65/ Way Station by Clifford D. Simak. Published in 1963, the story of Earth as one of many way stations in a galactic transport network, and also commentary on the Cold War. Aged well.
67/ Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling. Fantasy novel somewhere between "solid" and "excellent". Well-done apprenticeship-to-the-mysterious-spy story with vivid characters and a great world.
68/ Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. St Mary masks as a history institute, but does time travel. Very fun popcorn read.
70/ With the Lightnings by David Drake. Navy swashbuckling, but in space, with a touch of Lord Peter Wimsey. Lots of fun, and only the first part of a long series.
71/ Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling. Great second book in the Nightrunner series, but with some serious yikes thrown in.
72/ Traitor's Moon by Lynn Flewelling. The series continues to be good fantasy, and earnestly inclusive – but it's uneasy about its inclusivity, disappointingly.
73/ Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling. This is where I stop reading the Nightrunner series. The protagonists are kidnapped by NOT AT ALL ARABS who proceed to torture them for the rest of the book, until they escape.
74/ The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs. Excellent, classic book on how cities come to be, neatly paired with a small history of invention.
75/ Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel by Frances Gies, Joseph Gies. The best history book I've ever read, going into dense detail about technology and inventions in the Middle Ages. I'm in love to the point of taking excessive notes.
76/ A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles. More gay magical Victorian mystery shenanigans – the charm of the first part has worn off a little, but still good as a comfort read.
78/ Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones. Diana Wynne Jones just always delivers great family dynamics. Nice YA book.
79/ The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. What's there to say? The book is a giant pretentious nerd trap and I enjoy pretty much everything about it. Re-read.
81/ Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko. Excellent, dark book about a depressing magic college in Russia. Extremely strong on the vibes and worldbuilding; enough to forgive the sometimes rough translation.
82/ Das Jesus Video by Andreas Eschbach. Wannabe Dan Brown trash.
83/ The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. YA about teenagers forced to live in Faerie. Good setting, lame execution; predictable and flat.
84/ Running on Empty by Jonice Webb, Christine Musello. Despite its overly sweeping approach a decent, practical book for people with problems getting in touch with their emotions.
85/ Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell. Excellent adventure story set just before the Trojan war.
86/ The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. Djinn and more during the Napoleonic wars in Egypt. Very flat despite the interesting setting – plot devices getting pushed through exposition blocks on a great stage.
87/ The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz. Short, sweet queer sci-fi romance about a world where the last humanoid robots live out their life.
88/ Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I like Andy Weir and the Martian as much as the next nerd, but please take away his dialogue writing rights. (The competency porn is great as always, though.)
89/ A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark. Steampunk with new living gods and everything, set in 1910s Egypt. Great worldbuilding, mediocre writing and story, overall an enjoyable read.
90/ The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. She sure likes writing outsiders from human society – this time winged shapeshifters. Not as compelling as I had hoped.
91/ Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone. I love Gladstone in all his forms usually, but this wasn't it.
92/ Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals by BitterKarella. First of the Kickstarter prints of the Midnight Society threads, sadly not very good to the point that reading them on Twitter is better.
93/ Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Pals II by BitterKarella. More of the same. Still glad I supported the Kickstarter, because I love the account, but.
95/ Gender Euphoria by Laura Kate Dale. Mildly underwhelming collection of essays. Might have been better if the editor hadn't written 11 out of 29 herself.
96/ God's Philosophers by James Hannam. I'm very much into the subject, and still didn't manage to finish this book.
97/ The Lost Books of The Odyssey by Zachary Mason. Excellent and enjoyable short story collection with surprising variations on the Odyssey.
98/ Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone. I continue to love the Craft series. Even more impressive considering that I usually hate everything that touches economics, yes, even if Pratchett writes it.
99/ Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern. If you need a comic book to make fun of Lord Byron, this is for you.
100/ Psyche, du kleiner Schlingel by kriegundfreitag. kriegundfreitag comics as a book. You know if it's something you'll like – though they are way more depressing when reading them in a row.
103/ Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. Princess doesn't like princess stuff, runs away to live with a dragon. Extremely Diana Wynne Jones vibes.
104/ The Girl Who Was Plugged In by James Tiptree Jr.. Early scifi, brutal and dark and very, very meta. James Tiptree Jr predicted influencers in a world without advertising, and oof. I'm into the writing.
105/ The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. Worse than hoped, better than expected, worse than the game, better than the series - the Witcher has it all.
106/ A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske. What is it with fantasy novels about gay lower-class magicians in Victorian England falling for non-magical nobility? Because this is the third of them that I've read, not that I'm complaining.
107/ The Book Nobody Read by Owen Gingerich. Professor travels all over the world to see all extant first and second editions of De Revolutionibus. Depending on your tolerance levels, a collection of neat anecdotes or annoying brags.
108/ The Limits of Organization by Kenneth J. Arrow. After two attempts to read this book, I've concluded that my brain isn't sufficiently economist-shaped for this book.
109/ Beowulf by Maria Dahvana Headley. Modern Beowulf translation. Nowhere near Logue, but still entertaining.
110/ The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel. Not quite Vorkosigan, but closer than anything else I've read.
111/ A Kiss With Teeth by Max Gladstone. Short story – sweet, badass, forgettable.
112/ An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock. Dumas meets Dune in a steampunk world. You'll know if that's for you (it wasn't for me).
115/ Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. One of my favourite recent sci-fi books. Re-read to prepare to read the last part of the series.
116/ Last First Snow by Max Gladstone. Weaker than the other Craft books, despite having characters who are more fun. Fantasy-econ take on gentrification, huh?
And that's it! I'll add some more stuff just for logging purposes, closing out at 120 things read this year.
It's been fun doing this in public, but I'll take the size of my backlog towards the end of the year as a sign that I should stop posting my reviews to social media.
I'll continue writing them, though – so you can follow my RSS feed at https://books.rixx.de/, and if there's interest, I guess I can set up a bot to post here (?)
oh, right, I also made a "year in books"-style site, which highlights my 5⭐ reads. Not too many of them, sadly, and most of them re-reads. But a decent number of four-star reads, I just wasn't capable of a lot of enthusiasm this year. https://books.rixx.de/reviews/2021/stats/
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