sulwen: (books)
[personal profile] sulwen
I spent part of this morning compiling a reading list.

My husband and I own a lot of books. A LOT. We've spent every Christmas since we've been together asking for bookstore gift cards. This has resulted in more books that I can possibly keep up with, especially considering how much of my reading has actually been fanfiction over the past two or three years. It's time to work through some of the list.

These are all books we own that I have not read and want to read. They are in no particular order.

These are books that I'm partway through. This is how I read - pick something up, set it down, read something else, pick it back up, maybe days, maybe months, maybe years later.

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter's Tales by Greer Gilman
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Drood by Dan Simmons
The Spirit Lens by Carol Berg
Raised by Wolves: Treasure by W. A. Hoffman
The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

These are books that I haven't started yet at all but really want to read:

The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Acacia by David Anthony Durham
Peter & Max by Bill Willingham and Steve Leialoha
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett
City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer
Looking for Jake by China Mieville
Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Howard's End by E. M. Forster
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson
Archangel by Sharon Shinn
The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeod
The Briar King by Greg Keyes
The Iron Tower by Dennis L. McKiernan
A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks
The Handmaid's Tale by Magaret Atwood
The Keep by Jennifer Egan
The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan
Ilium by Dan Simmons
Ransom by Lee Rowan
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter
Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
Devices and Desires by K. J. Parker
Maledicte by Lane Robins
A Secret Atlas by Michael A. Stackpole
Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear
The Last Guardians of Everness by John C. Wright
The Golden Age by John C. Wright
The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
Inverted World by Christopher Priest
Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Duma Key by Stephen King

And that doesn't include all the re-reading I desperately want to get to.

It looks incredibly daunting, to see it like I need to spend less time online, clearly! I'm a fast reader, but that doesn't matter if I can't tear myself away from my laptop.

Anyone read any of these? Got comments? Recs? Warnings? I'd be curious to hear!

Date: 2011-03-04 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've read a few of these but I have to admit it's been decades; srsly so long ago I might as well count them as never-read since I remember very little about them.

Though I'm not a big sci-fi fan, I'd been curious to read Orson Scott Card ( because I'd read so many glowing reviews of his books. But after finding out about his virulent homophobia, I crossed him right off my list. John C. Wright (, whom I'd never heard of until seeing him on your list and then noticing a Google link with his name when I went to grab the article about OSC, seems to be equally repellent. ;(

Date: 2011-03-04 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm well aware of Card's views, though I hadn't known about Wright. It's something I've struggled with in the past, and actually is the reason I've never read Ender's Game despite glowing recommendations. And yet...should art be judged on the views of the artist? There are artists and musicians and writers throughout all of history who have had strange, distasteful, perhaps repulsive views, and yet their art is still magnificent.

It's a hard question, for sure.

Date: 2011-03-04 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I kept seeing his name on reading list favorites that I finally decided to check him out. Since I'm not really a science fiction fan, I don't regret crossing him, specifically, off my list.

But your larger point is, of course, correct. It was a completely reactionary response; I was just very surprised to find that out.

More to the point, I definitely don't want to be the type of person who can't acknowledge art or just genuine expression in something because it goes against my personal credo, such as the people who couldn't see what Piss Christ was, or those who can't understand what burning the flag can say.

Date: 2011-03-04 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's such a struggle for me, especially when it's an issue that hits really close to home - like homophobia.

I thought of a good example, though. Aristotle's views on women are astoundingly sexist - women are just poorly-made men, an error on nature's part. And yet he has such brilliant things to say on logic, and causality, and a thousand other topics. In his case, it's easy for me to take the good and leave the bad and have done with it.

And yet.

The last time I tried to read Ender's Game, I found the echo of homophobia ghosting behind every word. Couldn't get it out of my head.

Such an interesting discussion! This totally warrants a post of its own. :)

Date: 2011-03-04 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I HAD to jump in here!

I didn't know about OSC's views, I'd just been told to read Ender's Game,'s like the way you should read other books, you know? It's on that list of must reads, therefore read it and don't ask questions. Knowing things about the author does change the enthusiasm I might have for reading their work.

Then of course, there's the author whose books you like, even if they're basically pulp fiction...only to realize that when they jump the shark, you feel like an idiot for giving them the time of day.

As far as burning flags...ex-military here, ain't never gonna like that form of free speech. I know why people do it, but I don't like it.

Date: 2011-03-04 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love you, that is all <333

Date: 2011-03-04 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, flag-burning's a very touchy subject, though it isn't one that particularly horrifies me. And not because I am unpatriotic or don't love my country. I most assuredly do and have the utmost gratitude and respect for those who serve in the military.

