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

FanLit Readers' Favorites!It’s the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, ’cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in July 2016 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.

(And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we’ve also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from our stacks.

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  1. April /

    Last month was decent for me, had four five star reads (though one was a re-read):
    Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Lois McMaster Bujold – I read this without reading the blurb because I knew I’d like it and naturally, I did. Excellently read by Grover Gardner.

    A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly – this is an older book and a mystery not sff but it certainly packs a punch.

    Jackaby by William Ritter – hard to describe but interesting and fun. The mystery in the story is a bit easy to figure out but great characters and interesting story get you over that.

    And the re-read (re-listen?) was Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger because I needed some fun and laughter in my life and I knew I’d get it there.

    • Michael Voss /

      Absolutely agree on the Bujold. One of the few authors I buy and read on sight, without the need for blurbs or context. Both Penric novellas were excellent as well.

  2. David Fowler /

    My #1 was Iron Chamber of Memory by John C Wright

  3. Kevin S. /

    I read two really good books in July:

    “Icefall” by Matthew Kirby- Excellent book with a great message for kids/teens.

    “Island of the World” by Michael D. O’Brien- This is the life story of a fictional character named Josip Lasta, who is a young boy living high in the mountains of Croatia when WWII starts. It follows him throughout his entire life, right up to his death in about 2006. This book is a heartbreaker. It shows how the brutality of WWII and the communist years of Yugoslavia effected people.

    This book is 812 pages but its worth every page. It describes the physical and emotional pain suffered by people at the hands of communist regimes without being gratuitously graphic. Most importantly, it shows how these people maintain their faith under such brutal and hopeless circumstances.

  4. Jim W. Shoemaker /

    Somehow I had never read Ship of Magic, though I’ve had it on my shelf for almost a year. I devoured it, of course. Robin Hobb is the best!

    • RedEyedGhost /

      I spent most of the month reading her Rainwilds Chronicles. I can see why a lot of people don’t like them, but I really enjoyed them. Maybe it’s because it had been 13 years since I had read anything in that world. I would have been pissed had I read them as they were published though – the breaks between books 1 and 2 and then 3 and 4 are freaking brutal.

      My favorite of the month was probably either the first or the last.

  5. Jackaby. Good book, nothing deep, but fun.

  6. Michael Voss /

    You’ve likely never heard of the best book I read last month. One novella, Bujold’s Penric and the Shaman, would top it – and while it IS available as a hardcover, book to me means full-length so let me give the fan treatment to C.B. Matson’s BROKEN SKY. It’s a Kindle Worlds prequel to Neal Stephenson and friends’ THE MONGOLIAD CYCLE, and part of a trilogy which will continue this month or next with CLOVEN EARTH. 13th century adventures among the Mongols of Ogedei Kahn’s reign, full of action, triumph, and angst – with not a little medieval magic mixed in. One of the better Kindle Worlds stories set in Stephenson’s Foreworld Saga.

  7. The Grey King by Susan Cooper, part of The Dark is Rising. I love the mystery entangled with the myth of King Arthur and Merlin.

    • RedEyedGhost /

      I like reading those in the season they are set… which reminds me that I really need to crack open Silver on the Tree before summer fades entirely.

  8. Sarah /

    Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman and The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. Both managed to be just what I wanted to be reading at the time I picked them up. Windlass was worth it just for the cat characters.

  9. Melanie Goldmund /

    Books I really liked in July:

    Steeplejack, by A.J. Hartley

    A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab

    Emilie and the Sky World, by Martha Wells. (Much as I love the Raksura books, I also wish she’d write more in this universe.)

    Ancient Appetites, and The Wisdom of Dead Men, both by Oisin McGann (fascinating steampunk series for Young Adult set in Ireland, really loved the engimals and the question of who created them.) Can’t wait to read the third one in the series, and more by this author.

    Shadowshaper, by Daniel Jose Older (urban fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.)

    But the book I liked best was Rook, by Daniel O’Malley, (similar set-up to the Laundry series by Charles Stross, but so different, and just that much more enjoyable.) I hope to get my hands on the next book, Stiletto, soon.

  10. Conal /

    The best book I read/listened to in July was the Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan. Great new fantasy world/magic system created with plenty of character building and action galore. I also listened to The Fireman by Joe Hill and this was a really entertaining story even though it was somewhat different than I expected from the book description. This one was definitely reminiscent of his Dad in the writing style.

    • Sarah /

      Glad to hear Waking Fire is good. I’ve been looking forward to reading it.

  11. I’ve lost track of what I read in June versus what I read in July. Last month, I said a Whalen Turner book had been the best I’d read. I’ve been on a re-reading kick this summer. I think it would have to be the first book of the Jani Killian series by Kristine Smith, Code of Conduct.

  12. Jim W Shoemaker, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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