Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Half of 2009

The first half of 2009 is officially over so I've been thinking about my favorite books read so far. So far this year I've read 28 books and reviewed 27 (all of them except for Last Argument of Kings, which I may just skip other than putting up a few thoughts since it's been pretty thoroughly covered on other blogs and I haven't had much time lately).

Here are my top 10 so far regardless of publication date:

1. The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro
2. Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
3.Watchmen by Alan Moore
4. Corambis by Sarah Monette
5. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (along with the other 2 books in the Mercy Thompson series)
6. Kings and Assassins by Lane Robins
7. Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman
8. The Oracle Lips by Storm Constantine
9. Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor
10. Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

This year I've read a lot of books I've really enjoyed reading but very few that I really loved and kept thinking about after I was done. The top 5 on this list are easily the cream of the crop of what I've read this year (even if I didn't like Corambis quite as much as the other books in the series it was still excellent and better than most of what I read this year).

What are your top reads of the year so far?


Anastasia said...

Out of about 40 books so far this year, here are my favorites (excluding books which were re-reads):

1. Catherynne M. Valente - Palimpsest - I kinda want to make love to this book

2. C.S Friedman - Wings of Wrath - book 2 of a trilogy, sequel to Feast of Souls, it had not a single slow or dull moment.

3. Walter Jon Williams - Conventions of War: Dream Empire's Fall - concluding book of the space opera trilogy, once again surprising me with better-than expected characterization and writing, and a punch-in-the-gut ending.

4. Tanith Lee - Vivia and Elephantasm - classical Lee, with blood, sex, violence, death, and a cool detached immortal heroine who's repeatedly victimized. I know how it sounds, but I'm addicted. Not sure exactly when it happened, but here I am.

5. Julie E. Czerneda - Riders of the Storm - book 2 of the Stratification trilogy. I'm glad I persevered through book 1, because by the end, it really picked up, and I rather inhaled book 2.

6. Geoff Ryman - Air, or Have Not Have - gotta give this book props, for appearing so boring on the surface with practically nothing happening, I was riveted until 3am in the morning on a work night.

7. Tananarive Due - The Living Blood - very good technically, but with a little distance, it hasn't left an emotional mark. I still remember admiring it greatly while reading it.

I'm going to stop here. There's a lot more I liked, but I can't choose between them.

Kristen said...

Anastasia - I'm about halfway through the Valente book now and it is excellent if I get to actually sit down and read it for a bit. Feast of Souls was very good; I'll probably be cheap and wait for paperback for the second one, though. I have been curious about the Walter Jon Williams space opera trilogy; sounds like another one for the ever-expanding list.

What you said about the Tananarive Due book is how I feel about a lot of what I've read this year - a lot of very good, enjoyable books but I've read very few that left that special emotional mark.

orannia said...

Ohh, nice list. I'm dithering over starting the first Kushiel book *looks around nervously* because it's so...big! I know, a pathetic reason not to start a book but's big!

I think my favourite book this year would have to be Melusine....I'm still thinking about that. The Mirador keeps tempting me but my TBR list if giving me dirty looks!

Oh, and guess what I saw when I wandered into my local bookstore on Saturday (to pick up Nalini Singh's latest, which is soooo good BTW) - a paperback copy of The Virtu (and in lovely condition. And no I didn't buy it as I have my hardback copy now *hugs self with glee*

ediFanoB said...

A top five is very difficult for me because I have one number one and several books on number two.

My top read so far has been the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I read all three books in a row and I have been blown away.

Benjamin said...

I've read 32 books so far. The top ten in alphabetical order regardless of publication date,

Best Served Cold, Joe Abercrombie
Turn Coat, Jim Butcher
Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey
The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr.
The Sun Over Breda, Arturo Perex-Reverte
Devil’s Cape, Rob Rogers
The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson
Lamentation, Ken Scholes
Avempartha, Michael J. Sullivan

Kristen said...

Orannia - I understand where you are coming from with the first Kushiel book. It sat on my bookshelf for about a year because the size terrified me since I knew it would take me a while to read it. Thea finally convinced me to read it, though, and I'm glad she did because it was excellent. Last year my favorite book was The Virtu, followed by Melusine. I haven't read anything this year that has compared to that reading experience.

Ooh, I keep thinking about picking up the Nalini Singh series. I've heard only good things about it, but I'm little hesitant to pick up a paranormal romance. Although I like romance in books, I don't normally like it if it's the main plot.

ediFanoB - I liked Mistborn and still need to read the other two books.

Benjamin - Santa Olivia was very good and almost made it to my top 10 list. I haven't read any of the other books on your list although I plan to read Best Served Cold before the end of the month (it might even be the next book I read depending on how long it takes to finish The Orphan's Tales).