February 24, 2020, 02:25:56 PM

Author Topic: What did you read in January?  (Read 2517 times)

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4662
  • Total likes: 2332
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2017, 07:57:15 AM »
A few reasons @Peat I felt like having a small break from fantasy for a bit. I went to Rome last year and Florence the year before and had a couple of the novels staring at me accusingly from the bookshelf demanding why I haven't read them yet. Also had been watching a few Alexander Armstrong Tv series about Italian cities.
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 Lanko

  • Sherlanko Holmes, Jiin Wei and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Khaleesi
  • *
  • Posts: 2893
  • Total likes: 1977
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Lanko's Goodreads
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2017, 07:59:16 AM »
Forgot to add my current Bingo card: I'm 20/25 (finally made a bingo).

Spoiler for Hiden:
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019

Offline Roelor

Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 09:20:20 AM »
I didn't have much time this month.
Read The Bromeliad and Going postal, both by Terry Pratchett.


Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 01:38:55 PM »
I read fewer, longer books than has been usual for me recently, and I put quite a lot of effort into finishing a couple of them - reading during the day at weekends - but here's my list for the month:

Helliconia Summer - Brian W Aldiss - SF, with a fantasy flavour. Middle book in the Helliconia trilogy. Humanity is ascendant. The tech level is higher than in Spring, with primitive firearms just appearing. The story is largely about a kingdom trying to make alliances and fight off enemies, with an exiled queen being divorced so the king can marry for politics.

The Bloody Ground - Bernard Cornwell - Historical fiction. To date, the last in his Starbuck series, set in the US Civil War. Not that different to the Sharpe books, which is basically a good thing.

Medalon - Jennifer Fallon - Fantasy. Disappointing plot full of captures and escapes and plot-induced idiocy. I don't honestly see how Medalon could even function as a country, to be honest. This was my Kindle Lending Library loan for December. I won't be carrying on with the series.

River of Gods - Ian McDonald - SF. A BSFA winner, about a fractured near-future India, following several characters from many walks of life in a plot that I guess is largely about AI.

Bloodrush - Ben Galley - Fantasy. This weird western completed my reddit bingo card, and was a SPFBO1 finalist. I didn't really think much of it. The main character was an annoying fool.

The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie - Crime. After 40-odd books, it's weird that this is only the second Marple novel. Pretty short, and not all that special. A bit of a weird one in that it mentions Christie as a famous crime writer (along with Sayers, Dickson Carr, and someone else I didn't know and can't remember), which seems a bit circular/paradoxical to me. Or does that mean the Marple books aren't set in the Poirotverse? It seems like she ought to have gone with her established proxy character Ariadne Oliver.

And just two completed collections in my short story channel:

Moby Jack and Other Tall Tales - Garry Kilworth - A pretty mixed bag of genre tales. Quite a long collection.

Ghosts in the Machine - Lana Polansky & Brendan Keogh (eds) - An anthology of stories relating to videogames, which doesn't really work that well. This was part of a bundle of ebooks I bought some time ago.

Offline samiam

Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2017, 09:48:54 PM »
The month started off well with the Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin, which I loved as much as The Fifth Season.  The world building and characters are so good, I'm really looking forward to the final part of the trilogy.

Then everything else was all a little bit underwhelming.

The Immortals by Jordanna Brodsky.  Greek gods living in New York and Artemis investigates a murder.  It sounded like it could be interesting but was just rather dull.

The Long way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.  Enjoyable enough read but there didn't seem to be a lot of plot.   

Crosstalk by Connie Willis.  It's possibly trying to emulate screwball comedies but maybe they work a lot better as films than books. The pace felt quite frantic and the characters were one-dimensional.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  Started off as horrible people doing horrible things but somehow by the end I was interested enough to want to read the sequel to see what happens. 



Offline Lady Ty

  • Blessed River Lady and Defender of Baby Dragons
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3473
  • Total likes: 2945
  • Gender: Female
  • So-Old-That-She-Can-Nearly-Be-Called-Oldest-Ty
    • View Profile
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2017, 01:27:35 AM »
Slow reading month with other distractions in our long hot summer holiday season. But two were outstanding for me.

The Good, the Bad and The Smug by Tom Holt Decided to read Tom Holt again after many years break. Goblin King interferes in modern Earth, helped by PR elf. Witty comments and satire but got draggy and was disappointed. Much prefer his K J Parker persona now. 3/5

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman A funny modern folk tale about the sons of Anansi the Spider God. Not a touch of Gaiman's trademark dark, but packed with good characters and improbability. This is a relaxing happy read but I had the audible version narrated by Lenny Henry. He gave a perfect voice to every single character together with appropriate accent/dialects. Outstanding, do listen if you get the chance.

Quote
'Daisy looked at him with an expression Jesus might have had, if someone had told him they were probably allergic to bread and fish and could he do them a quick chicken salad…..'

In complete contrast

A Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss A story about Auri, who lives in the Underthing beneath The University of The Name of the Wind.  Listened to audible version narrated by Patrick himself. It has been suggested that this is a personal expression of some of his thoughts and the struggles with reality that he has and I could believe this may be so.

