Sunday, May 30, 2021

Mulling over vanlife.

First things first: I was interviewed this week on NFReads. It was a great experience. Of course, I forgot to mention The Payoff (duh, Lynne) but I did provide some hitherto unannounced details about my Kindle Vella project, The Atherton Vampire. Click through and check it out. Thanks!


Dmitry Y. | Pixabay | CC0
A couple of nights ago, I watched Nomadland via pay-per-view. It won the Oscar for Best Picture this year, as well as a slew of other awards. 

The plot intrigued me. Frances McDormand won Best Actress for her performance as Fern, a woman who loses her home and her husband within the space of a few months during the Great Recession. She makes some improvements to her van, puts the majority of her stuff in storage, and hits the road -- piecing together odd jobs and falling into a culture of folks living what's come to be called #vanlife.

The reasons these people decide to live in an RV are varied. Some, like Fern, are forced to do it when their finances turn against them. Some would rather travel than be tied down to a house and everything that entails. A woman named Swankie, diagnosed with terminal cancer, decides to live out the rest of her life seeing places she's always wanted to see. (Most of the people in the movie play themselves; they were featured originally in the 1997 nonfiction book the movie is loosely based on. The only honest-to-gods actors in the film are McDormand and David Strathairn, who plays a fellow traveler who falls for Fern. But the real-life Swankie didn't actually die; in fact, she attended the Oscars ceremony as a guest of Chloe Zhao, who won the award for Best Director.)

All this has got me thinking -- again -- about tiny living. My place is already pretty small -- 500 square feet, give or take -- but I still feel a pull sometimes toward going smaller, although I don't know that I'll ever be ready to refit a van and move into it (and I hope my financial circumstances don't ever turn so bleak that I'm driven to that extreme!). 

But there's a certain feeling of purity, too, in ditching the life that society expects us to live -- the single-family house with the two-car garage and the stuff to fill it and the soul-sucking job to pay for it all -- and "living lightly on the land," as they say. Some of the folks Fern meets on the road are living as nomads for that reason. And in the movie, at least, it doesn't seem like making that choice would be the end of the world.

Back when I was involved in the simple living movement, I knew of a woman who retired from the military and set herself up to live on her pension -- which, if I remember correctly, was $500 a month. This was twenty years ago, when $500 went farther than it would today, but it still was nowhere near a fortune. But she made it work, at least for a little while. I lost touch with her when I dropped out of the movement, so I don't know how it's going for her these days.

Longtime readers of hearth/myth know I've been a sucker for tiny homes for many years. (For those just joining us, you can get up to speed by clicking here, here, here, and here.) My conclusion after years of research was that tiny homes are adorable, but they have some significant drawbacks: Cities in general don't want them (typically you can live in an apartment or condo with the same square footage as a tiny home, but a standalone dwelling of the same size is verboten) except as housing for the homeless; rural areas have begun to zone them out, with minimum square footage requirements and such; and because they're built of wood and not the superlight materials RV manufacturers use, you need a beast of a truck to pull one. I really like Eli, my Kia Niro hybrid, but I can't attach anything to him that's heavier than a bike rack. It's true that I could buy a truck to pull a tiny house -- or any other sort of trailer -- but buying another vehicle that I'd have to insure and maintain seems like it would complicate my life instead of simplifying it.

Motor homes have their own drawbacks. Most localities don't want you living in one of these, either; you're often limited by the number of months per year you can live in an RV, even if you own the land it's parked on. And they get terrible gas mileage. Considering we appear to be lurching toward a future of all-electric vehicles in this country, buying a gas guzzler seems like a bad idea right now. 

And I really like living in Santa Fe.

In the article I linked to above, Swankie is quoted as saying it took her ten years to transition to living in her van. In the movie, Fern put all her stuff in a storage unit until she was ready, emotionally, to let it go. 

I guess I still have some thinking to do.


These moments of vanlife blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Taking a pandemic breather to review.

geralt | Pixabay
It sounds like most folks had the same reaction I did to the CDC's recent declaration that anyone who's fully vaccinated can (mostly) stop wearing masks in public: Eh, not so fast. We're now at the point where either you throw caution completely to the winds and go without, or wear one anyway and risk those you meet thinking you're either: a) an anti-vaxxer or b) a Republican. I feel like I need to get a t-shirt that says, "I'm fully vaccinated but I have trust issues about everybody else."

