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

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6892 comments Mod
August is here, what will you be reading this month?


message 2: by John (Taloni) (last edited Aug 01, 2018 04:38AM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4076 comments Firsties! ;)

Reading Player of Games, the second Culture book. At 20% of the way in, some good worldbuilding but not a whole lot else. Already a weird plot point, in which a guy built up as a great gamesman whose entire life is built around being good at games, (view spoiler)

Also have Howl's Moving Castle tee'd up, and this month's pick is on the hold list. Further out will be Broken Angels, the followup to Altered Carbon, and the Neal Asher "Polity" book The Soldier, first book in an anticipated trilogy titled Rise of the Jain.


message 3: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 325 comments I started reading The Poppy War two nights ago. Loving it. (My poor Brom novel keeps getting pushed out of the way for these shinier stories.)

I'm almost done with Dawn of Wonder on audio. Overall I've enjoyed it. I'll be switching to IQ after, which if I remember is neither sword nor laser.

I have a huge stack of print books at home so I have no idea what I'm reading next... will see what calls to me and/or comes in from the library. I do think I'm due for a good science fiction book though. Might try to find a good one to do on audio.


message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 10 comments Since Hugo voting ended last night, I'm done with all my Hugo finalist reading and can return to my TBR mountain.

I started listening to Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm because it was mentioned in a review by Jo Walton of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I read earlier this year.

I will continue reading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien to discuss with my local chapter of the Tolkien Society on August 24th and we are all excited about the release at the end of this month of The Fall of Gondolin, which we'll be reading next month to discuss on or around Hobbit Day in late September.

For my non-SFF RL book group, I'm reading The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor and listening to For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.

I'll probably read some fantasy ebooks that I've bought during the last quarter while I was immersed in reading Hugo finalists. And I've preordered the next Murderbot book, to be released next week: Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells, which I will stop/drop everything to read as soon as it's delivered to my tablet.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins | 167 comments 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 6: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1340 comments This is what I have lined up for August. Kill The Farm Boy a loving send up of the peasant to hero trope. Aug 28th Bloody Rose hits the Kindle App. Stranger in a Strange Land in dead tree while at lunch.
Jade City in audio, along with Age of War


message 7: by Rick (last edited Aug 01, 2018 10:22AM) (new)

Rick | 2869 comments Struggling with a book I expected to love, Record of a Spaceborn Few, finished a quick short work, The Expert System's Brother and a Sandman comic I didn't realize existed, The Sandman: Overture.

Looking forward to the new Kadrey, Hollywood Dead

@Taloni - that incident does make sense but it's also not central to the book.


message 8: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyc89) | 116 comments Hello everyone! Last night I started reading The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins. I'm a huge fan of the podcast and I'm loving the graphic novel so far.

I'm also listening to Age of Swords on Audible and reading Doctor Who: Fear of the Dark on my Kindle. Despite loving Michael J. Sullivan and Doctor Who, respectively (although wouldn't it be cool if Sullivan wrote a DW novel??), I'm very slow going with these two. I don't think it's anything about the books themselves, I'm just in a bit of a reading rut recently. Probably all these darn migraines. Anywho, hopefully I get back into the swing of things this month. Happy reading!


message 9: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 325 comments Jon wrote: "...I started listening to Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang ..."

I listened to the audio version in December. Made me think. It also covered a lot in a short (by today's standards) novel.


message 10: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments Rick wrote: "Struggling with a book I expected to love, Record of a Spaceborn Few......"

I loved that book. Flew through it in like 3 days, What are you struggling with?


message 11: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4076 comments ^ ^ ^ Sandman Overture is awesome. Among Gaiman's best.


message 12: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Flying through Jade City, reading my son Children of Blood and Bone, and ploughing through The Wise Man's Fear on audio with 2001: An Odyssey in Words as a light treat from time to time.

