Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Books I read in 2009

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All 57 of them. Doubtless a few more I neglected to record. I regard reading as one of the fabulous joys of life, plus something essential to my growth as a writer. IMHO, a writer who doesn't read ends up writing things which show that lack.

FANTASY
Major reads this year were: The Last Stormlord and Stormlord Rising...read them SOOOO many times

Obviously, fantasy is at the top of my list. One of the biggest disappointments were the Julian May books - loved her other series with a deep passion, and these just didn't cut it for me.
...........
..............Conqueror's Moon by Julian May
..............Ironcrown Moon
by Julian May
................Sorcerer's Moon by Julian May

Loved the new Novak, and I am hanging out for the next.

.............Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novak

Karen Miller is always a favourite of mine, delicious dialogue and a rollicking ride of a story:

.............Wizard Squared by K.E.Mills.
.............The Prodigal Mage by Karen Miller
.............Reluctant Mage by Karen Miller

Gaiman and Pratchett - what could possibly be bad?

.............The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
.............Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
.............Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
.............Thud by Terry Pratchett

I tried very, very hard this year to like urban fantasy with lots of zombies, kick-ass females, vampires and werewolves. (For a month, I stayed in a house that was full of the things from ceiling to floor, so I had plenty of opportunity to try the genre.) And not one of them grabbed me. These are the only two I managed to finish. I think the genre is just not for me - not the fault of the authors, it's just me.

.............Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
.............Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Here's 3 new authors (for me) whom I tried and enjoyed:

.............The Turning Tide by Diana Pharoah Francis
.............The Skewed Throne by Joshua Palmatier.............
.............Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear

And here's some epic fantasy I absolutely LOVED:

.............Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
.............Shadowplay by Tad Williams
.............The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
.............Shadow Gate by Kate Elliott
.............Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
.............The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie

Think I made a mistake trying to read too much of MZB all at once:

.............The Heritage of Hastur by Marion Zimmer Bradley
.............Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
.............The Winds of Darkover by Marion Zimmer Bradley
.............Sharra's Exile by Marion Zimmer Bradley

And this one - which involves time travel - really belongs more in historical fiction. An interesting read.
.............
.............A Breath of Snow and Ice by Diana Gabaldon

First book of Fiona's new trilogy:

.............Royal Exile by Fiona McIntosh

SCIENCE FICTION
Didn't read that much SF this year.
.............The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld
.............Air by Geoff Ryman
.............Code Noir by Marianne de Pierres


STANDARD FICTION
My favourite non-fantasy read of the year in bold.
.............Always Bells by Winifred Stegar
.............The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
.............Little Hut of Leaping Fishes by Chiew-Siah Tei
.............Secret Scriptures Sebastian Barry
.............The Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw
.............The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
.............Wandering Star by J.N.G. Le Clezio
.............The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakam
.............A Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
.............The Brief and Wondous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
.............Q&A by Vikas Swarup
.............Ethan Frome and selected stories by Edith Wharton
.............A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
.............Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
.............World Without End by Ken Follett
.............A Mercy by Toni Morrison

ROMANCE
Why, oh why do I persist in reading regency romance? No one comes anywhere near Heyer. Especially American authors, who just don't get it. Sigh.
.............The Duke's World by Edith Layton
.............Lord of Dishonour by Edith Layton
.............A Courtesan's Scandal by Julia London

THRILLER & WHODUNIT
.............O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton
.............N is for Noose by Sue Grafton
.............M is for Malice by Sue Grafton
.............The King of Torts by John Grisham

NON FICTION
Every one of these was fascinating and memorable for different reasons:
.............Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
.............No Way Home by Carlos Acosta
.............From Heaven Lake by Vikram Seth
.............Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien
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8 comments:

Satima Flavell said...

You put me to shame, Glenda - my reading list would be about half the length of yours! I'm with you on the Abercrombie's - I've loved all of his so far. And Karen's new one was worth waiting for - love it! Good Omens is one of my very favourite books, but my eldest son has it and I don't think I can prise it from him, so I'd better buy another.

Of course, I read another really good one that you might like to recommend to friends - it's called The Last Stormlord:-)

Jo said...

I was going to say the same Satima, one of the best books I read in 2009 - The Last Stormlord.

I agree with you Glenda, reading is one of the fabulous joys of life especially with authors like you around. Usually I find I have read a lot of the books you read, but not this year.

l-j-hayward said...

Simply must agree with one of the stand out reads of the year, "The Last Stormlord".

I began a list of all the books I was reading this year, but hard drive crashes meant starting again one too many times, so I have no idea how many books I read.

Sadly, I can't say Abercrombie was amongst the best of them. Right up to the last half of "Last Argument of Kings" I was a devoted Abercrombite, but after that end to the trilogy I won't read anything more of his. It's sad because he is an awesome writer.

"Good Omens" is one of my all time favourites and I always get swept away by Fiona McIntosh. Not a big fan of Briggs, but I do enjoy Ilona Andrews. "The Risen Empire" was awesome, once you got past the jingo barrier.

Two big reads of this year were Iain Banks's "Use of Weapons" and "The Wasp Factory". Brilliant, brilliant reads.

Regarding urban fantasy, have you tried the boys of the genre? Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) and Mike Carey (Felix Castor) are big, big favourites.

Looking forward to "Stormlord Rising" for 2010!

Cheers, Lisa.

l-j-hayward said...

And of course, by 'jingo barrier', I do mean 'jargon barrier'. That's what typing while half asleep gets me...

Jo said...

I love the Dresden Files.

glenda larke said...

Lisa, I do agree that the end of the Abercrombie was a major disappointment. There was very little satisfaction there for a reader, and even less for the characters!!

I also loved The Risen Empire. Yes, I did try Jim Butcher. Same reaction: not for me. Funny that; not sure what it is about me and urban fantasy that involves zombies or vampire or werewolves. There just seems an awful sameness to them, even though the plots can be vastly different...or something. Weird.

And you are another fan of the Wasp Factory?! I insisted my book group read it. No sooner had I walked in the door the day we were to discuss it, than one of the other women said, 'Glenda, I read the book, and I completely revised my opinion of you!' Lol!

karenmiller said...

Thank you! And oy, my reading this year was pitiful. Something else I intend to rectify in 2010.

You're an inspiration.

l-j-hayward said...

Jo, a girl after my own heart.

I dare not recommend "The Wasp Factory" to people who don't already love me... No chance afterward! ;) And it's funny, but I'm a bit scared to read more of Banks's stuff because it's just too damn good. Now that's weird.

I can understand the urban fantasy deal. Maybe the sameness comes from the fact that it is just vampires and werewolves, etc. Very small chance for something like the 'pedes, for example. I'm sort of over it. I have my regulars I read but I'm not activily looking to find new ones. So what does it say about me that I'm shopping around an urban fantasy all about vampires at the moment?

Cheers, Lisa.