Posts Tagged ‘books’
I’ve been dabbling in a few books lately, reading a few pages or a few chapters here and there, not really committing to any of them for the long haul. Book Attention Deficit Disorder? that’s badd.
Here’s what I’ve been reading:
Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson was written in 1998, won the Prix Aurora, and was nominated for a Hugo. The premise is that in 1912, a large portion of Europe and Northern Africa disappeared overnight and was replaced with alien flora and fauna. A new age of discovery and exploration begins. I’m maybe 40 pages in so far, and having a good time. It’s the little details so far that are really pulling me in – momentary discussion of Europeans living in America and Canada who realize they may be the last people on Earth who speak their native language, characters mention reading Tarzan like stories in pulp magazines, it’s just a ton of fun all around. I hope the rest of it is as good as the beginning!
Terra Incognita by Sara Wheeler is about her experiences in Antarctica. I’m reading a non-fiction book, can you believe it? In the early chapters that I’ve read so far, she’s mostly talking about early explorers who went to the poles, people who got stranded, areas of Antarctica that were named after who, etc. Many years ago, I read an article (or maybe short novel? or excerpt?) that described the two kinds of people who are interested in Antarctica: those who have never visited the continent, and those who are trying to get back. Basically, once you go, all you want to do is go back. It’s been interesting jumping from this book to Darwinia. They are both about exploration, survival, and the unknown.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown was written in 2014. It’s the first of a trilogy, and the final book in the series, Morning Star, came out earlier in 2016. Imagine if Hunger Games took place in the world of Gattaca, throw in a lot of Machiavellian social expectations and a very angry teenager who has lost someone he loves, and you’ll have something approaching Red Rising. I really want to like this book, but it’s just way to YA for me. That isn’t a knock against YA, it’s just me saying there are things I enjoy reading and things I don’t enjoy reading. And I’ve read some great YA, this just isn’t one of those great YA books. I’ll probably DNF this one. If you’ve read this book, or this series, what did you think of it?
It’s been a fun week! reading something dark, something fantastical and unexpectedly funny, and something unputdownable that also made me think. Good times!
I really enjoyed Teresa Frohock’s Los Nefilim, and I’ve had her Miserere on my bookshelf for at least a year. This is one that I’m slowly savoring. Gorgeous visuals, broken characters, and wow is it grim. Not grimdark, but dark and grim. If this book had a soundtrack it would be deep cello and percussion, very low pitched with lots of sustained vibrations that you feel before you realize you’re hearing them. But you’d need something sunny in there , because reasons and those sunset sherbet visuals. Maybe clarinet?
On the opposite end of the spectrum is The Starlit Wood, a new anthology of retold and reinvented fairy tales. When hubby saw me reading it, the first thing he asked was “so, it’s like Snow White, Blood Red?” (edited by Datlow and Windling), and i said it was sorta like that, that each story is a take on a different fairy tale, but this new one is way more modern and the first few stories I read (I read them out of order) had me laughing my head off, which was a nice surprise! Review coming soon! But in the meantime, if you like to be entertained, and you like fairy tales, this is a book you should watch for!
I netgalleyed Faller, Will McIntosh’s forthcoming novel (dude, I still have nightmares about Soft Apocalypse, I can NOT believe I bought a bamboo plant!). Not only did I have to refamiliarize myself with how netgalley works, but I also had to remember how to use my kindle. I can’t really talk about this book yet, but erm, I got the file last week, and I’ve already finished the book.
I also acquired a novel called Red Rising, that came out a while ago, but it’s a trilogy and the 3rd book is coming out pretty soon. It was described to me as “kinda YA-ish, but really good”. It’s the October book for my local SciFi bookclub, so we shall see!
So, that’s what I’ve been up to recently. how about you?
I owe ya’ll reviews for Kevin Hearne’s The Purloined Poodle (it was so adorkable! I loved it!) and Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Children (what a disappointment!). While I was finishing those books up, the mail man and the UPS guy have been pretty busy bringing me goodies nearly every day this week. And of course I bought some stuff too.
Currently reading: Territory by Emma Bull
so, what looks good?
Everfair by Nisi Shawl has been getting a lot of buzz, and Of Sand and Malice Made is a beautiful small format hardcover (this photo doesn’t do either of these books justice, they both have gorgeous cover art!) of prequel stories that take place before his Twelve Kings in Sharakhai.
These pretties from Subterranean Press are Penric the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold, and Coco Butternut by Joe R. Lansdale. I’ve got the first novella in the Bujold series, and yes, Coco is a Hap and Leonard story!
I’m ridiculously excited about The Starlit Wood, and anthology of reimagined fairy tales. I seriously got shivers just looking at the table of contents. It’s like all my favorite authors and all their favorite friends got together to have a party full of awesome. Retold fairy tales? YES PLEASE. It’s gonna be tough to finish the Emma Bull with this sitting on the kitchen table . . . and that’s saying something, since she’s a damn good writer.
When I pick up a book, I really do pick it up with the intent of finishing it. But these last 10 days or so, I’ve been having trouble sticking with any one book. I’ll pick something up, read half of it, pick something else up, read 20 pages, pick up an anthology and read two stories…. we’ve all been there. I can’t seem to stick with anything! Years ago, when asked “how do you decide what to read?”, my friend nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness said she puts a ton of interesting looking books in a comfy reading spot, reads the first 40-50 pages of each one, sees which one grabs her attention, and then she puts the rest down guilt-free.
I took five books that have been sitting on my To Be Read stack, and did the same. I read 50 pages of each (or at least attempted to), and one or two really stood out as books that If i continue reading, I’m gonna finish. the books were:
Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey – Thomas Dunne Books, June 2016
Way Down Dark by J.P Smythe – Quercus Books, Oct 2016
A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh – Quercus Books, April 2016
Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire by Joe R Lansdale – Subterranean Press, Nov 2016
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer – Tor Books, May 2016
Well? How did it go? Did 5 books 50 pages help me figure out what to read next? LOL, at least this is a spoiler free post, since the events I talk about in these books happen in the first 50 pages and I have no idea what happens next!
Starting tomorrow, I have four days off in a row. Without even having to take a single vacation day. Corporate America, sometimes I love you. There will be much turkey eaten, much pie consumed, much booze and chocolate inhaled. Also? Books.
Here are some reviews I’ll be working on:
fuzzy photo is fuzzy: they are A Fantasy Medley 3, edited by Yanni Kuznia, The End of the Story, the Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, and Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction, edited by Jeff Vandermeer.
Once I’m done with that, my reward is to read these goodies!
I lied a little. I’ve already started reading RJB’s City of Blades, and will probably have finished it by Thanksgiving Day. Because RJB writes only awesomesauce. The others are Downfall of the Gods by K.J. Parker, I Am Crying All Inside, short fiction by Clifford Simak (hello Vintage month!), and Fable: Blood of Heroes by Jim C. Hines. I’m hoping for some chicken kicking and gargoyle shooting in the Hines, btw.
If you are lucky enough to have time off this weekend, how will you be spending it?
I read this stuff:
I’m in the middle of reading this:
of those, here are the books I’ve already written reviews for:
oh, none of them? blergh.
We survived the move! mostly because the professional movers moved all the heavy stuff. those poor guys, lugging everything up four flights of stairs. if professional movers start charging a thousand dollars extra per outdoor flight of stairs, that’s our fault.
the new place is huge, with a nicer view than the old place. I am not used to having to walk so far to the coffee pot. that could be a problem. 😉 if we ever get the place somewhat unpacked, I’ll post some photos. We were short a bookcase before the move, and our oldest bookcase didn’t survive the move. So there are a ton of book boxes sitting around until the new bookcase we ordered arrives. Maybe we should have ordered 2 bookcases?
status of book reviews and such, because #books:
books i’ve finished and need to, like, review sometime:
The Gabble by Neal Asher – if you like super alien aliens, you’ll like this. as a collection, it’s got pros and cons, but it serves a good introduction to Asher’s Polity universe and his writing style.
American Craftsmen by Tom Doyle – I really enjoyed how this started, and Doyle’s written himself the foundations for a series that he could have a lot of fun with. I had some issues with the action scenes, but I’m an action scene snob.
books on the horizon that I’m planning to read next: