souloftherose reads and reads in 2016 - part 4
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I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction (including children's/young adult books) as well as a good spattering of crime/historical/other fiction. A fair number of the books I read are older books - I particularly enjoy 18th and 19th century fiction, golden age detective novels and women's literature from the first half of the 20th century.
Last year I read 236 books of which only 25 were non-fiction books. Given how many books I read in total I could probably squeeze a few more non-fiction books - we'll see.
Books read in July
#105 Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson (Library)
#106 The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston (Reread)
#107 The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Library)
#108 Captain Marvel Vol. 2: Stay Fly by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#109 Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace (Humble Bundle)
#110 Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2015 edited by Ellen Datlow (Free kindle)
#111 The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (TBR)
#112 Is He Popenjoy? by Anthony Trollope (Gift)
#113 Captain Marvel Vol. 3: Alis Volat Propriis by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#114 Mariana by Monica Dickens (TBR)
#115 The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively (Reread)
#116 Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England by Roy Adkins and Lesley Adkins (Library)
#117 Lumberjanes Vol 4: Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters (Humble Bundle)
#118 The Chimneys of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston (TBR)
#119 Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (Marvel Unlimited)
#120 The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu (TBR)
#121 Ms. Marvel Vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson (Reread)
#122 Ms. Marvel Vol 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson (Reread)
#123 Eight Skilled Gentlemen by Barry Hughart (TBR)
#124 Way Down Dark by James Smythe (TBR)
Books read in August
#125 Ms. Marvel Vol 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson (Marvel Unlimited)
#126 The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (TBR)
#127 Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski (TBR)
#128 Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (TBR)
#129 Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (Library)
#130 Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous (Library)
#131 The Closed Door and Other Stories by Dorothy Whipple (TBR)
#132 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Free kindle)
#133 Jinian Star-Eye by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#134 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (Reread)
#135 Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison (Free kindle)
#136 16824385::Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#137 A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer (TBR)
#138 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North (Marvel Unlimited)
#139 The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (Library)
#140 The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#141 The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West (TBR)
Books read in September
#142 That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green (Free kindle)
#143 Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (Library)
#144 Flambards by K. M. Peyton (TBR)
#145 Scattered Among Strange Worlds and On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard (TBR)
#146 Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (TBR)
#147 The Bullet Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan (TBR)
#148 The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (Library)
#149 16049191::Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Library)
#150 Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone (TBR)
#151 Last First Snow by Max Gladstone (TBR)
Books read in October
#152 Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone (TBR)
#153 20786::Grass by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#154 Mrs Tim Gets a Job by D. E. Stevenson (Library)
#155 9266506::Feed by Mira Grant (TBR)
#156 10193664::Deadline by Mira Grant (TBR)
#157 Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#158 Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#159 Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 by Antonia Fraser (Library)
#160 11324850::Blackout by Mira Grant (TBR)
#161 17069543::Rise by Mira Grant (TBR)
DNF 10764734::Cold Fire by Kate Elliott (Library)
#162 A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (TBR)
#163 CrossTalk by Connie Willis (Library)
#164 The Monkey's Wedding and Other Stories by Joan AIken
#165 False Colours by Georgette Heyer (TBR)
Books read in November
#166 J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey (TBR)
#167 Emma by Jane Austen (Reread)
#168 The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (TBR)
#169 15553424::You're Nver Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day (Library)
#170 15071997::The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (TBR)
#171 Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold (TBR)
#172 A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World 3000BC-AD1603 by Simon Schama (Library)
#173 Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crossley-Holland (TBR)
#174 Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch (TBR)
#175 Trollope: A Commentary by Michael Sadleir (TBR)
#176 The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope (TBR)
#177 The Whispering Mountain by Joan Aiken (TBR)
#178 16202027::Windswept by Adam Rakunas (TBR)
#179 Night at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon (TBR)
#180 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#181 Half a Crown by Jo Walton (TBR)
#182 Gibbon's Decline and Fall by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#183 The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell (TBR)
#184 The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Library)
#185 A Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume I by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (TBR)
#186 The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (TBR)
#187 Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards (TBR)
#188 The Truth by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#189 The Last Unicorn: Deluxe Edition by Peter S. Beagle Amazon Prime
#190 Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#191 Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#192 Midwinter Nightingale by Joan Aiken (TBR)
#193 Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#194 15570263::To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix (TBR)
#195 Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer (TBR)
#52 Avengers Assemble by Brian Michael Bendis (Marvel Unlimited)
#53 Tor.com Bundle 2 including The Last Witness by K. J. Parker, Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter and Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace (TBR)
#54 A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Library)
#55 The Hanged Man of Saint Pholien by Georges Simenon (TBR)
#55.5 The Bone Knife by Intisar Khanani (Free kindle)
#56 Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (TBR)
#57 Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book Ten by Bill Willingham (Library)
#58 The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#59 Beyond the Glass by Antonia White (TBR)
#60 From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium by William Dalrymple (Library)
#61 No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War by Helen Rappaport (Kindle Prime)
#62 The Brontes at Haworth by Ann Dinsdale (TBR)
#63 Black Widow Volume 2: The Tightly Tangled Web by Nathan Edmondson (Marvel Unlimited)
#64 Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (Library)
#65 Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (TBR)
#66 Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (TBR)
#67 How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman (Library)
#68 An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham (Omnibus)
#69 The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham (TBR)
#70 Indexing by Seanan Mcguire (Kindle Prime)
Books read in May
#71 Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (TBR)
#72 The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Reread)
#73 The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor (TBR)
#74 Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People who Think Differently by Steve Silberman (Library)
DNF The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel edited by Deirdre David (TBR)
#75 The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (Reread)
#76 The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (Reread)
#77 Legion and the Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson (Library)
#78 Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (TBR)
#79 Avengers Assemble: Science Bros by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#80 Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (Library)
#81 The Man Behind Narnia by A. N. Wilson (Kindle Prime)
#82 A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#83 The True Game by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#84 The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin (TBR)
#85 This Census-Taker by China Mieville (Library)
#86 Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (TBR)
#87 Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#88 Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Down by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
Books read in June
#89 The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson (Library)
#90 Avengers: The Enemy Within by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#91 Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (Reread)
#92 The Grand Tour, or, The Purloined Coronation Regalia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (TBR)
#93 From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (Library)
#94 A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (Humble Bundle)
#95 Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson (TBR)
#96 Jinian Footseer by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#97 Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Library)
#98 Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire (Kindle Prime)
#99 The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North (TBR)
#100 Dervish Daughter by Sheri S. Tepper (TBR)
#101 Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by Kelly Sue Deconnick (Marvel Unlimited)
#102 Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Reread)
#103 Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold (TBR)
#104 Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (TBR)
#1 Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace by Lucy Worsley (Library)
#2 Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#3 Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#4 Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#5 The Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede (TBR)
#6 The American Senator by Anthony Trollope (TBR)
#7 Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay (Amazon Prime)
#8 The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke (TBR)
#9 Hawkeye, Vol. 2: Little Hits by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel Unlimited)
#10 Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald (TBR)
#11 The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (Library)
#12 The Kingdom and the Cave by Joan Aiken (TBR)
#13 The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson (TBR)
#14 Hawkeye, Vol. 3: LA Woman by Matt Fraction (Marvel Unlimited)
#15 Fear Stalks the Village by Ethel Lina White (TBR)
#16 April Lady by Georgette Heyer (TBR)
#17 Maskerade by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
#18 Jack of Fables, Vol 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham (Library)
#19 Hawkeye Vol 4: Rio Bravo by Matt Fraction (Marvel Unlimited)
#20 Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#21 Mrs Tim Carries On by D. E. Stevenson (Library)
Books read in Febuary
#DNF The Black Prism by Brent Weeks (TBR)
#22 Charlotte Bronte: A Life by Claire Harman (Library)
#23 The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (Library)
#24 Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold (TBR)
#25 Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints by James Martin, S.J. (TBR)
#26 Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book Nine by Bill Willingham (Library)
#27 Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear (TBR)
#28 A Dance With Dragons by G. R. R. Martin (Spousal unit's)
#29 Lumberjanes Vol 3: A Terrible Plan by Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson (Humble Bundle)
#30 The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (Library)
#31 The Traitor by Seth Dickinson (TBR)
#32 Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett (Reread)
Books read in March
#33 Sylvester by Georgette Heyer (TBR)
#34 The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude (Amazon Prime)
#35 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Reread)
#36 Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Trollope (TBR)
#37 Timeless by Gail Carriger (Reread)
#37.5 The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar by Gail Carriger (Free kindle)
#38 The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Reread)
#39 Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd (TBR)
#40 The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua (Library)
#41 Among Others by Jo Walton (Reread)
#42 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm (TBR)
#43 Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (Reread)
#44 Heap House by Edward Carey (TBR)
#45 Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson (Marvel Unlimited)
#46 The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow; and Queen Eleanor and Fair Rosamund by Mrs Oliphant (TBR)
#47 My Real Children by Jo Walton (TBR)
#48 Meeting God in Paul by Rowan Williams (TBR)
#49 Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner (TBR)
#50 Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (Reread)
#51 Venetia by Georgette Heyer (TBR)
#1 Marriage by Susan Ferrier Abandoned
#2 A Fugue in Time by Rumer Godden
#5 Pure Juliet by Stella Gibbons
#7 The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens
#8 The Happy Prisoner by Monica Dickens
#9 The Rector's Daughter by F. M. Mayor
#11 Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy L. Sayers
#15 Trollope and Women by Margaret Markwick
#16 The River at Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston
#18 Talking about Detective Fiction by P. D. James
#19 God, Where Are You? by Gerard W. Hughes
#20 Leaving Alexandria by Richard Holloway
#21 I Am With You by Kathryn Greene-McCreight
#22 Letters to Alice, on first reading Jane Austen by Faye Weldon
#23 Passing On by Penelope Lively
#24 Oleander, Jacaranda by Penelope Lively
#25 The Brimming Cup by Dorothy Canfield
#26 As Once in May by Antonia White
#30 The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke
#31 Ten Pre-Raphaelite Poems by Ruth Robbins
#32 The Just City by Jo Walton
#34 An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
#35 The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley
#36 Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
#37 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
#38 The Long View by Elizabeth Jane Howard
#39 Lonesome Dove by Larry McNurty
#40 Worlds of Exile and Illusion by Ursula K. Le Guin
#42 Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
#44 Singer from the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper
#45 The Island of Sheep by John Buchan
#46 George Eliot by Jenny Uglow
#47 The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins
#48 A Short History of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn
#49 The Three Hostages by John Buchan
#50 March: Book One by John Lewis
#51 The Rector and the Doctor's Family by Mrs Oliphant
#53 The Gift Giving by Joan Aiken
#24 Deerskin by Robin McKinley
#26 Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
#28 The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente
#30 The Islanders by Christopher Priest
#48 Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
#49 All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
#50 Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
#51 Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Humble Bundle: Small Beer Press
After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh
Carmen Dog by Carol Emshwiller
Couch by Benjamin Parzybok
Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks
Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand
Kalpa Imperial by Angelica Gorodischer, translated by Ursula K. Le Guin
Meet Me in the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich
North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud
Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge
Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop by Kate Wilhelm
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman
The Entropy of Bones by Ayize Jama-Everett
The Fires Beneath the Sea by Lydia Millet
The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett
Trash Sex Magic by Jennifer Stevenson
Tyrannia by Alan DeNiro
Series I'm actively* reading (*for a rather lax definition of active)
Arbai trilogy Next up Raising the Stones by Sheri S. Tepper (2/3)
*Barsetshire Books by Angela Thirkell: Reading out of order. Next up The Brandons (5/29 read)
*Black Widow (2014) Next up Black Widow Volume 3: Last Days by Nathan Edmondson (3/3)
Craft Sequence: Chronological Order Next up Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone (4/6)
*Fables: Next up Fables, Vol. 14: Witches by Bill Willingham (14/22)
*Gilead: Next up Lila by Marilynne Robinson (3/3)
The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire: Next up Unseemly Science by Rod Duncan (2/3)
The Fractured Europe Sequence: Next up Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson (2/3)
*The Girl Who: Next up The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente (3/5)
*Green Knowe: Next up: The River at Green Knowe by L. M. Boston (3/6)
*Hainish Cycle: (Reading out of order) Next up Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin (3/8)
Hilary Tamar: Next up The Shortest Way to Hades by Sarah Caudwell (2/4)
The Iremonger Trilogy: Next up Foulsham by Edward Carey (2/3)
Lady Trent's Memoirs: Next up Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan (3/4)
*Liaden Universe Publication Order: Next up Fledgling by Shareon Lee & Steve Miller (9/21)
Mrs Tim: Next up Mrs Tim Flies Home by D. E. Stevenson (3/4)
Ms. Marvel 2015: Next up: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson (1/2)
Newsflesh Next up Feedback by Mira Grant (5/5)
Old Kingdom: Next up Goldenhand by Garth Nix (4/5)
The Palliser Novels: Next up The Duke's Children by Anthony Trollope (6/6)
Poldark Saga: Next up The Stranger from the Sea by Winston Graham (8/12)
*Richard Hannay: Next up The Three Hostages by John Buchan (4/5)
*Roderick Alleyn: Next up Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh (2/32)
Sorcery and Celia: Next up The Mislaid Magician by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (3/3)
The Stormlight Archive: Next up Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
*Tales of a New Jerusalem: Next up Family Britain, 1951-57 by David Kynaston (2/5?)
Vlad Taltos: Next up Dragon by Steven Brust (8/14)
Wolves Chronicles: Next up The Witch of Clatteringshaws by Joan Aiken (11/11)
Series I've stalled on but want to get back to
*Albert Campion: Next up Hide My Eyes by Margery Allingham (19/25)
*Allan Quatermain: Next up Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard (2/15)
*Arsène Lupin: Next up Arsène Lupin vs. Holmlock Shears by Maurice Leblanc (2/23?)
*Barsoom: Next up The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (3/11)
Bas-Lag: Next up The Scar by China Mieville (2/3)
David Wintringham by Josephine Bell: Reading out of order (2/12 read)
*Dolphin Ring Cycle: Next up Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff (5/8)
Dragonslayer: Next up The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde (3/4)
*Ebenezer Gryce: Next up Lost Man's Lane by Anna Katharine Green (8/13)
Empire Trilogy: Next up: The Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell (3/3)
*Father Brown: Next up: The Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (2/5)
Finishing School: Next up Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (4/4)
*Fionavar Tapestry: Next up The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay (3/3)
Jimm Juree: Next up Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill (2/2)
Les Voyages Extraordinaires: Next up From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne (4/54)
*The Long Earth: Next up The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (2/3)
Maigret: Next up Maigret in Holland by Georges Simenon (7/76)
The Penderwicks: Next up The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall (2/4)
*The Prairie Trilogy: Next up The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (3/3) (Reading out of order)
*Revelation Space : Next up Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (2/7)
Romantic Poets and Nephilim: Next up A Time to Cast Away Stones in The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers (2/3)
Ruth Galloway: Next up A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths (5/8)
Dr. Siri Paiboun: Next up: Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (5/10)
*Turtle: Next up Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver (2/2)
Young Pilots: Next up Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (3/3)
Series I'm rereading
*Discworld: Tiffany Aching: Next up Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (2/5)
*Chief Inspector Armand Gamache: Next up A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (7/11)
*Thursday Next: Next up The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde (7/7)
Up to date series
Binti: Latest book Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (1/3)
The Broken Earth Latest book The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (2/3)
The Cinder Spires: Latest book The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (1/?)
Corta Hélio: Latest book Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald (1/2)
Empire of Masks: Latest book The Traitor by Seth Dickinson (1/?)
Every Heart a Doorway: Latest book Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (1/?)
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Next up The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch (4/7?)
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Next up The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss (4/4)
Matthew Shardlake: Latest book Lamentation by C. J. Sansom (6/6)
Mistborn Latest book Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson (7/8)
Peter Grant: Latest book The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (6/6)
Shades of Grey: Latest book Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (1/3)
A Song of Ice and Fire: Latest book A Dance with Dragons by G. R. R. Martin (5/7?)
Sorcerer Royal: Latest book Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (1/3)
Vorkosigan Series: Latest book Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold (17/17)
Wayfarers: Latest book A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (2/2)
Witches of Lychford: Latest book The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell (2/2)
Wolf Hall: Latest book Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (2/3)
World of the Five Gods: Latest book Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold (5/5)
Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Barry Hughart (3/3)
Discworld Witches by Terry Pratchett (6/6)
Frost in May Quartet by Antonia White (4/4)
Hawkeye (2012) by Matt Fraction (4/4)
Indexing by Seanan Mcguire (2/2)
The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham (4/4)
Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede (2/2)
Ms. Marvel 2014 by G. Willow Wilson (4/4)
Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger (5/5 + 1 short story)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (2/2)
Small Change by Jo Walton (3/3)
Land of the True Game by Sheri S. Tepper (9/9)
At nearly 1,000 pages, this chunkster is one reason why I haveb't finished as many books as usual this month but this one was well worth the time. It's a direct sequel to The Name of the Wind and will really make no sense unless you have read the first book. It continues to be a twisty, somewhat picaresque tale of Kvothe's adventures. I think Rothfuss managed to pull off a story where even more questions are raised, not much is revealed and yet one that managed to keep this reader engaged. I think the third book (whenever it gets published) has a lot to live up to but I am tentatively optimistic that Rothfuss can pull it off.
I mentioned when reviewing the first book that I normally try to resist starting part-completed series where there's a long wait between books. But Rothfuss' bokos are so rich in details and clues about Kvothe and what's really going on that I think these books will really reward rereading whenever the third volume is eventually released. I found a really detailed Tor.com reread with lots of spoilers and speculation that I'm planning to read through whenever I do a reread.
I'm another one who has loved Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear. Good to know about the Tor.com reread - I understand that Rothfuss is a very slow, meticulous writer, which makes for a good book once it's done. But it's hard waiting for the next one!
He did write a sort of "sidebook" centering around Auri, called The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I liked it. https://smile.amazon.com/Regard-Silent-Things-Kingkiller-Chronicles/dp/075641132...
ETA Oh, yeah, Happy New Thread!
And oh, glad to see you like The Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear. I knew as soon as I finished book 2 that I'd have a 1500+ page reread in front of me when book 3 came out. Ah well...
When I was looking to see if there was anything out about book 3, I came across this intriguing interview.
It will be in a different color but still a self-striping yarn--I picked up several possible yarns the other day.
>15 jnwelch: Glad to hear you enjoyed The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Joe. I have that out on loan from the library at the moment and am looking forward to it.
>16 ronincats: Glad that pattern sparked your interest Roni! I don't feel that I'm experienced enough with different yarns to know what difference the different types would make. I have noticed that cotton/linen seem less likely to fluff or pill - I think I would probably go for some kind of cotton if you can't get linen to make the bag last as long as possible.
Sadly, I have been experiencing some kind of pain (RSI?) in my right arm and shoulder recently so have had to be very careful about crocheting and knitting as well as computer time outside of work so I don't think I am going to be able to make much progress with the bag for a bit.
>17 katiekrug:, >18 humouress: Thanks Katie and Nina!
>19 bell7: 'I knew as soon as I finished book 2 that I'd have a 1500+ page reread in front of me when book 3 came out. Ah well...'
Very true Mary, but I think it will be an enjoyable one :-) And thank you for sharing the Tor article - I liked what Rothfuss said about writing the character of Denna as that's been the area of the book I felt least comfortable with and it's helpful to see him acknowledge some of those issues.
Yeah, I've also spent some time looking out for news or a release date for book 3 and haven't seen anything definite. Still, I'd rather he took the time he needs and did it well.
>20 Carmenere:, >21 BLBera:, >22 kidzdoc:, >23 scaifea:, >24 drneutron:, >25 Crazymamie:, >26 PaulCranswick:, >27 Ameise1:, >28 sibylline: Thanks Lynda, Beth, Darryl, Amber, Jim, Mamie, Paul, Barbara and Lucy!
>28 sibylline: Lucy, I'm still gathering my thoughts about Cold Magic but I liked it and will happily check out the next in the series from the library. The Jaran trilogy looks interesting - she's written so many series!
>29 ronincats: Oh wow - looks like a fun project Roni!
>30 Kassilem:, >31 cbl_tn: Thanks Melissa and Carrie!
General apology for not being caught up with the threads at the moment but I'm having some problems with pain in my right arm and shoulder and until that clears up I don't want to overdo my time on the computer (especially as I have to use a computer at work every day). I have just got new ergonomic everything at work and for my home computer so I'm hoping that will help and I can be more present on LT soon.....
