Past time for me to post the list of what I’ve read this past year. More than I thought I had, apparently. Lots of short weird tales, lots of fantasy, and a smattering of Restoration-period literature because I never got rid of some of my college textbooks and am trying to decide if they contain anything I’d be interested in reading again.
* Marks the books I was recommended or given.
± Marks books I would like to get rid of (message me if any of them look interesting, since I might still have them and could send them to you)
#Marks my personal favourites from this batch
1. The Year of The Flood – Margaret Atwood*
Continuation of the book Oryx and Crake. Introduces the apocalyptic world from different characters’ POV. Not as good as original.
2. MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood
Completion of Oryx and Crake story. Retains some interest in storytelling modes, but some of the incidents…come on. I was disappointed in the extreme.
3. The Beautiful Thing that Awaits Us All – Laird Barron#
Satanists on backwoods safaris, cults built around creepy crawlies, and a mockery of one of my other favourite authors doing readings of his own work via puppets? Yes, please.
4. Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
A supposedly true 18th century story about an African prince who gets sold into slavery by his evil uncle. Interesting, from a historical perspective, but not really my thing.
5. Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
I was too beset by flashbacks to Spanish classes where I spent hours translating this story. Could not really enjoy it.
6. Roxanne – Daniel Defoe
Man. This was annoying. Like I needed a reminder that I am terrible at feminism…someone could pay me to sympathize with independent female characters who want to be free from the bonds of society and I would probably still find it difficult. (If you’d like to pay me, we could make an experiment of it though. I’d be game.)
7. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn*
Ugh! I wanted to murder both of the main characters. I hate them. Don’t read this book if you rely too much on establishing sympathies with characters.
8. The Ocean at The End of The Lane – Neil Gaiman
This was like…Coraline with some more realistic touches. It was too morbid to really be cute, but that’s kind of what I like about Gaiman anyway.
9. Runemarks – Joanne Harris
A story about a spunky misfit girl who gets in touch with Norse gods and magic stuff. There was a really interesting development with who her enemies are, but overall the story wasn’t my thing. I gave it to one of my employees who’s really into mythology, but is still young enough to identify with the main character.
10. Intimidations and Ultimatums for All Occasions – Knock Knock*±
I thought this would be funny, but it isn’t. I keep it on my bookshelf in hopes that I will one day find a use for it as a conversation starter.
11. Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist*
Morbid. Morbid in a way that I don’t really care for…but it’s one of the better translated stories I’ve read.
12. The Book of Cthulhu II – Ed. Ross E. Lockhart#
I was disappointed that I’d already read the opening and closing stories in other anthologies, but there were some good ones in between those two. I felt genuinely creeped out and stayed awake to go to bed when it was getting light out. Because of this book.
13. The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron – Ed. Ross E. Lockhart#
Not as good as the Cthulhu anthology…but there was some decent stuff. I liked the concept of telling a story through emails that one author did…all the stuff that gets insinuated by email addresses and dates and subject lines, but not actually said.
14. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories – H.P. Lovecraft (Ed. S.T. Joshi)#
I didn’t like the shorter stories—although I am convinced that in elementary school, there was a teacher who read to us The Outsider…what that teacher was thinking—but the longer ones grew on me in such a way that I am torn between wanting to hop into my Tardis and go punch Lovecraft in the face for adding so much seemingly pointless wandering around New England…or ask him to read them to me himself, because it is clearly the sort of thing that would be best heard from someone who really enjoys what he is talking about. Maybe it would make more sense to me. At least I finally understand a lot of the other stories that were derived from his work.
15. Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin#
I was afraid this would not be worth my time. I was wrong. But…I don’t know who to hate and who to root for…Martin has reportedly said he wants readers to feel genuinely scared for his characters and to not buy into the idea that the main character can’t be killed…but that also has the opposite effect on someone like me who starts just expecting everyone to be murdered, and can’t get into the books quite as much for lack of any character to ground them. Still worth a read.
16. Clash of Kings – George R.R. Martin#
17. Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin
18. Feast of Crows – George R.R. Martin
19. Dance with Dragons – George R.R. Martin
20. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
This book is ridiculous. There’s no other way to put it. The end was depressing though, for how ridiculous the rest of it was. I did not enjoy it.
21. A Modest Proposal — Jonathan Swift
Man. Sometimes we get to talking about morbid things…the question of how you would ever know if you were served human meat…and older people always want to trot out Soylent Green as their go-to story about cannibalism…and I be like, “Soylent Green? Please. Ever read Jonathan Swift?” Of course not. Remember Tantalus and Pelops? No. Ugh. #EnglishMajorProblems