This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is “top ten debuts you’re looking forward to in 2015”. I didn’t actually know much about who had a debut coming out, so I ended up turning to Goodreads lists. These are mostly YA books, since I couldn’t find convenient lists of upcoming fantasy. Clearly I am not very plugged in to what’s coming out soon!
Since these are upcoming books, I’m gonna link the titles to the Goodreads page so other people can check them out in more detail.
Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard. I’ve been looking at this one for a while, at least — I kept seeing it in other people’s StS posts and such. It sounds interesting, though I can’t say I really know much about it beyond the basic summary.
The Girl at Midnight, Melissa Grey. I hadn’t heard of this one till I started making this list, actually; I’m intrigued by the idea, and I do always love the ‘there’s-a-city-below-the-city’ trope (Neverwhere, Un Lun Dun, King Rat, etc).
Shutter, Courtney Almada. The cover looks really freaky, and it sounds fun. I’ve seen a couple of advance reviews already and my interest is definitely piqued.
A Wicked Thing, Rhiannon Thomas. It’s a Sleeping Beauty rewrite, shut up and take my money.
The Storyspinner, Becky Wallace. There’s a touch of the troubadour tradition about the idea of the Performers, so yeah, I’m in on this one.
The Wrath and the Dawn, Renee Ahdieh. Definitely want this one — it’s a reworking of Scheherazade’s story, and it sounds like it has an interesting take on it.
The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman. You had me at ‘library’. (Have bought it since I made the list!)
The Witch Hunter, Virginia Boecker. Seems like my kind of book, especially with the comparison to Graceling.
The Unhappening of Genesis Lee, Shallee McArthur. I read a review of this and it intrigues me, though I’m sort of side-eyeing that new title trend of ‘the [x]ing of [name]’ (e.g. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer).
I’m obviously in need of more titles, so I’m definitely going to be paying attention to TTTs this week…
Today’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014” — which don’t have to be to do with books. Still, most of mine probably will be to do with books. Let’s see what I can do…
Never impulse-buy a book. Always always wait a day or two, or make sure it’s been on the wishlist for a while, etc. I mean, geez, self: it’s very rare you’re ever going to come across a book where this is the only copy you ever have access to.
Read every day. Even if it’s just five minutes before bed. I always feel better when I do, more like myself, and yet often I don’t make the time for it.
Bed before midnight. I was starting to get into this habit, and then I stayed up reading. Which doesn’t contradict #2, I swear.
Up before ten. Up before eight, preferably, but I figure I can stick to ten even when I wanna give myself a lie in.
Buy only one book from a series at a time. Even if I know I’m gonna love it. See also #1!
Post something to the blog every day. I’m already pretty much achieving that, but I’d like to get better at having a buffer of posts ready to go live as well.
Comment on at least one other blog every day. It’s a nice low bar to set, and it encourages me to be social.
Tithe 10% every month. I did this in 2014, too. It wasn’t always easy to keep up, especially when my earnings were pathetic, but it’s something I’m proud of doing.
Do 100 hours volunteering. I should manage this easily, if I volunteer the same amount as I did in 2014, especially now I’m a committee member for the library and not just a volunteer librarian. But it’s good to pledge a solid number; makes it easier for me to keep rolling out of bed on a cold Friday morning, or walk into the clinic on a warm sunny day. If it’s not meeting the target, it’s by how much can I beat it?
Review all new books from Netgalley/bookbridgr/Edelweiss within a month of receiving access. I’m still struggling to catch up with books I was approved for over a year ago; obviously, I’ve lost access to a lot of them, so I’m borrowing them from libraries or buying them so I can fulfil my promise of reviewing them. It would be better all round if I just reviewed them in time, though!
An odd mix of book, blog and general life, I know, but if I have a secret eleventh goal it might be “stop being so obsessive about lists”. I love lists, goodness knows, and they’re helpful, great, fun, etc, etc. But sometimes I let myself get a little too caught up in organising a list and not in doing what’s on it, or I get so obsessed about getting a list done that I neglect everything else.
