January 13th, 2012


Books read in 2011

Discovery of the year was Sarah Monette. I finally read her stories of Kyle Murchison Booth, which were exquisite and delightful and unsettling and sad and often very funny -- as, it turns out, are most of the rest of her stories. I can't wait to read her novels, both the old Doctrine of Labyrinths series and her new novel (written pseudonymously as Katherine Addison), this year.

Some of the other fictions that most tickled my fancy this year include:
The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories (2008) by Brian J. Showers
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti (2011) by Genevieve Valentine
Sensation (2011) by Nick Mamatas
Pym (2011) by Mat Johnson

As far as series stuff, I tore through the first six or seven of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga books at the end of 2010, and made it through the next six or seven at the beginning of 2011. Very enjoyable romps; I'll probably read the most recent couple this year. Also read the first four of George C. Chesbro's Mongo Mysteries. I started off enjoying them immensely but am quickly losing interest; I may or may not continue with them this year. I read more trilogies than I'd have expected this year, of which I particularly enjoyed Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces books, which are among the very few nouveau-urban fantasy series I've been able to get into; N. K. Jemisin's intimately epic Inheritance Trilogy; and D. M. Cornish's extremely imaginative Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy, recently repackaged with generic covers as The Foundling's Tale.

The nonfiction books that've most stuck in my head this year include Ryan and Jethá's Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (2010), Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010) and Bourke's What It Means to Be Human: Reflections from 1791 to the Present (2011). I only read one volume of essays in 2011, Thomas Glave's Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (2005), and I liked it a lot. I plan to check out his fiction this year.

Didn't read many comics of interest. Read a few good ones at the beginning of the year, and caught up on a bunch of X-Men stuff toward the end. By far the most memorable was been Gerry Alanguilan's ELMER, which, come to think of it, would make an interesting pairing with Joseph D'Lacey's novel MEAT.

And behind the cut, the list:Collapse )