triadruid: Pseudocode for "If nothing else, remember this." (remember this)
[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. Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score (10, absolutely gripping book about how trauma works, what we know and don't know, and how to sometimes recover from it; informs so many parts of my life I don't even know where to start... only complaint is it could have been a little tighter, he rambles a bit over his 30-40 year career in neuropsychiatry)
  2. Glenn Eichler and Nick Bertozzi, Stuffed! (7, surreal piece of Americana about a man who inherits his horrible father's horrible 'museum' of junk, including a statue of an African Warrior that turns out to be the stuffed skin of an African... and may or may not be talking to him; all of the characters are good and real but the story is just a little too silly for my tastes)
  3. Robert Charles Wilson, Axis (6, surprisingly little happens for the vast majority of this book... also, somehow it escaped me in the first one that a major character's alien name basically transliterates as UNKNOWN. Ooooooooohhhhhhh... still the ending was probably interesting enough for me to finish the trilogy)
  4. Mickey Zucker Reichert, I Robot: To Obey (5, really weak and odd middle-of-the-trilogy piece, reminiscent of the first without improving on it)
  5. David Ellefson and Joel McIver, My Life With Deth (7, wandering but engaging autobiographical piece by Megadeth's bassist; his soft-sell on religion starts out well and only gets overpowering at the end; I learned a lot about a usually quiet and private man)
  6. Charles Stross, The Rhesus Chart (8, formulaic but roaringly funny entry in the Landry series; Bob Howard's problems just continue to multiply)
  7. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief* (9.5, one more read-through before series end, and it only adds to the enjoyment; this book is tight, witty, and devastatingly intelligent)
  8. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Fractal Prince* (7.5, middle-book syndrome kinda hits here but there's still a lot of good stuff going on; overall it just feels a little too unfocused between the two plotlines)
  9. Hannu Rajaniemi, The Causal Prince (8.5, racing to the finish line, and an ending you can't exactly predict while still making as much sense as anything does in this iteration of the universe)
  10. Neal Stephenson, Anathem (2, when I find something offputtingly pretentious, it kinda means something... the first 78 pages are roughly NOTHING HAPPENING but world-explaining; we finally hit an active plot about the time a lesser book might have ended, page 225; and in the end we were left with... maybe? Ugh, took me months to get to the end of this one and I kinda wish I hadn't)
  11. Max Barry, Lexicon (7, great premise and good start sort of fizzles out at the end, but the concept was very compelling and may have highlighted a new genre for me: mathematicians and linguists out to change the world with their skills)
  12. Melinda Snodgrass, The Edge of Reason (8 for idea, 5 for execution; Snodgrass' writing can be wooden and cliche, but the main character is a treat and the concept is interesting. of course, this is a stealth trilogy that the library doesn't have the other two halves of...)
  13. Vladimir Sorokin, Bro (6, disappointing prequel that is much more straightforward than the other segments, tells the backstory but not in any satisfying way)
  14. Vladimir Sorokin, Ice (7, confusingly lyrical Russian novel about aliens and Russia and ice and man's inhumanity-to-man-who-is-not-like-him and... what?)
  15. Vladimir Sorokin, 23,000 (7, less lyrical, more adventurous, as we try to stop the aliens who may or may not be real from completing their plan to wipe out the Earth, by wiping them out)
  16. Naomi Novik, His Majesty's Dragon (7.5, charming historical fantasy about the Napoleonic wars as augmented by giant autistic flying lizards)
  17. David Hill Jr., Farewell to Fear (1, an RPG book should probably not go on for 4/5 of its length before you get to mechanics, nor read like Tumblr; the actual mechanics are a mishmash of FATE and Marvel Heroic with a few interesting theoretical frameworks that you could basically apply to any system with the right 'progressive' group; also given that all of the character classes were published via website that is now down, it's also technically as well as stylistically unplayable)
  18. Steven Solomon, Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization (9, I learned a lot about both current events and history here; my only real complaint is the rushed editing, which is a universal complaint these days)
  19. Tim Powers, Declare (9.5, loved this tight 'hidden history' story about angels and spies and secret societies; the screwball timeline makes sense once you get used to it)
  20. Various, "The X-Files Special" (7, graphic novel collection of 'episodes', the feel is right but the art is a little flat, and were the stories always this predictable?)
  21. Charles Stross, The Annihilation Score (8, another tightly plotted entry in the Laundry Files, this time from the perspective of Mo; lots of story gets advanced, my only complaint is that she sounds similar-but-not-too-similar to Bob, but then they DO spend a LOT of time together)
  22. Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick, Feynman (8, graphic novel summarizing the life and times of Richard Feynman, both from his own work and those of family and friends; good survey piece)
  23. Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons From The Crematory (8.5, very readable and thought-provoking look at the funeral industry, cultural attitudes toward death, and a possible way forward to something more wholistic)
  24. Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End (8, enjoyable classic aliens-come-to-earth-but-what-do-they-really-want piece; unlike most it actually keeps you guessing, and the aliens are pretty weird, and the end is VERY weird)
  25. N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (10, just bloody perfect take on mythology and succession and privilege and culture clash and...she has an amazing voice, like an African storyteller)
  26. Andy Weir, The Martian (9, I read this in a day and a half, it's as gripping as they say, and funny as heck especially when read in Matt Damon's voice... only real complaint is that the author's voice for all characters is pretty similar to the main character; in that I suspect the movie will be better)
  27. Joel Rosenberg, Paladins (5, I wanted to like this, but it never really distinguished itself; the central conceit of Mordred's Britain was largely ignored, the 'live' swords were underused, and the plot was thin and confusing)
  28. Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake (8.5, another well-crafted Atwood dystopia; the flashback-filled narrative actually works, the characters have depth and difference (except Oryx, who is almost a non-entity), and the humor is so black it shines as she skewers a little bit of everyone's sacred cows; the ending is the only weak part, we race through the final flashback and then set up a needless sequel trilogy)
  29. Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (9, good information about some of the differences between introverts and extroverts; not exactly what I was originally looking for, but kept my interest throughout; she can get a little preachy sometimes so if you're an extrovert looking to understand introverts, be aware you may get bashed a smidge)
  30. Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight (8.5, very high quality Discworld/Tiffany Aching until the end, which felt a bit rushed; still always a pleasure to revisit the Feegles and their hag)
  31. Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood (7.5, fill-in-the-blanks book, mostly about the crash of society from the perspective of some more mundane characters. The humor is still good but I can't help think the whole thing would cut together better as a single novel)


  32. Naomi Novik, Throne of Jade
  33. Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam

Date: 2016-01-19 04:07 pm (UTC)
lilia_blackbear: (ending)
From: [personal profile] lilia_blackbear
Haha... I went to put the Jemisin book on my "too read" list and found it already there so I can only assume your partner already gave a great review.

I have found Atwood's work (mostly short stories in anthologies I've read) to be really hit or miss. I mean, I either absolutely adore her words or I read the story and don't remember what it was about when I put it down. So I'm hesitant to pick anything up longer than a short story.

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