Books in my Life — the 2017 edition

Year 6. It was a good year…for reading anyway. I also added audio books to the repertoire although at this point I have no idea how to classify them. I continued to keep track by month and you will see them broken down thus after the list. So without further ado…

January

The Final Battle William C. Dietz (1993)
Legion of the Damned Book 2 – ebook; reread

Mercenary Mack Reynolds (1962)
– ebook; reread

Frigid Fracas Mack Reynolds (1963)
– ebook; reread

Imager L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2009)
The Imager Portfolio Book 1 – ebook; reread

Imager’s Challenge L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2009)
The Imager Portfolio Book 2 – ebook; reread

Imager’s Intrigue L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2010)
The Imager Portfolio Book 3 – ebook;

Penric’s Demon Lois McMaster Bujold (2015)
Penric and Desdemona Book 1 – ebook; reread

Penric and the Shaman Lois McMaster Bujold (2016)
Penric and Desdemona Book 2 – ebook;

Penric’s Mission Lois McMaster Bujold (2016)
Penric and Desdemona Book 4 – ebook;

Psion Joan D. Vinge (1981)
Cat Book 1 – ebook; reread

Psiren Joan D. Vinge (1982)
Cat Book 1.5 – ebook; reread

Catspaw Joan D. Vinge (1988)
Cat Book 2 – ebook; reread

February

Dreamfall Joan D. Vinge (1996)
Cat Book 3 – ebook; reread

At the Sign of Triumph David Weber (2016)
Safehold Book 9 – ebook;

Young Rissa F.M. Busby (1976)
Rissa Kerguelen Book 1 – ebook; reread

Red Shirts John Scalzi (2012)
– ebook; reread

March Upcountry David Weber & John Ringo (2001)
Empire of Man Book 1 – ebook; reread

March to the Sea David Weber & John Ringo (2001)
Empire of Man Book 2 – ebook; reread

March to the Stars David Weber & John Ringo (2003)
Empire of Man Book 3 – ebook; reread

We Few David Weber & John Ringo (2005)
Empire of Man Book 4 – ebook; reread

March

The Fifth Season N.K. Jemesin (2015)
The Broken Earth Book 1 – ebook;

The Obelisk Gate N.K. Jemesin (2016)
The Broken Earth Book 2 – ebook;

Bloodstar Ian Douglass (2012)
Star Corpsman Book 1 – ebook;

Fields of Fire Marcos Kloos (2017)
Frontlines Book 5 – ebook;

Last Train to Rigel Timothy Zahn (2005)
Quadrail Book 1 – ebook; reread

Third Lynx Timothy Zahn (2007)
Quadrail Book 2 – ebook; reread

Odd Girl Out Timothy Zahn (2008)
Quadrail Book 3 – ebook; reread

The Domino Pattern Timothy Zahn (2009)
Quadrail Book 4 – ebook; reread

April

Judgment at Proteus Timothy Zahn (2012)
Quadrail Book 5 – ebook; reread

Magi’i of Cyador L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2001)
Recluce Book 10 – ebook;

Scion of Cyador L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2001)
Recluce Book 11 – ebook;

Fall of Angels L.E. Modesitt Jr. (1996)
Recluce Book 6 – ebook;

The Chaos Balance L.E. Modesitt Jr. (1997)
Recluce Book 7 – ebook;

Arms-Commander L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2010)
Recluce Book 16 – ebook;

Hour of Judgement Susan R. Matthews (1999)
Under Jurisdiction Book 4 – ebook;

The Devil and Deep Space Susan R. Matthews (2002)
Under Jurisdiction Book 5 – ebook;

Warring States Susan R. Matthews (2006)
Under Jurisdiction Book 6 – ebook;

May

A Plague of All Cowards William Barton (1976)
– ebook; reread

The Space Pioneers Carey Rockwell (1953)
Tom Corbett Book 4 – ebook;

Friday Robert Heinlein (1982)
– ebook; reread

Stone Hunger N.K. Jemesin (2016)
The Broken Earth Book 0 – ebook;

Lock In John Scalzi (2014)
– ebook; reread

The Regiment John Dalmas (1987)
The Regiment Book 1 – ebook; reread

The White Regiment John Dalmas (1990)
The Regiment Book 2 – ebook; reread

The Regiment’s War John Dalmas (1993)
The Regiment Book 3 – ebook; reread

The Curse of Chalion Lois McMaster Bujold (2001)
Chalion Book 1 – ebook; reread

The Paladin of Souls Lois McMaster Bujold (2003)
Chalion Book 2 – ebook; reread

The White Order L.E. Modesitt Jr. (1998)
Recluce Book 8 – ebook;

