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Among Others

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  21,212 ratings  ·  4,074 reviews
Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and science fiction, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Tor Books
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Jo Walton Life is too short to read books you're not enjoying. Reading is supposed to be a pleasure, not an endurance test. Not every book is for everyone,…moreLife is too short to read books you're not enjoying. Reading is supposed to be a pleasure, not an endurance test. Not every book is for everyone, certainly not every book of mine. Go read something else!(less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  21,212 ratings  ·  4,074 reviews

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Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Now and then I come across a book that is a distillation of what I like in fiction, genre fiction in particular. I previously raved about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and then some people told me they think it's a load of ol' crap. It puzzled me a bit that some people don't see the greatness of the books I deemed to be great, but then I realize that such things probably puzzle most of us, we are all arbiters of good taste in our own little universe. So given that after reading this book you ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I think of frequently, it has stayed with me.

Walton has blessed this work with a strong female lead and is minimalistic, meaning that most of the action, what little there is, is subtle and underplayed. Yet it is a hypnotic book to read, Jo Walton does a great job of characterization, economically describing the cast in such a way that the reader knows the populace, yet there are few one dimensional characters.

Of course the aspect of the book that gets so much
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans
Recommended to carol. by: the Incomparables
A love letter to science fiction and fantasy, to books and to librarians:

"We never looked anything like anyone in our family, but apart from the eye and hair color I don't see anything. It doesn't matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books."

A support letter to adolescence, and to girls alienated from their families:

"So then I realised guiltily how my very presence in his car was actually a huge reproach. For one thing, there is only one of me, when he
This is for all the libraries in the world, and the librarians who sit there day after day lending books to people.
I'm not quite sure how to describe this book, what precisely it is - but it has that *something* that is making me read it for the third time in as many years, and each time it finds a new way into my heart.
There are some awful things in the world, its true, but there are also some great books.
This is a love ode to books and libraries, and the magic of stories, and the
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I tried to write this review without spoilers, but it depends on what you consider to be spoilers. I think it's a book based more on characters than events, and I don't think knowing some of the events will spoil the whole, but you might want to exercise a bit of caution...

Among Others feels like a book written just for me. The protagonist, Mori, is Welsh, disabled, synaesthetic, listens to folk music, reads SF and fantasy (reads anything and everything)... She says, early in the books, that,

Excellent YA reading with acute relevance to us oldies as well. A fifteen year old girl from the Welsh valleys learns about life, death, sex, love and friendship. Handicapped in mysterious circumstances, estranged from her mother for equally mysterious reasons, Morwenna has to cope with everything from family blending to the trials of social isolation at an English girls school.

But mostly Among Others is about Morwennas irrepressible attraction to books, especially to the
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
I keep going back and forth between 2 and 3 stars. I should have really loved this book, but I found myself more annoyed than charmed. Although it appears we're supposed to take the main character's story at face value and believe that the magic and fairies and her evil mother are real, I found myself writing it all off as her way of coping with a more mundane unstable mother and car accident. I think what pushed me over the edge into disbelief was the scene with the aunts and the earrings. I ...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Wales setting, Author lives in Montreal
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Beth Knight
Morwenna grows up in Wales hanging out with faeries. Nothing extraordinary about it, loved the matter of fact telling and how they're precisely as I imagined theyd be. Illusive Theyd moved in with the green things after people had abandoned them and unfathomable. Some are pretty little things with gossamer wings, others creatures ripped from the pages of Grimms Fairy Tales. Fairies tend to be either very beautiful or absolutely hideous

She's 15 with a ton of issues - a mother whos crackers,
Jay Z
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
i am at a total loss about how this book got published. this is not a book! in the sense of a novel, i mean. it's the diary of an articulate, well-read sci-fi diehard teenager talking about what she did and what she read every day for a year. this account of her every day life is sprinkled with unimpressive encounters with fairies, because apparently in this world, welsh people are kinda down with spirit creatures.

the other reason this isn't a book is that it's an epilogue to a story we never
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I know what I was expecting before I had read this novel. I knew it had won last year's Hugo and I've been working my way through every hugo and runner up since they started. What I hadn't expected was an unabashedly delightful review of so many great science fiction novels from the last 75 years, most of which I've also read and delighted over. I loved Mor and was always very proud of her, and who wouldn't be? As long as you are a science fiction fan, using magic as easily as breathing, ...more
Sherwood Smith
Apr 19, 2010 added it
Shelves: fantasy
When I first finished Jo Waltons to Among Others, there was this instinctive pang of hurt at being left out because when I met Walton in Tempe for World Fantasy a few years back, she didnt tell me about the fairies.

