book reviews

2016 TBR List Update

I have been making fairly steady progress on my 2016 TBR List of Awesome. Considering there are a number of other books I’ve read in the meantime, I think getting through five in two months keeps me right on track. I’m glad I put this list together because it’s very easy to get distracted by new/shiny books and ideas and to go down a path of research, without actually making progress reading the new stuff in my own genres. Also, so far, they’ve all been fun!

I just finished Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which was just the kind of fantasy I love. Fun and full of magic and more than a bit of adventure. It very much felt like more of an adult Tamora Pierce or Dealing with Dragons kind of story.

Before that, I finished The Accidental Terrorist which was not at all fantasy, but memoir, and absolutely fascinating. I’ve always been curious about Mormons and what, exactly, they’re doing out walking the streets in their crisp white-collared shirts, and this severely humanizes them. Plus, it laces quite a bit of Mormon history into the story, interestingly paralleling the author’s own experiences. Illuminating and surprisingly hard to put down.

The Ghost Bride was a different sort of fantasy – much more ethereal, much less full of magic – that I enjoyed. I think this one was published in an earlier year, but it was worth making the exception to add it to my list. Driftingly dark and occasionally disturbing and honestly, I never quite knew where it was going to go next.

Six of Crows was more in line with contemporary YA, but without most of the dreary and cliched trappings I’ve come to expect. Somehow, the author pulled off a great book with a twisty plot and relatable characters, even when one of those characters would normally be described as a horrible human being. I loved the Slavic flavor of the magic and the cultures. I’m so glad to be seeing more and different cultures used as a base for fantasy in lieu of the traditional European.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps was not at all what I expected and perhaps much too short. I only realized after the fact that this was actually a novella, but it could easily be expanded further. The ideas were there, and the themes, but alas. I enjoyed it, even as I also recognized this book wasn’t quite for me.

So there we go – five down, sixteen to go. I’m hoping to be halfway through in the next two months, while somehow juggling all the research I suddenly need to do (whole ‘nother blog post).

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (YA)
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M Lee
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
  • The Accidental Terrorist by William Shunn
  • The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
  • The Sons of Thesian by ME Vaughan
  • Too Like the Lightning Ada Palmer
  • The Shadowed Sun by NK Jemisin
  • Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (YA)
  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu
  • The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Prophecy by Ellen Oh
  • The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
  • Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz
  • On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyviss (YA – 2016)