For 2013, I set a goal to read more for pleasure. This meant reading a lot more fiction. I read a lot every day due to work. However, these tend to be technical articles or blog posts. I also set a goal to read more of the top rated science fiction novels that have been written. Basically, I hit several lists and picked books to explore.
Here’s my list, with a bit of arbitrary groupings. Links are to Amazon in case any catch your fancy.
The Sword of Truth Series
On a recommendation from a friend, I delved into the first four books of the Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind. They are excellent novels that I enjoyed greatly. The series continues and I hope to read more in 2014.
- Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1)
- Stone of Tears (The Sword of Truth #2)
- Blood of the Fold (Sword of Truth, Book 3)
- Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth, Book 4)
The Hunger Games Series
I read the series and then happened on the Japanese movie Battle Royale and was struck with the similarities. I can see why some folks hated this series at the end: it doesn’t have that Hollywood happy ending. However, given the events during the course of the series, I certainly expected how things turned out.
The Saxon Chronicles
I love Bernard Cornwell as an author. I had read The Last Kingdom during 2012 and wanted to get closer to completing the books he has written thus far in this series.
- The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Chronicles Series #2)
- Lords of the North: A Novel (Saxon Chronicles #3)
Richard Sharpe’s Adventure Series
Another Bernard Cornwell series, this one follows Richard Sharpe through the Napoleonic War. I happened upon 12 books at a used book store, recognized the author, and grabbed the books. It was a great investment. However, I found it at the end of the year, so I’ve not had time to get through the books I have. The series wasn’t written chronologically, and I’m going based on the Penguin Books numbering. If you want to read them chronologically, check at Mr. Cornwell’s site.
- Sharpe’s Rifles (Richard Sharpe’s Adventure Series #1)
- Sharpe’s Eagle (Richard Sharpe’s Adventure Series #8)
The Earthsea Cycle
The first book began as an experiment by Ursula K. Le Guin to see if she could write for the youth age group. Needless to say, she was successful. Again, another series I have started and look forward to reading more of.
- A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle)
- The Tombs of Atuan (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 2)
- The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 3)
Chronicles of The Black Company
Glenn Cook was on a lot of science fiction/fantasy lists for his Black Company series. The first two books are definitely grim and gritty. I’ll likely be completing the series in 2014.
- The Black Company (Chronicles of The Black Company #1)
- Shadows Linger: A Novel of the Black Company (Chronicles of The Black Company #2)
The Dresden Files
I originally ran across the SyFy channel series on Netflix and it hooked my interest. Knowing the books are usually better (and different) from their screen adaptations, I began reading Jim Butcher’s series.
- Storm Front (Dresden Files)
- Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
- Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3)
The Forever Series
There are three books in the series by Joe Haldeman, however, the second one is set in the universe of the other two but isn’t directly connected. I really enjoyed The Forever War. I thought the way Mr. Haldeman ended Forever Peace was a bit contrived.
Other Fantasy/Science Fiction Books
These are in no particular order. Some are part of a series (The White Dragon and Stormdancer, for instance), however, I only read one book of that series in 2013. Many came from those top lists.
- Ruins (Pathfinder) by Orson Scott Card
- The White Dragon (Dragonriders of Pern Vol 3) by Anne McCaffrey
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Other Fiction Books
I read (or re-read) some of these because they are considered classics. Others just struck my fancy or were recommended by a friend or family member.
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) by Jay Kristoff
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Steward
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Personal Development Books
Given that I follow a lot of blogs, I didn’t do as much reading in this area in 2013.
- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
- Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden
- The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast! by Josh Kaufman
- Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins
- Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
- The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
- Doctrine of Prayer by T.W. Hunt
- Disciplines of a Godly Man (Paperback Edition) by R. Kent Hughes
I received this one for review. It’s an excellent book if you administer Microsoft SQL Server.
- SQL Server Transaction Log Management by Tony Davis and Gail Shaw