Books in 2015

   19 January 2016, late afternoon

I stopped listening to podcasts during my commute and started reading again. I used to read far more often, and had wanted to get back into the habit. My goal was to read 24 books before the year was done, which I almost managed to do. If you count graphic novels—and why shouldn’t you?—I did manage to cross 24, having read the trade paperbacks for: The Manhattan Projects volume 5, Prophet volume 4, Saga volumes 4 & 5, and Hawkeye volume 4. (All of these series are amazing, by the way. Hawkeye just finished it’s run and is the best super hero comic i’ve read in ages.)

  1. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  2. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
  3. The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss
  4. Dune – Frank Herbert
  5. The Stealer of Souls – Michael Moorcock
  6. Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer
  7. Authority – Jeff VanderMeer
  8. Acceptance – Jeff VanderMeer
  9. The Dying Earth – Jack Vance
  10. The Eyes of the Overworld – Jack Vance
  11. Cugel’s Saga – Jack Vance
  12. Rhialto the Marvellous – Jack Vance
  13. The Martian – Andy Weir
  14. Flood of Fire – Amitav Ghosh
  15. The Burried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro
  16. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
  17. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  18. The Crystal Shard – R.A. Salvatore
  19. A Maze of Death – Philip K. Dick
  20. Valis – Philip K. Dick
  21. The Divine Invasion – Philip K. Dick
  22. False Readings – Patrick Stuart

The Little Prince was incredible. I have no idea why I waited 35 years to read it. Truly a superlative book. The writing is so great. The story is so lovely. If you also have managed to live your life without reading it you really should.

Both Cormac McCarthy books were hard reads, and felt like mirrors of each other. The Road is about a father and son travelling through a post-apocalyptic world. Blood Meridian takes place in the wild west, and seems to be a story about the sorts of people the protagonists in The Road are constantly fleeing from. They are dark books. The Road in particular is so bleak—especially if you have children.

I made an effort to read more fantasy this year. Jack Vance is really worth reading if you aren’t that big a fan of your typical fantasy novel. The world his Dying Earth novels take place is in bizarre and fantastic in a way that isn’t elves and dwarves and other trappings of Tolkien. The Eyes of the Overworld and Cugel’s Saga are also really funny. His command of the English language is also amazing. The books are so well written.

I enjoyed most everything I read. From the list above the only book I really regret reading was The Crystal Shard, which I clearly should have read when I was 12 years old. It’s cheesy D&D fantasy.

I just finished reading The Grace of Kings. So 2016 is off to a good start.

 

Comments

  1. Haha – I did read The Crystal Shard when I was about 12. And far too many of its sequels.

  2. I wasn’t a huge fan of Station 11. You need to read stuff by Brandon Sanderson. I have basically read almost everything he has put out.

    Well done with reading so many books. I think I also hit 24 books. I think two or three were novella’s though.

  3. Damn, you guys read a lot of books! I need to catch up.

  4. The Wise Man’s Fear was a great read, I think I read it in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down. The second book in the trilogy was just as good. Not sure if the 3rd book will ever come out, it’s been a few years now..

  5. The first book is better than the second, for sure. One problem I have with that series is that Kvothe is kind of a boring character in that he’s just good at everything. It’s always, “How will Kvothe solve this problem!?” Oh, he’ll solve it by happening to be the best at whatever it is he’s decided to do. He’s even seduces the elven sex goddess because he happens to be the best at sex. Come on! I’m hoping the third book suggests he’s an unreliable narrator—which might explain why in the present day he’s kind of unimpressive.

  6. I think you are meant to assume he is lying a lot in his narration by the second book. It is hard to guess in the first book but the second book makes it more obvious he can’t be really trusted as a narrator. I really liked the ending to the second book though.

  7. I’m looking forward to the last book … whenever it comes out. Also can’t wait for Game of Thrones. I don’t know how I ended up reading 3 fantasy series. I’m not even a huge fantasy fan, really.

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