Reading has largely been a time-capsule sort of thing for me, digging up classics and getting in line behind the thousands and thousands of people who’ve already read them. Putting in my two cents long after the zeitgeist has died away. East of Eden, Brave New World, The Hobbit.
And honestly, this is usually when talking about books is most enjoyable for me. Reading the Dark Tower, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc., series stirs up so many fond memories from my friends that I love hearing about. How they read this or that book in high school, how a parent read it to them before bedtime, how they read it to their own kids before bedtime.
But there’s nothing quite like reading a brand new book. Getting in there before the public at large has had an opportunity to weigh in. This happens very rarely for me–in fact, I can probably think of about three books total (not including self-published books) that I purchased on release day.
Slightly more often, I get to tuck into a book within a year after its release. And it was so shocking last year, when the 2018 Hugo nominations were announced, that I had actually read three of the six novels in the running. It was crazy to have half an opinion about which one might win.
Here are the nominations for 2019:
• The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
• Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager)
• Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
• Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
• Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
• Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
This year, I have thus far read only one: Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente. But I am excited, because I own Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers… I just have to read the book that comes before it before I can dive into that one. That’s two!
And then last night, I splurged and picked up Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse AND The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. On Audible. That’s four!
If I manage to finish these books, I can dig into Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, which I held off on for now because fantasy is really hit or miss with me. And finally, there’s Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee, which I held off on because it’s the third book in a series and I’d have to read two other books just to prepare for it.
But I’ve got four months to get this done, and I think I can do it! It would wonderful to be able to cheer for someone this year.