So Many Books, So Little Time.

A TARDIS or a Time-Turner would be a great help. My bookshelves groan under the weight of unread books and my Kindles are bursting at the seams. Yes I have more than one Kindle – three to be precise, a basic one, my original Kindle Keyboard and my much-loved Kindle Paperwhite, which is my Kindle of choice these days.

Every time I glance through the books I have available to read, dead-tree and electronic, I’m overwhelmed by great bookage. Unfortunately, when I’m in the middle of writing, especially a first draft, my fiction reading drops off a cliff. I find it really difficult to concentrate on writing my own story if I get wrapped up in someone else’s. Which means that in the last couple of years, while working to publisher’s deadlines, I’ve read far fewer books than in previous years. (More about non-fiction soon.)

I aim to read 50 or more fiction books a year – and I blog each one on my  LiveJournal (and have been doing since 2009), but last year I was busy editing Empire of Dust and writing Crossways from scratch and this year I’ve been editing Crossways and Winterwood, and am currently writing the first draft of Silverwolf  -which will continue into next year, followed by writing Nimbus. So my fiction reading has slowed down. My fiction buying, however, has not, hence the stacks of books, lurking… making me feel guilty.

So here’s my top ten pic of books from my Strategic Book Reserve, books I haven’t read yet, but desperately want to. (Not in order of preference except for the first one.)

Lois McMaster Bujold: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
The latest of Bujold’s Vorkosigan books, this time featuring Cordelia as a widow. It’s not officially out yet, but Baen Books offer the e-ARC (uncorrected proof) for $15 and I can never resist an early peep at a new Bujold. I bought this one today and it goes right to the top of my list.

Genevieve Cogman: The Masked City (The Invisible Library series Book 2)
I loved the first Cogman (The Invisible Library) which was a steampunky adventure featuring – hey – LIBRARIANS! What better recommendation?

Paul Cornell: The Witches of Lychford
A novella from Paul Cornell who is not only a very nice chap, but is also a very reliable storyteller whether writing for TV on the printed page. English witchery and a sleepy little town on the border between two worlds.

C.E. Murphy: House of Cards (The Negotiator, Book 2)
I adored the first Negotiator book (Heart of Stone) which is a snappy urban fantasy with a young female black lawyer in NYC and a gargoyle. It’s a delightful change from vampires and werewolves. Murphy writes with a distinctive voice and her stories fairly rocket along.

Chuck Wendig: Star Wars Aftermath
Journey To Star Wars The Force Awakens
This has had great reviews and Chuck Wendig is a very readable author. With comments like this one, I need to read it before seeing the movie. “Do yourself a favour, you don’t want to be suffering from Jedi fatigue come December, avoid any further trailers for the new film and read this instead. Wendig has achieved an accomplishment I thought nigh on impossible. He has written a novel that has left me actively salivating for the next Star Wars movie. Well played Mr Wendig, well played. Turns out, thirty two years later, I haven’t changed a bit; I am still completely in thrall to my childhood favourites. If The Force Awakens manages to capture the same sense of adventure that is on display here, then the future of Star Wars is in safe hands” (The Eloquent Page)

Elizabeth Chadwick: The Summer Queen
The first in Ms Chadwick’s Elinor of Aquitaine trilogyA straight historical novel (rather than fantasy/SF or historical fantasy which is my usual reading matter), but Chadwick has long been one of my favourite historical novelists, so I’m really looking forward to this.

Karen Traviss: Going Grey
‘Ringer’ Book One
Karen is not only a friend, but she’s a fiercely intelligent author with a strong voice and excellent insight into the psyche of the common soldier. I loved her Wess’Har books (starting with City of Pearl), and her Star Wars novelisations of the Republic Commando stories were riveting. (It takes a lot to get me to read tie-in fiction but when the author is as strong as Traviss – or Wendig – then you’re on to a winner.) Going Grey is NOT a tie-in, but is a near future thriller.

Al Robertson: Crashing Heaven
I’ve heard Al read a couple of sections from this and it’s hugely imaginative – a science fiction/techno-thriller. Jack Forster is doomed to be taken over by Hugo Fist, a psychopathic ventriloquist dummy implanted into him and gradually taking him over…

James A Burton: Dominions (The Bladesmith Book 2)
This is the uber-reliable author James Hetley writing as James A Burton. His first Bladesmith book (Powers) was excellent.

Jim Butcher: The Cinder Spires the Aeronaut’s Windlass
Who doesn’t love Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden novels? Always happy to read something new from Mr. B.

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About Jacey Bedford

Jacey Bedford maintains this blog. She is a writer of science fiction and fantasy (www.jaceybedford.co.uk), the secretary of Milford SF Writers (www.milfordSF.co.uk), a singer (www.artisan-harmony.com) and a music agent booking UK tours and concerts for folk performers (www.jacey-bedford.com). She's also a Home Office / Border Agency licensed sponsor processing UK work permits (Certificate of Sponsorship).
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4 Responses to So Many Books, So Little Time.

  1. jmvandenberg says:

    Like you, I have a massive amount of unread books, not only dead-tree and electronic, but the ones I keep getting from the library. Crossways sat on my to-be-read pile longer than I wanted, but I am finally reading it and loving it. Like you, I hope to read Aftermath before seeing Episode VII. I had it on hold for months at the library and it just arrived, so my to-read list has to be rearranged (again). Too many books to read – what a wonderful and frustrating problem to have.

    • Jacey Bedford says:

      Indeed, a wonderful, frustrating problem. I’m hugely thankful that all those great books are out there. Sadly I’m not a speed reader. Thanks for reading Crossways. Did you read Empire of Dust first? Just curious. Aftermath is now queued up on my kindle – but this is the problem… Lois or Chuck first? And I’m still hoping to write another 30k words on Silverwolf before Christmas. Twenty days to write 30,000 words. It’s theoretically possoible, though my visitors start arriving on 18th December.

  2. Gorgeous Gary says:

    I know the feeling. I had just about reached a point of equilibrium such that the TBR stack wasn’t getting any higher (i.e. reading books at about the same rate I was buying new ones), then we adopted a baby boy. Now my reading pace is cut in half since I’m likely to doze off even in the middle of a good book, but I keep buying new stuff at the same pace. Ah well, I won’t lack for books when I eventually retire.

    For the record, I took Crossways on a business trip, so I got through a large part of it at a reasonable pace. After all, I was somewhere where I could actually sleep through the night! Another satisfied reader here BTW. In fact I think I enjoyed it even better than Empire of Dust, and I liked the first one. I’m a sucker for space stations.

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