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Reading in 2011

6 January, 2012

After looking back at my writing progress in my last post, I thought now would be a good time to share some of the interesting books I read during 2011 (and maybe some of the not-so-interesting ones too, if I’m feeling like a rant). Looking back through my reading list, two things immediately jump out at me: 1) I really didn’t read many books last year, and 2) those that I did read mostly don’t need mentioning. It’s not that they were particularly bad… but they weren’t particularly good either.

Having said that, I did read plenty of really good books too. I talked about a fair number of them here (in March), and here (in September). I’m not going to attempt to pick a favourite out of the seven books I mentioned in those posts – all were excellent, and deserve your attention, be they new books or classics. There are one or two excellent books I’ve so far neglected to mention, though, which are as follows:

‘The Broken Kingdoms’ – N.K. Jemisin        I’m amazed I haven’t already mentioned this book on the blog (I don’t think I have, anyway), because it was absolutely one of my favourite books of the year, as was the previous book in the series. If anything, ‘The Broken Kingdoms’ is possibly even better, expanding the world and the gods in fantastic new ways – and turning all my expectations from the first book completely on their head (there was one character in particular I thought would be impossible to like – until this book). And if you don’t sniffle even a little bit at the end, then you must have a heart of stone.

‘Retribution Falls’ – Chris Wooding        Airships! Fights! Action! A motley crew of strong characters with unfortunate pasts! I’ve been a fan of Wooding’s books for years, particularly the ‘Braided Path’ series, but if anything, ‘Retribution Falls’ is even better. If you like your fantasy fast-paced, action-packed and never boring, whilst still being able to believe in the characters, this is the book for you.

‘The Third God’ – Ricardo Pinto         The last book on my list took me a full six months to read, which doesn’t sound like an endorsement, but truly is. Pinto’s ‘Stone Dance of the Chameleon’ series has got to be one of the most intricate, fascinating and innovative fantasy trilogies in the last decade, and I’ve been waiting for the last book in the series ever since the second came out (in 2003, I believe). Why did it take me six months to read ‘The Third God’ then? Because it’s vast, and complex, and there were some parts so harrowing that I had to put the book down for weeks at a time. That probably still doesn’t sound like an endorsement, but fantasy so often takes the easy way out – Pinto doesn’t. (And if I still haven’t convinced you, the whole series is worth reading for Pinto’s magnificent writing alone.)

So, three more excellent books to round off the year. What great books did you read in 2011? Suggestions for great reads in 2012 are always appreciated!

 

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