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Jamie John

What books did you read in 2019?

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:lol: Each to their own! I found him quite endearing and the silliness was a good counterpoint to what would otherwise have been pages of very dry technical and scientific explanations. But I can see how he could rub you up the wrong way.

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46. The Gunslinger - Stephen King

 

My King-a-thon reaches the first volume of the epic Dark Tower fantasy/sci-fi/western series. I've read this twice before but I realised that the last time was when I re-read them all immediately before the last part was published. So this was the first time I've read it since getting to the end. And knowing how it ends made this book work so much better. My vague memory from previous readings was that it was quite uneventful and disjointed, more about atmosphere than story. I don't know why I thought that. I'd completely forgotten just how much of the book is spent in flashback - both to earlier events in the protagonist's quest, and to formative experiences from his childhood and youth. All of which have echoes and repercussions not just in the "present" narrative of this book, but in the later books too. It's hard to judge how much of this was planned in advance and how much of it was retconned in when King revised this first volume immediately after finishing writing the last. I've not looked for a list of the changes between the original and revised versions, I've just taken the revised text as I've found it, and I really enjoyed it. Third time's the charm.

 

Spoiler

1. The Long Walk - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

2. Darth Vader: Legacy's End

3. Lando: Double or Nothing

4. Star Wars: Mutiny at Mon Cala

5. Poe Dameron: The Spark and the Fire

6. Darth Vader: The Burning Seas

7. Star Wars: Hope Dies
8. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury 
9. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice  
10. Neurotribes - Steve Silberman

11. Immortal Hulk: Hulk in Hell
12. Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances - Timothy Zahn
13. The Dead Zone - Stephen King
14. The Dragon Queen - William Andrews

15. Star Wars: The Escape

16. Darth Vader: Fortress Vader

17. Doctor Aphra: The Catastrophe Con
18. Firestarter - Stephen King
19. The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
20. God Emperor of Dune - Frank Herbert

21. Star Wars: Age of Republic - Villains
22. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

23. Roadwork - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

24. The Three Body Problem - Cixin Liu

25. Han Solo: Imperial Cadet

26. Cujo - Stephen King

27. Star Wars: Age of Republic - Heroes

28. Doctor Aphra: Worst Among Equals

29. Solo: a Star Wars Story - Mur Lafferty

30. Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun

31. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Heroes

32. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Villains

33. Vader: Dark Visions

34. Tie Fighter

35. Immortal Hulk: Abomination

36. The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

37: Star Wars: Resistance Reborn - Rebecca Roanhorse

38. Death's End - Cixin Liu

39. Everyday Sexism - Laura Bates

40. The Running Man - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

41. The Little Book of Lykke - Meik Wiking

42. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

43. The Martian - Andy Weir

44. Galatea - Madeline Miller

45. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

46. The Gunslinger - Stephen King

47. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

48: Star Wars: Allegiance

 

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Haven't updated here for a while but have still be reading. I did go through a low period where I would get into bed and not read, or I couldn't find a nice quiet place to read at work on a lunchtime. Not sure I'll hit 20 by the end of the year even though I have three books on the go.

 

1. The Panama Papers by Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer
2. Broken Skin by Stuart McBride
3. Can't Stand Up For Falling Down by Allan Jones

4. Masters Of War by Chris Ryan

5. The Speed Of Sound by Thomas Dolby

6. Divine Justice by David Baldacci

7. Them by Jon Ronson

8. Rip It Up And Start Again: Post-punk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds

9. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

10. The Growth Delusion by David Pilling

11. The Establishment by Owen Jones

12. Church Of Fear: Inside The Weird World Of Scientology by John Sweeney

13. Hunter Killer by Chris Ryan

14. Utopia For Realists by Rutger Bregman

15. Blind Eye by Stuart McBride

16. Clear Bright Future by Paul Mason

17. The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

18. Hired: Six Months Undercover In Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth

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49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must by Yanis Varoufakis. I finished the yesterday morning but haven't found the enthusiasm to post. Fortunately I had something booked this evening, so getting mightily drunk appears to have solved that problem. Anyway, I find it almost impossible to judge this book. I think I'm somewhat well informed politically (election predictions aside, apparently), but I'm pretty clueless in terms of economics. In truth I think this was way above my level, and as I result I didn't understand all of it, and certainly lacked the knowledge to challenge the ideas here. In hindsight it might have been easier to absorb via a book, rather than Audible. 

 

Previously:

 

Spoiler

1. The Body Library by Jeff Noon

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Enlightenment Now

4. The book of Humans

5. Little Fires Everywhere

6. Everything Under

7. The Stand

8. Roadside Picnic

9. The Retreat of Western Liberalism

10. Things Fall Apart

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

12. Hello World

13. All the Pretty Horses

14. The Tatooist of Auschwitz

15. Normal People

16. The Undoing Project

17. The Fifteenth Life of Harry August

18. The Hobbit

19. Six Days of War

20. The Expert System's Brother

21. All the President's Men

22. Station Eleven

23. In Order to Live

24. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 25. Senlin Ascends

26. Daughters of the Dragon

27. The Crossing

28. Chernobyl - History of a Catastrophe

29. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

30. The Sellout

31. The Underground Railroad

32. All the light we cannot see

33. The Railway Man

34. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas

35. The Penelopiad

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

37. Rosewater

38. Feed the Beast

39. Fahrenheit 451

40. The Blind Assassin

41. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

42. Arm of the Sphinx

43. The Door into Summer

44. The Lies of Locke Lamora

45. The Feast of the Goat

46. Rebel Ideas

47. Ancillary Justice

48. The Five

49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must

 

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Spoiler

 

1. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

2. Sea of Thieves: Athena's Fortune by Chris Allcock

3. How To Be Right in a World Gone Wrong by James O'Brien

4. Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late by Kieron Dyer with Oliver Holt

5. Our Story by Ron and Reg Kray with Fred Dineage

6. Step By Step - The Life in My Journeys by Simon Reeve

7. How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

8. Cheer Up Peter Reid by Peter Reid

9. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

10. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View by various authors

11. Survivor – Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom by Sam Pivnik

12. Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews

13. The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz by Denis Avey

14. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

15. Vespasian - Tribune of Rome by Robert Fabbri

16. Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic

17. Vespasian - Rome's Executioner by Robert Fabbri

18. This Is Going To Hurt - The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

19. Vespasian - False God of Rome by Robert Fabbri

20. How to Be a Footballer by Peter Crouch

21. Star Wars - Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray

22. Vespasian - Rome's Fallen Eagle by Robert Fabbri

23. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

24. Vespasian - Masters of Rome by Robert Fabbri

25. Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

 

 

26. Vespasian - Rome's Lost Son by Robert Fabbri

 

I'm now 2/3 of the way through the excellent Vespasian series - this one was a bit hit and miss, as Vespasian finds himself in the middle of a stand off between the Roman and Parthian empires during the latter stages of the reign of Claudius.  TBH, I don't really have that much interest in the history between the Romans and the Parthians (a fault of my own, not the author's) so I wasn't as enraptured by this volume as previous ones...

 

But the last few chapters really do set up the next instalment (The Furies of Rome) VERY nicely indeed - that was much more like it.  As I've mentioned before, I find the political stuff based in Rome itself much more interesting than the action on the battlefield around her provinces, yet it always improves my understanding of the history of the time.

 

A good read, but definitely not my favourite of the series.

 

3/5

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50. The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow. I wasn't particularly loving this through the first half: I didn't enjoy the sightly heavy handed forced dramatic tone of the narration, and I felt the impact of the horror of the war on drugs was lessened by my exposure through books like Chasing the Scream, and watching shows like Narcos. However, I did really enjoy the second half, and found the final few sections incredibly tense. I suspect I'll be picking up the others in the series, so I'm in this for the long haul now. 

 

Previously:

 

Spoiler

1. The Body Library by Jeff Noon

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Enlightenment Now

4. The book of Humans

5. Little Fires Everywhere

6. Everything Under

7. The Stand

8. Roadside Picnic

9. The Retreat of Western Liberalism

10. Things Fall Apart

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

12. Hello World

13. All the Pretty Horses

14. The Tatooist of Auschwitz

15. Normal People

16. The Undoing Project

17. The Fifteenth Life of Harry August

18. The Hobbit

19. Six Days of War

20. The Expert System's Brother

21. All the President's Men

22. Station Eleven

23. In Order to Live

24. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 25. Senlin Ascends

26. Daughters of the Dragon

27. The Crossing

28. Chernobyl - History of a Catastrophe

29. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

30. The Sellout

31. The Underground Railroad

32. All the light we cannot see

33. The Railway Man

34. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas

35. The Penelopiad

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

37. Rosewater

38. Feed the Beast

39. Fahrenheit 451

40. The Blind Assassin

41. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

42. Arm of the Sphinx

43. The Door into Summer

44. The Lies of Locke Lamora

45. The Feast of the Goat

46. Rebel Ideas

47. Ancillary Justice

48. The Five

49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must

50. The Power of the Dog

 

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Spoiler

 

1. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

2. Sea of Thieves: Athena's Fortune by Chris Allcock

3. How To Be Right in a World Gone Wrong by James O'Brien

4. Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late by Kieron Dyer with Oliver Holt

5. Our Story by Ron and Reg Kray with Fred Dineage

6. Step By Step - The Life in My Journeys by Simon Reeve

7. How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

8. Cheer Up Peter Reid by Peter Reid

9. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

10. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View by various authors

11. Survivor – Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom by Sam Pivnik

12. Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews

13. The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz by Denis Avey

14. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

15. Vespasian - Tribune of Rome by Robert Fabbri

16. Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic

17. Vespasian - Rome's Executioner by Robert Fabbri

18. This Is Going To Hurt - The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

19. Vespasian - False God of Rome by Robert Fabbri

20. How to Be a Footballer by Peter Crouch

21. Star Wars - Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray

22. Vespasian - Rome's Fallen Eagle by Robert Fabbri

23. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

24. Vespasian - Masters of Rome by Robert Fabbri

25. Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

26. Vespasian - Rome's Lost Son by Robert Fabbri

 

 

27. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

 

This was enjoyable - Carrie Fisher definitely had a way with words and some behind the scenes anecdotes of the first days/weeks/months of filming the first Star Wars are rather interesting to say the least.

 

The way she describes signing autographs as 'lap dancing' - and subsequent stories as to why - really made me laugh.  

 

Most of this book is an older, wiser person looking back at a young, naive actress just starting out in the industry and - mixed in with some extracts from her diaries at the time - is an entertaining and fairly quick read.  Worth a look.

 

3.5/5

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49: Unmentionable - Therese O'Neill

 

Subtitled "the Victorian lady's guide to sex, marriage & manners," this is a mostly light-hearted, occasionally toe-curling but always interesting account of the many and varied trials and tribulations everyday life threw at western women in the 19th century. It's yet another book I picked up in a Kindle 99p sale because it looked decent, and indeed it was. It's a meticulously researched look behind the carefully cultivated outward appearances celebrated in thousands of costume dramas. My only minor gripe is that, as the author is American, it gravitates to the American world of little houses on the prairie, rather than the British one of workhouses and servitude, but the prevailing "wisdom" regarding women, and especially their bodies, minds, souls and human rights (or lack thereof) was basically the same on both sides of the Atlantic. None of the experts of the time, male or female, get a particularly easy ride, but the author keeps her powder dry for the final chapter in which she gives it to John Harvey Kellogg with both barrels, and based on the evidence here, rightly so.

 

Spoiler

1. The Long Walk - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

2. Darth Vader: Legacy's End

3. Lando: Double or Nothing

4. Star Wars: Mutiny at Mon Cala

5. Poe Dameron: The Spark and the Fire

6. Darth Vader: The Burning Seas

7. Star Wars: Hope Dies
8. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury 
9. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice  
10. Neurotribes - Steve Silberman

11. Immortal Hulk: Hulk in Hell
12. Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances - Timothy Zahn
13. The Dead Zone - Stephen King
14. The Dragon Queen - William Andrews

15. Star Wars: The Escape

16. Darth Vader: Fortress Vader

17. Doctor Aphra: The Catastrophe Con
18. Firestarter - Stephen King
19. The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
20. God Emperor of Dune - Frank Herbert

