2011 Goodreads & Last.fm Roundup


Well, I was halfway to my goal of twenty-five books this year, ending up with thirteen fourteen! officially logged on Goodreads (I have no idea how much RPG-related material I read, but it was a lot). Work, this website, my various writing projects and most recently the School’s Winter Court ’12 took up the brunt of my free time (what was leftover from the boy, anyway). I’ll be honest, 2011 felt very much like I was spinning my wheels for most of the year, but I guess I got a full-time job, got a 16% raise six months in, managed my first A in over a year, started three websites, and applied for my first stint as a freelance game writer/editor. We’ll see how that pans out.

So you can maybe see why there was less time for books (but music you can listen to during most anything!). Below are my top five reads and plays for 2011.


5. A Wild Sheep Chase

I think that anyone who’s seriously studied Japanese culture needs to read at least one Murakami book. He critiques modern Japan in such a way that it’s almost inexplicable, but if you’ve brushed up against the culture you understand it instinctively, like a certain je ne sais quoi. It was also my first introduction to Surrealism in literature, and led me to begin reading the Seas. Somewhere in there I need to read Q184, Murakami’s apparent magnum opus that was only recently translated into English.

4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

The first chapter is notoriously slow, but once you meet Rachel the story really, really picks up. You’ve got everything from questioning what it means to be human to reality-bending plot twists to riveting action to messianic scenes. I think Blade Runner is a far cry from the original novel, and you should definitely give the novel itself a spin.

3. A Storm of Swords

George R. R. Martin, what can I say? Reading your novels is like twisting a knife in my heart, but you’ve made a masochist out of me. Some of my friends refuse to read the books after the “ridiculous” ending to the HBO series, but I suspect they’ll end up watching Season 2 with me come april. As far as ASoS goes, all I can say is RW. Of course I’m powerless to resist continuing on to Feast for Crows, you heartless bastard.

2. The Broken Kingdoms

Mythology! Cosmology! Romance! Magic! Everyone raved about the first book in the series, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but honestly I felt the sequel to be more compelling. Granted, the back cover does nothing for the book. It was more like a turn-off, and I let half a year pass in between the two books, but ultimately, so, so worth it.

1. The Dispossessed

If I had to chose a political philosophy for myself now, it would be LeGuin’s “anarchic communism” that features in this novel. What I love best is how the pseudo-science in the book dovetails perfectly with the political themes as well, and how the author illustrates in both societies that there is no such thing as a perfect system of governance. We can only try to make a less shitty one. James Madison comes to mind: “If men were angels…”


5. Wynter Gordon – Til Death

I ascribe this to a variation on the Ke$ha theme (you can’t tell me there’s a better way to wake up than blaring Tik Tok at 4:30a on your way to work and shouting along).

4. Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji – Pressure

This came on the only Trance/House station on the radio and I immediately fell in love.

3. Swedish House Mafia – Save the World

The Knife Party Remix of this song by the guys behind Pendulum is also fantastic.

2. Deadmau5 – Strobe (Special Features Remix)

I also fell in love with Deadmau5 this year. See also the Longest Road by Morgan Paige feat Lissie (Deadmau5 Remix).

1. Nightwish – Storytime

Yes, this is also my ringtone.

And that’s it! Well, I can leave you with one last thing that essentially sums up my drive to and from work every day. Enjoy.

One Response to “2011 Goodreads & Last.fm Roundup”

  1. Dax says:

    I am a casual Swedish House Mafia fan and I had not heard this one, as soon as I saw the vid embedded in the page I clicked play and I was impressed!

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