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What Else Are You Reading? > What Else Are You Reading - September 2019

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6892 comments Mod
We're 2/3 of the way through the year, what's on your reading agenda as we approach the home stretch?


message 2: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I started listening to Madeline Miller’s Circe and couldn’t figure out why there was so much focus on the young Petroclas and Achilles... until I realized I was actually listening to Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles.

Time to put me in a rest home.


message 3: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 711 comments Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - written and narrated by Stephen Fry.


message 4: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (albinokid) | 30 comments I just finished the Hugo-winning Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh, and wound up loving it, a reaction I wasn’t anticipating. She’s got a very unusual style, but it totally worked for me. It was my first encounter with her work, but it won’t be my last.


message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2485 comments I took a break from fiction, binged the second season of Mindhunter on Netflix, then read Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Edward Douglas and now I'm going to run screaming back to fiction.


message 6: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud I finished Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, which is a historical fiction about the siege of Constantinople, masquerading as a fantasy. Not at all what I expected but nice


message 7: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4078 comments Overall agenda? Finish out my reread of the Pern series. Have already finished Flight / Quest / Song / Singer / White Dragon and will get back to Drums shortly. Then it's a question of what I reread before hitting All the Weyrs of Pern and what I target after, but at least that one plus Renegades, Dolphins, Masterharper, and likely a few others.

Beyond that, my usual whim of the moment.


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 65 comments Finishing up my re-read of A Game of Thrones. Will then get into my re-read of A Clash of Kings. I may read that along with starting The Rage of Dragons. Not sure yet. Pesky work is interfering with my reading schedule!


message 9: by Molly (last edited Sep 01, 2019 04:47PM) (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) | 134 comments I recently started working for a bookstore, so I've been reading a ton lately, mostly new fiction. SFF-wise, I'm hoping to get through The Dragon Republic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, and A Memory Called Empire this month.


message 10: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2502 comments My main goal for the rest of the year is to finish my Wheel of Time read.


message 11: by Joel (new)

Joel | 236 comments Reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in audio for the second time.

Giving Jhereg the first Vlad Taltos a try.


message 12: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Staggered to the end of Jade War... Should have been 200 pages shorter, especially since the main climax of the book was about halfway through.

Started on Trail of Lightning and are still listening to Along Came a Spider


message 13: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud Started Synners, a Nebula nominated cyberpunk from 1991. A bit tough start but reviewers here on GR say it improves closer to 30% of the book


message 14: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4078 comments Finished up Fall, or Dodge in Hell. About the best thing I can say about it is that at least it's over. It got better over the last 100 or so pages, but man, what a slog.

Stephenson starts out Seveneves style, with the near-future just about like today. He then introduces some elements that start to get us into some SFnal weirdness. Yes, it was tedious and overly detailed, but that's Stephenson. If you read a Stephenson book then you accept that's part of the ride, or maybe you even like that aspect. Social media comes in for a heavy lampooning that is moderately funny.

(view spoiler)

I'll let Opus from Bloom County summarize for me...

bloom-county-opus-lord-it-wasnt-good


message 15: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2869 comments Stephenson's last good book was The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. Ever since then he's confused page count with quality and verboseness for authority.


message 16: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Rader | 78 comments Finished listening to A Time of Blood and thoroughly enjoyed it! I am bout 3/4 through Valor, and I am listening to Blood of Assassins for the second time.


message 17: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments I finished Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. It was lovely. My review.

Not sure what to read next. Might go back to A Dance with Dragons.


message 18: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 227 comments I'm having a wobbly reading time. I think I'm about at my "rape in fiction" quota for the year and the closer I approach it, the crankier I get.

Perdido Street Station was so cool in the first half, and beautifully narrated, but the ending P'd me TF off.

Muse of Nightmares was a solid read, but I don't think it lived up to the first book. I'd like decidedly less kissing and a lot more time spent on getting the story bread crumbs lined up nicely.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was sweet. Lin Manuel can read me just about anything!

Warchild was rough, in all senses, for me.

The Red Threads of Fortune was, I felt, a very strong follow up to Black Tides. I loved it all. Mokoya is one shady lady though.

The Wolf in the Whale left me much colder than most of my similarly-minded friends, which is when I realized maybe it was the crankiness of oversaturation on a certain subject.

A Closed and Common Orbit was absolutely delightful. I think Chambers has really focused on her core competencies here and I loved it.

Now reading The Rage of Dragons which has me worried and Moon Over Soho which I'm hoping will restore my good humor.


message 19: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1340 comments Well, beside the BOM Trail of Lightning, and finishing up the series Empires of Dust with The House of Sacrifice, I have the new Becky Chambers's new novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate and of course on the 14th of this month will be the long awaited return to the First Law World of Joe Abercrombie with A Little Hatred.


message 20: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1646 comments Started The Black Prism. I hope I still have the energy to finish a new epic fantasy series.


message 21: by Maclurker (last edited Sep 04, 2019 12:51PM) (new)

Maclurker | 125 comments I'm taking a stroll down memory lane with Swords' Masters before diving into the BOTM. I haven't spent time with Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser in ages. We'll see if this book is worth the re-read. (view spoiler)


message 22: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2296 comments Maclurker wrote: "I'm taking a stroll down memory lane with Swords' Masters before diving into the BOTM. I haven't spent time with Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser in ages. We'll see if this book is worth the ..."

