Well, with the script for Episode 212 complete, a little free time has opened up (outside of the rewrites, prep, production, on-set duties, editing, VFX approvals, upcoming mixes and occasional sleeps), allowing me to get in some major reading in advance of this year’s Hugo nominations deadline (March 31st).  2015 wasn’t a strong reading year for me as I barely managed 88 books, and the number of titles that actually wowed me were surprisingly few.  Still, I do have a few worthy candidates to nominate in the Best Novel and Best Novella categories, and, by end of next week, I should have a number of candidates for the Best Short Story category as well.  After cross-referencing several recommended lists, I’ve been on a veritable tear, blazing through some forty short stories, with at least twice as many to go before I complete my extensive research.

Before I make my selections, however, I’d love to hear from all you voracious readers out there.  Were there any books or stories, published in 2015, that you read and truly loved? Please let me know.  I have eight days to read them!

March 23, 2016: Your Reading Recommendations!

Check out TWO in her new look.

P.S. She’s not the only one who’ll be getting a fashion makeover this season.

P.P.S. Galactic Authority onscreen logo courtesy of 2nd Assistant Art Director Sumeet Vat.

28 thoughts on “March 23, 2016: YOUR reading recommendations!

  1. My reading material seems to mainly revolve around educational resources! I really should try to get back into reading for pleasure and not work 🤔

    Great graphics.

    Two’s new look is cool! And more fashion makeovers to come…….

  2. Aha! So I was wrong about that badass new coat being for Truffault. I love it on Two and her new look is awesome.

  3. Wow! That sexy kick ass leather wear sure looks like its ready for some undeniable positronic action on Ms Two. Though I would ditch the black waistline belt . It distracts from the over all look. If she needs a gun holster belt it can be replaced by a half belt that loops around from the back and clips to her pants side belt loops .

  4. I read a lot, but I don’t think any are new releases for 2015. Except maybe the latest installment of the Outlander series…

  5. Hi there Carol @2cats! Good ta hear from ya. Thanks 4 checking in! 😃 Sending oodles of hugs n love to you and da kitties! ❤

    @Gary Agreed. It’s not just the rare exception gifted AP student. Whenever I’m called upon to help out with an ed event for young aspiring engineers at the NASA campus I’m always absolutely floored by the large turn out of what most folks would call typical kids & average students And never cease to be amazed by their curiosity, creatively brilliant innovative ideas and their very quick enthusiasm and determination for seriously considering, researching and working through how to make each of their concepts a reality.

  6. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

    I’m smack near the end, and, unless the author really screws up the ending, I think this book is great.

    The main characters have superpowers and there are enough uncontrolled elements to their powers to keep plenty of suspense going. It’s not just blasting their way through trouble. It’s a great balance of powers in the team, too, and interesting to see them working together — again, it’s not just blasting their way through, their work is a coordinated ballet.

    One boy’s power is that people, even his own team, forget him, and there are funny moments around that and sweet moments as other team members try to help him feel “known”. A couple of the characters learn to control the scarier parts of their powers so no sequel will ever have just this balance of powers vs. consequences.

  7. I was disappointed with Armada by Ernest Kline. I enjoyed Ready Player One to the point I got vertigo and almost threw up during the final battle – who knew that was possible with an audiobook? Armada’s action was well-written as expected, but the ending had to be the worst in history. I dismissed the most obvious answer to the mystery only because it seemed too stupid to be true, then it turned out to be so. I like my mystery-obfuscation to be a bit more sophisticated than that.

  8. The Girl on the Train quickly comes to mind for 2015 though I not sure if it’s 2015 or 2014. I just finished The Martian. Am currently reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and have Mr. Mercedes & The Innocent next up. One of my all time favorite reads/books behind To Kill A Mockingbird & The Stand is Laurel Doud’s This Body: A Story of Reincarnation. A solid 10/10. Also recently enjoyed Saving Cicadas by Nicole Seitz. Sorry I tend to be a little chick-flickie with my reading choices. Plus I’m at the mercy of my book club monthly read. I love John Sandford, Toby Neal, John Grisham. Sycamore Row was a good read. Sorry no graphic novels, comics…

    Love Two’s new threads/leather fashions!! I’ve seen a recent pic of the Zobot in white. Perhaps she is the other one getting a makeover. Don’t change Three’s leopard brown camo pants – love those! And the black ones with the red stripe…not that I’m looking all that closely or anything….

  9. Sorry Joe, the most recent books I have read were published in ’14 at the earliest. On the fiction side I am more apt to read Spy thriller/action novels with the most resent authors like Lee Child, Danial Silva, Brad Thor, etc. Tragically, Vince Flynn will not be able to entertain his readers. I am currently reading the 2nd book in the Shattered Sea trilogy.

    Two, Lucky Holsters.

  10. I’m currently listening to The Complete Sherlock Holmes which, at 58 hours and 4 minutes long, is keeping me nicely occupied on my commute. Although I am finding a lot of the stories a bit “samey”.

    Other books I’ve listened to recently:

    Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. This is the book that the SyFy series The Expanse is based on. I enjoyed it. Especially when it turned from a Space Opera into a Space Zombie story. I’ll definitely be grabbing the other books in the series. I thought the TV adaptation was done pretty well, too. Quite accurate to the book.

    Staked by Kevin Hearne. Book 8 of the Iron Druid Chronicles I felt this was the weakest in the series so far. Too many main and incidental characters. Too much flitting around. But I hope this is just a bridging book setting things up for some action in later books rather than a sign of things to come. The previous books in the series are awesome!

    Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos. The continuation of the story we started in your book club a while back. This is book 3 of the series. The aliens are still a mystery and still kicking ass while the humans flounder on the brink of extinction. I wasn’t a great fan of the first book but I’m enjoying the series more and more as I go.

    Absolute Pandemonium: The Autobiography by Brian Blessed. I’m not usually into autobiographies but I had the chance to meet Brian when he did some voice work on the movie I was working on at Aardman Animations. His larger than life personality makes him what the English call a National Treasure. He skips over a lot of things in his life so I expect there will be a second book but his stories about Peter O’Toole are hilarious. Even if you don’t normally listen to audiobooks you should listen to this one as Brian reads it himself and he’s brilliant!

    The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. The first book in The Cinder Spires series, I was a bit wary of this one. I love Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books but this is very different and what I really want is more Dresden! However, I ended up loving this book just as much, if not more, than Dresden. I love the characters and the setting and can’t wait to find out more.

    You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. Another autobiography. I came across Felicia when I started watching her web series The Guild about a group of misfit computer gamers. I’ve since followed her to Geek And Sundry where I discovered Tabletop hosted by Wil Wheaton and have since got into boardgames. Felicia has had a profound effect on my life and I relished a chance to find out more about where she came from.

    Those were all audiobooks. In the hard copy world I’m much less prolific. I think it took me 9 months to read The Time Traveller’s Almanac and now I’m reading the “complete” Alien omnibus. I say “complete” because it’s only the novelisations of the first three films.

  11. ‘… barely managed 88 books’ Really! I mean, really???
    I’m afraid I have no recommendations for you, Joe. Text n reference are all the books I’ve read for quite some time now.
    I did recently purchase The Gathering Night by Margaret Elphinstone. The cover’s nice …..

  12. Two looks badass as always. Love it. ♥
    I don’t have any book recommendations since i just got back into a reading habit, which i didn’t have for years. :O I am currently concentrated on reading books from two game series, Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect.

  13. I agree on Girl on the Train, it was a dark twisty little book. I wish I was reading more but I am re-addicted to K-Dramas, I’m 5 eps away from finishing Secret Garden, it’s a snappy comedy with beautiful architecture and no actual gardens.

    Nice coat, the sunbeams are lovely. Two seems worried, like she’s regretting not spacing someone perhaps?

  14. I always look forward to book selections! Thanks Line Noise and Others for yours! I will check out all books suggested.

    I read “Joshua Dalzelle” The Black Fleet trilogy recently and liked it.

    Now, I’m listening to a “Faye Kellermen” book that’s really good from the Peter Decker series. Plus, it’s read by my favorite audio person “Richard Verone”. I could listen to him read the phone book.

    Also, I never can remember how to type authors or titles ( with ” or Italic ) or just leave it. So sorry if I screwed that up.

    In case anyone hasn’t heard, Ralph is better!!!!!

    I’ve had a ton of caffeine and I’m not sure I’m entirely coherent, so sorry.

  15. No Book recommends as I have been very light on the reading last year. But if you have some viewing time, I recommend you check out the anime Erased. Its on Hulu and Crunchyroll. I went into it knowing nothing and after 10 mintues was captivated. So not what I was expecting. The top commenter on ep 1 for Crunchyroll says it all “You had my curiosity but now you have my attention.”

    Loving Two’s new look, fits her kick ass personality. Has a gothic/steampunk feel.

  16. It’s nonfiction and totally NOT your cup of tea, but I loved i/Misbehaving/i by Richard Thaler. It’s about the rise of the field of Behavioral Economics. While that may sound boring, it’s really not. The author’s got a great sense of humor, and that comes through in his writing. He also explains things so clearly that a layperson with no economics background can understand them and actually be entertained.

    In a nutshell, economics theory always revolved around the idea that people behave as rational actors, always making decisions based on their own best interests. But at the same time, psychology studies consistently showed that people do not behave that way at all. They let emotions and cognitive biases rule their financial decisions in ways that economists never accounted for. How to reconcile these two fields and get economists listening to psychologists and taking REAL human behavior into account is where the field of Behavioral Economics was born. (The author is one of those original behavioral economists.)

    What I love about the book is that it tells entertaining stories of the studies that were done and the surprising results that were found, which totally contradicted then-current economic models. It’s fascinating to get the point of view of a researcher making ground-breaking discoveries about human behavior and then having to convince his stodgy, traditional-economics colleagues that all their assumptions about people’s behavior are wrong.

  17. I really enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. It’s a quick and light read, not his best work, but definitely still enjoyable. It’s about a group of teens who live in a world where a lot of weird things happen, but they are never the chosen ones to resolve the mess. Yet, it doesn’t mean that their lives are any less important or adventurous.

  18. Not a huge reader these days, but one thing definitely on my radar is Frank Miller’s third installment of his Dark Knight series. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from comics lately so this release totally slipped by me. I knew he was doing it(even saw a bit of the concept art!!), but never knew when it was released.

    It’s in my sights when I start back into comics again. (I find it good to take a break from certain hobbies from time to time. Keeps burnout at bay.)

    -Mike A.

  19. I just finished listening to the Fear Saga books by Stephen Moss. I enjoyed them very much (had to be good to hold attention for 50 hours of listening). The first book Fear the Sky really grabbed me, the idea of being vaporized by an orbiting satellite at any time intensified the suspense and fear.

  20. Alas I can’t give any reading recommendations. On the occasion I do get to read, it usually winds up being nonfiction.

    Melissa looks terrific. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her new outfit. Love the GA logo, too.

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