Blue Gargantua (bluegargantua) wrote,
Blue Gargantua

The Review of Reviews -- books read in 2017


  I haven't even compiled the list yet and I already know my reading rate was terrible this year.  I probably didn't even average out to a book a week.  Anyway, here's what I read:
  1. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  2. The Dictator's Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith
  3. Silent Hall by N S Dolkart
  4. The Skill of Our Hands by Steven Brust and Skyler White
  5. Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
  6. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
  7. Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer
  8. The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
  9. Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
  10. Off Rock by Kieran Shea
  11. The Sculpted Ship by K. M. O'Brien
  12. The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
  13. Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Empire by Tom Wainwright
  14. Great Northern? by Arthur Ransome (audiobook)
  15. Fifth Ward: First Watch by Dale Lucas
  16. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  17. Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
  18. You Die When You Die by Angus Watson
  19. Age of Assassins by RJ Barker
  20. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill
  21. Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
  22. The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker
  23. Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone
  24. Barbary Station by R. E. Stearns
  Yeesh.  Not quite a book every two weeks.  Some of the slowdown is increased outdoor activities this year (cycling and hiking).  And some of it has been recent health issues (with a slipped disc it's hard to focus on sitting still and reading).  I'm hoping to get a better balance and get more read this year.  I have to say I was also largely disappointed by my selections this year.  There wasn't much that was terrible but only one or two items really stood out for me which is a bit unusual.  Usually when I go through these year-end lists, I'm reminded of titles I really enjoyed, but that wasn't the case here.  However, it wasn't a total loos.  Great books I read this year include:

  Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders -- I'll be honest, it's not an easy read because of some stylistic choices the author made and that will turn a lot of folks off, but if you can wade through it, there's some amazing stuff going on in this book and it really sticks with you.

  Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill -- A wild West adventure in a post-apocalyptic world where robots have killed off just about everything.  The story grabs you from page one, has some deeper themes it addresses really well, and all in a self-contained package.  Great stuff.

  Angels of Ruin by Max Gladstone -- I mean, all of his books are great so it almost doesn't count.

  The Skill of Our Hands by Steven Brust and Skyler White -- a significant book in a year where lots of people are wondering what they can do to make a better world.

The Dictator's Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith -- An outstanding primer on political power and how it works or doesn't.

  On the plus side, I'm starting off the year with a new Nick Harkaway book and that's almost certainly a sign of good things to come.  Here's hoping I get it read before March.


Tags: book review

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