What I've been reading.....
| Reading List 2001
| Reading List 2002
| Reading List 2003
| Reading List 2004
| Reading List 2005
| Reading List 2006
| Reading List 2007
| Reading List 2008
| Reading List 2009
| Reading List 2010
| Reading List 2011
| Reading List 2012
| Reading List 2013
| Reading List 2014
| Reading List 2015
| Reading List 2016
| Reading List 2017
| Reading List 2018
| Reading List 2019
|Reading List 2020|
Midnight Riot ~ Ben Aaronovitch (2011) fantasy (298 pgs)
Fun, clever urban fantasy, magic on the police force in London. Lots of historical referencing, a good read.
No Way to Treat a First Lady ~ Christopher Buckley (2002) novel (288 pgs)
Another winner from Buckley, skewering both politics and the legal system in a hilarious satire of the worst of both.
Frank R. Paul, Father of Science Fiction Art ~ Stephen D. Korshak (ed) (2009) bio/art book (127 pgs)
Wonderful collection of the work of classic sf artist Paul. When you think of early sf images, it will often be his work!
Zeitgeist ~ Bruce Sterling (2000) novel (280 pgs)
Often not sure what was going on, but always having a good time on the ride with this one.
Bossypants ~ Tina Fey (2011) autobiography (284 pgs)
Funny, smart writing-- plus she nails what it is to be able to do good improv/collaboration in only two pages!
Vernon God Little ~ DBC Pierre (2003) novel (278 pgs)
Huck Finn meets Catcher in the Rye, with much more cursing, in this pointed satire of modern justice system.
Why Evolution is True ~ Jerry A. Coyne (2009) science, evolution (276 pgs)
Presents the clear, obvious evidence of the evolution of life, and the process of discovering this fact. A good read.
Robots versus Slime Monsters ~ A. Lee Martinez (2013) short stories, fantasy (201 pgs)
Ten wonderful new short stories based off of characters from his ten previous novels. Another great Martinez read.
The Apocalypse Codex ~ Charles Stross (2012) science fiction (355 pgs)
More bizarre advetnures of the agents of the super-secret Laundry, scary love-child of Ian Fleming and HPL. Great fun.
Pretty Monsters ~ Kelly Link (2010) short stories, fantasy (404 pgs)
Wonderful voice, subtle but engrossing, creepy ideas hidden in everyday observations of people, a great read.
The Men Who Stare At Goats ~ Jon Ronson (2004) technology, military (259 pgs)
The truth truly is stranger than you think, or even want to know. Military experiments with woo, and the men who did it.
Riding Rockets ~ Mike Mullane (2006) autobiography, science (360 pgs)
Memoir of space shuttle astronaut, lots of behind the scenes, the science and the emotions involved.
(Not that You Asked) ~ Steve Almond (2007) essays (288 pgs)
Wonderful collection of essays, good snark, good depth, best one is looking at Kurt Vonnegut as his inspiration.
Non-Stop ~ Brian Aldiss (1958) science fiction (241 pgs)
Early Aldiss, hard-core sf as people discover they are inside of a giant damaged starship. Fun read.
That's Not Funny, That's Sick ~ Ellin Stein (2013) history (423 pgs)
A detailed history of The National Lampoon, the people involved, and offshoots like Sat Night Live. Good stuff.
Mort(e) ~ Robert Repino (2015) science fiction (358 pgs)
Sentient cats and dogs at war with giant mutant ants over the last few humans on the planet. Weirder than that sounds!
Odysseus Abroad ~ Amit Chaudhuri (2014) novel (204 pgs)
Dustjacket blurbs promised: “stunning prose.. surreal comedy..wry, self-mocking, often hilarious sex.” Contained none of that.
The Wisdom of the Bones ~ Alan Walker and Pat Shipman (1996) Anthropology, history (301 pgs)
Fascinating look at the history of discovering and analyzing evidence of human past evolution
Looking for Jake ~ China Miéville (2005) short stories, fantasy (303 pgs)
More wonderful writing, this time in smaller bites. Even a touch of satirical humor in one. Always loving me some China!
The Last Testament: A Memoir by God ~ David Javerbaum (2011) humor, religion (364 pgs)
God sets us straight on all that stuff we got wrong reading the Bible, the Koran, and some new info as well. Funny stuff.
The Sirens of Titan ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1959) science fiction (319 pgs) RE-READ
Loved the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, and decided time to re-read, in order! (After finished, found out this was his 2nd one.)
The Littlest Hitler ~ Ryan Boudinot (2006) short stories (215 pgs)
Unclassifiable odd tales, slightly surreal, kind of fantasy, just plain wonderfully low-key weird. Loved them all.
Anna Karenina ~ Leo Tolstoy (1877) novel (836 pgs)
He managed to work in thoughts on just about everything at some point in this massive novel.
Shipstar ~ Gregory Benford & Larry Niven (2014) science fiction (415 pgs)
Been a while since I read any new real hard-tech, big-idea sci-fi. Quite fun, even if I'm not following all the science.
The Book of Strange New Things ~ Michael Faber (2014) novel, sf (500 pgs)
How do you bring religion to aliens as your own life breaks up? Engrossing and well-written sf.
The Library At Mount Char ~ Scott Hawkins (2015) novel, fantasy (388 pgs)
Dark, violent, and very inventive fantasy tale of god-like beings in the contemporary world. Hope he writes more.
