Sci-Fi & Fantasy Girlz discussion

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What are you reading next?

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments It looks like the way we're going to be handling group reads in the foreseeable future is for folks to just say what books they're going to be reading, and if a few other people chime in that book then we'll start up a thread to discuss it.

This can and probably should be more open ended than the monthly poll method, meaning if you've just picked up a book, but aren't sure when you're going to get around to it, or if you've been meaning to read something for a long time, go ahead and mention it. If other people want to join in then we'll get the ball rolling.

So, what are you reading next (or after that even) that might be appropriate for the Girlz group?


message 2: by Gary (last edited Sep 10, 2019 03:26PM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I'll start. ;-)

I've been meaning to pick up with the Harry Potter series, since I'm apparently one of six people on GR who haven't read all of those books at least once. As a book club, we've only read the first two of those books, but for me the next book would be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. That series is significant enough that we could probably just have threads for all the remaining books, and say right up front "Warning! Spoilers!" for all of them.

In any case, Half-Blood is next on my tentative reading list.

Having just finished The Song of Achilles I am intrigued enough to want to pick up Circe by Miller, but I generally try to have several books or a few months (even a year) between reading the same author, so I'll probably give that a while before I pick it up. However, I'd go for it if other folks want to start in right away.

The other author/series I'm interested in picking up is one of the Plantagenet or Tudor novels by Philippa Gregory. I've read a couple by her already, The Other Boleyn Girl, and The Constant Princess. Those are a "series" but only in the loosest sense of that word. One could pick up any of them in any particular order, and I think it'd be fine, but I'm leaning toward The Lady of the Rivers since that's #1 anyway.

Anybody else?


message 3: by Amber (last edited Sep 10, 2019 05:26PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments I haven't finished the Potter series, either, but I have no interest in doing so. I prefer Harry Dresden.

I might, when it arrives, be rereading Sprinkle with Murder, about a trio of people who have been friends since middle school who open up a cupcake bakery in Old Town Scottsdale and one third of the trio gets involved in solving a murder, eventually dragging both of her business partners/buddies into the case with her. Anyone in the group interested in the southwestern US might want to join me.

Melanie Cooper drags Angie DeLaura and Tate Harper (the sole male in the trio) into the case because the victim (a bitchy client of Fairy Tale Cupcakes) happens to be Tate's fiancee and she's been murdered by one of her assistants. Plus, Melanie's uncle, a twin brother to her deceased father, is a detective in the Homicide division of the Scottsdale PD... .

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...


message 4: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Gary wrote: "Anybody else?"

I'm here to express my interest in these discussions!! But I haven't even opened The Song of Achiles and you're done already!

Another book we could add to a list of potential group reads is The Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. I believe that a few of us first read it as a buddy read when the group first started and then we had it as a group read before the tv show came out.


message 5: by Gary (last edited Sep 11, 2019 06:35PM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Amber wrote: "I haven't finished the Potter series, either, but I have no interest in doing so. I prefer Harry Dresden.

I might, when it arrives, be rereading Sprinkle with Murder..."


I've been meaning to pick up the next in the Dresden series, and Sprinkle With Murder sounds like fun, but I don't know if either of those really fit our theme. The Dresden books have both a male author and protagonist, and the Jenn McKinlay book isn't SF/F. Of course, we've stepped out of our core theme from time to time, so if folks are interest we could just start up a thread and go for it.

Yoly wrote: "I'm here to express my interest in these discussions!! But I haven't even opened The Song of Achiles and you're done already!"

Yeah, I kind of blasted through that one. It's a pretty quick read. At least, I found it so. According to this site:

https://www.readinglength.com/book/is...

it's 100k words or so. It seemed shorter to me, honestly, but that might just be because the pacing was quick... a discussion of which is probably more apt for the thread on the actual book, now I think on it.

I really need to read more Atwood, so I'm interested in The Testaments.


message 6: by Amber (last edited Sep 12, 2019 04:20PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments I wasn't the one who said that I was interested in The Song of Achilles in your second quote, though I might be interested...if I can find it or order it via Inter Library Loan, Gary. That was Yoly. LOL.

Re: Dresden: Which was your last book you read in the series? I can't remember which one was my last. I'm working on the final book of his Codex Alera series: First Lord's Fury. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

Your remark about the gender of the author and protagonist for the Dresden series is interesting, but as you know Harry never accomplishes his work w/o the help of a lot of kick ass female supporting characters from Charity Carpenter to Mouse, Karrin Murphy to Warden Captain Anastasia Luccio and occasionally even his literal Faerie godmother, the Leannansidhe or *gulp* the insane Queen Mab herself. LOL. You will note that the only male supporting character I mentioned here was Harry's dog, Mouse.

Except for maybe the Bridezilla in Sprinkle with Murder, none of the women in the Jenn MacKinlay series are all that weak or self absorbed. One possible exception later in the series is one of Angie's teenage nieces.

Yoly: I won't be reading it. I don't read the dystopian "genre."


message 7: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Amber wrote: "I wasn't the one who said that I was interested in The Song of Achilles in your second quote, though I might be interested...if I can find it or order it via Inter Library Loan, Gary. That was Yoly..."

Copy/paste error. I fixed it.

The last Dresden book I read was Proven Guilty (#8) so White Night is next.

There are a lot of strong, interesting female characters in those Dresden books, and like I mentioned, we don't have to be incredibly strict about that emphasis anyway. We've read books that don't necessarily qualify before, so if folks are interested in reading any particular one of them and discussing it in a thread for this club I'm fine with that. I'll likely join in if it's one of the books I've read or the next in the series. Starting the discussion of those books at #9 seems a bit awkward... but it's not the most bizarre thing ever.


message 8: by Amber (last edited Sep 12, 2019 04:21PM) (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments I appreciate the correction and I'm sure Yoly does too, Gary. LOL.

Re: Starting a Dresden discussion at #9 being awkward: Yeah, IF you're planning on one thread for the whole Dresdenverse, including the hopefully upcoming spin off series about Maggie... . But the main series in the Dresdenverse is supposed to have 23 books!

Would be equally awkward if you, or someone else for that matter, started a single thread to discuss the Codex Alera series, instead of a thread for each book being discussed. A series of six threads for Alera would be a whole helluva lot easier than a series of twenty-three discussion for the Dresden Files! PMSL!


message 9: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I just picked up a copy of New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren, which isn't exactly apt for this group since it's about the history of slavery in the eastern US, but we've read historical works before, and this one is penned by a female author, so I thought I'd mention it in case anyone is interested.

I'm planning on getting around to Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee in the next few weeks. Again, not particularly apt for this group, but it's got a female author, so I'm likewise mentioning it. I saw a copy of Circe at the bookstore over the weekend, but didn't pick it up since we've just finished The Song of Achilles. I am curious how her later work compares to her earlier stuff, though, so I probably should have just picked up a copy and put it on my "to read" shelf. I'm sure I'll get around to that sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I've also started White Night by Jim Butcher. Again, not particularly apt for this group, but if we really need to justify it I think we can read it for the appearance of Officer Murphy alone....


message 10: by J_Jens (new)

J_Jens | 10 comments I've over halfway through the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.
I'm filing it under "Books I wish I Had Known About When Younger" because it was *so* very hard to find positive portrayals of female warriors that didn't devolve into 'rape made me stronger' plots or 'ultimately my boyfriend had to rescue me but I made him a stronger man, teehee' taglines.

Paks is just damn likable to me. (Flawed, but likable.)

I don't mind the lack of romance, or the reams of battle/marching details. (In fact, some forums applaud Paks as asexual representation.) It's nice to have really close, positive non-sexual relationships scattered throughout the novel too. I needed a high/epic fantasy fix, and while this may bore some with the extensive battle formation details (I can see why) the further the novel goes, the better it gets.

Deed of Paksenarrion feels homey - straightforward battling the ol' evil baddies, noble paladins, etc., but I don't mind it. I wish some of my male nerd buddies of yesteryear had known about this author or Paks, just to prove that a female author exists who can write a truly enjoyable, battle filled book with a positive, well formed female character that a fan, regardless of gender inclination, would enjoy.


message 11: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments J_Jens wrote: "I've over halfway through the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.
I'm filing it under "Books I wish I Had Known About When Younger" because it was *so* very hard to find positive portrayals of..."


Interesting. Deed of Paksenarrion is the whole trilogy. 1,000+ pages is a big commitment for me, personally. How's the first book?


message 12: by J_Jens (new)

J_Jens | 10 comments Gary wrote: "J_Jens wrote: "I've over halfway through the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.
I'm filing it under "Books I wish I Had Known About When Younger" because it was *so* very hard to find positiv..."


A LOT of battle minutia - but I didn't mind it at all. For those who don't really want paragraphs about the MC (Paks) adjusting to marching formation in ankle deep mud, the condition of rations, and recruit life - it'll be a dud. The story does start off with a bang - but really, this is more slice of life narrative ala battlefield recruit. There's some adventure for sure - but if say, someone gets stranded in the wilderness, you get a blow by blow account of survival, instead of a quick paragraph of "They got hungry, there was danger, and then rescue!"

I rather enjoyed it, but sometimes I can be seen as too lenient a reader in Fantasy. (I'm chuckling here.)


message 13: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Gary wrote: "I just picked up a copy of New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren, which isn't exactly apt for this group since it's about the history of slave..."

What about Charity Carpenter when she takes a freaking WARHAMMER to Queen Mab's fortress?


message 14: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Amber wrote: "What about Charity Carpenter when she takes a freaking WARHAMMER to Queen Mab's fortress?"

