I was a little worried I was going to get to this Top Ten Tuesday post and have some major books on here — like Ancillary Mercy — and have to ‘fess up failing to get to a load of ARCs and… Fortunately, I did keep up better than I feared. But there are still some books I should get round to! This week’s theme is…
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t
- Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo. I only read the Grisha trilogy this year, and in the last two months of the year at that, so I’m not kicking myself too hard. But I would’ve liked to get round to this.
- Carry On, Rainbow Rowell. I wanted to read it as soon as it came out. Then I… I don’t know… got distracted?
- An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir. Someone even bought this for me. Why, self? Why?
- The Wrath and the Dawn, Renee Ahdieh. I got a copy of this within a month of release. And yet.
- Queen of Shadows, Sarah J. Maas. To be fair, I didn’t read the book before it, either.
- The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black. I even had/have it out of the library!
- Illuminae, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. At least I didn’t have a copy of this one?
- Tower of Thorns, Juliet Marillier. Not helped by the fact that I didn’t get round to Dreamer’s Pool either.
- Armada, Ernest Cline. I’m, uh, partway through it? Maybe I’ll even have finished it by the time this post goes up!
- A Crown for Cold Silver, Alex Marshall. Haven’t got my hands on this one, yet! Though maybe now there’s a paperback…
Quite a mix, really. Maybe I’ll get to them this year — one can hope, right?
This week’s theme is, of course, about your Top Ten resolutions. I’m trying to keep mine bookish this year — let’s see how I do.
- Read 200 books bought pre-2016.
- Beat buying average from 2015.
- Listen to audiobooks instead of music when out walking.
- Write reviews immediately.
- Remember to read non-fiction when I’m anxious — curiosity is the antidote to anxiety.
- Don’t keep library books more than two months.
- Review ARCs before release date.
- Finish all series in progress.
- Don’t buy duplicate copies (e.g. a paperback when I have the ebook) until I know whether I like and want to keep the book.
- Put a book on Bookmooch or the donation pile if I’m not likely to reread it within five years.
That’s not a bad list! What’s everyone else resolving?
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is about books I’m anticipating in the first half of 2016, and guys, I have no idea. I don’t keep good enough track. So instead, here’s a replacement theme: my favourite books to give as gifts.
- Among Others, Jo Walton. I think I might have gifted this 5+ times already? Basically, I love it to pieces and it speaks to me and if you read it and you know me, you’ll immediately get why.
- The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern. I just love this one. 3+ times gifted?
- The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. 2+ times gifted, but I love it so much I own two copies, ready to give it to someone deserving.
- Sabriel, Garth Nix. It stands alone reasonably well and it’s a fascinating world, so yeah. I think I’ve gifted it twice.
- The Summer Tree, Guy Gavriel Kay. This was my introduction to Kay’s work, and I do recommend it — even if at times it’s a bit derivative. 2+ times gifted.
- Kushiel’s Dart, Jacqueline Carey. I’m careful about who I gift this to, because there are some themes that aren’t suitable for some people. But I’ve gifted it at least twice.
- A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin. It’s Le Guin. Enough said. I’ve also gifted Changing Planes a couple of times, as a good gateway drug.
- The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper. Usually as the whole series. This is… not a shocking one at all. I love these books without reason. 3+ times gifted.
- Assassin’s Apprentice, Robin Hobb. Only gifted it once, I think, but it’s excellent fantasy.
- A Face Like Glass, Frances Hardinge. Gifted twice, I think, counting this Christmas.
What book do you inevitably consider giving to everyone?
This week’s theme is books I’d like to find under my Christmas tree. Well, I know what Santa is bringing me via my sister and my dad, so I’ll just pick stuff from my Amazon wishlist I’d like to get sometime soon!
If you’d like to help with that, well hey, my Amazon wishlist is here! (I can dream, right?)
- Children of Time, Adrian Tchaikovsky. I’ve been curious about this one since I saw Tchaikovsky at a con.
- Scarlet, A.C. Gaughen. I figure it’s about time I tried it.
- Illuminae, Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman. I’ve been hearing so much about it.
- Planetfall, Emma Newman. The anxiety stuff might be a bit much for me, but I am interested in it.
- Gunmetal Magic, Ilona Andrews. A spinoff series with Andrea? OKAY.
- A Crown for Cold Silver, Alex Marshall. I kept meaning to pick this up, but haven’t yet.
