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Jason Vail, the Attebrook mystery series.

 

I have said it before, my wife introduces me to series that I would never otherwise look at - like many of you fine folks.

If you want old school, classic grammar and English country side adventures set way back in the 13th century, they are not boring.

 

The hook for me, is this deputy coroner investigates murder after murder and has unusual relationships with town folk, gentry and servants, but is always broke.

Like, he wants some intel from a knuckle boarding beggar, but is asked for a farthing. The main character has to search in his pockets for a slice of a penny, even though it's his last.

I generally like faster paced stories, yet these books are almost relaxing. The research and story line and characters really make for (me) a slow down and wonderful escape.

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Puffball by Fay Weldon. The first novel by Weldon I've ever read. So far the story seems clever and fresh.

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The Squad: AOC and the Hope of a Political Revolution by Ryan Grim

 

I like Ryan's reporting for The Intercept, Breaking Points and Counter Points so I gave this a shot.  Decent book, at its best when its not about her or The Squad but rather when he is talking about politics and government from when AOC won her first primary up through the summer of 2022. Thankfully, despite the title its not really about AOC or the squad.

 

Interestingly Ryan has another book (which I have not read) titled "We've Got People".  The title to this book could easily be "They have the Money" - and the "They" is not AOC and the Squad.

 

Decent, interesting read but nothing very special.  Learned a few things.

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The Narrow Road Between Desires by Patrick Rothfuss

 

Got a signed copy and just finished it off.  Good read.  Set in the world of the King Killer Chronicles.  Bast from The King Killer Chronicles is the main character and IMO it shows him in a slightly different light then we have seen him in before.

 

Enjoyable but come on Patrick, would you please get back to The King Killer Chronicles?  The 2 books in that series you wrote were so good.  We have been waiting for ever for the 3rd book in the series.  Starting to wonder if it will ever come out.

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On 1/26/2024 at 10:22 AM, TheAccountant said:

I read that many years ago.  IMO The Inferno was the best of the 3 books.

I'm about one third of the way through the Inferno.  I have a translation which uses Shakespearean-type English, so it’s a little slow going.  But that was the free version on Kindle, and at least I know what’s going on from the Course (and I know who the people he’s talking about from the course as well).  

 

In the course they say once you finish reading the Divine Comedy, you’re ready to read it.  I think the professors were right.  

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I couldn’t get to sleep yesterday so I read the Art of War.  I didn’t read the notes, just went through the text, which was interesting as it touches a lot on psychological and emotional topics.  

 

I started East of Eden, as well, and it has me totally sucked in.  I was ready for it after the Divine Comedy, which was beautiful and enlightening, but ultimately work.  I’ll go back to it for sure, especially Paradise as I got to hurrying a bit by that point.  

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On 1/24/2024 at 9:55 PM, Bahamas said:

Rhyta, I wonder if you would find this interesting?

I am sure I posted much earlier about Mel Starr and the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton - which I think you "liked".

A genre I never read before it was recommended, and I really enjoyed them. Simple, old school, so to speak.

 

Then, I returned to some favourites and read new stories for a while. But THEN, I wanted a taste of those books again and the atmosphere and context and such.

It was suggested I try Jason Vail. I liked the first two, but by the third book in the series there are enough typos to distract me. Without looking too much into it, I think he might be self-published or writes too fast?

I wonder if he also likes Mel Starr. Last week I went back to said Starr and jumped to The Tainted Coin. It feels cozy and nice. And it feels like "care was given" on every page (Kindle).

 

On 1/24/2024 at 9:55 PM, Bahamas said:

 

Jason Vail, the Attebrook mystery series.

 

I have said it before, my wife introduces me to series that I would never otherwise look at - like many of you fine folks.

If you want old school, classic grammar and English country side adventures set way back in the 13th century, they are not boring.

 

The hook for me, is this deputy coroner investigates murder after murder and has unusual relationships with town folk, gentry and servants, but is always broke.

Like, he wants some intel from a knuckle boarding beggar, but is asked for a farthing. The main character has to search in his pockets for a slice of a penny, even though it's his last.

I generally like faster paced stories, yet these books are almost relaxing. The research and story line and characters really make for (me) a slow down and wonderful escape.

 

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On 1/24/2024 at 7:55 PM, Bahamas said:

Rhyta, I wonder if you would find this interesting?

I am sure I posted much earlier about Mel Starr and the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton - which I think you "liked".

A genre I never read before it was recommended, and I really enjoyed them. Simple, old school, so to speak.

 

I haven't heard of that series but it sounds intriguing, may have to check into it.  Thanks

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East of Eden could be the best novel I’ve ever read.  I’ll hold off crowning it the champ until I reread it in a year or two.  I’m most of the way through Of Mice and Man, and it’s good, but just so much less universal and ambitious.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have started with the best.  