The Magic Engineer L.E. Modesitt Jr. (1994)
Recluce Book 3 – ebook;

June

Colors of Chaos L.E. Modesitt Jr. (1999)
Recluce Book 9 – ebook;

Golden Fleece Robert J Sawyer (1990)
– ebook;

Ancillary Sword Ann Leckie (2013)
Imperial Radch Book 1 – ebook; reread

Ancillary Justice Ann Leckie (2014)
Imperial Radch Book 2 – ebook; reread

Ancillary Mercy Ann Leckie (2015)
Imperial Radch Book 3 – ebook; reread

The Lost Colony John Scalzi (2007)
Old Man’s War Book 3 – ebook; reread

Zoe’s Tale John Scalzi (2008)
Old Man’s War Book 4 – ebook; reread

Soulminder Timothy Zahn (2014)
– ebook;

Human Division John Scalzi (2013)
Old Man’s War Book 5 – ebook; reread

The End of All Things John Scalzi (2015)
Old Man’s War Book 6 – ebook; reread

July

The Paladin C.J. Cherryh (1988)
– ebook; reread

A Desert Called Peace Tom Kratman (2007)
A Desert Called Peace Book 1 – ebook; reread

Carnifex Tom Kratman (2007)
A Desert Called Peace Book 2 – ebook; reread

The Lotus Eaters Tom Kratman (2010)
A Desert Called Peace Book 3 – ebook; reread

The Amazon Legion Tom Kratman (2011)
A Desert Called Peace Book 4 – ebook; reread

Come and Take Them Tom Kratman (2013)
A Desert Called Peace Book 5 – ebook; reread

The Rods and the Axe Tom Kratman (2014)
A Desert Called Peace Book 6 – ebook;

August

Local Custom Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2001)
Liaden Universe Book 1 – ebook; reread

Scouts Progress Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2001)
Liaden Universe Book 2 – ebook; reread

Mouse & Dragon Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2010)
Liaden Universe Book 3 – ebook; reread

Conflict of Honors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (1988)
Liaden Universe Book 4 – ebook; reread

Agent of Change Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (1988)
Liaden Universe Book 5 – ebook; reread

Carpe Diem Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (1989)
Liaden Universe Book 6 – ebook; reread

Plan B Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (1999)
Liaden Universe Book 7 – ebook; reread

I Dare Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2002)
Liaden Universe Book 8 – ebook; reread

Fledgling Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2009)
Liaden Universe Book 9 – ebook; reread

Saltation Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2010)
Liaden Universe Book 10 – ebook; reread

Ghost Ship Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2011)
Liaden Universe Book 11 – ebook; reread

Dragon Ship Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2012)
Liaden Universe Book 12 – ebook; reread

The Gathering Edge Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2017)
Liaden Universe Book 16 – ebook;

Dragon in Exile Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2016)
Liaden Universe Book 14 – ebook; reread

Alliance of Equals Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2016)
Liaden Universe Book 15 – ebook; reread

Mira’s Last Dance Lois McMaster Bujold (2017)
Penric and Desdemona Book 5 – ebook;

The Collapsing Empire John Scalzi (2017)
Interdependency Book 1 – ebook;

September

Penric’s Fox Lois McMaster Bujold (2017)
Penric and Desdemona Book 3 – ebook;

Unbreakable W.C. Bauers (2015)
The Chronicles of Promise Paen Book 1 – ebook; reread

Indomitable W.C. Bauers (2016)
The Chronicles of Promise Paen Book 2 – ebook;

A Peace Divided Tanya Huff (2017)
Peacekeeper Book 2 – ebook;

Assassin’s Price L.E. Modesitt Jr. (2017)
The Imager Portfolio Book 11 – ebook;

The Incrementalists Steven Brust & Skyler White (2013)
Incrementalists Book 1 – ebook; reread

October

*The Skill of Our Hands *** Steven Brust & Skyler White (2017)
**Incrementalists
Book 2 – ebook;

Provenance Ann Leckie (2017)
– ebook;

Balance of Trade Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2004)
Jethri Goblyn Book 1 – ebook; reread

Trade Secret Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (2013)
Jethri Goblyn Book 2 – ebook; reread

Starplex Robert Sawyer (1996)
– ebook;

Envy of Angels Matt Wallace (2016)
Sin du Jour Book 1 – ebook;

Pride of Chanur C.J. Cherryh (1981)
Chanur Book 1 – ebook; reread

Nevernight Jay Kristoff (2016)
The Nevernight Chronicle Book 1 – ebook;

November

Godsgrave Jay Kristoff (2017)
The Nevernight Chronicle Book 2 – ebook;

