October 16, 2018, 01:19:58 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in August 2018  (Read 626 times)

Offline Eclipse

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What did you read in August 2018
« on: August 31, 2018, 07:30:51 PM »
Here it is: The what did you read this past month 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.
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

Offline Peat

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 02:47:22 AM »
In the last month I read

Age of Assassins - So good. So much fun. My book of the year, you can cancel the other months now

Godblind - Really lacking in detail.

Feet of Clay - Majestic.

Echoes of the Great Song - Beautiful.



Sharpe's Company/Enemy/Honour - Easy re-reads for when I'm in the mood, Cornwell writtes an action scene better than anyone alive and the more I reread, the more I notice Sharpe's vulnerability

The Goalkeeper's Revenge - Nice little short story collection for boys, very nostalgic

A Murder of Quality - Not a book of quality

The Silence of Gethsemane - Fictional biography of a historical Jesus. Fascinating but bitty.


This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 09:03:14 AM »
Only 2 this month:

The empire of ashes, Anthony Ryan
Last book in the trilogy, it was good, but I still feel book 2 was better. The end came abruptly and I would have liked to know more about the 'after'.

Saint's blood, Sebastien de Castell
Book 3 (of 4), this was fantastic! I really really liked it, and jumped into book 4 right after.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 03:20:37 PM »
California Bones (Daniel Blackland #1) by Greg Van Eekhout 4/5 Good UF noir

The Thorn of Dentonhill(Maradaine #1) by Marshall Ryan Maresca 1/5 Unreadable

Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues 4/5 Even Michael Sullivan does a half decent story in this Anthologie with lots of well known authors.

The Penitent Assassin by Shawn Wickersheim 2/5 Over the top and couldn't take this story seriously

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells 4/5 Little sci-fi mystery

Fix (Codename: Chandler Universe) by  by J.A. Konrath ,Ann Voss Peterson , F. Paul Wilson 3/5 Little Repairman Jack Story

Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe #1) by Rex Stout, Loren D. Estleman (Introduction) 3/5 Wanted to know where Glen Cook got his inspiration for the Garret Files

Bitter Sixteen (The Bitter Sixteen Trilogy #1) by Stefan Mohamed 3/5 YA superheroes novel
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

Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2018, 03:55:35 PM »
A fairly good month's reading for me, with 10 books read (although one was only about 30 pages, sure), however, the Great Omnibus Mispricing meant I acquired way too many books - somewhere north of 30 - and it was disastrous for my overall TBR progress.

Pandemonium: The Rite of Spring (anthology) - Jared Shurin (ed) - A little mini-anthology I read when I thought I still had a chance of keeping up with my acquisitions.

The Obelisk Gate - N K Jemisin - I briefly caught up on the Hugo winners before they announced the new one. I wasn't sure where this was going to go after the first book, but this was an excellent follow-up.

Blood, Sweat and Tea - Tom Reynolds - Non-fiction, about working in a London ambulance. Interesting and entertaining, but mainly notable for being my oldest unread kindle book.

13 Minutes - Sarah Pinborough - Great thriller about a teenage girl found nearly dead in a river.

The Terminal Experiment - Robert J Sawyer - SF. I didn't really like this one for philosophical reasons. It's about a man who makes AI copies of himself and one of them commits a murder.

Unsouled - Will Wight - Widely-recommended self-published fantasy, with a wuxia-style setting. Decent, once it gets going.

They Do it with Mirrors - Agatha Christie - Marple.

Remnant Population - Elizabeth Moon - Good piece of SF about an old woman who stays behind when a colony is abandoned and then has to deal with a first contact. This felt a level above the first Serrano trilogy, which was kind of lightweight.

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - My literary quota for the year. I enjoyed it more than I was expecting, to be honest.

Get Started in Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy - Adam Roberts - I've always liked a how-to guide. Some good bits in this one, but it's not my favourite.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have about 20-odd extra books to work off in the remainder of the year. So obviously I've started September by borrowing a library book.