Is that one of the SFBC omnibi? I used to have those!


message 23: by Maclurker (new)

Maclurker | 125 comments Maclurker wrote: "I'm taking a stroll down memory lane with Swords' Masters before diving into the BOTM. I haven't spent time with Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser in ages. We'll see if this book is worth the ..."
Yes. I have the original paperbacks, but they're getting a bit fragile. So I snatched a hard cover from the library.


message 24: by Robyn (new)

Robyn | 31 comments On a reading tear right now. In the last two weeks or so I’ve caught up on two past picks - The Calculating Stars and an Unkindness of Ghosts. I read The Poppy War. I also read and recommend My Sister, the Serial Killer, Miracle Creek and The Warehouse. Would love it if The Warehouse was a future pick.


message 25: by Keith (new)

Keith (keithatc) I took Obama's advice and started American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. Only one day's worth of commute into it, so not very far, but as a voracious devourer of spy fiction, I am so, so happy about the different perspective this one is bringing.

Also started The Shaver Mystery, Book Two by Richard S. Shaver. The three stories in part one were pretty weird, and Shaver infuses typical Hollow Earth shenanigans with an aura I find truly bleak and unsettling. Everything down there is hopeless and/or insane.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson The Shaver Mystery, Book Two by Richard S. Shaver


message 26: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Rader | 78 comments Finished listening to Blood of Assassins. It was just as good the second time! I have almost finished reading Valor, and I have started listening to the 10th Skulduggery Pleasant Book, Resurrection


message 27: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments All comic books all the time currently.

I might go back to The Way of Kings, but at page 773 of 1,289, I still have over 500 pages to read in this stupid thing, which is longer than a normal book.


message 28: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Finished and enjoyed Trail of Lightning which I consider a light read.. A nice change of pace after the Sturm and Drang of the last pick. Not very deep but fun.

Finished listening to Along Came a Spider which uses the tried and true method of throwing everything at a plot and seeing what sticks.. Schlocky but fun.

Now reading The Cruel Stars and listening to Wintertide


message 29: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4078 comments Trike wrote: "All comic books all the time currently."

How are you enjoying "RinPhoenix and the Uncanny X-Cike"? *ducks, runs for cover*


message 30: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1646 comments Trike wrote: "All comic books all the time currently.

I might go back to The Way of Kings, but at page 773 of 1,289, I still have over 500 pages to read in this stupid thing, which is longer than..."


Are you a completionist? :D 500 pages is already another book or two.


message 31: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1646 comments Finished with Aftershocks. The Expanse fans (with only one book left), we might already found another series to follow ;)

Still struggling with The Black Prism - I don't like the characters, the only thing that keeps me going is the magic system.

Starting a nonfiction that's kind of relevant (thus worth sharing here) with the group: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void.


message 32: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1646 comments Molly wrote: "I recently started working for a bookstore, so I've been reading a ton lately, mostly new fiction. SFF-wise, I'm hoping to get through The Dragon Republic, [book:Gods of Jade and Sh..."

I am curious on all those three books. Do share your thoughts after.


message 33: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6892 comments Mod
I thought Aftershocks was a promising start to a new series. Not sure it will fill my Expanse itch, but definitely looking forward to book 2.

I struggled with the characters in Black Prism too. I liked the later books better, but that struggle never went away. The magic system is definitely what carried it for me too.


message 34: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2296 comments OK, I'm finished with my current Pendergast binge (Blue Labyrinth, Crimson Shore and The Obsidian Chamber), and, for something completely different, am reading a Magic: The Gathering novella by Kate Elliott: Throne of Eldraine: The Wildered Quest.


message 35: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4078 comments Decided to read The Dragon Republic to see if it addressed any of my concerns with the first. Well, it didn't, but the book wasn't a stinker either.

Anyone who read my thread in the Poppy War section knows I really loved the first half, was puzzled by the next quarter, and actively hated the ending.

(view spoiler)


message 36: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 325 comments My vacation/airplane reads for the last week were The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda and Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand.

Gossamer took me a while (30% mark) to really get into, but overall I enjoyed it. I don't recall any similar fantasy reads. It's origins was a short story Czerneda had written, and I definitely felt like the topic and tone fit that "short story vibe." This is mainly because for me, the short stories I've personally read tend to have a different feel than novels in the same genre.

Wlyding is a novella I think I picked up as one of the Tor free ebooks at some point. It rotates through the personal accounts and memories of the members of a band and some close associates as they go back to the the place where they shared a summer working on an album together and weird stuff happened. It was a good airport/airplane read because there are only a few accounts that run longer than a page or two so it's easy to stop/start.....


message 37: by Maria (new)

Maria | 19 comments Just finished with Victorious, last book of Lost Fleet -series. I've enjoyed the series, it's kind of like "popcorn scifi" to me. Nothing too deep or groundbreaking, but simply entertainment. I've really liked the descriptions of more realistic space battles, which take relativity and massive distances of space into account. It's not just mindless shooting, but clever tactics instead. What I didn't like in the series, however, was the relationship drama... ugh, you could cut the entire thing out and it would make the story much more condensed.

I know there are more books within the Lost Fleet -universe and I'm definetly going to check out Beyond the Frontier -series next. I just can't help it, popcorn is too addicting, I gotta find out more about the Enigma...


message 38: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1422 comments Just finished The Cruel Stars which is a hell of a lot of fun. Military space opera where the bad guys are basically space nazis. Cheer the good guys when they punch (well OK not punch) nazis in the face. Fast paced, violent and sweaty... just what I needed.

Now onto The Dragon Republic which has me worried after a couple of chapters...


message 39: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4078 comments Iain wrote: "Now onto The Dragon Republic which has me worried after a couple of chapters..."

Don't read my review above until you're done, but...yeah.

I almost started a thread for this in the TPW section. If you feel like doing that, I'd be glad to chime in there. Probably others as well. Just note where you are in the book so we don't spoil.


message 40: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1594 comments Maria wrote: "Just finished with Victorious, last book of Lost Fleet -series. I've enjoyed the series, it's kind of like "popcorn scifi" to me. Nothing too deep or groundbreaking, but simply enter..."

I listened to all 11 books in the series, and the few more in the "Lost Stars" series https://www.goodreads.com/series/8828... I did not start the other series in this universe yet.

I also looked at them the same way. The thing that got oldest for me quickest was them repeating the same astrophysics lessons, military tactics, and other ideas, that were rehashed in very similar ways in what seemed like every book. Once they got past that the popcorn was fun, but it was like they wanted you to open three boxes before you could get to it.


message 41: by Joseph (last edited Sep 10, 2019 05:48PM) (new)

Joseph | 2296 comments I finished Throne of Eldraine: The Wildered Quest, which I enjoyed, and started Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, which I suspect I may love fiercely when all is said & done.


message 42: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1646 comments Skimmed to the last chapters of the Black Prism after 60% since the book keeps getting sexist in each page, it has been a total adolescent boy fantasy. Not that well written either, silly characters, weird dialogue, and even the magic system fell flat. There are much better series out there.

Soon to start Gateway by Frederick Pohl.


message 43: by Erik (new)

Erik Melin | 114 comments Silvana wrote: "Skimmed to the last chapters of the Black Prism after 60% since the book keeps getting sexist in each page, it has been a total adolescent boy fantasy. Not that well written either, silly character..."

Very interested in your thoughts on Gateway once you dive in.


message 44: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1142 comments Having a slightly sloggy time of reading atm.
In audiobook, I’m still listening to Jade War which has a great characters and what feels like the makings of a compelling plot, but the pacing feels much slower than in Jade City, so I’m not finding it a page-turner.

In dead tree edition, I’m reading Lost Gods, which has introduced a lot of characters and places and ideas but hasn’t really ‘gelled’ for me yet.

And in ebook, tbh I had to force my way through Trail of Lightning - not a bad book by any means, but not quite what I felt like reading. Just about to start Any Old Diamonds which I’m hoping will be a fun ‘palate cleanser’.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I'm listening to The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and I know Margaret thinks she doesn't write science fiction but this is basically the same as all other dystopian novels so it counts, sorry lady.

It's.. meh, it's okay. I don't think it warrants the attention of the Man Booker Prize shortlist. There are three narrators and two are teens so it definitely feels like a YA novel. I'm going to go rogue and say it's only for people super interested in what happened 15 years after The Handmaid's Tale.


message 46: by Gary (new)

Gary Gillen | 76 comments I finished reading A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham, The Unclaimed Victim by D.M. Pulley, and The Black Book by James Patterson and David Ellis. I am reading Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold. I plan to read The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie next.


message 47: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3608 comments Mod
Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I'm going to go rogue and say it's only for people super interested in what happened 15 years after The Handmaid's Tale. "

It will be interesting to see how they adapt it to TV. As the TV show has gone way past the events of "The Handmaid's Tale"

I will watch it, as I "enjoy" the current TV series. Though enjoy is probably the wrong word, as it can be a hard show to watch at times :-(


message 49: by Jessica (last edited Sep 14, 2019 06:17AM) (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 322 comments I've started Vessel now, playing catch up with previous S&L picks of the year! So far I am enjoying it pretty well, really curious about what happened to Catherine and her crewmates.


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert Collins | 167 comments Finally got back to my reading this week. Last night I finished White Jenna. I quite liked it, as it was a good conclusion to the story set up in the first book, “Sister Light, Sister Dark.” I enjoyed the contrast between the actual story the historical/mythic asides. The plot really raced along.


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