Welcome to Smugglivus 2012! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2012, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2013.
Who: The Awesome Sherri L Smith, author of the historical Flygirl (one of Ana’s all time favourites) as well as this year’s Orleans, a powerful post-Apocalyptic story that is bound to make Thea’s top 10 reads of the year.
Please give it up for Sherri!
It’s sort of embarrassing to try and remember everything I read and enjoyed this year. This is by no means a complete list, but it’s what came to mind right away. Fair warning– I tore my ACL last year dodging a zombie in an obstacle course at Comic Con, which lead to surgery in January… which meant I spent an inordinate amount of time watching daytime TV in recovery, so forgive the syndicated shows that everybody else saw ten years ago, but here goes:
What I loved in 2013
Phryne Fisher’s Murder Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood
This was year of the 1920s flapper mystery for me. I devoured all 19 Phryne Fisher Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. Set in Australia in the ’20s, it follows a well-to-do royal with a rough, impoverished past as she spends money, breaks hearts and solves crimes in Melbourne. So much fun!
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Amor Towles first novel made me nostalgic for a youth I didn’t have in 1937 Manhattan. Beautifully written, evocative. Apparently I’m on a memory lane kick this year.
Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge
With its combination of palace intrigue and rebellious hijinks, Frances Hardinge’s middle grade novel about a girl and a goose on the run reminded me of Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark series. That’s high praise from me! Smart, fun and wryly written, it’s a beautiful little book.
The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman
Aaaaah! 25 years later, Neil’s revisiting the Endless and I am out of my mind with joy. I love his work, and The Kindly Ones Sandman series brought me back to comics in the early 90’s. I just finished the first issue and marveled at how Gaiman taps into the collective unconscious so easily, so beautifully. Why does it seem so familiar, but somehow only he can open the door?
SPOILER ALERT. Okay, not a brilliant movie, but show me a kaiju-fighting robot with wings and a sword (!) and I’m sold. Shout-out-loud best movie moment I’ve seen in a long time. Reminded me of the old days when the audience would cheer and shout rather than text and talk in the theatre.
Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars
I mention them together, because they formed the weekend block I watched on cable. “Gilmore Girls” is a frothy drink of bittersweet silly fun, and “Veronica Mars” is sharp and witty (I was shocked with the innuendo they got away with!). The cast is brilliant. Both shows were good company while I lay in bed with my leg in passive motion machine. And I became a “marshmallow” just in time to join the record-breaking Veronica Mars Kickstarter fund. I just got my t-shirt!
What I can’t wait for in 2014
The 20th novel in the Phryne Fisher series, of course! Murder and Mendelssohn is already out in Australia, so I’ll have to hop a flight, bribe someone, or wait until May 2014!
Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci. I’ve had a sneak peak at this one. Pitched as Casablanca in Space, it’s about a girl from earth stranded on a space station who has to beg borrow and steal her way off-station to bring the cult leader who lead her family astray to justice. Cecil’s written a lot of different genre’s but Sci Fi is right up her alley. Can’t wait to read the final draft!
The Doctor Who Christmas special, which technically will happen in 2013. Always a must-see for me! Although… well, I have to say, lately the female companions have been very weak. Bring me a Donna or a Rose! It’s disappointing as a female fan to watch the smart ladies become dumb ones who literally stand around doing nothing. Maybe they get to feel an emotion… So, we’ll see if Christmas brings me a strong heroine again!
The next Dresden Files, Skin Game by Jim Butcher. I heart Harry Dresden like mad. This summer I got to meet Jim and I asked him, “In a series where the end-of-the-world is threatened in each book, how do you continue to up the ante?” He said the secret was lots of planning. And I have to say, the stakes are raised every time. It’s not over yet, but I can’t wait to see how he will ultimately bring it to a universe-shattering conclusion!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hey, I’m a comic book girl and I like my Chris Evans. Ditto on Guardians of the Galaxy. I like Groot.
The second issue of Gaiman’s The Sandman Overture. It’s been delayed until February!
I just got excited for 2014. Thank you, Ana and Thea. Happy Smugglivus everyone!
And now for the giveaway:
We have one copy of Orleans to giveaway. Use the form below to enter. The contest is open to ALL, ANYWHERE and will run til Saturday 14 12:01 EST. Good luck!
sandyg265December 9, 2013 at 9:13 am
I’m still trying to get through my TBR list for 2013
anmiryamDecember 9, 2013 at 9:40 am
I’m loving my first experience of Smugglivus, though it’s wreaking even more havoc with my TBR list than I care to admit!
Anita YanceyDecember 9, 2013 at 10:05 am
I have heard some good things about this book, and I’d love to read it. I love the cover. Thanks for having the giveaway.
Natasha874December 9, 2013 at 10:50 am
Looks interesting! Can’t wait to read it 😉
LeAnnDecember 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm
I also can’t wait for Tin Star! I got a copy of it through NetGalley that I can’t wait to read through over Xmas break. I have also been wanting to read Orleans, so pick me! 😉
LanDecember 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm
So many good things coming out in 2014
superbwgDecember 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm
I love reading all of these lists, makes my own TBR pile soar sky high 🙂
JustineDecember 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm
+1 Pacific Rim and Doctor Who
BTW, I never know whether to pronounce Orleans like Orleens or Orlins.
Meghan M.December 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm
I would love to read this! So many good things I’m hearing about through Smugglivus!
LaurenDecember 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm
I love the Smugglivus guest posts — it really feels like you’re connecting with the author, and learning more about them. Anytime you share your favorite books, you’re giving a little piece of yourself away, so thank you for sharing!
HebeDecember 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm
What? Doctor Who isn’t happening until the New Year? What will I do with my Christmas Day?
VildeDecember 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm
Looks really interesting!
SarahDecember 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm
I’ve had both those mysteries in my sights for a while — now might be a good time to pick them up!
Yay for Doctor Who and Veronica Mars! (I am slowly making my way through Gilmore Girls.)
LexiDecember 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm
I love the lists this time of year. So much to read and see.
Marie-ClaudeDecember 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm
This book sound very interesting. I can’t wait to get my hand on it and read it !!!!
MalinDecember 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm
More books to add to my ever growing TBR list, I see.
CarlDecember 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm
I’ve been wanting to read Orleans, thanks for the chance to win a copy. BTW, that cover is SICK! Thanks
KailanaDecember 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm
I have Flygirl on my TBR. One day I would like to get to it this year. Finally! This new book sounds good, too, so will have to get that at some point. 🙂 I have never liked The Sandman series and need to get around to them again to see if that has changed. Otherwise I enjoyed all of your favourite reads!
Franny FreyDecember 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm
What?! There is a flapper mystery series?! I. Must. Read. Them. Also, I’ve been wanting to read Smith’s YA novels. Haven’t gotten around to reading Flygirl or Orleans yet. I would love to read Orleans, especially.
Jenna ODecember 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm
I´ve been thinking bout reading the Orleans for a while! I like the cover and the book sounds exciting 🙂
AmandaDecember 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm
Like everyone else mentioning out of control TBR piles, mine keeps growing in (virtual) heaps. Good thing the holidays are coming up and plenty of time to read!
mary anneDecember 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm
I love superhero movies – did not know there was a new Captain America coming….yippee!
erinf1December 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm
congrats to Sherri on the release!! I’ve been reading such awesome reviews for it and it’s on the top of my wishlist 🙂
AllisonDecember 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm
I’ve finished my TBR list for 2013, can’t wait to add a little more to it!
Barbara ElnessDecember 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm
I’ve had this book on my wish list for a while now, I think it’s time I picked it up.
AshfaDecember 10, 2013 at 2:33 am
Love the look of this book, great cover!!
JennaDecember 10, 2013 at 4:54 am
Read Fly by Night by recommendation on this blog and loved it! 🙂
SerenaDecember 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm
Oh no! Just more books to add to my growing TBR pile!
FranceneDecember 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm
Always enjoy the Smugglivous recommendations. Here’s a whole another set to add to my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway.
KatherineDecember 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm
I so agree about the Pacific Rim moment! And happily people did cheer in my theatre.
C. ParrellaDecember 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm
I guess I’ll have add this to my list of books to read!
JamieDecember 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm
I’ve not been a very loyal Doctor Who fan for a while, even though I like Matt Smith. I want a woman Doctor, I think I’d start watching regularly if they got one.
Amanda @ Late Nights with Good BooksDecember 10, 2013 at 9:13 pm
I’ve heard great things about both Smith’s Flygirl and Orleans but haven’t been able to read either yet – soon, hopefully!
Veronica Mars is one of my favorite tv shows ever. I’m waiting for Gilmore Girls to come on Netflix because I’m sure I’ll end up loving that one as well.
I’m unfamiliar with most of the books/shows that Smith listed, so I’ll have to spend some time looking into them (and adding to my TBR pile, I’m sure).
Thanks for the giveaway!
Mary PrestonDecember 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm
Lots to watch & read – I’m happy.
Sherri L. SmithDecember 10, 2013 at 11:43 pm
Justine – For the record, I call the city “Noo Or-linz” and the book “Or-leenz.” Those aren’t proper phonetics, but maybe that will help.
Happy Smugglivus, everyone!!!
JenniferDecember 11, 2013 at 3:04 am
I should make a true TBR with different priorities and genres/lengths (especially since I know there are lengthy books I will enjoy but that I still like some fun YA or children book and some more serious YA or children can also be amazing.)
Chenise JonesDecember 11, 2013 at 9:01 am
I’ve taken Rules of Civility out of the library a couple times but I’ve never gotten around to reading it. Not sure why, but maybe this is the push I need to finally start it!
RuthDecember 11, 2013 at 9:41 am
Our school had Sherri Smith for an author visit and the students, who absolutely loved it. We want a sequel to ORLEANS!!!
EvieDecember 12, 2013 at 8:30 am
I’ve been meaning to read this book.
EmmaDecember 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm
I love so many things from Sherri Smith’s list that now I really want to read her books!