tardis' 2018 reading record
This is a continuation of the topic tardis' 2017 reading record.
This topic was continued by tardis' 2019 reading record.
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I wish all my LT friends another great year of fiction and facts in many excellent books!
This thread will be much as in the past. Mostly short comments, rather than reviews. I hit an all-time high in books read in 2017, mainly because I retired at the end of March, which gave me much more time for reading. I don't plan to set a goal for 2018, but I expect to be in the same range.
For interest (if any), here are my previous reading threads:
2017 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/245188 (221 books read)
2016 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/210797 (173 books read)
2015 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/185699 (180 books read)
2014 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163304 (170 books read)
2013 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/147262 (185 books read)
Mt. TBR is currently at 85 items (slightly more than this time last year), but I've also got library books, so I'll be starting with those.
I'm glad you're enjoying your retirement. Hope you have another great year!
Happy New Year! I expect to get many more book bullets from you this year!
Happy New Year! Sound of fireworks exploding, Champagne corks popping, cheers and roars, and drunks trying to sing Auld Lang Syne.
Have a great one.
Thank you all (even for the singing), and I look forward to sharing many books with you :)
Sadly the first reads of 2018 are less than stellar. I should know better, but I was low on reading material and I was at the library, and they actually had the first 5 books in a cozy mystery series on the shelf, so I borrowed them.
1. Do or Diner
2. A Second Helping of Murder
3. Diners, Drive-Ins and Death
4. Macaroni and Freeze
5. It's a Wonderful Knife
All by Christine Wenger. With recipes. Sigh. The presence of recipes or knitting patterns or other extraneous stuff at the end of the book is almost always a bad sign. Also, reading 5 in a row really highlights the continuity errors, the author's lack of originality, and makes the protagonist's nosiness extra grating. Trixie has bought an old diner and resort from her aunt, and has to make a go of it. I liked the diner. There's a hunky deputy sheriff and a cute dog. The first one wasn't too bad, so I kept going, but barely made it through the last one. Only stubbornness kept me going. Trixie is beyond nosy. She has no qualms about lying to the cops, sneaking into victims' or suspects' homes or offices or rummaging through their computers or handbags, no matter what evidence she might compromise in the process. She ignores direct commands from the police. Definitely a series I won't go back to.
>12 tardis: The presence of recipes or knitting patterns or other extraneous stuff at the end of the book is almost always a bad sign. At the risk of making sweeping generalizations, that's been my experience as well.
>12 tardis: Sounds like that would be a much better series without the murders and just the story of trying to get the diner up and running. But I suppose that wouldn't generate enough material to create many books
>15 Sakerfalcon: I agree. But one good book is better than 5 lesser ones, in my opinion. Mind you, I'm not a book marketing person.
6. Star Wars: Canto Bight by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller. 4 novellas about the gambling and sin mecca of Canto Bight, Vegas of the Star Wars 'verse. I enjoyed all the stories and it was fun to see more of Canto Bight than appeared in The Last Jedi.
Two off the TBR pile:
7. Blindsight by Peter Watts. I could appreciate this as a clever, thinky, well-written book, but I had trouble getting into it. The characters didn't grab me, and it was kind of bleak.
8. The Hotel Under The Sand by Kage Baker. I liked this. A short fantasy about a brave girl who loses everything, but survives and finds a new place for herself. Suitable for all ages.
>17 tardis: I’ve read books by both of those authors, but not those particular books. Your description of Blindsight sounds similar to how I remember some of the books by Watts that I did read -- Starfish and the rest of the books in that series. I liked the first one quite a bit, but my reaction to the rest of the books was more mixed, and your comments about Blindsight definitely would have applied to all of them.
>18 YouKneeK: I have some other Kage Baker books on the TBR pile, but in series where I don't have the earlier books. I have heard many good things about her work and hope some day to get the missing volumes :)
9. Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. Excellent, but not for the faint-of-heart. You didn't really think mermaids would be like in Disney, did you? All those legends about luring sailors to their deaths? Yeah. Not cute. Not friendly. Helps to have read the novella Rolling in the Deep first.
>17 tardis: I really liked The hotel under the sand when I read it a few years ago. I had to get Baker's early titles used online as it's very hard to find in the UK. I've enjoyed everything I've read by her though the protagonist of In the garden of Iden is an almost-too-well portrayed emotional teenager!
>19 tardis: Into the drowning deep is on my Tbr pile. I read the novella at the end of 2017 and found it satisfyingly creepy.
>19 tardis: Oh, Mira Grant. I've been hit. *off to see if the library has a copy*
10. Seeing Central Park by Sara Cedar Miller. Lots of lovely pictures, and interesting text on the history and current layout of New York's iconic Central Park. One of the places I dream of visiting some day.
11. A Private View by Michael Innes. Murder, art theft, car chases. An absorbing mystery.
12. Beneath The Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. 3rd in the Wayward Children series. A group of students from Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children need to resurrect a former student to save the place she went through a door to. Very good.
13. Trio for Blunt Instruments by Rex Stout. Now this is how mysteries ought to be done. Three murders, three blunt objects, three chances for Archie to crack wise and Wolfe to opine. Satisfactory.
>26 tardis: :) Is it weird that it brings me comfort just knowing someone is reading a Wolfe book?
15. The Long and Short Of It by Jodi Taylor. A bunch of short stories about the lunatics at the Institute of Historical Research at St. Mary's Priory. I'd read some before, but not all, and it's always great to be back with Max and the gang.
16. Spirit Dances
17. Raven Calls
18. No Dominion
19. Mountain Echoes
20. Shaman Rises
All by C.E. Murphy. The last 5 books in the Walker Papers series. Good urban fantasy in a native American/Irish mythos. The 5 books take place over a very short period of time - a month at most - so it gets a bit breathless. I like Joanne's supportive cadre of friends. No Dominion is a collection of shorter pieces that fit in and between the other books.
The covers annoyed me, though. No Dominion had (IMO) a terrible picture of Gary. The others all picture Joanne, but get the hair wrong. Her short, spiky hair is mentioned constantly, but all the covers have a woman with longer hair. I should know better than to expect accuracy in book covers, though, and they don't take away from the enjoyment of the books :)
21. A Long Day In Lychford by Paul Cornell. 3rd in the series of novellas about the three witches of Lychford. Very good.
>32 tardis: That's what I'm reading now. For some reason, the characters have gone flat for me.
>33 2wonderY:. Well! What a wonderful second half to the book! I’m so glad I didn’t give up on it. The imagery, the messy rightness, the grokness.
>33 2wonderY: I hear you. It didn't grab me the way the first two did, but I did like it.
22. The Open House by Michael Innes. Continuing through my collection (by no means complete) of Michael Innes' books. I can't call it a re-read, because I really can't recall ever reading most of them. This one - policeman's car breaks down late at night, an empty but lit-up house, a missing heir. An enjoyable read, but without the spark that says "keeper" to me. Pretty sure this author's work will be passed along when I'm done with it.
>32 tardis: & >33 2wonderY:
A Long Day in Lychford is a protest against the negative consequences of the Brexit referendum result and I can see how the first half of the book could lose a reader from the other side of the pond; someone who is mot listening to Brexit news every day and faced with its consequences will not have the same familiarity with the issues involved and would not be blamed for losing interest as the authour lays out the context for the story. I am glad you both persevered.
23. Appleby's Answer by Michael Innes. A spinsterish mystery writer meets an odd man on a train. Good.
I really like Michael Innes and Rex Stout. Both have gone out of fashion but appeal for different reasons.
I'm late to the party but I'll be here. Right now I'm pretending I didn't feel a bullet graze me from post #19.
>38 cmbohn: I love Rex Stout. I admire Michael Innes - very fine writer - but I don't love the books.
24. Appleby's Other Story by Michael Innes. I think I liked this one best of the Innes books I've been reading. Art theft, murder, a prodigal son. Very good.
25. The Gay Phoenix by Michael Innes. Least favourite, and I only finished it by skimming a lot. Two brothers are sailing - one dies, the other one swaps identities. Not murder, but blackmail, etc. Appleby figures it out.
26. Romancing the Inventor
27. Romancing the Werewolf
both by Gail Carriger. I have mixed feelings about these two novellas. The plots were fine, the return to the Parasolverse is always welcome, and I like the characters and the humour. I didn't mind the same-sex pairings. What I liked less was the constant "I love him/her but she/he doesn't love me" and the mushy unresolved sexual longings and "I'm too noble to take advantage of him/her." The actual sex scenes weren't that bad - not overwhelming the story, anyway.
28. Sheiks and Adders by Michael Innes. Not the last Appleby mystery, but the last in my collection. A fancy-dress fete, a sheik, decoys, confusion. One of the better entries. Although the whole series is just rife with casual racism and ethnic slurs. I guess you have to look at the time it was written, but my tolerance for that sort of thing is low and I think these books will end up on my giveaway pile.
29. Death of a Dude by Rex Stout. Archie is out west, staying at Lily Rowan's ranch, and trying to clear the name of Lily's ranch manager, accused of murdering the dude who seduced his daughter. Wolfe, faced with the delay of Archie's return to New York, actually gets on a plane and comes west to solve the mystery. As always, excellent.
30. Beyond the Deepwoods : The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. A kids' book that one of my offspring marked for rehoming, and I thought I should read it before I let it go. Twig is odd-one-out in his woodtroll family, not actually being a woodtroll, and his troll mother sends him off into the Deepwoods. Adventures ensue. Really enjoyed it. Must see if the library has the other volumes in the series.
31. Moonbreaker by Simon R. Green. Eddie Drood is dying. But before he goes, he and Molly are going to squash his evil doppleganger, Edmund Drood (aka Dr. DOA), completely dead. With extreme prejudice, and not a little satisfaction. I liked it, but you need to read the rest of the Secret Histories series first.
32. The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston. A re-read of a story much loved in younger days and still as lovely as I remembered. Young Tolly goes from his boarding school to stay with his grandmother for Christmas. A gentle, warm, loving story.
>46 tardis: love the Green Knowe books! I discovered them quite a few years ago. Somehow I had come into possession of an old copy of one of the books. There is a movie based on one of the novels. I want to say Maggie Smith is in it.
>47 catzteach:, >48 Sakerfalcon: Now I want to read the rest of the Green Knowe books, but I don't have them. Must see if I can acquire them locally or through the library.
33. Death Shall Come by Simon R. Green. An Ishmael Jones mystery. Jones' contact with The Organization asks as a personal favour for Jones to impersonate an Egyptology expert to investigate how his father-in-law afforded an extremely expensive and illegal mummy. I liked it, although all Green's protagonists seem kind of similar, no matter what series they're in.
>51 MinuteMarginalia: Thanks :)
34. A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn. Third Speedwell & Stoker mystery. Kind of steampunkish, although no actual steampunk. Victorian, anyway. Veronica Speedwell is unconventional for a Victorian female, and Stoker cares nothing for convention, either. They are still colleagues, not lovers, which I like, although I'm sure eventually they'll get together. At any rate, the curse in this case is Egyptian, and there's a mummy and a missing necklace and more. Fun.
35. Dark State by Charles Stross. I enjoyed this, because I read the last book and I'll read the next one, but it's not the place to start with the Merchant Princes series, and it doesn't finish the story - it just ends.
36. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty. A locked-room mystery in space. 6 cloned spaceship crew members wake up amid the floating corpses of their previous selves, but without the memories of what happened. They all have a past, and they may not have a future. Who did it? Very good.
>36 pgmcc: sounds good! I put it on my “for later” shelf on my library account.
I thought Six Wakes was pretty rad, too. Recommended! Tell your friends.
Mur Lafferty has become an author to watch, for me. I really enjoyed her two "Shambling Guide" books, and Six Wakes just confirms that status.
37. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. A new Liaden universe novel! Hooray! This one does not stand alone, though - it ties up several plot threads, and I was having trouble keeping some of it straight. Of course, I also had a bad headache and the beginning of a cold. I probably will re-read it before I send it back to the library. There were some nice little Easter eggs, like a reference to the "Egger Route" and a station called "Edmonton Beacon" which I liked because I live in Edmonton :)
I want to do a full re-read of the Liaden series at some point.
Yay for Liaden. I read several, and then got distracted as the series wandered about a bit. I'll have to look up how many I've missed.
38. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley. Yay for Flavia! She and her sisters and Dogger are on a little vacation, and Flavia finds a corpse. Good, as always.
39. This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong. Second of the Casey Duncan series, set in a remote village in the Yukon where people go to disappear. The corporation that runs the place accepts a new resident who needs to be confined all the time, which the village isn't set up for. Enjoyable.
40. Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter. A Soulwood novel, in the same universe as the Jane Yellowrock series. Nell Ingram and the PsyLED team she's a junior member of have to figure out a series of assassination attempts on the family of a politician. Good series entry.
41. Beyond the Empire by K.B. Wagers. Third Indranan War book. Hail needs to reclaim her throne and kill the mysterious person with a grudge who murdered her family. Really liked it, and was thrilled to see that there's a second trilogy coming.
Yasssss I can't wait for the new trilogy by Wagers! So exciting.
I'm a couple behind on Flavia but I keep reading about them on here and it reminds me i need to get them at the library next time.
I got a bit behind again :)
42. Death of an Honest Man by M.C. Beaton. Hamish Macbeth mystery. A nasty man (who believes in telling the truth as he sees it, no matter how unkind) moves in near Cnothan, and Hamish just knows that trouble is coming. He's right, of course.
43. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor. Last in the Binti trilogy, and so good. I love the African setting and characters, and Binti is one of my favourite characters.
44. Deadlands: Boneyard by Seanan McGuire. Annie Pearl, on the run from her mad scientist husband with her small and sickly daughter, works as the keeper of the oddities in the Blackstone Family Circus. Trying for one last lucrative stop before winter, the circus heads to The Clearing in Oregon. Not a good choice. Very enjoyable, as McGuire's books always are.
Thanks for the birthday wishes! My birthday was last Wednesday, and it was very nice. The family and I went out for dinner on Tuesday because that was the only night older son was home, and because I have an art class on Wednesday evening. And Seanan McGuire gave me a new Incryptid book :)
45. Stormchaser by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. Second in the Edge Chronicles, in which Twig becomes an airship captain and saves Sanctaphrax. Fun.
46. Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire. My birthday present! Although I had to buy it, but when a favourite author releases a new book it's always a good day :) Antimony Price, on the run from the Covenant of St George, is hiding in plain sight at an amusement park called Lowryland. Her roommates are a sylph and a Pliny's Gorgon, and she's doing okay, all things considered. Of course, it doesn't last. Fun and fast. Very enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I decided to watch Supernatural on Netflix. All 12 seasons. I don't know why it never crossed my radar before, because it's exactly the kind of thing I like, but for whatever reason, I missed it. It's a fun show. Some monster of the week, some season-arching plot, some stuff for the fans, eminently watchable lead actors, and a lot of heart. Plus Vancouver standing in for everywhere in the continental US.
So, binge time. And then I caught up with Season 13, which is now airing. And then I wanted more but the library doesn't have the tie-in novels, and it's hard (not impossible, but hard) to find non-slash fan fic. So, fine. What has the library got? Two sort of non-fiction books.
47. TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural edited by Stacey Abbott and David Lavery. A bit academic and dry, but still with some interesting commentary on the first 5 years of Supernatural.
48. Family Don't End With Blood : Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives edited by Lynn S. Zubernis. Personal stories, some sad, some inspiring, on people finding themselves through fandom. Even the cast are fans and/or are affected by the fans. And they seem like really nice people.
And now I just have to wait for the next episode to air on TV.
>74 tardis: Belated happy birthday!
>75 tardis: I’m glad you’ve enjoyed Supernatural. I discovered it a few years ago and binge-watched all the seasons that had aired at that point. I really enjoyed it. After I caught up, I tried to keep up with it, but I’ve never done well keeping up with weekly TV shows. I think the last season I saw was 9 or 10. If/when it ever gets canceled, I’ll probably binge watch the whole thing.
>75 tardis: I love Supernatural! I binge watched it on Netflix. I, too, don’t do well keeping up with weekly shows so I’ll wait till about July to watch the current season. One of my favorite episodes is the one at the all girls’ school where the girls are making a musical about Sam and Dean.
>76 YouKneeK:, >77 catzteach: I use the PVR to keep up with weekly shows. Can't do it otherwise. I find Supernatural very entertaining. It's not perfect - they could have more females who don't end up dead (still ticked off about
49. A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong. Another in the Rockton series. The second, in fact. I read the third (see above a ways) but it didn't seem to be a problem to read out of order. Good thriller.
>78 tardis: agree with the spoiler! And, yeah, when will they learn to not keep secrets from one another?
50. Draigon Weather by Paige L. Christie. A book bullet from Janny, and well worth the damage to my wallet (couldn't get from the library, which I prefer for new-to-me authors, so had to buy it). I really hated the way women were treated in the society, but it made sense within the story, and I loved Leiel and Cleod. Leiel transcending the societal limitations was excellent. I am really looking forward to the next installment. Two thumbs up!
51. Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix by Niki Jabbour. Niki was in town last week to speak to the Horticultural Society. I was fortunate to hear her speak twice, have dinner with her on Sunday evening and lunch on Monday. She's a great speaker, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable, and I highly recommend seeing her if she's ever in your area. Now, having read the book thoroughly, I wish she'd come back so we could compare notes again.
This is a great book for any vegetable gardeners who want to expand their horizons into more global options. It's full of beautiful (and mouthwatering) photos. Niki organizes it in a "like that? Try this!" format, and it's well worth even reading sections where you might not actually "like that", because some of the "try this" options sound amazing. There are instructions for growing, suggestions for eating (who knew you could pop amaranth seed like popcorn?), and specific variety recommendations. She tells you what works well in pots, shade, and other tricky conditions. There's no bad advice here. Both beginner and experienced gardeners will find it helpful. I've been gardening a long time and have even tried quite a few of the varieties she recommends, but now my list of things to try is so much longer!
52. The Man From The Diogenes Club by Kim Newman. A collection of Richard Jesperson mysteries. Jesperson is a psychic, and very much of the 1970s, even in the stories set in other decades. I liked it, but didn't love it.
53. Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs. An Alpha and Omega novel, in the world of the Marrok. While filling in for the absent Bran, Charles gets a call from a "wildling" (lone werewolf living with permission in the Marrok's territory. He and Anna go out to find out what's going on. Fast-paced page-turner, like all Briggs' books.
54. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this is the story of a team of investigators working a murder case. Excellent world-building, good characters. Very enjoyable.
I'm on a trip, but I guess I should update my list with the books I read on the flight down here :)
55. The Library, The Witch, and the Warder by Mindy Klasky. Early Reviewer book. Warder David Montrose is doing bureaucratic work after having been fired by the witch he was bonded with. Bonding is a professional relationship, not necessarily a personal one. If he wants to stay a warder and get out from under his nasty boss, he has to find a new witch to be bonded to. Conveniently, an unknown witch (with access to some really hot spellbooks and tools) pops up on his radar. At the same time, he's trying to help a wolf-shifter friend in his conflict with the salamanders over stolen artifacts. Quite enjoyable fluff, and I would read more in the series.
>87 tardis: I too won that book, but I'm experiencing problems opening it. The author even sent me a file directly, but my computer can't open it. **frustration**
>88 2wonderY: Did you ever get it to work?
56. Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill by the Beacon Hill Garden Club. 85th anniversary edition. I bought this on my trip to Boston, because I'm a sucker for gardening books and hidden gardens. Very enjoyable, and lovely pictures.
57. Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear. Karen Memory novella, in which Karen and Priya negotiate their relationship and deal with spiritualists and tommy knockers. Very good.
58. The Hollow Chest by Phoebe Atwood Taylor (writing as Alice Tilton). A Leonidas Witherall mystery. A bit slapstick, but fun mystery.
59. The Myth Manifestation by Lisa Shearin. SPI files book 5, about Supernatural Protection & Investigation seer Makenna Fraser. SPI is providing security for a supernatural treaty signing at posh hotel. Lots of action, good characters. Enjoyable as always.
60. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. A very good book, as previously noted by many LTers (thanks for the book bullet, guys!). Kind of gentle, but not dull. Seeing how the Count dealt with his "imprisonment" and kept his humour and humanity was nice.
>91 tardis: Nice, succinct description if the book. I am glad you enjoyed it.
61. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. YA. A fighter pilot goes to the rescue of an unarmed colleague and they have to take refuge in an abandoned spaceship, which turns out to have an intelligent android (mech in this universe) aboard. Good.
62. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. I can't say I was thrilled, but I was charmed by this graphic novel which re-invents the history of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage. Some of the reproduced historical documents got a bit much, but the author's tone is wry and affectionate.
63. Designing with Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin. Almost none of the succulents in the book will grow in my zone, but it's gorgeous eye-candy for gardeners anyway. Excellent photos.
64. Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher. A ninja accountant, a thief, an assassin, and a scholar are sent on a quest to discover something that will kill the Clockwork Boys, unstoppable siege engines of doom. Enjoyed it. Looking forward to the sequel.
65. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Dog Men by a bunch of people not including Jim Butcher, although presumably he approved it. Graphic novel. Good art. The story is also good - another member of the Watcher's Council asks Harry for help with some grisly murders in a southern town. The villains of the piece were not who I thought at first.
66. Queen Anne's Lace by Susan Wittig Albert. A China Bayles mystery. And it is just a mystery, no murder. Well, probably not, anyway. A ghost in China's herb shop is trying to communicate. Very good, despite presence of recipes at the end. This series is one of the few exceptions to the rule that extraneous crap at the end of the book (knitting patterns, recipes, etc.) is a general indicator of a not very good book.
67. Scourged by Kevin Hearne. The conclusion to the Iron Druid series. Ragnarok. Lots of action, some feels. I enjoyed it.
68. Supernatural: One Year Gone by Rebecca Dessertine.
69. Supernatural: Rite of Passage by John Passarella.
70. Supernatural: Fresh Meat by Alice Henderson.
Picked these three up at Value Village. Basically long form fan fiction. I enjoyed them, but I'd never have bought them new.
71. The Vanishing Shadow
72. The Haunted Attic
both by Margaret Sutton, and in the Judy Bolton series. A bit dated (not surprisingly) but enjoyable mysteries aimed at teen girls. These are the first two books in the series, which unlike some of similar vintage, actually feature the characters aging as the series goes along.
73. A Perfect Proposal by Katie Fforde. Romancy fluff. Good way to waste a warm afternoon.
74. An Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor. Back to St. Mary's, as Max and the team try out a battering ram, check out the last days of Persepolis and set a cunning trap for Clive Ronan. Lots of laughs and a certain amount of angst. Oh, and living in England in the 1300s? Nope. Loved it.
75. The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. A miller's daughter is betrothed to a lord. On her way to his house, she is befriended by a hedgehog. Very enjoyable.
76. Murder at Bratton Grange by John Rhode. An old murder mystery (1929!) by an author that didn't make it to classic status. Or at least I've never heard of him. Not a bad story - missing blueprints, the victim deserves his fate, etc. I figured out who did it long before the end, but not all the details of how.
Both by Faith Hunter. An older series by Hunter. Post-some kind of quasi-Biblical apocalypse, still with some tech and the internet, but also horses more than cars and stuff. And demons, angels, and various half human breeds of same. Not bad, but I don't like it as well as her current series.
>103 jillmwo: not Bluebeard, on account of... spoilers. Sorry (not sorry :) )
79. Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente. Admission to Galactic Civilization requires not coming in last in a Eurovision-style song contest. Coming in last gets your planet's dominant species wiped out. The galactics provided Earth with a list of acceptable groups who could compete. The only ones not dead were Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros. Well, sort of. Two out of three not dead. And definitely broken up and washed up. But anyway. Archly amusing but way too long. There was a really tight novella in here, screaming to get out while Valente produced pages of borderline-relevant Douglas Adams-style snark about the various planets and their inhabitants. I REALLY wanted to love it but I just couldn't. I did like it, though.
80. A Country Escape by Katie Fforde. Romancy fluff, but cheerful and fun. Fran will inherit a farm from a distant relative if she can run it for a year (relative is in a nursing home). Dishy neighbour, cows, cheese.
81. In Prior's Wood by G.M. Malliet. A decent mystery featuring ex-MI5/now Anglican vicar Max Tudor. Max is a murder magnet, and I'd leave town if he came to mine, but it's not a bad story. A bit convoluted. I can't believe the murderer went to that amount of trouble. Most bizarre.
82. Head On by John Scalzi. Sequel to Lock In, which I really liked. I really like this one, too. Scalzi has invented a new sport, Hilketa (Basque for "murder"), which involves players attempting to dismember their opponents and score goals with their heads. Sounds bloody, but played with threeps (robot bodies) controlled by locked-in Haden Syndrome people, not meat people. FBI agents Chris Shane and senior partner Leslie Vann investigate the death of a player. Layers of plot. Recommended.
touchstone is giving me problems.
84. Dark Queen by Faith Hunter. Feels like the end of the Jane Yellowrock series, although there are a few unresolved threads that could take it further, or open up space for a new series. Anyway, it's time for the Sangre Duello, and Jane has an unexpected relative show up, not to mention the usual vampire/shifter politics, etc. Good.
85. The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith. The detectives help a woman who has lost her job unfairly, and Precious discovers there's someone else with the same last name as her. With the usual side-plots. Very enjoyable.
86. The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox. If you've ever watched The Librarians tv series, you know exactly what to expect. Cox delivers a fun romp. Not great lit, but I liked it.
87. Besieged : Stories from the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. A quick read. Explains the tasmanian devils thing in the last novel.
88. Rivers of London: Cry Fox by Andrew Cartmel, Ben Aaronovitch, et al. Graphic novel in which there are talking foxes and kidnapped children. Very good, although a bit abrupt, ending-wise.
89. The Queen of Sorrow by Sara Beth Durst. Conclusion to the Queens of Renthia series, and very good. Queens Daleina and Naelin are just starting to make progress on healing the damage from the invasion from Semo, but then Naelin's kids are stolen by spirits. She isn't having that.
90. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. Sequel to Seraphina which I liked very much. In Shadow Scale, Seraphina leaves her home country of Goredd to find the other half dragons, in hopes they can help build a defense against the coming dragon invasion. New lies, old truths, politics, and religion bind together a story of loyalty and friendship. Very good.
Oooh are you going to read Tess of the Road? It was so very, very excellent! It comes right after Shadow Scale. Recommended!
>116 reconditereader: Of course! Hartman has become a writer to watch. There are a few holds ahead of me at the library, though. If my TBR pile wasn't so high, I might buy it.
91. The Inheritance by Charles Finch. A re-read because I thought it was a new book by Finch when I requested it from the library and I was already into it before I realized I'd read it before. Someone is trying to kill Lenox's old school chum, now a respected scientist and someone else has apparently broken into the Houses of Parliament. Good.
92. Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K White. I always check out new decluttering books from the library. This one is pretty good. She's sensible and flexible, but firm. Of course I seldom actually do much after the first flush of enthusiasm after reading a new book, but I guess it all helps :)
93. Container Gardening Complete by Jessica Walliser. Nice pictures, lots of projects, sensible advice. Not massively original, but if you don't already have a container gardening book, this one is good. She does talk about veg in containers more than most.
>119 tardis: I’m currently decluttering my house. It’s my summer project. I went through my many tubs of fabric today. It feels good to have room in my sewing room.
>121 catzteach: My older son is finally moving out, so most of the decluttering at the moment is his stuff going away :) Myself, I go through fits and starts, but I hope to get stuck in after the garden tour in mid-July. Before that, I'm focused on getting the garden ready for 700-1000 people to tromp through it :)
94. Brief Cases : More Stories From the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Good stories, most previously published elsewhere, but one is original. They make me want to do a re-read of the whole Dresden series, although I don't have time right now.
>122 tardis: It still took years for me to get all my stuff out of my parents' house. My next decluttering project: CDs. I haven't listened to ANY of them in years!! Why do I still have them?
>127 catzteach: I told older son that anything he doesn't take will disappear on its own, but he does get a couple of months grace period because I don't have time to deal with indoor stuff right now :) Right now I'm using his mostly empty room for a yoga studio - nice to have room for that! I have a ton of CDs, too, and I do listen to many, but not all. My problem is "sunk cost" - I feel like I paid good money for them so I shouldn't just dump them or give them away.
>124 2wonderY: There will definitely be pictures of my garden!
>128 tardis: We had SO many VHS tapes and cassettes. All gone now. The VHS tapes which had special memories, we had a friend transfer to DVDs, and the cassettes we loved and couldn't replace, we still have, but with no means to play them. Perhaps some day we will get them transferred to CDs. Or something. The ones I can't throw out are Rabbit Ears Radio cassettes, and of course the ones with my grandparents telling of their past.
What with the accessibility of online movies and music, we don't even have a stereo anymore. Every now and then I miss one of my vinyls or VHS movies (had so many black and white old comedy movies), but I get over it. When I find myself missing one too much, I purchase a replacement on Blueray. Probably those will go extinct about the time I have all the movies I want. ;)
>130 tardis: Whaaaaat? How did I miss that there was a new Russell and Holmes novel?
97. Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. Tess Dombegh, half sister of Seraphina (see Seraphina and Shadow Scale and epic maker of bad choices, decides to hit the road instead of going to a convent after her latest disaster. Will the Road be her making or her undoing? Very, very good, and there's a sequel on the way, hooray.
98. The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. #2 in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. More of the same steampunky mystery/adventure.
99. The Privilege of Peace by Tanya Huff. 3rd in the Peacekeeper series, which is excellent. Torin and co. deal with pirates, politics, the military, and the new Wardens organization, but then Big Yellow, the sentient plastic, comes back. Very good.
Don't forget to share some pics of your garden tour when you get the chance. :o)
100. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. A YA book about a girl, her gay brother, the cute boy in the glass coffin, a changeling, and the fairies. Very good.
>136 clamairy: As you wish! There will be more in the Gardens and Books group, but I haven't got them all uploaded yet.
101. Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. More Ministry of Peculiar Occurances, in which Eliza and Wellington go to the USA and team up with a pair of American agents to fight Thomas Edison. Action packed but a bit frenetic.
102. The Girl In The Green Silk Gown by Seanan McGuire. Second book about Rose Marshall, the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Green Silk Gown, who has been dead a long time and likes it that way. Unfortunately, Bobby Cross, the undying former movie star who killed her, is back and trying to take her again. Very good!
I want a green silk gown. Preferably before I'm dead a good long time. :)
103. The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards. Book one of the Tarot Sequence. Atlanteans have left Atlantis after its destruction and moved to New Atlantis, an island city off the coast of New York. Or maybe it is New York. I'm not quite clear. Rune Saint John, last of the Sun Court, is a noir-ish detective and/or fixer of problems. He and his Companion (not in a romantic sense), Brand, are hired to find the missing scion of another one of the powerful families. Good worldbuilding, enjoyable story. Will look out for the rest of the series.
104. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. Switches points of view a lot between characters, which sometimes took me a bit of time to clue into, but an excellent story. Moneylender Myriam can turn silver to gold. Wanda and her brothers have an abusive father. Irina doesn't want to be tsarina. Very good!
105. Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. Despite the two blurbers who compared this work to that of Terry Pratchett, it isn't and you'll be disappointed in it if you hope for that. However, it's not a bad story and quite funny. Full of puns. Soooo many puns. I liked it.
106. I Met A Traveller In An Antique Land by Connie Willis. Barely more than a short story, for all it's hardcover binding. A man who thinks we shouldn't be nostalgic for things that have disappeared finds an unusual bookstore. I wanted to like this more than I did.
107. The Secret Gardeners: Britain's Creatives Reveal Their Private Sanctuaries by Victoria Summerley, photos by Hugo Rittson Thomas. A gorgeous book, and the gardens are to die for. Of course, these people have the money to do whatever the heck they want, and it shows, but they obviously love their gardens. Includes gardens of Sting, Ozzy Osborne, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Jeremy Irons, and many more.
108. European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss. Second book about the Athena Club - members Mary Jekyll, Justine Frankenstein, Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and of course the irrepressible Diana Hyde, are called to Vienna to rescue Lucinda Van Helsing. Lots of fun.
109. Witchmark by C.L. Polk. Psychiatrist Miles Singer is working with traumatized war veterans and just trying to live life on his own terms. When a man dies in the emergency ward and Miles gets involved in solving with his murder with the mysterious and attractive Tristan Hunter, Miles is dragged back into the world of magic and power that he wanted to escape. Very good.
110. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. This was so good! Alt-history of the space program from 1952. Elma and Nathan York, pilot/mathematician and rocket scientist respectively, survive an enormous natural disaster by being out of town and being smart, and end up working for the international space agency. Elma, who is more than fully qualified, wants to be an astronaut, but there's reluctance to admit women to the program. Contains more than one loving and supportive marriage, 1950s racial prejudice, math, science, and more. Loved it.
111. Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon. The beginning of the Deed of Paksenarrion series. Military fantasy. Paks doesn't want to accept the marriage her father has arranged, so she rebels and heads off to join an army. Being a soldier is hard, but Paks is good at it. I loved this too, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get to it.
112. Competence by Gail Carriger. 3rd Custard Protocol book. The crew of the Spotted Custard are sent off to Peru to find the last surviving South American vampires and deal with them. It isn't clear whether "deal with" means protect or kill, but they'll figure it out. Primrose Tunstall is the focus character here. Contains Carriger's usual droll wit. Fun.
113. Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon. Second of the Paksenarrion series. Paks leaves the Duke's company to find new teachers. Really good.
114. Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews. Start of a new series, spun off the Kate Daniels book and featuring Hugh d'Ambray, former enforcer for the evil Roland. Pretty much what you expect from Andrews, which is good because I enjoy her work :)
115. The Corpse at the Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn. A Daisy Dalrymple mystery. Daisy takes her kids, some young cousins and some friends to the Crystal Palace. They find a corpse. Quelle suprise! Actually a fairly cheerful and fun mystery, despite Daisy's corpse magnet status.
116. The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn. Sequel to Bannerless. Investigators Enid and new junior partner, Teeg, travel to the end of the Coast Road to mediate a disagreement regarding repairs to an old building. They're just getting started on that when a body is found, and Enid starts a murder investigation. Really good.
117. Wicked Bugs : The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart. I've been reading this for ages, a bug at a time, and finally finished it. Fun and informative. Also a bit creepy.
>161 MrsLee: No, but it's on the list :)
118. How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger. A Claw and Courtship novella. A disgraced American woman travels to England to catch a werewolf. The first one she meets is Major Channing Channing (of the Chesterfield Channings), Gamma of the London pack. Fun.
119. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Audiobook version read by the redoubtable Stephen Fry, who does a brilliant job of it. We had a long road trip, and these books make the miles speed by.
120. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. See above. It was a long road trip. We also got through about half of Prisoner of Azkaban.
121. The Magic and the Healing by Nick O'Donohoe. A bunch of vet students get a special rotation treating non-standard patients. Enjoyable.
122. Constance Verity Saves The World by A. Lee Martinez. Connie is just trying to navigate her new relationship with Byron, but her enemies keep attacking. Can they move in together? Will the relationship survive her endless trips to save the world? Lots of fun. Read The Last Adventure of Constance Verity first.
123. Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen. Georgie Rannoch is looking forward to her wedding to Darcy O'Mara, and they're house-hunting for a place that they can afford. Unsuccessfully. So, when her godfather (who is also one of her mother's ex-husbands) offers her his estate, which she'll inherit eventually anyway, Georgie jumps at the chance. Problem is, things are not what they seem. Fun.