The Stone Sky N.K.Jemesin (2017)
The Broken Earth Book 3 – ebook;

Strong-Arm Tactics Jody Lyne Nye (2005)
– ebook; reread

Poor Man’s Fight Elliot Kay (2013)
Poor Man’s Fight Book 1 – ebook; reread

Rich Man’s War Elliot Kay (2015)
Poor Man’s Fight Book 2 – ebook;

Dead Man’s Debt Elliot Kay (2016)
Poor Man’s Fight Book 3 – ebook;

December

No Medals for Secrets Elliot Kay (2017)
Poor Man’s Fight Book 4 – ebook;

Vallista Steven Brust (2017)
Vlad Taltos Book 15 – ebook;

Barbary Station R.E. Stearns (2017)
Shieldrunner Pirates Book 1 – ebook;

Jhereg Steven Brust (1983)
Vlad Taltos Book 1 – ebook; reread

Yendi Steven Brust (1984)
Vlad Taltos Book 2 – ebook; reread

Teckla Steven Brust (1987)
Vlad Taltos Book 3 – ebook; reread

Taltos Steven Brust (1988)
Vlad Taltos Book 4 – ebook; reread

Phoenix Steven Brust (1990)
Vlad Taltos Book 5 – ebook; reread

Athyra Steven Brust (1993)
Vlad Taltos Book 6 – ebook; reread

Orca Steven Brust (1996)
Vlad Taltos Book 7 – ebook; reread

Dragon Steven Brust (1998)
Vlad Taltos Book 8 – ebook; reread

Audio Books

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen (1813)
– audiobook; reread (relisten?)

Emma Jane Austen (1815)
– audiobook;

Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte (1847)
– audiobook;

Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen (1811)
– audiobook;

Persuasion Jane Austen (1817)
– audiobook;

The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle (1903)
– audiobook;

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o_(“)(“)

 

Comments & Remarks

First off, let’s deal with the bunny. I had this bit of ascii art on my list all year and felt he needed to be let free into the internet universe. Enjoy and be free little bunny… 🙂

The numbers

114 books total (120 if you count the audiobooks): 9.5 (10) books per month; 2.19 (2.3) books per week; .312 (.329) books per day.

43 (48) new books
71 (72) re-reads

So that totals 114 ebooks, 5 audio books, 0 traditional books (although I did skim some kids books…). I guess I really am committed to ebook technology 🙂 I also did a month to month comparison to last year…you can see I tend to read heavily during the same months on a year to year basis.

  2017 2016
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
12
8
8
9
12
10
7
17
6
8
6
11
11
5
5
2
12
18
6
8
6
12
6
10

Reading and Rereading

If you look at the above numbers you will see why I am considering quitting counting books. In April last year I read two very long, very complex books. One of them was Book 2 of Robin Hobb’s Fitz and the Fool Trilogy. I’ve owned Book 3 for almost a year now and haven’t read it (and one or two others like it) because it would take too long and screw with my annual totals… gasp! And ok, I admit it: that’s just weird. Of course I did make a habit of rereading whole series this year in order to read the new book and that might have meant me reading at least 8 Fitz books which would have really, really slowed me down. Still a weird reason to not read a book though.

Speaking of complete series, I reread:

  • all of L.E. Modesitt’s Imager series (a great read)
  • all three of Joan D.Vinge’s Cat books (classic Bruce stuff)
  • all 4 of David Weber’s Empire of Man books (a fun read but nothing outstanding)
  • all 3 of N.K Jemesin’s The Broken Earth (so good it’s almost literature)
  • all 5 of Timothy Zahn’s Quadrail books (Inspector Poirot meets an alien Orient Express)
  • all of John Dalmas Regiment series (solid, old school military SF)
  • all Lois McMaster Bujold’s Chalion books and all her Penric novellas (Love, love, love, love…)
  • all Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch series (worth reading just for the use of non-gendered pronouns alone)
  • all John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe books (a mixed bag, but always well written)
  • all Tom Kratman’s A Desert Called Peace series (I hate Tom’s perspective on so much, but that in itself makes them worth reading)
  • all Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden books (classic space opera: I loved the first one when it came out and have stuck with them though all their trials and tribulations)
  • both of W.C. Bauer’s The Chronicles of Promise Paen books (and look forward to more)
  • all  Elliot Kay’s Poor Man’s Fight series (along with Markos Kloos Frontline books, these are some of the best self-published military SF I have come across)
  • and most of Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos books (I still have a few to go which will take up January 2018. I discovered these books  back in the early 80s when he started them and would recommend them to everyone and anyone.)

