Category Archives: Books of 2010

Book Lists

My lists are just as good as NPR’s (in my entire objective and never inaccurate opinion), and even include concise reviews on why or why not I like a particular book!

Books of 2010

Books of 2011 [in progress]

I’ve got, um… quite a few books that need to be written up (the entire dragaeran universe by Steven Brust is a big one, roughly 30 books), that you can expect within a week maybe. Some of the books on my lists are even the same as the ones on NPR’s, you know, um, just in case that sort of thing is a turn on for you. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And what is wrong with all you people who haven’t read The Princess Bride?

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Books of 2010: Recap

53 books.  Though maybe someone should check my counting.  Some of them were thicker than others, but I figure that “Atlas Shrugged” averages out with “Old Man and the Sea,” and we get an average of 53 real sized books.  That’s a lot of books!




Sorry, I just watched Kung Pow! again. That’s one of my favorite scenes.

2011, here I come!

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Books of 2010: Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles

I had been seeing “Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles,” by “Dr. John H Watson, M.D.,” “edited by” John Fitzpatrick, around the shops of Montana since the summer, and in early December I bought it just to see what it was like.  The premise is that Sherlock Holmes and Watson came to MT to help out Marcus Daly
(one of the Copper Kings of Butte’s mining haydays) and stay for a short time to solve a few other mysteries.  Dr. Watson left the manuscript at the Anaconda library, where it was lost in a safe until recently, when John Fitzpatrick edits and publishes it.

It was written in the same style as all of the other Sherlock Holmes stories, and is highly entertaining and readable, especially if you have been in the areas described in the stories.  Also in the book are occasional pictures from the early 1900’s showing the places as they would have been when Dr. Watson was “writing” the stories. I give it 10 pipes out of 10.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes started out my Books of 2010, and this modern incarnation appears to be the one to close it.  I should go back and count how many books I really read, as that was the whole point of this exercise when I started it, but right now I am lazy.  Maybe later.  What will I read in 2011?  Will I finally get back to Vlad Taltos, as I have been meaning to do for two years now?  Will I find new entirely series (series’s? series’?  What’s the plural of that word, anyway?) to distract me?  Stay tuned to find out!

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Books of 2010: Double Play

Haven’t done this for a while, so I have two books to add to the list. Continuing my John Ringo kick, I read “Yellow Eyes,” which I think has the worst, least applicable cover art out of any book in the Posleen War. Seriously, read the book and tell me what is going on on the cover. It detailed the happenings in Panama during John Ringo’s alien invasion, with a large focus on naval warfare, particularly the USS Des Moines and USS Salem. I found it to be pretty entertaining, or at least much better than “Eye of the Storm.”

The second book that I read was Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.” I got about halfway through it in High School before I gave up on it, so I decided to give it another go. I thought it was pretty interesting, and the addition I read was annotated with many little stories from Chinese history which illustrated Sun Tzu’s sayings.

So. I give “Yellow Eyes” I give 8/10, and “Art of War” I also give 8/10.

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Books of 2010: Possum Living

I finished “Possum Living,” by Dolly Freed just recently, after buying it at the beginning of the semester for kicks and giggles.  In case you didn’t know, I have some quiet survivalist tendencies, which mostly manifest themselves in growing and storing food (which is hard to do while I’m at school) and stockpiling stuff like ammo (which is also hard to do on my current jobless budget).  So when I saw that the subtitle was “How to live well without a job and with (almost) no money,” I was intrigued, as I was at the “suburban self-sufficiency” vibe.  Plus it was first published in 1978, so I figured it would be good for a laugh at outdated advice if it turned out to be horrible.

And, yes, it did have a bit of outdated advice (such as “Don’t buy health insurance,” which is now supposedly mandatory…), but it also had quite a bit of good practical stuff, albeit without too much detail.  A few of the things gone over that I want to do someday are gardening, growing rabbits for food, and, of course, moonshining (that one’s actually rather high up the list, but don’t tell anyone).  The book avoids detail (as I said) and really focuses more on the attitude. 