I think *most* of the time when an American flag is burned it really is out of the desire for the country to live up to its reputation, to be better than what it is; that the burning is kind of a despairing, painful thing. The burner may be furious and vitriolic, but I still think there is love for country in the act. Most of the time.

Date: 2011-03-04 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I totally get what you mean, and can agree up to a point. I don't think people burn flags for shits and giggles. I think it's born out of a "Listen to me!!" frustration. Still...not my favorite form of expression. And I also don't believe, and never have, that people who do it are fact, they maybe be the most patriotic person around. Just...don't like it.

Date: 2011-03-04 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Part of my reluctance is that I don't want to support OSC financially; I don't want him getting rich(er) with any of my dollars. Aristotle, well, some publisher's making money, but he's not.

But! I am a huge supporter of taxpayer supported arts and letters. I want public libraries and museums and orchestras, etc. to have some of my money and, naturally, some of those funds will go to/for creators I would never choose to support individually. I was sickened when the National Endowment for the Arts was so gutted after Serano's Piss Christ and Mapplethorpe's photos were in exhibitions, and it's only gotten worse.

This would be an interesting topic for a separate post!

Date: 2011-03-04 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay, those are a lot of books. I've recently been doing a lot of rereading of old favourites lately, mostly semi-guilty pleasure books like Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella, just because I don't feel like picking up something heavy that I haven't read before and I really need to concentrate on. I think I need to find myself a new author that I enjoy, though, because there's only so many times you can read 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'. Not that I always read books like that - in fact, I read pretty much everything. I've just reread the Harry Potter series, too.

Hmmm, I haven't heard of too many of these, but, seriously, read The Shadow of the Wind. Forget everything else; just read that. It's the most gorgeous, wonderfully put together book you will ever read. It's just plain old lovely, it really is. Perhaps that will be next on my reread list...

Have fun with your reading, darling!

Date: 2011-03-04 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's what my husband said about The Shadow of the Wind! He's been after me to read it for ages - maybe I'll bump it up the list. :)

Date: 2011-03-04 08:44 pm (UTC)
ext_3270: Animated LiveJournal Because... (Gen Buy books)
From: [identity profile]
I ADORE the Temeraire novels (am saving the latest one for my Easter holiday reading), so I highly recommend His Majesty's Dragon (it was just called Temeraire over here). I am also a fan of Robin McKinley, and Beauty was good, though Sunshine remains my favourite of hers.

Date: 2011-03-04 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've heard great things about that series! Been meaning to read it for ages. I don't think I've read any McKinley yet.

Date: 2011-03-04 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've got some of the same books in my "really need to read these" list. Ender's Game, Duma Key, The Handmaid's Tale, The Persian Boy...those I have in regular book form. I have The Road in eBook form. I really should get back into reading actual books. I used to read voraciously. And just like you, I had five or six books laying around at any given time. I'd read some of one, put it down, pick up another. And yeah, bookstores + Red + money=CARNAGE. lol

Date: 2011-03-05 12:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just picked up The Handmaid's Tale at a bookstore closing clearance sale. We should make a mini-bookclub.

Date: 2011-03-12 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Handmaid's Tale may have been my favorite reading during one of my high school years :D Margaret Atwood is a genius.

Date: 2011-03-04 10:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have actually read very few of these books. I have read The Handmaid's Tale and really enjoyed it. It's one I've managed to read more than once.

And that'd be about it. I read Jane Eyre AGES ago, barely remember the plot TBH. Same with Howard's End and Frankenstein - AGES ago.

Date: 2011-03-05 07:45 am (UTC)
ext_41757: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
That's quite a list. :-)

As an author I love Lee Rowan but haven't read Ransom. And I blow so hot and cold on Robin Hobb like you wouldn't believe, that said I have read the Assassin's Apprentice but it took me four or five stabs at it.

Date: 2011-03-06 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
His Majesty's Dragon is on my TBR stack as well. Haven't read that Elizabeth Bear book, but I did read one of her trilogies and found it fascinating despite not really liking the cyborg type of science fiction. Going to have to order her books because they're never in stock here in town. :o)

I love The Bone Doll's Twin. So creepy and fascinating. Need to reread the series and actually read the third book, though.

A rec for JV Jones' A Cavern of Black Ice. I absolutely love that book. It's another that I need to reread and buy the third book finally. I love the main characters in Cavern, and there are so many sub-stories it's fascinating and complicated. Thanks for reminding me about this series, will have to see if the third book is in tomorrow. ;)

Date: 2011-03-12 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Definitely recommending The Persian Boy, Handmaid's Tale, and the Temeraire series ♥ Jane Eyre has a special place in my heart because I once wrote an essay exploring the theme of 'madness' in literature and how it's used to represent the repression of the feminine.

I've been meaning to read more, so thanks for sharing your list. Will definitely check out some of the titles here.


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