souloftherose's 2019 reading - thread the second

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souloftherose's 2019 reading - thread the second

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1souloftherose
Apr 16, 2019, 10:35am

I’m Heather and this is my 10th year in the 75 Book Challenge Group. I'm in my late thirties and live in a small town to the northwest of London in the United Kingdom with my husband and our rescue cat, Erica.

I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction (including children's/young adult books) as well as a spattering of crime/historical/other fiction. A fair number of the books I read are older books - I particularly enjoy 18th and 19th century fiction, golden age detective novels and fiction from the first half of the 20th century. I read mainly for pleasure and relaxation/stress relief although I do occasionally try to take myself out of my comfort zone by reading contemporary literary fiction and non-fiction.

Last year I read 155 books - so I'm aiming for 150 books this year but trying not to focus too much on the numbers. Other plans are to join in with this year's theme read in the Virago Modern Classics group which is on the 1940s - I have quite a few books in my TBR piles which fit this theme.

And a picture of Erica to open the thread - she's sleeping under the first crochet blanket I made. I was going to edit the photo to crop out the background but then I thought people might like to see the books too :-)

2souloftherose
Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 7:34pm

Books read in January
#1 The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman
#2 A Fugue in Time by Rumer Godden
#3 Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
#4 Paper Girls, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
#5 The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher
#6 In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
#7 Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
#8 Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson
#9 Lumberjanes Vol. 6: Sink or Swim by Shannon Watters
#10 The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts
#11 Lumberjanes Vol. 7: A Bird's-Eye View by Shannon Watters
#12 Ms. Marvel Vol. 7: Damage per Second by G. Willow Wilson
#13 Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
#14 2001: An Odyssey in Words edited by Tom Hunter and Ian Whates
#15 Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
#16 Helliconia Winter by Brian Aldiss
#17 Ms. Marvel, Vol. 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson

Books read in February
#18 Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
#19 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany
#20 Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
#21 A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie
#22 The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
#23 Europe in Winter by Dave Hutchinson
#24 Uncanny Magazine Issue 25 edited by Lynne Thomas and Michael Thomas
#25 Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
#26 Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
#27 The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
#28 Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
#29 The Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clark

Books read in March
#30 Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson
#31 Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
#32 Ms. Marvel, Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland by G. Willow Wilson
#33 Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.
#34 Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
#35 Phosphorus: A Winterstrike Story by Liz Williams
#36 The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie
#37 Saga: Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
#38 Saga: Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
#39 The Kellys and the O'Kellys by Anthony Trollope
#40 Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
#41 The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
#42 The True Queen by Zen Cho
#43 Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson
#44 The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie
#45 Good Daughters by Mary Hocking

Books read in April
#46 The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
#47 By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts
#48 Uncanny Magazine Issue 27: March/April 2019 edited by Lynne Thomas and Michael Thomas
#49 Lumberjanes Vol. 8: Stone Cold by Noelle Stevenson
#50 Nomads by Dave Hutchinson
#51 An Informal History of the Hugos by Jo Walton
#52 Planetfall by Emma Newman
#53 Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey
#54 Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
#55 One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
#56 Semiosis by Sue Burke
#57 We Were Eight Years in Power: Essays on the Obama Era by Ta-Nehisi Coates
#58 The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side by Agatha Christie
#59 The King's General by Daphne du Maurier

Books read in May
#60 The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
#61 My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
#62 Never After: Thirteen Twists on Familiar Tales by Marie Brennan
#63 The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang
#64 The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan
#65 The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson
#66 Bombers and Mash: The Domestic Front, 1939-45 by Raynes Minns
#67 Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear
#68 Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
#69 Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
#70 Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner
#71 The Man Who Would be Kling by Adam Roberts
#72 How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin

Books read in June
#73 Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch
DNF Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
#74 Captain Marvel: Earth's Mightiest Hero Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
#75 After Atlas by Emma Newman
#76 Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Jaur Jaswal
#77 The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
#78 The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams

Books read in July
#79 The Poison Song by Jen Williams
#80 Emmeline: The Orphan of the Castle by Charlotte Turner Smith
#81 The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
#82 Captain Marvel: Earth's Mightiest Hero Vol. 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
#83 Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#84 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
#85 All Systems Red by Martha Wells
#86 On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
#87 Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
#88 Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
#89 Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
#90 Indifferent Heroes by Mary Hocking

Books read in August
#91 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Primary Phase by Douglas Adams
#92 The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
#93 Lumberjanes Vol. 9: On a Roll by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
#94 Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
#95 Lumberjanes Vol. 10: Parents Day by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
#96 The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
#97 The Witch of Clatteringshaws by Joan Aiken
#98 Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho
#99 To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
#100 Lumberjanes Vol. 11: Time After Crime by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
#101 The House of Sundering Flames by Aliette de Bodard
#102 Atlas Alone by Emma Newman
#103 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Secondary Phase by Douglas Adams
#104 The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher
#105 Toad Words and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher

Books read in September
#DNF The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
#106 The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
#107 Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
#108 Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
#109 Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee
#110 Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
#111 Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

Books read in October
#112 Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold
#113 Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold
#114 Spinning by Tillie Walden
#115 Black Panther: Long Live the King by Nnedi Okorafor
#116 Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan
#117 Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
#118 The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher
#119 Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein edited by David Thomas Moore
#120 Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold
#121 Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
#122 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase
#123 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Quandary Phase
#124 The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold
#125 The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope
#126 Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher
#127 The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
#128 Ragged Alice by Gareth L. Powell
#129 Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#130 By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie

Books read in November
#131 The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark
#132 Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
#133 Uncanny Magazine Issue 30: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy! edited by Katherine Duckett
#134 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
#135 This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
#136 The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold
#137 Welcome Strangers by Mary Hocking
#138 Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#139 Lumberjanes Vol. 12: Jackalope Springs Eternal by Shannon Watters and Kay Leyh
#140 Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan
#141 Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales by Bram Stoker
#142 Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie

Books read in December
#143 Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri
#144 Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

3souloftherose
Edited: Dec 24, 2019, 9:27am

Book acquisitions

#1 Chatterton Square by E. H. Young
#2 Women, Power and Subversion by Judith L. Newton
#3 The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
#4 The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher
#5 In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
#6 Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
#7 The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition by Ursula K. Le Guin
#8 The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Rumer Godden
#9 Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
#10 The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin
#11 The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell
#12 Semiosis by Sue Burke
#13 Shelter by Dave Hutchinson
#14 The Ack-Ack Macaque Trilogy by Gareth Powell
#15 Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
#16 How the Bible Actually Works by Pete Enns
#17 The Black God's Drums by P. Djeli Clark
#18 Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
#19 An Informal History of the Hugos by Jo Walton
#20 The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
#21 Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein edited by David Thomas Moore
#22 Nomads by Dave Hutchinson
#23 Never After by Marie Brennan
#24 Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
#25 The True Queen by Zen Cho
#26 Sugar Money by Jane Harris
#27 Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson
#28 The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson
#29 Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey
#30 84K by Claire North
#31 On the Other Side: Letters to My Children by Mathilde Wolff-Monckeberg
#32 The Village by Marghanita Laski
#33 The Man Who Would be Kling by Adam Roberts
#34 Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
#35 The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Ross
#36 The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang
#37 The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan
#38 Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
#39 Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
#40 Big Cat by Gwyneth Jones
#41 Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear
#42 Outcast by Rosemary Sutcliff
#43 Further Adventures of the Family from One End Street by Eve Garnett
#44 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samathan Shannon
#45 Atlas Alone by Emma Newman
#46 Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell
#47 The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg
#48 The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams
#49 Mr Skeffington by Elizabeth von Arnim
#50 The Poison Song by Jen Williams
#51 The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister by Anne Lister
#52 No Priest But Love by Anne Lister
#53 New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Colour edited by Nisi Shawl
#54 Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
#55 Redemption's Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#56 The Witch of Clatteringshaws by Joan Aiken
#57 The Outcast Hours edited by Mahvesh Murad
#58 Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
#59 The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
#60 Jizzle by John Wyndham
#61 The Outward Urge by John Wyndham
#62 Chocky by John Wyndham
#63 Web by John Wyndham
#64 Let the Fire Fall by Kate Wilhelm
#65 Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope
#66 Dr Wortle's School by Anthony Trollope
#67 Competence by Gail Carriger
#68 Dancing at the Edge of the World by Ursula K. Le Guin
#69 The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
#70 Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle
#71 We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
#72 To Be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers
#73 The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
#74 Toad Words and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher
#75 The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#76 European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss
#77 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
#78 The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb
#79 Fool's Fate by Robin Hobb
#80 Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
#81 The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher
#82 Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher
#83 Nine Goblins by T. Kingfisher
#84 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Tertiary Phase by Douglas Adams
#85 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Quandary Phase by Douglas Adams
#86 Shadows End by Sheri S. Tepper
#87 The Reluctant Fundamentalist
#88 A Life of My Own by Claire Tomalin
#89 The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold
#90 Sanctuary by V. V. James
#91 The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
#92 Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
#93 Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer
#94 The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson
#95 The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer
#96 Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#97 The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark
#98 Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales by Bram Stoker
#99 Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
#100 The Story of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
#101 Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri
#102 Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
#103 Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill
#104 Death of a Clone by Alex Thomson
#105 Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
#106 Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
#107 Dracula: Rise of the Beast by David Thomas Moore

4souloftherose
Edited: Dec 24, 2019, 9:30am

An idea borrowed from Liz (lyzard), this lists ongoing series that I am actively reading. This doesn't include series where I have the first book in my TBR pile (i.e. series I haven't started reading yet aren't included). An asterisk indicates a series where I already have a copy of the next book and bold indicates an intention to finish the series soon(ish)...

