Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted by Something of the Book.
I typically resist doing any “____ of The Year” posts until the end of the year, but reading this one on the topic list got me thinking, and I ended up compiling most of the list from memory (but I’m glad I keep a log, because I’d have been mad in a day or two when I remembered the rest of these). Still, this is an incomplete list—I still have a handful of books to get through this year, and there are 3 strong contenders for this list.
There were plenty I cut from this, including authors that I cut from this for one reason or another. But at the end of the day, these are the 18 New-to-Me authors from the past year that are auto-buys/borrows for me. I should say a thing or two about all of these, but I just don’t have the time. Check the original posts I wrote about these books for a little more about the way these writers worked their way into my subconscious.
James Bailey, author of The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo and Dispatches from a Tourist Trap
C.J. Box, author of Back of Beyond, The Highway, Open Season, Savage Run, and The Badlands
Gyles Brandreth, author of Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-Saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English
Mike Chen, author of Here and Now and Then
Sarah Chorn, author of Seraphina’s Lament
Helen Fitzgerald, author of Worst Case Scenario
Peter Grainger, author of An Accidental Death
Niel Lancaster, author of Going Dark and Going Rogue
Adrian McKinty, author of The Chain
Luna Miller (and I should probably mention Aidan Isherwood, translator), author of Lions Tail
Todd Morr , author of Instant Karma
David Nolan, author of Black Moss
Judith O’Reilly, author of Killing State
Nick Quantrill, author of Broken Dreams
Andy Redsmith, author of Breaking the Lore
Ian Shane, author of Postgraduate
Melissa Simonson, author of Lingering
Abbi Waxman, author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Post
I knew I should’ve banked one of the posts I wrote this weekend to post today, but I felt energetic enough that I didn’t need to.
Cut to the end of a good, but energy-tapping day, and I have two posts that I tried to push out and got a good paragraph done on each before abandoning both for now and nothing to post. I’m hoping I can get one of those done tomorrow, but I’m not sure I can count on it. Bah.
Nevertheless, it was a good day for being a Reader, if not a Blogger. I was hoping I’d finish Matthew Dick’s Twenty-one Truths About Love this evening. I clearly estimated poorly—I finished it before work.
Barely. I apparently was so into the ending that I turned off the alarm that’s supposed to keep me from being so into a book that I get to work late without noticing I’d done so. I still made it into the office on time, but without any cushion. It was just that good.
Probably wouldn’t have worked out too well, “Sorry I’m late, boss. I was in the parking lot getting misty-eyed over a novel.”
The downside of finishing a book 9 hours earlier than you’d expected is, of course, I had nothing to read the rest of the day (2 breaks and lunch). I downloaded an ARC onto my phone and got through the day without having to actually talk to people during my downtime. But it did mess up my plans (moved up reading that ARC by 2 weeks), So once again, I’ve put off reading Hacked by Duncan MacMaster for the 43rd time (or so) since it came out in August. And then there’s the joy of reading on a tiny screen…but that a whine for another day.
So I tell all that for no real reason, just something to say that doesn’t take a lot of editing. But I got an important lesson/reminder from this—there are books out there that are so good you won’t notice your phone making a loud and obnoxious sound, chosen specifically so that you have to pay attention to it, and those’re what I’m supposed to be focusing on—the rest of the stuff around my reading/blogging isn’t.
Hopefully you’re reading something about as good—just be sure to get to work on time.
Here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye—Lithub and BookRiot are heavily featured this week. Been awhile since I dipped into those so hard, but I really liked what I saw this week. I wish I could figure out a way to get a kickback (or sponsorship—I’m open to negotiation, folks!) from one/all of them for this… You’ve probably seen some/most/all of these, but just in case:
- Game of Thrones: George RR Martin FANTASTIC Winds of Winter release date news—I haven’t seen a lot of people talking about this, which means it’s full of bunk or everyone in the world is as cynical as I am about it. Also, I’m not sure I care at this point (I’m going to have to re-read everything prior to the release just to remember, and I’m not sure I have that much energy. Is there a decent re-cap site?)
- I was nominated for the Bad sex award. Don’t laugh—I disagree with almost everything Gough says about the award/culture around it. But I do find his experience interesting to read about. Also, this means that Two Crime Writers and a Microphone might actually release a new episode of their sadly infrequent podcast soon.
