What are you reading? (August 2017)

I'd say it's very much enhanced and enlightening having seen The Room first, but the book does provide adequate context for those who haven't. It definitely has its own story to tell.

Although, you should just watch The Room because it's fucking awesome.
I'll watch the movie first. Thank you :)
 
Finished A Closed and Common Oribit last night and found it to be freaking amazing. Especially liked its prose.

Anyone got recommendations for similar books?
 


I just finished reading "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and pretty much loved it. Such a sweet, heart-wrenching story, that really brought back a lot of memories of when I was teenager.

Now I'm trying to decide what I should read next...

I finished the Farseer trilogy in July, so part of me wants to jump into the Liveship Traders. The other part of me thinks I need a break though.

I've been putting off reading "Words of Radiance" because of how huge it is. WoK took me about a month to get through, and WoR is the same size and I have less free time lately so it will probably take even longer.

I've also been eyeing "Luna: New Moon" by Ian McDonald and "A Closed and Common Orbit" by Becky Chambers.
 
I've been reading William Gibson's Pattern Recognition on and off for the last month or so.

I don't think I like it very much. I don't quite understand why I should care about the footage or FFF or Cayce's weird feeling about Bigend. I'm not that far along--roughly 100 pages, but its been a bit more of a slog than I'd expected. Everything is just a little too "light" for me to be invested, if that makes sense. Anyone who has read the book: should I keep going through it? Does it pick up shortly from where I'm at?
 
I finished The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.



I quite enjoyed it. I've really moved away from fantasy in recent years as everything I was reading seemed repetitive and filled with tropes. This book was quite refreshing and I enjoyed how grounded the lore and world are relative to other books in the genre. Multiple protagonists keep the pace exciting for the most part and while the story does slow down a couple of times, these instances are always brief.

The author incorporates social issues into the book quite effortlessly. I know a lot of Gaffers often feel that these elements seem 'forced' in other forms of media, I've never really felt that, but I don't think that's anything close to an issue in this book for those troubled by such things.

I thought I read somewhere that there are 5 books in this series, but turns out there are only 3 and the third is releasing this month. That's a welcome surprise and I'll be delighted to read the remaining books in the series.
 

Fuu

Formerly Alaluef (not Aladuf)
Finished reading these in the last week of July:



A Monster Calls.
Really liked it, although I think this is a case where the movie is a bit better. Patrick Ness' style of short sentences works well with the protagonist's mindset, and I appreciate the message of the book about
being honest with yourself in order to move on
. Jim Kay's illustrations are fantastic too, I prefer ebooks nowadays, but the hardcover edition of this one is worth the purchase if only for that.



Ninguém Nasce Herói
A story about a group of friends trying to find their place in a Brazil led by a fundamentalist president, with a violent police force and militias that hunt minorities. So yeah, it's kind of close to reality and a possible future. The characters are all diverse and well-rounded, and I liked how balanced the book was between showing oppression and the group just trying to have a good time while having to live with a shitty government. Main character has a pretty interesting (made-up) condition too. Great read.
 
Any recommendations for some good space opera series/books? It's not a genre I have explored much in novels outside of Dune, but love in other forms of fiction like Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Xenosaga.
 
Finished reading The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett.
I really liked this one, I think it's largely viewed as one of the weaker Discworld books and while I can see why I think it has actually probably aged a lot better than some of the others. A lot of the themes of multiculturalism are still pretty relevant today, if not even more so.



Started reading The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente. Only a couple of chapters in so far but it's a short one and it seems pretty great so far. Focussing on telling the stories of the love interests of superheroes who die or having something horrible happen to them just to advance the plot and his character is a smart and funny basis for a story (well, a series of stories.)



Finished A Closed and Common Oribit last night and found it to be freaking amazing. Especially liked its prose.

Anyone got recommendations for similar books?
I'd also like to know this. I loved A Closed and Common Orbit a lot more than I expected to, the idea of basing the sequel around a different cast bummed me out originally because I loved the cast of the first book so much but then I ended up probably enjoying Common Orbit more.
 
