Last few books!

And the final few books were:

88. Little Fuzzy – Henry Beam Piper (K, Sweet book, Fuzzies are awesome)
89. A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters – Julian Barnes (Um, typical ‘literature’)
90. Just After Sunset – Stephen King (Great as always, short stories)
91. Freaks – Tess Gerritsen (K, short but good intriguing read)
92. The Voice in the Fog – Harold MacGrath (K, readable, no Conan Doyle….)
93. Habibi – Craig Thompson (Outstanding Graphic Novel, loved it)
94. The Gate: 13 Dark & Odd Tales – Robert J Dupree (K, fun, creepy collection)
95. Rashoumon – Ryusuke Akutagawa (K, short but effective, moral questions here)
96. Raven’s Bride – Kate Silver (K, Not my usual genre, but really liked this)
97. Strangers – Gardner R. Dozois (Amazing, absorbed into it, hated the cover though)
98. Liquid Fear – Scott ichoson (K, free book but felt unmoved, didn’t really like much)
99. Devil Music & 18 Other Stories – David McAfee (K, strong collection of short stories)
100. Point Horror: The Accident – Diane Hoh (Nostalgia, and time, meant this was chosen to sign off the year)

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The 100 Books

Christmas plans are nearly done, I’m on my last day at work and rolling towards the glorious chill out which is Christmas at partner’s parents house. With partner.

So I’ve typed up the list of books I’ve made it through so far, and the list has brought back lots of memories of earlier this year. Mainly along the lines of ‘wow, that seems like a long time ago’ and realising there’s a few sequels to the novels I need to get around to reading, too, especially the Game of Thrones series.

I decided to do this on the 43things.com website, and have stubbornly kept going on with it. It seems to have paid off, I’ve read more, and more mindfully, than I have in a long time. Competing against myself really provides a good motivating tool! I’ll admit there is a bit of a ‘warm glow of smugness’ factor, but I’m not at 100 books yet and may still end up cramming the last few pages of the 100th book about 2 minutes before midnight. That would suck, so it’s even more of a motivation to get ahead by just after Christmas.

So now, with twelve books to go, here is the list so far! (Also, those marked with ‘K’ are Kindle books, which show a shift in the reading pattern, I think)

January

1 Boneshaker – Cherie Priest (steampunk)
2 Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman (short stories)
3 Coldheart Canyon – Clive Barker (Hollywood ghosts)
4 Never Trust a Rabbit – Jeremy Dyson (mind-altering short stories)
5 Coraline – Neil Gaiman (read in a train journey to London and back)

February

6 Tulku – Peter Dickenson (boy, religion, Tibet)
7 Kraken – China Mielville (disappointing and long)

March

8 The Little Friend – Donna Tartt (very atmospheric, I liked it)
9 Sandman Slim – Richard Kadrey (fast moving gritty fantasy)
10 Song of Kali – Dan Simmons (mystical, 1 very creepy moment, not bad)
11 The Great God Pan & The Hill of Dreams – Arthur Machen (Lovecraft recommended!)
12 Necroscope 1 – Brian Lumley (not as good as his Lovecraft stories)
13 The Talented Mr Ripley – Patricia Highsmith (as good as the Matt Damon movie)

April

14 God is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens (excellent arguments)
15 Marnie – Winston Graham (need to see the film now)
16 5 People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Alborn (Meh)
17 Black & White – Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kitredge (great superhero story)
18 The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis (an alternative view on meaning of Heaven)
19 Dreadnought – Cherie Priest (steampunk, decent story)
20 A Song of Stone – Iain Banks (unsympathetic, harsh)

May

21 The City & the City – China Mieville (snore, took ages to get through)
22 Psycho – Robert Bloch (as good as the film!)

June

23 Dune – Frank Herbert (not bad, took forever)
24 Crimson Petal & the White – Michael Faber (excellent, don’t want to watch show now)
25 The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury (excellent mix of stories)
26 The Children of Cthulhu – Various, Ed. John Pelan & Benjamen Adams
27 Quantum of Solace – Ian Fleming (various short stories about Bond, liked it)
28 What I talk about when i talk about running – Haruki Murakami (good mindset)

July

29 In Cold Blood – Truman Capote (insightful)
30 Retromancer – Robert Rankin (got into this, last in series)
31 The Dead Walk – Zombie short stories (from NYCC 2007!)
32 A Voyage to Arcturus – David Lindsey (amazing imagery once it got going)
33 The Man Who Fell to Earth – Walter Tevis (also rewatched film, great story)
34 The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (not bad, probably need to re-read)
35 Friday Night in the Beast House – Richard Laymon (short dirty and sweet)
36 The Best of Robert Heinlein – Collection of works (only  ‘Man sold moon’ sucked)

August

37 The Keeper – Sarah Langan (very King, but not as well done)
38 How to Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran (really funny, lent it to a friend)
39 The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (Pretty good actually)
40 VURT – Jeff Noon (Cyberpunk via Lewis Carroll & Burroughs)
41 Birthday Stories – Haruki Murakami (great mix of his short work)
42 Love – Angela Carter (self hate in the 60s)

September

43 From Hell – Alan Moore (yes, it’s a graphic novel. A HUGE one)
44 Love All The People – Bill Hicks (great summaries of his acts)
45 Game of Thrones Vol One – George R R Martin (amazing, really loved this)
46 American Scream The Bill Hicks Story – Cynthia True (absorbing biography, very sad)
47 Money – Martin Amis (so very 1980s but relevant today)
48 After Dark – Haruki Murakami (Short but spooky, very spooky, wtf?)
49 Cell – Stephen King (proper pulp apocalypse story)

October

50 Nocturnes – Kasuro Ishiguro (a few stayed with me)
51 Full Dark No Stars – Stephen King (great collection of omg stories)
52 The Magician – W Somerset Maugham (LOEG Oliver Haddo eeeevil)
53 Lady with the Lapdog & Other Stories – Chekov (good stories, thin girl obsession tho)

November (I have a kindle now!)

