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Book Ramblings

Long winded reviews

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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin

2015 on Goodreads

2015 on Goodreads - Various

Cor! 72 books eh?

I do have a life you know, I have misplaced it somewhere, but I do have it. Anyway, it’s probably more like 50, jettisoning some short stories and some books which I read during a previous year. For example I read Twilight ages ago, I just happened to write a completely emoji-ized review this year.

A lot of my Goodreads friends seem to have done their year in review and while I don’t like to jump on bandwagons I don’t want to be left without transportation at this time of the year. The trouble is my friends have all done such magnificent jobs and trying to keep up with them would be an exercise in futility so I’ll just plough through it like a demented farmer (and get all the metaphors mixed up as per usual).

Where to begin? Not at the beginning surely. I was going to list every single book I read this year, organize them in monthly order, and attach some kind of snide remark to each one. Five minutes after trying to format such a list I realized it is a monumental task, and I didn’t get where I am today by doing monumental tasks. So that’s out. If you are at all interested these are the books that I read in 2015 (give or take a few that shouldn’t be in there). I know what, I’ll do some Top Tens! How hard can that be? So here goes:

Top Ten Science Fiction
Of course we start with sci-fi, because at the end of the day — and at the beginning — I'm a sci-fi kinda guy.

1. [b: Childhood's End|414999|Childhood's End|Arthur C. Clarke|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320552628s/414999.jpg|209414] - Arthur C. Clarke
2. [b: The War of the Worlds|8909|The War of the Worlds|H.G. Wells|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320391644s/8909.jpg|3194841] - H.G. Wells
3. [b:Glasshouse|17866|Glasshouse|Charles Stross|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1433594992s/17866.jpg|930588] - Charles Stross
4. [b: The Sirens of Titan|4982|The Sirens of Titan|Kurt Vonnegut|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1419363185s/4982.jpg|905970] - Kurt Vonnegut
5. [b: The Children of Men|41913|The Children of Men|P.D. James|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388271989s/41913.jpg|1142] - P.D. James
6. [b: The Inverted World|142181|The Inverted World|Christopher Priest|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1245646253s/142181.jpg|2226603] - Christopher Priest
7. [b: Doctor Who: Shada|13541612|Doctor Who Shada|Gareth Roberts|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331748642s/13541612.jpg|19156465] - Gareth Roberts
8. [b: The Chrysalids|826845|The Chrysalids|John Wyndham|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1271095852s/826845.jpg|910927] - John Wyndham
9. [b: Parable of the Sower|52397|Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1)|Octavia E. Butler|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1442169447s/52397.jpg|59258] - Octavia E. Butler
10. [b: Surface Detail|7937744|Surface Detail (Culture, #9)|Iain M. Banks|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1287893375s/7937744.jpg|11345814] - Iain M. Banks

Missed the Top Ten Sci-Fi by a hair:
[b: The Three-Body Problem|20518872|The Three-Body Problem (Three-Body, #1)|Liu Cixin|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1415428227s/20518872.jpg|25696480] - Liu Cixin
[b: Absolution Gap|89184|Absolution Gap (Revelation Space, #3)|Alastair Reynolds|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309210984s/89184.jpg|86076] - Alastair Reynolds
[b: Parable of the Talents|60932|Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2)|Octavia E. Butler|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1170553715s/60932.jpg|249012] - Octavia E. Butler
[b: The Speed of Dark|96063|The Speed of Dark|Elizabeth Moon|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320497793s/96063.jpg|1128271] - Elizabeth Moon

The Philip K. Dick Award (joint winners)
[b: Dr. Bloodmoney|636108|Dr. Bloodmoney|Philip K. Dick|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1355321708s/636108.jpg|880666] - Philip K. Dick
[b: Clans of the Alphane Moon|226486|Clans of the Alphane Moon|Philip K. Dick|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1385189682s/226486.jpg|1451099] - Philip K. Dick

I hope you will read my review of the above-mentioned titles, unhelpfully not linked to directly, but if you are my friend — which you totally are! — they should be easy to find.

As for my reasons:

Top Ten Eight Fantasy / Horror
Sorry to lump horror with fantasy, they often overlap and I read very few horror books this year. Even with this bit of cheating, I can’t manage ten. I don't even particularly like that T.H. White book. For me, sci-fi > Fantasy. I always start itching all over the place if I don’t read sci-fi for a few weeks.

1. [b: The Great and Secret Show|32628|The Great and Secret Show (Book of the Art #1)|Clive Barker|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1407710558s/32628.jpg|942597] - Clive Barker
2. [b: Weaveworld|52640|Weaveworld|Clive Barker|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1329374451s/52640.jpg|942564] - Clive Barker
3. [b: Red Seas Under Red Skies|887877|Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)|Scott Lynch|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1426312779s/887877.jpg|856785] - Scott Lynch
4. [b: Gardens of the Moon|55399|Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)|Steven Erikson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1355144064s/55399.jpg|2646042] - Steven Erikson
5. [b: Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)|45112|Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3)|Robin Hobb|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1399584431s/45112.jpg|503752] - Robin Hobb
6. [b: Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)|68487|Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)|Robin Hobb|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387145228s/68487.jpg|4668002] - Robin Hobb
7. [b: The Republic of Thieves|2890090|The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)|Scott Lynch|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1406961069s/2890090.jpg|2916344] - Scott Lynch
8. [b: The Once and Future King|43545|The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King #1-4)|T.H. White|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1338741283s/43545.jpg|1140206] - T.H. White

Top Ten Classics
The classics are all “read” in audiobook format, they keep me entertained during my long commutes to work. I don’t read printed books in the bus because I am liable to hurl my breakfast all over them. All the audiobooks are from Librivox.org, because they are free, and I am careful to cherry pick the well read ones. I do switch over to the printed versions sometime when I need clarification — and for quotes.

1. [b: The Mayor of Casterbridge|56759|The Mayor of Casterbridge|Thomas Hardy|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388276915s/56759.jpg|2390173] - Thomas Hardy
2. [b: Of Human Bondage |31548|Of Human Bondage|W. Somerset Maugham|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924695s/31548.jpg|2547187] - W. Somerset Maugham
3. [b: Sense and Sensibility|14935|Sense and Sensibility|Jane Austen|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1397245675s/14935.jpg|2809709] - Jane Austen
4. [b: A Tale of Two Cities|1953|A Tale of Two Cities|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344922523s/1953.jpg|2956372] - Charles Dickens
5. [b: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|51496|The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|Robert Louis Stevenson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1318116526s/51496.jpg|3164921] - Robert Louis Stevenson
6. [b: Mansfield Park|45032|Mansfield Park|Jane Austen|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1397063295s/45032.jpg|2722329] - Jane Austen
7. [b:The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes|3590|The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)|Arthur Conan Doyle|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1164045516s/3590.jpg|1222101] - Arthur Conan Doyle
8. [b: Jude the Obscure|50798|Jude the Obscure|Thomas Hardy|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389403264s/50798.jpg|41342119] - Thomas Hardy
9. [b: Bleak House|31242|Bleak House|Charles Dickens|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1280113147s/31242.jpg|2960365] - Charles Dickens
10. [b:Vanity Fair|5797|Vanity Fair|William Makepeace Thackeray|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344386439s/5797.jpg|1057468] - William Makepeace Thackeray

"Close but no Cigar" Almost Top Ten Classics
[b: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer|24583|The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, #1)|Mark Twain|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1404811979s/24583.jpg|41326609] - MarkTwain
[b: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea|7085072|Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas|Jules Verne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1345387258s/7085072.jpg|41366562] - Jules Verne
[b: The Phantom of the Opera|480204|The Phantom of the Opera|Gaston Leroux|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327867727s/480204.jpg|2259720] - Gaston Leroux

Top Ten One Contemporary Fiction
1. [b: The Blind Assassin|78433|The Blind Assassin|Margaret Atwood|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327876197s/78433.jpg|3246409] – Margaret Atwood
Ah, Margaret Atwood, she knows how to rock 'n' roll!

Thank you so much for your interest. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and an unfeasibly Happy New Year 2016.

“And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”


During the organization of my shelves for this review I accidentally deleted my "Clans of the Alphane Moon" review, lucky I found a cached version. Thank you Cachedview.com!