monthly reading tally

May reading tally: ‘Too Early to Talk About’ edition

May was extremely satisfying reading-wise, but entirely frustrating when it came to reviewing. I read a few really, really good books, and I can’t tell you about them. Because it is too early. Basically, this month, I read 80% of all my ‘Can’t Wait Till Release Date” books for the entire year. These books are the ones that go immediately to the top of the reading pile, and I will, in fact, drop any other book I’m reading to read these.

What this means is that this month, my books acquired should be pretty similar to books read. Fingers crossed.

Books acquired (including borrowed) – and this time I was pretty good about photo documentation:

0510141239

A couple of bookgroup books (Sabriel and Blindsight), plus The Bees, which I reviewed here.

0522141650

Guys, guys, it’s the xkcd book! The only reason I’m not done with it yet is because I got it yesterday. Also, Sally Ride!

Continuing with non-fiction theme:

0527141721

Plutopia is supposed to be great.

I then acquired this odd hardcover edition of Dune (pictured here melding with the table):

0527141326a

All these were satisfying acquisitions, but the true highlights were these babies:

0524141911a

0510141221 IMG_20140527_174921

Really, how can you not drop everything and read these? I binged on Vandermeer all last Saturday, finished Mitchell in two days, and Murakami in a day and a half. The only thing I can say is that you will want to get these as soon as they are released.

And now, on to books read:

1. Chester Brown, Louis Riel

2. Joseph Boyden, The Orenda

3. Yuka Igarashi, ed. Granta # 127: Japan

4. David Mitchell, Bone Clocks

5. Jo Walton, My Real Children

6. Rivka Galchen, American Innovations

7. Douglas Coupland, Worst. Person. Ever. (this is obviously Canadian Content month)

8. Lydia Davis, Can’t and Won’t

9. Laline Paull, The Bees

10. Jon Skovron, Man Made Boy

11. Jeff Vandermeer, Annihilation

12. Jeff Vandermeer, Authority

13. Jeff Vandermeer, Acceptance

14. Lish McBride, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

15. Michael Deforge, Ant Colony

16. Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

The Best: this is really hard. Vandermeer is a wizard. So is David Mitchell. Murakami is in his own category. But to be honest, the book that took over my mind for days after I was done was The Orenda.

The Worst: nothing was truly terrible. I was disappointed in My Real Children, but I think that’s because I had really high expectations, and the book just didn’t seem to match what was in my head. Also, I’m in the minority here.

I honestly have no idea why I read Douglas Coupland’s book. I needed something truly out of my reading range. I read him before, but during an entirely different phase of my life. Worst. Person. Ever. was crass and disgusting and really made me feel like I was watching a train wreck. It wasn’t terrible (in a sense of ‘boring, can’t go on’ book terrible).

The Weird: only two graphic novels! But they are both by Canadian artists (Canadian Content month continues). Ant Colony is truly weird, but really awesome. Also, I’m never touching Sweet’n Low.

IMG_20140527_211257

Yes, they are all ants.

Advertisements

March reading tally: the snowed in edition

March was hectic. Part of it was the new job (old place, but new things to do), which included learning a bunch of stuff and also a giant project. Nevertheless, the brain proceeded with the directive ‘read all the books’. Here’s your March tally.

Books acquired (mostly borrowed, received, stolen from coworkers, you know, the usual):

0322141204

I was pretty impressed with God’s War, so now I can move on to Infidel. More bug-based tech for everyone.

I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking: ‘Is that really something called Reagan at Reykjavik in that pile?’ Um, yes it is. I like my Cold War histories, shush. The one below it is about MacArthur in Japan. I’m an old man, I like my military histories too.

Testo Junkie is an intense gender studies volume. The way I can describe is that it’s really very readable while being nigh-incomprehensible in places.

James A. Corey and Gene Wolfe are long overdue for a read.

0323141742

Once again, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: ‘Is that seriously Gray’s Anatomy there?’ Yes, yes it is.

Also, look, Rapture is there too, for when I’m done with Infidel. And also the best book of essays on trans* issues I’ve ever read.

0330141410a

I do not have words to describe how good this is.

0330141410b

Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail by Kelly Luce is published by a tiny publisher called A Strange Object. My friend and I are quite excited about them. Unfortunately, I will have read all their output when I finish this collection. They seem to have good taste in short stories and I hope they publish more stuff (plus, their books are pretty).

There is also Charles Yu’s collection of short stories that I have never seen before and an Asimov’s under it.

While all this book pr0n is great, let’s see the actual Books Read list:

1. Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book 2 (I finally found someone at work who shares my obsession with Knausgaard, so now we can have conversations like ‘what about that scene where he goes to the grocery store to buy some milk? That was amazing!’ Seriously though, the man is a master when it comes to psychological insights.)

2. Robert Jackson Bennett, American Elsewhere

3. Adam Sternbergh, Shovel Ready

4. Knut Hamsun, Growth of the Soil (this was about to become Depressing Scandinavian Literature Month for a moment)

5. Joe Abercrombie, Half a King

6. Kameron Hurley, God’s War

7. S. Bear Bergman, The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

8. C. J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station

9. Nicholas Grider, Misadventure (this is the other book published by A Strange Object)

10. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Rodney Ramos, Transmetropolitan Vol 3: Year of the Bastard (reread)

11. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Rodney Ramos, Transmetropolitan Vol 4: The New Scum (reread)

12. Brian Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Saga Vol. 1

13. Brian Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Saga Vol. 2

14. Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs. Review of this will be forthcoming, errr, some time in the summer. The book is not out till September, and publishers frown upon extremely early reviewing. All I am going to say is that I am really tempted to use all caps now to describe how damn good this book was. I sat down and read to the point when I was sick of words.

So yeah, never got to that Reagan book.