Geez, this post has been sitting in my Drafts folder for quite some time! I have no particular excuse for this, other than just being very, very lax on getting this post written up! But since I’ve started doing all the Skyrim posts, seeing my Drafts folder on my WordPress site kept reminding me this post was there, and ever so patiently waiting for me to deal with it.
Let’s deal with it now, shall we?
Acquired from Kobo:
Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. This is the book on which the movie of the same name was based, and I bought it on the strength of the buzz about the movie.
Unconquerable Sun, by Kate Elliott. SF/Space Opera. Also, a lesbian version of the saga of Alexander the Great IN SPACE, as I understand it. SIGN ME UP.
Death of a New American, by Mariah Fredericks. Book 2 of a mystery series I’d already bought Book 1 for.
Stealing Thunder and Gifting Fire, by Alina Boyden. Books 1 and 2 of a fantasy series featuring a transgendered heroine.
A Peculiar Combination, by Ashley Weaver. Book 1 of a historical mystery series featuring a heroine whose lockpicking talents get her drafted into supporting Britain during WWII.
Mirage and Spectrum, by Julie E. Czerneda. SF. Books 2 and 3 of the Web-Shifter’s Library series.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers. SF. Book 4 of Chambers’ Wayfarers series. And, I’m given to understand, the last one!
Acquired from Amazon:
Wings of Fury, by Emily R. King. Fantasy set in the time of Greek myth.
The Dispatcher, by John Scalzi. SF/mystery. Ebook version of the audiobook of the same name, which I’ve already listened to and enjoyed. Nabbed this just because I’m a completist, and because the audiobook for Book 2 came out.
Spacer’s Cinderella, by Adria Rose. SF/Romance, Space Opera. As you might guess from the title, a version of the Cinderella story set in space.
Acquired from Audible (which also essentially means, acquired from Amazon, but I’m counting this differently):
Murder By Other Means, by John Scalzi. The aforementioned Book 2 audiobook for John Scalzi’s Dispatcher series. Like Book 1, this is narrated by Zachary Quinto.
Kobo pre-orders that showed up:
The Conductors, by Nicole Glover. Historical fantasy set during the 1800’s, with heavy Underground Railroad themes in the plot.
Fugitive Telemetry, by Martha Wells. The next Murderbot book. Yes please, I’ll have some!
While Justice Sleeps, by Stacey Abrams. A Supreme Court thriller written by Stacey Abrams. Yes, that Stacey Abrams. She’s got an established career as an author but with this book, she’s writing under her actual name rather than the pen name she uses for her romances, Selena Montgomery.
Amazon pre-orders that showed up:
Heartbreak Bay, by Rachel Caine. Book 5 (and final, due to Caine’s passing away) of the Stillhouse Lake series of thrillers.
Kobo pre-orders I’ve placed:
You Feel It Just Below the Ribs, by Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson. Prequel novel to the Within the Wires podcast, which I’ve enjoyed quite a bit.
Acquired for free from Tor.com:
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, by Nghi Vo. Fantasy. Book 2 of the Singing Hills Cycle series, and I really ought to nab Book 1 before I read this, I think!
Acquired as a Kickstarter reward:
Daughter of the Lilies. Fantasy, graphic novel release of the excellent webcomic of the same name that I’ve been following at daughterofthelilies.com. The author and colorist teamed up to put out a print edition of the first storyline they’ve done, and I was a backer for their Kickstarter.
Soulstar, by C.L. Polk. Fantasy. Book 3 of her Kingston Cycle, which i am very much looking forward to reading.
Pre-orders that I placed:
Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest. This is Priest’s mystery debut, but given that the heroine is a psychic, it’s clearly going to be a mystery with paranormal elements. Sign me the fuck up.
And, acquired from Kobo because I was in a mood to expand this author’s presence in my library:
A Madness in Spring, The Dress of the Season, The Game and the Governess, The Lie and the Lady, The Dare and the Doctor, and Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night, all by Kate Noble. All historical romance. A couple of these are standalones, a couple of them are novellas, and all of them are ones I look forward to reading. Noble’s on the short list of authors who historical romances I have actively enjoyed, and I’ll look forward to checking out more of her work.
