November 18, 2018, 07:02:28 PM

Author Topic: What did you read in March 2018  (Read 581 times)

Offline Eclipse

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What did you read in March 2018
« on: March 29, 2018, 05:57:46 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.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 Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 06:36:27 PM »
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin 3/5

Okay but world ending type stories are not my cup of tea

Secret of the Dragon (Dragonships of Vindras #2) by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman 2/5

How I got to the end of this book is beyond me either I've outgrown Weis & Hickman or this is one one of the worst series I've ever read by them. I read book one years ago   

Song of the Beast by Carol Berg 3/5

Standalone, Just okay

Transformation (Rai-Kirah #1) by Carol Berg 3/5

Didn't do enough for me to carry on

Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen 2/5

Mystery set in a future  Dystopia  Melbourne, Australia

Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1) by Max Gladstone 3/5

Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence #2) by Max Gladstone 2/5

World building is great, shame about the mysteries especially in the second novel, won't be continuing with the series


I really should stop reading Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, I hope I have better luck with books in April
 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 07:27:22 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 Lanko

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Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 08:51:01 PM »
One book read in January and February, but March compensated for it:

   
The Reborn King (The Dragon's Blade, #1) by Michael R. Miller. 3/5
Started fine but the time skip of almost 20 years and everything fantastic that happened in that time only told in infodumps really didn't work for me. Some very good foreshadow and other plot hints kinda of compensated to make me finish it though.

Where the Waters Turn Black (Yarnsworld #2) by Benedict Patrick. 5/5
South Asia setting I believe. Despite the #2, this is a standalone. The beginning wasn't doing much for me. The MC sounded annoying, no hint of plot, I even considered dropping it.
But after the first third things really got going, specially when the story started showing that their myths and gods really did walk upon the land (the characters already knew that but the reader really gets the impression the characters are just too superstitious because of the setting, so when you actually do see magic, mythic creatures and gods was really surprising).

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. 3/5
Eh... Dorian Gray did it much better. The story was more interesting because of what was happening in the real world during that time in the region and how this was pointing that out using a story to make references.

City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett. 5/5
Fantastic conclusion. Bennett improved so much with each title. At the same time the conclusion changes the world so much that it leaves a very wide door if he decides to continue or come back to this world later.

The Big Time bu Fritz Leiber. 1/5
Fantastic premise: two factions wage war on each other with time travel. Kidnap baby Einstein to the Nazis. Poison Cleopatra and Churchill. Prevent Greek philosophy from ever spreading. Each trying to change the world by altering/preserving the past.
Terrible execution: the heroes simply stay in a room chatting about all these fantastic operations "hey remember when we poisoned Cleopatra?" "oh yeah that op was great!". We never see any of it. We never see any new one. So you just read a bunch of people (coming from vast different eras - another wasted potential for banter and etc) laughing at their own jokes.

Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1) by Jeff VanderMeer. 5/5
Upped from 4. Great atmosphere, writing, mystery and weirdness. This time I felt the biologist's past didn't drag from the pace as I previously did.

Authority (Southern Reach #2) by Jeff VanderMeer. 1/5
So... what the hell happened? Previously we were a four member expedition with limited supplies in an unknown, bizarre and alien setting with impossible things happening.
Now we are stuck in the military office who does those expeditions. And 90% of the book is... office bureaucracy, politics, backstabbing and etc.

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula Le Guin. 4/5
Really short and doesn't go deep into any of the topics it explores, but there was still some really good points I haven't seen anywhere else.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2018

Offline Nora

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Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 11:20:31 PM »
In March I read a ton:

Manga:

My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness - Excellent little non-fiction.

My Brother's Husband - Great as well, about preconceived ideas surrounding gays.

Cells At Work - Book 1 to 3. Funny stories about a red blood cell and a white blood cell and how they stumble upon each other as wild infections of conditions happen to the body and how these are solved.

The Promised Neverland - very catchy stuff! Read book 1 to 8

Golden Kamuy - From book 1 to 11. Fell in love with the MC (hard!) and dragging my feet over reading volume 12 as after that it'll be the long wait of new material getting published. It inspired my monthly story.

The Heroic Legend Of Arslan - Book 1 to 7. By the mangaka behind Fullmetal Alchemist.

Land Of The Lustrous - Book 1 to 9 - Weird but relaxing story about beings made out of rare stones and crystals and being attacked by people from the moon. No shit.

