June and July Reading List

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June and July felt like they moved at a snails pace. Most of that was due to the book I read in June, which felt like such a chore to get through. Then, not learning my lesson, I did something similar in July… Let’s jump in.

1) Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson Narrated by: William Dufris

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson Narrated

This is a book I started in 2006ish… So, it only took me 11 years to get through it… It’s one of those books people talk about in a ‘you really should read this’ kind of way, which is why I wanted to give it a shot. I bought the paperback all those years ago, but quickly gave up as it got into the codes and math of cryptology. William Dufris is how I got through it – and yes, I know how that sounds. His narration and performance made the book for me. Having said that, it was still a chore to get through and took me nearly the entire month.

The characters are interesting, and I’m glad I read it. Finally 😉

2) Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton Narrated by: John Lee

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Because you should always follow a 42+ hour long audio book with a 37+ hour long audio book…

Another book people say you should read. I often see Hamilton’s stuff on ‘best of’ lists for space opera, and wanted to check it out. This was another chore, though. A lot of cool stuff here, but I felt like I was waiting for something to happen, and when it did, it wasn’t as much as I was expecting. A slow burn.

3) Marque and Reprisal: Vatta’s War, Book 2 by Elizabeth Moon Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway

Marque and Reprisal: Vatta's War, Book 2 by Elizabeth Moon

Desperate for a change of pace in July, I returned to the Vatta’s War series by Elizabeth Moon. This hit the spot. I’d read the first book a while ago, and enjoyed it. The second picks up soon after the first, and Ky Vatta’s life just got more interesting as some unseen enemy attacks her family in a coordinated effort across the galaxy, leaving her and her cousin Stella to fend for themselves and rebuild the family business. I burned through this book in a couple of days. Loved it.

4) Engaging the Enemy: Vatta’s War, Book 3 by Elizabeth Moon Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway

Engaging the Enemy: Vatta's War, Book 3 by Elizabeth Moon

Something about these books struck a chord, and I grabbed book 3 and, like book 2, burned through it in just a couple of days. And I listen to them at normal speed. Vatta’s war continues as Ky and Stella continue the work of both rebuilding the family business, and hunting down those who attacked them. I liked the differences between the two characters, and the way each has their own priorities and the conflicts that arose because of those priorities.

5) Command Decision: Vatta’s War, Book 4 by Elizabeth Moon Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway

Command Decision: Vatta's War, Book 4 by Elizabeth Moon

Cynthia Holloway’s performance throughout these books was stellar. I forced myself to take this book slower, but even so, managed to burn through it in just a few days.

6) Victory Conditions: Vatta’s War, Book 5 by Elizabeth Moon Narrated by: Cynthia Holloway

Victory Conditions: Vatta's War, Book 5 by Elizabeth Moon

I decided to bite the bullet and finish the Vatta’s War series – I wasn’t disappointed. Great characters, worldbuilding and stories.

More space opera to come in August…

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