Mostly, this is a post about books. Shocking, right? I bet you had no idea I like books. It’s not like I ever talk about books or anything. It’s not like I obsessively acquire them, or want to fill every room in my house with them, or sleep curled up around a pile of them or anything. Not at all. So on that note, in no particular order, I present you with a list of books, some old, some new, which constitutes my officially unofficial Bestest Reads of 2012.
Kraken by China Mieville
I am a fan of China Mieville. He has an amazing knack for re-inventing his writing style from book to book, not to mention the fact he’s insanely prolific. Kraken may be one of my favorites of his so far. Squid cults! Living ink! Folding men! London-mancers! Glass angels! I could go on, but I’m afraid I’d be cited for abuse of exclamation points! Suffice it to say, I loved the world-building, the richness of the language, the dense, tanglyness of the prose, and the way even throw away concepts mentioned in a line or two seemed like they could open up into entire novels or stories of their own.
Last Call by Tim Powers
Last Call hit so many of my fictional weakness, it’s almost like it was written just for me: the gritty, noirish feel, unconventional systems of magic with deep roots in history and mythology, compelling, down-on-their luck characters, beautiful turns of phrase, and a pitch-perfect voice all the way through. Parts of it reminded me of another of my favorite books, Barth Anderson’s The Magician and the Fool, which, now that I’ve read both, I could very easily see having been inspired by Last Call. As the best books do, Last Call managed to be both completely satisfying, and leave me wanting more.
The friends who visited recently left me with two bookshelves, one of which is very large, both of which are very empty. This cannot be allowed to stand. So tell me…what books should I acquire in order to fill them?
Yes, I have a massive book-buying “problem”. Yes, my to-read list is already huge. But that’s never stopped me before. So, again, tell me…what should I be reading? What books do you consider must-haves, and why? New releases, old favorites, I’m not picky. Tell me a bit about a book you love and help me make my new bookshelves feel less empty and lonely.
Feel free to comment here, or on LJ.
When it comes to reading, it seems I’m disturbingly consistent. I read almost exactly the same number of books last year as in 2009. Below the cut, in no particular order, are my top ten favorites for 2010.
Back at the end of October I proposed participating in Neil Gaiman’s new holiday tradition of an All Hallow’s Eve book exchange, and some of you were kind enough to play along. So…how did it go? What did you get? What did you give? If you’ve read the book you received, what did you think? Should we do it again next year, and try to get more people to join in the fun? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, or link to a post of your own, if you’re so inclined. My take below…
I’m starting to think my love of books may be giving my dog a complex.
I’m a book, okay? Now will you pet me?
Until he starts damaging books, I’m not going to discourage him. It’s pretty darned cute, and it seems to be his absolute new favorite place to sleep. He’s a good boy.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Of course, it doesn’t do much good if you’re unable, or unwilling, to move beyond step one. I’m not proud of myself. Oh, wait…yes I am!
The craving struck me this morning, as it often does, to go book shopping. Naturally, I gave in immediately. This is the result.
Believe it or not, this is me practicing restraint. There were easily three or four more books I could have walked out with, but I didn’t. The books I chose, of course, were not only necessary, but perfectly justified. (shut up)
I’ve been eagerly awaiting The Domino Men since reading The Somnambulist. I’m contractually obligated to support my fellow Canadians, plus I resisted buying The Mystery of Grace in hardcover, so that means I deserve it now that it’s in paperback. This is The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The. Very. Best. Enough said. Not only is The Best Horror of the Year 2 also The Best, it’s edited by Ellen Datlow, which makes it required reading. So there. (shut up)
And speaking of The Best Horror of the Year, Ms. Datlow was kind enough to give a shout-out to “A Mouse Ran Up the Clock” in her yearly summation. Woohoo!
I have a problem. I’m fully willing to admit I have a problem. I will not even pretend that I can stop anytime I want. I’m addicted to buying books.
As a result of my addiction, my bookshelves tend to fill up pretty quickly, so I spent the past weekend assembling four new bookshelves. For comparison purposes, here are the old shelves, full to over-flowing.
The results of shopping with a holiday gift card (thanks, Mom!)
Restraint is not so much a thing I’m capable of – evidenced by the fact that this is only round one of the book shopping! Mmm, books.