Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One Sentence Book Reviews, 2011

Okay, so this year I'm trying to get through 60 books, which I think it a reasonable goal that will keep me reading without getting sick of it. At year-end, I'll throw the list up along with some graphs about what my genre tendencies tend to be, authors I read, etc., but for now here are one-sentence reviews of the 20 books that I've read so far, because by the time January comes around I might not be able to remember some of these all that well. These are in the order I finished them. Also, I don't hew very closely to "one sentence".

The Peace War by Vernor Vinge - This is the kind of hard science fiction I like - a premise is set up, and then the author runs through all the implications of that, sometimes at the expense of other things.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis - It had a good amount of British humor, though a number of the references were lost on me.
Blackout by Connie Willis - I thought that this book was at its best when it was giving a history lesson; I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not.
All Clear by Connie Willis - I liked this much better than its sister book, mostly because it had an actual (bittersweet) ending.
The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross - I'm amazed by how much range Stross has.
The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross - This book is bound a little too tightly to its pastiche.
The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross - By this point, Bob Howard is getting a little too badass.
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge - The tines are one of the best realized fantasy/scifi races I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge - Vinge proves his skill by writing a prequel that stands alone; there's something that I love about different cultures discovering things.
Consider Phlebas by Ian Banks - I can understand why people don't recommend this as an introduction to the Culture novels.
The Player of Games by Ian Banks - The hinted descriptions of the game of Azad were amazing, and I wish more of the book had been like that.
Excession by Ian Banks - Personal problems get in the way of an entertaining thriller.
Use of Weapons by Ian Banks - This is probably the best book written by Banks that I've read so far, but it seemed artsy to the point of distraction sometimes.
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman - My dose of meta for a couple of months.
Halting State by Charles Stross - Highly entertaining, with a plethora of twists.
Glasshouse by Charles Stross - Takes place a little too far into the future, to the point where I wasn't really sure that I bought into the reality being presented.
Brainiac by Ken Jennings - This is my first non-fiction book of the year. It ranges quite a bit, and stays consistently interesting.
Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear - An passive main character makes this only worth reading if you're really into the Halo mythos.
The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder - I prefer my steampunk to be scientific, not mystical.
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman - Reminded me of a Heinlein juvenile, with all that implies.

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