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What should I read in 2013?

books
Dear friendslist (and other readers),

I have been greatly helped in thinning out the books on my unread shelf by your votes in previous years, and I would once again very much appreciate your advice on what books to read next, by filling in this poll. (I believe that even if you don't have a livejournal account, you can sign in with your Twitter or Facebook credentials.)

I'm doing it a little differently this year, splitting sf into books acquired in 2012 and books acquired previously, and with a completely different question for the non-fiction books. Looking forward to your guidance.

Poll #1887991
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 67

Which of these 40 sf books (acquired by me in 2012) have you read?

View Answers
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
31 (13.7%)
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
28 (12.3%)
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell
0 (0.0%)
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
6 (2.6%)
Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov
15 (6.6%)
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
1 (0.4%)
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
12 (5.3%)
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
5 (2.2%)
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
6 (2.6%)
Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey
2 (0.9%)
Keeping it Real by Justina Robson
7 (3.1%)
The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones
12 (5.3%)
The Dark Tower and Other Stories by C.S. Lewis
8 (3.5%)
The Peoples of Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
3 (1.3%)
Quantico by Greg Bear
1 (0.4%)
Naamah's Curse by Jacqueline Carey
2 (0.9%)
The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner
8 (3.5%)
334 by Thomas M Disch
9 (4.0%)
Planet of Judgement (Star Trek) by Joe Haldeman
4 (1.8%)
Corona (Star Trek) by Greg Bear
5 (2.2%)
Orbitsville by Bob Shaw
8 (3.5%)
The Stormcaller by Tom Lloyd
1 (0.4%)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
21 (9.3%)
The Laertian Gamble (Star Trek) by Robert Scheckley
3 (1.3%)
The Stone Book Quartet by Alan Garner
4 (1.8%)
Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories edited by John Joseph Adams
3 (1.3%)
Bitter Angels by C. L. Anderson
5 (2.2%)
The Rabbi's Cat Vol. 2 by Joann Sfar
2 (0.9%)
Fables Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham
1 (0.4%)
Sovereign by R M Meluch
2 (0.9%)
The Unwritten Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words by Mike Carey
1 (0.4%)
The Hive by Charles Burns
0 (0.0%)
Smallworld by Dominic Green
0 (0.0%)
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
4 (1.8%)
The Tunnel at the End of the Light by Stefan Petrucha
0 (0.0%)
Being Human: Bad Blood by James Goss
1 (0.4%)
Being Human: Chasers by Mark Michalowski
0 (0.0%)
Starship Fall by Eric Brown
1 (0.4%)
London Falling by Paul Cornell
4 (1.8%)
Demon in Leuven by Guido Eekhaut
1 (0.4%)

And which of these 92 sf books (acquired by me before 2012) have you read?

View Answers
Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey
5 (1.7%)
Kraken by China Mieville
13 (4.3%)
1632 by Eric Flint
11 (3.6%)
And Another Thing ... by Eoin Colfer
4 (1.3%)
Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien
10 (3.3%)
Transition by Iain Banks
5 (1.7%)
Looking for Jake and Other Stories by China Mieville
10 (3.3%)
The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
3 (1.0%)
Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland
3 (1.0%)
The Arabian Nights translated by Muhsin Mahdi
1 (0.3%)
Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds
7 (2.3%)
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
13 (4.3%)
Axis by Robert Charles Wilson
3 (1.0%)
A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park
5 (1.7%)
Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey
3 (1.0%)
Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce
9 (3.0%)
Le Chat du Rabbin Tome 1 by Joann Sfar
2 (0.7%)
Toward the End of Time by John Updike
1 (0.3%)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
9 (3.0%)
Eva by Peter Dickinson
5 (1.7%)
City at the End of Time by Greg Bear
3 (1.0%)
Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
4 (1.3%)
Cauldron by Jack McDevitt
1 (0.3%)
The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke
2 (0.7%)
Shakespeare's Planet by Clifford D. Simak
6 (2.0%)
Peter & Max by Bill Willingham
2 (0.7%)
The Palace of Dreams by Ismail Kadare
0 (0.0%)
There Will be Time by Poul Anderson
7 (2.3%)
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
4 (1.3%)
Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
11 (3.6%)
Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in honour of Jack Vance edited by George R. R. Martin
2 (0.7%)
Thorns by Robert Silverberg
6 (2.0%)
Star Rover by Jack London
0 (0.0%)
Cyberabad Days by Ian Mcdonald
9 (3.0%)
Far North by Marcel Theroux
4 (1.3%)
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
4 (1.3%)
The Queen's Bastard by C.E. Murphy
5 (1.7%)
De piraten van de Zilveren Kattenklauw by Geronimo Stilton
0 (0.0%)
How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse by Cressida Cowell
2 (0.7%)
Warriors edited by George R. R. Martin
0 (0.0%)
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
8 (2.6%)
Wild Life by Molly Gloss
3 (1.0%)
How to Twist a Dragon's Tale by Cressida Cowell
2 (0.7%)
The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker
4 (1.3%)
Stopping for a Spell by Diana Wynne Jones
7 (2.3%)
The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak
1 (0.3%)
Gorgon Child by Steven Barnes
1 (0.3%)
The Magic Cup by Andrew M. Greeley
2 (0.7%)
Contes Fantastiques Complets by Guy de Maupassant
1 (0.3%)
Motherlines by Suzy McKee Charnas
8 (2.6%)
The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog by Doris Lessing
1 (0.3%)
Mind Over Ship by David Marusek
2 (0.7%)
The Jonah Kit by Ian Watson
6 (2.0%)
George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Lucy Hawking
0 (0.0%)
The Martian Inca by Ian Watson
6 (2.0%)
Putting up Roots by Charles Sheffield
1 (0.3%)
The Moment of Eclipse by Brian Aldiss
2 (0.7%)
North Wind by Gwyneth Jones
4 (1.3%)
The Secret History of Science Fiction by James Patrick Kelly
1 (0.3%)
Tales from the Arabian Nights selected by Sir Richard Burton
7 (2.3%)
The Universe Between by Alan E Nourse
2 (0.7%)
Phoenix Cafe by Gwyneth Jones
3 (1.0%)
This Mortal Mountain - Volume 3: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny
0 (0.0%)
The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot
9 (3.0%)
Avalanche Soldier by Susan Matthews
1 (0.3%)
Up Jim River by Michael Flynn
1 (0.3%)
Beast Master's Planet (Beast Master and Lord of Thunder) by Andre Norton
4 (1.3%)
Winter Song by Colin Harvey
3 (1.0%)
Last Exit to Babylon - Volume 4: The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny
1 (0.3%)
Argonautica by Valerius Flaccus
1 (0.3%)
The Wild Reel by Paul Brandon
0 (0.0%)
Gateways edited by Elizabeth Anne Hull
0 (0.0%)
Spirit by Gwyneth Jones
6 (2.0%)
The Deepest Sea by Charles Barnitz
0 (0.0%)
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2010 Edition edited by Rich Horton
2 (0.7%)
Crowe's Requiem by Mike McCormack
0 (0.0%)
Transit of Earth (Playboy Science Fiction)
1 (0.3%)
Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 edited by Kevin J. Anderson
1 (0.3%)
Oracle by Ian Watson
1 (0.3%)
Daystar and Shadow by James Weldon Johnson
0 (0.0%)
The Host by Peter Emshwiller
1 (0.3%)
Hybrid by Shaun Hutson
0 (0.0%)
The Hidden War by Michael Armstrong
0 (0.0%)
Starry Messenger: The Best of Galileo edited by Charles Ryan
0 (0.0%)
Heartspell by Blaine Anderson
0 (0.0%)
Moon Stallion by Brian Hayles
1 (0.3%)
Trips to the Moon by Lucian of Samosata
2 (0.7%)
Anno Mortis by Rebecca Levene
0 (0.0%)
Far North & Other Dark Tales by Sara Maitland
0 (0.0%)
Lightning Days by Colin Harvey
1 (0.3%)
The Next Generation by John Francis Maguire
0 (0.0%)
Rare Unsigned Copy by Simon Petrie
0 (0.0%)

Which of these 73 other fiction books have you read?

