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2017 was my best reading year in a while and it is good to be back.
I'm sitting on several thousand unread books, so many that I know I'll never get through them, but I feel better about them being here if I'm making some progress at least.
My reading is pretty much limited to pulp genre fiction and comics/manga, and the occasional (auto)biography. I have been able to appreciate "literary fiction" in the past, but I'm sticking to less challenging fare if it means I keep reading.
I like to follow discussion of books I've read but I seldom have much to say other than "I enjoyed this book". Life is too short, and I have too many unread books, to devote time to anything I'm not enjoying, so I only tend to finish books I like. This probably skews my ratings a little high overall.
I've been involved in Bookcrossing for about ten years and many of the books I've read are no longer in my possession (though I keep them listed on LibraryThing, categorised as "released" and not included in "My Library")
I met my goal of finishing 36 books in 2017 (detailed here: http://www.librarything.com/list/11182/freelunch/)
For 2018 I'm aiming for 50 books read.
*Actually, it is my second. I found a thread from 2015 which I'd totally forgotten about.
01. The Complete Peanuts 1961-1962 by Charles M. Schulz
02. Sunstone Book One by Stjepan Sejic
03. Blacksad: A Silent Hell by Juan Diaz Canales
04. Blacksad: Amarillo by Juan Diaz Canales
05. Harvest Of Time by Alastair Reynolds
06. The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson
07. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
08. In Times Like These by Nathan Van Coops
09. One-Punch Man Vol. 7 by One
10. Elf Slave by Sarah Hawke
11. Gerald's Game by Stephen King
12. The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll by Robert Forster
13. The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
14. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
15. Every Time We Meet at the Dairy Queen, Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes by Carlton Mellick III
16. A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima
17. Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
18. My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 by Kazune Kawahara
19. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
20. The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter
21. Delicious In Dungeon, Vol. 2 by Ryoko Kui
22. Misadventures of a Virgin by Meredith Wild
23. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
24. Lord John and the Hellfire Club by Diana Gabaldon
25. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
26. Groupie by C. M. Stunich
27. One-Punch Man Vol. 8 by One
28. The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
29. Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson
30. A Silent Voice, Vol. 2 by Yoshitoki Oima
31. Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
32. King of All the Dead by Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis
33. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
34. Delicious In Dungeon, Vol. 3 by Ryoko Kui
35. Cable & Deadpool Vol. 1: If Looks Could Kill by Fabian Nicieza
36. Elvis and the Memphis Mafia by Alanna Nash
37. Cable & Deadpool Vol. 2: The Burnt Offering by Fabian Nicieza
38. Roadie by C. M. Stunich
39. Cable & Deadpool Vol. 3: The Human Race by Fabian Nicieza
40. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
41. The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman
42. The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
43. Star Wars: Lost Stars, Vol. 1 by Yuusaka Komiyama
44. Three Simple Rules by Nikki Sloane
45. Felix Romsey's Afterparty by Tim Thornton
46. His Kidnapper's Shoes by Maggie James
47. One-Punch Man Vol. 9 by One
48. Moxie by C. M. Stunich
49. Cable & Deadpool Vol. 4: Bosom Buddies by Fabian Nicieza
50. Castaways by Lily Harlem
51. Motherfucking Sharks by Brian Allen Carr
52. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe by Ryan North
53. Tearaways by Lily Harlem
54. Stiltz by C. M. Stunich
55. Alone by Skye MacKinnon
56. Hidden by Skye MacKinnon
57. Found by Skye MacKinnon
58. Runaways by Lily Harlem
59. Blackwater Lake by Maggie James
60. Stowaways by Lily Harlem
61. Battle Harem by Isaac Hooke
62. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
63. A Silent Voice, Vol. 3 by Yoshitoki Oima
64. Breakaways by Lily Harlem
65. Spotted Her First by Emma Dean
66. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
67. Flightless Bird by Kellie McAllen
68. The Way We Burn by Michelle Leighton
69. Growing Wings by Kellie McAllen
70. The White Queen by Addison Cain
71. I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
72. Taking Flight by Kellie McAllen
73. Rough Surrender by Cari Silverwood
74. Flying Free by Kellie McAllen
75. Music: What Happened? by Scott Miller
76. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
77. Nailing Studs by Virna DePaul
78. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
79. Charcoal Tears by Jane Washington
80. The Complete Peanuts 1963-1964 by Charles M. Schulz
81. The Pisces by Melissa Broder
82. A Crack in Everything by L. H. Cosway
83. Max the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
84. How the Light Gets In by L. H. Cosway
85. A Silent Voice, Vol. 4 by Yoshitoki Oima
86. American Queen by Sierra Simone
87. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
88. Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
89. American Prince by Sierra Simone
90. The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker
91. Plague City by Jonathan Morris
92. Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn by Amanda Gefter
93. American King by Sierra Simone
94. It Takes Two by Nikki Sloane
95. When We Were Kings by Auryn Hadley
96. The Complete Peanuts 1965-1966 by Charles M. Schulz
97. The Education of Sebastian by Jane Harvey-Berrick
98. Three Hard Lessons by Nikki Sloane
99. When We Were Dancing by Auryn Hadley
100. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
list continues below, because 100 titles (plus authors) are a lot of touchstones to load each time I add a book...
