Caro's Catch of Compelling Codices
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Welcome to 2012 and the low-brow end of the Club Read pool. If you look in here you will find mostly Fantasy with a bit of romance and some popular science and occasional oddities.
Last year I read 66 books split up;
4 various popular science
5 general fiction
2 graphic novels
1 comic strips
Old thread is http://www.librarything.com/topic/106273
My memorable reads of 2011 were;
Ryan North - Machine of Death (I'm not a short story lover but these are excellent)
Teresa Edgerton - Goblin Moon + The Gnome's Engine (these would real appeal to any Georgette Heyer fans that don't mind a little bit of fantasy)
Matthew Dicks - Something Missing (solid and memorable even half a year on)
Ernest Cline - Ready Player One (hyped but solid, lots of 80's grins provoked)
David Chandler - Den of thieves ancient blades trilogy (best of quite a poor year of fantasy reading)
First bit of business- I owe 3 reads and 3 reviews that I want to make sure don't get put back after Christmas arrivals. Last year I got an MG book on e-format and found that I couldn't read it on my PC. I got a kindle for Christmas so no excuse for delay- I then got a bit over-clicky and now somehow picked up two more MG that I didn't expect to win.
Whip me with nettles if the following books don't show up, reviewed and spit-spot by the end of February.
Steve Thomas Harbingers of Mortality
Alicia Linwood Dangerous
Nathan Pennington Bacterium
I did have some quick reads and an in-progress to report too.
1. Bill Bryson Home
Started, got distracted, going back to. It's in easy to digest chunks so quite easy to hop in and out.
2. Kinley MacGregor A Dark Champion brotherhood of the sword
Lame romance. Standard failures that the Hero was a bit dull and the Heroine a bit simple and very little happened but faffing. I picked up all the last 3-4 romance tips from on here. I must just not be on the right wavelength so more care needed for future picks.
3. Randall Munroe xkcd volume 0
Needs no introduction to an LT audience. Page 2, my favourite ever (normal person/ scientist - the magic lightening machine) that went in my wedding invites, probably an illegal use. This is only strips from the webcomic, no new ones that I could see but there is a fair bit of mostly indecipherable annotations (at a glance anyway, I'm sure runnning it obsessively through decoder algorithms will find the messages). Some geek standard jokes like binary numbers and hex codes.
Will be dropping in every once and while to see what you have found. My own library is heavy on urban fantasy.
Hmmm, xkcd you say? My daughter would highly approve, as would I. Quite clever, they are.
>2: It's possible using that comic strip in your wedding invitations is illegal, but copyright violation or no copyright violation, I have to say I find it utterly charming.
It's nice to see some 'best of the year' which other people haven't mentioned... I have downloaded the pdf of Machine Of Death and added Something Missing to the wishlist.
Thanks to a really grim sinus infection, I've been laid up in bed for the past 5 days. In between feeling sorry for myself, I did manage to get a bit of reading done. Well, quite a lot actually and ALL THREE! books are now read, awaiting review plus a few more. This reminds me how much I used to read... pre-kid...
1. Bill Bryson At Home
Still working on this and about halfway but wanted to leave myself a note to talk to childhood-best-mate. Her DH is an architectural photographer and I just read here about the Monadnock building in Chicago. Tallest brick building ever built at 16 storeys and, due to bricks being so heavy, it has 6 foot thick walls at the bottom to support the weight! There are (on a quick google) not really any good photos of the place but I bet they have one.
4. Steven M Thomas Harbingers of mortality
MG book and I've been owing a review since last September. Sorry about that!
A few threads weave through this interesting fantasy book; a captured assassin is forced into service for the empire to carry out the murder of a pregnant elf; generally magicians need seithsand to power their magics although there are rogue sorcerors who do not (one of whom is an ogre and very interesting) there are several side characters- soldiers, knights and magicians. I occasionally found it hard to follow where/ who we were with, but this was a well-written book that carried you through the tale. We are in the land of Kalharia and the main plot follows our compulsory conscript, an ancient-horde assassin called Jeshu who is caught trying to kill a senator and then tasked to kill an elf. He is kept to his mission by a vian knight with magic armour and a sorceress with mind-magic who are also in the party. The tale shifts from this focus to the friend of the elf, who is a sorceror. He bands together with another sorceror and they take over a seithsand mine and control all the miners. There is an epic battle finish. I would give this book 4 stars.
5. Alycia Linwood Dangerous
MG book with incorrect touchstone.