Yes, me too. And I'm certainly not hurting for other books to read in the meantime. I think I will enjoy the reread all the more for the time gone by for me to forget a lot, and revisiting can be almost as fun (sometimes even more so, in a different way) as discovering for the first time.
>34 ronincats: Roni, love the look of the lace beanie and can't wait to see your finished product!
I don't think I will reread the first 2 Rothfusses when #3 finally arrives. If that means I miss out on stuff, I'll say that I missed out the "first time around."
And I love those Rothfuss's too! Still patiently waiting for Book 3.
Nice new thread here, Heather. I am far behind on threads…and my shoulder feels fine!
I will try to get a couple of mini book reviews written before I take a computer break.
Book #137: A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer - 4.3 stars
This is my new favourite Heyer (previous favourite was The Grand Sophy) - it's quite different to her typical Regency historical romances and much more of a serious look at marriage and relationships among the upper and middle class of the time. I particularly enjoyed the two main characters - both trying to do the right thing in imperfect circumstances - and the references to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. Whilst the plot of A Civil Contract is very different I could almost see this as Heyer's homage to Austen's S&S in that both books feature heroines who have far more 'sense' than sensibility.
Eve Carnforth was well worth smiling at. Her red hair was of that thin, silky, flat-lying sort, that spells temper, but looks lovely, and her white, delicate skin,---perhaps the least bit hand-painted,---showed temperament, while her eyes, of the colour called beryl,---whatever that is,---showed all sorts of things.
---Carolyn Wells, The Room With The Tassels
I think Miss Wells may have been guilty of amusing herself with this particular red-head, don't you? :)
>45 lyzard: Ha! My hair is definitely not of the 'thin, silky, flat-lying sort'! That does remind me that I was reading something with an unflattering view of red-heads recently but I can't remember what.
>46 eclecticdodo: Thanks Jo - I'll bear in mind your suggestion of an osteopath (although I will confess I am clueless as to what the difference is between a physio, osteopath or chiropracter). I've also signed up for a Pilates class which starts this week which will hopefully help.
I don't know that I can really blame my employer for not sorting out an ergonomic environment. The only thing they don't do is force everyone to use ergo keyboards and mice etc from the start. They are all available to self-order on the IT website at any pooint but I guess it's the sort of thing you only look into doing once something starts to be painful. They've been very good at dealing with this now that I've flagged it as an issue.
>47 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy - definitely don't miss A Civil Contract!
>48 ronincats: I can imagine it might not have appealed to me as much when I was younger. I didn't come up with the S&S connection on my own but can't remember where I saw it - maybe in a review I read? It also reminded me a little of Persuasion - a sense of sadness and regret from the characters initially.
>49 Familyhistorian: I think Jane Austen is definitely worth a try if you like Heyer :-) If you do try Sense and Sensibility there was a tutored read run by Liz a couple of years ago which is a really good referene. The thread is here.
Book #129: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott - 3.4 stars
'The history of the world begins in ice, and it will end in ice. Here in the north, we live under the shadow of the ice, its ice sheets and massive glaciers, and no human can walk there without being killed or driven out.'
This had a very intriguing setup and imaginative world-building but was perhaps let down occasionally by the writing. Set in an alternate 1837, Europe is still in an ice age, the Roman Empire lasted until 1000 AD and there is a large African diaspora throughout Europe. Oh, and there's also magic. It's a very complex and detailed world - perhaps too complex (and I say this as someone who likes world-building) as by the end of this book (the first in a trilogy) I still didn't feel comfortable with this world. I liked the characters although there was more romance than I was expecting and I didn't find the romance itself very convincing (boy/girl detest each other then inexplicably decide they love each other instead). And occasional writing ticks stopped this from being 4 stars (our heroine's obsession with the jawline of her love interest for example) as well as
Book #130: Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous by Georgette Heyer - 4 stars
Set some months after the events of Ms. Marvel Vol 4: Last Days we find Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel has even more on her plate than she did before and struggling to balance school, home and superhero commitments. Also, although Kamala Khan's identity as Ms. Marvel is still a secret, Ms. Marvel the superhero has become more well-known and this starts to cause trouble for Kamala. I really enjoy this series and this is another great instalment.
A 150 page novella set in the same world as Patriuck Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles - it's a very different sort of book to the others in the series and only features one character, Auri, but I liked it. No dialogue (as there's only one character) and not much happens (the most action filled sequence has Auri making soap). I liked it and I'll be interested to see if it grows on me on a future reread.
Great comments - as always they give me a pretty good idea whether to try something. A Civil Contract sounds good; I'll have to try that one. The Ms Marvel graphic novel also looks interesting. I will wait on Cold Magic; I do like world building, so that's a maybe.
Have a wonderful weekend.
boy/girl detest each other then inexplicably decide they love each other instead
Not convincing? That is how my husband and me started many moons ago. After a year of mutual dislike we found eachother ;-)
>54 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I think it's ok to pass on Cold Magic - it wasn't bad by any means but I'm sure there are books that do it better.
>55 FAMeulstee: I'm very glad to hear that worked out for you and your husband Anita :-) Maybe not so much unconvincing then but it feels like a plot device that gets overused in some novels as a way to create romantic tension?
>56 eclecticdodo: Ah, ok :-) My physio so far has given me exercises and a massage/gentle manipulation but there was a bit of a crunch during the manipulation.
'Lovely' seems the wrong word to use about this Persephone novel featuring a father searching for his young son in France after WWII but it's the first word that comes to mind. Separated from his wife and son at birth, the father retuns to post-war France to try and trace his son who has survived the war but was hidden by his mother before she was captured by the Germans. During the intervening years the father has taught himself to believe his son was dead and Laski portrays the father's mixed emotions very sensitively as he searches for the child he sometimes isn't sure he trulywants to find and if he finds him, may never know for sure whether the child is really his.
I was also touched by Laski's depiction of post-war France, the shortages and the emotions of a liberated but divided people. Having read a number of books set in post-war Britain it was very interesting to consider in more detail how things may have been on the Continent.
Laski wrote a number of other novels of which a further three have been reprinted by Persephone which I'm now very eager to read.
Book #128: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho - 3.6 stars
This is a new Regency-era fantasy of manners which has been getting a lot of praise - I have a soft spot for fantasy of manners although I often find the historical setting is rather under-done (girls in long dresses attending dances plus mention of a Regent = Regency). In this case it seemed pretty well done - not quite as good as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but I'm not sure anything can be.
I didn't like the rest of the story as much as I felt the book deserves for purely personal reasons: it's one of those storylines which throws obstacle after obstacle at one of the main characters (Zacharias) for mainly comedic effect but I felt there were just too many obstacles and spent most of my reading time feeling badly for him rather than feeling amused. I don't know why because I generally find books like this quite light and funny so perhaps it just caught me at a bad time. Otherwise I liked the closer look at gender/race/colonial issues of this time which could have felt very out of place but didn't. I think there are further books planned but the story in this one concluded nicely.
Take care, and happy ready. I'm impressed with the quality and number of books you have read thus far this year.
All good wishes.
I found a ergonomic mouse which you can use left or right let me know if interested
Take care though
>60 Whisper1: Thanks Linda. Yes, it seems modern life requires us to put our bodies in strange positions a lot of the time. To say you have been through a lot with your neck and shoulders over the last few years is an understatement.
>61 lit_chick: & >62 roundballnz: It seems a lot of us have been struggling with these kinds of issues.
Alex, I would be interested in knowing which mouse you found. I have my desk assessment at work tomorrow so I will see what they suggest for me.
>63 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl. Hope you enjoy your first week in London!
A collection of short stories written in the 1930s, 40s and 50s from one of Persephone's most popular authors - the common theme is of those isolated in society, either because of the actions of others (overly strict or controlling parents) or because of their own actions (adultery).
Book #132: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - 5 stars
So I finally read this and it's just as good as everyone said it was. My MIL gave us Go Set a Watchman as a Christmas present last year so I will read that at some point but I'm not expecting it to be as good as TKaM.
Where to start? More Georgette Heyer. It's very difficult to find her books for e-borrowing, except for The Black Moth from the Guttenberg project and which I already have. I downloaded the Scribd app for something else and looked for her books, but there's still only the one :0(
Rothfuss - I have all 3 books on my shelves, but it's been a while since I read the first so I'd have to re-read that first. Much as I loved it, I'm even more hesitant about jumping into a re-read of a doorstopper (in my reading life, that qualifies) (and it's quite dense) than about starting a new one altogether.
>67 lauralkeet: Thanks Laura - it's always a bit daunting reading a book so many other people have loved and I am underread when it comes to American classics but this one resonated with me. Reminded me a bit of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine in terms of the depiction of the people in a small American town.
Glad you've finally climbed on board the To Kill A Mockingbird train.
Book #140: The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped by Sheri S. Tepper - 4.2 stars
Concluding my read through of Tepper's nine book series, The Land of the True Game. This is a series of three inter-connected trilogies all set in the same world with each trilogy following a different character (although the characters from one trilogy turn up in the other trilogies). To confuse things further two of the trilogies were only ever published in the UK in an omnibus containing the three stories in each trilogy with the third trilogy being published in separate volumes.
The Peter trilogy (King's Blood Four, Necromancer Nine and Wizard's Eleven; UK omnibus The True Game) is a good introduction to the world and a coming of age story with themes of class differences. We get introduced to all the main characters including Mavin and Jinian who are the focus of the other two trilogies.
The Mavin trilogy (The Song of Mavin Manyshaped, The Flight of Mavin Manyshaped and The Search of Mavin Manyshaped; UK omnibus The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped) is set chronologically before Peter's adventures although published later and has feminist themes. This was my favourite of the three trilogies mainly because I loved the character of Mavin who is capable and independent.
The Jinian trilogy (Jinian Footseer, Dervish Daughter and Jinian Star-Eye; no UK omnibus) overlaps slightly with Peter's adventures but most of this trilogy is set after the Peter trilogy. It was also the last trilogy written and published. Whilst I still enjoyed this I think maybe it was my least favourite of the three trilogies. I liked Jinian but I found Peter's character quite annoying from Jinian's perspective (which is strange because Jinian is in love with Peter for most of this trilogy). This trilogy has envirnomental themes.
The world itself is a science fiction world which feels like fantasy and it's very imaginative: sometimes I loved her imagination - my favourite location was the tree villages and associated flora and fauna in The Flight of Mavin Manyshaped. Sometimes Tepper's imagination got a little too much for me and I was either too repulsed (the giants in Dervish Daughter) or just found her imagination too surreal (talking turnips play a key part in the plot in Jinian Star-Eye).
