Another masterful Murakami novel that you can simply immerse yourself in. Props also to the translator, Jay Rubin, who conveys the Japanese atmosphere well. The novel isn't perfect, but fulfilling.
A pretty good end to the series (and what a wait it has been!). Just about every loose thread has been tied off and Mat's POV was entertaining (as usual). However, Sanderson's dialogue was clunky at times and some of the sub-plots a little too contrived. I make special note of the Faile and the Horn of Valere episode through most of which I was grinding my teeth rather loudly. The last battle with the Dark One was also more disappointing than not. That said, I am reasonably satisfied.
A sequel to The Curse of Chalion, PoS (bad initialism?) is almost as enjoyable. However, it is a little too sappy and too, dare I say it, feminine in its atmosphere. The universe is nevertheless nicely developed.
If you enjoyed its prequel, you will enjoy this one as well.
This book is sci-fi political philosophy! It's just about as different from the movie as can be possible while still retaining a semblance of the same plot. It is quite amazing that this was written in the 50s.
Bonus of +1 for influencing Haldeman and Scalzi.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is an award winner and a heavily hyped book. While there were riveting passages and some nice character build-up, I thought that the plot itself was rather weak.
Recommended if you are into mythology and particularly Norse mythology.
The Hobbit is the prequel to LotR and reads like a special episode as it has a lot of the same atmosphere, but is relatively scant on details. Recommended reading if you liked Tolkien's opus magnum.
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is another book in the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold that I enjoy so much. The book is generally very entertaining and focusses—as the title suggests—on Miles' cousin and bumbling sidekick, Ivan Vorpatril which is a pretty fun diversion. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a healthy dose of imagination thrown into the mix. However, after a certain point, the plot and the characters get a little too silly and more than a little dull. Maybe my tastes have changed, but I also found Bujold's dialogue rather amateurish in some parts.
An offering by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion is undoubtedly a page-turner which is primarily, and oddly, based on the concocted theology of the Quintarian/Quadrene faith. While the authoress does not provide enough background for the mysticism to bear close scrutiny, there is enough of a structure for it to be fascinating (which is more or less all that you want in fantasy).
Another Haruki Murakami book done and dusted. While 1Q84 certain had its moments, it lacked the cohesive flow that The Wind-up Bird Chronicle had. Barring a couple of sections, it was nevertheless a reasonably riveting read.
Bonus point for writing style :)
A Tom Clancy book ghost-written by Mark Greaney, Threat Vector is a pretty fun read full of cyber-espionage and eventually, war with China. There are some idiotic plot elements and nauseous Hollywoodisation. But on the whole, it was quite entertaining.