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Majkia's (Jean's) Garden of Books

2016 ROOT Challenge - (Read Our Own Tomes)

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Edited: Dec 25, 2016, 10:28am Top

Hi everyone. Happily back for more ROOTing in 2016. Planning on 50 ROOTs this year because I'm going to read some tomes, okay quite a few tomes, to get some series off the shelves.

I'm counting gifts/ERs as ROOTS no matter when I get them. Also counting anything I own before 2016.

1. The Thousand Names - Django Wexler - ROOT from 2014
2. Fellowship of Fear - Aaron Elkins - ROOT since 2012




Edited: May 13, 2016, 3:20pm Top

First Quarter Roots

1. A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen ROOT, RTT Theme
2. Zer0es - Chuck Wendig - ROOT, DeweyCAT, AlphaKIT Z
3. Toll the Hounds - Steven Erikson - TBR Challenge, ROOT, SFFFKIT
4. An Expert in Murder - Nicola Upson - - ROOT, AlphaKIT, BingoPUP
5. Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - - AlphaKIT, SFFKIT, ROOT, BINGO DOG (survival story)
6. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal - - ROOT, BingoPUP, RTT
7. A Dangerous Talent - Charlotte Elkins - - ROOT, BingoPUP, AlphaKIT


  1. Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey - - SF/SFFKIT, AlphaKIT, BingoDog, ROOT
  2. Jumper - Steven Gould - 9. Jumper - Steven Gould - AlphaKIT, ROOT, BingoDOG
  3. The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher - - ROOT, SF/SFFKIT, AlphaKIT
  4. The Doomsday Key - James Rollins - ROOT, AlphaKIT


  1. Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie - ROOT, TBR Challenge
  2. Lockstep - Karl Schroeder - AlphaKIT, ROOT, SF/SFFKIT
  3. The Courbet Connection - Estelle Ryan - - ROOT
  4. The Dust of Dreams - Steven Erikson -

Edited: Jun 30, 2016, 9:35am Top


  1. A Trick of the Light - Louise Penny - ROOT
  2. Where Serpents Sleep - C.S. Harris - - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  3. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente - Did Not Finish - ROOT
  4. The Crippled God - Steven Erikson - - ROOT, TBR Challenge, SF/SFFKIT
  5. Half a Crown - Jo Walton - - AlphaKIT, ROOT
  6. Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer - - AlphaKIT, ROOT
  7. Trapped - Kevin Hearne - - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  8. The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack - Mark Hodder - - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  9. The Devil Colony - James Rollins - Sigma Force 7 - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  10. The Protector's War - S.M. Stirling - - ROOT, TBR Challenge, AlphaKIT


  1. The Abyss Beyond Dreams - Peter F. Hamilton - - ROOT, TBR Challenge, SF/SFFKIT
  2. The Alphabet House - Jussi Adler-Olsen - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  3. The Flanders Panel - Arturo Perez-Reverte - - ROOT, TBR Challenge, AlphaKIT
  4. Cibola Burn - James S.A. Corey - - The Expanse Book 4 - - ROOT from 2014, SF/SFFKIT
  5. Red Bones - Ann Cleeves - - ROOT from 2015, RandomCAT, TBR Challenge
  6. The Protector's War - S.M. Stirling - - ROOT, TBR Challenge, AlphaKIT
  7. A Meeting at Corvallis - S.M. Stirling - - TBR Challenge, ROOT
  8. The Rainaldi Quartet - Paul Adam - - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT


  1. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson - - ROOT, AlphaKIT, SF/SFFKIT
  2. Red Rising - Pierce Brown - - ROOT, AlphaKIT, SF/SFFKIT
  3. Seventy-Seven Clocks - Christopher Fowler - - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  4. Nexus - Ramez Naam - - TBR Challenge, ROOT, AlphaKIT
  5. Fated - Benedict Jacka - - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  6. Red Gold - Alan Furst - - ROOT, AlphaKIT

Edited: Sep 30, 2016, 6:54pm Top


  1. The Dreaming Void - Peter F. Hamilton - - ROOT
  2. The Temporal Void - Peter F. Hamilton - - ROOT, TBR Challenge, RandomCAT
  3. Fortress in the Eye of Time - C.J. Cherryh - - ROOT, SF/SFFKIT, RandomCAT
  4. The Evolutionary Void - Peter F. Hamilton - -ROOT, TBR Challenge, RandomCAT


  1. Artifact - Gregory Benford
  2. The Fallen Blade - JOn Courtenay Grimwood
  3. The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
  4. Spartan Gold - Clive Cussler
  5. Bloodline - James Rollins


  1. Echo - Jack McDevitt - ROOT, AlphaKIT
  2. At the Sign of the Crow and Moon - Mitchell Hogan
  3. Crucible of Souls - Mitchell Hogan
  4. Hammerfall - C.J. Cherryh - DNF
  5. Nemesis Games - James S.A. Corey
  6. The Last Dickens - Matthew Pearl
  7. Blue Lightning - Ann Cleeves
  8. Search the Dark - Charles Todd
  9. Monster Hunter International - Larry Correia

Edited: Dec 31, 2016, 10:49am Top


  1. Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - DNF
  2. When Gravity Fails - George Alec Effinger
  3. What Remains of Heaven - C.S. Harris
  4. The Palace Job - Patrick Weekes
  5. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley
  6. The Raphael Affair - Iain Pears
  7. Warchild - Karin Lowachee
  8. The Secret Vanguard - Michael Innes
  9. Death and the Lit Chick - G. M. Malliet
  10. Ice Blue - Emma Jameson


  1. Dead Water - Ann Cleeves
  2. A Death in Vienna - Daniel Silva
  3. The Ace of Skills - Chris Wooding
  4. Seveneves - Neal Stephenson
  5. Neuromancer - William Gibson


  1. Angel With Two Faces - Nicola Upson
  2. Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey
  3. Legacy of the Dead - Charles Todd
  4. There Came Both Mist and Snow - Michael Innes
  5. The Iron Tactician - Alastair Reynolds
  6. The Thousand Names - Django Wexler

Dec 22, 2015, 9:36am Top

Jean, seems like you have everything planned out neatly. I haven't finished my thread setup yet, but I will soon.

Dec 22, 2015, 1:30pm Top

Happy ROOTing, Jean!

Dec 22, 2015, 5:19pm Top

Nice to see you again! Good luck with your challenge! :)

Dec 23, 2015, 4:24am Top

Welcome back, Jean! Looks like you have a neat plan!

Dec 23, 2015, 7:35am Top

Thanks everyone. Good luck! I do love this time of year when everyone is all excited and planning and plotting their reading!

Dec 23, 2015, 7:59am Top

>10 majkia: It really is contagious to see everybody so busy with ROOTs 2016.

Dec 23, 2015, 8:26am Top

Great to see you again, Jean. I'm deep into series, too and if not enough I started two new ones to me. Which are calling out to get all of those books. So some future ROOTs will find their way. *grins*

Dec 26, 2015, 9:39pm Top

Happy Rooting!

And I love that pic in >1 majkia: :)

Dec 27, 2015, 9:24pm Top

I'm going to do the same with ER books because I let them linger too long, I really feel obligated to do better and counting them as ROOTS may help. Good luck!

Dec 28, 2015, 8:24pm Top

My only problem is entries to series I'm reading. I try to wait to find them on sale, which tends to make them non-ROOTs.

And, oh yes. I feel guilty reading non-ROOTs! Amazing! I blame the Russian Orthodox side of the family for the deeply ingrained guilt complex....

Dec 29, 2015, 2:23am Top

You have to blame someone or something for that, very good, Jean. and those new books can count as ROOTs in 2017 (if you can wait that long)

Dec 29, 2015, 7:14am Top

What is an "ER" book?

Dec 29, 2015, 7:24am Top

an ER book is a book won in LibraryThing's Early Reviewer monthly offerings. See http://www.librarything.com/er/giveaway/list

Dec 31, 2015, 11:11am Top

Oh! Thank you, signing up now.

Dec 31, 2015, 2:45pm Top

Dec 31, 2015, 11:17pm Top

Hi Jean! Good luck with your ROOT reading!

Jan 1, 2016, 3:24am Top

Jan 1, 2016, 5:23am Top

Jan 2, 2016, 12:11am Top

1. A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen - ROOT, RTT Theme, BingoPUP - about a spy

First book of the year, a hold over from 2015 which I just couldn't finish in time.

Enjoyable cozy mystery with a likable if somewhat dizzy heroine who muddles her way through, as the queen asks her to look into the mysterious occurrences surrounding the visiting princess from Bavaria.

Lighthearted even if there are a couple of murders. Love her granddad.

Jan 2, 2016, 2:33am Top

>24 majkia: I think her granddad is one of the best characters in those books.

Jan 2, 2016, 6:54am Top

Happy New Year, Madjkia. I hope you have a great reading and ROOTing year in 2016.

Jan 3, 2016, 4:46pm Top

Congrats on your first ROOT pulled!

Jan 4, 2016, 6:20am Top

Happy New Year and congrats on your first ROOT!

Jan 23, 2016, 10:02pm Top

>24 majkia: I love her granddad too! This is one of my favorite series to read every year, they're always enjoyable.

Good luck ROOTing this year!

Jan 24, 2016, 4:04pm Top

2. Zer0es -Chuck Wendig

Hackerpunk. Young hackers are caught and offered an out. Don't go to jail, instead go to work for the government. When they get there, they start to question just what the heck is going on. What is going on becomes more and more bizarre the deeper and better they hack.

Interesting premise with AI and goverments vying for dominance and just what can go wrong when they do.

Jan 24, 2016, 4:04pm Top

3. Toll the Hounds - Steven Erikson

Erikson is a master at winding threads upon threads through and around each other. Complex motives, deeply emotional themes, and amazing characters are forced to find their way through a landscape torn by war, greed, selfish desire and horror. But there is always hope.

At 850 or so pages, it was a slow read for me, mainly because it is so dense and deep at times, not to mention attempting to keep all the threads and the characters straight in my head.

Jan 25, 2016, 6:55am Top

4. An Expert in Murder - Nicola Upson

Good start to a series. Set in London between the wars, Josephine Tey is a well known playwright. She meets a young girl on a train down to London and things go from great to horrid in a flash.

Lots of confounding and confusing information presented so that the mystery was difficult to guess which is a very good thing. I enjoyed the main characters and they were well drawn and fully fleshed out. The theater setting was intriguing too.

Jan 25, 2016, 7:37am Top

>32 majkia: - Is this one about the actual author Josephine Tey? I read her Daughter of Time last year (which I enjoyed), and that plus the theatre setting sure do put me in the path of a BB!

Jan 25, 2016, 1:45pm Top

>33 Caramellunacy: Yes, the heroine of the book is the actual Josephine Tey. I confess to not knowing much about her personal life but it seems to stay fairly close to that, at least according to the author.

Edited: Jan 26, 2016, 3:16pm Top

>32 majkia: I've only read book four of this series and I liked it very much.

