Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong
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Books Read in 2007

A bunch of you have been keeping track of my 2007 reading (165 books), and looking to that post for recommendations. Here - let me help!

Beneath the cut, I'll be categorizing and sorting the books - not quite ranking, because I'm not really devoting that much time to it. :) But if you're interested in what's good and what sucked, or you're just bored, take a look. :)

Above the fold, though - the best books I read in 2007, the ones I want to shove into your arms and say "You must read this. Seriously. Now. Go ahead, I'll wait." There were new books by Baker and de Lint and Scalzi and everyone, and I know you know about those; these, you might not know about, so I must tell you.

Fiction:
Best Debut Novels
Idlewild, Edenborn, and Everfree, by Nick Sagan. Yes, Carl's son. I can tell you almost nothing about these books without spoiling them. Just read them.
Schrodinger's Ball, by Adam Felber. Hilarious, absurd, and I cannot wait for his next novel.
Grey, Jon Armstrong. Near-future culture-obsessed dystopia meets Dirty Sexy Money meets I don't know what the hell else; this is Something New.
Radio Freefall, by Matthew Jarpe. The future of music. The future of tech. No book I read in 2007 was nearly as passionate as this one. Simply put, it rocked.
The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, by Scott Lynch. Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan books generally begin with Miles having nothing and having him, through sheer cleverness and ballsiness, achieve everything. Lynch takes that one step farther - he gives his characters everything, then tears it all down around their ears, then has them fight their way through with the cleverness and ballsiness. This is the literary equivalent of one of those desserts they make on TV with everything piled precariously on top of everything else, and yet the structure holds and it is yummy.

Best other novels
Blindsight, Peter Watts. The book that should've won the Hugo. (I have fangirled only once in the past, like, ten years. And it was at Peter Watts. That's how good this book is. I want to climb inside his twisted brain.)
Territory, Emma Bull. Magic in Tombstone.
Butcher Bird, by Richard Kadrey. Holy freaking crap, you guys.

Best YA:
Series: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan's Curse, by Rick Riordan - the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series.
Standalone: Flora Segunda, by Ysabeau Wilce. Worldbuilding like whoa!

Best Anthologies
Firebirds Rising, edited by Sharyn November. The best in YA genre short stories.
Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I'm a sucker for Datlow/Windling Anthologies, and a sucker for Trickster stories. :)
Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories, edited by John Klima. Take the winning words of the last 20 national spelling bees. Shake vigorously; assign to mildly insane genre writers. Read results.

Best Nonfiction
Decoding the Universe, by Charles Seife. I need a copy of this (it was a library book), STAT.
Heat, by Bill Buford. If you love food, read this.
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes, I know it looks Oprah's-Book-Club-ish. Do not let that stop you; it reads more like Anne Lamott in an ashram. (I totally want to go to an ashram now.)

And the best short story of the year was "Little Gods", by Tim Pratt. It can be found in the collection of the same name.


Below the fold, the rest - still all excellent, with certain exception that I'll put at the very end. Otherwise, all books are listed in the order in which I read them, save bunches by any one particular author that I noticed and wanted to mention.



"Adult" Fiction
The Machine's Child - Kage Baker
Rude Mechanicals - Kage Baker
Gods and Pawns - Kage Baker
The Sons of Heaven - Kage Baker
This marks the end of Baker's Company series. Later books in the series faltered (the 14-year-old submissive Mendoza one was particularly creepy), but she pulled it all together, and The Sons of Heaven was Just Right; a fitting ending to an always-innovative series.

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless - Jack Campbell
The Lost Fleet: Fearless - Jack Campbell
Great military SF!

A Lick of Frost - Laurell K. Hamilton
Strange Candy - Laurell K. Hamilton
Mistral's Kiss - Laurell K. Hamilton
The Harlequin - Laurell K. Hamilton
Hamilton is actually flipping the sex to plot ratio. About time. Still not as good as the earliest Anita Blake books, but much better than the last six or so.

Fugitives of Chaos - John C. Wright
Titans of Chaos - John C. Wright
With Orphans of Chaos, this is a wonderfully warped science fantasy trilogy.

Hart & Boot & Other Stories - Tim Pratt
Little Gods - Tim Pratt
Blood Engines - T.A. Pratt
Pratt is always excellent. Read those story collections!

The Hour Before Dawn and other stories - Charles de Lint
Promises to Keep - Charles de Lint
Yay, more Jilly! I'm discouraged at de Lint's recent trend of releasing wee novellas of very short story collections through Subterranean Press for megabucks, though.

Vellum - Hal Duncan
Ink - Hal Duncan
I read both books all the way through. And I still don't know if I liked them.

The Sagan Diary - John Scalzi
The Last Colony - John Scalzi
The Android's Dream - John Scalzi
I like Scalzi best in space, I think. :)

Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
Dearly Devoted Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
Dexter in the Dark - Jeff Lindsay
The Robin Hood of serial killers.

