My favorite reading discovery the last few months was Amazon's Kindle First - as a Prime member I get a free book that is either curated or hasn't even been released yet.
In January it was:
The Line by J. D. Horn
I really enjoyed this supernatural mystery. The main character was fully realized and the location was distinctive. There was a touch of romance, but it wasn't the point. The point was the tangled relationships of family.
In February it was:
Gilded by Christina Farley
This was a great Korean oriented fantasy novel, tying in modern sensibilities, years of history, and a teenage girl at once brash and scared and determined.
I picked up one of March's, but none of them excited me, so I haven't read it yet.
I also enjoyed some other fiction...
Fiction River: Hex in the City edited by Kerrie L. Hugh
I read Kris Rusch's blog and had been meaning to pick up one of these short story collections her company publishes. It was fantastic! The story I most enjoyed was the one about an entrepreneurial taxi peddlar in ?? who encountered a fox spirit as a client. I want to get some of the others, even the ones in genres I don't normally read.
Spark by Anthea Sharp
Just as fun as the first trilogy about a video game that is a gateway to the realm of Faerie and a successful shift to a different character.
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Good story and I want to know what happens next in the trilogy. It's a familiar world, on purpose, since the author didn't want to have to establish the ground rules. And yet there are some different politics and complications that could be very interesting.
In the House of the Five Dragons by Erica Lindquist and Aron Christensen
I enjoyed the unexpected world of this novel and the development of the storyline. I figured out a key element a bit before the end, but it was worthwhile. There was a moment of utter despair where I had to check the back to make sure I was going to like the ending. And I did.
Elementary edited by Mercedes Lackey
Enjoyable stories in Lackey's Elemental Masters world, but nothing particularly stood out.
The Woodcutter by Kate Danley
An enjoyable mash-up of fairy tales into a consistent world where Woodcutter is the bridge and the protector of the covenant between the fey and the humans. It's written in a plain and somewhat choppy style but it has the lilt of a fairy tale to it, so the style fits the story. I enjoyed and am going to pick up something else she's written.
Lego Architecture Studio
It feels like a book and it reads like a book, but it kind of isn't. This is the book that came with my Lego Architecture Studio kit. Yum. It's beautiful. I never really thought about what else is going on with Architecture.
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
I don't think I'd want to hang out with or work for this guy, but wow he can write well about one of the worlds that can exist behind the restaurant kitchen doors. My favorite parts were the section where he talked about what kind of food to look for when and where if you're eating out and the one where, after story and story and story, he admitted that not all kitchens are like the world he lives in and provide a calmer contrasting example.
Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer by Michael Roberto
Fantastic book on collaborative decision making and how to make it work better. I don't know when I'll be in a position to use some of these techniques, but I'll be keeping the book on hand (electronically) for a refresher course when I can.
The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon
This book was long and rambling but an amazing journey through Eastern Europe, which mostly includes countries that don't think they are part of Eastern Europe. It was personal in that it was primarily based on an individual's experience, but not in that it was full of emotion. I especially loved the twists of how he summarized and described the history needed to understand the cultural background of the countries involved.
To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
The book was good, a nice focus on the word sell and what it can mean that isn't quite so awful. Overall, though, it was a little disappointing to me. It felt like a lighter touch of too much I'd heard before than I was hoping for, but I have read extensively enough in this field that ideas overlap so I don't think that should dissuade anyone else.