tardis' 2019 reading record
This is a continuation of the topic tardis' 2018 reading record.
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Happy New Year! May your books be many and excellent!
This thread will be much as in the past. Mostly short comments, rather than reviews.
For interest (if any), here are my previous reading threads:
2018 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279810 (196 books read)
2017 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/245188 (221 books read)
2016 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/210797 (173 books read)
2015 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/185699 (180 books read)
2014 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163304 (170 books read)
2013 journal: http://www.librarything.com/topic/147262 (185 books read)
My TBR pile is at an all-time high (for me) of 128 books (print) plus a few ebooks.
1. Gardens of the Arts & Crafts Movement by Judith B. Tankard. A Christmas present to myself. A gorgeous, lushly-illustrated book on, well, exactly what the title says. Tankard goes back to the early days of the Arts & Crafts movement, with Morris, Voysey, et al. and then brings it into the present. Love it.
Happy new year! I hope it is a great one for you in real life and in books. I'm sure you're going to hit me with some bullets this year, as you usually do!
Happy new year!
That arts & crafts book sounds like something I'd enjoy browsing. Stopped getting them though, it's so depressing having books inspiring you of the unattainable (no real garden, the one we have needs to function with minimal care as we're only there for 6-8 weeks in a year, and some of those are during winter).
I started 2018 with a mystery series that disappointed - have not made that mistake this year. 4 Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout. All excellent.
2. Murder by the Book - what does a novel have to do with murder?
3. Before Midnight - an advertising exec is murdered and the answers to a million-dollar contest stolen.
4. The Mother Hunt - a widow is given a baby that may be her late husband's bastard. Who's the mother?
5. The Father Hunt - a girl gets a box full of cash on her mother's death, with a note saying it's "from her father" and wants to know who daddy is.
>8 MrsLee: Indeed. Satisfactory ;)
6. American Hippo by Sarah Gailey. Omnibus edition of River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, with a couple of short stories thrown in. I had previously read the novellas, so this is sort of a re-read, but worth it. Still fun.
7. Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy. Because exhuming an author's unfinished work and finishing it is always a good plan. I can't tell how much of this book is Marsh and how much is Duffy, but it was not up there with my favourite Marshes, being merely okay. Alleyn, for inexplicable reasons, is in New Zealand during the war looking for traitors. He's staying at a hospital, and there's theft and murder so he steps in to solve it.
8. Art Matters by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell. A slim book of Gaiman's talks with charming illustrations. Inspiring.
9. Out of Time by Lynn Abbey. Urban fantasy about a middle-aged library acquisitions specialist who discovers an injured girl in the stacks, and gets drawn into a weird world that links back to her long-disappeared mother. Pretty good, but only volume 1 of 4 and who knows if I'll ever get hold of the other volumes.
>10 tardis: - I believe I bought all four as ebooks from CJ Cherryh's (and friends') website - https://www.closed-circle.net/ where they've been releasing their out of print books as ebooks, depending on the time and will power to convert them. I don't know how operational it currently is, as Jane has been busy with other work.
>11 Sakerfalcon: Interesting. I don't buy e-books, though. Early reviewer books or other freebies, sure, but I can't bring myself to pay money for non-paper books. The only exception is Lois McMaster Bujold. I have added the Abbey books to my search list, though.
4 Liaden Chapbooks by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller:
10. Sleeping with the Enemy: Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 22
11. Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden universe number 23
12. Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 24
13. Degrees of Separation : Adventures in the Liaden Universe number 27
Between one and three stories in each, all illuminating some small portion of the Liaden story. I enjoyed them all.
>14 clamairy: Thank you! And same to you!
14. Scardown by Elizabeth Bear. Earth is not doing well. The Canadians and the Chinese are competing to get enough people off Earth to at least save the species. All the Canadian spaceships are named after Canadian cities (e.g. Calgary, Montreal), and the shuttles after Canadian musicians (e.g. Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot). Really good, although I didn't realize until the end that it was the middle book of a trilogy. Will have to look for the other two books.
15. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. 4th in the Wayward Children series, the what happens after you get back from Narnia or whereever? How to you fit back into the world? This one was kind of bleak, but still very good.
>10 tardis: Your recommendations are nearly always a win for me. I am so enjoying this book. Abbey has a real eye for the right detail, and she always seems to have a basis in reality, not to mention a nice turn of phrase.
Thank you, dear!
>17 2wonderY: you're welcome :)
16. Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon. A new book in the world of Paksennarion, although Paks herself features but little in it. There are three interwoven stories here, that of Kieri Phelan, now king of Lyonya, Arcolin, who took over Phelan's mercenary company, and Dorrin Verrakai, the only member of that traitorous clan who is untainted by the evil blood magic and becomes the Duke of Verrakai. Very good. Want more!
>16 tardis: I received an email from Barnes and Noble today that said she has a stand alone of the Wayward Children now out. I have yet to read one, but they are on my list.
You are in luck. The series has already been completed with four more books.
I have them all, and could lend them to you. Want to come and get them? :)
>22 NorthernStar: Um, no. The library has them - that's cheaper than driving up to your place :)
17. Water Weed by Andrew Cartmell, based on the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. Graphic novel. Can't get enough of Peter Grant & co. Very good.
18. Ground Rules: 100 easy lessons for growing a more glorious garden by Kate Frey. Bit simplistic, but cheerful and with lots of nice pictures of gardens. Good January garden fix :)
>24 pgmcc: Are you trying to cause trouble?
I'm well aware that the road only goes one way, but that also means that I get to borrow her books while my books are safe at home.
19. The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor. Sequel to The Nothing Girl which I read and loved last year. Jenny has been married to Russell for three years and they have added a daughter, Joy, to the menage that still includes Mrs. Crisp (cook/housekeeper), Marilyn (donkey), Boxer (horse), and a cat. In the course of the book they acquire another donkey, a bunch of chickens and a posh new neighbour. On the downside, Jenny has seen her nasty cousin, Christopher, watching her, and she's scared. Laughed a lot. Loved it.
20. For the Sake of the Game : Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger. I put this on hold at the library thinking it was a new Holmes and Russell novel from Laurie R. King, and obvs it isn't, but that's okay. The 14 stories in this anthology don't all have Holmes in them. Sometimes they're Holmes-adjacent, or the main character is inspired by Holmes, or whatever. In any case, mostly quite enjoyable.
>30 clamairy: yeah, a 12 or 13 hour drive. But NorthernStar does borrow a lot of my books when she's here.
>30 clamairy: I get down to visit tardis at least once a year, and read her books as much as I can, plus often borrow some books to take home :)
She rarely makes it up here, though.
21. Big Damn Hero by James Lovegrove. Original story concept by Nancy Holder. Consulting editor Joss Whedon. Serenity is hauling a load of very explosive material and Captain Mal Reynolds is missing. Not bad. Didn't much like the backstory invented for Mal.
>33 tardis: I went looking, and there is a Firefly - Serenity series. Shall I add that book? Excited to learn there are novels in that universe.
>34 2wonderY: I don't know. Is the series for the graphic novels or regular novels?
It's for everything:
Companion volumes, commentary, role playing games, the films. I went ahead and added it.
22. The Long Sunset by Jack McDevitt. Hutch pilots an expedition to find the source of a bit of video received through a telescope. Is there a real high-tech alien civilization out there? Some politics get in the way. Enjoyed it.
23. Kings of the North by Elizabeth Moon. More in the world of Paksenarrion, although she's not the focus. Barely there, in fact. Lots of threads woven together in this one, which is a direct continuation of Oath of Fealty and features the same three main characters, plus more. Very good.
26. The Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson. Sequel to The Native Star. Emily is in New York, putting up with society's strictures and Dreadnought's terrible family while waiting for his investiture as the Sophos of the Institute (most powerful of the credomancers) and their wedding. She contends with evil blood mages, Russians, and her fiance's rabid fans. Good.
27. A Clutch of Constables by Ngaio Marsh. One off my TBR pile. An excellent mystery from the 1960s, later in CDI Alleyn's career. Alleyn is in the US, having meetings about art forgery, so Troy, his wife, takes a spur of the moment river cruise after a stressful gallery opening. There's something weird going on. Very enjoyable.
First (hopefully only!) DNF of 2019. Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. A schoolmaster and his much younger bride are on their honeymoon, visiting the Tower of Babel, when he loses her. It had a feel of Jonathan Strange and maybe the Johannes Cabal books, but it just didn't work for me. I took it back to the library.
28. Lady Henterman's Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Sequel to The Holver Alley Crew, in which the Rynax brothers and their crew attempt to discover the deeper layers around who is responsible for burning their neighbourhood. It's basically a heist book. Asti and Verci Rynax are in the grand tradition of tightly bonded brothers that includes the Winchesters.
29. Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon. 4th in the Paladin's Legacy series. More of Kieri, Arvin, Dorrin, etc. Enjoyed it.
30. Crown of Renewal by Elizabeth Moon. 5th (final) in the Paladin's Legacy series. See above. Very good, although I'd like more. Moon tied up a lot of loose ends, but there are a few hanging, too.
Uh oh. Those Elizabeth Moon books look good, and they are very highly rated here on LT.
31. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley. The last (probably) Flavia De Luce mystery. It begins with a finger found in Ophelia's wedding cake and then Flavia and Dogger, now running Arthur W. Dogger and Associates (Discreet Investigations) get a case. Very enjoyable, as always, and if there are no more I shall imagine Flavia and Dogger investigating on into the future.
32. An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock. A princess without magic in a world where the elite all have it must use her wits and the help of a drunken musketeer to survive. Enjoyed it. Looking forward to the sequel.
33. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. YA. Daughter of a fighter pilot who turned on his team and ran from a battle fights the stigma of her father's cowardice to win a spot in pilot training. She's maybe a bit too good to be true, despite her mouthiness and lack of tact, but still a good story, and I gather I can look forward to a sequel.
34. Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold. A new novella in the Sharing Knife universe. Barr Foxbrush is on his way back from a long stay in the north, and stops in to check on his secret daughter, fathered 15 or so years before in an overnight stand with a farmer woman. There's some squicky stuff about him (being young and stupid) having beguiled the woman, making it non-consensual. He found out about the kid a couple of years later, and the woman (now married) told him to get lost and never come back. He's been secretly checking in, though. Anyway, after a family tragedy, the girl has run away and he goes to find her and discovered she has come into the Lakewalker part of her heritage, and she can't really go home. I really enjoyed this - the final part of Barr (at 34) finally becoming an adult, and what being a Lakewalker means.
35. Murder in the Dark by Simon R. Green. Green's protagonists are pretty much all Eddie Drood and Molly Metcalf, and this book is no exception, leaving aside the names being Ishmael Jones and Penny Belcourt. An archaeological team has been replaced with government scientists because a mysterious and dangerous black hole has appeared near their dig. Ishmael and Penny are sent to provide security. Decent fun.
36. Competence by Gail Carriger. A re-read because I just bought the paperback. Still fun and silly. Best to start with the beginning of the series, though.
37. Beginning with a Bash by Alice Tilton (AKA Phoebe Atwood Taylor). Apparently the very first Leonidas Witherall mystery, although published after the others and taking place later in Witherall's life. Features a bookstore, in which Witherall is working, having been laid off from his headmaster job and lost most of his money. I enjoyed it very much. The publisher (Foul Play Press) was crap, though. All their books are so badly bound - they fall apart.
38. Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels. A modern gothic, in which a professor of women's literature finds a book by a nearly unknown 19th century woman writer. Academic skullduggery ensues. Published in 1993 and shows its age a bit, but still enjoyable.
39. Murder with Peacocks (audiobook)
40. Murder with Puffins (print)
41. Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos (print)
All by Donna Andrews. I'm starting a re-read of the series, as for reasons that I'm not clear on, I need comfort reads. This series amuses me, and doesn't trigger my usual annoyance with amateur sleuths. Although honestly, the nasty little dog, Spike, must be about 25 by now, and poor Debbie-Ann, the Caerphilly County police dispatcher seems to be on duty 24/7. I probably won't binge through the whole series in one go - I've got library books, too.
Well, maybe my subconscious knew what my conscious didn't (and I wish it had made itself clear before it was too late!) - one of our cats died on Tuesday, and I'm fairly sure if I'd taken him to the vet a day or two sooner, he could have been saved. Will never know for sure, though. And cats can be so stoic - hard to tell when they're in the early stages of suffering. Miss him a lot, though. He was my lap cat.
42. Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews. Meg is working for her brother's software company because she hurt her hand and can't do her blacksmithing. One of the programmers dies. The title is from some of the fake martial arts moves that Meg is teaching her brother to amuse herself. Also the software company has a live buzzard, who really ought to be at a wildlife rehab facility.
43. We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews. Meg's boyfriend, Michael is attending a con for a cult TV series in which he plays a saturnine wizard. To suit the jungle feel of the series, the concom have acquired a bunch of assorted parrots, monkeys, and a tiger. The parrots and monkeys have got loose and are running around the hotel. Obviously, Andrews has been to media cons, and the portrayal of the fans is pretty accurate, but not mean.
44. Endgames by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. I think this is the end of the Imager series. It felt a bit like Modesitt was just tired of it and decided to finish it. I like the series, but it never feels quite real. The in-story religion feels fake, and the characters seldom face what feels like real peril or deep emotion. Still, decent enough.
I'm so sorry about your cat. They can be very mysterious with their needs! I hope you find some comfort in reading.
Hindsight is a harsh mistress. Don't berate yourself. You can only do the best you know how each day. *Hug*
Thanks all for the condolences. It's amazing how much we miss even the annoying things he did :(
47. The Penguin Who Knew Too Much by Donna Andrews. The local zoo is bankrupt and the animals are temporarily fostered out. Meg and Michael end up with a lot of them, while trying to move into the house.
48. Cockatiels at Seven by Donna Andrews. An old friend drops her toddler off for a short visit with Meg and Michael, but then doesn't come back. Meg goes looking.
More Donna Andrews:
49. Six Geese A-Slaying - Meg manages the Christmas parade. Somebody offs Santa.
50. Swan for the Money - Meg is rooked into managing the Rose Show.
51. Stork Raving Mad - The power is out at the college so Meg and Michael are hosting a large number of students. Meg is also 8.5 months pregnant with twins. Chaos ensues.
52. The Real Macaw - the twins are 4 months old and Meg wakes up to find that she and Michael are hosting the former inhabitants of the local animal shelter to save them from being euthanized to save money. The town, it turns out, is well in debt and the "evil lender" is planning to foreclose.
55. Duck the Halls by Donna Andrews. Skunks in the Baptist Church, ducks in the Catholic Church, a boa constrictor for the Episcopalians. A rash of vandalism messes up Christmas in Caerphilly. Fun.
56. The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews. Meg and co. go to a nearby town to find her grandmother's murderer and also round up a bunch of feral emus. The emus all have names after famous literary and suffragist figures. Fun.
57. That Ain't Witchcraft by Seanan McGuire. My birthday present from Seanan. For the last few years she's been releasing a new Incryptid novel on or very near my birthday, and I love it. In this one, Antimony Price and friends take on the Crossroads. Fun, funny, and very good. Loved it.
