Print Story Books I've Read This Year 2006
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:02:16 AM EST) Reading (all tags)
Yes, it's back! Boy oh boy, where does the time go? See also 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.

Non-fiction 21
SF 23
Non-SF fiction 19
Comics 11

The List
New feature! Title links to my diary, author links to amazon.


  1. Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
  2. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
  3. Acid Drops by Kenneth Williams
  4. Mimi and Toutou Go Forth by Giles Foden
  5. 1966 and all that: by Craig Brown
  6. Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch
  7. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fitness by Claire Walter, Anette Tannander Bank
  8. Paddling to Jerusalem by David Aaronovitch
  9. The Shackled Continent by Robert Guest
  10. Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent
  11. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
  12. An Introduction to English Poetry by James Fenton
  13. Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  14. Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods by Michael Hatt
  15. Fat Girl by Judith Moore
  16. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and Science Fiction Art Techniques by John Grant,Ron Tiner
  17. The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
  18. A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? - 3000BC-AD 1603 by Simon Schama
  19. A History of Britain II: British Wars 1603 - 1776 Vol 2 by Simon Schama
  20. A History of Britain III: The Fate of Empire 1776-2001 by Simon Schama
  21. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  1. The Sunborn by Gregory Benford
  2. The Puppies of Terra by Thomas M. Disch
  3. Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore
  4. Natural History by Justina Robson
  5. The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston
  6. Telempath by Spider Robinson
  7. Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
  8. Transcendent by Stephen Baxter
  9. Provender Gleed by James Lovegrove
  10. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  11. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  12. Thud by Terry Pratchett
  13. No Present Like Time by Steph Swainston
  14. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  15. Someone Like Me by Tom Holt
  16. Gradisil by Adam Roberts
  17. Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve
  18. Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
  19. Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross
  20. A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve
  21. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  22. Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
  23. Appleseed by John Clute
Non-SF fiction
  1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. The Vengeance of Rome by Michael Moorcock
  3. Le Morte d'Arthur by Malory
  4. Mercedes-Benz by Pawel Huelle
  5. The Athenian Murders by José Carlos Somoza
  6. Tin Men by Michael Frayn
  7. Five on a Secret Trail by Enid Blyton
  8. The Woman Who Married a Bear. by John Straley
  9. Ulysses by James Joyce
  10. The Penopliad by Margaret Atwood
  11. Jonathan Livingston Trafalgar Square Pigeon by David Lines
  12. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  13. Cold Skin by Albert Sanchez Pinol
  14. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  15. Jpod by Douglas Coupland
  16. Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders by John Mortimer
  17. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  18. Rabbit Redux by John Updike
  19. Sniper by Pavel Hak
  1. Return to Krypton by Jeph Loeb
  2. Jimmy Corrigan: the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
  3. Batman: the greatest stories ever told by Various
  4. Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek
  5. The New Frontier - Volume One by Darwyn Cooke
  6. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid, Alex Ross
  7. Asterix and the Falling Sky by Albert Uderzo
  8. Tom Strong vol 5 by Alan Moore
  9. Top Ten: The Forty Niners by Alan Moore
  10. Batgirl: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon
  11. Superman / Batman / Supergirl by Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner
New Features for 2006!
Graph by type:
Books by type

Non-comics overall numbers:
Non comics books per year

Overall numbers down again. Not commuting by train cut the numbers last time: this year I think Operation Become Less Fat and so on has cut my reading time even more. Even the 11 minutes of 5BX exercises per day amounts to 77 minutes per week, and for the 43 weeks so far that comes to 55 hours. Plus there's the dumb-bells. Is it all really worth losing ten books per year over?

Non-fiction. The highlight has to be the astonishing "Self-Made Man" by Norah Vincent, who successfully disguised herself as a man to see how the other half live. Also worth a mention are the first two volumes of Simon Schama's "A History of Britain": both lucid and entertaining (unlike the third).

SF: A disappointing year for SF. Chief disappointment was the long-awaited "A Feast for Crows", which turned out to be a choppy half-selection of the bits he'd managed to finish. "A Darkling Plain" successfully brought the Traction Cities kidult series to a suitable climax. Steph Swainston and Charles Stross managed decent stabs at breathing new life into the old genres of trad fantasy and hard SF.

