Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 catch up

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, we’re looking back at the 2021 reads that are still high up our TBRs.

Typically, my reading barely scrapes the surface of new releases in any given year, with new releases accounting for less than a third of my reading. Last year, nearly half my reads were ARCs and new releases.

…which isn’t to say I don’t have a ‘still want to read that’ list as long as my arm, obviously.

Let’s start with some favourite authors whose latest books are firmly on my catch-up list. A Psalm For The Wild-Built introduces a new universe from Becky Chambers, with sentient robots and tea monks – possibly the perfect cosy package (and likely the one I’ll read first from this batch as I’m pinballing through January, so novellas and short stories stand a higher chance of me actually finishing them).

That said, having finished Season 6 of The Expanse last night (AAAAAAH), I am definitely feeling the tug of diving back into the books to finish The Expanse in written form too. I’m only up to Nemesis Games on my audio reread, but Leviathan Falls is out in the world now and I think I’m ready for it to destroy me.

I’ve not actually got my hands on a copy of The Quicksilver Court yet, but Melissa Caruso’s epic Eruvian adventures are a guaranteed good time. I do have an ARC of A Master of Djinn by P Djèlí Clark – I bounced off it last summer, because I am a temperamental reader in a pandemic, but I’m looking forward to returning to his magical steampunk Cairo.

Over in the oh shit, I don’t think I’ve read any 2021 Goldsboro SF Fellowship books yet hall of shame, I’ve got a lot of exciting fantasy options.

I have my eye on three for next month’s February She Wrote (although I’ve got some 2020 contenders too, ahem): MJ Kuhn’s Among Thieves is a fantasy heist novel of axes and unreliable allies, and while I’ve seen variable reviews from my mutuals it sounds like an entertaining popcorn read. The other two may end up being too YA for my taste, but they’re playing with fun tropes so I’m happy to give them a whirl. Threadneedle by Cari Thomas features two parallel Londons and a young woman who has been taught her meagre magic is a sin to be bound. Foody & Herman’s All of Us Villains has scions of seven noble families vying in a blood-soaked tournament for control of their world’s magic. I love tournament-centric plots and villains, so it will be all about the execution.

…then there’s Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa. A young scholar who can’t resist forbidden fields of study may plunge his city into chaos – kicking off a new African-inspired epic fantasy series. Back on home soil, TL Huchu’s debut The Library of the Dead has a teenage ghosttalker investigating a child’s disappearance in the first of a new urban fantasy series. Still, I’m probably most excited by Lucy Holland’s stand-alone Sistersong (she had me at murder ballad), which even my Mum has read at this point (and assured me that I need to get on with it).

Shh, noo, I’m not stopping at ten. What about the books I haven’t got hold of yet?

A brief shout out to the ones I’m most interested in (…until I remember another and kick myself):

  • high stakes political fantasy The Councillor by EJ Beaton (please can we get a UK paperback? Please?);
  • Tade Thompson’s murder-on-a-colony-ship space thriller Far From The Light Of Heaven (which apparently my library do have and I just missed it, hooray!)
  • Light From Uncommon Stars, Ryka Aoki’s much-recommended speculative debut
  • Zoraida Córdova’s magical family drama The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina
  • and We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen, a paranoid thriller in which an isolated research crew fall into a psychological nightmare

What books from last year are you still planning to read?