triadruid: Roland Deschain from the Dark Tower novel "The Gunslinger", looking at a raven sitting on a skull on the ground. (dark tower)
[personal profile] triadruid
Legend: bold means I've read it already, Italics means I'm working on it, and normal text means it's a potential. * means I've read it before. Previously read books/reviews are in the 'read lists' tag.

  1. S.D. Perry and Britta Dennison, Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves (3; weirdly, once we got to 'Night', this changed from a war/occupation story to a who's-sleeping-with-who fanfic. Unfortunately, the answer is 'everybody', which leaves few pages for the main plot.)
  2. S.D. Perry and Britta Dennison, Terok Nor: Dawn of the Eagles (4, slightly better plotwise but still a stealthed romance... and OMG the gender policing! Odo's backstory made it mostly worth it, though)
  3. Len Merson, Instant Productivity Toolkit (8, overall useful if occasionally counterintuitive method of seizing control of the firehose of workflow/information; probably a good share of this will be useful to me at work this spring)
  4. Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen, Fish! (3, trite and thin attempt at showing why attitude helps at work, but the writing/dialogue is so stilted and unrealistic that it's not convincing)
  5. Barbara Ehrenreich, Bait and Switch: The Futile Pursuit of the American Dream (7.5, depressing if probably accurate look at the white-collar job market and the seekers who get stuck in it... and this was written several years ago, when our economy still had hope. She has an interesting, if somewhat unrealistically optimistic, idea at the end)
  6. A. Lee Martinez, Monster (7, funny but thin New Weird comedy with a disappointing ending mechanic)
  7. Rabbi Nilton Bonder, Our Immoral Soul (8.5, really engaging and readable alternate perspective on Jewish (and by extension, Christian) theology of the soul and body)
  8. Thomas Kinsella, The Tain (7.5, solid translation of the classic myths, as far as I can tell)
  9. V., The Mafia Manager: A Guide to the Corporate Machiavelli (2, wretchedly constructed, trite, and derivative work by somebody who has seen the Godfather movies too many times)
  10. Marion Trozzolo, Tales of River Quay (5, nearly unreadable 'memoir' about his failed redevelopment project, written after he gave up, sold off, and moved to Florida)
  11. Frank R. Hyde, The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob (7, rambly but informative summary of the intersection of the Pendergast era with organized crime)
  12. The Arbinger Institute, Leadership and Self-Deception (8, as self-help books go this is a solid one; still prone to the 'as you know, bob' school of fake dialogue, but whatever. This tries to get at some meaningful ways to reorder your thinking)
  13. Elizabeth Bear, Carnival (8, Bear packs a punch in this standalone. The two main characters can get a little hard to tell apart because of their polyglot names, though.)
  14. J. J. Maloney, I Speak For The Dead (7, history of the 1970s River Quay mob war in Kansas City)
  15. Elizabeth Bear, Grail (8.5, wheeeee we finish the series with a rush and some unexpected, but foreshadowed, twists)
  16. Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (6.5, too much hype probably doomed me on this one, but I just don't. get. it.)
  17. John Scalzi, The God Engines (7, okay but too short story that goes for the middle ground between science fiction and religious fantasy)
  18. James Knapp, State of Decay (8, good take on zombies without being completely overblown or apocalyptic...yet)
  19. James Knapp, The Silent Army (7.5, pretty good sequel but I think I see where this is going...)
  20. Robert Jordan, New Spring* (7.5, we started an out-loud reread RIGHT after Dragon*Con, to the point where we had to find WiFi to download it via Google Books because we were still on the road. Excellent characterization, but too many standlamps in the descriptions.)
  21. Rob Thurman, Chimera (6, humorous but thin look at genetic engineering. The protagonist is a paint-by-numbers antihero with an accent problem, which detracts quite a bit from the immersiveness)
  22. Matt Ridley, Genome (8, non-fiction, ahoy! Each chapter is devoted to a different chromosome, or more specifically a particular gene on a particular chromosome. I only wish it had been longer...)
  23. Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, The Light of Other Days (8.5, good time-travel story, well sort of... Clarke always seems to work smoother when he has a co-author)
  24. Lisa Goldstein, Dark Cities Underground (5, Egyptian gods living in the London Underground OUGHT to be more interesting than this, I swear)
