January 2nd, 2011


Books read, December 2010

104. Horse, Flower, Bird (2010) by Kate Bernheimer -- A short collection -- one paragraph per page, with even more white space than the Comeau novella -- of dark, sad fairy tales about girls and women. [Amazon]

103. One Bloody Thing After Another (2010) by Joey Comeau -- A novella from the writer of the A Softer World webcomic. Lots of white space make this a very quick read. A lot of fun -- if you enjoy the offbeat humor and sensibility of A Softer World you'll probably enjoy this. [Amazon]

102. The Vor Game (1990) by Lois McMaster Bujold -- Another Vorkosigan novel, another night up past my bedtime to finish it. Addictive space opera. I wouldn't have thought of it as Hugo material, but what do I know? [Amazon]

101. Holiday (2010) by M. Rickert -- A mixed short collection of stories, with a couple I liked a great deal, a couple that didn't do anything for me, and a handful that I enjoyed but did not love. I'm not sure that the chronological/thematic arrangement did the book any favors. A decent enough collection but I expected more from the follow-up to Map of Dreams [Amazon]

100. The Philadelphia Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer (2009) by Rachel Hildebrandt and the Old York Road Historical Society -- Read because I have a bizarre compulsion to read books written by people I know. Given that I know virtually nothing of architecture, it was nice to learn a bit about the architectural history around where I live. [Amazon]

99. People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy (עם הספר) (2010) edited by Rachel Swirsky and Sean Wallace -- A delightful anthology. The title is slightly imprecise, since the earliest story is from early 2000 and the most recent original to the volume, and the lion's share of the stories are fantasy with only two or three works of science fiction plausible-fabulism, but it's a very strong, well-balanced collection of stories from both big names and newcomers. Probably my favorite anthology I read this year. [Amazon]

98. Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (2008) by David Cortright -- What it says on the package: a history of peace movements and the ideas behind them. A very good reference, as far as it goes, although his analysis of more recent trends seems limited: his discussion of the changing role of national militaries feels incomplete, for instance, with no consideration of PMCs. Still, a readable overview of the last several centuries of peacemaking efforts. [Amazon]

97. Borders of Infinity (1989) by Lois McMaster Bujold -- Collection of three Miles Vorkosigan novellas, loosely linked by a mostly irrelevant frame story. All three stories were good fun. [Amazon]

96. The Uncommon Reader (2007) by Alan Bennett -- An amusing novella dealing with the consequences of Queen Elizabeth II becoming a reader. [Amazon]

95. Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays (2009) by Eula Biss -- Fantastic collection of essays dealing with race in America. [Amazon]

94. On the Banks of the River of Heaven (2010) by Richard Parks -- I almost always enjoy Parks' stories, but this is probably the weakest of his three collections. It starts off strong, but the three stories I liked least were clustered near the end, leaving the collection feeling unbalanced. [Amazon]

93. The Quantum Thief (2010) by Hannu Rajaniemi -- An Arsène Lupin-inspired caper in a quantum tech world. Fun, dense with fun technologies and ideas, but after all the glowing praise I expected more than was delivered. [Amazon]

92. Ex Machina (2004-2010) by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris -- This political thriller-cum-superhero tragedy is less consistent than Vaughan's Y: The Last Man; a number of the stories feel like what political hot topic does Vaughan want to teach himself about this month, and his tendency to drop factoids feels more forced here than in Y. But it's enjoyable regardless, and he gets it under control and manages to bring it all together successfully in the end, with a powerful coda. [Book 1: The First Hundred Days | Book 2: Tag | Book 3: Fact v. Fiction | Book 4: March to War | Book 5: Smoke Smoke | Book 6: Power Down | Book 7: Ex Cathedra | Book 8: Dirty Tricks | Book 9: Ring Out the Old | Book 10: Term Limits]

91. Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (2010) by Barry Deutsch -- Adapted and expanded by Deutsch from his webcomic published 2007-2008. A fun, funny story of a young Orthodox Jewish girl with heroic ambitions. [Amazon]

Books read, January through NovemberCollapse )