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

January 2019

  • Fire & Blood, by George R. R. Martin - Long and not really a story, but well written and easy to consume. But write the next actual book already
  • Red Moon, by Kim Stanley Robinson - For a KSR book, surprisingly quick and entertaining
  • Undeath and Taxes - Fred, the Vampire Accountant - Book 2, by Drew Hayes - Fun premise (accountant become a vampire, still likes accounting), is basically fastasy feel good family drama
  • Critical Failures VI, by Robert Bevan - The quality is going down over time, but hopefully the story wraps up at some point soon
  • Bloody Acquisitions - Fred, the Vampire Accountant - Book 3, by Drew Hayes
  • The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker - Similar to her previous book, it's a description of normal people's lives during a weird event. Compelling
  • Shadow Captain, by Alastair Reynolds - Much more YA that previous Alastair Reynolds series. The plot that ties the books together is barely touched upon, but I really want to know what happens.
  • The Fangs of Freelance - Fred, the Vampire Accountant - Book 4, by Drew Hayes
  • Dragon Pearl, by Yoon Ha Lee - Nothing like the Machineries of Empire series, much more YA, but very quick read.
  • Star Shroud, by Ken Lozito - Mankind discovers alien ruins on pluto, it's all very mysterious. Characters are more obsessed with romantic relationships than with space or aliens.

February 2019

  • A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe - Salvagers, Book 1, by Alex White - Well written space chase where the heroes have to discover why they're being hounded by mysterious powerful forces
  • The Quantum Magician, by Derek Kunsken - Space heist by meta humans. Fun and clever
  • Star Divide, by Ken Lozito - Less impressive than the first book, reads like an episode of original Star Trek
  • Alien: Covenant Origins, by Alan Dean Foster - Political thriller that sets the stage for Covenant
  • Alien: Covenant, by Alan Dean Foster - Just like the film
  • The Test, by Sylvain Neuvel - Harrowing short story about our dystopian racist/xenophobic future
  • The Courage to Be Disliked, by Ichiro Kishimi - Weird adlerian psychology via a socratic dialog
  • Factfulness, by Hans Rosling - The world is getting better in almost all ways
  • The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe, by Conor Lastowka - Dumb space comedy featuring an olympic con on a tiny island nation
  • Dead Moon - Threshold Series, Book 3, by Peter Clines - The dead are buried on the moon when we run out of space, but then they all come back to life

March 2019

  • The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders - Great sci-fi story set on a dying colony planet with failing technology and weird telepathic alien crocodiles
  • Winter World, by A. G. Riddle - The world starts cooling down and nobody knows why. Rogue scientist (urgh) is the only one who can save the day
  • Sick Puppy - Skink, Book 4, by Carl Hiaasen - Florida is a crazy place
  • A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy - Salvagers, Book 2, by Alex White - Part two of chasing of gods around the galaxy
  • Double Whammy - Skink, Book 1, by Carl Hiaasen - More Florida stories
  • Native Tongue - Skink, Book 2, by Carl Hiaasen
  • Stormy Weather - Skink, Book 3, by Carl Hiaasen
  • Skinny Dip - Skink, Book 5, by Carl Hiaasen
  • Star Island - Skink, Book 6, by Carl Hiaasen
  • Tiamat's Wrath - The Expanse, Book 8, by James S. A. Corey - More Expanse. A main character dies but is immediately resurrected - there's no tension any more. I guess I want to know how it all turtns out, but /shrug

April 2019

  • Truffle Boy, by Ian Purkayastha - Great autobiography of a young truffle dealer
  • Skink - No Surrender - Skink, Book 7, by Carl Hiaasen
  • Embassytown, by China Mieville - A truely alien-feeling race in sci-fi is a very rare thing
  • Worst. Person. Ever., by Douglas Coupland - I hadn't read any Coupland in forever and it was a nice return. Very easy read, terrible people.
  • 84K, by Claire North - Very harrowing vision of the future UK, felt like Children of Men but without the reason behind the slide into horror
  • Kraken, by China Mieville - Modern-day London fantasy with magic and gods. Goss and Subby are terrifying characters
  • Deadly Assessments - Fred, the Vampire Accountant - Book 5, by Drew Hayes - More vampire accountancy. Still pretty fun
  • Siege Tactics: Spells, Swords, & Stealth, Book 4, by Drew Hayes - I got all the "D&D is real" books confused, but this was a good episode. Not as dumb as some of the other series.

May 2019

  • Delta-V, by Daniel Suarez - Secret asteroid mining mission to space. A bit of a departure from his previous books, but worth a read
  • The Victorian Internet, by Tom Standage - The history of the telegraph. Good, quick read
  • Summerland, by Hannu Rajaniemi - We figure out a way to speak to the dead, which devalues life and creates a weird cold war
  • Warrior King: Odyssey One, Book 5, by Evan Currie - Space military adventures, with evil aliens that are basically human. Very easy read
  • The Warship, by Neal Asher - I feel like I have to read all the Neal Asher universe books, but the stories are so deus ex machina that you're not so much uncovering a mystery than you are being told about constant ratcheting technology that invalidates everything that went before it
  • Superhuman: Countdown to Apocalypse - Superhuman, Book 2, by Evan Currie - Humans get super powers from a weird alien probe thing. Not much really happens
  • Breach, by Eliot Peper - Third book in the trilogy that explores what happens when the google/facebook analog becomes a defacto nation state
  • Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein - Much less satire than the movie, much more fascist
  • Odysseus Awakening Odyssey One, Book 6, by Evan Currie
  • Odysseus Ascendant Odyssey One, Book 7, by Evan Currie
  • Infinite Detail, by Tim Maughan - Terrorists/activists take down the internet and society collapses
  • Children of Ruin - Children of Time, Book 2, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Not as great as the first book, a lot more muddled and less sympathy for the humans

June 2019

  • Rosewater: The Wormwood Trilogy, Book 1, by Tade Thompson - Aliens comes to earth, but replace us cell-by-cell in a ship of theseus invasion. In Nigeria
  • 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami - Woman slips into a parallel world (1Q84), fights to find a childhood love and battle forces of maybe evil. Hard to describe, long, worth reading.
  • The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka - Classic kafka, quick read
  • Exhalation: Stories, by Ted Chiang - Collection of short stories, all great
  • The Light Brigade, by Kameron Hurley - I'm a big fan of weird chronologies mixed with future science dystopia and this hits all the spots
  • Fall, or Dodge in Hell, by Neal Stephenson - A good Neal Stephenson book! Set in the same extended universe as Reamde (urgh) and also Crypto/Baroque, it gets a bit bogged down in some of the VR afterlife stuff, but is generally compelling
  • An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management, by Will Larson - Management book for engineers that I found genuinely great
  • The Vexed Generation, by Scott Meyer - It seemed like the Magic 2.0 series had run out of ideas, so switching to the character's kids made sense. Still not as good as the start of the series
  • Early Riser, by Jasper Fforde - Post apocalyptic long-winter zombie thriller set in Wales

July 2019

  • Thinking in Bets, by Annie Duke - Reasoning about life based on poker
  • Trekonomics - The Economics of Star Trek, by Manu Saadia - This should have been a long medium post - not nearly enough content for how long it was
  • Hexarchate Stories, by Yoon Ha Lee - I could read a lot more stories based in the hexarchate
  • The Sol Majestic, by Ferrett Steinmetz - A resturant in space and a boy's journey to get out of his parents' shadow
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke - Magic in an alternative history version of Napoleonic england. It's long, and not much happens
  • Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig - A strange condition starts creating zombie "walkers" and changes the world. Some good twists I did not see coming
  • The Spirit Ring, by Lois McMaster Bujold - Fantasy rather than the sci-fi I has previously read from McMaster Bujold, and not too exciting
  • The Grand Dark, by Richard Kadrey - Post apocalyptic tale of a society in collapse, from the point of view of an unsympathetic drug addict bike messenger. Lots of twists I did not see coming, very compelling
  • We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin - Classic soviet totalitarian state story, that inspired 1984 and probably Brave New World

