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


  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.

  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.

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

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

  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.

  6. Have a wonderful New Year too, Ted!

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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.