I'd get a button, but I don't think all that would fit. Or at least not in a big enough font to be readable from six feet away.

Anyway, it appears that in the US, at least, as vaccination rates go up, the number of COVID-19 cases is going down, and the death rate attributed to the virus is going down, too. I don't want to jinx things by speaking too soon, but we may be emerging from the woods.

Regardless of how soon our lives can safely go back to normal, this seems like a good time to sit back, take a deep breath (masked or un-, your choice), and see whether we've learned anything from the past fourteen months. Robert Reich, who was Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, wrote a Facebook post earlier today that's a pretty good summary of the economic lessons learned due to the virus. While I agree with his list, I decided to come up with my own. There's some overlap, but I think he missed a couple of things.

1. How nice was it to show up, get your government-provided vaccine, and not have to pay a penny for it? Nobody asked for your insurance information. Nobody asked you for a co-pay. You didn't even have to contact the vaccine administrators to find out whether they were in-network or out-of-network. You just showed up, got the shot, and went on your way, right? Now think about how wonderful it would be if all health care in America was offered the same way. It can be -- if we would just institute universal health care. We're the only major nation that doesn't have it. It's beyond ridiculous. We need to do whatever it takes to get this done.

2. We need to continue to appreciate our essential workers -- and by "essential workers," I mean all the people who had to show up for work during the pandemic while the rest of us stayed safely at home: the health care providers, the delivery drivers, the warehouse workers, the grocery store clerks, the cashiers at stores deemed essential businesses, and the teachers who had to go back to in-person instruction not knowing for sure whether it was safe. Other than teachers and health care workers, most of these folks don't have job security -- they're typically not full-time employees and they receive minimal, if any, benefits from their employers. We need to fix that. At least give everybody free health care (see point 1).

3. I have zero patience for people who made a buck off of others during this trying time. I don't mean just the idiots who bought up all the hand sanitizer and wipes at the start of the pandemic and then tried to sell them for a premium -- although they're on my list. Nope, I'm also including the billionaires who have increased their wealth by more than $1.6 billion over the course of the past year and change. In many cases, their gain has come at the expense of their employees, many of whom are considered essential workers. Economic inequality was already off the charts in this country before the pandemic, and now it's worse. There's no excuse for that. 

4. As for the employers who tried to roll back hazard pay for their essential workers after a couple of months? Hello, the pandemic is still happening -- they still deserve that extra pay. And if you can't get people to come to work for you now? Maybe don't be so chintzy with your pay and benefits, and treat your employees like they're human beings and not interchangeable cogs.

5. When it comes to those who've been working remotely for the past year, now that they've had a taste of the good life, employers are going to have a hard time convincing them to go back to the office full-time. It was gospel at my old law firm that secretaries would never be able to work from home. Our job duties simply wouldn't allow it. Well, here we are, fourteen months into the pandemic in which everybody's been working remotely -- including secretaries at my old law firm. Not everybody thrives in the office fishbowl. Employers need to be flexible when it comes to bringing people back into the office.

6. I admit I wasn't nuts about the idea of having to wear a mask when it first came up. But when it became apparent that either I needed to mask up or hermetically seal myself in my apartment to avoid getting the virus, I got on board. But some people have been absolutely desperate to avoid reality, to the point where they have convinced themselves that masks are useless and the vaccine is dangerous. I'm all about "live and let live," as long as people's choices don't impact me. This does. If you're not going to get the vaccine, wear a mask. If you won't wear a mask, get vaccinated. And for gods' sake, don't lie about having gotten the vaccine so you don't have to wear a mask. 

7. The January 6th insurrection happened. It was not a "normal tourist visit." It seems logical to assume that anyone who objects to an investigation into what happened that day, including a thorough probe of who was behind it, probably has something to hide. 

Okay, that last point doesn't have much of anything to do with the pandemic. I'm leaving it on the list anyway. After all, this is just a draft. I'll come back to it once the virus has well and truly ridden off into the sunset.


Speaking of lists: How's your progress on our summer reading list? I'm not nagging, I swear.

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, here's a link to the list and info on the contest. That's right! Prizes! Now go forth and read!