August 2019

  • Alien III, by William Gibson - If they had gone with the William Gibson script, it might have been a good movie
  • Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami - More weird Murakami. Not sure how you describe this. It all comes together in the end?
  • The Expert System's Brother, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Short story about post apocalyptic mankind being unknowningly ruled over my the machine they built to guide themselves
  • Starfish, by Peter Watts - Underwater suspense thriller that goes nowhere for a long time before briefly finding a story, right at the end. I really liked his other novels, so maybe i'll give book 2 in the series a try
  • The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent, by Larry Correia - I often like comedy sci-fi, but this was pretty bad. A light sprinkling of sexism, homophobia and racism. Skip it
  • Recursion, by Blake Crouch - Time is an illusion created by memory, so change your memories and you can time travel. Time travel is terrible and the world ends, so our heros need to fix it, groundhog day style. Great premise, pretty bland ending
  • Commune, by Joshua Gayou - Post apocalyptic series setup. Nothing much happens
  • Pines: Wayward Pines, Book 1, by Blake Crouch - Creepy town, something's not right, surprising twist
  • Meet Me in the Future, by Kameron Hurley - Great short story collection, including the short that became The Light Brigade

September 2019

  • Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, by Ryan Holiday - Trying overly hard to frame it as a conspiracy (it was - the book just repeats itself endlessly), telling the story of the hulk hogan vs gawker case from a lot of angles. Good read
  • Wayward: Wayward Pines, Book 2, by Blake Crouch - The first book was full of great twists, while this one takes a long time to do not very much
  • Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, by Mike Isaac - Everything you've read about Uber, but in a book
  • Archangel One, by Evan Currie - Earth-against-the-galaxy trope, but not too painful
  • Nemesis, by Isaac Asimov - Good classic sci-fi
  • Hatching Twitter, by Nick Bilton - Surprisingly interesting, I expected this to be less horror-story than Uber, but in many ways it's much more so
  • American Kingpin, by Nick Bilton - Silk Road history, with much of it set in San Francisco. More riviting than I was expecting
  • Permafrost, by Alastair Reynolds - Time travel book focused on saving the earth after it collapses. Great novella
  • The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse - Overly long book, which reas a lot like Anathem without ever getting interesting.
  • Switch - How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Dan Heath - Management book focused on making groups of people change
  • System Failure - Epic Failure, Book 3, by Joe Zieja - Dumb space adventures
  • American Heiress, by Jeffrey Toobin - Engaging retelling of the Patty Hearst story

October 2019

  • A Little Hatred, by Joe Abercrombie - The start of a new first law trilogy, with many of the old characters, set a few years after the previous books. Excellent grimdark
  • The Last Town: Wayward Pines, Book 3, by Blake Crouch - A conclusion to the series, pretty satisfying
  • Because Internet, by Gretchen McCulloch - Linguistics in the age of the internet
  • The Way of Kings - The Stormlight Archive, Book 1, by Brandon Sanderson - Plodding fantasy that eventually starts to get going, but the plot to pages ratio is infuriatingly low
  • Walking to Aldebaran, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Messed up sci-fi short that I totally failed to predict the plot to
  • Quantum Garden - The Quantum Evolution, Book 2, by Derek Kunsken - More magic-brained geniuses pulling off complex heists, now with time travel

November 2019

  • The Secret Commonwealth: Book of Dust, Volume 2, by Philip Pullman - More golden compass stories, set ~10 years after the previous one
  • The Future of Another Timeline, by Annalee Newitz - Rebel group of time travel scientists try to save women's rights
  • Dishonesty Is the Second-Best Policy, by David Mitchell - Quick read
  • Salvation Lost - Salvation Sequence, Book 2, by Peter F. Hamilton - His stories are quite samey, but in a way where I still love to read them
  • The Audiobook of the Year 2019, by No Such Thing as a Fish - The podcast, but longer
  • Season of the Witch - Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love, by David Talbot - Sf history in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Not as well written as America Heiress, but covering more topics
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir - Lesbian necromancers in space. But even better than it sounds. Amazing
  • The Rosewater Insurrection: The Wormwood Trilogy, Book 2, by Tade Thompson - We learn more about the origins of the rosewater alien and they start to negotiate
  • Noumenon - Noumenon, Book 1, by Marina J. Lostetter - Oddly dark story about a generational starship mission and how terrible humans are
  • Middlegame, by Senan McGuire - Deadly alchemy adventure set in the present day. Dark and gripping
  • Tribe, by Jeremy Robinson - There are demi gods living in chocago - starts interesting, gets dumb

December 2019

  • Auberon, by James S. A. Corey - Short story about corruption, set in the expanse universe
  • 6d6: Caverns and Creatures, by Robert Bevan - More dumb D&D short stories. I wish they were a little less puerile, but I like the genre
  • Critical Failures VII, by Robert Bevan - The long-running D&D story, where lots happens but little progress is made
  • Mavericks: Expeditionary Force, Book 6, by Craig Alanson - I'd paused on this series for 18 months - it's still slow going and every problem solved reveals a new bigger one. Fun to start with, but a very obvious conceit the further we get
  • The Poppy War, by R. F. Kuang - Forgotten magic as martial prowess in alternative timeline china. The two halves of the book have very different pacing; the first half is better.
  • Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett - I want to finish the discworld books, so got started again where I left off almost a decade ago.
  • The President's Brain Is Missing, by John Scalzi - Short story from Scalzi, seeminly written after coming up with a funny title. Missable
  • Head On - Lock In, Book 2, by John Scalzi - Fun whodunnit in a world where some people interact only through robot avatars
  • Dead Astronauts, by Jeff VanderMeer - I loved Jeff VanderMeer's previoud books, but this is not really a novel. The characters are not explored. Nothing happens. It's set in the same world as Borne, but is a real slog.
  • Minecraft: The End, by Catherynne M. Valente - I was recommended this one by Audible - it's a simple story set in Minecraft, that tries to be deep. It is not

January 2020

  • A Dream About Lightning Bugs, by Ben Folds - Biography of Ben Folds. Not super interesting
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone - Great short story about two adversaries in a long running war through time
  • Every Heart a Doorway - Wayward Children, Book 1, by Seanan McGuire - Children find doorways to other worlds, and wind up fucked up in different ways
  • Cumulus, by Eliot Peper - Ex CIA operative tries to take over ~Google and it all blows up
  • Alice Isn't Dead, by Joseph Fink - The world is fully of creepy monsters everyone is just ignoring
  • The Magicians - The Magicians, Book 1, by Lev Grossman - Magic is real, hogwarts is real, but it's full of angsty teenagers drinking wine
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Wayward Children, Book 2, by Seanan McGuire - Prequel to Every Heart a Doorway, explaining Jack and Jill's history and a little more about the doors
  • Renegades: Expeditionary Force, Book 7, by Craig Alanson - More magical elder AI saving the universe
  • Homefront - Expeditionary Force, Book 7.5, by Craig Alanson
  • The Magician King - The Magicians, Book 2, by Lev Grossman - Second magicians book is far more bleak and less angsty. Better characters too
  • Agency - Drones, Book 3, by William Gibson - Amazing close to the Drones trilogy. Set in San Francisco, which adds to the appeal. Such a beliveable vision of the near future. Very happy the stub 'server' is never explored
  • Armageddon - Expeditionary Force, Book 8, by Craig Alanson

February 2020

  • Next, by James Hynes - I was expecting something more like Kings of Infinite space, and instead got an internal monologue of a man dissatisfied with his life and searching for what's next and scared of the present. He's very unsympahetic, but it's a great read
  • Terminus, by Peter Clines - A sort-of sequel to a previous book, "14", although that didn't become apparant until near the end. Good lovecraft horror meets the modern day
  • Horrorstör, by Grady Hendrix - Ikea clone is actually a portal to an ancient panopticon
  • Publish and Perish, by James Hynes - Novella-length stories that mix magic and academia - think horror, not hogwarts
  • The Magician's Land - The Magicians, Book 3, by Lev Grossman - Final book of the magacian's arc. Some things are explained, some not, but it wraps up well
  • The Mirror Empire - Worldbreaker Saga, Book 1, by Kameron Hurley - Long, rambling fantasy with too many similar characters to keep track of. Interesting overall plot, but too hard to follow
  • The October Man - Rivers of London, Book 7.5, by Ben Aaronovitch - Short story from the Rivers of London universe, but set in Germany. Not as good as the main-line stories.

