Discussion: What have you been reading?

What’s the last book you read? What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend, and why?

Also, what upcoming books are you looking forward to? What are the latest editions to your to-read pile

(No, none of these have to be Star Wars – in fact, please don’t, particularly those of you with advance copies of certain gigantic reference tomes – since we know all about those.)

27 Replies to “Discussion: What have you been reading?”

  1. I’ve been taking a break from Star Wars lit for the moment, and it’s been a nice change of pace (but I am going to read my Annihilation ARC soon).

    The book I’m reading right now is Embassytown by China Mieville. I don’t want to say much about it because part of the fun of reading it is figuring out what the heck is going on and how this world works, but if you like quirky sci-fi I definitely recommend it.

    I’ve also been catching up on American Vampire collections by Scott Snyder. Great comic series that follows a new breed of vampire in America. Each arc is set in a different time period. I’m currently reading the WWII set arc.

  2. I bought the X-Wing novels ebook pack and have been reading through them. I’m on the fifth one now and had forgotten how much I really loved reading them the first time through. I love the Rogues, but the Wraiths are my favorite team of all time. Aaron Allston’s writing stirs me, his characterizations are real and reflect the Star Wars universe I know and love.

    And I’ve been looking through a certain tome you don’t want mentioned… :) with another advance copy of another book…

    I’m looking forward to Mercy Kill and the released books for ebook format and reading them. Rowling’s new book, and some other rereads I’m doing this fall. Anne of Green Gables series is up there on the list too.

  3. “War of the Seasons: The Human” by Janine Spendlove. Fun bit of YA literature and I rather enjoyed it despite not being the world’s biggest fantasy fan. Very accessible to people who aren’t that big on the genre.

  4. The great irony in this post is that I haven’t really been much in a reading mood lately. I’m making my way through X-Wing: Rogue Squadron and Sharyn McCrumb’s Bimbos of the Death Sun, but not with any particular haste. Before that was Ally Condie’s Matched and Victoria Roth’s Divergent, both kind of blah, and I got about halfway through Insurgent before pooping out on it. (My mother bought them, FYI, because I doubt I’d have read it otherwise.) I did finish Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy and was more or less underwhelmed. I was reading A Woman of the Iron People (on Jo Walton’s recommendation) on the plane to and from Celebration… It was fine.

    So, nothing has really made an impression on me recently… I haven’t even been updating my Goodreads. Bad Dunc.

  5. I am currently parked in the middle of four different books. I am SO unfocused, lately!

    1. ARC of a certain upcoming book. (I never get ARCs! I feel so special.)
    2. War of the Seasons: The Half-Blood by Janine Spendlove – great fantasy world and a fun ride through various intrigues
    3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (whose name always makes me think of The Princess Bride) – I’m not sure how to describe this one, but it’s mysterious and magic and um… Just pick it up.
    4. The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver – The next pick for the Dragon*Con YA Lit Track Book Club. I’ve only read one chapter, but a clever set up has me intrigued.

    And I’m about to add JK Rowling’s new book. I have about ten other books in the to-be-read pile, but that’s only because I have tried my hardest to stay away from bookstores to get that pile down. One of them is a Pratchett Disc World book. I’ve never read one. I feel so uneducated. :)

  6. I’m currently reading “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson and it is good massive epic fantasy. He does an excellent job creating a complex, very different sort of world.

    The last book I completed reading was “Ashes of Honor” by Seanan McGuire and I really enjoyed that too. Then again, it was pretty safe bet that I would like this one as I liked the other five books in the series.

    I’m really looking forward to “Scoundrels” (of course) and “Judgement At Proteus” and “Cobra Gamble” both of which I am waiting for the paperback for as I am poor and both of which are by Zahn. Terry Pratchett’s new book “Dodger” should be fun, too.

  7. Wildcatter by Dave Duncan! I actually did the copyediting on it, and loved it. I also read his other recent scifi novel, Pock’s World, in preparation for Wildcatter. They’re both great – interesting and thought-provoking. Wildcatter was published by EDGE here in Calgary, and they put out a LOT of great stuff.

    An oldie but a goodie is the Conqueors series by Timothy Zahn. Kind of like a mash-up of his Star Wars stuff and Robert J. Sawyer’s dinosaur-alien stuff. They’re both brilliant. :)

    Also, the Faye Longchamp series by Mary Anna Evans – I’m reading the second-to-last one right now, Strangers. Faye is an archaeologist who frequently runs into murders, but it’s got a very different feel from most run-of-the-mill themed murder mysteries. Floodgates, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, is one of the best books I’ve ever read, which is really saying something, I promise. :)

  8. I just finished Kevin Hearne’s Hounded and am currently reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I’d totally recommend John Scalzi’s Redshirts and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. :D

  9. I want to add, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read Allegiance or Choices of One. I just couldn’t get past the stormtrooper cover of Allegiance when it came out, which I know is terrible of me.

  10. It’s been a looong time since I read Zahn’s Conqueror’s trilogy. I should go back to those.

    I just finished a reread of the Cadfael mystery series by Ellis Peters. Wonderful historical fiction set in the 1130’s and 1140’s: a Benedictine monk (and former Crusader) solves crimes, navigating abbots, bishops, kings, and the human condition. Book #1: A Morbid Taste For Bones. They’re older and hard to find, sadly.

    Read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, set against the same general time period. Enjoyed the complex characters and the epic scope of the story told across generations. However, a lot of brutal things happen and for me, the characters’ triumphs seemed small compared to the accumulation of Epic Awful. That soured the entire thing for me.

    Really enjoyed Libriomancer by Jim Hines. A magic system built around books! Who wouldn’t want to pull a lightsaber out of the pages of a SW novel? :)

    Next on the pile is The Magician, by Michael Scott, book #2 in Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. In book #1, The Alchemyst, Nicholas recruits a pair of teenaged twins to help him save the world from John Dee and evil Dark Elders. They meet Scathach and Hekate, they fight Bastet and the Morrigan, and of course there’s a prophecy. I’m curious to see where it goes.

    Very much looking forward to Scoundrels!

  11. I got about halfway through Scourge, and then Celebration happened. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it back up. It was fine, and the story was somewhat interesting, but it didn’t really grab me.

    Before that I read Mercy Kill (awesome), and the Icarus Hunt for the third time. You should also read that book, too. It’s Zahn at his absolute best.

    I just bought The Long Hunt, so I’m about to get sucked back into Mageworlds again. You should all read them. They are so good. (Thanks, Dunc.)

  12. I was reading Plato’s “The Republic” but I’m going to have to reread the last 3 Harry Potter books, since I’m presenting a panel on “The Redemption of Draco Malfoy” at GMX. Recently added Redwall and Gone with the Wind to my every growing “to-read” pile.

  13. I just finished Elizabeth Wein’s CODE NAME VERITY, a story about two young women, a pilot and a spy, working for the British government during WWII. I heartily recommend it for reasons I explain (over on my blog).

    Now I’m reading SLEEPING HELENA, by Erzebet YellowBoy, It’s an offbeat retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Enjoying it so far, but it’s too early to say whether I’d recommend it.

    On my to-read list:

    -N.K. Jamisin’s THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS (the times, I am behind them)

    -Nnedi Okorafor’s AKATA WITCH


    -Nalo Hopkinson’s THE CHAOS

    All of those are fantasy, which is weird because I’m on a general SF kick right now. But I’m trying to read authors I’ve not read (at novel-length) before, and these are the top of my stack.

  14. Ironically, I just finished reading “Shadow Games”, which I had been saving for the next time I took a trip. Loved it, one of the better SW novels I’ve read in a long time.

    So there’s that. Otherwise, I just finished reading “Surprised by Joy” by C.S. Lewis (which was wonderful; I’d highly suggest it) and recently begun “The Lost City of Z” by David Gran. The latter is an author’s account of the fate of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer searching for a fabled city said to be located deep in the Amazon jungle.

  15. “Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind” by Nancy Sherman, “Revolutionary Detroit: Portraits in Political and Cultural Change 1760-1805” edited by Denver Brunsman and Joel Stone, “Great Harry” by Carrolly Erickson (an interesting read after reading a biography of Mary Tudor from the ship’s library on my vacation), “The Long Ships Passing: The Story of the Great Lakes” by Walter Havinghurst.