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I tacked another short one after Of Mice and Men: Cicero’s de Senectute (On Old Age).  It’s a short essay and it’s an interesting look at how Cicero imagined Cato the Elder looked at old age.  Cicero, in addition to being a brilliant orator and philosopher, seems to be the first self-help author in history.  Or at least the first one of which I am aware.  Nothing groundbreaking, but still interesting to see a logical takedown of the idea that getting old sucks and a blueprint for how to live well.  One piece of advice I thought was interesting was to start early!

 

After the brilliant heaviness of Steinbeck and the depressing and vapid Godot and Rosencrantz plays, I’ve moved on to Mary Poppins.  I don’t have time to read it with my kids (or more accurately, they don’t have time for me and want to focus on The Prince Warriors and the new Star Wars Thrawn trilogy), I’ve never read it, and thought I’d have a short, fun read.  Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland are on tap as well, but it often surprises me what I’ll actually choose next.  

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3 hours ago, NoahLutz said:

I tacked another short one after Of Mice and Men: Cicero’s de Senectute (On Old Age).  It’s a short essay and it’s an interesting look at how Cicero imagined Cato the Elder looked at old age.  Cicero, in addition to being a brilliant orator and philosopher, seems to be the first self-help author in history.  Or at least the first one of which I am aware.  Nothing groundbreaking, but still interesting to see a logical takedown of the idea that getting old sucks and a blueprint for how to live well.  One piece of advice I thought was interesting was to start early!

 

After the brilliant heaviness of Steinbeck and the depressing and vapid Godot and Rosencrantz plays, I’ve moved on to Mary Poppins.  I don’t have time to read it with my kids (or more accurately, they don’t have time for me and want to focus on The Prince Warriors and the new Star Wars Thrawn trilogy), I’ve never read it, and thought I’d have a short, fun read.  Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland are on tap as well, but it often surprises me what I’ll actually choose next.  

 

How about The Wind in the Willows? I think you'd like that.

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3 hours ago, Turbine Freight said:

 

How about The Wind in the Willows? I think you'd like that.

You are right.  I read that with the kids about two years ago,  and it was a copy of the book I had kept from my own childhood.

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On 2/4/2024 at 6:18 AM, Rhyta said:

I am sure I posted much earlier about Mel Starr and the Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton - which I think you "liked".

A genre I never read before it was recommended, and I really enjoyed them. Simple, old school, so to speak.

 

I haven't heard of that series but it sounds intriguing, may have to check into it.  Thanks

I think what I was getting at, was that Jason Vail has a medieval chronicle series and so does Mel Starr. But maybe Starr is the better writer, and perhaps Vail is kind of copy-catting on the genre?

But yes, I wanted to read more of those kind of stories and found Vail a bit awkward and Starr more supported, or polished?

 

I wondered if you might be more familiar with self published authors vs. famous authors - all having a medium like the Kindle to publish stories and maybe the lines get blurred between good and (not so good, hate using those words but don't have better ones) self published, typos and all. 

 

I was curious if you had an opinion, Cheers :)

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I’ve started Winnie the Pooh, and put “When Christmas Comes” into my future reads list.  I’m looking for a few lighter reads before jumping back into the tough stuff.  

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On 2/6/2024 at 8:54 AM, NoahLutz said:

East of Eden could be the best novel I’ve ever read.  I’ll hold off crowning it the champ until I reread it in a year or two.  I’m most of the way through Of Mice and Man, and it’s good, but just so much less universal and ambitious.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have started with the best.  

IMHO, as highly regards John Steinbeck is I still hold that he is underrated. East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath are two of the greatest novels every written in any language at any time in history. Truly, that great. 

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Unruly: The Ridiculous History of England's Kings and Queens (A tale of power, glory, and gore from Arthur to Elizabeth I ) by David Mitchell

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3 hours ago, librarian said:

Unruly: The Ridiculous History of England's Kings and Queens (A tale of power, glory, and gore from Arthur to Elizabeth I ) by David Mitchell

 

That sounds excellent!  thank you!

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If you read this book, get ready for some salty language!

Mitchell also reads the audiobook,  -  that should be interesting...

 

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I read a book by a political.commentator that no one here will like, and it was just meh.  He was preaching to the choir (which can be a good and important thing to do), but very little of it was new or interesting to me.  
 

My daughter started Jane Eyre and asked me to read it with her, so that’s jumped to the top.  The bad news is that she loves it and it seems Wuthering Heights will be on the table.  Then I’ll be forced to read Jane Austin books for months.  Of course, there are worse fates than reading the greatest female novelist in history,  but I do have a backlog I’m trying to thin out.

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