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Time for my annual roundup of what I read last year.

Total number of titles was way down, although I suspect the number of words and pages was comparable: it was a year of doorstops! I read the first volume of Mark Twain's autobiography, then I re-read all of A Song of Ice and Fire, then I read A Dance With Dragons, then I read the first volume of Brandon Sanderson's new doorstop series, and then I said to myself, "Self, you've been reading all these doorstop novels, why not cap it off with the ultimate doorstop?" So I went and read War and Peace.

(As it happened, a friend had given me a copy of it as a gift some years ago, so I had it on my shelf.)

Here's the full list, behind a cut:

January:
The Broken Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin
Tamburlaine the Great, part 1, Christopher Marlowe
Tamburlaine the Great, part 2, Christopher Marlowe
For a LibriVox production; the fellow putting it together invited me to play the title role, which was flattering, and a lot of fun.
Pegasus, Robin McKinley
Which turned out to be half a book. I wish somebody had warned me.
Among Others, Jo Walton
The Admirable Crichton, J.M. Barrie
Another read for LibriVox, although in the end I didn't participate in the production.
Agatha H. and the Airship City, Phil and Kaja Foglio

February:
The Bards of Bone Plain, Patricia McKillip
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll
Yet another LibriVox read, this time for the production I put together myself. But no doubt everyone reading this knows about that.

March:
The Autobiography of Mark Twain, vol. I
This goes under March because that's when I finished it, but of course it took up a lot of February as well.
Tiassa, Steven Brust

April:
I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue With His Century, vol. I, William H. Patterson
Anna Christie, Eugene O'Neill
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz
Omnitopia Dawn, Diane Duane
Another Day, Another Dungeon, Greg Costikyan
One Quest, Hold the Dragons, Greg Costikyan
I'd actually beta-read the first of these many years ago, for the editor, and somehow never got hold of the second one. I happened to see these used and picked them up. They're reasonably enjoyable comic fantasy of the type that bloomed and withered in the late '80s and early '90s.
The Apocalypse Codex, Charles Stross
Laundry #4. A worthy addition to the series.


May:
Wildside, Steven Gould
Victory of Eagles, Naomi Novik
The Dragon's Path, Daniel Abraham
Very recognizably descended from A Song of Ice and Fire, and it was probably good that I read this before the Martin re-read. I found the physical format a bit amusing, inasmuch as the book really isn't all that long, but the book designer gave it large type and wide margins in an attempt to make it look like a doorstop.
Fuzzy Nation, John Scalzi

June:
Shalimar the Clown, Salman Rushdie
The Hog Takes to Precision, Victor Mollo
The part of the book described by the title was a huge disappointment: I expected it to be Victor Mollo Takes the Piss Out of Strong Club Systems, but it turned out to be Victor Mollo Tries to Climb Aboard the C. C. Wei Gravy Train. After the first 85 pages or so, it returned to the more usual Menagerie formula, and was much better reading.
Tongues of Serpents, Naomi Novik
His Majesty's Dragon, Naomi Novik
The Maid's Tragedy, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
The Uncertain Places, Lisa Goldstein
The Torah Codes, Ezra Barany
Ursus of Ultima Thule, Avram Davidson
Read in order to produce as an audiobook, which is currently on sale at audible.com. I'd never found Davidson all that appealing, but his prose really does work much better for me read aloud...even if it's me who's doing the reading! This one is a sword and sorcery novel that is very quirky, in some ways I think deliberately so.

July:
A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin
I watched the TV show, but was deliberately not going to reread the books...and then the new one was coming out and I broke down.
A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin
A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin

August:
Deadline, "Mira Grant"
I enjoy the characters and the style, and will read the third one...but, oddly enough, I find that a long-standing SF trope introduced in the preview for the third book (introduced early on in this one, actually, but in a sufficiently low-key fashion that it didn't bother me then) breaks my suspension of disbelief: I'll accept a zombie virus arising in the next five years, but not quick-grown clone bodies or memory transfer.
Thirteenth Child, Patricia Wrede
Across the Great Barrier, Patricia Wrede
A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin

September:
Timon of Athens, William Shakespeare
The Enchantress of Florence, Salman Rushdie
The Rodwell Files, Eric Rodwell and Mark Horton
Not a book for bridge beginners...but strongly recommended for all players above that level.

October:
Freedom and Necessity, Steven Brust and Emma Bull
Beyond the Horizon, Eugene O'Neill
Rocket to the Morgue, Anthony Boucher
The Children of the Sky, Vernor Vinge
The Wild Duck, Henrik Ibsen (tr. Eleanor Marx Aveling)

November:
The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

December:
War and Peace, Lev Tolstoy (tr. Ann Dunnigan)
The Kingdom of Gods, N. K. Jemisin
The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers

Total for the year: 50 titles. 33 SF or fantasy, 13 literary fiction (mostly related to LibriVox), 4 non-fiction, and 1 mystery. Plus of course subscriptions to Asimov's, The Bridge World, and The American Contract Bridge League Bulletin.

Date: 2012-01-02 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pameladean.livejournal.com
Ooo, Tamburlaine gets to chew scenery AND be subtle from time to time!

Robin McKinley did warn people in her blog that Pegasus had gone into two volumes, to her great distress. I do not know why publishers fight so hard against admitting up front that there will be another volume. I guess they think people won't buy the book. It's very annoying, however.

P.

Date: 2012-01-02 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] davidgoldfarb.livejournal.com
If you'd like to listen to the production of Tamburlaine, part I is here (http://librivox.org/tamburlaine-the-great-part-1-by-christopher-marlowe/), and part II is here (http://librivox.org/tamburlaine-the-great-part-2-by-christopher-marlowe/).

I played Richard Plantagenet in the Henry VI trilogy, and his death in part III inspired me, when I posted to the forum about having uploaded the part, to iambic pentameter:

Find here Richard Plantagenet's ending,
in speaking which I did make shift to leave
no single piece of scenery unchew'd:

(although I left out the line breaks, so I don't know if anyone noticed that it was blank verse.)

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