My son was born on January 6 and I was able to take a month off from work. Because his three primary activities are eating, pooping, and sleeping I was able to read more books than I had expected in January. Well, I expected him to be born closer to January 23, but I didn't expect to read much immediately following his birth. With a slight slow down this last week, I was reading at a fairly decent clip. Everything after Oath of Gold was read following his birth.
I don't know how confident I feel about what the next couple of months will be like. Or, more specifically, what happens when he is awake more often and trying to crawl down the stairs. But for now, I'm keeping up.
1. Oath of Gold, by Elizabeth Moon
2. Symbiont, by Mira Grant
3. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay
4. City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett
5. Abaddon's Gate, by James S. A. Corey
6. The World of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin
7. Down to the Bone, by Justina Robson
8. Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
9. Low Midnight, by Carrie Vaughn
10. My Real Children, by Jo Walton
11. The Martian, by Andy Weir
12. The King's Deryni, by Katherine Kurtz
13. Engineering Infinity, by Jonathan Strahan (editor)
Best Book of the Month: If I waited to do a Best Of list several months (or years) after the end of the year, rather than at the very end of that calendar year, that year's list would look very different. For example, City of Stairs would / should be near the top of my most recent list, except that I put the list together in December and I read City of Stairs in January. Regardless, this is a most impressive fantasy novel and it has me very excited to read whatever Bennett does next. Also, read Renay's review of City of Stairs to get another perspective and to pick up on something that I completely missed but should not have.
Disappointment of the Month: I adore Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels. More specifically, I adore Kurtz's Deryni novels set a bit farther back in the past - the Camber era stuff that deals with the Haldanes regaining the throne and Camber's children. I've been less excited by the Kelson era work, and have been overall been disappointed by the Childe Morgan trilogy. It had been 8 years since Childe Morgan was published (the second in the trilogy) and 11 since In the King's Service (book one). This is more than my issue with the era Kurtz is writing in, though, which is immediately prior to Kelson. The King's Deryni comes across more as a travelogue hitting some notable points over a ten year (approximately) period in Alaric Morgan's life - with his training, friendships, Duncan entering the priesthood, the poor priest caught being a Deryni, the battle against the Marluk, etc. Much of that is richer because of prior knowledge of the series, not because of how well The King's Deryni was written. I still hope for the Year 948 novel that has been long rumored. If you look at earlier Deryni novels, there are genealogies and a LOT of people died in 948. I'd like to know why and how. The other novel I've been waiting for / hoping for is an Orin and Jodotha novel, which are the legendary Deryni Evaine was just discovering more about before her death.
Discovery of the Month: Robert Jackson Bennett really isn't an unknown quantity at this point, but despite being well aware of The Troupe and American Elsewhere, I never picked up one of his books. Until City of Stairs. And I realized just how wrong I was for not reading him sooner.
Worth Noting: If The Martian had not been previously self published, I would be considering it for a Hugo nomination. It might not make my final ballot because slots are really tight right now and it would take something to really knock me off my feet in the next three weeks for anything not currently under consideration to grab a slot. But I would at least be thinking about it. Now, please write another book, Mr. Weir.
Gender Breakdown: To start out the year, I have 8 of the13 books I read were written by women, which breaks out to 61.54%. This marks three consecutive months I have read more female authored books than male authored, and quite possible, the only three months this has happened in my life - though there may have been isolated months more than fifteen years ago when I would read all the Anne McCaffrey or Katherine Kurtz I could get my hands on.