Books of 2011: Playing Catch Up with My Slacker Self

Since 2011 is nearly over, I thought I should probably finish listing the books that I've read in 2011. I was doing pretty good until October, and then for whatever reason I really slacked off on both reading and keeping track of what I was reading. But here is what I have read (or at least, remember reading) since the last Books of 2011 post.

The Looking Glass series by John Ringo and Doc Taylor, which consists of "Into the Looking Glass," "Vorpal Blade," "Manxome Foe," and "Claws that Catch." A physicist finds a way to open a trans-dimensional door, aliens invade, a space ship is made out of a submarine, hijinks ensue. For the most part, Dr. Taylor's hard scifi tendencies are tempered nicely with Ringo's pulpy violence (and vice versa), though, like many of Ringo's series, the later books seem to overstay their welcome. I'd rate the first two as solid 9/10's, the third as 7/10, and the last as maybe a 6/10. You can find it (or most of it, anyway) free from Baen if you have a kindle or other e-reader.

I also read "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher, the first of the Dresden Files, because a friend wanted me to read it. Not being a very big mystery fan, this one was pretty "meh" for me. I am told they pick up in the later books of the series, but I'm not sure I want to. 5/10.

Another was "Ghost Ship," by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, a Liaden Universe book--more specifically, finally the book that picks off at where "I Dare" ended. A 9 year cliff hanger. I was starting to hate the authors quite a bit, actually. I think this one still focuses too much on Theo and not enough on the rest of Korval--I mean, Miri and Val Con are mere sidestories. Still, it is good to advance the story, and I can't wait for the next one. Thank goodness they were picked up by Baen, it would be a shame if these authors were put out of print!

Next was Larry Correia and Mike Kupari's "Dead Six." Military Fiction, in a world only sightly devolved from our own. I read the "Welcome Back, Mr. Nightcrawler" on The High Road back when, the story that this one came out of. Very similar in some parts, a bit changed in others, I found it pretty entertaining, if not as much so as Larry's other books (just not as much of a Military Fiction guy, I guess). Written from two character veiwpoints, two guys who don't like each other, competing and collaborating eventually to accomplish the same end goals. The first half of the plot is a little slow (though still heavy on action), but it picks up. I'll definitely buy the other ones when they come out, but I just don't read through them in 12 hours straight like MHI or the Grimnoir books. Speaking of which, the next one is out and I need to read it... Anyway, I'd give it a 7.5/10.

Last, included here just because, I finally finished reading through The Message paraphrase of the Bible. Highly recommended if you are sick of the high vernacular most translations are put in to. It puts the Bible into more common modern language, making it more readable. I wouldn't recommend it as your only go-to copy, but perfect for refreshing your perspective. The introductions to the books by Eugene Peterson are worth the purchase price alone. 10/10.

I've got a few more books in progress, and a huge number on the pile that need to be read--hopefully I'll do better at reading them than I have been doing the past few months.


Ruth said...

Storm Front has issues, mostly the result of it being Butcher's first "real" published book. He figures it out pretty quick, but the books also get darker as they go. If you don't care for dark/mystery then they probly won't suit you. I will admit to being totally hooked on them!

bluesun said...

Maybe it's just because Dresden doesn't seem to do very much in it besides wander around and get beat up by bad guys. I want my heroes to wander around and beat up bad guys.