I’ve read a bunch of books this year – Goodreads tells me 110 of them! Many were easy reads while I was undergoing chemotherapy, and I read a bunch of non-fiction when researching how to make cheese, and how to mosaic.
Here are my top ten recommended novels from what I’ve read this year (not many published this year, and they’re in the order of when I read them).
1. Naomi Novik – Uprooted
Wonderful, fairy-tale-inspired story. Magic, a Dragon, coming of age: it’s all there.
2. Kerry Greenwood – Earthly Delights
Fun, fun and more fun! Fabulous protagonist (a baker who loves cats, dresses fabulously to have a rooftop G&T in the afternoon), a mystery, and a romance.
3. Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice
I was instantly captivated by this series. Great space-opera, the narrator is intriguing and the story’s universe is intricate and fascinating.
4. DK Mok – Squid’s Grief
Cyberpunk noir, really well-written. The protagonist was engaging and the story pacy and interesting.
5. Mary Robinette Kowal – Shades of Milk and Honey
Wonderful regency romance with magic – but so much more than that. Lovely depictions of society and breaking the rules.
6. Octavia E Butler – Dawn
I found the story pretty horrifying, but because of that, it was incredibly thought-provoking about humanity and society.
7. Dorothy Gilman – The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax
So much fun. Mrs Pollifax is a geranium-growing grandmother who has lost interest in life, until she “volunteers” to join the CIA as a spy. The series is pacy and has a lot of pathos, and leads the reader through many exotic locales. The early ones especially are a bit dated, but worth the read.
8.Juliet Marillier – Den of Wolves
Wonderful book in a wonderful series. Juliet’s characters are always very real, very engaging and very powerful. No “gifted orphan” tropes here – the characters work bloody hard to make things happen.
9.Elizabeth Peters – Crocodile on the Sandbank
Another fun mystery series. Amelia Peabody is a hoot of a protagonist – very self-unaware and utterly loveable because of it. Set in Egypt in the late nineteenth century.
10. Angela Slatter – Vigil
Excellent Australian urban fantasy noir. Great characters and interesting plot; a refreshing take on the genre.