July 24, 2019, 07:59:34 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in October 2018  (Read 1096 times)

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 10753
  • Total likes: 6256
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
What did you read in October 2018
« on: November 01, 2018, 09:18:09 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.
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 01:18:40 PM »
Nine books read, eight books acquired. I clawed one back, but over the year I'm still down by twenty, so it looks like I have no chance of getting back to evens. At least I'm ahead of the purchases.

Teranesia - Greg Egan - SF about weird wildlife appearing in remote parts of Indonesia. Didn't really stick the landing, for me.

Death March - Phil Tucker - Enjoyable LitRPG. I've just started the sequel.

A Calculated Life - Anne Charnock - Engaging short SF about comercially-created geniuses in a run-down future UK.

The Tethered Mage - Melissa Caruso - Quite an interesting idea, but two of the three most important characters didn't work for me.

After the Funeral - Agatha Christie - A mid-range Poirot.

The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle - Lovecraft-inspired novella. Pretty good.

The Traitor (Baru Cormorant) - Seth Dickinson - Well-liked administrative fantasy that I didn't like as much as I expected.

Memesis - Keith Brooke - Decent short collection by an underrated SF/F writer.

Dauntless - Jack Campbell - Another one I didn't like as much as I expected. I'm normally a sucker for military SF, and the Lost Fleet series is popular and lengthy, but it just didn't click with me. I think I just found Geary a bit annoying.

Not a tremendously strong month, but I managed to finish 3 sub-challenges (my long-running chronological SF challenge, my annual target for Morningstar nominees and a small challenge for military SF/F (where I also cheated and reduced the target)).

Offline Skip

Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 04:46:08 PM »
The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk.
Great story. The architecture of the story was interesting; not quite what I had expected.

The Collector, John Fowles
I don't usually read this sort of novel. It was pretty horrifying.

The Pitch That Killed, Mike Sowell
All about the only time a big-league baseball player was killed during a game. Fascinating story not only of the two men involved but the extraordinary pennant race and 1920 World Series.

A Freak Among Freaks, Nils Odlund
I also don't usually read werewolf stories, but this one was short and I know the author online. It's very well written.

I also abandoned the following
The Tinkerer's Daughter, Jamie Sedgwick
Malice, John Gwynne
The God Stalker Chronicles, P.C. Hodgell
Didn't get beyond 10% in any of them.

Online ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 10753
  • Total likes: 6256
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 08:15:29 PM »
Here are mine:

The power, Naomi Alderman
A fantastic book, it turns your gender preconceptions on their head, also showing that no one has the monopoly on violence and/or kindness

The court of broken knives, Anna Smith Spark
Book 1 of the series, it was good, but a bit underwhelming after all I'd heard about it. Grimdark turned to 100%

And a gay romcom book from the library I read in a day, light stuff.

Others are still ongoing, not finished.
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ringbearer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6925
  • Total likes: 4722
  • Gender: Male
  • Our daily efforts are love poems to the universe.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 11:19:44 PM »
Robert Jordan:
The Shadow Rising
The Fires of Heaven

Michael J. Sullivan:
The Crown Tower
The Rose and the Thorn

All as recorded books.
For physical books, I'm half-way through a classic on organizational development. Yay.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline Lanko

  • Sherlanko Holmes, Jiin Wei and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Khaleesi
  • *
  • Posts: 2812
  • Total likes: 1913
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Lanko's Goodreads
Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2018, 12:47:17 AM »
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikosvky. 5/5
Sci-fi with sentient spiders/ants and humanity searching for a new world to live. Fantastic.

The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan. 4/5
Schizophrenic writer who believes characters in hers and other people's works are haunting her.

Port of Shadows by Glen Cook. 2/5
It started well, but the plot was pure non-sense and actually boring. Only at the very end comes a big surprise, but it didn't make the rest of the book any better to go through.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019

Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 12:41:55 AM »
All I read in October was Max Gladstone's Ruin of Angels because I was eyeball-deep in endless distractions. But the book was so very excellent!

Online Elfy

  • Writing contest regular
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 7127
  • Total likes: 730
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Purple Dove House
Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 04:26:55 AM »
With 12 books down October was a productive reading month. This is what I spent it reading:

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, I didn't like this as much as I have more recent Valente works like Radiance and Space Opera, but it was still brilliant. Russian folklore and legends against the backdrop of the turbulent 20th century. There's no way this should work, but Valente makes it.

Jo Walton's fabulous Small Change trilogy (comprising Farthing, Ha'penny and Half a Crown). They're alternate fantasy, the 'small change' is that Rudolf Hess' peace mission in 1941 actually worked and brought Great Britain's involvement in WW 2 to an end 4 years before it actually did and the result is that England turns into a fascist dictatorship. I felt the ending was a little too happy and that a bleaker result would have been more satisfying for me as a reader, but it reaffirmed my opinion that Jo Walton as a writer, despite having won a Best Novel Hugo (Among Others) and a World Fantasy (Tooth & Claw), is underappreciated by the wider SFF reading community.

Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn, the 3rd of her Heroine Complex series, comic fantasies about 3 Asian American women who get gifted with super powers that they use to fight demons in San Francisco and make themselves celebrities in the process. I was disappointed. The author has milked this for all it's worth and it really only had 2 books worth of material. Stretching it to a 3rd was a book too far, plus I developed a strong dislike for the full on teenage attitude of the narrator Bea Tanaka. Apparently she is going to do more in the universe with the concept. I'm done as a reader, though.

