Reading Record 2022 - Uniquely Portable Magic
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  • A thread of all of us to list our reading in 2022, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, comics or audio-books. Also a place for us all to marvel at just how much Raz reads.

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    Gamertag: gremill
  • 1. Dreadnoughts vol 1(Michael Carrol)
    This is the story of how and why the Judges were created, pre- nuclear apocalypse, in response to spiralling crime and disorder on the streets of America. The opening chapter of a story that describes how a society could descend into fascism, it's a convincing portrayal of a near future world made of muted colour palettes which pops even better when intertwined with the bright, garish but no less nightmarish world of Mega City 1. I'll definitely be collecting the rest of the series as it's published.

    2. Saints of Salvation (Peter F Hamilton)
    The final book in what has been an absolutely epic (in the true sense of the word) trilogy, spanning 20,000 years and millions of light years. I could not put it down – it's the best sci-fi trilogy I've read since Three Body Problem and may actually best it in many ways. The scope of the story, the superb characters, the bonkers theoretical physics and science, the sheer number of amazing ideas, the sense of place no matter where in the galaxy you are reading about, the action sequences, the giant space battles, the implacable and chilling enemy – all adds up to an incredible thrill ride of desperate chases, heroic last stands and reality/mind-bending brilliance. If you've got any interest at all in sci-fi, pick these books up now.

    3. Southern Bastards, Vol 1-4 (Jason Aaron)
    Re-read 1-3 after getting 4 for Christmas. Gritty as you'd like story set in rural Alabama- where football is the religion of Craw County and the psychotic Coach Euless Boss is their fire and brimstone back woods preacher. It's dirty, crude and violent with a vulgar, cartoonish art style to match the tone of hard boiled crime and revenge. Recommended.

    4. Prince of Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
    5. Kingof Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
    6. Emperor of Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
    The broken empire trilogy, which I've read before, was the start of MLs career as a fantasy author in the gritty mould of Joe Abercrombie. He's nowhere near as good, although to be fair Abercrombies first book was at times a bit stilted. Jorg of Ancrath is an interesting character though and he exists in a very interesting world. The first book has him young, between the ages of 10 and 14, escaping his brutal father, his King, to ride with a band of road brothers. They're mostly all brutal and generally one dimensional killers, rapists and robbers and mainly exist to die off without consequence. Jorg adapts and fits right in, becoming the most brutal of the bunch and leading them across the land in pursuit of revenge for the murder of his mother and little brother. There's a lot to enjoy about this trilogy, and there's tons of imagination on offer in the characters, places and concepts. But most enjoyable for me was reading all three in a row again and seeing the writer mature with his antagonist - going from edgelord shock-jock to a more considered but no less reprehensible King.

    7. This Twisted Earth (various authors)
    So this is a kind of anthology of short stories all based in the same shared world, where there has been some kind of catastrophic collapse of time, space and dimensions that has resulted in the deaths of millions if not billions. It means that dinosaurs now roam the earth again, alongside Romans in Britain, spacefaring humans from the future, neanderthals, cowboys, super evolved evil psychic apes, Egyptian pharaohs, WW2 troops, Aztecs etc etc etc. All mashed together in one big pulpy as fuck fictional universe. I picked it up free on Kindle unlimited because Adrian Tchaikovsky wrote one of the stories (one of the best ones unsurprisingly) and it's mostly quite good. I haven't heard of 99% of the writers, but I enjoyed a lot of it - however there are a few absolute stinkers in there too. The best stories really make you want to know more about their part of the TE and the characters and biomes they inhabit. But that's the real weakness of the book - it's quite a sound concept but doesn't really go anywhere as a narrative whole and as a result is quite unsatisfying. The editor is planning more volumes and is looking for submissions from anyone and everyone, published writer or not, which I think is quite nice. I would appreciate an overarching narrative next time though.