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 06:42:35 AM »
Read 7 books throughout August, 6 were fantasy and sci-fi.

Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, this was Madeline Miller's first novel. I recently read and enjoyed the same author's Circe. This, like Circe, was about Greek mythology, focusing on the Trojan War. Its told from the point of view of Patroclus', Achilles' lover. I like Miller's take on these characters, she definitely has a different view of Odysseus to many.

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. After reading this I found out that there are plans to make it into a TV show, should be a pretty interesting show. The book was excellent. It mixes stories of one negro family in 1950's US having rather Lovecraftian experiences in a world that doesn't treat them all that well.

Record of  a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. I don't know how Chambers keeps on doing this, but she consistently writes the best science fiction novels I've read. There's something very real and believable about her future world and the characters that populate it, and the books are about those characters, the science fiction setting is really just a background. Outstanding.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire. This is the second of McGuire's books featuring the 'Pretty Little Dead Girl', Rose Marshall. The first Rose Marshall book; Sparrow Hill Road was a series of loosely connected short stories featuring Rose. This is an actual novel in which Rose has to fight for the world she wants against the evil, immortal Bobby Cross. Extremely involving and quite interesting in how it fleshes out the undead story of the roads.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. This is the second of Novik's spin on Eastern European fairytales, following the highly acclaimed Uprooted. It uses a number of sources, but it's most closely related to Rumplestiltskin. There hasn't been as much buzz about this as there was about Uprooted, which I find interesting, because I preferred it as a book. Found it much more involving and relateable, I also liked the revolving view points, although she probably used one or two too many of them.

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. The only other work of Kowal's I had read was her Glamourist Histories, and while both it and this book are alternate histories that's about all they have in common. The Glamourist Histories was about an Austenish world in which magic works, whereas this is about a changed 1950's where the space race kicks off in earnest in 1952 after the Earth is struck by a meteorite. The book, the first of a duology, follows the story of Elma York, a highly gifted mathematician and pilot who wants to be more than a computer (which is what female mathematicians working in the space race were called, men were called engineers and got paid more for doing the same job), she wants to be an astronaut. If anyone liked Hidden Figures, they'll love this. It's a prequel to the same author's Hugo Award winning novelette; The Lady Astronaut of Mars, but you don't need to have read it to totally get this book. Excellent and it should be Hugo nominated.

And finally the non fantasy/SF book, Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography by Chris Salewicz, a really interesting look at the driving force behind Led Zeppelin. I found his early days, pre Zeppelin quite fascinating and when Zeppelin started and he and the other 3 members hit the stratosphere how they all interacted with other big music industry names.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Skip

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2018, 05:54:56 PM »
St Thomas Aquinas, The Dumb Ox, by G.K. Chesterton. A difficult read because you really need to know as much about early 20thc England as about 13thc Europe.

Magician: Apprentice, by Ray Feist. I wanted to like it, but somehow it just didn't engage me.

To the Hilt, by Dick Francis. A classic mystery writer. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I was expecting race tracks and betting windows. Instead, I got Scotland and a brewery. Sharp writing.

Civil War Stories, by Ambrose Bierce. Good reads. The compilation is a little unfair to the author because these were stories for magazines. When you read them all together, you notice repetitions you likely would not otherwise. Excellent writing, and some truly striking descriptions of battle, especially the scene after the battle is done.

This doesn't count three or four fantasy novels I started and did not finish. It's tough for a modern fantasy author to be held, however unconsciously, to the standards of a Chesterton or Bierce.
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Offline Slaykomimi

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2018, 10:10:47 PM »
reading about how much you all could read in one month makes me realize how slow I am, I read one pocket book about the human brain and I started with Age of Myth at end of July and I am still not done (at the last 2 chapters).

