It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a book lover or that my Christmas wish lists are usually thick with the things. My family outdid themselves this year and got me nearly everything on my (long) list. I feel super spoiled, and I’m thrilled to tuck into this stack.
Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam, by Margaret Atwood: I read the first in the series over the summer and fell deeply in love with the universe that Atwood created. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Maddaddam world and what becomes of the Crakers. The first book was deeply satisfying, despite having an ambiguous ending, and I’m hopeful that the second and third will leave me with the same sense of satisfaction.
Summerlong, by Peter S. Beagle: This has been on my TBR list since I first learned of it. I enjoyed Beagle’s word-play and humour in The Last Unicorn so much that I’m confident I’ll enjoy this. Admittedly, sampling an author by choosing two books with nearly a 50-year publishing gap between them is perhaps an odd way to do it, but how could I resist such a beautiful cover?
The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes, by Amy Bronee: I borrowed this book from my local library in the fall and thought it was a great primer. Focusing on water-bath canning, Bronee explains the finer points of making jams, pickles, chutneys, relishes, mustard, and all things tomato. Full-colour pictures of every recipe is a must for the cookbooks in my collection, and this one has gorgeous full-colour photos of each and every preserve. There’s a beer-honey mustard in here that I can’t wait to try.
Words are my Matter, by Ursula K. Le Guin: I’ve got a pretty good collection of Le Guin going, and she remains one of my favourite authors of all time, so I’m very happy to have more of her essays on my shelf. Her non-fiction is just as sharp and clever as her fiction, and I learn something new every time I read something of hers.
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, and Ripley’s Game, by Patricia Highsmith: These novels will make excellent binge reading. The Price of Salt has been on my shelf and marked as TRB since the fall, and I’m grateful to have more of her work without the movie tie-in covers.
The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo: This was a surprise gift from my brother, and it looks adorable. I’m a little surprised to have not read this before, as it’s so clearly in a favourite vein, and I’m glad to have been gifted it now. He knows full well that I’m a fan of talking, politicised rodents/rabbits.
Acceptance, by Jeff Vandermeer: I read the first two books of the Southern Reach trilogy the summer before last (has it really been that long?!) and loved it. I recommended the first book to anyone who would listen. I also made the
brilliant decision horrible mistake to read them – at night – while camping in the Northern Ontario wilderness and they scared my frigging pants off. I will be reading the conclusion to the trilogy in the comfort and safety of my living room. During daylight hours only.
Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal: I learned of Ghost Talkers from an interview with Kowal on ‘Writing Excuses‘ and thought the concept sounded amazing. I don’t often read a lot of historical fiction, or war fiction, or ghost stories, but the idea of fallen soldiers transmitting front-line intelligence through mediums appeals to me greatly.
It was a book-heavy December, especially when I consider the e-reader I bought myself as an early Christmas gift (and the half-dozen ebooks I picked up during a holiday sale). I didn’t read as much or as often in 2016 as I would have liked, but 2017 is going to be a good year for reading in the More-Lucas household and frankly, that sounds terrific.