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 September 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. Sandy Giden /

    I read Unraveled by Jennfer Estep. I enjoy the characters in this series and the story moved and kept my interest.

  2. margo /

    I’ve been beta reading a lot lately, so the only published book I can mention from September is The Obelisk Gate. It is most definitely worth mentioning! Read The Fifth Season first, but do read it. NK Jemisin is amazing.

  3. Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire. Not only it’s a great book, but it’s probably the best middle book of a trilogy I’ve ever read.

    • RedEyedGhost /

      I have that trilogy on the docket. The best middle book of a trilogy I’ve read was Ian Tregillis’ The Coldest War. Phenomenal. Best book in an awesome trilogy.

      • Thanks for the recommendation. I wanted to find an opportunity to read Bitter Seeds for a long while. I should bump it up my list.

        • RedEyedGhost /

          You definitely should, it’s an amazing series. And the read his The Alchemy Wars trilogy.

  4. Melanie Goldmund /

    Absolutely the best book I read in September was Little Black Lies, by Sharon Bolton, which was absolutely brilliant! It’s in the “crime and thrillers” section.

    The best sf/fantasy book of the month for me was The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge.

    I also really liked the following:

    The Hallowed Hunt, by Lois McMaster Bujold

    Princeps’ Fury and First Lord’s Fury, by Jim Butcher.

    Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mewed, by Alan Bradley

    Close Your Eyes, by Michael Robotham

    Saturday Requiem, by Nicci French

  5. Conal /

    I read the first two books in the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence (A Crucible of Souls and Blood of Innocents) by Mitchell Hogan and they were both excellent. If you enjoy epic fantasy, you should give this series a try. I also listened to Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey and this continues the excellence in the Expanse series.

  6. I only managed two books in September but they were both pretty good: literary titan Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and self-published Phil Tucker’s The Path of Flames.

    As good as The Buried Giant was, I just didn’t quite connect with it. I’d have to give the nod to The Path of Flames. (A better review than I can manage is:

  7. Paul Connelly /

    Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman was the most enjoyable book I read. I love the characters and descriptions of the alien world. I didn’t interrogate the science very closely–there’s so much handwavium in SF these days it doesn’t pay to go there.

    Second might be Last First Snow by Max Gladstone–think I finished that in September although I started it in August. You know based on the previous books that it’s going to be tragic. Still very good.

    I was disappointed in House of Shattered Wings and Station Eleven–they both got to about the ⅔ point and then fell apart. Station Eleven decided it needed a plot and wedged all the characters that could possibly be alive after the apocalypse back together to provide the semblance of one. House of Shattered Wings was a let-down after her pre-Columbian series–just did not feel very original in terms of characters and their development and the plot made less sense the further it dragged on. I was also hoping for more from Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but that didn’t seem to do much of anything with the scant plot set-up that it had.

  8. Kevin S. /

    I read several books in September and, unfortunately, none of them really stood out. I suppose the best was “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. Ove is a 59-yr old Swedish man who is very mean, grumpy, bitter, and downright cranky. As the story progresses, we find out why he is so miserable (not hard to predict) and how his neighbors respond to his meanness. Good story but nothing special.

    Haven’t read really good fantasy in months!! I need a fix!!

  9. RedEyedGhost /

    Hard to pick between two excellent reads: The Call by Peadar O’Guilin and Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs. Both were delightful (and horrifying). Foreign Devils had a bit of a lull in one of the POVs though, so that might be enough to give the edge to The Call.

    The other book I read was the newest Sandman Slim… it didn’t feel that different from the last 3-4 Sandman Slim novels. Hopefully Kadrey has an endgame in mind.

  10. Katharine /

    I re-read Ursula K. Le Guin’s Malafrena, in my nice new hardback The Collected Orsinia. I was reading another politically-inclined novel at the same time, which I was NOT enjoying, so I think the contrast was more marked: the way in which Le Guin shapes larger events out of the small actions, kindnesses and cruelties, of her characters, and thus makes them important on a deeper level.

  11. E.J. Jones /

    My best book of September was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. People say it’s better than The Kite Runner. Believe them. The best (and only, to be honest) SFF book I read was Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles.

  12. The only thing new that I read was a short story, “Stately Holmes” in the Russell/Holmes universe from Laurie R. King’s collection, Mary Russell’s War. I enjoyed it because it revisited my favorite book of the series. It’s told as a flashback, but I didn’t release that for a few pages.

    I did zoom through a re-read of Martha Wells’s first Raksura trilogy. All the Raksura books are my current comfort reads.

  13. The only five stars for September were re-listens of a Vorkosigan novel and one of the Girl Genius adaptations.

    But there were several four stars last month:
    Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, surprisingly different and not what I expected. Fun read.

    Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter, the latest Yellowrock urban fantasy doesn’t disappoint.

    Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, as expected fun and interesting and clever.

    Hunter by Mercedes Lackey, which to me felt like a much better version of the same type of tale that the Hunger Games was.

  14. Melita, 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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