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May 20th, 2016

2016 Stuff Read, #s 12-14

12. Nova Swing, by M. John Harrison (audiobook)
13. Get in Trouble, by Kelly Link
14. 1984, by George Orwell
(audiobook)

On one hand, I'm pleased that I am doing a better job of tackling my reading and listening piles much more aggressively than I have by this point in any of the years since I started tracking what I've read. On the other, it's clear that I'm not actually spending more time reading books -- rather, I'm spending more time listening to them. Eight of my 14 completed books so far this year have been audiobooks. Remove the audiobooks from the count, and I'm actually reading at a slower pace than I've averaged over the previous five years.

The other elephant in the room is the fact that I've only read one item published this year. It's been nice to refocus on the backlog, but I'm going to need to redirect my focus fairly soon so that I can start compiling a list of items to consider nominating for next year's Hugo Awards. I've already accumlated a small stack of 2016 issues of the big three magazines -- I'll need to agressively attack those sooner than later.

Moving on to the books listed above...

Harrison's novel was nearly as good as advertised -- I enjoyed it immensely. For a number of what I think are mostly superficial reasons, I was reminded of Richard Paul Russo's Carlucci's Edge as I read it. I'm sure that the fact that it's been nearly 20 years since I read Russo's novel is the reason why I cannot completely explain why my brain made a connection between the two books.

Link's short story collection was problematic for me. I wanted to like this collection. Oh, how I really wanted to like this collection. How could I not? Genre author makes good and is a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for literature. However, Link's style of story telling isn't something I normally enjoy, and I struggled with many of the stories in Get in Trouble. I could see why others might enjoy those stories, but such insight didn't make them easier for me to digest. Conversely, were a few I really enjoyed, but as a collective whole I was slightly let down by the book.

Finally, I feel like that I should have done something to preserve some of the thoughts I had while listening to 1984 -- that is, more in addition to ones I posted last week. I suppose it's not too late to attempt to reconstruct and/or recall as many of them as possible and compose something similar to what I wrote for the second issue of Some Fantastic back in 2004. The biggest impediment to that is my taking the time away from other things I want really want to do -- such as getting fully caught up with 12 Monkeys on Syfy.

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