This week the theme is based on hidden gems read in the last year or so. I’m going to twist it slightly because I’m writing this on a train and my brain doesn’t want to work. Here we have books I’ve read and wish more other people would read (so we can talk about them).
- Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton. Victorian-esque dragons! Who wear hats! And eat each other. It’s amazing, I promise.
- The Carpet Makers, by Andreas Eschbach. Honestly, I need to reread this, but I was blown away by the structure and the quality of it.
- Seaward, by Susan Cooper. I know I’m enthusiastic about her Dark is Rising sequence, but Seaward is more mature, and at least as beautiful.
- Island of Ghosts, by Gillian Bradshaw. Or maybe Bradshaw’s work in general. Amazing historical fiction, and too much out of print.
- The Positronic Man, by Isaac Asimov. I loved this as a kid, and read it over and over. I haven’t seen the novel around very often, though. It’s worth reading.
- Always Coming Home, by Ursula Le Guin. I was reluctant to read this, once upon a time, because it’s not a novel as such. But it’s very, very good, and I do recommend it.
- Lifelode, by Jo Walton. Is this cheating? Still, this book is far too rare and really should get to a wider audience.
- Chime, by Franny Billingsley. I remember a few people reading this back when I read it, but I don’t think I’ve seen people talking about it lately. But it’s so good!
- The Falling Woman, by Pat Murphy. I only read this in 2016, and I really wish I’d read it sooner. It’s very good, with great atmospherics.
- Postcolonialism Revisited, by Kirsti Bohata. This mostly just because I would love to be able to talk to more people about Welsh literature as post-colonial literature.
I’d say I’m looking forward to other people’s lists, but “dreading” might be the better term — I don’t need more books on my wishlist!
This week’s theme is “2016 releases I meant to read and didn’t get round to”. I didn’t think I’d manage this, but then I had a look at my list, and… ah. Right.
- Revenger, by Alastair Reynolds. I need to apologise to my sister. All the excitement, and I never got round to this one…
- Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal. I’d been anticipating this since it was announced, and yet. Still love that cover so much, too.
- Necessity, by Jo Walton. I’m just hiding my face in shame here, guys.
- Children of Earth and Sky, by Guy Gavriel Kay. I even had an ARC. But nope.
- Double Down, by Gwenda Bond. I loved the first book. Why haven’t I picked this up yet? Whyyy?
- A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab. I think I need to reread the first book, first. Oh no, etc.
- Magic Binds, by Ilona Andrews. Again, I even had the ARC. Whyyy, self.
- Red Right Hand, by Chris Holm. I feel bad about this, because I promised a review, but it got caught up in being busy with my wedding.
- Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee. The author is my mother’s penpal and even sent a signed review copy. I’m a bad person.
- Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer. I’m sorry, okay?
Gah. Now I feel bad.
On the other hand, that means I still have some awesome books in my future.
I’d feel weird if I didn’t do these posts at all, but I’m not primarily, or at least solely, a reader of new books. So themes like the one for this week aren’t really geared at me… that theme being “Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For”.
So, going off on an entirely unexpected tangent (/sarcasm font), here’s…
My ten bookish resolutions:
- Read for joy. If I’m dreading reading a book, I’m not going to read it. If I’m dying to reread an old favourite, I’ll reread it. If I get halfway through and I can’t bear a minute more, I’ll DNF.
- I’ll honestly review books I don’t finish. I think it can still be useful to know why someone didn’t get along with a book, even if they didn’t finish it. So I’ll be reviewing and rating books, even if I don’t finish ’em.
- I will strive to remember that my ratings are wholly personal. I think The Goblin Emperor is the most five-star book of all the five-star books. Buuut, that’s just me, and I know it. I rate based on enjoyment, which is why I feel that I can give an honest rating to a book I don’t finish. I need to keep making it totally clear that’s how I rate and review, though. And, especially, not act like a book is bad just because I disliked it.
- Read more than I buy. I have a whole spreadsheet for this, which tracks interesting-to-me reading stats. Like the amount I paid for the books I’ve read, and how much I’ve spent on new books, for example. I plan for the former number to be higher than the latter, at all times. We’ll, uh, see.
- Spare time? Read! Why do I end up wasting time so often? My plan is to get good at just picking a book up and reading.
- I’ll boost books I love. In whatever way I can — reviews, giveaways, etc.
- I’ll boost older books too. You never know what might be someone’s gateway drug, or whatever. There are some older books that you don’t see around the blogosphere. A lot of them are amazing!
- I’ll read more audiobooks or cancel my Audible subscription. Really, self. More crochet, more walking, more audiobooks.
- I’ll comment on at least one other blog every single day. I did this in 2016, and I enjoyed getting out there and interacting.
