Saturday, December 12, 2015

Alrightreads: Faves and worsties 2015



I read quite a lot of books this year. Here's probably what I thought about them, if we're going to pretend I'm capable of mentally juggling hundreds of books read over the course of a year in various moods and states of distraction and to put those into some kind of definitive ranking to find the most alright read of the year.

I've tried, anyway.


The most unexceptional, indifferent, middle-of-the-road, phoned-in, bill-paying, bland, watery, alright read of 2015 was:


183/365. Clive Barker, Galilee

1998 / Audiobook / 642 pages / UK

***

Clive Barker's weird books are understandably off-putting to many readers, but for me, an avid fan of his vile and/or mystical excesses, this was the greatest challenge of all: an American family saga. Alright, there are still some gods and demi-gods knocking about in these family trees, and smatterings of perversion here and there, but it's all extremely toned down and borderline normal. And long, and bloated. And just not really up my dark alley. Although, if it had been written 20 years earlier, I could see it making a decent early '80s US TV miniseries. We might have to cut the necrophilia.


Congratulations, you must be very proud.


Faves!


1. James Joyce, Ulysses

1920 / Audiobook / 783 pages / Ireland

*****

It's been called the book that people read to look intelligent rather than to actually enjoy, but it's so damn impressive, I don't even mind that a lot of it is (intentionally — how could it not be?) tedious and impenetrable. It certainly didn't have the effect of making me feel clever or worthy as I resorted to SparkNotes summaries to ground me before every chapter, like when I played through most of Monkey Island 2 with the walkthrough (for shame). So I didn't have the authentic bewildered experience, but since I'm a sucker for pompous literary parallels just for the sake of it (it helped that I read The Odyssey recently), I feel I got the maximum kick out of it. Anyway, sod off, those stream-of-consciousness sequences are probably the most realistic and intimate characterisation there's ever been. It's not my favourite novel ever, but it might be the best.


2. Robert A. Heinlein, The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein

1940-1958 (collected 1999) / Audiobook / 352 pages / USA

*****

This is two vintage collections of novellas and short stories taped together rather than a deliberate attempt at a greatest hits, but when you're dealing with the SF master, any random assortment is going to be steeped in classics. I still haven't read all that much Heinlein (update: I've read a few more now) – even less of his contemporaries – but despite this poor research, I'm still confident that he's the number one. And if he isn't, I've got even more to look forward to.

Faves: '"—And He Built a Crooked House,"' 'Waldo,' 'The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag,' '"—All You Zombies—"'

Worsties: That's not fair. I guess 'Magic, Inc.'


3. Robert Shearman, Remember Why You Fear Me: The Best Dark Fiction of Robert Shearman

2006-12 (collected 2012) / E-book / 400 pages / UK

*****

I knew Shearman could write smart, suspenseful and hilarious because of the handful of Doctor Who audio dramas he wrote in the early 2000s, which rank among the best of that entire canon. But until now, I didn't know he could be so brilliantly twisted too. In most of these terror tales he can't help himself from softening the blow with black humour, but a few of them go without. Those are the ones that are going to lurk in the memory. All the leading phobias are accounted for – theoretically, some of these stories could kill.

Faves: 'Damned If You Don’t,' 'Featherweight,' 'Granny’s Grinning.'

Worsties: 'So Proud,' 'One More Bloody Miracle After Another,' 'The Bathtub.'


4. Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveller

1979 / E-book / 260 pages / Italy

*****

The primary reason behind funny foreigners month, I'd really wanted to read this one for a while, but at the same time, really couldn't be bothered. It was every bit as brilliantly wanky and annoying as I'd hoped. I'm a strange man, but I'm well catered for.


5. Phaidon Press, The Art Book

1994 / E-art-book / 518 pages / UK

*****

If I knew much about art beyond works bastardised by Monty Python animations and compulsory trips to the Tate Modern every time I'm in London to be entertainingly annoyed by cheeky masterpieces, I'd probably denounce this book as over-simplistic. But it isn't patronising, and the decision made to present 500 artists in strict alphabetical order, each summed up by a single work, makes for an eclectic experience that blends centuries and styles and avoids the tedious problem of categorisation. Being almost entirely Western-centric, all those Madonnas, Jesuses and bearded saints do get repetitive though.

Faves: Bosch, other imaginative and detailed paintings.

Worsties: Slashed canvases and those ones that are just a colour. Yeah, well done. Clap, clap. Look how much effort the others have put in, you should be ashamed of yourselves.


