books

Books of the Year 2022

Last year was a weird old year and a pretty rubbish one for me personally. Thankfully books continue to be reliable. Most of these were published last year. All should be available from various bookshops and online.

In no particular order, here’s my 2022 books of the year, let me know what you loved in the comments or tag me on Twitter or even Instagram (which I will remember to post on one day…)

I read the Illumicrate edition which is so beautiful in black and silver. This was really interesting and current discourse shows that a lot of people really didn’t understand any of it. It’s definitely helpful to have some context – historically everything that happened in the book happened, minus the magic stuff. Britain really was the worst. Colonialism is never a good thing and honestly, Oxford (as a city and a university) benefited hugely from the evils of the British Empire.

Coming at the end of 2022, this was a delicious live story between a mindship with a beautiful avatar and her hostage turned wife bot builder. Dealing with the politics of pirates, the wholesale risk of invasion, a resentful son and the death of Rice Fish’s previous wife – the Red Scholar. The two women (is a ship a woman since they’re always female even when, as with some of the others in this book, they’re not?) must navigate all these complications and risks to survive.

I loved it, I thought I might as I really enjoyed Aliette’s alternate Paris set stories of dragons and angels. Drawing on the author’s Vietnamese heritage, it’s a space opera that just blew my mind.

The sequel to A Marvellous Light, this is an ocean set murder mystery with magic and sex and love and I adored it. I think I even liked it more than AML which was one of my favourites last year. I don’t know how the author does it but it works.

In a year when I seem to have read a lot of queer books, here’s another one! The science side of things or magic or whatever it is, is really interesting. A reader can read your mind and an architect can write your actions into you. Combine them with a sync and you have essentially one mind in 2 bodies. And then they fall in love and there’s a coup and the whole universe goes mad and they’re the ones who have to fix it! Just brilliant.

And now for something a bit different, but still LGBTQ+. This was a gut punch of a book, concerning the death of a teenage girl, her boyfriend, his mother and her bees. Absolutely beautiful in a stark, shocking and moving way. Jodi Picoult is the queen of the courtroom drama and this is just incredible. Have tissues on standby, you’ll need them. The two writers alternate protagonists and honestly it’s so well done.

I loved the trilogy before this, I love this series, the ending of this book made me cry. I don’t know how Brandon Sanderson manages to write multiple series but he somehow keeps track of it all, and the plan for the Mistborn universe is inspired. Even if it means saying goodbye to these characters.

books

Books of the year 2021

Here’s my round up of 5 of my absolute favourite reads this year. There’s no particular order, just 5 books I really enjoyed.

This book I adored – and you can read my thoughts on it here.

This made me cry, in a good way. It was so lovely and I just totally loved it.

This was lots of fun and a bit weird and huge – honestly it might be the chunkiest book I read all year but it was totally worth it.

Illumicrate sent me some cracking titles in this year’s boxes, it was hard to choose which ones I liked the most but this is definitely up there. Brand new series, amazing adventure, clever magic system and excellent characters.

Inspired by Chinese history, this is cracking. There’s so much going on and it has one of the most interesting protagonists I’ve read.

Overall I read a lot this year, what with not really being able to go anywhere I had plenty of time on my hands and a tbr that seems to grow whenever I’m not looking directly at it. There were lots of super massive chunky books, lots of excellent new series’ kicking off and a few coming to a close. I’m really excited to see what 2022 has in store for us readers.

My 5 books are all super queer, and diverse, something I definitely want to read more of – diverse books equal diverse stories and I want new and interesting ideas, not reruns of the same old. So I will be stocking up on sequels and new titles from as wide a range of authors as I can.

What did you read this year? What did you love? Have you read any of this little list, if so, what did you think? Let me know.

books

Books of the Year 2020

Well this year has been a trip, between the coronavirus, lockdown, the continuing horror of Black people being murdered by law enforcement, Brexit, the worst politicians ever. I keep waiting for the Four Horsemen to rock up and signal it really is the End Times.

However some of the books I’ve read this year have been immense. There are some terrific writers out there and we have been blessed with so many amazing stories. I don’t do star ratings or rankings but I wanted to share some of the books that have just blown me away in this year of existential dread gone wild.

Anyone who knows me knows I love me some Shakespeare (I even married one!). Hamlet, named for his son, is my favourite play and I will quote chunks of it at random. But Ol’ Willie S barely features in this incredible moving work.

Instead it centres on his wife Anne or Agnes Hathaway and the aftermath of their son Hamnet’s death from the plague aged 11.It is incredibly, beautifully written and constructed, so you feel the grief and anguish of the family, the agony of losing a child and suffering in isolation because you’re having to quarantine yourselves.

This book invaded my brain, I sometimes find myself thinking of its incredible imagery and shivering slightly, it’s that good. Haunting, powerful and just, incredible. I cannot believe that this a debut, it’s so accomplished.

Review here

This is one creepy, weird book that made me feel a bit sick tbh, but I also thought it was amazing and loved it. And keep telling people to read it. So seriously, read it.

Review here

This was one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time – genuinely made me laugh like a loon, and got me some strange looks from my husband who was trying to “work”. Clever writing, brilliantly drawn characters and a smart plot.

Review here

There was going to be a fifth book but I couldn’t decide which one (I have read a lot this year) – so have a picture of my cat chum Ellie yelling at me while standing on a bin instead.

Here’s hoping that 2021 is a better year for everyone and brings lots more exciting reading.