My life is still crazy as can be with two kids. My son has turned 2, and is potty training and learning how to read already. My daughter is content to wiggle and giggle, but will be crawling soon. As busy as I am, everything is only going to get busier.
So for now, all I have for you is an update on what I’ve been reading.
My 6 favorite books read in 2017
Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this book earlier. I LOVED this book. It’s not only the best fairytale retelling I’ve ever read, it’s the best fantasy book I’ve read in a long time. I really liked Novik’s Temerraire series, and she managed to bring the same awesome writing to this book, but with a completely different feel. She’s a great writer, and I am in awe. She actually just released a limited illustrated edition of this book which had me drooling for hours. Too bad they only made 175 of them.
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson – Such a good book! I am really disappointed there isn’t a sequel because I wanted to snatch it up right away after I finished. I found this to be the most compelling and interesting of Sanderson’s magic systems. Just goes to show that no matter how many magic systems are out there, you can create something new. I really hope he’s going to write a sequel someday. His comments on writing a sequel can be found here. As a writer, I totally understand why he hasn’t yet and what stands in his way. But if he ever does start to write it, I will be haunting his social media sites like crazy to find out everything about it I can.
Mort(e) by Robert Rapino – Military-Animal-Sci-Fi/Fantasy-Dystopia-Adult-version of Homeward Bound. So basically, everyone should read this and witness the frightening journey of Mort(e), a cat who gained human intelligence and fought in the human-animal war, but fought on…well, I think he fought on both sides? Really, he had his own goals the whole time and the war just got in the way. I read this little by little on my iPhone in the dark while rocking my son to sleep every night. And since I was pregnant at the time with my daughter, rocking him to sleep on my stomach wasn’t exactly the most comfortable, and my ability to breath would slowly get cut off the more he relaxed and put his weight on me until finally I texted my husband to come in and hoist him into the crib for me. But I loved it because I got a little further in the adventure every night. And I discovered that this was one of those books you really do want to read in the dark. It added to the thrill.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan – It’s no Mr. Penumbra, so try to ignore the fact that it’s written by Sloan. It is still excellent, but not as enjoyable if you’re expecting more of the same. Though it did bring yet another fascinating aspect of San Fransisco to my hungry imagination. And Sloan’s writing is great. A woman programmer who is slowly loosing her soul at her job stumbles into making sourdough bread and it changes everything. She combines technology with baking and intrigue ensues. Ever since reading this, I have been searching for the perfect sourdough and spicy soup combination, trying to recreate the experience from the book. I had a lot of questions after reading it, so I emailed Sloan himself. And he responded quickly. Twice. He not only writes great stories, he is accessible to his readers and that made this read all the more fun.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman – Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful book. This book is something between an “Ology” book and a graphic novel with its splash pages and unique layout. The story is funny, thrilling, scary, and–I mean there are space zombies and hackers, and one of the least annoying love stories I’ve ever read, so. You should go out and buy this book immediately. Buy the physical book. The beauty is in the printed pages and I think some of that is probably lost in an audio book or ebook.
Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle – A must-read for any artist (and especially for Christian artists). This answered questions about art that I’ve been asking since I was 8 years old. Of course, no one would ever think to give such a book to an eight year old, but I sure could have used it! This book was very inspiring, especially during the days when I didn’t want to write.
All books that I read in 2017:
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford (2 stars)
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (5 stars)
Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle (5 stars)
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (4 stars)
Diastasis Recti by Katy Bowman (3 stars)
Sourdough by Robin Sloan (5 stars)
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (5 stars – re-read)
Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan (4 stars)
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (4 stars)
Derelict by LJ Cohen (4 stars)
Turquoiseblood by Cecelia Isaac (3 stars)
Grand Theft Octo by Neils Saunders (4 stars)
Mort(e) by Robert Repino (5 stars)
The Mage and the Magpie by Austin J Bailey (3 stars, almost 4 though)
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (5 stars)
Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick (1 stars – like, not even)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (5 stars)
Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (4 stars)
Flyte by Angie Sage (5 stars)
Maplecroft by Cherie Priest (4 stars, almost 3)