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What are you reading? — Page 49

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I just finished 11.22.63 about 2 weeks ago, i think it might be one of the best books i have ever read.

King can sometimes slip up on the landing but this book in particular was 10/10.

What, no Turkey?!

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Clegg, Douglas - Mischief

Periodically, the author places references to the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. The analogy is poor, however.
Jim Hook attends the same prep school as his older brother and their father, both deceased.
Family fortunes are slim, so he struggles to roll with the richer boys.
The decaying school has a whispered history, but that is never developed.
There is a secretive clan, which is so much runny eggs.
Our author name drops Alistair Crowley and Gilles de Rais for no real purpose, unless he read somewhere that those guys are cool!
My opinion – just that – is that Clegg wrote with one beady eye toward a Hollywood pitch.
The dead teenager genre. If so, there ain’t enough meals.

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I was finishing Green Book #10, an all Dunsany issue.
Though the focus of this issue was Lord Dunsany’s fantasy œuvre, my favorite article was a reminiscence by Katharine Tynan, and that informed my decision regarding what to read next.

Tynan, Katharine - The Death Spancel

*

Traditional, wonderful ghost stories, with vivid descriptions and rich word use.
The second wife is already taking command of the home, and has borne two children to her husband. “The First Wife,” cold and long buried, still abides, sensed by a faithful family pet.
Faithful love of another sort is ensnared by a binding spell in “The Death Spancel.”
“A Bride From The Dead” and “The Body Snatching” both delve into the unpleasant business of graverobbing.
Possession, another version, occupies “The Ghost,” as the spirit of a bankrupt family, forced to sell their ancestral manor, troubles a male guest.
“The Dream House” presents a delightful variant on a haunting.
For fans of pure horror, “A Night In The Cathedral” delivers the goods. Love and adventure, blood and steel.
Peter Bell provides a lengthy and thoughtful introduction. Throughout, scattered poems act as interludes.
This is a great book from Swan River, and an essential edition to titles in the “Mistresses Of The Macabre” sphere. Rest easy, Richard Dalby, this latest entry is a worthy addition.

  • “The Ghost” from Illustrated Sporting And Dramatic News (Dec 1905)
    Illustrated by F.H. Townsend

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I’ll be starting Andrei Tarkovsky’s book soon. I’m really looking forward to getting a deeper understanding of one of the greatest filmmakers of them all. He was an even better person though.

"Pleasure’s fun. It’s great, but you can’t keep it going forever; just accept the fact that it’s here and it’s gone, and maybe then again, it will come back, and you’ll get to do it again. Joy lasts forever. Pleasure is purely self-centered. It’s all about your pleasure: it’s about you. It’s a selfish, self-centered emotion, that is created by a self-centered motive of greed. Joy is compassion. Joy is giving yourself to somebody else, or something else. And it’s a kind of thing that is, in its subtlety and lowness, much more powerful than pleasure. You get hung up on pleasure; you’re doomed. If you pursue joy; you will find everlasting happiness.” - George Lucas

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Finished Light of the Jedi and A Test of Courage. Already preordered Into the Dark.

I’ve got a stack on my nightstand that I’m working through:

Leviathan Wakes
Lost Stars
Heir to the Empire (been so long, I need to read again)
Snow Crash
Neuromancer

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I read Solo a Star Wars Story, and Rogue One. They were pretty darn disappointing. I’m still hoping someday we will get extended cuts of the films, or all the deleted scenes.

Rise of Skywalker was so so like the movie in book form, of all the ones i read the only one that truly added anything was Last Jedi.

I want to read Heir to the Jedi, Bloodline and Last Shot.

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I’ve been reading David Kushner’s novel “Masters Of Doom” on n’off for the past I think 4-6 months, currently on page 243 and I have to say it’s absolutely fantastic, and in the words of Carmack, “Mmmmm”.

Working on many edits, may take many years to complete…

Also known as Mr. Liquid Jungle.

