**Autumn Reading Challenge – 2015**

goodreads **Autumn Reading Challenge – 1/3/15 – 31/5/15**
The Aussie Readers group on Goodreads has the Autumn Reading Challenge;

❝ Welcome to the Autumn challenge where we might enjoy some much appreciated cooler weather:)
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T DRINK TEA!
Just pretend you do…Obviously you boil the water – then choose (for example) – Black tea which is medium strength, with one sugar and lots of milk. It’s important that you choose the type of tea you think you might like BEFORE choosing your books, otherwise it’s not a challenge, is it:)
That’s a total of only ten (10) books for the Autumn Challenge – a little less than previous seasonal challenges:)
Settle back, relax and enjoy that cuppa;) ❞

1. Make a cup of tea!
a) Boil the water – Read a book which is “steamy”, set in a hot climate or makes you feel warm inside. Or books where the author’s name or book title begins with B, O, I or L .

How about some Steam Punk! That’s “steamy” with some extra steam thrown in for good measure.

SteampunkII Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Editors) – Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded (Steampunk #2)
Blending the romantic elegance of the Victorian era with modern scientific advances, the popular Steampunk genre spotlighted in this collection is innovative and stimulates the imagination. This artfully assembled anthology of original fiction, nonfiction, and art can serve as an introduction to the Steampunk culture or provide dedicated fans with more fuel. Stories of outlandishly imaginative technologies, clockwork contraptions, eccentric heroines, and mad scientists are complemented by canon-defining nonfiction and an array of original illustrations. This collection showcases the most sensational Steampunk talents of the last decade, including Daniel Abraham, John Coulthart, William Gibson, and Margo Lanagan, and demonstrates exactly why the future of the past is so excitingly new.
(Media: )
VERDICT:

b) Choose your tea – Read books with a colour on the cover to match the type of tea you choose:
Black – black tea; Green – green tea; White – white tea; Brown – oolong tea; Red – rooibos tea; Orange – herbal tea

Black, I think some Russian Caravan is in order.
Homeland Cory Doctrow – Homeland (Little Brother #2)
In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.
A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his former nemesis Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff—and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier.
Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him—but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.
Fast-moving, passionate, and as current as next week, Homeland is every bit the equal of Little Brother—a paean to activism, to courage, to the drive to make the world a better place.

(Media: audiobook via Humble Bundle)
VERDICT: ★★★★

http://craphound.com/category/homeland/

c) Steep the tea – Read a book with page counts to indicate how strong you like your tea:
Weak – under 150 pages; Medium – 151 to 300 pages; Strong – 301 pages or more

Strong – “♫ Hm, no. No, I want–I want milk in it. Strong, though–I want to see that spoon stand up! ♫

Prudence Gail Carriger – Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1)
Expected publication: March 17th 2015 by Orbit, Audible
Introducing the Custard Protocol series, in which Alexia Maccon’s daughter, Prudence, travels to India on behalf of queen, country–and the perfect pot of tea.
When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone’s secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?
368 pages
(Media: / )
VERDICT: ★★★
3 stars. More in the style of the Finishing School series than the Parasol Protectorate. I was not enjoying the first half of the book and would have rated it 2.5 stars at that point. The second half of the book picks up the adventure and was more to my taste.

d) Sweet? – Read a book to indicate how sweet you like your tea:
No sugar – Stand alone novel; One spoonful – Book one in a series; Two spoonfuls – Book two in a series; Honey – Book three in a series; Artificial sweetener – Book four in a series

One teaspoon please …
ancillary Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1)
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.
Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren–a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.
An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose–to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

Was the Sword & Laser read for November 2013.
(Media: )
VERDICT: ★★★★

e) Black or white? – Read a book to indicate what else to add to your tea:
No milk – General fiction; Just a dash – Romance/chick lit; Lots of milk – Young Adult/new adult; Cream – Fantasy/sci fi; Soy milk – Mystery/thriller; Lemon – Non fiction

Hmmmm, preference would be for just a dash but that is not going to happen ;P Looks like it’s lots of milk in this cup.
WhisperingSkull Jonathan Stroud – The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co. #2)
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper.
Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.

(Media: audiobook)
VERDICT: ★★★.★

Now your cuppa is made, you’re ready to continue reading!
2. March 4th is Clean up Australia Day – read at least one book by an Aussie Author from your TBR list…

PresumedUndead Jeremy Davies – Missing, Presumed Undead
Missing, Presumed Undead is Elmore Leonard meets Dashiel Hammett meets Terry Pratchett with China Mieville peering through the window (they got along fine until Terry spilt his tea all over Elmore’s Italian sports jacket…). It has an intriguing mystery driven plot, dipped in funny syrup and set in a classical fantasy-style world with the mood and magic driven “technology” of a Casablanca-style 30’s detective story. It isn’t so much hard boiled as char grilled, with a side salad.
(Media: Dead Tree )
Also: ** March Challenge – Aussie Author Month **
VERDICT: ★★★★

3. March 20th is International Day of Happiness so pick up a book you’ve been desperate to read OR re-read an old favourite – either will make you HAPPY
WyrdSisters Terry Pratchett – Wyrd Sisters (Discworld #6)
Three witches gathered on a lonely heath. A king cruelly murdered, his throne usurped by his ambitious cousin. A child heir and the crown of the kingdom, both missing. The omens are not auspicious for the new incumbent, for whom ascending this tainted throne is a more complicated affair than you might imagine, particularly when the blood on your hands just won’t wash off and you’re facing a future with knives in it…
Witches are not by nature gregarious, and they certainly don’t have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have. But even she found that meddling in royal politics was a lot more difficult than certain playwrights would have you believe…

(Media: audiobook, deadtree) also The Sword and Laser pick for April 2015.
VERDICT: ★★★★

4. April 22nd is International Mother Earth Day – save the earth by reading a library book, or a book borrowed from a friend…
tbc

5. May 15th is International Family Day – read a book which has family featured…
The Goblin Emperor is also the Sword & Laser read for March 2015.
This is certainly one messed up family.

Goblin Emperor Katherine Addison – The Goblin Emperor
A vividly imagined fantasy of court intrigue and dark magics in a steampunk-inflected world, by a brilliant young talent.
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend… and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.
This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.

(Media: audiobook)
VERDICT: ★★★.★

6. New Release by an Aussie Author – Read a book that is released in Autumn 2015 – March, April or May…

PortFairy Robert Gott – The Port Fairy Murders
(Published March 2nd 2015 by Scribe)
The Port Fairy Murders is the sequel to The Holiday Murders, an historical crime novel set in 1943 in the newly formed Homicide department of Victoria Police. The Holiday Murders explored the little-known fascist groups that festered in Australia both before and during the war, particularly an organisation called Australia First. The Port Fairy Murders continues with this exploration but looks, as well, at the bitter divide between Catholics and Protestants. This divide was especially raw in small rural communities. The Homicide team, which includes Detective Joe Sable and Constable Helen Lord, is trying to track down a man named George Starling. Starling is a dangerous loose end from the investigation in The Holiday Murders. At the same time they are called to investigate a double murder in Port Fairy. It seems straightforward — they have a signed confession — but it soon becomes apparent that nothing is straightforward about the incident.
The novel examines the tensions that simmer in a small town, riven by class and religious divides, and under economic stress from the shrinking of its fishing industry, and the exploitation of fishermen by Melbourne’s markets. It also examines the tensions within the Homicide Department.

(Media: ?)
VERDICT:

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