Top Ten Books and 2015 Readsolutions

First of all, this whole new year starting in January thing is total balls because we stay up late to celebrate and then we wake up the next morning and it’s still cold, it still gets dark early, and, for crying out loud, winter JUST started. My desert neighborhood has been iced over for DAYS. Ugh.

Anyway, you didn’t come here for my bitching.

Total books read: Goodreads says I’ve read 89 fiction books this year. I have no idea how I managed that with the year I’ve been having. I expect to have less busies in 2015, so I hope to gain more time for more reading.

 

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014 (alpha order by last name)

  1. thedemolishedman4The Demolished Man (1953) by Alfred Bester
  2. Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury
  3. The Unsleeping Eye/The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (1974) by D. G. Compton
  4. Babel-17 (1966) by Samuel R. Delany
  5. Dark Universe (1961) by Daniel Galouye
  6. The Big Time (1958) by Fritz Leiber
  7. The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) by Ursula K. Le Guin
  8. Inverted World (1974) by Christopher Priest
  9. Way Station (Here Gather the Stars) (1963) by Clifford D. Simak
  10. More Than Human (1953) by Theodore Sturgeon
  11. Cat’s Cradle (1963) by Kurt Vonnegut

*There are only 10 books on this list. The Big Time does not exist in our realm. You think you see it, but you don’t.

Yep, these are primarily SF Masterwork novels, which everybody has read already. Big surprise.

 

Top 5 non-Vintage Books

  1. Virtual Light (1993) by William Gibson
  2. Beggars in Spain (1993) by Nancy Kress
  3. The Dervish House (2010) by Ian McDonald
  4. Perdido Street Station (2000) by China Miéville
  5. The Scar (2002) by China Miéville
  6. Jack Glass (2012) by Adam Roberts

*There are only 5 books on this list. The Scar is a meta-present visitor from another dimension, called from the deeps by lightning gollums on copper wires. It’s definitely not my doing. Two books by the same author on this list would annoy me.

 

wolves1Top 2014 Books

  1. Wolves by Simon Ings
  2. The Peripheral by William Gibson
  3. This spot might be held by Adam Roberts’ te, Lavie Tidhar’s A Man Lies Dreaming, or Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, but I wouldn’t know because publishing moves slowly across the damn Atlantic.

I will talk about the 2014 books later.

 

2015 Readsolutions

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because it just seems like procrastinating, but I do have a few plans for this blog in the next 12 months:

  • Read more female authors
    I did this in 2013, but stuck primarily to contemporary writers. Now that I know a little more about older SF, I plan to check out some vintage ladies (Brackett, Russ, MacLean, McIntyre, Tiptree, Tanith Lee… maybe give Moore and Cherryh another glance).
  • Read the shortlist for the Kitschies and/or the BSFAs
    Maybe. They always seem to have the most intriguing shortlists.
  • Read Spanish-language SF… en ESPAÑOL
    I picked up Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien Años de Soledad (1967) and I plan to read it this summer.
  • Read the Hugo ‘5s
    Remember when I annoyed everybody with daily posts of my personal rankings of Hugo years that end in ‘4? Doing that again. Ha ha.

The Month Ahead:

TheFemaleManMy long overdue review of China Miéville’s The Scar (2002) will post next week. You can also look forward to reviews of:

The Claw of the Conciliator (1981) by Gene Wolfe
The Long Tomorrow (1958) by Leigh Brackett
The Female Man (1975) by Joanna Russ- this one has been pinging me for some time.
The Algebraist (2005) by Iain Banks- my first Banks novel (so embarrassing to admit that).

My long lazy read of the month: The Years of Rice and Salt (2002) by Kim Stanley Robinson. KSR and historical fiction? I’M SO THERE!

Also expect a consolidation post of blurby reviews of some of the 2014 novels I binged on over the holidays. (having a postmodern hangover. so… much… meta…)

Now I’m off to go hibernate until the REAL new year happens– like on the first day of spring, or May Day, or the start of Daylight Saving Time. Yeah… Daylight Saving Time. I can get behind that idea.*

*I am solar-powered.

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27 thoughts on “Top Ten Books and 2015 Readsolutions

  1. Demolished Man and the non-existent Big Time and both great books. A friend got me a nice old paperback of Demolished Man for Christmas and I’m hoping to give it a re-read soon.

    I had intended to read Wolves in 2014, but as I didn’t maybe I can do so this year.

    I look forward to following your reviews in 2015 and hope you have a wonderful year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      I read Demolished Man exactly a year ago and it’s such a unique read. Bester is so dynamic. A perfect cold-weather crime story.