21. Star Wars: Age of Republic - Villains
22. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

23. Roadwork - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

24. The Three Body Problem - Cixin Liu

25. Han Solo: Imperial Cadet

26. Cujo - Stephen King

27. Star Wars: Age of Republic - Heroes

28. Doctor Aphra: Worst Among Equals

29. Solo: a Star Wars Story - Mur Lafferty

30. Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun

31. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Heroes

32. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Villains

33. Vader: Dark Visions

34. Tie Fighter

35. Immortal Hulk: Abomination

36. The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

37: Star Wars: Resistance Reborn - Rebecca Roanhorse

38. Death's End - Cixin Liu

39. Everyday Sexism - Laura Bates

40. The Running Man - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

41. The Little Book of Lykke - Meik Wiking

42. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

43. The Martian - Andy Weir

44. Galatea - Madeline Miller

45. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

46. The Gunslinger - Stephen King

47. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

48: Star Wars: Allegiance

49: Unmentionable - Therese O'Neill

50. Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Heroes

51. Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Villains

52. Star Wars: Rebels and Rogues

53. Judge Dredd: Insurrection

54. Judge Dredd: Insurrection - Liberty

55. Judge Dredd: Lawless - Welcome to Badrock

56. Judge Dredd: Lawless - Long Range War

 

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51. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev. I thought this was really interesting. It's basically a bit like a series of Louis Theroux-style accounts of bizarre slices of Russian life, but bleaker and scarier. 

 

That's 51 for the year, so I have 10 days to match last year's total. 

 

Previously:

 

Spoiler

1. The Body Library by Jeff Noon

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Enlightenment Now

4. The book of Humans

5. Little Fires Everywhere

6. Everything Under

7. The Stand

8. Roadside Picnic

9. The Retreat of Western Liberalism

10. Things Fall Apart

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

12. Hello World

13. All the Pretty Horses

14. The Tatooist of Auschwitz

15. Normal People

16. The Undoing Project

17. The Fifteenth Life of Harry August

18. The Hobbit

19. Six Days of War

20. The Expert System's Brother

21. All the President's Men

22. Station Eleven

23. In Order to Live

24. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 25. Senlin Ascends

26. Daughters of the Dragon

27. The Crossing

28. Chernobyl - History of a Catastrophe

29. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

30. The Sellout

31. The Underground Railroad

32. All the light we cannot see

33. The Railway Man

34. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas

35. The Penelopiad

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

37. Rosewater

38. Feed the Beast

39. Fahrenheit 451

40. The Blind Assassin

41. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

42. Arm of the Sphinx

43. The Door into Summer

44. The Lies of Locke Lamora

45. The Feast of the Goat

46. Rebel Ideas

47. Ancillary Justice

48. The Five

49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must

50. The Power of the Dog

51. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible

 

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I’m currently on book number 57 for the year..... all time record for me, and result of a concerted effort to read instead of browse on my phone. Have read some excellent books and must do an update before the end of year in this thread, as I always love reading what other people have been reading (and often pick up recommendations from this thread too). 

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19 hours ago, Bushtopher said:

a concerted effort to read instead of browse on my phone

 

This is something I definitely need to do more (he says, while inanely browsing his phone).

 

Do you use the Kindle app?

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(working backwards)

 

Watchmen - Alan Moore (reread obvs!)

The Wild Places - Robert McFarlane

Gardening to save the planet - Dave Goulson

Consider Phelbas - Iain M Banks

The God of Small Things - Arundahati Roy

The Brooklyn Follies - Paul Auster (can't recommend this, actually. Feels a bit phoned in but it's Auster still)

Grimm Tales - Philip Pullman

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs- Steve Brusatte

The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro

This Long Pursuit - Richard Holmes (Richard Holmes (the biographer) fans only)

 

That's all I can remember anyway, I guess anything not there isn't worth mentioning! Will check my bookcase though as I'm sure I read more.  I strongly recommend all those though.

 

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52. Murmur by Will Eaves. This is brilliantly written, but much of it is based around dream narration and I confess at times I found it difficult to follow. It's undoubtedly an impressive piece of work that probably warrants a second reading. 