This book really didn't work for me at all however I am sure it could appeal strongly to those who love the Twilight/ Stephanie Meyers books. The fantasy is about the elements magic that people generally possess which is the best part of the book. There is a problem of magic disease that has appeared, where people with no element will want one bad enough to be driven to kill others for it. My first problem was that I immediately disliked the main character- Ria Milanez- who is somewhat similar to the Alicia Silverstone "Clueless" character but who has none of her redeeming features. This is a rich, priviledged, offensively self-centred, no-talent, shopaholic, ignorant young girl behaving like the whole world owes her a living. She is way too cool to take school/ university seriously (I think these are supposed to be about 20 year olds, there is lots of sex and swearing) and her idea of OK behaviour is both to sleep with the boyfriend of her alleged best friend (a much nicer, quieter girl called Paula) and unrepentant, to have lots of personal in-jokes with him on top of that. This not-your-boyfriend is called Adrian and he has magic disease making him The Fonz of University and very much a sort of Edward dangerous character. She actually has her boyfriend called poor-sod, I mean Michael, who is apparently really nice too- what on earth are these nice characters seeing in such a dim and selfish girl? There is a very unpleasant storyline where selfish-brat is unable to remember sleeping with the real boyfriend due to some pill/ drug the not-your-boyfriend gave her. What a terrible set of messages for young adults. Better than all that, Adrian has a sort of guardian figure called Alan who has apparently no idea what the words "client confidentiality" might mean as he's quite happy to tell any of the Uni kids where/ what Adrian is up to and lots of his personal details too. Well, I won't spoil the story, which apart from the awful characters, is actually quite interesting- not-your-boyfriend is trying to find out why he has magic disease and how that works. I won't be looking out the next books in the series but were this storyline written with likeable characters possessing a bit more respect for themselves and others it could be very good indeed. 2.5 stars as I finished it.
6. Nathan Pennington Bacterium
Bills itself as an end-of-the-world thriller and certainly delivers on that. The main stage is the Wisconsin area and the story really rocks along. The kooky science bit is that a reengineered anthrax + ebola combination has been delivered around the world by a couple of mad scientists and their New Earth nutcase group friends. There are a few people left who do not get affected by the disease and the group decides to wipe out the survivors. The survivors work in a zoo so there is a great confrontation around the animals there and, in later section, the behaviour of the dogs is really scary. I enjoyed this book. 4 stars.
7. Sir Terry Pratchett I shall wear midnight
Chicken-soup reading. I still like these Pratchetts but they do feel like they are sliding a bit from the earlier ones. That said, Tiffany Aching is about my least favourite story set. I'm a (non-Chalk)witches and guards fan mostly. When he hits the nail on the head though, you can't help but smile at it.
8. Clarissa Dickson Wright Spilling the beans
Fascinating autobiography of one half of the Two Fat Ladies cooks. She has had a very interesting life- coming from a family with great successes and history, she ends up with a vicious violent drunk father. She falls to the family drunk genes after her parents die but after 5 or so years, manages to drag herself out of that pit. At 21, she was the youngest woman called to the Bar where she was a contemporary of Tony and Cherie Blair- neither of whom is spoken of kindly! I only caught a few of the Clarissa and the Countryman series but I vividly remember her acid wit- "Here comes the voice of reason" when the aggressive and shouting animal rights groups turn up to a hare coursing event.
9. Sir Terry Pratchett Snuff
More chicken-soup reading. Commander Sam Vimes has been forced off to the countryside for a holiday. Local folks with local rules soon come and disrupt any idea of a pleasant break. Goblins are new and introduced very thoroughly. A few of the watch come over near the end so it doesn't stay only on Vimes/ Sybil/ Sam. Very good.
10. Simon R Green A Hard Day's Knight
Excellent. Book 11 in the Nightside. Still going places, still interesting. Looking forwards to the next one when it gets to paperback that is.
11. Bill Bryson At Home
Very interesting, I thought I had quite a bit left to read and the book then ended rather abruptly- there are acres of bibliography and index at the back of the book. Bryson really is a sort of ADD knowledge junkie as he just wanders around from one anecdote to a curious fact and onwards to a short story. Somehow, he gets it all to hang together but the fleeting-ness of some of the sidesteps have quite a tendency to evaporate from your mind. Enjoyable though I have no idea what to read next.
9 - At Home has been on my wishlist for some time and I really should pick it up. I think the Monadnock is hard to get good pictures of now because of everything that's been built up around it, but I'd be interested if you found some good shots.
>10 That's what I heard back from my friend (no great pics) but, by unbelievable chance, she used to work in that building and says it's really interesting inside. Lots of art deco and frosted doors with names etched on them (like everyone is a PI!). You can just walk in and go up in the elevators apparently so she's promised me a short tour the next time I can get out to Chicago.
11 - Nice. We're trying to go to Chicago this year. I'll have to check it out.
12. Douglas Hulick Among Thieves
Very good indeed. This book is up for a Gemmel award in new fantasy fiction this year and I can see why. It's treading very populist ground as over the past 10 years there has been an explosion of thieves-based fantasy (EG Scott Lynch and David Chandler). It's also in the rather popular gritty style (EG Joe Abercrombie). Yet for all that that, this book doesn't feel derivative or dull at all and, whilst the action is really fast paced, that doesn't happen at the expense of the scenery and the politics of the world- it's not a basic D&D dungeon run at all. If you don't like to see any torture/ gratuitous violence then you might not enjoy this book so much but, one great positive is that this book doesn't have useless-women in it. The female characters do suffer a little that they aren't quite as fleshed out as the main male players but it's really refreshing to read a medieval-based fantasy that doesn't have a single rape or whore in it. Of course it's a series but as this was so recently released I can't even find the proposed name of the next book so it may be a while before this continues.
13. Lisa Sanders Every Patient tells a story
Interesting look at how the decision tree of diagnosis works, or rather mostly doesn't work, in the field of medicine. It's not a list of horror stories but shows only too clearly how it's hard to get to the underlying truth through a lot of grey area or if you start going down the wrong arms of those decision trees and get buried in tests/ results. Lots of push that the physical exam is needed again in a back-to-basics manner. I see a parallet to my own work in the last chapters where the concerns on how we can commoditise or simplify the 80% "easy stuff" (all the potential IT support solutions/ checklist some symptoms and so on). Some of this comes up also in the Checklist manifesto. There are loads of medics in my family and my sister already warned that patients would be a bit shocked if they realised how often google plays a part (a check or a quick review) in the hunt for diagnosis!
Patients being diagnosed by wiki is a bit frightening, but I am sure that is not what you are saying.
14. Christina Courtenay Trade Winds
15. Christina Courtenay Highland Storms
Two quick kindle romances. Nothing awful but also nothing excellent.
16. Tina Fey Bossypants
My husband picked this up for me on a trip to America (it's better that the t-shirts I got last time!). An autobiography in the form of a bunch of short stories. I do not follow all the references so this was patchy for me. I like her tone and the cut of her jib though- so overall a good read. I know about second city/ chicago improv.- there is an outreach program of it in Amsterdam which I always presumed was for nice holidays for improv comics to come over the Atlantic for breaks. I'm vaguely aware of Tina Fey as the one that did the Sarah Palin impressions. I don't know anything at all about your TV production companies, 30 rock or some of the rest that passed way over my head. I really liked her stance on dealing with the misogynists- in her case the "women aren't funny" comment where her view is that unless the person making these sort of putdowns is your boss or in any way between you and what you want to do, who gives a crap what they think.
17. Adam MacQueen Private Eye, the first 50 years
I meant to just flick through this but ended up skimming it cover to cover. I've been reading this magazine my whole life but it's been running much longer than that so it was fun to have some of the in-jokes explained. The cartoons are superb and there is so much interesting bits in there of non-reverence to politicians, bankers et al.
18. Jo Nesbo The Redbreast
I had a can't resist cheap books moment at Christmas on the amazon black Friday sales and I've got 5 of these on the pile to get through. They arrived with a "The next Stieg Larsson" sticker on the front which somewhat put me off starting them (those GWADT books were OK- but needed a really serious bit of editing to be as good as the hype made them out to be). This is a crime novel with a lot of historical flashbacks relating to Norway/ Germany/ Austria interactions during WW2. Well plotted. Mostly likeable but very Stieg-Larsson alcoholic detective who makes mistakes.
19. Jo Nesbo Nemesis
This one follows on from the first. Detective still a raging alcoholic who seems to be actively trying to mess up his potential relationship. Lots of gypsies in this one. Not as good as the first but I continue on... there are 3 more of these to get through.
I have a MG and an ER to deal with next on the kindle. The Information Diet which I started but only got a small way into- on the first chapter (unfair I know) there seems to be really too much squeezing my theory into the metaphor (everything is good or bad food, this could get dull). Will come back to it and make a fairer assessment later. Also a regency romance that sounded interesting hopeful. Quite some travelling this week. Long day in Milan for a customer meeting Wednesday and then Friday I have to go back to the UK for my aunts requiem. She died in Spain so the funeral/ cremation happened really quickly within 3 days, there is burying her ashes and requiem to do still. This event will be odd and require quite some patience as it's the very Catholic side of the family and I've spent the last 20 years religion-free which I think they are choosing to take as personal attacks on them/ their choices. Digs like- will I "remember" how to do the offertory procession- as they want godchildren to do that and she was my godmother. We will see.