So, I give it a 7.5/10, for being a mildly informative, slightly anachronistic, somewhat entertaining, very libertarian “don’t take no crap from nobody”-type book.  Now, excuse me while I go look for an old pressure cooker and some copper tubing…

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Books of 2010: Super John Ringo Edition

In the past two weeks I read four books by John Ringo, all in the Posleen War Universe:

1) Gust Front
2) When the Devil Dances
3) Hell’s Faire

and the latest one in the series, set about 50 years after the original series:

4) Eye of the Storm

I last read the original series as it first came out. This time I didn’t read the first book–Hymn Before Battle–because I guess I just didn’t want to. So there. The original series is a quality “Military Sci-Fi/Kill all Aliens” collection of books. “Eye of the Storm,” however, takes an interesting twist (sarcasm). After kicking the Posleen out of their arm of the galaxy, guess what happens? An evil collection of Alien races invade! Don’t get me wrong, it was a fine book–it’s just that the first third or so was going in one direction and then it seemed Ringo decided he needed a Deus Ex Machina to pull the story back into familiar territory.

I highly recommend the original Posleen War Series–I would give those books a 10/10. “Eye of the Storm,” however, seemed just a little bit too contrived. It was also the first in a new sub-series, so maybe it will take off in the future. I would give it a 7.5/10, still perfectly acceptable, but not outstanding.

And that’s four more books added to my total. Counting them up is going to take me a goodly bit when the end of the year gets here.

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Books of 2010: To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Tell the Truth

A while back I ordered Jeff Cooper’s “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Tell the Truth” off Amazon because I wanted to read something by the good Colonel. This one seemed like it would be a good place to start (though I have also heard many good things about his other books), so away I went. In it, he has stories about guns, hunting (mainly in Africa), defense, even one about the ocean liners of the pre-WWII era. It is very enjoyable, interesting, and readable. And now I am more than slightly infatuated with the “Scout Rifle” concept…

So, if you have any interest good old fashioned war and hunting stories with a bunch of gun lore thrown in the mix for good measure, I recommend this book. I rate it at 9.5/10, just because it is pretty short.

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Books of 2010: A Deeper Blue

Last one in the series (for now).  Pretty good, shorter than the others.  I think it wasn’t quite as good as the last one.  Lots of VX gas, lots of Disney.  Not so much on the Keldara, which is kinda why I liked the last one more.  This one just has a bunch of stupid government bureaucrats who get in the way. 

I might be able to get some real work done, now that there’s no more of these books to get in my way.  Or maybe I’ll just find some other series to distract myself with.

A solid 7/10.

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Books of 2010: Unto the Breach

This one was pretty good.  It was mostly pure action, and once you got about 50% in, it really picked up. 

One more to go in the “Paladin of Shadows” series.  I don’t think I can read it all today, though–as you may have noticed I’ve been slacking off on the school work.  It might take two days, instead of just one…

So, “Unto the Breach,” John Ringo, best one yet, I give it an 8.5/10.

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Books of 2010: Choosers of the Slain

OH JOHN RINGO NO!
OH JOHN RINGO NO!

Ooooo!  Good action scene!

OH JOHN RINGO NO!

OH JOHN RINGO NO!

In case you’re wondering, yes, I did just read another one.  In a day.  Basically by skipping all of the details about the European sex trade.

Two more to go!

6.5/10, not as good as the last one.

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Books of 2010: Kildar

Yeah, I found this John Ringo book free on the interwebz.  I read it, I enjoyed it mostly–but really, the only way to truly describe it is with “OH JOHN RINGO NO!”

If you don’t understand, I’m sure google can help you out…

Rated 7/10.  But it’s better than the first one.

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Books of 2010: The Last Centurion

“The Last Centurion,” by John Ringo, was very interesting. It was a Baen free download onto my kindle, which is always good. I started this one before Monster Hunter Vendetta, took a break from it for a day to read MHV, and then finished it a couple days later.

It was a very interesting read–the style is non-standard, kinda “bloggy,” actually. It follows a soldier through a global flu outbreak and cooling event. You can just hear John Ringo ranting on his soapbox, which I love. Actually, you can hear an interview with him about this book where he rants a little bit here.