Jan 27, 2016, 12:45pm Top

5. Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

Horror tale about a dystopia where nearly everyone goes blind from watching a spectacular meteorite display. Holds up well and is just as scary now as it was back in the day when I first read it. Also, the original movie is terrific.

Jan 27, 2016, 6:31pm Top

I found The Day of the Triffids exciting, but it was The Midwich Cuckoos which really scared me.

Jan 30, 2016, 12:15pm Top

6. Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal

A period spy thriller starring the less than perfect (and that's a good thing) Maggie Hope. This round Maggie is assigned to protect the young Princess when MI5 believes there is a plot to kidnap her.

I had some issues with this book The ending. Firstly, it seemed to be lifted nearly entirely out of Enigma. And, I found the whole escape the sub and no one is near the exit to stop them from just opening it and getting out??

Still, I'll read a least a few more if not the whole series since I enjoy the characters and enjoy the books.

Jan 30, 2016, 7:23pm Top

7. A Dangerous Talent - Charlotte Elkins

First in the Alix London series, a series about art forgery and theft. I love stories about art so I enjoyed this quite a bit. Colorful setting, not so much romance that it bothered me, and a pretty good mystery to boot.

Feb 2, 2016, 6:57pm Top

>30 majkia: that's somewhere on one of my wishlists, I think... sounds interesting!

>36 majkia: BB!

& Congrats on 7 ROOTs pulled already!

Feb 4, 2016, 12:04pm Top

8. Abaddon's Gate - James S.A. Corey -

- SF/SFFKIT, AlphaKIT, BingoDog, ROOT

Third Book in The Expanse Series. I just love this series and find the books nearly unputdownable.

James Holden, the guy who always seems to find himself in the middle of a major mess, mostly not of his own accord, is such a great character. He's far from perfect, and knows it. He doesn't see himself a a mover and a shaker, more a poor guy who keeps stepping into it, and can't quite understand why that is. At the same time, when he finds himself faced with unbelievable odds or incredible aliens, for that matter, tries his hardest to do what he thinks is right, regardless of whether anyone else sees things his way. He just hopes his crew, at least, will come around to his way of thinking.

This time round, Holden is determined to avoid the mysterious object deep in space that has Mars, Earth and the Belters scrambling to reach it and control it. He wants nothing whatever to do with it. But then he finds himself and his ship and crew maneuvered into having to go precisely there.

He blames the protovirus which seems to have some weird control over him for this and hates his being controlled by it.

And from there, things go pear-shaped.

Feb 7, 2016, 5:10pm Top

9. Jumper - Steven Gould

When a teenager is threatened with serious bodily harm by his abusive father, he 'jumps' through space and arrives at a place where he feels safe. Finally driven into real fear, he runs away, and finds his way in the world to discover he can 'jump' at will.

Afraid, and alone, he fumbles his way toward adulthood while searching to learn if he is unique or if there are other jumpers out there.

Not bad for a coming of age story. Characters are likeable and the storyline, although not constantly filled with action, still kept me reading.

Feb 8, 2016, 11:26am Top

Is that what the movie is based on?

Feb 8, 2016, 3:03pm Top

>43 avanders: I saw that movie and no, the plot is nothing whatever like this particular book. Maybe the concept was taken from it.

Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 5:23pm Top

Oh weird! It sounds like there are some strong similarities with the concept..
The movie was OK; the book sounds interesting :)

Feb 14, 2016, 9:27am Top

>36 majkia: My mother told me she heard this "book" on the radio back in the early 1950''s, before her family had a TV. She said it was in 15 min. installments and was horrifying with the scream, shrieks, etc.

Feb 14, 2016, 11:00am Top

>46 tess_schoolmarm: Oh, that's interesting. I never heard it was on the radio!

Feb 15, 2016, 2:36pm Top

10. The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher - - ROOT, SF/SFFKIT, AlphaKIT

Steampunk adventure story featuring a wildly inventive world where some people are crossed with creatures, and where cats talk and plot alongside humans, with aeronauts who lock ships of the air in mortal combat and aetheriests see the future whilst giving up their sanity.

Can't wait for book 2!

Mar 1, 2016, 12:02pm Top

>48 majkia: Oh no, I've only heard good things! This one may become a ROOT for me very soon... ;)

Mar 1, 2016, 6:44pm Top

11. The Doomsday Key - James Rollins - ROOT from 2013, AlphaKIT


Good entry to the Sigma Force series. This time they're searching for a cure to a runaway fungal agent that is killing folks across the world. And the Guild is involved from the start. But why? And how?

Pretty much non-stop action, with the usual twists and turns. I do like the crew too.

Mar 1, 2016, 6:55pm Top

12. Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie - TBR Challenge, ROOT

Fourth in the First Law Series. Joe Abercrombie's world is bloody, uncompromising and full of death and destruction. Not to mention a lot of gallows humor.

A former female general is saved on the brink of death after she'd been betrayed by her boss, so she is determined to kill everyone who was involved in her and her brother's betrayal. She assembles quite the group to help her including a former prisoner, a poisoner and his assistant, a Northman who wants to become a better man, and a couple of others who join up along the way.

But what will drive her if she ever does manage to kill all 7 of her enemies. And it won't bring back her dead brother either.

Abercrombie is strong on characterization and world building. Even if not one person you meet along the way has more than a trace of praise-worthy traits, you still find yourself hoping somehow they'll manage to survive the experience.

