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What Else Are You Reading? > What Else Are You Reading - January 2018

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6756 comments Mod
09 15141225 071520 06152118 0815211819 1506 1912050516 12011920 1409070820 1915 01141520080518 01 190913161205 151405 20080919 1315142008 181502152019 130125 141520 14050504 1912050516 022120 09 0415

message 2: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Jan 01, 2018 03:02AM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3509 comments Mod
12090620 25152118 07011305 181502. ;-)

09 0113 18050104091407 For We Are Many

message 3: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8302 comments What that exchange reminds me of:

message 4: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1617 comments Gosh, nerds.

Based on Shad's suggestion, I am kickstarting the year with Lost Stars. Looks like a quick read. Hoping the romance part is not too annoying.

After that, I'll dive into Paladin of Souls - can't wait to return to this particular Bujold's world.

message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1137 comments Finished A Wrinkle in Time at 1 a.m. this morning. Boy do I know how to rock in the New Year or what? My 12 year old was on the other couch reading his book at the same time so at least I know my nerd genes will survive me.
It's surprising that I missed this book when I was younger and I suspect that I would have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more when I was 10 or 11 than I do as an adult. As it is though, the pro-Christian, anti-Communist propaganda kept reminding me of a cross between C. S. Lewis and Robert Heinlein but L'Engle can't write as entertainingly as either one of them. I expect this book to be pretty divisive when the group reads it next month.
Starting Artemis.

message 6: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 992 comments I finished The Underground Railroad in the dying hours of 2017. A very powerful book. More historical fiction, but it does have some magic realist elements.

Starting off 2018 with some non-fiction: The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BCE – 1492 CE

message 7: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 345 comments Starting 2018 midway through part 4 of Oathbringer in hardcover. Started Artemis on my Kindle since Oathbringer in hardcover is not a convenient book to lug around.

message 8: by Tea (new)

Tea (prettylives) | 1 comments starting 2018 partway through several books! This year I'm going to try and read 1 book at a time but I have a long commute so I like having an audio and a physical on the go.

Brilliance (audio 50%)
Rae of Hope (15%)
Assassin's Apprentice (20%)

message 10: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4132 comments I'm also starting the new year with some books in progress. I'll be traveling in about a week, so I expect my reading will go up then, more than "usual".

Oathbringer is still going in audio. I'm about 1/5 through (based on the fact that I'm about finished with the first of 5 parts that get downloaded)
The Core is on Kindle. I plan to devote more time to this.
I'll also read Frankenstein with the group, and have downloaded A Wrinkle in Time in audio to my phone, so that if I manage to finish Oathbringer when I'm on travel, I'll be able to jump right into that.

message 11: by Marc (new)

Marc (msirkin) | 2 comments Flow My Tears was so good! Enjoy!

Randy wrote: "I'm reading:
- Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- Altered Carbon by [author:Richa..."

message 12: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 829 comments Translation: (view spoiler)

message 13: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1307 comments HI,

Started the year by finishing Persepolis Rising and have started in on this months pick, a reread of Frankenstein.

Some surprisingly apt parallels between the two. Persepolis Rising suffered a bit as a transition book. Not the strongest outing in this series.

message 14: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (coltssuperfan18) | 1 comments I’m starting off the year by reading Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, which is a sci-fi take of Cinderella.

message 15: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8302 comments Started The Black Lung Captain, #2 in the Ketty Jay series.

message 16: by Stephen (last edited Jan 01, 2018 08:27PM) (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments Saga, Vol. 8 , a re Listen to Babylon's Ashes and hopefully Deryni Rising. The BOM for the next two months are short so a stab at the "To Be Read" pile looks promising.

message 17: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1617 comments Trike wrote: "Started The Black Lung Captain, #2 in the Ketty Jay series."

that is my favorite book of the series. they are all really good but this one is special.

message 18: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1617 comments Iain wrote: "Some surprisingly apt parallels between the two. Persepolis Rising suffered a bit as a transition book. Not the strongest outing in this series. ."

It will pay off. I spent the longest time reading PS compared to other Expanse novels but still ended up being a five-star read.

message 19: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 317 comments In addition to trying to read this month's pick during the designated month, I'm working on Glass Town bySteven Savile, which is OK, but I've yet to become invested in any of the characters and I'm nearly half-way through.

I'm listening to Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley after having fun with the The Rook (many months after it was read here.)

If Persepolis Rising comes in at the library, I'll read that, otherwise I'll make a concerted effort to finish the last 40% of The Jack Vance Treasury.

message 20: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 474 comments I did indeed finish both Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (seriously, that book was 500 pages too long :p) and Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files before year's end. Now I'm currently reading An Unattractive Vampire. My new year's resolution is to be sure to read every day, even if it's just a page or two. I didn't do so well with that, especially in December, and not because I was busy either (just lazy).

message 21: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Been away for the holidays. I finished Jade City by Fonda Lee and it was spectacular. Definitely one of my favorite books of 2017. My review.

Not sure what I want to read next. I was reading The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. but I'm not sure if I feel like continuing with it. It's long and not really grabbing me.

message 22: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2471 comments Was all set to start Oathbringer but in the introduction Sanderson recommends I read Edgedancer first! Okay, it's only a novella and should get my hands on a copy this week. In the meantime I'm reading The Once and Future King and just started Spartan Gold on audio for a bit of light reading/listening.

message 24: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8302 comments Misti wrote: "I did indeed finish both Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (seriously, that book was 500 pages too long :p) ..."

Word. I thought that was one of the most overrated books of recent years.

message 25: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Gold (hazelgold) | 2 comments I started 2018 by finishing Ancillary Sword... after ending 2017 by tearing through Ancillary Justice. So now, of course, I'm completing the trilogy. After that I think I'm going to try and start the year right by finishing some books that have been languishing on my shelves for no good reason.

message 26: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 345 comments Finished Artemis. I was planning on passing on it because of some of the comments I've read about it. I ended up getting it on Kindle from my brother so I decided to give it a try and I'm glad a did. Here is my review.

Will start on a reread of Frankenstein on my Kindle.

message 27: by TRP (new)

TRP Watson (trpw) | 197 comments Just finished We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor. Lots of fun but possibly because I'm a computer guy too. Will definitely continue the series.

message 28: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6756 comments Mod
TRP wrote: "Just finished We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor. Lots of fun but possibly because I'm a computer guy too. Will definitely continue the series."

That series is great, but I'm also a computer guy.

message 29: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Jan 03, 2018 04:37PM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3509 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "That series is great, but I'm also a computer guy. "

I'm just starting Book 3 All These Worlds

I love how all the Bobs have quite distinct personalities.

The Bobiverse series was written for us computer nerds, and sci-fi nerds, and space nerds,

Well for all us nerds ;-)

message 30: by Sumant (new)

Sumant Finished my first book for the year City of Stairs and loved it. Here is my review for it.

message 31: by Phil (last edited Jan 04, 2018 11:16PM) (new)

Phil | 1137 comments Just finished Artemis by Andy Weir. This one really got better for me the farther along I went. I didn't like the main character very much at first but at around the half-way point her motivation changed and she started to grow on me. I ended up really enjoying this book, maybe not quite as much as The Martian but still 5 stars.
Starting Beholder's Eye.

message 32: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1307 comments Just finished Annihilation in a day. 4*. Definitely going to read the rest f the trilogy.

I wonder how they will stuff up the movie (view spoiler)

message 33: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1617 comments Finished with Lost Stars (Claudia Gray). The inner monolog/philosophizing parts are too many, the female MC was infuriating, but the cameos of well known characters and the ending sequence of the book is nice. I also read one Poe comic because it was on sale but the art work and story did not wow me. Too bad. Probably should have bought the Maul ones.

Continuing with a bio on Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance. Reading the first chapter feels like watching less funny version of HBO's Silicon Valley.

message 34: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8302 comments Iain wrote: "Just finished Annihilation in a day. 4*. Definitely going to read the rest f the trilogy.

I wonder how they will stuff up the movie [spoilers removed]"

Vandermeer has given the movie his stamp of approval and says that the ending is mind-blowing in the way 2001: A Space Odyssey’s is. So there’s that.

message 35: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 101 comments I spent the last week or so on a ship in the middle of the ocean and managed to plow through The Way of Kings, the first 1,000-page book in the Stormlight series, and the first 1,000 pages of 1Q84. Oh and also the novella Binti, which I quite enjoyed.

Plan to finish off the last 200 or so pages of 1Q84 for completion's sake and then either re-read A Wrinkle in Time or start The Changeling

message 36: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1307 comments Trike wrote: "Iain wrote: "Just finished Annihilation in a day. 4*. Definitely going to read the rest f the trilogy.

I wonder how they will stuff up the movie [spoilers removed]"

Vandermeer ha..."

I prefer enlightened pessimism.

message 37: by Shad (new)

Shad (splante) | 345 comments Finally finished Oathbringer and read a collection of the first six Vader comics. The middle of Oathbringer seemed a little slow, but the ending was great. Looking forward to the next one in a few years.

message 38: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3911 comments Meant to do this a week or so ago but, holiday cold and slugging....

Some books I enjoyed (since my last post was on ones I didn't):

Finished Infinity Engine, the third book in the "Transformation" series featuring the AI "Penny Royal" in the Polity universe. I lied this series fine, but there is silliness around. Firstly, the ending is straight out of The Weapon Shops of Isher. I saw the series finale coming halfway through the second book.

The series was otherwise full of neat science-y goodness. I say "science-y" because there is such a huge amount of handwavium involved. Ships can withstand pellets shot at them at near-C velocities because, um, the hull is made of "exotic material." And that's before we get into how the heck the pellets could be accelerated in ships a few miles long. Plus, does anyone ever do cleanup after a space battle, or do they just leave these pellets to wreak havoc in star systems for centuries and millenia to come?

But anyway. Good exploration of a fractured AI mind, born to battle but unable to deal with the stress of war. The background of the humans vs the prador and the possibility of renewed war provided an interesting tapestry. Betrayal and death not necessarily the end of life. Worth reading, even with some silliness.

Next up, the Niven collection Stars and Gods. Some of this is excerpts of books I've read. Others are fair to middling explorations of stuff I haven't bothered with, like the endless Man-Kzin wars.

But along the way there's the story "Free Floaters" which Niven wrote with Brenda Cooper. It features an intelligent race that evolved in a superjovian exoplanet. A few pages in I was suddenly transported to my 13 year old self, reading Known Space for the first time. Niven's casual ability to work in astrophysics like it's nothing is a skill not even approached by any other writer. I flat out loved this story. The collection overall is okay, but it is worth it for this story alone. And the others didn't stink, and included some nonfiction I had not read.

message 39: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (elzbethmrgn) | 274 comments I've started reading for my major thesis so that's going to influence my What Else I Am Reading this year (see if you can guess my topic!): The Supernatural in Tudor and Stuart England by Darren Oldridge and Witchcraft, the Devil, and Emotions in Early Modern England by Charlotte-Rose Millar so far in January.

I finished up my ongoing non-fiction read, The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston. Highly recommend this if you're interested in a readable history of how books came to be the things we read today! The next will be The Voynich Manuscript, which of course won't be the actual manuscript (although deciphering it would be awesome), but there's also a whole bunch of essays in this book about the manuscript.

The one you guys probably care about is The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, the second in the Winternight Trilogy. I'm halfway through, but it seems the author has taken everything I loved about the first book and thrown it away for the second. Disappointing. I did start Frankenstein but lemmed it at 30%; based on comments in the BOTM thread, though, I might give it a few more chapters.

And, because I always need some short story collections for reading in waiting rooms or at Kidling's sport activities, I've got
Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson (although now I've caught up on Mistborn I can finish this one off without spoilers), and The Book of Swords edited by Gardner Dozois.

message 40: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8302 comments Vanessa wrote: "I spent the last week or so on a ship in the middle of the ocean "

A cruise ship or just random boating?

message 41: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 101 comments Trike wrote: "Vanessa wrote: "I spent the last week or so on a ship in the middle of the ocean "

A cruise ship or just random boating?"

Cruise ship - my fiance is a professional magician and was performing. I tagged along because it was the holiday season. We were much "younger" than everyone else on the cruise, given that the average age of the guests was probably ~70.

message 42: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8302 comments “In the country of the aged, the youthful shall be king.” — H.G. Wells, paraphrased

message 43: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2471 comments Got to be better than a ship full of 7 year olds :)

message 44: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3911 comments I wanted to do the "good books" bit above because, well, I've read two mediocre ones recently. This will bring me up to date. Promise!

So while waiting out a puzzlingly long library hold time for the end of a Neal Asher trilogy Jupiter War as well as for Persepolis Rising, I picked up a collection of shorts called Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction. There were two stories I wanted to read in this book, one by Alastair Reynolds and one by Peter Hamilton. The Reynolds story was a competent if uninspired bit of cosmology the ending of which any longtime SF reader will guess halfway through. I might have been impressed in my teen years but I have seen this idea too many times now. The Hamilton bit was not actually SF but about the life of an SF writer dealing with an editor on a very old story. It's really quite delicious.

The rest of the stories in the collection range from boring to trite. Mostly it's death death doom and death. If you like dystopias you might like this, but overall it read like the experimental wave of 70s SF and I didn't like it all that much then. Stephen Baxter's was especially depressing as it dealt with the extermination of the human race, but then, that's almost to be expected from him.

Then, just as I finished that up, Consider Phlebas came in. I've seen Iain Banks recommended so had tagged this. Apparently this universe has seen quite a lot of longevity. I can't see why from this book. It's a serious of preposterous events one after the other.(view spoiler)

There's an encounter with an Orbital that is clearly inspired by Ringworld. In fact, the whole book reads like Niven meets Barsoom by way of Star Wars. I can handle the derivative aspect but not the constant stunting. I am skimming large parts of the book. Persepolis Rising has just come in and while I won't lem Consider Phlebas for it, I will rush to the end. The civilization called the Culture shows some promise, but appears far too infrequently for me to care. Possibly this helped inspire Hamilton's Commonwealth, but Hamilton has done far better with the concept.

message 45: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1617 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "I wanted to do the "good books" bit above because, well, I've read two mediocre ones recently. This will bring me up to date. Promise!

So while waiting out a puzzlingly long library hold time for ..."

Great write-up.

I have not read any Banks, but for Culture novels a friend actually suggested for me to read The Player of Games first, then see whether I'd like to read the rest.

message 46: by Rick (last edited Jan 07, 2018 11:16PM) (new)

Rick | 2782 comments Phlebas is NOT a good intro to the Culture novels. It starts from the opposite side, during a war for which you have no context and is rather claustrophobic. There are people who love it, but I'm not one.

That said the Culture series is the best SF series of the last generation in my opinion. If Player Of Games doesn't grab you I doubt you'll like the rest but honestly, anyone who doesn't at least like the series is someone whose taste in SF I couldn't relate to.* FYI, you don't have to read in publication order though I would just because.

*I don't mean such a person is wrong or something... but their tastes would be so different that I wouldn't have much in common with them.

Also, John, you seem to think Niven has some lock on the idea of Dyson rings because of Ringworld. He doesn't and the use of them (which is prevalent in these books) doesn't mean an author is copying Niven.

message 47: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 226 comments Good tip on Player of Games, thanks for sharing. I wanted to try the series but Consider Phlebas is a book I was strongly encouraged not to read due to my personal preferences.

I'm having a pretty good start to my year. I read Uprooted which was meh but I'm glad to have crossed it off the list. I am reading and hoping to finish Touch and Ninefox Gambit very soon. I am really, really enjoying them. Touch is way more action-packed, wittier, and more philosophical than I anticipated -- the narrator is ahmazing. And Ninefox is delightfully confusing. I'm having fun trying to make sense of it all. I also think I may be falling in love with Jedao, which fits in with my tendency to find out all my book crushes are sociopaths. It is so fortunate that I'm not in the dating world, I think I'd be terrible at it.

I have The Golem and the Jinni and Jews versus Aliens up next, followed by a couple re-reads of books for buddy reads.

message 48: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2471 comments Yeah, Consider Phlebas is not the best of Bank's book, but it does have the unique perspective of starting from the wrong side :) Three of my favorite authors but personally I would rank Banks slightly above Hamilton and way above Reynolds.

message 49: by Austin (new)

Austin | 2 comments Just finished Artemis, starting Contact by Mr.Sagan. See my review for my collected thoughts, but was anyone else really disappointed by Artemis? Seems to be a polarized consensus.

message 50: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3911 comments I was pretty disappointed by Artemis. It seemed thrown together along with an attempt to build a "realistic" lunar colony out of cobbled-together knowledge, whereas with The Martian Weir knew the science through and through.

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