I love a good list. I get an incredible sense of organization from writing to-do lists and a huge feeling of accomplishment by crossing off each completed task. I adore reading lists like those Michille shared last week, as they give me great ideas for new books to add to my TBR pile.
But one type of list I dread writing every year is my Christmas wish list (yes, I know, most adults don’t do this, but I have a few family members who still request it, even though my childhood years are…ahem…decades behind me). And sorting through reading lists right now (because really, what do any of us want more than books? 😉 doesn’t fit into my current schedule as I fight through multiple to-do lists, none of which have anything to do with the impending holidays.
That’s where my secret weapon comes in, because I have a built-in group of smart, well-read people who, I’m sure, won’t be shy about sharing some ‘best of 2014 books’ of their own with me. (Those of you reading the 8LW blog are the smart people, in case you missed that.) I’ve already started my Christmas wish book list, but there’s a problem. To illustrate, here’s my (annotated) list thus far.
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. This is Book 2 in the Peter Grant series. Book 1 (Rivers of London) is on my Kindle, and while I’ve only read the first few chapters, I’m already excited about the series. I bought RoL because Michaeline so highly recommended it, several of the 8LWs seconded the recommendation, and reviewers have compared Aaronovitch’s books to Mike Carey’s Felix Castor series, which is possibly my all-time favorite Urban Fantasy series. Which brings me to…
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. It turns out M.R. Carey is the aforementioned Mike Carey, and I have been anxiously awaiting a new novel from him since the last Felix Castor book. The Girl…is not a book in that series, and there is no definitive word about whether there will, in fact, ever be another Felix Castor story. But I loved his voice so much in those books, I am excited to follow him in this new venture.
Rise of the Spider Goddess: An Annotated Novel by Jim Hines. This is one of those projects where the author seems to have had so much fun, it must be illegal somewhere. Jim talked about the project over at Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds blog. If you missed his post, you really should check it out.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh, This book is from the writer of the blog Hyperbole and a Half, a site of, well…life stories…hilarious anecdotes…totally embarrassing but relatable memories…you should probably just check it out for yourself. If your sense of humor is anything like mine (and that of daughter, who is wholly responsible for introducing me to this rabbit hole where I so often find myself when I’m supposed to be doing All the Other Things), you’ll understand why this book is on my list. (ETA: Not all posts are humorous! Just thought I’d better warn you. But if you do go there for a laugh, be sure to search for the birthday cake story.)
That’s what I have so far. Do you see my problem? There are no romance books on this list! That is not intentional. I love romances. In fact, my writing brain has been totally stuck on romances (specifically historicals) for the past few weeks, as I’ve been working on an historical romance novella, and have been thinking about a completed full-length historical manuscript whose many, many flaws I might now have the tools to fix.
Despite not having romances on my wish list, there are some on my TBR pile. My recent romance purchases include Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh (which is part of a series I haven’t read, so I’m hoping order of the stories isn’t important!), Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean, and The Mad Earl’s Bride, a novella by Loretta Chase. But I’m most of the way through two of those, and will probably have read all three within the next week or so (yes, I sometimes read multiple books at one time, which is probably not half so bad as writing multiple stories at one time, which I also have been known to do).
Next week, I’ll post a blog with some links to sites with fun (and sometimes free!) book suggestions for your holiday, winter solstice, or just plain ‘yay, it’s December’ gift-giving/receiving list. But this week, I need your help. What 2014 books would you recommend? What are your recent ‘must-reads’? Bonus points for romances (any subgenre), and extra shiny bonus points for historicals!