List of books I've been reading lately. Mostly as an exercise using Goodreads API and some PHP coding, which is more than slightly wonky.
At some point I'll link in my own reviews, but might be slightly tricky to keep from breaking Goodreads API terms.


Book Info
Description

Title: The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1)

Author: Liu Cixin

Avg Rating: 4.00

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.




Title: Escalation (Green Fields #3)

Author: Adrienne Lecter

Avg Rating: 4.38

My Rating: 0

Status: read




Title: Incubation (Green Fields #1)

Author: Adrienne Lecter

Avg Rating: 4.13

My Rating: 0

Status: read




Title: Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster

Author: Andrew Leatherbarrow

Avg Rating: 3.93

My Rating: 5

Status: read

At 01:23:40 on April 26th 1986, Alexander Akimov pressed the emergency shutdown button at Chernobyl’s fourth nuclear reactor. It was an act that forced the permanent evacuation of a city, killed thousands and crippled the Soviet Union. The event spawned decades of conflicting, exaggerated and inaccurate stories.

This book, the result of five years of research, presents an accessible but comprehensive account of what really happened. From the desperate fight to prevent a burning reactor core from irradiating eastern Europe, to the self-sacrifice of the heroic men who entered fields of radiation so strong that machines wouldn’t work, to the surprising truth about the legendary ‘Chernobyl divers’, all the way through to the USSR’s final show-trial. The historical narrative is interwoven with a story of the author’s own spontaneous journey to Ukraine’s still-abandoned city of Pripyat and the wider Chernobyl Zone.

Complete with over 45 pages of photographs of modern-day Pripyat and technical diagrams of the power station, Chernobyl 01:23:40 is a fascinating new account of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.




Title: Fight Club

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Avg Rating: 4.20

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter and dark, anarchic genius. And it's only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth.




Title: Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down . . . And Why They'll Take Us to the Brink Again

Author: Suzanne McGee

Avg Rating: 3.57

My Rating: 4

Status: read

How did Wall Street become a self-serving and ultimately destructive profit machine that imploded? Wall Street's real job is to be our "financial utility"-good financial plumbers that funnel capital to companies so the economy can expand and create jobs and also provide the means for individual investors to build portfolios that will increase personal wealth.But Wall Street went haywire and became (in Jon Stewart's words) a "bizarro" place that lost touch with most of America. Suzanne McGee provides a penetrating and disturbing look at forces that have transformed Wall Street into a risk-taking behemoth that spun out of control and took the economy and millions of 401(k)s down with it. Primary among these forces was "Goldman Sachs envy." The demons that drove Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, Stanley O'Neil of Merrill Lynch, and the rest of Wall Street to ever-greater risk were perverse incentives and the illusion that they could make even more money than Goldman Sachs (where $11.6 billion in profits in 2007 led to an average bonus of $660,000).Firsthand reporting from veteran Wall Street journalist McGee provides riveting storytelling and a narrative that will grab both Wall Street insiders and people on "Main Street." She is the perfect guide through the labyrinth that is Wall Street, which now reaches from the actual street to Greenwich-based hedge funds, investment banks, venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, the futures pits of Chicago, and sovereign wealth funds.




Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)

Author: Douglas Adams

Avg Rating: 4.20

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.




Title: Fool

Author: Christopher Moore

Avg Rating: 3.96

My Rating: 5

Status: read

"This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as nontraditional grammar, split infinitives, and the odd wank . . . If that's the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened upon the perfect story!"

Verily speaks Christopher Moore, much beloved scrivener and peerless literary jester, who hath writteneth much that is of grand wit and belly-busting mirth, including such laurelled bestsellers of the Times of Olde Newe Yorke as Lamb, A Dirty Job, and You Suck (no offense). Now he takes on no less than the legendary Bard himself (with the utmost humility and respect) in a twisted and insanely funny tale of a moronic monarch and his deceitful daughters—a rousing story of plots, subplots, counterplots, betrayals, war, revenge, bared bosoms, unbridled lust . . . and a ghost (there's always a bloody ghost), as seen through the eyes of a man wearing a codpiece and bells on his head.

Fool

A man of infinite jest, Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years, from the time the king's grown daughters—selfish, scheming Goneril, sadistic (but erotic-fantasy-grade-hot) Regan, and sweet, loyal Cordelia—were mere girls. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear—at the insidious urging of Edmund, the bastard (in every way imaginable) son of the Earl of Gloucester—demands that his kids swear their undying love and devotion before a collection of assembled guests. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of . . . well . . . stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

Well, now the bangers and mash have really hit the fan. The whole damn country's about to go to hell in a handbasket because of a stubborn old fart's wounded pride. And the only person who can possibly make things right . . . is Pocket, a small and slight clown with a biting sense of humor. He's already managed to sidestep catastrophe (and the vengeful blades of many an offended nobleman) on numerous occasions, using his razor-sharp mind, rapier wit . . . and the equally well-honed daggers he keeps conveniently hidden behind his back. Now he's going to have to do some very fancy maneuvering—cast some spells, incite a few assassinations, start a war or two (the usual stuff)—to get Cordelia back into Daddy Lear's good graces, to derail the fiendish power plays of Cordelia's twisted sisters, to rescue his gigantic, gigantically dim, and always randy friend and apprentice fool, Drool, from repeated beatings . . . and to shag every lusciously shaggable wench who's amenable to shagging along the way.

Pocket may be a fool . . . but he's definitely not an idiot.




Title: America's Secret Submarine: An Insider's Account of the Cold War's Undercover Nuclear Sub

Author: Manager Lee Vyborny

Avg Rating: 4.53

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Seveneves

Author: Neal Stephenson

Avg Rating: 3.98

My Rating: 5

Status: read

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.




Title: Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)

Author: James S.A. Corey

Avg Rating: 4.18

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.




Title: Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story

Author: Kurt Eichenwald

Avg Rating: 4.19

My Rating: 5

Status: read

From an award-winning New York Times reporter comes the full, mind-boggling story of the lies, crimes, and ineptitude behind the spectacular scandal that imperiled a presidency, destroyed a marketplace, and changed Washington and Wall Street forever . . .




Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Avg Rating: 4.39

My Rating: 5

Status: read

A mission to Mars.

A freak accident.

One man's struggle to survive.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.

But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.




Title: Orbital (Station Breaker Book 2)

Author: Andrew Mayne

Avg Rating: 4.37

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Fields of Fire (Frontlines, #5)

Author: Marko Kloos

Avg Rating: 4.38

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: The Probability Broach

Author: L. Neil Smith

Avg Rating: 3.84

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Congress is in Colorado, everybody carries guns, and there are gorillas in the Senate. Free enterprise is king, and There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lhnch.




Title: The Book of Five Rings

Author: Miyamoto Musashi

Avg Rating: 4.09

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Book of Five Rings is one of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture. Written not only for martial artists but for anyone who wants to apply the timeless principles of this text to their life, the book analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction.

The Book of Five Rings was composed in 1643 by the famed duelist and undefeated samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Thomas Cleary's translation is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary translates here another important Japanese classic on leadership and strategy, The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.




Title: Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium

Author: Sandy Mitchell

Avg Rating: 4.40

My Rating: 5

Status: read

In the war torn future of the 41st Millennium Commissar Ciaphas Cain, hero of the Imperium, is respected by his peers and an inspiration to his men – at least that’s what the propaganda would have you believe. The reality is very different, for Ciaphas is simply looking for an easy life and a way to stay out of peril. However, fate has a habit of throwing him into the deadliest situations, and luck (mixed with self preservation) always manages to pull him through and onto the loftiest of pedestals. To survive Commissar Cain must dodge, bluff and trick his way out of trouble, even if it increases his status beyond his control!

Featuring futuristic military action, thrills and humour, Hero of the Imperium collects the novels For the Emperor, Caves of Ice and The Traitor’s Hand, plus three exclusive short stories.




Title: The Traitor's Hand

Author: Sandy Mitchell

Avg Rating: 4.20

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Commissar Ciaphas Cain is a man who, despite his best attempts to avoid danger and live the easy life, is constantly thrust into fame and fortune. He will be a hero, whether he wants to be or not.




Title: Cain's Last Stand

Author: Sandy Mitchell

Avg Rating: 4.24

My Rating: 5

Status: read

After a long and distinguished career, Commissar Cain is about to enjoy a well-deserved retirement, but when a Black Crusade threatens the sector, everyone must rise to the defence, including Cain and his cadets. Can this unlikely hero prove himself one last time?




Title: Death or Glory

Author: Sandy Mitchell

Avg Rating: 4.24

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Yet again, reluctant hero Commissar Cain is catapulted into glory in the fourth story of this tremendously popular series. Escaping from a disastrous space battle, the commissar and his malodorous sidekick Jurgen crash-land behind enemy lines. The only way out is to round up what few troops they can find, and fight their way back to the safety of the Imperial lines. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of barbaric alien orks stand in their way!




Title: The Count of Monte Cristo

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Avg Rating: 4.21

My Rating: 5

Status: read

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.




Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Avg Rating: 4.30

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy.Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.




Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Avg Rating: 4.03

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.




Title: Public Enemy Zero

Author: Andrew Mayne

Avg Rating: 3.79

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The world is out to kill Mitchell Roberts. A strange virus is on the loose sending everyone he comes in contact with into a homicidal rage. From narrowly avoiding getting murdered at his ex-girlfriend’s front door, to a crowded shopping mall turned one-man zombie apocalypse, he’s got to stay a step ahead of everyone around him if he doesn’t want to get ripped apart alive. He’ll need to use every resource he has, from the advice of a paranoid late night radio host, to his Twitter account and find out why he’s become Public Enemy Zero.




