Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsIt’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, ’cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in May 2016 and why did you love it? It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we’ve also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

We’ve got a couple of giveaways still current. Find those here!

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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13 comments

  1. In the Shadows of the Gods by Rachel Dunne. It doesn’t come out until later this month, but I had an eARC, and thought it was fantastic!

  2. I haven’t finished anything worth mentioning… except maybe one of the books that I read to my 5 year-old: The Magical Animal Adoption Agency by Kallie George :).

  3. Conal /

    I really enjoyed Arkwright by Allen Steele, especially how he used most of the early SFF writers as plot characters. I also really enjoyed Doctor Sleep by Stephen King which was a worthy follow up to The Shining.

  4. RedEyedGhost /

    The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs. Just an awesome book. Kind a Weird Western crossed with Horror and the Roman Empire never falling. It was fun trying to determine which areas corresponded to our North America. The central conflict is between a couple of mercenaries (one a half-dwarf that refuses to corrupt his soul by carrying Hellfire – demon powered – guns) and a group of indigenes – wicked elf-like creatures, but we also get the an extremely strong land based Ruman Empire on the verge or war with a powerful seafaring Medieran Empire (who I took to be Spain), and the Tchinee (China) who could be swayed to join either side (although that will be explored in book two apparently). And we get a very intense demonic possession – seriously creepy stuff. It’s a great book that really packs in a surprising amount of story. Will read Foreign Devils soon.

    I also read The Martian by Andy Weir and Benighted/Bareback by Kit Whitfield, and they were both very good, but didn’t compare to The Incorruptibles

  5. Kevin S. /

    I’m so geeked up to read The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin that I re-read the first book in the trilogy, The Passage. OK, I admit I skimmed it this time but I covered about 80% of the content to refresh my memory. It’s a zombie apocalypse with vampires instead of zombies. Many books that go back and forth in time can be confusing but Cronin pulls it off extremely well. Love this book!!

  6. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, for sure. Absolutely incredible novel.

  7. Melanie Goldmund /

    Well, my local library is not getting new books in fast enough to keep up with how much I want to devour them. Sadly, neither it nor I can afford to buy everything we desire. As a result, May was not the best reading month I’ve ever had, and only two books stood out:

    A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab

    The Masked City, by Genevieve Cogman

    I also read Poseidon’s Wake, by Alastair Reynolds, but didn’t like it quite as much as the others in the series.

  8. David /
    When dreams meet realityGo set A Watchman by Harper Lee was much different than I had initially expected. This novel was the antithesis of To Kill A Mockingbird in a sense. Many things were opposites, and the world of Scout Finch was not as we knew it. The story itself was a portrayal of the real world, rather than the perfect idealistic world Harper Lee depicted in To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout, or Jean Louise as she is now called, discovers that the world is more of a mixture of different hues of gray, not clear cut black and white like she thought it was. We follow her story as she faces the loss of innocence and the end of childhood. The lines between good and bad become blurred, and she experiences growing up. Faced with Disillusionment, belonging, and conscience and principles, this story is about a young woman's story about change. The whole book centers on change and finding your own identity and path in life. This is all set in the context of the 1950's where the civil rights movement was at its height, and Harper Lee conveys powerful themes about racism, freedom, and humanity within the chapters. This is a definite must read for those who have read To Kill A Mockingbird, as it shines a new light on the thoughts of the South during these Tumultuous times. Harper lee does an incredible job in articulating the seldom mentioned opinions of the South and helps in telling both sides of the story. This is a story that will make you feel and think above all else, and a valuable read for those who care about the human race.
    • It’s nice to read a comment about this book that has a focus on what was good, and what worked. Several reviews and read, and personal comments from friends, basically focused on their disappointment that it wasn’t MOCKINGBIRD. Thanks for sharing this perspective!

  9. April /

    May wasn’t a terrible reading month for me but a rather mediocre one. The highlights were:

    Snuff by Terry Pratchett this was a ‘re-read’ via audiobook and while I noticed some definite errors and missing links in the story I didn’t notice the first time around, it was still wonderfully enjoyable – funny and poignant.

    Wedding Bells, Magic Spells by Lisa Shearin; I really have enjoyed this series and this one was also enjoyable if a bit short.

    Uprooted by Naomi Novik; this one had been on my to-read list for a while and when it finally came available at the library I borrowed it without any heavy expectations. Unexpectedly good. I enjoyed it enough to give it five stars and revisit the Temeraire series.

    Those were the only ones above three stars last month!

  10. RedEyed Ghost, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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