The Reading and Listening Lists Featuring My Selections for Book of The Year

Since 1995 I have kept a list of all the novels I have read. These can be books released in any year, but are listed in the year I read them.

At the end of the year I award my Book of The Year. This is the best book that I read that year. I also indicate the nominees. There are years when there were ties for Book of the Year.

The Non-Fiction Reading and Listening List has been added to the page. This is a combined list of non-fiction books read or listened to on Audible. Please see this post for how I am defining what type of non-fiction books will be included on the list. Also, the books on the Non-Fiction Reading and Listening List will not be eligible for Book of the Year, which is awarded to novels only. Any notable non-fiction books will receive a Special Mention at the end of the year.

Coming Soon will be an All Time Favorites Page with comments on Dune, The Stand, QB VII, Snow Crash, Shogun, Texas/Israeli War and others.

The Reading Lists featuring Book of the Year Honors:

2017

Fiction

Read: 13 Listened To: 2 Total: 15

Non-Fiction

Read and Listened To: 0

What book will win for 2017? Check back January 1, 2018!

Books Read
Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey
Every Heart a Doorway Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Book of the Year nominee!)
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Book of the Year nominee!)
Planetfall by Emma Newman
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds Digital Edition
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi Digital Edition
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee Digital Edition
Borne by Jeff Vandermeer (Book of the Year nominee!)
Down Among the Sticks and Bones Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley
The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz (Book of the Year nominee!)

Books Listened to on Audible
The Dresden Files: Storm From by Jim Butcher (Book of the Year nominee!)
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (Book of the Year nominee!)

Non-Fiction Books (Combined Read and Listened to on Audible)

2016

Fiction

Read: 31 Listened To: 5 Total: 36

Non-Fiction

Read and Listened To: 2

Book of the Year: The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
Special Mention: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
Special Mention: Indexing – Reflections by Seanan McGuire
Special Mention: The Fireman by Joe Hill
Special Mention: The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Special Mention: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling and Jack Thorne
Special Mention: On the Beach by Nevil Shute

2016 was a stellar year for books. I was back to some of my best numbers since 2011, and significantly over the count for 2015 (18 books read, 6 books listened to). In 2016 I read 31 novels and listened to 5 for a total of 36. I read 2 non-fiction books as well. Out of the 31 novels read, 12 were digital editions. There were 18 nominees for Book of the Year.

Book of the Year honors for 2016 go to The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. This is the second time Paolo has received Book of the Year honors. His The Windup Girl won in 2010.

The Water Knife is near-future science fiction where water is a commodity to kill over. The Water Knife is an agent of the state of Nevada, making sure the state retains its access to water no matter what. This means states down river, like Arizona, are becoming wastelands. Since I live in a state (California) going through a drought, it gave me a lot to think about. Though The Water Knife tackles a serious subject, it is also thrilling, at times funny, and a great read. You care about the characters, too. Highly recommended.

Special Mention: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. We All Looked Up is a YA book that could have easily been Book of the Year. It is the story of a group of high school friends dealing with the end of the world. An asteroid is headed towards earth, there is no way to stop it, no one will survive it. Though it sounds like it would be a downer of a book, it is anything but. Great characters, all trying to decide who they are and how they want to live in the last days. Though very, very different, it reminded me of Ben H. Winters The Last Policeman books, which are also amazing. Highly recommended, and I will definitely read whatever Tommy Wallach does next.

Special Mention: Indexing – Reflections by Seanan McGuire. If you have ever looked at this page before, you know I am a HUGE fan of Seanan McGuire. Seanan writes fantasy under her own name, and horror/sci-fi under her Mira Grant pseudonym. Indexing – Reflections is the sequel to her serialized novel, Indexing. It is a story of a special squad of individuals working to stop the dark parts of fairy tales from becoming dangerous and killing everyone (for example, a Sleeping Beauty can put an entire city to sleep. If no one wakes them up, they will sleep until they starve to death). Think Once Upon a Time meets Fringe. If you have not read Seanan McGuire or Mira Grant, please do. Just fantastic stuff.

Special Mention: The Fireman by Joe Hill. I have liked Joe’s previous novels, but The Fireman is next level. A disease is infecting people, and this disease can cause people to burst into flames suddenly. The collateral damage from that can cause entire cities to burn. The story focuses on a pregnant woman trying to survive as civilization crashes around her. A long book, but a page turner, you get to know and care about the characters. Definitely Joe’s best book, one that could have easily been Book of the Year, and probably would have been if not for The Water Knife.

Special Mention: The Last Star by Rick Yancy. The third and final book of The Fifth Wave Trilogy, it was one of the best written books of the year. Rick definitely commands the language, while still telling a great story. If you saw the movie The Fifth Wave and did not care for it, please give the books a try. All three are great, and a bit darker than the movie or other YA series. I look forward to whatever Rick does next.

Special Mention: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling and Jack Thorne. This is the script to the play, not a novel, though it certainly reads like one. It takes place some time after the epilogue of The Deathly Hallows, where everyone’s kids are at Hogwarts. Absolutely loved it, and wish it were a true novel. If you love Harry Potter, which I do, definitely read Cursed Child.

Special Mention: On the Beach by Nevil Shute. Written by Nevil in 1957, I have watched the 1959 movie many times, as well as the TV miniseries from 2000. However, I had never read the book. This year, I listened to it via Audible and it was fantastic. The movie and miniseries both held true to the book, but there were definitely some changes. In the book, things are much darker, and more people than just young Mary Holmes are experiencing some kind of psychological break. This includes sub commander Towers, who rationally knows everyone in the US is dead, but still imagines his family alive. If he accepts what he knows is true – that they are of course dead – he would lose it. And he still has work to do. As relevant today as it was sixty years ago, the book is a true classic. The narration by Simon Prebble is spot on. A highly recommended book, a highly recommended Audible book.