Mar 21, 2016, 1:42pm Top

13. Lockstep - Karl Schroeder - ROOT, AlphaKIT, SF/SFFKIT

Quite different from the usual far future sci fi I've read, this one postulates that FTL is never solved and so hibernation is the only way to travel to distant stars. And, beyond that, setting entire planets or groups of nation-states on scheduled 'lockstep timelines' where the society is awake for a few weeks or months, then hibernate for different lengths of time, allow humans to trade and visit other similar societies.

Lots of political and religious overtones as well as family dynamics color the action and the people involved.

What with being busy with working the polls and training poll workers, my reading has really slowed. Hoping to fix that now!

Mar 27, 2016, 7:34am Top

14. The Courbet Connection - Estelle Ryan - ROOT from 2015, BingoPUP
Genevieve Leonard series, book 5

Good entry to the series, with the team being assisted by another non-neurotypical young man, which gives Jenny a chance to grow more in her dealings with people. The case is grim, with the team trying to discover missing college students, one of whom is a friend of one of their own.

Mar 29, 2016, 8:56am Top

We're RVing again at St George Island State Park in Florida. We were rained out all weekend but Monday was gorgeous.

Mar 29, 2016, 10:00am Top

Very nice! We vacation often in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. It looks like a white sugar sand beach?

Mar 29, 2016, 1:11pm Top

>55 tess_schoolmarm: Indeed. White sugar sand beach!

Mar 30, 2016, 10:44pm Top

>54 majkia: beautiful!

Mar 31, 2016, 3:11pm Top

15. Dust of Dreams - Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen 9

Postitioning that many characters to participate in the downfall of the Crippled God makes my head hurt! Wow. As usual, bloody, philosophical and often damn depressing to see otherwise sane folks think violence and war answers anything.

Looking forward to slogging my way through The Crippled God so I can finally get to The Forge of Darkness!

Edited: Apr 2, 2016, 9:23am Top

16. A Trick of the Light - Louise Penny - ROOT from 2013

Seventh book in the Gamache series. As usual, murder happens in the tiny, apparently most dangerous town, in Quebec. And, as usual, the murder is about art. But it is also about light and dark and forgiveness and pain.

Apr 2, 2016, 9:32am Top

>59 majkia: That one is on my shelve since three years waiting to be read.

Apr 3, 2016, 2:59pm Top

17. Where Serpents Sleep - C.S. Harris - AlphaKIT, ROOT - 4th in the Sebastian St Cyr series

More complexity added to poor Sebastian's life. So of course he dives into a puzzle bought to him by Hero.

The series attempts to paint the misery of the time, and here it delves into the horrors that arise for women, of many different social standings.

Apr 9, 2016, 12:50pm Top

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Calente

DNF - Did Not Finish.

I've tried this for a week and I still don't care what happens to this girl. Giving up. Will count as a ROOT but as nothing else.

Apr 16, 2016, 6:10am Top

>62 majkia: At least you gave it a good try, Jean! And that's what makes it a ROOT in my eyes.

Apr 16, 2016, 6:58am Top

18. The Crippled God - Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen 10 and Last

The last book of the Fallen. Amazing.
As usual, finishing a wonderfully complex and fascinating series is sad even if it is also satisfying.

Amazing that Erikson can wrap up such a series that had so many characters, threads and motives and themes. Not everything was wrapped up, there are still questions in my mind, but it was surely enough of closure to feel satisfied and still surprised. THe series certainly didn't go where we all must have believed it would go when we started out on this journey.

And, of course, it said a lot about the human condition, our prejudices, our fears, our conceits and yes, our hopes.

In a mere 1200 pages.

Apr 18, 2016, 2:27pm Top

Wow, great job, Jean. I can understand the feeling. I feel a bit like that now I've finished the Otherland series by Tad Williams. I'm just missing some of the characters.

Apr 18, 2016, 4:22pm Top

19. Half a Crown - Jo Walton Last in the Farthing Trilogy

Fine ending to an unsettling alternate history trilogy where Germany won WWII and holds sway over most of the world.


Edited: Apr 18, 2016, 4:27pm Top

20. Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer

Very interesting take on alternate/parallel worlds. This one has Neanderthals beating out our types rather than the other way round.


Edited: Apr 21, 2016, 11:15am Top

>64 majkia: wow, sounds great! The .. 10th book in the series has 1200 pages?! Wow - I thought the Otherland Series was long & involved! ;)

>66 majkia: ... I did not know Farthing was the start to a trilogy. I have it on the shelves as a gift from my LT Secret Santa this past year :)
I love speculative fiction, so I hope I enjoy that one too!

Apr 21, 2016, 5:17am Top

And humorous typo of the year goes to ...........

Apr 21, 2016, 11:15am Top

>69 Robertgreaves: lol! will have to edit.... :-o

Apr 23, 2016, 2:02pm Top

22. Trapped - Kevin Hearne - 5th in the Iron Druid series.

Not my favorite of the series, but I do love Oberon and he didn't disappoint. Also, seeing the rise of a new Druid was very cool. I also get a great kick out of all the quick bows to favorite books and TV series and movies he throws into the dialog.

I listened to the audio because I love how the narrator does Oberon.

Apr 29, 2016, 3:59pm Top

22. The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack - Mark Hodder - steampunk

A steampunk novel wherein a travel from the future keeps appearing and frightening the Victorians. Sir Richard Burton is tasked by the crown to look into the matter. Not to mention keeping an eye on some of the other weirdness happening in London.

Certainly imaginative regarding alterations in the timeline, in some of the more well known Victorians and what they are about (Darwin, Nightinggale etc).

First in a series. I just might have to continue this series to see if it remains quite so imaginative.

Apr 30, 2016, 6:18am Top

There are six books in this series! Enjoy!

