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What Else Are You Reading? > What I'm Also Reading in January 2009

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message 1: by Jon (last edited Jan 15, 2009 11:21AM) (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 894 comments In addition to several book club selections, I plan to read (or finish reading):

The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons - finished
Exorcisms and Ecstasies by Karl Edward Wagner - on hold (couldn't renew ILL and had to return)
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells - still reading ebook (very slowly)
The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony by John Scalzi

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke - currently reading and loving it
A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge - finished
If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi - mooched recently
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - bought but not started yet
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë - need to download ebook version

message 2: by Jackie (last edited Jan 01, 2009 06:00PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) I'm finishing the last book of Nora Robert's Circle trilogy. Fantasy, vampires, end of all the worlds, etc.
I haven't made any firm decisions yet, because I like to choose a book by what I'm in the mood for. I have about 80 To read books on my shelves. I go over them and see which one jumps out at me.
I'm considering Terry Brooks 'Genesis of Shanarra' trilogy. I've held onto them until I got all three so I can read them back to back. Now's a good a time as any.
Armageddon's Children
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
I've read all the other Shannara books. I liked the earlier ones best. And I've read The Word & The Void series. Genesis is the bridge between the two 'worlds'. I've often wondered if The Four Lands were our world in the future. I finally have my answer, now I can find out how exactly that comes about.

message 3: by Terence (new)

Terence (Spocksbro) | 97 comments Glancing over my December post, I was reminded that I wanted to reread Jack Vance's Lyonesse trilogy so I guess I'll start off the month with them.

After that it's anybody's guess. I've been looking over the TBR shelf and depending on the day and the angle of the sun, I waver back and forth between all the interesting stuff there. I make no promises but I'd like to get to: Strange Cargo, Jeffrey E. Barlough; Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story, Leonie Swann; and Tariq Ali's Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree.

On the nonfiction shelf, I've just finished Mark Mazower's wonderful Hitler's Empire (review forthcoming) and in keeping with the WW2 spirit, I've started Rick Atkinson's An Army at Dawn.

After that, I have to polish off the three library reads:

The Grand Inquisitor's Manual, Jonathan Kirsch
The Punic Wars, Adrian Goldsworthy
Defying Rome: The Rebels of Roman Britain, Guy de la Bedoyere

message 4: by Nick, Founder (In Absentia) (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 311 comments Mod
I'm finishing up with A Feast for Crows! I almost finished that series in 2008 in anticipation for the next one. I got addicted to it in May and, well, been reading it since!

message 5: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) I'm still working on Quicksilver, I haven't read any of it this week though. I'm really caught up in Mistborn: The Final Empire and am catching bits and pieces of A Lion Among Men: Volume Three in the Wicked Years and Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders.

message 6: by Dov (new)

Dov | 15 comments I'm Hoping to finish: The Awakened Mage by Karen Miller and The Lost Fleet Book 2: Fearless by Jack Campbell. But I have Finals this month so i doubt I will even get these done.

message 7: by John (new)

John | 2 comments Novels 7-10 of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
And possibly Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card but I may change my mind.

@Jon: I loved Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and tell me what you think of The Last Colony. I picked up Zoe's Tale, but haven't read it yet.

message 8: by Lorenzo (new)

Lorenzo (Digitaloz) | 12 comments So far I have Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep", The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel, and Lisey's Story.

I guess if I get a chance to read some more, I'll decide as I go.

message 9: by Chessa (new)

Chessa (Chessakat) | 2 comments Hi! I'm new, I should post something in the intro section I guess!

Right now I'm in the middle of a paranormal, One Foot in the Grave, the second in the Night Huntress series. I'm really enjoying it so far!

On the SF/Fantasy front, this month I'm planning on reading:
Outrageous Fortune -Tim Scott
Fathom - Cherie Priest
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3) - Richelle Mead
Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires, Book 5) - Rachel Caine

For nonfiction, I've got a lot of new parenting books on my plate, including:
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves: Transforming Parent-child Relationships from Reaction And Struggle to Freedom, Power And Joy - Naomi Aldort
And the Skylark Sings with Me - David H. Albert
The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom -Mary Griffith

And for regular old fiction, I'm planning on reading
I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone -Stephanie Kuehnert

message 10: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (BethALM) I'm reading Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson.

message 11: by Nina (new)

Nina (snowflakeschance) | 2 comments I've just started reading the Christopher Fowler Bryant & May series. I've started with Full Dark House. While shopping around in a local bookstore I saw his latest book, The Victoria Vanishes: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery and the jacket description sparked my interest.

