This month I have made the mistake of starting two challenging books simultaneously. Iron Council by China Miéville is long, filled with oddly repetitive Miévillian word choice (translation: I have to reference the dictionary more than I’d like), and occasionally drags. It is worth it because I love Miéville, because this book is largely about revolution, and because at the end I will be able to say I have read the fucking thing, but every ten pages or so I find my eyes wandering to my bookshelf, wishing I was reading almost anything else.
Venus Siegt (translation: Venus Victorious) by Dietmar Dath is a German political space…something…with a lot of characters to keep track of. The writing style is
less pretentious easier to read than Miéville’s, but being in German I also have to reference the dictionary from time to time. Fun fact: reading science fiction in your second language makes it hard to tell which words are made up and which words you have to look up.
I long to read something easy. I want to read something that flies by, that stops time, with a driving plot that forces me to the end within days because I can’t—don’t want to—stop.
In order to indulge myself (and to party at the Icey Books What’s Next blog hop), I have decided to present the choices for my next read. Then, in an unprecedented show of trust I will allow you to decide what I will read next. Vote in the comments. Choose carefully, or I will resent you forever.
And the candidates are:
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
Hype for The Girl in the Road has been omnipresent on my blog feed since its release. Then it won a James Tiptree Jr Award, and the buzz volume convinced me to purchase a copy and put it on the to-read-next shelf above my bed. It is a dark, dystopian look at the future and a tale of the (probably harrowing) journey of a girl on a floating road. It sounds inventive, dark, and weird. My curiosity is thoroughly piqued.
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Another widely hyped book of 2014, City of Stairs is on the read-it-next list because it is rumored to have the kind of page-turning plot I am desperate to dive into next. I’ll be honest: for all the internet rage I’ve read about this one, I have no fucking idea what it is about. Fantasy? A city with a lot of stairs? Umm… Don’t ask questions, vote Bennett!
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Having recently fell head over heels in love with Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys Cycle, I thought I should try some of her other books. Though Erika has challenged me to read Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races this year (having said that Shiver wasn’t one of her favorites), it was Shiver that ended up on the shelves of my local used book store, so it is probably Shiver that I will read next. Oh and it’s about teenagers and werewolves or something. Excitement factor here is exploring more of this funny, observant, and wonderful writer’s work.
A Gift Upon the Shore by M.K. Wren
A post-apocalyptic novel about two women—one a writer and one an artist—who spend their time post-nuclear-holocaust trying to save books and arguing with the local Bible thumpers about whether or not it’s a good idea. It comes highly recommended and is currently one of my most highly anticipated apocalypses. Might not be much of a page turner though. Still, as “what do books and stories mean at the end of the world?” is an intriguing question and one I am currently trying to explore in my first attempt at fiction in fifteen years, I am excited to hear what Wren has to say about it.
Now, readers, I impart you with the most powerful power of all: the power to decide what I will read next. Choose one of these titles and put your vote in the comments. I nervously await your answer. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to finish Iron Council. Vote closes when I reach the last page.