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Kassilem's (Melissa) 2016 Reading, Part 2

This is a continuation of the topic Kassilem's (Melissa) 2016 Reading .

75 Books Challenge for 2016

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Edited: Dec 30, 2016, 10:41pm Top

Books Read in 2016

Below will be a condensed list of what I read, while in the posts below I'll put my reviews. Happy reading!!

1. Just One Night - Gayle Forman
2. The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker
3. Warheart - Terry Goodkind
4. A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller Jr.
5. Shadows of Self - Brandon Sanderson
6. Language Lessons - Jay Bell
7. Something Like Stories, Vol. 1 - Jay Bell
8. The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

9. Rose Daughter - Robin McKinley
10. Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus - Bill Wasik & Monica Murphy
11. Queen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas
12. Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
13. Level Up: A Geek Romance - Cathy Yardley
14. Stray - Rachel Vincent
15. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

16. Winter - Marissa Meyer
17. Fairest - Marissa Meyer
18. The Death of Dulgath - Michael J. Sullivan
19. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
20. Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection - Marissa Meyer

21. The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice
22. The Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice
23. Another Day - David Levithan
24. Six Earlier Days - David Levithan
25. The Wolves of Midwinter - Anne Rice
26. Messenger's Legacy - Peter V. Brett
27. Hold Me Closer - Daivd Levithan
28. The Tale of the Body Thief - Anne Rice
29. Saving Alex - Alex Cooper
30. The Liar's Key - Mark Lawrence
31. Kamikaze Boys - Jay Bell
32. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
33. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

34. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex - Mary Roach
35. The Fairy Godmother - Mercedes Lackey
36. I Was Here - Gayle Forman
37. Wonder - R. J. Palacio
38. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
39. The Geography of Bliss - Eric Weiner
40. The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom

41. Packing For Mars - Mary Roach
42. The Magician's Nephew - C. S. Lewis
43. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
44. The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
45. Marked in Flesh - Anne Bishop
46. Blood Kiss - J. R. Ward
47. The Beast - J. R. Ward

48. Calamity - Brandon Sanderson
49. Memnoch the Devil - Anne Rice
50. Of Mice and Man - John Steinbeck
51. The Martian - Andy Weir
52. The Bands of Mourning - Brandon Sanderson
53. Morning Star - Pierce Brown
54. The Vampire Armand - Anne Rice
55. Blood and Gold - Anne Rice
56. Pandora - Anne Rice
57. Prince Lestat - Anne Rice

58. Fire Touched - Patricia Briggs
59. You Know Me Well - David Levithan & Nina LaCour
60. The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater
61. Something Like Rain - Jay Bell
62. Remember My Name - Chase Potter
63. Age of Myth - Michael J. Sullivan
64. Fin&Matt - Charlie Winters
65. The Angels' Share - J. R. Ward
66. The Rebel - J. R. Ward
67. Watership Down - Richard Adams
68. League of Dragons - Naomi Novik
69. UnEnchanted - Chanda Hahn
70. Blood Rights - Kristen Painter
71. UnSouled - Neal Shusterman
72. People of the Wolf - Kathleen O'Neal Gear & Michael Gear

73. UnDivided - Neal Shusterman (Post 11)
74. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman (Post 12)
75. UnStrung: An Unwind Story - Neal Shusterman (Post 13)
76. UnBound: Stories from the Unwind World - Neal Shusterman (Post 14)
77. Just Between Us - J H Trumble (Post 22)
78. If I Told You So - Timothy Woodward (Post 23)
79. The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch (Post 24)
80. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King (Post 25)

81. Naruto: Kakashi's Story - Akira Higashiyama (Post 33)
82. Chalice - Robin McKinley (Post 34)
83. Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (Post 38)
84. Closer to the Chest - Mercedes Lackey (Post 40)

85. Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas (Post 48)
86. The Wheel of Osheim - Mark Lawrence (Post 49)
87. Nest - Terry Goodkind (Post 53)
88. The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson (Post 54)

89. Vittorio, the Vampire - Anne Rice (Post 57)
90. Mistborn: Secret History - Brandon Sanderson (Post 59)
91. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell - Brandon Sanderson (Post 61)
92. Sixth of the Dusk - Brandon Sanderson (Post 62)
93. Arcanum Unbounded - Brandon Sanderson (Post 63)
94. Better You than I: A Raised by Wolves Short Story - W. A. Hoffman (Post 65)
95. The Goldfinch: A Novel - Donna Tartt (Post 69)
96. Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis - Anne Rice (Post 70)
97. Blood Vow - J. R. Ward (Posy 76)
98. Brethren: Raised By Wolves - W. A. Hoffman (Post 78)
99. Matelots: Raised by Wolves - W. A. Hoffman (Post 79)
100. My Name is Memory - Ann Brashares (Post 80)

Edited: Oct 27, 2016, 11:54pm Top

Best-21st-Fantasy Challenge (16/25)
Here's a list of the best 21st century fantasy novels I am working through. This will be my second year of consciously pulling books from the list. And, as I no longer have access to a library, living in Ghana and all, the majority of books I read now come from my lists, so I hope to put a deep dent in this and the following lists. :)

Gaiman, Neil : American Gods (2014)
Clarke, Susanna : Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Rothfuss, Patrick : The Name of the Wind (2009)
Mieville, China : The Scar
Rowling, J. K. : Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2009)
Martin, George R. R. : A Feast for Crows (2008)
Bujold, Lois McMaster : The Curse of Chalion
Mieville, China : The City & the City (2014)
Fforde, Jasper : The Eyre Affair (2014)
Gaiman, Neil : Coraline (2014)
Wolfe, Gene : The Wizard Knight
Bujold, Lois McMaster : Paladin of Souls
Pratchett, Terry : Going Postal (2016)
Pratchett, Terry : Night Watch
Lynch, Scott : The Lies of Locke Lamora (2016)
Abercrombie, Joe : The Blade Itself (2015)
Gaiman, Neil : The Graveyard Book (2014)
Jemisin, N. K. : The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2014)
Le Guin, Ursula K. : Lavinia
Sanderson, Brandon : Mistborn (2012)
Rowling, J. K. : Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2008)
Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Other Wind
Gaiman, Neil : Anansi Boys (2015)
Novik, Naomi : His Majesty's Dragon (2013)
Kay, Guy Gavriel : Under Heaven

Best 20th Fantasy Challenge (35/75)
Here's a list of the best seventy-five 20th century fantasy novels created from Locus Online polls that I am working my way through as well.