Series I'm actively reading (for a rather lax definition of active)
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache: Next up The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (8/15)
Darwath: Next book Icefalcon's Quest by Barbara Hambly (5/5)
*Dolphin Ring Cycle: Next up Dawn Wind by Rosemary Sutcliff (6/8)
Embers of War: Next book Fleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell (2/3)
Empire of Masks: Next book The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson (2/3?)
The Expanse: Next book Tiamat's Wrath by James S. A. Corey (8/9)
*Green Knowe: Next book: The River at Green Knowe by L. M. Boston (3/6)
The Invisible Library: Next book The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman (5/8?)
The L-Shaped Room: Next book The Backward Shadow by Lynne Reid Banks (2/3)
Witches of Lychford: Next book The Lights Go out in Lychford by Paul Cornell (4/5)
*Ms. Marvel: Next book Ms. Marvel, Vol. 10: Time & Again by G. Willow Wilson (9/10)
Monstress: Next book Monstress, Volume 4: Chosen by Marjorie Liu and Tana Sakeda (4/?)
Paper Girls: Next book Paper Girls, Vol 6 by Brian K. Vaughan (5/6)
*Peter Grant: Next book The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch (7.5/8)
Peter Grant: Graphic Novels: Next book: Rivers of London Volume 3: Black Mould (3/5)
*The Poppy War: Next book The Dragon Republic (2/3)
Realm of the Elderlings: Next book Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb (7/16)
*Revelation Space: Next book Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds (3/8)
The Tensorate Series: Next book The Descent of Monsters by JY Yang (3/4)

Series I've stalled on but want to get back to
*Albert Campion: Next up The China Governess by Margery Allingham (17/19)
Arbai trilogy Next up Raising the Stones by Sheri S. Tepper (2/3)
Bas-Lag: Next up The Scar by China Mieville (2/3)
*Barsetshire Books by Angela Thirkell: (Reading out of order) Next up The Brandons (5/29 read)
Dark Gifts: Next up Tarnished City by Vic James (2/3)
Dragonslayer: Next up The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde (3/4)
*Fionavar Tapestry: Next up The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay (3/3)
*The Girl Who: Next up The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente (3/5)
Hainish Cycle: Next book Four Ways to Forgiveness by Ursula K. Le Guin (7/8)
Hilary Tamar: Next up The Shortest Way to Hades by Sarah Caudwell (2/4)
Jimm Juree: Next up Grandad, There's a Head on the Beach by Colin Cotterill (2/?)
Les Voyages Extraordinaires: Next up From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne (4/54)
Liaden Universe Novels: Next book Dragon Ship by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (15/22)
Luna: Next up Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald (2/3)
Maigret: Next up Maigret in Holland by Georges Simenon (7/76)
The Penderwicks: Next up The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall (2/4)
*Richard Hannay: Next up The Three Hostages by John Buchan (4/5)
*Roderick Alleyn: Next up Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh (2/32)
Romantic Poets and Nephilim: Next up A Time to Cast Away Stones in The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers (2/3)
Ruth Galloway: Next up A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths (5/12)
Semiosis Duology: Next book Interference by Sue Burke
Simon Schama's A History of Britain: Next up A History of Britain: The Wars of the British 1603-1776 by Simon Schama (2/3)
Dr. Siri Paiboun: Next up: Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (5/?)
*The Stormlight Archive: Next book Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (2/10?)
*Tales of a New Jerusalem: Next up Family Britain, 1951-57 by David Kynaston (2/5?)
*Turtle: Next up Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver (2/2)
Vlad Taltos: Next up Dragon by Steven Brust (8/14)
Young Pilots: Next up Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (3/?)

Up to date series
The Books of Ambha: Latest book Realms of Ash by Tasha Suri (2/2)
The Book of Dust: Latest book The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (2/3)
The Cinder Spires: Latest book The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (1/?)
Craft Sequence: Chronological Order Latest book The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone (6/6)
Galactic Commons: Latest book Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (3/3)
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Next book The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch (4/7?)
Gilead: Latest book Lila by Marilynne Robinson (3/4)
The Kingkiller Chronicle: Next book The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss (4/4)
Lady Astronaut: Latest book The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal (3/4) (Jul 2020)
Lumberjanes: Next book Lumberjanes Vol. 13: Indoor Recess by Shannon Watters (13/14?) (Feb 2020)
The Machineries of Empire Latest book Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee (4/4)
Matthew Shardlake: Latest book Tombland by C. J. Sansom (7/7)
Mistborn Latest book Mistborn: Secret History by Brandon Sanderson (7/?)
The Murderbot Diaries Next book Network Effect (5/?) (May 20)
Old Kingdom: Latest book Goldenhand by Garth Nix (5/5)
Penric & Desdemona - Publication Order: Latest book The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold (7/7)
Planetfall: Latest book Atlas Alone by Emma Newman (4/4)
The Real-Town Murders: Latest book By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts (2/2)
Saga: Latest book Saga, Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (9/?)
Shades of Grey: Latest book Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (1/3)
A Song of Ice and Fire: Latest book A Dance with Dragons by G. R. R. Martin (5/7?)
Sorcerer Royal: Latest book The True Queen by Zen Cho (2/?)
The Sunbolt Chronicles: Latest book Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani (2/3)
Vorkosigan Series: Latest book Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold (17/17)
Wayward Children: Next book Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (5/?) (Feb 20)
Wolf Hall: Next book The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (2/3) (Mar 2020)

Completed series
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (2/2)
Clocktaur War by T. Kingfisher (2/2)
Discworld: Tiffany Aching by Terry Pratchett (5/5)
Dominion of the Fallen by Aliette de Bodard (3/3)
The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire by Rod Duncan (3/3)
The Fractured Europe Sequence by Dave Hutchinson (4/4)
Good Daughters by Mary Hocking (3/3)
Helliconia Trilogy by Brian Aldiss (3/3)
The Winnowing Flame by Jen Williams (3/3)
Winternight by Katherine Arden (3/3)
Wolves Chronicles by Joan Aiken (11/11)
Wormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson (3/3)

5souloftherose
Edited: Dec 7, 2019, 11:39am

2019 reading plans

Virago Modern Classics - Read the 1940s

Jan — Family:
A Fugue in Time by Rumer Godden
Saplings by Noel Streatfeild

Feb — Relationships:

Mar — Women:
Good Daughters by Mary Hocking

Apr — Work:
One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens

May — Food:
Bombers and Mash by Raynes Minns

Jun — Wildcard:

Jul — Travel:
Indifferent Heroes by Mary Hocking

Aug — Emigration/Relocation:

Sep — War:

Oct — Post-War:
One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
Welcome Strangers by Mary Hocking

Nov — Peace:
The Village by Marghanita Laski

Dec — Wildcard:(options)
Ten Days of Christmas by G. B. Stern
To Bed With Grand Music by Marghanita Laski (Relationships)
Chatterton Square by E. H. Young
Breakfast with the Nikolides by Rumer Godden
On the Other Side: Letters to my Children from Germany by Mathilde Wolff-Mockeberg

Group reads with Liz
Belinda by Maria Edgeworth - February
The Kellys and the O'Kellys by Anthony Trollope - March
Emmeline, The Orphan Of The Castle by Charlotte Smith - June
The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope

6souloftherose
Apr 16, 2019, 10:48am

And I think I'm done!

Assuming anxiety, depression or what feels like yet another looming cold (possibly it's hayfever?) doesn't stop me then I am planning to go to EasterCon this year for one day on Saturday and will hopefully have a mini-meetup with archerygirl and possibly meet Emma Newman (author of the Planetfall series)! I've never been to a convention before so alternating between feeling very excited and very anxious.

https://www.ytterbium.org.uk/

7souloftherose
Apr 16, 2019, 11:01am



Book #46: The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman - 3.9 stars

The fourth book in the Invisible Library series and this continues to be a light and enjoyable series to read. The parallel worlds setting lets Cogman play around with different periods and settings very easily and this book is set in a alternate 1930s Prohibition America (previous books have been set in 19th century London and fantasy Venice). I will be happy to read the next in the series (which I think will bring me up to date although there are more books to come).

8figsfromthistle
Apr 16, 2019, 11:21am

Happy new thread!

Have a fun time at the convention :)

9Carmenere
Apr 16, 2019, 11:47am

Happy new thread, Heather!!

10drneutron
Apr 16, 2019, 1:37pm

Happy new thread!

11foggidawn
Apr 16, 2019, 1:45pm

Happy new thread!

12kidzdoc
Apr 16, 2019, 2:41pm

Happy new thread, Heather!

13ronincats
Apr 16, 2019, 3:46pm

Happy New Thread, Heather! That's a lovely picture at the top--lovely Erica and lovely blanket--but I can only make out Persepolis Rising of the books. And I think the next Invisible Library book is the best yet.

14MickyFine
Apr 16, 2019, 5:51pm

Happy new thread, Heather! Erica looks so cozy in your topper. :)

Good luck with your con adventures.

15FAMeulstee
Apr 16, 2019, 7:42pm

Happy new thread, Heather!

>1 souloftherose: Lovely picture of Erica.
Glad you kept the background, I am trying to read the titles ;-)

16lyzard
Apr 16, 2019, 9:48pm

Happy new thread, Heather! I hope your personal situation continues to ease.

That's a brilliant photo of Erica!

17jnwelch
Apr 16, 2019, 10:58pm

Happy New Thread, Heather!

Erica looks quite comfy up there.

I love that Invisible Library series.

18PaulCranswick
Apr 16, 2019, 12:57am

Happy new thread, Heather

19quondame
Apr 16, 2019, 3:58am

Happy new thread!

20archerygirl
Apr 17, 2019, 9:34am

Happy new thread! Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday :-)

21BLBera
Apr 17, 2019, 4:21pm

Happy new thread, Heather. I love the topper. Did you make the afghan? It is beautiful.

22lyzard
Edited: Apr 22, 2019, 10:49am

Hi, Heather.

I'm just making a start on The King's General. I don't know if you will still be able to join me, but if so, I'm intending it for #9 4 I mean! :)

23Ameise1
Apr 21, 2019, 8:03am

Happy Easter weekend, Heather.

24souloftherose
Apr 22, 2019, 10:41am

>8 figsfromthistle:, >9 Carmenere:, >10 drneutron:, >11 foggidawn:, >12 kidzdoc:, >13 ronincats:, >14 MickyFine:, >15 FAMeulstee:, >16 lyzard:, >17 jnwelch:, >18 PaulCranswick:, >19 quondame:, >20 archerygirl:, >21 BLBera:, >23 Ameise1: Thank you to Anita, Lynda, Jim, Foggi, Darryl, Roni, Micky, Anita, Liz, Joe, Paul, Susan, Kathy, Beth and Barbara for visits to my new thread!

I didn't make it to EasterCon because the looming cold became an actual cold and I was still feeling very sniffly, sneezy and a bit feverish on Saturday. I think it has mostly gone now and it has been nice to have a very quiet weekend so perhaps I needed a rest more than Con fun. It has been very warm and sunny for April so we've been able to sit out in the garden and enjoy the sunshine which has been nice.

>13 ronincats:, >15 FAMeulstee: I'm going to see if I can list the books in the pile from memory (that's my to read soon pile so it should be doable). From top to bottom:

Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey (as spotted by Roni)
Indifferent Heroes by Mary Hocking
The King's General by Daphne du Maurier
Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson
Chatterton Square by E. H. Young
To Bed with Grand Music by Marghanita Laski
4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
Bess of Hardwick by Mary Lovell
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu

Which dates the pile as I think I was planning to read the Fanu in October last year.... The books at the top get read but then I add new ones to the top of the pile each month!

>13 ronincats:, >17 jnwelch: The Invisible Library series is a fun one - I'm looking forward to The Mortal Word.

>20 archerygirl: Sorry we couldn't meet up on Saturday Kathy - hope you had a great time at the Con though.

>21 BLBera: Yes, that's another I made - in fact the first crochet blanket I made and I kept this one for myself! The pattern and colours from the blanket designer were supposed to evoke the Yorkshire moors and I love the finished effect and the colours.

>22 lyzard: Thanks for the heads up Liz - I'm still hoping to get to that one this month. Just started The Mirror Crack'd for our other shared read.

25lyzard
Edited: Apr 22, 2019, 10:53am

>24 souloftherose:

Whoo hoo!!

Just noting a corrected typo above, I have placed The King's General in #4, the weather opening challenge. If you get that far. No pressure. :D

Sorry you've been sick again but it sounds like you had a sensible and pleasant weekend. I've had a low-level flu-y thing for ages, more a collection of annoyances than an illness but I could certainly do without it...

26souloftherose
Apr 23, 2019, 12:16pm

>25 lyzard: Thanks for letting me know about the change in challenge for that one.

