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What I've been reading.....

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So many books, so little time. So, what the heck am I doing writing this interminable list when I should be READING???
Reading List 2001
23,122 pgs
Reading List 2002
20,767 pgs
Reading List 2003
24,050 pgs
Reading List 2004
21,653 pgs
Reading List 2005
24,846 pgs
Reading List 2006
21,436 pgs
Reading List 2007
22,268 pgs
Reading List 2008
30,900 pgs
Reading List 2009
29.878 pgs
Reading List 2010
23,946 pgs
Reading List 2011
24,133 pgs
Reading List 2012
22,319 pgs
Reading List 2013
22,412 pgs
Reading List 2014
21,248 pgs
Reading List 2015
19,081 pgs
Reading List 2016
14,060 pgs
Reading List 2017
17,801 pgs
Reading List 2018
17,033 pgs
Reading List 2019
12,201 pgs
Reading List 2020
11,685 pgs
Reading List 2021
11,114 pgs
Reading List 2022
15,112 pgs
Reading List 2023
12,497 pgs
Reading List 2024

    If you're curious, or simply nosey, this section is a listing of the books I've been reading lately. My reading habits tend to be all over the map as far as genre, and I also seem to have the retention ability of a screen door with the screens ripped out, and the door held open. So, more to the point, this list helps me to remember what books I've read so I don't end up buying them again. Wow, using the internet to store extra memory, how futuristic can you get?
     Now, enjoy! (Oh, and feel free to send me free books. No pressure, just a suggestion... )
~ 2017 ~

    January 2017
        Orange Is the New Black ~ Piper Kerman (2011) memoir (302 pgs)
Insider view of life in women's prison system. Eye opening on how to survive, how the system is screwed up.
        Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain ~ A. Lee Martinez (2012) sf/fantasy/humor (293 pgs)
Fun and inventive little romp through the tropes of super-villainy by the always enjoyable Mr. Martinez
        The Extra Man ~ Jonathan Ames (1998) novel (366 pgs)
An odd couple for the new age, aging male “escort” and young man with some odd fetishes. Funny, and even touching.
        The Bride of Fu-Manchu ~ Sax Rohmer (1931) thriller, pulp (282 pgs)
One of the original Fu-Manchu novels. Fun quick-moving pulpy adventure-- lots of exclamation marks!!!

    February 2017
        Along Those Lines: The Boundaries That Create Our World ~ Peter Cashwell (2014) science, history (229 pgs)
Geography, music, politics, gender, science, arts-- so many things involve the idea of “lines” being drawn.
        They Eat Puppies, Don't They? ~ Christopher Buckley (2012) novel (334 pgs)
Political satire and dark humor, great characters and plot twists as usual from Buckley.
        Doc ~ Mary Doria Russell (2011) historical fiction (394 pgs)
Great re-telling, and correcting, of the myths of Doc Holliday, the Earp brothers, and others. Well-done characterizations.
        The Fuller Memorandum ~ Charles Stross (2010) horror (304 pgs)
Another adventure in the Lovecraftian-inspired darkness of the Laundry Files. Kick ass fun from Stross.
        Uganda Be Kidding Me ~ Chelsea Handler (2014) humor (255 pgs)
Some funny stuff, but after a while the drinking and bad behavior and arguing got tiring to read.
        Curse of the Thunder Jewel ~ Becky Burkheart (2013) fantasy (216 pgs)
Read in preparation for doing a new cover, think I can give it an interesting and eye-catching one.

    March 2017
        The Reproductive System ~ John Sladek (1968)
        The Muller-Fokker Effect~ John Sladek (1971)
        Tik-Tok~ John Sladek (1983) - 3 SF novels (total 480 pgs)
Omnibus collection of three of Sladek's weirdest, most surreal socially satirical sf novels. Truly, wonderfully twisted writing.
        I Love You More Than You Know ~ Jonathan Ames (2006) essays (267 pgs)
Low-key humorous essays from a writer who lays out all his personal twists for perusal.
        Arrival (previously Stories of Your Life and Others) ~ Ted Chiang (2002) sf short stories (281 pgs)
Wonderful collection of stories, loved the ones exploring ideas of “what if this aspect of religion was real” type.

