Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Every year I put out a list of all the books I’m going to try to read, but I tend to forget about it fairly quickly. The list is usually thematic and always ambitious. I’ve never actually read the entire list for the year. There may be some rule that I keep to, but diverging from and not getting through the whole thing is inevitable. This doesn’t bother me, but I was curious as to what is realistic; so last year I started tracking the books I read as I went along to see how it matched up with my list from the start of the year.

Here it is. I’ll post my To Reads for 2018 later.

Books for 2017

  1. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood
    1. Atwood fucking rocks. Not nearly as good as Handmaids Tale, but not nearly as bad as I have heard from some of it’s detractors. It’s the first of a trilogy, but I felt it was conclusive.
  2. Haunted – Chuck Palahniuk
    1. Way over hyped. I was wavering on CP as an author so asked my mates to suggest something to help make up my mind and I think they made a grave mistake. Basically, glorified torture porn wrapped up in poetic philosophy and if you try to start with me on the “yeah, that’s the point…” line, stuff it. It’s still a pile of wankish “look how upsetting I can be”, even if he can write real good.
  3. Human Being and of Citizen: Essays on Virtue, Freedom, and the Common Good – George Anastopalo
    1. Lent to me by Mister, who directed me to begin with a section on the role of “obscenity” in the social order (to grossly oversimplify: how should we address things which are obscene with regard to the rights of an individual’s expression versus the state’s obligation to the wellbeing of the citizenry.) and many more fun filled queries.
  4. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfus
    1. One of those, enough people (most all my friend group and everyone one in my house) started hounding me about this I finally read it. It has restored my faith in the fantasy genre. Fuckin hell, it was good. For serial, go read.
  5. Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfus
    1. When I started Name of the Wind, I didn’t know the 250,000-word piece was the first of a series. I read it and subsequently it’s 400,000-word sequel inside a week, then went back to the bookstore for the third and final instalment, where I was told. “dude, I’m really sorry, but I’ve got some bad news for you.” To all my friends who got me started FUCK YOU! Why the fuck would you leave this pertinent piece of information out of your praise for the thing!? So I could join you in your anguished waiting??? So yeah, you should totally read it ASAP and let’s all sit outside Rothfuss’s house until 2021 which is when he says it will be out.
  6. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
    1. Another book I read due to popular consensus. Again, proving that there is new worthwhile scifi being written.
  7. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K LeGuine
    1. One of the seminal works of modern fantasy, I finally made myself read it. I can see how it influenced many younger writers, but… and I know this is going to be very unpopular, I wasn’t terribly enthused by it. Rothfuss took the same plot and did a better job with it. I know, I’m a monster.
  8. Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    1. Me and Delphi have a book at a time we read to each other (it takes a while). This was last year’s. not my favourite GGM (perhaps I’ve grown old and cynical, cause I felt the absolute devotion of certain parties to be dumb), but he’s still a brilliant fucking writer.
  9. Game of Thrones – George RR martin (audio book)
    1. Along with book 2 of the series, I listened to most of them on audio with Delphi. She went through all 5, but I heard less and less of them as she listed on her way to and from work more and more, which I was totally fine with. The show is better. Sorry, but it’s true.
  10. Clash of Kings – George RR martin
  11. Norse Gods – Neil Gaiman
    1. My Gaiman for the year. It’s good. Worth it if you like Norse Myths or Gaimen.
  12. Sex Criminals Volume 2 – Matt Fraction
    1. This is a fucking hilarious and fun series. Not sure if it will keep up, but will see
  13. Love, Dishonor, Mary, Die; Cherish, Perish, A Novel by – David Rakoff
    1. Also one Delphi and I read to each other. A novel written in verse (specifically, mimicking Dr Seuss) tying the lives of a number of individuals together across generations. Very Funny, amazingly executed.
  14. The Gunslinger – Stephen King (audio book)
    1. Rereading after much discussions of the DT series and how it connects to King’s work as a whole. I never got past book three in HS. I got bored, but I’m giving it a second chance in light of a number of conversations I had following the cluster fuck that was the recent film adaptation.
  15. Homestuck Act 1-2 – Andrew Hussie
    1. Let me tell you about Homestuck, begins the meme. “The Ulysses of the internet” (see PBS’s Idea Channel episode on the matter to get excited about it). I started it as part of a project I was working on and one day I’ll finish it. If you think it’s weird for me to include a web comic here, it’s over ten thousand pages and 875,500 words long (about the combined length of Song of Ice and Fire, Infinite Jest, and Ulysses). And that doesn’t include many of the tangential ‘spinoff’ stories that come with it or the 4.5 hours of video.
  16. Shop Class as Soul Craft – Mathew Crawford
    1. Another gift from Mister. Seriously good meditation on the value of labour and learning. Every time I start to explain it people say “oh, like Zen and the Art of Mo…” not at all.
  17. The Incest Diary – Anonymous
    1. Honest and fucked up. Worth absolutely not reading if you have any sense of decency, which I don’t.
  18. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfus (reread, Audio book)
    1. Reread these as audio books with Delphi on a road trip
  19. Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfus (reread, Audio book)
    1. See above
  20. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (reread, Audio book, Nar. Wil Wheton)
    1. See above
  21. Molly’s Game – Molly Bloom (audio book)
    1. It passes the time. If yr enough into that sort of thing. Looking forward to seeing the Sorkin movie.
  22. Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl
    1. A gift from a new friend. It’s a good book.
  23. The Master and the Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
    1. Long overdue read from the bookshelf of shame
  24. Libraries – Jorge Louis Borges
    1. See above. Finally reading some ground-breaking magical realism after having my own work described as such for years.
  25. Chew 1-3 – Don Layman
    1. Been told about it for years. Finally read a bunch off the shelf at Barnes and Nobel. Good stuff. Can’t wait to read more
  26. Lazerus 4-7 – Greg Rukka
    1. The brilliant fucking bastard behind Queen and Country (one of my all time favourites) does it again.
  27. Saga 4-6 – Brian K Vaughan
    1. It’s BKV and it’s super popular, what else is there to say?

That makes 27 entries. There’s peoples a plenty who get really hung up on how many books they read in a year, it’s difficult to quantify reading as some books are longer, some are very short, some are easy, some are super dense, etc. I would like to have gotten more, but that’s because I would like to/should spend more of my time reading. In all, I find it to have been a perfectly adequate amount of written word to consume for an average person.