20. Jo Nesbo The Devil's Star
Brings a major Harry Hole plotline to an end. This book feels really frantic. Lots of rushing around and many parts weaving around. Very compulsive though, I could not put this down until I'd finished it last night.
21. Jo Nesbo The Redeemer
Lots of intertwining plot threads in this one. Salvation Army murder and a lot of side plots overlapping it. Nicely done. It's very unlucky to be a friend/ work colleague of Harry Hole though.
22. Jo Nesbo The Snowman
Edge of the seat, closer to Harry's world in this one. Nice development in the colleagues area. I enjoyed all 5 of these and for 550 page books they fly by. I've picked up the next one (most recent still in large format so not for me yet).
23. Kelly McCullough SpellCrash
Book 5 in the Ravirn series. This one was a bit baffling in places. The focus came off the characters development and a lot more time, in fact probably the majority of the book, is sunk into some quite tedious interactions between the world structures with a form of chase plot. Since this is a world whose structure is based on quite complicated computer operating systems that interact each other, mostly with the conceit that they all reflect various myth structures (EG MythOS/ MimirNet) it can get a bit weird. The first 3 books were heavy on Greek myth and evolved Ravirn from a minor hacker in the house of fate to his own chaos entity. Then a new world of Norse myth got added and the world got a bit full. Ravirn as hacker also means he's got quite a longlist of enemies (Hades, Nemesis, Neccessity (sometimes)) and quite a shortlist of friends (webtrolls/ webgoblins, Persephone, Furies (sometimes)). I'm not sure these have any mileage left in them as a series but there is still something quite cool about the central premise and IT+myth+fantasy mash.
24. Jo Nesbo The Leopard
Last of these I will read for a while as the most recent one is still hardback/ large format. Very good. Scenery in this case the wilderness of Norway and the Congo.
25. Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games
Excellent YA. No doubt the film will be a lot less gory than the book! Kids version of "The Running Man".
26. Suzanne Collins Catching Fire
27. Suzanne Collins Mockingjay
Interesting trilogy. Nice to have finished it now as I'm likely to see this in the kino in German where I won't be able to follow all that much (poor German skills). I'm not sure if it is due to them being YA books but after reading all three books it's clear they are very sentimental. At least 3 or 4 times in this trilogy I was in tears reacting to the awful things in the book but adult-me was sitting at my shoulder and cynically pointing out just how much it is in a buttons-being-pressed manner. Of course Katniss can't directly kill all that many of the other kids in the arena (or she would be a horrible shit), so there is quite some care taken on the "how" when that does happen. I won't give away who Katniss eventually chooses between Peeta and Gale except to say that I was happy with that outcome in any case.
I did get to see The Hunger Games in German. It was OK but really shortcut a lot of the more interesting bits of the book. The whole audience pissed themselves laughing at one point and I did not catch what was so hilarious unfortunately.
28. Bernard Cornwell Sharpe's Trafalgar
These are fun and I totally missed all the Sean Bean TV series so possibly worth a catchup. Or maybe just stick to the books? I dunno.
29. Neal Stephenson Snow Crash
I really enjoyed this book but my husband who read it first nearly put me off bothering as he found it really dull. I enjoyed it lots although the ending is a bit abrupt it just about works.
I haven't read Bernard Cornwell, but on seeing (accidentally) several episodes of the TV show, I might. I recommend the first two (Sharpe's Rifles and Sharpe's Eagle) especially, with Brian Cox as spymaster Hogan and David Troughton as Lord Wellesley (later Wellington). Just terrific!
Just poppin' in to see what you are reading. It would be terribly boring if we all read the same books, yes?
30. Ben Aaronvitch Rivers of London
New recruit constable Peter Grant gets involved with the (very small) magical arm of the London Police Force. It uses the historical settings and sections very well, there is also lovely ideas for the Thames and it's tributaries. It would be a huge spoiler to describe more as it's a common, well known British event that underpins the main storyline. I'm certainly going to read the next book and it looks like the third is in production now.
31. Banksy Wall and Piece
This is a very old book that I picked up cheaply on amazon recently in a 3-for-2. It's pretty but utterly fluffy and certainly not much reading to it. I do love the death in a rowboat.
>25. That's true indeed. I still read a lot of the CR2012 threads and see some books I have to tag up on the wishlist. I used to read a lot more like 50:50 natural science+business : fantasy+sci fi but it seems it's moving over a lot more strongly towards the fantasy books at the moment. I think it's all my brain has space for- small kid, full time work, really busy with lots of travelling. Anything requiring concentration just doesn't make the cut at the moment.