    And I’ve been skipping around through the Lord Peter Wimsey books by Dorothy L. Sayers. I just finished “Whose Body?”, and am slogging through “Murder Must Advertise.” So far, favorite is still “The Nine Tailors”, which is just about as well-plotted a mystery as they come. I read “Lord Peter Views the Body” (the shorts) on my trip this summer. I’m still not sure about tackling “Thrones, Dominions”, though honestly I’d have to make it through “Gaudy Night” and “Busman’s Honeymoon” first anyway…

  16. I’m in the middle of two that frankly I’m skeptical if I’ll finish. Been attempting to read Scourge for months – it’s not bad, I just can’t get hooked enough into it to finish it. Second is “A People’s” History of the US” just because it appealed to the former history major in me.

    I’m getting the SW Reader’s Companion when it drops next week and I’m kinda excited about it. I keep having the itch to dive back into SW lit but just can’t find the time.

  17. I started the audiobook of Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth on a recent trip home. I’m about 1/5 of the way in, and I rather like it so far. As with Wild Space, I appreciate Miller’s strength with the characterizations.

    Can’t say when I’ll get to it, but next up will probably be Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever. It follows Moonraker, which I really loved.

  18. I can’t believe I forgot to recommend John Scalzi’s “Redshirts.” A fast read. Very clever. And surprisingly moving. Well worth getting.

    I wish I read faster. There are so many books out there to enjoy!

  19. I know I am late to the party on all of these books but I just finished Starship Troopers and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl. I wasn’t terribly impressed with Starship Troopers but it one of those “essential” scify books that I had never read so I am glad I finished it. The Windup Girl was great! Highly recommend it to anyone who likes dis-utopian/post-apocalyptic tales. Also it was refreshing to read a book with a non-western setting.

    I am about to dive into Cheri Priest’s Boneshaker witch I have heard good things about.

  20. I’m going to sound like a total literature noob, but I’m currently reading George RR Martin’s Clash of Kings. I’d been considering reading the Song of Ice and Fire series for a while, but after hearing everyone rave about the Game of Thrones TV show I figured it was about time I got round to it. I don’t want to watch any seasons I haven’t read the books for, but I’m a fairly slow reader.

    Needless to say, I am enjoying the book (though I find my interest in some character’s chapters much higher than others).

    From time to time, my girlfriend asks me to read to her while she’s working (she’s dyslexic, and I love acting, so it’s fun for both of us). Not wanting to bog her down with the continuity- and detail-heavy Westeros saga, I’ve been reading her Selected Stories of HG Wells, edited by Ursula K Le Guin. Some real gems among those, usually thought-provoking, and often quite creepy.

  21. I’m reading Legacy of the Force at the moment, so way behind on Star Wars books, but I got burned out for a while.

    Non-Star Wars wise a lot of children’s books because of the little one, and the last non-Star Wars adult books I read were Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I enjoyed both of them in completely different way. P&P and Zombies is completely cheesy, but it was kind of what I was in the mood for at the time I read it. A Sense of an Ending was a good character piece, albeit a bit depressing.

  22. Joy Fielding – The wild Zone was the last one i read, and it was ok. not her best book, the characters were slightly stereo-typical, but the story was good enough to cover it up.
    what am i waiting for? duh, ever after by kim harrison and i just have to buy odd apocalypse from koontz. and there are plenty more books on my wishlist….

  23. I just finished ready Mercy Kill and have started up Scourge.

    I read Mercy Kill after taking a long break from ready my Star Wars books. I have read the first two of the X-Wings series and I feel I would have gotten a lot more out of Mercy Kill if I had read the entire series. Regardless, it was an excellent book, classic Aaron Alston.

    I cannot decide which new book I’m looking forward to most; there’s Annihilation, Scoundrels, Crucible, The Last Jedi…. but I think the one’s that top the list are Into the Void (due to my love of beginnings and history) and the Sword of the Jedi novels that have been announced. Those will definitely be spectacular.

  24. I’m devouring the works of Michael Chabon and China Mieville, so was glad to see some love for the latter. I’m currently reading his “The Scar” and eagerly waiting for my ARCs.

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