On Goodreads, I reserve a 5star rating for books that change my life or way of thinking, or books that demand that I re-read them before I die. Ratings can and to change from time to time, so if your favorite book isn’t on the list, don’t worry, be happy (and go write your own list).
I’m on target to read maybe 114 books during calendar 2012. This is an uptick, largely attributable to increased frustration with driving and subsequent use of public transport (coupled with my relative failure to get work done on the train).
The fiction list
- Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry) Oh, Gus. If you’ve read it, there’s not much I can add here. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Thanks to Miranda for the recommendation.
- Life & Opinions of Tristam Shandy (Laurence Sterne) Not for everyone, but if you can get past the digressions in the digressions, it’s a rewarding read.
- Movement (Nancy Fulda) Short story with a powerful perspective on the autism spectrum.
- Dune (Frank Herbert) OK, I’ve seen the weird movie, several times (and I still don’t think I get it). Last year, I even watched the Sci-Fi (SyFy?) network version, which is better in some ways, worse in others. Happy to say, the book is better than either. I bought this on paper and can’t wait to re-read.
- Selected Stories (Philip K. Dick) I’m kind of a Dick-head, by which I mean huge fan of all things PKD. This is some of the best. Must re-read.
- Lightspeed: Year One (John Joseph Adams editor) I don’t read as much short fiction as I should. Ashamed to say, sometimes a month would get by without me reading any Lightspeed. This collection proved that to be a mistake. I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.
- American Fairy Tales (L. Frank Baum) This is just off-beat enough to resonate. If you’ve read any of Tolken’s shorter pieces, there’s a lot in common, but this has a different flavor. Not a mistake that they put ‘American’ in the title. This one is worth looking up. My library had it as an online-borrowable book.
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert M. Pirsig) Maybe it was the environment–I read this while actually on a road-trip (non-motorcycle, and during stretches of someone else driving, thank you very much) but this book made me think more deeply than any other in recent memory.
- Three Men in a Boat (Jerome K. Jerome) I came to this by way of Connie Willis, and it’s still a contender for funniest book I’ve ever read. Listened to this in audiobook format during the aforementioned road-trip.
I’m trying to read a little less (and write a little more) now. We’ll see how that goes.