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What Are You Reading?

I hate false reading starts. You know, that’s when you start reading a book, but for some reason — could be something about the book itself, or as it seems to mostly be in my case, it’s outside influences — you lose your connection with it? My recent one was Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. I haven’t read any of the Vorkosigan sequence, which people tell me are great. So I started with the chronologically first one in the series (i.e. not the first one written). Turns out I didn’t get very far and now I have little interest in going back to that one. Further exploration tells me that the books actually featuring Miles Vorkosigan are the ones to start with. Shards of Honor is a good story, but best enjoyed if you’ve read other books in the series.

Up above you can see part of my (most current) to-read stack. If all goes well, I will be reading my next book from this pile.

So…what are you reading?

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

46 Comments on What Are You Reading?

  1. What a cute little to-read pile! It’s so small and adorable. I’m currently reading Borderline, Hell’s Bounty, Arena, Admiral, Snakewood, short stories and four other books for class. My actual to-read pile could build a fort!

  2. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) // February 10, 2016 at 7:37 am //

    Further exploration tells me that the books actually featuring Miles Vorkosigan are the ones to start with.

    I…don’t know about that. There are different better entry points for different people. I know people who are really excited for this newest novel because Cordelia is back as a primary character at long last. Others go Miles all the way. The Vorkosigan series is diverse enough that I think there is an entry point for a lot of SF readers. But I get if you pick the “wrong one”, you bounce off the series.

    Come to think, Discworld is a LOT like this, too.

  3. David Greybeard // February 10, 2016 at 8:16 am //

    I’ve a few pages left of Jeff Salyard’s VEIL OF THE DESERTERS. And I’m in the middle of Rothfuss’ THE WISE MAN’S FEAR and Peter Brett’s THE SKULL THRONE. And last but not least Pratchet’s SMALL GODS.

    Also SWORDS AGAINST WIZARDRY by Leiber & LORD DARCY by Randall Garrett, the new Fantasy Masterworks collection.

    Also several other short story collection I’m dipping into between novels:
    The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
    Road Brothers : Tales from the Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence
    Nightmares And Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown
    The Hounds of Tindalos by Long
    The Best of Robert Bloch – the 70’s Del Rey collection
    Flashing Swords! 1 Lin Carter

  4. Alan Bailey // February 10, 2016 at 8:30 am //

    Rama Revealed – Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee
    Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut
    The Science Fiction Century – David Hartwell

  5. PW stuff… Always PW stuff, but in between, I’m reading Dust Up by Jon McGoran (fantastic series), The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins, and Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. Looking forward to diving into The Orion Plan, Good Girls, and Borderline…

  6. Alan Bailey // February 10, 2016 at 8:50 am //

    Haha, yeah I’ve been trying to shore up my classics for some syllabi I’m writing. I would highly suggest The Science Fiction Century to any fan. It may be the best collection I’ve ever read.

    Welcome to the Monkey house is great because, uh, Vonnegut.

    The only one I would tell you to hold off on is Rama Revealed. I’ve only made it this far because I’m an ardent completionist and I get twitchy when series are left uncompleted. There are high points, just not as many as I would prefer.

  7. I prefer to read only one book at a time, which is probably why my TBR stack remains so huge. Currently I’m reading Chapelwood by Cherie Priest.

  8. I’m reading Magician: Apprentice by Raymond Feist. Over halfway through, I can see why people are fans of his writing.

  9. I am also a one-book-at-a-time reader, for the most part, but this month I’m reading short stories (a planned Short Story February thing) so I’m all over the map just now.

    THE POWER OF ILLUSION – Christopher Anvil
    MURDER AT THE MANOR – Martin Edwards, ed.
    THE SCIENCE FICTION OMNIBUS – Groff Conklin, ed. (all Fifties stories)
    THE BEST OF TAD WILLIAMS – Tad Williams
    BLUE LIGHTENING – John Harvey, ed. (stories with a music element)
    REALMS, the SECOND YEAR OF CLARKESWORLD MAGAZINE – Mamatas & Wallace, ED.
    WAR AND SPACE, the Selected Short Stories of Lester Del Rey Volume 1 by Lester Del Rey

    Plus a dozen other collections and anthologies, mostly mystery and non-genre. However the library has just coughed up a couple of novels, so I’ll have to set stories aside for a little bit. Also, I bought a smallish, three shelf 32″ wide bookcase for the TBR. If it doesn’t fit there, it stays on the “regular shelves”, which includes stacks in various places, until there’s room or the book calls out loudly enough.