Worsties!


365. Various Artists, Buster Book 1992

1991 / E-book / 96 pages / UK

*

- "I'll have to think of something quick."
- "Instant coffee?"

Somewhere between my loyal following of Turtles and Sonic comics (and probably parallel with Dinosaurs! magazine  who's the spoiled brat now?), Buster was my inexplicable comic of choice. Yeah, not your successful, mainstream Beano – a second-rate rip-off with less memorable characters, many of them based entirely on weak pun names that I didn't even get because I didn't grow up in the 60s. I don't remember any of these stories from the comics I had around this time, but they surely can't be the best of the year. And where the hell's Odd Ball? He was the only good one.

Faves: I always appreciated Chalky because he draws.

Worsties: Most of 'em.


364. Thomas H. Burgoyne, The Light of Egypt, Volume Two: The Science of the Stars

1889 / Audiobook / 144 pages / UK

*

It's not about Egypt all that much, but it was either this or The Stargate Conspiracy, and this pompous esoteric guide to astrology, alchemy, talismans and magic wands seemed the less crazy of the two. I'm not sure what I based that on.


363. Ricardo Barreiro and Francisco Solano López, Young Witches, Vol. 1

1993 / E-comics / 100 pages / Argentina

*

Alan Moore's Lost Girls introduced me to the no-holds-barred world of smutty graphic novels, and this is even more desperately perverse. I wouldn't like to know the sort of person who finds these enthusiastic renderings of myriad degrading taboos arousing. The plot is only slightly less weak than in real porn (I imagine).


362. Todd Downing, Mark Bruno, John Sullivan, Andrew Kenrick, Lee Hammock, Gavin Downing, Allan McComas and Samantha Downing, Red Dwarf: The Roleplaying Game

2002 / E-book / 179 pages / USA/UK

*

I never joined in with the roleplaying or table-top wargaming at high school. It all seemed much too social. But I've always enjoyed taking a look at the reference materials, with their fine-tuned worlds, exquisite artwork and incomprehensible charts. This one has the charts, but it's otherwise not the sort of thing you'd read for pleasure unless you're a recovering Red Dwarf obsessive who hasn't done so yet and who has the emotional resilience to withstand the worst type of fan fiction. You wouldn't actually want to play it, though it's not bad as a creative project. Apart from some bizarre racism.


361. Alexandra Horowitz, On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

2013 / Audiobook / 308 pages / USA

*

As someone who used to fill his leisure time with aimless walking back when this blog's title was actually relevant, I admire the intent behind this book, encouraging people to walk and pay attention to their surroundings. But this really is just someone describing their walks around the block, being rapturously amazed by the ordinary (that cover has been misleadingly Photoshopped; there's not one mention of a giant squirrel) and spinning off on tangents to briefly outline various matters of psychology, horticulture and other fields, because this has to stretch to 300 pages. This is a useful exercise to do for yourself as a writer, but not to bore other people with. You'll be telling us about your dreams next, or blogging about every single time you step outside... the... oh.


Resties!


*****

6. China Miéville, The City & the City

7. Junji Ito, Uzumaki

8. Arthur Machen, The Hill of Dreams

9. Harlan Ellison, The Voice from the Edge, Vol 1: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

10. Homer, The Odyssey

11. Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans, Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth

12. Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

13. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

14. Robert Sheckley, Dimension of Miracles

15. Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

16. Brian Greene, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

17. Carl Sagan, Cosmos

18. Christopher Manson, Maze: Solve the World's Most Challenging Puzzle

19. Jon Ronson, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

20. Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

21. Iain Banks, Walking on Glass

22. Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger, The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium

23. Robert Gendler ed, Capturing the Stars: Astrophotography by the Masters

24. Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog: or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

25. Ryan North (and George Gipe), B^F: The Novelization of the Feature Film

****

26. Jorge Luis Borges, Fictions

27. Robert A. Heinlein, The Menace from Earth

28. Steve Aylett, Lint

29. Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

30. Dan Simmons, The Terror

31. Pitchfork Media, The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present

32. Alan Moore, Garry Leach and Alan Davis, Miracleman, Vol. 1: A Dream of Flying

33. Clive Barker, Imajica

34. China Miéville, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories

35. René Daumal, Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing

36. Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

37. Luigi Serafini, Codex Seraphinianus

38. J. G. Ballard, Vermilion Sands

39. Woody Allen, Side Effects

40. Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel and Thomas Peisel, A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics

41. Jules Verne, Master of the World

42. Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica

43. Ann and Jeff VanderMeer ed, The Time Traveller's Almanac

44. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, In a Glass Darkly

45. Gene Wolfe, The Shadow of the Torturer

46. Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

47. Philip K. Dick, VALIS

48. Iain Banks, Espedair Street

49. Clark Ashton Smith, The Return of the Sorcerer: The Best of Clark Ashton Smith

50. William Blake, The Illuminated Books, Volume 3: The Early Illuminated Books

51. Richard Wiseman, Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things

52. Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century

53. Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games

54. Caseen Gaines, We Don't Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy

55. Christopher Hitchens, Arguably: Essays

56. Harlan Ellison, The Voice From the Edge, Vol. 2: Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral

57. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

58. Algernon Blackwood, The Listener and Other Stories

59. Gene Wolfe, The Claw of the Conciliator

60. Peter Ackroyd, London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

61. Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, The Crystal Maze Adventure Gamebook

62. Charles Burns, Black Hole

63. Albert Camus, The Stranger

64. Al Feldstein ed, The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 2

65. Guy Delisle, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

66. Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

67. Rob Hume, RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe

68. J. G. Ballard, High Rise

69. Hieronymus Bosch and Carl Linfert, Bosch

70. Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

71. Bryan Talbot, Grandville

72. Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette and Jimmy Valentino, 1963: Non-Existent Collected Edition

73. C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

74. Life Magazine editors, Life: 100 Photographs That Changed the World

75. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Uncle Silas

76. Elias Lönnrot, Kalevala: The Land of the Heroes

77. Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island

78. Clive Barker, The Scarlet Gospels

79. Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology

80. Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time

81. Arthur Machen, The Great God Pan and The Inmost Light

82. Thomas Seltzer ed, Best Russian Short Stories

83. Jeffrey D. Stilwell and John A. Long, Frozen in Time: Prehistoric Life in Antarctica

84. Robert A. Heinlein, The Number of the Beast

85. Various, DC Science Fiction Graphic Novels (#1-7)

86. H. G. Wells, Tales of Space and Time

87. Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor

88. Junji Ito, Gyo

89. Bernie Wrightson, Bruce Jones and a couple of others, Creepy Presents: Bernie Wrightson

90. Caleb Scharf, The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities

91. Edmund Crispin, The Moving Toyshop

92. Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped

93. Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook, Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale

94. Tim Smolko, Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play: Inside Two Long Songs

95. Janice G. Redish, Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works, Second Edition

96. Jon Ronson, Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

97. Amir D. Aczel, The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity

98. Richard Wiseman, Night School: Wake Up to the Power of Sleep

99. Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality

100. David Icke, The Perception Deception: Or... It's ALL Bollocks - Yes, ALL of It

101. Alan Moore, Zander Cannon and Andrew Currie, Smax

102. Woody Allen, Without Feathers

103. Woody Allen, Getting Even

104. Guy Delisle, Shenzhen

105. Robert J. Sawyer, Flashforward

106. Terry Pratchett, A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-Fiction

107. Mel Gordon, Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin (Expanded Edition)

108. Robert E. Howard, The Hour of the Dragon

109. Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

110. Bryan Talbot, The Tale of One Bad Rat

111. William Hope Hodgson, The House on the Borderland

112. Kevin J. Anderson, The X-Files: Ruins

113. Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

114. Harlan Ellison, Scott & David Tipton and J. K. Woodward, Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay

115. Algernon Blackwood, The Complete John Silence Stories

116. Robert Llewelyn, The Man in the Rubber Mask

117. Edward Packard, Choose Your Own Adventure #45: You Are a Shark

118. Stewart Holden ed, The Scrabble Players' Handbook

119. Viz, The Council Gritter

120. Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius, The Incal

121. Gustave Doré, The Doré Gallery: His 120 Greatest Illustrations

122. Matthew Capala, SEO Like I'm 5: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization (Second Edition)

***

123. Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast

124. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

125. Dan Simmons, Worlds Enough & Time: Five Tales of Speculative Fiction

126. Daniel C. Matt, The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism

127. Franz Kafka, The Trial

128. China Miéville, Perdido Street Station

129. Alan Garner, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

130. Roger Dean, Dominy Hamilton and Carla Capalbo, Roger Dean: Views

131. Harlan Ellison and Robert Bloch, Voice from the Edge, Vol. 3: Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes

132. William Hope Hodgson, The Ghost Pirates

133. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

134. Martin Popoff, Rush: The Illustrated History

135. Daniel Clowes, David Boring

136. Guy Delisle, Burma Chronicles

137. China Miéville, King Rat

138. Daniel Ekeroth, Swedish Death Metal

139. Neil Gaiman and J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture

140. Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

141. Arthur Conan Doyle, Tales of Terror and Mystery

142. Arthur Machen, The Green Round

143. Jon Ronson, So You've Been Publicly Shamed

144. Will Self, Tough, Tough Toys for Tough, Tough Boys

145. J. G. Ballard, The Crystal World

146. Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun

147. Alan Moore, Kevin Nowlan, Rick Veitch, Jim Baikie, Melinda Gebbie and Hilary Barta, Tomorrow Stories, Vol. 1

148. Philip K. Dick, The Divine Invasion

149. Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

150. John Clift and Amanda Cuthbert, How to Grow Your Food: A Guide for Complete Beginners

151. Wan-go Weng ed, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy: A Pictorial Survey – 69 Fine Examples from the John M. Crawford, Jr. Collection

152. Junji Ito, New Voices in the Dark

153. Gene Wolfe, The Sword of the Lictor

154. John H. Baker ed, The Art of Nick Cave: New Critical Essays

155. Roberto Bolaño, By Night in Chile

156. Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

157. Iain M. Banks, Consider Phlebas

158. Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons

159. Shubhra Ramineni, Entice With Spice: Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People

160. Robert Sheckley, Mindswap

161. Lucy Lidell, The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Techniques

162. Haruki Murakami, Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

163. Jimmy Maher, The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga

164. Robert Dimery, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

165. Marianne Tatom Letts, Radiohead and the Resistant Concept Album: How to Disappear Completely

166. Stanisław Lem, Solaris

167. Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch

168. Brad Dukes, Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks

169. Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

170. Gary Wilson, Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction

171. Agatha Christie, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?

172. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

173. Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

174. Philip K. Dick, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

175. Steve Aylett, Shamanspace

176. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes

177. Jon E. Lewis, The Mammoth Book of Cover-Ups: The 100 Most Terrifying Conspiracies of All Time

178. Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories

179. Caleb Scharf, Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos

180. René Daumal, A Night of Serious Drinking

181. Robert E. Howard, The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard

182. Clive Barker, Erik Saltzgaber, Mike Manley and Ricardo Villagrán, Weaveworld

183. Clive Barker, Galilee

184. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part One

185. Dean Clarrain, Ryan Brown and a whole bunch of illustrators, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Volumes 2-7

186. Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

187. Knut Hamsun, Hunger

188. F. Sionil José, Dusk

189. Lucian Randall, Disgusting Bliss: The Brass Eye of Chris Morris

190. Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

191. John Keats, The Complete Poems

192. Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a Nutshell

193. Declan May ed, Seasons of War: Tales from a Time War

194. Tharg ed, 2000 A.D. Annual 1978

195. Erik Davis, Led Zeppelin IV

196. Elie Wiesel, Night

197. Tony Thorne, Countess Dracula: The Life and Times of Elisabeth Báthory, the Blood Countess

198. Junji Ito, Black Paradox

199. Al Feldstein ed, Piracy, Vol. 1

200. Colin Woodard, The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down

201. Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

202. Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile

203. Robert A. Heinlein, Job: A Comedy of Justice

204. Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and a whole bunch of artists, Son of Origins of Marvel Comics

205. Robert J. Sawyer, Starplex

206. Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, Night Force

207. Desirina Boskovich ed, It Came from the North: An Anthology of Finnish Speculative Fiction

208. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, Migrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Labor to the World

209. Various, Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories

210. Yei Theodora Ozaki ed, Japanese Fairy Tales

211. William Blake, The Illuminated Books of William Blake, Volume 6: The Urizen Books

212. Edward Lucie-Smith ed, Latin American Art of the 20th Century

213. Michael Lane, The Definitive Guide to Building an Energy Efficient House

214. José Rizal, Noli me tangere

215. Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, Terry Jones' Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History

216. Edward Gorey, Amphigorey: Fifteen Books by Edward Gorey

217. Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

218. Marc Weidenbaum, Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II

219. H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

220. Malaclypse the Younger with Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, Principia Discordia or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her (Combined Fourth and Fifth Edition)

221. Mike Mignola, The Amazing Screw-on Head and Other Curious Objects

222. Edgar Allen Poe and Richard Corben, Edgar Allan Poe's Spirits of the Dead

223. Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets / Tintin in the Congo

