.

    Does the second one have more in the way of a plot to get your teeth into?
    Authority has a slightly more conventional plot, and offers a bit of backstory behind Southern Reach (the organisation investigating the area). But if you're the sort that wants things resolved and definitively answered (not that that's a bad thing, just saying, if you want that) then you will probably be disappointed.

    I freaking love that series, but it's the off-kilter weirdness that I love most about it. It's definitely not for everyone.
  • GuybrushThreepwood 16 Oct 2017 10:30:29 1,383 posts
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    @Stan546 You could use...erm... Librivox.

    They have free audiobooks that are out of copywrite. I've used them a lot in the past. Not sure what they are like these days. Books are read by volunteers, so can be of varying quality.

    Oh and I'm using Podcasts when I drive (Infinite Monkey Cage at the moment). They work well.

    Edited by GuybrushThreepwood at 10:31:04 16-10-2017
  • Stan546 16 Oct 2017 12:07:13 984 posts
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    @GuybrushThreepwood Cheers buddy I'll give them a go. Audible works out at around Ł70 a month on audio books, so may even podcasts are a better way to go.

    Cheers
  • Dougs 16 Oct 2017 12:26:08 83,939 posts
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    I didn't realise that Audible was only one book a month. That's really shit.
  • MrFlay 16 Oct 2017 14:00:52 3,626 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    I didn't realise that Audible was only one book a month. That's really shit.
    It's actually a single credit which you use to buy any audiobook. It could be 5 hours or 50. Audiobooks are actually really expensive so it works out pretty well. Plus you can buy extra credits at a discount and when you try to quit they will offer you all sort of deals to stay. I used to subscribe but it's hard to find the time to listen. There's a free trial. Your first book is free and you keep it even if you don't subscribe.
  • MrFlay 16 Oct 2017 14:02:48 3,626 posts
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    Stan546 wrote:
    Right book fans, I'm after some advice.

    What's the best deal for audiobooks? I've realized I spend at least 12 hours a week driving and it'd be really good to listen to an audio book every week. Problem is, they're really really expensive on Amazons Audible thing, your monthly subscription only gives you one book!

    Are there any cheaper ways / Streaming services for unlimited books?
    You can buy more credits on Audible and the more you buy the cheaper they get. You can also get a discount on some audiobooks if you own the kindle version.
  • mal 16 Oct 2017 18:41:40 28,662 posts
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    Or you could just load up on podcasts. I listen to about 15 hours of those per week. Mostly BBC radio 4 stuff, but also the Kermode and Mayo podcast, and a bit of 6Music stuff.
  • MrFlay 16 Oct 2017 20:47:36 3,626 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Or you could just load up on podcasts. I listen to about 15 hours of those per week. Mostly BBC radio 4 stuff, but also the Kermode and Mayo podcast, and a bit of 6Music stuff.
    Exactly why I cancelled my Audible sub. I did get a lot of the BBC radio dramas they have first. Well worth paying for them.
  • Mola_Ram 8 Nov 2017 07:17:22 16,543 posts
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    Nothing to Envy: Life, Love and Death in North Korea

    A horrifically bleak look at daily life in North Korea, based on interviews with several defectors. It's hard to know with certainty just how true all their stories are, but they're utterly compelling reads nonetheless. Given how prominent NK is in the news currently, I'd call this essential reading.

    9.3/10
  • Tonka 8 Nov 2017 07:39:07 26,628 posts
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    The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu (the sequel to The Grace of Kings)

    Second entry in the epic cozy silk punk fantasy wuxia series The Dandelion Dynasty. It starts of really really slowly, it's the difficult second entry after all, and Mr Liu is a bit too happy to show off the in depth world building him and his wife has done.

    But then the turn comes and much like in The Empire Strikes back things have to go bad in this part so that it can set up for the final (I think) third part.

    There are LOADS of characters and I couldn't remember most of them from part one. But it doesn't really matter. Just let it wash over you. Tons of palace intrigue and power plays. Giant battles and fresh new ideas for the ever changing fantasy genre.

    Looking forward to the next book / 10
  • Tonka 8 Nov 2017 07:40:33 26,628 posts
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    Mola_Ram wrote:
    Nothing to Envy: Life, Love and Death in North Korea

    A horrifically bleak look at daily life in North Korea, based on interviews with several defectors. It's hard to know with certainty just how true all their stories are, but they're utterly compelling reads nonetheless. Given how prominent NK is in the news currently, I'd call this essential reading.
    I read an article about how many of the stories that have been told have been retracted or found out to be embellishments. Sadly, since there is no doubt the truth is horrifying enough.
  • Mola_Ram 8 Nov 2017 07:44:31 16,543 posts
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    I dunno, I think that's a problem that comes with the territory. It's hard to get independent verification of stories when a whole country is basically closed off to the outside world.
  • Tonka 8 Nov 2017 07:54:43 26,628 posts
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    True that. Iirc some of the deflectors blamed the interviewers as well. That they asked leading questions and cheered them on as soon as there were some extra juicy stories.

    Plus they were worried they might be sent back so they wanted to please.
  • rice_sandwich 8 Nov 2017 08:10:53 3,437 posts
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    Even if their stories are embellished it's still a powerful story and a book that's well worth reading. I don't doubt that it's largely based on reality. There's another one about a teacher who went to teach the children of the elite in N.Korea. It's less dramatic, more mundane but worth reading.
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