TIFFIN 2018 Out of the gate
This topic was continued by TIFFIN 2018 Now until year end.
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Last 2017 thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/273010
A cold winter sky:
Although I did read and post my reads last year, I wasn't very good at visiting and commenting on other threads. My 98 year old mom is still living on the long term care ward at the hospital, waiting for a nursing home spot. She will never walk again. So caring for her needs and ensuring that she is properly cared for fills much of my time these days.
I miss visiting people whose threads I have enjoyed in the past but I have a finite amount of time and energy, so I hope everyone understands. You are always welcome here and I'm grateful that folks still do visit.
All the best for 2018, lovely fellow readers. Good health to all of you. I hope for a shift in the political climate for our neighbours to the south of us. Let sanity rule for the new year, please!
Happy New Year, Tui! I think it is New Year now for you... it’s dinner time here for us!
I am hopeless on here at the moment too (apart from the next three weeks). Love seeing your photos on FB.
Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.
Don't worry, we all have limited time, and there's only so much each of us can do.
Hope your mum get nursing home spot soon, and good luck with your reads in 2018!
Happy reading in 2018, Tui!
It isn't easy on aging parents and their caretakers. I hope a place for your mother is found soon.
Happy New Reading Year Tui. Books are a solace as well as everything else they are.
It's one of the beauties of this group, Tui, that we can come and go as we must needs do while still remaining part of the fabric of the whole. It's heartwarming.
And may mum get her slot soon. Sending warmest hugs and most appreciative smoochings.
Thanks, Richard. I'm actually ok with her being in the hospital's LTC ward. She gets excellent care there.
That is a wonderful thing to know. Nothing makes life easier than being easy in one's mind about good care.
Happy New Year Tui! I can understand your issues with finding time for LT. RL has been getting to me rather as well recently. Wishing your mother all the best.
Happy New Year, Tui. I totally understand the challenge of spending time on LT while managing the responsibilities of RL, and of course reading. I just take it in drips and drops where I can, and I think it's just incredible how nobody here seems to mind that they don't see me for a 400 posts and then I pop up with an inane comment.
Hello Tui, I can keep track of your reading as well as your Daily Photos!
(Kerry from P365)
1. The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido (author), Tom Bunstead (trans.)
A mystery set in 13th century Tsong dynasty, the main protagonist Ci Song pays tribute to Song Ci, the founding father of CSI forensic science. A good reading start to 2018.
*yeesh, sorry about photo size. Can't seem to make it smaller*
Hope to try to get over here from time to time this year. IF not, I hope to see some reading posts occasionally in that other place we hang out in :-)
Ack... I stopped because the cover looked interesting, read your review and limp away, wounded by the book bullet...
Tui, I **do not** need another mystery series on the go!!
I’m glad you enjoyed it and I will see how much it is on my Kindle...
Keep warm up there!
>24 tiffin: That one sounds intriguing. And of course, I don't need another mystery series either, but I haven't let that stop me in the past, and am not likely to in the future!
2: Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi
This was more like Japanese anime than a written book. Gods and Kami, Guardians and sundry other fantastic creatures alternately blew the world up or tried to save it. The action and characters whipped around all over the place, leaving me with occasional literary whiplash. Where are we now or what's happening now were frequent thoughts. Anyway, I finished it but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Sometimes a book's place is different enough that it saves awkward writing but this one didn't quite achieve that.
3: Space Team by Barry J. Hutchison
Made me smile quite often. Silly and fun. The main protagonist named their space ship "Shatner".
4: Space Team: The Wrath of Vajazzle Book 2 by Barry J. Hutchison
Oops comment intended for another thread... 4am wakefulness.
5: Space Team: The Search for Spurt, Book 3 by Barry J. Hutchison
6: Space Team: The Song of the Space Siren, Book 4 by Barry J. Hutchison
7: Space Team: The Guns of Nana Joan, Book 5 by Barry J. Hutchison
8: Space Team: Return of the Dead Guy, Book 6 by Barry J. Hutchison
9: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
A very gentle story. Arthur Pepper finds a gold charm bracelet among his wife's things a year after her death. He knew nothing about it, so begins tracking down each charm, learning of his wife's history prior to meeting him. The search shakes up his own life and shakes up his view of his wife for a while but all's well that ends well. Written with a nice sense of understatement, this story might have been cloying and too sweet in other hands.
