Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Reading lists, second half of 2010

Back in January I set out my reading lists for the next few months - 18 sets of selections, mostly from the unread books section of my catalogue. I did not manage all 18 every month, but it was quite a good start into the pile - of 140 books read in the first half of this year, 81 were on one or other of the lists. I did better with some lists than others, and there was some overlap as well. But the overall goal - of prodding myself to diversify my reading without being too manic about it (the latter was a problem last year when I had fewer lists and felt compelled to read a book from each every month) - has been achieved, so I'm going to add a couple more lists for future reading as well.

I like doing the lists this way because I can link to the books as I read them, and also it's a fairly good record of my overall pace of reading - slower this year than in previous years, due to my watching 25 minutes of Doctor Who on the commute every day.

a) unread sf, in order of entry to LibraryThing - an insertion to this list was Quidditch Through the Ages, which I had bought ages back and lost, and then reacquired just for curiosity; the next four books on the rota were Irish tales of terror, Forbidden Acts, Seasons of Plenty, and Mother of Plenty. Next up are:
  1. The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe
  2. Visions of Wonder edited by David G. Hartwell
  3. Thunderbirds Bumper Storybook by Dave Morris
  4. Analog vol 6 edited by John W Campbell
  5. Earth Logic by Laurie J. Marks

b) unread sf in order of LibraryThing popularity - this expanded in the course of buying a few books that sneaked to the top of the list, and brought me thus to Reaper Man, The Wee Free Men, Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, Quidditch Through the Ages (again), The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road, and Kushiel's Scion. Next up are:

  1. Faust, by Goethe - rather struggling with this one at present
  2. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand (God help me!)
  3. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
  4. The Book of Lost Tales 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts
  6. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
c) unread sf in order of popularity here - thanks to your recommendations, I read The Wee Free Men, The Darkest Road, The Wandering Fire, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant, The Magicians of Caprona, and stretching the ordering of the list a bit Lud-In-The-Mist. Next in order are: 
  1. Diaspora by Greg Egan
  2. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
  3. Ten Thousand Light Years From Home by James Tiptree Jr
  4. The Sharing Knife: Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold
  5. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (again)
d) unread non-sf fiction, in order of entry to LibraryThing - I bumped Edward Spenser's poetry off this list because I'm adding it to one of my new lists. The books that were on it which I read were Thirteen Steps Down, Holy Disorders, Wandering Star, Njal's Saga and Twilight Whispers.
  1. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
  2. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
  3. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  4. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  5. The Onion's Our Dumb World: 73rd Edition: Atlas of the Planet Earth

e) unread non-sf fiction, in order of LibraryThing popularity - this brought me A Thousand Splendid SunsThe Book Thief, My Sister's Keeper, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Mansfield Park was also on the list but higher up list f). Next up are:

  1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (again)
  2. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  3. The Dubliners by James Joyce
  4. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
f) unread non-sf fiction, in order of popularity here: - thanks to your recommendations I read Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Anne of Green Gables and The Crucible. Next up are:
  1. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  2. The Dubliners by James Joyce (again)
  3. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  4. A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
  5. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
  6. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
g) unread non-fiction, in order of entry to LibraryThing - this got me to read The Two Faces of Islam, Radical Islam's Rules, Untold Stories by Alan Bennett, Half-life of a Zealot and The Provinces of the Roman Empire from Caesar to Diocletian. Next on the list are:
  1. Faith in Europe? by Bob Geldof et al
  2. The Great Tradition by F.R. Leavis
  3. The Case for Global Democracy: Advocating a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly by Graham Watson et al
  4. The Space Race: The Battle to Rule the Heavens by Deborah Cadbury
  5. Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass

h) unread non-fiction, in order of LibraryThing popularity - brought me The Origin of Species, Dreams from My Father, The Koran and On the Nature of the Universe. Next are:

  1. The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker
  2. The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad
  3. The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong
  4. Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin by Stephen Jay Gould
  5. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf
  6. Race of a Lifetime, by Mark Halperin
i) unread non-fiction, in order of popularity here - thanks to your recommendations, I read The Panda's Thumb, The Language of the Night, Profiles of the Future, The Koran (which came up simultaneously on both this list and the previous one), and Ever Since Darwin. Next are: 
  1. Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia by David Day
  2. The IRA: A History by Tim Pat Coogan
  3. Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North by Stuart Maconie
  4. Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain by Ronald Hutton
  5. The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker (again)
j) books already read, in order of LibraryThing popularity - I had lost One Hundred Years of Solitude but found it and it went to the top of the list; and also after rereading Lord of the Flies and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,I jumped down the list a bit for Moby-Dick. The next books here, assuming I can track down the Pullman volumes, are
  1. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  4. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
k) Hugo-winning novels that I haven't previously reviewed on-line - I stuck to this one and read The Uplift War, Hyperion, The Vor Game, and Cordelia's Honor (for Barrayar). Next come:
  1. A Fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
    (Doomsday Book reviewed here)
  2. Green Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson (will probably reread Red Mars first)
  3. Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
  4. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  5. Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
l) unread New Adventures of Doctor Who - got me Cat's Cradle: Times Crucible, Cat's Cradle: Warhead, Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark, Nightshade and Transit. Next, including my current reading, are: 
  1. Highest Science by Gareth Roberts
  2. The Pit by Neil Penswick
  3. Deceit by Peter Darvill-Evans
  4. Lucifer Rising by Andy Lane
  5. White Darkness by David McIntee
  6. Shadowmind by Christopher Bulis
m) unread Eighth Doctor Adventures - got me Vampire Science, The Bodysnatchers, War of the Daleks, Kursaal and Option Lock. Next are

