Here are my "best of the best" reads for 2020:
- Network Effect, by Martha Wells (book 5 in the Murderbot Diaries series). Murderbot is always number 1 in my heart. This one brought back another favorite character, ART (short for Asshole Research Transport). Waiting (Im)patiently for the next book in the series, due out early in 2021, "Fugitive Telemetry."
- Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way, by Ursula K. LeGuin. I am happy I found this little book of Taoist meditations by my favorite science fiction author. I am not finished reading it, and I plan on continuing to read it from time to time even after I finish it, which is what you ought to do with a good meditation book.
- Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Series, by Michael Dante DiMartino. I recently saw the series as soon as it came to Netflix and wanted more. I wanted more confirmation of a gay approval than an American cartoon in 2014 could give me. Korra and Asami walking into the spirit portal hand in hand confirmed they had feels for one another, for me, but it was nice to get their relationship confirmed for real for real. I wanted to experience what Nickelodeon could not give me, except in vague clues (first "I love you" confessions and first kisses)...and this series did not disappoint. No spoilers but haters can go taking a flying run under a pooping platypus bear. It's official. Korrasami is F**king Canon! I am debating reading the last series in LoK in 2021, "The Ruins of the Empire."
- Noragami, volumes 10 and 11, by Adachitoka. I can't wait to get to a library again and take this series back up. Seriously, f**k Covid. More adventures with our favorite "Stray God," Yato and his vessel weapon Yukine, and follower (the half-phantom, half-human girl Hiyori). One of my favorite mangas.
- Fool's Assassin, Fool's Quest, and Assassin's Fate: the Fitz & the Fool trilogy, by Robin Hobb. Hobb's last trilogy featuring royal bastard Fitz and his Fool, the Beloved. A fitting and appropriate end to all of her Six Duchies novels featuring Fitz and his White Prophet. I cried so hard at the end of the last book. If you haven't read these, start with The Farseer Trilogy.
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. Book 1 of the Wayfarer series. Cool characters for weird stuff to happen to, but they get through it. Not unscathed, though. Nice takes on alien/human relations (a lesbian couple of a human and reptilian woman emerges) and different takes on AI/human relationships as well. Great read.
- Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson. One of the weirdest, entertaining books I've ever read. Mutant earthlings from the future time travel to ancient Mesopotamia. What could go wrong? Uh...everything. If I have anything bad to say about this book as that it ended too soon and felt "unfinished." I was left wanting more. But it was a good want.
- Fierce Fairytales, by Nikita Gill. Goddess what a wonderful, empowering little collection of modernized feminist poems, micro-fiction, and flash retellings of the old conventional fairy tales.
- A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers. Book 2 of her Wayfarer Series. But don't expect a madcap adventure with all of the characters of the first book. The second book only follows two of the characters from the opening book, Pepper and Lovie (Lovelace). I like this book but confess I was a little disappointed that the original crew of the Wayfarer was not in this one. I'm set to read the third book in 2021.
I wish you fantastic reading in 2021.