PERSONAL: Reading Update Nov/Dec 2014

I gave a reading update in October, right on schedule, but skipped last month. Here’s a final “monthly” update to wrap this up, with another big-picture post or two oncoming…

Books I’ve Finished: Since October, I’ve finished 11 books: George Pendle‘s Death: A Life, Matthew Olshan‘s Marshlands, Ann Leckie‘s Ancillary JusticeAnthony de Sa‘s Kicking the SkyAmanda Palmer‘s The Art of AskingS.A. Corey‘s Leviathan WakesLynn Flewelling‘s Luck in the Shadows, Stalking Darkness and Traitor’s Moon, Oscar Wilde‘s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Amy Poehler‘s Yes Please.

I’ve completed, and surpassed, my 2014 Reading Challenge of 50 books! Which is completely mindblowing to me. Why? Let’s take a look at the numbers…

After I started my undergrad in 2008, my previously-powerful desire to read for pleasure took a nosedive. In 2011, I read 12 books; 4 in 2012, and only 2 in 2013. It was only this year that I recaptured my passion for reading, and now it seems to, hopefully, be back longterm! My numbers for the year wrap up at 56!

Not bad.

Books I’ve Abandoned: None, thankfully, though coming up against the end of the month meant a lot of prioritising of what books I enjoyed and wanted to square away before end of year (Ancillary Justice, Marshlands), and which, thanks to flagging interest, I didn’t focus much time on (Lock In, The Waking Engine).

Next Up: One of my Christmas presents to myself was a robust batchof new books, mostly fantasy trade paperbacks from the 90s/00s from a list of great fantasy books with gay protagonists. I have an itch and the Internet has helped me scratch it! I also pulled the trigger on some books I’ve been long eyeing.

So, I picked up such books as Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett‘s Havemercy, Gemma Files‘s A Book of Tongues, Sarah Monette‘s Melusine, and Joe Abercrombie‘s First Law Trilogy.

I also grabbed a few books that I suspected might end up on my eventual Best Books of 2014 post, like Erin Claiborne‘s A Hero At the End of the World and Ann Leckie‘s Ancillary Sword. Will they place? We’ll see!

My in-progress list has a lot of familiar titles on it. Some of these books, I’d really hoped to break through in this final week of 2014 – The Book of Strange New Things and Orfeo, in particular. That’ll be a task for January/February — specifically, finishing off any 2014 books I’d like to include in my final Books of 2014 post, as well as getting a head start on my 2015 list now that I have a feeling I want this to be a yearly thing.

Being out of the city for a while means some of these will push forward over the next month or so while others, left at my apartment, will stagnate. That’s alright. I’ll get to those ones when I’m back home…

My list of in-progress books:

  • 71% of the way through The Rifter 2: The Holy Road by Ginn Hale
  • 56% of the way through Lock In by John Scalzi
  • 53% of the way through Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price
  • 51% of the way through The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber 
  • 45% of the way through Orfeo by Richard Powers.
  • 43% of the way through Perdido Street Station by China Miéville.
  • 41% of the way through The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters.
  • 36% of the way through Once You Break a Knuckle by D.W. Wilson.
  • 35% of the way through Irregulars by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Astrid Amara & Ginn Hale.
  • 32% of the way through One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez.
  • 32% of the way through Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton. 
  • 31% of the way through Prototype by M.D. Waters.
  • 26% of the way through Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy.
  • 25% of the way through The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes. 
  • 25% of the way through Unruly Places by Alastair Bonnett.
  • 24% of the way through The Waking Engine by David Edison. 
  • 21% of the way through Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling.
  • 20% of the way through Underground by Haruki Murakami.
  • 17% of the way through Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon.
  • 17% of Defenders by Will McIntosh.
  • 15% of the way through From Chinese Exclusion to Guantanamo Bay by Natsu Taylor Saito.
  • 15% of the way through Congo by David van Reybrouck.
  • 14% of the way through Of Bone and Thunder by Chris Evans.
  • 12% of The Three by Sarah Lotz.

