Reading List 2015

Of the 63 books I read in 2015, the one I enjoyed most was Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase. Brilliant, mind-bending, and quintessentially Japanese. The
worst book I read this year was, again, Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory, although The Spider’s Web, a cheap rip-off written by Charles Osborne that uses an Agatha Christie play as an outline, gave it a run for its vile money. The
most disappointing book was Charles Stross’s The Annihilation Score. I like his Laundry Files but Stross can’t write women to save his life; the story would have been more credible, and more entertaining, if the protagonist had been Bob in a dress rather than his nominal wife.

On the non-fiction side, two Martin van Creveld books were excellent. Castalia published A History of Military Strategy, and van Creveld’s Technology and War is a must-read for anyone interested in history. On
the downside, J.B. Bury’s A History of Freedom of Thought was little more than a historical prelude to the tawdry philosophical works of the New Atheists and its perspective has been rendered irrelevant by subsequent events. The book was particularly disappointing because I am a big fan of Bury’s great editorial work, The Cambridge Medieval History Series.

Keep in mind these ratings are not necessarily statements about a book’s
significance or its literary quality, they are merely casual observations of my personal tastes and how much I
happened to enjoy reading the book at the time. A five-star book is one that I recommend without any reservations, while three-star or above is likely going to be worth your while. As always, I have read more books than are on this list, but I only rate books that I have read cover to cover.


A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami
Demian, Hermann Hesse
The Book of the Damned, Tanith Lee
65 Short Stories, W. Somerset Maugham
If Symptoms Still Persist, Theodore Dalrymple
A History of Military Strategy, Martin van Creveld
Technology and War, Martin van Creveld


Against a Dark Background, Iain M. Banks
Gorilla Mindset, Mike Cernovich
Danger & Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity, Mike Cernovich
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
The Book of the Beast, Tanith Lee
The Book of the Dead, Tanith Lee
The Complete Stories, Evelyn Waugh
After the Quake: Stories, Haruki Murakami
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami
The Changing Face of War, Martin van Creveld
Armageddon, Max Hastings
Japan 1941, Eri Hotta
Carthage Must Be Destroyed, Richard Miles


Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
Somewhither, John C. Wright
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Dorothy Sayers
There Will Be War, Vol. III, Jerry Pournelle
There Will Be War, Vol. IV, Jerry Pournelle
There Will Be War, Vol. V, Jerry Pournelle
There Will Be War, Vol. VIII, Jerry Pournelle
Imperial Stars, Vol. I, Jerry Pournelle
Imperial Stars, Vol. II, Jerry Pournelle
Faces Under Water, Tanith Lee
Saint Fire, Tanith Lee
A Bed of Earth, Tanith Lee
Venus Preserved, Tanith Lee
Pirates of the Levant, Arturo Perez Reverte
Purity of Blood, Arturo Perez Reverte
The Sun Over Breda, Arturo Perez Reverte
Captain Alatriste, Arturo Perez Reverte
Back From the Dead, Rolf Nelson
The Sorcerer’s House, Gene Wolfe
Churchill, Paul Johnson
The Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C. Clarke
History of the First World War, Basil Liddell Hart
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett
Railsea, China Mieville
How to Deal with Narcissists, Michael Trust
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick


The Annihiliation Score, Charles Stross
Lord Valentine’s Castle, Robert Silverberg 
Hallowe’en Party, Agatha Christie
Murder is Easy, Agatha Christie
Three Act Tragedy, Agatha Christie
Methuselah’s Children, Robert Heinlein
Farnham’s Freehold, Robert Heinlein

The Peril at End House, Agatha Christie
Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse
Year’s Best SF 18, David Hartwell


Spider’s Web, Agatha Christie (Charles Osborne)
The Wasp Factory, Iain M. Banks
Hero in the Shadows, David Gemmell
A History of Freedom of Thought, J.B. Bury
Grumbles from the Grave, Robert Heinlein