    8. In Plain Sight (Ross Coulthard)
    The first non-fiction book I've read in ages is an account of the UFO/UAP phenomenon from the 1940s to present day by an award winning Australian investigative journalist. I really enjoyed it - he tells a good story of the changing attitudes towards UAPs from initial straight reporting in the media to the highly skeptical approach towards modern sightings. Great presentation of the facts, figures and who said what/who met whom gives way to some conjecture and leaps of logic later in the book but overall a great read.

    9. Spares (Michael Marshall Smith)
    Brilliantly written mash up of surreal horror, dystopian future technology and pulpy noir detective story. Loved it, will definitely be checking out some of his other books.

    10. Black Sun (Rebecca Roanhorse)
    First in a new fantasy series in which a blinded young man must become the vessel for a vengeful crow god in order to take revenge on the priesthood that slaughtered his mother's people. It's pretty good - the world is based on a lot of South and Central American ancient cultures and myths so it is doing something a bit different to the usual epic fantasy stuff.

    11. Evil is a Matter of Perspective (various)
    An anthology of short stories in the genre of 'grimdark' fantasy. As with any compilation quality varies and despite the frustration of the briefness of the form, it's a good way to find new writers that I might like who are creating worlds that merit further exploration.

    12. The Hod King (Josiah Bancroft)
    A re-read of the third in the Babel series in preparation for the fourth and final book. I absolutely love this series, it's got so much texture and life to the characters and the mysteries they are surrounded by.

    13. The Fall of Babel (Josiah Bancroft)
    The final volume did not disappoint - flawed heroes that you really root for and detestable villains that you can't wait to get their come uppance. A great story brilliantly told.

    14. Children of Time (Adrian Tchaikovsky)
    If a lion could speak, would we understand it? A re-read, but what a story. Despite one half of the main set of characters not actually being continuous single personalities (unlike the humans who use cryo-sleep to span the thousands of years that the story takes place across), the way that a sense of continuity is maintained across the forced evolution of an unlikely species on a distant terraformed planet makes for a thrilling and empathetically spun tale. The inevitable clash of the remnants of the human race with an advanced space-faring Portiid society who are so other that you both understand the humans revulsion while simultaneously rooting for the 'aliens' is brilliantly handled and very satisfyingly resolved. Wonderful.

    15. Children of Ruin (Adrian Tchaikovsky)
    Not a good as CoT, but still a great story told extremely well - a study of non-human intelligence and communication against the backdrop of a potentially universe killing threat.

    16. The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Becky Chambers)
    The fourth in the Wayfarer series and one of the best - four very different travellers passing through a wormhole hub get locked down together in a galactic motel after an accident shuts down their travel arrangements and they have to find a way to pass the time. We find out about their backgrounds, the different species cultures that they come from and why they are travelling to where they are going. Really liked this one, it's an easy read full of nice characters with some great dialogue and is just a lovely little book.

    17. The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead)
    This, on the other hand, is about as far from lovely as you can get - but may be one of the best books I've ever read. It's the story of the horrors of slavery era Georgia, the attempts of one girl to escape the plantation using the eponymous network of help and the mind-bending inhumanity of the times. It's absolutely incredible - at once both beautifully and poetically written, whilst using that gorgeous language to describe the worst that humanity can inflict on each other.

    18. The Ruins (Scott Smith)
    Really liked this, it's so relentless and single minded. Six friends on a Mexican beach holiday venture into the jungle interior to catch up with someone who has gone to visit some Mayan ruins. Very well written and full of suspense and some brutal survival horror.

    19. The Descent (Jeff Long)
    Really liked this - it's a page turning, pulpy as all hell, imaginative, gruesome and brilliantly staged horror-thriller that despite taking itself too seriously isn't afraid to lean into some very bonkers ideas. Great stuff.

    20. Deeper (Jeff Long)
    Sequel to the above and just as bonkers, pulpy and gore splattered as the first. It's more or less a retread of the first one, but reveals more about the origins of the underground dwellers and the civilisations that came and went as mankind evolved. I'm not 100% sure exactly WTAF one of the main protagonists was all about, but I'm hoping there is going to be another volume as there's clearly still milage in this concept.
    Gamertag: gremill
  • GooberTheHat
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    Most of my book consumption recently has been in the form of audiobook. I think I want to change that, because it's difficult to get lost in a good book when you're not making it your sole focus, which it almost never is if I'm listening to an audiobook.
  • Reserved to list the one or two books I finish.

    1. A Clash of Kings - 22/1
    George RR Martin
    Yay! I finished a book! Only took… 6 months? Enjoyable enough but I don’t see why people rate these so highly.

    2. The Great Gatsby - 11/8
    It was… great. A lovely easy read with flowing prose. Something about the way it’s written. You just glide along with the story. And what a deep story with so many layers. Will definitely revisit.

    3. Martian Time-Slip - 15/8
    PKD certainly knows how to write a good sci-fi story. First half was pretty slow going, but necessary to develop the characters so that you feel invested in them for the faster paced second half. Recommended.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • I'll do this, mostly use audible as I never get a chance to sit with a good book
    Not everything is The Best or Shit. Theres many levels between that, lets just enjoy stuff.
  • acemuzzy
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    Hopefully I'll manage more than last year. Finish Project Hail Mary just before year's end, now midway through I'm Thinking of Ending Things.
  • Raiziel
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    I’m actually surprised we’re doing this again given how few of us actually use the thread, but okay, once more around the sun then.  But seeing as this isn’t the most popular thread around I think this time I might just log reads rather than share thoughts on each and every one.  Will reserve reviews for books I have many thoughts about.

    January:
    1.  Death’s End by Cixin Liu
    2.  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
    3.  Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg
    4.  Diaspora by Greg Egan
    5.  The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
    6.  The Books of Blood Volume One by Clive Barker
    7.  Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist

    February:
    8.  The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
    9.  Dead Moon by Peter Clines
    10.  A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
    11.  The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
    12.  A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson
    I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter (short story) by Isabel Fall
    13.  Gone to See the River Man by Kristopher Trianna
    14.  You Should Have Left by Daniel Khelman

    March:
    15.  Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin
    16.  The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
    17.  Remains by Andrew Cull
    18.  Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due
    19.  Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds
    20.  The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
    21.  The Damnation Game by Clive Barker
    22.  Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien
    23.  The Deep by Nick Cutter
    24.  I Remember You by Yrsa Siguroardóttir

    April:
    25.  Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien
    26.  Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham
    The Jaunt (short story) by Stephen King
    27.  The Fall of Gondolin by J. R. R. Tolkien
    28.  The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan
    29.  The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
    30.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    31.  Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien
    32.  The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
    33.  The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from The Red Book by J. R. R. Tolkien
    34.  The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

    May:
    35.  The Once and Future King by T. H. White
    36.  The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham
    37.  Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
    38.  The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke
    39.  Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
    40.  The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
    41.  Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
    42.  A Short Stay in Hell by Steven L. Peck
    43.  Camelot by Giles Kristian

    June:
    44. The Descent by Jeff Long
    45. Troy by Stephen Fry
    46. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
    47. Tau Zero Poul Anderson
    48. The Vorrh by Brian Catling
    49. The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

    July:
    50. The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
    51. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
    52. American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
    53. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
    54. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
    55. Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite
    56. The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells
    Get schwifty.
  • Raiziel
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    acemuzzy wrote:
    now midway through I'm Thinking of Ending Things.

    Amazing book!
    Get schwifty.
  • So far I've read Revival by Stephen King, and have now moved onto (one of) his short story collections: Night Shift. Some great stories so far, the most famous ones in this collection are probably The Lawnmower Man and Children of the Corn.
    I'm falling apart to songs about hips and hearts...
  • davyK
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    2021 reading
    http://www.thebearandbadger.co.uk/discussion/comment/1889307#Comment_1889307

    2022 reading

    Jan
    The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G.Wodehouse
    Carry On, Jeeves by P.G.Wodehouse
    Very Good Jeeves by P.G.Wodehouse

    Feb
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    A Clockwork Orange (r) by Anthony Burgess
    In Retrospect : The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam by Robert S. McNamara

    Mar
    Casino : Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nic Pileggi

    Mar-Apr
    Suez : Britain's End of Empire in the Middle East by Keith Kyle.

