Book Thread 2020

That’s going to be so good! I ended up going the library route on the last 2 books of the diaries b/c they were so short. I’d love a nice 400 page novel length!

I’m deep in the Malazan series right now. I couldn’t tell you the title of the book without looking it up, but I think it’s #7.

I just finished @scottagibson 's The Mortality in Lies , which I enjoyed very much.

It’s quite unique, you don’t see a whole bunch of historical espionage fiction.

It reminded me a bit of an old favorite of mine, Dennis Wheatley.

Nice job, Scott!

Thanks, Lloyd, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Can we get a mod to close the 2018/2019 thread?

Got some reading done the past weeks.

The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross. This was a slog. #7 in the Laundry Files. I appreciate how it dealt with the multiverse of the setting, and how it advanced the plot, but I really didn’t care for how Stross wrote most of the characters. I’ve already bought book 8, but I’ll take a time-out on the series. I’m quite worn out of it for the time being.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Just great. Incredible flow, good characters. A joy to read, even though it is quite dark. Good use of switching between past and present. Fantastic, one of my favorite reads in a while.

I’m about a quarter through The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb, and it is incredible, more when I’m done.

I finished The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North / Catherine Webb. It is great! A very neat concept that is executed in a really good way. Recommended. The pacing is excellent.

Claire North is my favorite author. Glad you liked it! Check out Touch next; it’s got a similar feel.

I also really liked Station Eleven, that you mentioned earlier. ESJM has a new novel coming out next month that sounds pretty interesting:

I’m currently about 3/4 of the way through Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea and am really enjoying it.

I have been sort of fascinated by the LitRPG subgenre of novels, but so far nobody doing them is all that great a writer (and that stat block stuff is unnecessary). I have tried a couple Japanese takes on the trapped-in-an-MMO trope, but the actual MMOs always seem super grindy and terrible and Sword Art Online at least really did not seem to care about the game aspects of the premise even remotely.

Enter Forever Fantasy Online. It’s co-written by an actual professionally published author with two excellent five book series under her belt (Rachel Aaron). It feels like the MMOs -I- have played (minus the VR bit) and the authors have clearly got plenty of experience with these games and their players. And it really thinks through its premise and has some pretty great worldbuilding and characters, too. I have read the whole trilogy and heartily recommend it.

I just finished Becky Chambers latest sci-fi novella, To Be Taught if Fortunate which can be best described as a book in which not very much happens. But as with all of her books, it ended with me wanting more, more, more! However after reading her 4 books, I know that “more” is not coming, at least not more of the same story or characters. I’m still looking forward to reading whatever she puts out next.

The setting she created is interesting, but yeah, not much happens. (Her books are not long either.)

Got Milk?

Every Kurlansky book I’ve read has been chock-full of information that I never knew I wanted, but found fascinating once I started reading. This is no exception. Everything from creation legends involving milk to the economics of large-scale dairies vs small organic farms.

If you’re interested in WW2 narratives, Richard Frank, who wrote/researched excellent works on Guadalcanal and Downfall (invasion of Japan/A-bomb analysis) and was a main researcher for John Lundstrom in his own amazingly detailed works on the South Pacific battles, is starting a new Pacific War history:

Some other interesting books to note:

— Alan

I can’t remember if it was here or somewhere else that I got the recommendation for Children of Time, but I just started it and it’s pretty good.

Children of time is a good, so is the squeal, children of ruin.
Another series that is good as well is the bobiverse series.

I really enjoyed Children of Time - races through it. I also like Children of Ruin, but am finding it a notable step down from how addictive the first was.

It took me over a month, but I finally finished Cradle Book 3’s Chapter 4. It’s from the perspective of a character I don’t care about getting into a super long and detailed fight against a bunch of people. Every time I would try reading it, I’d fall asleep, but I’d read at least two sentences every night. Of course, since it’s mostly all an action scene, I’d be lost and have to re-read a bunch of it again. Anyway, last night I got fed up and I skipped to the end of the action scene and feel like I didn’t miss much. God, this book is such a chore so far. I should have started a different book after finishing Murderbot Novella 4.

I think I read four books out of that series in that time - it’s possible that particular series just isn’t for you. I found it extremely compelling, and a quick read. Hell, I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I was through the available Cradle books I immediately devoured his entire Elder Empire series in about 3 weeks.

The thing I love about Wight is that he builds these fascinating fantasy worlds that operate on a set of concrete, well established rules. It’s almost like an RPG system, and I love well-constructed RPG systems. I like the characters and the action too, of course, but there’s something particularly compelling to me about a fantasy series that’s willing to lay out how things work.

Having run out of Will Wight to read, I’ve moved to Marko Kloos’s Frontline books, which I’m enjoying enormously. Again, it’s a snappy, action focused read in an interestingly drawn world with some significant narrative surprises along the way.

Yeah I think the plot of the first one was a lot better. The second has some interesting concepts but I was a bit dissappointed in the pacing and resolution.

I liked Children of Ruin (at least) as well as the first one, but it is a lot softer than the first one. Both are great, IMO.

There’s a new Tchaikovsky book coming out soon