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What Else Are You Reading? > What else are you reading - August 2020

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6896 comments Mod
It's August already? Time has no meaning to me these days I guess.

So what are you reading this month?


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2499 comments Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection by Ben Aaronovitch which dropped on my Kindle yesterday. Fun stuff as always. Most of the stories were extras in the UK editions sold at Waterstones. One of the stories takes place in a Waterstones. I gather that Waterstones is a big chain like Barnes & Noble, except Ben Aaronovitch doesn't write short stories for Barnes & Noble editions of his books.


message 3: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 326 comments I finished American Demon by Kim Harrison last night. I think The Hollows is one of the first urban fantasy series I started reading and it was comforting to return and check in on them.

Now starting A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers. Will see if I finish before my check out expires. I also have the physical book for this months pick fresh from the library so that's up after.

Still going through last months pick in audio. About 65% through. No idea what I'll start next.


message 5: by Trike (last edited Aug 01, 2020 08:00AM) (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Mark wrote: "Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection by Ben Aaronovitch which dropped on my Kindle yesterday. Fun stuff as always. Most of the stories wer..."

I’m totally going to name a character Folly River. Or maybe a river that.

Edit: there already is one. Dangit, all the good names are taken.


message 6: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1653 comments Stuck with The Sol Majestic - considering to DNF but we'll see.

Starting Dreamsnake.


message 7: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4110 comments Read a deliciously great alternate-universe book, What Mad Universe. A science fiction magazine editor from the 1940s winds up stranded in a universe much like his own, well, except for the routine appearance of aliens, air on the moon, and the appearance of his lady love in lurid SF cover garb. It's enough to get him shot if he reveals himself.

This book is a romp through pulp SF tropes, sending up so many I can hardly keep count. Perhaps the most hilarious one by today's standards was probably true then - that you could support yourself selling SF short stories, and could easily waltz into an editor's office and leave stories to read. IIRC the professional writing rate per word then amounted to about three times what it is today, so even though I laughed it's likely on the level.

Of course we have silly overwrought perilous situations, thieves with a heart of gold, and an existential issue that will wipe out the human race that only the MC can solve.

I came to this book courtesy of Robert Heinlein, who mentioned it in Pursuit of the Pankera which I recently read. Large parts of that book seem dedicated to refuting the "infinite universes" aspect of "What Mad Universe." Heinlein clearly thought about this a lot.

I've read this author (Fredric Brown) before with Martians, Go Home decades ago but don't recall reading any others. This one was well worth the read. Short too, in the manner of books of that day, about 200 pages. Quick, fast, fun read.


message 8: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2499 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "I've read this author (Fredric Brown) before with Martians, Go Home decades ago but don't recall reading any others. "

Brown also wrote some entertaining mysteries. My favorite is The Far Cry




message 10: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 490 comments I decided to get the Kindle book for this month’s pick since it is short. So I’m going to use my Audible credit on The Relentless Moon. Can’t wait to start listening to it.


message 11: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1162 comments Misti wrote: "I decided to get the Kindle book for this month’s pick since it is short. So I’m going to use my Audible credit on The Relentless Moon. Can’t wait to start listening to it."

I’m listening to the audiobook of The Relentless Moon! Loving it.


message 12: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2512 comments Mark wrote: "Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection by Ben Aaronovitch which dropped on my Kindle yesterday. Fun stuff as always. Most of the stories wer..."

I hope there is going to be an audio book version.


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark (markmtz) | 2499 comments AndrewP wrote: "I hope there is going to be an audio book version. "

From the author's newsletter:

Audio is scheduled for the 27th August – which is as soon as we can safely get the readers, Kobna of course for the Peter Grant stories, others TBA, in and out of a studio in a responsibly social distant way. I hope you guys enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I’ve signed a deal with Subterranean Press for them to produce a limited collector’s edition of Takes From The Folly – this will probably be available in 2021 and we’ll let you know when it is.



message 15: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2512 comments Mark wrote: "Audio is scheduled for the 27th August – which is as soon as we can safely get the readers, Kobna of course for the Peter Grant stories, others TBA, in and out of a studio in a responsibly social distant way. I hope you guys enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them."

Great, thank for the info!


message 16: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2305 comments Finished Gentlemen of the Road and started In an Absent Dream, fourth in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series.


message 17: by Tommy (new)

Tommy | 11 comments Finished The Vanished Seas. After I finish this month's pick,Elysium, plan to finish the Quadrail series, reading Judgment at Proteus.


message 18: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2305 comments Am now a good ways into Come Tumbling Down, fifth in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series. I love these books!


message 19: by Maria (new)

Maria | 19 comments Just finished Invisible Planets: Collected Fiction, a scifi short story collection by Hannu Rajaniemi.

