My “The Books I Read List for 2018”

This year was interesting in many ways and in terms of my reading list especially.

For starters I started out rather strong and finished a couple of books right in the beginning of the year, and then I explored Audiobooks, which was the moment, when thing got, not necessarily out of hand, but surely a bit wild.

Once I started to read audiobooks two things happened almost immediately:

  1. The time I spent reading an actual book declined almost immediately (this has also to do with the fact that I prefer focussing on one book at the time)
  2. The time spent listening to podcasts declining equally dramatically. This is something that I always was thinking during all the Audible ads during podcasts: what I start listening to those, I will stop listening to this. Guess what, it happened. At the moment I have a developed a bit better balance, usually catching up with some shows once I have finished another book.

But now the books. First the actual books, and then the audiobooks. Technically there are a few audio-dramas in between, but I kept them in anyway. Also, I did not link to the book either, kind of was too lazy for that.

The Books

  1. James S.A. Corey: Persepolis Rising
  2. Dan Brown: Origin
  3. John Scalzi: Your Hatemail Will Be Graded
  4. Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens
  5. V.A.Schwab: Vicous

The Audiobooks

  1. Douglas Adams: Life, the Universe and Everything
  2. Douglas Adams: Mostly Harmless
  3. Douglas Adams: So long, and thanks for all the fish
  4. Douglas Adams: The Hitchhikers Guide
  5. Douglas Adams: The Restaurant at the end of the world
  6. Ernest Cline: Ready Player One
  7. Martha Wells: All Systems Red
  8. Martha Wells: Exit Strategy
  9. Martha Wells: Rogue Protocol
  10. Martha Wells: Artificial Condition
  11. William Peter Blatty: The Exorcist
  12. Ransom Riggs: Library Of Souls
  13. Ransom Riggs: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
  14. Ransom Riggs: Hollow City
  15. Stephen King: Elevated
  16. Stephen Hawking: A Brief History Of Time
  17. Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale
  18. Stephen Fry: Mythos -The Greek Myths Retold
  19. Stephen Fry: Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
  20. Neil Degrasse Tyson: Astrophysics for People in A Hurry
  21. Neil Gaiman: Neverwhere
  22. Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs: Alien – Out Of The Shadows
  23. George R.R. Martin: Nightflyers and Other Stories
  24. John Scalzi: The Consuming Fire
  25. John Scalzi: The Android’s Dream
  26. John Scalzi: The Redshirts
  27. John Scalzi: Agent To The Stars
  28. John Scalzi: Head On
  29. John Scalzi: The End Of All Things
  30. John Scalzi: The Human Division
  31. John Scalzi: Zoe’s Tale
  32. John Scalzi: The Collapsing Empire
  33. John Scalzi: Lock In
  34. Jason Dark: John Sinclair Compilation 4-7
  35. N.K. Nemesin: The Stone Sky
  36. N.K. Nemesin: The Obelisk Gate
  37. N.K. Nemesin: The Fifth Season
  38. Jonathan Maberry: Lullaby
  39. Michael McDowell: Blackwater – The Complete Saga
  40. Herbie Hancock: Possibilities
  41. Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dikr Maggs: The X-Files – Cold Cases
  42. Sir Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes – The Definite Collection
  43. Daniel José Older: The Last Shot
  44. Peter Clines: The Fold
  45. Peter Clines: 14

45 audiobooks! I’m sure there are people that have been listening to more, but I think this is quite an achievement. For my yearly stats post I had already calculated that this sums up to 23 days and 1 hour listening to audiobooks.

I’m looking forward to see how my list for next year is going to look like.

Finished the audiobook of Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart the other day. Really liked the book, even though I found some developments in the story a bit peculiar. But then again, it’s a horror story and/or I might have missed something. 📚

The Thing with “The View From The Cheap Seats”

I am enjoying Neil Gaiman’s work since for a while and this book turns out a huge inspiration and source of discovery for me

I discovered Neil Gaiman’s writing a few years ago and since then I consider myself a huge fan of his work. I have read so far only a small fraction of this work and even though I usually read his books in one go, “The View From The Cheap Seats” is one that is yet unfinished. I’m coming back to it from to time though and tend to read it only in small-ish chunks, like chapter or one at a time.

I find this book to be very inspiring and full of wisdom and amazing quotes. I’m confident that no other book I own, has that many highlights. And most of all, this book has cost me quite a bit money so far. I daresay, it is, not only my most annotated book, it is also easily the most expensive I own, and according to my reading position, I’m only somewhere around 30% into the book.

In case it not yet clear: I enjoy this book a lot.

What it is, is a collection of talks, speeches, forewords and more and it is extremely interesting. Not only does it offer into a view into how Neil Gaiman works and thinks, about the books that made him him and what not, it also shines light on other authors and works unknown to me.

Whenever he speaks/writes about an author, about a work, maybe even talks about how a certain work came into being, what inspired it, I have the urge to check out the work or author in question myself, and this is where this book gets expensive. Naturally this is not a bad thing.

The other day I read two chapters and ended up purchasing Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart and Fritz Leiber’s Selected Stories. Neither I have heard of before.

Hellbound Heart I only knew by proxy, as it had been, as I know now, the book the movie Hellraiser is based on. I’ve seen that movie only once, more moons than I care to admit to ago, and the only thing I remember of it, is a pale dude with a spikey head and lots of chains.

I do though have the feeling that book and movie, as so often, because books are usually so much better, have not much in common. I might have to rewatch the movie.

Anyway, I enjoy coming back to this book to get new inspiration or simply to learn more about writing, stories, or on how to tell a story. But I’m now more than 400 words into this, and will now stop and continue with “Hellbound Love”, or the Fritz Leiber stories.

The Big Sleep ðŸ“š

Quite a while ago I listened to this Criminal episode about Raymond Chandler, and ever since I planned to read the Philip Marlowe books and had “The Big Sleep” already, albeit vaguely, on my reading list.

Needless to say, I never came around reading it but for whatever reason, I recently purchased the book and as of yesterday I finished the audiobook: The Big Sleep

It sure was a fun read, and as noir as it gets. It’s very colourful and I enjoy this style. I have already purchased the next book in the series as well as added the remaining books to my wishlist and will start to read them soon as well. The audiobooks are in fact nicely read by Ray Porter, who sounds, just like someone to has to read these books.

And a little side information: the podcast episode was published on the 19th of December 2014. In other words: it took me about 4 years to get to it. Fast as a shark.

Finished V.E.Schwabs “Vengeful“, book 2 in the Villains series last night. It’s a fast paced and exciting story (as was the first one) and I like the characters. I would not mind a third book in the series, which might or might not come as the author stated in this nice interview 📚.

As I just finished Stephen King’s “The Stand” I realized again, how much fun it is to read such a long story. It is almost as one becomes part of the story, acquainted to the characters and part of the world it plays in, which in this specific case is probably not necessarily desirable. 📚

The one with the “Murderbot” and other novellas

I posted a short micro-blog the other day, when I started with the Murderbot Diaries, and in the meanwhile I of course finished the whole series. Suffice to say, that I liked it a lot. Great story, great writing and the character of the Murderbot is just the best.

At the moment there are four books in this series (a fifth one is said to be published in 2020 and a prequel on Wired) and it was one of the few books (or series in this case) where the thought: “Hey let’s listen to this again” crossed my mind. Which, I guess, is a good thing.

And no, I didn’t listen to it right away again.

In the process I realized, that I kind of like the format of the novella. Long enough to develop the story, but not so long that it becomes a “project”, for the lack of a better word, which I enjoy for other reasons. To be fair though, the books read as if it would be one long book, since the story continues. I guess that’s the advantage of reading the series when it’s done already.

Following this path, I continued with Stephen King’s Elevation, which I presume can be described as a novella as well. Who cares, but it was a very good story. Since I realized that I liked the size of novellas, it seemed the natural choice for me to continue with Stephen King’s The Stand, which is anything but a novella. I know, weird.

After that though, I think I might return to the Murderbot, but that is still about 46 hours ahead. Which reminds, to start writing my “The Books I read in 2018” list.