- I’ll comment on at least one new blog every week. Who knows what gems I’ll find, right?
And of course, my usual ones like replying to and returning all comments still stand.
What’re your bookish resolutions?
Is it Tuesday again already? Hope everyone had a good weekend, and a good Christmas if you celebrated! The theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the top books of 2016, so without further ado…
- Dinosaurs Without Bones, by Anthony J. Martin. Entertaining and informative, and it’s about dinosaurs. I loved it and it got five stars without hesitation.
- City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett. It took me far too long to get around to it, but once I did, I was blown away. And my wife just devoured it in two days, so it’s a winner around here.
- City of Blades, by Robert Jackson Bennett. Again, super awesome. I can’t wait for City of Miracles.
- Vicious, by V.E. Schwab. I know I’m late to the V.E. Schwab train, but I’ve been making up for it this year. I think Vicious might’ve been my favourite so far.
- Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees. I took ages to get round to this one, and I don’t know why. It’s true it’s a little slow, but it’s magical.
- In the Labyrinth of Drakes, by Marie Brennan. So satisfying, and a certain mystery of the series is solved. I can’t believe the next book is the last.
- Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Powerful and clear-sighted about critical issues. It’s not an easy read, and enjoyment might be the right word, but I appreciated it a lot.
- In the Forests of Serre, by Patricia A. McKillip. Another magical one, and one of my favourites of McKillip’s work that I’ve read so far.
- Planetfall, by Emma Newman. This only got four stars, but it’s been on my mind since I finished it.
- The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard. Also a four-star read, but it has to be mentioned since it made me utterly forget about my dinner one evening; my dinner went cold as I read 250 pages.
I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s lists, but it’ll probably be terrible for my TBR pile…
The theme for this week is books or non-book bookish items that I’m hoping to find under the tree. I’m pretty sure of what I’m getting, in general, so I’m not going to guess, just feature some cool stuff I’m getting.
- The Infinite Library Kindle Case. My wife is getting me this and I’m so excited.
- The Funko Pop Captain Marvel t-shirt. So cute, so badass.
- A book on tyrannosaurs. I know my sister’s getting me this, or planned to, but I can’t remember any other details.
- I Contain Multitudes, by Ed Yong. Microbes! Yes please.
- The Burning Page, by Genevieve Valentine. Gimmmeee. Technically I have an ARC, but hush about technicalities.
- The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch. Same.
- The Death of Caesar, by Barry Strauss. I’ve enjoyed his books before, so Christmas seemed like a good time to ask for more.
- She-Hulk Complete Collection vol 2, by Dan Slott. This was ridiculously hard to find for some reason.
- The Bloodbound, by Erin Lindsey. Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum‘s fault entirely.
- The Edge of Dark, by Brenda Cooper. Ditto, I believe.
So yeah, plenty of books, I hope. And cool book-related stuff. And whatever other surprises my dad has in store.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is all about the books upcoming in the first half of 2017. While I’m not always on the ball about this stuff, there are a surprising number of books I’m actually aware of. Here goes…
- City of Miracles, by Robert Jackson Bennett. This is a sequel to City of Stairs and City of Blades and I need it, I need it now.
- Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor. I don’t need to know much about this. I love Laini Taylor’s prose just to begin with!
- Our Dark Duet, by Victoria Schwab. I loved This Savage Song, sooo I’m pretty confident I’m gonna be happy about this one.
- Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire. This is a companion/prequel to Every Heart A Doorway, and I’m definitely excited to see what it does with the characters.
- Thick As Thieves, by Megan Whalen Turner. I was so excited when I spotted this! I recently reread the other books, too, so I’m aaaall ready for this one.
- Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman. Between Gaiman’s skill as a writer and my interest in Norse mythology, this book is bound to be awesome.
- Frogkisser, by Garth Nix. Only just found out about this one, but it’s Garth Nix — I’ll read it eventually.
- A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab. Okay, I actually need to read the second book first, but still…
- The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli. I enjoyed Albertalli’s other book, so this one should be fun.
- Traitor to the Throne, by Alwyn Hamilton. The first book didn’t totally knock my socks off the way it did for some people, but it was still a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Aaargh, just gimme them already.
Anything else I should have thought of?
This week’s theme is Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I read in 2016. I’m having trouble coming up with anything off the top of my head, but let’s see if Goodreads can help.
- Seanan McGuire. Technically not new to me, as I’ve read one of her books written as Mira Grant. But it’s rather different stuff, so nuh. It counts.
- Mitch Benn. I don’t know why I never tried Terra when it was first out; I don’t think I even knew much about it, but it was so much fun; I’m glad I finally did pick it up!