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss. I have loved this idea ever since I read the short story The Mad Scientist's Daughter in the anthology The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Others did too, because European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman is the sequel to The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter. After meeting in The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, and forming the Athena Club), sisters Mary Jekyll and Diana Hyde (the daughters of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde), Catherine Morreau (one of Dr Morreau's creations), Justine Frankenstein (the bride of the monster) and Beatrice Rappacini, the human plant, go to the continent to rescue Lucinda Van Helsing (the daughter of Professor Van Helsing). It's great fun and the interludes of the ladies talking about their own story as it is being written are back again.

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix. I love Grady Hendrix's modern take on horror. His first book Horrorstor was about a haunted Ikea store and My Best Friend's Exorcism was a perfect parody of an 80's teen horror film. We Sold Our Souls is about a heavy metal icon's attempt to give the world to a demon in exchange for ever lasting fame and fortune. It's a bit darker than the other 2, but no less enjoyable.

I binged a bit of Kim Harrison's Hollows series, reading Every Which Way But Dead and A Fistful of Charms. I originally bailed on this series when Rachel's pixy backup Jenks left in Every Which Way But Dead, but I went too early, because he's back in a 'big' way in A Fistful of Charms. They're both really good, old fashioned urban fantasy fun. Pixies make everything better.

Fifth Ward: Friendly Fire by Dale Lucas. A few people here have read the first one of these and come away unimpressed. I quite like them, they're light and a bit stupid, but also fun and easy to read. They remind me a bit of the Fanuilh books by Daniel Hood and they're also a bit like Lethal Weapon (the TV show more than the films) set in a standard pre industrial fantasy world.

Vengeful by V. E. Schwab. The sequel to Vicious (which is still the best thing Schwab has written in my opinion), if anything Vengeful is nastier than Vicious was. It's an interesting take on the super powers thing, and one I quite like. They're compelling books that make you keep turning the pages long after you'd decided to stop reading. There's a bit of a Chuck Wendig Miriam Black books feel to these, and I love Miriam Black.

The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron. I finished my challenge to read stuff off the tbr pile in our library alphabetically with Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy, so I decided to have a go at reading through series, most will be completed, some won't, and I decided to make Aaron's Eli Monpress books the first cab off the rank. The Spirit Thief was every bit as light, whacky and off the wall as I remembered it.

I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4110
  • Total likes: 2045
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 01:05:58 PM »
Only six books for me


Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1) by Steven Erikson 4/5

Malazan Lore

Fall of Light (The Kharkanas Trilogy #2) by Steven Erikson 3/5

More Malazan lore, I could do without the author telling me how much he dislike critics , the page count would be a lot lower ;)

Brief Cases (The Dresden Files #15.1) by Jim Butcher 3/5

Various short Dresden stories

The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy #1) by Chris Wooding

Boring YA fantasy, Felt like I've seen it all before.

The Corset by Laura Purcell 5/5

Brilliant Gothic Horror

Young Aina by Ned Marcus 4/5

Spoiler for Hiden:
** spoiler alert ** I quite enjoyed this short tale, a subtle message of mans damage to the eco-environment lies underneath the story.

Would I read the sequel? Yes I would

I never know Aina age but I’m guessing round eight and the writer got it spot on sometimes you read children wise beyond their years and pulls you out of the story, I always thought Aina was just a normal little girl who learns magic. I really like how she starts to communicate with nature with the flashing visions.

I really liked Aina’s father too and I was quite shocked when he got stabbed and then relieved when he started healing only to get struck again by deadly magic and this time life finally went out of him, I totally wasn’t expecting that!

I wasn’t keen on the character of the villian that much I would have liked him to be more fleshed out but I guess there’s only so many pages you can have in a short, I would have liked to know where he got his magic from was he born with it or did he gain it from somewhere?
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 01:08:55 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 OnlyOneHighlander

Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 09:03:00 PM »
Here are mine:

The power, Naomi Alderman
A fantastic book, it turns your gender preconceptions on their head, also showing that no one has the monopoly on violence and/or kindness


I read The Power in the summer - really good, nuanced and ...powerful... stuff.
“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!” Neil Gaiman

Check out my book Here Be Dragons here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Be-Dragons-David-Macpherson-ebook/dp/B07CCGBDQW/ref=sr_1_3?s

Offline OnlyOneHighlander

Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 09:18:35 PM »

A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers
The second in the Wayfarers series - a smaller, more intimate story than the first book, but still thoughtful and touching and very human.

Other Minds - Peter Godfrey Smith
Non-fiction about octopus brains and the evolution of consciousness. Thought provoking and lots of good material for imagining how other lifeforms might experience the world but it's not really a page turner.

From the depths - Mike Ashley (Ed)
A collection of spooky stories about the sea from the British Library. Nice variety of stories and good introductions from Ashley.

Tastes of Paradise - Wolfgang Schivelbusch
Non-fiction about the history of spices and all kinds of stimulants, including coffee, tea, chocolate and opium. Quite an old book but full of interesting tidbits including that people used to tip their coffee from the cup into the saucer and then drink it out of that. Weird.

“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!” Neil Gaiman

Check out my book Here Be Dragons here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Be-Dragons-David-Macpherson-ebook/dp/B07CCGBDQW/ref=sr_1_3?s

Offline JCkang

Re: What did you read in October 2018
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 01:53:12 AM »
Servant of the Underworld, by Aliette De Bodard

Rise of the Seer, by Brandon Barr

A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas

Paternus 2, by Dyrk Ashton

I also started and gave up on A Court of Wings and Ruin, Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind, and Steve Erickson's Gardens of the Moon.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 01:55:06 AM by JCkang »