Very versatile collection! Most stories were as mindbending as his work usually is, throwing the reader into the deep end to figure out scientific jargon and mindblowing concepts without too much explanation. This style is sometimes tiring, but these stories were short enough that it never felt like it. Also there were more simpler stories peppered in between, which didn´t take place in the far reaches or space or multiple dimensions but in seemingly more familiar or "normal" sceneries.

Many stories took place in Finland and had Finnish main characters, alongside with some cool Finnish mythology. I´m Finnish so it was a pretty unique exprience, having my homeland being the background for scifi stories. All those melancholic descriptions of endless barley fields with crooked barns and grey skies hit just right for me...

Overall, a very good read. Would recommend to any scifi reader.


message 21: by Jerimy (new)

Jerimy Stoll | 51 comments Currently Reading:

Cepher Non-Fiction Bible (1,354 pages into it)

Bloodlines of the Illuminati Non-Fiction Conspiracy theory (71% through it, lots of spelling and grammar errors, but it is interesting. I would give it 2.75 stars.)

Games People Play Non-Fiction Psychology (will delve into it tomorrow)


message 22: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 128 comments I just finished The Relentless Moon. I took me a little while to warm up to it but once I got about halfway through I really enjoyed it.

Harrow the Ninth just arrived for pickup at my local bookstore so that must be next. I'm really looking forward to it which makes me realize that Gideon the Ninth really stuck with me.


message 23: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 490 comments This month's pick is definitely not for me so I'm continuing the Binti series with Home.


message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard Devall | 3 comments I've been reading I call Him HIm by Scott Kimak it's pretty good so far


message 25: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Rader | 78 comments I finished A Time of Courage and loved it! I am listening to The Fellowship of the Ring.


message 26: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4110 comments Read Book 4 in the Dune series, God Emperor of Dune. Wow, what a talky book. Very little actually happens. Mostly it's Herbert spouting his philosophy. That worked well in small portions in Dune. Here it's overwhelming.

Some of it is just weird. Apparently armies are gay and made up of reproductive losers. Er...okay? I mean, just look at the US military, plenty of families and soldiers don't seem to hurt for dates. I'm having a hard time crediting anything in the book with whoppers like this.

I didn't exactly hate the book, but it doesn't do the legacy of the far better Dune any favors. I'm glad Herbert made some money.

(view spoiler)


message 27: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1347 comments Started Elysium in audio, then on to the final book in John Scalzi's Interdependency series The Last Emperox .


message 28: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4110 comments Read Dragon's Egg, a harder-than-hard SF book about life evolving on a neutron star. It's billed as a book that "out-Niven's Niven." Niven at least has relatable characters, so I found it more like "over-Niven's Niven."

The science is well locked down, but the story remains ho-hum. I found the first half dreary and full of unneeded setup. There's a riff on Jesus among the neutron star dwellers that fell fairly flat for me.

Some unintentionally amusing stuff in the first quarter of the book as we get a 1980 view on 2020. The Soviet Union is still around and the Ruble trades freely in currency markets as it never did during Communist days. Computer time is scarce and paying for mainframe access a burden. One data-crunching scene has me thinking any person in such a situation today would just load the data to their phone and run an app.

Larry Niven comes in for a name-check as both a JPL staffer and later his son are named for Niven. Why not the book was originally envisioned as a co-authorship with Niven, before he got involved with Lucifer's Hammer.

The creatures on the neutron star live a million times faster than humans for no particular reason, so there's a time-continuity issue. It's about the only part that provides a reason for decent characterization as both sides deal with it. Anyhoo, I have now read this minor classic of SF and it's done. I believe I will enjoy having read it (and knowing the concepts) than I did reading it.

Next up, Elysium. I had literally just bought it when my library hold of Harrow the Ninth came in. My cup runneth over!


message 29: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I read the hot garbage that is Hell Divers. If you like my too-long rants about terrible books, here’s one for you: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 30: by Ruthifred (new)

Ruthifred | 27 comments I’m listening to Circe by Madeline Miller, I also just finished Gail Carriger’s The Enforcer Enigma.


message 31: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1162 comments Trike wrote: "I read the hot garbage that is Hell Divers. If you like my too-long rants about terrible books, here’s one for you: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show..."

I do like your rants so thanks for sharing this with us!


message 32: by Martin (last edited Aug 10, 2020 05:10AM) (new)

Martin (martinc36au) | 80 comments I enjoyed Gideon the Ninth & was looking forward to Harrow the Ninth but it’s driving me crazy. Jumping round in time, dreams sequences (which also jump around in time), blackouts & amnesia & different narrators all combine to have me lost. I’ll push on but only because I lemmed my last book (Man in the Empty Suit.)


message 33: by Erik (new)

Erik Melin | 114 comments Had a bit of reading fatigue so went with a narrator based pick for my next audio. I've come to realize more and more how much I enjoyed the narration of the The Invisible Library by Susan Duerden so I picked up The Masked City and this was exactly the type of easy listen I was looking for. I know the group was a bit split on her reading style but I'm definitely a fan. Also the day after I started listening to the second book I happened to watch an NCIS episode where Duerden has a bit role so that was a random fun add on.


message 34: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 128 comments Martin wrote: "I enjoyed Gideon the Ninth & was looking forward to Harrow the Ninth but it’s driving me crazy. Jumping round in time, dreams sequences (which also jump around in ti..."

