1. The Waking Land, Callie Bates (audio) - I listened to 3/4 of it and didn't finish. While it sounded like just my type of book, I was struck by a. how much I wanted to slap our protagonist throughout the entire first half of the novel for being an idiot; b. the flat, flat characters; and c. the heavily borrowed - and not in a good or inovated way - mythology. Oh, and did I mention love stories that made no sense whatsoever? No. Just no. The fact that this was only the first book of a trilogy doesn't bode well...
2. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, Theodora Goss - Now this is more like it! Goss tapped into all of my favorite classic horror novels in the best way possible, borrowing characters from classic works but truly inovating in her plot and character development. This is how you add to the cannon! I love, love, love the fact that Goss asked herself why all of the female 'monsters' were disposed of in the classics and then came up with a brilliant story about them. I sincerely hope she writes more about them!
3. The Queen of the Night, Alexander Chee - This was one of my holiday splurge books, and it just seemed like the time to read it. It's an amazing, delicious historical novel, full of larger than life characters and more drama than one life could possibly hold. So much fun! And a perfect end that didn't cheat around the actual plot.
4. The Lady Astronaut of Mars, Mary Robinette Kowal (short story) - It's a love story, a beautiful love story that addresses aging and loss. It may be my favorite work from Kowal. Sweet...gorgeous...satisfying.
5. For the Love, Jen Hatmaker (audio) - Hatmaker has been on my radar for a while as part of the group of Christian women writers who are taking the world head-on. While there wasn't anything new in here, there were some messages I needed to hear right now. I was charmed by Hatmaker's style - part loving sermon, part memoir, part comedy, part recipes - even as it occasionally drove me crazy because I wanted more substance at times.
6. Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (audio) - I wanted to like it, but ultimately it bored me. I do like Gay's writing, and perhaps the problem is that I agree with her and didn't need to listen to a book reflect back my own outrage. (which is what was happening) I may try to read it later, but life is short and there are a lot of books out there.
7. The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor Lavelle - I'd bought this novella some time ago on the sale table, but it wasn't until I read Lavelle's brilliant book The Changeling that I felt drawn to actually read it. He's definitly a new favorite of mine, and I can't wait to see what he does next. (even while I'm not really a Lovecraft fan, and this is a Lovecraft homage.)