My pile of library e-books is piling up, The Shepherd's Hut, Gnomon, The City of Brass, The Rig, Assassin's Fate and a few other books i have stock piled using Calibre... I need more hours in the day


message 13: by Rick (last edited Aug 01, 2018 02:00PM) (new)

Rick | 2869 comments Dara wrote: "Rick wrote: "Struggling with a book I expected to love, Record of a Spaceborn Few......"

I loved that book. Flew through it in like 3 days, What are you struggling with?"


To set the stage, I *loved* her first 2 books. for this one... well, I'll spoiler tag it...

(view spoiler)

I'll finish it and after I do I might change my opinion, but this isn't passing the "Gotta pick it up" test where I can't wait to dive back into a book. Whereas the first 2 were 4.5 star efforts for me, this is right about 3.


message 14: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1646 comments Hmm, the Android app is showing me the spoiler (without tag). The first that happened to me though I know some users have experienced it too.
Back to the complain thread then...

Anywho, I am currently reading Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.


message 15: by Francis x (new)

Francis      x | 101 comments I am reading A Wrinkle in time graphic novel by hope Larson adapter.


message 16: by Colin (last edited Aug 02, 2018 04:47AM) (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 506 comments Finished reading Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars. I wasn't bowled over, but that seems to be a minority opinion when I read the other reviews. I had more to say about it than usual. My Review. Some people will love it, and I fully expect to see it nominated for awards next year.

Moving on, I'm about to start Raven Stratagem. Ninefox Gambit was one of my favourite reads last year, so I'm hoping for great things!


message 17: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments Colin wrote: "Finished reading Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars. I wasn't bowled over, but that seems to be a minority opinion when I read the other reviews. I had mo..."

Maybe you should read Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. It has a similar premise to The Calculating Stars but since it's Stephenson, more focus on tech and practical plans. In Seveneves, the Moon mysteriously disintegrates and humanity has to evacuate Earth and go underground to survive as the pieces fall planetside.


message 18: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 506 comments Dara wrote: "Maybe you should read Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. It has a similar premise ..."

Maybe, eventually. It was vaguely on my radar already, but I'm a bit intimidated by the length of it. That's quite a time commitment!


message 19: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments It is quite long but I loved it. YMMV of course but I loved the attention to detail so the time commitment was worth it for me.


message 20: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Dara wrote: "It is quite long but I loved it. YMMV of course but I loved the attention to detail so the time commitment was worth it for me."

I am afraid I hemmed it, too much Science detail (makes it seem like work).


message 21: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) Are we hemming instead of lemming now? Did you take in a few inches on the book?


message 22: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments David wrote: "Are we hemming instead of lemming now? Did you take in a few inches on the book?"

It could have done with losing an inch :-)


message 23: by John (Nevets) (last edited Aug 03, 2018 02:24AM) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1594 comments Hemming is lemming, but being curious enough about the plot to read the last chapter. You took off a few inches in near the bottom, but everything is sewn up at the end. ;-)

Edit for SP


message 24: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Heh.


message 25: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4076 comments For Seveneves that would probably be good, because (view spoiler)


message 26: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Finished listening to The Wise Man's Fear.. That is the longest I have spent on a book I have read (well listened) regularly. Feel like I have run a marathon..


Now where is that third book (Doors of Stone)


message 27: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "For Seveneves that would probably be good, because [spoilers removed]"

Spoilers in response to your end-of-book spoiler:(view spoiler)


message 28: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 104 comments Iain wrote: "David wrote: "Are we hemming instead of lemming now? Did you take in a few inches on the book?"

It could have done with losing an inch :-)"


Agree, if I remember correctly there were ~100 pages just on (view spoiler)

In other news I finished Priest of Bones, an ARC I got a Comic-Con. It was pretty good, a bit dark, and nothing super original. Would recommend it though if you would like a Fantasy/Godfather mash-up and/or liked The Lies of Locke Lamora. Finishing up Vicious now before I start Jade City.


