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ian

Ian's reading log 2016

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Well, here we are - another year! They do seem to come around quickly - I'm sure I blinked and missed 2015!

 

Still another years means more books to read, and I did manage to bag 3 for Christmas. It would have been four but I got the same one twice. Oh well. 

 

So, I'm starting the new year with one of those.The book tin has to take a back seat for now. I find I have to read those books I got for Christmas, as I get asked "Have you read the book I got you?" till I've read it.  So it's "The Bazaar of bad Dreams" by Stephen King. Starting off the year in the company of Mr King is never going to be a bad thing in my world, so I should breeze through this one. I've set myself the challenge of reading 50 books this year, which is one more than 2015, but I'm not fixated on that. I would much prefer quality over quantity. My only other challenge is to use less brackets in my posts (no, honestly!). 

 

Happy New Year - I hope you all have a wonderful year's reading!

 

 

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I've been reading some of the other blogs here, and I'm blown away by how organised some of you are - I am totally in awe! I did wonder if I should do some more specific challenges for this year, but I'm basically lazy, so I think I might have to leave that one. However, I am quite good at justifying said laziness, so I'm going call what I'm doing  taking a more naturalistic approach to my reading this year. I'll just go with the flow of "where the books take me".

 

There's nothing like a load of pseudo-philosophical nonsense to justify laziness :D

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Sounds like a great plan to me, Ian.  Read what you want, when you want ... it doesn't get better than that. :yes:  Happy new year :)

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So, I'm starting the new year with one of those.The book tin has to take a back seat for now. I find I have to read those books I got for Christmas, as I get asked "Have you read the book I got you?" till I've read it.  

 

Ain't that the truth! This Christmas my Dad asked me if I've read the book that he gave me for Christmas the previous year... :hide:  Sadly my answer was 'no' 

 

Hey, good luck with the brackets thing :lol:

 

I've been reading some of the other blogs here, and I'm blown away by how organised some of you are - I am totally in awe! I did wonder if I should do some more specific challenges for this year, but I'm basically lazy, so I think I might have to leave that one. However, I am quite good at justifying said laziness, so I'm going call what I'm doing  taking a more naturalistic approach to my reading this year. I'll just go with the flow of "where the books take me".

 

There's nothing like a load of pseudo-philosophical nonsense to justify laziness :D

 

I'm seconding chesil: the relaxed no-pressure approach to reading is always the best. If you started getting more organized on here, I'm sure that would be effort and time away from something else. Like, your jokes on FB. And I for one couldn't take it if you stopped producing those! :D

 

Edit: Almost forgot: Have a really great reading year in 2016, Ian! :smile2: 

Edited by frankie

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I've been reading some of the other blogs here, and I'm blown away by how organised some of you are - I am totally in awe! I did wonder if I should do some more specific challenges for this year, but I'm basically lazy, so I think I might have to leave that one. However, I am quite good at justifying said laziness, so I'm going call what I'm doing  taking a more naturalistic approach to my reading this year. I'll just go with the flow of "where the books take me".

I agree with Chesil and Frankie, I think that's a great idea :). I'm doing a similar thing, because I felt too pressured by all my 2015 goals, so this year (2016) I'm just going to read what I feel like reading.

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Bazaar of bad Dreams by Stephen King

 

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

 

My Thoughts.

 

It's difficult to properly rate a collection of short stories, and particularly a collection as diverse as this is. What I really liked was the introduction to each story that King has written for each story. In some cases they are very revealing. The stories themselves are a mixed bag. Some are excellent - Ur & Drunken Fireworks were 2 that stand out for me, whereas Blockade Billy wasn't one I enjoyed. That may be because it's about Baseball, and some of it is incomprehensible  to me. Overall, I enjoyed the book 3/5

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Hope you have a nice relaxing reading year Ian :) Challenges and goals etc can end up being a pain .. I agree with frankie .. let's have more jokes instead :D

Re: Your duplicate book. Waterstone's are very good at exchanging .. if it's a book they sell. They will allow you to swap it .. no problem (no receipt needed.) 

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Happy reading, Ian. :) I should perhaps copy you with that brackets thing, because I tend to overuse them too. I often have to read back over my posts and edit them to remove brackets.  :doh:

 

And I third Frankie and Poppyshake. Keep up those jokes on FB...you crack me up! :D

 

I bought The Bazaar of Bad Dreams for my brother for Christmas. I must remember to start repeatedly asking him if he's read it yet. :D

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And I third Frankie and Poppyshake. Keep up those jokes on FB...you crack me up! :D

Agreed :).

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Happy new year Ian. I like the sound of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. I'm quite tempted by it. And I agree. We need your jokes on facebook!

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I will try with the jokes - I try my best to keep them clean, although my "research" tends to throw mostly rude ones at me. Not that I object to them - most of them also make me laugh - but rude jokes are a bit easy aren't they?  When I find a good pun or other "clean" joke I tend to think that a bit more effort went into creating it.  Pus, I'm not interested in offending one group of people  while trying to make another group laugh. Having said all that - you can't beat a good joke about people from Liverpool can you?! And as most of the ones I hear come from residents of Liverpool, I assume it's fair game!

 

And on that note..

