Saturday, January 02, 2021

Reading List 2020

Five Stars

The Book of the Damned, Tanith Lee

1Q84, Haruki Murakami

Goblin Moon, Teresa Edgerton

Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

In Search of Stupidity, Rick Merrick

Unrestricted Warfare, Qiao Lang and Wang Xiangsui

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper

Four Stars

The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Book of the Beast, Tanith Lee

The Book of the Dead, Tanith Lee

The Book of the Mad, Tanith Lee

Night's Master, Tanith Lee

Death's Master, Tanith Lee

Delusion's Master, Tanith Lee

Red as Blood, Tanith Lee

The History of Florence, Niccolo Machiavelli

In Search of Stupidity, 3rd Edition, Rick Chapman

Karafuru, Eto Mori

From the Fatherland, With Love, Ryu Murakami

Popular Hits of the Showa Era, Ryu Murakami

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

Three Stars

Numero Zero, Umberto Eco

Starswarm, Jerry Pournelle

Red Dragon, Jerry Pournelle

Red Heroin, Jerry Pournelle

Hobgoblin Night, Teresa Edgerton

After Dark, Haruki Murakami

Digital Antiquarian 1966-1979

Digital Antiquarian 1980

Digital Antiquarian 1981

Digital Antiquarian 1982

Digital Antiquarian 1983

Digital Antiquarian 1984

Digital Antiquarian 1985

Digital Antiquarian 1986

Digital Antiquarian 1987

Digital Antiquarian 1988

Digital Antiquarian 1989

Digital Antiquarian 1990

Digital Antiquarian 1991

Digital Antiquarian 1992

Digital Antiquarian 1993

Semishigure, Fujisawa Shuhei

The Little House, Kyoko Nakajima

Tokyo Decadence, Ryu Murakami

Audition, Ryu Murakami

In the Miso Soup, Ryu Murakami

Prince of Shadows, Kai Wai Cheah

Coin Locker Babies, Ryu Murakami

Two Stars

In the Kings Service, Katherine Kurtz

Childe Morgan, Katherine Kurtz

One Star

Vampire Forensics, Mark Collins Jenkins

Blindsight, Peter Watts

Aku no Kyoten, Yusuke Kishi

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Blogger dangerdog January 02, 2021 8:16 AM  

Time to get some books by Tanith Lee

Blogger Unknown January 02, 2021 8:19 AM  

Patreon Terms Of Service: 82 Stars

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2021 8:19 AM  

I have been off and on following your top ten from this link for a little while:

This year I read The Tale of Genji and If on a winter's night a traveler...

I only have The Code of the Woosters and The Glass Bead Game to go though I have read at least one Wodehouse short story collection.

The Tale of Genji was truly amazing. So much so that I want to source a different translation and read it again to see the differences. I started with the Waley translation. I even bought a reading guide to go with it and have since grabbed The Tale of Heike.

I wanted to ask since you read a lot of Japanese literature if you have read any Shusaku Endo or Ayako Sono? The latter only has three translated but I believe all Endo's major works have been.

You really have great taste!

Blogger Fleakkeren January 02, 2021 8:23 AM  

There is a sci-fi book called Blindsight written by Peter Watts. Is that the one you read, Vox? You listed the author as Peter Hamilton.

Blogger Karen took the Kids January 02, 2021 8:23 AM  

Reading The Dark is Rising with the kids at the moment in between Junior Classics stories. Amazing series. Susan Cooper is a fantastic writer.

Blogger Jeremy Daw January 02, 2021 8:27 AM  

You've been reading some Katherine Kurtz?

I went through a bit of a Kurtz phase when I was about 15. I liked her well enough at the time, but I suspect I'd now agree with your assessment of her. Sentimental, Mills & Boon-style romantic fantasy with some mildly diverting church and state politics thrown in to keep things interesting.

I really need to read more Murakami and Tanith Lee, though. Not for the first time, I find myself reproached by your yearly reading list. Must do better.

Blogger RobertDWood January 02, 2021 8:28 AM  

Dark is rising. Hat tip to Big Bear interviewing his mother for me to read that...very good, happy to see it on here. The connection to Tolkien in those books is strong.

Blogger Dale Quickness January 02, 2021 8:46 AM  

I had a feeling we'd be seeing Unrestricted Warfare up top! Still hoping to get that in Castalia Library Hard cover edition

Blogger VagaBondStyle January 02, 2021 8:48 AM  

Thanks Vox!

Blogger Sam Spade January 02, 2021 8:49 AM  

I discovered Tanith Lee thanks to Vox. What a talented writer.

Night's Master and Book of the Beast are my favorites so far.

Blogger GregMan January 02, 2021 8:51 AM  

"In Search of Stupidity"? Shouldn't be too hard to find some of that in today's society.

Blogger wreckage January 02, 2021 9:11 AM  

One star for Blindsight, oof! Didn't enjoy listening in on a neuro-fatalist's despair?

Blogger Matt January 02, 2021 9:12 AM  

I read Blindsight a while back and didn't care for it either. Glad to see it wasn't just me. It had some interesting ideas, but as executed it was a were pretty incoherent "throw them at the wall and see what sticks". None of them did.

Blogger S. Thermite January 02, 2021 9:21 AM  

Thanks Vox!

Blogger By the crease of his pants January 02, 2021 9:28 AM  

What, no Scalzi?

Thanks for the list, hoping to get through all the 5 stars and some of the 4 stars.

Blogger Weak January 02, 2021 9:57 AM  

Thank you. I look forward to this column every year. It's very useful. I discovered most of my favorite authors from the VD Reading List over the years.