(Note also for anyone besides me who likes reading historical romance: A Madness in Spring and The Dress of the Season were both available for free on Kobo, where I got them. You may wish to consult your ebook vendor of choice to see if you can get them for free as well, if you want to check out this author.)
The entire Themis Files trilogy (Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, and Only Human) by Sylvain Neuvel. SF. Grabbed this because I got book 1 as a freebie a while back in paperback, and I liked it, and the ebook went on sale. So I went ahead and got all three of them.
Beach Read, by Emily Henry. Contemporary romance. Grabbed this because Smart Bitches reviewed it quite positively, and while I don’t normally read contemporaries, this sounded kind of delightful. In no small part because of the schtick of both the heroine and hero being writers and challenging each other to write each other’s genres.
The Duke Who Didn’t, by Courtney Milan. Historical romance. Acquired for general “because Courtney Milan” reasons, but also, I’m quite interested to see how she sets up a historical set in Britain but with protagonists of color.
The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer. Book 1 of her Enola Holmes series, which I nabbed since we just watched the new movie adaptation on Netflix. I found it quite charming, and the ebook was on sale for $2.99, so I snapped it up.
Acquired from Amazon:
Chaos Reigning, by Jessie Mihalik. Book 3 of her Consortium Rebellion series, sci-fi romance. Nabbed it because it went on sale price and I did like book 1, so.
And last but not least, acquired from John Scalzi:
Clash of the Geeks, by John Scalzi and other authors. Chapbook parody fantasy, with stories explaining exactly what’s going on in a painting depicting Scalzi as an orc, fighting Wil Wheaton who’s riding a unicorn pegasus kitten. As you do! Scalzi posted about it on his Whatever blog, and offered freebie copies of the chapbook to readers, so I took him up on that. Because this year? This year definitely calls for some supremely silly reading.
Because I may have been doing a lot of Kobo lately!
Pre-orders for The Relentless Moon,Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi, The Immortal City, and Harrow the Ninth all showed up. It’s PREORDERPALOOZA up in here. But I’ve already counted all these titles on totals, so I won’t count them again here.
Newly pre-ordered from Kobo:
When No One is Watching, by Alyssa Cole. Nabbed this because I already know I love Cole’s work, and I love her in particular because she’s excellent at handling various sub-genres of romance. It’ll be interesting to see how she handles writing a thriller!
Bought straight up from Kobo:
Haunted, by Cathy Pegau. Not sure if this is mystery, paranormal romance, or maybe a little bit of both, but it sounds charming and I told Cathy straight up on Twitter that I loved the cover.
Interference, by Sue Burke. SF. Nabbed this because it’s the second half of the duology that started with Semiosis. While I wasn’t a hundred percent in love with that book, it did still stand out in my mind as one of the more original SF novels I’ve read lately, and I want to see where this storyline goes next.
Seven Devils, by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May. SF, and in particular, self-described as “feminist space opera”, which I am HERE FOR. Also was totally sold by the authors pitching it on Twitter thusly: “If you wished Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars had more murder, women, and sapphic moments, we wrote this for you. IF YOU WANT TO SEE ASSHOLE FASCISTS GET PUNCHED IN THE FACE, we wrote this for you”. SOLD.
The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi. SF, book 2 of his Interdependency series. Nabbed this because I also know I already like Scalzi’s work, and I enjoyed book 1 of this series in particular, The Last Emperox. I know this one’s been out for a while, but I finally got it when it went briefly on sale for $2.99.
And oh yes, can’t forget this either:
Silver in the Wood, by Emily Tesh. Fantasy. Grabbed this one from Tor.com’s freebie ebook of the month club. I’d had half an eye on this one, so was pleased to see it available as a freebie!
The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. Fantasy. This was a freebie from their ebook club mailing list.