Sorry to hear you've been struggling with a flu-y thing too. The repeated colds are getting a bit annoying but there have been a lot going around this year. I have a Dr's appt this week so they may run some blood tests to check there's nothing else going on but I think I have just been a bit run down and unlucky.



Book #47: By the Pricking of Her Thumb by Adam Roberts - 3.8 stars

This is a sequel to The Real-Town Murders and there's another impossible crime for Private Investigator Alma to investigate in near-future Reading. Whereas The Real-Town Murders referenced Alfred Hitchcock films, By the Pricking of Her Thumb is all about Stanley Kubrick films - this may be why I initially enjoyed BtPoHT less as I have never watched a Kubrick film in its entirety so I think a lot of the references went over my head. But later in the book there was a personal event in Alma's life which was written so exquisitely that it changed how I felt about the whole book. So an uneven 3.8 stars.



Book #48: Uncanny Magazine Issue 27: March/April 2019 by Adam Roberts - 4.0 stars

A strong issue of Uncanny magazine where I enjoyed all the stories. Particular highlights were:

The Dead, in Their Uncontrollable Power by Karen Osborne - a haunting and beautiful tale about secrets and the sins of earlier generations
Before the World Crumbles Away by A. T. Greenblatt - an author whose short stories I've enjoyed before and who often writes about disabled characters. This is a short story set in a apocalyptic scenario where two people find love and hope despite everything.
The Dragon That Flew Out of the Sun by Aliette de Bodard - a Xuya universe short story reprint - about war and the stories the two sides tell themselves about what happened.

27archerygirl
Apr 24, 2019, 10:51am

>24 souloftherose: Sorry we couldn't meet up on Saturday. I had a great con - so many interesting panels to see and great to catch up with a lot of old friends. It sounds like you needed a quiet weekend!

28BLBera
May 4, 2019, 6:10pm

>24 souloftherose: It is lovely -- and impressive that it was the first one you made!

29souloftherose
May 8, 2019, 10:36am

>27 archerygirl: The Con sounded great from all the posts I saw on social media - and there were yarn and craft workshops too which I hadn't expected. Definitely planning on coming to Birmingham next year.

>28 BLBera: Thanks Beth.

--------------------------------

We're in the Shropshire hills this week on holiday. We're both feeling pretty exhausted and haven't been able to get out of the cottage much but did manage a brief trip out yesterday to an old lead mine with a cream tea in the visitor's centre (which is itself a Victorian former school) and enjoyed what is now moorland (picture of gorse below). Hopefully we are going to head into Shrewsbury and see Endgame later today.

30souloftherose
May 8, 2019, 11:10am

The 2019 Clarke Award shortlist has been announced: https://clarkeaward.com/





* indicates books I've read

*Semiosis by Sue Burke
*Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
The Electric State by Simon Stalenhag
*Rosewater by Tade Thompson
The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley

I like the shortlist a lot this year - I thought the three books I've read were very good and I'm particularly pleased to see Semiosis included as this seems to have slipped under a lot of people's radars. The other books seem like a good mix of things I've heard of and already wanted to read (Frankenstein in Baghdad and The Loosening Skin) and things I hadn't heard of at all (The Electric State which is a graphic novel) as well as a good mix of authors in terms of nationality.

31MickyFine
May 8, 2019, 4:25pm

>29 souloftherose: Gorgeous photo, Heather! Hopefully you're able to recharge your batteries little bit during your vacation.

32quondame
May 8, 2019, 7:53pm

>29 souloftherose: Pretty. I don't think I've ever seen a labeled picture of gorse before.

33souloftherose
May 9, 2019, 10:51am

>31 MickyFine: Thanks Micky. Feeling more tired today but that's because we made it out to a matinee performance of Avengers: Endgame yesterday which was definitely worth the increased tiredness. I have some issues with the treatment of some characters' storylines (particularly Black Widow and Thor) but overall this was a really good ending to this particular story-arc.

>32 quondame: Thanks Susan. I did take some wider landscape shots of the gorse against the hills but couldn't get the lighting right so the gorse doesn't really show up.

34souloftherose
May 9, 2019, 11:07am

The announcement of the Clarke award shortlist yesterday reminded me that I'd meant to post about the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) award shortlist and winner earlier in the year and then forgot.



Winner: Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell



Shortlist:

Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson
Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
Before Mars by Emma Newman
Rosewater by Tade Thompson

I've read all the books and whilst I thought Embers of War was the weakest on the shortlist it was still a book I enjoyed (I gave it 3.7 stars when I read it earlier this year). I now can't remember which book I put at the top of my ballot but it was either Europe at Dawn or Rosewater.

Interestingly (and not unusual for the BSFA) there's only one American author on the list (Yoon Ha Lee's Revenant Gun) and not surprisingly this is the only book that overlaps with this year's Hugo nominations. Revenant Gun and Rosewater are also both on the Clarke shortlist. All the novels on the Hugo shortlist this year are by American authors (which is again, fairly common for the Hugos and why I started following the Clarke and BSFA awards as well). Also interesting to note that both the BSFA and Clarke shortlists are focused on science fiction novels whereas it's now becoming more common for the Hugos and Nebula shortlists to include fantasy novels as well (IIRC all four awards allow fantasy novels to be nominated).

35souloftherose
Edited: May 9, 2019, 8:05pm

And because I know a lot of people are a fan of this series, the sixth book in Genevieve Cogman's The Invisible Library series has a title and release date (Nov 19)!

http://www.grcogman.com/2019/05/book-six-the-secret-chapter/

UK cover:

From the publisher (spoiler tag for those who haven't read all the books yet): "In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman’s historical fantasy Invisible Library series, Irene and Kai have to team up with an unlikely band of misfits to pull off an amazing art heist, or risk the wrath of a dangerous villain in his secret island lair…

A Librarian spy’s work is never done, and after their latest adventure, Irene is summoned back to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering into chaos – so she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this happening. And the only copy of the edition they need is in the hands of a notorious Fae broker and trader in rare objects: Mr Nemo.

Irene and Kai make their way to Mr Nemo’s remote Caribbean island, and are invited to dinner – which includes unlikely company. And Mr Nemo has an offer for everyone there. He wants them to form a team to steal a specific painting from a specific world. And he swears that that he will give Irene the book she seeks, if she joins them – but only if he has the painting within the week.

No one can resist the deal he offers. But to get their rewards, they’ll have to work together. And is this really possible when the team includes a dragon techie plus assorted Fae – filling the roles of gambler, driver and ‘the muscle’? Their goal? A specific museum in Vienna, in an early twenty-first-century world. Here, their toughest challenge might be each other."

36MickyFine
May 9, 2019, 3:06pm

>35 souloftherose: I'm not quite caught up on this series yet so I'm not going to read the blurb but I do like that cover (which we'll probably get in Canada too). :)

37souloftherose
May 9, 2019, 8:06pm

>36 MickyFine: Good point, Micky - I've hidden the blurb under a spoiler tag for others who aren't caught up.

38ronincats
May 9, 2019, 11:20pm

>35 souloftherose: Oooh, a birthday present for me! And it sounds good.

39souloftherose
May 11, 2019, 12:36pm

>38 ronincats: Good timing Roni - I do like the way Cogman plays with different settings and story types with this series.

40souloftherose
May 11, 2019, 12:54pm

Attempting to catch-up with some April book comments:



Book #49: Lumberjanes Vol. 8: Stone Cold by Shannin Watters - 3.8 stars

This was another fun Lumberjanes adventure with some references to earlier events in the series (I think to Vol 4: Out of Time?) which went a little over my head because it's been so long since I read that volume.



Book #50: Nomads by Dave Hutchinson - 3.3 stars

Part of a series of novellas published by NewCon Press (independent British sff publisher) linked by theme and cover art - the theme of this series is 'The Alien Among Us'.

I really enjoyed reading Hutchinson's Fractured Europe series earlier this year so requested this novella from the Early Reviewers programme. For the first half of the book this appears to be a dry-humoured rural police procedural and it's only in the second half that the science-fictional elements become clear. I enjoyed this but I'm not sure this worked as a self-contained story.

Also, the cover art is a big no from me.

41BLBera
May 11, 2019, 1:44pm

>29 souloftherose: Lovely photo, Heather. The gorse was in full bloom when we were in Ireland last year, and it is lovely.

42souloftherose
May 12, 2019, 4:38pm

>41 BLBera: It is beautiful Beth - I don't see it in built up areas but it's lovely to see when I get a chance to go somewhere more remote.

43souloftherose
May 12, 2019, 5:31pm



Book #51: An Informal History of the Hugos by Jo Walton - 4.2 stars

As the title suggests, an informal look at the Hugo awards from 1953 through to 2000. The contents of this book were originally published as part of a series of articles on Tor.com (and are still available in that format: https://www.tor.com/features/series/revisiting-the-hugos/). Having read a similar collection of Jo Walton’s essays before (What Makes This Book So Great?) I was expecting this to be interesting and readable and it didn’t disappoint. Rather than reading or rereading all the shortlisted works Walton considers whether or not she’s read them before (she’s a very prolific reader and seems to have read a lot of them before) and if not, why not. She also comments on which books the Hugos may have missed by looking at other books published that year or shortlisted for the other awards. Walton’s focus is mainly on the novels although she does list the shortlisted works for the other categories, but also included in the book are interesting comments from other people made on the original web-published articles which include a wealth of information about the short fiction shortlisted each year. This was one of the highlights of the book for me and really emphasised how little I know about sff short fiction published more than a few years ago and how many well-known sff authors started out writing shorter fiction before novels (G. R. R. Martin’s name comes up a lot).

My only criticisms are that an appendix listing all the award nominations and index listing all the works mentioned (perhaps sorted by publication date) would have been really nice. And I was also sad to see that Jo made very few references to non-American awards when looking at books the Hugos might have missed. I suppose it makes sense given that the Hugo awards are effectively American awards but I still would have liked this.

And having read this I think I can feel my own Hugo reading project forming for which this book will be an excellent reference…. (Brain: you’re really run down and have no energy. Why don’t you start another reading project?)



Book #54: Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis - 3.4 stars

I picked this novella up because I needed something light and easy. It’s a Regency-esque fantasy romance story set in a world where women and men have strictly defined gender roles: women rule the country through politics whilst men can be magicians. The main character, Cassandra, is unusual in that she’s a woman who chose to study magic rather than get involved in politics but has lost her magical abilities following an accident. There’s a house-party, a mystery to solve involving the local elves and an ex-fiancee to avoid.

I liked this but didn’t love it (something I found with Burgis’ children’s story, A Most Improper Magick aka Kat Incorrigible) but I think I’ll continue with this series of novellas as I was happy to see that the story didn’t end with Cassandra regaining her powers and I’d like to see the sequels looking at her coming to terms with this (rather than her powers magically returning). I’m hopeful this might be the direction the author takes the story because I think the author suffers from a chronic illness and it’s still quite rare to find sff stories that examine this.

44souloftherose
Edited: May 12, 2019, 5:53pm



Book #52: Planetfall by Emma Newman - 4.7 stars

Atlas Alone, the fourth book in Emma Newman's series of stand-alone science fiction novels came out last month and whilst I loved all the preceding books I wasn't planning to reread them all before Atlas Alone until I read a short story set in the same universe that she sent to newsletter subscribers and found myself picking up Planetfall for a reread.

