Welcome to Smugglivus 2010: Day 24
Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors, bloggers and publishers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2010, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2011.
Who: KMont of the ineffable Lurv a la Mode. KMont is not only an excellent blogger and reviewer of all things paranormal, urban fantastical, speculative fictional, and romantic – she also is one talented designer (seriously, she’s designed ALL of our awesome event posters including the one for Smugglivus 2010), a cool lady, and a good friend. Seriously, y’all, KMont rocks.
Give it up, ladies and gents, for the lovely KMont!
A Year of Blogging Loosely
Helloooo, Blogosphere! It’s great to be back here for another year of Smugglivus! Thea and Ana are two amazing, wonderful bloggers. I can’t count how many books they’ve inspired me to read or at least add to my TBR pile. Ahem – ladies, that means I get to blame you, a lot, for my HUGE. TBR. PILE. Hey, gotta lay the blame somewhere, right? I mean, it’s not at all due to lack of self control or anything.
Oh, 2010…oh, you poor, poor year. Personally, this actually wasn’t a stellar reading year, and time only seems to get shorter, so it’s been my least blogged year yet as well. I’m one of those readers who’s sometimes affected by outside influences, and if I’m stressed about my daughter’s schooling or my job, I find it hard to just sit down and enjoy a book. This wasn’t always the case; rather it’s a fairly recent trend with me. My reading is very much an escape, always has been. It’s never been more so than now. I think it’s safe to say that, with less and less time to blog this year, I’m looking for some genuine inspiration from books to really help get me excited about discussing them online. When I spend my money and/or time on a book, I want to feel it’s one that’s worth the investment.
That’s why I care very much about all aspects of a book. I want it all. I want the stellar character development, worldbuilding, writing – every single aspect of the book, I want them to grab me. Nothing pulls me out of a story quicker these days than details that feel unnecessary, underdeveloped or negligently administered to. Honestly, I think 2010 may clock in at the most eye rolls for me while reading, maybe even the most wallbangers. My eyes are a?hurtin’ and so are my walls. It’s pretty rare that I’ll let an irritating or vexing detail pass without pointing it out and it always figures into how I feel a book has performed overall.
But that only makes the good reads, when they coyly sashay their way in, all the better. Books like these three that hit my Best Of list:
Hello, Number 1 Read of the Year! We’ve got an enthralling alternate history, folklore, mythology, stellar characters and a plot that knows no bounds yet knows how to stay on track as well, tying up some questions while leaving room for more. It’s got magic, a touch of science, new creatures, old creatures – it’s a bazaar of fantasy delight. Don’t you love it when a book draws you in so deeply that you forget what time it is? And in that time, you’ve sighed in bliss over and over? Yes? I mean, don’t miss your train or anything! But rather I mean it’s helped you pass the time in a way that felt full of joy or other strong emotions we like to have when reading. If you’ve read a book like that this year, go hug the damn thing and maybe write a review or email the author or something. Then go hug it again. These are our most rare reads. Treasure them.
The Iron Duke
Yeah, you’ve heard it hyped before, and you’re hearing it again, so sit down! In a year where I pretty much almost maybe for certain sometimes took a break from reading romance…this book whacked me upside the head and made me fall in love with the romance genre all over again and made me swoon and sigh and cry and laugh. Did you get that? Read that run?on sentence again. I. Loved. This. Book. This is the one, authors of steampunk romance, to beat. I’ve placed it on a pedestal, now get to climbing. I’d love to see more steampunk romance in 2011, and we already know
we’re getting more from Brook with her Iron Seas series. Gears and grime never read so good.
Black Magic Sanction
I continue to feverishly, slavishly adore this series. Every year, come February or so, I know I’m in for a fun urban fantasy adventure. While that sounds like a description for a rollercoaster at a theme park, I can assure you – it’s TRUE. It’s fast-paced, exciting and not once does each book fail to leave me at least a little breathless and anticipating the next plunge into Rachel’s hectic, demon-riddled life. As soon as I finish the latest book, I’m ready, immediately, for the next. The series will be ending soon (only two or three books left, really), and I’ll cry like the fangirl baby I am, wallow in self pity, erect a memorial in it’s honor, you know, little stuff, but it’s been an awesome ride so far, and it’s only gotten better for this reader.
That’s my 2010 reading year in a very teeny tiny nutshell. Yes, I know that was short, but if I keep going it might derail into crying about all the books I didn’t get a chance to read, which would be boring and useless. Because there were a lot of them. Lots of wonderful?looking books that…look wonderful. And there’s more coming! Did you know they keep publishing books even though we’re not caught up with all the others yet? Have mercy, people!
Since you publishing people just will not stop, go ahead and give me the following titles and nobody gets hurt:
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Since I loved the first one so much, I alone deserve book two (set to release March 1, 2011), in all it’s pre?released glory. Leave it in the Alter of Lurv drop box, kthx! I’ll, uh, need the extra lead time to get it read at the same time as everyone else who gets it at regular release time.
Also, please throw in Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh, cuz I’m reading Archangel’s
Consort now and there’s a really cruelly short excerpt of Kiss of Snow in the back and it’s just not fair to tease people like that (And it’s not as if the author hasn’t already been teasing us for years now! POUT.) and don’t you publishing people know what this does to us?
In conclusion, I leave you all with my probably very unsurprising goal for 2011: Read MOAR books. Err, MOAR GOOD books. Amen. Genuflect. Swig ‘o magical good book reading elixir. Gryffindor flag. Steampunk zombie death smog. All that good stuff.
And Happy Holidays, everyone!
Happy Holidays to you too, KMont!