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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Weekend Discussion

The past couple of weeks I haven't put up a discussion post mostly due to the holidays.  Instead, you've gotten a list of some of the books I most anticipate coming out in 2010 and then my year in comics.   Since the holidays are over and I'm sure some of you received gift cards--or books--this year as presents, I want to ask: what books did you get this holiday season?

Here are the books I either received as gifts or purchased with a gift card!  (these will also be featured in my January Book Faeries post)

Watership Down by Richard Adams

This was a gift and I'm really excited to start reading it.  The idea of sentient bunnies reminds me of "The Secrets of NIMH," Mouse Guard, and let's be honest, a whole slew of Disney movies (sans song and dance).  I've also felt a little left out.  It seems everyone has read this but me, but now I'm all set to catch up!

Taliesin, Book One in the Pendragon Cycle
by Stephen Lawhead

This is a series I've been wanting to read ever since I read Lawhead's King Raven Trilogy.  It figures I'd jump from one myth to the next, but I've been in a very Arthurian mood lately and these books sound like a lot of fun.  Taliesin, in case any of you are curious, is a name often used for Merlin, in which Merlin always happens to be a title and not the magician's actual name.  The cover's kind of snazzy and mystical, too!  This series is all out in mass market.

The Patriot Witch, Book One in the Traitor to the Crown Trilogy

by C. C. Finlay

Set during the American Revolution, Finlay imagines an 18th century filled with muskets, Proctors, and magic.  In this world, witches are real and they don't get burned.  Pete got this book on my recommendation.  I picked up his copy to read the first couple of pages and liked the writing and atmosphere enough that I now have my own copy.  This trilogy is also all out in mass market, which is either really impressive or a red flag since the entire trilogy was released in 2009.

Plague Zone, Book Three in the Plague Year Trilogy
by Jeff Carlson

This trilogy is all about a post-apocalyptic America that gets caught up in--you guessed it--the repercussions of a nasty plague that sweeps the nation--née, the world.  The writing was more complex in the first book, Plague Year, than I expected.  I've been impressed with the previous two; the characters aren't too compelling, but I'm addicted to the plot and invested enough that I had to find out what happens in the last book.  Like the others in the trilogy, it's a mass market.

A Shadow in Summer, Book One of the Long Price Quartet
by Daniel Abraham

Another mass market!  This series sounds really interesting.  It's rare to find fantasy in any type of setting other than Old European or something reminiscent of Tolkien's Middle Earth.  The Long Price Quartet has an Asian influence that I think makes it interesting on top of the premise: poets conjuring up creatures, cotton's scarce (threatening the textile industry and the modesty of the Empire's citizens), a love triangle, a brothel, and barbarians teetering on the edge of rampage.  Okay, it's probably not as light-hearted as I make it out to be, but it still sounds like a great read.

Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel
by Seanan McGuire

I'm not much of an urban fantasy or paranormal romance fan and almost let this slip by.  It's received a lot of attention and sounded so fascinating I had to get a copy myself.  It's set in San Francisco (right in my backyard!) with mythological influences and Shakespearean references.  If there's ever any one book to introduce me to more mainstream urban fantasy, this might be it.  Rosemary and Rue may not be The Big Sleep, but with a half-faerie PI female protagonist, it promises to be a lot of fun to read.  Format: mass market.

If there's one thing I've learned about fantasy, it's the advantage is has over SF in terms of cheap formats available for purchase.  Really, I spent my gift card on more fantasy than I thought I would.  It turns out most of the SF I want is either hardcover or quality paperback (trade size), considerably more expensive than a mass market.  I even debated changing out several of the books for one other, more expensive SF selection (one of Jeff VanderMeer's Abergris books, or one of Justine Larbalestier's Feminist SF anthologies).  I chanced ODing on the Fantasy genre and decided to wait on the more expensive titles.  Also, Scalzi's debut Fantasy novel, The God Engines, and Kay Kenyon's, The Entire and the Rose series, will have to wait.  Although, I don't know how much of a favor I did myself since most of these are the first in a series or trilogy...


eidolons said...

I didn't get any books for the holidays. We don't really do gifts. And to be honest, I have way too many books waiting to be read already.

Watership Down was always one of my favorites. I remember finding the movie years later and raging at how they'd mangled it. I'm now patiently waiting for my seven-year-old to want to read it.

Anonymous said...

I just picked up Carlson's three books myself with a gift card. 8D;

I'll be curious to see what you think of Abraham and McGuire! :)

Lily Child said...

I need to post the books I got for Christmas as well. I have heard good things about Watership Down. 2 of my friends on LJ claim it's their favorite book of all time. I'll be interested in your review of the Patriot Witch. It looks rather interesting! Happy reading! :)

Erika said...

@eidolons I have too many books waiting to be read, too, but I couldn't help myself. I had to spend the gift card right away!

I'm so glad you liked Watership Down! I haven't met a single person who hasn't liked it. :)

@TJ Oooo you'll like the Carlson books, I think. They're a lot different in style than I'm used to, or at least it took me a bit to adjust to his writing. Now I can read it fine. They're quick books, too. The reason I picked the series up in the first place was because the events take place in the Sacramento area! Carlson is a CA author. :D

@Lily Child Ooo yes, you should! I would love to see what you received. :) I'm expecting most of these to be fun, light reading. Thanks so much, Lily!

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