Since the year is about to come to an end, I thought I’d peek out of my cave to do my annual reading list. As usual I made a goal of twenty-five books, which works out to roughly one book every two weeks, and I made it to twenty-seven thanks to the cold that kept me in bed for two weeks. I read five books while I was sick. I’m not going to try an summarize each of them but I’ll give a brief opinion about some of them.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down.
- Food Photography by Nicole S. Young. Good overview of food photography techniques. A lot about post processing in Photoshop.
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This book is the first two parts of a four book series. I kept hearing how great this book was so I immediately wanted to read it. I had a lot of trouble getting into it at first, it’s a huge book, the paperback is 1184 pages, and it starts out very slow. But I loved it by the end.
- 1Q84 Part 3 by Haruki Murakami. This is part three of four. It was good, I don’t really remember a lot of it, but I lost interest and never bothered to read part four.
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I read all three books again this year. I didn’t have the money to see the movie when it came out so I settled for reading the books again.
- Scared Shitless: 1003 Facts That Will Scare the Shit of You by Cary McNeal. This is just a book of lists. It was fun to read while I was waiting to do other things. I read a little in the car, waiting for my classes to start, I’d read a bit before bed.
- Divergent by Veronica Roth. I did a re-read before the sequel came out.
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth. The sequel to Divergent, these are great works of dystopian YA fiction. This book was not as good as the first, I thought. The third book should be out in a few months and I can’t wait for it.
- Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris. These books just aren’t all that great anymore but I want to finish the series. It probably took me two hours spread over three days to read this. I don’t remember anything that happened in it at all.
- Children of Men by PD James. I love the movie that is based on this book, it really is one of my favorites so I’ve wanted to read the book for a long time. It was very different from the movie and I really liked the movie a lot more. This was slow.
- A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George RR Martin. There are six books in the series so far, two more are supposed to be coming out sometime in the future. I read all six of them in about two months while I was on my Summer break and as soon as I finished the last one I had two thoughts pop into my head. The first was “What am I going to do now?” since I had been reading pretty much non-stop for two months. The second was “I should just start the series over”. They were that good. I figure I’ll start reading them again in a couple of months. These are the books the HBO show Game of Thrones is based on, I love that show and the books are so much better.
- The Hedge Knight by George RR Martin. This is a set of three novellas that take place before the events of ASOIAF. They were very good and I finished them in a few days.
- Beyond the Wall edited by James Lowder. This is a series of essays by various authors about the world of ASOIAF. It’s a great companion to the novels.
- Carry Yourself Back to Me by Deborah Reed. I honestly can’t remember how I heard about this book but it was really good. It’s about a country singer whose brother is accused of murder. It’s not a murder-mystery book, it’s more about heartbreak and longing and learning to get over it.
- Wool Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey. This a series of five short stories about a post-apocalyptic society where people live in underground silos. It started slow but built up towards the end pretty fast and left me wanting to learn more about how everyone ended up in these silos.
- First Shift-Legacy by Hugh Howey. This is a prequel to Wool and, I thought, it was better. It moved faster and gave an interesting look at what happened leading up to the events in Wool. I would love to read more stories in this world. And I think these books would make a great movie.
- The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Love, love, love this book. Justin Cronin is master at making you feel like you are right in the middle of the story. This is the second book in “The Passage” trilogy and it was just as good, and very different from, the first. I can’t wait for the third book to come out. Usually the second book in a trilogy feels like filler but this definitely did not.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Did everyone read this book this year? It sure seemed like I was hearing about it everywhere. This was one of my favorite books this year, it was a quick read but only because I couldn’t put it down. It was just phenomenal and so nice to see a book that takes place in Missouri that isn’t about hillbillies or meth addicts.
- John Dies at the End by David Wong. This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. It’s about two guys who take a drug called soy sauce that opens a portal to another dimension full of monsters. A lot of strange things happen but they’re mostly funny. I actually laughed out loud reading this book a few times. It was really good. The movie is set to be released next month and it looks pretty crazy.
- This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It by David Wong. This was the sequel to “John Dies at the End” and it is just as good and strange as the first. Plus, I love the name. David Wong needs to write more books like this.
- Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow.This is, I believe, the second YA novel by Doctorow and while I didn’t like it as much as “Little Brother”, it was still pretty good. It’s basically about remix culture, free speech, and copy write laws but told as a story about a band of homeless teenagers living in London. It was good, though.
So that’s it. The whole list is on Goodreads, too. Right now I’m working my way through two books: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, since I’ve been told for years that I need to read it, and Sucker’s Portfolio by Kurt Vonnegut which is a book of short stories being released serially on the Kindle. The next book I’m going to read is House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, which just looks insane.
Happy New Year!