My original review from 2017: "This was an excellent read about a new human colony on a distant planet. There's a mystery at the heart of the book so I don't want to say too much about the plot but this is a character driven novel which examines the effects of this mystery on the colonists and deals with themes of religion and mental illness."

I enjoyed this just as much on rereading - whilst I knew some of the reveals in advance Newman's writing and characterisation are so good that I found myself drawn into the story and desperately caring about what would happen to the characters even though I could remember the outcomes. Heartbreaking and yet at the same time strangely comforting (I think because of empathising so much with Ren and feeling seen).

45quondame
May 12, 2019, 7:46pm

>44 souloftherose: Great! A woman I haven't jet read! Yay!

46FAMeulstee
May 15, 2019, 3:34pm

>29 souloftherose: Lovely picture, Hether!
I hope you got some rest during your holiday, I guess you are back home now?

47ronincats
May 15, 2019, 1:29am

I haven't hosted a series or an author for a while. I'd like to do so this summer, during a month when the most interested folk have the time to do at least the targeted book, which is only 200 pp. long. I'd like to expose as many people as possible to the works of James H. Schmitz, a science fiction author who wrote from the late '40s through the 1970s. He is best known for The Witches of Karres, but imho has written much better works. Here is my bookshelf.


Many of his works, especially his shorter ones, were very hard to find for quite a while, but in 2000 and 2001, Baen published almost all of his oeuvre in a collection of 6 books, seen to the right of the shelf above. The book I would like to feature is Demon Breed, also found in the Baen collection The Hub: Dangerous Territory. Schmitz is known for his kick-ass female protagonists long before they became the current ubiquitous status quo in his stories about Telzey Amberdon, Trigger Argee, and the hero of Demon Breed, Nile Etland.

See my thread for more info if interested!

48ronincats
May 31, 2019, 8:37pm

Jenn has posted a link for free online copies of all of Schmitz' work in those Baen compilations on the group read thread!
https://www.librarything.com/topic/307199#6833006

49souloftherose
Jun 2, 2019, 6:27pm

>45 quondame: Awesome - well, I think you're in for a treat!
>46 FAMeulstee: Thank you Anita. Yes, back home and holiday feels like a distant memory now :-(
>47 ronincats:, >48 ronincats: Cool, thanks for the links Roni!

----------------------------------------------

So, the last few weeks really got away from me in terms of LT posting. Work is really busy (combination of more work and fewer people for various reasons) so I am working full-time at the moment (I'm normally 4 days a week) and really feeling the difference that extra day makes.

Some brief comments on April reads below:




Book #53: Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey - 3.7 stars
Book #55: One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens - 3.5 stars
Book #56: Semiosis by Sue Burke - 4.3 stars
Book #56: We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - 3.9 stars
Book #56: The King's General by Daphne du Maurier - 4.1 stars
Book #56: The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side by Agatha Christie - 3.3 stars

Highlights were Semiosis which is a debut science fiction novel that I haven't seen discussed much on LT. It's a colonisation/first contact novel told across multiple generations of humans who find themselves on a planet inhabited by sentient plants. As the story progresses over the generations you can see how the interactions between the humans and the plants changes both parties in different ways. I loved this so I'm glad to see there's a sequel released later this year (although I felt Semiosis itself was pretty self-contained). Since reading this it's been shortlisted for the Clarke award.

The King's General was a book that had been in my TBR for years until I was given the nudge to read it by Liz (lyzard). I really enjoyed it although it's ultimately quite a tragic tale about a young woman in 17th century England who becomes disabled after falling from a horse and finds herself and her family caught up in the English Civil War. Aside from enjoying the story generally, and particularly enjoying reading about a disabled protagonist, I found it really interesting to think about how this book would have been written and received in the UK in 1946 just after the end of WWII. Although the two wars ended differently, I could imagine that the same sense of tiredness and exhaustion that Honor and others felt about the seemingly never-ending fighting and hardships of the 17th century may well have been shared by readers in 1946.

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates was extremely well written and one I had to read in stages but recommended.

50HanGerg
Jun 3, 2019, 4:22pm

Hi Heather! Sorry I fell off the radar about the con meet up, but I see you didn't go either! You mention Birmingham next year - I don't know exactly what that refers to, but count me in! I would LOVE another LT meet up, and one themed around a SF con would be heaven! Let's definitely try and do it next time!
I am currently reading Europe in Autumn on your recommendation and enjoying it a lot. And the husband bought me Rosewater as it was generating good buzz in the SF community, but I hadn't heard about it. I'm glad to hear you liked it. I'll try and move it a bit closer the front of the enormous queue!

51souloftherose
Edited: Aug 11, 2019, 12:53pm

>50 HanGerg: Hannah! Glad you're enjoying Europe in Autumn Hannah! I thought the sequels were even better. And I really enjoyed Rosewater - I read a kindle copy and then bought a paper copy because I thought my husband might enjoy it too (so far he hasn't picked it up though). I read the sequel, Rosewater Insurrection last month and it was also really good.

And yes, EasterCon is going to be in Birmingham next year over Easter weekend. I haven't joined or booked yet but I am really determined to make it this time. I will give you a nudge about it nearer the time and perhaps speak to other LTers who also might be interested (Genny's still in Birmingham but likely be busy over Easter weekend).

52souloftherose
Jun 9, 2019, 8:30pm

First set of books finished in May:



Book #60: The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman - 3.9 stars
Book #55: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite - 4.3 stars
Book #56: Never After: Thirteen Twists on Familiar Tales by Marie Brennan - 3.8 stars
Book #56: The Red Threads of Fortune by J Y Yang - 4.1 stars

The Mortal Word was more librarian/dragon/fae high-jinks from Cogman - perhaps more of a detective/crime story than previous instalments have been and very entertaining.

My Sister, the Serial Killer was a lot of fun in a darkly comic way.

Never After: Thirteen Twists on Familiar Tales was a collection of flash fiction (very short short stories) retelling various fairytales with unexpected twists. I wasn't familiar with this length of short fiction before but I really enjoyed these tales and thought they worked really well at this length.

The Red Threads of Fortune is a sequel or companion novella to The Black Tides of Heaven which I read last year. I liked but didn't love *Black Tides* (which is why it took me a whole year to get round to *Red Threads*). I enjoyed *Red Threads* more because the story had more of a focus and this was a beautiful story about a mother trying to live with grief after the death of her daughter.

53LizzieD
Jun 9, 2019, 2:56am

I don't know how I missed this thread entirely, Heather, but here I am, fascinated as usual with what you're reading. I am so far behind!
Hope you're 100% well and rested after your lovely break.

54Familyhistorian
Jun 27, 2019, 4:49am

I fell way behind on your thread, Heather. Hope you are fully recovered and back to working your regular hours.

55HanGerg
Jun 30, 2019, 9:36pm

>51 souloftherose:. ooh, sounds good! Is this the one? https://www.concentric2020.uk I'm very up for that!
Just discovered a good webpage that tells you what is going on in the conventions world, and this is a little short notice, and much nearer me than you, but, how about this?? https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/whats-on/events/edge-lit-8. Just a thought...

56souloftherose
Jul 10, 2019, 8:23pm

>53 LizzieD:, >54 Familyhistorian:, >55 HanGerg: Thanks to Peggy, Meg and Hannah for stopping by!

Life is still a bit too busy but I am surviving (and reading!) just finding very little time for LT at the moment. I'm hoping to get a list of books read on my thread at the weekend but feel like I have been saying this for the last few weeks now....

>55 HanGerg: Yes! Concentric is the 2020 EasterCon. I haven't joined yet but still planning to do so. I have seen some mentions of Edge Lit online but sadly can't make it this weekend. If you go, hope you have fun!

57souloftherose
Jul 10, 2019, 8:24pm

Also I have just seen this today - so excited for this TV series (despite not yet knowing how the UK will get it - hopefully Netflix UK will pick it up)

58MickyFine
Jul 10, 2019, 9:07pm

>57 souloftherose: I'm in the same boat over in Canada, Heather.

Such a great poster though. :)

59bell7
Jul 10, 2019, 12:59am

>57 souloftherose: Oooooh...I have been thinking for awhile that I should borrow some DVDs of The Next Generation to watch... I only ever saw random episodes when my babysitters watched it when I was a kid. This may prompt me to actually do it.

60souloftherose
Jul 11, 2019, 7:00pm

>58 MickyFine: The only thing that could have made me more excited about this series was seeing a dog on the poster :-)

I've read online that Amazon have picked up a lot of the international rights so that might include Canada too? Still not seeing any news on release dates though....

>59 bell7: Next Generation was the ST series I watched growing up which I loved at the time but sometimes find a little dated when rewatching now. I have been slowly rewatching the entirety of TNG for a while now (or sometimes watching for the first time because I often missed episodes when it was on TV) but haven't watched it for a while. I think I was getting close to the end of season 6 so probably finishing my rewatch before Picard airs is doable - maybe less so if you're starting from the beginning!

There's loads of different articles about which TNG episodes are the best but I remember all the episodes this article mentions and I think it includes a lot of the best Picard episodes too so it's probably not a bad list to have a look at if you want to just watch some episodes to get a flavour of the series:

https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/star-trek/38697/star-trek-the-next-generation-s-...

61MickyFine
Jul 11, 2019, 8:13pm

>60 souloftherose: That's a decent list although it doesn't include my favourite TNG episode of all time, "Cause and Effect."

62Fourpawz2
Jul 13, 2019, 12:09pm

I'm loving the Picard poster, Heather. And I'm very curious to find out about the dog. Jean Luc never struck me as much of a dog/cat person. Unfortunately, unless the show turns up somewhere that Iwon't cost me money, I'm unlikely to ever see it. There are a few things out there that I pay for, (okay, just one really, but I am seriously thinking about shelling out for the PBS Passport) but for some reason it really goes against the grain with me to have to pay a network that has been free for decades. I know that CBS Access is 'different', but it still feels as though it ought to be free.

I, too, am finding it super hard - again - to keep up with LT. Frankly, I am failing badly at it. There is not enough time generally and I cannot bring myself to take time away from reading to do it. So it's usually weeks and weeks before I even try to make a dent in my pile of unposted reads.

63souloftherose
Jul 14, 2019, 12:03pm

>61 MickyFine: I have a complete mental block when it comes to remembering the names of TV episodes so had to google "Cause and Effect" and I think I remember it and remember enjoying it (it was Season 1 so a long time ago in my very slow rewatch).

>62 Fourpawz2: Hi Charlotte!

Agreed, that Picard as a character never struck me as being a pet person. But I think Patrick Stewart has been fostering dogs in real life recently so maybe it's inspired by that? I hope there's some archaeology too - I'm secretly hoping for a Picard and dog solve crimes using archaeology TV series.

Re paying for TV shows I think it's a bit easier over here in that most streaming platforms let you sign up for a month at a time (rather than being tied into a long contract) so for Game of Thrones we just subscribed for the duration of the latest season and then cancelled so it still worked out cheaper (and quicker) than buying the series outright or buying the DVD.

'There is not enough time generally and I cannot bring myself to take time away from reading to do it.'

Strongly agree!

