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Beyond Anne McCaffrey We know Anne's not the only author you read and enjoy. Come here to discuss and discover authors beyond Anne!

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Old Jan 11 2014, 11:40 AM   #1
Cheryl
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Default What have you read lately?

I'm very bad at updating my Goodreads account; I should do that soon and try to connect with other members here that use the service. But I don't tend to remember to try to use it to figure out what other people have read and enjoyed recently and thought a thread here would be easier to start and maintain.

So, post here what you've been reading lately and what you think about it!

I've lucked into two great reads in the last few weeks.

First up was a scifi novel, Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. The book follows three people: the viewpoint character and his two friends from childhood, boy/girl twins who move in and out of his adult life. When these characters were all around 11-12 years old, a membrane of some sort was put around the whole earth, blocking out the stars, moon, and sun. A fake sun is seen in the sky, but the stars and moon are not replaced/mimicked. Trying to understand how the membrane works and why and who put it there is the basic plot of the book, but it's not just a scientific investigation there is a lot of character development as people try to live their lives under the new uncertainties in life.

I really enjoyed this one and will be looking for the sequel (which I think is already out, but I'm not sure) once I get through more of my to-be-read pile.

Second was what I would call a cross-genre book, mostly historical fiction with elements of SF: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This book follows a girl in England from birth forwards, with the catch being that she keeps restarting her life after various events/accidents lead to her death. She eventually becomes somewhat aware of what is going on and tries to perfect her life. The main character, Ursula, is a child in WWI and a young adult in WWII, and much of the book ends up focused on her time in London during the WWII blitz attacks. You can tell the author did a lot of research but it never comes out in info-dumps, it just informs the details of the setting and events.

I loved this book. It was fascinating and heart-breaking (at times) and just amazing. I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone and everyone, regardless of your usual reading preferences.
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Old Jan 13 2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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I am so glad E book exist. I am now reading the Acorna series. (I have Doona, Freedom and the Talent series waiting).
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Old Jan 13 2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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I read two books by Neil Gaiman; Stardust and I think the other is titled The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Also read Luck of the Draw by Piers Anthony. Late last year I read Dodger by Terry Pratchett. I have to say it is the only one of his books I just did not care for.

My soon to read books are The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and Raising Steam - another by Pratchett.
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Old Jan 13 2014, 02:50 PM   #4
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I'm heavily into Sarah Woodbury ebooks; there's a series of medieval fiction and medieval whodunnits I like very much.

Some of them are even for free, so you "taste" without buying outright although they are laughably cheap.

Do visit www.sarahwoodbury.com
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Old Jan 14 2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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Hans, that puts me to mind of a book I read a few years ago, which was the start of a series of whodunit books set in Tudor England. Not quite the same setting, but still an interesting departure from contemporary times. If I'm remembering correctly the book was Dissolution by CJ Samson.


Cilla - how was The Ocean at the End of the Lane? I've read a couple by Gaiman (Stardust and American Gods) and am still trying to decide how much I like his style. I've considered adding that one to my to-be-read pile, but not decided for sure.


Right now I've moved on to a book in the Honor Harrington universe by David Weber. It's a military scifi series which reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Moon's military sf.
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Old Jan 14 2014, 06:01 PM   #6
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Cheryl, I did like it but I also found it kind of sad. I'm also not sure how to feel about his writing. I think I prefer funny with a bit of tongue in cheek.

Another book I read last year was Quiet, by Susan Cain. It is about introverts and took me quite a while to read. Well worth it and I think I learned some things about myself as an introvert.
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Old Jan 16 2014, 06:36 AM   #7
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Hubs got me "The Forestwife Trilogy" by Theresa Tomlinson for my birthday last month. It's a different twist on the Robin Hood legends, and I really enjoyed it...even though I bawled like a baby toward the end of the third book.
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Old Jan 16 2014, 05:11 PM   #8
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Cilla, your introvert book reminded me that I recently read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which is about a very introverted girl as she starts college. She struggles greatly to connect with people in person, but writes fantastic fanfiction for a Harry Potter-like series and is very comfortable in the fandom world.

As a fellow introvert I related to her a lot, though she really is at the point of needing professional help at the start of the book. So I'm curious about what you read now and will go look it up!

AnnMarie, that sounds like an interesting series, going to look that up as well!
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Old Jan 20 2014, 01:10 AM   #9
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Switching between Ireland in the 600s (Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mysteries) and England in the 1300s (Michael Jecks's Sir Baldwin de Furnshill mysteries.) It can get a little disorienting. Also lead to a book hunt as many of Jecks's books aren't readily available in the US.
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Old Jan 20 2014, 10:22 AM   #10
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Medieval welsh crime stories, the Gareth and Gwen series by Sarah Woodbury. Good yarns and nice and cheap as ebooks. Good read on the iPad before sleep. (iBooks)

Read, Terry Pratchett's Making Steam inbetween. Another great book by the master of humorous fantasy. He can't turn out books fast enough to fill my taste for them. (Kindle ebook)
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Old Jan 20 2014, 04:29 PM   #11
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Fred's girlfriend loaned me a DVD of the movie Stardust, based on the book. I just finished watching it. It was very good, not exactly like the book but I liked it anyhow. Robert DeNiro was a riot! I recommend it!
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Old Jan 24 2014, 04:40 AM   #12
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I read the book Stardust and seen the movie, and can honestly say I liked the movie more then the book (which is one of the rare occasions, as it's usually the other way around). Maybe it was because I have seen the movie an n number of times before reading the book and it stuck in my head, don't know. But De Niro was a revelation in the movie, I think they told him "do the crazyest role you can" and he was like "ok, I'll cross - dress"
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Old Jan 24 2014, 11:17 AM   #13
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New Gareth & Gewn whodunnit: The Fallen Princess.
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Old Jan 25 2014, 01:10 AM   #14
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I've been super into Steve Miller and Sharon Lee's Liaden Universe series lately. It's very character driven and fun to read. If you pick up the book Pilot's Choice which features 2 novels in it… Anne McCaffrey wrote a little intro to it too for those collectors out there! The whole series is worth the read. I'd personally start with Agent of Change.
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Old May 25 2014, 03:35 PM   #15
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I'm starting the sequel to Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children; Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs.
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Old May 26 2014, 09:51 AM   #16
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Read all ebooks by Sarah Woodbury (http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/); historical/timetravel SF that is set in modern time and medieval Wales, on which she's an expert. Also read her medieval wodunnits, also set in Medieval Wales. This American lady knows what she's talking about and spins a good yarn! Nicely priced too, all the ebooks.

Currently into the Frey Saga (ebooks again/cheap) by Melissa Wright. Not as good as Woodbury but a nice fantasy tale with a twist (dark elves).
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Old May 30 2014, 11:04 AM   #17
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Read the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, a young adult/fantasy novel, and took on the second part, The Queen of Attolia, and am now reading the third part,, The King of Attolia. Wonderful books, with great characters, and a superb plot twist you don't see coming till the end
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Old May 30 2014, 03:29 PM   #18
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Next on my list. The Death of Common Sense by Philip K. Howard.
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Old May 31 2014, 08:39 PM   #19
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I'm reading the "Island in the Sea of Time" books by S.M. Stirling. They're very good alternate history - what if the island of Nantucket, with several thousand people, suddenly was transported to 1200 BC? No explanation why, but that's not the point - the point is how do they survive and how do they change the developing world.

It's a trilogy - I'm on the last book.
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Old Jun 1 2014, 10:10 PM   #20
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I'm reading the "Island in the Sea of Time" books by S.M. Stirling. They're very good alternate history - what if the island of Nantucket, with several thousand people, suddenly was transported to 1200 BC? No explanation why, but that's not the point - the point is how do they survive and how do they change the developing world.

