Books read in 2017

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Books read in 2017

Postby clong » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:58 am

Feel free to share and comment on books you are reading this year...

Here's my list as of April 28:

1. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake - a reread. Amazing characters, amazing setting. At times spellbinding, at times rather slow. It still feels like Steerpike is the closest thing we have to a protagonist in this one, although I felt less sympathetic this time around (knowing what the future would hold).
2. Half the Day Is Night by Maureen McHugh - a bit of a disappointment.
3. The Alloy of Law by Brian Sanderson - another re-read. Looking forward to picking up the second book of this Mistborn sequel series.
4. Shadows of Self by Brian Sanderson - This one had moments of humor, and a couple of big surprises at the end, but I missed the playfulness and repartee of The Alloy of Law.
5. The Anything Box by Zenna Henderson - I enjoyed this collection, if not as much as some of her The People stories. Henderson has a distinctive voice.
6. The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson - I have some quibbles about this book, but the ending is fantastic in a way that is distinctly Sanderson.
7. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake - a re-read.
8. Passage at Arms by Glen Cook - a pretty decent little novel about a carnage strewn mission in space.
9. A Shadow of All Night Falling by Glen Cook - this first Dread Empire book shows potential, but doesn't particularly hit the mark.
10. Invaders of Earth edited by Groff Conklin - an anthology of early stories that feature aliens of varying dispositions visiting our planet, most of the stories being fairly forgettable.
11. The Avengers of Carrig by John Brunner - a satisfying if unambitious lost colony story.
12. River of Dust by Alexander Jablokov - A dark and interesting future Mars. Unfortunately people whom I didn't particularly care about.
13. After the Fall edited by Robert Sheckley - sorry to say it, but this proved one of the most forgettable anthologies ever.
14. Sky Coyote by Kage Baker - entertaining and less complicated than the first book of the series.
15. The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker - One of the three plot lines was compelling, if ultimately blatantly Tolkienesque. Bakker clearly has talent, but doesn't seem to particularly care whether we like his characters or not.
16. Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson - finally got back to by Malazan re-read and polished off book 9. Which, second time around, was even more disappointing than it had been the first time around. The first seven books of this series are off the charts, but the end is a bit of a let-down.
17. Dune by Frank Herbert - continuing my recent trend of re-reading old favorites.
18. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon - I seem to have liked this more than most. Not nearly as ambitious as many of this author's novels.
19. Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold - entertaining, but not really up there with the better Miles novels.
20. Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert - I hadn't read this one for decades. It is very different from the first book, but really quite compelling.
21. Children of Dune by Frank Herbert - by far the weakest of the original trilogy, or so it felt this time around.
22. Hyperion by Dan Simmons - still a stunningly good book.
23. The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons - ditto.
24. Endymion by Dan Simmons - I thought this was pretty spectacular... an entertaining story with a ridiculously complex yet riveting backstory that somehow finds astonishing potential in the riverworld concept of "To Your Scattered Bodies Go".
25. All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford Simak - a decent enough read, if not as thought provoking as Simak at his best.
26. The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons - amazing conclusion to this four volume series.
27. Willful Child by Steven Erickson - I thought the first third of this was just about perfect, but alas it grew increasingly juvenile and ridiculous from there.
28. The Five Gold Bands by Jack Vance - proof that even the great masters can write a clunker every now and then.
29. The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison - this one was quite different from previous Harrison novels. Ambitious, but didn't really work for me.
30. Beyond Rejection by Justin Leiber - somewhat interesting concept, but the book felt more ineptly prurient than thought provoking.
31. Pirates of the Universe by Terry Bisson - I haven't read much by Bisson but I've liked what I've read. This one felt like Philip K Dick meets Clifford Simak. There are some odd gender issues in this one, but not in an exploitative way.
32. Riders at the Gate by C.J Cherryh - vintage Cherryh, with complex characters and an unusual setting
33. Armored edited by John Joseph Adams - some quite good stories, mixed in with some fairly pedestrian stories. From glancing at the editors prefatory comments, I had expected a bit more inspiration from, building on, or following in the footsteps of John Steakley's classic novel Armor.
34. Fury by Henry Kuttner - this one felt like a precursor to The Stars My Destination...
35. Dread Brass Shadows by Glen Cook - not one of the better Garrett novels.
36. Whispering Nickel Idols by Glen Cook - an improvement over the one I had read just prior.
37. The Deadly Streets by Harlan Ellison - a mixed bag of stories of young men on the wrong side of the law, mainly in New York.
38. Scop by Barry Malzberg - ambitious and rather surreal. I seem to have liked this one more than most.
39. No Doors, No Windows by Harlan Ellison - a few good stories, a few stories I really didn't like, and a bunch of so-so stories.
40. Elantris by Brian Sanderson - an ambitious if somewhat uneven debut novel.
41. Thrawn by Timothy Zahn - facing slim pickings in the Barnes and Noble Audiobook bins ahead of a 14 hour drive, and remembering having enjoyed Zahn's original Thrawn trilogy long ago, I picked this. It proved quite the pedestrian yawner.
42. Inside Conducting by Christopher Seaman - thoughts on the conductor's craft interspersed with anecdotes.
43. Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner - I enjoyed this more than most faery books.
44. The Men Inside by Barry Malzberg - a surreal, new weird exercise in metafiction inspired by Fantastic Voyage. Not for the squeamish.
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby Kahrey » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:49 am

