Image by Annie Spratt from Unsplash

This is a simple list of books I read in the first half of 2023. A few have been abandoned, and a few more have been started and not finished yet, though I expect to do so some day.

Since I buzzed through a couple of series or parts of series this winter and spring, I’ve gathered series books in one place based on when I started reading, with the actual months I read them noted.

I may or may not write blog posts about these books. If I do, those in series may be covered in a single post.

January 2023

  • Dead Lions (Mick Herron)
    • I started reading all the Slow Horses stories in late 2022, after watching the first two TV series on Apple TV. I tried to pace myself, really, but I finally gave up in late March and plowed through the lot of them. Spy fiction at its finest (and possibly funniest).
  • Real Tigers (Mick Herron) (January)
  • Spook Street (Mick Herron) (February)
  • Standing By The Wall (Mick Herron) (started in February, finished in April)
    • The contents of this book are labeled “novellas”, though perhaps long short stories is better. Most important, they are critical interstitial stories to be read between the Slow Horses novels, and in many cases are important to the plots of the books following them. Look at Wikipedia for the proper reading order.
  • London Rules (Mick Herron) (March)
  • Joe Country (Mick Herron) (March)
  • Slough House (Mick Herron) (April)
  • Bad Actors (Mick Herron) (April)
  • White Noise (Don DeLillo) (DNF)
    • This is just one example of why I should simply avoid literary fiction
  • Shadow of Night (Deborah Harkness)
    • Again a series I started last year. I don’t veer off into paranormal romance often, but these really caught my attention
  • The Book of Life (Deborah Harkness)
  • Beautiful Darkness (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)
    • This was a re-read, and though I finished it, it was a real slog. I probably won’t return to the rest of the series anytime soon.
  • The Bullet Journal Method (Ryder Carroll)

February 2023

  • Mistborn The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)
    • This was my first Sanderson book, and probably my last. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve read better.

March 2023

  • My Dark Vanessa (Kate Elizabeth Russell)
    • After reading Lolita last year I had to read this as well. I’ll be writing more about it if I can figure out how to say what I want to say.
  • His Majesty’s Dragon (Naomi Novik)
    • Cory Doctorow recommended this, and he rarely steers me wrong. I don’t know if I’ll finish all nine books in the series, but I sure enjoyed the first three.
  • Throne of Jade (Naomi Novik) (April)
  • Black Powder War (Naomi Novik) (April)

April 2023

  • The Remains Of The Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)
    • I read Ishiguro because I never know what I’m going to get. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.
  • Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel)
  • Rose/House (Arkady Martine)
    • I’ll read anything Martine writes. ‘Nuff said.
  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (started)
  • Artemis (Andy Weir)
    • Not bad, but simply not as good as The Martian.

May 2023

  • Out Of The Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)
  • Perelandra (C.S. Lewis)
  • That Hideous Strength (C.S. Lewis)
  • The Perfect Spy (John Le Carre’) (DNF)
    • Someone wrote this is supposed to be the best place to start with Le Carre. Someone’s pulling my leg.
  • Project Hail Mary (Andy Weir)
    • Now this is more like it, a return to the competence porn that made The Martian a best-seller.

June 2023

  • Track Changes, A Literary History of Word Processing (Matthew Kirschbaum)
    • Not as dull as it sounds. Actually a nerdy bit of fun.
  • Killing Me (Michelle Gagnon)
    • This was simply a romp, the most fun I’ve had staring at my Kindle for a long time.
  • The Road To Middle Earth (Tom Shippey) (started)
    • I’m not done with this, but it’s deepened my 55-year enjoyment of The Lord Of The Rings considerably.
  • My Lady Jane (Brodie Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows)
    • A nice bit of young adult alternate history comedy romance with shape changers.