November 12, 2019, 04:36:38 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in August 2019  (Read 624 times)

Offline Elfy

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What did you read in August 2019
« on: September 03, 2019, 06:12:06 AM »
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.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 06:27:49 AM »
I'll start. I didn't get through that many for me, 6, but there were a couple of goodies in amongst them.

Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames. This is part of my rereading series' thing. I've only read it twice, as opposed to it's predecessor's 4 reads, but it's a damn good follow up. While a lot of the reveals of the world were in Kings of the Wyld there are still things to be discovered in this. The band metaphor remains. Whereas Kings of the Wyld was a group of jaded old hands doing a 'renunion' tour, Bloody Rose is the wide eyed newbie finding out what the merc business is really all about.

To Be Taught If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. I'm in awe of what Becky does with science fiction. It does have science, plenty of it, but it's never boring or overdone. Basically her books are about people and how they deal with the extraordinary things that life throws at them.

Shadowblade by Anna Kashina. I think there may have been a good book somewhere in here, but the author used too many words to tell it and overall it was quite confused by what it was going to be. The main character was also rather annoying and inconsistent.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. Very clever idea. The Jane of the title finds herself in a house on an island where each door she takes leads her into a different story. It wasn't quite as clever as it thought it was, but it did require skill to write 5 or 6 different styles as the story demanded.

Magician by Raymond Feist. Another part of the series reread. It's still a decent book and when you can remember the dearth of fantasy at the time understand that it was so popular. What really makes it different for the time and more than just a Tolkien rip off is the creation of the world of Kelewan; sadly I don't think the author really explored that widely enough during the 30 or so books he wrote around his original concept (mind you, I'm only rereading the first 3).

The Girl Who Could Move Shit With Her Mind by Jackson Ford. I picked this up on a whim largely because how can you pass a title like that by? It was a great read. I ripped through it and hardly took a breath. It's a big dumb popcorn movie of a book and it was hard not to like Teagan, who I am certain is related in some way to Miriam Black. The concept was a little like a cross between Chuck Wendig's Miriam Black books and his Zeroes with some of V. E. Schwab's Vengeful thrown in. Loved it!


I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline isos81

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 12:20:36 PM »
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss. 650 pages, 4.5 stars. I liked the book very much but I really disliked Denna parts. I mostly fast-read those parts.

The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss. 1000 pages, 4.5 stars. Pretty much the same with above. It was entertaining to read these books but I'm not dying to read the next book. If it ever comes out, I'll grab it. If not, so be it.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5) by Patrick Rothfuss. 150 pages, 4 stars. It was interesting read about Auri. Though, I mostly prefer books that involve more dialogues.

When Crows Caved by @S. K. Inkslinger . 300 pages. This is our beloved Inky's first novel. It was an interesting experience to be a beta reader. I wish he get this published asap :)

2100 pages in total. Not bad but not my best either :)

Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 01:04:21 PM »
I spent a big chunk of my month reading Samantha Shannon's Priory of the Orange Tree and it was so worth it, what a graceful epic of a story, full of politics and magic and dragons and humans. It makes a lovely pastiche of real-world history - Elizabethan England and trade enclaves in Japan and Protestant/Catholic conflicts and even Ching Shih - while also being a wondrous creation in its own right. Just beautiful and fun to read and satisfying to have-read.

I also read Cass Morris's From Unseen Fire, which was described to me as "do you think I Claudius would've been better with magic?" and that was a spot-on description. An alternative Rome, with magic, but all the same manoeuvrings and struggles of empire. I loved the Roman politics, I loved the romance plot, I found the magical system fascinating, but I was left a bit bored by the rebellion and military stuff out in the provinces.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 01:19:14 PM »
In August I read 3 fantasy and 1 non-fiction books:

The deathless, Peter Newman (4.5)
The start of a new trilogy, it was very interesting and with great characters. Quite different from his previous style, and so a bit less distinctive, it still caught my attention and I'll definitely be reading the others.

The king's blood, Daniel Abraham (4)
Book 2 of the 'Dagger and the Coin' series, it took me a bit to get into the story (I read book 1 a couple of years ago), but I was soon captivated. Doing bad things for good reasons, sacrificing your life for old-fashioned honour, but most of all, 2 really good female characters that I look forward to read more of.

Crowfall, Ed McDonald (5)
Book 3 of his first trilogy, this was a truly amazing and epic book! I absolutely loved the characters and the whole larger-than-life idea behind the plot. It really hit me. Superb ending and I'll be recommending this series now.

And
Moranifesto, Caitlin Moran
A collection of her newspaper columns, plus some new writing to bring them all together, it's politics for the normal person, ideas that we just call 'life' but are essential. And very funny!
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Offline Peat

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 01:31:31 PM »
Oh gods, I've got to take better care of my GR account...

Pale Kings by Micah Yongo - Book 2 in the series (I didn't read book 1); it possesses a number of plot strands, but is mostly about the very deadly return of the gods and the assassins discovering it. Based in a African/Middle Eastern world.

Parts of it are great (very evocative, fantastic world and concept) but the overall effect is lost in a sea of confusion as it took me half the book to remember who's who. Might be worth looking at the series again from the beginning.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare - Book 2 in the series (read book 1 last month) and it's an UF with the whole kitchen sink thown in, but mainly about a semi-Angelic race of warriors. Its YA; full of teen angst and drama and prodding buttock. A lot of its very good - Clare has great clarity and fun ideas - but this book started sinking under the weight of secondary characters' love triangles, and then the ending is just... well, I haven't hated an ending more in forever. Unsatisfying, confusing, mostly impactless, disconnected from what I've read, and kills one of my favourite characters for no reason other than cheap drama after selling itself as a book so full of deus ex machina I never believed the characters were in danger.

So disappoint.

Giudici by various - An anthology of three novellas about Italian judges, all on the theme of judges dealing with some of the in-baked institutional problems facing Italy.

Camilleri's was my favourite because he was clever about dealing that with the theme, not to mention I just like the way he writes. I like Lucarelli's writing too, but the third story was a little unsatisfying because of all the dreams. Still worth reading though.

A Voice in the Night by Andrea Camilleri - Sicilian murder mystery. Lot of fun. Not the best in the series though.

What does this button do by Bruce Dickinson - Autobiography. Really interesting while being a let down; not much depth, or anecdote, and the Iron Maiden part feels underplayed but that man did so bloody much. Incidentally, I had to look up whether he was married or had kids after. Not usually what happens with an autobiography...

Distaff by Various - A Sci-Fi anthology, one of the first to be all women authors. Disclaimer - most of the authors are net friends of mine, but this is really rather good anyway. Very wide range of styles and ideas, but it all works together. Definitely recommended.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker - A Golem and a Djinni meet in 19th century New York; together they fight crime... well, they don't. They just are. And sometimes that makes this book beautiful, and occasionally boring. But only occasionally. Great folkloric historic fantasy.

War For The Oaks by Emma Bull - One of the founding stones of Urban Fantasy; now feels a bit dated and cliche. Fun, but not amazing.

The Art of Coarse Rugby by Michael Green - Probably the funniest book on rugby there ever was or ever will be.


Magician by Raymond Feist. Another part of the series reread. It's still a decent book and when you can remember the dearth of fantasy at the time understand that it was so popular. What really makes it different for the time and more than just a Tolkien rip off is the creation of the world of Kelewan; sadly I don't think the author really explored that widely enough during the 30 or so books he wrote around his original concept (mind you, I'm only rereading the first 3).

Ach. Very harsh to call it a Tolkien rip-off, unless one's going to refer to LotR as a MacDonald rip-off. Ironically, if you want to talk about Feist ripping anyone off, than Kelewan is the rip-off; its lifted almost directly from M.A.R. Barker's Tekumel, which Feist didn't realise as he based it on a gaming buddy's world without realising the buddy was using Tekumel with the serial numbers filed off.

In any case, if you want to read more about Kelewan, read the Empire trilogy (if you weren't aware of them). Or Barker's own books about Tekumel.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 02:15:08 PM »
Seven books for me (well, six and a novella). A mixed bag, but nothing terrible:

Rosewater (Rosewater #1) - Tade Thompson - Enjoyable SF set in a new city that has sprung up around a giant alien growth in Nigeria. Feels kind of old-school because of the psychic powers, but there's an explanation.

A Taste of Honey - Kai Ashante Wilson - Good Novella about an illicit relationship and the path not taken. I mainly read it to finish up the In Their Own Worlds omnibus.

The Fire Sermon (Fire Sermon #1) - Francesca Haig - High-concept post-apocalyptic fantasy where everyone has a twin. One is the healthy perfect Alpha, and the other is the mutant Omega. The Omegas are marginalised and oppressed, but the catch is that both twins always die at the same time. Kill one and the other will drop dead. It was OK. I might continue the series. I did spot the big reveal quite early.