Apr 30, 2016, 8:01am Top

>73 connie53: Uh oh. :)

Apr 30, 2016, 2:15pm Top

23. Devil Colony - James Rollins - Sigma Force 7

ROOT and AlphaKIT

7th in the series. Lots of action as well as a surprising amount character development for a thriller series. That's what I like about it most. The main characters are so complex and well drawn that they are far from the norm for the genre.

Apr 30, 2016, 3:23pm Top

April Roundup:

Pages read: 3109. Largest month page total to date (this year anyway)
Books read: 8 - all 8 were ROOTS

Longest book: The Crippled God - 1200 pages
Shortest book: Half a Crown and Trapped - each at 320 pages.

2 mysteries, one period mystery, only current day mystery, one thriller, 4 SFF, 2 Sci Fi

One Five star read: The Crippled God.

One Did Not Finish: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland - I just found it boring.

Biggest surprise book: The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack - fun steampunk and very imaginative.

May 3, 2016, 2:32am Top

>76 majkia: 3109 pages! I'm totally flabbergasted!

May 4, 2016, 10:46am Top

>72 majkia: lol I love that description: " a travel from the future keeps appearing and frightening the Victorians" ;) I'll look forward to seeing if you like the series as it continues (assuming you do continue w/ it :))

>73 connie53: have you read them?

>77 connie53: ditto! Congrats on reading so many pages last month!

May 4, 2016, 10:55am Top

>72 majkia:
I was recommended Spring Heeled Jack when I was last in Bath - I happened across the wonderful Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights and one of the very helpful employees thought I might like that one. I'll have to pick it up!

May 4, 2016, 4:31pm Top

>79 Caramellunacy: Ooooo you went to Mr. B's!!! Did you do the book spa?

May 5, 2016, 5:43am Top

>80 rabbitprincess: I wish I had had that much foresight - it was one of those places I just happened across. Though I have told the husband that if he is ever having trouble coming up with a present for me, I would LOVE the personalised book subscription.

I mean, seriously, personalised books, brown paper packages tied up with strings, SEALING WAX!

May 5, 2016, 7:01am Top

>81 Caramellunacy: They do a great job with them!

May 5, 2016, 11:14am Top

If I ever manage to get back to Bath...

Edited: May 5, 2016, 11:21am Top

all of these words are enticing me... Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights? Book Spa?? What are these wonderful things? I will have to go to google to learn more..... :)

ETA: I did my looking and now I'm completely dumbfounded.

May 5, 2016, 2:51pm Top

Oh my, now that does look nice... Really nice... I think I need to go to Bath some time...

May 5, 2016, 2:58pm Top

I was in Bath in 2005. I think it was the most beautiful of all the cities I have been in: the Bath Abbey, The Roman Baths, the "circular city", Alexandria Park, and a bridge area...I can't remember the name! I loved the Roman Baths and the Abbey and the quaint cobblestone streets that we walked around on and ate our first true "fish and chips" in England; surprisingly and sadly they were no different than in the U.S!

May 5, 2016, 3:00pm Top

>86 tess_schoolmarm: Well, I would like to visit Bath anyway, for seeing the sights - but a lovely bokeshop like that does add something ;)

May 5, 2016, 3:13pm Top

Man I also went to Bath.. I think in ... 2002? And it was amazing. But I didn't know about the Emporium or the book spa! ;)

May 5, 2016, 3:25pm Top

I've been to Bath twice, no maybe thrice. Did not know about the Emporium, alas. I loved the city too.

May 8, 2016, 4:01pm Top

25. The Abyss Beyond Dreams - Peter F. Hamilton Part of The Commonwealth Universe series.

TBR Challenge, ROOT from 2015, SF/SFFKIT

There is a weird void in the Galaxy that seems threatening and is periodically grasping ships and taking them into itself. Who else but Nigel Sheldon, one of the creators of the Commonwealth, to ask to look into it and see if he can't neutralize it's powers.

I love this series, for it's elaborate world-building and imaginative creation of societies morphed to thrive in a universe so very different from the one we know, and yet be reasonable and understandable. He peoples these worlds with characters who are intriguing, deep and complex. Not to mention the science!

May 9, 2016, 11:48am Top

>90 majkia: sounds like a great read! Ending a review with "Not to mention the science!" is always a way to pique my interest.... ;)

May 10, 2016, 10:55am Top

>91 avanders: LOL. Yeah, I like it when the author can come up with some scientific explanation for their world, the way it is, the things they can do. It doesn't have to be real, but I do like logical and believable, even if I know it probably isn't actually possible, or at least not possible in the world the way we know it. But then, magic is just science we don't know yet, so...

May 11, 2016, 12:01pm Top

>92 majkia: me too.. I feel the same way -- even if it's not true, just so long as it's somewhat believable, I'm happy :)

May 13, 2016, 3:11pm Top

25. The Alphabet House - Jussi Adler-Olsen

ROOT from 2015, AlphaKIT

Rather grim tale of two English pilots shot down over Germany and their prolonged attempt to survive the war. I kept thinking I'd seen this movie. It is an older book of his, from 1997, although from the look of things, only newly translated.

Definitely not for those who want sunshine and ponies.

May 14, 2016, 12:42pm Top

26. The Flanders Panel - Arturo Perez-Reverte

ROOT from 2012

A thriller that follows a restorer, who is working on a painting called 'Game of Chess'. When her old lover is killed, she's driven on to discover what the painting is about, and asks her friends to help her understand the message she finds hidden in the painting, "who killed the knight". The more she delves into the mystery, the more danger she finds herself in.

I enjoyed the complexity of the set up, and particularly the whole lets figure out which piece took the knight and did someone actually kill the knight who is one of the players in the game of chess.

I love puzzles and this was definitely a complex and changing one!

May 14, 2016, 1:11pm Top

>95 majkia: Added to my wish list!

May 16, 2016, 10:31am Top

>95 majkia: oooooh, I loved that book when I read it. Glad you enjoyed it!

May 19, 2016, 12:23pm Top

>97 avanders: Oh, I did. Am always looking for more like this one.

May 19, 2016, 12:23pm Top

27. Cibola Burn - James S.A. Corey - The Expanse Book 4
- 4 stars

A ROOT and an SF/SFFKIT entry.

Scientists and corporate entities have been beaten through the Ring that opened up new worlds by hopeful folks who want to settle on one of these new worlds. Earth and the OPA approach Jim Holden and the crew of the Rosie and ask them to go through the Ring and act as mediators between the angry corporate ship headed there and the colonists.

Jim has been reluctant to have anything to do with that Ring, but as usual gets back into a corner and maneuvered into accepting the assignment.

Before the Rosie can get there, violence breaks out between the colonists and the corporate security forces so the crew lands in the middle of a fight they'd hoped to avoid.

From there things go even more pear-shaped when the planet decides to blow up.

Then it becomes a question of whether any of them can survive, and can they all manage to put aside their distrust and hatred and work together to do it.

Super series, and this is a solid, if different entry to the series. Excellent characters and world-building, and the series remains one of my favorites as a result.

May 20, 2016, 12:38pm Top

>99 majkia: whelp. added the 1st in the Expansion series to my wishlist.... Is this book part of that series?

May 20, 2016, 8:51pm Top

Part of the Expanse series if that's the one you mean. Starts with Leviathan Wakes.

May 22, 2016, 8:10am Top

29. Red Bones - Ann Cleeves Third in the Shetland books

Third entry in the Shetland books. Complex families, stories intermingled with lies, secrets and betrayals. Pasts that rear up unexpectedly, that take over and touch the residents of the Shetland islands. Like everywhere else, really.

The mystery is complex and I confess I guessed wrong about the killer, and never did guess the basic why of it.

I love her ability to make the islands come alive.

TBR Challenge, ROOT, RandomCAT

May 23, 2016, 1:49pm Top

>78 avanders: No I did not read them

>84 avanders: I want to go there too! I'm in desperate need of a bibliotherapist and a Spa sounds delightful.

May 23, 2016, 1:53pm Top

>101 majkia: probably :) Okay, thanks!

>103 connie53: I know, me toooo!!! sigh...

May 25, 2016, 10:11am Top

30. The Protector's War - S.M. Stirling - Emberverse 2, Nantucket 5

TBR Challenge, ROOT from 2013, AlphaKIT

It is year 8, after The Change. People are trying to survive, relearning how to grow their own food, protect themselves from marauders and warlords. The Bear Killer Clan and Clan Mackenzie are separate but close, with a mutual pact to assist when the self-styled Protector once again sends his forces to conquer them.

Lots of details with regard to primitive survival, and a surprisingly strong emphasis on worship of the Goddess.

Characters are well drawn and strong, and the plot is clear and pointed, with one small exception at the end.

It has cliff hangers though so beware. I'm having to hurry up and read the next book in the series right now!

Edited: May 31, 2016, 4:23pm Top

31. A Meeting at Corvallis - S.M. Stirling - 3rd of the Emberverse series

Third entry to the Emberverse, finishing up the series about the first 10 or so years after The Change. No one knows quite what happened, but on one fine evening, suddenly machines all stopped working at once. There followed massive upheaval and a few hearty folks who struggled to survive. These three books covered several small enclaves in the Pacific Northwest, and how they managed to put together a follow on civilization.

Lots of interesting learning to make-do, reinvention of primitive techniques for survival and lots of interesting approaches to governance.

TBR Challenge, ROOT

May 31, 2016, 4:31pm Top

32. The Rainaldi Quartet - Paul Adam - ROOT, TBR Challenge

Admittedly, I have a thing about the forging, stealing, creating, or collecting of works of art. You have only to look at my TBR Challenge to figure this out. ;) This time out, it's all about the violins.

Gianni is a luthier from Cremona. When a close friend of his, another luthier, is killed, he teams up with another close friend, who is the local detective, to find out just why he died and who dunnit.

I confess to knowing essentially nothing, not a damn thing, about violins, well, other than they sound terrific in the hands of an artist. So this was a crash course in fiddle terminology and creation as well as an eye opening treatise on how easily one could forge an Stradivari for instance.

I enjoyed the book, liked the menus and felt envious about them, and found the mystery, more the why of things than the who, kept me entertained throughout.

May 31, 2016, 6:31pm Top

>107 majkia: Sound like a lovely book. I too like books about music/art. This is a BB for me

Jun 1, 2016, 2:51pm Top

>107 majkia: "Admittedly, I have a thing about the forging, stealing, creating, or collecting of works of art."

THIS! It's like catnip...

Jun 1, 2016, 3:31pm Top

>108 tess_schoolmarm: and >109 Caramellunacy:

Nice to see I"m in good company!

Jun 1, 2016, 9:38pm Top

>107 majkia: I liked this too. In case you don't know there is a second one, Paganini's Ghost. I haven't read it yet but need to work it in soon.

Jun 7, 2016, 8:16am Top

33. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson

When monuments somehow displaced from the near future begin appearing around the world, a small cadre of scientists begin trying to figure out how and why it is happening. The story follows this group of people as they try to make sense of the Kuin monuments while the world falls apart around them.