- 20 Ways to Read More Books in 2020—19 of these are good ideas. Skimming, though? Barbarians.
- What Was the First Book You Fell in Love With?: The Center for Fiction’s 2019 First Novel Prize Authors Weigh In—I’m probably not going to read most of these authors first novels, honestly, but I always enjoy reading about what book got people hooked on books.
- The Life Cycle of a Library Book
- Most Anticipated Reads of 2020—for those of you who’ve started planning.
- Women in Historical SFF
- Venators: Legends Rise (Venators #3) By Devri Walls Cover Reveal—The Cover for Walls’ Third Novel is her Spiffiest Yet
- One Man at One Week—Harry Connolly writes a very honest post about the first week of One Man sales. If there was one author I could make you all read, I think it’d be him. If not One Man (which is coming up on my TBR soon), then find something else on his site that strikes your fancy.
- The Guide to affordable Audiobook Binge-Listening—this could prove handy.
- Tips for Writing Speculative Detective Fiction: How can you keep a commitment to reason and procedure when rules of reality no longer apply?—I love it when Detective/Crime fiction blends with SFF, here’s some tips on how to pull it off.
- 26 Books From the Last Decade that More People Should Read: Our Favorite Writers Recommend Some Underappreciated Gems—LitHub’s editors have come up with an interesting list of things I’ve never heard of.
- Speaking of LitHub, they bring us the first Best-Of for 2019Our 50 Favorite Books of the Year: Highlights From a Year in Reading by the Literary Hub Staff
- Bernardine Evaristo, Lee Child and more pick the best books of 2019—The Guardian assembled a handful of authors for their picks.
- The December issue of Envie, a Magazine for the Literary Curious—features a profile ofour pal, Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub.
- The Tattooed Book Geek shared his Blogging Plans for 2020—I’m seeing a lot of plans for 2020, his is probably the most likely to be accomplished (maybe that’s projection on my part—but I look at some of these lists and am boggled)
- Tropes in YA Fiction that Do Not Butter My Croissant—I’d co-sign this and I need to work “Do Not Butter my Croissant” into my everyday conversation.
- A History of… The Hobbit—Probably my favorite blog post of the week—Bookstooge, longtime Friend of IRR, talks about his personal history with the classic.
A Book-ish Related Podcast Episode you might want to give a listen to:
- Authors on a Podcast Talking Books Ep. 3 – Jonathan Wood—David Walters (FanFiAddict.com) talks to Jonathan Wood. I read Wood’s first two books forever ago, and loved them. Don’t ask me why I haven’t read on. That ends in 2020, thanks to this episode. BTW, isn’t this the best podcast title? Tells you exactly what it is.
This Week’s New Release that I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon (I’m sure there were others that I should’ve spotted, but…):
- Perfect Murder by Rebecca Bradley—A mystery writer tries to pull of the perfect murder—a plot that I’m sure made none of Bradley’s family/loved ones/friends nervous at all.
Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Freedom is the luxury I seek and APB813 for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?
Welcome to WWW Wednesday! I got caught up in parenting and wasn’t able to finish my next post in time to get it up today, so thankfully I can use this to get a little fresh content going.
This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words — and shown to me by Aurore-Anne-Chehoke at Diary-of-a-black-city-girl.
The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
Easy enough, right?
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks, and am listening to Skinwalker by Faith Hunter, Khristine Hvam (Narrator).
What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished Lee Child’s Blue Moon, Friends: A Cultural History by Jennifer C. Dunn and Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt on audio.
What do you think you’ll read next?
My next book should be be Duncan Macmaster’s Hacked. But I’ve been saying that at least once a week for a month, so we’ll see. I think my next audiobook will be The Martian by Andy Weir, R. C. Bray (Narrator)
Hit me with your Three W’s in the comments! (no, really, do it!)
Wow. Everyone really took advantage of the holiday week. I found practically nothing for this post. Oh, well—it gives me a chance to focus on other bloggers, not the pros. Thanks to The Write Reads where I got most of the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:
A Book-ish Related Podcast you might want to give a listen to:
- I don’t have a particular episode to point to, but I listened to a few episodes of this new-ish podcast this week: Under a Pile of Books—It focuses on SF and Fantasy. Sometimes it’s just the host, sometimes he chats with a blogger or author. It’s pretty good and I can see it falling into my regular rotation, check it out.
