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Books, Other People's Books

Another quick clearing of the inbox ebook roundup

There’s some new Julia Czerneda in my near future, but until THAT happens, behold! A few more books I’ve picked up lately, all from Kobo:

Within the Sanctuary of Wings, by Marie Brennan. The final book in the Lady Trent series, which I’ve finally been able to pick up as the price came down some more. VERY much looking forward to savoring this.

Chapel of Ease, by Alex Bledsoe. This is I believe the fourth book in his Tufa series, which started with the wonderful The Hum and the Shiver.

To Guard Against the Dark, by the aforementioned Julie E. Czerneda. This is the third book of her Reunification trilogy, and I’m looking forward to savoring this too!

The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin. The second and third books of her Broken Earth trilogy. VERY much enjoying this. Plowing through Book 2 right now and should be charging into Book 3 in the next week or so.

This brings me to 54 for the year.

Books, Other People's Books

A holy crap have I really not posted since July?! ebook roundup

So yeah y’all may or may not have noticed I’ve been really behind on getting things posted around here. I’ve got a lot of things I just petered out on completely, and I’ve been trying to explore new ways of dealing with that.

But in the meantime, yes, hi, this blog still exists, so here, have a quick ebook roundup post!

Purchased from Amazon:

Stillhouse Lake and Killman Creek, by Rachel Caine. I have a long history of loving Caine’s work, though these two are a change of pace: they’re thrillers in which the heroine has to deal with discovering her husband is a serial killer. (YIKES!) I will probably have to be in the right headspace to read these, and I don’t know when that’s going to be. But I got them because a) Caine! and b) they were on sale.

I also nabbed them from Amazon specifically because this particular series is in fact _only_ available on Amazon. For favorite authors, I will in fact purchase from Amazon if that’s the only way I can get their work.

And back in the land where I usually purchase my ebooks, i.e., Kobo:

A Conspiracy in Belgravia, by Sherry Thomas. This is book 2 of her Lady Sherlock series, which I grabbed again because it was on sale, and also because this series has gotten talked up a lot on the Smart Bitches podcast. Thomas is a delightful interviewee, and that as well as just being fond of Sherlock Holmes pastiches drove me to go ahead and pick up book 1 earlier. Now I’ve got book 2 as well.

(And for those of you unfamiliar with this particular series, it’s still Victorian England, but ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is a cover identity of a young lady of the gentry, Charlotte Holmes. I’m reading book 1 right now as of this writing, and so far, I’m pretty intrigued by her backstory. But I’m anxious to get to the part where she’s actively solving crimes.)

Wonderful, by Jill Barnett. Historical romance. This had been hanging out for some time on my wishlist, until I recently discovered that the author had new editions of the trilogy. And also that book 1 was free. I like free! So I finally nabbed this one.

The Fall of Gondolin, by J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien. And absolutely NONE of you should be surprised I nabbed this. This is going to possibly be the last volume of the truly great stories out of The Silmarillion edited by J.R.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher, if nothing else just due to Christopher Tolkien’s advanced years. But I’m very much looking forward to diving into this. I always felt that the fall of Gondolin was a story given short shrift in The Silmarillion!

(It should also surprise none of you I will also be picking this up in print. The print edition is currently hanging out on my Amazon wishlist. We’ll see if it shows up around Yuletide this year.)

Pre-orders which have shown up now but which I counted already:

The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Now that I’ve read The Calculating Stars, I’m VERY much looking forward to diving into this.

The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, by Seanan McGuire. Another book 2 I’m looking forward to, after an excellent book 1.

This brings me up to 49 for the year.

Books

Super quick ebook roundup

I have finally concluded a massive reorganization of my ebook library, all in the name of getting it onto my new Kindle Oasis. So of course I’ve got a couple more books that I have to add to the library now!

Picked up from Kobo:

The Girl With Ghost Eyes, by M.H. Boroson. Urban fantasy, but historical urban fantasy, featuring a Chinese immigrant protagonist. Snagged this while it was on sale for $1.99.

Picked up from Amazon:

Pro Git, by Scott Chacon and Ben Straub. Yeah, I know I said I normally don’t get things from Amazon unless they’re confirmed DRM-free, but I made an exception in this case. Mention of this went around at work as a free download. So I went ahead and leapt on it because a) we use Git at work, and b) hey, I like free!

Also, this particular text isn’t on Kobo. And while it is on Barnes and Noble, the free price isn’t in effect there. As of this writing (March 18th), it is still in effect on Amazon. So if a free ebook textbook about how to use Git sounds relevant to your interests, you can snag the Kindle edition here.

That makes 19 ebooks acquired for the year.

