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archerygirl scales Mount TBR in 2017

This is a continuation of the topic archerygirl scales Mount TBR in 2017.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Nov 10, 2017, 7:51am Top

Welcome to my second thread for 2017!

Hello! I'm returning for my fifth (or is it sixth?) year of the 75 books group, having smashed the book goal last year and still ended up with a net gain on Mount TBR.

Although if we're only counting physical books sitting on bookshelves...nope, Mount TBR still grew, but only by a couple of books. I mostly kept up with new purchases except for the final flurry of birthday/Christmas gifts at the end of the year. As of today, 29 December, Mount TBR is 206 books high and I hope to end 2017 with only a very marginal increase in that number. A decrease would be even better, but let's be realistic.

My big weakness has been Kindle books, which is why my books acquired list in 2016 was longer than my books read list despite only acquiring 22 new dead tree books. Whoops.

I primarily read SFF and romance, with more fantasy appearing in my SFF reading and more historicals in my romance. I try to keep up with current SFF as well as reading older books, because I'm a Hugo voter, but there still tends to be a mad dash in the middle of the year to read that list as thoroughly as possible.

My romance tastes tend more towards historicals, although I've been on a bit of a fluffy contemporary (ala Jenny Colgan) kick lately. I read all flavours - het, f/f, and m/m - and all heat levels.

Last year, I aimed to read at least one new-to-me classic (Austen and The Moonstone don't count) and I totally failed. So I promise to get that aim filled.

I also aimed to read at least two non-fiction, which I did easily. so this year my goal is upped to at least five non-fiction.

Apart from those two goals, and my Hugo dash, I try to keep my reading unplanned apart from a vague aim to read more than the previous year. Last year's thread is here:


My other vague aim for 2017 is to be better at using my library hold system instead of buying, to keep the overall purchase numbers a bit closer to reasonable.

When I'm not reading, I watch TV (we get a new Doctor Who series! Phew! And a new Star Trek series! Woo hoo!), write novels that will hopefully be published one day, and work as a computer programmer. My reading is regularly hindered by the Reading Prevention Team: Annie and Kate, my ridiculous cats who love to sit on any book I'm trying to read.

Edited: Nov 10, 2017, 8:01am Top

Bother, duplicates happened.

Edited: Jan 1, 11:35am Top

Books read list:


1. Sparrow Hill Road - Seanan McGuire
2. The Christmas Surprise - Jenny Colgan
3. Black Widow, Volume 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Most Wanted - Mark Waid
4. The Beach Cafe - Lucy Diamond
5. It Happened Under the Mistletoe - Valerie Bowman
6. Brilliant Bread - James Morton
7. The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi
8. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day - Seanan McGuire
9. Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley
10. Wanted, a Gentleman - KJ Charles
11. The Bookshop on the Corner - Jenny Colgan


12. A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World? 3500 BC-AD 1603 - Simon Schama
13. The Soldier's Scoundrel - Cat Sebastian
14. Breakfast at Darcy's - Ali McNamara
15. Feedback - Mira Grant
16. Leviathan Wakes - James S. A. Corey
17. A Study in Charlotte - Brittany Cavallaro
18. Breath of Earth - Beth Cato

19. Because of Miss Bridgerton - Julia Quinn
20. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
21. Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee
22. From a High Tower - Mercedes Lackey
23. A Study in Sable - Mercedes Lackey
24. Unseen Attraction - KJ Charles

25. Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor
26. Hidden Figures - Margo Lee Shetterly
27. “The City Born Great” - N. K. Jemisin
28. Ballet Shoes for Anna - Noel Streatfield
29. This Census-Taker - China Mieville
30. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover - Sarah MacLean
31. Letters to the Pumpkin King - Seanan McGuire
32. The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi
33. Paper Girls Vol 1 - Brian K. Vaughan
34. A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers

35. The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith
36. The Dark Forest - Cixin Liu
37. Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch
38. Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Civil War II - Christos Gage
39. Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, Vol. 1: Anchor Points - Kelly Thompson
40. Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch
41. Alanna: The First Adventure - Tamora Pierce

42. Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch
43. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates
44. The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man - Tom King
45. Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch
46. In the Hand of the Goddess - Tamora Pierce
47. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps - Kai Ashante Wilson
48. Do You Want to Start a Scandal? - Tessa Dare
49. The Tomato Thief - Ursula Vernon
50. Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
51. The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allan
52. Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire
53. Penric and the Shaman - Lois McMaster Bujold
54. Wonder Woman Vol 3: The Circle - Gail Simone
55. Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan
56. Touring with the Alien - Carolyn Ives Gilman

57. Wonder Woman: Ends of the Earth - Gail Simone
58. Wonder Woman, Vol. 5: Rise of the Olympian - Gail Simone
59. Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone
60. The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe - Kij Johnson
61. The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
62. Queer: A Graphic History - Meg-John Barker, Julia Scheele
63. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean
64. Star-Crossed - Barbara Dee
65. To Sir Phillip, With Love - Julia Quinn
66. The Vision, Volume 2: Little Better than a Beast - Tom King
67. Annie on My Mind - Nancy Garden

68. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
69. The Lawrence Browne Affair - Cat Sebastian
70. The House at Baker Street - Michelle Birkby
71. An Unnatural Vice - KJ Charles
72. The Stone Sky - NK Jemisin
73. The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher
74. Slightly Tempted - Mary Balogh

75. Silent in the Grave - Deanna Raybourn
76. The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't - Gail Carriger
77. The Devil in Montmartre - Gary Inbinder
78. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzie Lee
79. A Monstrous Regiment of Women - Laurie R. King
80. The Ruine of a Rake - Cat Sebastian
81. Murder Most Unladylike - Robin Stevens

82. Daughter of Mystery - Rose Heather Jones
83. Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb

84. Heartstone - CJ Sansom
85. The School at the Chalet - Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
86. An Unsuitable Heir - KJ Charles
87. A Scandal in Battersea - Mercedes Lackey
88. All Systems Red - Martha Wells
89. Romancing the Werewolf - Gail Carriger
90. All the Pretty Little Horses - Mira Grant

91. And Then There Were (N-One) - Sarah Pinkser
92. The Cosy Teashop in the Castle - Caroline Roberts
93. Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant
94. Learn Python in One Day - LCF Publishing
95. Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw
96. The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper
97. Mockingbird Vol 1: I Can Explain - Chelsea Cain
98. A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters
99. Mockingbird, Vol. 2: My Feminist Agenda - Chelsea Cain
100. It Takes Two to Tumble - Cat Sebastian

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 9:03am Top

Books acquired list:


1. A Human Stain - Kelly Robson
2. Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope - Eleanor Herman
3. It Happened Under the Mistletoe - Valerie Bowman
4. Fluency - Jennifer Foehner Wells
5. Wanted, A Gentleman - KJ Charles
6. Dusk or Dawn or Day - Seanan McGuire
7. The Seventh Bride - T. Kingfisher
8. The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist - S. L. Huang
9. Kindred - Octavia Butler
10. Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe - Debbie Johnson

11. Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor
12. The Trouble with Dukes - Grace Burrows
13. Kingdom of Ashes - Rhiannon Thomas
14. An Unseen Attraction - KJ Charles

15. Wicked - Gregory Maguire
16. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
17. The Lawrence Browne Affair - Cat Sebastian
18. Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer
19. This Savage song - Victoria Schwab
20. Company Town - Madeline Ashby

21. Star Crossed - Emma Barry, Genevieve Turner
22. Dragongirl - Todd McCaffrey
23. Final Girls - Mira Grant
24. Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

25. Six Wakes - Mur Lafferty
26. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
27. The Wall of Storms - Ken Liu
28. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps - Kai Ashante Wilson
29. River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

