Reading 2013

During 2013 I have read 47 novels, as compared to 57 last year. A big part of the reduction was that in 2012 I spent a lot of time reading while feeding Hugo.

Here’s what I’ve read in 2013, in a rough chronological order:

  1. Foundation by Asimov - for the umpteenth time
  2. Foundation and Empire by Asimov - again, a re-read
  3. Second Foundation by Asimov - again, a re-read
  4. War & Peace by Tolstoy - It’s a large time commitment and took a while to settle into, but it slowly pulled me in, and I ended it thinking how fantastic it was.
  5. Night Watch by Pratchett - after finishing War & Peace I needed something lighter to read, as usual for discworld, this was funny and brilliant.
  6. The Ghost Brigades by Scalzi - a continuation of Old Man’s War which I read last year, not quite as good but still really good.
  7. The Sagan Diary - Scalzi - set in the Old Man’s War universe, but not a novel as such. I didn’t enjoy this.
  8. The Last Colony by Scalzi - another novel in the Old Man’s War universe. Probably the second best in the series. I read it again after reading Zoe’s Tale.
  9. South: The story of Shackleton’s 1914-1917 expedition - I thought this was brilliant, a stoic story of a great escape.
  10. Tom Crean - An Unsung Hero: Antarctic Survivor - A biography of a man who was involved in Scott’s fatal journey to the South pole as well as Shackleton’s 1914 expedition. Again, really interesting to see the understated way in which great feats were accomplished. They make Bear Grylls seem like an amateur.
  11. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow - Reread. Typical Doctorow novel, technology, civil rights, a bit heavy handed but very enjoyable.
  12. For The Win by Cory Doctorow - Reread. Probably Doctorow’s best.
  13. Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow - Reread. Mediocre.
  14. Nightfall (the novel) by Asimov & Silverberg - Didn’t seem like a typical Asimov novel, probably because it’s cowritten. It has a really interesting premise.
  15. A Storm of Swords - Another re-read.
  16. A Feast for Crows by GRR Martin - Another re-read
  17. A Dance With Dragons by GRR Martin - Another re-read
  18. Adrift: Seventy-six days Lost at Sea - Continuing on the survival theme from the Antarctic related reads. Surprisingly interesting non-fictional account of 76 days drifting in the Atlantic
  19. Walking the Amazon - A non-fictional account of a walk from Peru to the Brazilian coast following the Amazon. Surprisingly not repetitive.
  20. Lost in the Jungle - The documentation of a reckless expedition in the Amazon gone wrong. The sudden changes in the river level are quite scary, it underscored the challenges faced in Walking the Amazon.
  21. Cloud Road: A Journey through the Inca Heartland - This was slightly repetitive in places but really made me want to go and visit Peru.
  22. Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson - An amusing look at islamic fundementalists, klu klux klan leaders, and the Bilderberg Group. Apparently there’s an accompanying TV series that I haven’t yet watched.
  23. The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson - More amusing non-fiction, this time at paranormal ‘x-files’ American army units
  24. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson - More funny non-fiction, this time about how people are classified as psychopaths.
  25. Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton - I’m not a trekkie, but this was quite enjoyable.
  26. Homeland by Cory Doctorow - the sequel to Little Brother, less novel but probably a better novel.
  27. Spin by Robert Wilson - Excellent sci-fi about time dilation and the end of the world
  28. Axis by Robert Wilson - Sequel to spin, not as good
  29. Vortex by Robert Wilson - Sequel to Axis, not as good.
  30. Playbourhood by Mike Lanza - A documentation of one families efforts to make their neighbourhood better for children. An inspiring example.
  31. The Last Unicorn (plus sequal) by Peter Beagle - I vaguely remember watching the movie as a child, I never realised it was a fantasy classic. After reading it, I don’t think that it is. 1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - An interesting novel with a fast paced storyline set in the near future when mmorpg is better than real life and attracts nearly everyone. Full of 80s references, so I suspect that people older than I would enjoy it even more. 1. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - Steampunk Zombies. This was a nice surprise in a Humble Bundle. I’ve just realised that there are many more to read in the same universe.
  32. Machine of Death - A collection of short stories about a machine that can predict your method of death but is often vague or ironic. Some of the stories are brilliant, some are just good.
  33. Shards of Honour (Vorkosigan saga) - This is the first book of the Vorkosigan saga - a space opera. I mean to read more.
  34. I Can Make You Hate by Charlie Brooker - essentially a collection of his grauniad columns, ok coffee table book.
  35. The Illiad by Homer - Brilliant. Epic.
  36. Thud by Pratchett - Another light hearted ‘breather’ novel. Sad to say it’s the last of the Guards! discworld series :(
  37. The Circle - fast paced satire of social networking and google
  38. Zoe’s Tale by Scalzi - A retelling of The Last Colony from a different perspective. Equally as enjoyable.
  39. The Human Division - Another Old Man’s War universe novel, this time with different characters. Uses several short stories all following a similar format.
  40. Final Empire: Mistborn by Sanderson - Reread.
  41. The Well of Ascension by Sanderson - Reread.
  42. The Hero of Ages by Sanderson - Reread.
  43. Jurassic Park - Reread.
  44. The Lost World - Reread.
  45. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - Mandela’s life was always interesting. I enjoyed studying apartheid politics at school. The downside is that it got vaguer as it went on.
  46. The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black - A collection of mainly paranormal or urban fantasy short stories. Some were great, some were poor. OK as a whole.
  47. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link - Another collection of ghost/fantasy stories. Some (The Specialist’s Hat) are great, some are a bit half baked.