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

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message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6903 comments Mod
Am I the only one who is finding this year both painfully slow and still surprised it's already September?

Ugh 2020.

What does everyone have on their reading pile this month?


message 2: by Trike (last edited Sep 01, 2020 10:35AM) (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Currently reading Annihilation Aria by Michael R. Underwood, and I like it quite a lot. So far it’s a fun Space Opera romp, reminding me of Farscape with a little bit of Guardians of the Galaxy and a soupçon of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Also reading Harrow the Ninth, but I’m not as entranced by it.


message 3: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2307 comments Currently reading Quillifer the Knight by Walter Jon Williams. After that, although I don't have the precise order mapped out, probably some combination of Karl Edward Wagner, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip José Farmer.


message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1185 comments Just started reading the absolute chonk that is The Mirror & the Light, which I’ve had on my shelf since March but not felt up to reading before now. The third volume of Hilary Mantel’s epic series about the life of Thomas Cromwell.

In audiobook I’m reading Black and British: A Forgotten History, read to me by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (familiar to urban fantasy fans as the voice of Peter Grant). It’s a surprisingly gripping and lively account of the relationship between Britain and the peoples of Africa, from the Roman age until now. It’s set within the international context but still with plenty of personal stories to help bring it all to life.

So September is shaping up to be a history-heavy month for me!


message 5: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a terrific narrator. I didn’t even know he was British until I heard him read Midnight Riot/Rivers of London, because I first was aware of him as the physical therapist in Doctor Strange.


message 6: by Louie (new)

Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments The Twitch channel, HyperRPG, is embarking on a month long road trip across the country next month in search of America in this time of COVID and social unrest, live streaming the whole trip from their mobile studio (the HypeRV is what chat has dubbed it). A trip inspired by John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America. So I started it earlier today.




message 7: by Dana (new)

Dana  Van Pelt (danalv) | 20 comments I might get some grief over this but I just finished reading Midnight Sun. I really enjoyed it. Twilight is a favorite of mine. I have moved on to Where the Crawdads Sing, which has been waiting for me for quite awhile. I am thinking of reading The Dragonbone Chair next.


message 8: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4143 comments ^If you get grief I'll be right behind you. Well, about six weeks behind you - I have it on library hold. While I'm not the hugest fan of Twilight I enjoyed reading them. They are a cultural phenomenon.

My wife bought the set of four some time back and I read them. I still remember the day I went to "parent child donut day" at my daughter's school when she was in grade school. I mentioned that I had read Twilight and suddenly I was the center of a bunch of school moms wanting to talk about it.


message 9: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 493 comments Just finished Ink & Sigil. It was fun. I really like this new protagonist. I'm going to start Chaos Rising as soon as I pick it up from the post office.


message 10: by Iain (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1470 comments Just burnt through Peace Talks and finish listening to One Good Turn as a crime palette cleanser.

Peace Talks is exactly what you expect from a Dresden book. Not his best but a worthwhile addition to the series that finishes on a cliff hanger leading into Battle Ground so if you are a quick reader I would wait until the end of the month.

Staring in on The Ten Thousand Doors of January and Just One Damned Thing After Another hoping for some enjoyable reads.

Over the last few weeks I have also read The Human which is an interminable fight scene that ends in his typical twist (which is no longer a twist...(view spoiler)) Not his best work and it appears Asher is too far down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole to escape (his bat shit theories are beginning to obviously infect his writing).

Sunglasses After Dark was a fun bit of dark urban fantasy/horror and I will probably read the other books in the series.

The Ballad of Black Tom was a great reinterpretation of Lovecraft... Highly recommended (if you like Lovecraft Country this is right up your alley).


message 11: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Neal Asher is a full-on conspiracy nutter. There is no way to redeem someone from the level of crazy that dude has descended to.


message 12: by Wade (new)

Wade Watson | 8 comments Louie, I read Travels with Charley a few years back and thoroughly loved it. I'll probably read it again sometime.

As someone who never feels pressured to keep my reading up to date I'm just about through the forth Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) book, A Feast for Crows. This will be my last George Martin epic, though. I think he lost his steam after three books.


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 176 comments I am reading Embers of War. So far off to a great start.


message 14: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 511 comments Iain wrote: "Staring in on The Ten Thousand Doors of January and Just One Damned Thing After Another hoping for some enjoyable reads."

Will be interested to see your take on the Jodi Taylor book. This series is constantly being shown to me by the algorithms at Amazon and Audible and I've been tempted to give them a go myself.

Has anyone else here read them?


message 15: by Sheila Jean (last edited Sep 03, 2020 07:23AM) (new)

Sheila Jean | 326 comments Colin wrote: "Iain wrote: "Staring in on The Ten Thousand Doors of January and Just One Damned Thing After Another hoping for some enjoyable reads."

