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Author Topic: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts  (Read 2443 times)

Offline Arry

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August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« on: August 31, 2015, 09:48:25 PM »
Here it is: The what did you read in August thread.  Come share your list and what you thought of the books you read last month. We're not looking for full out reviews, just a brief couple of sentences that sum up your impressions. This is also not a contest for who read the most books, I know some of us struggle to find time to read one book a month, and others manage a dozen. That doesn't matter, so don't feel reluctant to post if you have read less books (or way more books) than others. This is all for sharing, and if you read anything, come let us know what it was and what you thought of it.  ;D
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
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Offline Arry

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Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 10:13:57 PM »
Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb - This may be about my favorite one yet, another emotional roller coaster, and tie ins with the Rain  Wilds. Really looking forward to the next one 

The Fever by Megan Abbott - This was a different read. It was creepy in a mysterious kind of way.

A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall - This one took a while to get everyone straight, but was so worth it. Definitely looking forward to the next one.

Zer0es by Chuck Wendig - *sigh* they can't all be winners I guess. This one didn't work for me. I felt like he tried to carry too many POVs and the result was I didn't care about a single one of them. Add in to that a bizarre switch from techo-thriller to bizarre half way through, just didn't work for me.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin - Really good. One POV is told second person, which was a bit strange, but I adapted and am glad I did. Jemisin has created a very cool (and broken) world here with characters I want to know more about.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron - OK. I have to confess based on the title, I would likely have never picked this one up. But after a number of people I know highly recommended it I had to give it a chance. It was a fun read, I definitely will get the next one.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho - This was another winner this month! Lots of etiquette and prejudice and a wonderful protagonist that manages to put people in their place, and show them their misconceptions about gender inequality are completely unfounded. Highly recommend. (and its not just about gender politics, I just happened to enjoy that bit)

The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey - This was a fun escapist read. Definitely more romance oriented than anything I typically read, but it was a nice change of pace and I plan on continuing the series.

The Last Witness by K. J. Parker - I really enjoyed this novella. It has probably the most unreliable narrator I have ever come across. Seriously. - Still deciding on star rating. probably
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 10:17:15 PM by Arry »
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
-- George R.R. Martin

http://www.tenaciousreader.com

http://www.speculativeherald.com

Offline Raptori

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Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 10:43:48 PM »
The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan -
Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan -

A very slow month for me. Both of those books were very disjointed, and I felt focused on the wrong things - clothes and scenery rather than anything important. Winter's Heart committed the sin of failing to show potentially one of the most exciting events in the entire series so far, and instead just cut it out completely.  :-\
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Elfy

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Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 07:02:21 AM »
I got a new job, so I haven't had as much time for reading. As a consequence I only got through 3 books, I probably could have read more, but the things I'm reading at present just fail to excite me enough to want to devote more time to them. They're not actually bad books and I don't dislike them, I just can't work up a lot of enthusiasm for one reason or another.

Anyway this is what was finished in August:

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. This was a lot of fun, pirates, magic and a rather fairy talesque world, how could it not be entertaining?

Joe Abercrombie's Half a War. Far and away the best for me of his Shattered Sea trilogy. The other two I could take or leave and they kept giving me flashes of Henry Treece and reminding me of how much better he covered similar ground. This was Joe Abercrombie being Joe Abercrombie, not channelling someone else. Had a lovely bleak, somewhat ambiguous ending, too.

The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams. Love, love, loved this. I liked The Copper Promise, but Jen took what she'd uncovered in that book and then dialled it up to 11. I can't wait for the end of the trilogy early next year.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 07:04:05 AM by Elfy »
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 12:22:55 PM »
These were my reads:

The Stone Road, G.R. Matthews
I really enjoyed this book. Outside of normal tropes in location and culture, it provided a great change. I spoke about it at length in the 'currently reading' thread.

Fool's Errand, The Golden Fool and Fool's Fate, Robin Hobb (Tawny Man trilogy)
I loved this trilogy, really loved it! While not overtaking Liveship Traders in my ranking, I found it better than the first one. Reading her books is like drowing in life... I've commented more on a separate thread (gushed? hehe)
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Offline DrNefario

Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 01:58:19 PM »
Ten books for me this month, according to my spreadsheet. Mostly very short, but one was over 600 pages. Three of those were "free" because of my short-story-a-day challenge.

