Top Ten Tuesday: best intentions

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 is a freebie, and as we approach the end of the year I’m here to make wild promises for 2022.

My name is Anna, and I have too many unread books on my shelf. It’s the time of year when Best Of lists come thick and fast, and I start to anguish about all the books I haven’t read yet. There’s a dedicated topic in January of 2021 reads we still mean to get to… but what about all the books on the shelf that predate 2021 that we haven’t read yet?

So this is me picking ten backlist books I will absolutely definitely probably hopefully finally read in 2022.

Book cover: The Stone Sky - N K Jemisin (a green archway)

The Stone Sky – NK Jemisin

Yes, I’ve still not read the end of The Broken Earth trilogy and at this point it’s absurd. I need to get on this. I LOVED the first two books; this is on my list of all-time amazing series… so I should finish it. And I shall, dammit. This may involve rereading the first two books as it’s been a few years (and because they’re two of the best books I’ve ever read, so perfect excuse). Fancy joining me?

The Monster Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant became one of my all-time favourite fantasies on first reading, but I still haven’t read the sequels. Spotting a pattern? Yes, well. This labyrinthine tale of politics, competence and revenge will no doubt seem refreshing given the state of my government these days.

Book cover: The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

False Value – Ben Aaronovitch

Apparently the next PC Grant book is about to come out, and I haven’t actually read the last one yet. Or reviewed the one before that. This is such a fun series – and one of those rare series that has improved as it has gone along – so I’d like to fix this oversight sharpish.

Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie

Speaking of series I haven’t stayed on top of, I really should get back to the Ancillary trilogy. While I admired Ancillary Justice, I was recently promised tea and jokes in the sequel, so it’s rocketed up the TBR. Yes, yes, I could put Ancillary Mercy on this list too, but there’s only so much 2022 to go round – one step at a time, friends.

Book cover: Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie (red spaceship in flight)
Book cover: The Fated Sky - Mary Robinette Kowal

The Fated Sky – Mary Robinette Kowal

I was 50/50 on including the second Lady Astronaut or the stand-alone Ghost Talkers on this list: I have both (no, I’m not adding both, shh). With another Astronaut novel already out there and more on the way, I’m going with The Fated Sky before I fall too far behind.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club – Genevieve Valentine

What’s this? One of my all-time favourite fairy tales (The Twelve Dancing Princesses) retold in Jazz Age New York and I still haven’t read it? Dammit, it’s been on my shelves so long my mother-out-law has borrowed it. I must do better. I will do better.

Book cover: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club - Genevieve Valentine
Book cover: The Bloodprint - Ausma Zehanat Khan (text on stylised graphical print of vines and flowers)

The Bloodprint – Ausma Zehanat Khan

This was backlist when I picked it up, attracted by the gorgeous US cover (although I love this patterned UK edition too). Women pushing back against an oppressive patriarchy with magic derived from scripture – and going in search of a longlost text – is exactly my jam. This will be one of my reads for Wyrd and Wonder’s 5th birthday.

Broken Stars – edited by Ken Liu

I received an unsolicited ARC of Broken Stars, which has languished on my shelf ever since – I’ve done really well at acquiring and really badly at reading short story collections the past few years. Addressing that will certainly be one of my 2022 goals, starting with this collection and Sinopticon. All the Chinese SF.

Book cover: Broken Stars - edited by Ken Liu
Book cover: Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman (a woman's head reflected 4 times)

Herland – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I announced a self-set challenge of reading classic works of SFF written by women in 2020. I made a bingo card and everything. Herland resoundingly qualifies for Vintage Sci Fi Month in January – so that seems like the perfect time to finally get started (with the aspiration of completing a bingo across the year? Sure, why not).

The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula Le Guin

In that same vein, let’s make 2022 the year I finally get around to reading some of the science fiction of Ursula Le Guin. I’ve read Earthsea and the Annals Of The Western Shore, and the odd short story – it’s past time I got to work on her SF, and while I always thought the Hainish cycle would come first I have a copy of The Lathe of Heaven, so.

What backlist books are on your conscience?