Books Read
Chimera by Mira Grant Digital Edition
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Book of the Year nominee!)
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Clade by James Bradley (Book of the Year nominee!)
Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter Digital Edition
Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson
Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (Book of the Year nominee!)
Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Vortex by Ray Garton Digital Edition
The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner
The Fireman by Joe Hill (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Last Star by Rick Yancey (Book of the Year nominee!)
Cross Kill by James Patterson
End of Watch by Stephen King
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (Book of the Year nominee!)
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva Digital Edition
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling and Jack Thorne (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Deep by Nick Cutter Digital Edition
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Feedback by Mira Grant
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Fever Code by James Dashner
Cross the Line by James Patterson (Book of the Year nominee!)
Night Without Stars by Peter F. Hamilton Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Books Listened to on Audible
Make Me by Lee Child
Memory Man by David Baldacci
On the Beach by Nevil Shute(Book of the Year nominee!)
Off the Grid by C.J. Box
Moxyland by Lauren Beukes (Book of the Year nominee!)

Non-Fiction Books (Combined Read and Listened to on Audible)
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
#AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk

2015

Fiction

Read: 18 Listened To: 6 Total: 24

Non-Fiction

Read and Listened To: 3

Book of the Year: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Special Mention: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Special Mention: Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett and Slow Bullets by Alistair Reynolds
Special Mention: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Though my pace was off from 2014, 2015 was a rock solid year for books. Out of 27 books read (fiction and non-fiction), 6 were digital editions and 6 were listened to on Audible. Last year I read 31 novels, this year only 24, but there were some great ones. There were nine nominees for Book of the Year, including two that were listened to on Audible.


Book of the Year honors for 2105 go to lluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Illuminae is a far-future science fiction YA novel, with an edge not often found in the category. Kady and Ezra are high school kids on an isolated, icy mining planet. Both still hurting from breaking up with each other, their world is literally destroyed when it is attacked by powerful ships. They have no choice but to escape on damaged fleet ships, the enemy chasing them and closing in. Thrilling, smart, I loved this book. It doesn’t sugar coat anything. This is war, but Kaufman and Kristoff find humanity and humor in their characters, especially Kady.


The true brilliance of Illuminae is how it is written. Instead of conventional prose, it is presented like an after-action report on the attack of the planet and the chase across space. IMs, surveillance footage transcripts, personal journals, and found art are used to reconstruct the events. Instead of distancing the characters from the reader, it manages to bring them closer. Beautifully art-directed, this is a book made for the social media age. Recommended highly on many levels, Illuninae is a book I will not only read again, but will refer to as a reference for my own writing when trying to represent social media on the page.


Special Mention: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. Arthur C. Clarke was one of the first authors I read as a kid, and one I returned to many times. This was driven by seeing 2001 very young, and wanting to see what else he had written. I hadn’t read Childhood’s End since high school and decided to read it again before the SyFy miniseries (which was surprisingly faithful to the book). Dark, smart and influential, this was one of the first books I read as kid that didn’t have a happy ending. At all. I don’t think I minded that then. Now, during the re-read, I still don’t mind the ending. To paraphrase Stephen King, it was the one Clarke had. Anything else would have cheated the reader.

Special Mention: Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett and Slow Bullets by Alistair Reynolds. Both are Book of the Year nominees, and I would be struggling between Elysium and Seveneves for Book of the year if I had not read Illuminae. I grouped them together because of their lengths. Elysium is 208 pages and Slow Bullets is 197 pages. Though short, and some I imagine would consider them novellas by their word counts, both are deep, full reading experiences. The wonder is how Brissett and Reynolds fit so much story into so few pages, and still feel perfect.

Elysium has mystery to it, and I try never do spoilers. All I will say is that point of views shift in a world [REDACTED because I realized if I describe the world at all it would be a major spoiler. Please trust me, read it, it’s great]. This is one I will definitely read again. The true wonder is that this is Jennifer Marie Brissett’s debut. I cannot wait for her next novel.

Slow Bullets is the story of former combatants of a war waking up on a long-range sleeper ship way before they are supposed to. Do they continue a war that is over, or try to work together to survive? Reynolds is someone who usually writes books that come close to 1,000 pages. At 197 pages, I was totally drawn in by the story and the characters.

Special Mention: Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Seveneves is a big, generational space opera. The inciting incident is a big one: Something causes the Moon to explode. One of the things I loved about the book is that we’re never told who caused the Moon to explode. Everyone has other things to worry about.

A scientist figures out that Earth’s gravity is going to bring the debris down, making the surface of the Earth unlivable for thousands of years. In the time left, mankind has to get as many people into space, and figure out how they can survive for centuries. This or Elysium would have been book of the year if not for Illuminae. Highly recommended.

Books Read
Saint Odd by Dean Koontz (Book of the Year nominee!)
Symbiont by Mira Grant – Digital Edition
The Talisman by Stephen King
Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett (Book of the Year nominee!)
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (Special Mention)
The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson – Digital Edition
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Slow Bullets by Alistair Reynolds – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey (Book of the Year nominee!)
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
The End of All Things by John Scalzi
Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Short Story Collection – Not Eligible for Book of the Year)
18 Wheels of Horror by Various Authors (Short Story Collection – Not Eligible for Book of the Year)
Cross Justice by James Patterson
Thunderbird by Jack McDevitt
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Book of the Year nominee!)

Books Listened to on Audible
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
King and Maxwell by David Baldacci
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Book of the Year nominee!)
Paper Towns by John Green
The Lion by Nelson DeMille
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (Book of the Year nominee!)

