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Kriti's (kgodey) 2017 reading

75 Books Challenge for 2017

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Jan 13, 2017, 2:34am Top

Welcome to my 2017 thread!

About Me
I'm 27, and I'm a software engineer / engineering manager for a company that develops transportation related software. The company is based in San Francisco but I work out of my home in a small college town in Ohio. I've been married for four years to my husband Joseph, and we live a pretty quiet life.

This is my seventh year with the 75 Books Challenge group. I usually only have one thread each year – I'm not very chatty and I often don't have time to post here (the company I work for is growing rapidly, and my responsibilities keep increasing), but I really enjoy being part of this group and try to keep up the best that I can.

I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, some non-fiction (primarily history related) and some general fiction. I review books sporadically on my blog, Just a World Away. I don't have many goals or categories – I just read what I want, although some of my reading is driven by the review copies I receive from publishers. The few goals I do have are in the post below this one.

Joseph and I have been watching at least one movie everyday since October 2015. I reviewed a few in my thread last year, and I may do so again this year.


Last year's thread: Kriti's (kgodey) 2016 reads

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 3:59pm Top


Read at least 75 books
Current total: 76

Read 36 books I already own as of 2016
1. Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan (acquired Dec 2016)
2. Love Hina, Vol 1. by Ken Akamatsu (acquired Feb 2012)
3. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (acquired Jul 2016)
4. The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan (acquired Jan 2016)
5. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (acquired Nov 2016)
6. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (acquired Apr 2013)
7. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (acquired Jun 2014)
8. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (acquired Jun 2014)
9. Death Masks by Jim Butcher (acquired Jun 2014)
10. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (acquired Jun 2014)
11. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (acquired Jun 2014)
12. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (acquired Jun 2014)

Read at least 5 non-fiction books
1. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (finished Jan 8)
2. The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson (finished Feb 7)
3. Evicted by Matthew Desmond (finished Apr 8)
4. Toxic Parents by Susan Forward (finished Dec 21)
5. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner (finished Dec 22)
6. The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller (finished Dec 25)

Read at least 10 non-SFF fiction books
1. Dear Samsor by Ahmad Zia Wahdat (finished Jan 20)
2. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal (finished Jul 2)

Edited: Apr 9, 6:23pm Top


Write 52 book review posts on my blog
1. "Merchants and Maji" by William C. Tracy
2. "The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemisin
3. "Age of Myth" by Michael J. Sullivan
4. "Unfettered II" edited by Shawn Speakman
5. "The Heart of What Was Lost" by Tad Williams
6. “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick
7. "The Obelisk Gate" by N.K. Jemisin
8. “Dear Samsor” by Ahmad Zia Wahdat
9. “Empire Games” by Charles Stross
10. “The Crown Tower” by Michael J. Sullivan
11. “The Rose and the Thorn” by Michael J. Sullivan
12. "The Death of Dulgath" by Michael J. Sullivan
13. Reread: "Theft of Swords" by Michael J. Sullivan
14. Reread: "Rise of Empire" by Michael J. Sullivan
15. Abandoned: “Crossroads of Canopy” by Thoraiya Dyer
16. Reread: "Heir of Novron" by Michael J. Sullivan
17. "Six Wakes" by Mur Lafferty
18. "Discount Armageddon" by Seanan McGuire
19. "The Sudden Appearance of Hope" by Claire North
20. "The Ghost Map" by Steven Johnson
21. "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" by Becky Chambers
22. Review & Giveaway: “The Collapsing Empire” by John Scalzi
23. "Green Rider" by Kristen Britain
24. "Sins of Empire" by Brian McClellan
25. "A Closed and Common Orbit" by Becky Chambers
26. "Lock In" by John Scalzi
27. “Within the Sanctuary of Wings” by Marie Brennan
28. “Snapshot” by Brandon Sanderson
29. "The Waking Fire" by Anthony Ryan
30. “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond
31. “City of Miracles” by Robert Jackson Bennett
32. "Assassin's Fate" by Robin Hobb
33. "The Summer Dragon" by Todd Lockwood
34. "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North
35. “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows” by Balli Kaur Jaswal
36. "The Guns Above" by Robyn Bennis
37. "Red Sister" by Mark Lawrence
38. "The Legion of Flame" by Anthony Ryan
39. "The Witchwood Crown" by Tad Williams
40. Book series review: The Dresden Files (1-15) by Jim Butcher
41. Book series review: Raven's Shadow by Anthony Ryan
42. "The Stone Sky "by N.K. Jemisin
43. “Paradox Bound” by Peter Clines
44. "Provenance" by Ann Leckie
45. “An Echo of Things to Come” by James Islington
46. “The Bear and the Nightingale” by Katherine Arden
47. “The Core” by Peter V. Brett
48. "Artemis" by Andy Weir
49. "Oathbringer' by Brandon Sanderson

Write 52 movie review posts on my blog
1. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 1-7, 2017
2. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 8-14, 2017
3. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 15-21, 2017
4. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 22-28, 2017
5. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 29-Feb 4, 2017
6. Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 5-11, 2017
7. Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 12-18, 2017
8. Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 19-25, 2017
9. Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 26-Mar 4, 2017
10. Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 5-11, 2017
11. Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 12-18, 2017
12. Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 19-25, 2017
13. Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 26-Apr 1, 2017
14. Weekly Movie Reviews: Apr 2-8, 2017
15. Weekly Movie Reviews: Apr 9-15, 2017
16. Weekly Movie Reviews: Apr 16-22, 2017
17. Weekly Movie Reviews: Apr 23-29, 2017
18. Weekly Movie Reviews: Apr 30-May 6, 2017
19. Weekly Movie Reviews: May 7-13, 2017
20. Weekly Movie Reviews: May 14-20, 2017
21. Weekly Movie Reviews: May 21-27, 2017
22. Weekly Movie Reviews: May 28-Jun 3, 2017
23. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jun 4-10, 2017
24. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jun 11-18, 2017
25. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jun 18-24, 2017
26. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jun 25-Jul 1, 2017
27. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jul 2-8, 2017
28. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jul 9-15, 2017
29. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jul 16-22, 2017
30. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jul 23-29, 2017
31. Weekly Movie Reviews: Jul 30-Aug 5, 2017
32. Weekly Movie Reviews: Aug 6-12, 2017
33. Weekly Movie Reviews: Aug 13-19, 2017
34. Movie review: Death Note (2017)
35. Weekly Movie Reviews: Aug 20-26, 2017
36. Weekly Movie Reviews: Aug 27-Sep 2, 2017
37. Weekly Movie Reviews: Sep 3-9, 2017
38. Weekly Movie Reviews: Sep 10-16, 2017
39. Weekly Movie Reviews: Sep 17-23, 2017
40. Weekly Movie Reviews: Sep 24-30, 2017
41. Weekly Movie Reviews: Oct 1-7, 2017
42. Weekly Movie Reviews: Oct 8-14, 2017
43. Weekly Movie Reviews: Oct 15-21, 2017
44. Weekly Movie Reviews: Oct 22-28, 2017
45. Weekly Movie Reviews: Oct 29-Nov 4, 2017
46. Weekly Movie Reviews: Nov 5-11, 2017
47. Weekly Movie Reviews: Nov 12-18, 2017

See my 2018 thread for links to the rest of the movie posts.

Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:22pm Top

/r/Fantasy 2017 book bingo (runs from Apr 1, 2017 to Mar 31, 2018)

This is a bingo card that I have to complete:

Any r/Fantasy Goodreads Group Book Of The MonthBlood Song by Anthony Ryan
Format: Graphic Novel (At Least One Volume) OR AudiobookWelcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher
Novel Featuring Time TravelThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
A Novel Published In 2017Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
An Author's Debut Fantasy NovelThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Non-fiction Fantasy Related Book
Fantasy Novel That's Been on Your 'To Be Read' List for Over a Year
Award Winning Novel
Subgenre: Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic / Apocalyptic / Dying EarthRed Sister by Mark Lawrence (also counts for 2017 novel if needed)
r/Fantasy Big List: 2016 Underread / Underrated

Horror Novel The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud
Fantasy Novel Featuring a Desert Setting
Re-Use ANY Previous r/Fantasy Bingo Square (Novel by an author on /r/Fantasy's Women in Fantasy list) – Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
Self-Published Fantasy NovelPenric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fantasy Novel Featuring a Non-Human Protagonist The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams

Sequel: Not the First Book in the SeriesAssassin's Fate by Robin Hobb
Novel By an r/Fantasy AMA Author OR Writer of the DayThe Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (also counts for 2017 novel or dragon novel if needed)
Subgenre: Fantasy of Manners
Fantasy Novel Featuring DragonsWithin the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan (also counts for 2017 novel & sequel if needed)
Subgenre: New Weird

Fantasy Novel Featuring Seafaring
Subgenre: SteampunkThe Guns Above by Robyn Bennis
Five Fantasy Short Stories
Novel by an Author from an r/fantasy Author Appreciation Post
Getting Too Old for This Crap: Fantasy Novel Featuring An Older (50+) ProtagonistCity of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (also counts as 2017 novel or sequel if needed)

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 7:10am Top


1. Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 2, 391 pages, hardcover, BOMB)
2. Love Hina, Vol 1. by Ken Akamatsu (Jan 2, 185 pages, paperback, BOMB)
3. Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman (Jan 8, 565 pages, hardcover)
4. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (Jan 8, 361 pages, hardcover, BOMB)
5. The Heart of What Was Lost by Tad Williams (Jan 10, 204 pages, review copy, hardcover)
6. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (Jan 14, 391 pages, review copy, paperback)
7. Empire Games by Charles Stross (Jan 17, 324 pages, review copy, hardcover)
8. The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 19, 368 pages, review copy, paperback)
9. Dear Samsor by Ahmad Zia Wahdat (Jan 20, 124 pages, e-book, e-book review copy)
10. The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 22, 347 pages, review copy, paperback)
11. The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 24, 435 pages, hardcover, BOMB)
12. Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 26, 648 pages, reread, review copy, paperback)
13. Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 28, 756 pages, reread, review copy, paperback)
14. Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan (Jan 30, 895 pages, reread, review copy, paperback)


Total books: 14
Total pages: 5,995
Abandoned: 0

Male authors: 12 (6 unique)
Female authors: 1 (1 unique)
Mixed authors: 1 (1 unique)

E-book: 1
Paperback: 7
Hardcover: 6

Review copy: 9
Reread: 3

Graphic novels: 1
Fiction: 13
Non-fiction: 1


15. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (Feb 2, 362 pages, review copy, ARC, paperback, BOMB)
16. The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson (Feb 7, 262 pages, hardcover)
17. The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North (Feb 12, 484 pages, review copy, paperback)
18. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Feb 14, 438 pages, paperback)
19. Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (Feb 18, 352 pages, review copy, paperback)
20. Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer (Feb 23, 363 pages, review copy, hardcover)
21. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Feb 28, 333 pages, review copy, ARC, paperback)

Did not finish
Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer (abandoned Feb 3, review copy, hardcover)


Total books: 7
Total pages: 2,594
Abandoned: 1

Male authors: 2 (2 unique)
Female authors: 5 (5 unique)
Mixed authors: 0

E-book: 0
Paperback: 5 (2 ARC)
Hardcover: 2

Review copy: 5
Reread: 0

Graphic novels: 0
Fiction: 6
Non-fiction: 1


22. Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Mar 2, 87 pages, e-book)
23. Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan (Mar 8, 604 pages, review copy, ARC, paperback)
24. Green Rider by Kristen Britain (Mar 14, 471 pages, review copy, paperback)
25. Lock In by John Scalzi (Mar 19, 334 pages, review copy, paperback)
26. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Mar 24, 364 pages, paperback)

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 7:10am Top


27. Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan (Apr 5, review copy, 333 pages, hardcover)
28. Evicted by Matthew Desmond (Apr 8, review copy, 341 pages, paperback)
29. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (Apr 15, review copy, 467 pages, hardcover)
30. The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (Apr 21, review copy, 496 pages, paperback)
31. City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (Apr 25, review copy, 451 pages, paperback)

Did not finish
A Star-Reckoner's Lot by Darrell Drake (abandoned Apr 17, review copy, paperback)


32. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (May 6, review copy, 579 pages, paperback)
33. Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson (May 7, 123 pages, hardcover)
34. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (May 10, review copy, 405 pages, paperback)
35. Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb (May 13, 847 pages, hardcover)
36. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (May 22, 575 pages, hardcover)
37. Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan (May 23, 602 pages, hardcover)
38. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (May 25, 339 pages, hardcover)
39. The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan (May 26, review copy, 552 pages, hardcover)
40. Storm Front by Jim Butcher (May 27, reread, 322 pages, paperback)
41. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (May 31, 342 pages, paperback, BOMB)


42. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (Jun 2, 378 pages, paperback, BOMB)
43. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (Jun 3, 371 pages, paperback, BOMB)
44. Death Masks by Jim Butcher (Jun 4, 374 pages, paperback, BOMB)
45. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (Jun 6, 372 pages, paperback, BOMB)
46. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (Jun 8, 424 pages, paperback, BOMB)
47. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (Jun 10, 479 pages, paperback, BOMB)
48. Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan (Jun 11, 637 pages, hardcover)
49. White Night by Jim Butcher (Jun 14, 404 pages, hardcover)
50. Small Favor by Jim Butcher (Jun 18, 420 pages, hardcover)
51. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (Jun 20, 418 pages, hardcover)
52. Changes by Jim Butcher (Jun 23, 438 pages, hardcover)
53. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (Jun 24, 477 pages, hardcover)
54. Cold Days by Jim Butcher (Jun 26, 515 pages, hardcover)
55. Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Jun 28, 454 pages, hardcover)
56. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher (Jun 30, 418 pages, hardcover)

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 2:42am Top

57. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal (Jul 2, 295 pages, review copy, paperback)
58. Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher and Ardian Syaf (Jul 2, 160 pages, graphic novel, hardcover)
59. The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis (Jul 4, 332 pages, review copy, hardcover)
60. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams (Jul 22, 694 pages, review copy, hardcover)
61. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (Jul 26, 398 pages. review copy, paperback)


62. Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan (Aug 16, 446 pages, hardcover)
63. Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold (Aug 18, 113 pages, e-book)


64. The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud (Sep 23, 427 pages, hardcover)
65. Paradox Bound by Peter Clines (Sep 28, 369 pages, review copy, hardcover)

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 12:14am Top


66. Provenance by Ann Leckie (Oct 15, 392 pages, review copy, paperback, ARC)
67. An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington (Oct 22, 716 pages, review copy, hardcover)

68. The Core by Peter V. Brett (Nov 4, 769 pages, hardcover)
69. Artemis by Andy Weir (Nov 8, 305 pages, review copy, hardcover)
70. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (Nov 18, 1243 pages, review copy, hardcover)
71. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Nov 23, 319 pages, review copy, paperback)
72. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Nov 25, 346 pages, review copy, paperback, ARC)

Did not finish
Valiant Dust by Richard Baker (date abandoned unknown, review copy, hardcover)


73. Toxic Parents by Susan Forward (Dec 21, 325 pages, hardcover)
74. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner (Dec 22, 224 pages, paperback)
75. A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge (Dec 23, 415 pages, review copy, hardcover)
76. Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller (Dec 25, 119 pages, hardcover)

Dec 22, 2016, 5:44am Top

Okay, I think my thread is all set up!

Dec 22, 2016, 6:31am Top

Happy readings in 2017, Kriti!

Dec 22, 2016, 6:57am Top

Hi, Kriti! Will you be updating us on the movies you watch this year?

Dec 22, 2016, 10:00am Top

Welcome back!

Dec 22, 2016, 5:55pm Top

Hi, fellow Ohioan!

Dec 22, 2016, 6:49pm Top

Always look out for your reading, Kriti, (chatty or not!) so it is great to see you back again for 2017.

Dec 22, 2016, 8:38pm Top

>10 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

>11 rosylibrarian: Hi Marie! I've been wanting to go back to reviewing movies, so hopefully! My husband and I are still watching one everyday.

>12 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>13 foggidawn: Hi Foggi!

>14 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

Dec 22, 2016, 8:51pm Top

Hi Kriti!

Dec 23, 2016, 10:09am Top

Hi, Kriti!

Dec 23, 2016, 12:04pm Top

>16 mahsdad: >17 scaifea: Hi Jeff and Amber!

Dec 28, 2016, 6:28am Top

Hi Kriti! Gotcha starred!!

Dec 28, 2016, 6:40pm Top

Hi! Dropping a star - looking forward to seeing what you read! :)

Dec 29, 2016, 2:49pm Top

Hi! Dropping a start and looking forward to seeing what you read (and watch) :-)

Dec 30, 2016, 4:28am Top

>19 Carmenere: >20 EllAreBee: >21 archerygirl: Hi Lynda, Kelly, and Kathy!

Dec 30, 2016, 11:46pm Top

"Read at least 10 non-SFF fiction books" - Haha. I like this goal of yours. ;) Looking forward to seeing what you end up reading this year.

Dec 31, 2016, 8:36am Top

Dec 31, 2016, 9:03am Top

I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

Dec 31, 2016, 3:56pm Top

>23 Kassilem: Hi Melissa! Yeah, we'll see how I do with the non-SFF books, I wanted to keep my goal fairly modest so I have some chance of meeting it :)

>24 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel! You too!

>25 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! Happy New Year to you too!

Dec 31, 2016, 6:28pm Top

Happy New Year! (dropping a star)

Jan 1, 2017, 1:57am Top

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 2:11am Top

Happy New Year, everyone!

Here are my 2016 stats:

Total books read: 87

Books by male authors: 43
Books by female authors: 43
Books by both male and female authors: 1

New books read: 66
Rereads: 20
Mix of new and reread: 1
Review copies read: 20

Unique male authors read: 20
Unique female authors read: 20

I was extremely evenly split between male and female authors!

Top 5 books of 2016


1. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
2. Too Like The Lightning by Ada Palmer
3. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
4. Hild by Nicola Griffith
5. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (really it's the whole series, but I picked this one since it cemented my love for the series)

Honorable mentions


1. A World At Arms by Gerhard Weinberg
2. Necessity by Jo Walton
3. City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
4. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
5. India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 2:37am Top

And here's the book meme that's been making its way around the thread – you're supposed to answer each question with the name of a book you read last year.

Describe yourself: Too Like The Lightning
Describe how you feel: Calamity
Describe where you currently live: The Forbidden Library
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: House of Many Ways
Your favorite form of transportation: Howl's Moving Castle
Your best friend is: The Mad Apprentice
You and your friends are: The Neverending Story
What’s the weather like: Cryoburn
You fear: The Price of Valor
What is the best advice you have to give: Embracing Defeat
Thought for the day: Never Let Me Go
How you would like to die: Necessity
Your soul’s present condition: Catching Fire

Jan 1, 2017, 9:44am Top

Thanks so much for visiting my thread, Kriti. I am looking forward to following you in 2017. And I am happy to see that The King of Attolia made you list of favorites - I have that series in the stacks, and I am hoping to get to it this year.

Jan 1, 2017, 2:29pm Top

Hi have a * Have a good New Year!

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 5:07pm Top

>31 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! I'm sure you'll enjoy the series, it instantly shot up to one of my favorites when I read it recently.

>32 BBGirl55: Thanks Bryony! You too!

Edited: Jan 1, 2017, 6:27pm Top

I've gotten off to a good start with my goal of writing 52 book reviews on my blog this year:

1. "Merchants and Maji" by William C. Tracy
2. "The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemisin

I also wrote two reviews yesterday, but I'm not counting those towards my total since it was still Dec 31 to me.

"Flame Tree Road" by Shona Patel
"Martians Abroad" by Carrie Vaughn

I'm currently reading Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan, which was one of my SantaThing books. It's pretty good so far.

Jan 1, 2017, 7:54pm Top

Hi, Kriti. Just stopping by to drop a star. Can't wait to see what you're reading and watching this year.

Jan 1, 2017, 9:44pm Top

>35 rretzler: Hi Robin! I'm glad you're back to LT!

Edited: Jan 2, 2017, 3:42pm Top

My first book of 2017 is Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan, which I received for SantaThing. I'm a fan of Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series, so I was looking forward to reading this book since it's a prequel. It's set 3,000 years before the events of Riyria which sounds like a lot, but since that's a normal lifespan for an elf of this world, it actually has more connections than I thought it would.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, I think of Sullivan's Riyria books as comfort fantasy, and that's exactly what this was too. The world is different since technology isn't as developed and human settlements are much smaller, but otherwise the themes and characterization were similar to Riyria – heroes rising from an unlikely place, fighting oppression, etc. This book isn't very subtle sometimes (there are characters that are just Evil) but that's okay.

Edit: I also have a slightly longer review up on my blog.

I go back to work tomorrow after ten days off (four actual vacation days sandwiched between two three day weekends), which means I'll have less time for reading, reviewing, and LibraryThing. It's been nice to have a break, though.

Edited: Jan 2, 2017, 6:47pm Top

2. Love Hina, Vol 1. by Ken Akamatsu

I watched the anime adaptation of this manga last year, and although it started off as a weird wish-fulfillment type show about a teenage boy managing a girls dorm (with lots of risque accidents), it quickly won me over with zany adventures, constant fourth wall breaking, and heartfelt character arcs.

We've had the manga for a while, and I decided to read the first volume today. I don't think I've ever read manga before, it took me a while to figure out what order the panels went in, I kept accidentally reading left-to-right. The book was even more risque than the show, and it's all setup right now, so not too much has happened. If I hadn't seen the show I probably wouldn't be interested in reading more, but each volume is a pretty quick read so I'll probably pick back up later.

Jan 2, 2017, 7:38pm Top

Happy New Year, Kriti! I will look forward not only to your book reviews, but also your movie comments. I see very few movies in the theater, so I'm always looking for suggestions of good ones I've missed that I can stream on Netflix or the like. Happy reading — and watching!

Jan 3, 2017, 11:25am Top

>39 rosalita: Happy New Year to you too, Julia, and welcome to my thread! I think I'll be posting movie reviews weekly.

Jan 3, 2017, 5:20pm Top

Hi, Kriti! Happy New Year! Thanks so much for visiting my 2017 thread.

Sounds like you are off to a stellar start with your reading and blogging. I've bookmarked your blog so I can follow it.

Jan 3, 2017, 7:59pm Top

Happy New Year and New Thread, Kriti! My goal is be a more active member of this group, so here's to resolutions!

Jan 3, 2017, 10:38pm Top

>41 Storeetllr: Hi Mary and welcome! I'm not sure how well I'll continue doing with the blogging and reading now that I'm back at work.

>42 leahbird: Hi Leah! I'm actually trying to have resolutions this year (exercise every day, blog more) which I haven't done for a few years, so here's to resolutions too! I have your thread starred as well.

Jan 3, 2017, 10:49pm Top

>36 kgodey: Thanks, Kriti! My goal is to try to hang on through the whole year this year! I managed once in 2015!

Jan 3, 2017, 11:23pm Top

>43 kgodey: I totally get that! When I retired, I found I had so much more time. Last year, I started working again and completely blew off everything else, including LT, because I couldn't manage to do anything else and work too - even though it was only part-time!

Edited: Jan 4, 2017, 8:44pm Top

>44 rretzler: I hope you're able to, I enjoy reading your reviews!

>45 Storeetllr: Work takes a lot out of you, even when it doesn't seem like it should! I work on my computer all day, so I end up wanting to spend my off-work hours nowhere near a computer.

I got my pre-order of the fantasy short story collection, Unfettered II yesterday. I'm pretty excited about it – all proceeds go to helping authors out of medical debt, plus it's new stories by some really great authors – Naomi Novik, Michael J. Sullivan, Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, etc. And an excerpt from Brandon Sanderson's next Stormlight Archive book, Oathbringer, which doesn't come out until November!

Jan 4, 2017, 9:34pm Top

Nice! Unfettered II sounds good!

Edited: Jan 5, 2017, 11:28am Top

Popping in to say hello and drop a star. Happy reading!

ETA - I had no idea there was an Unfettered II! I have the first volume, and really love the idea behind the book. I'll have to go see if there are any copies of the second volume still available!

Edited: Jan 7, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>47 Storeetllr: I'm about halfway through it, and I think the stories are pretty good so far! I usually don't read anthologies very often because they tend to be so uneven.

>48 tapestry100: Hi David, and welcome! I think there were still some copies left on the Grim Oak Press website, I hope you like it!

I was waiting to post here until I'd finished a book, but I'm doing something I almost never do – I'm reading two books at the same time (Unfettered II and Mayflower). Usually I can't wait to see what's happening with the story I'm currently reading so I have a compulsion to finish it, but that isn't an issue since neither of the books I'm reading are novels. Unfettered II is an anthology and Mayflower is non-fiction. Anyway, it's probably going to take me a couple of days to finish either of them.

Edited: Jan 8, 2017, 3:49pm Top

My first movie review post is up at this link: Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 1-7, 2017.

The movies reviewed are:
  • Koyaanisqatsi (1982)
  • Legend (1985)
  • The Losers (2010)
  • The Jungle Book (2016)
  • The Mask of Zorro (1998)
  • In The Valley of Elah (2007)
  • The Accountant (2016)

Jan 8, 2017, 2:41pm Top

Nice movie reviews, Kriti! We recently watched The Accountant and all of us liked it - I thought Ben Affleck was very good in it. Happy Sunday to you!

Edited: Jan 9, 2017, 2:28am Top

>51 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie! We thought Ben Affleck's performance was very well done, too.

I finished both the books I was reading today.


3. Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman – I thought this collection of stories was better than the average anthology. There's no theme to it, so there were a variety of different stories, although most were fantasy. Some stories were better than others, but I didn't think there were any absolute clunkers. I'll probably write a more detailed review for my blog later talking about my favorite stories.

Edit: Link to review on my blog: "Unfettered II" edited by Shawn Speakman

4. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War – This book isn't the history of the Mayflower voyage that I was hoping it would be, it focuses mainly on King Philip's War about fifty years after Plymouth was settled. It's well written and well researched though, and I still found it interesting because I don't know much about American history. I think I would have found an actual political history of the Mayflower and the early years of Plymouth more interesting, though – how the government was formed, how the colony grew and what hard decisions they made. The details of the war got boring after a while – Philbrick compares it to the Civil War or World War II in terms of percentage of population killed, but the fact remains that most battles involved a dozen to a hundred men. The lack of Native American sources makes the telling very one-sded as well.

Jan 9, 2017, 10:18am Top

>52 kgodey: I agree that an actual history of the Mayflower and early Plymouth would be very interesting, Kriti. Let me know if you find one!

Jan 12, 2017, 9:02pm Top

>53 rosalita: Will do, Julia! The first third of the book did offer that, and it was extremely compelling.

5. The Heart of What Was Lost by Tad Williams – I don't remember the events of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy very well, but I did enjoy it, so I was looking forward to reading more about the world. There haven't been any new Osten Ard books in a long time!

This is very much a grim war book, and it made for more intense reading than I expected. We follow people on both sides of the battle, including Duke Isgrimnur from the original trilogy. It was very interesting to see a Norn viewpoint – they were faceless implacable enemies previously, and now we know a lot more about their culture and motivations. They're the ones we're rooting for (despite some horrible acts they commit), because no one likes a genocide.

The way it ends has me looking forward to reading The Witchwood Crown when it comes out later this year, since it takes the "happily ever after" ending of the previous trilogy and adds some complexity to it.

Also, this is completely unrelated, but fantasy books need more original names. I recently read The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington, this one is The Heart of What Was Lost. To make things even more confusing, the second James Islington book is An Echo of Things To Come, and Tad Williams is writing another Osten Ard book called "The Shadow of Things To Come"...

I finished The Heart of What Was Lost a couple of days ago and I haven't started a new book yet. I got a pile of review copies in the last week, all by authors I really like, and I'm not sure where to start. I have:

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
The Crown Tower and The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

Also, after adding all these, I noticed that my "Review Copies" collection on LibraryThing is now 366 books! One for every day of the year on a leap year. That is a lot of free books.

Jan 13, 2017, 8:37am Top

Ok, so this is cool. I was planning a re-read of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn this year anyway. And now there's more!

Jan 13, 2017, 10:27am Top

>54 kgodey: I read The Obelisk Gate last year and it's amazing, if you need a hint on where to start :-D But only if you've already read The Fifth Season, because it will make no sense without that one!

Jan 13, 2017, 1:07pm Top

>55 drneutron: Hi Jim! And so much more coming too! At least four more Osten Ard books in the works.

>56 archerygirl: Hi Kathy! I read The Fifth Season in December and it made my top five of 2016. I did indeed start with The Obelisk Gate, I'm a few chapters into it now, and it seems just as good!

Edited: Jan 14, 2017, 11:16pm Top

#6 is The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. This is the follow up to The Fifth Season, and is just as good. We have a couple of new viewpoints this time – Nassun, Essun's daughter, and Schaffa, Syenite's former Guardian, but they fit very well into the expanding story. The world and characters continue to be utterly brutal. N.K. Jemisin writes so well that I almost don't even notice the awful acts that the protagonists commit because I'm so sympathetic to them (and because broken as they are, they seem to be the best the world has to offer.)

I'm really looking forward to how the conflict of interests established at the end is going to resolve itself. Only about six more months to wait!

Edited to add: I have a new blog post up! Full review of The Heart of What Was Lost by Tad Williams

Jan 15, 2017, 2:11pm Top

Kriti, its amazing to me that you can write all of those reviews. If I hadn't realized it before, I figured out last year that it is so difficult (painful, almost) to write a review. You do such a beautiful job of it, and make it look so easy! I also now understand where my younger son gets his writing disability from! I would love to get more free books, but I've just decided that the pleasure of getting a new free book doesn't begin to mask the pain of actually having to write the review. ;-)

I was very interested in your Koyaanisqatsi review. I have had it on my list to watch for many years but just haven't done it yet. My family and I were just talking about it the other day, or at least the music from it. We were talking about examples of contemporary composition, and I mentioned Philip Glass and Koyaanisqatsi as a good example. Many years ago, before kids, my husband and I used his parent's tickets to the Cleveland Symphony. That evening a composition by John Adams was being premiered -Century Rolls. While Ed and I both love the symphony, we were less than impressed by Century Rolls, even though we went to the pre-symphony talk that was given by John Adams about the work. Then several years later, we happened to go to the Cleveland Symphony again and, yes, it just so happened that Century Rolls was being performed AGAIN! Interestingly, I have no idea what other works were performed either evening; I can just remember Century Rolls and my dislike of it. We were telling our sons that story at the dinner table and talking about contemporary composition - we played both Century Rolls and Koyaanisqatsi for the boys and we were all in agreement that Philip Glass had written the better work! I'm not sure it would keep the boys' interest, but I think I will have to watch it soon!

Edited: Jan 15, 2017, 2:57pm Top

>59 rretzler: Thanks, Robin! I was terrible at writing reviews when I started, I had no idea what to say, but I've found that writing reviews helps me figure what I like and don't like about books (and movies), and helps me figure out what to read or watch next. It definitely eats up a bunch of time, but I'm a little bit of a workaholic and like to feel productive on the weekends when I'm not working. It also helps me keep sane at work because I feel like I have a side project that only I control that I can put some energy into.

That being said, I've never been consistent at reviewing, I usually review in spurts and then don't review at all for months. I'm trying to change that this year, but we'll see how it goes. I always do best at my resolutions in January.

I'm not familiar with Century Rolls, I'll have to listen to it and see how I feel about it. I can't say enough good things about Koyaanisqatsi's score, though. Two pieces from the score (Prophecies and Pruit Igoe) were also used to great effect in the Watchmen movie, and Hans Zimmer's Interstellar score (which I like too) was also inspired by it.

Edited: Jan 15, 2017, 7:27pm Top

My second movie review post of the year is up at this link: Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 8-14, 2017.

The movies reviewed are:
  • Interstellar (2014)
  • April and the Extraordinary World (2015)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Last Action Hero (1993)
  • The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  • Thunderball (1965)
  • Spectral (2016)

Jan 15, 2017, 7:27pm Top

Two more book review posts are up as well!

“Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick
"The Obelisk Gate" by N.K. Jemisin

I'm actually caught up with book reviews! As long as I don't count all the books I read in 2016 and previously, anyway.

Jan 16, 2017, 6:00pm Top

Hi Kriti! Just dropping by to see what you've been up to and drop of a star! I'm glad you are continuing with your movie reviews! I started doing that last year, but was so bad at doing reviews of any kind it quickly dropped off. Hmm, maybe I'll start up again. We just recently got Netflix so I'm sure our movie consumption will go up!

Edited: Jan 21, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>63 HanGerg: Hi Hannah! I hope you do movie reviews, I'd love to read them and hopefully get some movie bullets :)

Book #7 is Empire Games by Charles Stross.

I've never read any Stross before, but he's been on my wishlist for a very long time, so I was excited to read this book. It's set in the world of his Merchant Princes books, but it's the start of a new series. I had high hopes, but I ended up being a little underwhelmed.

I think a large part of why I didn't love this book was the picture that Stross paints of the world. After terrorists from an alternate timeline nuked the White House, the U.S. has become a paranoid surveillance state (compared often to the GDR and the Stasi) where the Bill of Rights is a farce. Conservative values have taken root, everyone is more racist and homophobic, and Roe vs. Wade was overturned. India and Pakistan have had a nuclear war.

I'm much more anti-surveillance than the average person (I won't use anything that has an always-on microphone, like an Amazon Echo, I host all my email on a local server rather than use GMail), but I just couldn't buy this world. India and Pakistan are very unlikely to have a nuclear war, and I cannot believe that Americans would allow Roe vs. Wade to be overturned or effectively give up on fourth and fifth amendment protections in some moral panic, even if George W. Bush was nuked. It seemed like the author was just dumping his politics into the story, especially with references to "President Rumsfield" making everything horrible.

The story and the characters were fine, but they were inseparable from the world because of the tone of the book (old school spy), so it was hard for me to get very invested. I wasn't a huge fan of the omniscient narration either, it took a lot of tension out of the story.

I'm not saying this was a bad book – it was well written and well executed for what it wanted to be. What it wanted to be just wasn't for me.

Jan 18, 2017, 10:23am Top

>64 kgodey: Interesting comment about the Amazon Echo and surveillance. We got one for Christmas and I had not really considered the point at all and have simply treated it as an amusing toy (the 4 year old tries to reason with it when it plays the wrong song).

I hope you are right about India and Pakistan being unlikely to engage in a nuclear war. That is the place that is most likely to do so in my opinion.

Jan 18, 2017, 1:23pm Top

>58 kgodey: I'm so glad you enjoyed The Obelisk Gate! It's not often that I like the second book in a series as much as (or even slightly more than) the first, but that's what happened with this one. Jemesin avoided the middle book slump so well. If the first two books have been this good, I suspect the third book might be amazing. So many threads to resolve! I feel like we learned an incredible amount in this book and I still have a lot of questions about how and what and why...and how she can ever resolve it. I'm going to be impatiently waiting for the last one.

>65 Oberon: Heh, I had the same thought about India and Pakistan!

>64 kgodey: Stross's books aren't really my cup of tea, so I probably won't be picking this up, but some parts don't sound that unlikely to me. I'd love to think Americans wouldn't let Roe v Wade be overturned, but hearing some of the rhetoric coming out of the Republican camp doesn't make me that hopeful. And India and Pakistan have such a history of conflict and threats that they're probably one of the more likely regions to have a nuclear war if one happens.

Jan 18, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>65 Oberon: >66 archerygirl: I think the danger of setting up an alternate reality that diverged only a few years ago is that it will inevitably ring false to many people, because everyone has opinions about the times they live in. :)

I'm worried I'm veering into controversial political discussion territory here, but I really don't think Roe vs. Wade is in any danger of being repealed. I don't doubt that there are people (even a significant number of people) that would advocate for it, but I don't think the majority of Americans would support that or let it happen. The media wouldn't support it, either.

The same goes for an India-Pakistan nuclear war. The two countries have had a pretty contentious relationship, but I grew up in India, and from my observations, there would be no popular support for a war with Pakistan, much less a nuclear one. Our main rivalry with Pakistan happened during cricket matches. I remember the Kargil conflict that happened when I was in school, and absolutely no one thought it would escalate into general war, or was worried at all. There's a lot of posturing around Kashmir and that leads to some pretty terrible situations in that area, but I find it highly unlikely that it would ever spread.

Jan 18, 2017, 3:42pm Top

>67 kgodey: I appreciate the perspective. By contrast, I recall having lunch with an Indian client when we were talking about the prospect of war with Pakistan and he made the statement that if war were to break out he would return to India with the express purpose of cutting off as many Pakistani heads as he could. I remember being shocked by the statement for the virulent amount of hatred toward Pakistan, especially from someone who had never shown any particular animosity toward others.

Goes to show that I should be careful to generalize the opinion of a country with over a billion inhabitants.

Jan 18, 2017, 5:48pm Top

Can't believe I haven't stopped by yet! Especially as I'm adoring your movie reviews and now have several I need to add to my Netflix queue including Interstellar, April and the Extraordinary World, and Last Action Hero.

Jan 18, 2017, 8:47pm Top

>68 Oberon: That sounds scary – I think that your client is definitely an outlier. I've never heard anyone say anything remotely close to that. I can see how that would give you a terrible impression, though.

Other than popular support, I don't think there's much reason for the governments to go to war either – there's not enough to gain and too much to lose.

>69 Morphidae: Hi Morphy! Thanks for stopping by. Those are all great movies, I hope you enjoy them.

Jan 19, 2017, 8:53pm Top

Book #8 is The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan.

This is part of the Riyria Chronicles, a series of standalone books featuring Royce and Hadrian's (from the Riyria Revelations) early years. The Crown Tower is the first chronicle, and it's an origin story of Royce and Hadrian – how they met, and the first adventure they had together. I enjoyed the book, although I felt like the foreshadowing was not very subtle. I would not recommend starting Riyria with this book, though, I don't think it would have the same payoff unless you've read Riyria Revelations first. I mean, it's still a standalone story and it has a good arc, but Royce and Hadrian are literally forced together, and I don't think I would have had as much sympathy for that without knowing their later arc.

Edited: Jan 21, 2017, 5:08pm Top

Book #9 is Dear Samsor by Ahmad Zia Wahdat

This novella was written by an Afghan friend from college, and I wanted to read and review it to support him. It's a coming of age story of an boy from a small Afghan village, Samsor, whose father dies when he was ten in civil unrest. He has a hard life with many difficult choices, but eventually comes into his own.

The writing style of this book is fairly simple, almost like the author is right there with you telling a story. It does a good job of setting – you really get a sense of war-torn Afghanistan where life is uncertain all the time, no matter where you are. There are a few glimpses of the past before things got so bad, and that makes it even more heartbreaking. Samsor's life is not easy, and even when he's trying to do the right thing, it often doesn't end well. The book ends on a note of hope, though.

This is definitely a debut – there's a little more telling than showing I would like, and some awkward phrasing at times. I still enjoyed the read, though, and I hope the author keeps writing.


Review on my blog: “Dear Samsor” by Ahmad Zia Wahdat

Edited: Jan 21, 2017, 9:35pm Top

Jan 22, 2017, 6:57am Top

This week's movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 15-21, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • Captain Fantastic (2016)
  • The Revenant (2015)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
  • Deepwater Horizon (2016)
  • Æon Flux (2005)
  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Jan 22, 2017, 9:34am Top

>74 kgodey: And yet more movies to watch - Deepwater Horizon & Aeon Flux. Maybe even Captain Fantastic Would you stop it? :D

I'd even watch The Revenant but I don't do dark and bleak. I really enjoy Phantom of the Opera and have watched it a few times. (I own it.)

Jan 22, 2017, 2:57pm Top

>75 Morphidae: I know the feeling, Morphy! Our list of movies to watch or consider watching is over 500 movies long, and we haven't even really started exploring foreign films yet.

The Revenant was an extremely uncomfortable movie to watch, even for me.

Edited: Jan 23, 2017, 3:23am Top

Book #10 is The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan

I actually have my review up on my blog already, so I'll just link to it: “The Rose and the Thorn” by Michael J. Sullivan. Usually I write my initial thoughts on LT first and then polish them up into a longer review on my blog a few days later, but I guess I was inspired today.

Edited: Jan 25, 2017, 7:24pm Top

Kriti! This is maybe a ~weird place to ask this (though it does seem more efficient than texting, maybe?), but when we (you) made wontons/dumplings did you use a recipe or were you just kinda wingin' it?

Jan 26, 2017, 12:02am Top

>78 andrewreads: Hey Andrew! I looked at a few different recipes for inspiration and cobbled together my own recipe. I think I remember most of what I used for the filling:

1 tray ground pork (~1.25 lb)
2-3 cups of minced coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrot, basically) – I didn't measure this, but maybe 2/3 of the package
4-5 scallions, chopped up
1/4 cup soy sauce
~2 tablespoons chopped up ginger
4-5 cloves minced garlic
~2 teaspoons sugar
~2 tablespoons sesame oil
~1 teaspoon salt

I followed the Serious Eats recommendation of taking a teaspoon of the filling once it's all mixed together and microwaving it for 10 seconds (I did it for longer because I was worried about it being too raw) to taste it and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Also, here are the recipes I looked at for inspiration:
Pork Dumplings
The Best Japanese Pork and Cabbage Dumplings (Gyoza) Recipe
Chinese Fried Pork and Cabbage Dumplings With Homemade Wrappers (guo tie) Recipe

I bought the wonton wrappers at the store and looked at YouTube videos to figure out how to fold and seal them.

Edited: Jan 26, 2017, 12:08am Top

Book #11 is The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan

I've had this book for a while, I participated in the Kickstarter that was used to fund it, but I hadn't gotten around to reading the first two Riyria Chronicles, so I never read it. I liked it a lot more than the first two Riyria Chronicles because it's a standalone adventure that expands the world a bunch (and has some fun tie-ins to Age of Myth!) The origin story of Royce and Hadrian was cool to read about, but this felt more like a whole standalone book. And Nysa Dulgath was a really interesting character.


Now I'm rereading Theft of Swords, because Royce and Hadrian!

Jan 26, 2017, 12:28am Top

Royce and Hadrian! ;)

Jan 26, 2017, 2:22am Top

>79 kgodey: Thanks! You're the best. I think Steph and I are gonna make some dumplings this weekend (with mushrooms and/or tofu instead of pork) and I remember realllly liking the ones you made.

Edited: Jan 26, 2017, 10:51pm Top

>82 andrewreads: That sounds tasty, let me know how it turns out. Mushrooms and tofu are not going to bind together as well on their own as ground pork, so you may need to add some sort of binding agent so that the filling isn't too loose.

Jan 27, 2017, 12:32am Top

>83 kgodey: We've considered this and have resigned ourselves to eating somewhat crumbly dumplings. Oh well.

Allllso, I just randomly noticed that today (Jan 26; it's still "today" where I am) is the seventh-year anniversary of your LT account! Woooooooo!

Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 4:18am Top

>84 andrewreads: You could always try adding an egg to the filling, it should help a little bit. Some of the pork recipes I looked at used an egg too, but I didn't think it was necessary.

Thanks! I'm supposed to be buying eight books according to LT tradition, but given that I've acquired 16 new books so far this month (14 review copies, 1 gift, 1 pre-order), and I ran out of shelf space a while back, I'm skipping the tradition.

Book #12 is a reread of Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

This is the first time I'm rereading this series, and reading it after reading the three Riyria Chronicles for the first time as well as Age of Myth is making me notice a lot more details. It helps that Sullivan writes whole series' at a time, so things really are seeded through all the books to find. I enjoyed this book even more than the Riyria Chronicles, I think I like thick books that tell a single story better than standalones.

I posted a short review on my blog: "The Death of Dulgath" by Michael J. Sullivan

I'm thinking about taking a break from Michael J. Sullivan for a bit to read something else (perhaps Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty?) but I may be too obsessive to stop until I'm done with the series.

Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 11:12pm Top

Edited: Jan 29, 2017, 9:54pm Top

This week's movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 22-28, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • Kundun (1997)
  • Riddick (2013)
  • Fast & Furious (2009)
  • Fast Five (2011)
  • Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
  • Furious 7 (2015)
  • Kuffs (1992)

Book #13 is a reread of Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan.

I'm finding it hard to say new things about these books, but here's a link to my review on my blog. I feel like I need to review them because these are review copies, and I didn't review them the first time I read them.

Jan 29, 2017, 10:20pm Top

>87 kgodey: It's getting to the point where I'm afraid to open your movie reviews. I don't need to add more to my 400+ long Netflix list!

Jan 29, 2017, 10:54pm Top

>88 Morphidae: Sorry, Morphy! This week was actually pretty bad in terms of movies, we mostly just watched the Fast and Furious series.

Jan 29, 2017, 11:31pm Top

>89 kgodey: There are worse things! :D

Edited: Feb 1, 2017, 4:54am Top

Not surprisingly, book #14 is Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan

I finished up my Riyria reread with the final volume Heir of Novron. It was pretty good, but I'm glad to move on to other books, I have a whole pile of interesting looking ones. This month has been really good for review copies.

I also calculated some stats for January in case anyone's interested:

Total books: 14
Total pages: 5,995

Male authors: 12 (6 unique)
Female authors: 1 (1 unique)
Mixed authors: 1 (1 unique)

E-book: 1
Paperback: 7
Hardcover: 6

Review copy: 9
Reread: 3

Graphic novels: 1
Fiction: 13
Non-fiction: 1


I always read a lot in January and February, so I don't expect this rate to keep up.

Edited: Feb 3, 2017, 12:37am Top

Book #15 is Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

This one is a recent release. Six clones wake up in a generation ship and find their previous bodies murdered in the cloning bay. There's no one else on the ship, and their last memories are from 25 years ago so they're trying to reconstruct what happened.

I liked this book, but I don't think it was exceptional in any way. It's an interesting story, the technology is cool, but I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters that much. It ultimately had a lot more human drama than I thought it would. I feel bad for not saying anything more complimentary because it really wasn't a bad book. If you like mysteries and exploring weird things that could happen from cloning, you'd probably like this.

Edited: Feb 4, 2017, 9:27pm Top

I haven't recorded the books I don't finish on here before, but I'm going to start now. I have always treated books I don't finish like I'm going to finish them someday, but that's not true for most of them, and I made an "Abandoned" collection on LibraryThing to I can reflect that accurately.

What would have been book #16 is Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

I really thought I would like this book – a unique fantasy world, a female protagonist coming of age, and so on. I just wasn't able to connect to it, though. The main character, Unar, is pretty unlikeable, but she's played straight as the hero. None of the other characters were likeable either (or if they were, they seemed like caricatures.) Plus there is some weird sexual stuff, Unar is extremely fixated on getting the guy she likes (who is magically constrained to not have sexual feelings) to have sex with her, and fantasizes about it constantly. That's a small part of the story, but it really skeeved me out.

So yeah, I abandoned it a little over halfway through, although I did skip ahead to see what happened at the end and it had no impact on me, so I think I made the right decision to stop reading.


Since I wasn't that excited about my last couple of reads (although Six Wakes was still way better than this book), I've decided to change up my genre a little and read non-fiction. I'm currently reading The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson, which several people here have read and liked, and it's really compelling so far.

Feb 4, 2017, 11:01pm Top

>87 kgodey: I love the Riddick series, but somehow have not yet seen the 2013 addition. I guess if they are making a new one this year, I will have to get on the ball and catch up. I enjoy Vin Diesel movies, but for some reason, I've never been able to get into the Fast and Furious series. We are looking forward to the new XXX movie, though.

Feb 4, 2017, 11:57pm Top

>93 kgodey: Ghost Map is one of my all time favorites.

Edited: Feb 5, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>94 rretzler: They're filming this year, so you probably have until next year to catch up, Robin. I haven't seen any of the XXX movies, but I'm looking forward to watching them, those kinds of action movies are like candy to me.

I don't think I'd like any individual Fast and Furious movie by itself, but watching them all in order helped, they have a lot of consistency and treat their characters surprisingly well.

>95 Oberon: I'm really enjoying it, I can see why. It's fascinating but also very well-written.

This week's movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Jan 29-Feb 4, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • The Insider (1999)
  • The Beaver (2011)
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
After a couple of weeks of bad movies, we finally got back to some good ones! Sorry in advance, Morphy :)


I've got four more posts up and ready to go (including an author interview and giveaway), but I think I'm going to post them one-per-day.

