Saturday, December 27, 2014

Books I DIDN'T read this year

In 2014, I read a ton of books.

Perhaps even a literal ton, although probably not. Maybe a couple hundred pounds. Anyways.

Blogging for has upped my reading game, but working at a bookstore has upped my reading awareness. There are so many good books coming out, all. the time. I'm still not reading as much as most book bloggers or many of my co-workers. Instead of posting a list of what I did read, I thought I'd post a list of books I missed out on reading in 2014 ... and hope to catch up on in 2015.

The Wilds
, by Julia Elliot: a collection of short stories that fall roughly into the categories of magical realism or the New Weird. Karen Russell and Kate Bernheimer both blurbed it, and the cover is gorgeous.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami: I have never read any Murakami (I know!) and thought I might start this year. But time steamrolled over me and I still haven't read any Murakami.

The World of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin: This encyclopedia of Westeros, written by Martin and Elio M. Garcia, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of, is a nerd's dream. I can't wait to read it.

The Tudors, by Peter Ackroyd: This book came out in hardback before 2014, but the paperback (the version I can afford) was released in September of this year. Ackroyd is an amazing biographer whose specialty is London. 

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: Oyeyemi is another author I haven't read, but who I need to explore. This book, a loose retelling of Snow White, explores issues of racial identity and aesthetic beauty. 

Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson: This is the second book in Sanderson's epic fantasy series, THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE. The first one, The Way of Kings, was really interesting; I want to see what happens next.

Bone Clocks by David Mitchell: I read about a third of this book, but someone at work wanted the advanced reader's copy and I was taking too long, so I didn't get to finish it. I haven't read Cloud Atlas, either. 

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie: Really, I need to read Ancillary Justice, which came out last year, first. Leckie is the first author to win the triple crown of science fiction writing: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Arthur C. Clarke award. And Ancillary Justice was her first novel! I have heard that Ancillary Sword, the second book in the series and published this year, is just as good. These probably need to be moved to the top of the list.

Pacific Fire by Greg Eekhout: I read Eekhout's short story, "California Bones," several years ago. It stuck with me. This book is set in the same world as that story. I made our bookstore stock it, but still haven't read it myself. 

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer: This book, the last in the SOUTHERN REACH trilogy, is bound to be incredible, creepy, and mind-bending; the first two were. Plus, VanderMeer, one of the foremost New Weird writers, is a genuinely nice, funny guy. He lives in Tallahassee and agreed to come speak for my sci-fi/fantasy class one year; how cool is that?

Making Make Believe Real by Garry Wills: When this book came out, I drooled over it. It's about how Elizabethan political and religious structures used theatrical methods to establish their "truths"--how they turned the tools of the stage to their benefit. At the same time, Wills looks at how Elizabethan theater staged politics. Next time I teach Shakespeare, I will use this book.

The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan: This book follows Brennan's A Natural History of Dragons, and promises to be funny, exciting, and atmospheric. Lady Trent is the world's preeminent dragon naturalist and she is a character. Brennan's writing in general is great and she often writes about topics that I love; just the list of short stories she has published makes my mouth water.

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville: Another modern story hearkening back to a dark fairy-tale world, this book explores Nazi Germany and 1899 Vienna through the intertwined stories of two different women.

Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail by Kelly Luce: This book was published in 2013, but I only found out about it in 2014, so I'm cheating and including it.  We featured this at the bookstore because Luce was coming to read, but I didn't get a chance to pick it up before her visit. However, it looks like the kind of weird magical realism that I expect from Karen Russell and Kelly Link, and I want it.

Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found, by Frances Larson: This book seems like an interesting way to learn some history, grotesque though it may be. I guess I'm a little macabre in my interests. 

Lock In, by John Scalzi: A police procedural sci-fi novel that seems poised to win some awards in 2015. It has also been picked up for a TV series. 

All in all, I have a lot of reading to do in 2015!

No comments: