The Current Reading List
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin The Line of Polity by Neal Asher Dhalgren (Vintage) by Samuel R. Delany Pavane (Millennium SF Masterworks S) - Keith Roberts The Light Ages - Ian R. MacLeod Cowl - Neal Asher The Once and Future King - T.H. White Iron Council by China Mieville Guida galattica per gli autostoppisti - Douglas Adams Pebble in the Sky - Isaac Asimov The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Second Annual Collection The Leaky Establishment - David Langford Ship of Destiny (Liveship Traders S.) - Robin Hobb Fool's Errand (Tawny Man S.) by Robin Hobb< The Golden Fool (Tawny Man S.) by Robin Hobb Fool's Fate (Tawny Man S.) - Robin Hobb
Eternal want-to-readGormenghast - Mervyn Peake (the volume so named, ie the 2nd)
John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed 1883-1920 - Robert Skidelsky
Ljósi [QED]-Richard P. Feynman
Gödel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas Hofstadter (nine years and counting)
Time to do proper updatesThe Narrows - Michael Connelly
The Closers - Michael Connelly
Lost Light - Michael Connelly
City of Bones - Michael Connelly
A Darkness More Than Night - Michael Connelly
Angels Flight - Michael Connelly
Trunk Music - Michael Connelly 2006-02-04:The Last Coyote - Michael Connelly
2006-01-13: Iron Sunrise - Charles Stross: Excellent! Much better than Singularity Sky.
- A few Sharpes to kill time -
Penelˇpukvia - Margaret Atwood: The first translation in the series, The Odyssey from Penelope's view. Interesting, nothing more
ArgˇarflÝsin - Sjˇn: From a new series by international authors spinning from fables. Jason and the Argonauts provide a basis, Sjˇn spins, and fairly well.
2005-12-27: Woken Furies (Gollancz SF S.) by Richard Morgan: another Excellent! Bloody good SF.
2005-12-20: Century Rain (Gollancz SF S.) - Alastair Reynolds: Excellent! Quick and fun read, just what I wanted.
2005-12-18: The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders S.) - Robin Hobb: A bit winding...
sometime: Blood from a Stone - Donna Leon
2005-11-22: A Venetian Reckoning - Donna Leon: Did after all read this alongside The Mad Ship. Good police whodunit.
2005-11-14: Ship of Magic (The Liveship Traders 1) - Robin Hobb: Great. Tore through the first half, slightly slower next quarter and then the last bit flew. Not sure I need a break with a Leon as I thought for a while.
2005-11-11: The Anubis Gates - Tim Powers: Very, very good. Everyone should read it. In fact most seem to have.
2005-11-05: SjßlfstŠtt fˇlk - Halldˇr Laxness: The magnum opus of the Nobel Prize winner, Independent People. As with all the last few ones, it's been half read for a while. I... think I like it. Certainly powerful.
2005-11-05: Engine City (Engines of Light 3.) by Ken MacLeod: Was set aside far too long. Had been a while since I'd read books 1 and 2 and the beginning didn't grab me. After I picked it up again this week it did, very good end to a great series.
2005-11-01: Market Forces - Richard Morgan: Took a while to get going. Nine months in fact. It's a bit hard to read about your own line of work having metamorphosed into a business where killing your opponent in an car duel is the way to promotion. But finally got back to it and zipped through the latter half. It's very, very good, but I was deceived by a slow start
2005-10-29: Newton's Wake - Ken MacLeod: Got stuck for a couple of months. Not great. Characters didn't grab me.
2005-10-29: The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks: Took me a long time to read. Definitely not his best. Some interesting ideas.
Some I've read in the last 2 yearsJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke: Long! Convoluted! Literary! OK.
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson: Great one.
The Confusion by Neal Stephenson: Good middle book
The System of the World by Neal Stephenson: The end of the trilogy. Slow start, but a reasonable ending, for once for Stephenson
Thud! (Discworld S.) by Terry Pratchett: Pretty good. Not his best. Better than the slump a few years back
Where's My Cow? (Discworld S.) by Terry Pratchett, Melvyn Grant (Illustrator): Nice...
Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R.R. Martin: Fantastic. Read it in Italy
A Clash of Kings (Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) by George R.R. Martin: Deceivingly slow, fantastic.
A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3 Part 1) by George R.R. Martin: Read the one volume edition. Fantastic. Still
A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3, Part 2) by George R.R. Martin
Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer S.) by Robin Hobb: Cracking fantasy. Great pace, great characters, great story.
Assassin's Quest (Farseer S.) by Robin Hobb
Royal Assassin (Farseer S.) by Robin Hobb:
Darwin's Watch: Science of Discworld III by Terry Pratchett, et al
The Confusion by Neal Stephenson
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) by J.K. Rowling: Well, I liked it
Acqua Alta by Donna Leon: Got into Leon in Italy. Great policing
The Death of Faith by Donna Leon: This one started it, had been left in my room in Rome
Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon
Want to Play? by P.J. Tracy: Bloody good thriller
Live Bait by P. J. Tracy: And a pretty good follow-up
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton: Hamilton back on track with a fab story
Report for Murder by V.L. McDermid: McDermid does v.v.good whodunits
Going Postal (Discworld S.) by Terry Pratchett: Very good one, one of his best
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold: Is Bujold now my favourite? I'll re-edit my front page
Raw Spirit by Iain Banks: Must read if you love whisky, but could do better.
Irresistible Forces by Jo Beverley (Editor), et al: For the 'Midwinter Fair Gifts' Bujold story. Awwww sweet.
Absolution Gap (Gollancz SF S.) by Alastair Reynolds: Consistently good.
Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott
Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany by Ben Schott
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: Adult Edition by Mark Haddon
The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer: Ho hum. Nice and easy.
Broken Angels (Gollancz SF S.) by Richard Morgan
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett: Great one!
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
The ones I gave up on since last updatingLud-in-the-Mist - Hope Mirrlees
Fortress in the Eye of Time - CJ Cherryh
Starmaker - Olaf Stapledon
I finished those at some point, they were on original listThe Einstein Intersection - Samuel R. Delany
A Wizard Alone - Diane Duane
The First and Last Men - Olaf Stapledon
The Lord of the Rings: The Art of the Two Towers
2003-11-29: The Wizard's Dilemma Very good. Better than Abroad. Interesting take on the implications of wizardry and what it can and can't do.
West of January - Dave Duncan Marvellous. Brilliant world idea, and excellently worked. I love books which are tight and stand alone.
2003-11-25: A Wizard Abroad - Diane Duane Enjoyable, but some how not great.
2003-11-18: Humans - Robert J. Sawyer Read it on the plane. Not quite as great as Hominids but better than most.
2003-11-18: Hominids - Robert Sawyer Read it on my last day in SF, and finished it in time to fish Humans out of the suitcase before checking in. Very good. Great idea solidly worked
2003-10-27: Serendipities: Language and Lunacy - Umberto Eco Interesting, but not fascinating.
Have hardly finished anything of note in the intervening month. Not been well.
2003-09-21: The Naked God - Peter Hamilton (re-read): Have now finished re-reading the Night's Dawn trilogy. What a slog, but worth it.
2003-09-20: Stupid White Men - Michael Moore: Interesting but surprisingly weak in places. Easy read, nothing too complex.
sometime: The Neutronium Alchemist - Peter F. Hamilton (re-read)
2003-08-30: The Currents of Space - Isaac Asimov This one's been on the back burner for months. Got it in the Bakka used book store in Toronto last year. Nice story, but not that great and obvious why it hasn't been reprinted along with the Robots and Psychohistory novels. Nicely completist to have it though.
2003-08-25: The Skinner - Neal L. Asher Been chewing on this one for the last week, finally finished. Very good followup to Gridlinked, excellent story, good sf, heartily recommended.
2003-08-17: I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith One of the UK's 100 Best Reads, and easy to see why. A lovable book, entertaining and well written in a good narration. ChickLit from the 30s *g*
2003-08-16. To Hold Infinity - John Meaney Pretty good. Took a long time to get into its stried, lots of exposition, but neat payoffs.
2003-08-16: Berlin: The Downfall 1945 - Anthony Beevor A very good treatment of the subject, as far as I can see. I always want better diagrams, in colour, of troop movements and such in a book like this.
2003-08-10: Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk - Peter L. Bernstein A good and interesting history of the subject matter. Most of it stuff I was aware of though.
2003-08-09: Altered Carbon - Richard Morgan Great debut. Good workout of a fairly original idea, and a well written story. Look forward to the next one.
2003-08-05: Liar's Poker - Michael Lewis The other 'High Finance Life' book. This time bond trading in the '80s. The same pattern as F.I.A.S.C.O. (which is the newer one, note) Stories of what happened before he started the work and a little about himself. Portnoy's template I'd say. But interesting, and a bit more so than Portnoy's.
2003-08-05: F.I.A.S.C.O. - Frank Portnoy One of the two "essential" books on Life In Finance I finally got round to getting. Enjoyable, but still a bit shallow, Most of it either stories he heard before going to work there and scandals that happened after. Even if I find no reason not to believe him, it's clearly written for an audience ready to dislike those bad bankers with bad habits and high wages.