32. Clay Johnson The Information Diet
This ER book was overall good. There are some soft bits at the beginning where we wander places we have no need to go and the metaphor gets really over-extended in my view by the end of the book in the "infoveganism" and "how to consume" sections, but the main content is clearly presented and well argued. There is a lot of cross-references to other recent book commentary on the internet information deluge/ fact famine that seems to be happening- The shallows; The Filter Bubble. I'm UK/ EU based so a fair amount of the USA-centred (or USA centered if you prefer) politics examples and CNN/ Fox News and others just don't resonate hard with me. Attention, focus and distractibility are really getting important. I've always had the internet available to me since my working life started and I can remember in the start that only rarely did I need to go online and that there were clear deliniations between work and play websites. Now, there are some very grey areas and it does take will power and attention to keep focussed on what you wanted to know. I can legitimately go on wikipedia and msn money to research out companies, but once there some shiny-things can distract me and 10 minutes later I'm looking at biographies of bands I've heard on the radio on the way to work or amazon looking at what books come out soon or just reading news websites like BBC. So, OK, I can agree with the basic message.
The "how to consume" section of working just isn't directed at my general working day- it is much more for a home-office journalist/ programmer style worker producing words/ copy. The final chapter of "people who are programmers like me should get into politics" was frankly a bit weird and ego-centric. Personally of course I think more Biologist, Logisticians who like Pink Floyd should be ruling the country but maybe my biases might be showing there... So, a curates egg of a book with the middle 40-50% being very good, a slow start and a slightly bizarre wrap-up.
33. Madeleine Robins Lady John
Another ER book but I'm not sure how it got there- the book is originally published back in 1982. This in an OK regency romance. A soldiers young widow goes to UK from her base in Belgium to meet her husbands family and meets an old flame there who was a colonel and is now ignoring her. It's a star-crossed lovers story but sadly not much detail is really explained on the dead husbands actions to get to this position. It took quite some time in the book before I was interested in any of the characters but it does work out in the end.
34. 35. 36 Melynda Beth Andrews The Blue Devil Miss Grantham's One True Sin The Blackguard's Bride
A set of good regency romances. There are some others in this series I think but one of them I actively avoided. It was a gypsy book and whilst I'm not in any way anti-gypsy, there was clearly going to be wall-to-wall woo and portents and signs which I'm just not remotely interested in. All good, the last one (Blackguard's) made a lot of references to what must have been in the woo-book.
This is a fun thread. I'm stopping by here for the first time and just read it through. I'm reading the first in The Hunger Games trilogy so it was interesting to read your comments. Also, I'll second your compliments of Snow Crash. That's a steam punk classic of sorts, a terrific book.
>28 I can waste hours just following a random-walk of internet threads! LT is a good startpoint and can sometimes become a bit of a perpetual motion machine- read someone's thread, throw open a couple of interesting looking books to new tabs. Check the reviews on those. Have to make a side-trip to amazon to see if they have them at reasonable price. Oh look! Shiny new release recommendations.... Next thing you know, it's nearly midnight and there are 50 open tabs to get through...
>29 I really liked Snow Crash although I only made a short review here. It is in a similar place to Ready Player One for me and made me quite positive to start into one of the larger/ heavier Stephenson books I have sitting around on my TBR list at some point.
37. Lee Child The Affair
Disappointing compared to other books in the Reacher Series but just about adequate. These books normally have some quirk to the storyline where somethine borderline bizarre will catch the interest and elevate them a little above basic thriller fare. That trick is pretty much exactly what Clive Cussler manages in his early books. This book is a just a little too straight-forward and a little bit uninteresting as I result. This also suffers from the fact that, while it's normally OK for some vigillante things to occur when it's fast-pace, fast-decision action. Anything a bit pre-meditated can look wrong. There is something a little too Judge Dredd-ie about the was this pans out in a couple of places. Not that Reacher hasn't dished out the justice before but it's normally been for much more personal reasons than this. It all felt a bit distant.
38. Rachel van Dyken/ Leah Sanders Waltzing with the Wallflower
I think only 70 pence on amazon but this is a complete con job. There are no book page numbers but on the smallest kindle font sizing, paging forwards or backwards one page eats up either 1 or sometimes 2 %; so we can deduce it's actually less than 100 pages total. Then the book ends by 79% and you then get a taster (or possibly it's the whole book?) for another book The Ugly Duckling Debutante.
Completely sketched outline characters, literally covering about 2 balls and one duel; a duel which is actually run twice as a sort of overture/intro and then a reprise. I know it's only 70p but both these authors are on my no-buy now. -1 star and I have learnt a lesson that I must now look for kindle page counts and an active check I'm not getting short story/ "character fills". It is quite a bleak piece of synchronicity, as only yesterday I read the LT thread with a warning that authors must apparently now be doubly-productive to churn out books and filler, but to be caught on it straight away is a bit annoying.
