Reading List – 2008

Following up the page from last year, these are the books I’ve read in 2008.

  1. All The King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
  2. Dies the Fire – S.M. Stirling – January 11th
  3. The Protector’s War – S.M. Stirling – January 12th
  4. A Meeting at Corvallis – S.M. Stirling – January 15th
  5. Idoru – William Gibson – January 19th
  6. Michaelmas – Algis J. Budrys
  7. American Psycho – Brett Ellis – February 7th
  8. The Once and Future King – T. H. White – March 21st
  9. Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman – March 24th
  10. Fritz Leiber – Three of Swords
  11. Fritz Leiber – Swords’ Masters
  12. Raymond E Feist – Magician: Apprentice
  13. Raymond E Feist – Magician: Master – May 20th
  14. Raymond E Feist – Silverthorn – May 21st
  15. Raymond E Feist – Darkness at Sethanon – May 27
  16. David B Coe – The Rules of Ascension
  17. David B Coe – Seeds of Betrayal – June 5th
  18. David B Coe – Bonds of Vengeance – June 10
  19. Stanislaw Lem – Futurological Congress – June 13
  20. Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett – Good Omens – June 16
  21. Yevgeny Zamyatin – We – June 19th
  22. Alan Moore – The Watchmen – June 23rd
  23. Frank Miller – The Dark Knight Returns – June 23
  24. Marv Wolfman & George Perez – Crisis on Infinite Earths
  25. Robert Heinlein – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – June 29
  26. Robert Heinlein/Spider Robinson – Variable Star – June 30
  27. Vernor Vinge – A Fire on the Deep – July 10
  28. Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind – July 12
  29. Joseph Kanon – The Good German – July 14
  30. Arthur C Clarke – Childhood’s End – July 17
  31. Pat Frank – Alas, Babylon – July 19
  32. Bram Stoker – Dracula – August 20
  33. James Fennimore Cooper – Last of the Mohicans – September 28
  34. AE van Vogt – Voyage of the Space Beagle – October 2
  35. Noam Chomsky – On Language – October 8
  36. Neal Stephenson – Anathem – October 11
  37. Orson Scott Card – Ender in Exile – November 20
  38. Martinus Veltman – Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics – November 26
  39. Sean Wilentz – The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln – December 3
  40. John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids – December 6
  41. Robert Sheckley – Mindswap – December 9
  42. Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Idiot – December 18
  43. Eric Flint & Virginia de Marce – 1635: The Dreeson Incident – December 26
  44. Marguerite Yourcenar – Memoirs of Hadrian – December 31
  45. Jonathan Lethem – Gun, With Occasional Music – December 31

December 31st
Pretty close, huh? Only a few books from another year of 50 read. But I got hung up on some doozies, that’s for sure. Chomsky really killed me. Over a month of work on that before I finished it, and I only snuck one other book in while I was reading it. So did the Wilentz. Which I started in the summer, stopped and then picked up again. Never did finish Gormenghast. It’s still sitting on my nightstand. And yes, I’m aware that the list format changes part way through. Sue me. In review, none of the books are ones that I wouldn’t recommend. The Idiot reminded me just how much I enjoy reading classic Russian literature though. Comparing it to We is interesting, because you can see some of the ideological carry over from tsarist to communist authors almost 100 years apart. Something you don’t notice as much with American authors. Anyway, here’s to 2009!

edit – read all of Lethem’s great scifi-noir novel instead of going out. yay for 45.

July 23rd
Finally got around to updating things since April. I get lots of reading time during my daily commute on the metro and bus/shuttle. And I get a bit more time between work and krav maga 3 nights a week. Tossed a few graphic novels in there as well, and did a bit of re-reading of things I’d read in the past. Still haven’t finished Gormenghast or The Rise of American Democracy, though.

February 7th
Had a bit of a slow-down with my reading. Michaelmas was a very good book about a man who is a well-known news reporter who also happens to have been guiding the progress of the planet over the last 40 years, who faces his own aging as well as some competition for control of humanity. It’s a pretty interesting look at the future and, though it was written 40 years ago, is still very much relevant today. American Psycho was an…interesting read. The first person narration of a Wall Street, style conscious, excessively rich, yuppie who is also a drug addict, sexual pervert, and violent and sociopathic serial killer leads through a series of both trivial and important events in the main character’s life and his trying to balance and control his destructive tendencies. The story touches on a lot of the hedonistic excesses of the 80s and is not for those of tender stomach or who get bored of highly frivolous details. I don’t really know that there is really that much redeeming about the story itself other than its originality and style, but it was definitely an interesting read, none-the-less.

January 20th
The year has started off pretty nicely, reading-wise. All The King’s Men was a good piece of southern literature. Something I’ve noticed about novels set in the late 1800s through mid 1900s is that one of the easiest ways to make drama is to have characters discover or reveal affairs between characters. If you can create illegitimate children, all the better. The S.M. Stirling trilogy is a “what if” type story about an alternate Earth in which all electrical and explosive forces stopped working, reducing humanity to a state of essentially medieval technology, and then following the events in an area of the United States centered around Washington and Oregon. Very entertaining, but I find some of the attempts to explain the sudden disaster to be a bit lacking, but that’s just my physics background rearing it’s head and trying to ruin an otherwise very good story. Gibson’s novel is another classic from the godfather and master of cyberpunk science fiction. It’s hard to dislike his work, though the extremely jargonistic dialog of the characters can be a bit of a brain fuck at times.

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