Once again, denotes my reading recommendations. I read a lot of excellent fiction in the past year!
The Good Stuff
The surprise goodies for me were the Hunger Games trilogy and Santa Olivia. My brain usually turns off at anything hyper-popularized by the media. Nor is boxing exactly a topic I’d care to hear much about. But these, whoa. Go read them! And, well, any of the other fiction I’ve denoted with the bulb icon.
As for cookbooks, if you like Mexican food, get your hands on The Essential Cuisines of Mexico. If you like Mediterranean food, check out Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. Both are inspiring, yet approachable, and offer weight measurements, whee! If you want the book on chocolate cookery, obtain Bittersweet — by the woman who introduced the concept of truffles to the United States. Finally, if you share my obsession with food pairing and substitution reference tomes, you’ll see that I’ve discovered, uh, more.
…And The Bad
I endured really horrible erotica written by Autumn Dawn and Tina Folsom. Although some of the erotic bits weren’t bad, it was the anti-feminist theme of the women protagonists getting married and knocked up — because no matter how independent or assertive they were to begin with, that’s what they truly wanted and needed in order to become fulfilled. What… the… fuck? (As it were? Haha.) Forgivable for some individuals, I guess, but for hot fiction written in the 21st century? Eegad, give me some anthologies edited by Mary Anne Mohanraj or Susie Bright, please, to clean out my poor neurons. Moreover, if I wanted werewolves or vampires thrown into the mix, I’d happily recommend books by Maggie Stiefvater and Robin McKinley as far superior. Anyhow, my lesson is to be more wary of stuff from Smashwords. But, hey, if they have high quality publications, do let me know.
For easier list jumping:
- Longer fiction
- Shorter fiction: Warning, it’s a very long list!
- Art monographs
- Unfinished books
Thanks to friends and the interwebz, I’ve added some ongoing webcomics to my reading list in the past year:
- Gunnerkrigg Court
- The Meek
- Oglaf. Warning: Lots of NSFW content. As in explicit sex. As in hilarious sexual content. I am not kidding.
- Wondermark. Max Ernst-like collages meets 21st century wackiness. I’ve actually been reading Wondermark for the past couple years, but have forgotten to mention it until now.
- The Wormworld Saga
Brogsol, Vera. Anya’s Ghost.
Hagio, Moto. A Drunken Dream and Other Stories.
Hernandez, Gilbert. Sloth.
Hernandez, Gilbert. Speak of the Devil.
Korea: As Viewed by 12 Creators.
Urasawa, Naoki. Monster, volume 1.
Urasawa, Naoki. Pluto, a manga series of 8 volumes.
Including a few anthologies. I read and listened to gobs of individual short stories, and decided that they deserved special mention in a separate section.
Barnes, John. A Million Open Doors.
Barnes, John. Orbital Resonance.
Bell, Alden. The Reapers Are the Angels.
Beukes, Lauren. Zoo City.
Buckell, Tobias S. Tides of the New Worlds.
Caine, Rachel. Undone: Outcast series book 1.
Carey, Jacqueline. Kushiel’s Dart and Kushiel’s Chosen.
Carey, Jacqueline. Santa Olivia.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
Dawn, Autumn. The Charmer and Scent of Danger.
Folsom, Tina. Samson’s Lovely Mortal.
Hopkinson, Nalo. Brown Girl In the Ring.
Hopkinson, Nalo. Midnight Robber.
Hunt, Stephen. Court of the Air.
Jemisin, N.K. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms.
Lafferty, Mur. Heaven, Hell, Earth, Wasteland and War.
Link, Kelly. Stranger Things Happen.
Lo, Malinda. Ash.
Malki!, David, editor. Machine of Death.
Marr, Melissa. Graveminder.
McKinley, Robin. The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword.
McKinley, Robin. Pegasus.
McKinley, Robin. Sunshine
Miéville, China. The City and the City.
Mohanraj, Mary Anne (editor). Wet: Aqua Erotica.
Pratt, Tim. The Nex.
Pratt, Tim. The Strange Adventures of Ranger Girl.
Riordan, Rick. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
Robson, Justina. Keeping It Real, Selling Out, and Going Under.
Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver: The Wolves of Mercy Falls, book 1.
Stross, Charles. The Atrocity Archives.
Stross, Charles. The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, The Clan Corporate, The Merchants’ War, The Revolution Business, The Trade of Queens.
Tanner, Lian. Museum of Thieves.
Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Book 1 in a series.
Taylor, Margaret. Grizelda.
Valente, Catherynne M. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making.
Vernon, Ursula. Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew.
Vinge, Vernor. A Fire Upon the Deep.
Due to sheer volume, I’ve limited myself to my favorite shorts of 2011. Many of these are free to read, or listen to, from these sources:
- Escape Pod
- Clarkesworld Magazine
- Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine
Arkenberg, Megan. “Lessons from a Clockwork Queen.”
Baker, Kathryn. “Celadon” and “Herding Vegetable Sheep.”
Bear, Elizabeth. “Tideline.”
Bernobich, Beth. “River of Souls.”
Brin, David. “Bubbles.”
Burgis, Stephanie. “Some Girls Can.”
Burke, Sue. “Aliens Love Oranges” and “Poet For Hire.”
Butler, Pete. “Squonk the Dragon.”
Card, Orson Scott. “Elephants of Poznan.”
Castro, Adam-Troy. “Her Husband’s Hands.”
Chance, Karen. “The Queen’s Witch.”
Clare, Gwendolyn. “Perfect Lies.”
Coates, Deborah. “Magic In a Certain Slant of Light.”
Cooper, Brenda. “My Father’s Singularity.”
Cooper, Constance. “The Kings Tail” and “The Team-Mate Reference Problem In Final Stage Demon Confrontation.”
de Lint, Charles. “The Invisibles.”
DeRego, Jeffrey R. “Union Dues: Off White Lies.”
di Filippo, Paul. “Shadowboxer.”
Doctorow, Cory. “The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away.”
Falksen, G.D. “Mr. Salad Monday.”
Farland, David. “Against Eternity.”
Foster, Eugie. “My Friend Is a Lesbian Zombie.”
Frost, Gregory. “The Girlfriends of Dorian Gray.”
Howard, Cat. “Sweet Sixteen.”
Jasper, Michael. “Natural Order.”
Jemisin. N.K. “L’Alchimista.”
Kress, Nancy. “Ej-Es.”
Lafferty, Mur. “I Look Forward to Remembering You.”
Lee, Yoon Ha. “Blue Ink” and “Eating Hearts.”
Le Guin, Ursula K. “The Silence of the Asonu.”
Marsh. Ed W. “Head of State.”
Martens, Paul E. “Connie, Maybe.”
McIntosh, Will. “Bridesicle.”
Monette, Sarah. “The Devil In Gaylord’s Creek” and “White Charles.”
Morrow, Bradford. “Fall of the Birds.”
Morton, Lisa Noeahlani. “How Maartje and Uppinder Terraformed Mars.”
Murphy, Hilary Moon. “Run of the Fiery Horse.”
Myers, Kitty. “Stuck In an Elevator With Mandy Patinkin.”
Nazarian, Vera. “Mount Dragon.”
Okorafor, Nnedi. “From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7.”
Parks, Richard. “Four Horsemen, at Their Leisure.”
Pelland, Jennifer. “Burning Bush.”
Pratt, Tim. “Lacrymose and the Golden Egg,” “Life In Stone” and “Silver Linings.”
Prineas, Sarah. “Seamstress.”
Rambo, Cat. “Worm Within” and “Long Enough and Just So Long.”
Reed, Robert. “The Next Invasion.”
Resnick, Mike. “Down Memory Lane.”
Resnick, Mike and Robin, Leslie. “Idle Roomer.”
Rogers, Bruce Holland. “Don Ysidro.”
Ronald, Margaret. “When the Gentlemen Go By.”
Sanderson, Brandon. “Firstborn.”
Scholes, Ken. “A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon.”
Snyder, Lucy A. “Your Corporate Network and the Forces of Darkness.”
Swanwick, Michael and Gunn, Eileen. “The Trains that Climb the Winter Tree.”
Tallerman, David. “Jenny’s Sick.”