Player Piano ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr (1952) novel (305 pgs) RE-READ
Vonnegut's first. A good read, not a great one, with ideas he will dip back into later first showing up here.
I, Vampire ~ Jody Scott (1984) science fiction (206 pgs)
Weird, but ultimately disappointed. Turned out kind of a disjointed, weird-for-it's-own-sake type of story.
On the Origin of Species ~ Charles Darwin (1872 edition) science, biology (458 pgs)
Surprisingly readable and accessible classic that forms the foundation of modern evolutionary theory and thought.
Mother Night ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1961) novel (192 pgs) RE-READ
Vonnegut still exploring how people reacted to WWII, old-school twist ending, still a good read with lots of nice sections.
Why I Am Not a Christian ~ Bertrand Russel (1957) philosophy (268 pgs)
Interesting essays on religion and related subjects, covering some three decades of his thoughts and writings.
Lest Darkness Fall ~ L. Sprague de Camp (1941) science fiction (168 pgs)
Classic sf time travel story-- if you ended up in the past, could you improve or change things with your knowledge of history?
JPod ~ Douglas Coupland (2006) novel (449 pgs)
Flashback to the nifty “meta-novels” used to love. Weird, stylish, funny, and plays with the look of the page. Might try more.
Disturbing the Universe ~ Freeman Dyson (1979) science, autobiography (261 pgs)
He rubbed elbows with Feynman, Oppenheimer, and other luminaries of modern physics in his career, a fascinating look back.
Cat's Cradle ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr (1963) novel (204 pgs) RE-READ
Ice-Nine, Bokononism, and foma – harmless untruths; lies that, if used correctly, can be useful. Vonnegut becomes Vonnegut!
Moon Over Soho ~ Ben Aaronovitch (2011) fantasy (288 pgs)
Second in this urban fantasy series set in London, rich in details, fun & quick read, might try some more down the line.
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men ~ David Foster Wallace (1999) short stories (321 pgs)
Strange, disturbing, funny, frustrating, never the same amazing writing that could only be Wallace.
Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War ~ Mary Roach (2016) science, history (272 pgs)
Roach looks at what really moves an army, and keeps them alive while doing it. Her usual amazing collection of info.
Naked Lunch ~ William S. Burroughs (1959) novel (297 pgs) – not finished
Got half way, Yeah, people are horrible, got the idea early on. Got bored, skimmed, no interest. Trial transcripts at start best part.
Comic Relief: A Comprehensive Philosophy of Humor ~ John Morreall (2009) philosophy (147 pgs)
Why do we laugh? Where did humor come from? What is the good and bad of humor? Taking a funny subject quite seriously.
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr (1965) novel (203 pgs) RE-READ
First appearance of Kilgore Trout, and the start of the breaking up of prose into small sections within the chapters.
godless ~ Dan Barke (2008) religion (356 pgs)
Moving from evangelical Christian to activist atheist, a fascinating story of discovery, doubt and final freedom.
After Alice ~ Gregory Maguire (2015) novel (285 pgs)
Maguire looks at the Alice story with new characters. Another interesting re-imaging from Maguire.
Consider the Lobster ~ David Foster Wallace (2006) non-fiction, essays (342 pgs)
I love almost all of Wallace's work, great fiction, but it will be getting more of his essays on all aspects of life I will miss the most.
In Search of the Double Helix ~ John Gribbin (1985) science, history (349 pgs)
Fascinating look at the scientific process. I got some of it, but even when he tried to dumb-down the math, I got lost. Oh well.
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity ~ A. Lee Martinez (2016) novel, fantasy (365 pgs)
I've yet to read a Martinwz novel I did not enjoy, and this was no exception. And, I understand he might do more! Yay!
Constance Verity Saves the World ~ A. Lee Martinez (2018) novel, fantasy (385 pgs)
More adventures of his first continuing character. Great fun, great energy, love his playing with the cliches of the genre.
Alphabetter Juice or, The Joy of Text ~Roy Blount Jr. (2011) language (283 pgs)
Blount talks about words, their meanings, their histories, with great joy and interest. A fun read to drop into.
Welcome to the Monkey House ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1968) short stories (308 pgs) RE-READ
20 years of early Vonnegut stories, showing a working writer finding his voice. Some good jewels in there.
Whispers Under Ground ~ Ben Aaronovitch (2012) novel, fantasy (303 pgs)
Third in the series, still a good read, but not as much of the “weird” as previous, and doesn't live up to backcover blurb promise.
How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God ~ Michael Shermer (2000) religion (260 pgs)
A look at why it is that people seek out and believe in gods. Interesting in parts, bit dry in others, but overall a good read.
Slaughterhouse-Five ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1969) novel (215 pgs) RE-READ
This is the book where Kurt Vonnegut Jr really becomes Kurt Vonnegut Jr, the unique phrasing, style, it all starts here. Great read!
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child ~ Bob Spitz (2012) biography (534 pgs)
In-depth look at an amazing life dedicated to changing how people think about food. A good read.
Breakfast of Champions ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1973) novel (305 pgs) RE-READ
More weird and wonderful almost stream of conciousness from Kurt, now with his own drawings liberally taking up space!
Gilliamesque ~ Terry Gilliam (2015) autobiography (289 pgs)
What a life of creativity Gilliam has led. Ups and downs, but never boring, that's for sure!
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