Saturday, January 01, 2011

Reading List - 2011

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Books I Read in 2011

(Ratings out of 10 - consider 6 to be the minimum of what I expect a published book to be.)

The Feedstore Chronicles
by Travis Erwin
Finished book on: Dec 31, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 8.5

The Cold Commands

by Richard Morgan
Finished book on: Dec 29, 2011
Quality of writing: 8.5
Quality of story: 8.5
Enjoyability: 8.5

The Neon Court

by Kate Griffin
Finished book on: Dec 26, 2011
Quality of writing: 8.5
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 8

The Midnight Mayor

by Kate Griffin
Finished book on: Dec 22, 2011
Quality of writing: 8.5
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 8

Unclean Spirits

by M. L. N. Hanover
Finished book on: Dec 5, 2011
Quality of writing: 7
Quality of story: 6.5
Enjoyability: 6

Aloha From Hell

by Richard Kadrey
Finished book on: Nov 26, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 8

Snuff

by Terry Pratchett
Finished book on: Nov 20, 2011
Quality of writing: 9
Quality of story: 9.5
Enjoyability: 9.5
Comment: Love me some Pratchett! A great book as usual.

The Devil Wears Prada

by Lauren Weisberger
Finished book on: Oct 25, 2011
Quality of writing: 6.5
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7.5

The Fallen Blade

by Jon Courtney Grimwood
Finished book on: Oct 17, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 6.5
Enjoyability: 7.5

Broken Angel

by Sigmund Brouwer
Finished book on: Oct 10, 2011
Quality of writing: 7
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7

Jasmyn

by Alex Bell
Finished book on: Oct 8, 2011
Quality of writing: 7
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 7.5

The Smoke Thief

by Shana Abe
Finished book on: Oct 7, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7

The Poisoned Crown

by Amanda Hemingway
Finished book on: Oct 4, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 8

The Sword of Straw

by Amanda Hemingway
Finished book on: Oct 2, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 7.5

The Screenwriter's Bible

by David Trottier
Finished book on: Sept 30, 2011
Quality of advice: 9

The Greenstone Grail

by Amanda Hemingway
Finished book on: Sept 28, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 8

The Demon and the City

by Liz Williams
Finished book on: Sept 25, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 6.5
Enjoyability: 7.5

The Erthring Cycle

by Wayland Drew
Finished book on: Midnight between Sept 20 and 21, 2011
Quality of writing: 9
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 9

A Madness of Angels

by Kate Griffin
Finished book on: Sept 19, 2011
Quality of writing: 9
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 9

Myth Alliances

by Robert Lynn Asprin
Finished book on: Sept 8, 2011
Quality of writing: 6.5
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7

The Heroes

by Joe Abercrombie
Finished book on: Aug 23, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7

Kraken

by China Mieville
Finished book on: Aug 16, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 5.5
Enjoyability: 6.5

Ghost Story

by Jim Butcher
Finished book on: Aug 6, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7.5

A Dance With Dragons
by George R. R. Martin
Finished book on: July ~15, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 8

The Scar

by China Mieville
Finished book on: June 13, 2011
Quality of writing: 8.5
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 8

The Ambassador's Mission

by Trudy Canavan
Finished book on: June 4, 2011
Quality of writing: 7
Quality of story: 6
Enjoyability: 6

Wither
by Lauren DeStephano
Finished book on: May 15, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7

Fury of the Phoenix

by Cindy Pon
Finished book on: May 6, 2011
Quality of writing: 7
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7

Market Forces

by Richard Morgan
Finished book on: May 3, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7.5

Altered Carbon

by Richard Morgan
Finished book on: Apr 28, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 7.5

Broken Angels

by Richard Morgan
Finished book on: Apr 12, 2011
Quality of writing: 9
Quality of story: 9
Enjoyability: 9
Comment: I loooooooove this guy's stuff.

