Books 63-68

Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:29 pm
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (books so many)
63. Bonehunters, Stephen Erikson. This series suffered the fate that is put-downism. It's a dense dense 900 pages of reading, and in trade paperback isn't an easy thing to lug around, but I am so glad that I picked it back up and restarted. Part of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, this series is epic, and it's fantasy in the darkest, most war-torn sense. The books weave in and out and just when you think it's lost it's pattern all of these loose threads come together in a way that makes you marvel and baffle. I cannot suggest this series enough. It's not an easy or quick read, but it's worth it, especially in the way that it builds.

64. Devil Bones, Kathy Reichs. The newest in the Temperance Brennan series, it's the first time I've read one cold since becoming a fan of Bones, and it was a bit odd. I enjoyed it. I won't call them great literature, but I do think they're very well written and compel you to keep reading. She mixes technical knowledge with an engaging story and characters very well.

65. Fire & Hemlock, Diana Wynne Jones. Very different from her usual fare. The story of a girl and memories that have been magicked away from her. It's quite good, and an interesting mix of mythology into a modern every day setting.

66. North & South, Elizabeth Gaskell. Brilliant. This book is everything I always wanted Austen to be. Written originally as a serial, it's captivating, pulling and pushing you along. Set in the changing world of Victorian Era, when a minister and his family leave their idyllic southern home and move to the industrial North. The characters are well written, it's a great story and I immediately fell in love. I need to get a copy.

67. The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog, Elizabeth Peters. I don't know why the prose seemed seven million times more over the top this time for me, but it did. It's so purple it hurts sometimes, but I still enjoy these books, if only for their mysteries, and Amelia and her parasol. Oh gods, and Ramses. Really, entertaining characters and stories, and honestly, it's very purposely written in this fashion. It makes me giggle sometimes.

68. Personal Demon, Kelley Armstrong. There is the world of bad urban fantasy, and then there are a few authors who consistently entertain and who's appeal does not fade. Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series continues to be one of those, though this book didn't draw me as much as some of the others. I liked some of the side-plots, but the main character (Hope) in it wasn't one of my faves, so... Less investment I suppose.

The rest of what I've read this year

Books 56-62

Oct. 6th, 2008 04:58 pm
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (books so many)
I haven't done a lot of reading this past month. Partly because I've been going a bit mad watching things now that the tv season has started up again, but also because I read half of Deadhouse Gates, which is very slow going. I need to pick it back up, as I made the mistake of putting it down.

56-59 A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, The Arm of the Starfish & Dragons in the Water, Madeleine L'Engle. More of the Murry O'Keefe books. After Wind, they move from youth to young adult, and it's at that point that I've always found I enjoyed them more. Charles Wallace being older, and later on Polly and her adventures, I've always loved them best. I still think that they're some of the best young adult books out there, even if they have dated a bit.

60 Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. I liked this book for the information in it, but honestly I don't know that I'd call Ambrose a great writer. The miniseries is amazing, and because of that I think I was just expecting more.

61 Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends by Bill Guarnere, Babe Heffron w/ Robyn Post. The story of two of the Easy Company soldiers, and wow does their personality ever come through. Post did a great job compiling their interviews and making it into something very readable and cohesive, without losing one bit of either of their personalities. This was a really good read, and amazingly quick to go through.

62 Word of Honour by Michael Pryor. The third volume of The Laws of Magic, a really good young adult series set in a steampunk Victorian England called Albion. The three characters are compelling and interesting, and the mystery is fun and well-written. Not as good as the previous two, in my mind, but I still loved it, and am looking forward to seeing where he takes the fourth volume.

The rest of what I've read this year here
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (Art - reading)
50. Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers, Buck Compton - I got the audio cd of this from Manda. I'm not usually the hugest fan of audios, as I read a lot faster than other people read to me, but I enjoyed this one. It may be that I liked listening to Buck's story, and that I was traveling a lot that weekend, so had a bunch of listening time, but I liked it. I'd only really recommend it to other Band of Brothers fans though.

51. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle - it's been years since I read this and I forgot how much I loved Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace. This book was very hard to find here in oz, and I wish it was easier, and not half of the crappy young adult vampire fantasy shite that's out there. If you do like young adult fantasy, you really should read this, and all the subsequent books.

52. Eleanor Rigby, David Coupland - Coupland is a very hit and miss writer I find; I either adore his books or hate them. Recommended by [ profile] eudaimon, This was definitely a win. The story of a middle-aged woman who lives her life alone, suddenly faced with the son no one knows she has. It's touching in a very odd way, and his way of noticing details just works so well in this.