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Hagy, Jessica - One Morning

“Did you enjoy that book?” asked Zelda.
“Yes, quite a bit. The book has twelve chapters, one for each hour of that day, for each woman. “Midnight: Helena,” “One in the morning: Ruth,” “Two in the morning: Agnes” …
We read what happens with each during that particular hour, a bit of back story, interior monologue, possible trajectory. By chapter three, you start to see how the women, their stories, weave and intersect.”
“I love books like that!”
“And this is masterfully constructed,” I said. “Better, it occurs in a part of the world you know.”
“Oh?”
“An area outside Pittsburgh.”
“I’ve never been there,” she said.
“A pocket community in Appalachia, where coal has been dug out to where the land is unstable, the water is toxic, and the mining jobs have dried up.”
“The same mountain range where you grew up. Where I’ve visited dozens of times. Yes, I know the area. And I love the size of the book. It is perfect for reading. Set it aside, I want to read it.”

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I’m going to finish reading the Martian Tales series by ERB, then read the venus series and pellucidar series.

And will follow that up by finally finishing the Tolkien books with Fall of Gondolin, and Beren and Luthien. Lay of autrou and itroun, expanded on fairy stories. Tale of Kullervo. Then i will read the final trilogy in the Wheel of time sequence written by Brandon Sanderson.

Maybe i will also read Rinzler’s Making of Alien and Aliens books.

I also plan to read Dante’s Inferno, purgatorio and paradiso. And Paradise Lost by Milton.

Snow Crash and Neuromancer are also on my list.

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Humphreys, Nigel - Beyond Dead And Other Ghost Stories

This is the sort of collection one would expect to find from Sarob or Tartarus. Tales of hauntings and haunted. No filler in this generous outing, either. These are diverse and top rank.
Hyssington Hall, recently opened for tourists, offers an unhelpful, if not dismissive, attendant. “The Chatelaine Of Hyssington Hall” charts an odd series of events toward a disreputable secret.
Another turista - perhaps visitor - and a warning not to voice thoughtless comments. One never knows who might be listening. And in “Silly Old Fool” someone does listen.
“Cholera” hops a passing train to Shrewsbury. Our rider, Mr. Sayce, receives a chance to meet distant cousins, for good, for ill. One of the most traditional stories in the book, this hung with me a long time. So much so, I wish the author had elaborated more.
Settings and characters in this collection are wide-ranging, a pleasant change from the stereotypes of gloomy rooms and self absorbed males.
A teacher, troubled by a Roman Centurion, tries to fulfill a quest.
Beings of another dimension ponder nonsense theories regarding the existence of “humans.”
An eligible daughter, her heart fixed on piety, enters a convent … in 1535.
A sorely neglected music hall is revived by a college of performing artists. As dust stirs, so do other motes.
Throughout, the editor has inserted Gustave Doré etchings that flavor the proceedings.
And not to forget a lengthy introduction by Jonathan Wood (which I started, then opted to read as an afterword).

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Brian Daley’s Han Solo Trilogy first printing collected paperback from 1992 Ballantine Books.

The Book of Lost Tales 1 and 2 by J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by Christopher Tolkien. At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Took me forever to find a copy from Ace Books with the Frank Frazetta cover, not the dime a dozen Krenkel edition they printed a million copies of.

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Various (Editor: Ghetu, Dan) - A Vigil Of Black Stars

I had trouble with this initially.
A wide assortment of essays, stories, poetry - a lot of poetry, and artwork - a tremendous amount of illustrations.