Maybe the by-word for this entry should be “happy mediums”?
As for how I’m going to stick to it, I’m planning to figure out a way to fit the ten resolutions above into the habits/dailies sections of HabitRPG. It’s a great way of gameifying your life and making yourself accountable, and it’s pretty flexible for whatever goals you need to set. It’s pretty much trained me to remember to floss every day, from never flossing at all, for example — and it keeps track of when my library books are due back. There’s nothing like the cute pixel art for a reward for getting stuff done, for me, and you can set up custom rewards too. If anyone’s on the site already and interested in figuring out some kind of book related challenge, let’s put our heads together and come up with something!
Anyway, I’d love to see everyone else’s goals and resolutions, so please leave me a comment — I’ll visit everyone who comments, and leave comments back as long as technology permits.
This week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Books You Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing”. Which is a little awkward, as I know almost exactly what Santa’s bringing me — so I’ll have to try and think of books I didn’t put on my list, to make this a bit more fun.
Italics added to ones that I’ve been bought since I made this list!
Two Serpents Rise, Max Gladstone. I really need to read more of this series. I enjoyed the first book, and people have been pretty enthusiastic. (Aaaand my partner’s buying me this.)
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie. As of typing this, I haven’t read Ancillary Justice yet. But I’m still reasonably sure I’m going to enjoy it…
The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Patricia A. McKillip. Or, in fact, anything I haven’t already got by McKillip.
Dreamer’s Pool, Juliet Marillier. It sounds like one of her books that I might well enjoy.
Mélusine, Sarah Monette. Since I adored her book as Katherine Addison. (And partner’s getting me this one too.)
Faery Tales, Carol Ann Duffy. It’s Carol Ann Duffy! ’nuff said. (Though my aunt may be getting me this one.)
Beowulf, trans. J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve read it, but I don’t have my own print copy to go on my shelf.
The Gift, Alison Croggon. Since a friend talked a lot about this series.
Those Who Hunt the Night, Barbara Hambly. For some reason, I’m seeing people recommend this a lot lately. And somehow I still haven’t tried reading anything of Hambly’s.
Mindscape, Andrea Hairston. I can’t remember much about this, but it’s been bookmarked for ages in my ‘looks interesting’ queue, and I remember being veeeery tempted to buy it at the time.
Now I’m thinking maybe I should’ve let this go live way before 23rd Dec, to give people a chance to maybe make some of my wishes come true… Ah well, I’m being spoilt enough already!
This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Books I Read in 2014”. This one you can probably predict if you follow this blog, but I won’t leave you guessing. Also, links don’t show up on my theme very well, so I’ll just say now that all the titles are links to the reviews I wrote earlier in the year.
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. Yep, you probably predicted this one. I just loved it to bits — I’d have happily gone back to page one and started all over again right away. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but it was pretty perfect for me.
The King of Elf-land’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany. This is definitely not new to a lot of people, but it was new to me. I think I’d read one of Dunsany’s short story collections before, but not this one. It’s a lovely mythic/fairytale-like world. In style and the like, it’s not like the more typical modern fantasy, but that doesn’t put me off at all.
We Have Always Fought, Kameron Hurley. I haven’t read any of Hurley’s fiction yet; she may even be a writer who appeals to me more as a commentator than as a creator, since I did start God’s War at one point and put it down again. But I loved this collection of her essays. She very much deserved her Hugo.
My Real Children, Jo Walton. Again, probably predictable. I loved the characters in this — the sheer range of them, the ways small circumstances could change them. It was quite upsetting on a personal level because of the mentions of dementia, but the fact that it had the power to upset me only made me like it more.
The Movement: Class Warfare, Gail Simone. I think this is a pretty timely comic. This sums it up, from my review: “[T]his is a group of young people getting together against injustice. Not supervillains: injustice. Crooked cops who beat poor people and POC because they can. The whole system of privilege and disprivilege. It’s a team of heroes for the Occupy Movement, for the 99%, for the disenfranchised.”
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge. Read this all in one go on a train journey and resented every interruption. There’s a great atmosphere to this book.
Behind the Shock Machine, Gina Perry. I’ve always been fascinated by Stanley Milgram’s experiments, and this was a great way of delving into them — looking at it not from Milgram’s point of view, not looking at the results, but at the people he used in this experiment.
What Makes This Book So Great, Jo Walton. This is kinda cheating, in that it’s a book chock full of the books Jo Walton likes. Not limited to a top ten, of course, but I have a feeling it could furnish the whole contents of this list.
Spillover, David Quammen. Fascinating stuff, with some very obvious conclusions that apparently still need to be said. We are destroying habitats, forcing animals closer together and closer to us: we’re creating the perfect situation for a pandemic. It’s going to happen again, as it’s happened before, and we’ve just got to hope it isn’t something exotic and deadly. Even the flu is bad enough when it sweeps the world.
The Broken Land, Ian McDonald. This is the only book in this list I didn’t give five stars. But it’s stayed on my mind the whole time, and the issues it examines aren’t temporary ones that’re about to go away.
This is gonna be a really interesting week to check out other people’s lists; I’m looking forward to this! Make sure you link me to your list if you comment. I’ll always visit and comment back.
This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is “top ten books you’re looking forward to in 2015”. Now, I actually don’t keep a very good track of this, so I might not manage the full ten, but we’ll see how I do…
Jo Walton, The Just City. Yeah, I know I have an eARC and I’ve borrowed someone else’s ARC, but I’m still looking forward to it being out and getting to discuss it more widely.
Maria V. Snyder, Shadow Study. More Yelena! I still need to do my reread, but these are totally my popcorn books and it’ll be nice to have more to look forward to. I might actually manage to read the Avry trilogy when I know there’s more awaiting me…
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic. I don’t know that much about it, but it sounds awesome, and I keep being recommended Schwab’s work.
Joe Abercrombie, Half a World. I still need to get round to reading Half a King, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it, and this is another in the same world.
Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance. From reading the summary, I’m not quite sure about it, but I adore Valente’s way with words, so it’s going to be worth a try.
Naomi Novik, Uprooted. I remember enjoying the Temeraire books, and I love reading retellings of myths/legends/folktales/fables, so this sounds right up my street.
N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season.Gimme! Gimme!
Marie Brennan, The Voyage of the Basilisk. I need to read the second book, but still. Still. Badass Victorian lady!
Nicole Burstein, Othergirl. Just spotted this on someone else’s list of upcoming 2015 books. Sounds like fun, and there’s superpowers, sooo. I’m a sucker, I know.
Brandon Sanderson, Firefight. Another one where I still need to read the previous book, but shush. Superpowers!
Oof, I managed it. What’s anyone else looking forward to?
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is books on the winter TBR. I’m not very specific about stuff like that, and I’m dreadful at getting round to books on time, but here’s more or less what I’m planning…
Mary Stewart, the Merlin trilogy. The first book was a reread, but with The Hollow Hills I’m breaking new ground. And enjoying it, thankfully; I still think Rosemary Sutcliff has just about everyone except maybe Steinbeck beat, but I’m enjoying Stewart’s work more than I remembered.
Jo Walton, The Just City. I got distracted from finishing this off by family visiting, and because I can’t take it to clinic with me (I’m only allowed my ereader because it’s quite discreet!). So I’m planning to finish it… probably before the start of December, really.
Tanya Huff, The Enchantment Emporium. Also been on the go for a while, whoops. And it’s fun!
Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer. Because omgggg.
Garth Nix, Clariel. Because I’m dreadful and still haven’t got round to it after I wasn’t able to read it on the Eurostar on my last trip.
Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart. Because superheroes! And it’s about time.
Samantha Shannon, The Bone Season. I’ve been meaning to pick this up for a while, and with the next book out soon, it seems like it’s about time.
Guy Gavriel Kay, The Lions of Al-Rassan.I’m still working on reading all his books in chronological order (by publication), so this one’s up next.
Henry Marsh, Do No Harm. I’m starting the long road to becoming a doctor, in theory. Marsh’s topic (brain surgery) fascinates me, and I feel like I should be learning everything I can and just soaking up the knowledge in that way I have of gaining things by osmosis. (Ask my mother. I don’t know how to pronounce a lot of words because they just slipped into my vocabulary via books, without me ever hearing them. She thinks it’s funny.)
Bernard Cornwell, The Winter King. Because there’s no better time, with a title like that, right? But also because the Mary Stewart re/read is putting me in the mood for other historically based versions of the story.
Verity Farseer (Realm of the Elderlings, Robin Hobb). Or maybe his wife, Kettricken. Either way, they’re both great characters, I love the idea of “Sacrifice”, and I wish we’d seen more of Verity being awesome. I don’t think there’s really space for a Verity book in the series, and arguably his crowning achievements are in the Fitz books anyway, but for dreaming about, there’s all the time before Fitz is born, or the time Verity spends alone in the mountains before Fitz and company catch up.
Faramir (Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien). I had the biggest literary crush on Faramir; I think he’s one of the strongest characters we see in Middle-earth. He’s as worthy as Aragorn in his way — both consciously resist the Ring — and he had pretty short shift from his father. He deserves more!
Jane Drew (The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper). Arguably Greenwitch is her book, but it’s so short! She’s the only girl in the Six, and it’d be great to see more of her.
Susan Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis). She deserved more than being dismissed as too interested in “lipsticks and nylons”. As of The Last Battle, she’s still alive and there’s room for redemption or reinterpretation of what’s going on with her. I don’t think Lewis could ever have really handled her with subtlety, but you can dream…
Ysanne (The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay). We only briefly see what Ysanne is like and get hints of her history. A story set entirely within Fionavar that ties up some of that would be lovely.
Mel (Sunshine, Robin McKinley). There’s so much mystery around that character that was never resolved. It adds an interesting background to Sunshine, but I think everyone wants to know more about him.
Jasper (A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin). He’s just a plot element, really, to set Ged on his path. He vanishes out of the story and we never really know why he leaves Roke, whether he ever gains some redemption. He’s presented a little too simplistically — I want to know more, even though he’s not a pleasant character.
Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones). Because Calcifer.
Anafiel Delaunay de Montrève (Kushiel’s Dart, Jacqueline Carey). We know a little about his past, and enough about him to sketch in what we need to know, but I’d like to get to know the character close-up, rather than through Phèdre’s eyes.
Prim (The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins). We see her through Katniss’ eyes, but it’d be fun to know what Prim’s thinking, what drives her — what little rebellions are in her, against Katniss and for her, as they’re growing up and Katniss is doing all this self-sacrificing. She’s presented as pretty much totally cute, but there’s gotta be more complex things going on.
This week’s theme is “Top Ten Books I’d Like to Reread”, which is a topic just made for me — the first one in a while I think I could talk for ages about — because I love rereading. Honourable mentions in advance to Chaliceand The Hobbit, both of which I already reread recently! And I’m just going to leave it unsaid that I want to reread The Dark is Rising books, since I do that every year.
Seaward, Susan Cooper. I’ve been meaning to reread this for a while. Heck, by the time this post goes live, I might’ve got round to it already. It’s beautifully written, a bit more mature than The Dark is Rising, and I love the characters a lot. I read it right through the day I got it, I think, at Christmas a couple of years ago. And then I made my partner read it, and my mother, and… everyone else I could get my hands on, really.