::cough, cough:: spoiler....


message 15: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments So sue me. I forgot the code for spoilers. *s*


message 16: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments We read A Natural History of Dragons in 2016. I went on and read #2 in that series, The Tropic of Serpents on my own. The next book in that series is The Voyage of the Basilisk. There's a #4 In the Labyrinth of Drakes and a #5 Within the Sanctuary of Wings in that series. (There's also a short "3.5" called From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review but I think we can deal with that as part of #3 and/or #4....)

So, two questions:

1. Should we start up a thread for #2?

2. Anyone interested in reading #3?

2.5 Anyone read further along in the series?


message 17: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 301 comments I am doing a comfort read, BATH TANGLE by Georgette Heyer. I had not realized how many exclamation points there are per page.


message 18: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) | 156 comments Just finished The Three Body Problem and now I'm working on Aurora, as part of my ongoing effort to inform myself on what the greats of sci-fi are doing these days :)


message 19: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments All of the sci-fi greats I read are dead: Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Wells, Verne.


message 20: by Gary (last edited Jan 09, 2020 06:00AM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Someone just recommended this one to me:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Anyone interested?

Another of her books, Six of Crows, actually seems like it might be a little more up my alley, but they're both firsts in their respective series, and I haven't picked up either yet.


message 21: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments I bought the The Shadow and Bone trilogy last year but I haven't read it yet. When are you planning on reading it? A buddy read/discussion sounds fun. Although I should probably finish the Winternight Trilogy before starting another series. The Winter of the Witch has been waiting for me in my Kindle for months.


message 22: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I was going to pick up one of those next month. Depends on what's where at my local bookstore, though.... At any point after the New Year's revels is fine by me.


message 23: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Just finished my reread of Wedding Cake Crumble ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... ) and I plan on reading the next book of this series as soon as I can. The next book is Dying for Devil's Food ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4... ).


message 24: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I picked up Shadow and Bone last week. I'll probably start it today or tomorrow.


message 25: by Molly (last edited Jan 08, 2020 06:37PM) (new)

Molly | 1 comments I'm reading Priory of the Orange Tree (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...).


message 26: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Molly wrote: "I'm reading Priory of the Orange Tree (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...)."

848 pages!

I went through a few of the reviews and a couple folks note that it's a standalone novel. At that page count, though, it could be a trilogy in one volume.

Looks interesting, though.


message 27: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Molly wrote: "I'm reading Priory of the Orange Tree (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...)."

I've read great reviews about that one. It's on my list.


message 28: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Half the Sugar, All the Love (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...) and The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...)


message 29: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments This isn't quite our mandate, but does anyone have any interest in this?

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich


message 30: by Amber (new)

Amber Martingale | 659 comments Not me. I had horrid nightmares as a kid watching the evening news about the place... .


message 31: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I'm finishing up my semi-annual re-reading of the Nine Princes in Amber series by Zelazny, but I was thinking of picking up Circe next. We read Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles a while back, and though I have a few issues with her take on that one, I did like it overall.


message 32: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I'm just starting Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine and it seems like the kind of thing that'd be of interest to folks in the Girlz group. Any takers?


message 33: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments The last two times I said I would join a read, I didn't get a chance to and those were pre-pandemic. These days, I've been even a slower reader than usual, so I'm not even going to say that I want to join. But I would love to hear your thoughts on the book Gary, since I've read good things about it.

At this time I'm not sure I could handle a dystopia, other than the one we're currently living in 😀


message 34: by Gary (last edited May 30, 2020 04:53AM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Yoly wrote: "These days, I've been even a slower reader than usual, so I'm not even going to say that I want to join. But I would love to hear your thoughts on the book Gary, since I've read good things about it."

Discretion is probably the better part of valor in this case. I'm giving up on Ink and Bone at about the 2/3 point. I'm sure someone, somewhere would say, "Oh, but that's just where it starts to get good!" but it was my breaking point.

It's got a great premise, and a few tidbits of really interesting world-building, but most of the characters are tropes, the dialogue is weirdly disjointed, and the plot is an odd mishmash of events. Lots of "this happens and then this happens..." kind of writing as opposed to "this happens, SO this happens" if I can summarize succinctly. It's too bad, really, she has such a great premise: books are precious and originals all controlled by a central "Library" authority that is Orwellian yet quasi-scholarly. But so much of the story is arbitrary and meandering that it just tracks as nonsensical sometimes. I really like the convention of starting off sections with an "ephemera" introduction that actually gives us background on the world and the characters. Unfortunately, the characters themselves all read like lite beer versions of characters we've already seen before. It's Hogwarts but at the college level, with 1984. Even the sections that are meant to be gritty just didn't add up to me. They send students off to a war zone? There's REALLY nobody more qualified/capable than that in the entirety of the centuries old Library infrastructure? There's a couple fanwanks for how to address that, but overall it just doesn't work for me.

