It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 9/16/19

Oh, that cover! There are a number of cover options for Tanya Huff’s Confederation sci-fi series, and they’re all pretty terrible–though also kind of awesome in that 70s pulp cover way. They look like novels you’d step right past in the supermarket checkout line. Thankfully, I came across the series in a list of recommended titles for readers who enjoyed Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries series and requested it, cover unseen.

Valor’s Choice probably shouldn’t be my cup of tea, but it really was. It’s intergalactic interspecies military focused sci-fi–not something I ever thought I would be interested in. Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr’s mixed species unit of battle-scarred Marines has their leave revoked so they can accompany the General for what promises to be purely ceremonial duties–to parade in front of the Silvss, a warlike species who has been asked to join the Confederation, and show them how impressive a battle command of Marines can be. Of course there’s more to it than that.

The writing is sharp, the dialogue frequently hilarious, and the different species and their interactions unexpectedly fascinating.

I started the second book in the series, The Better Part of Valor, the second I finished the first. And it confirmed what I had already been thinking: the Confederation series is a great choice for readers who are still mourning the cancellation of Firefly (greatest TV injustice of all time!). In the second book, an alien ship has been discovered by a salvage operator, and it appears to be dead in the water–no life on board, no power, no clear way to get inside. Kerr is asked to lead the unit of Marines who will protect the scientists who intend to explore the ship. Of course everything goes wrong. (I’m sensing this may be a theme of the Confederation series: “and then everything goes wrong.”)

These books have seriously messed with my sleep this week: they’re far too exciting to stop reading, so I promise myself just a few more pages, just a few more pages, and then somehow it’s way past my bedtime. Until book 3 arrives, I will be sleeping well, though.

Such a sweet story! Sarah’s pet turtle, Truman, watches from the window aghast as Sarah climbs on the Number 11 bus and disappears down the street. This has never happened before, and Truman is determined not to be left without his Sarah. Mustering all his ingenuity and bravery, he escapes from his terrarium and sets off to find her. The whole escapade is ultimately anticlimactic in the best possible way. Plenty of quirky moments and much humor, especially through the illustrations.

The King of Kindergarten is the perfect beginning-of-school read. Sure, it’s about a kindergartner, but I think we can all relate to the hopes and dreams that he expresses. Brantley-Newton’s illustrations are lively and colorful, a perfect match for this happy story.





14 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 9/16/19”

  1. Juliana Ellington Avatar
    Juliana Ellington

    I like the way the Tanya Huff books sound, so I’m going to get the first one and see what I think. I really enjoyed reading the Murderbot Diaries a second time, but next time I do a reread, I will read them in order because they are definitely best enjoyed in proper sequence. I’m glad you found a new series to enjoy!!

  2. Shaye Miller Avatar

    I’m surprised by some of the reading I’ve been enjoying, lately. It often comes down to great/interesting writing, for me. That’ll get me into the story if the topic doesn’t. I’m grateful for the “recommended for readers who enjoyed…” sections of websites, as well. Ooooh, if you have a personal copy of Truman or King of Kindergarten, I want to borrow them some time! We don’t yet have them at the three libraries I have access to. Boo! Have a great week, Elisabeth!

    1. Shaye Miller Avatar

      Also, I think my family will always be mourning the cancellation of Firefly. My brother watched it from the very beginning and my parents joined in some time during the season, I believe. Lee and I came to it after its cancellation, but we have watched it so so so many times over the years. ❤

  3. Akilah Avatar

    I had no idea you were a Firefly fan!

  4. terriosborneagles Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful selections! I can’t wait to read “The King of Kindergarten.” It sounds wonderful. I am student teaching in First Grade this semester, but, I believe it would be a great story to read to my students in discussing how they felt about their kindergarten experience.

  5. lindabaie Avatar

    I suspect that I would like Valor’s Choice, too, & being so old, it’s probably at my used bookstore. I have much to read, but have put it on the list just in case! I loved Truman, too, cute story! Thanks, Elisabeth!

  6. Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione) Avatar

    I agree with your thoughts about Truman and The King of Kindergarten. Two books that I made sure to purchase.

  7. cweichel Avatar

    I have never watched Firefly, but might have to watch it now. Luckily it is available at my library. I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to the Murderbot series. I’m loving it so much. I’m not sure I have enough reading time to fit this one in though!

  8. aaroncleaveley Avatar

    I need to get a copy of King of Kindergarten, thanks for that one. I still haven’t tried Murderbot Diaries, but I think I would like it. Way behind of sci-fi reading. Have a great week!

  9. jljaina Avatar

    I need to get back into Tanya Huff’s books. I read one several years ago, bought a few more but have yet to read them. Glad you are enjoying her books!

  10. ejmam Avatar

    My library has a “librarian recommends” service where you tell them what you like and they give you back a list. My list have four series that I already loved and Valor’s Choice, and I gobbled them all up. Tonya Huff is really good at a lot of things; I heard her talk once and she’s also just interesting.

  11. Scott Day Avatar

    Hit a fairly significant slump in my reading. Had difficulty finding a book that could sustain my interest. Suspect the problem was not the book, but me. One remedy was to return to picture books. The Scarecrow (this book really affected me), Another (you should enjoy. Has cats), and The Undefeated (a perfect package of wonderful words, incredible illustrations, and history) are excellent. Highly recommend. Usually you don’t recommend SF. I’d like to suggest another: Cry Pilot by Joel Dane. Stunning characters.Currently reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January and A Place to Belong. Added Truman to my TBR.

  12. scott day (@runningscott59) Avatar

    Hit a very dry spell in reading. Could find few books that stimulated interest. Problem was me. So I turned to picture books as a way out of doldrums. The Scarecrow, The Undefeated, and Another lifted me from discouragement. Stories and illustrations in all three are stunning. Highly recommend. Another SF you might enjoy: Cry Pilot by Joel Dane. Strong, strong, strong characters. Put Truman on my TBR.

  13. cross4me Avatar

    First of all, I fully stand behind you in your sadness about “Firefly” not returning! It’s inconceivable! It was interesting to read about your first two sci-fi choices because I do not normally enjoy reading sci-fi (for some reason, I enjoy watching it though). One of my goals this semester is to read out of my comfort zone, so these will have to go on my list.

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