Readings: Looking Forward and Back

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Looking Back…

2013 was a pretty good year for leisurely reading for me. While I didn’t read as much as I have in the past (23 books, 11,471 pages), I read some good stuff and discovered a couple of new (or new to me) authors to keep an eye on. Brent Weeks has me anxiously awaiting the 3rd book of his Prism series (not reviewed yet, but they are coming!), Daniel Suarez blew me away with Daemon, and I was very impressed with the beginning of first time author Michael Gallagher’s Lizzy Blaylock series. Also, LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program kept me busy with several good selections, with Gallagher’s Bridge of Dead Things and Patrick W. Carr’s A Cast of Stones being the standouts.

Also of note is that I finished up the re-read of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, capping it off with Sanderson’s fantastic 3 book conclusion. If you’ve been hesitant to finish it because of the new author, don’t be. Sanderson does the Jordan estate proud with his tying up of all the individual storylines. And let’s be honest… as much as I loved Jordan’s WoT, he wasn’t nearly as adept a writer as Sanderson is. These final books are pure Sanderson, as he doesn’t attempt to mimic Jordan’s writing style. He simply takes Jordan’s story and finishes it in the best way he knows how. And it’s worth it. Is it worth it to start from the beginning of the series, though? I can’t make that call. For me, absolutely. But I read a lot. If you only manage to read 3 or 4 or even 5 novels a year, it would take you 4 or 5 years to finish the series, and honestly I’d recommend you read something else.

meme-reading4Looking Forward…

One of the fun things I did in 2013 was build my Christmas tree out of books. I’ll be doing that again, for sure, but it also hammered home an important realization. See, I tell everyone to get me books for my birthday or Christmas, and most folks who give me books are careful about it. They either choose something off my Amazon Wish List or check out my LibraryThing catalogue to make sure I don’t already have a book that they are considering giving me. But even if I get a book I already have, that’s ok! Because I can always return it and – ta da! – I get a new book I don’t have! I’m like – the easiest person to shop for ever.

The down side of this is that I currently have over 50 books I have received as gifts that I haven’t read yet. Embarrassingly, some were given to me over a decade ago. And while my goal this year isn’t to read all of those books, I do plan on making that the focus of my leisure reading this year. I won’t list them all, but here’s a short selection of a few books at the top of my reading list for 2014:

Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
Far and Away – Neil Peart
Reamde – Neal Stephenson
Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson
Dreamsongs (I and II) – George R.R. Martin
The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing – Melissa Holbrook Pierson
Long Way Round & Long Way Down – Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
Jupiter’s Travels – Ted Simon

Additionally, I have the following queued up from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program:

Hitter – Daryn R. Guarino
Out of the Mountains – David Kilcullen
I Am Currency – Whitney L. Grady
The Angels of Resistance – David V. Mammina
Everyday Writing Tips – Midge Raymond

Lastly, there are the book series I am enmeshed in that may or may not provide me with a book that puts everything else on hold. Writer’s guilty of monopolizing my leisure reading time:

Patrick Rothfuss
George R.R. Martin
Brandon Sanderson
Brent Weeks

Yeah, I’ll read basically everything they write, but whenever the next book comes out in their respective series, I’ll have to go out and stock up on food and water before I start reading.

So there’s a bunch of pages on my plate, which makes me happy.  What’s on your reading list? Anything you are simply dying to get your hands on?

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