I'm about 100-150 pages and, and having a similar experience. I wouldn't say that I'm not enjoying it, but it feels like a lot of effort to read. I still have faith that it is going to come together into something coherent and compelling. The sooner the better, though...


message 35: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3621 comments Mod
I'm reading The Relentless Moon

I was initially disappointed that it wasn't an Elma story, but I got over than fairly quickly. Loving it :-)


message 36: by terpkristin (last edited Aug 10, 2020 04:15PM) (new)

terpkristin | 4198 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I'm reading The Relentless Moon

I was initially disappointed that it wasn't an Elma story, but I got over than fairly quickly. Loving it :-)"


I finished that Friday and had all the feels. That book literally made me gag, cry, and laugh (separately).


message 37: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1162 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I'm reading The Relentless Moon

I was initially disappointed that it wasn't an Elma story, but I got over than fairly quickly. Loving it :-)"


I’m also reading this in audiobook- and I have the audiobook of Harrow the Ninth lined up ready for after I finish.

On kindle, I’ve just started Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. It has cat people. I was not expecting cat people.

And in dead tree edition, I’m reading Priest of Bones by Peter McLean which is a fun (in a grimdark sort of way) fantasy book about a gang boss in the aftermath of war. Who’s also a priest.


message 38: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 507 comments I've been trying to read Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It's only short, but hasn't grabbed me yet and I keep getting distracted by other books.

In the meantime, I finished You Owe Me a Murder (neither a Sword nor a Laser read), which turned out to be a bit too YA for my taste, and also Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection which was much more to my liking.


message 39: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Me:

How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Serengeti 😡


message 40: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2305 comments Finished Harrow the Ninth (which does, in fact, come together at the end) and decided it was time for some old-school sword & sorcery, so started The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by (of course) Robert E. Howard.


message 41: by Sheila Jean (last edited Aug 14, 2020 10:49AM) (new)

Sheila Jean | 326 comments I finished this month's pick and started actually reading a book I took off the shelves months ago The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez. I've read the first 2 chapters. I'm now in a time crunch because A Blight of Blackwings came back off hold, which I didn't finish before I had to return it, and I've got a physical copy of Harrow the Ninth waiting at the library. I've pushed pick-up for Harrow out as far as I can (next Sat) so maybe I can finish everything?

In audio I finished Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence which I think I liked a little more than the first book in the series. I've now started Peace Talks by Jim Butcher.


message 42: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 490 comments I enjoyed Home. Next up is Blood of Elves (I really need to start watching The Witcher Netflix Series soon).


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 415 comments Joseph wrote: "...decided it was time for some old-school sword & sorcery, so started The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by (of course) Robert E. Howard."

Yesss


message 44: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 128 comments I finished Harrow the Ninth. I got over (most of) the confusion and enjoyed it.

Next up is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness for my non-fiction book club. After that, I think The Tyrant Baru Cormorant but not totally sure yet.


message 45: by Stephen (new)


message 46: by Phil (last edited Aug 16, 2020 10:36PM) (new)

Phil | 1154 comments Just finished The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes, the "new" novel by Robert Heinlein that came out this year. It's an alternate version of The Number of the Beast that he wrote and never published. The first third is the same and the rest is different but I think better. At least it doesn't have all the bickering about who was in charge that the other did.
Although I enjoyed it I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a Heinlein fanboy/fangirl like I am. David Weber points out in the introduction that you have to keep in mind that Heinlein was born several years before WWI and was around 70 when he wrote this and some of his ideas and phrasing may not sit well with some modern readers. It also helps if you have at least a passing familiarity with the Barsoom series by Burroughs and the Lensmen series by Smith. That darn SF canon gets in the way again.


message 47: by Minsta (new)

Minsta | 104 comments I just read Hank Green's novel A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls, #2) by Hank Green and highly recommend it!

I re-read the first book An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1) by Hank Green - I wanted to remember the details but then found that I enjoyed the re-read more than the first time I read it.


message 48: by Martin (new)

Martin (martinc36au) | 80 comments So, I finished Harrow the Ninth. What just happened?


message 49: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4110 comments ^Me too! Lots to unpack. I found it quite confusing at first, but it slowly started to make sense. Just some random thoughts below. Anyone interested in a thread to discuss this book? There seem to be a lot of us who have finished it recently.

(view spoiler)

All in all a good second book. Can't wait for the third!


message 50: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1162 comments Listening to the audiobook of The Relentless Moon and my eyes are inexplicably leaking 😭


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