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Old 10-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
brecklundin
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What has your reading year been like? Mine has been, well, different...

First I love SF and pretty much only wander out for special cases and classics, though I like good mysteries and adventure works a lot as well. Good biographies of scientists (read Einstein as well as American Prometheus (about Robert Oppenheimer) both of which were far from dry and well written...despite those reads I have been just had the worst possible case of Dystopian/Cyberpunk Buying Addiction (DCBA) this year. I am more on the dystopia side of things. Maybe it's the times or maybe the writers are simply getting better at the sub-genre.

Standouts for me have been
  • Jennifer Government by Max Berry,
  • Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
  • Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff,
  • Shantaram by David Roberts (amazing story in the way it made me feel as if I was part of the story),
  • Spin by Robert Charles Wilson,
  • The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin,
  • Daemon by Daniel Suarez,
  • The Unincorporated War(sequel to TUM) by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin,
  • Freedom™ (sequel to Daemon) by Daniel Suarez,
  • Cryptonomicon (finally) by Neal Stephenson,
  • All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson,
  • Halting State by Charles Stross was the last so far.

Those all have some really great appeal to me and weirdly I simply chose them randomly via various searches...no recommendations from people, no reviews other than the occasional NYT Book Review. I honestly don't remember a year where I enjoys this many novels. I don't believe there was more that a couple clunkers in my "virtual stacks" this year.

And that does not include an embarrassing addiction to the entire Ender's Game series. I don't know how but that series really drew me in and I so dislike Orson Scott Card's personal opinions and what not, but I liked that series...but these books were all FUN. The first was more young adult and the rest were more adult not in terms of language (I enjoyed that part which is weird because I have been known to cuss like a sailor on occasion...hahahaha) and themes. I actually can recommend them to people. Heck, I even bought the Audible versions as well...see, it's embarrassing!!

I was delighted to run across, not in ebook form unfortunately, The Sam Gunn Omnibus by Ben Bova. Just a delightful, light, easy and FUNNY read.

I tried to get some of my old Space Travel & Aliens spirit back by reading Pandora's Star which I completely enjoyed but that did not do the trick, went right back to the dystopian stuff.

One read I finally did was Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep....sorry, every version of the movie is intensely better. For me that was a first going back to 2001, Jaws & Day of the Dolphin I read as a kid then saw the movies when the came out...man were the books better! But the movie adaptation of Dick's book was so much better for me...but, hey they can't all be winners for everyone, it's still an interesting read it just felt lacking for me.

Other memorable reads this year were Spook Country, The Dark River (sequel to The Traveler)...there were a couple dozen others others as well as a passel of re-reads or audiobooks.

So now in hopes of breaking the string of these novels I am going to try and join the group read for November, but what to I vote for? Freaking Wind0Up Girl, another dystopian/cyberpunk sort of book...oh did I mention I have filled in my working moments during the day the past month with some marathons sessions of the wonderfully screwed future shown in the Showtime series Jeremiah (it's one right now...) sigh, I am beyond saving.

Still the best part of this year is I think I discovered more writers previously unknown to me this year. I have to attribute that to being more active in using ebooks over print books. Still, as I started, this year has been an interesting adventure reading wise and life wise. Not sure if there will be a next year but at least I had fun reading what I have. And hey the year is far from over yet!

Anyway, sorry this was long but for some reason it just dawned on me that it was a good year for me reading wise.

Last edited by brecklundin; 10-24-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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My year has been dominated by series books. I think I am subconsciously trying to de-clutter my list of collections on the Kindle, so I am trying to finish the series books I have. I have been reading Star Trek, Charlaine Harris, JD Robb (which I read in paper and have been re-reading in ebook thanks to a Fictionwise sale) and Victoria Laurie. Haven't touched the Janet Evanovich yet---got the whole series for about $5 thanks to a glitch with a Fictionwise coupon code where you could keep re-using the rebate, and keep meaning to get to these but have so much else to read that I haven't gotten to them.

I also went through a long-ish non-fiction stage. Highlights for me included:

- No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
- Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman
- Columbine by Dave Cullen
- The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn
- Relentless Pursuit by Donna Foote
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

And I have been doing my Smashwords reviews. Only two standouts so far, which has been disappointing. Many of the true 'indie' books in the sense that they were totally self-pubbed honestly felt more like first drafts to me. I am hoping that as the project continues, I will find some better ones.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
My year has been dominated by series books. I think I am subconsciously trying to de-clutter my list of collections on the Kindle, so I am trying to finish the series books I have. I have been reading Star Trek, Charlaine Harris, JD Robb (which I read in paper and have been re-reading in ebook thanks to a Fictionwise sale) and Victoria Laurie. Haven't touched the Janet Evanovich yet---got the whole series for about $5 thanks to a glitch with a Fictionwise coupon code where you could keep re-using the rebate, and keep meaning to get to these but have so much else to read that I haven't gotten to them.

I also went through a long-ish non-fiction stage. Highlights for me included:

- No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
- Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman
- Columbine by Dave Cullen
- The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn
- Relentless Pursuit by Donna Foote
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

And I have been doing my Smashwords reviews. Only two standouts so far, which has been disappointing. Many of the true 'indie' books in the sense that they were totally self-pubbed honestly felt more like first drafts to me. I am hoping that as the project continues, I will find some better ones.

I think that is the trouble with a lot of these 'indie' books - they aren't very good, you really have to hunt out the good stuff.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:15 AM   #4
brecklundin
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I have found the same of the indie books. But hey, that is part of the fun of hunting for good stuff. There will always be dawgs piles in that indie slush pile...many more of them than gold nuggets.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
And I have been doing my Smashwords reviews. Only two standouts so far, which has been disappointing. Many of the true 'indie' books in the sense that they were totally self-pubbed honestly felt more like first drafts to me. I am hoping that as the project continues, I will find some better ones.
I feel your pain. Much as I applaud those who venture into the realm of self-publishing, as a reader I prefer books that have jumped through the hoops of the gatekeepers.

My year has been dominated by mandated reading for a graduate school program. Not many standouts there.

I did read a really fun, hardboiled murder story (it's in the MR library) -- Never Say No to a Killer by Clifton Adams.

Also an amusing murder mystery set in a writing workshop: The Writing Class by Jincy Willet.
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