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What are you reading? [2019]

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I archived the 2018 post, so it's time for a new one! What are you guys reading right now? What books do you plan to read once you finish the book(s, if you're able to read more than one at once) that you're reading?

Right now I am reading a book that my friend sent me for Christmas, which is Deep Blue, book one of the Waterfire Saga by Jennifer Donnelly. It's...not my faaaavorite book? It's definitely YA. But I'm having an easier time reading it (when I'm in the mood) than I was having trying to read Truthwitch.

I have a billion other books I still want/need to read that I've had for years/got for Christmas last year, so I'll be slowly working at reading those...although I might not get back to Truthwitch, since I was having such a hard time trying to read it 🙁.

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I just finished Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I'm going to order the rest of the trilogy tomorrow.  I read her Six of Crows duopoly and fell in love with the world and the characters, so I want to read everything ASAP, lol.  I've just come out of a long dry spell where I didn't read much of anything fiction-wise for maybe two years, so it's nice to have an expansive story to dive into.  I finished Shadow and Bone in less than a week.

I also just finished The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman.  Her style isn't what I usually prefer to read, it makes me feel like I'm removed from the story instead of experiencing it, like watching it all through a window, but the story was good.  It's a prequel to her book Practical Magic and shows the lives of the Aunts featured in it and how they grew up.  I don't know if I'll buy any more of her books, but I enjoyed what I've read of these two.

I've also got a billion other books on my to read/buy list and I still have a gift card to order some more, so there's no telling what I may end up with.  

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I'm currently reading Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World by Kathleen Ragan. It's good, though not quite what I expected picking it up, lol. But I'm enjoying getting to read fairytales with a more female focus 😄 I actually started reading it in 2018 but holiday stuff and being sick kind of took my attention away from it. Same thing happened with Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. When I finish those two... I'm not sure what I'm going to read next! I have quite a few books in my unread pile, lol. 

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"A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. Non-fiction, about different scientific theories and their evolution. I thought it would be too difficult for me, which is why it took so long to pick it up, but it's actually really entertaining. It's got a lot of neat stories about the scientists themselves; their personalities and quirks( great for character development inspiration), so I'm loving it.

I have such a hard time reading fiction when I'm editing a novel, because they can steer me in other directions (plot- & character-wise) after I already decided the story is finished. I get way too inspired by stuff and have a hard time compartmentalizing input. But when I'm ready to get back into it, I'll know where to come for suggestions. :)  

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I'm not reading anything right at the moment, I have a stack as tall as I am but I find myself gravitating more towards crafts or games in my free time than to writing. I know I should read more, I go through spurts where I read 24/7, then won't pick up another book for 5 months.

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10 hours ago, Penguinball said:

I'm not reading anything right at the moment, I have a stack as tall as I am but I find myself gravitating more towards crafts or games in my free time than to writing. I know I should read more, I go through spurts where I read 24/7, then won't pick up another book for 5 months.

I do the same thing! I've been trying to read more, but when I'm not in a reading mood it's hard to pick something up. (Which is why I end up reading story collections; that way each one is its own whole 😉

 

12 hours ago, Pinchofmagic said:

I have such a hard time reading fiction when I'm editing a novel, because they can steer me in other directions (plot- & character-wise) after I already decided the story is finished. I get way too inspired by stuff and have a hard time compartmentalizing input. But when I'm ready to get back into it, I'll know where to come for suggestions. 🙂

Oh, I feel this!! 

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I'm reading Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. It's the third book in a sci-fi series where the books are only loosely connected. I bought the third book by accident thinking that it was a standalone and couldn't return it so thought I'd give the series a go - I was pleasantly surprised! I've loved all the books, and I'm almost done with this third one and love it as well. They're quite slow so I can see why people might not like them, but the characters are so strong and the world is so real that I'm okay with the slower pace. I think many scenes are very subtle, but also very profound.

Not sure what I'm going to read next. My Goodreads Want to Read list has over 200 books, but nothing is catching my attention at the moment (anyone else with a list that they keep adding to without actually intending to read all of it??). My partner is reading Brandon Sanderson's Skyward so I might continue the sci-fi streak if he finishes it quickly so that I can pick it up!

