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 August 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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11 comments

  1. M. Robinson /

    The Devourers by Indra Das

  2. The highlight of my reading was definitely Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Spiderlight. It is a dark fantasy novella with a classic DnD flair. Highly recommended.

  3. Kevin S. /

    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank- Written in 1959. When a Soviet nuclear attack devastates the United States, a group of survivors in a small Florida must learn how to survive. The writing and plot are straightforward and simple. Very realistic story for it’s time. Many post-apocalyptic books were influenced by this book.

    Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child- gruesome murders in the New York Museum of Natural History have a scary, supernatural edge. Great combination of mystery and sci-fi. The Epilogue has one of the greatest twists I’ve ever read!!

    Wife of Moon by Margaret Coel- a photographer arrives on an Arapahoe Indian reservation in 1907 to document the Arapahoe way of life. Fast forward to today, and his pictures are on display in a museum and may reveal the identity of murderers then and now. Catholic priest Father John O’Malley and Arapahoe lawyer Vickie Holden must solve the crimes before more murders occur. I like this series because it reveals the beauty and struggles of life on the reservation. Well written and fast-paced.

  4. RedEyedGhost /

    Slow month for me, with only Who Killed Sherlock Holmes by Paul Cornell – I think it’s easily my favorite of the three (although I wasn’t all that enamored with the first two, and read it because I can’t read a new Peter Grant book yet) and I made it 90% through Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs – the follow up to his wonderful The Incorruptibles (which is probably my favorite book this year). It’s not as good as the first, but it’s still pretty dang good.

  5. I only had one five star last month and it was a re-listen audiobook – Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold.

    Had a couple of four star reads though:
    Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Antsey was a cute and fun historical romantic spy novel.

    The Last Wish by Andrej Sapkowski was an audiobook I listened to after reading the review of it here.

    The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley was the final book in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series. It was good but I felt that it wasn’t as good as the first two.

    Not a stellar month for reading for me. Maybe September will be better!

  6. I was on a re-read kick for the last month or so. I finally finished the Jani Kilian series by Kristine Smith. I’ll say Endgame because it’s the finale. I…may not have read it since it was published because it was like reading a new book. I’d forgotten most of it. It was a nice change from my usual re-read experience.

    Why do I like this series so much? Jani is basically a forensic accountant/auditor in a universe where contracts, statements, press releases are official on special paper with embedded computer chips and you can determine a forgery by certain markers that aren’t quite right. She’s also the woman who massacred 26 aliens (20 years before the series started). She did it to save her squad, but lost them anyway. At the beginning of the series, she’s been on the run for those 20 years, is having significant physical and mental problems, and is being recruited by her ex-Family lover to figure out what really happened to his wife.

    By the end of the series, those problems have been solved in sometimes spectacular fashion and she’s about to go look for more trouble.

  7. Best book of August.
    Determining which one was best is hard. There were all 5 of the Usagi Yojimbo saga I could get through the library. Then The Nightmare Stacks, Harrison Squared, Half a King and If A Pirate I Must Be.

    I’m going to have to give it to Usagi Yojimbo Saga 1 through 5, with a Travels With Jotoro and Grasscutter being my two favorites of the five. Stan Sakai is amazing in his art and story telling. He makes Usagi every inch a samurai, but interesting and sympathetic even to 21st century WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) readers.

    I’ll give The Nightmare Stacks a second place though. Horror meets cute meets techno-thriller. And he pulls off the best funny dinner party scene I’ve read in a while without being mean to boot.

  8. Melanie Goldmund /

    I got in lots of good books in August, but I’d put Stiletto, by Daniel O’Malley, in first place. I liked it even more than Rook. Great fun, easy-to-like characters, and a fascinating backstory that influenced current events in a completely believable way.

    Narrowly missing a tie for first place by only a whisker would be Arabella of Mars, by David Levine. Great adventure, very fun.

    Two whiskers behind that would be Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes, both by William Ritter, the second and third books in the Jackaby series. I love these books. They’ve been described as Doctor Who meets Sherlock, and I have to agree. Best of all, they never descend into pure silliness, as Doctor Who has occasionally done.

    Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal, was also very good.

    I also raced through all four books of the Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold, breathlessly keeping up with Dag and Fawn challenging the status quo and trying to change their world for the better.

    I suppose I could give an honourable mention to Planetfall, by Emma Newman. It was excellent and involving right up until the end … but then left me thinking, “Uh, that’s it? What about everybody else?”

  9. Flash Point by Thomas LockeMy favorite book that I read in August is Flash Point by Thomas Locke. It is his second book in the Fault Lines series. These books are technothrillers. Locke has also written The Legend of the Realm series which is a truly exciting epic fantasy series. I would love it if you would read my review of Flash Point on my book review blog blessed and bewildered. http://www.blessedandbewildered.com/books/flash-point-by-thomas-locke. You will also find reviews of all of Locke's other books and many more. Post a comment please and let me know what you think. I'm still a relative newbie and I am honestly seeking input on how my blog could be more useful and genuine conversation about books. I think that your idea of having readers post their ratings of books is a fantastic idea!
  10. I have deep in the world of Riyria by Michael J Sullivan in August with both Theft of Swords and Rise of Empire as 5 star reads. I also enjoyed the Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks.

  11. Kevin S, 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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