64souloftherose
Jul 14, 2019, 1:13pm

I have just checked my spreadsheet and realised how ridiculously behind I am in noting books read. So remaining May books:





Book #64: The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan - 3.8 stars
Book #65: The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson - 4.4 stars
Book #66: Bombers and Mash: The Domestic Front 1939-45 by Raynes Minns - 4.0 stars
Book #67: Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear - 3.5 stars
Book #68: Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff - 4.1 stars
Book #69: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - 4.0 stars
Book #70: Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner - 4.5 stars
Book #71: The Man Who Would be Kling by Adam Roberts - 3.3 stars
Book #72: How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin - 4.0 stars

Highlights were The Rosewater Insurrection - the second science fictional thriller in Tade Thompson's Nigerian set trilogy - I thought this was even better than the first and takes things in an intriguing new direction.

Bombers and Mash was a social history of women's roles on the home front during WWII with a focus on food and recipes (but it also covers other subjects). Read for the Virago group 1940s theme read I found this really interesting.

Sword at Sunset is an Arthurian retelling by Rosemary Sutcliff which was recommended to me ages ago by Peggy but I'd put off reading after overdosing on Arthurian retellings a few years ago. This is a 'realistic' retelling told from Arthur's perspective - it is very good and very sad (as Arthurian retellings often are). Not a children's book although it fits in her Dolphin Ring cycle (of which all the other books are children's books)

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a story of vampires in a near-future Mexico City - I really enjoyed this and it had an unusual take on vampire mythology. I will look for more by this author.

Emil and the Detectives is a children's classic I hadn't read before and it was really, really fun. I definitely want to read more of his books.

How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin was an excellent collection of short fiction crossing the boundaries between science fiction and fantasy. My only grumble is that I would have liked the stories to be included in date order (why don't short story collections do this by default).

65avatiakh
Jul 14, 2019, 7:27pm

I have Sword at Sunset lined up to read later this year. I've read quite a bit of Arthurian lit of late so need a break. It's one of my categories this year.
I had Emil and the Detectives read to me by a teacher back in primary school and always loved it. I read his Lisa and Lottie which the film The Parent Trap is based on, but recommend The Flying Classroom, loved this.
I have a copy of Rosewater that I want to read, though am immersed in Neal Stephenson's latest on audio as my current scifi read. 27 out of 33 hours left to listen to.

Will have to look up Certain dark things, haven't read much on vampires of late.

66MickyFine
Jul 15, 2019, 4:17pm

>63 souloftherose: It's the season 5 episode with a time loop where the Enterprise keeps blowing up.

67FAMeulstee
Jul 18, 2019, 9:31am

>64 souloftherose: I think Rosemary Sutcliff never intended the Dolphin Ring to be a series. I my mind she just had fun to let the ring pop up in some of her books.

I am glad I finally read (or re-read, not sure, if so it was a long time ago) Emil and the Detectives and plan to read some other of his childrens books. And I have his adult book Going to the dogs waiting at the shelves.

68lyzard
Jul 18, 2019, 9:58am

>61 MickyFine:, >66 MickyFine:

Ha! - I was watching that over dinner tonight. I like that one too; I think they handle the necessary repetition very cleverly. I also like the sort-of similar 'Parallels', where Worf keeps shifting dimensions, it has the same black humour about a horrifying situation.

69souloftherose
Jul 23, 2019, 9:52am

>65 avatiakh: Sword at Sunset is a really good retelling of the Arthurian tale - I think it is different enough from the other retellings I probably didn't need to give it as long a break as I did. Hoping this inspires me to pick up more of my unread Sutcliff books sooner rather than later. Thanks for the rec re The Flying Classroom - I'm tempted to buy some of the lovely reissues of these books by Pushkin (with the excuse that I need a good library of children's books for my nephews and god-daughters).....

How are you finding the latest Neal Stephenson? I've seen some good reviews but I'm ashamed to admit I still haven't read anything by Stephen despite having Cryptonomicon on my shelves (which is a brick of a novel) and Snow Crash on my kindle.

>66 MickyFine: Of course it is, and I have no idea why I thought it was season 1 (can you tell I'm bad at remembering which episodes are which??). I enjoyed that one.

>67 FAMeulstee: I think Rosemary Sutcliff never intended the Dolphin Ring to be a series.

That would make sense Anita, they could certainly be read independently. I'm reading them in chronological order just because I like feeling like I'm learning about early British history too.

I really enjoyed Emil and the Detectives so thank you for the push to read it by listing it in the TIOLI challenge. I'll try to keep an eye out to see if you list his other books and try to join in.

>68 lyzard: Not got to season 7 yet (I'm never sure whether I managed to watch the later series of TNG when they first aired or not so it might be a first watch for me).

70souloftherose
Jul 23, 2019, 10:14am

June reads:





Book #73: Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch - 3.8 stars
DNF: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse - 2.5 stars
Book #74: Captain Marvel: Earth's Mightiest Hero Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick - 4.4 stars
Book #75: After Atlas by Emma Newman - 4.3 stars
Book #76: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal - 4.1 stars
Book #77: The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams - 4.1 stars
Book #78: The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams - 4.4 stars

June reading included a fair number of rereads (Captain Marvel and After Atlas) and some Hugo reading (Trail of Lightning) that didn't work for me.

But Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows was a lovely feel-good book about a group of (mostly) older women from a Punjabi community in Southwall, London being brought together by erotic fiction (examples of which are included in the book). Would read more by this author (and I think she has a new book out - The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters. Thank you to Kathy/archerygirl for recommending this one.

And a new favourite fantasy author discovered in Jen Williams as I read through her Winnowing Flame trilogy. The first book is The Ninth Rain and introduces (in the author's own words) a rogue archaeologist and a sexy elf who isn't really an elf along with a witch, dragons and a lot of other monsters. I'd say it's broadly a secondary world fantasy in a save-the-world/epic-quest vein but with a handful of science fiction ideas thrown in (extra-terrestrial/aliens). Great characters, great story and a good mix of humour and weirdness. Unfortunately I don't think she has a US publisher for this series (the final volume, The Poison Song has just been published).

Her first trilogy starting with The Copper Promise has gone on my list.

71avatiakh
Jul 23, 2019, 10:29am

>69 souloftherose: I just read Anne Schmidt's The cat who came in off the roof and enjoyed it, a Pushkin Press reissue of classic Dutch children's writer.
I'm enjoying the Stephenson, I'm listening to the audio and don't always remember to take my iPod with me, so it goes slowly, such a big story. I think you'd love Stephenson's Reamde which comes before Fall, or Dodge in Hell and while the stories aren't related, there is backstory for some characters.
Snowcrash is good as was The Diamond Age. I'm keen to read (via audio) lots of his books now I'm mostly up to date with my favourite scifi writers.

72archerygirl
Jul 23, 2019, 2:40pm

>70 souloftherose: Ooh, I didn't know Jaswal hadn't written another book! The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters has gone on my list :D I'm glad you enjoyed Erotic Stories! I think it was one of my favourites the year I read it.

And The Ninth Rain is currently 99p on Kindle, so I've snagged that. Because obviously I need another series to read!

I'm glad I'm not the only person who didn't get along with Trail of Lightning. So far, I haven't changed my mind on the novel category - it's still the book I nominated, The Calculating Stars for me.

73LizzieD
Jul 23, 2019, 3:41am

Hi, Heather. As usual, you have sent me madly chasing after reviews. Jen Williams looks interesting in the series you're reading but not in the prior one. The Stephenson is getting bad reviews from people who have loved him (as I have) up to this point. I think I'll wait.
Meanwhile, I think you should really, really try Cryptonomicon, which I need to reread. I was blown away by Snowcrash back in the day, but I'm not sure how well it will hold up. Everything else he's written has been well worth my time. I think I've read everything but his very first and very last.

74LizzieD
Jul 23, 2019, 3:44am

Hi, Heather. As usual, you have sent me madly chasing after reviews. Jen Williams looks interesting in the series you're reading but not in the prior one. The Stephenson is getting bad reviews from people who have loved him (as I have) up to this point. I think I'll wait.
Meanwhile, I think you should really, really try Cryptonomicon, which I need to reread. I was blown away by Snowcrash back in the day, but I'm not sure how well it will hold up. Everything else he's written has been well worth my time. I think I've read everything but his very first and very last.
You should know that I read Emil and the Detectives in French as a parallel book for French I these 50 years ago!

75quondame
Edited: Aug 26, 2019, 1:24am

>73 LizzieD: >74 LizzieD: Buried within Cryptonomicon is a short story involving heirloom furniture which is the best bit of writing Neal Stephenson has ever done. It has nothing to do with the plot really, although getting access to it does involve spying technology.

76FAMeulstee
Jul 24, 2019, 9:05pm

>70 souloftherose: Congratulations on reaching 75 and beyond, Heather!

77drneutron
Edited: Jul 25, 2019, 3:31pm

Congrats!

78curioussquared
Jul 25, 2019, 3:54pm

Congrats on 75!!

79bell7
Jul 25, 2019, 12:34am

Congrats on 75 and beyond! The Jen Williams books sound good - guess I'll have to hope they get published in the US someday soon.

80quondame
Jul 25, 2019, 12:44am

Congratulations!

81BLBera
Jul 25, 2019, 1:34am

Hi Heather - Congratulations on reaching and surpassing 75.

82kidzdoc
Jul 27, 2019, 10:30am

Congratulations, Heather!

83Fourpawz2
Jul 27, 2019, 12:54am

Yes, congratulations on the 75, Heather!

Added Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows to one of my you-recommended lists - I've got three lists of books you've recommended now.

84jnwelch
Jul 29, 2019, 7:41pm

Adding my congrats on reaching the big 75 - way to go!

85PaulCranswick
Aug 9, 2019, 2:23am

Belatedly adding my congrats on passing 75, Heather (books that is of course!).

Have a wonderful weekend.

86LizzieD
Aug 9, 2019, 3:15am

You are the woman, Heather! Congratulations on your 75 so far, which I didn't notice last time I was here!

87humouress
Aug 12, 2019, 8:15am

Gosh, I lost you somehow. Catching up quickly now.

Congratulations on 75!

88ronincats
Aug 23, 2019, 3:13am

Just checking in to say hi, Heather.

89humouress
Aug 24, 2019, 8:19am

Come back ...

90souloftherose
Edited: Aug 26, 2019, 3:26pm

Apologies for the long absence - life is kicking my butt at the moment. I'd like to say there's an end in sight but I think that's just going to be how 2019 goes.

Today is a rare non-working day so I thought I'd see if I could pop on to LT and do a mini update. We're currently in the middle of another heatwave (tomorrow should hopefully be the final day) and even with two fans in the room it is still uncomfortably warm.... (it's 31C outside and I it's over 30C inside too).

>71 avatiakh: I've added The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof to my library list Kerry - that sounds like a fun read. I considered adding Reamde to my list but I think I really ought to tackle the Stephenson's I own first....

>72 archerygirl: And The Calculating Stars won! I'm glad it did although I can't remember off the top of my head whether I put that first or Spinning Silver anymore. I still haven't read Space Opera although I would like to at some point. Also very happy about another Murderbot win and a first win for Zen Cho in novelette.

>73 LizzieD: Thank you for the nudge to read my Stephenson's Peggy :-) Maybe I need to set aside a quarter of the year for really long books that have been intimidating me but have lots of recommendations (maybe in winter - that feels like the time of year for big books). I actually picked up another super-chunkster second hand whilst I was on holiday which I've heard recommended: Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle weighing in at about 1,100 pages.....

>75 quondame: Ooh, sounds intriguing.....

>76 FAMeulstee:, >77 drneutron:, >78 curioussquared:, >79 bell7:, >80 quondame:, >81 BLBera:, >82 kidzdoc:, >83 Fourpawz2:, >84 jnwelch:, >85 PaulCranswick:, >86 LizzieD:, >87 humouress: Thank you all for the congratulations on reading 75 books. I've now just passed 100!

>79 bell7: The Jen Williams books are really good - I don't know what's happened with her US publishers. The first two books of her first series were published in the US in the last few years but not the final book in that trilogy (which was already out in the UK by that point) so I guess sales didn't make it worthwhile. And unfortunately I assume that means her second series may not make it across the pond either which is a shame.

>83 Fourpawz2: Sorry Charlotte! (#sorrynotsorry)

>88 ronincats:, >89 humouress: Hi Roni! Hi Nina! Thanks for checking up on me!

91souloftherose
Aug 26, 2019, 3:24pm

July reads

#79 The Poison Song by Jen Williams (final book in the trilogy)
#80 Emmeline, The Orphan of the Castle by Charlotte Turner Smith
#81 The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
#82 Captain Marvel: Earth's Mightiest Hero Vol. 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
#83 Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovksy
#84 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
#85 All Systems Red by Martha Wells
DNF The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
#86 On a Sunbeam by Tille Walden
#87 Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
#88 Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
#89 Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
#90 Indifferent Heroes by Mary Hocking

So, July had a fair number of rereads because I needed some comfort reading - all 4 Murderbot novellas and the 2nd volume of the Kelly Sue DeConnick Captain Marvel series. Volume 2 is the weakest of the series I think because it includes a lot of episodes where Captain Marvel is involved in crossover events of some kind but this was still fun. And Murderbot is always awesome.

Two duds: The Long War by Pratchett and Baxter which I just found totally uninteresting so abandoned and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline which was readable and did make me want to find out what happened in the story (so I finished it) but was often problematic (and the writing was pretty terrible). It did make me appreciate the high quality of much of the science fiction and fantasy I normally read. I know loads of people loved RPO so sorry about that. Having said that, as I was reading it I kept thinking it would make a really good film so I will hopefully watch the film soon.

Particularly noteworthy in a good way were the following:



The Poison Song by Jen Williams - final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy and a pleasure to spend time with these characters again

Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky (it might just be because green is my favourite colour but that cover is amazing). This was a very unusual sf novel - the closest I can come to describing it is J. G. Ballard's The Drowned World meets Heart of Darkness. I don't know how Tchaikovsky manages to be so prolific and so good (this is one of three books he has released this year).

On a Sunbeam by Tille Walden is a graphic novel I probably wouldn't have read if it wasn't on the Hugo shortlist this year. It's a webcomic also available as a print book - an sfnal coming of age story about found family which reminded me a lot of Becky Chambers Wayfarers series but which definitely has its own style. Strongly recommended. The webcomic is still available online if you can't get hold of the print book: https://www.onasunbeam.com/

92humouress
Aug 26, 2019, 7:13pm

Now you’re just showing off ;0)

Congratulations on your 100!

>91 souloftherose: ... alright, where’s my list of recommendations?...

93avatiakh
Aug 26, 2019, 2:31am

>91 souloftherose: I recently read and enjoyed On a sunbeam, Charlotte liked it too. Will have to try the Calculating Stars, have so many books to get on with though.

I'm still going on the Stephenson book on audio, I listen much less than I read at present so it will take awhile to get through.

94HanGerg
Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 9:53pm

Oooh, going to have to check out that Tchaikovsky! Thanks Heather! Hope you are busy in a good way. Hugs!

95Berly
Oct 8, 2019, 11:38pm

Happy October!!

96Familyhistorian
Oct 13, 2019, 7:33pm

Congrats on your 100! I liked Erotic Stories, as well and need to track down her next one.

97souloftherose
Oct 16, 2019, 3:10pm

Thank you Nina, Kerry, Hannah, Kim and Meg for the congratulations and for keeping my thread warm. I hope that my busiest period at work is now over and that gives me more time to be present on LT.

Catching up on reading done over the last few months:

August reads

#91 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Primary Phase by Douglas Adams
#92 The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
#93 Lumberjanes Vol. 9: On a Roll by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
#94 Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
#95 Lumberjanes Vol. 10: Parents Day by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
#96 The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard
#97 The Witch of Clatteringshaws by Joan Aiken
#98 Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho
#99 To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
#100 Lumberjanes Vol. 11: Time After Crime by Shannon Watters & Kat Leyh
#101 The House of Sundering Flames by Aliette de Bodard
#102 Atlas Alone by Emma Newman
#103 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Secondary Phase by Douglas Adams
#104 The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher
#105 Toad Words and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher

Particularly worth mentioning are the Dominion of the Fallen trilogy by Aliette de Bodard (The House of Shattered Wings, The House of Binding Thorns, House of Sundering Flames)



A wonderful fantasy trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic Paris devastated by a magical war with a mixture of Western and Vietnamese mythological influences. These are fairly slow-moving and intricate books with themes of community coming together despite hardships and the effects of colonialism. The final book (House of Sundering Flames) was the best of the three but you need to have read the first two to appreciate this one.

Other reads worth mentioning were Minor Mage, a new T. Kingfisher novella (I have been working my way through her backlist this summer) about a young boy wizard and his armadillo companion (yes, really) who have to save their village by making it rain. Joyful, dark, funny and kind which is what I've learned to expect from Vernon/T. Kingfisher.

And the latest book in the Planetfall series, Atlas Alone by Emma Newman. You need to have read at least After Atlas in the same series before reading this one (although the other books work as standalones). I found this one a very emotional read because the main character in this book has PTSD and for various plot reasons has to face up to all their traumas. And there's the usual mystery element I've come to expect from these books and a rather breathtaking cliffhanger. But overall I would say this is one of the best books in this series. So recommended with caution if you're in the mood to have your heart wrung out but Newman does approach these topics with kindness and compassion.

Spirits Abroad is a collection of short stories by Malaysian author Zen Cho . These draw on Malaysian folklore and traditions to create stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming and sometimes a little bit scary. I've really enjoyed Cho's novels (Sorcerer to the Crown and The True Queen) so was happy to discover I enjoy her short fiction just as much.

98curioussquared
Oct 16, 2019, 5:19pm

>97 souloftherose: Total book bullets with the Dominion of the Fallen trilogy. I'll have to look out for these!

99ronincats
Oct 16, 2019, 9:05pm

Heather!! Been a bit worrited at not hearing from you for so long, so I was elated when you showed up on my thread. I've read a couple of shorter de Bodard science fiction stories but haven't gotten to her fantasy yet, although I plan to. I also am working through the back work of Vernon/T. Kingfisher and enjoying it. And it looks like I am going to have to try the Planetfall series as well. You are dangerous, lady!

100humouress
Oct 16, 2019, 9:16pm

>99 ronincats: Isn’t she just? Dangerous, I mean.

Hi Heather!

101HanGerg
Oct 19, 2019, 6:32am

YAy! Nice to see you back! I would happily just read everything you read, it all sounds so interesting and good. In fact, I'm pretty sure I already have several things waiting for me to get round to them on my Kindle thanks to your recommendations! Also wanted to mention I've started reading "On A Sunbeam" as a web comic, and it's great! I'm a bit confused about what the heck is going on sometimes though; I love the almost semi-abstract, very impressionistic style of the art, but it does make clarity a problem at times. I've never really read a comic online before, and I keep thinking it would be easier to understand if it was a physical book, so I might just cave in and buy it, but I'm persevering online for now.
Hopefully you can take your pedal off the gas a bit now and enjoy some LT time and lovely reading!

102Berly
Oct 19, 2019, 6:40am

She's back...yay!

103LizzieD
Oct 19, 2019, 3:14am

(((((Heather)))))

104souloftherose
Oct 22, 2019, 9:43am

>98 curioussquared: Yay! Hope you enjoy them!

>99 ronincats: Hi Roni! I still have de Bodard's first novel trilogy to read which I think is an Aztec set fantasy/murder mystery. And I am almost now caught up with T. Kingfisher which makes me a little sad. I think I may save the last unread book of hers (Nine Goblins) for an emergency comfort read.

>100 humouress: :-D

Books read in September

#DNF The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi
#106 The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
#107 Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
#108 Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
#109 Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee
#110 Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
#111 Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

As you can see September was the month work went nuclear. I was mostly just impressed that I managed to keep reading at all.

I abandoned Scalzi's The Consuming Fire because it just wasn't holding my attention which was a shame as I'd found the first book in the series, The Collapsing Empire, to be a fun read. Scalzi is an author with more misses for me than hits so I was't very surprised.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a debut fantasy novel by an author whose short fiction I've loved (A Witch's Guide to Practical Escape won the Hugo for best short story). The novel's been really hyped and because I loved this author's short fiction I read this with very high expectations which perhaps weren't quite met (reading this in a month in which I was very tired and stressed may also not have helped). But I did enjoy it and would definitely read more by this author.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? is another debut novel by a black British author, Temi Oh. It's a science fiction novel about a group of teenagers and astronauts preparing for a 20 year space mission to colonise a distant planet, Terra-Two (teenagers are chosen because they will have a longer period at a working age when they reach the planet). Initially this struck me as being slightly YA as the initial focus of the book is on the teenager's preparing for the mission (the adults accompanying them are already trained astronauts) and structurally the book kept doing things I didn't expect. But once I'd got used to this being a different sort of story to what I expected I really enjoyed this. The blurb describes it as The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet meets The 100 which is really not an accurate blurb - it's a very unique book, if I had to compare it to any other science fiction author I'd say maybe Emma Newman's Planetfall series in that both focus on the internal perspectives of their characters.

And I finally finished Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy with Ship of Destiny which despite coming in at over 900 pages never felt too long. Hobb wraps up all the character's stories in this trilogy very well. The only reason it didn't get 5 stars from me is because I'm just tired of the inevitability with which female heroines end up getting raped in quasi-mediaeval fantasy settings. Hobb's by no means the biggest culprit of this but emotionally I have had enough..

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee is a collection of stories set in his Machineries of Empire world featuring Shuos Jedao and Kel Cheris (and occasionally both of them in the same story). This is one for fans of the series so I definitely wouldn't recommend starting here.

And then some rereads - Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers was even better on rereading and I always love Penric and Desdemona's adventures.

105souloftherose
Oct 29, 2019, 7:13pm

>101 HanGerg:, >102 Berly:, >103 LizzieD: Argh, just realised that missed responding to Hannah, Kim and Peggy (so sorry).