Recommended if you're in the mood for some old-fashioned fantasy. My next Tepper will probably be Gibbon's Decline and Fall as I've had that on my shelves for several years (I think there was a planned but aborted group read several years ago?)
Hope you are finding some relief with your arm/shoulder. My son who plays guitar had some issues a few years back and found that the Alexander Technique which focuses on posture helped with the pain in his wrist.
I must say (again) that I usually prefer the UK covers; they seem somehow more ethereal and fantastical.
>75 eclecticdodo:, >78 lit_chick: & >81 BLBera: I saw some very mixed reviews of Go Set a Watchman when everyone was reading it last year - I am definitely not expecting it to be as good as TKAM but as I have been given a copy I would like to read it.
>76 ronincats: Glad to hear you loved Gibbon's when you read it Roni. I'm looking forward to trying more Tepper.
>77 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. Interesting to hear the Alexander technique helped your son. I did try that briefly many years ago when I was getting neck pain and did find some relief. I'm trying to learn Pilates at the moment which seems similar but finding it quite a steep learning curve. I think work being so stressful and busy at the moment doesn't leave me much energy to persevere with something else I am finding hard. Still, I am trying to persevere and hope it will click at some point (no pun intended).
>79 roundballnz: Thanks for the tips Alex. The new mouse seems to be helping and I don't think I need the wrist rest. I am still finding that my shoulder is stiff and sore but I think that's stress related and unlikely to get much better until work has calmed down (which hopefully it will from October).
>80 humouress: I love those Tepper covers Nina - one of the reasons I picked up this series. Now I feel compelled, where possible, to get her other books with matching cover art. The same artist, Stephen Bradbury, did all the UK covers for her early works.
I had a pick-me-up after a busy week at work by going up to London yesterday to meet Darryl (kidzdoc) and Fliss (flissp) for lunch. It was really good to catch up with them both (and enjoy some yummy food). Then, because the restaurant was literally round the corner from Foyles and I love Foyles, I bought the following to kick-start my Thingaversary celebrations one month early:
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (in two paperback volumes because it's so long)
Grass by Sheri S. Tepper
Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
I was trying to limit my purchases to books by authors for whom I owned no unread books and thought at the time I had succeeded. Until I remembered I own Gibbon's Decline and Fall by Tepper and The Prime Minister by Trollope. Oh well.
5 Thingaversary books remaining....
All this is sounding depressingly familiar. I entirely empathise, and hope you get a chance to look after yourself soon!
A brief book review:
Book #146: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson - 3.6 stars
The reason I had no unread Sanderson books was because I finished this last week. It's his first published novel and a standalone (well, there's a novella set in the same world but they can be read separately). Compared to his later books it feels like a first novel and it took me a while to get into it but even at this stage of his career Sanderson was playing around with fantasy tropes and showing his skill at worldbuilding and creating a unique magic system. I found the final third really gripping.
>43 souloftherose: I've added A Civil Contract to my loooong list of wishlisted Georgette Heyer books. I have quite a few of her books on the tbr already, and feel it's improper to keep buying more before I've at least read a couple of those I already own, but then I see a review like yours and am tempted to be bad.
>51 souloftherose: Don't know what it is about the term 'world-building' but whenever I see it, my eyes glaze over. As you know I'm not a major fantasy/sci-fi reader, and though I've enjoyed some of them quite a bit, it's not a concept I think much about, because to me, every novel—every book I should say, including non-fiction, is about world building to a certain degree. I do understand that it's a whole other matter when it comes to fantasy/sci-fi, but... having tried my hand at writing a few times over the years, that's exactly what it felt like!
>52 souloftherose: I've yet to start on the Kingkiller Chronicles, and I think the only thing holding me back is the length of the first book. I seemed to have no trouble with how long the Harry Potter books were, so really ought to just put it nearer the top of the so-called tbr pile (now numbering in the thousands)...
>58 souloftherose: 'Lovely' as a description for a book definitely makes me want to put it on the wishlist. I've been curious about this one for quite a long time, but sadly can't afford any Persephone books at the moment. The shipping alone to North America is a killer. Thanks for your review, and I definitely look forward to discovering Marghanita Laski for myself!
You remind me in the same post that I've been wanting to reread Jonathan Strange for quite a while now. One more thing to look forward to!
>65 souloftherose: On Dorothy Whipple: another Persephone author I look forward to reading. You got me the bookmark for Someone at a Distance, remember? A very lovely one it is, too.
AH! so you finally discovered To Kill a Mockingbird! So wonderful! There's one small section in particular which cracks me up so much, I've reread it countless of times and always get a laugh out of it. I put it in my review, if you're curious: I've had Go Set a Watchman on audio since shortly after it was released, but somehow can't bring myself to listen to it. I'll be curious to see what you make of it. The movie version of TKAM with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is also a gem, if you haven't seen it yet.
>82 souloftherose: Yay for Thingaversary books! Mine is coming up towards the end of November. Glad to see you are taking care of the shoulder issue. I have a Pilates video I've done quite a few times which I really liked—all poses laying or sitting on a mat, so it's adapted for beginners. I should pick it up again as I know it'll do my back a lot of good (my six month pregnant-looking bloated tummy isn't helping matters).
Will write you a little note soon. Feeling very guilty about a certain situation which I've let go for too long and is now presenting difficulties I can't fix as quickly as I'd like to... but I promise it isn't forgotten and will be seen to. Maybe I don't need to write you a PM after all? ;-)
You make a good point about world-building being part of every book or novel really and if I stop and think about it it's something I enjoy in a lot of different types of books even if I wouldn't usually use that phrase (I'd probably say sense of place or setting): historical fiction, crime novels and even 19th century fiction to some extent because I'm not reading it as someone from the 19th century. I think what I meant about Cold Fire was that Elliott has thought of a very complex and interesting setting for her book but maybe the book got bogged down trying to convey that setting to the reader.
I think I might have an inkling about the situation you're worrying about and think it probably doesn't need to be worried about but by all means send me a pm :-)
>86 The_Hibernator: I'm behind with reviews too Rachel.....
It's been a week of award winners:
Book #148: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin - 4.5 stars
Winner of this year's Hugo award and the first in a new trilogy. I read and enjoyed Jemisin's first trilogy (starting with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) but this felt like a real step up compared to that.
It's difficult to talk about the story without spoilers but this is a world which has had to adapt to frequent earthquakes and there are some who have the ability to control these earthquakes called orogenes. Because this same ability gives orogenes the ability to start earthquakes they are widely feared and strictly controlled. Due to the earthquakes the world has had to learn to cope with frequent 'fifth seasons' where temperatures fall and crops fail due to ash clouds or other effects triggered by occasional massive earthquakes.
The book has an interesting structure - the story is told from the viewpoint of three women - the viewpoints don't rotate in a strict order and sometimes you get the same viewpoint two chapters in a row. It's not clear at first how the three viewpoints are related - one viewpoint takes place shortly after a catastrophic earthquake which the others make no mention of this event so presumably they are not all from the same time or location but none of this is explicitly stated. One viewpoint is told in the second person and there are also a number of occasions where Jemisin injects an omniscient narrator addressing the reader directly. It took me a few chapters to get into and I can understand some people may not like this style at all but for me it really worked well. Jemisin uses the orogenes and the way they are viewed by the people of this world to consider themes of oppression, slavery and race. It's dark stuff, as you'd expect from these themes, but compelling reading.
It's a trilogy telling one continuous story so I'm keen to pick up the sequel, The Obelisk Gate and find out what happens next (I will probably make it one of my Thingaversary books). My only concern is that because of what was revealed in book 1, I don't think Jemisin can do as much with the structure of book 2, but perhaps I'm wrong.
This year's winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award and another multiple narrative story - this time one narrative is an old-Earth classicist on a generation ship containing what may well be the last surviving members of the human race as they flee the dying planet Earth and search for a new home; one is a mad-scientist who has partially merged with an AI intent on protecting her terraformed world from outside interference and the last viewpoint is the inhabitants of this terraformed world who have been exposed to a nanovirus that artificially accelerates their evolutionary development. The plan was for a group of primates to be placed on the world and their development under this virus studied remotely until they were developed enough to communicate with their observers and presumably thank them for being given the gift of intelligence (did I mention the mad scientist bit?) Things didn't quite go to plan and although the virus was released on the terraformed planet the primates met with a bit of an accident and didn't make it. The virus had been constructed to have no affect on any life that could compete with the primates but apparently the researchers forgot to consider its possible affects on non-mammals. So, what you end up with is a very advanced spider race and of course the humans end up trying to settle on the planet the spiders are inhabiting.
All the narratives are interesting but my favourite by far was the spiders' (I was definitely on Team Spider). Tchaikovsky does a fantastic job of imagining how a sentient arachnid race might develop in ways that are different to human development and the challenges they would have to overcome (the virus also affects insects). They're strange but not so alien the reader doesn't synmpathise with them. There are also interesting parallel themes in that the spider's development is not free of outside influence - both from the virus itself and the mad-scientist AI communicating with the spiders and attempting to guide their development. Likewise the humans on the generation ship are fleeing a post-apocalyptic Earth where vast amounts of technological knowledge have been lost and they are constantly trying to recreate the knowledge and technology their ancestors had. How would either group have developed if they weren't constantly being presented with these external influences?
The weakest part of the book to me is the setup. Humans have found no other life in the universe so supposedly want to create intelligent primates as humanity's 'children'. I didn't find it very believable that they would have failed to consider the effect of the nanovirus on other lifeforms on the planet. Even if the primates had made it to the planet's surface would they have evolved faster than the invertebrates? But that one quibble aside this was interesting, thought-provoking and a lot of fun.
I'm sorry we missed seeing you in London. Hopefully we can get together with you next year.
Dandelion Wine - I love seeing a positive reference to that book, a favorite when I was growing up. Elantris was my first Sanderson (given to me by a sister), and I remember really liking it. I've read the first three of his Alloy books, and his finish to the Wheel of Time series, but otherwise I'm an incompletist.
I'm glad you liked Fifth Season so much; me, too. I'll look forward to your comments on the second one, which I haven't read yet either.
I wish you a wonderful start into the new week.
