Here are my best reads in English during 2013. It was a really good year for quality, though I didn’t read very much: 41 books, twelve of which were e-books. The latter number was boosted by the Humble E-Book Bundle that I bought at Junior’s recommendation (sadly no longer up for sale). Find me at Goodreads!
- Pirate Cinema. Cory Doctorow 2012. A fun, engaging and optimistic piece of polemic fiction, slightly preachy in parts, about the social and artistic consequences of intellectual property law.
- Old Man’s War. John Scalzi 2005. Energetic co-ed military sf.
- Stiff. The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Mary Roach 2003. Excellent non-fic about the things our remains go through after death.
- Stories of Your Life and Others. Ted Chiang 2002. Short stories: idea-based scifi.
- Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Carl Sagan 1997. Interesting and, again, just a little preachy.
- Elves in Anglo-Saxon England. Alaric Hall 2007. What did they actually believe about elves and how did it change over time?
- The Best of Saki. 1950. Short stories: misantropic, perceptive, elegant.
- The Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham, vol. 2. 1951. Short stories: empathic, humorous, elegant.
- Dagon and Other Macabre Tales. Howard P. Lovecraft 1939. Short stories: horror and Dunsanian fantasy, most of it great, some of it silly.
- Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World. Nicholas Ostler 2006. Magisterial on the political history of not empires, not states, not nations – but of languages.
- Dangerous Visions. Ed. Harlan Ellison 1967. Short stories: ambitious and edgy sf.
Dear Reader, what were your best reads of the year?
Here’s my list for 2012.