Books I Read In 2022
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Inspired by Art Garfunkel, I have been keeping a record of the books I read each year. 2023 will mark five years of this project, which may be found at ndhfilms.com/mybooks.
The big reading effort for 2022 has been going through the works of Harlan Ellison. Despite winning multiple awards in the science fiction, fantasy, and mystery genres, and writing over 1,200 short stories, it’s very hard to find Ellison books at bookstores.
That changed last year when I met Buffalo, a supremely talented writer (see his work in Issue 01 of Quarter Up!, our new pinball newsletter who lives about 125 miles east of Denver. He runs a fascinating store called Buffalo’s Last Stand, and his bookstore in the back had an extensive Harlan Ellison collection. I bought as much as I could afford, and began working my way through it in May of this year.
I’ve read through eight Ellison books in 2022: one novella (Run for the Stars), one collection of quotes, and six short story collections. It adds up to over 120 stories, which I have started cataloging in a directory on my personal site. I’ve even gotten some help from author AT Gonzalez in writing synopses of stories (thanks, AT!). If you would like to contribute to my Ellison directory, please email email@example.com.
Some other highlights for the year are McTeague, Frank Norris’ epic story of greed and jealousy in 1900’s San Francisco, and The Monk, a gothic novel about the most saintly monk in all of Spain, and his long, torturous descent into sin. I became acquainted with the work of Jack Finney through his time travel novel Time and Again, and his short story collection The Third Level, which Stephen King thought was better SF than The Twilight Zone. Pigeons From Hell was an outstanding horror story from Conan creator Robert E. Howard, reading it was a highlight of a hellish summer RV trip.
I read The Wasp Factory, the gruesome debut novel of Iain Banks. I didn’t think too much of it, though I lay the blame for that on me, and not Banks: I took the story seriously, when the spectacular violence was apparently tongue-in-cheek.
Somerset Holmes was a fun graphic novel, and Thinner was an exciting story from Stephen King. I enjoy King’s “Bachman Books”, with their streamlined narratives and a focus on the horrors of the material world.
A smattering of Lee and Andrew Child’s Jack Reacher novels, my gold standard for literary entertainment, filled out the rest of the year.
Have any thoughts on my year in books? Send a comment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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