Morphy Joins the Fray

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2011

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Morphy Joins the Fray

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1Morphidae
Jan 3, 2011, 5:24 pm

This is my first 75 Books Challenge. I read about 250 books a year, so I'm not worried about meeting the challenge!

I mostly read fantasy, preferably urban, but also enjoy general and genre fiction, historical romance, classics, popular non-fiction, and will honestly try any genre at least once.

I have more challenges and lists than I know what to do with and am not going to list them here except as notes to the books I've completed.

My best books of 2010 are:

Marley and Me by John Grogan
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Re-reads
Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop

My favorite books from the last four years are:

Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
The Stand by Stephen King
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Katherine by Anya Seton
Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

2Morphidae
Edited: Jan 16, 2011, 11:16 am

I read 254 books in 2010 for a total of 100,797 pages with an average of 21 books per month and 397 pages per book.

January - 26 books
February - 19 books
March - 26 books
April - 27 books
May - 31 books
June - 17 books
July - 20 books
August - 16 books
September - 14 books
October - 27 books
November - 15 books
December - 16 books

Over the past five years, I typically read the most books in May (average 28) and the least in September (average 14.)

Categories

Fantasy - 109
Science Fiction - 29
Nonfiction - 26
General Fiction - 20
Mystery - 14
Romance, Historical - 13
Horror - 8
Children - 7
Romance, Paranormal- 7
Classic - 5
Spirituality - 4
Romance, Contemporary - 3
YA - 2
Fiction, Historical - 2
Memoir - 1
Graphic Novel - 1
Suspense - 1
Western - 1
Writing - 1

Thirteen percent of the books read in 2010 were non-fiction.

By Century First Published

1000 - 1
1800 - 2
1900 - 111
2000 - 140

By Decade First Published

1900 - 0
1910 - 2
1920 - 1
1930 - 2
1940 - 4
1950 - 2
1960 - 9
1970 - 12
1980 - 34
1990 - 45
2000 - 108
2010 - 32

Borrowed - 1 books
Daily Lit - 2 books
Library - 189 books
Own - 62 books

Of the books I read in 2010, 66 were re-reads.

My average rating for a book was 6.7.

Ratings

10 - 0
9 - 6
8 - 57
7 - 95
6 - 62
5 - 22
4 - 9
3 - 3
2 - 0
1 - 0

The 9's are:

Marley and Me by John Grogan
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
World War Z by Max Brooks

(Re-reads)

Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop
Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey

Dewey
I read books in 29 different Dewey Decimal numbers.

100s - 2
200s - 5
300s - 6
400s - 0
500s - 1
600s - 5
700s - 1
800s - 4
900s - 5

3ronincats
Jan 3, 2011, 10:37 pm

Welcome to the group, Nora! I'm not so much into the urban fantasy, but fantasy and science fiction in general are big favorites of mine.

4maggie1944
Jan 3, 2011, 10:46 pm

I am looking forward to reading your thread, my friend. Good reading to you!

5drneutron
Jan 3, 2011, 10:55 pm

Morphie! Welcome to our little gang!

6DeltaQueen50
Jan 3, 2011, 10:58 pm

Welcome to the 75's - looking forward to following your reading.

7jadebird
Jan 4, 2011, 1:17 am

Morphy! Used to catch your thread on Green Dragon, right? Happy New Year!

8klarusu
Jan 4, 2011, 1:42 am

*waves at Morphy*

Happy New Year! I haven't been online too much recently so I haven't seen you around. Hope Christmas treated you well. Looking forward to getting to the computer more in 2011 so I'll be stopping by here & the GD threads.

9Ancie
Jan 4, 2011, 5:55 am

Hi I don't know what urban fantasy is but it sounds interesting. Maybe you can give me an example. I loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, you just took him to your heart didn't you. I will follow your urban reading.

Cheers

10Morphidae
Jan 4, 2011, 6:43 am

I'll be cross-posting to/from the Green Dragon thread. Ya'll sucked me in.

I'll be finishing up Pale Demon by Kim Harrison today. That's urban fantasy.

11scaifea
Jan 4, 2011, 6:59 am

Hi Morphy! Good to see you here!

12Aerrin99
Jan 4, 2011, 8:52 am

Hooray urban fantasy! I see you've got Feed in your library - have you tried her urban fantasy (under the name Seannan McGuire) yet? I am loving her Toby Daye series, starting with Rosemary and Rue.

13Morphidae
Jan 4, 2011, 8:53 am

Feed is in my LT Recommended collection. I haven't read it yet.

14Aerrin99
Jan 4, 2011, 8:54 am

Oh, well then! I clearly just glanced at our 'books shared' list instead of poking in your collections. I loved Feed - hope you like it!

15souloftherose
Jan 4, 2011, 9:12 am

Welcome to the group! I'm hoping to read The Help later this month.

16alcottacre
Edited: Jan 14, 2011, 7:31 am

Welcome to the group!

17Morphidae
Edited: Jan 13, 2011, 7:17 pm



1. Intellectual Devotional Modern Culture by David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheim

Genre: Non-fiction

Notes: My 2010 bathroom read, TIOLI (Book ranked below 10,000 on LibraryThing Popularity Index - 93,025)

Opinion: Great miniature articles on various modern pop culture topics. There was enough information to feel I learned something, yet not so much I felt drowned in details. Perfect for the couple of minutes on the "throne."

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

18scaifea
Jan 5, 2011, 7:35 am

Cool - sounds like a great throne-room read. Lol - I keep forgetting to list my bathroom book in my current reading list... I should go correct that soon...

19Morphidae
Jan 5, 2011, 7:54 am



2. Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Early Reviewer, TIOLI (vowels)

Opinion: (This is a longer than normal review for me since it's for the Early Reviewer program.)

The Hollows is one of my favorite series and Pale Demon didn’t disappoint. There was a lot of action, we learned more about the various characters and the world they live in, and in general, it was a good story. My only real beef is the growing tone of despair and bleakness. I know Harrison isn’t a happily-ever-after author, but she is reminding me of Butcher’s Dresden who never gets a break.

I really liked the look into the demon culture. It filled out the world more as well as the cross-country trip that emphasized that this is not our world with paranormal creatures, but an alternate Earth that has been devastated. This is a point that wasn’t clear in previous books.

A minor quibble - Ivy acted a little out of character and the situation resolved itself with no effort on Rachel’s part. I think the whole thing could have been deleted. It felt like Harrison stuck it in to get some “Ivy-relationship-time.”

This was a stronger entry into the series than her previous, Black Magic Sanction, which got only 6 out of 10 stars.


Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

20maggie1944
Jan 6, 2011, 9:48 pm

Nice review, Morph!

21Morphidae
Jan 13, 2011, 4:29 pm

I've changed my second post to my stats for 2010. Be warned, I keep DETAILED records!

22_Zoe_
Jan 13, 2011, 4:36 pm

I'll be curious to see whether your YA reading increases under the influence of this group; there are a lot of YA readers here and you might find yourself with some good YA fantasy/sf recommendations.

(Let me know if you don't want me to post here and I won't do it again.)

23Morphidae
Jan 13, 2011, 5:26 pm

I tend to stick YA fantasy into fantasy and YA science fiction into science fiction, etc. because I typically have a hard time deciding if it's YA or not. So unless it is general fiction YA, it will get placed in the applicable genre.

24Morphidae
Edited: Jan 13, 2011, 5:36 pm

Here are books I put in fantasy that could be considered YA or Children's. (When are they YA? When Children's?)

Mister Monday by Nix
Wise Child by Furlong
Juniper by Furlong
The Sea of Monsters by Riordan
Artemis Fowl by Colfer
The Amulet of Samarkand by Stroud
Dealing with Dragons by Wrede
Searching for Dragons by Wrede
Mairelon the Magician by Wrede

So what about books like the following? They COULD be put under YA.

Legacy by Bujold (Sharing Knife series)
Graceling by Cashore
Poison Study by Snyder
The Eyes of the Dragon by King
Dragonsinger by McCaffrey
Stardust by Gaiman

I save myself the frustration and just stick them all under fantasy.

25Morphidae
Edited: Jan 13, 2011, 6:43 pm



3. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

Genre: Fiction

Notes: Read for several lists including Ultimate Reading List, 1001, Making a Literary Life (book), TIOLI (3.8 to 4.2 Star Book - 3.88)

Opinion: I had a hard time rating this one. I like the style. Proulx did an excellent job at setting mood. Yet... yet... I didn't like the characters much. They grated at me. Quoyle squicked me out. I wouldn't want to have him as a friend, much less even know him. The girls were creepy and the aunt seems uncaring. Not a pleasant read. I felt icky when done. (Don't you like all my technical literary terms?)

Rating: 7

26Morphidae
Edited: Jan 13, 2011, 6:46 pm



4. A Small Furry Prayer by Steven Kotler

Genre: Nonfiction

Notes: From ER, TIOLI (Book ranked below 10,000 on LibraryThing Popularity Index - 133,058)

Opinion: A Small Furry Prayer was not what I expected. I expected a warm and fuzzy book like Marley & Me. What I got was a delightful collection of essays on dog behavior, religion, philosophy, death, shamanism, canine/human history, travel, psychology, and face recognition software along with the dog rescue stuff. They all related in some fashion back to dogs, even if on the most tenuous thread. I really liked the journalistic writing style. It wasn’t cold and factual though, he wrote with warmth especially when it came to his wife and the dogs they rescued.

Rating: 8

27Morphidae
Jan 13, 2011, 6:30 pm



5. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Chick Lit

Notes: For Ultimate Reading list

Opinion: The writing was good enough and the story mostly kept my interest but the main character was annoying as hell for the first half of the book - shop, complain about shopping, shop, complain about shopping, shop, complain about shop, etc. At least there was some character growth near the end.

Rating: 6

28Morphidae
Edited: Jan 13, 2011, 6:52 pm



6. Immortal in Death by J. D. Robb

Genre: Mystery

Notes: Next in series (3rd), , TIOLI (3.8 to 4.2 Star Book - 4.06)

Opinion: I love the characters and like the writing. The mystery left a lot to be desired. It felt like a throw-away villain with few, if any, clues pointing to who did it.

Rating: 7

29Morphidae
Jan 13, 2011, 6:37 pm



7. Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: For the 1001 Fantasy Books to Read Before You Are Turned into a Newt list

Opinion: Moving. Funny. Bloody. Loved "the ancient scholar with a slight character flaw." Didn't get a 10 because it felt a bit episodic, but otherwise a fabulous book.

Rating: 9

30_Zoe_
Jan 13, 2011, 6:47 pm

>24 Morphidae: Oh, that makes sense. My rough rule of thumb is that smaller mass-market-paperback-sized ones are YA and bigger paperbacks are children's, but that doesn't always work out. I sometimes also consider where it's shelved in the bookstore, the LT tags, and the publisher's information on Amazon (though I generally don't care enough to bother with that last option).

I'd probably classify those books as follows:

Mister Monday by Nix - children's
Wise Child by Furlong - YA
Juniper by Furlong - YA
The Sea of Monsters by Riordan - children's
Artemis Fowl by Colfer - children's
The Amulet of Samarkand by Stroud - children's
Dealing with Dragons by Wrede - YA
Searching for Dragons by Wrede - YA
Mairelon the Magician by Wrede - YA

Legacy by Bujold (Sharing Knife series) - adult
Graceling by Cashore - YA
Poison Study by Snyder - adult (although I've seen it in teen sections)
The Eyes of the Dragon by King - adult
Dragonsinger by McCaffrey - YA (possibly only because I bought my own copy at a children's store)
Stardust by Gaiman - adult

I've read fewer than half of these, though. I'd be curious to see how other people would classify them.

