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Author Topic: [Books] Your Book of the Year?  (Read 1235 times)
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ATB
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« on: December 17, 2012, 09:45:43 PM »

Not necessarily books that came out this year, but books you've read this year. Whatever category you want.

For me, I've been on a tear this year (moving to e-readers has been a boon) as I'll expect to finish 20 books by year end which is my new record since I started keeping track.

Fiction:

Nominees:

A Storm of Swords and The Things They Carried.

The latter is an amazing book about Vietnam- just crafted brilliantly. The former is book 3 of the game of thrones.

Winner: Storm of Swords. I just discovered GRRM last year, and this book marks the high point of an incredible series.  There's so much going on and just so much shocking violence in this one (specifically who it happens to). Books 4 and 5 have been a let down since.

Non-Fiction

Nominees:

All the Shah's Men and Triple Agent

ASM is about America's (and Britain's) role in the Iranian coup of 1953. This book was fascinating and depressing. To see how America overthrew  a democratically elected government and how that rippled throughout the ME and still does today. Some of the things the US government did sound like bad fiction. But they're true.  A fascinating read.

Triple Agent is about a Jordanian asset who 'infiltrated' the CIA. The book's title is a big misnomer, but the story is pretty fascinating. There wasn't really much 'infiltration', but it gives some good insights into the CIA's mentality after 9/11 and it's hunt for al qaeda

Winner: All the Shah's Men

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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 10:00:51 PM »

Nonfiction: George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

Fiction: The Rook


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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2012, 10:02:53 PM »

My book of the year is David Wong's hysterical This Book Has Spiders. It had me rolling from page one. J. L. Bourne's new book, Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass comes out the day after Christmas. I reserve the right to change my fav book after I read it.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 05:22:08 AM »

Far and away the best book I read this year was The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami. I know it's been out for awhile, but I just got into Murakami through his short stories this year. Great, weird book.

Other books that I really liked this year: 2666 by Bolano; The Dark Tower ll: The Drawing of the Three by King (which I liked a good bit more than the first book); Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card; the aforementioned Murakami short story collections, especially The Elephant Vanishes.

Guilty pleasure books that I recognize aren't great literature but were enjoyable: The Hunger Games (the first one - didn't read the others); Temeraire by Novik.

I know I'm forgetting about a whole bunch of books that I read this year. I'll have to think a bit more about it.
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Lordnine
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 05:58:07 AM »

The Wool Omnibus would be my pick.  Technically it’s 5 books but they all continue the same immediate story and none are very long.  I picked it up on a whim after someone on Slick Deals recommended it when the kindle version was on sale.  It’s been a long time since a novel has hooked me as much as this one did.

The book is about people that live underground in silos after some catastrophic event (Think Fallout and the Vaults).  Each book within in the Omnibus is told from the perspective of a different person within the silo except for the last book which ties all the stories together and completes the narrative.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 06:25:44 AM »

I'm up to about 30+ books this year. My favorite so far is an oldie, Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. Live By Night by Dennis Lehane was a goodie as well.

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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 09:24:04 AM »

It's been a good year of reading so far with 156 books read, a record for me and lots to choose from. I don't read non fiction so have chosen a series and a 1 off book.

John Sandford - Virgil Flowers series. John Sandford books are about 2 characters one is the Lucas Davenport series which is now up to book 22 I think and I am reading book 22 now.

His second series of which there is 6 books is about a cop called Virgil Flowers. Only found him this year and read all 6 books and they are superb, well written, entertaining and slightly different than unusual, not so munch serial killers and sickos but more just crime and his style of investigation. Highly recommended and a big thanks to my Dad for suggesting him.


As a second I would like to suggest Mr Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett, about someone murdering people in the Great Depression in America, superbly written with great feeling for the era and how it affects those in it as well as the victims.
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 11:45:06 AM »

Toss up between THe Mongoliad: Book One or Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files


I'll probably give it to The Mongoliad since Cold Day I felt Jim Butcher is just going through the motion. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 03:25:25 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on December 18, 2012, 11:45:06 AM

I'll probably give it to The Mongoliad since Cold Day I felt Jim Butcher is just going through the motion. 
Hells bells, but you're correct.

Best nonfiction I read this year:
“Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer
“The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker

Best fiction:
“The Yiddish Policemen's Union” by Michael Chabon
“Mongoliad: Book One” by Neal Stephenson
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 06:07:19 PM »

Non-Fiction:

Good Calories, Bad Calories.