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13 hours ago, LivvyMoore said:

I do the same thing! I've been trying to read more, but when I'm not in a reading mood it's hard to pick something up. (Which is why I end up reading story collections; that way each one is its own whole 😉

I've got a big stack of those too in my collection, best way to learn to write better short stories is to read great short stories. I picked up Tor's best stories in the last 10 years and am looking forward to reading that. Also have a collection of fantasy/sci fi rogue character short stories, one of fairy tale retellings, and a couple general anthologies.

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I've almost finished A Gathering of Shadows by V E Schwab, the second in a series. I love the characters and the magic system, it's giving me lots of inspiration. Next on my list is a paperback (so rare in my household these days purely because we don't have the space to store and as I live in Italy, no-where to pass them on!) It's the Booker Prize winner, The Milkman, a controversial format and I'm only interested because it's set in Ireland at the time of the Troubles when my husband lived there.  I join up to the annual reading challenge on Goodreads, try to read 50 books a year, but this included non fiction stuff and 'how to' kind of reading.

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On 1/3/2019 at 2:52 PM, Pinchofmagic said:

"A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. Non-fiction, about different scientific theories and their evolution. I thought it would be too difficult for me, which is why it took so long to pick it up, but it's actually really entertaining. It's got a lot of neat stories about the scientists themselves; their personalities and quirks( great for character development inspiration), so I'm loving it.

I have such a hard time reading fiction when I'm editing a novel, because they can steer me in other directions (plot- & character-wise) after I already decided the story is finished. I get way too inspired by stuff and have a hard time compartmentalizing input. But when I'm ready to get back into it, I'll know where to come for suggestions. :)  

I got an idea for a novel from Bill Brysons book, an historical one and the first book I self published!

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1 hour ago, Dreamcatcher said:

I got an idea for a novel from Bill Brysons book, an historical one and the first book I self published!

Oh, very cool! I definitely get the writing itch when I read Bryson, and he's got a very fictional flair in his descriptions. The Newton one still kind of haunts me. And it is so much fun reading about the old theories about things and how some of the hunches actually turned out to be correct even after modern scientific scrutiny. Fascinating! :)

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I'm rereading the Earth's Children series by Jean M Auel. I read them in high school and its interesting going back. I do enjoy them, but reading with more experienced eyes has me annoyed at all the head hopping and POV shifting. On one page she went from third person to first person in A's head, back to third, then first person in B's head. Totally breaking all the current rules. Her first person is super weak too, all the thoughts sound the same, all these long run on sentences that I THINK is supposed to show flow of thought, but really just makes me run out of mental breath.

Still, I enjoy the series, and its close attention to the flora and fauna of an ancient earth. I've got some strong nostalgia for these books too, which helps. They DO go on a bit, I've been skimming. She'll go on these long descriptions of scenery and plants and I'm like OKAY. Can we get back to the story now? But I like them anyway 🙂

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On 1/16/2019 at 3:51 PM, Penguinball said:

I'm rereading the Earth's Children series by Jean M Auel. I read them in high school and its interesting going back. I do enjoy them, but reading with more experienced eyes has me annoyed at all the head hopping and POV shifting. On one page she went from third person to first person in A's head, back to third, then first person in B's head. Totally breaking all the current rules. Her first person is super weak too, all the thoughts sound the same, all these long run on sentences that I THINK is supposed to show flow of thought, but really just makes me run out of mental breath.

Still, I enjoy the series, and its close attention to the flora and fauna of an ancient earth. I've got some strong nostalgia for these books too, which helps. They DO go on a bit, I've been skimming. She'll go on these long descriptions of scenery and plants and I'm like OKAY. Can we get back to the story now? But I like them anyway 🙂

I really liked that series too! It's been ages since I read them though - I forgot/didn't realise there were annoying points like that. If I re-read it, I might skim read too!