 

Two giants are walking the earth. They are both so tall their heads are permanently above the clouds. After a while, the first giant says,

 

"Where do you think we are?"

 

The second giant puts his hand down and feels around - "New York" he says.

"How do you know?" asks the first giant.

"I can feel the Empire State Building"

 

A week later the first giant asks again.

"Paris", says the first giant; "I can feel the Eiffel Tower"

 

A week further on, the second giant thinks he'll give it a try. He puts his hand down to the ground and feels around.

"Liverpool" he declares.

"How do you know?" asks the second giant.

"Cos some ba****d''s nicked my watch!"

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Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

 

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A mystery and also a story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives

 

My Thoughts

 

It's the little things isn't it? You find yourself going to work a little earlier, willing the clock to get to lunchtime, going to bed early, but not actually turning off the light till after midnight. So you can read that next page. And still reading every word as slowly as possible, because you are REALLY enjoying this book, but you don't want it to end.

 

I loved this book. For me it has everything that a great crime novel needs: two nuanced, believable main characters, both polar opposites. Realistic dialogue. And a crime that grips you from the first page to the last. If you have read the other books, you will know what to expect. Not just a crime book, but also a bit of a expose. With "Cuckoo" it was celebrity, "Silkworm" railed against the hypocrisy of the publishing industry. Both something that you would expect JK Rowling to have some inside knowledge of. This book does the same for violence againce women and mysogyny in general. With every book she writes, Rowling convinces, me at least, that she isn't "just" a writer of children's fantasy fiction, but a really great writer. 5/5

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As for my next read, logically, it should be the last book I had for Christmas, which was "The Girl in the Spider's Web", which is of course the new Lisbeth Salander book. I almost started it, but I did also want to re-read the 3 originals first. That will take me a while, and I'm concious of the whole "have you read the book I got you?" thing.

 

In the end I procrastinated and picked something out of the book tin - and came up with "Memory Man" by David Baldacci. I've not read any Baldacci before, so that in itself is quite exciting.

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Great review of Career of Evil! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I only own the first book but I haven't read it yet. I was waiting for a paperback release of the other two, I suppose I should probably read the first one first though :P.

 

That will take me a while, and I'm concious of the whole "have you read the book I got you?" thing.

I totally know what you mean!

 

In the end I procrastinated and picked something out of the book tin - and came up with "Memory Man" by David Baldacci. I've not read any Baldacci before, so that in itself is quite exciting.

I don't think I've read that one, but I liked several other books by the author. I hope you enjoy it, I look forward to hear what you think.

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Great review of Rowling's latest, Ian! :) You've made me really want to start the series.

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I should really give that series a go, I'm in the mood for that kind of book at the moment and I'm really curious to read her adult-oriented writing.

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Great review of Career of Evil! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I only own the first book but I haven't read it yet. I was waiting for a paperback release of the other two, I suppose I should probably read the first one first though :P.

 

 

 

Great review of Rowling's latest, Ian! :) You've made me really want to start the series.

 

 

I should really give that series a go, I'm in the mood for that kind of book at the moment and I'm really curious to read her adult-oriented writing.

 

Thanks, all - I really can't recommend them enough. In some ways these books remind me of Ian Rankin's "Rebus" books, in that they are fairly slowly paced, lots of detail, and they are used as a way of examining a feature of modern life. These are slightly lighter in tone though

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Thanks, all - I really can't recommend them enough. In some ways these books remind me of Ian Rankin's "Rebus" books, in that they are fairly slowly paced, lots of detail, and they are used as a way of examining a feature of modern life. These are slightly lighter in tone though

 

Ooooh. I loooooove Rebus. Granted the couple of eps with John Hannah depicting him might have had something to do with that BUT I do genuinely like Rebus, so you've officially sold me on trying this series :D

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Memory Man by David Baldacci

 

Amos Decker's life changed forever--twice.
The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect--he can never forget anything.
The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare--his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.
His family destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.
But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. (from Goodreads)

 

My thoughts

It took me a while to get really into this. I never came close to giving up, but I think I was suffering a book hangover form Career of evil. Eventually, it got its teeth into me and I really enjoyed it. The protagonist is quite complex, so for a lot of the book I thought the story was going to go in a very different direction. In the end I found it a very satisfying read, especially as I found myself having a bit of sympathy with the murderer. This is the first in a series and my first Baldacci book, but it won't be my last. My only negative - a big deal is made of Decker's synesthesia, but it plays virtually no part  in the plot afterwards, which was slightly disappointing.  4/5

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And for my next read, the book jar has chosen "Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. Very happy about this, as I've had this waiting on my Kindle for ages.

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That's very exciting! It's a really long book, but personally I loved it, it was a very rewarding read :smile2: I wish it will just whizz by and that you'll love it, too! 

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That's very exciting! It's a really long book, but personally I loved it, it was a very rewarding read :smile2: I wish it will just whizz by and that you'll love it, too! 

 

5 chapters in and I loving it. I really like the narrator's voice and some of the footnotes are really funny

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So glad to hear that! :smile2: Some people think the footnotes got in the way of the story or were boring or whatnot, but I'm certainly glad to hear that you are enjoying those, too! :smile2: 

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I'm so pleased to hear that you're enjoying JS&MN, Ian. :) A very rewarding read.

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