I’m again joining the Pick&Mix reading challenge.

Since I’m also joined Mount TBR challenge for my print TBR books, I’m going to gather all the other books to Pick & Mix. Print books from library, or bought this year, audiobooks, and ebooks. However, I have quite a few non-traditionally published books which aren’t eligible for this challenge, so my goal is only 20 books.

Books read:
1, James Lovegrove: Firefly: Big Damn Hero
2, Martha Wells: Artificial condition
3, H. G. Wells: The Time Machine


I enjoyed the Mount TBR challenge last year and managed to reach my goal of 24 books. But I still have lots and lots of unread books so I’m going to
join Mount TBR 2019 with the same goal of 24 books.

Like last year, I’m adding my Fiction River e-books and StoryBundle e-books into the TBR pool in addition to the physical copies but not audiobooks even though I have still unlistened audiobooks from last year.

The Rules:

Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

The Rules:
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you’re on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade. All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2019.

*You may sign up anytime from now until November 1st, 2019.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2019. No library books~. If you’re looking for a library book challenge or one that counts books on your non-owned TBR list, then please see my new Virtual Mount TBR Challenge.

*Audiobooks and E-books may count if they are yours and they are one of your primary sources of backlogged books.]

*You may count any “currently reading” book that you begin prior to January 1–provided that you had 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around. I will trust you all on that.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Best Books I Read In 2018.

As usual, thankfully, I’ve read a lot of good and some great books last year, so it’s, again, quite difficult to pick the best. Luckily, GoodReads is a very good resource because it handly shows me what books I’ve rated the best. My average rating was 3,4 so not very high, though.

I read 80 books and novellas, and 27 comics. I gave just two books five stars from five:

1, City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

2, The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
Both are the final books in their trilogies. They were highly enjoyable series overall, both mixing science and fantasy in unique settings.

50 books and comics got a four star rating so picking just eight of them is going to be a lot harder. On the other hand, I didn’t give anything one star so it was a great reading year.

3, Blackthorn and Grim series by Juliet Marillier
I rated the whole lush fantasy series a solid four. “Dreamers Pool”, “Tower of Thorns”, and “Den of Wolves” are beautiful tales full of hardship but also of friendship and loyalty. And a smattering of faeries.

4, The Expanse series by James C. A. Corey
The first two books of the Expanse science fiction series, “Leviathan Wakes” and “Caliban’s War” were also solid fours. I’ve seen the first two seasons of the tv-show, as well, and the books more than live up to the show.

5, The Vigilantes series by Trish Heinrich
This new superhero series set in 1960s USA was another solid four stars. “Serpent’s Sacrifice”, “Serpent’s Rise, and “Shadow Dreams” are great entertainment and well worth reading for anyone who likes superheroes.

6, Artemis by Andy Weir
I loved Weir’s “the Martian”. “Artemis” is quite different in style because of the first-person narration of Jazz, the foul-mouthed smuggler on the Moon’s only city, Artemis.

7, The Tensorate fantasy series by JY Yang
“The Black Tides of Heaven” and the “the Red Threads of Fortune” are set in a unique fantasy world and are quite different from each other.

8, All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Like many other readers, I thoroughly enjoyed the first adventures of the Murderbot who just wants to be left alone and view the shows it likes.

9, The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
The fourth book in the delightful Invisible Library series was just as good as the previous ones. Librarian Irene and her apprentice Kai need to go undercover is a city which greatly resemble 1930s Chicago.

10, Perfiditas by Allison Morton
This is a tight thriller set in an alternate world where Rome’s legacy still lives in a state called Roma Nova. It’s the second book in the series.

Special mentions go to Rogues of the Republic fantasy series by Patrick Weekes and the very entertaining Flash/Arrow crossover “The Haunting of Barry Allen” and “Generation of Vipers” by Clay and Susan Griffith.

Best comics were the Birds of Prey series by Gail Simone.

In 2018 I read 80 books and novellas.
Fantasy: 31
Science fiction 28
One multiple author short story collection with both SF and f stories (Fiction River: Tavern Tales)
Mystery: 9
Thrillers: 2
Historical adventure: 1 (Prisoner of Zenda)

Many people seem to put superheroes in the science fiction slot but if your definition of SF ist that it should be at least marginally possible, then most superheroes are fantasy. The Avengers book I read had Scarlet Witch and other magic users which put it squarly into fantasy. But truthfully, none of the superpowers are really possible unless they’re just some sort of tech and even then Iron Man’s armor is unlikely to be actually possible. In that way, they’re actually close to Star Wars which I’m inclined to put in science fantasy. But currently I count superheroes as a separate (sub)genre.

This year, I feel that I want to read more humor. So, I’m going to read Pratchett and probaby Wodehouse as well. It’s been too long since I last read Wodehouse. I’m also woefully behind with Fiction River series.

Happy new year to everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful year 2019!

The seventh book in the ”Diving” universe science fiction series.

Publication year: 2018
Format: Audio
Running time: 12 hours 51 minutes
Narrator: Jennifer van Dyck

Just like the other books in the series, this one is also made up of several novellas, among them Dix and two set in Coop’s and Yash’s pasts.

When starship Ivoire jumped into fold space and was stranded 5000 years into the future, Captain Jonathan “Coop” Cooper and engineer Yash Zarlengo were just two of it’s crew. Some of the crew left but most are working for the Lost Souls Corporation which tried to find out what happened to the Fleet that the Ivoire was part of. In the previous novella “Runabout”, Yash got a lot of data and she’s returned to the Corporation’s headquarters to analyze it.

Five years ago Coop’s second in command, Dix Pompiono, was desperate to return to his own time. When he finally realizes that that’s not likely to happen, ever, he kills himself. Yash strongly suspects that he also tampered with the ship’s very dangerous anacapa drive. Coop evacuates the ship and they start to work, looking for any clues.

In the ”present” time, Coop and Yash analyze the data from the runabout with single-minded obsession. Eventually, they get clues to another base. The book also has two long flashbacks, individual novellas, about Coop’s and Yash’s past. Coop’s section (Lieutenant Tightass) is his first assignment on a dignity class vessel, which tries to save other DV vessels which have vanished. The captain seems to be lax and so is her crew. Yash’s flashback (Advanced Anacapa Theory) happens during her time at school when she’s learning to fix anacapa drives.

Many of the threads in the previous books lead here: what Coop and Yash find. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for the flashbacks and the search wasn’t that interesting but things picked up near the end. I guess I should’ve relistened the previous books so that they would be fresh in my mind.

Coop and Yash are the POV characters and Boss is only mentioned a couple of times. To my surprise, I didn’t really miss Boss. Of course, the previous books also didn’t have Boss because they’re set in different time periods.

We don’t get all the answers in this book, indeed we get some more questions about the present.

A very good addition to the series and I’m intrigued to know what happens next.

1. Tell us how many miles you made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you’ve planted your flag on the peak, then tell us, take a selfie, and celebrate (and wave!). Even if you were especially athletic and have been sitting atop your mountain for months, please check back in and remind us how quickly you sprinted up that trail. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting book adventures you’ve had along the way.

I managed to reach my goal of Mount Blanc or 24 books near the end of December. While most of the books were two or three stars, I gave four stars (from five) to seven books:

Lee Killough: Deadly Silents
Set on an alien planet where the original inhabitants are telepathic.

Max Gladstone: Three Parts Dead
A new author and series for me. I will continue with it.

Kerri L. Hughs, ed.: Fiction River: Alchemy and Steam
Another wonderful short story collection. This one focuses on steampunk and magic.

Elizabeth Peters: The Serpent on the Crown
I love the Amelia Peabody historical mystery series and it was a treat to visit “old friends.”

Patrick Weekes: The Prophecy Con
Patrick Weekes: The The Paladin Caper
Books two and three in a fantasy trilogy which is essentially Ocean’s 11 in a fantasy world.

James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War
The second book in the excellent Expanse science fiction series.

And of course N. K. Jemisin: The Stone Sky which is an excellent ending to a great (if grim) series. I gave it full five stars.

Thanks very much for hosting, Bev! I’m joining the challenge again in 2019 because I still have lots of books on my shelves.

The first book in the Q-Continuum Star Trek: the Next Generation trilogy. Also number 47 in the ST:TNG book series.

Publication year: 1998
Format: print
Publisher: Pocket Books
Page count: 271

The book is set a couple of months after the movie First Contact so this isn’t quite the ST:TNG crew I’m used to: Data has an emotion chip, Geordi has eyes, Worf is on DS9, and the ship is the Enterprise-E which doesn’t have any families on board. The new chief of security is Lieutenant Baeta Leyoro who is quite aggressive for a Starfleet officer.

The book starts with a mysterious male being who wants to be let out from somewhere.

The Enterprise has been assigned to a mission to breach the galactic barrier which has only been done before by the original Enterprise. It’s an energy and psychic barrier which not only prevents ships from passing through but also makes the humanoids inside insane. However, a Betazoid scientist has come up with a way to breach it with a wormhole and Starfleet has ordered the Enterprise to try it. The experiment is a continuation of previous scientists’ work, as seen on DS9 episode “Rejoined”.

The scientist in question, Dr. Lem Faal, is suffering from fatal Iverson’s disease. Also, his wife died in a freak accident a few months ago and his two young children are with him on the Enterprise. Faal is focused on his research so much that he’s almost ignoring the kids. While the young one is too young to be a POV character, the older one, Milo, resents that his father is so focused on his work.

When the ship is only a few days from the barrier, Q shows up and orders them to stay away. To complicate matter even more, his mate Q and their young son q also show up. Also, the mysterious, gaseous beings called the Calamaraine attack the ship.

The story has lots of references to previous events, from Q’s very first appearance to his Voyager and DS9 episodes. Other past events are also mentioned, such as Troi’s pregnancy. The female Q and the child q are from the Voyager episodes. Picard even thinks that the female Q looks familiar. I’m pretty sure that it’s a reference to the actress Suzie Plakson who also played Doctor Selar and the Klingon ambassador K’Ehylar. Lieutenant Barclay is a significant secondary character.

If you like Q, like I do, you’re probably going to enjoy the book and the series. However, if you can’t stand Q, stay away. The second half of the book shows Q as a teenager billions of years ago.

The book ends in a cliffhanger and nothing is resolved.