Fantasy:
The Ladies of Grace Adieu (collection) - Susanna Clarke - Fairy stories, in the literal sense, some set in the same world as Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (indeed Strange features in one of them) and one, perhaps my least favourite, set in Neil Gaiman's Stardust world. I really enjoyed this collection.
Servant of the Underworld - Aliette de Bodard - Aztec mystery, with lots of unpronounceable names and weird blood magic. Enjoyable and different.
The Well of Ascension - Brandon Sanderson - Second book of Mistborn, which I'd put off for way too long. I enjoyed it a lot. I have really liked the way that some of the key battles in this series have been won fairly, based on the systems we already knew, rather than our heroine simply finding extra power.
Deryni Rising - Katherine Kurtz - The start of classic series which didn't really work all that well for me. Maybe I'd have liked it more if I was younger (and if there was way less competition, as there was back then.)

SF:
The Tomorrow People - Judith Merril - Oddball story from 1960 about a man who returns alone from a two-man mission to Mars and can't remember what happened. He has turned into an angry drunk, while weird things happen on the moonbase where they're investigating the samples he brought back. Didn't really work for me.
Little Machines (collection) - Paul McAuley - Mostly good collection of short SF from the last couple of decades.
The Joy Makers - James Gunn - An enjoyable fix-up novel from 1961 about the introduction of the science of hedonics, making people happy, and its effects on humanity's future.
Hospital Station (collection) - James White - Another short oldie, about a hospital station (weird, that) where strange alien cases crop up. Good fun.

Other:
Death in the Clouds - Agatha Christie - Continuing to make my way through her entire catalogue. Another Poirot.
Marazan - Nevil Shute - His first published novel, from 1926. An adventure story featuring a pilot taking on a drug smuggling operation. Readable enough, I guess. Nothing to do with the Book of the Fallen.

I can get through those 200-page oldies in a couple of days, most of the time, but I don't think it took me a whole lot longer to get through the Sanderson, because I was enjoying it enough to spend more time reading it.

Offline Rostum

Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 03:37:39 PM »
Not much for me. A very strange month.

 Half a War which I enjoyed and rounds off Joes current foray into YA. Back to the grown up stuff for the next one.

WG Saraband's Shattered sands, again very enjoyable and a good first book with decent prose and bursting with ideas all the more remarkable as it was written in English and not Portuguese and translated.

Finished Extinction by DJ Molles to round off a zombie series. Solid writing but I am glad its read now and the series done.

Read the passenger by James Cook set in Joshua Guess's world. A zombie tale from the perspective of a man bitten whose conscious mind is trapped in a body he has no control over. Again competent writing but misses a trick as it focuses on the rationality of the situation and not the horror and revulsion of it.


Offline Eclipse

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Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2015, 06:15:55 PM »
The Reluctant Swordsman (Seventh Sword #1) by Dave Duncan not for me.

Gate of Ivrel (Morgaine & Vanye #1) by C.J. Cherryh I'm really sorry Jmack but this was definitely not for me.

The Deed of Paksenarrion  by Elizabeth Moon erm not for me either sorry.

Replay by Ken Grimwood Okay, if you liked The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North you should give this a go.

Veiled (Alex Verus #6) by Benedict Jacka I enjoyed this but thought it was not as good as the rest of the series

Shattered Sands by W.G. Saraband Enjoyed it, we currently doing a read along if anyone's interested

Sabriel (Abhorsen #1) by Garth Nix Enjoyed this as well, A young woman necromancer kicking undead arses with a talking demon cat.

Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie Loved this read it in two days.
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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Offline Yora

Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 08:08:54 PM »
Blood of Elves: I read the first chapter ages ago and the second chapter a while back, but somehow I hadn't felt like reading for quite a while. Now I genuinly made a real effort to make some progress with it and it's really quite great. Somber and intelligent without being depressing or gloomy, and regular moments of dry humor that never get silly or cartoonish and work very well for me. And as I've come to expect from The Witcher, any time a character starts to get a bit one-dimensionally idealistic the story immediately does a good job at making clear that the situation is really much more complicated and the apparent simple solution not really going to help.

