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. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in October 2014 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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29 comments

  1. Sandyg265 /

    I finally got a chance to read Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews. I enjoyed returning to Kate Daniels world because I like the characters in it.

  2. Looks like a tie between The Brothers Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard and City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett.

  3. Dazrin /

    I read two books that got 5 stars from me in October. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, classic science fiction which I hadn’t read before. From the fantasy side, I read The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss which was a very different type of story that ended up working extremely well.

  4. City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett and Illium by Dan Simmons. Both were great. City of Stairs has some really interesting concepts dealing with society-wide changes. And then Illium, I honestly don’t know how to describe it except that it was absolutely amazing.

  5. Cress by Marissa Meyer. Her Lunar Chronicles series has me spellbound! Who knew that dystopian fiction/fairy tales with a pinch of steampunk would be so brilliant?

  6. Melanie Goldmund /

    Hmm, this is looking like a threeway tie between the three books of Species Imperative, by Julie Czerneda, the three books of the Abhorsen trilogy, by Garth Nix, and Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch. They’re all so different, but so great in their own distinctive ways, that I just can’t choose.

  7. I finished James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes (the first book of the Expanse novels). I enjoyed it (especially the ending) but not as much as I should have. It had everything I like in a novel, including good writing, but for some reason I felt a bit distant from the book. Even so, I still want to read some of Daniel Abraham’s work.

    The best thing I read this month was Brad Torgersen’s Lights in the Deep, a collection of short stories. The first story, Outbound, was one of the best stories I’ve ever read. Definitely in my top 10.

  8. RedEyedGhost /

    I read all horror last month, and the novel I liked the best (and was the most engaging) was This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs. It’s not as good as his Southern Gods but it was still great. I’m definitely looking forward to reading his The Incorruptibles before the end of the year, hopefully.

  9. susan emans /

    Without checking Goodreads to see what I read in October, I would have to say Faith Hunter’s Broken Soul. Her Jane Yellowrock series continues to deliver solid, entertaining stories.

  10. I read 25 books in October. The best were:
    Empire Dreams by Ian McDonald
    Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe
    A Wrinkle in Time (re-read) and first two sequels by Madeleine L’Engle

    Thanks, everyone, for the books mentioned above. I’ll put some of these on my list.

    • Wow, how do you read that many books in one month. I’m lucky if I can get through 3.

      • Hi Ray,
        My trick is that I read almost exclusively in audio because I can do that while I do other things. I listen while I get ready for work, drive to work, walk around campus, ride in elevators, shop for groceries, exercise, fold laundry, wash dishes, work jigsaw puzzles, tidy the house… you get the picture. If there’s a moment of time when I can be listening, I am listening. I also speed up the books to get through them faster (generally double speed which is about how fast I’d read print).

        Also, I have a very long stack of TBR books and I tend to put the shorter ones at the top. This past month I read a lot of children’s fantasy and an adult series that was very repetitive, so those books when fast.

        If I waited to have time to sit down to read, I wouldn’t get anything read. In print I’ve been working on the same novella for about two months. :(

        • Hey Kat,

          I forgot about audiobooks. I listen to them back and forth to work. But even then, that maybe doubles my total reading to 6 books or so. I’m still impressed by the 25 books a month.

          • I do audio books too but generally only on my commute or, back when I had a bike, on bike rides. Otherwise I either don’t hear properly what is going on in the book or I screw up dinner/laundry/dishes because I’m listening to intently. I can do simple chores like sweeping and vacuuming and whatnot with earphones in but it annoys the rest of the household and the wires always get in my way and get yanked out often.

  11. The only five star reads this month were short stories in the Outlander world by Diana Gabaldon. However, a good crop of four stars too:
    City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte – this was fun, interesting, funny and full of adventure, humor and history. I listened to it via audiobook and the voice actor did a great job. There was a bit too much focus on sex (at least in the beginning of the novel) and one of the characters was laughingly one dimensional but was fun for all of that. It made me want to do research on Prague, Beethoven, Tycho Brahe and all sorts of other things. I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

    Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde – not sure how this came into my list but it was there and I read it. A good, short tale with a distinct moral.

    Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas – I fully expected to hate this book, it seemed very YA with all the angst that I don’t like. I was surprisingly very pulled in from the first by the good characterization and a need to know what the heck was happening. No real teen angst and the one possible love triangle was smashed with the quickness. I’ll be continuing the series.

    Over Sea, Under Stone (first Dark is Rising book) by Susan Cooper – missed this as a kid so decided to try it. Listened to the audio and it was lots of fun.

    The Seventh Sigil by Margaret Weiss and Robert Krammes – the final book of this trilogy. Best description I can come up with is a secondary world steampunk Three Musketeers with magic. Fun!

  12. In the Woods by Tana French. Just trying to decide whether a tiny sliver of maybe-sideways-supernatural is enough to base an Edge review on. ;)

  13. Liat vd /

    I read a lot of great books that month, but I think my favorites were Wildwood Dancing (I think Juliet Marillier is my new favorite author!) and The King of Attolia. I don’t know what it was about this book. I think the second in the series could not possibly live up to the high expectations I had after reading all the raving reviews, so I came to the third book a bit more reserved, and it was absolutely wonderful.
    (honorable mentions: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Vicious, The Girl With All the Gifts).

    • The Attolia series is interesting, and I loved the characters of Gen and Helen. As good a character as Irene is, I never completely accepted the relationship there (I’m trying to talk in code!) I mean,how badly does a person have to hurt you?

      • (spoilers for the Thief series)
        I kind of felt the same way about The Queen of Attolia. The reviews spoiled the love story for me, so I knew I should expect that, and I found I didn’t believe the love story so much. But while reading The King of Attolia, the relationship between them finally felt real (and a little weird, and interesting and actually wonderful, in my opinion). The fourth book is waiting for me on the shelf.

  14. Angela Spugnardi /

    ENDSINGER by Jay Kristoff – I know it’s not out yet, but I received an Advanced Readers Copy. If you read the series, I can tell you this book has been (and still is) worth the wait.

  15. Conal O'Neill /

    The best book I read in October was Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan. This, at least in my own opinion, was even better than the 1st book in this series. Really good stuff!!!

    • My brother just highly recommended Blood Song to me. Good to hear the next book is good too.

      • Conal O'Neill /

        He adds several additional character POV’s to Tower Lord which I really enjoyed. A really fun read.

        • Thanks! I have to start it before Thanksgiving because every time I speak with him he asks if I’ve read it and keeps telling me that I MUST. :-) Gotta love enthusiastic readers!

  16. Bryce, if you live in the USA or have a US mailing address, 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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