July 11, 2020, 12:09:54 PM

Author Topic: What did you read in December 2019  (Read 577 times)

Offline Eclipse

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What did you read in December 2019
« on: December 28, 2019, 10:20:32 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.
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 10:34:03 AM »
Provenance (Imperial Radch) by Ann Leckie1/5
I was really looking forward to this it was such a let down

Godblind by Anna Stephens 1/5
Not for me

Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury 3/5
Alternate History , Europe fall to the Ottoman Empire and lasted to the modern day

The Throne of the Five Winds (Hostage of Empire #1) by S.C. Emmett 5/5
The Best book I've read this year

City of Bones by Martha Wells 4/5
Slow Start but I enjoyed it once I got into the story

Tombland (Matthew Shardlake #7) by C.J. Sansom 4/5
Historical Murder Mystery but this one seemed to be more heavy on the  peasant rebellion in Norwich on the year of 1549

« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 10:36:52 AM 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 Skip

Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 04:34:29 PM »
A Red Death, Walter Mosley
Easily my favorite current detective novelist. Tight plotting, clean writing, and memorable characters.

Murder In-Absentia, Assaph Mehr
Another detective novel, but this one's set in pseudo-Rome with plenty of magic. A good story with a fully-realized setting, and great use of the magical element. Recommended to detective fans and history fans and fantasy fans alike.

Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
A classic, but a decidedly odd one. I read it because Ray Bradbury said it influenced him as a young writer. Winesburg is episodic, which is fine, though back when it was published I think it caused more than a few scratched heads. More odd to me is the emotionalism, sudden changes in emotion. It's a style we rarely see any more. I'm not sure if I liked the book, but I'm glad I read it.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 10:31:51 PM »
The Warrior Moon by K Arsenault Rivera - capping the trilogy with a very epic and satisfying conclusion. I just love Rivera's writing on every level, and I was so pleased with how everything turned out. A book about compromise and the cost of doing the great/necessary thing, without being depressingly ruthless.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir - ahahaha what a great time. Swashbucklingly gothic, gleefully macabre, equal parts sassy and ossified. I enjoyed it tremendously.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston - a gentle and small-scale coming-of-age story set in a fascinating reimagining of the world under a Victorian dynasty and empire that embraces diversity rather than exploitation. Charming but very contained.

The Impossible Contract by KA Doore - I'm still finishing this one, but it's been as much of a delight as the first book (The Perfect Assassin) was. Assassins and magical healing and undead camels, oh my.

Offline Bender

Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2019, 12:22:46 AM »
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir - ahahaha what a great time. Swashbucklingly gothic, gleefully macabre, equal parts sassy and ossified. I enjoyed it tremendously.

Lovely book. Can't wait to read next one.
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Offline The Sword in the Tome

Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2019, 09:05:19 PM »
Dragons of Autumn Twighlight, by Weis & Hickman (4/5)
The Winter Road, by Adrian Selby (3/5)
Dragons of Winter Night, by Weis & Hickman (3/5)
Darkness Weaves, by Karl Edward Wagner (4.5/5) <-- A well-written Sword & Sorcery story with a bona fide villain protagonist, as well as mostly villainous principal characters. 
My YouTube fantasy book review channel: The Sword in the Tome

Offline isos81

Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 05:52:27 AM »
Only two books with long pages :)
  • City of Stairs - The Divine Cities #1 (5/5)
  • Blood Mirror - Lightbringer #4 (4.5/5)
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 Elfy

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Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2019, 12:55:55 AM »
December was a good month for me. I got through 7 books, one of which was non fiction.

Supernova by Marissa Meyer. She's one of the best YA writers around today. This is the 3rd of her works that I've read and they've all been different. This was a good entry into the growing superhero genre. It wrapped up the trilogy quite neatly and I thoroughly enjoyed all 3.

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris. This was the first Charlaine Harris I've read and on this I wouldn't read another. Not a big book, but I found it a real chore to get through. The idea of an alternate America where the wild west continued until the 1930's and the Russian Csar and his family as well as his people took refuge and established a new government was clever, but her protagonist was very bland.

The True Bastards by Jonathan French. The sequel to his The Grey Bastards, which I was waiting for. It was harder to get into than the first one, but it did eventually find it's feet and drew me in. Good, bloody, dirty fun.

A Big Ship at the End of the Universe by Alex White. Odd mixture of science fiction and fantasy. Has echoes of Firefly and the Ketty Jay with a bit of Star Wars thrown in. I quite liked one of the 2 MC's and that was enough to get me to pick up the sequel.

All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault by James Alan Gardner. Another entry into the superhero genre. This one is on an alternate Earth (gotta love the multiverse) and features vampires, werewolves, etc... It also explains a lot of the seeming anomalies around superheroes, like why does no one ever work out that Superman is Clark Kent without his glasses?

Ivory Apples by Lisa Goldstein. A coming of age, rather sweet and lyrical, with a really hateable villain. It's also that rare best; a genuine standalone.

Then there was the non fiction: Stronger & Bolder by Konrad Marshall. in 2017 the previously useless AFL team that I support; the Richmond Tigers, won the Premiership and Konrad Marshall was a fan and journalist who was embedded with the team to write a book about their season, it turned out to be a successful one and he wrote Yellow & Black (the team's colours and also a famous line from their theme song). In 2019 we won everything again and Stronger & Bolder was the result. This one focuses mainly on the finals series, rather than the entire series. Great read and like it's predecessor I ripped through it in no time at all.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 09:47:02 AM »
I've read 4 fantasy books in December:

Divine cities trilogy, Robert Jackson Bennett
Started with a poke from Eclipse to join the readalong, thinking I wouldn't like it that much, oh how wrong I was!!
I really liked book 1, I loved book 2, I enjoyed book 3.
Different and difficult to pinpoint to a genre, it did make me think a lot about war and dominance and the way countries deal with each other. And free will.

Dispel illusion, Mark Lawrence
Last book of the Impossible times trilogy, it was a very good ending for this quick, at times puzzling, time-travelling SF series. Very different from his other books except in the writing quality.

And a very short non-fiction book: Greta Thurnberg's speeches on No one is too small to make a difference: it really opened my eyes to the climate crisis even more, I'm looking for other changes to make to my life.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in December 2019
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2020, 01:18:58 PM »
I skipped this thread until I was back at work. I don't really use a PC much at home, and it's a lot easier to cut and paste with a keyboard and mouse. Nine books for me.

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut #2) - Mary Robinette Kowal - Really loved this. I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for alternate history space programmes.

Lioness Rampant (Alanna #4) - Tamora Pierce - Finishing off the Alanna series. Readable enough.

The Black Ice (Bosch #2) - Michael Connelly - A bit of diversion into crime. I remembered some of this one from the TV version, but it was mostly good.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) - Leigh Bardugo - Finishing the Six of Crows duology. Very enjoyable, mainly for the interactions between the characters.

The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger - OK, I basically only read this so I could listen to the Adam Buxton Podcast episode about it. Very readable and quite short bit of Proper Literature.

Swordspoint - Ellen Kushner - Politics and duels. No magic.

At Bertram's Hotel (Marple #something) - Agatha Christie - Fairly poor Marple with a lot of nonsense about international robbery gangs.

The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers - John Szczepaniak - Non-fiction. Pretty much what it says. This was presented as a set of transcribed interviews, and I think I'd have preferred it to have more narrative structure.

Amberlough (Amberlough #1) - Lara Elena Donnelly - Probably the wrong choice to follow Swordspoint, since there were too many similarities to distract me, but once it got going I enjoyed it.