View Answers
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
6 (2.7%)
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
6 (2.7%)
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
9 (4.0%)
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
18 (8.0%)
The Castle by Franz Kafka
8 (3.6%)
The Devils (aka The Possessed) by Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky
3 (1.3%)
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
3 (1.3%)
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
5 (2.2%)
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
6 (2.7%)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
1 (0.4%)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
1 (0.4%)
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
9 (4.0%)
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
5 (2.2%)
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
8 (3.6%)
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
3 (1.3%)
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
1 (0.4%)
A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
1 (0.4%)
Rules by Cynthia Lord
1 (0.4%)
The Far Side Of The World by Patrick O'Brian
14 (6.2%)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
1 (0.4%)
Confession of Zeno by Italo Svevo
0 (0.0%)
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
2 (0.9%)
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
5 (2.2%)
Swallows And Amazons by Arthur Ransome
26 (11.6%)
Home by Marilynne Robinson
2 (0.9%)
Islands In The Stream by Ernest Hemingway
2 (0.9%)
The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
5 (2.2%)
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
7 (3.1%)
I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
2 (0.9%)
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
3 (1.3%)
The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
5 (2.2%)
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer
7 (3.1%)
Across the River and into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway
1 (0.4%)
Revelation by C. J. Sansom
1 (0.4%)
Resistance by Anita Shreve
0 (0.0%)
Mating by Norman Rush
1 (0.4%)
Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley
6 (2.7%)
The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt
0 (0.0%)
The Folding Star by Alan Hollinghurst
0 (0.0%)
History by Elsa Morante
1 (0.4%)
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham
3 (1.3%)
The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing
3 (1.3%)
Doors Open by Ian Rankin
2 (0.9%)
Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller
1 (0.4%)
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets by Herge
6 (2.7%)
Race Of Scorpions by Dorothy Dunnett
7 (3.1%)
Cheese by Willem Elsschot
1 (0.4%)
Brother and Sister by Joanna Trollope
2 (0.9%)
The Flood by Ian Rankin
1 (0.4%)
Desert by J. M. G. Le Clezio
0 (0.0%)
A Winter Book by Tove Jansson
4 (1.8%)
Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson
2 (0.9%)
A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland
2 (0.9%)
The Habit of Loving by Doris May Lessing
2 (0.9%)
Home Truths by Freya North
0 (0.0%)
Quoth the Raven by Jane Haddam
0 (0.0%)
Dear Old Dead by Jane Haddam
0 (0.0%)
Travelling Light by Tove Jansson
1 (0.4%)
Wages of Sin by Andrew M. Greeley
0 (0.0%)
Children are Civilians Too by Heinrich Boll
0 (0.0%)
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
0 (0.0%)
Baptism in Blood by Jane Haddam
0 (0.0%)
In Another Light by Andrew Greig
0 (0.0%)
The Deer Hunter by Michael Cimino
0 (0.0%)
See How Much I Love You by Luis Leante
0 (0.0%)
Billionaire Boy by David Walliams
0 (0.0%)
The Truth Commissioner by David Park
0 (0.0%)
One of the 28th: A Tale of Waterloo by G. A. Henty
0 (0.0%)
The Oxford Book of Christmas Stories edited by Dennis Pepper
1 (0.4%)
Kings of the North by Cecelia Holland
1 (0.4%)
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong
0 (0.0%)
Every Step You Take by Maureen O'Brien
0 (0.0%)
Alina by Jason Johnson
0 (0.0%)

And finally, please indicate both the books you have read and also the ones that just sound interesting!

View Answers
The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 by William Dalrymple
8 (2.2%)
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
20 (5.4%)
Reading the Oxford English Dictionary: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea
6 (1.6%)
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
7 (1.9%)
The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach
2 (0.5%)
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius by Graham Farmelo
4 (1.1%)
The King's Speech by Mark Logue
9 (2.4%)
The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuition Deceives Us: Or Why You Have No Idea How Your Mind Works by Christopher Chabris
11 (3.0%)
1434: The Year a Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance by Gavin Menzies
8 (2.2%)
Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past by Paul Cartledge
7 (1.9%)
Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing by Katherine Ashenburg
13 (3.5%)
The Monsters and the Critics by J R R Tolkien
14 (3.8%)
1688: A Global History by John E. Wills
3 (0.8%)
Isaiah Berlin: A Life by Michael Ignatieff
0 (0.0%)
A Guide to Tolkien by David Day
2 (0.5%)
The Kindness of Strangers by Kate Adie
6 (1.6%)
Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield
3 (0.8%)
The History of the Hobbit, vol. 1: Mr Baggins by John D. Rateliff
3 (0.8%)
QI: The Book of the Dead by John Lloyd
1 (0.3%)
The History of the Hobbit, vol. 2: Return to Bag-End by John Rateliff
3 (0.8%)
How Languages Are Learned by Patsy M. Lightbown
11 (3.0%)
Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse by Brigid Keenan
5 (1.4%)
Rebus's Scotland: A Personal Journey by Ian Rankin
3 (0.8%)
Understanding the Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism by Rose A. Zimbardo and Neil D. Isaacs
5 (1.4%)
How to Hold a Crocodile by Diagram Group
1 (0.3%)
52 Ways of Looking at a Poem: A Poem for Every Week of the Year by Ruth Padel
5 (1.4%)
Seventeen Equations that Changed the World by Ian Stewart
7 (1.9%)
Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary by Jacqueline Rayner
9 (2.4%)
The Story of English in 100 Words by David Crystal
10 (2.7%)
The God Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny and the Meaning of Life by Jesse Bering
4 (1.1%)
Alexander the Corrector: The Tormented Genius Whose Cruden's Concordance Unwrote the Bible by Julia Keay
0 (0.0%)
Isaac Asimov: A Life of the Grand Master of Science Fiction by Michael White
12 (3.3%)
Anthropological Studies of Religion: An Introductory Text by Brian Morris
2 (0.5%)
Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change 1970-2000 by R. F. Foster
2 (0.5%)
The Prisoner by Dave Rogers
1 (0.3%)
Getting the Buggers to Behave by Sue Cowley
2 (0.5%)
Ages in Chaos: James Hutton and the Discovery of Deep Time by Stephen Baxter
5 (1.4%)
Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival by Daniel Jaffee
5 (1.4%)
Katherine Swynford: The History of a Medieval Mistress by Jeannette Lucraft
9 (2.4%)
Politics of Climate Change by Anthony Giddens
4 (1.1%)
A History of Anthropology by Thomas Hylland Eriksen
4 (1.1%)
The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka & the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers by Gordon Weiss
1 (0.3%)
The Complete Ice Age: How Climate Change Shaped the World by Brian M. Fagan
3 (0.8%)
Kate Bush: Under the Ivy by Graeme Thompson
2 (0.5%)
Bland Ambition: From Adams to Quayle--The Cranks, Criminals, Tax Cheats, and Golfers Who Made It to Vice President by Steve Tally
0 (0.0%)
The Ancient Languages of Europe by Roger D. Woodard
8 (2.2%)
Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 by Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo
11 (3.0%)
Presentations by Daria Price Bowman
0 (0.0%)
The Journals of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1806 by Meriwether Lewis
5 (1.4%)
A Popular History of Ireland : from the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics by Thomas D'Arcy McGee
5 (1.4%)
Eleanor, Countess of Desmond by Anne Chambers
7 (1.9%)
Green Living for Dummies by Michael Grosvenor
2 (0.5%)
Free Radical: Memoirs by Vince Cable
0 (0.0%)
Barefoot Disciple: Walking the Way of Passionate Humility: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2011 by Stephen Cherry
0 (0.0%)
The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony by Stephen Schwartz
6 (1.6%)
Doctor Who (Pocket Essentials) by Mark Campbell
5 (1.4%)
Bits of Me are Falling Apart: Dark Thoughts from the Middle Years by William Leith
0 (0.0%)
The Secret Lives of Garden Birds by Dominic Couzens
3 (0.8%)
TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unauthorized Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 2: Patrick Troughton by Philip Sandifer
7 (1.9%)
Edward Gibbon and Empire by Rosamond McKitterick
2 (0.5%)
Virgins, Weeders and Queens: A History of Women in the Garden by Twigs Way
5 (1.4%)
The Making and Remaking of the Good Friday Agreement by Paul Bew
0 (0.0%)
Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution by Stephen Zunes
3 (0.8%)
No Going Back To Moldova by Anna Robertson
2 (0.5%)
Climate Conflict: How global warming threatens security and what to do about it by Jeffrey Mazo
2 (0.5%)
Making Ireland English - The Irish Aristocracy in the Seventeenth Century by Jane Ohlmeyer
6 (1.6%)
The European Parliament by Francis Jacobs, Michael Shackleton and Richard Corbett
0 (0.0%)
Cycling in Victorian Ireland by Brian Griffin
4 (1.1%)
Adventures in Kate Bush and Theory by Deborah M. Withers
5 (1.4%)
Fanny Kemble and the Lovely Land by Constance Wright
2 (0.5%)
The Charm of Belgium by Brian Lunn
4 (1.1%)
The Life of Sir Denis Henry: Catholic Unionist by A.D. McDonnell
1 (0.3%)
Fair Trade: The Challenges of Transforming Globalization by Laura Raynolds
1 (0.3%)
A Crocodile in the Fernery: An A-Z of Animals in the Garden by Twigs Way
1 (0.3%)
On the Way to Diplomacy by Costas M. Constantinou
1 (0.3%)
A People's Peace for Cyprus: Testing public opinion on the options for a comprehensive settlement by Alexandros Lordos
0 (0.0%)
Expanding Eurasia: Russia's European Ambitions by Janusz Bugajski
1 (0.3%)
The Doctor's Monsters: Meanings of the Monstrous in Doctor Who by Graham Sleight
9 (2.4%)
Essays on Time-based Linguistic Analysis by Charles-James N. Bailey
1 (0.3%)
A Sacred Cause: The Inter-Congolese Dialogue 2000-2003 by P. E. Winter
2 (0.5%)
Strategic Europe by Jan Techau
0 (0.0%)
Building Confidence in Peace: Public Opinion and the Cyprus Peace Process by Nathalie Tocci
0 (0.0%)
The Irish Constitutional Revolution of the Sixteenth Century by Brendan Bradshaw
4 (1.1%)
What Made Now in Northern Ireland by Maurna Crozier
5 (1.4%)
Resolving the Cyprus Conflict: Negotiating History by Michalis Stavrou Michael
0 (0.0%)
Between structure and No-thing: An annotated reader in Social and Cultural Anthropology by Patrick J. Devlieger
5 (1.4%)
Legacy: A Collection of Personal Testimonies from People Affected by the Troubles in Northern Ireland by BBC Northern Ireland
1 (0.3%)


