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7/ The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers. The tedious Lord Peter mystery – focused on a very boring plot, little in terms of dialogue and characters. Only people fishing and painting, forever.

8/ Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers. I went on a bit of a mystery streak here. This one is mostly character building for Peter and Harriet and their interactions. Good to read through a historian's lens, because holy gender role batman.

9/ The Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clarke. A calm, optimistic story of the last humans leaving Earth, visiting another human settlement. Infuriatingly it left out everything I wanted to hear more about, and was lovely nevertheless.

10/ Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler. Short story that could not be more Octavia Butler: Aliens and humans being wildly different, but cohabitating, in a functional yet gross way.

11/ Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Excellent dystopian storytelling. Not loud, not ostentatious, not yelling "THIS IS A DYSTOPIA, GETIT?!". Strong narration, slow burn. Didn't feel depressing despite the bleak theme.

12/ Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire. I want to like the Wayward Children series more than I actually like them. This one felt just a bit too formulaic, too quippy, too designed to be quotable.

13/ Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher. Excuse me, a ninja assassin and an anti-stereotype paladin? Light cost, but fun, with good dialogue and more than decent characters in a well-rounded world and an extremely over-the-top plot.

14/ How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. I didn't finish this book. Extreme tech pessimism ("kids these days don't talk to each other" basically) is not something I'm ever in the mood for.

15/ Hangman's Holiday: A Collection of Short Mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers. Short story collection. Very mixed bag, rather skippable.

16/ SSH Mastery: OpenSSH, PuTTY, Tunnels and Keys by Michael W. Lucas. Teaches both implicit cultural knowledge and exciting obscure details about OpenSSH in a concise and fun way. I rewrote many configs after reading this.

17/ Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. Objectively, this book is around 3.5-4 stars, but the romance broke my heart and the banter moved me to tears. 5/5, and I probably won't shut up about this one for a while.

18/ Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey. Another easy 5/5 rating. There's no way I can describe this book without spoilers, so I'll just say that despite all odds and fears, the Expanse series just keeps improving.

19/ Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers. At some point, Dorothy Sayers figured out that her forte was characters and dialogue, not plot, and this book delivers. It's a honeymoon with a murder, and who even cares about plot beyond that.

20/ A Time to Reap by Lynne M. Thomas. Very solid time travel short story, probably even better for people from the rural US. Extremely strong on the atmosphere.

21/ For He Can Creep by Siobhan Carroll. This short story is for the cat lovers. Lovingly combining stereotypes and then going just a bit beyond.

22/ I (28M) created a deepfake girlfriend and now my parents think we’re getting married by Fonda Lee. Exactly what's on the tin.

23/ Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Hm. The first third was slow and muddled, and while it got MUCH better, it feels like Grimdark Flippant Protagonist no 23 has been done to death. It's a good setting, but setting isn't everything.

24/ Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker. Says a lot of true things. Not immediately useful for me, but still recommended if you want to learn about cPTSD/PTSD/trauma.

25/ Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Gay Men's Dress in the Twentieth Century by Shaun Cole. This book is a treasure. It explores gay history and culture by following clothing trends from Oscar Wilde to the 90s. Easy to read, well-sourced, incredibly in-depth.

26/ The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff. Really good setting. That's it, that was the good part. Apart from that, strong 60s sexism, blatant propaganda, self-insert hero. Not my kind of thing.

27/ Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh. Fairytale-style romance, very English. I enjoyed the (queer) characters and the writing, even though the standard hurt/comfort arc was maybe a little low on substance.

28/ Striding Folly by Dorothy L. Sayers. Three short stories. One fun, one meh, one whatever. Worth it for the fun one only if you're already invested in the universe.

29/ The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Fun, well-written Fantasy with strong characters and actual development. A bit predictable maybe, but the setting and writing make up for it.

30/ To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. As good as advertised – even a bit better, it's in part targeted at people who had their heart broken by Gaudy Night, which I read just two weeks earlier. Dry humour, real characters and delightful banter.

31/ The Hierophant's Daughter by M.F. Sullivan. Dystopian cannibal vampires. Stopped reading a third of the way in due to the mix of unsympathetic characters, bleakness, and sudden infodumps.

32/ A Study in Winning by Jupiter_Ash. A Sherlock Holmes fanfic in … current day competitive tennis? I was following a personal recommendation and while it was formulaic, it executed the formula well.

33/ A Study in Doubles by Jupiter_Ash. I'm still confused about competitive tennis Sherlock Holmes, but apparently it worked well enough to read the second part.