30. An Unnatural Vice - KJ Charles
31. * Provoked - Joanna Chambers
32. Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
33. The Day of the Duchess - Sarah MacLean

34. The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian
35. The Secrete Casebook of Simon Feximal - KJ Charles
36. Chimes at Midnight - Seanan McGuire
37. Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
38. Station Eleven - Emily St John Mandel
39. Thief's Magic - Trudi Canavan
40. Graceling - Kristin Cashore
41. The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter - Rod Duncan
42. The Fifth Season - NK Jemisin

43. The Stone Sky - NK Jemisin
44. Just Henry - Michelle Magorian

45. The Brightest Fell - Seanan McGuire

46. An Unsuitable Heir - KJ Charles
47. A Scandal in Battersea - Mercedes Lackey
48. The Data Warehouse Toolkit - Ralph Kimball

49. All Systems Red - Martha Wells
50. Romancing the Werewolf - Gail Carriger
51. * Musketeer Space - Tansy Rayner Roberts
52. All the Pretty Little Horses - Mira Grant
53. * Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant
54. All the Pretty Little Horses - Mira Grant
55. The Sanctuary Sparrow - Ellis Peters
56. One Corpse Too Many - Ellis Peters
57. Tea with the Black Dragon - R. A. MacAvoy
58. Once Upon a Haunted Moor - Harper Fox
59. * Joyeux: A Musketeer Space novella - Tansy Rayner Roberts

60. Jade City - Fonda Lee
61. The Tethered Mage - Melissa Caruso
62. Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw
63. The Ship - Antonia Honeywell
64. It Takes Two to Tumble - Cat Sebastien
65. A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters
66. The Leper of St Giles - Ellis Peters
67. * Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (illustrated) - J K Rowling
69. * Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (illustrated) - J K Rowling
70. A Lot Like Christmas: Stories - Connie Willis
71. * Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I - Peter Ackroyd

italics denotes dead tree books
* denotes books that were gifts or free sales


63 Kindle books
9 dead tree books
7 free/gift books

Nov 10, 2017, 8:00am Top

Happy new thread and good to see you back posting, Katherine.

Edited: Nov 10, 2017, 8:02am Top

And now all the set-up posts are in place, time for the book catch up. I'll put the other catch-up stuff into a message of its own :-) Since I last posted I have read:

68. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley
69. The Lawrence Browne Affair - Cat Sebastian
70. The House at Baker Street - Michelle Birkby
71. An Unnatural Vice - KJ Charles
72. The Stone Sky - NK Jemisin
73. The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher
74. Slightly Tempted - Mary Balogh

75. Silent in the Grave - Deanna Raybourn
76. The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't - Gail Carriger
77. The Devil in Montmartre - Gary Inbinder
78. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzie Lee
79. A Monstrous Regiment of Women - Laurie R. King
80. The Ruin of a Rake - Cat Sebastian
81. Murder Most Unladylike - Robin Stevens

82. Daughter of Mystery - Rose Heather Jones
83. Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb

84. Heartstone - CJ Sansom

Yeah, I have no idea what has happened since the end of September. I've been reading too many things at once and never getting anywhere, I think. But most of what I've read has been great. Some highlights:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - ridiculously good fun and addictive to read.

All the Cat Sebastian. If you're in any way interested in historical m/m romance, you need to read all her books.

The same goes for the KJ Charles books.

Assassins Apprentice - I tried to read this around a decade ago and bounced off it so hard that I've never tried Robin Hobb. But she keeps being on panels at conventions I go to (hello, Worldcon in Finland) and she's such an interesting author, I thought I should give it another go. And this time I *loved* it. Apparently I was in the wrong headspace the first time around.

The Stone Sky - I really didn't think that trilogy could get better, and then I read the final book in the series and it blew my mind. Not only did it close out the trilogy beautifully, it tied it together in a way that made me reexamine everything. It made the the whole trilogy even better. That's how to end a series! Now I need to reread all the books and see how they've changed with everything I know from the ending.