I found it very entertaining, and it had some very good points about modern society and science (in other words, if you are a regular reader of Borepatch you’ll want to read it).

Good stuff. Rated 9/10

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Books of 2010: Monster Hunter Vendetta

Started reading at 15:15 9/29/2010, finished reading 14:00 9/30/2010. That’s with going to classes today. Stayed up till two last night.

Monster Hunter Vendetta, the newest Larry Coreia book, is very entertaining. Once again, he takes all of the horror movie cliches and fantasy fairy tale creatures, mashes them together with a group of badass goofballs who have all of the coolest toys, and purees it with a blender made out of explosives to serve you a piping-hot cocktail of pure awesome.

Seriously, if you haven’t read it yet, it makes me sad. I mean, there are gangsta garden gnomes! What are you still reading this for? Go and read Monster Hunter!

I rate it four hundred and fifty seven bajillion out of ten.

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Books of 2010: The Books of Summer

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite a while.  Like, three months or so.  So here is a list with everything that I have read to completion since then.

“Watch on the Rhine,” by John Ringo and Tom Kratman.  Pretty good, does the Posleen War from the perspective of the Germans.  8/10

This one again.

The “Big Green Book.”  Third time I read it.  Good, 10/10.

Over the summer I finally read through the Book of Psalms.  It’s long enough by itself that I am going to count it, and since this is my list, I can put it on here.  Took me about half a year, reading them every night.  Good poetry, if you like that kind of stuff, and good religious material.  How do you rate a book of the Bible?

One like that one.

“Saltation,” by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  If you have never read any of the Liaden Universe novels, I highly recommend them.  Very good character building, very entertaining happenings.  “Saltation” involves the leading up to the “Well, it’s kind of complicated” that ended the previous book.  Hopefully that means we will finally get to see what happens next sometime soon. 9/10

“Mouse and Dragon,” also by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  This one details what causes one of the main characters to leave, and is somewhat a prequel to the whole series.  9/10

Next, I went on a Micheal Z. Williamson kick.  I kind of read them out of order, starting with “Better to Beg Forgiveness.”  Not knowing much about his universe, it was kind of confusing (as it is one of his newest books) but the events in it happened much prior to anything that has happened in his other books, so it wasn’t too bad.  Still, it was kind of like “The Expendables” movie that is out right now.  Lots and lots of explosions and killing, but not a whole lot else to occupy your mind.  I’ll give it a 6.5/10

Then I read “Contact with Chaos,” also by Williamson.  In it the Freehold and the UN jostle with each other over the discovery of alien life.  I’m not really much of a fan of SciFi that has aliens in it, but what you gonna do? Once again, I didn’t really know much about his universe when I read it, so it was kind of confusing at times, but still pretty good.  7.5/10

Next I read “The Weapon,” by Williamson again.  This one finally explains a lot of what happened between the Freehold and the UN.  I thought it was a good “train up the soldiers and send them out to kill, maim, and destroy” type story, with Kenneth Chinran being an interesting character.  8/10

My boss gave me a book to read at work, “Quest for Cosmic Justice” by Thomas Sowell. In it basically he talks about how progressives believe “the ends justify all means,” to the detriment to reality and our country.  If you’ve never read any Sowell, he is very concise and powerful in his language.  Good stuff.  9/10

I also read “Von Neuman’s War,” by John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor.  Pretty standard “alien robots attack earth and at the last minute we discover how to stop them” type SciFi.  Has some entertaining scenes with rocket scientists.  8/10

Here is the first book I’ve read on my Kindle, from the Baen Free Library, and the first book in Micheal Z. Williamson’s universe: “Freehold.”  I think I liked this one the best out of all of the books I read by him.  It covers quite a bit about the Freehold’s politics and culture, and how the war between the UN and the Freehold, talked about in “The Weapon,” went on Grainne.  Some good Libertarian SciFi right there.  10/10

I also ought to add C.H. Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” devotional.  It has a very good little sermon for you every morning and evening, as the title implies.  Spurgeon was an amazing speaker and writer, with a very interesting history.  Most excellent, I give it a 10/10.

There you go.  14 more books to add to the count.  Hmmm… what should I read next?

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