1 Tolkien, J. R. R. : Lord of the Rings (2013)
2 Martin, George R. R. : A Game of Thrones (2008)
3 Tolkien, J. R. R. : The Hobbit (2008)
4 Le Guin, Ursula K. : A Wizard of Earthsea (2014)
5 Zelazny, Roger : Nine Princes in Amber
6 Mieville, China : Perdido Street Station
7 Lewis, C. S. : The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
8 Gaiman/Pratchett : Good Omens (2015)
9 Rowling, J. K. : Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2008)
10 Crowley, John : Little, Big
11 Adams, Richard : Watership Down (2016)
12 Martin, George R. R. : A Storm of Swords (2008)
13 Goldman, William : The Princess Bride
14 Beagle, Peter S. : The Last Unicorn
15 White, T. H. : The Once and Future King (2015)
16 Kay, Guy Gavriel : Tigana (2015)
17 Gaiman, Neil : Neverwhere (2016)
18 Wolfe, Gene : The Book of the New Sun
19 Vance, Jack : The Dying Earth
20 Bulgakov, Mikhail : The Master and Margarita
21 Rowling, J. K. : Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2008)
22 Tolkien, J. R. R. : The Silmarillion (2015)
23 Leiber, Fritz : The Swords of Lankhmar
24 Jordan, Robert : The Eye of the World (2009)
25 Rowling, J. K. : Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2008)
26 Donaldson, Stephen R. : Lord Foul's Bane (2009)
27 Bradbury, Ray : Something Wicked This Way Comes (2015)
28 Peake, Mervyn : Gormenghast
29 Powers, Tim : The Anubis Gates
30 Martin, George R. R. : A Clash of Kings (2008)
31 Bradley, Marion Zimmer : The Mists of Avalon (2016)
32 Hobb, Robin : Assassin's Apprentice (2009)
33 Pratchett, Terry : The Colour of Magic
34 Holdstock, Robert : Mythago Wood
35 King, Stephen : The Stand
36 L'Engle, Madeleine : A Wrinkle in Time (2007)
36 Pratchett, Terry : Small Gods
38 Howard, Robert E. : Conan the Barbarian
39 Ende, Michael : The Neverending Story
40 Peake, Mervyn : Titus Groan
41 McCaffrey, Anne : Dragonflight (2013)
42 Feist, Raymond E. : Magician
43 Orwell, George : Animal Farm (2014)
44 Silverberg, Robert : Lord Valentine's Castle
45 Lovecraft, H. P. : At the Mountains of Madness (2015)
46 Swanwick, Michael : The Iron Dragon's Daughter
47 King, Stephen : The Shining
48 Garcia Marquez, Gabriel : One Hundred Years of Solitude
49 Saint-Exupery, Antoine de : The Little Prince (2015)
50 Hughart, Barry : Bridge of Birds
51 Rice, Anne : Interview with the Vampire (2010)
51 King, Stephen : It
53 Stewart, Mary : The Crystal Cave
54 Mirrlees, Hope : Lud-In-The-Mist
55 Anthony, Piers : A Spell for Chameleon
56 Pullman, Philip : The Amber Spyglass (2007)
57 McKillip, Patricia A. : The Riddle-Master of Hed
58 Jackson, Shirley : The Haunting of Hill House (2015)
59 Brooks, Terry : The Sword of Shannara (2008)
60 Heinlein, Robert A. : Glory Road
61 Eddison, E. R. : The Worm Ouroboros
62 Le Guin, Ursula K. : Tehanu
63 Eddings, David : Pawn of Prophecy (2008)
64 Grimwood, Ken : Replay
65 Zelazny, Roger : Lord of Light
66 Grahame, Kenneth : The Wind in the Willows (2014)
67 Anderson, Poul : The Broken Sword
68 Kay, Guy Gavriel : The Lions of Al-Rassan
69 Barker, Clive : Imagica
70 Jones, Dianna Wynne : Howl's Moving Castle (2015)
71 Donaldson, Stephen R. : The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (2010)
71 Burroughs, Edgar Rice : A Princess of Mars (2010)
73 Leiber, Fritz : Our Lady of Darkness
73 Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Earthsea Trilogy
75 Priest, Christopher : The Prestige

BBC-List-of-Best-100 Challenge (44/100)
This is a list that BBC put together of the best 100 literary books a person should read. They think that on average a person has only read 6 of these books. I made it a goal to read as many of these as I can. These are the books you always hear people talk about and should read so that you can have your own opinion as well.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (2014)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (2013)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (2009)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (2013)
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (2014)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (2013)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (2007)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (2005)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (2013)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (2015)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (2008)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (2014)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (2009)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (2014)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (2014)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (2013)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (2005)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (2015)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (2005)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (2015)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (2007)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (2014)
41 Animal Famr - George Orwell (2014)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (2009)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (2015)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (2016)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (2007)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (2015)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (2011)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons (2015)
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (2016)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (2015)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (2016)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (2016)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (2013)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (2015)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (2013)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (2007)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (2015)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (2005)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (2016)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (2015)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint Exupery (2015)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (2016)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (2015)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (2015)

Sep 1, 2016, 12:34am Top

HAPPY New Thread, Melissa, and congratulations on the new job!

Sep 1, 2016, 3:10am Top

Happy new thread! Hope the new job continues to go well.

Sep 1, 2016, 5:46am Top

Happy new thread, Melissa!

Sep 1, 2016, 7:01am Top

Happy new one, Melissa!

Sep 1, 2016, 10:24am Top

Happy new thread, Melissa!

Sep 1, 2016, 10:46am Top

Hello, Melissa! *Hugs*

Sep 1, 2016, 2:40pm Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 5, 2016, 4:20pm Top

Thanks everyone for the hellos! Glad to see my anti-social-ness hasn't driven everyone away. :)

73. UnDivided - Neal Shusterman
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: 400
Rating: 5 Stars

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future. But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

It's over. Actually there is another book full of short stories coming after this one as a kind of epilogue if I'm getting my facts straight. But for all intents and purposes, this is the end of the Unwind series. This dystopia is like nothing I've read before. It's forever going to be in my head. I love talking to people about this book I've been reading because their faces and expressions show just how horrifying it sounds. And to actually read it, is a whole other experience. I wasn't too thrilled about the second book, so it's taken me a while to get through this series, but now that I have I can't believe this series is not more popular. it is a lesson in morality. It's a lesson in how far we allow things to go, all by not doing anything. It's a lesson in a million other things. Seriously, I am never going to be able to forget this story of a horrifying possibility.

Favorite Line:
'Of course adult pluripotent stem cells have nothing to do with embroyonic stem cells, but facts never prevent the ignorant from jerking their knees into the groin of science.'

Sep 5, 2016, 7:30pm Top

74. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 464
Rating: 4 Stars
(TBR-20th c. Best Fantasy)

Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman with a good heart whose life is changed forever when he stops to help a bleeding girl—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world—and may well die trying.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book because I'm not really a fan of Gaiman's stories. It's my understanding that this was an earlier story from him, so many it's just the later stuff that I don't like. It's the classic tale of a no-body who gets pulled into a quest-like adventure and discovers that he's smarter or stronger or better then he ever thought he was and becomes a hero by the end of the story. That, with a little British tilt to it. Enjoyable.

Sep 13, 2016, 8:57pm Top

75. Unstrung: An Unwind Story - Neal Shusterman
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: 92
Rating: 4 Stars
(Walk By-Pick Up)

How did Lev Calder move from an unwillingly escaped Tithe to a clapper? In this revealing short story, Neal Shusterman opens a window on Lev’s adventures between the time he left CyFi and showed up at the Graveyard.

I never did read this book between the first book Unwind, and the second book UnWholly, so this novela probably didn't make as much of an impact on me as it might have. However, on the other side of the coin, having read the whole series before coming to this novella, I could appreciate where Lev is at this point in his life, knowing where he'll go. Not necessary to complete the series, but a nice interlude.

Sep 13, 2016, 9:03pm Top

76. UnBound: Stories from the Unwind World - Neal Shusterman
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 Stars

Find out what happens to Connor, Risa, and Lev now that they’ve finally destroyed the Proactive Citizenry in this collection of short stories set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman

Contrary to what the summary of the book says, we don't get to see where Conner, Risa or Lev are in this latest book in the Unwind series. We get hints here and there but this installment is more about other characters. I enjoyed all of the stories in here. They add to the world, give it depth that is something missing in the series due to it's focus on only a few select characters. And the ending kind of hints that there might be more stories to come. That might have just been a playful touch but I would not be adverse to wishing for more form this series. :)

Sep 14, 2016, 6:45am Top

Congrats on reaching 75!

Sep 14, 2016, 9:36am Top


Sep 14, 2016, 3:59pm Top

Huzzah for reaching the magic number!

Sep 15, 2016, 5:39pm Top

Wow - lots to celebrate! Happy new thread! Happy new job! Congrats on 75!

Sep 15, 2016, 5:57pm Top

Congrats on the 75 books. Hope the new role is treating you well.

Sep 15, 2016, 10:13pm Top

Hi Melissa, wow, congratulations on your new job, your new thread and for passing the 75 mark!

Sep 16, 2016, 9:30pm Top

Thanks everyone!!! I'm currently in the middle of a move too! Unfortunately that means I don't have internet for the time being and must grab it while I can when visiting the parents house. :) All lot is changing. Hopefully things will be much more settled after this though.

Sep 20, 2016, 12:10am Top

Well we got the internet up and working today. And unpacking-wise I'm down to the decor but I need more surfaces before I can figure out what to do with it all. So that actually means I might be able to focus a little more energy and time on all my library books. (Right in time for all my favorite TV shows to start airing, of course.)

77. Just Between Us - J H Trumble
Genre: GLBT, Romance
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Luke Chesser is trying to forget his spectacular failure of a love life. He practices marching band moves for hours in the hot Texas sun, deals with his disapproving father, and slyly checks out the new band field tech, Curtis Cameron. Before long, Luke is falling harder than he knew he could. And this time, he intends to play it right. Since testing positive for HIV, Curtis has careened between numbness and fear. Too ashamed to tell anyone, Curtis can't possibly act on his feelings. And Luke--impulsive, funny, and more tempting than he realizes--won't take a hint. Even when Curtis distances himself it backfires, leaving him with no idea how to protect Luke from the truth.

This was a very good YA book. I've haven't come across too many books that deal with the topic of HIV and AIDS. I expected more of a story about living with the disease, and being a partner to someone who lives with the disease. This was more a story about coming to terms with having the disease and the struggle between partners when something like this comes up in a relationship. I really enjoyed the aspect of the story that had the marching band settings. It took me back to my own high school marching band years. Anyways, this is a great solid romance story. A few points that I feel could have been fleshed out, but overall it's a good addition to the YA sections.

Favorite Line:
"It's okay to be vulnerable," Albert says. "That's what living is all about."

Sep 22, 2016, 10:38pm Top

78. If I Told You So - Timothy Woodward
Genre: GLBT, Romance
Pages: 257
Rating: 3 Stars

The summer you turn sixteen is supposed to be unforgettable. It's the stuff of John Hughes movies and classic songs, of heart-stopping kisses and sudden revelations. But life isn't always like the movies. For Sean Jackson, sixteen is off to an inauspicious start. His options: take a landscaping job in Georgia with his father, or stay in his small New Hampshire hometown, where the only place hiring is the local ice cream shop. Donning a pink t-shirt to scoop sundaes for tourists and seniors promises to be a colder, stickier version of hell. Still, he opts to stay home. On his first day at work, Sean meets Becky, a wickedly funny New York transplant. The store manager, Jay, is eighteen, effortlessly cool, and according to Becky, "likes" Sean the way Sean's starting to like him. But before he can clear a path to the world that's waiting, Sean will have to deal with his overprotective mother, his sweet, popular girlfriend, Lisa, his absentee father, and all his own uncertainties and budding confusions.

This book was clearly for a younger audience than myself. Especially after reading the book I did previous which had the same genre and basic story line, this one seemed much more juvenile. For me that means it gets a lower star rating. As a story it was good with a lot of the right elements for a classic teen gay romance/coming out story. But I don't get much from the simple romance stories anymore. And on I move.

Favorite Line:
'Somewhere in the back of my head, there's at least one brain cell that knows she's right."

Oct 1, 2016, 11:04pm Top

79. The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 736
Rating: 3
(TBR-21st Best Fanasty)

An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.

Well, as thieves are not my favorite characters, this book was probably never going to make it as a high star for me. Perhaps if I just really loved the character... I love the symmetry of the name Locke Lamora and the way it rolls off the tongue but Locke as a character didn't quite endear himself to me. The story was a good one though with good twists and intrigue. The world building was good too although I didn't see it go anywhere to completion. Supposedly this is the first in five books, but I doubt I will take the time to pick the next book up. However I am glad I finally got to it.

Oct 2, 2016, 11:49am Top

Looks like your new job hasn't slowed down your reading all THAT much. Are you enjoying it?

Oct 2, 2016, 6:37pm Top

>24 Kassilem: It's interesting -- I really loved that series, but I've met a lot of LTers who don't. Apparently it appeals to only certain people, and there's no predicting which ones!

Edited: Oct 2, 2016, 8:08pm Top

80. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
Genre: Memoir, Writing
Pages: 288
Rating: 3
(Walk By-Pick Up)

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery.