Current reads:
The Data Warehouse Toolkit
The School at the Chalet
Among the Mad
An Unsuitable Heir

Told you I was reading too many things at once!

Nov 10, 2017, 8:02am Top

>5 PaulCranswick: Thank you! And I'm so unaccustomed to going to two threads, I forgot to change the topic name. Woops :-)

Nov 10, 2017, 8:07am Top

>7 archerygirl: Don't worry about it, Katherine. I have been known to have more than the odd thread (aren't mine all a little odd?!) and I occasionally still drop the occasional clanger.

Nov 10, 2017, 8:13am Top

So, the other catch-up stuff.

I went to my sister's wedding in August and it was fantastic. Best wedding(s) ever. She was such a happy, beautiful bride and everyone had an amazing day.

I followed the wedding with Worldcon in Finland, which was fantastic. We had a couple of days being tourists in Helsinki before the con started and then we did five days of solid conventioning. Brilliant time, both touristing and conventioning. I do love Worldcon.

Then I had a few days with my dad in England, playing tourist at the Doctor Who exhibition in Cardiff and catching up with friends, before whisking back to Canada. It's been really busy and full-on ever since, which is probably why my reading trailed off so badly over the last few weeks. Part of that is because I've been taking a couple of courses on FutureLearn and attempting to write a novel, but it's also because...

I've decided to move back to England next year.

It's something I've been considering for a long time, but it really got solidified over the last few months. Before the wedding/worldcon trip, I'd pretty much decided that a move back was happening at some point, but I'd been thinking that I'd wait until I had a good excuse, like my sister starting a family.

We'd already made the decision to sell the house I've been renting from my parents here, so I could move into an apartment, but as we began making preparations for that and Mum began talking about the things she'll need to do to set up her own apartment here (so she has somewhere to stay when she visits) I realised...no. That's not what I want to do.

If I'm going to move back, why wait? Why go to the expense of setting up an apartment here and then probably move a year or two later anyway?

So I talked to my parents and the upshot is this: we're selling the house here as planned next year. And I'm moving back to England. My move will probably be in July, giving us time to get the house on the market after the winter and hopefully be most of the way to completing a sale before I ship everything. I'll stay with my parents in England for a little while (hopefully only a few weeks, but we're prepared for it to be a few months) and, when I have a job, I'll find a little flat to rent for a couple of years. When I've got some credit history in the UK again, I'll start looking for a little flat to buy.

There's so much to do! So much to think about! It's a little overwhelming, but I've been breaking down everything into lists and plans, and it's getting a bit less scary. The next year is going to be incredibly busy but at the end, I'll be back in England with my family and friends around me, and I'm looking forward to that so much.

Nov 10, 2017, 8:14am Top

>8 PaulCranswick: I feel much better hearing that :-) I mean, you actually go to multiple threads and if you make the odd mistake, how can I ever expect perfection from myself?

Nov 10, 2017, 9:32am Top

Katherine! We've missed you. Wow, lots going on indeed1

Nov 10, 2017, 10:22am Top

>11 ronincats: I've missed LT! I kept wandering by to add books and then getting worried about all the talk catch-up and sort of running away. But now I'm back and things are calming down a little bit (for a couple of months, anyway), and I'm determined to get some solid reading in before the end of the year :-D

I want to hit 100 books *puts on determined face*

Nov 10, 2017, 10:56am Top

Welcome back, Katherine! Congrats on surpassing the magic number in your absence. And best wishes for a smooth intercontinental move.

Nov 10, 2017, 10:58am Top

> Thank you! I made it past 75 books, wow. And Silent in the Grave was a good one for 75. It was recced by someone in this group, I think :-)

On the one hand, this isn't my first intercontinental move. OTOH, it doesn't get less terrifying. Thanks for the best wishes. I'm sure I'll be tearing my hair out on LT a *lot* next year.

Nov 10, 2017, 11:05am Top

>14 archerygirl: It may have been me. I discovered Deanna Raybourn late last year and was singing her praises everywhere.

Nov 10, 2017, 11:42am Top

> I sort of had a feeling it was you! It was a great rec, thank you :-)

Nov 10, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Happy new thread! The move plans sound exciting. I hope it goes well for you.

Nov 10, 2017, 12:32pm Top

> Thank you! It's a bit scary, but also exciting, and some of the extra benefits I hadn't considered initially (better career opportunities) are starting to make exciting:scary ratio tip more heavily towards exciting :-)

Nov 10, 2017, 1:25pm Top

Happy new thread! The move sounds exciting!

Nov 11, 2017, 9:30am Top

Welcome back! I've been meaning to start a reread of Robin Hobb's Farseer series - I think I read the first 5 books way back when but eventually found them too heartrending...

Also adding my good wishes on the move!

Nov 11, 2017, 11:20am Top

>19 foggidawn: Thank you!

>20 souloftherose: Hello! It's nice to be back :-) Maybe a Robin Hobb read-along could be a plan for the new year? It would be fun to read along with other people!

I've just realised - I might be able to meet up with LTers after the move! I'll be living pretty close to London, after all...

Nov 12, 2017, 7:06am Top

Happy new thread, Katherine, good luck with the move and congratulations on passing 75!

Nov 12, 2017, 10:58am Top

Wishing you a lovely Sunday, Katherine.

There is a strong possibility that we'll both be back in the UK in 2018.

Nov 12, 2017, 3:28pm Top

>22 FAMeulstee: Thank you!

>23 PaulCranswick: I'm having a lovely Sunday - Skyped with the family in the UK and now time for some reading. I saw you were possibly moving too! It's all quite scary, but very exciting.

Nov 15, 2017, 7:55am Top

I've actually read a *second book* already this month. Go me!

85. The School at the Chalet - Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
Technically a re-read, but the first time I've read my lovely hardback copy. It's always been the paperback before. I know that this one didn't suffer much cutting in the conversion to paperback, but it's still nice to know I'm reading the original full text. My copy isn't a first edition, but it was printed in 1937, so it's eighty years old and there's something dangerous and thrilling about reading a book that old.

(I'd love to know who "Joan" is and why this book was given to her that year. Birthday maybe? This is why I love second hand books.)

My mum is currently staying with me, so we're planning that she'll take a few of my most precious, fragile books back to England with her when she returns. It will mean they don't have to be trusted to a shipper and they won't add to the potentially scary amount of luggage I'll need when I make my flight next year!

Nov 19, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Wow! That’s a big move. Best of luck with it.

Congratulations on breezing past 75!

A Farseer group read would be good; I’ve got stuck at the Rainwild Chronicles for some reason (though I must admit I’m not a fan of that nasty surprise in the middle of the Liveship Traders).

My local library branch used to have a whole heap of Chalet School books which I went through about 20 years ago, but when I thought I’d do a re-read a couple of years ago, I discovered there were only a couple of books left in the whole library system nationwide :0(

Nov 20, 2017, 6:50am Top

>26 humouress: They've been out of print for so long that most libraries don't have them any more :-( I've been collecting wherever I can. You can pick up a lot of the paperbacks quite cheaply on sites like Abebooks, but some of the rarer, later books and the hard covers get a bit pricey! They are wonderful to go back to, though. Really good comfort fiction :-)

Nov 23, 2017, 7:22am Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

Nov 24, 2017, 8:46am Top

>28 PaulCranswick: That's lovely! Happy Thanksgiving.

I read a book!

86. An Unsuitable Heir - KJ Charles
The concluding part of the Sins of the Cities trilogy, and a thoroughly satisfying way to end the series! As usual, KJ Charles made a fan of the romance plot very quickly even though I couldn't see until the end how it could possibly end happily. And she wrapped up the threads that have been running through the preceding books beautifully. Great series, definitely recommended for fans of m/m historical romance.

Nov 27, 2017, 12:07pm Top

And another book read!

87. A Scandal in Battersea - Mercedes Lackey
Not one of her best but it was entertaining and I do love Nan and Sarah as characters.

Nov 29, 2017, 7:38am Top

More books read! These two are novellas, so they're short and delightful reads. I seem to be on a bit of a novella binge. I promise, it's not *just* because they're shorter and help in getting me closer to the 100 books goal I set for myself.

88. All Systems Red - Martha Wells
I loved this. It's probably going onto my Hugo ballot. It's one of those stories where the concept is fabulous (a murderbot who just wants to be left alone to watch entertainment feeds, reluctantly saving its clients from evil shenanigans) and the author has the talent to pull it off brilliantly. The voice is excellent. I got so attached to Murderbot, and I loved that while it did learn some things, it never changed the core of who it is to become more human. Highly recommended and I'm so glad there are sequels coming next year.

89. Romancing the Werewolf - Gail Carriger
I've been shipping Biffy and Lyall since around the middle of the Parasol Protectorate series, so this book was everything I needed and a few things I didn't know I needed. Their reunion is perfect, their story feels so right, and Carigger throws in some fun set-pieces plus some new world building that I loved. It really doesn't stand alone, but if you've read the other books set in this world, it's a treat.

Dec 5, 2017, 11:00am Top

Hmm; not quite a BB, though Murderbot has other fans on LT. I’m satisfying my school-story craving with Anne Digby’s Trebizon series, for now.

Dec 5, 2017, 11:39am Top

>32 humouress: I saw so many people reccing it that I had to try it, and I'm very glad I did. Maybe I need to go back through my Trebizon books next...

Dec 5, 2017, 11:49am Top

Some reading happened! They're both novellas, but hey, I read some stuff :-)

90. All the Pretty Little Horses - Mira Grant
This is the story of Micheal and Stella Mason, parents of Shawn and Georgia, and a lot about their psyches makes much more sense when you understand their parents. For fans of the series only, because it makes no sense outside the series, but a nice piece of the puzzle to have.

91. And Then There Were (N-One) - Sarah Pinkser
This is fantastic. What would you do if you discovered a way to portal to alternate realities? Set up a convention where all the different yous are invited! The idea is excellent and the execution lived up to it, thankfully. This is a twisty, fascinating tale filled with thoughts on if and what might have been, but with a murder mystery twist at its core. Highly recommended.
Available here: https://uncannymagazine.com/article/and-then-there-were-n-one/

I'd list my current reads, but frankly, it's overwhelming. I'm very good at starting things right now, not so great at finishing. But I'm thoroughly enjoying The Cosy Teashop in the Castle and I just cracked open Into the Drowning Deep, so I'm hopeful of getting *something* finished this week.

Yes, I know. Cozy romance vs horror from the depth. My reading taste is eclectic :-)

Dec 9, 2017, 1:10am Top

>34 archerygirl: I am doing my best Katherine to get to reading 100 books this year as I haven't failed to do so since I was about 15 - 36 years ago. I am pretty sure you'll get there but i still have 17 to go.

Have a great weekend.

Dec 12, 2017, 1:36pm Top

>35 PaulCranswick: You'll get there, I'm sure you will! I mean, how hard can...17 books...in three weeks...actually be? Er.

I had a lovely, if busy, weekend. Got a bit of reading done (mostly on buses), went to my monthly write-in at the library, and got a ton of mince pies constructed and frozen. It's one of the seasonal cheats my mum taught me - make the mince pies early, freeze them, and then you can whip them out and bake from frozen as needed. I love mince pies so much and they're pretty much unknown in Canada, so this is one of my ways of curing some of the festive season homesickness.

I've got a work pot luck next week, so a couple of dozen of them will be going there, which is why I've been making so many.

I finished one book!

