[DWJ] Best of 2017??

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 13 08:07:28 EST 2017

On Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:36:49 +0100
Tina <liril at gmx.net> wrote:

> Hello
> and belated good wishes for the new year to everyone!
> I was wondering if anyone made some best of list for 2016 - I
> remember getting such good recommendations via these.
> Since I am have a long train commute this year, I'd love some tips.
> And since I'm afraid I am a bit out of the loop, they need not be
> "new books" (first published in 2016).
> Unfortunately I don't have a real list to offer.
> My highlight were the Flora Segunda books by Ysabeau S. Wilce - I 
> especially loved the audio version of the first book, read by
> Danielle Ferland. (I even bought another audiobook read by her
> because I wanted to continue listening to her, but it wasn't the
> same. Maybe it was because to me she was just such a perfect match
> for Flora...)
> My favorite DWJ re-read was Deep Secret.
> My favorite weird genre mix were the first two Laundry Files books by 
> Charles Stross. Lovecraft meets Dilbert meets James Bond...

I never have a list.

Mostly I have been reading other genres in 2016.  I did read a lot of
Lackey while I had the cold-that-isn't-flu-honest which lasts for three
or four weeks and leaves you flatter than a pancake and low as the
Marianas trench: wish fulfilment horse-not-horse was exactly the right
level, and so were the re-tellings of the fairy-stories and folk-tales.
I graduated onto Dick Francis as my health improved and am now just
about up to making a catalogue of every book in the house by shelf --
this is a lot easier using the computer than it was when I did it on
file-cards, and the books can be brought to my desk so I don't have to
carry them around nor yet crouch by the bookshelves with the cards,
scribbling.  One and a half rooms (all the children's in the bedroom,
all the folk and fairy on the landing, I am bogged down on decisions
about which of the poetry on  the landing can go to make room for them
not to be two deep on the shelves) done, five to go, plus the shelf of
piffle in the downstairs loo.

This week I am going back to the roots of the whole business and reading
the Grimm folk-stories for a reading group, which is interesting as a
comparison and seeing where so many of the templates are.

In the genre, I finally read the Francis Hardinge books, which are very
fine and each very different apart from one which is a sequel in that
it has the same protagonist and immediate allies, but even that has a
quite different world-setting really, and set of plot-parts.  Original
stuff, with twists I hadn't met before.  They are not in Grimm....

In genre too there was "Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen" by Lois
McMaster Bujold, but when I say "in genre" I am unsure whether that is
the right phrase; mostly it isn't.  If I say more I might spoil it, so I

Still not able to re-read Diana's books: it hurts too much.  I think I
must be getting better; last year I couldn't even have said that it

Does Karl Ove Knausgård's "A Time for Everything" count as genre?  My
daughter gave it to me for Christmas, and I am finding it wonderful and
exasperating by turns.  I can't work out what it is that he wants to
say; I've got past the Flood, and it still isn't really making either
sense or a narrative.  Maybe I am being singularly dim and haven't yet
got over the cold properly.  Has anyone else read it? (yes of course
they have, don't be silly)  Can anyone help with what it is really
about?  (is it cheating if they do?)

Nothing except Hardinge has bounced out and said, "This is really
good.  You should tell your friends about it."  Since she's been being
published since 2005, I am so far behind the fair that saying that
usually gets the reply, "Yes, I know, isn't it?" and a faintly pitying

Thanks for the recommendations.  Happy new year.


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