It’s been a great year of reading. I did not read as much as I’d have liked – I expect by year’s end I’ll number just short of 40 books read this year. Out of those 40 or so books, most have been books I’d happily recommend, but there’s always a desire to single out the year’s best. Below are my top 11 for 2007 – why 11, because I like it better than 10 (top 11 for 2006). These are presented in no particular order and I’ve starred 2007 releases – enjoy!
Neth Space’s Top 11 Reads for 2007
Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett (review). The second adventure of Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep of the Royal Thai Police provides a unique view on so many aspects of western culture from the east. I simply love these stories – I also really enjoyed *Bangkok Haunts (review).
Vellum by Hal Duncan (review). Started in 2006 and finished in 2007, this book is numerically speaking, the highest rated book I’ve read since starting this blog. The language is beautiful in ways that genre books rarely show and story can be powerfully evocative.
*Mainspring by Jay Lake (review). This book debuted with mixed reviews and widely different interpretations – some have seen religious allegory (both positive and negative) and others something else entirely. It is a unique vision of a steampunk earth with God’s creation obvious to all. I include this book because it made me think – possibly more so than any other book I read this year – and that is a powerful thing.
*The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (review). I simply love this first book of The First Law trilogy. It is epic fantasy that does very little that is new or original – but, it’s all about the execution. Abercrombie laughs at maps and detailed world building while putting all his emphasis on the characters – and they are great characters. It’s written with more wit than most writers use in their entire career.
*The Metatemporal Detective by Michael Moorcock (review). These are the collected stories of Moorcock’s detective Seaton Bregg and his nemesis through the multiverse, Count Zenith. It’s an homage to pulp mysteries of the past, often presented with biting satire, and full of fun for those who have been following Moorcock’s multiverse (and perfectly safe for those who, like me, haven’t). Moorcock is a master writer that any lover of books should read.
*The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (review). This book debuted to huge amounts of buzz and tremendous support from its publisher – it deserves every bit of it in my opinion. It’s a wonderfully told story that engages the reader in a way that few books do.
*Feast of Souls by C.S. (Celia) Friedman (review). Another first book of a new trilogy (three of these recommendations are), and another great introduction. Friedman has been at this for a while and delivers a wonderful set-up with an intriguing magic system and a gritty take on gender relations (yes, I used the word gritty – just not where you typically see it these days).
*New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear (review). A wonderfully told mosaic novel set in an Elizabethan, steampunk world. Framed with Sherlockian mysteries, New Amsterdam is a character study of two courtesans and their master, an immortal and two mortals, two men and woman, two respected investigators and a youth – it all depends on the point of view.
*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (review). A completed series is a wonderful thing – and this is probably the most anticipated series completion in human history. I was amazed to Rowling deal with this unprecedented level of pressure and deliver what I consider to be a great conclusion to her landmark a series.
*The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (review). Polish master fantasist Sapkowski delivers a powerful mosaic introducing his protagonist of the Witcher Saga. Image fairy tales retold from the distinctive point of view of the Slavic world – you’re only part of the way there.
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock (review). This World Fantasy Award-winning novel has justifiably become a classic of fantasy literature. Evoking a deep, primal reaction from within the reader, I cannot recommend this book enough.
* Released in 2007