Feb 6, 2017, 8:39am Top

Nice movie reviews! The only one where we might disagree is Star Trek, which I thought was ok at the time but have really lost interest over the years. But it did set up Star Trek IV, which is one of my faves in the series. :)

Feb 6, 2017, 2:51pm Top

>96 kgodey: I'm safe. Most of the movies I've seen or were already on Mount TBW.

Feb 8, 2017, 4:21am Top

>97 drneutron: Hi Jim! I love Star Trek IV too, although my favorite is probably Star Trek VI. I'd never seen the first one before, so I'm sure that helped hold my interest – I can't imagine being as interested the second time around, it was really slow.

>98 Morphidae: That's good!


Book #16 is The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

This book is about a terrible cholera epidemic in London and how the investigation into it led to some foundations of modern medical practice and epidemiology. I enjoyed it and learned a bit, but I was far more compelled by the first half of the book than the second. It was well-written and seemed well-researched, though.

I felt like there wasn't a full book length of material in here, and the author tried to stretch it in creative ways towards the end. He seems to strongly believe we should be striving towards urbanizing as much as possible, and there's almost a whole chapter about that, as well as a bunch of material about the various things maps can be used for, which also seemed very tenuously connected to the cholera story. Even the later parts of the cholera story got repetitive. Also, at certain points, the author went into tangents where he drew conclusions that didn't matter to the narrative and worse, did not seem backed up by anything (I checked the citations), one example being alcoholism as an evolutionary predilection for some races of people.

Feb 8, 2017, 10:42pm Top

I've got a few more blog posts up:

Two book review posts:
Abandoned: “Crossroads of Canopy” by Thoraiya Dyer
Reread: "Heir of Novron" by Michael J. Sullivan

And the big one, an interview with author Carrie Vaughn and a giveaway of Martians Abroad (which all my LT friends are welcome to enter!)

Interview & Giveaway: “Martians Abroad” by Carrie Vaughn

Feb 8, 2017, 11:05pm Top

Love the interview, Kriti. Sounds like a fun book. And Bujold and Cherryh as influences--can't beat that!

Feb 9, 2017, 12:09pm Top

>100 kgodey: Okay, signed up!

Feb 10, 2017, 12:24am Top

>101 ronincats: Thanks Roni! I liked the book, I think you would too. And you can't go wrong with Bujold as an influence (or Cherryh, but I haven't read a lot of her work.)

>102 Morphidae: Yay, thanks Morphy!


The last of my queued up posts from last weekend is up: "Six Wakes" by Mur Lafferty

I'm currently reading The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North, I've never read anything by her before (she also writes as Kate Griffin) but I'm really enjoying this book. It's a big change of pace for me, it's barely speculative fiction at all, and it has a lot of stuff set on the internet, and involving software (which is what I do for work), and it gets a lot of it right, which I've never really encountered before.

Edited: Feb 18, 2017, 11:56pm Top

Last week's movie reviews are up (a little late this week) Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 5-11, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • Ordinary People (1980)
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)
  • Titanic (1997)
  • Arrival (2016)
  • Mad Max (1979)
  • Backdraft (1991)

I've also read three books:


#17 is The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – I really liked this book. The protagonist is Hope, a woman who cannot be remembered for more than 60 seconds unless you're in an active conversation with her. Deprived of normal human relationships, naturally she becomes a thief and a con-artist. But even she has limits, as she discovers after becomes involved with the makers of the mobile app Perfection after a routine jewel heist. This book has lots of interesting things to say about identity, surveillance, conformity, and it also manages to have a good, well-written story about a protagonist that's always alone in the most awful of ways. Highly recommended, and I'll probably be reading more Claire North at some point.

#18 is The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – I got tired of reading review copies and actually bought myself a book that I've heard great things about it. I mostly really liked it, too – it's a cozy spaceship book where there's no real antagonist, just humans and aliens and AIs learning and growing and becoming closer. Character-driven sci-fi is pretty awesome. My only complaint is that the characters seemed flat at times, I didn't end up feeling close to any of them, like I do with the best character-driven books. I've pre-ordered the next book, though, and I'm excited to read it.

#19 is Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire – Urban fantasy is not my thing – maybe because cities and nightclubs and sexy clothes and hairdos and that whole lifestyle really doesn't appeal to me, even as wish fulfillment. The only urban fantasy series I remember really liking is Jacqueline Carey's Agent of Hel series, but that was small town fantasy, not urban fantasy. Anyway, as far as urban fantasy goes, this was a pretty good book with all the standard tropes – sexy badass girl gets into supernatural mystery, meets hot guy who is of a rival faction, lots of action, sex, etc. I do like the Price family, they seem cool. The first half was a little slow, but I raced through the second half. I probably wouldn't buy these books, but they're fun and since I own the next four, I'll read them.


I've been extremely busy at work lately, so I haven't really been on LT at all. I've been working 10 hour days just because there's so much to do. I'm hoping things will slow down in a couple of weeks, but my company is in the "explosive growth" phase (we went from being a 20 person company in June to around 70 people this month), and there is so much going on, and I'm managing at least 10 or 15 things. Plus, I set up a Minecraft server for work so that we could do something fun as a team, and I've been spending some time on it, too.

On the book front, I got an advance finished copy of Seven Surrenders (the sequel to Too Like The Lightning) by Ada Palmer yesterday, and I'm very excited to read it.

Feb 19, 2017, 12:30am Top

Argh, so jealous!! (re: Seven Surrenders)

Feb 20, 2017, 2:37am Top

>105 ronincats: Hi Roni. I didn't expect to get it this early!


My full review of "Discount Armageddon" by Seanan McGuire is up on my blog.

I have this week's movie reviews written, but I'm waiting a day or two to post them since I posted last week's so recently.

Feb 20, 2017, 9:22pm Top

>104 kgodey: re: Discount Armageddon

You didn't answer the most important question - what did you think of the mice?

Feb 21, 2017, 9:47am Top

>104 kgodey: I really enjoyed this line in particular in your movie review of Titanic: "James Cameron is the master of making formulaic movies that are made so well that you almost don’t notice the predictability." So true! I adored that movie and saw it twice in the theater (an extreme rarity for me) but once got out in the light of day the flaws are hard to deny.

I did love Backdraft, though that might again be sentiment more than actual quality. Mostly it made me want to hug every firefighter I saw for the next week, because what they do amazing and completely beyond my abilities.

Edited: Feb 27, 2017, 12:07am Top

>107 Morphidae: Oh yeah, the mice. I think I would go insane and/or violent if I had a colony of excitable talking mice living with me, so I have to admire Verity's fortitude.

>108 rosalita: Hi Julia! Titanic is a really good movie in a lot of ways, I can't think of anyone who didn't like it when it came out.

Backdraft did make me have a whole new respect for firefighters. I can't believe that there are people who willingly do that.


New movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 12-18, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
  • Hell or High Water (2016)
  • Queen of Katwe (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Allied (2016)
  • Dragonfly (2002)

Edited: Feb 24, 2017, 6:58am Top

My full review of "The Sudden Appearance of Hope" by Claire North is up on my blog.

And I finished a book!

#20: Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer

This is the sequel to Too Like The Lightning, which I loved last year, and it's just as good. It's faster paced than the first book, I felt like the revelations kept coming. This series is such an interesting mix of science fiction, theology, philosophy, and it's surprisingly compelling given the amount of dense dialogue. It wraps up the duology pretty well, but it does set up the next book in the series pretty explicitly (Amazon says it's coming out in December, I already pre-ordered it.)

Feb 27, 2017, 12:10am Top

New movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 19-25, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Passengers (2016)
  • Lion (2016)
  • Demolition Man (1993)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Edited: Feb 28, 2017, 3:51am Top

My full review of "The Ghost Map" by Steven Johnson is up.

I'm reading The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, it's pretty good – Scalzi is like comfort food to me, he's predictable. I'm scheduled to post a review on my blog on March 15 as part of a blog tour.

Also, I get to interview Ada Palmer on my blog soon. Are there any questions I should ask her?

Feb 28, 2017, 6:59am Top

I don't think I'm familiar with Ada Palmer, Kriti. What has she written? That's great that you get to interview her!

Feb 28, 2017, 9:56am Top

>112 kgodey: I'm trying not to be too jealous that you've already got your hands on The Collapsing Empire. Trying...and failing.

Feb 28, 2017, 2:24pm Top

>114 archerygirl: >112 kgodey: Yeah me too. I'm jealous. Like you said, Scalzi is comfort food. Love his stuff

Mar 1, 2017, 12:00am Top

>113 rosalita: Ada Palmer is the author of Too Like The Lightning and the sequel that just came out, Seven Surrenders. Too Like The Lightning was one of my favorite books of last year, it's science fiction set in a future heavily influenced by Enlightenment-era France, with plenty of theology and philosophy. It's a pretty unique series, I'm not sure how to describe it any better.

>114 archerygirl: >115 mahsdad: You've got a good read to look forward to! It's a little bit edgier than Scalzi's usual stuff – more sex and swearing and melodrama – but it still has the core of everything Scalzi is good at.


#21 is The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi – I already talked about it a little bit above, so I'm not going to do a formal summary. I'll definitely be doing a full review of this one on my blog since I committed to a spot on the blog tour for the book's launch.

Mar 1, 2017, 12:08am Top

Also, the new Penric novella Mira's Last Dance (by Lois McMaster Bujold) is out on e-book stores! Here's the Amazon US link: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B06XCM8VPB/

Mar 1, 2017, 7:02am Top

>116 kgodey: The Palmer series sounds interesting — thanks for explaining. I have not read a lot of sci-fi in my life although I've been branching out in that area since I joined LT — one of the many benefits I've gotten from being here. I will look for the Palmer books at the library.

Mar 4, 2017, 6:13pm Top

Thanks for the heads up on the Penric novella, got it!

Edited: Mar 5, 2017, 3:11am Top

>118 rosalita: I hope you enjoy them, Julia! They're not like most science fiction novels that I've read.

>119 ronincats: I'm looking forward to seeing what you think.


My review of "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" by Becky Chambers is up on my blog. And I finished another book.

#22 is Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold, the fourth novella in the Penric and Desdemona series (set in her World of the Five Gods/Chalion universe.) I feel kind of bad calling this a book, since Amazon lists it at 87 pages, but I read enough doorstoppers that I don't feel too guilty. Penric's Mission ended kind of abruptly, so I was glad to have a sequel so soon. It offers some resolution to that story, and as with all of Bujold's work, it's warm and funny and thoughtful. It felt a little too short though, and the ending is clearly setting up for more Penric stories.


I'm currently reading Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan, which is set in his Powder Mage universe, but is the start of a new standalone trilogy. I like his work, it's familiar and is quickly becoming a comfort read.

Mar 6, 2017, 4:40am Top

New movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Feb 26-Mar 4, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • Contact (1997)
  • Haywire (2011)
  • The Founder (2016)
  • Jackie (2016)
  • All The Way (2016)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
  • The Tree of Life (2011)

Mar 8, 2017, 1:20am Top

>120 kgodey: You hit me with a book bullet for The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Mar 12, 2017, 5:45pm Top

>122 Morphidae: That one's great, Morphy, I'm sure you'll like it. There needs to be more cozy science fiction.


I did finish Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan (book #23 this year) earlier this week, and I really enjoyed it. I want more! I'll post a full review later, probably on my blog.

I'm a little bit of a reading rut right now, I'm sort of working on Green Rider by Kristen Britain but it doesn't quite fit my mood. I did recently receive Evicted by Matthew Desmond from Early Reviewers, which I haven't participated in in a while. Maybe I'll read that – not quite my usual genre, but my usual genre is why I'm in a rut, right?


New movie reviews are up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 5-11, 2017

The movies reviewed are:
  • Breach (2007)
  • Unforgiven (1992)
  • A Passage to India (1984)
  • Lincoln (2012)
  • Antwone Fisher (2002)
  • Chain Reaction (1996)
  • To Sir, with Love (1967)

Edited: Mar 15, 2017, 4:53am Top

My full review of The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi is up, and I'm giving a copy away! See: Review & Giveaway: “The Collapsing Empire” by John Scalzi


Book #24 is Green Rider by Kristen Britain. It's a standard epic fantasy book about a young person (not a farmboy, though) caught up in magical events as a long forgotten dark power rises to the north. Karigan is running away from school when she encounters a dying royal messenger and swears to deliver his message to the king. Of course, there are many pitfalls along the way, and a discovery of magical powers. If I had one word to describe this book, it would be "mediocre". Nothing about it is really bad, but there's not much holding my interest either. I didn't like Karigan as a protagonist – she's much too bland and seems to only react to things. Other characters also didn't seem like real people but just vehicles for the plot – which wasn't very compelling either. I don't think I will continue with the series.

