[DWJ] Book recommendations

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Fri Jul 3 09:48:55 EDT 2015

This list has given me such fantastic recommendations over the years. I
miss that, and I want to give a little bit back. So here are some of the
books I've most enjoyed in the past year. You're a well-read bunch and you
may have read these already (at least the ones that are already in print!)
If not, know that for me, some of the books on this list fill a bit of the
hole left behind in Diana's wake.

In no particular order:

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik. Gripping, hard to put down, not always easy. I
loved the use of folklore in this book, and some of the practical aspects
of the magic - for example, the heroine keeps being magicked into fine
dresses that are exceedingly uncomfortable. The setting reminded me of L.
M. Bujold's Sharing Knife books, in that most magic in the world described
is aimed at containing a powerful contamination.

SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho. Good fun. Regency sorcery with bold girls
and a good anti-Colonial kick to it. Plus a talking caterpillar, at the
very end. I hope this becomes a series. Felt quite DWJish to me.

CITY OF STAIRS by Robert Jackson Bennet. Reminded me a bit of the Dalemark
books, in the way the gods are absent/present. Detective novel with
political plots in an interesting secondary world.

I went on an Ysabeau Wilce kick earlier this year, and read the three Flora
Segunda books one after the other (FLORA SEGUNDA, FLORA'S DARE, FLORA'S
FURY), now can't wait for the next installment. Funny, clever, irreverent,
inventive, fast paced.

My favorite author right now is Frances Hardinge, to whom I was introduced
by this list. Her newest book is THE LIE TREE, which was quite powerful,
and struck me like a more moralistic take on some of the themes in THE
EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE -- of course with a fantasy twist, though the
fantasy is barely touched upon, and secondary to the character development.
It was excellent, but not as intoxicating as her next to last, CUCKOO SONG:
possibly the scariest book I have ever read, on the one hand, but with a
truly uplifting and satisfying end.

Philip Reeve is another author first recommended to me here, and another of
my current great favorites. I've read an draft of his upcoming book,
RAILHEAD, which he described on Twitter as "Dune meets Thomas the Tank
Engine". You wouldn't believe how apt that is. I absolutely loved this
book, though he can be quite brutal to his characters. I think it's coming
out in October.

THE GIRL WITH GHOST EYES by M.H. Boroson is another book to watch out for
in the fall, set in 19th Century San Francisco with Chinese folklore; not
as lighthearted as some of my favorites, but a good read.

And DEPTH by Lev A.C. Rosen, noir detective set in a post-apocalyptic
submerged New York. I enjoyed the genuine friendship between female
characters in this book, which for some reason is so rare in popular

I would love to read some of your recommendations.


More information about the Dwj mailing list