Thanks to for the idea of doing this! I actually managed to sort of keep a list this year, though I’m quite certain it’s missing things that I can’t remember. I feel like I ought to heave read more… but it has been an insanely busy year. The brief reviews are off the top of my head, without reference. Irresponsible, but fun!
The Magician’s Book
Interesting analysis of the Narnia books – made me want to write an essay about why I love them.
The Merlin Conspiracy
A romp through alternate universes written by a master. Gifted from – thank you!
The Children’s Book
A.S. Byatt takes a leisurely stroll through the world of bohemian Victoriana. If you have a thing for the Pre Raphaelites and aren’t put off by Byatt’s airy prose, you’ll love this like I did.
The Sun and the Moon (1/2)
Scams! Libel! Not narrative enough to get me through the middle!
To say Nothing of the Dog
One of the best books ever. Certainly the best time travel ever. This is a frequent re-read… twice this year, I believe. Maybe three times.
The Doomsday Book
See above. Connie Willis is Queen.
Time travel to WWII. While the period is not a pet interest of mine like the periods of the previous two Willis books, this had me hooked. I didn’t realize it had a sequel, so the cliff hanger ending made me throw it across the room.
The riveting sequel to Blackout. I actually had obsessive dreams where my brain tried to work out how this story was going to shake out which forced me to get up at 4am one morning to just finish the damn thing so I could rest in peace.
Meh. I think maybe my expectations of this were too high.
Better than the movie.
The New Dead
Gill borrowed this from a friend and I read it because it was lying around. Decent tales, bur nothing really world-bending.
I was really into apocalypse this week. Some good stuff here, but nothing so good that I can remember it well enough to describe it.
This book doesn’t want to be a fantasy novel, but it is. I felt like it was a little too full of contempt for the genre that it was drawing from, and as a devout Narnia fan, I found the harsh reality of Narnia, oh wait, Fillroy, disturbing, and not in a good way. But it was still a fun and memorable read.
Tales from Earthsea
LeGuin is also Queen.
Privilege of the Sword
A charming book that warrants a re-reading at least once a year.
Catherine Called Birdie
Childhood favourite. Comfort food.
This made me hyperventilate over all the things I should be doing. Shelved for later.
Clockwork Phoenix 3
C.S.E. Cooney’s Braiding the Ghosts was my favourite short story of the year. I even remember it in vivid detail, which is pretty rare because short stories generally filter through my brain like sand through a cheese grater. You can even go and read the story here.
All of Gaiman’s Death stories in one place. What’s not to like?
The Child Thief
A very dark spin on Peter Pan, with pretty pictures. I generally like interpretations of Pan, so I enjoyed this, though remember thinking it could use some narrative tweaking. Won’t be for everybody.
Another childhood favourite – this copy is from one of those scholastic book fairs. I love YA fiction about girls living in various historical eras.
Re-read in anticipation of the movie. Prefer the comics.
An Acceptable Time
L’Engle does mystical teen angst with time travel. Have I mentioned I love time travel?
Wee Free Men
I haven’t read much Pratchett, but I may read more after enjoying this as much as I did. "Sheep are bags of bones looking for ways to die." So. True.
Favourite short story collection of 2010. Kelly Link does geeky but hip teens better than anyone.
The Pokagons 1683-1983
Research for the next YA novel I’m getting started on.
Comfort read! I love all the moomin books, but this one, with its floating theatre, is my favourite.
I love that when I read a lot of these, I hear reading them aloud. Lemon Creamed Honey is my favourite.
The nitty gritty true tale of Robin Hood. Or something. Too dull to finish.
I really want to like this. I really am going to finish it eventually.
Shades of Milk and Honey
I enjoy a good Regency romp. It didn’t have the depth of Jonathan Strange, which I had heard it compared to – I don’t think it benefits from the comparison. That said, the characters were fun to linger with, and I liked the way the magic worked. The ending felt a bit rushed – it could have been a good bit longer and I would have happily kept reading.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
The brutal and hilarious work of Sherman Alexi, in YA format. I aspire to be this smart a writer.
I bought this before I signed with my agent, because it seemed smart to check out her most successful client to date. I don’t read a lot of "literary" fiction, and am a bit of a snob about it, but I really enjoyed this. I didn’t see the dreary ending coming, even though it’s basically a re-telling of Hamlet. I know. Duh, Caitlyn.
Re-read to prep for Dreadnaught. I like the protagonists a lot, but the grim setting gets a little heavy on a re-read.
A ripping good adventure by airship and train. Fluffy, but good fun.
I Capture the Castle
How I Live Now
This really needs to be made into a movie. The voice is stellar, and the story gripping and subversive.
What were your favourites this year?