Monday, December 22, 2008

My media inventory!

One thing I really enjoy about my Kindle is the ability to easily keep track of the books I've read throughout the year.

So here's my list of books that I've read since receiving it in the middle of February since last year. The stars next to the title indicate how well I liked it.

***** - Awesome. If you read this book and do not like it, I will be SO SAD.
**** - Still pretty awesome, but you can have your own opinion and I'll try not to hate you.
*** - Middling good
** - Guilty Pleasure/Hey, if you've got a couple hours to kill
* - I want my time back

1. A Daughter of the Snows, Jack London - **
2. His Majesty's Dragon, Naomi Novik - ***
3. Black Powder War,
Naomi Novik - ***
4. Throne of Jade,
Naomi Novik - **
5. Empire of Ivory, Naomi Novik - **
6. A Thousand Splendid Suns,
Khaled Hosseini - ****
7. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen - ****
9. Emma, Jane Austen - ***
10. Northanger Abby, Jane Austen - **
11. The Ropemaker, Peter Dickinson - ****
12. Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith - **
13. The City of Ember, Jeanne Duprau - ***
14. The People of Sparks, Jeanne Duprau - **
15. The Sunday Philosophy Club, Alexander McCall Smith - ***
16. Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription, William Buckley - **
17. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas- ***
18. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander McCall Smith - **
19. The Axis of Time: Weapon of Choice, John Birmingham - ***
20. Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali - ****
21. Heyday: A Novel - **
22. Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman - ***
23. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch - ****
24. Red Seas Under Red Skies,
Scott Lynch - ***
25. 1776, David McCullough - ***
26. John Adams, David McCullough - ****
27. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of..., Jared Diamond - ****
28. In the Garden of Iden, Kage Baker - **
29. The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Alexander McCall Smith - ***
30. Breaking Dawn, Stephanie Meyer - **
31. The Host, Stephanie Meyer - ***
32. The Android's Dream, John Scalzi - ****
33. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA..., Steve Coll - ****
34. Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of ..., Hiroshi Motomura - ****
35. Found, Margaret Peterson Haddix - ***
36. The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart - *****
37. The " " " and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart - ****
38. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski - *****
39. Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks - ****
40. The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, Jeanne Birdsall - ****
41. Old Man's War, John Scalzi - *****
42. The Ghost Brigades, John Scalzi - *****
43. The Last Colony, John Scalzi - ****
44. Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi - *****
45. Anathem, Neal Stephenson - ****
46. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, Alexander McCall Smith - ***
47. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman - ****
48. Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's..., Stephen Talty - ***
49. The Right Attitude to Rain, Alexander McCall Smith - ***
50. The Careful Use of Compliments, Alexander McCall Smith - **
51. The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, Alexander McCall Smith - **
52. Assassin's Apprentice, Robin Hobb - ****
53. Royal Assassin, Robin Hobb - ***
54. Assassin's Quest, Robin Hobb - ***
55. How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guide to..., Robert Zubrin - ***
56. Red Planet, Robert Heinlein - ****

So I've read a little over a book a week, which is about what I was aiming for when getting the Kindle. I was initially surprised that I didn't give anything one star, as I'm pretty sure I remember not liking some of the books I've read, but flipping through my Kindle's list, it appears I started on other books and simply didn't finish them. So if I didn't finish them, they're not included. So apparently to be on this list there has to be SOME worth to a book.

I do remember being really annoyed when I read Heyday, because a writer that I trust recommended it in the strongest terms and I found that it was only okay. It is certainly an interesting glimpse into America in the 1840s, but that's about all it has going for it.

I read an awful lot of Alexander McCall Smith but only ever gave any of his books two or three stars. He pretty reliably churns out these short, slice-of-life books without much in the way of plotline but that are certainly charming in their way. However, once you've read 3 or 4 books out of a particular series, you have basically read them all. Still, there are worse and less enjoyable ways to spend your metro ride, and I find I'd rather go ahead and read through another one of his before gambling on a new author.

I discovered John Scalzi's books this year and enjoyed them all so much that they received the majority of my five-star recommendations. I was pretty hesitant about bestowing five stars on anything, recognizing that some people just can't get excited about non-fiction or children's books or science fiction or fantasy, and those categories make up the vast majority of my reading list. However, John Scalzi's books are sufficiently awesome that even people who don't normally read Sci Fi would probably like them! They are rollicking good times, and my 18 year old brother who does not like to read thought they were a-mazing.

The only reservation I have is that I would feel a wee bit guilty giving those books to my mom, given the harsh language (people in the military swear! That is the way of things) and the occasional non-graphic bits of sex, but otherwise they are A+ awesome.

I also read a bunch of short stories, kept up on blogs and news media, et cetera, but I decided to keep this just a list of books. And so it is.

1 comment:

Grandma & Pop-pop said...

I did not like the first John Scalzi book very much. It seemed like just so much war action, especially the latter half of the book. Further, the characters seemed to lack character, if you know what I mean. I understand that they were mostly not really human, but PLEEZE, can't they just have a few good human qualities.

I know that I don't think the books are really great books, because I have no trouble setting them down to eat, sleep, or even do chores.

The second book, The Ghost Brigade is somewhat better, but it is still sitting, splayed open, about half-way finished and I do not feel compelled to go pick it up and read it.

I guess it is best summed up by saying--I've read worse books.

Question: Do you think the writer is LDS? He has several references to Mormon beliefs, as well as an endorsement of Orson Scott Card's books by one of the characters.