    April 2017
        The Malice of Fortune ~ Michael Ennis (2012) novel (396 pgs)
Murder-mystery in the Renaissance. Interesting to read once, but nothing I'd go back to.
        The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry ~ Gabrielle Zevin (2014) novel (270 pgs)
Lovely, simply and directly told tale of somewhat cranky bookstore owner who finds he can share his life with others.

    May 2017
        The Gormenghast Trilogy ~Mervyn Peake (1988) novel, fantasy (1,023 pgs) RE-READ
        collects: Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), Titus Alone (1959)
Fifth time to read the trilogy: first two novels still amazing in prose and ideas, third a disappointment after those wonders.
        House of Leaves ~ Mark Z. Danielewsk (2000) novel (709 pgs) RE-READ
Second reading, gripping core story, and bizarrely wonderful book design.
        Delancey ~ Molly Wizenberg (2014) memoir (240 pgs)
Tale of a couple starting their own restaurant, never having had any experience at all. Fun, gentle read.
        Dear Committee Members ~ Julie Schumacher (2014) novel, humor (180 pgs)
Loved it, composed of a series of Letters of Recommendations by a jaded academic professor. Satirical and funny.

    June 2017
        The Mountains of Madness and Othes – H.P. Lovecraft (1939-1943) horror, fantasy, (432 pgs) RE-READ
It's been a while since read HPL, but still one of a kind, over the top, and uniquely weird.
        Tales of The Cthulhu Mythos, Volume 1 ~ August Derleth, Ed (1927 – 1944) short stories, horror, fantasy (240 pgs) RE-READ
One tale from HPL, nine by other authors. Even as better writers, they don't pull it off as well as he does. There can be only one!
        The Rose Motel ~William Breiding (2017) non fiction, essays (210 pgs)
Collection of personal essays, some sci-fi fandom related, most not. Always interesting when folks open up their own lives in print.
        Versus ~ Ogden Nash (1949) Poetry (169 pgs) RE-READ
        Bed Riddance ~ Ogden Nash (1969) Poetry (127 pgs) RE-READ
A quick dip back into these cool little collections of funky, inventive, fun poetry. And illos by Milton Glaser in the "Bed" book!

    July 2017
        The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil ~ George Saunders (2005) novel, political satire ( 130 pgs) RE-READ
Wonderfully weird first time read it, now even more “Trumpey” in it's description of deranged leader of a mythical country.
        The Brain-Dead Megaphone ~ George Saunders (2008) essays (257 pgs) RE-READ
A great selection of short essays from Saunders, casting his eye on wide and varied subjects, always an entertaining read.
        The Princess Bride ~ William Goldman (1973) fantasy (283 pgs) RE-READ
Only been a couple of years since last time, time for a re-read again!
        If I Die in a Combat Zone ~ Tim O'Brien (1973) memoir (205 pgs)
Straight forward and chilling account of the author's tour of duty in the Vietnam War.
        Postsingular ~ Rudy Rucker (2007) science fiction (320 pgs)
I've enjoyed a lot of Rucker novels, but this one was kind of disappointing, just never really engaged with the weirdness.
        Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish ~ David Rakoff (2013) fiction, verse (115 pgs)
Rakoff taking a different approach to telling a story of lives lived, good and bad, sometime intersecting.
        Railsea ~ China Mieville (2012) science fiction (424 pgs)
Another page turner from Mieville, stuffed with inventive new ideas, rich visuals, and wild fun. Loved it.

    August 2017
        The Bone Clocks ~ David Mitchell (2014) novel, fantasy (624 pgs)
Page-turning style, mix of the super-real and the ultra-fantasy, with a darker ended than expected. Quite enjoyed it.
        A Whack on the Side of the Head ~ Roger von Oech (1983, 1990) creativity (196 pgs)
Some good stuff, some filler. The pen and ink illos by George Willett are wonderful, most creative part of the book!
        The Invention of Religion ~ Alexander Drake (2012) religion, sociology (107 pgs)
Interesting look at how trying to understand the world around us can lead to all the parts that make up religious beliefs.
        The Continent of Lies ~ James Morrow (1984) science fiction (281 pgs)
Old-school sf adventure, not what I love from Morrow's later works, but certainly an interesting tale.
        Oblivion ~ David Foster Wallace (2004) short stories (329 pgs)
Sometimes it's more enjoying the journey that looking for a destination with DFW. Always a fascinating read.

