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Old 12-05-2012, 02:15 AM   #16
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The Best of Times:

Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey- I kept hearing about this collection, and I had actually bought it when it was a Kindle daily deal. I kept putting off reading it for whatever reason, but when I finally read it, I was blown away!

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett- I normally enjoy Terry Pratchett anyway, but this one was exceptionally funny.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness- Another popular book I didn't think I was going to like, but did.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- A mix of dystopia and 80's trivia...what's not to like?

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman - I love Alice Hoffman and I think this might be her best work yet.

Kindred by Octavia Butler- Disturbing, yet awesome.

Soulless by Gail Carriger - A comedic intro to the steampunk genre.

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood - Very timely for me, considering the political issues of the year here in the US.

The Worst of Times


50 Shades of Grey- I will never, never, NEVER understand why this book and its sequels are so popular. They're just so freaking BAD.

An Echo In the Bone by Diana Gabaldon - I love Outlander and the first few sequels, but the last few books in the series have just been awful.

The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike - I LOVED this book when it first came out (I think I was about 12) but it did not stand up to a re-read.




Soo...it seems like I read a lot more great books this year than books I didn't like.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:40 AM   #17
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Best (not including re-reads):
"Elizabeth the Queen" by Alison Weir - Biography of ER I, focusing on the Elizabeth herself rather more than other biographies, managing to give a good image of court life in a book that is quite short for its subject matter.

"The Skinner", "The Voyage of the Sable Keech" and "Orbus" by Neal Asher - a new (for me) trilogy by a writer who has now become my second favourite SF author (after Peter F. Hamilton).

"Master and Commander", "Post Captain" and "HMS Surprise" by Patrick O'Brien - wonderful stories which for some reason I've discovered only now

I cannot think of a bad book I've read this year but I am quite conservative and tentative in my reading habits. I find an author I like and tend to read that author's work. I also re-read a lot. So all in all, I'm rarely disappointed.
Last time I did not read a trilogy after finishing the first book was about 2-3 years ago. I recall that I abandoned the 2nd book half way through which is rare for me.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:46 AM   #18
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Faves of 2012:

Faith - John Love

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined - Stephen Pinker

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room - David Weinberger

On Intelligence - Jeff Hawkins

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

Not so Faves of 2012:

The Burrowers Beneath - Brian Lumley

2312 - Kim Stanley Robinson

In the Mouth of the Whale - Paul J. McAuley

Year Zero - Rob Reid



I'm not sure why, but a lot of the scifi books I picked up this year I ended up not liking; I'm not sure if that's due to my own changing tastes or just my selection process. I think the book I liked the least this year was In the Mouth of the Whale, with my favourite book being the non-fiction The Better Angels of Our Nature.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:26 AM   #19
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Faith by John Love - a wonderful sociological/psychological alien encounter SF novel

Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction - a wonderful historical examination of the field with full novels, stories, reviews, and commentary.

The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield - about writing and creativity and how to Do the Work
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #20
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My best read this year was "Wolf Hall" . I'm looking forward to reading "Bring Up the Bodies", and plan on reading more of Hilary Mantel's work.

I prefer to forget the bad ones.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #21
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Best Reads:
  • American Gods - Neil Gaiman
  • Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
  • A Clash Of Kings - George RR Martin
  • Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? - Phillip K. Dick
  • Seven Ancient Wonders - Matthew Reilly

Worst Reads:
  • Johnny Got His Gun - Dalton Trumbo
  • Cujo - Stephen King
  • Signal To Noise - Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean
  • I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream - Harlan Ellison
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #22
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This topics header got me to thinking about how many times that quote has been used for different topics. lol. Mr. Dickens is still going strong as we go deeper into the 21st century.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:40 AM   #23
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Favorite
Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good - Kevin Smith
The Book of Basketball - Bill Simmons
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
I Suck at Girls - Justin Halpern

Least Favorite
Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers - Tucker Max
When Parents Text: So Much Said...So Little Understood - Sophia Fraioli

Most Disappointing
The Last Man - Vince Flynn

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:01 PM   #24
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Oooh - I'll play. Been a very enjoyable year for reading for me, mainly series but so many to choose from...

Favourites:
  • Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold - the first two were the weakest for me but great humour and storylines when Miles arrives...
  • Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron - light and funny fantasy from one of the few authors I read this year that knew how to write a satisfying final book
  • Trader Tales 1-4 by Nathan Lowell - light YA scifi for a change of pace, looking forward to the rest making it to ebooks
  • Wool 1-7 by Hugh Howey - 'nuf said
  • Tomorrow's World series by John Marsden - a soft spot for some down under fiction

Swing and a Miss:
  • Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien - I have been assured the later books get better, but so utterly dull for landlubbers I haven't had the will to try them yet. My Dad also read it and felt the same, so not just me.
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - first book was great, second not bad if repetitive, this third was utterly disappointing...
  • I, Zombie by Hugh Howey - struggled to get through it, not a fan of short stories and especially not when repetitive like this.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien - I have been assured the later books get better, but so utterly dull for landlubbers I haven't had the will to try them yet. My Dad also read it and felt the same, so not just me.
I'm a sailor and I can't read these, they bore me to death. Yes, I know many people rave about them, but the excessive detail is mind-numbing for me.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #26
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(a bit), sorry...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Favourites:
Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold - the first two were the weakest for me but great humour and storylines when Miles arrives.
.....
Swing and a Miss:
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brien - I have been assured the later books get better, but so utterly dull for landlubbers I haven't had the will to try them yet. My Dad also read it and felt the same, so not just me.....
How deliciously different we all are! I like both Patrick O'Brien and McMaster Bujold (which is maybe the case with some of other people) and yet you only like one.

So, should I read Wool which you also like because you like Bujold, or should I not because you don't like O'Brien?

I feel a huge pressure to read "Wool" now, as many people here have put it in their "Best" section.

But I don't like to be told what to do (or what to read)!
And yet how can I resist so many recommendations?

Contradictory inputs... Cannot compute... Aaaaarrrgghhhh!!!!!
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #27
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Best of Times:

* This is Not Your City by Caitlin Horrocks
* State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
* The Round House by Louise Erdrich
* The Submission by Amy Waldman

Worst of Times:

* The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
* Go Ask Alice (I know, it's a "classic")
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #28
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As far as worst, I hate to cast dispersions, but this year's "Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012" was a complete let-down it was all watered down medical and psych stuff with not a higgs boson in sight (or any anthropology for that matter) http://www.amazon.com/Best-American-.../dp/0547799535
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:52 AM   #29
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Contradictory inputs... Cannot compute... Aaaaarrrgghhhh!!!!!
The only thing M&C and Vorkosigan have in common is that they are books

M&C (to me) was a bunch of anecdotal stories whose only thing in common is some of the characters. I found it a horribly difficult read - speech paragraphs would switch characters part way through making it difficult to understand who was actually saying what. Add to that the historical "prose", the author's repeated penchant for taking three pages to obfuscate the fact that the boat veered left with a sail change, and the distinct lack of anything "actually happening" until 30 pages or so at the end of the book and it just left me stone cold. There was no destination, no storyline, no momentum, no excitement and just no incentive to try more of it as yet.

As for Wool, I don't think it is perfect - particularly in that I am not a fan of "prequel" books which is what the current "Shift" trilogy after the 1-5 series is about. However the style of writing, the concept, the tension of discovery - it hooked me (and many others) in. I've become a big fan of his work (I, Zombie excepted) and also started his "Molly Fyde" series which I am also finding a cracking entertaining read.

We are all in the mood for different books at different times and have different reading experiences at the time we pickup a book. As with anything on the internet you can take any recommendations for or against with a pinch of salt.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:10 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
The only thing M&C and Vorkosigan have in common is that they are books

M&C (to me) was a bunch of anecdotal stories whose only thing in common is some of the characters. I found it a horribly difficult read - speech paragraphs would switch characters part way through making it difficult to understand who was actually saying what. Add to that the historical "prose", the author's repeated penchant for taking three pages to obfuscate the fact that the boat veered left with a sail change, and the distinct lack of anything "actually happening" until 30 pages or so at the end of the book and it just left me stone cold. There was no destination, no storyline, no momentum, no excitement and just no incentive to try more of it as yet.
I've read the first book and enjoyed it and intend to read the rest sometime.
Jo Walton recently hosted a re-read on her blog at Tor.com.
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/10/not...maturin-series

I can't find the specific post but there's a group of books well into the series that she says has the best storyline and are her favorites and can be read alone if you don't want to read all 20 books.

Last edited by BenG; 12-08-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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