Reading Challenge 2021

Paladin

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Cheers Paladin, that's nice of you to say so. When I find something that I think people might like (books, films, TV, music etc.) I do tend to go to town on it on these and other forums, so it's nice when somebody takes an interest.

Definitely worth sticking with "The Lies of Lock Lamora" - one of the things I love about it is the structure and the shift in chronology you mention. Lynch uses this to brilliant effect on a couple of occasions, so don't worry, I'm sure your audio is not messed up.

I've got "Winter in Madrid" by C.J.Sansom lined up for later in the year - downloaded it when it was 0.99p, but i want to read it when I might be in and around Madrid a few times later this year (restrictions allowing) whilst my eldest daughter is studying there.
I've read a few of Sansom's Shardlake series, and I enjoyed these too. Dominion is totally different, but he's a good writer.

I'll definitely persevere with the Lamora book too. I have it on my Kindle, so I might read it and listen simultaneously.
 

JRockBlues

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I'm following the thread with keen interest. I intended to join in, but just didn't get around to it. I suppose now is as good a time as any!

I run a lot, and this gives me plenty of time to listen to audio books, downloaded from Audible and other sources. This is a record of my reading and listening so far this year.

1. The Willows in Winter - William Horwood. A nice easy Christmassy tale, to prolong the festive mood into the New Year. Took me back to my childhood.
2. The Willows and Beyond - William Horwood. Two short books to start off the year.
3. A Brief History of the Cold War - John Hughes-Wilson. From its beginnings to the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR. Interesting insight to the period. It paints a picture of how close we came to nuclear war on numerous occasions, but no superpower wanted that because of the inevitable mutual destruction it would bring. Would the religious fundamentalists show the same restraint if they acquired WMD?
4. Prophecy - S. J. Parris. Catholic supporters of Scottish Queen Mary plot to overthrow Elizabeth and install Mary as Queen of England. I really enjoyed this book - a good historical thriller.
5. The Long Night - Ernst Israel Bornstein. His autobiography detailing his years of captivity by the Nazis, and how he survived the horrors of passing through seven concentration camps. A harrowing reminder of the atrocities of Nazi Germany.
6. Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne. Something light-hearted after the previous one.
7. SAS Great Escapes - Damien Lewis. Seven tales of escape and evasion by SAS soldiers during WWII. All fascinating feats of daring and endurance. A good book, but you would expect such an accomplished writer to know the correct application of the word "superlative".

Currently reading Dominion by C. J. Sansom. I occasionally dip into a Sherlock Holmes short mystery, and also the Bible. I started The Lies of Loche Lamora by Scott Lynch last year (recommended by Rob in another thread), and intend to finish it soon. I got confused by a shift in the chronology in the narrative, and I thought my recording had got mixed up. I left the book at that point, not wanting to miss anything out. I was enjoying it, so I'll probably start the book again.

My favourite books are about Cold War spying and espionage, classics from the Victorian era (Dickens, Brontës etc.), history, and I like to occasionally re-read some of my childhood favourites. Many years ago I read Les Miserables from cover to cover, including the very long diversion into the antics of the Thernardiers, which I thought was not essential to the overall story. One of my favourite books. I also enjoyed The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, again many years ago.

Stick with it @RobMCFC. I enjoy your summaries, and have a few books in my future reading list thanks to you.
I do love those Shardlake books of his and need to get around to the sixth one, Lamentation, at some point. They just seemed to get better and better with each release and with the first one being pretty decent then that's quite an accomplishment.

The Locke Lamora books always include some sort of dual timeline narrative which just helps to fill in the backstory of the characters. I haven't got the focus to listen to audiobooks but would imagine that this could get pretty confusing if there wasn't any indication and the narrator just jumps straight into it.

My own reading has been very sporadic this year and I've slowed down quite a lot. Since my last update here I've finished off the Aaron Swartz collection of writings (The Boy Who Could Change the World), a couple of older SF books (The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey and Mastadonia by Clifford D. Simak). Completed the final book in the humorous vampiric love story trilogy (Bite Me) by Christopher Moore before returning to the Vorkosigan Universe with a couple of omnibus editions which feature 2 novels and a novella each (Miles in Love and Miles, Mutants and Microbes). I'm currently in the midst of Greek mythology as I'm reading Stephen Fry's Mythos and although I'm liking it okay, I'm not enthralled enough to want to pick it up at every opportunity so it's proving slow going.
 

Paladin

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1. The Willows in Winter - William Horwood.
2. The Willows and Beyond - William Horwood.
3. A Brief History of the Cold War - John Hughes-Wilson.
4. Prophecy - S. J. Parris.
5. The Long Night - Ernst Israel Bornstein.
6. Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne.
7. SAS Great Escapes - Damien Lewis.
8. Dominion - C. J. Sansom. I really enjoyed this book - an alternative history novel, where the allies surrendered to the Germans in 1940, and British policy into the 50s was heavily influenced by Nazi sympathising fascists. British resistance workers are in a race to stop an important military secret from falling into German hands. Sansom is an excellent author, and has created a cast of believable characters here. The story moves on at a pace, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.
 

ob

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Just finished The Institute by Stephen King and starting Terri Hooleys book. Looking forward to it as grew up in Northern Ireland in 70s/80s and interested to read about the music scene then
 

richardtheref

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Nearly finished The Chalk Man by C J Tudor. Excellent. Started reading her books after Stephen King said if you liked his stuff then try her out. I know King never has a bad word to say about other authors but in this case he is spot on.
 

RobMCFC

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Nearly finished The Chalk Man by C J Tudor. Excellent. Started reading her books after Stephen King said if you liked his stuff then try her out. I know King never has a bad word to say about other authors but in this case he is spot on.
I read that a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Thought the split timeline worked really well for the story.
 

RobMCFC

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Just finished The Dry by Jane Harper, thanks to whoever recommended it on here
No worries, glad you enjoyed it. My wife has since read all Jane Harper’s novels and enjoyed them. I’ve still only read the first two.
 
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