Reading worth sharing.
Around the beginning of the new year, I usually post my annual reading retrospective in a pretty basic list form.
This year, though, I was introduced to a fair number of authors and/or books that got me excited, so I decided that with still some shopping time remaining before Christmas, I’d share the love with handy links for anyone seeking last-minute geeky gifts.
(Yes, it’s a pretty nerdtastic list. But man have I had some fun reading in 2009.)
I’m presenting them in the order in which they appeared in my notebook,and since there are somewhere in the two dozen range, I’m breaking this post over two days:
You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing – John Scalzi. I read this in February, not knowing I was a little more than a month away from being thrown into my own freelance writing career. “Lots to think about,” I wrote to myself. “Inspiring in a practical way.” I was already a fan of Scalzi, and reading his observations on the nuts-and-bolts of the writing life – along with meeting him at Penguicon with my daughter a few months later – only solidified that.
Y: The Last Man series – Brian K. Vaughan. I actually started reading these in 2008, but I was only halfway through when the calendar flipped.
Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Fan – Adam Besenyodi. I was never a comic reader when I was a kid – except for Marvel’s Star Wars stuff – but Adam’s book kind of makes me wish I had been. I like to think I’m making up some ground as a grown-up.
Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band is Playing & Leviathan ’99 – Ray Bradbury. Story-wise, Bradbury has never grabbed me again the way his stuff did when I really plowed through pretty much his whole catalogue in the early 1990s, but even past his prime, Bradbury’s writing can be just crazy heartbreaking, and at his weakest he’s still a master.
The Accidental Time Machine – Joe Haldeman. The first Haldeman book I’ve read – yes, I know I lose points over The Forever War – and I found it extremely hard to put down. I’ll read more of his stuff.
Halting State – Charles Stross. Another new author to me – I picked this book up because the library didn’t have Accelerando, which I’d just heard of – and a challenging but kick-ass and rewarding read
Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change – Bonnie Burton. Interviewing Bonnie and reviewing this for GeekDad was one of this year’s most fun writing projects, and as the parent of a middle-school-aged girl, I can pass along a strong recommendation from her, too.
Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company – Kirk Demarais. I am totally biased here, of course, because Kirk generously created the cover of Collect All 21!, but I’m not alone: J.J. Abrams thinks this book rocks, too.
Darwin’s Radio – Greg Bear. I read Blood Music years ago but hadn’t read any Greg Bear since then. I have clearly been depriving myself of some great hard science fiction.
The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood and Saved Civilization – Daniel Pinkwater. This author’s been on my radar for awhile, but it took finding this book in a freebie bin at Penguicon to get his work in my hands. I love books like this that aren’t afraid to be bizarre and ambitious even though they’re written for younger readers.
The Curse of the Blue Figurine – John Bellairs. I was in fourth grade when I heard about The House with a Clock in its Walls, and when I was in college, I went back and rediscovered it, as well as several other Bellairs books, in the Wood County Public Library. I’d never read this one, though, which made it a nice find on our local library’s discarded “For Sale” shelves.
Adam Canfield of The Slash – Michael Winerip. Read this one on the recommendation of my friend (and former Orlando Sentinel composing room partner in shenanigans) Sarah, who’s never steered me wrong in the book department.