2016 and 2017 By the Books

Bother New Year’s resolutions. I have reading goals, and I leave it at that. Here’s a quick note about them:

As you might have read here before, I want to complete Patrick Rothfuss’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy recommendations list. In 2016, I crossed 6 off of that list. Hooray! In particular, I finally got to the following: Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern), Guards! Guards! (Discworld) (and a few others because they’re great), The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials), The Neverending Story, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and Stardust.

I try to read 10 or so non-fiction books every year, as well. I exceeded that (which is easily done by using Audible as my non-fiction book feeding device).

I’ve also started trying to read everything the famous Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Appendix N. Before 2016 started, I had, of course, read Tolkien, Zelazny, and some Leiber. I did cover de Camp & Pratt’s Harold Shea stuff. I love this pulpy stuff. Reading Appendix N stuff feels like a guaranteed joy, whereas I haven’t dug everything I’ve tasted from Rothfuss’s menu.

All in all, it was a good year in books. If you’d like to see more of my 2016 in books, you can do so on Goodreads here. I’ll share one piece, though.

2016 in books

You can fairly safely ignore the number of books. I’d say 10 of those, or so, are comic books, or at least trade paper back volumes containing 5-6 issues of a given serial comic. That page total irks me, though. A few years ago, I worked hard to read 60 books, and my page total was over 19k. (Leaving aside that none of this matters and perhaps least of all page count.) Now I can’t break 17k? Come. On. I can do better.

It will not be good enough, in 2017, to merely cross 6 off of one list and a couple off of another and read 10 non-fiction. I want to break 20,000 pages.

This gives shape to an obvious system that will lead me to this goal, as well. As long as I read 1,667 pages every month, I’ll meet that goal. In fact, I have already started with that in mind. Thankfully, it turns out I’m more than capable if I focus on it. Here is my 2017 in books, so far:

2017 in books

I have checked off Narnia from Rothfuss’s list, and Andre Norton’s Witch World from Appendix N. I have also finished 6 non-fiction books. (I am driving downtown and back every day, and listen at 2.25x speed, so this isn’t as impressive – nor as ridiculous a time-sink – as you might have first thought.)

For Rothfuss’s list, I am planning to read a Christopher Moore book and Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P Lovecraft, as I already own them both. I’m not sure what else I’ll pick up, but I’d like to read at least 5 from that list. I’ll also pick up 5 from Appendix N, but those will come down to what I find at Half Price Books, most likely. Off list, I know I’ll be reading The Prydain Chronicles, and Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan (which comes out in March, woo hoo!).

I now have my personal library checked into LibraryThing. They have a cool new service called TinyCat where you can browse my and my wife’s libray, if you’re interested. I’ve 354 books and counting! Everybody else is downsizing, and Kindling, and getting rid of physical books, and here I am hoarding books like some sort of 19th century British gentleman. (Man, I wish.)