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other people’s books

Other People's Books

Mid June 2018 ebook roundup

This month’s free ebook from Tor.com’s ebook club was V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, so I nabbed that one. Because hey, free!

Nabbed from Kobo, because they were on sale:

Provenance, by Ann Leckie. I’ve been enjoying the Ancillary novels quite a bit (I’ve read the first two, still need to read the third), so I wanted this one as well.

Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente. Because if you tell me a book is essentially “Eurovision IN SPACE”, then why yes you HAVE MY ATTENTION. ;D

And pre-ordered from Kobo, because all of these are relevant to my interests:

The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Pair of novels set in the same universe as her excellent short story “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”. VERY much looking forward to these.

Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse. Urban fantasy. Nabbing this one because a) it’s urban fantasy utilizing Navaho mythos, and b) written by an actual Native American author. Also VERY much looking forward to this one. 😀

Witchmark, by C.L. Polk. Fantasy. All the buzz about this one talks about this one as very reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle in terms of the culture it’s set in. But it’s also got a queer romance in it, and all in all, from what I’ve seen in reading excerpts and descriptions, there’s a high likelihood of this being charming. I particularly like the heavy emphasis on bicycles being important to this book’s culture!

38 for the year.

Other People's Books

End of May 2018 ebook roundup

Whoops, I missed a couple of Kobo receipts that should have been in my last roundup! And I have a few others to add to those, too.

These are all Kobo books, and in all cases, I nabbed ’em because they were on sale for low prices. I buy most of my ebooks on sale these days, in fact. Mostly out of general disgruntlement about ebook prices getting jacked up! Though I’ll also very specifically buy certain titles due out this year. (Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, I am looking straight at YOU.)

By Greg Bear:

The Forge of God. Which I already owned in paperback, but I haven’t read it yet. Nabbing an on-sale ebook copy raises the chances I’ll actually read it before the decade is out!

By Max Gladstone:

The Ruin of Angels, Four Roads Cross, Last First Snow, and Full Fathom Five, all part of his Craft Sequence series.

By Becky Chambers:

A Closed and Common Orbit, book 2 of her Wayfarers series, which began with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. I really rather love her titles. And when I’m in the right mood for it, I also rather like her heavily character-driven fiction.

By Anne Fortier:

Juliet. I am unsure whether this qualifies as a mystery, fiction with a historical tie-in, or both. It’s been on my To Read list for ages as a library read. Went ahead and bought it since it was on sale, as mentioned above.

(Sidebar: this is yet another novel with “A Novel” included as part of its title. I suppose it’s nice of them to clear that up, but I swear, every time I see “A Novel” as part of a book’s official title, I keep wanting to ask “As opposed to what? A ham sandwich?”)

And by Georgette Heyer:

Cotillion. Nabbed this one because Heyer’s name keeps getting spoken of reverently in romance circles, and this title in particular keeps getting mentioned as one worth checking out.

Lastly, I should also mention that since I’m on Tor.com’s mailing list for their ebook club, I nabbed Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning. I’ve already read it, but it was nice to get my own copy!

31 for the year.

Other People's Books

Another inbox-clearing ebook roundup post

Acquired from Kobo:

  • Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler. I already had a copy of this in paperback, but I snagged the ebook as I’d built up enough credit points with Kobo to snag it for free. And having an ebook copy ups the chances I’ll read it, which I want to do because I definitely need to read more Butler.
  • The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt. Another book I already own in print, but I snagged the ebook as it was on sale.

Acquired from Angry Robot:

  • Hunger Makes the Wolf, by Alex Wells. SF. Nabbed this one as it was on my To Read list, but it got an award! So Angry Robot put it briefly on sale, and I nabbed it then.

22 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.

Other People's Books

Last ebook roundup from 2017, first of 2018

An overlapping ebook roundup post, because I was too laggardly to do part of this in the tail end of December. So here it is now, halfway into January!

Picked up from Kobo:

  • Into the Drowning Deep, by Mira Grant. For general obvious “because Mira Grant” reasons!
  • Beren and Luthien, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’d already bought this in print form, of course, but I wanted it in ebook too. And the ebook finally went on sale for $2.99, so I leapt all over that!

Dara gave me two titles from Amazon as a holiday gift, and I asked for these on the grounds that they were cheapest on Amazon:

  • Patience and Sarah, by Isabel Miller. Wanted this because it is described as a historical lesbian romance, and that certainly sounds like something that requires exploration.
  • The Tale of Mu, by Richard Beckham II. This has been on my list for quite a while, and as I recall, I probably noted it at a con and found it interesting enough to look up later in digital form. We’ll see if that holds true.

These were the December purchases, and they finish my 2017 tally up at 62.

Onward into 2018! Picked up from Barnes and Noble because I had a bit more backlogged credit to spend:

  • Crooked, by Richard Pett. Got this one because it’s one part fantasy and one part horror, from what I see in its blurb. With a side helping of Lovecraftian atmosphere, too.
  • Fortune’s Pawn, by Rachel Bach. SF/Romance. Grabbed this one because it sounded like fluffy fun, and because it was on sale for $2.99.

Editing to add: NO WAIT I forgot one. I just went and saw Alan Doyle perform at the Triple Door this week! And while I was at that show, I grabbed a hardback copy of his second book, A Newfoundlander in Canada. I already have this in ebook form, but I wanted a print copy too on general Because Supporting Alan grounds.

And that’s 3 so far for this new 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.)