Literary New To You December 2017 => Books you read this month
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation!
badge
Those dang kids just keep growin'
Avatar
Microbadge: Golden Geeklister
Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
Bookish types love nothing more than a bibliography, especially book lists generated by like-minded (or not so like-minded) readers.

Please share what you've been reading with your fellow gamers!
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Mad Robots [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Mad Robots
Andy Howell
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
100 Years of Coast Guard Aviation!
badge
Those dang kids just keep growin'
Avatar
Microbadge: Golden Geeklister
Most succinct way I can put it: Ghost Fleet is the Clancy version, The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata is the Ludlum version.

External image


Extremely cool and relevant near-future thriller that asks some great questions. What's it look like when two private military contractors go to war with each other? How much autonomy do we give robotic systems on the battlefield?

The book has nearly Ludlum-levels of action, with some LeCarre flavor as well. The hero is a soldier, the mother of another soldier who died in questionable circumstances? How often is the mother the hero of a tech-thriller? I can't think of any others.

Very cleanly-written. Highly recommended.

I also read A Christmas Carol all the way through for the first time. And yes, it's really wonderful. Readable, sweet, ironic, funny, with a couple of punches right in the heart. One of the moments that got me - Scrooge realizes that Fezziwig could have made life rough on the apprentices but he chose not to. What an incredible work of literature.

HAPPY NEW YEAR BGG READERS!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. RPG Item: Al-Qadim Land of Fate [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:252]
RPG Item: Al-Qadim Land of Fate
Jason Cookingham
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Salsa dancerMicrobadge: I stole cookies from the cookie jarMicrobadge: I love to danceMicrobadge: Book readerMicrobadge: Ballroom dancer
December is usually a poor reading month for me, but... some good books in there.

The Very Good

The City of Brass by Chakraborty

External image


Oooh, genies! I love genies! I love fantasies set in an Arabic culture.
This was good. Some standard tropes in it, but on the plus side... complex characters that are not simple stereotypes.

The Speakers
by Chee

External image


Sequel to The Reader. A fun and interesting fantasy setting based around the ability to read and write. Solid stuff here.

The Good

The Bookshop on the Corner by Colgan

External image


A charming romance that takes too long to get going. It could have been longer or cut the first part of the book back.

Sapiens by Harari

"A brief history of mankind" covers how we evolved physically and culturally into what we are now. Lots of interesting insights and opinions on the topic. I am still chewing on some of it.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters vol 1 by Ferris

External image


Odd art, but a wonderful book. It has one very touching moment that brought me to tears.

Goldie Vance vol 2 by Larson

Charming as the first, but not as good.

The Girl In The Tower by Arden

The sequel to The Bear and the Nightengale. The author is able to make the settle feel so alive and set a fantasy in a Russian setting. The action scenes are good, and there are some decent twists and turns.

The Okay


Swamp Thing, Vol 1, by Alan Moore

Alan Moore is a genius, but he is hit or miss with me. This was more of a miss.

The Man In The Tree by Walker

I wanted to like this book a lot. It starts as a noir mystery on a generation ship about to take off when a death happens, but it is loses the noir feel and then it just boringly meanders and has a deeply disappointing ending.

The Bad gulp

Boundless by Tamaki

What did I just read?
3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Operation Iraqi Freedom [Average Rating:5.99 Unranked]
Board Game: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Gamer DadMicrobadge: PodcasterMicrobadge: Clemson UniversityMicrobadge: Nintendo 3DS fanMicrobadge: I completed the 2019 VGG challenge: beat 5 video games and played for 50 hours
--Combat Zone: True Tales of GIs in Iraq, Karl Zinsmeister and Dan Jurgens. I like War comics quite a bit, but had not heard of this collection until I stumbled upon it in a used book store. Published by Marvel, this trade collects 6 stories of US troops on the ground in Iraq in 2003. Zinsmeister was embedded in a unit for some time, and these are fictionalized versions of true events. The cadence of the soldier's dialogue rings true, as does the various quirks and idiosyncrasies of the men. The combat portions are neither Silver Age Sgt. Fury hijinks nor modernist geekshow, but instead take a more realistic approach. Jurgens art is clean and easy to follow, although telling the different men in uniform apart can be tricky given how everyone is dressed the same (a common issue in War comics). Worth reading if you like the subject matter, but not worth tracking down if you have no interest in War stories.

--Pellucidar, Edgar Rice Burroughs. David Innes travels back to Pellucidar, meets up with Professor Perry, and goes on a quest to rescue his beloved Dian The Beautiful, while enacting his plan to unite the tribes of men against the Mahars and win freedom for Pellucidar. Very much in the same vein as At The Earth's Core, with similar story structure (David telling his story first person), but showing us lots more of Pellucidar. There's some things you just have to accept in an ERB book -- here, the idea that with enough time and enough books, Perry can create fleets of sailing ships, gunpowder and rudimentary firearms doesn't hold up to a lot of scrutiny. But who cares when the adventure is so engrossing? A true page turner, I really enjoyed this. (I may be more prone.)

--Marvel Digest #2: The Avengers, Various. As the name suggests, this is part of the new digest line which Marvel is putting out in conjunction with Archie. Starting with Avengers #1 and #2, this showcases a wide variety of Avengers stories ranging from the actual title, to All Ages versions, to an adaptation of a later cartoon series. Good stories all around, my favorite being a two-parter from Avengers #236-237, by Roger Stern and Al Milgrom, with the team (plus Spider-Man) dealing with a Lava Men invasion and supervillian revolt at Project Pegasus. These digests only come out quarterly, I think, and each one has a unique focus, but they are a good value, worth checking out.

--Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart v.1, Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. With Tony Stark dead, his young protege Riri Williams must step up and become the hero Ironheart, with the help of a "helpful" AI Tony created of himself. Starts out quite good, but even at a collection of 5 issues, this feels very, very padded and much too decompressed. I know, I know, "Bendis!" but I guess the relatively fast start had my expectations jangled. I like Riri as a character even if I prefer to have Tony Stark (whom I have been reading since high school, so...), but she deserves better pacing and dialogue than what Bendis is doing here. I also don't like how Bendis handles Pepper Potts -- taking the version of the character which Matt Fraction molded for his IIM run, and making her seem much more catty and petty. The idea that "any good idea Tony ever had is because of Pepper" is also a bit too modernist for me, sorry. But considering I got this for free from Amazon, it was not a bad read and I will see about finding the second volume when it is released. (Riri can be currently seen over in Champions with several of the other younger heroes such as Ms Marvel and Nova.)

--Created, The Destroyer and The Day Remo Died, by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. Picked both of these up for free off of Amazon. I have read a couple of Destroyer books previously (Ship of Death and Midnight Man), but neither of these. Created, The Destroyer is the first book in the series, while The Day Remo Died was a novella published several years later which fills in some of gaps in that book based on developments later in the series. Created does read a bit differently than the later ones, being more of normal espionage thriller, but still retains some of the humor and outlandish character elements. We see Remo Williams "die," join the clandestine group CURE, receive training, and go on his first mission. As an overall Destroyer adventure, you can see where the foundation was laid, even if the series is not quite gelled yet. Amusingly, there is an afterword in the ebook by Murphy where he kinda rips on the other action series which The Destroyer competes against (namely The Executioner), by calling their heroes machine gun totting fools and putting over The Destroyer as the James Bond of the 80s. The Day Remo Died is told from Chiun's perspective, which makes it pretty amusing right there, but is a nice quick read which adds context to the first book (especially if you are like me and know some of the later ones). I would like to get more of this series but oddly none of the used book stores by me seem to ever have any. One of them has more Executioner, Phoenix Force, Able Team, etc. novels than I have ever seen in one place, but not a single Destroyer novel. So I may have to break down and spend actual money on some ebooks. These are not for everyone, but if you like some offbeat action then I recommend giving the Destroyer a chance.

--X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson. In many ways the seminal X-Men story, I had never read it because I was too young when it came out, and then out of the X-Men by the time I would be in the right place to read and understand it. But Claremont's skill is in full effect here, deftly writing the characters he knows so well and telling what is ultimately an (unfortunately) timeless story about prejudice, acceptance, greed, and faith. Anderson's illustrations look like a watercolor painting, and also help the timeless aspect of the story, which does not visually tie itself to any one era of comics based. If you have not read this, and you have any affection for the X-Men, read it.
3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Forbidden Bridge [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:8125]
Board Game: Forbidden Bridge
Anne Skelding
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Goodreads userMicrobadge: Rolling for oneMicrobadge: My cat destroys games in progressMicrobadge: Tea drinkerMicrobadge: Maneki Neko - I welcome good fortune!
External image

Damn, this was a good collection. Most of the stories in here I'd gladly read as a novel. One or two were just okay, but most knocked it out of the park.




External image

This is a collection of two short stories and a novella. I loved the short stories. The novella had pacing issues, weird tonal dissonance, and an anticlimatic ending.




External image

*melts into a tiny puddle that can only make bubbly noises about how cute this is*




External image

Okay, but you're going to read it, you have to listen to the audio version. I don't think I would have found many of the jokes funny except that Hodgman's dry, deadpan delivery makes them work. Also, musical accompaniment is provided by Jonathan Coulton, and occasionally they stop to have a conversation. Hodgman will also interrupt himself to explain something about the book or about anything else he feels like. Plus there's a bonus cameo appearance by Paul Rudd. It's a performance piece more than an audiobook, but it was entertaining.
3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Journalist [Average Rating:4.82 Unranked]
Board Game: Journalist
Ivan
Russia
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: Yuri Gagarin - first human in spaceMicrobadge: Microbadge: I ride public transportationMicrobadge: The answer to Life, the Universe and EverythingMicrobadge: Debian user
Vladimir Alekseyevich Gilyarovsky - Moscow and Moscovites

External image


Vladimir Aleksandrovich Gilyarovsky - journalist and writer - lived and worked in Moscow in 1880s-1935). He wrote colourful short encyclopedia of Moscow public life' certain aspects - markets, private clubs, fire departments, criminals, streets and gates, etc. The novel is full of colourful and live descriptions of people, architecture, events, bright characters, tragedies and cheerful cases. Surprisingly, but some behavior models did not change for about 150 years. From time to time the author compares a view of Moscow of 1880th and 1920-1930th. Very informative novel.

in Russian

Гиляровский Владимир Александрович «Москва и москвичи»


External image


Журналист и писатель Владимир Александрович Гиляровский много лет живший и работавший в Москве во второй половине XIX - начале ХХ вв. написал красочную краткую энциклопедию общественной жизни - отдельной её стороны, связанной с рынками, частными клубами, пожарной охраной, улицами и подворотнями (преступный мир тоже затронут). Роман полон красочных и живых описаний людей, архитектуры, событий, яркими персонажами, трагедий и весёлых случаев. Удивительно, но некоторые модели поведения людей не изменились за полтора столетия. Временами автор сравнивает вид Москвы 1880-х и 1930-х гг. Очень познавательная книга.
3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}