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My Best Reads of 2011
colintaber
I’ve had a busy year, so much so that I’ve not read as much as I would have liked - or been able to get in here and provide more regular posts! Nonetheless, I’m going to list some of my reading purchases, as I know some of you like to know what I’m checking out.

One of the big changes to my reading this year was ebooks. While I love a good, old fashioned, paper book and also quality bookshops, the truth of the convenience of using a reader while travelling or on a work commute can’t be denied.

Now, I didn’t go as far as to buy an ereader, I’m just using a Kindle app on my iPhone. In the future, when next I’m slated for a long overseas trip, I’ll consider upgrading to a dedicated reader. In the meantime, I'm probably buying my reading matter in an even split of digital and paper.

I’m now going to list a portion of the titles I bought this year. Following that I’ll make some comments about specific books. I’ll also list the titles I’m still reading.

A Dance With Dragons by G R R Martin
The Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Treespeaker by Katie Stewart
A Land of Ash by David Dalglish (an anthology edited by the forementioned)
Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson
The Jakarta Pandemic by Steven Konkoly
The Kinshield Legacy by K C May
In the House of the Worm by G R R Martin (a short story)
And too many Harry Turtledove alternative histories.

I’m usually also partial to some history, pop science and social science stuff. This year I didn’t get to do a lot of reading in that area for enjoyment, more so for my work in progress, Project V. In that regard, let’s just say I’ve read a lot of dry history and stared at a lot of historical atlases…

For future announcements regarding the launch of Project V, Ossard 3 (Lae Ossard) and other titles, please subscribe to direct to my email list at: http://eepurl.com/hVFqA

Of the above listed titles I have the following to report: The two books I’d most been looking forward to and bought on the day of release (A Dance With Dragons and The Wise Man’s Fear), I haven’t actually yet read. I didn’t get as far as starting Patrick Rothfuss’ latest tome (and tome is the right word). I still look forward to it, but right now I just can’t submerge myself in 1000 pages. As for A Dance With Dragons… I did start, but in truth lost interest. The fact that it is another 1000 page behemoth doesn’t help. I’d like to think I’ll get back to it, but currently I’m stalled on page 100. The time will come when I dive back in, but I don’t know when.

For me, the surprise was two titles that are both debuts. They are fantasy, but in different styles. Both of them are great stories and I look forward to reading sequels, which I believe are coming, but have not yet seen any date indicated. The two titles I’m talking about are Treespeaker and The Black God’s War.

If you like fantasy that’s outside the clichéd European setting, give Treespeaker a try. This is a moral tale of forest tribes and the power of nature. I liked this book, it was a little slow in starting, but came fresh with rounded out characters (only in ebook).

The other notable title was The Black God’s War, something more typical of epic fantasy, except for its multicultural setting and cast. This is a great tale. The characters are strong, there is great action, and the magic is impressively powerful when unleashed. If you like George R R Martin, then you should do yourself a favour and try out Moses’ offering.

I enjoyed all of the above reads, with exception of those I am yet to finish (or start), but am sure that I will.

If you’re looking at that list and wondering if some of it is worth a try, let me add this: The Turtledove I’ve been reading is pretty dry, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re a huge fan of alternate history. I’ll also put a bit of a warning on Robopocalypse, which I had been hoping would be a World War Z with robots. It wasn’t. The book is an interesting read, but never quite seemed to find its feet.

Colin
Decemebr 28th 2011

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