Acquired from Amazon:
Aurora Blazing, by Jessie Mihalik. Book 2 of her Consortium Rebellion sci-fi romance series. Nabbed this one because it was cheap, even though I haven’t read book 1 yet. But I love the titles, I love the cover, and I love what I’m seeing in the blurbs on these so I anticipate liking these quite a bit. And I’ll freely admit I like the similarity of vibe to Jupiter Ascending given off by this series’ book titles. I’m hoping the actual books will have a similarly fun vibe.
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal. SF, book 3 of her Lady Astronaut series. Because fuck yeah, I want to read this one! Books 1 and 2 were awesome. <3
Harrow the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. Book 2 of her Locked Tomb trilogy, which I pre-ordered the fuck out of as soon as I finished Gideon the Ninth, Book 1. Because goddamn that book rocked.
Bought from Kobo:
Truthseeker, by C.E. Murphy. I have this one already in print, and I’ve already read it, but now it’s finally out in ebook form. Yay!
Chimera, by Mira Grant. Book 3 of her Parasitology series, which I’m finally ready to read now that I’ve re-read books 1 and 2!
The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James. Nabbed this one because I really enjoyed the other book I recently read by her, and because this went on sale.
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson. Fantasy. I know this got a lot of positive press when it first came out, but I know certain things about how this story plays out that make me leery to engage with it. But I’m willing to give it a shot for free.
Acquired from Subterranean Press as a freebie:
Kingdom of Needle and Bone, by Mira Grant. A Grant novella, dealing with a pandemic scenario. I hadn’t read this one before and you could make a good argument that maybe this isn’t the thing I want to read right this instant. But I’m also a fan of confronting personal fears through fiction! Plus, see commentary elsewhere on this list re: reading All the Grant/McGuire, and this is one of hers I haven’t read yet.
Acquired from Kobo:
Feedback, All the Pretty Little Horses, and Coming to You Live, all by Mira Grant. I’d read Feedback before from the library, and I’d read the other two as part of a library read of the Rise release that had all of the Grant novellas to date. But this is me finally acquiring ebook copies of all three of these, in the midst of a major Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire readathon.
The City of Brass, by S.A. Chakraborty. Fantasy. Grabbed this one when it was available at a discount.
Dreamer’s Pool, by Juliet Marillier. Fantasy. I had this on my list to read as a library book, but it went on sale for $1.99, so I went ahead and nabbed it.
Cold Fire and Cold Steel, by Kate Elliott. Fantasy, books 2 and 3 of her Spiritwalker Trilogy. I haven’t read book 1 yet, but these went on sale for a low price, so time to nab ’em!
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
The A.I. Who Loved Me, by Alyssa Cole. Sci-fi romance. I’ve already listened to this in audiobook form, but now it’s coming out in ebook, so I thought I’d nab an ebook copy too.
Apparently, when I social distance during a quarantine, I go TIME TO BUY ALL THE BOOKS.
Acquired in print from Third Place Books:
The Return of the Shadow, by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien. This is one of the extended History of Middle-Earth series that Christopher Tolkien put together out of his father’s papers, which I got interested in after seeing the excellent character study series of posts Tor.com put up citing these books as sources. Also bought to have an excuse to order something from Third Place during the covid-19 crisis.
Acquired from Subterranean Press:
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. Got this one because they were briefly offering it for free. SF/Space Opera, novella. I believe it’s also a Holmes pastiche?
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
The Immortal City, by May Peterson. Book 2 of her Sacred Dark series, Book 1 of which I’ve already bought but haven’t read yet. Buying Book 2 sight unseen just because fantasy romance!
Network Effect, by Martha Wells. The forthcoming Murderbot novel which is due out in another few weeks. I gotta get caught up on some Murderbot, clearly!
And outright bought from Kobo:
Horrorstör, by Grady Hendrix. Horror, but funny horror. Noted this when it came out some time ago, though the concept sounded cute. I.e., an IKEA-like store is totally haunted. Finally nabbed it at a sale price.
