Check out Kate's list too and I hope we'll have more join us soon.
Top 10 Books to Read in the Next 12 Months:
1. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
I really enjoyed the first 2 Cormoran Strike novels and I can't wait for the 3rd. I don't know that I would have been able to guess that JK Rowling wrote these as well, but they definitely seem well-written and the narrator Robert Glenister does an excellent job on the voices of Cormoran and his partner Robin.
The first book (The Cuckoo's Calling) introduces you to Robin as a temp that has always dreamed of working in a private detective office. Cormoran Strike isn't exactly what she'd like in a boss since he's low on cash and doesn't really deserve her, but she's loving every minute of her job.
The preview on Wikipedia states "After Cormoran Strike's assistant, Robin Ellacott, receives a package containing a woman's leg, Strike investigates four suspects from his own past."
2. Mistborn: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
This is the second book in the second generation of Mistborn books. You don't have to have read the original trilogy to enjoy the first book, The Alloy of Law, but it doesn't hurt. Brandon Sanderson always adds some humour to his drama and these books are no exception.
This generation of Mistborn stars Wax and Wayne. Wax, Waxillium, is a nobleman who left behind his family to live in a difficult part of the world called The Roughs. There was no law, but he became a lawman. He was joined by Wayne, an ex-criminal who now "trades" for what he needs instead of stealing.
The upcoming book has the Prologue and first 2 chapters available at tor.com. I would recommend reading The Alloy of Law before reading this second book. I think giving any description would somewhat give away the end of the first book, so I'll have to leave that up to you to investigate.
If you enjoy adventure and mystery and humour, this series is for you. There's even a hint of starcrossed lovers in the first book.
3. The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch
This is the 4th book in the Gentleman Bastard series. I would highly recommend reading the other books, especially now that Scott Lynch appears to be doing better with his depression and anxiety and is writing again. He also has a very readable writing style that mixes humour and drama and action and love altogether. I have both read and listened to the other books in the series more than once and have enjoyed every time.
I don't have a plot summary for this one, but the main character, Locke Lamora, was once known as the Thorn of Camorr in the first book, Lies of Locke Lamora. I would guess this one will feature another long con like the first book.
The series is based in a kind of 18th century time and there are multiple lands in the world it inhabits. The first book took place in a Venice-like land and there was a definite old Italian feel to it. Each locale has different features and I'm looking forward to seeing what new world Locke and his companion Jean have found now. They're basically thieves and specialize in running long cons on the rich for high rewards. They don't always succeed however, or not how they mean to.
For a sample of Scott Lynch's writing, head to Uncanny Magazine here.
4. Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
Allie Brosh is the genius behind Hyperbole and a Half. She's been plotting her second book for a while and I can't wait to read it. You can read a lot of the material from her first book in her blog, but she added other material as well in the book itself. Any time I'm feeling a little down I read some of it and begin to feel that really, things aren't as bad as they seem, because for example, I didn't try and eat salt and then cancel the salt out by eating pepper by the tablespoonful.
She has new stories planned out for this second book and I'm really looking forward to it. I enjoy her drawing style too, it seems primitive, but she can capture emotions the way few artists can. She can even capture emotion in her comic adaptations of her dogs, and that's difficult for any artist.
5. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
I will admit to being of 2 minds about this book. I used to love reading Stephen King, even though sometimes he scared the crap out of me in his books. Since I had DD I've had trouble reading books that have graphic violence or the kind of torture or death that lingers with you after you're done reading. DH assures me Mr. Mercedes is a great book, one of the best King has written in a while, but the fact that the main character is an unrepentant murderer makes me unable to read it.
This is a collection of short stories. I've read all the other collections and enjoyed them, even when they scare me. Some of them stay with you, and it sounds like there are a few of those in this collection. I'm looking forward to this one coming out and as Neil Gaiman says, "Are fictions safe places? And then I ask myself, Should they be safe places?’"
6. The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King
This is the 14th book in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. You don't have to read all the other books to get to this one, but I would recommend reading them at some point. In the first book, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Mary Russell meets Sherlock Holmes when she is only 15 years old when he's retired to the Sussex Downs. She is a fantastic, lively character and a good match for Holmes.
Every book contains a great adventure and quite a few of them are set in exotic locales, San Francisco in the 20s, Morocco and Japan to name a few. It sounds as if this latest book will take place in London, Sussex, and Oxford like many of my favourites of the series.
The title of this one is certainly intriguing and you have to wonder if King is intending to end the series or pull a Conan Doyle and have a mysterious end like Sherlock Holmes and the Reichenbach Falls.
I would like this series to continue forever, but I'm also happy re-reading them over and over. If you enjoy well-written female protagonists and a good mystery, this series is a great choice.
I loved reading these and having them read to me as a child. I also just found this collection for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle which seems ridiculously cheap to me. I have all the trade paperback fairy books and was planning on reading those to DD, but now it will be easier on the Kindle.
I believe the Einstein quote about fairy tales is true, how he responded when asked how to help a child grow up to be a scientist. "Fairy tales" and "creative imagination is the essential element in the intellectual equipment of the true scientist, and that fairy tales are the childhood stimulus to this quality."
Let's hope it's true.
8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
I've been reading DD the Harry Potter series and we're almost done with The Order of the Phoenix and I'm looking forward to the Half-Blood Prince. For whatever reason I feel as if I know this book the least and I'd like to really get into it again. I think I've read or listened to all the others numerous times, but this one only a couple times, and not for years.
I don't know that it needs much introduction, and as I'm finishing the Order of the Phoenix I agree with some people's assessment that the last 3 books seem to be almost a larger book split into 3 instead of individual stories as with the previous 4 books.
9. Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London novel by Ben Aaronovitch
I recently happened upon these novels when I was searching Audible for a new book. I've never been happier with a series. The author writes very well and has a really great sense of humour. He seems to add a bit of a twinkle to everything he writes and I've occasionally laughed out loud while listening.
This is the 5th in the series and I do recommend at least reading the previous book before this one. There was a significant event that will likely come up immediately and it will give away the 4th book if you read this one first.
Police Constable Peter Grant discovered a strange ability in the first book, Midnight Riot. He can do magic. He was transferred to a special squad within the Metropolitan Police and gets to live in a decent house instead of the regular police barracks. He also has to practice magic and learn from his mentor, a surprisingly young 100+ year old.
Each book has also introduced us to the river spirits who have a different kind of magic. PC Grant doesn't necessarily get along with all of the Rivers, but does respect all of them.
I enjoy hearing about different aspects of London since I've never been there, and I really enjoy Aaronovitch's writing style. He also used to write Doctor Who, so how can you go wrong?
10. Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
I know, I know, 2 books by the same author in the list? But Brandon Sanderson writes so prolifically and I enjoy everything he writes!
This is the final book in a young adult series, The Reckoners. It's written in a style that adults can enjoy as well and again, there's a good dose of humour in with the post-apocalyptic America life. Basically it's the story of how regular people are trying to fight the superheroes, Epics, that have tyrannically oppressed Americans since they came to power years ago.
I'm going to use the description from Brandon Sanderson.com: "When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy."
I hope you enjoyed the list and can add a few books to your to-be-read lists!