2016 Reading List

Goal for this year? 50 books. That’s outrageous, but at one book a week, might actually be possible! Below I will list all the books as I read them, and maybe offer an opinion about them. Full disclosure, all of the links are Amazon Associate referral links, meaning that I get a small commission if you purchase the book. It doesn’t cost you any extra. So if you buy something, I’ll appreciate it greatly – but I won’t sugarcoat the books I don’t care for :P

  1. Secrets of the Sands (Children of the Desert Book 1) by Leona Wisoker – A very long epic fantasy about a desert world with a vibrantly described culture. I know the author personally and I am glad to say that she subverted many clichés with this well-paced fantasy novel. It has a great hook, enjoyable POC characters, and world building that is immersive but not suffocating. However, I tend to prefer intense plot over meandering journeys, so this book wasn’t entirely for me. I still implore anyone who likes that kind of fantasy to check it out though, because her prose is amazing, the characters are likeable, and the world-building is near perfection.
  2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – Not as intense or as thought-provoking as Gone Girl, but still worth a read. Gillian Flynn has voice for days.
  3. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner – I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in awhile. Very well written YA romance with a nice bit of intrigue. Fast read too. Highly recommend.
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Fascinating in all the ways it both succeeds and fails. Could have only been written by Ernest Cline, but I do wish he’d had more skill in some areas. Or that he could have made this a movie first and put his screenwriting skills to good use. Worth reading as a study on story, and how originality can make up for flaws.
  5. Rollback by Robert J Sawyer – Cool sci-fi premise about reverse aging bogged down by the total cliché of a man cheating on his wife the moment things get difficult. I just feel like there could have been more interesting and thought provoking issues a couple in their situation could have gone through than “we can’t have sex anymore,” and making infidelity the focus was lazy/uninspired. Granted, I am getting tired of males being written as sex-crazed animals in general. At least Sawyer is a good writer, so I will check out his other work.
  6. Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Storesby Chris Kennedy – I’ve met Chris personally as well, and I find his personal story inspiring. He is making six figures off self-publishing and is very transparent about how he did it. Unfortunatly, I’ve read some really good books on self publishing that are packed with resources, and his doesn’t really compare. I would read this book for inspiration and advice more than cold hard information. If you want more about statistics, costs, and step-by-step production, then check out The Well-Fed Self-Publisher
  7. The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins. Not up to Gillian Flynn standards and relied a bit too much on coincidence, but a good domestic thriller nonetheless. It had that “I see myself in an awful person” thing that I love so much in books, but unfortunately it was a little too dependent on having a twist ending and I forecasted the twist at the 70% mark. I wish it would have had a bit more interesting to say about the serious issues it tackled.
  8. Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy Seal by Brett Jones. Read for research to write my own gay Navy SEAL in Paradisa. It’s obviously self published, but was engrossing and so informative for my writing purposes
  9. Land of the Dragon: Chinese Myth (Myth & Mankind , Vol 12, No 20). Part of a Time Life series on different mythologies. This is a brief “cliff notes” version of Chinese Myth. Good for gleaning a few ideas that I can follow up with more in depth literature later.
  10. Irish Myths And Legends by Lady Gregory. One of the most comprehensive and easy to read books on Celtic Myth. The names got a little overwhelming, but Gregory provides both context and clarity to the Celtic pantheon.
  11. Gods and Heroes of Northern Europe. A very accessible and short book on Norse Mythology.
  12. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A beautiful and easy to read literary sci-fi treat. This is what post-apocalyptic literature should be. The wasteland setting was just that – a setting – rather than a plot device or a high concept pitch. What we really focus on here are the people, and how quietly the world would end under such circumstances.
  13. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Not quite up to snuff with Gone Girl, because I doubt anything can be, but superior to Dark Places. Probably the most sympathetic protagonist Flynn has ever written, with a plot less focused on a “big reveal” and more on the slow burn realizations we all have about our family as we grow older.

One thought on “2016 Reading List

  1. Pingback: New Year Updates To Aether House | Aether House

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