Yikes! August is nearly over, so YA Highway‘s blog prompt asks, What was the best book you read in August? I say Yikes! because this being August 29th, I only have three more days until a book deadline. Remember that giant, evil Stay Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters? Imagine him as August 31st, and you’ll get an idea of how that deadline is starting to feel to me. Minus the sticky-sweet white stuff.
Anyway, I digress (I digress a lot in my blog, don’t I?). My favorite book in August is a bit of a challenge since it’s really more a series I’ve been reading. That is, a certain subset of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series. Back in July, my son and daughter-in-law stayed with us a week between when they moved out of their apartment and when we all went back east to help them move into their new home. Near the end of that week, my son recommended this particular set of Vokosigan books. He knows what I like in SF/fantasy (great characters), and I think Bujold is da bomb, so I started downloading the sub-series to my Kindle, starting with Memory.
As I read Memory, I quickly figured out that I really ought to read another book, Mirror Dance, before reading Memory. So I put Memory aside, and started reading Mirror Dance. Then, partway into Mirror Dance, I realized that, strictly speaking, I should read Brothers in Arms before reading Mirror Dance. Ack! I consulted my son, who said he’d never read Brothers in Arms, but enjoyed the rest of the sub-series anyway. So I forged ahead, deciding that I’d go back at some point and pick up Brothers in Arms.
So, in the latter half of July and all through August, I’ve read (in this order), Mirror Dance, Memory, Komarr, and am just about to finish A Civil Campaign. Apparently, a novella which I’d read some time ago, “Winterfair Gifts,” follows A Civil Campaign, so I guess I was already out of order. Roberts would frown.
So, favorite book? Although I’ve loved all of these (and am really glad my son recommended them), I’d say Komarr is my favorite. It features a very cool mystery subplot within a fantastically well-developed science fiction setting. And it sets up the final book, A Civil Campaign, splendidly.
If you haven’t checked out Lois McMaster Bujold, I highly recommend her. She’s a master of character, complex world-building, and intricate plot. She handles science fiction and fantasy with equal skill. Her Sharing Knife and Chalion series are simply wonderful.
Sigh. I guess I better get back to work. Stay Puft is leering at me from the corner of my office. Is that a whip in his hand?