Tanenbaum's list for 2009
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I'm off to a slow start, as January was crazy busy in terms of school work. I'm leaving on a vacation soon, which I hope will be a chance to make up some reading time.
Anyway, here goes the list:
1. Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
2. Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
4. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
5. Naked by David Sedaris *re-read
6. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris *re-read
judylou, I haven't read any other Selznick, that one was a Christmas gift from a friend. I really enjoyed it, both because of the content (filmmaking, clockwork automatons, magic tricks-some of my favorite things) and the innovative format of switching between text and beautiful black and white drawings. It reminded me of the gorgeous illustrations from Chris Van Allsburg, in particular the evocative The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. The Hugo Cabret book is a fast read, being a children's book, but very enjoyable and just really well put together.
11. Making History by Stephen Fry *re-read
12. The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe
13. The Futurist by James Othmer
14. All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland
16. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby *re-read
17. The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer
March was a very slow reading month, as I had to dig in and do a lot of academic reading for my annotated bibliography. I also got really bogged down in Byatt's The Virgin in the Garden; still only halfway through it and I fall asleep everytime I get more than a few pages further. Great for insomnia, not so good for when I actually want to read. Still, my ratio of new to re-read books is much improved, so I'm happy about that.
Current totals: 11 new, 6 re-read
19. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin *re-read
20. Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin *re-read
21. Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin *re-read
22. Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin *re-read
23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling *re-read
24. The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
25. Light by M. John Harrison
Don't think I'll make it nearly to 100 this year. But if I get my annotated bibliography approved & advance to candidacy, I'll still call it a win.
Did you like the Harry Dresden? He's a current reading pleasure for me. And I did like the George RR Martin books, but had a complete tanty about the slowness of his writing (at least one of my friends has darkly muttered that someone needs to do a Misery on his ass) and am refusing to read any more until they're all out. I'll probably be retired by then, and will have plenty of reading time. :)
I liked the Dresden book well enough. Not amazing writing or totally original ideas, occasionally a bit overwrought (but seems to be self-aware about it), but overall an entertaining read. We're working on picking up the rest of the series as we find them for light pleasure reading.
I really enjoy George R.R. Martin. I get completely sucked into his books & can't put them down. There are so many interesting characters in his world and so much going on. I agree that they are a bit slow, because of the large cast and the intricacy of the story he's telling. Especially when he gets to A Feast for Crows and doesn't even manage to get through all the characters in one book. But I think it's worth it. I just wish he wrote a little faster!
I've had the Sergei Lukyaneko books recommended to me. What did you think of Last Watch?
Declare is probably Powers' densest, more difficult book, but it's well worth the effort. It's one of those books you want to start reading over again as soon as you finish it, because there's a lot going on in it.
If you haven't read Three Days to Never, his most recent book, I recommend that as well.
The Lukyaneko books are fun reads. I've read the whole series, now. If you've seen Night Watch & Day Watch, they only give you a hint of what to expect in the books. The movies are much slicker and simpler than the books, which are a bit more rambling and....schlumpy, I would say, but in a good way. One of the things I love about the books is that there are parts of them I just do not get-something inherently Russian that I am just not capable of following because I'm not familiar with that culture. But it's a fascinating glimpse of a foreign world, and that part of it doesn't interfere with crazy supernatural tale that's being told & world that's being explored. If you like Powers, I think there's a good chance you will like Lukyaneko.
30. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
31. When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris
32. The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
33. The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay*
34. The Embodied Mind by Varela, Thompson & Rosch
35. Computation and Human Experience by Philip Agre
36. Where the Action Is by Paul Dourish
37. Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again by Andy Clark
38. Designing with Blends by Manuel Imaz & David Benyon
*First book in a long time that I really really didn't enjoy. Forced myself to finish it, but regretted the time spent in the end.
Yeah, ok, the last bunch are academic books, but I've been reading up a storm for my annotated bibliography this summer, and while I'm not going to list all the conference papers and journal articles here, I am going to count the books, because they are seriously eating into my leisure reading time!
53. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
54. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
55. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
56. Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
57. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
58. The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
59. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates