User Tools

Site Tools


read

Books I've Read

2020

June

  • Exultant by Stephen Baxter - I'm finding this pretty difficult to read, quite slow. I'm a big fan of some of Baxter's other work, so will slog through and finish this trilogy in the hopes that it pays off.

April

  • The Peripheral by William Gibson - This had a really unique and interesting premise. I found it a tad confusing at times though. The dialogue annoyed me a little, but it (the dialogue) was well written I thought - natural, Tarantino-like. I heard they're making a live action TV series on Amazon Prime, will be interesting to see. I want to read some more Gibson.

March

February

  • Coalescent (Destiny's Children Book 1) by Stephen Baxter - I'm reading this for my sci-fi bookgroup. The bookgroup topic is hive minds. I'm 90% through this 400 page book and there has been almost no sci-fi at all. Not happy. If I didn't like the author I'd have stopped by now. This better get good quick. I guess I'm gonna have to read the trilogy now to find out why I read this first book. Finished: It was an okay book, pretty much no sci-fi in it though.

January

  • Pandemic by Scott Sigler - The third in the Infected series. I enjoyed this. The ending was a little poor, but I guess there wasn't much left to do after the first two books. I would liked to have learned a little more about how the infection/control worked - he focused on that more in the previous novels though. Anyway, it was a fun horror scifi story. I might look at some of his other books.

2019

December

  • Walkaway by Cory Doctorow - I normally like reading Doctorow, but I found this book a little preachy and the terms like wiki and version control felt shoehorned in. Overall it was interesting though. I'll try to read some of his older stuff soon.
  • Singularity Trap by Dennis Taylor - I wanted to read this as soon as I heard about it (and because it was written by the Bobiverse guy). I enjoyed it. Some interesting ideas. Was cool to see his transformation. The ended seemed a little contrived, but overall, enjoyable book.

November

  • Salvation Lost by Peter F Hamilton - Fabulous opening scene/chapter. I enjoyed this, but not as much as his Commonwealth stuff. Not as many new ideas as the worlds are pretty similar. Will read the third one, when it comes out (in 2 years!).
  • Old Man's War by John Scalzi - This was enjoyable, nothing really new though.

October

  • Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky - I enjoyed this, but it was much more fantasy than sci-fi. Nowhere near as good as Children of Time, but decent. I think I need to read some more sci-fi now though.

September

  • All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries Book 1) by Martha Wells - I really enjoyed this. Most people wouldn't like the writing style (I don't think it was very sophisticated) but I found the story a lot of fun. It was short (160 pages) but cheap, I thought about buying the sequel, but it's short and expensive, not sure it's worth it (because there is so much else out there to read). I'm thinking about it.
  • Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds - This was alright, it hasn't really gripped me in the way I wanted. I'll probably read a few more, just to be sure.

August

  • Half a King by Joe Abercrombie - Read this for the fantasy month at the bookgroup. Meh, it was decent, i.e. well written I guess, I liked the world, but just a bit boring. I kept waiting for something to happen then remembering it wasn't sci-fi.
  • Armada by Ernest Cline - I'm enjoying this. Very similar to his previous book, so I'd only recommend it if you are into geek 80s-90s pop culture references. Fun story so far though and pretty meta/self-aware. Finished: I liked it, nothing special to recommend, but fun.

July

  • Saturn's Children by Charles Stross - Recommended by Matthew at my bookgroup. As much as I like Charles Stross, I didn't really like this book. It wasn't as complex as Accelerando but I found it hard to follow. Partly because I just didn't care about the characters. It actually picked up a little in the last couple of chapters, so I may read the others in the series. Back burner for now though.
  • Small Gods by Terry Pratchett - Read this for the fantasty bookgroup. It was decent but very little happened. Made me miss sci-fi.

June

  • Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky - This was an excellent sequel, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first - maybe it's more difficult to empathise with a mollusc mind than a spider mind, for me, for some reason but the book had some excellent ideas, and featured the creature I like that reminded me of the motiles from the Commonwealth Saga.

April

March

  • Infected by Scott Sigler - Reading this as part of my bookgroup topic 'Alien horror'. Enjoying it so far. Finished: This was really good. Gorier than I expected. I think I'm gonna move on to the rest of the trilogy.

February

  • The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu - I enjoyed it, and the beginning got me pretty hooked. Generally this book was pretty out there (n dimensional single proton computers with its circuitry/gates composed of strong/weak forces), though that would make it super fast (like the machinery described in Dragon's Egg). Anyhoo, interesting, I might get around to reading the next book from Cixin Liu.

January

2018

December

November

  • Singularity Sky by Charles Stross - Munro recommended this as an interesting book that dealt with cornucopia machines and their impact on society. I enjoyed it and would be interested to hear more about The Festival. Definitely going to be reading more Stross when I get the chance, I still think about Acclerando often.

October

  • Inhuman by David Simpson - Continuing on with the next/last book in the series. This was pretty good, the best one was, I think, the third book, but the whole series was worth a read.
  • The Skinner by Neal Asher - First book in the Spatterjay series, and I think this is my first Neal Asher. I'd had a couple of recommendations of this author and decided to start with this one as it mentions a hive mind and immortality. Enjoy it so far. Finished: I liked this. It has some interesting ideas (the virus, the hornet hive mind, the thrall units, reification etc). I'll definitely read some more.
  • Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky - When someone at my bookgroup summarised the story (intelligent spiders and ant colonies acting as computers) I was sold. This is one of the better sci-fi books I've read this decade. So many fascinating ideas, and the evolutionary histories of the creatures involved was fantastically done. I should check out anything else this guy does. I also want to read a non fiction book on some spider/ant species now.

