The Incomparable Book Club discussion

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Incomparable Book Club > What are you reading?

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message 1: by Robert (last edited May 09, 2018 02:04PM) (new)

Robert Collins I thought I would start up a thread on this topic for the club. So, what are you reading, or what have you just read?

As for me, last week I finished Assassin's Apprentice. I quite enjoyed the story. I found the world to be quite unique and interesting. There were times when I felt a little lost at sea, but as the narrator and main character were (because of his age during the story), it fit. I know there are two more books after this in a trilogy. I do think I'll check them out in the near future. I'm not yet certain about getting the rest of the books in the overall series right now.

This was one of quite a few ebooks I picked up for my birthday last fall and over the holidays. I wrote up a blog post in March mentioning what I'd read from that group of purchases. I'll probably be due for another post next month.

I'm reading through the last of those ebooks now. I'll post about that in this thread when I'm done.


message 2: by David (new)

David | 3 comments You mean aside from The Caledonian Gambit, I presume? :)

Circe by Madeleine Miller was really good (in the same vein as Song of Achilles). The Queen's Thief was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the Amra Thetys series and the Monarchies of God series (Paul Kearney).


message 3: by Janice (new)

Janice (archergal) | 10 comments The Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis.

After some sort of apocalypse, Elka is left behind by her parents, then gets separated from her nana. She's taken up by a man she only knows as the Trapper. Then she finds out more about what he chases and hunts.

Pretty good so far, written in a very vernacular style. No idea how it's going to end.


message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason Snell (jasonsnell) | 45 comments Mod
Just finished The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter and I recommend it highly. It's this year's amazing awards short-list discovery by me ;-)


message 5: by David (new)

David | 3 comments Both those look awesome and are downloading as we speak. Alchemist's daughter seems kind of Wold Newton-y and very cool.


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Yep, read The Caledonian Gambit and The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter earlier this year. Listed them both in my blog post in March. One thing I liked about "Strange Case" were the character interjections. I enjoyed the glimpse into all the characters while staying focused on the main character. It was clever and it was entertaining.


message 7: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lbutlr) | 10 comments I reread the Harry Potter septology... so I’m way behind. The most recent not reread is the Sally Lockhart YA books. I’ve bought a couple of dozen books.


message 8: by Ziad (new)

Ziad (motdiem) | 6 comments I’m slowly starting the Malazan series - it’s been recommended to me several times, but as is often the cas with fantasy for my, I find it hard to get a sense of the geography and the people. But it is certainly intriguing. And i like having a saga to read through in between books, so I’m probably going to carry this one all year.
And I second the Theodora Goss recommendation : I enjoyed it a lot, and the writing/annotations was a great way to get to know characters better. I’m looking forward to the next books


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Ziad wrote: "I’m looking forward to the next books"
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman is due out in July.


message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 1 comments Just finished The Punch Escrow, hadnt decided what to read next, though Im going to read Redwall with my daughter this summer.


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Today I finished Throne of Jade, the second Temeraire novel. I enjoyed it, though it wasn't quite as fast-paced as the first book. Still, I do want to continue with the series. It's interesting to read a fantasy series set in alternate-history Napoleonic Wars. My next read will be a novella that's given me the idea for an upcoming story I'll be writing soon.


message 12: by Mon10a (new)

Mon10a | 2 comments I am reading and enjoying Bryan McClellon's Powder Mage Series. Books 1 and 2 (The Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign) were both original and very exciting. Next up: the third and final volume.

I have also read the first two books in the Malazan series by Steven Erikson. Gardens of the Moon is very well done, although a little slow at first due to the large number of characters. However the last third of the book is very fast. Volume two, The Deadhouse Gates, in comparison, was a thrill a minute for me. Malazan is a ten book series, so if you like the characters, language, and world building, there's a lot to look forward to.


message 13: by Scott (new)

Scott (ssravp) | 4 comments I just finished listening to C.J. Redwine’s The Traitor Prince. Not normally a fairy tale fan but I’ve been enjoying her Ravenspire books. I’m about 70% through Adrienne Young’s Sky In The Deep, and it’s one of my favorites of the year so far. Next up is Sylvain Neuvel’s Only Human, can’t wait to see how that series ends.


message 14: by Kerri (new)

Kerri D (cherri-d) | 2 comments I'm half way through Ninefox Gambit and loving it so far. I'm also partway through listening to the nebula awards episode, so I'll definitely be adding The alchemist's daughter to the list based on what was said both on the podcast and in this thread. Also thanks for another plug for Steven Erikson, the Malazan books have been recommended so many times to me. I started Gardens of the Moon, but only read a few chapters before it was due back at the library and there's so many of them I need all the encouragement I can find to make the commitment...


message 15: by Gary (new)

Gary Rogers I’m 1/2 way through Beartown. It’s proably the best Hockey book I’ve ever read, but a bit raw after the turn. I’ve got the latest James S.A. Corey on my next up list. I’m certainly leaning more towards literature and less from pulp as I get older, and Beartown fits that bill, while also filling my Hockey heart with all that is good and bad about hockey, and sports families in general.


message 16: by Janice (new)

Janice (archergal) | 10 comments Gary wrote: "I’m 1/2 way through Beartown. It’s proably the best Hockey book I’ve ever read, but a bit raw after the turn. I’ve got the latest James S.A. Corey on my next up list. I’m certainly ..."

You say that like SF/F isn't literature! ::d/r::


message 17: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lbutlr) | 10 comments I need to read _Ninefox Gambit_ again


message 18: by Gary (new)

Gary Rogers Janice wrote: "Gary wrote: "I’m 1/2 way through Beartown. It’s proably the best Hockey book I’ve ever read, but a bit raw after the turn. I’ve got the latest James S.A. Corey on my next up list. I..."

Some is. I quite enjoy The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Mr. Penumbra’s 24hr Bookstore. Quite a bit losses me though.


message 19: by Robert (last edited May 18, 2018 06:49AM) (new)

Robert Collins Yesterday evening I finished Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kliest. It's an influential German novella published around 1810. Among the works inspired by it are the novel Ragtime and the film based on it. I came across the story at TV Tropes. The plot has inspired a fantasy story I'm planning on writing, so I decided to real the novella.

It's quite the read. It's very much a story of how corruption among the nobility causes rebellion among common folk. There are also instances of mistakes made that end up complicating the story further. Yet there's also this mysterious fortune teller, who may actually be able to see the future, and how that complicates the plot towards the end, which gives a fantasy twist to an otherwise realistic work. I found the ebook in a collection of German classics at Project Gutenberg.

I've read through all the books I acquired last year. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to take another run at a classic I paused in my reading, or if I'm going to buy some new ebooks. I have writing to do, so I'll take some time to think about it...


message 20: by Robert (last edited Jun 06, 2018 11:01AM) (new)

Robert Collins Yesterday evening I finished Waistcoats & Weaponry, the third book in Gail Carriger's "Finishing School" series. Lots of fun! I liked how the plot moved in one direction, then ramped up and took a turn in the last quarter of the book. The characters are great as well. I hope to start on the last book in the series this weekend.


message 21: by Karen (new)

Karen Well Robert, you have just inspired me to check out this series. Thanks!


message 22: by David (new)

David | 3 comments I picked up an old Vorkosigan book to flip through. Suddenly I'm rereading the series. So good!


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Karen wrote: "Well Robert, you have just inspired me to check out this series. Thanks!"

Hope you like it!


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Last night I finished Manners & Mutiny, the fourth & final book in Gail Carriger's "Finishing School" series. It had slow but dramatic start, then accelerated towards a rousing finish. There was a warm happy ending that I wanted and needed. I enjoyed how this and last book planted seeds for the "Parasol Protectorate" books. And there were the exploding fake desserts. I plan to move on from that to the final book in a more serious series, probably starting next week.


message 25: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lbutlr) | 10 comments I’m about halfway through the Ancillary Justice trilogy, which is as good as advertised.


message 26: by Simon (new)

Simon Welsh (simon_w) | 2 comments I just finished The Exphoria Code, and am now starting on Fahrenheit 451


message 27: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lbutlr) | 10 comments I really liked Fahrenheit 451 when I read it in about 1980, not so much when i reread it about 2000-isn


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Yesterday evening I finished The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan, the third book is his "Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" trilogy. This was a quite enjoyable book, and gave me more insight into the world, which I'd have to say is more alternate-history than steampunk. It began as a mystery about a book, then turned to revenge, then to a heist. Overall I quite liked this series. The author is writing more books in this universe. I'd like to know his next series ends before investing in it. That means I'll move on to another book next. Not quite decided which just yet...


message 29: by Troels (new)

Troels | 3 comments Almost at the end of the first Expanse book, Leviathan Wakes. It's my fastest reading experience this year. Hollywood blockbuster type page turner. The short chapters work wonders at speeding up my reading pace -- something I've been struggling with. (The chapter length reminds me of the short cliff hanger chapters of The DaVinci Code)

If anyone can recommend good SFF with at similar page turner effect I would be grateful. I've already read The Fifth Season and Children of Time this year, to name a few titles that have a little bit of it, but not nearly as good as Leviathan Wakes in that regard.


message 30: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Troels wrote: "Almost at the end of the first Expanse book, Leviathan Wakes. It's my fastest reading experience this year. Hollywood blockbuster type page turner. The short chapters work wonders at speeding up my..."

Check up on The Caledonian Gambit. I quite liked it. Good SF and fairly thriller-esque.


message 31: by David (new)

David | 1 comments Troels wrote: "Almost at the end of the first Expanse book, Leviathan Wakes. It's my fastest reading experience this year. Hollywood blockbuster type page turner. The short chapters work wonders at speeding up my..."

The best thing about finishing Leviathan Wakes is that there are six more Expanse books available to read, and I love 6 of the 7 titles. By December there will be an eighth....these guys can keep a schedule, which is pretty amazing as they've been in the show's writer's room for at least the last two seasons.

Another very cinematic series (4 books as we speak) starts with Red Rising by Pierce Brown. It kind of started with the trappings of YA, but dispensed with them pretty quickly. Lots of delicious politics and mayhem!


message 32: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Yesterday I finished Royal Assassin, the second book in Robin Hobb's "Farseer Trilogy." It was a really good novel. Took some turns I wasn't expecting, especially towards the end. I'm going to wait a few days before starting on the third book, Assassin's Quest.


message 33: by Andrew (new)

Andrew McIntosh | 1 comments I've been catching up on some of the C.J. Cherryh Alliance-Union books I haven't read in anticipation Alliance Rising in January.
Not usually the quickest reads for me, but so much depth.


message 34: by Monty (new)

Monty Ashley | 4 comments I just finished The Power Broker, by Robert Caro. It's really good and really, really long. At times it feels like you're getting Robert Moses' forty-year career in real time.

But, you know, like I say, it's really good.


message 35: by Ziad (new)

Ziad (motdiem) | 6 comments Just finished all clear by Connie Willis and oh was it long! I loved to say nothing of the dog and doomsday book, but this (blackout/all clear) was way too long - I feel I had to power through to get to the ending - which was fine - I just feel this is a book that would have been so much better if it had been maybe 350 pages shorter...
I don’t want to seem overly negative because I enjoyed the various hijinks in the book, and I think I’ll have fond memories of it, but did I mention how long it was ?


message 36: by Gary (new)

Gary Rogers I finally finished Welcome to Night Vale on Audible thanks to lots of trips. Pretty good, not quite like the podcast, but suitably strange. I want to be a regular follower of the podcast, but I feel like I need to be a completionist, so I’m only on episode 25 or so.


message 37: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Yesterday I finished Assassin's Quest. An interesting and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. Also nicely odd at times. I haven't run across that much when it comes to magic or to visiting the ruins of an ancient fantasy culture. Kept me reading as I wanted to know the explanations for what the characters were seeing. Not quite sure what I'll read next. I'll have to check prices before I spend my pennies.


message 38: by Scott (new)

Scott (ssravp) | 4 comments Currently listening to the McCullough John Adams biography. Almost finished with that. Just started SPQR as well.


message 39: by David (new)

David Wunderlich | 2 comments Just started Becky Chambers’ new one, Record of a Spaceborn Few. I’ve been a fan of hers since The Incomparable clued me in on her first book.


message 40: by Ziad (new)

Ziad (motdiem) | 6 comments Thanks ! I didn’t know the new Becky Chambers was out. I’ll go read that immediately


message 41: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Earlier this week I finished European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman. What a fun read! There was adventure, intrigue, and action. We got more answers about the Athena Club, and (of course) more classic fictional characters enter the story. I look forward to seeing what happens in book 3.


message 42: by Billy (new)

Billy Mabray (billygoat) | 4 comments Robert wrote: "Earlier this week I finished European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman. What a fun read!

Yes! I just finished this as well. I've thoroughly enjoyed both Athena Club books. I'm now tempted to read all the stories that are referenced in those books while I wait for the sequel.


message 43: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 4 comments If you like those, you might enjoy Strange Practice.

I've just finished the second of the Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal. That's The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky. I would be shocked if one of both of these aren't major features of the Hugos next year.


message 44: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Last night I finished reading Howl's Moving Castle. Another fun read! Not sure what I'll start on next...


message 45: by Kai (new)

Kai | 6 comments I'm about two thirds through Assassin's Quest - thanks to Erika Ensign for the recommendation in one of the book club episodes! I love the trilogy: It's set in a fascinating world with a well measured dose of magic and the characters a very engaging, there are some to love, some to hate, and very few I don't care about. [SPOILER:] I'm just past the scene where the Fool is used by Regal's coterie to pry Molly's whereabouts from Fitz and I can't believe he doesn't notice! AARGH!!!


message 46: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Over the last week I read the final two books in Lisa Shearin's "Raine Benares" series, Treasure & Treason and Ruins & Revenge. I enjoyed them, though I missed having Raine's point of view in these last two books. The action shifted to another character, and while he wasn't as witty and snarky as Raine, it was good to follow him. I liked coming back to the world and learning a little more about it in the midst of another adventure.


message 47: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Last night I finished A Closed and Common Orbit. Such a lovely read! Not much action or drama, but some excellent characterization. I liked that it filled out her universe, especially with future cultural references, including pop culture. I'm hoping to start on the next novel soon.


message 48: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (lbutlr) | 10 comments Finished first Last Policemen, started the second. Weirdly compelling setting for a detective mystery. Less said the better.


message 49: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Yesterday I finished Record of a Spaceborn Few. It wasn't as tightly focused in terms of plot and characters as the other two books in her universe were. Yet it was still an intriguing exploration of the culture she's created. I did like how she tied the lives of the characters she introduces together. I hope she writes more in this universe.

Pondering what I want to read next...


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins Finally read something I enjoyed, rather than a book I was meh about. Yesterday I finished Year Zero. The premise is that aliens have been listening to our music for years and not paying for it. A lawyer is roped into helping solve the matter, and of course there are aliens who don't want Earth to keep producing good music. It wasn't as funny as I thought it might be, but it was an entertaining read.


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