Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 Book List

This is really just for my own benefit since I want to keep a list of books read in 2009 (I'm obsessive that way). I'll update this as I read more.

Last updated: May 17
  1. Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold (space opera)
  2. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (fantasy)
  3. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (science fiction)
  4. Inside Straight edited by George R. R. Martin (science fiction)
  5. The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro (fantasy)
  6. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (urban fantasy)
  7. Watchmen by Alan Moore (graphic novel - science fiction)
  8. A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham (fantasy)
  9. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  10. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (dystopian science fiction)
  11. Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair* (science fiction romance)
  12. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  13. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  14. The Oracle Lips by Storm Constantine (SF & F short stories)
  15. The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss (alternative history)
  16. Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre* (urban fantasy)
  17. Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman (dark fantasy)
  18. Corambis by Sarah Monette* (dark fantasy)
  19. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (YA, urban fantasy)
  20. The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro (romantic science fiction)
  21. Starfinder by John Marco* (YA fantasy)
  22. Kings and Assassins by Lane Robins* (dark fantasy)
  23. Sins & Shadows by Lyn Benedict (urban fantasy)
  24. Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor (YA fantasy)
  25. Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey* (urban fantasy)
  26. The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (science fiction)
  27. The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee (science fiction)
  28. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (epic fantasy)
  29. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  30. Archangel by Sharon Shinn (fantasy)
  31. The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (fantasy)
  32. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie* (fantasy)
  33. Dreamdark: Silksinger by Laini Taylor* (fantasy)
  34. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire* (urban fantasy)
  35. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber*(romantic historical fantasy)
Books by authors I hadn't read before: 15
* designates 2009 releases

So far, so good. I haven't read a single book I didn't enjoy and I can't say the same for around this time last year.

6 comments:

orannia said...

Seven new authors! WOW! It's great when you discover a new author, isn't it :)

Kristen said...

It is a lot of fun to discover new authors you haven't read before, especially when they include Patricia Briggs and Jacqueline Carey. :)

Nephtis said...

Are you going to update this post with more reads? In a few months, when you-know-what closes down, I'll be desperate for a space to keep track of my books read.

My 2008 reads so far:

1. Julie E. Czerneda - Reap the Wild Wind
2. Julie Czerneda - Riders of the Storm

First 2 books of a scifi trilogy. The 1st book was too difficult to visualize (lots of activity climbing trees and such) and too drawn out, but the action and the mystery got really got going, with those soap-opera-ish addictive qualities. I tore through book 2.

3. Margo Lanagan - Tender Morsels

This is the "young adult" fantasy with some extremely adult themes. A victim of a vicious assault finds refuge in a magical alternate reality. Despite being well written and a bitter sweet conclusion, the book is hard to love.

4. P.C. Hodgell - God Stalk

Omnibus edition with the first 2 volumes of a fantasy series. The 1st was good, brisk urban fantasy reminding me of Lies of Locke Lamorra and a bit Maledicte (less dark though). Couldn't get into the 2nd. Something with the density of the language maybe. I would gladly re-read the 1st though.

5. Lois McMaster Bujold - The Curse of Chalion

This is very good fantasy book, but it was ruined for me by too many thematic similarities to Carol Berg's Transformation. You have the same main lead who's a [former]slave hiding an astute mind under his scarred body, a royal not-so-nice family with a curse hanging over it. The [ex]slave recognizes the curse and take on the task of defeating the dark forces headed by an evil vizier.

6. Elizabeth Bear - All the Windwracked Stars
7. Stephanie Meyers - Twilight

Sometimes low expectations are the way to go. Twilight was cute, damn it, with the sexual tension and the "does he like her or not?" and "will they finally kiss?"

8. Ian McDonald - River of Gods

Couldn't finish. Long and sprawling.

9. Charles Sheffield - Brother to Dragons
10. Geoff Ryman - Air, or Have Not Have

Both are can't-put-down reads. Air, oddly so, yet I was up till 3am on a workday night finishing it. Geoff Ryman is most similar to Maureen McHugh, it's hard to say what the story is about or what makes it good, yet you can't stop reading.

11. Sylvia Enghard - Stewards of the Flame

Starts as a scifi book, but devolves into an author's political/philosophical treatise on medical advances, old age, and illness.

12. C.S. Friedman - Wings of Wrath

Totally awesome fantasy. 2nd book of the trilogy, with nary a dull moment. Every single page, something happens. I think it's on par with Sanderson's Mistborn books in term of epic fantasy goodness with a special something.

13. Marks, Laurie J. - Fire Logic
14. K.D. Wentworth - Moonspeaker
15. K.D. Wentworth - House of Moons

This is a 2-book series, surprisingly nice fantasy, light and sweet. I read both books in one day.

17. Maxcolm Gladwell - Blink
16. Russell Banks - Rule of the Bone
18. Tanya Huff - The Heart of Valor

If military scifi is on your "intimidating should-read" list, then Tanya Huff's Valor series is the way to go. She makes it cool and fun, mixing in romance and suspense, yet creating a very immersing experience from the point of view of an infantry soldier.

19. Tanith Lee - The Birthgrave

Re-read, and still awesome.

20. Mike Allen, ed. - Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness
21. Kelley Eskridge - Dangerous Space

All very good stuff.

22. Paul Witcover - Waking Beauty
23. Tananarive Due - The Living Blood

Put Tananarive Due on your "to-read" list. Excellent book.

To sum up: 11 new authors.

Kristen said...

Nephtis - Yes, I will be updating this post as I read more. I've already updated it once with a book I read over the weekend.

I ended up adding a whole bunch to my wish list including a book by Tananarive Due (never even heard of her before).

Reap the Wild Wind is on my wish list since I wanted to read something by Julie E. Czerneda. Is there one of her other books that would be better to start with?

The more I hear about C.S. Friedman's new series, the more I want to read it. Maybe I'll get the first book with my Borders gift card even if I do have her entire Coldfire trilogy sitting unread on my bookshelf.

Military scifi used to intimidate me until I discovered Miles Vorkosigan. Added the first book in Tanya Huff's series to the wishlist. :)

How was Waking Beauty? That was one I was curious about.

Nephtis said...

Tananarive Due is one of the few black writers of speculative fiction. She happens to be married to Steven Barnes, another scifi writer, although her books are categorized as "horror" or "supernatural thriller," and for that silly reason I waited until The Living Blood was on sale at Amazon. It wasn't scary or gruesome, and most definitely character-centric. Characters that I really enjoyed reading about.

Waking Beauty was odd. Definitely worth a look, if only because I can't think of any ready comparisons to any other book. The book starts off in a village steeped in a misogynistic and deeply religious culture. Women carry the original sin (with a distinct mythology; it may be reminiscent of Christianity, but quite different) and thus must be dominated. As you read it, you *know* that there must be a catch. The mythology will turn out to be flawed, the original sin not what it was thought, etc. And that's pretty much what happens.

The action then leaves the village entirely and moves to the capital city, rich and decadent, and centers about a whorehouse (one of those upscale, fantasy-novel ones) and a heretical movement (saw that coming).

It was an absorbing read throughout, a big novel chock full of fantastical stuff, none of it boring. It's written well. My objection is that there is no central character to align your sympathies with. For all its eroticism (there's some non-PG themes and scenes, bisexuality, and hints of BDSM), it wasn't seductive. The romances didn't capture my imagination. And mostly, I just wouldn't want to live in that world. I'd live in Perdido Street Station's New Crobuzon, but not in the world of Waking Beauty.

My favorite of Julie Czerneda's books is still Survival: Species Imperative #1 and the 2 sequels, despite the fact that the first 100 pages are describing a salmon researcher's field work.

Kristen said...

Nephtis - When I looked up Tananarive Due's book last night, I noticed it was listed as horror and was hesitant about it at first, too, so I'm glad to hear that it's not really. After reading the reviews it didn't sound like horror and you recommended it so strongly I had to add something by her to the wish list anyway. :) Did you read the first book or just the second one? I saw the one you listed was a sequel so I added that one to my wish list instead.

Waking Beauty sounds very interesting, although not having a central character to connect with would be a big down side for me as well.

Can you believe I still haven't read Perdido Street Station? I have it, just haven't gotten to it yet.

Thanks for the Julie Czerneda recommendation; I'll try Survival: Species Imperative #1 before the one I had on the wish list.

I stopped by Borders tonight and ended up getting two of the books you mentioned - Feast of Souls and A Confederation of Valor. After reading the first page of Valor's Choice, I was very intrigued. I also got Cry Wolf to go with my recent Patricia Briggs reading spree.