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Books You've Read Lately

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#1 Iyouboushi

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

This topic can serve as a sister topic to the Movies You've Watched Lately topic.

Feel free to come talk about books you've read lately here. Leave reviews, recommend books you've read and otherwise just talk about books! Because lord knows that in a world full of electronic distractions, books aren't being read nearly as much as they should be.

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I've been on a mystery kick as of late. Last week I read and finished Agatha Christie - Evil Under the Sun and this week I finished Ellery Queen - The Chinese Orange Mystery.

Evil Under the Sun is yet another Poirot mystery (of course). Here he's on holiday, staying in a secluded hotel in Devon. Amongst his fellow guests on this holiday is a beautiful and vain woman who, seemingly oblivious to her own husband, revels in the attention of another woman's husband. She is found strangled by powerful hands a few days later on a secluded beach. Who committed the act? Thankfully Poirot is there to assist the detectives and solve the case.

It's not a bad mystery though the solution isn't one that I would've ever guessed or thought of. I hear the Poirot tv series changes quite a bit in their adaptation (such as having Japp and Hastings on the case and changing one character from female to male). I plan to watch it when I have some free time.

I'd give this one a 3/5.


The Chinese Orange Mystery was my first Ellery Queen mystery. I thought I'd give Poirot a break and see what Ellery was like. Personally I like Poirot a little better but Ellery isn't that bad. In this novel there's a strange murder in which the room was locked from inside. When they enter through another way they discover that everything in the room is turned backwards. Furniture is turned to face the wall, the victim's clothes are all turned backwards, etc. All identification of the victim is missing and all the suspects claim to have never met the man before. It's up to Ellery Queen and his father, Inspector Queen, to discover who the victim is, why he was murdered, who did it and why everything is backwards in the room.

It's a fairly easy read and while the solution is clever, the means of which the room was locked from within is a bit..crazy. I'll just leave it at that for now since I'm running out of time here.

I'll give this one a 3/5 too.
~James~
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#2 Smz

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

Not really good at this... but I'll reply here as well. lol

For me, I just haven't been reading as much as I used to. The last four for me would be:

Grimm's Fairy Tales (On the Kindle)
Neuromancer (Also on the Kindle)
The Dresden Files: Turn Coat
The Dresden Files: Changes


Feels like ages on the first three. I think I finished those months ago (not all at once, would read a bit of each.) Changes is one I did read all the way through.

Grimm's Fairy Tales is a collection of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers, which I had gotten from Project Gutenberg

I'm not entirely sure what to say, since it's been a bit since I read it. It was pretty interesting reading the old tales though.

So I guess I would say, for me, I'd probably rate it (using the 5)... 3/5. Some tales I liked and some I didn't.

Next is Neuromancer, a cyberpunk novel written by William Gibson, released in 1984. I got this one from the Kindle store.

I was always curious about this one, since I've seen Blade Runner, Johnny Mnemonic, Ghost in the Shell, and have played Shadowrun on the SNES and Genesis. I could also say the Deus Ex games, though I'm not quite sure if those count. So some of the things in the novel I've seen before.

Again, it's been awhile since I read this, so I think I'll post the wiki page. Of course, there's spoilers there, so take care if you do plan on reading it.

Hm... I think I'll give it a 3.5/5. I like it, though it can be a bit hard to read at times.

And now for the two Dresden Files novels (both paperback.) For these, I'm going to write what's on the back... Can't really be a spoiler since anybody could see that or even online. :XD:

The Dresden Files: Turn Coat

When it comes to the wizard's White Council, Harry Dresden is thought of as either a black sheep or a sacrificial lamb. And no one holds him in more disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules. But now Morgan is in trouble. He's been accused of cold-blooded murder - a crime with only one final punishment.

He's on the run, wanting his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. So it's up to Harry to undercover a traitor within the Council, keep Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.

Like Harry...


Looking back, it seems the majority of what I've read over a year was mostly The Dresden Files. So far, I've seemed to like each one, with this one and the next as well.

Which means, I'd give it a 4/5.

The Dresden Files: Changes

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover - until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her caught between humanity and the relentless bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. She disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it. Now she needs Harry's help more than ever.

For the vengeful Duchess of the Red Court has discovered a secret Susan has long kept from everyone - including Harry - and she plans to use it. To prevail, Harry may have to unleash the full fury of his untapped power - and may have no choice but to embrace the darkness within himself.

Because this time, he's fighting to save his child.


As the name says, there are a lot of changes with this book. This one is another that I like as well, from all that happens in the novel.

I would give it a 4/5 as well.

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#3 Iyouboushi

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:34 AM

I really need to pick up a Dresden book and read it. They all sound interesting.

Neuromancer was a C64 game (see here!). I used to own it but never got far into it. I never dreamed it was from a book. :XD:



As for me, I'm currently re-reading The Hobbit. Not too far into it yet (Bilbo is at the trolls) mainly due to lack of reading time and this freakin illness.
~James~
Even if you can't rely on anyone else, just pull yourself together and roar!
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#4 Smz

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

Oh nice, I didn't know it was a C64 game as well. :XD:

And if you ever do get a Dresden book, start with the first one: Storm Front.

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#5 Raiden

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

Most recent ones for me are:

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
The Informant by James Grippando
The Pardon by James Grippando
Beyond Suspicion by James Grippando

Clearly, there's a theme in what I tend to read.

