Updated Reading List, and Some Other Things

Hey everyone, sorry for disappearing! I was really sick the last three weeks or so and am finally almost better. Today’s post is going to be an overview of my updated reading list for 2015. I used to aim to read 100+ books per year, but over the last while I’ve gotten increasingly more busy and have less time to read. In 2014, I read a grand total of 15 books! That’s actually pretty embarrassing since I have taken on reading as a form of pleasurable study and was supposed to be working in a lot of reading to improve my writing and my knowledge of Fantasy, as well as other genres.

This year my goal is 50 books, though my list is 51 books. I’m going to copy my list from my reading page to show you guys what I hope to read this year and share some thoughts on a few of the books I’ve chosen.

In addition, I’ll be writing brief posts about the books that I read as I finish them. You won’t need to worry about spoilers if you haven’t read them– I won’t share any. 🙂

1. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (b0)

2. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien (b1)

3. The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien (b2)

4. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien (b3)

Pretty much everyone has heard of J.R.R. Tolkien’s acclaimed Lord of the Rings series, and this is especially true amongst fantasy readers and writers. In my case, I’ve never really had much of an interest in reading it until recently– now hold on, before you grab your pitchforks, let me explain. The Lord of the Rings movies came out between 2001 and 2003, during which I wouldn’t have been older than eight years old. I watched the movies with my mom and sister when they came out, and though I loved them, I hadn’t quite accumulated an interest in reading and writing. Fast forward to 2014, I watched all three of the new Hobbit movies and decided that it might be time to read the books written by the so-called “father of fantasy”.

It’s strange to think about, but I’ve actually been warned against reading the books because they don’t at all reflect my style. I’ve been told that they’re too long, and the writing is boring. But oh well. I think I’d rather read the books to say that I’ve read them and get my own opinion on them.

5. Altered Perceptions – Various authors

I’ve talked about this book several times on my blog, and I intend to get around to reading it this year. It’s an anthology that was funded on indiegogo to help a fantasy author struggling with mental illness, as well as to raise awareness for mental illnesses. You can read my posts on it here and here.

6. The Maze Runner – James Dashner (b1)

7. The Scorch Trials – James Dashner (b2)

8. The Death Cure – James Dashner (b3)

9. The Kill Order – James Dashner (b3.1)

I actually hadn’t heard about this series until after the first movie came out of theaters. I ended up watching it, enjoying it (even though it was filled with annoying YA cliches) and bought the books to read shortly after.

10. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

I started reading this book in September of 2014 and have only read about half of it. The book isn’t obscenely long, though longer than most, at about 1000 pages of very small text. It’s not bad, definitely not bad, and I like the story… it’s just, well… I’ll explain it when I finish it and get around to writing a post on it.

11. Empress – Karen Miller (b1)

12. The Riven Kingdom – Karen Miller (b2)

13. Hammer of God – Karen Miller (b3)

I have two series by Karen Miller on my to-read list this year. Actually, they were on my to-read list last year, too, but I never got around to it. Karen Miller is one of the few female fantasy authors that I know of, and respect. It’s kind of strange to actually admit, because I haven’t read any of her books yet. But I’ve heard a lot about them from my boyfriend, who loves her books and has told me a million times to get reading them. They definitely sound like something I enjoy.

So, you might be wondering… why do I admire her if I haven’t even read her books? Well, as an aspiring female fantasy author, I’ve heard a lot about how it’s hard to get over the prejudice that female names are given in the publishing world. Because most fantasy is written by men, there seems to be a huge misconception that if the book is written by a female author, it’s full of romance and doesn’t hold true to a lot of loved fantasy aspects (such as blood and gore and death), which isn’t at all true. It makes me really happy that Karen has written these books under a female name (whether or not that’s her real name, I don’t know, but I assume it is) while also having lots of blood and death in her work. I really look forward to reading them.

15. The Crown Tower – Michael J. Sullivan (b1)

16. The Rose and Thorn – Michael J. Sullivan (b2)

17. Hollow World – Michael J. Sullivan

I bought the first two books last year, had them signed, even! and never got around to reading them. I loved Michael’s original series and recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy. I don’t have Hollow World yet, but I’ve heard that it’s very controversial and plan on reading it to see what that’s about and so I can say I’ve read all his books. 🙂

30. Alanna: First Adventure – Tamora Pierce (b1)

31. In the Hand of the Goddess – Tamora Pierce (b2)

32. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man – Tamora Pierce (b3)

33. Lioness Rampant – Tamora Pierce (b4)

I’ve heard a lot about Tamora Pierce from my boyfriend as well. Apparently he read them all when he was younger and was surprised to learn that I hadn’t heard of her before. All her books are children’s/ young adult, but I listened to the first one of this series as an audio book this January and find that the simpler language is really good for when I’m only half paying attention. The stories are good so far, too!

40. A Natural History of Dragons – Marie Brennan

I picked this book up in December when I was shopping around. I didn’t actually need any new books (the world knows I have enough unread ones already) but I really liked the idea behind it and couldn’t stop myself from buying it. As far as I understand, it’s a fictitious memoir of someone’s interactions and knowledge about dragons. I really think this will provide some useful information, since the series I’m working on has a lot to do with dragons.

There are lots of books I didn’t comment on, but you can find the list of them on my reading page. More comments like this will be available once I get around to reading them and writing posts about them!

~Erynn

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