For fiction, it has to be John Carter books 1,2 and 3. biggrin
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 07:16:11 PM »

Storm of Swords         by George R R Martin
1920: Year of Six Presidents   by David Pietrusza
Feast of Crows         by George R R Martin
A Voyage of Madmen      by Peter Nichols
Mort                     by Terry Pratchett
In a Garden of Beasts      by Erik Larson
Winds of War         by Herman Wouk
War and Remembrance      by Herman Wouk
American Gods         by Neil Gaiman
Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day,
Eleventh Hour         by Joseph Persico
World War Z         by Max Brooks


Well, that is what I have read this year.

I would probably pick In the Garden of the Beasts or Storm of Swords. So I guess those are my non-fiction/fiction picks of the year.
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 07:45:38 PM »

I didn't read as much as I did last year but read a few books near the end of the year. Two books really grabbed me but I'll just mention the top one as the other is a zombie book which I'm even sick of (but it was a great read biggrin).

"The Wise Man Fears" by Patrick Rothfus was my best read this year. Its a sequel to the book "The Name of the Wind" which my wife was nagging me to read for awhile. It's a fantasy novel which is part of a trilogy (3rd book not out yet). Its a simple story setup of a hero thought dead who is re-telling the story of how they became a legend from their humble beginnings. It has such a well thought out world with a rich history, usually told via stories or songs, and is so well realized by the author. Magic in the book isn't some unexplained manifestation. It's almost like a science that you can follow its mechanics to where it seems plausible. The characters are the best part of these books though and there are quite a few good ones.

I read both the first and the second book this year and although I did really enjoy the first book I almost stopped reading it 30% in as it was just so boring to me. But I decided to keep with it a bit longer. Thankfully it picked up pretty quickly after that. By the end I was clamoring to read the sequel. The sequel is almost perfect for me. It already had the well established characters and plot elements set up and just took off running.

These are both pretty chunky books and worth the time if you're looking for some fantasy.
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 07:45:57 PM »

Oh. My worst book of the year is Mockingjay (book 3 of hunger games).

I got it from the kindle lending library in APRIL and still have not finished it. It's just terrible.
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 07:47:27 PM »

Quote from: Crawley on December 18, 2012, 07:45:38 PM

I didn't read as much as I did last year but read a few books near the end of the year. Two books really grabbed me but I'll just mention the top one as the other is a zombie book which I'm even sick of (but it was a great read biggrin).

"The Wise Man Fears" by Patrick Rothfus was my best read this year. Its a sequel to the book "The Name of the Wind" which my wife was nagging me to read for awhile. It's a fantasy novel which is part of a trilogy (3rd book not out yet). Its a simple story setup of a hero thought dead who is re-telling the story of how they became a legend from their humble beginnings. It has such a well thought out world with a rich history, usually told via stories or songs, and is so well realized by the author. Magic in the book isn't some unexplained manifestation. It's almost like a science that you can follow its mechanics to where it seems plausible. The characters are the best part of these books though and there are quite a few good ones.

I read both the first and the second book this year and although I did really enjoy the first book I almost stopped reading it 30% in as it was just so boring to me. But I decided to keep with it a bit longer. Thankfully it picked up pretty quickly after that. By the end I was clamoring to read the sequel. The sequel is almost perfect for me. It already had the well established characters and plot elements set up and just took off running.

These are both pretty chunky books and worth the time if you're looking for some fantasy.

Have been looking HARD for a new series and will check this out.

I'm also investigating The Black Company series...
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 07:53:05 PM »

Quote from: ATB on December 18, 2012, 07:45:57 PM

Oh. My worst book of the year is Mockingjay (book 3 of hunger games).

I got it from the kindle lending library in APRIL and still have not finished it. It's just terrible.
Don't finish it.  Imagine your own ending.  The real one will just piss you off.
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2012, 07:54:05 PM »

New York by Edward Rutherfurd. Wonderful book. Close second would be Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2012, 09:43:49 PM »

Quote from: ATB on December 18, 2012, 07:47:27 PM

I'm also investigating The Black Company series...

do it!
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2012, 10:12:57 PM »

Quote from: Lordnine on December 18, 2012, 07:53:05 PM

Quote from: ATB on December 18, 2012, 07:45:57 PM

Oh. My worst book of the year is Mockingjay (book 3 of hunger games).

I got it from the kindle lending library in APRIL and still have not finished it. It's just terrible.
Don't finish it.  Imagine your own ending.  The real one will just piss you off.