31alcottacre
Edited: Jan 14, 2011, 7:30 am

#28: I love that series, which I do not read for the mysteries, lol.

#29: Bridge of Birds was one of my first discoveries in the 75ers group back in the group's first year. I loved the book. Glad to see it has found another fan.

32scaifea
Jan 14, 2011, 7:22 am

OH, sorry Morphy, I just got drool all over your statistics.
*scampers off to get a towel*

33Morphidae
Jan 14, 2011, 7:47 am

LOL. I knew of all people you would appreciate them.

34scaifea
Jan 14, 2011, 7:49 am

:)

35maggie1944
Jan 14, 2011, 7:56 am

Welcome to the madness! I call Artemis Fowl a children's book too; I used to give it to my 6th grade kids all the time.

36norabelle414
Jan 14, 2011, 9:09 am

>30 _Zoe_: I would be more inclined to label The Amulet of Samarkand as YA because it includes some politics and class issues, and Dealing with Dragons (& sequels) as children's because I think it glosses over the more complicated issues. Not that I don't love it.

I think a large amount of science fiction/fantasy are marketed towards YA/children because there's some idea floating around that "adults" (the boring, unimaginative ones) aren't interested in reading things that aren't realistic. And then that, in turn, makes people feel that reading scifi/fantasy is childish because the books are marketed towards young people. It's a vicious circle.

37dk_phoenix
Jan 14, 2011, 9:51 am

>30 _Zoe_:: I'd keep all those classifications except maybe Wrede's series. I'm trying to remember where in the bookstore I picked them up, and it's been awhile since I read them, so I can't recall if the content was a bit older or if it was suitable for 9-12s.

>36 norabelle414:: I wouldn't say a 'large amount of sci-fi/fantasy is marketed toward YA/Children'... what I'd say is that the market demand right now is strong in the YA area, trending toward Middle Grade (9-12s). There are fewer publishing houses putting out new fantasy/sci-fi authors, because that involves taking a risk, and ultimately bookselling is a business (and a floundering one) and they need to make money. If the money is pouring into YA/Children's, that's where they're going to publish more new authors in those genres. There are many, many, MANY people *writing* fantasy/sci-fi for adults right now, but it's just much harder to get your foot in the door as a new author in those areas.

38mamzel
Jan 15, 2011, 4:35 pm

(When are they YA? When Children's?)
One of the major distinctions between these books is the age of the major characters. 12 and under for children and 13 and above for YA. Parents of younger kids and elementary school librarians avoid books with teens because of the mature content. Teens avoid children books because they aren't relative to their concerns and interests. In the H.S. library where I work, a protagonist aged 12 or under means that the book probably won't come into our library. On the rare occasion a student asks for a book that falls into this category we recommend asking their sibling to check it out of their library or visiting the public library.

39rosalita
Jan 16, 2011, 12:11 pm

>25 Morphidae:: So glad to see someone else was not a huge fan of The Shipping News! As a (former) journalist, I thought I would love it, but I really didn't. As you say, none of the characters are particularly likable or sympathetic. I've been feeling guilty for disliking it so much. Icky is a good description!

40Morphidae
Edited: Jan 18, 2011, 7:35 am



8. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Genre: Library has it as nonfiction but it is really fictionalized. I was surprised when I did some research on Herriot.

Notes: For the Ultimate Reading List, TIOLI (first book in a series)

Opinion: Cozy little read about a vet starting his career in 1930s Yorkshire. Every chapter is a separate story. While okay for one book, I will need a break before reading the next in the series as I think they could start blending together as the tone of each is so similar. Otherwise, very enjoyable.

Rating: 8

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
Misery by Stephen King (Reading all King)
Going to read this as fast as I can and only during the day. Totally freaking me out.
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The sexualizing of a 14 year old is making me uncomfortable. Yes, it was probably accurate for the time, but it's still making me uncomfortable.

On Deck:
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn

41scaifea
Jan 18, 2011, 7:46 am

Agreed: Misery is totally creepy. In a really good way. I learned a long time ago that King can only be read in the day, and only on really nice sunny days at that!

42MickyFine
Jan 18, 2011, 5:03 pm

The only Herriot book I've ever read was his collection of stories on cats. However, I have seen and enjoyed many episodes of the British television series based on his books. Maybe when I'm in the mood I'll pick up another of his books.

43mamzel
Jan 18, 2011, 5:32 pm

The audio version of the Herriot books is read by the actor who played him in the TV series. He really had those accents down pat and has the right touch of humor in his voice.

44Aerrin99
Jan 18, 2011, 7:13 pm

I just finished Salem's Lot - King is definitely an author you want daylight hours for, especially near the end of his novels.

45alcottacre
Jan 19, 2011, 12:55 am

I enjoy the entire Herriot series. Glad to see you liked the first one.

46Morphidae
Edited: Jan 20, 2011, 8:16 am



9. Misery by Stephen King

Genre: Horror

Notes: Read to complete King bibliography, TIOLI (proper noun)

Summary: An author gets kidnapped and tortured by his "number one fan."

Opinion: I put off reading this for weeks if not months. I was not looking forward to this one at all. The thought of one person torturing another for a full novel was not my idea of a good time. It ended up being one of the best King's I've read so far. My favorite parts were when Paul was alone and either thinking about the past or Annie's behavior. I also liked how he learned about Annie's history. Misery is a character in a novel, a pig, and the tone of the book - this amused me. (I keep thinking of things I liked - how Paul's mind set changed throughout his ordeal, his panic made ME panic.)

Rating: 8

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
Forgot I had this going via DailyLit email.
Looking for Alaska by John Green (Old 888 challenge)
It's okay so far. Not that absorbing but good enough.

On Deck:
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip

47lunacat
Jan 20, 2011, 12:15 pm

Ohh, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It's not so much 'adventure' driven fantasy, but the language and atmosphere is gorgeous. I love it, so I hope it's to your taste as well.

48Morphidae
Jan 20, 2011, 3:35 pm

"The main body of the building is of the time of that highly- overrated woman, Queen Elizabeth." ~ From The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

HA!

49Aerrin99
Jan 21, 2011, 10:53 am

Huh, I might have to pick up Misery. I've been enjoying some King lately, and I like him best when he spends that time in his characters' heads and goes all introspective.

50Morphidae
Edited: Jan 22, 2011, 5:31 pm



10. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Genre: YA

Notes: For old 888 Challenge (Yes, I'm still working on it. HEY! STOP LAUGHING!), TIOLI (proper noun)

Summary: A sophomore boy goes to boarding school - makes and loses friends

Opinion: Writing was good. The pranks were fun. The overall story was a bit of a yawner and far too angst-ridden for me. Probably perfect for the audience it was written for.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
This is awesome and will be one of my top books this year.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn

On Deck:
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
I, Robot by the good doctor
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down by Sherrilyn Kenyon

51MickyFine
Jan 22, 2011, 6:15 pm

John Green writes some decent YA. I liked Paper Towns and I've heard many wonderful things about Will Grayson, Will Grayson which is on my TBR list. Glad you (moderately) enjoyed this one.

52Morphidae
Jan 22, 2011, 6:23 pm

>51 MickyFine: It wasn't an unpleasant read by any definition. But it wasn't quite my cup of tea. Probably why Twilight also did nothing for me. I left angst behind decades ago.

53_Zoe_
Jan 22, 2011, 6:25 pm

I completely agree with you about Looking for Alaska (although I have to admit that I enjoyed the Twilight books).

54Morphidae
Edited: Jan 31, 2011, 7:54 pm



11. Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: My SantaThing gift from 2009 (Again with the laughing, stop it! Sheesh.), TIOLI (Christmas)

Summary: Sisters - a witch, a werekitty and a vampire - battle encroaching demon scouts in alternate Seattle.

Opinion: I liked the story and the characters - mostly the characters. They were all likable. It was an interesting introduction to the world(s). The men were there mostly as decoration but that's okay. It would have gotten a higher rating but the sex scenes were obligatory and felt tacked on. (Insert two page sex scene here. - Editor)

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Painful to read. I don't know if I can continue. It's been three chapters of slaughter.

On Deck:
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

55drneutron
Jan 25, 2011, 5:55 pm

Nice review! I especially like the part about the demon scouts...What kind of cookies are *they* selling??

56Storeetllr
Edited: Jan 26, 2011, 12:26 am

Hi, Morphy! Just tripped over your thread and thought I'd stop by to see what you've been up to so far this year. Glad to know I'm not the only reader who has four or five (or in your case sometimes more) books going at any one time.

I've heard lots of praise for Bridge of Birds so picked it up from the library just the other day and will be reading it as soon as I finish the ones I'm on now. I've been meaning to read Proulx for awhile now but think I'll skip Shipping News; I'm a very character-centric kind of reader.

(Jim: demon scout cookies ~ haha!)

Edited to correct typo.

57Morphidae
Jan 26, 2011, 6:40 am

>55 drneutron: Brimstone Mints?

>56 Storeetllr: Hey, I'm "only" up to five! On deck means "next." And the bathroom read lasts all year as it's one of those page a day books.

58_Zoe_
Jan 26, 2011, 2:19 pm

>54 Morphidae: Don't worry, I still have unread SantaThing books from 2008 :)

59Aerrin99
Jan 26, 2011, 10:10 pm

Oooh, Hundred Thousand Kingdoms on deck. I really liked that one! The world is very engaging.

60Morphidae
Jan 27, 2011, 6:50 am

Ooooh, I zipped through The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in just a few hours. I really liked it. It took MarySue to all new heights, in a fashion. LOL.

61alcottacre
Jan 28, 2011, 7:25 am

Just waving as I head through the threads, Morphy. You will not see me laughing about your unread 888 challenge books or SantaThing gifts from 2008 since I have books that remain unread in my house from longer ago than that!

62maggie1944
Jan 28, 2011, 9:03 am

oh, me too, *blushes and ducks her head*

63scaifea
Jan 28, 2011, 9:14 am

*waves*
Hi, Morphy!

64Morphidae
Jan 28, 2011, 12:01 pm



12. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: From the 111 Science Fiction Books to Read Before a Supernova Kills Us All, TIOLI (vowels)

Summary: Selection of science fiction short stories about robots

Opinion: Stories are interesting enough but they seem to have lost a bit of the charm I remember. Asimov is more about the story than the people. I must be confusing him with Heinlein in my memory. The suck fairy brushed it a tiny bit, but then flew away.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

On Deck:
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

65Morphidae
Jan 28, 2011, 12:19 pm



13. Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Genre: Erotica

Notes: To complete Kenyon's bibliography, TIOLI (duplicate word)

Summary: Selection of three erotica stories

Opinion: Meh. I typically don't read straight erotica though I like my urban fantasy smut. I wasn't interested in the characters, didn't have a chance to learn enough about them in this format. Two of the guys were real jerks - one just a snarky SOB, the other a boozing, wenching SOB. The last guy was nice enough but the world was teenage boy's wet dream fodder. I found myself scanning the actual erotica - sad. The third story was interesting enough that I might look up the author's other works - except she only writes erotica. Double meh.

Rating: 6

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

On Deck:
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

66Morphidae
Jan 28, 2011, 12:27 pm



14. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: For the Women of Fantasy Challenge

Summary: A tribal chief gets called to the capital and is named heir to the throne

Opinion: Wonderful story. Wonderful characters. Wonderful world-building. It is near impossible to go more into a review without spoilers. The ending, while over the top, fits. Normally I don't rate books this high unless it's a feel good book. And it is, sort of. But it is dark in other ways.

Rating: 8

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

On Deck:
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

67Morphidae
Jan 28, 2011, 12:31 pm



15. Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: To complete Briggs bibliography

Summary: A mercenary spy and her shape-changing lover go to her home for her father's funeral. But it seems he isn't dead.

Opinion: I love Briggs' writing - her characters especially - and would have rated this higher except how she handled the mystery of who spelled her father annoyed me. "It's this person! No, it's this person! Whoops, it's this person!" And then when you found out who it really, really was - the book ended.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (DailyLit email)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

On Deck:
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

68Aerrin99
Jan 28, 2011, 3:36 pm

Glad to see you enjoyed The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms! Although I wished for stronger characters in a few places, I thought her world was fantastic, and one of the most original I'd read in quite awhile! She had me hooked very quickly and I will probably read just about anything else she sets in that universe. Her mythology is great!

69alcottacre
Jan 29, 2011, 2:44 am

I really hope my local library gets a copy of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms! It looks terrific.

70Morphidae
Jan 29, 2011, 7:47 am

>68 Aerrin99: Aerrin, I agree, though it really did work to focus on the "main" three.

>69 alcottacre: alcott, I had to wait almost a month for my copy. It was worth the wait!

71mckait
Jan 29, 2011, 12:15 pm

Morphy! nice to see you here :)

72Morphidae
Edited: Jan 31, 2011, 7:48 pm



16. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Notes: To finish The Hunger Games trilogy recommended by LT members

Summary: Katniss is a reluctant figurehead for the rebellion against a dystopian government

Opinion: The writing makes it a compelling read yet overall the story depressed me. Katniss seemed mostly to just react to events until the very end.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

On Deck:
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
The BFG by Roald Dahl

73Morphidae
Edited: Jan 31, 2011, 7:54 pm



17. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

Notes: Liked The Giver, next in trilogy, TIOLI (color)

Summary: Young girl fears being cast out but instead becomes someone important to the dystopian town's government

Opinion: Again, intriguing story and hard to put down, but overall depressing. I really liked the characters. They seemed likable and real. Yet again, the main character is mainly reactive rather than proactive and I questioned her decision at the end of the book. Would she really have done so?

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

On Deck:
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
The BFG by Roald Dahl

74Morphidae
Edited: Jan 31, 2011, 7:55 pm



18. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Genre: Classics

Notes: Mentioned in The Thirteenth Tale, TIOLI (color)

Summary: A gothic suspense about the trials and triumphs of a drawing master, a beautiful lady and her sister.

Opinion: Liked all the characters except Laura who was a total non-entity even though the story is really about what happened to her. Can't figure out why the hero would fall in love with her. Otherwise, an excellent story. When I went to figure out how many pages were in it (I read it via DailyLit), I was very surprised to find out it was over 500 pages. It felt like such a fast read!

Rating: 8

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

On Deck:
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
The BFG by Roald Dahl

75_Zoe_
Jan 31, 2011, 7:51 pm

I was also pretty disappointed with both Mockingjay and Gathering Blue. I hope your next reads are better.

76Morphidae
Edited: Jan 31, 2011, 7:55 pm



19. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Genre: Children's

Notes: For 50 State Challenge, TIOLI (first in series)

Summary: Couple of kids attempt to buy and tame a wild mare and her filly

Opinion: Eh, it's a kid's book. I felt it lacked in comparison to The Black Stallion which I adored. Perhaps it's aimed at a younger set. It was written in such a way, I kept expecting to see every sentence end in exclamations! The style was a bit simplistic even for a children's book.

Rating: 6

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

On Deck:
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
The BFG by Roald Dahl

77Aerrin99
Jan 31, 2011, 9:52 pm

Wow, that's a trip down memory lane! I remember adoring the Misty books when I was about 8. WILD HORSES. BEST THING EVER. Etc etc.

I liked Mockingjay pretty well - but then, I like bleak and hopeless angst. I agree with you about Gathering Blue, though. I think it's the weakest of the three books.

78_Zoe_
Jan 31, 2011, 9:55 pm

I didn't even want to touch Messenger, because I was afraid it would ruin The Giver for me.

79alcottacre
Feb 1, 2011, 4:14 am

I read the entire Giver trilogy and I did not think that either of the other two books lived up to the initial one, which I loved.

80Morphidae
Feb 1, 2011, 6:50 am

>77 Aerrin99: Aerrin, yeah. I'm so not into the "bleak and hopeless" thing. I've fought depression for 20+ years and don't like reading stuff like that. I can too easily feel bleak and hopeless myself. I read to escape feeling that way!

>78 _Zoe_: Zoe, I don't know if I'll read Messenger or not. Probably not this year anyway.

>79 alcottacre: alcott, that's why I picked up Gathering Blue - I really liked The Giver. It wasn't a *major* disappointment, but it certainly wasn't as good as The Giver.

81Whisper1
Feb 2, 2011, 12:48 am

Hi There

I'm compiling a list of birthdays of our group members. If you haven't done so already, would you mind stopping by this thread and posting yours.

Thanks.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/105833

82Morphidae
Feb 4, 2011, 5:14 pm



20. Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: To complete Bujold bibliography

Summary: Three short stories about Miles Vorkosigan

Opinion: I seem to prefer short stories to Miles over novels. I don't normally care too much for short stories, but it works well for Bujold. The stories are crisp and move along well. There is just enough detail that you could read the stories on their own and still enjoy them.

Rating: 8

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (TIOLI, LT Recommended)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists)
via DailyLit

On Deck:
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings

83Morphidae
Feb 4, 2011, 5:36 pm



21. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Ultimate book list, 1001 Fantasy list, TIOLI (#10 two previous challenges)

Summary: An average Joe discovers another world under London

Opinion: I would have given it a higher rating if I had liked any of the characters. Richard was a non-entity most of the time. Door was one-dimensional. The marquis was a jerk, etc. The two secondary villains were too over-the-top. What saved the book for me was the world-building and the story itself.

Rating: 6

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (TIOLI, LT Recommended)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists)
via DailyLit

On Deck:
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings

84Morphidae
Feb 4, 2011, 5:43 pm



22. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: 1001 Fantasy

Summary: A wizardess alone with her legendary animals finds love in caring for a baby and the man who brings him

Opinion: Wow. Just wow. What a lovely story. I liked the characters - powerful yet flawed. I loved the rhythm of her writing. The story was one of hope and redemption. Yes. Yes. Yes. This will become a favorite, I'm sure.

Rating: 9

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (TIOLI, LT Recommended)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists)
via DailyLit

On Deck:
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings

85Morphidae
Feb 4, 2011, 5:48 pm



23. Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

Genre: Humor

Notes: Ultimate book list

Summary: Short essays on fatherhood

Opinion: Meh. He's much better as a stand-up than a writer. I could also be biased because I've listened to much of his work and the book seemed to only have part of the "good" stuff. Made me chuckle a bit, but his stand-up makes me belly laugh until I can't breathe. And what was the deal with the foreword and afterwood? Some other guy writing about the social history of fatherhood. Dude, boring.

Rating: 6

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (TIOLI, LT Recommended)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists)
via DailyLit

On Deck:
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings

86Morphidae
Edited: Feb 4, 2011, 5:57 pm



24. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Steampunk

Notes: Fantasy February group read, TIOLI (#17 traveling animal)

Summary: Two kids travel in a Victorian Era filled with fantastic created animals and mechanical wonders

Opinion: While the non-stop action is probably perfect for kids, it wasn't my cup of tea. I prefer a bit more characterization and interaction between players. Interesting and well-conceived concept though.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (TIOLI, LT Recommended)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists)
via DailyLit

On Deck:
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings

87alcottacre
Feb 5, 2011, 12:54 am

#84: I really enjoyed that one too. It was my introduction to McKillip's work. I am really still just learning about the fantasy and science fiction genres.

#86: I am currently reading that one. I read a lot of young adult and knew the book was YA going in. I think a lot of the people in the group read did not know that.

88lunacat
Feb 5, 2011, 8:43 am

Glad to see another The Forgotten Beasts of Eld lover. I've just finished reading The Last Unicorn, which reminded me a lot of it, both the lyrical language, and the atmosphere. I'd definitely recommend it as you liked Eld.

89Aerrin99
Feb 7, 2011, 12:52 pm

I agree with you on Borders of Infinity, Neverwhere, and Leviathan.

I do like Miles in novel form - especially in the Mirror Dance and Memory saga - but the short stories are quite good.

I've decided I'm just not a big Gaiman fan - I feel that way about most of his books. And character tends to make or break it for me.

I liked Leviathan pretty well while reading it, but it disappeared from my brain almost immediately after. I chalk that up to the lack of strong characters, but I remember thinking at the time that it was more 'children's' than YA and that they'd love the crazy original world and the boom boom boom plot. I'll pick up the sequel eventually, but I'm in no hurry.

90Morphidae
Feb 7, 2011, 2:46 pm

About the only Gaiman I really liked was Stardust. I was meh about Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book. I sort of liked American Gods but it "disappeared from my brain."

Like you, I'll pick up Behemoth one of these days but I'm in no hurry either.

91MickyFine
Feb 7, 2011, 5:02 pm

Stardust is the only Gaiman I've ever read and for me it was one of the rare cases where I preferred the film to the book. One of these days I'll try something else by him and see if my opinion of his writing improves.

92Kassilem
Feb 9, 2011, 7:17 pm

Found and *starred*! I haven't read any of you 2011 reads yet, but some of them look like books I'd like to read, especially the Kim Harrison and Patricia Briggs books. Congrats on finishing 24 books already! I'm a little bit jealous :)

93Morphidae
Edited: Feb 13, 2011, 7:26 pm



25. Joust
26. Alta
27. Sanctuary
28. Aerie by Mercedes Lackey


Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Re-read of series, Joust - TIOLI #5 (2 vowels, warm), Alta - TIOLI #15 (2nd book in series)

Summary: Joust - serf (pig) boy in alternate ancient Egypt becomes a dragon boy, Alta - dragon boy flees to Upper Egypt and finds a new life, Sanctuary - Jouster boy helps save the day against evil Magi, Aerie - Jouster boy saves the day again

Opinion: The first two books are delightful. I like the setting, the dragons and I have always enjoyed Lackey's pig boy stories. The second two books aren't as good. Yes, he saves the day but there isn't the emotional connection or character growth as in the first two books.

Rating: Joust and Alta - 8, Sanctuary - 7, Aerie - 6

94Morphidae
Edited: Feb 13, 2011, 7:26 pm



29. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimme Bender

Genre: Fiction (Magical Realism)

Notes: LT Recommended, TIOLI #4 (Tournament of Books)

Summary: A young girl is able to taste the emotions of the cook in the food that is prepared

Opinion: I really liked the concept and the main character but the execution was lacking in some way. A bit too far out especially when it came to the brother's "talent" and the ending was disappointing.