Another book I recently ordered is St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. I have been wanting to read this book since it was released but, never got around to it.

message 12: by bsc (last edited Jan 02, 2009 10:14AM) (new)

bsc (bsc0) | 251 comments I'm reading Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson.

Wow I hadn't realized that Home was somewhat of a sequel to Gilead: A Novel. THAT was a powerful book.

I'm finishing up the last 50 or so pages of A Fire Upon The Deep. After that, I'll be starting Cryptonomicon, which will likely take me several weeks to complete.

message 13: by Lori (last edited Jan 02, 2009 05:55PM) (new)

Lori | 0 comments Oh how I loved Cryptonomicon! Also the Vinge novel, but I'm not going to reread it, so much new stuff to read.

I have just finished Bk 3 of the Malazan Empire series by Steven Erikson. Started Bk 1 about a month ago, and this is such brilliant epic fantasy I am completely obsessed and all I want to do is read read read. Am in panic mode because my library for some insane reason doesn't have Bk 4, so ordered it from but it hasn't arrived yet.

Edit: Hmmm, I thought I knew how to link but it didn't work. So here's the long version

message 14: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 201 comments I've read American Nerd: The Story of My People which was minorly disappointing.
Currently reading Dingo by Charles de Lint (should finish tonight) and Priestess of the White which I'm finding tough to finish because the pacing is so slooooowww...

Also from the library:
At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman
Dancing with Rose: Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer's by Lauren Kessler

I will also be reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for book group.

I got a few books for xmas, so I thought I would likely read them this month:
We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Changed Their Lives Forever by Benjamin Mee
Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs

And I thought I might slip in the new Mike Shepherd, Intrepid and something else from my TBR pile while I'm in the airport in the middle of the month.

message 15: by Brooke (new)

Brooke I hope that everyone who's reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell loves it, it's one of my favorites. It's so long and moves so slowly, but it's a total delight.

I'm finishing up William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, and after that it's anyone's guess which of the other 13 library books I have checked out I'll read next.

message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) I just finished The Ethical Assassin: A Novel & now am going to read the World of Tiers Series by Farmer; Philip Jose. I've had the first 5 books for decades - read the first one in the early 70's, I think. I finally gave up looking for the rest of the series, thinking he'd never finish it. I recently found out that Farmer had finished the series in the 90's, 15 or 20 years after book #5, I think. I got the last 2 on BookMooch & PaperBackSwap.

They're fast reads & I hope they're as good as I recall. Somehow I doubt it, but I HAVE to find out how Kickaha finally gets out of the jam he was in. He's been hanging there since the 80's for me!

message 17: by Imperfectlyrua (new)

Imperfectlyrua Castle-Hackett | 15 comments With my xmas boarders card I picked up Emma Bull's Territory and I started that last night. I just listened to an abridged version of The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 on CD and I''ll start John Adams by the same author during my commute this week. I'm also still reading Betancourt's first Amber book.

message 18: by Robin (last edited Jan 06, 2009 04:26AM) (new)

message 19: by Shelly (last edited Jan 06, 2009 06:48AM) (new)

Shelly (Mercy20) I just finished

Betrayed by P.C and Kirstin Cast
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Now I'm staring at my huge pile of books on my desk debating on what to read next. I'll not be getting into your January books since I just joined... I'll wait for February and start then :D

message 20: by John (new)

John | 2 comments Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in my opinion is a jewel in the rough. I'm always disappointed I find it on the discount shelf. It truly is a good book.

message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) John, "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" was recommended to me, looked interesting so I put it in PaperBackSwap & immediately had it come up. I'm looking forward to reading it. Glad to hear you liked it too.

message 22: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments John wrote: "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell..."

I've heard so many good things about this book that I was glad when it came up as a reading groups pick - but I must say is kind of hard to get thorugh - very slow combined with very long makes it difficult.

I also find the footnotes distracting. There are two other books that have footnotes that I've read reacently "The Amulet of Samarkand" and "Watership Down" and they were short and not a problem but these long ones really are bugging me.

-- Wife of GR author Michael J. Sullivan: The Crown Conspiracy (10/08) | Avempartha (04/09)

message 23: by Judy (new)

Judy (judygreeneyes) | 103 comments I just finished "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and am reading "The Plot Against America" (Philip Roth), "Daughter of Fortune" (Isabel Allende), and ready to start "Ysabel" (Guy Gavriel Kay).

message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 232 comments So far this month:
Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces, which was excellent
Agnes Quill: An Anthology Of Mystery, which was okay.

