The Fall of Ile-Rien Trilogy: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, The Gate of Gods
Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories – Martha Wells
The Incrementalists – Steven Brust and Skyler White (reread)
The Skill of our Hands: A Novel – Steven Brust and Skyler White.
I found Skill of our Hands kind of heavy handed and awkward in places, it felt like pet issues of one of both authors were shoehorned in here and there. I didn’t entirely enjoy it as a result but did find myself mulling it over at some length and then abruptly had a realization (possibly entirely inaccurate but whatever): I think they didn’t intend to write a novel. They were looking for a way to present an idea in a way that wouldn’t be awkward and lecturing. So we have a novel of the really-real world except there’s this society of semi-immortal reincarnated souls who act to influence the rest of us through subtle but entirely real triggers to our emotions. How great would it be if there were people who could reach out and touch people in positions to change things for the better, even in small ways. And there are, in all of us, since we all know somebody somewhere, and maybe instead of escaping into a fantasy where a secret society exists who could touch the soul of your racist family member who makes Thanksgiving suck, maybe it’s on all of us to try and reach those people ourselves. Who else knows how to do that better than family? It should be on us. And I think that’s what they were writing about. Be the change you want to see. Because nobody else will. Nobody else can.
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine – Lindsey Fitzharris
I do occasionally read non-fiction. Since I seem to be reading so much more now, I’m trying to read more, and not just using reading as an escape from reality.
Rolling in the Deep (reread) and Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant
The Wolves of Midwinter – Anne Rice (ugh)
This book was so bad I found myself wondering if Anne Rice was always bad and if I re-read the books from the Vampire Chronicles that I actually enjoyed the first time, would they hold up? She’s created a main character here who is so bland and pointless that even the fact that he’s a werewolf vigilante doesn’t make him interesting. The supernatural in this book feels entirely like a prop for a story that goes nowhere, accomplishes nothing. The drug dealer subplot comes off like an afterschool special, it’s so ham-fisted. This book is full of just lists of decadent shit, as opposed to the lush descriptions that I thought Rice was known for. Totally *untitillating* sex, as opposed to the lust she brought to her sexless vampires. I was hate-reading this book by the end. I think my Kindle version has notes in it where I just wrote ‘bllllllbbbhhhhh booooooring’ and things like that.
Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls – Paul Bannick
I learned about this book because I follow the author & photographer on Instagram. It is beautiful and so informative. The kind of science I sort of dreamed of doing once upon a time, where you just go out into nature and observe an animal and over the course of a year or years you learn more about it than anybody has ever known. I didn’t end up pursuing anything like that as a career. I’m not sure why I didn’t, other than I didn’t see how one did that and made a living at it. That and I always felt discouraged to actually seriously look into anything in science, because science = math and I was bad at math. Er, so I ended up in accounting? How the fuck does that make sense…at least with science I might have been adding up #s about something I cared about. Anyway…
Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation’s Capital – Mark Anderson and Mark Jenkins
Another music related book borrowed from Nate. Very interesting to read as somebody from the DC area but totally unaware that any of this was going on at the time. I was too young for much of it and by the time I was going into DC it was fading away.
The Phoenix Guards, Five Hundred Years After
Taltos, Yendi, Jhereg, Teckla, Tiassa, Phoenix – Steven Brust (rereads)
While reading nonfiction I’m usually reading some fiction book as well and it’s easier to read things I’ve read before, so this happened. I have now lost track of how many times I’ve read these. I am now forcing myself to take a long break from Steven Brust so I don’t get sick of his style or his characters.
The Murderbot Diaries: Rogue Protocol, Artificial Condition, Exit Strategy – Martha Wells
These are short and just good fun. I hope there are more of them.
Vorkosian Saga: Falling Free, Shards of Honor, Barrayar – Lois McMaster Bujold
I was reluctant to start this series because I saw it had something like 15 books in it and I’ve found that reading the 1st book in a series and then reading the 2nd a year later is a good way to forget things.
I think that might be everything and I should probably post this before it’s anymore delayed. So that’s everything I read from Fall/Winter 2018-Winter 2019. I read a lot. I get eye fatigue looking at computer screens for to long and I look at a computer all day at work, so I spend less time mindlessly poking around on the internet in the evenings than I once did.
http://www.dendarii.com/ (Lois McMaster Bujold)
http://dreamcafe.com/ (Steven Brust)
https://www.npr.org/2017/10/21/557192408/no-ones-hands-are-clean-in-the-butchering-art (review of The Butchering Art)
I’m not linking to Anne Rice, that’s how bad the werewolf books are.
Spring list will be next.