- A great deal of young adult fiction for the way it can straddle genres, push boundaries, and give a fresher take on the world than a lot of adult fiction
- Anything involving awesome female friendships
- Stories set during the world wars
- In fact, anything set in a fascinating period of history
- Retellings of myths, fairytales and legends
- Road trips
- Plagues! And other world-ending phenomena
Best quotes from books in 2017:
“When we say that “the world has ended,” remember – it is usually a lie. The planet is just fine.”
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
“And that's how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.”
Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor
- Frances Hardinge's new book A Skinful of Shadows was THE GREATEST thing I read on my holidays. Set in the 1640s, Makepeace's mother stole her away from a dark fate when she was a baby, but has never told her what that dark fate was. A story full of ghosts, kindness and evil, independence and second chances.
- How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb. One of my favourite comedians (one half of Mitchell and Webb) this is Robert Webb's memoir with a theme of gender roles - or as he puts is 'the oncoming tide of gender nonsense.' Read an except from the Guardian or watch an interview with him (I love the interview especially)
- Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor - this short novel is a side-step from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy into the first date of Zuzana and Mik. A story of fluff and magic set in the street of Prague.
- Libba Bray, dazzlingly clever Young Adult author has released the third book in her 1920s 'Diviners' series with ' Before the Devil Breaks You '. Like ghosts and asylums and a steadily growing evil?
High Hopes - New Releases:
I honestly CANNOT read through my 'for later' list fast enough, and I absolutely cannot keep up with all the new books I want to read. Here are some of my most anticipated new releases:
- In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. This woman knows how to rip our her fans hearts; cries of "SARAH NO" and "WHYYY" and "JUST LET THEM BE" are common with each new book she writes. She's clever and funny and feminist too - just be prepared for ANGST and DRAMA and KISSES!
- In early 2018 we have a new Holly Black called 'The Cruel Prince', "delving deeper into the strange, glittering malicious courts of Faerie".
- A sequel to 'Welcome to Night Vale' called 'It Devours!' - partially because Welcome to Night Vale is such a brilliant podcast, partially because of my love of excited punctuation in titles (!)
- By turns funny and razor sharp feminist E Lockhart's Genuine Fraud
- Stephanie Kuehn has another teen psychological thriller: 'When I Am Through With You'.
- Maggie Stiefvater of Raven Boys fame's latest: 'All The Crooked Saints' about a family able to perform unusual miracles and three cousins who want to change the future.
Coming Soon (but not soon enough)
- Catherynne M Valente is working on a sequel to Deathless, a seamless combination of Russian mythology and communist history. It's due out in October 2018.
The Best of 2017 (updated December)
2017 was internationally pretty disasterous, but fictionally it was great. Full of emotional highs and lows and a whole lot of ghosts, these are some of my faves.
Stars of the Auckland Writers Festival 2017
This booklist is my collection of the books and authors who really stood out at the Auckland Writers Festival this year - a mixture of fiction (long and super short), non fiction (moving memoirs, thrilling/harrowing historical mysteries, the science of everything) and poetry (just beautiful.)
Behaving Badly in the 1800s
Stories set in the 19th Century, a mixture of adult and young adult fiction, fantasy, and fabulous ladies.
Stories about the end of the world, in one way or another. Thrillers and deep thoughts about human nature, stories about the best of people in the worst of times, mass extinction events, with a few fantasy and science fiction takes on the subject as well.
Fiction and Fantasy in World War One and Two
Stories (and one sneaky memoir) set in and around the wars, and if they happen to incorporate a bit of fantasy too, well, even better.
In the Olden Times When Wishes Still Helped
Fairy tales retold in various ways, from modern day settings to stories set back in the magical past.
Like books, with TV and movies I like a mix of post-apocalyptic (zombie or otherwise), historical supernatural horror, speculative fiction, sci-fi: Jessica Jones, Mad Max: Fury Road, The 100, Penny Dreadful, Orphan Black, Elementary, Daredevil, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica... although I'm quite happy watching hours on end of The Great British Bake Off...
- Evie from the Mummy movies (because she's also an Egyptologist)
- The Librarian from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (because he's an ape who knows what he wants)
- Suzie from Sex Criminals (because she can stop time and totally always uses her powers for good...)
- The Night Vale Public librarians (catch the flesh eating reading bacterium!)