I actually struggled to get through this book. I was hoping for something to motivate me to get back into my writing and while it did do that in a sense, actually getting through this book before it was due back to the library was a hassle. I guess because it didn't really keep me hooked. Interested, but not terribly so. Probably just a mood I'm in on top of the exhaustion going on right now. There's good information in here, some things you've heard before and other that you might not have heard before. I learned more about publishing and agents then I knew. Recommended if you are a beginner writer hoping to publish something someday.

Oct 2, 2016, 7:02pm Top

>25 Morphidae: Haha. Not much. I feel like it's slowed down but when I look at the numbers they're still fairly high. I really like the job. I wasn't planning on staying in the city I'm in for much longer but now I'm thinking I might be here for a while. The job fits me really well and it's kind of changed my outlook on what I thought my future was going to look like. I think I could stay here for the next who knows how long! :) It's a small company but we're growing so fast so that's leaving me with a lot of room to grow and work my way up the company ladder. I need to pop by your thread! I'm really not doing a good job of being active on everyone's threads this year. :( Next year I'm redeem myself ;)

>26 foggidawn: I thought I'd really like it because I didn't mind the points that I saw other people making about what they didn't like, but it wasn't meant to be. I am a firm believer though that format and time sometimes have an influence on whether we like a book or not. I listened to the book on audio and I'm struggling a little with reading right now, so those two things could have been the breaker.

Oct 2, 2016, 8:13pm Top

Reading Stats: September

Books: 8
Pages: 2,877

Audiobook: 2
Dead Tree: 6

TBR: 6
Walk By-Pick Up: 2

5 Stars: 1
4 Stars: 4
3 Stars: 3

Time Range:
1990-1999: 1
2000-2009: 1
2010-2016: 6

Dystopia: 3
Romance: 2
High Fantasy: 1
Urban Fantasy: 1
Memoir: 1
Writing: 1

Graphic Novels read: 0 ('GN Blog' can be found HERE)
Movies Watched: 0 ('Movie Blog' can be found HERE)

Oct 8, 2016, 12:43pm Top

I will be uesing the same BBC list for challenges next year.

Oct 8, 2016, 2:34pm Top

Congratulations on hitting the 75 book mark and on the new job, Melissa!

Oct 8, 2016, 11:19pm Top

A lot to catch up on here, Melissa, and all of it good! New job, book milestones reached, well done indeed! xx

I was in Ghana last week and must admit that you crossed my mind a few times especially on those days I was out of Accra and into the sticks a little. Place needs a lot of work and a lot of help.

Have a lovely weekend.

Oct 9, 2016, 6:55pm Top

>30 BBGirl55: Awesome Bryony :) I think it's a pretty good list myself.

>31 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>32 PaulCranswick: Ah Ghana. I do miss that place. I just watched the movie 'Queen of Katwe' and it brought back so many memories. I hope you have a god rest of your weekend too!

81. Naruto: Kakashi's Story - Akira Higashiyama
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 210
Rating: 3
(Walk By-Pick Up)

A year has passed since the Fourth Great Ninja War, and Kakashi’s appointment as Hokage looms. But first he heads to the Land of Waves for a dangerous mission rescuing hostages from a top-secret airship. There he confronts a ninja whose heart is frozen by tragedy. Having lost both his friend’s eye and his greatest abilities, can Kakashi protect anyone from his coldhearted foe? What is the true meaning of the Will of Fire gained in the distant heavens? Kakashi finds these answers and more as he enters a new ninja era.

This story wasn't that good. It's basically fanfiction that's been published and I've read a lot of fanfiction that's better than this. Some of this was probably due to translation issues. Some things are just better said in Japanese and don't translate well into English. I almost put the book down, but I hear that the next book is much better, and it was a pretty fast read. Only recommend for die-hard fans of Naruto however.

Oct 19, 2016, 9:20pm Top

82. Chalice - Robin McKinley
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 263
Rating: 3

Mirasol is a beekeeper, a honey-gatherer, with an ability to speak to the earthlines - the sentient parts of Willowlands, where she lives. The concerns of Master, Chalice, and Circle, who govern Willowlands, have nothing to do with her until the current Master and Chalice die in a fire and leave no heirs to take their places. The Master's closest relative has been a priest of Fire for the past seven years; he is not quite human anymore. And then the Circle comes to Marisol and tells her that she is the new Chalice, and it will be up to her to bind the land and its people with a Master, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone.

I forget how slow McKinley's books can be until I start reading one of her books. But generally they are pretty good. Rated on it's own, it was a good story. Rated in relation to McKinley's other books, it's not my favorite. I feel that the book could have benefited from more back story. I never felt close to any of the characters because there wasn't much time dedicated to them. Also there was a style of writing in the book that caused a lack of flow for me. There was a lot of looking backwards. If you want to start reading McKinley, don't start with this one.

Oct 19, 2016, 11:50pm Top

I think her books are slow anyway. But if you are saying this is slow even for her... Nope, not for me!

Oct 26, 2016, 9:54pm Top

>35 Morphidae: Yea, not my favorite. ;)

My reading is really lagging :( This makes me unhappy. But I just got a hefty raise at work, two months after I become employed! This makes me happy. :)

Oct 27, 2016, 10:15am Top

>36 Kassilem: Whoo hoo! Congrats! That must make you feel amazing.

Oct 28, 2016, 12:21am Top

>37 Morphidae: Very! Now if I could just catch up with the work on my desk. I've been putting in a lot of late nights trying to catch up. Maybe this is their way of saying keep it up? :)

83. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: 311
Rating: 4
(TBR-BBC's Best 100)

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies? Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

This was a very interesting book. I like to read dystopia books because I like to see the ideas that people come up with for possible futures. I don't know if Atwood wrote this as presenting a real possibility with a hard clear lesson in it or if it was more just a story about human nature. Regardless, I enjoyed it. The context of the story is a little horrifying and it certainly makes you think about hows things are versus how they could be. It makes you appreciate things you never really appreciated before. I do recommend this book, perhaps more for the the female side of the species, as they will relate to it more than males. But it's a great thought provoker for everyone.

Favorite Line:
We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?

Oct 29, 2016, 10:28am Top

As a male of the species, I gave The Handmaid's Tale 5 stars and consider it one of my favorite books of all time. :)

Oct 30, 2016, 7:16pm Top

>39 Ape: Perfect :) I suppose when it's a good book, it doesn't really matter who the audience is.

84. Closer to the Chest - Mercedes Lackey
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 384
Rating: 3

Someone has discovered many secrets of the women of the Court and the Collegia—and is using those secrets to terrorize and bully them. Someone is targeting the religious houses of women, too, leaving behind destruction and obscene ravings. But who? Someone at the Court? A disgruntled Palace servant? One of the members of the Collegia? Someone in the patriarchal sect of the god Sethor? Could the villain be a woman? And what is this person hoping to achieve? It isn’t blackmail, for the letters demand nothing; the aim seems to be the victims’ panic and despair. But why? Mags and Amily take steps to minimize the damage while using both magic and wits to find the evildoer. But just as they appear to be on the verge of success, the letter-writer, tires of terror and is now out for blood.

This book took a lot of effort to finish. Honestly I begin to do a little skimming 2/3 of the way through just so I could finish it. The problem with this series is that it just isn't very exciting. While there is always something going on here, it never feels like much is going on. I haven't quite given up on the series but it is becoming a near thing.

Oct 30, 2016, 7:23pm Top

Reading Stats: October

Books: 4
Pages: 1,168

Audiobook: 1
Dead Tree: 3

TBR: 2
New: 1
Walk By-Pick Up: 1

5 Stars: 0
4 Stars: 1
3 Stars: 3

Time Range:
1980-1989: 1
2010-2016: 3

Dystopia: 1
High Fantasy: 2
Epic Fantasy: 1

Graphic Novels read: 2 ('GN Blog' can be found HERE)
Movies Watched: 2 ('Movie Blog' can be found HERE)

Oct 30, 2016, 9:57pm Top

>40 Kassilem: Oh dear, I'm due to pick that one up from the library.

Nov 2, 2016, 9:25pm Top

>42 Morphidae: :/ Well I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Perhaps a quicker read through it will result in a different outlook by the end? Best luck with it.

Nov 2, 2016, 10:37pm Top

Congrats on the raise, Melissa!

Nov 2, 2016, 10:59pm Top

>40 Kassilem: I finished it and agree with you.

Nov 3, 2016, 8:38pm Top

>44 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>45 Morphidae: :/ Do you know if there is supposed to be another book coming after that one?

Nov 3, 2016, 8:58pm Top

>46 Kassilem: I think it's one of those open-ended series so she can keep writing Valdemar books.

Nov 16, 2016, 11:03pm Top

85. Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 704
Rating: 4

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't. With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Another great story in the series. I really enjoyed this book. The only thing that slightly irked me was all the romance going on. I can see one love thread going but when every female and male in the book suddenly finds themselves making eyes at each other, it begins to seem a little overmuch. However, I am a sucker for seeing these macho males go doe eyed for their females. Anyways the story here is great, with twists in the right places. The ending of the book destroyed my emotions in a good way and makes me anxious to get my hands on the next book. Hopefully it will only be a year before that one comes out. Again, great series. If you're into fantasy, check this one out.

Nov 20, 2016, 11:02pm Top

86. The Wheel of Osheim - Mark Lawrence
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 432
Rating: 3

Jalan plans to return to the three w’s that have been the core of his idle and debauched life: wine, women, and wagering. Fate however has other plans, larger plans. The Wheel of Osheim is turning ever faster, and it will crack the world unless it’s stopped. When the end of all things looms, and there’s nowhere to run, even the worst coward must find new answers. Jalan and Snorri face many dangers, from the corpse hordes of the Dead King to the many mirrors of the Lady Blue, but in the end, fast or slow, the Wheel of Osheim always pulls you back. In the end it’s win or die.

My rating for this book probably has more to do with my frame of mind while reading it than any actual criticism to the book itself. However I found I just couldn't get into this book. I couldn't focus on it very well and as a result I felt like I kept missing important bits and pieces of information that connected things. The time jump from the end of the last book to the beginning of this book really threw me for a loop which then persisted throughout the rest of my reading. This book will definitely deserve another read at some point in my life when I can pay better attention to it.

Nov 24, 2016, 11:04am Top

I am thankful for your presence in the group, Melissa.

Nov 24, 2016, 6:48pm Top

Nov 27, 2016, 11:50pm Top

>50 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul!

>51 ronincats: Happy belated Thanksgiving to you as well Roni!

Nov 29, 2016, 11:02pm Top

87. Nest - Terry Goodkind
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 432
Rating: 2

Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But when she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her. Now, hot on Jack and Kate’s heels are a force of super-predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead.

I should have known. I suppose I did know. I had just hoped that Goodkind had gotten out of whatever funk he's been in. Seriously, this bad writing is beginning to make me second guess my love for his Sword of Truth series. Did I really love it like I remember loving it? I'm going to have to go back and check because his writing now could not inspire the awe I held for those earlier books. What happened? I'm beginning to become truly concerned. As for this book, the premise is interested and it did introduce me to some topics I've never come across before. There was even a small part of the book that really got me thinking about life and morality. There, at least, I could see a sliver of the old Goodkind writing. But other than that the book fell completely flat. The action and fight scenes were not realistic, the writing too repetitive, the dialogue too long winded, the characters flat, the romance ridiculous... you get my drift. I got a little excited when the story diverged into some genetics, but while the idea presented here is interesting, it's full of holes, which makes it seem unbelievable. This is supposed to be a thriller, and I spent 400 pages wondering when it was going to be over. Frankly, I am surprised at all the reviews I see for this book raving about how they couldn't put it down. Me? I had to work to keep reading. :/

Edited: Nov 30, 2016, 10:18pm Top

88. The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 176
Rating: 5

An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness. Shai is given an impossible task: to create—to Forge—a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. But her soul-Forgery is considered an abomination by her captors. She is confined to a tiny, dirty chamber, guarded by a man who hates her, spied upon by politicians, and trapped behind a door sealed in her own blood. Time is running out for Shai. Forging, while deducing the motivations of her captors, she needs a perfect plan to escape.

Brandon Sanderson writes the most intriguing magic systems. Once again, I find that I've come across something I haven't ever before. Even though this was only a novella, I really loved this story. The pacing was spot on for the short length it was. I've been told this can stand as a prequel to Elantris; if that is true then I can't wait to get my hands on that book. Give me more Sanderson :)

Dec 1, 2016, 4:25am Top

>54 Kassilem: Good review, Melissa, I read his Mistborn books this year and loved them.

Dec 2, 2016, 9:55pm Top

Reading Stats: November

Books: 4
Pages: 1,744

Audiobook: 1
Dead Tree: 3

TBR: 1
New: 3

5 Stars: 1
4 Stars: 1
3 Stars: 1
2 Stars: 1

Time Range:
2010-2016: 4

Thriller: 1
High Fantasy: 2
Epic Fantasy: 1

Graphic Novels read: 0 ('GN Blog' can be found HERE)
Movies Watched: 8 ('Movie Blog' can be found HERE)

Dec 2, 2016, 10:11pm Top

>55 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! They are goo books. have you tried his other books yet? Everything I read of Sanderson's is great.