The Diamond Age: A Lady's Illustrated Primer

by Neal Stephenson
Finished book on: Apr 8, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 8

Patient Zero
by Jonathan Maberry
Finished book on: Apr 2, 2011
Quality of writing: 8.5
Quality of story: 8.5
Enjoyability: 9

Kill the Dead

by Richard Kadrey
Finished book on: Mar 25, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 7
Enjoyability: 7.5

Sandman Slim
by Richard Kadrey
Finished book on: Mar 24, 2011
Quality of writing: 7.5
Quality of story: 6.5
Enjoyability: 7.5

Sacrifice: Mortal Path, book 2
by Dakota Banks
Finished book on: Mar 20-ish, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 6.5
Enjoyability: 6.5

Pump Six and Other Stories

by Paolo Bagigalupi
Finished book on: Mar 6, 2011
Quality of writing: 8.5
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 8

A Song for Arbonne

by Guy Gavriel Kay
Finished book on: Feb 15, 2011
Quality of writing: 9.5
Quality of story: 9
Enjoyability: 9.5
Comment: Goodness, that was an awesome book. Guy Gavriel Kay always delivers!

Plot and Structure

by James Scott Bell
Finished book on: Feb 7, 2011
Quality of advice: 7

How to Write a Damn Good Novel II
by James N. Frey
Finished book on: Jan 27, 2011
Quality of advice: 6.5

Elantris

by Brandon Sanderson
Finished book on: Jan 21, 2011
Quality of writing: 6.5
Quality of story: 6
Enjoyability: 6

The Godfather
by Mario Puzo
Finished book on: Jan 18, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 8
Enjoyability: 8

Mogworld
by Yahtzee (Ben) Croshaw
Finished book on: Jan 6, 2011
Quality of writing: 8
Quality of story: 7.5
Enjoyability: 8
Comments: Funny, very clever at the end, with a protagonist who's a charmingly sarcastic, contrary, irascible everyman zombie with a deathwish.

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Books I Didn't Finish

Rogue Angel: The Dragon's Mark
by Alex Archer
Stopped Reading on Page: 29
Reason Why: Great prologue, but too much "telling" in the main story.

The Unincorporated Man

by Dani and Eytan Kollin
Stopped Reading on Page: 105
Reason Why: Fascinating idea but low tension and characterizations seemed unconvincing

How to Write a Damn Good Novel

by James N. Frey
Stopped Reading on Page: 54
Reason Why: Found advice simplistic

6 comments:

McKoala said...

Looking back at 2010...

What were your 'must reads' of the year? I'm looking for new fodder, and also must suggest something for my new book club (I think I have to say 'book club' in a smugly tone of voice, do I not?).

jjdebenedictis said...

Oh, yes; smugness is de rigueur when it comes to book clubs.

My tastes skew very firmly toward fantasy and science fiction; just keep that in mind.

The knockout of the year, for me, was The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan. This is not a book for everyone, however. There's lots of viscerally-described sex and violence in it.

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay is brilliant, but that's to be expected for this author. He's consistently amazing.

Envious Gods by Geoff Gillan is a really fun, fluffy book. It's from a first-time novelist, and it's very well done if you can accept the fact that it's a light-weight, humourous book.

I also really liked Keeping It Real by Justina Robson (a fresh combination of fantasy and science fiction that works beautifully), Emissaries of the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro (a fascinating science fiction police procedural), and The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Lui (which has imperfect story-telling, but some wonderful characterizations and writing.)

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love Kay. Haven't read him in a long time.

Non-Fiction which I haven't finished yet, but am enjoying - Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin.

Series that caught my eye:
The Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins). Liked the first one best, but the other two were still great.
The Inda quartet (Sherwood Smith). This is a complex adult series by an author who used to write middle grade. Very hard to get started, but very worth it. Only thing is I never finished book four. Too much time passed between reading 3 and 4 and I lost track of the slew of characters and plot lines.

Freudian Slip (Erica Orloff). A book I'm still contemplating reviewing on my blog but not sure I can truly pay it justice. It's a romance, but also contains physics and the metaphysical. Feels like she wrote it for me as all of my favorite things are in there.

Would be interesting to try and figure out how many books I've read last year.

McKoala said...

Maybe we should all try and keep a count for this year, a la Goblin?!

jjdebenedictis said...

Sarah: Cool picks! I'll have to keep the Inda quartet in mind.

You know, I read The Hunger Games and thought it was good, but not great. I just couldn't quite see the appeal. (Of course, I react the same way to Neil Gaiman, so I know it's just me.)

McKoala: Well, I'm certainly upkeeping my list in desperate defiance of my own senility!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Haven't read Gaiman myself yet. Sherwood Smith has some great middle grade if you're interested. I think some of it is back in print. The Inda series has two languages and everyone seems to have three names. That's part of why it's hard to start. Fair warning.

A list? I'll try.

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