Quinn Keast

Reading list

A list of what I’m reading and my opinions and all that.

2024
Oryx and Crakeby Margaret Atwood
The Magiciansby Lev GrossmanUnexpected self-aware adult Hogwartsy
The Book that Broke the Worldby Mark LawrenceWas disappointed by this honestly, surprised
The Well of Lost Plotsby Jasper FfordeComing into itself
Ghost Stationby S. A. BarnesEnjoyed
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Bakingby T. KingfisherEasy fun read
Alchemyby Rory SutherlandThis book brought back some of the energy and excitement I had around brand and design
Lost In a Good Bookby Jasper FfordeLove the use of footnotes as an actual meta storytelling aspect
The Eyre Affairby Jasper FfordeSilly, in the right way right now
Shades of Greyby Jasper FfordeLiterally read this and “Red Side Story” in the wrong order
Black River Orchardby Chuck WendigSo many ways to describe eating apples
Defiantby Brandon SandersonThis world is turning into a popcorn read basically which isn’t a bad thing
Red Side Storyby Jasper FfordeUnexpectedly loved this—the voice works perfectly
Abandonby Blake CrouchBasically good, liked the setting
On Bullshitby Harry G. Frankfurt
Saevus Corax Gets Away With Murderby K. J. ParkerSatisfyingly bloviating
The Book of Lost Thingsby John ConnollyNot whatsoever a lighthearted read
The House in the Cerulean Seaby T.J. KluneLovely
The Midnight Bargainby C. L. PolkEnjoyable, not subtle
Among the Livingby Tim LebbonFeels vaguely like it was written with the goal of being turned into a show
The Tainted Cupby Robert Jackson BennettLove the narrow lens in a broader snippet of a fantastical world
Exordiaby Seth DickinsonKind of a wild ride that keeps going, but wouldn’t necessarily read again
Fevre Dreamby George R. R. Martina) Yes I too was startled this exists and b) it’s great
The Miracles of the Namiya General Storeby Keigo HigashinoI’m super curious how the voice is in the original language
Shubeik Lubeikby Deena MohamedAbsolutely adored this graphic novel
The Haunting of Hill Houseby Shirley Jackson
Sword Catcherby Cassandra ClareEnjoyed the characters in this one
Legionby Brandon SandersonMeh
Operation Angusby Terry FallisReally like seeing Canadian politics here
Saevus Corax Captures the Castleby K. J. ParkerRambly in all the right ways
2023
Age of Ashby Daniel Abraham
Nettle & Boneby T. KingfisherReally enjoyed, perfectly fairy-tale-esque
Saevus Corax Deals with the Deadby K. J. ParkerHilarious, but ending fell flat
Sign Hereby Claudia LuxTakes a great premise and sees it through with a great character-driven plot
This is How You Lose the Time Warby Amal el-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
System Collapseby Martha WellsI love the depth of universe behind the very solid first-person characterization
The Storyteller’s Deathby Ann Dávila CardinalExplores Puerto Rico in a way I haven’t experienced before
The Dead Take the A Trainby Cassandra Khaw & Richard Kadrey
The Sunlit Manby Brandon Sanderson
Yumi and the Nightmare Painterby Brandon SandersonSanderson’s really had some fun with this collection
The Fractured Darkby Megan O’Keefe
The Blighted Starsby Megan O’KeefeReally enjoyed this blend of epic sci-fi and characterization
The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval Englandby Brandon Sanderson
Prophetby Sin Blaché & Helen MacDonaldAlmost feels like this was written to be a movie
The Vanished Birdsby Simon Jimenez
Starter Villainby John ScalziI can just picture Scalzi chortling to himself while writing this
Neverby Ken FollettProbably going to abandon this
Hollyby Stephen KingLess “crunchy,” whatever that means
Children of Memoryby Adrian TchaikovskyTook a while to get into, but compelling
Looking Glass Soundby Catriona WardThey went for it with the exploratory storytelling mechanisms