Blogger Fubarge January 02, 2021 10:05 AM  

Is there any chance we will see a Castalia house printing of the dark is rising sequence?

Blogger Mr Traumaboyy January 02, 2021 10:16 AM  

Dammit VD!! Stop this shit; My wife already bitches at finding places to store all my books. On the other hand...she loves to show em off when visitors ask about the overabundance. Never understand the fairer sex but they can be predictable.

Blogger Mr Traumaboyy January 02, 2021 10:18 AM  

You owe me a keyboard!!

Blogger pyrrhus January 02, 2021 10:20 AM  

A couple of random suggestions from my readings...5 stars--Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brien, 4 stars-Passage by Connie Willis...

Blogger Jack Ward January 02, 2021 10:21 AM  

Beyond halfway on Unrestricted. Glad I got the hardback as well.
Tanith Lee. Sounds like a full year of reading just there. I always save the yearly reading list to documents for reference thru the year.
Also, right now, enjoying Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens for something light and funny. At least so far its light. May get evil later in the book. One way to find out.

Blogger wreckage January 02, 2021 10:23 AM  

@13 the single idea really is "the despair of the neuro-materialist". Everything else is just window-dressing. The prequel-and-sequel, Firefall, underlines it.

Blogger Thomas Bateman January 02, 2021 10:30 AM  

1Q84 is fantastic. The rat series by the same author is wonderful as well. No deep knowledge of Japan is necessary, as the author provides the cultural context in a very entertaining and edifying way.

Blogger Mirko i Slavko January 02, 2021 10:51 AM  

1Q84 five stars?
I would give it max 4-

Blogger lynnjynh9315 January 02, 2021 11:12 AM  

Susan Cooper's great, but she's not higher than Dostoevsky. Especially not Brothers Karamazov.

Blogger Unknown January 02, 2021 11:36 AM  

>1 star for Blindsight

Y tho, dear SDL?

Blogger VD January 02, 2021 11:41 AM  

Susan Cooper's great, but she's not higher than Dostoevsky.

Yes, she is. You clearly don't understand the point of the reading list.

Blogger Crew January 02, 2021 11:44 AM  

I cannot find that book by Rick Merrick ...

Blogger foxmarks January 02, 2021 12:41 PM  

1Q84 is on my 2020 list. I like to jump in with minimal research and just let a novel work on me. As an e-book, I didn't realize what a lengthy commitment 1Q84 was. Had I known it was 1100+ pages in paperback, I would not have started it.

So clean and graceful, even in translation, I never felt like I was reading such a heavy book.

Blogger Mad Italian January 02, 2021 12:42 PM  

Slightly off topic...received the
First 3 Jr Classics today. They are very very nice. Big thank you to the team that produced them.

Anonymous Anonymous January 02, 2021 12:57 PM  

1Q84 was fantastic. Thanks for putting Murakami on the list; I had never heard of the guy until looking at your list for stuff to read. I’m working through Killing Commendatore now with Kafka on the Shore next.

1.3X on Audible helps immensely.

Blogger Haus frau January 02, 2021 3:56 PM  

My 11 year son loves science fiction. Are any of these sci-fi/fantasy recommendations suitable for a boy that age?

Blogger yohee January 02, 2021 5:20 PM  

Just as Susan Cooper is underappreciated, so too is Joy Chant. She's another great writer

Blogger lynnjynh9315 January 02, 2021 7:50 PM  

VD wrote:Yes, she is. You clearly don't understand the point of the reading list.

You're right. I don't understand. Maybe her outspoken opposition to the GE is clouding my judgment.

Either way, it's your list.

Blogger Azimus January 02, 2021 8:27 PM  

Brideshead Revisited was a fascinating and well-written book about a world I know very little about - I loved the end - but Sebastian... I don't know, were we supposed to despise him? Be utterly disappointed in him? Feel bad for him? The blinding gayness of the Sebastian half of the story tempted me to put the book down on a few occasions... I guess I'm no intellectual reader. Either way, I'm glad I didn't put it down, though I'm a bit surprised to see it at 5 stars. I'm sure that certain books have much more layers and subtleties for a SD+5 to appreciate than a SD+2...

Blogger Azimus January 02, 2021 8:27 PM  

Once again, thank you for taking the time to do this! Always fascinating and interesting!

Blogger yohee January 02, 2021 9:20 PM  

@32 Susan Cooper, Jot Chant, Tolkien, no Tanith Lee.

Blogger idprism January 03, 2021 12:39 AM  

Tanith Lee, Susan Cooper, et al just got a great start on their royalties in 2021. Looking forward to checking out those as well as 1q84 (which is in my growing queue).

Blogger eclecticme January 04, 2021 6:26 PM  

My favorite book read this year was The Management of Savagery by Max Blumenthal. He is a rabid leftist but the book was good. I liked Forgive them their debts and Killing the host, both by Michael Hudson.

I will order Unrestricted Warfare.
I came across some videos kinda related to unrestricted warfare, especially the second one below. I had not heard of Joshua Philipp.
#31 The Origins of Communism and Its Tactics | China Unscripted
#55 How Communism Destroys a Society | Joshua Philipp

OT about the covid "science." Some NYU prof Mark Crispin Miller is the victim of a witch hunt after he included mask mandates in his 2020 spring course on propaganda.
Below is a link to a large set of mask studies and news.

Blogger Owen Martin January 04, 2021 6:30 PM  

Looking forward to reading a few of these. If anyone is interested in reading a philosophy / physics book that challenges theory of relativity then my book philosophical critique of perception and motion was released for free in December. Link on Kepler400 blog.

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