What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby eVoL » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:30 pm

I take it youve done the hold power button for 30 seconds thing? Fixes most things ;)
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:36 pm

eVoL wrote:I take it youve done the hold power button for 30 seconds thing? Fixes most things ;)


I did try that, but it doesn't seem to be responding. It's almost like it's run out of battery but doesn't want to re-charge.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Dr@gon-UK » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:43 pm

Mournblade wrote:
eVoL wrote:I take it youve done the hold power button for 30 seconds thing? Fixes most things ;)


I did try that, but it doesn't seem to be responding. It's almost like it's run out of battery but doesn't want to re-charge.


Definitely a stupid question but you've tried a different charger?
And if you can get any power in it at all have you tried a factory reset?
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:49 pm

I have not had any luck finding a charger that actually works!

The Kindle came with a USB cable and, even though the cable is a standard type (the same as is used for most Android phones), I've never been able to get it to charge unless I use the exact cable that it came with.

But that doesn't seem to be working now.

I'm not sure how to trigger a factory reset without accessing the software? Is there a physical reset button?
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby eVoL » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:14 pm

I think I have a spare eink Kobo in a box at my parents you can have if you wanted. If your books are all amazon bought you need to convert them though so that’s a small pain.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:42 pm

Thank you for the kind offer, eVoL, but I am happy to use the Kindle app on my Android phone until I can figure out what's up with the Kindle.

In other news, I was just about to start reading the first Rigante book today, Sword in the Storm, when I suddenly realised I enjoyed The Stones of Power series so much I didn't want to give up before it is over. As such, I began the first Jon Shannow book, Wolf in Shadow, instead.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby gpa-gone-west » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:19 pm

Recently read 'The First and The Last', Adolf Galland's memoirs from WW2 which was fascinating. Don't know what I am going to tackle next. I feel like something new. Maybe a different genre. I shall ponder.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:08 am

Wolf in Shadow is great! I'm very glad I chose to keep reading in this series.

After Ancient Greece and Arthurian Britain, I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy a "post-apocalypse" setting, but actually I love it, and Jon Shannow is an awesome character -- the best Gemmell character so far, I dare say.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:02 am

Well, Wolf in Shadow got a little surreal toward the end, and I wasn't sure for a while if I was going to enjoy where it was headed, but I did finish it and enjoyed the ending and am now starting the sequel, The Last Guardian.

Gemmell is such a curious writer. There is something compelling about his novels that makes me want to keep reading, yet his style of prose is a little "basic" compared to what I have read before. Even Robert E. Howard, a pulp writer, I think has a more masterful command of language than Gemmell.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Snowy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:10 am

When I went to the Gemmell signing years ago, he said that his writing style was basic almost to the point of being blunt, and had been told that his books were used as recommended material for people struggling to learn to read with dyslexia because of it.

Thankfully, the stories that underpin his books are always sufficiently compelling that purple prose is unnecessary :)
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:14 am

I just finished reading The Last Guardian.

Having now made it through six Gemmell novels, I feel sufficiently qualified to say that all of them, while solid and decent enough examples of heroic fantasy, are crippled by a couple of basic weaknesses.

1. Lack of detail. The novels are woefully short on descriptive text and atmosphere, both in describing scenes and also describing where objects and people are in relation to each other. It is as if Gemmell is more interested in making stuff happen quickly with very broad brush strokes, rather than painting a detailed picture of every scene. I can see why some people would prefer this style of writing, but I find it somewhat unsatisfying as I love detail and vivid description. I find it very frustrating when I cannot picture a scene in my mind exactly how the author intended it to be. I think even some potentially awesome action scenes (such as a scene in Wolf in Shadow where the heroes are trying to fight their way out of a castle) are hamstrung by too little detail. Sometimes it even comes across as if Gemmell has forgotten what he wrote earlier in the same chapter, so a scene literally morphs shape during an action sequence, and characters end up in places they should not be able to get to, based on a previous description. I keep wondering if it's me who has missed an important piece of text, or if Gemmell literally forgot how he described a scene on the previous page, because sometimes things just don't seem to add up.

2. Interesting themes which are touched upon, but not properly explored. Gemmell clearly loves myth, legend and pseudoscientific theories from popular culture (i.e. Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, the Ninth Legion etc.) and he manages to fit them all into his stories in a fairly creative way, but he doesn't really do anything interesting with them, or flesh them out in a way that makes you feel "Wow!" It's like he wants to find a way to incorporate all these cool ideas, but doesn't really know what to do with them in terms of enhancing the plot.

However, having said all that, I still enjoy the stories and I want to keep going with my Gemmell binge. The nice thing is the chapters are not overly long and the simple writing style means they're easy to read while walking to and from work.

Now I will start the final chapter in the "Jerusalem Man" series -- Bloodstone. Jon Shannow better actually find Jerusalem by the end of all this, otherwise I'll be very disappointed. ¬_¬
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Mournblade » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:54 pm

In other "what are you reading" news, I'm also reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings saga to my sons each night for their bed-time story. We finished The Hobbit last month and we're currently half way through The Fellowship of the Ring.

I first read these books at the start of 2012, so this is my second time through. Really, really good stuff. These are probably my favourite works of fiction ever.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Rusty » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:06 am

I've started reading these agan as my son also started reading them. Enjoying it.

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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Snowy » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:22 am

Mournblade wrote:Sometimes it even comes across as if Gemmell has forgotten what he wrote earlier in the same chapter, so a scene literally morphs shape during an action sequence, and characters end up in places they should not be able to get to, based on a previous description. I keep wondering if it's me who has missed an important piece of text, or if Gemmell literally forgot how he described a scene on the previous page, because sometimes things just don't seem to add up.


Again from the signing I went to (sorry), it sounded like he had a very unorthodox style of writing - he would come up with a character and premise, sit down and start writing. He relayed the story of how he had originally written Druss, who was intended to be a character who would introduce the story of a fortress siege by a version of the Mongol horde and who would die in the first action due to his advanced age. He then described reaching the end of writing said scene and being surprised that Druss was still alive.

If that was always the approach then it could well make for the situation you describe.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2018 Edition

Postby Wrathbone » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:12 pm

Mournblade wrote:In other "what are you reading" news, I'm also reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings saga to my sons each night for their bed-time story. We finished The Hobbit last month and we're currently half way through The Fellowship of the Ring.

I first read these books at the start of 2012, so this is my second time through. Really, really good stuff. These are probably my favourite works of fiction ever.


I've just finished a re-read (the last being about a decade ago), and while I've always thoroughly enjoyed Tolkien, I've never appreciated his work as much as I do now. This time I read slowly, carefully, basically to the point of studying it, and it rewards that approach beyond any other work of fiction I've read. I'm now working my way though the Letters of Tolkien, which gives a fascinating insight into his creative process and world views.
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