I’m pretty much nearly a month late, but it felt weird not posting my reading list for this year! Despite my obsession with comics and a certain videogame, I definitely find comfort in books above everything else. So here are my top 10 to read this year.
1. A Memory Called Empire (and the rest of the Teixcalaan series) by Arkady Martine I am really interested in this one, so much so that I refuse to read it until I have no other obligations in the back of my mind. This F/F (with a bi main character 👀) SFF book is a blend of political thriller, cyberpunk, and space opera that centers on 26yo Mahit Dzmare, a diplomat endeavoring to solve her predecessor’s alleged murder, while saving her Station from an imperialist empire’s unceasing expansion. The author’s historical/architectural background apparently shines through this book’s worldbuilding, and this review…man if that doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will. And the opening sentence, This book is dedicated to anyone who has ever fallen in love with a culture devouring their own. Woah.
2. Rise of Kysohi/Shadow of Kyoshi by F. C. Yee and Michael Dante DiMartino I have been procrastinating on these books so hard but I’m so ready for this series as well. It introduces and/or expands on the customs, culture, and politics in the ATLA universe, and it will be really interesting to see what all the nations were like before the ATLA timeline.
3. Crier’s War/Iron Heart by Nina Varela Another book I’m pretty sure a lot of people have already heard of. It’s told from the alternating perspectives of Crier, an Automa princess, and Ayla, a human rebel, in a world where Automa now rule over the humans who once created them.
4. Gideon the Ninth (and the rest of The Locked Tomb Trilogy) by Tamsyn Muir A lot of the blogs I follow love this books and I want to see what the fuss is about lol! It’s set in a galactic empire of nine planets, each ruled by a noble house that practices its own unique type of necromancy. The opening line of the preview somehow shows you a glimpse of all the weird, all the violence, all the rebellious snark and darkness wrapped in a freaky science-fantasy-horror-romance mash-up. Also… lesbian necromancers :/
5. The Silence of Bones by June Hur A bloody mystery that takes place in 1800s Joseon (Korea); a 16yo indentured servant named Seol is tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman. I’ve always been a sucker for history, especially on subjects I know so little of, and the theme of this mystery feels suited to the Korean setting and the backdrop of political and religious struggles.
6. Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown This book has an interesting semi-autobiographical take reminisce of Dazai Osamu’s No Longer Human. It goes through the journey of Echo, a girl growing up in a family impacted by drug addiction, poverty, and abuse. The influence of several teachers allows Echo to use her talents, including her status as a wizard, to find her way out of the negative cycles in her family, and a path forward by going off to an elite college.
8. War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi Set in the year 2172, Nigeria is now in a civil as tensions between the Biafra renew. I usually read books on different backgrounds because I was a little intimidated with acknowledging my own, which is a whole other mess. The Nigerian Biafran War wasn’t that long ago and it effects are still felt today. My family still tells me stories about the horrors endured there; minorities that were targeted in what is now argued a genocide.
Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson Seems like a really cute romance novel. Two girls meet at a music festival and realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend.
10. The Glass Sentence Ok listen. I didn’t get the chance to read middle grade books like these because they were ridiculously hard to find at a local library or cost too much. I’m indulging in my inner 12yo who would’ve gone bonkers over this series. In the Great Disruption of 1799, time itself broke apart and fragmented, stranding countries and continents in different time periods, some of them thousands of years apart. It’s pretty much headlong into a complex world built around the very nature of time.