124. Night Fall by Simon R. Green. The wrap-up of the universe of the Nightside and Secret Histories series, plus all the associated Ghost Hunters, Soul Finders, Dead Boys, etc. Action, mayhem, high body count. Having two series merge points up that Green can only write one kind of woman. She always kicks ass and takes names, but whether she's called Molly, the Matriarch, or Shotgun Suzie, she's the same. In the same way, Eddie Drood and John Taylor are not that much unlike. Maybe it's all his characterizations. I find the books forgettably enjoyable, though. Brain candy. Having wrapped this up, Green will keep writing in other universes, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with.
125. Toucan Keep A Secret by Donna Andrews. Latest Meg Langslow mystery. I always enjoy these. Meg manages to be nosy and get the mystery solved without annoying me by doing stupid things. Also, Andrews is a geek, I think. Her characters apparently read Lovecraft, Hambly, and others.
126. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells. 3rd in the Murderbot series. Novella. I haven't read #2 as the library hasn't produced it yet, but that wasn't a major problem. Very good. The Murderbot isn't really all that murder-y :)
>169 2wonderY: Had I waited a few more days, the library would have delivered the second book and I could have read them in order. I just got the hold notice tonight.
127. Don't Eat Me by Colin Cotterill. Dr. Siri is back! Siri and Civilai have got their hands on a movie camera, and are planning to re-make War and Peace with Lao characters. Or something. Anyway... animal smuggling, a gnawed-on corpse, a court-room battle, the usual cast of characters. It's great.
128. Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire. Latest installment in the October Daye series. Toby's estranged (and now completely human) daughter is kidnapped, and Toby and co. set off to find her. Lots of red herrings, and the usual snark and everything. I loved it.
129. Arabella the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine. Last book in a Burroughs-esque fantasy/steampunk series with sailing between planets, British Napoleonic-era politics, and rebellion. The series as a whole has some colonialism aspects that are problematic, but Levine tries to subvert them in the end. I'm not sure he was totally successful, but I enjoyed the book (and series) anyway.
130. Dracula Cha Cha Cha by Kim Newman. 3rd in the Anno Dracula series, and good fun. Newman's alt-history with vampires draws shamelessly on pop culture and history of the 1950s and 1960s, not to mention other author's vampire literature. Spotting references to other works is great fun, and I'm sure I missed a lot.
131. Heroine Worship by Sara Kuhn. Sequel to Heroine Complex. This is superhero Aveda Jupiter's story, as she comes to terms with being part of a team and also being the best maid of honour ever for best friend Evie's wedding. Fun.
132. Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. A new menace comes to the fore, and it's bad. Kate Daniels and co. need to team up with her evil-overlord father to beat it. Also, protecting her and Curran's 1-year-old son is more of a challenge than anyone expected. Action-packed. I enjoyed it.
133. Ironfoot: The Enchanter General by Dave Duncan. A lame Saxon boy becomes a student at a magical college during the time of Henry II of England. Called upon to escort one of the sages home because of an emergency, he is thrust into a mystery which requires magic way over his pay grade to solve. Very good.
134. A Gentleman's Murder by Christopher Huang. A historical mystery, set in 1924. A half-Chinese Englishman, Eric Peterkin, gets involved when a new member is murdered at his club. The effect of WWI on the survivors, prejudice against non-whites, and links to an older murder. Very good.
135. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells. 2nd in the excellent Murderbot series, in which said bot goes back to the scene of the murders to find out what really happened. Very good!
136. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal. Elma, the "Lady Astronaut" is put onto the Mars crew as a publicity stunt. She's well qualified, but another woman was bumped to make room for her. Dealing with the feelings of the team, the training, and the voyage is the bulk of this wonderful story.
137. Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace. Two out-of-work chefs get hired by a catering company with an unusual clientele with unusual tastes in food. Quite fun.
138. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. Really good. Maggie is a Dinetah monster killer in a post-apocalyptic world, and has to confront her past to survive. Did I say really good? Yeah.
139. The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca.
140. A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca.
141. The Imposters of Aventil by Marshall Ryan Maresca.
Three in a series of books about a city-state called Maradaine. Wizard college, city police equivalent, mystery, kid who thinks he's Batman (or would if Batman existed in this world) and has a grudge against drug peddlers. Good worldbuilding, good characters. I will read more.
142. An Import of Intrigue
143. The Alchemy of Chaos
144. The Holver Alley Crew
All by Marshall Ryan Maresca, all set in Maradaine. The first two feature the Police and college as above. The third is a heist novel featuring a new set of characters trying to get back on their feet after their legitimate businesses were burned out. All enjoyable.
145. Marked by Benedict Jacka. Latest Alex Verus novel. Alex and co. have to negotiate a deal with Morden, battle Council politics, and more. Usual good stuff.
146. Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood. First in the Evertide series, not that any more in the series are out yet. The first novel by illustrator Lockwood, and it's pretty darned good. Maia and her family raise dragons for the military. She wants a dragon of her own, but circumstances conspire against her and she takes a huge risk to get one. Very good.
147. Green Rider by Kristen Britain. First in an older series, and very enjoyable. Karigan has run away from school (she sort of got expelled, first), and meets a dying Green Rider. She promises him that she will complete his mission to take sensitive intelligence to the king. Then things get messy. Very good. Bonus: horses. I'd have been mad for this as a teenager, frustrated horse-lover that I was :)
148. Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit by Amy Stewart. Constance Kopp, deputy in the sheriff's department and matron for women in the jail, loves her job. Change is coming, though, as Sheriff Heath is running for Congress and there will be a new sherriff. Constance is great - tough, sensible, and caring. I love the fact that these stories are based (loosely in places) on real people and events.
>187 tardis: Thanks for the nudge. Just managed to order the first Kopp Sisters book finally.
>187 tardis: I think I have the second in that series, but haven't read it yet. One day, one day I will read all my books...
149. Wing Wind by Paige L. Christie. Second in the Legacies of Arnan. Super-patriarchal society, but secret society of draigons (dragons) working to make change. Very slowly. One woman at a time. Enjoyed it, but wanted to smack sense into some of the characters a bit.
150. The Magic and the Healing by Nick O'Donohoe. Veterinary student BJ Vaughn is coping with the aftermath of her mother's suicide, her own health issues, and having failed a class when she's offered a very unusual rotation with some other students. Fun.
151. First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain. Sequel to Green Rider. Karigan finally accepts her destiny as a Green Rider, but evil forces are abroad and the kingdom at risk. Very good.
152. Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout. Wolfe and Archie go to a resort so Wolfe can give a speech to a gathering of famous chefs. Written in 1938 and set in West Virginia and the attitude to the black employees was pretty painful to modern sensibilities. Wolfe treats them with respect, but although Archie also treats them with respect, he uses several racial slurs in his descriptions (although not, IIRC, verbally) and some of the other characters show blatant prejudice. I didn't get the feeling that Stout himself particularly shared this opinion - it seemed mainly to highlight the crudeness of the sheriff, and some other locals. Still, very enjoyable mystery and watching Wolfe whine about train travel and such through Archie's eyes was fun.