53. The World According to Garp, John Irving - Another recommendation, this time by [ profile] bohemian__storm I really quite liked this book as well. Again amazing attention to detail, and the stories within the story were really fascinating. It literally is the story of a man's life, and a strange one at that. It foundered at bits, and I don't know that I'll be picking it up again anytime soon, but I would recommend it, and I think that someday I'll likely end up reading it again.

54. Persuasion, Jane Austen - While I've never been a big Austen fan, this is a book I have read before of hers (many years ago) and enjoyed. I did like it again, this second time through. You can lose yourself, reading this book, in the detail and the images that it evokes. It's a smart book, and I'd recommend it. Though, honestly (and this may make me a heathen), but there was a very faithful version of this made just a bit ago with Rupert Penry-Jones in it, and you'd likely do just as well simply watching that.

55. Gale Force, Rachel Caine - Urban fantasy light reading ftw! Newest installment of the Weather Warden Series, I do really love these books. I do not love the cliffhangers they end with, leaving you waiting for the next each time. But it's an amusing, well written and put together little series.

The rest of what I've read this year

Books 43-49

Aug. 2nd, 2008 09:56 pm
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (Default)
43. City of Bones, Cassandra Clare. Decidedly mediocre and very unimpressive. It could have been awesome, it really could have. The underlying world she created was intriguing, but the writing was average and the book had more boring bits than not. The plot was tired and predictable, and the supporting cast paper-thin. The main character is a Mary Sue unlike any I have ever seen, developing the SECRET WORLD SAVING POWERS after knowing NOTHING. Overall blech.

44. Fearless Fourteen, Janet Evanovich. Another in the Stephanie Plum series. See, these books manage to be light and entertaining without ever being the complete and utter crap that many other series descend into. They're fun, a bit silly, and pretty well written.

45. New Moon, Stephanie Meyer. Oh god. Just don't get me started.

46. Urban Shaman, C.E. Murphy. I really liked this one. A bit different, good use of the hunt mythology, and not your typical urban fantasy. In fact not very much typical about it at all. I was a bit apathetic over the beginning chapter, but once I got past that, it really was enjoyable.

47. The Rhinoceros who Quoted Nietzsche and other odd acquaintances, Peter S. Beagle. A collection of short stories from different parts of his writing career. All slightly fantastical, and most of these one reinterpretations of very traditional myths.

48. Motor Mouth, Janet Evanovich. I actually prefer these to the Stephanie Plum series. Not sure why, I think it might just be that I like Alex more. It might be her writing style for them is a little different, or it was stronger when she started. Again, light and fun.

49. Love Walked In, Marisa de los Santos. This is actually a book I picked up in Canada last August (yes, I do this with books AND dvds, welcome to my world). The story of a girl abandoned by her mother and another woman who crosses her path I really loved it. I loved the narrative style and the story she was telling. It flips between perspectives, and I really enjoyed the different details that would come from each.

The rest of what I've read this year

So, it's August and I'm almost at 50 books. Not bad, not great. I have some non-fiction on the horizon and that often takes longer to get through, but we'll see. It's not like it's a race!
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (books so many)
There are reasons why I try to update my book blog semi-regularly. It's so I don't have to do reviews on 12 books at once. Seriously. I know that I forget books I've read when I do this. Ah well.

31. Shakespeare, Bill Bryson - I loved this book. Part of the concise biographies series, it really got down to what we know about Shakespeare (very little), what is assumed about him (and why much of it is erroneous) and painted a lovely portrait of the life of a playwright at the time (not that great). I'd recommend to anyone.

32. Small Island, Andrea Levy - A book about Jamaicans in England during World War II and after. It was a brilliant, if confusing at times, story. Fascinating to see WWII from the perspective of colonials, and how differently they were treated, being black, than the american troops. Still, a lovely if sometimes sad book.

33. Night Watch, Sarah Waters - Four stories, told backwards. I know that may seem strange, but it's not. It starts in London in 1947 and moves back in gaps to during the war, finishing in 1941. Their lives connect in ways you wouldn't have expected, and the secrets they keep are fascinating and sometimes surprising.

34. Fingersmith, Sarah Waters - The story of two young women in Victorian England, both of whom fate has used in rather strange ways. Things are not always what they seem, and this book is simply so well-written and lovely. I recommend it highly.

35. This Charming Man, Marian Keyes - Very different than her often lighter books. Dealing with abuse in relationships, it's not always an easy read, but it is rewarding. The different storylines draw you in and make you want to know more about each character, even when you're frustrated with them and their actions.

36-38. The Summer Tree, Wandering Fire, Darkest Road, Guy Gavriel Kay - Can I say how long it has been since I've read these books? At least three years, and longer since I'd read the final one. I remembered them so out of order, and entirely differently in parts. Still, it's a series I love, a re-interpretation of Arthurian legend. It has never failed to not make me cry, and this was no exception.

39. Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl, Shauna Reid - Fun and interesting. It was really fascinating to read this woman's book, a version of the blog she kept while she was on her journey - she started at 23 stone and lost 12.5. Realistic and honest, it hurt sometimes to read it; about her fears, her worries, how hard it was for her to change her own perception of herself. A very positive journey though, and a positive body image and health change.

40. The History of Lucy's Love Life in 10 1/2 Chapters, Deborah Wright - Hated it. Chick lit about a woman who time travelled to meet the world's greatest lovers. Thought it would be amusing and was just tripe.

41. Small Favour, Jim Butcher - I really need to re-read all of this series. Too bad the first books are in Canada! As it is, Small Favour is very strong. Harry gets beat up, yes, he saves the day, yes, he's snarky in the face of certain death, absolutely. I do like these books, they're well written and give me exactly what I want. Engaging characters, a fun story, and supernatural problem to be dealt with.

42. No Humans Allowed, Kelley Armstrong - I forget sometimes that Armstrong really is one of the strongest authors in the urban fantasy genre. I've yet to read a book and not immediately want more. When I pick up a new one and discover that it's about a previously minor character (there aren't THAT many) I find myself not minding at all. I love the other characters that have been developed, but I find myself loving whoever it is she's introducing us to a bit better this time around. This book is about Jamie Vegas primarily, with a heavy dose of Jeremy, Hope and Eve. Made me happy. Made me hate to finish it. Highly recommend the entire series.

The rest of the books I've read this year
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (books so many)
Hi, My name is deense and I have been crap at my bookblog this year. Actually, I've been crap at reading overall, but considering I've watched most of the west wing two times over since the beginning of August, I think I know why.

22. The Court of the Air, Stephen Hunt. This is honestly the epitome of a novel gone wrong. Steampunk, which means it's something I love. About Orphans on the run, which, again means I'm predisposed to like it, and all sorts of characters that normally I'd find endearing for all of their quirks. Only there were too many of them. Too many characters, too many sub-plots, it's a book that got lost in it's own cleverness. I honestly think this would have been better as three books in a series, as some storylines never got wrapped up, and others were rushed. So much potential, and in the end, nada.

23. & 24. Blaze of Glory & Heart of Gold by Michael Pryor. Wow, so I went to hunt around for his books on the net, and found that he is in fact Australian, and three of his books have been CBC notable books, and those (not these ones) are about the only ones you can find on Amazon. Anyway, everything bad I had to say about Court of the Air I have GOOD to say about these two books. Steampunk, young adult and wow. The sort of book that carries you through to the end and then made me go buy the second one the next day. The third is not out yet, but the second, Heart of Gold has been shortlisted for 2 Aurealis awards, Best Fantasy Novel, and Best Young Adult Fantasy. Srsly. CJ, I think these might come your way next package. Honestly, they are everything about YA Fiction done RIGHT.

25. Escape, Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer. With the FLDS in the news these days, this book was amazingly topical. Honestly it was also just great. Seriously. Carolyn's story of being married to a fifty year old man with three wives already at eighteen. She had eight kids over seventeen years with him, and she was the first to escape with her children and keep custody of them. It's the sort of book that could easily be over sentimental but it isn't. I couldn't put it down, and immediately foisted it off on Anna to read who also couldn't put it down.

26. For a Few Demons More, Kim Harrison (re-read). Fifth in the Hollows series. I love these books, and if the often crappy Urban Fantasy genre I find Harrison, Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong consistently put out very readable plot centric books with characters I like (and ones I hate). This one made me cry. Again.

27. jPod, Douglas Coupland. I was HUGELY disappointed by this book. Two problems really. I waited over a year to read it, and Microserfs is one of my favourite books. This book felt trite and try hard. I liked it, it just wasn't great. I expected great. I got gimmicky and over the top. I do want to see the tv series though.

28. The Gum Thief, Douglas Coupland. From one Coupland straight into another. This book was utterly different, and I honestly think it's one of his best. A combination of epistolary and excerpts from a novella one of the characters has been writing, and it's that sort of book that makes you cringe because you've been there. You've had that moment. But it's well written and put together and I found myself invested in the three characters and their lives as they unfolded.

29. & 30. Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, CS Lewis. (re-reads). PC is still one of my least favourite of the series, and DT is still my favourite. Do I have to say more?

I've also read quite a few copies of the New Scientist ([ profile] auntyyolly this is your fault), the first two volumes of Order of the Stick, all of Runaways so far, and a metric crapload of XFactor and XMen comics. So um, yes.

the rest of what I've read this year

Books 1-6

Feb. 22nd, 2008 03:50 pm
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (books reading in bed)
I know this isn't all the books I've read since January, but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, so it's what you get for now.

1.Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian. The only one of his books I've rad this year, I've been taking a little break from them. They are still some of the best naval books I've read, and I would recommend them to anyone. Just, start from the beginning.

2. Trick Or Treat by Kerry Greenwood. These books get better with each one. A completely different feel then the Phryne Fisher books (which, honestly, I do prefer) I find these to be nice light mysteries that entertain and keep me going. I love that they're set in Melbourne, and honestly, they're just lovely books.

3. Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon. A novella and two short stories from three different points of time for John. I loved them, but I think you would have to have read the Outlander books, or at least the other Lord John books to really click with them.

4. Ysabel, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Young Adult really, and sort of a sequel to the Fionvarr Tapestry. It wasn't what I expected and I didn't like it as much as I thought I might. I did enjoy it, I always enjoy his books, especially the ones where he weaves the modern with fantasy. Just not what I expected, it's the best way of saying it.

5. Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. It's been a loooong time since I've read this book. I preferred it this time. Maybe it's because I see some of the characters in the game, maybe it was because I knew what happened next, and I could take my time enjoying it. Either way, a very good book

6. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. GAH! A Discworld book I hadn't read! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? I honestly don't know. Brilliant and wonderful. I loved the rats. I loved Maurice. I just loved the book. Read it, really. Just do.
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (Default)
It's a very very overdue book post. Cause I suck.

75 & 76 Kissing Sin & Tempting Evil, Keri Arthur. I love Urban Fantasy. That being said, a lot of it is total crap. I think the genre has exploded recently, and you end up with, well, a lot of dross. This series is not. Fast reads, totally entertaining, actually good sex scenes, and just good. They take place in Victoria and NSW as well, so always a bonus for me!

77 & 78 The Novice & The High Lord, Trudi Caravan. There are times I want to give up on the fantasy genre. Then someone *cough*[ profile] ishara*cough* recommends a series I truly enjoy. The second two books of the series, and again, a really well imagined fantasy series, with all the fun stuff, magic, bad evil wizards, intrigue, good guys who are bad, bad guys who are good, and it's well written, and very enjoyable.

79 & 80 Dead and Loving it & Undead and Unpopular, Mary Janice Davidson. MJD is my fluff reading. It's entertaining, it takes no thought at all, and I enjoy it. That being said, Dead and Loving it drove me crazy, and I know to not read any of her werewolf books, and to stick with the undead series.

81 First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde. I honestly felt like JF floundered with Something Rotten. Somehow it didn't work so well for me, and I wondered if I was getting over the Thursday Next series a bit. Then I read this one. Set into the future by I think 15 years, and it just works. I can't say too much without giving things away, but it's awesome and amazing and wonderful and why aren't you all reading it now?

82 Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer. Wow. Rarely can books make me both laugh and cry in the space of two pages. Really, it's three stories wrapped together, in fact, possibly more. The story of a Ukranian man (and his grandfather) who are paid to act as sort of native guides to an American Jew come over to research his history. Also the story of that history. They wrap together amazingly, and while it starts amusingly, it ends up terribly poignant, and in a way you never suspected.

83 Without You: a memoir of love, loss and the musical RENT, Anthony Rapp. Avery honest and unflinching look at Anthony's life during the development of RENT from the workshops, to its broadway run, and a bit further. It gave me a lot of interesting info about Jonathan Larson, and about Anthony and the rest of the cast. He's not a writer, by any means, and its written conversationally, but I tore through it in a few hours.

84 A Clash of Kings, George RR Martin. A re-read, but so worth it. I read this during my NA trip mostly, and like the first book, its so worth the review. So many things you pick up the second time you didn't the first, so many times you want to leap in and stop the characters from saying or doing something. I still think this is one of my top five series ever

85 Unnatural Fire, Fidelis Morgan. This was an odd one. 17th century crime-mystery, of a sort, it took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I enjoyed it thoroughly, though there were still clunky parts. I have the sequel in my TBR pile though, so yay!

86 & 87 Dead as a Doornail & Definitely Dead, Charlaine Harris. Another of my light urban fantasy writers, of a sort, these ones are more urban fantasy/romance, yet I like them much more than the MJD ones honestly. They have a sense of humour that a lot of books of this genre lack, and I appreciate it greatly. Give them a try. Entertaining and light, and Sookie will likely kick your ass. Srsly.

88 & 89 The Medieval Cookbook, Maggie Black & The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval recipes for today by a person I can't think of and the book is downstairs. Good basic books that redact and interpret medieval recipes. I sometimes dislike what they do with them, but that's possibly me?

90 Kushiel's Dart, Jaqueline Carey. How many years did it take me to read this? Wow. I wish I had sooner, seriously. I found myself annoyed with the sex a bit, but meh, the intrigue, and the characters, gods, I cried twice dammit. I completely blame Vi and Shelley for this.

91-93 Jack of Fables, Fables Vol 10, 1001 Nights of Fables and X Factor Vol 1, 2 & 3 and Excalibur Classic Vols 1-3. In my world 3 graphic novels = 1 book. I'm okay with that. Jack of Fables I hated. Vol 10 & 101 nights were brilliant, esp 101 nights. The retelling of classic fairy tales is always good with me. X-Factor is beyond amazing. Find it, read it. Love Layla Miller and find yourself ALMOST willing to read House of M cause of her. Excalibur Classic? It's Kitty come into her own finally, so I adore it.

93 already, and only in September? Not bad I say, especially considering the time I spend on [ profile] the_blank_slate

the master book post is here excluding the current listing, as i will add the links soon!
deense: Sinfest - dominate or not? (Default)
Well, this is actually going to run Dec 30- Dec 30. Just because ;) This will end up being the master post, and in my memories.

1. The Waste Lands, Stephen King. The third of the darktower series, I really cannot believe I haven't read these before. It's very evocative writing that pulls you in. With the different story lines converging, you start to see how well this series is pulling together the strands while still introducing more. Very excited for the next.

2, 3, 4 & 5. A is for Alibi, H is for Homicide, M is for Malice and P is for Peril, Sue Grafton. Part of the Alphabet Series by Sue Grafton. Crime fic, and some of my light books. I find them well written and put together, perfect for when I'm sorta sick, and what something easy, but still good. I think 4 in a row was a bit much though, but i've now filled all the holes in the series, and have them all read from A-R
6. Cause Celeb, Helen Fielding
A brilliant book, her first in fact. It's an amazing juxtaposition of the famine in Africa with the celebrity lifestyle in London, and the way the two timelines are set up... If you haven't read this book, grab it!

7. Shade's Children, Garth Nix
This was a good book in a lot of ways. Fantasy, and dealt with some adult concepts, but it seemed like the fact he's mainly a young adult writer really shows through. It does manage to keep you wondering for much of the book, and the concepts behind it are great. Definitely interesting, and easy to read.

8. The Pirate Queen, Alan Gold.
Total Historical fluff, about an Irish Pirate Grace O'Malley, and Queen Elizabeth I. Like I said, fluff. Very fluff. But entertaining

9. Deep Secret, Diana Wynne Jones
Now, if you don't realise that I love Diana Wynne Jones you've either been living under a rock, or are new to this lj. Some of the best young-adult (and children's, though this was def the young adult type) fantasy fiction out there, and this book was no exception. I devour them, and they are always such a pleasure.

10. Mistral's Kiss, Laurell K Hamilton
The good things? Merry is still with Doyle and realises she loves him mostest. The bad things? Too many to list. PLOT! Plot wqould be great, and I don't mean three seconds of it interspersed between each 10 page sex scene (which start on something like page 8).

11. Marvel !602, Neil Gaiman (Graphic Novel, issues 1-8)
The marvel universe in 1602. Being a marvel baby, i'm loving it, but if you aren't familiar with the universe it would likely be pretty odd. Still, it made me happy.

12. Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. I've already said how much I loved this book. The strange but fascinating tale of a man who's wife dies, and the only witness to her death was the family dog. In his grief he attempts to teach the dog to talk, and at the same point, reviews their life, slowly revealing more about the two of them, and their relationship.

13. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters. Another fasscinating book, i'd never read this before! The story of a girl in England in the 1880's, and her life, well, first as an oyster girl, then as the companion of a male impersonator, then as a male impersonator herself, and eventually as a london tom. Quite interesting to see how she goes through her life, and that at some points I wasn't all that sympathetic to her as a character, but I was still fascinated to follow her story.

14. Unexpected Magic, Diana Wynne Jones. A collection of short stories. Some very amusing (i loved the one with the 17 million alien names for coffee, something i've always found bizarre in fantasy) and some fell a bit flat. Good collection though, more adult fantasy, then the young adult stuff i'm used to her writing.

15. Fantasy Stories, chosen by Diana Wynne Jones. This collection was a real mix, everything from the Grimm brothers & Frank Baum, to very modern tales, to modernised takes on old tales. Loved it.

16. Disobedience by Naomi Alderson. The story of Ronit, an orthodox jew from Hendon in London, who moved away from all of that to New York, and of Esti, the girl she left behind. When Ronit's father dies, she comes home, their two lives meet again, and they must deal with the past they've both been avoiding and how it is affecting their present. Quite a good book, and quite interesting. I disliked the two differnet fonts they use to distinguish the two storylines, but that's purely superficial.

17. Oberntwyn, Isobelle Carmody. Lots of people have recommended Isobelle Carmody to me since i've moved to Oz. I'm glad I piced it up. It's on the upper end of young adult fantasy i'd say. Set in a Post Apocolyptic world, where only regional places survived, and everythign is run by a council, and the Herders, a religious group. More and more people are labelled misfits, with strange mutations or powers. This is the story of some of them.

18. The Farseekers, Isobelle Carmody. The second of the Obernewtyn Chronicles. It further develops many of the characters, and continues the story well. Not as good a the first, but still a good book. Not a series you can read out of order.

19. Wine of Angels, Phil Rickman. An interesting story, about and Anglican Minister who moves to a small town in Wales with her teenaged daughter. A bit of a mystery/thriller, it's a good story, but a bit too long. It wanders in the middle a bit, but gathers it back up at the end. A lot of history is built into the story, and it's good. I do recommend this.

20. Puppet, by Joy Fielding. Another sort of mystery, only this one of the past. Amanda is 28 and estranged from her entire past really when she gets a phone call from her ex that her mother has shot a man in cold blood in a hotel lobby. She returns to Toronto and tries to get to the bottom of why, and learn things about a life she ran away from. Really good, and captures Toronto perfectly.

21. The Green Mile, Books 1-6, Stephen King. No, i've never seen the movie. No, i've never read the books. So glad that I have now. It's not a thriller, as it's billed, but a story of a death row jail in 1932, the inmates and the guards. It's amazing how it gets to you, and gets under your skin. Fast to read, and very enjoyable.

22. Night of Many Dreams, Gail Tsukiyama. The story of three women in a Hong Kong family that starts during the second world war. It's a captivating sort of book, the chapters flip between two sisters and their aunt, and I found myself empathising with all three of the characters. By the end though, it feels rushed, skipping huge gaps in order to cover a large portion of their lives, about 15 years altogether. I think it definitely could have been longer, rather then to skip through so much.

23 - 26. Ill Wind, Heat Stroke, Chill Factor, Wind Fall by Rachel Caine. Books one to four of the Weather Warden series, I didn't read these all in a row, but I did read them all over the past two weeks, so it's easier to do it this way. What can I say, Urban Fantasy based on the premise that the weather is controlled (sometimes not very successfully) by weather wardens. Centers around the Joanne Baldwin, one of the wardens, and the many battles she faces. They are fast paced, and highly entertaining. Quite enjoyed these.

27. Blondel's Song: The Capture, Imprisonment and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart, by David Boyle. Fascinating book. I love history books that are easy to read, yet still detailed enough, and researched enough that they don't simply skim over things. What I found interesting about this book was the social context Richard's crusade, his imprisonment, and later, the social and economic effects of those and his ransom.

28. Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, by Tracey Quan. Fluff. Amusing, but even then, I feel like this book was rather a waste of an afternoon. Was especially disappointed by the ending, which felt rather trite, but then, I'm not sure I was expecting more.

29. Wolves of Calla, Stephen King. Yep, he did it again. Both the story of the current group, and the story of Roland after he just became a Gunslinger, I loved every single second of this book.

