Books Read in 22

#1 A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

Graphically homoerotic – I wonder if a gay man would have gotten away with such a graphic description? First part in a series – they’ve found and lost a coin – two people dead from magical families – a house has been inherited – foresight been discovered – a relationship professional/private been forged. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

#2 Alien – Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay by William Gibson – novel by Pat Cadigan. A direct continuation of Aliens that would have been Bette than the film – I want a sequel to this book

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

#3 Hogfather by Terry Pratchett Read by Sian Clifford with Bill Nighy & Peter Serafinowicz.  I have read this at least 6 times and it never fails to be enjoyable. The new audiobook recording didn’t disappoint. A new Christmas tradition.

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#4 The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross. Is the 8th book in the Laundry Files. This is not a jumping on book. It always takes me a while to read a Laundry book. I am always left wanting to read the next one. Civil Service Lovecraftian Horror

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#5 Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes. A fun space opera with a series of missions that get Eva into more & more trouble. I was captivated by the characters but the plotting was chaotic & I almost DNF’d. I kept going and the end mentions NanoWriMo, which explains the plot!

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

#6 The Poppy War by R.F Kuang – a TikTok made me read it book – I was hooked from the opening. The story of an orphan who gets her out of the small community. And then she gets to train to fight for her country . Kuang keeps the stakes moving and moving along. 

Rating ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#7 A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White. This had the most annoying opening scene and I almost put it down. I’m glad I didn’t as I fell for this motley crew of scavengers.

Rating ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#8 Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

A polish woman in her sixties describes the circumstances around her missing dogs. I can’t say too much due to SPOILERS but read it

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

#9 The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

153 pages set in 1924 New York. It’s dedication ‘For Lovecraft, with a my conflicted feelings’ reflects the tale’s potency. (New) Weird stand on a razor’s edge. They need to peal and not pierce reality. And LaValle doesn’t slip.

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#10 Several People are Typing by Calvin Kasulke – what If you literally got stuck in a Slack or Teams chat at work? Well it seems that’s exactly what happens here. Slightly surreal, heart warming and fun. Worth a read if you use Slack/Teams etc

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#11 re-🎧 Never The Bride by Paul Magrs (read by Joanna Trope) Brenda & Effie’s first book puts them through several mini-adventures in a spooky Whitby. Magrs is trying out lots of ideas here. It’s fun and playful. And starts a great series.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

#12 Elric: The Fortress of the Pearl by Michael Moorcock. Prince Elric finds himself given the task of finding the Fortress of the title. His journey is a wild adventure through deserts and strange lands. It’s clear why Moorcock has had influence on writers like Gaiman.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#13 Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin (trans A. A. Higgins). A Frenchman arrives at a rundown guesthouse in offseason Sokcho. We follow the receptionist as he ripples through her life. I can see why it got praise but it suffers from being pointless.

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ or ⭐️⭐️.5 (I vote ⭐️⭐️.5)

#14 The Dragon Republic by R.F Kuang  – this is a big book over 600 but without filler. Rin is offered the revenge she craves. And she goes to fight a new war. Compelling, dark, devastating.  Kuang grabs you by the throat and drags you along

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#15 Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis (1955) trans. by Anne Milano Appel (2010) well this was a romp. It’s very much a commentary on its time. A 10-year old is sent to live with his eccentric Aunt who is a theatrical chameleon changing herself and her surroundings constantly.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#16 How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie (2021) A women plots revenge on her family. A 1st-person account of plotting & executing murderous plans. It’s gripping, funny, clever and ultimately too clever (at least for me) I enjoyed 95% of it.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️.5

#17 A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy by Alex White. A mid trilogy novel that manages to keep the pressure on this motley space crew of revenge seeking scavengers with a series of complications to their latest mission. Alongside heart stopping & heart breaking movements.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#18 Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King (1993). Re-read. This is my favourite King novel. A housekeeper has confession to make. It’s how she didn’t murder Vera Donovan. But in order to explain why, she has to confess to something else. Compelling & intense.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#19 Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany (1966) A poet is asked to translate an alien language used by terrorists. This requires a space adventure. Delaney unpacks the power of language on our thoughts. The influence on Míeville’s Embassytown is clear. I need to reread this soon

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#20 The Gunslinger by Stephen King (1992?) the last gunslinger follows the man in black across a desert with the aim of catching him

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#21 The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross (2018) Another Instalment of this U.K. goverment’s Lovecraftian spy agency. Things have escalated. CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is scary. Not a place to jump on but 9 books in and I still need the next one!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#22 ‘salem’s Lot by Stephen King (1975) King’s take on Dracula A town finds itself under the influence of a house on a hill. The house is tainted. It does more than haunt the residents. My first detour in my #ExtendedDarkTower & I have many questions. Next The Stand.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#23 The Old Woman With the Knife by Gu Byeong-mo (trans. Chi-Young Kim) (2022). She’s been an assassin for 45 yrs and old age is catching up with her. Poignant, tough, touching. Not what I was expecting but exactly what I needed. So good.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. 5

#24 The Worst of All Possible Words by Alex White (2020) This concludes The Salvagers Trilogy. Our found family crew are on the trail of a villain & they have a lead that blasts them off into unknown territory. I loved the change in scale and the emotional twists .

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. 5

#25 Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey. Ivy is hired to investigate a magical murder in a school. It’s a job that has her exploring her ‘what ifs’ & her relationship with her sister. I got v. invested in Ivy and her life. Loved it. It had me guessing to the end

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#26 The Spare May by Mary Robinette Kowal. Lots of brilliant parts: the normalisation of gender and pronoun expression; the descriptions of physical and mental trauma. With some minor & curious faults, I found it very enjoyable with a reveal that was a clever surprise

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

#27 Hogfather by Terry Pratchett Read by Sian Clifford with Bill Nighy & Peter Serafinowicz. I said this was going to be a new Christmas tradition and this Christmas it was. It’s also my last book of the year. An excellent ending.

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️