Books, Other People's Books

Ebook roundup time: all the Mary Stewart!

It’s ebook roundup time again! I’ve been backing off a lot on ebook purchases lately. But this week, sufficient motivation has inspired me to splurge! Namely: Mary Stewart’s novels have finally come out in digital format. And as covered over here at the Bitchery, goodness gracious, the covers on those are gorgeous. And I do love me some Mary Stewart.

Thunder on the Right

Thunder on the Right

Better yet, I haven’t read a few of these, still. Doublechecking my library, I find that I have print copies of ten of the fifteen titles that I just bought off of Kobo. I’ll be re-reading those, along with the new ones! Just because a Mary Stewart comfort reading binge sounds delightful to me right now–partly due to our heading into storm season in the PNW, but also due to the general state of the world.

So here’s a roundup of stuff bought lately, because the Stewarts aren’t all of it, either. First, picked up at Kobo, here is the full list of Stewarts I just nabbed:

The ones I haven’t read yet

  • The Wind Off the Small Isles and The Lost One (which is actually a novella with a bonus added short story)
  • Thunder on the Right
  • This Rough Magic (a title which amuses me, as there is a Russell Crowe film called Rough Magic)
  • Stormy Petrel (I feel like I may have read this one ages ago, but I do not remember it and do not own a print copy)
  • Rose Cottage (whose cover amuses me as there is a distinct lack of roses in otherwise nice art)

The ones I have already read

  • The Gabriel Hounds
  • Wildfire at Midnight
  • Touch Not the Cat (AW YEAH and this one in particular is the one that triggered the Stewart bonanza, as I have high-school-era memories of reading this one!)
  • Thornyhold
  • The Moonspinners (except the cover art says The Moon-Spinners, even though the text does not, so I wonder about the discrepancy there)
  • The Ivy Tree, which apparently differs between the UK and US editions; I’ll be particularly intrigued to find out how
  • Nine Coaches Waiting
  • My Brother Michael
  • Madam, Will You Talk?
  • Airs Above the Ground

Meanwhile, also picked up from Kobo

I grabbed Alan Doyle’s second memoir, A Newfoundlander in Canada: Always Going Somewhere, Always Coming Home, because Alan Doyle. Of course I’m buying Alan’s next book. ūüėÄ

Nabbed in print

The mass market paperback edition of Julie E. Czerneda’s The Gate to Futures Past, book 2 of her Reunification trilogy.

I’ve also gotten a new influx of ebook settlement credit, so I’ll be picking out some titles on B&N again soon. But for now let’s get this post up.

17 total titles in this post, and 50 for the year.

Books, Other People's Books

A tiny print book roundup with bonus complaints about ebook pricing

Noting this as I actually bought a couple of print books from Third Place the other day–things that fall into the general category of Authors Who Are Absolutely Vital For Me to Have In Print. The people for whom a lack of access to their books would make me sad, whether due to power outage or loss of reading devices or what have you.

The first of these purchases was¬†In the Labyrinth of Drakes, Book Four in Marie Brennan’s excellent Memoirs of Lady Trent series. I’ve actually already read this and I did indeed love it immensely, but I definitely wanted the Lady Trents in print. And this one finally was available in trade now that the hardcover of Book Five is out.

Beren and Luthien

Beren and Luthi

Much more importantly, I acquired a hardback copy of the new Tolkien release, Beren and Luthien!

Y’all know my love of Tolkien, and you’ll probably also remember that I’m particularly fond of the tale of Beren and Luthien, which is hands down my favorite thing in the whole of¬†The Silmarillion.

Relatedly, when Christopher Tolkien released the excellent¬†Children of Hurin version of the other big tale from¬†The Silmarillion–the tale of Turin Turambar–I nabbed that in hardback. I’ve said before how I had to have that in hardback just for the gorgeous illustrations, and out of general appreciation of the beauty of the work that went into putting that book together as an object.

So given all of these things together, you better believe I had to jump on the Beren and Luthien release.

Fair warning though to fellow Tolkien fans who may be covetously eying this release too: it is¬†not cheap. (I got the hardback for $30.00, and while I could have gotten it for substantially cheaper at Barnes and Noble, I made a point of buying it from Third Place instead because local-to-my-house indie bookstores are love.) If you want that hardback and you’re more budget-pinched than I am, be aware you’ll get it for much cheaper on Amazon or with B&N, both of whom are showing prices for it around $18.

Likewise, the ebook is stupidly expensive right now. It’s clocking in at $16.99, and that price is the main reason I haven’t already nabbed this release as well in digital form. Do not mistake me: I¬†will also be buying this book in digital form, because a) Tolkien pretty much would top the list of authors I require in both formats, and b) under no circumstances am I taking the hardback out of the house.¬†But that price annoys me, as it’s yet another indicator of the return of agency pricing, and I have an ongoing gripe with the publishing industry seeming bound and determined to piss off digital readers by making ebooks as expensive as possible.