I also realised that reading Children of Time and The Fifth Season last month means I have read the winner from most of this year's SFF awards:
Hugo: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Nebula & British Fantasy Award: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Clarke: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
BSFA: The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
Not bad for a reading year with a lot of RL distraction!
>97 avatiakh: Glad you enjoyed ACC, Kerry, and hope you enjoy The Fifth Season. I started The Obelisk Gate last week but it's a book that requires more attention than I've been able to give it so far this month so I've put it aside for now. I'm hoping I will have a bit more brain for it while I'm off work.
>98 Fourpawz2: Thanks for stopping by Charlotte - I know I have been very neglectful of threads over the last few months too. Hoping to get caught up too but it's lovely to see you here :-)
I think this is one of Tepper's most well-known works as evidenced by its inclusion in Gollancz's Science Fiction Masterworks series (the other Tepper work included in the series is The Gate to Women's Country).
At an undefined point in the future, mankind has spread out throughout the Galaxy but there are reports of an incurable plague sweeping across the colonized planets. The only planet which seems to be immune from the plague is the mysterious planet of Grass which humans colonized but the colony has since shown little interest in the outside world. Marjorie Westriding and her husband are sent to Grass as ambassadors with a secret mission to find out why this overlooked planet seems to be immune to the plague.
Most of the humans on grass seem to be emulating a sort of early 20th century aristocracy with most of the important families, the Bons, paying little attention to anything other than their strange kind of fox-hunting. But it soon becomes clear to Marjorie that there is something really very wrong on Grass and it seems to be linked to the alien mounts the Bons use. Marjorie is a champion horse-rider which is why her family have been selected for this mission but the mounts the Bons use are something very different indeed.
The first third of the book has a wonderful atmosphere of barely suppressed menace but I felt the book lost a little something in the change of pace once the details of the menace were revealed. The rest of the book is still good and an interesting blend of adventure and philosophy/religion but not quite as excellent as the atmosphere of the first third.
'And they were there. Three of them, just as there had been three horses when she and Tony and Rigo had ridden here. Three Hippae doing dressage exercises, walking, trotting, cantering, changing feet to cross the arena on long diagonals. They did everything she had done with Octavo, did it casually, offhandedly, with a practiced ease, concluding with the three animals side by side, facing away from her, the saber tips of their neck barbs pointing at her like a glittering abatis, as threatening as drawn blades. Then they turned and looked up at the place where she was hidden, their dark eyes gleaming red in the light of dawn, soundless.
Amusement, she thought at first. A kind of mime. These Hippae had seen the humans and their horses and were amused at what these little off-world beasts had been doing with their human riders. She held the thought only fleetingly, only for a moment, trying to cling to it but unable to do so. They knew she was there. They knew she was watching. Perhaps they had timed this little exercise to coincide with her arrival . . .
It wasn’t amusement. Nothing in that red-eyed glare was amused.'
Another delightful story about the adventures of Mrs Tim. This time post-WWII but Mrs Tim's husband is still overseas with the army and Mrs Tim gets a job managing a hotel/boarding house in a private Scottish estate. There are the usual events from other Mrs Tim novels: a couple find romance and happiness thanks to Mrs Tim's interventions, a formidable employer is discovered to have a heart of gold once you stand up to her and Mrs Tim has her usual amusing escapades. Woven through this with a very light touch is an undercurrent of loss and mourning for those taken away by the war who will never return and references to food and clothing shortages. I really enjoy this gentle series and wish someone would republish them so that I could get my own copies (rather than having to rely on library copies with hideous covers - but really I'm just glad the library did keep copies in reserve stock).
Book #157: Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie - 3.5 stars
On returning to England after serving as a police officer in India, Luke Fitzwilliam finds himself sharing a train carriage (first-class of course) with an elderly lady who reminds him of his aunt (and definitely reminded this reader of Miss Marple). She reveals she's on her way to consult Scotland Yard about a string of deaths in her village which she believes to have been murders committed by one person. She's going to Scotland Yard because she thinks she knows who the next victim will be, a Dr Humbleby. Luke decides she just has an overactive imagination and thinks nothing further of it until a few days later he notices an obituary notice for a lady with the same name who was knocked down and killed by a car on the very same day. And later another obituary notice for Dr Humbleby in that lady's village. Luke decides to investigate further....
What follows is probably not Christie's strongest mystery but still one I found enjoyable - it's got more of an adventure feel to it in the same vein as the Tommy and Tuppence books or The Secret of Chimneys. A dash of romance and adventure, lots of red herrings and potentially some spooky influences. I have a soft spot for Christie's adventure/romances so recommend this if you enjoy her stories in that vein.
Also, there's a big spider on my attractive 1960s cover but I'm almost certain there's no spider in the plot.
"Well," he said. "So many murders! Rather hard to do a lot of murders and get away with it, eh?"
Miss Pinkerton shook her head.
She said earnestly:
"No, no, my dear boy, that's where you're wrong. It's very easy to kill - so long as no one suspects you. And you see, the person in question is just the last person any one would suspect!"
Have a lovely weekend, Heather.
>105 avatiakh: I have a lot of SF (and Fantasy) masterworks I need to read too.
>106 PaulCranswick: I take it you're not a fan of Agatha then, Paul? :-)
I'd disagree with you quite strongly if you're saying you don't think her writing style is better than a 7 year old's (that was the age when we were taught joined up writing at school)! I'd heard the news about Bob Dylan but can't say I know his music or lyrics at all and I don't really follow the Nobel Prize for Lit so didn't really have any strong thoughts about the award. My own view is that nearly 100 years after some of Ms Christie's books were first published they are still read and loved by thousands of readers around the world - I would argue that although her books will not be to everyone's taste there's something to them if so many people have appreciated them for so long.
>107 jnwelch: Yes, and hopefully a UK publisher would pick them up too (Persephone maybe?)
>108 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara.
>109 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. We had guests staying with us and then have been away for week's visit to Exmoor. Back home and catching up with things now!
Books read in August
#134 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
#135 Travel Light by Naomi Mitchison
#136 Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps by Kelly Sue Deconnick
#138 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North
#141 The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West
Books read in September
#142 That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green
#143 Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
#144 Flambards by K. M. Peyton
#145 Scattered Among Strange Worlds and On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
#147 The Bullet Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan
#150 Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
#151 Last First Snow by Max Gladstone
Books read in October
#152 Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
#155 Feed by Mira Grant
#156 Deadline by Mira Grant
#158 Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
#159 Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 by Antonia Fraser
#160 Blackout by Mira Grant
#161 Rise by Mira Grant
DNF Cold Fire by Kate Elliott
I've been doing a lot of series reading and particularly enjoyed reading 3 volumes of Max Gladstones' Craft Sequence - it's an urban fantasy series set in a wonderfully realised and detailed world. One of the Amazon reviews describes the first book I read, Three Parts Dead as 'theology, necromancy and contract law' which is a good description. Although the writing style is very different (and the Craft Sequence are not humourous books) the world reminded me a little of Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork in its detail, particularly the way Gladstone takes real world concepts and transposes them to a fantasy setting to play around with them. In Three Parts Dead its bankruptcy law, Two Serpents Rise its risk management and water services, Last First Snow is gentrification/redevelopment of urban areas and riots. I loved these books - the characters are complex and there are no black and white good guys/ bad guys.
In terms of reading order each book stands alone so you can start anywhere but I've listed publication order and chronological order below but I started with publication order and then switched to chronological order.
#1 Three Parts Dead
#2 Two Serpents Rise
#3 Full Fathom Five
#4 Last First Snow
#5 Four Roads Cross
Chronological order (the same as the number in the title of the book):
#1 Last First Snow
#2 Two Serpents Rise
#3 Three Parts Dead
#4 Four Roads Cross
#5 Full Fathom Five
And a bit of a binge on Mira Grant's/Seanan McGuire's zombie series starting with Feed. Although this series has a number of 'horror' tags it's more of a political/conspiracy thriller in a post-apocalyptic world that is dealing with a zombie virus rather than a series of horror novels. I have a low tolerance for scary/horror/gory things in books and nothing in this series bothered me from that point of view.
I found these compulsively readable and tore through the original trilogy and a book of short stories in two weeks. There are some books which keep me turning the pages but which I feel dissatisfied with afterwards but for me, this series didn't have that affect. That doesn't mean I couldn't see flaws in these books - I didn't think the resolution to the conspiracy in Blackout really held up, I developed quite a strong dislike for Shaun, one of the main characters and narrators, and there was a bit too much snark and smirk for my liking - but my feelings towards the series are still very positive and I can see why so many people are fans of Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire. I particularly liked the way she explores characters who have been damaged in some way emotionally and how they keep going (
I enjoyed Alif the Unseen and the Bullet-Catcher's Daughter but would agree in rating the Craft Sequence books higher--they are just so wonderfully and intricately crafted.
>115 lit_chick: Hi Nancy. Author/series binging seemed to be what I needed recently - I think it saved my poor, tired brain from trying to decide what book to read next.
>116 ronincats: I'm still in two minds whether I think the Grant books are 4 stars or 3.5 stars - 4 stars for enjoyment but then maybe the Craft Sequence should be rated higher? This is why I try not to think too hard about my ratings....
>117 avatiakh: Kerry, the Craft Sequence is excellent. Feed was the best book in the trilogy in my opinion although that didn't stop me enjoying Deadline and Blackout. So I would say whether or not to continue perhaps depends on how much you liked Feed.
Some sad news and some happy news today:
Sad: one of my recent favourite authors, Sheri. S. Tepper, has died.
Happy: Another recent favourite author, Ursula Le Guin, has published an autobiography of her cat, Pard (translated from the feline). The ebook is (I think) only available from Book View Cafe. (Small things make me happy). Some blog posts on the life of Pard can be found here.
>122 BLBera: Thanks Beth!
One more book to comment on from my holiday:
Book #159: Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 by Antonia Fraser - 4.2 stars
I know someone recommended this book to me but now I can't remember who (Susan?) - despite the recommendation I was worried the subject matter would make this a bit dry and I was reading it mainly because I wanted to read about the 1832 Reform Bill. Actually it was fascinating and a much easier read than I thought.
The 1832 Reform Bill extended the right to vote and got rid of "rotten boroughs" which often had very small populations but a disproportionate number of MPs. It's difficult for modern readers to understand why anyone would have argued against such reforms and Fraser does an excellent job of explaining the political and historical background and portraying both sides to the argument sympathetically. Ironically, in many ways those who argued against this Reform Bill were correct - they feared this Reform Bill would open up the voting system to further changes which is exactly what happened over the next 100 years culminating in women being given the vote in 1928. I'd love it if Fraser wrote a further book covering the later Reform Acts.