September

  • Salvation by Peter F Hamilton - I tried to put reading this off until he'd written one or two more, but in the end I couldn't, so read it in a couple of sittings when I was in a particular mood for PFH. It was a good book, I didn't enjoy it as much as his other works, but there were some interesting ideas and I'll definitely be getting the next ones when they come out.
  • Fall of Giants by Ken Follett - Recommended by Naomi. Part of the Century Trilogy. I'm enjoying it so far, only a few chapters in, but I like the style so far, and how the stories intertwine. Nice change from sci-fi for a bit too. Finished: I enjoyed this plus I feel a know a bit more about some of the developments leading up to WW1. I'll try to read the rest of the trilogy after a short sci-fi interlude.

August

  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons - This has been on my list since 2003. Paused reading it to read Bedlam (so we could talk about Bedlam as a group at WW). Finished: I really enjoyed this, almost nothing happened (it's the background stories of 6 people travelling) but those stories really opened the world up and explored some fascinating stuff (cybroids, AI, ergs, The Shrike etc). Gonna read the next one when I get a chance.
  • Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre - Suggested by Lionel. I enjoyed this. I feel like I've read similar things in the past (though not as game orientated and I can't quite put my finger on what exactly). I kinda knew where it was going from the outset, but I enjoyed the read. It was interesting to have so much Scottish humour (and humour in general), not used to seeing that in my sci-fi.

June

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - I'm enjoying this, especially as I read parts of it while in France. Such a big book, think it's gonna take me another couple weeks to complete. Finished: This was great, probably overly long, but I'm glad to have read it. I felt like I was thinking in the same word choice/style as the author by the time I finished it. Gonna watch some of the movies now and see how they compare.

April

March

  • Post-Human by David Simpson - Recommended by Natalia. I didn't enjoy this so much, I felt the writing was a little too hand-wavey/gee-whizzy, but there were a couple interesting ideas, and I was keen to see where it might lead.
  • All These Worlds by Dennis Taylor - I enjoyed this series a lot. It ticked all my boxes. Good fun.
  • For We Are Many by Dennis Taylor - Second book in the Bobiverse series, I'm enjoying it.
  • We Are Legion by Dennis Taylor - Stumbled across a one line description on Reddit and couldn't resist. Can't put it down so far. First of the Bobiverse series. Finished: I'm not sure how much merit this book deserves, it was a little simplistically written, but I enjoyed it immensely, straight onto the sequel.

January

  • The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks - Last book in the series, enjoying it so far. Finished: Well, that's me done. I enjoyed the whole series, it's a shame it's over, no more Culture stories. I'll always remember Excession for introducing me to the world. Might go back and read the first 1-3 in a few years.
  • Matter by Iain M Banks - Continuing the series. Finished: Excellent, enjoyed it. Last one to go, gonna be sorry when it's over.

2017

November

  • Look to Windward by Iain M Banks - Continuing the series. Finished: Decent addition. First mention of the e-dust assassin. Brutal and interesting. Two books left. I'll be sad when they are done.
  • Inversions by Iain M Banks - This was pretty confusing. No mention of the culture, AI or technology at all. I enjoyed the book but I hardly saw the connection. Yeah, there was a scene or two that could have been SC tech, and I caught some of the references, but I wasn't sure what the end goal of the protagonists were. Meh, decent book, but I'll be glad to get back into the Culture swing of things with book 7.
  • Excession by Iain M Banks - Re-reading as part of the series. Great book, I've spoken about this to so many people over the years - and probably will continue to. Neural lace! Finished: Loved it. In hindsight, I must have been pretty confused reading this first in the series, but I enjoyed it back then, even more so now. Looking forward to reading more.

October

  • Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge - Read this over the course of a few hours in time for a Halloween book group meeting. I enjoyed it, some really beautiful writing.
  • The State of the Art by Iain M Banks - I really enjoyed this. The whole series was discounted on Amazon, so I bought the whole lot. Moving on to #5 (Excession) even though I've already read it, 'cause I'm so into the story again. Some great ideas and descriptions of the minds so far.

July

  • The Bees by Laline Paull - Recommended by Naomi Moo, set inside a bee hive. Always been fascinated with bee colonies. Finished: This was pretty interesting, not sure I'd recommend it to anyone, unless you were really into bees.

May

  • Night Without Stars by Peter F Hamilton - I was saving this for a rainy day, but was missing my Peter F Hamilton fix. Only a chapter or two in and it's good! Finished: I enjoyed it, a lot, sad it's all over now. Think I've read almost all of his work except maybe one or two stand-alone books (which I'll read next). The ending was fine, but there were a lot of loose ends tied up in a bit of a contrived way, better than just ignoring them I guess.

April

  • Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman - The synopsis attracted my attention - space travel and virtual worlds and I'd always meant to read more Haldeman after enjoying The Forever War. After: I enjoyed it, I checked to see if there was a sequel and was disappointed there wasn't. Some interesting ideas.
  • Wake by Robert J. Sawyer - Munro recommended this. I enjoyed it (read it in two sittings) and will read the sequels (I felt it was just getting started when it ended). I found a lot (most) of the dialogue irritating (overly simplistic/forced to match the narrative), and I just don't think his writing style meshed well with me. I wanted to keep reading though, so, jury is still out.

January

  • Starquake by Robert L Forward - Enjoyed the first installment. I've had the sequel on my wish list since Nov 2010. Just realised I have a hard copy, it was a gift. It's now December's bedside book. Finished, this was pretty fascinating, the electromagnetism/gravity stuff was a bit too in-depth, but all very interesting.

2016

December

  • Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks - I enjoyed this, but it wasn't my favourite of the Culture novels. Some interesting ideas as usual though. Didn't realise I'd read them so out of order. Think I'll continue on and try to read Inversions next.
  • The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold - This had been on my reading list since August 2005. I didn't realise how short it was. I read it in about 2 hours. It was superb. Exactly the sort of book about time travel I'd like to have written. It gave me loads to think about as well. I think I'll be talking about this for a while.

November

  • Brightness Reef (Uplift book 1) by David Brin - Was recommended to me at a book group, interesting premise. I was reading some other stuff, but it still took quite a while for me to get through. I enjoyed it, the other alien species were all pretty unique and interestingly described. I was kinda hoping for much more to happen though. Maybe I should read the rest of the trilogy.

September

  • The Running Man by Richard Bach - Read this for the dystopian category for a bookgroup. I guess I shouldn't have expected the movie when I read this, but sheesh. About the only thing in common with the movie were the names. He volunteered for The Running Man game, there were no gladiators (except one guy at the end) and.. well.. I won't give a spoiler even though the entire thing was ruined by Stephen King's preface/intro (which I luckily didn't read until after I'd finished the book). Anyway, bottom line, this story has been done a bunch of times before and better.

August

  • The Dispossed by Ursula K Leguin - Reading an 'anti-hero' book for a sci-fi/fantasy book group. Feeling like I'm waiting to spot the 'anti-heroness'. Interesting so far. Finished; this was okay. I was pretty confused through most of the book, as I was reading it bits and pieces with a lot going on, I didn't quite realise how the story was laid out (alternating chapters), plus I was waiting on hearing about the ansible and was thinking “Wait, they don't know anybody further than a few days travel?” Anyway, while I guess it had some interesting things to say, from a utopia point of view, I was hoping for a little more science.

July

  • Catch 22 by Joesph Heller - Christmas present from Vikki. Been meaning to read it for a long time and its been on this list for an even longer time - I've been putting a lot of things before it, and I think I've started trying to read it before as well. Finally bit the bullet and started to read it [again] on holiday. I'm not enjoying it that much so far (about 20% of the way in). But I plan to finish it - reading it on my kindle but I also have at least two physical copies. Interesting to note when I picked up my copy during my holiday that it's the #1 best seller on Amazon for American literature. Finally got through it. I'm still not sure what I think. It wasn't what I expected, and the characters will probably stick with me for a while but it just left me feeling slightly 'miffed' for lack of a better word. There was a seriously annoying amount of repetition in the book too, maybe that's just me.

June

  • Redshirts by John Scalzi - I'm filling this out way after the fact (Jan 2019), not sure why it was missed being recorded, but I was reminded of it again after a recent bookgroup. I enjoyed it a lot. Comical parody of the genre with some interesting takes on reality etc. I plan to read more of Scalzi's work (The Old Mans War).
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - This had been recommended a few times. I read it in two sittings, while sitting outside in the sun in Lanzarote. It was a little strange to read, I was getting drunker as he was getting smarter - made me smile. Interestingly written story, but nothing too ground-breaking.
  • The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F Hamilton - Taking a break from the Reddit Top 200 books to treat myself with a Peter F Hamilton story. I was putting this off until he'd finished the sequel so I could read it directly after, but I was in the mood for some Void stories and couldn't wait. Read it mostly sitting outside the apartment in Lanzarote. Enjoyed it, as always, some interesting ideas and characters, patiently waiting for the sequel now.

May

  • Accelerando by Charles Stross - I enjoyed this a lot. Some fascinating ideas about VR, space travel and matrioshka brains. I'll try to read more Stross soon.

March

  • Anno Dracula by Kim Newman - Reading this for a sci-fi/fantasy book group. I'd been meaning to read it for a while. Interested to see where it's going. Finished: Not bad, some interesting ideas for vamipre lore and society. Don't think I'm going to continue the series though, just not enough in it.
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond - Recommended and referenced by Scott Orson Card in the epilogue to Shadow of the Hegemon, looks like I'd learn something from this book. Sheesh, it's been on my list since April 2004. About a quarter of the way through so far (I think it'll take me a while). It's a little frustrating that some points he labours home and others (that I find fascinating like the artificial selection/evolution of crops) he completely skims over. After: Sheesh, this took me a while to get through. Excellent book, but it could have been 1/3 the length, very verbose.

2015

December

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Working through a Reddit top 200 book list, this was the fourth highest in order that I hadn't read yet (not sure I even read this in school actually). Finished. This was ok, but I think I kinda spoiled it for myself by already reading some Bukowski and Kerouac

November

  • Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman! by Richard Feynman - I'm enjoying this so far. Always been meaning to read it. Finished: Fascinating guy, I liked the book and enjoyed a lot of his stories, others annoyed me a little but overall, fascinating. Still working through some of his lectures on youtube.

October

  • Catcher In The Rye by JD Sallinger - Just started working through a Top 200 books referenced on Reddit post (I'd read about 50 of them and this was the highest rated one I hadn't read). I'm glad I've read it (one of the classics off the list) but I didn't get all that much from it. Maybe if I'd read it younger or (I say this all the time) if I'd read it before books by Bukowski or Jack Kerouac it would have been more memorable, but when I finished this book I was just glad I could get onto the next one. Meh.
  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman - Continuing with some classic science fiction. Enjoying this so far. Finished: Wow, excellent book. I thought I'd read this as a kid but realised I obviously hadn't, some fascinating ideas about the development of human society. I'm gonna read Forever Peace and see what else Haldeman has written.
  • Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur Clarke - I enjoyed this. I was sure I'd read it before, but maybe I was just getting it confused with something similar. Either way, I hadn't written it down. I read this unusually quickly, in about 4 hours.

