Two autobiographies, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Man and his Symbols (Jung).
Was in jail early in the year, read a bunch of Louis L'amour and some other westerns, a couple of anthologies by Niven, and a couple of the Foundation books, which got me on a major scifi spree when I got out, reading a bunch of stuff I'd seen recommended or hailed as classics but had never read - a lot of Asimov, Heinlein, CJ Cherryh, Le Guin, RA Lafferty, Stanislaw Lem. I reread the Culture books (Iain Banks), as well as Earthsea. I read some nonfiction too, a couple history books about native Americans, and some books about gardening.
The abridged miniseries on Syfy a year ago really mangled Childhood's End.
I tend to be a voracious reader and go through a lot of books.
My favorite fiction from this year were the Silo series (Wool, Shift, and Dust) by Hugh Howey.
For nonfiction my favorite was The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes,I'm not sure if I fully agree with Jaynes' proposition, but it was a well thought out idea and a nice exploration of the historical evolution of consciousness.
The very best book I read this year is “From Animals into Gods: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. It was so good that I purchased several copies to give to friends.
I’m always fascinated by the development of humanity and the mysteries, at least to me, of how we became able to master fire, domesticate animals, forge metals and the many things the ancients did to create our civilization.
This book attempts to answer many of these questions and does so in a very readable and intelligent manner. Highly recommended.
By James S. A. Corey are the ones I remember, just got Babylon's Ashes this morning and expect to finish it by Monday.
I average 1-3 books a week, depending on the books.
Thanks a lot, school. 3-4 chapters of a text doesn't count.
Best book, that's an easy one. Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. By far the best analysis of the human condition I've read, in fact, it renders Shakespeare utterly useless. If you can cut through it's 840-ish pages of extremely verbose journies through human nature, God, the Devil, the legal system, and archetypes, and at-the-time radical narrative techniques; you'll emerge a better person.
" B-B-But MUH WAR AND PEACE "
" B-B-But MUH WAR AND PEACE "
Apples and oranges. War and peace is a worthy read, especially the epilogue, but is of the tone of a single omniscient narrator. The Brothers Karamazov is written by an omniscient narrator but emphasizes character dialogue much more than narrator dialogue, thus, with TBK you feel as if you are sitting and listening into the conversations of the characters themselves rather than having them explained by the narrator. There are other techniques used in the latter, like the side-narration of a part of the book representing the diary of a monk in a monastery.
An interesting fact about both books is that there is mention of infinitesimal calculus, and in the case of War and Peace comparing that to historical developments. Lowly book-writing Russians knowing more math than most Americans of the same age. Imagine that!
I collect Phillip K Dick novels, basically just whatever I can find at used book stores, and so far I have read 34 of them. The best novels of his I have read this year are "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich," and "Eye in the Sky." I was not particularly impressed by "The World Jones Made," and most of his other really famous books I read prior to this year (Valis, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, A Scanner Darkly, Radio Free Albemuth- all are excellent).
I'm currently reading Dan Simmons's "Illium," and it is also an excellent book.
The Witches is the best book ever - if you haven't read this I really feel sorry for you. Excellent for 9-14 year olds.
An English abbreviated version - the current original runs to something like 18k pages.
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... this year, a ton of political and economic background material. So, fewer books than I used to.
Back in the day, I would read two to six books every week. Some trash, some great classics, some reference, some technical - I was always reading. Nowadays, a book every couple weeks. With the web, I can find things that interest me - like this site. Before the web, there was radio, phonograph, television - none of which kept my mind busy.
Best book(s) last year? Cixin Liu's 'Three Body Problem' series. I'm still waiting for the fourth book to come out. Maybe I'll check on that now . . . . no, not yet.
It seems that the name of the series is 'Remembrance of Earth's Past'. I am quite certain that it was simply tagged 'The Three Body Problem' when I started reading it. Ehhh - marketing, I suppose. That doesn't change the content, I'm sure.
Likely 50 books or more, most of which I've read multiple times this year. Some of the more notable titles include Fox in Socks [youtube.com] and Everybody Poops [amazon.com].
Got into audiobooks and was burning through two or three a week between April and August when I decided I was too cheap to continue. Piillar to the Sky by William Forstchen was my favorite. I suck at explaining things, so I'll just link to audible.
I also really enjoy the narrator. But this is because to me he is the voice of Mark Twain. Had this been a 2015 poll I would have said "The Innocents Abroad". Twain and some buddies travel to the Holy Land and troll everyone along the way, a glorious adventure.
My favorite of the books I read this past year is Gone the Next by Ben Rehder. Which reminds me, I should write a review.
It is a mystery about a kidnapped girl. It is set in Texas. The main character is a videographer who works for insurance companies when they suspect fishy claims. He is not perfect, but he is likable enough.
The e-book is free on Nook and Kindle. There is also a paperback.
I brought a dozen back from the Hugo convention in August, bought another half dozen or more this year, and a couple of library books. Right now I'm almost finished with Stephen King's time travel story 11/22/63. It will probably be the best one I've read this year unless I hate the ending.
Oh, and I published one and am almost ready to publish another, it's in the final edit stage.
