Tanenbaum's list for 2009

Forum100 Books in 2009 Challenge

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Tanenbaum's list for 2009

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Bearbeitet: Sept. 21, 2009, 2:19am

Last year I read 81. (Or at least, I remembered to record 81). I'm aiming for 100 this year, and aiming to make fewer of them re-reads (last year it was only 39 new books). These two goals may in conflict with each other. Perhaps I should say my personal victory condition is either 100+ total books or 60+ new books. (5 new books per month?) Yes. That sounds right.

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

Mrz. 1, 2009, 2:42am

7.Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
8.People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
9.The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
10.Possession by A.S. Byatt *re-read

Mrz. 1, 2009, 4:02am

Some very interesting titles on your thread tanenbaum. I read the Selznick book last year and thought it was very interesting. What did you think of it?

Mrz. 1, 2009, 1:24pm

I loved Possession. You have a lot of books here that are on my TBR.

Mrz. 12, 2009, 1:09am

@jfettig Possession is wonderful. I've just started The Virgin in the Garden, first in a series of four, and I'm hoping it's close to being as good.

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

Apr. 4, 2009, 9:21pm

15. About a Boy by Nick Hornby *re-read
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

Apr. 4, 2009, 11:41pm

Apr. 8, 2009, 2:34pm

I liked To Say Nothing of the Dog; it's my favorite of her books that I've read so far. I have not read Three Men in a Boat, although the work is referenced throughout Willis's book, and I know I was missing subtleties having to do with those references. Willis writes a very unique kind of science-fiction-it's light and funny, but with an intelligent kind of humor and the characters have some weight to them.

Apr. 8, 2009, 4:04pm

Great! It's one of my favorites, too. Another of hers with that same kind of humor is Bellwether. I also found that humor recently in John Scalzi's the Android's Dream, so you might enjoy that!

Apr. 11, 2009, 12:59pm

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll keep an eye out for that one at the bookstore!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 11, 2009, 8:54pm

18. The Dark Design by Philip Jose Farmer
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.

Jul. 11, 2009, 8:58pm

26. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
27. Last Watch by Sergei Lukyaneko
28. The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

Jul. 11, 2009, 10:41pm

And what did you think of The Stress of Her Regard?

Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 2009, 9:23pm

I liked The Stress of Her Regard a great deal; I had been looking for it for awhile and was thrilled to find it reprinted. It's a little dense at times, similar to Declare, but overall a good example of what Tim Powers does best: take a bunch of kind of weird things and try to fit them together so that they can explained by some kind of magical and secret history. Like many Powers protagonists, the main character is a bit of a blank slate, but that's partly because he's a foil to the strong personalities of Byron, Shelley & Keats. As always, his books make me want to go out and learn more about the particular period/subject area he's writing about, so I can go back to the book again and appreciate even more the ways he weaves together truth & fantasy.

Jul. 15, 2009, 11:59pm

#14> Yes, I agree with you about Powers. I haven't met one of his books I haven't liked yet (yet to read The Stress of Her Regard, although I have it on my shelves somewhere), and I just love the ideas he comes up with.

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. :)

Jul. 16, 2009, 2:15am

The only Powers novel I don't have at this point is Epitaph in Rust. I love them all, but Last Call is probably my favorite, possibly because it was the first one I read & made the largest impression.
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!

Jul. 16, 2009, 3:03pm

The first one I read was Dinner at Deviant's Palace, and then I went out and found The Drawing of the Dark, Forsake the Sky, and The Anubis Gates soonest! I thought The Stress of Her Regard was very powerful, and I loved Last Call as well, then have tapered off. I never followed up Expiration Date with Earthquake Weather. It looks like I'm missing On Stranger Tides, although I swear I have read it. I bought a copy of Declare but haven't read it yet. Do you recommend it? I've never found Epitaph in Rust either, even starting to look for it in the mid-80s.

I've had the Sergei Lukyaneko books recommended to me. What did you think of Last Watch?

Jul. 17, 2009, 2:38am

Expiration Date & Earthquake Weather are good, but don't stand up to Last Call, so they suffer by comparison in being grouped together as a trilogy. Earthquake Weather does pick up some of the characters from Last Call, though, so it's definitely worth a read.
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.

Jul. 17, 2009, 5:05am

Oh, I'm bumping up my Lukyaneko novels up Mt TBR now. I bought them ages ago, my better half has already read them, but I haven't gotten around to it as yet.

Jul. 17, 2009, 12:55pm

Thanks! I'll set a goal to read Declare this summer, along with the Mistborn trilogy and The Name of the Wind, very different fantasies.

Aug. 17, 2009, 3:38am

29. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
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!

Bearbeitet: Sept. 21, 2009, 2:18am

39. Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
40. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
41. Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
42. The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
43. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
44. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Nov. 26, 2009, 2:00am

45. The Magic Labyrinth by Philip Jose Farmer
46. The Princess Bride by William Goldman *re-read
47. Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge *re-read
48. Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
49. Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov
50. About a Boy by Nick Hornby *re-read
51. The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman

Jan. 4, 2010, 2:25am

52. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
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