Interpreter of Maladies, which was excellent.
Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop by Kate Wilhelm, which was excellent. I finally finished Art and Artifice: And Other Essays of Illusion and Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, both of which I'd been reading in bits and pieces for quite some time; Musicophilia seems more science fiction than science fiction, but it's all true.
For the rest of the month?
Currently reading Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon. I have the Best of 2008 short story anthology out of the library, and the Haunting of Hill House, which I've always meant to read.

message 26: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments I'm dedicating more time to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and I'm sorry to say it really is not grabbing me. The slow style I realize is done for effect but I think I'm too OCD to be patient through it. I'm reading it for another group here on GR so I'll finish it off but I'm ... sad to say... not really enjoying it. Hopefully it will get better.. I'm about 1/3 through.

message 27: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Robin wrote: "I'm dedicating more time to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and I'm sorry..."

I can't say that the pace ever picks up. The story gets a lot better and starts making more sense, but it carries that Victorian-style prose throughout. I really, really enjoyed it, but it took a long time to get through.

message 28: by Nick (new)

Nick (ndoerrabbott) | 55 comments Juggler of Worlds by Niven. It's a struggle to finish. Unwieldy and uneven dialog and plot line. I'd recommend it only to those well seasoned in Niven's 'known space' series.

message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 232 comments I've picked up Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell several times, since it's been highly recommended by two friends whose tastes I generally share, but I keep putting it down, for two non-prose related reasons.
1)It's huge, and heavy.
2)There are no good breaks. I don't have big stretches of time to read in, and I like to be able to put the book down at a logical point. I kept finding myself rereading parts trying to figure out where I was on the page...

message 30: by Kersplebedeb (new)

Kersplebedeb | 32 comments I just finished reading an ok book about SF in Weimar Germany, and the political uses to which it was put. A fascinating subject, and the book (Fantasy and Politics: Visions of the Future in the Weimar Republic by Peter S. Fischer) does go through a few dozen books briefly. However i found it marred by Fischer's desire to constantly denigrate the nazi and conservative SF writers, i.e. they were unbalances, their writing sucked, their ideas (and not only their political ones) were obviously ludicrous.

Obviously, the subject matter requires a political analysis of the books, and certainly going into the author's politics makes sense, but i hate that kind of lazy liberal bias where you have to put down everything about everyone you disagree with, using psychological explanations as a crutch.

BUT that said... given the subject-matter, i'd still recommend it to people in this group.

message 31: by Cicero (new)

Cicero | 48 comments I bought a copy of "The Judging Eye" by R. Scott Bakker yesterday and I just can't wait to read it. This is easily my most anticipated book of 2009.

message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy (amyhageman) | 60 comments January has been good so far - I'm taking advantage of the last of winter break before I start classes again!
I've read so far:
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages
Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return
All four are excellent books that I highly recommend.
I have also started the audio cd of
The Book Thief.
I am still hoping to get to
A Hat Full of Sky: A Discworld Novel
Wintersmith: A Discworld Novel
Storm Front

message 33: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 201 comments Well, I haven't stuck to my plan very well for this month, but have been truckin' along with the reading. Here's the list so far for the month:

1. American Nerd: The Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent
2. Dingo by Charles de Lint
3. An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
4. Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
5. Holes by Louis Sachar
6. At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman
7. Ultimate X-Men Vol. 18: Apocalypse
8. The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
9. Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy (re-read)
10. Bloodring by Faith Hunter
11. Moving Targets and Other Stories of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey et al.
12. Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster

Will be flying down to Orlando on Thursday for a conference and leaving all this frigid weather behind (at least for the week). Of course, starting to pack today and the first thing I had to pick out was the is a sampling of what I'll be taking:

Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie is Not the Answer by Jen Lancaster
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz and possibly its sequel
How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else by Michael Gates Gill
Seraphs by Faith Hunter
Contact Imminent by Kristine Smith (I started this a while ago but got distracted by something)
Endgame by Kristine Smith

And of course, a stack of crossword puzzle books.

message 34: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments Sarah Pi wrote: "I've picked up Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell several times, since it's been highly recommended by two friends whose tastes I generally share, but I keep putting it down, for two non-prose related ..."

