Monday, February 1, 2010

January Reading

For a while, I was doing posts at the beginning of the month about what I was planning to read. Since planning doesn't always work that well for me, I decided to join in the ranks of those who post what they did read during the previous month at the beginning of a new month.

January was a pretty dismal reading month. It started off really well with 3 books read in the first couple of days while I was still on holiday vacation. Since then, I've only finished 2 more books, though, and I haven't reviewed any of them (although I am at least halfway done with one review). That's why I started Miles Errant - it's huge so I was hoping to be caught up by the time I was done reading it.

January Reading:

1. Jhereg by Steven Brust
2. Yendi by Steven Brust
3. Teckla by Steven Brust
4. Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold (not including this novella toward my total books read since it was originally published in another collection instead of as a separate book)
5. Brothers In Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold

Favorite January book: I think I'm going to have to go with Jhereg since I can't count Mirror Dance yet. Last night I stayed up really late because I "just had to read one more chapter." I had originally intended to just finish one chapter I'd started earlier. Finally around 2:00 I realized I'd really better put it down and try to get some sleep...

Books that counted toward 2010 goals: Brothers In Arms went toward both the reading more science fiction goal and reading more books in series I have started and not finished.

What did everyone read last month?


ediFanoB said...

In January I read and enjoyed three books plus 90 pages of Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson.

The books
THE BOOKMAN by Lavie Tidhar
A SHADOW IN SUMMER by Daniel Abraham
DROOD by Dan Simmons.

And DROOD is definitely one of my top reads in 2010.

Anastasia said...

I read:

Tananarive Due - My Soul to Keep

Laini Taylor - Lips Touch: Three Times

Elizabeth Bear - All the Windwracked Stars (re-read)

- By the Mountain Bound
(makes my list of top 20 faves ever)

- Blood and Iron
(I have question about this one - my impression was that at the end, Elaine went to Hell as the sacrifice, but then I saw that she was in the sequel alive and well, reigning. What happened?)

Tanith Lee - Sung in Shadow
(a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, really gorgeous prose)

Also read, but had to skip/skim some sections due to the fact that I had to work the next morning:

Kay Kenyon - Bright of the Sky (very good)
Justina Robson - Mappa Mundi

Benjamin said...

Hey Kristen! The books I read in January:
Hex and the City, Simon R. Green
Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
The Cardinal’s Blades, Pierre Pevel
Heroes Die, Matthew Woodring Stover
Kitty’s House of Horrors, Carrie Vaughn
The Risen Empire, Scott Westerfeld
The Killing of Worlds, Scott Westerfeld

Plus two novellas:
Judge Sn Goes Golfing, John Scalzi
The God Engines, John Scalzi

All of these were good to great except for Heroes Die, which I felt was merely average.

Kristen said...

ediFanoB - I have been hearing very good things about Drood. How did you like A Shadow in Summer?

Anastasia - How did you like My Soul to Keep knowing what would happen in the end? I'm glad you liked By the Mountain Bound so much; I really loved that one too. Sung in Shadow sounds very good; I hadn't heard of that one.

As far as your question about Blood and Iron goes, it's answered very early in the second one if I remember correctly (it has been a while since I read them so maybe it was later than I thought - I seem to recall it was in the first chapter though). Do you still want me to tell you?

Actually, if you do still want to know the answer, click this link to a review of the second book (it's at the end of the third paragraph).

Benjamin - That sounds like a good reading month. Interesting you should say that about Heroes Die. I have always heard very good things about it but I tried reading it once and ended up putting it aside after about 60 pages. It didn't strike me as being that wonderful, either, but I wasn't sure if it was just a case of not being in the mood to read it.

Benjamin said...

Kristen, I had heard a lot of good stuff about as well which is why I bought it. It has flashes of what might have been a very good story, but I feel that the author tried to combine too many different elements. Another flaw in my opinion, was that in the fantasy world the main character is considered by everyone to be this bad-ass guy and it turns out he is exactly that level of bad-ass, no more no less.

It seems I'm probably in the minority on this book. If you do try the book again, I hope you like it more the second time around. :)

orannia said...

I count reading one book a win :) I read a bit of manga last month, and discovered Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. STILL haven't read Corambis - that review of The Mirador is laughing at me!

Kristen said...

Benjamin - Thanks for telling me more about what you liked and didn't like about Heroes Die. I'll probably give it another try at some point, although it is not high on my to-read list by any means. Hearing that you read the entire book and still didn't think that highly of it means it'll probably take me even longer to get to it than it would have before.

Orannia - I usually like to read at least 4 or 5 books a month but with the number I'd read in the first couple of days I was prepared for a really high reading month. Oh well, I think I'll have more time starting about now.

I really, really want to read the Kate Daniels series. And I was glad to read your review of The Mirador today - I think you had some really interesting insights into the characters. That's one of the reasons I love those books so much - there are so many things to analyze about the characters and why they behave the way they do.

orannia said...

Kristen - *nods* Yes, when the month starts well and then you get bogged down it is frustrating. That's one of the reasons why I always sneak a couple of manga books in, as they are fast reads! I know, very sneaky *grin*

The Kate Daniels series is great. The first book is a little slow (I guess with the world-building), but things start moving in the second and third books. And the myriad of characters are great.

And thank you for your comment on my review of The Mirador. I'm very bad at discussing the plot, but am happy to wax lyrical about the characters. And yes, there is so much going on! I can't wait to read Corambis, and hopefully I'll review it faster than The Mirador :)

Kristen said...

Orannia - Yes, that is very frustrating. It was a busier month than normal so I just didn't end up having as much time as usual for reading.

The first Kate Daniels book is one of my five books I decided I must read in 2010. And the more I hear about it from you and others, the more I want to read it. :)

With the Sarah Monette books, I think the plot is secondary to the characters. Sure, there are some things that happen but most of the books are about the characters, how they react to their circumstances and why they do the things they do.