  10. My book buying rate >>> reading rate. So most of my bookshelf is untouched.

    I’ve been trying to read For Honor We Stand by H. Paul Honsinger for ages. I loved the first one, but then I decided to take a break from military SF.

    The last book I finished was The Martian. I love love love that book.

    Currently most of my time right is devoted to Madame Bovary, because I feel I haven’t read enough outside of the SFF realm. But when I can’t stand the drama anymore I’m also reading Archangel by Marguerite Reed. Then in between both of those I read a few issues or pages of random comics (Tokyo Ghost, Deadpool, and Wakakozake).

    In my short queue are:
    Luna: New Moon – Ian McDonald
    Something from Tom Clancy, because I’ve been wanting to read his stuff for ages
    Cloud Atlas. I finally watched the movie and loved it, so I want to read the book.

    Over the next few years I want to read all the Hugo Award winners of best novel. It’s like a bucket list item of mine. At the very least I want to read the winners that are not a part of a series to make it easier.

  11. I’m reading A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by Victoria Schwab, and it’s great! I also recently started THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL by Dan Koboldt; I meant to just read the sample, but it was fun and I liked the setup (and the sample was 6 chapters!), so I wound up buying it and reading a little more. But mostly I’m reading Schwab’s book (I’m not great at reading multiple books at once).

    I had been reading COLD IRON by Stina Leicht, but I let myself get too distracted with other books and a little short fiction, so that one’s on the back burner for the moment. But I like it, so hopefully I’ll get back to it whenever I finish the above two books, and then I should just ignore other books AND SAMPLES, till I finish it (again: too easily distracted!).

    I’m a slow reader….

  12. BTW obviously I totally know about the false starts thing; that was my problem with COLD IRON, methinks. Also: You’ve got a coupel of books in the tip of your to-read iceberg that I’m interested in. ๐Ÿ™‚ North’s and Brussolo’s books. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Of that pile, I’d recommend The First 15 Lives of Harry August as it seemed fairly false-start free.

    • Yes, I’ve heard good things about it.

      It occurs to, based on Paul’s comment above, that I should clarify: I do see a difference between a book I bounce off of because i didn’t like it…vs. a false start that has little to do with the book and more with external influences like available reading time. I want to go back to the the second kind.

      • I tired so hard with Dhalgren on a couple of occasions but gave up because I just wasn’t interested. I know what you mean about external influences though, I’ve only finished one Discworld book as none of the others has gripped me hard enough to stop me being distracted by another more promising story. One day, when I can commit a good chunk of time, I’ll have another go.

  14. Cold Iron by Stina Leicht. Took me a while to get started (due to external distractions) but I am really enjoying it and have only a few chapters left to read.

  15. The Good, the Bad, and the Infernal by Guy Adams (Heaven’s Gate, #1)
    Area X:The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer (audiobook)
    Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
    The Builders by Daniel Polansky
    The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milรกn (Kindle Fire e-book)
    Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber

  16. Oh yeah, my false-stat book … the bane of my existence: Moonwise by Greer Ilene Gilman.

  17. Medusa’s web by Tim Powers

  18. Stealing Light by Gary Gibson. Hitting the right notes on the Banks/Reynolds/Hamilton axis of new Space Opera. Liking it a lot.

  19. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

  20. Bruce Gray // February 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm //

    I started on Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series the other day. Interesting how he worked in =many= of his other books – some as direct references, and some you better watch for.

  21. David Greybeard // February 11, 2016 at 8:17 am //

    I rather adore this WHAT ARE YOU READING section of SF Signal. I enjoy reading what Signal readers are reading fiction-wise. I like to see you lot do it more often.

  22. I read United States of Japan earlier this month and I really enjoyed it!
    I am currently reading Morning Star by Pierce Brown and Anathem by Neal Stephenson. When I’ll be done with Morning Star, I will be starting Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson.

  23. Staring at the hard copy I bought of “The Aeronaut’s Windlass” by Jim Butcher. I know I want to read it, but I have two of my own writing projects to finish.
    But I could take a well deserved break.
    (Come on, man, those books aren’t going to write themselves. You don’t have the extra time.)
    But I did pay for it and it would be a waste not to at least crack it open.
    (Better not. You’ll just get caught up in it and read it straight through, then end up thinking about it for a few days instead of writing.)
    But it’s Butcher…

  24. Just finished Seventies by Neal Stephenson and I am currently reading Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole.

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