Reading List

A 2018 interview in Entrepreneur mentioned that I read more than 140 books in the previous year, and a lot of people asked for my reading list. It's a lot a science fiction of highly variable quality. I do not necessarily suggest you read the same trash that I have.

I've been tracking every book I read in a spreadsheet, for about the last 20 years. Starting in 2005, I have tried to read one book a week (or 52 books a year). Some time around 2014 I switched to primarily audiobooks (via Audible), though I still mix in kindle and paper books.

January 2018

  • The Punch Escrow, by Tal M. Klein - Fun, fast near-future with teleportation
  • Mirrorworld, by Jeremy Robinson - Don't remember this one at all
  • Apocalypse Machine, by Jeremy Robinson - Pretty bleak apocalypse stuff
  • The Nightmare Stacks, by Charles Stross - Two more Laundry novels I'd missed when they came out. The characters actually grow a bit, which plauged the first few
  • The Delirium Brief, by Charles Stross
  • War Factory: Transformation, Book 2, by Neal Asher - Nice deep sci-fi
  • The Medusa Chronicles, by Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds - Interesting portrayal of aliens
  • The Algebraist, by Iain M. Banks - RIP :(
  • The Killing Star, by Charles R. Pellegrino & George Zebrowski - Sci-fi plus apocalypse in an uncaring universe is my sweet spot
  • Dark State, by Charles Stross - I wish the Merchant Princes series was better, but I keep reading it anyway
  • Elysium Fire, by Alastair Reynolds - Alastair Reynolds writes really really good future-of-mankind fiction with deep characters
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible, by Austin Grossman - Very fun "what if superheros were real"
  • Contact, by Carl Sagan - Had somehow never read this

February 2018

  • Space Team 6: Return of the Dead Guy, by Barry J. Hutchison - Enjoyable space trash
  • Critical Failures V - C&C, Book 5, by Robert Bevan - This series started out well, but is so purile that I can't really recommend it
  • The Scar: New Crobuzon, Book 2, by China Mieville - The New Crobuzon world is fascinating
  • Iron Council: New Crobuzon, Book 3, by China Mieville
  • A Burglar's Guide to the City, by Geoff Manaugh - Non-fiction; architecture from a burglar's point of view
  • Blood World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 8, by B. V. Larson - Another series that I started with and should probably quit
  • Blackout, by Connie Willis - A don't know how I started this, but time travel fiction with very little science
  • A Closed and Common Orbit: Wayfarers ,Book 2, by Becky Chambers - Not as good as the first one
  • All Clear (Blackout Book 2), by Connie Willis - The ending is pretty sad
  • Earth, by David Brin - Future-prediction sci-fi from ~30 years ago that's scarily accurate
  • Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight - Founding story of Nike - very strong recommendation

March 2018

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr - Multi-timespan post-apocalypse civilization rebuilding. Good, but slow going at first
  • The Postmortal, by Drew Magary - What would happen if we cured aging?
  • Queen of Angels, by Greg Bear - Murder and identity in a utopian/dystopian future
  • Mogworld, by Yahtzee Croshaw - A novel set inside World of Warcraft
  • Jam, by Yahtzee Croshaw - Jam as a runaway super weapon
  • Differently Morphous, by Yahtzee Croshaw - Magic is real, but kept hidden. Aliens arrive and get framed for magic murders
  • The Audiobook of the Year, by No Such Thing as a Fish - I'm a big fan of the podcast, and this is like 9.5 hour version of that
  • Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson - What if superheroes were real, but evil?
  • Firefight, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Mitosis, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Calamity, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Leadership & Self-Deception, by The Arbinger Institute - Non-fiction management book
  • The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold - Fantasy with heavy religous messages; stick to LMB's sci-fi

April 2018

  • Starship Liberator (1 of 3), by B. V. Larson, David VanDyke - I need to stop reading BV Larson books
  • Icehenge, by Kim Stanley Robinson - More approachable that other KSR books; all of the characters are bearable
  • Grey Sister, Books of the Ancestor, Book 2, by Mark Lawrence - The second "war nuns" book
  • Orconomics: A Satire, by J. Zachary Pike - Fantasy meets econonmics. Very fun
  • Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection, by Alexander C. Kane - If superheroes were real and had franchises and logistical issues
  • The Dungeoneers, by Jeffery Russell - Fun fantasy
  • The Dungeoneers: Blackfog Island, by Jeffery Russell
  • All Systems Red - Murderbot Diaries, Book 1, by Martha Wells - Short story about murder cyborgs
  • Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente - The world will be destroyed unless we can compete in an intergalactic eurovision
  • Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson - Non-fiction management book
  • The Refrigerator Monologues, by Catherynne M. Valente - Femininst superhero short stories
  • Null States, by Malka Older - Second book in the series about future micro democracy. Very good
  • The Shadow of the Torturer - The Book of the New Sun, Book 1, by Gene Wolfe - A disgraced torturer learns about how this post-apocalyptic world works
  • The Claw of the Conciliator - The Book of the New Sun, Book 2, by Gene Wolfe

May 2018

  • The Sword of the Lictor - The Book of the New Sun, Book 3, by Gene Wolfe
  • Only Human, by Sylvain Neuvel - Final book in the "giant robots are found on earth and maybe aliens are amongst us" series
  • The Citadel of the Autarch - The Book of the New Sun, Book 4, by Gene Wolfe
  • Artificial Condition - Murderbot Diaries, Book 2, by Martha Wells - More murderbots
  • Semiosis, by Sue Burke - Living with a giant sentient plant
  • The Soldier - Rise of the Jain, Book 1, by Neal Asher - More Neal Asher intrigue-in-space
  • Galaxy Outlaws (The Complete Collection), by J. S. Morin - 16 stories and 6 short stories, totaling over 85 hours of audiobook. Sci-fi plus magic, with real character growth

June 2018

  • Son of a Liche - The Dark Profit Saga Book 2, by J. Zachary Pike - More fantasy economics
  • 5d6: Caverns and Creatures, by Robert Bevan - Short stories from the C&C universe
  • Space Team 7: Planet of the Japes, by Barry J. Hutchison - More dumb space adventures
  • The Singularity Trap, by Dennis E. Taylor - Really unlike his bobiverse books, this reminded me of the recent sci-fi movie "Life", but with much slower pacing
  • Trouble on Paradise: Expeditionary Force, Book 3.5, by Craig Alanson - Catching up this mil-sci-fi series which is fine. Skippy remains the best character, but the constant threat to earth gets kinda boring
  • Black Ops: Expeditionary Force, Book 4, by Craig Alanson
  • Zero Hour: Expeditionary Force, Book 5, by Craig Alanson
  • Out of Spite, Out of Mind - Magic 2.0 Book 5, by Scott Meyer - Not as good as the first book; nothing really progresses by the end. Still enjoyable
  • Revenant Gun: Machineries of Empire, Book 3, by Yoon Ha Lee - The end to this trilogy explains a lot of what has been happening. Strong recommendation
  • Dark World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 9, by B. V. Larson - My comment on book 8 was that I should stop reading these. I was correct
  • Dial D for Deadman, by Barry J. Hutchison - Spin off from space team, just as dumb/fun
  • Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou - Favorite non-fiction book I've read in many years. Theranos was an amazing dumpster fire

July 2018

  • Platoon F, by Christopher P. Young , John P. Logsdon - collection of 5 stories, like Space Team with less likeable characters
  • Storm Front - The Dresden Files, Book 1, by Jim Butcher - Magic in modern Chicago, with hard boiled detective-ing. With 15 novels (currently) in the series, I'll need to take some breaks
  • Fool Moon - The Dresden Files, Book 2, by Jim Butcher
  • Grave Peril - The Dresden Files, Book 3, by Jim Butcher
  • Summer Knight - The Dresden Files, Book 4, by Jim Butcher
  • Death Masks - The Dresden Files, Book 5, by Jim Butcher
  • The Furthest Station: Peter Grant, Book 6.6, by Ben Aaronovitch - Can't wait for the next full installment - magic in the modern day, mixed with delightful english narration
  • The Enemy Within: Omega Force, Book 4, by Joshua Dalzelle - I read the first 3 in 2017. Takes itself a bit too seriously, but well-rounded characters
  • Return of the Archon: Omega Force, Book 5, by Joshua Dalzelle
  • Apocalypse Nyx, by Kameron Hurley - I don't know how I came to read this. A collection of stories, but I didn't realize that until the end (I thought it was just poorly linked). The middle of a series about this character and universe. It probably helps to read the first books first, but a really interesting future of post-apocalyptic magic/bio-tech/murder
  • Blood Rites - The Dresden Files, Book 6, by Jim Butcher
  • Dead Beat - The Dresden Files, Book 7, by Jim Butcher
  • Proven Guilty - The Dresden Files, Book 8, by Jim Butcher

August 2018

  • Fleet of Worlds - Fleet of Worlds, Book 1, by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner - I figured I should go back and read the ringworld books I had skipped when I read the first ones more than a decade ago. Eh
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield - A pretty great autobiography
  • Half a King - Shattered Sea, Book 1, by Joe Abercrombie - Not nearly as dark as his First Law trilogy, but still great
  • Half the World - Shattered Sea, Book 2, by Joe Abercrombie
  • Half a War - Shattered Sea, Book 3, by Joe Abercrombie
  • Dawn - Xenogenesis, Book 1, by Octavia E. Butler - Great premise, but it drags slowly
  • White Night - The Dresden Files, Book 9, by Jim Butcher - More Dresden stories
  • The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe, by Peter Clines - Trying to be clever, it's pretty meh
  • Ball Lightning, by Cixin Liu - Fomr the author of the Three Body Problem trilogy, but not as good. Starts sciencey, then goes off the rails.
  • Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis - More time travel history fiction

September 2018

  • To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis - And more! But quite fun
  • Nightflyers, by George R. R. Martin - It's fine. But will he ever write the next SoIaF book?
  • At the Mountains of Madness, by H. P. Lovecraft - Good concepts, but a boring writer
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Tom Sweterlitsch - Amazing post-apocalyptic fiction. One of my favorite books in recent years
  • Adulthood Rites - Xenogenesis, Book 2, by Octavia E. Butler - Great in concept, but such a slog. Not sure i'll get around to book 3
  • The Gone World, by Tom Sweterlitsch - A little bit of a space horror and a lot of alternative timeline confusion. Great!
  • Crosstalk, by Connie Willis - A technology-mind-reading romantic comedey
  • Salvation, by Peter F. Hamilton - New series from one of my favorite SF authors - looking forward to the second book
  • The Wrong Stars, by Tim Pratt - Fine
  • Level Five, by William Ledbetter - Interesting nano-tech, goes a bit too military-y

October 2018

  • The Quantum Thief - Jean le Flambeur, Book 1, by Hannu Rajaniemi - Very flowery writing, but some good future concepts. Drops you in the middle of the story without explaining the context, but it gets tiring because you need all three books to really understand what's happening
  • Rogue Protocol: Murderbot Diaries, Book 3, by Martha Wells - More murder bot adventures
  • Exit Strategy: Murderbot Diaries, Book 4, by Martha Wells
  • The Fractal Prince - Jean le Flambeur, Book 2, by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Small Favor - The Dresden Files, Book 10, by Jim Butcher
  • Turn Coat - The Dresden Files, Book 11, by Jim Butcher
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few: Wayfarers, Book 3, by Becky Chambers - Each book is a bit worse than ther last
  • Changes - The Dresden Files, Book 12, by Jim Butcher
  • Side Jobs - The Dresden Files, Book 12.5, by Jim Butcher
  • Ghost Story - The Dresden Files, Book 13, by Jim Butcher
  • The Consuming Fire, by John Scalzi - I like this world, but nothing much happens in this installment and it's super short
  • The Calculating Stars: Lady Astronaut, Book 1, by Mary Robinette Kowal - Alternative space history fan-fic. It's great!
  • Cold Days - The Dresden Files, Book 14, by Jim Butcher
  • Archangel - Drones, Book 2, by William Gibson - Short but great installment in the latest Gibson trilogy
  • State Tectonics - Centenal Cycle, Book 3, by Malka Older - A very satisfying end to this trilogy. Lots more happens than in the previous 2 books and not in the way I was expecting

November 2018

  • Thin Air, by Richard K. Morgan - Hard boiled detective on Mars
  • Shadowed Souls - The Dresden Files, Book 14.5, by Jim Butcher
  • Skin Game - The Dresden Files, Book 15, by Jim Butcher
  • Wake of Vultures - The Shadow, Book 1, by Lila Bowen - Wild west fantasy with magic
  • Conspiracy of Ravens - The Shadow, Book 2, by Lila Bowen
  • The Labyrinth Index - Laundry Files, Book 9, by Charles Stross - I was wondering where the Laundry books would go, with Bob too powerful/boring and the world/UK being taken over, but the new central character is great and the story still interesting
  • The Flowers of Vashnoi - Vorkosigan Saga, Book 14.1, by Lois McMaster Bujold - Short story
  • Working for Bigfoot - The Dresden Files, Book 15.5, by Jim Butcher
  • The Freeze-Frame Revolution, by Peter Watts - Great concept sci-fi that drops you in the middle of a world with little explanation, but in a way that works
  • Superhuman - Superhuman, Book 1, by Evan Currie - It's a bit military-porny, but fun
  • Lies Sleeping - Rivers of London, Book 7, by Ben Aaronovitch - Finally book 7 in the series. Need more!

December 2018

  • Brief Cases - The Dresden Files, Misc, by Jim Butcher
  • The Fated Sky: Lady Astronaut, Book 2, by Mary Robinette Kowal - A great installment, faster reading than the first. Lots happens in the last portion of the book, felt rushed
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1, by N. K. Jemisin - Fantasy where demons are enslaved to humanity. Not nearly as good as broken earth trilogy
  • The Great Game of Business, by Jack Stack - It's a business book /shrug
  • Gnomon, by Nick Harkaway - Strong recommend!
  • Bandwidth: An Analog Novel, Book 1, by Eliot Peper - Very easy reading, some nice concepts
  • Borderless: An Analog Novel, Book 2, by Eliot Peper - EVen less plausible than the first one
  • The Causal Angel - Jean le Flambeur, Book 3, by Hannu Rajaniemi - Glad I finished the trilogy
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant - The Masquerade, Book 1, by Seth Dickinson - A bit of a slog