Category Archives: Lists

To Read List

So my reading pile is getting a bit out of hand. The following are books I have to read this year, the sooner the better. My ‘want to read’ list is well over 200, as blogged about earlier.

Aurealis Judging (these are only the books I’ve received so far, but have not read – I’ve received and read 10 so far, and there are a bunch that have been nominated, but haven’t arrived yet – last year there were 60 or so nominated so I still have quite a few ahead of me!)

Valley of Shields (Empire of Bones, #2) Black Sun Light My Way (Children of the Black Sun, #2) Dreaming of Zhou Gong (The Timekeepers #1) The Shadowed Throne (The Risen Sun, #2) Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? 

A Crucible of Souls (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, #1)Allegiance Sworn (The Light Blade, #3) Dark Serpent (Celestial Battle , #1) The Hunt for Pierre Jnr Kinslayer (The Lotus War, #2)

Book club reading – I’ve been falling behind, lately and really should try to get back into it. These are the three I should be reading soon and/or now. But Aurealis still comes first.

Gone Girl What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr, #1)   The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

And then as my partner and I were both complaining that we had a list that was getting a bit out of control, of books we’d been meaning to read for years and still hadn’t managed to get around to it, we came up with a list of six books each (of similar page numbers to each other) and are challenging each other to read them all. So far we’ve read one each. My remaining, are:

The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1) Flowers for Algernon The Mists of Avalon Cordelia's Honor (Vorkosigan Omnibus, #1) The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1) Blaze of Glory (The Laws of Magic, #1)

Oh, and reviewing as well. I took most of this year off from most publishers, but a few have still been arriving. There are two I received recently:

The Quarry His Stupid Boyhood: A Memoir

So, it’s not like I get much choice in what I read next as some take more priority than others, but what do you think of my current pile?

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Recent books

Quite frankly, my reading this year has been pretty poor. I aimed for 150 novels (I don’t include shorts, novellas need to be over 150 pages, and I don’t include manga/graphic novels either) and I had to revise down to my usual 104 for the year. Even so, I’m well behind where I should be up to.

Thankfully I’ve recently had a run of excellent books.

The Darwin Elevator

 The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough is the first in a trilogy. The cover caught my eye on NetGalley, and when I looked it up to see if I should read it one of the first things that caught my eye (as it’s in the first line of the description) is that it’s set in the fairly tiny ‘city’ where I’ve always lived – a place other Australians have even said – non jokingly – ‘where is it?’ thinking it’s not even in the country. (The amount of times I’ve had someone down south inspect my license and then say ‘Sorry, we need an Australian one…’)… ANYHOW. The amount of mentions we get even in Australia is limited, let alone elsewhere. I contacted the author who states he’s never been here, and simply looked up on a map for somewhere close to the equator, and went with us for the double-meaning of the name. Excellent.

Well, he does a damn good job. Every reference within is an actual place – Nightcliff, Millner, and their ship is called Melville which is a nearby island. It’s well written and features some of the best action I’ve read as far as I can remember. If you like science well done, pick this one up.

 

A Trifle Dead

A Trifle Dead by Livia Day is another Australian-set novel, by the author Tansy Rayner-Roberts who lives in Tasmania, also where this novel is set. The novel is witty and simply a pleasure to read.

My weakness really is descriptions of food. They were a favourite in Harry Potter and I wish I liked the food mentioned in The Lies of Locke Lamora (darn pears, why don’t I like pears!) but in this novel, they really shine.

This is about a young adult – Tabitha – daughter to a policeman which means the whole force keeps an eye on her at all times, which is sometimes sweet, usually annoying, but almost okay when one of them is quite cute. Though in a range of funky characters and a good ol’ murder mystery where Tabitha is so real and sassy, and you have such an enjoyable book that’s simply fun. Well written – I mean, have you read Tansy’s Creature Court series? No? Well, you have another three books to add to your to-read pile then, don’t you?

Go on now, hustle.

 

VicousVicious by V. E. Schwab is another NetGalley discovery – the first 100 pages were available as a preview, to which I thought well, what’s the harm, at least it’ll be easy to review.

Eight pages in, and I’d practically quoted half to my long-suffering partner (known as Adder online) and work friend Kane. It’s witty. It’s clever with the words – almost saying half of the truth to let you figure out the rest, such as saying the girl was short and hadn’t grown an inch since she’d died, yet here she was, helping him to a spot of grave-digging. What?

It’s a super-hero/villain thing, two ferociously clever young men in university, but it’s science-fiction rather than fantasy.

And the author is just 26. She’s living my dream life. A writer – and a smashingly awesome author – and the same age. Goodness. What I would give.

 

Death of the NecromancerThe Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells is a book I discovered through a friend on Goodreads liking someone elses review of this book, where they summed it up by saying: ‘It’s The Lies of Locke Lamora meets Sherlock Holmes‘. Pretty much my two favourite things in the world, so how could I do anything but get it straight away, even though I was at work, and start it in my lunch break.

I’m not that far in, but so far, my goodness. The description is lovely. The world-building electric and lush and you have such a sense of the characters so quickly.

I’m desperate for more time for this. I judge the Aurealis Awards however, and that opened today, so I need to finish my final review book (mentioned first in this post) so I’m ready for that… but this is the first on my books-for-enjoyment list, and I’ll be reading snatches and bits every moment I get possible.

 

The Cuckoo's CallingFinally, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. I’m one of those who hadn’t even heard of this book until this morning, when it was leaked that this is actually a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling. It may interest you to know that Robert means famous, and Galbraith, in gaelic, means stranger. Clever.

Amazon reviewers have said it’s so well written that surely it’ll turn out someone famous wrote it. Only two days ago Hank Green of the vlogbrothers begged her to write another book. Then it turns out, back in April when this was published, she already had. Clever clogs.

I quite enjoyed The Casual Vacancy. No, that’s a lie. I find it hard to enjoy books that are bleak and miserable. But I do think that the kind of life portrayed within was accurate, horrendously sad, and needs more publicity. I was so thankful for my own life after I’d read it.

I’ll be reading this one, too, as soon as I possibly can.

Writing Resources – Ambiance

Sometimes it’s hard to write wherever you may be. I’m not always one for having a music soundtrack to write to, I usually need something that’s a bit more than silence, but can’t have words that distract me into singing along. Hence:

 

2012 Novels to be read

Whilst reading up on other blog posts on what everyone else in nominating for the Hugos, I thought I’d make a list of novels that show up the most often that I haven’t read yet. Which I probably should.

In hopefully alphabetical order (by title) – total count 20!

  • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
  • Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  • Existence by David Brin
  • Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
  • The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Jack Glass by Adam Roberts
  • The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
  • King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  • Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
  • The Mirage by Matt Ruff
  • Nexus by Ramez Naam
  • Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Maley
  • Stray Souls by Kate Griffin
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

 

My 2012

Books read: 129
Shorts: 26
Audio: 29
Podcasts: 45
Comics/Manga: 28
Things won: 17
Movies: 18
Television: 272

This year I had two holidays – three, if you count the few days my partner was here at the very start of the year. From the 22nd – 27th of May, Lana and I went to the Glass House Mountains for a Writing Trip, where instead we played Magic: The Gathering and Settlers of Catan and I did utterly no writing. Then, from the 21st – 23rd of August – my Drewbro travelled all around Australia and stopped here for a few days  😀

Other things of note this year, our dingo Akasha died of the effects of old age at 12 years old. We adopted Echo from the RSPCA who then died after only six weeks by somehow getting out of the yard and being hit by a car. We then got Beckett, a border collie/husky cross who is a little terror and we love her to bits.

I knitted a scarf for my partner – Started: 7th Feb 2012 / Finished 15th Feb 2012. I started a jumper for him which is still only just started. I finished a quilt I started years ago, and made a much smaller one for my cat from the remains.

