My friend Matt has Web pages listing the books he has read since 2004. I wanted to keep better track of what I read, so at the beginning of 2007, I started keeping a list here. For one thing, changing jobs at the end of 2007 meant I had lots more reading time than I used to, because I now have what amounts to a public transit commute.

Books I read in 2017

  1. The Last Colony, by John Scalzi. Jan. 5, 2017?

    Third book in the Old Man's War series. The return of John Perry, complete with second wife and adopted child, this time as head of a new colony??....where things do not go as expected.

  2. Detective Inspector Huss, by Helene Tursten. Jan. 20, 2017

    First in Swedish mystery series feturing Irene Huss. Probably the last I will lead. Maybe the translation stinks, maybe the author isn't very good, but oy. Confused plotting, irrational behavior all around, terrible translation, or maybe everyone does use the phrase "get hold of" on every page.

  3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. January, 2017.

    Entertaining and often charming story of a "tunneling" spaceship with a multispecies crew and an AI with quite a persoanality. First of a series, of which the second is already out. Looking forward to the rest.

  4. SPQR, by Mary Beard. January? February? 2017.

    Well, sometime in January, I gave up on this book, which I'd gotten 3/4 of the way through. I liked it a lot; Beard ia a terrific historian and a great writer. It just hit the point where it seemed to be past the most interesting material she had to work with, about the founding myths, social structure, and history of the Roman empire. Damned interesting stuff!

  5. The Stars are Legion, by Kameron Hurley. March, 2017

    Space opera with only female characters. Intense, not much fun to read. I was way more creeped out than I would have expected by the intersection of the organic and mechanical, and the way the worlds seemed to be controlling the women who lived on them.

  6. Zoe's Tale, by John Scalzi. March, 2017

    Scalzi's alternate take, from a different viewpoint, on the same story as The Last Colony. Well done, vivid, but is everybody really such a wise ass in the OMW universe?

  7. About Alice, by Calvin Trillin. March, 2016

    The expanded version of Calvin Trillin's loving hommage to his beloved wife, who died younger than she ought to have of damage to her heart caused by intense radiation treatment for lung cancer (she was a never-smoker).

  8. The Human Division, by John Scalzi. March/April 2017.

    Fifth book in the Old Man's War series. A novel published as a series; very well done, more of the people we hve come to like a whole lot. That business with the dog, though: first, you could see some kind of problem coming a mile away, especially when caves were mentioned.

  9. The End of All Things, by John Scalzi. April, 2017

    Sixth and last book in the Old Man's War series. Lots of fun, and things mostly work out reasonably well. I would have liked more of the terrifying Consu, I must say.

  10. Cockroaches, by Jo Nesbo. April, 2017.

    The second Harry Hole novel and the last one I hadn't read, because nos. 1 and 2 were the last two to be translated from the Norwegian. Typically convoluted and unlikely plotting.

  11. A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers. April, 2017.

    Not exactly a sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but yeah, sort of! Contains some of the same characters, but set elsewhere and with a very different, less funny, plot. Continuing themes include AIs in an organic world and interspecies replationships.

  12. Rosemary and Rue, by Seanan McGuire. April 27, 2017

    The first October Daye series, it's a cross between urban fantasy and the hard-boiled detective genre. Half-human, half-fae, October Daye has gotten herself into, and clear will continue to get herself into, a lot of trouble, much of it unnecessarily. She is hard-boiled and hard-headed, not necessarily in a good way, as she seems to have no common sense at all. She's surrounded by an entertaining cast of humans, half-humans, and full-fae. I enjoyed this but was also driven slightly mad by it. I mean, after living parallel to humans for so long, wouldn't the fae have figured out how to have their own health-care system??

  13. Passing Strange, by Ellen Klages. Novella, May 2, 2017.

    Lesbian history, San Francisco History, fantasy, and various other themes meet in a delightful novella that must have been a ton of fun to research.

  14. Bint:Home, by Nnedi Okorafor (novell).

    Sequel to Binti. Superb Africa-centric s.f.

  15. Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson. June some time.

    The first in a series of detective novels. Well written, interesting, tangled. I'm not entirely convinced by some of the events at the end of the novel, but I liked it overall and will read the rest of the series.

  16. A Hero of France, by Alan Furst. June 24, 2017.

    Spy novel, the latest of Furst's. Decent but seemed perfunctory. I'm told his earlier books are better.

  17. Cold Magic, by Kate Elliott. July 2, 2017.

    First in a fantasy trilogy, set in a world where the Western Hemisphere wasn't invaded and colonized by Europeans; Africans are integrated into Europe, the Roman Empire lasted to 800 AD or so; there's no Christianity; Carthage was a power for a long long time. Oh, and there's magic. Excellent, will finish trilogy.

  18. Cold Fire, by Kate Elliott. July 10, 2017.

    Second the Spiritwalker Trilogy (I don't love that trilogy name, but whatever). Continues the story started in Cold Magic, but mostly outside of what's called Europa. Many mysteries!

  19. Cold Steelc, by Kate Elliott. August 11, 2017.

    I can't believe it took me a month to finish this book. What? The conclusion of the trilogy, with lots of incident and a few battles.

  20. Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. August 31, 2017

    A book about what happens when sentient and non-sentient spieces live among humans, there's an ancient organization dedicated to stamping them out, and one family opposing that organization. Entertaining and sometimes funny, first in a series. Maybe my library has it?

  21. The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi. September 3, 2017

    Space opera, positing a means of interstellar travel and an interstellar empire, but the means of travel is....changing, and very few people know it. What happens next? Very enjoyable, a fast read, and my feeling is that Scalzi's affection for snark and making a joke keeps him from being an even better writer. Or maybe this is his thing and he won't write anything really deep.

  22. Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh. September 6, 2017.

    Tales of neurosurgery, English-style. A memoir by a prominent (I think) neurosurgeon, nearing retirement and looking back at his successes and failure. He writes with a wry tone and you get a real sense of both the skills and emotions behind what he does and how it affects him, especially his genuine misery over errors of judgment, when he shouldn't have even attempted a particular surgery, and errors of technique. He is now 67 and one thing that amazed me is that he was able to get into medical school despite having had NO science courses as an undergraduate. At the time, there was one med school in Great Britain that would accept such students; they would get a couple of years of science classes, then medical training. It's true that the US has programs that prepare humanities majors for med school (many years ago I briefly considered going to Columbia's), but then you're competing with the science nerds with straight As.

    In any event, a good book from an evidently humane surgeon.

  23. Empire Games, by Charles Stross. September 11, 2017.

    Stross picks up on the Merchant Prices series, some years after the last incident in the last published book in the series. Major spoilage if I say much more than WHERE IS THE NEXT BOOK?

  24. Rather Be the Devil, by Ian Rankin. September 18, 2017.

    The latest (2016) Rebus novel. Big Ger, still out there; Darryl Christie, still out there; Rebus, still alive and unable to let go.

  25. No Man's Nightingale, by Ruth Rendell. October 1, 2017.

    One of the last, and probably worst, Inspector Wexford novels. The plot is poorly worked out, the pacing is draggy. I got this from a Little Free Library and I'm sending it right back there.

  26. The Dispatcher, by John Scalzi. October 21, 2017.

    Novella with quite an interesting premise and room for sequels. It didn't take me three weeks to read; I've been trying to read about John Adams.

  27. Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi. October 25, 2017.

    Scalzi's riff on H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy, which I read decades ago and only half remember. Very entertaining and I'll have to re-read the Piper.

  28. Fleshmarket Alley, by Ian Rankin. November 7, 2017.

    An older Rebus novel, which I'd started and bounced off long ago. It is about the worst of the last dozen of these, something of a slog and weirdly unfocussed.

  29. When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi.

    Beautifully written, hopeful, and profoundly sad memoir by a brilliant young neurosurgeon diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at 36.

Books I read in 2016

I more or less read 25 books this year, a dismal count. I got stalled out for a couple of months by feeling like I should read all 2500 pages of Dream of the Red Chamber aka Story of the Stone, then got stalled out for weeks after I started making some progress in the first volume of the book.

It's more or less because one of the listed books is three short stories/novellas, one is a novella, and one I threw against the wall and didn't finish. I read one and a half nonfiction books (I'm in the middle of Mary Beard's SPQR) and the rest is mostly science fiction and mysteries.

Books I read in 2015

I finished 31 books in 2015 and left Graham Robb's wonderful The Discovery of France unfinished. Still trying to finish Sleepwalkers about the start of WWI.

Of the 31 books, one was nonfiction, Helen MacDonald's H is for Hawk. Eleven were by women, 21 by men. Several of the books by men had excellent female protagonists, including those by Pratchett, Stross, and O'Donnell, as retro as Modesty Blaise might be.

Books I read in 2014

In 2014, I finished 28 books. The list below includes two books I did not finish, the novel Rupert of Hentzau and the musicological study The Sound of Medieval Song. As I'm writing this at 6:27 p.m. on December 31, I suppose I could wrap up Rupert. I am in the middle of, and will be finishing, The Sleepwalkers, Christopher Clark's study of "how Europe went to war" in 1914. The count below includes one play, four graphic novels, six books I'd call mysteries, eleven fantasy and science fiction novels, three books that might be considered historical fiction, and some odd ends. Note that two of the fantasy novels were the fourth and fifth Song of Ice & Fire novels, which are worth two or three normal novels each. The best book of the year might be The Hare with Amber Eyes, which I am pressing into peoople's hands, but boy, did I love Hild and Code Name Verity a lot.

I read four novels by Charles Stross, two by Anne Leckie, two by Elizabeth Weidn, two by Hannu Rajaiemi, two by Jo Nesbo, and two by George R. R. Martin.

Books I read in 2013

Maybe I'll finish two excellent nonfiction books I started last year.

Well, I didn't finish those two nonfiction books, and apparently I did not complete ANY nonfiction books in 2013, although I have two in process. I hang my head in shame.

What I did read was approximately 27 books, nearly all of them genre novels, either mysteries (mostly police procedurals) or s.f. The best book of the year was Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset's great historical novel of medieval Norway, in the wonderful new(ish) Tiina Nunnely translation. Highly, highly recommended. Other favorites include Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?, Neil Gaiman's American Gods (a superb dark fantasy novel), and Christopher Priest's The Prestige..

Books I read in 2012

As always, the goal was to read more non-fiction. I didn't succeed, in part because I started, but did not finish, two important nonfiction books, Tony Judt's Postwar and Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert. Perhaps in 2013?

Meanwhile, I read a total of 29 books. I'd feel worse about that low total if the two George R.R. Martin books and the two Trollopes weren't each the length of two or three typical novels. I also started, but have not finished, The Hobbit and Bleak House. I did not list a book I read in manuscript, so I guess I can reasonably say I read 30 books in 2012.

Books I read in 2011

This year's goal: read more non-fiction.

It's January 1, 2012, and I did, more or less, manage to read more non-fiction. I did this by doing a little jamming on non-fiction at the end of the year.

I think I am starting 2012 with non-fiction - a new book and also by finishing a book I've been 95% done with for almost a year.

The 2012 count: 3 nonfiction books (four if you count the one I'm almost done with...), 27 fiction (including a couple of very short books and a couple of very long ones), 1 novel thrown against the wall partway through. I'm also still picking up Berlioz's memoirs from time to time and will finish the book eventually. Also about 180 pages into Phineas Finn on my phone and thinking I need hard copy.

Books I read in 2010

I read 40 books in full and four more fractionally (from one-half finished to 3/4 finished) in 2010.

Huge reading break from late-Feb to early April as I IGNORED Luc Sante's Low Life, which I started in February while in NYC. Log jam now broken; I'll finish Low Life in a whilesomeday.

There were several books I read only half or three-quarters of the way through in 2010. They're listed among the books I finished, for some reason - probably so I could keep chronological track of what I read.

The books I read in 2010, most of them completed:

Books I read in 2009

I read 26 books in 2009, up from 23 in 2008, but still behind the 33 in 2007 and far under what i read before the internet took over my life. I spent too much shuttle time on line answering email or blogging, I think. I read a disproportionate number of books while home sick or on vacation (two-plus during a short stay in Santa Fe, for example). I still wish I were reading more nonfiction.

Books I finished:

Books I read in 2008

Well, I had a crappy book-reading year in 2008. I blame it on blogging a lot more than in previous years, reading other blogs too much, and the election. I also got badly bogged down, to the point of blockage, by The Rest is Noise. I read part of it in April, part of it in July, and remain stuck half-way through. Read the index to see why, she said cryptically; I still haven't figured out what to say about it on my blog.

My goal for 2009 is just to read a lot more, of whatever type of book.

Books I read in 2007

Books I've been in the middle of since 2009 and might finish some day:

Books I started in 2010 or 2011 and am in the middle of right now:

Books I started and will not be finishing:

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