Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October Reading

Where did September go?

This was a slow reading month and I didn't end up getting through as many books as I'd hoped since I wasn't very far into The Magicians at the start of September. I did make it through Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett, Soulless by Gail Carriger and Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre, but I've only just begun Fire by Kristin Cashore. It was a good month though - Havemercy was just my kind of book and Soulless and Doubleblind were both tons of fun. The Soulless review is almost complete - I just finished a rough draft of it a minute ago so hopefully I can get it up tomorrow night.

Fire and Medicine Road (by Charles deLint) were on my list for September so finishing up the former and beginning the latter will be first on my list. After that, I'd like to read something I don't recall seeing reviewed before - perhaps Night's Master by Tanith Lee or My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due. Then it will be on to Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler. After that, I refuse to plan - it will all depend on how much of the month is left at that point.

What's everyone reading/thinking about reading this month?


Memory said...

I didn't get through too many books in September either. Maybe there was something in the air.

I'd really like to read the rest of Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch series in October, if I can get my hands on them. I finished the first book yesterday, and I loved it. I also want to finish up a couple of other fantasy series I've got on the go.

Nephtis said...

Sergei Lukyanenko's books are great. I first read them in Russian. I hope more of his science fiction and fantasy is translated, because he's quite excellent - he infuses old-school space opera pulp (sheer entertainment) always with a vein of some philosophical and political meaning. And his short stories are excellent (and I'm a person who doesn't like short stories, yet I loved his.) He's like a Russian Ted Chiang in that sense.

Recap of my recent reading history.

Elisabeth Vonarburg - The Maerlande Chronicles is the best of the 3 books I've read so far by this French Canadian author.

Walter Jon Williams - The more I read, the more infatuated I become with this author. Really good science fiction - whether hard, space opera, or fantasy science, and completely unexpected strength of characterization and development. And he writes really well, the quality of prose is better than of any other hard sf/space opera writer (incl Simmons, Reynolds, Hamilton, Banks, Baxter, much as I might enjoy all of these). In 3 books I've read so far (counting the Dread Empire trilogy as one), he had 2 protagonists, male and female (like in C.S. Friedman's In Conquest Born), equally strong and interesting, with the woman's story being even more compelling. I want to read more of this writer, but my credit card stopped working and I took that as a sign not to buy too many more new books.

China Mieville - trying to read The Scar, for the 3rd time. I've gotten almost halfway into the novel this time, and it got really interesting. And again, I just want to find out what happens, skim to the interesting parts, look up spoilers, and put the book away. Which is too bad, because in parts it conjures very good atmosphere. But because the book is unable to sustain the subtle tension of quieter moments, and throws in a lot of gratuitous violence, horror, and suspense, I lose my patience.

Kay Kenyon - got about 100 pages into Bright of the Sky, and put it away. I like the beginning and the science fiction, but the setting in the fantasy world bored me. Maybe I'm not in the mood for fantasy.

Planning to read next: Dreamships by Melissa Scott is in my purse right now. Probably Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams. Also I've been nibbling at Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, a really good collection of short stories.

orannia said...

I only managed to read five books in September, and one of them was manga and very short :) I'm currently reading Cast in Silence, which is good but very complicated. Michelle Sagara West is an amazing writer but sometimes I feel she gives me too much credit. Sometimes I honestly have no idea what is going on!

Oh, and I'm looking forward to reading The Enchantments of Flesh & Spirit :)

Benjamin said...

I managed to get through several books, but most were fairly short and I had plenty of time to read them. Three books coming out this month that I'm hoping to read soon:

My Dead Body, Charlie Huston
Canticle, Ken Scholes
Nyphron Rising, Michael J. Sullivan

But those won't come out til the middle of October. I just started Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson. Not sure what will be next after that.

Kristen said...

Memory - Perhaps there was something in the air for September. Even though I loved Havemercy it took me a couple of weeks to read it and the only reason I managed to read two others so soon after that was because they were short, fast-paced books.

It sounds as though I may have to add Night Watch to the wish list.

Nephtis - Now I definitely need to add Night Watch to the wish list. Pure fun with philosophical and political meaning - sounds like the perfect combination.

I just looked up the Maerlande Chronicles and ended up adding that one to the list too - it sounds fantastic!

Which book by Walter Jon Williams is your favorite so far? There are two books by him I've been wanting to read, the first one in the Dread Empire trilogy and Implied Spaces. Based on what you just said about his writing, I think I may have to read one of them sooner rather than later.

Orannia - I've been wanting to read Michelle Sagara West's Cast series. Are all the books in the series somewhat confusing?

Can't wait to hear what you think of The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit!

Benjamin - How is Julian Comstock so far? I've never read anything by Robert Charles Wilson, although I've heard he's a good writer.

James said...

I only managed four in September and they were all relatively short books.

As for October:

I have to finish both The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christoper Barzak and Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. By then Canticle by Ken Scholes should be out and waiting for me to read it. Hopefully Night Shade will pull through and release Madness of Flowers by Jay Lake as scheduled. If so, that will probably be my month in full. If not, I have a load of short fiction coming in the mail to round out the month.

ediFanoB said...

To my surprise I finished six books
- The Loch by Steve Alten
- Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
- Sturmwelten - Unter Schwarzen Segeln by Christoph Hardebusch
- The Drowning City by Amanda Downum
- Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
- The Osiris Ritual by George Mann

Now I wait for copies of
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
- Drood by Dan Simmons
- Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd

In the meantime I read a reviewer copy of Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe.

Harry Markov said...

I am not quite sure how many books I have finished, but around 3-4, of which most were 200 pages and were devoured later on for two days each. Scar Night swallowed 3 weeks of September.

Benjamin said...

Kristen, Julian Comstock is good so far. Nothing earth-shattering, but I'm only 90 pages into it. The only other book of his I've read is Darwinia, which was also good. The main thing about Darwinia is that the basic premise turns out to be completely different than what you expect.

orannia said...

Kristen - I finished Cast in Silence yesterday; The Chronicles of Elantra series is fantastic. At times it can be confusing, but I think that is a me thing and not the book :) It's a fascinating world. If you do try the first book - Cast in Shadow - I look forward to hearing what you think :)

Kristen said...

James - Short books make it easier. Reading some short books toward the end of the month is the only way I even managed to get through the few I did this month.

ediFanoB - Six books is what I'd consider a pretty good reading month. It happens once in a while but not that often.

Harry - I had a similar problem - finishing The Magicians and reading Havemercy took about 2 - 3 weeks. The rest of the books I read were short and easy to read so I got through them pretty quickly.

Benjamin - Darwinia sounds intriguing - I like unexpected turns. That may have to go on my list once the TBR gets a bit smaller (hahaha).

Orannia - I unexpectedly received $5 to spend at a nearby bookstore in my email this weekend. Of course, I had to use it... One of the books I ended up getting was Cast in Shadows - I've had my eye on it for a while. (The other book was Resenting the Hero.)

Kailana said...

2009 in general is flying by!

Benjamin said...

Kristen, I thought you might be interested to know that I finished Julian Comstock and it was quite good. I'd give it four stars out of five. The main drawback is that I couldn't shake the feeling that the book could have been great instead of just merely good.

Kristen said...

Kailana - I know, it's crazy! Every time it's a new month I can't believe it's here already - and nobody else I know seems to be able to either.

Benjamin - Thanks for letting me know about Julian Comstock! That always bothers me somewhat - when a merely good book feels like it could have been great. I felt that way about Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series.