You are not the only one struggling with this one.

message 35: by Lori (new)

Lori | 0 comments I loved that book, but I can see how you can't get into it without large blocks of time, which I had (or made myself have!) while reading it.

message 36: by MB (What she read) (last edited Jan 16, 2009 12:20PM) (new)

MB (What she read) I think Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is loved by a odd sub-set of people. It is amazing that it has done as well, sales-wise, as it has because I've always taken it as a wonderfully-well-written send-up and amalgamation of Jane Austen, C.S. Forester, Bernard Cornwell, Georgette Heyer and the ilk combined with fantasy--a kind of literary "in joke". You almost have to have read & enjoyed that type of book AND to like fantasy to enjoy it.

If it's not your type of thing, don't feel bad...that's all I'm trying to say. I loved it, but then I was familiar with that type of world so the language, setting & POVs were not a problem for me. Yes, it is slow. Think of it as Literary Fantasy.

I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend her other book The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories instead. This book is made up of short stories set in the "world" of "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". I think it might be easier as an entry-level read and her witty writing really comes out.

message 37: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Now it's time for the Genesis of Shannara series by Terry Brooks, starting the first in the series today.

message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 232 comments MB - I started reading The Ladies of Grace Adieu, but when I realized it was referencing Jonathan Strange, I returned it to the library, for fear it would spoil the novel before I finished it. Does it give anything away?

MB (What she read) Oh, good question! Sorry, I don't really remember--I read them both a few years ago. And I read TLoGA after reading JS&MN so I probably didn't notice spoilers.

It did reference the Raven King, I remember that much.

message 40: by Sandi (last edited Jan 20, 2009 03:42PM) (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) Sarah Pi wrote: "MB - I started reading The Ladies of Grace Adieu, but when I realized it was referencing Jonathan Strange, I returned it to the library, for fear it would spoil the novel before I finished it. Does..."

It doesn't give a darn thing away. ;) I actually liked The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories better. It was much easier to get through the collection of short stories than the enormous tome that was Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

I just started A Thousand Words for Stranger by Julie E. Czernada.

message 41: by MB (What she read) (last edited Jan 20, 2009 03:50PM) (new)

MB (What she read) I liked it better too! Hey Sandi, have you read Sylvia Townsend Warner's "Kingdoms of Elfin??? Her stories are very similar in "feel" to TLoGA, I think.

message 42: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) I haven't read anything by her, MB. Looking at Amazon, it seems like her works are out of print. Maybe the library would have some. I love short stories.

message 43: by MB (What she read) (last edited Jan 20, 2009 04:13PM) (new)

MB (What she read) I found them originally at the library. But I just checked because I wanted to re-read them and they are no longer part of the collection. Aaargh!

I'm going to have to add them to my way-too-long "to buy" list.

(If you like 'weirdish' short stories, you may also like Joan Aiken or Kelly Link or Neil Gaiman.)

message 44: by Terence (new)

Terence (Spocksbro) | 97 comments Sandi wrote: "I haven't read anything by her, MB. Looking at Amazon, it seems like her works are out of print. Maybe the library would have some. I love short stories."


I recently read Ms. Townsend's book and it was pretty good (review here:

message 45: by Lori (last edited Jan 20, 2009 10:40PM) (new)

Lori | 0 comments I just finished The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. I'm FINALLY reading The Sparrow.

And then it's back to The Fallen of the Malazen Empire, up to book 4 now.

message 46: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments There are so many books I'm looking forward to reading - if only I can get through JS&MN. This has to be the longest hardest read I've ever done - I can't belive I stuck with it as long as I have except that others speak so highly of it.

message 47: by Cicero (last edited Jan 25, 2009 09:44AM) (new)

Cicero | 48 comments Judging Eye by R.Scott Bakker was awesome. Hit the link to see my review. Even though I am not that good at reviewing I just felt Bakker deserved it.

message 48: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments Just finished two books - so I've started
Good Omens The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

-- Wife of GR author Michael J. Sullivan: The Crown Conspiracy (10/08) | Avempartha (04/09)

MB (What she read) I love "Good Omens"!

message 50: by Robin (new)

Robin (RobinSullivan) | 348 comments Ya so far so good -I'm early into it (babies just got swapped but I'm enjoying the tone of it.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (other topics)
Exorcisms and Ecstasies (other topics)
If Not Now, When? (other topics)
The Last Colony (other topics)
The Fall of Hyperion (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Markus Zusak (other topics)
Primo Levi (other topics)
Susanna Clarke (other topics)
Karl Edward Wagner (other topics)
Emily Brontë (other topics)