Title: Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)

Author: John Scalzi

Avg Rating: 3.73

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Jak vylíčit roli, kterou jste sehráli v největším příběhu dějin? Ptám se, protože musím. Jmenuji se Zoe Boutin-Perryová. Jsem kolonistka uvízlá na neprobádaném, smrtícím světě. Modla pro rasu mimozemšťanů. Hráč a pěšec v mezihvězdné partii šachů o záchranu lidstva nebo případný pozorovatel jeho pádu. Svědek historie. Přítel. Dcera. Člověk.
Každý na Zemi zná příběh, jehož jsem součástí. Ale neznáte můj osud: jak jsem odehrála svou část – jak jsem udělala to, co jsem musela – nejen abych přežila, ale také abych udržela naživu vás. Teď se o tom chystám vyprávět, o všem, jediným způsobem, jaký znám: pravdivě, abyste pocítili to, co cítím já; radost, zděšení a nejistotu, zmatek a úžas, zoufalství a naději. Všechno z mého pohledu. Příběh, o kterém si myslíte, že ho znáte.




Title: The Last Colony (Old Man's War, #3)

Author: John Scalzi

Avg Rating: 4.03

My Rating: 5

Status: read

John Perry has at last found peace in a violent universe, living quietly with his family in one of humanity's many colonies. It's a good life, yet there's something . . . missing. When John and his wife Jane are asked to lead a new colony world, he jumps at the chance to explore the universe once more. But they soon find out that nothing is what it seems, for his new colony are merely pawns in an interstellar game of war and diplomacy between humanity's Colonial Union and a new, seemingly unstoppable alien alliance that is dedicated to ending all human colonization. As this contest rages above, Perry struggles to keep his terrified colonists alive in the face of threats both alien and familiar, on a planet yet to reveal its own fatal secrets.




Title: Terms of Enlistment

Author: Marko Kloos

Avg Rating: 3.95

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you're restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service.

Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces of the North American Commonwealth, for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price…and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or angry welfare rats with guns.




Title: Poor Man's Fight (Poor Man's Fight, #1)

Author: Elliott Kay

Avg Rating: 4.21

My Rating: 5

Status: read

"This test completes your compulsory education. Congratulations! You have graduated high school. Your financial obligation is 67,879 credits. Please visit our loan officer as you exit."

Tanner Malone never bought into military myths of honor and glory. He never wanted to wear a uniform or medals. Yet when family upheaval brings his otherwise stellar performance in school to a disastrous end, Tanner's plans for university lie in ruins. Facing homelessness and a mountain of debt, Tanner enlists in his home planet's tiny navy.

It’s a hell of a time to sign up. Vicious pirates stalk the space lanes, claiming to fight an oppressive economic system even as they shed innocent blood. Civil war looms beyond the borders of Tanner’s home star system of Archangel. Corporate security fleets are nowhere to be found when trouble arises.

In response, Archangel begins ambitious military expansion. Basic training becomes six months of daily bare knuckle brawls, demanding cross-training and constant stress. Brutal as it is, Tanner will need the preparation. The pirates grow more audacious with every attack. As if that’s not enough, Tanner is assigned to a small ship whose disgruntled crew has no patience for cerebral new recruits, and they’re on the front lines of all of Archangel’s woes.

Tanner soon learns there is only one way to deal with his bullying comrades, their ruthless foes and the unforgiving void of space, and that’s to get up close and personal.




Title: The Rocket Company

Author: Patrick Stiennon

Avg Rating: 4.15

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Rocket Company is a fictional account of the development of a commercial two stage to orbit (TSTO) reusable launch vehicle (RLV). Included is a description of the business model devised by a group of seven fictional investors committed to creating an economic engine that will cause the cost of space transportation to spiral rapidly downward as the market for launch services expands. In this context, the marketing, regulatory, and technical problems facing any serious attempt to reduce the cost of space transportation are explored. Although a work of fiction, the book follows in the vein of non-fictional accounts of the development of successful technological products and businesses, such as The Soul of a New Machine, and American Steel.




Title: Captain's Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #5)

Author: Nathan Lowell

Avg Rating: 4.36

My Rating: 5

Status: read

A good captain protects his crew. Who protects the captain?

A shuffling of cabins puts Ishmael Horatio Wang in command of the worst ship in the fleet. He learns that being captain doesn't make you infallible and that life in the captain's cabin is filled with new kinds of challenge as he tries to keep the ship moving, the crew out of trouble, and turn a profit to earn his Captain's Share.

In a ship where the officers outnumber the crew, can he keep everybody happy? Welcome to the SC Agamemnon.




Title: The Reckless Faith Trilogy

Author: David Kantrowitz

Avg Rating: 5.00

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls

Author: Peter Grant

Avg Rating: 4.22

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Who are the hardest of the hard-core criminals in the USA? What made them do the things they've done? What's life really like for them behind bars? And who are the people who make sure they stay there?

“Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls” is a first-hand account from a chaplain's perspective of the real word behind the razor wire in America's high-security prisons. It ranges from hideous brutality to mundane boredom and everything in between. In these pages you'll meet everyone from some of the most evil psychopaths in existence, to those whose only crimes were on paper and hurt nobody. They're all dumped into the penitentiary meat-grinder together, with results that are sometimes agonizing, often frustrating, and occasionally very funny.




Title: Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World's Most Common Man-Made Material

Author: Robert Courland

Avg Rating: 3.63

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: The Ten Books on Architecture

Author: Vitruvius

Avg Rating: 3.98

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The oldest and most influential book ever written on architecture, this volume served as a guide to Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio, Vignola, and countless others. It describes the classic principles of symmetry, harmony, and proportion as well as the ancients' methods, materials, and aesthetics. Authoritative translation by a distinguished Harvard professor.




Title: Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

Author: Blaine Harden

Avg Rating: 3.99

My Rating: 5

Status: read

A New York Times bestseller, the shocking story of one of the few people born in a North Korean political prison to have escaped and survived.

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.




Title: QUANTUM MORTIS: A Man Disrupted (Quantum Mortis, #1)

Author: Steve Rzasa

Avg Rating: 4.08

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: The Outcast (The Empire's Corps, #5)

Author: Christopher G. Nuttall

Avg Rating: 4.06

My Rating: 5

Status: read

When Sameena’s brother accidentally annoys a religious leader on her homeworld, her entire family is targeted for elimination. Forced to flee to save her life, Sameena stows away on a trader starship and is eventually welcomed into the crew, embracing their very different culture and making a new life for herself amongst the stars.

But the Galactic Empire is starting the final descent into chaos and her new home is on the verge of collapse, while secretive forces are maneuvering to take advantage of the Empire’s collapse. If Sameena cannot find a way to keep some small part of civilization intact, the galaxy will crash into a new dark age that will last far longer than a thousand years.




Title: Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)

Author: Marko Kloos

Avg Rating: 4.07

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the solar system

Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is Commonwealth Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day, alongside his pilot girlfriend, but as warfare consumes entire planets and conditions on Earth deteriorate, he wonders if there will be anywhere left for them to go.

After surviving a disastrous spaceborne assault, Grayson is reassigned to a ship bound for a distant colony and packed with malcontents and troublemakers. His most dangerous battle has just begun.

In this sequel to the bestselling "Terms of Enlistment," a weary soldier must fight to prevent the downfall of his species or bear witness to humanity s last, fleeting breaths.

"




Title: The Programmed Mind (Quantum Mortis, #3)

Author: Vox Day

Avg Rating: 3.76

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: QUANTUM MORTIS Gravity Kills

Author: Steve Rzasa

Avg Rating: 4.09

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The independent planet of Rhysalan provides Sanctuary to 1,462 governments-in-exile. It is the responsibility of the Xenocriminology and Alien Relations department of the Military Crimes Investigation Division to keep a firm leash on the hundreds of thousands of xenos residing on-planet. Assassinations, revolutions, civil wars, and attempted planetary genocides are all in a day's work for warrant officer Graven Tower, MCID-XAR.

When an alien ambassador is found dead in orbit while returning to his home planet accompanied by a company of mercenaries from Wardogs Incorporated, suspicions are naturally aroused. But uncovering the truth isn't deemed to be in the interest of the planetary administration, which would just as soon pretend the ambassador's death was an accident. And when Chief Warrant Officer Graven Tower arrives at the scene of the crime, another question is soon raised: are MCID's dynamic investigation methods truly compatible with thinly armored spaceship hulls?

QUANTUM MORTIS is the new action-packed Mil-SF mystery series from Vox Day, author of the epic fantasy series The Arts of Dark and Light. Written with Steve Rzasa, QUANTUM MORTIS Gravity Kills is a novella in the fast-paced series featuring Graven Tower, MCID.




Title: Owner's Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #6)

Author: Nathan Lowell

Avg Rating: 4.35

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Everything in the universe comes with a price.

When Diurnia Salvage and Transport undergoes a change in management, Captain Ishmael Horatio Wang finds himself adrift in a sea of red ink, and intrigue. He dives in only to find that he is over his head in a universe where cut-throat competition takes on an all new meaning. What tragic price will Captain Wang pay for his Owner’s Share?




Title: Line in the Valley

Author: Chris Hernandez

Avg Rating: 4.04

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Lucifer's Hammer

Author: Larry Niven

Avg Rating: 3.98

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known.