92. The Cosy Teashop in the Castle - Caroline Roberts
This was cute and cosy, but I finished it feeling a bit flat and disappointed. There was never any sense of urgency to it, no conflict that couldn't be overcome in two paragraphs. It's a cosy book, so it really didn't need life-threatening levels of peril, but I think it went too far in the other direction. The reason I love the Jenny Colgan books is because there's always a sense that things might not work out, that the protagonist has to work for her good ending and it's not easy. The ending in this book didn't feel earned. It makes for a nice read, but not a great read, which is a shame because the opening half had so much promise.

Dec 23, 2017, 11:52pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

Dec 24, 2017, 8:42pm Top

Dec 24, 2017, 9:23pm Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 29, 2017, 7:28am Top

>21 archerygirl: A Robin Hobb readalong would be fun! I'm going to try to reread Assassin's Apprentice in January so perhaps we catch up after that to schedule in the next one? And future meetups would be awesome!

>31 archerygirl: I also really loved All Systems Red and am looking forward to the two sequels next year.

It's been ages since I read anything by Gail Carriger - do you need to have read the Prudence series to read Romancing the Werewolf?

Adding my best wishes for a good Christmas and New Year!

Dec 29, 2017, 8:31am Top

>37 ronincats: Season's greetings and Happy New Year!

>38 rretzler: Happy holidays!

>39 PaulCranswick: I hope your holiday season has been wonderful.

>41 archerygirl: Catching up and scheduling in the next one would be terrific! It's fun to read along with someone :-)

You really don't need to read Prudence to read Romancing the Werewolf. As long as you've finished The Parasol Protectorate books, you'll be fine. And I loved it to pieces :)

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Dec 29, 2017, 8:50am Top

Thanks for all the lovely wishes folks. My Christmas was...well, let's just say that Nova Scotia decided to make sure I don't regret my decision to move back to England. Major storm knocked out my power part way through the day (thankfully after we'd all eaten, unlike many people) so I spent a large chunk of Christmas Day sitting in the dark on my own, listening to the wind attempt to rip my house apart.

At least if something happens like that next year, I'll be sitting a house filled with people and the dark won't seem so frightening. Although there's a much lower chance of that happening in Buckinghamshire!

Thankfully the power came back the following morning, because the temps are ridiculously low now. There are a few hundred people who are still waiting to be reconnected and I feel awful for them.

My Kindle battery held out through the dark night, though, so I got a fair chunk of a Cadfael book finished while I huddled under blankets with my cats. I'm getting so close to 100 books, I might actually do it!

93. Into the Drowning Deep - Mira Grant
I liked, but didn't love, this one. It's scary in places and I loved the main characters. Centering queer romance in the middle of a horror novel worked surprisingly well. Seanan McGuire's books as Mira Grant are horrifying because they feel so plausible: she pushes science to the limit, but her scenarios always have a basis in something possible, which is why they're frightening. I think the reason I didn't love this the way I loved her other books is that the political thriller side of the story wasn't there. Newsflesh and the Parasitology books both had deeper ideas behind them than simply "zombies, yargh!" and I didn't get that deeper side to this book. It'll entertain and frighten you, but it didn't leave me as thoughtful as the others.

94. Learn Python in One Day - LCF Publishing
I wanted to learn Python. This got me up and running and ready for something with more detail. I'm not sure how accessible it would be for someone coming to programming completely new, because it brushes very fast over a lot of core concepts (loops and program control, boolean logic) that are fundamental to all programming languages. They're concepts that port across languages well and make it easy to learn new ones after you've learned your first, but I don't think this book did a great job of explaining them for total programming newbies, no matter what it says on the cover.

95. Strange Practice - Vivian Shaw
I bought this as part of a sale on Orbit debut authors and it's great fun. Urban fantasy with a fun twist: the central protagonist is a doctor to the supernatural, descended from Van Helsing, and that gave a slightly different feel to the usual detective/kick-ass hero protagonist. I'll definitely be looking for more from Shaw.