And the To Read list….

  • Joe Abercrombie‘s The Blade Itself. 
  • Joe Abercrombie‘s Before They Are Hanged.  
  • Joe Abercrombie‘s Last Argument of Kings.
  • Christopher Andrew‘s Defend the Realm
  • Megan Amram‘s Science… For Her!
  • Tara Bennett‘s Showrunners
  • Lauren Beukes‘ Broken Monsters
  • Paul Bushkovitch‘s A Concise History of Russia
  • Erin Claiborne‘s A Hero At The End of the World
  • Sergio de la Pava‘s A Naked Singularity
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s Demons (translated by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky)
  • Chris Evans‘ Of Bone and Thunder
  • Andrew Feinstein‘s The Shadow World
  • Orlando Figes A People’s Tragedy
  • Gemma Files‘ A Book of Tongues
  • Shelby Foote‘s The Civil War Vols. 1-3
  • Misha Glenny‘s The Balkans
  • Daryl Gregory‘s Afterparty
  • Brian Greene‘s The Hidden Reality
  • Ginn Hale‘s The Rifter:  His Sacred Bones (#3)
  • David Hajdu‘s  The Ten-Cent Plague
  • Kalevi J. Holsti‘s Peace and War
  • Geoffrey Hosking‘s Russia and the Russians
  • Khaled Hosseini‘s A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Kameron Hurley‘s The Mirror Empire
  • Alaya Johnson‘s Moonshine
  • Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett‘s Havemercy
  • Michio Kaku‘s Physics of the Future
  • Hari Kunzru‘s Transmission
  • Claude Lalumiere‘s (ed.) Tessaracts Twelve
  • Neil Landau‘s The TV Showrunner’s Roadmap
  • Josh Lanyon‘s Strange Fortune
  • Steve LeBel‘s The Universe Builders: Bernie & The Putty
  • Ann Leckie‘s Ancillary Sword
  • Allan Levine‘s Toronto: A Biography
  • Hilary Mantel‘s Wolf Hall
  • Cormac McCarthy‘s The Crossing
  • Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses
  • Cormac McCarthy‘s The Orchard Keeper
  • Maureen F. McHugh‘s After the Apocalypse
  • Martin Meredith‘s The Fate of Africa
  • Martin Meredith‘s The Fortunes of Africa
  • Jo Nesbo‘s The Son
  • Audrey Niffenegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • Helen Oyeyemi‘s Boy, Snow, Bird
  • Lincoln Paine‘s The Sea & Civilisation
  • Christopher Priest‘s The Adjacent
  • Steven Pressfield‘s The War of Art
  • Nicholas Proferes’Film Directing Fundamentals
  • Thomas Pynchon‘s Bleeding Edge
  • Hannu Rajaniemi‘s The Quantum Thief
  • Ekaterina Sedia‘s (ed.) Bewere the Night
  • Kyung-Sook Shin‘s I’ll Be Right There
  • Brendan Simms‘ Europe: The Struggle For Supremacy 1453 to the Present
  • Studs Terkel‘s Hard Times
  • Studs Terkel‘s “The Good War”
  • Studs Terkel‘s Coming of Age
  • Peter Tomsen‘s The Wars of Afghanistan
  • Catherynne M. Valente‘s Deathless
  • Jeff VanderMeer‘s The Steampunk Bible
  • Stephen Wade‘s Spies in the Empire
  • Tim Weiner‘s Legacy of Ashes
  • Judith Weston‘s Directing Actors
  • Robert Charles Wilson‘s Spin
  • D.W. Wilson‘s Ballistics

That’s it for 2014! See you back here at the end of January for my first month back at-bat in 2015!

What have you been reading the past couple months? Did you hit your reading goals? Read anything awesome?

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