Thoughtful Thursday: Back from the break

Dear readers, I’ve missed you!  I’ve been gone for the last several weeks working on my dissertation, on a topic I’m sure you don’t care about, and frankly, I’m not sure I care about anymore either.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and so I’m back to bring a bit of magic into what might otherwise be a prosaic Thursday.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsFall is just around the corner.  There is a crispness to the air that prophesies of shorter days, longer nights, and all the free time that comes from having your yard and garden under a foot of snow.  No more mowing, no more weeding, just the promise of dark hours and a stack of unread books.

I’ve found that my reading habits are seasonal.  I read shorter books during the spring, because I’m antsy to be outside after six months of snow and ice.  Summer is a time for rereads because it’s too hot to pay attention to anything new, or for poetic writers, where you want to slow down and savor every word.  When the leaves turn, though, so do the pages and I’m ready to settle down with a new brick of a book, and devour crisp, new prose like an apple fresh from the tree.

I think publishers know of this seasonal propensity in reading. This fall’s new publication list reads like a who’s who of fantasy publishing.  There are so many new books I’m excited for.  Over at the io9 blog they do a great run down of the fall books you’ll be lusting after, and though I can’t believe they left out Robin McKinley’s Pegasus, it’s a good taste of what’s to come.

So, dear readers, I ask you: What books are you most looking forward to?  And do your reading habits change with the seasons, or is that just one of my quirks?

One commenter receives a book of your choice from our stacks.


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RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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14 comments

  1. Well, I live in Florida. So, no.

  2. Winter’s here in Georgia are a mixed bag. We really don’t get a lot of snow, except for the freak blizzards and usually that happens once it at all. So for me I don’t find that my reading habits change much at all. And I’m always on the look out for the next book! I have a few books I’m eagerly waiting for. One is Spellbound, the sequel to Spellwright by Blake Charlton. I also can’t wait to read Ravaged by David Wellington and the sequel to The City of Dreams and Nightmare, City of Hope and Despair. The list could go on and on! :D

  3. SandyG265

    I’m looking foward to Venom and Bayou Moon. And I do read longer books in the winter because I have more time. When the weather is nice we’re out doing things and going places.

  4. Anonymous /

    I don’t know if my reading habits change by the season as much as they do by the age of my youngest child. Holding an infant makes for different reading opportunities than following a toddler, and when dealing with prolonged sleeplessness it’s easier to try on an old, comfortable book than it is to finally decide to bludgeon myself with a George R. R. Martin or Steven Erikson.

    That said, the main book I’m looking forward to–and that finally arrived!–is Brandon Sanderson’s most recent brick of paper. Either I’m sleeping better, or I’ve pushed through to the other side of fatigue and discovered the place where epic fantasy lives.

  5. I live in San Diego, where we only have 3 seasons (Nice, Nice, and Maybe Bring a Sweater), so no, the season doesn’t really affect my reading habits much :)

  6. Anonymous /

    Funny, Stefan. Over here we also only have three seasons: Crappy, Crappy, and Maybe Wear Some Shorts.

    So my reading habits aren’t really seasonal, although it’s not uncommon for me to crack open the Chronicles of Narnia around Christmas.

  7. Since I have only lived in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, I definitely have to deal with the seasons. It does certainly seem like I read shorter, lighter fantasy and sci-fi, I feel bad if I waste a whole nice spring/summer weekend afternoon reading. During the winter, I don’t mind reading all day, I mean I can barely go outside, so I take on hefty epic books.

  8. I don’t believe my reading habits are seasonal, at least in the sense that they are only indirectly affected by the seasons. Specifically, as an academic, my work time is heavily influenced by the academic year, which means I have different work requirements and distractions from mid-August through mid-December and from mid-January through mid-May than the rest of the year. If my reading habits are different over the summer (or winter break) than they are the rest of the year, I don’t think it’s because I choose to read differently in the summer, but rather I am not as distracted by teaching or grading (or the network television schedule, for that matter) and can spend more time reading than I might when all of those other distractions are in the way.

    As for what I’m looking forward to? Hmmm…in the immediate future, not a whole lot…probably Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart et al. is the most immediate book I want to read. After that, we have to wait until winter/spring for the The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.

  9. Anonymous /

    I’m most looking forward to Play of Passion by Nalini Singh and my reading habits are not seasonal, but they change with my school schedule. I really don’t get to read as much when school is in session and in summer I go on a reading frenzy!

  10. I don’t think my reading changes too much with the seasons. I just read whatever I can, whenever I can.

    I’m really looking forward to Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, which I’ll probably get for Christmas.

  11. Anonymous /

    I’m looking forward to TAKEN BY MIDNIGHT by Lara Adrian. I also don’t think my reading pattern changes with the seasons.

  12. Our seasons are Hot, a week of nice, then fog, then a week of nice, then HOT again. I read more during the summer, because it’s just to hot to go outside and do anything outdoors.

    Looking forward to Tim Akers The Horns of Ruin in November. There were a bunch that came out the end of August, so I’ve got the 2nd Stormlord book waiting along with the new SImon Green, Blameless, and a few others I can’t remember off the top of my head… a couple of steampunk I’d never heard of before that jumped into my basket. And oh yeah, Monster Hunters Vendetta is coming next week. Should be a good month for reading.

  13. Seasonal only really important for me for the beginning of fall, heck isn’t that the most appropriate time to re-read grown up vampire books? Planning to re-read Interview with the Vampire and start on Barbara Hambly’s Those Who Hunt the Night, also Burning Shadows by Chelsea Quinn Yarboro. Also, for some reason, Sherlock Holmes is definitely a fall-re-read.

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