My partner and I decided to read physical books for the Christmas break but I never got round to mine because I got sucked into a sci-fi trilogy that I only had as e-books (oops). Anyway, I finally read the paperback that I bought (which was Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence) and I'm just about to finish book two in that trilogy which is King of Thorns. I have to say that I think this series has really surpassed my expectations! I found the beginning of book one quite annoying (and I've read one of his other books Prince of Fools which I thought was okay but I wasn't entirely satisfied with it), but as I got further into book one, I found it a lot more interesting, and I think book two is even better! He's really managed to develop the character (which was something lacking in the first book which I found annoying).

Anyway - I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes dark fantasy/grimdark. Which reminds me that I really wanted to start a thread to discuss grimdark... Need to try to do that this weekend (right after I kick off the search for book two for our reading club!!!).

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I'm presently about half way through Good Omen's by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I read super quickly, so expect that to change soon though! I'm enjoying it, though I admit I don't see much Gaiman influence. It feels like a very Pratchett novel. Not that that is a bad thing, as he was a fantastic writer.

It's urban fantasy I suppose, but it doesn't really fit within any of the genres tropes.

I'm not sure what I'll move onto next. I wanna find some good urban fantasy.

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1 minute ago, XanthussMarduk said:

I'm presently about half way through Good Omen's by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I read super quickly, so expect that to change soon though! I'm enjoying it, though I admit I don't see much Gaiman influence. It feels like a very Pratchett novel. Not that that is a bad thing, as he was a fantastic writer.

It's urban fantasy I suppose, but it doesn't really fit within any of the genres tropes.

I'm not sure what I'll move onto next. I wanna find some good urban fantasy.

I got to see Neil Gaiman talk about writing this book in November, it was a fantastic talk. Apparently they traded off chapter by chapter, and Terry Prachett would leave him voicemails when it was Neil's turn. He fanboyed a lot when Prachett asked to collaborate and I get the impression he really admired and respected him. Neil read off a chapter from the book in honour of Terry Prachett, it was the first public reading he had done since the original book tour. He almost got a little misty. I love that book so forgive the gushing 😄

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What have I read so far this year? A whole lot of crap, sadly. I'm making my way through my TBR list, and apparently have just happened to pick a selection of terrible books for January. None of it's been fantasy, though. There was a deeply sexist litfic novel that I only finished because it was short (I think that book officially marks the end of me reading any more literary fiction written by middle-aged white guys); an incomprehensible science fiction book that was trying embarrassingly hard to be deep and literary; and two back-to-back post-apocalyptic stories, one of which literally put me to sleep and the other of which just kind of meandered and ended without finding a plot. I did read a decently entertaining horror novel, but overall this month has had a terrible track record, book-wise.

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I started on another book last night 😛 The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark. I'm only on chapter 3 but omg, I knew from the first page that this is both the kind of book I like to read and want to write. I can definitely use it from a writing perspective and I am reading carefully as both a reader and author 😛

The cover is so pretty too, I love pretty covers.

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I'm reading The Year of Less by Cait Flanders (I thought it was going to be a how-to about shopping bans, but really it's just someone who's spent too much money rejoicing on the fact that she no longer does so), and Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (which seems very helpful considering that Camp NaNoWriMo is coming). Also beta reading someone's novel – and loving it so far, but I'm only three chapters in.

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I'm reading Rogues, a cross genre short story anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It is really helping me get into the mindset of my thief characters for my WIP, and is giving me some ideas for shenanigans they get up to.

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I tend to have at least 3-5 books under reading at the time; something old, something new, usually lots of borrowed from library.

 

Right now:

Antti Leikas: Tonttu - matka pimeyteen ("Elf - journey to darkness" could be translation). Seems to be some sort of detective fantasy with meta-fiction flavour.

 

Academic study of Baltic/Fenno-Ugrian mythology, by Anna-Leena Siikala (probably The Professor of that area)

 

Pratchett's Men At Arms; I've read this previously and will read it many, many times in the future, as well as other Discworld books.

 

100 Best Ab Exercises (reading this is partly self-deception, partly believing to osmosis - reading equals exercise, right?)

 

Translation of Leonard Cohen's debut poetry book.

 

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Right now: 

 

This is how you Lose the Time War by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I am reading it slowly because it's really short, just a novella, but it's so beautifully written I just want to drown in it.

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