message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1152 comments Giving up on The Garden of Rama by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. The original Rama book by Clarke alone was great and everyone should read it, but Rama II was terrible. It's been several years since I read that one so I gave this one a try hoping it was better and I had it on my shelves anyway (inherited). It wasn't better. The writing wasn't horrible, just bland and I could barely bring myself to read more than 10 pages a day. And I'm not an expert in genetics but I'm pretty sure a lot of what was here was bullshit.
It turns out that the sequels were written by Lee alone with some ideas from Clarke. That explains the dip in quality.
I'm 164 pages (about 1/3rd) in and if the book was shorter I would probably power through but I just don't have enough life left to waste time on shit that bores me to tears.
Starting Jade City.


message 30: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4076 comments ^ Good decision. I read all three and yep, they were terrible. Just endless going-nowhere plotless pointlessness. It leads up to a bolt-on ending (view spoiler)


message 31: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4076 comments Just finished Player of Games, the second Culture book. I liked this one a lot more than Consider Phlebas. The book took a long time to get going, but was pretty good once it did.

I had thought the game in question is the one in Phlebas where people are signing up to be part of the horde and getting drugged to overdose and killed for their trouble, but it seems this is a completely different one. So my concerns about a violent, brutal game dominating the book were allayed. It turned into a geopolitical struggle, but the seeds of that are laid early and developed well throughout the book.

The Culture still seems to me to be Banks' answer to Known Space. Ringworlds? We've got Orbitals! Lots of them! With monocrystal walls and tensor fields! We've got warp drive, hyperspace AND ultraspace! Besides the "one up Niven" factor the world building is pretty good. But it does feel like someone playing with the tools Niven provided.


message 32: by Clyde (last edited Aug 04, 2018 09:10PM) (new)

Clyde (wishamc) | 428 comments The Singularity Trap by Dennis E. Taylor (audio, nerdy goodness) and The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (ebook, pretty good so far).
Jade City next.


message 33: by Rick (last edited Aug 04, 2018 09:21PM) (new)

Rick | 2869 comments You really need to stop relating everything to Niven. Yes, some of the same things exist in the Culture but the Culture is really nothing like Known Space. As for orbitals.... Niven didn't originate the idea really Freeman Dyson did.

I see what you were worried about with the game. Wish I'd been clear on that before because I could have allayed your fears on that score. With a couple of slight exceptions, the books are all standalones. The series is a series only in that we're being told stories that all exist within the Culture and in general at roughly the same time give or take some centuries (which, since the Culture has existed for 10,000 years, isn't that much time). It's not at all sequential and Banks tries to tell stories in different ways in some of the books, e.g. Excession and Use of Weapons (which is two stories, told in opposing temporal order).

Glad you liked it though. Eight more to go. :)

OH and reading Good Guys which is a fun, light work by Steven Brust of Vlad Taltos fame.


message 34: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6892 comments Mod
So I've been slacking off the last 3-4 weeks on my book reviews and finally got around to writing some of the backlog that's built up.

Mortal Engines - ★★★☆☆ - (My Review)

Attack on Titan, Vol. 26 - ★★★★☆ - (My Review)

The Empire of Ashes - ★★★★☆ - (My Review)

Neverwhere - ★★★★☆ - (My Review)

Thrawn: Alliances - ★★★★☆ - (My Review)

Blackflame - ★★★★★ - (My Review)


message 35: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4076 comments So Roberator...slacked and read six books in four weeks? Some slacking!

Regarding Player of Games, it snuck up on me. At the one third mark I wasn't sure I would want to read the next one any time soon. By the end I was ready to start it right away.

Welp, reading Howl's Moving Castle now and Jade City just came in. If I time it right, I'll finish those just as Use of Weapons comes off library hold.


message 36: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6892 comments Mod
No. I slacked on the reviews, not the books. 😁


message 37: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Finished Jade City in a rush, very enjoyable... ★★★★☆ Now have to wait for the next book .

