Top Ten Tuesday: the books that got away in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I’m dodging the topic because it’s just too soon to name my top ten of the year (there’s 3 weeks of books left!) so I’m borrowing a future topic – the books I never quite got to.

I’ve pretty much given up promising to stop buying books until I finish reading what I’ve got (I can’t stick to a diet, let alone a book buying ban), and every time I make a list of books I’d like to read / ought to read / honestly I’m really going to read truly I will …to be aspirational at best. I love books, I love the idea of books and I love reading whatever I’m in the mood for right now (even when I don’t know what that is until I try it – thankfully books aren’t like chocolates, so I don’t feel obliged to finish it if it’s not right today).

And there’s never enough time to read all the books I get excited about, so I typically end every year with – well, not regret, because I’ve loved what I’ve read, but a heap of books I still want to read. 2017 is no different.

Sourdough – Robin Sloan

Given the amount of time I’ve spent in SF this year, it’s a shocker that I never read Sourdough, especially given my love for Mr Penumbra (and SF bakeries, yum). A robotics engineer learns to make bread when her favourite bakers close down – but where there’s an SF marketplace, there’s someone trying to disrupt it.

The Black Tides of Heaven / The Red Threads of Fortune – J Y Yang

The twin children of the Protector each have special – if very different gifts. Born together, will politics tear them apart? This sounds like magic, machinery, family drama, and epic world-building in bitesize form and I can’t quite believe I haven’t read them yet.

River of Teeth / Taste of Marrow – Sarah Gailey

There was once a mad plan to bring hippos to the Louisiana marshlands. But what if it had happened? Sarah Gailey gives us one of the scariest animals on the planet along with hippo-wrangling mercenaries seeking vengeance. I can’t resist a set-up like this.

All Systems Red – Martha Wells

Sticking with the novellas, I also really want to read the Murderbot Diaries (again, Wells has me at the name here). I love stories about AI, I love grumpy robots, I love criticisms of corporate futures, I love stories about self-discovery and scientists; I mean, there’s really nothing I don’t love in this one.

A Long Day in Lychford – Paul Cornell

Ahem, I’ll likely read this before year’s end as I have it (and just reread Lost Child). I adore the Lychford books for their protagonists’ relationships and the loving (but English, so snarky) depiction of its market town setting. Cornell never fails to move me when he writes about Lychford and here he takes on Brexit, so my heartbreak is guaranteed from the start.

The Book of Dust – Philip Pullman

If I’m honest, I feel I ought to read this rather than that I want to – I loved Northern Lights, but found the rest of the first trilogy increasingly hard to chew on. While I share many of Pullman’s points of view, he’s no more subtle than CS Lewis. Still, I remain intrigued by his world and will eventually return to it.

Under the Pendulum Sun – Jeannette Ng

VICTORIAN MISSIONARIES TO FAIRYLAND remains the best elevator pitch of 2016. Add in dark, Gothic and bamboozling and I just need a couple of days with a clear head and nothing to do. Sounds like Christmas, to me…

Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty

I’ve heard so many good things about this one (which skipped past me as it still doesn’t appear to have a Kindle release in the UK). I do love a closed room mystery. And it’s in SPACE. A clone wakes with – for the first time – no memory of how she died. Something isn’t right aboard the Dormire… I’m so intrigued.

The Beautiful Ones – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I meant to read this recently and got distracted by Prime Meridian instead (which was excellent, no regrets), so I’m still looking forward to her alternate historical fantasy of manners. A debutante has telekinetic abilities – and is swept off her feet by a charismatic performer – but what does he really want from her?

The Hidden Face – S C Flynn

When the sun god takes a mortal form, the unmasking of their Face marks the end of an era. With the Emperor under a malign influence, a hero’s son and a warrior woman race to unearth an ancient mystery ahead of their rivals. I’m  really looking to this!


What books you’ve missed this year do you mean to make time for?