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Thread: January - How Many?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    January - How Many?

    Nine stories completed in January:

    Cemetery Dance Select by Peter Atkins:
    The Cemetery Dance Select Series allows an author to select stories they want to publish as a collection. This is the third Select Series book I have read and the first time I have read Mr. Atkins. The stories all take place around his hometown of Liverpool. Overall fun read.
    3 Stars

    The End of All Things by John Scalzi:
    I actually held off on reading this because it is the last story in Mr. Scalziís Old Man series and I simplyu did not want it to end. Finally jumped in and it is a good story but not the best in the series. Overall it brings a satisfying conclusion to the series.
    3 Stars

    Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin:
    This was an Audible freebie. It is a remembrance from Mr. Arkin and is read by him. Each chapter was a different story and some were fascinating. Unfortunately, they were offset by stories that I could not get through fast enough. Came close to giving this one two stars but the good stories brought up the overall score.
    3 Stars

    Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells:
    Decided to give this one a try. I enjoyed the first story but did not love it. Enjoyed this one more and will probably continue the series at some point.
    4 Stars

    Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks:
    This is my first Terry Brooks read. The first third could be a Stephen King or Peter Straub story. When the fantasy elements kicked in it no longer felt like a King novel and began to drag a bit for me. It finished very strong and I will continue the series.
    4 Stars

    The Last Days of August by Jon Ronson:
    Another Audible freebie. This was a podcast about the suicide of a porn star named August Ames. The suicide was wildly blamed on cyber bullying but the investigation shows that things are not always as simple as they seem. A very interesting story.
    4 Stars

    Head On by John Scalzi:
    Mr. Scalziís second book about Haydenís Syndrome. This one focuses on a death during a Hilketa match. Another fun read from John Scalzi.
    4 Stars

    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury:
    Each chapter is a different story about the colonization of Mars. Some are pretty good and many are simply not enjoyable.
    2 Stars

    The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak:
    This one was recommended by Ron Clinton last month after I enjoyed The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell so much. This story is as good as Sam Hell. It is a coming of age story but it is so much more. Touching on teenage emotions of not fitting in, not being cool enough and first loves. This story is nothing short of fantastic. Ron please bring on more recommendations! Side note, you can play The Impossible Fortress on the authors website!
    5 Stars

  2. #2
    Junior Member Visitor JasonUK's Avatar
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    I managed my normal 4 books.

    Robert McCammon - Night Boat (5/10) Pulp horror novel from early in McCammon's career. The action is handled well but characterisation is poor. Clearly an author still working on his craft.

    Roger Daltrey - Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite (5/10) Autobiography from the lead singer of British band The Who. Interesting but highly sanitized account of the rock star's life.

    Jim Thompson - The Grifters (8/10) Terrific crime novel. The interplay between the main characters drives the story toward a shock ending.

    Stephen King - Rose Madder (7/10) I've put off reading this novel for years due to the poor comments I've read about it. While it doesn't make my King Top 20, it's head and shoulders above some of his recent output. The husband was a particularly satisfying baddie and the wife's plight had real heart.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonUK View Post
    I managed my normal 4 books.

    Robert McCammon - Night Boat (5/10) Pulp horror novel from early in McCammon's career. The action is handled well but characterisation is poor. Clearly an author still working on his craft.

    Roger Daltrey - Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite (5/10) Autobiography from the lead singer of British band The Who. Interesting but highly sanitized account of the rock star's life.

    Jim Thompson - The Grifters (8/10) Terrific crime novel. The interplay between the main characters drives the story toward a shock ending.

    Stephen King - Rose Madder (7/10) I've put off reading this novel for years due to the poor comments I've read about it. While it doesn't make my King Top 20, it's head and shoulders above some of his recent output. The husband was a particularly satisfying baddie and the wife's plight had real heart.
    Rose Madder is easily my least favorite King novel. I only read it on initial release and absolutely hated it. I think I will need to fit in a re-read this year to see if I see it differently now.

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session Brian861's Avatar
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    Has the Select Series shipped, Martin? I ordered them all at once but haven't received them.

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    Senior Member Hearing Voices jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Rose Madder is easily my least favorite King novel. I only read it on initial release and absolutely hated it. I think I will need to fit in a re-read this year to see if I see it differently now.
    Martin expressed my thoughts exactly. I started reading it the day it was released and I never finished it. I stopped with only 30 pages to go. I had never done that before with a King book and haven't done it since. I'll give it a re-read someday to see if old Jeff can appreciate something young Jeff missed.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Visitor Jobu Gobu's Avatar
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    I've been a lurker on here for a while and figured it's time I start contributing to the conversation. I made a New Year's resolution to read more, so I piled up a stack on my desk and went to town. Some of these are really short, so it appears I read more than I really did.