It's a trilogy - I'm on the last book.
Brenda, it is actually more than a trilogy, although the first three could probably stand alone. the rest of the series takes place 22 years after the first three. Have most here, and they are pretty good, with a strong pagan bent. Haven't read the last two yet.

Dies the Fire
The Protector's War
A Meeting at Corvallis

The Sunrise Lands
The Scourge of God
The Lady's Sword
The High King of Montival
The Tears of the Sun
Lord of Mountains
The Given Sacrifice
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Old Jun 2 2014, 02:58 PM   #21
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Yeah, I saw afterward that there were more. Ironically, I was on my computer in a cafe/used bookstore, and turned around to see S.M. Stirling's name right behind me! I wondered, because I finished the third book and it definitely leaves a thread trailing at the end. I'll have to wait to read the rest of those.

I'm now reading "Hospital Station" by Jack White, and I'm loving it. I got two of his other books last year from a used book store, and have been keeping my eye out ever since. (I love treasure hunts!) Some great SF worldbuilding, with the logistics of a space station combined with the problems of treating beings from all types of worlds, and communicating with them, etc...
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Old Jun 4 2014, 11:38 AM   #22
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Starting rereading the two novels in the Mordant's Need series, comprising the novels The Mirror of Her Dreams (1986) and A Man Rides Through (1987), by Stephen Donaldson.
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Old Jun 4 2014, 01:50 PM   #23
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Oh, I remember enjoying those way back when.

I'm working my way through the Hugo Awards voter pack. This one, The Lady Astronaut of Mars, is so beautiful it made me cry.
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Old Jun 26 2014, 10:59 PM   #24
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http://www.janisian.com/reading/autobiographypb.php in audio http://www.audible.com/pd/Arts-Enter..._c8_2_sim_narr

https://www.goodreads.com/review/lis...rently-reading
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Old Jun 27 2014, 05:18 PM   #25
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Susanna Moodie's "Roughing it in the Bush" about emigrating to Canada in 1832.
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Old Jun 27 2014, 10:45 PM   #26
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Jane Lindskold's "Wolf" series - fantasy, involving a young woman raised by intelligent wolves who then has to learn to be human, and also deal with being part of royal succession politicking... I'm on book 4. I've read them before but so long ago I'm remembering only a few of the bare bones.

First one is "Through Wolf's Eyes".
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Old Jun 28 2014, 05:26 AM   #27
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New Gareth and Gwen medieval mystery (Woodbury) ebook and I am currentlu reading the ebook version of Pratchett and Baxter's The Long Mars, the third in the Long Earth series.
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Old Jul 11 2014, 10:15 AM   #28
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Switching between Ireland in the 600s (Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mysteries) and England in the 1300s (Michael Jecks's Sir Baldwin de Furnshill mysteries.) It can get a little disorienting. Also lead to a book hunt as many of Jecks's books aren't readily available in the US.
Anareth, thank you for setting me on teh track for the Michael Jecks books. I've now purchase my third one and they are delightful.

Tucked into the first Sister Fidelma book too but laid that aside, will first have the pleasure of a lot of Simon and Baldwin books! And what's even nicer; they all seem to be available as ebooks.
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Old Jul 11 2014, 08:01 PM   #29
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I'm reading the Chronicles of Amber by Zelazny for the first time. Sort of an unreliable first-person narrator - there are a lot of things he doesn't bother to tell the reader about until it comes up to another character!
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Old Jul 12 2014, 03:03 AM   #30
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Gee, those books were among the first sf books I read
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Old Jul 12 2014, 10:14 PM   #31
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I think I couldn't find them in the library at home, and another time I saw them but found the cover off-putting - barbarian type fighting a couple of saber tooth cats!

Of course, now I know there is a perfectly good reason to show that scene!
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Old Jul 13 2014, 07:43 AM   #32
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I actually read those iduring the second half of the seventies, and I read them in (Dutch) translation! Those must have been among the last paperbacks I read in translation. As I wrote in 40 Years of Pern, there wasn't enough translated stuff on the Dutch marker anyway and virtualyl no originally Dutch books.

