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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

2018 Reading Summary

Total number of books read: 250 (my second-highest total ever)

Total number of books planned for 2018: 182 (of which I read 81%)

Total number of pages: 90,680

Longest book of 2018: The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan.

First book of the year: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire.

Last book of the year: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Most anticipated releases of 2018: The Witch Elm by Tana French, Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews, Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews.

Shakespeare Project: This year I saw 3 plays performed. (Hamlet, Timon of Athens, Much Ado About Nothing). Timon of Athens was my least favourite, but I loved the other two. (Coming up in 2019 are Coriolanus, King Henry II, Anthony & Cleopatra, and The Tempest).

Progress on my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading Project: 37. Most enjoyed this year was Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. Honourable mention to Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman. I didn’t make as much progress on this reading list as I hoped to, but 2019 may be a better year!

Best Young Adult historical fantasy novel: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. Honourable mention to The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

Best Young Adult science fiction novel: Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre.

Best Young Adult fantasy novel: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.

Best Adult historical fiction: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

Best Reinterpretation of Shakespeare: Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn. I accidentally read this one all in one sitting! Best re-telling of King Lear that I’ve read to date.

Best Canadian novel: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Best Adult Historical fantasy: Vlad : the Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys

Non-fiction: 20. I think my favourite was a biography of Ian Fleming (by Andrew Lycett) which I read for my Summer Reading Project and which informed my reading of several of Fleming’s novels.

Female authors: 126

Summer Reading Project: 2018 featured The Summer of Spies (22 novels read). My favourite from amongst these was Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes. In the same genre, I also really enjoyed London Rules by Mick Herron, although I didn’t read it until November (so it can’t really count towards the summer reading project).

When Words Collide conference: I read 7 new authors before attending the 2018 conference, adding 14 books to my year’s total. Delighted to make the reading acquaintance of Deanna Raybourn (who had to cancel her appearance) and Tasha Alexander (who replaced Ms. Raybourn). Also impressed with Fonda Lee (author of Jade City) and Peter V. Brett (author of the Demon Cycle).

2019 will be a more relaxed reading year. I haven’t signed up for any reading challenges. I’m continuing on with my Shakespeare Project and with my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project. The series that I’m looking forward to getting back to: the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (The Virgin in the Ice), Amelia Peabody (The Deeds of the Disturber), Philip Marlowe (The Lady in the Lake), Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (The Cruelest Month), SPI Files (The Myth Manifestation), Lady Julia Grey (Silent in the Sanctuary), Her Royal Spyness (Royal Flush), Lord Peter Wimsy (Strong Poison).

New releases that I’m anticipating: Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock) by Faith Hunter, Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs, The Unkindest Tide (October Daye) by Seanan McGuire, Smoke and Iron (The Great Library) by Rachel Caine, The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air) by Holly Black, That Ain’t Witchcraft (InCryptid) by Seanan McGuire, In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children) by Seanan McGuire, Honor Bound (The Honors) by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre, Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy) by Ilona Andrews, A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell) by Deanna Raybourn, and an untitled volume of the Iron Covenant series by Ilona Andrews.

By and large, I am finding that I enjoy a great number of young adult authors—they are writing quality stuff. I will definitely read more of them in 2019! I am also planning to read Mermaid tales during the month of May and to have a summer reading project featuring Sherlock Holmes and those who embroider around the edges of that character.

Happy New Year, friends. I hope that 2019 is your best reading year ever!