Listening to Lincoln in the Bardo and starting Assassin's Fate.


message 38: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 322 comments I’m wondering how an audio version of Lincoln in the Bardo would work. Is it one person speaking for all the 60-something narrators that switch from one line to the next?


message 39: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2296 comments Finished Black Wizards and am moving on to Darkwell, after which I'm planning on Jade City.


message 40: by Joanna (last edited Aug 06, 2018 11:47PM) (new)

Joanna (spriggana) | 101 comments Rogue Protocol had dropped on Storytel, so I'm listening instead of sleeping...


message 41: by Ctgt (new)

Ctgt | 329 comments Jessica wrote: "I’m wondering how an audio version of Lincoln in the Bardo would work. Is it one person speaking for all the 60-something narrators that switch from one line to the next?"

I struggled in the beginning trying to figure out what was going on and the changing voices certainly made it challenging but I ended up enjoying the experience.


message 42: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2869 comments Finished Good Guys which was a fun 3.5 star read. Did a quick re-read of Jade City to remind myself of the plot etc. Read A Matter of Oaths and Changer and The Black Tides of Heaven. On to The Book of Hidden Things


message 43: by Iain (last edited Aug 06, 2018 10:04PM) (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Jessica wrote: "I’m wondering how an audio version of Lincoln in the Bardo would work. Is it one person speaking for all the 60-something narrators that switch from one line to the next?"

it is a cast of actors doing many characters, with the main characters being: Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Lena Dunham,

In total 166 actors.

The citation are bizarre.

http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.co...


message 44: by Joel (last edited Aug 07, 2018 06:30AM) (new)

Joel | 236 comments Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff. Very fascinating post-apocolyptic world.

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence. Love this series. The audiobook is fantastic as well.

Catharsis by Travis Bagwell. My first LitRPG. Interesting so far.

Beastly Bones by William Ritter. An 1890s fantasy mystery with a very strong Doctor Who vibe. This is the second one, and I'm enjoying it more than the first.


message 45: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments Finished the Discovery of Witches trilogy - fun 3ish star reads if you like urban fantasy with lots of romance.

Read The Andromeda Strain in a couple of days. So much technobabble - I think it works better as a movie.

Started Jade City.


message 46: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 488 comments Finished up European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman. I loved it!

Unfortunately, I ended up exchanging my audible credit for Jade City. I'm not a fan of gangster-type stories, so this book was definitely not my cup of tea. So I'm moving on to something more light-hearted, Competence.


message 47: by Keith (last edited Aug 09, 2018 08:37AM) (new)

Keith (keithatc) Things have piled up all of a sudden. Just finished Forever and a Day, the latest Bond novel, and it was so-so. Currently reading Jade City, which marks one of the first times I've actually read a S&L book while it was the pick. Depending on my mood, I'm also reading Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 and This Man Is Dangerous, the first Lemmy Caution book from the 1930s. It's a British guy trying hard to write in the slang of a streetwise American thug, and the results are hilarious yet still compelling.

This Man Is Dangerous (Lemmy Caution #1) by Peter Cheyney Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 by Eric Schaefer Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz


message 48: by Rekka (new)

Rekka (rekka-jay) I just finished Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, and I'm about halfway through The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.
Also recently read Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, and The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.
Next on my list is some Aliette Bodard goodness, On a Red Station, Drifting.

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang Amberlough (The Amberlough Dossier, #1) by Lara Elena Donnelly The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard


message 49: by Rekka (new)

Rekka (rekka-jay) Misti wrote: "Finished up European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman. I loved it!

Unfortunately, I ended up exchanging my audible credit for Jade City. I'm not a fan of gangster-type stories,..."


While I disagree that it's a gangster story, it definitely is a heavy read and doesn't leave you with a lot of hope. Theodora Goss and
Gail Carriger make quite the antidote for the emotional weight of Fonda Lee!


message 50: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 488 comments Rekka wrote: "While I disagree that it's a gangster story, it definitely is a heavy read and doesn't leave you with a lot of hope..."

Yeah, it's pretty heavy. There was a point that involved a reveal about the weatherman that was kinda triggery for me. That was pretty much when I'd decided I'd had enough.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I started Kill The Farm Boy on my Kindle. Also an antidote to Fonda Lee (Not to poo poo on her work or anything; I think she is a very good writer.)


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