ETA: filed under "Light Reading"
13: The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
A collection of short stories about a small town, Blackwell, Massachusetts, from its founding to the present. Hovering between historical fiction and magic realism, the stories link to each other through place and family lines. A really good read.
Tui my dear, have I book bulleted you with the Taking Shield series of space operas yet? The first one's free...
We have a lot in common, and that's a good thing. Hope you're staying warm and getting some time for yourself.
Hi Peggy--thank you! I'm getting over a nasty chest and sinus cold but lots of reading is getting done, if not much else.
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What a beautiful site to wake up to!!!
Laboratory Ovens | Engineering Lab Equipment
16: Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler
Well, what I thought would be a nice space ship slash aliens slash futuristic story turned out to be a fairly uninteresting science fiction with lots of gay sex in it.
Wow! Lots of gay sex?! It was almost devoid of same for my reading eyes. Ah well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
It is ever thus, I suppose. I'm a bit concerned now, though, as one way I've sold the series to straight people is how little sex and how much falling in love there is. It sounds like that assessment isn't accurate.
17: Samarkand Dawn by Graham Diamond
Adequate bordering on meh.
18: Dark Priestess by Juanita Coulson
Set in Babylon at the time of Hammurabi. Stretched my credulity a fair bit.
19: Talon, The Windwalker Archive, Book One by Michael James Ploof
20: Sea Queen, The Windwalker Archive, Book Two by Michael James Ploof
21: Exodus, The Windwalker Archive Book Three by Michael James Ploof
This series had a lot of violence in it but it was germane to the plot. Northern tribes of barbarians, men who must be at least eight feet tall, the women seven feet, are the entitled rulers over everyone else who isn't born tall and perfect. Those born shorter, disabled, or disfigured are called the Skomm. The Skomm have a cruel sub-group called the Vald who are allowed to be as vicious and murderous as they want by the ruling barbarian elite. Talon was disowned by his father when his premature birth was caused by a plague which killed his mother. When he failed the height test in his teens and was cast out from the Wolf clan, to survive among the Skomm, only his white witch grandmother cared. She had both raised and protected him.
So this is the story of Talon, his true love Akkeri, and his fellow Skomm as they go through a variety of hells to find their freedom. Given support by an ancient elf in violation of the elf world's laws, and supported by his spirit wolf, Chief, Talon tries to hang on to his basic goodness despite temptations of power. After I got over the viciousness of the Vald and the horror of the Skomm lives, I got pulled into the story, and was glad to make it through to the end.
They sound like propulsive reads, but I think on balance not for me.
Hope you, Des, and mum are all well.
No, not your cuppa I think, Richard. But good escapism for me right now. I'm getting better, Des is well, Mom is doing ok. I hope to see her this weekend.
22: The Maid's War by Jeff Wheeler
Prequel to the Kingsfountain series.
Hmmm. When you have time, can you write a bit about Jeff Wheeler, Tui? I've seen these books and wondered, but I do have quite a few unread over here ...............
I like the worlds he creates, Peggy. They are a feudal but he builds his characters well. Of course magic features in them, with The Fountain being its source. They are connected to the Arthur & Merlin legends, although not too overtly.
23: The Language of Power, Book 4 of the Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein
An inadvertent reread. 5th book isn't out yet.
24: Out of the Past: A Reed Ferguson mystery by Renee Pawlish
Spoiled rich kids, powerful fathers with their fingers in greasy pies, a straight shooting private investigator with nerdy and somewhat simple friends. But not really my taste. Neither a gritty police procedural nor an English mystery (cosy or historical), nor a tale with a Louise Penney crafting of characters. Won't be hunting down the rest of the series.
>68 tiffin: Thanks, Tui. I'll keep thinking! On the other hand, I think Steerswoman 1 is going to be mine right now!
