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review 2017-10-17 19:38
Carpe Jugulum ★★★★★
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

I can’t believe I just finished the last Discworld book in the Witches series. Dammit, why isn’t there more?!? Wait, I think there’s still a couple in the Tiffany Aching stories I haven’t read yet, maybe those count?

 

It didn’t take me long to progress through the first three of the five stages of grief. I may never reach Acceptance, though, because I am really going to miss Granny and Nanny Ogg and Magrat and Agnes/Perdita. Mostly Granny, though. I sure hope she makes some cameo appearances in the other books I haven’t read yet.

 

Carpe Jugulum was fun. So much fun that I mostly blew off watching the ALCS and stayed up waaaay past my bedtime during the work week to finish.

 

Previous Updates:

10/15/17 10/394pg 

10/17/17 337/394pg

 

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text 2017-10-17 12:38
Carpe Jugulum - progress 337/394 pg
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

Vampires are not naturally cooperative creatures. It's not in their nature. Every other vampire is a rival for the next meal. In fact, the ideal situation for a vampire is a world in which every other vampire has been killed off and no one seriously believes in vampires anymore. They are by  nature as cooperative as sharks. 

 

Vampyres are just the same, the only real difference being that they can't spell properly.

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text 2017-10-15 16:18
Carpe Jugulum - progress 10/394 pg
Carpe Jugulum - Terry Pratchett

The pointy hat carried a lot of weight in the Ramtops. People talked to the hat, not to the person wearing it. When people were in serious trouble they went to a witch.*

 

*Sometimes, of course, to say, "please stop doing it."

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review 2017-10-03 13:16
Boy’s Life ★★★★★
Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammon

It would be easy to lose interest in a long, rambly story that doesn’t seem to advance any sort of plot or action for the first half, but Boy’s Life is full of paragraphs and observations that delighted me for the way they evoked a time or place or childhood emotion. Then the plot roared to life and I started turning pages to find out what next, what next, what next, and forgetting to stop and savor the prose.

 

Maybe a bike, once discarded, pines away year after year for the first hand that steered it, and as it grows old it dreams, in its bike way, of the young roads. It was never really mine, then; it traveled with me, but its pedals and handlebars held the memory of another master. Maybe, on that rainy Wednesday, it killed itself because it knew I yearned for a bike built for me and me alone. Maybe. All I knew for sure at that moment was that I had to walk the rest of the way home, and I couldn’t drag the carcass with me.

 

And:

They say that somewhere in Africa the elephants have a secret grave where they go to lie down, unburden their wrinkled gray bodies, and soar away, light spirits at the end. I believed at that moment in time that I had found the grave of the bicycles, where the carcasses flake away year after year under rain and baking sun, long after the spirits of their wandering lives have gone. In some places on that huge pile the bicycles had melted away until they resembled nothing more than red and copper leaves waiting to be burned on an autumn afternoon. In some places shattered headlights poked up, sightless but defiant, in a dead way. Warped handlebars still held rubber grips, and from some of the grips dangled strips of colored vinyl like faded flames. I had a vision of all these bikes, vibrant in their new paint, with new tires and new pedals and chains that snuggled up to their sprockets in beds of clean new grease. It made me sad, in a way I couldn’t understand, because I saw how there is an end to all things, no matter how much we want to hold on to them.

 

And:

My heart was a frog leaping out of murky water in to clear sunlight. I said, “Thanks!” and I ran for the door. Before I got out, though, I looked back at Mrs. Neville. She sat at a desk with no papers on it that needed grading, no books holding lessons that needed to be taught. The only thing on her desk, besides her blotter and her pencil sharpener that would do no more chewing for a while, was a red apple Paula Erskine had brought her. I saw Mrs. Neville, framed in a spill of sunlight, reach for the apple and pick it up as if in slow motion. Then Mrs. Neville stared out at the room of empty desks, carved with the initials of generations who had passed through this place like a tide rolling into the future. Mrs. Neville suddenly looked awfully old.

 

And:

This is the way the world spins: people want to believe the best, but they’re always ready to fear the worst. I imagine you could take the most innocent song ever written and hear the devil speaking in it, if that’s what your mind told you to listen for. Songs that say something about the world and about the people in it – people who are fraught with sins and complications just like the best of us – can be especially cursed, because to some folks truth is a hurtful thing. I sat in that church and heard the reverend rage and holler. I saw his face redden and his eyes gleam and the spittle spray from his mouth. I saw that he was a terrified man, and he was stoking the hot coals of terror in his congregation. He skipped the needle around, playing more snippets backward that to me sounded like gibberish but to him held satanic messages. It occurred to me that he must’ve spent an awfully long time huddled over that record player, scratching the needle back and forth in search of an evil thought.

 

And: more. So much more.

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review 2017-07-22 13:02
The Andromeda Strain ★★★☆☆
The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton

Put together the most meticulous plans and bring together several brilliant and creative minds, but still nearly come to disaster through mistaken assumptions and mechanical and human errors, and be likewise saved by random leaps of logic and mechanical and human errors. Perhaps the most fun part of reading this, for me, is how plausible this seems, because all the characters involved behave like real humans do. Plus, having been written in 1968, Crichton is writing about cutting edge/futuristic technology that is now hilariously dated. Imagine a disaster nearly caused by

a communication failure, because an isolated team is relying on alerts that are transmitted to a machine that prints on a continuous roll of paper, but the paper gets jammed and nobody notices because the guy who’s supposed to check it just looks for software failures rather than mechanical and thinks, well, no news is good news.

(spoiler show)

 

Paperback, picked up at a used book sale. Good thing I didn’t try this on audio, as I expect that the frequent displays of lab test results and technical readouts would be horrible on audio. What would they do, just read line after line of figures?

 

I read this for the 2017 Booklikes-opoly challenge, for the square Tomorrowland 33: Read a book set in space or tagged SciFi on GR or a book that includes robots or cyborgs. The SciFi tag applies to this book.

 

Previous Updates:

7/8/17 - BLopoly pick

7/14/17 – 40/288pg

7/18/17 – 107/288pg

 

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