>125 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. I found them fun and very readable :-) I will try her other Mira Grant series sometime (Symbiontology).
So today was quite a grey and cold day as evidenced by the cat refusing to go outside and spending most of the day curled up on the bed, sulking. I had quite a lot on my to do list and was feeling a bit anxious (I find I often feel more anxious on my days off than when I'm at work) so alternated getting things done with catching up on Class, the new Dr Who spin-off TV show, and doing some knitting. Based on the first three episodes I really like Class!
My current knitting project is a hat for my MIL - I'm about half way through now so it should definitely be finished for Christmas. It's the same pattern as a hat I made for myself a few years ago. She dropped hints about wanting one in red and now that I've got my knitting mojo back she will have one! This is a picture from 1 week ago:
Lite its predecessor, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, this is space opera that focuses on characters and their relationships. Also like the first book it's optimistic and Chambers really pulls on the heartstrings - for me, more so in ACaCO than TLWtaSAP. I loved it.
Book #163: CrossTalk by Connie Willis - 3 stars
Well, I really seem to be in the minority here but I did not love this one. In fact there were several points in the first 200 pages where I almost gave up. It's a romantic comedy in the style of a screwball comedy film (it did remind me of old Hepburn-Grant films like Bringing Up Baby) and I think I could have enjoyed this a lot if it had been shorter. But it's 500 pages long and for me that was about 250 pages too many of people running around and misunderstanding each other. It did get better after the first 200 pages so I'm glad I carried on reading - the second half of the book was a fun, fluffy distraction. I thought Willis' previous books Blackout and All Clear suffered from similar problems (with the addition of historical inaccuracies and Americanisms which seemed very out of place in a WWII British setting) - perhaps I should just stick to her earlier books.
From Lady Lisle:
But if Miss Claribel Merton had, as her enemies declared, many attributes in common with a pretty blue-eyed, flaxen-haired, waxen image fashioned by the toy-maker, she was not the less an heiress and a beautiful woman; and whether it was because of this, or whether it was the noise and the excitement caused by the Captain's furious courtship, I cannot tell, but, six weeks after the arrival of the Indian officer at Lislewood Park, she became the fashion. She became the fashion! If she had been as ugly as sin, she might have married the handsomest man in the parish. If she had been as poor as Job, she might have married the richest. She might have been hopelessly stupid, or incredibly ignorant; she might have had red hair...
A few chapters later, the novel's villain turns up...and he has auburn hair.
Mind you, despite the digs at red hair, Braddon's personal exasperation with the English taste for doll-like blue-eyed blondes (at least as heroines of novels), is pretty evident; she started writing Lady Audley's Secret not long after this, which is of course one lengthy rumination upon doll-like blue-eyed blondes... :)
>129 eclecticdodo: Free reservations?! That's great news! Ours cost £1.20 but with all the library cuts and the fact reservations are free for those on low incomes or children I can live with that if it means libraries stay open and keep buying new books.
>130 lyzard: Ha!
>131 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy. I'm in a good groove with my knitting and crochet at the moment - I think belonging to a monthly club and having a good yarn shop close by keeps me inspired to keep going. Only about 20 rows left to go on the hat now.
>132 SandDune: In that case I wouldn't recommend this one to you Rhian! I did reread To Say Nothing of the Dog a couple of years ago and thought that was still a very enjoyable read although it is a comedy of miscommunication again. Maybe I just prefer her earlier work.
>133 archerygirl: Glad to hear it's not just me!
>134 lyzard: Yay!
>135 humouress: Hi Nina :-)
A collection of Joan Aiken's short stories for adults published in a new collection by Small Beer Press - the stories are sometimes fantastical, sometimes more realistic but always have something a little bit strange or weird to them - almost dreamlike in quality? Whilst the individual stories were hard to categorise I found it difficult to stop reading any individual story.
Book #165: False Colours by Georgette Heyer - 3.7 stars
Another enjoyable Heyer novel with twins and impersonations.
And that was October.
Have a lovely weekend.
Your knitting is looking great. I hope we can see that hat when it's finished :-)
Beth - the Becky Chambers was excellent and the Heyer was a lot of fun too.
>139 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy - the Heyers make for great light reading.
>140 cushlareads: Hi Cushla! Perilous Question was a lot more readable than I thought it would be. And my current read, Trollope's The Prime Minister, mentioned the Reform Act briefly and I got the reference so yay!
>141 ronincats: Hi Roni - yes, Sir Bonamy was great fun and Kit was also a favourite.
>143 susanj67: Hi Susan. Well, see how dangerous your thread can be - I even get hit by book bullets for books you haven't read yet! I've added a lot of Antonia Fraser's other books to my list as a result.
The hat is now finished except for blocking (which is the bit I don't like). Two pictures below - one is of the hat not quite finished but gives a better idea of the colour. The colour in the finished picture looks a bit washed out because it was taken in wintry daylight. Once blocked the hat should have more of a beret shape.
And onto the WL the Laski goes!
Elliott has been a real lifesaver for me these last few difficult months - I'd already read the Jaran series, but I got the Crossroads trilogy (the touchstones don't work for it very well, too common a word) and am now reading the Seven Stars or whatever it is called--all of them in that perfect zone of not being too demanding, but being complex enough with such good characters and stories that you read on and on happily.
I loved Grass - that was my breakthrough Tepper. Made me a fan.
Tempted to look for the Aiken stories too. It's dangerous here!
Good luck with your shoulder. I did Feldenkrais and that fixed my computer neck but good - and now I have very effective exercises to do when it starts to crop up. You might want to investigate if anyone in your area is giving classes. It's quite remarkable.
I am very much looking forward to reading all the tor.com articles about TNOFW series as I adore them, although I have to admit there is a certain section of TWMF that I always skim read, as I find it tedious and overly long. But perhaps the analysis will make me appreciate it more.
I grew up on Joan Aiken and find a lot of her books disturbing and dreamlike. There is a collection of children's stories called A Necklace of Raindrops and another, The Kingdom Under the Sea that are very enjoyable. Midnight is a Place is one of her children's novels that I've recently reread and liked just as much as I did as a child. I find the atmosphere in her books to be extremely intense, but in a good way.
The pattern is Ysolda Teague's Snapdragon Tam (pattern link here. There are also matching mittens which I haven't made this time.
>148 sibylline: Hi Lucy. I just caught up on your thread and was glad to see you've been enjoying more Elliott. I gave up on the second book in her Spiritwalker trilogy (Cold Fire) - I think I like her writing and world-building but the heroine in this series was driving me mad. The library has the first book in the Crossroads trilogy and I might give that one a try as you've liked them so much. I know what you mean about sometimes needing a series that's not too demanding but complex enough to be interesting - I think the Mira Grant Newsflesh series hit that spot for me this autumn. Very readable at a time when I had very little brain left after work.
My shoulder seems to be almost completely better now - I can still feel it start to stiffen sometimes and then I book a massage - but I am also doing a weekly Pilates class which I think has been helping (and giving my other muscles a good stretch too). I'd not heard of Feldenkrais before - sounds interesting from the wikipedia article, I'll bear it in mind if I have problems again.
I'm still hoping to get another few Tepper's read before the end of the year - at the moment I've got Gibbon's Decline and Fall, Singer From the Sea and The Gate to Women's Country lined up.
>149 jnwelch: Joe, I've not read anything by Simak before but saw some discussion of his books somewhere on LT recently (your thread? SF group?) and they sounded interesting. I'll look out for your thoughts on your reread.
>150 lunacat: Hi Jenny! Definitely not worth trying to catch up with all the previous threads - count yourself officially caught up from here! Glad to see another fan of TNOTW - not sure why it took me so long to get round to reading that series (oh yes, because I didn't want to have to wait for the third book).
I went through a phase of requesting lots of Joan Aiken books from the library's reserve stock a couple of years ago and I enjoyed both A Necklace of Raindrops and The Kingdom Under the Sea - the editions I read both had the same illustrator, Jan Pienkowski, which really added to the stories. I still have a few books in her Wolves series to read before that's finished and then there are still lots of her other books to read - she was so prolific and varied. I'm really glad some of her other works are being brought back into print.
Book #166: J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey - 3.8 stars
DH was rereading The Lord of the Rings while we were on holiday and we also spent a fair amount of our non-walking time rewatching the Peter Jackson films (extended versions and the appendices and cast commentary because we're geeks) and when we got home I remembered I had this book in my TBR pile from several years back.
This is a serious but not quite academic-level look at Tolkien's body of work, with the main focus being of course The Lord of the Rings. Shippey's main argument is that The Lord of the Rings should count as Literature with a capital L and he gets rather sharp with the literati that dismiss it. Shippey is an academic specialising in philology and medieval literature (the same subject areas as Tolkien and has even taught at the same universities as Tolkien) so he's very well placed to comment on Tolkien's work in that respect. Whilst I knew that Tolkien had drawn on Anglo-Saxon and Norse myths and languages in writing TLotR I had no idea how far that went or how closely TLotR was tied to Tolkien's work.
It's a very dense book and I'm sure this would reward rereading (meaning I'm sure there's lots I missed on my first time through) but it's really very readable and absolutely fascinating. As someone who's not an English student I could have done with a bit more background on the Ancient Norse and Old English writings Shippey was talking about but google was my friend in that respect and I was left feeling that I would like to reread Beowulf and try the Poetic Edda or the Prose Edda. Perhaps Tolkien's own translations of some of those myths and legends which have now been published would be a good place to start? (Also I think a reread of TLotR is on the cards for the Christmas holidays).
Emma has always been my least favourite Austen novel - not so much because I disliked the heroine as because I felt so embarrassed on Emma's behalf by some of her missteps. This time this didn't bother me and I was able to enjoy what I think is the most exquisitely crafted of Austen's novels. Knowing what happened I could see all the signs and misunderstandings and they were so well done.
Book #168: The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin - 4.4 stars
The sequel to the Hugo award winning The Fifth Season, this picks up directly where TFS left off and I would almost say this is a series worth reading back to back as even in the space of a couple of months I felt there were details I'd forgotten.
