May 3, 2010

Call for Comments: 4 months in, what's the best thing you've read this year?

We are one third of the way through the year and I am behind on my reading. Scratch that, not behind, woefully behind. My continuing goal is to read 50 pages a day or approximately 1 book a week. Therefore, I should be through about 17 books at this point. My sad total?

Nine and a half.

Now there are reasons for being so far behind. On the other hand, I'm not sure if I will be able to catch up this year. Or if I even want to try. I don't think it's really worth rushing through books just to read more.

So out of the paltry pile of conquests, which book has been the best? Right now it looks like Mary Robinette Kowal's short story collection: Scenting the Dark and Other Stories tops the list. The collection was short but stellar, proving why Kowal took home last year's Campbell award for best new writer. I'd suggest you read the full review here and possibly pick up a copy or two. Mary's debut novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, is coming out from Tor late this summer and one of my most anticipated books for the remainder of 2010.

At the same time, the book I'm reading (or trying to find time ot read), Ian Tregillis's Bitter Seeds, is giving Scenting the Dark a run for it's money. It's well-written, extremely fun, and developing into a fantastic example as to why the WWII alternate history isn't dead yet. Plus there are supermen and demons. (The demons are on the British side!) What's not to like?

But I don't really have too much authority to be judging the overall sum of genre work this year. To those of you have read more (and it's okay if you haven't), what book is sitting at the top of your lists this year?


  1. Best book I've read this year: Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore.

    I've only finished one 2010 book this year, so can't really give an opinion on this year's reads yet.

    Also my reading count is way worse than yours. Finished 7, mid-way through another two. Lame. Need to start reading thinner books, methinks.

  2. In total I've read 31 books this year (that includes one short story and one novella but not a bad total).

    Three titles that stand out are The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds, Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard and Platinum Pohl, a best of collection of short fiction by Frederik Pohl. These three might make it to the best of 2010 list.

  3. You know me. I can't just pick one. But here are my favorites this year so far:

    Overall Fav: Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

    Fav Horror: Horns by Joe Hill

    Favorite Debuts: Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis and Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

    I have an interview with Ian Tregillis that will probably be going up tomorrow.

  4. I'm having a great 2010 so far - just my last three have been Red Claw by Palmer, Boneshaker by Priest, and Finch by VanderMeer. All three of which were fantastic, with Finch being my personal fav.

  5. Hmm

    Florence and Giles - great gothic horror with a twsit.
    Yellow Blue Tibia - I believed his lies.
    Killer - a crime book with a different point of view
    Hell's Belles - as I love Magrs books full stop.

  6. I read or listened to 53 books so far this year and the ones standing out would be The God Engines by John Scalzi (it's only a novella), Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon, Double Share by Nathan Lowell (audio book), A Mighty Fortress by David Weber (Safehold 4) and Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley.

    I have quite a few of the ones you mentioned here in my to-read pile, seems I have to read them soon.

  7. I agree that MRK’s collection was excellent and I have just started Shades of Milk and Honey. Bitter Seeds is on tap for soonish reading.

    My best reads of the year, so far, are Jeff VanderMeer's Finch, Stephen Baxter's Flood, and Regenesis, by C. J. Cherryh.

    Horns, from Joe Hill is the best of the 2010 books I've read so far this year (out of four total)

  8. I've read 75 2010 releases so far (incl non-fiction and some as arcs in 2009) and so far two novels are top of the pack - The Folding Knife by KJ Parker and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

    As debuts there are three that truly amazed me: The Last Page by A. Huso (fantasy), Bitter Seeds by I. Tregilis (alt-hist with both f and sf elements), The Left Hand of God by P. Hoffman (the love it or hate it mixture of everything but the kitchen sink dark adventure)

  9. So far I've read 14 books this year. Which, for me is pretty prolific. So far my favorites would be: The Lions of Al Rassan by Kay, Pandemonium by Gregory, and The Long Valley by Steinbeck.

  10. Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon and José Saramago's Blindness both blew me away.

    Chris Wooding's Retribution Falls and Peter V. Brett's The Warded Man were both extremely fun and I cannot wait to read the next in each series.

  11. Picking one is way too hard:

    Harlem Redux by Persia Walker

    The Collector by John Fowles

    Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura


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