Saturday, January 7, 2012

5 books I’m taking away with me

List by Annie

"What is reading but silent conversation?"
- Walter Savage Landor

Pretty soon I’ll be leaving on a jet plane… then spending ten days cruising around. As always, I’ll be taking books away with me – I might even read some. [I have a history of taking books away on holiday, and leaving them untouched the whole time].

[I’m actually on leave for three weeks, so have HEAPS to read while relaxing at home. Trust me. My dining table is merely an extension of the library. January is my catch-up reading month… all those books I should have read during the last year, and a couple of boxes of manuscripts.]

These 5 have a guaranteed place in my suitcase. The problem is holding off reading them until then :D

Honourable mention:
The hunter by Theresa Meyers
Brothers Winchester, Remington, and Colt Jackson take up the family tradition of vampire and demon hunting in this steampunk western. Colt battles a vampire, fallen archangel, and a demon lord while looking for his father's Book of legends. He also encounters the succubus Lily, who is willing to make a bargain to become human again.

Annie's comment: Steampunk. Western. Vampire / demon slayer. Succubus. What's not to like?

Gaslight grimoire : fantastic tales of Sherlock Holmes / edited by J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolec
A collection of eleven all new tales of mystery and dark fantasy featuring Sherlock Holmes, master of deductive reasoning, confronting the irrational, the unexpected, and the fantastic in the weird worlds of the Gaslight Grimoire. Includes stories contributed by Barbara Hambly, Christopher Sequeira, Barbara Roden, M.J. Elliott, Martin Powell, Chico Kidd, & Rick Kennett.

Reviewer comment:
  • "As a whole, this mixed bag fails to differentiate itself from other similar anthologies." (Publisher's Weekly)
  • "Introductory essays by the editors and an evocative full-page illustration by Phil Conell for each story round out an excellent addition to the Holmesian apocrypha. A good addition to any library." (Library Journal)
  • "Holmes devotees may be a bit disappointed, but fans of fantastic fiction should be happy to see the famous detective stepping into their world." (Booklist)

  • Annie's comment: Sherlock Holmes with magic. What’s not to love?

    Fast ships, black sails / by Naomi Novik ... [et al.] ; edited by Anne and Jeff VanderMeer
    An anthology of original stories featuring a science fiction and fantasy romp through pirate-infested seas. The settings of these stories vary from the traditional 17th century Caribbean glory years of piracy to the frozen seas off colonial Boston to unnamed far future oceans to deep space itself.

    Reviewer comment:
  • "These ingenious variations on a theme deserve to be savored slowly." (Publisher's Weekly)
  • "... these stories should satisfy pirate and pirate fantasy fans..." (Library Journal)
  • "The VanderMeers impressed some high-quality scribes into contributing, and, whether comic or dramatic, almost every one of this pirate-themed anthology's 18 stories is well worth reading." (Booklist)

  • Annie's comment: Pirates! Ok, maybe not the best choice to read while onboard – but, come on, check out the list of contributors...

    Belle's song / K.M. Grant
    When Belle meets Luke, son of an alchemist and Scribe to the famous poet Chaucer, she is determined to travel with him to Canterbury on a pilgrimage. She hopes for a miracle: that her father will walk again. She also hopes to atone for her own part in his accident. It is a time of unrest across the country and the young King Richard II is just hanging on to his throne. A malign character on the pilgrimage suspects Chaucer of treason and slowly winds Belle into a political intrigue. At the same time, the impulsive Belle is drawn towards both Luke and to Walter, the wealthy son of a Knight. But Walter himself is in love with Luke...As the uprising against the King starts to draw pace and the web of intrigue around Belle and Chaucer tightens, Belle and her friends must risk everything to save their country and themselves...

    Reviewer comment:
  • "Filled with political intrigue, vivid historical detail, and poignant moments, this homage to Chaucer's beloved verse should delight both adult fans of the Tales and teens who will have likely first encountered them in English lit classes." (Publisher's Weekly)
  • "A light, fun read." (School Library Journal)

  • Annie's comment: Hello... Geoffrey Chaucer! Well, his scribe anyway – and medieval politics, and a love triangle, and a mystery... and it sounds sooo good!

    Except the queen / Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder
    Cast from the high court of the Fairy Queen, sisters Serena and Meteora must find a way to survive in the mortal realm of Earth. But when signs point to a rising power that threatens to tear asunder both fairy and human worlds, they realise that they were chosen to fight the menace because they were the only ones who could do what must be done.

    Reviewer comments:
  • "Unconventional narrative techniques and a full dose of magic and folklore give this urban fantasy a lyrical, mythic feel." (Publishers Weekly)
  • "...the authors succeed in crafting a modern fairy tale that should appeal to a broad readership. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

  • Annie's comment: Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder… fairies and swords... 'nuff said.

    The duke and I / Julia Quinn
    By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely - and almost-on-the-shelf - Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth; it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. As for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham.

    Annie's comment: A comfort re-read. I loved the Bridgertons when I first came across them – so I can imagine nothing better than reacquainting myself with them while on holiday. A guaranteed good read, with laughs and romance. And not that much brain-power needed.
    ~ Annie.


    Danielle said...

    Some fun-looking holiday reading! I really enjoyed the pirate anthology, and was happy to discover a new author, Kelly Barnhill, whose debut junior fic novel came out recently (The mostly true story of Jack). Am learning to love short stories a lot more, now I'm shorter on reading time!

    Madhamster said...

    I'm a fan of short story collections! Sometimes it is all my brain can cope with :D.
    I keep having to remind myself NOT to read them before I go, tho!

    catatonia said...

    One of my reading goals this year is to read one young adult fiction book a week. I'm loving it. Only thing is, I didn't take into account that these posts make it SO HARD not to add more on top *collapses*