So, I'm moving on to something else. A classic or history text.


message 35: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I don't think we ever read any of Mary Renault as a group, which seems like a real oversight. It is slightly outside our remit given that she writes historical novels rather than sci-fi/fantasy, but they do deal with mythical characters/creatures, and we've read books like The Song of Achilles and a biography of Cleopatra.

I'm debating whether I want to finish off her Alexander series with Funeral Games or stick to a more chronological reading of her Greek novel by picking up The Praise Singer. I would take very little convincing for me to pick up her first historical novel, The Last of the Wine since I really enjoyed that one the first time, and have no objection at all to a re-read.

Anybody have any interest in any of those?


message 36: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments I've bought a few of her books, whenever I see one on sale on Kindle I buy it, but I haven't read either.

Is The Last of the Wine a good place to start? When are you planning on reading whichever you pick from these?


message 37: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Last of the Wine is the best place to start. IIRC, it's her first written, the first of her historical novels chronologically, and arguably her best. She has a few books that can be read as a series, but they have big gaps in characters/leads and time, so even the three Alexander the Great historical novels she wrote don't really need to be read in any particular order.

I don't have a particular plan on when to start. I'm reading a biography of Max Perkins right now, so after that.


message 38: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments I'd be interested in Last of the Wine, but probably won't be ready to start for a week or two. I've been mostly reading "fluffy" stuff and I feel like I need to read a book with more "meat" in it 😀 this one seems perfect and according to Amazon I bought it in 2018!


message 39: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Starting Last of the Wine in a week or two is probably reasonable for my schedule.


message 40: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Ok, count me in then.


message 41: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Sounds good. Whoever starts first should just start a thread, I guess.


message 42: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Gary wrote: "Sounds good. Whoever starts first should just start a thread, I guess."

I started a discussion thread here:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 43: by Celine (new)

Celine (catsy2008) | 3 comments I'm working my own way through my TBR very slowly.

Currently reading:
- We Ride the Storm by Australian author Devin Maston
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Blister by Jeff Strand

I'm looking to tackle some epic fantasy next but I don't have many female authors. I want to read some really long books but I'm overwhelmed haha.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant
Priory of the Orange Tree
The Arc of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

I dunno xD


message 44: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Celine wrote: "I'm working my own way through my TBR very slowly.

Currently reading:
- We Ride the Storm by Australian author Devin Maston
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Blister by Jeff Strand

I'm looking to ta..."


I bought Priory of the Orange Tree a few months ago but haven't gotten around to reading it. The page count is a bit intimidating 😁


message 45: by Celine (new)

Celine (catsy2008) | 3 comments Yoly wrote: "Celine wrote: "I'm working my own way through my TBR very slowly.

Currently reading:
- We Ride the Storm by Australian author Devin Maston
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Blister by Jeff Strand

I'..."


I always try and break big books down into days (100 page a day for example). It just means being so big I can't carry the book outside with me lol ill break my wrists.


message 46: by Gary (last edited Sep 26, 2020 11:45PM) (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I'm feeling a bit science fiction-y lately, so I'm debating between Ancillary Justice and The Outside. I'm leaning a bit towards AJ, but it could go either way if anyone has a preference.


message 47: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments I think we had Ancillary Justice as a group read at some point?
I read it when it first came out and abandoned with only a few chapters left, I couldn't take it anymore it was pure torture.

It's one of the few books I've abandoned and the only one I abandoned after having read more than 50% of the book.

I would love to know your opinion on the novel if you decide to read it.

I see that I have The Outside on my "to-read" bookshelf, but I honestly have no idea how it got there, it doesn't sound familiar.


message 48: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments Yoly wrote: "I think we had Ancillary Justice as a group read at some point?
I read it when it first came out and abandoned with only a few chapters left, I couldn't take it anymore it was pure torture."


You're right. Back in 2015. I guess I skipped it for some reason back in the day. I guess if I have any particular thoughts I can necro that thread. Weirdly appropriate seems like....


message 49: by Gary (new)

Gary | 1471 comments I don't think we read the third in the Murderbot series, Rogue Protocol as a group, did we? I'm probably going to go through it again real quick in anticipation of reading #4 in the series, Exit Strategy. If memory serves, these are pretty short, so taking on 2 at a time is probably pretty reasonable.

Anybody up for either/both?


message 50: by Yoly (new)

Yoly (macaruchi) | 794 comments Gary wrote: "Anybody up for either/both?"

I already read both of these and while I don't remember too many details about them, I don't think I would enjoy a re-read at this point.

I haven't been able to start the full novel Network Effect yet. Depending on when you start it, I might join you then.


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