    Dark Chest of Wonders - Andy Burns
    Heroes -
    Richard Chizmar
    Elevation - Stephen King
    The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene
    Six Scary Stories - Multiple authors
    The Life We Bury - Allen Eskens
    The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel
    Widow's Point - Richard and Billy Chizmar
    Deep Survival - Laurence Gonzales
    Death Poems - Thomas Ligotti
    He'll Come Knocking at Your Door - Robert McCammon
    Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia
    Tales from Greystone Bay - Robert McCammon
    Cold Dead Hands - Jeff Strand
    End of the Road - Brian Keene
    The Midnight Meat Train, definitive edition - Clive Barker
    Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta
    This Terrestrial Hell - Kevin Quigley
    On This, The Day of the Pig - Josh Malerman


    Favorites:
    • Those Who Wish Me Dead - Suspenseful thriller set in the Rocky mountains in Wyoming/Montana. This was optioned and I hope it gets made into a movie. 5 stars
    • The Stranger in the Woods - Fascinating true story of a man that spent 27 years in the woods of Maine with no human contact. 4 stars
    • The Life We Bury - Crime thriller. Fun twists and turns. The author's first novel. 4 stars
    • Cold Dead Hands - Fun, quick read about a group of folks stuck in a grocery store freezer hiding from some psychos. 4 stars


    Least favorite:
    • Deep Survival - Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why? - Where to begin; This guy tries to explain with pseudo-science why some people are natural survivors...and everyone else basically sucks. Some of the survivor stories he tells are fascinating, but the science explanations are tedious and rambling. What makes the book unreadable is the author's arrogance. Holy crap this guy is full of himself. He tells the story of Tami Oldham Ashcraft. Her boat lost it's mast in a cat4 hurricane, her husband thrown overboard and killed, and she spent 41 days at sea until rescued. At one point she thought of killing herself with a rifle, but didn't. Because of this, Gonzales deems her a non-survivor and insults her in his book. Did not finish. Zero stars.


    I've yet to read anything in February, so I'd better get crackin'.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian861 View Post
    Has the Select Series shipped, Martin? I ordered them all at once but haven't received them.
    No, three of them were part of an Advance Reader's grab bag and I have read those.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session Brian861's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    No, three of them were part of an Advance Reader's grab bag and I have read those.
    Gotcha.

  9. #9
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    My reading numbers are down for January. I finished up the last 2 books in The Wheel of Time series. I suspect my numbers will be down for February as well, as I've switched back to podcasts from audio books for a little while.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobu Gobu View Post
    I've been a lurker on here for a while and figured it's time I start contributing to the conversation. I made a New Year's resolution to read more, so I piled up a stack on my desk and went to town. Some of these are really short, so it appears I read more than I really did.

    Dark Chest of Wonders - Andy Burns
    Heroes -
    Richard Chizmar
    Elevation - Stephen King
    The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene
    Six Scary Stories - Multiple authors
    The Life We Bury - Allen Eskens
    The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel
    Widow's Point - Richard and Billy Chizmar
    Deep Survival - Laurence Gonzales
    Death Poems - Thomas Ligotti
    He'll Come Knocking at Your Door - Robert McCammon
    Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia
    Tales from Greystone Bay - Robert McCammon
    Cold Dead Hands - Jeff Strand
    End of the Road - Brian Keene
    The Midnight Meat Train, definitive edition - Clive Barker
    Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta
    This Terrestrial Hell - Kevin Quigley
    On This, The Day of the Pig - Josh Malerman


    Favorites:
    • Those Who Wish Me Dead - Suspenseful thriller set in the Rocky mountains in Wyoming/Montana. This was optioned and I hope it gets made into a movie. 5 stars
    • The Stranger in the Woods - Fascinating true story of a man that spent 27 years in the woods of Maine with no human contact. 4 stars
    • The Life We Bury - Crime thriller. Fun twists and turns. The author's first novel. 4 stars
    • Cold Dead Hands - Fun, quick read about a group of folks stuck in a grocery store freezer hiding from some psychos. 4 stars


    Least favorite:
    • Deep Survival - Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why? - Where to begin; This guy tries to explain with pseudo-science why some people are natural survivors...and everyone else basically sucks. Some of the survivor stories he tells are fascinating, but the science explanations are tedious and rambling. What makes the book unreadable is the author's arrogance. Holy crap this guy is full of himself. He tells the story of Tami Oldham Ashcraft. Her boat lost it's mast in a cat4 hurricane, her husband thrown overboard and killed, and she spent 41 days at sea until rescued. At one point she thought of killing herself with a rifle, but didn't. Because of this, Gonzales deems her a non-survivor and insults her in his book. Did not finish. Zero stars.


    I've yet to read anything in February, so I'd better get crackin'.