Other fiction. "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro was a near-perfect novel: poignant and disturbing. "The Vengeance of Rome" by Michael Moorcock brought the Colonel Pyat series to another good close. "The Athenian Murders" was an elegantly high-concept mystery.

Comics: Didn't read very many this year. Pick of the bunch was the classic bit of revisionism "Kingdom Come".

That's all folks! See you next year.

< I haven't given up the guitar yet | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Books I've Read This Year 2006 | 30 comments (30 topical, 0 hidden)
I have read three of your books by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:06:25 AM EST
tough Freakonomics was the only one I read in 2006.

Damn by komet (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:08:25 AM EST
I've managed to read basically nothing this year. I am about 15% through Thomas Mann's Zauberberg and have read the first few pages of A Feast for Crows. I read the Famous Five a quarter of a century ago (where does the time go?). I ought to read more, but I don't have the time.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
What a great idea by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:32:10 AM EST
I think I'm going to track every book I read next year, along with a mini review of them all. I'm certainly not as proficient as you in that regard, I probably read about 20 a year I would guess.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

I did it last year by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 11:14:05 AM EST

I kept a list last year, and started doing the same this year. Unfortunately sometime in May my Psion decided to eat the file and I didn't restart. I hope to return to it next year, possibly with a nice shiney web application to record it all.

Currently reading The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

[ Parent ]
Jeeeesus by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 11:29:04 AM EST
It must be nice not to have to work for a living.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 12:41:24 AM EST

I have to pay for the books somehow. As I've mentioned in the past, I read fast (30 seconds a page of a typical paperback) and I don't need to think about pronunciation when I'm reading which is what limits most peoples reading speed.

[ Parent ]
How? by The Fool (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:42:47 AM EST
How do you get the Amazon links to show up? It never seems to work for me, presumably because I'm an idiot.

It's automatic when it works by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:48:28 AM EST
But amazon changed their link format recently, which broke the functionality. I think these are showing up because they're old links in the old format.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ] by hulver (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 11:09:25 AM EST
have changed their links, hasn't caught up yet.

Stripping ASIN's out of urls is really dodgy anyway, as this proves.

I might get around to fixing HuSi code just before they change the format again :)
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
I'm so bloody shallow by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #23 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 12:01:27 AM EST
it's put me off writing about books because the pretty pictures aren't there any more.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Gah by hulver (4.00 / 2) #6 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:54:02 AM EST
You killed my server!
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
I thought you were installing new functionality by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 11:01:30 AM EST
based on the breaking news.

How is the diary autocomplete and autoreply feature working, I'm getting tired of detailing my ailments, mechanical problems and child rearing issues.

[ Parent ]
To be honest, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:24:40 PM EST
I'd take a couple of weeks to realise if you just posted the same thing every time.

It took me that long with Dinosaur comics.

[ Parent ]
Sorry! by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:12:21 PM EST
Wondered if it was me. What was it, the trackbacks? Will it break it again if I do "Edit story"?
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Might do by hulver (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 09:01:20 PM EST
Might not.

It'll add multiple trackback links to the amazon stories though, as I've not fixed that bug yet.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
we have very little overlap by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 10:57:11 AM EST
and what overlap we do have, i read last year. :)

two questions:

(a) why are you doing this in october?

(b) what did you think of Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

Answers by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:18:55 PM EST
(a) The first time I happened to think of posting a roundup was in October. (b) It sucked. Click on the title for details.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
hmm. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:55:45 PM EST
i rather enjoyed it; it had the same period piece feel that Stephenson is going for without being unreadable. :)

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Why is Ishiguro's novel not sci-fi? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 11:06:53 AM EST
Certainly the near-future "Clonus Horror" plot counts as sci-fi, right?

It didn't really feel like SF by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 12:25:04 PM EST
Also, all his books are set in some kind of intertextual/expressionist slightly parallel universe. So if "Never Let Me Go" is SF then you have to make all his other books SF too, including "Remains of the Day".
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
2003 Link Doesn't work. by ks1178 (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 11:10:54 AM EST
The Google Cache version you had in 2004 does pull up the story though.

re: Ishiguro by dr k (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 01:26:22 PM EST
Bleh. Completely overrated. But then our reading tastes have rarely overlapped.

:| :| :| :| :|

I thought it was worth reading by MM (4.00 / 1) #27 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 07:43:04 AM EST
didn't blow me away though. 5/10 kind of thing.

[ Parent ]
+1FP; KINGDOM COME by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 06:04:52 PM EST
I'm mesmerised by Wonder Woman's costume in that one.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

You are the Lord God BuFoo of by johnny (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Oct 04, 2006 at 07:49:45 PM EST
readers here on HuSi.  Although I don't always agree with your analyses, they are generally intelligent and I enjoy them, so good show old chap what what.  And also you read six jillion more books per anum than do I or any other HuSite, so you win on points already.

You may enjoy John Steinbeck's take on the Morte D'Arthur story.

As a reader of your reviews, I would be happier to see less SF and more LiFi. (I do note your doing Updike, which I commend, even though I'm not much of an Updike fan myself.) For example, I think you should just bite the goddamn bullet and read Powell's "Dance to the Music of Time."  Yes, I know it's not your cup of tea and blah blah blah. But it's a serious statement about serious stuff and it has a serious style, so the style itself is a statement. To art of this seriousness, as Mrs. Lohman said, "attention must be paid." At your rate of reading you could probably finish the 3000 pages over a weekend.

Or if a 12 novel cycle in a style that does not appeal to you is too much to ask, might I at least ask that you read "Call it Sleep", by Roth? Or Naked Lunch (an entirely different affair) by Burroughs? Both of these books are, in my opinion, masterpieces in some sense of the word, and yet they are both written by writers who are, at best, morally suspect, and at worst, possibly, reprehensible or even, dare I say it, "evil" in some sense of the word.

Just to be clear: I am deeply ambivalent about the moreal significance (sp?) of both of these books; I contradict myself from one moment to the next. And yet I find them in many ways beautiful, even sublime. So I don't want to debate them; I want a deeper understanding of them.

I can suggest a few dozen other books about which I would be curious to get your reaction. Speak up if interested.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

I'll probably read more Philip Roth eventually by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 09:51:53 AM EST
Since I liked "The Plot Against America" a lot. Already read The Naked Lunch.

Can't really see the point of "A Dance to the Music of Time": it doesn't seem to be generally regarded as a very important work; and it looks pretty long, dull and on topics that don't interest me. If I cared about the literary canon, Dostoevsky, Flaubert and Proust would probably come before that anyway.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Different Roth by johnny (4.00 / 1) #30 Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 06:39:52 AM EST
Call it Sleep was written by Henry Roth in the 1920's or so. Perhaps the 30's.  It's about a poor Jewish immigrant family living in tenaments in New York City, moving from place to place when they couldn't make the rent, etc.  It's mostly told from the point of view of a boy who ages from about 5 to 12 over the course of the book.

Roth is a beautiful writer who does, it seems to me, magical things in describing the character of the mother in this book, who, when she is speaking or thinking in Yiddish, is an intelligent, subtle, and extremely complex person, but when she is forced to speak in English becomes not only helpless, but nearly simpleminded.

The novel also has strong overtones of incest, and in actual fact, the author had an incestuous relationship with his younger sister, about which he later wrote. Fifty years later. He died about a decade ago, I think.

I didn't know about his personal history when I read the book. But, having read the book, I read more about the author, and found out that he is somehwaqt of a radioactive subject, not unlike William Burroughs, who was a cool hipster, blah, blah, but who also "accidentally" put a bullet through his wife's head and never seemed to consider that to be anything other than an amusing part of his personal legend.

Was Henry Roth a child who did (?innocent?) incestuous things with another child, or was he a (young) adult who raped his child sister? 

And in either event, does that matter when considering Call it Sleep as a work of literature?

My answer is, I don't know.  But it certainly was a very profound and beautiful book in many ways.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
Every time you post one of these... by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #25 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 04:20:52 AM EST
I'm inspired to keep my own list, and I bookmark your diary to find new stuff to read. Then I get distracted by something shiny and don't quite manage to get it done. This year will be different. Thanks for posting these.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
Out of curiosity... by bob6 (4.00 / 1) #26 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 06:55:24 AM EST
How many are re-reads?

I probably read the Famous Five book by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Oct 05, 2006 at 09:45:36 AM EST
When I was a kid. Otherwise none.

I don't usually count re-reads unless it's been a very long time. And I don't tend to re-read entire books now, just chunks of them.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Books I've Read This Year 2006 | 30 comments (30 topical, 0 hidden)