January 19, 2020, 02:23:22 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in December 2018  (Read 1129 times)

Offline Eclipse

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What did you read in December 2018
« on: December 28, 2018, 06:10:14 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.
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 December 2018
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 06:19:24 PM »
Battlemage (The Age of Darkness Trilogy #1) by Stephen Aryan  2/5 well I finished this book unlike

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby 1/5 Don't get the hype myself DNF after 100 pages
 
Deadhouse Landing Path to Ascendancy #2) by Ian C. Esslemont 5/5 Much much Better! an awesome story.

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty 3/5 A slow start  but did enough for me to carry on with the series.

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee 3/5 this was nearly another Dnf for me but stuck with it and it turned out much better in the second half.

Death's Merchant (Common Among Gods #1) by Justan Henner

Still reading this one maybe it be a 1,2,3,4,or 5/5 from me who knows.


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 Skip

Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 05:30:34 AM »
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb. Just a slog. It's a shame, because she has some good stuff and can write some good scenes, but the whole is twice as long as it should be. I won't be reading any more.

Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Comey. *Great* science fiction. It was a joy to read and I tore through it in just a few days. Hobb took months.

Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. DNF. I'm pretty much done with reading about the British upper class in the 20thc.

On the Beach, by Nevil Shute. OMG. A bleak story I couldn't stop reading. This author should be more famous.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman Capote. The racism in this story is so embarrassing it overshadowed everything else. Plus, the story really didn't go anywhere. Disappointed.

Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson. Check another one off the list. Nowhere near as sentimental as the movie. Good read.

The Godfather, by Mario Puzo. Solid writing. I know the movie so well, it was hard not to see every scene through that prism. Still a good story well told.


Onward!

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 06:17:25 AM »
Battlemage (The Age of Darkness Trilogy #1) by Stephen Aryan  2/5 well I finished this book unlike

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby 1/5 Don't get the hype myself DNF after 100 pages
 
Deadhouse Landing Path to Ascendancy #2) by Ian C. Esslemont 5/5 Much much Better! an awesome story.

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty 3/5 A slow start  but did enough for me to carry on with the series.

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee 3/5 this was nearly another Dnf for me but stuck with it and it turned out much better in the second half.

Death's Merchant (Common Among Gods #1) by Justan Henner

Still reading this one maybe it be a 1,2,3,4,or 5/5 from me who knows.
Good to hear about Jade City as I picked that up yesterday.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline Lu Kudzoza

Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2018, 02:20:50 AM »
Seven Virtues series (Sellsword's -- Compassion, Wrath, Resolve, and Valor) by Jacob Peppers. An interesting idea, but under executed. Too many scenes that don't advance the story so I found myself skipping ahead because the plot and idea were good. I'd say a 3.5 out of 5 stars -- just not bad enough to be 3, but not good enough to be 4 stars.

The Reborn King (Dragon's Blade Trilogy book 1) by Michael R. Miller. This is high fantasy which I'm not a big fan of (didn't like Lord of the Rings books - but liked the movies). It has faeries, demons, humans, and dragons in human form who can't change into winged beasts. I stuck with it for the first 5 chapters and enjoyed it enough to finish it. It was a solid 4 stars. Now, I'm reading book 2.


Online Peat

Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2018, 03:03:33 AM »
Battlemage (The Age of Darkness Trilogy #1) by Stephen Aryan  2/5 well I finished this book unlike

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby 1/5 Don't get the hype myself DNF after 100 pages
 
Deadhouse Landing Path to Ascendancy #2) by Ian C. Esslemont 5/5 Much much Better! an awesome story.

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty 3/5 A slow start  but did enough for me to carry on with the series.

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee 3/5 this was nearly another Dnf for me but stuck with it and it turned out much better in the second half.

Death's Merchant (Common Among Gods #1) by Justan Henner

Still reading this one maybe it be a 1,2,3,4,or 5/5 from me who knows.
Good to hear about Jade City as I picked that up yesterday.