A heartbeat later my reasoning brain is sending the Hello, this is fiction! memo, but there it was, that delicious (and painful) sense of my having lived in that fictional world, the reading experience was so intense: it's the liminal existence I went to books for ever since I was a
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Among Others is kind of like a love letter to bibliophiles, especially those who fell in love with books as a youngster, finding solace and comfort between the pages of so many different stories. In some ways, Mor's character tapped me on the shoulder, reminding me of myself as a preteen. I went through some physical problems that made life very difficult for me. In fact, (view spoiler) ...more

I mostly disliked this, the main character was an irritating twit, the plot consisted of a mish-mash of nothing, and then there was the weird WTF ending. I did however like the magical system/elements (up until the end), the book-talk (well, some of it), the setting/descriptions of Wales, and how fast it was to read.

-What's what: Teenager and speshul snowflake, Mori, is reunited with her estranged dad and sent to a boarding school after some unexplained Bad Thing happened to her and her
B Schrodinger
Is Among Others the story of a girl who can use magic, talk to faeries and has a wicked witch for a mother? Or is it the story of a girl who has a abusive mother, a father who ran away when she was a baby and whose twin died in a tragic car accident only a year before?

When we join Morwenna's diary she is being shuffled off to her estranged father's house after an incident with her mother. She hobbles with a walking stick and can tell that everyone thinks she is a cripple. She has never met her
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diane by: B Schrodinger
This novel was a delight. I fell in love with the precocious Morwenna, a Welsh girl whose life was turned upside down after her twin sister died. Morwenna was sent to live with her father in England, and then ends up at boarding school.

Morwenna is a bright girl who loves to read, and her opinions about books were some of my favorite parts of the novel. (She loves science fiction, which I haven't read a lot of, but I enjoyed her enthusiasm.) Morwenna has trouble making friends at school, but
Kevin Xu
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
There are few problems I had with the book. First, as far as fantasy goes, I'm not really a big fan of the magical realism type of fantasy like this book is, I like to be transported into a new world with great world building. Second, I'm also not a big fan of geek nostalgia like this or Ready Player One. Third, I thought there could have been more to the book than basically about discovering the genre.

The book is about a fifteen year old girl who gets send to boarding school after the death of
Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius*
"I care more for people in books than the people I see every day.

uh....kind of the truth sometimes.

Morwenna Phelps is a fifteen year old who is a veracious reader, especially for anything Science Fiction, or 'SF' as she calls it. I was tempted to write down every book mentioned as this book moved along, but seriously that would have been more work than I really had the energy to do.

I'm not sure how to review this book without putting out a spoiler or two. I'm going to try to avoid it, but....

Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This really was something. It is the daily journal of a young teenage girl, surviving twin daughter of a Welsh witch, a girl living in 1979 Britain with the father she did not know and about to be sent off to a boarding school "among others".

This young 15 year old is both younger and older than her classmates and is above all a reader, a passionate book lover....especially works of science fiction and fantasy. These books keep her soul alive when life is too hard and come to bind her to
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it

this books rambles along for a couple hundred pages, and then things happen on the last few. for me, by the time i got to the last few pages, i was pretty much just hoping to finish this book and be done with it so i could go on to the next book (a new collection of Thurber James.

