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Books Read 2021

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freelunch
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Books Read 2021

Post by freelunch »

Another year, another thread. Keeping my goal at 80 this year.

I'll be following this thread but my reviews are still kind of crap so they'r not worth reproducing (they're available on LibraryThing, Goodreads and Amazon.com.au if anyone is interested)

Last year I finished 99 books, up from 94 in 2019

Books Finished in 2021

01. Stranger Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
02. Udder Exploitation by Elizabeth Bedlam
03. Eli's Hellcat by Merel Pierce
04. Training Op by Radclyffe
Last edited by freelunch on Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Books I finished in: 2021 | 2020 | 2019

Check out my reading/reviewing stats at BookSirens
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jeff V »

Looking at the past 3 years, last year was lowest in titles read (only 79) but page count close to 2 years ago when I read 104.

Books Read
Old Bones by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Kiss the Girls by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Holdout by Graham Moore (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Dead Man Dancing by John Galligan (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Dark Continent by Scott Reardon (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
City of Ink by Elsa Hart (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Berry (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Hell and Other Destinations by Madeline Albright (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Reading

Ancient Dreams by JP Roth (K)
Crooked River by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (A)

---------------------
2021 totals: Books Read: 13 Pages Read: 5,105 Pages per Day: 269
2020 totals: Books Read: 79 Pages Read: 32,535 Pages per Day: 89
2019 Totals - Books read: 85 Pages Read: 31,678 Pages per day: 87
2018 totals - Books read: 104 Pages Read: 32,646 Pages per day: 89
Last edited by Jeff V on Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:07 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Holman »

(Not listing reading for teaching this time.)

Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars. First in KSR's thoughtful and complex hard-SF colonization trilogy.
James S.A. Corey, Abaddon's Gate. Third book of The Expanse.
Patrik Svensson, The Book of Eels. Compelling blend of memoir and nature writing.
Last edited by Holman on Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Smoove_B »

Currently reading

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Finished


12 books read in 2020
Last edited by Smoove_B on Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Isgrimnur »

Yo.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by hitbyambulance »

read about 50 books last year, should have kept the list!

carrying over:

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Food of the Gods - H.G. Wells
Islam at the Crossroads - Muhammad Asad (do not know just how committed i am to this one)

finished:

Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert
Last edited by hitbyambulance on Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Archinerd »

Reading;
Robert E. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian Barbarian: The Complete Weird Tales Omnibus
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Brian »

Finally started reading The Expanse.

I got the first three books for Christmas.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jaymann »

Brian wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:54 pm Finally started reading The Expanse.

I got the first three books for Christmas.
You have a treat in store. Have you been watching the series? It goes way beyond those.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Brian »

Yeah, I'm currently all caught up on the series and am really looking forward to the books.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by hitbyambulance »

having finished Dune Messiah, i'm aware this series runs out of spice at some point down the line, but where exactly? do i just finish the destiny of the first trilogy, burrow through books 4 through 6, hit the (shield) wall whenever Brian Herbert takes over, or should have i paid attention to the visions and never have progressed past the first one to begin with?

also, what about his other novels/series? https://io9.gizmodo.com/5-essential-fra ... ne-5980198 i think i might have Destination:Void somewhere - the cover looks really familiar.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Hipolito »

I'll list my books in this post, with links to my reviews posted later in the thread.
  1. The Land of the Purple Ring by Deborah J. Natelson (4/8)
Books read in: 2019 (5) | 2020 (19)
Last edited by Hipolito on Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Hipolito »

Image

The Land of the Purple Ring by Deborah J. Natelson (ebook, LibraryThing Early Review): A clockwork man explorers many whimsical dimensions in this story that's a bit Pinocchio, a bit Alice in Wonderland. This book is at its best when the clockwork man is interacting with the quirky denizens who put various challenges before him. But the clockwork man mostly wanders alone, in passages that are witty and imaginative but also ponderous. Rating: 4 out of 8 malevolent lampposts.

As an aside, this is the 10th book I've reviewed in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. But so far, I haven't liked any of the books enough to recommend them. So I'm going to stop being a regular LTER participant, though I'll still monitor LTER in case it features any really interesting books. LTER has been great for getting free books and making me read more, and I hope my reviews were helpful to the authors. But I've got plenty of other, assuredly better books to read.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by El Guapo »

Aiming for 20 - 25 books this year.

Reading

Iron Curtain : The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956, by Anne Applebaum.

Completed
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Archinerd »

hitbyambulance wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:10 am having finished Dune Messiah, i'm aware this series runs out of spice at some point down the line, but where exactly? do i just finish the destiny of the first trilogy, burrow through books 4 through 6, hit the (shield) wall whenever Brian Herbert takes over, or should have i paid attention to the visions and never have progressed past the first one to begin with?
I may in the minority, but I like all of the original Frank books.
I've only read one of the Brian books and found it to be lacking.

If you do proceed through Chapter House: Dune, be warned that there is no tidy ending.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Zarathud »

Frank’s books are overly complex. Brian’s are overly streamlined. The universe shines in both.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jolor »

Finished
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai - Beaulieu
Fortune - Hamilton
The Dark Archive (An Invisible Library Novel) - Cogman

Reading
Gideon the Ninth - Muir

Queued
The Library at Mount Char - Hawkins
Last edited by Jolor on Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by ImLawBoy »

Bad year for reading last year. I blame lack of train reading time due to working from home, but I'll still try to pick things up for 2021.

Books Finished
This Storm - James Ellroy (paper)

Currently Reading
Boy's Life - Robert R. McCammon (Kindle)
If It Bleeds - Stephen King (paper)

2020 - 13 Books Read
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by El Guapo »

ImLawBoy wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:00 pm
Books Finished
Give me a break! The year is just starting!
Listen, I don't want your excuses.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by xenocide »

I'll get to it.....
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by hitbyambulance »

hitbyambulance wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:58 pm
Islam at the Crossroads - Muhammad Asad (do not know just how committed i am to this one)
actually looks like i was committed, and finished that one last night
Zarathud wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:09 pm Frank’s books are overly complex. Brian’s are overly streamlined. The universe shines in both.
what i like about Frank's books is how multi-layered (or overly complex) they are.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Pyperkub »

Currently reading :

The Night Circus (got this on kindle from the library because in like 9 years on my wishlist it almost never dropped below $10.99- once to 8.99 seemed the best I remember. So far it's very good)

Finished :

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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by hitbyambulance »

started Edgar Allan Poe's _Tales of Mystery and Imagination_, but this collection looks interesting:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/262 ... _Allan_Poe
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by ImLawBoy »

Finished This Storm by James Ellroy. This is the second book of his planned second LA Quartet. The first LA Quartet was The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential, and White Jazz. The first book of the second LA Quartet was Perfidia. There's also a USA Underworld Trilogy out there. All of these books deal with the same themes (although the Underworld Trilogy takes it to a national level instead of focusing on LA) and have many overlapping characters. Chronologically, the second Quartet precedes the first. Ellroy's MO is to take true life historical events, and then fictionalize and sensationalize them with corruption, drugs, booze, and conspiracies.

This Storm starts on New Year's Eve 1941, shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and covers about the next five months. The country is already gearing up for war, and there are tensions between German sympathizers and those who favor the Allies. Tensions obviously get higher after the bombing. Two police detectives are found murdered along with a Mexican-American man in a house known for drugs and sex (which gets dubbed the klubhaus). Unsurprisingly, these cops were not good men, but the police need to solve this and make the department look good. Things get wild from there with a typically complex Ellroy plot that relies on intricate plotting along with coincidence and logical leaps to tie everything together. Ellroy's prose is his usual stacatto with short sentences and prolific alliteration. It's a fun read, but not for the faint of heart. Ellroy's characters tend to be less than model citizens, and they use a lot of racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language, so be warned if you don't want to read that kind of stuff. Thus far I don't think the second Quartet stands up to the first Quartet (or the Underworld Trilogy, for that matter), but it's still good stuff if you're an Ellroy fan.

Up next is If It Bleeds, Stephen King's latest four novella compilation.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by hitbyambulance »

added:

Alan Moore - Voice of the Fire
Edmond Rostand - Cyrano de Bergerac
John Milton - Paradise Lost
Ken Kesey - Sometimes a Great Notion
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jaymann »

MMORPG gold farmers of the world unite in For the Win by Cory Doctorow. This gets into the gritty, sweaty world of hard core gamers that Ready Player One couldn't touch. Set mostly in the Pacific Rim and India, broken English and gamer slang is the universal language. Then the "bosses" of the games crack down hard...

I give it 6.5/8 uber items.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jeff V »

First 10 done in 2021.

Old Bones by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A protégé of Aloysius Pendergast gets her own story, possibly the first of many. Character development was a little light, and the plot not too focused but based on a manuscript by a Donner party casualty pointing to the existence of a treasure now worth millions. Somehow, researchers and ne'er-do-wells simultaneously catch wind of it and clash.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
The Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

These two books can be described as a western, set in the south, with hippos instead of horses. You see, shortly before the Civil War broke out, Martin Van Buren bought into the notion that converting the southern swamps into hippo ranches was the perfect solution to a meat shortage. What follows is a drama set in this world where ranchers ride tame (and loyal) hippos and fight against anarchists who would destroy the barriers keeping wild hippos bottled up (think of it as if someone was actively trying to release Asian carp into the Great Lakes). If you like your settings to be strange, this might do it for you.

The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Set in the 1913 miner's strike, this well-researched historical novel brings up class issues, race issues, and women's suffrage all i an emotionally charged book recounting a period when labor struggled to rise in the face of corporate despots who exerted supreme authority on not only their operations but the entire community surrounding it. Reminded me a lot of one of my favorite novels of all time, Frank Norris' The Octopus.

The Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Issac Bell story that is framed by a modern day discovery featuring Dirk Pitt and NUMA. Oddly enough, it also involves mistreated miners and is set around the same time as the Russell book above.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Remember Robert Heinlein's The Number of the Beast? This is similar, but with less sexy alternate earths.

Kiss the Girls by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Alex Cross novel where his niece is among those kidnapped by one of a pair of symbiotic serial killers. The killers operate on opposite ends of the country, but conveniently arrive at the same place so Cross can get them both.

The Holdout by Graham Moore (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A legal thriller where a decade old case is brought up for reenactment by a cable TV show. The case involved the disappearance and presumed murder of a 15 year child of a wealthy businessman, and one of her teachers was acquitted in her disappearance even though they apparently had an inappropriate relationship. When the jury (mostly) arrives at a hotel prior to the show, one of the jurists and instigators of this reinvestigation is suddenly dead, and another jurist, the only one to initially vote not-guilty, becomes the prime suspect. Decent enough story, not Grisham-level, but a quick read.

Dead Man Dancing by John (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Set in a Trumpian Wisconsin, the sheriff of a once-enlightened small county is faced with a murder and has
The Dark Continent by Scott Reardon (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Kiss the Girls by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Alex Cross novel where his niece is among those kidnapped by one of a pair of symbiotic serial killers. The killers operate on opposite ends of the country, but conveniently arrive at the same place so Cross can get them both.

The Holdout by Graham Moore (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
A legal thriller where a decade old case is brought up for reenactment by a cable TV show. The case involved the disappearance and presumed murder of a 15 year child of a wealthy businessman, and one of her teachers was acquitted in her disappearance even though they apparently had an inappropriate relationship. When the jury (mostly) arrives at a hotel prior to the show, one of the jurists and instigators of this reinvestigation is suddenly dead, and another jurist, the only one to initially vote not-guilty, becomes the prime suspect. Decent enough story, not Grisham-level, but a quick read.

Dead Man Dancing by John (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
Set in a Trumpian Wisconsin, the sheriff of a once-enlightened small county is faced with a murder and has to delicately navigate an investigation in an environment rife with empowered deplorables.

The Dark Continent by Scott Reardon (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
If Justin Cronin's turning death row inmates into super human zombies didn't work, why would turning the same into super soldiers be any better? Spoiler alert: it doesn't. Not quite as apocalyptic as a world where only a handful of uninfected remain, but this small band of augmented badasses manages a massive amount of destruction.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by geezer »

Currently reading: Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jeff V »

Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:
City of Ink by Elsa Hart (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

If you like the Brother Cadfael stories, these are more of the same, except set in China shortly after the Manchu take-over, these are murder mysteries featuring a librarian (rather than a monk). Like most period novels set in this region, the amount of parables gets tiresome after awhile. It's like the author swallowed a tome of Confucius and crapped out Lao Tzu. These stories would have been a lot shorter had they all just got to the point. As mysteries go, all of the diversion, flowery descriptions, and misdirection doesn't exactly keep one on pins and needles to the end.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by hitbyambulance »

hitbyambulance wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:29 am Edmond Rostand - Cyrano de Bergerac
got this beat up school edition paperback from a LFL and started reading it the same night, so i didn't even bother doing my usual 'best English translator' research before reading (as i usually do). this was a 1972 Lowell Blair translation - apparently i should have gone with the 1923 Brian Hooker one.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jeff V »

The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Berry (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Starting in Bruges, Belgium and moving to Poland and Slovakia, this book might have got a bonus tentacle for setting. Our hero, Cotton Malone isn't threatened as badly as other books in the series, but the president of Poland shoots and kills some asshats so there's that. What I really appreciate about this series is the research Berry puts in (he travels to the locals and studies the history for what he writes about). Makes me want to be Steve Berry, even if he does sound exactly like a former boss.
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Re: Books Read 2021

Post by Jeff V »

Hell and Other Destinations by Madeline Albright (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Madeline Albright is a poster child for why we need strong women involved in politics. This is more of a general memoir, with commentary on the Trump administration. Previous books have detailed her tenure as Secretary of State in more detail, but this is a little more personal, as she talks about her childhood -- born in what was Czechoslovakia, but then moved to England when Hitler came to power. A fascinating part of the book told the story how she was completely unaware that a grandmother (and a few dozen relations) were actually Jewish and were disappeared under the Nazi regime.

Not sure if it's 20/20 hindsight or if it really happened, but she discusses how in 2016 the far right radicals were identified as a threat and there was a grave need for a president who could unify the country. She was a long time supporter of HRC, and saw this potential in her, but the narrative conveniently dovetails into the ascension of Trump. the embodiment of everything she warned against.

There is a lot of humor and interesting anecdotes. I've long been a fan of hers and her activity as an 80-something leaves my 50-something carcass exhausted just thinking about it.
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