What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

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Stormbringer
 
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What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Stormbringer » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:50 pm

Wow, four months into the year gone and nobody's reading anything?

I have to admit, this year my own reading is as bad and inconsistent as it's ever been. Over the past eight years I have managed to read some excellent classics (my favourite of which have to be: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, the complete Conan the Barbarian cycle of Robert E. Howard and the epic Arthurian poem Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson), but this year I'm struggling to remain faithful to any one book.

The last real novel I read (though admittedly I think it was actually back in late 2015) was a crypto-thriller called The Sword of Moses by Dominic Selwood.

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I believe it is his only novel (he's a historian so his other work is mostly academic), but it was really quite a page-turner!

I bought it on Kindle for a mere 80p! It's in the same vein as The Da Vinci Code and that whole absurd genre which I normally avoid like the plague...but this one grabbed me. The actual, historical Sword of Moses is not a physical sword (and certainly didn't belong to the ancient Hebrew prophet) but rather an arcane Jewish magical text that started doing the rounds in the later Middle Ages. It is basically one long incantation, consisting mostly of incredibly complex and virtually unpronounceable names of angelic beings, with the ultimate intended purpose being an attempt to manipulate God himself into doing the magician's bidding. Fairly insane, but there you go. There's a copy of the text in the British Library and, unsurprisingly, it features in the novel.

However, it is only one tiny part of a larger plot, and to be honest it doesn't play that significant a part, so the title is somewhat misleading. If you think the idea of mixing Aleister Crowley, Neo-Nazis, ancient Biblical relics, the Knights Templar and British secret agents into the same story is a bad idea, then you should steer clear of this book! If you think all of that sounds fun, it's available on Kindle for £1.89. It's no classic, but the fact that the new cover (pictured above) indicates it is now the first of a planned trilogy, genuinely excites me. I will most certainly be reading the sequels as and when they're published.

In other news, I made a start on John Milton's Paradise Lost a couple of weeks ago. If I can finish that this year I will be proud of myself.
Last edited by Stormbringer on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Eny » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:34 am

Sounds like an ideal plot for the next Wolfenstein game!
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Snowy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:13 pm

I tend to find myself plugged into the fantasy genre most of the time still.

I am reading one such at the moment, which I have to say is a belter. I read the Macht trilogy by Paul Kearney some years ago, and enjoyed it. It was a very David Gemmell type heroic fantasy, and a good read - a nice change as I tend to favour the grimdark school of fantasy these days.

Anyhow, I finished the Macht series and moved on, not looking at anything else he had written. I was looking for a new read recently and Amazon recommended me the Monarchies of God series, again by Paul Kearney. It was a 4-book series, but available as two Kindle purchases of two volumes apiece.

At first read, it felt like a fantasy Christians vs Muslims tale, of which there have been a few, but I stuck with it and it has opened up into an epic of really enjoyable depth, far more than I initially suspected.

I am about 50% of the way through the second ebook currently and will update this thread when I finish, but so far it has been superb.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Stormbringer » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:45 pm

Speaking of David Gemmell, earlier this year I decided to try and get into his work, but I may have begun in the wrong place.

I attempted to read Lion of Macedon, because I liked the idea of a heroic sword & sorcery adventure that was actually set in the historical ancient world. However, I don't know, I just couldn't stick with it. I found it slow and not very interesting. So, like so many other books I have wanted to read, I put it on hold.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Snowy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:40 pm

Not the best novel to start with mate.

Start the way everyone should - read Legend. It is the first of the Drenai books, of which there are 11.

Highlights of the Drenai tales are:
- Legend
- Waylander, Waylander 2 and Hero in the Shadows
- White Wolf and The Swords of Night and Day
- Morningstar

One of the joys of Gemmell's books is that they are all self contained, so you can pick which ones to read in whichever order you like (within reason - avoid sequels before prequels obviously :) )

Also highly worthwhile are the four Rigante novels that riff heavily on the feudal English vs Scotland times, something I am sure you will enjoy (read these in order though).
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Stormbringer » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:58 pm

Thanks, Snowy! I will have a go at Legend.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Snowy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:17 pm

No worries - if Druss doesn't get your literary juices flowing, I will be worried :)

EDIT: Also I remember a tale Gemmell himself related about the writing of the book, remind me once you have read it and I will tell you :)
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby gpa-gone-west » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:31 pm

Been reading a few military history books recently:-

Heavy Cruisers of the Admiral Hipper Class by Gerhard Koop
Pocket Battleships of the Deutschland Class by Gerhard Koop
Battleships of the Scharnhorst Class by Gerhard Koop
HMS Rodney: Slayer of the Bismarck by Iain Ballantyne.
Sherman Firefly by David Fletcher.
Currently reading French Battleships 1922 - 1956 by John Jordan and Robert Dumas.

Playing world of warships and tanks, tweaked my interest.

Also got these, that need to be read. When I get round to it:-

Assassins Apprentice - Robin Hobb
War of the Dwarves - Markus Heitz
The Smartest Guys in the Room: Enron - Bethany McLean
Churchill - Ashley Jackson
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Dr@gon-UK » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:44 pm

Currently finishing off Great Expectations by Mr. Dickens, Joe Abercrombie's new book comes out tomorrow so that'll be next on the old kindle.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Sly Boots » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:44 pm

Coincidentally started Morningstar the other day, after having it recommended by a friend. Only read the opening pages really, but will keep going with it. The struggle is finding the time - I want to give it a decent stab rather than just read a few pages a night before lights out, which is pretty much the only reading time I get these days.

Also working my way through Bill Bryson's Made in America, kind of a history of the States told from mainly a linguistic angle - how their words and phrases developed over the years as they developed as a society. It's more interesting than it may sound, actually.

I also bought a book on medieval/middle ages battles as a token nod to research, was highly recommended on Amazon and looks interesting from what I've seen when flicking through it, but again not had the time to make any kind of start on it yet. Warfare in the Medieval World, if anyone is interested.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Gibby » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:39 pm

gpa-gone-west wrote:Assassins Apprentice - Robin Hobb


Great choice! The Farseer Trilogy are amazing books, I was so gripped by the third book that I spent all of Xmas eve 2015 reading it, laying on a reindeer hide on my floor drinking ale. ¬__¬

Glad to see David Gemmell cropping up! He is the author who had the most influence on me growing up. I've still saved a few of his that I haven't yet read for dark days when I need some new Gemmell. 2006 was a bad year. :(

Lion of Macedon is a slow burner really, I enjoyed it but it's definitely not the best of his by a long way.

I've just started reading Malice by John Gywnne

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It's good so far - nice feel to the world he's created, and the writing is quite similar to David Gemmell. Not sure I like "mam" and "da" as an alternative to mother and father, but it's a small complaint...

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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Snowy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:13 pm

Is a good read Gibby, I enjoyed it a lot.
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Gibby » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:27 pm

I thought to myself while reading: "Bet Snowy would like this" :D

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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Mantis » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:08 pm

Currently reading Dawn of the Dreamsmith by some guy called Alan Ratcliffe. It's alright.

Was also working my way through A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by G.R.R.M but got distracted half way through and haven't been back to finish it off. It's good, but it makes me a bit sad that we still haven't had Winds of Winter.

I'm thinking of moving onto some more darker fantasy next. I've got the whole Joe Abercrombie catalogue to work through and someone recommended The Dragon's Path series by Daniel Abraham to me as well, so I'll have a gander at that.

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Re: What Are You Reading? 2016 Edition

Postby Sly Boots » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:22 pm

Mantis wrote:Currently reading Dawn of the Dreamsmith by some guy called Alan Ratcliffe. It's alright.



:P
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