Saturday, December 05, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (57)

Yeah, I was offline for a couple of weeks. Sorry about that—life simply got in the way. Between a challenging travel schedule for work, the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and the failure of our heating system on the first really cold day of the season, I had a lot of other things on my mind. I also didn't read as many books in November as I had hoped, but that's the subject of a completely different post.

However, now that everything is under control (including a brand new heat pump and furnace) I think I'm pretty much back on track. On December 2, I gave myself the gift of Kindle Unlimited for 2016, starting with the 30-day free trial right now. I've already downloaded four high-interest books. I've also gone through several library books since the last time I shared a Stacking the Shelves post. The list of “new-to-me” books is pretty long. That's what I get for not posting for a couple of weeks.

From the library:

I love the fact that my libraries offer online borrowing of eBooks. I have cards at three libraries that offer the Overdrive catalog and one of those also offers the Freading catalog. In keeping with my goal to avoid buying books in 2015, I've been making very good use of the library—borrowing over 90 books this year, the majority of them eBooks. Of the most recently borrowed, I've read and returned most of these listed below.

Book Cover: Mirror, Mirror by J. D. Robb and others Mirror, Mirror contains five short works by J. D. Robb and other authors. I borrowed this book from the library, specifically to read the first story, Taken in Death, a novella in the “In Death” series. I'm getting close to catching up with this series, having read the first 36 books and most of the novellas. Book #41 was published in September, so I've got a ways to go to finish up the series so far.

Book Cover: Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich I put a reserve on this book at two different libraries as soon as it came out. Fortunately, I wound up pretty close to the top of the holds list at one library which means that I didn't have to wait too very long to get it. If you know anything about Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, it's obviously the 22nd book in the series. I really enjoyed it and consider it to be one of the better ones of the series. Not quite my favorite—High Five still holds place of honor on my “best of” list.

Book Cover: Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger Another book that I was really eager to read was Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger. This is the fourth and final book in her Finishing School series set in a steampunky Victorian era. I also thought it was quite good and enjoyed visiting with the students, their teachers, and the recurring characters from the earlier Parasol Protectorate series. I'm a little sad that the series is over because I think there's a lot more to tell about some of the characters. Guess I'll have to satisfy myself with the new Custard Protocol series set in the same universe.

Book Cover: The Holy Thief by Ellis Peters The Holy Thief is the 19th and next-to-last book in the Brother Cadfael medieval mystery series. In this volume, Brother Cadfael must solve the murder of a young shepherd who was waylaid and killed as he traveled to the monastery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to testify in the case of a theft from the Benedictine order. I set myself the goal of reading all of the series by the end of 2016 and I'm just about there.

Kindle Unlimited:

As I mentioned, I gave myself the gift of Kindle Unlimited. Yes, it's a departure from my current approach of not paying for books, but at only $9.99 per month, I think I'll wind up saving a lot of money. After all, the majority of the books from this collection that I'm interested in list for around 4 to 5 dollars. So, if I read 3 or more books from KU each month, I'm saving money. I think I'll keep stats on how much the books I read WOULD have cost if I'd bought them. (I dread to go back and look at how much I've already spent for books which are in the Kindle Unlimited program.)

Book Cover: An Imperfect Witch by Debora Geary Book Cover: A Witch Central Wedding by Debora Geary Book Cover: To Have and to Code by Debora Geary The first three books I borrowed from Kindle Unlimited were from Debora Geary's Witch Central books. To Have and to Code is the prequel novel for the entire set. Nell and Daniel, two geeky programmers, one of whom happens to also be a witch, fall in love. A Witch Central Wedding is a short story, well, more of a vignette, telling the story of the marriage between Nell's brother Devin and Lauren. An Imperfect Witch is the continuing story of Lizard: ex-delinquent, Lauren's business partner, and witch. I really have enjoyed all the books in the series and look forward to getting the rest of them through the Kindle Unlimited program.

Book Cover: Warrior by Nick Webb Warrior is the second book in Nick Webb's Legacy Fleet series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Constitution early in November, and now that I've signed up for Kindle Unlimited, I can read the sequel without having to spend money for it. Most of the reviews are positive, and the very few poor reviews complain that the story moved too slowly. That doesn't usually bother me, so I'll decide for myself.

For review:

And, over the past couple of weeks, I haven't been able to stay away from review books. Since November was Sci-Fi month, I selected several science fiction novels to read and review.

Book Cover: The Awakening by Adair Hart The first science fiction book I selected was The Awakening by Adair Hart. This space fiction reminds me in some part of Jack Chalker's Well of Souls series and James White's Sector General series in that the story is FULL of all kinds of aliens—though in this case most of them are violent and hostile.

Dr. Albert Snowden and his niece, Emily are approached by a man named Evaran who informs them that they had been abducted by aliens and have been “living” in a virtual reality projected for them in the aliens' space ship. With the VR breaking down, Snowden and Emily, along with thousands of other abductees from many planets, are waking up and running free. Evaran knows that the ship is doomed and that if Snowden and his niece are to survive, they must escape to Evaran's docked ship. However, those thousands of others are out to kill anyone and everyone they cross.

Book Cover: Falcone Strike by Christopher G. Nuttall Falcone Strike is the second book in Christopher Nuttall's Angel in the Whirlwind series. My one criticism of the first book (The Oncoming Storm) was that it “drifted along to a ‘to be continued’ ending”. I'm counting on this episode to pick up the dangling threads from the prior book and fill in some of the background of the two competing powers: the Theocracy and the Commonwealth. Due to be published in January, I'm going to want to read and review this book before the end of the year.

Book Cover: Inquisitor by Mitchell Hogan When I read a description of Inquisitor, I was grabbed by this phrase: “a cryptic message from a computer program claiming to be a little girl in desperate need of her help.” Totally intrigued, I downloaded the book and added it into my December reading schedule. Apparently Mitchell Hogan is well known and widely liked as a fantasy author and this is his first venture into science fiction. Early reviews are very positive and I'm looking forward to reading Inquisitor.


Yes, I actually purchased a couple of books—but only a couple, and they were quite inexpensive. Both are books I've read before but which I wanted to add to my permanent collection. And, these books are related.

Book Cover: The Green Hills of Earth and The Menace from Earth by Robert A Heinlein I wanted to re-read The Menace from Earth by Robert A Heinlein and discovered that it had been recently republished in a combo-edition with The Green Hills of Earth and was available in eBook format for less than $5, so I added it to my Kindle collection. My goal is to [re-]read the book and then compare it to Charles Sheffield's The Cyborg from Earth.

Book Cover: The Cyborg from Earth by Charles Sheffield The Cyborg from Earth was the other book I purchased. I was drawn to re-read it along with the Heinlein above by a post I saw in an online forum: “The title is obviously echoing Heinlein's The Menace from Earth, but takes the incomer's viewpoint”. So, since I had never drawn any connection between the two works, I figured I might do the re-read and see if I agree or not.


How about you? Any new books? You're invited to tell us all about it by joining the fun at Stacking the Shelves. According to the reviewers at Tynga's Reviews who host the meme:

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which the BookObsessed online community will receive a few cents if you make purchases.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome haul of books. I hope you love all your new books. You got a few awesome looking review books.

    Grace @ Books of Love