    September 2017
        Sock ~ Penn Jillette (2004) novel (228 pgs)
Strange and twisted murder story, less about the plot and more about the weirdness, just like Penn.
        The Book on the Book Shelf ~ Henry Petroski (1999) history, design, books (252 pgs)
My nerd credentials are still strong-- just read and thoroughly enjoyed a book all about books and shelves!
        The Hippopotamus ~ Stephen Fry (1994) novel (292 pgs)
Nice twist on the proper British upper class mystery with the Fry touch. Both critical and understanding of his characters.
        The Invention of Christianity ~ Alexander Drake (2014) religion, sociology (55 pgs)
A short (almost a pamphlet) look at the man-made origins of Christianity.
        Dos, Don'ts & Maybes of English Usage ~ Theodore M. Bernstein (1977) language (250 pgs)
Alphabetical overview of proper English usage-- actually quite a fun read.

    October 2017
        A Passion for Books ~ Harold Rabinowitz & Rob Kaplan (eds) (1999) history, literature (342 pgs)
Great collection of essays, articles, and whatnot through the ages on the whole love to books.
        The Child Garden ~ Geoff Ryman (1989) science fiction (388 pgs)
Loaded with great new ideas, but in the end just falls down with confusing over-writing that conveys little.
        The Relic Master ~ Christopher Buckley (2015) novel (378 pgs)
Buckley's nicely off-center fictional view of the Shroud of Turin possibly being painted by Durer. Great book.

    November 2017
        A Brief Guide to Oz ~ Paul Simpson (2013) history (263 pgs)
In-depth look at the main books, as well as all off-shoots, movies, plays, comics, etc. Got some new ones to look up!
        Under My Hat: Tales From the Cauldron ~ Jonathan Strahan (editor) (2012) fantasy, short stories (424 pgs)
Great collection of stories of witches: funny, sad, strange, and disturbing by turn from a great group of authors.
        Furiously Happy ~ Jenny Lawson (2015) essays (325 pgs)
Brilliantly funny and touching writing from Lawson. Had me laughing constantly.
        A Voyage to Arcturus ~ David Lindsay (1920) novel (302 pgs)
Mostly plotless, excuse for odd arguments among characters about things I find silly, and pointless violence.
        Through a Basement Window: The Collected Comix of Clark A. Dissmeyer 1984-1986 ~Marc Myers (ed) (2017) comics (155 pgs)
Purposely rough artwork serving stories from goofy to weirdly twisted, Clark was definitely an original in the newave comic scene.
        Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore ~ Robin Sloan (2012) novel, fantasy (288 pgs)
Wonderful, page-turning tale, combining classic fantasy tropes with the modern hi-tech world. His first novel, hope he does more.
        The Liars' Club ~ Mary Karr (1995) memoir (320 pgs)
Harrowing account of a Texas childhood in the early sixties. Engrossing, well written, but very sad.

    December 2017
        Dorothy Return To Oz ~ Thomas L. Tedrow (1993) fantasy (254 pgs)
Reads more like barely competently written bad fan-fiction. None of the magic of the Oz books. Just trying to cash in on the name.
        The Stranger ~ Albert Camus (1942) novel (154 pgs)
Story of a man mostly disconnected from his own emotions, and how this disserves him when charged with murder.
        Moby-Dick ~ Herman Melville (1851) novel (551 pgs)
Massive novel of obsession, both of the main character, and of the author to get in everything possible about whales and whaling.
        Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen (1813) novel (374 pgs)
Mores and morals in Georgian/Regency England, with nice touches of humor and satire.
        A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck ~ Roger Ebert (2012) movies, reviews (368 pgs)
A review of a good movie helps you know what to go watch. A good review of a bad movie is a reward in itself to read.
        Kitty Cornered ~ Bob Tarte (2012) memoir, pets (288 pgs)
Cute and quick read of a man's life with cats (and other animals, but mainly cats. )
        The Look Book ~Red Nose Studio (Chris Sickels) (2007) picture book (74 pgs)
It looks like a chldren's book, but definitely too dark and twisted for that, more for adults with a warped sense of humor.
        This Census-Taker ~ China Mieville (2016) science fiction (206 pgs)
Short, strange, clearly just the lead in to something larger to come. If it wasn't China, would be disappointed. But, I'll wait...

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