58. The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen. WW1, and bored Emily Bryce finally escapes the clutches of her overprotective parents and volunteers to be a land girl. Good.
59. The Nightingale Before Christmas by Donna Andrews. Meg is managing the decorators participating in a holiday design competition for charity. Fun.
60. Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews. Halloween in Caerphilly, and they've got a major festival on. Meg is managing security for the event. There's a corpse, of course. And how is the unaffiliated scavenger hunt involved with it?
61. Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews. Meg's young sons are playing baseball, and there are dastardly deeds in the league. Fun, as always.
62. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara. A re-read. I have a bunch of the later volumes in this series in the TBR pile and I decided to start from the beginning again because it's been at least a few years. Very enjoyable series.
63. Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong. Well, someone seems to have explained to Kelley that there are no raccoons in the Yukon, since she didn't mention them in this book :). This is one of the Rockton books, about a secret northern Canadian town for people who need to drop off the face of the earth for reasons. There's been a security breach and a US Marshal has arrived to try to apprehend a resident. Is he really a marshal? Is he really there on official business or is it a private thing? Also, in the absence of a doctor, Casey and Eric recruit Casey's estranged sister, who is a surgeon, originally thinking she'd just do a distance consult with the local paramedical staff, but she ends up coming with them back to Rockton. Pretty good.
64. Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara. #2 of the Elantra series. Kaylin meets Politics. Not her forté.
65. Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara. #3 in the Elantra series. Kaylin associates with dragons and seeks an ancient and dangerous stolen box.
66. Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara. Kaylin's beloved Sgt. Kassan is accused of murder. At the same time, she and Severn are summoned to court to keep a playwright on track and help him accurately portray the Tha'alani telepaths in a propaganda play designed to make them seem sympathetic to other residents of Elantra. Kaylin is as tactless and impulsive as ever, but she does seem to be learning a bit.
This is the last of the Elantra books that I own, so there will be a break while I get hold of later volumes in the series. Back the TBR pile for my next read!
67. Fire Works in the Hamptons by Celia Jerome. A middling urban fantasy about a small east-coast town inhabited by people with weird gifts. This was in the giveaway pile in my house, so I must have read it before, but it rang no bells so I read it again. Still not a keeper.
68. The Iron Codex by David Mack. Second in the Dark Arts series. Anja is in South America, killing Nazis. Cade is wandering the world on the payroll of MI6. Briet is established in Washington in a magical think-tank (sort of). There's a rogue practitioner with Armageddon in mind. I find the magic system a bit unattractive, but a good story.
69. Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon. First in the Vatta's War series. Ky Vatta has been booted out of military academy in disgrace, and her father gives her command of one of the family's trading ships to get her out of the way of the paparazzi. Is very good. The next few books in the series are in my TBR pile, and I'll be reading them shortly.
>80 tardis: I really did enjoy the Vatta's War series, I've reread it a couple of times. I thought the series held up well, start to end.
>81 NorthernStar:, >82 Busifer: I'm glad I finally got to them. So hard to keep up!
70. Marque and Reprisal
71. Engaging the Enemy
72. Command Decision
73. Victory Conditions
All by Elizabeth Moon, and finishing off the Vatta's War series. Of course there is a following series, Vatta's Peace, but I haven't got them yet. A very enjoyable series. A somewhat smaller canvas than milSF like the Honor Harrington series, but also without the endless infodumps. Comparable to and nearly as enjoyable as Tanya Huff's Valor series.
73. Hammered by Elizabeth Bear. The 14th book I read this year (Scardown, >15 tardis:) is the second book in this series, and this is #1. Mildly annoying, since #1 was in my TBR pile as well, and I didn't find it until I was looking for something else the other day. #3 is not in the pile (probably). Anyway, it was good, and fills in some of the things that would have helped #2 be even better, although it was actually pretty good even on its own. I shall have to put more effort into finding book #3.
Edited because I got the author's surname wrong. First name was right, though!
>84 tardis: - typo - you mean Elizabeth Bear, not Moon. Confused me, as I thought I knew all Moon's books, and didn't recognize that one!
>85 NorthernStar: DOH! It's because I've been reading both Moon and Bear lately. I will fix it!
74. A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn. Veronica, Stoker, and Stoker's oldest brother visit an island, ostensibly to collect some glasswing butterflies for Veronica's vivarium, but really because the lord of the island wants to know what happened to his bride, who disappeared on their wedding day three years before. Family secrets, smuggler's tunnels, priest holes. Good fun.
77. How the Finch Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews. Continuing the re-read as I pick up the few later Meg Langslow mysteries that I didn't already own. This one (obvs) is Christmas-themed, as a washed-up actor threatens to torpedo the Caerphilly College stage production of "A Christmas Carol"
78. Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon. Knocking more stuff off my TBR pile. Parts of this series have been around for a while, waiting for me to get the first book in the series, which this is. Heris Serrano has resigned from the space service under a cloud and takes a job as Captain for a rich woman's yacht. Very good.
81. Once a Hero by Elizabeth Moon. Still in the Serrano-verse, but featuring Lt. Esmay Suiza, who after a mutiny ended up the senior officer and assuming command of one of the ships originally commanded by traitors in Winning Colors. Very good.
