Some books I've read since 2004
title author finished? rating (0-5) genre notes
Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood yes 4.5 post-apocalyptic sci-fi
The Bone Doll's Twin Lynn Flewelling yes 4 gender-bending dark fantasy quite a good concept, pretty well executed; page turner
Hidden Warrior Lynn Flewelling yes 4 gender-bending dark fantasy sequel to Bone Doll's Twin
The End Of Gay Bert Archer yes 4 non-fiction, LGBT, cultural analysis excellent analysis of what being "gay" has meant through history & where society is going now
A Game Of Thrones George R. R. Martin yes 5 epic fantasy Song Of Ice And Fire #1 -- best epic fantasy ever, by a long shot (reread)
A Clash Of Kings George R. R. Martin yes 4.5 epic fantasy Song Of Ice And Fire #2 (reread)
A Storm Of Swords George R. R. Martin yes 5 epic fantasy Song Of Ice And Fire #3 (reread)
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov yes 4 classic, disturbing/amusing/tragic sex
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time Mark Haddon yes 4.5 autism, humor, mystery, fake autobiography extraordinarily well done, humorous, touching, well-researched
Middlesex Jefferey Eugenides yes 4 gender issues, Greek immigrants, fiction mostly good, but kind of a letdown in the end; somewhat disappointing/confusing in its approach to gender & sexuality
Fermata Nicholson Baker yes 2.5 stopping time for purposes of sexual tittilation amusing, but got kind of boring reasonably quickly
Thinks... David Lodge yes 2 cognitve science-y lit cute idea, but I didn't care for the characters or meandering plot
The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger yes 5 time travel, the good kind of kissing book so good I read it twice in rapid succession (in less than 24 hours each)
Set This House In Order Matt Ruff yes 5 multiple personalities, speculative drama so good I read it twice in rapid succession (in less than 24 hours each)
The Sparrow Mary Doria Russell yes 4.5 sci-fi, first contact, jesuits, morality excellent, despite my initial skepticism given the focus on religion
Children Of God Mary Doria Russell yes 4 sci-fi, first contact, jesuits, morality
The Golden Age John C. Wright yes 2.5 sci-fi, far future
Grass Sheri Tepper yes 3.5 sf/f exciting story; slight letdown at the end but still good. Contains the only description I can recall that made me unable to finish my lunch.
The Gate To Women's Country Sheri Tepper yes 4 fantasy, post-apocalyptic one of the more thoroughly satisfying books by Tepper I've read in a while
Bending the Landscape: Fantasy (anthology) yes 1.5 LGBT, fantasy, anthology most stories too short and most ideas not too interesting
Queer 13 (anthology) no 2 LGBT, autobiography, anthology a mixed bag; want to finish
How I Live Now Meg Rosoff yes 4.5 apocalyptic, teen very gripping, dark; I started out not liking the narrator but was quickly sucked in
The Other Wind Ursula K. LeGuin yes 3.5 fantasy Earthsea #6
Tales From Earthsea Ursula K. LeGuin yes 3 fantasy, short stories Earthsea #5
Saying Yes Jacob Sullum yes 4 pro-drug, drug war analysis, political, non-fiction Extreme libertarian view of drugs, well argued; probably underestimates harmfulness of some drugs, but makes some very good points -- especially good for discussing issues of drug use vs. drug abuse
Watership Down Richard Adams yes 4.5 fantasy, talking rabbits reread x 20
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J. K. Rowling yes 3.5 British boarding school witchcraft and wizardry yay!
Freakonomics Steven Levitt yes 4 economics, non-fiction, pop science interesting but not enough detail
The Chronoliths Robert Charles Wilson yes 3? sci-fi I remember not being terribly satisfied overall despite it being quite a page turner, but don't recall why
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand no 0.5 pro-capitalist mallet to the head ugh.  no desire to finish
Sewer, Gas, and Electric Matt Ruff yes 3.5 sci-fi, Randian satire, sewer sharks good, but not as gripping as his other stuff
The Cyberiad Stanislaw Lem no 3.5 whimsical sci-fi fables want to finish
The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay Michael Chabon yes 3 early comic books, Jewish immigrants, fiction decent, but kind of a letdown in the end. Never really gripped me.
An Anthropologist On Mars Oliver Sacks yes 4 non-fiction, neurological disorders Autistic professor, surgeon with Tourette's, artist who became completely color blind, man who painted hometown perfectly, blind man who regained sight
Enchantment Orson Scott Card no fantasy had barely started -- want to finish
Over Sea, Under Stone Susan Cooper yes 4 YA, modern day Arthurian fantasy reread -- still good
The Dark Is Rising Susan Cooper yes 3.5 YA, modern day Arthurian fantasy reread -- still good, but not quite as good as I remember
Greenwitch Susan Cooper no 3 YA, modern day Arthurian fantasy reread
Passage Connie Willis no 2.5 cheesy sci-fi, near death experiences kind of want to finish
Oracle's Queen Lynn Flewelling yes 3.5 gender-bending dark fantasy good, but didn't wrap up quite everything I expected
A Feast For Crows George R. R. Martin yes 4.5 epic fantasy Song Of Ice And Fire #4 -- a little more stretched out than the others
Flowers For Algernon Daniel Keyes yes 3.5 sci-fi, assigned in school reread -- good, but not as amazing as I remember
Stone Butch Blues Leslie Feinberg yes 4 LGBT/gender fiction, civil rights fictional look at butchness, gender, orientation, race, blue collar workers, capitalism vs. communism, from pre-Stonewall through the 80's.  Mostly very good.
Tale Of The Body Thief Anne Rice no 2 vampire fantasy reread -- eh, I remembered better
Godless Pete Hautman yes 4 young adult, questioning religion really enjoyed it.  I think it would have been one of my favorites as a kid.
V for Vendetta Alan Moore no 3 graphic novel, fighting Big Brother  not as gripping as I expected, given Alan Moore's reputation.  And the art kind of bugged me -- couldn't see very clearly sometimes; not very creative.
Movies in 15 Minutes Cleolinda Jones yes 4 pop culture parodies, v. silly check out the LiveJournal community m15m to see if you like her stuff.
Broken Angels Richard Morgan no hard sci-fi, memory/personality back-ups sequel to Altered Carbon (not as good); want to finish
A Home at the End of the World Michael Cunningham yes 4 friendship, family, sexuality, relationships very good and beautifully written, but I liked the individual chapters more than the overall story
The Grey King Susan Cooper yes 4 YA, modern day Arthurian fantasy reread -- still a favorite
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Susanna Clarke yes 3 fantasy, British magic, mock old-timey writing interesting but a slow read.  Could never tell where it was going.
The Parable of the Sower Octavia Butler yes 4.5 SF/F, anarchy in U.S., near future, religion narrator named Lauren; quick read; lots of interesting ideas; cool approach to religion
The Parable of the Talents Octavia Butler yes 4.5 SF/F, anarchy in U.S., near future, religion continuing good story; nice balance to the one-sided narration of the first book; Nebula winner
Brave New World Aldous Huxley yes 3 dystopian society, noble savages interesting premise.  got really annoyingly moralizing in ways I disagreed with toward the end.
Lord Foul's Bane  Stephen Donaldson no Chronicles of Thomas Covenant #1; disliked the first 30 pages
Collected Fictions Jorge Luis Borges no short stories, magical realism, classics
Charmed Life Dianna Wynne Jones yes 3.5 British children, wizardry, parallel universes Chrestomanci Chronicles #1; quite enjoyed it, though I kept thinking the main character should just tell X Y and solve everything
The Lives of Christopher Chant Dianna Wynne Jones yes 3.5 British children, wizardry, parallel universes Chrestomanci Chronicles #2; quite enjoyed it, though I kept thinking the main character should just tell X Y and solve everything
The Riddle-Master of Hed Patricia McKillip no 2 epic fantasy I hear they get better, but I'm really having to slog through it so far
The Magicians of Caprona Dianna Wynne Jones yes 2 Italian children, wizardry, parallel universes Chrestomanci Chronicles #3; a disappointment after the others.  Was never drawn in.
Wild Seed Octavia Butler yes 2 immortals, superhuman abilities a huge disappointment after her other stuff.  Both the plot and the characters had interesting potential, but were underdeveloped.  Wanted to smack most characters.
Assassination Vacation Sarah Vowell yes 4 travel, humor, U.S. history, strange trivia I still have a crush on Sarah Vowell.  Extremely funny and interesting.  Kind of fluffy, but that's fine.
gods in Alabama Joshilyn Jackson yes 4 growing up in the South, crimes, guilt, family really good.  Good writing, good storytelling technique, interesting characters and clevely unwinding plot
Quicksilver Neal Stephenson no about to pick back up again - good so far
Lord of the Flies William Golding yes 4 classics really good -- excellent plot & pacing as well as a decent allegory
The Kid Dan Savage yes 4 gay adoption, memoirs of funny sex columnists very funny, honest, sweet, and informative
Trans-sister Radio Chris Bohjalian yes 4 fiction, transgender, sex change, NPR  a pretty touching and interesting story about a sex change and all the lives affected
Far From the Madding Gerund Mark Liberman & Geoff Pullum yes 3.5 linguistics, blogging Excerpts from The Language Log
Them Jon Ronson yes 3.5 conspiracy theories, humorous journalism a funny look at some scary people, and some weird people, and the truth and fiction behind various conspiracy theories
Into Thin Air Jon Krakauer yes 3.5 climbing Mt. Everest, disaster, non-fiction gripping and incredibly disturbing. These people are all insane.
Breaking the Spell Dan Dennett no 4 scientific examination of religion
Dragons in the Waters Madeleine L'Engle yes 1.5 YA mystery/thriller very disappointing; didn't care about or understand plot or characters. Spiritual babble.
Sideshow Sheri Tepper yes 4 sci-fi reread
Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son Kevin Jennings yes 3 memoir, gay rights, teaching memoir of the man who founded GLSEN.  interesting, but not terribly well-written; I felt distant from most of the story
The Areas of my Expertise John Hodgman no 4 mock almanac very silly
A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller, Jr. yes 4 post-apocalyptic sci-fi pretty good all along the way, but I remember being somewhat dissatisfied overall
Free Culture Lawrence Lessig yes 4 copyright law, internet culture really interesting and well argued; not dry; uses intuitive and entertaining stories to illustrate subtle points
Deerskin Robin McKinley yes 4 YA, fairy tale retelling/expansion
Gifts Ursula K. LeGuin yes 4 YA, fantasy
The Basic Eight Daniel Handler yes 3.5 dark comedy, high school, not Lemony Snicket
Sheepfarmer's Daughter Elizabeth Moon yes 2.5 military-based fantasy not terribly good, but a page turner
The Once and Future King T. H. White no 4 Arthurian fantasy reread
Divided Allegiance Elizabeth Moon yes 2.5 military-based fantasy not terribly good, but a page turner
The Commitment Dan Savage yes 3.5 gay marriage, family, memoir mostly really great, occasionally wrongheaded about gender/personality, but generally compelling, touching, and funny
What We Believe But Cannot Prove ed. by John Brockman no 4 collected essays, truth, proof, science, future the discussions of "proof", "truth", and "science" are even cooler than the theories of what's to come
Under the Banner of Heaven Jon Krakauer yes 4 Mormon history, crime, fanaticism, faith good; I liked it better as it went further -- first true crime, then history, then it got into really interesting questions about faith and legal reasoning toward the end
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J. K. Rowling yes 3.5 British boarding school witchcraft and wizardry reread
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colon yes 4.5 govt reports, terrorism, recent history, comics excellent -- readable, engrossing, clever use of layouts and graphics
Consciousness Explained Dan Dennett no 4 cognitive science, philosophy
Neuromancer William Gibson yes 2.5 sci-fi, cyberpunk I can see how it would have been exciting and different, and I like some aspects of the writing, but it's damn hard to follow and not that exciting in the end
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J. K. Rowling yes 4 British boarding school witchcraft and wizardry a bit slow for the first part, and overly packed plot, but phenomenal ending to the series (minus the epilogue)
Fun Home: A Tragicomic Alison Bechdel yes 5 LGBT, memoir, comic, complex family life I've only sporadically followed Bechdel's comic, "Dykes To Watch Out For", but have enjoyed it.  This book seems more subtle and amazing on a lot of levels, and made me laugh & cry.
The James Tiptree Award Anthology #3 various yes 3.5 feminism, sf/f, gender and sex subversiveness some really good stories and some okay ones, but few that seemed truly subversive
The State of the Art Iain M. Banks no 3 short stories, sf/f not particularly memorable; mixed bag
Bad Monkeys Matt Ruff yes 3.5 thriller, bad/good/crazy people, shadow orgs exciting page turner; not so complex as Ruff's other books and didn't end up holding together as well in the end, but fun
His Majesty's Dragon Naomi Novik yes 4 dragons, fantasy, Napoleonic era really good dragon story, exciting page turner, fun examination of cultural mores & gender & class issues
Throne of Jade Naomi Novik yes 3.5 dragons, fantasy, Napoleonic era still a lot of fun, interesting bits about China, but not as good as first
Black Powder War Naomi Novik yes 3 dragons, fantasy, Napoleonic era just not gripping me as much as the earlier ones, but perhaps I glutted on too much Novik at once
Restless Virgins Abigail Jones & Marissa Miley no 1 non-fiction, culture of sex in high school interesting topic; disappointingly poorly written (full of non-sequiturs and gossip mag sensationalism with little fleshing out)
The Best American Political Writing 2007 ed. by Royce Flippin yes 4.5 non-fiction, political essays has some really great & informative essays on lots of topics -- learned a lot; depressing
Empire of Ivory Naomi Novik yes 3.5 dragons, fantasy, Napoleonic era enjoying this almost as much as first one
Pattern Recognition William Gibson yes 4 sci-fi, internet culture, '00s
The Speed of Dark Elizabeth Moon yes 4.5 sci-fi, autism extremely good -- great insight into autism, great main character, good story (though somewhat abrupt toward the end)
Slow River Nicola Griffith yes 4.5 sci-fi, ecology, lesbians really enjoyed this -- read it so fast it didn't stick with me so much, but excellent 
Nightwatch no modern russian urban fantasy, epic, good & evil was enjoying it a lot; accidentally left behind while traveling.  need new copy!  very different than movie in some ways.
The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women Dawn Dais yes 4 non-fiction, running, instructional, humor useful and funny
Spin Robert Charles Wilson yes 4.5 sci-fi, near future-ish, mysterious space anomaly quite good hard sci-fi; interesting science and plot twists based on it.  also largely about a few people, and they're decent but not brilliant -- still sort of sketch-like
Rumble Fish S.E. Hinton yes 4 young adult, hoodlum life, depressing really good -- not as good as Outsiders, but excellent characters and writing.  also made me cry a bit, but not as much.
The Hugo Winners, volume 3 various; ed. Isaac Asimov no 4 sci-fi
Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert yes 4.5 non-fiction, social psych, cog psych, funny excellent exploration of why people mispredict what will make them happy, and what actually does and doesn't make them happy, and even a bit on how to predict better.  great summaries of psych studies, funny writing, easy read.
I See By My Outfit Peter S. Beagle no travel, friendship
The Golden Compass Philip Pullman yes 5 YA, fantasy reread
The Subtle Knife Philip Pullman yes 4.5 YA, fantasy reread
Dreams From My Father  Barack Obama yes 4 memoir, race, identity, politics, activism well-written, insightful both into societal issues and Obama as a person, modest, alternately inspiring and depressing
The Amber Spyglass Philip Pullman no 4.5 YA, fantasy reread
Sadness Donald Barthelme no short stories