February Reading Thread

Danny McG

"Kree kruh vergo gebba kalto kree!"
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
7,477
Location
Cumbria UK
A change of pace today, I'm trying a cosy murder mystery.
Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton - this is the first of the Hamish Macbeth stories.
 

Elentarri

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
497
Terminal Alliance, Terminal Uprising and Terminal Peace by Jim C. Hines. Fun SF trilogy. From janitors on a space ship to saving the galaxy... usually with the help of a bit of soap and knowledge of the plumbing system.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
12,088
Location
Iowa
I've rather gotten myself in a bind on this thread. I usually give a smallish review to the books or series I write about but that takes time and unless I think that there is something notably good or bad about them I don't usually note them, but is that fair? So I'm going to make a list of some of my recent reading that is average or slightly above, without going into detail.

I've read three parts of the series Taken to the Stars by Rick Partlow, and J.N. Chaney, #1 Taken to the Stars, #2 War of the Liberator,
#3 Eclipse of Empire,
and I have the fourth, unread as yet Legacy of Empire with a fifth Vanguard Wing yet to be released. These are among the best of the "Human gets abducted and changes the galaxy" stories.

The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen -- This is the first in a series (The Martini Club) of with a group of retired (understand old) spies who start to solve mysteries. This was quite good, the next one is not yet released, The Summer Guests which I will consider. She is a very established author, mostly in the Mystery field, and has sold more the 40 million copies and it shows.

I've also read 4 books of the series Dumb Luck and Dead Heroes by Skyler Ramirez. these books have the "worst" titles around. The Worst Ship in the Fleet, The Worst Spies in the Sector, the Worst Pirate Hunters in the Fringe, and The Worst Rescuers in the Republic. There is one book left in the series The Worst Detectives in the Federation. This is a fun series about a supposedly washed up naval Commander and his last XO as they start a life out of the military because of what happens in book 1.

And enough for now.... I've read the three books of the Perseverance Andrews, The Defense of the Commonwealth, The Courage of the Commonwealth, and The Resolve of the Commonwealth by John Spearman. Also pretty decent books. I would call them Honor Harrington wannabes.
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
10,354
Location
Scotland
Just finished Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje. It’s set in Sri Lanka during the civil wars of the late 80s and early 90s.

Anil (a native Sri Lankan) returns to her homeland. She’s now a forensic anthropologist, working for the UN. She’s trying to identify a skeleton that appears to be the result of a murder by government forces. Many dangerous obstacles block the path to discovery.

I found this book heavy going but ultimately rewarding. There are many similarities between this book and his award winning The English Patient. Instead of an unidentified burned man, we have a skeleton. In both books, these bodies almost become McGuffins and the real bones of the story lie in the characters. In both novels, we ultimately find out the identities of the unkown men but these are almost afterthoughts.

Not an easy book to read and there’s a huge amount of detail regarding wounds from explosions and other acts of violence. I learned an awful lot reading Anil’s Ghost but it will probably be quite a while before I go back to it.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
9,157
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
I have started Sixteen Short Novels (1985), edited by Wilfred Sheed. This massive hardcover, well over one thousand pages, offers novellas ranging in time from Mark Twain to Philip Roth. The editor offers one of his own works as well. He claims to have avoided overly familiar novellas, but then admits he broke his own rule to include Fyodor Dostoevsky's famous story "Notes from Underground."

I started with "Catholics" (1972) by Brian Moore, although it's next-to-last in the book, because we recently acquired a DVD of the made-for-TV film adaptation, written by Moore himself. It counts as science fiction in my book. At a time in the future when the Catholic Church has been radically reformed, an American priest acting as a representative of a higher authority goes to an isolated Irish island where the monks are doing things the old way.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
9,157
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
From Sixteen Short Novels:

"Andrea" by John O'Hara (1966)

The narrator describes his decades-long affair with a woman whom he only sees rarely, while she goes on to have a couple of marriages and divorces. (It's kind of like a much more serious version of the well-known play "Same Time Next Year.") Quite sexually frank and open about things like abortion. The ending is quite a shocker.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
9,157
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
From Sixteen Short Novels:

"The Old Maid" by Edith Wharton (1924)

Set in high society in New York City in the middle of the 19th century. Woman about to be married confesses to her married cousin that a foundling is her own illegitimate daughter. The marriage is called off, with the unmarried woman's ill health as an excuse. The child is taken into the married woman's household, with her mother also in residence, but thought of as an "aunt." When the daughter herself reaches marriageable age, it seems that the only way to make her "respectable" is for the married woman (now a widow) to legally adopt her. Obviously this takes an emotional toil on the daughter's mother, who has never revealed her identity to her. Soap opera plot, yes, but notable for its dissection of the rigidity of the society in which it takes place. Later adapted into a Pulitzer Prize winning play and a Bette Davis movie (from the play.)
 

Bear Lee

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2024
Messages
5
I only managed to finish two novels last month, and they were re-reads -- Clouds of Witness and Busman's Holiday, both by Dorothy L Sayers. (I was on a Lord Peter Wimsey listening and watching phase while knitting baby clothes for my niece's soon-to-be granddaughter so the books were an accompaniment!)

I should have been trying to finish Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham, but I picked it up only sporadically. Instead, for fantasy I turned to Lyonesse by Jack Vance which is intriguing me and frustrating me by turn -- some wonderful ideas and magic, but I really dislike the lengthy "historical" bits and the even more lengthy side-steps away from the main plot while we look in detail at the many adventures taking place by other characters. I'm also incensed by the casual use of rape as a way of showing the baddies' evil, not least as it involves children at one point.

So my reading for February is to try and get both of those finished (or dumped unfinished).

What are you reading this month?
Lately I've been on a short fiction kick. Today I found a delightfully punchy story on my kindle called 'POTUS Revelation' by D. Hermit. Next I will finish the collection of shorts by Stephen Baxter called 'Vaccuum Diagrams'. (I'm a fan of his Xeelee books).
 

Similar threads


Top