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Stand-Out Books

January 5, 2015

I read 66 new-to-me books last year, reread 9, and skimmed 3 more for research purposes. I know, probably not the most interesting topic to start a year and restart blogging on, but the Books Of the Year Recap was a tradition on my last blog and I’d like to continue it, so here we are.

Yes, I’m an editor. Yes, I just used a run-on. Moving on.

Best Urban Fantasy: The Severed Streets, Paul Cornell (not as creepy as the first, but nearly)

Best Non-Urban Fantasy: The Silvered, Tanya Huff (beautiful take on werewolves and magic)

Best Science Fiction: The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey (eep)

Best Mystery: The City of Shadows, Ariana Franklin (I can usually finger a culprit, but not this time)

Best Historical Fiction: Hild, Nicola Griffith (astounding; want more yesterday)

Best Graphic Novel: Rat Queens vol. 1 – Sass and Sorcery, Kurtis J. Wiebe (wheee!)

Best Classic: Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen (a.k.a. only classic, oops)

Best Teen: The Daughter of Smoke and Bones series, Laini Taylor (devoured these)

Best Other Fiction: The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (not as good as Cloud Atlas but close)

Best History: The Great Sea: a Human History of the Mediterranean, David Abulafia (so much info, compressed so well)

Best Research Book: The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, Samuel Bawlf (good read, good theory)

Best Re-read: The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco (got much, much more out of it this time)

Hopes for 2015? I’d really like to discover a new urban fantasy writer or two, because I’ve grown tired of the same-old of most of the stuff out there. Right now, I’m only keeping up with Seanan McGuire, Kat Richardson, Paul Cornell, Tanya Huff, and Ben Aaronovitch. Everyone else I read last year was disappointing. I’d also like to find another Big Thick History™ along the lines of The Great Sea or Vanished Kingdoms, which I read in 2013. Bonus points if the history is somehow relevant to my research needs. Beyond that, I don’t know. I want books that excite me, that expand my horizons, that keep me coming back for me or start my brain fizzing.

Recommendations welcome. And if anyone wants to share their own top reads, I won’t say no to that either.

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