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January 2nd, 2015

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07:43 pm - Books Read In 2014
Every year I keep track of how many new books I finished. In 2011 I read 63 books, in 2012 I read 58, in 2013 I read 56, and in 2014 I read... 39!

Hmm. Not as good as previous years, but in my defense I was back at work full time for all of 2014, which is its own kind of awesome. This year, I'd like to make a dent in my TBR bookshelf. It's ceiling height and double-stacked, and I have three full overflow boxes... I suppose I could also stop buying new books... Ahahahahahahahaha. No.

1. The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty (paper book)
2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (paper book)
3. The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (paper book)
4. A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock (paper book)
5. Curious, If True: Strange Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell (ebook)
6. Parasite by Mira Grant (paper book)
7. More Than This by Patrick Ness (paper book)
8. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (paper book)
9. The 2014 Nebula Award Short Story Nominees (ebook)
10. Planesrunner by Ian McDonald (paper book)
11. Forever in the Memory of God: And Other Stories by Peadar Ó Guilín (ebook)
12. The Futurological Congress by Stanisław Lem (paper book)
13. Vertigo by Bob Shaw (paper book)
14. Dark Night in Toyland by Bob Shaw (paper book)
15. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (paper book)
16. The Palace of Eternity by Bob Shaw (paper book)
17. Ash-Tree Press Macabre Volume Two (ebook)
18. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (ebook)
19. Starshadows by Pamela Sargent (paper book)
20. The Ginger Star (The Book of Skaith #1) by Leigh Brackett (paper book)
21. A Crack in Everything by Ruth Frances Long (paper book)
22. Hurricane Fever by Tobias Buckell (ebook)
23. The Volunteer by Peadar Ó Guilín (paper book)
24. The Shunned House by HP Lovecraft (ebook)
25. Folk'd by Laurence Donaghy (paper book)
26. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells (ebook)
27. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (paper book)
28. The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
29. The Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
30. The Incredulity of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
31. The Secret of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
32. The Scandal of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
33. Sand by Hugh Howey (paper book)
34. Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell (ebook)
35. Good Red Herring by Susan Maxwell (paper book)
36. Death & Co by D. J. McCune (paper book)
37. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green (ebook)
38. City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare (paper book)
39. Collected Stories by Elizabeth Bowen (paper book)

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 4th, 2015 02:38 pm (UTC)
I see a few Bob Shaw books on the list, but not among those I've read or would consider his most famous. What did you think?
[User Picture]
Date:January 4th, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
My eclectic Bob Shaw collection was sourced from Chapters' secondhand department and free-to-good-home tables at Octocon and P-Con.

My favourites so far are Vertigo (aka Terminal Velocity), The Ceres Solution and Night Walk. Those three books all have main characters with disabilities, and Bob Shaw writes them with an element of... truthiness... that impresses me. He's very good at expressing the polite, controlled, rage of living with a long-term disability. I believe he had vision and migraine difficulties throughout most of his life, which he probably drew on for his fiction... I really need to get an academically-inclined nerd interested in writing a paper on the topic.

I wasn't crazy about Dark Night in Toyland, a short story collection. The shorts tended towards the "dark", but didn't really having anything original to say. So it was just a bunch of miserable stories about miserable people being miserable. The Palace of Eternity was also a swing-and-a-miss for me. It starts off as a MilSF genre story and morphs into a PostHuman genre story, and as I'm not crazy about either of those settings I didn't enjoy it.

Who Goes Here? is one of the "famous" stories - and a few pages in I realised I had read it when I was about ten. For years I have been searching for the book with the yellow cover about a man with self-inflicted amnesia that blew my little ten-year-old mind. Years I have been looking for this book, years and it turns out the author was Irish... Fortunately the older me still found it very enjoyable. Tongue very firmly in cheek, and very much part of the same literary heritage as Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat and Bill, the Galactic Hero.

Sitting in my humongous TBR pile is the Bob Shaw SF Gateway Omnibus (Orbitsville, A Wreath of Stars, The Ragged Astronauts), which I believe is the only Bob Shaw work still in print (there are ebooks available of some other stories, though). I've already read The Ragged Astronauts (pleasant, "traditional" SF with alieny-aliens solving alieny problems in a very unlikely way) but I'm looking forward to finally getting around to reading the other two this year.

Edited at 2015-01-04 08:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2015 09:39 am (UTC)
Thanks, that's a good overview! Yes, Who Goes Here, The Ragged Astronauts and Orbitsville would be among the big ones for him. I loved all of them when I read them long, long ago.

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