September

  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson - 10% in, I'm really struggling with this book so far. Weird terminology and obscure references to their timeline/abilities/math. I'm persevering though, because it's Neal Stephenson - I'll be disappointed if it doesn't pick up soon though. Finished: Sheesh. That took me far too long. There were definitely some interesting ideas, but, gah, so much redundant terminology and something generally just bugged me about the monastic sensibilities.. I sort of enjoyed it, but I can't imagine recommending anything but skimming over the wikipedia page to anybody.

August

  • Code Breakers by Colin F Barnes - Some interesting ideas regarding the society and the AI, but the book seemed a little like an airport purchase (I think it was free on Amazon). I might read some more of his stuff, possibly.

July

  • The Resurrection Tree and Other Stories by Tony Cooper - Not sure why I ended up reading this, might just have been an Amazon recommendation. It was pretty interesting and enjoyable though. Might look this guy up again.
  • Time Travel in Einstein's Universe by Richard Gott - Read this because I'd heard Gott mentioned other scifi novels that quote his work, fascinating. This book has been on my wishlist since July 2005, sheesh. Interesting book, his formula for the longevity of a civilization (or anything) at a non special moment in time reminded me a little of Asmiov's histronics.

June

  • The Martian Engineer's Handbook by Eric Nabity - Interesting short book expanding on/critiquing some of the ideas in Weir's novel. I could have absorbed much more (he didn't touch much on the practicalities of travelling around and the launch).
  • Artificial Evil: The Techxorcist by Colin F Barnes - This had some interesting ideas about HCI and AI, but the characters annoyed me a little. Part of the twist made things more palatable but everybody still felt a little cliche and the ending was a little unsatisfying and it was little more than a segue into the sequel. I'd consider reading the next one in the series, dependent on the synopsis.

May

  • A Quantum Murder by Peter F Hamilton - Just continuing the trilogy. Enjoying it, but not as much as the others trilogies. Finished: This was okay, nowhere near as good as his other works. I'm just not that into Greg or this earlier (in time) world of his. Meh.

March

  • Mindstar Rising by Peter F Hamilton - Starting on his early work now that I've worked through almost everything else. I like this main character Greg Mandel so far. Finished: Enjoyed it, but not as much as his other series (I prefer more tech!) I'll finish the trilogy.

February

  • Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton - Bought this hardcover in the pound shop as my 'bathroom book'. I would have paid the RRP for this, �14.99. Poundshop for the win! Really enjoying the first story so far, sort of alternative history detective story where human technology is way more advanced (genetic fingerprinting in the 1850s and space travel before 1900). Finished, enjoyed that book a lot. Helps pad out some of the other works in his trilogies (the Angel/higher Earth encounter).

January

  • The Robert Sheckley Megapack by Robert Sheckley - His short stories were recommended on a reddit thread, and noticed this was less than a pound on Amazon. There were some interesting stories (particularly The Status Civilization - prison planet) but a lot of old school 1950s scifi shlock as well.

2014

December

November

  • Judas Unchained by Peter F Hamilton - Continuing the Commonwealth Saga. Excellent, I enjoyed this just as much as The Night's Dawn Trilogy. On to his next series I think.
  • The Temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton - Working through the trilogy. I'm enjoying this just as much as the Night's Dawn trilogy. Just the right mix of action, interesting ideas/storylines and new technologies (ANA, biononics, Highers, memory inserts, dyson spheres, telekinetics) and alien encounters. Finished this; it was excellent. I'll be reading the rest of Peter F Hamilton's works. One thing that stood out from this trilogy; Mr Bovey - that's what I want, multiple bodies, multiple experiences, multiple opportunities and essentially guaranteed immortality.

September

  • Pandora's Star by Peter F Hamilton - Started this just in time for my holiday in Lanzarote, enjoying it. Finished; I enjoyed this a lot. The Primes are pretty fascinating. Bought the next book the moment I'd finished the first.

July

  • A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin - Sold as two individual kindle books. A lotta reading, took me through May/June, at one point I was struggling to keep ahead of the disjointed TV show, but I managed it. Enjoyed them, looking forward to the next.

March

  • On Basilisk Station by David Weber - Free kindle book, the cover attracted me because it was so old-style sci-fi kitch. So far okay. After: I enjoyed it, I'll try to look out more of the series.

February

  • The Dreaming Void by Peter F Hamilton - Enjoyed this. Working through the next trilogy, while also currently reading this short stories.
  • Raft by Stephen Baxter - Been meaning to read this for a while. I enjoyed some of this other series. It feels like an age since I read some proper traditional sci-fi. Finished: I like it, ended quite suddenly though. I'll probably get around to the sequels.

January

  • Sodium:1 Harbinger by Stephen Arseneault - This was recommended to me via reddit - it's a free kindle book, with the subsequent sequels being a few quid each. I enjoyed it and will probably pick up at least the next one.

2013

November

October

  • Ash by James Herbert - I hadn't read a James Herbert book in ages, so I thought I'd try this one out. It was very cheap on the amazon store. Not sure what I think so far, it's extremely cheesy, with sex/flirting scenes that are just making me feel awkward for the guy. The premise is pretty interesting, if a little illuminati-y. Meh, finished, the end was a bit too packaged.
  • Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw - Got distracted with Games of Thrones halfway through reading this. I enjoyed the book though, not a great fan of the ending, but it was a pretty fun read. I think I'd read more by the author.

July

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry - This had been on my list since September 2010, but a post on reddit “books that made you think wow” recently inspired me to go read it. I enjoyed it more than I expected, I'd previously read nothing about the plot so even the title was unknown to me. It didn't make me say wow though - maybe if I'd read it when I was 10 or so, before Fahrenheit 451 etc. Not bad, but I probably won't chase down the rest of the quartet.
  • A Feast For Crows by George RR Martin - Working my way through the series, enjoying it.