96. The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper
It's a classic and deservedly so. I read this as part of the #TheDarkIsReading group on Twitter and it's been a delight to read everyone's reactions. Although it has been a bit scary how closely the weather is mirroring parts of it. Did we accidentally read it into reality?

97. Mockingbird Vol 1: I Can Explain - Chelsea Cain
I think Heather might have recommended this one to me? Whoever did, THANK YOU. I loved it. Bobbi's voice is wonderful, the story is fun and made me think, and the artwork is great. I'm already reading the second volume.

98. A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters
A reread, but it's been so long since I read it that I'd totally forgotten. I'm planning to read (or reread) all the Cadfael books in order and this is the first one. It's not the best, but I loved meeting Cadfael all over again and remembering how much I like him as a character.

Two more to 100 and I might do it. I've got the second Mockingbird collection on the go already, so I'll finish that today, and I'm reading Cat Sebastien's latest in every spare moment because it's hard to put down. Wish me luck!

Dec 29, 2017, 9:45am Top

>42 archerygirl: I first read The Dark Is Rising during a storm as well, when I was in high school. It made it feel extra magical!

Yaaaaay Mockingbird! I liked the second volume even better than the first. I'm still so upset it got cancelled.

Good luck making it to 100!

Dec 29, 2017, 9:51am Top

>43 norabelle414: *makes grumbly noises at Marvel* They're really trying hard to kill off all the good books right now.

Dec 29, 2017, 9:59am Top

>44 archerygirl: No kidding!

Dec 29, 2017, 10:09am Top

It's a couple of days early, but I decided to get my 2018 thread set up and ready to go:


Pull up a pull, grab a cuppa, and get ready :-)

Dec 29, 2017, 12:17pm Top

The Dark is Rising is one of my top reads ever, Katherine. Glad you are enjoying it.

We are doing a group read of God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell in January, a favorite fantasy classic of mine. I'll be getting the thread up this weekend, along with my own, if you are at all interested. Might be up your alley.

Dec 29, 2017, 12:59pm Top

>47 ronincats: The Dark Is Rising was a reread for me and I loved it even more the second time around :-)

Ooh, God Stalk sounds like something I'd be interested! I'll keep an eye out for the thread. Thanks!

Dec 31, 2017, 4:03pm Top

>42 archerygirl: I've found the "Learn X the Hard Way" series to be great for learning new languages. I haven't used Learn Python the Hard Way (I write Python code professionally so I haven't needed to) but I've learned other languages using the series and found that the way the information is presented and the code exercises that accompany it to really help me retain the material. The examples get fairly complex so it also helped me have confidence that I could handle real-life projects (which just learning the syntax doesn't do) and that I was writing idiomatic code.

Dec 31, 2017, 7:59pm Top

Jan 1, 11:30am Top

>49 kgodey: Oooh, thank you for the "Learn X the Hard Way" tip! I shall hunt down the Python one as my next text. I've been programming professionally in PL/SQL for the last ten years, but I want to get myself up and running with Python (and possibly C#), because I can see where the industry is going and my existing skills aren't going to cut it if I want some of the more exciting roles out there after I move.

Jan 1, 11:34am Top

Two final books to scrape in at the end of the year. I finished one on Friday and the other on Saturday, and then never updated here. D'oh! But I did make it to 100 books for 2017 :-)

99. Mockingbird, Vol. 2: My Feminist Agenda - Chelsea Cain
I'm so sad this book got cancelled, because I loved it. This volume is terrific and closes things out nicely.

100. It Takes Two to Tumble - Cat Sebastian
I finished the year with a fun historical m/m romance and I didn't regret it one bit. Sebastian has become one of my favourite m/m histrom writers (possibly almost as good as KJ Charles) and this book didn't disappoint. It was run, the romance was gorgeous, and she slipped in some ideas about faith and service to the community in as well. Loved it.

Join me on my 2018 thread to find out what my top books of 2017 were and where my totally disorganised reading takes me this year!


Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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