Whatcha readin' January (08) edition

Well the new year is here. With it all kinds of good books to read!

I’m still slogging through The Last Guardian of Everness. It has hints of promise of being good, but it isn’t catching me. I may put it down for The Dark River

A wish of a Happy New Year to all!

Anybody want to post their 2007 book accomplishments? Whether that’s number read, number of pages, book heroically slogged throgh for the sake of completion/a child’s love, new genres tried, etc.? Similarly, what are your reading goals for 2008?

Your wish is my command! :wink:

I read 50. Ten horror, eight SF-fantasy, the rest general fiction and two non-fiction, both of those related to The Wire.

I didn’t heroically slog through anything, but some stinkers got more time than others, because the covers were so pretty.

Discoveries of the year were David Mitchell and Michael Flynn. Long-time favorite Stephen King disappointed twice, with Lisey’s Story and Blaze.

No particular goals for 2008, except to be more careful before buying. All the books I dumped were new hardcovers. That’s about $200 I could have spent on more David Mitchell and Michael Flynn.

My wife got me the reprint of Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon. I dug into that one like a fat man at a Vegas buffet!

I also have Absurdistan left over from last year, somehow it slipped through the cracks.

I also got about four Stephen Jay Gould first editions from a bookstore going out of business so I’m re-reading the Panda’s Thumb, the Flamingo’s Smile and Bully for Brontosaurus, plus one more I can’t rfemember right now.

I also got the annotated discworld by Stephen Briggs. It’s in the throne room.

Another that I can’t remember the title of, but it’s set in India and was released a while ago. I just picked up a signed copy at the same bookstore sale, and haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet.

Sure. I decided to keep track of how many books I read this year. I knew I’d never make the 50 book challenge, but given that we have a three year old and we painted the house this year, I was pretty glad to have managed 43.

Unfortunately I’ve left the list at work so I can’t show you what I’ve consumed for 2007.

At present, I’m reading Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky. I’m also reading Umberto Eco’s Baudolino and just finished re-reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel.

I’m actually on the lookout for something new to read. Anybody got any suggestions. My tastes are pretty broad but I tend to like history (both fiction and non-fiction), edgy humor and a good wallow in some pure pulp now and again.

Hostile Dialect, you asked me on the December thread if I had read Pollan’s “The Botany of Desire” and the answer is, no. I intend to, though. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” ought to be required reading for everyone who eats.

“The 100 Mile Diet”, by Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnnon, (published by Vintage Canada, a division of Random House) is another such book. The couple who wrote it spent a year eating only food grown within 100 miles of their home, which is Vancouver, B. C. They are both good writers and the book is interesting in many ways. Experiments of this sort are becoming fashionable, with some being the 250 mile diet, etc. Since the average foodstuff on the average North American dinner plate has traveled an average of 1,500 miles to get there, the effort to eat local is sometimes quite the effort. One I applaud, btw. I am not rigidly fixed on the 100 mile thing, but in fact most of the food we eat at our house is local. We grow our own meat, and can get local produce most of the year. I won’t give up on coffee or tea, though. I like a book like this that makes the reader focus so sharply on something so common. Our food has become merely another commodity to agribusiness and government, and I think that is a Bad Thing. Topic for a good thread, perhaps.

As for Jared Diamond: I read “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “Collapse” before I saw him on TV and my reaction was the opposite of yours. I liked his writing but thought him awkward on TV. Not too awkward, though. Still very interesting and thought-provoking.

I am a rabid reader, always have been. I always have a half dozen books on the go, and there are always several that I’ve read many times before. I sometimes wish I’d kept a list of the books I’ve read since I started reading, but it’s a bit late now. Maybe a list of this year’s would be fun, though.

The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie (yes, that Hugh Laurie).

So far, it’s great!

Diogenes, how do you feel about Jonathan Lethem?

I’ve never read him. Is he good?

I’m reading The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross. As a music student who’s particularly interested in the twentieth century, I’m really enjoying it.

I’m also reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which I kept not getting around to until a friend gave me a copy for Christmas. It’s going to take me a long time to slog through (especially if I don’t finish it before the spring semester starts), but I like it so far.

I didn’t do nearly enough reading for fun in 2007, and I stopped keeping track of the books I read because most of them were for school anyway. I’m going to start keeping a list again this year.

Currently, the list looks like this:

Bathroom book - A Deeper Blue - John Ringo (reread)

In queue -

Don’t Get Too Comfortable - David Rakoff
Opening Atlantis - Harry Turtledove
A Desert Called Peace - Tom Kratman
Ring of Fire II - Eric Flint, et al

In backpack, for tournaments - Histories - Herodotus

I like him. He often writes in a genre-bending way, has a good ear, and comes up with bizarre situations. His endings sometimes seem a little rushed, but I still think highly of the books. Try Gun, with Occasional Music to start. It’s a near-future dystopian noir detective novel, plus it has a kangaroo walking into a bar.
ETA: I’ll post some of my reading stats and descriptions tomorrow. I’m still hoping to finish the two on my desk by midnight!

Book number read for 2007: Potentially 122 if I get this one finished today.

Slogged heroics: Book of Joby, Known World, Labyrinth, the Gunslinger series, a few classics

I don’t really have many goals for 2008. The only reason I started to keep track of the number of books I read was for a 50-book challenge LJ group I created, then realized that I (and some friends) easily surpassed that goal and now I just keep track to annoy my husband.

My only literary goal at this time is to read more ‘classics’. I’d also like to complete the Aubrey/Maturin series as well.

That was one of my ‘slogged’ books for 2006. I just couldn’t get into it, other than the Scythian section which was why I picked it up in the first place.

In small doses it was tolerable. I hope you enjoy it more than I did! I’m sure I’ll pick it up again in a few years and appreciate it more.

*The Day of Battle * in dead-tree edition and
Army Life in a Black Regiment on the Kindle. All in all, I am impressed how addictive New York Times is when delivered effortlessly in the morning.

Rick Geary’s The Saga Of The Bloody Benders, from his Treasury Of Victorian Murder graphic novel series.

Pieces of my Sister’s Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

Really I’m just about done. This book is absolutely heartbreaking.

I’ve just finished Simon Winchester’s Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire, which, although written 20-odd years ago, is still a great read, and has given a me a list of new places to visit when I get around to it.

Next on the list is probably A.E.W. Mason’s The Four Feathers, although I also have a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories to read as well when I get some time…

I Am Me I Am Free, by David Icke
Black Hills, White Justice a book about the continuing struggle of the Sioux Nation vs. the USA