Sunday, December 24, 2017

12. The Well of Ascension

By Brandon Sanderson (763 pp)

I hurried to finish this book so I could pass it on to my cousin when I saw him at Christmas. I had mixed feelings about this book.  I enjoyed it less than the first one. There were enough interesting developments to keep me reading but at times it felt like a slog. When I finished, I fired up a wiki since I had some questions and most people posted: stop reading the wiki and go read the next book. Your questions will be answered.  So another 700 page fatty awaits.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

11. Mistborn

By Brandon Sanderson (643 pp)

I was ready to read a big fat fantasy book and this book won. I loved it. Several times I was jolted out of the story to find that sadly, the bus had pulled up to my destination and reading time was finished. My out-of-control book pile is well documented but I had to run Powell's and get the next two in the series. It's a gang of thieves heist but also saving the world people with varying types of powers. Nothing is quite what it seems. Recommend.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

10. Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety

By Sacha Scoblicb (225 pp)

This is a memoir about a recovered alcoholic that I read for research on a character. It gave me what I needed for research but I didn't totally connect with the book.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

9. Mysterion Anthology

Subtitle: Rediscovering the Mysteries of the Christian Faith

Donald Crankshaw and Krisin Janz, ed. (298 pp)

This is an anthology that one of my Clarion West classmates edited with her husband. The theme is speculative fiction that engages meaningfully with the Christian faith. I was not sure what to expect and these stories were a great surprise. There was no typical story and this isn't going to be very instructive because I don't have time to go back and call out all the ones that I particularly liked. One that stuck with me was about an anchorite -- someone who is bricked into a cell and devotes their life to religious study. I recommend to people who enjoy Christian themed fiction OR people who enjoy reading a wide variety of stories.

Friday, September 1, 2017

8. Uprooted

By Naomi Novick (434 pp)

This is a book by the author of the Temeraire dragon books. I loved the first Temeraire book and was medium on the next two and never finished the series. This book is a little deceptive because it has a character named the Dragon but he is not that kind of dragon. The setting is more of a dark fairy tale and I mostly loved it. If I had one problem, even though there was lots of action, it dragged for me. No one major problem certain parts went on too long I also got tired of magic. Magic can happen but I don't need to know all the spell casting. Overall: recommend.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

7. The Sharing Knife

by Lois Bujold McMaster (298 pp ebook)

I've been trying to cram in a bunch of reading before I start another writing project. I had a paperback on the bus and decided to bail on it and this is the first book that came up on my eReader. I love this author. She has a ton of books I haven't read and it's hard to resist the urge to plow through every single one. This is a fantasy with magical objects and strange creatures that's really a romance and I had a some quibbles but mostly I loved it.

Friday, July 28, 2017

6. Blindsight

By Peter Watts (384 pp)

Look at this, 6 pitiful books for 2017 but at least I read this in one week. This book is spectacular and dense and not something I could read while in the middle of a writing project. I don't think I can adequately explain in a sentence because if I say: a space crew goes to investigate a comet and ends up in contact with aliens, it sounds like a familiar story. It's way more complex than that and deals with consciousness and biology and a lot more. Very highly recommend.

Friday, July 14, 2017

5. Three Dark Crowns

By Kendare Blake (407 pp ebook)

A couple of years ago I read Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares by this author so when this book showed up in my Bookbub (super addictive way to buy ebooks, join at your own risk) I had to grab it. It's dark and the whole time I read it, I couldn't guess where it was going. Also, it's a cliffhanger and book 2 comes out in September! I recommend.

Friday, June 16, 2017

4. X (Kinsey Millhone #24)

By Sue Grafton (404 pp ebook)

This is another book that turned up on sale in my BookBub and I had to buy. There was a period of time when I never missed these books but around N or O I lost interest. Since this was a couple of bucks I grabbed it and it was a fun easy read on an afternoon where I was feeling under the weather. I like the characters and the way Kinsey always misbehaves. But I'm terrible at figuring out mysteries and I had figured out what was up on a couple of things long before Kinsey. I guess I saw the prologue so maybe I'm being too hard on her. If you like Kinsey or procedurey mysteries. Recommend.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

3. The Sparrow

By Mary Doria Russell (441 pp ebook)

This book came out in 1996 and I read it somewhere around that time. It's about a Jesuit mission to another planet that goes very wrong. You learn that in the first few pages so it's not a spoiler. There was a notice it was on sale in my BookBub (my nemesis, but I will never give it up) so I bought it. When I read it the first time, I remember it being very page turn-y. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I shared it with my family and enjoyed talking about it. It was very interesting to read it again after hanging out around spec fiction writers for the last decade. I still enjoyed it but I had issues - partly with the world building and also with the way almost every major story event happened off screen and someone told us about it later. Still recommend.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2. Paladin Of Souls

By Lois McMaster Bujold (442 pp ebook)

I was reluctant but I started reading books on my phone and that has upped my reading a little bit. This is a sort-of sequel to Curse of Chalion Book #14 from 2016. The events of this book come after that book but the stories are self-contained. I loved them both. The world-building is complex, there's a lot going on and there is a romantic element which always makes me happy. Recommend.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

1. A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers (357 pp ebook)

OMG. Can this be real? This is the first book I've finished in 2017? I have been barely able to keep up with my New Yorkers. (I recommend this great essay about taking an aging parent on an Odyssey themed cruise and this short story by new-to-me writer Emma Cline.) I made some ridiculous writing goals which kicked my ass and then broke my brain so my reading has dwindled. It's a crisis. When I finish the latest book, I'm taking a month off and concentrating on reading.

It took me about 6 weeks to finish this, which is no reflection of my feelings about the book which I enjoyed a great deal. It's about the crew of a Firefly-like spaceship and focuses more on the people and their relationships than crazy space adventures, although there is some of that, too. Recommend.