Valente, Catherynne M. “How to Become a Mars Overlord” and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Space/Time. “
Vaughn, Carrie. “For Fear of Dragons.”
Valentine, Genevieve. “The Sandal-Bride.”
van Eekhout, Greg. “Last Son of Tomorrow,” “The Osteomancer’s Son” and “Virus.”
Walton, David. “Anyone Can Whistle.”
Wilson, Daniel H. “The Nostalgist.”
Goldsworthy, Andy. Enclosure.
Goldsworthy, Andy. Passage.
Jackson, Julie. Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs.
Purcell, Hall, Corado and Heinrich. Egg and Nest.
Uelsmann, Jerry. Photo Synthesis.
Ahern, Shauna James. Gluten-free Girl.
Andoh, Elizabeth. Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions.
Beranbaum, Rose Levy. The Cake Bible.
Beranbaum, Rose Levy. Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.
Bix, Cynthia Overbeck. Ideas For Great Backyard Cottages.
Black and Decker Corporation. The Complete Guide to Garages.
Corriher, Shirley O. Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes.
Culinary Institute of America. The Professional Chef, 9th edition. After I bought the book, I found out there was an iPad app available: Same content, plus videos and search ability. [Insert soft noises of buyer’s remorse.]
Creasy, Rosalind. Edible Landscaping, 2nd edition.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed.
Goldacre, Ben. Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks.
Hildebrand, Caz and Kennedy, Jacob. The Geometry of Pasta.
Hom, Ken. The Taste of China.
Huber, Jeanne. The Ultimate Garage.
Joachim, David. The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 6,500 Substitutions For Ingredients, Equipment and Techniques.
Kennedy, Diana. The Art of Mexican Cooking: Traditional Mexican Cooking For Aficionados.
Kennedy, Diana. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.
Kennedy, Diana. My Mexico: a Culinary Odyssey With More Than 300 Recipes.
Kennedy, Diana. Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy.
Krause, Robert and Molly. The Cook’s Book of Intense Flavors: 101 Surprising Flavor Combinations and Extraordinary Recipes that Excite Your Palate and Pleasure Your Senses.
Lipanovich, Marianne and Wilhite, Tom. Big Book of Garden Designs.
Medrich, Alice. Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life In Chocolate.
Medrich, Alice. Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies.
Medrich, Alice. Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts.
Medrich, Alice. Pure Dessert.
Miller, Gloria Blye. A Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook.
Nagyszalanczy, Sandor. New Built-ins Idea Book.
Nguyen, Andrea. Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More.
Ottolenghi, Yotam and Tamimi, Sami. Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.
Ottolenghi, Yotam. Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi.
Pant, Pushpesh. India: Cookbook.
Petrowski, Elaine Martin. Design Ideas For Home Storage.
Platt, Stacey. What’s a Disorganized Person to Do?
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Potter, Jeff. Cooking For Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food.
Provey, Joseph. Easy Closets: Affordable Storage Solutions For Everyone.
Prueitt, Elisabeth. Tartine.
Rae, Andy. Workshop Idea Book.
Roach, Mary. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.
Russell, Natalie Ermann. New Backyard Idea Book.
Segnit, Niki. The Flavour Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes, and Ideas For the Creative Cook (UK edition).
Stewart, Amy. Flower Confidential.
Stewart, Amy. Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects.
Stewart, Amy. Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.
Strong, Roy. A Small Garden Designer’s Handbook.
Swanson, Heidi. Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients Into Your Cooking.
The Silver Spoon (2005).
Wilska, Emily. Knack Organizing Your Home: Decluttering Solutions and Storage Ideas.
Did not finish
Carey, Jacqueline. Kushiel’s Avatar.
Carney, Scott. The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers.
Faber, Adele and Mazlish, Elaine. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk.
Le Guin, Ursula K. Gifts.
Lowry, Judith Larner. Gardening With a Wild Heart: Restoring California’s Native Landscapes at Home.
McKinley, Robin. Dragonhaven.
Monette, Sarah. Mélusine.
Mukherjee, Siddhartha. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.
Park, Paul. The Hidden World.
Robson, Justina. Chasing the Dragon.
Swanson, Heidi. Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen.
Vinge, Vernor. Rainbows End.