Wandergurl’s recommended reads from 2010 and a self-imposed challenge to conquer her TBR pile.
Book picks for 2010
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
Effectively the prequel to The Spymaster’s Lady, this equally wonderfully written novel is about ‘Maggie and Doyle’. Marguerite de Fleurignac, a French noblewoman, encounters William Doyle in her burnt out chateau. They both pretend to be people they are not, as she is trying to desperately smuggle out people during the revolution and he is an English spy looking for her father. The romance is lush and lovely, the spy plot moves around nicely, and I was kept captivated. Highly recommended.
Feet of the Chameleon by Ian Hawkey
This is a largely anecdotal history of modern African football and how it has shaped various countries’ political histories. I read this book during the football (soccer) world cup while in Africa so it was especially poignant. It explained a lot of things that were interesting to me, and would be interesting for anyone with an interest in Africa, its people and its history.
A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemsin
A fantasy novel written about a world with a hundred thousand kingdoms, in which one family and effectively one god rules an earth where many other minor gods and goddesses walk among its people. After the death of her mother, Yeine is summoned to the court of the worlds’ ruling family, the Arameri. She is surprisingly named one of their heirs and has to survive political machinations, competition from the other heirs and the gods themselves, who have a greater stake in this than anyone else. The writing flows well and transports the reader to the lofty hights of Sky, the Arameri palace, as well as the surrounding towns and the lives of its inhabitants. There’s a bit of romance that also drives the story forward.
Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series is one of my favourites, and I can’t wait for the next one. Changeless ended with a massive cliffhanger that annoyed the bejeezus out of me, so I never reviewed it. I picked up the next book and devoured it in a few hours, and am pleased to say that it ends satisfactorily. I need the next one, stat!
Set in steampunk London, Alexia is Soulless, married to a werewolf and has a gay BFF who happens to be a vampire. In Blameless, she tries to figure out what exactly being soulless means, so that she can clear her name based on things that happened in Changeless which i cannot spoil! If you haven’t read this series, start with Soulless!
This book is here because it’s the book that got me to believe in The Crack (TM) again. This is all your fault, J. R. Ward. You and your sunglasses and hip hop lingo. Damn you, I’m going to end up with the next book, whatever happens. Do not read this book unless you’ve started the series. Start with Dark Lover at your own risk. You feel me?
Every year I start a challenge or two which I forget about two months after. I never end up completing my challenges. Hence, I’ve decided to set up my own.
My challenge is to finish all the books in my TBR by Dec 31, 2011.
There are approximately 75. (I have made extra allowance for the romance novels I haven’t counted). I think it’s do-able. Sort of.
The rules are:
1. All books read from the TBR must be reviewed (even if it’s just part of the mixed bag).
2. You must read at least 50 pages before giving up. If you do give up, you don’t have to review.
3. You are allowed to give a book away if you pick it up and think, What was I thinking?
4. You must not replace a completed TBR book with a new one. You need to finish at least 5 before you are allowed to add to it. (Pre-planned purchases are excluded—e.g. those in the 2011 new releases listing. This is because 70% of my TBR is impulse purchasing. If you buy a pre-planned purchase you must read it immediately without adding to the TBR! )
5. Are there any other rules I should add?
Please feel free to join me in this challenge. Let’s hope I don’t forget about this one.