This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.
Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.
(Ah, good, I’m back to the normal schedule. This is better.)
This meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂
What I’m currently reading
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy
After my last read I desperately needed a high fantasy, and there’s no book bigger or more stuffed with fantasy than this trilogy. All 1,192 pages of it.
It’s mahoosive, friends. If I wanted to, I could kill someone with it, it’s that heavy.
Get used to seeing it because it’ll take me a while to get through this. Right now my progress is p.96 /1191, or 8% according to Goodreads.
The world building is excellent, but so far I don’t care about the characters and there was a lot of history in the first few chapters. And there are no women? Where the fudge are all the women?? I don’t need every book I read to be dominated by strong female leads, but I’d have thought there’d be one woman in 100 pages, at least.
I’m not sure if it’s the weight of the thing, the tiny writing (Times New pt.8, I’m guessing), or the paragraphs which are the longest I’ve ever seen in a novel, but I’m struggling forward more than anything right now. I’ve heard many good things, though, so I’ll stick with it and hope it picks up soon. Although, to be honest, something pretty awesome needs to happen for me to continue with it next week.
THE SWORD OF SHANNARA: Long ago, the world of Shea Ohmsford was torn apart by war. But the half-human, half-elfin, Shea now lives in peace – until the forbidding figure of Allanon appears, to reveal that the long dead Warlock Lord lives again
THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA: Ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. For the Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic, is dying – loosing the spell of Forbidding that locks the hordes of Demons away from Earth. Only one source has the power to stop it: the Elfstones of Shannara.
THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA: Evil stalks the Four Lands as the Ildatch, immemorial book of evil spells, has stirred to eldritch life. Once again Allanon, ancient Druid Protector of the Races, must seek the help of a descendant of Jerle Shannara.
Because The Sword of Shannara is such a monster, I refuse to haul it around with me every day. I needed something else to read while I wait for the bus, so I borrowed Equal Rights from my library. So far so excellent <3 I’d even go as far as saying that it’s my favourite Discworld novel (out of the three I’ve read, including this one… *ahem*), because I love Granny Weatherwax.
I’m already halfway through (it’s nice to read more than six pages in half an hour *shakes fist at The Sword of Shannara) and thoroughly looking forward to the rest.
They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.
The last thing the wizard Drum Billet did, before Death laid a bony hand on his shoulder, was to pass on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a female wizard. But now it’s gone and happened, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin…
The Plot Thickens
FRIENDS! IT’S A THEORY BOOK WITH A SHORT BLURB! I APPRECIATE IT ALREADY! <3 <3 <3
I haven’t had too much time for this but I’ll try to switch between this and Equal Rights more often. All I can really tell so far is that it’s excellent for character creation, and a good addition to the smol theory library that lives under my desk.
As a literary agent, Noah Lukeman hears thousands of book pitches a year. Often the stories sound great in concept, but never live up to their potential on the page. Lukeman shows beginning and advanced writers how to implement the fundamentals of successful plot development, such as character building and heightened suspense and conflict. Writers will find it impossible to walk away from this invaluable guide—a veritable fiction-writing workshop—without boundless new ideas.
What I recently finished reading
Never Let Me Go
Well, this wasn’t quite what I expected. I’m torn. I think Ishiguro has an incredible understanding of the human mind and motivations, but I’m sorry to say that it bored me. The purpose of Hailsham was explained fairly early on, and after that there were no more surprises or plot twists. Everything was quite predictable, really. It just didn’t excite me.
I’ll get my review written and on to Goodreads this week hopefully, and it’ll then be on here in a few weeks, too.
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.
The Caves of Steel
Now this was good! My review for it is already on Goodreads and will be on here soon, too, so I won’t repeat myself but it was good. For some reason I was reluctant to start it but I really enjoyed it, and I’ll look forward to reading more of his books.
A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov’s Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together. Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worst of all was that the “R” stood for robot–and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim!
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Oh gawd, friends, this was everything I want from a theory book <3 Apart from how I didn’t learn anything new (unless you count the history of the semicolon, which I don’t actually remember), but it was hilarious, and if you’re struggling with any aspect of punctuation I can recommend this. Not only will you learn something, but you’ll also laugh on every page.
My review will be on here tomorrow and there’s quotes to show off the hilarity, so keep your eyes open for that 🙂
A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“I’m a panda,” he says at the door. “Look it up.”
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
“Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.
Now, we all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in e-mail, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
What I think I’ll read next
(Now why did I think this one was red?)
Since I’m making terrible progress towards my goal of reading 10 Discworld books this year, I figured I might as well continue with this one. They are short and funny and magical, and I need something I can take with me while The Sword of Shannara stays in my locker at work. If I’m still reading that next week, that is.
In this Discworld installment, Death comes to Mort with an offer he can’t refuse — especially since being, well, dead isn’t compulsory. As Death’s apprentice, he’ll have free board and lodging, use of the company horse, and he won’t need time off for family funerals. The position is everything Mort thought he’d ever wanted, until he discovers that this perfect job can be a killer on his love life.
Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!
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