My Reading & Listening: 2016

Early in 2016, I wrote this post reviewing books I'd read in January 2016, with the good intention of continuing subsequent monthly reviews of books I'd read or listened to on audiobook.

So much for good intentions. I managed to keep a list of books read in 2016, but aside from that post for January reading, never continued the monthly reviews. (There were a few books individually reviewed.)

In lieu of that, and because a list worth keeping may be a list worth posting, here's my reading for 2016. (I also read some of the sf/f magazines, and listened to a lot of short story podcasts from Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and other audio or dual print/audio producers, but this list is for actual novels or short story collections published as books. Sorry about that, podcasters.)

(these were reviewed in the post linked in the 1st paragraph above)
Don't You Know There's A War On?, Richard R. Lingerman,
The Fifth Heart, Dan Simmons
Maplecroft, Cherie Priest
Captain Blood, Rafael Sabatini
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson
Mr. Churchill's Secretary, Susan Elia MacNeal

(Februarywas a Headless Chicken Month, so not much reading completed)
The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore
Planetfall, Emma Newman
The Raven Boys, Maggie Steifvater

The Golem of Hollywood, Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman
Zoe's Tale, John Scalzi
Authority, Jeff Vandermeer
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
Leviathan's Wake, James S.A. Corey
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (pseud. Sarah Monette)

Operation Arcana, ed. John Joseph Adams
Redemption Road, John Hart
Beasts of Burden, Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power, Ryan North & Erica Henderson
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It's True, Ryan North, Dan Slott, Erica Henderson, Matt Haley, Kieron Dwyer, Ty Templton
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, Neil Gaiman
and a bunch of "Parker" Novels by Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)
  • The Hunter
  • The Man With The Getaway Face
  • The Outfit
  • The Mourner
  • The Score
  • The Jugger
(much of May was spent dealing with the aftermath of  April 27th's involuntary participation in Some Asshole's home-grown version of Demolition Derby on a public street, which totaled our car. So, another light reading month)
Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson
Speakers Of The Dead (Walt Whitman Mystery #1), J. Aaron Sanders
It's Up To Charlie Hardin, Dean Ing
Princess Elizabeth's Spy, Susan Elia MacNeal
and more "Parker" novels by "Richard Stark" (Donald Westlake):
  • The Seventh
  • The Handle
  • The Rare Coin Score
Uprooted, Naomi Novik
The Intern's Handbook, Shane Kuhn
Through the Bamboo, Mack Green
and still more "Stark"/Westlake "Parker" novels
  • The Green Eagle Score
  • The Black Ice Score
  • The Sour Lemon Score
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie
The Library at Mount Char, Scott Hawkins
Blood Engines, Tim Pratt
We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Lois McMaster Bujold
The Burn Palace, Stephen Dobyns
Drive, James Sallis
Driven, James Sallis
and one more "Parker" novel
Deadly Edge, Richard Stark (Donald Westlake)

The End Is Now, ed. John Joseph Adams
The End Has Come, ed. John Joseph Adams
Girl At The End Of The World, Richard Levesque (reviewed here)
Scouting For The Reaper, Jacob M. Appel
Gifts For The One Who Comes After, Helen Marshall
North American Lake Monsters: Stories, Nathan Ballingrud

Forgotten Suns, Judith Tarr
Black Hat Jack, Joe Lansdale
A Book Without Dragons, Olivia Berrier
Tutt and Mr. Tutt, Arthur Cheney Train (reviewed here)
In Silent Graves, Gary Braunbeck
The Bread We Eat In Dreams, Cat Valente

The Last Weekend, Nick Mamatas
Comfort Me With Apples, Peter De Vries
The Wrong Box, Robert Louis Stevenson
H. G. Wells, Secret Agent, Alex Shvartsman
Million Dollar Outlines, David Farland
Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor

(I spent November catching up on short story podcasts from CLARKESWORLD, LIGHTSPEED, and other sources. I usually listen to those while at work -- I'm allowed to do that, huzzah -- and found it difficult to do at home while off-work for three months after July's shoulder surgery. At 8-10 stories per week, times twelve, not many actual books read or listened to in November or December. And I think there was some news item or other that month that threw me off-kilter for weeks.):
A Head Full of Knives, Luke Smitherd
The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers

The Body Reader, Anne Frasier
There and Back Again, Pat Murphy
Women Up To No Good, Pat Murphy

Among all the books on the list, the one I was most impressed by was Through The Bamboo by Mack Green. It's a Vietnam War novel, with ghosts and spirits added into the mix. The writing is extraordinarily vivid and compelling. One of the best war novels I've ever read, and definitely the best Vietnam novel. I'll try to get a longer review written when I can, but for right now, if you're going to read one book from this list, read that one.

Other books I especially enjoyed this year:

  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant
  • Leviathan's Wake
  • The Goblin Emperor
  • It's Up To Charlie Hardin
  • Uprooted
  • Ancillary Sword
  • The Library At Mount Char
  • We Are All Completely Fine
  • Girl At the End of the World
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another
  • Women Up To No Good
  • and starting a re-read of Westlake's "Parker" novels was a lot of fun. Caught up with the ones I read years ago,and started on ones I didn't get to back then. Still have a half-dozen or so to complete the series.
Olivia Berrier's A Book Without Dragons was an interesting and ambitious, if not completely successful, story written in five different tenses for five different characters. (There's a reason for it.) I look forward to further work from her.

I'll see if I can get more than just a list up in 2017.

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