This just happens to be where the new year has found me, and not necessarily how I'd choose to introduce myself. It'll pass :)
Yes, four of them were comics/"graphic novels" and I was midway through two when the year began, but they're putting me "in the black" for some longer books I want to read without losing sight of my fifty-book goal for the year.
Juan Diaz Canales' Blacksad series are noir-ish detective stories featuring anthropomorphized beasts (the protagonist detective is a panther and his sidekick for most cases is a hyaena). The art is spectacular and the English dialogue (translated from original Spanish) is entertaining, if not stunning.
Harvest Of Time is a Doctor Who novel, set during the series' early seventies run. I've read a lot of Doctor Who fiction and this is one of the better examples. I'm inspired now to check out author Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series.
I'm currently reading The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson. I don't know much about Churchill and I rarely read historical non-fiction but I'm finding this book interesting and very readable.
Finally, Elf Slave. I received a Kindle for Christmas and when I went a-browsing at Amazon.com I was taken aback by the prevalence of "romance" eBooks (ie erotica) and curiosity lead me to a fantasy (elves, goblins, magic, etc.) series. The plentiful, lengthy sex scenes aren't particularly "erotic" but the protagonist is likable enough and I've been returning to it every few days to see where it goes. I doubt I'll be devoting time to this particular sub-genre once I see this story out.
On now to Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation, before the film adaptation is released next month.
I encourage you to read the Revelation Space series. I really liked them myself. I still have one to read and I think there's a new one coming out in 2018.
I hope you enjoy your kindle! Which model is it?
I'm still involved in bookcrossing, chiefly through a bookcrossing zone I started a few years ago which somehow became "official" and used to see a lot of action until my workplace moved. Now we have less passing foot traffic so it has slowed down.
There's a kindle bundle for the Revelation Space series. I might just pull the trigger on it today...
I am really enjoying my Kindle Paperwhite*, to the point that I'd rather read it than a dead-tree book. I regret not making the switch sooner as I'd have potentially hundreds less books weighing down my shelves today.
*I would have gone with the more expensive Kindle Oasis but Amazon's case for it is apparently terrible and the good third-party cases made by Moko cost US$10 to American buyers but close to $100 for AU buyers.
my problem is I have too many books I want to read. A nicer problem to have, though harder to solve.
I wonder if the movie will cover just the first novel or incorporate stuff from all three.
I have the same 50 goal but have only read 5 in 2018, so I should be OK but there's more suspense in my case.
I first encountered Sejic via a link to his deviantart.com profile. There's a lot of content there, including many pages of Sunstone.
I then re-read Stephen King's Gerald's Game before watching the recent film adaptation. The movie is excellent, one of the best SK adaptations I've seen, but given its difficult subject matter I don't really feel comfortable recommending it.
Next came Robert Forster's The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll, a selection of articles originally published in The Monthly magazine which ended up feeling somewhat redundant, being reviews of music and books from ten years ago. It is a usually expensive book that I've had on my wishlist for years, so I was pleased to find it for free during my one-month kindle unlimited trial from Amazon.
Then Rainbow Rowell's Landline, a rom-com in which the lead discovers she can use the phone in her childhood bedroom to connect to her husband (then boyfriend) fifteen years in the past. I usually refer to any "chick lit" I read (slightly less emasculatingly) as "romantic comedies". In this case it was more true than usual, with a premise and dialogue that seem perfect for a big screen translation.
Next I read The Only Harmless Great Thing, a novella by Brooke Bolander that packs a lot of story into its ~100 pages. The book is an alternate history based around the "Radium Girls" of the 1920s. This telling is concerned with circus elephants re-trained to work with radium due to their (apparently) high tolerance to radiation. The elephants in the story are capable of communication via sign-language and portions of the story are told from the creatures' perspective, including retelling of some of their native folklore akin to the "El-ahrairah" legends in Watership Down.
And now I've started Altered Carbon, thanks mostly to hype for the new TV series, having owned the book for more than a decade.
The only harmless great things in particular seems right up my alley.
I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Altered Carbon.
I've now started on Voyager, the third book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Having read the first two instalments I pretty much know what to expect from this one and I'm looking forward to it. :)
Other books I've read since my last update:
Every Time We Meet at the Dairy Queen, Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes by Carlton Mellick III, a novella which read exactly as expected based on the title. My first foray into "Bizarro Fiction".
A Silent Voice, Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima, first of a seven-part manga series about a school bully and the victim he reconciles with years later. I enjoyed the anime adaptation of this series and I'm looking forward to a more detailed telling of the story.
Every time we meet seems fascinating!
I too have found the book a bit meh. The writing is not that pretty and i didn't feel the world-building.
I liked the Netflix adaptation better. Pacing is better, they added a touch more of noir and the esthetic is definitely a nice 2018 rendition of the original Bladerunner, which is a huge plus in my book since BR 2048 has ventured elsewhere. A bit more a cyberpunk-y and Shadowrun live action.
>29 freelunch: : "I've now started on Voyager"
As far as i'm concerned, Gabaldon jumped the shark with the Jamaica trope...
Next I read Ready Player One. I've had the book since it came out, figured I better read it before seeing the film. The book was a fun, geeky spin on the Hunger Games formula, drowning in pop-culture references which I enjoyed, and although it was a simple book aimed at teens I found it vastly superior to the dumbed-down movie.
Next: Lord John and the Hellfire Club, an Outlander spin-off novella. There are a bunch of books featuring Lord John Grey which fit between the third and fourth Outlander books. I'll keep reading them for as long as they stay fun. This one was barely long enough to earn an opinion. Initial exposition was clumsy but the second, action-y half was fun.
Then: A Study In Scarlet. I've never read Sherlock Holmes so I decided to grab a cheap eBook collection and start at the beginning. For 19th Century literature I found it surprisingly readable, and a better story than the recent BBC modernised version.
Now I'm reading:
Music, What Happened? by Scott Miller. Scott fronted two great but relatively unknown bands: Game Theory (1982-1990) and The Loud Family (1991-2006). He passed away in 2013. He devotes a chapter to each year beginning in 1953, in which he discusses what he believes to be the defining popular music of each year
Elvis and the Memphis Mafia by Alanna Nash, based on extensive interviews with three members of Elvis Presley's entourage. It takes the form of a series of anecdotes, often "setting the record straight" on some of the more extreme stories that have emerged about Elvis over the years (and in many cases, confirming them).
Now I'm reading Lost Stars a YA novel set during the original Star Wars film trilogy. It follows two Imperial cadets from childhood, friends who enter the Imperial Academy together but end up on opposing sides when one joins the Rebellion. All the big events from the original movies will play out as a backdrop to their story. I'm not far in but it has started well.
Instead, I'm upping my goal to 75 books for 2018, which still leaves me ahead of schedule :)
I have also set a goal for 50 books this year and I've read 24, so I'm on track (and maybe a bit ahead). Let's see how it turns out in the second part of the year!
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Les misérables. I personnally can't stand Hugo but then I've never try (and probably never will) tackle his two most famous books, Les misérables and Notre-dame de Paris.
If I do the switch I'll keep my Victor Hugo (already purchased in readiness) for next year.
My list will continue below, because 100 items is a lot of touchstones and I've been getting timeouts when trying to add a new line
101. One More Rule by Nikki Sloane
102. Hour of the Gryphon by Amanda Gannon
103. Strip For Me by G. Bailey
104. Unconventional by Rebecca Royce
105. The Typewriter by Bill Thomson
106. Unexpected by Rebecca Royce
107. Claustrophobic by Bernadette Franklin
108. The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George
109. Undeniable by Rebecca Royce
110. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung
111. Twisted Sacrament by Zoe Blake, Alta Hensley, Addison Cain, Jennifer Bene, Celia Aaron, SJ Cole & Ashleigh Giannoccaro