You would think being unemployed would have given me a lot more time to read, but obviously this wasn’t the case. Whereas 2008 gave me two of my three favorite books of all time (Perdido Street Station and The Scar), I had no such luck with gems in 2009. Iron Council didn’t live up to the previous two (and is probably why Mieville took a hiatus from Bas-Lag novels), I spent some energy on business-y books (Kawasaki, LeBouef, etc.) and Fantasy and Science Fiction cut down their magazine to a 150% sized bi-monthly format to cut costs. Regardless, I’m still behind. Liar’s Poker was a great find and recommended. Here Comes Everybody could have been contentless but certainly wasn’t.
Last year: 31 Titles, 7,967 Pages, 21.77 Pages/Day (2008 was a leap year)
This year: 18 Titles, 4,960 Pages, 13.59 Pages/Day
- Achewood – Worst Song Played on Ugliest Guitar by Chris Onstad (Graphic, 136) Hopefully the first in a long line of director’s cut styled Achewood anthologies. The best thing on the Internet, now in dead tree form.
- Flight – Volume 5 (Graphic, 363) – I didn’t buy volume six. The art is just remarkable, but I don’t find myself coming back to any of the stories anymore. Stopping my auto-buy of Flight anthologies was simply a cost-cutting measure.
- Iron Council by China Mieville (564) – By any measure, this is a good “New Weird” fantasy novel. But after his previous two, there was such high expectations that simply weren’t met here. A good read if you devoured his first two Bas-Lag novels.
- Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (297) – Wow. I read the titular novella in Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2005 (?) and loved it. Having not really read anything else of hers since, I saw this collection and tried my luck. No one-hit wonder, there is barely a flat note in the whole collection. Her other works now line my Amazon wish list.
- Art of the Start – Guy Kawasaki (217) – Bootstrap. There. I saved you 217 pages.
- Enough – John C. Bogle (255) – I love Bogle and this is a great semi-autobiographic book about avarice in the financial industry. Not too heavy and if you know Jack Bogle at all, it is pretty predictable, but it has a great message.
- Football Official’s Guidebook (Crews of Four and Five) High School Mechanics 2009 (262) – I wish this book would have been required of me my first year officiating. Fantastic and filled many of the holes left in my training.
- Here Comes Everyone – Clay Shirky (304) – I commented about this above. A great book on living and working in a crowdsourced world. I need to read it again since it was the first book I read last year and I’m a bit foggy on the details.
- 2009 High School Football Rules Simplified and Illustrated (181) – This was essentially useless.
- Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis (249) – Fantastic autobiographical look at 1980s bond trading that is waaaay more entertaining than you would think the subject matter would be. Lewis shows his skills as a writer that would make him famous with The Blind Side and Moneyball. Love it.
- The New New Thing by Michael Lewis (269) – Picked this up right away after finishing Liar’s Poker. Same style, but the subject matter is the go-go Internet bubble and one of it’s biggest personalities – the founder of Netscape and two other billion dollar companies.
- The Perfect Business by Michael LeBoeuf (224) – Okay, but not what I was looking for.
- Ignore Everbody – Hugh McLeod (159) – If you read McLeod’s blog (and I did), then you get most of this book from his “Rules for Creativity” post. I stopped following him on blog and twitter because he became nasty and when that personality veil falls, it is tough to get back. Still, the words in this boo are wise and you can read it standing in a Barnes & Noble pretty quickly, not that I condone that. 😉
- Fantasy & Science Fiction 02/09 (160)
- Fantasy & Science Fiction 03/09 (160)
- Fantasy & Science Fiction 04-05/09 (260)
- Fantasy & Science Fiction 06-07/09 (260)
- Fantasy & Science Fiction 08-09/09 (320) – There were a lot of great stories in F&SF this year, but since all my copies are in boxes right now, I can’t crack them open and reference. They don’t have enough new authors, but the quality is quite consistent.