- Darkwalker, E.L. Tettensor. I’ve had this on my wishlist for aaaages.
- Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, Kelly Sue DeConnick. Carooool.
- Silk: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon, Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee. About time I read this…
- Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo. I was curious about this before I started reading the Grisha books, and now I’m sure I want it.
I’m pretty sure I won’t find these under my tree, but hey, I can dream, right?
This week’s theme is the Top Ten books I read this year. Off we go! The titles will link to my reviews, so you can read more about them.
- The Tropic of Serpents and Voyage of the Basilisk, Marie Brennan. Can’t choose, don’t make me. Both of these really kicked my love for the series into a higher gear, after I wasn’t that enchanted by A Natural History of Dragons.
- The Tale of Duelling Neurosurgeons, Sam Kean. Very good non-fiction; engaging, interesting, wide-ranging.
- Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear. So. goshdarn. cute. Also cool alternative history.
- The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth J. Dickinson. Criticisms by other people be damned, I loved it.
- The Wicked + The Divine: Fandemonium, Jamie McKelvie & Kieron Gillen. It’s bloody gorgeous.
- Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood. This was a reread, which mostly I’ve avoided in this list, but it was like reading a new book, because I liked it so much more this time.
- A Taste of Blood Wine, Freda Warrington. This series has me mega-conflicted morally, but enraptured in terms of the writing quality.
- Lock In, John Scalzi. Scalzi’s books are always solidly fun, and this was a little more than that, I think.
- Remnant Population, Elizabeth Moon. Awesome elderly female protagonist!
- Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari. Very good overview of human prehistory and history.
I totally recommend all ten of those — they weren’t all 5* reads, but they were very enjoyable.
This week’s theme is the top ten new to me authors I’ve read this year. So, with the help of Goodreads, here goes!
- Kerry Greenwood. Actually technically not new to me, because I’d read Cocaine Blues before. But I hated it, for some reason, and didn’t read the whole thing the first time. This time, I devoured it and went on to eat up the rest of the series too (something I’m still in progress with). So I’m going to pretend the first time didn’t happen. I was clearly cranky at the time.
- Leigh Bardugo. I know I’m late to the party, but I finally read Shadow and Bone, and found myself unexpectedly riveted.
- Ann Leckie. Again, rather late to the party, but at least it meant that I got to read the whole trilogy more or less at once, with just a couple of months waiting for the last one!
- K.J. Parker. I’m not just late to the party, I crashed in after several hours. But I read the Tor.com novella and now I know I need to get round to more of Parker’s work.
- Freda Warrington. Her vampire novels are just ridiculously addictive. Hurrah for Titan rereleasing them so they came to my attention.
- Patricia Briggs. I have some problems with her books, but they’re also dead fun.
- Elizabeth Bear. Rather late to the party again, but Karen Memory made me want to read more of her work.
- Seth Dickinson. The Traitor Baru Cormorant was awesome.
- Zen Cho. I enjoyed Sorcerer to the Crown.
- Greg van Eekhout. I really need to get round to the third book in his trilogy, Dragon Coast.
I’ll be interested to see what other people have discovered this year! A couple of mine were actually debut authors, but as you can see from where I’ve been late to the party, a lot of them were discoveries of authors who’ve been going a while.
The theme for this week is 2016 debuts we’re looking forward to, but I’m honestly terrible at keeping track of what’s getting released, let alone by debut authors. So instead I’ll go with any books getting released in 2016.
- A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas. I expect this is one a lot of people are anticipating!
- The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch. Again, I bet there’s plenty of people waiting on tenterhooks for this one.
- A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwab. I wasn’t as excited by the first book as some others were, but I still thought it was fun and I’m looking forward to seeing Kell again.
- The Thorn of Emberlain, Scott Lynch. I can only say of course.
- Necessity, Jo Walton. It’s by Jo Walton, of course I’ll pick it up. More so because it finishes up the trilogy.
- The Devil You Know, K.J. Parker. I loved the previous Tor.com novella by Parker, so I’m interested in this one.
- Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire. I still need to actually read Seanan McGuire’s work in general, but I’ve been interested in this one for ages. Gimme already.
- Ghost Talkers, Mary Robinette Kowal. I’m loving the cover.
- Truthwitch, Susan Dennard. Been hearing good things.
- Tell the Wind and Fire, Sarah Rees Brennan. I really need to try reading Brennan again, and I’m intrigued by the sound of this one.
This probably ruins me for a future list about 2016 releases, but shush.
This week’s prompt is to do with Thanksgiving, which is always a little weird since, as a British person, I definitely don’t traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving. But it’s a nice opportunity to thank some bookish people.
- Mum. For many, many doors into portable universes, both through teaching me to read, sharing books, buying me books, recommending books…
- Lisa. For sharing many portable universes with me, over the last ten years!
- Robert. For running the SF/F bookclub and becoming a friend over the last year.
- Jo Walton. For writing books, providing sage advice, and being a friend.
- Lynn O’ Connacht. For many many good conversations about books, including plenty of recommendations and shared books!
- Ryan from SpecFic Junkie. For much encourage, chatter about books, and the general takeover of Habitica with things about books.
- Cait from Paper Fury. For a disproportionate number of giggles to how long I’ve been following her blog/twitter.
- To all the friends who know books are the best way to distract me. And there’s certainly been some tough times where I’ve needed this.
- To all of you who comment and like my posts. Otherwise it’d be a bit lonely around here.
- To Helen Hippo. For being my constant companion through universes fictional and real, even if I have worn most of her fur off.
’nuff said, I think.
I’m not a big collector of quotes, so I took this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt as a challenge to go through Goodreads looking at what quotes other people have liked from books I read recently, and pick my favourites. Let’s see…
- “I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together.”
-Mal to Alina in Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Because eeeh.
- “Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”
-From Rainbow Rowell’s Landline. Because it’s true.
- “Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. ‘Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.’”
-Mark Watney in Andy Weir’s The Martian. Because I know some people who would.
- “I can’t give you the white picket fence, and if I did, you’d set it on fire.”
-Curran to Kate in Magic Bleeds, by Ilona Andrews. Because I have a weakness for reading about relationships like that.
- “You can’t trust everything that ass Plato wrote,” Sokrates said.
-From The Just City, by Jo Walton. Hear hear!
- “Books… are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with ’em, then we grow out of ’em and leave ’em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.”
-From The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Quite true!
- “ ‘In our inmost and secret heart, which you ask us to bare to you, we wish to banish them as we were banished, to a cold and lonely house, in the charge of a man who hated us. And we wish them trapped there as we were trapped.’
‘You consider that unjust, Serenity?’
‘We consider it cruel,’ Maia said. ‘And we do not think that cruelty is ever just.’ ”
-From The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. Pretty much sums up exactly why I loved the book.
- “In everyone’s life there are people who stay and people who go and people who are taken against their will.”
-From Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Truth.
- “The most important thing is to be true to yourself, however you feel, and not try to feel or behave differently because you think you should, or someone has told you how you must feel. But do think about it. Unexamined feelings lead to all kinds of trouble.”
-From Clariel, by Garth Nix. Because it’s a good point.
- “A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.”
-From The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M. Valente. Just one wise snippet from a book with quite a few wise things to say!
I’ll be interested to see what other people have come up with — and how they came up with them! I just used Goodreads and browsed through quotes which obviously have already been thought significant by previous readers…
This week’s theme is about book to movie adaptations, and I’m not that interested in cinema. So instead I’m going to talk about what I’d like to see adapted into audiobook format, with a full cast!
- The later Dark is Rising sequence books, Susan Cooper. Preferably with the original cast from the BBC adaptation of the first two, but the kids will all have grown up and some of the actors might even be retired or dead, so I’m aware this is totally mad.
- Sunshine, Robin McKinley. Come on, it’d be amazing. And they could have the sound effects of the kitchen work and make everyone hungry.
- Chalice, Robin McKinley. I love this even more than Sunshine. You could do this really well as something short and atmospheric, I think…
- Ben Aaronovitch’s books. I have no idea if a full casGt audio adaptation exists, but it would be awesome if it did.
- Seaward, Susan Cooper. It’d be beautiful, I think. You wouldn’t need a big cast — keep it minimal. Five or six actors.
- Anything by Patricia McKillip. It might make them more accessible to an audience who don’t so much like her prose style!
- Gifts, Ursula Le Guin. With the oral storytelling stuff in this trilogy, surely this’d make a good one.
And existing ones which I need to listen to include the BBC’s versions of Neverwhere and Good Omens, and Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint. If they’re not perfect, they can go down as numbers 8-10!