Ascensionby Nicholas BingeOne-day romp of a read—enjoyed the techniques
The Invention of Soundby Chuck PalahniukThought this was Wendig not Palahniuk until halfway through
Dustby Hugh Howey
Shiftby Hugh Howey
Woolby Hugh HoweyI loved this
Time Shelterby Georgi Gospodinov
The Roadby Cormac McCarthyBit of a tough read on a few axes
Dogsbodyby Diana Wynne JonesChildren’s book recommended by Gaiman I believe
The End of All Thingsby John Scalzi
The Human Divisionby John ScalziIt took me so long to figure out it’s “Human Divide” not “Human Department”
Yellowfaceby R. F. KuangBrutal compelling—unlike “Babel,” made and kept its promises
Zoe’s Taleby John Scalzi
The Last Colonyby John Scalzi
The Ghost Brigadesby John ScalziApparently “Old Man’s War” is my summer re-read series
The God of Endingsby Jacqueline HollandBeyond the story, I loved this book’s style and pacing
The Relentless Moonby Mary Robinette KowalI love how much this series challenges a range of topics
Old Man’s Warby John ScalziRe-read, such fun
The Fated Skyby Mary Robinette Kowal
The Calculating Starsby Mary Robinette Kowal
The Lives of Puppetsby TJ CluneI think the author was going for something that got cut short—the acknowledgement section is rather startling
Steering the Craftby Ursula K. Le GuinJust lovely
The Book that Wouldn’t Burnby Mark LawrenceEnjoyed the first bit so much, but then it turned into an overflowing soufflé
Winter in Sokchoby Elisa Shua DusapinGreat voice, but not quite for me
Putting the Fact in Fantasyby Dan Koboldt
City of Last Chancesby Adrian Tchaikovsky
Save the Cat! Writes a Novelby Jessica Brody
Reaper Manby Terry Pratchett
The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafiby Shannon ChakrabortyOne of my favourites of the last couple years—and real clever storytelling techniques
The Coral Bonesby E. J. Swift
Men at Armsby Terry Pratchett
Guards! Guards!by Terry Pratchett
The Art of Descriptionby Mark Doty
Mortby Terry PratchettI love how Pratchett plays with typography as part of the novel, like poetry
Sourceryby Terry Pratchett
Nationby Terry Pratchett
Wonderbookby Jeff VanderMeerSuper interesting format, great content on writing
The View from the Cheap Seatsby Neil GaimanSuch a range, widely felt
A Slip of the Keyboardby Terry Pratchett
The Immortality Thiefby Taran Hunt
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universeby Alex White
Record of a Spaceborn Fewby Becky Chambers
Family Lexiconby Natalia GinzburgVery powerful writing, particularly one scene around creativity post-WW2
A Closed and Common Orbitby Becky Chambers
The Trialby Franz KafkaI’ve decided I can’t stand Kafka
Hell Bentby Leigh Bardugo
Fugitive Telemetryby Martha WellsReally enjoyed the indication that Murderbot’s way of being is just them, not a SecUnit thing
Network Effectby Martha WellsComfortable popcorn reading at this point
The Sound on the Pageby Ben YagodaStarting to include the nonfiction reads in this list too
Exit Strategyby Martha Wells
Rogue Protocolby Martha Wells
City of Miraclesby Robert Jackson Bennett
Artificial Conditionby Martha Wells
All Systems Redby Martha Wells
The Measureby Nikki Erlick
Tress of the Emerald Seaby Brandon SandersonAdored this book, adored the deaf character and their parallel-to-me adaptations
Chaos Vectorby Megan E. O’Keefe
The Man in the High Castleby Philip K. DickGood plot, great alt history, horrible characterization and ending
The Illustrated Manby Ray Bradbury
City of Bladesby Robert Jackson BennettReally enjoyed having a different PoV character from the first book
Echopraxiaby Peter WattsDidn’t finish
Blindsightby Peter WattsNot for me—I found it very “down”
City of Stairsby Robert Jackson BennettOccasionally I discover an author I didn’t know and oh look so many books to read!