And Then There Were None was recommended to me when I was looking for something with a similar story to 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and Virtue's Last Reward. Ten people are invited to a gathering on an island and one by one they all start dying. It was good and I was stumped until the epilogue, but since it came shortly after I finished VLR I came away a little disappointed in comparison. 3.5/5

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a Poirot mystery. I had heard it was very very good, one of Christie's best, so I decided to give it a try. It was a little slow moving at times, but the ending is outstanding. I consider myself pretty good at figuring things out before they're revealed, and I was blindsided by how this one turned out, and came away very disappointed in myself for not picking up on the trail that Christie masterfully left. It was about a month ago when I read this one so I don't remember many of the specifics aside from the ending, so there's not much more for me to get into here. 4/5

The Informant is a stand alone by James Grippando that I ran into in my amazon recommendations after buying the previous two Agatha Christie Mysteries. It's about a serial killer who is going all over the country murdering people and removing their tongues. A reporter gets an anonymous call from someone who is able to predict who and when the next victim will be. The reporter ends up working with the FBI trying to track down the serial killer, while hoping that the informant isn't the killer because the FBI is paying them off for the information on future victims. Very solid and fast paced. The ending was a little abrupt, but other than that I have no complaints. 4.5/5

The Pardon is the first novel of James Grippando's Jack Swyteck series, and I'm still cursing myself for thinking "Okay, dinners done, I'll read a few chapters and continue with my night." I ended up awake until 2am so I could finish the book, when I had to be up in 4 hours for work the next day. One of my personal favorites. Jack Swyteck is an attorney who had a client put to death after his father (the Governor of Florida) refused a pardon because said client was found guilty of rape and murder. Another man contacted Jack the night before the execution and admitted to the crime, but due to attorney client privilege Jack couldn't explain why he knows the man on death row is innocent. The execution proceeds as scheduled, and everything starts going wrong from that point. Another client of Jack's that was guilty of murder is declared innocent and found murdered several days later. Jack is accused of the crime has to try and clear his name when he was framed for murder. The only negative thing I can really say about it is that it was too gripping and made me not sleep that night, but that's really not a bad thing. 5/5

Beyond Suspicion is the second of the Jack Swyteck series. Even though I just finished this one this morning, I'm feeling lazy after 4 of these and will copy/paste the description from James Grippando's site. "When Jessie Merrill was diagnosed with a deadly disease and given just two years to live, she worked a deal with an insurance company to get cash fast. In exchange, a group of wealthy investors were supposed to collect on the policy at her death. But Jessie was misdiagnosed. She isn't going to die anytime soon, and the investors want their money back. Now.

At the trial, Jack pulls off a brilliant victory and Jessie gets to keep the $1.5 million from the investors. Two days later, Jessie's body turns up in Jack's bathtub. Though it has the markings of suicide, Jessie's death quickly begins to look more like murder. As the evidence mounts against him, Jack finds himself on a collision course with dark secrets from the past and a possible killer who is beyond suspicion." This was another very good read, but I didn't really like how Jack ended up as the suspect in another murder, and I'm hoping that isn't a recurring theme. With 10 books in the series, that formula would get old pretty quick. 4/5

#6 Iyouboushi

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

I just finished reading a non-fiction book about a murder case in Savannah, GA, entitled: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. It was turned into a film (I had seen the film first) but it was highly recommended that I read this book. And it actually was a pretty good read. There's more to the book than just the trial and murder case; the author met a lot of..well, let's say eccentric, characters during his time in Savannah. Here's the back of the cover.

Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a "walking streak of sex."

These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed--and whose dirty linen is gleefully aired--in this utterly irresistible book. At once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is as bracing and intoxicating as half-a-dozen mint juleps.
~James~
Even if you can't rely on anyone else, just pull yourself together and roar!
My Website :: The Ultimate Rurouni Kenshin FAQ

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#7 KuroMa

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

Read Elephants Can Remember yesterday. Agatha's second-to-last novel, it's pretty simple compared to her earlier stuff, but Poirot is always a fun read.

#8 Iyouboushi

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:55 PM

I finally finished the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords. It took me forever to get through this one. The first two books of the series was so captivating that I could hardly put them down. This one..at about halfway I just lost steam. The first half is great but then it just bogs down. I hear the next book of the series, A Feast for Crows, is even worse. I'm determined to get through them (I already own the book I might as well read it) but man.. I hope it isn't as boring as I've heard.

In other news, I've started reading The Lightning Thief, which is the first book of the Percy Jackson series. It's a much easier and lighter read. I'm almost 50% done with the book. I like how it ties in the Greek Gods and such into the modern world but I can't help but feel like I'm way too old to be reading this series. The main character is 12 and I haven't been 12 in a very long time. Still, it's fluff and easy so yeah.. Bri is reading it too (someone requested she do a review of the book which is what sparked us to start reading it).

There's two more books in the Percy Jackson series. If this one doesn't go to complete crap in the latter half I might pick up the others and try to read those too.
~James~
Even if you can't rely on anyone else, just pull yourself together and roar!
My Website :: The Ultimate Rurouni Kenshin FAQ

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#9 Dead

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:11 PM

Lol the last book I read was The Shining by Stephen King

If you don't know what its about.. lol

anyway, book (as usual) way better than the movie.

4/5.

Eagerly anticipating the sequel book, Dr. Sleep

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#10 Dead

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:31 PM

Now I'm reading Doctor Sleep. So far its awesome!

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