Twitter: raymondcamden

Address: Lafayette, LA, USA

My 2013 Reading List

12-30-2013 4,069 views Books 5 Comments

This is the year I finally stopped using Bagcheck, which is a good thing since it died earlier this year. I switched over to, which is OK, but frankly, I'm not terribly interested in the social aspects of the site. I like tracking what I've read and what I thought about what I read, but I don't necessarily care to track what others are reading. I do like getting recommendations, but my queue of books (thanks to folks who hit my wishlist) has provided me with reading material over the past few years. Anyway, for folks who may be curious, here is my list from 2013. I've got a few thoughts at the end.

Raymond's 2013 Bookshelf

Star Wars: Scoundrels
2 of 5 stars
Disappointing. Pretty much "Oceans 11" in Star Wars, which sounds cool, but wasn't.
Learning Kendo UI Web Development
1 of 5 stars
Don't buy it. Period. Kendo UI looks very damn cool. But this book has too many issues.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
5 of 5 stars
Wonderful book. Probably the best this year.
Dragon America
3 of 5 stars
Disappointing. Interesting concept - but boring execution.
4 of 5 stars
The story was... decent. Good, but not great. But the magic system was *incredible*. The design was very reminiscent of programming.
5 of 5 stars
Read this on the plane. Holy crap was it good. Amazing story - amazing art - so happy I picked this up.
On Writing
5 of 5 stars
Can't believe I took so long to read this.
It's Superman!
4 of 5 stars
Darn good book. I was really surprised by this and wish I had read it sooner.
Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections
4 of 5 stars
Loved it - but was disappointed by the lack of pictures. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but seriously, when discussing airline logos (and yes, I think that's interesting) it seems silly to not actually *show* them. Ditto for various plane...

Overall, this was a year of disappointments. I had some bad luck this year in my choices. As an example, I almost never reread old books (again, I've got too much new stuff to read!) but I made an exception for The Dungeon series. I had fond memories of it from when I was a teenager. It was ok for the first 5 books, but the last book was so horrible it made me want to throw the books away. I was also really disappointed by "Scoundrels". It had everything going for it - a crime-centered Star Wars book - but failed to deliver. I guess it isn't fair to say it was a bad year, it just seems like I read more bad books this year then I have in the past.

It wasn't all bad of course. Neil Gaiman's book was good - and I wasn't surprised at all by that - but I forget just how damn good he is. I was also very impressed with King's Wasteland book, "The Wind Through the Keyhole." I loved the Wasteland series in general and was happy for the opportunity to return to that world. Overall the biggest surprise was "It's Superman!", a novelization of the Superman story. This book had probably been on my shelf for over a year and I wished I had read it sooner.


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  • RogerTheGeek #
    Commented on 12-30-2013 at 9:51 AM
    I'm okay with Goodreads and I hope it doesn't implode since I have so much information on there. I don't use the social media aspect too much.

    I have several of the books in my stack "to read". I look forward to the Gaiman book. I joined a couple book clubs so some of my reading has been books I wouldn't have considered. This was the point of joining since most of my reading had started to be non fiction scientific books, many on infectious diseases. I started reading more classics for one of the clubs which has been good for me.

    I don't read enough now since I've joined a lot of meetups, but I'm getting back to it over time. Thanks for the list. I'm going to explore some of them.
  • Nick Collins #
    Commented on 12-30-2013 at 10:24 AM
    Ray, for 2014 you should read Kingmaker, by Christian Cantrell. It is an incredible novel, and it's being optioned to be made into a film (by the producer of 300 no less) is well deserved.
  • Commented on 12-30-2013 at 10:43 AM
    I've been meaning to read one of his books. I've known Christian for years.
  • Nick Collins #
    Commented on 12-30-2013 at 10:56 AM
    Containment is awesome as well. IMHO every bit as good as Clarke, Heinlein, or Asimov. My only complaint is that his Adobe job gets in the way of him writing more! :-)
  • Commented on 12-31-2013 at 11:38 AM
    By the way, when I posted this I had only read a few pages of The Family Trade. I'm about half way through now and love it. Very surprised.