Happiness volume 6. Ratcheting up the levels of F'ed up.

Book-wise:

Circe by Madeline Miller. 10/10

The Midwich Cuckoo by Wyndham. It was ok. More talking about than seeing or acting. Not his best.

Consider Phlebas by Banks. Again, an ok book. Interesting in places, boring in the end, with characters I had little to no investment in, and were phoned in at the end. No revolutionary concepts in there, at least not whilst reading this in 2018.

The Pride of Chanur by Cherryh, and then half of Foreigner. Meh. Boring.

Records Of A Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. 10/10. Hah. I can already tell how the forum will explode over this book this summer.

Non-fiction:

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Junger.

Not finished :

The Boy On The Bridge by Carey. 100 pages in and how does a zombie book manages to be boring is beyond me. Will pursue but not now.

The Ninth Rain - will resume soon, put it aside to read Becky Chambers.

Wool - still in the middle of that.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2018, 02:50:33 PM »
One of my aims this month is to end each month with no more unread books than I started it with. I had a bit of an incident in early March where I bought 6 books in one go in a charity shop, so I've been working hard and cheating a bit to try to dig myself out of the hole. I read quite a lot of short books, and multi-tasked with novellas and non-fiction to pad out the numbers.

The main books:

Nice Dragons Finish Last - Rachel Aaron - Enjoyable, light, near-future urban fantasy. Completed my Reddit bingo card.

Greenwitch - Susan Cooper - Third Dark is Rising book. Brought the first two together quite nicely. This was a replacement for a bingo square to make my subthemes work.

Fools - Pat Cadigan - Cyberpunk mindswap story that I enjoyed more than I was expecting to. 1992 in my chronological SF challenge.

Eight Skilled Gentlemen - Barry Hughart - Third and last of the Master Li and Number Ten Ox stories. Fun, but seemed to be lacking the spark of the first two.

Crooked House - Agatha Christie - Enjoyable non-series mystery.

Brasyl - Ian McDonald - BSFA winning SF novel set in Brazil, involving quantums.

Novellas:

Killing Gravity - Corey J White - Space opera with an escaped psychic pursued by the evil corporation that made her. Didn't really do it for me.

Witches of Lychford - Paul Cornell - A supermarket chain wants to build a store in the middle of a sleepy town, but it might be damaging some ancient barriers. I liked this one.

Non-fiction:

Write Free - Julie Smith - Writing guide by an award-winning mystery writer. Interesting.

Cult Sci-Fi Movies - Danny Peary - Ten articles about cult SF films, from Barbarella to Zardoz. Some more cult than others.

...so I managed ten "books", with nine acquisitions in total, so just about scraped another successful month, if I can avoid buying anything for the rest of the day.

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2018, 04:24:44 AM »
Another fairly productive month in terms of reading, so here tis:

A Plague of Swords by Miles Cameron - since restarting with this series, I've gotten right into it. I did love one of the beasties that Cameron put in this one. Have to wait for the final book in the series to come out in a more standard paperback size before continuing.

Mad Hatters and March Hares, this is a collection of Alice in Wonderland stories, There have been some quite entertaining stories written based on Carroll's creation, unfortunately none of them were in this collection, extremely disappointing given the scope of the idea and some of the reputations of the authors involved.

Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea, this was part of my effort to read stuff in our library that hasn't been read by me. It's not fantasy, but it is a wonderful little book. People intending to write a children's story should make an effort to read some Ibbotson to see how it is done.

Catherine Jinks' The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group, this is the sequel to Jinks' The Reformed Vampire Support Group. It's not as a good as the original, but it is fun and quite well done, and as with TRVSG, explodes some of the myths about how much fun it would to be a werewolf. It's always refreshing to read a book set in Australia that actually sounds like the author knows what they're talking about and makes their characters sound authentic.

Been on a bit of a Mary Robinette Kowal kick and read Shades of Milk and Honey and Glamour in Glass, the first 2 parts of her Glamourist History. They're like Jane Austen, but with magic added, she does it quite skillfully and makes her magic sound authentic and believable, she also has a scientifically explained system.

Tracked down Chuck Wendig's 2 most recent Miriam Black books: Thunderbird and The Raptor and the Wren. I have not had a Miriam fix for years, but she hasn't lost anything in the interval, every bit as snarky and jaded as ever. Great to see her back.