I’m genuinely torn, though, as to whether Tolkien is worth it to me to shell out for the ebook at that price anyway; if any author merits doing that out of all my favorites, it’s Tolkien.

Either way, the ebook edition will eventually be joining my collection too. And that’ll likely be the way I read it, just because I do most of my reading on commutes.

For now, that’s two additional book purchases to add to the tally this year, which has been quite small. (I’m actually trying to make an effort to put a dent in the backlog of books I actually own, doncha know.) 17 for the year.

Books

Audiobook review: The Dispatcher, by John Scalzi

The DispatcherThe Dispatcher by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Took me a while to finally get to this, since it’s been sitting around on my computer ever since it was originally released last year. I finally realized I had to sync it down to my phone so I could actually listen to it–which I have finally now done. And I am pleased to report it was quite satisfying.

I’ve generally always liked what I’ve read of Scalzi, although sometimes I like him better as a blogger than I do as a storyteller. In this case, though, I’d heard him do a reading of a chapter out of this at a recent convention, and I liked the premise well enough that I leapt on the offered free audiobook when it was released. Bonus that it was narrated by Zachary Quinto.

Story-wise, I found this to rank pretty high on the list of what Scalzi stories I’ve read (or in this case listened to) so far. The deliberate lack of description on a lot of his characters sometimes leaves me discontent, but in this case it worked well, and contributed to the lean, tight delivery of the story. Plus, given the overall schtick of the worldbuilding–i.e., if you’re murdered, chances are very high you will come back to life at home in your bed–was intriguing and added a dash of interesting philosophical discussion in some of the character dialogue.

Audiobook-wise, I found Quinto’s narration engaging as well. As one would certainly hope with a high-caliber actor, he brought some skill to his reading. Doing audiobook narration is not quite the same thing as a performance in a full-cast storyline, but Quinto did a great job differentiating the characters as he read for them. I was particularly impressed by the changes in his delivery for the female characters, particularly Detective Langdon. None of his changes in vocal delivery were blatant, but they were distinctive, and it was always clear to me who was speaking even when dialogue tags were not provided by the actual prose.

All in all a great little story. I liked it well enough that I’ll be buying the ebook edition, given that I originally got the audiobook while it was available for free. Four stars.

View all my reviews

Books

Not sure how long since my last ebook roundup

It’s been a while since I did a proper book roundup, particularly given that I’ve been out of commission with the recent surgery. But in the name of cleaning out my inbox, let’s get caught up, shall we?

Acquired from Barnes and Noble as I was spending backlogged ebook credit:

  • Winter Tide, by Ruthanna Emrys. Grabbed this because I’d liked the author’s short Lovecraftian story that was posted up on Tor.com, and because she and a colleague have been running a Lovecraft re-read on that same site. This novel is Emrys’ first novel, #1 of her Innsmouth Legacy series, expanding on her shorter piece “The Litany of Earth”.
  • Brimstone, by Cherie Priest. Historical fantasy. Purchased this on general “because Cherie Priest” grounds.
  • The Scholast in the Low Waters Kingdom, by Max Gladstone. This is a shorter story set in the world of his Craft Sequence novels, one which was posted up on Tor.com. I read enough of it to note that I liked what I saw, and that I wanted to have it around to read in depth.
  • Come See the Living Dryad, by Theodora Goss. This is another Tor.com piece, one which I read in full up on the site. I quite liked it and decided it was worth my 99 cents to have a local copy.
  • An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole. Historical romance. Nabbed this on the general strength of its review up on Smart Bitches, and also on grounds of diverse protagonists! I rather love this cover.
  • Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty. SF. Or rather, SF with a heaping helping of locked room murder mystery! The general conceit of this, six clones of a crew of a generation ship waking up to discover one of them is a murderer, sounds like fun.
  • Lightborn and Shadowborn, by Alison Sinclair. High fantasy. Books 2 and 3 of her Darkborn series, which I snapped up as soon as I finished reading book 1, Darkborn. As the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia series, this was my particularly savory cuppa tea.
  • The Collapsing Empire and Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, by John Scalzi. SF. Scalzi’s current release as well as one of his older ones which I was behind on acquiring!

15 for the year. (And, checking my older posts, I see it’s been over two months since my first ebook roundup post of the year! Which just goes to show how my rate of buying ebooks has dropped off dramatically since its heyday. But this is what happens when the price of ebooks goes up.)