Title: The Fall of Night

Author: Christopher G. Nuttall

Avg Rating: 3.70

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture

Author: Ishmael Jones

Avg Rating: 3.86

My Rating: 5

Status: read

American Presidents make decisions on war unaware that the human source intelligence provided by the CIA is often false or nonexistent. From Harry Truman during the Korean War to George Bush during the War on Terror, modern Presidents have faced their darkest moments as a result of poor intelligence. The CIA has assured Congress & the President that intelligence programs in hostile areas of the world are thriving, when they simply do not exist. The CIA is a broken, Soviet-style bureaucracy with its own agenda: to consume federal funds, to expand within the USA & to feign activity,
Ishmael Jones (b. 12/15/61) is a pseudonym used by a former CIA officer. He resigned from the CIA, becoming a proponent of American intelligence reform, with special emphasis on the improvement of human source intelligence collection. He's a former deep cover case officer & author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture & many articles on intelligence reform.
Introduction
Prologue
Daring greatly, perhaps
Training days
American apprenticeship
Perseverance & soothing language
Sent to spy out the land
Trying to hustle the east
Morning in Eastern Europe
Physicists who knew sin
Always be closing
Restless
Hazardous microbes
Darkness & brief dawn
Trying
Grifters
The way of the weasel
Headquarters
Starting over
Remington raider
Epilogue
Appendix: Solutions for Reform of the Clandestine Service
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index




Title: Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA

Author: Charles S. Faddis

Avg Rating: 3.84

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Charles Faddis, co-author of Operation Hotel California, offers gritty, hair-raising stories about the CIA, which has devolved into a giant bureaucracy of ass-coverers and careerists – not the kind of people you want in charge of preventing another 9/11.  He discusses the birth of the CIA (then called the OSS) after an earlier Day of Infamy (12/7) under “Wild Bill” Donovan, the 20th-century American father of spy-craft, and how it works from the inside out, and why things have gone awry.  In the face of threats that are multiplying and becoming increasingly complex, he tells why we need an effective CIA and how to go about building one. 




Title: SPQR VI: Nobody Loves a Centurion

Author: John Maddox Roberts

Avg Rating: 4.12

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Julius Caesar, as we know, arrived in Gaul (now France) and announced "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered," but when Decius Metellus arrives from Rome, not seeking military glory but rather avoiding an enemy currently in power, he finds that although the general came and saw, so far, at least, he has far from conquered. The campaign seems at a standstill.

Decius's arrival disappoints the great Caesar as well. He has been waiting for promised reinforcements from Rome, an influx of soldiers to restart his invasion. Instead he is presented with one young man ridiculously decked out in military parade finery and short on military skills, accompanied not by eager troops but by one callow and reluctant slave, the feckless Hermes.

It soon develops, however, that Decius's arrival was fortuitous. When Vinius, the army's cruelest centurion (so-called because he commands a hundred soldiers), is found murdered, Caesar remembers that his new recruit has successfully come up with the culprit in a number of recent crimes. Murder is bad for morale, particularly since it seems quite clear that the murderer was one of Caesar's men. Caesar orders Decius to find the killer -- and quickly.

Although evidence points to the son of one of Decius's clients -- a youth who was the particular target of the centurion's brutality, Decius racks his brain to find a way to save him from the sentence of death. The investigation leads Decius to two German slaves of the dead man -- a dwarfish old man and a beautiful woman. They are puzzling; the man is arrogant, the woman haughty--very unlike slaves. There are unanswered questions. It soon becomes clear to Decius that only by finding and punishing the real murderer will it be possible to quiet the rising dissatisfaction with Caesar's unorthodox method of warfare and forestall a mutiny against the mighty Caesar's authority and aims.




Title: Rich Man's War (Poor Man's Fight, #2)

Author: Elliott Kay

Avg Rating: 4.28

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Tanner Malone is starting to enjoy his navy post in the honor guard. After surviving violent conflicts with space pirates in the void, he hopes to stay out of the stars for a while. But when the government of Archangel, a prosperous Union state including four terraformed worlds, makes a dangerous decision to defy the Big Three’s corporate dominance, war threatens the galaxy.

The interstellar fighting escalates, and duty calls a reluctant Tanner to the front lines, where it becomes more and more difficult to tell the difference between politician, pirate, and protector. When secret intel reveals a vast network of bloody covert operations, along with a rigged economic system that enslaves its members, Tanner finds himself at the perilous intersection between the government, the Big Three, and pirates who will stop at nothing to remain free.




Title: Citadel

Author: John Ringo

Avg Rating: 4.27

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Epische Kämpfe und galaktische Intrigen – John Ringo bietet beste Science-Fiction-Unterhaltung

Die Menschheit ist nicht länger allein. Die fremde Zivilisation der Horvath hat die Erde entdeckt und mit einer Invasionsstreitmacht überrannt. Doch eine kleine Gruppe von Widerstandskämpfern plant eine nahezu unglaubliche Rettungsaktion: den Bau einer gewaltigen Kampfstation im All…




Title: Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1)

Author: John Ringo

Avg Rating: 4.15

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook

Author: Edward N. Luttwak

Avg Rating: 3.98

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The coup is the most frequently attempted method of changing government & the most successful. Coup d'Etat outlines the mechanism of the coup & analyzes the conditions political, military & social, that gives rise to it. In doing so, the book sheds much light on societies where power does indeed grow out of the barrel of a gun & the role of law is a concept little understood.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword
Preace to the 1st Edition
Preface to the 1979 Edition
What is the coup d'état? --
When is a coup d'état possible?
The strategy of the coup d'état
The planning of the coup d'état
The execution of the coup d'état
Appendices
Tables
Index




Title: Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3)

Author: Marko Kloos

Avg Rating: 4.07

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system’s edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard, cut off from the rest of the galaxy by the Lanky blockade, teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war. For battle-weary staff sergeant Andrew Grayson and the ragged forces of the North American Commonwealth, the fight for survival is entering a catastrophic new phase.

Forging an uneasy alliance with their Sino-Russian enemies, the NAC launches a hybrid task force on a long shot: a stealth mission to breach the Lanky blockade and reestablish supply lines with Earth. Plunging into combat against a merciless alien species that outguns, outmaneuvers, and outfights them at every turn, Andrew and his fellow troopers could end up cornered on their home turf, with no way out and no hope for reinforcement. And this time, the struggle for humanity’s future can only end in either victory or annihilation.




Title: Freehold (Freehold Series Book 1)

Author: Michael Z. Williamson

Avg Rating: 4.02

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass

Author: Theodore Dalrymple

Avg Rating: 4.19

My Rating: 5

Status: read

A searing account of life in the underclass and why it persists as it does, written by a British psychiatrist.




Title: Witness

Author: Whittaker Chambers

Avg Rating: 4.35

My Rating: 5

Status: read

#1 New York Times bestseller for 13 consecutive weeks!

First published in 1952, Witness is the true story of Soviet spies in America and the trial that captivated a nation. Part literary effort, part philosophical treatise, this intriguing autobiography recounts the famous case and reveals much more. Chambers' worldview and his belief that "man without mysticism is a monster" went on to help make political conservatism a national force.

Regnery History's Cold War Classics edition is the most comprehensive version of Witness ever published, featuring forewords collected from all previous editions, including discussions from luminaries William F. Buckley Jr., Robert D. Novak, Milton Hindus, and Alfred S. Regnery.




Title: Second Opinion: A Doctor's Dispatches from the British Inner City

Author: Theodore Dalrymple

Avg Rating: 4.02

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Drug addicts and desperate drunks, battered wives and suicidal burglars, elderly Alzheimer's sufferers and teenage stabbing victims. They all pass through Theodore Dalrymple's surgery, and he uses the experience of treating them to examine life for those unfortunate enough to live at the bottom end of society. He writes with a combination of dry humour, compassion and, occasionally, anger -- mostly at the inhuman bureaucracy of the system, which works against the doctors and nurses as they try to help their patients.




Title: South Coast (Shaman's Tales From The Golden Age Of The Solar Clipper Book 1)

Author: Nathan Lowell

Avg Rating: 4.20

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Son of a Shaman.

Otto is Richard Krugg's only son and heir to the Shaman's gift. Otto doesn't want it. He wants to be a fisherman. When company policies force unwelcome changes onto his life and threaten even the security of the village, Otto discovers that being a shaman isn't optional.

Jimmy Pirano is caught between the devil and the deep green sea when new production quotas are handed down from corporate headquarters. Locked into a century of existing practice, Jimmy is forced to find new ways to fish and new places to do it in or face the very real possibility that Pirano Fisheries will lose the St. Cloud franchise.

Join Otto, Richard, and Rachel Krugg as they struggle with what it means to be the son of a shaman. Cast off with Jimmy, Tony, and Casey as they navigate the shoals and shallows of corporate fishery along the South Coast.




Title: One Rough Man (Pike Logan, #1)

Author: Brad Taylor

Avg Rating: 4.03

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, move over: introducing a pulse-pounding new international thriller series by a former Delta Force commander.
They call it the Taskforce. Their existence is as essential as it is illegal. Commissioned at the highest level of the U.S. government. Protected from the prying eyes of Congress and the media. Built around the top operators from across the clandestine, intelligence, and special forces landscape. Designed to operate outside the bounds of U.S. law. Trained to exist on the ragged edge of human capability.

Pike Logan was the most successful operator on the Taskforce, his instincts and talents unrivaled-until personal tragedy permanently altered his outlook on the world. Pike knows what the rest of the country might not want to admit: The real threat isn't from any nation, any government, any terrorist group. The real threat is one or two men, controlled by ideology, operating independently, in possession of a powerful weapon.

Buried in a stack of intercepted chatter is evidence of two such men. The transcripts are scheduled for analysis in three months. The attack is mere days away. It is their bad luck that they're about to cross paths with Pike Logan. And Pike Logan has nothing left to lose.




Title: The Backyard Blacksmith

Author: Lorelei Sims

Avg Rating: 4.12

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Backyard Blacksmith shows you how -- with some patience and a working knowledge of metals, basic tools, and techniques -- blacksmithing can be easy to learn, and a rewarding hobby. Through instructions and illustrations, readers will learn to make simple tools and useful items, such as nails, hinges, and handles, and also an interesting mix of artful projects, such letter openers, door knockers and botanical ornaments. Written by an expert in blacksmith and metal artist, this book provides readers with a basic understanding of blacksmithing, including an explanation of tools like an anvil, an anvil stand, hammers, and tongs. Heating techniques like coal forging and fire tending are explained in detail, along with different types of metal like wrought iron, cast iron, and steel. The Backyard Blacksmith walks readers through step-by-step, illustrated projects including hooks, door and gate pulls, wall-mounted hooks, knockers, racks, and more. These expert blacksmithing lessons come to life with full-color photography to illustrate the steps and provide a better understanding of the text. With this book, beginning blacksmiths can learn to turn metal from its raw shape into something useful and beautiful to behold.




