Christmas vacation is coming up and bringing with it a glorious week filled with family, gifts, and lots of reading. I’ve compiled a winter reading list for the break, which is similar to my traditional summer reading lists except the list is shorter and my reading time runs from mid-December through mid-February.
Like the summer reading lists, the winter one gives me a goal and helps me take some much needed downtime; I could certainly read the books without the list, but I find the structure helpful.
There are two must-read books on my list. The first is Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (Amazon), which is the third book in the Stormlight Archive series. It’s epic fantasy done right, and I’ve been looking forward to it since finishing book 3. I listened two the first two books and I expect to listen to the third as well. The only challenge there is that this is a huge book that clocks in at 55 hrs and 2 mins. As such it’ll be the only audio book on the winter reading list.
The other must-read novel is Artemis by Andy Weir (Amazon), which is his follow up to The Martian. I read The Martian in a frenzy over Christmas break a few years ago and the follow-up — about a heist on the moon — sounds like fun.
Beyond those two books, I’m flexible. There are a few books I’ve wanted to read for a while, as well as others that I found when building my Summer 2017 reading list but didn’t release until the fall:
- Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson (Amazon): A collection of short ficton from Sanderson’s Cosmere, which includes series such as Mistborn and the Stormlight Archive. It includes a novella that Sanderson expressly calls out as being important to (but not required reading for) Oathbound.
- The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Amazon): This novella generated a lot of buzz a few years ago for the retelling of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook”. LaValle turns the original tale of weird (and sadly racist) horror on its head, introducing a black protagonist who must deal with an incursion of cosmic horror. I never read the original story, so I expect I’ll need to read that first before tackling this one.
- The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt (Amazon): A salvage team operating on the edge of Earth’s solar system finds a centuries-old derelict starship that’s returned from the stars with a message: there is alien life and its gifts could destroy humanity.
- Barbary Station (Shieldrunner Pirates Book 1) by R.E. Stearns (Amazon): A book about would-be space pirates caught on a space station where the resident AI is trying to kill everyone. It’s Stearns’ debut novel.
- The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley (Amazon): The novel features a perpetual war among the world-ships known as “the Legion” and two sisters trying to survive it. There’s a danger that this novel will be too similar to Barbary Station in terms of setting (one’s on a space station, the other on generational starships) but that’s a risk I’m happy to take.
- Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, Book 7) by James S.A. Corey (Amazon): This book’s on the list simply to say I won’t be reading it. Although it drops December 7 I’ll be saving it for my Summer 2018 reading list; tradition demands that I read my Expanse novels in the summer.
This list should keep me busy through January and into February, but if you have suggestions I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below or email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.