39. 40. 41. The Dukes Tattoo Miranda Davis; Scandel Amanda Quick; Cousin Kate Georgette Heyer
3 regency romances. All pretty good.
Now reading The Princess Bride William Goldman plus a few ER on the kindle.
43. Wired Douglas E Richards
LT Giveaway e-book. Great, fast-paced Thriller. Kira Miller is a genius-level genetic engineer and is hiding from the US government who believe she is abusing her breakthrough findings on extending IQ and more. Various teams are working to find her and a recently civilian ex-army David Desh is also brought in to track her down. It's a great read with all you'd expect.
44. The Princess Bride William Goldman
Re-read really but it was my book that I found back at my parents house and liberated back into my possession!
Have been trekking all over Europe in the past weeks for intense work project, Portugal, Turkey, Slovakia. Kindle great for this but it's meant I've mostly churned through fluff romance and not much else in 3 weeks.
45-52 are Rendezvous Amanda Quick; The Marquess Patricia Rice; Surrender Amanda Quick; Ravished Amanda Quick; The Perfect Mistress Vistoria Alexander; This Wicked Man Kate Harper; Lord of Vengeance Lara Adrian; Seducing the Governess Margo Maguire
All OK but nothing outstanding.
I'm mid way through the disappearing spoon and a book my husband gave me Keeping up with the Germans.
53 Micro Michael Crichton
Read on travels in June. Thriller in the line of "honey I shrunk the kids" but with some powerful corporation as a Dr Evil enemy. Fun.
54 Die for me Karen Rose
A fairy book-mother dropped off a large pile of books at my house and this was one that had been put on my wishlist at some point in time. Better than average crime/ thriller.
I'm doing my best.
I'm an indie, so my writing time is in the evenings and weekends. And as I write big books...well, it takes awhile. :)
Good news is that book 2 is in the final stages of editing. My proofreaders have the first half of the book. I'm targeting this fall for release.
Here's a post about it: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2725910-the-title-to-book-two-is
>40, I'm so pleased to hear it's coming in autumn.
56. Fables Bill Willingham
Utterly delicious deluxe plush hardback version. Arrived and I read it straight away- didn't mean to, it's just so beautiful you sink into it and can't stop. Great stories, characters, plotting, art- nothing to fault at all. Husband bewildered and a bit cross when he saw how much I paid for it- especially when I mentioned there are 5 of them coming!
I had posted longer but the earlier one was eaten. Husband dear informed me the credit card bill came and there is 400 Euro of amazon on it. Mostly books and it looks like lots too as all of the kindle purchases are separate line items. He is quite amused and he knows that after a certain point, there is then another Ikea spend for bookcases to put them on! I am out of space just now with about 3 shelves double-stacked. He tried the fables but made the mistake of picking up vol. 5 first... came back after 5 minutes saying he couldn't make head nor tail of it.
I've got some more travelling coming up. A week in Detroit at the end of the month for a customer final presentation. I'm really hopeful my friend in Chicago will be there and that I'll be able to put together a couple of days to see them.
Way, way out of date now.
81./82. Fables 4 and Fables 5 by Bill Willingham
Beautiful books, even the husband likes these (now that he is reading them in the right order!)
83.-98. are 16 books of historical Romance bits and pieces. All kindle books I got for my trips.
The Wild Marquis/ the Dangerous Viscount/ The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton/ Confessions from an arranged marriage - Miranda Neville
-Fun, a good historical romance writer. I would definitely read more by her.
Accidentally in love with a god/ Accidentally married to a vampire - Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
-Paranormal, silly and not very good, not going to read her stuff again.
Miss Lockharte's letters/ The Primrose Path - Barbara Metzger
-OK, would probably read this author again. These books don't sparkle.
Her Sudden Groom/ Her reluctant groom - Rose Gordon
First OK, second better. Scientist needed more research and not believable but a good effort. Second had scarred brother from first book.
Twice a rake - Catherine Gayle
Auroras diary gets her into trouble. OK.
Return of the Viscount - Gayle Callen
Mischief - Amanda Quick
I always liked this author, normally reliable for alpha male heroes and ladies you don't want to slap with a wet fish.
The Silverton Scandal - Amanda Grange
Ah, lords playing highwaymen! Always fun.
Forged in Fire - Trish McCallan
Modern setting and forces (SEAL) which I don't normally read. This was OK but I prefer historical settings or flat out fantasy races romance. This has only a small bit of premonition/ dream paranormal bits.
Accidental SEAL - Sharon Hamilton
Another forces/ SEAL book. He is searching for his awol buddy and it gets silly. OK.
