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

FanLit Readers' Favorites!We usually do this on the first Thursday of the month, but last Thursday we posted our Favorite Books of 2014 list, so NOW it’s time to report:

What is the best book you read in December 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.

(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.

We’ve got a couple of giveaways still current. Find those here!

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  1. Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence!! If you love scoundrels or Norse warriors, you can’t pass this one up cause its got both, and they way the two characters interact is a recipe for a good time.

  2. Breana M. /

    Actually one of my favorites from last month was a nonfiction book called Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels. Link to the review:

  3. Toss-up between THE JUST CITY by Jo Walton and THROUGH THE WOODS, a gorgeous graphic novel by Emily Carroll.

  4. Conal O'Neill /

    Favorite read for December (and actually for all of 2014) was The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan. I also enjoyed Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (reading Firefight this month).

  5. April /

    The best book I read in December was Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus. I actually listened to the audiobook and the voice actor did an excellent job. When I had to physically read the next book instead of listen to the audio, I heard the characters in her voice.

    I liked this series mainly for the protagonist. Theodosia is clever and intelligent and fully capable of going out and getting things done despite not having backup or people to work with. She’s also happy to have backup and willing to ask for help if needed. She’s independent but not bullheaded with it. Unfortunately, I see a lot of female main characters who are quite good at handling things on their own, etc. but who end up getting into trouble or doing stupid things because they either don’t believe they need help or refuse to ask for it if they think they need it.

    The author has also made the story quite funny and the reading made it even more so.

    Plus, Egypt, magic, an interesting cat and people who aren’t what they seem. All good stuff!

  6. The best book I read in December was The Martian by Andy Weir. I was worried with all the hype around it that it would disappoint or be too technical but it lived up to the hype and had just enough tech and math to make it seem legit without bogging down the story. Seemed like a cross between Apollo 13 and Castaway (hmmm . . . both Tom Hanks movies).

  7. susan emans /

    The best book…argh! So hard to pick one! I loved Hughes’s Vacant, Lynch’s Refuge, and Jay’s Princess of Thorns, but I read a new author, A.F. Dery, who released Broken Mirrors and Broken Lords in December. The characters are fascinating, the world is different, humor abounds, but there is plenty of thrilling action and awkward romance. I admit I giggled and snorted often.

  8. RedEyedGhost /

    December probably had more poor reads for me then any other month in 2014. The only book I would call not poor was a great read – Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey, book four of his Felix Castor series. It had a wonderful reveal about one of the big questions in the series. I’m reading book five now.

  9. December was a pretty good month…I re-listened to one of my favorite books of all time, Ready Player One, but I feel like a re-read from my top-ten list really doesn’t count.

    Then it would have to be a tie between Simon Ings’Hot Head (haven’t published the review of it yet though, unfortunately), The Magicians by Lev Grossman, and Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson (nonfiction, essays about creating and consuming art).

  10. Melanie Goldmund /

    The best book of all genres that I read in December was Lamentation, by C. J. Sansom, a historical mystery featuring a hunchback lawyer during the end of the reign of Henry VIII.

    As for sci fi and fantasy, I quite enjoyed both Fortune’s Pawn, by Rachel Bach, and Jackaby, by William Ritter. The voices and relationship between Jackaby and Abigail reminded me so much, in a good way of course, of the Eighth Doctor and his companion Charlotte Pollard, as played by Paul McGann and India Fisher in the audio adventures.

    I also enjoyed my re-read of The Fade, by Chris Wooding.

  11. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe. I’d been reluctant to dive into the Book of the New Sun since I HATED his Wizard Knight duology. But this totally lived up to the hype. Fantastic and unique world and a fabulous command of language. There’s not a ton of narrative momentum though, it’s more of a picaresque, and that might be offputting to some people, but it’s still a deeply engaging story.

  12. To Green Angel Tower Part 2 by Tad Williams. Fourth and final book in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series.

    The entire series is very well written. This book brings it all (3,000 pages worth) to an exciting conclusion. Williams did a marvelous job of creating characters that I cared about. His writing is simply outstanding.

  13. Liat vd /

    Without question-Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. Can I say that she’s my new favorite author after only reading 3 books that she wrote? But I have faith in her! (I have the DotF sequels waiting for me on the shelf). The beginning of this book was a little slow, but I fell in love with all (well, most of) the characters. The setting was beautiful and got me sucked into the book, and the writing was, as usual, absolutely wonderful. It was hard for me to finish it because I didn’t want the book to end. And it usually doesn’t happen to me! Even with books I love (since I have such a long tbr list and I’m always anxious to get to the next book in line).
    some honorable mentions: Jasmyn by Alex Bell was pretty great. And also Red Rising.

  14. Nikki_, 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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