Monday, August 31, 2009

Coming Soon

Over the weekend I finished two things necessary for reviews I've been planning on doing. One was the book The Drowning City by Amanda Downum, and the other was putting books on the new bookshelf. I'm hoping to get a review of at least get one of those up before next weekend, preferably both.

At the moment, I'm about a quarter of the way through The Magicians by Lev Grossman, which just debuted at #9 on the New York Times bestseller list. So far, I really like it.

For September books, I'm planning to read Soulless by Gail Carriger and Fire by Kristin Cashore, and I'll read Doubleblind, the third Sirantha Jax book by Ann Aguirre as soon as I can find a copy (it's supposed to be out on September 29). If I have time to squeeze it in before the end of the month, I'd also like to read Medicine Road by Charles deLint. For my very next book, I'm not entirely sure what to read. After I finish The Magicians, I've decided to read something that's not from this year but I'm having trouble picking just one book. It could end up being Alpha or another Skolian book by Catherine Asaro, Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett, My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due, or maybe one of my unread Elizabeth Bear books. I can't make my mind (but what else is new - decisiveness has never been my forte).

16 comments:

Harry Markov: daydream said...

Sounds like an interesting program. For I piled myself with choices, but I am not sure what will stick and what I will accomplish in September, cause I am taking off a week from reading in order to read and critique a beta version of a novel for a friend. However I do have several shorties that can easily be managed.

Anastasia said...

Havemercy has been on my Wishlist for a few months. I'm most curious about that.

Kristen said...

Harry - It is hard to pick which books to read, especially when you never know how much time you'll end up having. Unless I'm on vacation from work, 4 or 5 books seems to be my limit so I just try to aim for 5. A lot of the books I picked for this month are short, too.

Anastasia - I have heard very good things about Havemercy. It's been compared to Monette's series a few times, which made it a must read for me. Since I love that series, that makes me want to read it really soon - but at the same time, I'm afraid it won't live up to the expectations I have now and I'll end up disappointed.

Donna said...

You have a good month of reads coming up, I'm interested in all of them. Good luck on picking a next read, I hate when I get stuck wondering what to read next.

Kristen said...

Donna - This month sounds like a pretty good reading month to me as well. It is so hard to just pick one book from the stack, though! I haven't read much space opera lately so I was leaning toward reading something by Catherine Asaro, but I'm so curious about Havemercy and My Soul to Keep. Plus Doubleblind will give me a bit of a space opera fix anyway...

Maybe I'll just read the first couple of pages of some of those and see which one grabs me first.

Anastasia said...

Alpha isn't space opera though. It's near-future scifi thriller. I have it, although not read it yet. I read all the others of Asaro's scifi (Phoenix Code, Veiled Web, Sunrise Alley - I believe Alpha is a sequel to Sunrise Alley, although that one didn't call for a sequel), and I prefer the Skolian books.

Anastasia said...

I have great news! Please spread the word. The long-awaited new edition of the first in Tanith Lee's acclaimed Flat Earth series, Night's Master is now available in a gorgeous hardcover and tradeback paperback. Image on the cover done by Lee's partner, John Kaiine.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=160762043X

Amazon search won't pull up the book for some reason, so use the link.

(This publisher's books are very pretty. And hardcovers are called "trade hardcovers," slightly smaller in size.)

orannia said...

Ohhhh, I'm intrigued about HaveMercy, so if you do read it at some stage I look forward to hearing what you think ;)

I have have Kristen Cashmore's first book - Graceling - waiting for me at the library...

orannia said...

Just read the back cover summary for HaveMercy (and checked my library catalogue - my library has it) and I'm definitely intrigued.

Am not sure where I will fit it in but...maybe if I read very hard this month and reduce my TBR list I can fit it in and purchase The Magicians and Mrs Quent (which I've been wanting to read ever since The Book Smugglers reviewed it :)

Kristen said...

Anastasia - No, Alpha isn't the one I'd read for a space opera fix. That would be either Ascendant Sun or Schism. I'm just curious about Alpha (and I think you're right about it being a sequel to Sunrise Alley although I've heard it also works fine as a stand alone novel).

