August 2015 Reading in Review

TheKappaChildOr maybe September should be the beginning of the year. Because August is death. Death by sun, death by heat, death by school traffic, death by Hugos. It’s like one long, drawn out, miserable, 106 degree New Year’s Eve, where I awkwardly stand next to a plant, feeding it my drink, and waiting for the night to be over. In comparison, September feels like a fresh beginning.

I must be getting older, looking forward to fall like this.

The blogging went up but the reading went down in August, though I felt far removed from both, thanks to the intrusion of real world interests and work life duties. That should slow down this month, which means a triumphant return to imagination land!

But first… in Book Award News…

Book Award News

The BSFA shortlists should be out in five or six months! Woohoo!

Okay… OTHER Book Award News

In an awkward not-upset-because-we-all-actually-agreed-on-something, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu won the Hugo for Best Novel. 3BP was actually one of my nominees this year. Which is weird, because I never imagined one of my nominees would make it on the ballot. It was edged off the ballot by Puppet votes, added to the ballot because of fallout from Puppet votes, I even forgot it was on the ballot (I didn’t vote this year), and it probably won because of the extra Puppet votes. So that left me with weird and confused feelings.

In terms of infighting drama, I don’t think anyone actually won the Hugo awards. Most mainstream news coverage made all SFers look like immature idiots. Why would anyone in the real world want to join these reading ranks? THAT’S why Hugo voter numbers look small and clique-ish. Because nobody wants to hang out with us.

And, yes, the Hugos are important because it makes careers in a world where the term “writing career” is a joke. Sometimes even that isn’t enough, but that little “Hugo winner!” sticker influenced a few of my pre-blog purchases.

Books I Blogged

Only one book blogged this month at FC2M. One! And, boy, was it a Job.

Then I blogged the Hugo ‘5s, which turned into a big, unheard response at certain factions, and I probably lost everybody by the end of it. Sorry. I got swept up in the dramz.

Books I Read

For the second time, in the history of this blog, I did not complete my reading list. For shame. For shame. For shame.

Books completed:
Hiromi Goto’s delightful The Kappa Child (2001)
C. J. Cherryh’s kind of un-Cherryh-like, in my limited experience, Cuckoo’s Egg (1985)
Jack Vance’s weird, funny, then bland Tales of the Dying Earth (1950 – 1984)

Books almost completed:
Mervyn Peake’s gorgeous Titus Groan (1946)- probably finishing at the moment this post goes up

Books not started:
Stephen Baxter’s The Time Ships (1995)

Tales of the Dying Earth is technically four novels, so I’m not being too harsh on myself for not completing my list. I enjoyed it, but then kind of stalled on Rhialto the Marvellous.

Books To Be Read

But I know why you’re really here. You want to see which books I draw next.


That did not require a redraw!

I better get my ass planted on the couch. I have much reading to do.

August Reading Tallies

Total Books Read: 3 (but I’m counting it as 6 because of the Vance stories)
Total Books Blogged: 1
Total Times This Tally List Has Been This Pathetic Before Now: 0

Total Books With Aliens: 2
Total Books With Robots: 0
Total Books With Japanese Mythological Creatures: 1
Total Books About Women Who Do Not Have Sex With Cucumbers, Even Though That’s Kind of What I Was Expecting And I Was Like, “Okay, Well, It’s Not Like It Never Crossed My Mind”: 1
Total Books About Ill-Fitting Bird Behavior Metaphors: 1

I was asked over at BookPunks when I’m going to do another book review. Yes, it’s been a small hiatus, but the weekly reviews will return next week, with occasional twice weekly catch-up. Did I mention August sucks?


19 thoughts on “August 2015 Reading in Review

  1. August is where SF dreams go to die.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m actually very pleased 3BP won, even considering its long strange journey to its place on the ballot. I haven’t read it yet, but I recommended the trilogy in it original Chinese to my parents. They mostly read Chinese so it’s hard for me to give them any SFF recommendations, so telling them to pick up that one was kind of a no-brainer. My dad ended up really liking it and they’re buying me my own copies, though I’m afraid they’re greatly overestimating my Chinese reading skills. I’m pretty rusty these days so I’ll probably end up picking Ken Liu’s translation and read 3BP this fall. And hey, if folks now find it difficult to take Hugos seriously, who can blame them at this point. I’m kind of with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      I saw you talking about your parents’ excitement about 3BP on Twitter and it sounded so sweet that they bought the books for you! It’s a cool book, feels old school. There’s a part in the middle where povs change and I lost interest, but I enjoyed the history in the beginning and the suspensful latter half. That said, it’s six months later and I don’t remember much about it, so it didn’t have much staying power with me.

      But yeah, the Hugos are embarrassing, but hopefully the win means more creative freedom for Ken Liu (and Cixin Liu, of course).