      Wolves is… you’ll wonder what’s so great about it for 2/3s of the novel. But then it all comes together so beautifully and thematically at the end. It is dark and broody and detached. And I’m a sucker for near-future SFnal tech.

      I look forward to seeing your posts this year, too! So glad we crossed (virtual) paths this year!

      Like

      • Stars My Destination is still my favorite Bester, but Demolished Man runs a very close second.

        I’m glad we crossed paths as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You guys, I didn’t like Demolished Man at all. I am obviously missing something if you both loved it. Going to go read your review of it now couch.

          Like

          • fromcouchtomoon says:

            I think I read Demolished Man right after reading Asimov’s dry Foundation series, so Bester’s pumped up lingo felt fun and refreshing. It is still a ’50s novel, though, so it lacks the sophistication of later decades, but I thought it was fun and unforgettable.

            Like

  2. Hestia says:

    Looking forward to your review of The Scar.

    Like

  3. Steph says:

    New Year’s is not a holiday in my book. As you mentioned it should be in Spring. Holiday/Christmas lights should stay up until March 1 to make winter months more cheerful. Work has already provided me with my resolutions, oh I’m sorry “this years strategic goals,” Any goals to be healthy must wait until Spring when it’s not cold and dark when I get out of bed. …bah humbug…sorry, that season is over. I’m now expected to be cheerful, put on spandex, and run in zero degree weather…I think I’ll read a book instead…

    Like

  4. Jesse says:

    Curmudgeon that I am, I puke when I read mainstream blogs raving over the latest mediocre crap to come spilling out of the overrated machine otherwise known as modern (we’re trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator possible!) publishing. Reading your blog is thus a breath of fresh air. It makes me feel sane. Thank you 🙂 and all the best for 2015!

    Like

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      Wow, thanks! And likewise to your blog (speculiction.blogspot.com for anybody reading this). I also experience the same kind of bafflement at books that mainstream blogs choose to promote, so it’s nice to know our little circle of bloggers are keeping it real. If I wanted to read formula, I would have started a math blog.

      Like

  5. marzaat says:

    Yes, no tyranny of the new and shiny here. People did write stuff worth reading before 2014.

    Like

  6. Joseph Nebus says:

    I’m kind of embarrassed I’ve never read Banks; all the information about him suggests he ought to be several things I’m looking for. But then I also look at his books and the short ones run to 14,000 pages and are part nine in the series and maybe I can just go read someone that isn’t going to challenge me in any way.

    Like

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      Haha, I share the same sentiment about Banks! The nice thing about The Algebraist is that it’s a little over 500 pages and it’s a stand-alone, as far as I can tell. I figure it’s a good place to start.

      Like

  7. 89 books! DAAAAAAAAMN. That’s mucho impressive. AND you’re going to read One Hundred Years of Solitude in SPANISH. It’s a chunky book at the best of times, I don’t think my Spanish would live up to the magical realism of the novel. Best of luck though 🙂 Have a great 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      Thanks! And thanks for the reblog!

      Yeah, the whole One Hundred Years of Solitude in Espanol effort could wind up being a total disaster, but I have the book, so I might as well make the effort!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Literally Science and commented:
    A great list of books from my favourite sci-fi blog. While it’s not strictly science, sci-fi does lend itself beautifully to exploring some of the ideas of science. Make sure you check out From Couch to the Moon, great blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sjhigbee says:

    There are some excellent books here:). Looking forward to reading more of your enjoyable reviews in the coming year. Have a great 2015!

    Like

  10. fromcouchtomoon says:

    Thanks! I hope you have a great 2015, too!

    Like

  11. Tammy says:

    I’ll admit I haven’t read Ian Banks either. I should probably do that this year, I’ll look forward to reading your review!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am sooooo incredibly jealous that you can read things in Spanish. Can you please read Cortazar in Spanish and then tell me all about it? Because he is my favorite magical realism writer ever and I have been pining to read him in the original forever. But, alas, all my starts at learning Spanish have not taken me far enough.

    Like

    • fromcouchtomoon says:

      And I am envious that you can read in German because that’s my other language of study that I haven’t maintained.

      And I have what’s called a “working knowledge” of Spanish. It’s enough to talk to my in-laws if I need to, or tune out and not comprehend anything at all.

      Like

  13. […] month kicked off with a post on my Top Ten Reads of 2014 (more than ten, ‘cause I’m a rebel), and I outlined my totally predictable “Readsolutions” […]

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  14. […] you remember from my 2015 Readsolutions, one of my goals was to read this en español. […]

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