A couple of days ago, Patrick over at Stomping the Yeti approached me with the idea of doing a Mid-year in review. I’m not the speediest reader, so my numbers aren’t all that impressive, but it’s always nice to take a step back and reflect on some of the things I’ve read in the past six months. So, taking Patrick’s forumla, and adding some things of my own, here’s a little review of what I’ve been up to in the past six months:

Books Read and Reviewed

Read | 11 Novels

Science Fiction: 2
Fantasy: 3
Young Adult Books: 1
Fiction Writers I Hadn’t Read Before: 10
Graphic Novels: 1
Male Authors: 7
Female Authors: 1

Reviewed | 8

Blood of Ambrose by James Enge
Blood of Ambrose
by James Enge. I wasn’t a fan.

The Baker's Boy by J.V. Jones
The Baker’s Boy
by J.V. Jones. Not a fan of this one, either.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Storm Front
by Jim Butcher. Shaky in places, but a great debut.

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton
Nights of Villjamur
by Mark C. Newton. See above comment.

The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
The Warded Man
by Peter V. Brett. Great debut, reminded me of first falling in love with Fantasy.

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sirens of Titan
by Kurt Vonnegut. Pretty much perfect. Holds up tremendously.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman. It’s a Gaiman YA novel. What more needs to be said? It’s awesome.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Altered Carbon
by Richard Morgan. Technically read it last year, but reviewed it this year. Great debut.

I think the thing that stands out the most is how many new authors I’ve read this year. In fact, only The Graveyard Book was by an author I had read before (unless you count The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, which I will finish in the next couple of days). This has been, more or less, a conscious decision, as I try to expand the range of what I’m reading. What’s interesting, as well, is that I’ve felt rather dissatisfied lately with my reading, and perhaps that’s related to all the new authors I’ve been giving a shot. On top of this, the majority of the novels I’ve read this year are debut novels, which has led to some uneven quality – some of the novels have been fantastic, some of the novels have been shaky and some of the novels have been downright poor.

You might also noticed that I’m not a terribly prolific reader. Oops! I try my best. Promise.

Also, you’ll notice that the amount of books I’ve read and the amount I’ve reviewed is a little different. In addition to the novels I’ve reviewed here on A Dribble of Ink, I’ve also read The City & The City by China Mieville, Mainspring by Jay Lake and Watchmen by Alan Moore and Steve Gibbons. I’ll probably end up reviewing each of them at some point.

Favorite Read of the Year (so far)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Of the books I’ve read, this is an easy choice for me. Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, and though The Graveyard Book may not be his strongest novel, it’s still head and shoulders about the majority of books on the shelf. A cute little read, with more than enough charm, with and energy to make it stick out in my mind.

Now, if I were making this list a week from now, The Graveyard Book would be replaced by Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game, a follow-up to my favourite novel of all time, The Shadow of the Wind. Though a very different novel than his first, The Angel’s Game is more proof of Zafón’s place at the top of the literary heap. Absolutely beautiful.

Other Mid-year Reviews

Speculative Horizons
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews

And, of course, you can always find the big Westeros Forums thead HERE.

So, how has your first half of the year gone? What books have I missed out on?

  • edifanob July 2, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I’m surprised. You reviewed eight books and I read four of them – The Graveyard Book, Nights of Villjamur, The Warded Man and Storm Front (which I read last year).
    I liked the all but my top read in 2009 so far is the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.