This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:
- One Man: A City of Fallen Gods Novel by Harry Connolly—A Fantasy Thriller, is the best way I can encapsulate it. Connolly describes it as: “big, odd, ambitious book about crime and magic and a screwed-up guy who has one last chance to do something decent in this world.” It’s his first novel in four years, and it’s driving me crazy that I can’t get to it for at least a week and a half. If there was one Fantasy/UF author that I could convince the world to notice, it’d be Connolly, and this looks like his most ambitious novel to date.
- Evil Valley by Simon Hall—After One Man, I’m diving into this one. I was lamenting recently that FP had seemed to stop with these TV Detective books, I’m so glad I was wrong!
- The ABCs of Metallica by Metallica, Howie Abrams, Michael Kaves—An Alphabet Picture book that pays tribute to the Metal Band. I talked about it some yesterday.
- The Hero by Lee Child—Child explores the concept of hero and narrative from pre-history to his own work. I gobbled it up on Thanksgiving to talk about it.
Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to overtherainbowbookblog and simplyclaudianicole for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?
When I think about all the great things that have happened around the blog and behind the scenes this year leaves me at a loss for words, let me list a few things I’m thankful for—a very incomplete list, I assure you:
The readers of this blog, the authors who’ve corresponded with me/provided books for me to read/encouraged me—even promoted this here project.
The publicists, publishers, book tour hosts, etc. I’ve been working with this year who’ve especially made things great—I typically hesitate to mention any by name, so as to not inadvertently miss anyone and cause offense (and make me feel bad). But I want to mention a few by name this year—Lola’s Blog Tours, iREAD Book Tours, Bloodhound Books, Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers, Love Books Group, Let’s Talk Promotions, Lori Hettler of TNBBC Publicity and Emma at damppebbles blog tours. You have expanded (and pushed) my boundaries this year, exposed me to some great reads I’d have not tried, and put up with my quirks and memory lapses with grace.
Coffee (and other beverages both caffeinated and adult)
Time to read
Easily finding an appropriate image for this post for the third year in a row—actually, two of them! (it was oddly difficult before)
Audiobooks and talented narrators
The Nampa Public Library (and The LYNX! Consortium)—and their generous grace period, which is now late fine free!
Rediscovered Bookshop, Rediscovered Bookshop – Caldwell and Libro.fm
Goodreads, WordPress, NetGalley, BookLikes
Organ Transplants and the good people at St. Luke’s Lifestyle Medicine (just to get serious for a moment)
My supportive, understanding and encouraging wife and kids who do a pretty decent job pretending to care when their old man drones on and on about what he’s reading or what’s going on with the blog.
Again, all of you who read, follow, like, tweet, comment, email, etc. this page—you have no idea how much every little bit is appreciated.
I’ve mentioned Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise a time or three (or more)—it’s my go-to Independent Bookstore and has been for a long time. Well, last week they opened a new location—in my county, about 11 miles closer to me (but it seems closer than that). Which is good, I’ve been trying (and not really succeeding) to do a better job of shopping indie and doing less online, but it’s just too inconvenient to get into Downtown Boise as often as I want to. I expect (hope?) that this new location will make it easier for me to stick to my resolution.
I managed to stop by tonight for the first time, and walked away with a nice little haul (sorry for my poor photo quality):
I saw The White Man’s Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon out of the corner of my eye—kudos to whoever shelved it. This looks like a lot of fun. And what’s a trip to a bookstore without a good impulse buy?
And a 1975 hardcover edition of Rex Stout’s A Family Affair—it’s a book club edition, not the original printing, but it’s close enough. Best of all, I got it for a song. I’d have paid 5x what they asked for without blinking (Mrs. Irresponsible Reader probably would’ve blinked, though).
Lastly—and this is the personal touch that makes local indie stores invaluable—I was trying to special order a copy of Tom Jones, but one of the clerks insisted they had a copy. Their inventory didn’t show one, but he went off and looked through books that hadn’t been entered yet and came back with this spiffy hardcover in a slipcase. No online store is going to do that.
The location is fantastic—there’s a coffee shop right across the street, and right now there’s an ice skating rink, too. The space is great—and you can’t ask for friendlier, more helpful staff. It’s got it all.