The Orang-utan Librarian did this tag last week and I’m jumping aboard because I wanna do a tag to cheer myself up (it’s a grumpy Sunday over here as I’m writing – I’ve no idea why). So what better way to do that than with a half-year (already?!) squeeing over books read and books still to read?
Here we go …
Best Book You’ve Read So Far This Year
It’s between Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho and This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Don’t make me choose. Both of these were stunning reads in completely different ways. I was super excited to learn today (yesterday by the time this is posted) that This is How You Lose the Time War won the Locus Award for Best Novella.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far This Year
It absolutely has to be Lirael by Garth Nix. I have just two words for you: Disreputable Dog.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To
Ummm, you all know me by now, right?
I still haven’t caught up on the stuff released in 2019 that I wanted to read (or 2018, 2017, 2016 …). Give me a year or ten – I’ll get round to it.
Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
Jo Walton’s Or What You Will is coming out in just a few days’ time now and I am all kinds of excited!
That humanity hasn’t proved itself more compassionate… wait. You mean books, right? Ok, scrub that last…
Supercute Futures by Martin Millar was … underwhelming, I thought. It was one of those books I found myself reading with a kind of cold fascination. I wasn’t able to like any of the characters and yet I needed to see how it would pan out all the same. A peculiar reading experience.
Thumbs was bought the first two volumes of Joe Benitez’s comic series Lady Mechanika for Christmas last year and I steadfastly refused to read them because of … well, *ahem* … because of the boobs. I thought it was going to be a trashy story (because sometimes I can be a judgmental asshole). But during lockdown, scrabbling for something to read (despite my literal mountain of unread books), I picked up the first volume and … I should probably go find a hat to eat. These graphic novels are great fun!
Favourite New Author
I know he’s only new to me, but Samuel R Delany. He was my favourite read for Vintage SciFi Month back in January. Driftglass was a brilliant introduction to his writing and I am really looking forward to reading more by him.
Newest Fictional Crush
I am currently loving couples who fall into the ‘deadly, but adorable’ category. So right now that’s Sophronia and Soap from Gail Carriger’s Finishing School books and Richard and Alec from Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint (she calls them her “mad, bad boys” – need I say more?)
Newest Favourite Character
Eyas in Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. I just finished this book last week (there’s a post in the offing) and I was sooo into Eyas and her work that I’ve been thinking about her ever since. I really love Chambers’ characterisation.
(Aside: my husband Thumbs has just started reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and I am soooo excited for him … but I don’t imagine it’s easy to read something with someone staring at you and periodically whispering with suppressed impatience “which bit are you reading now?” … so please, spare him a thought).
Book that Made You Cry
I said I didn’t cry rereading Jo Walton’s The Prize in the Game.
So sue me.
Book that Made You Happy
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison made me very happy. I expected it to be dark and doomy, and instead (despite intrigues and assassination attempts) it warmed me from cockles to toes.
Favourite Book to Film Adaptation
*laughs so hard and so long she has to go have a lie down*
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
We got Simon Stålenhag’s Things From the Flood at the beginning of the year – that’s probably the prettiest. Can’t really say it’s been a big year for buying books so far …
What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?
Well, I definitely need to read Temeraire by Naomi Novik and Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh because I’m going to be buddy-reading these with Alex of Spells and Spaceships and Maryam The Curious SFF Reader respectively. (Coming soon! Watch this space!).
I’m also going to be doing a private buddy-read of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon with my Other Brother soon, as we discovered we both had it on our tbr piles and we haven’t seen each other in … like … forever.
Other than that, I don’t really make reading plans as such. I know a lot of you awesome people have these incredible to-read lists for your ARCs and whatnot. Mine is a scribbled list in the front of this year’s notebook and I don’t do ARCs. I’m totally bumbling about in the background while everyone’s being professional and organised. And that’s the way I like it.
But enough about me, what about you? What have your favourite books been so far this year? Your prettiest purchases? What are you looking forward to being published in the next six months?