Title: Little Fuzzy, Space Viking and Other Terro-Human Future History Stories

Author: H. Beam Piper

Avg Rating: 4.14

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Thief of Time (Discworld, #26)

Author: Terry Pratchett

Avg Rating: 4.24

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: Soda Pop Soldier

Author: Nick Cole

Avg Rating: 4.09

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Call of Duty meets Diablo in this fast-paced, action-packed novel from the author of The Wasteland Saga.

Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat sport arena where mega-corporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using drop-ships and state-of-the-art weaponry to wipe each other out.

But times are tough and the rent is due, and when players need extra dough, there’s always the Black, an illegal open source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free rein in the Westhavens, a gothic dungeon fantasy world.

And all too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a mad man intent on hacking the global economy for himself.




Title: Chains of Command (Frontlines, #4)

Author: Marko Kloos

Avg Rating: 4.27

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The assault on Earth was thwarted by the destruction of the aliens’ seed ship, but with Mars still under Lanky control, survivors work frantically to rebuild fighting capacity and shore up planetary defenses. Platoon sergeant Andrew Grayson must crash-course train new volunteers—all while dulling his searing memories of battle with alcohol and meds.

Knowing Earth’s uneasy respite won’t last, the North American Commonwealth and its Sino-Russian allies hurtle toward two dangerous options: hit the Lanky forces on Mars or go after deserters who stole a fleet of invaluable warships critical to winning the war. Assigned to a small special ops recon mission to scout out the renegades’ stronghold on a distant moon, Grayson and his wife, dropship pilot Halley, again find themselves headed for the crucible of combat—and a shattering new campaign in the war for humanity’s future.




Title: Failure is not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Author: Gene Kranz

Avg Rating: 4.23

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Gene Kranz was present at the creation of America's manned space program and was a key player in it for three decades. As a flight director in NASA's Mission Control, Kranz witnessed firsthand the making of history. He participated in the space program from the early days of the Mercury program to the last Apollo mission, and beyond. He endured the disastrous first years when rockets blew up and the United States seemed to fall further behind the Soviet Union in the space race. He helped to launch Alan Shepard and John Glenn, then assumed the flight director's role in the Gemini program, which he guided to fruition. With his teammates, he accepted the challenge to carry out President John F. Kennedy's commitment to land a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s.
Kranz was flight director for both Apollo 11, the mission in which Neil Armstrong fulfilled President Kennedy's pledge, and Apollo 13. He headed the Tiger Team that had to figure out how to bring the three Apollo 13 astronauts safely back to Earth. (In the film Apollo 13, Kranz was played by the actor Ed Harris, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance.)
In Failure Is Not an Option, Gene Kranz recounts these thrilling historic events and offers new information about the famous flights. What appeared as nearly flawless missions to the Moon were, in fact, a series of hair-raising near misses. When the space technology failed, as it sometimes did, the controllers' only recourse was to rely on their skills and those of their teammates. Kranz takes us inside Mission Control and introduces us to some of the whiz kids -- still in their twenties, only a few years out of college -- who had to figure it all out as they went along, creating a great and daring enterprise. He reveals behind-the-scenes details to demonstrate the leadership, discipline, trust, and teamwork that made the space program a success.
Finally, Kranz reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now.
This is a fascinating firsthand account written by a veteran mission controller of one of America's greatest achievements.




Title: A Few Good Men (Darkship Book 3)

Author: Sarah A. Hoyt

Avg Rating: 3.78

My Rating: 3

Status: read

The Son Also Rises . . .

On a near future Earth, Good Man does not mean good at all. Instead, the term signifies a member of the ruling class, and what it takes to become a Good Man and to hold onto power is downright evil. Now a conspiracy hundreds of years in the making is about to be brought to light when the imprisoned son of the Good Man of Olympic Seacity escapes from his solitary confinement cell and returns to find his father assassinated.

But when Luce Keeva attempts to take hold of the reins of power, he finds that not all is as it seems, that a plot for his own imminent murder is afoot—and that a worldwide conflagration looms. It is a war of revolution, and a shadowy group known as the Sons of Liberty may prove to be Luce's only ally in a fight to throw off an evil from the past that has enslaved humanity for generations.

Sequel to Sarah A. Hoyt's award-winning Darkship Thieves, and Darkship Renegades, this is Book One in the Earth's Revolution saga.

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (DRM Rights Management).




Title: Brings the Lightning (The Ames Archives Book 1)

Author: Peter Grant

Avg Rating: 4.22

My Rating: 5

Status: read

When the Civil War ends, where can a former Confederate soldier go to escape the long memories of neighbors who supported the winning side? Where can Johnny Reb go when he can't go home?

He can go out West, where the land is hard, where there is danger on every side, and where no one cares for whom you fought – only how well you can do it.

Walt Ames, a former cavalryman with the First Virginia, is headed West with little more than a rifle, a revolver, and a pocket full of looted Yankee gold. But in his way stand bushwhackers, bluecoats, con men, and the ever-restless Indians. And perhaps most dangerous of all, even more dangerous than the cruel and unforgiving land, is the temptation of the woman whose face he can't forget.

When you can’t go home again – go West!




Title: The Longest Con

Author: Michaelbrent Collings

Avg Rating: 4.22

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Larry Correia. Kevin J. Anderson. D.J. Butler. Orson Scott Card. Mercedes Yardley.

Would you like to know - I mean, REALLY know - what they're doing when they go to those fancy comic-cons? Because it ain't just writing.

See, every year, thousands of people attend comic-cons dressed as monsters.
Of course, you probably already knew that.
But did you ALSO know that...
every year, thousands of MONSTERS attend comic-cons dressed as PEOPLE.

Sure. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong there.

Luckily, the con organizers have placed Wardens throughout the conventions. These undercover supernatural troubleshooters are tasked with stopping mayhem before it starts . . . or solving the murders after they happen.

I'M MICHAELBRENT COLLINGS: author of this book, and one of the Wardens. My job is to go to the cons, where I sell books, make fans, and kill the occasional monster.

It's not just me, either. Those authors I told you about, and even more . . . you'd never guess what many of your favorite authors are REALLY up to at the conventions.

Luckily, though, you don't have to guess.

JUST READ THIS BOOK.

And get ready to have . . . your . . . mind . . . BLOWN.*

* Disclaimer: your mind may or may not be blown.




Title: The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

Author: David E. Hoffman

Avg Rating: 4.18

My Rating: 5

Status: read

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning history The Dead Hand comes the riveting story of a spy who cracked open the Soviet military research establishment and a penetrating portrait of the CIA’s Moscow station, an outpost of daring espionage in the last years of the Cold War
 
   While driving out of the American embassy in Moscow on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station heard a knock on his car window. A man on the curb handed him an envelope whose contents stunned U.S. intelligence: details of top-secret Soviet research and developments in military technology that were totally unknown to the United States. In the years that followed, the man, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau, used his high-level access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of technical secrets. His revelations allowed America to reshape its weapons systems to defeat Soviet radar on the ground and in the air, giving the United States near total superiority in the skies over Europe.
   One of the most valuable spies to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union, Tolkachev took enormous personal risks—but so did the Americans. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev was a singular breakthrough. Using spy cameras and secret codes as well as face-to-face meetings in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded for years in eluding the feared KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk. 
   Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA and on interviews with participants, David Hoffman has created an unprecedented and poignant portrait of Tolkachev, a man motivated by the depredations of the Soviet state to master the craft of spying against his own country. Stirring, unpredictable, and at times unbearably tense, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting that unfolds like an espionage thriller.




Title: Heavier Than a Mountain (Destiny's Crucible Book 3)

Author: Olan Thorensen

Avg Rating: 4.47

My Rating: 5

Status: read




Title: The Pen and the Sword (Destiny's Crucible Book 2)

Author: Olan Thorensen

Avg Rating: 4.35

My Rating: 0

Status: read




Title: Outland

Author: Dennis Taylor

Avg Rating: 4.18

My Rating: 5

Status: read

"When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it's up to six university students and their experimental physics project to prevent the end of civilization. "


When an experiment to study quantum uncertainty goes spectacularly wrong, physics student Richard and his friends find that they have accidentally created an inter-dimensional portal. They connect to an alternate Earth with identical geology, but where humans never evolved. They go panning for gold and become millionaires overnight, while fantasizing about Nobel Prizes and patents.

Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts on Earth in an explosion large enough to destroy civilization and kill half the planet. Richard and his friends have less than an afternoon to get as many people as possible across to Outland before Nebraska is covered in a lethal cloud of ash.

Now Richard finds himself in charge of a disorganized and frightened band of reluctant pioneers, on a world with none of the modern infrastructure that people have come to depend on. Richard has been a loner all his life, and has always wanted to be part of something bigger– but this is far more than he bargained for. If he doesn’t get this right, it’s not just the lives of the people in his care that could be lost– it may very well be the end of human civilization.




Title: We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (Bobiverse, #1)

Author: Dennis Taylor

Avg Rating: 4.36

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street.

Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds. If he declines the honor, he'll be switched off, and they'll try again with someone else. If he accepts, he becomes a prime target. There are at least three other countries trying to get their own probes launched first, and they play dirty.

The safest place for Bob is in space, heading away from Earth at top speed. Or so he thinks. Because the universe is full of nasties, and trespassers make them mad - very mad.




