It has been said here and other places many a time that if you want to be a good writer you must also read a lot…not to mention write a lot. As for the reading part, and because I had a truly dismal year last year in terms of what I read and how much, I have compiled a list – a somewhat short list – of things I want to read and finish before 2012 is over. That is to say that by January 1, 2013 I want to have read everything I have set out to read for this year, 2012…or by December 21, 2012 and the end of the world, which ever comes first.

Without further adieu, the list is:

  1. The Plague Year Trilogy by Jeff Carlson. I have started the first book in this series, and while it did start off slow, it has come together very nicely and has thus far been an enjoyable read and therefore I am looking forward to finishing the final two book in the series.
  2. The Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis and  Tracy Hickman. I am ashamed to say that I have had these three books since I was a youngster and have always wanted to read them, but never did. Now I will.
  3. The Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. I read Ender’s Game in my younger years and put off reading any further because of my coming of age in terms of my political views, and as I did I formed the opinion that Card and his politics were nothing short of misguided. Because of this, I held a strike, if you will, against reading any more of Card‘s other works. And while I still see his opinions as misguided I have come to accept that as a writer the guy is amazing and just because I may not agree with his views and politics does not mean I have to punish myself by not enjoying what he has given to the literary world.
  4. Forever War by Joe Haldeman. This book has been on my radar for a couple of years now, probably since I read Old Man’s War. I have heard it compared to Starship Troopers, which I have to say, I wasn’t a fan. So we’ll see, over all, the things I have heard have been positive.
  5. Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi. Scalzi is a relatively new face in the science fiction world but since the publication of Old Man’s War he has proven that he can spin a tale with the best of them. I have read the first three books of the Old Man’s War trilogy and now it is time to finish it.
  6. Rendezvous with Rama, Rama II, The Garden of Rama. Arthur C. Clarke is one of those authors that I simple couldn’t get enough of when I was growing up, especially his work surrounding 2001: A Space Odyssey. A while back I found all three of these books at a Goodwill, all in perfect condition and all for around a dollar. When I came home and read the back covers I was immediately transported back to my high school days and the times I ditched class in order to find my quite spot out by the wood shop backdoor so I could read. Often what I was reading were Clarke books.
  7. The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. Of course these are being made into movies so I might read these books sooner rather than later.

All-in-all, that is sixteen books, more than I read all of last year and hopefully only the tip of the iceberg. Others on my list, should I get that far, are The Man in the Castle by Philip K. Dick; Fuzzy Nation by  John Scalzi.