My Fav Books of the Year List

Over the last two years, my reading choices have changed. I could blame the trauma of the Pandemic but, I suspect, it’s simply that everyone needs certain stories at different points in their lives. Currently, I lean toward stories that leave this planet behind. Anything but the contemporary-now! I used to be at my core a reader of romance and fantasy but I always had an interest in speculative fiction, science fiction and history and this year, those genres became dominant in my reading selections. I’m going to make a separate list for cool non-fiction I read. Coming soon.

This year, I have an impressive mountain of unfinished books. Moody? Traumatized? Cranky? One of those reasons.

This year’s total of books read is 65 – which is low for me. I usually hit 125+. This year I watched more movies and shows which cuts into the reading time and I started writing more.

Reading more Sci-fi and Speculative Fiction slows me down as they tend toward hefty word counts. Also, I read a bunch of history books which can never be read fast—I’m going to do a separate history non-fiction list. I swear I would be 20 books higher but for R.F. Kuang’s Babel (an ambitious and wild book) clocking in at a dense 600 pages long. Being an eBook reader, I don’t always look at book length and it was only half way thru, I realized something was up but it was too late! If this list went higher, I would have put it on there. In addition, I had to do some comfort re-reads because it’s better than drinking. I re-read all the Murderbot books for example. Still love them – read them!

I could make a different list if you talk to me next week. I am moody. Buy books, more than you need! It’s a good thing.

A YA focus with a magic school set in hidden world but with a lot of murder. Crazy bloody like a Hunger Games and Harry Potter mashup. Fabulous characters. First person. I burned through this series. So good.

These books were published several years ago but she got the rights back and self pubbed them. OH I love so much. I have fondness Napoleonic era Navel books like Patrick O’Brien (Master and Commander) – it’s like that but with dragons. Loads of military strategy, fabulous characters, a little love thing going on and more. Awesome.

I supposedly hate Duologies that end the first book in a cliff hanger but whatever, I loved this…High fantasy, great pacing, powerful women, kind of bloody but fun.

Ex-military Octavia Zarola accepts a bounty hunting job from a sworn enemy. Set in space. Love and political intrigue. All my favorite things.

The third in a series of books about three brothers. One of the few books I read about the now…great romance, smoking sexy and really interesting character wrapped up in great writing.

The third in a series that started with The Goblin Emperor. A rich fantasy world but it’s really a detective “who-dunnit” with heavy political schemes. Thara Celehar (Witness for the Dead) can speak to the recently departed. The world building is spectacular.

I mean Djinn, alternate history, the British Empire and a fabulous Egyptian women detective. A wild slightly messy plot which I loved – kept it fresh. What a tale!

Dukes, fake fiancée, smart and strong heroine with FABULOUS writing.  The heroine is perfection and really helps make this standard genre trope sparkle.

I am nuts about Becky Chambers stories. The first book in this series came out last year (2022) but I read it this year when Tor Free Free ebook club sent me it (join this club!). I devoured it. You have to read the first book to understand the second. The complete opposite of many of the books on this list. Quiet, philosophical and optimistic – it is set in the far future. Sibling Dex is wonderful lead character – thoughtful, confused and questioning. The robot is perfection.

Two childhood friends create a computer game together – fascinating relationships over a lifetime. Having worked in the game industry – I can be critical of settings like this but the author nails it. A unique story – I love the span of time it covers – feels epic while being intimate.

A great concept where women unexpectedly turn into dragons and its suppressed by the government. The story works because of the intimacy of the narration – poetic and beautiful while being interspersed with academic writings on dragons. Good stuff.

Completely nuts plot which I loved. A laid off tech worker get a job caring for animals – little does he know they are Kaiju in a different dimension. WHAT? I know – nuts but so entertaining.

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