Monday, December 11, 2023

Best Books Read in 2023

I had a goal of reading 50 books this year, and I hit that goal by October. Now that it's December, I thought I'd mention some of my favorites from those 50+.

Four short story collections stood out for me this year. Those were:
In A Lonely Place by Karl Edward Wagner
Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson
Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
Riding the Nightmare by Lisa Tuttle

In the general fiction/novel category, I had three favorites:
The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession
The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura

In the mystery/thriller genre, I also had three favorites:
The Pigeon by David Gordon
How Can I Help You by Laura Sims
Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly

Four non-fiction books were among my favorites:
Stranger in the Woods - Michael Finkel
The Art Thief by Michael Finkel
Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing - Robert Wolff
Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle - Daniel L. Everett

Kick the Latch by Kathryn Scanlan

My Favorite Albums of 2023

This is probably my last year assembling a list like this, because nobody needs a 50 year old listing off their favorite albums of the year. Who cares really? I didn't even care that much this year, however, I did keep a playlist going during 2023 and whenever something caught my ear I would add it to the playlist. Upon review of that playlist today, I really only see nine that I can say were legitimate favorites. Here they are in the order they were added to that list.

The Necks - Travel

U2 - Songs of Surrender

Circles Around the Sun - Language

Arbor Labor Union - Yonder

Leftover Salmon - Grass Roots

Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer, and Rakesh Chaurasia - As We Speak

John "Jojo" Hermann - It's Complicated

Idris Ackamoor and the Pyramids - Afro Futuristic Dreams

Oteil Burbridge - Lovely View of Heaven

I can't say that I have a clear overall favorite out of this group. Any one of the nine at a certain point could have been the front runner. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Books Read November 2023

Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly (11/13)

A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand (11/27)

Note: I only finished two books in November, my lowest monthly tally of 2023. I did start and abandon two other books, so it was almost four. I read most of Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror, Edited by Jordan Peele but I skipped too many stories for it to fully count. And I also got about two-thirds of the way through the new John Scalzi book Starter Villain but it was so terrible that I had to just stop. I've met my quota for the year anyway so I devoted what would have been some reading time to banjo playing time instead!