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2017 Book Haul Two

I’m late on this post. I intended on going to Golden’s Book Exchange the first week of March and picking up some books on sale. But circumstances prevented me from going. I’m hoping I can go in June (or earlier). We will see.

Anyway. While I did not go to Golden’s, I did accumulate quite a few books from Amazon and Alibris over the past few months.

Here they are.

From Alibris, I bought:

Brad by Ken Smith

The Black Halo by Sam Sykes

The Skybound Sea again by Sam Sykes

The Third God by Ricardo Pinto

Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Hawkmoon by Michael Moorcock (an omnibus edition including The Jewel in the SkullMad God’s AmuletThe Sword of the Dawn, and The Runestaff)

The Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee

Starring Miss Marple by Agatha Christie (an omnibus edition including The Body in the LibraryA Murder is Announced, and They Do It With Mirrors)

Five Complete Poirot Novels by Agatha Christie (an omnibus edition including Murder on the Orient ExpressThirteen at DinnerThe ABC MurdersCards on the Table, and Death on the Nile)

From Amazon, I bought:

The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

The Mirrored Empire by Kameron Hurley

Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley

Almost Infamous by Matt Carter

Twelve Kings of Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Blood on the Sand  by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Kings of the Wild by Nicholas Eames

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

The Vagrant by Peter Newman

The Malice by Peter Newman

Amberlough   by Lara Elena Donelly

The Garden of Stones by Mark T. Barnes

The Obsidian Heart by Mark T. Barnes

The Pillars of Sand by Mark T. Barnes

The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

A pretty impressive amount of books, I should think.

What will I haul next? We shall see.

 

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December TBR List

Since my last post, November has sucked. (Okay, November has sucked since my trip to the Waco Friends of the Library Book Sale). I’ve moved. My brother is in the process of moving (which is a production of some considerable frustration that I’m not going to go into).

The only bright spot has been my completion of three Agatha Christie novels: Death on the NileThe Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, and Evil Under the Sun. Those three novels have reinvigorated my reading after some disappointing reads. I’m hoping my December to be read list will be as productive.

So, what is my December TBR?

First, I want to try and reread The Magicians by Les Grossman. I know I should binge the entire trilogy, but I honestly have a love hate relationship with the first book. I like the magical world Grossman creates. I like the Ellis/ Tartt inspired style. I can’t stand Quentin Coldwater. I really can’t stand Quentin.

Following The Magicians, I want to tackle, again, The Grace of Kings before reading The Wall of Storms (both by Ken Liu). I was planning on tackling the two after I bought The Wall of Storms, but circumstances force me to check it out of the library.

After the current installments of The Dandelion Dynasty series, I intend to tackle Otherland by Tad Williams (again). Hopefully, I’ll have better success this time.

I also have a history of the Medici, The Space Opera Renaissance, and a book on oil pastel to read.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a sizable dent before January. I have an Atwood/ Gordimer binge planned.

Try A Short Story

I recently started watching booktube on Youtube. One of my favorite booktubers, Savidge Reads, posted a video a few weeks ago in which he gathered several short story collections and read the first story in each book. I enjoyed the video and decided I wanted to try it.

I don’t have that many short story collections in my personal library. Fortunately, I also want to read more books housed by the branch of the Waco McLennan County Library I patronize. I visited the website, typed in short stories, got a paper and pencil, and started writing down titles and authors. On my next trip to the library, I hunted down those books. The first five I found joined The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu as the books I would read. The following week, I added four more books. I really wanted to read two of those four (they were checked out during the hunt), I wanted to add another dedicated science fiction and fantasy collection, and I never read Alice Munro.

I have read the first story in each collection. I have ranked them. And the top ranking books get read to completion. The others get returned to the library on my next trip.

Here are the books with my thoughts on the stories (in the order I read them).

“A Burglar’s-Eye View of Greed” from Catch and Release by Lawrence Block. A very short story in which a burglar bemoans the state of the world from the used bookstore he purchased with his ill gotten gains. It is a good story. But it is dull and a bit flat.

“William Wei” from You Are Having a Good Time by Amie Barrodale. A very compelling character study of a man’s relationship with a woman he met on the phone. Enjoyable. But the style is a bit weird. In a good way.

“The Book Making Habits of Select Species” from The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. A bunch of alien species make books in some very weird and compelling ways that reveal interesting truths about how we communicate. This story is amazing. Just amazing.

“Nemecia” from Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade. A little girl grows to resent the beautiful, but abusive, cousin who has lived with her family before she was born. I love this story. It is really good.

“Paradise” from Problems with People by David Guterson. A widower and divorcee begin a tentative new relationship while dealing with memories of the past. It is a well written story. But not terribly interesting.

“Weird” from Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip. A couple enjoying a picnic in a bathroom tell stories of the weird. Not very good. Bland writing.

“Brace for Impact” from Are You Here For What I’m Here For? by Brian Booker. A high school senior recovering from an illness is taken to a house in which he meets a disabled survivor of a plane crash. I love the first part of this story. I love the narrator. I love his voice. But the story falls apart towards the end. And ends on a rather confusing note.

“Home” from Heartbreaker by Maryse Meijer. A woman and an older man interact. I really did not like this story.

“The Pier Falls” from The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon. You guessed it, a pier falls. Well written description of a tragedy. But what is the point?

“Dimensions” from Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro. A woman enters into and is rescued from an abusive relationship. A very good story. But it does lag, though the time shifts keep the lagging down to a minimum. Doree is an amazing character.

Those are the stories. How do I rank them?

One: “Nemecia”

Two: “The Book Making Habits of Select Species”

Three: “William Wei”

Four:” Brace for Impact”

Five: “Dimensions”

Six: “The Pier Falls”

Seven: “A Burglar’s- Eye View of Greed”

Eight: “Home”

Nine: “Paradise”

Ten: “Weird”

So, there is the rankings. I must say I enjoyed this. I will definitely keep an eye out on several of these writers.