a Year in Books: 2023

a Year in Books: 2023

What I'm reading now: First and Only, by Dan Abnett

What I'm listening to: Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson

What I've just finished reading: Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Lackie

My reading journey started with the Alchemist, back when I was not even a teenager. When my family moved to a larger city, and I had access to one of the OLPC XO laptops I was working with (2-in-1 before 2-in-1 were famous), I started to read more consistently. As I was just an up and coming teenager, a lot of my reading then consisted of a tremendous amount of Young Adult fiction. I reckon I’ve read just about every “oh no, I am a unique person, this world is dystopia, there are 4 factions - the grays, the blues, the greens, and the yellows - but somehow, I am the white! Whites haven’t been seen since 500 years ago” etc.

In the years following, I had started to read a lot more fantasy and science fiction - some of which still occupies my top books/series list to this day. I think I’ll break this page into two sections: The books that I absolutely like and recommend, and what I have read so far in the x year. I will then add comments based on what I think about the book, if it needs it.

My library currently is at https://bib.civitat.es. If you need access, feel free to contact {indoria at the current url}.

—Books I have read in 2023

No. Title Author Genre
1 Ashes of Man C. Ruocchio Science Fiction
2 The Warded Man Peter V. Brett Fantasy
3 The Desert Spear Peter V. Brett Fantasy
4 The Daylight War Peter V. Brett Fantasy
5 Xenos Dan Abnett Science Fiction
6 Malleus Dan Abnett Science Fiction
7 Hereticus Dan Abnett Science Fiction
8 For the Emperor S. Mitchell Science Fiction
9 Caves of Ice S. Mitchell Science Fiction
10 The Traitor’s Hand S. Mitchell Science Fiction
11 Death or Glory S. Mitchell Science Fiction
12 Duty Calls S. Mitchell Science Fiction
13 Old Soldiers Never Die S. Mitchell Science Fiction
14 Cain’s Last Stand S. Mitchell Science Fiction
15 The Last Ditch S. Mitchell Science Fiction
16 The Greater Good S. Mitchell Science Fiction
17 The Emperor’s Finest S. Mitchell Science Fiction
18 The Fountainhead Ayn Rand Fic/Lit/Philosophy
19 A Common-Sense Guide to Algo & DS Jay Wengrow Non-Fiction/CS
20 A Deepness In The Sky Vernor Vinge Science Fiction
21 Ancillary Justice Ann Lackie Science Fiction
22 Ancillary Sword Ann Lackie Science Fiction
23 Ancillary Mercy Ann Lackie Science Fiction
24 Neuromancer William Gibson Science Fiction
25 Count Zero William Gibson Science Fiction

—Books I really, really like

Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson

This is probably the best ‘character-driven narrative’ series I have read. Gardens of the Moon is a bit of a struggle around 1/4th the way in, but after that it is smooth sailing until book 5 (I think) or so, where the narrative changes. I highly recommend the series, as well as other books in the universe by both Erikson and Ian Esslemont.

Guy Gavriel Kay

Yes, it’s not just one book, but read everything the man has touched. All of his books are fantastic reads, and he reads a lot and lists his sources for research done on the books.
A good start would be A Brightness Long Ago followed by books set in the same universe, Children of Earth and Sky, All the Seas in the World, as well as The Sarantine Mosaic duology, and Lions of Al-Rassan. You can safely ignore Tigana. That one is…alright.

Suneater - Christopher Ruocchio

Probably the only other contender alongside GGK’s stuff above to snatch the first place from Malazan so far. It’s an ongoing science fiction series, with two more books planned. However, the last book(Ashes of Man) was pretty bleh.

Cradle - Will Wight

Another fantasy book series, with 11 books so far with one more to go. Good progression fantasy, but last couple of books have been fairly ‘eh.’ Friends and I have a feeling that it’s moving too fast after 5-6 books of steady progress.

The Black Company - Glenn Cook

It’s an absolutely fantastic fantasy read, and even better narration by Marc Vietor. It’s gritty, dark, and equally cozy to listen to during late nights. I will only however, recommend ‘Books of the North,’ up until 4th book or so. After that, the narrator(s) change, and further narration is…questionable. (I tend not to like people pretending what a South Asian accent sounds like - looking at you, Rachel Butera).

Codex Alera - Jim Butcher

Absolutely fantastic progression fantasy novels that just keep going. Pokemon meets the lost legion of the Roman empire (he wrote it as a dare after challenged that you can’t just mix any settings together - funny dude).

The Farseer books - Robin Hobb

Another exceptional fantasy series where you follow a man from barely a babe to his old age, and see everything from conflicts of loyalty to struggles of childhood and paternity. Heavily recommended.

Hyperion - Dan Simmons

…I should re-read this, as I last read it close to a decade ago. However, I remember it being exceptionally brilliant science fiction. Some cool ideas too with death and reincarnation in FTL ships.

Sword of Truth - Terry Goodkind

Yes yes, I know, “Save me, brave strong Richard” trope is pretty prevalent in this series but they are still good books, with some neat ideas (Also it disses commies - collectivists deserve to be bullied- so it automagically goes on here).

The Queen’s Thief - Megan Whalen Turner

Decent read. Some tropes are present but it is a good story.

Wax & Wayne series - Brandon Sanderson

Set after the original Mistborn trilogy, the goofy steampunkish series is pretty decent read.

A Deepness In the Sky - Vernor Vinge

Fantastic science fiction. I actually don’t like A fire upon the deep but this one is great.

I had to hesitate for a moment while compiling the above list, because I really wanted to include the Kingkiller Chronicle, by Patrick Rothfuss, but I will not. Not only has the man not written a single word in close to a decade, but he doesn’t seem to have any motivation in finishing the series. Mind you, the two books written have beautiful prose, but I cannot in my good conscience recommend a series that will never get finished.

—Potential Reading List


Title Author Genre
Show Stopper! G. Zachary Compute
Dealers of Lightning: XEROX-PARC [...] Computer Age Compute
Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution Compute
Just for Fun: The Story [...] Revolutionary Compute
The Computer - My Life Compute
UNIX: A History and a Memoir Compute
Common Sense Thomas Paine History
How to Read a Book: 1940 edition Mortimer Adler Philosophy
Pricing Money J. D. A. Wiseman Finance


Title Author SubGenre
Anthem Ayn Rand Philosophical Fiction
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand Philosophical Fiction
Waybound : Cradle 12 Will Wight Fantasy
Ancillary Justice Ann Lackie Science Fiction
2001: a Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke Science Fiction