1.) A Happy Boy by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson - so amazing, I truly enjoyed it.
2.) Absalom's Hair by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson - not as amazing as the above, but still very good

My list looks bleak, I know, but I've been quite busy editing/critiquing numerous short stories for a friend, as well as a 500+ page novel. All were fantastic. It's been keeping me pretty busy. I'm also working on a novel for someone else, but I have yet to finish that one. I also have three books in active progress (guess what, one is Bjørnson). I'd say it's a good start to pulling out of my reading concentration funk.
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby clong » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:45 pm

Good to hear from you, Kahrey. It seems like many people I know say they spend much less time reading than they did just a few years ago.

I am updating my list above through the end of April.
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby Kahrey » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:06 am

clong wrote:Good to hear from you, Kahrey. It seems like many people I know say they spend much less time reading than they did just a few years ago.

I am updating my list above through the end of April.


You know, I went through a long period where I couldn't comprehend much that I read unless it was incredibly short (I couldn't even handle a long article). I think it may have been my medications, but at the time, I didn't even consider that possibility...

Also, I notice Dune on there and I am finally reading it! A friend convinced me... And I am loving it! I was never a science fiction reader, but he was convincing.
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby Omphalos » Tue May 02, 2017 4:20 pm

Kahrey wrote:You know, I went through a long period where I couldn't comprehend much that I read unless it was incredibly short (I couldn't even handle a long article). I think it may have been my medications, but at the time, I didn't even consider that possibility...


Man-o-man, exact same thing going on here. some medications yes, but I don't attribute it to that. I am just so overworked right now and I have no time whatsoever. When I lay in bed at the end of the day I read the same paragraph four or five times and just cannot focus long enough to even understand what I have just read, much less what comes after. Its been so long that I am starting to think that I may have just changed, and don't enjoy reading the way that I used to.
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby Kahrey » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:15 am

Omphalos wrote:
Kahrey wrote:You know, I went through a long period where I couldn't comprehend much that I read unless it was incredibly short (I couldn't even handle a long article). I think it may have been my medications, but at the time, I didn't even consider that possibility...


Man-o-man, exact same thing going on here. some medications yes, but I don't attribute it to that. I am just so overworked right now and I have no time whatsoever. When I lay in bed at the end of the day I read the same paragraph four or five times and just cannot focus long enough to even understand what I have just read, much less what comes after. Its been so long that I am starting to think that I may have just changed, and don't enjoy reading the way that I used to.


I thought that for a while, and it made me really sad, but fortunately it's not true for me.

I haven't read much since April. Huge life changes and cross-country, emotional move. Working on another book for a friend now (unpublished), but I even took a break from that.
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
Kahrey
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby Omphalos » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:07 pm

Kahrey wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Kahrey wrote:You know, I went through a long period where I couldn't comprehend much that I read unless it was incredibly short (I couldn't even handle a long article). I think it may have been my medications, but at the time, I didn't even consider that possibility...


Man-o-man, exact same thing going on here. some medications yes, but I don't attribute it to that. I am just so overworked right now and I have no time whatsoever. When I lay in bed at the end of the day I read the same paragraph four or five times and just cannot focus long enough to even understand what I have just read, much less what comes after. Its been so long that I am starting to think that I may have just changed, and don't enjoy reading the way that I used to.


I thought that for a while, and it made me really sad, but fortunately it's not true for me.

I haven't read much since April. Huge life changes and cross-country, emotional move. Working on another book for a friend now (unpublished), but I even took a break from that.


Work is still nuts, but I have reached some balance and have started reading for pleasure again. I mostly read history stuff. Two books I read recently are Prisoners of Geography, about geo-politics, and After the Prophet, a somewhat dramatized story about what happened to the people who were close to Muhammad in his later years, and after his death. The focus of the book is more on the people, but it ostensibly tells the story of the Sunni-Shia split.

Lots of magazines too.
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Re: Books read in 2017

Postby Kahrey » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:24 am

Omphalos wrote:Work is still nuts, but I have reached some balance and have started reading for pleasure again. I mostly read history stuff. Two books I read recently are Prisoners of Geography, about geo-politics, and After the Prophet, a somewhat dramatized story about what happened to the people who were close to Muhammad in his later years, and after his death. The focus of the book is more on the people, but it ostensibly tells the story of the Sunni-Shia split.

Lots of magazines too.


Oooo, those sound interesting! I haven't read history stuff in a long time, despite the enormous collection that I have. I inherited a good bit of my grandfather's books a few years ago, most of them history (and a lot of them conspiracy), but I haven't touched them yet. I keep staring at them...
"Life is trial and error. Those who succeed are those who survive their failures and keep trying." - LE Modesitt, Jr.
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