Wow, Night's Master does have an absolutely gorgeous cover. It sounds wonderful, too. On to the wish list it goes (it is expensive though). I've wanted to read that one for a while, although I'm a little more hesitant to since I have a couple of her books I haven't read and wasn't as impressed with The Silver Metal Lover as I had hoped to be. The Flat Earth series is supposed to be one of her stronger works, though.

Orannia - Everyone seems to be curious about Havemercy so there's a pretty good possibility that one will be my next read. I really want to read The Magicians and Mrs. Quent too. I still have an Amazon gift card from a while back (not quite sure how I've managed to go this long without spending it - that never happens) and was considering saving it for that. Now I'm very intrigued by the first Flat Earth book, too, though. Decisions, decisions...

Anastasia said...

The paperback is only $13!

Kristen said...

Anastasia - I saw the paperback was a lot cheaper later. Now the question is - is it worth the hardcover price? It's very pretty which makes me think it might not be a bad one to get in hardcover - at least if it's as good as I've heard.

I was trying to figure out what to get with it and it would be hard to just pick a couple to go with the hardcover, though.

Anastasia said...

I should get it in a few days, so I'll let you know. It is part of a series though, so it might be nice to have a matching hardcover set.

My trouble with hardcovers is that I get too protective of them. So sometimes, if I really like a book, I"ll also buy a paperback version to read, and keep the hc on the shelf. (For the Melusine books, I have 2 sets.)

Kristen said...

Anastasia - Great, let me know what you think of the hardcover version! I think I'd like to get it, but I'm also a little hesitant to spend half of my gift card on just one book, especially one I haven't read. If all the covers are that gorgeous, a matching hardcover set would be lovely, though.

I was thinking about getting that one and then I'm trying to narrow this list down to the approximate cost of what's left over:

Alanya to Alanya by L. Timmel Duchamp
Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett
Black Ships by Jo Graham
The Novels of Tiger and Del, Volume I by Jennifer Roberson

Anastasia said...

Black Ships is on sale right now, $5.13 at Amazon. I have this book as well. Although I haven't read it yet, it gather a lot of really glowing reviews.

If it's a choice between buying 1 hardcover or 2 paperback, then I'd probably go for 2 paperbacks. Unless you're might see yourself buying the hardcover later anyway if you like the book, in addition to the softcover.

I've read Generation Loss, Slow River, and the first of the Tiger-Del novels, and
Alanya to Alanya is in a different category altogether. It's intelligent, articulate, engaging, fast-paced (maybe not in terms of plot, but those sentences move quickly and a lot of intense, important things happen), very political in a personal way, disturbing, and brilliant. I was very intimidated by this series before I started them (I don't know if I've seen Samuel R. Delany blurb books before), but the writing is so crisp, I was immediately absorbed in it; it wasn't at all difficult to follow.

The setting is near-future Earth, very similar to our world, with the same social distinctions, only made more stark and institutionalized. There's the Executive class: the ones who go to top schools and become managers and executives, a sliver of Professionals (engineers, teachers), and the service techs (average people). It's very very similar to the way our world works now, and all the more frightening for that.

Then aliens appear, and decide that they want to change Earth's social order for the better. Improve opportunities for people. A delegation is to be sent to the ship, vested with the power to make decisions for Earth's governments, but composed only of women.

The story follows Kay Zeldin, a university professor (Professional) and a former spy for the Executive branch, who's picked to join the delegation - to spy and subvert it to the government's goals.

To me, however, this series was about personal relationships - really disturbing and memorable ones. These are not warm and fuzzy books, but some of the best I've ever read.

Kristen said...

Anastasia - Ok, I'm convinced - definitely getting Alanya to Alanya when I place this order! I was leaning toward that one anyway since you've mentioned it a couple of times but that sounds perfect for the mood I've been in lately (thoughtful with some interesting ideas and some great characters/relationships).

I've been watching the price of the hardcover version of Night's Master gradually drop. If it drops a little more, I'll probably get it in hardcover. It sounds like my type of fantasy book.