Non-Fiction Books (Combined Read and Listened to on Audible)
A Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone
iJustine by Justine Ezarik
Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk Digital Edition

2014

Read: 25 Listened To: 6 Total: 31

Book of the Year: The Peripheral by William Gibson
Special Mention: The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Waters
Special Mention: The Martian by Andy Weir
Special Mention: Alternaties by Michael McDowell

2014 was a great year for books. Between books and Audible, I read 31 books, up five from 2013. Out of the 25 books read (instead of listened to on Audible), ten of those were digital editions read on my Kindle, which is a record over previous years. I also listened to six books on Audible, one over 2013. There were fifteen Book of the Year nominees in 2014.

The 20th Annual Book of the Year is William Gibson’s The Peripheral. As I wrote in a previous post, The Peripheral is a return to science fiction taking place in a future farther away than the one in his last few books. A murder mystery with a time travel element to it, it brings together a very different but totally engaging cast of characters. The future tech is a believable extrapolation of what exists today and where that tech could go tomorrow. Some of that is exciting, while some of that is frightening. I do not want to say much more due to spoilers. Figuring out exactly what is happening is part of the fun. A great, entertaining read, I highly recommend it.

Special Mention: The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Walters. I read two of the books in the trilogy this year, and the final volume was definitely short-listed for Book of the Year. The trilogy is the story of a police detective at the end of the world. A giant asteroid is going to slam into Earth and nothing will stop it. The detective struggles to decide if he should stay true to who he is, continue pursuing justice, or if at the end of the world does any of that still matter? I highly recommend the entire trilogy and will definitely read Mr. Walters again.

Special Mention: The Martian by Andy Weir. I listened to The Martian on Audible and loved it. The story of an astronaut’s survival alone on Mars after his crew left, thinking him dead. Funny, entertaining and extremely smart (in a good way, not an annoying way), this was a book also short-listed for Book of the Year. A story almost as good as the book itself is Andy Weir’s persistence to write, then self-publish the Martian, which lead to a deal with a major publisher and a film deal with an amazing cast attached. Check out this Entertainment Weekly article about Mr. Weir and the journey of The Martian. I highly recommend reading – or as I did, listening – to The Martian.

Special Mention: Alternaties by Michael McDowell. I first read Alternaties many, many years ago. A story of a team of spies that travel to alternate realities to steal tech and other resources to get leverage in their home reality. It is fantastic. Mr. McDowell has not published a new novel in some time, but in 2014 I found that he had a Facebook page that he is active on. Mr. McDowell is planning a return to writing and I cannot wait. For more information and links to his Facebook and Twitter please see his website.

Books Read
Cross My Heart by James Patterson
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Wool by Hugh Howey – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Countdown City – Book 2 of The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Waters (Book of the Year nominee!)
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett (Book of the Year nominee!)
Alternities by Michael P. Kube-McDowell (Special Mention)
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
A Darkling Sea by James Cambias
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Authority – Digital Edition by Jeff VanderMeer
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Ark by Stephen Baxter (Book of the Year nominee!)
Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey (Book of the Year nominee!)
Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz (Book of the Year nominee!)
Lock In by John Scalzi – Digital Edition
California by Edan Lepucki
Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer – Digital Edition
World of Trouble – Book 3 of The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Waters (Book of the Year nominee!)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Book of the Year nominee!)
Pennsylvania by Michael Bunker – Digital Edition
Coming Home by Jack McDevitt – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Revival by Stephen King – Digital Edition
Hope to Die by James Patterson – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Peripheral by William Gibson – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Proxima by Stephen Baxter – Digital Edition

Books Listened to on Audible
MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
The Martian by Andy Weir (Book of the Year nominee!)
Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (Book of the Year nominee!)
Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson
Odd Interlude by Dean Koontz

2013

Read: 21 Listened To: 5 Total: 26

Book of the Year: Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
Special Mention: Indexing by Seanan McGuire
Special Mention: Audible

For the second time a novel by Peter F. Hamilton has won Book of the year. Great North Road is a stand alone novel, and like many of Hamilton’s books, it is huge. Clocking in at 976 pages, it is still a page turner. Combination British crime procedural and big idea space opera, I cannot recommend Great North Road enough. Smart, exciting, and a pretty darn good mystery, that Hamilton somehow ties all together. It was fantastic.

Special Mention goes to Seanan McGuire’s Indexing. Sort of “Once Upon a Time” meets “Fringe”, it is about a world where fairy tales are true and that is not a good thing. Our main characters are an FBI-like team trying to stop the havoc (And sometimes death) that occurs where the fairy tales break into reality. I read this as a Kindle Serial, an episode coming out every two weeks. A lot of fun.

Special Mention also goes to Audible. I listened to five books in 2013 and plan to listen to many more in 2014. Top-notch production, I found audible a way to keep up on books while walking, cleaning up, or in the car. Highly recommended.

Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and
Shadow of the Scorpion by Neal Asher
Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton (Book of the Year nominee!)
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey(Book of the Year nominee!)
Any Day Now by Terry Bisson
Consider Phlebas by Ian M. Banks
Red Planet Blues by Robert Sawyer (Book of the Year nominee!)
Abaddons Gate by James SA Corey(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Human Division by John Scalzi (Book of the Year nominee!)
Discount Armaggedon by Seanan McGuire
The Switch by Elmore Leonard
Joyland by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Last President by John Barnes
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Indexing by Seanan McGuire – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Parasite by Mira Grant (Book of the Year nominee!)
Starhawk by Jack McDevitt (Book of the Year nominee!)
Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson (Book of the Year nominee!)

Books Listened to on Audible
For the first time ever, including audio books listened to on Audible!!
The Innocent by David Baldacci
Blue Remembered Earth by Alistair Reynolds
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

2012

Books Read: 25

Book of the year: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Special Mention: The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant

An absolute stellar year in books, but the that wins book of the year is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This is Stephen King at his very best. A big book, there is not a moment that drags. The premise is one we have seen before, someone traveling back in time to stop the assassination of President Kennedy. But it is so much more than that, including a great love story. I have gifted this book to a few people and they loved it too. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Special Mention goes to The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant, the horror/sci-fi pseudonym of urban fantasy writer Seanan McGuire. It is after the zombie apocalypse and we have won. Due to a decision to protect cities and infrastructure society has survived as well. However, in the open areas of the country, and the world, the zombies still roam. We see this world through the eyes of two young journalists embedded with a candidate for president on the campaign trail. We also find out that zombies are not the biggest danger. Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant has become a favorite writer, and I plan on “going complete” on all her books. Yes, she is that good.

11/22/63 by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Firebird by Jack McDevitt(Book of the Year nominee!)
Day Break Zero by John Barnes(Book of the Year nominee!)
Seed by Rob Ziegler – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
The Fat Years by Koonchung Chan – Digital Edition (Book of the Year nominee!)
Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi
Storm Runners by Roland Smith
The Roar by Emma Clayton
Triggers by Robert Sawyer(Book of the Year nominee!)
Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey(Book of the Year nominee!)
Feed by Mira Grant(Book of the Year nominee!)
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Calibran’s War by James SA Corey(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
The Kill Order by James Dashner
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Book of the Year nominee!)
Great Sky River by Gregory Benford
Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
Crossed by Ally Condie
Deadline by Mira Grant(Book of the Year nominee!)
Blackout by Mira Grant(Book of the Year nominee!)
Merry Christmas Alex Cross by James Patterson
Existence by David Brin

2011

Books Read: 34

Book of the year: It’s a TIE!!!
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Directive 51 by John Barnes

Great year for books. I focused a lot of my reading on Young Adult novels. Some of the best writing is happening in that category. Plus, the novel I am working on is YA.

The first honoree for Book of the Year is a brilliant YA novel, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. The third and final book of The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins raised her game and brought the series to a satisfying end. All three Hunger Games books are highly recommended.

The second honoree is Directive 51 by John Barnes. A good, exciting read about a world that is devastated when nanotech is released, destroying oil, electrical cables, and other major pieces of infrastructure. One of the most fascinating aspects is the idea of Afinity Groups. Groups of people who share similar beliefs, work for a common goal, but there is no true leadership structure. Dangerous, hard to stop, this book is chilling as well.

Ventus by Karl Schroeder
Cross Fire by James Patterson
I Am Number Four by Piticus Lore(Book of the Year nominee!)
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher(Book of the Year nominee!)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis(Book of the Year nominee!)
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead(Book of the Year nominee!)
Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Last Hero by Rick Riordan
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Directive 51 by John Barnes(Book of the Year nominee!)
Sixkill by Robert B. Parker
Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
WWW: Wonder by Robert Sawyer
Embassytown by China Mieville(Book of the Year nominee!)
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Maze Runner by James Dashner(Book of the Year nominee!)
Matched by Allyson Condie
Bloodlands by Christine Cody
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Cut by George Pelecanos
Mockingjay by Suzanna Collins(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Glow by Amy Ryan Kathleen(Book of the Year nominee!)
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Legend by Marie Lu(Book of the Year nominee!)
Ashes by Ilsa J. Blick
Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson

2010

Books Read: 24

Book of the year: The Windup Girl

A good year with some very good books. One fun thing was reading Keene’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and King’s Under the Dome back-to-back. Both about small towns cut off from the rest of the world, both with very different take, both very good. I also highly recommend Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

The Book of the Year goes to The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. It is a brilliant debut novel. In a future that is dystopian but still functional, we see the impact of resource restraint on business, politics and people. Calories as a deminishing resource is a unique take. Another book I do not want to say too much of and spoil the discovery, this is a book to read and a writer to watch.

The Sunrise Lands by SM Stilring
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow(Book of the Year nominee!)
Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene(Book of the Year nominee!)
Under the Dome by Stephen King(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
City of the Dead by Brian Keene
Horns by Joe Hill(Book of the Year nominee!)
Makers by Cory Doctorow
Conqueror Worms by Brian Keene
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi(Book of the Year nominee!)
Split Image by David Baldacci
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer(Book of the Year nominee!)
For The Win by Cory Doctorow
WWW: Watch by Robert Sawyer
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Passage by Justin Cronin(Book of the Year nominee!)
Titanicus by Dan Abnett
Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt
Without Warning by John Birmingham
Way of the Wolf by EE Knight
Painted Ladies by Robert B. Parker
Infoquake by David Louis Edelman (Book of the Year nominee!)
Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill
Echo by Jack McDevitt

2009

Books Read: 26

Book of the year: The City and The City

A solid year for books, and one where I went on a bit of a horror kick. I also “went complete” on the Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space series. All big books, all enoyed a great deal, and all definitely impacted the book count for the year.

The Book of the Year goes to The City and The City by China Mieville is a detective story that takes place in two cities that overlap one another. I do not want to say much more because the discovery of this word is a big part of the novel. Excellent and different as always, Mr. Mieville continues to come up with books that are equally unique and entertaining.

The Devils Eye by Jack McDevitt
Cross Country by James Patterson
Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz
Divine Justice by David Baldacci
Gridlinked by Neal Asher(Book of the Year nominee!)
Night and Day by Robert B. Parker
Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds
Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds
Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds
Mr. Hands by Gary Braunbeck
Sacrafice by John Everson
Castaways by Brian Keene
Flood by Stephen Baxter (Book of the Year nominee!)
WWW: Wake by Robert Sawyer
Prador Moon by Neal Asher
For Dark Fields by Gary Braunbeck(Book of the Year nominee!)
The City and The City by China Mieville(Book of the Year nominee!)
Urban Gothic by Brian King
Singularity’s Ring by Paul Melko
The Missing by Sarah Langan
Aubdrey’s Room by Sarah Langan
The Professional by Robert B. Parker
New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
I, Alex Cross by James Patterson(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Protector’s War by SM Sterling
A Meeting in Corvalis by SM Sterling

2008

Books Read: 23

Book of the year: The Time Traveler’s Wife

A bit off pace from the previous year, but still a year with some amazing books. Anathem by Neal Stephenson was a big book with big ideas. The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds was very good, and one of the best examples of just not dumping all info and backstory on the reader at once. The Clockmaker was a great bad guy too.