Beyond the Burn Lineby Paul McAuley
Locklandsby Robert Jackson BennettThis is a different book than others in the series, but I enjoyed it
Shorefallby Robert Jackson Bennett
2022
Foundrysideby Robert Jackson BennettHit all the notes I wanted in the moment
The Mountain in the Seaby Ray Nayler
Leechby Hiron EnnesThis clicked in all kinds of ways
Waywardby Chuck Wendig
The Expert System’s Brotherby Adrian Tchaikovsky
Defending Elysiumby Brandon Sanderson
The Fishermanby John LanganI enjoyed the fractal nature of it
The Atlas Paradoxby Olivie Blake
The Creeperby A. M. Shine
The Spare Manby Mary Robinette KowalMy cocktail ingredients shopping list
Thistlefootby GennaRose Nethercott
From the Wreckby Jane Rawson
The Golden Enclavesby Naomi NovikNice job tying the trilogy together
Ballad for Sophieby Filipe MeloGorgeous graphic novel with exceptional story
End of the World Houseby Adrienne Celt
Dead Silenceby S. A. BarnesActually dang spooky
How High We Go in the Darkby Sequoia NagamatsuGreat book, horribly sad
A Half-Built Gardenby Ruthanna EmrysWasn’t really for me
Fairy Taleby Stephen KingHas an Ending
Babelby R. F. KuangMade promises and then didn’t hold to them
A Prayer for the Crown-Shyby Becky Chambers
A Psalm for the Wild-Builtby Becky ChambersLoved it
Eversionby Alastair ReynoldsFascinating read, well-knit together
Klara and the Sunby Kazuo IshiguroFascinating read
On Writingby Stephen King
Under the Whispering Doorby TJ Klune
A Discovery of Witchesby Deborah HarknessAbandoned; I feel this book comes dangerously close to glorifying abusive behaviours
Under Fortunate Starsby Ren HutchingsNeat concept well executed
The Night Circusby Erin MorgensternReally enjoyed the prose
Jack Fourby Neal AsherI didn’t actually like this, felt like reading a video game
Ordinary Monstersby J. M. Miro
Mordewby Alex PhebyFeels wildly all over the place, wouldn’t read again
Hummingbird Salamanderby Jeff VandermeerDidn’t finish for some reason
Drunk on All Your Strange New Wordsby Eddie Robson
Inhibitor Phaseby Alastair Reynolds
The Bone Orchardby Sara A. MuellerI went into this with no idea what to expect and I was surprised by how unique it feels
Stringersby Chris PanatierVery popcorny, but would’t read again
Eyes of the Voidby Adrian Tchaikovsky
Until the Last of Meby Sylvain Neuvel
Gallantby V. E. Schwab
Last Exitby Max Gladstone
Ogresby Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Shadow Peopleby Graham MastertonWent too far into gruesome for me, abandoned
Sea of Tranquilityby Emily St. John Mandel
The Watchersby A. M. ShineI enjoyed this a lot
The Atlas Sixby Olivie Blake
The Cartographersby Peng Shepherd
The Kaiju Preservation Societyby John Scalzi
The Silent Patientby Alex Michaelides
Devil Houseby John Darnielle
The Long Earthby Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
Termination Shockby Neal Stephenson
The Two of Swords: Part Threeby K.J. Parker
The Two of Swords: Part Twoby K.J. Parker
2021
Stories of Your Life and Othersby Ted ChiangVery tasty bits of short sci fi
Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Languageby Gretchen McCullochThis book is incredible and helps me level up how I communicate remotely
Leviathan Fallsby James S. A. CoreyI didn’t finish this and I’m not sure why
The Two of Swords: Part Oneby K.J. ParkerThe setting is GoT-ish but the tone is more like subtly like Hitchhiker's Guide
Elder Raceby Adrian TchaikovskyDid not realize it was a short story, majorly bummed out to accidentally run into the end
Cytonicby Brandon SandersonI love the process of an AI learning emotions
The Apollo Murdersby Chris HadfieldNot fair to be both an astronaut AND an author
The Lost Pianos of Siberiaby Sophy Roberts
The Unfinished Landby Greg Bear
Utopia Avenueby David MitchellKinda fell off of it
Tears of the Truffle-Pigby Fernando A. Flores
The Last Graduateby Naomi NovikShould not be as sticky as it is and yet
The Scavenger Doorby Suzanne PalmerAw yeah
The Exiled Fleetby J. S. Dewes
The Hunt for Red Octoberby Tom ClancyKeeps moving forward, all men only men
The Art of Logicby Eugenia ChengActively made me better at thinking
Clear and Present Dangerby Tom Clancy
Billy Summersby Stephen KingI would do naughty things to be able to write characters like King
The Great Mistakeby Jonathan Lee
A History of What Comes Nextby Sylvain Neuvel
The Library of the Deadby T. L. HuchuNot really about the library of the dead
The Big Shortby Michael LewisHistory repeats
Black Sunby Rebecca RoanhorseNew level of squeamish in some scenes
Laterby Stephen King
Turn the Ship Around!by L. David MarquetLove that he digs into his method failing as well as thriving
The Last Watchby J.S. DewesCompelling idea, good characterization in points of views
The Hidden Palaceby Helene WeckerFascinating followup to The Golem and the Djinni
A Master of Djinnby P. Daeli ClarkFell off, never got back to it
The Lost Future of Pepperharrowby Natasha PulleyLike a totally different book from the first, not satisfying
Project Hail Maryby Andy WeirCOMMUNICATION
The Lost Apothecaryby Sara Penner
The Invisible Life of Addie Larueby V. E. SchwabThe best cover
The Mask of Mirrorsby M. A. CarrickFell off, didn't finish
A Memory Called Empireby Arkady Martine
The Watchmaker of Filigree Streetby Natasha PulleyCompelling
The Forever Warby Joe Haldeman
The Starless Seaby Erin MorgensterBeautiful writing
To Sleep in a Sea of Starsby Christopher Paolini
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planetby Becky ChambersPleasant read, optimistic
Velocity Weaponby Megan E. O'Keefe
Sevenevesby Neal Stephenson
Beowulfby Maria Dahvana HeadleyBro!