Any recommendations for some good space opera series/books? It's not a genre I have explored much in novels outside of Dune, but love in other forms of fiction like Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Xenosaga.
The Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold
Honor Harrington series by David Weber
Night's Dawn trilogy by Peter Hamilton
 
Swann's Way is ASS compared to the last two volumes. If you've ever experienced unrequited love, 1) I can empathize, and 2) OMFG.

The dinner party shit in 2, 3, and 4 (my memory probably sucks) is mixed in with great stuff, but they're a slog. If I ever go back, I'm hanging onto a reader's guide like a life-preserver.
Terribly slow-moving for sure, but didn't tip all the way into slog-territory for me. I have a thing for books that examine every tiny thing from all possible angles, I guess :) Reading Proust is like eating a really big, tasty cake, in many, many tiny nibbles over time so you don't get bloated. Oh, and I did feel the whole unrequited love-theme, that's for sure!
 
I finished Kings of the Wyld and found it more comedic and lighthearted then I expected. I assumed it was fairly standard fantasy but it was more like an 80s cartoon version of it. The status quo basically resets after every encounter so the stakes never feel very high. The band is hungry but never starving, they are injured but never disabled, etc. Overall it gives the book a nice feeling of simplicity that's kind of refreshing.

I'm also halfway through Dog on It which is the first in a series of detective novels told entirely from a dog's perspective. Obviously I'll never know how a dog's mind works but the author's Chet (the dog) is perfect. Its such a fun characterization of how a dog might think and process the information around it. The detective/mystery portion is okay but is limited by having the dog as a narrator and mostly relies on his owner narrating to the dog what detective work he did while Chet was napping.
 

Creamium

shut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuup
It is one of my favorite books. Also look into The Lions of Al-Rassan by the same author.
I've advanced a bit and I love the book already. There has been one big 'event' so far, but the world and character building alone is engrossing by itself. The
reveal and epiphany of Tigana to Devin
was special.
 
I'd also like to know this. I loved A Closed and Common Orbit a lot more than I expected to, the idea of basing the sequel around a different cast bummed me out originally because I loved the cast of the first book so much but then I ended up probably enjoying Common Orbit more.
Never read the first book myself since I heard the sequel is vastly better. Would you recommend reading it anyway?
 
Finished The Wizard of Earthsea. I really like the novel, but kinda tool my time reading it since I felt distracted by what's going on in my life (work and school stuff). I still love the climax and ending even after a second read. Its such a great tale on accepting one's self.
 
Never read the first book myself since I heard the sequel is vastly better. Would you recommend reading it anyway?
Oh yeah, definitely. I wouldn't say the second book is vastly better, but it is definitely the better book. The first is outstanding in its own right though.
 

Switch Back 9

a lot of my threads involve me fucking up somehow. Perhaps I'm a moron?
I finished The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.




The author incorporates social issues into the book quite effortlessly. I know a lot of Gaffers often feel that these elements seem 'forced' in other forms of media, I've never really felt that, but I don't think that's anything close to an issue in this book for those troubled by such things.
Forced, perhaps not. Subtle, nuanced, or cleverly inserted? Absolutely not. It was SO on the nose it was like the author was repeatedly slapping you in the face with "See how this thing parallels the real-world thing". Like, there's a point where I was just breezing through certain passages because of how hard she was pushing the point.

I get it.

I mean Rogga? Seriously?
 
I'm over halfway through The Fireman by Joe Hill and I'm enjoying it. Not my favorite book by him, but good one the less.

I've been listening to The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton as well.
 
William Faulkner collection:

A Soldier's Pay, which was very loose and hard to follow, story about a veteran who returns from the war very wounded and dying, and drama with his fiance who can't bear to marry him now, so this woman who lost her husband in the war marries him instead, but just to help him feel good.

Mosquitoes: midway through, but it's about artists in 1920s New Orleans and the posers who surround them. Much wittier although still kind of meandering. A good book for this late-summer heat.

