Ongoing: – Ship of Destiny, I will still finish this, but right now it‘s in a bit of a hiatus.
Pages and minutes in January 2023 1,710 pages eye reading & 14.67 hours of audio
Moving pictures… – Strange World ★★★★☆ animation, Disney+, nice one! Center of the Earth stuff. – Babylon 5, season 1-5 ★★★★☆ I rewatched some of my favourite episodes. It was fun. – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds ★★★★★ Fabulous! Old Trek lives again… I‘m still laughing about the episode where Spock and T‘Pring attempt a soul joining. – Dexter New Blood ★★★★☆ Enjoyed it more than I thought I would. – Dexter, S1-4, ★★★★★ re-watch, still great.
February 2023 plans: – The Red Scholar’s Wake, Netgalley, read the first two chapters. SF, Universe of the Xuja, sentient ships, pirates, LGBQT+. – Destroyer (Foreigner #7), audio, listened to the first 4 hours. Oh boy. – Blackfish City, SF, maybe end of the month.
I do not read online SF magazines regularly. I get a newsletter from Tordotcom, that leads me to reading some of their articles. That‘s about it. Most newsletter I read a few times and then get rid of again. Today I stumbled across Locus magazine though and read some good stuff.
JAMES PATTERSON signed on to finish an incomplete manuscript by MICHAEL CRICHTON (1942-2008) for Little, Brown via Robert Barnett for Patterson and Shane Salerno for CrichtonSun (the estate’s production company). The novel concerns “a mega-eruption of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano that can destroy not just the island but the entire world.”
As I type these words, a mass exodus is underway from Twitter and Facebook. After decades of eye-popping growth, these social media sites are contracting at an alarming rate.
For social media, the biggest switching cost isn’t learning the ins and outs of a new app or generating a new password: it’s the communities, family members, friends, and customers you lose when you switch away. Leaving aside the complexity of adding friends back in on a new service, there’s the even harder business of getting all those people to leave at the same time as you and go to the same place.
Isn‘t that the truth! And you need a place to switch to, once you get to that point. Or not, as the case might be. When I left FB and Twitter years ago, I did not replace them and it wasn‘t a big deal. However, leaving Goodreads would be. Where to go? There is no other booksite that has these social media qualities. I have been with them since 2008 and with my current favourite group I have been since 2017. I don‘t want to loose them. So, at the moment, the switching cost is too high.
“My latest book is called The Terraformers and it is a multigenerational epic about terraforming a planet. As it says on the tin, it is about some terraformers, the people doing the real work planetside, and it takes place over many thousands of millennia. It starts about 60,000 years in our future and ends 65,000 years in our future. I spent a lot of time working on the timeline leading up to the events of the novel. I have all these files on my computer that are full of things like, ‘Okay, but if this happened at this date, then what would happen at this date?!’
I am not very goal oriented in my private life. Work is about goals. Private life is for doing what I want, when I want. Or not. Anyway, I do have some ideas about this year‘s reading.
Read fewer buddy reads in 2023 — odd, I know. But I committed to so many buddy reads last year that I did not have any room for mood reads. I ticked off my list, following a schedule. It started to feel like work.
Read fewer books than last year — the next odd one. I did set my usual 100-book-challenge on Goodreads and The StoryGraph, but I am considering to lower it or maybe completely delete it. I don‘t need it for tracking purposes and I am trying to de-stress my reading life.
Reduce my Netgalley pile — I have 20 unread Netgalleys and some of them are really ancient. It would be sweet to finally get caught up. And then I would only request more with the expectation to actually read and review them close to their publishing date, as it was intended.
Don‘t commit to reading challenges — again, it’s about de-stressing my reading life. Regardless, I have actually picked two challenges. One is the 2023 bingo challenge of my favourite Goodreads group. It‘s about reading previous, missed buddy reads. I don‘t expect to get a bingo, it‘s more of a tracker for books I own from those old buddy reading lists. And i picked an Alphabet challenge on Storygraph. I will only use it to help me pick books from my owned bookshelves.
Reduce my TBR pile of owned booksand buy fewer new books — I failed at this last year. I finally want to make a dent in my physical bookshelf. Buying no new books is an illusion. I don‘t want to set any rules either, aka only buy a new book after reading 3 old ones. That would just stress me out, plus I would need to track it. More tracking = less reading.
Finally continue with the Dragonriders of Pern — a few years ago I decided to re-read the series plus to read all the new ones that I never picked up. I was off to a good start and had fun, but last year I was so overbooked that I didn‘t read a single one of them.
Mix it up — I have been reading a lot of SF and Fantasy in the last few years. I want to mix it up a little more. There is enough choice on my owned bookshelves…
Don‘t overthink it, more mood reading!
That‘s it for now. How about you? Do you have any new goals, besides the usual „read x books this year“, „read more classics“, „read more non-fiction“, etc.?
This week‘s topic: top ten most anticipated books releasing in the first half of 2023
Another meme that I haven‘t done in a really long time. And I doubt that I will get together ten books. I don‘t check and plan ahead a lot for my reading. It‘s more of an accidental affair. So, anyway, let‘s see what I have planned already in terms of new books for this year…
I do not actually have anything newly published on my list until late April. So the title of this Top Ten Tuesday is right out of the window. Anyway, April!
This one is a maybe, I have plenty of other books on my T.J. Klune backlog.
In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.
Inspired by Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, and like Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-E, In the Lives of Puppets is a masterful stand-alone fantasy adventure from the beloved author who brought you The House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door.
Next one. I am not even sure this here will be published in May, as I can‘t find any dates about it anywhere besides its Goodreads bookpage:
Twelve years have passed since a widespread blackout triggered the rapid collapse of society, when the constants of the old world—cell service, landlines, satellite and internet—disappeared. Twelve long years since the steady supply of food and fuel from the south became a thing of the past.
The sudden end of the world as everybody knew it, and the horrors of that first winter since everything became dark, only steeled the resolve of Evan Whitesky and the other members of the Anishinaabe community to survive on their own terms. Because the world wasn’t ending, as the community elders reminded them. It had already ended with the original displacement of their people to the far north by colonial authorities. They have seen this “apocalypse” before. They’ve seen it—lived it—over and over. But they had always survived. And they will survive this too.
The book was supposed to come out last year. Maybe Corona threw a wrench into the works? On Rice‘s Twitter he posts about a Fall 2022 draft, so work is still going on, fingers crossed. Sequel to MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW. My review of that book wasn‘t too favourable, when I read it in 2019. But the story has lingered, so it can‘t have been that average.
The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us the third and final novel in an extraordinary space opera trilogy about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man’s discovery will save or destroy us all.
“I didn’t know you were a… demon.” “You idiot. I’m the demon.” Kai’s having a long day in Martha Wells’ WITCH KING….
After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.
Doesn‘t sounds all that different to dear old Murderbot, right?
And we finally move into June. ANOTHER IMPERIAL RADCH!!! Boy, did I wait long for this one! I got so fed up with waiting, I re-read the first Imperial Radch trilogy in 2021. Tea did not help with the waiting, dear!
The mystery of a missing translator sets three lives on a collision course that will have a ripple effect across the stars in this powerful new novel by award-winning author Ann Leckie.
Qven was created to be a Presger translator. The pride of their Clade, they always had a clear path before them: learn human ways, and eventually, make a match and serve as an intermediary between the dangerous alien Presger and the human worlds. The realization that they might want something else isn’t “optimal behavior”. It‘s the type of behavior that results in elimination.
Squeee! Presger translator! So looking forward to this one!
At some point in 2023 there should be Mercy Thompson #14 by Patricia Briggs. That‘s all I know. No title or cover art yet. But I will definitely read it, when it comes out.
That was only six books, sorry! We‘ll see what other books will sneak up on me in the next few months! And then back to my owned pile of TBRs….
My average rating for 2022 according to Goodreads: 3.7 (all-time average is 3.47) I read 121 books in 2022, including 12 DNF. The statistics from Goodreads diverge a little from the StoryGraph version. I am not too bothered. You know what they say: Never believe a statistic that you didn‘t fake yourself! It‘s close enough.
My 5-star ratings in 2022, including the most-used genre tags:
Under Fortunate Stars stands out, because it was a debut novel. But there was no novel that outpaced the others. And I am sure that within my 4-star novels could be some that would be worth 5 stars as well, if I took a look.
The Walking Dead is still good, but so long — it‘s a lot of work. Those two Moon Knight comics were great fun, although I am not really into superheroes that much anymore. Saga is back, YAY! We Stand On Guard was a totally unexpected find. And Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter was so cute! I have to check again, I should really get the sequel if there is one…
Wow, well that did not go well at all. I had a look at that post and I did not read a single book mentioned in that post! Instead I read a lot of buddy reads with my favourite Goodreads group. And I finished 2022 with more owned books than I started out with. To top it off, I already bought 3 more books… 😂
Anyway, those famous New Year resolutions… Less buddy reads, more mood reads, concentration on my owned books. I want to concentrate on my physical bookshelf, but I think that would be a futile commitment. I have more ebooks and many of those have been lingering for a while now as well. Plus there is that pesky Netgalley backlog. And I want to finally get back to re-reading and then catching up with unread books of the Dragonriders of Pern. We‘ll see how that goes!