Title: The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Author: Richard Feynman

Avg Rating: 4.58

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The revised edition of Feynman's legendary lectures includes extensive corrections and updates collated by Feynman and his colleagues. A new foreword by Kip Thorne, the current Richard Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech, discusses the relevance of the new edition to today’s readers. This boxed set also includes Feynman’s new Tips on Physics — the four previously unpublished lectures that Feynman gave to students preparing for exams at the end of his course. Thus, this 4 — volume set is the complete and definitive edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Packaged in a specially designed slipcase, this 4 — volume set provides the ultimate legacy of Feynman’s extraordinary contribution to students, teachers, researches, and lay readers around the world.




Title: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

Author: Richard Feynman

Avg Rating: 4.29

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Richard Feynman (1918-1988), winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; painting a naked female toreador - and much else of an eyebrow-raising nature.

In short, here is Feynman's life in all its eccentric glory - a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.




Title: Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Author: Jenny Lawson

Avg Rating: 3.93

My Rating: 5

Status: read

In LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Jenny's first book, LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that?




Title: Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

Author: Jenny Lawson

Avg Rating: 3.90

My Rating: 5

Status: read

For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.
 
Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.




Title: Daedalus (Interstellar Cargo Book 2)

Author: Matt Verish

Avg Rating: 3.67

My Rating: 3

Status: read




Title: Icarus (Interstellar Cargo Book 1)

Author: Matt Verish

Avg Rating: 3.74

My Rating: 0

Status: read

Sign up for the Newsletter, and get a FREE ebook! (mfverish.wix.com/icarus)

"He had me from the very first line...Perfect."
(Nick Webb - USA Today Bestselling Author of the Legacy Fleet trilogy)

"I love the way the character's opinions get across. I'm hooked!"
(Annie Bellet - USA Today Bestselling Author of the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series)

Cole Musgrave’s dream of interstellar travel is about to become a nightmare. When a high-profile delivery is compromised aboard a state-of-the-art cargo vessel, the newly appointed captain finds himself embroiled in an assignment far above his pay grade.

Blackmail, terrorists, a malfunctioning prototype A.I. pilot, and a sinister terraforming corporation with deep criminal ties await him. Who knew delivering cargo to the deep recesses of space could be so dangerous?

Armed only with his cunning and past military experience, Cole is one against many. But this unorthodox interstellar cargo pilot won’t go down without a fight—even after he is faced with a choice that will alter the course of his life forever.




Title: Milk Run (Smuggler's Tales From The Golden Age Of The Solar Clipper, #1)

Author: Nathan Lowell

Avg Rating: 4.42

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Academy graduate Natalya Regyri stood first in line for her pick of Engineering Officer jobs, until, at the graduation party, a classmate turned up dead. Now, betrayed by her friends and framed for murder, she must flee beyond the reach of the Confederation...and any semblance of civilized society.

With a damaged second-hand ship and TIC interceptors dogging her step, she nets a smuggling contract that might just get her back on her feet and in control of her destiny. But only if she's willing to make an ore run back to the place she's wanted for murder, and into the arms of the authorities...
...who somehow know she's coming.




Title: At All Costs (Honor Harrington, #11)

Author: David Weber

Avg Rating: 4.17

My Rating: 4

Status: read

What Price Victory?

The War with the Republic of Haven has resumed...disastrously for the Star Kingdom of Manticore.

Admiral Lady Dame Honor Harrington has been recalled from the Sidemore System to command Eighth Fleet. Everyone knows Eight Fleet is the Alliance's primary offensive command, but what most of the public doesn't know is that not only are the Star Kingdom and its Allies badly outnumbered by the Republic's new fleet, but that the odds are going to get steadily worse.

Eighth Fleet's job is to somehow prevent those odds from crushing the Alliance before the Star Kingdom can regain its strategic balance. It's a job which won't be done chaply. Honor Harrington must meet her formidable responsibilities with inferior forces even as she copes with tumultous changes in her personal and public life.

The alternative to victory is total defeat, yet this time the cost of victory will be agonizingly high.




Title: Field of Dishonor (Honor Harrington, #4)

Author: David Weber

Avg Rating: 4.19

My Rating: 4

Status: read

The People's Republic of Haven's sneak attack on the Kingdom of Manticore has failed. The Peeps are in disarray, their leaders fighting for power in bloody revolution, and the Royal Manticoran Navy stands victorious.

But Manticore has domestic problems of its own, and success can be more treacherous than defeat for Honor Harrington. Now, trapped at the core of a political crisis she never sought, betrayed by an old and vicious enemy she'd thought vanquished forever, she stands alone.

She must fight for justice on a battlefield she never trained for in a private war that offers just two choices: death . . . or a "victory" that can end only in dishonor and the loss of all she loves.

This edition is the ebook published on the CD included in the hardcover copy of Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington #12).




Title: The Short Victorious War (Honor Harrington, #3)

Author: David Weber

Avg Rating: 4.16

My Rating: 0

Status: read

The families who rule the People's Republic of Haven are in trouble. What they need is a short, victorious war to unite the people and fill the treasury. It's a card they've played often, and won. But this time they're up against Captain Honor Harrington and a Royal Manticoran Navy that's prepared to give them a war they'll never forget.




Title: The Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington, #2)

Author: David Weber

Avg Rating: 4.21

My Rating: 5

Status: read

RIGHT WOMAN, WRONG PLACE

It's hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards war as the necessary prelude to conquest, and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That's why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the so-called "Republic" of Haven—and the planet Grayson is just the right strategic place to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty's Foreign Office had overlooked a "minor cultural difference" when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet Grayson are without rank or rights; Honor's very presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.

At first Honor doesn't take it personally; where she comes from gender discrimination is barely a historical memory, right up there in significance to fear of the left-handed. But in time such treatment as she receives from the Graysonites does become wearing, and Honor would withdraw if she could—but then Grayson's fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning and she must stay and prevail, not just for Honor's honor, but for her sovereign's, for—THE HONOR OF THE QUEEN.




Title: On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington, #1)

Author: David Weber

Avg Rating: 4.11

My Rating: 0

Status: read

Honor Harrington in trouble: Having made him look the fool, she's been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her. Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station. The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens. Parliament isn't sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling, the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called "Republic" of Haven is Up to Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn't work to police the entire star system. But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They've made her mad!




Title: Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunter International, #1)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.04

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a fourteenth story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer.

It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, except for one little problem. An ancient entity known as the Cursed One has returned to settle a centuries old vendetta. Should the Cursed One succeed, it means the end of the world, and MHI is the only thing standing in his way. With the clock ticking towards Armageddon, Owen finds himself trapped between legions of undead minions, belligerent federal agents, a cryptic ghost who has taken up residence inside his head, and the cursed family of the woman he loves.

Business is good... Welcome to Monster Hunter International.




Title: Tanya: Princess of the Elves

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.20

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The epic saga of a young trailer park elf and her quest to be more like Elvis Presley. Will Tanya ever realize her dream of becoming a Hunter? Why do orcs like talk radio? Why won’t bacon stay crispy in milk? FIND OUT!




Title: Monster Hunter Vendetta (Monster Hunter International, #2)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.24

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Owen Pitt never met a gun he didn’t like, or a monster he couldn’t shoot. But now, the monsters are shooting back . . .

Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old One’s invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.

The Condition is led by a fanatical necromancer known as the Shadow Man. The government wants to capture the Shadow Man and has assigned the enigmatic Agent Franks to be Owen’s full time bodyguard, which is a polite way of saying that Owen is monster bait.

With supernatural assassins targeting his family, a spy in their midst, and horrific beasties lurking around every corner, Owen and the staff of Monster Hunter International don’t need to go hunting, because this time the monsters are hunting them. Fortunately, this bait is armed and very dangerous . . .




Title: Hard Magic (Grimnoir Chronicles, #1)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.13

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Jake Sullivan is a licensed Private Eye—with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someone to go after a suspected killer who's been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree. Problems arise when Jake discovers the bad girl behind the robberies is an old friend, and he happens to know her magic is just as powerful as his, and the Feds have plunged Jake into a secret battle between powerful cartels of magic-users--a cartel whose ruthless leaders have decided that Jake is far too dangerous to live. . . .




Title: Little Brother

Author: Cory Doctorow

Avg Rating: 3.94

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Marcus aka “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, his injured best friend Darryl does not come out. The city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: "M1k3y" will take down the DHS himself.




Title: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Brontë

Avg Rating: 3.82

My Rating: 2

Status: read

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.




Title: Look to Windward (Culture, #7)

Author: Iain M. Banks

Avg Rating: 4.15

My Rating: 4

Status: read

The Twin Novae battle had been one of the last of the Idiran war, one of the most horrific. Desperate to avert defeat, the Idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds & biospheres teeming with sentient life. They were attacks of incredible proportion--gigadeathcrimes. But the war ended & life went on. Now, 800 years later, light from the 1st explosion is about to reach the Masaq' Orbital, home to the Culture's most adventurous & decadent souls. There it will fall upon Masaq's 50 billion inhabitants, gathered to commemorate the deaths of the innocent & to reflect, if only for a moment, on what some call the Culture's own complicity in the terrible event. Also journeying to Masaq' is Major Quilan, an emissary from the war-ravaged world of Chel. In the aftermath of the conflict that split his world apart, most believe he has come to Masaq' to bring home Chel's most brilliant star & self-exiled dissident, the honored Composer Ziller. Ziller claims he will do anything to avoid a meeting with Quilan, who he suspects has come to murder him. But the Major's true assignment will have far greater consequences than the death of a mere political dissident, as part of a conspiracy more ambitious than even he can know--a mission his superiors have buried so deeply in his mind that even he can't remember it.
Hailed by SFX magazine as "an excellent hopping-on point if you've never read a Banks SF novel before," Look to Windward is an awe-inspiring immersion into the wildly original, vividly realized civilization Banks calls the Culture.