Rating: 7

95Morphidae
Feb 13, 2011, 5:52 pm



30. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Next in Butcher bibliography

Summary: Short story collection about our Chicago wizard, Dresden

Opinion: As with the Miles collection, I found I really enjoyed the short stories about Dresden. Whereas with Miles, my interest flags in novel length, Dresden novels leave me exhausted. It was much nicer to take Dresden in short doses, so to speak.

Rating: 8

96Morphidae
Edited: Feb 13, 2011, 7:03 pm



31. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: From the 111 Science Fiction Books to Read Before a Supernova Kills Us All list

Summary: A bounty hunter has to hunt and kill some 'droids.

Opinion: The summary and the character names are about all that is in common between this book and the movie, Blade Runner. I think I would have rated this book higher if I could have gotten the movie out of my head. I l kept thinking "but the movie had it all wrong." This book is about racism and what makes us human.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists, DailyLit)
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Green Dragon group read)
Songs of Love and Death by George R. R. Martin, ed. (Just because)

On Deck:
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris
Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg

97Aerrin99
Feb 13, 2011, 8:25 pm

I keep meaning to read Do Androids Dream... - my boyfriend loved the book. I'm not a huge fan of the movie, so I think that keeps putting me off (perhaps unfairly).

98Morphidae
Feb 13, 2011, 9:03 pm

As I said, it's a very different book. The androids aren't all baddies but he has to kill them anyway. And he's married. And has a very different life than the character in the movie. It's just as bleak though, if not more so.

99alcottacre
Feb 14, 2011, 2:22 am

I also have been meaning to get to Do Androids Dream. Maybe one of these days I actually will.

100thornton37814
Feb 14, 2011, 6:17 pm

>96 Morphidae: I think the answer to the book's title question is: only if they have the right app.

101mmignano11
Feb 14, 2011, 6:54 pm

Hi, I don't think I have welcomed you to the 75ers yet, so hello and good luck. Happy Valentine's day!

102scaifea
Feb 16, 2011, 7:54 am

#100: *snork!*

103Morphidae
Feb 16, 2011, 11:06 am

Yesterday, I read 53 pages of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie and all 365 pages of Soulless by Gail Carriger.

104Morphidae
Feb 17, 2011, 7:08 am

Yesterday, I read 77 pages of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, 156 pages of A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris and all 293 pages of Owlflight by Mercedes Lackey.

105alcottacre
Feb 18, 2011, 2:20 am

#104: Sounds like you had a great reading day, Morphy!

106Morphidae
Feb 18, 2011, 7:06 am

Yesterday, I read the final 112 pages of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and 140 pages of Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg.

107Morphidae
Feb 20, 2011, 7:26 pm



32. Songs of Love and Death by George R. R. Martin (ed.)

Genre: Fiction

Notes: Can't remember what made me decide to read this other than it had several of my favorite authors

Summary: Short stories about star-crossed lovers from all genres

Opinion: Most of the stories were depressing, not surprisingly considering the theme. Some made absolutely no sense. I liked "Hurt Me" by M. L. N. Hanover. It was a spooky story and I liked the main character. I didn't like The Thing About Cassandra by Neil Gaiman. It tried to be clever and instead just left me scratching my head, wondering what I missed.

Rating: 6

108Morphidae
Edited: Feb 20, 2011, 7:56 pm



33. Soulless by Gail Carriger

Genre: Fantasy?

Notes: LT Recommended, TIOLI (#3 75 Book Challenge 2010 Favorite)

Summary: I described this to my husband as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the movie) but with a spinster bluestocking as the lead character.

Opinion: Fantastic. It has something for everyone. Comedy. Romance. Action. Mystery. Fantasy. I convinced my husband to read it and he's enjoying it. This is a rare thing. Some people call it too "romance-y" but MrMorphy, who really doesn't like romance, doesn't feel the same way. I adore Alexie and can't wait to read more about her and her Duke.

Rating: 9

109Morphidae
Feb 20, 2011, 7:37 pm



34. Sleeping with Bread by Dennis, Sheila and Matthew Linn

Genre: Spirituality

Notes: Recommended by minister

Summary: Teaches examen - two questions to ask yourself every day. What brought you joy and consolation and what brought you unhappiness and desolation?

Opinion: Very good, very short book. It's a nice little spiritual practice and is a good start for me. Mostly non-denominational but still religious in tone.

Rating: 8

110Morphidae
Feb 20, 2011, 7:41 pm



35. A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: To complete Sookie series

Summary: Collection of Sookie short stories

Opinion: Lots of fun and the stories were well done. I would not recommend buying this book, however. It is VERY short and I think people would be disappointed. Borrow it from the library instead and enjoy it for an hour or two.

Rating: 8

111Morphidae
Edited: Feb 20, 2011, 7:56 pm



36. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

Genre: Fiction

Notes: Read because I adored The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Ultimate Reading Book list, TIOLI (#1 embedded word - loner)

Summary: Short story collection about American Indians and living on a reservation

Opinion: It was bloody awful. I can't believe this is the same author. The rare bits of straight-forward story telling were fine; however, the rest of it read like poetry in paragraph form by someone on some major drugs. It made little sense to me.

Rating: 4

112Morphidae
Edited: Feb 20, 2011, 7:52 pm



37. Owlflight
38. Owlsight
39. Owlknight by Mercedes Lackey


Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Re-read because I was feeling down

Summary: Darian grows up in a Valdemar much changed by the Mage Storms

Opinion: I think I've read these too many times. While enjoyable, there wasn't quite the charm I remember and the last one especially felt episodic. Still, they worked for the mood I was in.

Rating: 7 (all)

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists, DailyLit)
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Green Dragon group read)
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (LT Recommended)

On Deck:
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings

113maggie1944
Feb 20, 2011, 8:00 pm

I am sorry Morph, that you did not like The Lone Ranger...et al. Maybe it is because I have seen Sherman Alexie in person, and have listened to him read from this book, that I loved it. I know it is pretty bleak in its description of life on the Res, but he is so hopeful despite all that, and has such a great sense of humor. Oh, well, I guess we can't expect to all like all the same books.

Hopefully, you will enjoy some books that you are reading now....like Crime and Punishment!

114Morphidae
Feb 20, 2011, 8:04 pm

LOL! Very funny. No, enjoy is not a word I would use for Crime and Punishment. It is interesting though - in very small doses.

The Uncommon Reader is a fun little novella though. It's about the Queen of England getting hooked on books. I like the part where she hides a book under the cushion of the carriage.

115drneutron
Feb 20, 2011, 9:10 pm

Cool! I'm glad you and MrMorphy both like Blameless. the wife and I have enjoyed 'em together too.

116ronincats
Feb 20, 2011, 9:17 pm

I'm glad you enjoyed Soulless--while it was fun, I actually think I like the next two even better!

i really loved the Lord Valentine trilogy in the 80s--I know I have read them at least 3 times, but it's been quite a while--probably mid-90s--since my last read. I'll be interested in your reaction to them.

117alcottacre
Feb 21, 2011, 3:15 am

Lots of good reading, Morphy! Thanks for the reviews and recommendations.

118Morphidae
Feb 23, 2011, 7:26 am

I'm reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Oryx and Crake and Hey, Waitress! and can't seem to get into the groove of any of them. *sighs*

119scaifea
Feb 25, 2011, 3:37 pm

#118: I'm just now ready to start Oryx and Crake myself!

120Morphidae
Mar 1, 2011, 4:14 pm



40. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Genre: Mystery

Notes: Green Dragon group read, TIOLI #16 (doctor reference - two on the first page!)

Summary: Sherlock Holmes and Watson figure out a mysterious death and who - or what - is trying to kill the heir.

Opinion: This was my first Holmes. I liked the atmosphere and the story. I didn't care that much for Holmes. I found him to be surprisingly abrupt and arrogant.

Rating: 6

121Morphidae
Mar 1, 2011, 4:21 pm



41. Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: Ultimate Reading list, 1001 Fantasy list, TIOLI #14 (Valentine)

Summary: A man appears outside a city without memory of his past. This is a "traveling" fantasy. Lots of travel.

Opinion: It was pretty awful. Far too much description. Lots of time jumps - "One month later..." I didn't care about the characters and they were very one-dimensional. About the only thing good that kept my interest long enough to finish the book was the world-building.

Rating: 5

122Morphidae
Mar 1, 2011, 4:26 pm



42. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Genre: Fiction

Notes: LT Recommended, TIOLI #3 (75 Book Challenge 2010 Favorite)

Summary: The Queen of England discovers the joys and pains of reading after discovering a bookmobile outside the palace

Opinion: The first half was amusing and fun. I could relate to the Queen and her love of reading and what she had to do to get around her staff. The second half got weird and a bit preachy. I'm not sure what the author was trying to do.

Rating: First half: 8, second half: 4, therefore, I give it a 6.

123Morphidae
Mar 1, 2011, 4:33 pm



43. Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks

Genre: Urban Fantasy (not quite paranormal romance, but close)

Notes: Old TBR list

Summary: A detective determines that the werewolf prince didn't commit murder. But then who did?

Opinion: Very good story. Liked the main characters. They have their failures and foibles. The secondary characters have personality. Some quite fun. Happy but not saccharine ending. Good world-building. I'll continue reading the series. The only thing that felt off was how easily the heroine "gave into" the bond.

Rating: 8

124Morphidae
Mar 1, 2011, 4:39 pm



44. Storm Warning
45. Storm Rising
46. Storm Breaking by Mercedes Lackey


Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Comfort re-reads, Storm Warning - TIOLI #8 (Touchstone Confusion), Storm Rising - TIOLI #15 (second in series

Summary: The catastrophic effects of the Cataclysm reflect back over time and young priest Karal is in the midst of the frantic efforts to survive

Opinion: Great trilogy. Lackey is one of my favorite comfort reads, if not my favorite.

Rating: Storm Warning - 8, Storm Rising - 7, Storm Breaking - 7

125Morphidae
Mar 1, 2011, 5:26 pm



47. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Genre: Science Fiction (no matter what Atwood says)

Notes: TIOLI #9 (Canada Reads)

Summary: A sole human survivor of a plague ruminates over his past

Opinion: It took me about half the book to get involved in it. The style was a bit off-putting and didn't hold my interest. I finally got into the rhythm of it and was able to finish. It's more of a morality tale than anything else. The most interest parts weren't even about Snowman (the main character), but Oryx.

Rating: 6

126Morphidae
Edited: Mar 1, 2011, 5:38 pm



48. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Genre: Children's

Notes: US 50 State Challenge

Summary: A young girl goes to live with her aunts

Opinion: Not as fun as Anne. Rebecca didn't have much of a personality and the story was rather slow and preachy.

Rating: 6

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists - DailyLit)
Hey, Waitress! by Alison Owings
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

On Deck:
Years by LaVyrle Spencer
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Changeless by Gail Carriger

127MickyFine
Mar 1, 2011, 6:10 pm

#120 Great nutshell description of Holmes' personality. Last year I read all of the Holmes stories and novels and I have to agree that he's never particularly sympathetic. I much prefer Watson. But the mysteries were always well-built and I always enjoyed how they were resolved.

128scaifea
Mar 2, 2011, 7:09 am

Morphy: I'm a little ways into Oryx and Crake and I'm liking it so far, but I think that may have something to do with having read The Year of the Flood first. If you haven't read that one, I'd recommend it (so far I think it's quite a bit better than O&C).

