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text 2020-01-14 21:17
Reading progress update: I've read 212 out of 543 pages.
The Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett

Just an update on the buddy read that started over on GR because BL was down on our intended start date of last Sunday! 


There are four of us reading - myself, BrokenTune, Lillelara & Themis-Athena.


The Game of Kings is divided into four parts:


Part One: The Play for Jonathan

Part Two: The Play for Gideon

Part Three: The Play for Samuel

Part Four: The End Game


I'm currently in the last section of Part Two, called French Defence. All of the titles and subheadings relate to chess moves. I don't play chess, so they are more or less meaningless to me, although even I am not such a savage that I don't know that chess has historically been called "the game of kings." This is the first in the six book series that centers on Francis Crawford of Lymond, swashbuckling Scot of dubious morality (or so it seems at this point).


I think everyone is enjoying the book. It's not an easy read, though. Dunnett has basically tossed the readers into the middle of an ongoing political intrigue without an ounce of backstory, and I'm just scrambling to catch up. It's a remarkably effective technique - she is definitely not an author who is willing to dole out information in predigested info dumps - although it takes work to read. Lymond is constantly showing up in different guises so every time a new character is introduced, my antennae start quivering. Is it him? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes I still don't even know.


So, the overarching question is what is going on here? Is Lymond a traitor? Is he not a traitor? Is he being framed? Is he not being framed? Is he good, bad, or just terminally self-centered? Is he hero or anti-hero? I don't know.


Anyway, because it is fairly hard work to read, I'm not gulping it down in a single reading. I'd like to get to the end of Part Three tonight, but that might be too ambitious.


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text 2020-01-01 18:31
Early 2020 Buddy Reads
The Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett
Miss Pym Disposes - Josephine Tey

We've been talking about a number of early 2020 buddy reads!


Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey and Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett are definitely on the reading schedule. 


In addition, the Agathytes were discussing a Christie readalong, but we haven't selected a title yet. My suggestions were:


A Murder is Announced (Marple)

The Pale Horse (stand-alone/cameo with Ariadne Oliver)

Five Little Pigs (Poirot)

Ordeal by Innocence (stand-alone)


And I'm still open to other suggestions.


So, let's pick some timeframes. Who is planning to play (the more the merrier, of course), and when do you want to do it? I already have all of the books we're considering, and I have a complete collection of Christie's full-length mysteries, so I can read pretty much everything!


Should we stagger the reads over the next six weeks or so?


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text 2014-05-04 17:52
2014 Reading List to Date
The Stockholm Octavo - Karen Engelmann
The Grapes of Wrath (Macmillan Readers) - John Steinbeck,Macmillan Readers,A.W. Steinbeck
Longbourn - Jo Baker
The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance - Edmund de Waal
Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) - Dorothy L. Sayers
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
The Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett
Tortilla Flat - John Steinbeck
The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas

So 2014 was going to be the year I tried to read my backlog of unread books.  I'm not sure if I'm going to get through all of them, but it's been fun trying. 


I've definitely enjoyed being bound by whatever the candy bowl throws at me. Although I have to confess to deviating a couple of times when books I've had on order from my library became available.


I was hoping that having a list of unread books would prevent me from buying any new ones, and to a certain extent it seems to have worked in that I've been putting books on a wish-list rather than hitting that Amazon one-click button. But every so often a book will whisper "buy me, oh please buy me", and boom, there it is, sitting in my Kindle waiting for me. 


Ah well.  At least I'll have plenty of fodder for my 2015 list.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2014-03-26 10:29
Reading progress update: I've read 351 out of 581 pages.
Checkmate - Dorothy Dunnett,Vintage Books

Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts


You're my downfall, you're my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues



Every word of this song is perfection, I am amazed how well it suits the characters as well as my emotions.




 'Kate is my friend. That is true. But the songs were for her daughter. And the passion, for ever.' 


'But I am her daughter,' Philippa said.




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text 2014-03-23 18:07
Reading progress update: I've read 92 out of 581 pages.
Checkmate - Dorothy Dunnett,Vintage Books

"Tant que je vive, mon cueur ne changera
Pour nulle vivante, tant soit elle bonne ou saige
Forte et puissante, riche de hault lignage
Mon chois est fait, aultre ne se fera."


Not for the first time I regret not knowing French. One of my long term plans is learning French and reading The Count of Monte Cristo in original. It's unclear when I'll find the time but I've wanted it since I was in high school. It has been altered somewhat to include rereading the Lymond Chronicles as well.


She stood now in another country, whose sun burned and whose air was too rare for her breathing. And she stood there alone, with the words of a warning for company:

Tant que je vive …

Long as I live, my heart will never vary
For no one else, however fair or good
Brave, resolute or rich, of gentle blood.
My choice is made, and I will have no other.


I had to stop reading after part I. FML. If only I didn't have a test tomorrow. If only I had started reading last night. If only I was on vacation...  :D

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