Bone Silenceby Alastair Reynolds
Revengerby ALastair Reynolds
Rhythm of Warby Brandon Sanderson
Org Design for Design Orgsby Merholz & Skinner
Radical Candorby Kim ScottGood ideas, often used as an excuse to be a jerk
Mismatchby Kat HolmesWonderful read around inclusive design
Post-Truthby Matthew D'Ancona
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonistby Adrian TomineLovely graphic novel
How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With Itby K. J. Parker
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled Cityby K. J. ParkerFun and quick
A Peculiar Perilby Jeff VandermeerHonestly, I have trouble getting into Vandermeer after his original trilogy
A History of the World in Twelve Mapsby Jerry Brotton
Finderby Suzanne PalmerAw yea
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?by Philip K. DickFinally got to it
Sixteenth Watchby Myke Cole
The Doors of Edenby Adrian Tchaikovsky
2020
Early Risersby Jasper Fforde
The Hollow Onesby Guillemo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
Upheavalby Jared Diamond
Great North Roadby Peter F. Hamilton
Bird by Birdby Anne LamottI like this a lot
Kingdom of Copperby S. A. ChakrabortyI love this cultural mythology
The Empire of Goldby S. A. ChakrabortyI love this cultural mythology
Dead Astronautsby Jeff VandermeerFell off
Fuzzy Nationby John ScalziDunno what I expected, wasn't that, loved it
Why I'm No Longer Talking About Raceby Reni Eddo-Lodge
Take Off Your Pants: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writingby Libbie HawkerExcellent read to procrastinate writing
The Ten Thousand Doors of Januaryby Alix E. HarrowLovely, bought a copy for my mom after
A Deadly Educationby Naomi NovikPopcorn
The Light Brigadeby Kameron Hurley
The Migrationby Helen Marshall
Shards of Earthby Adrian TchaikovskyMeh, doesn't live up to the rest of the author's work
If It Bleedsby Stephen KingDon't usually like novellas, but these struck a chord
The Last Astronautby David Wellington
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxyby Douglas AdamsMust read every year
Cage of Soulsby Adrian Tchaikovsky
The City We Becameby N. K. JemisinFell off
The Priory of the Orange Treeby Samantha Shannon
Driving the Deepby Suzanne Palmer
The Escapementby K. J. Parker
Evil for Evilby K. J. ParkerInteresting how I can't decide who's the good characters
Devices and Desiresby K. J. ParkerNice prose
The Library of the Unwrittenby A. J. Hackwith
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hatby Oliver Sacks
The Hidden Life of Treesby Peter Wohlleben
Through the Language Glassby Guy Deutscher
The Last Emperoxby John Scalzi
Salvationby Peter F. Hamilton
Gravityby Tess Gerritsen
Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behaviourby Leonard Mlodinow
The Lies of Locke Lamoraby Scott Lynch
The Book Thiefby Merkus Zusak
The Anatomy of a Storyby John Truby
The Buried Giantby Kazuo Ishiguro
Ninth Houseby Leigh BardugoBest cover
Wanderersby Chuck WendigAw yeah kickin off a pandemic
Hogfatherby Terry Pratchett
Good Strategy Bad Strategyby Richard Rumelt
Children of Ruinby Adrian Tchaikovsky
Children of Timeby Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Terrorby Dan Simmons
Skywardby Brandon Sanderson
Supernova Eraby Cixin Liu
The Quantum Magicianby Derek Künsken
Starsightby Brandon Sanderson
The Testamentsby Maraget Atwood
The Da Vinci Codeby Dan Brown
Angels and Demonsby Dan Brown
The Instituteby Stephen King
The Silent Patientby Alex Michaelides
The Memory Policeby Yōko Ogawa
First Cosmic Velocityby Zach Powers
A Gentleman in Moscowby Amor TowlesReally enjoyed this
by
Struck through books are those I abandoned—which I’m trying to let myself do when a book isn’t right for me at that moment. Missing thoughts are just me not remembering exactly what I thought at the time.