Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in May 2014 and why did you love it? It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

Deborah Coates trilogy

I think you’re going to like these!

For today’s Thoughtful Thursday, we’ve got a special giveaway, courtesy of Tor books. They have graciously donated all three books in Deborah Coates‘ TAYLOR COUNTY trilogy, a contemporary rural fantasy which I have really enjoyed so far. One of today’s commenters (U.S. and Canadian addresses) will win all three hardcover books! Thank you, Tor!

As usual, we’ve got a couple of giveaways still current. Find those here!

About Deborah Coates’ trilogy: Taylor County — (2012-2014) Publisher: When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days’ compassionate leave, her sister Dell’s ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her. The sheriff says that Dell’s death was suicide, but Hallie doesn’t believe it. Something happened or Dell’s ghost wouldn’t still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell’s loss, think Hallie’s letting her grief interfere with her judgment. The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn’t have to. As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace.  Soon, someone’s trying to beat her up, burn down her father’s ranch, and stop her investigation. Hallie’s going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.

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  1. The best book I read in May was probably Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal. Jane and Vincent are quite fascinating characters, and I love how this book shows more of their relationship in a very believable way. I also love how the magic system in this book (and the previous books in the series) works.

  2. April /

    May wasn’t a banner 5 star month – only one 5 star and it was an audio novella; Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold. I loved seeing all the usual suspects from a new point of view.

    However, lots of 4 star books read in May:
    Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews, the final Edge novel was the best after the first.
    The Dark Secret is book 5 in Tui T. Sutherland’s Wings of Fire YA dragon saga.
    Dragon Princess by S. Andrew Swan was fun fluff but notable for the turnabout/gender swap with the protagonists.
    Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston was full of excellent characters and lots of silly grins. It was also full of the worst romantic sex scenes I’ve ever read – so be warned, it is funny and cute but skim right over those scenes because they feel as if they were pulled from another book and different characters.
    The Storm Witch by Violette Malan is another excellent entry in the Dhulyn and Parno mercenary series – this one was a heartwrencher too.
    Chosen by Benedict Jacka – another good urban fantasy in the Alex Verus series.

    The big surprise for me last month was A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty which I listened to in audio purely on the suggestion of some online blogger and that it was available when I needed an audio and nothing else was. The surprising thing was that I felt it was going to be a pretentious YA yawn-fest but it ended up being very cute and enjoyable (if a bit weird) and I’ll be listening to the next in the series soon.

  3. I only read 4 books in May, the best of which was Suffer the Children, Craig DiLouie.

  4. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
    Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
    The Last Coin by James P. Blaylock

  5. Saving Gracie by Nancy DeMarco was a very good read. I did a short review at the blog–just a good solid mystery with a very unusual main.

    I tried to read Beast Behaving Badly, but didn’t finish it. The character interactions for the first half are indeed as funny as April says. I enjoyed that part immensely, but yes, the sex scenes are incredibly crass and bad. At about 80 percent I simply lost interest in the mystery as it had taken a back seat to the main who had suddenly become beloved by all and…well, the character interaction had also ceased to be interesting.

    I also read Vicious Circle, a UF, but couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not. It started out fairly meh, got better and then…the ending was such a disappointment, I think I only liked it at all because I rewrote the ending in my head. This book had a lot of potential, but somehow didn’t really live up to it.

  6. Barbara Elness /

    The book I read recently that I would recommend is The Star Thief by Jamie Grey. It’s not SFF, but a it is a great SF story, with plenty of action and a strong female main character.

  7. Sandyg265 /

    I didn’t read too many books in May but the best one I read was The Night Gardener. It was a young adult book but I liked the characters.

  8. Kasey Azevedo /

    I read an entire trilogy, Pure, Burn, and Fuse which had wonderful world building and great characters.

  9. Tizz /

    The Goblin Emperor — superb, and finished too soon and too abruptly. Also a collection of stories (Witches, Stitches & Bitches), most by people I’d never heard of before, but the quality was pleasingly high. Currently reading The Golem and the Djinni, also really good.

    • I keep hearing great things about The Goblin Emperor. Both Kate and Terry loved it. I can’t wait to read it!

  10. RedEyedGhost /

    It’s very hard to choose the answer to this question this month, as I read two phenomenal books: The Revolutions by Felix Gilman and Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick. Oddly enough, both were slow starters, but damn strong finishers.

  11. BookAttict /

    The best book I read in May was Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones…and the Ephemera series by Anne Bishop was pretty amazing as well.

  12. Shadrach Anki, if you live in the USA, you win a set of the Taylor County trilogy!
    Please contact me (Marion) with your US address and I’ll have the book sent right away. Happy reading!


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