My daughter loved the series but admitted that the third book wasn't very good.
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 10:14:40 PM »

Quote from: ATB on December 18, 2012, 07:47:27 PM

Quote from: Crawley on December 18, 2012, 07:45:38 PM

I didn't read as much as I did last year but read a few books near the end of the year. Two books really grabbed me but I'll just mention the top one as the other is a zombie book which I'm even sick of (but it was a great read biggrin).

"The Wise Man Fears" by Patrick Rothfus was my best read this year. Its a sequel to the book "The Name of the Wind" which my wife was nagging me to read for awhile. It's a fantasy novel which is part of a trilogy (3rd book not out yet). Its a simple story setup of a hero thought dead who is re-telling the story of how they became a legend from their humble beginnings. It has such a well thought out world with a rich history, usually told via stories or songs, and is so well realized by the author. Magic in the book isn't some unexplained manifestation. It's almost like a science that you can follow its mechanics to where it seems plausible. The characters are the best part of these books though and there are quite a few good ones.

I read both the first and the second book this year and although I did really enjoy the first book I almost stopped reading it 30% in as it was just so boring to me. But I decided to keep with it a bit longer. Thankfully it picked up pretty quickly after that. By the end I was clamoring to read the sequel. The sequel is almost perfect for me. It already had the well established characters and plot elements set up and just took off running.

These are both pretty chunky books and worth the time if you're looking for some fantasy.

Have been looking HARD for a new series and will check this out.

I'm also investigating The Black Company series...

Get the Omnibus featuring the first three books. Read that, and then stop.

I have the Fall of Giants book mentioned and also The Name of the Wind. They will be read in 2013.
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 10:25:24 PM »

Honestly I read 2-4 books a week...I couldn't begin to pick a favorite.  I did really enjoy "The Wise Man Fears", "The Dirty Streets of Heaven", "Cold Days" (book 14 of the Dresden Files) and "The Magician King" quite a bit.  Started over with the Malazan series again which is great after I hit the right groove.  Looking forward to the new Wheel of Time next month.  But in the end there were nothing that made me put the book down, stare into the distance and go...damn! that was the one everything else has to beat.  smile
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 04:30:10 AM »

Quote from: Scuzz on December 18, 2012, 10:14:40 PM

Quote from: ATB on December 18, 2012, 07:47:27 PM

Quote from: Crawley on December 18, 2012, 07:45:38 PM

I didn't read as much as I did last year but read a few books near the end of the year. Two books really grabbed me but I'll just mention the top one as the other is a zombie book which I'm even sick of (but it was a great read biggrin).

"The Wise Man Fears" by Patrick Rothfus was my best read this year. Its a sequel to the book "The Name of the Wind" which my wife was nagging me to read for awhile. It's a fantasy novel which is part of a trilogy (3rd book not out yet). Its a simple story setup of a hero thought dead who is re-telling the story of how they became a legend from their humble beginnings. It has such a well thought out world with a rich history, usually told via stories or songs, and is so well realized by the author. Magic in the book isn't some unexplained manifestation. It's almost like a science that you can follow its mechanics to where it seems plausible. The characters are the best part of these books though and there are quite a few good ones.

I read both the first and the second book this year and although I did really enjoy the first book I almost stopped reading it 30% in as it was just so boring to me. But I decided to keep with it a bit longer. Thankfully it picked up pretty quickly after that. By the end I was clamoring to read the sequel. The sequel is almost perfect for me. It already had the well established characters and plot elements set up and just took off running.

These are both pretty chunky books and worth the time if you're looking for some fantasy.

Have been looking HARD for a new series and will check this out.

I'm also investigating The Black Company series...

Get the Omnibus featuring the first three books. Read that, and then stop.

I have the Fall of Giants book mentioned and also The Name of the Wind. They will be read in 2013.

For those considering The Name of the Wind, definitely give it a read!  That was my biggest surprise book a couple years back and I ended up giving it as a gift to several friends and family members.  I enjoyed it more than The Wise Man Fears but that was good too.
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 12:25:07 PM »

Quote from: Scuzz on December 18, 2012, 10:12:57 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on December 18, 2012, 07:53:05 PM

Quote from: ATB on December 18, 2012, 07:45:57 PM

Oh. My worst book of the year is Mockingjay (book 3 of hunger games).

I got it from the kindle lending library in APRIL and still have not finished it. It's just terrible.


Don't finish it.  Imagine your own ending.  The real one will just piss you off.


My daughter loved the series but admitted that the third book wasn't very good.


