Books I read–2013


These are not all the books I read, but I did read several on the shelf. And most of them in the past.

I was just going to write up a little thing about setting myself a goal to read so many books in the year (52), and how I managed that and then some(74), but then I saw several people posting about reading goals where they tried to read just as many female authors as male authors.

When this discussion starts, I’ve always said that I don’t pay attention to the gender of the author, and I decided to go through the books I read to determine if that was true, or if I were deluding myself.

What the numbers tell me is that, on a book by book basis, I read twice as many books written by women as written by men. Then I looked closer at the numbers and realized that, because the majority of the books were in series, I needed to see if the numbers when I looked at just the authors. It did, to an extent. I still read more books by women than by men, though not by as large a margin.

Other interesting bits of data—The majority of the books I read were urban fantasy, with the next largest number being sci-fi. I read only a small number of epic/traditional fantasy.  All the short stories, novellas, and novelettes that I read were for the Hugo awards, and almost all the graphic novels were as well. The longest audiobook was the Bible at about 91 hours. I think it took me around 4 months to get through.  I don’t know what the shortest piece was. Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant was the author I read the most.



Here’s a breakdown of all the different numbers:





55 Novels

8 Graphic novels

2 Religious texts

2 Novellas

4 Novelettes

3 Short stories



36 Audiobooks

35 Electronic books

3 Paper books



21 male authors

43 female

8 collaborations


Gender, counting multiple books by a single author

17 male authors

22 female

4 collaborations


Genre and sub-genre

24 urban fantasy

16 sci-fi

11 paranormal romance/urban fantasy

4 traditional/epic fantasy

3 historical fantasy

2 military urban fantasy

1 paranormal romance

1 horror

1 pulp

1 Neil Gaiman (He really is kinda his own genre.)


The breakdowns won’t come out to 74—I didn’t count the Bible or the Book of Enoch for any of them aside from total and types, and I didn’t include the graphic novels in genre/subgenre.


With these numbers in mind, I’ve decided to set a goal of reading 65 novels this coming year.  I expect that number to be higher once I factor all the various shorts I’ll be reading for the Hugo awards, and if I manage to get through some of the anthologies I’ve yet to read. Perhaps with those included, I might manage to read 100 stories this year.

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WorldCon–an overview

All but three ribbons are from Seanan McGuire. I <3 my Seanan ribbons.

All but three ribbons are from Seanan McGuire. I <3 my Seanan ribbons.

I think I’m back to relative-normal, or what passes for normal for me. So I’m going to try to hit some of the high points, or more memorable things, from WorldCon. LoneStarCon 3. Whatever you want to call it.

I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but it just seems a bit odd to call it anything other than WorldCon, though I can understand wanting to set it apart when it’s in a new/different place.

Anyway. It was fun. Like I said in my previous post, I didn’t notice much in the way of elitist attitudes, or anything like that, but I can be pretty oblivious until it’s pointed out. (I didn’t know the Narnia books were Christian allegory until someone pointed it out when I was in college.) Also, the majority of the people I gravitate toward don’t have those views.

Rob and I went to several panels, pretty much all centered on writing, and we hung out in the bar for a time with some authors. We got recognized and waved at by Seanan McGuire, Mur Lafferty, and Chuck Wendig. Chuck waved at me from about 3 feet away as he walked by.  Michael Underwood (if you haven’t read his books–Geekomancy and Celebromancy–do so. They’re good.) waved at us to sit beside him for the Hugo awards. Those were all moments of “Is s/he waving at us? Waving at someone behind us? No, us? Really? Really?

It was surreal.

We went to Drinks with Authors that Myke Cole and a couple other guys put together. It was fun, although I don’t drink much, if at all, and the rooms were a bit too hot for me to be comfortable. I mostly stood in the doorway between the two rooms, taking pictures, until I just had to sit down. Myke stopped by a couple times to ask me if I was okay, and Michael Underwood introduced me and Rob to Madeline Ashby (she wrote vN and iD).

Monday, after most everyone left and the con was mostly finished, we went to the Alamo. It was partly research for me, and I hadn’t been there since third grade.

I had much less anxiety on the flight back. Either the week before WorldCon overloaded me to the point where it’s only slightly stressful, or I was so tired that I didn’t have the energy to be anxious. Possibly both.

Oh yeah, there was also the writing workshop in there. Got some decent comments, and I’m working on a revision right now.

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WorldCon–some initial thoughts

There are lots of conversations on Twitter about how WorldCon is aging and not inclusive enough.  I have a few thoughts on that I want to get out before I forget–I do have other thoughts to write up, about the different panels and all, but I’m planning on getting to that tomorrow or over the weekend.  Hopefully, I will.

But for this. The larger number of posts and comments that I’ve seen have been from professionals, and few from fans.

My experience was that the con was relatively inclusive, for the most part.  There were some instances where I felt a bit on the edge of a circle looking in. Literally.  At times, the authors/agents/editors would be standing or sitting in loose circles, talking with each other, and the body language would be closed and not too inviting.  I would guess, since Rob and I know some of them, that it wasn’t intentional, and that they likely weren’t aware of it.

But it does make me feel somewhat awkward when trying to approach anyone. Because they’re talking, and you don’t want to interrupt. Even when they say it’s okay.

Plus this tends to be in the bar, and I don’t know about most people, but I get a bit overwhelmed with so many people trying to talk over each other and start to get a bit dazed and mentally shut down.

Aside from that, everyone Rob and I encountered was quite nice. So much so that when someone would wave at us, I wondered if Rob had waved first(aside from the one time Chuck Wendig waved at me from about 2 feet away as he passed), and they were returning the wave, but no, they recognized us. Mur Lafferty waved enthusiastically at us from across the street, and Seanan McGuire waved at us from across the hotel lobby. That was an odd realization.

I can’t speak to the diversity of the con because I didn’t notice. I saw a whole lot of people in geeky t-shirts, some dragging containers of books, some in scooters, and a couple with really frikkin awesome multi-colored hair.

To me, it felt like a much larger, longer version of Boskone with a whole helluva lot more authors. I had fun, and I so very much want to go to LonCon next year.

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Rob and I are back from Texas. I’m knackered. I’ve been drifting in and out of sleep all day–slept almost the entire plane ride–and I’m not even quite sure what day today is.

But the weekend was fantastic in so many ways, and I’ve got lots of photos to put up. I would try to post them tonight, but I’m crashing and barely awake, so hopefully tomorrow. After I get bloodwork done. Yay. But that’s another story, for another time.

(Please tell me someone got that last reference.)

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Travel anxiety

Rob and I leave tomorrow evening for WorldCon–or locally named LoneStarCon–and we’ve got most of the packing done.

I’ll be glad once we’re in San Antonio. In the past several years, I’ve gotten to be anxious about flying.  Something about this trip has kinda kicked my anxiety into a bit of overdrive.  If I don’t keep myself preoccupied while I’m awake, then the low buzz of anxiety overtakes my mind.  I start to shake like I’ve had too much caffeine, and I have to stop and take a deep breath so I don’t feel like I’ll start hyperventilating.  But I have meds to calm myself before we get on the plane.

And I have books to read to keep me occupied, and stories to read and finish critiquing for a workshop.

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