129Morphidae
Mar 7, 2011, 12:17 pm



49. Hey, Waitress by Alison Owings

Genre: Nonfiction

Notes: Old TBR list

Summary: Selection of bios of waitresses in the USA from all walks of life

Opinion: When I was learning something interesting about waitressing such as that certain restaurants would hire only waiters or why you serve from the left and pick up from the right, it was good. Otherwise, I found the personal lives rather boring. Unfortunately, that was the vast majority of the book.

Rating: 6

130Morphidae
Edited: Mar 7, 2011, 12:23 pm



50. Exile's Honor
51. Exile's Valor
52. Arrows of the Queen
53. Arrow's Flight
54. Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey


Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Comfort re-read, someone called Lackey the macaroni and cheese of the literary world and I have to agree.

Summary: Tales from Valdemar - an enemy captain becomes a Herald (Exile) and a "pig-girl" does as well (Arrows)

Opinion: Re-re-re-re-re-etc-read. Obviously I like them.

Rating: 7
(I HAVE re-read them numerous times so they don't have quite the appeal as they used to.)

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists - DailyLit)
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

On Deck:
Years by LaVyrle Spencer
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Changeless by Gail Carriger

131Morphidae
Mar 7, 2011, 1:25 pm



55. River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: To complete Briggs bibliography

Summary: Mercy and Adam go on their honeymoon and fall into a challenging situation with a river spirit

Opinion: I like to read a novel where you get to see what happens in a relationship AFTER the "happily ever after." How do two people learn to live with each other? The fantasy adventure portion was good, but what really made this was the relationships between not just Mercy and Adam, but with relatives, the pack and friends.

Rating: 8

132Morphidae
Mar 7, 2011, 1:34 pm



56. Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: To complete Lackey bibliography

Summary: Three stories - a Diana Tregarde prequel, a Jennifer Talldeer sequel and a new character, technoshaman Ellen McBridge

Opinion: I really liked the Tregarde - it filled in some back history; liked the Jennifer Talldeer - the story was interesting; and liked the technoshaman story - it's the only one that made me laugh out loud, but I couldn't get connected to the characters like I usually can with Lackey. Glad I read it but not Lackey's best writing.

Rating: 7

133ronincats
Mar 7, 2011, 4:44 pm

I've been wondering whether Trio of Sorcery was worth reading--I liked both the Talldeer and the Tregarde books, but much of her most recent stuff (other than the Exile and Skif books) has underwhelmed me. You inspired me to check out my library's catalog--they have it and I've put it on hold.

134Morphidae
Mar 8, 2011, 9:30 am



57. The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: Hugo, Nebula, 111SF, The Women of Science Fiction Book Club

Summary: An anarchist/physicist leaves his home to visit the original colonial planet his people rebelled against

Opinion: I’ve read the Earthsea novels and The Left Hand of Darkness which I thought were good. However, I barely made it through The Dispossessed. Too much politics, too much philosophy, too little plot. I liked learned about the two societies but I could have done without the pages of preaching. I’m hoping to like Darkship Thieves (next Book Club read) or I may drop out of this challenge because I didn’t like Dust (previous Book Club read) either. Maybe this genre just isn’t my cup of tea. We’ll see.

Rating: 5

135Storeetllr
Edited: Mar 8, 2011, 1:02 pm

Hi, Morphy ~ I loved the Earthsea novels and Left Hand of Darkness when I read them long ago, and I remember reading The Dispossessed back then too but have forgotten it completely. Ursula Le Guin used to be one of my favorite sf/fantasy authors, but somewhere along the line she lost me. I've found that many of the writers of sf (whether sci fi, spec fi, or fantasy) I read and loved back in the 70s and 80s just don't do it for me today.

Has your sf book club read anything by Louise Marley yet? If not, you might check out The Terrorists of Irustan, which is an amazing novel.

136elfchild
Mar 8, 2011, 1:33 pm

I've had a little time to go poking back through your thread...like you I consider Lackey (Valdemar in particular) a comfort read, especially the first 2 trilogies. I'm so glad that you liked The Forgotten Beasts of Eld! That was my introduction to fantasy years ago.

137Morphidae
Mar 8, 2011, 3:58 pm

>135 Storeetllr: The club is an online one. You can see what we are reading for the year at: http://dreamsandspeculation.com/2010/09/02/2011-book-club/

>136 elfchild: I think I'm going to read the Magic trilogy next.

138Storeetllr
Mar 8, 2011, 9:49 pm

Very cool site, Morphy! I almost signed up, because there are books there I've been meaning to read for a long time, but I decided to favorite the site, check in once in awhile to see what's going on, and think about whether to take on the challenge this year. Still, it's tempting...

140Morphidae
Mar 9, 2011, 4:24 pm



58. Years by LaVyrle Spencer

Genre: Romance

Notes: 50 State Challenge

Summary: 18 year old goes to teach in early 1900s North Dakota

Opinion: Beautiful. Loved all the characters. The romance obstacle was solved a little too easily but otherwise a lovely story if a bit sad near the end when a blizzard and a plague take their toll.

Rating: 8

141Morphidae
Mar 9, 2011, 4:31 pm



59. Changeless by Gail Carriger

Genre: Fantasy (steampunk & paranormal)

Notes: To continue the series

Summary: Alexia has to figure out why the paranormal inhabitants of London are becoming human

Opinion: Not as clever as the first, Soulless, but still a lot of fun. The scene where she "handles" the Major was priceless. I was a little annoyed by the cliff hanger ending.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (Old TBR list - audiobook)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists - DailyLit)
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

On Deck:
The BFG by Roald Dahl
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Elfland by Freda Warrington

142Morphidae
Mar 12, 2011, 8:35 pm



60. Blameless by Gail Carriger

Genre: Fantasy (steampunk)

Notes: Next in series, March TIOLI #9 (word combo - blame+less)

Summary: Alexia hares off to Italy to find some answers

Opinion: This was an on the road story. It was okay. It felt a little repetitive. While I love Alexia and her friends, their mannerisms started to grate. It might have been better if I spread out read the trilogy over more than a couple weeks. The situation between her and her husband also resolved too quickly. He messed up big time and it was "fixed" in a page or two. That all being said, I'm definitely reading more of Carriger and this series.

Rating: 7

143Morphidae
Mar 12, 2011, 8:37 pm



61. The BFG by Roald Dahl

Genre: Children

Notes: On lists

Summary: An orphan girl is kidnapped by a giant

Opinion: While I found the story plot too simplistic and the characterization minimal, I loved the giant's way of talking. It made me smile. It's hard for me to judge children's books, I guess. I expect almost as much from them as I do adult books. I compare them to The Secret Garden or Charlotte's Web and most often find them lacking.

Rating: 6

144Morphidae
Mar 12, 2011, 8:39 pm



62. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Genre: Spirituality

Notes: 888, March TIOLI #12 (philosophy)

Summary: Essays about life written at the beach in the 1950s

Opinion: There were parts that were dated, such as women's roles. Yet there were parts that were very relevant to today, such as how complex life has become and how we need to slow down and make choices. My favorite parts were where she described being at the beach. I grew up in Florida and it made me realize how very much I miss the beach and the ocean.

Rating: 7

145Morphidae
Mar 17, 2011, 5:54 pm



63. Magic's Pawn
64. Magic's Promise
65. Magic's Price by Mercedes Lackey


Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Re-read

Summary: Blah blah irritating pig boy blah blah saves the world blah blah

Opinion: This is the sixth or seventh (maybe tenth) re-read. Enough said.

Rating: 7-ish to 8-ish

146Morphidae
Edited: Mar 17, 2011, 6:06 pm



66. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

Genre: Historical Fiction, audiobook

Notes: Liked Girl with a Pearl Earring, old TBR list

Summary: Fictionalized history of the Unicorn tapestries

Opinion: While I loved learning how tapestries were made and the writing make it easy to get into the flow of the story, the characters were for the most part unsympathetic. This was an audio book and I liked the accents of the narrators, especially the female, Terry Donnelly.

Rating: 7

147Morphidae
Mar 17, 2011, 6:06 pm



67. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marakami

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: 1001 Fantasy, March TIOLI #7 (wishlist)

Summary: A Japanese man looks for a lost cat and the wife who left him and meets some very unusual people along the way

Opinion: I went back and forth between rating this a 6 and a 7. I finally settled on a 7 because despite the rambling and odd nature of it and its length, I cared about the characters and wanted to know what happened. Also, he gives a good sense of place without being flowery. But then I want to change it to a 6 again because there was little resolution to ANY of the plot threads. I was left with the feeling of "who are these people?"

Rating: 6 or 7, depending on the moment

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Many lists - DailyLit)
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville (1001 Fantasy, lists)
Healing the Eight Stages of Life by Matthew Linn (read something else by same author that I liked)

On Deck:
Elfland by Freda Warrington
Women in Their Beds by Gina Barriault
The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale

148scaifea
Mar 17, 2011, 6:12 pm

I've added Years to my wishlist - sounds like something I'd like.

I liked The BFG, but it's not my favorite Dahl; if you haven't already, I'd suggest Danny the Champion of the World. It's my favorite.

149elfchild
Mar 19, 2011, 10:51 am

#149> The Last Herald Mage is probably my favorite Valdemar trilogy. I wish I knew where my copies were. They were out on the shelf in CA and I have run across others in the series so they must be somewhere in the house.

150Morphidae
Mar 21, 2011, 4:31 pm

I know why they call it Crime and Punishment. It's a crime that it was published and it's a punishment to read.

Halfway through, I've quit this yawner.

151elfchild
Mar 21, 2011, 11:34 pm

Sorry about Crime and Punishment. I started reading Soulless this evening and I am enjoying it. Thank you.

152norabelle414
Mar 22, 2011, 9:22 am

The same thing happened to me with Crime and Punishment when I read it many years ago. I think I ended up reading every other page just to get it over with.

153Morphidae
Mar 24, 2011, 4:05 pm



68. Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Re-read

Summary: Usual Lackey pig boy plot

Opinion: Re-read

Rating: 7

154Morphidae
Edited: Mar 24, 2011, 4:08 pm



69. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: 2009 TBR List, 1001 Fantasy

Summary: Big bad butterflies batter baleful burg

Opinion: SPOILERS AHEAD. It was awful. I have no idea how I finished this. As it is, a quarter of it I skimmed. Too much description of an awful city. No, I don't need pages of cable being laid down. Nor of character's walks from dreary place to ugly place. Awful things happen to the characters. There is not one speck of hope or good. There are pages of philosophy, math and "science" that make no sense. Author wrote with a thesaurus in hand.

Only reason I could stand it was the races were interesting and I wanted to see how the monsters were taken care of. I could have saved myself some time. They ate themselves to death? Really? That's how you kill big nasties? That's the best you could do? Half the races you couldn't understand what they were thinking or saying. I supposed the author was trying to be clever. Instead it was unreadable nonsense. You couldn't pay me to read anything else by Mieville. YUCK PTOOEY.

Rating: 2

155Morphidae
Mar 24, 2011, 4:13 pm



70. Good Goats by Linn, Dennis, et al.

Genre: Spirituality

Notes: Like another book by authors, March TIOLI #4 (Up or Down)

Summary: Subtitle: Healing Our Image of God

Opinion: Pretty decent book. It had some good points. It's a very liberal Christian view of God which I like - both masculine and feminine, never punishing, always loving. A little Jesus-y for me, but it is Christian non-fiction after all. Sheila who is Jewish, gives it a more non-denominational feel, I suppose.

Rating: 7

156drneutron
Mar 24, 2011, 4:19 pm

So I suppose I needn't recommend Mieville's The City and the City... :)

157Morphidae
Mar 24, 2011, 4:21 pm

>156 drneutron: *makes gagging noises*

158Morphidae
Mar 24, 2011, 4:42 pm



71. Elfland by Freda Warrington

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: The Women of Fantasy Book Club, March TIOLI #9 (word combo - elf+land)

Summary: A small village girl and her family are affected by the closing of the gate between worlds

Opinion: I liked it. There were some less than stellar reviews because it is a romance, slow-paced and there are few fantasy elements. However, Warrington is a good writer. I cared about the characters, even the unpleasant ones and liked the world she built. It's sort of a "cozy" fantasy family saga.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Many lists - DailyLit)
Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton, et al.

On Deck:
The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

159elfchild
Mar 24, 2011, 8:10 pm

#156, 157> ROFL

LKH is one of the few authors that I am currently 'caught up' on. I like her Meredith Gentry books better than her Anita Blake ones but that is probably my love of fantasy shining through; I'm not a big vampire/werewolf person. I also prefer her full length novels to the short ones she's slipped in there lately.

Elfland sounds like something I would like.

160Morphidae
Mar 24, 2011, 8:17 pm

I prefer the Gentry books, too. Another series I love almost as much is the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop. Read any of hers?

Elfland has lots of family drama rather than issues that affect kingdoms or worlds. I liked it.

161elfchild
Mar 24, 2011, 8:36 pm

Every one of them. I like Bishop more than Gentry. I think there is a new one coming out this summer. I also liked her Ephemera duology. She's got a trilogy that I have not read (because neither the old nor the new library system had it).

Anne Bishop and Jacqueline Carey are my two favorite author discoveries of the past few years...prior to that would be Robin Hobb.

**adds Elfland to ever growing TBR list**

162Morphidae
Mar 25, 2011, 6:47 am

I found Hobb too depressing for me. She tortures her characters.

Carey rules.

How about Kim Harrison? She's not as erotic as the other three, but the dark fantasy elements are there. Start with Dead Witch Walking. You might also like Curse of Chalion by Bujold.

163elfchild
Mar 25, 2011, 8:53 am

My husband found the Rain Wild books depressing for that reason. If you dislike character torture avoid Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books (which are excellent historical fiction).

I think the only Carey I have yet to read is her Sundering duology. One of these days.

I haven't tried Kim Harrison. thanks. Is Curse of Chalion a standalone or part of a series? I was working my way through Miles before we moved and haven't gone searching here. I think I was juggling too many series and not enough singletons so I was missing fresh voices and characters.

164Morphidae
Mar 25, 2011, 9:02 am

Curse of Chalion is a stand alone although there are two sequels that stand alone but should be read in order just because of some minor details. Paladin of Souls follows a secondary character in Curse and is set after Curse. The Hallowed Hunt has different characters but there is some minor mention of the main country of Curse and Paladin. I loved Curse, liked Paladin and didn't like Hunt. But other people have loved Hunt. So, give it a shot.

165elfchild
Mar 25, 2011, 9:19 am

I've added it to my TBR list for after Mystery March concludes. thank you.

166Morphidae
Mar 25, 2011, 9:33 am

Great. I particularly like the treatment of religion in Curse and Paladin. They have five gods - Father, Mother, Daughter, Son and Bastard.

167elfchild
Mar 25, 2011, 10:31 am

I have a new tag now...Morphy rec'd :-)

I love the 1001 Fantasy Books to Read Before You Are Turned Into a Newt list in progress, BTW. It will be very interesting to see which I have read once we get the wall of bookcases built so I can unpack my fantasy library.

168Morphidae
Mar 27, 2011, 8:05 pm



72. Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton, et al.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Old TBR, March TIOLI #8 (short stories)

Summary: Short stories from urban fantasy authors

Opinion: Nothing truly awful. Nothing truly wonderful. A decent selection from some of my favorite authors - Hamilton, Harris, Davidson. A couple from some lesser knowns - Knight, Taylor. My favorite - a Sookie story by Harris - I recently read in another anthology.

Rating: 6

169Morphidae
Mar 27, 2011, 8:07 pm



73. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale

Genre: Romance

Notes: March TIOLI #13 (under 3 stars author)

Summary: An impoverished young lady and a young gentleman abused as a boy grow to love each other

Opinion: I tried this for the March TIOLI challenge where you read another book by an author you've given 3 stars or less to on a previous read. This is supposed to be Kinsale's best book and I wasn't impressed. Too much was accepted and too easily by the upper class family she gets involved with. If the family had been known as eccentric, that would be one thing. But they were accepted by Queen Victoria - a stickler for the proprieties. Also, I never got emotionally attached to the characters and so there was little emotional payoff at the end.

Rating: 6

170Morphidae
Mar 27, 2011, 8:11 pm



74. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: March TIOLI #18 (YA SF/F), 1001 Fantasy

Summary: Young woman comes into her power and saves the nation

Opinion: Solid tale but... There is something about McKinley's stories - there is so much potential, but there is a connection to the characters lacking somehow. There is a distance between me and them that doesn't allow me to enjoy the story as much as I think I could. Perhaps it is because there is little humor or joy in her worlds.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Many lists - DailyLit)
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks (TIOLI)
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

On Deck:
This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

171mamzel
Mar 28, 2011, 12:44 pm

Isn't Daily Lit fun? I recently took advantage of some history lessons on You Tube offered by them.

172Morphidae
Apr 4, 2011, 10:44 am



75. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

Genre: Nonfiction

Notes: March TIOLI #16 (NY Times), 111 Nonfiction

Summary: Clinical notes about neurology issues

Opinion: I thought this would be stories and essays about psychological issues, instead it was clinical notes on neurological problems. Too much medical jargon, not enough story.

Rating: 3

173Morphidae
Apr 4, 2011, 10:46 am



76. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Genre: Fiction

Notes: March TIOLI #17 (World Storytelling)

Summary: Prequel to Jane Eyre, tells the story of the "wife in the attic"

Opinion: Boring. Didn't like the characters, story was dull. Only reason I finished it was because it was short.

Rating: 3

174Morphidae
Apr 4, 2011, 10:49 am



77. Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Next in series

Summary: Four short stories about our favorite Black Jewels characters

Opinion: Lovely ending. Yes, ending. These stories wrap up all the loose ends - everyone we've come to care for has a happy or unhappy ending. I cried several times throughout the book both in sorry and joy. We lose some dear characters, but not without rhyme or reason. And gain one very special new character. If you love the Black Jewels series, you will love this one. It's not for someone who hasn't read the rest of the series though. Little will make sense.

Rating: 8

175Morphidae
Apr 4, 2011, 10:50 am



78. The Shadow Queen
Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop


Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Reread

Rating: 7

176alcottacre
Apr 4, 2011, 6:22 pm

I am not going to try and catch up with the 60+ messages I have missed, but I will try and keep up with you from here on out, Morphy.

I have a trilogy of Bishop's around my house somewhere to read. I will have to dig it out.

177elfchild
Apr 4, 2011, 11:08 pm

Twilight's Dawn is the end? NO. *sniff* Local branch has it in...I know what I will be reading this weekend.

Sorry that you didn't care for Oliver Sacks. I remember enjoying that one quite a bit, but neuroscience is an interest of mine.

178Morphidae
Apr 5, 2011, 6:48 am

Yeah. I could be wrong. But it certainly felt like a wrap up. Let me know if you feel the same after you read it. It's beautiful though. I cried a lot.

I can see how someone who is interested in neuroscience could like it. My lack of enjoyment wasn't because he was a bad writer, but because of the medical jargon and lack of "story."

179Morphidae
Apr 5, 2011, 7:31 am

(Very) tentative reading list for April:

Library Due - Mortal Danger by Eileen Wilks
TBR Next - Language Visible by David Sacks
Random - The Annotated Arch by Carol Strickland
Women of SF - Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt
Stephen King - Tommyknockers by Stephen King
50 State - The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
TIOLI 1 (cover) and Women of Fantasy - Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter
TIOLI 2 (preposition) - In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
TIOLI 3 (Paris) - Perfume by Patrick Susekind
TIOLI 4 (tag mirror) - Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
TIOLI 5 (4th) - Rapture in Death by J. D. Robb
TIOLI 6 (Alex) - Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
TIOLI 7 (Spring) - Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
TIOLI 8 (Japan) - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
TIOLI 9 (Who) - Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
TIOLI 10 (Movie) - A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
TIOLI 11 (Orange) - Room by Emma Donoghue
TIOLI 12 (autism) - Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork
TIOLI 13 (b4 born) - Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
TIOLI 14 (flower) - Peony in Love by Lisa See
TIOLI 15 (DWJ) - Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
TIOLI 16 (writer) - Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck

180alcottacre
Apr 5, 2011, 7:51 am

Looks like some ambitious reading goals there, Morphy! Good luck.

181Morphidae
Apr 5, 2011, 8:33 am

On one hand, I think I'll get maybe half read. On the other, I have not one but TWO read-a-thons this month. So I might do better.

182elfchild
Apr 5, 2011, 9:13 am

I very much look forward to the read. As I think I have mentioned before, I consider Anne Bishop one of my few author finds of the past several years and I really love the Black Jewels books. At some point I need to track down her trilogy which I have not read.

Of your April list, I think that I have read 3. You remind me that I should put Howl's Moving Castle on my list for the year since we so love the movie and I expect your list will inspire me to others.

183drneutron
Apr 5, 2011, 9:27 am

That's quite a selection for April. I got interested in The Annotated Arch - am looking forward to your thoughts on it!

184Morphidae
Apr 5, 2011, 10:13 am

Having read about half the book, I can see why people who read Howl's Moving Castle before seeing the movie, didn't like the movie. But me, who saw the movie first, prefer the movie. The characters are kinder and more admirable in the movie.

185norabelle414
Apr 5, 2011, 11:12 am

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is such an amazing and unique book. I really hope you like it.

Count me on the Howl's Moving Castle "book is better" side.

186lorax
Apr 5, 2011, 11:25 am

178>

Huh. Admittedly it's been a while since I read that particular Sacks, but I don't remember it being terribly jargon-y (though I'll agree about the lack of story, since it's case histories and not intended to be a sustained narrative). He does use the correct terminology for the conditions, but I don't have a problem with that, since it's a lot easier and more correct than referring to a long list of symptoms every time he wants to reference a particular condition. (But then, I'm a scientist by training, though from a very different field, so I may just be more comfortable with unfamiliar jargon than you are.)

I'm really impressed by both the length of your list for April and how dedicated you are to the TIOLI!

187Storeetllr
Apr 10, 2011, 12:24 am

Hi, Morphy ~ I read a couple of the Black Jewels novels awhile ago and remember enjoying them but for some reason didn't continue with the series. Think I'll try to figure out where I left off and start it up again.

Oh, and thank you so much for the review of Perdido Station. I tried to read it a year or so ago and thought it was unreadable so gave it up and ever since whenever anyone has praised it have felt kind of stupid for not being a fan.

188alcottacre
Apr 10, 2011, 2:02 am

#187: I have tried to read PSS 3 times now, Mary. I just cannot do it. You are not the only one.

189Morphidae
Apr 10, 2011, 7:46 am

I have no idea how I managed to finished Perdido Street Station. I'm a masochist, I guess.