Partner and I reached our two year anniversary. Sherlock RP has been going since August 2010 and I have 31,000 followers. Rather than trying to move, rent or buy, we decided the best choice for the future was to put in a proposal to the building council for a flat-pack granny-flat kind of small house to be built at the far corner of my parents block. I’ve been in my current job for nine years by the 17th January. I’ve started on anxiety/depression meds and am seeing a psychologist.

I hit $50,000 in my savings (soon to be demolished when the house building starts) and whilst voting in the Hugo Awards for the first time and judging Aurealis Awards for the second time, I now review for seven publishers, NetGalley, and write for two websites whilst very slowly starting my own.

For some reason I still don’t feel like I’ve accomplished a damn thing.

2012: A Year in Reading

As seen in Tansy Rayner Roberts’ blog.

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

Please see these two posts:

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard – three young adults are allergic to sunlight so instead they rule the night. To feel like they’re still alive they take up parkour. Sadly it was poorly written and executed.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis – It’s 1939. The Nazis have supermen, the British have demons, and one perfectly normal man gets caught in between. It’s fantastic to have a well-rounded book, one that has a well developed plot, believable characters, beautiful description and above all else – a well written novel.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
Milkweed Triptych by Ian Tregillis

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
John Green, John Scalzi, Guy Adams, Mary Robinette Kowal and Sarah Rees Brennan

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
The Luther book (The Calling by Neil Cross) was very wrong in parts, and I struggle reading about animals being hurt (even when children and humans in general are, that’s apparently fine to my mind, but animals? No.) The book was utterly fantastic, though.

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth was a struggle because it was set in a time I have no knowledge of, and I’m not usually a fan of the type of book it is (which means I miss out on so many books most people love) but it was worth continuing with.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
I can’t really answer this, as when I love a book far too much, I DO put it down because I need it to last and I can’t stand the thought of it being over.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Any book that has another in the same series coming out – I usually need to re-read so I remember what’s going on!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

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11. Most memorable character in 2012?

Lucie Miller from Doctor Who (8th Doctor) Big Finish.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?

The Hobbit. Yes, I know. Also Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal which I’ve seen around, but the cover totally lead me to believe it was really not what it turned out to be at all.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012?

“So,” he called to her back, “Just out of curiosity, you know, purely conversation and all, at what age will you be entertaining offers of marriage?”
“You think it’ll be so easy?” she called back over her shoulder. “No way. There will be tasks. Like in a fairy tale.”
“Sounds dangerous.”
“Very, so think twice.”
“No need,” he said. “You’re worth it.” 
― Laini TaylorDays of Blood & Starlight

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
To Spin a Darker Stair (edited) by Tehani Wessely is the shortest at 64 pages, and Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is easily the longest at 1122 – it had to be printed in two print volumes. The longest print book I read was The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson at 748 pages.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers! 
Oh god, the end of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, end of Newsflesh by Mira Grant, certain shorts in the collection The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, and understandably, parts of Jenny Lawson’s memoir, and the David Thorne books.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Karou and Akiva in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series for romance.

Wax and Wayne in Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson for friendship.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Anything by Brandon Sanderson and Mira Grant.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty was recommended to me, but by one of the publisher media girls who then sent it to me to review. It’s easily one of my favourite books of the year ❤

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed and The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

  • Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • Fuse (Pure #2) by Julianna Baggott
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Madness Underneath (Shades of London #2) by Maureen Johnson
  • Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott Lynch
  • Steelheart (Unknown Trilogy #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  • Necessary Evil (Milkweed Triptych #3) by Ian Tregillis
  • Untitled (Adaptation #2) by Malinda Lo
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  • Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid #2) by Seanan McGuire
  • The Burning: A Luther Novel by Neil Cross
  • Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Get through some of my 236 books that I really want to read asap (that doesn’t include the above mentioned).