    Apr
    The Pride and the Fall : Iran 1974-1979 by Sir Anthony Parsons
    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    Judge Dredd:The Cursed Earth (uncensored) by various

    May
    Soho in the Eighties by Christoper Howse
    Watership Down by Richard Adams.
    Jack Reacher : The Visitor by Lee Child.

    June
    Death's End (The Three Body Problem) by Liu Cixin
    The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens.
    Hell's Angels : The Strange and Terrible Saga  by Hunter S. Thompson

    July 
    When the Dust Settles by Lucy Easthorpe
    Low Life by Jeffrey Bernard
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Raiziel
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    MattyJ wrote:
    Returnal by Stephen King

    Book of the game?
    Get schwifty.
  • Dark Soldier
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    Raiziel wrote:
    I’m actually surprised we’re doing this again given how few of us actually use the thread, but okay, once more around the sun then. But seeing as this isn’t the most popular thread around I think this time I might just log reads rather than share thoughts on each and every one. Will reserve reviews for books I have many thoughts about.

    That's a shame mate. While I never posted in the threads I enjoyed reading the write ups and mini-reviews.
  • acemuzzy
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    Yeah I do read what others write, just didn't have much to contribute of my own, plus am more in the habit of using the main book thread, and putting the year's books, movies, TV shows and games all in the 52 games thread cos it came first and you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
  • davyK
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    I'd keep it up @Raizel.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
  • Raiziel
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    There are sometimes when I’m forcing myself to write something I don’t have an enormous amount to say about something. I’ll do a mix. Have already started The Midnight Library (I mistakenly called it The Hidden Library in last year’s thread I think) by Matt Haig. I’m getting It’s a Wonderful Life vibes.
    Get schwifty.
  • acemuzzy wrote:
    Hopefully I'll manage more than last year. Finish Project Hail Mary just before year's end, now midway through I'm Thinking of Ending Things.

    Oh that's a great book, really loved Project Hail Mary
    Not everything is The Best or Shit. Theres many levels between that, lets just enjoy stuff.
  • 1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

    2. ...And Away by Bob Mortimer

    3. A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow

    4. A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold

    5. Alice in Wonderland

    6. Alice Through the Looking Glass

    7. Maus

    8. Never Enough

    9. The Big Short
  • Raiziel wrote:
    MattyJ wrote:
    Returnal by Stephen King

    Book of the game?

    Lol whoops! Meant Revival!

    I'm falling apart to songs about hips and hearts...
  • Raiziel
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    MattyJ wrote:
    Raiziel wrote:
    MattyJ wrote:
    Returnal by Stephen King

    Book of the game?

    Lol whoops! Meant Revival!

    Haha. I thought it might be that one. I’ve bought that. Will interested in hearing your thoughts.
    Get schwifty.
  • Raiziel wrote:
    MattyJ wrote:
    Raiziel wrote:
    MattyJ wrote:
    Returnal by Stephen King

    Book of the game?

    Lol whoops! Meant Revival!

    Haha. I thought it might be that one. I’ve bought that. Will interested in hearing your thoughts.

    It's an interesting read. Don't click the spoilers till you've read it! The way that King sets up
    Spoiler:
    Ultimately it's just building and building for about 3/4s of the book until you get to
    Spoiler:

    I really enjoyed it, one of his better ones I'd say.
    I'm falling apart to songs about hips and hearts...
  • Raiziel wrote:
    I’m actually surprised we’re doing this again given how few of us actually use the thread, but ok wasay, once more around the sun then. But seeing as this isn’t the most popular thread around I think this time I might just log reads rather than share thoughts on each and every one. Will reserve reviews for books I have many thoughts about.

    Just because it's there, doesn't mean you have to use it - but your contributions would be surely t missed.

    But I have to say, this is purely selfish on my part as I use everyone's records as a way of finding new books to read.
    Gamertag: gremill
  • I want to actually do this one, if everyone's okay with mostly sporting books.

    Reserved.
  • Raiziel
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    Gremill wrote:
    Raiziel wrote:
    I’m actually surprised we’re doing this again given how few of us actually use the thread, but ok wasay, once more around the sun then. But seeing as this isn’t the most popular thread around I think this time I might just log reads rather than share thoughts on each and every one. Will reserve reviews for books I have many thoughts about.

    Just because it's there, doesn't mean you have to use it - but your contributions would be surely t missed.

    But I have to say, this is purely selfish on my part as I use everyone's records as a way of finding new books to read.

    How on earth can I not actually participate. I flipping love reading, after all.
    Get schwifty.
  • Raiziel
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    I want to actually do this one, if everyone's okay with mostly sporting books.

    Reserved.

    Get in here, Gav. You’re most welcome.
    Get schwifty.
  • I will also reserve a spot too. I don't read as much as I used to but that is largely because I used to read on my breaks at work but I took on extra responsibilities at work that ate up my breaks. I think that should change this year. Plus I have heaps of books on my shelf that need to be read!


    1. Last Argument of Kings - Joe Abercrombie
    Finally finished the trilogy. I enjoyed these. The scale was smaller than I expected which I liked although it wasn't quite as twisty turny as I thought it might be. I'll defo get the spin off books at some point.

    2. The Discomfort of Evening
    Bad times on a Dutch dairy farm for this family after a tragedy. It's one of those books that has one note and then just keeps banging that drum over and over until the end. I get it, she's in a bad place and so is the family. Felt a bit too edge-lord for me with how it tried to push your buttons.

    3. Annihilation
    Remembered I'd never read the others in the series so I went back to the first. It really is pretty much a perfect book. Such an eerie and evocatively told story.

    4. Colour of Magic
    The gf has gotten into Pratchett and so now have I. Been meaning to read these for ages. Reminds me of Douglas Adams a lot in the stream of consciousness style but maybe slightly less cynical. Nice quick read too. Looking forward to the others

    5. Authority - Vandermeer
    Isn't the tight little sci-fi thriller thing that the first is but it was a good sequel. I think he did a good job of expanding out the setting. Am keen to finish the trilogy

    6. My Heart is a Chainsaw
    Kind of the Ready Player One of slasher novels although a bit better than that partly because the main character is painted in a sadder light than the nerd in RPO. Still pretty shit though with some terrible writing at points. Stuff that makes you re-read the sentence to see if it actually makes sense. Took me way too long to finish it and it definitely wasnt' worth it, should have just given up and moved on.
  • Raiziel wrote:
    I’m actually surprised we’re doing this again given how few of us actually use the thread, but okay, once more around the sun then. But seeing as this isn’t the most popular thread around I think this time I might just log reads rather than share thoughts on each and every one. Will reserve reviews for books I have many thoughts about.
    That's a shame mate. While I never posted in the threads I enjoyed reading the write ups and mini-reviews.
    I'll co-sign this. Always thoroughly enjoy reading our various review threads, even if it's not something I'm able to contribute to myself.
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • Me too, Raz has a knack for putting his thoughts to post and I always enjoy reading them.
  • Raiziel
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    Oh my. Thank you guys. Will continue as before.
    Get schwifty.
  • The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
    Fun page turner that was later adapted for the first Hellraiser film. Not going to win any awards but was perfectly enjoyable slice of horror.
    Not everything is The Best or Shit. Theres many levels between that, lets just enjoy stuff.
  • Fight! by Harry Hill
    I enjoyed this autobiography and slice of silliness by the always entertaining Harry Hill. Lots of belly laughs
    Not everything is The Best or Shit. Theres many levels between that, lets just enjoy stuff.
  • davyK
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    Raiziel wrote:
    Oh my. Thank you guys. Will continue as before.

    Some you may find you want to write more about, some less. That's the way I've done it thus far. I wouldn't set a minimum. Some you might not want to comment on at all.
    Holding the wrong end of the stick since 2009.
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