May

  • A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin - Third book in the Game of Thrones series. Looking forward to getting in to it. Finished it; I enjoyed it as much as I expected to. Was gonna have a break from the series but decided to continue on so I can hold a conversation with Helen without worrying about spoilers :-p

January

  • Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne - I read this very quickly, enjoyed it, quite similar to a lot of other stuff I've read, but I will get to the sequel.

2012

November

  • Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson - This was a reasonably well written book but I just don't really care much about the subject material. Felt like I read it in minutes compared to having just worked my way through the very long Peter F Hamilton novels.

October

  • The Naked God by Peter F Hamilton - Third in the trilogy. I enjoyed this, the universe it describes is fascinating. The ending was a little too Scooby-Doo/deus-ex-machina for my liking but I'll allow it.

September

  • The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F Hamilton - Second part of his trilogy. I'm quite impressed so far. Okay, finished, it was really good book, so many questions. I've got plenty of other things to read, but I'm ploughing on to the third in the series.

July

June

April

  • The Reality Dsyfunction by Peter F Hamilton - Despite numerous recommendations over the years, I've finally gotten around to reading Peter F Hamilton. Seems interesting so far. Just finished it, I really enjoyed it. Lots of interesting ideas and technologies. Will get the next few in the series.

March

  • The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson - Book for the March 2012, Skeptics book group. Seems quite interesting. After: very readable book, makes me want to read some of the other 'corporate psychopath' books he mentioned.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Reading this for the March 2012, sci-fi book group. Read this over a day or two, I really enjoyed it, it was a little cheesy, but I love that sorta stuff and couldn't put it down. I got pretty much every non-music geeky reference, I could almost have solved that egg hunt myself :-p It's definitely up there with the geekiest book I've read, Wizardry Consulted :-p I'll look out for the next book this guy does.
  • The Jaunt by Stephen King - Short story, interesting enough, was pleased to see he mentioned Bester.

2011

December

  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes - November sci-fi bookgroup book. Meh, it was okay. I liked the general idea of the animalled, but didn't care much for the characters or setting, or that annoying pseudo South Afrikaans.

October

  • Contact by Carl Sagan - Sheesh, been on my list since 2003. Reading it for the October Sci-fi bookgroup. Finished it in less than a week. I enjoyed the novel, the religious crap started to annoy me though.

August

  • Farnham's Freehold by Robert A Heinlein - I enjoyed this, read it on the way back from Orkney. Felt like two different novels though; a survivalist story for half the novel, and then came the science fiction. I read a first edition, it was almost 50 years old, looked new.
  • Room by Emma Donoghue - This was quite an interesting book. Read it on the Kindle for iPhone.

July

  • Twisted Metal by Tony Ballantyne - Sci-fi book group book for July. I enjoyed it. Will try to read the sequels.
  • For The Win by Cory Doctorow - May 2011 book from the sci-fi bookgroup I'm in. It's okay, taking me a while to work through it though. Quite an interesting read.

June

  • A Game of Thrones by RR Martin - Another novel that has been on my list since 2003. I was expecting a lot more fantasy but I'm enjoying it so far. Just finished; it was a superb book. Coincidentally I finished reading just in time for the TV series on HBO. I will look out the sequels.

April

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - This was my first (legitimate) ebook purchase (Kindle for iPhone), though I've been reading ebooks since the mid 90s. I'm reading this for the sci-fi bookgroup which I still haven't gotten around to attending despite having read half their selections. I think I completely ruined the start of this book for myself by reading the first two lines of the synopsis on wikipedia. Ho hum. Meh, finished, it was mediocre. Kinda reminded me of Spares by Michael Marshall Smith with all the interesting and exciting parts cut out.

2010

November

  • Dragon's Egg by Robert L Forward - Mentioned on some TV show, sounds interesting, life on a nova star. Just read this. It's been on my list for six years. I really enjoyed it, fascinating story and some really interesting ideas. Definitely need to look for some more of Forward's novels.

October

  • Flow my Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K Dick - Been on my list since 2004. Was quite disappointed with this. The first 70% of the book was quite interesting but the ending was pretty terrible. Which seems to be what I usually find with Philip K Dick. Oh well.

September

  • Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis - Been on my list since May 2003. Kinda what I expected. It was quite interesting.
  • Replay by Ken Grimwood - Recommended on the Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List. Been on my list since 2003, somebody mentioned it as “a full life Groundhog Day”. I love this book, probably in my top 15 of all time. Fascinating idea, lovely story, well written.
  • Jonathan Living Seagull by Richard Bach - Fascinating little novella. Been on my list for six years. This should have been required reading in school. Took about 20 minutes to read but I'll probably be thinking about it in years to come.
  • The Space Merchants by CM Kornbluth - I didn't like the first part of this book, but as he arrives in the 'Chicken Little' factory it really began to pick up. Interesting read. It's fascinating that it introduced so many expressions into modern language, like 'R&D', soyaburger, or 'survey' as a verb.

August

  • Can Robots Be Human? by Peter Cave - I read this book in one sitting, in The Drake on Woodlands Road. I was hoping for a lot more, but so much was glossed over and a lot of it was very tedious. He also misused the word paradox at almost every opportunity. Meh.
  • To Your Scattered Bodies Go by PJ Farmer - This has been on my list for a long time. I enjoyed it, will read the rest of the series.
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller - This was okay, I'd have preferred not to have jumped around in time quite so much - I wanted to hear more about some of the particular characters, but it was a decent post apocalyptic novel.