82. Crashing Heat by Richard Castle. Improbable and silly, but enjoyable mystery allegedly from the protagonist of the Castle TV series.
My stupid brain chose last night to barf up all my angst and grief over the cat's death, so I read all night instead of sleeping. Thank goodness for excellent books!
84. Cold Welcome
85. Into the Fire
both by Elizabeth Moon. Ky Vatta goes home to Slotter Key to do some family business and do some other stuff. The first book is where it all starts going horribly wrong. The second is the aftermath which leads into revolution. Very good!
>94 tardis: ooooh. I've been waiting for the next book to come out. BRB putting it on wishlist...
Also, I feel you on the stupid brain thing. Hang in there.
I didn't realize I had taken a book bullet until I came home from the library with the omnibus Heris Serrano.
>99 reconditereader: Yes! Hope you like it as much as I did!
89. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. This was very good, but I really had to pay attention and read slower than normal, because the narrator's voice, the way it was telling the story to one of the characters, was so odd to me. Odd in a good way. It was absorbing. This may make my "best of 2019" list.
90. The Bafut Beagles by Gerald Durrell. An oldie but goodie - Durrell collecting animals in 1950s Africa. Funny. The pidgin English grates a bit, but presumably is true to life at that time. The Fon of Bafut is a charming fellow. Durrell's observations of life in Bafut are coloured by his time, though, and there was at least one incident (involving people, not animals) that I found problematic. Durrell was an observer, not a participant, though, and I'm not sure what he could have done about it, even had he been inclined.
>101 tardis: Why do you find two different cultures using a pidgin to communicate "grating"? It seems odd to object to which language someone speaks.
Personally the fact that Durrell evidently learnt to speak the relevant local pidgin endeared him to me rather more than the variety of traveller who simply speaks English loudly and expects the locals to have learnt his language and understand him.
>102 -pilgrim-: I don't know. You're right that it isn't logical. I don't think I was so much objecting to what language they spoke, but the feel of it. Which as I said, is presumably reflected accurately by Durrell, so that's on me. Maybe I just need to read more Durrell to get used to it again.
Next are two kids' books that came from Mom's house when she was downsizing.
91. The Secret Railway by Elizabeth Beresford. Three kids clean up an abandoned railway station and in the process become friends and save the day. Enjoyable. First published in 1973 and much of it's time, with disaffected youth louts with a band.
92. The Children Who Lived In A Barn by Eleanor Graham. When their parents' airplane disappears, five siblings are kicked out of their house and move into a barn. Much about making-do and earning money. First published 1938, with the gender roles and such that one would expect - the oldest girl, Susan (and why are so many responsible girls in literature called Susan?), is the caretaker for her siblings, although brother Bob helps a bit.
>103 tardis: Reading Durrell waa my first introduction to the concept of artificial languages. In that example I believe the basic form was to apply the grammar of the local language to vocabulary largely drawn from English.
>107 Sakerfalcon: Considering the straightforward names of the other characters, it never occurred to me to ask. But it did raise eyebrows when I re-read the book a few years ago (on first reading nearly 60 years ago it sailed straight over my childhood head).
>105 -pilgrim-:, >107 Sakerfalcon: Could also be Patricia
But some googling reveals that the name came from a real person with that nickname, who was actually named Mavis. (from Wikipedia: This name was the nickname of the real life Mavis Altounyan, taken from Joseph Jacobs's children's story Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.)
93. The Secret of the Missing Boat by Paul Berna. This is another that came from Mom's. Paul Berna's kids' books are forgotten treasures, at least in English translation. A Hundred Million Francs (originally Le cheval sans tete) may still be available, and some are still in print in French. Anyway, I pick them up where I can and read them gladly. Oh, and the translator (John Buchanan-Brown) does a fantastic job. In this one, set in Brittany, a boy salvages a dinghy from the mud and it leads to mystery and intrigue. I am a big fan of Swallows and Amazons and this is more of the same - kids (who are not duffers) messing about in boats.
>110 tardis: Was there a film made of the Hundred Million Francs in the 1960s? I recall a film with kids, bad guys, somethig the kids had that the bad guys wanted, a warehouse full of toys/fairground figures, and a toy horse on wheels with no head.
EDA: I checked IMDb and it appears my memory is working this morning. There was a clue in the movie title: “The Horse With No Head; The 100,000,000 franc train robbery.”
It was one of the first films I was ever takento the cinema to see. That is probably why I have a reasonably good memory of having seen it. The french title of the book triggered my grey matter: I have an image of the headless horse in my mind when I think of this movie. I think the end credits rolled over the image of the horse and that imprinted it in my mind.
Thank you for churning up a happy memory for me.
>111 pgmcc:, Peter, not sure if you're aware but you can always check on the Common Knowledge section of the book for related movie links. If there's one there then it will link to the respective IMDB page.
Thank you for that. I was not aware of that feature. I live and learn. :-)
>111 pgmcc: I saw the movie in extreme youth on the Magical World of Disney, which was on every Sunday evening. That's probably why I started reading Paul Berna's books. There are others about the same kids.