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente, I first heard about this at Worldcon 2014, when Valente said that she was going to Yorkshire to research her book about the Bronte siblings and the fictional world that they created. It was a lovely look at them as youngsters and filled with the beautiful language that only Cat Valente can produce.

What the Hell Did I Just Read? by David Wong, the 3rd John novel. If @ultamentkiller is out there, go and pick up a copy of this. Wong is every bit as off the wall as ever. Nothing in this book should make sense, but weirdly enough it does.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire, the 3rd of the Wayward Children novellas. These keep getting better and better and Beneath the Sugar Sky is another home run from Eleanor West's School for Wayward Chidren.

The Tangled Lands by Paolo Baciagulpi and Tobias Buckell, a series of 4 novellas all set in the rather Arabian flavoured worlds of the Tangled Lands, a series of kingdoms being devoured by a rapacious bramble that is fuelled by the use of magic. The indication is that this is going to be the first in a series of books set in a shared world.

I probably saved the best for last: Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly, this is a damned good book. Low to no fantasy, what classifies it as fantasy is the fact that it's set in a secondary world. There are chilling echoes in Amberlough to the Weimar Republic at it's decadent height to it's dramatic fall in the early 30's.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 04:27:07 AM by Elfy »
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Online ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2018, 10:47:38 AM »
Wow, so many books!!!
And then there's me...

The legion of flame, Anthony Ryan
Book 2 of the Draconis Memoria series, I really liked it, probably even more than book 1! I love the characters (some more than others), and the plot took off in unexpected directions. Looking forward to book 3

And since I'm only about 100 pages from the end and will finish it today, I'll include it here in March:

The bitter twins, Jen Williams
Book 2 of the Winnowing flame series, I loved it, even more than book 1! The chapter I've just finished reading blew my mind, Jen's imagination is amazing!!! And I'm loving the characters, even the ones I hate (because they're EVIL!!! >:( )

And a non-fantasy one, The 10 lenses, about 10 different attitudes to diversity - focused in the work-place, but it can be applied to daily life. I realised I'm "colourblind", but that can have its own weaknesses, that I should address.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 10:49:23 AM by ScarletBea »
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2018, 08:54:19 PM »
What the Hell Did I Just Read? by David Wong, the 3rd John novel. If @ultamentkiller is out there, go and pick up a copy of this. Wong is every bit as off the wall as ever. Nothing in this book should make sense, but weirdly enough it does.
You have no idea how much I want to read that book. Unfortunately, other things keep getting in the way. I also still need to read Oathbringer, the new Myke Cole book, Disappearance of Winter's Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan, and Grey Sister? If it's out yet anyway. Oh, and the Core by Peter V. Brett.

Aaaaahhhhhhh! So far behind!

Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in March 2018
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 11:41:19 AM »
Jade City by Fonda Lee - gangsters and kung fu in a fantasy world. It's like Godfather meets Crouching Tiger. I really enjoyed it, and if I liked gangster or kung fu movies I think I would've been in heaven, because clearly the author loves both.

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Garcia-Moreno - immaculate fantasy-of-manners, like Edith Wharton with telekinesis, all searing tension of tiny personal decisions. A slow burn to start with, but I loved it.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence - I liked the characters, I liked the world, but the plotting left me cold and frustrated. Oh well.

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly - High five to @Elfy and this was indeed a damned good book. James Bond by way of Cabaret and Oscar Wilde and it was an atmospheric delight with wonderfully jagged characters. If I were more fond of serious spy stories, I'd probably love it even more, because it's pretty canny and unflinching.

Iron Cast by Soria Destiny - a YA historical urban fantasy, set on the eve of Prohibition in a Boston speckled with artistic magic-users. Fun with sassy con-artist flappers, but also nuanced looks at honour among thieves, identity politics and fear of the other, and the power and responsibility of supernatural powers. I enjoyed it a lot. (But then, I love flappers...)

Saga, vol 1 by Vaughan and Staples - a comic that's been on my radar since the Hugo nom a few years back, and every bit as good as I've been told. Big ideas, a wild and woolly universe, but a lot of truths about humanity and especially parenthood as well.


Gosh, it's been a really good reading month.

Oh, I also read the Very Short Introduction to American Slavery, which was a really concise and interesting overview of a horrible and brutal subject.