Getting the Kindle and, more importantly, discovering that I can borrow library books through the Kindle meant for a ton of reading this year. Mind, I still have too many books left to read, both paper and electronic, but hey: Who doesn’t.
Here’s the full list, or at least the ones I remembered to put in Goodreads. I may add one or two books to this before the end of the year, but what I have on my plate right now is another Liane Moriarty book and an ARC that doesn’t actually come out until March so I’m not really sweating it.
Now, the highlights:
Best: Jo Walton’s My Real Children, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow (yes, it came out in ’96, sue me) and Chris Taylor’s How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, which I actually reviewed like a goddamn adult.
Runners-up: Genevieve Valentine’s The Girls at the Kingfisher Club (I love her pop culture writing but flunked out on her first novel because circuses are my kryptonite, but this was charming,) and A.S. King’s Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future. In the fluffy beach reads category, Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot.
It Was Fine But Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Erika Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling. Stop trying to make ‘the lady Game of Thrones‘ thing happen. It’s a serviceable enough book, but the only people who will compare this to something like A Song of Ice And Fire are people whose only real experience with SF/F is Game of Thrones. And publicists. Don’t be that publicist.
(On that note, I totally devoured The World of Ice and Fire.)
Actually Lived Up to the Hype: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. It’s not high art, but for what it is, it’s great. And yeah, I did read it before I saw the movie. Psst: Sharp Objects is the best pseudo-V.C. Andrews novel since the actual V.C. Andrews kicked it.
I’m Just Shocked It Didn’t Totally Suck: Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Star Wars pretty much ruined me forever for tie-ins, but this one more or less worked? Somehow. I’m not examining my reaction too closely. Or rereading it.
It Was Trash But I Am Still Totally Going To Read The Sequel So Who’s Laughing Now? Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden. The characters are awful but the worldbuilding intrigued me.
I Only Bought This Because I Had A Brand New Kindle And It Was On Sale: The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, I enriched John Green somewhat and yet remain unmoved.
Observation: This is the first year in who knows how long that I actually read and enjoyed more Star Wars nonfiction than I did fiction. (Well, after the past few years of mainly lackluster novels, ‘enjoyed’ is maybe the wrong word…) It’s just a bit strange is all, though I’ve never exactly been one to only read Star Wars books. (Those people confuse me. The truth is, I got into Star Wars as a reader because I already was a reader. Which is, if not exactly unusual, somewhat uncommon. Apparently.) This wasn’t a big year for Star Wars fiction, though – I never did finish the first new ‘canon’ novel and I didn’t even bother with the second. The third… Well, that’s the ARC I mention above. So we’ll see. But the original trilogy costume book is pretty solid, if you’re into that sort of thing. It may not be as flashy as the prequel stuff (the book you want for that is Dressing A Galaxy) but if anything it’s all the more impressive for creating so many iconic looks that are more function than flash.
In conclusion: I read a lot. I read even more with the Kindle. Well, there are worse things.