To try and spice this up a little, I’ll be giving my standard answers and a few answers that are perhaps a little less predictable from me. So basically double tag time.
EXERCISE MORE: THIS IS A BOOK THAT IS A REAL CHUNKSTER, IN FACT YOU WILL NEED HELP TO EVEN PICK THIS BOOK UP
Winterlight is not a small book. I got an ARC after Fabienne of Libri Draconis got sent one and decided reviewing the seventh book of a seven book series without having read any of the preceding six wasn’t her cup of tea. That’s just my game though so I took it off her hands. Unfortunately there has not been a review of it yet, in no small part due to it being a very large fellow of a book. I read half of it aka a normal book, then realised I had to read another book, and got sidetracked. But one of these days.
The only ever real honest answer though is the the omnibus edition of The Invisibles. That’s not my copy pictured (I got mine second hand) but I had to pick a photo of the real physical thing to give some idea of its magnitude. It weighs 3.7kg or 8lbs (rounding down) which is to say it’s a little heavier than the average newborn baby. Picking this up one handed is genuinely a test of strength. It’s also really good.
LOSE WEIGHT: A BOOK THAT IS NOT A CHUNKSTER; A SHORT STORY OR NOVELLA. A BOOK YOU COULD PROBABLY READ IN ONE SITTING
It’s a day ending with y, so I will be taking this chance to talk up Saad Z Hossain’s The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, probably the greatest novella ever written. I recently introduced some friends to this incredible feat of writing and they fell in love with it, as would you. It’s hilarious, it’s tense, it’s got holy shit awesome worldbuilding. People, find yourself someone who loves you like I love this book.
However, I can’t give all the props to that book. I have my ARC of Aliette de Bodard’s Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances sitting waiting for just the one moment, and I expect big things from that too if its prequel is anything to go by.
EAT HEALTHY: A BOOK THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU. THIS IS A BOOK THAT MADE YOU FEEL SO HAPPY THAT YOU WANTED TO GIVE IT A BIG HUG
Okay, yeah, I didn’t really look for something I don’t talk about a lot here, but I pretty much never shut up about the books I love here so there was not other way to do it. Both series share a wonderful sense of humour, a picaresque approach, a love of mysteries and folklore… why yes, those are many of my favourite things.
FULFIL YOUR AMBITIONS: A BOOK THAT HAS A LOT GOING ON. PLENTY OF DIFFERENT THREADS, POINTS OF VIEWS AND ACTION BUT EVERYTHING EVENTUALLY COMES TOGETHER IN A VERY SATISFACTORY FASHION
Hmm. Hmm. The problem is after a lifetime of fantasy, things that are quite ambitious seem everyday. Besides, I used up a lot of my better answers elsewhere. So I decided to twist tis slightly and pick the two most ambitious small books I know – the “I can’t believe this all fitted in” levels of ambition. There’s lots of people in this genre who can do crazy things with lots of space, but when they tell ridiculously epic tales in a phone booth? I am impressed.
I read John Crowley’s The Deep a few years back and was impressed on its tale of dynastic intrigue and war with a twist. Nghi Vo’s The Empress of Salt and Fortune was read last year, and its flashback style told what would have been a trilogy in a novella.
SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE FAMILY: A SERIES OF BOOKS THAT YOU LOVE AND THAT HAS DEVELOPED MORE THAN YOU EVER ANTICIPATED
My love for Katherine Kerr’s Deverry Cycle is well documented on this blog. I’ve reviewed most of the books and reference it often. It just does so many things wonderfully and has such a unique feel to it, from the pseudo-Celtic syntax to the multiple timelines. Wait. Shit. I should have used this for complex book (I’m writing this out of order). Oh well. It is very well placed here. I brought the first book on a whim and it’s turned into one of my favourite series.
I talk about Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files less often. Partly that’s because I read them all before I got serious about blogging, partly because I’ve dropped the series… but you know, the books I did read, hot damn. Some of the best. Locus might call Storm Front an unusually well-crafted first novel but I wouldn’t, and was really surprised at how much it took off.
TICK OFF AN ITEM FROM YOUR BUCKET LIST: REDUCE THE TBR. CHOOSE A BOOK FROM MOUNT TBR THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ THIS YEAR
Yes, yes, I know, I’ve given a TBR and neither of those books are on it. But as I seek an interesting range of fantasy to showcase this Wyrd & Wonder, I have my beady eye on these two. These two and a nervous breakdown.
SAVE MONEY: A BOOK THAT WAS AN ABSOLUTE BARGAIN – YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE CRAZY, IN FACT, NOT TO HAVE BOUGHT THIS BOOK
Max Gladstone’s The Craft Sequence omnibus is one of the great bargains of the ebook age. It’s the first five novels priced at GBP6.57 on that place. That is simply an invitation to highway robbery and bless all that continue to proffer this invitation. Get involved my peeps.
The other two – the Five Worlds duology – I have managed to pick up used hardcopies of recently, and very pleased I am about that too.
GET ORGANISED: A BOOK WITH A GLOSSARY, MAPS, USEFUL WORDS, LISTS OF PEOPLE – THIS BOOK IS ONE HELPFUL BOOK, IT WANTS YOU TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS AND IT’S NOT AFRAID TO USE FOOTNOTES AND OTHER DEVICES TO HELP YOU DO SO
Why yes, I will be taking the easy way out here. Both men went way over the top in a way rarely seen elsewhere and as someone who rarely reads that stuff, did it really well.
START A NEW HOBBY: A BOOK THAT IS OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. PERHAPS EVERYONE WAS RAVING ABOUT THIS BOOK, MAYBE IT WAS OVER-HYPED, YOU HESITATED TO PICK IT UP IN FACT, BUT WHEN YOU DID – YOU LOVED IT
I have to say I don’t really think in terms of comfort zones. I know what I like, and I rarely find it all in one package, so most books lie a little in and a little out. My comfort zone is either rereads or constantly stretching my comfort zone. That said, I have an unnecessary level of disdain for present tense fiction, which makes it impressive I liked Marie Brennan’s Cold-Forged Flame so much. I’m also not a huge horror buff and wary of Victoriana, so thinking Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan isn’t talked about enough surprised me.
And that’s it for this! Hope you enjoyed.