There are many wonderful things about summer, but since I’m a student the best – by far – is the freedom to read whatever I want. No more political tracts by Lenin, no primary documents from 18th century Quebec, and no books detailing the courtship culture of Winnipeg Beach (don’t ask). To celebrate this reading freedom, I’ve made visits to all my favourite bookstores to pick up some decidedly UN-academic SFF goodies.

Haul 1At the best used bookstore in town I picked up the first two books in Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle series, The Warded Man and The Desert Spear. A co-worker recommended them to me, so we’ll see. They seem to be pretty popular.

I also saw this duology by Karen Miller, The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage. I haven’t heard much about them but couldn’t resist because 1) it’s a duology 2) high fantasy written by a woman and c) LOOK AT THSOE CLOAK-Y COVERS. I’m so weak when it comes to those damn billowing cloaks. Look how cool they are side by side!

I snagged these beauties used as well:

Haul 2

Consider Phlebas by SF powerhouse Iain M. Banks. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read a book by him! I’ve been dipping my toe into science fiction lately, and I’ve found that space operas are a personal favourite, so this seemed like a natural choice.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. A re-interpretation of Snow White set in the US during the 1950s, this one explores issues of race and beauty. Seems like it could be magical realism, which I’ve always liked.

God’s War by Kameron Hurley. I actually featured an upcoming release from Hurley in my latest Waiting on Wednesday post and Nathan from Fantasy Review Barn said that her other books were must-reads. Imagine my pleased surprise to find this beauty in pristine condition for $3.99. Bring on the bio-punk, baby.

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. This is a super dark UF series featuring a broken heroine whose hypochondria threatens to ruin both her career as a nurse and her life. And that’s before any of the weird shit starts to happen. I love my UF, and I love it dark. Looking forward to this one big time.

Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines. If I understand correctly, the plot of this series revolves around a group of people who are an awful lot like magical librarians…how has it taken me so long to stumble across this one?! I work in a library and hope to go to grad school to become a librarian. This book had me grinning like a fool in the middle of the cramped genre fiction aisle.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. Confession time: I haven’t read anything by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve owned Mistborn for a while but haven’t really made it a priority. Maybe this summer I’ll finally take the plunge.

Haul 3

These last two I bought new at this great little store in Toronto called Bakka Phoenix Books. If you’re ever in the city you should definitely check it out – it’s the oldest SFF bookstore in Canada, and their location is right in the heart of the city. Plus you’ve gotta love that Dune reference in the name.

 Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. Do I even need to explain this one? I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series, and it sounds like a wholly original UF concept, which I didn’t even think was possible. I’m also digging the black woman on the cover. No white-washing here!

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler. I had been giving this one the side-eye for a while, lusting after it’s hardcover glory. One of my favourite tropes is “girl pretends to be a boy so she can XYZ” and it looks like this one has that in spades. Django “Unchained” Wexler – the D is silent.

Between these and any review copies that come my way, something tells me that I’ll be a very busy reader and reviewer.