Mar 20, 2017, 10:48pm Top

Book #25 is Lock In by John Scalzi

After reading The Collapsing Empire, I was in a Scalzi mood, so I figured I should read Lock In, which has been on my list for a long time. It's a near-future murder mystery, set after a disease causes millions of people to become "locked in" – paralyzed and communicating with the outside world through android bodies and/or virtual reality. The book is set at a pivotal political time, and the murder mystery ends up revealing something much larger happening behind the scenes. I liked this book a lot, I thought it was much better than even The Collapsing Empire. I thought the worldbuilding was especially good.

Mar 21, 2017, 12:29am Top

>125 kgodey: Kriti, I just finished reading Lock In as well and enjoyed it. That makes two that I've read by Scalzi - Redshirts and Lock In and I like both a lot, so I guess I'm going to have to find time to read more from him.

>104 kgodey: Ah, another Minecrafter!!! I love it! My boys got me hooked about 3 or 4 years ago, and I just love playing. Recently, my younger son got me to join a server with him, and we also have a Realms server, which the entire family plays. I'm so glad to know that you're a bit of a gamer too! Do you play anything else or just Minecraft? I play games on Steam and Origin, but those are mostly adventure type puzzle games. My older son has been trying to get me into 1st person shooters, especially Overwatch, so I think after tax season is over and I have more time, I'll give it a try. With Minecraft, I totally enjoy the building aspect - I'm usually the one to build the elaborate modern houses, while the boys are more into the battles, but they've got me battling now too! It is a big drain on time, though!

I really love the action movies you're watching - Demolition Man (I still wonder about those three shells!), Lethal Weapon, Doctor Strange, Mad Max, Star Trek (although the first movie is probably my least favorite)! I wish we had seen Doctor Strange in 3D in the theater, I think it would have been great, but we didn't.

Do you watch any other Marvel movies/TV shows? Netflix just released the first season of the new Iron Fist, and we watched the first two episodes tonight. We all really loved it - I think it's much better than Daredevil, and I enjoyed Daredevil. I'm not done with Luke Cage - its pretty good, but harder for me to identify with I think. Jessica Jones was great - David Tennant playing Kilgrave was perfect!

Mar 22, 2017, 12:29pm Top

>125 kgodey: I liked Old Man's War by Scalzi and really should try something else by him.

Mar 25, 2017, 9:55pm Top

Delurking to wish you a lovely weekend, Kriti.

Apr 1, 2017, 4:48pm Top

Sorry for the longer absence than usual, I've been sick for almost two weeks now with a sinus infection and a ear infection which have been horrible – constant headaches, fatigue, the worst cough I've ever had. I took this entire week off of work, I've never had to take so much sick leave before.

>126 rretzler: Hi Robin! I've liked pretty much all of Scalzi's work. He's not the best at characters and his dialogue can be very one-note snarky, but I don't think anyone beats him for sheer fun.

I've been playing so much Minecraft over the last week and a half because it's one of the few things I can focus on when sick. I got my husband to join the server I set up at work, and we've been building a lot of stuff together, which has been fun. I'm glad you play too! I love the creative and cooperative aspects of it. It is definitely a big drain on time, though – it takes so long just to gather resources.

I don't play other games very often, but I do enjoy them. We own a PS3 and a PS4, and I've been slowly working my way through my husband's catalogue of games. I've finished the two Portal games and Assassin's Creed (the first one), I've also played a lot of Assassin's Creed 2. I've tried some other games too (Uncharted, L.A. Noire, and so on), but my favorite so far has been Red Dead Redemption – I'm still playing my way through that one, but it's really immersive and I spend hours just wandering the world and doing random tasks because it's so fun. It's a Western, so I get to feel like a gun slinging badass.

On the computer, someone from work also set up a Factorio game, so I've been getting into that. It's another cooperative building game, so it has elements of Minecraft, but you can build really complex machinery from simple parts. I've been enjoying that. It's available on Steam, that's where I bought it. I also really enjoy playing Civilization with my husband but each game takes so long and we like to complete games in a single session so I haven't played it in a while.

Action movies are one of my favorite comfort genres, so I'll keep watching them! Those three shells in Demolition Man were genius. We'll probably watch the rest of the Star Trek movies fairly soon, we're watching them in order. I had never seen the first one, but I've seen Wrath of Khan, so I'm not in as much of a hurry to get to it.

I've seen all of the other Marvel movies, but I haven't seen any of the TV shows. I watched a few episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D when it first came out, but I got bored with it. I've heard good things about the Netflix shows, though, so I'll get around to them eventually. We watch so many movies that it's hard to find time for TV.

>127 Morphidae: I like the whole Old Man's War series, Morphy. Each of the books is a little different in style from the others, but they're all good, I think.

>128 PaulCranswick: I'm a week late, but I hope you're having a good weekend this week, Paul!

Edited: Apr 1, 2017, 5:02pm Top

Book and movie update:

Book #26: I finished the next Wayfarers book (although it's not really a sequel, they're both standalones), A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers about a week ago. It's even better than the last one, and I'm loving that it's more cozy character-driven science fiction. It's got some elements of Ancillary Justice in it – an AI adjusting to a very different existence than what it was built for, but it's a very different book. Highly recommended.


My full review of "Green Rider" by Kristen Britain is up.

I'm still about four books behind on my blog (five if you count Mira's Last Dance, but I'm not planning to review that one) and hoping to catch up soon.


I don't think I've posted my last two movie review posts, so here they are:

Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 12-18, 2017 – this post covers:
  • A Bronx Tale (1993)
  • Open Range (2003)
  • The Young Victoria (2009)
  • Shattered Glass (2003)
  • A Soldier's Story (1984)
  • A Good Year (2006)
  • 13 Going On 30 (2004)
  • Batman (1989)
  • John Q. (2002)
Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 19-25, 2017 – this post covers:
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • Michael Clayton (2007)
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
  • We Bought A Zoo (2011)
  • What Women Want (2000)
  • The Contender (2000)
  • Sing (2016)
  • Assassin's Creed (2016)
This week's post is going to be a monster to write – we watched 10 movies in six days (because I was sick and had nothing better to do), and we still have tonight to go.

Edited: Apr 1, 2017, 5:05pm Top

Hello, Kriti! Hope you are feeling better now.

Apr 1, 2017, 8:09pm Top

Welcome back! Feel better soon!

Apr 2, 2017, 1:21am Top

>129 kgodey: Ugh - sorry to hear you're feeling so badly. This past week was spring break for the boys and Keegan was sick all week with a fever, cough and sore throat and Ed has the cough and sore throat. I'm not sure how Beckham and I have avoided it. Hope you feel better soon. Minecraft and movies are definitely a good way to pass the time when you're sick.

I loved Portal and Portal 2 - I've played through Portal a couple of times. I'll have to give Factorio a try, though I have a feeling that there is going to be a lot of Overwatch in my life. About a month or so ago, Keegan and I joined the Minecraft Hypixel server, so we've been having fun on it.

The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock are my two favorite Star Trek movies - I also enjoyed The Voyage Home a great deal. The rest of the original movies were not as good IMO. The Next Generation movies weren't bad - although I haven't watched them as much as I have the TOS ones. I do enjoy the new reboot though.

I agree about the Agents of SHIELD - the first season was good, but I didn't enjoy it as much after that. Iron Fist isn't turning out to be as good as the first couple of episodes, unfortunately.

Apr 2, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>131 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia! Nice to see you around here again!

>132 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>133 rretzler: Thanks Robin! I hope Keegan is feeling better now.

I've never joined a public Minecraft server, maybe I'll give Hypixel a try at some point. I've only seen The Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home, I somehow never watched The Search for Spock, so I'm looking forward to seeing those all in order.


I wrote a few more blog posts:
"Sins of Empire" by Brian McClellan
"A Closed and Common Orbit" by Becky Chambers
Weekly Movie Reviews: Mar 26-Apr 1, 2017

That last movie post covers:
  • Silence (2016)
  • Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
  • Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
  • Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
  • Monsters (2010)
  • Tin Cup (1996)
  • Pawn Sacrifice (2014)
  • Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  • A Perfect World (1993)
  • Analyze This (1999)
  • Collateral Beauty (2016)
  • The Gamechangers (2015)

Apr 3, 2017, 12:16pm Top

Hi! Sorry to hear that you've been sick.

Apr 4, 2017, 7:35am Top

>133 rretzler: I think Wrath of Khan is the best Star Trek movie, but I always find Voyage Home the most entertaining so it's my favourite. I maintain a huge love for The Undiscovered Country, but that's mainly because it's so politic-y and that hits a lot of buttons for me! ST:V is plain old terrible. Even a few funny one-liners can't quite save it. I maintain First Contact is the best of the TNG movies, and up there with Wrath of Khan for quality Star Trek movie. I've really been enjoying the new reboots, too! Maybe not so much Into Darkness, but the other two? Great fun!

Edited: Apr 10, 2017, 5:35am Top

>135 foggidawn: Thanks foggi!

>136 archerygirl: I love The Undiscovered Country's politic-yness, too! And I do like the first and third reboots a lot more than Into Darkness, I thought Into Darkness was trying to be too clever with its Khan reboot.


Finished two books!


#27: Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan – The final book in the Lady Trent's Memoirs series (book 5), this does a great job of wrapping up the series and providing a satisfying conclusion to all the build up of the draconic discoveries of the previous books. I wish this series would go on forever – I love the mixture of science and adventure and trailblazing women.

#28: Evicted by Matthew Desmond – Non-fiction, a few people on LT have liked this book, and I won it in Early Reviewers. I thought it was one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read, it's meticulously researched, tells a compelling story backed up by facts. It really got to me, I haven't had a lot of experience with poverty and I didn't really realize how much it affects people's lives in ways that aren't immediately obvious. I think this book will stay with me for a long time.


Another movie review post is up: Weekly Movie Reviews: Apr 2-8, 2017
  • Midnight Special (2016)
  • Hidden Figures (2016)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
  • Live by Night (2016)
  • The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Munich (2005)
  • A United Kingdom (2016)

Apr 10, 2017, 11:56pm Top

My review of "Lock In" by John Scalzi is up on my blog, it's a little shorter than usual because I'm trying to catch up on my reviews.

I've started reading Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, which seems pretty good so far. I've only read Prince of Thorns by him, which I remember enjoying, but not enough to make a point to continue with the series (I can only take so much gritty and dark.) This series is set in a completely new world, though, and has a female protagonist, which drew me to it. I also received a review copy, so I didn't have to seek it out.

I won City of Miracles in last month's Early Reviewers batch, and I'm pretty excited to read that too, although I'm skeptical of Sigrud as the protagonist. I still have a lot of other review copies to read, as well. My effort to read more BOMBs is suffering for it, but hopefully I'll get back to it.

Apr 11, 2017, 12:28am Top

I loved the wrap-up of the Lady Trent memoir! Thought Evicted was so powerful. And I also need to get to City of Miracles which I also won through ER.

Apr 11, 2017, 10:43pm Top

>139 ronincats: Hi Roni! I didn't catch your review of the Lady Trent memoir, but I'm really behind on threads so I must have missed it. I'm glad you liked it, though – the central discovery was so obvious in retrospect, but I didn't think about that possibility at all. I requested/read Evicted in part because you had such a great review of it.

Apr 15, 2017, 10:57am Top

>138 kgodey: Kriti, enjoyed your review of Lock In. I'm glad you enjoyed the book - I first listened to it on Audible and then had to read it because I liked it so much I wanted to make sure that my wandering mind didn't miss anything while I was listening! I also enjoyed the Oral History of Haden's, almost as much as I enjoyed Lock In.

>136 archerygirl: >137 kgodey: I have to say the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch went a long way toward my enjoyment of Into Darkness. I really enjoy his acting. However, I will say that I think he was totally wrong for the part - and not really believable as Khan. Given that Khan Noonien Singh is Indian, Into Darkness made no attempt whatsoever to have Cumberbatch portray him as such, which bothered me a lot.

