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 September 2017 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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17 comments

  1. I read a couple of good books in September, but this was definitely my favourite – recently released “Warlock’s Sun Rising” by Damien Black. Here’s a link to my Goodreads review – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2103510908

  2. Sandyg265 /

    My favorite book last month was a The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire.

  3. April /

    Several really good books last month:
    A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff – Excellent military scifi (this is the second book of the second arc)
    Firebug and Pyromantic by Lish McBride are excellent urban fantasies. If you liked her Hold me Closer, Necromancer then you’ll probably like this.
    Grounded and Disenchanted by Megan Morrison (in audio) are excellent new takes on old fairy tales. What is really fun about these is that the mains really learn and grow throughout their story.

  4. Paul Connelly /

    The Terror, by Dan Simmons, was probably the best book I read. Even without the supernatural element, the tale of a doomed Arctic expedition portrays people enduring frightful hardships in an extreme environment. This is long and not a fast-moving story, but it has an eerie cumulative impact.

    I say “probably” because I was almost equally impressed by a very different book, Hav, by Jan Morris. If you are over a certain age, you remember when “travelogues” were a popular form of non-fiction–books describing a foreign country with perhaps a few line drawings or black and white photographs. That was how you learned about other lands back when there were no inexpensive photographic (especially color) books available and no World-Wide Web to provide answers to your questions. Morris was well-known as a fine travel writer, but in the case of Hav, she’s writing about a tiny Mediterranean principality that is wholly imaginary. The copy I read had a foreword by Ursula Le Guin, and there’s a distant kinship between Hav and Le Guin’s Orsinia. But Hav is more “Oriental”–a country where Greeks, Turks, Arabs, Jews, Chinese, Russians, French and Italians all make up significant ethnic groups. It’s very different–in fact, it’s two different stories in one, the first ending abruptly when the jet bombers and warships move in on Hav, and the second beginning when the author returns decades later.

  5. Sethia /

    I read Ender’ s game by Orson Scott Card, my 5th grader brought it home after his first class trip to the library (couldn’t be prouder). I had never read so I pick it up and couldn’t put it down.

  6. I loved ‘Song of the Worlds’ first three books. There are two more books to be written before it’s complete, though. But the first three really surprised me. I had never read any books that mixed genres, so this was exciting. It gave me an appreciation for genre-mixing! Here is my review for the first three books of the series:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R28J2IYG4HK2AY?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

  7. John Smith /

    I’ve enjoyed the volume of 2 novellas by Emmanuel Carrere–“Class Trip” and “The Moustache.” I guess they qualify as subtle psychological horror, or man’s queasy existence in the modern world. The writing is very austere, as are the stories. So it might be a bit challenging for a lot of readers. I dutifully read a couple Kazuo Ishiguros years ago–“The Remains Of the Day” before it was made into a movie, and an early novel about Japanese marriage negotiations. They were both so subtle and nothing-there that I barely ever understood what was going on. It’s great that the narrators are “unreliable,” but maybe they could have been a bit more, you know, “zippy”!

  8. Christoph /

    Warnreaker by Brandon Sanderson.

  9. Sethia /

    I think you mean Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Love me some Nightblade!

  10. Carve the Sky by Alexander Jablonsky. A wonderfully entertaining read set in a divided Solar System and an Earth they looks backwards. Neat because Jablonsky assumes history and culture move forward from the 20th and 21st centuries. Also, the focus is on art as the MacGuffin, not some technological or alien device.

  11. Best was Provenance by Ann Leckie. Youngish protagonist who decides to use all of her resources in a last attempt to wow her adopted mother. Some interesting characters and tactical solutions to the problems that arise.

    A tie for second was Pretender to the Crown by Melissa Mcshane, the start of a new trilogy about Tremontane. Yay! An e-arc of Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller was also released. It’s the latest volume in the long-running Liaden series. It cleared up some of the threads from previous volumes so very satisfying.

    I also read a novella by Stephanie Burgis called Snowspelled which was enjoyable.

    Also managed to read The Gates of Tagmeth by P.C. Hodgell which also had some forward movement.

    And, finally, Renalle Kerguelen, a posthumously published novel by F.M. Busby. Renalle is Rissa’s parthenogenically born daughter who’s off to college and ends up in the midst of a conspiracy. I found it compulsively readable but not as good as his earlier work.

  12. Kevin S. /

    The Silence of God by Gale Sears

    The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

  13. Null States by Malka Older, which I liked just as much as Infomocracy, but for different reasons.

  14. Best books of September were all by N. K. Jemison.

    Best – The Stone Sky
    #2 – The Fifth Season
    #3 – The Obelisk Gate

    The Obelisk Gate was #3 mainly because it was so bleak. A great trilogy and well deserving of its awards.

  15. Al, 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!

  16. Joe H. /

    I know I’m too late for the giveaway, but the best book I read in September was easily Guy Gavriel Kay’s Children of Earth & Sky. A close runner-up was Ann Leckie’s Provenance. Further down the list but still good: K.J. Parker’s The Company, Kate Elliott’s Buried Heart and H. Rider Haggard’s Eric Brighteyes.

  17. Red Shirts by John Scalzi. It’s the first book that I read by John Scalzi. I think it’s a very good book. I know that there’s other books like it but it’s the first one that I read and I enjoyed it.

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