Khadaji's Whatcha Readin' Thread - January 2016 Edition

Another year is upon us… where did the last one go!? Election year in the US, time to dig out my “I voted for Bill & Opus” shirt from the mid 80s.
So what are you all reading?


Khadaji was one of the earlier members of the SDMB, and he was well-known as a kindly person who always had something encouraging to say, particularly in the self-improvement threads. He was also a voracious, omnivorous reader, and he started these monthly book threads. Sadly, he passed away in January 2013, and we decided to rename these monthly threads in his honor.

December thread: Is that SNOW I see?

I recently discovered Robin Hobb and The Farseer Trilogy which I loved. I’ve started on The Tawny Man Trilogy and I’m enjoying it almost as much. I absolutely loved Farseer so to be enjoying Tawny just about as much means I’m really enjoying it.

I also checked my Kobo to see how many books I read in 2015 and my grand tally is 51.

Congrats! My count was 65, which in all fairness includes at least ten YA books under 200 pages and 39 manga.

Ooh, I want to play! Goodreads says I read 56 books. Though to be fair, 5 of those were books I didn’t finish. I’m a huge fan of abandoning books that don’t live up to my expectations.

Still slogging away at the last volume of Twain’s autobiography. I’m only 50 pages from the end of the autobio proper.

I read through Trump-isms by Seth Milstein – a quick read.

On audio, I received a copy of Niall Ferguson’s biography of Henry Kissinger. It’s tellingly subtitled The Idealist, making the assertion in the face of the broad contention that Kissinger was a arch-realist. The book covers the first half of Kissinger’s life, to age 45. Fergusen says that he intends not to be hagiographic, but Kissinger himself picked him as the biographer, and surely did so based on a shared outlook. I’m not through the introduction, and I keep stumbling across assertions and assumptions that make me feel as if I’ve missed a step. Clearly my political outlook is not the same as Ferguson’s, but it still seems petty for him to attribute the opposition to him as due to envy and grudges. It’s not sufficient explanation, apparently, that one can hold different views or start from different premises, those in opposition must themselves be evil, apparently. Critics are blithely dismissed, or treated as if of no lasting value as Ferguson wonders why it is that so many cannot see the fundamental good in what Kissinger did. I foresee a lot of very interesting commutes ahead – this audiobook is 34 hours long.

Same here, life is too short to spend it in something I don’t enjoy (other than funerals) I remember one book that I got two pages in and was overwhelmed by the flowery floweriness and ran back to the library with it :smiley:

Oops, that was 65 books and 39 manga…

Wow, you guys are waaaay ahead of me: Goodreads says I only read 15 books this year. I set my “2015 Reading Challenge” at 25 books. :frowning: I’m only about 40% through the book I’m currently reading, so I won’t even hit 16 by the end of the week. I did read a couple of very long books, though: Goodreads says my page total is 6,102, with the longest book being Stephen King’s 11/22/63. Maybe I’ll set my 2016 challenge to 20 books.

(Fifteen books. All year. What has happened to me…)

I got up to 59 books, plus two re-reads. Looking forward to Elendil’s Heir’s traditional “best books you read this year” thread.

Oh yeah! I read some good ones.

I finished reading “Beasts and Superbeasts”, a collection of short stories by Saki (a.k.a. H. H. Munro). They were mildly amusing, but most of them seemed to assume that erudite back-talk is inherently funny (which I don’t find to be the case). I don’t think I’ll bother reading any more of his stories any time soon.

Actually finished it on 30 December, but don’t want to open a completed thread, so I’ll post here.

Completed “The Devil’s Alliance: Hitler’s Pack with Stalin, 1939-1941”. Not a spellbinding read, even for history, but does fill in an interesting period of WWII, where the Nazis and the Soviets were allies (of a sort). Not a fun read, either, being it deals with two of the more unsavory regimes in history doing unsavory things, but if you have never heard or read about this time, this book will get you filled in just fine.

Now back to the pile on my small sofa (still about 40 books there) to find another read. I will be picking up 1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis when it comes out this month. Another in FLint’s “Ring of FIre”, about an American town sent back tot he 17th century. This one features England and Oliver Cromwell, among others.

I read 53 books last year. I’ve started my annual Top Ten list - please share your own picks there: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=779730

Right now I’m reading Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, about the American patriots’ cold, difficult but ultimately triumphant winter of 1776. It’s pretty good but IMHO not as totally awesome as many think. I’m also listening to an audiobook of Harold Holzer’s Lincoln and the Power of the Press, about the dominant role of partisan newspapers before and during the Civil War. Fun fact: Lincoln briefly owned a small German-language newspaper in Illinois.

Last night, I also started John Scalzi’s Lock In, a sf police procedural set in a near-future America in which an epidemic has rendered many people locked in (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locked-in_syndrome) but semi-liberated through use of both synthetic bodies and surrogate, consensually mind-controlled people. Farfetched but interesting.

Talk about a rat pack!

About halfway through The Drawing of the Three, by Stephen King, the second novel in his Dark Tower series. Pretty good.

Well, Preston & Child have jumped the sea creature about three quarters of the way through The Crimson Shore.

I love Agent Pendergast 'n all and I and can forgive the improbable plotlines, cartoonish villians and the fact that he is probably the only FBI agent character in literature who has no superiors, no partner, no oversight, no time constraints and no apparent case load, I can’t get through this poorly told mishmash of a ridiculous story.

The last two books were entertaining over-the-top fun. This one would benefit from Mike and the Bots. :frowning:

Finished Mark Twain’s Autobiography. Now I’m working through the stack of Christmas gift books. Right now I’m on Christopher Forest’s ** Lost History of the North Shore**, about weird tidbits of north-of-Boston history. Interesting, but you have to wonder why they left out so may towns – Revere, Saugus. Lynnfield, Rowley…

Happy New Year everyone!

I traditionally spend December re-reading, so over the holidays I made a second pass through Tanya Huff’s Valor series (fun space opera) and the Bridget Jones books (the first one holds up well, the second not so much), and Austen’s *Emma *(Austen is always a great read, but I’d rank *Emma *below P&P, Persuasion, and S&S).

I kicked off 2016 with Ann Leckie’s new release Ancillary Mercy. I enjoyed it very much, and when I finished I wanted to re-read the whole trilogy again. I like Artificial Intelligence, particularly those AIs which are embodied by space ships or space stations.

I’ve started The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde, despite some reservations. I have a low tolerance for whimsy, and I’m not sure I have enough literary and historical background to get the jokes. I have read Jane Eyre, but I haven’t read much Dickens. My British history is spotty; particularly everything I know about the Crimean War, I learned from Flashman.

I thought Fforde’s reach exceeded his grasp, but the book had its moments.

Just finished. Although not Scalzi’s best, I thought it was worthwhile.

Yeah, I’m not enjoying it much as a novel, but there are bits that are charming. I particularly liked the play Richard III as performance art something like The Rocky Horror Picture Show:
“*When *is the winter of our discontent?”

I started The Name of the Wind yesterday, but I’m just barely up to Kvothe’s narration. My question is: Am I the only one singing Dire Straits “The Man’s Too Strong” while reading?

The Man’s Too Strong