Let’s face it, schephs aren’t always hard to come by. The real test is, as always, time and it’s the schephs that linger on for months after the actual experience that really mean something.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get in as much funtime reading this year as I wanted to, nor did I read as many recently-published novels as I wanted to. So my best-of list is comically short, and one of the books on the list wasn’t even published this last year. Still, it was the best book I read this year, and I continue to blab about it when possible.
Perhaps most unfortunately of all, I found myself disliking more books I read this year than I ever have in the past. I did a blog post about the increase in my critical response to funtime books (read it here) because I noted this change. Maybe it was because I reviewed more books, or maybe it’s because I’m an English major and I’ve finally reached a point where I can’t NOT overthink everything that I read. (For example, read my last sentence.)
Anyway, I’ll only briefly mention books published in 2010 that I read and disliked (5 schephs or less): The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (review here), The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (review here), and Naamah’s Curse by Jacqueline Carey (review here). There were also two books I read–or tried to read–in November that I Did Not Finish and therefore didn’t review: The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman and Passion Play by Beth Bernobich. I did get close to finishing both, so I hope to read the last hundred pages or so eventually and see if either’s ending changes my mind.
AND NOW, without further ado…
3. Zombies vs. Unicorns Anthology, edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black
Overall I rated this an 8/10, and even though I didn’t like all the stories (review here), there were quite a few that were really excellent. Not to mention the editor vs. editor intros for each of the stories added a lighthearted tone that made it a very pleasurable read, an especially nice touch because some of the stories are very bleak.
2. Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
This was my first real experience with steampunk (I’ve also seen it labeled icepunk, but I’m not splitting hairs here), and I enjoyed it immensely. Normally I’d say the tenets of steampunk indicate that it’s “not my thing” (e.g., romance, Victoriana, machines), but this book made me give it a chance. Plus, it’s just a really great read: entertaining, exciting and exceptionally well-written with wonderful characters (review here).
1. The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
It’s not at all shocking that this is my favorite of those published this year, since the Night Angel trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies. I maintain that Weeks has
showed shown (God, you’d think I WAS RAISED IN A BARN) amazing depth in the type of fantasy he writes (review here), and his excellent action scenes and realistic characters hold true even in this new series. I highly anticipate the next book in the expected four-book Lightbringer series!
Last but not least, MY Book of the Year!
I had to make it my book of the year, because it wasn’t published this year. But it was definitely a favorite, and I foam at the mouth for the second book, out March 1st, 2011 from DAW.
Yes, that’s right.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Yep, I loved this book. L-O-V-E-D. Fantastic world, fantastic plot, fantastic characters. Read my review here for all the initial gushing.
So overall it was a pretty good year; even though I disliked more books than I expected, the ones I did like were SUPERB. I do have to make a New Year’s Resolution, though: to review at least 24 books next year, for an average of two books a month. Just modest enough for me.
Oh yeah, almost forgot: