In keeping with my resolution to read more paper books (and the self-imposed target of at least twenty or five more than I’ve acquired) I thought I would record the new books I’ve acquired this year. I intend to read all of these during 2015. The first batch are technically 2014 acquisitions, mostly Christmas presents, but I’m counting them in my 2015 total. Here they are:


That makes seven books so far, and you should expect to read reviews of them all on the blog later in the year. Given my post last year about how readers choose books I thought I would also record why I chose each of these books.  Working up from the bottom here are the reasons I wanted each of these books.

  • The fantastically funny Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett. This was on my wish list because I’m a completist for Terry Pratchett’s works, that and I expect it to entertain me too (which is the real reason I collect them, so I can read it all, not because I’m a sad collector geek).
  • Hayward’s Reach by Thaddeus Howze. Howze is an independent author and I’ve read and enjoyed some of his shorter work thanks to Google+. I like supporting good indie authors so I added his novel to my wish list.
  • The Human Face of War by Jim Storr. I like to use evidence for my game design, and a close friend from university who joined the army and has served as an infantry officer (including commanding a company in Basra as well as tours of Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan) recommended this work to me. I trust his judgement on this sort of thing, he’s been there and he is a thinker.
  • Glory and Bollocks by Colin Brown. A counter-factual history. I love this sort of thing. If you aren’t probing the evidence then you aren’t thinking hard enough. History is written by those with things to hide, or a story to spin. I’m hoping this will be entertaining and make me think. This was an amazon recommendation originally.
  • WW1 Scottish Tales of Adventure by Allan Burnett. I didn’t choose this one, it was my secret santa gift from one of my brothers or sisters in law. However it is the sort of book I might have chosen. It is a collection of short biographies of Scots that did interesting things during the first world war.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir. This won the Goodreads vote for best Science Fiction book of 2014. Having read the blurb it looks right up my street. In fact the first three lines had me hooked. It isn’t a dystopia, but it does show the slightly darker side of the dream.
  • A Delicate Truth by John le Carre. Although famous for the cold war era spy stories le Carre is still writing and producing contemporary stories that capture the zeitgeist. It proves how good he is, and how much we’re still in the grip of the same paranoia. This one is about abuse of power by those at the top, and the conflict between conscience and duty in counter-terror operations. I picked this up in Waterstones and was hooked by the back cover blurb.

In summary, out of seven books

  • New work by a favourite author = 1
  • personal recommendations from others = 3
  • Amazon/Goodreads recommended = 2
  • Found in a bookshop = 1

I’ve not yet decided what order to read these in, although The Martian may well be the next one I start to read, the premise is intriguing as is the first page. I really am hooked. If there is anything on the list you’d like to read the review of then drop me a comment, I’ll push it up the reading order.