Favorite Books of 2001

19:40 Fri 04 Apr 2008. Updated: 16:59 25 Aug 2009
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Okay, finally, I’m into this millennium. I have no idea why it took me more than a year to go from 2000′s favorite books to 2001′s.

Especially since I only read 39 books in 2001, my second-lowest yearly total of the years I’ve kept records.

The first book I read was Gardens of the Moon, the first in Steven Erikson’s colossal The Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I’m quite a big fan of the series, and I recall being impressed with a lot of the ideas and writing in the first book, but I know that I didn’t actually decide whether or not I really liked the series (I do) until somewhere around book six. In any case, if you like fantasy that’s full of politics, complicated plots, a very different take on magic, seems do the full range of "low" to "high", is set in very large and deep world, and is very long (the series is supposed to be ten books), then you should read it.

Chomsky’s Rogue States was typically excellent (William Blum’s Rogue State, which I also read in 2001, was also definitely worth reading.)

I thought that Susan Faludi’s Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man was excellent, a compelling examination of what ill effect modern consumerism and patriarchy have on men. (Note: this is not an "oh noes what about the mens!" book. Faludi is targeting the stresses that unhealthy gender and economic structures create for men, and not attacking feminist advances or something silly like that.)

I’m a David Foster Wallace fan, and Infinite Jest was great. It felt interminable at times, and occasionally annoying, but was brilliant in parts, and overall I liked it a lot. I should state, however, that I might have edited its ending out of my memory, because other people I know who have read it loved it until the last page or so and then became extremely angry with it.

I re-read the first four books of the Dune series, and then read the final two. It’s a fantastic series, but the quality definitely continues to drop off after the first one, which is amazingly good. The next two are great but not as good, and then the final three are quite different, and interesting, but not up to the first three. The last one gets pretty damn weird near the end, too.

The last book I read, Rose Tremaine’s Music and Silence, was quite powerful, extremely well-written, but also struck me as terribly depressing and bleak (other people I know who have read it don’t share this view).

The full list of what I read in 2001:

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Stephen Erikson 01/01/2001
  2. The Earth Will Shake, Robert Anton Wilson 06/01/2001
  3. The Widow’s Son, Robert Anton Wilson 06/01/2001
  4. Rogue States: The Role of Force in World Affairs, Noam Chomsky 17/12/2001
  5. Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, Susan Faludi 03/03/2001
  6. Canal Dreams, Iain Banks 04/03/2001
  7. The Bridge, Iain Banks 11/03/2001
  8. A Little Yellow Dog, Walter Mosley sometime in April
  9. Imperial San Francisco, Gray Brechin 09/05/2001
  10. Glamorama, Bret Easton Ellis 11/05/2001
  11. Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds 13/05/2001
  12. Black & Blue, Ian Rankin 15/05/2001
  13. Sick Puppy, Carl Hiaasen 16/05/2001
  14. Knots & Crosses, Ian Rankin 18/05/2001
  15. Designing Web Usability, Jakob Nielsen 19/05/2001
  16. Perfume, Patrick Sueskind 20/05/2001
  17. Drawing Blood, Poppy Z. Brite 20/05/2001
  18. No Logo, Naomi Klein 21/05/2001
  19. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace 01/07/2001
  20. Dallas North Forty, Peter Gent 21/07/2001
  21. Dune, Frank Herbert (again) 23/07/2001
  22. Dune Messiah, Frank Herbert (again) 24/07/2001
  23. Children of Dune, Frank Herbert (again) 26/07/2001
  24. God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert (again) 29/07/2001
  25. Heretics of Dune, Frank Herbert 02/08/2001
  26. Chapterhouse Dune, Frank Herbert 05/08/2001
  27. The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander 08/08/2001
  28. Wiseguy, Nicholas Pileggi 31/08/2001
  29. The Gamblers, Fyodor Dostoyevsky 18/09/2001
  30. Rogue State, William Blum 25/09/2001
  31. Carrion Comfort, Dan Simmons 01/10/2001
  32. Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works, Erik Spiekermann, E.M. Ginger 06/11/2001
  33. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami 13/11/2001
  34. The Dying Earth, Jack Vance 20/11/2001
  35. The Eyes of the Overworld, Jack Vance 21/11/2001
  36. Cugel’s Saga, Jack Vance 22/11/2001
  37. Rhialto the Marvellous, Jack Vance 22/11/2001
  38. All She Was Worth, Miyuki Miyabe 25/11/2001
  39. Music and Silence, Rose Tremaine 27/11/2001
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