I have never read a book in which the main character spent so much time comatose, drugged, or emotionally catatonic that the entire plot occurs off-screen.  It's like reading a Superman story written from the perspective of Ma Kent back in Smallville.

"Why, hello Clark!  It's so good to hear from you!  How have things been going there in the big city?"

"Fine, ma.  Sorry I haven't been able to visit much.  Luthor built a Kryptonite-powered mech suit and *somehow* a violent criminal used it to start robbing jewelry stores."

"Oh my!  That sounds dreadful!  I want to hear all about it, but I have to take in the wash before it starts to rain...can you sum up the entire adventure in a paragraph or less?"

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2012, 02:33:06 PM »

My sister kept asking me to read the Hunger Games, but told me to avoid the third novel cause it would piss me off.   First novel was good, but the story started going downhill in book 2 and I had to force myself to finish it.  I have no desire to read the third novel


How or why this was green lighted for a movie series is baffling
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2012, 04:34:01 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on December 19, 2012, 02:33:06 PM

My sister kept asking me to read the Hunger Games, but told me to avoid the third novel cause it would piss me off.   First novel was good, but the story started going downhill in book 2 and I had to force myself to finish it.  I have no desire to read the third novel


How or why this was green lighted for a movie series is baffling
I actually enjoyed the second book almost as much as the first.  The problem is that the 2nd ends on a cliffhanger which basically forces you to read the third.  The third book *could* actually work better as a movie but I really hope whoever produces it is allowed to take some liberties with the script.  The way it plays out basically ruins the memory of characters from the first two books as well as making the point of the first book all for nothing.
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2012, 12:02:52 PM »

One element of Mockingjay that I did appreciate: by the end of the book

Spoiler for Hiden:
Gale has declared Katniss to be a hot mess and takes off for greener pastures.  I know Katniss *believes* the choice between Gale and Peeta is all up to her, but as the only character in the trilogy who consistently seeks out direct ways to improve the situation and never demands a whiff of recognition for his sacrifices, Gale's actual behavior showed he was thoroughly fed up with Katniss' accidental martyrdom and middle-school drama mindset.


It's almost like Suzanne Collins secretly believed her own main character was full of crap and wanted at least one other character to stand in the margins rolling his eyes.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2012, 12:11:15 PM »

Hard to say what my number one would be. I don't read a ton of books but I carefully select the ones that I do so most of them turn out as good as I expect them to be.
So far what I've really enjoyed this year would be:
All the Shah's Men
Devil in the White City
Wool:Omnibus
Into Thin Air

All crackers in my opinion.
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2012, 06:38:18 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on December 20, 2012, 12:11:15 PM

Hard to say what my number one would be. I don't read a ton of books but I carefully select the ones that I do so most of them turn out as good as I expect them to be.
So far what I've really enjoyed this year would be:
Wool:Omnibus

Just started reading Wool a bit ago and am enjoying it so far. Love the set up for it and book one had the nice twist to it. I like all the characters so far and am looking forward to see where they go with the plot.
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2012, 09:18:47 PM »

I've read 24 books so far this year and I'd have to say that "The Fiddler's Gun" by A.S. Peterson and the follow up "Fiddlers Green" are my favorite.

A Book Thief by Zusak
Rook by O'Malley
Heroes Die by Stover
Assassins Code (Joe Ledger)
A Boys Life McCammon

Were excellent as well.  I still need to read "A Wise Mans Fear", as Name of the Wind was fantastic.

Eco
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2012, 07:15:50 AM »

I think I'm also going to have to give my non-fiction book of the year award to All the Shah's Men. History can be so damned interesting when it's written properly. Seriously, way more interesting than fiction. There's a total M Night Shyamalan moment near the end of the book involving the Anglo Iranian Oil Company that I won't give away although people more informed than me probably know it already.
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2012, 06:07:20 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on December 22, 2012, 07:15:50 AM

I think I'm also going to have to give my non-fiction book of the year award to All the Shah's Men. History can be so damned interesting when it's written properly. Seriously, way more interesting than fiction. There's a total M Night Shyamalan moment near the end of the book involving the Anglo Iranian Oil Company that I won't give away although people more informed than me probably know it already.

Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!
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« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2012, 06:43:21 PM »

Definitely John Dies at the End.  Can't wait to read This Book is Full of Spiders.

For non-fiction, I can't remember if I read Emperor of All Maladies this year or last, but I'd nominate it again if I read it last year.  Amazing book.
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« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2012, 08:31:18 PM »

I think the best book I read that came out this year was probably Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.
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