The year in books (4th anniversary edition)

When you’re onto a good thing, stick to it, so once again, to wrap up the year, we shall talk about books.

Reviewing my reading list for the year, it’s sitting at about 125 or so new books this year. So down a little from last year (though I know I’ve missed some along the line…). I’ve done more craft this year which has probably eaten into the reading time but also once again, at the end of the year (and particularly while I’m deep in writing and revising my own book) I’ve been re-reading.

This year I’ve been reading more e-books though I do get frustrated with the iPhone as an e-Reader. It’s just that little bit too small plus, I find that when I buy books not in the eReader format and use Stanza to put them on my iPhone, things tend to go a little haywire with the formatting which distracts me. I also find it easier to forget I’m in the middle of a book when it’s on the iPhone and not physically lying around to remind me. I’ve been quite ADD with my books this year, rarely reading only one at a time. I’m not sure why, just that it’s been harder to find books that really absorb me (or else there has been too much noise in the head to really relax into them). But I will continue to read e-books and am hoping the format wars, the ridiculous geographic restrictions and other annoyances (like Amazon’s ridiculous higher pricing for international Kindle books) resolve themselves and that someone releases the iPod of e-Readers (the long-rumoured Apple tablet perhap?)

This year, I’ve also started listening to more audiobooks, which I talked a bit about here. Most of which still holds true, only more so. I still haven’t listened to a new to me story on audiobook as they are so much slower than my natural reading speed and I still prefer male narrators due to the doing voices thing. And I’m still very picky about narrators in general. So audiobooks add to my re-read list but aren’t boosting the new book list.

I think I’ve probably read a bit more non-fiction this year (but don’t always include those in the list). I continue to re-read ad infinitum. I’d imagine my total books for the year would remain around 300 or so.

So what were my favourite new books this year?

Uglies – Scott Westerfeld – I’m somewhat late to the party on this series but glommed it all down quickly. I’m looking forward to reading Leviathan, to get his take on steampunk and going back and reading more of his backlist.

She’s Got It Bad – Sarah Mayberry – A Blaze with a bad girl heroine and a bad boy hero with somewhat tortured pasts. Hot and emotional, Sarah continues to deliver. I’m going to have to try her Special Editions too.

Revealed: A Prince and a Pregnancy – Kelly Hunter – who yes, is a friend but I truly adore her books and think anyone who likes witty, sexy contemporaries will adore them too. The first book in this duo (Exposed: Misbehaving with the Magnate) is pretty damn good too.

Start Me Up – Victoria Dahl – Speaking of hot contemporaries, this was a great read and I’m looking forward to number three.

Soulless – Gail Carriger – Fun, steampunk romance with a wonderful heroine and a fabulous vampire fashionplate sidekick.

A Duke of Her Own – Eloisa James – A lovely ending to her Desperate Duchesses series. I’m looking forward to her new fractured fairytales very much.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer – Slightly off the beaten track for me but I was intrigued by the name and then loved the book. Have pimped it out to quite a few others already. Sadly Mary Ann passed away just before the book was published : (

Fledgling – Sharon Lee and Steve Miller – Having followed along as they did their first draft live on the web (brave stuff), it was fascinating to read the final product. If you’ve never read Lee and Miller, they write wonderful romantic space opera and have several new books coming out next year, so hasten to a book store and start at the beginning of their Liaden books (which is Local Custom, chronologically in the Liaden verse or I believe Agent of Change in order of writing).

Corambis – Sarah Monette – The last in the Doctrine of Labyrinths series and another great book. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

Chalice – Robin McKinley – Robin is one of my auto-buy authors who writes intriguing and varying fantasy.

Vision in White – Nora Roberts – Nora rarely fails to deliver and this start to a quartet set around four friends who plan weddings was great with a lovely lovely hero.

Coraline – Neil Gaiman – Neil is a genius, what can we say. Somehow I missed seeing this at the movies but will get the dvd asap. I’ve actually read quite a bit of YA this year and lots of it was great.

A Cousinly Connexion – Sheila Simonson – Traditional regency in the style of Georgette Heyer. A lot of the trad regencies that are no longer published by the big houses are being re-released in e-books, so yay for that!

Since the Surrender – Julie Anne Long – I have a feeling I am going to adore all the Eversea books. Chase is not quite Colin but he’s pretty damn close. Mysteries, comedy, old flames, secret societies and puppets…what more do you need in a historical romance? July feels like too long to wait for I Kissed An Earl.

Flesh Circus – Lilith Saintcrow – Her Jill Kismet series is getting better and better. It may lack a Japhrimel but Saul has his own appeal. Plus there’s the deliciously wrong Perry and a brilliant world to compensate.

Magic Strikes – Ilona Andrews – Another urban fantasy season that keeps getting better (and keeps ratcheting up the ST between Kate and Cullen so lets hope Ilona takes pity on us soon!). On The Edge was also a good read.

I’m not going to talk about my re-reads much. Those following along should be able to guess my favourite authors by now (if you guessed something like Jennifer Crusie, Lois McMaster Bujold, Terry Pratchett, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Eloisa James, Kelly Hunter, Julie Anne Long, Barbara O’Neal/Samuel, Nora Roberts, Robin McKinley etc you’d be doing well). I know some people don’t re-read but I love curling up with a well-loved book and letting it seduce me all over again. Great new books are wonderful but great favourite books are like great old friends…to be treasured.

I wish you many of both sorts in your 2010 reading!

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