Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Pile - January '11

The TBR pile - we all have one and it grows faster than we can read. Mine is no exception. I thought it might be interesting to round up and present all of my recent acquisitions once a month, so ... here we go.

This January, the number of new additions to the pile was exceptionally high as a direct result of all the Best of 2010 lists that were posted all around the blogosphere in December. I had to buy some of the favourites to see whether they're really that good. Some of them disappointed, some did not, and some are still waiting for me to pick them up and read them.

Nick Harkaway: The Gone-Away World

This one is not a 2010 book, but still one I've heard lots and lots of good things about. It's post-apocalyptic, a genre for which I have a soft spot, and the blurb on the back describes it as 'equal part raucous adventure, comic odyssey and romantic epic'. Reading priority: high.

Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games

This one, too, was not published in 2010, but I admit I first heard of Suzanne Collins when there was a great buzz around the blogosphere about the concluding book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. The Hunger Games tells a story of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, set in a post-apocalyptic (yes, again) US where people are kept in check by the Capitol in which they live. Reading priority: high.

Catherynne M. Valente: Palimpsest

Palimpsest is another book I've heard a lot of praise about, but I bought it mostly because I immensely enjoyed Valente's Orphan Tales. It's a book about four travellers who enter the mysterious city of Palimpsest, 'and what they will find [there] is more than they could ever imagine'. Reading priority: medium.

Felix Gilman: The Half-Made World
(courtesy of Tor Books)

A steampunkish story set in a world that is only half-made, three POVs that couldn't be more different from each other and an old man whose damaged mind keeps a great secret. The Half-Made World found its place on many Best of 2010 lists; I also enjoyed Gilman's Thunderer, so The Half-Made World was a must-have for me. Reading priority: high.

Other books I've bought in January were Justin Cronin's The Passage, China Miéville's Kraken, Joe Hill's Horns and R. J. Bennett's Mr. Shivers, but since I've already read those, I'll describe them in Monthly Report for January.

The Pile special

I bet you know the feeling when you have a book on your TBR pile that seemingly everyone has read and praised, but you still haven't gotten around to reading it. I have plenty of those, and I will select and present one every month. My goal? To read it ASAP, preferably during the next month. This month's special is:

Mark Charan Newton: Nigths of Villjamur

Everyone seems to like it. I've had it for ages, it's in hardcover, and if I remember correctly, we got it from the author himself. I remember being incredibly enthusiastic about it, but I was reading something else at the time, and Nights of Villjamur ended up standing there with the rest of TBR books, never getting read (or reviewed). I think it's time for that to change. :)


Eva said...

Most of your tbr-pile is also in my pile, or getting there shortly, but I can really recommend "The Gone-Away World" and "The Hunger Games". Have fun!

redhead said...

I've been hearing really good things about that Felix Gilman, so I'm looking forward to your review. I keep trying to get that book from the library, but it's always out.

Benjamin said...

Hey Trin. You've got some good additions to your pile. The Hunger Games is very good. Palimpsest is not as good as The Orphan's Tales, but it still pretty good too. I found Gone-Away World a little underwhelming. There's a real "everything but the kitchen sink" vibe and it made the book a little weird and wacky for me to really enjoy it. That's just me though.

I plan to get to Nights of Villjamur and The Half Made World this year.

David Wagner said...

That's a pretty good TBR pile you got goin' there! You're right, of course, about TBR piles taking on a life of their own. Mine is about 2 dozen books big at the moment... not bad; I know other peoples TBRs are much bigger...

My list includes titles by Tchaikovsky, Holdstock, Marco, Kay, KJ Parker, Tad Williams and the new ones by Abercrombie and Rothfuss, among others. Ah, good books to be had! Good days, indeed.

I was a bit puzzled by the ending of The Hunger Games. I'll duck back in now and then to see if/when you review it, and catch your thoughts on it.

Nice looking blog. Sometimes, clicking "next blog" yields a winner!

Lisa said...

Hi, I just found your blog! I also blog about speculative and ya fiction. It's kind of an addiction isn't it? :)

I recently finished reading the last Hunger Games book and really loved it! It's an intense series, but I've never read anything quite like it. I would absolutely recommend it!

I have a bunch of my own to-be-reads as well. Gah, better get started on them... :)

Trin said...

@ben: thanks for checking my blog out :) Palimpsest and Gone-Away world are two books from this pile that I haven't read yet. I'll see how they turn out :)

@David: yeah, the ending of The Hunger Games does look a bit generic after everything that happened. I hope that book 2 does not follow in that direction.


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