190Storeetllr
Apr 11, 2011, 4:50 pm

Yet, I picked up The City and the City yesterday just to see if I wanted to read it (it's a library book I picked up on a whim the other day), and I liked it (so far), though I only read to about page 40. Same author, way different result. Go figure.

191Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:28 pm



80. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Reread

Summary: Pig boy - well, okay, pig-middle-aged-man story. Ex-slave saves the country.

Rating: 8

192Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:31 pm



81. Daughter of the Blood
82. Heir to the Shadows
83. Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop


Genre: Fantasy (dark, erotic)

Notes: Reread

Summary: Where Witch and Daemon and Saetan are the good guys, however dark in spirit.

Rating: 8

193Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:33 pm



84. Mortal Danger by Eileen Wilks

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Next in series

Summary: Lily has a trap sprung on her while searching for a bad guy and his evil staff

Opinion: Meh. I wanted to like this but found myself bored. The characters were fine, but the plot was tedious and uninteresting.

Rating: 6

194Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:35 pm



85. The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: LT Recommended

Summary: Small town girl meets centuries old vampire

Opinion: Average. While I understand the appeal to readers of an average girl getting the whoo whoo handsome, rich guy, I don't get what he sees in her. She nice and all, but he falls hard and fast for her. Seems sort of easy.

Rating: 6

195Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:36 pm



86. Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Reread

Summary: Short stories from the Black Jewels world

Rating: 8

196Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:38 pm



87. Life's Companion by Christina Baldwin

Genre: Spiritual

Notes: Old 888 challenge

Summary: Spiritual journal writing

Opinion: Only enjoyed the rare personal memoir sections, otherwise too woo-woo. Lacked clarity and focus. I would read a page and there would be no "meat." Took me months to read because I could only deal with a chapter or so at a time.

Rating: 4

197Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:40 pm



88. Shakespeare's Counselor by Charlaine Harris

Genre: Mystery

Notes: Next in series

Summary: Final book of the Lily Bard, housekeeper turned PI, series

Opinion: Nice wrap up though it didn't have the emotional pull of the others in the series

Rating: 7

198Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:44 pm



89. Room by Emma Donoghue

Genre: Fiction

Notes: April TIOLI #11 (Orange)

Summary: Narrated by a five year old boy who has lived in an 11x11 room all his life

Opinion: Intense and fast read. It took me a chapter or two to get into the flow of the narrator's voice but then it zoomed along. I was most interested in how the little boy coped with coming out of the room. I sometimes found it difficult to sympathize with the mother, which I guess was the point of some of it.

Rating: 8

199Morphidae
Apr 12, 2011, 7:46 pm



90. Lover Enshrined by J. R. Ward

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Next in series

Summary: Ongoing story of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

Opinion: While an intense and interesting read, I was disappointed in the lack of romance. Yes, there was one between Phury and Cormia, but it felt tacked on to the main story which seemed to be about John, Blay and Quinn - the young up-and-coming men of the Brotherhood. I couldn't rate it lower though because it really is a great series and I'm invested in the characters.

Rating: 7

200Morphidae
Edited: Apr 12, 2011, 8:01 pm



90. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

Genre: Horror (science fiction really)

Notes: To complete bibliography

Summary: Something bad is dug up in the Maine woods and it affects the townspeople in nasty ways

Opinion: SPOILERS. Meh. Not one of his best. While the story-telling is, as always, top-notch, there was no one to root for. Near everyone mentioned dies and I found I just didn't care.

Rating: 6

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Many lists - DailyLit)
The Annotated Arch by Carol Strickland
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

On Deck:
Rapture in Death by J. D. Robb
Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter
Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt

201elfchild
Apr 13, 2011, 5:32 pm

#191> Morphy, I snorfled my drink up my nose (which is marginally better than all over my laptop) when I read your summary. The Curse of Chalion is not on my TBR list and I'll request it once the library pile gets a little smaller.

202Morphidae
Apr 13, 2011, 5:41 pm

I think you'll like it. I love the religious system and Caz is a broken man that gets a happy, though not perfect, ending.

203elfchild
Apr 13, 2011, 8:34 pm

I'm hoping to get the TBR pile down to just the endtable shelf this weekend. You remind me that I want to go looking for some Diana Wynne Jones as well since I have never read her. It's good to be warned that it starts a little slow but engages one later...I'll be sure to start it one evening when I am not likely to be distracted or interrupted.

204alcottacre
Apr 14, 2011, 3:20 am

I just read The Curse of Chalion recently - a first read for me - and enjoyed it, although I preferred the second book in the trilogy, Paladin of Souls.

205Morphidae
Apr 16, 2011, 3:50 pm



91. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: April TIOLI #15 (DWJ), 1001 Fantasy

Summary: Young hatter gets cursed to look like an old woman and goes to find work with the "evil" wizard, Howl

Opinion: I know that Diana Wynne Jones is beloved in some circles, but this is the second book of hers that I've read and I can't say that I'm impressed. I'm sure that part of the reason is that the characters are much more likeable in the movie. But the majority is that Jones doesn't plot very well. It got very fast and confusing at the end. I kept having to re-read each page to figure out what was going on. Lastly, I didn't care what happened to the characters. There was no sense of relief or joy or satisfaction. It just ended.

Rating: 5

206Morphidae
Apr 16, 2011, 4:06 pm



92. Rapture in Death by J. D. Robb

Genre: Mystery

Notes: April TIOLI #5 (4th)

Summary: After Eve's honeymoon, she has to figure out why and how three apparent suicides are actually murder

Opinion: I read the "discovery" three or four times and it still doesn't make any sense. Nor that she would somehow determine that the suicides were really murders. And the murderer's reason, "Because I can." Huh? However, I enjoy all the ongoing characters as well as the growth of Eve and Roarke's relationship.

Rating: 6

207elfchild
Apr 16, 2011, 4:25 pm

#205> I saw another comment somewhere - perhaps in Neil Gaiman's memorial? - that Wynne Jones wrote for children who still pay close attention to what they are reading rather than adults who sometimes read quickly and lightly. I've never read her myself but was thinking I ought to try something.

#206> The Eve Dallas books work for me because of the characters. I ended up taking a long break from them because I wanted to read them in order and neither the old library system nor the new library system had book 5. I eventually picked it up at a used bookstore though I probably should have used my brain and paid $2 to interlibrary loan it. Vengeance in Death is next up for me.

208Morphidae
Apr 16, 2011, 4:33 pm

Eh, I would disagree on the "still pay close attention" reason. When you wrap up four major threads in two or three pages, all mashed together with tons of things going on all at once so you have to read and re-read to figure out what happened, I consider that poor plotting. It was thrown together.

209elfchild
Apr 16, 2011, 8:17 pm

#208> noted. I am just reporting something I read and will keep your criticism in mind if/when I do get around to trying her. I have a great pile of things I am enjoying right now however and they will lead to enough other reads that I don't feel the need to try out a new author right now.

210bluesalamanders
Apr 16, 2011, 10:38 pm

I don't know what other DWJ you read, Morphy, but Howl is my least favorite book of hers that I've read. I absolutely agree with your review. If you're planning to make another attempt sometime, I'd recommend Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Dogsbody, or one of the Chrestomanci series.

211Morphidae
Apr 17, 2011, 7:40 am

I read Deep Secret. It wasn't bad. I gave it a seven out of 10 stars which is a decent rating for me. It just wasn't all that and a bag of chips.

212Storeetllr
Apr 17, 2011, 2:42 pm

Hi, Morphy! I love the In Death books for the characters and the developing relationship between Eve and Roarke too. The mystery is always secondary (and sometimes tertiary).

213Morphidae
Apr 20, 2011, 2:13 pm



93. Rendezvous by Amanda Quick

Genre: Romance

Notes: To complete bibliography, reread

Rating: 6

214Morphidae
Apr 20, 2011, 2:14 pm



94. The Annotated Arch by Carol Strickland

Genre: Nonfiction

Notes: Very old TBR

Summary: Basic architecture appreciation

Opinion: What I thought was going to be an enjoyable Architecture for Dummies was more of a College Architecture 101 slog. Too little basic information and too much artsy gooblygook - "the bogus applique of Po-Mo and the angst of Deconstructivism." Blah blah blah.

Rating: 3

215Morphidae
Edited: Apr 20, 2011, 2:21 pm



95. Unveiled Hqn by Courtney Milan

Genre: Romance

Notes: Smart Bitches, Trashy Novels Recommended

Summary: Woman who has been bastardized hides as her father's nurse to spy on the new duke

Opinion: Ooooooh, a new romance novelist for me! Wonderful story and romance. The secondary characters are also interesting and I can't wait to read more about them. The hero and heroine are flawed, lovable people. The issues keeping them apart are realistic and there is actual wooing going on instead of the hero taking over completely like usual in this type of book.

Rating: 8

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Many lists - DailyLit)
Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter (Women of Fantasy challenge)

On Deck:
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

216lorax
Apr 20, 2011, 3:55 pm

214>

I'm intensely allergic to the entire "For Dummies" concept, so it's hard to know if this will be a goobod recommendation for someone who isn't, but as a "basic architecture" book you may want to look at Why Buildings Stand Up, which I read a month or so ago. You'll probably want to only read the alternate chapters, on specific buildings, and skip the more general discussions of architectural features, if you're after the "Dummies" approach -- the latter are not technical but do have more of an "intelligent layperson" approach -- but the specific chapters are better anyway. (And it's definitely from the engineering, rather than the "artsy", side of things.)

217Morphidae
Apr 20, 2011, 6:43 pm

I was looking more for something where I could point at a building and tell its style (i.e. Baroque, Art Deco, Gothic) and the various parts (i.e. Doric column, barrel vault.) For instance, even though there was an entire chapter on it, I doubt I could point out a building that was Baroque and feel any confidence in my labeling.

218lorax
Apr 20, 2011, 8:12 pm

Ah, can't help you there, I'm afraid. I was misled by the title focusing on a structural element.

219elfchild
Apr 21, 2011, 10:00 pm

#213> It's been ages since I've read Amanda Quick. I've got a soft spot for regencies and regency period historicals since I brought up my GRE verbal score by over 300 point by reading them. Mine are all in boxes.

220Morphidae
Apr 24, 2011, 11:03 am



96. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Genre: Mystery

Notes: Next in series

Summary: Ranger's child gets kidnapped by his double. Stephanie comes to save the day in her usual way.

Opinion: One of my favorites so far in the series. It made me laugh a lot and there was a decent story this time rather than a mystery tacked on. One thing that annoys me about this series is her inability to choose between the two guys. Seventeen or so books later and she still hasn't made a choice.

Rating: 7

221Morphidae
Edited: Apr 24, 2011, 11:10 am



97. Mona Lisa Eclipsing by Sunny

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Next in series

Summary: A few stories about our favorite Monere

Opinion: I love the writing and the characters. The story left something to be desired. It was episodic in nature and would have been better as a short story collection.

Rating: 7

222Morphidae
Apr 24, 2011, 11:08 am



98. Red Planet by Robert Heinlein

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: To complete bibliography

Summary: Teenage boy and his Martian pet save the colony

Opinion: I struggled a bit to get into it, there was some lecturing going on, but then it got more fun. I liked learning about the Martians we hear more about in Stranger in a Strange Land.

Rating: 6

223Morphidae
Apr 24, 2011, 11:11 am



99. The Royal Pain by MaryJanice Davidson

Genre: Romance

Notes: To complete bibliography

Summary: Princess Alex goes slumming

Opinion: A fun, light romp. It doesn’t have the unpleasant levels of sarcasm that has been creeping to Davidson's more recent works.