    Steve
    You have some great reads in there. I really loved Mystery Road! Dark Chest of Wonders and Those Who Wish Me Dead remain on my TBR pile.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Visitor Jobu Gobu's Avatar
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    Mystery Road was quite good. It's the first thing of his I've read and I'll definitely read more of his work.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Hearing Voices
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobu Gobu View Post
    I've been a lurker on here for a while and figured it's time I start contributing to the conversation. I made a New Year's resolution to read more, so I piled up a stack on my desk and went to town. Some of these are really short, so it appears I read more than I really did.

    Dark Chest of Wonders - Andy Burns
    Heroes -
    Richard Chizmar
    Elevation - Stephen King
    The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene
    Six Scary Stories - Multiple authors
    The Life We Bury - Allen Eskens
    The Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel
    Widow's Point - Richard and Billy Chizmar
    Deep Survival - Laurence Gonzales
    Death Poems - Thomas Ligotti
    He'll Come Knocking at Your Door - Robert McCammon
    Mystery Road - Kevin Lucia
    Tales from Greystone Bay - Robert McCammon
    Cold Dead Hands - Jeff Strand
    End of the Road - Brian Keene
    The Midnight Meat Train, definitive edition - Clive Barker
    Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta
    This Terrestrial Hell - Kevin Quigley
    On This, The Day of the Pig - Josh Malerman


    Favorites:
    • Those Who Wish Me Dead - Suspenseful thriller set in the Rocky mountains in Wyoming/Montana. This was optioned and I hope it gets made into a movie. 5 stars
    • The Stranger in the Woods - Fascinating true story of a man that spent 27 years in the woods of Maine with no human contact. 4 stars
    • The Life We Bury - Crime thriller. Fun twists and turns. The author's first novel. 4 stars
    • Cold Dead Hands - Fun, quick read about a group of folks stuck in a grocery store freezer hiding from some psychos. 4 stars


    Least favorite:
    • Deep Survival - Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why? - Where to begin; This guy tries to explain with pseudo-science why some people are natural survivors...and everyone else basically sucks. Some of the survivor stories he tells are fascinating, but the science explanations are tedious and rambling. What makes the book unreadable is the author's arrogance. Holy crap this guy is full of himself. He tells the story of Tami Oldham Ashcraft. Her boat lost it's mast in a cat4 hurricane, her husband thrown overboard and killed, and she spent 41 days at sea until rescued. At one point she thought of killing herself with a rifle, but didn't. Because of this, Gonzales deems her a non-survivor and insults her in his book. Did not finish. Zero stars.


    I've yet to read anything in February, so I'd better get crackin'.

    Steve
    I still need to read Strand's new one that you mention above, but am holding off for the Thunderstorm S/L HC...hopefully it'll be announced soon.

    Appreciate the snippet reviews, btw...I always find those handy to alert me of books that may have escaped my radar but may want to check out.

  13. #13
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    Only finished two in January.

    The Passage by Justin Cronin. Cronin's epic of a vampire apocalypse created by a bio-weapons research gone-awry and the young girl destined to deliver the remnants of humanity and virals alike to salvation. My second reading, and I enjoyed it as much at the first. One of my all time favorites. 5/5

    In the Footsteps of Dracula, edited by Stephen Jones, was a reprint of the massive anthology A Mammoth Book of Dracula published in 1997. The stories appear in chronological order and loosely follow Dracula from the time of the events chronicled in Stoker's novel to a near future world ruled by vampires. As with any anthology this large (33 stories & nearly 700 pages) story quality varied, but overall the good stories outnumbered the weaker ones. Favorites were those by Kim Newman (Coppola's Dracula), Nicholas Royle (Mbo - probably the most unsettling story in the book; a surprise, since I've found over the years that I rarely like Royle's work), Terry Lamsley (Volunteers), Conrad Williams (Bloodlines) & F. Paul Wilson (The Lord's Work - set in the same world as his Midnight Mass novel). 3.5/5

    B

  14. #14
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    I still need to read Strand's new one that you mention above, but am holding off for the Thunderstorm S/L HC...hopefully it'll be announced soon.

    Appreciate the snippet reviews, btw...I always find those handy to alert me of books that may have escaped my radar but may want to check out.
    Are you talking about Cold Dead Hands? If so that's a unannounced CD Novella Series title. It was in a early readers club as an arc which is probably how Steve has it. I believe it is slated as #29 in the series, but I don't think those numbers are firm until the books are actually announced for sale.
    CD Email: danhocker@cemeterydance.com

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Hearing Voices jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brlesh View Post

    The Passage by Justin Cronin. Cronin's epic of a vampire apocalypse created by a bio-weapons research gone-awry and the young girl destined to deliver the remnants of humanity and virals alike to salvation. My second reading, and I enjoyed it as much at the first. One of my all time favorites. 5/5

    B
    Did you like The Twelve and City of Mirrors?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Did you like The Twelve and City of Mirrors?
    I am rereading The Passage & The Twelve before my first reading of City of Mirrors. The Passage is great and I enjoyed The Twelve as much if not more the first time around.

    B

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