I also read much of L.E. Modesitt’s Recluce series (I bought two omnibuses). I have to admit they were a bit too much for me (he tends to repeat plots/viewpoints) and I wouldn’t recommend anyone slogging through them unless they really love the universe.

As a part of the above I also found myself re-buying books in ebook format. I am completely converted to ebooks now and with fading, old-guy eyes, I find reading print too much bother (I have to go find reading glasses and good light). So now I just re-buy the books in ebook format which can’t be bad for anyone in the industry, right?

Audio…

I have been working in my studio doing glass a lot and decided to give audio books a try rather than just listening to tunes. I went digging around in Librivox —which is the audio book version of Project Gutenberg— and found some classics i had always meant to read. All the books are free and read by volunteers so I found some good readers and started with Pride and Prejudice — which I had already read a few times. It went so well I downloaded a few more. The reader, Elizabeth Klett did a great job. I’d give it (and her) a try if you need something to think on while doing tasks with your hands.

It does bring up the question of whether or not I “read” these books. This year I kept the totals separate but I think if I continue I will just add them in and call them a read book.

Bad Book, Good Book

I mentioned above I have read some great self-published books. I also have read some dreck. And I have a strange quirk of finishing a book once I have started no matter how bad. I can count on one had the number of books I have not finished and I am never eager to add more to that count. But man, sometimes it is hard to slog through a badly written book, or worse, a badly edited one. I have a number of ebooks in my collection that I will never, ever read again and I often wonder if I should just delete them. But not getting rid of books, paper or digital, is another one of those strange quirks I have. 

Be that as it may (more below), Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns was this year’s winner of the OMG Will This Never END? prize and, much to my surprise, it was not a badly, or more usually, un-edited self pub, but in fact published by Saga Press which is a very minor subsidiary of Simon and Schuster. I do not know what they were thinking. I think the idea of Lesbian Space Pirates just overwhelmed their better judgement.

So I apologize to self-publishers everywhere. It seems that the flaw of publisher arrogance is more insidious than previously assumed.

Paperback Decisions…

So last year I downloaded an app called Shelfie (See the end of 2016’s post). The theory was I could scan the barcodes of my books (or just take a picture of them on my shelf, hence the name) and submit it to Shelfie and possibly get a deeply discounted ebook version. I eventually unpacked and scanned all my paperbacks and ended up buying a dozen or so ebooks for around a dollar a piece. I also cataloged all of my books.

It turns out I have 863 science fiction and fantasy paperbacks (as well as 534 ebooks for those of you who are counting). Given I struggle to reread 70 books a year that means I likely have a dozen or so years of reading to reread them even once. And on top of that, I am just not going to—I think my paperback book days are done.

So what do I do? I have determined at least 5 times to just sell them (although many are in rough shape…ironically the best ones, although I guess that’s predictable) and so far have done nothing. It is so hard to contemplate parting with objects I have cherished since Junior High (my Burroughs’ Mars books). And I am guessing Wee Book Inn or their ilk wouldn’t take the 10 or so  boxes of books at once. I could give them away, but at even $1/ book that’s a lot of money. And at ~$8/book replacement cost that’s almost $7000… which ain’t pocket change. I am considering flagging the ones I really want as ebooks and going on a spending spree but Even if it was only a 10th of them that would still add up to over $700.

So should I sell them?

It’s a conundrum. But I have a spreadsheet, so that’s a consolation. I think.

The Final Rant

I’ll end this with a final rant about and against DRM. I had an incident this year that had me trying to unravel Adobe’s drm system and it made me crazy. It took me weeks to regain access to things I had bought and payed for—I will make a separate post about it later but suffice it to say if I ever had anything good to say about drm (which I didn’t), it’s all gone now. Crack your books people…it is the only way to protect your investment.


If you wish to go back and look at previous year’s counts and rants you can find them here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Leslie and Earl’s book counts and summaries can be found by following the links.

One thought on “Books in my Life — the 2017 edition

  1. You and I have so many of the same issues. I, too, have a library full of books; many of them have been in my possession since grade school, including the Burroughs Mars books you mention. Like you, I’ve considered giving them away, attempting to sell them, even replacing them with ebooks to save shelf space…but it’s hard, really hard, to make such a radical change. And, as you mention, expensive.

    It looks like I’ll have to add some N.K. Jemesin to my list. As it turns out, I love Joan Vinge too, but I’ve found her stuff really difficult to find in the used bookstores; maybe I’ll see which of her titles are available electronically.

    One of the reasons I haven’t yet read the Lord of the Rings novels is because they’re huge and would impact my list count, ha ha. But since I fell short this year anyway, I think I’m over that. It’s not like it’s a contest anyway; reading should be about quality as much as quantity, surely.

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