I pity people who hate to read.
I hardly get round to reading dead-tree books nowadays. But the e-reader and/or the phone manage to help me get my reading fix anyway. It's especially convenient if you like to get into series - book one finished, clickertyclick, next one started! Unless you're reading next to your bookshelf, that's faster.
Thanks to e-reading, I finished five books in the days around Christmas. Would never have happened with regular books - wandering off from family and sitting in a corner with a book is not quite social, but if people start whipping out their phones and playing on them, I don't mind whipping out my phone and reading on it.
It's just a 'book of dumb laws', but they've been researched and are ACTUALLY dumb, not overly specific internet interpretations of a non-dumb law.
I got a lot of giggles out of it, and I needed those giggles this year.
I'm trying to read Les Miserables, but Victor Hugo's digressions make the book inordinately long. Still, it's a great book, at least so far.
Best was probably The Shallows , though it's a couple of years old. A couple of math books by Alex Bellos were extremely good, as were a couple of psychology books by Dan Ariely. Future Crimes and Data and Goliath were recent computer books that I especially enjoyed. Ready Player One was probably the best SF I read this year. Our Final Invention was sort of on the line between computer science and SF. I read a lot of history, but can't find a really good one. Perhaps Putin's Kleptocracy or one of the business histories of Facebook or Amazon? Best Japanese book may have been one about the secrets of hearing aids...
This past month I've been winning against alcohol addiction. Cannabis seems to have turned the tides in the most subtle way possible.
An IRC friend finally got me to pick up Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erickson again. I finished that one, and I'm about half way through Deadhouse Gates. Gardens is a bit slow, but Deadhouse really starts to add some action. The depth of the world Erickson created is breathtaking especially in its originality. My IRC friend assures me that the series just gets better from here on out.
Hopefully I can have some wine with everybody else tonight without causing a problem. It's good to be back to reading again.
I have averaged a book a day for sixty years. That's not 22,000 different books, of course. Some of my favorites I read almost every year, so I might have read them least fifty times. I'm now old enough that pretty soon I'll be able to save a lot of money by buying only one truly enjoyable ebook and reading it every day the rest of my life, figuring that I'll probably have forgotten most of it by the next morning. (My mother had memory issues the last year of her life, and she also joked about it -- gave me permission to tell her the same stories about her grandchildren every time I visited. I retaliated by saying I was going to teach her a new game -- Easter Egg Hunt Solitaire.)
I always wondered how many people had books spoiled for them by high school literature class.
Before I went to high school, I was a voracious reader. I would read anything and everything. I had read most of Tolkein's works, plenty of Asimov and Clark as well as hundreds of other books I can no longer remember. Then, four years of high school literature classes turned reading into a chore. Dozens of books to read while analyzing and dissecting each chapter. Spending weeks reading and discussing The Catcher in the Rye, The Sun Also Rises, The Great Gatsby, The Great Santini and the "local color" of William Faulkner showed me just how awful reading can be. I think it was the 15 pages analyzing the thematic elements of The Scarlet Letter, their relationship to the earlier sermons of John Winthrop and their sources within 17th and 18th century Puritan society that finally demolished any desire to read for pleasure.
To be fair to my teachers, the point of the exercise was to teach analytical reading concepts which it did accomplish. At the time, I always hoped we could read a book I was interested in like Asimov, Clark, Tolkien or similar writers. In retrospect, I am glad they did not because my affection for those writers would likely have been ground to nothing by having to write 20 pages on the symbolism of Rama's shape or the tragedy of man in I, Robot.
In all the years since high school, I have read maybe 7 or 8 books for pleasure, though one of them was an Alien vs Predator novel and another was a Star Wars novel so I am not sure that they count as books exactly. These days, I mostly read technical information and news. I'm not sure if I am missing out or not but I just lost the interest in picking up a book.
I wonder if anybody else had a similar experience.
Damn, that's a difficult one. I read 200+ books a year, so it's not easy even remembering what all I've read. And there wasn't a new Dresden Files book out last year, so I can't just default to that like I normally would. Hmm...
I guess I'll go with my annual reread of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress since I can't think of anything I read last year that was better.
Bulletproof SSL and TLS by Ivan Ristic
Understanding and Deploying SSL/TLS and PKI to Secure Servers and Web Applications.
Binged out on Diskworld
I run a small rural library, so most of my reading for the past couple of reading is for the benefit of my patrons, so I have an idea what I can recommend to them, and I haven't done much reading for myself.
That said, some standouts from the year past:
Steam Pig, , etc., by James McClure - South African police procedural series set in and written during Apartheid. Strangely addicting;
With the Light, by Tobe Keiko - a manga series about raising an autistic boy, sadly interrupted during Junior High, by the death of the artist;
The Day of the Owl, by Leonardo Sciascia, a novel about a mafia killing, written during a time when it was officially denied that the mafia even existed;
The Curse of Capistrano, by Johnston McCulley - the original Zorro novel; and
(not a book) Bron/Broen (The Bridge), the Danish/Swedish thriller series, and its remakes, The Bridge (US) and The Tunnel (UK/France).