the book is written in the form of an adolescent bibliophile's diary. that form gives it a plus: the narrator's voice, unadulterated. in this case the narrator's voice is very clear, distinctive, with an unusual and
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked the hell out of Among Others in part because the novel makes me feel like I belong. This is my tribe. All that. And I don't feel like I belong often. So yay, Ms. Walton! You deserve all the awards you can stuff in your bulging suitcases. That said, I can't recommend this book if you're not one of the tribe. What tribe? The nerdy science fiction reading tribe. If your membership has lapsed you'll probably still enjoy Among Others, don't worry, but if you've not felt (sadly, proudly, or a ...more
As a soldier in the army against ignorance (a library worker), how could I help but be charmed by this book? It is, in many ways, a testament to the ways that libraries and librarians can make a difference in peoples lives. I was astonished last year when I realized that I had now worked 30 years in the library field, but looking back it should not have been a big surprise. I clearly remember the thrill that I got on the first day that I was allowed into the big kids library in our small town ...more
Megan Baxter
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I am of two minds about this book. There are things about it I liked a great deal. And then there were the ways in which I reached the end and went "huh." Let's see if I can sum up - I like the authorial voice and the way the world Walton creates is dripping with books. On the other hand, the pacing is strange, and rarely if ever does what comes seem to build on what's gone before. I mean, it happens after previous events. It isn't that they are forgotten, but the book doesn't tend to use what ...more
Jan 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-review, audio, 2013
This book got rave reviews when it came out, even won the Nebula Award, which I can see. However, I didn't absolutely love it as seems to be the norm.

What I loved:

I did love a few things. I loved that I really wanted to go back and read all the classics of science fiction and fantasy. Walton writes with such a love of the genre that you can't help but become enamored yourself.

I loved that if you are a fantasy nerd like me and the main protagonist Mori (and it may be safe to assume, Jo Walton),
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
"If you love books enough, books will love you back."

I found this book, written in the form of a diary, to be a lovely, nostalgic read. Mori is an endearing protagonist who is struggling to find a place for herself after a tragic magical battle left her twin sister dead and her estranged from her mother. As Mori struggles to maintain her identity at a snobbish boarding school, she turns to books for comfort. Although I know that some readers found her frequent references to SF and fantasy works
Helene Jeppesen
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book to pieces! Simply because it made me feel so good inside while reading it - it hit my heart spot on.
I love that this is what I would call "light" fantasy mixed with magical realism that contains fairies. I also absolutely adored the main character, Mor, and the way she feels excluded from everyone and also has a limp. Mor was amazing in so many ways: Her reading habits were phenomenal and made me want to read a lot as well. She also made me want to visit my local library a lot
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
To decide whether or not to read this book, answer this question: do you want to read about a 15 year old girl reading science fiction?

In my case, the answer is no. Even if I did adore classic SF from the mid-20th century, I dont think I would have liked this book. Its a diary format, covering a year of a young Welsh girls life at a drab English boarding school. Moris recovering from traumaher sister is dead and her mom is evil and the reason for these facts has something to do with fairies but
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just occasionally I'll stumble on a book that ends up on my shelf of special keepers, the ones I know I'll end up reading over and over. Funnily enough, several of those are stories about the power of books and reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows, Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, and now Among Others by Jo Walton.

Among Others is dedicated by the author to libraries and librarians. It's hard to give you much of the story without including
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Bibliotropic. Like sunflowers are heliotropic, they naturally turn towards the sun. We naturally turn towards the bookshop.

Here is probably an explanation of why I love this story so much. It feels written especially for me. I recognize myself as a member of this group that is unable to pass a bookshop without entering and browsing the shelves. This resonance phenomenon to a particular text happened to me with another book recently : Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and it was described by a

This is very much a book for book lovers. I certainly loved it, and it's the first book in a good while that left me sad when I turned the last page. Sad that it was over, because I wanted to spend a lot more time in its world.

Among Others is written in the form of diary entries, where 15 year old Morwenna (Mori, for short) describes her life: how much she hates boarding school, how lonely she is, oh, and how she is a witch that can see fairies and do magic. If someone were to convince me that
Lisa Vegan
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: survivors & thrivers; bookworms, especially those who appreciate speculative fiction
Recommended to Lisa by: Nikki
This is one of those books that so impressed me Im struggling to write about it in a coherent manner.

Right away: wonderful WONDERFUL!!! from the authors note about writing what she/authors know, or not, before the start of the book, to the very engaging narrator. Oh, if Id had this book to read when I was 12 or 13, it would have been one of those lifesaving books, true even when I was a decade older perhaps.

In my opinion, its stunningly marvelous. I appreciated how a lot is left open to
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Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.

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