Hannah, I think I found On a Sunbeam quite abstract and, if I'm remembering correctly, there were some time jumps in the narrative which could be quite confusing at times. I sort of just went with it but I wonder whether it would be more difficult to follow on a computer screen. Does your library do inter-library loans? I ordered the copy I read from Brighton & Hove library to Herts county system and the charge was £3 (which is a lot less than you'd have to pay for a graphic novel). I think the inter-library loan charges depend on your local library system though and sometimes they mean it's not worthwhile unless the book is very expensive to buy.

>102 Berly:, >103 LizzieD: *waves to Kim and Peggy*



Book 114: Spinning by Tillie Walden - 3.4 stars

After enjoying On a Sunbeam so much I had a look to see if the library had anything else by Tille Walden and discovered a copy of one of her earlier graphic novels, a coming of age memoir about ice-skating and growing up LGBTQ. This didn't resonate for me emotionally quite as much as On a Sunbeam - I felt the storytelling was sometimes too meandering and sometimes it was hard to tell the different characters apart from the pictures when ice-skating as everyone was dressed the same but I enjoyed this. There's quite a melancholy feel as growing up is often not easy and growing up LGBTQ is especially not easy.



Book 114: Black Panther: Long Live the King by Nnedi Okorafor - 2 stars

I don't know why, I love the Marvel film, but I have found all the Black Panther graphic novels I've tried so far really, really dull and I think this is officially me giving up on this character. (Will still try Okorafor's Shuri though as she was awesome in the film and they can't have made her dull for the comic?)

106archerygirl
Oct 30, 2019, 9:37am

>90 souloftherose: I was so happy with the wins! And really glad I got to be in the (overflow) room where it happened :D

>104 souloftherose: I've got The Ten Thousand Doors of January on my TBR list. One day I'll finish my current read and actually get to read something off the TBR list...

107souloftherose
Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 7:23pm

>106 archerygirl: Wow - glad you got to be at the award ceremony (even in the overflow room). I managed to catch the second half of the ceremony on livestream (forgot there was a livestream until halfway through) and it looked a lot of fun.

Remainder of my October reading:

Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold
Penric's Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold
Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan
Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher
Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein edited by David Thomas Moore
Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase by Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Quandary Phase by Douglas Adams
The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope
Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
Ragged Alice by Gareth L. Powell
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie

So, a reread of all the Penric novellas in anticipating of The Orphans of Raspay (which is on my kindle but not yet read). All good but Penric's Mission is still my favourite.

And some T. Kingfisher reading finishing her second short story collection (which contains The Tomato Thief and The Jackalope Wives featuring a Granny Weatherwax-esque older protagonist) and two more of her fairytale retellings: Bryony and Roses which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling inspired by McKinley's Rose Daughter and The Raven and the Reindeer which is a retelling of The Snow Queen. Both were good and included what I've come to think of as Kingfisher's trademark humour and kindness. TRaR as an f/f romance too.

Listened to some more of the radio show of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on our car trips to the Peak District which was a lot of fun.

Other books of note:



Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading was a lovely and very funny revisiting of a love of childhood reading. Mangan is British and within 10 years of my age so there was a lot of overlap in the books we remembered from our childhood. Recommended.

Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein edited by David Thomas Moore is a collection of five novellas by (I think largely) British sff authors inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I'd read and enjoyed work by Tade Thompson and Emma Newman before and really enjoyed their contributions but it was also good to come across some new names. The setting and approach of each novella varies with some being set contemporaneously with the original work and others in later periods but each story took an aspect of the original and developed it further. Overall this was a very strong collection and there was only one story that didn't really work for me. I believe the same editor has commissioned several other short fiction collections inspired by other literary works which I will be looking out for.

Children of Time - this was a reread in anticipation of the sequel, Children of Ruin, which came out last month, and I was so glad I reread it. When I first read CoT in 2016 I enjoyed it and thought it was a worthy winner of the Clarke award. But on rereading it was so much better - I think because my brain was having to spend less time figuring out what was going on and could pay attention to other things but this was so good. Science fiction at its best. I have Children of Ruin downloaded on my kindle and am very excited about it.

108archerygirl
Nov 6, 2019, 9:08am

>107 souloftherose: It was great to watch in a room with other people and cheer so many fantastic winners. The reason I was in the overflow rather than the main room was because I'd been on duty in the build-up - as part of the team escorting the nominees and guests from the party to the ceremony! So I got to see everyone (and the amazing dresses) and be a part of it all in an interesting way :D

You got me with Bookworm. D'oh!

109lyzard
Nov 6, 2019, 9:34pm

Hi, Heather!

There's some potential group read chat over on my new thread: it would be great if you could stop by and just note when (hopefully "when") it would suit you to have the suggested projects scheduled. :)

BTW, just following up our Stoker chat, it turns out that Penguin have variant editions of "Dracula's Guest", one with The Lair Of The White Worm added and one without, the former titled "Dracula's Guest And Other Weird Tales" (which it should not be, since it tampers with original contents) and the latter just "Dracula's Guest".

You can imagine how this is making my tear my hair! - though I notice that most people (including yourself) have been good about referring to their variant copy as "with The Lair Of The White Worm".

110humouress
Edited: Nov 9, 2019, 6:21am

Hi Heather! I notice you've been reading a lot of Penric. I'm still hoping she'll release the stories in paperback so they can sit on my shelves with the other Chalion books because I love them.

>104 souloftherose: Re your spoiler, that is why I seem to have a mental block about re-reading the Liveship Traders books. Although I was delighted by the first book and really looked forward to the sequels, especially Vivacia's story, I felt betrayed by how it turned out.

111BLBera
Nov 10, 2019, 1:50pm

Hi Heather - It sounds like you have been very busy, but you are still a reading machine!

Bookworm sounds great.

112HanGerg
Nov 10, 2019, 9:34pm

Yes, Bookworm does sound good - I have read a fair bit of Mangan's journalism and like her work, and it's a very fun topic. I also looooved Children of Time and will definitely try and get to this sequel sooner rather than later.

113souloftherose
Nov 24, 2019, 1:53pm

>108 archerygirl: Hope you enjoy Bookworm Kathy.

>109 lyzard: Why do publishers have to be so confusing!?! I separated out the Penguin editions (assuming they would all be the same edition) but will have to leave it to someone else to separate out the different Penguin editions.....

>110 humouress: Hi Nina. Yes, quite a lot of Penric rereading going on. I think I read that Baen have picked up the Penric books for print publication and are going to do them in batches of three novellas. The first volume, Penric's Progress, will be out in hardback next year and will contain Penric's Demon, Penric and the Shaman and Penric's Fox. I guess paperback publication might follow? Not sure how useful any of that is to you as it's in hardback and you're not in the US.....

https://www.baen.com/penric-s-progress.html

And Hobb does put her characters through a lot. The most traumatic event I remember from my first read was the death of Nighteyes in The Golden Fool which I think is why I'm putting off starting The Tawny Man trilogy.

>111 BLBera: Thanks Beth - reading keeps me sane I think (well, relatively speaking).

>112 HanGerg: Hi Hannah! Hope you enjoy Bookworm and Children of Ruin :-)

114souloftherose
Nov 24, 2019, 2:24pm

November reads:



Book #131: The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P Djeli Clark - 3.5 stars

In an alternate, steampunk-ish 1912 Cairo a pair of detectives investigate reports of a haunting in one of the city's tram cars. I enjoyed the unusual setting and world-building but this felt a little on the short side. I'd happily read more about these detectives if this became a full-length novel series.

This story is set in the same world as the author's early short fiction, A Dead Djinn in Cairo, which can be read free online. The two stories stand alone so don't need to be read in any particular order.



Book #132: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri - 4.2 stars

I loved this debut fantasy novel inspired by medieval Mughal India. The world and characters are so vividly described and the magic system (involving dance) was refreshing. Some elements of the plot are perhaps quite traditional from a fantasy perspective (young girl discovers she has magical powers) but combined with the unusual setting and romance leaves the story feeling fresh. The romance is an arranged marriage where both parties come to love and respect the other and in addition to this, the young female protagonist forms strong female friendships with other characters. She also has a concern for responsibility and kindness in her actions but isn't flawless. Not a perfect book but a very strong debut and I'm reading her second novel (Realms of Ash) set in the same world (but more of a companion novel than a sequel) at the moment.

115ronincats
Nov 24, 2019, 7:49pm

Book bullet for Empire of Sand, Heather!

116humouress
Nov 24, 2019, 3:35am

>113 souloftherose: Yay for Penric being published in physical form! I’ve waited this long; I’m sure I can hold out a little longer for paperbacks. Fortunately for me, my husband travels on work to both the US and the UK and - much as he grumbles about his time - he usually takes a shopping list. And, if not, I can always order it online. Thanks for the heads-up!

And I will get back to the Liveship books at some point. I did actually read the prologue, way back when I was keeping up with the reading schedule.

>115 ronincats: Mmm; maybe here too.

117Berly
Nov 30, 2019, 5:19am

Delurking to say Hi! Children of Time sounds very good....

118HanGerg
Nov 30, 2019, 8:08pm

Hmm #131 and #132 both sound like BBs. It's dangerous round these parts!

119Familyhistorian
Dec 19, 2019, 1:28am

Hi Heather, I hope your December is going well.

120SandDune
Dec 24, 2019, 1:05pm



Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well.

121souloftherose
Dec 24, 2019, 3:36pm

>115 ronincats:, >116 humouress:, >117 Berly:, >118 HanGerg:, >119 Familyhistorian:, >120 SandDune: Thanks for the visits Roni, Nina, Kim, Hannah, Meg and Rhian!

I've finished work for the year (yay!) and am pretty exhausted. 2019 has been a tough year for a lot of reasons and I'm feeling close to burnout. Holidays so far have mainly been spent reading, rewatching Star Wars films (we haven't managed to see Rise of Skywalker yet - hopefully we will be able to see it in the new year if my husband feels a little better) and doing a jigsaw.

Final November reads:

#133 Uncanny Magazine Issue 30: Disabled People Destroy Fantasy! edited by Katherine Duckett and Nicolette
#134 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
#135 This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
#136 The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold
#137 Welcome Strangers by Mary Hocking
#138 Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
#139 Lumberjanes Vol. 12: Jackalope Springs Eternal by Shannon Watters
#140 Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan
#141 Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Tales by Bram Stoker
#142 Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie

Two books I loved:

Turning Darkness into Light was a joy to read - I understand this is a standalone sequel to Brennan's Lady Trent series and features Lady Trent's granddaughter as the main character who is trying to translate an ancient Draconean text. There are all kinds of mysteries, adventures and intrigues surrounding this task but I was surprised to find I was as interested in the translation (which turns out to be an ancient Draconean creation myth and which Brennan includes in the novel) as I was in the intrigues. Perhaps because I find creation myths of our world interesting anyway but I thought what Brennan did here was really clever and enjoyable to read (which isn't always something I can say about clever books). One of my favourites of the year however I am still not over my disappointment that this is a standalone and not a new series.......

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a sequel to the Clarke award winning Children of Time which I reread and loved earlier this year. I'm struggling to describe CoR except to say it's more of the same themes and ideas as CoT but it also takes those themes and ideas further. I really enjoyed this but thought CoT was the better of the two books.

