Field of Science

What I Read (2015)

(Grade A-F, no E's) Title-Author Additional thoughts

B     The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. Some good, some less good, but mostly good collection of short stories.

D     Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Took me longer to read than it took Dickens to write I expect. Kind of got interesting ~80% of the way through, wrapped up a little too neatly.

    The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman. One of my favorite collection of stories so far in this series. What happens when Lucifer gives up control of Hell?

    Gotham Central Book 4: Corrigan by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Kano. Good analysis of a corrupt police officer and the effect it has on several other members of the squad.

B+    Gotham Central Book 3: On the Freak Beat by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, et al. Good integration of the police dealing with supervillians and problems associated therein. Didn't like the introduction of a superpower to a police officer (psych ability), which defeats the purposes of stories.

    The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. A new world with a new culture. Not sure where this series is going, but Jemisin sets up an intriguing world.

C+     Symbiont by Mira Grant. Not as good as the first part of this trilogy. Felt a lot like filler, main plot really didn't move much.

B-     Gotham Central Book 2: Jokers and Madmen by Ed Brubaker, Jim Starlin, Michael Lark. A good follow-up. What happens when a normal police have to deal with The Joker. Ultimately Batman saves (most of) the day, so it didn't work out as well as I would have liked.

B      Deathpunch'd by Jeremy Spencer. Humorous and scary, discussing drug addiction and life in a upcoming band. Got a bit repetitive though.

A-     Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. One of my favorite recent King books since I read 11/22/63 or It. The kid from The Shining all grown up.

B-     The Alienist by Caleb Carr. I realize this came first, but I liked The Angel of Darkness much more.

    A King's Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman. Historical fiction is interesting. Taking known events and people and trying to write the story of how things unfolded is an interesting genre.

    Informal Logic by Douglas Walton. A good synopsis on many aspects of argumentation. Pretty much stuff I already knew, but presented in a more formalized manner.

    Revival by Stephen King. I enjoyed it when I read it, but frankly can't remember what happens at the end. That kind of tells me something.

    The Defenders of Shannara: The Darkling Child by Terry Brooks. A good follow up to The High Druid's Blade, but suffers from a 'more of the same' vibe.

B+     Nemesis Game by James S.A. Corey. Unlike Cibola Burns, Nemesis Game returns to some of the original plot themes of the earlier books, conflict between earthers, martians, and belters. Overall an engrossing story.

    Gotham Central Book 1: In the Line of Duty by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark. A police procedural in a world of super-heroes and super-villians. Interesting take and perspective. Decent characters, look forward to the others in this series.

    Wastelands 2 edited by John Joseph Adams. Again some good, some less good. Mostly good though. I thought the first volume of Wastelands was much better overall.

B+    The Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I like this world, but it is not new now. Still the story moves along well and ends in dramatic fashion. Looking forward to the last in this a good way.

    Inferno by Dan Brown. I liked it better the first time I read it when it was called the Da Vinci code.

B     Neuromancer by William Gibson. I liked this book, but not sure why it is considered such a great story. Probably it's a contest thing. Stories in this genre are more common than when Neuromancer was written.

    The Belgariad vol 2 by David Eddings. Read this many many years ago too. Also, a fun read but it wraps up a little too neatly.

B+    The Belgariad vol 1 by David Eddings. Read this many many years ago. A fun read, though there may be some sentimental value associated with my score. 

     How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker. Outstanding book on the brain and the work that has gone on into understanding how it works...or doesn't. Particularly interesting for me after the seizures of 2014 and thinking about the recovery process.

    Jingo by Terry Pratchett. Witty and good satire, but does not hold up as well to other Pratchett stories.

    The Defenders of Shannara: The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks. I enjoy Brooks a lot, again probably some sentimental effect here. But I have found much of his recent work to be somewhat predictable, different characters, different settings (within the Shannara world) but ultimately the same arcs occurring with the same pacing. The focus on a Leah descendant and the entwined story of Arcannen mixed things up enough that this book was a pleasant surprise.

     Parasite by Mira Grant. Great take on the zombie genre!

     Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Interesting Sci-Fi story dealing with class and revolution. Part one of ?.

A      Crossed Blades by Kelly McCullough. Introduction of Jax and greater development of the universe McCullough is creating. Look forward the remainder of the series, though I needed to read some other books. Characters are flawed yet heroic.

B-     Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Two good historical stories that I liked but did not think wove together well.

     Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey. I enjoy The Expanse series immensely, though I usually do not enjoy space related sci-fi. Great story that deviates from the previous three in plot.

    Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough. Another good read of Aral and Triss (Aral's shadow familiar). Further development of the McCullough's world.

    Broken Blade by Kelly McCullough. This world reminds me much of the Thieves' World universe. Although there is more diversity of culture, much of the story takes place in a Sanctuary-like city of Tien. (At least as how I recall Sanctuary after 25+ years.) Fun story, great character in Aral.

    I Killed Pink Floyd's Pig by Beau Phillips. Humorous stories of many of my favorite bands. Enough diversity in the types of things from drunken hotel room destruction to the title of the book that is stays fresh throughout.

34 books this year, although some will consider the 5 graphic novels as not counting but fuck 'em. Of the 34 books: 29 were fiction for fun,  2 were on the music industry/biography, 1 was philosophy, 1 was history (although not academic), and 1 was science.