Hello everyone! It’s getting to be the time of year when I pack up my things and move back to Agnes Scott for the school year. Every year, this brings the question: which books will I take with me?
I’ve found that in prior years, I’ve tended to bring too many books. Since I am loath to take still unread books all the way back to Texas, I end up having to hurriedly read or DNF some in April and May. To save myself some stress, I’m limiting myself to five books from the physical TBR pile. After all, I can always reload at Thanksgiving.
Here are sixteen of the possible candidates.
Like a Boss by Adam Raksuras – the sequel to the super fun Windswept. This one will probably end up heading to college with me since it’s near the top of the pile.
The Seer by Sonia Orin Lyris – a female led epic fantasy novel. It’s a 2016 release I missed out on, and it’s gotten generally good reviews. It’s also pretty hefty (656 pages), so if I chose it I’ll want to limit the number of other lengthy epic fantasy books I’ll bring. Unfortunately, I’ve got a number of lengthy epic fantasy books in the pile.
The Vagrant by Peter Newman – I think this is post apocalyptic with maybe a dash of fantasy? I do think the idea of a warrior carrying a baby across a wasteland sounds awesome. Plus, Renay over at Ladybusiness gave it a good review.
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie – my last ditch chance at trying a book by Joe Abercrombie. I ended up DNF’ing Best Served Cold last October, but I still have this book by him. Honestly, I’m not expecting to like it, but if I DNF it at least I can get it off the pile.
The Pyramid Waltz by Barbara Ann Wright – it’s a f/f fantasy novel. I honestly can’t remember much more than that. Oh, and it has decent Goodreads reviews, although not by any reviewers I follow.
Rituals by Roz Kaveney – another f/f fantasy novel, although I think this one’s urban fantasy. I know the heroine’s girlfriend is a ghost. It’s another one that doesn’t have any reviews from people I follow.
Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith – an epic fantasy novel with an asexual protagonist. Based on that description, it’s a miracle I’ve let this one sit in my TBR for so long. I think my main problem is that Banner of the Damned is intimidatingly long. It’s huge! And I tried another one of Sherwood Smith’s epic fantasies (Inda) and bounced off the writing style. I really want to like this one, but I’m scared I won’t.
The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan – I’ve heard this one’s grimdark. I’m not hugely into grimdark fantasy books, but I’ve also heard this one’s got queer female protagonist. When I was making the decision to buy it, I balanced “gay” and “grimdark,” and “gay” won.
The Oracle Queen by Lynn Flewelling – the final book in the Tamir Triad, which started with The Bone Doll’s Twin. It’s an epic fantasy series that explores gender. Unfortunately, I find its exploration of gender problematic at times. On the other hand, the previous two books sucked me into the stories, and I’m a completionist. I will end up reading it at some point, I just have to decide how to prioritize it.
The Sun Sword by Michelle West – the sixth and last book in the Sun Sword series, an epic fantasy series that starts with The Broken Crown. I’ve found the last two books in the series a tad disappointing (you’ll be seeing my review of the fifth in October), but I have hopes that the final book can restore my love for the series. It is another huge epic fantasy novel though, so it will take up a sizable hunk of time.
Through the Wolf’s Eyes by Jane Lindskold – another female led epic fantasy. Presumably there’s wolves? I think I picked it up when I was in one of those moods where I wanted to read more epic fantasy books by women. You know, when we cycle through the “women don’t write epic fantasy” conversation again. It’s also got a couple of good Goodreads ratings from reviewers I follow, though no actual reviews.
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds – I’ve never read a book by Alastair Reynolds, although I know he’s something of a big name in the science fiction genre. I know it’s a space opera, but I don’t know much else about it.
Tower of the King’s Daughter by Chaz Brenchley – I know this one’s fantasy and has a gay protagonist. The Goodreads rating is a bit low (3.46), but for all I know it’s got a bunch of homophobic reviewers. I also know the author’s gay, and I haven’t read that many books with queer male characters written by queer male authors.
Prince of Dogs by Kate Elliott – the sequel to King’s Dragon, an epic fantasy novel that surprised me back in May. I’m pretty sure that I’ll like this one too, so the main factor is how much time epic fantasy novels take.
The Gunslinger by Stephan King – I’ve never read a book by Stephan King. I know, I know! I meant to get to this one before the movie came out, but somehow that didn’t happen. Hopefully they’re different enough I can enjoy both?
Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint – I got this one before I realized I wasn’t a huge fan of Charles de Lint. I dunno, I just find really artsy characters annoying. This book is his last chance to win me over.
Have you read any of these books? Which would you suggest I take with me?