2008 reading list, with reviews!

Posted: November 19, 2008 in Books, sci-fi
Tags: , ,

2008……………………………………………………………………….?

Speaker for the Dead 1-1-08 Orson Scott Card

I wasn’t sure how Card could do better than Ender’s Game so I had lower expectations for this book. Well, it exceeded them. I was drawn into the story and the world he created was very unique.

Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars 1-4-08 Patrick Lencioni

Quote-leftI liked it. A very quick read. I finished it in two days. I found myself thinking about how the executive team would respond to Jude’s presentation even when I was home. Something not most business books do. Pat Lencioni has always had good insights and this book is no different. I can’t wait to implement his ideas.

Xenocide 1-21-08 Orson Scott Card

Old Man’s War 1-23-08 John Scalzi

This was my first Scalzi book and I loved it. I have since read nearly everything of his I can get my hands on. The premise for the book is supremely interesting and he had a fresh take on the whole universe and aliens thing that I haven’t seen. And I read a lot of sci-fi. His ideas were very cool and made me mad that I didn’t think of them first. I loved this book and am very happy that I will soon have an autographed copy courtesy of the Man himself.

One other thing about Scalzi: He is an interesting guy, but more importantly, he has a big web presence and is very approachable. I have communicated with him on facebook and his blog

http://whatever.scalzi.com/ He’s a great guy with cool ideas. Buy his books.


The Ghost Brigades 1-30-08 John Scalzi

Great sequel, but it would be a good stand alone as well. Makes me want to be part of that future world with all the fun new technology that Scalzi describes in detail but is simple to grasp. Very cool. In the words of Scott Evil from Austin Powers, ” I wish I was never artificially created in a lab!” Presents interesting ethical questions; even more so than the last one.

Foundation’s Edge 2-12-08 Isaac Asimov

I had read the original trilogy years ago and saw this in a used book store so I picked it up. I liked the story but it wasn’t as good as the originals.

Freedom’s Landing 2-16-08 Anne McCaffrey

Freedom’s Choice 2-21-08 Anne McCaffrey

Freedom’s Challenge 2-28-08 Anne McCaffrey

Freedom’s Ransom 3-5-08 Anne McCaffrey

The Last Colony 3-11-08 John Scalzi

Another great addition to the Old Man’s War universe. I enjoy stories about colonists and this one didn’t let me down. It had a great plot that really moved in unexpected directions.

Agent to the Stars 3-13-08 John Scalzi

This was Scalzi’s first novel. Or as he says, his practice novel. The story centers around an agent in Hollywood and his difficulty when a special client contacts him. Very funny.

Matter 3-27-08 Iain M. Banks

I was very excited to read the next best thing by Mr. Banks. The thing is, I was not horribly impressed. I love the author though, (I even named my son after him) but this book just didn’t grab like the others did.

The Android’s Dream 3-30-08 John Scalzi

I wasn’t sure about reading a book by Scalzi that wasn’t set in the Old Man’s War universe but it blew me away. The humor alone was worth it. You know when you start a book by assassinating a major political figure by farting them to death, that it’s going to be great.

Dragon’s Fire 4-15-08 Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey

Pushing Ice 5-4-08 Alastair Reynolds

Quote-leftThis was an interesting one for sure. The way Alastair writes, you really get a sense of time and the inner working of all the relationships aboard a crew of 160. I thought it was pretty good. Easy to get into. The story was just close enough to home for the reader to identify with people right away unlike some other sci-fi that is so far out there, it takes a while to become engaged in the characters struggles.

The Sagan Diary 5-6-08 John Scalzi

Quote-leftAn interesting short story and a good summation of a life that has been lived to the fullest. Not quite typical Scalzi writing but it was still good. I liked how he fit aspects of past stories in with Jane’s memories.

Infected 5-14-08 Scott Sigler

Very hard to pull away from. It has a lightning quick pace that doesn’t let up throughout the whole novel. Very bloody; but also very good.

Chasm City 6-1-08 Alastair Reynolds

Quote-leftI think this one was the best I’ve read so far. A stupendously complex plot weaves in and out of a world Reynolds has crafted with care from the ground up. Or should I say from the Mulch to the Canopy. I loved how it tied in with the rest of his Revelation Space universe and while some of the other books may be more dense in hard sci-fi gear, Chasm City more than makes up for it in character history. Awesome read.

Century Rain 6-18-08 Alastair Reynolds

This was a cool story about an “alternate” universe that is set in the early 1940’s Paris, and…outer space. Pretty cool idea.

The Carbon Buster’s Home Energy Handbook 7-3-08 Godo Stoyke

The Prefect Alastair Renolds

I thought this was a very good tie-in to the Revalation Space universe. It tied in on so many levels, from the Tokamak in Pushing Ice to the Eighty. Seeing the Glitter Band in all it’s glory was good too. The plot moved along well and kept me interested throughout the book. Not a good book for your first Reynolds read because there is so much from past books that it really takes some previous history to appreciate all the intricate stories.

God in the Alley 7-16-08 Greg Paul

Quote-leftthis is a great read for anyone working in social work, or going to a church for that matter! I feel like it re-ignited my mercy a little bit which takes some doing. Very thought provoking.

The Execution Channel 7-29-08 Ken MacLeod

A scary take on the near future in which the world is rocked by terrorist attacks in Scotland and England. The various espionage agencies scramble to try and understand just what happened as a family is caught in the crossfire. Fast paced and gripping, packed with techno mis-information and ulterior motives. One of Ken’s better novels.

Tomorrow’s Table: Organic farming, Genetics, & the future of food. 8-21-08 Pamela C. Ronald & Raoul W. Adamchak

“Tomorrow’s Table” Organic farming, genetics, and the future of food. By Pamela C. Ronald and Raoul W. Adamchak. They are a husband and wife where she is a geneticist and he is and organic farmer. They try and reconcile the two disciplines and provide a lot of useful information. I found it very informative with simple explanations for problems. If you are interested in this subject, check it out.

Serenity: Those Left Behind 8-28-08 Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, Will Conrad

A fun little graphic novel.

Galactic North 8-28-08 Alastair Reynolds

This is a great collection of short stories and novellas for anyone who enjoys the Revelation Space universe. Reynolds is just so good at connecting all aspects of his stories together from Pushing Ice to Chasm City. I liked it a lot.

The Consumer’s guide to effective environmental choices 9-24-08 Michael Brower

This provides practical advice on what you can do to help th environment. It was actually very encouraging because we already do all of the “priority actions” that they recommend.

Earthcore 9-24-08 Scott Sigler

General Siglerissimo does it again! This was my first time listening to this podcast only novel and he did a great job. The pacing and accents were great. It took a little while to get started but once it did, it was hard to put down. I usually read just before bed but this got me too fired up and I had to tear myself away so I could sleep.

The 4-hour Workweek 10-16-08 Timothy Ferriss

Accelerando 10-23-08 Charles Stross

Quote-leftThis starts out as a cool little cyberpunk story but changes to a totally different medium of huge space opera later. I didn’t like the changes and the tedious explanations of sentient financial instruments and obtuse business plans. Stross’s ideas about the singularity and posthumans are cool but I think he takes it too far. I’m can’t say exactly why I didn’t like this one so much but it may be my first and last Stross book.

Ancestor 11-22-08 Scott Sigler

Another great podcast novel from General Siglerisimo. I found this story easier to get into than Earthcore and the pace just never let up. His characters are great and he really makes you feel as if you are right there. I loved it and am starting his next story tonight!

21 11-24-08 Patrick O’Brian

The Rookie                      12-7-08                   Scott Sigler

“The Rookie” by Scott Sigler is awesome. It’s about football 700 years in the future. I wasn’t sure if I would like it because I was never really interested in football, but surprisingly, I did. A Lot. For people who like football but have never tried sci-fi, or sci-fi readers who were never jocks; it provides hour of entertainment. A great story combined with the ongoing excitement of professional sports really moves the story along. This is one of my favorite Sigler stories, partly because there is essentially no slow beginning. Some of his novels take a little while to get into, but this one just throws you right into the action. The only downside is that there is a lot of swearing.

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Comments
  1. Scott Sigler says:

    Hey I’m glad you enjoyed INFECTED. FYI, the sequel, CONTAGIOUS, comes out Dec. 30. I hope you enjoy that one as well, and thanks for mentioning my books in your blog.

  2. alpinmack says:

    Thanks Scott, No problem. I don’t know if you saw, but Earthcore is on the list too. I’m about to add Ancestor probably tomorrow. Great job on that as well. I really hope Magnus gets duffed hard core, but it’s you we’re talking about, so yeah, I think he’ll get his. I was aware of Contagious an plan to pick it up as soon as I can. I may even write a whole new post dedicated to it. I want to do my part to stay on the good side of the FDO.

  3. Brian Hidy says:

    Dan,
    Wow, what a great list. I think we have somewhat similar tastes, although I do wander into the spy thriller genre occasionally. My only suggestion would be for you to hyperlink your titles, so we can find the books somewhere. You could speak to some local book sellers to see if they have a way to track you click through. I know amazon and others have this option. You might make some pennies this way. Also, you may consider posting some of your reviews on some of these same sites to get more traffic here.

    Just my two pennies.

    Brian

  4. alpinmack says:

    Thanks Brian. I’ll try and do that. Maybe we can recommend some books for each other, but I already have a to-read list that’s far too long already. I wouldn’t mind a spy thriller every once in a while.

  5. drcorner says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family alpine’…kick back and enjoy it with your loved ones. It’s been a rough Year for many…just like on Labor Day here’s some helpful stuff for you:

    http://drcorner.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/a-happy-thanksgiving-to-all/

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