With so many projects going on in my life, I’m finding it increasingly helpful to make lists and schedules, even if I don’t strictly stick to them. One of those areas, oddly enough, was reading. I’ve started to feel like my approach to reading was getting scattered. I have a lot of half-finished books that I really should wrap up, and I kept thrashing around for new book ideas without any sort of plan.
So I took an hour the other day to dig through several book recommendation lists and create a list of about 20 novels that I’m going to try to read this year. Since many of those are the first books in series, that could end up being a lot more than 20 books if all goes well. So I’ve got my reading list lined up, and my new rule is that for every new book I read, I’m going to finish up one of those half-read ones.
Anyway, if you care for a few recommendations, here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
- Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold — I was really excited to finally read a new book in the Vorkosigan universe, although it was a bit disappointing that Ivan, not Miles, is center-stage in this one. It’s still a pretty entertaining read that actually comes in the timeline before Cryoburn (which was the previous book released in the series).
- Devil’s Lair by David Wisehart — An interesting revisit of Dante’s Inferno as a group of Dante’s contemporaries journey to Hell to recover the Holy Grail.
- Spirit’s End by Rachel Aaron — A solid end to the Eli Monpress series. I highly recommend these books: the characters are quite engaging and the fantasy world is definitely different than the norm.
- Red Country by Joe Abercrombie — The latest book in his First Law universe, Red Country is more of a Western than anything else. It’s still pretty brutal, but actually not as dark as his previous books. It’s also not as good, in my opinion, but I still enjoyed reading it.
- Prince/King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence — Now talk about dark, here you have a series where the main character is as anti-hero as you get. He’s a prince-turned-assassin who travels with murderers and is hell-bent on revenge. And yet, he’s a guy you end up rooting for, because there is something about him that is redeemable. And as an added bonus, the fantasy series takes place in a far-future earth, so there’s a bit of post-apocalyptic vibe going on.
- The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks — I love Weeks’ stuff, and this second book in his color-magic series picks up steam from the first. It’s still a weird magic system and world, but I’m kind of on board with the concept. The prison escape sequences were my favorite.
As always, I’m up for more recommendations from you guys!