Books completed (2018)

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Alex79uk
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Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » January 29th, 2018, 1:57 pm

Hello! Well, we have a games completed thread, and since I decided to make a considered effort to read more this year, I decided to start a Books Completed thread, too! Set your own rules, but it might be an interesting way to pick up recommendations and what not from the community.

For the record, I have decided to include graphic novels in my own list (signified by a GN), although I won't include comic book series. So, for example, the excellent Day Tripper by Fábio Moon will count, but I will not count the Planet Hulk saga etc. But that's just my own rules, you can count whatever you want! I've finished a few books already this year, so I'll kick things off with...

Day Tripper (GN) by Fábio Moon
This was a really excellent read, chronicling the many lives and deaths of Brás de Oliva Domingos, an obituary writer for a local newspaper. It's like a road trip through his life, full of joy and tragedy, and it's gorgeous to look at, fantastic artwork. I read the whole thing in one sitting, and couldn't put it down once I started. Highly recommended.

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (GN) by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola
This was fun. It's an Elsewhere book, which puts superhero's in unfamiliar places or times. This one had Batman tracking down Jack The Ripper, and was pretty entertaining. The book also features a second story called Master Of The Future, set a way after Gotham by Gaslight, where Batman had retired (again!) but got called back in to service (again!) to catch another felon. The story was equally good as the first.

The End Of The Fucking World (GN) by Charles Forsman
It's the graphic novel upon which the Channel 4 (and subsequent Netflix hit) show was based upon. I'll be honest, I'm having trouble imagining how they have extrapolated six or eight television episodes from this, as I read the whole thing in fifteen minutes. Very crudely drawn, but it's quite a compelling tale of downright depravity and psychopathy. I'm sure it's making a statement that went right over my head, but it was ok. Would I recommend it? Difficult - probably not.

The Prestige by Christopher Priest
This was great. I'm a HUGE fan of the film (it's my second favourite movie of all time) and I only recently discovered it was based upon this novel. If you're familiar with the film, this has just enough differences to make it worth reading. It's told almost solely through diary entries from the main two protagonists, but is book-ended by two sections set in modern times, which actually quite fleshed out the mystery somewhat. Definitely would recommend.


I think that's all I've finished so far this year. I'm currently reading Jerusalem by Alan Moore, as well as The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, which is based on the TV series I watched last year. So far, both are good, but I'll post back when I've finished them.

Join in!

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by KSubzero1000 » January 29th, 2018, 2:45 pm

Good thread idea, not much to contribute at the moment since I don't read nearly as much as I'd like (or as I used to as a child). I feel vaguely guilty about it though, so I'll make sure to stop by this thread whenever I'll have anything interesting to write about.
Alex79uk wrote:
January 29th, 2018, 1:57 pm
I'm a HUGE fan of the film
Just wanted to say: Hey, me too! Easily Nolan's most overlooked work, with fantastic performances and characterization. Good shout-out there, Alex. :)


PS: "Overlooked" is kosher by C&R standards, isn't it? I meant it in the sense that it tends to fly under most people's radars, not that the consensus is wrong or anything of the sort.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Flabyo » January 29th, 2018, 5:37 pm

If I participate it’ll be a lot longer than my games list. Heh.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by kintaris » January 30th, 2018, 12:46 pm

Nice thread idea. Nothing to report yet but in honour of the late Ursula LeGuin, I plan to try and read some of hers this year.

I used to read at least one book every week but the games, the games...
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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by MarkHoog » February 1st, 2018, 7:05 am

I'm going to try to read one book for every game I play for a while, just to keep a certain balance between the two media (for every stressful boss battle I want an hour or two in the serene company of words). Getting a head start since I've been playing The Witcher 3 since the beginning of the year. Kinda big, that one.

