reading tally

April reading tally, the blurry edition

No, the images are pretty sharp. April itself was kind of a blur. Two big projects at work, finally getting some of my personal stuff sorted out (hello, puberty 2.0), having to find a new housemate. Fun times. Still managed to read some great books, squeezed in a couple of unexpected readathons, and once again paded the numbers by reading through piles of graphic novels.

I’m afraid I kind of dropped the ball on taking photos of things acquired, so I only have a couple.

Books acquired:


Hyper-realism! Depressing Scandinavian literature! Score!

Also, people essentially give me any books about ex- or currently totalitarian and Communist regimes (Dear Leader).


Embarrassing Confession Time! In all my time on this Earth, I have somehow avoided reading The Stand. I do not know how this occurred. I don’t think I can even blame Soviet upbringing for this one.

And hey, new Nick Harkaway!

Finally, the photo from my recent weekend blog post (cheating, I know):


If you are waiting for Embrassing Confession Time #2, where I confess I’ve never read Sherlock Holmes, give up now. I’ve read all of it. At the tender age of 12, I think. Probably reread some of them later. But I envisioned myself sitting down this weekend with a cup of coffee and just reading through them all again.

I have also read Locke & Key, but I want to reread the earlier volumes so I can get the full impact from the last one.

And now, books read:

1. Charles Yu, Third Class Superhero

2. Beatriz Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopoitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era

3. Richard K. Morgan, The Steel Remains

4. Emma Donoghue, Frog Music

5. Peter Higgins, Wolfhound Century

6. Lauren Owen, The Quick

7. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan vol 5: Lonely City (reread)

8. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan vol 6: Gouge Away (reread)

9. Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Saga Vol 3.

10. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan vol 7: Spider’s Trash (reread)

11. Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor

12. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan vol 8: Dirge (reread)

13. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan vol 9: The Cure (reread)

14. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan vol 10: One More Time (reread)

Aaaand then I took three days off and have absolutely zero books to show for it. I did, however, rake and mow my entire backyard and go for a couple of runs.

The Best:

Saga, Volume 3. Continues to be an amazing graphic novel series. I’m not going to rate Transmet because it is on its own plane of awesomeness (and is also a reread).

The Worst:

Nothing was particularly awful. I think The Quick was not as shiny as it had been described to me. A blurb post is upcoming for that and for Yu. I frankly no longer even finish truly awful books, so they never make it on monthly tally lists (now I hope you have this mental image of piles of abandoned books, floating in space, jettisoned to make room for books I would actually enjoy).


January reading tally (with book pr0n)

Nick Hornby used to write a monthly column for the Believer magazine, where he would list books purchased, books read, and various notes and observations on that month’s reading. All those columns, by the way, are now available in one volume, Ten Years In the Tub. They are  funny and very honest about the author’s reading habits. One quick look at books bought and books read lists will tell you that those two are usually drastically different. I personally know (maybe) one person who reads books bought right away. To me, this seems amazing. I never do that. I mean, if I read everything I brought home immediately, I would have never created this Mt. Everest of advanced copies of stuff that is already out in paperback.

Anyway, below are the results of this month’s reading efforts.

Books acquired

These are divided into two categories: books borrowed (i.e. the ones I don’t get to keep), and books bought/received as gifts/wheedled out of gullible sales reps/etc (i.e. the ones I get to keep).

Borrowed this month:

If you think I only took 5 books out of the library this month, rest assured that this is not a complete stack. I excluded obscure non-fiction, depressing Scandinavian literature, odd Japanese literature, and other areas of my reading interest. I will be happy to include those in the future posts if you would like to see them.

Adopted this month (click to embiggen):


It’s leaning ever so slightly, threatening to collapse and kill me as I walk by.

This actually does not look so bad, and that’s because it doesn’t include non-speculative books that also somehow ended up in my house.

And now, a list of books read (sans photos, since some of the books have gone on to bigger and better things), but with links if I reviewed or blurbed a particular book:

1. Jeff Smith, RASL

2. Robert Sibley, The Way of 88 Temples: Journeys on the Shikoku Pilgrimage (aka the book that allowed me to show my coworkers where I actually used to live)

3. Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds

4. Jack Vance, The Dying Earth

5. Various, Buffy The Vampire Slayer Omnibus # 4

6. Nicola Griffith, Hild

7. Will McIntosh, Love Minus Eighty

8. Jo Walton, What Makes This Book So Great

9. Robert Pohl, Urban Legends and Historic Lore of Washington, DC

10. Wesley Chu, Lives of Tao

11. George Saunders, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

12. Elizabeth A. Lynn, A Different Light

13. Takashi Hiraide, The Guest Cat

14. Ray Jayawardhana, Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

15. Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan, Vol 1: Back on the Street (re-read)

16. Lara Vapnyar, Scent of Pine

17. Chuck Wendig, The Blue Blazes

As is usually the case, the borrowed books got a quicker read than the ones bought. Reading of borrowed stuff is largely motivated by the fact that I have to return these volumes to avoid being chased by angry librarians and to allow some other person to have their history knowledge tested by something like Hild.

Unsurprisingly, I almost entirely failed to read from the bought pile, with Chu being the obvious exception. Well, there is always next month.

So, thoughts? Anything from my to-read stacks that I shouldn’t have put off till next month? Anything on my list you’ve read or want to read?