I had a similar experience with Jade City. I found it admirable but lacking magnetism but then it slowly sucks you in and its pretty damn epic once you get going.
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 09:35:34 AM »
Here are mine:

(non SFF) Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 4/5
A great story about a nigerian young woman who moves to the USA, then eventually gets back. Very thought-provoking ideas about race and privilege in the middle of a gripping story that at times felt like fantasy to me, such was the distance to my normal world.

In the Vanishers' Palace, Aliette de Bodard - 5/5
Amazing different story, a sort of Beauty & the Beast retelling, based in vietnamese tales and environment, a gay love story, and making you think that it's your actions that define you, not from who or where you were born.

Rotherweird, Andrew Caldecott - 4/5
A sort of urban fantasy set in a hidden town in the middle of England, where people are forbidden to learn ancient history (to avoid repeating the mistakes that caused a catastrophe in Elizabethan times). With mystery, magic and history.

And just under half (450 pages) of Steven Erikson's House of Chains, Malazan 4
All of these books are 5/5 for me anyway, hehe, but comments next month
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2018, 05:50:43 PM »
Killer Dungeon - Phil Tucker - Third and final part of the Euphoria Online series. Very enjoyable bit of LitRPG.

The Rainbow and the Rose - Nevil Shute - It's a bit of an annual tradition for me to read a Nevil Shute in memory of my father, who was a fan. This is one of Shute's later books, and tells the story of the three significant relationships a pilot had in the course of his life. It was fine. Highly readable, as always.

The Grand Tour - Patricia C Wrede & Caroline Stevermer - The second Cecelia and Kate book. Historical fantasy of manners. After the events of the first book, our heroines head off on a tour of Europe, and get caught up in a plot. Maybe not as much fun as the first book, but still pretty entertaining.

Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee - Bonkers but still relatable bit of military SF. SF is stretching it a bit - I mean, it's mostly in space, and featuring space empires, but let's be honest here, there's not much science going on. I really enjoyed this once I got my head round it.

Destination Unknown - Agatha Christie - I always heave a bit of a sigh when I find out my next Christie is a thriller rather than a whodunnit. Minor.

Service Games - Sam Pettus - A history of Sega. Fairly informative.

Imager's Challenge - L E Modesitt Jr - Book 2 of the Imager Portfolio. It's quite a long time since I read book 1, and I didn't really get on with this much. Essentially it's about our hero getting backed into a corner until he murders his way out.

Classic Scrapes - James Acaster - Humorous semi-memoir from a stand-up comedian.

The Black Tides of Heaven - J Y Yang - Tor novella with a Chinese flavour. Pretty good.

Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky - I really enjoyed this SF about bio-engineered animal soldiers.

That's 10 books read, and with 9 acquired that's a small gain.

Over the whole year I read 103 books, which is great - I really wasn't sure I would be able to make 100 again now I've dropped my daily short stories, but to some extent I filled the gap with non-fiction - however I acquired 120 books so I've still ended up with 17 more books than I started the year with. That's going to be my target for next year. (Only 69 of them were purchases, so that's something.)

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2019, 12:29:18 AM »
Here are mine:

(non SFF) Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 4/5
A great story about a nigerian young woman who moves to the USA, then eventually gets back. Very thought-provoking ideas about race and privilege in the middle of a gripping story that at times felt like fantasy to me, such was the distance to my normal world.

In the Vanishers' Palace, Aliette de Bodard - 5/5
Amazing different story, a sort of Beauty & the Beast retelling, based in vietnamese tales and environment, a gay love story, and making you think that it's your actions that define you, not from who or where you were born.

Rotherweird, Andrew Caldecott - 4/5
A sort of urban fantasy set in a hidden town in the middle of England, where people are forbidden to learn ancient history (to avoid repeating the mistakes that caused a catastrophe in Elizabethan times). With mystery, magic and history.

And just under half (450 pages) of Steven Erikson's House of Chains, Malazan 4
All of these books are 5/5 for me anyway, hehe, but comments next month
You might like Welcome to Nightvale if you liked Rotherweird in fact I think Rotherweird became a DNF for me because I kept flashing on Welcome to Nightvale and having it come up short.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2019, 02:37:22 AM »
Finished out my year with a month of great books.