Book of the Year easily went to The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It is often dismissed by science fiction readers because they consider it Chick Lit. Whether it is Chick Lit or Sci-Fi or Romance I don’t care, all I know is that it is fantastic. A man jumps through time, confined to the years of his life, and with no control over where or when he will travel. Throughout it, his wife stands by him, even during the long gaps of her life when he is part of another time. Read this book.

Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
Web of Evil by JA Jance
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Collectors by David Baldacci
Dragon’s Kiss
Duma Key by Stephen King
Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
Stone Cold by David Baldacci
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Book of the Year nominee!)
Stranger in Paradise by Robert B. Parker
Cold Hours
Killing Floor by Lee Child
Rendevous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
With No One As Witness by Elizabeth George
Saturns Children by Charles Stross
Captive
Iron Lake by William Kent Kreuger(Book of the Year nominee!)
Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi(Book of the Year nominee!)
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan(Book of the Year nominee!)
Marsbound by Joe Haldeman
The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds(Book of the Year nominee!)
Rough Weather by Robert B. Parker
Anathem by Neal Stephenson(Book of the Year nominee!)

2007

Books Read: 31

Book of the year: World War Z

Great year for books. One that included reading some authors for the first time. Also one with many contenders for Book of the Year. One of the books I read, and really enjoyed, was The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. There was a funny story that went around that Mr. Roth thought he came up with the alternate history novel. I do not believe he thought that at all, but who knows? I also read Cormac McCarthy for the first time, and just loved The Road. It was not, however, the feel good book of 2007. Eifelheim by Michael Flynn was a cool read about aliens arriving in Germany during the Black Plague of 1348. Cool year, great books, but there was one that stood above the rest for Book of the Year: World War Z!

World War Z by Max Brooks is an amazing book. Written as an oral history in the style of Studs Terkel, we learn about the zombie apocalypse from those who survived it. I have met Max Brooks at a few signings and he is completely down to earth and awesome. A history major in college, he brings that background to make a piece of fiction very realistic. Highly highly recommended, and a book I will definitely read again. (Update: I recently saw the movie and really enjoyed it. It is very different from the book. This is a plus. You can read the book and see the movie and both will be a fresh experience.)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Next by Michael Crichton
Plot Against America Philip Roth(Book of the Year nominee!)
High Profile by Robert B. Parker
Summer of the Apocalypse by James Van Pelt(Book of the Year nominee!)
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Blindsight by Peter Watts
Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman
Rainbow’s End by Verner Vinge
Camel Club by David Baldacci(Book of the Year nominee!)
Eifelheim by Michael Flynn(Book of the Year nominee!)
Spindrift by Allen Steele
Rollback by Robert Sawyer
Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille
Last Colony by John Scalzi
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by JK Rowling
Spare Change by Robert B. Parker
Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Counting Heads by David Marusek
The Good Guy by Dean Koontz
Axis by Robert Charles Wilson
Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
Now and Then by Robert B. Parker
Halting State by Charles Stross
Word War Z by Max Brooks(Book of the Year nominee!)
Burn by James Patrick Kelly
Cauldron by Jack McDevitt
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
I am Legend by Richard Matheson(Book of the Year nominee!)

2006

Books Read: 36

Book of the year: Pandora’s Star

After the drop off of 2005, 2006 came roaring back. Eleven Book of the Year nominees! Just a great, interesting year.

Pandora’s Star was written by Peter F. Hamilton. I am not sure how I did not discover him before now. He is a British science fiction writer who combines hard sci-fi with space opera , while throwing in Post Human "big ideas". His books are long, Pandora’s Star came in at 988 pages but they are still real page turners. This guy is a real find.

The Ice People by Rene Barjavel (Book of the Year nominee!)
Forever Odd by Dean Koontz
To Crush the Moon by Wil McCarthy
Cellby Stephen King
Sea Change by Robert B. Parker
Life Expectency by Dean Koontz
Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton(Book of the Year nominee!)
Accelrando by Charles Stross(Book of the Year nominee!)
Seeker by Jack McDevitt(Book of the Year nominee!)
Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton
The Narrows by Ronald Malfi
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Camouflage by Joe Haldeman
Dispatch by Bentley Little
The Store by Bentley Little
Blue Screen by Robert B. Parker
Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton
Strange Affair by Peter Robertson
Logan’s World by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds(Book of the Year nominee!)
Glass House by Charles Stross
The Rising by Brian Keene(Book of the Year nominee!)
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi(Book of the Year nominee!)
Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein(Book of the Year nominee!)
Hard Case by Dan Simmons
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Learning the World by Ken MacLeod(Book of the Year nominee!)
Hundred Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker
Lisey’s Story by Stephen King
Odyssey by Jack McDevitt
Coyote Frontier by Allen Steele
Light on Snow by Anita Shreve
Cross by James Patterson
Brother Odd by Dean Koontz(Book of the Year nominee!)

2005

Books Read: 24

Book of the year: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

This was a strange year. I was way off my usual pace of the number of books I read. With that being said, there were some gems this year.

For the second time a Harry Potter book wins. The penultimate book in the series, it proves once again that these books are not for kids. If anyone thinks that and they are not reading these books they are missing out on something special. JK Rowling just gets better and better. This one sets up the big ending we all know is coming while sealing the fates of some favorite (and not-so-favorite) characters. This book also brings up questions about the series: Is it really about Harry? Or is it about those around him? Snape is more than he appears, and though it doesn’t seem to be at the end of this volume, it is he who could become the true hero of the work. Unless it is Hermione.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton
In the Night Room by Peter Straub
Cold Service by Robert B. Parker
Air: Or, Have Not Have by Geoff Ryman (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Broker by John Grisham
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson(Book of the Year nominee!)
Mindscan by Robert Sawyer
Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross
The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling (Book of the Year nominee!)
Deep in the Darkness by Michael Laimo
Engines of God by Jack McDevitt (Book of the Year nominee!)
Velocity by Dean Koontz
Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt
Appalosa by Robert B. Parker
The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
School Days by Robert B. Parker
Dies the Fire by SM Sterling (Book of the Year nominee!)
Man in the High Castle
Coyote Rising by Allen Steele(Book of the Year nominee!)
Mary Mary by James Patterson
Predator Patricia Cornwell

2004

Books Read: 39

Book of the year: For only the second time in awards history: It’s a TIE!!!
Omega by Jack McDevitt and Lost Boy, Lost Girl by Peter Straub
Special Mention: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Not 2003, but 2004 comes close as another stellar year. This year a writer is honored that I have only known about since 1999. Two other long-time favorites elevated their writing to produce two of the best – and most moving – books of their careers.

Jack McDevitt has become one of my favorite writers. Omega is the final book (Update: It turned out not to be, though Omega was set up to be the last) in the "Hutch" series (Engines of God, Deep Six, Chindi, Omega). Though a series, they are written in such a way that they can be read as stand-alones. I would recommend reading all four in chronological order. They are the story of Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchenson, a starship pilot who usually ends up flying explorers and scientists to newly discovered worlds. While the planetary enivronments prove dangerous, they cannot match the Omega clouds (which appear in all four books). Distructive and deadly on a planetary scale, if an Omega cloud detects a structure on a planet with a right angle – something that cannot exist naturally, therefore indicating intelligent life – it attacks the planet with deadly results.

Omega exposes most of the secrets of the clouds and what their possible purpose could really be. Even with all the space opera and action the main thing about Omega is that you care about the characters, especially Hutch. Like all good series you want a good story and while McDevitt delivers, you return to these books (as you do with Parker’s Spenser series) because you want to spend more time with the people who populate them.

Lost Boy, Lost Girl by Peter Straub. I have been reading Straub since 1981. The Talisman, co-written with Stephen King, is one of my all-time favorites. Lost Boy, Lost Girl is without a doubt his best solo book. The story of Tim Underhill, a familiar Straub character, trying to find out whether or not his nephew was killed by a serial killer.

There has been a lot of disagreement between readers of this book whether or not the nephew’s fate is real or just Tim’s hopes. This is even debated in the sequel In the Night Room. My choice is to believe that Tim’s hopes are real. The website and the video clip at the end are real. Maybe I missed something, maybe I didn’t. I don’t care. This is the great thing about a book versus a movie. The picture you have in your mind is the one that matters and what it means is sometimes what you want it to mean (even if you are actually wrong).

I know what the ending of the book is, and not even Mr. Straub can tell me different.

 

 

Special Mention To: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. This one will break your heart, but it is worth it.

Bleachers by John Grisham
In a Dry Season by Peter Robertson
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Stone Cold by Robert B. Parker(Book of the Year nominee!)
Catch the Lightning by Catherine Asaro
Humans by Robert Sawyer (Book of the Year nominee!)
Sticks and Scones by Diane Mott Davidson
Dune: Machine Crusade by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Bad Business by Robert B. Parker
Lost Girl, Lost Boy by Peter Straub(Book of the Year nominee!)
Coyote by Allen Steele (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Lake House by James Patterson
The Last Juror by John Grisham
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (Book of the Year nominee!)
Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell
Picoverse by by Robert Metzger
Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy
Mr. Paradise by Elmore Leonard
The Poet by Michael Connelly
The Taking by Dean Koontz
Song of Susannah by Stephen King
Double Play by Robert B. Parker
Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson
Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund
The Scar by China Mieville
Dune: The Battle for Corrin by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
Rain Fall by Barry Eisler
Trace by Patricia Cornwell
The Dark Tower by Stephen King(Book of the Year nominee!)
Melancholy Sky
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Hybrids by Robert Sawyer
Omega by Jack McDevitt (Book of the Year nominee!)
Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson
London Bridges by James Patterson

 

2003

Books Read: 37

Book of the year: Pattern Recognition

An absolutely stellar year for books. Ten nominees, each of which could have won and would have won any other year. If Sea Biscuit had been a novel instead of non-fiction there would have been eleven nominees. All the nominees are books that are still with me as if I read them yesterday. As I said, a stellar year.

The winner, Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, is a book set in the present written as if it were near-future sci-fi. It is the story of Cayce Pollard who is trying to find the secret source of stirring video clips being uploaded to the internet. But it is much more than that. Gibson finished writing Pattern Recognition less than a year after 9/11. The post-9/11 world permiates the book, including the question of whether or not Cayce’s father died when the towers came down. A moving book, definitely Gibson’s best work.

The Collapsium by Wil Mccarthy
Memoirs Found in a Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Ancient Shores by Jack McDevitt
Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman (Book of the Year nominee!)
Tides of Light Gregory Benford
Berserker by Fred Saberhagen
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson(Book of the Year nominee!)
King of Torts by John Grisham
Back Story by Robert B. Parker
Alien Taste by Wen Spencer
Signal to Noise by Eric Nylund(Book of the Year nominee!)
Deep Drive by Alexander Jablokov
Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand(Non-Fiction Honorable Mention)
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asro(Book of the Year nominee!)
A Signal Shattered by Eric Nylund
Hotel by Arthur Hailey
The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge
Split Second by David Baldacci
Chopping Mall by Daiane Mott Davidson
The Face by Dean Koontz
When the Wind Blows by James Patterson
Texas/Israeli War by Howard Waldrop and Jake Sanders
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Night Without End by Alistair MacLean
Wings of Fire by Dale Brown
Manifold Origin by Stephen Baxter
Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Hominds by Robert Sawyer(Book of the Year nominee!)
Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Book of the Year nominee!)
Kiln People by David Brin(Book of the Year nominee!)
Sacred by Dennis Lehane
Wolves of The Calla by Stephen King(Book of the Year nominee!)
Return of the King by JRR Tolkien(Book of the Year nominee!)
Chindi by Jack McDevitt(Book of the Year nominee!)
Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson

2002

Books Read: 30

Book of the year: Perdido Street Station

This was an important year book-wise for me. Though I had read Jack McDevitt already, this was the year I read Deep Six, a “Hutch” book. Because of Deep Six I have “gone complete” on McDevitt, reading every novel he has put out. A huge favorite. This year also included Up Country by Nelson DeMille. Always a solid writer, he raised his game to his highest level. A big, brilliant book.

Though those books could have easily won Book of the Year, there was no question it needed to be awarded to Perdido Street Station. This is one of the most imaginative books I have read.  Some would call it "steam punk", but it is more than that.  Bizarre experiments, an evil government, characters who are not from around here – or from this dimension.  A big book that makes you think, but still a fast and entertaining read.

Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod
One Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz
Dune: House Corrino by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
Calculating God by Robert Sawyer
Last Man Standing by David Baldacci (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Summons by John Grisham
Up Country Nelson DeMille(Book of the Year nominee!)
Tishomingo Blues by Elmore Leonard
Widows Walk by Robert B. Parker
Final Target by Iris Johansen
Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King(Short Story Collection – Not Eligiable for Book of the Year)
Right as Rain by George Pelecanos
Warrior Class by Dale Brown
Two Towers by JRR Tolkien(Book of the Year nominee!)
Scorpio Illusion by Robert Ludlum
Deep Six by Jack McDevitt (Book of the Year nominee!)
Tin Man by Dale Brown
Kobayashi Maru by Julia Ecklar
Twelve by Nick McDonell
Shrink Rap by Robert B. Parker
From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Dune: Butlerian Jihad by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
Perdido St. Station by China Mieville(Book of the Year nominee!)
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Vectors by Michael P. Kube-Mcdowell
Prey by Michael Crichton
Four Blind Mice by James Patterson
Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter
Heechee Rendezvous by Frederik Pohl
Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz

2001

Books Read: 30

Book of the year:  The Chronoliths

This was a huge year for books.  Many others could have won Book of the Year honors from me including Potshot – a Spenser book by Robert Parker; The Last Time They Met by Anne Shrivie; Gateway– the classic by Pohl; and Pulitzer winner Kavalier and Clay by Chabon.  But I had to give it to The Chronoliths by Wilson.  I read this book a few weeks before 9/11.  It is chilling how it mirrored the feeling of that time.  The Chronoliths is about terrorists in the future wrecking havoc on the present by sending giant monolithic structures back through time.  The arrival of these structures, or Chronoliths, have a devastating physical effect like that of a nuclear bomb, though the chronolith remains.  At first they arrive in the middle of nowhere.  Then they begin to appear in cities, destroying them.  Even before 9/11 this book had an impact on me.  After 9/11 I often thought of this book and drew strength from it because it captured the fact that even during impossible times there is always hope.

From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz
Roses are Red by James Patterson
Manifold Time by Stephen Baxter
Gibbons Decline and Fall by Sheri S. Tepper
Gateway by Frederik Pohl(Book of the Year nominee!)
Fellowship of the Rings by JRR Tolkien(Book of the Year nominee!)
Book of Three
Beyond the Blue Even Horizon by Frederik Pohl
Mataresse Countdown by Robert Ludlum
Painted House by John Grisham
Pot Shot by Robert B. Parker
Dream Catcher by Stephen King
Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
Battle Born by Dale Brown
Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve(Book of the Year nominee!)
Gunman’s Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker
The Search by Iris Johansen
Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (Book of the Year nominee!)
Hot Six by Janet Evanovich
Martian Race by Gregory Benford
The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson(Book of the Year nominee!)
Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker (Book of the Year nominee!)
The Descent by Jeff Long
Perish Twice by Robert B. Parker
All Tomorrow’s Parties by William Gibson
Judas Goat by Robert B. Parker
Violets are Blue by James Patterson
Code to Zero Ken Follett

2000

Books Read: 33

Book of the year: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Yes, a Harry Potter book getting the honor and why not?  The fourth book in the series and the darkest, this is The Empire Strikes Back of Potter.  We find out more of the mysteries surrounding the world Potter is in.  It is not a happy place.  It goes to my point all along, these are not kiddie books.  Yes, mature kids can read them, but they are not the juveniles of the fifties and sixties.    

Trouble in Paradise by Robert B. Parker
Timeline by Michael Crichton
False Memory by Dean Koontz
Aftermath by Peter Robinson
Lions Game by Nelson DeMille
The Brethren by John Grisham
Yesterday’s Son by AC Crispin
Hugger Mugger by Robert B. Parker
Stitch in Time by Andrew Robinson (Book of the Year nominee!)
Flash Forward by Robert Sawyer (Book of the Year nominee!)
Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt
Rogue Planet by Greg Bear
The Stand by Stephen King
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling(Book of the Year nominee!)
Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear
Fatal Terrain by Dale Brown
Chung Kuo by David Wingrove
Bear and Dragon by Tom Clancy
7th Son by Orson Scott Card
Night Sins by Tami Hoag
Pagan Babies by Elmore Leonard
Dune House Harkonnen by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
Timelike Infinity by Stephen Baxter
The Sky is Falling by Sidney Sheldon
The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell
Wish You Well by David Baldacci
The Trigger by Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell
Bios by Robert Charles Wilson
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Family Honor by Robert B. Parker
Price of Power James W. Huston
Candle by John Barnes(Book of the Year nominee!)
Pop Goes the Weasal by James Patterson
On Writing by Stephen King (Non-Fiction Honorable Mention)

1999

Books Read: 33

Book of the year:  IT’S A TIE!!   
Hearts in Atlantis and The Sparrow

This book was reviewed as a collection of short stories.  It’s not.  It is a novel, told over time, from five different viewpoints.  Forget the movie, read the book.  Loosely attached to The Dark Tower Cycle (which serves to enrich those works as those works enrich this one), this is a great book of childhood, growing older, and still finding wonder where it matters.  It is the kind of book that can break your heart, but break it in a good way.

A book that is as much about first contact with an alien species as is it about holding onto one’s faith.  Told in flashbacks by a Jesuit priest, the only survivor of an expedition to another planet, we find out what happened not only to the other crewmembers but what caused this priest to turn his back on God.  Not preachy or filled with scripture like "religious" novels, this is about finding healing anywhere we can.

Inner Harbor by Nora Roberts
Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
Seize the Night by Dean Koontz
Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry
The Testament by John Grisham
Be Cool by Elmore Leonard
Hush Money by Robert B. Parker
Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
Vast by Linda Nagata
Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (Book of the Year nominee!)
Moonfall by Jack McDevitt
Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt
Frameshift by Robert Sawyer
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
All the Weyrs of Pern by Anne Mccaffrey
L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton
Factoring Humanity by Robert Sawyer
Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
Balance of Power James W. Huston
Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson
Jack and Jill by James Patterson
Guns of the South Harry Turtledove(Book of the Year nominee!)
Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban JK Rowling
Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Dune: House Atriedes by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson
Moonseed by Stephen Baxter
The Alien Years by Robert Silverberg(Book of the Year nominee!)

1998

Books Read: 27

Book of the year: Titan

A story of space exploration as it probably would be, warts and all.  Baxter is a great writer but sometimes you wish the guy would lighten up a bit.  Still, the book is too good and stands above all others in a so-so year not to give it Book of the Year.

Laws of our Fathers by Scott Turrow
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz(Book of the Year nominee!)
Street Lawyer by John Grisham
Starrigger by John DeChancie
Sudden Mischief by Robert B. Parker
Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
Target Command (Executioner) by Don Pendleton
Family Tree by Sheri S. Tepper
The Stand by Stephen King
Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy
Rising Tides by Nora Roberts
Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
Cuba Libre by Elmore Leonard
Airframe by Michael Crichton
Bitter Medicine by Sarah Paretsky
Chains of Command by Dale Brown
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Iduro by William Gibson
Metropolitan by Walter John Williams
Titan by Stephen Baxter(Book of the Year nominee!)
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Night Passage by Robert B. Parker(Book of the Year nominee!)
Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter
The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
Shadows of Steel by Dale Brown

1997

Books Read: 23

Book of the year: Along Came a Spider

The first James Patterson book I have read featuring D.C. detective Dr. Alex Cross.  I have been hooked ever since.  In 2003 friends of my stepmother, Vera, gave me a signed copy of Four Blind Mice  from Patterson who they play golf with.  Be warned, you read one, you read them all.  Just be sure to read the Alex Cross books in order.  They build on the events of the previous books.

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson(Book of the Year nominee!)
Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz
Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler
Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard
Small Vices by Robert B. Parker
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Partner by John Grisham
Virtual Destruction by Kevin Anderson and Doug Beason
Star Plex by Robert Sawyer
Permutation City by Greg Egan
Plum Island by Nelson DeMille(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
The Dark Tower: Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
The Dark Tower: Wastelands by Stephen King
Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
10th Justice by Brad Meltzer
Degree of Guilt by Richard North Patterson
The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Voyage by Stephen Baxter
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Foreigner by CJ Cherryh
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

1996

Books Read: 21

Book of the year: The Green Mile

I read this book as it was meant to be read, in the serialized form.  It was kind of fun going to the bookstore every 4-6 weeks for the latest installment.  One of the few King books to be made into a very good movie. 

Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling
Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
Beggars and Choosers by Nancy Kress
Legacy
The Green Mile: The Two Dead Girls by Stephen King(Book of the Year nominee!)
The Green Mile: Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Star Wars: Before the Storm by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
The Green Mile: Coffey’s Hands by Stephen King(Book of the Year nominee!)
Riding the Rap by Elmore Leonard
Chance by Robert B. Parker
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Ring by Stephen Baxter
Fear Street by RL Stine
The Green Mile: Bad Death of Edward Delacroix by Stephen King(Book of the Year nominee!)
A Catskill Eagle by Robert B. Parker
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
The Green Mile: Night Journey by Stephen King
QB VII by Leon Uris
Kaleidoscope Century by John Barnes
The Green Mile: Coffey on the Mile by Stephen King (Book of the Year nominee!)
Star Wars: Shield of Lies by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
Quarantine by Greg Egan
Desperation by Stephen King
Executive Orders by Tom Clancy
Star Wars: Tyrants Test by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
Absolute Power by David Baldacci

1995

Books Read: 20

Book of the year:  Mother of Storms

Near-future sci-fi that deals with a giant hurricane, a mother of storms, but this book is so much more.  This was 1995 and already Barnes had a good handle on the future of the web, virtual reality and the reporting of news. 

It also predicts video podcasting 10 years before that became common.

Cold Allies by Patricia Anthony
Million Open Doors by John Barnes
Mother of Storms by John Barnes(Book of the Year nominee!)
Orbital Resonance by John Barnes
Flux by Stephen Baxter
Startide Rising by David Brin(Book of the Year nominee!)
Hard Landing by Algis Budrys (Book of the Year nominee!)
Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Microserfs by Doug Coupland(Book of the Year nominee!)
Congo by Michael Crichton
The Lost World by Michael Crichton
Queen City Jazz by Kathleen Goonan
Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen
The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz
Towing Jehovah by James Morrow
Thin Air by Robert B. Parker
Sleeper Spy William Safire
Shadows End by Sheri S. Tepper(Book of the Year nominee!)
Mysterium by Robert Charles Wilson(Book of the Year nominee!)