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text 2019-01-15 03:02
Reading progress update: I've read 82 out of 624 pages.
The Traders' War: A Merchant Princes Omnibus - Charles Stross

Machinations. Opaque ones.

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review 2019-01-13 19:21
A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch - My Thoughts
A Beautiful Blue Death - Charles Finch

This is the third book from my Christmas haul and again, I enjoyed my read. 

The book and the author were recommended by one of my most favourite authors, Louise Penny, the author of the Gamache series.  I just spent 20 minutes trying to find the reference and failed miserably  *LOL*.   Anyway, that's the reason I picked it up.

So, Charles Lenox is a Victorian gentleman who likes to solve mysteries. He has an interesting group of family and friends and he's a smart fellow.  I liked him.  I can see why Louise likes him as well - there's a faint Gamachian feel to the book and the characters which is fine by me. 

I like Finch's writing style, it's easy to read and while there are instances of what could be termed as info-dumping, they're handled well and not annoying.  He also does some easy back and forth banter between Lenox and his old friends that I found quite fun. 

The mystery worked for me, as did the wrapping up of the various plot-lines.  There was a question or two that didn't get answered, or if it did, I missed it, but that didn't impede my enjoyment of the book.

If I had one real problem with the book, it was that there was an awful lot of snowing going on in London for late December/early January.  I don't think it snows that much over there at all. 

Anyway, I enjoyed the book enough to add Book 2 to my wishlist.  :)

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text 2019-01-13 11:12
Reading progress update: I've read 52 out of 624 pages.
The Traders' War: A Merchant Princes Omnibus - Charles Stross

With only a vague memory of the previous two books' plot, this is a bit mysterious.

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review 2019-01-12 16:19
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 4: 1957-1958
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 4: 1957-1958 - Charles M. Schulz,Jonathan Franzen

After a long hiatus, I've resolved to start reading these again. Whenever I feel like I need a boost I'll go ahead and buy another volume. I mean, I'm never going to retire anyway so what's the point of having a savings account?

 

Edit: Also, sorry folks you have to click through to the blog to see the whole comic strip. 

 

These were good years for the strip, with Schulz continuing to refine his technique, there are long sequences here - notably Linus' pledge to go without his blanket for two weeks and Charlie Brown's epic baseball gaff - and thee are jokes with almost identical panels repeated many times. This repetition wasn't detrimental, it seemed more like Schulz working out a joke in his mind until it reached maximum absurdity. Violet's hi-fi parasol inevitably becomes Lucy's hi-fi jump rope.

 

 

 

Much of the humor appears timeless, but the Peanuts gang were children of the 1950s, young baby boomers as observed by the previous generation. Their are many gags that deal with no outmoded technology, branding, or early television, but those dealing with child psychology were some of my favorites. This was the beginning of parenting being serious business:

 

27Jul57

 

 

Snoopy's impressions took off in the last volume, but he adds many more to his repertoire in these years and in general is just delightful.

 

 

There were no additions to the cast, the last two comics have everyone in them (the very last even with names)  but Schulz has a lot on his hands figuring out the group dynamics, good and bad. Schroeder and Charlie Brown compete for who's better at despairing over contemporary pop culture:

 

 

It was truly difficult picking a Sunday for this review, but this one touches on a lot of things I love about the series. Poor Charlie Brown, he suffers all the pangs of childhood and rarely catches a break:

 

 

Maybe it gets better for him next year, but I doubt it!

 

 

Complete Peanuts

 

Next: 'Volume Five: 1959-1960'

 

Previous: 'Volume Three: 1955-1956'

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review 2019-01-11 18:47
Not really compelling enough for me to continue
Obi-Wan & Anakin (2016) #1 (of 5) - Marco Checchetto,Charles Soule

I would if it were free, but I don't think I'll pay for more.   Another comic I got for free.   Not horrible by any means, but just not compelling enough for me to continue.   I didn't find it added anything to the general Star Wars mythos, or was fun enough, for me to pay to continue, that's all. 

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