- Ted Chiang. It took me ages, but I finally got round to reading Story of Your Life & Others, and I loved it.
- Hope Mirrlees. So late to the party, I know, but I looooved Lud-in-the-Mist.
- Pat Murphy. Again, late to the party, but The Falling Woman was really, really good.
- Marie Rutkoski. I did not expect to love The Winner’s Kiss, but it worked well for me.
- Gwenda Bond. I’d had some of Bond’s books on my list for ages, but it was Lois Lane: Fallout which I finally read, and definitely enjoyed.
- Robert Jackson Bennett. City of Stairs knocked my socks off, and now I’m impatiently waiting for City of Miracles. Soon, please? Please?!
- Sylvia Izzo Hunter. I enjoyed The Midnight Queen a lot; I must get round to reading the sequels.
- Elizabeth Hand. Wylding Hall was a super well-crafted novel; I should check out other books by Hand.
Most of these, I’ve only read one book, so there’s plenty to discover ahead of me!
This week’s theme is a Holiday Gift Guide freebie, and honestly, I’m a little tired of wracking my brains to think of gifts. So instead, have my top ten places to read.
- On a train. You wouldn’t think it’d be comfortable, but something about just being stuck on a train for ages means I can settle into the reading mood and carry on interrupted. Especially in the quiet coach, with my phone off, or on the Eurostar.
- In bed. Of course. This is mostly with my ereader, because I can never quite get comfortable with a paper book in bed. Toasty warm toes!
- With my back against the radiator. I don’t know why, but I really like having a heat source at my back while I read. If the whole room is too warm, I get sleepy. If the room is cooler but I have a radiator or a hot water bottle? Perfect.
- With the rain lashing down outside. Doesn’t everybody love this one?
- Draped over my chair in my wife’s flat. With a bit of wriggling, you can get into the perfect comfy position with a leg up. Or even with my feet practically in my wife’s lap. She’s resigned to it.
- While petting a rabbit. I get a lot of quality time in with our bunny when I’m reading. She’ll come up to my knee and get her ears rubbed.
- In a blanket fort. At my parents’ house, I have a bunk bed. So I can hang a sheet down from the side of my bed and underneath there’s a sofa. Very cosy.
- While crocheting. Only for audiobooks, obviously!
- In the car. Again, only for audiobooks, but a nice long drive can eat up a big chunk of story. Or a big chunk of story can eat up the journey…
- With chocolate. The perfect companion.
Anyone else feel rebellious this week? Or have you stuck to the theme?
With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s probably not a surprise that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is about bookish things you’re thankful for. I’m not American, but it’s always good to reflect on things you’re thankful for.
- My mother’s recommendations. Everything I read now, I can pretty much trace back to her recommendations when I was around nine years old. She seeded the ground for my love of science fiction and fantasy, and somewhat later, detective fiction as well.
- School. Because it was boring enough to push me to read under the table during class, thus nourishing both my love of reading and my ability to multitask.
- My wife. Because who else could I squee at so often, push books at so often, and feel a warm fuzzy glow at getting recommendations right for so often?
- My sister. Well, she’d be the other one, other than my wife and to a lesser degree, Mum.
- Dad. Because he has built me nearly endless amounts of bookshelves over the years.
- My bookshelves. Because let’s face it, they put up with a lot.
- My friends. Including people I know via blogging! A great source of recommendations and, I’ll admit it, gifts in the shape of books.
- Bookmarks. Well, really, what would we do without this humble class of object?
- Book clubs. I wouldn’t have discovered Jo Walton, for example, without book clubs…
- Libraries. Of course.
How about you?
This week’s theme is not about books, but movies. I actually have to confess that I am not actually much of a consumer of films or TV… but I do have some favourites.
- Anastasia. That bickering relationship between Anya and Dmitri? Yeaaaah. Also the ending song: “We were strangers, starting out on a journey…” Always sticks in my head.
- Stardust. It’s different to the book, but charming in its own way.
- Captain America: The First Avenger. Please let me hug Steve Rogers.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Please let me hug Steve Rogers.
- Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr). I watched it half a dozen times in the cinema. In the cinema. The sequel was less fun, though it had its moments.
- Spirited Away. The soot creatures! Haku!
- Howl’s Moving Castle. Vastly simplified from the book, and yet I still enjoyed it as an adaptation. Even if it cut out the Welsh bits. Calcifer!
- Pacific Rim. Non-toxic masculinity with a lot of heart.
- Apollo 13. That movie never gets old. Everyone was brilliant, and every time I tear up at some point. This is rare for me, so, yeah.
- Guardians of the Galaxy. So. Much. Fun.
And now anyone who knows me is wondering why I made a post so obvious it’s approximately like pointing out that Earth has a moon.