Thursday, June 09, 2016

Books Read: May 2016

Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. The Art of Rube Goldberg, by Jessica George
2. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
3. Camber the Heretic, by Katherine Kurtz
4. Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
5. This Is Mars, by Xavier Barral
6. The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle
7. Playground, by James Mollison
8. Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, by Elizabeth Partridge
9. The Devil You Know, by K.J. Parker
10. A Criminal Magic, by Lee Kelly
11. An Apprentice to Elves, by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
12. Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand
13. Changeless, by Gail Carriger
14. Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick
15. 1634: The Ram Rebellion, by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce (editors)
16. The Aeronaut's Windlass, by Jim Butcher
17. Then Will the Great Ocean Wash Deep Above, by Ian Sales

Best Book of the Month: Every Heart a Doorway is everything I didn't know I wanted from a book. Read it. Then, read it again.

Disappointment of the Month: I've enjoyed all of Eric Flint's 1632 universe novels / stories I've read so far, but 1634: The Ram Rebellion was a bit of a slog. It's not a proper novel, but it is also not quite an anthology. It's more like a mosaic novel (like George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards series), where there is mostly a single storyline running through (the titular rebellion) - but the writing is generally weaker and the stories are much less interesting than anything that has come before.

Discovery of the Month: We're probably all familiar with Dorothea Lange's famous Migrant Mother photograph, but Patridge's part biography / part photo collection is an essential look at both the life and life work of a excellent and important photographer.

Worth Noting: Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City is every bit as good as everyone has said it was, and I really should have read it years ago. But, at least I did read it just in time to visit Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend and sort of recognize a couple of locations mentioned in the book.

Gender Breakdown: After the relative paucity of April reading, I somehow exploded with a 17 book month in May. 9 of those were written by women, which brings my total to 37 / 73 for the year, or just a smidge over 50% (50.68%). Since the only real goal that I have is to keep the number near a 50/50 split, I am so far on track to accomplish that.

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