Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Dust Cover Dust-Up 2014 - Round One, Part One

Is it really that time again? Time for the second annual tournament to determine my favourite books of the year! I'm starting a little earlier this year, with the intent to post five battles twice a week. That should get me through the first round by just after the New Year, when I will actually have read all the books I'm going to read this year.

So, let's find out what I liked to read this year! 

Railsea vs. The Areas of my Expertise

Winner: Railsea

Oh good, an easy battle to start off with. A book I loved, loved, loved. Made me swoon. I didn't know I'd have that reaction to a Moby Dick riff with giant moles and philosophies and trains. Mieville made that happen. Whereas, while I found The Areas of my Expertise made me smile, it never made me laugh, and it certainly never made me weak in the knees. 

Shipbreaker vs. Committed

Winner: Shipbreaker

While Shipbreaker wasn't the best thing I've ever read, it was still an excellent young adult post-environmental collapse science fiction novel. Committed was okay, and I liked it more than I thought I would, but still. My predilections are clear. Given two books that didn't change my world, science fiction is going to win.

Elantris vs. A Wanted Man

Winner: A Wanted Man

I liked Elantris on first read, but since then, it's sort of soured in my memory a bit. The lapses stand out more starkly. Not enough to ban Sanderson from future reading, but enough to say that he's on probation. A Wanted Man was not a book that stands out in my memory either, but it was more thoroughly enjoyable. Jack Reacher is more fun in this case than fantasy. So Lee Child gets it.

Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do vs. Inkheart

Winner: Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do

This round is just full of match-ups that I don't really love either book. Don't expect the last few winners to make it through the second round. But still, I have to make a choice. In this case, I think I remember the story of a middle-class black woman rebuilding her life more than I do what was really a disappointing children's book that came my way accompanied by a lot of hype I didn't find it lived up to. Perhaps it's that disappointment colouring this contest. That's the way it is.

In the Night Garden vs. Sapphique 

Winner: In The Night Garden

An easy one to start this part, and an easy one to end. I didn't really like Sapphique that much, and Catherynne Valente is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. While I thought at times that she almost lost the thread of stories-within-stories, this was still a great book about fairy tales and storytelling and fables and legends. Sapphique's disappointing end to a couple of books that were only okay definitely takes it out of the round.

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