March 2020

  • False Value - Rivers of London, Book 8, by Ben Aaronovitch - More Peter Grant, this time with a Hitch Hikers Guide inspired UK tech company that is not as it seems.
  • The Box, by Marc Levinson - A history of the shipping container and how it changed an industry and the world
  • Billion Dollar Whale, by Bradley Hope - Incredible story of the man who stole billions of dollars from malaysia and has never faced justice
  • Valkyrie - Expeditionary Force, Book 9, by Craig Alanson - More space shooting
  • The Dragon Republic - The Poppy War, Book 2, by R. F. Kuang - Starts slow, but gets back to the pace of the first half of the first book. The story actually gets developed and things happen

April 2020

  • Trigor - Pilot X, Book 2, by Tom Merritt - A nice neat sequel to the original - time travel and alternative timelines, with pie and coffee
  • Words of Radiance - The Stormlight Archive, Book 2, by Brandon Sanderson - Very long, but much more engaging than the first book. Contains actual suspense and intrigue, with things revealed and the story progressed. Looking forward to book 3
  • The Last Emperox - The Interdependency, Book 3, by John Scalzi - Wraps up the storyline quite nicely, in a way that's not entirely satisfying
  • Edgedancer - The Stormlight Archive, Book 2.5, by Brandon Sanderson - A fun, quick read, focusing on my favorite radiant (because she's fun instead of brooding), Lift

May 2020

  • Oathbringer - The Stormlight Archive, Book 3, by Brandon Sanderson - Ok, I'm definitely into this series now. Pacing is slow bu steady, characters are all growing and becoming more fleshed out, world rules are internally consistent
  • Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, by Nikil Saval - A great history of the office
  • The City We Became, by N. K. Jemisin - The New York boroughs are actual people and they need to come together to defend the city from other-worldly invaders. Probably more appealing if you live in New York, but fun anyway

June 2020

  • Gardens of the Moon - The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1, by Steven Erikson - Complex fantasy with good world building, but bad pacing. There are 10 of these, and I'll probably get to the rest of them in time
  • Veil, by Eliot Peper - Peper is not great at making believable characters or realistic plots, but a lot of the concepts are really well done
  • Burn-In, by P. W. Singer, August Cole - Near-future AI robots in a collapsing US is far more realistic than it should be. Engaging and exciting
  • Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1, by Robert J. Sawyer - Alternative timelines collide, and neanderthals are much less terrible than humans. Wraps up neatly, with little need for a sequel, so i'll skip that
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow - Fantasy with multiple worlds connected to our own, set about 50 years ago. Good character development, a few obvious twists and a satisfying ending
  • The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern - What a unique book! Amazing world building, great ideas, gets really well developed, bug the plot never comes together. Could have been so much better with a different last quarter, but still enjoyable. Why was there no plot??
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman - Great fantasy story told as unreliable memory of when a man was a young boy. Short and very well done.

July 2020

  • Network Effect - Murderbot Diaries, Book 5, by Martha Wells - More murderbot! The story was harder to follow, mostly because of some character naming confusion (I'm looking at you, TCS), but very fun
  • Deathtrap - Expeditionary Force Mavericks, Book 1, by Craig Alanson - Like the previous stories in this series, but without the best characters - meh
  • The Rosewater Redemption - The Wormwood Trilogy, Book 3, by Tade Thompson - Humanity fights back aginst the slow invasion. A nice wrap up to the trilogy. Better than the second book, but not at the level of the first.
  • Deadhouse Gates - Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 2, by Steven Erikson - Complex fantasy with many different overlapping strands. A few of the bridegburner characters get further fleshed out. A very coherent world.
  • Peace Talks - Dresden Files, Book 16, by Jim Butcher - First half of a two-part story. Takes a little while to get going, then classic up-the-ante Dresden action
  • Uncharted Territory, by Connie Willis - Love story set in a boring space frontier. fine

August 2020

  • Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson - Starts out really good, but comes to a really weird conclusion with a confusing message. Interesting tech that's not really dug into
  • The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman - Interesting characters and story elements, felt like it ended too soon
  • The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell - Most of the book is a pretty normal drama, but with occaisional bits of sci-fi/fantasy thrown in between things. The story builds in a really interesting way. The final third could have been removed and might have made it better. Very good, either way
  • Railsea, by China Miéville - Really interesting future dystopian vision of a planet covered by rails (The "Railsea"). Good ending
  • This Census-Taker, by China Miéville - A fairly short novel, and less weird than many of his previous works. Ambiguous ending.
  • The Broken Kingdoms - Inheritance Trilogy, Book 2, by N. K. Jemisin - Not really linked to the first book at all. In a city where gods and godlings walk among us, weird things are happening. Gods are weird
  • Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen - Another Florida caper, but set in the present day and including the current (unamed) president. Pretty great.
  • Tourist Season, by Carl Hiaasen - Vintage Hiaasen, Florida is awful, people are awful. Good read

September 2020

  • Razor Girl, by Carl Hiaasen - More gangsters and less nature in this one.
  • Harrow the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir - Amazing. Very different to the first book, with a very unreliable narrator and a lot of confusion. It all comes together in the back third, but so many new questions left unanswered. Number three can't come soon enough.
  • Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen - Didn't realize this was a YA novel. Not as engaging as his adult novels
  • Bellwether, by Connie Willis - Research scientists in a sisyphean race to apply for funding, while trying to understand trends. Ends up just being a love story
  • Flush, by Carl Hiaasen - Oops, another YA novel. I'll avoid those going forward
  • Utopia Avenue, by David Mitchell - My favriote new genre is "entirely normal novels that have a brief detour into time travel". This one follows a fictional 16's rock band, and also the horologists from The Bone Clocks
  • The Trouble With Peace - The Age of Madness, Book 2, by Joe Abercrombie - There is (so far) no limit to how many books can be set in this fictional world and still be extremely compelling

October 2020

  • Skin Tight, by Carl Hiaasen - Murder plot from a plastic surgeon in Florida
  • Monetizing Innovation, by Georg Tacke, Madhavan Ramanujam - I don't often read "management" books, but this one was highly recommended. It's fine
  • Nature Girl, by Carl Hiaasen - More Florida
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts, by Rivers Solomon - Race, poverty and discrimination, all on a generational spaceship that's forgotten what it was supposed to be doing
  • Nova, by Samuel R. Delany - Solid, simple science fiction, that doesn;t fall into the trap of having to explain every detail of the world

November 2020

  • Tales from the Folly, by Ben Aaronovitch - Short stories set in the "Rivers of London" world

December 2020

  • Zero Sum Game - Cas Russell, Book 1, by S. L. Huang - The Cas Russell books, re-edited. I first read these 5.5 years ago. They've been re-cut into a more coherent series that skips the filler and concentrates on the main story line. The core conceit ("she's really good at math, which makes her a superhero") makes no more sense, but is at least explained a little more
  • Null Set - Cas Russell, Book 2, by S. L. Huang
  • Critical Point - Cas Russell, Book 3, by S. L. Huang
  • Will Destroy the Galaxy for Cash, by Yahtzee Croshaw - A sequel, this one explores the "golden age" of star pilots in a fun way. The big villain, Terrorgorn, is very well written. Looking forward to the third book
  • Spring-Heeled Jack, by Philip Pullman - A short story with too many over-the-top voice actors in the audio book. Skip it
  • Don't Panic - Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Neil Gaiman - I was a big fan of tHHGttG when I was young, and this look back over it's history was fascinating

January 2021

  • And Another Thing..., by Eoin Colfer - The sixth Hitchhiker's book. It both feels like one of the series, but also doesn't bring anything new. Not surprising, but ultimately a warmer ending than Mostly Harmless, without being at all saccharine
  • Battle Ground - Dresden Files, Book 17, by Jim Butcher - This series is getting a bit too dark. The entire novel was a giant, unrelenting, fight
  • Planetfall - Planetfall, Book 1, by Emma Newman - A colony on a distant planet, but something's not right. Starts in the middle of the action, with the history gradually being revealed. Well written characters.
  • Undeading Bells - Fred, the Vampire Accountant, Book 6, by Drew Hayes - More parahuman adventures, with new characters and raised stakes, without it geeting too out of hand.
  • Forging Hephaestus - Villains' Code, Book 1, by Drew Hayes - Superheros are real, but so are super villains. They're people with super powers who don't want to be heros, just trying to get by. I really wish there was a sequel to this one. (Update: A sequel just came out, after a 4+ year gap)
  • The Outlaw Sea, by William Langewiesche - The ocean is a terrifying place, and is far less regulated than everyone imagines. It cannot be fixed.

February 2021

  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern - This is what The Starless Sea should have been. Mystery, interesting characters, and a plot! With an ending!
  • The Saints of Salvation - Salvation Sequence, Book 3, by Peter F. Hamilton - Great ending to this trilogy, with a lot more action and story advancement than the first two books. There are a few loose ends that could hint at further stories in this universe, but a satisfying conclusion.
  • The Furthest Station - Rivers of London Series, Book 5.5, by Ben Aaronovitch - This episode sounded familiar - because I had already read it 2.5 years ago. There must have been two different versions on Audible
  • Slade House, by David Mitchell - More horology, this time centered around a creepy house, told as a series of vignettes over time that all wrap together at the end. Need more of these books!
  • The Galaxy Game, by Karen Lord - Sci-fi that tries way too hard to be clever and is just boring. Character motivations make no sense. The whole plot is just deus ex machina garbage.
  • Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork, by Reeves Wiedeman - Not as exciting as the Twitter or Uber books, but an interesting look at Adam's fall from grace
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell - Another horology-universe book, but where nearly all of the story happens outside of that (much like Utopia Avenue), but this time set in Japan in 1799. Great read
  • Critical Failures VIII - Caverns and Creatures, Book 8, by Robert Bevan - More D&D nonsense, hopefully driving towards some kind of conclusion

March 2021

  • Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception, by Matt Hart - Nike athletes use performance enchaning drugs and there is some shady shit.
  • Trailblazer: The Power of Business as the Greatest Platform for Change, by Marc Benioff - Marc really believes in the SFDC culture.
  • A Hole in the Sky, by Peter F. Hamilton - Starts like a cross between "An Unkindness of Ghosts" and "Aurora", but is significantly better than both. It's a much lighter read than previous PFH books, but I can't wait for book two.

April 2021

  • Rhythm of War - The Stormlight Archive, Book 4, by Brandon Sanderson - This monster of a book (57.5 hours of audiobook) took me a few stops and starts to get through. Ultimately a great read, with lots of questions answered and new ones revealed. The characters are all evolving interestingly, although I confuse Eshoni and Venli constantly. Tempted to go and read everything else in this expanded universe while I wait for book 5.
  • Bones of the Past - Villains' Code, Book 2, by Drew Hayes - Exactly what I was hoping for in the sequel, and makes me eager for part 3. The core characters are well fleshed out, but the supporting cast is a little too big for them to all feel 3-dimensional. The overall story is pushed along well, although the main villain was a bit of an anti-climax.
  • Hummingbird Salamander, by Jeff VanderMeer - A very VanderMeer book, but with a pretty clear plot and comprehensible characters. The ending is a little flat, but worth it.
  • Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, by Brandon Sanderson - Skipped a few stories until I've read their prequels
  • Dead Lies Dreaming, by Charles Stross - Not really a laundry files book, but set in the same universe. Too many guns and not enough interesting elditch horrors
  • Fugitive Telemetry - Murderbot Diaries, Book 6, by Martha Wells - Another good episode. I'd like a full novel
  • Beyond the Aquila Rift, by Alastair Reynolds - A great short story about accidentally meeting aliens and how different they would be

May 2021

  • The Final Empire - Mistborn, Book 1, by Brandon Sanderson - The main character is not super compelling, but the setting and world are great. The pacing felt off, with the end wrapping up so fast and cleanly that it seems out of place with the very slow build up. Looking forward to the sequels though
  • Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days - Revelation Space, Book 6, by Alastair Reynolds - Two short stories from the RS universe, each great and totally different from each other
  • Providence, by Max Barry - A very more-ish sci-fi novel about war, AI and human purpose
  • Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir - Weir's second book was not great, but this is a return to form - he once again writes the main character as himself, but this time it works. School science teacher saves humanity. The audiobook is narrated by Ray Porter, who does such a good job on the Bobiverse books
  • Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower, by Tamsyn Muir - Fun fairy-tale retelling. The main character doesn't grow as much as you'd hope, and it get repititous in the middle, but Muir's well-written wit is found throughout
  • Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity, by Carlo Rovelli - Most of the book is a history of physics, rather than focused on quantum gravity. I wanted more of the latter
  • Bone Silence - The Revenger Series, Book 3, by Alastair Reynolds - A good ending to this trilogy, although the real meat felt crammed in right at the end
  • Heaven's River: Bobiverse, Book 4, by Dennis E. Taylor - Enjoying this series and it's take on how awful humans can be
  • What Abigail Did That Summer - A Rivers of London Novella, by Ben Aaronovitch - Have I read this before? Maybe? Still good
  • Seven Demons, by Aidan Truhen (Nick Harkaway) - A frenetic paced assassination caper, with an annoying (in a good way) lead

June 2021

  • Lexicon, by Max Barry - Almost amazing. The premise and the build up are perfect, but the wrap is a bit of a let down
  • A Peculiar Peril - The Misadventures of Jonathan Lambshead, by Jeff VanderMeer - Nothing like other VanderMeer books. Constantly tries to be funny by being random. There's never any tension. Nothing makes sense. Terrible
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, by Trevor Noah - Fascinating
  • Skunk Works, by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos - Interesting book, but weirdly structured. Jumps around in time in a way that's just confusing
  • Ready Player Two, by Ernest Cline - Tedious. Like the first one, but less inspired and more formulaic. Nerd needs to save the world by knowing about the 80s, again

July 2021

  • Critical Mass - Expeditionary Force, Book 10, by Craig Alanson - Fairly palatable next episode
  • The 22 Murders of Madison May, by Max Barry - Fantastic parallel worlds premise, hunting a deranged stalker/murderer across timelines

August 2021

  • The Cult of We, by Eliot Brown, Maureen Farrell - Pretty much the same as Billion Dollar Loser. Read one or the other
  • Ghost Fleet, by P. W. Singer, August Cole - Near-future US/China war, where everything is saved with a single boat somehow?
  • Antarctica, by Kim Stanley Robinson - KSR really likes antarctica, which is secretly ruled by people who secretly live there somehow?

September 2021

  • The Dream Machine, by M. Mitchell Waldrop - The history of how computers came to be, guided by Lick
  • Out of House and Home - Fred, the Vampire Accountant Series, Book 7, by Drew Hayes - More vampire adventures
  • The Wisdom of Crowds - The Age of Madness, Book 3, by Joe Abercrombie - Amazing ending to the second trilogy. Abercrombie is a real master of visceral but funny but gripping grim fantasy
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkeman - Time management is for suckers - just accept you can't get everything done
  • The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson - First half is bashing you over the head about the environment and carbon emmissions. Second half is the world being saved by central banks. Lol

October 2021

  • Holy Ground, by Evan Currie - I couldn't figure out why I was reading this until I read a review afterwards - it's a prequel to a sci fi book? Just US war fantasy stuff
  • 2034 - A Novel of the Next World War, by Elliot Ackerman, Admiral James Stavridis - More near-future war-with-china stuff. Not sure why I'm reading so many of these. Pretty plausible though
  • Waiting for the Weekend, by Witold Rybczynski - A history of the modern working week and the function of weekends
  • A Spindle Splintered, by Alix E. Harrow - A dying girl falls into a fairytale world and needs to rescue herself across parallel universes
  • Empire in Black and Gold - Shadows of the Apt, Book 1, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Took a while to get through - good story and characters, but slow going for the first half
  • The Coddling of the American Mind, by Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff - Speech is violence and whatever doesn't kill me makes me weaker
  • The Sandman: Act II, by Neil Gaiman - Well produced, but not nearly as focused of a story as part one
  • Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert - After watching the new movie I thought I should revisit the books
  • The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy, by Stephanie Kelton - MMT is a pretty fascinating take on what the debt is and what monetary sovereignty means for the US

November 2021

  • Far from the Light of Heaven, by Tade Thompson - A closed-room who-dunnit, but in space. Very gripping
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North - After dying, some people get reborn into their original body and live out their lives again. Great premise for an alternative time travel story with a great evil villain
  • Binge - 60 Stories to Make Your Brain Feel Different, by Douglas Coupland - Starts slow and dull, but then the stories start tying together in interesting ways. Not amazing, but lots of good vignettes
  • Un Lun Dun, by China Miéville - A Bas-Lag story, but for kids. Fun if predictable.
  • How Will You Measure Your Life?, by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth - Some interesting ideas, but mostly just annecdotes without clear guidelines. Gets weirdly religous at the end.
  • Perhaps the Stars - Terra Ignota, Book 4, by Ada Palmer - A great ending to an amazing series. Many things get wrapped up, some new confusing aspects get introduced and things generally come to a close. An amazing universe and unique view of the future.
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing - The Carls, Book 1, by Hank Green - Giant metal robots appear overnight and are videod by a random girl in art school. Things get weird.
  • No Filter - The Inside Story of Instagram, by Sarah Frier - While interesting, really lacks the drama of Theranos/Uber/Twitter etc

December 2021

  • The End of Everything, by Katie Mack - The physics of the end of the Universe. Mostly pretty basic, but some interesting things in the second half.
  • Syrup, by Max Barry - Fun marketing caper, with lots of backstabbing and corporate politics.
  • Invisible Sun - Empire Games, Book 3, by Charles Stross - This series is getting long, but the story has started to advance, with the two main sides wrapping their conflict to focus on aliens.
  • Second Hand Curses, by Drew Hayes - Fairy tale land where Jack (of the beanstalk fame) is a loveable villain
  • Kill It with Fire, by Marianne Bellotti - How to manage legacy tech migrations, but not much meat to it.
  • Inhibitor Phase - Revelation Space, Book 7, by Alastair Reynolds - This universe continues to get bigger and grander. We see some old characters return and the start of a fight back against the wolves.
  • The Case of the Damaged Detective - 5-Minute Sherlock, Book 1, by Drew Hayes - Experimental drug gives people metal super powers and then they die. Except one guy who believes he's sherlock holmes. Fun
  • The Lords of Creation - Superluminary, Book 1, by John C. Wright - Trilogy which has a lot of interesting science ideas, but awful characters. Constant deus ex machina, so nothing is ever at stake.
  • The Space Vampires - Superluminary, Book 2, by John C. Wright
  • The World Armada - Superluminary, Book 3, by John C. Wright

January 2022

  • Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson - An odd departure for Stephenson. Reads like a KSR book but less preachy. The two main threads of the story come together, but not in a coherent way. Things happen, I guess.
  • Drive - The Expanse, Book 0.1, by James S. A. Corey - Good little short story setting some tone for the Expanse series
  • Anansi Boys - American Gods, Book 2, by Neil Gaiman - Fun foray into the American Gods world, focused on a smaller story with great characters.
  • Touch, by Claire North - There are people who can take over your body by touching you. Some people want to kill them, drama ensues. Really gripping.
  • Money: The Unauthorized Biography, by Felix Martin - A history of money and why most people are wrong about what it is and how it works.
  • Machinehood, by S.B. Divya - Lots of interesting concepts and good characters, but the ending comes together really quickly and makes no sense at all.
  • Shards of Earth - The Final Architecture, Book 1, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Space Opera with very weird aliens whose motives are unclear and not at all human-like. Really good mystery adventure.
  • This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, by Nicole Perlroth - A history of cyber weapons, with a great explanation of shadowbrokers, NSO group and so on. Everything is awful and we are fucked.
  • A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor - The Carls, Book 2, by Hank Green - While good, it takes away so much of the mystery from the first book. The moral lesson around social media and tech is heavy handed, but there's some good characterization.

February 2022

  • All About Me! - My Remarkable Life in Show Business, by Mel Brooks - Fun autobiography. Not clear if Mel really believes his flops were successes, but he seems pretty happy.
  • The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel - What is it about? People I guess. Bad people, unlucky people. A giant ponzi scheme and dysfunctional families. Very satisfying though?
  • The Dawn of Everything - A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber, David Wengrow - A (lengthy) look at our prior assumptions about the "evolution" of civilization and the modern state, and how they all seem to be completely wrong.
  • Quantum of Nightmares - Laundry Files, Book 11, by Charles Stross - Better than the last outing, this new era in the series is starting to take shape. Eve is getting more interesting, and the lost boys less annoying. Fun/awful vision of post-superpower society
  • The Quantum War - The Quantum Evolution, Book 3, by Derek Kunsken - Final part of the trilogy has another complex heist, but also spend more time talking about the (awful) numen/puppet dynamic. Greate end to the series.
  • Day of Ascension (Warhammer 40,000), by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Fun self-contained 40k story about a gene-stealer cult, where the cult are essentially the good guys.
  • Elric of Melniboné - Elric Saga, Books 1, by Michael Moorcock - First time reading this 60s fantasy series. The Neil Gaiman intro framing is just super weird. The stories themselves are fine?

March 2022

  • The Broken Room, by Peter Clines - Another great sci-fi horror book, with a gap between dimensions that they've been testing with children
  • Discount Armageddon - InCryptid, Book 1, by Seanan McGuire - Cryptids are real, and there's a young girl in New York who protects them. Fun, but tries a bit hard to be twee and gets a bit grating by the end.
  • The Name of the Wind - Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1, by Patrick Rothfuss - Epic fantasy trilogy. This first book is all told in retrospect, as the hero's time at university, but is pretty gripping. Book two is a lot longer and book three is a decade late, so not sure what I've gotten myself into.
  • The Wise Man's Fear - Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2, by Patrick Rothfuss - Great second part of this trilogy. Characters are well developed, and things start happen in the framing story as well. How long until part three wraps it all up?
  • Murder by Other Means - The Dispatcher, Book 2, by John Scalzi - I don't really remember the first book, but this sequel is a fun and fast whodunnit within the general sci-fi premise
  • How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps, by Andrew Rowe - Zelda (with some twists), but told from the player character's point of view. Quick and fun.

April 2022

  • The Case of the Haunted Haunted House - 5-Minute Sherlock, Book 2, by Drew Hayes - Another fun detective adventure, where the lead has super powers but is insane
  • The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi - Kaiju are real, live on a parrallel earth and are nuclear reactors. Very fun
  • Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days that Launched SpaceX, by Eric Berger - Really great story of the early days of SpaceX and the trials and failures that came before success
  • Escape From Yokai Land - A Laundry Files Novella, by Charles Stross - Short story in the laundry world - cute Japanese monsters at Disneyland
  • Ogres, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Ogres as a metaphor for the ruling classes
  • The Butcher of Anderson Station - Expanse short story, by James S. A. Corey - Explains how Fred became the butcher
  • Leviathan Falls - Expanse, Book 9, by James S. A. Corey - Great ending to the Expanse series, wraps a lot of things up pretty cleanly
  • The Sins of our Fathers - Expanse short story, by James S. A. Corey - Final short story in the universe, set long after the fall
  • Spin - Spin, Book 1, by Robert Charles Wilson - Interest core concept, somewhat compelling characters, going to read some more in the series
  • Amongst Our Weapons - Rivers of London, Book 9, by Ben Aaronovitch - Another great episode, with Lesley coming back for a good mystery, complete with tons of police procedure
  • Stardust, by Neil Gaiman - Fun adult fairytale
  • The Captain's Daughter - Arkship Trilogy Series, Book 2, by Peter F. Hamilton - I think I'd really enjoy this series if it wasn't YA, but the characters are too annoying and the plot moves too slowly

May 2022

  • The Circle, by Dave Eggers - Really gripping drama about a tech company (a mix of Google and Facebook) growing into a panopticon. The character twist was easy to see coming, but the ending was unexpectedly great.
  • A Memory Called Empire - Teixcalaan, Book 1, by Arkady Martine - Great sci-fi drama involving memory-recording and re-integration, against a backdrop of a regime change
  • Heroic Hearts, by Jim Butcher, Kerrie Hughes, et al - Collection of short stories about heroes - fine
  • Eyes of the Void - The Final Architecture, Book 2, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - The aliens in this world are really truely alien - the hivers, the clams, and especially the architects. I can't wait for part 3.
  • Seasonal Fears - Alchemical Journeys, Book 2, by Seanan McGuire - Very glad to be back in this world. I had worried that the previous characters becoming all-powerful would limit the possibilities, but they are tangential to the story in a pleasant way. Takes a while to get going, with all the action in the last third.
  • Reap3r, by Eliot Peper - Peper's books are not deep, but they're full of interesting ideas. Perhaps too many ideas in this one, and the silliness of the "reap3r" app detracted from an otherwise really great story.
  • Lux - Reckoners, Book 4, by Brandon Sanderson, Steven Michael Bohls - Revisiting the calamity world, this one dragged a little in the beginning, but once the group got aboard the flying city it started to get interesting.
  • Light Chaser, by Peter F. Hamilton, Gareth L. Powell - Short story about an effectively immortal woman who gets given clues through time and has to break out of her invisible prison. Excellent
  • The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. Le Guin - A man's dreams are able to alter reality and he's being controlled by his therapist
  • A Desolation Called Peace - Teixcalaan, Book 2, by Arkady Martine - First contact, while one culture devours another

June 2022

  • The Doors of Eden, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - There are places where the walls between worlds are thin, and the whole multiverse is headed towards destruction.
  • Super Powereds: Year 1 - Super Powereds, Book 1, by Drew Hayes - What if super powers were real and you had to go to super-hero school to get certified? And people with super powers they can't control were third class citizens?
  • Super Powereds: Year 2 - Super Powereds, Book 2, by Drew Hayes
  • Super Powereds: Year 3 - Super Powereds, Book 3, by Drew Hayes

July 2022

  • Super Powereds: Year 4 - Super Powereds, Book 4, by Drew Hayes
  • Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman - While older, this reminded me a ton of Kraken by China Mieville - there's a parallel world uinder the London we know, full of magic, intrigue and murder.
  • Corpies, by Drew Hayes - Set in the Super Powereds world, what happens to people with super powers who don't get certified and work for private companies?
  • The Gameshouse, by Claire North - A trio of linked stories about a games house that directs world events. Great culmination when it all comes together at the end.
  • #1 in Customer Service - The Complete Adventures of Tom Stranger, by Larry Correia - Some fun ideas, but devolves into constant dumb libertarian jokes. Avoid
  • The Burning God - The Poppy War, Book 3, by R. F. Kuang - Wrap up to the series, and faster paced than book 2. End ending for the triumvarate felt hollow and the rest just sort of petered out.
  • As You Wish, by Cary Elwes - Great history of the making of The Princess Bride
  • Aspects, by John M. Ford & Neil Gaiman - An unfinished epic about magic in an alternative steampunk victorian age
  • The Pursuit of William Abbey, by Claire North - Another great Claire North standalone. A ghost of a dead boy chases our protagonist, and if it catches him then the person he loves the most will die.

August 2022

  • Cadillac Desert - The American West and Its Disappearing Water, by Marc Reisner - Slightly dated history of water reclamation in the american west. A lengthy update at the end details what's happened since.
  • Eversion, by Alastair Reynolds - A very unreliable narrator cycles through several iterations of the story as you try to figure out what's happening
  • Noble Roots - Spells, Swords, & Stealth, Book 5, by Drew Hayes - The two parallel stories (one in present day, one in D&D) are related, but in a way that's too confusing for me to follow. In the real world, the overall story barely progresses at all.
  • The Gray Man - Gray Man, Book 1, by Mark Greaney - Action spy stuff. These are way too easy to read
  • On Target - Gray Man, Book 2, by Mark Greaney
  • Ballistic - Gray Man, Book 3, by Mark Greaney
  • Dawnshard - Stormlight Archive, Book 3.5, by Brandon Sanderson - A short story in the stormlight archive universe, a new, alien faction is added to the mix
  • Red Rising - Red Rising, Book 1, by Pierce Brown - An incredibly brutal sci-fi story in which mankind has been stratified into "colors". One of the undertrodden reds infiltrates the Golds to try and overthrow society.
  • Dead Eye - Gray Man, Book 4, by Mark Greaney
  • Back Blast - Gray Man, Book 5, by Mark Greaney
  • Golden Son - Red Rising, Book 2, by Pierce Brown - The now-graduated protagonist is involved in bigger and bigger intrigue, trying to overthrow the ruler of mankind. Lots of stuff happens!
  • Gunmetal Gray - Gray Man, Book 6, by Mark Greaney
  • Morning Star - Red Rising, Book 3, by Pierce Brown - A very satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. I really didn't see the end coming, which made it much more fun. Not that these books are "fun" in any way.

September 2022

  • Agent in Place - Gray Man, Book 7, by Mark Greaney
  • Mission Critical - Gray Man, Book 8, by Mark Greaney
  • One Minute Out - Gray Man, Book 9, by Mark Greaney
  • The Last Dragonslayer - The Chronicles of Kazam, Book 1, by Jasper Fforde - Some books try too hard to be wacky and fall flat. This one hits the tone perfectly. Magic is waning in the un-united kingdoms and the last living dragon might be the key to replenishing it.
  • Ithaca - The Songs of Penelope, Book 1, by Claire North - The story of the women of Ithaca, while Odysseus is off fucking around.
  • Nona the Ninth - The Locked Tomb Trilogy, Book 3, by Tamsyn Muir - Harrow is back, but with no memories at all. That's where the similarity with book 2 ends, with a story taking place on earth, and filling out the backstory of John/god. The end brings it together with the main storyline, but I need book 4 sooner!
  • Three Assassins, by Kotaro Isaka - A got this after watching the Bullet Train movie. Fun caper with multiple very different assassins, weird motivations and a troupe of very convincing actors.
  • Bullet Train, by Kotaro Isaka - Fun, but not as good as the movie? That never happens!
  • Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett - I'd dropped off from this series on Kindle many years ago, but want to make sure I complete it. I love the premise, the evil character is very well done, and the conclusion is excellent.
  • Highfire, by Eoin Colfer - Dragons are real, but there's only one and he lives in a Louisiana swamp.
  • City of Stairs - The Divine Cities, Book 1, by Robert Jackson Bennett - Gods were real, but then humans killed them and made talking about them illegal. Against this backdrop, there's a whodunnit while another group attempts a coup.

October 2022

  • Iron Gold - Red Rising, Book 4, by Pierce Brown - Picks up again a little while after the previous final book. The new regime is not going well, the hero wants to start more wars and power is shifting
  • The Suitcase Clone, by Robin Sloan - Great short story from Robin. He needs to write more books!
  • Relentless - Gray Man, Book 10, by Mark Greaney - More shooty spy fun, but with a more complex plot than previous books?
  • Dark Age - Red Rising, Book 5, by Pierce Brown - Lots of threads start to come together, gearing up for the confrontation of old vs new. Eagerly awaiting the final book
  • Sierra Six - Gray Man, Book 11, by Mark Greaney - A bunch of background on Clark's early career with presumed-dead bad guy popping up again, while he has to save the girl. Fine
  • If This Book Exists, You're in the Wrong Universe, by David Wong / Jason Pargin - I love this guy's books. It's weird, the characters are not great people, but it all comes together really well in the end.
  • Dead Man's Hand - The Unorthodox Chronicles, Book 1, by James J. Butcher - Jim Butcher's son does a passable job at a magic & mystery novel. Solid start to a future world

November 2022

  • Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick, by David Wong / Jason Pargin - Anotehr Wong book I missed when it first came out. Crime boss's daughter inherits his empire and has to figure out what to do. Good arc and enjoyable end. Awful libertarian future tho.
  • Maelstrom - Rifters Trilogy, Book 2, by Peter Watts - A little bit too clever to be fun
  • Beyond Measure, by James Vincent - A history of measurement and what it means for society. Fascinating!
  • Ghostwritten, by David Mitchell - A string of vignettes that all losely tie together, with hints for future stories in his large extended universe. Engaging
  • Armored, by Mark Greaney - Like a gray man novel, but with different characters. The framing device is ok, but not great.
  • Andrea Vernon and the Superhero-Industrial Complex - Andrea Vernon, Book 2, by Alexander C. Kane - Superheroes are a business, and now villains are taking over. Its funny at times, but it tries too hard.
  • Grave Reservations - Booking Agents, Book 1, by Cherie Priest - Psychic helps a detective to solve crimes. Genuinely fun
  • Robert Ludlum's The Blackbriar Genesis - A Blackbriar Novel, Book 1, by Simon Gervais - I like the Bourne books, and this is more of the same.
  • Flight Risk - Booking Agents, Book 2, by Cherie Priest - More psychic detective fun, with more twists and turns
  • The Original, by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal - Memory clones of fugatives are made to hunt down the original. Some really great world building and a good ending.

December 2022

  • A History of What Comes Next - Take Them to the Stars, Book 1, by Sylvain Neuvel - A lineage of 100 genius clone women whose goal is to get humanity to the stars, but they don't know why. A lineage of murderous men who want to stop them. A trek through the history of the space race and WWII. Great stuff.
  • Jackdaw, by Tade Thompson - Fictionalized version of the author is the main character, an unreliable narrator as he goes insane.
  • The Spare Man, by Mary Robinette Kowal - A sci-fi whodunnit, locked aboard a luxury space liner.
  • Queens of an Alien Sun - Arkship Trilogy, Book 3, by Peter F. Hamilton - A wrap up to the trilogy. About 20% longer than it needed to be. Nice world building, but the main character was distractingly YA, with a terrible romance subplot.
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin - They make video games. It's sad and touching. I love this.
  • Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal - The brithish figure out how to talk to the recently deceased to gain an edge in WW2. Then a murder mystery happens.
  • Made Things - Made Things, Book 1, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - There are tiny homunculuses living in a magic city and they uncover the story of who's in charge.
  • Andrea Vernon and The Big Axe Acquisition - Andrea Vernon, Book 3, by Alexander C. Kane - Another installment, that while very silly, is funny without trying as hard. Andrea saves the day, of course.
  • Minecraft: The Island, by Max Brooks - What if you woke up in Minecraft, without know the game. It's pretty weird. Very well executed.

January 2023

  • The Department of Sensitive Crimes - Detective Varg Series, Book 1, by Alexander McCall Smith - Scando detective novel with little action, but lots of intrigue
  • Re-Coil, by J.T. Nicholas - Like altered carbon, with interesting ideas but with a too-long fight sequence in the last third.
  • The Every, by Dave Eggers - The circle was cynical, but this sequel turns it way past 11. I thought there might be a clever ending, but mostly just extra depressing.
  • Until the Last of Me - Take Them to the Stars, Book 2, by Sylvain Neuvel - The kipsu enter the era of my childhood and find out more about thier mission. Well blended to the surrounding time period, I can't wait for part 3.
  • Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making, by Tony Fadell - Nothing super insightful about making products, but an interesting history of now the Nest acquisition went so poorly
  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2.5, by Patrick Rothfuss - A very quirky story in the Kingkiller world, focused on Auri
  • Minecraft: The Mountain - Minecraft, Book 8, by Max Brooks - A fun sequel to the fun Minecraft book from last year, this time with a second character
  • Please Report Your Bug Here, by Josh Riedel - Computers are haunted and big tech is using them for teleportation to alternative dimensions
  • Posthumous Education - Fred, the Vampire Accountant, Book 8, by Drew Hayes - More silly vampire stories
  • The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow - Magic and witchcraft were real and were supressed by misogyny
  • Station Eternity - The Midsolar Murders, Book 1, by Mur Lafferty - Murders keep happening around Mallory, so she escapes to a living alien space station with no humans. But murders keep happening.

February 2023

  • Babel, by R. F. Kuang - Magic comes from linguistics and Oxford rules the world, using colonies to kidnap/recruit new translators
  • Foe, by Iain Reid - Clever, minimalist story about love and identity
  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things, by Iain Reid - Another unreliable narrator, who is trying to end a relationship
  • We Spread, by Iain Reid - Another unreliable narrator, in old age
  • Orlando People, by Alexander C. Kane - Some kids from Orlando got super powers. The story follows one of the weakest of them
  • Burner - Gray Man, Book 12, by Mark Greaney - More unrealistic shooting and hero stuff

March 2023

  • White Noise, by Don DeLillo - A small-town professor deals with life, in a way that feels extremely modern despite being 40 years old
  • Upgrade, by Blake Crouch - A wonder drug makes humans better at everything and must be stopped because eugenics or something
  • You - You, Book 1, by Caroline Kepnes - Stalker turns murder but is just misunderstood
  • Hidden Bodies - You, Book 2, by Caroline Kepnes - Stalker heads to LA and meets a compatible woman
  • You Love Me - You, Book 3, by Caroline Kepnes - Stalker heads to Bainbridge and tries to be normal
  • Red Dwarf, by Rob Grant, Doug Naylor - The origin story with some extra stuff. Excellent voices by Chris Barrie
  • Inferno - Robert Langdon, Book 4, by Dan Brown - The world needs to be saved again by a historian. It's all so surface level that you don't really believe he's done more tha read a dozen wikipedia pages
  • Little Children, by Tom Perrotta - Small town family drama over a summer

April 2023

  • The End of the Day, by Claire North - Charlie is the harbinger of death. It's a weird job
  • A Touch of Jen, by Beth Morgan - Starts as a weird web of parasocial relationships, then gets very weird
  • The Salvage Crew, by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne - Interesting concept sci-fi, which takes a really great turn toward the end. Ruined by terrible narration that's badly balanced, over acted and hard to listen to
  • I Didn't Do the Thing Today, by Madeleine Dore
  • For the First Time, Again - Take Them to the Stars, Book 3, by Sylvain Neuvel - An excellent ending (?) to the series. It wraps up the main storyline well, is more fun than the first two and hints at an even wider world. Love it
  • Children of Memory - The Children of Time Novels, Book 3, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - Amazing. Surpassed the original book in this trilogy. A more complex story about memory and personhood, with a great multi-part ending.
  • Tracers in the Dark, by Andy Greenberg - A pseudo-sequel to Kingpin, talking about tracing crime through the blockchain
  • The Terraformers, by Annalee Newitz - Personhood, autonomy, veganism and property rights, in space. The capitalist antagonists (let's just murder everyone!) are just a bit too evil to not feel a bit flat.
  • War Dogs - War Dogs, Book 1, by Greg Bear - There's a war on mars, against alien antogonists. Well written, interesting tech, then it gets weird at the end.
  • Killing Titan - War Dogs, Book 2, by Greg Bear - Not much happens in this middle book

May 2023

  • Take Back the Sky - War Dogs, Book 3, by Greg Bear - Wraps up the story and somewhat explains the gurus' role with humanity and the antags. The spaceship was interesting, but the whole book just dragged in the second half.
  • Black Edge, by Sheelah Kolhatkar - Insider trading at hedge funds and the quest to bring down Steve Cohen
  • The Last Stargazers - The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers, by Emily Levesque - A history of observational astronomy, that was a little too annecdotal
  • Relic, by Alan Dean Foster - A plague wipes out humanity and only one person on one planet remains. Aliens adopt and study him. Good at times, but badly paced and full of weird inconsistencies.
  • For You and Only You - You, Book 4, by Caroline Kepnes - Another Joe book, where he becomes a writer. This one plods along more than the previous 3.
  • Titanium Noir, by Nick Harkaway - Extremely fun sci-fi detective novel. In the future, the ultra-wealthy are genetically engineered and live forever. Crime happens
  • The World We Make - The Great Cities, Book 2, by N. K. Jemisin - Cities-as-people sequel. Good conclusion, but not as snappy as the first book
  • Devolution - A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, by Max Brooks - Bigfoot is real and he murders some techno hippies
  • Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel - Set in the same world as Glass Hotel, involving time travel and intersecting worlds. Like David Mitchell but not as impactful

June 2023

  • Several People are Typing, by Calvin Kasulke - Office workers gets stuck inside Slack
  • Flight from the Ages and Other Stories, by Derek Kunsken - A selection of stories from the Quantum series universe
  • Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus - Great femenist story about being a woman scientist in the 60s
  • The Hike, by Drew Magary - Weird alternate dimension adventure with a nice little twise at the end
  • The Math(s) Fix, by Conrad Wolfram - We teach Math wrong and it's a looming disaster. Compelling points, but could have been a quarter the length
  • Sometimes I Lie, by Alice Feeney - Extremely unreliable narrator in psychological thriller, but with an amazing twise I did not see coming at all
  • His & Hers, by Alice Feeney - Psychological murder mystery that kept me guessing with to the very end
  • Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney - Isolated in a house for a night, a family deals with its past while people get murdered. Did not see the twist coming at all
  • Rock Paper Scissors, by Alice Feeney - This has several of the same devices from previous Alice Feeney books, but it still works really well. Did not see the twist coming, again!

July 2023

  • How High We Go in the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu - A series of vignettes over a new pandemic that kills millions and changes the world. Final segment makes it unexpectedly into sci-fi
  • I Know Who You Are, by Alice Feeney - All the usual aspects - unreliable narrator, murder mystery, garden pathing and a twist that I did not predict at all. Excellent!
  • Season of Skulls - Laundry Files, Book 12, by Charles Stross - It's easy for a series like this to get either tedious, or too serious and dark (Dreden files!), but this world remains fun and inventive.
  • The Mountain in the Sea, by Ray Nayler - Scientists create a human-like AI, but the world hates them. Some octopuses have developed language, but they might be killed off. Meh
  • Hounded - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1, by Kevin Hearne - A fun series of magic-in-present-day which doesn't take itself too seriously.
  • Hexed - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 2, by Kevin Hearne
  • Hammered - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 3, by Kevin Hearne
  • Venomous Lumpsucker, by Ned Beauman - In the future, a scheme for protecting species from extinction turns into a mechanism to budget allowing for extinction, and a speculative financial instrument. The world is awful
  • Tricked - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4, by Kevin Hearne
  • Marrow, by Tarryn Fisher - Not the book I intended to read (right title, wrong author), but pretty good anyway.
  • Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid - A family growing up in Malibu and their trials and adventures.

August 2023

  • Light Bringer - Red Rising, Book 6, by Pierce Brown - The series is still not over (book 7 coming), but many things are coming together. I need more of these!
  • Translation State, by Ann Leckie - Set in the same world as the ancillary books. The presger are actually interesting aliens. The core characters are likable enough. The finale was a little unexpected, although somewhat foreshadowed.
  • One Word Kill - Impossible Times, Book 1, by Mark Lawrence - From the title, I assumed this was a special forces adventure book, but it was about D&D playing kids. With time travel. Pretty great!
  • Trapped - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5, by Kevin Hearne
  • The Teleportation Accident, by Ned Beauman - Well written adventure, but unclear what's going on to tie everything together. The ending was not predictable, but also weird. The main character is very unlikable, and it's hard to care about what's going to happen
  • Losing the Signal, by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff - An interesting history of Blackberry and RIM - many mistakes were made, not just missing the iPhone

September 2023

  • The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England - Secret Project #2, by Brandon Sanderson - Classic "waking up in a D&D fantasy world" adventure, but really well written
  • Tress of the Emerald Sea - Secret Project #1, by Brandon Sanderson - Seas made of deadly spores, magical adventures
  • Carrie Soto Is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Set in the same world as "Malibu Rising", but a very different story. I think I learned about professional tennis a little?
  • Villains' Vignettes Volume I: Tales from the Villain's Code, Book 2.5, by Drew Hayes - Short stories from the heros/villains world
  • Good Bad Girl, by Alice Feeney - The relationships between the main characters were confusing at first, and then got a lot more confusing. Kept me guessing right up to the end
  • Hunt Them Down - Pierce Hunt, Book 1, by Simon Gervais - His previous Bourne book was good, but this was very formulaic "special ops person murders bad guys" romp
  • Burn It Down, by Maureen Ryan - The movie and TV industry is awful and needs to be overhauled
  • A Deadly Education, by Naomi Novik - A cloistered school for magic students is deadly and most people die before graduating. Kinda dark, but fun
  • Starter Villain, by John Scalzi - Failing teacher inherits supervillain business, intrigue ensues
  • Sunreach - Skyward, Book 2.1, by Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson - YA series about a far-future branch of humanity that's under seige and losing to an unknown alien race

October 2023

  • Skyward - Skyward, Book 1, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Starsight - Skyward, Book 2, by Brandon Sanderson
  • ReDawn - Skyward, Book 2.2, by Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson
  • Cytonic - Skyward, Book 3, by Brandon Sanderson
  • Slow Time Between the Stars, by John Scalzi - We create an AI to take humanity and its history out into the universe, but is there a place for us?
  • Origin - Robert Langdon, Book 5, by Dan Brown - More trash history adventure, this time focused on Gaudi and architecture. The "grand truth" being revealed to end all religion was ... stupid?
  • Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, by Jason Schreier - How video games are made, with a look and big studios and indie individuals
  • The Space Between Worlds, by Micaiah Johnson - Traveling to parrallel worlds is possible, but only if you're already dead in your target world. The person who discovered this is a tyrant who rules the multi-verse
  • Evershore - Skyward, Book 3.1, by Brandon Sanderson, Janci Patterson
  • Two Tales - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Books 0.6, 3.5, by Kevin Hearne - More Iron Druid adventures, but without falling into the trap of ever ratcheting power and end-of-the-world-ness

November 2023

  • Grimoire of the Lamb - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 0.4, by Kevin Hearne
  • Besieged - The Iron Druid Chronicles, Books 0.3,4.7,8.6, by Kevin Hearne
  • Chaos Terminal - The Midsolar Murders, Book 2, by Mur Lafferty - More space station murders. Very hard to follow at first, although it makes sense later as the story develops. Some great characters
  • The Narrow Road Between Desires - Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2.6, by Patrick Rothfuss - A rewritten/expanded back story for Bast

December 2023

  • Bunny, by Mona Awad - It starts out as a college social awkwardingness/clique story, becomes a weird magic adventure, and then really goes off the rails. Really great conclusion
  • Elder Race, by Adrian Tchaikovsky - A stranded galactic anthropologist gets involved in the world and culture he's supposed to be observing
  • The Satsuma Complex, by Bob Mortimer - Fun detective and romance story where the main character is a loser with a weird/rich internal monologue. The narration by Bob Mortimer made me think he was the main character the whole time
  • Every Man for Himself and God Against All, by Werner Herzog - A great title. Narrated by the man himself. He's lived a really interesting life
  • Beneath the Sugar Sky - Wayward Children, Book 3, by Seanan McGuire - A little too YA for me, the characters were not super compelling
  • The Future, by Naomi Alderman - Tech billionaire preppers getting ready for the next disaster, and how that impacts the world. Amazing