I had hoped to beat 2013’s total of 14 books, and am midway through two excellent ones, but both are slow-going, both because they’re fairly hefty reads during the holidays, and because I’m savoring them both: Tim Powers’ tour-de-force Declare, which melds World War II and Cold War espionage with genies and, from the looks of thing, Biblical apocrypha, and the incredibly comprehensive The Frood, a biography of Douglas Adams which includes many never-before-seen outtakes that never made it into the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy stories or other works. Both are fantastic reads and both are slow going.
Feb. 28: Top Secret America by Dana Priest
March 16: Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
May 28: Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
June 1: Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville by Gina Arnold
June 9: Doctor Who: Shada by Gareth Roberts and Douglas Adams
June 15: The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry
July 5: The Government Manual for New Pirates by Matthew David Brozik
July 31: The Radleys by Matt Haig
Aug. 25: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
Aug. 26: The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Sept. 23: Grimbeard Goes to Prison by Samwise Didier
Oct. 12: The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
Nov. 11: Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
Nov. 22: Skink–No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
Stay away from Last Kind Words Saloon, by the way. I’m not sure what McMurtry was going for there, but it reads like the old “be awful to you until you break up with me” maneuver and is all around unpleasant. Forget “not watering your plants while you’re away and letting them die” or “forgetting to pick you up at the airport” awful; we’re talking “I let your dog out of the house and it got hit by a car and died” awful. You’ve been warned.
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