The Tombs of Atuan: This one has been recommended to me a lot some time back, though I can't remember for which reasons. Now I actually got around to read it and found the plot irrelevant, the characters unlikeable, and the writing bland. I am a hard audience to please.
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 08:29:32 PM »
Here we go.
Erik Carter 1: Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore: Good book. The ending was predictable, but still a good story. Not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much without the Graphic Audio adaptation however.
Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell: Too childish for me. It was very cartoonish, the dialogue didn't make much sense... I just didn't like it.
Pines(Wayward Pines 1) by Blake Crouch: The book was going okay, maybe at a 3 star level, until the very end. I hated it. It was very environmentalist feeling, and I'm just not into that type of thing.
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Millan: I discussed this already here, but to summarize, the most disappointing thing I've read all year.
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson: The only reason I managed to push through was because I knew it's connected to the cosmere. But thank God I did. The ending blew me away. I was on the edge of my seat the entire last 50-100 pages.
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson: I'm not generally impressed with novelas, and this one proved to be no different. I'm not exactly sure what everyone raves about.
MS. Marvel Volume 1 No Normal: This is the first actual comic I've read, thanks to Graphic Audio. And wow was I impressed! It was funny, exciting, and just... Awesome!
Wow it's been a tough month for me. I didn't even realize it until I had to think about what I've read.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 08:37:41 PM by ultamentkiller »

Offline ClintACK

Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 08:52:30 PM »
The Martian by Andy Weir -- Really liked it.  This is the Apollo 13 movie updated.  I plan to wait a month and go back and reread it for technique -- a whole novel in which the main character is writing first person logs and having zero dialogue should be a slog, and it isn't at all.  And he manages to almost lecture the reader on technical specs at times without it ever feeling infodumpy or pedantic.  Could have used a touch more denouement at the end, but there are worse problems to have than leaving me wanting more.

Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher -- a compilation of three Dresden Files short stories/novelettes that he'd previously published, one of which I'd read before.  Light and fun.

The Devil's Only Friend by Dan Wells -- the latest in the John Cleaver books ("I am Not a Serial Killer" is the first.)  He's taking John in a new direction, and this worked quite well as a transition book.

The Stranger by Harlan Coben -- Really good read in a totally different genre.  It's a really tense mystery/thriller built around something other than a murder with high stakes that (mostly) aren't about getting killed.  (PoV is a father of two teens discovering the edges of a huge, dark secret his wife has been keeping, with the potential collapse of his family and his life and his whole idea of himself at stake.)

Oh, and a whole bunch of flash fiction over in the monthly contest section.    ::)

August was a slow reading month for me, apparently.  House guests, beautiful weather, and a reading hangover from July all contributed to this.  I have great plans to do better this month.

Offline leterile

Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 09:00:33 PM »
Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs #1) - Richard K. Morgan   Interesting premise, graphic violence, smart ass hero. What else do you need? 4/5

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time #14) - Brandon Sanderson/Robert Jordan   Finally finished the series. Excellent book. Only reason it isn't 5 out of 5 is that there were some story lines left dangling in my opinion. 4.5/5

Antiphon (Psalms of Isaak #3) - Ken Scholes   Took a while to get into this book, but once it got going, it was pretty good. 4/5

Faery Lands Forlorn (A Man of His Word #2) - Dave Duncan   Another one that took me a little while to get into. Finished pretty strong though. 4/5

The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson   Short novella in the Cosmere. I really liked this one. I know some have said they didn't. It seemed like he finally has started connecting the different Cosmere worlds a little. The way the magic works sounds an awful lot like the spren in Words of Radiance. 5/5

Running Blind (Jack Reacher #4) - Lee Child   Not really fantasy, but I'm putting it in here anyway. I like the Jack Reacher books so far. Only complaints are that they are little formulaic (Crazy bad guy frames Reacher. Local cops/FBI are convinced he's the killer. Hot girl falls for Reacher. Reacher kills everyone.), and the dialogue (British guy trying to write in an American accent. Slightly awkward turns of phrases). Other than that it was good. 3/5

Offline Eclipse

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Re: August Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 09:06:23 PM »
Hi @leterile , don't just hide yourself in the what did you read month topics,explore the forum we not that scary why not join the fantasy faction book battle.

It always good to meet another Black Company fan
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate