Top ten recent TBR additions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

My TBR is a pulsating, intangible being, existing in an area spanning my to-read shelf on goodreads, my wishlists on amazon/audible, and the fuzzy mold-like stuff growing in the back of my cranium, occasionally throwing out a spore of “Hey, remember once a couple of years ago you read a review somewhere that said this author was somehow similar to (or opposite to) that other author, and you also saw this title mentioned inside the text of that other novel you read….” – you know.   It’s a large and beautiful beast, my TBR.  Pretty sure I have something like four hundred books contained in it, all things added up.

And I feel pretty good about that.   I insist on feeling good about that. I’m just really tired of stressing out or feeling weirdly ashamed of saying “Ooh, that looks cool!” at a much higher rate than I can actually read things.  And I’ve realised I probably treat my TBR differently than the people who regularly cut it down like a bonsai bramble.

As for recent additions to the list:

akeyanegganunfortunateremark 1. A key, an egg, an unfortunate remark  by Harry Connolly

A MYSTERIOUS KILLING

After years of waging a secret war against the supernatural, Marley Jacobs put away her wooden stakes and silver bullets, then turned her back on violence. She declared Seattle, her city, a safe zone for everyone, living and undead. There would be no more preternatural murder under her watch.

But waging peace can make as many enemies as waging war, and when Marley’s nephew turns up dead in circumstances suspiciously like a vampire feeding, she must look into it. Is there a new arrival in town? Is someone trying to destroy her fragile truce? Or was her nephew murdered because he was, quite frankly, a complete tool?

As Marley investigates her nephew’s death, she discovers he had been secretly dabbling in the supernatural himself. What, exactly, had he been up to, and who had he been doing it with? More importantly, does it threaten the peace she has worked so hard to create? (Spoiler: yeah, it absolutely does.)

 

loismcmasterbujold

 

 2. Lois McMaster Bujold (Modern Masters of Science fiction) by Edward James

Readers have awarded Lois McMaster Bujold four Hugo Awards for Best Novel, a number matched only by Robert Heinlein. Her Vorkosigan series redefined space opera with its emotional depth and explorations of themes such as bias against the disabled, economic exploitation, and the role of women in society.

Acclaimed science fiction scholar Edward James traces Bujold’s career, showing how Bujold emerged from fanzine culture to win devoted male and female readers despite working in genres–military SF, space opera–perceived as solely by and for males.

(There is also a new Vorkosigan book coming! And I haven’t yet read Bujold’s fantasy stuff, so obviously those are also books on my TBR list. The only reason I haven’t bit into them yet is, of course, the insane amount of good, but lengthy, fantasy going around. Anyway, Bujold is fantastic, and if you’re into audiobooks, Grover Gardner made them into excellent gateway-audiobooks for me.)

 

 

cityofblades3. City of blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

The city of Voortyashtan was once the home of the goddess of death, war and destruction, but now it’s little more than a ruin.

General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to find a Saypuri secret agent who’s gone AWOL in the middle of a mission.

But the ghosts of past wars have followed her there, and soon she begins to wonder what happened to the souls in the afterlife when the gods were defeated by her people, the Polis. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

This sequel to City of stairs was recently given a release date, which must have induced a worldwide happy sigh from everyone who wants to know what Sigrud is doing right now.  I can’t wait.

 

 

returnoftheblackdeath

4. Return of the black death – The world’s greatest serial killer by Susan Scott & Christopher Duncan

If the twenty-first century seems an unlikely stage for the return of a 14th-century killer, the authors of Return of the Black Death argue that the plague, which vanquished half of Europe, has only lain dormant, waiting to emerge again—perhaps, in another form. At the heart of their chilling scenario is their contention that the plague was spread by direct human contact (not from rat fleas) and was, in fact, a virus perhaps similar to AIDS and Ebola. Noting the periodic occurrence of plagues throughout history, the authors predict its inevitable re-emergence sometime in the future, transformed by mass mobility and bioterrorism into an even more devastating killer.

Um, so, on Seanan McGuire’s tumblr, someone asked about recommended nonfic about plagues and other fun things. This is the one she named, so it flew straight onto my wish list. It’s pretty handy to find an author who not only writes wonderfully enjoyable books, but also, as a person, displays a lot of interests and preferences that overlap with the awed reader who stumbled across her.  I mean, uh, however one would say that without sounding like a potential crazy we are the same, nyah-hah-hah kind of stalker.  (I have picked up more recs from her this way, and have high hopes for all of them. I probably trust the Newsflesh author more than I like peanut butter.

And it’s about the black death. I’m SO into this.

(Oh, come on. You knew this would happen when you gave six year-old me the book about the ship that came to Norway in 1349….)

 

therace5. The race by Nina Allan

Set in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, The Race is the first full-length novel from Nina Allan, winner of the 2014 BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction (Spin, TTA Press), and the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for Best Translated Work (Complications/The Silver Wind, Editions Tristram).

The Race opens in the coastal town of Sapphire, dominated by the illegal sport of smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. For Jenna, the latest Cup meet bears a significance far beyond the simple hunger for victory. Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, a stranger she knows only by name. Together they must face their demons, wherever that may lead. Raised at the Croft, a secret government programme focussing on smartdogs, Maree has to undertake a journey through shipping lanes haunted by the enigmatic and dangerous Atlantic whale. What she discovers en route will change her world forever.

The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition, a narrative that lays bare the fears and joys of being human, and, ultimately, offers hope to us all.
“Totally assured – this is a literate, intelligent, gorgeously human and superbly strange SF novel that will continually skewer your assumptions.” – ALASTAIR REYNOLDS

 

viperwine6. Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

Famed beauty Venetia Stanley is so extravagantly dazzling she has inspired Ben Jonson to poetry and Van Dyck to painting, provoking adoration and emulation from the masses. Stampedes follow her arrival in town. But as she approaches middle age, the attention turns to scrutiny. Her adoring husband Sir Kenelm Digby – philosopher, alchemist and time-traveller – wishes she would age naturally, but Venetia discovers a potent and addictive elixir of youth, Viper Wine. Set on the eve of the English Civil War, and based on a true story, this brilliant novel asks a very contemporary question: what is the cost of beauty?

think I discovered this – and the Nina Allan one – from the Kitchies list of nominees.  Which perfectly illustrates how awards are nice and useful, because I had never heard of these before, and now I really, really want to get to know them better.

 

 

 

 

cinder7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I know! Everyone else has read this already. I had – and I’m sorry – completely ignored it through the whole kerfluff, as the cover art and genre together had me swimming in prejudice.  Then someone made me actually read the blurb, and emphasized that it’s actually good, and also it was very cheap in the kindle store at that moment, so – okay. I’m going to become one of the people who read this.

Human/android tensions AND plague, right? How the heck did I let this float under my radar?

 

 

msmarvel28. Ms. Marvel, vol.2: Generation why by G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, Adrian Alphona

Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help!

Kamala may be fan-girling out when her favorite (okay maybe Top Five) super hero shows up, but that won’t stop her from protecting her hometown. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity for the first time – by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! Every girl wants a puppy, but this one may be too much of a handful, even for a super hero with embiggening powers. But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future. The fan-favorite, critically acclaimed, amazing new series continues as Kamala Khan proves why she’s the best (and most adorable) new super hero there is!

Yes. I read the first of the new Ms.Marvel volumes, and I’m hooked. This is just done so well! I have almost zero in common with Kamala Khan, and yet, she’s completely relatable,  which is a lovely thing.   I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to wait for my library to stock this one, or if I’ll cave in and buy it so I can read it now now now.  I don’t really have a history as a Marvel reader, so Kamala could very well be my gateway hero, as it were.

 

 

thewaterknife9. The water knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust.

When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river.

For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

I’ve been a Bacigalupi devotee since The windup girl exploded all over the genresphere some years ago. He also gave me one of my very first “Wow, I’m reading a short story collection, and I enjoy it”-experiences.

 

blackbirds

10. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Miriam Black knows when you will die.

She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

I’m still angry that I didn’t read this while it was still available on Scribd – it went out of the catalogue just the week I had… probably intended to get around to it. Oh, it’s okay, I’m happy to buy it, because I have very high expectations of Wendig female-protagonist-badassery.  It’s also turning into a TV thing, which could be…fun?

 

 

Hey, by the way? In a couple of days I move my flesh vehicle in the direction of my first ever EasterCon, which is making me all kinds of fangirly-giggly.  Also, I’ll be in close proximity to cadbury creme eggs, which is… okay, not nearly as exciting as great authors talking about fun things, but still.   I might post some excited status updates over Easter, for my imaginary readership,  and I also have some good intentions in the direction of April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, but I don’t do so well with intentions, so really I should just shut up and erase this paragraph.

Discworld memory

…I also remember, very clearly, reading Night watch on the airplane, at night, returning to school from a two week trip to Spain.  I was exhausted and it was dark, but I kept my dinky seat light on and tore through that paperback.  Night watch is a special book to almost every Discworld reader I’ve ever known, but maybe that’s because I know mostly Vimes-people. (Discworld is a series with many books and many characters; Some will appeal more to the individual reader than others.  I think I belonged to Granny Weatherwax from the start, but then – then there was the city watch…)  Sam Vimes, at first a comic relief drunk cop, suddenly allowed to be real.  And, well, epic.  It blew me away back then, and on every re-read of the book since then.

I had a few years back there, in which chronic illness happened and I had a lot of what in technical terms is called shitty goddamn brainfog, and I couldn’t read. Not for real.  I think I read the first few pages of Hyperion a dozen times, trying so hard, and I’d just get a headache or fall asleep, completely unable to comprehend paragraphs.  It sucked.  But I could visit old friends,  so I re-read Harry Potter and – indeed- Discworld, a lot. Over and over again.  Sometimes I managed new material, usually YA stuff.   Still, most of my time, I was in Ankh-Morpork or in Lancre,  hanging out with Agnes Nitt and Greebo,  the librarian, lord Vetinari,  the auditors, oh, man, the auditors.

One might suggest I’d had enough, but, no. I have reclaimed my brain since then and am blissfully able to enjoy any book I want to read now, and I do.  And what I want to read is the entirety of Discworld, all over again.

Eyes leaking uncontrollably

Oh, Terry Pratchett.  I’ve never instantly burst into ugly-crying over the death of persons who, while admired, are still remote strangers.  But I’m going to spend a long time wiping the salt crystals out of my glasses  after today.  I have no words.

But this was how it started: I was 14, and I read proper books, but my newfound friends all had homes stocked with these other books, and most of them had a shelf full of these colourful paperbacks, and one day I woke up early on someone’s couch and reached for The colour of magic.

I’d like to say there were fireworks and sparkles, but I didn’t care all that much for that first book about a hapless wizard and a strange luggage. But there was something. Enough that I picked up the next book. And the next.

And suddenly these books had taught me things. Important things, basic things, about people and complexity and cruelty and, most of all, kindness.  More than I ever learned from school, parents, or, indeed, proper books.

All those times I got to experience going to the geek-store to grin widely upon discovering a new Discworld title having arrived on the shelves. (They were pre-digital times!)  I have clearer memories of that than I have of any christmas ever.

There’s no way to really end this text. I could paste that bit where Death talks about how cats make living worthwhile.  Or any other Death quote. Or something profound by Granny Weatherwax or Tiffany Aching or any of the other voices of Terry Pratchett.  I just, um, I just need to go over there and cry a bit more.

Where did February go?

I’ve read a lot of great books this month. Most of them un-reviewed, so far, as I’ve also had to spend some time being an annoyingly malfunctioning fat robot.  And stuff.

Scribd, the book subscription app thing, is great. I love just browsing it and adding everything I want to read to my library. Then I discover sometimes titles are removed without any notification, and that’s… actually infuriating. It’d be fine if there was a notifications-screen so I’d know that “Oh hey that Chuck Wendig-book you tucked away, yeah, we made it disappear. Now you know before you reach for it only to find overwhelming gloom and disappointment.”

It’s not that I don’t have hundreds of other books to read, but… I like to know what I have available. I get kinda obsessive-angry about information where I find it insufficiently distributed.

I wish it was okay to bring books into MRI machines.

And did you know both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have done self-narrated audio versions of the novels they recently wrote? I like that. Even if it’s not Mulder-and-Scully stories.

I’m obsessed with liquorice. I put it in my coffee.

This is such a pile of dumb sentences. Imma go read some military-fantasy stories. Or play animal crossing. Or something.

Three moments of flailing anticipation

I won’t begin to describe how I feel about the announcement of a new China Miéville book. Finally. I’ve been waiting ever since I tore through the last one.  I just saw Tor’s post with the cover reveal, and because this is now pinned to my nerdy heart, I just felt like I needed to stick the cover onto this blog, too.  Here. Here it is. Stare at it.

threemoments

SEE.  It exists. It is going to exist in August, at least.  This cover design is the same type as on the paperbacks I bought, and got signed, blushing furiously,  at a strangely tiny con a couple of years back. Really. I have no idea how they get these divine authors to show up. But I’ve been within arm’s reach of this one, flailed helplessly and flung fanart at him, and listened to a beautifully eloquent talk about the uncanny and… other kinds of canny.  The man can talk.  Look his talking up on youtube.  PS: It is after midnight here and I’m the tiniest bit hyper-tired.

(Regarding that Tor link – I’m pretty exited about Uprooted, too. Novik has been on my TBR for ages and ages, but I hope I find the time for His Majesty’s Dragon, first.)

(And do you know what else was revealed today that is also awesome?  The trailer for the Expanse TV series!  And that I get to go to EasterCon to do my whole expert flailing fangirl act at Seanan McGuire!)

Top ten 2014 releases I didn’t read (yet!)

Time is insufficient. We know this. I cried a lot about it as I read all the best of 2014 book lists only to discover more, more, more to add to my need-crave-want-mountain of a TBR.

  1. City of stairs by Robert J. Bennett.  I’m reading this one RIGHT NOW, though. And it’s incredibly awesomespectacular, just like everyone said.
  2. The goblin emperor, by Katherine Addison. This looks like one I might want to save for when I need a happy pick-me-up.
  3. Bête, by Adam Roberts. I am, and have been since months before its release, wildly intrigued by this book’s premise. Domestic animals gain sentience, we still want to eat them?! It must be read.
  4. The mirror empire, by Kameron Hurley. Yes, yes. I have a crush on Kameron Hurley even before having read her fiction. I bought this one early. My wallet thinks I read faster than my eye muscles can really agree with.
  5. The girls at the Kingfisher club, by Genevieve Valentine. This is one I only really became aware of when reading those best of-lists in the past few weeks.  Roaring twenties / fairytale retelling? I want it injected into my fiction system immediately.
  6. The Peripheral, by William Gibson.  I… I may have ordered a signed hardback in a B&N bargain, though. It was delivered a mere week ago. So there’s that.
  7. The three, by Sarah Lotz. Horror-thriller “for fans of the Shining girls and Stephen King, Lost meets The Passage”? Oh my goodness, yes.  I keep forgetting how much I appreciate the horror bits of genre fiction.
  8. The fever, by Megan Abbott. Outbreak of illness, high school, family secrets, this one sounds a little like a The secret history with extra spicing.
  9. Being Mortal: Medicine and what matters in the end, by Atul Gawande. To me the line between science fiction and the most interesting non-fiction is pretty blurry; they’re both about astoundingly fascinating stuff.  Like medicine and its limitations.
  10. Afterparty, by Daryl Gregory.  Brain-altering drug and the collapse of civilization.

There are more. Many, many more.  These were pretty much just right off the top of my head (and the most recently added to my amz wishlist).  I got another exciting 2014 release for christmas (the Norwegian history of leprosy I’ve been all starry-eyed about for ages now),  and my order of the Locke & Key slipcase box set finally made it through, so soon I’ll get to read the last volume of that most-excellent graphic novel series, too.  (The book depository ran out of copies before expediting my first order, which led to many tears. Until they re-stocked and I tried again and I WON.)

And, yeah, I was a bit of a reckless spender over the holidays, so I’m trying to hold back a little in the coming 3-4 weeks, to re-balance my economy between the monthly paychecks.  I’m not sure it means I will at all be able to keep myself from getting Morte on release date, but I’ll feel guilty about it, at least…  as if that helps.

Merry something!

I’ve just chugged a mug (a mug with a santa on it) of spiced Christmas tea, I’ve had a glass of Christmas soda (traditional basically champagne-flavoured stuff – sugar-free for me), and I’m contemplating a breakfast of pork rib leftovers from the holiday dinner last night. And cheese cake. And cookies.

The 24th is the, uh, main event in these parts – today, the 25th, is all about leftovers (and hangovers, for some).  So I’ve already unwrapped stuff; clothing for the flesh vehicle, a promise of books-on-the-way-in-the-mail-oops-sorry.  Oh, and a secret santa (from a GR group!) gave me a kindle copy of A madman dreams of Turing machines, which I’m looking forward to. A lot.

“It’s always books or crayons with you”, they say, and yes, that’s true.  (And I got coloured pencils too, which is basically crayons! Yay, me.)

Norway actually has a lot of holiday-related reading, first and foremost the phenomenon of Easter crime, but also: Christmas comics. They’re printed in a recogniseable rectangular format, featuring some new things, but mostly they’re devoted to the old, old favourites, like the Katzenjammer kids, Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Snooty Smith, and so on. Dozens! As a kid I used to whine until I got all of them (and read and re-read for months, of course) – but now I just pick up my own favourite; Bringing up father.

Some other holiday fiction highlights have been two ongoing things:  First, BBC4’s audio production of Gaiman/Pratchett’s Good Omens. You should go check it out.  Second, Mur Lafferty’s podcast reading of her second Shambling Guide novel; Ghost train to New Orleans. I think it probably works even if you haven’t read The shambling guide to New York, but I encourage you to read that one too, because they’re funny and clever urban fantasy books.  (There should be a link here, but you’ll find it if you search for Mur Lafferty in whatever podcast app/device you use.)

I got a few bookish gifts for myself. Michael Faber’s The book of strange new things (which I have coming up as a GR group read for January, and am excited about).  By accident, I swear, I suddenly saw amazon’s discount on the deluxe hardcover edition of Saga, the best graphic novel experience I had in 2014, so… so I ordered it. It may have been an act of self pity as I couldn’t quite concentrate on my Robin Hobb book while politely remaining in the room with the family discussing local family things. (I’m not local, I’m just here to visit and will flee again tomorrow, so I think I’m forgiven for tuning out during a 30 minute debate about the flooring in a house I’ve never seen.)

It’s always books and crayons with me. And leprosy.  How about you? Please tell me in loving detail about your book hauls!

Top ten: Books read this year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

2014 has been an awesome year in books. I’ve made a lot of very fortunate choices in reading, and it’s kind of hard to narrow down to ten favourites.  I’ll try to mention ten in no particular order and see how that turns out.

  • Saga 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples (graphic novel series). Beautifully illustrated space opera romance with robots and ghost babysitters and stuff. The 4th volume will be out on the 23rd of December, at which point I will be visiting not-so-urban places and far away from both my mailbox and a graphic novel supplier – so for me, that pleasure will likely have to wait until January. (If I’m lucky, my box set of Lock & Key will arrive in time for a new year’s read, though!)
  • Ancillary justice by Ann Leckie.  I’m currently reading Ancillary sword, the follow-up, and it promises to be as good or even better. Smart space opera.
  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson.  It’s hard to find the words for how much I loved this. I don’t often wish for a 1000+ page book to be three times as long.
  • We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. I’m glad this was nominated for interesting awards, because it might not have come to my attention, otherwise.
  • Cibola burn, by James S. A. Corey. Part of the brilliant series the Expanse, every volume of which is a reading highlight for me. It’s hard not to have too-high-hopes for the coming TV adaption.
  • The Rhesus chart by Charles Stross. Also a part-of-a-series thing. This one has magic as a kind of applied mathematics, where programmers may accidentally summon… things.
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts, and…
  • Echopraxia by Peter Watts. Both of these had me rambling, still rambling, and it’s been months.  Beautifully dense SF/horror.
  • The three-body problem by Cixin Liu.  This gave me a lot of the same joy as the Peter Watts titles did. It’s brilliant.
  • Symbiont by Mira Grant. I’m such a fangirl. It has a lot of tapeworms.

…And that’s just cherrypicking out of a year of good stuff.  Maybe a more useful thing would have been a top ten of standalone-novels or at least first-of-series? Then again – the ongoing series I find myself keeping current with probably bring me the books I get the most joy out of.  (Makes sense, because they’ve already levelled up past the barrier “would you be inclined to read a few hundred pages more of this stuff?” )

January is Vintage Science Fiction Month

I just found a pinterest board of 2015 reading challenges, um, which I shouldn’t be looking at, because I don’t really function all that well with specific plans looming over me in the long run. But a month of a specific theme, when the specific theme is relevant to my interests – and bookshelves? Awesome!  Thus,  I’m declaring my intentions to pvintage-sf-badgearticipate in Vintage Science Fiction Month.   I will spend some time on fresh January releases too, though – so I’m not sure how much pre-1979 published stuff I’ll end up squeezing into the month.   I’m going to set a goal of 3-4 vintage thingies. Should come out as about 50% of the month’s reading time, I think.

Just looking through the stored to-reads on my kindle, here are some candidates…

  • Larry Niven / Jerry Pournelle, Lucifer’s hammer  (1977)
  • Isaac Asimov, Foundation and empire (1952)
  • Arkady Strugatsky / Boris Strugatsky, Roadside picnic (1972)
  • Octavia E. Butler, Patternmaster (series – at least some of it predates 1979)
  • Stanislaw Lem, Tales of Pirx the Pilot (1961)
  • Arthur C. Clarke, The fountains of Paradise (1979)
  • Robert Shea / Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975)
  • Huge pile of old Philip K. Dick titles, don’t even want to list them all.

Ha. Know what? The Illuminatus! Trilogy was the first kindle book I bought. (Before it I had read Moby Dick, but that came from Project Gutenberg, so I won’t count it as a purchase.)  And that’s… um, a few years and a few kindle upgrades ago.  Maybe this really should be my focus for the month; shaming myself into finally reading it,  even though I no longer spend much time around the people who used tell me I had to read it.

I’m a hamster, though. Not a hoarder, but I am apparently in an incessant panic state, thinking No! I must make sure I never run out of:  1. Books. 2. Food.   Thus, I have too many books – and two freezers full of food I buy on expiration date discounts.  Let’s just not even talk about my tea cabinets for now.  Or the incredibly unnecessary amount of duvet and pillow covers.

Let’s just say I clearly have my priorities in life sorted out – sleep, caffeine, bacon, books?

Anyway!   Are you planning any 2015 reading challenges?   Aside from this one,  I’m doing a few cozy ones in a GoodReads group, but I’m trying to pick fairly open ones,  because I work up a lot of guilt about neglecting or not reaching goals.  Guilt-ridden reading is pretty dumb.

Book blogger hop: How much do you read?

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer
Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

How many books do you read in a week? How many hours do you spend reading a day?

This will vary a lot – for everyone, I’m sure.  Normal days have a few regular reading slots, and a bunch of variables like public transport (trains and trams are excellent for reading – buses will make me car sick).  General health and concentration ability too, of course.  On average I think I spend something close to two hours daily, reading. Um. Often more than that,  and often less, but, yeah, it’s a plausible average.  In a week I usually get through 1-3 “normal length” books. Less if I’m reading a lot of different books at the same time, obviously,  more if I’m reading something very light, et cetera.

So far this year – with a couple of weeks left of it – I’ve read 120 books. I estimate it’ll be 130 by the end, or more, because the holidays are prime reading time.  I think I’ll have read about 40,000 pages too,  according to my Goodreads stats page.

I often wish I could read faster, faster! – Because there’s just so many delicious books out there (and on my wishlists, certainly).  The internet always makes me feel inferior about my reading – but in daily life, I don’t have anyone around me who reads half as much as I do, so, uh,  who knows what the norm is, anyway?