On the more gossipy side, my US trip was great fun. We were in motor city for a customer visit and the finish of a big 7 month project. Not that I'm competative, but out of the 3 regions working on this project, our EU savings/ proposals were the biggest, so proud of that (I win!). We got to go into Greektown, try out a casino/ slot machines (still doesn't do anything for me, I've kept my 0.25 USD "payout" slip though as it's a nice bookmark!). There is a streetfront store of nice oil paintings down there (artist name ?Sunni?) and the lady running the store advised us to go take a run round the people mover to see the city in 30 minutes. It was great. 75 cents and you get a nice tour. Got some good photos on the way round of GM building and over the water to Canada.
Then off to Chicago for the weekend with my friend before I came back to EU. She is in Skokie now in a lovely house with a garden. They've had a tough few months as a family with some upsets so I felt like a bad friend for not knowing about it until now but, we're quite similar in that neither of us goes round to tell anyone life's tough until after we've chewed it up and dealt with it. Had a lovely morning paddle in Lake Michigan, went to a nice used bookstore (Open books) which has a feeling of being completely loved, lots of wine, Sunday morning pancakes- a nice finish to the week.
As well as the reading, I got to catch up on lots of films on the flights over and back. Managed Thor (great), Captain America (meh), Avengers (double great), half of Hunger Games (OK), Brave (great) and Snow white and the huntsman (meh except for Charlise Theron giving it some amusing hammy overacting).
Back in Austria to 3 weeks of my mother-in-law and mum being in the house to cover childcare whilst our child minder is having/ recovering from a foot operation. I wish that could have been in 2-3 months time. We're currently living in a small 3-bed flat where the office room can't be a spare bedroom so each night the sofabed has to come out. Only 1 bathroom too so a rush in the morning to all get up. In 2-3 months time we will be moving into the massive house we've just bought so it is a great shame about the timing.
> 45. The romance books probably only count as 1/3 book each. They are nearly all short books of 90-150 pages and do not require attentive reading.
I prefer reading fantasy which leads to my personal baseline that a "book" generally comes as part of a 3-volume set and runs between 400-600 pages! On those terms all 38 of them condense down to about 10 books.
October has been weird. Very busy and a lot of travelling/ sick child/ general hassle around the house move that should come at the end of November. Very little reading but I did make some notes.
99. Promise Soul Savers Kristie Cook
Modern paranormal romance. Alexis lives with her mum, who is not really her mum. She is in school and is a goth. Love interest Tristan is a Christian-Grey-Type-$$. Nothing compelling, won't extend the series. 2.5 stars
100. Devils own bargain - Mary Gillgannon
Regency romance. Caroline has a merchant father who makes a Lord marry her. OK, would probably get another. 3.5 stars.
101. Firedance - Delle Jacobs
Historical romance, Normans/ Fyren/ Melisande. OK but WHY doesn't she just tell him the cloak is poisoned?? 3 stars
102. Rejected Suitor - Teresa McCarthy
Regency romance. Good. Will get the next one in the series. Emily is a spy. Black wolf/ silver fox were a bit naff names. 3.5 stars.
103. Some Enchanted Season - Patricia Burroughs
Modern romance. ER book. Ridiculous names and American football. Not really for me. I am not a fan of overly hippy love interest. Dyslexia handled in odd ways occasionally. 2 stars.
104. My Heart Belongs to you - Michael Walton
Thriller. The cupid killer. Good crime but a bit straight forward. 2.5 stars.
105. Somewhere I'll find you - Linda Swain
Modern romance with a ghost. Michael and Paige. Ghost is an old film star modern couple get together and partly a crime piece to find some old spy files. 2.5 stars.
106. Scourge - Sarah Harding-Roberts
Trying to be like the Hollows/ . Starts very strong- demon called lilith. Lots of side characters. College kids and vikings and other daemons come along. Won't keep up with the series but OK. 2.5 stars.
107. Until you were gone - Anne Brown
Texas ranching romance. Bleurgh. Badly researched (hereditary titles of UK completely incorrect). Hero a self-absorbed dick and the smart-and-sassy heroine the author seems to think she was writing came over as nothing of the kind. 1 star.
108. New Orleans Mourning - Julie Smith
Crime. Rex (leader of a parade in the New Orleans Mardi Gras) is killed, Skip Langdom investigates. Good crime book. Interesting insights to New Orleans (no idea how much factually correct!). 3 stars.
I've read all my Order of the Stick and Fables now but I don't think they are all listed above. All excellent.
Too bad for all those 1-to-2.5 star reads. Hope you little one is getting better.
...Gently pushes open door past pile of old mail...
...Oh dear. Didn't keep up the Nov and Dec reading log very well!...
