Greg (gmalivuk) wrote,
Greg
gmalivuk

Books of 2012

Wow, three posts in all of the past year. I've updated more frequently than that, of course, since I edit each year's books post to include new ones as I finish them. I'm a couple weeks late finally posting this one, though.

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011

1) George R. R. Martin: A Game of Thrones (Kindle, finished 01-12) After watching the entire first season at home over Christmas, I promptly bought a package deal from Amazon with the first four books together. Even though I'd already seen pretty much the entirety of the plot from this book, I never got particularly bored reading it. Which is good, since paying for the subsequent three volumes all at once would have been somewhat wasteful had I decided halfway through the first one that I wasn't all that into it. (Which, incidentally, happened with Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, the second two volumes of which I bought shortly after being given my Kindle last Christmas, only to languish on account of my never finishing the first one.)
2) George R. R. Martin: A Clash of Kings (Kindle, finished 01-27) Also fantastic, if rather grindingly depressing at times. I freely admit to using the Kindle's handy "skip to the next chapter" button a lot to check whether certain people lived or not (the title of each chapter is the name of the person whose perspective that chapter portrays, so presumably if I see a name pop up again as a chapter heading it means that person didn't die, without giving away any other information about what happens).
3) George R. R. Martin: A Storm of Swords (Kindle, finished 02-07)
4) George R. R. Martin: A Feast for Crows (Kindle, finished 02-21)
5) George R. R. Martin: A Dance with Dragons (Kindle, finished 03-09) I'm really hoping it's not another five or six years before the next one comes out, like it was for 4 and 5. (Also that Martin lives to finish the series. I don't want another fascinating world ruined by mediocrity like Dune was when Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson finished that series.)
6) William Gibson: Spook Country (Kindle, finished 03-21) The middle of the trilogy that I started in New Mexico and "finished" in December, of Gibson's modern-day setting novels. Enjoyable as his others, and introduced some of the important characters later to appear in Zero History.
7-9) Suzanne Collins: Hunger Games Trilogy (Kindle, finished 03-28) Very good books, albeit rather fast to read and clearly written for teenagers. The movie was also enjoyable, though unfortunately seemed a bit too directed toward people who'd already read the book.
10) William Gibson: Count Zero (Kindle, finished 04-23) Second in the Sprawl trilogy, I now want to reread Neuromancer, which I initially read in New Mexico, and then read Mona Lisa Overdrive.
11) William Gibson: Neuromancer (Kindle, finished 04-29) Better than I remembered it being the first time. Hard to believe he wrote these two before ever laying hands on a computer (which was in 1986 when he began the third book in the trilogy, according to his forward to the first digital printing, back in 1992).
12) William Gibson: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Kindle, finished 05-03) Not quite as good as the previous two, I think partially because shifting between 4 different people's points of view over the course of such a (relatively) short book gives us less opportunity to get to know any of the characters.
13) William Gibson: The Difference Engine (Kindle, finished 05-17) Better as a premise than a book, perhaps. Though maybe the problem was more that I really liked the first protagonist he introduced, only to find that the latter 70% or so of the book is then about someone else.
14) David Brin: The Uplift War (Kindle, finished 05-26) Excellent conclusion to a trilogy that I started, out of order, about 5 years ago in Mexico. I was a bit disappointed at first to discover that while it takes place just after Startide Rising, it doesn't continue those characters' stories. For that, it turns out I need to read the second Uplift trilogy.
15) David Brin: Brightness Reef (Kindle, finished 06-22) And now the new trilogy. Like George R. R. Martin, Brin flips between multiple characters' points of view to tell these stories, but unlike Martin many of his characters are aliens. Though likely not as different as real aliens would end up being, I'm always impressed at how well Brin conveys the different ways of thinking. The character in this one with a massive temporal lobe injury that completely destroys his ability to use words is fairly impressively written, as well. I wouldn't have thought it possible to use words so effectively to convey a wordless existence.
16) David Brin: Infinity's Shore (Kindle, finished 07-02)
17) David Brin: Heaven's Reach (Kindle, finished 07-10) These last two were also fantastic, so I promptly bought another of Brin's novels and a couple of short stories, because the Kindle is dangerous like that.
18) Wil McCarthy: Aggressor Six (Kindle, finished 07-12) Bought on my cousin Matt's recommendation back in May, I ended up liking this more by the end than I had in the middle. I'll probably read more of his now as well, but perhaps not until after I've read some of the multiple other books I've bought but haven't yet read.
19) Larry Niven and Edward Learner, Fate of Worlds (Kindle, finished 08-30 or so) The great conclusion to both the ___ of Worlds series and the Ringworld series, bringing them back together somewhat. I was a bit disappointed that none of it actually takes place *on* the Ringworld, but it was still nice to have the world and characters of ___ of Worlds fit back into the rest of the vibrant Known Space universe Niven has created over the years.
20) Scott Sigler: Earthcore (Audio, finished 10-01) I'd been listening to a lot of podcast stuff, including the serialized short stories of the next one. The last was actually the first chapter of a planned sequel to Earthcore, so I decided to give that one a listen first.
21) Scott Sigler: Blood is Red (Audio, finished 10-03) The aforementioned series of short stories released in podcast form.
22) Terry Pratchett: Night Watch (Audio, finished 12-23) After watching both Going Postal and The Hogfather on Netflix, I decided to listen to this one again on my flights home for Christmas. It remains one of the best in the series, I think, and certainly my favorite of the stories centering around the Watch.
23) Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped (Audio, finished 12-28) Decided to give this a listen after watching the latest Treasure Island adaptation. I had read that one in school, but apart from a vaguely remembered movie version of Kidnapped, which may not even be real, I wasn't at all familiar with this story.
24) Lerry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: Escape from Hell (Paper, finished 12-31) The sequel to their reimagining of Inferno, which I read previously. Also apparently the only paper book I read in its entirety this whole year. (There are others that I likely will finish soon, or at least soonish, though.)
Tags: books
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