Lily Valley

November 2017: What was good this year?

65 posts in this topic

Elliott West's The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story. Interesting, detailed history of the heroic and tragic Nez Perce War of 1877. One minor complaint is it not having enough maps for my taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about 2/3 into The Golden Compass for the first time and quite enjoying it...so much so that I ordered the next book already.  

Once I get through Pullman I'm intrigued by The Three-Body Problem after reading this fascinating article only tangentially related.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr, a crime mystery novel set in late 19th century New York. Only a few chapters in but I'm hooked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Triskele said:

I'm about 2/3 into The Golden Compass for the first time and quite enjoying it...so much so that I ordered the next book already.  

Once I get through Pullman I'm intrigued by The Three-Body Problem after reading this fascinating article only tangentially related.

I will be interest to hear your thoughts on both of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoyed:

The Rhenwars Trilogy by M.L Spencer which was a trio of indie fantasy novels which did a decent job in Mark Lawrence's SPFBO.

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames for somehow combining This is Spinal Tap with Dungeons and Dragons.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence wasn't my favorite of his works but was still quite impressive.

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden is basically a Vikings-esque historical epic with very dark material and a troll protagonist yet is somehow still awesome.

The Alexis Carew series by J.A. Sutherland is very much YA science fiction but captures the Honor Harrington-esque feel of the books better than they have lately.

I also really enjoyed Star Wars: Lost Stars and Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray for very good character-based writing in a galaxy far far away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hello World said:

I'm reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr, a crime mystery novel set in late 19th century New York. Only a few chapters in but I'm hooked.

Love that book, as well as the second, Angel of Darkness. Apparently he's working on the 3rd book now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Just started The Core, the fifth book in Peter Brett's Demon Cycle. I know some folks here find some of the characters and content problematic, but I've enjoyed this series quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got sidetracked from my To Read list by The Ice Master.   It's an account compiled from the journals of the doomed Arctic mission in 1913.  Well written and I'm loving it.  I have the distinct impression that it's not going to end well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

 Just started The Core, the fifth book in Peter Brett's Demon Cycle. I know some folks here find some of the characters and content problematic, but I've enjoyed this series quite a bit.

The first one was so good and then they really went downhill. I actually didn't even completely hate the 3rd one, but somehow I never realized when #4 came out. My memory of them seems to have soured even more than when I actually read them. I just checked on Goodreads and was surprised to see I gave 3 stars to The Daylight War. Maybe I should try to finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Starkess said:

The first one was so good and then they really went downhill. I actually didn't even completely hate the 3rd one, but somehow I never realized when #4 came out. My memory of them seems to have soured even more than when I actually read them. I just checked on Goodreads and was surprised to see I gave 3 stars to The Daylight War. Maybe I should try to finish.

They definitely have dropped somewhat in quality after book 2, but I still enjoy these characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lily Valley said:

Got sidetracked from my To Read list by The Ice Master.   It's an account compiled from the journals of the doomed Arctic mission in 1913.  Well written and I'm loving it.  I have the distinct impression that it's not going to end well.

This sounds like a must read for me having read so much about early Antarctic exploration, a trip to the Arctic could make for stellar reading.  Will have to follow up on this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a 5/5 book this year (yet!). Best book I've read this year? I think it is a toss up between the final Fitz book and The Ender's games. In total I have 5 books (out of 32) I gave 4/5 in goodreads this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TheRevanchist said:

I don't have a 5/5 book this year (yet!). Best book I've read this year? I think it is a toss up between the final Fitz book and The Ender's games. In total I have 5 books (out of 32) I gave 4/5 in goodreads this year.

I think my top three reads this year were the Fitz conclusion, Stone Sky (the Concluson to Broken Earth), and Library at Mount Char (which I read this year). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage, which I enjoyed a lot. Comparing it to the His Dark Materials books I'd probably say it felt closest to Northern Lights, not just because a large part of it takes place in Oxford but also because it felt a bit more grounded than some of the wilder plot devices later in the series, and I think I've always liked the 'original' world of the trilogy (particularly the daemons) more than the others that were visited. I thought Malcolm was a great protagonist, I also liked Alice and Dr Hannah Relf, and it was nice to have some cameos from several characters from the original trilogy. The pacing is a bit leisurely to begin with, but it picks up pace and becomes more compelling in the second half although the ending perhaps feels slightly abrupt. Pullman's never been shy about including political messages in his books, this time the main theme seems to be a defence of science and freedom of thought in the face of authoritarianism which seems sadly topical. As a prequel I think it does stand up well compared to the original books.

I've now started Ben Aaronovitch's The Furthest Station. I always enjoy the Peter Grant stories, although I have a feeling I might get to the end of this novella and wish it was longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of that, I did just finish The Golden Compass and loved it.  I think it really nicely straddles a line of being young adult but being fairly sophisticated.  Was hoping book 2 would have arrived by today, but alas.  Hopefully tomorrow.  

ETA:  The Pullman books have different titles on different sides of the Atlantic?

Edited by Triskele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Speaking of that, I did just finish The Golden Compass and loved it.  I think it really nicely straddles a line of being young adult but being fairly sophisticated.  Was hoping book 2 would have arrived by today, but alas.  Hopefully tomorrow.  

ETA:  The Pullman books have different titles on different sides of the Atlantic?

Just book 1 I think (The Northern Lights vs The Golden Compass)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Speaking of that, I did just finish The Golden Compass and loved it.  I think it really nicely straddles a line of being young adult but being fairly sophisticated.  Was hoping book 2 would have arrived by today, but alas.  Hopefully tomorrow. 

Reading La Belle Sauvage reminded me that Pullman doesn't believe in talking down to his audience, he does play with lots of metaphysical ideas and has his precocious protagonist happily discussing the Uncertainty Principle with a University scholar.

ETA:  The Pullman books have different titles on different sides of the Atlantic?

Apparently Pullman considered The Golden Compass as a title for the series (like His Dark Materials it's apparently a line from Paradise Lost), and the American publishing company seemed to prefer that as a title for the first book. I remember reading that Pullman pointed out that people often mistakenly think The Golden Compass is referencing the alethiometer which is a fairly reasonable assumption, but it isn't actually a compass and the Paradise Lost line is referring to the circle-drawing type of compass not the direction finder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Hello World said:

Has anyone here read Court of Broken Knives yet? It's been on my to-read list for some time. Mark Lawrence wrote an interesting review of it here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2107260736?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

I think it was mostly positively received around here. I have yet to get to it. The author can be a bit, uh, outspoken on the social media I guess, though nothing on like an OSC or Simmons level of wtfness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I think it was mostly positively received around here. I have yet to get to it. The author can be a bit, uh, outspoken on the social media I guess, though nothing on like an OSC or Simmons level of wtfness.

I think it's very much of the "grimdark is everyone is an ass****" school of thought but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

It's a very exotic and corrupt culture she's created.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now