May was a strange month for me. I had a lot of work that arrived on my desk very unexpectedly and it took me away from most of the time I would normally have spent reading. I also turned thirty in the middle of the month and for whatever reason that had a more adverse impact on my mood than I expected it would. Combine all of that with the usual routine of keeping up with the kids and being a functional adult with responsibilities and the end result is getting a lot less reading done. When I started the month I was right on track with my goal for reading 100 books by the end of the year. At the end of the month I found myself four books behind schedule.
Four books is not the end of the world. Spread out over the final seven months of the year I’m sure I can make up that many books if I pick the right ones, but I also really want to be on track again by the mid-point of 2014, which means 50 books completed by the end of this month. That’s a milestone I really want to hit. So, I’ve finished two books so far in June, and that makes 41 for the year. I need 9 more this month to hit my milestone. It’s going to be tough to make that happen, but my wife and kids will be on a vacation to California for a couple of weeks this month, which frees up my evenings a little bit. If I combine that with picking the right books I know will suck me in so I don’t put them down I might just pull it off. So, wish me luck.
In May I read not only full-length novels, but a handful of shorter works as well. Here is the list of full-length novels I finished in May:
- Starship Grifters by Robert Kroese
- The Breaking World: Dawn of Swords by David Dalglish and Robert J. Duperre
- World of Warcraft: War Crimes by Christie Golden
- The Enceladus Crisis by Michael J. Martinez
- The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
- The Garden of Stones by Mark T. Barnes
As far as short fiction is concerned, I read a lot of short stories and novellas related to some of the other book series’ that I enjoy:
- Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome by John Scalzi
- Hope’s End: A Powder Mage Short Story by Brian McClellan
- Forsworn: A Powder Mage Novella by Brian McClellan
- The Girl of Hrusch Avenue: A Powder Mage Short Story by Brian McClellan
My favorite books of the month were The Enceladus Crisis and The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Both of them were fantastically written and had some very compelling moments for me as a reader. I really didn’t know what to expect from The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. I knew it was a critically acclaimed book, but I had it sitting on my Kindle for a very long time. I know a book has done something special when it’s a science fiction or fantasy novel that I will heartily recommend to my wife as something she would be interested in reading, which is exactly what The Mad Scientist’s Daughter did for me while I was reading.
All of the short fiction was fantastic as well. I especially liked the additional depth I got for some of the characters in Promise of Blood that I read a few months ago. Going into the second book in that trilogy later this month will be much more interesting now.