>69 tiffin: I was very excited recently when Amazon offered me the Steerswoman Book 4, as I thought I'd read the first 3 books. I was very disappointed when I realised that I had actually read all four already ...
I know, Rhian. It was a while ago, so the reread wasn't that much of a problem but I do wish the 5th book would come out!
Some interesting reading, Tui. I thought your description of the Alice Hoffman novel pretty much describes most of her work :-)
25: Hamlet, Revenge by Michael Innes
Set in the 1930s at a country house in England (larger than Blenheim!), the mystery takes place around and during an amateur production of Hamlet. Almost too clever at times, with Shakespearean scholars and a police inspector who is as cultured as any of them, I nevertheless donned hip waders to get through the verbiage because, well, Hamlet. Red herrings abound but solutions are found.
26: Bohermore: The Pirate Queen Book I, by Jennifer Rose McMahon
27: Inish Clare, The Pirate Queen Book II, by Jennifer Rose McMahon
I am interested in Grace O'Malley, the famous Irish Pirate Queen, so will pick up a novel about her. This was a bit *fraught* for my taste at times, what with clan rivalries, ghosts chained to graves, wild dreams in the day, and all, not to mention piercing eyes and schwarms. Well intentioned though.
28: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
An interesting first volume of a series about a glass blower and a society using magic. Interesting enough to carry on to the second volume.
29: Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder
Second volume of series.
30: Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder
As more of my YA exploring to get to know the genre, an easy mostly fun read, these three books. A bit too much of the main character getting kidnapped or beaten up but it was a swords and knives kind of society so I guess it fit in that sense. Blood magic addiction would give YA readers a parallel to drug addiction, along with the theme of self-acceptance.
I don't know if you'd like them or not, Richard. I don't think they are edgy enough for you. In fact, they are probably deffo YA, which I'm exploring to see if I could write one. So I think you'd like find these a solid meh.
But I've just started The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar and I think (14% in) that you might just like this one.
p.s. just looked the book up here to see if there were any reviews. It would appear that the plot and the main character kind of fall apart at some point. I'll keep reading and let you know.
Hey, Tui. I've been a bit afraid to try to revisit Hamlet, Revenge, and you convince me that I'm right. My DH fell in love with MI and read everything of his that we own, which is quite a large number.
It was just a tiny bit too clever, Peggy, which can make a book teeter on the edge of precious.
31: The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar
I quite enjoyed this but then I do like a Steampunk/fantasy hybrid. I really should write a decent review of this. I don't agree at all with the bad reviews here at LT.
>86 tiffin: I'd take your advice and forget the entire idea but for one thing: I'm a glass-blowing enthusiast. That alone makes me sit up and take notice. I'll report back on my ideas post-read.
>90 tiffin: Hmm. You sound very pleased with the read so I'm eager to hear your "decent review" should it eventuate.
32: Undertaking Irene by Pamela Burford
Not a bad mystery. I had guessed the baddie before the main protagonist did but suspect I was meant to.
33: The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson
This was fun!
I posted this out of order. It should really be 32. Oh well.
34: "The Vale, Behind the Vale" by Brian D. Anderson (no touchstone)
I started out liking this but as it went on I didn't like the characters much any more. They were kind of two dimensional. Very big guns, super cars, post apocalyptic kind of stuff. And it obviously doesn't end with this book but there isn't another one yet. Bah.
35: Slave, Warrior, Queen, Book I of "Crowns and Glory" by Morgan Rice
I've started cataloging the over-2000 Kindlebooks I already possess over on GR because I keep trying to re-buy various titles. Heavy, heavy sigh...lots of work ahead.
36: Rogue, Prisoner, Princess, Book II of "Crowns and Glory by Morgan Rice
37: Knight, Heir, Prince, Book III of "Crowns and Glory" by Morgan Rice
38: Rebel, Pawn, King, Book IV of "Crowns and Glory by Morgan Rice
39: Soldier, Brother, Sorcerer, Book V of "Crowns and Glory" by Morgan Rice
40: Hero, Traitor, Daughter, Book VI of "Crowns and Glory" by Morgan Rice
41: Ruler, Rival, Exile, Book VII of "Crowns and Glory" by Morgan Rice
Well, I'm nothing if not a completist. The 8th and last book is coming through. They got progressively more expensive as I went along with the series but I just have to know how she is going to wrap all of this up.
