Things I read and liked in 2015

Holidays are when I catch up on my pleasure reading. I have a big stack of things to read over the next two weeks (and can’t wait to do so). But here are a few of the books I read and enjoyed earlier this year, in no particular order.

Warning: this list is almost certainly incomplete. I should probably start doing periodic lists of stuff I’ve recently enjoyed, if only to keep track of what I’ve been reading for myself….

  • Tales from Rugosa Coven, by Sarah Avery – This book consists of three connected novellas about a group of early 21st century Wiccans in New Jersey, and it is awesome.
  • Last Song Before Night, by Ilana C. Meyer – This is the kind of fantasy that normally would be a little “high” for me, but the world and music sucked me right in.
  • Uprooted, by Naomi Novik – I read this in Warsaw, appropriately enough; it’s got a gorgeous Polish-inspired setting.
  • Serpentine, by Cindy Pon – a beautiful Chinese-inspired tale with female friendship at its core.
  • The Snow Globe, by Jenna Nelson – a young woman from an alternate Victorian London finds herself in a snow globe. Fun fantasy (and dare I say, perfect for the holidays?)
  • The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (see also the Q&A with Scott, here) – I wrote about this when I first read it back in July, so here I’ll just say I’m a sucker for evil librarian stories.
  • Our Lady of the Ice, by Cassandra Rose Clarke – recently finished this one too. A PI takes on a gangster in an alternate-history Antarctic enclosed world.
  • Trouble is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromly – Veronica Mars-style caper in the oh-so-aptly named town of River Heights, NY. The whole book is full of nods to those of us who grew up on teenage sleuths – and it is super-fun to boot!
  • Blue Birds, by Caroline Starr Rose – Novel in verse about the Lost Colony. Rose was prescient, it turns out, given recent archaeological news about the Lost Colony
  • A Daughter of No Nation, by A.M. Dellamonica – I loved Child of a Hidden Sea; this is a sequel, and though normally I am not a big fan of sequels I loved this book as much as the first.

Q&A with Scott Hawkins, author of The Library at Mount Char

Last week I posted about reading (and enjoying) The Library at Mount Char. Author Scott Hawkins was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, providing (among other things) some thoughts on fantasy libraries, a recipe I can’t wait to try, and advice for librarians engaged in power struggles at work. Thanks for the great answers, Scott!


TheLibraryatMountCharI’ve seen The Library at Mount Char described as urban fantasy, as horror, and as speculative fiction. How do you think of it, and why?

I think of it as fantasy, but ‘speculative fiction’ works too.  I was a little surprised to see that some people think of it as ‘horror.’  I mean, that’s fine, think of it however you want, I just wasn’t expecting it.  I knew that there were horror elements, of course, but I miscalculated the degree to which some people found them disturbing.  I thought I had the horror dial turned up to maybe 5 or 6 out of 10, but based on the reactions it seems like it was more a 7 or 8.

Continue reading “Q&A with Scott Hawkins, author of The Library at Mount Char”