The month during which it took me over a week to read a 150-page book. The month during which I read half of The Satanic Verses in one day. The month during which I really just wanted to get to Europe at Midnight and never did. (Mainly because I dragged my feet on said 150-page book and it put me behind.) The month during which I envisioned myself swimming in astounding new releases during a glorious Thanksgiving week off, but I was behind on my committed TBR and my diligent self forced me to stay the course with Asimov and Brunner.
Diligent self can be such a drag. But it was worth it.
Oh my. I only blogged three books this month? I am slacking. Shit. I ‘splained my way through Bob Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mansplainer, meh’d my way through David Brin’s Brightness Reef, and crept my way through Sheri S. Tepper’s insidious world of Grass.
So now, perhaps I OD’d on book reviews this month, due in part to my Blewgo Award conglomeration post, in which I gave needed attention to some 2014 novels people have already stopped talking about. When I first planned this, I was afraid I wouldn’t be excited about any of the books I had chosen, but those were mislaid fears. I discovered some fabulous authors (mainly from the Tiptree honor list) and, if I’m being really honest, I’m pretty sure Monica Byrne’s The Girl in the Road and Adam Roberts’ Bête are the real reasons I’ve been dragging on my committed vintage reading during the past couple of months. They pretty much ruined me for other books. I’m not even exaggerating.
But the best thing about that post, the thing that most amazes me, really: I did not lose a single follower after I posted that hand drawn picture of a floppy cock-rocket. It was a risk I was willing to take. (And, if you didn’t get it, go look at the Hugo Award logo right now… now you see.)
So, technically, I blogged about 10 books: 5 regular reviews, and 5 Blewgo nominees. Nice.
Books Read, to be Blogged
No book list fails for me this month. I completed my required reading for the month, and even finished my extracurricular read that I started last month.
Viriconium by M. John Harrison – A waking dream in a book. I said I would just read The Pastel City, but I ended up reading the entire omnibus. (Buddy read with Nikki at Bookpunks.)
Remake (1995) by Connie Willis – Totally blahsome. (Another buddy read with Nikki at Bookpunks.)
Not This August (1955) by C.M. Kornbluth– So subtle, I fear Amazon reviewers don’t quite get it (except for admiral.ironbombs (not a real admiral). Of course he gets it). (left over from last month.)
Accelerando (2005) by Charles Stross– I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with a Stross book, but this was far more interesting than his other books I’ve read. But until he quits using the term “catfight,” I will always be annoyed.
The End of Eternity (1955) by Isaac Asimov– More blahsome. Wait, wait! What did he just do there? (Posted yesterday.)
The Squares of the City (1965) by John Brunner– not nearly as awesome as Stand on Zanzibar, but much better than the earlier The Whole Man. Like a more serious version of Vonnegut’s 1963 Cat’s Cradle.
Plus, extracurricular read, not to-be-blogged: The Satanic Verses (1988) by Salman Rushdie– an incredibly clever satire that uses religious icons to symbolize the modern immigrant struggle.
My goal—MY GOAL—(I feel like I need to shout it so my distractible brain hears it)—is to post reviews for all of my 2015 reads before the end of this year. So you’ll be seeing more frequent, but possibly shorter posts from me during the month of December.
Other Things to be Blogged
‘Tis the season for end of the year listicles and such, and I will be in full obnoxious end-of-year form. Last year, I posted my best and worst audiobook listens, and I will do the same this year. Tomorrow, expect a collection of short reviews of all of the short fiction collections I read this year. What else? Maybe a bookporn look at some of the SF nonfiction I’ve picked up throughout the year, which is my favorite thing to collect right now.
Plus, the requisite end-of-the-year tally post, along with a best reads list, and my 2016 readsolutions. And most importantly, a special sci-fi flavored New Years’ Resolution post, in case you’re having trouble thinking of ways to torment yourself during the darkest months of winter, and which you will eventually feel guilty for not maintaining. Tradition is fun!
So, basically, more activity on this blog in the coming month is what I’m saying, to the elation and/or annoyance of those who read this blog. And I promise no more floppy cock-rockets for a while.
Books to be Read in December
A few things going on here:
One, I know you’re thinking, jesus, Megan must really hate this time of year. She’s making herself read another Larry and Jerry.
I do dislike this time of year, but, as you can see, I’m going to sandwich the NivPourn between two books I am sure to like: Christopher Priest’s The Prestige and (my first!) J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World. My original draw had another book, but I swapped in the Priest because it’s time for more Priest. What other reason do I need?
Neal Stephenson is an author I have very almost nearly read lots of times, but the mixed reviews have deterred me every time.
I’ll admit the overwhelming maleness is getting old. It happens a lot as I focus on vintage (and not-so-vintage) awards lists. But this month feels overwhelmingly male. Hell, one of the books is so man-ified, it requires two very dude-ish names for one guy! The name “Brett Sterling” just makes me laugh.
However, if this holiday season pans out like last holiday season, then I might do another binge read of potential 2016 shortlist books. That’s where my gender parity numbers look a little healthier, especially after I scope out the many end-of-year recommended reading lists that will surface soon.
November Book Tallies
Total books read: 7
Total books blogged: 5, plus 5 Blewgo reviews
Total books about…
Aliens: 1 ?!?!?!
Artificial Intelligence: 1 ?!?!?!?
Time Travel: 1, maybe 2
Blahsome Love Story: 2
Cold war satire that might be too subtle in this militaristic age: 1
So you thought you could do it better than Vonnegut?: 1
Fantasy world that’s really just a deconstruction of Arthurian myth, but with giant locusts: 1 omnibus of stuff
Best book of the month: THE Viriconium (2000) by M. John Harrison (Nikki at Bookpunks says it should be THE Viriconium, and so it is.)
So, see you more frequently during this month of socially-pressured generosity and kindness that would normally be construed as consumerism topped with potentially unhealthy interactions with difficult family members and proselytizing coworkers, but at least it’s an excuse to wear sequined leggings!