2003-08-03: The Life of Pi - Yann Martel Very good, yes. Read it. (p.s. notice some reviewers on amazon dislike a 'you should believe in God' tone in it. I found it quite easy to not worry about that, being an atheist doesn't preclude being able to read books with religious characters as long as they're believable and well written.
2003-08-02: Misspent Youth - Peter Hamilton A neat idea for a short story padded out to a novel, thankfully not the lenght of his Night's Dawn books. Not good. Not good at all. He should be able to do so much better
2003-08-01: About A Boy - Nick Hornby Having seen the movie last year I expected good things and got them. Interesting to see what they changed in the movie, but as far as I'm concerned it worked better that way cinemawise, and was still true to the book.
2003-08-01: Keane: The Autobiography Again bought in London for CCDE, read most of it on the train and finished it the morning after. Very good, for a football autobio. Not much there that I didn't know about his person there though, but gets him across.
2003-07-31: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 1 Got it in London and read it on the train to CCDE. Very good
2003-07-31: Hard Eight - Janet Evanovich Read it on the plane going to CCDE. Not bad, but not worth taking back so gave it away
2003-07-19: Gridlinked - Neal L. Asher Very good. Great SF, some nice twists and believable characters.
2003-07-12: Dead Air - Iain Banks Fantastic. Just fantastic. Banks is the best.
2003-07-11: The Well of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde Good in places, not as fantastically funny as his last two, and a weak plot. If his next one's as weak, he's off the To-Buy list.
2003-07-09: Diplomatic Immunity - Lois McMaster Bujold Started it last night, finished this evening. Miles Vorkosigan is one of if not the best character in SF. Great book. Next book, I want some serious Barrayaran intrigue. Haven't had that for a few books.
2003-07-06: The Sky Road - Ken MacLeod Yet another great book from MacLeod. Now I've finished the four books in that sequence. It's great the way he tells different stories from the same timeline, from different times and viewpoints, not just sequels.
2003-07-02: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix It's good. Harry's quite an annoying teen sometimes.
2003-07-02: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - Greg Palast Some pretty nasty revelations, some political stuff, and a few things I think are complete bullshit. Compulsory reading for the politically interested.
2003-07-01: The Years of Rice and Salt - Kim Stanley Robinson I left off on this one a while ago, was completely stuck. After starting again it was a fun read. A bit philosophical, a few things that went over my head, but in the end a very worthwhile story
2003-06-29: Tesla: Man out of Time - Margaret Cheney Probably as good a book as can be done, given the materials. Sometimes a little too gushing, but that's excusable. Pretty incredible guy, Tesla.
2003-06-28: Q is for Quarry - Sue Grafton Quite a bit better than the last two. Still too much of leaking the family thing one drip per book, and sending Kinsey out of Santa Theresa. I'll buy the next book, which I wouldn't have if this one had been bad.
2003-06-28: Paris after the Liberation - Anthony Beevor and Artemis Cooper Very interesting book about a period I knew little or nothing about. Occasionally slightly uninteresting, but mostly a good weaving of political and cultural history.
2003-06-24: The Cassini Division - Ken MacLeod Very good as I've now come to expect from McLeod.
2003-06-20: The Scar - China Miéville: Another finally... Again I started out slowly, and I was a bit bogged down with other things. It was certainly worth it in the end. Excellent book. I think I'll need something light after this. Like Harry Potter.
2003-06-17: Redemption Ark - Peter Hamilton: Finally finished this one. Started out slowly, but the latter half is much better. Not that the laying down of the story in the first half isn't needed.
2003-06-17: The Murder Book - Jonathan Kellerman: Always good. Found it cheap in a shop yesterday, couldn't resist, and tore through it despite the big pile. A nice change from all the hard SF around.
2003-06-13: Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About - Mil Millington: Bought it in London and read it on the way home. Has the same funny background theme as Mil's webpage, with a good plot added. Reminded me a bit about Tom Sharpe's Wilt books.
2003-06-13: Science of Discworld 2: The Globe - Terry Pratchett: Bought in London, and read it there and on the way home. Nice.
2003-06-09: Grave Secrets - Kathy Reichs: Hadn't read this one or the one before, but her first three were OK. Bought in the airport and read it on the plane. Fine plane read, not worth bringing back home though.
2003-05-29: White Storm - Phil Ball: The history of Real Madrid by the man who 2 years ago wrote Morbo, the story of Spanish football. An interesting counterpoint to the Barcelona history I have, but weak in spots. An extreme annoyance was the number of times a photograph was mentioned and described minutely that wasn't in the pictures section. Either way, far too few photos.