224. Neil Degrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

225. Dave Gorman, Too Much Information... or Can Everyone Just Shut Up for a Moment, Some of Us Are Trying to Think

226. C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

227. Rob Grant, Fat

228. Scott Adams, God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

229. Lauren Beukes, Zoo City

230. Leonard Nimoy, I Am Not Spock

231. Oscar de Muriel, The Strings of Murder

232. Michio Kaku, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

233. Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow

234. Richard Brown, Richard Elwes, Robert Fathauer, John Haigh, David Perry and Jamie Pommersheim, 30-Second Maths: The 50 Most Mind-Expanding Theories in Mathematics, Each Explained in Half a Minute

235. Christopher Hitchens, The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

236. David Scroggy, Syd Mead, Mentor Huebner, Ridley Scott, Charles Knode and Michael Kaplan, Blade Runner Sketchbook

237. Guy Adams, Sherlock: The Casebook

238. Uwe Scheid and Michael Koetzle, 1000 Nudes: Uwe Scheid Collection

239. H. G. Wells, The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth

240. Howard Fast, The Hunter and the Trap

241. W. Somerset Maugham, The Magician

242. Ambrose Bierce, Can Such Things Be?

243. Michael Tennesen, The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man

244. C. S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

245. Dan Simmons, Ilium

246. Woody Allen, Mere Anarchy

247. Arthur Edward Waite, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition under the Veil of Divination

248. Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

249. J. P. McEvoy and Oscar Zarate, Introducing Quantum Theory: A Graphic Guide to Science's Most Puzzling Discovery

250. Nick Davies, Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media

251. Mark Gatiss, The Devil in Amber

252. Mimi Sheraton, 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover's Life List

253. Confucius, The Analects

254. Jennifer Lynch, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer

255. Stanisław Lem, Mortal Engines

256. James A. Levine, Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It

257. John A. Keel, Strange Creatures from Time and Space

258. Piggyback, Final Fantasy VIII: The Official Strategy Guide

259. Alexey Sokolsky, Your First Move: Chess for Beginners

260. Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian

261. Nintendo Power, Pokémon Crystal Version: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide

262. Lord Dunsany, A Dreamer's Tales

263. Andrew J. Robinson, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - A Stitch in Time

264. Clark Ashton Smith, The Star-Treader and Other Poems

265. Gerry Conway, Gene Colan, Archie Goodwin, Gardner F. Fox and Marv Wolfman, The Tomb of Dracula, Vol. 1

266. Anthony Horowitz, Mindgame

267. David Prescott Barrows, A History of the Philippines

268. Diana Cage, Lesbian Sex Bible: The New Guide to Sexual Love for Same-Sex Couples

269. Andy Maslen, 100 Great Copywriting Ideas: From Leading Companies Around the World

270. Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, Time's Eye

271. José Rizal, Sobre la indolencia de los filipinos (On the Indolence of the Filipinos)

272. Kristen Fischer, When Talent Isn't Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined

**

273. Fritz Leiber, The Big Time

274. Andrew Lang ed, The Arabian Nights Entertainments

275. Jorge Luis Borges, The Maker

276. Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love

277. Ellis Peters, The Leper of Saint Giles

278. José Saramago, Death with Interruptions

279. Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly

280. Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned

281. E. Veronica Bliss and Genevieve Edmonds, A Self-Determined Future with Asperger Syndrome: Solution Focused Approaches

282. Hector Lima ed, Inkshot 01

283. Anthony Horowitz ed, The Puffin Book of Horror Stories

284. Barry Loewer, Julian Baggini, Kati Balog, James Garvey, Stephen Law, Jeremy Stangroom and Ivan Hissey, 30-Second Philosophies: The 50 Most Thought-Provoking Philosophies, Each Explained in Half a Minute

285. William Hope Hodgson, The Night Land

286. C. G. Jung, Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle

287. Archie Goodwin and Steve Ditko, Creepy Presents: Steve Ditko

288. Jessica Hagedorn, Dogeaters

289. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Coming of the Fairies

290. Kevin J. Anderson, The X-Files: Ground Zero

291. William Blake, The Illuminated Books of William Blake, Volume 5: Milton, a Poem

292. Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye

293. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part Two

294. Alan Dean Foster, Splinter of the Mind's Eye

295. Alfredo and Grace Roces, Culture Shock! Philippines: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Eighth Edition)

296. Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

297. Bart Farkas, Diablo II: Official Strategy Guide

298. Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, The Flatey Enigma

299. Unknown, The Book of Job

300. E. Nesbit, The Phoenix and the Carpet

301. J. R. R. Tolkien (and Christopher Tolkien), The Silmarillion

302. Michael Alan Nelson, Greg Scott, Patrick McEvoy and Pablo Quiligotti, Fall of Cthulhu Omnibus

303. Jacques Boyreau ed, Trash: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters

304. Zitkala-Ša, Old Indian Legends

305. Amanda H. Podany, The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction

306. Philip Pullman, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

307. Robert Sheckley, Can You Feel Anything When I Do This?

308. Haruki Murakami, Hear the Wind Sing

309. Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

310. Clara Kern Bayliss ed, Philippine Folk-Tales

311. Martin Bookspan, 101 Masterpieces of Music and Their Composers

312. Mervyn Peake, Titus Alone

313. Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

314. Ambrose Bierce, Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories

315. Tina Konstant, Ten Rules of Copywriting: Bullet Guide

316. Kim Cooper, Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

317. Karen Lord, The Best of All Possible Worlds

318. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

319. Mark Verheiden, Mark A. Nelson, Den Beauvais, Sam Kieth, John Arcudi and Tony Akins, Aliens Omnibus, Vol. 1

320. Mike Mignola and Pat McEown, ZombieWorld: Champion of the Worms

321. Mark Shaw, Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising, and Marketing (Second Edition)

322. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby et al, Bring Back the Bad Guys

323. Dick Wood, Nevio Zaccara and Alberto Giolitti, Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Volume 1

324. Jules Verne, Five Weeks in a Balloon, or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa by Three Englishmen

325. Richard Corben, Den 1: Neverwhere

326. Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

327. Leslie Shapiro, Understanding OCD: Skills to Control the Conscience and Outsmart Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

328. The Gang, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The 7 Secrets of Awakening the Highly Effective Four-Hour Giant, Today – The Gang Writes a Self-Help Book

329. Menton J. Matthews III, Kasra Ghanbari and collaborators, Monocyte: In the Land of the Blind the One Eyed Is King

330. Bram Stoker, The Jewel of Seven Stars

331. Robert Sheckley, The Game of X

332. Lord Dunsany, Fifty-One Tales

333. Russell Brand, Revolution

334. Arthur Conan Doyle, The Poison Belt and The Land of Mist

335. Cameron Pierce, Lost in Cat Brain Land

336. Daniel Clowes, Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron

337. Alan Dean Foster, The Tar-Aiym Krang

338. Alex Sanchez ed, 150 Best Minimalist House Ideas

339. Howard Fast, The General Zapped an Angel

340. Merlin Coverley, Psychogeography

341. Christine Rice, Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer

342. Francesc Zamora ed, 150 Best Sustainable House Ideas

343. Sean Singer, Discography

344. Art Smith, Building Today's Green Home: Practical, Cost-Effective and Eco-Responsible Homebuilding

345. Robert Ashton, Successful Copywriting in a Week: Second Edition

346. John Byrne, Star Trek: New Visions, Vol. 2

347. Various Artists, Criterion Designs

348. Lady Charlotte Guest trans, The Mabinogion, Volume 1

349. Madonna, Sex

350. Pete Olafson, The Morrowind Prophecies: Official Guide to the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

351. Stephen Fry, More Fool Me: A Memoir

352. David Smay, Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombones

*

353. Zecharia Sitchin, The 12th Planet

354. Tom Gill and George Wilson, The Time Tunnel: The Complete Series

355. Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1: Herr Doktor Tenma

356. John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke, The Mask

357. Mickey Spillane, I, the Jury

358. Terry Jones, Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic

359. Rob Grant, Colony

360. The Rik Mayall, Bigger Than Hitler – Better Than Christ


Worthless stats!




Mean rating: 3.11 out of 5. I don't think that's so mean.






Most popular year: 2014 (18 books)

Median date of publication: July, 657AD






Most popular number of pages to put in a book: 160 pages (17 books), 288 & 352 pages (11 books each), 400 pages (10 books).

See how I mentioned all those slightly larger runners-up to make me look a bit less pathetic?




I felt guilty towards the end of the year and put positive discrimination into effect by seeking out new climes. If anything, that just makes it look worse.




Some of the non-fiction books are actually fictional, but their insane authors didn't think so.

I'm not going anywhere near 'genre.'




Oh, well done.

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