Nathan (mastadge) wrote,

Books read, November 2010

90. The Silent Land (2010) by Graham Joyce -- A middling effort from Joyce, whom I usually love. I put it down in the middle and almost forgot to pick it back up. I'm glad I did, as the second half is much better than the first -- including a couple chapters that could stand alone as fine short stories -- and the ending, though basically predictable, packs a wallop. The pace -- very slow at first, then rapidly accelerating as the novel moves on -- is deliberate and necessary, but I was barely invested enough in the characters to want to follow their early attempts to figure out what was going on. Ultimately I was glad I'd stuck with the book, but if you haven't read Joyce before this might not be the place to start, I think. [Amazon]

89. The Boy Who Set the Fire & Other Stories (1974) translated by Paul Bowles from the Moghrebi by Mohammed Mrabet -- Bowles taped and translated these stories from Moroccan storyteller Mrabet. This is a storytelling tradition with which I'm unfamiliar. I enjoyed these stories -- often involving generational conflict, youth rebelling against its conservative elders, and almost always involving copious smoking of kif -- a great deal in small doses but lost interest if I tried to read more than one or two at a time. [Amazon]

88. Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America (2010) by Matt Taibbi -- I really enjoy Taibbi's writing. I like that, politically, he's perfectly happy to stroll down the aisle calling bullshit on both sides, and that he's got the ability to look past the popular, simplistic, red v blue culture war narrative when the facts don't fit and investigate what's actually going on. And I like that he's a strong enough writer to render complex and depressing situations understandable and amusing. In this book he explores some of the causes of the financial crisis, the commodities bubble, the way America is selling off its infrastructure, and how and why health care reform was so effectively screwed up. A perfect holiday gift for your disaffected American friends. [Amazon]

87. Brothers in Arms (1989) by Lois McMaster Bujold -- It seems like everyone loves Bujold, but those ugly Baen covers have been putting me off reading her books for years. I finally forced myself to ignore the cover of the first book of the series, and a couple weeks later found that I'd punched through the first five of them. Addictive stuff. Fun, solidly written, smart space opera. Not as much depth as I'd expected, although I hear later novels in the series offer more of that, but I like how each novel stands alone; for all I've heard of what a great character Miles is, I've enjoyed all the non-Miles books just as much as those featuring him. [Amazon]

86. Falling Free (1987-88) by Lois McMaster Bujold [Amazon]

85. Ethan of Athos (1986) by Lois McMaster Bujold [Amazon]

84. The Warrior's Apprentice (1986) by Lois McMaster Bujold [Amazon]

83. Shards of Honor (1986) by Lois McMaster Bujold [Amazon]

82. Tripwire (A Jack Reacher Novel) (1999) by Lee Child -- I wanted something simple but not too stupid, and remembered that Child's first two novels fit that bill, so I moved onto his third, still featuring plainclothes superhero Jack Reacher. This is the stupidest and least satisfying to date. I doubt I will move on to number four. [Amazon]

81. The Palm-Wine Drinkard and his dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads' Town (1952) by Amos Tutuola -- This was going to be my Halloween read this year, but I was a couple days late. Tutuola gives us Yoruba folklore by way of deceptively simple English prose; it often reads more like a transcript of a storyteller's tale than like, well, anything you're used to reading. A quick read, often humorous, often scary, it offers a glimpse into a world of different values and beliefs than those informing most Western fantasy. I look forward to reading more from Tutuola. [Amazon]

80. Blush: Faces of Shame (2005) by Elspeth Probyn -- Earlier this year I read a lot about Restorative Justice and restorative practices, so read a lot about the concept of reintegrative shaming from John Braithwaite and his crew and critics, about shaming as affect from Tomkins and Nathanson, so this slim volume, a broader exploration of and inquiry into shame, caught my eye. An interesting, introspective look at the values and uses of shame. [Amazon]

And I don't usually comment on books I only dip into rather than read in their entirety, but this one was pretty awesome:

Race in Early Modern England: A Documentary Companion (2007) compiled and edited by Ania Loomba and Jonathan Burton -- Not only is there a lot of great stuff in here, but this book also marks one of those fun instances of reading synchronicity: I was introduced to blemmyes and various other inhabitants of ancient travel writings shortly before starting catvalente's new novel, and was reacquainted with Linnæus just as he came up in another book I was dipping into. In any event, definitely worth checking out if you're interested in the history of the concept of race. [Amazon]

79. Birdbrain (2010) translated by David Hackston from Linnunaivot (2008) by Johanna Sinisalo [Amazon]
78. Rethinking the 21st Century: 'New' Problems, 'Old' Solutions (2009) edited by Amy Eckert and Laura Sjoberg [Amazon]
77. Africans: The History of a Continent (second edition; 1995, 2007) by John Iliffe [Amazon]
76. Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks (revised edition; 2008, 2010) by Ben Goldacre [Amazon]
75. The Red Tree (2009) by Caitlín R. Kiernan [Amazon]
74. Test of Metal (Magic: The Gathering – A Planeswalker Novel) (2010) by Matthew Stover [Amazon]
73. At the Queen's Command (The First Book of The Crown Colonies) (2010) by Michael A. Stackpole [Amazon]
72. I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay (2010) by John Lanchester [Amazon]
71. The Convalescent (2009) by Jessica Anthony [Amazon]
70. Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery (2010) by Steve Nicholls [Amazon]
69. The Old Knowledge & Other Strange Tales (2010) by Rosalie Parker [The Swan River Press | Amazon]
68. Redemption in Indigo (2010) by Karen Lord [Amazon]
67. New X-Men (2001-2004) by Grant Morrison (words) and Frank Quitely et al. (pictures) [Amazon]
66. Haunted Legends (2010) edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas [Amazon]
65. The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion (2008) by Matt Taibbi [Amazon]
64. Star Wars: Legacy (2006-2010) by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, et al. [Vol. 1: Broken | Vol. 2: Shards | Vol. 3: Claws of the Dragon | Vol. 4: Alliance | Vol. 5: The Hidden Temple | Vol. 6: Vector | Vol. 7: Storms | Vol. 8: Tatooine | Vol. 9: Monster | Vol. 10: Extremes]
63. Sourdough and Other Stories (2010) by Angela Slatter [Tartarus Press | Amazon]
62. One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth (2007) by Dani Rodrik [Amazon]
61. Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical (2009) by Robert Shearman [Big Finish | Amazon]
60. The Lifecycle of Software Objects (2010) by Ted Chiang [Amazon]
59. When the Hands Are Many: Community Organization and Social Change in Rural Haiti (2001) by Jennie M. Smith [Amazon]
58. Interfictions 2: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing (2009) edited by Delia Sherman & Christopher Barzak [Amazon]
57. Unthinkable (2009) by Mark Sable (words) and Julian Totino Tedesco (pictures) [Amazon]
56. The Ethics of Memory (2002) by Avishai Margalit [Amazon]
55. Scott Pilgrim (2004-2010) by Bryan Lee O'Malley [Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life | Vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World | Vol. 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness | Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together | Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe | Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour]
54. A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees (2010) by Clare Dudman [Amazon]
53. A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories (2010) by Beth Bernobich [Amazon]
52. The Sword (2007-2010) by the Luna Brothers [Vol. 1: Fire | Vol. 2: Water | Vol. 3: Earth | Vol. 4: Air]
51. Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir (2010) by Ander Monson [Amazon]
50. Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice (2010) by Sigal R. Ben-Porath [Amazon]
49. "Remember You're a One-Ball!" (2010) by Quentin S. Crisp [Amazon]
48. Criminal (2006-2007) by Ed Brubaker (words) and Sean Phillips (pictures) [Vol. 1: Coward | Vol. 2: Lawless]
47. Leviathan Wept and Other Stories (2010) by Daniel Abraham [Amazon]
46. Who Fears Death (2010) by Nnedi Okorafor [Amazon]
45. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2006-2010) by John Jackson Miller et al. [Vol. 1: Commencement | Vol. 2: Flashpoint | Vol. 3: Days of Fear, Nights of Anger | Vol. 4: Daze of Hate, Knights of Suffering | Vol. 5: Vector | Vol. 6: Vindication | Vol. 7: Dueling Ambitions | Vol. 8: Destroyer | Vol. 9: Demon]
44. Madeleine Is Sleeping (2004) by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum [Amazon]
43. The Specific Gravity of Grief (2010) by Jay Lake [Fairwood Press]
42. Memory's Tailor (1998) by Lawrence Rudner [University Press of Mississippi | Amazon]
41. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (2009) by Wells Tower [Amazon]
40. Through the Drowsy Dark: Short Fiction and Poetry (2010) by Rachel Swirsky [Aqueduct Press | Amazon]
39. God of War (2010) by Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardeman [Amazon]
38. Simple Goalkeeping Made Spectacular (2009) by Graham Joyce [Amazon]
37. Best Served Cold (2009) by Joe Abercrombie [Amazon]
36. Narrative Power: Encounters, Celebrations, Struggles (2010) edited by L. Timmel Duchamp [Amazon]
35. Producing Success: The Culture of Personal Advancement in an American High School (2009) by Peter Demerath [Amazon]
34. Occultation and Other Stories (2010) by Laird Barron [Amazon]
33. Gringos in Honduras: "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (1995) by Guillermo Yuscarán [Amazon]
32. Passion Play (2010) by Beth Bernobich [Amazon]
31. GrimJack: The Manx Cat (2007-2008) by John Ostrander (words) and Timothy Truman (pictures) [Amazon]
30. Feed (2002) by M.T. Anderson [Amazon]
29. Moonshine (2010) by Alaya Johnson [Amazon]
28. Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty (1998, revised 2003) by Muhammad Yunus with Alan Jolis [Amazon]
27. Ship Breaker (2010) by Paolo Bacigalupi [Amazon]
26. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (2004) by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing [Amazon]
25. Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival (2007) by Daniel Jaffee [Amazon]
24. Expiration Date (2010) by Duane Swierczynski [Amazon]
23. Planetary (1999-2009) by Warren Ellis (words) and John Cassaday (pictures), et al. [Book 1: All Over the World and Other Stories | Book 2: The Fourth Man | Book 3: Leaving the 20th Century | Book 4: Spacetime Archaeology]
22. The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa (2007) by Helen Epstein [Amazon]
21. Cuba's Academic Advantage: Why Students in Cuba Do Better in School (2007) by Martin Carnoy with Amber K. Gove and Jeffery H. Marshall [Amazon]
20. Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century (2006) by Jonathan Zimmerman [Amazon]
19. Horns (2010) by Joe Hill [Amazon]
18. Chasing the Dragon (2009) by Nicholas Kaufmann [ChiZine Publications]
17. I Kill Giants (2008) by Joe Kelly (words) and JM Ken Nimura (art) [Amazon]
16. Action Philosophers! (2005-2009) by Fred Van Lente (words) and Ryan Dunlavey (pictures) [Amazon]
15. Rules of '48 (2009) by Jack Cady [Amazon]
14. Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice (2006) by Sally Engle Merry [Amazon]
13. Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls (2002) by Rachel Simmons [Amazon]
12. The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To (2010) by DC Pierson [Amazon]
11. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (2006) by William Easterly [Amazon]
10. Ultra: Seven Days (2004-2005) by The Luna Brothers [Amazon]
9. Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008) by Jeffrey D. Sachs [Amazon]
8. Words of Birth and Death (2006) by Hannu Rajaniemi [Writers’ Bloc]
7. Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992) by Paul Monette [Amazon]
6. Sleepless (2010) by Charlie Huston [Amazon]
5. Bone Black: memories of girlhood (1996) by bell hooks [Amazon]
4. The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas translated by Gregory Rabassa from Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas (1881) by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis [Amazon]
3. The City & The City (2009) by China Miéville [Amazon]
2. Scenting the Dark and Other Stories (2009) by Mary Robinette Kowal [Amazon]
1. Soulless (Book One of The Parasol Protectorate) (2009) by Gail Carriger [Amazon]
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