What have I been doing this year?
I will try to answer that question and give you a best of reading list. It is good to make a halt and reflect a bit now and then. The last six month has been hectic at work so it is great for me to have had this outlet. Reading is a great way to relax but I find my writing suffer when I am stressed. I haven’t written as many reviews as I would have liked to.
I have read an amazing 84 books (3 per week) and written 44 book reviews these six months. My goal was to write at least two book reviews every week. A goal I missed by 8. I am 24 books ahead of my goal for 120 books this year though if I continue to read as much as this I am going to land close to 168 books which would be a new personal record.
Of the books 56 where science fiction, 25 fantasy, 3 steam punk and 3 speculative fiction which reflects my interests pretty well. 31 was by female authors and 67 by male authors (some books had more than one author) which is a disappointing ratio. I have followed my interests when picking books to read. Surprising since I generally like more female authors than male ones. I like Elizabeth Bear, Kristine Kathryn Rush, Jaine Fenn, Elisabeth Moon, Tanya Huff, Justina Robson, Jody Lynn Nye, Julie E. Czerneda and Sarah A. Hoyt to name a few. But they have not published so much science fiction yet this year but they will. In general I read all science fiction of the authors I like. The story is different when it comes to fantasy. I have favorite authors whose fantasy books I have never read. I have no doubt they are as good as the scifi ones but I am trying to cover science fiction as a genre and time is limited.
60 printed books, 12 e-books and 12 audio books read. I think e-books are the future but sadly I don’t own a reader yet. I have not found one I liked yet. Hopefully that will change soon. Please recommend one if you have any that you are happy with. I try to stay away from the locked-in ones though.
In the interest of full disclosure 66 were bought by me, 2 free online, 4 loan from friends and 12 review copies.
You find more details and a list of all the books I have read this year on the 2011 Book Index
Month By Month
The monthly pages has links to reviews or you can use the 2011 Book Index.
June: Leviathan Wakes by C. A. Corey was my best read
May: Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi was best read
April: Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown was best read
March: Kings of the North by Elizabeth Moon was best read, Up Against it by M. J. Locke a close second
February: Embedded by Dan Abnett was best read
January: Yarn by Jon Armstrong was best read
- New SFF to Read 2011
- Almanac of forthcoming SF Books
- Cybermage’s Summer Reading Recommendations
- Books – Military SF Series
Best Books of the First Half
This list of the books I enjoyed most of the books published this year. It is almost impossible to make a perfect list of the best books but I try. What I enjoy reading depends on many things, my mode not least so it changes over time. You can also weight in different things in what is best. Some people think that language is king but for me it is about ideas, character, dialog and the overall story. I read to immerse myself in the experience and to get a kick out of it. You might have different idea about what is important and that is okay for you.
My absolute favorite is The Kings of Eternity. It is a wonderful personal journey we get to experience as well as a beautiful and emotionally fulfilling love story. Eric Brown is a master at getting you close to the everyday life of his characters and to tell his often epic stories to that backdrop. I am convinced the characters are most important in his stories, they come to life so effortless. Here he succeeds in mixing that with a style that makes me think of the classic adventure stories of Verne & Wells that usually starts at a club for gentlemen. This one doesn’t but the mysterious summon novelist Daniel Langham and his friends receive from Editor Jasper Carnegie and the strange followings in Hopton Wood are pure golden age including the recurring alien gateway and the strange creatures they discover there. Read my review for the full story.
- The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown (Solaris 2011)
- Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi (Tor 2011)
- City of Ruins (Diving into the Wreck 2) by Kristine Katheryn Rusch (Pyr 2011)
- Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse 1) by James S. A. Corey (Orbit 2011)
- Embedded by Dan Abnett (Angry Robot 2011) – Review copy
- Kings of the North (Paladin’s Legacy 2) by Elizabeth Moon (Orbit 2011)
- Up Against It by M. J. Locke (Tor 2011)
- The View from the Imperium by Jody Lynn Nye (Baen 2011)
- Grail (Jacob’s Ladder 3) by Elizabeth Bear (Spectra 2011)
- Yarn by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade 2010)
Six standalone books and four in a series. That is a good mix. Last year all books on my list was in a series.
I would like to mention a few other books that impressed me.
- The Inferior (The Bone world trilogy 1) by Peadar Ó Guilín (Corgi 2008, 1st 2007)
- The Deserter (The Inferior book 2) by Peadar Ó Guilín (David Fickling Books 2011)
- Owner’s Share (A Trader’s Tale in the Age of the Solar Clipper 1) by Nathan Lowell (Podiobook 2011)
- De Vassa tändernas skog (Eng: The Forest of Hands & Teeth) by Carrie Ryan (Styxx fantasy 2011, 1st 2009) – Review copy
- En Död Ängel [A Dead Angel] (Nova Barakel book 2) by Åsa Schwarz ( Telegramförlaget Aug 2011) – review copy