153. The Black Mountain by Rex Stout. A major departure for Nero Wolfe - all the way back to his birth country of Montenegro, seeking the murderer of an old friend. Archie, who doesn't speak any of the local languages, is a bit at sea, but bears up heroically. 1950s Eastern European politics. Very good.
154. Homicide Trinity: A Nero Wolfe Threesome by Rex Stout. Three excellent novellas in one volume. Especially liked the third one, wherein an eccentric old lady hires Wolfe to make the cops eat dirt.
>196 2wonderY: Yes - female. I don't know why. I don't recall any bias or clues one way or the other in the stories, and Murderbot is clearly asexual. Maybe I picked female because of the author being female. In John Scalzi's Lock In and Head On, I gendered Chris as male, despite again absolutely no clues either way, so I guess that would fit.
>197 tardis: I thought so too. It was a stronger impression in the first book, but I'm not sure why.
158. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling). 4th in the Cormoran Strike series. Robin is married (and he's an ass, as anyone knew from the previous books), Strike's agency is doing pretty well, thanks to him having caught the Shacklewell Ripper, they get a visit from a mentally-disturbed man with a story about long-ago murder, and a Minister of the Crown hires them to deal with a blackmail case. A good mystery, interleaved with the protagonists' personal issues. Liked it.
159. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. 3rd in her Wayfarers series. The beginning slightly overlaps the end of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet but they don't really affect each other, except that one of the main characters, Tessa, is Ashby's sister. Set on the Exodus Fleet ship Asteria, it's told in chapters rotating among various characters, each dealing with change, belonging, and their futures in a different way, and I loved it.
160. Lark! The Herald Angels Sing by Donna Andrews. One of the cozy mystery series that I consistently enjoy. Meg Langslow is directing a chaotic Trinity Episcopal Church Christmas pageant rehearsal when an abandoned baby is found in the manger with a note indicating that her brother, Rob, is the father. Tracking down the baby's mother and sorting out an even larger mystery keep Meg busier than ever in the days before Christmas. Plus, weaponized Christmas carols.
161. A Harum-Scarum Schoolgirl by Angela Brazil.Typical trials and tribulations of a girls' school with a feisty new American student. Set during WW1. Fun but some racism. I don't like Brazil as well as Elinor Brent-Dyer.
>203 tardis: I've not read that one by Brazil. I usually enjoy her books but it's clear she was writing about very different schools and girls to EBD.
>204 Sakerfalcon: - I think the strength of EBD was that she was telling a continuing story and people grew and changed and you got fond of them. AB's are all one-offs, but really the schools and girls are interchangeable types. At any rate, I would read more AB - just won't be collecting them like I do with EBD.
162. Portents by Kelley Armstrong. Collection of Cainsville stories. Cainsville isn't my favourite of Armstrong's series so these weren't really a hit with me, but they do give some backstory.
>206 catzteach: Originally the alias was to avoid expectations and have the work judged on its own merit and not compared to her previous work. Some moron at her publishing company blew her cover. Why she continues to use the alias, I'm not sure.
>207 tardis: oh, that makes sense. Kind of a bummer she used a man’s name, though.
163. Uncompromising Honor by David Weber. The usual doorstop, full of infodumps, history, politics, treecats, space battles, Honor being unstoppable, etc. etc. I actually quite like this series, but it's a bit of a slog.
164. The Bartered Brides by Mercedes Lackey. Elemental Masters series. Sarah, Nan, bird familiars Grey and Neville, John and Mary Watson, and others try to find a necromancer in London. Enjoyable.
>206 catzteach: Authors use pen names for various reasons--some who write in more than one genre will choose a different name for each genre they write in as a way to keep them separate (especially if they write in highly disparate areas like steamy romance and in children's books. Authors might also start publishing under a different name if a previous book hasn't sold well--it somehow makes the publisher feel better and give the author a "new" debut.
Re 163: It is becoming harder to get through, but I, too, am hanging in there.
165. Stray Magic by Kelly Meding. 1st in a new urban fantasy series. Shiloh Harrison is a Federal Marshall in the Paranormal Investigations Unit. Vampires and werewolves have come "out" but other kinds of supernaturals are still in hiding. Vampires are being snatched and Shiloh has to work with a sexy vampire master (is there any other kind?) to solve the mystery. Honking big loose end at the conclusion, which I presume will be addressed in the next book, due out in 2019.
166. The Way of the Shield by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Dayne is a Candidate for the Tarian Order in Maradaine, but a recent failed rescue means he may never advance to Adept. He's so squeaky clean and noble, though! Like Cst. Benton Fraser (Due South) or Captain Carrot (City Watch, Ankh Morpork). There's unrest in Maradaine, and he's caught up in it. Actually pretty good, although the first of at least two books about Dayne, so quite a few loose ends left hanging.
I just read that! I was jonesing for more Maradaine Constabulary books and settled for that one. It was pretty good.
167. The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman is the third in the Dark Days series (after The Dark Days Club and The Dark Days Pact) so definitely not the place to start with this series. Lady Helen is preparing for her marriage to the Duke of Selburn while still training to fight the Grand Deceiver with Lord Carlston, to whom she is inextricably bound by the Grand Reclaimer link. They're having trouble learning to use their dyad powers, a process made even more difficult by Lady Helen's social responsibilities, inconvenient relatives and the restrictions on the behaviour of upper class women in the Regency period. I enjoyed the wrap-up to this series.
168. The Grimoire of Kensington Market by Lauren B. Davis. A nice riff on the Snow Queen fairy tale as Maggie, proprietor of a bookstore called The Grimoire, in the Kensington area of Toronto, goes into another world to rescue her brother. The path is not smooth, but she has her trusty dog, Badger, and makes friends along the way. I liked this very much.
169. Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley. Audiobook read by Moira Quirk. I've read and enjoyed this in print but needed a good book to listen to while printing cards, and this worked brilliantly. Quirk is a good reader, although she has a tendency to give too many characters Welsh accents.
170. Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews. First in a series about private investigator Nevada Baylor, her quirky family, and the obligatory sexy but dangerous man with superpowers. Despite the tropes, an enjoyable diversion. Nevada is not a pushover, and her truth-reading powers are interesting. I'm sure in later installments, she and Mr. Sexy will get together, but she's putting up a good fight.
171. White Hot by Ilona Andrews. Sequel to Burn For Me in which Nevada and Rogan (among others) look for the murderer of a corporate lawyer (among other things). Pretty good. Waiting for the next installment to arrive from the library.
172. The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi. Sequel to The Collapsing Empire. Emperox Grayland II is still trying to convince her subjects that the interstellar flows that connect star systems are failing and to prepare for disaster. Some of her subjects foment civil war. Politics, space opera, etc. Very good.
173. Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch. Latest in the Rivers of London/Peter Grant series. Loved it. Peter and team are trying to find and stop the Faceless Man (aka Martin Chorley), and they discover he's got a big plan for inflicting change on London. Excellent.
174. Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews. Novella featuring mainly Catalina Baylor, who with her younger sister, Arabella, is managing older sister Nevada's wedding to Connor Rogan. Much family drama (mainly among his relatives) and Catalina gets to refine her Prime abilities a bit while trying to find the missing tiara that all Rogan brides wear.
