Friday, January 11, 2013

Five Things on Friday - 2013 Reading List

I've got what I call "The Backlog." The Backlog is a running list of things that I want to read and will someday get around to. For about nine years, The Lord of the Rings was on my backlog. I finally figured out that I just didn't want to read it. That was liberating.

In any case, one of the many useful side effects of having a raging addiction to Pinterest is that I've finally started to get The Backlog out of my head and somewhere I have a better shot at remembering what's on it. Since this is just an issue of "I pin it when it pops into my head," it's not nearly complete, but it's a good start anyway.

And because it's the beginning of the year, I still have some gift card cash to burn and I've been thinking a lot about what to read next, I thought I'd share:

5 Books I'll be Reading in 2013

1. Locke and Key - by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez - Some day I'm gonna talk about comics. Today, I'm not. Sorry. But, know it's coming. Because I've been reading more than I've ever read and I have Things To Be Said. In the meantime, let me tell you about Locke and Key  and why I want to read it. First of all, Joe Hill. Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King and if you're getting a "daddy's boy" vibe here, just drop it. Because it should be a "chip off the old block" vibe. Hill's debut, Heart Shaped Box is one of my all-time favorite books. 20th Century Ghosts, a short story book, was terrific, and despite the corny concept of Horns, it was gripping and amazing. What I'm saying here, is "Hey. Mr. Hill. Joe. I'm recently divorced, totally cute, into horror and I think you should marry me." Last year, I picked up the first volume of Locke and Key and I absolutely loved it. It is the gory, scary, creepy, amazing story of a magical house, Key House, and it's hold in the Locke family. And I want more. But, I hadn't really decided how I felt about e-comics and some other things, so I put it off. But no more. Creepy keys, here I come.

2. Cold Days - by Jim Butcher - Cold Days is the fifteenth in the Dresden Files series. Yes, I said FIFTEENTH. I don't think I've ever made it 15 novels into a series before. I usually get bored way before then. But, I do so love Harry. It helps that the books are the opposite of formulaic. Sometimes ending on a cliffhanger and sometimes seeming to wrap everything up forever, the Dresden books are about a young wizard trying to save Chicago. But more than that, they are about a huge and complicated cast of characters ranging from cops to vampires; from assassins to soldiers; from white knights to demons; from gangsters to fairy godmothers. And the bad guys are usually just as wonderful as the good guys. Cold Days should be full of nice Fae politics which is oddly fun for me. I can't wait.

3. A Wind Through the Key Hole - by Stephen King - It's no secret that SK is my absolute hero. And I have this whole theory about The Dark Tower series and it's import to the body of King's work. So, why didn't I read this unexpected volume the second it hit the shelves. Well... Because. Because it's structure (a story within a story) hearkens most closely to Wizard and Glass, my least favorite of the series. And because I was worried it would be an apology. King took a lot of flack over the last three novels of the series. He seemed to struggle with writing them and readers seemed to struggle with accepting them. And I'll admit that I had my issues, too. But for the most part, I loved the story and I was willing to go wherever it dragged me. And drag me it did, between worlds, between characters and between the love of a character and the love of the story. In short, I don't it messed with. But the time has come. I need to read the story. I need to file it away and accept that if King, in his near infinite wisdom, says the story needs to be told, then the story needs to be heard.

4. Fever Crumb - by Philip Reeve - You know how you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover? Yeah, I do that all the time. Case in point, Philip Reeve. I fell in love with a cover and started digging through to decide what to read first. His covers are so beautifully steampunk and there is just something there that sucks me in. Fever Crumb is a story about a young girl leaving home and discovering that there is more to her than she ever believed. I think. You know, I haven't read it. But the plot synopses for the whole series (oh what, you thought maybe something on this list wasn't a series?) sounds sort of like a fever dream: wild, weird and a little scary.

5. The Tale of Halcyon Crane - by Wendy Webb - This book is:

  1. A ghost story
  2. not a series
  3. written for adults.
Which puts it outside the realm of what I've been reading for the last couple of years. But it sounds good. It has mostly good reviews and even the bad reviews don't say it's a terrible book, just not a particularly great one. So, I'm going out on a limb for this one.

So, a couple of questions for you... What are you planning on reading this year? What should be on my list that isn't above?


Anonymous said...

I have read Cold Days (typical Dresden awesomeness) and A Wind Through the Key Hole (Wizard and Glass was also my least favorite).

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by A Wind Through the Key Hole. It took about three whole paragraphs before I was completely pulled back into the world.

As for calling Dresden "a young wizard", while I think he would appreciate the sentiment, he would also acknowledge that he isn't a spring chicken anymore.

One of these days, I am going to get around and complete my Dresden cos-play costume.

Jessi said...

Well, I meant that as a description of the series and he's very young when it starts out. Also, compared to other wizards, I think he still counts as young. But you're right, he's no spring chicken anymore.