..."You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to" (Tolkien).
I'm typing this from the airport, where I arrived ridiculously early to avoid various delays. As you read this, I am probably in an airplane. (This is a pretty safe bet, given that my total travel time between here and Melbourne is about 30 hours, including layovers.) It's been a stressful few days what with packing and storing my apartment and running around like a headless chicken trying to remember everything I might have forgotten.
But here we are. I've made it through security, and, as of this writing, it looks like everything is going smoothly. (We'll see. The last time I traveled internationally my suitcase was left behind in New York and showed up four days later. I survived only because my sister took pity on me and lent me her clothes.) In any case, it's going to be an Adventure, as only going out your door can be.
In the meantime, let's talk books! One of the things I requested for Christmas was money specifically earmarked for ebooks, as I knew I definitely wasn't going to be able to carry all the books I needed for five months of international living. Now I have spent much monies on said ebooks and am gleefully flipping from one to another, incapable of picking one of my many darlings to start with. So for your edification (and because I can't resist public fawning over Very Exciting Bookstuffs), here are the books I'm packing in no particular order. (Warning: This is a Rather Long List.)
Shadow Scale (Rachel Hartman). I LOVED Seraphina and have been waiting for the sequel for quite some time, so I was thrilled to find an ARC at work. I confess it's been so long that I don't remember all that much about the first book, but I'm excited to dive back into the story!
The Book of Strange New Things (Michel Faber). Honestly I don't care much for Michel Faber's previous work, but there are two things that really drew me to this book. First, Books on the Nightstand picked it as one of their "Two Books We Can't Wait For You To Read" in October. Second, Michel has stated that this book will be his last novel, following the death of his wife Eva last year. I found the NYT article so emotionally compelling that I'm really interested to see what Faber has done with this book.
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2014 (Various Authors). Tor recently released this free ebook bind-up of several stories first published on Tor.com in 2014. I've been trying to read more short stories in preparation for getting back into writing some of my own, so this was perfectly timed for me.
The Inheritance Trilogy (N. K. Jemisin). The individual titles in The Inheritance Trilogy were how I first fell in love with N. K. Jemisin's fantastic fantasy. I've recently felt like re-reading this trilogy, and so when the omnibus edition was released (complete with a new in-universe novella), I splurged. Really looking forward to coming back to this world.
Trade Me (Courtney Milan). There aren't that many authors whose books I will pick up without thinking about it. Courtney is one. I've adored several of her historical romances. This is a venture into contemporary, set at and around UC Berkeley, with an Asian-American protagonist. As an Asian-American Cal alum, I'm so down.
Dust (Elizabeth Bear), Ascension (Jacqueline Koyanagi), & The Etched City (K. J. Bishop). After I DEVOURED Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire and Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice, I went on a HUGE SF/F binge that involved interrogating everyone I know (and several people I don't) about what SF/F they would recommend next. Then I stumbled across Kameron Hurley's blog post on the subject. CANNOT WAIT to check these out.
Thirteenth Child (Patricia C. Wrede). I don't have a great story for this one. It's been on my to-read list for forever and I felt like it, basically. Plus westerns! And magic!
House of Sand and Secrets (Cat Hellisen). Cat Hellisen's When the Sea is Rising Red is a book I LOVE but that no one else seems to have read. I've had my eye on the sequel for many moons now, and basically used international travel as the excuse to finally make the purchase.
Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng). My bookseller colleagues have been RAVING about this book since it came out, and so has everyone else. Celeste herself is a complete delight (I love it when that happens!), as she loves both booksellers and feeding them delicious treats. I was on the fence about buying this one (I have it on hold at the library) but then I basically said TO HECK WITH IT and splurged anyway. Because I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to read it. So there.
WHEW. That's a lot of books. So now you know what I'll be reading for the next few days, at least. What about you? Anything tremendous on your reading horizons?