Title: The Monster Hunters (Monster Hunter International #1-3)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.43

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Monster Hunter International, Monster Hunter Vendetta and Monster Hunter Alpha in one huge volume!  Two New York Times bestsellers in together for the first time, and the first three entries in Larry Correia’s blockbuster Monster Hunter series.

Monster Hunter InternationalFive days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a fourteenth story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Officially secret, some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. On the other side are the people who kill monsters for a living. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit. It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, except for one little problem. An ancient entity known as the Cursed One has returned to settle a centuries old vendetta. Should the Cursed One succeed, it means the end of the world, and MHI is the only thing standing in his way. With the clock ticking towards Armageddon, Owen finds himself trapped between legions of undead minions, belligerent federal agents, a cryptic ghost who has taken up residence inside his head, and the cursed family of the woman he loves. 

Monster Hunter VendettaAccountant turned professional monster hunter Owen Zastava Pitt managed to stop the nefarious Old One’s invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.The Condition is led by a fanatical necromancer known as the Shadow Man. The government wants to capture the Shadow Man and has assigned the enigmatic Agent Franks to be Owen’s full time bodyguard -- which is a polite way of saying that Owen is monster bait.  Fortunately, this bait is armed and very dangerous.

Monster Hunter AlphaEarl Harbinger may be the leader of Monster Hunter International, but he’s also got a secret. Nearly a century ago, Earl was cursed to be werewolf. When Earl receives word that one of his oldest foes, a legendarily vicious werewolf that worked for the KGB, has mysteriously appeared in the remote woods of Michigan, he decides to take care of some unfinished business. But another force is working to bring about the creation of a whole new species of werewolf. When darkness falls, the final hunt begins, and the only thing standing in their way is a handful of locals, a lot of firepower, and Earl Harbinger’s stubborn refusal to roll over and play dead.




Title: Brave New World

Author: Aldous Huxley

Avg Rating: 3.96

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...

Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.




Title: Count Zero (Sprawl, #2)

Author: William Gibson

Avg Rating: 3.99

My Rating: 5

Status: read

A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he’s recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D—and the biochip he’s perfected—out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties—some of whom aren’t remotely human...




Title: Monster Hunter Legion (Monster Hunter International, #4)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.31

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Monster Hunter International might be the premier monster eradication company in the business, but they’ve got competition.

When hunters from around the world gather in Las Vegas for a conference, a creature left over from a World War Two weapons experiment wakes up and goes on a rampage across the desert. A not-so-friendly wager between the rival companies turns into a race to see who can bag the mysterious creature first.

Only there is far more to this particular case than meets the eye, and as Hunters fall prey to their worst nightmares, Owen Zastava Pitt and the staff of Monster Hunter International have to stop an ancient god from turning Sin City into a literal hell on earth.




Title: Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

Author: Dan Brown

Avg Rating: 3.85

My Rating: 5

Status: read

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati ... the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church.

Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair ... a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.




Title: Neuromancer

Author: William Gibson

Avg Rating: 3.87

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century's most potent visions of the future.




Title: Monster Hunter Nemesis (Monster Hunter International, #5)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.37

My Rating: 5

Status: read

#5 in multiple New York Times bestseller Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series.

Agent Franks of the U.S. Monster Control Bureau is a man of many parts—parts from other people, that is. Franks is nearly seven feet tall and all muscle. He's nearly indestructible. Plus he’s animated by a powerful alchemical substance and inhabited by a super-intelligent spirit more ancient than humanity itself.

Good thing he’s on our side. More or less.

Sworn to serve and protect the United States of America from all monsters by one of the country’s founding fathers, Franks has only one condition to the agreement: no matter what the government learns of him, no matter what is discovered concerning his odd physiology or the alchemy behind the elixir that made him, the government is never, ever allowed to try and make more like him. Such is absolutely forbidden and should the powers-that-be do so, then the agreement is null and void.

Project Nemesis: in a secret location, using sophisticated technology and advanced genetic engineering, the director of the very agency Franks works for is making more like him. And the director is not content with making one. Nope, he’s making thirteen.

Now all bets are off, and Hell hath no fury like a monster betrayed. Particularly if that monster happens to be an undying killing machine capable of taking out vampires and werewolves with one hand tied behind his back.




Title: Monster Hunter Alpha (Monster Hunter International, #3)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.26

My Rating: 4

Status: read

#3 in the break-out, best-selling Monster Hunter series. Earl Harbinger, head of Monster Hunter International, faces down an old nemesis -- a very nasty former KGB werewolf who is working to create a new, unstoppable breed. Dirty Harry meets Twilight. #3 in the break-out series and a follow-up to Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta.

Earl Harbinger may be the leader of Monster Hunter International, but he’s also got a secret. Nearly a century ago, Earl was cursed to be werewolf. When Earl receives word that one of his oldest foes, a legendarily vicious werewolf that worked for the KGB, has mysteriously appeared in the remote woods of Michigan, he decides to take care of some unfinished business. But another force is working to bring about the creation of a whole new species of werewolf. When darkness falls, the final hunt begins, and the only thing standing in their way is a handful of locals, a lot of firepower, and Earl Harbinger’s stubborn refusal to roll over and play dead.

Here’s a sample of Larry Correia’s prose punch from series opener, Monster Hunter International “I didn’t wake up that morning and decide that I was going to kill my boss with my bare hands. It was much more complicated than that.”




Title: Grunge (Monster Hunter Memoirs, #1)

Author: Larry Correia

Avg Rating: 4.09

My Rating: 5

Status: read

When Marine Private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the Marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to Heaven, which while nice might be a little boring, or return to Earth. The Boss has a mission for him and he's to look for a sign. He's a Marine: He'll choose the mission.

Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57." Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually, it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called "Monster Hunters International" and protect people from things that go bump in the night. From there, things trend downhill. 

Monster Hunter Memoirs is the (mostly) true story of the life and times of one of MHI's most effective—and flamboyant—hunters. Pro-tips for up and coming hunters range from how to dress appropriately for jogging (low-profile body armor and multiple weapons) to how to develop contacts among the Japanese yakuza, to why it's not a good idea to make billy goat jokes to trolls. 

Grunge harkens back to the Golden Days of Monster Hunting when Reagan was in office, Ray and Susan Shackleford were top hunters and Seattle sushi was authentic.




Title: The Hot Gate

Author: John Ringo

Avg Rating: 4.23

My Rating: 5

Status: read

New York Times Best-Selling Author.

The Big Showdown with an Alien Empire, to Keep the Earth Free—and Maybe Free the Galaxy as Well.

The fight to free the Earth from alien domination began in Live Free or Die, and continued in Citadel. Now Tyler Vernon, and his troops aboard the gigantic battle station Troy, face a desperate battle with the forces of galactic tyranny. And the very survival of the Earth and its people is not all that is at stake. The galaxy itself must choose to live free or die—and if the tyrants win this battle, darkness will fall across the galaxy for millennia to come.




Title: Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)

Author: Kim Stanley Robinson

Avg Rating: 3.84

My Rating: 0

Status: read

An alternate cover edition can be found here.

In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.




Title: The Grey Man: Payback

Author: J.L. Curtis

Avg Rating: 4.37

My Rating: 0

Status: read




Title: The Grey Man: Vignettes

Author: J.L. Curtis

Avg Rating: 4.14

My Rating: 0

Status: read

The Bad Guys Don't Stand a Chance
Texas rancher and lawman John Cronin knows what it means to be tough. A decorated Vietnam vet with connections to law enforcement agencies all around the world, he’s thwarted smugglers and drug plots across the globe with more than a few narrow escapes. Whether it’s a sniper competition or teaching the feds a thing or two about police work, Cronin doesn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. Of course, this slow-talking lawman’s biggest challenge yet might be when his granddaughter Jesse falls in love with a Marine. When drug smugglers stir up trouble in Cronin’s backyard and try to kill Jesse and her new beau, all hell breaks loose, and Cronin and his granddaughter are just the people to set things right.




Title: Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal (Carolrhoda Picture Books)

Author: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Avg Rating: 4.04

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he was cunning and fearless. When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail, because Bass always got his man, dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn’t like the notion of a black lawman. Born into slavery in 1838, Bass had a hard and violent life, but he also had a strong sense of right and wrong that others admired. When Judge Isaac Parker tried to bring law and order to the lawless Indian Territories, he chose Bass to be a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Bass would quickly prove a smart choice. For three decades, Bass was the most feared and respected lawman in the territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty. The story of Bass Reeves is the story of a remarkable African American and a remarkable hero of the Old West.




Title: CyberStorm

Author: Matthew Mather

Avg Rating: 3.74

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Sometimes the worst storms aren't caused by Mother Nature, and sometimes the worst nightmares aren't in the ones in our heads...

Mike Mitchell, an average New Yorker already struggling to keep his family together, suddenly finds himself fighting just to keep them alive when an increasingly bizarre string of disasters start appearing on the world’s news networks. As the world and cyberworlds come crashing down, bending perception and reality, a monster snowstorm cuts New York off from the world, becoming a wintry tomb where no one can be trusted, and nothing is what it seems...

CyberStorm is a techno-thriller set in present-day New York City that will appeal to fans of Michael Chichton and Tom Clancy as well as devotees of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. It is an exploration of the human condition as the cyberworld collides with our own, a compelling portrait of a possible future that is all too terrifyingly real.




Title: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Author: Dale Carnegie

Avg Rating: 4.13

My Rating: 2

Status: read

You can go after the job you want...and get it! You can take the job you have...and improve it! You can take any situation you're in...and make it work for you!

Since its release in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies. Dale Carnegie's first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie's principles endure, and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age.

Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.




Title: Liar's Poker

Author: Michael Lewis

Avg Rating: 4.15

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar’s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years—a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune. .




Title: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, #1)

Author: Steven D. Levitt

Avg Rating: 3.93

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Klu Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.




Title: Space Viking

Author: H. Beam Piper

Avg Rating: 3.77

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Vengeance is a strange human motivation -- it can drive a man to do things which he neither would nor could achieve without it... and because of that it lies behind some of the greatest sagas of human literature!

After a galaxy-wide war had left the planetary federation in ruins, every surviving civilized world was on its own. And that was a perfect setup for the marauders from the far-out rim.

Trask was one of those dreaded Space Vikings, a warrior spaceman with a crew and a ship that struck terror to a thousand worlds. But Trask had a special personal interest in scourging the stars -- he wanted to draw upon himself the fire of a certain enemy -- a renegade planet-wrecker with a yen for galactic empire building....

This text, taken from Analog November 1962 through February 1963, is Piper's original novel.




Title: Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves

Author: Andrew Ross Sorkin

Avg Rating: 4.08

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami. From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea, and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

“We’ve got to get some foam down on the runway!” a sleepless Timothy Geithner, the then-president of the Federal Reserve of New York, would tell Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, about the catastrophic crash the world’s financial system would experience.

Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing neverdisclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle. This true story is not just a look at banks that were “too big to fail,” it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.




Title: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Author: Stephen R. Covey

Avg Rating: 4.03

My Rating: 4

Status: read

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity -- principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.




Title: Distraction

Author: Bruce Sterling

Avg Rating: 3.73

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Bruce Sterling's latest, longest, most rigorously imagined portrait of 21st-century American life, Distraction, is now available, and that is very good news. Anyone with more than a passing interest in science fiction — anyone who appreciates fiction that illuminates the relationship between the vast, impersonal forces of social change and the increasingly beleaguered life of the individual — is advised, without reservation, to read this book.

Distraction opens during the election year of 2044 and drops us immediately into the hyperactive universe of Oscar Valparaiso, a fixer and political spin artist who has just conducted his first successful senatorial campaign and has been "rewarded" with a patronage position on the Senate Science Committee. His new job sends him to the backwaters of East Texas to investigate conditions in a federally funded research institute called the Collaboratory. Once there, he uncovers a long-standing history of kickbacks, corruption, and old-fashioned political featherbedding. Oscar's attempts to introduce an element of reform into this closed society lead directly to the two relationships that stand at the heart of the novel. One is a romantic liaison between Oscar and with Dr. Greta Penninger, a Nobel Prize-winning pioneer in the increasingly prominent field of neural studies. The other is a protracted, no-holds-barred conflict with the governor of Louisiana, a classic southern demagogue named Etienne (Green Huey) Hugelet, who has his own undisclosed interests in the products of theCollaboratory'sresearch.

As in most Sterling novels, the plot is designed to support an immensely detailed vision of a near-future society that is at once familiar and deeply strange. In the America of Distraction — as in its real-world analogue, the fractured, surreal societies of post-communist Russia — the center has long since ceased to hold. The ongoing greenhouse effect has led to disastrous new weather patterns. Ocean levels are rising. Entire species are disappearing at a record rate. On the international front, the Chinese have won a decisive victory in their "economic war" with the United States by the simple expedient of publishing all proprietary American software over the Internet. In the aftermath of that defeat, chaos and fragmentation reign. Sixteen distinct political parties now exist. Emergency Committees have usurped the constitutionally created branches of government. The military can no longer pay its bills. Cities have become privately owned entities. The unemployed underclass has evolved into competing nomadic hordes that are often better organized than the government itself. The country, as one character puts it, "is up on blocks," desperately seeking its lost center; in need of a miracle capable of making "laws out of chaos, justice out of noise, and meaning out of total distraction."

No one is better than Sterling at conveying the feel of day-to-day life in a complex, heavily networked, rapidly unraveling society. In Oscar Valparaiso, genetically suspect master of a bizarre 21st-century realpolitik, he has found the perfect vehicle for interpreting and illuminating that society. Distraction is a funny, frenetic, beautifully ornamented portrait of a world in crisis, the clear product of a distinctive talent working at the top of his very considerable form.

—Bill Sheehan




Title: Pirate Cinema

Author: Cory Doctorow

Avg Rating: 3.70

My Rating: 3

Status: read

Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net. In near-future Britain, this is more illegal than ever. The punishment for being caught three times is to cut off your entire household from the internet for a year - no work, school, health or money benefits.

Trent thinks he is too clever for that to happen, but it does, and nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where slowly he learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. He joins artists and activists fighting a new bill that will jail too many, especially minors, at one stroke. Jem introduces him to the Jammie Dodgers, beautiful brilliant "26" to love and cemetery parties.

Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds ...




Title: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Avg Rating: 4.17

My Rating: 5

Status: read

It is the year 2076, and the Moon is a penal colony for the rebellious and the unwanted of Earth. The exiles have created a libertarian society in order to survive in their harsh and unforgiving environment, their motto being TANSTAAFL: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". Looming over them is the Luna Authority, the heavy-handed Earth administration, who trades life necessities to the "Loonies" in exchange for grain shipments to the starving populations of Earth.

As the situation steadily deteriorates the inhabitants of Luna come to realize that they have little choice but to revolt against Luna Authority in order to save themselves from resource exhaustion and a subsequent environmental apocalypse.

A small band of dissidents emerges to lead the revolution. This consists of a one-armed computer jock, a radical young woman, a past-his-prime academic, and a nearly omnipotent computer named Mike. These people ignite the fires of revolution, despite the near certainty of failure.




Title: The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)

Author: Joe Haldeman

Avg Rating: 4.15

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Series Info:
This is the first part of the "Forever War" series, however it can be read as a standalone.

Book Description:
The Earth's leaders have drawn a line in the interstellar sand—despite the fact that the fierce alien enemy that they would oppose is inscrutable, unconquerable, and very far away. A reluctant conscript drafted into an elite Military unit, Private William Mandella has been propelled through space and time to fight in the distant thousand-year conflict; to perform his duties without rancor and even rise up through military ranks. Pvt. Mandella is willing to do whatever it takes to survive the ordeal and return home. But "home" may be even more terrifying than battle, because, thanks to the time dilation caused by space travel, Mandella is aging months while the Earth he left behind is aging centuries.




Title: Starship Troopers

Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Avg Rating: 3.99

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Starship Troopers is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, 1st published in abridged form as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (10-11/59 as "Starship Soldier") & published hardcover in 1959.
The 1st-person narrative is about a young soldier named Juan "Johnnie" Rico & his exploits in the Mobile Infantry, a futuristic military unit equipped with powered armor. His military career progresses from recruit to noncommissioned officer & finally to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between humans & an arachnoid species known as the Bugs. Thru Rico's eyes, Heinlein examines moral & philosophical aspects of suffrage, civic virtue, the necessities of war & capital punishment & the nature of juvenile delinquency.
Starship Troopers won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in '60. The novel has attracted controversy & criticism for its social & political themes, which some critics claim promote militarism. Starship Troopers has been adapted into several films & games, with the most widely known—as well as the most controversial & criticized—being the '97 film by Paul Verhoeven.




Title: Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)

Author: John Scalzi

Avg Rating: 4.23

My Rating: 5

Status: read

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-- and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger.




Title: Surface Detail (Culture #9)

Author: Iain M. Banks

Avg Rating: 4.21

My Rating: 5

Status: read

It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters. It begins with a murder. It will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price. To put things right she will need the help of the Culture. Benevolent, enlightened & almost infinitely resourceful tho it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual.

With the assistance of one of its most powerful --- & arguably deranged --- warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on.

A brutal, far-reaching war is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead & it's about to erupt into reality. It started in the realm of the Real & that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives & affect entire civilizations, but at the center of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.




Title: Snow Crash

Author: Neal Stephenson

Avg Rating: 4.02

My Rating: 5

Status: read

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.




Title: Stranger in a Strange Land

Author: Robert A. Heinlein

Avg Rating: 3.90

My Rating: 5

Status: read

NAME: Valentine Michael Smith
ANCESTRY: Human
ORIGIN: Mars


Valentine Michael Smith is a human being raised on Mars, newly returned to Earth. Among his people for the first time, he struggles to understand the social mores and prejudices of human nature that are so alien to him, while teaching them his own fundamental beliefs in grokking, watersharing, and love.




Title: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Avg Rating: 4.35

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.


The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.




Title: Proper Gauge (Wool, #2)

Author: Hugh Howey

Avg Rating: 4.15

My Rating: 4

Status: read

A cleaning has been performed, and now the silo is without a sheriff. With only one good candidate available, Mayor Jahns and Deputy Mames set off for the Down Deep to recruit her in person. Along the way, they discover much about each other, troubling news about this candidate, and stumble upon fractured alliances that could spell the doom of a silo they've worked long years to protect.




Title: Little Fuzzy (Fuzzy Sapiens, #1)

Author: H. Beam Piper

Avg Rating: 4.00

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Friends of Little Fuzzy Vs. the Chartered Zarathustra Company

The chartered Zarathustra Company had it all their way. Their charter was for a Class-III uninhabited planet, which Zarathustra was, and it meant they owned the planet, lock, stock and barrel. They exploited it, developed it, and reaped the huge profits from it without interference from the Colonial Government.

Then Jack Holloway, a sunstone prospector, appeared on the scene with his family of Fuzzies and the passionate conviction that they were not cute animals but little people.

The Company was aghast at this threat to their power and profits. If Holloway could prove the Fuzzies were people, Zarathustra would automatically become a Class-IV inhabited planet, the Company's charter would become void and the Colonial Government of the Federation would take over.

The Company did not hesitate to resort to coercion, murder – even genocide – to prevent the Fuzzies from being declared the ninth extrasolar sapient race.




Title: Fuzzy Nation

Author: John Scalzi

Avg Rating: 4.09

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Jack Holloway works alone, for reasons he doesn't care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorp's headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporation's headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, that's not up for discussion.

