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text 2017-03-19 21:06
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction - Neil Gaiman,Terry Pratchett

On why he starts his next book immediately after finishing the first:


"It also means you have an excuse for not tidying away your reference books, a consideration not to be lightly cast aside in this office, where books are used as bookmarks for other books."


You know, I feel I would have liked this man a great deal, if only because it makes me feel better to know I am not the only one who does that. 

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review 2017-03-19 13:18
Review: Night Watch (Discworld Book 34 of 53ish)
Night Watch - Terry Pratchett

Night Watch is the 6th book in the Watch subseries of Discworld


Surprisingly, I enjoyed this one pretty well.  I say “surprisingly” because, as I’ve said in other reviews, Vimes often gets on my nerves.  This book focuses on him very heavily, more than any other book since the first Watch book.  However, we see more of the sarcastic and clever aspects of Vimes which I do enjoy and far less of the bitter, woe-is-me, self-destructive aspects which drive me crazy.


This is a time travel story.  Vimes accidentally gets thrown back in time, to a point shortly after he had first joined the Watch.  History of course gets changed, and now he has to make sure events happen that will keep his future in-tact.


It wasn’t a completely riveting story, but it had its fun parts.  Some of those fun parts came from seeing various other Discworld characters at an earlier stage in their lives and learning what they were like before the series began.  I particularly enjoyed meeting a younger Vetinari, a character I’ve enjoyed since he was first introduced.

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text 2017-03-18 19:32
Lords and Ladies - progress 10/374 pg
Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14) - Terry Pratchett

"This was octarine grass country. Good growing country, especially for corn. And here was a field of it, waving gently between the hedges. Not a big field. Not a remarkable one, really. I was just a field with corn in it, except of course during the winter, when there were just pigeons and crows in it."


I'm not sure why I find Pratchett's writing so funny. But I do, and this book is off to a good start. 

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review 2017-03-12 14:57
Review: I Shall Wear Midnight
I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett

This is the kind of book that Fantasy fans who don't read YA will claim is YA, because the protagonist is the right age and it doesn't stretch their comfort zones. It is not YA. It is Fantasy. This isn't a bad thing by any means, but maybe don't recommend it to someone who is looking for a good YA read as it will just make them suspicious of your future recommendations. 


YA tends to have fewer giant dick jokes in the first chapter, for starters. 


And now that I've gotten those two points out, let's talk about what a great book this is. This is the 4th Tiffany Aching book, and the i-have-no-clueth Discworld book. All of them are good.


I Shall Wear Midnight starts strong (well, once Pratchett gets enough dick jokes out of his system in the first chapter), showing Tiffany working to fulfill the role she's trained for. Wearing a pointy hat may be a visual metaphor for being a woman with a career, and this work, like other Witches novels in Discworld, continues to examine issues women still face by daring to have opinions and authority and jobs. The approach to the casual sexism of society makes it as much a spiritual successor to Equal Rites as it is a plot continuity sequel to Wintersmith. Unlike Equal Rites, Tiffany is a Witch, clearly a woman's role, but what kind of woman, exactly? That's the question on the tip of the tongue of everyone she interacts with.


Sadly, while it does show some religious based discrimination, compared to other Discworld novels, it feels like it's pulling it's punches in this regard. And I found the antagonist rather unsatisfactory on a metaphorical sense. Like the bad behavior of too many people gets easily swept under the carpet by literalizing mob behavior as a distinct entity.


But, whatever, I'm still waiting for a Netflix Original treatment of this series. How great would that be?

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review 2017-03-12 01:20
Review: The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld Book 33 of 53ish)
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld, #28) - Terry Pratchett

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is the first young adult Discworld book.  It was a short book, and a cute story, but I thought it was pretty substantial in terms of both plot and messages.  The plot was certainly more substantial than many of his adult Discworld books.  I didn’t think there was quite as much humor, but it had its funny moments.


The basic premise is that some of the rats in Ankh-Morpork, after eating magical rubbish dumped by the residents of the Unseen University, have become intelligent.  They can talk in human speech, read, and think rationally.  Maurice, a cat, has gained similar abilities.  Maurice is, like most cats, opportunistic.  He finds himself a “stupid-looking kid” who can play a pipe, and starts up a scam with the rats and the kid in which they all travel to various towns, the rats freak out the residents, and the stupid-looking kid plays the pipe and pretends he’s charming the rats into leaving the town.  For a fee, of course.  The story begins as they approach a new town where they plan to execute their scam.  Things don’t go as planned.


I enjoyed the story pretty well.  It had some fun characters, both of the human and non-human variety.  I particularly liked Maurice, of course!  Even though this may seem like a weird comparison to anybody who has read both books, I kept having flashbacks to Watership Down.  The books are very different in most ways, but there were some similarities in tone and even a couple similar events.  If I hadn’t read Watership Down so recently, I doubt I would have had the same reaction.

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