30. Strange Candy, Laurel K Hamilton. A collection of short stories she's written over the years. Some are really really good. Some are total crap. It's a mix. It's still worth reading

31. She May Not Leave, Fay Wheldon. The story of two women really, a grandmother, and her granddaughter, in the UK. Intertwined with the story of various au pairs. Odd in moments, and I didn't really like the ending, but I did love the book, and how the stories intertwined.

32. Ursula's Under by Ingrid Hill. Another one of those books with intertwining stories. This one the story of a family, mixed in with a variety of their ancestors, of how they got to this place. It's very very well done, and very very good. I devoured this one.

33. Of Marriageable Age, Sharon Maas. Just brilliant. One of those books that intertwines a few stories from past and present,a nd keeps you guessing until the very end how they all interconnect. Set in India and British Guyana in the early 1900's and 1950's and 1920's the descriptions and characters are wonderful and engaging.

34. Ashling, Isobelle Carmody. The third of the Obernewtyn Chronicles, this one was much better than the second. They sit somewhere between young adult fantasy and adult, and this book sees a lot more development than the last. Apparently there is going to be a fourth

35. Italian Frescoes: The Age of Giotto, Joachim Poeschke. Oh my goodness. This book, filled with amazing reproductions of 14th century italian frescoes in such detail as i've not seen before is my dream come true. The costuming ideas alone that have come from this. Guh. The first read was more of a skim, taking in bits, but more bits left my head then stayed in. The second read will involve post it notes and a note book. This is total book porn for me

36. U2 by U2. It took me months to get through this, somehow, even though they're my favourtie band I'd forget it was beside my bedside table. Totally worth it, for the photos alone, the stories about each other, and themselves, and that you really feel like you get to know who the band are in this book

37. CSI: Killing Game, Max Allan Collins. Yes, a book based on the show. It was fluff, but entertaining fluff, which was all i required it to be.

38. The Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters. The first of the Amelia Peabody mysteries set in victorian egypt, a period I love. I read this book in about a day. Again, slightly fluff, but well reasearched into the time period, and the archaeological methods of the day. It was great to have it played out so well.

39. Nights of Rain and Stars, Maeve Binchy. Oh goodness, a Binchy book NOT set in Ireland! Though there are Irish characters. It was a typical Binchy book, people with problems, coming together and sorting them out, often through some pain, and turmoil. But it was still a good read, I enjoyed it, and finding out the stories of all the characters.

40. The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones. Newest of the Chrestomanci books, it continues the series in its awesomeness. More a story about Cat Chant and the villages surrounding the Chrestomanci castle, and it helps to flesh things out immensely for the universe. Not that they really needed it, these are great books.

41. The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe. Wildly dry and amusing, I can't recommend it highly enough and its hard to explain the book, other then that it's pirates, in an adventure with charles darwin. Find it. Read it. Now.

42. Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain. A fiction work of his, which while entertaining, isn't as good as his non fiction somehow. But you can definitely see the influence in his life in this.

43. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. A re-read, and another book I love. Susan and Death, how can it get better?

44. Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. So a friend of mine harassed me into reading this book. HARASSED I SAY! Told me that it was the best sci fi/cyberpunk book he'd ever read. Well, I have to say, he's likely right. ZOMG THE AWESOMENESS. See, that was me being squealy. I need to find more books by this guy.

45. Night Rising by Chris Marie Green. Okay, we know I like urban fantasy. This isn't the sort of urban fantasy I like. Plot was weak, characters were just okay, perspective of the villans scenes were just ick, and while it had some things I liked, overall, it was barely worth the time.

46. Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur. This however, was the sort of urban fantasy I like. A bit heavy on the sex, but it was good, and well written, and didn't detract from the plot in an Anita Blake kinda way.

47. How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. A combination of her stories, recipes and tidbits of things she knows. Great. I need to own this book as it's more about food then anything else.

48. Sleeping with Fishes, Maryjanice Davidson
49 & 50 Undead and Unnapreciated, Undead and Unreturnable, Maryjanice Davidson

Total and complete fluff. The first about a mermaid/marine biologist, and the other two about a vampire queen named Betsy. I read these when my brain needs a break, cause as much as they are total fluff? They're highly enjoyable fluff.

51. The Magicians Guild, Trudi Caravan
Fairly classic fantasy rec'd by a friend, and so well done. Intrigue, people you love, people you hate, complicated situations,a nd no easy way out. A good example that even though it's stereotypical of the genre it's not bad, in fact, it's great.

