I realized last night that I’ve achieved my goal of reading 50 books this year! I am a voracious and fast reader, so I set a rule for myself: the 50 books I read must be books I’d never read before. I tend to re-read the same books over and over again (at this point, I practically have Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series memorized), and I was eager to branch out. I relied heavily on Goodreads’ book recommendations and my local library’s collection of ebooks for the challenge. I bought a few ebooks from Barnes & Noble as well as several hard copies from Gardner’s Used Books. Nearly everything I read was sci-fi or fantasy, with a few horse books thrown in for good measure.
So for this Friday Five, I thought I’d share with you my 5 favorite authors/series/books I’ve read so far this year! (They aren’t in any particular order, though.)
One of the first books recommended by Goodreads was The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, which is the first book in this series. I didn’t think I would like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Set in a bizarre fantasy world strongly influenced by the Italian Renaissance period, the series follows the adventures of a band of thieves and con men. There’s swearing, murder, weird alien relics, and Ocean’s Eleven-like plotting. All three books in the series are well-written and fun (if long) reads.
This is an excellent, excellent book. Denny’s no-nonsense approach that makes him so popular on Facebook is in full force throughout this book, which isn’t so much a guide on riding as a guide to setting yourself up for success. Reading it, I alternated between despair and maniacal fervor to improve my life and my riding. It isn’t geared toward a particular discipline; rather, Denny has interviewed many top riders from across a variety of equestrian sports and presents their stories in an unbiased way. He isn’t afraid to force you to confront your life choices and tell it like it is. If you want to succeed as a rider, however you define success, you need to read this book.
This is another series I thought I’d dislike, but I trusted the Goodreads process and came away with a new respect for it. Set in a dystopian world whose hero failed it, the series follows a group of rebels who initially plan to overthrow the brutal ruling empire and end up searching for a solution to save their ugly, dying world. Full of innovative and interesting mythology and magic, this series is a nice change of pace from standard wizards-casting-spells fantasy fare.
FOUR Robin Hobb
Traditional fantasy full of dragons and magic and kings and talking animals might make some people roll their eyes, but I’m not ashamed to say it’s my favorite genre. Robin Hobb’s work is wonderful: full of well-developed and interesting characters, complex plots that weave different series together, and totally immersive writing. Most of her books were available through my library, but I was too impatient to finish the series and bought about half of them rather than wait for them to be off hold.
I reviewed this book in July, so most of you probably know how I feel about it. It’s a great, great book full of advice that’s still relevant. It covers such a broad range of topics that I can’t imagine an equestrian it wouldn’t be useful to!
If you want to see all 50 books I’ve read this year, you can see the whole list on Goodreads. You’re also welcome to add me as a friend, although I don’t do anything interesting like review books on the site.
Are any of y’all big readers? What have you read this year that you’ve liked?