Monday, December 30, 2013

What I Read in 2013

At the end of 2012 I used Goodreads to make a list of all the books I read that year, and I think I'll do that each year since I enjoy the process of reviewing how my reading went. For example I didn't realize I had doubled my reading this year until I began to compile this list! My reading really slowed way down near the end of the year, so I had initially thought I would have a smaller list this year.

Here they are in the order in which I completed them along with my star ranking from one to five with five being a book I thought was great and would read again. Four stars is a book I really enjoyed but might not want to read again. Three stars means I liked the book but wouldn't read it over again, and anything less means it had issues for me.

1. The Passage by Justin Cronin ****
2. Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber *****  I read these decades ago in my teen years and loved them, so I decided to reread the series this year. I still love the first couple but found the quality diminished as the series progressed.
3. Swords Against Death by Fritz Leiber **** and a half
4. Swords in the Mist by Fritz Leiber **** and a half
5. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson ***
6. Swords Against Wizardry by Fritz Leiber ****
7. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking ****

8. The Swords of Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber **
9. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie *** and a half
10. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie ****
11. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie ****
12. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters ***
13. Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe *** and a half
14. Sword and Citadel by Gene Wolfe ****
15. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold **** and a half

16. Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Howard Chaykin **** and a half
17. The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake ***  Ivan is a writer friend of mine and I'd love nothing more than to give him more stars, but this book is intended for a different audience than me.
18. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller *** and a half
19. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell ****
20. Roma by Steve Saylor **
21. The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer **
22. Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell ****  Continues the retelling of the Arthur legend begun in The Winter King. This whole series was excellent.
23. Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey ****
24. Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell ****
25. Urban Legends of Rock and Roll: You Never Can Tell by Dale Sherman ** and a half
26. 11/22/63 by Stephen King ****
27. The Books of the South: Tales of the Black Company by Glen Cook **** and a half
28. The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia **
29. The Complete Prose by Woody Allen *  I love Woody Allen's movies, so I was aghast to read just how terrible his writing can be
30. The Twelve by Justin Cronin ****
31. Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey ****
32. Dust by Hugh Howey ****
33. The Terror by Dan Simmons **** and a half

34. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien ***
35. Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury ** and a half
36. Finches of Mars by Brian Aldiss ** and a half
37. The Return of the Black Company by Glen Cook *** and a half

9 comments:

  1. Impressive list, Ted!
    I'll admit that The Terror taught me one thing - I'll never slog my way through a tedious book ever again. But I'd read another book by Simmons.

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  2. I really enjoyed The Terror, Alex. I loved the details about daily life aboard a British naval vessal during that time period. I could have done without the unnecessary supernatural elements, but they were okay as well. Funny how different books can be to different people.

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  3. Great list, Ted! And mine is in it too! :) Thank you for reading it!

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  4. A pleasure, Ivan. Thanks for being one of the best writer friends a person could have, and have a wonderful New Year!

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  5. I adore Bernard Cornwell's Arthur series. That's the series that led me to read everything he wrote.

    I though 11/22/63 was great, too.

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  6. It's disappointing that the secret history of Moscow only got 2 stars. Interesting subject. Rosalind Minett

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  7. Sorry, Rosalind. The writer's style really didn't appeal to me, and I generally dislike novels that sacrifice the story in order to wander around having strange encounters (I call it Alice in Wonderland syndrome).

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  8. That's a lot of books! 11/22/63 and The Things The Carried are the only two I recognized, and are still on my list to read. I'm surprised Tim's book did not rate higher however. I think Bryan Russell gave it a much higher rating a long time ago.

    ........dhole

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