Jacob Densford



Books

What I'm reading, what I've read, recommendations.

This page is a response to me being dissatisfied with Goodreads and the like. I want a place to track the books I've read and show my recommendations, and I want it to be my own place. So, here it is: my own book place. Up first is what I'm currently reading, followed by the books I've read recently and recommend, and then my favorite books of all time. (I won't be posting about books I read and didn't like or books I didn't even finish. No need for all that negativity.)

Currently reading The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The cover of The Way of Kings. It shows two figures armed with swords, staring at each other across a fast chasm.

Just started reading this. Very excited to finally dig into the Stormlight Archives.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

There isn't much more I can say about ol' Brando Sando. He's a freak of nature. I don't know how he keeps pumping out these amazing novels. While I didn't like this world and magic system as much as the ones in Mistborn or Elantris, it was still very creative and realized. And, once again, the characters stole my heart. Ugh.

I finished this book in mid August 2022. I strongly recommend it.

Mistborn Era One: The First Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

I didn't think I could like another Sanderson book more than I liked Elantris. I was wrong. The first Mistborn trilogy opens with The Final Empire, which has become one of my favorite books I've ever read. From the pacing and action to the worldbuilding and characters, It's just so damn perfect. The second book—The Well of Ascension—is slightly weaker. Its pacing is slower and its direction harder to follow. But the character development is still very enjoyable. The Hero of Ages, the final book in the trilogy, is nearly as good as the first. It was nearly constant payoff of seemingly innocuous things set up in the first and second book. It blew my mind. Though, I do wish it had ended a little earlier and with a little more ambiguity.

I read these three books during June and July 2022. I highly recommend them.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I'd been meaning to read Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere novels for a long time. I took his SFF writing class online and have listened to podcasts he's been a part of over the years. Even without ever reading a single word he wrote, he's already been a big influence on my own fiction. Still, I'd hoped to dislike his books, if for no other reason than to be different. Alas, I'm happy/sad to report that his popularity is well-earned. His writing is so clear, his worlds so detailed and creative. He does stuff with magic I've never seen before. People always talk about those things. But, more importantly, his characters are so likable and feel so real. He manages to even make his villains into people you can't help but care about.

I'm using Marvin Rösch's excellent Cosmere reading guide to determine the order in which I tackle the Cosmere, mostly following in-universe chronology, with one exceptions to avoid major spoilers (Mistborn: Secret History).

I finished reading this book at the end of May 2022 and can't recommend it enough.

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

I love when speculative fiction and literary fiction intersect, when you get grounded human stories with fully realized characters set in a world that isn't quite our own. Ursula K Le Guin managed to do this. And, I think, Emily St John Mandel does as well. Truly, any good science fiction or fantasy does this, so I guess it isn't technically a melding of the genre with lit fic. But there is a certain other quality. A slowness. An intentionality. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Anyway, Station Eleven was great. I read this book in April 2022. I recommend it.