Artemis by Andy Weir is a great novel. It's a thriller about a conspiracy in the lunar city of Artemis.
42: Victor, Vanquished, Son, Book VIII of "Crowns and Glory" by Morgan Rice
Well, she wrapped it all up. Rice does quite good baddies. I almost preferred them to her good guys who are sometimes too good and occasionally a bit thick too. The societies she creates are loads of fun--if a bit gore filled--and seem to be set around the Mediterranean of an ancient time. Battles, sea and land, monsters, sorcerers, political struggles, swords and knives, all the perquisites to death and danger abound. I do like a rollicking tale.
Morgan Rice FTW! Got you to stick with the series for eight books, that's good going.
43: The Silent Murder by Peter Tonkin
An excellent historical mystery set in the time of Elizabeth I. Will definitely check out more by this author.
>110 tiffin: Good to know. It's always difficult to know which of those CreateSpace books are worthwhile reads.
Fumes - yes. I had meant this to be the year of the big biography. Instead, it's the year of the little fun books. That's fine.
Hope all is well with you and yours.
>112 thornton37814:: It was maybe a bit of hyperbole to say "excellent". I liked it because of the characters used in it like Ben Johnson, Will Shakespeare, as well as the brewing war with Spain.
44: Icerigger by Alan Dean Foster
Lots of fun. On to Book II.
46: The Deluge Drivers by Alan Dean Foster
For an older series, this was surprisingly good.
47: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Quite good but not the end of the tale. The next book doesn't seem to have been written yet.
48: The Amulet Thief, Book I of the Fitheach Trilogy by Luanne Bennett
49: "The Blood Thief", Book II of the Fitheach Trilogy by Luanne Bennett No touchstone.
50: "The Destiny Thief", Book III of the Fitheach Trilogy by Luanne Bennett No touchstone
Entertaining enough. Not brilliant but quite adequate.
51: Sleeping Dog by Dick Lochte
Old school mystery. Quick and fun.
53: Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
This was quite an odd tale. Not a particularly easy read, but somehow it compelled me to keep going to the end. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, however.
54: Still Waters, Sandhamn Murders Book 1 by Viveca Sten
A Swedish murder mystery in translation. Kind of police procedural but the location on the islands off of Stockholm made it quite interesting.
55: Closed Circles, Book II of the Sandhamn Murders by Viveca Sten
On to the third book!
56: Guiltless, Book III of the Sandhamn mysteries by Viveca Sten
Oh and onward we go!
57 Tonight You're Dead. Book IV of the Sandhamn mysteries by Vivica Sten
Hoping that more have been translated. I'm getting fond of these characters and their stories.
Not heard of her before Tui. Might give her a try.
ETA HA, apparently I already have >126 tiffin: on my Kindle, must have bought it in an offer a while ago.
It's a progressive mystery, Caro. I.e., the characters' lives proceed and grow as they would in real life. New mystery each book, however. They are kind of like a Swedish Louise Penny.
>131 tiffin: kind of like a Swedish Louise Penny.
Hmm, that sounds promising.
ETA: FictFact shows only the four books, the most recent of which were published in English last year. It looks like there are two more books in the series? Well, we can hope.
>129 tiffin: I have not heard of Sten at all. Hmmm. May have to keep an eye out. Might not be my thing, i’ve not been able to get into Louise Penny either.
58: Magician: Apprentice, The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond Feist
A trip down memory lane. A reread. I read it so long ago that I couldn't remember the story, so it was new all over again.
59: Magician: Master, The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond Feist
I first read this in the early 70s. It's still a fun story.
Cosmic Banditos by A.C. Weisbecker
DNF: Trying too hard to be funny. I like my humour dry, sly, sideways, and not of the hammer over the head variety.
