While it’s true I’m working my way through copy edits for The White Road of the Moon, which are due back to my editor this coming Wednesday, it is also true that copy edits don’t require anything like the sustained attention required by revision. So I am casting thoughtful glances over my TBR pile, planning to winnow that down a bit over the next couple of weeks. In fact, the main reason I haven’t opened any of the titles below just yet is that I’m still working my way through a nonfiction book: Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival, by Laurence Gonzales.
Any of you remember Flight 232? It crashed in 1989, at the Sioux City airport. I was in college at the time, but it was July, so I was home for the summer. I remember watching news coverage of the crash with my family. We were all so amazed that the pilot *almost* managed to get that plane down safely. In simulations, other pilots that tried to handle the same situation – complete loss of all hydraulics – couldn’t get the plane down at all. Nearly 300 people were aboard and about 2/3 of them survived. The plane came in way too fast, and though it looked briefly like everybody would walk away from it, at the last minute the plane dipped a wing, dug that wing into the ground, rose up onto its nose, bounced and pirouetted, and came apart.
It’s a tremendously compelling book. Gonzales interviewed practically everyone – the survivors, the air traffic controllers, the people who ran the on-site morgue, the hospital staff, everyone. He intersperses brief sections about the engineering and how the accident happened with all the stories of the people. It’s tough to put the book down, and fiction is just going to have to wait till I finish it.
But that doesn’t stop me from making a list of the fiction I most want to get to. So, a Top Ten list – five paper books from the physical TBR shelves, and five ebooks. Sometimes I am mostly trying to get books off the TBR shelves, so I specifically select books I suspect I might not like particularly, in the hope of thinning the pile quickly – taking ebooks off my Kindle or giving away physical books.
But not this time. This time, I am selecting books I very much want to read and hope to love.
So, the list, in no particular order:
Dominions by Hetley. The first book in this duology, Powers was wonderful and I immediately picked up about four more titles by the author, including Dominions. I will definitely read this one first of all the books on this list, and then decide what to pick up second.
The Steerswoman by Kirstein. This has been talked up a good deal, I’ve had it on my virtual TBR pile for a good long time, and it’s time to read it.
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Katcher. I heard a reading of a snippet of this book about three years ago, well before it came out, and it was delightful. It’s a contemporary YA and should serve nicely as a foil for all the fantasy on this list.
Stained Glass Monsters by Höst. I think it is about time I read this. I am not eager to catch up with Höst’s titles because then I will have to wait for her to write something else. But I am definitely in the mood to read a new-to-me book Höst book, so I pulled this one out of the Andrea K Höst folder on my Kindle and moved it to the top of my TBR pile. After this, I’ll have to decide whether to read Pyramids of London before or after the whole series is complete. Tough decision!
Corsair by Cambias. I was thinking of his debut novel The Darkling Sea recently and that made me remember this near-future SF novel. I rather liked the beginning of it, so I moved it up to the top of my TBR pile, too.
Ash and Bramble Sarah Prineas. I have wanted to read this since before it quite hit the shelves, and now the sequel is practically out and I still haven’t. It’s a fairy tale retelling, or perhaps more a fairy tale deconstruction – Cinderella. It sounds wonderful and I am just *going* to find the time to read it this month, I swear.
California Bones by van Eekhout. This is supposed to be a fantasy heist novel. I have only read one other book by van Eekhout, a MG story that turned out to be too young for me, but I have very high hopes for California Bones, which is an adult novel. It’s the first book of a trilogy, but the whole trilogy is out, so about time I read this one.
Rose Under Fire by Wein The stars had to align just right for me to pull this off my TBR pile. I love Wein’s work, but her books are intense. I needed time to read a very absorbing book, and I had to be in the *mood* for a very absorbing book. At the moment, both seem to be true.
Un Lun Dun by Miéville. I found the beginning catchy, but Miéville is the kind of author who often makes you work pretty hard. I had to be in the mood. I think I am now.
Kingfisher by McKillip. Mmmm. I need a lot of really good chocolate and a rainy day and I will just sink into this book.
So, let’s see. That’s two secondary world fantasies, four fantasies set more or less in our world, a fairy tale retelling, a contemporary YA, a historical, and an SF novel. A pretty decent selection. Not sure I will read all these in May . . . the odds are probably somewhat against it . . . but they’re definitely all on the top of my TBR pile and I’m sure I will read some of them this month – hopefully a lot of them.