2017 Reads - Your Best and Worst

Oct 23, 2008
Yeah, I think I know what you mean. I actually don't have as big a problem with the dialog in general as some folks do but I still understand why it is problematic and, specifically, he does stick on certain phrases he uses over and over which produce some teeth-gritting and/or eye-rolling for me but, boy, is he not shy about thinking big and having fun and excitement. Wide open and pedal to the metal. :)


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
Hey, Extollager - glad you 'liked' the post, given I read the Ox-Bow Incident and Our Mutual Friend as a direct consequence of your recommendations, so I have to thank you for that! Much appreciated. So what should I read this year ?

I had overlooked that question. It's irresistible.

Highest recommendation for Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin. I might have posted too much about it at the thread on it that I started months ago.

Second possibility: can you get hold of Twice Lost or something else by Phyllis Paul? Don't spend more than a few bucks, in case you would be disappointed. Interlibrary loan? If your ILL can supply A Little Treachery or The Lion of Cooling Bay -- ?


A Member of the Forum
Jul 26, 2012
Auckland, NZ
Highest recommendation for Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin. I might have posted too much about it at the thread on it that I started months ago.
Oh, go on then, I'll give it a go. I've certainly seen you put it up in lights on these boards and have wondered about it. I was probably put off, until now, by an incorrect assumption I made based on nothing at all; I assumed it was at least 800 pages, such books often being so, but I see its actually under 400 pp, which is less of an undertaking. I shall have to get it at some stage now.


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
No, Bick, Laurus isn't one of those 800-page fantasy novels ("First in an epic series!"). I hope you can get to it.


the dude abides
Oct 23, 2008
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens - Strangely addictive with an air of menace throughout, this might be my fav novel of his and was a big part of me capitulating to my wife on planning a vacation to the French countryside later that year (a good decision!). Also spurred me to tackle..
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas - As I said then, they don't write them like this anymore. Huge, epic and compelling even when the romanticism bleeds into soap opera, it was an experience.
Gathering, Brian Turner - I've fallen out with fantasy lately as it is becoming overly obsessed with never-ending doorstoppers, sadistic pessimism, and/or neurotically detailed "world-building" ("word padding"). This took me back to a time of fun fantasy, with characters you like and root for, a plot that keeps moving, and an engaging mystery at its heart. Curious to see where future installments go.
Canticle for Leibowitz, John Miller - I'm still turning the ending and message of this one over in my mind. Some very thought-provoking issues here... is there value in saving knowledge you don't understand? Can we learn from our mistakes or will human shortcomings inevitably drive us to conflict? How do we respond when we get a peak behind the curtain and realize the institutions in which we place our faith/confidence are, in the end, built of imperfect humans and frighteningly frail?
Robot series, Isaac Asimov - I tackled I, Robot and the first two novels and really enjoyed them. The puzzles of I, Robot are fascinating in their exploration of how our attempts to control/design AI seemed destined to have unexpected consequences, and the notion of a world where people never interact physically due to technology seems scarily prescient.

Revenge of the Sith, Matt Stover - Not really disappointing, because it's entertaining as SW books go. But it offered just enough of a glimpse of how compelling Anakin's story COULD be if it weren't hamstrung by Lucas's commitment to making the prequels a bizarre, poorly executed, and shallow socio-political commentary.
Broken Glass, Alain Mabanckou - Part of my French lit kick, it's rambling, unedited style was initially entertaining but in the end it doesn't really go anywhere and its humor never evolves past the juvenile.
The Plague, Albert Camus - Nothing really wrong with it, but for whatever reason Camus leaves me cold. More so than many authors, he seems to build his philosophical argument first and fit the rest of the book around it, and his existential views make the subsequent plot/characters lack urgency for me. I was similarly underwhelmed by The Stranger. Then again, I still think about it and may wind up reading it again one day.
Sep 27, 2017
I started looking at the paper bound purchases I made and the ones I read and came up with this partial list.

This one fell short for me.

My Colorblind Rainbow Hardy, Chanel

. Did not love it but it wasn’t entirely bad for a first novel.

It did not quite deliver what I was expecting.

One problem I had was that it was in the LGBT category and I was expecting something insightful from that perspective and it didn’t quite deliver. However it takes place in 1940 and involves both a black-white relationship and a same sex relationship; so realistically it couldn’t work out without some sort of tragedy. However, to really understand where my issues lie one has to read the novel and see if they get the same feeling.

I also took the time to read everything I have of Robert Heinlein this year and just now finished with ::
To Sail Beyond the Sunset.
Despite the age of many of his novels I still enjoyed reading them.
However I have to admit that the last two he published were largely erotic in nature with less credible science and mostly a lot of fantastic fiction. (Still enjoyable.)

Thanks for your feedback, and for checking out my book! My book seemed to get great feedback from women and young girls. Mostly liberal adult women. Conservative adults, not so much.
Feb 26, 2018
Undead Homestead
The books that stood out for me in 2017 were

Born a Crime, Stories of a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Honorable mention to

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro



Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2006
North Yorkshire
Better late etc. Last year I read 49 books, more than i've managed for quite a few years.

Best -

The Two of Swords(series) - K J Parker (started mid december 2017, recently finished, I've never read anything I haven't loved by this author, right up my street)
Blindsight and Starfish - Peter Watts (both the first books in series where the follow ups drop off a bit)
Maddaddam(series) - Margaret Atwood
Fractured Europe(series) - Dave Hutchinson
Transformation(series) - Neal Asher
Daughter of Eden - Chris Beckett

Not for me -

Transcendental - James Gunn (I just found it dull)
Bobiverse - Dennis E Taylor (First book great but by the third I'd had enough, the dialogue was really grating by then.)
You - Austin Grossman (Thought about putting it down 1/3 way through, should have done)


Slowly Freaking Out
Jul 2, 2011
Chiming in with a non-sff book I read this year that just about takes the cake for worst book I've read. The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta is atrocious. Never read it. Learn from my mistakes, please, for the love of god.

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