Storm of Locusts, by Rebecca Roanhorse. Urban fantasy. Book 2 of her Sixth World series. Book 1 was excellent, so I’m looking forward to reading this one!
The Blacksmith Queen, by G.A. Aiken. Fantasy. This one’s been talked up a lot on Smart Bitches as a fantasy with great female character interaction, and I’m for that!
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland. YA horror, with zombies. Grabbed this one since it’s a post-Civil-War zombie story and I am quite interested to see how it plays out.
Thornfruit, by Felicia Davin. Book 1 of a fantasy romance series. Grabbed it because it was free at the time.
Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy, by Martha Wells. Books 3 and 4 of the Murderbot Diaries. Grabbed because I (heart) Murderbot!
In an Absent Dream and Come Tumbling Down, by Seanan McGuire. Books 4 and 5 of the Wayward Children series. Looking forward in particular to Come Tumbling Down.
Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers. SF, book 3 of her Wayfarers series.
“A Dead Djinn in Cairo”, by P. Djèlí Clark. This is the short story that sets up the universe for The Haunting of Tram Car 015.
Also acquired from Kobo, but these ones in particular are all because they’re Hugo nominees, either for Best Novel or Best Novella:
To Be Taught, If Fortunate, by Becky Chambers. Same author who wrote The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, which I liked, and I have been meaning to catch up on her work. Contender for Best Novella.
This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Been hearing a lot of good things about this one. Contender for Best Novella.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow. Contender for Best Novel.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark. Contender for Best Novella.
Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire. Because boy howdy have I heard a lot of good things about this one. Contender for Best Novel.
A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine. SF. Contender for Best Novel.
And lastly, acquired from Amazon:
Problem Child, by Victoria Helen Stone. Book 2 of her Jane Doe thriller series. I quite liked book 1 and will be interested to see how this one goes.
Like I daresay everybody else who reads my posts, I’m spending a lot of time compulsively refreshing news feeds and watching the case counts for COVID-19 go up all over the world. In Washington state, we’ve got the second highest case count in the U.S. after New York. In King County, the county I live it, we’ve got over 560 cases alone.
My household’s all okay at the moment. My day job has us all working from home. And since I am extremely grateful that I have a day job that allows me to do that, I’ve been trying to contribute what I can to fellow authors and some musicians as well. I’ll be looking at possibly signing up for some Patreons.
And for now, here’s a list of the books I just picked up. Acquired from Kobo:
Paper and Fire, Ash and Quill, Smoke and Iron, and Sword and Pen, Books 2-5 of Rachel Caine’s Great Library series. YA, SF dystopia. Nabbing these because not only do I have a long history of loving Caine’s books, but also because she’s undergoing a second round of cancer treatment right now and whoo boy howdy is this not a good time to have to be undergoing cancer treatment. Not like there’s ever a good time, but hey.
A Death of No Importance, by Mariah Fredericks. Mystery, book 1 of her Jane Prescott series. Got this one because it’s a period mystery, set in New York in 1910, and because it was on sale at the time for $2.99.
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. The third Night Vale novel. This is a pre-order because the book isn’t out yet, but it’ll be out very soon and I wanted to make sure to support the book right now. Because Night Vale has been a joy to me for years, and because the coronavirus has scuttled their ability to do their current round of touring, too.
Lady Helena Investigates, by Jane Steen. Mystery, book 1 of her Scott-DeQuincy series. Also a period mystery, which I went ahead and grabbed because it was on sale for 99 cents.
Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. SF/space opera. Nabbed this one because a bunch of folks have been raving about it, and because the words “lesbian space necromancers” certainly caught my attention.
The Sun Down Motel, by Simone St. James. Mystery. Nabbed this one thanks to a splendid review of it on Smart Bitches, and because I’d recognized the author’s name as somebody who had previous books I wanted to read. I have already now read this as I write this post, and I can say I loved it. I’ll definitely be grabbing more of this author’s work now that I know I like it.
Turning Darkness into Light, by Marie Brennan. Fantasy. Sequel to her splendid Lady Trent series, which I adored, so naturally I needed to get my mitts on this title.
Acquired from Amazon:
Raven Heart, by Murphy Lawless. A.k.a. C.E. Murphy, who, as y’all know, is another longstanding favorite of mine. This is paranormal romance and I am certainly down for that from known good authors. <3 (Didn’t suck that she was handing it out for free at the time, either!)
The Night Girl, by James Bow. Standalone urban fantasy, set in Toronto. Picked this up on the strength of this review by James Nicoll.
The Richmond Thief, by Lisa Boero. Another period mystery, which I grabbed because it was on sale for 99 cents. (And fair play to Smart Bitches for their regular alerts regarding ebooks on sale!)
Acquired for free because a lot of authors are starting to offer titles for free to help tide people over during quarantine:
High Lonesome Sound, by Jaye Wells. Southern Gothic/horror. The author is handing out this book for free until the end of April. More details are in this tweet.
I’ve been doing website juggling what with having to transfer my main author site operations from angelahighland.com to angelahighland.info. Which means my more non-writing related posts are going up on annathepiper.org instead!
Like my book purchase roundups. Here’s the first for 2020.
Acquired from Kobo:
Destiny’s Embrace, Destiny’s Surrender, and Destiny’s Captive, all by Beverly Jenkins. These are all historical romances, and specifically featuring protagonists of color in Civil-War-era (and I think post-Civil-War?) America. Jenkins has been on the Smart Bitches podcast a couple of times, and she seems delightful, so I finally bought a few of her books when I saw them on sale for $1.99 each.
Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard. YA fantasy. Grabbed this because I had liked the cover when I first saw this one come out a couple of years ago, and because it went on sale for $2.99. (And I was slightly chagrined to see that shortly after that, Tor.com offered this as their free book for the month for January.)
Lord of the Last Heartbeat, by May Peterson. Fantasy romance. Grabbed this because a) hey, it’s another Carina author writing fantasy romance, and b) one of the protagonists is non-binary. Awesome. \0/
Acquired from Amazon:
Grabbed all three of these because they’re titles that were pulled out of the RITAs due to the big scandal with RWA over the tail end of December and the beginning of this month. There was a nice roundup page on Amazon with links off to the titles to buy and support the authors, and these were all ones that looked interesting.
The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan, by Sherry Thomas. I’ve read some Thomas (her Lady Sherlock series), and I’d like to see her take on Mulan.
The Orchid Throne, by Jeffe Kennedy. Fantasy romance. I know of Kennedy via Carina as well! And I’ve been meaning to read her work for a while now.
Polaris Rising, by Jessie Mihalik. SF romance. Grabbed this one, I’ll say straight out, because of the similarity of title to Jupiter Ascending. If this book hits the same sort of “big silly fun” sweet spot that movie did for me, I’ll enjoy it immensely.
Acquired from Gutenberg.org:
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman / With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, by Mary Wollstonecraft. Pulled this down from Gutenberg because we’re going to read this for book club.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales, by the Brothers Grimm. Self-explanatory!
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. ‘Cause who knows, I might eventually read this again.
Picked up from Amazon because it’s not available for the nook, and because Amazon’s customer service was awesome to me:
The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten, by Harrison Geillor. Which I daresay is going to be every bit as silly as the title and pseudonym suggest!
Purchased in print from B&N:
In the Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje. A prequel of sorts to The English Patient, which I remember liking; this book in particular was recommended by !
Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey. Positively reviewed on tor.com by Jo Walton, and more recently spoken of favorably to me by !
Redeeming the Lost, by Elizabeth Kerner. Fantasy. Book 3 of a series I haven’t gone past Book 1 in yet, but I want to eventually get to it, and this does I believe predate ebooks. (Mostly. Book 1’s apparently finally been released to the Kindle and the nook, anyway.)