I wonder what they are going to do about Checkov in the next movie since Anton Yelchin is no longer with us.

>137 kgodey: A lot of the scenes from The Deer Hunter were filmed near my hometown.

May 4, 2017, 4:55pm Top

May 7, 2017, 4:17am Top

Wishing you a great weekend, Kriti.

May 10, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>2 kgodey: Aha! I spy by your edit of post #2 that you've been here! I'll have to catch up with you on your blog!

Edited: Jun 3, 2017, 5:08am Top

I haven't posted here in a really long time, sorry about that. I've been busy with work, attending my college reunion, and getting a whole lot of migraines that make me not want to be anywhere near a computer. I'm about 8 books behind on my blog, so I've been dedicating any computer time I do get to it. I have been keeping the top posts with my goals and the books I've been reading up-to-date though.

I'm too far behind to do proper reviews for the books I've read, so I'll just post the titles since Evicted:

29. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (Apr 15, review copy, 467 pages, hardcover)
30. The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (Apr 21, review copy, 496 pages, paperback)
31. City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (Apr 25, review copy, 451 pages, paperback)

Did not finish
A Star-Reckoner's Lot by Darrell Drake (abandoned Apr 17, review copy, paperback)


32. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (May 6, review copy, 579 pages, paperback)
33. Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson (May 7, 123 pages, hardcover)
34. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (May 10, review copy, 405 pages, paperback)
35. Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb (May 13, 847 pages, hardcover)
36. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (May 22, 575 pages, hardcover)
37. Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan (May 23, 602 pages, hardcover)
38. Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (May 25, 339 pages, hardcover)
39. The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan (May 26, review copy, 552 pages, hardcover)
40. Storm Front by Jim Butcher (May 27, reread, 322 pages, paperback)
41. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (May 31, 342 pages, paperback)


42. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher (Jun 2, 378 pages, paperback)


I'm not going to post all the links to the book & movie reviews I've done since the last time I posted. You can find links to them in the second post of this thread.


As you can see, I've started reading the Dresden Files series – I read the first one a long time ago and always meant to read the rest. I'm not usually a fan of urban fantasy but I'm enjoying these books – they're quick, fun reads. And I've had them sitting around on my shelves since 2013-2014, so that's a good reason to read them too. I've read the first three books so far and I'm in the middle of the fourth. I may take a break soon to read The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams and/or Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks.

Jun 3, 2017, 12:36pm Top

Sorry to hear about the migraines, Kriti! Good reading going on, though.

Jun 6, 2017, 10:48am Top

I, too, am sorry to hear about the migraines. How miserable! I can sympathize about keeping up on LT - life and reading are certainly more important than posting!!

Aug 4, 2017, 10:33am Top

>145 kgodey: Hi Kristi, so sorry to hear about the migraines. I haven't been keeping up with LT this year either, but maybe better days are up ahead.

Aug 10, 2017, 5:12pm Top

Thanks Roni, Robin, and Marie! I've been on a new preventative medicine since I last posted and it seems to be working – I still have a migraine once or twice a week, but they're less intense and occur mostly at the end of the day so it hasn't been affecting my life like it had been previously (I had up to 19 a month before I switched).

I've still been very busy with work, I think I've mentioned this before but my company is growing rapidly and that means I'm involved in a lot of projects that are all time-sensitive. I'm enjoying my work a lot, so that makes me work more hours than I usually would. I'm on vacation for a couple of weeks starting today and I really needed the break!

Here's the list of the books I've read since my last post:


43. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher (Jun 3, 371 pages, paperback, BOMB)
44. Death Masks by Jim Butcher (Jun 4, 374 pages, paperback, BOMB)
45. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (Jun 6, 372 pages, paperback, BOMB)
46. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (Jun 8, 424 pages, paperback, BOMB)
47. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (Jun 10, 479 pages, paperback, BOMB)
48. Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan (Jun 11, 637 pages, hardcover)
49. White Night by Jim Butcher (Jun 14, 404 pages, hardcover)
50. Small Favor by Jim Butcher (Jun 18, 420 pages, hardcover)
51. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (Jun 20, 418 pages, hardcover)
52. Changes by Jim Butcher (Jun 23, 438 pages, hardcover)
53. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (Jun 24, 477 pages, hardcover)
54. Cold Days by Jim Butcher (Jun 26, 515 pages, hardcover)
55. Skin Game by Jim Butcher (Jun 28, 454 pages, hardcover)
56. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher (Jun 30, 418 pages, hardcover)

57. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal (Jul 2, 295 pages, review copy, paperback)
58. Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher and Ardian Syaf (Jul 2, 160 pages, graphic novel, hardcover)
59. The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis (Jul 4, 332 pages, review copy, hardcover)
60. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams (Jul 22, 694 pages, review copy, hardcover)
61. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (Jul 26, 398 pages. review copy, paperback)


It's mainly been finishing up the Dresden Files series, the first couple of books are a little boring but it gets really good! I don't usually like urban fantasy but the Dresden Files has an overarching plot that seems to be leading somewhere and even though the books are episodic, they're consistent and each book builds on the previous one in terms of plot and character growth. I'm definitely more inclined to read urban fantasy now.

After the Dresden Files I slowed down a lot because it's hard to read new books once you spend a significant amount of time with the same characters that you grow to love. I did read an Early Reviewers book that was okay (Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows), a steampunk debut novel (The Guns Above) which was actually really good, and two sequels I've been looking forward to – The Witchwood Crown (good but really slow going) and The Stone Sky (as good as the previous two books). In between the Dresden books I also finished the Raven's Shadow trilogy (with Queen of Fire) and it didn't end very well, the events that happened were fine but it just felt abrupt.

I'm not currently reading anything but I expect I will soon now that I have some time off. I got an early copy of Ann Leckie's next book (Provenance) which I'm looking forward to – I haven't read it yet because there's an embargo on reviewing it until 30 days before the book's release and that's still about two and a half weeks away. I'm also looking forward to Age of Swords, the second Legends of the First Empire book.

Aug 10, 2017, 5:16pm Top

Also, I just published my long-overdue interview with Ada Palmer: http://justaworldaway.com/2017/08/10/interview-with-ada-palmer-giveaway-of-both-...

I'm also giving away a set of both her Terra Ignota books. I've raved about this series here before and if the idea of a truly original science fiction series that includes nations based on common goals rather than geographic locations, metaphysics, and heavy French Enlightenment influences sounds interesting, you should enter! Too Like the Lightning is up for the Hugo this year, and I would have voted for it if I hadn't completely dropped the ball on Hugo voting despite buying a supporting membership to Worldcon (I even forgot to download the Hugo voter packet).

Edited: Aug 19, 2017, 4:48am Top

My full review of The Witchwood Crown is up on my blog here: http://justaworldaway.com/2017/08/19/the-witchwood-crown-by-tad-williams/


I finished Age of Swords (new Michael J. Sullivan book, sequel to Age of Myth), it was pretty good but it's very on-the-nose sometimes both with references to the Riyria books and with humans discovering various items that make civilization (wheels, pockets, barrels, iron) and that annoyed me a bit. I'm ooking forward to the next book, though.

I also read Penric's Fox, the newest Penric novella (#3 in the internal chronology, #5 in publication order) released a few days ago. It's Bujold so it's fantastic, of course. I hope Subterranean Press continues to do print editions of these books.

Aug 23, 2017, 9:22pm Top

Good review of The Witchwood Crown. I'm still in the early days of it, moving slowly.

Aug 27, 2017, 11:33pm Top

>152 ronincats: Thanks Roni! I'm looking forward to seeing what you think.


I thought I would read a lot on vacation but I haven't actually read anything since my last post. I've been spending a lot of my time on learning new programming skills and rewriting the list management web application that I wrote a couple of vacations ago, it's a lot of fun so I've been fully occupied by it.

I go back to work tomorrow and I think I will start reading again since I always read during my lunch break (and once I start a book, I read it all the time, not just at lunch).

Edited: Sep 3, 2017, 7:07pm Top

I think one of the reasons I haven't been reading much is because I'm still behind on reviews for my blog and reading more will give me even more of a backlog. I'm determined to catch up this long weekend; here's the first post reviewing the Dresden Files series: http://justaworldaway.com/2017/09/03/book-series-review-the-dresden-files-1-15-b...

Edit #1: my second post of the day reviewing the Raven's Shadow series by Anthony Ryan: http://justaworldaway.com/2017/09/03/book-series-review-ravens-shadow-by-anthony...

Edit #2: Review of The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisinhttp://justaworldaway.com/2017/09/03/the-stone-sky-by-n-k-jemisin/

Sep 4, 2017, 9:40am Top

Oh, that feeling of every book read putting you in the reviewing deficit hole! I sympathize completely, and wish you good luck on your quest to clear the decks!

Sep 5, 2017, 3:32pm Top

>155 rosalita: Hi Julia! I only have one more book to go (Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan) to catch up, so I'm relieved.

Sep 23, 2017, 3:39am Top

I finally read a book! Hopefully that gets me out of my reading slump.

#64: The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud – This is the last book in the Lockwood & Co. series which I like a lot even though I don't usually read horror. The series is set in an alternate London where widespread hauntings have been a problem for a few decades and only children have the psychic sensitivity to be able to deal with ghosts. I thought that the book wrapped the series up well, I continued to love the characters, and just like previous books there were plenty of creepy ghosts.

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 2:50am Top

Book #65 is Paradox Bound by Peter Clines, an action-adventure book about a guy who gets mixed up with a bunch of time travelers searching through history for the American Dream. This book was a lot of fun and I could easily see turning it into a movie.

I'm going to write a full review later, I think I'll also be doing an author interview and giveaway on my blog.

Sep 29, 2017, 1:22pm Top

I have to read more of Peter Clines stuff. I've read The Fold and enjoyed it. I'm going to add this one to the WL.

Have a great weekend.

Sep 30, 2017, 7:35pm Top

I hadn't heard of Peter Clines before this book showed up, I definitely need to read more of his work too.

Oct 17, 2017, 8:36pm Top

I am not certain that you'll be celebrating but just in case, Kriti:

Oct 18, 2017, 9:11pm Top

Thanks Paul! We don't really celebrate any holidays at our house (too much effort) but it's still good to hear :)

Oct 19, 2017, 4:40am Top

>162 kgodey: Your welcome Kriti. I wasn't really sure whether you'd be celebrating or not.

Edited: Oct 22, 2017, 9:09pm Top

It's been a slow month but I've finally finished another book. #66 is An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington.

I read and loved the first book of this series last year, it's clearly inspired by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson's work, and they're two of my favorite fantasy authors. The second book is even better, it steps out of the shadow of the books it's inspired by and makes a place of its own. If you're a fan of classic fantasy – teenage protagonists on the run and having to figure out what to do with themselves and their powers, political intrigue, a fairly straightforward good vs. evil story (it is nuanced, though), you should definitely read this series.

Edit: This is actually book #67, see below.

Edited: Oct 22, 2017, 9:17pm Top

I realized that I forgot to log the previous book I read, my actual book #66 is Provenance by Ann Leckie, which I liked quite a bit. It's a much smaller story than her Imperial Radch trilogy but it still had some political intrigue and great characterization and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It reminded me more of Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series than Leckie's previous books, though – all the characters are nice and doing their best and so the story lacked dramatic tension.

Oct 27, 2017, 6:22pm Top

>165 kgodey: I'm in line for that one at the library--it's still on order.

Oct 28, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>164 kgodey: The James Islington series sounds really good - I never got very far with Jordan's Wheel of Time series but I do like Sanderson's books a lot.

>165 kgodey: I also enjoyed Provenance a lot although I agree that it is a smaller story than the Ancillary books.

Oct 28, 2017, 3:52pm Top

I want to throw out a request for participants in a group read of one of my favorite but relatively unknown fantasy novels, God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell. The "stalk" refers to stalking gods, not a stem. It is the first of a still ongoing series, but it is a complete story and easy to walk away from after the first book if you wish--indeed, all of us had to wait many years after this one to get a sequel. I am looking at possibly November, December or January for the time frame, but the actual month will depend on what those interested work out. If you would be at all interested, please PM me or drop by my thread and let me know.

Edited: Oct 29, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>166 ronincats: I'm looking forward to seeing what you think!

