Top Ten Tuesday: winter reads

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday 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. This week, it’s time to take a look at our winter TBR! Top Ten? HA. As. If.

Looking back, I did unusually well with my autumn TBR – I’ve read nearly all of it. Dan Simmons was unceremoniously booted off it for being an angry old man of the sort that rubs me up the wrong way, so I no longer feel the need to read or promote his work.

But enough back patting – winter is well and truly here, which means I’m mopping up my final Dances with Fantasy and SciFi and trying to catch up on as many 2019 releases as I can before the Subjective Chaos nominations in the new year.

So what has caught my eye? Let’s talk novellas, first, as I tend to either finish up my reading year or start the new one with a few shorter reads.

I want to catch up on the final adventure of Rupert Wong in The Last Supper Before Ragnarok by Cassandra Khaw (gods! ghosts! chefs! tentacles!). I’m intrigued by the atmosphere emanating from Priya Sharma’s family drama in Ormeshadow. Alastair Reynolds promises time travel and Arctic whiteouts in Permafrost, which is a great start. The Deep by Rivers Solomon is the one most likely to slip through my fingers as it’s not yet on my shelf, but the premisei s calling to me. And Emily Tesh’s myth-soaked Silver in the Wood sounds like a very comforting way to close out the year.

Once I get on to novels it’s a whole top ten eleven in itself (which I hope to get through most of by the end of February).

It says something about how busy I have been in 2019 that I haven’t already read The Dragon Republic by Rebecca Kuang, Fleet of Knives by Gareth L Powell or The House of Sundering Flames by Aliette de Bodard given my fierce allegiance to these authors and these series. I am at least five reads down on where I’d usually be by this point in the year, but these are priorities for me to catch up on by my birthday (when Light of Impossible Stars comes out!)

There’s also been some monster releases this year I haven’t got to yet. The Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow feels like a Christmas read for me, so that’s a shoe-in. I want to read The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, but it may lose out purely on the basis I can read 2-3 other books in the time it takes me to tackle this mighty tome. The Starless Sea is another one that I want to read, but which may get postponed. I enjoyed The Night Circus and I love the sound of The Starless Sea, but not as much as I’m drawn to Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who offers me Jazz Age Mexican trickster gods in Gods of Jade and Shadow.

…and then there are some spectacular space operas that are just calling to me. The fantasy reads appeal, but I haven’t had enough scifi in my diet apparently. Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth has slipped down my priority list (although: lesbian necromancers, hello), but I remain lightning-keen to get stuck into Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear and Velocity Weapon by Megan O’Keefe.

Ugh, where to start? Because there’s also a lot of backlist clamouring for my attention and it’s Christmas and New Year – if I can’t give myself a little free rein to indulge now, when can I?

I’m going to set myself a 2020 challenge to read more backlist SF – and I’m going to deliberately slant my reading for that challenge towards female authors and feminist works, which I’m sure won’t surprise you in the slightest given my typical reviews of SF classics. First up will likely be Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin and Nicola Griffith’s Sidewise/Tiptree-winning Ammonite. First, however, I might need to return for the second half of Alex Wells’ kickass magical corporation-busting space western, Blood Binds the Pack.

I also want to finally read two books I was given last birthday – The Girls At The Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine is a Jazz Age retelling of one of my favourite fairytales, and The Loneliest Girl In the Universe by Lauren James is either going to break my heart or heal it (or both, in turns).

So now I’ve made this a top twenty or more, I can be sure I won’t get them ALL read by winter’s end – but gosh I’ve got a lot to look forward to.

What will you be reading this winter? What 2019 reads do you think I should squeeze in before I nominate for the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards?