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What I read over the last year

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What I read over the last year

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So cheekytubemouse, every month, does a post of 'I read these books this month', and just posted today her itemization of what she read this year.
I read this post this afternoon and went 'ah neat, I should try to think about what I've read this year'. Having just spent the better part of 4 hours emptying bookshelves, disassembling, re-assembling, dusting, re-shelving, and integrating the last year's reading with the stuff on the shelves- well. First off, I've got most of the last year's reading put away, and I realize that an attempt at a full past-tense year's reading list would be utter folly.
So this is some of the things that have stuck in my head from the last year-or-so's reading, which I think others would enjoy.

I'd really recommend:
Patricia McKillip's novels 'In the Forests of Serre' and 'Ombria in Shadow', if you're looking for something in a very beautifully told fairytale fantasy. Ombria in Shadow won the World Fantasy Award for the year it came out in- which is one of the few times I've agreed with the WFA folks.
China Mieville's 'The Scar', if you enjoy weeeird fantasy. This is Munchausen territory.
Haruki Murakami just in general- though if you are at all interested in the sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subway several years ago, I can't recommend his non-fiction book Underground strongly enough.
Iain Banks wrote a nonfiction book about looking through Scotland for the best scotch around. It was an interesting read, and I recommend it especially because you learn that the author of The Wasp Factory is not clinically insane, despite what his books might lead you to believe. It's also very educational about how whisky happens, who bottles it, how it's aged, etc etc etc. This book is titled Raw Spirit: in Search of the Perfect Dram.
Poppy Z. Brite did a new anthology titled The Devil You Know recently. If you have not picked it up and have ever enjoyed her mordant wit, these stories are chock full of it. And how often do you get a story titled 'Oh Death, Where Is Thy Spatula?'
Dan Simmons' new one, Ilium, is great fun. A bit preciously clever, but it's better than anything of his I've read since, IMHO, Fall of Hyperion. And one gets the strong impression that he doesn't give a shit about homosexuality- or if he does, he's able to look at an antipathic reaction on his own part and go 'oh, I'm just being a kneejerk' and get the hell on with his life. That was cool.
  • The Scar may be one of my favorite books ever, at this point. I loved Perdido Street Station, but add pirates and ass-faced mosquito people (see interests list) and I am happy as a rich man in a whorehouse.
  • I adored Ombria in Shadow.
  • The Devil You Know is among my favorite of Poppy's books.

    I'm flattered that I've inspired you, but I should mention that I don't recommend all of the books on my list. :)
    • oh without question!

      Having overlapped your list a fair bit myself, I definitely knew you were writing a 'what I ate' list, rather than 'what I ate that was good' list. :)
  • P.S.

    Poppy's non-fiction collection Guilty but Insane is excellent as well. It's no longer listed in Subterranean's catalog, but Borderlands may still have a copy.
    • Re: P.S.

      Thanks for the kind words, both of you!

      GUILTY BUT INSANE is out of print, but I have slightly bruised copies (i.e. a wrinkled dustjacket corner, or the sig sheet laid in upside down) available for $20 plus s/h. Borgrrl can give you my e-mail if you're interested.
    • My pleasure

      The kind words were no effort at all! I really DID enjoy 'The Devil You Know'. Thank you for the entertaining words- the ones between the covers of books and stuff.
    • Re: P.S.

      And I will check with our local bookshop first about Guilty But Insane: if they still have a copy they'll probably cheerily move it off their shelves, while if you have a spare or twenty, you're quite likely to encounter people who wish they could've bought it when it was still available. You're the higher-profile place to move it, as it were- while a bookstore knowing they can sell your books a year or two down the line from publishing may boost your sales a bit. ;)
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