As usual, please put any specific recommendations (or disrecommendations) in comments - I am still banking some from last year and the year before.

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
girfan
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
I've not read the books you list for Neal Stephenson, Justina Robson and Paul Cornell but have read others by them and recommend them.


If you read Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham and like it, be sure to read the books in order since the characters evolve and some die. It can be confusing in that way.

despotliz
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
The Stephenson is very long and a very long way from his best; the Cornell is very good, I've only read British Summertime of his and this one is much better.
altariel
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:07 pm (UTC)
Dark Eden, Eva, and the Marilynne Robinsons are my tips.
altariel
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:08 pm (UTC)
I also liked The Lacuna very much, and The Secret River.
yiskah
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:16 pm (UTC)
Another vote for The Secret River, which I thought was excellent.

Otherwise I would heartily recommend Deathless, which has been the best book I've read this year.

Edited at 2012-12-31 01:18 pm (UTC)
inulro
Dec. 31st, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
I didn't love The Lacuna as much as I love her previous book, The Poisonwood Bible, but I still recommend it.
chess
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:16 pm (UTC)
The Hunger Games suffer somewhat from YA Logic (attempting to avoid spoilers, the thing that I thought 'no, that can't possibly be how this ends because that is way too unrealistic' was in fact how one of the books ends) - the first book is definitely worth reading, the others are entertaining but suffer a bit from feeling the need to trump the events of the first book...
lizw
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
In my review of the year, I listed both London Falling and A Book of Silence among the best books I read in 2012. Of the two, I think London Falling may be more to your taste, though; a lot of my enjoyment of Silence came from having had experiences similar to hers, and I don't recall you mentioning anything of the kind yourself.