34/ FINDING HIMSELF by Minisinoo. Still on a fanfic binge. Decent Harry Potter fanfic where Harry is not an idiot all the time. Might've been good if it hadn't clung to the romance arc.

35/ Digging for the Bones by paganaidd. Fanfic's like junk food. It's not great, but it's food, it's easily accessible, and it's easy to start a habit. This one's not bad, I just wish I'd space them out a bit.

36/ A Year Like None Other by Aspen in the Sunlight. Reading more recommended fan fiction. This one is interesting because of the absurd amount of words spent on processing emotions, as if balancing several lives of repression.

37/ A Summer Like None Other by Aspen in the Sunlight. Like the previous part, only that it doubles down on the excessive processing in unprecedented ways. Is this going somewhere?

38/ The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein. I found my way back to real books, and what a relief! Excellent characters and worldbuilding, an eye for details, okay plot. Loved the mostly-female order of scientific truth seekers in a Fantasy world.

39/ A Family Like None Other by aspeninthesunlight. Indulged and finished the series. No, it was not going anywhere.

40/ Harleen by Stjepan Šejić. I don't tend to read graphical novels, but Stjepan Šejić is brilliant and this story of Harley Quinn is extremely well done – both the artwork and the story itself.

41/ Get Together: How to build a community with your people by Bailey Richardson. Not what I expected – it's focused on "communities" for corporate entities. Contains impressive collection of examples, but only positive ones, so yay for survivor bias.

42/ The Just City by Jo Walton. Plato fanfic gently mocking the Republic for being unrealistic. Ironically felt very cerebral, nearly clinical, and I wanted to like it more than I actually liked it.

43/ The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi. Excellent content semi-obscured behind impressive degrees of obnoxious writing. Punchable, yet useful. One of the most important books to me this year.

44/ All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks. This was me reading up on bell hooks. I'd have guessed a much earlier publication date. Good discussion of oppressive structures, but I did some heavy skipping around the Jesus parts.

45/ Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. The Ursula K. le Guin rendition of the Tao Te Ching was an excellent read.


46/ How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method by George Pólya. Good first 10%, and then more good advice hidden among neverending examples.

47/ The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. Surprise Zen book! Excellent insight into dealng well with competitive situations. Also, good cues for anything that's a physical activity.

48/ Where Good Ideas Come from by Steven Johnson. tl;dr: Be playful, be prolific, facilitate accidents and clashes. Full with anecdotes that make no good arguments for the points the book tries to make, but are very enjoyable regardless.

49/ Gavroche by Victor Hugo. The Gavroche story extracted from Les Misérables. Nice read, as much as Hugo can ever be nice.

50/ The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. I had not expected to find a perfect description of startup culture, but here we are. Very readable and clarified some terms, like reactionary vs conservative socialism.

51/ If This Is a Man by Primo Levi. First-hand account of a year in Auschwitz. Nothing else to say: It is as painful as it is necessary.

52/ Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson. Some good advice, particularly if you are not interested in dating women. Less good for the target group. Take care not to get the first edition, please.

53/ The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller. Good points about the dangers of metrics (particularly targeting metrics), tediously made.

54/ Descartes' Error by António R. Damásio. Not so groundbreaking now as it was 25 years ago when it was publised, but still a solid overview over the role of emotions in human thinking and reasoning.

55/ Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch. Comprehensive and pleasant study of internet linguistics. The details about our very own inter-generational communications problems are notable and noted.

56/ A Tall Tail by Charles Stross. Short story, showing off chemistry knowledge the way Umberto Eco shows off literature knowledge.

57/ The Reawakening by Primo Levi. His way home after the end of WW2, from Auschwitz to Italy. So matter-of-fact it reads as deadpan in a Europe that consists only of leftovers and confusion.

58/ The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett. An adorable Discworld book, really. As Ankh-Morpork adventures go, definitely better than some of the very early ones.

59/ Second Person, Present Tense by Daryl Gregory. Brilliant short story, available online. Cuts off rudely instead of being a book, making it no less brilliant. Very technically a zombie story.

60/ A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer. Excellent comfort food. Fantasy romance with gender role inversion – think regency meets wild west. Intelligent inversion, with all kinds of social adjustments. Hilarious even if you are not into romance.

61/ The Door Into Shadow by Diane Duane. Brutal second part, but in a good way. Extremely good character-building for the protagonists, and not grim or depressing despite the unrelenting plot.

@rixx I don't often click on stories people like to on Mastodon or anywhere else. I did with this one a while back, when you first mentioned it and gods I'm glad I did! Loved it! Thanks for recommending it!

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