Books, Writing

The Books I’ve Finished: January – June 2016

June 24, 2016
Books Read From January - June 2016

The last four years I’ve made a personal goal to finish an average of a book a week (52 books a year). I’ve accomplished that goal, if only just barely, every year, nearly doubling that number in 2015. I decided to not set a goal for 2016 and just finish books at whatever pace I finish them. I have several Neal Stephenson and Doris Kearns Goodwin books on my shelf that I want to read, so not putting a time constraint on myself seemed like a good idea.

Well, five months into the year with no target and I’ve already surpassed my old yearly goal. Looking back its crazy to see the amount of books I’ve been able to finish. I’m not trying to brag either, I’m more just really excited that I was able to accomplish this without having to force myself. The whole reason I started setting goals in the first place was because I was going through a reading slump, so not having a certain amount I’m trying to read and still cruising through books makes me very happy.

Admittedly, the first few months of the year are always more book heavy for me due to the dark short days and long nights of Seattle winters. In fact, I’ve already noticed my pace slowing as the weather warms and different interests start to pull my attention. I also had my office move much closer to my place allowing me to switch from driving an hour a day to bussing maybe 30-40 minutes total. My stress levels have plummeted, but so has my audiobook consumption.

Riding the bus does have its benefits though (other than being better for the environment, helping traffic, and building up my immunity to diseases), especially when it comes to ebook reading. I work at a computer all day which has dissuaded me from using ebooks in the past. I would much rather give my eyes a break from staring at pixelated screens by reading a physical book instead. I did finally see the artificial light and benefits of ebooks with the realization that they are the perfect alternative to scrolling through social media as I wait for the bus. They also give me an excuse not to make eye contact with the street kids and the assortment of feral animals they always seem to have when riding to my destinations.

Anyway, that’s my long way of saying that I’ve managed to read way more than I thought I would at this point in the year. On to the actual books lists!

I have a love/hate relationship with ranking media I consume.

The cons to ranking media:

  • It’s nearly impossible to compare non-fiction and fiction. I feel like a dick ranking a snarky fiction book about magicians above a heartfelt non-fiction book about race, but that’s exactly what I did.
  • It’s very hard to judge a book so close after I read it. Most of the way through The Traitor Baru Cormorant I was very bored, but the last few pages temporarily changed my mind making me rate it 4 stars on Goodreads instead of 3. Having given it more time I can barely remember what happened and now I have no problem knocking it down to the lowest area I rank most books (not bad).
  • I compare books by authors against each other more than to other books resulting in some wonky rankings. I highly enjoyed the Brandon Sanderson Mistborn and Reckoners books I finished this year, but I just can’t rank them as favorites when I’ve read the Stormlight Archive series and know how damn good they are. Same with Ta-Nehisi Coates The Beautiful Struggle. I enjoyed (probably the wrong word for how I felt) the book, but after Between The World and Me it just doesn’t compare.
  • I also enjoy most things I read. If I’m really disliking a book I’ll stop and move on to something I do want to read. Trying to finish every book I start is was what made me fall into my book slump in the first place. Because of this, I end up ranking almost all of the books on various scales of enjoyment.

The pros to ranking media:


 

LOVED

Among Others by Jo Walton Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
Among Others by Jo Walton Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Boys in the Boat- Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) by Lev Grossman The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) by Lev Grossman The Years Of Rice And Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson Waiting for the Weekend by Witold Rybczynski
The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) by Lev Grossman The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) by Lev Grossman The Years Of Rice And Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson Waiting for the Weekend by Witold Rybczynski

 


LIKED

A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
A Burglar's Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2) by Ann Leckie Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
Authority (Southern Reach #2) by Jeff VanderMeer Black Hole by Marcia Bartusiak Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs by Lisa Randall Dark Orbit (Twenty Planets) by Carolyn Ives Gilman
Authority (Southern Reach #2) by Jeff VanderMeer Black Hole- How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled On by Hawking Became Loved by Marcia Bartusiak dark matter and the dinosaurs Dark Orbit (Twenty Planets) by Carolyn Ives Gilman
Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald Have Space Suit – Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein Headstrong by Rachel Swaby
Eruption- The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald Have Space Suit - Will Travel (Heinlein Juveniles #12) by Robert A. Heinlein Headstrong- 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby
How Music Works by John Powell Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein Lab Girl by Hope Jahren Leonardo’s Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms by Stephen Jay Gould
How Music Works- The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond by John Powell Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein Lab Girl by Hope Jahren Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms- Essays on Natural History (Reflections in Natural History #8) by Stephen Jay Gould
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson Pacific by Simon Winchester Pandemic by Sonia Shah Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Negroland- A Memoir by Margo Jefferson Pacific- Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester Pandemic- Tracking Contagions, from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond by Sonia Shah Salt- A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson Slade House by David Mitchell Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson Summer World: A Season of Bounty by Bernd Heinrich
Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson Slade House by David Mitchell Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson Summer World- A Season of Bounty
The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) by Brandon Sanderson The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) by Brandon Sanderson The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin The Life & Love of Trees by Lewis Blackwell The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins
The Beautiful Struggle- A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin The Life & Love of Trees by Lewis Blackwell The Magic of Reality- How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck The Player of Games (Culture #2) by Iain M. Banks The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
The Opposite of Loneliness- Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan Opposite of Loneliness- Essays and Stories The Oregon Trail- A New American Journey by Rinker Buck The Player of Games (Culture #2) by Iain M. Banks The Road to Little Dribbling- More Notes From a Small Island (Notes From a Small Island #2) by Bill Bryson
The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The Wild Shore (Three Californias Triptych #1) by Kim Stanley Robinson Trigger Warning- Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie Uprooted by Naomi Novik
While the City Slept by Eli Sanders
While the City Slept- A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders

 


 

NOT BAD

A Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter M. Miller Jr.
A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor Made to Kill by Adam Christopher
 A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz #1) by Walter M. Miller Jr. A Darker Shade final for Irene Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor Print
Neuromancer by William Gibson The Traitor Baru Cormorant
by Seth Dickinson
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
 Neuromancer (Sprawl #1) by William Gibson The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson Walden by Henry David Thoreau

 


 

DISLIKED

Nada!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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