Will be interested to see your take on the Jodi Taylor book. [....]

Has anyone else here read them?"


I have 12 minutes left in the second Jodi Taylor book in the Chronicle of St. Mary's series. I've found the first two books predominately silly, light, and fun in audible. Narration is excellent.

I have not spent a lot of time thinking about any holes in their time travel philosophy, etc. I found the second one had some rather annoying bits, but still overall fitting the tone of the first. There are some more serious bits in both of them, but the overall tone to me is very light and fun.

I'm simultaneously reading the 3rd Baru Cormorant book in print, and it makes for good balance.


message 16: by Shad (last edited Sep 04, 2020 07:45AM) (new)

Shad (splante) | 353 comments Finished Network Effect. A good example of how you can set up a sequel yet have a very satisfying resolution the the major arcs in the book.

Starting Blood of Elves.


message 17: by Nicholas (new)

Nicholas | 10 comments I just started The Steerswoman. I remember reading the second book in this series some 25 years ago. I’m excited to revisit.


message 18: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2877 comments Nicholas wrote: "I just started The Steerswoman. I remember reading the second book in this series some 25 years ago. I’m excited to revisit."

I liked that book quite a lot. Rosemary Kirstein's stuff is interesting.


message 19: by LouLouReads (new)

LouLouReads | 22 comments I’m about to start reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes. Ishiguro is an incredibly hit or miss author for me - The Remains of the Day is one of my all time top five novels, but When We Were Orphans is one of my least favourite and Never Let Me Go was just meh - so I never know what to expect with him. I’m optimistic though!

I’m also listening to Agatha Raisin and the Witch’s Tree by M.C. Beaton - I love the Agatha Raisin books even though they are objectively bad, and they are what I listen to whenever I want something silly and fun. The audiobooks are narrated by Penelope Keith from The Good Life and they are extremely reliable entertainment.


message 20: by Tommy (new)

Tommy | 11 comments Still reading Judgment at Proteus to finish the Quadrail series. Taking longer than I expected because I keep getting distracted by helping take care of 2 new grandchildren. Don't get me wrong -- I don't feel bad about reading less.


message 21: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Started Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes last night, which is straight-up non-stop Space Opera action adventure. It’s Firefly with telenovela overtones. (There is a section that is hilariously straight out of a telenovela, except with bird-dino aliens.)


message 22: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Tommy wrote: "Still reading Judgment at Proteus to finish the Quadrail series. Taking longer than I expected because I keep getting distracted by helping take care of 2 new grandchildren."

Don’t you hate it when babies just randomly show up, calling you gramps and demanding jello? Boy, if I had a nickel...


message 23: by Tommy (last edited Sep 05, 2020 02:12PM) (new)

Tommy | 11 comments Trike wrote: "Tommy wrote: "Still reading Judgment at Proteus to finish the Quadrail series. Taking longer than I expected because I keep getting distracted by helping take care of 2 new grandchi..."

Well, they're only about 3 months old, so they don't say much yet or show up unexpectedly (yet) and haven't gotten to jello yet, but one lives with us, so lots of opportunities for attention. I was working M-F (at least) while my kids were young. I had no idea how much I missed of their growing up. It's one of the few good results from the pandemic -- my kids are home with their kids.

And I've been re-reading some older (very short) books "Fire Trucks" (Sesame Street), "Things That Go", "P.B. Bear's Colors", and "Busy Bunnies".


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I'm reading The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, which is horror/dark fantasy.


message 25: by Ctgt (new)

Ctgt | 329 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "I'm reading The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, which is horror/dark fantasy."

Really enjoyed that one


message 26: by John (Taloni) (last edited Sep 05, 2020 08:11PM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4143 comments Finished Heretics of Dune and all I can say is, thank God it's over. 670 pages of self indulgent navel gazing. There's barely a plot to be seen in the endless palace intrigue.

I started out with the intent of reading the six books written by Frank Herbert. Think I'll stop here for now. It's a cliffhanger but I have little desire to go on. Plus, this was supposed to be the start of a trilogy. Frank Herbert finished the sequel before he died but not the third book. Brandon Sanderson was brought in to write that one along with Brian Herbert and of course Sanderson being Sanderson they bumped it up to two books. So I'd have to read three more self-indulgent novels to get the end of the story. Maybe later.

I distinctly recall my college roommate reading this and loving it. He said it was the fifth book so that has to be this one. I just don't get it.

Should probably spoiler protect the rest....
(view spoiler)

Other things that annoyed me: First, the egregious Star Wars reference. Three kinds of futuristic materials that start with "PO" so Herbert can make a 3-PO pun. Second, the use of "universe" without seeming to actually refer to a universe. It was stylistic in some of the SF I read in younger days to call a solar system a "galaxy" and a galaxy a "universe." Well, it might be stylistic, but it's still confusing. Who knows if that's what Herbert meant, he never gives enough information to clarify. And finally, a reference to holding a weapon with the finger on the trigger. Anyone with so much as a single lesson in firearms knows you don't put the finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Welp, I'll be stopping here. The other Dune books are available for immediate reading but nah. I've got a Mike Baron book featuring the comics character Nexus where he takes on the "Gourmand," a spoof of Galactus. Kate Danley has done another Maggie for Hire book plus some shorts. The book of the month should come in off library hold soon. First those.

Then, if I'm short of reading material, maybe then more Dune books. But Lord are these Dune sequels getting tedious. It's as if Herbert deliberately mocked his own work. But, there are Dune fans who love those so I have to conclude he was serious. Well, I will let them enjoy.


message 27: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1612 comments I believe I read both heretics and chapter house when I was 19, so almost 25 years ago. So my memory may not be great, but I remember liking them more then god emperor. I also believe I thought chapter house was the strongest of the last 3. But it also ends with a lot of unanswered questions, so you seem at as good a stopping point as any. Like your roommate, it may have been the age, and time, I was reading them that allowed me to enjoy them, and they probably don’t hold up as well as I remember.


message 28: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I, too, read them 30-something years ago and I distinctly recall thinking, “Will someone *please* invent the Internet to warn me not to read past Dune???”


message 29: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2307 comments I liked the latter Dune books well enough when I was initially reading them. And then about 10 years ago, when Brian Herber & Kevin J. Anderson were releasing the "no, really, we promise it's based on Frank Herbert's long-lost manuscript" final Dune book(s), I sat down and read all the Dune books from the Butlerian Jihad trilogy and the prequel trilogy through Frank Herbert's original six and then the two concluding BH/KJA volumes, and boy howdy did that give me a renewed appreciation for only ever reading the books that Frank Herbert wrote.


message 30: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 128 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "...Frank Herbert finished the sequel before he died but not the third book. Brandon Sanderson was brought in to write that one along with Brian Herbert and of course Sanderson being Sanderson they bumped it up to two books. So I'd have to read three more self-indulgent novels to get the end of the story. Maybe later..."

I don't think this is right. The immediate sequel to Heretics of Dune is Chapterhouse: Dune. The "sequel" in two novels is Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune. These are both authored by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, "based on notes ..." Some quick Googling and Wikipedia'ing shows no signs of Brandon Sanderson writing any Dune works, though perhaps I just missed something?


message 31: by John (Nevets) (last edited Sep 06, 2020 01:45PM) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1612 comments Geoff I believe John (Taloni) would have put a ;-) in real life at the end of that statement. He was comparing it to how Sanderson finished up the "Wheel of Time" books after another very similar circumstance happened to Robert Jordan.

And internet translation once again claims another well meaning joke. ;-) I don't know how many times I've been bit myself.


message 32: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2307 comments Finished Quillifer the Knight and decided, for a multiplicity of reasons (not least being that ERB, Inc. is reissuing all of Edgar Rice Burroughs' books in uniform hardcover editions) to go back to Tarzan of the Apes for the first time in many, many years. We'll see if this is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing.


message 33: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4143 comments ^^ Haa, yeah I did whiff the Anderson / Sanderson names. I read through Brian Herbert's intros a few books back and brain went to "Sanderson" and I didn't check when writing. And yes, I was making the "Sanderson overwrites" connection from Wheel of Time.

I could edit but it's more fun to just leave it. Thanks peeps!


message 34: by terpkristin (last edited Sep 06, 2020 03:01PM) (new)

terpkristin | 4202 comments I've started the book of the month. I'm about a third into it, I think.

I also just finished How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender, and I guess I am one. Well I'm not sure exactly. But maybe?

I'm also reading Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story for a work Women in Engineering book club.

I'm looking for a side read otherwise, because the work book club will be slow-going. But I'm kind of waiting until I get my next Audible credits (4 days). I'm thinking I might do the next in the series I started last month, about an FBI SAR dog. I realize it's not in-genre but with my history, it's fun and puts me in a place I kind of miss. The next book in the series (FBI K-9) for me is Before It's Too Late.


message 35: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1612 comments terpkristin wrote: "I've started the book of the month. I'm about a third into it, I think.

I also just finished How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender, and I guess I am one. Well I'm not sure exactly. But maybe?"


So what was it. Here are some examples from the description.