54 Moon Called – Patricia Briggs (book 1, loved it)
55 Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe (dated, but all right until its annoying non-end)
56 Takers – Chris Davis (K, excellent first release from Plotfish!)
57 30-Something & Over It – Casey Edwards (K, good style, lifestyle is a dream)
58 Blood Bound – Patricia Briggs (book 2, still loving it, back to werewolves)
59 Don’t Look Now & Other Stories – Daphne Du Maurier (she rocks)
60 The Tunnel – A L Thorne (K, creepy and short)
61 Iron Kissed – Patricia Briggs (3rd book, I cried buckets)
62 Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami (finally read it, unsatisfying overall)
63 Bone Crossed – Patricia Briggs (4th books, happy!)
64 Silver Borne – Patricia Briggs (5th book, V> HAPPY!!)
65 The Psychopath Test – John Ronson (interesting if not rigourous)
66 When God Laughs & Other Stories – Jack London (K, oh, I love Jack London)
67 Room – Emma Donoghue (simple, didn’t like POV character)
68 River Marked – Patricia Briggs (6th & last one so far! Still love Mercy)
69 Appaloosa – Robert B Parker (Film made shot for shot to this!)
70 Cry Wolf – Patricia Briggs (and on to Alpha & Omega book 1)
71 Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham (K, LOVED this, tho Phil is a pill)
72 Catching Caroline – Sylvia Day (K, short saucy historical vamp & free!)
73 The Lake & 17 Other Stories – David McAffee (K, liked these a lot)
74 Hunting Ground – Patricia Briggs (A&O book 2, that’s it for now)
75 Dark Harvest – Norman Partridge (short but enjoyable horror fantasy)
76 A Little Girl in my Room & Other Stories – Claire Farrell (K, creepy, liked most)
77 Silent Blade – Ilona Andrews (K, liked this a lot, future sci fi romancey)

December

78 Thirst (Ava Delaney) – Claire Farrell (K, great story, will get sequel)
79 Peekers – Kealan Patrick Burke (K, short, nightmare fuel!)
80 On the Prowl – Patricia Briggs et al (K, liked most of these & 1 is porn!)
81 The Damned Thing – Ambrose Pierce (K, short but all right)
82 Offbeat 10 short stories –  David Heaton (K, nice mix not all satisfying)
83 Shatterboy – Scott William Carter (K, very short, all right, sad)
84 Brown Wolf & Ohter Stories – Jack London (K, still love Jack London!)
85 Aleisteir Crowley the Beast Demystified – Roger Hutchinson (learned a lot about the guy)
86 Anthem – Ayn Rand (K, reads like Orwell fanfic, interesting tho)
87 Mile 81 – Stephen King (K, mini-novella, liked it a lot)

Twelve to go! In nine days! Wish me luck!

Reading 100 books in a year

I’ve always been a big reader. Ever since I was able to read the longer sections of ‘Puddle Lane’ I’ve devoured books by the truckload. So, 26 years or so after I was first able to make sense of the squiggles on the page, I realised I had no idea how much I was actually able to read within the space of, say, a year. Also, I was awful at remembering coherently exactly what I had been reading. I knew it when I saw it, but I didn’t always keep those books around.

In 2010, then, I started to keep a very nerdy list in the back of my diary. It grew at a decent rate, coming in at about 55 books by the end of the year. This was not bad going, considering we’d moved house and cities halfway through the year.

So, I thought, 55 books wasn’t so bad – if I read a few more each month, I’m sure I can get to 100 easily enough. So I started again, amassing a lot of books as I went, whilst still inexplicably taking even more out of the library.

2011 passed in a rush of reading, Lovefilm movies and yet another stressful house move, this time from Cambridge back to Southampton.

But, somehow, I have ended up with four weeks to go and another 25 books still needed to hit the deadline. This then, is the final countdown towards those last 100 books. I have to add that I received a Kindle for my birthday in October, and it has pushed me on towards my goal very efficiently. I have always had a few books on the go at one time, and the Kindle just ensurs that I have a light copy of War & Peace hanging around, should I get the urge. It’s stuffed with 112 ebooks, most of them acquired free thanks to Amazon and Project Gutenberg.

Can I reach my goal? The race is on, and here is where the battle lines are being fought:

  • On the loo – ‘A History of the world in 10 and a half chapters’ – Julian Barnes
  • In the lounge – ‘Aleisteir Crowley: The Beast Demystified’ – Roger Hutchinson
  • On the Kindle – ‘Thirst’ – Claire Farrell

There’s usually one on the go in the bedroom, but that doesn’t usually get read all that quickly.

The clock is ticking. And there’s still time, just about. All this, and working and writing, and seeing the outside world, too!

I’m going to set my additional challenge of reviewing the books I’ve completed, so hopefully the blog posts will come thick and fast once I get going again.