Raven Black (Shetland/Jimmy Perez #1) - Ann Cleeves - Crime. The first of her Shetland books. I really enjoyed this one, despite (maybe because of?) going in with low expectations. It just hit the spot for me, for some reason.

Jewel of the Endless Erg (Mage Errant #2) - John Bierce - My low-effort KOLL pick, having read Into the Labyrinth last month (and the third one has just been released in time for this month...) Another enjoyable outing for our misfit apprentices. There were some issues with power scaling, but I liked it.

Dreams Before the Start of Time - Anne Charnock - My second Clarke winner of the month, after Rosewater, this is an exploration of the future of reproduction through various technological and social changes over three or four generations. It's interesting, but a bit too fragmented to be gripping.

The Lion of Senet (Second Sons #1) - Jennifer Fallon - It annoyed me a bit at the start, but I ended up really enjoying this political story about occupied countries, ambitious and dishonest religions, and being forced into a corner.


Offline Bender

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 03:13:02 PM »
Plan was to read 52 books in 52 weeks of 2019. Right in track now...

August 2019

33. Age of Swords (Legends of First Empire #2)
34. Age of War (Legends of First Empire #3)
35. Age of Legend (Legends of First Empire #4)
36. Kingmaker Contest - Troy Clem
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 03:21:57 PM by Bender »
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 08:08:22 PM »
A Small price to pay for Birdsong short story by K.J Parker

The Two of swords trilogy by K.J Parker

Sixteen ways to defend a Walled City Standalone by K.J Parker

The Hammer Standalone by K.J Parker

Mightier than the Sword Novella by K.J Parker

Colours in the Steel book one of the Fencer Trilogy by K.J Parker

The Belly of the Bow book two of the Fencer Trilogy by K.J Parker
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 08:31:01 PM »
Wow Eclipse, that's some serious K.J. Parker loving there :o ;D
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Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 11:17:16 PM »
Eclipse is totally on a bender there. :D I'm enjoying it, it's like getting to revisit Parker's back-catalogue vicariously!

The king's blood, Daniel Abraham (4)
Book 2 of the 'Dagger and the Coin' series, it took me a bit to get into the story (I read book 1 a couple of years ago), but I was soon captivated. Doing bad things for good reasons, sacrificing your life for old-fashioned honour, but most of all, 2 really good female characters that I look forward to read more of.
Yesssss the ladies in this series, I love both Cithrin and Clara, ESPECIALLY Clara, gosh I love her so much. is this the book with Clara's last line that just makes you go, "OH HECK YES BRING IT ON!"? (Well, at least, it made me do that... >.>) She is literally my favourite sort of character. :D

The Lion of Senet (Second Sons #1) - Jennifer Fallon - It annoyed me a bit at the start, but I ended up really enjoying this political story about occupied countries, ambitious and dishonest religions, and being forced into a corner.
I am very fond of this series and have been since it came out (lo, these many years ago). I feel like the MC is the absolute pinnacle of "doing bad for good reasons", I love him a lot, the finale of this first book is a corker, and the overall series is very satisfying. Really, the only fly in the ointment is the annoying sex-priestess, and she's not as terrible as she could be.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2019, 07:56:17 AM »
The king's blood, Daniel Abraham (4)
Book 2 of the 'Dagger and the Coin' series, it took me a bit to get into the story (I read book 1 a couple of years ago), but I was soon captivated. Doing bad things for good reasons, sacrificing your life for old-fashioned honour, but most of all, 2 really good female characters that I look forward to read more of.
Yesssss the ladies in this series, I love both Cithrin and Clara, ESPECIALLY Clara, gosh I love her so much. is this the book with Clara's last line that just makes you go, "OH HECK YES BRING IT ON!"? (Well, at least, it made me do that... >.>) She is literally my favourite sort of character. :D
@cupiscent, yes!
Have you watched 'Peaky Blinders'? I imagine her as just like Polly, super badass hidden under traditional dresses :D
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Offline IWFerguson

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 09:27:44 AM »
Taika Town by Drew Montgomery

The Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang
Belief's Horizon, where every river high enough has its naiad, and every sea worth its salt has its dragon.

Offline Bender

Re: What did you read in August 2019
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 03:01:50 PM »
Eclipse is totally on a bender there. :D

Think I need a username change?  >:(
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Offline Eclipse

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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