A Return to Fiction

After I closed down my publishing company a few years ago, I pretty much stopped reading fiction for a few years. After reading manuscripts too numerous to count, I’d gotten sort of “fictioned out.” And while these things happen to me from time to time, they never last. So in 2012 I started to steadily ramp up my fiction-reading — a trend that continued into 2013.

The Books I Read

I didn’t start officially keeping track of the books I read until about July, so I’m certain I’m forgetting a few titles here. But to the best of my recollection, these are most of the books I read in 2013:

  • Wool 5 // Hugh Howey — I’d read the rest of the Silo Saga at the end of 2012.
  • Leviathan // Scott Westerfeld
  • Deep Blue Goodbye // John D. MacDonald — Literary preparation for the launch of my book in 2013.
  • Boneshaker // Cherie Priest
  • Devil Said Bang // Richard Kadrey — The entire Sandman Slim series is massively fun to read.
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales // Phillip Pullman — Classic tales, masterfully re-told.
  • The First Light of Evening // Mark Ernest Pothier (Kindle Single) — I picked this up on Jason Weisberger’s recommendation. Very real, powerful.
  • On Stranger Tides // Tim Powers — A book I’d started many years ago and never finished. I’m not sure why; I mean, it has pirates and voodoo.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible // Austin Grossman — A book I’d read previously, but demanded being revisited. Sometimes books do that.
  • The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom // Christopher Healy — As a man with daughters, I’m always on the lookout for stories with strong princesses.
  • The Hunger Games // Suzanne Collins — The kid wanted to read it, so I gave it a quick read so we could discuss it together. I still think it draws heavily from Takami’s Battle Royale.
  • Gun Machine // Warren Ellis — This takes place in New York. And, purely by coincidence, I read it in New York, which really added to the enjoyment of it. It ended a bit abruptly, but I enjoyed the ride.
  • The Villain’s Sidekick // Stephen T. Brophy — Another boingboing recommendation. It sounded like it was in the same thematic territory as Lothario Jones, so I wanted to check it out. It’s a little expensive for 106 pages, but mighty enjoyable all the same.
  • Spook Country // William Gibson — Neuromancer, which I read way back in 1984, really sparked the fire to write in me, and I’ll always be grateful to Gibson for that. To me, this felt like Pattern Recognition‘s Count Zero.
  • Steelheart // Brandon Sanderson — James Floyd Kelly recommended it. So I picked it up. I was not disappointed.
  • The Book Case // Nelson DeMille (Kindle SIngle) — A gift from my mom. It’s not something I would have bought for myself (so a great gift), but I enjoyed it very much. I’d never read DeMille before, but my mom told me it reminded her of my writing.
Covers of some books I read in 2013

The Books I Didn’t Finish

I also started a few books, that for various reasons, I didn’t finish. There are four that are on the short list for finishing in early 2014.

  • Follow Her Home // Steph Cha — I met Steph during the By the Balls book tour. I haven’t finished it yet (sorry, Steph), but it’s the first book on the list for 2014.
  • The Other Normals // Ned Vizzini — Vizzini weaves a great escapist tale with a misunderstood outcast teenager protagonist. I really identified with Perry. And I’m saddened that there will be no more books from him after the forthcoming House of Secrets: Battle of the Beasts.
  • The Thief // Fuminori Nakamura — Spoiler: it’s about a thief.
  • Professor Gargoyle // Charles Gilman — Chtulhu in middle school. Cool lenticular cover. What’s not to love?
Some more covers of books I read in 2013

The Graphic Novels I Read

And, worth a final mention, because the (somewhat) monthly Dungeons & Dragons group is now the Pathfinder group, I had to read the Pathfinder Core Rulebook.

I bought a lot more books than I read in 2013, so that leaves me with plenty to look forward to in 2014. Now, please excuse me. I have some reading to do.

Written by Tom Fassbender

An amateur hobbyist, expert generalist, and outdoor enthusiast who recently traveled around the world with his family.

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