Haven't gotten to "Flags in the Dust" or "The Sound and the Fury"
 
Leaving for an 8 day cruise on Friday and I'm trying to get some books on my kindle to take with me. A friend recommended the Belgariad so I might give those a shot.

I really like ASOIAF, LOTR, Potter, etc. Recently read The Long Walk and really enjoyed it. Read through the first Mistborn trilogy and did not like it. Also got around 10% through Cloud Atlas before losing interest, but might give that a shot again. I think the Book of Babel series looks interesting. Etc, etc..

Any other recommendations? Are the Witcher books any good?
 
Leaving for an 8 day cruise on Friday and I'm trying to get some books on my kindle to take with me. A friend recommended the Belgariad so I might give those a shot.

I really like ASOIAF, LOTR, Potter, etc. Recently read The Long Walk and really enjoyed it. Read through the first Mistborn trilogy and did not like it. Also got around 10% through Cloud Atlas before losing interest, but might give that a shot again. I think the Book of Babel series looks interesting. Etc, etc..

Any other recommendations? Are the Witcher books any good?
I enjoyed the short stories a lot, didn't like the later stuff too much.

You could check out The First Law trilogy since you like ASOIAF. They have some similar elements. I've only read the first book myself, but it's probably my favorite fantasy book alongside A Storm of Swords.

I'd also heartily recommend City of Stairs, an urban (-ish, doesn't take place in the real world but it has a lot of real technology, cars and guns and so on) fantasy mystery novel and fucking amazing at it. I'm halfway through the sequel which hasn't been nearly as interesting, but still pretty good.
 
I enjoyed the short stories a lot, didn't like the later stuff too much.

You could check out The First Law trilogy since you like ASOIAF. They have some similar elements. I've only read the first book myself, but it's probably my favorite fantasy book alongside A Storm of Swords.

I'd also heartily recommend City of Stairs, an urban (-ish, doesn't take place in the real world but it has a lot of real technology, cars and guns and so on) fantasy mystery novel and fucking amazing at it. I'm halfway through the sequel which hasn't been nearly as interesting, but still pretty good.
I'll add those to my list, thanks. I did some research and apparently the Witcher translations to English aren't great.
 
You could check out The First Law trilogy since you like ASOIAF. They have some similar elements. I've only read the first book myself, but it's probably my favorite fantasy book alongside A Storm of Swords.
It's kinda funny to me how you liked The Blade Itself so much yet didn't feel an overwhelming need to read the other two immediately, I couldn't resist. Besides, if a series is complete I usually prefer to read all the books one after the other, just to be (almost) sure I won't forget anything.
 
It's kinda funny to me how you liked The Blade Itself so much yet didn't feel an overwhelming need to read the other two immediately, I couldn't resist. Besides, if a series is complete I usually prefer to read all the books one after the other, just to be (almost) sure I won't forget anything.
Hahah, I know right. I guess I felt like the book ended in a way that made taking a short break natural, if that makes sense. The short break has turned into a 6-month break though, so I'm gonna remedy the situation soon.

I'm planning on picking up the second book when I'm done with City of Blades and possible City of Miracles, depending on how I feel after I finish CoB.
 
Clive Barker's Books of Blood vol.4

Funny (and sad) that with reading OCD I generally can't finish a reading except for these damn books. Surely the shortness.

Reading the last short at the moment, overall, it seems far better than #3. Not up to #1 or #2, but its is a good one. Particularly liked 'The Inhuman Condition', albeit too rushed at the end imho, and 'Revelations' looked really boring and predictable but was in fact a surprisingly enjoyable page turner the more you advance in the story.
On the downer front, sorry but 'The Body Politic', while having the heart in the right place, goes way too far on the grand guignol scale. And 'Down, Satan!' was super short and the conclusion felt particularly lacking.
'The Age of Desire' that I'm reading atm is interesting I guess, but for the time being also quite boring.
 