Then I decided to regard this not as an anthology, but something more singular. An art installation. And that really clicked for me.
The book is an artistic endeavor, a mood piece, not to be rushed or ploughed through.
This, being an homage to the black metal band, Paysage d’Hiver, begs for musical accompaniment, but I found most of their output too demanding,
I could not concentrate on reading and made a loop of the “quieter” sections from “Schnee” and “Im Traum,” which best complemented the book for me.
I do not wish to delve into too many stories and spoil the discovery for others. Nevertheless, comment must be made of “My Father-Tower,” an imaginative and astonishing tale by Roope Sillanpää. A dutiful son takes his dying (maturing) father deep into the woodland where he can fulfill the family destiny. The whole piece is inventive, drawing deep from myth.

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the history of middle earth. I just bought the first 6 editions in paperback from Del Rey/Ballantine books.
These are basically the same as the Harper Collins printings.

The first book was begun during WW1 the Book of Lost tales. I’ve always enjoyed the first version of Tinuviel aka the story of Beren and Luthien. The early version of Turin Turambar and the dragon. Tolkien’s early poetry and verse. I also like the poetic Lays of Beleriand versions, and the lost road time travel story that is a flashback to the Fall of Numenor.

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Reading The Simiarlian with my friend

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

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Barnes, Colin - Dead Five’s Pass

When a new cave, hitherto undiscovered, opens up, cavers scramble to see who can explore first.
No one wonders, how did his opening suddenly appear?
Nor does anyone consider whether it is uninhabited.
Brisk novella has strong pulpy roots, and borrows heavily from HPL.
Two characters are granted superficial development. All others are dinner specials … meals.

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Various (Editor: Beech, Mark) - Crooked Houses

Multiple tales of the house, the estate, or the residents within, where a fissure ruptures the foundation.
In “The Sullied Plane” new bride Maxine marvels at how pristine, how perfect, her in-law’s manor is. Perfection extracts a price, however, which she impulsively attempts to uncover.
“The Shepherd’s House” is actually unseen, yet the gnarled owner, the Shepherd, has been witnessed for centuries. And those who spy the Shepherd succumb to terror.
Mother is a faded Southern belle, highly strung, riddled with delusions. In her childhood, she had fashioned a construct, as well as a pact, with her brother – her precious brother – the golden son. When he mysteriously summons her, Mother hurries her family to “The Psychomanteum.”
Owen, Mandy and son Adam move into the run down house. A fixer-upper to be sure, but more Importantly a fresh start. Owen blusters good cheer and optimism, while Adam broods, mourns the old home, and clings to his mother. Mandy, the close lipped sort, nestles in the cellar where she crafts a “Doll’s House.”
“At Lothesley, Montgomeryshire, 1910,” the house exists as more shell than ruin, and had been for more than one hundred years. The Crown wonders if it is worth preserving, so they dispatch a professor, conscientious if less than careful with things that ought not be disturbed.
“House Of Sand” strikes me as the most Aickmanesque of the stories. Told by an unreliable narrator, the impressive home and well heeled guests seem to alter every half hour.

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Finch, Paul - Ill Met In Darkness

A quartet of unrelated, though bracing, chilly tales, set away from the urban hustle bustle.
“Snicker Snack” examines the collector. A cult illustrator and, perhaps, an unfinished work. Or perhaps a canvas considered too abhorrent for public display.
Two ex special forces soldiers are drawn into the search for treasure in “Down To A Sunless Sea.” Thrills and adventure abound in a rattling yarn.
Another two men, criminal hitmen this time, have an assignment in a godforsaken village. Dark fortune favors them, however, as it is Guy Fawkes night. The wild revels ought to muffle misdeeds. And “The Hell Wain” is all about misdeeds.
Then there is “Spirit Of The Season.” Yule season, that is. The curious type and his quest for Father Christmas. The old, very old Father Christmas, or whatever earlier, sinister name he was called.

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Reading Lincoln at Gettysburg.

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

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Can someone recommend some science fiction or fantasy?

I haven’t read anything new in a couple decades in these genres beyond GRRM.

Once upon a time i used to read every new book my library brought in. Amazingly i was much more busy back then and still found more time to read than i do now.

Its easy to get comfortable and reread stuff you are familiar with. In Lieu of any such recommendations i’ve began re-reading Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy and Le Morte D’Arthur. I never finished the Winchester version and i figure i might as well finish the second half of that. I’ve read the complete Caxton.

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JadedSkywalker said:

Can someone recommend some science fiction or fantasy?

I haven’t read anything new in a couple decades in these genres beyond GRRM.

Once upon a time i used to read every new book my library brought in. Amazingly i was much more busy back then and still found more time to read than i do now.

Its easy to get comfortable and reread stuff you are familiar with. In Lieu of any such recommendations i’ve began re-reading Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy and Le Morte D’Arthur. I never finished the Winchester version and i figure i might as well finish the second half of that. I’ve read the complete Caxton.

The Lord of the Rings, The Unwind series, Harry Potter, Stephen King’s The Stand, Stephen King’s The Outsider, The Nicholas Flemel series and The Hobbit

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

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Giroux, Robert - A Deed Of Death

Detailed overview, reconstruction, and thoughtful conclusion regarding events leading up to, and death of, William Desmond Taylor.
Unsolved murders - from Jack the Ripper to JFK - play host to numerous writers, each with theories. Taylor’s was notorious for the obvious cover up, and subsequent tainting of the Hollywood director.
Fortunately, Giroux is not a scandal scribe, bent on casually defecating on his subject. No, this is a thumping read and a brisk page turner.
The book is packed with photos, to boot.
Fans of the Silent era, this is a must-read, if not a must-add to your shelves.

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Riddell, Mrs. J.H. - The Uninhabited House

Classic short Victorian novel is an entertaining, cozy horror.
The law firm of Craven and Son endures an insufferable client, with an especially thorny dwelling.
Tenants of said property routinely break lease agreements and flee, declaring, once they catch their trembling breath, the house is haunted.
The story is narrated by a young clerk, impoverished (aren’t they all).
Nevertheless, the true heart of the tale is the elderly Miss Blake, a spinster of strident opinions and a most empty purse.
As irritating as she is, Miss Blake is unforgettable.

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Murphy, Damian - The Narcissus Variations

A few pages in and one enters a hallucinatory dream spell, cast by Mr. Murphy.
Our narrator has arrived at a far outpost of the Empire. He is a member and servant of the Kin.
His assignment at the outpost is unknown, which is a typical method of the Kin (and Empire), letting servants find their role. Immediately, he sets about transcribing and amending odd journals.
This is a decayed society, with remnants of misunderstood or partially working technology.
Readers are as uncertain of events as our narrator, who is not unreliable, only not fully aware.
Knowledge does increase with each page as pieces begin to fit, if imprecisely.
A beautiful book, and the story enthralling, although the ending feels rushed.

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Mannin, Ethel - Lucifer And The Child

Jenny Flower, another grubby street urchin from the London dockside, enjoys a rare outing to the country.
More than the countryside, however, as she wanders away and enters the deep woods.
Where, at age 7, she sees the stranger who seems to wear horns on his head.
“Hullo, witch,” he approaches, and she realizes there are no horns.
Never mind, Jenny saw what she saw.
Such is the initial, fateful encounter between the young girl, one with “bad blood” that runs in her family, and the individual she calls Lucifer.
For many, the story, a conflict between corruption and redemption, recalls Arthur Machen.
It does not seem so to me. The style is more modern and lacks Machen’s inimitable wordplay.
The portraits of the back alleys of London are vivid, set against the rising waters of war in the late 1930’s.
One is tempted, lured into wickedness, or one seeks it freely.
Jenny, who picks her side early on, is a troubled soul, at odds with the world.
Cheers to Swan River Press for reprinting this lost (once banned) gem.

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I started reading Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time trilogy, and it immediately dawned on me he doesn’t use the same word style as Robert Jordan I was taken right out of the book.

Not sure if i’ll be able to finish them. He admits in the introduction he wasn’t going to be writing in Jordan’s style.