So far I've read Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse and The Last Witch by Andrzej Sapkowski - yes, because of tW3. About to start on Men Without Women, a collection of stories by one of my favourite authors, Haruki Murakami. After that, next Witcher-book.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » February 1st, 2018, 1:46 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
January 29th, 2018, 1:57 pm
JAN - Day Tripper (GN) by Fábio Moon
JAN - Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (GN) by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola
JAN - The End Of The Fucking World (GN) by Charles Forsman
JAN - The Prestige by Christopher Priest

Batman: The Last Arkham (GN) by Alan R Grant and Norm Breyfogle
Another Batman graphic novel. I must have over 100 Batman TPB's on my shelves, many of which I've picked up in charity stores or for pennies online, and never opened. I decided to start working my way through the ones I'm unfamiliar with. This was a good story, involving Mr Zsasz, who doesn't feature all that often so it was nice to have a villain other than the regular foes to deal with.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » February 5th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
January 29th, 2018, 1:57 pm
JAN - Day Tripper (GN) by Fábio Moon
JAN - Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (GN) by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola
JAN - The End Of The Fucking World (GN) by Charles Forsman
JAN - The Prestige by Christopher Priest
JAN - Batman: The Last Arkham (GN) by Alan R Grant and Norm Breyfogle
FEB - The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

I was interested in reading this book after watching all three seasons of the television series last year. The TV show was one of the best things I've seen in years. This is a very rare case of the book not being anywhere near as good as the screen adaption. There are several big differences to the story, characters having totally separate roles and entire chunks of plot not even mentioned in the book. The basic premise is that one day millions of people suddenly vanish, never to reappear. A sort of Rapture, if you like. The story is about the people who didn't get taken. The Leftovers. The TV show has lots of mysterious and supernatural elements to it that just aren't present in the book whatsoever, and extends the story far beyond what the author originally wrote. It's actually quite a boring book, meanders about and doesn't really go anywhere. I would struggle to recommend this, but wholeheartedly urge anyone to go and watch the TV show because it was brilliant.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by MajorGamer » February 8th, 2018, 6:03 am

I finished one earlier this year and it is likely to be the only one for the year. While I thoroughly enjoy reading fantasy novels, finding ones I like is a problem. The series I've gone through were often in bad need of editing to the point entire sections, even books, could have been removed and you'd never notice. Ironically, reading one of those series found my current favorite author who wrote the below book.

Jan - Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

This is the third in the series so I can't really say much for spoiler reasons. His works tend to have very different magic systems that also serve as a mystery for the story. For example, in this one (this is first chapter stuff), a character can control in what direction gravity affects people/objects. There is much more but this series started off with a peace treaty signing that ended with the king of one side getting assassinated by the other side. Things get ugly from there and I eagerly await the next in the series even though it is most likely at least two years away.
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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by ThirdDrawing » February 8th, 2018, 6:29 pm

I finished Howl's Moving Castle after picking it up on a whim.

Really enjoyed the book. Watched the Ghibli movie shortly after for the first time, was not impressed despite being a fan of Ghibli in general.

They changed too much.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » February 23rd, 2018, 12:02 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
February 5th, 2018, 8:22 pm
JAN - Day Tripper (GN) by Fábio Moon
JAN - Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (GN) by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola
JAN - The End Of The Fucking World (GN) by Charles Forsman
JAN - The Prestige by Christopher Priest
JAN - Batman: The Last Arkham (GN) by Alan R Grant and Norm Breyfogle
FEB - The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
FEB - How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions) by Duff McKagan

I guess we all have our heroes, and Duff McKagan is one of mine. He's the main reason I picked up a bass 25 years ago and haven't put it down since. I read his first autobiography, It's So Easy (And Other Lies) last year, and enjoyed it immensely. This, his second book, lacks the narrative structure of the first, and appears to be more a collection of random musings, interspersed with old tales of his more hedonistic days. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as entertaining as his previous book. Still worth the read, though.

FEB - Batman: Black & White vol.1 (GN) by Various

This is an anthology collection of short (5-6 pages tops) stories about the Dark Knight, each written and drawn by different writers and artists. It's a very mixed bag. Overall, other than a standout story written by Neil Gaiman about Bats and The Joker as actors playing themselves, in conversation in the green room before their scene is shot, the collection is largely forgettable, and,
in places, downright boring.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » April 5th, 2018, 8:09 pm

Haven't finished it but I bent to curiosity and started reading Ready Player One. What can I say, I'm enjoying it so far, kids book or not!

