Don Hosek - Recent reading

I tend to be a voracious reader, and I read widely. This list has its origins in an old signature file which I would update periodically with the current book that I was reading. That gradually transmogrified itself into the current massive archive with brief reviews.

What I've been reading lately
Number of books read and reviewed each year
1995* (28)
1996 (47)
1997 (74)
1998 (61)
1999 (62)
2000 (27)
2001 (51)
2002 (60)
2003 (37)
2004 (36)
2005 (32)
2006 (46)
2007 (109)
2008 (78)
2009 (65)
2010 (68)
2011 (98)
2012 (129)
2013 (114)
2014 (101)
2015 (20)
* Partial year
Antología de Cuentos Mexicanos II edited by Ma. del Carmen Millán
[Finished 24 March 2015] Largely composed of stories from the sixties and seventies, this second volume in the series gets into a lot more experimental work with stories pushing the boundaries of the form. I especially enjoyed the two Carlos Fuentes stories in the book, along with contributions from Amparo Dávila, Rosario Castellanos, Jose de la Colina and José Emilio Pacheco.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief by Lewis Wolpert
[Finished 19 March 2015] See my review at

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: The Dark Watch Vol. 2 by Clive Barker, Brandon Seifert, Tom Garcia and Korkut Öztekin
[Finished 18 March 2015] I continue to be unimpressed with this comic. It apparently continues for one more volume, which I’m not going to bother to find and read.

The Reprisal by Laudmia Bonanni
[Finished 16 March 2015] A strange book, about a period of Italian history that I know nearly nothing about, when Italy had surrendered, but Germany was still fighting World War II: among the Italians there were divided loyalties that served as the catalyst for the plot of this story with a group of fascists waiting for a woman who may or may not have been a partisan to give birth so they can execute her. The narrator, who often seems to vanish from his own story, serves as an ambiguous character himself, a witness, if not a participant to all the sins that take place.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
[Finished 13 March 2015] The book opens with a seemingly endless list of characters and their biographies. This nearly made me give up on the book, which would have been a pity as it’s a truly amazing work. Even being only a portion of a multi-volume account, I found this to be a compelling and hard to put down read, impressive for literary fiction, particularly fiction which seemed to frequently be rather static in its storytelling.

What Number is God? by Sarah Voss
[Finished 10 March 2015] See my review at

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: The Dark Watch, Vol. 1 by Clive Barker, Brandon Seifert and Tom Garcia
[Finished 2 March 2015] Comic book time. Revisiting the Hellraiser universe, although I found myself only experiencing the dread of the original film more by associative memory than by anything on the page. This actually was less horrifying than the movies, which given the freedom the graphic format gives, should have been the opposite.

Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake
[Finished 28 February 2015] A high-concept book. Assorted supernatural beings and a somewhat noir setting. It kind of comes to nothing in the end and feels like it’s more a way of establishing characters for a series than a proper novel. Clearly I’m not the target audience for this.

Socrates Café by Christopher Phillips
[Finished 24 February 2015] See my review at

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
[Finished 17 February 2015] Another one of these high-concept books, here a large part of humanity is wiped out by a genetically modified tomato and as a result, supernatural beings (“inderlanders”) come out of the shadows. We get the full complement of creatures, some interesting characters and a completely incoherent plot. Perhaps it gets better as the series progresses, but I’m unlikely to find out.