89. Vittorio, the Vampire - Anne Rice
Genre: Gothic Fantasy
Pages: 304
Rating: 3

Educated in the Florence of Cosimo de' Medici, trained in knighthood at his father's mountaintop castle, Vittorio inhabits a world of courtly splendor and country pleasures—a world suddenly threatened when his entire family is confronted by an unholy power. In the midst of this upheaval, Vittorio is seduced by the beautiful and sinister vampire Ursula—setting in motion a chilling chain of events that will mark his life for eternity. Against a backdrop of the wonders—both sacred and profane—and the beauty and ferocity of Renaissance Italy, Anne Rice creates a passionate and tragic legend of doomed young love and lost innocence.

Even though this was a short book, I expected more than I received here. There wasn't much to the story besides how Vittorio became a vampire, which in itself felt a little disjointed for me. And I didn't get a sense of who Vittirio rally was. This story was all action and not much emotion or thought. I don't regret reading it, but I do think there could have been more done with the story.

Dec 3, 2016, 8:01am Top

>57 Kassilem: No I haven't read any others yet, Melissa, but I hope to get to them next year.

Dec 6, 2016, 11:49pm Top

>58 FAMeulstee: Have fun with them when you do! I highly recommend them.

90. Mistborn: Secret History - Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 165
Rating: 5

Mistborn: Secret History is a companion story to the original Mistborn trilogy.

Wow. If you were a fan of the Mistborn books, you will love this novella. It fills in a lot of gaps from those books. Some gaps that you didn't even realize were there. I unfortunately have forgotten a lot about the original series so this just makes me want to go back and reread the whole damn series. All three books, and then maybe the next three/four books in the Wax and Wayne era just for good measure and to pick up on all the hints I'm bound to see now, after reading this novella. Don't read this until after reading the Mistborn series.

Dec 7, 2016, 8:00am Top

>59 Kassilem: That one sound good too, Melissa, I'll be waiting for the Dutch translation...

Dec 9, 2016, 1:27am Top

>60 FAMeulstee: Definitely read that one when you can!

91. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell - Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Gothic Fantasy
Pages: 89
Rating: 4

When the familiar and seemingly safe turns lethal, therein danger lies. Amid a forest where the shades of the dead linger all around, every homesteader knows to follow the Simple Rules: "Don't kindle flame, don't shed the blood of another, don't run at night. These things draw shades." Silence Montane has broken all three rules on more than one occasion. And to protect her family from a murderous gang with high bounties on their heads, Silence will break every rule again, at the risk of becoming a shade herself.

Another good short story of Sanderson. I don't usually read short fiction because I always want more than the short story has allowance for. In this case, at least I know that sometime in the future, Sanderson might turn his writing to something along these lines again. He's got so many ideas and plans for books already, and all these short stories fit into his Cosmere one way or another so it is highly likely they will turn up somewhere else in his writing as well. Anyways, this was a good story about a strong woman and mother.

Dec 9, 2016, 1:35am Top

92. Sixth of the Dusk - Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 59
Rating: 4

Sixth of the Dusk, set in a never-before-seen world, showcases a society on the brink of technological change. On the deadly island of Patji, where birds grant people magical talents and predators can sense the thoughts of their prey, a solitary trapper discovers that the island is not the only thing out to kill him. When he begins to see his own corpse at every turn, does this spell danger for his entire culture?

What interesting worlds. This is why I like fantasy. You can do so much with writing fantasy - build whatever world you want. It doesn't have to make sense. It just is here. And this world is pretty cool. There is so much more that could be built on this, but I'm satisfied with it as it is for the time being. It would be cool to see this world come up again though.

Dec 9, 2016, 10:50pm Top

93. Arcanum Unbounded - Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 672
Rating: 5

The collection will include nine works in all. These wonderful works, originally published on Tor.com and elsewhere individually, convey the expanse of the Cosmere and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect, including the Hugo Award-winning novella, “The Emperor's Soul” and an excerpt from the graphic novel "White Sand." Arcanum Unbounded will also contain the 120-page Stormlight Archive novella "Edgedancer," which will appear in this book for the first time anywhere. It is a story of Lift, taking place between Words of Radiance and the forthcoming Oathbringer. Finally, this collection includes essays and illustrations for the various planetary systems in which the stories are set.

What a way to get a wealth of work from Brandon Sanderson. And a good way to see how diversified it all it. Each world is vastly different but also, it turns out, connected. I didn't even know the connections until this book. I'm going to enjoy how that will make me read his books differently from now on. Reading this gave me the chance to finally read all the short stories of his that I've been meaning to read for a long time now. I definitely recommend this book if you've read Sanderson's other works. It's not a book to read if you haven't though. This is not a good starting point, only a awesome ending point between books. I'm looking forward to more of Sanderson's. He never disappoints.

Dec 9, 2016, 10:57pm Top

Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere is pretty awesome. Once you know about the connections you can see little references to other worlds everywhere (and not so little hints, in the case of Words of Radiance.)

Dec 11, 2016, 1:47pm Top

>64 kgodey: That's a series I need to reread soon. :)

94. Better You than I: A Raised by Wolves Short Story - W. A. Hoffman
Genre: Historical Fiction, GLBT, Romance
Pages: 36
Rating: 4

A Raised by Wolves short story. The children of Will and Gaston teeter on the cusp of adulthood in the spring of 1685. The boys, Ulysses, Apollo, and Achilles, chafe at the restrictions and enjoy the privileges created by their parents’ unconventional choices. Apollo is the reluctant heir to the title and responsibility of holding their fragile household together, Les is free to pursue their cousin Pike and the open sea, and Uly is content to stay home, painting and reading, the second son of whom there are no expectations—if only his heart didn’t yearn for a thing his head is sure he should never seek. When Apollo’s temper snaps and brings childhood’s end, they must decide the form of their souls and the shape of their destiny.

I had no idea Hoffman was going to or had written a short story for after her Raised By Wolves series. I was ecstatic when I realized and bought this kindle book first thing. It's been a while since I've read the original series so I didn't get as much for the short story as I might have, reading it right after finishing off the series, but that's okay. Because reading this made me want to go read the original series again, which I will do gladly. This short story doesn't have much substance to it, but I think the only point of it was to give us readers just a little more of our favorite character's, Will & Gaston, lives. And anything, anything at all, is well received. Bless Hoffman!

Dec 11, 2016, 3:21pm Top

>59 Kassilem:, >61 Kassilem:, >62 Kassilem:, >63 Kassilem: I was going to ask if you were working through Arcanum Unbounded by any chance :-) I'm waiting to read it until I've caught up on the Stormlight Saga (currently reading The Way of Kings).

Dec 15, 2016, 3:32pm Top

I need to read Brandon Sanderson. I saw him talk at a book festival, and I knew from the way he held a conversation that I would like his books.

Dec 17, 2016, 4:16am Top

>65 Kassilem: Better him than me, I think!

Sounds like an intriguing book though.

Have a great weekend, Melissa. You may have noticed that the Government lost in the Ghana elections so I am not sure what that means for our potential business there.

Dec 18, 2016, 8:50pm Top

>66 souloftherose: There was one story in there that I couldn't read because I haven't read Elantris yet. You'll like the book when you get to it.

>67 rosylibrarian: Do it!

>68 PaulCranswick: I didn't notice! I'll have to look into that. :/

95. The Goldfinch: A Novel - Donna Tartt
Genre: Gothic Fiction
Pages: 771
Rating: 4

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

Firstly I liked that this book dealt with drug addiction but didn't have it as the focus. There was no overdosing, no rehab centers, no completely ruining one's life and having it make the person into someone they are not. This was handled very well in my opinion. I highly recommend listening to this book on audio. It brought out the Russian influence so much more than I would have picked up through just reading it myself. There are some great messages in this book but their are subtle, not necessarily handed to the reader easily. A good book. I can see why it is so popular.

Dec 23, 2016, 7:26pm Top

96. Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis - Anne Rice
Genre: Gothic Fantasy
Pages: 480
Rating: 5

A strange otherworldly form that has taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul. It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent--and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean. And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.

This writing is what I'm used to with Anne Rice. It seems to be back on par with her earlier Vampire Chronicles books. Hurray for that! Now I want to go out and buy them all again. It is always easy to see where Rice is with her faith from these books, and it looks like she'd switched gears again, which I am totally okay with. I liked a lot of her life arguments here. There is an element here that I was surprised to see, but when you're writing about vampires, witches, werewolves, etc., I suppose it's not a stretch to include some science fiction elements. I'm interested to see if these new races have much more to do with the series. As a caution, while the last book didn't touch on her latest books about Quinn, this one does briefly. It'd be a good idea to have read all of her vampire books before getting to this one. I'll be going back to read those ones that I skipped myself now. Great book. I'm eagerly awaiting more.

Dec 23, 2016, 9:11pm Top

I got another signed book! It was an amazing experience talking to Jay Bell via email during the process of buying this book.

Dec 23, 2016, 9:28pm Top

Wouldn't it be nice if 2017 was a year of peace and goodwill.
A year where people set aside their religious and racial differences.
A year where intolerance is given short shrift.
A year where hatred is replaced by, at the very least, respect.
A year where those in need are not looked upon as a burden but as a blessing.
A year where the commonality of man and woman rises up against those who would seek to subvert and divide.
A year without bombs, or shootings, or beheadings, or rape, or abuse, or spite.


Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!

Dec 24, 2016, 9:05am Top

>71 Kassilem: That is lovely, a book with a personal message from the writer :-)

Dec 25, 2016, 12:04am Top

This is the Christmas tree at the end of the Pacific Beach Pier here in San Diego, a Christmas tradition.

To all my friends here at Library Thing, I want you to know how much I value you and how much I wish you a very happy holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and the very best of New Years!

Dec 25, 2016, 9:33pm Top

>72 PaulCranswick: Malaysia?! Jealous! :) Best wishes that 2017 treats you well too Paul.

>73 FAMeulstee: Isn't it? Part of the reason is that Bell doesn't have a personal assistant so he takes care of all his own correspondence. Whatever the reason, it was so great. I've forever remember that exchange.

>74 ronincats: Happy holidays Roni. Thank you for the kind words.

Dec 25, 2016, 10:07pm Top

97. Blood Vow - J. R. Ward
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 480
Rating: 4

When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he’s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect. For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe’s dangerous appeal is enticing—and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin’s death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart. Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary’s new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

I'm just going to have to buy these books too. They're so entwined in the original Black Dagger Brotherhood series now that you kind of need to read them all in the order that they are being published. I'm okay with that. More of the BABUs. These Legacy books, though, have a different vibe than the original series does. I'm not sure what it is exactly. But different can be good. As long as I still keep getting my fix for the Black Dagger Brotherhood addiction. :) Bring on more, please!

Dec 25, 2016, 10:43pm Top

>76 Kassilem: She calls them a different series but, honestly, they feel like part of the original. The only difference I think is that the characters "feel" younger. They aren't as emotionally complicated.

Dec 26, 2016, 9:12pm Top

>77 Morphidae: That's it exactly. They just seem younger and not as complicated. I was expected more from Axe actually. There was a lot of great ground work to work with, but she never did anything with it.

98. Brethren: Raised By Wolves - W. A. Hoffman
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, GLBT
Pages: 541
Rating: 5 Stars

Romance in the West Indies: Wherein, the Viscount of Marsdale, duelist, libertine, dilettante, and haphazard philanthropist, travels to the colony of Jamaica to establish a sugar plantation for his estranged father. Once there he finds he had much in common with the buccaneers of Port Royal. Thus he joins them and learns of the strange traditions, tactics, and customs of the Brethren of the Coast. Falling in love he partners with Gaston, the mysterious French madman known as the Ghoul, and discovers another as noble, disenfranchised, and scarred as himself. Together, they explore an end to loneliness and seek to exorcise the demons of their pasts, in a wilderness torn by war and ambition.

This is my second reread of this book so I don't feel much need to get into why I love this book. Suffice to say I do. I absolutely adore this series. If you can handle male on male romance, pick this book up, get through the first few pages of different prose than your expecting, and you shall be hooked and addicted. :)

Dec 30, 2016, 8:35pm Top

99. Matelots: Raised by Wolves - W. A. Hoffman
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, GLBT
Pages: 603
Rating: 5 Stars

1668 - Marriage in the West Indies Wherein, we follow the continuing adventures of the buccaneer Will and his beloved matelot Gaston as they contend with unexpected brides, the need for an heir, misunderstandings with the French, and Henry Morgan's ambitions against the Spanish. Conflicts Arise, as Will, former libertine and duelist, haphazard philanthropist and philosopher, negotiates an ever-trickier path betwixt the requirements of his remaining the Viscount of Marsdale and his commitment to his matelot. Amidst This, Gaston, exiled French nobleman, physician, renowned buccaneer and madman, must learn to control his madness before it destroys them both. Together, they must discover how to nurture love and passion in the face of war, tradition, and the demons of their pasts.

More of the same awesomeness! Love it.

