Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Book Review Index

Since I bother to rate my enthusiasm for the books I review, it will be helpful to both of my readers to get a feel of my tastes. Here's the index since 2004, when I started keeping it. I omitted books that I either couldn't remember well enough or reviewed too poorly to re-grade. I also omitted most of anthologized shorts, and all of the world-events and opinion stuff I read when I am supposed to be working (and of course the technical stuff I read when I actually am working).

The grades reflect my subjective enjoyment more than any objective evaluation. (How else to explain how Conrad did so poorly? Tuan Jim just didn't have the snappy move-along plot I needed at the beach that summer.) The grades may seem to be on a curve, but I think that's less due to inflation and more to my care in choosing reading material.

  • Anderson, Poul Operation Chaos (B)
  • Bellairs, John, The Face in the Frost (B+)
  • Benford, Gregory Cosm (A)
  • Blake, Katharine The Interior Life (B)
  • Blish, James A Case of Conscience (A)
  • Bourdain, Anthony, Kitchen Confidential (B)
  • Brown, Dan Angels and Demons (C+)
  • Bujold, Lois McMaster Diplomatic Immunity (A-)
  • Carroll, Jonathon After Silence (A)
  • Carroll, Jonathon Sleeping in Flame (B+)
  • Chabon, Michael The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (A+)
  • Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood's End (B)
  • Clarke, Arthur C. Rendezvous with Rama (B)
  • Coatzee, J. M., Elizabeth Costello (A)
  • Conrad, Joseph Lord Jim (B)
  • Dahl, Roald The Roald Dahl Omnibus (B-)
  • Davies, Robertson, The Rebel Angels (A)
  • Daniel, Tony Superluminal (B+)
  • Dean, Pamela The Secret Country (B+)
  • Dean, Pamela The Hidden Land (B)
  • Dean, Pamela The Whim of the Dragon (B+)
  • DeLillo, Don Underworld (B+)
  • Eco, Umberto Baudolino (C)
  • Friesner, Esther Wishing Season (C+)
  • Gaiman, Neil Anansi Boys (A)
  • Gibson, William Idoru (B+)
  • Gibson, William Pattern Recognition (B+)
  • Gibson, William Neuromancer (B)
  • Goldman, Willian, The Princess Bride
  • Greene, Brian The Elegant Universe (B)
  • Greene, Graham The Power and the Glory (A)
  • Harris, Bob Prisoner of Trebekistan (B+)
  • Helprin, Mark Winter's Tale (A-)
  • Holman, Sheri The Dress Lodger (A-)
  • Juster, Norton The Phantom Tollbooth (A+)
  • Kay, Guy Gavriel The Last Light of the Sun (A+)
  • King, Stephen Wolves of the Calla (A-)
  • King, Stephen Song of Susannah (B+)
  • King, Stephen The Dark Tower (B+)
  • Kushner, Ellen Swordspoint (B+)
  • LeGuin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed (A)
  • LeGuin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness (A)
  • LeGuin, Ursula K. The Telling (A-)
  • Levitt, Steven and Stephen Dubner Freakonomics (B+)
  • Lieber, Fritz The Big Time (B+)
  • McCarthy, Cormac The Road (A)
  • McEwan, Ian Saturday (B)
  • Mirrlees, Hope Lud in the Mist (A-)
  • Morrow, JamesTowing Jehovah (B+)
  • Nafisi, Azar Reading Lolita in Tehran (A-)
  • Noon, Jeff Vurt (B+)
  • O'Connor, Edwin The Last Hurrah (A)
  • Park, Paul Celestis (B+)
  • Park, Paul Soldiers of Paradise (A)
  • Patterson, James and Andrew Gross The Jester (C)
  • Powers, Richard, The Echo Maker (A-)
  • Powers, Tim The Drawing of the Dark (B)
  • Powers, Tim Declare (A)
  • Powers, Tim Last Call (A+)
  • Pratchett, Terry Maskerade (B)
  • Pratchett, Terry Soul Music (B-)
  • Pratchett, Terry The Wee Free Men
  • Pressfield, Steven, Gates of Fire (B)
  • Priest, Christopher The Separation (A)
  • Robbins, Tom Jitterbug Perfume (B+)
  • Roberts, Keith Pavane (B+)
  • Ryman, Geoff Air (A)
  • Saberhagen, Fred The Berserker Throne (B)
  • Stephenson, Neal Zodiac (A-)
  • Stephenson, Neal Snow Crash (A)
  • Stephenson, Neal Cryptonomicon (A)
  • Stephenson, Neal The Diamond Age (A-)
  • Stewart, Jon Naked Pictures of Famous People (B)
  • Stewart, Sean The Night Watch (B+)
  • Swanwick, Michael Bones of the Earth (B)
  • Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace (A)
  • Twain, Mark Letters from the Earth (B)
  • Varley, John The Golden Globe (A+)
  • Varley, John Millenium (B-)
  • Vinge, Vernor Across Realtime (A-)
  • Vinge, Vernor Rainbows End (B+)
  • Vinge, Vernor Tatja Grimm's World (C+)
  • Vonnegut, Kurt Cat's Cradle (A-)
  • Vonnegut, Kurt Jailbird (A-)
  • Westlake, Donald E. Bad News (B+)
  • Westlake, Donald E. Drowned Hopes (B)
  • Williams, Walter Jon City on Fire (B+)
  • Wilson, Robert Charles Blind Lake (A)
  • Wilson, Robert Charles The Harvest (B+)
  • Wilson, Robert Charles Spin (A+)
  • Wolfe, Gene The Knight (A-)
  • Wolfe, Gene The Wizard (A)
  • Wolfe, Gene Nightside of the Long Sun (A)
  • Wolfe, Gene Lake of the Long Sun (A)
  • Wolfe, Gene Calde of the Long Sun (B+)
  • Wolfe, Gene Exodus from the Long Sun (A)
  • Wolfe, Gene On Blue's Waters (A)
  • Wolfe, Gene In Green's Jungles (B)
  • Wolfe, Gene Return to the Whorl (A)
  • Wolfe, Gene Soldier of Sidon (A)
  • Zelazney, Roger Changeling (D)
  • Zelazney, Roger Damnation Alley (C-)


    twiffer said...

    thanks. some i've read, and your appreciation of le guin inclines me to trust your taste (not that i didn't before, you own writing also does that). is the telling one of her earthsea books? i haven't read any of those.

    also, your link to my blog is fucked. just an fyi.

    Keifus said...

    I like LeGuin the more I read her (though I thought Earthsea was lame). Tried to figure her M.O. at one point, and it's like she plays subtle "what-if" games with human nature. Which is a cool thing.

    The Telling is in the same group of stories as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, but it's a loose association.

    Fixed the link. Also, will have more stuff up within a week.


    twiffer said...

    haven't seen it, but i will check it out.

    i think her writing is very influenced by her father's work (thomas leguin, famous anthropologist). the hallmark of this would be always coming home, but there is that aspect of studying different human (or hainish, if you wish) cultures and how they react to the same conflicts.