What have I been doing 2011?
I will try to answer that and give a best of the year list. It is hard to select the best out of so many great books so take it for what it is, my own very subjective list. This year has been hectic at work so it is great for me to have had this outlet, unfortunately I haven’t had so much time to write as I would have liked to. Reading is still the best way I know to relax with your cloths on though.
I have read an amazing 174 novels (3,3 per week) this year far more than my goal of 120. My goal was to write at least two book reviews every week. A goal I missed by 8 the first half of the year but then it went downhills to a total of 76 book reviews.
Of the books 134 where science fiction, 31 fantasy, 4 steam punk and 3 speculative fiction which reflects my interests pretty well. 67 was by female authors and 122 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 releases of the authors I like. The story is different when it comes to fantasy. I have favorite authors whose fantasy releases 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.
101 printed books, 42 e-books and 31 audio books read. I have finally invested in an e-reader, A Sony PRS-T1. It is pretty okay but i would have liked more options to organize my books.
In the interest of full disclosure 125 were bought by me, 2 free online, 26 loan from friends and 21 were 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.
December: Hex by Allen Steel was my best read
November: The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding was my best read
October: Master of the House of Darts by Aliette de Bodard and Daring by Mike Shepherd were beast reads
September: Reamde by Neal Stephenson and The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell were my best reads
August: Germline by T.C. McCarthy was best read
July: A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber was best read
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 Year (Released 2011)
This list of the books I enjoyed most of the books released 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 mood 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.
Debut of the year is Germline by T. C. McCarthy. He impresses the hell out of me with this hard-hitting debut. Germline is a gritty and painfully realistic military science fiction that can stand on its own against the best in the genre. It is dark but also very personal up close. If you have the slightest interest in war stories you should read this. You might also want to read The Big Idea: T. C. McCarthy over at Whatever for more background.
- The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown (Solaris 2011) – Book of the Year
- 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)
- Kings of the North (Paladin’s Legacy 2) by Elizabeth Moon (Orbit 2011)
- Germline (The Subterrene War Trilogy 1) by T.C. McCarthy (Orbit) – Debut of the Year
- Reality 36 (Richard & Klein 1) by Guy Haley (Angry Robot 2011)
- The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris) – debut
- Up Against It by M. J. Locke (Tor 2011)
- A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan (Chandlewick Press 2011)
- The View from the Imperium by Jody Lynn Nye (Baen 2011)
- A Beautiful Friendship (Honorverse YA) by David Weber (Baen 2011)
- Grail (Jacob’s Ladder 3) by Elizabeth Bear (Spectra 2011)
- Hex (Coyote 6) by Allen Steel (Audible Frontiers 2011)
- The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski (Tor 2011)
- Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1) by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
- Yarn by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade 2010)
- Anniversary Day (Retrieval Artist 8) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Audible Frontiers 2011, 1st 2011)
- The Departure (Owner Trilogy 1) by Neal Asher (Tor UK 2011)
Nine standalone books and eleven in a series. That is a good mix. Last year all books on my list was in a series.
I would also like to mention a few other books that impressed me this year.
- Penumbra by Eric brown (Infinity Plus 2011, 1st 1999)
- 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
- Armor by John Steakley (Blackstone Audio 2009, 1st 1984)