Two books which I didn't love (but everyone else did):

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone - this is a very unusual time-travelly love story between two female agents. I admired the construction of this book and the ideas but I never engaged with it emotionally. Everyone else is raving about this one though so give it a try.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - strong no from me. Eleanor Oliphant is a character recovering from trauma and my problem with the book was how her recovery from trauma was depicted. She makes a friend, gets a cat and sees a therapist for three months and bam, she's better. I get that this is supposed to be a feel good book but I found that insulting to anyone who actually has to live with the effects of trauma (and I can guarantee that a friend, a cat and three months of therapy does not get you 'over' trauma).. Also surprised this got nominated/shortlisted for so many mainstream book awards. Everyone else loves this though, so maybe it's just me.

Other memorable books:

Welcome Strangers by Mary Hocking for the Virago theme read (WWII theme this year) is the final volume in a trilogy which follows one family with three daughters (the Fairley sisters) and their friends from the build-up to WWII, through the war and the post-war period. Although written later in life I think this is largely autobiographical, particularly in the story of Alice, the middle sister who has a lot of similarities with the author. Full of flawed characters and being autobiographical, not really many nicely resolved endings for the family. Hocking's writing style took me a while to adjust to - particularly in the earlier books in this trilogy it sometimes felt more like a series of vignettes or short stories than a novel but I think I'd got used to this style of writing in the end. Recommended.

122quondame
Dec 24, 2019, 5:25pm

>121 souloftherose: I'm with you on Turning Darkness into Light and This is How You Lose the Time War. I haven't read Children of Ruin yet and felt Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was more about someone who was largely healed but wanted more and made a rather clumsy start.

123quondame
Dec 24, 2019, 5:36pm

Have a comfy, caring, and very

Merry Christmas!

124jnwelch
Dec 24, 2019, 10:41pm

Happy Holidays, Heather!

125ronincats
Dec 25, 2019, 11:49pm

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, some other tradition or none at all, this is what I wish for you!

126PaulCranswick
Dec 25, 2019, 2:48am



Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

127Berly
Dec 26, 2019, 4:43am

Best wishes this holiday season!! See you in 2020!


128souloftherose
Dec 30, 2019, 1:18pm

Thank you Susan, Joe, Roni, Paul and Kim for the Christmas wishes! We're still watching Star Wars films (Return of the Jedi is today's film) and I've been really enjoying watching them chronologically. The prequel trilogy was actually better than I remembered, or rather, the worst bits of the prequels were as bad as I remembered (Jar Jar Binks and any interactions between Anakin and Padme) but I'd forgotten there were often some good bits in there. And I enjoyed Rogue One a lot more on a rewatch especially then going straight into watching Episode IV.

>122 quondame: Glad you enjoyed Turning Darkness Into Light Susan.

129souloftherose
Dec 30, 2019, 1:33pm



Book #143: Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri - 4.1 stars

I pre-ordered this as soon as I'd finished Empire of Sand. Realm of Ash is set in the same world as EoS and takes place after the events of EoS but is more of a companion novel than a direct sequel and could be read without reading EoS. Arwa is a young widow, angry and grieving, who has always had to hide who she is, even from her dead husband. Now widowed, she finds her way into service with the Imperial family to help overcome the curse destroying the Empire under the instruction of an illegitimate Prince. There's politics, magic and a slow-burn romance as Arwa re-examines the ways she's been taught to behave and think to keep herself safe in society.

130MickyFine
Dec 30, 2019, 7:00pm

>128 souloftherose: Mr. Fine and I did the same thing over most of December in advance of us going to see Rise of Skywalker on Boxing Day. Enjoy the rest of the rewatch!

131archerygirl
Dec 31, 2019, 12:38pm

>129 souloftherose: You hit me with BBs for that one and its companion book. Argh in the best possible way :D

132Ameise1
Dec 31, 2019, 8:56pm



133PaulCranswick
Dec 31, 2019, 12:46am



Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

134souloftherose
Jan 2, 2020, 11:18am

>130 MickyFine: Thanks Micky! And I think I have successfully avoided any spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker so far. Still not sure quite when we'll be able to see the film as we still have some family commitments in the early part of this month which will use up most of DH's very limited energy but hopefully some time in Jan.

I found an old Star Wars Rewatch series on Tor.com by Emily Asher-Perrin and have been persuaded by these to try the novelisations of the prequels (which apparently are a lot better than the films) so will report back on these.

>131 archerygirl: #sorrynotsorry Kathy!

>132 Ameise1:, >133 PaulCranswick: Thank you for the new year wishes Barbara and Paul!

135souloftherose
Edited: Jan 3, 2020, 9:28am

Some December reads (can't get touchstones to work at the moment):




#144 Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds
#145 The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
#146 Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
#147 A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
#148 Uncanny Magazine Issue 29 edited by Lynne and Michael Thomas
#149 The Rosewater Redemption by Tade Thompson

Chasm City is a standalone science fiction novel set in Reynolds' Revelation Space universe. I tried to read this several years ago and got half-way through before giving up on it. This time I finished it so yay me! It's not a bad book but it's science fiction with a darker tone than I usually read whilst not quite falling into the category of dystopia (and perhaps crucially, unlike a dystopian novel, no one is really fighting back against the cruddy bits). One review I saw described it as'jaded semi-immortals gripping onto their lives in fascist drama' which resonated with me. So, lots of people loved this and it won the BSFA award but for me I found it readable and admired it as technically accomplished but not sure to what extent I liked it?

The Secret Commonwealth - this was a chunkster and I think this trilogy marks a definite departure from being a children's/young adult series. I enjoyed this and found it less meandering than The Belle Sauvage. I'm not sure where Pullman is going with this trilogy - what is the significance of the two novels that Lyra becomes obsessed with and Pan doesn't like? Maybe the third book will explain this. And I could really do without the rape/attempted rape scenes (1 at the end of The Belle Sauvage and 1 at the end of this book). And the romantic feelings between Lyra and Malcolm felt boderline a little icky given he has known her since she was a baby and given Lyra in TSC is still very young. Both these elements to me struck me as very older male author writing.).

Tess of the Road is a book I've been wanting to read for ages but kept putting it off because I thought it would require some emotional energy because of the subject matter. And it was a tough read for the first few chapters where Tess is broadly experiencing emotional abuse and bullying from her family but the overarching theme of the book is one of healing as Tess runs away with a childhood friend (a sub-dragon species called a quigutl) and as she walks the road starts to come to terms with herself and her grief and, to some extent, her family. We also see Seraphina, the main character in Hartman's earlier novels, from Tess's eyes and it made me wish I had read Seraphina and Shadow Scale more recently so I had a better recollection of Seraphina's character from those books. But I think Tess would work well as a standalone too.

A Trick of the Light - my reading of the Three Pines/Gamache series had been stalled for a while but this read really hit the spot for something undemanding after some otherwise quite heavy reading.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 29 - a mixed set of stories and essays but my favourites were:

On the Impurity of Dragon-kind by Marie Brennan - set in the Lady Trent universe a short story about Lady Trent's son
How the Trick is Done by A.C. Wise - stage magic and unrequited love. This will go on my awards ballot
A Champion of Nigh-Space by Tim Pratt - a reprint and a fun story about love, learning to trust someone and interstellar travel
Beware the Lifeboat by Marissa Lingen - one of a collection of essays about The Good Place TV series (the others in this edition were also good but this stood out for me)
Sir Elsa of Tortall, Knight of the Realm by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry - an excellent essay on being disabled and reading sff

The Rosewater Redemption - the conclusion in the excellent Wormwood trilogy about an alien invasion in Nigeria. I think the middle volume, Rosewater Insurrection, was the strongest but this is an excellent and complex series with an African focus. The ending was not what I expected but having read some other reviews I think what Thompson has done makes sense once you consider the history of colonialism.

136lyzard
Jan 2, 2020, 10:20pm

Yes, the touchstones have been driving me crazy! There's a search issue: a bug has been reported and they thought they fixed it, but obviously not.

Nice work here! - I'm still mired at the outset of November (working on a blog-post instead).

137souloftherose
Jan 3, 2020, 9:27pm

>136 lyzard: Touchstones seem to be fixed now, thankfully. Well, I am blazing through my reviews by, erm, not really writing them.

Final December not-reviews:



#150 Chatterton Square by E. H. Young
#151 Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin
#152 Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie

Chatterton Square is a quiet and thoughtful book, published in 1947 and set in 1938 (the latter year isn't mentioned specifically but the Munich Agreement is happening in the background). The focus is two families living in Chatterton Square in Upper Radstowe (a fictionalised Bristol) and in particular on the marriages within those two households. And the prospect of impending war is an additional source of tension and uncertainty to the characters (although the author and readers know what will happen). This is the third of E. H. Young's novels I've read and she doesn't deserve to be as little-known as she is. Most of her novels were brought back into print as Virago Modern Classics but are all out of print again now.

Emergency Skin - a short story released as part of the Forward Collection by Amazon. A space traveller returns to a destroyed Earth and finds something they didn't expect. This reminded me of Le Guin's stories although perhaps it didn't have the depth of Le Guin but I enjoyed this.

Passenger to Frankfurt - I say this as someone who has a massive soft-spot for Christie's over-the-top, international spy thrillers but this was a bad book. For completists only. And what are the red circles on the arms of the flight attendant on my cover? An unsolved mystery.

138souloftherose
Jan 3, 2020, 9:27pm

And as that wraps up my 2019 reading I will set up a 2020 thread over the weekend.

139quondame
Edited: Jan 3, 2020, 9:33pm

>137 souloftherose: I've noticed a strange kink in touchstones for 75 Books Challenge for 2020 threads - you can put a touchstone in your thread but if you go to Conversations on the work, your 2020 thread will not appear. Touchstones in this thread and other 2019 threads that have been updated recently are reflected in Conversations. I have reported this behavior.

140lyzard
Edited: Jan 3, 2020, 9:34pm

>136 lyzard:

Yeah, people keep telling me that's the best way to handle lagging reviews, but do I listen?? :D

>137 souloftherose:

I've only read a couple of Young's novels, Jenny Wren and William. But of course I'm going to get to the others sometime, right? (Joking aside, I should have got to The Curate's Wife by now, Note To Self.)

Unfortunately I agree with you re: Passenger To Frankfurt. I think it's her first real failure, which is extraordinary when you think about it but also very sad.

And yes, what the hell are those!?

>138 souloftherose:

Looking forward to it! I hope 2020 is a lot kinder to you.

141Fourpawz2
Jan 3, 2020, 10:00pm

Hi Heather!

I've added Empire of Sand to my third list of you-recommended books!

Hope you are recovering from all of the work-induced exhaustion. I love lining up a bunch of favorite movies to watch at this time of year. All that Christmas hoopla gets to be hard to bear after a short while and snuggling in with some movies/TV series that I really enjoy sure does help to get past all of it.

142souloftherose
Jan 8, 2020, 7:25pm

>139 quondame: Well spotted Susan - I confess I've got to the stage where my LT time is so limited if I notice something like that I just assume someone else will report it. But thank you for being the person to do so this time!

>140 lyzard: Thanks Liz. Well reading The Curate's Wife would count as finishing a series if that helps? I really liked TCW.

>141 Fourpawz2: Thanks Charlotte. Hope you enjoy EoS!

143souloftherose
Jan 8, 2020, 7:26pm

I have a thread setup in the 2020 group. Please find me here.