Wow, dA sure has changed a little bit since last I wrote one of these!
So I figured I'd start with the list of books I'd read last year:
Books read in 20131 Changes—Jim Butcher
2 Neuromancer—William Gibson
3 Burning Chrome—William Gibson
4 Wicked—Gregory Maguire
5 Grunts—Mary Gentle
6 Bad News—Donald E. Westlake
7 The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat—Harry Harrison
(The Stainless Steel Rat)
(The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge)
(The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World)
8 The Deathworld Trilogy—Harry Harrison
(Deathworld 3)9 Mountain Riders—Max Brand
10 Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers—Harry Harrison
11 Silvertip's Chase—Max Brand
12 The Gun Seller—Hugh Laurie
13 Homeworld—Harry Harrison
14 Wheelworld—Harry Harrison
15 Starworld—Harry Harrison
16 Copp On Fire—Don Pendleton
17 The Executioner #1: War Against The Mafia—Don Pendleton
18 The Twisted Thing—Mickey Spillane
19 The Executioner #2: Death Squad—Don Pendleton
20 The Deep—Mickey Spillane
21 The Executioner #3: Battle Mask—Don Pendleton
22 The Hunter—Donald E. Westlake
23 The Executioner #4: Miami Massacre—Don Pendleton
24 The Big Kill—Mickey Spillane
25 The Executioner #5: Continental Contract—Don Pendleton
26 The Mourner—Donald E. Westlake
27 The Executioner #6: Assault On Soho—Don Pendleton
28 Callahan's Crosstime Saloon—Spider Robinson
29 Little Women—Louisa May Alcott
30 Bardic Voices Book I: The Lark and the Wren—Mercedes Lackey
31 Too Many Women—Rex Stout
32 I, The Jury—Mickey Spillane
33 Snuff—Terry Pratchett
34 Bardic Voices Book II: The Robin and the Kestrel—Mercedes Lackey
35 Spirits White As Lightning—Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
36 Mind Light—Margaret Davis
37 The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!—Harry Harrison
38 The Stainless Steel Rat For President—Harry Harrison
39 The Stainless Steel Rat Goes To Hell—Harry Harrison
40 The Man From Mustang—Max Brand
41 Double Star—Robert A. Heinlein
42 Echoes In Time—Andre Norton & Sherwood Smith
43 O Pioneer!—Frederik Pohl
44 Silver Spire—Robert Goldsborough
45 Time Travelers Strictly Cash—Spider Robinson
46 Starship Troopers—Robert A. Heinlein
47 The Voices of Heaven—Frederik Pohl
48 The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues—Harry Harrison
49 Stranger In A Strange Land—Robert A. Heinlein
There was a lot more science fiction on the list...
I can't believe it was only a year ago I read William Gibson's Neuromancer!
I also read quite a few by Harry Harrison--I really fell in love with his writing...Pulp sci/fi adventure. Nothing hardcore there, really easy to just pick up and read. Adventurous, humorous, and well-paced. His Stainless Steel Rat books are absolute favorites! Although I found the last one, The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell to be somewhat lackluster. It was missing something in its comedic tone. The characters lacked a lot of the zest they had previously. It was especially noticeable when I had just read The Stainless Steel Rat For President before.
I also started in on Don Pendleton's original books in the Executioner series. Probably the best title (certainly the most successful) in men's action adventure novels. The first book, War Against the Mafia, was certainly different in comparison to the modern novels, (veeeerrry 70s) although it laid down the core of Mack Bolan's character, and he has stayed true to that ever since.
Spider Robinson quickly became a favorite as well, and I ended up starting off this year by reading the rest of the novels we have by him. He writes very believable and compelling characters. I think everyone would benefit greatly from reading the Callahan series. (A lot of empathy in there--really feel good stories.) Like so many good sci/fi novels, it really makes the reader stop to think a bit...
Robert A. Heinlein is of course one of the classic names in sci-fi literature...Stranger in a Strange Land was very though-provoking. Kinda makes me look at things a little differently now.
The Voices of Heaven, by Frederik Pohl was interesting because the main character had a psychosis and it wasn't like the main focus although it was of major concern for the character. (He ends up worlds away from his home without any medication and little hope of getting back to the life he once knew.) It was quite compelling even though there wasn't a whole lot of action going on. Very character driven, with believable portrayals of people in their situation.
Mind Light, by Margaret Davis, was another compelling read...
Echoes In Time, by Andre Norton & Sherwood Smith was rather disappointing. There wasn't a whole lot of action, which wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't built up with the initial bad-assery of the characters. Making a big deal about how tough and competent they were and then not having them do a damn thing.
The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie was really excellent. It would make an AWESOME movie. (I also wish he'd finish writing a sequel.)
I'd forgotten I'd read Copp on Fire last year...I think I enjoyed it a little more than the first book: Copp for Hire.
Overall it was a good year of reading!
And so far I've started off this year well with 24 new books read. (Though now I'm taking a slight break.)
Books so far read in 20141 Callahan's Secret—Spider Robinson
2 Callahan's Lady—Spider Robinson
3 The Callahan Touch—Spider Robinson
4 The Fugitive Pigeon—Donald E. Westlake
5 The Busy Body—Donald E. Westlake
6 Somebody Owes Me Money—Donald E. Westlake
7 The Black Bird—Donald E. Westlake
8 Cops And Robbers—Donald E. Westlake
9 Bank Shot—Donald E. Westlake
10 Jimmy the Kid—Donald E. Westlake
11 Don't Ask—Donald E. Westlake
12 Dancing Aztecs—Donald E. Westlake
13 Beyond the Pale—Mark Anthony
14 The Keep of Fire—Mark Anthony
15 The Dark Remains—Mark Anthony
16 Blood of Mystery—Mark Anthony
17 The Gates of Winter—Mark Anthony
18 The First Stone—Mark Anthony
19 Dragon and Salve—Timothy Zahn
20 Dragon and Herdsman—Timothy Zahn
21 The Turing Option—Harry Harrison & Marvin Minsky
22 Temeraire: In The Service Of The King—Naomi Novik
(His Majesty's Dragon)
(Throne of Jade)
(Black Powder War)
23 Werewolf Smackdown—Mario Avecedo
24 Catspaw—Joan D. Vinge