So it was around 1975, my last year of high school and with 5 years of English under my belt, that I started reading English language paperbacks. When I could afford them, because Dutch libraries didn't stock English language SF and fantasy in those times (they actually still don't).

The few authors I was able to get my hands on then were Heinlein, Asimov, Cowper, Bradbury and Clarke. With Tolkien, Lord Dunsany, Zelazny, Leiber, Moorcock and Robert E. Howard the only fantasy authors.
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Old Jul 14 2014, 12:20 AM   #33
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Anareth, thank you for setting me on teh track for the Michael Jecks books. I've now purchase my third one and they are delightful.

Tucked into the first Sister Fidelma book too but laid that aside, will first have the pleasure of a lot of Simon and Baldwin books! And what's even nicer; they all seem to be available as ebooks.
I shall tell my mother she's hooked another one. (They're her books and Jecks is actually hard to find in the US--I loaned some of hers to a docent the Concord museum when I was there because she'd started reading them in England and couldn't find them here. I've had to scour Amazon's used sellers for the older ones with matching covers to the set we have because matching is important on bookshelves, dammit.)

I reread my own book. Does that count? I hopefully shall have something else for you to read soon...the anticipation of not working swing shift does wonders for my productivity.
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Old Jul 14 2014, 06:30 AM   #34
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<snip>I reread my own book. Does that count? I hopefully shall have something else for you to read soon...the anticipation of not working swing shift does wonders for my productivity.
As ar as I can check ALL Jeck's books are available as ebooks (with different covers! with the older covers actually being a little cheaper than the new ones). I buy them in Apple's ibookstore but I'm sure that won't be the only format in which they are published.

Rereading your own book counts and counts double if it helps getting that sequel written I am still waiting, more or less patiently!
Hurrah for you not being 'a swinger' anymore... uh, I suppose I should rephrase that
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Old Jul 15 2014, 03:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: What have you read lately?

Does Beta a book count? DRACONIA by McClance working on it?
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Old Jul 16 2014, 04:13 PM   #36
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Default Re: What have you read lately?

If you were reading it lately, it counts
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Old Jul 16 2014, 09:41 PM   #37
smartchick43
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Default Re: What have you read lately?

Not lately, but I am wondering if any other of Anne's fans also like Elsie Lee? And do you like Anne's novels that are NOT DRGON NOVELS? Like her 'gothic' type romances? (Ring of Fear) or other novels (Kilternan Legacy)?
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Old Jul 16 2014, 10:06 PM   #38
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Default Re: What have you read lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
As ar as I can check ALL Jeck's books are available as ebooks (with different covers! with the older covers actually being a little cheaper than the new ones). I buy them in Apple's ibookstore but I'm sure that won't be the only format in which they are published.

Rereading your own book counts and counts double if it helps getting that sequel written I am still waiting, more or less patiently!
Hurrah for you not being 'a swinger' anymore... uh, I suppose I should rephrase that
Oh, I don't do ebooks. I've paid up to $9 for one and it sits on my computer unread. I just can't be bothered reading whole books on a screen.

LOL...nope, not gonna swing any more! (And as i'm in the most deadly job phase, the "What are you gonna do, fire me?" one, I've got a notebook in my jacket pocket and I've almost completely outlined book three, too...)
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Old Jul 22 2014, 04:44 AM   #39
Simon
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Default Re: What have you read lately?

I just finished 'The Cuckoos Calling' and 'Silkworm' by Robert Galbraith who is J. K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym.

I found them good, fun, easy reads, but what struck me was that I had forgotten what a talent Rowling has for world building. The image she draws in your mind of London is really, really good!

If you want a nice quick detective story, definitely try either of these books!
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Old Jul 22 2014, 05:21 AM   #40
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Default Re: What have you read lately?

Now reading "If You Meet George Herbert on the Road: Kill Him"
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