Monday, February 3, 2014

What We're Reading

Wow! The Inkies have been pummeling through their TBR stacks lately. There are so many great recommendations here, old and new, popular authors and newly discovered favorites, and any variety of genres.
Lena Coakley (Pic)
This fall I had the incredible good fortune to see Neil Gaiman in conversation with Susan Cooper, who was a Lifetime Achievement recipient at World Fantasy Con in Brighton, England.  They came up with a short list of "must-read" children's fantasy authors: David Almond, Philip Pullman, Diana Wynne Jones, and Alan Garner. I loved Almond, Pullman, and Wynne Jones, but I'd never heard of Alan Garner--so I'm reading ELIDOR right now. It takes place mostly in Manchester and draws heavily on Welsh folktales. Although it was published in 1965 it doesn't seem dated at all. I'm loving it!

Hilari Bell
I'm currently re-reading an oldie, but a very goodie.  It's adult fantasy, not YA, though young adults would love it – ISLE OF GLASS – the first book of Judith Tarr's best trilogy.  It's set in an alternate England of Richard the first, in which the elves have their own kingdom, but are being persecuted by the early Christian church.  The protagonist is an elf who was raised as a monk and is a devout Christian...and he's trying to grapple with the fact that he's in his seventies and looks like a seventeen-year-old boy. Elves, being immortal, have no souls--and for monks that's a really big deal. It's got great dialog, great characters, some really nice humor, and despite the theological-sounding core, a lot of action adventure.  If you haven't found this one already, give it a try.

Leah Cypess
I'm almost at the end of THESE BROKEN STARS by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and am in the mood to rave about it. So, here goes...

Until I got about three quarters of the way through, I would have recommended this as a really fun and well-written science fiction adventure with a predictable but still effective romance. However, near the end the narrative spirals unpredictably into complete awesomeness. The fact that it was written by two people makes the two narrative voices seem effortlessly distinct, and the authors are in complete control of the story and the pacing at all times. I would love to know more about their process in writing this!

PJ Hoover
I've been reading a total mishmash of stuff, including our very own Jennifer Nielsen's conclusion to her trilogy, THE SHADOW THRONE. In addition, I just finished, on audio, THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood and have just started ORYX AND CRAKE, also by Margaret Atwood. I'm still loving the dystopian genre and am always looking for great suggestions!

Mike Jung
I recently read the BLACKOUT/ALL CLEAR duology - my first foray into the work of Connie Willis - and was utterly demolished by it, and I mean that in a good way. The time travel stuff was great, but the emotional connection I developed with those characters was beyond great. Thinking about that final scene in Trafalgar Square still gets me all soggy-headed and misty-eyed. 

Ellen Booraem
Christmas books! I read LONGBOURN, the servants’ side of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which was
a lot of fun. Although the servants’ characters and plot are wonderful, you get the most out of the book if you know P&P fairly well. I really can’t judge how well it works as a novel on its own merits. I just finished my second Christmas book, CLAIRE DEWITT AND THE CITY OF THE DEAD, a very cool detective story set in New Orleans after Katrina. It had some editing problems that drove me a little nuts (the down side of being in the business, right, Inkies?) but the characters and plot are fascinating. I’m eager to move on to the second book in the series, which came out in June.

Keely Parrack
I'm reading DEAD MOUNTAIN for research. It's a wintery tale of the Dyatlov Incident where nine students disappeared under very mysterious circumstances while on a hiking trip in Russia.

And now for something completely different...I'm reading A STORY LATELY TOLD, Anjelica Huston's autobiography!

Anne Nesbet
I just read Megan Frazer Blackmore's THE WATER CASTLE, which mixes science and magic and Maine (so that's a good combination!), and also Brandon Sanderson's THE RITHMATIST, which I enjoyed so much I started reading veeeeeeeery sloooooooowly when I got close to the end. I didn't want it to finish! And of course I also read and greatly enjoyed our own* (*though currently on sabbatical from the Inkpot--but surely she'll be back!) Ellen Oh's WARRIOR, sequel to PROPHECY. I need a new book to read now, so I'll be eager to see what everyone see suggests!

Miriam Forster
I also finished rereading the OBSIDIAN trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Because sometimes you just need a book with a dragon on the cover. 

Erin Cashman
I just finished THE EMERALD TABLET by Tricia Hoover - and I loved it and ENDERS, by Lissa Price, which was also fabulous!

Katherine Catmull
Because I am special, I am reading Claire Legrand's new YA WINTERSPELL, which doesn't come out until this fall. Kickass heroine who doesn't appreciate her own kickassery, smoking hot romance, fighting, bad fairies, more fighting, did I mention the smoke and the hot? Plus, believe it or not, it's all built on the bones of The Nutcracker. I am SO enjoying it.

Jennifer Nielsen
My favorite recent read has got to me THE LIVING by Matt De La Pena. It’s a near future heart-pounding adventure with a dystopic twist, with characters that just leapt off the page at me. I can’t wait to see what he does with the rest of this series!

So…anyone else want to share in comments? What are YOU reading?


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    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up


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