Minor Thoughts

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

Year in Books: 2013

I’ve been mentally reviewing the books I read last year. In all, I read 51 books, a 20% drop from what I read in 2012. I don’t really like counting books though, as it doesn’t account for the fact that some books are really short and others are really long. The better measurement is pages.

Last year I read 19,262 pages. That was a 10% drop from the 21,540 pages that I read in 2012. I’d like to think that I had a good excuse. We bought a new house and moved. My wife broke her leg and I took over almost all household responsibilities for the 2.5 months it took her to regain some mobility. There just wasn’t that much free time left for reading.

Of the books I read, 47 were fiction — mostly science fiction or fantasy.

The four non-fiction books were mostly good choices. Salmon Rushdie’s Joseph Anton, William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Robert Dallek’s Nixon and Kissinger, and John Medina’s Brain Rules. I’m glad I read them but my overwhelming impression is that of taking a long slog through thick mud. That probably explains why I didn’t read more non-fiction last year. I need to do a better job of picking non-fiction that I can enjoy more.

Of the fiction, I read more older books than I would have thought. I read old stories from Ben Bova, Frank Herbert, Robert Silverberg, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Ted Sturgeon. Of those, the Silverberg and Heinlein stories were a particular treat. I love Heinlein’s novels and was happy to be able to read so many that I’d never read before.

There were some definite highlights to my year. I’d never heard of Elleander Morning before. It turned into my biggest pleasant surprise of the year. I usually enjoy Peter Hamilton’s novels and Great North Road was no exception. I thought Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Lions of Al-Rassan was beautiful and it gave me another author to track and to read. I also enjoyed finally reading David Brin’s Uplift trilogy.

Overall, I’m happy with what I read in 2013. I think the second half of the year was particularly good.