Well whaddaya know. To celebrate World Book Day, Amazon is offering 9 free kindle books, all books in translation. And one of them is the first Viveca Sten mystery! If it weren't for your thread, I might have scrolled right past but who can turn down free books, especially a new series that you recommend?
Here's more on the deal in case you're interested:
Amazon Crossing Read the World
We didn't get that offer Laura, but I dropped a paperback copy of Ten Women in my basket, a writer I've not come across before.
>140 Caroline_McElwee: Well it's a shame that a world book day offer isn't available outside the US. I'm sure it's due to licensing issues or some such. I snagged that book too, Caro.
60: The Samurai of Seville by John J. Healey
A sweet quick read which I enjoyed.
61: The Doves of Venus by Olivia Manning
Virago Modern Classics edition
It's funny how you can love the writing but dislike the story in some books. I didn't like a few of the characters--disliked them quite strongly, in fact, to the point where I had absolutely no sympathy for them. Consequently I disliked the story around them. Just not my kind of tale, I guess.
>144 tiffin: Disappointing when that happens Tui. I haven't read that Manning. Though I'm eyeing a potential reread of the Balkan and Levant trilogies.
62: Carnifex, Book 1 of A Dwarf with No Name, by D.P. Prior
63: Geas of the Black Axe, Book 2 of A Dwarf with No Name, by D.P. Prior
64: Revenge of the Lich, Book 3 of A Dwarf with No Name, by D.P. Prior
65: Return of the Dwarf Lords, Book 4 of A Dwarf with No Name, by D.P. Prior
I have been plodding away at The Library at Mount Chair by Scott Hawkins. What a strange book!
Thanks, Caro! I haven't been here in a few days so missed this. Beautiful flowers.
66: Thornbear by Michael G. Manning
First book of a series.
67: Centyr Dominance, by Michael G. Manning
Champions of the Dawning Dragons Book 2
68: Demonhome by Michael G. Manning
Champions of the Dawning Dragons Book 3
Not very much about dragons, thank goodness, but much about AIs, alternative worlds, nuclear physics, science understood as wizardry. Not bad. I really should read a literary book again one of these fine days.
69: Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence
I quite enjoyed this mystery set in Edinburgh in the late 1800s. I knew my way around Edinburgh with the cast of characters so that made it even more fun. Edinburgh itself forms a character in the story, as the story moves through the old and the new town. Looking forward to the next one in the series, out in September.
Not really, Caro. It's about an Edinburgh policeman who quotes Shakespeare and Robert Burns, trying to track down a serial killer. So late 1800s procedural stuff using street kids and his own wits.
I'll check out your review now, tyvm.
70: The Path of Flames, Chronicles of the Black Gate Book 1, by Phil Tucker
Pretty good so far.
71: The Black Shriving, Chronicles of the Black Gate Book 2, by Phil Tucker
Continues to be good.
72: The Siege of Abythos, Chronicles of the Black Gate Book 3, by Phil Tucker
And onward we go!
73: The Iron Circlet, Chronicles of the Black Gate Book IV, by Phil Tucker
Revving up to the grand finale.
74: The White Song, Chronicles of the Black Gate Book V, by Phil Tucker
This was pretty good. An epic far-reaching series with just about everything in it. Loads of fun.
75: The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
The latest Flavia de Luce mystery. I do love this character and her sidekick Dogger.
Yay, CONGRATULATIONS Tui, and you are only just over half a year through!
76: When Gravity Fails, Book 1 of the Budayeen Cycle by George Effinger
So far, so good. Gritty, cyberpunkish, good setting, good characters. And some wonderful descriptive writing.
77: A Fire in the Sun, Book 2 of the Budayeen Cycle by George Alec Effinger
I'm really enjoying this series. Yes, there is violence, but there is also humour and a marvellous imagination at work.
Tui, I know Effinger, but not the other sf/f, are those YA novels? (I’m not familiar with the “newer” YA authors. I can’t believe you’ve already gobbled up 75 books already!
No, definitely not YA novels. I'm now curious about his other science fiction, although I would classify this as post world order breakdown meets cyberpunk. Formerly large countries have splintered into smaller countries--the US has broken into about four or more, and has no global power any more. The Arab/Moslem people and countries are the global powers now and the story is set somewhere near Damascus.
