So I’m borrowing this feature for today from imyril, who was herself tagged by another blogger, but the feature itself all began way back when with The Perpetual Page Turner. In lieu of new reviews, while I gear up for Wyrd and Wonder with as much reading as I can focus on, here’s an A to Z of me!
A is for: Author You’ve Read The Most Books By
At this point it’s got to be Seanan McGuire. I absolutely love her October Daye series, so much so that I’ve long since committed myself to trying everything else she writes as well. So far that’s worked out pretty well, with her Newsflesh trilogy (written as Mira Grant) and the Wayward Children series also among my favourites. Next up is going to be tackling/returning to the InCryptid series, that other ongoing urban fantasy series that I really should have kept up with…
B is for: Best Sequel Ever
For this, I’m going with Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. It’s got my favourite smart-ass criminal duo in the world, but (and while I loved the setting of The Lies of Locke Lamora) keeps everything interesting by uprooting them from their city lives and plunking them down on a pirate ship for a good chunk of the book. Plus, and I admit quite freely that this might be my favourite aspect: LADY PIRATES. I mean, come on now.
C is for: Currently Reading
I’m usually always ‘currently reading’ a few things, even if my reviewing pace slows down like it’s doing now! At the moment I’m working my way through a reread of both the October Daye series, and Melissa Caruso’s Swords and Fire novels (in preparation for the release of the trilogy’s final volume VERY VERY SOON NOW AAAAAH). Elsewhere on the shelves, I’m taking on The Vela, a new serial from Serial Box Publishing, The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton, and In The Vanisher’s Palace by Aliette de Bodard. Soooo I’m rather busy, but I’m excited as heck about it!
D is for: Drink of Choice While Reading
Tea! Always tea. But I’m enough of a tea drinker to have various favourites for various times of day, so this plus the fact that I do most of my reading at night unless I’m not working means I tend to drink a lot of light teas while reading. Favourites include Honey Bee Beautiful (loose leaf rooibos blend) from Bird & Blend, French Earl Grey from T2 and Twinings Lady Grey.
E is for: E-reader or physical book?
Both! I’m in my thirties, so historically speaking (and if my lack of available storage space is any indication) I do have a penchant for physical books, but it’s definitely nice to have digital options! I have a Kindle, plus the app on my laptop and on my phone. That last one in particular has made long bus journeys infinitely more bearable.
F is for: Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated In School
Ha ha. Yeah, no. I remember how I was at school. I would probably not have dared.
G is for: Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
I’m in agreement with imyril’s choice for this one: Leviathan’s Wake (Book 1 of The Expanse) by James S.A. Corey may have opened the eventual floodgates of Excited Fangirl Mode for me, but it almost never made it past the initial inspection, so to speak. Good thing, then, that the series has continually upped its own game to the point where I’m almost being tortured, having to still wait to get my hands on Tiamat’s Wrath! (Don’t worry, imyril’s being a gem and is lending me her copy. SOON.)
H is for: Hidden Gem
I feel like I’m not really the best judge of what constitutes a hidden gem, given that I often come late to books or series that a lot of people are already in love with/have been telling me to read forever! But if there’s one author whose work I feel deserves more attention, it’s Kace Alexander. Necrotech and its follow-up, Nanoshock, are what you might call ‘acquired taste’ sort of SF books, but if you think you’re hard enough, I say come and have a go.
Full disclosure: Kace has been a friend and ally to this wee blogger since my own early days in the blogosphere, and I never pass up a chance to pay it forward. Or back? Both, I guess! Anyway Kace is awesome and you should check out her stuff.
I is for: Important Moment In Your Reading Life
This is more sort of a rolling stone of various moments, all blurring together into a big old ball of awesomeness, but it probably began when I got involved with Sci-Fi Month, back before its creator, Rinn, decided to pass me her hosting torch (thank you, Rinn!). I first ‘met’ imyril through her participation (2015 was good for something!), and now we co-host the event together. Since then we’ve met in person, read many wonderful books together, and even come up with our own sister event celebrating fantasy (Wyrd and Wonder!). She is one of my best nerdy friends, and I count myself very lucky that our paths crossed.
J is for: Just Finished
The Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso, as part of the aforementioned reread. It was SO MUCH BETTER the second time around, which is saying a lot given how much I loved it at first! I WANT MORE AND BIGGER AND BETTER AND MORE. Ahem.
K is for: Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
Most modern crime fiction generally doesn’t do it for me; neither does hard SF/hard military-flavoured fiction. I suspect this is tied to my general dislike of the ‘grimdark’ school of fantasy – I prefer my reading to have at least some soft edges, so to speak.
L is for: Longest Book You’ve Read
Exact page counts escape me at the moment, but I suspect this one has to go to The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. The US print edition somehow made a single volume work, but here in the UK the book got split into two parts! I believe the sequel did as well, in fact. Mr Sanderson does not do short, it would seem.
M is for: Major Book Hangover
I don’t think I’ve had any of those recently, but I feel like the last proper one I had was when I finished reading Persepolis Rising (The Expanse #7). And if you’ve read that too, I bet you understand why…
N is for: Number of Bookcases You Own
At the moment it’s only four, because I am abominably lazy when it comes to organising/tidying/decorating/being a responsible adult. But it’s a work in progress, and technically I have five if you count the shelf space in my entertainment unit that isn’t taken up by DVDs…
O is for: One Book You’ve Reread Lots
I do like a reread! But if one such book stands out among its fellows, it’s probably One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire. I have a few favourite October Daye novels, but this one usually wins because it’s got a punchy mermaid in it. A literally punchy mermaid. Dianda is a Duchess and she WILL fight you if you mess with her, and I can’t love her enough.
P is for: Preferred Place To Read
I go back and forth (heh, literally, some days) between my couch, which is big enough for me to stretch out on, and my bed, which has the same advantage but is even more comfy.
Q is for: Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All The Feels From a Book You’ve Read
This is a more succinct snippet of the full quote that gets me teary-eyed, but the essence of it is right there in those two words. They’re taken from a Very Emotional Moment during Small Favour (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher, which might not seem to be a likely source for such a thing, but it’s honestly the one I thought of first. I’ve read that book a few times, and it still gets to me. Family (birth or otherwise) is one thing that matters a great deal to me, so I love this quote dearly.
The universe is what we make of it.
Taken from The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, it was our choice for last year’s Sci-Fi Month banner, and a message of positivity, creativity and hope that I can always get behind.
R is for: Reading Regret
The only thing I really regret about the kinds of books I read now is that it took me so long to find them. Recent years of personal experience and reading recommendations have diversified my tastes and improved my perspective a lot, and I only wish that Teenage Me could have had the same experience.
S is for: Series You Started and Need To Finish (all books are out)
Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy is at the top of this list right now – I still haven’t cracked open the final volume and IT’S KILLING ME. But with everything else on my plate right now, it should probably wait a little while longer. Beyond that… I don’t know if there are any such books! I have more of a habit of picking up ongoing series, because I just love torturing myself that much.
T is for: Three All-Time Favourite Books
I knew it. I knew ONE OF THESE would lead to me tearing my hair out over having to decide on my answers. And here it bloody is, and just to make it harder for myself I guess I can’t pick anything I’ve already bloody mentioned, can I. Even though they are ALL MY BABIES AND HOW DARE YOU
[Some time later, much calmer] OK, here goes.
The ‘Classic Never Dies’: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (totally wanted to be Jo March when I grew up)
The ‘Young Upstart’: The Copper Promise (whole trilogy cos I’m like that) by Jen Williams (totally want to be Wydrin when I grow up)
The ‘I Reject Your Pigeonholing’: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner (most assuredly don’t want to be Alec when I grow up)
U is for: Unapologetic Fangirl For…
Kace Alexander. Seanan McGuire. Emma Newman. Becky Chambers. Alex Wells. Mary Robinette Kowal. Scott Lynch. James S.A. Corey. Ellen Kushner. Jen Williams. Melissa Caruso. Teresa Frohock. Amal El-Mohtar.
I could probably go on but we all have to sleep at some point.
V is for: Very Excited For This Release
Technically this is supposed to be “…More Than All The Others” but again, I agree with imyril – I refuse to play favourites (again!).
So here are just a select few upcoming releases I am super excited about!
- The Unbound Empire (Swords and Fire #3) by Melissa Caruso
- This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
- Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey
- Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
W is for: Worst Bookish Habit
Oh, the things my budget would say to me if it could speak…
X is for: X Marks The Spot (27th book on shelf, from top left)
That would be Iron Cast by Destiny Soria, which I picked up a) because the hardcover was pretty, and not terribly expensive; and b) because it’s about magical girls/con artists and mobsters in 1919, and everything about that premise gleefully pushes my Don’t Mind If I Do button. I just hope it lives up to my imposed hype when I finally get around to it…
Y is for: Your Latest Book Purchase
Life Within Parole: Volume 1 by RoAnna Sylver, which is a collection of their Chameleon Moon short stories. I have not yet read the CM novels, but those are also waiting on my Kindle!
Z is for: Zzz-Snatcher Book (Last Book That Kept You Up Way Late)
I think technically this honour goes to Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, but only because I was determined to finish it after a long train journey home from Inverness last summer, after a wonderful(ly tiring) weekend spent with friends. I’m not as good at denying myself sleep as I used to be!
I think the idea with this is to tag people to take part, but I’m going to skip that and just leave an open invitation instead. Drop a comment below with a link if you decide to give it a go, and I’ll happily come and check out your responses!