Sell me a book!

Posted January 7, 2018 by Nicky in General / 21 Comments

This is your opportunity to get me to read something, anything, you think I really ought to read. There’s just one catch.

It has to be from my backlog.

Quick access links:

2011 Backlog.
2012 Backlog.
2013 Backlog.
2014 Backlog.
2015 Backlog.
2016 Backlog.
2017 Backlog.

So pick a favourite book, or something you’d like to hear my thoughts on, and ‘sell’ me it by letting me know exactly why it’s interesting or exciting or toe-curlingly awesome. In return, I promise I will endeavour to read it within a month of this post, unless I get so many responses that it’s unfeasible (unlikely, given my usual commenting rate on here).

(Hint: if you think of something but you’re not sure if I own it, you could just use my blog’s search function. That also goes for checking whether I’ve already read it.)

Yes, this is a shameless way of trying to get myself excited about books I might’ve forgotten all about.

Some examples from my friends elsewebs

Ryan @ SpecFic Junkie:

I’m reading Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are [Frans de Waal]?_ right now, and while it has some overlap with The Bonobo and the Atheist with regards to animal data and anecdotes, it’s got a whole bunch of new stuff and feels great.

Saga: Volume 6 [Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples] I haven’t read yet, but I WILL READ WITH YOU because SAGA

The Ghost Brigades [John Scalzi] is a good read, fun Scalzi time, but I mostly recommend it because The Lost Colony is as good as Old Man’s War and I’ve got reviews here.

I’m currently re-reading God’s War [Kameron Hurley] and alkjdflkasjdf loving it more than the first time I read it. Bug-magic, queerness, a society that’s predominantly female and racism and war and it’s really, really good.

Zoo City [Lauren Beukes] was really, really good. An unfiltered take on a non-Western world with non-Western magic and unf.

redphoenix of Habitica: 

I read Caraval [Stephanie Garber] recently. If you enjoyed the worldbuilding of the Night Circus [Erin Morgenstern], it’s in a very similar vein and I found the plot to be less predictable than Night Circus’s (but thoroughly enjoyed both!). Additional note for Caraval: the emotional driving force for that book is the character’s love for her sister. As someone with younger sister, I could definitely relate, and the plot doesn’t just treat the sister as a macguffin.

Arabella of Mars [David D. Levine] is a pitch perfect Victorian-era-girls-having-adventures romp (and we were on a panel with the author of that book at the Nebula conference last year)

I thoroughly enjoyed Jade City [Fonda Lee] (NB I read more than one Godfather book and also lots of martial arts; it was great to read something of both over-the-top genres so I’d be curious as to what you thought of it)

Ghost Talkers [Mary Robinette Kowal] made me cry and miss my husband, so you may also want to time that for proximity to Lisa. It _sucked_ not to be able to go find him for comfort snuggles.

Sparrow Hill Road [Seanan McGuire] is one of my desert island books!!!

If you dream of flying or paragliding, Updraft [Fran Wilde] is perfect (with some solid aerodynamics)

Lemoness of Habitica:

Seconding Ghost Talkers <3

Across the Wall [Garth Nix] is a collection so not all of them are equally good but there were a few in there that I thoroughly enjoyed!!

SIX OF CROWS [Leigh Bardugo]. PLEASE READ SIX OF CROWS. The pace is excellent, the characters are complex and compelling, and it really does feel like the most satisfying of heists in terms of the way information is withheld and revealed. I will say that Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are really two halves of a whole, so I’d have them both on hand to read at once!!

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21 responses to “Sell me a book!

  1. From 2011 I suppose I ought to recommend the two Philip Reeve books you’d mentioned you hadn’t yet got around to, but failing those perhaps Glyn Jones’ ‘The Island of Apples’ (selfish reason: I still haven’t pushed myself to pick it out from my TBR pile, having had it as long as you). I was sort of underwhelmed / diappointed with the Jeanette Winterson ‘Battle of the Sun’ title, so I’d be interested in what you might think.

    • Oh man, I’ve been avoiding Island of Apples for some reason, haha! Not actually sure where my copy is, but if I can dig it out, I’ll have a go.

  2. I have been a subscriber to your blog for a while, although I rarely come here. I read your posts in my email feed. Now, I want to suggest a book from your 2012 list: The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov. It doesn’t really need a sales pitch from me. This book is a classic and it has several sub-layers. It’s a satirical depiction of Russia in the dark 1930s of Stalin’s terror. It’s a fantasy tale of Margarita and the Devil in Moscow. It’s a historical account of Jesus Christ through the author’s eyes. And it is a tragic story of the Master who can’t fit into the Communist reality of Russia and can’t fight it. It is a book that could’ve only been written by a Russian writer living in Russia at the time. Its publication history is painful – it was first published posthumously almost 30 years after Bulgakov died.

  3. Although there are a number of books that I’d recommend to you from these lists, I must encourage you to read Time and Again by Jack Finney. He’s an acknowledged early master of the time travel novel, and this is a classic of the genre. I’ve read it several times over the past 40 years, even though I seldom take the time for rereads.

    There’s no swashbuckling action but a great mystery that ties together in the end in an unexpected way. If you’re at all familiar with Manhattan, you’ll especially love this book.

  4. Melissa J Kaplan

    In case you don’t see my tweet, you should read The Fifth Season. Geology and magic and amazing world building and beautiful flawed characters that you can really love. And then there’s two more!

    • I have to read Jurassic Park someday! I’ll take this as the impetus to do so. And hey, recommending me something I’ve already bought is just a favour, even if I don’t end up loving it. 😛

  5. I would definitely recommend Caravel (2017) and The Raven Boys (2015 I think)! Caravel is about a mysterious carnival and sisters and a kidnapping, and the world is portrayed beautifully! The Raven Boys is about a psychic family, and the promise that if (the main girl) Blue kisses her true love, she will die, and annoying college boys, but college boys who are looking for a long dead Welsh king.

    Good luck with your reading! (Also MY GOODNESS you own a lot of books. XD)

    • I’ve been really reluctant about The Raven Boys, because I am Welsh and I’m rather annoyed about the whole, hey, we’re just gonna take one of your national heroes and randomly decide he’s buried in the US for our wish fulfilling plot thing… I should get to it, though, if only to criticise it with more knowledge.

      Far too many!

  6. Let’s do this!
    I only looked at your post for 2017 so:

    -Four Roads Cross, by Max Gladstone: a sequel so I guess you also like the previous books that I personally LOVE. Tara is back in this one and cross path with other characters! All kinds of awesome. I don’t remember it that well and I need to buy a copy to reread *o*

    -City of Strife, by Claudie Arseneault: I LOVE this book and the sequel is even better!! Of couse I imagine you know about the aro/ace representation, plus that it is ownvoices! I love how it is a big fantasy novel that knows how to take time to spend some quality time with its characters.

    -I’d be intested to know what you think of Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence: I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard both MEH and GOOD things about it so??

    There are so many more that I liked and also that I wish to read and wish to know what you think of but since there are already lots of comments I’ll stop here! 😀
    happy reading!

    • and I would like to add that my biggest disappointment of 2017 is Caraval so I would not recommend it… It’s kinda funny to make fun of it on a buddy read though

    • I’ve read the first of Gladstone’s series, and always wanted to get onto the others! I’ll take this as a vote to reread Three Parts Dead first though, because I don’t remember it well enough!

      The aro/ace rep is why I picked up City of Strife in the first place, so I need to get to that ASAP!

      • Definitely reread yes!! I had the same situation, only I read book 2,3,4 then reread 1 and after that 5 which was pretty great too! Any order is fine with this series haha!

        I hope you will love it !! 😀

  7. 2011: I remember The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet with great affection (although probably for all the wrong reasons – I basically loved it because it was Shogun with a Dutchman, plus bonus mystical weirdness). I suspect I’d be a bit more critical of it now, but I’d definitely give it another look.

    …but you’ve got Harkaway’s Angelmaker on your 2012 list, which (OMG WAS THAT 2012) I adored as a riot of fun, bees, monks, an ancient bisexual spy lady with a stinky dog and just a whole bundle of entertaining absurdity.

    …and Jo Walton’s take on the Matter of Britain, which I reaaaaaally want to reread. I loved the first one and spent years trying to get my hands on the sequel. It’s an excellent retelling, sufficiently different and yet in some ways more real than most?

    AAAAAAAAH but you have all those Melissa Scots in 2013. NIKKKKIIIIIII! I loved Burning Bright – the combination of characters, roleplay and brilliant minimalist worldbuilding completely won me over.

    I’m stopping there 🙂
    imyril recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: first encounters of the authorial kindMy Profile

    • Hahaha, I’ve taken notes! I have actually read everything of Jo Walton’s except Necessity, but I wanted to reread them when I got the ebooks so that’s why they went on the list. I do want to get to those soon though!

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