First of all, this month’s reading. Books with numbers in the titles are from my advent calendar (see December 1st for more on this).
The latest (and possibly last) in the Fractured Europe series. I have enjoyed all of these, and this one ties up some loose ends. It’s new this year, so no spoilers.
One of my advent calendar titles, and the first one I was interested in enough to download after reading the free sample. I studied Skinner’s theories of determinism in another life, and was interested to see how he envisioned a utopian society. The novel was readable, but ultimately unsatisfying. I found I didn’t particularly care about the protagonists, and I was left with questions (e.g. the remarked-upon but unexplained lack of workers in some workshops).
This book had been on my “to read” pile for a while, so I added it to my advent calendar for day 3. I wanted to like this, but in the end, the aliens spoiled it for me (as they often do). I liked the first part. A female scientist in revolutionary China, some exciting science, a bit of espionage…. It was stacking up well, and then, signals from deep space. Sigh. I have a particular aversion to badly-written aliens, but maybe it was a translation effect in this case. This book has very good reviews, so don’t let me put you off.
I loved this book. Read it.
I have had this on my list of books I thought I ought to read but had never got round to. I’m glad I finally got round to it.
Ann Veronica is the Royal Institution Fiction Lab book for December. I found it to be a bit of a grind. I don’t think Wells wrote women very well, and the science here was well-camouflaged amongst the “adventures” of our heroine. I wish she hadn’t settled for being a wife and mother in the end. Not a favourite.
This book didn’t live up to its hype for me. I found the resurrections confusing and the mystery was tied up too quickly at the end. Lots of good reviews, though, so don’t let me put you off.
This was a stand-alone short story, so price per word was pretty expensive, but it was worth it. A perfect little Christmas present to myself. Science Fiction, Dystopia, Christmas and Miéville’s excellent writing. Loved it.
This was definitely “of its time”. I bought it because I was draw in by the ghastliness of the cover, and the chance to read Japanese Science Fiction from the “golden age”. I wish I hadn’t.
The profits from this book go to Trauma Response Network, a charity that helps people suffering from PTSD.
I re-read this every Christmas. I always find something in it to make me smile.
This was chosen as the Guardian Book Club Book this month, so I had another go at it, paying particular attention to the computer game strand that I had glossed over in my first reading. I’m still not sure why that particular strand is in the book. It could have easily stood alone as a short story, or even a novella, but it doesn’t mesh at all well with the rest of the book.
The first of my new Christmas books (thanks Bex). I like these coppers, and it was interesting to read about “wobbling” (distance endurance racing over an indoor track), a sport I had never heard of before. The historical details were accurate and the setting was a place I know and had visited in my youth. I will definitely read more in this series.
The last of my ordinary calendar books for this year. I was out of one of my comfort zone with this, as it turned out to be full on horror, with apparitions, ghostly monks and black candles. There was a lot of rock music, which was a saving grace, but there was also some real nastiness. It needs a strong stomach, but I have to admit that it gripped me and I read to the end.
So, to round off the year, some statistics:
Amongst others, I read:
One utopian and ten dystopian novels.
Two “Lab Lit” novels
Five “war” books
Three poetry works
Nine graphic novels
Two horror novels
Four ghost stories
One play script
One cookery book
Twenty five Science Fiction novels (19% of my reading for the year. Of that, 20% was SciFiCri).
Thirty eight crime novels (29%), of which 13% was SciFiCri and only 11% was Scandi Crime – normally much higher. Five of my Pratchett re-reads (City Watch novels)are included here.
6% of my reading this year had specifically LGBT themes and/or main characters. There was even less depiction of disability and only two books dealt specifically with mental health. That doesn’t seem very much. A target for next year seems in order here.
I only read three non-fiction works this year (four, if I include the play script “Stitchers”). Another target, methinks.
I did much more “literary” reading this year, much of it contemporary, but it is clear what my favourite genres are.
I am not ashamed.