Yearly Reading Targets 2020

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Madness

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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2020, 01:08:31 pm »
The Legend of Bagger Vance - Steven Pressfield (3)

Very impressed by it but I think that's mostly because I was once hit and miss with perennial philosophy and I've resumed being an avid and terrible golfer in the past half decade. I've been convinced in the past two years that everyone needs to find and read at least a handful of Pressfield's books in their lifetimes though, even if I don't necessarily agree with his underlying esoterics.
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BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2020, 04:52:16 pm »
Smoke, by Dan Vyleta

Very enjoyable. The setting is an alternate Victorian England, with some strange metaphysics involving the physical manifestation of good and evil. Recommended.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 04:57:32 pm by BeardFisher-King »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

The P

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« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2020, 12:27:55 am »
Men At Arms by Terry Pratchett

I liked it much better than Guards! Guards!  The clown funeral actually gave me an audible chuckle.  Pratchett seems too be too coy at times with the movements of minor characters.  Having a section where a character is doing something important but not introducing the reader to that character until much later kind of jars me out of the flow.  It would probably work well if i was reading the book over the course of a couple days instead of a couple weeks, but so it is.

Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson

Ugh.  What a tedious book.  I actually attempted to read it long ago (19 years actually, made it to chapter 3 according to the bookmark).  I persevered this time.  Am I getting old because i found the most interesting part to be the beginning before Covenant goes to The Land?  Once there, it's just a tiresome succession of boring events mainly showcasing what a jerk the main character is.  I don't mind unlikable characters, and I suppose this was revolutionary 40 years ago, but I really had to force myself through this.  I did not care at all what happened.  Maybe I just don't get what Donaldson is trying to convey through it all.  There was one interchange between Covenant and the Giant I really liked, the rest was forgettable.  Maybe I'll add the quote to the Quotes thread.

Update: Ah, I knew it was familiar from somewhere when I read it.  It was actually already posted here:http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=768.msg17388#msg17388
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 01:34:12 am by The P »

Wilshire

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« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2020, 12:28:06 pm »
I think i can quote myself in this instance, from 2018 when I read Lord Foul's Bane. It is, I have to say, one of the worst fantasy books I've ever read.

To me, what Donaldson appears to have done is taken wholesale some (now) worn out Tolkien tropes. He doesn't so much re-purpose them as recycle. From the Ring, to the names, quasi sentient horses... the entire thing reads like all the fantasy I've read from that era - unimaginative derivations of Tolkien.

You can follow the link to the rest of the discussion. BFK does quite like it, and I tried to figure out why... But I don't recall ever coming to an understanding.

I really liked Donaldson's Gap Into Conflict, but read the second book and it seemed to somehow be following the same path as Lord Foul's Bane. He's just not the author for me.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (9)

This was a pretty fun book. The magic was interesting and used well, the characters a bit tropy but still entertaining. It definitely felt like it was setting itself up for some sequels, and I'll probably check them out. Worth the read if you're looking for some quick and fun English/London Magic type books with a darker shade to it.

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BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2020, 03:14:50 pm »
I think i can quote myself in this instance, from 2018 when I read Lord Foul's Bane. It is, I have to say, one of the worst fantasy books I've ever read.

To me, what Donaldson appears to have done is taken wholesale some (now) worn out Tolkien tropes. He doesn't so much re-purpose them as recycle. From the Ring, to the names, quasi sentient horses... the entire thing reads like all the fantasy I've read from that era - unimaginative derivations of Tolkien.

You can follow the link to the rest of the discussion. BFK does quite like it, and I tried to figure out why... But I don't recall ever coming to an understanding.

I really liked Donaldson's Gap Into Conflict, but read the second book and it seemed to somehow be following the same path as Lord Foul's Bane. He's just not the author for me.

I remember trying to persuade Wilshire to give the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant another chance. He essentially responded, "Too many books, not enough time." The link presents my case for Donaldson, so no need to repeat it. Hey, at least Wilshire thought Donaldson was better than Brooks! And I seem to have persuaded MSJ to give Donaldson a try.

The quote that The P mentions by itself lifts "Lord Foul's Bane" into the precincts of literature.

ADD: This goes back two years! Tempus fugit ...
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 03:32:49 pm by BeardFisher-King »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson