Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads
Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every other weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I round up what I’ve read since the last update and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.
RECEIVED FOR REVIEW
I was out of town during my last Bookshelf Roundup, so while this may seem like a big update, it’s actually three week’s worth of new books. With the holidays over, publishers must be back to working at full steam because I held all my mail while I was away and I came home last week to a pile of packages on my doorstep–mostly unsolicited review copies (but that doesn’t make them any less welcome!) and also a couple requested ARCs that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time:
Almost Infamous by Matt Carter – I’m long overdue for another superhero novel…or in this case, a supervillain novel. Or rather, it seems a lot more complicated than that. A regular kid gets superpowers, but decides to hire himself out as a pocket supervillain to superheroes who want to keep themselves relevant. Any way you look at it, it sounds like a fun and quirky adventure, and this book has rocketed up my lists to become one of my must-read titles for this spring. My thanks to Talos for the ARC!
Arena by Holly Jennings – I was practically jumping up and down when this ARC turned up, as this book is one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2016. Competitive virtual gaming? I am so there. Can’t wait to dive into this dark and gritty world with a heroine who kicks ass. With thanks to Ace Books.
Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis – My thanks to Pyr for this ARC, which showed up as an unexpected but very welcome surprise in the mail. Another one of my must-reads for this spring; something about it just draws me in, and it’s not just because of that gorgeous cover. Historical fiction and fantasy, magic, music and espionage…an irresistible mix.
The Chimes by Anna Smaill – Print ARC with thanks to Quercus. Unsolicited, but man, I AM INTRIGUED! I hadn’t even heard of this book before, and so the first thing I did was look it up. It’s been published in the UK already to great acclaim and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Reviewers have called it an unconventional but beautiful and cerebral sci-fi dystopian. Well, now I have to read it. What do you think? Anyone heard of The Chimes and can tell me more about it?
The Reburialists by J. C. Nelson – I’ve heard of the author but never read his books, though I did see The Reburialists on NetGalley a while ago and was interested. So even though this ARC was a surprise arrival, I may have to find a way to work it into my reading schedule! The first book in an all-new urban fantasy series sounds like a good chance to jump on board. With my thanks to Ace Books.
Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds – Another surprise ARC from Ace Books, and I was so excited when I saw that it because I’ve wanted to read Alastair Reynolds for a long time. Then I found out Poseidon’s Wake is actually the third book in a series, and the concluding volume at that. Well, guess that means I’ll have to pick up the first two books! My thanks to the publisher!
In Constant Fear by Peter Liney – Hardcover, with thanks to Quercus. A reminder that I really need to finish this trilogy. It’s actually a really unique, because when was the last time you read a dystopian where all the main characters are over 65? I really enjoyed the first two books.
Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson – My thanks to Tor Books for this finished copy! It’s always a pleasure to read Sanderson, especially a Mistborn novel. As of this writing I’m a quarter of the way through the book and it’s great so far.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – Well, I caved! I’ve been hearing so much about this book now that it’s released, I just had to take a look for myself. Thanks to Tor Books for approving my request and sending me a copy. I’ve already devoured it, and despite some mixed feelings, I had a really good time. For the book’s details and my thoughts, keep an eye out for my review, coming soon.
Eleanor by Jason Gurley – Another book that I didn’t know anything about when it first arrived, but the more I discovered about it, the more interested I was. That’s what I love about surprise arrivals; I’m always learning so much about titles I never would have heard about otherwise. From some of the reviews I glimpsed, it sounds like Eleanor is a tragic, emotional fantasy/magical realism tale which means I’ll likely have to prepare myself for some sadness when I check it out. My thanks to Crown for introducing me to this one.
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett – AHHH THIS BOOK!!! I already finished the ARC a couple weeks ago and holy crap you guys, IT IS SO. DAMN. GOOD. My raving 5 star review is coming soon, but to my surprise, two copies of this book arrived in my mailbox in the last week of 2015, the first a finished copy from Crown. The second actually floored me. It’s the UK edition, from the lovely folks at Jo Fletcher Books, and at first I was perplexed because the package came wrapped in Super Mario gift wrapping paper. Then I opened it and saw the note (written on a Luigi gift tag, of course) which said, “Because you enjoyed City of Stairs…Merry Christmas!” Aww I swear, JFB, you guys are the sweetest! Thank you to the publishers, I love this book so much.
The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill – I’ve been aware that a film adaptation of this book is in the works, but as usual, I’m way more curious about the source material. I’ve always had good luck with the sci-fi noir genre, so when I saw this pop up at Edelweiss, I requested it. My thanks to Simon & Schuster for approving me.
Drake by Peter McLean – I’ve heard such great things about this! I’m also in the mood for a fun new urban fantasy. Needless to day, when I saw the audiobook offered for review, I requested it and didn’t even hesitate. My thanks to Audible Studios!
Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon – Once more, I have Tor.com to thank for brightening up my inbox with a shiny new eARC of another one of their brilliant upcoming novellas. I don’t think I’ve ever read Tim Lebbon, even though his name is huge in horror and dark fantasy circles, two genres I love. I can’t wait to read this.
I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan ever since I was a wee tyke, and one of my biggest regrets is having been born years too late to experience the original movie on the big screen back when it was new in 1977. The Force Awakens was a huge deal for me because I saw that as my second chance (sorry, I’m not counting the prequels) and it was so good that my husband and I even brought our 3-year-old to watch it with us on our second time around. Going to the theater to watch Star Wars with my kids has always been a dream of mine, so even though she may be too young to remember this, I know I will treasure the memory always.
Anyhoo, I’ve always collected the Star Wars movie novelizations (yes, even for the three prequels, so I guess I can’t really pretend they don’t exist). Therefore, even though I’ve already listened to the audiobook, picking up the hardcover of Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens was a no brainer.
Here are all my reviews since the last update, gathered together and listed here for your convenience and viewing pleasure. Most of what I read over the holiday break has now been written up and posted!
City of Light by Keri Arthur (4 of 5 stars)
The Rising by Ian Tregillis (4 of 5 stars)
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (4 of 5 stars)
Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan (3.5 of 5 stars)
Nightwise by R.S. Belcher (3.5 of 5 stars)
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (3.5 of 5 stars)
Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older (3 of 5 stars)
Infinity Lost by S. Harrison (3 of 5 stars)
An Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (3 of 5 stars)
WHAT I’VE READ SINCE THE LAST UPDATE
I’m mostly done catching up with review books from last year (like The Aeronaut’s Windlass, The King’s Justice) so now you’ll probably start seeing me read more 2016 releases. My February TBR is huge, so I’m already trying to get a jump on things and hoping to keep my head start (like with Winterwood).
Also, you might have noticed books like Gathering Darkness, The Winner’s Crime, and End of Days in my list. There are a ton of YA series I started but completely neglected last year, and so I’ve made it my unofficial 2016 resolution to catch up with all of them. I went to the library and borrowed everything I could in audio format, because that’s my favorite and quickest way to enjoy YA. Case in point, I was listening while I took the Christmas tree down last weekend, and when all the work was done I was already more than halfway through a book. I’m not sure what I’ll do with these YA reads yet, or if I’ll even review all of them, but for the time being it’s one way I’m chiseling down my backlist pile, and I just want to keep it my guilty pleasure and a stress-free challenge.
Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? Nothing makes me happier than sharing my love for books, so let me know what you plan on checking out. I hope you found something interesting for a future read! Until next time, see you next Roundup! 🙂