Favorite new discovery (in books)

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  • I’ve been recommending <i>Code Name Verity</i> by Elizabeth Wein to <i>everyone</i> I’ve talked books with since I read it last fall. Also recently read–and really enjoyed–<i>Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore</i> by Robin Sloan (a late catch-up on a recommendation from @chrisyokel way back when). And I just finished <i>The Nightingale</i> by Kristin Hannah, which was gripping.

    Peter Brunone

    @chrisyokel I’ve wondered. I haven’t gotten to the series conclusion yet, so I can’t speak about that, but he offers a wonderfully perceptive treatment of the human condition.

    Tolkien’s biography by Humphrey Carpenter was quite good. Also, Kate DiCamillo just came out with a new one called Raymie Nightingale that was good as well.

    Collin Cockrell

    I have finaly started reading Nate Wilson’s books (Out law of Time and 100 Cupboards) and have started A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’ll be noseing about looking for more reads 😀

    Jessica P


    Funny you mention KL! Kristin Lavransdatter is what I picked up right after Stratton-Porter. I know it’s going to be long read, but I’m committed! Anthony Esolen frequently quotes Undset’s characters in his books (particularly in Life Under Compulsion), so I’m quite curious to come to know them myself.

    Rebecca Reynolds

    I am enjoying The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays by Simon Leys (28 September 1935 – 11 August 2014). Simon Leys is the pen-name used by Pierre Ryckmans; an essayist, literary critic, art historian, professor, and sinologist (someone who studies Chinese language, history, customs, and politics). Leys brings a diverse knowledge base to his writing, complemented by sensitive interpersonal observations and a poetic flair. I was introduced to him by David Mitchel.

    Ash Parsons

    My favorite fiction in the past year was A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara.  I’m re-reading AS MEAT LOVES SALT by Maria McCann because it is excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT and i adore it so much— but also because I can’t seem to read any new-to-me fiction when I’m revising which is a weird thing I wish I could break out of, but right now I am kinda forced to go with it.

    Nonfiction-wise I’m re-reading BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates and a book of philosophical essays based around themes from the TV Show Hannibal which I got for my birthday. Fan-Nerds, how i love them.  😀

    When I can read fiction again I plan to pick up Red Rising!


    Nothing new here, but my favorite new discoveries in the last year have been Watership Down and the Wingfeather Saga (of course). I really do read more than just children’s books, but apparently there were a few I missed back then. And we all know what C.S. Lewis said about “books worth reading only in childhood.”

    I guess I did read All the Light We Cannot See within the last year. That was an excellent book, one that I would recommend to everyone I met were it not for profanity that many people (including me in most cases) are sensitive to.

    Lonesome Dove is ready for pickup at the library–I can’t wait to get started on it.

    Laure Hittle

    @winterfinch i am so glad you’ve joined us in Aerwiar! ^_^

    Also, i’m starting to think we might need a Lonesome Dove saloon somewheres about the forum. There are a bunch of us reading it.


    @mrs-hittleLonesome Dove saloon would be great!

    This may be too off-topic, but tell me about the lowercase “i.” I can guess the drift of its purpose, but I’d love to hear it from you.

    I just finished Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell it was really motivating for me, kind of a Go-Getter by Peter Kyne set in Sci-fi.

    The Art of Work by Jeff Goins was an excellent one as well.


    Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series: spies, fantasy, and an ancient and powerful library. There are two books so far, and it’s a fun read.

    Also, The Supper of the Lamb (which I picked up because of RR mentions). It’s taking me a very long time to read, but only because I have to stop after each chapter and sit with the words. Because it’s that good. And it made me enjoy cooking.

    I stumbled upon Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet in the RR bookstore. That was a happy discovery! I’m curious to see how the rest of the books in the series compare. I tend to have mixed feelings about books that seem like they might be Lord of the Rings imitations, but the story really pulled me in.

    I also just finished Elizabeth Goudge’s The Scent of Water. She was a fairly recent discovery for me, but I think I will keep coming back for more of her books. She is great at creating a sense of place and drawing out details about the natural world that we often miss. She’s also a careful observer of human nature whose characters are flawed and relatable. (Plus, she’s British!)

    Laure Hittle

    @alind, YAY! i love Auralia! i’ve never heard them compared to LOTR, and they didn’t strike me that way at all, but they are haunting and beautiful (world and language) and so good. The second book is really different from the first, in a way that was just utterly perfect in my mind. i haven’t read the last one yet but am hoping to get to it this summer. i’d love to hear more of what you think of them as you keep reading.

    @mrs-hittle, you are right that Auralia is quite different than LOTR. I suppose I compare them in my mind because I consider Tolkien the gold standard in creating imaginary worlds and they both happen to be worlds of a medieval and magical variety. And it’s in this world-creating aspect that I do have a little bit of a complaint with Auralia. The book is so vivid and beautiful, and yet there are so many imaginary creatures and plants referenced that I don’t feel like I can “see” them all very well; many are just referenced, not described.

    But I don’t want to sound really critical, because I thoroughly enjoyed it and am excited to read the rest of the series. Jeffrey Overstreet is obviously gifted as a storyteller. I found myself getting attached to the characters and reading the story quickly (even skipping ahead, I must confess), because I was so anxious to find out what was going to happen to my favorite characters.


    Kaitlyn Luce

    I started reading The Lifegiving Home today. That’s a book I’ve needed to read and I didn’t even know it.

    Kate Willis

    The Green Ember by S.D. Smith. I cannot wait for #2 to come out!!

    The One True Stickman

    Gee, this thread is *not* helping my reading list at all. Auralia sounds intriguing, and I think some of my family has recommended The Mysterious Benedict Society already. Critical mass approacheth! Beware, free time!

    I also second recommendations of Gene Stratton-Porter, The Chosen, and The Green Ember.

    My most recent discovery is Neal Stephenson, specifically Seveneves. It’s hard science-fiction and classifies as A Weighty Tome (i.e., took me months to read at lunch breaks) and was worth it. Definitely for the science-nerdy at heart but Stephenson’s take on the anthropology & civilization I find really interesting as well.

    They call me.... thread killer.

    @alind, YAY! i love Auralia! i’ve never heard them compared to LOTR, and they didn’t strike me that way at all, but they are haunting and beautiful (world and language) and so good. The second book is really different from the first, in a way that was just utterly perfect in my mind. i haven’t read the last one yet but am hoping to get to it this summer. i’d love to hear more of what you think of them as you keep reading.

    @mrs-hittle, I just finished Cyndere’s Midnight last week! And I agree with you that it was really different from Auralia’s Colors in all the best ways. Definitely a different “thread” but intricately connected to Colors, too. There are so many aspects of the book that hint at spiritual truths (and also little bits of inspiration from at least one fairy tale, I think?). I’m hooked and definitely looking forward to the last two books!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Laure Hittle

    @alind ::squee:: i so wish we could sit down and just talk about these books. It’s been awhile since i’ve read Cyndere, but i’d love to hear more of your gloanings if you want to share them. You can message me if you want, or we can start a new thread (see what i did there?!) where we can talk more freely. And i want to hear what you think of Raven, too. Now i’m feeling impatient to start the last book, but wouldn’t it be fun to read it together? 😀

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