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[personal profile] triadruid
Obviously I'm not going to finish another book this year, so I'll go ahead and post this this morning... long list is long, but mitigated by the sheer number of graphic novels. Also I'm amused that this year almost all of my favorites were non-fiction, when most years I barely manage to read 1 or 2 non-fiction. Maybe it just has to be a better book to grab my attention in that category??

Legend: bold means I've read it already, Italics means I'm working on it, and * means I've read it before. Previously read books/reviews are in the 'read lists' tag.
  1. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Towers of Midnight* (7.5, this book improved on the reread, but not much to be honest. Pacing is weird and feels padded, probably because they actually had 2.2 books, not 3, within the original AMoL storyline)
  2. Steven Gould, 7th Sigma (6.5, solidly entertaining but VERY similar to his other Magic Boy books. Doesn't really wrap up in any satisfactory fashion either on a worldbuilding basis. If there's a sequel, I won't be back)
  3. Jack McDevitt, Time Travelers Never Die (7, fun little romp through history with an innovative 'self-correcting' solution to the paradox problem. The author would have been better off spending less time on the hamfisted womanizing though, his sexism shows through uncomfortably)
  4. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: Fall of Gilead (7, I want more of this story than a five-issue comic can give! That was the major complaint, which is to say everything seems crammed and rushed, and everyone is acting a little too flippant/snarky/Bert-like)
  5. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Battle of Jericho Hill (7.5, same complaint as above, too rushed for the monumental events going on, but better overall)
  6. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, A Memory of Light (8.5, much of the final piece of this story was excellent, often in unexpected ways, but there were a number of very Odd Decisions and Omissions. More fistpumps than tears in this one. Editing was marginally better on this volume)
  7. Stephen King, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger* (8, actually read both the original edition and the revised side-by-side; some of the changes were very good and necessary for continuity, but a lot actually just added things that are better off left for later in the series; overall though it's a tight story with a good arc)
  8. James O'Neal, The Human Disguise (5, I fear that WoT has ruined me for mysteries forever; this guy is a mystery/crime fiction author attempting sci-fi, and EVERYTHING was telegraphed and easy to decipher from about Chapter 2, except the pieces that just came out of left-field/no-information-land for no good reason. Also he's one of those male authors that should have just not tried to write female characters at all)
  9. Pat O'Neill, From The Bottom Up: The History of the Irish in Kansas City (6, some good bits in here, but it reads like a book of newspaper clippings [which it largely is, being from KCStar's book imprint, so that works out]. The latter part seemed better, maybe because I could connect it to today's Kansas City)
  10. DC Comics, Lex Luthor: The Black Ring (4, how the hell do you make a comic about LL boring? Making Luthor an idiot and having too many cameos by other villains, apparently)
  11. DC Comics, Green Arrow: Rise and Fall (7, pretty good, if brutal, arc and well-told even without knowing the backstory)
  12. Charles Stross, The Fuller Memorandum (8, solidly funny if not earth-shattering; Stross does a good job of either retconning or revealing some bigger story arc here, and the premise of technology-based applied demonology is still just as hilarious)
  13. DC Comics, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War (7, solid and interesting compilation of pre-Blackest Night stuff)
  14. DC Comics, Blackest Night (8, good little compilation of the main storyline)
  15. DC Comics, Blackest Night: Green Lantern (7, side stories within the Blackest Night arc; a little hard to follow chronologically)
  16. DC Comics, Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps (7, side stories within the Blackest Night arc; a little hard to follow chronologically)
  17. DC Comics, Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps (7, side stories within the Blackest Night arc; a little hard to follow chronologically)
  18. DC Comics, Green Lantern: War of the Green Lanterns (7, good post-Blackest Night story that doesn't require a lot of backreading, including some interesting other-colored-ring use by Earth's GLs)
  19. China MiƩville, Embassytown (7.5, funny but poignant, with quite alien aliens but a rather telegraphed ending)
  20. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief* (8, wickedly clever and demanding sci-fi that improved now that I understood the jargon and subtle plot droppings better)
  21. Steven Barnes, Blood Brothers (7, charmingly quaint 1992/1800's piece about African diaspora religion, slavery, hacking, racism, and martial arts...not necessarily in that order; the characters are drawn pretty broadly, but Barnes does a good job of making you care about them anyway)
  22. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Fractal Prince (8, what the hell did I just read? The mindfuck continues with the second part of the trilogy, but the plot just went for an UTTER loop at the end... much like in the first book. I have a Loony Theory about how this is all going to end, but we'll see)
  23. Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (7, whether intentionally hysterical or not, this novel had me wondering by the end if our friendly neighborhood serial killer might not just be somebody deeply off his meds and having psychotic hallucinations)
  24. George Dyson, Turing's Cathedral (9, I forget how much I like well-written histories; this is a combined history of the atomic bomb project and the birth of modern computing, how they were linked, and what might come next; lyrical, wide-ranging, and entertaining. I bought this halfway through to avoid having to return it to the library)
  25. Robert Charles Wilson, Spin (7.5, oddly charming story about the near-death of the human race at the hands of incomprehensible alien forces that lock it in a time vortex; Wilson is fun to read but weak at endings)
  26. Marvel Comics, Wolverine: Rot/Underneath (7.5, double issue of two miniseries, both of which were surprisingly introspective)
  27. T. Thorn Coyle, Make Magic Of Your Life (9, good combination of brain-hacking and magic-woo-woo about how to find, court, achieve, and continue achieving your heart's desire; Thorn writes very clearly and accessibly in both modes)
  28. Mickey Zucker Reichert, I, Robot: to protect (7, fairly run-of-the-mill Asimov-family-licensed story about Susan Calvin's life as a young doctor. Some gender essentialism and too much whining, not enough plot, but I might pick up the others in the series when they come out)
  29. Ashley Marie Witter, Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story (5, gorgeous but in the end nothing new here; it's a graphic novel-style retelling of part of the original book, with maybe one or two additional scenes. Glad I only picked it up from the library)
  30. Image Comics, The Walking Dead: Compendium One (7, solid storytelling but just a little gratuitous and telegraphed... but overall an enjoyable engrossing read that I wouldn't mind continuing in the daylight)
  31. Image Comics, The Walking Dead: Books Five and Six (7.5, getting kinda torture-porn-y in here... but the wrapup/cliffhanger is great)
  32. Image Comics, The Walking Dead: Volumes 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 (6, mainly just finding new and not-that-different ways to kill/torment people at this point...)
  33. Alan Dean Foster, Star Trek Into Darkness (4, very mediocre telling of an apparently mediocre screenplay... nobody pops, nobody is their best self, and nobody makes any damn sense)
  34. William H. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (9, engagingly written if occasionally hyperbolic, with both primary sources and natural speculation galore)
  35. Phillip K. Dick, Minority Report and Other Stories (7, PKD is simply obsessed with mistaken identity, to the point where reading several of his stories in a row gives you the same bland flavor as too much Cthulhu Mythos at once; still, several of these were fun, especially to see how movies of them later differed)
  36. Margaret Weis Productions, Battlestar Galactica: the RPG (7.5, pretty good version of Cortex, with excellent flavor text and a much better explanation of the system than you get in the Marvel version's Cortex Plus)
  37. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Little Sisters of Eluria (6, I never read the actual short story but this was rather oddly paced and written..)
  38. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins (6, not too much new here except for a really unnecessary love sideplot; weakest of the comics so far)
  39. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Battle of Tull (7.5, Tull really comes to life...well, briefly, in this version of the story)
  40. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger: The Way Station (8, realizing that this comic was set in a different turn of Roland's journey made this much more enjoyable, in retrospect)
  41. Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland, Volume I: The Origins to 1795 (8, excellent if hard to follow in places, due to the tendency of the author to use a kitchen-sink approach combined with 'subject' headings rather than strict chronology; less a narrative than a travelogue through time)
  42. Matthew Algeo, Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure (6, thin yet rambling yarn about a rambling trip taken by the Trumans after leaving the White House; the Truman parts were good, the filler was mostly meh)
  43. Eugene J. Powell, Tom's Boy Harry (5, October 1948 election-hit piece commissioned by the Missouri RNC Chair, according to the dedication page; there's probably some good little facts buried in here, but it's underneath so much invective and conjecture that it's not worth digging for)
  44. Stephen King et al, The Dark Tower: Last Shots (8/7.5/6, the first two stories are fantastic, the last one seems tacked on for space reasons, even if it is an actual Arthur Eld [and Bertrand!] story)
  45. Image Comics, The Walking Dead: Volume 19 (7, a little variety from the torture-rama for once! perhaps even subtlety... but probably not)
  46. Tristen Taormino, Opening Up (9, good survey of the non-monogamous world, without too many conclusions drawn for the reader. lots of good language and options contained herein)
  47. DC Comics, Final Crisis (5, impenetrable and repetitive end-of-the-multiverse stuff, Grant Morrison was trying to show a deep metaphor for the power of story, I think)
  48. DC Comics, Batman: Hush (7, too many twists but a well-told story of revenge long delayed and artfully delivered)
  49. Vertigo Comics & Grant Morrison, The Invisibles: Say You Want a Revolution (6, I think I bought this at HPB for $1, it was almost worth it... there are some cool bits in here, but Grant Morrison has some definite trends in what he wants to write about; see Final Crisis, above. I was bored by the end, and Promethea covered the subject matter better)
  50. DC Comics & Frank Miller, Batman: Year One (7.5, good gritty riff on the early Batman adventures might have been like)
  51. DC Comics, Batman: Earth One (6, basically a retread of the above, years later and adding nothing new)
  52. Charles Stross, The Apocalypse Codex (9, good pacing and new information about the overall arc, though the end battlewas a little muddled...intentionally so, probably. Stross does a great job of skewering evangelicals/Dominionism through the lens of fiction)
  53. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Devil in the Gateway* (8, delightfully devilish and intricately plotted, especially for a comic book)
  54. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Children and Monsters* (7, the who with the what now? this one always throws me off because so MUCH happens in it)
  55. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: A Dalliance with the Damned* (8, back to the intricate double-dealing and backstabbing)
  56. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: The Divine Comedy* (7, this one always strikes me as weak because of the implausability [I know, I know] of the C. Rudd subplot)
  57. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Inferno (8.5, well that was all very exciting!)
  58. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Mansions of the Silence (8.5, despite the general lack of Lucifer, the cast is still charming and engaging on their newest ridiculous plot bunny)
  59. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Exodus (9, off. just off. that one packed a surprising amount of punch)
  60. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: The Wolf Beneath the Tree (7.5, I don't like how we just drop in the Fenris subplot so late in the game... I'm sure it was probably planned all along, but it seemed rushed all the way through)
  61. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Crux (9, all is forgiven for the scope and scale of the conflict in this one)
  62. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Morningstar (8, everything wraps up just a hair too neatly for my tastes, but only now do I find out there's one more book??)
  63. Aaron Allston, Terminator 3: Terminator Dreams (8, surprisingly solid entry into the movie-tie-in ranks, actually adding something to the mythology and asking some interesting questions about time travel)
  64. DC Comics & Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns (7, ridiculously dramatic but well-paced standalone story)
  65. Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, The Rising (7, decent prequel to the Left Behind series - I know they're not supposed to be funny, but the writing amuses me; this one actually has a reasonably interesting plot)
  66. Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass (8, intriguing and engaging YA story about how bad church people are...oh, and armored bears and airships and magic and gypsies. but mostly how bad the church is)
  67. Austin Grossman, Soon I Will Be Invincible (6, wildly uneven and underwhelming super-hero novel... there was so much potential for good satire or good action or good intrigue or... well, good anything. Instead we got a moderately amusing neurotic supervillain and an incomprehensible Reader Perspective Hero)
  68. Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife (6.5, the loss of a single narrative voice hurts the plot on this one, it spends too much time jumping around... and several characters make choices that make no sense except to further the agenda, I mean plot)
  69. Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass (5, wow. ow. how do you make that premise and plot BORING? by fracturing the narrative, spending too much time on why the church is bad, and then doing NOTHING with it in the end. very disappointing)
  70. Evil Hat Productions, FATE: Core System (8, much better-written explanation of the FATE system than previous books. They've streamlined, renamed, and explained everything much better here, so that I finally feel like I might enjoy playing this... which is good, since we're trying this out in January)

  71. Michael Pollan, Cooked
  72. Mike Carey and Vertigo Comics, Lucifer: Evensong
  73. Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland, Volume 2: 1795 to Present

Date: 2013-12-31 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm amused that the only thing on this list that I've read is Opening Up. Possibly related to the fact that I never got into either Jordan or King. But it looks like I should check out Stross and Rajaniemi. And maybe Lucifer.

Date: 2014-01-26 05:52 pm (UTC)
ext_3038: Red Panda with the captain "Oh Hai!" (dark tower)
From: [identity profile]
I definitely think you would enjoy the Stross series - and almost certainly Rajaneimi, if you're a futurist at all.

Lucifer I am less certain on for you in particular, but it's good writing overall. If you liked Sandman, you'll probably like Lucifer.

Date: 2013-12-31 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So much potential in a book about Claudia from the Interview books. Sad to hear that it wasn't good.

Also: Holy Comic Books, Batman!

Date: 2014-01-26 05:50 pm (UTC)
ext_3038: Red Panda with the captain "Oh Hai!" (dark tower)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it was a year for Light Reading after finishing Wheel of Time... and the heavy reading mostly morphed into non-fiction, apparently.

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