These moments of bloggy listicle creation have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaccinated and good luck!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Mask whiplash.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention threw us quite the curve ball this week. Just a couple of weeks ago -- on April 27th -- the CDC issued an infographic with cute red, yellow and green icons that described the situations in which fully-vaccinated people could go without masks outside. We had barely parsed that news by this past Thursday, when the CDC basically said never mind: If you've been fully vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask at all. You can also drop the physical distancing. If your local or state ordinances require you to mask up, you still have to. But otherwise, go out and live your life like it's 2019!

copyright Lynne Cantwell 2021
I don't know about you, but this has given me a case of whiplash. It feels a whole lot like the case I had in March of last year, when suddenly we were all either working from home or, if we couldn't work from home, hoping we didn't catch the virus and die.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the decision to drop the mask requirement isn't a surrender to the mask-averse or a nefarious way to encourage people to get the vaccine if they haven't already. Instead, she says, it's grounded in science. Results of numerous studies announced over the past several weeks have indicated that vaccine immunity is lasting longer than some had expected, and that the vaccines approved so far are effective against at least several of the virus's variants. Moreover, while a fully-vaccinated person can still catch the virus, the odds that he or she will need to be hospitalized for it are pretty darned small. For example, at the Cleveland Clinic, since the start of this year, just one percent of patients admitted because of the virus had been fully vaccinated -- and among their employees, 99.7% of cases of the virus occurred in those who hadn't been vaccinated.

All that's swell news. But I've still got that case of whiplash.

How are we supposed to know who's been vaccinated and who hasn't? Dr. Walensky says it's going to have to be up to individuals to be honest. My immediate response: Because that's worked so well so far. The federal government decided against creating a database of those vaccinated, citing privacy concerns, but that leaves us with no official way to keep track of who's gotten the jab and who hasn't. The card you get when you get your shot is not an official government record. Even so, people reportedly have been trying to counterfeit the cards ever since states began rolling out the shots -- to the point where the FBI had to announce that it was illegal. 

If the vaccines are as effective as the research suggests, and if the mask-averse are likely to lie anyway, I'm inclined to let the liars play their stupid games and maybe win the stupid prize. But that's easy for me to say; I'm fully vaccinated and I live in a state where nearly 63% of those eligible for the vaccine have received at least one shot. New Mexico has been doing so with with the vaccine rollout that our governor had been planning to lift all restrictions next month anyway.

But then Thursday happened, and now I've got this case of whiplash.

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday called, "How to Handle Your Re-Entry Anxiety as the Pandemic Recedes." They talked to several experts -- a neuroscientist, a therapist, a behavioral scientist and a psychologist -- and came up with some tips for easing back out into society. Here they are:

  • Set boundaries. Decide what you're comfortable doing and let folks know. If they push back, stand firm. And don't push others to do things outside their own comfort zone.
  • Calm your brain. Relaxation exercises can help here, as can repeating a mantra like, "I'm fully vaccinated, my friends are fully vaccinated, and the danger in this situation is minimal." Another suggestion, which I really like, is to approach situations that scare you with curiosity. One expert says, "Curiosity feels better than anxiety."
  • Look on the bright side. That's what the WSJ article called it, at least. I kind of hate the phrasing. But the idea is to talk yourself into looking forward to a get-together or event and anticipate having fun. Then, at the event, pay attention to the fun you're having, and replay it later by thinking about and talking about how much fun you had.
  • Don't let life get too hectic again. Which kind of speaks for itself.
Now for my two cents: Change is hard, transitions are hard, and they're harder when changes are sprung on us. It's going to be tough for all of us to find our comfort zones in the post-pandemic future, so be kind to yourself and understanding of others. And if you still feel the need to wear a mask, you'll be in good company -- I'll be wearing mine for at least a little longer, too.

These moments of scary blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Wealth is what we say it is.

My father was not a fan of President Franklin Roosevelt. I guess there was a lot he didn't agree with him on, but the thing I remember hearing most often is how FDR should have never taken the United States off the gold standard. That is, between 1879 and 1933, the dollar was backed by gold, the federal supply of which was famously held at Fort Knox in Kentucky. (The country's golden wealth nowadays is held in three locations: Fort Knox, Denver, and West Point, NY.) But in June 1933, Congress abolished the right of creditors to demand payment in gold. Severing the value of the US dollar from the price of gold allowed the Federal Reserve to inflate the money supply more easily, giving it another tool to fight inflation.  

Of course, the price of gold -- like that of any commodity -- is arbitrary. And to take the argument even further, the use of gold as a basis for measuring wealth is also arbitrary. We could have picked some other substance. Silver, maybe. Or something ancient societies used for trade -- like cacao beans.

Several weeks ago, I toured Chaco Culture National Historical Park. To say it's an amazing place is an understatement. The biggest ruin is Pueblo Bonito, which was built of adobe and was four stories high in places. Ancient Chacoans lived there, but most of the rooms were vacant most of the time. Our guide, who is Navajo and Zia Pueblo, suggested it might have been used as an inn, with many of the rooms only used by folks visiting for religious festivals and market days. 

On the cliff wall behind Pueblo Bonito -- just like at many sites around the Southwest -- are ancient pictographs (painted on) and petroglyphs (carved into the rock). Take a look at the petroglyph in the center of this photo -- the one with half-circles on either side of a vertical line: 

copyright Lynne Cantwell 2021
Looks kind of like a bug, right? That's what archaeologists thought it was. 

Well, in 2003, a researcher named Patricia Crown examined a cache of cylindrical pottery vessels found in the 1890s in one of the rooms in Pueblo Bonito. The Chacoan vessels had been dated to around 1100 CE, and it occurred to Crown that they were similar to vessels found at sites built by the ancient Mayans during their Classic period, around 900 CE. The Mayans used these vessels for drinking chocolate -- not hot chocolate as we know it today, but a fermented drink. Alcoholic, in other words. The source of the beverage was the same as our hot chocolate today, though: the cacao bean. Cacao beans grow on trees in pods. And take a look at how they grow:

Eric Freyssinge | Wikimedia Commons | CC4.0
Looks like that petroglyph, doesn't it? 

Crown had some potsherds of Pueblo Bonito vessels tested, and sure enough, traces of cacao turned up. Some ancient Chacoan had liked his fermented chocolate so much that he carved a cacao branch into the wall behind Pueblo Bonito.

It's about 1,200 miles from Chaco to the Mayans' cacao trees. But these two cultures were trading partners, and this happened hundreds of years before horses were introduced to the New World. Moreover, it's obvious that Mayan xocolatl would not have made the trip in its liquid state, so a Mayan must have taught a Chacoan how to grind the beans and make the drink, and then sent him home with a supply of beans -- for a price.

It turns out cacao was important to the Mayans as far back as 2000 BCE. Mayan kings used to pay their debts to one another in cacao beans.

So what valuable currency would the ancient Chacoans have traded for those yummy beans? Turquoise. There's a room in Pueblo Bonito that's referred to as the treasury, where archaeologists found a cache of turquoise beads. And some of the turquoise had been imported -- the closest turquoise mine to Chaco Canyon was in Cerrillos, NM, more than 150 miles away, but Chacoans also possessed turquoise mined in Colorado, Nevada and California.

But getting back to the chocolate: The ancient Mayans had a goddess named Ixcacao. She figures briefly in the Popol Vuh, the Mayan creation myth. (The author of the article at the link calls her Ixcocoa and, later, Ixcacau, but it's the same goddess.). 

The other thing about Mayan xocolotl is this: it's not sweet. Not at all. The Mayans would add chile to the drink to hide the bitter taste. That probably sounds kind of gross, but remember, this stuff was alcoholic. Lots of folks hate American beer because it's bitter, but they still drink it.

Anyway. Ancient Mayans used cacao as money; the ancient Celts used cows; we use paper and coins. Truly, wealth is what a society says it is.


How's your summer reading going? Don't forget about the contest. Here's a link to the reading list and the rules. 


These moments of chocolatey blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Mask up, social distance, and get your vaccine ASAP!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

A summer reading list for you (with prizes).

First: Thanks very much to everyone who picked up a copy of The Payoff! You're all my new best friends. I know I always say that, but it's true for every book I release.

Second: You might have noticed, if you bought your copy within the past few days, that there are three editions of The Payoff available at Amazon: Kindle, paperback, and -- ta daaaa! -- hardcover. Now, this isn't a super-fancy hardcover with a dust jacket and stuff. But if you prefer hardcovers, the option is there for you.

