A Holiday Reading List

When Nanowrimo started, everyone who participated dropped whatever was on our reading lists and sat down to write as much as we could in our free time. But now that we’re taking a (hopefully not too long) break, there’s time to put a book next to the bed again and postpone sleep for the sake of someone else’s creation.

I went to the library today with the intention of coming back with some great books to read. I picked up a couple books while I was there (I have the tendency to rack up library fines if I get more) and I got a lot of good ideas as to what I should search for next.

Here’s what I’ll be reading through the long winter nights:

Embassytown by China Mieville






Okay, I don’t actually know anything about this book. A few years ago I read Perdido Street Station and thought it was one of the richest, most complex science fantasy books I’d ever read. When I saw his name on the shelf, I decided to see if some of his other work lived up to that initial impression.

The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women, edited by A. Susan Williams and Richard Glyn Jones

I’m always on the lookout for good modern fantasy – I think I read too much of the traditional stuff as a child – and compilations are excellent ways to find a new favorite author. Though I don’t necessarily think that female fantasy authors should be given preference over male ones – this was just the anthology that was still on the shelf.





Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

I’ll admit, I heard about this shortly before it was published and was always intrigued by it. Unfortunately, life seemed to get in the way. But when I thought about it in the library, I decided to try to find it. I’m a sucker for rewritten fairy tales (though I never liked the Gregory Maguire ones) and this is a vastly different take indeed.






Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay

Kay’s work is hit and miss for me, but when it hits, it hits with the force of a freight train. He blends history, fantasy and mythology to create a world both recognizable and unsettling. Also, he helped ready The Silmarillion for publication. If that’s not a glowing recommendation, then I don’t know what is.



The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling

Okay, okay. A lot of people have been on the fence about this one. While I’m sure it doesn’t have the charm of Harry Potter, I’d like to see how her writing has grown since she started the juvenile series. But since I am a poor student, I’m betting it will be a long time before this is ready for pickup at the library.




And, of course, I’ll be aiming to write some things, too. Hopefully some short pieces.

Anyone read the books on this list? Are any of them worth reading before the rest? Any that I should skip all together?