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Holiday Reads 2015

I’m off on my annual holiday soon. As ever, my to read pile is massive and I’m always behind on most things, TV, films, comics and especially books because I’m not a fast reader. Partly I’m also behind because there is so much stuff out there, so some things have completed bypassed me and I’ll catch up at some point (Hannibal, Penny Dreadful, Justified). Partly I’m behind because I’m using the time to write instead of watch or read stuff. However, every year when I go on holiday I save up several books that I know are going to be great reads, and I take them with me. I am then able to read them without any interruptions, and I mean any. I could read for 8 hours straight if I wanted to, but I’d fry in the sun. So I take a few small breaks, to eat and maybe swim in the pool, but apart from that there’s no TV, no phonecalls, no internet, and it is bliss.

My holiday reads this year are:-

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb – This is my first time reading these books. As I mentioned, sometimes things slip past me. I knew about Hobb, but it was one of my gaps that I wanted to sort out. Last year I read Assassin’s Apprentice and thoroughly enjoyed it, so this should be a real treat.

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi – I read Old Man’s War as part of a book club last year I think it was and I was aware there were several sequels. I picked this one up and have kept shuffling it off the top of my pile. I know it is going to be a fast read, very entertaining and a lot of fun, so I wanted to read it in big chunks of time.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – I heard a few podcasts talking about this and thought it sounded really good so I picked up a copy a few months ago. Then the Clarke award finalists were announced and it was on the list. Then it went on to win the Arthur C. Clarke award for 2015. I wish I could pick the winners like that every year!

Half The World by Joe Abercrombie – This is his second YA book set in the same world, which is totally new and different from his First Law trilogy world. I’ve seen a couple of people who were put off by the YA label and I reminded them who the author was. They’ve subsequently gone out and bought the books. The line between YA and adult fiction is wafer thin at times and this new series is full of the trademarks of Abercrombie which I really enjoy. Bold, well defined characters, great action, interesting scenes and lots of surprises. The books in the trilogy are coming out every six months so I’m behind as book 3 is already out, but I will get to it soon.

I’m currently reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King, so it will be my sixth book that I take in hand on the plane. In theory I’ll get through at least 5 books on holiday, but we’ll see. I also have a wildcard 6th book in there, but I’m keeping that one a secret for now.

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Holiday Reading List 2014

Every year I save up some special books to take on holiday with me. Books that I’m really excited about, books that are sequels in a series I’m reading, or just fantastic sounding books by familiar and also new authors. I normally managed 5-6 books in a week on holiday, which is a massive increase on my usual reading speed of 2-3 books a month, but with fewer distractions and only a pool to tempt my away from the page, I manage a lot of reading.

Aalphalpha by Greg Rucka – I’m a big fan of Greg Rucka and his work in general, but particularly his independent comic book work (Stumptown, Lazarus, Veil, Lady Sabre, Queen and Country) and I have also read and enjoyed several of his Kodiak novels. Alpha is the first in a brand new series with brand new character and I’ve heard great things about it from other people who have already read it. Someone kindly bought me a copy for my birthday so I’ve been saving it for a few months now already.

king11/22/63 by Stephen King – I’ve been reading King books for decades and think he’s an amazingly creative writer with a remarkable imagination. I love time travel, always have. From Back to the Future to the hammy Time Cop, I just love time travel and this is the ultimate version of, ‘what if I could go back in time and change an event earlier in my life?’ This goes far beyond something  small and personal. It asks, what would happen if someone tried to change the horrific events on that tragic day in Dallas in 1963?  I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns, a lot which I won’t see coming, which is another real plus for me as I like to be surprised but often see them coming ahead of time. King always surprises me with his choices and where a story goes so I’m really interested to see what he does with this.

jackalThe Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding – I loved the first two of this series and flew through them as they’re so funny, dark, exciting, clever, packed full of ideas and great characters. An easy touchstone is Firefly, but it goes far beyond that into a world that is completely its own thing. The story in these novels fly along at a cracking pace and are full of great characters, moments of genuine creepy horror, and clever twisty turny plots, dog fights in the sky and laugh out loud moments. It’s incredibly rare that a novel actually makes me laugh out loud. I smile, I might almost chuckle, but properly laugh is one in a hundred but Wooding does it.

heavenThe Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams – I’ve read a few of his novels over the years, starting back in the day with his fantasy books, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, and then his massive Otherland books which were remarkable in their scope and achievement. This new series sounds exactly like my kind of thing, noir crossed with supernatural and urban fantasy. No doubt it will have his own unique  twist as well and this is another one I’ve been desperate to read but have been saving it for a time when I can read it without interruption and can just sit for hours at a time and sink into the book. The second book in the series is already out so if I really like this I’m sure I will pick up the next one in record time.

I’m going to add at least one more, if not two books to the list before I go. Do you save books up to read at a later date? If so what books are you saving up? It might give me a few ideas to add to this list.

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