>167 souloftherose: The James Islington books are one of my favorite new series! I think fantasy is in an exciting place right now with so much variety but it's nice to have comforting fantasy reads too.

>168 ronincats: I have never heard of God Stalk but I'm in. I posted on your thread as well.


My first book review in a while on my blog: “Paradox Bound” by Peter Clines. I'll also be posting an author interview and giving away two copies of the book next week.

I'm still behind on both book and movie reviews but I've been keeping the list of posts in message #3 updated. I've been doing more movie reviews than books recently since they pile up so fast but I'm hoping to have a couple more books reviewed in the next week.

Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 10:40pm Top

#68 is The Core by Peter V. Brett, the fifth and final book of the Demon Cycle. If you're reading this book, you probably like the rest of the series and this is more of the same. I thought the ending did justice to the characters and story and left me feeling resolved (although there are about eight babies introduced towards the end of the book so I have a feeling that The Demon Cycle: The Next Generation is in the works).


I'm currently reading Artemis by Andy Weir since I get to interview him for my blog and I'm waiting to finish it to come up with and send him questions for it. I'm only a couple of chapters in and it's a pretty different story (crime thriller on a lunar city) from The Martian but it's great so far. It's got a similarly likeable protagonist and the author has clearly spent a lot of time thinking about the science and engineering that would go into making a lunar city.

If you have any questions that you'd like to ask Andy Weir, let me know! He's more popular the the authors I usually interview so I'm looking for interesting questions that he hasn't answered elsewhere.


After a couple of slow months, I'm really excited about my TBR pile again. I have a whole bunch of things I want to read ASAP including an advance copy of Brandon Sanderson's Oathbringer, and Elizabeth Bear's newest book The Stone in the Skull.

Nov 7, 2017, 6:16pm Top

Hey, I posted some thoughts on questions for Weir over on my thread. My brain is mush tonight, so i’ll Keep thinking about it.

Nov 22, 2017, 2:39am Top

>165 kgodey: Kriti, I was actually really surprised at how much I liked the Imperial Radch trilogy, so I definitely have Provenance on my wishlist. Of course, my stupid library doesn't have an ebook copy, so I'm either going to have to buy it or read the print copy. Sounds like I may just have to spring for the ebook!

Nov 23, 2017, 12:28pm Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

Nov 24, 2017, 2:09am Top

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We're not doing anything too special since it's too much hassle for just the two of us, but we did buy boxed stuffing, a can of cranberry sauce, instant mashed potatoes, some Better Than Gravy, turkey sliced an inch thick from the deli, and a frozen pecan pie, so there's that. I've been really busy and stressed out at work but I have today and tomorrow off so I'm just enjoying the four day weekend.

I am hoping to catch up with book reviews on my blog; I've been keeping up with movies a little better than books because I watch one every day and they pile up so much faster. But I think it's more important to review books since many of them are review copies so I'm going to re-prioritize books and worry about catching up with movies later. I wrote a review of "Provenance" by Ann Leckie today.


>171 drneutron: Thanks Jim! Let me know if you have any more.

>172 rretzler: I hope you like Provenance, Robin! I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts.

>173 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! I'm thankful for this group and its members too. I hope you are having a good Thanksgiving!

Edited: Nov 24, 2017, 2:39am Top

I finished three more books since my last post, apparently. I thought I'd been keeping up with my thread better.


#69: Artemis by Andy Weir: This book is very different from The Martian – it's a crime thriller/heist movie set on the Moon in the near-future. Weir isn't great at characterization and dialogue and that's a little more apparent in this book because it's not a book about a castaway so there are a lot more interactions between people. But the things that made The Martian great are still there – the well-thought out science gave me a vivid and realistic picture of what it would be like to have a lunar city, plus it was integral to the plot. And heists are great.

#70: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson: You probably all know I'm a big fan of Brandon Sanderson and this is the third book of his magnum opus, the Stormlight Archive series. Just like the other two, this books is massive (1200+ pages!), divided into five parts that are each the length of a novel with interludes in between, and has great production value with beautiful interior art. I knew I'd love this book and I did, but I was particularly surprised by the characters. I usually think of Brandon Sanderson as a great worldbuilder and plotter but with middle-of-the-road characterization, but the characters were a lot more complicated and interesting in this book. The magic-users in this world are all broken in some way (they have to be for their magic to manifest) and Brandon uses the opportunity to really explore various forms of mental illness through these characters.

#71: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I won the sequel to this book on LT Early Reviewers and managed to convince Del Rey to send me the first book (this one) since I hadn't read it. I've always thought Russian folklore was fascinating and this book is borrows heavily from it. It's set in medieval Russia and follows Vasalisa, a young girl with magical heritage who can see the various household and woodland spirits that are an integral part of the world. It's got beautiful prose and it really draws you into the atmosphere of the time and place it's set in (like Hild or The Doomsday Book). It's mostly a quiet and slow story but it builds up at the end. And even though it's the first book of a trilogy, it tells a completely satisfying story as a standalone.

Nov 24, 2017, 11:07am Top

>175 kgodey: Ah, you've managed to pinpoint it: there was certainly a lot less dialogue in The Martian! But I agree about the science. And I have to get to the second and third books of the Stormlight Archive -- they're just such doorstops!

Nov 24, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>176 foggidawn: They definitely are doorstops! I can no longer get through them as quickly as I used to be able to do. I remember reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in a single day where all I did was read but I'm lucky to get an uninterrupted hour or two these days.


Another review posted on my blog: “An Echo of Things to Come” by James Islington.

Nov 26, 2017, 5:02pm Top

#72 is The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale. It's set in Moscow rather than Vasya's quiet country estate so the tone has changed a little, but the book is just as good. We meet back up with Vasya's siblings Olga and Sasha who moved to Moscow when she was young. The characters are all fantastic, especially Vasya and Morozko. All of the consequences of the events in the previous book are explored thoroughly and it's a great sequel but I think that this book also works really well as a standalone.

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 5:58am Top

I've posted an interview with author Peter Clines on my blog: http://justaworldaway.com/2017/12/02/interview-with-peter-clines-giveaway-of-par.... I'm also giving away two copies of his book Paradox Bound which I really enjoyed.


I'm reading Valiant Dust, a military SF / space opera type book but I think I am going to abandon it because it's just not holding my interest. I find the protagonist irritating – he's somewhat of a Mary Sue (rich, royalty, his date is the prettiest ever even though he didn't have to ask her out, etc.) and his whole deal seems to be that he wants to fit in and not have people think he's obnoxious because of his privileges. But he is obnoxious and impulsively angry/violent and even when he gets dressed down for his actions, he doesn't seem to grow at all. Maybe he will by the end of the book but I'm 100+ pages into it and I'm not looking forward to going back to it. There are other problems with the book too, but the protagonist is the dealbreaker I think.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 6:43pm Top

I'm a bit backlogged on movie reviews but I just posted a new post:
Weekly Movie Reviews: Oct 29-Nov 4, 2017, covers: (500) Days of Summer, Body of Lies, Bridge to Terabithia, Cars 3, Labyrinth, Man of Steel, Mud.

I'll try to update here when I post new movie reviews, but if you're interested in previous posts (or previous book review posts), I've been keeping post #3 on this thread up to date.

Dec 20, 2017, 12:41am Top

My work has been stressful lately and I haven't had a lot of time to read or do much else. I haven't finished any books since my last post. I'm at 72 books read. I do have three books I'm in the middle of reading so I think I'll make 75 but this will be my lowest total since I started posting here in 2011.

I haven't looked at my SantaThing or Christmas Swap books yet and I'm pretty excited about them.

Dec 20, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>182 kgodey: I'm right there with you this year. There's always 2018, right? :)

Dec 23, 2017, 5:15pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

Dec 24, 2017, 8:48pm Top

Dec 25, 2017, 3:32am Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 25, 2017, 12:19pm Top

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Its such a joy to be a part of this group, and I’m glad to call you friend.

Dec 26, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Thanks Roni, Robin, Paul, and Jeff! I hope you and your families are having a great holiday season as well.

>183 rosylibrarian: I'm so glad it's almost 2018, Marie!



I am very excited about my Secret Santa picks this year. For Christmas Swap 2017, my Santa seasonsoflove's got me:

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

And for SantaThing 2017 I got:

- A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Frederik Backman
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
- The Gunslinger by Stephen King

These are all books from my wishlist that I've been really excited about and I have some good reading ahead of me.

Dec 26, 2017, 8:15pm Top

Thanks so much for the Secret Santa books! They’re perfect choices!

Dec 27, 2017, 12:08am Top

>189 drneutron: You're very welcome!

Dec 27, 2017, 1:02pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Kriti!

Dec 27, 2017, 3:12pm Top

>191 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! I was just about to post my reviews for #73 to #76, you have a sharp eye :)

Dec 27, 2017, 3:52pm Top

I've finished four books in the last few days, finally getting me past #75.


#75: A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge: I loved Frances Hardinge's books Fly By Night and Fly Trap when I read them a few years ago but I lost track of her for a while. She continues to be terrific, A Skinful of Shadows is a spooky and atmospheric story set during the English Civil War, starring a girl named Makepeace who has been plagued by deadly ghosts her whole life. I think it's one of my favorite books of the year.

The other three books I finished are not my usual genre and they could probably use some context. I've been estranged from my parents for a couple of years now and I'm still working through a number of issues relating to my family and all the unhealthy behavior I picked up from growing up around them. It's not something I talk about much (both online and IRL) because it either makes people uncomfortable or I end up getting a lot of well-meaning advice that just isn't applicable. When I realized there were books out there that did get what I was going through, I decided to order a couple.

#73: Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward: I found this book extremely cathartic to read. It goes through a bunch of different ways that parents can be toxic and then provides strategies to deal with their influence on your life in an emotionally healthy way. I would have probably benefited from it even more a couple of years ago since I've learned many of the things it talks about about the hard way, but it was still good to have vindication. The last few chapters covered ideas that I hadn't considered before and seem very helpful.

#74: The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner: I bought this because I think I internalize anger too much because I really don't feel comfortable expressing it. It's a great book but its focus is on improving relationships that are affected by one person being angry at another, which wasn't what I was looking for. I did learn some patterns to watch out for and I think they will be useful in the future.

#76: Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self by Alice Miller: This was probably my favorite; it's basically a long essay and is not structured like a self-help book like the other two. The title is a little confusing but it's about how having narcissistic parents affects children and the decisions they make later in life. It all seemed very familiar to me, especially because it focused on the small ways that parents can undermine children (Toxic Parents, on the other hand, had fairly extreme examples for its case studies which I didn't relate to that much). It also gave me some answers about why screwed-up people are the way they are and I'm always happier when I understand something I didn't before.

Dec 28, 2017, 3:31am Top

>193 kgodey: I have The Drama of the Gifted Child and never got to read it, thanks for the reminder!
Toxic Parents also might be a good read for me.

Dec 28, 2017, 4:22pm Top

Congratulations on blowing past the 75 book mark, Kriti!

I still have my original 1986 edition of The Dance of Anger: A woman's guide to changing the patterns of intimate relationships, signed by the author, which I found incredibly meaningful--but I had different issues than you. I also have picked up her other books as they came out, The Dance of Intimacy, The Dance of Deception, The Dance of Connection, and Fear and other Uninvited Guests. But none of them really are focused on parental relationships. The other two books do sound more pertinent, but I've not read either of them.

I read Hardinge's The Lie Tree earlier this year, my first by her, and may have to give A Skinful of Shadows a try after your recommendation.

Dec 30, 2017, 8:16pm Top

The God Stalk group read thread is up in the 2018 group, Kriti, here:


Dec 31, 2017, 8:09pm Top

Jan 1, 11:58am Top

Happy New Year!

Edited: Jan 1, 4:02pm Top

Anita, Roni, Robin, Kathy: thanks for stopping by and happy new year to you too!

>194 FAMeulstee: I'd be interested in seeing your opinion on The Drama of the Gifted Child.

>195 ronincats: There was an ad for all the "Dance" books on the last page of The Dance of Anger. I'm considering getting them even if they're not directly related to the issues I'm working through now because I think they'd have some good advice that would be applicable in some way.

I have The Lie Tree on my TBR pile, I'm looking forward to reading it.


I haven't finished any other books, so that's it for this year. You can find me over on the 2018 group now.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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