I’m back with Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly bookish meme hosted by the broke and the bookish. Every week, there’s a new theme. Come up with your top ten and add your post to the linky over at b&b’s masterpost.
This week’s theme was Top Ten (New) Books I Read in 2015:
1. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m lumping all three of these together to ensure I have enough room for all ten books I want to include, and, let’s face it, they’re a series and they go together. If you haven’t read Stiefvater yet, I can’t recommend the Raven Cycle highly enough.
2. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Gray – for all that it’s been compared to other books, I found I liked this one better than the books it’s supposedly ‘ripping off’ or based on (out of what I’ve read of them, that is). If you like urban fantasy and reincarnation romance, I’d certainly recommend it.
3. The Kommandant’s Mistress by Sherri Szeman – raw, powerful, and Rashoman-style narrators. Because it’s out of print (IIRC), it’s hard to get your hands on, but if you like WWII fiction, Judaica fiction, or women’s issues fiction, AND you can put up with a lot of ugliness, I recommend trying this one.
4. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – don’t let my failure to follow up on the next two books in this series fool you into thinking I didn’t love it. I just know that it’s easier to get my hands on the sequels to Blood Song than it is to get my hands on certain other books I want to read. Yes it’s brutal, it’s about war and politics and religion in a medieval-ish setting, but I think it uses all of that in a unique way, and I WILL be completing the series within the next few months if everything goes to plan. Recommended for those who like a bit more army and religion in their fantasy setting.
5. Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell – oh my gosh this one was amazing. And probably at least mostly because it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Yes, it’s a ‘love story’, as Cath would put it, but it’s so much more than that, too. And I stand by what I’ve said in previous posts: I get the feeling that this is Rainbow’s Carry On, not Cath’s. And that’s okay. Heck, it’s more than okay; it’s great! Please read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl first, however, or I fear you will not get as much out of this book.
6. After Iris by Natasha Farrant – I love middlegrade epistolary novels, a love started by the remarkable Klise sisters (Regarding the Fountain, Trial by Journal, Letters from Camp, etc.) and After Iris did not disappoint. Half journal and half video transcript, I loved seeing the interactions between family members and friends, the way everything developed. If you like epistolary-style family drama-comedies, this might just be for you.
7. Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce – Tamora Pierce has been one of my favorite authors since I first read Sandry’s Book back in fifth grade. Because I started with the Emelan-verse, they’ve always been closer to me than the Tortall-verse, and Battle Magic finally filled in some of the gaps I’ve been wondering about after reading Will of the Empress a while back. If you like ‘craft magic’, consider reading the entirety of the Emelan-verse (starting with The Circle of Four quartet), as I don’t think this book will make sense without the first two quartets.
8. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – another long-time favorite author of mine, The Others series has been everything I love about Bishop with a much slower-burn romance than normal (even if all of us reading have a pretty good idea where it’s going) – and some not-so-subtle references to the historical Lizzy Borden. I’m super-excited for book four (hopefully coming next year)! Definitely a fun, dark-‘urban’ fantasy series, good for those who like more traditional interpretations of vampires, werewolves, and prophets, among others.
9. Midnight Riot/Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) – yes, I do have to include the audio book narrator, because he’s a huge part of why I’ve enjoyed listening to this series. Modern day London replete with magic, constables, and crime. Definitely a recommendation, especially for those who like London, the intersection of magic and mundane, and the rivers of London.
10. Codex Alera by Jim Butcher – yes, the series had a lot of predictability, and, yes, some fairly obvious plot armor. But, on the other hand, it had a lot of interesting twists, and it certainly goes a long way in proving the point that there are no truly bad ideas just bad writers (for those who don’t know, the series was based on Butcher accepting a challenge to take two ‘lame’ ideas and write a good book; in this case, the ‘lame’ ideas were Pokemon meets the Lost Roman Legion). It’s a fun, relatively quick read (despite being six books long), and it’s more than a little easy to see how Butcher took his two starting points and ran with them. Definitely a good read for people looking to be writers, in my humble opinion.
There were several other books that came very close to making this list, because I’ve read a lot of new books this year, but these are the ten(-ish) that I’ve finally settled on.
What good books have all of you read this year? Any opinions on the books I did choose?