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Reading list

6. Dawn Of The Dumb by Charlie Brooker - not as laugh-out-loud funny as Screen Burn, although possibly that's just because I'd read most of the columns before as they came out. Still better than most other newspaper writers ever.

7. Peacemaker by James Swallow (Doctor Who teen book)

8. The Pirate Loop by Simon Guerrier (Doctor Who teen book)

9. The Steep Approach To Garbadale by Iain Banks. I'm pretty sure this was a good book, but I found it a bit frustrating because it began shortly before a potentially explosive family reunion, but then spent the next 3/4 of the book mostly in flashback, and we didn't get to the reunion till the last 100 pages or so. Which left me with the vague feeling that not much had happened, although technically I don't think that's true.

10. Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove. This was amazing - an alternate history story where the Spanish Armada won, Britain was under Spanish rule, and Shakespeare ended up as part of a plot to Do Something About It. I want to find annotations for it, because it had Shakespearian (and Marlowian) phrases scattered all through it, and I'm sure I missed loads. I'd like to read more Turtledove, but most of them are set in various wars, and since I know far less about any given war than about Shakespeare, the "what-if" parts would just seem like a normal story to me...

11. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson. Scottish literary crime novel = win! Nicely set up themes and plot, with a Russian doll structure. The twist at the end made me want to re-read it immediately, but I'm resisting.

12. White Night by Jim Butcher. I mentioned this yesterday, so I'll just repeat that it was great.

Still vaguely aware that I haven't finished Everything Bad Is Good For You, plus I've also started Paris: A Secret History, and then given up on it a bit. I got the John Barrowman autobiography through yesterday, so I'll probably start it tonight - fingers crossed it's well written, because that's what's most likely to put me off celeb autobiographies!

Comments

( 8 comments — Comment )
sovietkiki
Jan. 29th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
I have the Pirate Loop to read as well! I'm on The Wishing Well right now. :] (I miss Martha.)
laerad
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
i'm sure a few of the turtledove ones would amuse you and you'd know the difference. The World War series for example where Space Lizards have attacked in 1942 while the world was already at full war production and they had expected to be facing folk in chainmail armour and swords.

Half the fun of that book is the poor lizards tying to make sense of how fast we change. Thier race and the two others they met had much slower development time. They expect as little change in 800 years as we do in 20, if not less.

They spend the first few books trying to figure out if we are simply totally insane or not.

Damn fine writer, a firm favourite of mine.
sloopjonb
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, Turtledove. Has some good ideas, but is prone to repeat himself, and his alternative histories have a nasty tendency to be real history, just transferred to a different time-zone. He's probably best at short stories - he did one about a kosher pig that I recall being amusing.
pickwick
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Ah, see, I don't know the real history, so I probably wouldn't notice :D
matgb
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
I'm on an Iain Banks mailing list, joined it mid 2006 after it'd been going for about ten years, loads of LJers on it.

The general review of Garbadale was "Garbagedale", I never got around to reading it but it wasn't well received, even with fans of his. Matter on the other hand seems to be going down well.

Re: Turtledove. I really got into his alt history America stories starting where Lee's Maryland campaign was succesful. The US civil war is my second main period of interest after 17C Europe so I picked it up out of interest.

Eventually, his writing style began to grate, but they're good, and some of the parallels are interesting—Lincoln became leader of the Socialist party in the North and there's a transposition of one of his actual speeches simply removing references to slaves and replacing it with workers—sounds like something straight out of Marx.

I really need to both get into the reading habit again and start writing things up—when I moved out of London I had a pile of books—everything I'd read that year not leant on to someone, all there so I could write the reviews...
pickwick
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
A mailing list! Whoa, old skool! Hee.

I'm trying do more reading and less re-reading this year, and keep a track of what I read, because I've never managed it yet. We shall see.
blue_condition
Jan. 29th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
The Steep Approach to Garbadale was sort of The Crow Road</>-lite. Still very enjoyable though.

Matter is a Fucking Big Book. Pure Banksie sense-of-wonder Culture space opera in the ultra-grand sense. I'm about half way through at the moment (would be further along but I zonked out early last night!)

> Britain was under Spanish rule

Pavane by Keith Roberts, thanks. The best SF novel that Thomas Hardy forgot to write.

pickwick
Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it was very Crow Road but nowhere near as engaging. But then, I loved Crow Road.

YAY Culture novel. I'll wait till it comes out in paperback, though.

Ooooooh. I like that description of Pavane. *wishlists*
( 8 comments — Comment )

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