  1. Longest Day by Mike Collier
  2. Legacy of the Daleks by John Peel
  3. Dreamstone Moon by Paul Leonard
  4. Seeing I by Jonathan Blum
  5. The Placebo Effect by Gary Russell

n) other unread Doctor Who books, in order of LibraryThing popularity - got me Wooden Heart, The Pirate Loop, Forever Autumn, Wetworld and Sick Building. Next are:

  1. Wishing Well by Trevor Baxendale
  2. Martha In The Mirror by Justin Richards
  3. The Story of Martha by Dan Abnett
  4. The Many Hands by Dale Smith
  5. Short Trips ed by Stephen Cole
o) Ian Rankin books, starting with the Rebus novels, in series order - this got me Mortal Causes, Let It Bleed, Black and Blue and The Hanging Garden; it has taken me so long to write this post that I've already finished my first Rankin book for the second half of the year, as follows:
  1. Dead Souls
  2. Set in Darkness
  3. The Falls
  4. Resurrection Men
  5. A Question of Blood
  6. Fleshmarket Close
p) books by writers of colour, in order of entry into LibraryThing - this got me Noughts and Crosses, Pomegranate Soup, The Emperor's Babe, and Out. Next are:
  1. Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian
  2. With the Light... Vol 2 by Keiko Tobe
  3. Ake: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka
  4. With the Light... Vol. 3 by Keiko Tobe
  5. The Mahabharata
q) books on the shelves at end 2005, otherwise not accounted for, going backwards in LT entry order - a somewhat eclectic trawl through my wife's religion shelves that got me The Wheel Of Engaged Buddhism, Ta Hsueh and Chung Yung, Mr. Bloomfield's Orchard, The Twilight of Atheism and Saint Therese of Lisieux.
  1. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander by Thomas Merton
  2. For Noble Purposes: The Autobiography of Richard Porter, Surgeon and Evangelist by William Porter
  3. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  4. A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong
  5. Brave New Kosovo: A World of Transformation and Imagination by Dirk-Jan Visser
r) books acquired since end 2005, otherwise not accounted for, in LT entry order - this got me The Year's Best SF 8, Who Saved Bosnia, A Different Kingdom, Impossible Things and The Portadown News; there were a couple of books on the list that I could not find on the shelves. Next up, if I can find them, are

  1. Unfinest Hour by Brendan Simms
  2. Democracy and Deep-Rooted Conflict edited by Mark Anstey
  3. Garden Designer by Robin Williams
  4. Science and the Garden: The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice edited by David S. Ingram, Daphne Vince-Prue and Peter J. Gregory
  5. The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Tudge

I'm going to add three more reading lists, one of which won't start for a couple of months.

s) Most recently acquired books by women (retrospectively edited). Obviously this gets revised every time I acquire a book by a woman, but for the moment the most recent such additions to the bookshelf are:

  1. The King's Dragon by Una McCormack
  2. Every Step You Take by Maureen O'Brien
  3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  4. Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing by Katherine Ashenburg
  5. Chicks Dig Time Lords edited by Tara O'Shea and Lynne Thomas

t) The History of Middle-Earth - this list only starts when I reach vol. 1 of The Book of Lost Tales on list b. (Why not make it the last list? Because I like 't' being for 'Tolkien'.)
  1. The Book of Lost Tales 1
  2. The Book of Lost Tales 2
  3. The Lays of Beleriand
  4. The Shaping of Middle-earth
  5. The Lost Road and Other Writings

u) Books on the Elizabethan period, probably in order of acquisition, which would be:

  1. A Viceroy's Vindication? Sir Henry Sidney's Memoir of Service in Ireland, 1556-78
  2. Shakespeare Handbook by Robert Maslen
  3. Ireland in the Age of the Tudors, 1447-1603: English Expansion and the End of Gaelic Rule (2nd Edition) by Steven G. Ellis
  4. Mistress Blanche: Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante by Ruth E. Richardson
  5. Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History by Lytton Strachey

Plus, as ever, whatever else should take my fancy.


Tags: bookblog 2010
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