I found The King's Speech much less readable as a book than it was watchable as a film, so I guess that's a disrecommendation.
andrewducker
Dec. 31st, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
I read And Another Thing, but I rather wish I hadn't.
chicafrom3
Jan. 1st, 2013 04:34 pm (UTC)
Agreed with this.
shereenb
Jan. 2nd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
I agree with this too.
shadesong
Dec. 31st, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
In the last category, I haven't read any, but I checked what sounded interesting - several of those are going in my library queue!
redfiona99
Dec. 31st, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
The only one I've read is the Bellingham. My Grandmother adores his stuff and I thought it was quite good. It's a bit odd though. It also somewhat gleefully tears apart the maverick detective thing and gives the female characters something to do.

The friends that have read The Hunger Games really liked it.
nancylebov
Dec. 31st, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
One more for those who are interested in language-- The Empire of the Word, a look at how languages survive and spread. Spoiler: it's a lot more complicated than "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy".

Edited at 2013-01-01 03:11 pm (UTC)
melita66
Jan. 1st, 2013 08:17 am (UTC)
Something Wicked is a classic. I read it after seeing the movie. Reamde and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance are both minor works by these authors, but oh-so-much better than many other books. I enjoyed both quite a lot. I don't remember a thing about The Magic Cup except that it was set in Ireland. It was purged from my personal library many years ago. Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson was quite good. I hope the author sells more in this series. If you weren't aware, it's a pseudonym for Sarah Zettel. I haven't been able to get into her fantasy series, but enjoy her SF much better.

Race of Scorpions gets a thumb's up from me, but I like the Niccolo series a lot; much more than the Francis series. I seem to remember that you weren't that thrilled with Niccolo Rising. Shades of Milk and Honey got a lot of great reviews and I'd been hearing a lot about Mary Robinette Kowal as a short fiction writer. I like Regencies so had high hopes. Eh. It was good, but I felt it was overhyped a bit. I did buy the sequel in hardcover and enjoyed it more--the main character has more agency.

Another thumb's up for Flora Segunda but I have a feeling you won't like it; I'm not sure why. I read the sequel, Flora's Dare first and like it more. But then I like being dropped into the middle of a new world/culture/story and having to figure out what's up.
nancylebov
Jan. 1st, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
Bitter Angels only if you're in the mood for a whole lot of bleak and corrupt, as I recall.
vilakins
Jan. 1st, 2013 09:49 am (UTC)
The Laertian Gamble (Star Trek) by Robert Sheckley - AVOID AT ALL COSTS! It's one of the worst books I've tried to read in a long time. I bought it second-hand and the only reason it's still in the house is that I keep meaning to post why it's so bad. Either the guy lost the plot in more ways than one or he hired a very, very bad ghost writer. A pity as his books have given me a lot of pleasure in the past.

[Edit] BTW there's something wrong with this poll. Only one of my answers gets recorded and I've tried twice now.

Edited at 2013-01-01 09:57 am (UTC)
nwhyte
Jan. 1st, 2013 11:07 am (UTC)
I see only one tick for Kraken in the second category, but three in the first and third and seven in the fourth. You can always try the "fill out poll" option again.
vilakins
Jan. 1st, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
I did! LJ must be playing up because I couldn't see my name in there. OK, that's all good!
malinaldarose
Jan. 1st, 2013 01:02 pm (UTC)
I haven't read any of the books in the last section, but many of them sound interesting. I like reading analyses of stuff like Tolkien's works and Doctor Who.

You know...in case you're interested in the opinions of a complete stranger.... =)

Edited at 2013-01-01 01:02 pm (UTC)
mojosmom
Jan. 1st, 2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, do read Elsa Morante's Hisotry (La Storia)! We read it in my Italian lit class, and it is worth the time (it's long!). So compelling. There's also a really good film made from it.
moonplanet
Jan. 1st, 2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
My review of "And another thing" is here: http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/62146.html
I liked it.
raycun
Jan. 1st, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
The Hunger Games - as someone above said, the first is the best of them. I quite enjoyed it. The other fun thing about reading YA is that you don't have to work on deciphering the subtext :)

Reamde - someone told Stephenson to cut out all the cod-Platonism and historical stuff out, so this is computers and guns geekery and there's more room for the thriller. Computers and guns geekery, not a great subtext :(

How to train your dragon -- barely remembered

Kraken - I'm with Christopher Priest. Mieville could be doing better.

