Thursday, July 3, 2008

Notable Reads of 2008 (so far)

With 2008 halfway over, I reached my goal of 25 books read halfway through the year so I'm hoping to actually finish 50 books this year. I really didn't think I'd make it that far since I had a bunch of extra work eating into my spare time a while ago and had a month where I didn't get much reading done because of it so I'm glad it's working out so far.

My favorite new author discovery of the year so far is Sarah Monette. I absolutely loved the first three books in her "The Doctrine of Labyrinth" series - Melusine, The Virtu, and The Mirador. Right now, I'm halfway through the book she co-wrote with Elizabeth Bear, A Companion to Wolves, and it's also very good. Elizabeth Bear may end up making it to one of my favorite author discoveries of the year if the rest of her "Promethean Age" series is as good as the first book, Blood and Iron.

The other reading discovery of the year so far is that I enjoy science fiction far more than I thought I did, so I have been reading and acquiring more of it.

Here are my favorite books I've read so far this year:

Melusine, The Virtu, and The Mirador by Sarah Monette
The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari
Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear

Other books I've enjoyed more than the average enjoyable book:

Primary Inversion and The Radiant Seas (review forthcoming) by Catherine Asaro
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Breath and Bone by Carol Berg
Dune by Frank Herbert

Most fun, easy to breeze through book:

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

What are your favorite books/new authors so far this year?

6 comments:

joshua said...

This was a tough one to answer. I've been reading a lot of authors I've already read from before: David Gemmel, Simon R. Green, Charlie Huston, Sharon Shinn, etc.

But there have been a few authors that I've either put off until this year or have only newly found.

One's I've enjoyed:

Severance Package by Duane Swierczynski (crime fiction if written by Tarantino)

Halting State by Charles Stross (cyberpunk by Gibson if he could write)

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters (modern Lovecraft)

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (she is now one of my favorite female writers)

Some fun reads:

-Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
-Grimspace by Ann Aguirre (everytime I hear her name I think of the old and heavy handed Herzog film: Aguirre the Wrath of God)

Well, guess that's it. I still have yet to find that book that'll blow me away. Hopefully I'll find it in the second half of the year.

Kristen said...

Joshua,

Thanks for sharing your favorites so far this year! I enjoyed Grimspace as well; it was a lot of fun to read.

I've mostly read authors that are new to me this year. I have read more books I haven't been that fond of this year than normal, but I've also found more books I enjoyed more than the average entertaining story.

I'm going to have to check out some of the ones you mentioned since they sound interesting.

Whitechapel Gods is one I've heard about that sounds intriguing. I also like the thought of cyberpunk by someone who can write since I despised Neuromancer with a passion so I may have to add that to the list too. Patricia Briggs is another author I'd like to try reading.

The list just keeps getting longer and longer... I'm off to look up all those books you mentioned on Amazon now. ;)

joshua said...

Yeah, this year I've read some absolute stinkers. But no book was as punishing as The Man on the Ceiling by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem. There are few instances in life where I am deeply saddened by time spent that I'll never get back. Reading that book is one of them.

A book I've been meaning to read is Dust by Elizabeth Bear. You've been speaking highly of her and I've had that book sitting on my shelf for a while so I'll probably pick that one up soon. Also many people have been speaking highly of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind . It was a bit hard to find and I look forward to reading it.

I must admit that I picked up Whitechapel Gods because I loved the cover. The story has some interesting concepts in a burgeoning Steampunk subgenre.

Kristen said...

I'll make sure I avoid The Man on the Ceiling.

If you read Dust, I'll look forward to reading your goodreads review. Dust sounded particulary intriguing to me and I like what I've read of Bear so far.

The Shadow of the Wind has piqued my interest as well after the reviews I've read lately and is on the wishlist. It sounds like an excellent story.

ThRiNiDiR said...

I'm currently reading Ferrari (as you know), Banks is sitting impatiently on my shelf and Elizabeth Bear is a name I've been looking after for a long time - I really need to order her books since none of the local bookshops seem to have any of her books; and now S.Monette is on my immediate-to-buy list as well. cheers :)

Kristen said...

Thrinidir,

How do you like The Book of Joby so far? I have another Banks book on my shelf too (Consider Phlebas) but I'm a little afraid to read it because it's not supposed to be as good as The Player of Games.