July

May

April

March

  • Gateway by Frederick Pohl - Enjoyed this book, read it over a day or so. I want to know more about the Heechee though. Will read the others in the series.
  • The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett - I've been meaning to read the Discworld series for years. Enjoyed it, will read more I think.
  • It Looked Good on Paper by Bill Fawcett - Mentioned on slashdot. Christmas present from Hugh and Liz. I enjoyed it. Will try and look out for his other collections.

February

  • The Call of Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft - Was expecting a lot more from this. Maybe I need to be Victorian.
  • Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk - Reading as part of a new bookgroup. It was an okay book, kinda interesting, not quite sure what it was trying to say though. I could also have done without some of the repetition.
  • The Stand by Stephen King - Reading as part of a new bookgroup. Didn't realise it was so long. It was a decent book and it made me appreciate how good the film adaptation was.

2009

December

  • Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? by New Scientist - I love these books, I've read all the others but for some reason, I've not written them down here. If I could only read one type of book for the rest of my life, it'd be books like these - I have a penchant for science trivia.

November

  • Deadly Friend by Diana Henstell - Just realised I've seen the movie of this, it was dire. Book is kinda interesting though, if a bit ridiculous. Not sure I liked the ending either. Meh. It was pretty much exactly what I expected. Nothing worthwhile here.

September

August

July

June

  • God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger - This was okay but nothing overly new presented, though I was interested to hear what he had to say about cosmic constants.
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - This was okay, pretty much what I expected/what it says on the tin. I particularly liked the beginning aboard the plane and the ending was well done I thought.
  • Prey by Michael Crichton - This was a bit of a trash novel, I enjoyed it though. The software stuff was a little preachy.. all night coding sessions are getting so cliche.
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore - Meh, heard so much about this graphic novel. It was really built up in my mind. I bought an original 1987 edition, but flicking through the pages it never really grabbed my attention.. it's been sitting on my shelf for almost five years. I read it in one sitting - I didn't like it all that much - it didn't seem to have much depth. Maybe I should read a critique. It'll be interesting to see how they handle the film though.
  • Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K Dick - This was a pretty strange novel. I didn't like it all that much, couldn't really care about the characters.

May

April

  • Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling - Hmm.. this took me basically the whole month to read. I really didn't like it, ended up glazing over after every few pages. I'm not that interested in weather and the descriptions were so painfully verbose. There were a couple of precocious ideas and the smart rope and pursuit vehicles were interesting though.

March

  • Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks - I enjoyed this. Always been meaning to read more Culture novels.
  • The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle - I liked this, though I wished I hadn't read any reviews, one gave away too much of the plot. The science aspect/explanations were interesting. Was fun to see Hoyle push his anti-big bang theory toward the end :-p Originally recommended by Dawkins in a lecture.

February

January

2008

December

  • The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven - I enjoyed this. Always meant to read it after really enjoying Ringworld. Some fascinating imagery.
  • Earth by David Brin - I enjoyed this. Not quite sure I was happy with the last quarter of the novel nor the final resolution, but it has some interesting ideas. Not to mention the whole 'World Data Net', Brin describes this wonderfully, it was a pretty accurate prediction of the current state of our internet.
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - Picked this up on a whim and really enjoyed it. I found one section a little hard to read (Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After - I'm sure I counted seventeen apostrophes in one sentence) but really enjoyed the world Sonmi-451 lived in - I'd like to see more of that. I'm not 100% sure I got the overall message of the book, the interconnected aspect, I might go read some critical reviews. Will try to read some more David Mitchell.
  • Temple by Matthew Riley - Didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as Ice Station, the first Riley book I read. Far too over the top (not that Ice Station wasn't) and just didn't engage me. Hasn't put me off the author when I'm in the mood for something light though.

November

  • Whit by Iain Banks - I liked this, Isis was a fascinating character. The ending seemed a little contrived, but it could have been worse.
  • Roderick by John Sladek - This was a strange book. I enjoyed it, there were some interesting ideas. The entire premise was a little shaky.. Roderick enroles in school - he has tank tracks, a square steel body and tries to convince everybody he is a robot - they all assume he's crazy and is a boy in a special iron lung.. then he starts to slowly replace parts of his body all the while trying to convince people he is a robot, but nobody believes him.. Also, there were numerous strange paragraphs of gibberish.. unconnected words and phrases.. I'm not sure if that was to illustrate his mental processes but it was very frustrating. Anyway, worth a read.

October

September

  • Ice Station by Matthew Reilly - This was an unbelievable, unrealistic, over the top, mindless novel, not the sort of thing I normally read. I loved it though :-)
  • Space by Stephen Baxter - I preferred Time to this book, but I still enjoyed it.
  • Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith - I got this because I read (I think in slashdot) that it “deals extensively with radiation and radiation poisoning” - if I'd know it was part of a (I assume, from the synopsis) detective series I might not have bothered - I'll give it a try though. Just read it, meh, it was alright, not what I was looking for though.

August

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck - It took me a while to get through this - not quite sure why - it was a superb book, might even be up there in my top ten. One of the few fiction novels I'd consider reading again some day too.

July

June

May

  • The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan Pease - I was reading this for a small insight into some poker bluffing. It was okay, I guess I learned a lot of this information already elsewhere.
  • The Postman by David Brin - I enjoyed this, the idea behind the postman is fascinatingly complex. I'll get around to watching the movie soon I think.
  • The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman - Not that bad. Nothing special though. The reason I read this entire series was to find out about the wheeled creatures Dawkins made a reference to. There wasn't much about them really. I definitely enjoyed the first book in the series more than the second or third.
  • Idlewild by Nick Sagan - I enjoyed this a lot. I'll definitely look out for the sequel. Reminds me a little bit of the Ender's Game series.
  • The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson - I enjoyed this, it's only my second Bryson book (the other was A Short History of Nearly Everything), so I haven't actually read his main staple, the travel books yet. Next on my list.
  • The Snow by Adam Roberts - This was a birthday present from Vikki. I chose it 'cause of the post apocalyptic aspect. I liked it.
  • The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman - It was okay, not much of plot though, it certainly feels like a bridge between the first and third in the trilogy. I'll read the third one next though.
  • Harrington on Hold 'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 2: Endgame by Dan Harrington - This was okay, my end game needed work. I think I'll go back and read Vol 1 before moving to Vol 3 though.

April

  • Perdido Street Station by China Mieville - Slashdot recommendation - Got this back from Sandy after having left it at his flat for nearly a year. I'm trying to figure out where I left off, think I got it. Just finished, it was a good sci-fi book, some fascinating characters in that strange world
  • The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh - Somebody recommended this to me as 'a female version of Bukowski' - it's certainly not that. I did enjoy the writing, though the whole premise was a little tame.
  • Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I've read this before - it's one of my favourite Holmes stories. I read it again in preparation for the Literati bookgroup next month, still as enjoyable. Reminds me strongly of the old audiobook I had when I was very young, damn scary hound howling noises (and there seemed to be a lot more running away from the hound on the moors). The theme was Ride of the Valkyries.
  • The Bridge by Iain Banks - I enjoyed this a lot. I'll definitely read more of Iain Banks (as well as his sci-fi alter ego), I've only read The Wasp Factory to date, enjoyed that too.

March

  • The Eye of Sibyl Other Stories by Philip K Dick - Some interesting ideas but left wanting as usual.
  • Just A Geek by Wil Wheaton - Interesting book, I'd like to read his other one, Dancing Barefoot.
  • Principles of Economics by Peter Navarro - This was a lecture series handout, it was interesting, I've added one of Navarro's books to my list.
  • Slant by Greg Bear - I enjoyed this book, some interesting ideas - like a network of toilets that diagnose public health concerns - although I kind of found the overall plot lacking a bit of substance. I figured out this was the sequel to Queens of Angels, haven't read that yet, will add it to my list.

February

January

  • Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich - Recommended by my mum, it was an interesting book. Really wants me to go look further at blackjack theory now.. :-p
  • Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski - Read this while I was boarding in France, it was a decent book. Was interesting to see his early years, though I prefered the weathered character.
  • The Darkness of Wallis Simpson by Rose Tremain - Novel for Dec bookgroup.
  • Miles and Me by Quincy Troupe - This was recommended alongside a number of other books (including The Dharma Bums and Unnberable Lightness of Being). I liked the novel. It was a little strange and I'm not quite sure what I think of Miles. However, I've gotten hold of two of his albums and plan to listen to them later.

2007

December

November

October

  • Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami - I enjoyed reading this book, but it annoyed me quite a bit. There were so many unanswered questions and things I'd like to have known. I'll still be reading some more of Murakami's stuff though.

September

August

July

  • The 5th Horseman by James Patterson - Vikki's dad gave this to me a while ago. It's a bit of a trashy novel but I enjoyed it, read it very quickly as well - it's one of those Da Vinci style novels, 137 chapters..

June

  • Time by Stephen Baxter - Read about it on Byte's booklist, sounds interesting.
  • Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut - This was okay.
  • If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell - I love this guy. This was an excellent book.
  • Fluke by James Herbert - This is a small paperback Vikki got me for my birthday, I've been reading it when I'm in the sauna. Haven't read any James Herbert for at least seven or eight years..
  • Eccentrics by David Weeks - This, along with the Shakespeare tomb, is my 'bathroom book'. This was reasonably interesting. There was an interesting parallel between eccentrics in society and darwinism for the social organism.

May

  • The Magic Goes Away by Larry Niven - This was an excellent book. I'd like to read the others in the trilogy. I almost read this in one sitting, partly in the park and then later in the pub. I was worried reading it out doors though, my copy is a present from Vik, a signed first edition. There are some interesting parallels to be drawn between mana and our current natural resources. 2007-05-04.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - This is the meetup.com bookgroup book for June. I enjoyed the style.
  • The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney - This is the book for the Phoenix book group, May 2007. It was the 2006 Costa Book of the Year.. not sure who votes for that however.. It was a decent book, sometimes I felt that large parts could have been missed out completely though.
  • Time And Again by Jack Finney - This was a good book. I was expecting more science fiction, but still enjoyed it.

April

  • The Divine Invasion by Philip K Dick - This was a fascinating premise.
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - Found this again after having lost it for a while. It's inspired me to add a whole load of new books to my wish list so far. Superb book.
  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby - I like this book. Read it in almost one sitting (cat nap in between) when I couldn't get to sleep whilst staying at my parents over Easter. I wasn't sure if I'd already read the book.. I've read the screenplay and watched the movie so I couldn't quite remember. I enjoyed reading it though, I like the style. I have his other novel 'How to be Good', Vikki got it for me, I'll read that soon.

March

  • Love Eternally by Deborah Wright - This was Vikki's book that I found in the bathroom, I'm reading it on and off. Interesting idea, guy dies and becomes a ghost, has to learn what love truly is before he can 'pass on'.
  • Selling The Wheel by Jeff Cox - I like the way this was presented, with a story. Didn't get much from it though.

February

January

  • S is for Silence by Sue Grafton - I recommended this to one of the bookgroups I'm in because we couldn't decide on anything else and this was a book I recently noticed had spent the most time (or a lot of time) in the New York Times Bestseller List this year. after: This book was okay, but I didn't realise it was part of a huge crime series, otherwise I wouldn't have recommended it. It was interesting, and made me want to know what happened, however there were a few moments that reminded me of The Three Investigators or the Secret Seven, things happened too easy or conveniently for the main character..
  • Post Office by Charles Bukowski - I'm glad I read Woman first. This novel didn't stir up the same feelings (and, hell, admiration) that Woman did. Though I enjoyed it.
  • Arthur & George by Julian Barnes - This is for January's Ottakar's bookgroup. - Just finished a few days before the group, this was an excellent book. It makes me want to read Doyle's autobiography (and more of Barnes' books).
  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman - I read some great things about this trilogy as a whole (evolution creating a creature that utilizes seedpods for wheeled locomotion) looks good, enjoying this first book so far. Borrowed from my little sister. after: This was good, I'm looking forward to the next two in the trilogy.

2006

December

  • For a Breath I Tarry by Roger Zelazny - Excellent short story.
  • Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien - This was a Christmas present from Vikki, she said it was one of her favourite books from school. It sounds like my favourite genre. Just finished it a few days after Vikki gave it to me, I enjoyed it. There were a couple of things that made me think, particularly, harvesting wheat, barley and other crops simply to keep the species from going extinct..
  • Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins - Another good book of Dawkins'. The 'dance of the bees' and it's evolution were particularly interesting.

November

  • So You Want to be a Wizard? by Diane Duane - I listened to the unabridged audio book of this. It was interesting to see how many similarities exist between it and the Harry Potter series. It wasn't bad, I would have preferred to have read it as the voices were quite annoying. I simply don't like Kitt's mexican accent and Fred sounded like a retired chain-smoking drag queen. Interesting ideas behind magic and wizardry though.

October

September

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami - This was the September 2006 bookgroup novel. I enjoyed it, very surreal. There were a few parts I'm not sure I understood. Thought it was a new novel (read it in one night, because I hadn't got around to it and the bookgroup was looming) but no, 1985.
  • The Perfect Store: Inside Ebay by Adam Cohen - This has been recommended in a list of 'books entrepreneurs should read', though I'd always planned to get around to reading this (along with a few other dotcom success stories). Coincidentally, I bought this on ebay.

August

  • Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down by Stuart Payne - I enjoyed this book, it wasn't anything like I expected (I was expecting more of a story, this is actually notes of dunking biscuits, sitting down and the history of biscuits) - actually I'm not sure why it made my list - I've never heard of www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com. It was a 24th birthday present from Vikki. Got through it very quickly and learned some tea and sitting down related trivia.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver - This is the August 2006 Ottakar's book group novel. Not bad, kept my attention.
  • Soul of a New Machine by Tracey Kidder - It was listed among a list somewhere of books all geeks should read. It's interesting. after: I liked this book, it's old now, written around the time I was born but still an interesting book. I feel like a learn a little about management too, mushroom management.
  • Ringworld by Larry Niven - Jamie recommended this, but it's a classic I've been meaning to read for ages, didn't realise it wasn't already on my wish list. Got it as a 24th birthday present from Vikki. after: Good book, the author uses the phrase ego-smashing to describe the view afforded by the ringworld to it's inhabitants at night. Fascinating idea, fascinating book.
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki - One of those cult self-help books, the first of a bunch I plan to read. The book was kinda interesting although some of his advice included “Join the marines, or a religious order” to learn discipline and signing up to these pyramid style schemes to learn marketing. Hmm.. I've read he is a repetitive writer, so I read the abridged version and still thought it was repetitive.

July

June

  • All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye by Christopher Brookmyre - Emma bought me a signed copy of this last year because I love using the expression in the title. I hadn't got around to reading it yet, partly because I didn't really know what it was about. It is our bookgroup book this month. I loved it. I got to about page five and it reminded me of Jagged Alliance: female mercenary computer hacker, I thought 'cool'. It's also based on some characters from Lanarkshire and Glasgow, so I liked some of the local references.
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - I think Vikki bought this as a present for me, she has read it already though. Looks interesting - it was mentioned in the foreword to one of my favourite books, The Time Traveller's Wife.
  • First Meetings in the Enderverse by Scott Orson Card - Vikki bought this for my 24th birthday. I love the Ender series so it was interesting to read the original short story and hear a bit more about Ender's parents. I couldn't get to sleep one night so read the whole thing in one sitting.
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown - Where do I start with this. It's been on my list for more than two years. I'm surprised I hadn't got around to reading it yet. I enjoyed it, though I was expecting more contravesy after all I've heard about it. I'll be checking up on all the 'facts' soon.

May

April

March

February

  • Alien 3 Screenplay by William Gibson - Didn't know he had even written this first rejected first draft, it was ok, far better story than the actual Alien 3 at least.
  • Women by Charles Bukowski - My first Bukowski book. Read this as part of the Ottakars book group. Really enjoyed it, I'm trying to get hold of some of his other novels and his poetry.

January

2005

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2004

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2003

December

November

October

September

  • Microserfs by Douglas Coupland - I've heard so much about this book over the years, I should have read it long ago. If you're a geek you should read it, was enjoyable with some cool ideas and observations. One thing that bugged the hell out of me though: sometimes Coupland's use of lan
  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson - Major7 recommended and loaned this book to me. Said it changed his life. I've read far too much psychology for this to be anything more than self-help business mangement nonsense.
  • My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle - Liked it, am looking for more of Mike Gayle's books after reading one I borrowed from Sarah (this one I borrowed from bigkev). Seems like light reading - I get through them very quickly, but some of the ideas are quite thought provoking. I just recommen
  • Plague Dogs by Richard Adams - By the guy who wrote Watership Down, good story, but I'm finding some of the author's style irritating. This might be on the 'current' list for a while, I'm only reading it when I'm in certain moods. (Done, took about a month, good book though).

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

read.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/02 11:52 by admin