Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 books I should have read by now

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Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. Today we’re looking at 2018 releases we haven’t read yet – but really want to!

I rarely stay on top of new releases in any given year, and in spite of my efforts to ‘catch up’ (HA) towards the end of 2018 there are still plenty of books published last year that I’d really like to read. Let’s talk about the most pressing ones first…

Trail of Lightning – Rebecca Roanhorse

A Navajo post-climate-apocalyptic not-so-urban fantasy? I’m embarrassed I haven’t read this yet, frankly. It was one of 2018’s stand-out releases, from an author I’m really excited to discover. It’s high up my list of books to read this year (well in advance of, say, Hugo nomination deadlines!)

The Calculating Stars – Mary Robinette Kowal

A re-imagined history of space travel with an all-female cast, set in the universe of The Lady Astronaut of Mars (a particular favourite of mine). This gap is embarrassing because it’s a mistake: I thought Stars was a novella, and balked at the price so thought I’d wait a bit. It’s, uh, not a novella. Oops. I should go spend my money.

The Murderbot Diaries – Martha Wells

Murderbot is a brilliant creation: a shy, snarky, self-aware security cyborg with a passion for daytime television. Unfortunately, when I’m asked to spend £8 and have books I want to read as much as the novella… I’ll always buy one of the books. I hear there’s a collected edition coming in 2019, so here’s hoping it’s better priced.

Of course, there’s far more books I’m intrigued by, but feel less abashed about not having read already (even though I already have copies on my shelf…)

 

Unholy Land – Lavie Tidhar

Tidhar has been on my list of authors I’m curious to try for some time, and word of mouth on Unholy Land was exceptionally good. Its combination of political commentary, time travel, alternate futures and murder mystery sounds awfully enticing (although also compared it to Chabon and Mieville, neither of whom I’ve had good experiences with, so). 

The Green Man’s Heir – Juliet McKenna

McKenna is another author I’ve been aware of for ages, but not yet got around to reading. I picked up The Green Man’s Heir to fix that gap in my reading: it too promises a murder suspect on the run, but this tale is a modern fantasy of rural Britain, soaked in ancient myths and folklore. Catnip.

Foundryside – Robert Jackson Bennett

I heard nothing but good things about the start of RJB’s new fantasy trilogy, and I love the sound of its magic system and world-building:  inscriptions bring inanimate objects to life. An escaped slave turned turned thief; powerful merchant families who control the magic that powers the city; and a conspiracy that could end everything – it’s familiar stuff, but tasty.

This Dreaming Isle – edited by Dan Coxon

This enticing anthology was only published just before Christmas (and I only got my hands on it a couple of weeks ago), so I have no shame in not having read it yet. A distinctly British collection of horror and weird short fiction, rooted in our myths and legends, fascinated by peripheries: I cannot wait to sink my teeth in (not least because it includes stories by Aliya Whiteley, Jeannette Ng and Catriona Ward).

Last but not least, there’s the books that sparked my interest but haven’t yet made it past my wishlist. Although I have started reserving them at the library…

Little Eve – Catriona Ward

I had mixed feelings about Ward’s award-winning debut Rawblood, but I was impressed by her writing. I can’t resist the remote Scottish setting of her new novel, and I’m intrigued by the tantalising suggestions of friendship, madness, death and (I surmise) unreliable narrators.

Circe – Madeline Miller

I have a soft spot for Greek mythology and especially its conflicted relationship with women. Madeline Miller rehabilitated Achilles in The Song of Achilles and while Circe (for me) requires no such making good, I’m excited to see her as a heroine rather than just another one of Odysseus’s bits on the side.

Summerland – Hannu Rajaniemi

Rajaniemi wrote a space opera trilogy that I never quite got around to, but his new stand-alone has caught my eye: the afterlife has been found, and the British Empire is determined to claim it. What’s not to like about a period spy thriller set in world of the dead?

…there’s plenty more of course – and probably even more that I haven’t even considered, so this week is no doubt going to send my TBR spiralling out of control. Just for a change.

What books do you most wish you’d got to from 2018?