I wish I could say it´s because I am too busy (I don´t read daily) but I also needed over 30 hours each book I would say. I really need to learn to read faster and better.
Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind.

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2018, 11:03:38 PM »
Go at your own pace and feel comfortable, this is not a competition to see who has read the most books. It’s to get ideas for your next book to pick up from fellow fantasy fans recommendations. You will work out whose got the same taste as you in books. It’s even helpful when you know a member has a totally different taste to you then you can avoid those books there rave on about 😛

I set a few hours everyday to read instead of tv and when I can’t get to sleep I read too. I rather be sleeping 😴 that’s why I can read 8 books a month.

Please don’t feel intimidated by all the freakish fast readers
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 11:12:41 PM by Eclipse »
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

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 01:42:15 AM »
reading about how much you all could read in one month makes me realize how slow I am, I read one pocket book about the human brain and I started with Age of Myth at end of July and I am still not done (at the last 2 chapters).

I wish I could say it´s because I am too busy (I don´t read daily) but I also needed over 30 hours each book I would say. I really need to learn to read faster and better.

Haha @Slaykomimi you're not alone that's why I almost never post in these monthly book threads bc what I've managed to read is a pitifully small number of books if even one each month! We all go at our own pace and I am slooooowww

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 07:57:59 AM »
Oh, please do! Like Eclipse said, this isn't a contest, it's to get ideas and discover new books :)
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Offline Slaykomimi

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2018, 12:24:39 PM »
I dont see this in a way of contest. It just frustrates me to see how many books I still want to read and to think that I wont finish even a tiny bit in my whole life. Just to think about all these unexplored adventures makes me feel bad.

I never compare myself in a sense of "oh my god he is better blabla", I dont really care if someone is better or worse as I am on something. Its a waste of time that could be spent in a productive way.
Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind.

-Edward d. Morrison

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2018, 12:54:58 PM »
Oh, I get it now, thanks.

At times I think like that ("argh, so many books I want to read, there's no time" and so on), but then I realise that it just stresses me out and removes the enjoyment I have with the book I am currently reading, so I make a conscious effort to stop that line of thought. And I feel better, enjoying the moment, the now, the book :)
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"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2018, 01:32:55 PM »
I'm sure someone told me there was a prize...

Seriously, though, I've got 10 books up there, but I reckon my natural pace is about 1 average-length book a week, so 4 a month. And fantasy books are typically longer than average*. I get higher numbers by:

(a) Throwing in some short books. Those Agatha Christie's are pretty much a snack between proper books. Older books are usually shorter. Children's books are also good. And I usually count novellas, unless they are in a collection or anthology.
(b) Multi-tasking. I'll quite often have a non-fiction book burbling along in the background, and sometimes I'll try to throw in some short fiction in addition to whatever else I'm reading (until this year I was trying to read a short story every day).
(c) Putting extra hours in. There isn't much getting around this one. My other hobbies/pastimes have to suffer.


* I mean average for all genres, or this wouldn't make logical sense. An average book is about 350 pages these days, by my reckoning.

Online Alex Hormann

Re: What did you read in August 2018
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2018, 05:55:01 PM »



Remnant Population - Elizabeth Moon - Good piece of SF about an old woman who stays behind when a colony is abandoned and then has to deal with a first contact. This felt a level above the first Serrano trilogy, which was kind of lightweight.



I've just finished the Serrano series and found them quite disappointing compared to her Vatta series.  Far too much about horses for my tastes.

Most of my month was spent on Serano and David Drake's RCN to varying degrees of enjoyment, but I did have two stand-out books this August.

[/The Tower Of Living And Dying by Anna Smith Spark was absolutely fantastic. Even I was reading parts thinking 'this is messed up', and I could read about Tobias all day long. It only narrowly missed out on being my favourite book of the year.

And then came Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames, which leapfrogged  into the second spot. Hilarious and engaging from the very beginning. I think I got a lot more of the references this time around too.