November 13, 2019, 03:13:37 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in January 2019  (Read 1173 times)

Offline Elfy

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What did you read in January 2019
« on: February 02, 2019, 04:07:16 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 January 2019
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 04:23:46 AM »
I started the thread (I know it's early in the new month, but I'm in Australia and we live in the future), so I'll kick it off.

It wasn't quite the bang that January 2018 was (I think I read about 12 books then), but 9's still a good start and should keep me on track for my goal of hitting 100 for the year again.

I'm trying to reread all of the Dresden Files, so 6 of them are the Harry Dresden books (Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks and Blood Rites). I can't say a lot about these that hasn't already been said, although I was surprised at how early some characters were introduced. They do become a little formulaic, but are consistently entertaining and it's interesting to see how Butcher evolved as an author and the development of the regular supporting cast.

I also got quite into R. S. Belcher. I read the final book of his Golgotha series; Queen of Swords, less weird western than steampunk with added pirates. It was a decent ending to the trilogy, although I would have preferred the original western setting.

Continuing with the urban fantasy thing and Belcher, I also read his dark urban fantasy Nightwise. It's less Harry Dresden and more John Constantine (in fact I kept seeing the MC as John Constantine for all that he looks nothing like the TV version of the character and comes from West Virginia, not London). It was a little dark for my tastes, although I'm reading the sequel and I wasn't keen on the MC's insistence on reminding the audience of what a soulless badass he is.

I also read The Disasters by M. K. England. It's a YA SF by a debut author. Readable, but that's about it, very average and filled with inconsistent characters who seemed to get by on dumb luck most of the time and the plot spent a lot of time wandering around in the Forest of Convenience.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2019, 08:58:43 AM »
Gosh, I forgot it's been a month!

I basically read the second half of House of Chains (Malazan 4) and the first third of Midnight Tides (Malazan 5) :o

Inbetween I also finished a non-fiction, 21 Lessons for the 21st century and browsed a psychology book from the library that ended up being more focused on raising children, so I didn't read it properly.
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Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2019, 06:38:07 PM »
I started, and am still reading, The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding. I'm about 1/2 way through and loving it so far. Really great, traditional fantasy with characters who care, good pace, and a strong depth to the world.
I write about swords and birds and wizards and stuff.

Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2019, 09:40:04 PM »
I have a big pile of actual purchased books that I am slowly working my way through, which is its own sort of exciting because I'm really keen on all of these books. This month I knocked off:

Vengeful by VE Schwab. Not quite as good as I was hoping. Part of that is probably related to how much I  absolutely loved Vicious, but this one widened the lens and, to my mind, diluted the driving central power. Schwab writes with punchy eloquence, but this just felt a little too meandery.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. My goodness, WHAT a book. I described this to my husband as "Tess of the d'Urbervilles meets Puss in Boots and the picaresque tradition", which is really just a silly way of saying it's a story about a young woman struggling against societal expectations, gender roles, and her own nature, while going off on Adventures. So, basically, it's the stuff of YA, but delivered with such scope and language and depth and nuance and I LOVED IT. (Set in the same world as Seraphina, and in fact Seraphina is a side character in this, but while there's amusing resonance and additional depth from knowing her story, I feel that this definitely stands alone and can be read without having read the author's other works.)

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 12:02:03 AM »
I have a big pile of actual purchased books that I am slowly working my way through, which is its own sort of exciting because I'm really keen on all of these books. This month I knocked off:

Vengeful by VE Schwab. Not quite as good as I was hoping. Part of that is probably related to how much I  absolutely loved Vicious, but this one widened the lens and, to my mind, diluted the driving central power. Schwab writes with punchy eloquence, but this just felt a little too meandery.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. My goodness, WHAT a book. I described this to my husband as "Tess of the d'Urbervilles meets Puss in Boots and the picaresque tradition", which is really just a silly way of saying it's a story about a young woman struggling against societal expectations, gender roles, and her own nature, while going off on Adventures. So, basically, it's the stuff of YA, but delivered with such scope and language and depth and nuance and I LOVED IT. (Set in the same world as Seraphina, and in fact Seraphina is a side character in this, but while there's amusing resonance and additional depth from knowing her story, I feel that this definitely stands alone and can be read without having read the author's other works.)
I was a little different about the Schwab, it wasn’t as good as Vicious that’s true, but it was a very good entry into the super powers sub genre. I like the powers she comes up with, they’re delightfully creepy. I also flashed a bit on TV series The Gifted which I quite enjoy, so that helped.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 06:17:43 AM »
This is my first post in a long time. Not sure why I haven't been around. I guess I've been busy.

