Wednesday, January 31, 2007

2006 Review of Books

Last year, I read forty-four books. Not my best year, but not too shabby. Here are some of the standouts, in the order in which I read them:

  • Archangel - Sharon Shinn - This is the first of the Samaria books, which deal with a world in which angels are real. Despite that description, the books are definitely science fiction, and I enjoyed this book enough to seek out a great deal of Shinn's other works.
  • Spin - Robert Charles Wilson - This is a very strong book. The characters are all quite intriguing and the extrapolations dealing with the science were fascinating.
  • Memory - Lois McMaster Bujold - Thanks to SarahP, I tore through the whole Miles Vorkosigan series this summer. Although I would not recommend this book as a jumping off point for a new reader, I found the character development in this book to be the most beautiful. Bujold is soooooooo very good when it comes to creating characters to love. There is not a wasted character in this entire series.
  • A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit - Alan Lightman - This is a collection of essays, some more autobiographical than others, dealing with science as a human pursuit. As I've noticed so often in my students, the perception of science and scientists is cold, stolid, rigid, passionless - nothing could be further from the truth, and Lightman does a good job of conveying this.
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party - M.T. Anderson - If you have not read this, drop what you are doing and go to a bookstore or a library NOW! Really, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a better writer right now than M.T. Anderson.

I'm looking forward to what 2007 will bring!


SarahP said...

That's a lot of books!

So did you read through the latest Miles book, the wedding? I'm interested to see what you and Greg think of the latest ones, when Miles has mellowed a bit, because the plot and tension of the books is so dependent on his frenetic forward momentum.

Also, Sharon Shinn is the MOST hit-or-miss author I've ever read. I THREW Jenna Starborn across the room. Only one other book has pissed me off as much as that one. But yeah, the Samaria series is good.

Carl said...

I only read 23 books (lame!). Can't say that I read anything on your list either. I did reread some old favorites like The Demon Haunted World and The Foundation Trilogy.

Dr. Lisa said...

The only re-reading I've done in recent years is the Calvin and Hobbes collection, usually once each year.

Sarah, I read all the way through the Miles series. I will say that the last book isn't my favorite, but I still enjoyed it. I think Ivan needs his own series now. :) As for Shinn, I will agree that there are ups and downs, but I find the ups outweigh the downs. (I had to keep telling myself that I shouldn't be any more irritated with Jenna Starborn than with Jane Eyre...)