I may have been idle as far as writing is concerned lately, but I still had the time (or shall we call it urges of escapism? :p ) to read some good books, so here are some of them:
Richard Morgan – The Steel Remains (and yes, I really need to update my sidebar): As much as I love Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs books, I really enjoyed this first book of what’s supposedly a fantasy trilogy. His characterization of Ringil is great and I can’t wait for the next installment of this series 🙂
Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files: I’ve read books one through seven so far and I’m planning to get through eight to ten as soon as I can. I really liked the series. They are pretty much your standard light urban-fantasy entertainment at first, but I really enjoyed the stuff that happened in book three and on from there when the story gains more depth and becomes less predictable and more complex. It only takes a day or two to get through one book so the series is definitely fast-paced and full of awesome characters (I love Thomas and Bob ^^)
Charlaine Harris – Southern Vampire Mysteries: Yay for more campy vampire books for me! No, seriously these actually aren’t so bad. Sure Harris needs some severe work on her dialogue sometimes (really people, I hate it when you pack tremendous amounts of exposition into dialogue form…don’t do it), but I like this not-so-conventional vampire story, since it isn’t your usual “vampire hunter kicks ass” kind of book. Fun, light reads.
Kim Harrison – Rachel Morgan series: Okay, I’ve read the first book, then started the second and still can’t get into it. I like some of her ideas (yay for Jenks!), but for some reason I just can’t get into her writing. So far I’m thoroughly underwhelmed. Maybe it’ll come to me some day :p
Steffi von Wolff – Die Knebel von Mavelon: This one is probably one of the most hilarious medieval satires I’ve read in a while (well it’s not that I’m reading satires very often, but this one was fun and I just needed something to laugh) In the main roles: Lilian who likes to experiment with herbs and accidentally invents birth control and thus is supposed to be burned as a witch, Betram her best friend and executioner who has a problem, because he really can’t see blood and all that killing business really grosses him out, also Martin Luther, Robin Hood and other hysterical creatures. I don’t think this one is available in English, so it’s one of the few German books that I’ve read this year.
Neil Gaiman – American Gods: Yes, I finally got to read it! Success! Really, this book has been hanging out on the ‘to be read’ shelf for way too long. And what can I say? It was awesome and I really enjoyed it. Loved Wednesday to bits 🙂
Elizabeth Bear – Carnival: So for some reason I always have a little bit of an “I’m not quite sure if I actually get it” problem with SF novels, which usually leads to me taking a while to actually get into a book. This one was no exception here, but it was awesome and I’m glad I finally picked it up. The basic premise is a strictly matriarchal and in itself very sexist society on a planet called New Amazonia and how they treat outsiders, especially male outsiders. Elizabeth Bear is full of awesome and interesting approaches to gender in SFF. I definitely recommend this one 🙂
I had a bit of an urban fantasy/vampire novel bash lately, but hey, sometimes even I just need some light entertainment :p Some are better than others and I’ve made it through 78 books so far this year. We’ll see if I manage to hit my goal of 100 books this year. I’d easily hit it if I cheat and count in all the stuff that I’ve read for university, but hey 😉 We’ll see.
Next on my list are Ginn Hale’s Wicked Gentlemen which was incredibly hard to hunt down btw since it is ONLY available though amazon.com which is probably due to the just really tiny publisher. Anyway, it sounds pretty awesome and I’ll let you know what I think (I’m going to wait with this one till my flight to Germany in a week – always need some good books on a 15 hour flight :p)