The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay. I think this might be the next book in my chronological-by-publishing-date reread of GGK’s work. I think it’s my mother’s favourite of GGK’s books, and my partner loves it too; I remember liking it, though it wasn’t my favourite, but it’s one of the few I’ve only read once so far (along with Under Heaven, which is too new for me to have reread yet).
Sunshine, Robin McKinley. This is another I might’ve got round to already by the time this post goes live, because I’m tearing a streak through Robin McKinley’s work lately. Sunshine is one of my favourites; the world-building, the characters and their relationships, all the talk about food… And also, vampires done right, so that they’re genuinely fucking freaky, even Our Hero.
Kushiel’s Dart, Jacqueline Carey. And pretty much everything by Carey, actually. I love the richness of her writing, and the intrigues of the court in Terre D’Ange. Honestly, if it wasn’t for all the sex and BDSM in the book, I’d recommend it to everyone, because the actual world-building is really cool. But I’m aware it’s not something everyone can be comfortable with.
The Fire’s Stone, Tanya Huff. I could swear I’ve already talked about wanting to reread this somewhere on the blog, but I can’t find it. I did start a reread recently, but then got interrupted. I’m particularly curious because just before I first read this, my partner and I were working on an original world/plot that was very, very similar in many ways. And I’m looking forward to the relationship between the three main characters, and the way the situation turns out for them all. It’s sweet, feel-good stuff.
The Winter King, Bernard Cornwell. I’ve always loved the way Cornwell handles the legends. Okay, some of his characters really don’t fit with the legends, and I do like the legends, but at the same time he has one of the most likeable versions of Galahad, and a really interesting take on the magic/reality stuff where the narrator can view it as magic and we can dismiss it as trickery, or maybe not quite.
The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner. And the rest of the series. It’s easy to read, fun, and does interesting things with the character, the world, etc. I’m less a fan of the most recent book, but I’m still going to try rereading it.
The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula Le Guin. The whole series, really, but this one is my favourite. It marks a separation from the world of the first book, which is fairly conventional fantasy, and begins to shape a place for women and a different view of the world that’s more in line with Le Guin’s own beliefs. And she’s so good at writing the small clear moments of quiet that really shine (Ged’s hand and the thistle).
Assassin’s Apprentice, Robin Hobb. It’s been a long time, and I miss Fitz, Nighteyes and Verity. (My mother never liked Verity nearly as much as I do, but I find him one of the most genuine characters of the lot — not subtle, not perfect for his job, but doing what he can and making good despite the difficulty.) And there’s a new Fool trilogy now, which I even got an ARC for originally, so I want to reread everything to get back up to speed for it.
Sorcerer’s Treason, Sarah Zettel. I remember these being good books, using a less typically Western fantasy setting, with a lot of Russian influence and I think later Asian? I remember finding it very different, at any rate, and I do like Zettel’s work. So, soooon. I hope.
Any of these your own special favourite? Let me know! I comment back to everyone who comments here, both on my post and on your own if you’ve done one.
This week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “Top New Series I Want To Start”. This is a tough one for me, because technically the prompt is for series new in the last year, and I… just no. So! Series in general I need to get into reading…
Tanya Huff, the Confederation books. My sister loves ’em, and generally they seem right up my street, so yeah!
Stephen Donaldson, the Thomas Covenant books. Someday, Mum. Someday.
Lois McMaster Bujold, Chalion. Fantasy is normally more my thing than SF, so I’m thinking I might get on with these better than…
Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan. But I hear so much good about these, too.
Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson. Because otherwise Amy will explode.
Faith Hunter, Jane Yellowrock books. My sister likes these, if I’m not mistaken.
Kim Harrison, The Hollows. My sister definitely likes these.
Kat Richardson, Greywalker. This is… the kind of series my sister will probably like.
Diane Duane, So You Want To Be A Wizard. Because I have them all for goodness’ sake.
Elizabeth Bear, The Promethean Age. I’ve got the first book…