Oh, I had such noble aims. I was going to use this holiday as an excuse to do a proper stock-taking post, looking back over what I’ve read so far this year and forward to what’s still to come. Instead, it’s got to the point where I’m out the door in an hour, and have various things to do before then. So all you get is some raw numbers: I’ve read 42 books this year; and these are, I think, the six best (in alphabetical order by author), that you all really should read.
- The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction by Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr
- Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Dasgupta
- Lavinia by Ursula K Le Guin
- Your Face Tomorrow 1: Fever and Spear by Javier Marias
- The Woman Who Thought She Was A Planet and Other Stories by Vandana Singh
- In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield
In fact, if you want me to know which one of these you should read, it’s the Whitfield; really, In Great Waters and Lavinia should both be on the BSFA Award Best Novel shortlist come 2010.
And with that, I’m off!
4 thoughts on “On Holiday”
I got the Dasgupta book after you recommended it earlier this year, and really really liked it a lot. I have Lavinia on my to-read shelf, but haven’t got to it yet. And I’ve always loved Vandana Singh’s stories. Will have to check out the others, too.
You are allowed to wait until October for In Great Waters, because that’s when the US edition is published. :-)
I saw In Great Waters here on your site some months ago and it attracted my attention so I ordered and read the UK edition and I thought: great writer, great potential, novel way too YA for me to fully enjoy.
I put a capsule rv like this:
“A very compelling book and a page turner set in a world where the mixed blood children of “deepsmen” and “landsmen” are “royal”, the novel left me a bit mixed at the end because of the three main characters “Henry”, Anne and John who start as children, become teens but do not really grow into adults throughout the book.
So despite some adult language “In Great Waters” is ultimately a very well written YA book and it should appeal especially to the YA crowd. For me it was a very good book, but not a notable one.
I loved Ms. Whitefield style and I am willing to read more novels by her, though I would love a fantasy with adult characters.”
I read about 170+ books so far in 09, maybe 100 09 releases and while there are way too many books to mention, no one blew me away like Anathem (and even Spirit to a lesser extent) and 2066 last year or Kindly Ones in 06 – the 3rd read this year, first in English confirmed why it’s a great book but it had much less of impact as the first 2 reads in French on publication.
The only one that came close is the Firethorn first two books of the trilogy by S. Micklem – Firethorn (05) and Wildfire (09) which I read this year and they form one of the most impressive fantasy series in recent memory – grim, uncompromising, harsh, superb- the heroine is a “sheath” as the girls that follow their soldier lovers to war are called and that encapsulates in one word the world of the series, how women are seen and treated…
Lots of excellent books, did two posts with them by category. Outside pure genre (J. Carey, Joe A, KJ Parker, S. Micklem, Th. Harlan, G. Gibson 09’s releases and the 2 genre debuts Manhattan Prophet by J. Packard and In the Courts of the Sun by B. D’Amato – all co-#1) and guilty pleasures (A. Bell Jasmyn which I just loved) the other co-#1 novels are White is for Witching by H. Oyeyemi, The Babylonian Trilogy by S. Doubinsky and Stone’s Fall by I. Pears
I am waiting Transition/IMB with bathed breath since that one may be the breakout book for me of 09, while Byatt’s Booker longlist one – Children’s Book – which I just ordered may also be there
Tokyo Cancelled is one I got the 1-click sample and I am torn between ordering it and not ordering it, will see…