 

Previously:

 

Spoiler

1. The Body Library by Jeff Noon

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Enlightenment Now

4. The book of Humans

5. Little Fires Everywhere

6. Everything Under

7. The Stand

8. Roadside Picnic

9. The Retreat of Western Liberalism

10. Things Fall Apart

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

12. Hello World

13. All the Pretty Horses

14. The Tatooist of Auschwitz

15. Normal People

16. The Undoing Project

17. The Fifteenth Life of Harry August

18. The Hobbit

19. Six Days of War

20. The Expert System's Brother

21. All the President's Men

22. Station Eleven

23. In Order to Live

24. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 25. Senlin Ascends

26. Daughters of the Dragon

27. The Crossing

28. Chernobyl - History of a Catastrophe

29. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

30. The Sellout

31. The Underground Railroad

32. All the light we cannot see

33. The Railway Man

34. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas

35. The Penelopiad

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

37. Rosewater

38. Feed the Beast

39. Fahrenheit 451

40. The Blind Assassin

41. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

42. Arm of the Sphinx

43. The Door into Summer

44. The Lies of Locke Lamora

45. The Feast of the Goat

46. Rebel Ideas

47. Ancillary Justice

48. The Five

49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must

50. The Power of the Dog

51. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible

52. Murmur by Will Eaves

 

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2 hours ago, Jamie John said:

 

This is something I definitely need to do more (he says, while inanely browsing his phone).

 

Do you use the Kindle app?


Nope. I have a Kindle Voyage which I carry pretty much everywhere with me (it’s the narrowest/smallest width Kindle so fits in my back/coat pocket) and use that. Much nicer to read on that than a phone or tablet screen.  

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I managed 25 books this year, almost one a fortnight which is fine for me. Even better, if you include graphic novels (which I definitely do) I read a total of 56, so more than one a week. And that’s without counting actual comics: 2000AD every week, and Judge Dredd and Viz every month, but even I think it would be a bit much to include them. My list is quite Star Wars heavy but then again I am a massive geek. Also, I read the last four on this list much earlier in the year but I only remembered to add them the other day, so they’re out of order but included for completeness.

 

I’ve set myself quite the challenge for 2020 if I’m going to beat that total.
 

Spoiler

1. The Long Walk - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

2. Darth Vader: Legacy's End

3. Lando: Double or Nothing

4. Star Wars: Mutiny at Mon Cala

5. Poe Dameron: The Spark and the Fire

6. Darth Vader: The Burning Seas

7. Star Wars: Hope Dies
8. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury 
9. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice  
10. Neurotribes - Steve Silberman

11. Immortal Hulk: Hulk in Hell
12. Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances - Timothy Zahn
13. The Dead Zone - Stephen King
14. The Dragon Queen - William Andrews

15. Star Wars: The Escape

16. Darth Vader: Fortress Vader

17. Doctor Aphra: The Catastrophe Con
18. Firestarter - Stephen King
19. The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
20. God Emperor of Dune - Frank Herbert

21. Star Wars: Age of Republic - Villains
22. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

23. Roadwork - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

24. The Three Body Problem - Cixin Liu

25. Han Solo: Imperial Cadet

26. Cujo - Stephen King

27. Star Wars: Age of Republic - Heroes

28. Doctor Aphra: Worst Among Equals

29. Solo: a Star Wars Story - Mur Lafferty

30. Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun

31. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Heroes

32. Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Villains

33. Vader: Dark Visions

34. Tie Fighter

35. Immortal Hulk: Abomination

36. The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

37: Star Wars: Resistance Reborn - Rebecca Roanhorse

38. Death's End - Cixin Liu

39. Everyday Sexism - Laura Bates

40. The Running Man - Richard Bachman (Stephen King)

41. The Little Book of Lykke - Meik Wiking

42. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

43. The Martian - Andy Weir

44. Galatea - Madeline Miller

45. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

46. The Gunslinger - Stephen King

47. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

48: Star Wars: Allegiance

49: Unmentionable - Therese O'Neill

50. Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Heroes

51. Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Villains

52. Star Wars: Rebels and Rogues

53. Judge Dredd: Insurrection

54. Judge Dredd: Insurrection - Liberty

55. Judge Dredd: Lawless - Welcome to Badrock

56. Judge Dredd: Lawless - Long Range War

 

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53. Lanny by Max Porter. I really, really liked this - so much so I raced through it in about three sessions. It covers similar ground to Reservoir 13, but with elements of folk myth, and is a much, much easier read. It's a really engaging story and beautifully written - the way the author captures the spirit of an unusual young boy is really great.

 

Previously:

 

Spoiler

1. The Body Library by Jeff Noon

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Enlightenment Now

4. The book of Humans

5. Little Fires Everywhere

6. Everything Under

7. The Stand

8. Roadside Picnic

9. The Retreat of Western Liberalism

10. Things Fall Apart

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

12. Hello World

13. All the Pretty Horses

14. The Tatooist of Auschwitz

15. Normal People

16. The Undoing Project

17. The Fifteenth Life of Harry August

18. The Hobbit

19. Six Days of War

20. The Expert System's Brother

21. All the President's Men

22. Station Eleven

23. In Order to Live

24. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 25. Senlin Ascends

26. Daughters of the Dragon

27. The Crossing

28. Chernobyl - History of a Catastrophe

29. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

30. The Sellout

31. The Underground Railroad

32. All the light we cannot see

33. The Railway Man

34. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas

35. The Penelopiad

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

37. Rosewater

38. Feed the Beast

39. Fahrenheit 451

40. The Blind Assassin

41. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

42. Arm of the Sphinx

43. The Door into Summer

44. The Lies of Locke Lamora

45. The Feast of the Goat

46. Rebel Ideas

47. Ancillary Justice

48. The Five

49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must

50. The Power of the Dog

51. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible

52. Murmur by Will Eaves

53. Lanny

 

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Haven't updated in a while. 

25. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence. Sequel to One Word Kill. Popcorn reading with time travel, nods to Stranger Things and not particularly tasking. 

26. Feed the Beast by Jon Parkin. Journeyman footballer with a love for pies and beer with a seemingly honest portrayal of how football is for the vast majority of players far from the glitz of the Premiership. Very much warts and all. 

27. How to be a Footballer by Peter Crouch. I know he's had someone to help him write this but it's a real insight into the ridiculous circus of football. Some interesting anecdotes and healthy cynicism towards his profession.

28. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. The whole way through I just kept thinking of how great Blood Meridian was and that this had ruined western based novels for me, forever. I quite enjoyed this but a lot of it just washed over me. Don't get the hype that this had. 

29. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This is just great. The audio version, narrated by Tim Robbins is just majestic and does a far better job of bringing this to life than my imagination ever would have. 

30. Football Millionaire by Keith Gillespie. Ordinarily I don't read many football books but somehow I ended up reading 5 this year. This one was because he played for my team, Leicester and had an interesting life dealing with addiction, depression and rejection. It's another easy read but interesting throughout and brutally honest in places. 

31. Queen by Candice Carty-Williams. This would make an excellent companion piece to Eleanor Oliphant. A Londoner's self-esteem and relationship issues lead to her reevaluating various parts of her life. It meanders towards the end and has a strong protagonist at the centre of proceedings.

32. Toast on Toast by Steven Toast. Seen the programme? Well, it's more of the same; fleshing out the back stories of a number of the characters. As ever, the best bits are the names of the secondary characters. 

33. I Crouch by Peter Crouch. My joint most-read author this year; Jesus wept. Again, it's an engaging and interesting read as long as you have a passing interest in football. 

34. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. This is wonderful. BUY IT IMMEDIATELY (if you like intelligent sci-fi). This is a book that takes real risks, can seem impenetrable at times but has so much craft, intelligence and wonder that it's amazing that this came from the minds of just two authors. 

35. Lanny by Max Porter. Another really good read about a boy called Lanny, a mythological figure called Dead Papa Toothwort who residents have grown up fearing, consistently fluctuating narrative voices and a sense of wonder and love throughout. 

36. Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter. Just wonderful; a novel about how a crow embodies the heartache that a reduced family has towards a lost loved one. He is a an absolutely superb writer. Invest in him going forwards!

37. What If? by Randall Monroe. Written by the creator of xkcd. A load of scientific questions answered in an academic yet irreverent way. Questions such as 'What if a rainstorm dropped all of its water in a single giant drop?' are answered. 

38. Winter World by A.G.Riddle. Mildly diverting sci-fi drivel. No sure I'd bother with the sequels. 

 

Should get up to 39 for the year (just finishing of a thriller called Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. It's okay so far.) I did set myself 40 for the year but am guilty of starting too many books and then having too many on the go at one time. An eclectic mix of reading and a really enjoyable year. For anyone still interested after this lengthy post, I've graded each book in the spoiler. 

 

My currently reading pile includes: The Future Starts Here: Adventures in the Twenty First Century by John Higgs, The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood, Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century by John Higgs, The Secret Barrister book, Talking to My Daughter: A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis, and Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis.

 

 

Spoiler

1.The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah 3/5

2. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer. 4/5

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. 4/5

4.In your defence:Stories of Life and Law by Sarah Langford 3/5

5.My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen 4/5

6. Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky 4/5

7. 84k by Claire North 3/5

8. Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor 1/5

9. The Water Cure by Sarah MacIntosh 3/5

10. Journeyman by Ben Smith 3/5

11.Do you dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh 3/5

12. The Wall by John Lanchester 4/5

13. Blood, Sweat and Pixels by Jason Schreier 3/5

14. Romesh autobiography 3/5

15. The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham 3/5

16. Submission by Michel Houellebecq 3/5

17. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Ademyemi. 3/5

18. One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence 3/5

19. Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel 3/5

20. Vicious by V.E.Schwab 4/5

21. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite 3/5

22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz 3/5

23. Parsnips, Buttered by Joe Lycett 3/5

24. Normal People by Sally Rooney 5/5

25. Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence 3/5

26. Feed the Beast by Jon Parkin 3/5

27. How to be a Footballer by Peter Crouch 3/5

28. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt 2/5

29. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 5/5

30. Football Millionaire by Keith Gillespie 4/5

31. Queen by Candice Carty-Williams. 3/5

32. Toast on Toast by Steven Toast 3/5

33. I Crouch by Peter Crouch 3/5

34. This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone 5/5

35. Lanny by Max Porter 4/5

36. Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter. 5/5

37. What If? by Randall Monroe. 4/5

38. Winter World by A.G.Riddle 2/5

 

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32 minutes ago, Miner Willy said:

53. Lanny by Max Porter. I really, really liked this - so much so I raced through it in about three sessions. It covers similar ground to Reservoir 13, but with elements of folk myth, and is a much, much easier read. It's a really engaging story and beautifully written - the way the author captures the spirit of an unusual young boy is really great.

 

Previously:

 

  Hide contents

1. The Body Library by Jeff Noon

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Enlightenment Now

4. The book of Humans

5. Little Fires Everywhere

6. Everything Under

7. The Stand

8. Roadside Picnic

9. The Retreat of Western Liberalism

10. Things Fall Apart

11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

12. Hello World

13. All the Pretty Horses

14. The Tatooist of Auschwitz

15. Normal People

16. The Undoing Project

17. The Fifteenth Life of Harry August

18. The Hobbit

19. Six Days of War

20. The Expert System's Brother

21. All the President's Men

22. Station Eleven

23. In Order to Live

24. The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 25. Senlin Ascends

26. Daughters of the Dragon

27. The Crossing

28. Chernobyl - History of a Catastrophe

29. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

30. The Sellout

31. The Underground Railroad

32. All the light we cannot see

33. The Railway Man

34. The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas

35. The Penelopiad

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

37. Rosewater

38. Feed the Beast

39. Fahrenheit 451

40. The Blind Assassin

41. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

42. Arm of the Sphinx

43. The Door into Summer

44. The Lies of Locke Lamora

45. The Feast of the Goat

46. Rebel Ideas

47. Ancillary Justice

48. The Five

49. And the Weak Suffer What They Must

50. The Power of the Dog

51. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible

52. Murmur by Will Eaves

53. Lanny

 

Have you read Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter? I thought it was a superb novella, really captured familial heartache in a similar other-worldly style to Lanny. Heartily recommended. 

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21 minutes ago, Stopharage said:

Have you read Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter? I thought it was a superb novella, really captured familial heartache in a similar other-worldly style to Lanny. Heartily recommended. 

 

No, but will be doing so shortly. 

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54. No More Plastic by Martin Dorey. In truth I expect there's not much here you couldn't learn via a selection of decent online articles, but even so: as someone who, I believe, is fairly well informed and careful in terms of my plastic and carbon footprints, I still took away some new information and tips for behavioural change - so I guess it's worked in that respect.

 

I guess that's me done for the year now then. 54 is a new record for me, so pretty happy with that. 

 

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Just jotting down my finals for last year:

Spoiler

 

Audible:

 

1. We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - Dennis E Taylor (well worth a listen - fun scifi tale of a person copied into an AI)

2. A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

3. Solaris - Stanislaw Lem

4. Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence (Introducing one of the best anti-heroes in fantasy)

5. For We Are Many - Dennis E Taylor

6. All These Worlds - Dennis E Taylor (concluding the Bob trilogy - nice books).

7. King of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

8. Emperor of Thorns - Mark Lawrence

9. The Singularity Trap - Dennis E Taylor (not as good as the Bob trilogy).

10. Babylon's Ashes - James S A Corey

11. Persepolis Rising - James S A Corey

12. Tiamat's Wrath - James S A Corey

13. Prince of Fools - Mark Lawrence

14. Lancelot - Giles Kristian

15. Espionage and Covert Operations - Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

16. Understanding Japan - Mark J Ravina

17. The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro

18. A little Hatred - Joe Abercrombie

19. Just One dammed Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor

 

Kindle:

 

20. Whispers Underground - Ben Aaronovitch

21. Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch

22. Shiang: Empire of Salt -  C F Iggulden

23. The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch

 

As well as various graphic novels, including The Button Man, Maus, Sabrina, The last Walking Dead volume and one of the Rivers of London extras.

 

 

Audible absolutely rules my reading these days and I'm quite pleased that I do keep reading thanks to it.

 

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It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally achieved my 2015 new year resolution to read at least 52 books in a year!

 

My final tally for 2019 was 58 books (I’ll put the list in a spoiler tag below), with highlights including the Alexander Hamilton biography (what a guy!); Pride and Prejudice (I cant believe it’s taken me so long to read this); Circe; Battle Mage (brilliant fantasy novel, awful cover); The First 15 Lives of Harry August (I love time travel books); and my wife’s first novel (as yet unpublished). 
 

This place has been great for picking up recommendations so thanks to everyone who posts them. I’m going to try to post more frequently in the 2020 thread this year, as I’ve only tended to do one or two big updates previously. 
 

2019 list....

 

Spoiler

1. The Two Towers (05/01)
2. The Return of the King (10/01)
3. The Lottery (15/01)
4. Ender’s Game (19/01)
5. Speaker for the Dead (25/01)
6. I See You (28/01)
7. Watership Down (02/02)
8. The Hunting Party (09/02)
9. 2020 Commission Report on the North Korea Nuclear attacks against US (13/02)
10. Extracted (19/02)
11. Executed (24/02)
12. Extinct (06/03)
13. If Beale Street Could Talk (10/03)
14. Perfume (15/03)
15. Tribune of Rome (22/03)
16. Rome’s Executioner (30/03)
17. Party Games (01/04)
18. Alexander Hamilton (30/04)
19. False God of Rome (08/05)
20. Rome’s Fallen Eagle (14/05)
21. Masters of Rome (22/05)
22. Rome’s Lost Son (31/05)
23. The Furies of Rome (07/06)
24. Rome’s Sacred Flame (12/06)
25. Emperor of Rome (20/06)
26. The Passengers (23/06)
27. One Word Kill (27/06)
28. Limited Wish (01/07)
29. Snap (04/07)
30. The Lies of Locke Lamora (15/07)
31. Sourcery (20/07)
32. The Power (23/07)
33. The Falcon of Sparta (29/07)
34. American War (06/08)
35. Wyrd Sisters (09/08)
36. Eisenhorn: Xenos (17/08)
37. Eisenhorn: Malleus (26/08)
38. Eisenhorn: Hereticus (02/09)
39. The Ungerground Railroad (11/09)
40. How To Be A Footballer (16/09)
41. Cage of Souls (28/09)
42. Anne of Green Gables (02/10)
43. Circe (07/10)
44. My Sister, The Serial Killer (10/10)
45. Battle Mage (21/10)
46. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (22/10)
47. Just One Damned Thing After Another (26/10)
48. Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy (03/11)
49. Hangman (08/11)
50. Ancillary Justice (16/11)
51. Anne of Avonlea (20/11)
52. Pride and Prejudice (27/11)
53. Endgame (05/12)
54. Mr Stink (06/12)
55. The Devil in the White City (19/12)
56. Dogs of War (23/12)
57. Cold Comfort Farm (29/12)
58. The First 15 Lives of Harry August (31/12)

 

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