Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Current Dilemma

So it's the end of the year, and I'm working on the end-of-the-year blog posts, as one does.

I'm nearly finished with my big Favorite Books of the Year post, talking about the books I really liked each month and picking one top book from each month as the very best.

But I have a problem: I haven't read anything really good in December (except Watchmen, as part of a project with the Before Watchmen books). And, by any reasonable Best-of-the-Year rules, a re-read of a twenty-five-year-old book just doesn't count.

Luckily, there still are four days left in the month -- so according to my own rules, I can still read something wonderful and include it. But I'm currently puttering through Bill Bryson's One Summer: America, 1927, which might well last until after the holidays, and which normally wouldn't be the best of the month. (Bryson is an engaging writer, and I really loved his early travelogues, but he's turned into a writer of fairly bland books in the nonfiction-bestseller mode, which I absolutely do not want to celebrate.)

So my dilemma is this: I can pull out something specifically expecting it to be my best of the month -- I have several options -- and then hey, presto! after reading it, it will be my favorite of the month! But that feels hugely like cheating.

I'm going to throw the question open to the general Internets -- not that I'll necessary follow your advice, but I haven't done a poll in a while, and it might be fun to see the responses. Click below to indicate what you think I should do, and feel free to hector me in comments.


Anonymous said...

After running a search, I've found that you haven't seemed to have read any of Martha Wells' books of the last decade or so, although you have at least one of them in hand post-flood. If you haven;t read it, do so ASAP. And for God's sake, track down and read her Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy from 2004-2005,, which you can find at many libraries (that way, no need to spend actual cash dollars). You WILL thank me if you do this. She's one of the most criminally overlooked SF/F writers of the last 20 years or so, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Martha Wells comment, but I would also suggest Island of the Lost by Joan Druett. It's available as a Kindle download and if you'll tell me your email I'll buy you a copy (send your email to crystal at bdb2 dot com). It's a non-fiction account of two shipwrecks on the same remote island towards the end of the age of sail, but interesting if you have ever enjoyed a book about what it is like for explorers to set out into the unknown with less-than-ideal equipment and uncertain outcomes.... whether those explorers are on the ocean or in space.

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