As you might be aware, I read 201 books in 2013. That’s a lot of books, and while I think I did respectably in keeping my average-pages-per-book number high, I’m kinda tired of reading short books right now. I don’t plan on hitting half of the number of books read for the year in 2014 that I did in 2013. What I do plan on doing is reading long shit. And series. Lots and lots of series fiction. Here’s some stuff on the list for this year:
First plan: read the entire Wheel of Time series. The final volume finally came out in paperback, so this is actually possible now. Note that I’ve only read about half of these; I did those all at a gulp and then realized just how much Jordan still planned to write and stopped, and then Jordan died, and Brandon Sanderson finally finished the series. I’m going to start these pretty soon, actually.
Speaking of Brandon Sanderson, now that he’s done with Robert Jordan’s twenty-book megaseries, he’s got time to go back and work on his own. The second volume of The Stormlight Archive comes out in… March, I think? So I’ve got until then to reread the first book.
The third volume of Robert Durling’s magnificent translation of The Divine Comedy finally came out in paperback in December, which means that I can finally finish reading it. This isn’t as intimidating as it looks; there’s a lot of endnotes and backmatter and such so these aren’t as big reads as they seem to be initially. On the other hand…
Michael Burlingame’s Abraham Lincoln: A Life cost my mother something like a hundred bucks when she bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago, and I haven’t read it yet– mostly because I can’t figure out how to hold the big sumbitch to read it. I will be fixing that this year if I have to invest in a lap desk to do it.
Speaking of books with bible-thin pages…
Yeah, I know, fuck Ayn Rand. But I’ve got a bunch of her books in this neat Centennial Edition on a shelf together, and I got through everything but Atlas Shrugged before deciding I was done reading books by dumb crazy people, and it’s been sitting on the shelf mocking me ever since. Over a thousand pages, maybe six-point font. I’m coming for you, goddammit.
And after that, a palate cleanser:
Disney has decided now that they own the Star Wars license that none of the books that are set in the future of the movies matter any more. That’s… rather upsetting to those of us who have been reading them forever. This is the New Jedi Order series. That’s not all of them— there are a couple of never-made-it-to-print ebooks and I own the very last volume in hardcover because I was too impatient to wait for paperback. I can read a Star Wars book in a day, though, so this isn’t the time investment it looks like.
Kevin J. Anderson’s Saga of Seven Suns is the best science fiction maxi-series that you’ve never heard of; he keeps ratcheting up the tension and making you think that there’s no way the human race is going to survive the latest bit of terror he’s thrown at it and then he throws a monkey wrench into his entire series. Lather, rinse, repeat. Great action and drama and the plot just keeps twisting and turning throughout the entire series. Plus they make a pleasing orange block when shelved together. I haven’t reread this series; I think I’ll do that this year.
Oh, and this is my current unread shelf, which has gotten entirely out of control and is probably only going to get worse since I’m planning on doing so many rereads this year:
That Mencken collection in the middle, in particular, scares the hell out of me– it doesn’t look like much, but again with the bible-thin pages on those two books. It’ll take a while.
I almost put George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire on the reread list, but fuckit– A Dance with Dragons pissed me off so much that… well, who am I kidding, I’m not gonna not buy the next volume when it comes out, but I’ll scowl fiercely at it when I do. Take that, George R. R. Martin! Along with my money!
That reread can wait until the next book comes out, which will probably be sometime in the 2030s.