Dec 30, 2016, 10:37pm Top

100. My Name is Memory - Ann Brashares
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Time-Travel
Pages: 352
Rating: 3 Stars

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. For all the times that he and Sophia have been connected throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. But just when Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally awakens to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always separated them reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

I thought this book had a lot of promise. But ultimately I felt that it spent too much time in the past. I think the book would have benefited more with more scenes in the present. I didn't expect that because the whole reason I picked this book up was because I was interested in the historical aspects it had and the traveling through time. But as a entertaining story, there wasn't enough prose about how all that traveling through time ultimately changed Daniel as a person. I really liked the flashback sections. So perhaps more of the contemporary sections would have balanced it out nicely. An entertaining read but nothing special for me.

Dec 30, 2016, 10:57pm Top

Reading Stats: December

Books: 12
Pages: 4,239

Audiobook: 2
Dead Tree: 8
E-book: 2

TBR: 6
New: 4
Reread: 2

5 Stars: 5
4 Stars: 5
3 Stars: 2

Time Range:
2000-2009: 3
2010-2016: 9

Romance: 4
Gothic Fantasy: 3
Epic Fantasy: 3
Historical Fiction: 3
Urban Fantasy: 2
Time Travel: 1
Gothic Fiction: 1

Graphic Novels read: 0 ('GN Blog' can be found HERE)
Movies Watched: 0 ('Movie Blog' can be found HERE)

Edited: Dec 30, 2016, 11:18pm Top

Reading Stats: 2016

Books: 100
Pages: 36,936

January - 8 books / 2,824 pages
February - 7 books / 2,503 pages
March - 5 books / 2,304 pages
April - 13 books / 4,313 pages
May - 7 books / 2,427 pages
June - 7 books / 2,585 pages
July - 10 books / 4,349 pages
August - 15 books / 5,603 pages
September - 8 books / 2,877 pages
October - 4 books / 1,168 pages
November - 4 books / 1,744 pages
December - 12 books / 4,239 pages

~1.9 books per week
~710 pages per week

Dead Tree: 33
Audiobook: 34
E-Book: 33

TBR: 46
New: 32
Rereads: 11
Walk By-Pick Up: 9
Recommended: 1
Book Club: 1

5 Stars: 16
4 Stars: 52
3 Stars: 29
2 Stars: 3
1 Stars: 0

Time Range:
1930-1939: 1
1950-1959: 3
1970-1979: 2
1980-1989: 4
1990-1999: 8
2000-2009: 12
2010-2016: 70

Romance: 21
Urban Fantasy: 16
Gothic Fantasy: 13
GLBT: 13
Epic Fantasy: 11
High Fantasy: 10
Dystopia: 7
Fairytale: 6
Historical Fiction: 5
Science Fiction: 5
Gothic Fiction: 5
Science: 4
Non-Fiction: 4
Lit Classic: 3
Memoir: 3
Historical Fantasy: 1
Time Travel: 1
Psychology: 1
Thriller: 1
Writing: 1
Boy Lit: 1
Chick Lit: 1
Mystery: 1
Travel: 1
Play: 1

5 Stars (16):
Mists of Avalon / Interview with the Vampire / The Vampire Lestat / Queen of the Damned / The Tale of the Body Thief / The Rosie Project / Big Little Lies / The Beast / Something Like Rain / UnDivided / The Emperor's Soul / Mistborn: A Secret History / Arcanum Unbounded / Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis / Raised By Wolves: Brethren / Raised by Wolves: Matelots

Graphic Novels Read: 16
Movies Watched: 115

Edited: Dec 30, 2016, 11:18pm Top

Reading Stats: Yearly Comparison

2011: Books: (082) Pages: (39,011) Books per week: (~1.6) Pages per week: (~0,750) Top Genre: (Urban Fantasy - 22) Graphic Novel Count: (226)
2012: Books: (138) Pages: (62,775) Books per week: (~2.6) Pages per week: (~1,203) Top Genre: (Epic Fantasy - 28) Graphic Novel Count: (85)
2013: Books: (120) Pages: (50,171) Books per week: (~2.3) Pages per week: (~0,962) Top Genre: (Non-Fiction - 32) Graphic Novel Count: (82)
2014: Books: (111) Pages: (43,177) Books per week: (~2.1) Pages per week: (~0,830) Top Genre: (Epic Fantasy - 16) Graphic Novel Count: (98)
2015: Books: (143) Pages: (57,132) Books per week: (~2.8) Pages per week: (~1,098) Top Genre: (Urban/High Fant. - 27) Graphic Novel Count: (79)
2016: Books: (100) Pages: (36,936) Books per week: (~1.9) Pages per week: (~0,710) Top Genre: (Romance - 21) Graphic Novel Count: (16)

Reading Stats: Challenges

Best-21st-Fantasy Challenge:
2014 - (12/25)
2015 - (15/25)
2016 – (16/25)

Best 20th Fantasy Challenge:
2014 - (23/75)
2015 - (32/75)
2016 – (34/75)

BBC-List-of-Best-100 Challenge:
2014 - (27/100)
2015 - (38/100)
2016 – (44/100)

Dec 30, 2016, 11:21pm Top

Top 5 of 2016

1. The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson
2. Something Like Rain - Jay Bell
3. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
4. Undivided - Neal Shusterman
5. Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Dec 30, 2016, 11:24pm Top

Lastly, my favorite meme!

Describe yourself: Queen of Shadows
Describe how you feel: Queen of the Damned
Describe where you currently live: Brave New World
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Stars Above
Your favorite form of transportation: The Tale of the Body Thief
Your best friend is: The Raven King
You and your friends are: UnDivided
What’s the weather like: Something Like Rain
You fear: Big Little Lies
What is the best advice you have to give: Level Up
Thought for the day: The God Delusion
How you would like to die: Remember My Name
Your soul’s present condition: The Emperor's Soul

Dec 30, 2016, 11:29pm Top

And on to next year's thread! CLICK HERE

Dec 31, 2016, 6:58am Top

Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Melissa

Dec 31, 2016, 7:26am Top

>85 Kassilem: I like your meme, Melissa, it is fun to do!

Dec 31, 2016, 4:43pm Top

>87 PaulCranswick: Same back at you Paul!

>88 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita/Frank. I almost didn't do it this year but once I actually sat down and started looking at titles, I realized it was going to be a great one this year. :)

Jan 1, 1:17pm Top

>89 Kassilem: It is Anita who is active on the threads, Melissa, the books belong to both of us. And if there is anything interesting, funny or otherwise mentionable I share it with my better half ;-)

Jan 1, 4:25pm Top

>90 FAMeulstee: Oh, Anita, thank you for the clarification. I probably knew that at some point and then forgot. I'm really bad about keeping names straight on here sometimes. :) Happy New Years

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2016

481 members

165,510 messages


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