Hello! I have been lounging through my vacation and reading like a fiend and consuming SO MANY best-of lists and end-of-year blog posts (I LOVE THEM) and just taking it easy. But the reading like a fiend has combined with the best-of lists to make me feel guilty about never quite being ready to do a best-of list at the end of the year.
So, to fend off the guilt and yet participate in this listy time of year, AND to partake of the New Year spirit in non-binding resolution style, I bring you:
The Top 10 Books Even I Can't Believe I Haven't Read Yet
1) The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin. This one almost doesn't count, because I just started it, but I loved the Inheritance trilogy and so very many people have loved this, I have no doubt it's going to blow my mind. And it's our pick for work book club this month, which I think is going to challenge us and give us a nice meaty conversation. So look just getting started and already something is half checked off!
2) Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear. I wanted to read this well before it came out--butt kicking old West magic steampunk ladies of the night. Whenever I see the cover I get tingles.
3) Three Parts Dead, by Max Gladstone. This one I think I've waited for because the plot--investigating the death of a god--sounded a little too much like a couple of others that I've read and loved. I know it will be very different from City of Stairs and The Broken Kingdoms, but I definitely needed to leave some space between one reading and the next. But this is the year!
4) The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater. I'm trying not to fill this list up with sequels, because I am behind on so many of my favorite series. But this is one that I think I have to get on top of, because the first one snuck in under my radar and went from "okay, I'm reading and enjoying this" to "this book is having a profound impact on my understanding of human beings" almost while I wasn't looking. So yeah, this one makes the cut.
5) Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett. The only Patchett I've read was State of Wonder, and I loved it. This is the one that everyone talks about, and the Jennies (Jennys?) mentioned it in their gift recommendation podcast a few weeks ago. But really, what happened was that Brenda sat down with my Kindle and sorted through the 400-something books on there, bumping the ones she couldn't believe I hadn't read to the top. On this one she and I entirely agree.
6) Fly By Night, by Frances Hardinge. People have been telling me to read Frances Hardinge forever, and I finally read Cuckoo Song a while back and they were right. But this is the one they keep selling me on, and this is the one I want to read, and this is the one that I just got from Netgalley, so no excuses!
7) A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab. Elizabeth read ONE V.E. Schwab book and became a "buy this author's books automatically" fan. This is enough for me. I have to read one; it was this or Vicious, and lord knows I love a good trilogy.
8) Walk on Earth a Stranger, by Rae Carson. I liked The Girl of Fire and Thorns much more than such a straightforward, standard YA fantasy trilogy seemed to deserve. It was compelling, and it was tight, and I loved the setting and the main character's determination to become less of a hot mess than she was at the beginning of the book. Add that craftsmanship to the Western setting of this one and I've been meaning to read it for ages. Apparently it's the year of the old West for me!
9) Feed, by Mira Grant. I am SO far behind on this one. She's started a follow-up series to the completed series that everyone read a million years ago. But I was off zombies for a while there. I think I'm ready to dive back in by jumping back to the best I can find.
10) Behind the Throne, by K.B. Wagers. I was a quarter of an inch from picking this book up when a dozen other reading obligations landed on me and I was beckoned away. But I will come back, because I need to read about a super-competent spaceship captain who has to go into politics. I love it when people who are not meant to be in politics have to go into politics. Best books ever.
Honorable mentions will all go to series in which I'm shamefully far behind--I have read not even a third of the Vorkosigan saga; I am at least three books behind on Dr. Siri Paiboun; Sharon Shinn's Elementals series has two more books out, and I've never even picked up Mystic and Rider (which was another one Brenda pushed to the front of my Kindle); Ursula Vernon has a bunch of books as T. Kingfisher that I haven't read yet. As I flip through my Kindle, the list goes on and on and on.
But I will leave it here, because this is a good solid approach to January. And hey, I'm two full chapters into The Fifth Season. Progress already!