Being sick with that virus for two months gave me a good start to the year vis reading.
78: The Exile Kiss, Book 3 of the Budayeen Cycle by George Alec Effinger
I'm interested enough to look for other of his books, especially his science fiction. Not his "Planet of the Apes" series though--his less known stuff.
I liked it, Jim. It might be a bit gory for some folks but I found the Budayeen and its denizens really interesting.
Sorry to be late to the party, congratulations on reaching 75, Tui, and beyond!
I'm sold on the Budayeen - so much so that I've ordered an anthology from AMP. Thanks, Tui!
79: Master Assassins, Book 1 of The Fire Sacraments, by Robert V.S. Redick
I really enjoyed this. Darn, he hasn't written Book 2 or 3 yet.
80: Murder in Thrall, Book 1, Doyle and Acton Scotland Yard series by Anne Cleeland
Not sure what I think of this series. Chief Inspector Michael Sinclair, Lord Acton, has a somewhat creepy obsession with Kathleen Doyle, a junior detective at the same Scotland station. Acton is known for his brilliant detective work while Doyle is fey, sensing when people are lying or telling the truth. The character of Acton isn't an attractive one, and he will use any means to protect Doyle. I'll try a few more in the series to see where it goes but I may give up on it.
81: Murder in Retribution, Book 2, Doyle and Acton Scotland Yard series by Anne Cleeland
I'm still not comfortable with the character and actions of Acton. I don't know where she's going with him, although the other characters are more palatable. I think she's trying to make him into a Sherlock Holmes type quirky genius type.
82: Murder in Hindsight, Book 3, Doyle and Acton Scotland Yard series by Anne Cleeland
83: Murder in Containment, Book 4, Doyle and Acton Scotland Yard series by Anne Cleeland
I got to read this one for free, so why not? I'm starting to get the hang of the Chief Inspector's character now--either that or Cleeland is writing him with more finesse.
Acton and Doyle aren't particularly likeable characters, Acton more so. He has a certifiable stalker personality disorder, with the twist being that he swiftly managed to get the fey/psychic loner Doyle to marry him. Theirs is a strange union but it seems to work for them. Acton is in the Sherlock Holmes mold of twitchy brilliance, the Chief Inspector at their London Scotland Yard branch, while Doyle was a lowly detective constable. He has few qualms abou committing murder when necessary but Doyle is a staunch Irish Catholic, and yet she doesn't demur when her husband commits the odd murder. Containment murders, with broader political and national British implications. So as I said, not particularly appealing characters on some level and yet I got to like their noir gritty stories as the books went along.
As the next three books written are more expensive I think I'll put the series on hold for a bit as it seems to just be more of the same.
84: Death in the English Countryside by Sara Rosett
Okay. Ish. I won't be dashing out to get the next one in the series.
85: Death in St. James Palace by Deryn Lake
1761 London, a mystery set when Kensington was a small town outside of London. Apothecary John Rawlings assists the judge Sir John Fielding with solving a murder which took place at his investiture. Lots of illegitimate children, beautiful seductive women, entitled nobles, horses and carriages, and smelly wonderful London itself.
86: The Bookbinder's Daughter, The Conjurers, Book I by Jane Glatt
A good story so far.
87: The Shaman's Son, The Conjurers, Book II by Jane Glatt No touchstone.
It could have been one book. I suspect they split it to make more money. Not a bad tale. It seemed to end kind of *thump bang* as though she wanted to be done with it and move on to the next story she's writing. Probably YA too.
88 & 89: The Clan Wars Omnibus, Books 1-2, by Peter Morwood
Book 1 was "Greylady", Book 2 was "Widowmaker".
Another one of my cheapo Book Bub acquisitions. Not terrible.
90: Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley
A reread on Kindle (I can't find my Virago copy). Wonderful story set in wartime England, an innocence to experience story brilliantly told.
It's years since I read Mary Wesley Tui, but my eye did light on a biography of her on the shelf the other night.
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