TOP READS OF 2021

Another year spent mainly confined to the house, you would think I might have read more books, but somehow, didn’t make my target again. But once again, it was just a number and I’m happy with what I did read.

In no particular order, here are the books I read and enjoyed the most this year.

  1. Bloodchild & Other Stories – Octavia Butler
  2. The Galaxy & The Ground Within – Becky Chambers
  3. A Door Into Ocean – Joan Slonczewski
  4. Shards of Earth – Adrian Tchaikovsky
  5. The Death of Vivek Oji – Akwaeke Emezi

There were more of course, but these were the best, and the ones that stayed with me.

Best reads of 2020

Like many people, I found 2020 affecting me in strange ways. One of these was not doing as much reading as I normally do. That said, I did read some excellent books this year, and wanted to highlight the few that will stay with me forever and made me want to hug the book and never let it go following.

In no particular order and with links to my very brief reviews.

  1. The City We Became – N.K. Jemisin
  2. Zami: A New Spelling of my Name – Audre Lorde
  3. What Belongs to You – Garth Greenwell
  4. Riot Baby – Tochi Onyebuchi
  5. Brown Girl in the Ring – Nalo Hopkinson
  6. Adulthood Rites – Octavia Butler (this was a re-read)
  7. Ammonite – Nicola Griffith

I’m not going to make my reading challenge for this year, but I’m not beating myself up about it. I enjoyed the books I read and my to-be-read pile is bigger than ever, so bring on 2021!

Best reads of 2019

This year, I set another goal of 40 books (same as for 2018) which I beat with a little more integrity than last year (I didn’t add in any comics…) so I’ll give you a scattering of books that I found moving or spectacular or just plain good.

A note, I tend to read mostly science fiction, literary and queer fiction/non-fiction, but have branched a little into young adult and fantasy this year as well as returning to horror, a favourite when I was a teen.

In no particular order, my top ten (or top whatever number it ends up being) books I read so far for 2019 are:

  1. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong
  2. China Mountain Zhang – Maureen F. McHugh
  3. The Troop – Nick Cutter
  4. Black Leopard, Red Wolf – Marlon James
  5. Perdido Street Station – China Mieville
  6. The Testaments – Margaret Atwood
  7. A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay
  8. A Taste of Honey – Kai Ashante Wilson
  9. Rosewater – Tade Thompson

Best reads of 2018

I set myself a goal of 40 books on Goodreads this year, which I’m happy to say I’ve beaten by 8 books!

I expanded my reading selection out a little this year to try and bring more queer literature into my life. Obviously a combo of queer and speculative fiction (my own niche market) is ideal, but either/or works as well.

How did I choose favourites? By thinking about stories that have stuck with me, that moved me, and that forced me to learn something new, to be enlightened through reading and understanding. Reading is a transcendent experience, when done with such talented authors.

So, in no particular order, my top books of 2018.

  1. The Broken Earth Series (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky) by N.K. Jemisin
  2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  3. Blindsight by Peter Watts
  4. We The Animals by Justin Torres
  5. The Female Man by Joanna Russ
  6. Spin by Robert Charles Watson
  7. The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
  8. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Best Reads of 2017

I read a lot of incredible speculative and science fiction over 2017, but these are my favourite seven books (in descending order of the date I finished them) along with links to my reviews.

How do I pick my favourites? These are books I have not forgotten, that have stayed with me since reading them and won’t fade anytime soon. Beautiful writing, concepts, characters are important, but more important to me is to be amazed, to be fascinated and to have my mind expanded by reading. These books all accomplished this feat in different ways.

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  2. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
  3. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
  4. The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell
  5. Nymphomation by Jeff Noon
  6. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
  7. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Do you love these books too?