I am still suffering some severe Hobbit-fever.
Of course January usually begins with Tolkien for me, and I’ve finished my yearly read of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. This year for the first time I’ve gone straight into further reading, and a few days ago I finished reading The Silmarillion for the first time in many, many years (and seemingly no less difficult than the first time I read it). Last year I painstakingly collected the massive 12-part-plus-index History of Middle Earth, plus the two-part History of the Hobbit to add to my collection. After checking out an article from the Tolkien Library on Recommended Reading Order I’ve decided to continue on with Unfinished Tales and The Book of Lost Tales part One and Two for this month.
The book I am most looking forward to this year is The Fall of Arthur, with my favourite author of all time telling one of my favourite mythologies.
Christopher Tolkien is releasing another previously unpublished work this year in May. The Fall of Arthur is based on King Arthur’s last days, and will also include three essays by Christopher, one being a look at the links between the story of King Arthur and Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
I will undoubtedly want to read more on Arthut after I am finished. I have already read quite a few mythology books on Arthur so I’d like to re-read some old and try some new fiction. For now I’ve ordered the Merlin books by Mary Stewart, which Craig recommended for my historical fiction reading. Other titles will probably be in the children’s fiction genre.
(and just when I think I am safe from more Voyager Collector Editions)
Several of these new cloth-bound editions are now on my list.
T.H White’s Once and Future King and Book of Merlyn is high on my list for children’s books this year. I am determined to get a lot more children’s books read this year, especially ones I haven’t read before. I have a set of Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth and Legend of King Arthur books, Fay Sampson’s Finglass books and Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising Sequence to get through first. Next on the list is The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, some Edith Nesbit, Philippa Pearce and more Nicholas Stuart Gray, my favourite new find last year.
Being a speculative fiction fan is a life-long quest. If I ever think I have managed to make a small dent in my reading then I just discover another twelve epic series I need to catch up on.
On the fantasy/science fiction front (and it is looking to be a fantasy-themed reading year) I’ve got some Orson Scott Card, Rowena Cory Daniells, Sheri S. Tepper, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett and Richard K. Morgan on the pile. I’ve not got a lot of YA titles on my list, just some Garth Nix and I have a copy of The Hunger Games here, which I have been eyeing with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity.
Authors I am terribly behind on still include Raymond E. Feist (ten books!), who is releasing the last book on Midkemia this year, and Robert Jordan.
I’m actually slightly envious of everyone who is finally reading the last book in The Wheel of Time saga, I started reading them about 10 years ago and still have four to catch up on.
George R.R Martin has released a sample chapter, from The Winds of Winter, the next book in a Song of Ice and Fire. You can read it here. I am of course, holding off until the book is released, and refusing to get excited until Dymocks actually emails me to tell me I can pre-order the book.