94. A Truckload of Rice by Paul Berna. I was browsing my TBR pile when I saw this, and fresh off enjoying The Secret of the Missing Boat, I grabbed it. This is a good little mystery, set in the suburbs of Paris. A campaign to raise money to buy a truckload of rice for the starving people of a village in India almost comes apart when some of the money is stolen. Berna's kids are so well-drawn - they always feel quite real.
95. A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. This was really good. Space opera, with juicy politics and high stakes. Mahit Dzmare is the new ambassador to the Teixcalaanli Empire, but the previous ambassador was murdered and she hasn't the resources she ought to have to make her way in Teixcalaanli society and government. Finding allies and enemies, and figuring out what's going on makes an absorbing read.
>116 tardis: I just got a copy of this! Can't wait to read it, it's had great reviews!
>116 tardis: Oh, sounds like my kind of book, I had never heard of the author. One more for the list...!
>118 Busifer: I think this is her first book. I hope you like it!
96. The Chimneys of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. Tolly is back at Green Knowe for the Easter Holidays, learning more of its history and past inhabitants and searching for missing jewels. A nice read.
97. A Stranger at Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. On her own for the summer, Mrs. Oldknowe has invited Ping, a Burmese refugee boy, to stay for the summer. Exploring Green Knowe and an escaped gorilla fascinates him.
>120 reading_fox:: Yes, I got A Memory Called Empire from the public library, so it's published :)
98. Gone Gull by Donna Andrews. More comfort re-reading, thanks to a very disappointing and depressing result in yesterday's provincial election. Also the paperback of this one just arrived. Meg is working at the Biscuit Mountain Craft Center for the summer, helping her grandmother run it and teaching blacksmithing. There's been an outbreak of vandalism, but that's not as bad as murder.
99. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. A classic of SF, which has been on my shelf for many years. I pulled it off a few days ago, thinking to get rid of it and realized that I could not recall ever reading it before. Anyway, yes, it's a classic. Very thoughtful, very deep. Post-apocalyptic - the fall/rise/fall of man, ad infinitum. And having read it (again?) I know I can let it go.
>122 tardis: I’m likely to read this for the (definitely) first time around June with a few people on GR. I've been looking forward to it with some curiosity.
100. A Parliament of Bodies by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Action-packed fantasy police procedural (sort of) as Inspectors Rainey and Welling track a horrific killer who kills with booby-trapped clockwork machines. Characters from the other Maradaine sub-series come into this one, too - Dayne Heldrin of the Tarian Order and an unnamed gadgeteer who helps disarm some of the clockwork murder machines. Several important loose ends at the end of this book - looking forward to the next one!
>119 tardis: I really need to find and read all the Green Knowe books! I loved the first one!
101. The Librarians and the Pot of Gold by Greg Cox. The Librarians, their Guardian, and Jenkins versus the Serpent Brotherhood, again, racing to find a leprechaun's pot of gold. Which sounds hokier than it actually is :). Good brain candy.
102. Virtue Signaling and Other Heresies by John Scalzi. A collection of Scalzi's blog posts from 2019-2018. Always entertaining, but as I'd read most of them when he published them on the blog, I did end up skimming quite a few.
103. Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn. Book 3 of Heroine Complex. Bea Tanaka wants to be a superhero like her older sister, Evie, and Evie's superheroing partner, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang), but Evie can't see her as anything but the angsty teenager she used to be and not the adult she is. A great romp.
104. Jade City by Fonda Lee. This was really good, but I haven't decided if I'll read the next book in the series. I can't say I liked most of the characters much, and it was pretty violent and bleak. Gang wars in a country rather like Japan. Fascinating magic system, though.
105. At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon. It's 1936 and the British and German governments are cultivating people with paranormal talents. Kim Tavistock is living at her ancestral home and not getting on with her Nazi-sympathizer father, and she also has a talent called "spill" which means people spill secrets to her. Pretty good. Will look for more in this series.
106. Tinker by Wen Spencer. Tinker is a girl genius, but also incredibly naive. I liked this story, but the number of times she said yes to something without actually knowing what she was being asked to do stretched credibility. Still, by the end of the book she might have learned. Maybe.
107. The True Queen by Zen Cho. Sequel to Sorcerer to the Crown, which I really liked. This one was good, too. It focused mainly on Muna, who has no memory before waking up on a beach in Janda Baik with her sister, Sakti. They are sent to England to the Sorceress Royal, but Sakti is lost along the way. Muna must navigate English society and find her sister. Very good.
108. The Red Box by Rex Stout. Another classic from the master. 'Nuf said!
109. No Country For Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. Silly, packed with puns, and fun. I actually liked this better than the previous entry in the series, Kill the Farm Boy. A tiny bit of overlap in characters from KTFB, but mainly new series, this time focusing on attacks on gnomes by halflings. Two gnomes fight back, along with a rag-tag group including an ovitaur (like centaurs, but with sheep), an automaton, a gryphon who LOVES eggs (especially in nice fluffy omelets garnished with ladybugs) and umlauts, a dwarf, and a halfling.
