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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

Currently reading

The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

2017 Year in Review: Pre-Order Outcomes

When I made my pre-order posts last spring, I though it would be fun to come back at the end of the year and see what I thought of those titles I'd picked out for the year. Of course, I wasn't planning to have my credit card stolen twice, move and have repair work in two houses, spend three weeks in Europe, change jobs, flying to DC for a protest, get sick 3 times, and generally have the kind of year that kept me too busy to get to the bookstore on weekends (it's 4 hours, round trip).


The not making it to the book store means I picked up 5 months of releases part way through December, so no way will I finish those by the end of 2017. Also, a few titles never got reserved so when I finally did make it down, the stack was thinner than expected. Maybe they decided I was never coming back? 


The credit card hi-jinks taught me something I didn't know about Amazon's e-book marketplace. Namely, while pre-orders of physical books get charged to whatever you currently have listed as your primary payment method when the book ships, Kindle pre-orders charge whatever payment method was selected when you placed the order, but not until the order is ready to fulfill.


And you have to update them one by one. 


And there is no easy way to see a summary of what got charge to a particular payment method, so you have to go through each order individually to check it, fix it, hope you didn't miss one.


On the plus side, after doing this the first time, I contacted their customer support, who did it for me the second time. I'm not sure which time an order was missed, though. and an order was missed.


Anyway, let's do this thing!



Martians Abroad: A novel - Carrie Vaughn  - e-book. I read this in February, which was conveniently when my book club's theme was Mars. 4 stars because I loved the protagonist's voice.

The Stars Are Legion - Kameron Hurley - Hardcover. Actually released in February and read in March. 4.5 stars, loved everything about this.



Amberlough - Lara Elena Donnelly - Hardcover. Languished on my shelves for months, and then I picked up the audiobook, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal. 3.5 stars because it has a few slow parts and ends either 2 chapters too late or 6 chapters too soon.

The Classic & Craft Cocktail Recipe Book: The Definitive Guide to Mixing Perfect Cocktails from Aviation to Zombie - Clair McLafferty,Jon Santer - Paperback. I don't generally rate none fiction. I wish the balance had been more history and less recipe, but it's a solid book.



Hunger Makes the Wolf - Alex Wells - e-book. Started it as soon as it got to my Kindle. 4 stars, excellent, action packed romp with solid characters. 

Gwenpool, The Unbelievable Vol. 2: Head of M.O.D.O.K. TPB - Christopher Hastings,Irene Strychalski  - Paperback. Didn't get around to until September and didn't love, giving only 3 stars.



Tender: Stories - Sofia Samatar - Hardcover. There is only one story in this collection that I haven't previously read, and I'm saving it for a rainy day. 



Owl and the Electric Samurai (The Owl Series) - Kristi Charish - e-book. Casualty of credit card theft, so I didn't actually purchase it until October. 3.5 stars because of issues I have with the plot, but I am so looking forward to the next installment.

River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey - e-book. Read as soon it came out. 3.5 stars because I didn't realize it would be a series and it ends without resolving enough stuff.



The Refrigerator Monologues - Annie Wu,Catherynne M. Valente  - Hardcover. Didn't get from the bookstore until December, and am still reading it at year's end.

The Prey of Gods - Nicky Drayden  - e-book. Casualty of credit card theft, and the price when I figured out it had been missed was triple the pre-order price. I picked it up on sale towards the end of the year, but I am only half way through. Excellent so far.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss - e-book. 5 stars, could not put down, loved everything about it.



The Rift - Nina Allan - e-book. Tried, but did not like and did not finish.

Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw - e-book. 4 stars, good, but kind of a sausage fest. 

At the Table of Wolves - Kay Kenyon - e-book. Did not read because in 2017 I am just not up for sexy Nazis. I wouldn't even own this if I'd read that post before my pre-order arrived.

Dichronauts - Greg Egan - Hardcover. Bookstore didn't have reserved or in stock. I do have it now, but I haven't even opened it yet.



Autonomous - Annalee Newitz - Hardcover. Picked up in December and haven't gotten to it yet.

An Unkindness of Magicians - Kat Howard  - Hardcover. Picked up in December and haven't gotten to it yet.

White Trash Zombie Unchained - Diana Rowland  - e-book. Devoured as soon as I got it. 3 stars, good but not as good as most of the series.



The Broken Heavens - Kameron Hurley - Paperback. Finally one that isn't my fault. This has been pushed back to 2018.

The Breathless - Tara Goedjen - Bookstore didn't have and rereading the description, I'm just not interested at the moment.



The Beauty - Aliya Whiteley - Paperback. Bookstore did not have and when I went to order it online I realized it's a republication of a novella from a few years ago. So not actually a new book.



Barbary Station - R. E. Stearns - e-book. 3 stars, a fun read.

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse) - James S. A. Corey - Hardcover. Bookstore didn't have, but I'd already purchased and read the e-book before I made it to them. 4.5 stars. Some great scenes and a good overall plot, looking forward to the next one.


So, yeah. I'm reading less and less physical books. While I kept up at the beginning of the year, by the end of the year, I had so many other titles on my tbr pile that several of these are now languishing on shelves. There are two on this list that I purchased second copies of in an alternate format and read that way. There's at least two more books this year that I did the same thing with, but they weren't pre-orders.


I think between my obvious format shifting and the issues with pre-orders in both physical and e-book forms, I'm not going to do pre-orders the same way next year. Instead, I'm going to make a single list, and add it to a monthly calendar reminder to myself so I can review each closer to purchase date to pick a format. Hopefully this will also make less work for me when my cards get stolen. Also, as much as I've loved supporting an indy bookstore, B&N are increasingly getting exclusive content and there are 2 within 15 minutes of my house.