I didn't read much in January.

Soldier Son by D.K. Holmberg. This was a solid introduction to a series. I enjoyed it. It's nothing groundbreaking, though.

Battlemage by Stephen Aryan. It was okay, but I probably won't read any more in the series. It just never quite captured my attention the way I would have liked.

Dragon Bones by D.K. Holmberg. This one was very enjoyable. I preferred it over Soldier Son. This is another good introduction to a series that I think has a lot of potential.

Offline Skip

Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2019, 05:25:24 PM »
Two in January, both from The Expanse by James S.A. Corey: 

Caliban's War
Abaddon's Gate

Both are exciting reads with really great SF ideas.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 04:11:30 PM »
Nine read for me, most of them very short. Eight books acquired, so a narrow victory.

Some non-spec-fic:

Cybill Disobedience - Cybill Shepherd & Aimee Lee Ball - Autobiography. I read this because it was one of the very few non-fiction books by women that I own. It was a freebie way back when I first got my first Kindle. It was OK.

Hickory Dickory Dock - Agatha Christie - Pretty decent Poirot.

A couple of shorts:

The Only Harmless Great Thing (short) - Brooke Bolander - Didn't do a lot for me.

San Diego 2014: Last Stand of the California Browncoats (novella) - Mira Grant - A novella in the Newsflesh setting. I needed something quick, and had this lying around. I'm not a big fan of the series, but this was OK.

A collection:

Georgia On My Mind and Other Places (collection) - Charles Sheffield - Pretty solid SF collection I started ages ago.

Two short SF novels:

Fool's Run - Patricia McKillip - A rare venture into SF, and it didn't really hit the spot for me.

Rhapsody in Black - Brian Stableford - Short SF novel about a religious planet where everyone lives underground.

And finally a couple of actual fantasy novels:

The Healers' Road - S E Robertson - Self-published slice-of-life fantasy, recommended in some thread around here not long ago. Quite enjoyable, but a bit too plain-sailing once the two leads start to get along.

Colours in the Steel - K J Parker - My first tull-length K J Parker, about a fencing lawyer and a siege. I enjoyed this quite a bit.


Offline tebakutis

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Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 07:06:37 PM »
I also got quite into R. S. Belcher. I read the final book of his Golgotha series; Queen of Swords, less weird western than steampunk with added pirates. It was a decent ending to the trilogy, although I would have preferred the original western setting.

Continuing with the urban fantasy thing and Belcher, I also read his dark urban fantasy Nightwise. It's less Harry Dresden and more John Constantine (in fact I kept seeing the MC as John Constantine for all that he looks nothing like the TV version of the character and comes from West Virginia, not London). It was a little dark for my tastes, although I'm reading the sequel and I wasn't keen on the MC's insistence on reminding the audience of what a soulless badass he is.

Oh hooray! I run into R.S. Belcher a couple of times a year (we attend some of the same cons) and I'll be seeing him again at Ravencon in a few months. So I will be sure to let him know he has at least one fan on the F-F forums. :)

Offline Peat

Re: What did you read in January 2019
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 02:01:55 PM »
Slow start to the year as I part-read a lot of things. Think the only books I finished were

City of Brass by SA Chakraborty - Fun portal/CoA fantasy that suffers from inconsistent pacing.

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell - Fun CoA/mystery fantasy that suffers from inconsistent pacing

The Empyreus Proof by Bryan Wigmore - A re-read, and one I did earlier than I normally would, so it was slow going in a book that takes its a time a wee bit anyway. Fantastic ending though in a rich baroque mystery.
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