Rating: 7

224Morphidae
Apr 24, 2011, 11:26 am



(not counting). The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Genre: Children's

Notes: Various lists

Summary: Title says it all

Opinion: The illustrations were great. I was surprised at how short the text was. Only a few sentences. Meh.

Rating: 7

225DragonFreak
Apr 24, 2011, 11:30 am

Oh memories!

226Morphidae
Apr 24, 2011, 11:30 am



100. Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: April TIOLI #1 (cover), Women of Fantasy challenge

Summary: In a sequel to Shakespeare's Tempest in modern day America, Miranda has to find her father, Prospero, with the aid of her estranged siblings

Opinion: Lamplighter is a good writer and I liked reading about all the characters. Not a bad feat since Miranda is hard to like as are many of the other characters. I'm going to wait until the third book is out before picking up the second. This is basically one story written in three books and I want to read it all at once rather than dragging it out.

Rating: 7

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Many lists - DailyLit)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron (several lists)

On Deck:
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Cook This, Not That by David Zinczenko
Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt

227Storeetllr
Edited: Apr 24, 2011, 3:50 pm

I always learn stuff when I visit your thread, Morphy! Like I didn't know a new Mona Lisa was out, and now I'm going to pick up Twelve Sharp because of your review, though I hadn't planned on reading (partly because of Plum's inability to chose between Ranger and Joe and partly because it seemed the series was getting a bit predictable and, thus, boring). Plus I've learned a lot from you about what urban fantasy, a new subgenre for me, to read. BTW, I also enjoyed The Royal Pain by MaryJanice Davidson, but it was one of my last by her, again because her writing has gotten boring (to me).

Edited to add touchstones and to make more sense.

228Morphidae
Apr 24, 2011, 3:58 pm

Yeah, I didn't much care for Sleeping with Fishes by Davidson. The snark level was way too high. I'm still reading the Betsy the Vampire Queen books as they come out though. And I think I'll pick up the last Royal book. Pain was fun.

229elfchild
Apr 25, 2011, 11:17 pm

#224> But in a few short sentences he covers the days of the week and metamorphosis...this is Eric Carle at his best. I only wish they saw fit to make a lap-sized board book edition so that the holes were large enough for a child to poke their fingers through and the book was suitably sturdy.

230dk_phoenix
Apr 26, 2011, 12:08 am

Prospero Lost sounds VERY interesting... I've not heard of this author before.

231Morphidae
Apr 26, 2011, 6:42 am

elfchild, that's why I wanted more!

dk_phoenix, it was good enough that I want to read the rest of the books. But I'm waiting until the third one is out in September. The first just... ends and I heard the second does the same.

232Morphidae
May 1, 2011, 8:00 pm



101. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Genre: Fiction

Notes: Ultimate Reading list

Summary: Boy discovers a book and goes looking for its author with unpleasant results

Opinion: I had a hard time deciding on 7 or 8 stars for this book. The writing was very well done but the story left a little to be desired. The pacing was a tad slow and boring at times. Loved the characters with all their failings but the bad guy was a little too over the top evil.

Rating: 7

233Morphidae
Edited: May 1, 2011, 8:02 pm



102. Peony in Love by Lisa See

Genre: Fiction

Notes: April TIOLI #14 (flower), LT Recommended

Summary: Young woman in 1600s China catches sight of a handsome young man at an opera and her life is changed.

Opinion: MAJOR SPOILER: While the writing is lovely and I enjoyed learning about the time period and Chinese views of death and the afterlife, I was not expecting the main character to spend most of the book as a ghost. It colored the rest of the book for me.

Rating: 7

234Morphidae
May 1, 2011, 8:07 pm



103. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Genre: Classic

Notes: Numerous Lists

Summary: Captain goes up river to meet up with a man of mystery

Opinion: I slogged through this story about nothing really by reading in small bits through DailyLit and I was very grateful it was as short as it was. Also, I wouldn't have understood a word of it without the help of SparkNotes. Bleh. Just bleh.

Rating: 3

235Morphidae
May 1, 2011, 8:09 pm



104. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Genre: Fiction

Notes: April TIOLI #10 (Movie), 50 State Challenge

Summary: A modern day re-telling of King Lear

Opinion: Great sense of place, good characterization, but there was more foreboding than was called for. I kept waiting for a shoe to fall that never did. And it fit my definition of "literary" - nothing good happens to anyone. Everyone is miserable throughout the entire book.

Rating: 7

236Morphidae
Edited: May 1, 2011, 8:20 pm



105. The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Notes: Reread

Summary: Retelling of Snow White in 1900s London

Opinion: Very enjoyable. Haven't reread this in a few years, so the gloss isn't off yet. Strong female lead. Lovely!

~~~~~

Rating: 8
Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard F. Burton
Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt

On Deck:
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind by Warner Shedd
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

237maggie1944
May 1, 2011, 8:44 pm

Quote: And it fit my definition of "literary" - nothing good happens to anyone. Everyone is miserable throughout the entire book. Un quote!

I love this definition. I've not been brave enough to realize this is exactly how think about a lot of the "literary" books I've started, and never finished. Thanks!

238Morphidae
May 5, 2011, 2:51 pm

I read the following which were good adaptations of The Stand but really too short to include in my count.


Stephen King's The Stand: Sole Survivors
Stephen King's The Stand: Hardcases

239Morphidae
Edited: May 5, 2011, 3:15 pm



106. Darkship Thieves by Sarah A. Hoyt

Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: Women of SF challenge, May TIOLI #13 (repeating vowels)

Summary: Woman escapes her father's ship during a mutiny and falls into the hands of a darkship thief.

Opinion: I was about to quit this particular challenge as the first two books left a lot to be desired but this was a fun space opera romp and romance. Yeah, this is a first novel and it shows some weaknesses in characterization and plot, but overall a good read.

Rating: 7

240Morphidae
May 5, 2011, 2:54 pm



107. The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop

Genre: Fantasy

Notes: Reread

Summary: Another tale in the Black Jewels world set a bit further back in the past

Opinion: Not as good as the others but still a comfy reread.

Rating: 7

241Morphidae
Edited: May 5, 2011, 3:20 pm



108. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Genre: Fiction

Notes: 50 State Challenge (Michigan), May TIOLI #13 (repeating vowels)

Summary: A group of boys watch a family as the teenage girls all commit suicide

Opinion: I read this because I liked Middlesex by the same author. But it was "literary," i.e. depresssssssing and no likeable characters. I felt icky because of the voyerism of the boys. And why didn't somebody do something to help those girls? Sheesh. Ish, just ish.

Rating: 5

~~~~~

Currently Reading:
The Daily Book of Art by Colin Gilbert (Bathroom read)
The Arabian Nights by Sir Richard F. Burton
Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind by Warner Shedd (LT Recommended, TIOLI)

On Deck:
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Way We Pray by Maggi Oman Shannon

242maggie1944
May 5, 2011, 4:24 pm

That seems like it might be a "throw it across the room" kind of a book. Icky.

243elfchild
May 6, 2011, 9:14 pm

Just stopping by to say 'hello.' End of term has been tough here - I haven't stopped reading but I haven't felt much like chatting so I am behind on all the threads.

244Morphidae
Edited: May 8, 2011, 12:59 pm



109. The Mystic Hours by Wayne Teasdale

Genre: Spirituality

Notes: May TIOLI #20 (library), Looking for inspiration

Summary: A Daybook of Interspiritual Wisdom and Devotion

Opinion: Did nothing for me. Was too Eastern, too mystic and too frou-frou. I like a bit more meat, personal application and practicality to my spirituality.

Rating: 4

245Morphidae
May 8, 2011, 12:52 pm



110. Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind by Warner Shedd

Genre: Nonfiction

Notes: May TIOLI #14 (wild animals)

Summary: A Naturalist Debunks Our Favorite Fallacies about Wildlife

Opinion: Enjoyable, information and chatty. It would have gotten higher if the author didn't use so many exclamation points! He used them! A lot! It was annoying! Also, he prefaced personal stories by saying things like, "…it happened in this fashion" or "A neighbor of mine described such an incident." He worded his intros different each time, but he could have skipped such things all together.

Rating: 7

246alcottacre
May 9, 2011, 12:19 am

As always, some interesting reading going on here, Morphy!

I am adding Unveiled HQN to the BlackHole as well as Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind. Thanks for the recommendations!

247PaulCranswick
May 9, 2011, 12:48 am

Astonishing Morphidae I salute you for your effort in 2010- when do you sleep?

Also great to see a fellow stataholic out there. I thought I was the only sad little fellow counting the number of pages I read. I have kept records since 1994 and have racked up in excess of 2000 books in that time with total pages of 829,819 pages but this pales into insignificance with your herculean efforts.

Keep us updated on your 2011 progress.

248PaulCranswick
May 9, 2011, 1:01 am

Astonishing 108 books to date. Noticed however you have had Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Crime and Punishment on your lists as "currently reading" but they seem to have disappeared. Did you give up on these and if so why as they rate among my favourite books of their kinds?
Of your list I have read the Zafon, Dahl, Herriot, Proulx, Conrad and Conan-Doyle. Agree with you about Shipping News, Dahl is unfair as my son would clearly rate it higher than I would, the Herriot series is uniformly excellent, the Conrad I must confess I found heavy going even though it is, in length, not substantial, all the Holmes stories are wonderful but my favourite from your list would be Zafon. The best (translated) spanish writer I have read by a country mile.

249Morphidae
May 9, 2011, 6:50 am

>246 alcottacre: Not one, but two book bullets. Bwhahahaha.

>247 PaulCranswick: It's not that I read so much of my day, but rather I read very fast. Have done so since I was young.

>248 PaulCranswick: I have to go change those. I quit both of them. Bury My Heart was unending slaughter, I couldn't handle it. And as I've said of Crime and Punishment, it was a crime it was published and a punishment to read!

250alcottacre
May 9, 2011, 7:11 am

#249: You are positively evil, woman! :)

251norabelle414
May 9, 2011, 9:20 am

Crime and Punishment is SUCH A BORE. Dragging through it at 17 completely put me off Russian authors for several years, until I picked up Anna Karenina last year. Turns out, it's just Dostoyevsky who sucks.

252Morphidae
May 9, 2011, 10:24 am

LOL. Yeah. I was able to make it through Anna Karenina. I wouldn't say that I enjoyed it all that much, but I was able to make it through. I quit Crime and Punishment half way through. It was horrible.

253MickyFine
May 10, 2011, 4:14 pm

I liked parts of Anna Karenina. The seemingly endless passages of social and agricultural theory drove me a little bonkers but the main narrative was good. I have Crime and Punishment sitting on my shelf which I'll give a try at some point. Generally, though, I find the Russians to be tough going for me.

254norabelle414
May 11, 2011, 8:39 am

You should read Android Karenina. Every time it starts to get boring and philosophical, *BAM* robots. And the ending is one of the best endings I've ever read.

255MickyFine
May 11, 2011, 1:42 pm

>254 norabelle414: I'll keep it in mind. :)

256Storeetllr
May 12, 2011, 12:42 am

>254 norabelle414: Haha, sounds great! I read and loved Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter so will probably enjoy Android Karenina too.

257Morphidae
May 17, 2011, 7:23 am

Forgot to post the link to my new thread:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/116284