Sunday, January 1, 2012

so hold on tight and don't look back

 + What's On: The Kids From Yesterday, by My Chemical Romance

I have probably mentioned this before, but let's say it again: I have a Kindle.

Six months ago, you wouldn't catch me dead with an eReader. I was one of those people violently opposed to ebooks. I was sure they'd destroy the publishing world, I didn't understand the appeal of reading books on a screen, and I wondered why anyone would give up the feel of a "real" book. Anytime someone mentioned Kindles or Nooks or what-have-yous, I felt this little bit of acid eating away my chest and I wanted to gnaw people's fingers off.

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but you get the picture.

I don't know what changed my mind. For whatever reason, though, I broke down in July and ordered a Kindle. It showed up July 14th. I remember because I was getting ready to head to the theater. Some coworkers and I were going to watch Harry Potter 7 back-to-back, one part before midnight, one part after. I had just enough time to charge it before I left the house.

And you know? It's probably the greatest purchase I've ever made.

Since July 14th I've read 32 novels and 5 short stories, along with a dozen-odd sample chapters, and I have 11 books purchased but as of yet unread. I read four books over Christmas Eve and Christmas. The only reason the number isn't higher than that is because I realized how much money I was spending. I'm going to have to be more careful in 2012, since I left my second job, but I know I'll figure something out.

But anyway, I wanted to share with you some of the best books I read in 2011!

- This sounds gratuitous, since KM is my roommate and we've been besties for years, but I was honestly surprised by this book. KM understands—she knows I don't play well with sci fi. But I tore through this book in a day. Now I'm watching KM do page proofs for book 2 and reading pages whenever she leaves the room.
- The first book, The Electric Church, is still hands-down one of my favorite books ever. I have forced this series on more people than I can count, coworkers and customers alike. Gritty and foul-mouthed and amazing. I read books 4 and 5 this year, which is why I consider the series eligible for this list.

- Book 1 was everything I wanted in a book. That's the only way I can sum it up. I wasn't as sold on books 2 and 3, but overall it was a brilliant trilogy, and I'll probably reread it in 2012.

- Zombie steampunk with the world's most beautiful cover. Yes, really. Read it now, then come back and wait impatiently with me for book 2.
- Probably one of my favorite heroines. She starts off as a neglected, sheltered princess who comforts herself with lots of food, and she evolves (believably) into a young woman worth following. Waiting eagerly for the rest of the trilogy.
- I'm already reccing this book to people. Lark is another one of those true heroines—not perfect, not conveniently flawed, but completely real and believable. I love the detail in the world and know the next book is going to be amazing, too.
- Australian psycho-pomp laying ghosts to rest and saving the world? Hell yeah! I turned two regulars onto this series and we raced each other to the finish line. Not a perfect trilogy, but pretty close, and it's definitely a fun one.
- Originally called Skinned, I think? I don't remember how I stumbled across this, but I remember landing on Robin Wasserman's homepage where she was displaying the new covers and titles for the series. How could I resist a clever cover like that? I downloaded a sample and knew only a couple pages in I had to own it. This is what I read over Christmas, all three back-to-back. Brilliant.

- I'm glad I knew nothing about this book before I read it. Spoilers would destroy this smart story. Fascinating MC. Have already foisted it off on a friend to read.

- This one shouldn't count, since I'm not done reading it, but I can't leave it off. I can't tell you guys the last time I read anything nonfiction. It was probably back in college when I had no choice. I saw this in a Kinokuniya window display and thought the title interesting enough to write down. As soon as I got home I downloaded a sample, and four paragraphs later I bought it. An American reporter working for a Japanese national newspaper covering the police beat and yakuza? Yes please.

When I sat down to write this list, I thought it'd be short and easy. After all, I enjoyed a lot of books these last six months, but how many were hands-down awesome, totally-read-again-able? More than I thought, obviously! These are the books I'd recommend to all my friends. In fact, half of them are sitting in my Amazon cart so I can ship the printed versions to my sisters in SC.

Even better? Today is January 1st, which means a year of Apocalypsies 2012 debuts and sequels. Better get my Kindle charging now so I don't miss a word.


Kori said...

I love reading your blog, but I hate that I can't leave anything meaningful in the comments because most of the time I'm having one of a few limited reactions:

1: ME TOO!
2: I'm soo jealous....TAT
3: AFTG! <3<3<3<3<3<3

I just got a sony e-reader for christmas (because I personally am broke all the time, and my stepparents are willing to spring for the good stuff for themselves only) and read a light mystery series that takes place in a coffeehouse. The entire time I was reading it, I was thinking mostly about you, despite not knowing if you read mystery, or want to read about coffee shops when you work in one, but it kept reminding me that all the best people have worked at starbucks and I wish I could get hired on at one. XD

I do remember that the original comment here (the one blogger devoured) was surprise that we actually had a few of the books in common. Justine Larbalestier (despite having a near-unpronounceable name) is one of my favourite authors.

The rest of the books that I've never heard of or haven't gotten around to reading, I've just added to my "WILL READ" list.

marynoel said...


I haven't tried to read mystery in years. It wasn't my cup of tea, but maybe that's changed. How's the Sony eReader? I've heard mixed opinions about them - but then, I hear mixed opinions about all the readers.