I cannot find the right words to describe this book, there are many varied reviews, will just repeat my GR comment -
I thought this book beautiful. I already loved Auri from Name and now love her even more. One instance actually had me in tears and that is unusual. 5/5


“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline DaveEllis

Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2017, 09:25:16 AM »
I’m trying to read a mixture of genres this year and January reflects that so I’m going to stick them all down.
1.   Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett – My re-read of Discworld has just started.  And going back is a bit of a jolt as you can see the deficiencies in his writing early on more clearly after reading the later novels.  So I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as I did first time round, but it wa a nice easy read to kick off the year.
2.   Crisscross by F. Paul Wilson – I am loving the Repairman Jack novels and would recommend to everyone, although it is such a long series going back to the eighties I recommend checking Wikipedia first.  But where a lot of Urban Fantasy/Horror seems to flag as the books head into double figures…Jack still delivers.  One of the best characters I have ever encountered.  This one was a comment on Scientology but connected cleverly into the main plotline of the series.
3.   Winter Men by Jesper Bugge Kold – Historical this time with a novel about two german brothers who get dragged into World War 2 despite not supporting the Nazis and the impact it has on their lives.  Fascinating and horrific.
4.   Uprooted by Naomi Novak – A brilliant post-modern take on Fairy Tales, thoroughly enjoyed it on my flight back from holiday!!
5.   Worlds of DS9 – Book 3 – I’m slowly making my way through the post series novels of Star Trek.  I don’t read a lot of tie in fiction but I have a penchant for Star Trek, and a particular love of DS9, so it was lightweight but fun.
6.   The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu – I did not enjoy this one as much as The Lives of Tao.  I loved the concept and I always like the nobody suddenly gaining powers plotline, so this one where time has moved on and Rouen is now a professional, it wasn’t quite as fun.  The twist at the end though does make me want to read the third book, that and it really is a cool concept.

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4662
  • Total likes: 2332
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2017, 10:21:30 AM »
2.   Crisscross by F. Paul Wilson – I am loving the Repairman Jack novels and would recommend to everyone, although it is such a long series going back to the eighties I recommend checking Wikipedia first.  But where a lot of Urban Fantasy/Horror seems to flag as the books head into double figures…Jack still delivers.  One of the best characters I have ever encountered.  This one was a comment on Scientology but connected cleverly into the main plotline of the series.

Woohoo another fan!, he pisses on  Jack Reacher

My favourite was legacies
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 11:17:22 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 Lady Ty

  • Blessed River Lady and Defender of Baby Dragons
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3473
  • Total likes: 2945
  • Gender: Female
  • So-Old-That-She-Can-Nearly-Be-Called-Oldest-Ty
    • View Profile
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2017, 11:57:46 PM »

The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie - Crime. After 40-odd books, it's weird that this is only the second Marple novel. Pretty short, and not all that special. A bit of a weird one in that it mentions Christie as a famous crime writer (along with Sayers, Dickson Carr, and someone else I didn't know and can't remember), which seems a bit circular/paradoxical to me. Or does that mean the Marple books aren't set in the Poirotverse? It seems like she ought to have gone with her established proxy character Ariadne Oliver.
@DrNefario Slight side track from fantasy, meant to get back earlier but lost the post. Miss Marple books are set in a different world altogether from Poirot, mainly in rural villages but also overseas or larger towns, while visiting friends. They are still enjoyable although Poirot is my favourite.

Unlike using "little grey cells" Miss Marple relies on her experience of human failings and behaviour in her small village to apply similar logic to crimes elsewhere. Her musings on "Mrs X in the village used to ..." mean the amazingly friendly old police and detectives underestimate her at first.  I do recommend, but as with any prolific author some are better than others.

Agatha Christie also wrote a crime series featuring a couple,Tommy and Tuppence that are not very good at all.

When you have finished with Agatha Christie, I believe you would enjoy a contemporary crime writer, Dorothy Sayers and her stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. I like them more than the Christies but all those and earlier Golden Age are worth reading just to compare old-style detecting before computers and sophistication.
Also the incredible willingness of the police to work happily with amateurs and compare notes. ;D
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2017, 01:31:30 PM »
I am reading through Christie's extensive output in publication order, so I have read a few of the Tommy & Tuppence books. They tend to be in the thriller style rather than the whodunit style, which I agree is not as successful. I'm up to 1942, and I think a little over half-way through Christie's oeuvre. There are links between the series - I think Inspector Japp is in the first Tommy & Tuppence book - but I think the only link between Marple and Poirot is pretty indirect. It just struck me as an oddity, and possible paradox, that the Marple books took place in a world where Agatha Christie was a well-known crime writer.

The reason I started reading Christie was because, a few years ago, I challenged myself to read the Queens of Crime, which seems to be a bit of a loose title, but I took it to mean Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh. Honestly I didn't enjoy the Sayers as much as the other three, and Christie was my favourite, but I still have several books by the others to read. Christie's books were way easier to pick up from random charity shops, and there are a vast number of them, so I sort of ended up focusing on her. I collected the whole lot - about 80 books - and then realised I had a lot of reading to do, so I guess I'll start expanding out again when I feel I've made some decent ground. I also picked up quite a lot of books by other Golden Age crime writers: John Dickson Carr, JJ Connington, SS Van Dine, Michael Innes, Gladys Mitchell, etc. I haven't read all of them, yet, but none of the ones I have read are quite as enjoyable as Christie, to me. I guess I feel there's a reason she's the most popular, and I'm not currently going for a hipster choice like Sayers. ;)

(I also like some crime from other periods and in other styles, but I think I've rambled enough on non-fantasy topics for now.)

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4662
  • Total likes: 2332
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2017, 07:50:46 AM »
February topic?
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 Arry

  • Cat of the Canals
  • Administrator
  • Elderling
  • ***
  • Posts: 5879
  • Total likes: 642
  • Gender: Female
  • Faceless
    • View Profile
    • Tenacious Reader
Re: What did you read in January?
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2017, 11:14:10 AM »
February topic?

February needs more days. I'm not done with it yet ;)

J/k - coming up
“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