  3. Aaaaah, you are reading Titus Groan right now, and I want to read it at the same time except oh shit you’re already finishing and oh shit I don’t know if that is the kind of book I want to read next. (Did finish Welcome, Chaos last night though. I think I would have liked it a lot more if it had started about 3/4 the way through and then gone on past the end times. But I like me some post-apocalypse, so maybe that’s why. But it did get SLIGHTLY less cartoony at the end. Though not much. Now I can finally go back and read your review of it all the way to the end.)

    I have always really liked fall, but I was one of those people who was always really excited about going back to school in the fall each year, and those two things are probably connected. This year I am so fucking ready for fall because it means all the fucking mosquitoes that have been eating me alive since June will finally die. DIE DIE DIE. Ehem.

    Also, I loved your Hugos posts. But I have probably already made that obvious. They were the best Hugo posts happening, I think because they involved actually bookish conversation and not just dog hate. Though there was a pleasant amount of dog hate in there too.

    The Kappa Child sounds really interesting, but I am going to pretend like it doesn’t so my TBR doesn’t explode anymore this month. For now. Don’t know much of anything about your next picks, except that I also really want to read Brown Girl in the Ring. But first I have a collection of her short stories to get to, since I own that and don’t own Brown Girl in the Ring.

    I feel like I never want to stop writing this comment because I have been gone so long and you haven’t been around much but…yeah…

    Liked by 1 person

    • What the hell my “” disappeared! Did your comment thingy actually just take my fake html seriously? HA


    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      Welcome, Chaos felt Lifetime Movie Network to me. And I’m with you that the actual post-apocalypse stuff might have been more interesting.

      You know, until you said it, I never thought about mosquitos in Germany. I would’ve thought it too cold for them. I thought all of Germany was pristine and crisp, with gingerbread houses and zero bugs… except for the giant enchanted spiders that live in the forests and feed on wayward humans. But no mosquitos.

      I have always been cold-natured and a bit of a sun-hound, so I have always enjoyed summer for its long days and hot nights. I think I’m just getting old.

      Those Hugo posts wore me out. Even though they’re written earlier, I still feel busy with them when they post. I admire how you manage so much output on your blog.

      The Kappa Child was a wonderful surprise and I’ll probably post that review next week. I have had Nalo Hopkinson on my list for a long time so I’m excited about this one. I’m also interested in her latest collection– I love that title.

      Lol, hooray, we’re both back and normal blogging schedule begins!


      • Yeah the enchanted spiders eat some of the mosquitos, but it just makes them all the more tenacious…

        Fuck I wish there were some enchanted spiders in the woods I could feed some wayward humans to. I wouldn’t miss the people who keep setting fire to refugee homes and centers and stuff.

        Cold-natured like a lizard or cold-natured like that damn CIA dude Lasater in Welcome, Chaos?


  4. IT DISAPPEARED AGAIN. Hahahahahaha. Your comment thing thinks < / coment < i real html. Hahahah. Ok sorry, now this is getting silly.


  5. I didn’t read much in August either, but I did manage to finish Glorious Angels by Justina Robson – A lot more sci-fi than I generally read. I spent most of the book thinking couchtomoon would be enjoying this much more than I am!

    In the end though it won me over. I’m just trying to work out how to review it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      I can’t wait to see your review! My interest is piqued! There was a time when I never read scifi and recoiled from aliens and such, so the fact that you thought I would enjoy it is really funny to me. (And you can call me Megan, by the way.)


      • Hi Megan! – Because I didn’t know your name I was literally thinking of you as your nom de plume, which in itself is quite funny.

        I’ve just been thinking that since blogging I’ve drifted back towards SFF. I can’t quite decide if that’s a good thing or not. I think I’m missing out on some great ‘normal’ fiction, that ten years ago I would have been well versed in. Instead I’d be missing out on some great SFF – There just isn’t time to read everything .

        Liked by 1 person

        • fromcouchtomoon says:

          Hello! People have been calling me Couch, so I outed my first name but it’s down toward the bottom of the page. As for SFF and normal fiction, I think we all go back and forth. I enjoy nonfic, I just can’t take fiction seriously if it doesn’t include at least some slippery, weird aspect. I expect one day I’ll drift away again, but hopefully not soon.


  6. Fuck August. That’s all I have to say about that. Yay September! It’s not August!

    I missed your usual reviewing of late 😦 But the Hugo 5s were some of the best commentary on that sad affair, and its not like I’ve been around a lot either. I’m looking forward to your next reviews (Peake! Vance! Cherryh! Stuff!), and you picked some interesting books to read. September: A Clean Slate For All!

    Liked by 1 person

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      Another anti-August vote! Let’s banish it from the calendar!

      “A Clean Slate For All” – I see what you did there. Did you just come up with a clever new motto for the 2016 Hugos? I do believe you did.


  7. […] Total books read: 8 – Take that, August, with your lame books read tally! […]


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