>71 tardis: Ah, your sister read The Victory Garden, too. Amazon keeps pushing this one at me. LOL
>78 tardis: What? Fire Works in the Hamptons? The Hamptons are the towns right across the bay from me. In Gatsby's language The Hamptons are 'East Egg' to my 'West Egg.' (That's where all the celebrity money houses are...) That doesn't sound very promising, but it's got a pretty decent rating here on LT.
>100 tardis: So you recommend the Leckie?
>136 clamairy: The Hamptons book was okay. Just not something I feel the need to read again. And yes, I do recommend the Leckie :)
110. The Body in the Wake by Katherine Hall Page. A Faith Fairchild mystery. Faith is a murder magnet, and I don't know why anyone stays close to her except for her cooking. Also the book includes recipes, which is usually not a good sign, but in this case I like the characters and the non-mystery sub plots are enjoyable, too.
111. Please Pass the Guilt by Rex Stout. Cut-throat competition between corporate executives leads to murder. Or does it? A later book in the Nero Wolfe series, and good as always.
112. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs. A Mercy Thompson novel. The coyote shifter and her werewolf husband are drawn into providing security for a meeting between the Grey Lords of the Fay and the US Government. Good as usual.
113. Prisoner of Midnight by Barbara Hambly. As always, Hambly's vampires are a mix of inhuman and human (mostly inhuman) that feels plausible and rather scarier than most. The "good" vampire, Don Simon Ysidro, has been captured and is being taken to America on a passenger liner. It's 1917, and the danger of German uboats is very real. He manages to alert Lydia, James and Captain Palfrey to his plight and give them a clue as to the ship. James is stuck in France, but Lydia and Palfrey board the liner to see what they can do. Very good, although the resolution felt a bit anticlimactic.
>141 tardis: And that's another favourite series that I am behind on! Am now feeling very remiss...
>143 tardis: That sounds great. A full report to pub denizens will be in order... ;-)
>143 tardis: And, please, tell us about the new book. But above all, enjoy the event!
>143 tardis: Ooh! One of the few authors whose public appearance I would try to get to, if in any way possible.
>144 -pilgrim-:, >146 hfglen:, >147 Busifer: - it was a very enjoyable evening. Guy has a wry humour and after his talk and reading a local academic and poet, Douglas Barbour, "interviewed" him to bring out more. Then they did audience questions. It turned out that the premium ticket I paid for came with a signed copy of the new book, something I don't think I noticed when I paid for it. I assumed that premium tickets got premium seats, or front of the line for signing, but this was better. I could have lined up to get it personalized, but I chose not to. I haven't started the new book yet, but it's set in the same world as Sailing to Sarantium and others, except 500 years later, in that world's equivalent of the Renaissance. Having received 6 new books in the last two days, I may not get to it for a week or so.
113. The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch. A novella in the Rivers of London-verse, but set in Germany and featuring the German equivalent of The Folly, in which Peter Grant's opposite number is Tobias Winter. Tobi is sent to Trier and teamed up with a local liaison, Vanessa Sommer, to investigate a body found completely covered in Botrytis cinerea, aka "noble rot" which is found on wine grapes. I enjoyed this very much.
>148 tardis: Oh, I didn't know that, about the Kay book! I definitely need to get it once it gets here. I have been so and so on his Under Heaven books, to the point were I actually never got around to Children of Earth and Sky, despite having it on my tbr pile since it was published.
A return to the "old" universe I need to read, though. I love those books.
>152 tardis: I actually didn't know, I was so disheartened by the Under Heaven duo. I got Children when I had practically stopped reading because of total mental overload with family issues and workplace issues stacked on top of each other, and then I read some less than favourable reviews that kept steering me in other directions when my energies returned.
Do you think I should prioritise to pick it up?
>153 Busifer: I do think you should. I loved it. But I also loved the Under Heaven duo, so YMMV.
>154 tardis: I liked Under Heaven well enough,though I never loved it, but River of Stars I never managed to get into, at all. I'll definitely kick Children of Earth and Sky up closer to the top of the pile, though.
(As a side I disliked both Last Light of the Sun and Ysabel, though I found The Fionavar Tapestry readable enough.)
>155 Busifer: I'm starting Brightness next.
114. The Condor Crags Adventure by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. A bit of a departure for EBD. Godfrey Chudleigh is exploring in South America when he's kidnapped and held for ransom. His brother and pals come to the rescue. Some racial stereotyping but a fun enough adventure. In the Fardingales series.
115. White Silence by Jodi Taylor. Elizabeth Cage has a weird gift that she has kept secret since childhood, but inexplicably her husband's weird boss knows she has something special and seems to want to use it (and her). Kind of urban fantasy, kind of gothic thriller. Very enjoyable.
116. Dark Light by Jodi Taylor. Second book about Elizabeth Cage. Elizabeth is on the run and ends up in a village with a year king sacrifice/ceremony. Also good.
>157 Busifer: I still haven't started it! I needed a book that would fit in my purse so picked up something else, and then a library book came in. Sigh.
117. Lifeboat by James White. An oldie but a goodie. Not from the Sector General series. Medical doctor Mercer is on his way to Ganymede as medic (and glorified steward) on a passenger ship. Totally safe, perfectly simple, until suddenly it wasn't. Very enjoyable.