Hard science, intriguing characters and unfortunately believeable human reactions to the situation, make the book fascinating, in an aghast kind of way.

AlphaKIT, ROOT from 2013, SF/SFFKIT

Jun 7, 2016, 9:04am Top

>112 majkia: oooooh ... BB.

Edited: Jun 9, 2016, 10:29am Top

34. Red Rising - Pierce Brown First in the Red Rising Trilogy

Darrow, a Red, is a miner. He and his people are low caste and have little to aspire to, only to survive the harsh mines of Mars. But there is an underground who hopes to overthrow the Golds who control the human worlds. And one day Darrow finds it.

Many folks compare this to The Hunger Games, but the world Darrow occupies is much harsher and less clear. Lies and controls and madness seem to be mixed together to hold the society where it is.

Darrow's struggle to survive, and to find a way to destroy this society is harrowing and appalling in its violence and cruelty. But then, the Golds haven't had to deal with a Hell Diver and they have no idea the chaos one wild uninhibited young man can wreak.


Edited: Jun 10, 2016, 1:33pm Top

>114 majkia: I read that and really enjoyed it as a more involved/complex YA dystopian.. glad you enjoyed it too! And now I guess I need to read the 2nd one. I just got annoyed because I won it as an early reviewer (here on LT? I think so....), but it was never sent to me. So I kind of boycotted it. I will pick it up cheap at a used bookstore or the library sale one of these days ;p

Jun 14, 2016, 11:49am Top

We are spending June and July at Eden Gardens State Park here in Florida, about an hour from home. Jim is volunteering here. Beautiful park, except for the yellow/dog flies that I am badly allergic to. Hopefully they will be gone in a week or so. Meanwhile, slathering up with Avon Skin-so-Soft bug spray.

Jun 14, 2016, 4:09pm Top

Well, it looks beautiful and cool and I'd like to take a nap under those trees. I know it's not really cool but it does look like it in that shade.

Jun 14, 2016, 5:34pm Top


Jun 16, 2016, 7:52am Top

How lovely! Good luck with the mosquito battle!

Jun 16, 2016, 12:55pm Top

34. Seventy-Seven Clocks - Christopher Fowler Bryant and May #3

Bryant is his usual irascible self and May his usual long-suffering but accepting self. This mystery begins when a man dressed as if he'd been moved through time from the past, destroys a painting on display. And, as the first act hints, the roots of the crimes are in London's Victorian past.

I really enjoy this series. Refreshing to an elder shown as bright and competent rather than as angry old farts to be got round.

Jun 18, 2016, 2:30pm Top

>116 majkia: Wow! I want to go there too! I really love that house and the garden is beautiful.

Jun 20, 2016, 11:06am Top

>116 majkia: wow that's beautiful!

Jun 23, 2016, 7:07am Top

36. Nexus - Ramez Naam

Excellent book of the fairly near future, whee a street drug is enhanced by a young scientist so that it can connect minds. The US government is on a crusade to block this drug and to stop any humans from being changed into enhanced post-humans and goes after the scientist and anyone he cares about or who helps him.

Lots of neuroscience, lots of action, intriguing ideas, characters well-drawn.

Jun 24, 2016, 10:08am Top

37. Fated - Benedict Jacka -
- ROOT, AlphaKIT

Fun book, and a series I'll continue. Alex runs a 'magic' shop. He's a diviner, rather than a mage, which has it's drawbacks. However, since he can see the future he's in high demand from competing forces looking for a magical artifact.

Told in first person, with lots of humor. Enjoyable all round.

Edited: Jul 17, 2016, 9:15am Top

38. Red Gold - Alan Furst Night Soldiers Book 5

Alan Furst's series is about normal, everyday people stuck in the middle of Hell, when Europe goes to war. Some of them survive, some don't. Some find a way to work in the resistance, some try to escape, some help with that.

He presents the situation, not idealized with brave, beautiful people who are incredible spies, but instead as people who barely manage to find ways to survive, and do what little they can to help the cause of defeating Hitler. Fear is always present and one never knows who is knocking on your door, or who will be knocking it down.

Jun 30, 2016, 2:05pm Top

>125 majkia:, I clicked on the touchstone for Red Gold above (as I was interested) and noticed that it goes to Jane Eyre!

Jun 30, 2016, 3:14pm Top

#126 How odd! When I used 'more' to fix the touchstone, the correct book was listed as number one, and Jane Eyre was second. Very odd!

Edited: Jul 17, 2016, 9:14am Top

39. The Dreaming Void - Peter F. Hamilton

This is a re-read. I began reading book 2 of the Void Trilogy and realized how much I'd forgotten so went back to it.

Far future sci fi with complex characterization, intricate plotting and fascinating aliens and reimagined human societies.

Jul 17, 2016, 9:14am Top

40. The Temporal Void - Peter F. Hamilton Second in The Void Trilogy

ROOT from 2014, TBR Challenge, RandomCAT

Peter F. Hamilton continues to amaze with his elaborately constructed world-building, and complex imagination. Characters are numerous and deeply drawn and live in a world so different from ours, and yet, still colored by our internal faults, prejudices and hatreds. Still, hope and joy and love are there too, and the desire to strive above what limits us and succeed in changing the universe.

Edited: Jul 22, 2016, 6:46pm Top

41. Fortress in the Eye of Time - C.J. Cherryh

ROOT from 2012, SF/SFFKIT

Ambitious beginning to a series, with lots of complex world building and a main character who knows nothing - less even than Jon Snow.

I thought it was awfully wordy, and would have liked less internal dialog and more action. The story itself was interesting and I can see why so many folks like it. Interesting take on magic and sorcery.

Jul 31, 2016, 2:47am Top

Just popping in and saying 'Hi' to you!

Aug 30, 2016, 1:03pm Top

3 away from your goal! So close!!

Sep 17, 2016, 9:33am Top

EEp. Obviously I've not been keeping up.

Since the last update I've read:

41. The Evolutionary Void - Peter F. Hamilton

42. Artifact - Gregory Benford
43. The Fallen Blade - Jon Courtenay Grimwood
44 The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
45. Spartan Gold - Clive Cussler
46. Bloodline - James Rollins

47. Echo - Jack McDevitt - ROOT, AlphaKIT
48. At the Sign of the Crow and Moon - Mitchell Hogan
49. Crucible of Souls - Mitchell Hogan
50. Hammerfall - C.J. Cherryh - DNF
51. Nemesis Games - James S.A. Corey

I'm counting Hammerfall even if I did not finish it. I hereby give up on Cherryh. I forced myself to finish Fortress in the Eye of Time but couldn't stand another 100 page sojourn through the desert with Hammerfall. One way was enough! I really like her ideas but her writing makes me crazy. It feels/seems repetitive to me, and I just want to get on with the story without pages and pages of stuff that seems overdone. Just my opinion of course.

Also what to say that Nemesis Games was terrific. The best of The Expanse series so far, and it totally blew me away, as it blew away a lot of other things! Talk about following events to their logical extensions. Can't wait for Babylon's Ashes - so aptly named now that I've read its predecessor.

With regard to non-bookly things, we had a death in the family, I went on a 10 day trip to eastern Europe where I took a Danube cruise that was wonderful (except I never ever want to see Heathrow ever ever again), came back with a horrible cold, worked the Florida Primary election (training, early voting, and precinct voting) and we're already beginning to gear up for the Presidential election beginning next week. No promises I'll be updating much with that going on. Our hours will be much much longer for Early Voting (number of days as well as hours worked) so I'll be a lump of exhaustion after November 5th.

Sep 17, 2016, 9:34am Top

>132 avanders: And now done!

>131 connie53: Hey Connie!

Edited: Sep 18, 2016, 4:12am Top

Happy Sunday, Jean!

Congrats on reaching your goal

Sep 22, 2016, 11:52am Top

Wooo hoo Congrats on reaching your goal!!

Sep 24, 2016, 8:48am Top


Sep 24, 2016, 11:51am Top

Thanks, y'all!

Oct 2, 2016, 4:50pm Top

Counting Shadow of the Wind as a ROOT but it was a Did Not Finish for me. After 100 pages I wasn't looking forward to much in it.

Oct 2, 2016, 4:52pm Top

>139 majkia: You got further than I did! I will try it again, as I want to see what the fuss is all about, but the first couple of chapters really didn't do a thing for me.

Oct 18, 2016, 10:14am Top

>139 majkia: >140 Jackie_K: Strange how we readers sometime differ in tastes. I loved that book. and gave it ****.

Oct 18, 2016, 11:38am Top

>141 connie53: Yes, reading tastes are so individual, aren't they! And that is cool!

Edited: Oct 18, 2016, 12:27pm Top


Oct 20, 2016, 11:34am Top

Warchild - Karin Lowachee

Rarely do I award 5 stars to anything, but War Child deserves them. A sci fi book that delves into the horrors of child abuse and looks at how it colors their lives from thereon out. There are triggers for child abuse here, certainly, but it is handled carefully and in a non-exploitative manner. Kudos to Karin Lowachee for a masteful job.

Along with the obvious, the tale is a space opera with a lot of action, a complex plot, and incredibly thoughtful character development. No paper cutout characters in this tale

Nov 3, 2016, 1:47pm Top

>139 majkia: >140 Jackie_K: >141 connie53: >142 majkia: yep... it's so interesting!
Even when you find a book that's just SO good (like Shadow of the Wind was for me ;)), someone else is just "meh" about it... It's what makes us all individuals! :)

Dec 5, 2016, 3:06pm Top

Brat Farrar - Jospehine Tey.

This year I started reading a mystery series by Nicola Upson that features Josephine Tey as the female lead as she and her friend Archie solve mysteries. The one I finished just before I started Brat Farrar, the second in the Upson series Angel with Two Faces was so very similar to Brat Farrar. They are both about twins, both about mysterious, possibly suicidal deaths, both set in a similar setting (the south of England) and both were very much horsey kinds of tales

I really enjoyed Brat Farrar. Although I'd figured out the mystery very early on, I was still compelled to read onward because I wanted poor Brat to come out of the story with some sort of hopeful ending, and it just didn't seem as if he could manage it.

Both stories were, also, very psychological rather than procedurally complex. I much prefer my mysteries focusing on the people's motivations and thoughts than the murders so I was quite happy about it.

Dec 23, 2016, 10:40pm Top

Dec 24, 2016, 7:10pm Top

A Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice and a Kewl Yule to you and yours, Jean.

Dec 31, 2016, 10:57am Top

Yearly wrap up:

79 total books
35,930 pages


Long Live Malaz! The Crippled God was the end of the Book of the Fallen. Incredible he was able to wrap up all those threads!

And Dancer's Lament was the start of a new trilogy about a few of the characters in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Wonderful, funny and imaginative.

Also, the best Sci Fi series currently being written IMHO, The Expanse. Latest read, Nemesis Games.

Warchild by Karin Lowachee. Marvelous.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson was quite the story of an apocalypse.

And last but not least Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Keep rising when necessary, folks!


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