"Have you ever clogged a toilet in a national forest? That could get you six months in federal prison. Written a letter to a pirate? You might be looking at three years in the slammer. Leaving the country with too many nickels, drinking a beer on a bicycle in a national park, or importing a pregnant polar bear are all very real crimes."

I'm guessing you wrote a letter to a "maybe" pirate. Drinking a beer on bike in a national park would be way too on brand for you. And since we know you travel in style you are way more likely to have quarters then nickles when going international. ;-)


message 36: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 128 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "Geoff I believe John (Taloni) would have put a ;-) in real life at the end of that statement. He was comparing it to how Sanderson finished up the "Wheel of Time" books after another very similar c..."

Although Taloni just corrected you, I am going with the Nevets version in my head canon. A much better story.


message 37: by terpkristin (last edited Sep 07, 2020 08:10AM) (new)

terpkristin | 4202 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "So what was it. Here are some examples from the description."

I got busted for speeding on a public road that goes on the edge of Fort Meade military base. I don't remember if it was MD-175 or 32 that it was on (I think 175), but the speed limit changes every 1/2 mile or so. I lost track of the speed limit and got pulled over by an MP for going 45 in a 35. I was 19 at the time.

I went to court to seek a probation before judgment because I had a clean driving record. I forgot that federal judges are appointed and can be...not nice. The judge gave me the PBJ on the condition that I saw a probation officer for a year. Every month I had to check in with her, as well as whenever I left the state. Given that I lived in College Park at the time and went to DC and WV a lot...well...yeah. Federal probation officer. For a speeding ticket.

However it must have done the trick. The only "speeding" tickets I've had since then were in 2001 (camera ticket) and in 2008 a "failure to observe a traffic sign with respect to speed" (a lesser charge since the cop saw I had a good driving record).

And yet. With the industry I work in, I have to declare my probation officer one every piece of paper I fill out, every security form I ever see. 🤣At least I got a good story out of it.


message 38: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1612 comments Well apparently @Sheila Jean is a good recruiter. I guess my next read is going to be the beta for a Michael J. Sullivan upcoming book. This should be interesting. I've heard good things about his books in the past, just never picked one up. The timing was also very good, I submitted the application last night, and this morning got the invite. Now I have 21 days to read and react to "Nolyn".


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments terpkristin wrote: "I'm also reading Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story for a work Women in Engineering book club.
"


Ooh this sounds good for #scienceseptember


message 40: by Sheila Jean (new)

Sheila Jean | 326 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "Well apparently @Sheila Jean is a good recruiter. I guess my next read is going to be the beta for a Michael J. Sullivan upcoming book. This should be interesting. I've heard good ..."

That's fantastic!!!


message 41: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2520 comments Ruth wrote: "In audiobook I’m reading Black and British: A Forgotten History, read to me by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (familiar to urban fantasy fans as the voice of Peter Grant)."

Added to my To Be Listened to queue :)


message 42: by Geoff (new)

Geoff | 128 comments I just finished The Tyrant Baru Cormorant. I was confused a bit because I thought it was the third in a trilogy, even after finishing. Then, researching a little, I now realize that it is the third of four in the series. That may have crimped my enjoyment of the book a bit, unfairly I suppose. I will finish the series, though, now that I've come this far.

Next up, Axiom's End.


message 44: by kvon (new)

kvon | 562 comments Reading The Quantum Magician for my zoom book club, enjoying the heist but not so much the Puppets subrace; and listening to The Water Dancer which starts with a depressingly realistic depiction of southern slavery.


message 45: by Richard (new)

Richard Vogel | 237 comments I'm in the Nolyn beta reading as well. I'm looking forward to it as I've not read Michael J. Sullivan's work, but it seems to be right up my alley after reading the first chapter. I just hope I can read it all in time.


message 46: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2307 comments Since the Burroughs estate has started reissuing them in new, uniform editions, I read Tarzan of the Apes and started The Return of Tarzan: Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Library #2, both for the first time in about 30 years.


message 47: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1661 comments Currently enjoying The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez.


message 48: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4143 comments Trike wrote: "I, too, read them 30-something years ago and I distinctly recall thinking, “Will someone *please* invent the Internet to warn me not to read past Dune???”"

*squints* Pretty sure early AOL was around back then as were bulletin boards. You just needed to get with the times, bud!

Also: Spotted this on Twitter yesterday...

dune-burn-notes


message 49: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1356 comments I realized I had book 2 of a lots of series I liked but have yet to read. So the next two months will be attempt to fix that. Joe Abercrombie hits my Kindle app with The Trouble with Peace Sept 14 , 9 pm PST. My Self Published read will be The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids. Interference the follow up to the great Semiosis.


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