December 2023 Reads

Here’s what I read in December 2023.

Here’s what I read in December 2023, in no particular order and with no spoilers. I read more than usual thanks to my Christmas vacation. My top 3: HyperionThe Three-cornered World, and KindredOryx and Crake is perhaps the only one I wouldn’t recommend.

1. Hyperion

— Dan Simmons
A sci-fi classic for good reason. Superb storytelling. Seven alien pilgrims tell their stories in this Canterbury Tales-esque tale of the mysterious Shrike and the Valley of the Time Tombs.

2. The Three-cornered World

— Natsume Soseki
Soseki never disappoints.

3. The Forever War

— Joe Haldeman
A fast-paced, bloody, and pretty convincing military sci-fi with extreme time dilation and a nice twist at the end.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale

— Margaret Atwood
My first Atwood. Enjoyed it. Strong, well-developed characters. I was surprised by how closely the TV show adaptation follows the book.

5. Dark Matter

— Blake Crouch
It took a while to get off the mark, but an entertaining parallel worlds sci-fi with a nice twist.

6. Parable of the Sower

— Octavia E Butler
Very well-written near future dystopia with compelling characters. Working my way through the Butler canon.

7. Frankenstein

— Mary Shelley
A tale of hubris and grief. This has held up well.

8. Adulthood Rites

— Octavia E Butler
Part 2 in the Lilith’s Brood series. Slow burner, original aliens.

9. Kindred

— Octavia E Butler
My new favorite Butler book. A sci-fi time-traveling masterpiece.

10. The Heart of a Dog

— Mikhail Bulgakov
The kind of batshit crazy that only Bulgakov could pull off.

11. Oryx and Crake

— Margaret Atwood
I enjoyed only the beginning and end. Very slow-paced. The protagonist is an immature and self-indulgent __. If your main character is going to be a dick, then he at least needs to be an interesting, lovable, tragic, or comic dick.

12. Consider Phlebas

— Iain M Banks
Like a Hollywood blockbuster — but as a novel. This isn’t big ideas sci-fi, but is nonetheless fun and fast-paced.

13. 2001: A Space Odyssey

— Arthur C Clarke
Quite enjoyed this. Only 200 pages.

14. Peter Camenzind

— Hermann Hesse
Pathos, poetry and human all too human.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? And, based on these, do you have any recommendations for me?