I loved TFS but it had a very unique structure and I was concerned that this wouldn't work for the second book and it would suffer by comparison. But Jemisin has managed to do something quite unique with the structure again. As befits a middle book in a trilogy there's quite a bit of background and worldbuilding in this book leading up to the third (due to be released next year) - definitely one of my most highly anticipated series for 2017.
I have The Killing Moon on my shelves but have never got round to it, purely because of my reaction to the third of the previous trilogy in particular. I feel a reread might be in order though, and then an attempt on TKM.
I'm pleased to see that her latest series has another unique structure. It was one of the main pulls of THTK, how different from other fantasy it felt, so if she can keep that going it can be nothing but a good thing. You've definitely rekindled my interest in her works.
As for Emma, I have never been an Austen lover and never will, so I'll quickly skip by that.
As for Emma, I'm still embarrassed for her, but I think Mansfield Park is my least favourite Austen, for the behaviour of the characters.
Omigosh! Book bullets flying; I'm taking cover!
>158 lunacat: It sounds like I enjoyed the sequels to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms more than you, Jenny but I think The Fifth Season is quite a different style and much more accomplished than that series. I also haven't read The Killing Moon duology and am planning to try it next year.
>159 humouress: Sorry about the book bullets Nina! I also really like Mansfield Park. Hmm, I may have to give some serious thought now to which is my new least favourite Austen if Emma no longer occupies that place. It wouldn't be MP (although I know a lot of people struggle with that one).
>160 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. I know what you mean - for some reason it just struck me differently this time.
>161 Berly: Hi Kim. The shoulder is generally much better - just occasionally gets a bit stiff. I think the next thing to sort out is the home computer desk and chair which are not quite shoulder friendly yet. Maybe over the Christmas break.
>162 BLBera: Thanks Beth. Last time I reread Persuasion I found it quite a sad book for the first half or so. What I love about rereading Austen is the different things I pick up on in each read.
>163 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. I should perhaps have made clearer that the Tom Shippey book isn't really a biography of Tolkien but an examination of his work. It is good though. For a biography of Tolkien I would recommend Humphrey Carpenter's Tolkien: A Biography.
Book #169: You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day - 3.7 stars
This was a sweet and fun memoir by Felicia Day about gaming, geek culture, finding acceptance on the internet, her youtube video series The Guild and her struggles with sometimes severe anxiety. It's probably not going to be of interest unless you've already heard of her - I can't remember where I found out about The Guild but if you've ever been a computer gamer it's definitely worth a watch on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/watchtheguild).
Book #170: The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch - 3.7 stars
It feels like I've been waiting ages for this sequel to be released (the author has been working on some graphic novels in the same series) and this was still a fun, engaging read but I did feel that I would have benefited from rereading some of the earlier books before diving back into this series as I found myself struggling to remember who some of the minor characters were (had we met Sahra Guleed before?). And the revelation at the end
Book #174: Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch - 3.9 stars
So having finished The Hanging Tree I decided to check out the Rivers of London graphic novels that Aaronovitch has been working on. The first storyline has now been released in trade paperback as Rivers of London: Body Work and is set chronologically between book 4, Broken Homes, and book 5, Foxglove Summer of the main series. And this graphic novel possibly answers my question about where we meet Sahra Guleed as I think she's introduced here. I really liked the artwork and the trademark deadpan humour comes across well. Definitely worth reading if you're a fan of the main series - the next volume in the GN series, Rivers of London: Night Witch is released soon and I've already reserved my copy at the library.
There's soooo many bb's here for me, but a few thoughts as they occur to me; I'm so excited to here about that Ian McDonald book, I will definitely be seeking that one out!(from back in January I think if you are struggling to place it!) Also, so glad you liked Stand on Zanzibar. It's a real favourite of mine. I had heard of those other books of his but didn't realise they were loosely connected, I will try and hunt them down as well. I like the sound of Children of Time too. It rang a faint bell as my husband bought me Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky which sounds excellent and I think has a similar highly evolved spider-based species. I'm hoping to get to read that one soon so I'll let you know!
I'll pop The Fifth Season on my wishlist, in the hopes I'll get round to it at some point in the next ten years.
I have heard really good things about Vernor Vinge's books although I haven't read any so will look forward to your thoughts on A Deepness in the Sky.
>167 lunacat: I'm leaning towards the idea that Sahra Guleed is introduced in the Body Work graphic novel Jenny. Which makes me feel better about not remembering who she was! Hope you enjoy The Hanging Tree.
>168 BLBera: Beth, they are fun - police procedural with some magic and a healthy dash of dry humour. I think you could also start with the graphic novel - I don't think it assumed too much knowledge of the print books that came before it.
>169 eclecticdodo: I think the GNs were the reason there was a bigger gap than usual between publication of Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree. And thanks for letting me know about the cover - doh!
>170 The_Hibernator: I do really enjoy this series Rachel.
We had an unexpected vet's trip today as our kitty seemed out of sorts yesterday and didn't seem to be better this morning. Deciding whether or not to take her to the vet's is always a difficult decision as she gets so stressed by the visit that she often gets sick as a result. I think this time it was good that we did take her as after a long examination the vet found a bite wound on her chest so she's had some pain relief and some antibiotics (it doesn't look infected but just in case). Now that we're back home she also seems to have developed a urine infection (probably from the stress) but given she's had antibiotics and pain relief and I have some food supplement stuff for cystitis from previous occurrences I don't think there's any point taking her back again but we will monitor the situation.
She also won't be thrilled on Monday when some plumbers turn up to make some holes in our bathroom wall to install pipes for a new shower. Poor pussycat.
Bujold's most recent books are a series of novellas set in her World of the Five Gods which focus on a young man called Penric and his accidental acquisition of a demon which he names Desdemona. I love the full-length books set in this world (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt) and the novellas are just as good. As a series there are themes of religion, kindness, hopefulness and a certain amount of emotional healing - - the books often feature characters who could be said to be broken in some way and the books often explore the characters progressing past this. The Penric books only suffer from being too short but to counterbalance that Bujold has released two this year and mentioned on Goodreads that she thinks she will write another over the winter.
Penric's Mission was every bit as good as the preceding books but had even more of a 'too short' feeling. Start with Penric's Demon.
Book #172: A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? 3000BC - AD1603 by Simon Schama - 4.8 stars
I first listened to this as an audio book back in 2011 and then never got round to reading or listening to the later volumes. Antonia Fraser's Drama of the Great Reform Bill reminded me how much I enjoy history books when I have the energy and I can't remember why the Schama series came back into my mind, but it did, and I decided to start again with Volume 1.
Covering 4,500 years of history in just over 300 pages (excluding notes and index) is a tall order but one Schama steps up to and he manages to give enough of a feel for each period examined in this book so that it feels distinct and leaves you wanting to read more about that period (a lot of other history books went on my to read list as I was working my way through this). Hopefully I will make it to Vol 2 this time.
Book #173: Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crossley-Holland - 3.4 stars
The story of a young girl's journey from Trondheim, Norway to Miklagard (Constantinople) in the 11th century to be reunited with her father who has gone to serve in the Varangian Guard. This was a lyrical, almost poetic tale which looks at a different side to the Vikings. Recommended if you enjoy authors like Rosemary Sutcliff. There's a sequel, Scramasax, which I will look out for.
I'm halfway through The hanging tree and will have to look out for the graphic novels.
Also, what should be on display at my local library when I popped in the other day but that graphic novel about Lovelace and Babbage that you reviewed. I'm so glad I'd read your review as I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. I've read a little bit and loved it! I admire how much detailed research she's put into it, although I think reading all the incredibly detailed footnotes as you go might get a bit exhausting after a while.
>172 souloftherose: I've put the Schama on hold at the library. I love reading history books and your rec reminded me that it's a series I've been planning to read for ages, so I'm finally going to do it!
>155 souloftherose: Hooray, you loved The Obelisk Gate! I surprised myself by liking it even better than The Fifth Season, which I didn't think was possible, so I'm incredibly excited to see how she finishes. Although I think that I'll have to do a reread of both before I read the last one, just to keep all everything straight in my head.
>174 avatiakh: Yes, I haven't seen any other books in the series and they don't have many reviews on here so perhaps sales weren't that good. They are very different to standard YA/older children's books so perhaps that didn't help. A shame really.
>175 HanGerg: The Lovelace and Babbage GN was really good and deserves more readers. I was also impressed by the amount of research Padua must have done (I think she says at some point she didn't really know anything about Lovelace or Babbage). It did take me longer to read than a GN would normally - I think because there's so much detail and so many footnotes and endnotes.
>176 archerygirl: Hope you enjoy the Schama! I think I'll definitely reread both TFS and TOG before reading the 3rd book. Even with only a couple of months gap between them there were things from TFS that I wished I could remember better when reading TOG.
>177 Crazymamie: I'm glad you don't have long to wait for THT Mamie. I think I pre-ordered it almost as soon as it was available for pre-order here and it was so frustrating when they kept changing the release date! Somehow much more frustrating than if I hadn't pre-ordered.
We're midway through a partial bathroom refit which feels like a very big deal because it's the first bit of work we've done on the house since moving in 3 years ago (I say 'we've' done but DH and I are both rubbish at DIY and therefore firmly believe in paying other, more competent people to do it for us). I think it's going well although it has, of course, turned out to be more complicated than we thought it would be, and hopefully everything will be finished by the weekend. Currently we're at the stage of there being plaster dust everywhere.
I've been here 18 years later this month, and have changed various things, but we have a whole new floor, currently being decorated and got ready for the boys to move in. I've been despairing over the last week because the decorator stopped turning up - just one day last week and no one yesterday, but the boss showed up this morning and I think he means it when he says he wants everything done now so the boys can move and he can spend Christmas in Jamaica.
I know! It doesn't feel that long...
Sorry to hear about the issues you've been having with your decorator - that is always a worry getting someone in to do work. Hopefully he'll get it sorted now and the boys can move in!
Published in 1927, I believe this was the first biography of Anthony Trollope and the book that started to bring him back into favour as an author after Trollope had fallen out of favour (with critics anyway) for confessing in his autobiography that he set aside specific hours to write and set himself strict writing quotas. This was generally an interesting biography, especially as the first quarter is actually a biography of Anthony's mother, Frances Trollope (also an author) but as a reader it was hard not to get distracted/confused by being given a very 1920s view of Trollope. A more recent biography would have the same issue (it would be an early 21st century view of Trollope) but as an early 21st century person I think it would have felt much easier to read and less like I needed to understand Sadleir and the 1920s to understand what I was reading.
I liked the sections where Sadleir quoted from Frances's and Anthony's correspondence but found the sections where Sadleir seems to be giving his thoughts on what they were like as people more difficult. And without much in the way of footnotes, endnotes or references it was hard to tell how much Sadleir was drawing on interviews/writings and how much he was speculating/imagining. There's also a detailed bibliography and brief discussion of each book which I can see must have been invaluable to Trollope devotees before wikipedia and google came along. Unfortunately Sadleir and I disagree quite strongly on which Trollope novels are best and this may well have influenced my opinion of the biography: one of my favourites: Can You Forgive Her? is one of his least favourites and he really liked Is He Popenjoy? which is the only Trollope I nearly gave up on.
The Schama sounds good.
Too many books!
Have a lovely weekend, hope you kitty is back in top form.
>183 lauralkeet: Even after attending a British school I think most of the content of the Schama book was new to me. My history classes focused on particular periods (the Romans, the Tudors, the Victorians and the World Wars) and we definitely never did an overview. I'll keep an eye out for the TV series being repeated.
>184 eclecticdodo: Better thank you. She'd been bitten by another cat but luckily the bite didn't get infected (although the vet gave her a shot of antibiotics anyway) and she's back to normal now.
>185 The_Hibernator: Sorry to hear that about Othello, Rachel. It's a really hard judgement call to make.
>186 PaulCranswick: Paul, I'll look out for the Schama month although given my 2016 track record of keeping to plans I can't promise I'll join in. But hopefully it will give me an excuse to pick up the next volume of A History of Britain.
As promised (sometime ago but it's taken me this long to get round to blocking the hat) this is the finished hat for my mother-in-law's Christmas present (shown being blocked round a dinner plate to give it the beret shape):
I am a bit worried about blocking this as I have read some comments which imply this yarn (Debbie Bliss Rialto DK) grows a lot if you wet-block it, but steam/spray blocking didn't shape the hat enough so I have wet it thoroughly (but didn't leave it to soak) and have left it to dry round a dinner plate. Doesn't seem to have suddenly grown a lot so hopefully this will work. The yarn was very soft and lovely to work with and I think works well for cabled projects as it gives really good stitch definition. It was a teeny bit splitty whilst knitting but not too bad.
The hat is beautiful, both in color and pattern!
I read the first volume of Simon Schema's history while we were in Switzerland and am horrified that I remember almost none of it, but I did give it 4 stars. I have a couple of volumes of Peter Ackroyd's history sitting at home unread. When I finish binge reading WW2 spy novels I might try one...
>192 Whisper1: Thank you so much, Linda.
>194 cushlareads: Cusdla, I was also quite worried to find how little I remembered on rereading it. I've heard good things about the Peter Ackroyd books and it looks like he takes more time to cover the same periods so they might be interesting follow ups.
Book #176: The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope - 4 stars
The penultimate book in Trollope's Palliser series is darker than I've come to expect from Trollope's novels. One storyline is about Plantagenet Palliser becoming Prime Minister and raises the question of whether a good and morally scrupulous man can make an effective leader. The other interwoven storyline is darker and looks at Emily Wharton's unhappy marriage to Ferdinand Lopez, a man with an unknown background who is trying to become a politician. Unusually for Trollope's writing, Lopez's character seems undeveloped and there are some unsettling antisemitic views expressed. It's an unsettling book in many ways, I don't think it will become a favourite but it was certainly thought provoking.
Book #177: The Whispering Mountain by Joan Aiken - 4 stars
After the darkness of The Prime Minister I returned to Joan Aiken's wonderfully, imaginative 19th century alternate histories with The Whispering Mountain. This is set in the same world as her Wolves Chronicles but works as a standalone novel (I think chronologically it's a prequel to the main series). Set in Wales and full of Welsh dialogue and phrases (with a glossary) it's a good old-fashioned adventure story with a deliciously bad villain and a pair of children who save the day. This won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1969.
Amanda Fitton, eighteen next month, was at a stage of physical perfection seldom attained at any age. She was not very tall, slender almost to skinniness, with big honey-brown eyes and an extraordinary mop of hair so red that it was remarkable in itself. This was not auburn hair nor yet carroty, but a blazing, flaming and yet subtle colour which is as rare as it is beautiful...
---Sweet Danger, Margery Allingham
Anyway, The Prime Minister: a difficult work, no? Not in terms of reading it, but in that it's quite dark for Trollope, missing that humor and sweet confidentiality that marks so much of his work. Certainly worth reading, if only for the contrasting pictures of marriage ( the Lopezes, the Pallisers, and the Finns). Awfully sad, and I wasn't too happy with the droning ending.
I'm traveling till the end of the year, so I'll wish you a very merry Christmas right now.
I just noticed the 2017 group is open. I'm planning to resist setting up my thread until after Christmas. Or at least, I'll try...
It was good to see you Tuesday. We're back in Bristol now.
Wouldn't it be nice if 2017 was a year of peace and goodwill.
A year where people set aside their religious and racial differences.
A year where intolerance is given short shrift.
A year where hatred is replaced by, at the very least, respect.
A year where those in need are not looked upon as a burden but as a blessing.
A year where the commonality of man and woman rises up against those who would seek to subvert and divide.
A year without bombs, or shootings, or beheadings, or rape, or abuse, or spite.
Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!
(from the calendar you bought Reuben last year!)
To all my friends here at Library Thing, I want you to know how much I value you and how much I wish you a very happy holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and the very best of New Years!
>200 lyzard: Hee hee - I'm glad you've got to the point in the Campion series where you meet Amanda. She's a great character.
>201 bohemima: Funny you should mention audiobooks Gail - I have been considering whether to get an audible subscription next year. At the moment I'm crafting in front of the TV but it might be nice to have some good audiobooks to listen to whilst crafting too. Audible do a 1 month free trial so I may try that in January.
>202 archerygirl:, >203 drneutron: I'm hoping to get my 2017 thread set up in the next few days.
>204 eclecticdodo: Glad to hear you got home safely, Jo. It was good to see you too.
Thank you to Gail, Beth, Nancy, Paul, Rhian, Liz, Jo, Judy, Liz, Lucy, Mamie, Roni, Calm, Barbara and Melissa for the holiday wishes! We had a nice day yesterday with my parents, brother and his fiancee and today is going to be a quiet day catching up on Christmas TV. I am also hoping to get some reviews written up (I still have November book comments to write - wah!) and visit the threads.
Just finished with my November reviews and feeling very smug... :)
>221 lyzard: And deservedly so! I am officially Giving Up on reviews this week.
>222 Berly: Thanks Kim. Another quiet day today although we went for a short walk and did a little bit of clearing up around the house. Today we watched Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Holiday and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
>223 roundballnz: The Craft Sequence is good Alex and you've reminded me that I need to get back to that next year too.
I have decided that I am too tired for reviews so a list of what I have read is going to do instead. A fair amount of rereading Pratchett and Agatha Christie has been happening:
#178 Windswept by Adam Rakunas
#179 Night at the Crossroads by Georges Simenon
#180 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
#181 Half a Crown by Jo Walton
#182 Gibbon's Decline and Fall by Sheri S. Tepper
#183 The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
#184 The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
#185 A Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume I by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
#186 The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
#187 Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries edited by Martin Edwards
#188 The Truth by Terry Pratchett
#189 The Last Unicorn: Deluxe Edition by Peter S. Beagle
#190 Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
#191 Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
#192 Midwinter Nightingale by Joan Aiken
#193 Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin
>226 ronincats: Roni, I've nearly finished making the two circular sections and then need to join. I will try to take some photos of the finished sections over the weekend. It's been a really fun project and the instructions and accompanying videos were so clear that I never really got stuck even though a lot of the stitches were unfamiliar to me. Lots of counting though.
>227 archerygirl: Thank you!
Book #194: To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix - 3.2 stars
A collection of short stories covering both fantasy and science fiction. The main draw for most readers will be the opening novella, To Hold the Bridge, which is set in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom and well worth a read. Otherwise the collection was quite variable - I really enjoyed some (including one set in the world of Shade's Children which I've never read and probably should) but for some reason I never felt compelled to pick this collection up so it took me several months to work my way through it.
I think I will only manage one more book for 2016 (hopefully Heyer's Black Sheep for a shared read, so I will post my best of 2016 lists now.
Top 5 rereads of 2016 (all 5 stars):
A History of Britain Volume 1: At the Edge of the World? 3000 BC - AD 1603 by Simon Schama
Emma by Jane Austen
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Among Others by Jo Walton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Price of Spring by Daniel Abraham
How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: With Interesting & Curious Anecdotes of Celebrated and Distinguished Characters: Fully Illustrating a Variety of Instructive and Amusing Scenes; As Performed Within and Without the Remarkable Difference Engine by Sydney Padua
The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
Happy New Year; I hope to "see" you around in 2017.
Anyway, I'm happy to catch up and will react to a few things: namely...
I'm GLAD that Ms. Erica is better and that plumbing sorted itself.
I LOVE and ADORE Sheri S. Tepper!!!! Among my favorites are After Long Silence, which is an early working of the themes in Grass with music and The Fresco, maybe her most feminist novel. You do know that she wrote super mysteries under the names of B.J. Oliphant (my favorites) and A.J. Orde, right? As it happens, The True Game is the series that I haven't read yet.
I have Landscape and Memory up for my next big non-fiction rather than A History of Britain, but I will hope to live long enough to get through both of them.
I got The Aeronaut's Windlass for Christmas and am champing at the bit to get to it too.
I don't have Luna, but I love Ian MacDonald, so I'll now be on the watch for it. Thanks!
So, I wish you a wonderful, readingful 2017 with love!
Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Heather
from my hometown Zürich, Switzerland
>235 lauralkeet: Oh good, I do enjoy watching the top books change on that list.
>236 LizzieD: Thank you for the Tepper recommendations Peggy. I think After Long Silence has the title The Enigma Score on the UK - I will look out for it. I like the idea of the themes from Grass with music. And the Ian McDonald is good but there will be a sequel coming out in 2017 so maybe a good idea to wait until that's released.
>241 lyzard: Thanks Liz - heading over shortly.
I finished my last book for 2016 on the 31st:
Book #195: Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer - 3.6 stars
An enjoyable Heyer romance set in Bath featuring a slightly older female protagonist (the grand old age of 28) and a bit of a rake in the male lead.
Off to setup my 2017 thread.....