I don't know that I'll be doing hardcover editions for my other titles. But if there's a particular novel of mine that you would like to have in hardcover, let me know and I'll see what I can do.


Third: My novels never take very long to read. And we have a long summer ahead of us, with at least a chunk of it still spent away from other folks. So I offer you a reading list.

This all started when I saw one too many iterations of the BBC's top 100 books on Facebook. These lists are always heavily weighted with hoary old tomes written by dead white guys. Plus the BBC always leans on British authors (as well they should, since they're based in London, but still). And then you have the other issue: not nearly enough speculative fiction entries. I'm defining speculative fiction as science fiction, fantasy, horror, and any combination, including all subgenres, thereof. (See the Venn diagram below.)

Anyway, I saw that list and I snapped. See, I have a lot of well-read friends who read speculative fiction all the time. And I was certain that if I asked around, I could come up with a list of 100 speculative fiction novels -- and not only that, but our list would be a whole lot more interesting and fun than the BBC's list.

So I took nominations and posted the list on Facebook. That drew more nominations, so I added them and posted it again -- which drew more nominations. We ended up with 147 entries for our list of top 100 speculative fiction novels. (Which reminded me of the marketing hook for Douglas Adams's So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish: "the fourth book in the trilogy!" That trilogy, of course, was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which of course is on our list.) It's actually way more than 147 books, because I insisted on each series being one listing, or else we'd have gotten to 100 too fast. (I mean, if you count each of the 41 Discworld novels separately, you've got nearly half the list already.) 

Here's our list. And here's the best part: Just like the summer reading programs your library always runs, I'm going to award prizes! 

Rules for the hearth/myth Summer Reading Challenge:

1. The contest starts now and ends Saturday, September 4th, 2021.

2. Count how many books on the list you've read and either leave a comment here on the blog or email me at

3. The top six readers will get a thing from me. The grand prize will be a signed hardcover edition of The Payoff. The next five winners will get a Pipe Woman Chronicles mug from my Zazzle store (my choice of design, sorry).

4. You don't have to read them all this summer; if you've read the book in the past, count it.

5. If you've read a single book in a series, you may count the series. 

6. If you nominated books for the list, you may still participate in the contest.

7. The list is final until the after the contest is over. I'm not taking any more nominations. (You people...)

8. As always, the judge's decisions are arbitrary, capricious, and final.

I'll announce the winners on my blog on Sunday, September 5th. Get ready, get set - read!


Top 147 Speculative Fiction Novels, in no particular order (according to Lynne & Friends)

1. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever – Stephen R. Donaldson

3. Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

4. The Tooth Fairy – Graham Joyce

5. The Foundation series (7 books) – Isaac Asimov

6. The Robot series – Isaac Asimov

7. The Malazan Book of the Fallen – Stephen Erikson

8. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling

9. Dracula – Bram Stoker

10. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

11. The Inheritance Trilogy – N.K. Jemisen

12. The Broken Earth Trilogy – N.K. Jemisen

13. The Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler

14. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein

15. The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury

16. To Your Scattered Bodies Go – Philip José Farmer

17. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

18. Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut

19. Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut

20. War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells

21. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

22. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

23. Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

24. Riftwar Saga – Raymond Feist

25. The Sun Wolf and Starhawk series – Barbara Hambly

26. The Darwath Trilogy – Barbara Hambly

27. Dragonsbane – Barbara Hambly

28. The Mysterious Stranger – Mark Twain

29. Alas, Babylon – Pat Frank

30. Dune – Frank Herbert

31. The Forever War – Joe Haldeman

32. Farseer Trilogy – Robin Hobb

33. Liveship Traders Trilogy – Robin Hobb

34. The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. LeGuin

35. Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. LeGuin

36. The Earthsea Cycle – Ursula K. LeGuin

37. Little, Big – John Crowley

38. Space Opera – Catherynne M. Valente

39. Habitation of the Blessed series – Catherynne M. Valente

40. The Second Apocalypse – R. Scott Bakker

41. Elatsoe – Darcie Little Badger

42. Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy – Cixin Liu

43. Culture Series – Iain M. Banks

44. Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake

45. A Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

46. Bless Me, Ultima – Rudolfo Anaya

47. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

48. Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin

49. Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel

50. The Tempest – Shakespeare

51. Lucifer’s Hammer – Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven

52. Earth Abides – George R. Stewart

53. A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller Jr.

54. The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia – Ursula K. LeGuin

55. The Gate to Women’s Country – Sheri S. Tepper

56. Grass – Sheri S. Tepper

57. Cat’s Cradle – Vonnegut

58. A Wrinkle in Time – Madelaine L’Engle

59. Tales from the Arabian Nights 

60. The City and the City – China Miéville

61. The Wormwood Trilogy (Rosewater is book 1) – Tade Thompson

62. Books of Blood – Clive Barker

63. The Girl Next Door – Jack Ketchum

64. American Gods – Neil Gaiman 

65. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman

66. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

67. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

68. The Road – Cormac McCarthy

69. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

70. Neuromancer – William Gibson

71. Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury

72. New Crobuzon series (includes Perdido Street Station) – China Miéville

73. Black Leopard, Red Wolf – Marlon James

74. The Stand – Stephen King

75. Carrie – Stephen King

76. The Pern series – Anne McCaffrey

77. The Mirror – Marlys Milhiser

78. Among Others – Jo Walton

79. My Real Children – Jo Walton

80. The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell

81. The Mermaid’s Daughter – Ann Claycomb

82. Vorkosigan Saga – Lois McMaster Bujold

83. The Fionavar Tapestry - Guy Gavriel Kay

84. The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

85. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson 

86. Grendel – John Gardner

87. Feed – Mira Grant (a.k.a. Seanan McGuire)

88. October Daye series – Seanan McGuire

89. Mercy Thompson series – Patricia Briggs

90. The Walker Papers series – C.E. Murphy

91. A Boy and His Dog – Harlan Ellison

92. House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski

93. Miss Luddington’s Sister – Edward Bellamy

94. Dr. Heidenhoff’s Process – Edward Bellamy

95. Outlander series – Diana Gabaldon

96. Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

97. Discworld series – Terry Pratchett

98. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes

99. Wanderers – Chuck Wendig

100. The Miriam Black series – Chuck Wendig

101. The Finishing School series – Gail Carriger

102. The Aeronaut’s Windlass – Jim Butcher

103. The Dresden Files series – Jim Butcher

104. The Last Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle

105. Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

106. A Song of Ice and Fire – G.R.R. Martin

107. Mordant’s Need duology – Stephen R. Donaldson

108. The GAP books – Stephen R. Donaldson

109. Song for the Basilisk – Patricia A. McKillip

110. In the Forests of Serre – Patricia A. McKillip

111. Neverness series – David Zindell

112. The Chronicles of Amber – Roger Zelazny

113. Memoirs of an Invisible Man – H.F. Saint

114. The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells

115. Hyperion – Dan Simmons

116. Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand – Samuel R. Delany

117. Nova – Samuel R. Delany

118. Odd John – Olaf Stapledon

119. Star Maker – Olaf Stapledon

120. The Stars, My Destination – Alfred Bester

121. Magic Kingdom of Landover series – Terry Brooks

122. His Dark Materials series – Philip Pullman

123. The Thursday Next series – Jasper Fforde

124. The Athena Club series – Theodora Doss

125. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

126. Rama series – Arthur C. Clarke

127. Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke

128. The Prince of Nothing series – R. Scott Bakker

129. The Book of the New Sun series – Gene Wolfe

130. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

131. Watership Down – Richard Adams

132. The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy series – Douglas Adams

133. Radix Tetrad – A.A. Attanasio

134. Imperial Radch trilogy (book 1 is Ancillary Justice) – Ann Leckie

135. The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi

136. The Uplift Saga – David Brin

137. The Andromeda Strain – Michael Crichton

138. Gaea Trilogy – John Varley

139. Thunder and Lightning series – John Varley

140. Snowcrash – Neal Stephenson

141. Wool series – Hugh Howey

142. Demon Seed – Dean Koontz

143. Whispers – Dean Koontz

144. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

145. Mistborn series – Brandon Sanderson

146. Rivers of London series – Ben Aaronovitch

147. Kitty Norville series – Carrie Vaughn

These moments of reading-challenge blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell (who has read 89 entries already). Here's hoping that by the time the contest is over, we'll be back to normal. Get your vaccination ASAP!