A wrap-up of my reading year of 2022 will follow soon… Happy New Year! To a better 2023!
Moving pictures… – Moonfall, too bad the makers take this movie seriously, otherwise this could have been fun. Pretty hammy acting, too. – It Chapter Two, it was ok, I had hoped for more. – A Quite Place II. Good! Surprisingly I really liked Cilian Murphy in this, he is usually not really my cup of tea.
WAITING FOR THE RAIN by Shana Scott ★★½☆☆ Dystopia? Hard to tell. There was no magic or any SF elements. “The summer was beating them down: plants burned before they grew, scavengers poisoned by the rotted carrion, water scarce—coveted.“ Possibly set in Africa somewhere, hard to tell. Drought, suffering, a sacrifice is needed to appease the Sun. I didn‘t like the writing much.
PURPLE NASTIES by Jez Patterson ★★¾☆☆ Dystopia / SF “The Sun isn’t really purple either. It’s just a big ball of white light. Only, now it’s got this cloud of purple gas around it.“ Very short, very odd. Some cosmic event led to a chemical reaction that led to purple gas around the sun and purple light on Earth, with disastrous results.
TO CLIMB BY THE LIGHT OF THE SPUTTERING SUN by Daniel Ausema ★★★★★ Dystopia / SF A team of scavengers for hire venture outside of the city to find valuables. The city is under a dome in the shape of a skull, made from bone? The sun is old and dyeing, the seas are acidic. Our crew has a steep and dangerous climb to make. The writing of this one hit my sweet spot, I really liked it. I never figured out the skulls. Robots or machines, partially made of bone?
LEGACY 2.0 by N. E. White ★★★★¾ SF Maria and Juan circle a dead Earth, millenia after humanity has abandoned it. They have a cockroach situation aboard their spaceship. Good one!
DRIED SMOKE by Kat Pekin ★★★★★ Post-Apocalypse “First to get hit were the capitals, so Brisbane was much fucked from day one.“ Australia after a nuclear attack. Siblings are driving away from the cities, trying to stay alive… Well written, good action scenes, I liked the characters.
The end of the year is nigh. I am having a look at my want-to-read shelf, aka books that I want to reads, but do not own yet. Every now and then I kick some books off that shelf, because I am not that interested anymore. I am very, very stingy with adding titles to that list, because I do not want to be overwhelmed and I want to stand a chance to actually read those books at some point in time. So I only have 170 titles on that shelf. I own another 240 unread books, so I am not running out of reading material anytime soon. Anyway, I am currently filling my virtual shopping basket at a secondhand bookstore at the moment and going through that want-to-read, looking for some low-priced bargains… Here it goes…
Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Okami in Japan) is acknowledged worldwide for the brilliant writing of series creator Kazuo Koike and the groundbreaking cinematic visuals of the late Goseki Kojima. Creating unforgettable imagery of stark beauty, kinetic fury, and visceral thematic power, the epic samurai adventure has influenced a generation of visual storytellers both in Japan and in the West.
I‘ve had this on my shelf for a while. I do not read a lot of Manga, I am not a huge fan of the black-and-white medium. But reviews for this are consistently good, so… bought!
In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda — and he begins to move.
This sounded really good at the time I added it. Plus I really liked Afterparty and the short story NIne Last Days on Planet Earth by the author. But I am a little oversaturated with zombies… Deleted!
Marriage of Convenience is one of my favourite romance tropes, which is why I added this to my shelf. However, I recently read the first book of that series and was utterly underwhelmed. It was ok, but generally not interesting enough to continue with the series. Deleted!
They are often among the least privileged, most unfairly used of us, and the more robots are like humans, the more interesting they become. This collection of stories is where robots stand in for us, where both we and they are disadvantaged, and where hope and optimism shines through.
I have too many short story anthologies on my shelves and robots are another topic where I reached saturation… deleted!
Marine biologist Zachary Wallace once suffered a near-drowning experience in legendary Loch Ness, and now, long-forgotten memories of that experience have begun haunting him. The truth surrounding these memories lies with Zachary’s estranged father, Angus Wallace, a wily Highlander on trial for murder. Together the two plunge into a world where the legend of Loch Ness shows its true face.
Ugh, I think I am done with Steve Alten. Delete! And if I should find any more Meg novels on my shelf, I will boot those off as well…
With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums.
I guess I added this because I saw some good reviews and it‘s on Kindle Unlimited. But to be honest, it sounds depressing and I am not a massive MilSF fan anyway. Deleted.
Ok then, besides those 7 books above (of which I only bought one and deleted 6), I also deleted a ton on KU additions and other stuff that I remembered nothing about. I am now down to only 130 books left on that shelf. Quite a nice clean-up.