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by countstex » April 6th, 2018, 7:59 am

Old Man's War - John Scalzi My first time reading Scalzi. SOme nice hard sci-fi elements whist maintaining a human story. Was very entertaining, will have to check out some more of his work. Been a slow start to the year bookwise, I tend to do more in the summer when I'm working 7-days a week and prefer sitting down with a book after than playing games.

Now started on Secret Rooms - Alex Shaw book two in the New Century books. Some will know Alex from the School of Movies podcasts, and as a former Digital Cowboy ;)
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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Chopper » April 6th, 2018, 10:08 am

Alex79uk wrote:
April 5th, 2018, 8:09 pm
Haven't finished it but I bent to curiosity and started reading Ready Player One. What can I say, I'm enjoying it so far, kids book or not!
Yeah I enjoyed it too; loads of people love to sneer at these things - see Dan Brown and the DaVinci Code as the ultimate example of this, despite it being a page-turner. What do people want from their pot boilers?

I wrote a long entry in this thread a few weeks ago, but the forum ate it, so I'll try again.

Speaking of pot boilers, I finished The Red Trilogy by Linda Nagata, in the 'military SF' subgenre. Very enjoyable, about soldiers linked by neural networks and a rogue AI who is trying to take over the world. Check out a sample if you have a kindle, you'll know straight away if it is for you.

I also read the Trump book, Fire and Fury. Sensational stuff, but you've probably read all the juiciest parts in the papers.

I am currently reading "Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak". :|

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by frankingles » April 17th, 2018, 5:43 am

The idea is really good. I would love to participate.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by kintaris » April 17th, 2018, 8:36 am

I'm doing spectacularly poorly. There was a time when I would read 1 or 2 books every week. I don't think I've finished a single book this year. Sad times.

I have made a fair stab at Ten Things Videogames Can Teach Us, as featured in a podcast extra. It's very good, I appreciate the view that games can put context and parameters on thought experiments previously conducted only in the mind.

Unfortunately I had to stop because I didn't want to spoil To The Moon for myself. I decided to let SOMA be spoiled for me in the early chapters and I sort of regret that now...
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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Chopper » April 25th, 2018, 8:05 pm

Ancilliary Justice by Anne Leckie.

Superb stuff, really clever writing and storytelling here. Another sci fi story of AIs gone mad and a culture warring with itself. Interested to see where the next two books go, given it's a trilogy.

I wonder if these multi-book sci fi and fantasy novels are helping or harming the industry. I never buy anything now unless I'm sure it's a complete story - in that I wait till all parts are published and don't buy new as they come out.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 6th, 2018, 12:56 am

Chopper wrote:
April 25th, 2018, 8:05 pm

I wonder if these multi-book sci fi and fantasy novels are helping or harming the industry. I never buy anything now unless I'm sure it's a complete story - in that I wait till all parts are published and don't buy new as they come out.
It is an interesting topic. I've been trying to read through the Hugo winners, but I didn't love The Fifth Season and it and it's sequel both one with the third nominated.
Also, I loved Leviathan Wakes but I gave up with the series during the third book. I think, personally, I'd prefer one-and-done novels, especially in the scifi/fantasy landscape.

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by kintaris » May 6th, 2018, 11:43 am

I don't think I've ever finished a fantasy or sci-fi series where a central story went on past five or six books. Harry Potter I suppose, but I didn't even enjoy that!

My preference is for a sci-fi or fantasy author to build a narrative world and just lift individual and complete stories from it. My favourite fantasy author is Terry Pratchett and my favourite in sci-fi is probably Iain M Banks - neither of whom wrote contiguous sequels in their worlds as a rule*. It was certainly useful to read them in order to pick up on certain details, but you were never just impatiently waiting for the next book to find out what happened.

*Apart from the first two Discworld novels, but then they are among my least beloved for a reason!
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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by Alex79uk » May 6th, 2018, 3:22 pm

Oh man, I totally neglected this thread. I'll try to remember what I've read since I last posted!!

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Re: Books completed (2018)

Post by duskvstweak » May 7th, 2018, 12:27 am

I'm about to start first book of the The Guardians of the Flame books, The Sleeping Dragon by Joel Rosenberg. Seems like the type of cheesy, old school fantasy I can get behind right now.

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