Thorns - written in his mad prolific early 70's period, read in the 80's period when I read loads of Silverberg, can't remember it at all

Luther Arkwright - one of the Victoriana/steampunk ur-texts

Red and the Black, Dead Souls, Eyeless in Gaza - all book club books last year. I liked the Stendhal more than most, but I think I like French fiction more than most. Dead Souls is a lot of fun in the early sections, but wherever it was going in the end was less so. Eyeless is in the 'interesting for teh wrong reasons' section
gareth_rees
Jan. 1st, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year! My recommendations stand from previous years: the novels of Ian Watson contain his distinctive form of inspired lunacy, but as I recall you really didn't like Miracle Visitors, so you might not like The Martian Inca or The Jonah Kit either. But maybe under different circumstances?

The Far Side of the World is good, but it looks as if you are just up to Desolation Island so you have several books to go before that one, and they are best read in order, the next being The Fortune of War.

After The History of the Lord of the Rings, you'll find The Peoples of Middle-Earth to be a bit pedestrian. Lots of family trees and chronologies. The most interesting bit is "The New Shadow", the abandoned opening to a projected sequel to The Lord of the Rings.

I'm still interested to hear about Cycling in Victorian Ireland. And about whether Gavin Menzies has crossed the line from "hilariously deluded" to "full-fledged alternate universe" in his 1434: The Year a Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance (the title contains multiple falsehoods: I guess the idea is that the reader can have no excuse that they didn't know what they were getting).

And finally, a book that's not on any of your lists, but which I think you will enjoy: Jack Glass by Adam Roberts.
jenmarya
Jan. 1st, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
My whole family loves Cressida Cowell's How to Tame Your Dragon series. First, we read them aloud to our dragon-loving 7 yr old, who couldn't get enough. Then I found myself reading three books ahead (in an afternoon; they're short) because they are just that amusing. Fast-paced and funny. Ms Cowell studied English at Oxford. Her father is a Viscount. There be dragons and subtext here!

Absolutely not funny and not on your list, but beautifully written and unforgettable, and the only book I've consistently recommended to anyone all year long: We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
fiveforsilver
Jan. 2nd, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
Two disrecommendations, one mild and one strong, and one recommendation:
A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park is an uninteresting book. Even the person who recommended it to me admitted that the main character is pretty boring and one of the antagonists was the reason she kept reading.

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland is terrible. Avoid, avoid, avoid! Bland main character, repulsive love interests, bad writing, dull plot. For a much better series along vaguely similar lines, try the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire (first book is Rosemary and Rue).
1trackmind
Jan. 2nd, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)
If you like distopian fiction I'd recommend the Brave New Worlds anthology. I read it in 2011 and while I don't remember much about it now I apparently thought it was a strong anthology. (I write reviews of everything on Goodreads) I gave it a 4.5/5 stars and I'm generally pretty hard on anthologies.
matgb
Jan. 3rd, 2013 08:01 am (UTC)
I reread Orbitsville fairly recently on a visit to my parents (where it's been sat on a shelf since I was a kid) because I realised I was randomly reading a lot of BDO based stuff, it's not perfect but it's a good (and fairly short) book.

i loved the conceit of Kraken, and it's well written-not a brilliant book, but a perfectly enjoyable one, and it's nice that someone is doing weird London stuff every so often. I never finished Looking For Jake because I got the hardback and moved house a few times, found it when we moved to this place and it's back on my pilke, what I did read I loved, especially the non standard format stuff, definitely one to dip in and out.

Galactiv North is nice, but I can't actually remember anything other than "I enjoyed it"-I also need to get in touch with the guy I borrowed it from about 6 years ago but....

