January 2nd, 2013
And so we’ve reached December and the year’s total: ninetyone books read in total, the first time since 2006 that I’ve read less than a hundred books — and even this number is somewhat inflated by my reread of the entire Discworld series. I blame my obsession with Football Manager — as well as other videogames — this past year for this, for keeping sitting behind the pc for much longer and hence reading less. I also seemed to have less energy for reading and in general 2012 was somewhat of a year of recuperation for me, for obvious reasons.
Terminal World — Alastair Reynolds
Alastair Reynolds does steampunk in a far future world where Vingean zones make high technology possible in some parts of the planet, but limits technology in others.
Outies — J. R. Pournelle
A sequel to a sequel which itself had not been half as good as the original novel, written by the daughter of one of the original writers, decades after the first sequel had come out. Nine out of ten of the books you can describe this way are godawful crap (ten out of ten if Kevin J. Anderson is the cowriter), but this is the exception. It helps that J. R. (Jennifer) Pournelle is an archaeologist and anthropologist and takes her experience into the novel. As a writer, she’s at least as good a craft person as her father, if not better.
Imperial Women in Byzantium 1025 — 1204 — Barbara Hill
An interesting look at a period of Byzantine history that saw a remarkable number of powerful women entering imperial politics. This book not just tells their story, but examines their limits and powers and the ways in which they could and could not exercise their power and how this was represented in contemporary sources.
Moving Pictures, Reaper Man, Witches Abroad, — Terry Pratchett
The first batch of Pratchett Discworld novels read in December in my ongoing reread of the entire series.
As They Were — M. F. K. Fisher
Sandra always loved M. F. K. Fisher’s writing, which is why I read this collection of essays about food, traveling and the people she met.
Small Gods, Lords and Ladies, Men at Arms — Terry Pratchett
The second batch.