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What Are You Reading Now?


I’ve always pondered this question but from the opposite viewpoint - why are US book covers so crap? :wink:

@marx09 I really liked the Ancillary series from Ann Leckie. A very unusual take


You can read The Slow Regard of Silent Things whilst you are waiting.


I suspect that US book covers are designed to be super-simple to look good on Amazon thumbnails, whereas other places design covers to just… look good.

I liked Ancillary Justice, and I’m looking forward to Sword. I really like Ann Leckie’s writing.

Finished The Guns Above, which was very lightweight, but very satisfying. I should get Ancillary Sword started later this week.


Been an age since I posted anything in this thread, but I haven’t seen this mentioned yet, and it is well worth a look. I have just finished Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames, the follow up to Kings of the Wyld. Fantasy novels, with the central premise being that mercenary groups are like rock bands, touring around gaining glory and fame. Sounds daft, but the writing is really good, the novels are fun and are something original in the genre.


This sounds pretty interesting. I may have to look them up.


People were complaining about poor US covers before Amazon and ereaders (which also now get covers designed to look good on them) were things.

In US bookstores I gather it was more usual to shelve some books cover-out - in the UK this was vanishingly rare in a proper bookshop - so maybe they were intended to grab the eye at a distance (ow!) rather than only after you’d taken it off the shelf?


Hmm, interesting theory for advertising! I wonder if the time of Borders (a now-gone megastore for those who don’t know) where there was no constraint on shelf space and they had giant areas for showcasing books.
Or it could just be different sensibilities, who knows.


I’m not actually reading anything right now, but I am fitfully unpacking my enormous hoard of books. The Green Army Men bookends SWMBO gave me at Christmas are finally being put to work. :grinning:


Agree - the book is really interesting. Worth going to read INTO THIN AIR too. Having read The Climb first gives Krakauer’s book a totally different feel.


It still is - Big Chain book stores used have fewer books but display them more prominently, or they’ll have a table of “featured” books that are displayed laying flat, so the covers are visible. Most of those chain stores are gone now, and the indie or smaller book stores have far fewer cover displays.


I’m on a 4-day writing “holiday” (time unpaid away from my paying job doing the writing thing), so I opened it by finishing The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, which… hmmm. Hmmm. I have feelings about it.

Okay, I really liked the relationships between Locke and Jean, and Locke and Sabetha, but was completely underwhelmed by the relationship between Jean and Sabetha. And then the two parallel stories ran into the same problem that the 2nd had, where Locke and Jean had all these plates spinning in the air and then suddenly all the issues lined up exactly perfectly to be resolved utterly simultaneously. Too deus ex machina for my particular tastes.

And don’t get me started on the “big reveal” about Locke’s past. Ugh. I instinctively dislike “chosen one” stories, and one of the reasons I really liked Locke is that he was a talented nobody… and now suddenly he’s not a nobody, and I dislike it intensely.

But hells, still a very well written book. Extremely glad to have read it!
Next, we are on to either the fascinating Ain’t No Place for a Hero by Kaitlyn Trembley (a short analysis of the writing and story in the Borderlands series), or one of Gibson’s classics (the Bridge trilogy, I believe? Man, I love cyberpunk…).

After writing 20,000 or so words today, of course. It is a writing “holiday”.


Just finished reading Good Omens again. Probably going to read How to invent everything by Ryan North which I don’t really know anything about but looks interesting.

Also just finished reading Bullshit jobs by David Graeber which was very interesting. It’s a (big) expansion on an essay he wrote a few years ago for Strike! magazine. Well worth a read because off the back of the essay he’s gathered stories and some research has been done that puts some context around the core idea. It also looks into the possible historical causes as well as types etc. Worth noting that Graeber talks a lot about his own personal politics in it, both to highlight why he’s come to the conclusions he has but also generally. Either way, it’s very political


I intensely agree with your second point!


Thank you! Drove me a little nuts.

And the worst part was that it wasn’t earned! No hints peppered through the earlier works. No way we, as the audience, could possibly know what Patience knew… and worse-worst was that we have no context to care until she drops it on us! Ugh!

It’s a pity. Could’ve been amazing. SHOULD’VE been amazing. Instead it made me grind my teeth.


This is making me realise I’ve totally forgotten what happened in the third book


It has been a little while since I read the book, but isn’t there a chance that the whole ‘Locke’ is the chosen one is a complete fabrication for revenge sake?


I’m reading this now:


I mean… yes? Theoretically? But that would be even worse! You’re planting a red herring, and then swinging a completely major plot point around it, and then you’re going to say “Oh, no, it was nothing really. Ha ha. Move right along”?

It also doesn’t make sense. Patience can do almost limitless things to Locke for revenge. She has Jean as far under her thumb as is inhumanly possible! It would be such a nuanced, unlikely, and staggeringly implausible thing for her to make up for some weird revenge thing.

Which doesn’t make it impossible, but man, if it was all smoke I’m going to be very pissed off with Lynch.


In short?

Locke is poisoned at the end of the 2nd book, and so he and Jean accept an offer by the Bondsmagi to rig an election. The Bondsmagi who hires them is the biological mother of the Falconer, and needs a distraction so she can kill 1/3rd of the other Bondsmagi before they start a civil war that might draw the attention of “The Big Bads” (whatever wiped out the race that built all the indestructible glass everywhere). The other party hired Sabetha, Locke’s old flame, and they dance a delicate balance between romantic pursuit while still trying to win with all their abilities. Sabetha is better at the game, but Locke still somehow manages a draw (which, again, totally undeserved, but whatever), at which point Patience (the Falconer’s mother) kills the Bondsmagi she needs to kill with a little magic and a lot of explosives. Locke is confronted by Patience and told that he was, in a past life (basically), a very powerful mage who tried to resurrect his dead wife and, accidentally, transferred his soul into the body of a 5-6 year old boy who ends up with the latent memories but none of the magical powers of the original mage. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it, the woman that the “original” Locke was attempting to resurrect was an actual redhead, just like Sabetha, so Sabetha runs off think Locke doesn’t actually love her but instead is in love with her hair or some such nonsense.


The complete Patrick O’Brian finally reunited on my shelves. This makes me happy

(Some will find the different formats makes them twitch but they are all charity shop finds over several years!)