175. There Before The Chaos by K. B. Wagers. Start of the second trilogy about Hail Bristol, Empress of Indrana and former gunrunner. Indrana is rebuilding after the events of the first series, and Hail is preparing for a months-long tour of her empire when she's asked to mediate a peace between the Farians and the Shen. Hail is awesome, as is her support team. Enjoyed it, except for the darned cliff-hanger ending. Hope it comes out soon!
176. Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep. First in the Crown of Shards series. Lady Everleigh is the only survivor of a massacre at a royal event, orchestrated by her cousin, the Crown Princess Vasilia. She runs away to join the circus. I enjoyed it and will read more, but there were oddities in the language used. I mean, this is high fantasy, and people are looking for "face time" with the queen? People were wearing "toboggans"? What even is a toboggan in clothing terms - is that like a toque? I think a good editor should have questioned some of this stuff.
A toboggan can be a kind of knit cap. I only know this because I just now looked it up. I had never heard it used that way before! https://letterpile.com/humor/Whether-You-Ride-or-Wear-A-Toboggan-Depends-on-Wher...
Wow. The things one can learn...
And that’s a good thing, in my opinion!
>221 reconditereader: I guess I could have googled it, too, but I was too cranky :)
>222 Busifer: Learning is living!
177. The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross. Case Nightmare Green is on and there's something terrible happening in the US. The New Management doesn't want competition from someone else's terrible thing and sends Mhairi Murphy and an oddly-assorted team to the US to do something about it. Is good. Want more.
178. Fool's Gold by Caro Peacock. Touchstone removed as the right book isn't coming up on the list. I'll check back later to see if I can find it. Anyway, a Liberty Lane mystery. Victorian-era female private investigator is asked to foil a kidnapping plot against the alleged illegitimate son of Lord Byron. Good. Would read more in the series.
179. Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. Follows Burn For Me. Urban fantasy/paranormal romance, as per previous books in the series. Rogan's ex-fiancee's husband goes missing. Nevada gets to find him, while trying to keep out of her paternal grandmother's clutches. Good fun.
180. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. An oddly gentle retelling of the great stories of Thor, Odin, Loki and others that make up the Norse Pantheon. Each story stood on its own, so I could read it in chunks as the mood took me. I enjoyed it very much.
181. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells. Fourth Murderbot book, and just as good as the rest. Murderbot to the rescue of Dr. Mensah, who is in the hands of evil corporation GrayCris.
182. Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly. Sequel to Amberlough, which I read a while back and it took me some time to get back into this world, but it was worth it. Aristide is in exile, working as a film producer. Cordelia has also escaped Amberlough, and is making her way to temporary safety and looking for a chance to promote the revolution. Very good, and very likely not the end of the story.
183. The Midnight Front by David Mack. It's WW2, and there's the Eastern Front, the Western Front, and the Midnight Front. Magicians on both sides bind demons to help them fight the war. I expected to like this more than I actually did, although it wasn't terrible. I might even read the sequel at some point.
>228 tardis: I loved the Murderbot story! I think the fact that it was set in a rather bleak future yet managing to be feelgood and hopeful had a lot to do with it. Plus Murderbot's voice, of course. I loved how it depreciated itself, yet always managed to get on top of the/any situation :)
>232 Busifer: - yes, I agree with you on all points. I'm hoping for an omnibus edition of the Murderbot series, which I will buy.
184. Trial by Treason by Dave Duncan. Dave's last book, alas, unless there's something in the pipeline that I don't know about. I was sad when he passed away a few weeks ago. Very nice man. Anyway, this is a sequel to Ironfoot, which I read and enjoyed a while back (see upthread). Durwin and an assistant go to Lincoln to investigate a report of treasonous magical conspiracy. The blend of history and magic in these books appeals to me greatly.
185. Oath of Gold by Elizabeth Moon. 3rd Paksenarrion book, and just as good as the rest. Paks must overcome the crippling fear and doubt that afflicted her due to events in the previous book, and track down the missing heir to the throne of a neighbouring kingdom.
186. Final Diagnosis by James White. A Sector General novel, and one of the few I'd never read before. Serendipitously found in a used book shop this week. Xenophobic Patient Hewlitt is sent to Sector General because his Earth doctors can't figure out what's wrong with him. Problem is, he doesn't want these gross aliens poking at him. Very good, as always. I miss James White. There's just something so awesome about the big hospital in space that caters to all comers.
187. Redeemer by C. E. Murphy. Rosie likes being a riveter (and being independent, and having an income), and dreads the return of the boys from overseas at the end of WW2. She wants to go to college, not get married and start pumping out babies. She also doesn't want to be eaten by a vampire on the shop floor of the factory where she works, so she shoots it with a riveting gun, which is how she discovers that she's a Redeemer, about the only kind of human who can kill demons and release the souls of the people they possess. Very enjoyable.
>234 tardis: The only James Whyte book I have read is Tomorrow is Too Far. I really enjoyed it. I should make the effort to read his Sector General novels as he is from my home town and I have had the pleasure of meeting him a few times at conventions. He was always a great support of the fan base in Ireland and made a point of attending all the conventions. He turned up early and mingled with everyone on the opening Friday evenings. One of those people that people comment on by saying, "He was a real gentleman."
188. An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris. Alt-history Western with magic. Lisbeth Rose is a gunnie, who makes her living escorting migrants and protecting them from bandits. She gets hired by a couple of grigori (wizards, after Grigori Rasputin), and things get complicated. Very enjoyable.
>238 catzteach: - yes, I believe O'Malley is writing more. I certainly hope so! Love that series. There's a TV version in production, too, but I am trying not to be hopeful, because some of the things I've heard sound iffy. And I don't know if it was me who hit you with Murderbot, but it could have been. I've see them praised in other threads, though :)
Boxing Day is my traditional Do (almost) Nothing But Read Day, and I've been enjoying it greatly. Tea, snacks, blankets, cats, books - doesn't really get better than this!
189. Roar of Sky by Beth Cato. Final volume in the Blood of Earth trilogy. Ingrid, Cy, Fenris and the sylphs in the Palmetto Bug are trying to learn more about Ingrid's bloodline and magic, while trying to avoid Ambassador Blum. A cracking finish to one of the more intricate alt-history/steampunk series.
190. Death at Dawn by Caro Peacock. Historical mystery in the early days of Queen Victoria's reign. Liberty Lane's father is dead under mysterious circumstances. Trying to find out the truth, she is recruited to go undercover as a governess, and finds out more than she expected. Very good.
191. The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor. Jenny Dove, with a bad stutter and chronic low-self esteem, is encouraged by her invisible friend to accept a marriage proposal from a ramshackle artist, despite the doubts and opposition of her over-protective relatives. Very enjoyable. Will re-read.
It's only 5:30 - I still have reading to do!
Last D(a)NBR Day book:
192. Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy. Lawyer meets gargoyle in New York. Also vampires, selkies, djinn, and dragon. Good. Two more in the series to look forward to.
>240 tardis: Your Boxing Day sounds perfect! Glad you filled it with some good books.
Last two of 2018! Both short, though.
195. The Dream Gatherer : A Green Rider Novella and other stories by Kristen Britain. A selection of short pieces, all good, in the world of the Green Riders, although none feature Karigan.
196. Kingdom of Needle and Bone by Mira Grant. A scary and somewhat unsettling look at vaccination and pandemic. Very good.
Happy New Year!!
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