2016 - A year of reading
Hey guys! The years almost over so lets pull some data from good reads and take a look at what I've read this year and
As usual, it's a lot of fantasy, but the non-fiction, long hated in my brain, found some space this year. Finally got around to reading Guns, Germs, and Steel and at the urging of Daniel Jose Older at last year's Writing Excuses conference I dug into the work of Edward Said. Ok. One more graph and then some stand outs.
Probably would be more interesting with data from past years, but that would take more time than I have at the moment, and my Goodreads data is terribly uncultivated previous to this year. Looking at my average for the year I came in a little lower than the average of averages that Goodreads is showing me. I'm at about 3.8 for these books and the Goodreads average is about 4.1. No idea what that means! But I do love data.
Everything Daniel Jose Older - So I met DJO at the 2015 Writing Excuses Retreat and cruise. He also led my novel critique group, so after the cruise, I decided to read something of his. I devoured everything he's written. The entire Bone Street Rumba universe of books bowled me over. I got my introduction to urban fantasy through the Dresden books, but DJO really showed me what the genre is capable of. I think the best fantasy is going to be coming from Urban Fantasy in the future. He's got a full line up for 2017 already slated, so expect to see me gush some more.
The Alchemy Wars - Ian Tregellis is an author that I have a lot of love for, but whose books were always sort of borderline for me. The Milkweed Triptych were fun but the overly complicated plots and cyclical nature always left me feeling a little bit wanting. His newest series about a growing rebellion of clockwork men set in an alternate history Europe has been enthralling from the first page. It's one of the few books where I feel like I can never guess where the story is going swing to next. So many times my expectations are smashed, restored, and then smashed again. The next one is out in a few months and I cannot wait!
Claudia Gray - Claudia is someone I met on the 2016 Writing Excuses Retreat and cruise, and I'm so glad I did. I don't think that I would have given the newest slate of Star Wars novels a chance after reading Aftermath when Episode 7 came out. I'm so glad that I found these books and this author. Having read both Bloodlines and Lost Stars after the cruise I feel like the Expanded Universe is still in some stable hands. Bloodlines is everything that I wanted from Aftermath. Characters I know giving me a little bit of knowledge about the new status quo of the SW Universe while no spoiling anything for the upcoming movies. I'm probably going to be working my way through her back catalog in 2017.
The Grace of Kings - Where has Ken Liu been all my life? There is nothing like this book in all the rest of my reading for 2016. With flavors of epic fantasy, it would seem like common fare, but with a timeline that stretches into multiple generations and with a style that is different from the Western Fantasy that I read this year, The Grace of Kings was a welcome breath of fresh air. A point of view more closely related to the work of Frank Herbert the anyone modern, I can't wait to see what else Ken Liu can give us in the future.