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch - being the latest Peter Grant, and a solidly great book. Really great fun and really interesting. (I also read the latest compendium of the Rivers of London comics, that being Water Weed, which was fun.)

Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly - gosh I loved this. I really enjoyed the first book (Amberlough, a sort of fantasy Cabaret by way of le Carre) but this was just utterly gripping, so strong in its characters, so twisty in its politics-made-personal, so compelling for me. And I utterly loved the new addition to the core cast, Lillian DePaul. I am so very keen for the third one now.

The Two of Swords: volume 3 by KJ Parker - which I also loved, but could not possibly recommend for anyone who doesn't already love Parker, because it is PEAK Parker: technical, audacious in plot and mundane in details, intentionally confusing and obtuse, full of brutally competent people getting ground down. A point of departure/interest for me in this one: the magnificent heroine is basically a standard Parker hero, but her gender gives more nuance than I had hitherto thought Parker could actually manage, so hat's off, sir.

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2019, 06:53:47 AM »
Another 10 for me in December, which took my yearly total to 114 (that's a personal record for me). Here we are:

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch. This was a return to form for the series for me. The last couple were good, but they just kind of meandered around the edges of the main story. This one moved that forward and had some really nice stuff about some of the side characters as well as giving readers more of a look at Peter's life outside of what he does for the Folly.

The Spirit War and Spirit's End by Rachel Aaron. These rounded off my reread of the Eli Monpress series. It was fun this time around, too, although I've always had the feeling that the series actually comes in 2 parts: the first 3 books and then these 2. I know it will never happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing some more stuff about the characters and the world.

Arch-Enemies by Marissa Meyer. The second of Meyer's Renegades series. It's a fun thing about teenaged super heroes in a world where they co exist openly alongside non powered people. They're fast moving and interesting. I think Meyer is one of the better writers in the YA field at present.

Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom by Bradley Schenck. A bit disappointing. I was hoping for something quite pulpy that combined a bit of humour with a rather Flash Gordonish space adventure. It lost it's way fairly early and tried far too hard to be funny at the expense of plot and character development.

Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite by Roger Daltrey. Daltrey's autobiography. Really interesting. The rock stars of the '70's have a bit of a hold on me at present and this fitted right into that.

The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. OMG! This was good, no...this was great! Sons of Anarchy with half orcs.

The Instant Cricket Library by Dan Liebke. Laughed all the way through this. It's about cricket books that were never written. Of particular interest was the account of a one day international between Australia and NZ that was written as if it were from A Song of Ice and Fire.

Riverdale: The Day Before by Micol Ostow. Quick and easy read. Basically a prequel to the TV series Riverdale, detailing what the main characters were doing just before the start of the show.

The Armageddon Rag by George R.R Martin. I picked this up because it was $5 on sale and I'd always been interested to see the book that almost ended Martin's career before he wrote A Song of Ice and Fire. It seriously is hard to believe it's the same writer. He has some of his later quirks and it answered a few questions I'd had about some comments he's made on his blog. It was basically him trying to channel Stephen King and largely failing. Readable, but I can see why it never made it the way he thought it might. Grady Hendrix covered similar territory in We Sold Our Souls, but did it much better.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline Lanko

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Re: What did you read in December 2018
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 11:51:22 PM »
A Chave do Tamanho by Monteiro Lobato. 4/5
It's a national only book (something like "The Key of Size"). The protagonist manages to make the whole human race diminish in size to like 4-5cm. In the middle of the WW2 period (the author was a classic from the period). Now people have to rebuild society like that, with obvious new challenges and dangers.

Silent City by G.R. Matthews. 3/5
Great worldbuilding. Underwater cities is how we live in the future. Just think that the main plot took awhile to go off and then it kinda of ended too abruptly.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. 2/5
Didn't work for me. I think most of the stuff was way exaggerated. Dialogue was pretty awful too. Only near the very end there were some great passages of writing, which saved it from a 1*.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019