Then, in the wake of an accidental cliff collapse, Jack discovers a seam of unimaginably valuable jewels, to which he manages to lay legal claim just as ZaraCorp is cancelling their contract with him for his part in causing the collapse. Briefly in the catbird seat, legally speaking, Jack pressures ZaraCorp into recognizing his claim, and cuts them in as partners to help extract the wealth.

But there's another wrinkle to ZaraCorp's relationship with the planet Zarathustra. Their entire legal right to exploit the verdant Earth-like planet, the basis of the wealth they derive from extracting its resources, is based on being able to certify to the authorities on Earth that Zarathustra is home to no sentient species.

Then a small furry biped—trusting, appealing, and ridiculously cute—shows up at Jack's outback home. Followed by its family. As it dawns on Jack that despite their stature, these are people, he begins to suspect that ZaraCorp's claim to a planet's worth of wealth is very flimsy indeed…and that ZaraCorp may stop at nothing to eliminate the "fuzzys" before their existence becomes more widely known.




Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Avg Rating: 4.31

My Rating: 5

Status: read

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.




Title: Heart of Darkness

Author: Joseph Conrad

Avg Rating: 3.41

My Rating: 3

Status: read

Dark allegory describes Marlow’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story.




Title: The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Avg Rating: 4.33

My Rating: 5

Status: read

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.




Title: The Intelligent Investor

Author: Benjamin Graham

Avg Rating: 4.26

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Among the library of investment books promising no-fail strategies for riches, Benjamin Graham's classic, The Intelligent Investor, offers no guarantees or gimmicks but overflows with the wisdom at the core of all good portfolio management.

The hallmark of Graham's philosophy is not profit maximization but loss minimization. In this respect, The Intelligent Investor is a book for true investors, not speculators or day traders. He provides, "in a form suitable for the laymen, guidance in adoption and execution of an investment policy" (1). This policy is inherently for the longer term and requires a commitment of effort. Where the speculator follows market trends, the investor uses discipline, research, and his analytical ability to make unpopular but sound investments in bargains relative to current asset value. Graham coaches the investor to develop a rational plan for buying stocks and bonds, and he argues that this plan must be a bulwark against emotional behavior that will always be tempting during abrupt bull and bear markets.

Since it was first published in 1949, Graham's investment guide has sold over a million copies and has been praised by such luminaries as Warren E. Buffet as "the best book on investing every written." These accolades are well deserved. In its new form--with commentary on each chapter and extensive footnotes prepared by senior Money editor, Jason Zweig--the classic is now updated in light of changes in investment vehicles and market activities since 1972. What remains is a better book. Graham's sage advice, analytical guides, and cautionary tales are still valid for the contemporary investor, and Zweig's commentaries demonstrate the relevance of Graham's principles in light of 1990s and early twenty-first century market trends. --Patrick O'Kelley




Title: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Author: Michael Lewis

Avg Rating: 4.25

My Rating: 5

Status: read

From the author of The Blind Side and Moneyball, The Big Short tells the story of four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predict the credit and housing bubble collapse before anyone else. The film adaptation by Adam McKay (Anchorman I and II, The Other Guys) features Academy Award® winners Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei; Academy Award® nominees Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling.

When the crash of the U.S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread. Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? In this fitting sequel to Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis answers that question in a narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor.




Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

Author: Stieg Larsson

Avg Rating: 4.11

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there's always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.




Title: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)

Author: William Gibson

Avg Rating: 3.97

My Rating: 5

Status: read

William Gibson, author of the extraordinary multiaward-winning novel Neuromancer, has written his most brilliant and thrilling work to date... The Mona Lisa Overdrive. Enter Gibson's unique world - lyric and mechanical, erotic and violent, sobering and exciting - where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace. Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled... or even known. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yakuza, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes... or so they think.




Title: Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)

Author: Richard K. Morgan

Avg Rating: 4.10

My Rating: 3

Status: read

It's the twenty-fifth century, and advances in technology have redefined life itself. A person's consciousness can now be stored in the brain and downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve"), making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Onetime U.N. Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Resleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.




Title: Interface

Author: Neal Stephenson

Avg Rating: 3.65

My Rating: 5

Status: read

From his triumphant debut with Snow Crash to the stunning success of his latest novel, Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson has quickly become the voice of a generation. In this now-classic thriller, he and fellow author J. Frederick George tell a shocking tale with an all-too plausible premise.

There's no way William A. Cozzano can lose the upcoming presidential election. He's a likable midwestern governor with one insidious advantage - an advantage provided by a shadowy group of backers. A biochip implanted in his head hardwires him to a computerized polling system. The mood of the electorate is channeled directly into his brain. Forget issues. Forget policy. Cozzano is more than the perfect candidate. He's a special effect.



"Complex, entertaining, frequently funny." - Publishers Weekly



"Qualifies as the sleeper of the year, the rare kind of science-fiction thriller that evokes genuine laughter while simultaneously keeping the level of suspense cranked to the max." - San Diego Union-Tribune


"Manchurian Candidate for the computer age." - Seattle Weekly




Title: All Tomorrow's Parties (Bridge, #3)

Author: William Gibson

Avg Rating: 3.88

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Although Colin Laney (from Gibson's earlier novel Idoru) lives in a cardboard box, he has the power to change the world. Thanks to an experimental drug that he received during his youth, Colin can see "nodal points" in the vast streams of data that make up the worldwide computer network. Nodal points are rare but significant events in history that forever change society, even though they might not be recognizable as such when they occur. Colin isn't quite sure what's going to happen when society reaches this latest nodal point, but he knows it's going to be big. And he knows it's going to occur on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, which has been home to a sort of SoHo-esque shantytown since an earthquake rendered it structurally unsound to carry traffic.

Colin sends Barry Rydell (last seen in Gibson's novel Virtual Light) to the bridge to find a mysterious killer who reveals himself only by his lack of presence on the Net. Barry is also entrusted with a strange package that seems to be the home of Rei Toi, the computer-generated "idol singer" who once tried to "marry" a human rock star (she's also from Idoru). Barry and Rei Toi are eventually joined by Barry's old girlfriend Chevette (from Virtual Light) and a young boy named Silencio who has an unnatural fascination with watches. Together this motley assortment of characters holds the key to stopping billionaire Cody Harwood from doing whatever it is that will make sure he still holds the reigns of power after the nodal point takes place.

Although All Tomorrow's Parties includes characters from two of Gibson's earlier novels, it's not a direct sequel to either. It's a stand-alone book.--Craig E. Engler




Title: The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3)

Author: David Brin

Avg Rating: 4.06

My Rating: 3

Status: read

Billions of years ago, an alien race known as the Progenitors began the genetically engineered techniques by which non-intelligent creatures are given intelligence by one of the higher races in the galaxy. Once "Uplifted," these creature must serve their patron race before they, in turn, can Uplift other races. Human intelligence, which developed by itself (and brought about the Uplifting of chimpanzees and dolphins), is an affront to the aliens who plan an attack, threatening a human experiment aimed at producing the next Uplift. Such is the premise of this novel, which won the 1988 Hugo Award.




Title: A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2)

Author: Vernor Vinge

Avg Rating: 4.31

My Rating: 4

Status: read

Alternative Cover Edition can be found here.

After thousands of years searching, humans stand on the verge of first contact with an alien race. Two human groups: the Qeng Ho, a culture of free traders, and the Emergents, a ruthless society based on the technological enslavement of minds.

The group that opens trade with the aliens will reap unimaginable riches. But first, both groups must wait at the aliens' very doorstep for their strange star to relight and for their planet to reawaken, as it does every two hundred and fifty years....

Then, following terrible treachery, the Qeng Ho must fight for their freedom and for the lives of the unsuspecting innocents on the planet below, while the aliens themselves play a role unsuspected by the Qeng Ho and Emergents alike.

More than just a great science fiction adventure, A Deepness in the Sky is a universal drama of courage, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of love.
 

A Deepness in the Sky is a 1999 Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel and the winner of the 2000 Hugo Award for Best Novel.




Title: The Player of Games (Culture, #2)

Author: Iain M. Banks

Avg Rating: 4.26

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Culture--a humanoid/machine symbiotic society--has thrown up many great Game Players. One of the best is Jernau Morat Gurgeh, Player of Games, master of every board, computer and strategy. Bored with success, Gurgeh travels to the Empire of Azad, cruel & incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game, a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. Mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, Gurgeh accepts the game and with it the challenge of his life, and very possibly his death.




Title: The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Author: Neal Stephenson

Avg Rating: 4.19

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is a postcyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a science fiction coming-of-age story, focused on a young girl named Nell, and set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life. The novel deals with themes of education, social class, ethnicity, and the nature of artificial intelligence.




Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Author: Philip K. Dick

Avg Rating: 4.08

My Rating: 3

Status: read

It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill.
Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment--find them and then..."retire" them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found!




Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Avg Rating: 3.97

My Rating: 5

Status: read

A beautiful clothbound edition of the internationally acclaimed Fahrenheit 451 – a masterwork of twentieth-century literature.
The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.

Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
--harpercollins.co.uk




Title: Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding

Avg Rating: 3.64

My Rating: 4

Status: read

When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality - and brutal savagery - of their situation sets in.

The boys' struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be. Often compared to Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies also represents a coming-of-age story of innocence lost.




Title: The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)

Author: John Scalzi

Avg Rating: 4.09

My Rating: 4

Status: read

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.

Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers -- a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.

At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his "father," he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…




Title: Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)

Author: Orson Scott Card

Avg Rating: 4.29

My Rating: 5

Status: read

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.

But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military's purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine's abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.

~from author's web site




Title: 1984

Author: George Orwell

Avg Rating: 4.13

My Rating: 5

Status: read

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell's prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of "negative utopia" -a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel's hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.