Working my way through Robin Hobb. Did the Fool trilogy, then Liveships. Now I'm on the first book of the Rain Wilds Chronicles, to be followed by the newest Fitz and the Fool. I'll probably read the other series that's supposedly loosely connected, too.
 

Creamium

shut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuup
Working my way through Robin Hobb. Did the Fool trilogy, then Liveships. Now I'm on the first book of the Rain Wilds Chronicles, to be followed by the newest Fitz and the Fool. I'll probably read the other series that's supposedly loosely connected, too.
I've lost track of Hobb's work after The Tawny Man trilogy and I've missed so much since then. I was sure she was done with Fitz after Tawny Man, but now I'd probably have to reread everything before I can jump into Fitz and the Fool, it's been so long. The Assassin trilogy is some of my favorite fantasy, but Liveship and Tawny Man were good too.

Liveship is what made me appreciate her even more, because it's so different compared to the first Fitz trilogy, but still great. I remember enjoying those books a great deal even though I don't remember what happens anymore. It's been like 15 years since I read them.

I got the Soldier's Son trilogy as a gift from a friend and even though it gets mixed reception, I hear sticking with the entire trilogy is worth it in the end. It has a really low average on Goodreads, but I just can't imagine a mediocre Hobb book.
 
I was sure she was done with Fitz after Tawny Man, but now I'd probably have to reread everything before I can jump into Fitz and the Fool, it's been so long. The Assassin trilogy is some of my favorite fantasy, but Liveship and Tawny Man were good too.
That's why I'm doing my re-read, so I can read the final(?) quadrilogy. I'd forgotten a bunch of stuff, so I'm glad I'm doing it.
 
I'll add those to my list, thanks. I did some research and apparently the Witcher translations to English aren't great.
Based on what you like, I'll humbly toss my own Knight's Journal in your direction. You can get the first novella (just 115 pages) for $0.99 (Knight Descendent).

I'm releasing one per month as part of a GAF Writing Challenge.

I would also second the recommendation for The First Law trilogy and the stand-alones in the same universe.
 
Just finished Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft, both fantastic reads. The latter is more of an adventure, and expands the scope to more characters that are equally (more, I might argue) interesting as Senlin, and I highly recommend them. The series is incomplete, and I don't know how long it will go on, but the potential is certainly there for more than just a trilogy.

I despise doing rereads, but one thing I do enjoy is a 'reread' via audiobook. Since Oathbringer is nearly out, I will do the audiobook for Words of Radiance sometime in October or so.
 
Finished Neverending Story and it was just alright? The first half was pretty cool but it went downhill fast somewhere near the middle of the book.

Went on to



30some pages in, and I'm liking it, especially once you get past/get used to the child narrator.
 


Hey, I began another book and do not feel it. Might be interesting to dig ou why. 'Skin Trade' by GRR Martin, a... I think you say novella for a long short.

Is it simply my reading OCD ? I admit I gave up to the compulsion and reread several paragraphs yesterday. And I couldn't really focus on the text at times, thoughts elsewhere.
But at the same time, for the moment (20-30 pages / 100) it's quite heavily boring and derivative. And to top it all the French cover has a nice horror feel that is totally absent from the book yet. Yes, I know, books, covers etc.

I signed for a 'Year of the werewolf' riff with scary elements and all I got for the time being is your fucking run off the mill PI story. Forgive me if I don't care. So PI story, big city with 'Gotham' vibes, evil elite controlling it... I have zero interest in any of that so far.
100 pages long, I must soldier on, but for a first Martin book I'm certainly not impressed.
 
Finished reading The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett.
I really liked this one, I think it's largely viewed as one of the weaker Discworld books and while I can see why I think it has actually probably aged a lot better than some of the others. A lot of the themes of multiculturalism are still pretty relevant today, if not even more so.
On of my fav books of DW together with the thief of time.

I finished ready player one. The first book to have finished in years.It was ok.. Some stuff felt repetitive and unnessecary. But overal it was an easy rid to get me back into reading. Now on to meddling kids.
 