Salt of the Air - Vera Nazarian
The Penelopiad - Margaret Atwood
Soul in a Bottle - Tim Powers
Fun Home - Alison Bechdel
In the Company of Ogres - A. Lee Martinez
All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris
Dreadful Skin - Cherie Priest
D*U*C*K - Poppy Z. Brite (A G-man and Rickey novella)
Smoke and Ashes - Tanya Huff
Thursday Next: First Among Sequels - Jasper Fforde
The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice - Catherynne M. Valente
Urban Shaman - C.E. Murphy
The Secret City - Carol Emshwiller
Rainbows End - Vernor Vinge
Crooked Little Vein - Warren Ellis (This is what happens when Ellis has no editor.)
Stardust - Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess
Portable Childhoods - Ellen Klages (In the House of Seven Librarians is another of my favorite stories of the year.)
Getting to Know You - David Marusek
Soon I Will Be Invincible - Austin Grossman
Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey - Chuck Palahniuk (weak, comparatively. :( )
Finder - Carla Speed McNeil (re-read - Sin-Eater through Five Crazy Women) (Still one of the best comics around.)
Singer in the Snow - Louise Marley
Seven Touches of Music - Zoran Zivkovic
The Servants - Michael Marshall Smith
Overclocked - Cory Doctorow
Th1rte3n - Richard K. Morgan (Not a Takeshi Kovacs novel! Morgan creates a very distinct new protagonist. Looking forwad to more of this.)
The Merchants' War - Charles Stross (Meh. Reads like notes/setup for the next book.)
Kamikaze L'Amour - Richard Kadrey
A Nameless Witch - A. Lee Martinez
In The Forest of Forgetting - Theodora Goss
Black Powder War - Naomi Novik (The Napoleonic War. With dragons. Wonderful dragons.)


"Young Adult" Fiction
The Mislaid Magician; or, Ten Years After - Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Trickster's Choice- Tamora Pierce
Trickster's Queen - Tamora Pierce
Singularity - William Sleator
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson
Keeping the Moon - Sarah Dessen
Under My Roof - Nick Mamatas
Margarettown - Gabrielle Zevin
The Queen of Cool - Cecil Castelluci
The Misfits - James Howe
Empress of the World - Sara Ryan
Beige - Cecil Castelluci
The Rules for Hearts - Sara Ryan
Into the Wild - Sarah Beth Durst
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling
Little (Grrl) Lost - Charles de Lint
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - Gabrielle Zevin
The Dream-Maker's Magic - Sharon Shinn
The City of Ember - Jeanne Duprau
Just Listen - Sarah Dessen
Rats Saw God - Rob Thomas
Temping Fate - Esther Friesner
Nobody's Princess - Esther Friesner

Anthologies
Young Warriors - edited by Tamora Pierce & Josepha Sherman
Best New Fantasy - edited by Sean Wallace
Fast Forward 1 - edited by Lou Anders
Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005 - edited by Jonathan Strahan
Year's Best Fantasy 6 - edited by David Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer
Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005 - edited by Jonathan Strahan
Outsiders - edited by Nancy Holder and Nancy Kilpatrick
Fantasy - edited by Sean Wallace and Paul Tremblay
Year's Best Fantasy 7 - edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer
The Best Science Ficton and Fantasy of the Year - Volume One - edited by Jonathan Strahan
Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology - edited by Steven Savile and Alethea Kontis
Best American Fantasy - edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine: 30th Anniversary Anthology - edited by Sheila Williams
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror - Twentieth Annual - edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin Grant
Heroes in Training - edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jim Hines

Nonfiction
Health
The Fibromyalgia Relief Book - Miryam Ehrlich Williamson
Healing Pain - Ann Berger
AfterShock - Jessie Gruman
Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance - Atul Gawande

Science
The Demon Under the Microscope - Thomas Hager
Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment - Gregory Berns
The Best American Science Writing 2006 - edited by Atul Gawande
Every Contact Leaves a Trace - Connie Fletcher
Why Pandas Do Handstands - Augustus Brown
Atom : journey across the subatomic cosmos - Isaac Asimov
Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy - Dan Hooper
Galileo's gout : science in an age of endarkenment - Gerald Weissmann
From Clockwork to Crapshoot: A History of Physics - Roger G. Newton
Death's Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab The Body Farm, Where the Dead Do Tell Tales - Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson
Spook - Mary Roach

Food
The Nasty Bits - Anthony Bourdain
Sweets: a history of candy - Tim Richardson


Biography/Autobiography
Guarding the Moon- Francesca Lia Block
Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be - Jen Trynin
Don't Leave Me This Way - Julia Fox Garrison
Marie Antoinette: The Journey - Antonia Fraser
Epileptic - David B.
Petal Pusher: A Rock and Roll Cinderella Story - Laurie Lindeen
Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time - Rob Sheffield
Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, from Cocaine to Foie Gras - Jeff Henderson


Raising a Teenager
Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both - Laura Sessions Stepp
Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes - Sharon Lamb & Lyn Mikel Brown
Generation Myspace: Helping your teen survive online adolescence - Candice M. Kelsey
Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight: What to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulating world - Sharon Heller

Random
Consider the Lobster - David Foster Wallace
You Can Get Arrested for That: 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree - Rich Smith
Words Words Words - David Crystal
Fugitives and Refugees - Chuck Palahniuk
PostSecret/MySecret - edited by Frank Warren
Yentl's Revenge - edited by Danya Ruttenberg
Gaining: the truth about life after eating disorders - Aimee Liu
A Perfect Mess - Eric Abrahamson
Smart Guide to Starting a Small Business - Lisa Rogak
The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business - Caitlin Friedman & Kimberly Yorio
The Anti 9 to 5 Guide - Michelle Goodman
Crazybusy - Edward Hallowell
Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder - David Weinberger
The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock - Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
Blink - Malcolm Gladwell




The Worst Books of 2007
Shadowed by Wings - Janine Cross
Forged by Fire - Janine Cross
Yes, I read the Venom Cock books. To see how bad they really were. Answer? They're really, really bad.
Daughter of Hounds - Caitlin R. Kiernan
From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain - Minister Faust
Gradisil - Adam Roberts
Outrageous Fortune - Tim Scott (I kept waiting for this to stop ripping off Good Omens and get funny. It never did.)
Divergence - Tony Ballantyne (I want those two hours of my life back.)
Mister B. Gone - Clive Barker (It pains me to put Clive here. It truly does. But this was just a stupid, pointless book. He probably wrote it in half an hour. Stoned. Or really tired.)
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