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Author Topic: What did you read in September 2017  (Read 2435 times)

Offline eclipse

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What did you read in September 2017
« on: September 30, 2017, 11:10:45 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

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline eclipse

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 11:18:32 AM »


The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Sequence #1) by Jonathan Stroud

5/5 Loved this right up my street

The Golem's Eye (Bartimaeus Sequence #2) by Jonathan Stroud

5/5

Crack'd Pot Trail (The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach #4) by Steven Erikson

2/5

Spoiler for Hiden:
An Uncomfortable read for me, a comedy grimdark of cannibalism. The author is having a bash at critics and that you should just perform for yourself and no one else

The Wurms of Blearmouth (The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach #5) by Steven Erikson

3/5 Better then the last one, I really should give up on this shorts

A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) by Marie Brennan
 
2/5 Not for me really

Secrets of the Sands (Children of the Desert #1) by Leona Wisoker

DNF
Spoiler for Hiden:
DNF at 20% , this wasn't the story I expected I thought I would get a desert setting where life is harsh not taverns with all sort of food being severed like pheasant, and have Sultans not kings and nobles in the story but want really annoyed me was the thief boy that the lord employed as his servant the boy with no education telling the lord how to behave in local villages. If you want to read a story set in a desert read the killing moon by N.K. Jemisin.

Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1) By Alwyn Hamilton

1/5 Felt too much of YA for me, plus it was a western not the book I was looking for really

Throne of the Crescent Moon (The Crescent Moon Kingdoms #1) by Saladin Ahmed

2/5 This one was okay but it was sword and sorcery and I'm really not keen on S&S

The Desert of Souls (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #1) by Howard Andrew Jones 

2/5 Sword and sorcery again

The Last Stormlord (Stormlord #1) by Glenda Larke

2 and half/5 This had potential but I absolutely hated most of the cast and the story was too long to tell.

The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) by N.K. Jemisin

5/5 Fabulous
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 11:37:07 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 eclipse

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 11:39:14 AM »
Oh and a bit of Peats book!
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 JMack

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 11:57:51 AM »
Holy crap, Eclipse, when do you find time to do anything other than read?!

I actually read books in September !!!

The Powder Mage trilogy
Prince of Thorns re-read
Prince of Fools
The Fifth Season and the Obelisk Gate

non-fantasy: Man's Search for Meaning
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)
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 02:46:58 PM »
College textbooks.

Be back next month.

Offline Peat

Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 03:49:59 PM »
Holy crap, Eclipse, when do you find time to do anything other than read?!

Resurrect old topics? :P

Offline Lanko

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 08:08:01 PM »
Holy crap, Eclipse, when do you find time to do anything other than read?!

Resurrect old topics? :P

He reads while he digs?
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 10:07:53 PM »
Pretty big month for me, with 14 books read. Helped a great deal by some short collections, and by the week off work I've just had. Although, looking at the list now, it looks like it was mainly down to good readable books that weren't very long (bar the first one, which I mostly read last month):

F&SF:

Fortress in the Eye of Time - C J Cherryh - Oddball fish-out-of-water political fantasy, where a mysterious young man gets caught up with a prince. I'm still not quite sure how much I liked it.

The Islanders - Christopher Priest - Another weird one. Literary fantasy, in the form of a gazetteer of the islands of the Dream Archipelago. A bit like a short story collection, with recurring characters and themes. Enjoyable, and less hard work than I feared.

Red Rising - Pierce Brown - Pretty entertaining SF war school story.

Between Two Thorns - Emma Newman - Fun urban fantasy, featuring families who live in the Nether, between the human world (Mundania) and the fairie world (Exilia). I will be continuing with the series.

Brontomek! - Michael G Coney - Fairly unremarkable planet SF.

Red Sister - Mark Lawrence - Battle nuns. I loved it.

Unbreakable - Will McIntosh - YA Dystopian SF, with a sort of Truman Show/reality TV angle. Quite good. Strong characters.

Crime:

Death Comes as the End - Agatha Christie - A rare (unique?) foray into historical crime for Christie, but ultimately this story set in Ancient Egypt still relies on the complications of family life.

Unnatural Death - Dorothy L Sayers - Another Wimsey. I seem to have read most of it in a single day, which I guess must mean I enjoyed it, but it stretched credibility a bit. The murderer would have got away with it except for committing more and more ludicrous crimes to cover up the first one.

Short stories:

The Unusual Genitals Party and Other Stories - Fergus Bannon - OK, I mainly read this one for the title. A couple of good SF stories, the rest so-so.

More Ghost Stories - M R James - Classic ghost stories. Not very scary, which is fine by me since I'm not a horror fan.

Treasures of Albion I - Elisabeth Waters & Michael Spence - Mini-collection of stories originally published in the Sword and the Sorceress anthology series, featuring a magic college, and usually magical artifacts. Light. A few too many Bible references for my taste.

Budayeen Nights - George Alec Effinger - Stories set in the same world as When Gravity Fails, which I read earlier in the year. A mixed bag. A lot of it seems to be odds and ends.

Treasures of Albion II - Elisabeth Waters & Michael Spence - The second set of four stories.

Offline Lanko

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2017, 10:23:37 PM »
Oh forgot list my books.

The Red Rising trilogy - The first two books were really enjoyable. The third and final was going pretty fine too, until the author wrote the final moments of the trilogy, after more than 1500 pages, with the most bizarre technical choice possible. It almost killed the trilogy for me.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. 5/5
Golden Son by Pierce Brown. 5/5
Morning Star by Pierce Brown. 2/5

Genesis by Bernard Beckett. 5/5 - I really like the theme (AI, consciousness, etc) and it has some greatly written moments. The narrative structure (interview format) may not be for everyone, but I felt I could get a lot of things for setting and character hidden between the lines without a problem.

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. 5/5 - Really insightful book. Written in the 70's or 80's so a few things may be a little dated, but most of its content is pretty universal.

Fullmetal Alchemist Vols 7 to 12 - A manga series I started awhile back. The plot is thickening.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. 5/5 - Great worldbuilding and magic (clearly a system, but still not too defined and spilled out, so it retains mystery and wonder). There isn't a lot of action, but still intriguing, with storytelling taking precedence over action and battles. Pace may be a problem if you really like those elements, but I felt refreshing to a book with a calmer pace after so many ones with frenetic pace and lots of action.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 10:27:55 PM by Lanko »
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2017, 11:19:07 PM »
I had a mid-month fit of despair/grumpy where I DNFed a couple of books in a row, but aside from that, I had some really interesting reading this month.

Ilana C Meyer's Last Song Before Night really engaged the part of me that loves Guy Gavriel Kay - the prose is stately and deft with detail, the story pivots around a bardic tradition and a lot of romance and betrayal - but it never quite managed to fire me with the same epic majesty that Kay achieves. Still, a rich and interesting read, and especially so for a debut.

Jon Skovron's Hope and Red was a rollicking if grimy thieves-and-ninjas adventure in an interesting world. The pacing was a little odd (there's a lot of set-up) but in general I enjoyed the ride.

Roshani Chokshi's The Star-Touched Queen was YA fantasy with thick Indian-folklore flavour and a lush if sometimes confusing narrative style.  I didn't quite love it, but it had a lot of something-differents about it that I really enjoyed.

Jo Walton's The Just City is basically exploration of the feasibility of philosophical concepts in narrative form. It considers the differences of theory and practice, and the foibles of humanity. Nothing happens, the big grand finale is a debate, and I found it absolutely riveting. :D

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2017, 06:24:52 PM »
Here are mine, it was a difficult month:

Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
Interesting, but it didn't really capture me strongly. I'm not interested in knowing more, I won't be reading the other books...

The dragon's path, Daniel Abraham
Book 1 of the Dagger and the coin series, I really liked it, it's more my style! I'll get the others soon :)
You don't normally see bankers in fantasy, especially not 'young woman banker' - she and another 'unusual type' character kept drawing me in.
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Offline Nora

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2017, 07:12:08 PM »
OOOOOOH, Lanko, are you reading Fullmetal from my recommendation??? I'm so stocked! Can't wait for you to finish it. It's such a gratifying series.

In September I read :

Valor by John Gwynne. -1/5 - My definition of really bad fantasy and mediocre writing.

The Guest Cat by Hiraide Takashi. 1/5 - Author previously mostly wrote books about baseball, and probably should stick to that, instead of trying the poetic route. An empty piece of wannabe literature that fell flat and whose only quality is its shortness.

The Terror by Dan Simmons. 6/5 - Fucking A. Superb book, gratifying ending that gave me some serious mindgasms. The tone and vocabulary is incredibly well researched and fits the times so well, it reminded me of the Master and Commander novels, and the way you can't tell they're written by a contemporary.
The monster in the book has huge potential for desastrous "reveals", and many horror books mess it up, but Dan Simmons is just a damn genius, and he messed nothing up.
And Oh God, you do NOT want to die of Scurvy. Also definitely loved how Simmons based the deaths and movements of the crews according to the discoveries we've made. When we found bones in one spot, a character dies there. He even named them all correctly, based on the known crew. ((edit : this book is after the failed expedition of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, where brits ended up stuck in canadian polar ice trying to find the Nort-West passage to get a short-cut to India. As far as we know everyone died. Fascinating documentary on FB. Simmons basically adds a monster that hunts them on the ice, but sticks to every known real life detail))
I'm sad to say Carrion Comfort was too gory for teen me, so I never read him again, but this will change, and I now possess two other books by Mister Simmons and very much looking forward to them. It's one of the big highlights of my year.

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw. 2.5/5 - A beginner's book if I've ever seen one. Engaging, sort of, but the very good premise was not exploited and the plot turned out banal and eerily too realistic to offer much escapism. The ending also contorted characters in super weird ways to sprout a potential romantic interest that nothing had prepared me for. Will probably not pick up another one if she writes more.

Provenance by Ann Leckie. 3.5/5 - An OK sci fi, nothing near the genius of Ancillary, and with a much more irritating main character, but still an interesting view in the universe. I like Leckie's imagination, and I'm impatient to read everything she has to offer us.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. 4/5 - A surprisingly good Sci fi I've been putting off for a long time, for shame because it really surprised me. It's a collection of document (most often taped interviews) and the shady-cia-type interviewer who obviously gets to pull all the strings in the world, is an awesome character.

Started SPQR by Mary Beard as my non fiction of the month, as well as Men explain things to me by Rebecca Solnit. They're both ongoing. Solnit is lacking structure to her point, and SPQR is very good and interesting so far.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 07:16:27 PM by Nora »
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Offline Lanko

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 10:05:46 PM »
OOOOOOH, Lanko, are you reading Fullmetal from my recommendation??? I'm so stocked! Can't wait for you to finish it. It's such a gratifying series.

Yes! Everytime I go read it it's through the message with the link you sent me haha.



 
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2017, 01:27:53 AM »
The dragon's path, Daniel Abraham
Book 1 of the Dagger and the coin series, I really liked it, it's more my style! I'll get the others soon :)
You don't normally see bankers in fantasy, especially not 'young woman banker' - she and another 'unusual type' character kept drawing me in.

So glad you enjoyed this! I love the series so much and want everyone to love it too. :D

Offline JMack

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Re: What did you read in September 2017
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 11:54:59 AM »
OOOOOOH, Lanko, are you reading Fullmetal from my recommendation??? I'm so stocked! Can't wait for you to finish it. It's such a gratifying series.

Yes! Everytime I go read it it's through the message with the link you sent me haha.

Share link! Please.  :)
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