I would love to know what you think about 1432, I read the first one and found it, um, interesting but patchy, I don't think I'll get this one but would be happy to be persuaded otherwise.
inuitmonster
Jan. 3rd, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
I am always surprised to discover that there are books I have read and you have not.

In the world of non-SF fiction I marked as read Stendahl's "The Red and the Black". But I would not recommend reading it as it is very dull. The lack of sympathetic characters is a big problem with it.
inuitmonster
Jan. 3rd, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
"Dead Souls" by Nikolai Gogol
I highly recommend this. It suffers from Gogol never having finished it, but it it is a fascinating account of a shady character at work in provincial Russia, featuring a parade of grotesques.

"The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857" by William Dalrymple
This is a great book about an age of history coming to an end.

"The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright" by Bryan Talbot
I was thinking about this today, because of Talbot winning some big prize. It is interesting and atmospheric but maybe suffers from confusing plotting and having a main character who can just develop new superpowers whenever he finds himself in a scrape. If you like alternate history stuff this may appeal. I think the sequel (Heart of Empire) is way better and I am not sure if you would need to have read this first to appreciate it.

"The Dark Tower and Other Stories" by C.S. Lewis
I read these years ago and found them interesting. I gather there is a certain level of meta-fictional interest to them as well, as it has been suggested that they are forgeries and were not actually written by CS Lewis at all.
houseboatonstyx
Apr. 14th, 2013 06:53 pm (UTC)
As a Lewis fan, I found the Dark Tower controversy, and this fragment, fascinating. Imo it's genuine Lewis but a failure, dug out of his trash, where he put it because he couldn't think how to continue it. Not worth reading except for such interest imo.

Lewis was a genre-hopper: apologetics, SF, Narnia, pretentious (Till We Have Faces). Imo Dark Tower was a shot at Horror of the ... Hudson? Lovecraft? ... period, with a plot vector out of Charles Williams. Perhaps of critical interest too.
nwhyte
Jan. 4th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
SF of 2012:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 31
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 28
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold 21
Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov 14
The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones 12
Reamde by Neal Stephenson 12

334 by Thomas M Disch 9
Orbitsville by Bob Shaw 8
The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner 8
The Dark Tower and Other Stories by C.S. Lewis 7
Keeping it Real by Justina Robson 7

SF pre-2012
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi 13
Kraken by China Mieville 13
1632 by Eric Flint 11
Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber 10
Looking for Jake and Other Stories by China Mieville 10
Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien 10
The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot 9

Cyberabad Days by Ian McDonald 9
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal 9
Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce 9

non-genre
Swallows And Amazons by Arthur Ransome 25
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens 17
The Far Side Of The World by Patrick O'Brian 14
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson 8

Death in Venice by Thomas Mann 8
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne 8
Race Of Scorpions by Dorothy Dunnett 7
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott 7
The Castle by Franz Kafka 7
Tintin in the Land of the Soviets by Herge 6
Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley 6

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer 6
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad 6
The Red and the Black by Stendhal 6

non-fiction
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor 20
The Monsters and the Critics by J R R Tolkien 13
Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing by Katherine Ashenburg 13
Isaac Asimov: A Life of the Grand Master of Science Fiction by Michael White 12

Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 by Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo 11
How Languages Are Learned by Patsy M. Lightbown 11
The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuition Deceives Us: Or Why You Have No Idea How Your Mind Works by Christopher Chabris 11
The Story of English in 100 Words by David Crystal 10
The Doctor's Monsters: Meanings of the Monstrous in Doctor Who by Graham Sleight 9
Katherine Swynford: The History of a Medieval Mistress by Jeannette Lucraft 9

Doctor Who: The Visual Dictionary by Jacqueline Rayner 9
The King's Speech by Mark Logue 9

Edited at 2013-12-27 04:45 pm (UTC)
nwhyte
Jan. 13th, 2013 03:17 pm (UTC)
Recommendations:

X3:
1632
Housekeeping


X2:
London Falling
Luther Arkwright
Reamde
The Secret River
Jacob Have I Loved

Buddenbrooks
The Devils/The Possessed
Dead Souls
The Red and the Black
The Hunger Games


Edited at 2014-01-01 11:33 am (UTC)
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