Miscellaneous Chatter > Literature

Yearly Reading Targets 2022

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Wilshire:
New year, new books! Or trying to finish old ones. Or rereads. Or...

This year I'm going to try to read more consistently. Despite reading 27 books, I didn't complete any books after August last year, which feels bad. Plenty of things I still want to read.

TBR:
Among Others by Jo Walton
Startide Rising by David Brin
The Torch that Ignites the Stars by Andrew Rowe
Malice by John Gwynne
Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay
Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
Dune by Herbert
Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood
Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by KJ Parker
The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie
The Wisdom of Crowds Joe Abercrombie
The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

January (1)
1) Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by KJ Parker

February (2)
1) The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron

March (3)
1) The Plague of Swords by Miles Cameron

April (6)
1) The Fall of Dragons by Miles Cameron
2) Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
3) Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood

May (7)
1) The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

June (10)
1) The Wisdom of Crowds Joe Abercrombie
2) The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke
3) The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

The P:
I did not read as much as I wanted last year.  Only 21 books, and I didn't hit much of what I expected to read either.  So this year, who knows?
The only sure thing is reading new KJ Parker, certainly a novella or two and a novel.  Aside from that, probably Abercrombie's latter trilogy, Babel books, Tad Williams's new Osten Ard, finishing Ruocchio's series.  All subject to change and be bumped at a whim.  Maybe this time next year I'll be reflecting on my deep dive into Amish romance novels; time will tell, all is in flux.

MSJ:
Hey fellow sloggers! So, started off the year with The Wisdom of Crowds, by Joe Abercrombie (1). As always, I really enjoy his books and was a page turner. Highly recommended.

On to, The Hod King, by Josiah Bancroft. Love this series, and have already started on it.

I have so many books to read, and im gonna try and knock a bunch out this year. Miss you guys and hope to stop around a little more often. Cheers!

The P:
Leviathan Falls by James S. A. Corey (1)

Hmm...  I was surprised to find myself not excited to read this conclusion to the series.  I liked the previous books pretty well, but maybe it had been too long before this one came out.  It could also be the time jump that occurred at book...7?  The plots and characters got spread out and disparate, and thus less compelling I think.

My biggest problem with this book was its pacing.  The beginning is kind of slow and aimless, then suddenly out of nowhere we are fighting for the very existence of humanity, which I knew was coming.  There is a very clear existential threat that has to be dealt with going into the book, but I just didn't like how the authors got around to dealing with it.  Some story elements got far out there, psychedelic, brief interludes of stream of consciousness kind of, I did not like it.  The Expanse is at its best when it deals with conflict between people, whether on a personal or planetary scale.  Going so far into the trippy mind alien realm just didn't work, it was better in previous books when it was just briefly touched on or alluded to. 

Overall, this is a fine conclusion to an otherwise great modern space epic.  The denouement was probably my favorite part.  I will say, throughout the whole series it is very clear this was lifted from/heavily-inspired by some sci-fi rpg session someone ran, not unlike Dragonlance is for D&D.  Characters have their clear class, traits, and alignments, and I found myself frequently thinking how a gamed session morphed itself into various scenes in the series.  It's still good, worth reading if you want a big sci-fi epic.

MSJ, both those series are on my list for the year.  Just started Senlin Ascends.

The P:
Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft (2)

I really liked this one.  Well done characters, unique setting.  The story is basically this guy trying to find his lost wife in this massive (too big to ever realistically exist) tower.  I was worried it would be a McGuffin story where the missing wife is just there to move the plot, but there is sufficient work done in establishing her character and relationship to the titular Senlin.  A lot is packed into the 300 or so pages, Bancroft doesn't waste time giving wholistic descriptions of what is going on in the tower and how things work.  This is helped by our perspective being tied to the naive and out of his depth main character.  It's hard to believe some of the tower manages to sustain itself by what we see, but there's at least an idea of much more being out there that Senlin just doesn't get to.
I'm excited to read the rest of these, and probably will in short order.  But first a new KJ Parker.

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