November 2016 Reading Report from Northern, Central Texas

nov2016This month our stack is not so tall.  We did a lot of reading, but some of us read on electronics.


It was a busy month for me so I didn’t have as much time to read.  I am still reading the first volume of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe that I started at the end of last month. It was on a list of the best Science Fiction books.  It is the dense, rich fantasy type of novel that I really enjoy.  Despite its appeal, I did take time out to read the book on the top of the stack,  The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley for a future blog posting.

  • Wolfe, Gene. Book of the New Sun, Volume I. London: Gollancz, 1981.


This month Jim finished The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu, the second book of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy.  He is onto the final volume Death’s End.  He finds the books very dense and intriguing.

  • Liu, Cixin. The Dark Forest.  Translated by Ken Liu. New York: Tor, 2014.
  • Liu, Cixin. Death’s End. Translated by Ken Liu.  New York: Tor, 2016.


Sarah had extra reading time this month.  She spent quality time with her tablet and read much of Thanksgiving week.  They were all humorous books and she loved them. She liked the Maggie books.  Maggie’s a writer whose characters are so lifelike, they come out of her books and begin to solve mysteries with their author.

  • Pratchett, Terry. Wee Free Men. New York: Harper Collins, 2006.
  • Pratchett, Terry.  A Hat Full of Sky. New York: Harper Collins, 2005.
  • Michaels, Kasey. Maggie Has an Alibi.  New York: Kensington Books, 2003.
  • Michaels, Kasey. Maggie by the Book. New York: Kensington Books, 2004.
  • Michaels, Kasey. Maggie without a Clue. New York: Kensington Books, 2005.


Like most months, the lion’s share of the stack is Alexis’ reading.  She is in the process of reading all the rest of the books in the stack.  She seems to be a serial reader.  She was very excited this month that Grunt by Mary Roach became available at the library.  She has had this book on hold for 6 months or more.  This book has the subtitle of “The curious science of humans at war.”  She has enjoyed other books from this author like Stiff and Spook.  She has also been reading The Hammer and the Blade by Paul S. Kemp. She started to tell me about this book’s two anti-heroes, a thief and a warrior-priest.  The more she described the book to me, the more I thought Fritz Leiber and his great characters Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.  She said, “Yes, it is a lot like his books.”  Then I turned the book over and a reviewer referred to this book as a “sword and sorcery at its rollicking best, after the fashion of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.” I may have to check it out and read it myself.

  • Roach, Mary. Grunt. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016.
  • Kemp, Paul S. The Hammer and the Blade. New York: Del Rey, 2012.
  • Palma, Felix J. The Map of Time.  Translated by Nick Caistor. New York: Atria Paperpacks, 2008.
  • Stross, Charles.  The Atrocity Archives.  New York: Ace Books, 2004.

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