52. Enders Game, Orson Scott Card
Classic Sci-fi. I enjoyed it, and parts of it made me shockingly uncomfortable. Not sure what my overall opinion is really

53. For a Few Demons More, Kim Harrison
Hi, can you tell I like urban fantasy? This book made me cry. Which means either I am a sook, or it was frakking awesome. I suspect somewhere between the two extremes, though I know I am a sook. Enjoyable, and I love the characters, even if I want to bitch slap Rachel some days.

54. The Alphabet of Light and Dark, Danielle Wood
A moving story about a girl gone back to Bruny island to delve into the history of her family and her own history. Intertwined with the story of a very very very disturbing man who kills cats for pleasure. There's more to it then that, but buh... I adored the one storyline, and was almost ill once during the other.

55. Science of Discworld III:Darwin's Watch
I liked this one better than the second, but not as much as the first. It still did feel like trying to hard a few times, but was entertaining and informative nonetheless.

56. The Keeping Place, Isobelle Carmody.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT'S NOT THE LAST BOOK???? Seriously. It was good, but it went on forever. I think this story got away from her a bit, and the scope grew too much. But it is good, if a bit too long.

57. Lion in the Valley Elizabeth Peters
More fluff, this time Egyptology fluff. Amelia is addictive, and I start thinking in her voice after a while. It's disturbing, believe me.

58 & 59 Prince Caspian & The Last Battle, CS Lewis
Rereads, but not for about 2 years. I really need to find a copy of Dawn Treader somewhere. I loved Prince Caspian, but the ending of the Last Battle bothers me more and more over the years. It's like Lewis drops the overtones bit of the religous overtones and leaves you with... Yeah...

60. Fables, Vols 1-8 (this so counts in my world)
Seriously, more pages then some of the books I read in this! Brilliant. If you haven't read Fables, do so, now. It's amazing.

61. The Harlequin, Laurell K Hamilton
She didn't have sex for almost 200 pages.
There was PLOT
There was only a little of her gaining goofy new powers every two seconds
There was EDWARD
There was her being scared and omg almost herself again...
There was me being ecstatic and wishing it hadn't taken the last 4 books of drivel to get this far, and omg there's still so far to go, but it's getting there? I can but hope.

62-65 The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Last Battle by CS Lewis. Now this was a re-read with a purpose. I was writing up an application for Lucy Pevensie for [ profile] the_blank_slate. It was still, however, really good to re-read them all. I found myself looking at things differently as well, because now Lucy was what I was focussed on, and trying to see things from her perspective. I was also reminded how much I disliked the very end of the Last Battle. They're travelling off with Aslan with no concern for their parents, who aren't there, or Susan, who was left behind, completely alone. That has always made me so sad.

66 Firestorm by Rachel Caine. The most recent in the Weather Warden books. I like how these all seem like a part of something bigger. Things happen, and each book is brought to a conclusion (sort of) but more events start that carry on into the next. I really like these ones.

67 Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. Another re-read. I adore this book, and i'd never actually re-read it. It was fascinating to go through it knowing what happened, bemoaning things that were happening, wanting to scream and shake the characters and tell them to not say or do that thing. This remains one of my favourite book series of all time.

68 Beastly Tales from Here and There by Vikram Seth. A collection of tales told in verse from around the world, plus two written by VS. Light, entertaining, and lovely.

69 Pirates in an Adventure with Whaling by Gideon Defoe. I didn't enjoy this as much as the first, though I still found it greatly amusing. It's the right kind of silly.

70 Urn Burial by Kerry Greenwood. Odd, because i'd not read this before, though I've read the rest of the series. In a way it was like going back in time with Phryne, and I kept wondering things like 'where are her girls' only realising she hadn't adopted them yet. I enjoyed it greatly, as I do all the firefly books.

71 We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Oh wow. Wow wow wow. A series of letters written from a wife to her estranged husband about what brought them to this point. Their son is in jail for a columbine-style shooting at his school, and the book is... Well, it's captivating, and well done, and I highly highly highly recommend it.

72 Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb. An amusing murder mystery based around a sci fi convention (Rubicon) in the US in the 1980's. It's dated, but it's still hilarious, especially to anyone in the fandom.

73 Lady Friday by Garth Nix. The fifth book of the Keys to the Kingdom series, I find they've gotten stronger as they've gone along. Young Adult, and sometimes a bit more of the young then adult, but I love the idea behind these books a great deal.

74 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JKR. Loved it. Hated the epilogue. Pls to be seeing three posts prior if you would like spoilers.

Books so far: 74

November 2015

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