It is now midway through Jan and I've got a pile of 23 books in my "Read. LT Review." Kindle folder and another 6 physical books that I did put to one side when I finished them. Apparently I read about 10 books in Jan 2012 so I'll keep back the most interesting 3 and then the rest, which is mostly still romance junk I'll just reel off here and consider done.
109. A Vikings Love - Carolyn Cairns
Romance for Joran the Viking and Alissande of Lockwraithe. Her house is sieged by the Viking when her father does not pay the agreed "protection monies". I paid for this. It's OK but I wouldn't search out more.
110. The Devil Rogue - Lori Villareal
Viscount Blackridge believes Angela Hopkins has a pampered life. She is in fact treated badly and beaten by her father who expects her to pay his debts for him. In a strange set of events, she is sold to the Viscount to live as his mistress for 3 months. It's OK but again probably not a keeper.
111. A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries - Elizabeth Hunter
Vampire Fantasy Romance. Beatrice is a young goth librarian. Giovanni/ Gio is a 500 year old vampire. They solve a mystery together. It's OK but I won't follow up the series.
112. Save Yourself Mammal - Zach Weiner
Cartoon and short strip collection. Part of the humble bundle downloads. This was a fun read. Quite weird on the kindle though. I liked the "prove you have renounced all love, desire and pleasure of the flesh..." being countered with a D+D players handbook! Also a poor euphemism for naked (sexual harassment suit).
113. xkcd volume 0 - Randall Munroe
Cartoon and short strip collection. Got as part of the humble bundle downloads. Re-read from only January this year. It was a little different to go through it on the kindle for sure. (Not as much fun).
114. Ice Angel - Elizabeth Hanbury
Regency Romance. Isabella and Hal. Hal is quite wet but Isabella had a horrible first marriage and has a son and is tight for cash. Another adequate book that has no massive flaws but doesn't have stand-out sparkle.
115. Her Dark Angel - Felicity Heaton
Paranormal Romance. Serenity the witch accidentally summons Apolyon, angel of revenge. Quite lightweight and not excellent. Slightly below average.
116. Unladylike Pursuits - Alyssa Goodnight
Emily has 1 month to find a husband or she is in danger of being forced to marry her stepmothers nephew. Brandon Davenport is avoiding getting hitched but somehow they get together. Averagely good regency romance.
117. Tall, Dark and Lonely (Pyte/ Sentinel Series) - R L Mathewson
Paranormal Romance. Madison has a rubbish mother and 2 siblings that she basically takes responsibility for. They move in with her grandmother and Ephraim the vampire who lives with them. It's averagely good again.
118. Dark Lover: Black Dagger Brotherhood - J R Ward
Paranormal Romance. These are the warrior vampires books with the truly awful names (Wrath, Phury, Tohrment... I wish I was joking). This is Wrath and Beth story. He is blind, Beth is the daughter of the only vampire with a non-pathetic name, Darius. It's OK and I'd go as far to say good in it's field but not exactly to my taste. If I was short of reading and if they weren't expensive I'd read the next of the series.
119. Conquering the Dark Axe - Amber Dane
Historical Romance. Not as good as 109.
120. The Devil Duke Takes a Bride - Rachel van Dyken
Regency Romance. Childhood friend that allegedly tried to kill him 3x is thrown in the path of unmarried man by his dying aunt. OK.
121. Whispered Music - Rachel van Dyken.
Romance. Rewrite of Beauty and the Beast. Russian prince saves English lady by marrying her. Nice touches to the story.
Starting a new post as don't want to lose work so far!
122. The Irish Duchess - Patricia Rice
ER win. Regency Romance. I found this book to be a perfectly passable Regency romance. The main characters are well sketched out and there is a good flavouring of background details on Irish emancipation Acts of Parliament. The only thing that felt a little fast was the travel between what must have been London/ Home Counties and Ireland. They make a LOT of trips to and fro that are not very realistic to the timeframes they occur in.
Both the hero and heroine are far from perfect but they try hard with each other.
I enjoyed this book.
123. Lord of Danger - Anne Stuart
Historical Romance. Simon of Navarre, a clever seer/ confidence trickster believed to be a magician and Alys, half-sister to Richard the Fair. Finally, a good one! The hero uses his wits well and it's well written period details. Very Good.
124. The Raven Prince - Elizabeth Hoyt
Regency Romance. Poor widow needs to take secretary role to grumpy Earl. Series of events allows the widow to meet him at a London brothel. Novel ideas and well written period and characters. Very Good.
125. Exiled Heart - Susan Tanner
Historical Romance. Whiny Scottish woman and dull English lord that has to take up his previously unknown Scottish heritage. Average read.
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