Sunday, August 26, 2018


I've finally found my way to updating a " Books Read" page for 2018 - see the tab at the top of the screen. I've managed to hit about a book per week, which, considering I work full time and have a number of other interests, is pretty darn impressive.

Not a single nonfiction book is on the list, at least not yet. I've several in progress, but the rule is that they do not go on the list until finished. Nonfiction is not my favorite type of reading, and while I start books with the best of intentions, they often fall to the bottom of the stack when new, shiny fiction catches my eye.

The year began with a catch up on books in series by favorite authors that I'd not yet read. I no longer feel the drive to read a favorite's book the instant it hits the shelf, preferring to wait until the price comes down (which is still faster than trying to get on the waiting list at the library). Jane Haddam, Martha Grimes, Cleo Coyle and Larry Correia are all award-winning, multiple book authors whose novels are well worth the time. (The first three are mysteries, the last urban fantasy).

A couple of the books are written and self-published by a friend and a friend-of-a-friend; while they get A for effort, both could use a good editor.

Fully half the books on the list are from the Wild Cards universe, a series of books written by a consortium of writers (often several different writers within one book), edited by George RR Martin, he of "I'm going to die before I finish the Song of Ice and Fire series" fame. The first three novels are, as his books generally are, rather hefty. None of the others is particularly short, either. You end up lost in the story, though, and hardly notice you are on page 368 of 550. They are fantasy/alternative history books (the one taking place at the 1988 Democratic National Convention is a rather interesting commentary on politics). The first book in the series was written in 1987; there is a resurgence in their popularity, as there is apparently a television deal in the works.

The hook to the series is that an alien virus was released over Manhattan in September, 1946. It instantly changed people, into classes called Aces, Jokers or Deuces. The books follow a roughly chronological path from that incident forward, following individuals and society as they deal with the impact of the virus.

I suppose there is some sort of psychological reason I've chosen to spend most of the year with my head in other worlds. Truth to tell, I've always been a huge consumer of fiction. At any rate, the list is up, and I'll be updating it (most likely at the end of the year - I'd rather read than spend my time recordkeeping).

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