Wassup. I only managed to crank out 19 books this year; two of which I didn't finish all the way through. That said, this is pretty good for me! Decided to do my end-of-the-year rankings. Here it is:
I hate shitting on books since they are so much more personalized pieces of art than movies/videogames but... I have to. Promises & Pomegranates
may very well be the worst book I've read... Lol. Look, it's essentially porn, honestly. I know smut isn't anything new but like let's call it for what it is. I only read it because my girlfriend and I did a blind book reading together, and she picked this. We tore it to shreds. The plot is nonexistent and the characters are insufferable. The smut isn't even good! The Truants
is equally as bizarre, with a baffling plot and equally as insufferable characters. Atleast this book is interesting if framed as really really juicy gossip. I may co-opt the plot as events that happened to a "friend of mine" next time I'm out to dinner with someone and need to baffle them with the craziest tea known to man. That doesn't mean the book is good, though.
D tier is what I call the "mid non-fiction tier." This year I spent a lot of time reading non-fiction books in a vain attempt to relive the experience of reading Paul Tough's The Years That Matter M
ost; which I highly, highly, HIIIIGHLY recommend. These three in particular disappoint because they are a bit too meandering and kinda just boring. Freakonomics
especially so. In fact, the lack of any cohesion is something the authors pretty much state in the introduction to the book itself. I liked the Social Animal
well enough but can't really remember anything particularly illuminating from it. The Premonitions Bureau
wins out in this category because the subject matter is the most interesting, but all I really remember from this book is powering through it just to finish it because I was bored and wanted to move on.
It might surprise some to see Cormac McCarthy that low, but to be quite honest I found Blood Meridian
to be incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, increeeeddiiiibbbllyyyyy boring. All the characters are shallow and the plot is nonexistent. A couple of dirty idiots wander around in the desert for 300 pages. The prose is good and there are some great lines in there but oh my goooooood was it so fucking boring. I'm sure many will accuse me of missing the point or whatever but I guess symbolism and themes are lost on me when I just don't care about anything that is happening.
The Anthropocene Reviewed
beats out the other mid-non-fictions because it atleast has quite a personal touch. This feels like reading John Green's personal journal, which is nice, even if the book goes no where and ultimatly amounts to not much more than Green's ramblings.
I loved Bram Stoker's Dracula
and read it through Dracula Daily
, which I highly recommend. For some reason I connected to these characters on much deeper level than any in the other books I've read. They are the characters I most consider to be my friends, and I would die for all of them.
Lies My Teacher Told Me
wins out in the non-fiction category despite it being one of the two books I didn't finish this year (A Court of Silver Flames being the other). This book had some really eye-opening shit, and is especially relevant to me, a Social Studies teacher. Highly recommend it if you are American or interested in American history.
The Top 5 was the hardest to order for me. We Had to Remove Your Post
was nearly a perfect book; a simple idea executed perfectly, tackling extremely relevant themes related to anxiety, work-related stress, the internet and relationships in general. It is also very very short, so I recommend taking a trip to B&N for lunch and cranking that shit out in the cafe. American Gods
was the first book I finished this year and held the #1 spot for most of the year. It's possible its suffering from the reverse of recency bias, since I read it during a time that feels like eons ago. I really enjoyed being in the world of this book, even if it felt like it went off on big tangents during the middle. The ending was also a bit anti-climatic.
The Mask of the Sorcerer
might be one of the best fantasies ever written, and it's hard to leave it at just the bronze. I can not do it justice in this post alone. If you like old-school fantasies, DEFINITELY check this out. It has a world that feels really fresh and a main character that is impossible to hate. It's a big story full of ancient gods and ancient magic and yet is also extremely personal. I love how this book makes magic feel so magical.... it's terrifying and mystifying and mysterious. Please someone else read this I want to talk about it with another human being.
I ate The Way of Kings
up so voraciously. This book taught me that page numbers mean nothing. It took me like 400000 years to finish Blood Meridian which is only just over 400 and yet I finished Way of Kings' 1200+ pages in like a week. I couldn't put this down and when I finally finished I thought for sure it would be the #1... but I think The Lies of Locke Lamora
overtakes it for me. I love the Camorr so much as a setting, and this book took my expectations and knocked me over the head with 'em.
Looking forward to 2023!!!! I have a lot of books sitting on my shelf that I can't wait to read.