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Monday, December 31, 2018

Books I Read in 2018

For the second year in a row, the number of books I read over the course of the year has declined, down to 86 books this year compared to 123 in 2017 and 135 in 2016. Even worse, my ratio of women to men authors has declined drastically, as has my ratio of genre to mainstream (or "literary") works.

There are a few reasons for this, some new, some carried over from 2017. First, hardly any of my lunch breaks at Stantec are devoted to reading books; instead, I'm either playing Dungeons & Dragons or catching up on Reddit politics threads over lunch. I'm also screening a lot more films than I used to. And finally, Dad's passing and the stress from the quickly unfolding global sociopolitical/environmental catastrophe has made reading more difficult for me; I don't have the same focus I used to.

What reading I did manage this year veered strongly toward nostalgia and escapism. I managed to whittle down some Hugo and Nebula award winners this year, and finally read Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr juveniles and the first of his R. Daneel Olivaw robot novels. I also knocked off James Blish's Cities in Flight books, something I've been meaning to do since about grade six.

Here's the list:

January: 11
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Grady Hendrix, 2017)
The Collectors (Christopher L. Bennett, 2014)
Miasma (Greg Cox, 2016)
Q Are Cordially Invited (Rudy Josephs, 2014)
When Angels Wept: A What-If History of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Eric G. Swedin, 2010)
Surrounded by Enemies (Bryce Zabel, 2013)
BFI Modern Classics: Easy Rider (Lee Hill, 1996)
Once There Was a Way (Bryce Zabel, 2017)
The Returned, Part 1 (Peter David, 2015)
The Returned, Part 2 (Peter David, 2015)
The Returned, Part 3 (Peter David, 2015)

February: 6
The Dispatcher (John Scalzi, 2016)
The Power (Naomi Alderman, 2016)
Sidelines (Lois McMaster Bujold, 2013)
Shadow on the Sun (Richard Matheson, 1994)
Absent Enemies (John Jackson Miller, 2014)
A Lot like Christmas (Connie Willis, 2017)

March: 4
The Home for Wayward Parrots (Darusha Wehm, 2018)
The Bronze Skies (Catherine Asaro, 2017)
The Outer Limits: Season One (David J. Schow, 2018)
The Klingon Dictionary, second edition (Marc Okrand, 1992)

April: 1
The Berlin Project (Gregory Benford, 2017)

May: 6
Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman (Paul Levitz, 2018)
Those Were the Days (Marty Kaplan and Tom Shales, 2012)
Thor Meets Captain America (David Brin, 1986)
The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era (Vernor Vinge, 1993)
The Flowers of Vashnoi (Lois McMaster Bujold, 2018)
4 3 2 1 (Paul Auster, 2017)

June: 8
The Outsider (Stephen King, 2018)
Grammar: The Easy Way (Dan Mulvey, 2002)
A Girl in Time (John Birmingham, 2016)
Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace (Joseph M. Williams, 2003)
Adventure: The Atari 2600 at the Dawn of Console Gaming (Jamie Lendino, 2018)
Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor (Bruce Campbell, 2017)
Wool (Hugh Howley, 2011)
Buying Time (Joe Haldeman, 1989)

July: 18
All Our Wrong Todays (Elan Mastri, 2017)
After the Fact: A Guide to Fact-Checking for Magazines and Other Media (Cynthia Brouse, 2007)
The Stuff of Dreams (James Swallow, 2013)
Artemis (Andy Weir, 2017)
Infinite (Jeremy Robinson, 2017)
sex, lies, and videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1990)
American War (Omar el Akkad, 2017)
The President’s Brain is Missing (John Scalzi, 2017)
They Shall Have Stars (James Blish, 1956)
A Life for the Stars (James Blish, 1962)
Earthman, Come Home (James Blish, 1955)
The Triumph of Time (James Blish, 1959)
Behold the Man (Michael Moorcock, 1969)
The Fifth Head of Cerberus (Gene Wolfe, 1972)
The Planet on the Table (Kim Stanley Robinson, 1986)
The Tale of the Wicked (John Scalzi, 2012)
Slow River (Nicola Griffith, 1995)
Powers (Ursula K. LeGuin, 2007)

August: 11
David Starr, Space Ranger (Isaac Asimov, 1952)
Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids (Isaac Asimov, 1953)
Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (Isaac Asimov, 1954)
Lucky Starr and the Big Sun of Mercury (Isaac Asimov, 1956)
Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter (Isaac Asimov, 1957)
Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn (Isaac Asimov, 1958)
Change Agent (Daniel Suarez, 2017)
Terminal Event (Robert Vaughn, 2017)
Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You (Charles Taylor, 2017)
Trigger Mortis (Anthony Horowitz, 2015)
The Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut, 1959)

September: 10
The Keep (F. Paul Wilson, 1981)
Hope Never Dies (Andrew Shaffer, 2018)
Flight or Fright (Stephen King and Bev Vincent, 2018)
The Fountains of Paradise (Arthur C.  Clarke, 1979)
Legacies (F. Paul Wilson, 1998)
All the Way with JFK (F.C. Schaefer, 2017)
The Boat of a Million Years (Poul Anderson, 1989)
Superpowers (David J. Schwartz, 2008)
All My Sins Remembered (Joe Haldeman, 1977)
The Coming (Joe Haldeman, 2000)

October: 5
Hadon of Ancient Opar (Philip Jose Farmer, 1974)
Mockingbird (Walter Tevis, 1980)
The Dreaming Jewels (Theodore Sturgeon, 1950)
The Consuming Fire (John Scalzi, 2018)
Head On (John Scalzi, 2018)

November: 3
Nightflyers (George R.R. Martin, 1985)
Strangers (Gardner Dozois, 1978)
Flight to Opar (Philip Jose Farmer, 1976)

December: 5
Elevation (Stephen King, 2018)
The Caves of Steel (Isaac Asimov, 1954)
Star Trek: The Book of Lists (Chip Carter, 2017)
The Massacre of Mankind (Stephen Baxter, 2017)
Star Trek: Lost Scenes (David Tilotta and Curt McAloney, 2018)

Nonfiction: 16
Fiction: 70

Science Fiction: 46
Mainstream: 11
Star Trek: 8
Fantasy: 3
Horror: 3

Top Authors
Isaac Asimov: 7
John Scalzi: 5
James Blish: 4
Peter David: 3
Joe Haldeman: 3
Stephen King: 3
Lois McMaster Bujold: 2
Philip Jose Farmer: 2
F. Paul Wilson: 2
Bryce Zabel: 2

Books by Women: 10
Books by Men: 76

Books by Decade
1950s: 12
1960s: 2
1970s: 6
1980s: 7
1990s: 7
2000s: 6
2010s: 48


Never for Ever said...

What did you think of Wool? I read it a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised (my first foray into self-published books) but not overwhelmed. It's pretty amazing how well it did for Howley. He is an interesting guy...bought a big catamaran sailboat and is sailing around the world.

And I discovered this year Joe Haldeman wrote sequels to Forever War...worth picking up

Earl J. Woods said...

I enjoyed Wool, though not enough to actively seek out the sequels.

As for Forever War sequels, Forever Free left me a bit cold, but I loved the earlier, strictly thematic sequel, Forever Peace. Might be time for a reread...

Sean Woods said...

I liked Wool quite a bit, but the sequels were very underwhelming.