Fuu

Formerly Alaluef (not Aladuf)
Finished Neverending Story and it was just alright? The first half was pretty cool but it went downhill fast somewhere near the middle of the book.

Went on to



30some pages in, and I'm liking it, especially once you get past/get used to the child narrator.
Room is excellent. I haven't watched the movie yet, I should do that.

I should also give The Neverending Story a re-read one of these days. I loved it when I was younger. The design of the book was neat too, with illustrations and the writing in different colors.



I just finished reading "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and pretty much loved it. Such a sweet, heart-wrenching story, that really brought back a lot of memories of when I was teenager.
I'm reading it right now and I'm loving it too. I hadn't heard of Alire Sáenz before, but last month I met him in person in Brazil and he's just an amazing guy. His interview got everyone emotional and I exchanged a few words with him (and a hug) before he autographed my copy of the novel.
 
I finished Emperor of Thorns last night, after reading the other two a couple of years back. I had a love-hate relationship with that trilogy. I liked the concept of the world, but Jorg Ancrath is such an unlikeable bastard that I had a hard time pushing through in some sections. It's "Interesting concepts mixed with edgelord" the book.

Is the new lead in Prince of Fools any more likeable, or is writing about terrible people Mark Lawrence's niche?
 
Finished: 100 years of solitude by Garcia Marquez

It's a crime that being colombian it took 34 years to read Gabo's Magnum Opus. And... i didn't like it too much. 3/5

Currently reading; Nemesis Games, Expanse 4th book. It's good so far. Slow burning and not kicking into 5th as the previous one.

And went to the library after 20 years. It has not changed one bit. Could not borrow a book cause the librarian girl bailed out 1 hour before her shift ended
 
The Princess Diarist is a Deal of the Day on Kindle, so I bought it. It may be the next thing I read. I couldn't decide what to start next. It's going to be a sad read. It's still hard to believe Carrie Fisher is gone.
 


Gotta be brutally honest, I'm really slogging through this one. I really liked the first Dark Tower book as it had this sense of dread and discovery to it. I was disappointed in the 2nd, liked the 3rd a lot, but this one is...ugh....

I kind of want to start reading something else.
 
Got through The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by Heather O'Neill and even though I was hoping for something special, it ended up being somewhat tedious. I started my next read last night, it being a promo copy of The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones. I love Goodreads.

 


If you're the sort of person who thinks that too much of contemporary high fantasy fiction is stuck in a generic, not terribly diverse pseudo-Medieval European setting, Bradley Beaulieu's Twelve Kings in Sharakhai has something that might be to your taste, namely: a detailed fantasy world heavily drawn from Middle Eastern/Islamic world inspirations. And Sharakhai is a well-developed setting, not just a relative novelty. One immediately gets the sense of a very lived-in environment with a lot of history beyond what's on the page.

Main character Çedamihn Ahyanesh'ala (Çeda) is a sometime gladiator in the fighting pits of the great city, which is a key trading outpost in the middle of a desert, ringed by tribes of varying degrees of hostility, and the various empires beyond the desert. Sharakhai is ruled by the titular twelve kings, immortal autocrats who were blessed by the gods centuries earlier to defend the city against destruction, but who have become hated and feared in the subsequent time. Çeda has her own score to settle with the rulers, and she comes complete with a tangled, tragic backstory, and a talent for getting involved in multiple competing intrigues.

The characters are well-drawn here, though Çeda pretty much dominates the book to the point that almost everyone else struggles on the margins. She's a compelling heroine, though. There's an array of supporting characters who seem like good ideas for characters, and will hopefully get a bit more room in subsequent entries in this series (because, yeah, obviously it's a series). If I had to make a quibble, it would be that the titular twelve kings are perhaps too numerous and, for the most part, so little-seen in the narrative that there is, at this point, little to differentiate between them apart from having different names (and titles, so there's a lot to keep straight).