  25. Tim Akers, The Horns of Ruin (6, disappointingly paced steampunkish action story with, I kid you not, gamer terminology sprinkled through the writing ("buffing" being the most egregious example). Again, the protagonist was not believable in the slightest)
  26. Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World* (7, more of the reread, that held up pretty well but it's still got a lot of derivative pieces from Tolkien)
  27. Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery (3, fails to make the subject particularly more accessible, and apparently relies heavily on some errors of translation and assumptions on the part of the German author about the nature of Zen)
  28. William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine (6, disappointly unfocused and incomplete alternate history work)
  29. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Paul of Dune (6, occasionally interesting but mostly unnecessary 'interquel' between Dune and Dune Messiah)
  30. John Connolly, The Gates (5, some initially elaborate scientific interweavings fail to save the book from being ultimately trite and unfulfilling. Yes, it's a children's/YA book, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have had a FEW surprises. Connolly tries to be Pratchett, but doesn't really succeed)
  31. China MiƩville, Kraken (7, somebody taught MiƩville how to be funny, which is good, but he's still addicted to plot twists, which are overdone and still don't answer the question of 'why?')
  32. Jim Butcher, Ghost Story (8, good usage of the different circumstances of this novel to explore some more introspective moments for Harry Dresden; I did occasionally feel like we were painting by numbers to get everybody in the story, though)
  33. Robert Jordan, The Great Hunt* (8.5, I forgot how strong and tightly written this book was overall; in some ways it makes a better 'start' to the series than Eye of the World)
  34. Various, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964 (varies between 4 and 8, the oldest of the old stories are hopelessly sexist, but there's some interesting ideas buried in here; lots of stuff gets echoed by other authors in later print and visual works)
  35. Robert Jordan, The Dragon Reborn* (7.5, even better than I remembered; things crackle along for the most part and the ending is top-notch)
  36. S.M. Stirling, Dies the Fire (6, slow and predictable modern-tech-dies story)
  37. S.M. Stirling, Island in the Sea of Time (7, better than Dies The Fire despite being written before it; modern tech in an ancient age plays better and flows well)
  38. Carrie Vaughn, After The Golden Age (7, okay but predictable real-life-of-comic-book-heroes story; the story held no great surprises, which is funny since my brain predicted some fun ones along the way)
  39. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief (8; damnit, another unfinished series, but at least a fairly interesting one. I think it's hard sci-fi (from a PhD in string theory, no less), but you know what they say about technology and magic... first third really begs for a glossary for us mere mortals, though. gevulot? qupt?)
  40. Janet Asimov, Mind Transfer (3, forgettable writing (except for the clumsy adolescent sex) and very predictable storyline about... well, mind transfer)
  41. Iain M. Banks, The Algebraist (7, funny aliens and space opera try to blend with a riddle and a shaggy dog story, to rather unsatisfying results. The Dwellers are fantastic, however)
  42. Robert Jordan, The Shadow Rising* (7.5, was harder to get into this one because we're reading aloud in such small segments, but it still flows pretty well. Stand-lamps and superfluous descriptions are starting to get more common, though)
  43. S.M. Stirling, Against the Tide of Years (6.5, the middle part of the trilogy drags on its way to a rousing conclusion, which is really just a setup for the final book)
  44. Joe Haldeman, The Coming (5, what just happened there? oddly unfinished story, maybe I missed something or maybe it's just a morality tale about human nature)
  45. Sean Stewart, Resurrection Man (6, epic-level weirdness can't save this from some dragging and unclear plotting. good use of imagery and avoiding most of the as-you-know-bob problem, though)
  46. S.M. Stirling, T2: Infiltrator (7.5, very cinematic and accurate to the movie mythology, but I worry about trying to make a series out of this particular conflict. I enjoyed the future parts as much or more than the modern-day action, which we've seen before)

Date: 2012-01-09 06:40 pm (UTC)
featherynscale: a monster holding an open book (book monster)
From: [personal profile] featherynscale
You just don't enjoy a good shaggy dog story. Kraken and The Algebraist were brilliant. :-P

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