February 2020 Reading Thread

Not open for further replies.
Currently on page 45 or so of J.L. Carr's A Month in the Country. I've also been really into John Updike's non-fiction, and I read an article or two a day, some days maybe more. Also, I reread yesterday a short story by him I had last read when I was fourteen or so: "Museums and Women." I found it less satisfying than I remembered, but I realized to my surprise that, though he doesn't name any of the museums in the story, I could easily recognize them all -- indeed, I have visited each of them countless times, though when I'd first read the story I hadn't been to, and couldn't recognize, any of them.
i'm re-reading evan currie. as for brad thor i really dislike his books
I was reading Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi, but skimmed to the end after getting frustrated with it being a) not as good as the last book I read b) just flat and by the numbers. Had to get a long way into the book before a character decision didn't feel easy.

Rereading The Ruby Knight by David Eddings as a quick simple reset read.
William R Forstchen - '48 hours'

I'm only on page four so it's a bit early to tell if it's gonna be a good 'un
IMO this was mediocre so i gave it up about a third through.

I'm now reading The Catch by Mick Herron, a novella set in the spy world of Slough House
In a complete departure from the kinds of things I normally read. I just finished First Recruits by Marilyn Foxworthy and Monster Girl Island by Logan Jacobs. Both are supposedly SF on the Fantasy side. I started looking at Monster Girl Island because it came as a Kindle recommendation for me. I wouldn't have given it a second look --- okay, I might have stared at the cover for a second time --- But it had 500+ Reviews with a solid 4 star average. I was curious, figuring it must be more than the cover seemed to indicate. Well .... It was an easy read, probably why I read it. But SF only in the loosest sense. The hero falls overboard rescuing a family and wakes up on another planet. From there it was somewhat like a Conan story but a lot more touchy feely and emotional sharing than I remember those (I think I read one.) I wouldn't give it 4 stars. The writing was Ok but rather formulaic. It reminded me of the Cross Time Engineer books. Not terrible, but very predictable. First Recruits was a lot like it (it was also recommended, with far fewer reviews) except it was decidedly much closer to S.F. There were rockets, star drives, clones, and aliens, for example. But a similar Fantasy as the first and "you know what" made the best star drive work. In a book with all kinds of hand wave'm the thing that really got me was how the man with no knowledge had a lot of ideas that "no one had ever thought of, or at least for a long, long, time." On the whole, I'm embarrassed to have read them, but it was really interesting how both authors were women writing a sort of male erotic fantasy. Oh, one other similarity between the books, there was only one man and a whole lot of females who were actually running things.

Next up, back to true SF First Encounter by Jasper T. Scott. I've been disappointed in him before so I begin to read what should be a story I will really love with a lot of trepidation.
Currently reading The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, and it is a tome! Over eight-hundred large pages of tiny print. I imagine I'll be reading this for quite a while.
From there it was somewhat like a Conan story but a lot more touchy feely and emotional sharing than I remember those (I think I read one.)
I have read quite a lot of them and touchy feely indeed is not the term that comes to mind first. Unless you mean it to describe physical altercations.
I need to go back and confirm what I read in January, but for those who are more organised than I am, what are you reading this month?

So far...
"The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North. I'd never heard of Claire North before stumbling upon this one on Overdrive. Definitely looking forward to more.

"Spirit of Steamboat," book 9.1 of Craig Johnson's Longmire Mysteries. This series started out pretty strong, and while it had a stumble or two along the way, has gotten even better.

"Junk" by Les Bohem. I normally wouldn't have purchased this book, but it was a freebie with my audible subscription, now I'm on the lookout for more by this author.

"Alien: Echo" by Mira Grant. Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire hasn't written a bad book yet, even this "Aliens" based novel. 20th Century Fox should simply pony up for the rights to this one if they're going to continue the series that should have died several movies ago. In merely competent hands, this would be right up there with the first two.

"Planet of Exile," Hainish book two by Ursula K. Le Guin.

"Lost Covenant," book three of the Widdershins Adventures by Ari Marmell. Another series that just keeps getting better. Too bad the fourth is also the last. :(

"Covenant's Ending, " Book four of the Widdershins Adventures.

"Prized," book 2 of the Birthmarked Trilogy by Caragh O'Brien. Book one started weak, almost weak enough to become a DNF, but got better. This one starts off strong, so I have hope that the series will be a good one.

ETA: Somehow I miscounted my January reading (39, not 40), so with the 6 I've completed so far this month, I've "only" read 45 titles so far this year. :D
Last edited:
Reading Alec Nevala-Lee's book about Astounding in the days of Campbell, Heinlein, lying Hubbard, and Asimov, and have started a rereading of Clarke's anthology Time Probe: The Sciences in Science Fiction, which is heavy on Astounding selections. My copy of the Clarke anthology is one of the paperbacks I've had the longest, and it was one of the first books in which I wrote the date of acquisition: 18 March 1970. Fifty years I've had that thing! And I'll bet I'm not the only person here who's got a copy.
I just read The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron. YA science fiction about an society on a far planet, a colony out of touch with Earth for several generations. Every twelve years everyone (presumably everyone) forgets their entire previous life history and all the people in it, unless they record it faithfully in the little diaries they carry with them everywhere. When the Forgetting comes, people either hide away or run wild—since they won't remember what they have done afterwards they don't feel accountable. But in the rioting, things get lost or stolen, including their books. If they lose their books they cannot remember their family relationships, who they were before, etc. and become outcasts.

The young heroine, however is different, in that she remembers everything about her life before the last Forgetting, except the parts where she was too young. Now the twelve year cycle is almost complete, and another Forgetting looms.

A bit slow to start, but after a few chapters it became more and more gripping.
Finished "Prized" and moved on to "A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World," written and read by C. A. Fletcher.

"Prized" was, overall, better than the first book. So far the series is worth finishing, but not something I'd recommend unless it's to someone who truly loves dystopian future sci/fi.
Beartown by Fredik Bachman
I read the sequel to Beartown a couple of years ago (Us against You - about an inter-town hockey game) and I've always planned to read the first book at some time, is it worth getting?

After a couple of chapters of book two, plus a lengthy intro, I had it all worked out who was who and why the rivalry, so it was more or less a stand-alone
Not open for further replies.