>158 tardis: Oh well, such is life. All in due course. I'm positive you'll get to it before I do, anyway, as it haven't even come to Sweden, yet.
112. Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews. Mystery with romance. Drue Campbell reluctantly takes a job with her father's law firm and gets caught up in a couple of old cases. Good, fast summer read.
113. Cast In Silence by Michelle Sagara. Kaylin's past comes back to haunt her. Good. Need to find the next book in the series.
114. A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay. What to say about this? It's Kay. Deep, elegiac, a rumination on history and memory. It starts with a murder and ranges widely from there. I enjoyed it greatly.
115. Hope for the Best by Jodi Taylor. Max is seconded to the Time Police in an attempt to catch Clive Ronan. There's a problem with the Time Map, and chaos in the 16th century, and that's only the beginning. Always fun to be back with St. Mary's although because of Max being mostly with the Time Police I missed the usual disaster magnets. Still, always a good time.
116. A Liaden Universe Constellation. Volume 4 by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. 4th collection of shorter works in the Liaden universe. Some familiar characters and locales, some not. Very enjoyable.
117. Dead Witch Walking
118. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
119. Every Which Way But Dead
120. A Fistful of Charms
All by Kim Harrison. The continuing saga of a rash and impulsive woman not learning anything, continually getting into situations she has trouble getting out of, and hurting her friends. I may finish the series, but they're not keepers.
121. A Plain Vanilla Murder by Susan Wittig Albert. Latest in the China Bayles series. Orchids, academia, murder, kidnapping. Enjoyable despite the herb lore infodumps.
>166 tardis: Thanks for the warning. Kim Harrison seems to be very well-regarded, in general, but they sound like one series to cross off my 'to read' list.
>167 -pilgrim-: Well, the newest of the books I've read so far is 2006, so it's possible they get better as the series goes on. I'll just get the rest from the library, though.
>166 tardis: That is a terrific and very accurate summary of the Kim Harrison series, at least the first 4 books which are as far as I read.
What a sweet little puffball!
(Heh heh, love how you worked in the name Pulsifer!!)
122. The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark. A novella set in Cairo - alt-history/djinnpunk/steampunk. Two agents from the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities must solve the mystery of a possessed tram car. Fun.
>170 tardis: Ah, he's lovely! I hope he soon settles in and becomes part of the family.
>170 tardis: Cute! I suspect that there's a possibility that you may not win on the "no feet on diningroon table" rule.
>170 tardis: Lovely kitten. I am with Hugh in relation to the no feet on the table rule.
>170 tardis: What a character! I'm in agreement with Hugh and Peter, which leads me to ponder whether Newton Thou-shalt-not-commit-adultery Pulsifer had a difficult time living up to his name as well.
Thanks, all. Newt is turning out to be a joy for everyone but Amy, who is still not impressed. He doesn't seem capable of doing anything that is not cute. And I do mean anything, LOL.
123. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse. A sequel to Trail of Lightning, which I really enjoyed. Maggie Hoskie is still hunting monsters, this time a person calling himself the White Locust. Navajo lore, post apocalypse, very good.
>178 tardis: Clearly young Newt's mother brought him up well, and he has his pet hoomins wrapped around his tail.
>170 tardis: Such a cutie! One of my late cats had been taught by her previous owners not to get up on ANY table. I myself have never had any such rules, except for when there's food on the table, and it took her a couple of years of co-habitation with a real rascal of a cat (whose previous owners apparently knew nothing about how to teach a kitten manners) for her to dare the leap.
>179 hfglen: - oh, we are his slaves for sure! He gets cuter by the day.
124. A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell. A near-future Sherlock Holmes pastiche featuring Janet Watson (one armed vet of the latest civil war (mainly being fought in the midwest US)) and Sara Holmes, genius and secret government agent (or something). Very good, and very absorbing.
125. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey. Murder in a school for magic teenagers. Ivy Gamble is a PI, hired to solve the murder because the authorities have ruled it an accident. She doesn't have any magic, but her twin sister, Tabitha, does, and Tabitha is a teacher at this school. The two have been estranged for some time. Very good.
126. The Red-Stained Wings by Elizabeth Bear. Sequel to The Stone in the Skull which I liked quite a bit. The Gage heads out to find the answer to the Stone in the Skull, the Dead Man stays back in Sarathai, fighting the war and helping them survive the siege. Complicated in a good way :)
Edited to add: It would have helped a lot if I'd read the first book more recently. Took a bit to get back into the story.
>182 tardis: I also just finished that a couple days ago, from the library, and now I want book 3 right away! (The author's writing a different book right now though.)
127. Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines. Lt. Marion "Mops" Adamopoulis is head of the Hygiene and Sanitation Team of the Earth Mercenary Corps ship Pufferfish. When she and her motley team are the only sane survivors of a virus brought back by an away team, the janitors have to figure out how to run the ship and cure their crewmates. Amusing and enjoyable. Looking forward to the next in the series.
128. The Vanishing Corpse by Ellery Queen. I was stuck on the loveseat in my bedroom with a sleeping kitten on me and this was on the shelf over my head and relatively short, so I pulled it off to read while Newt snoozed. Ellery and his police inspector father detect the murderer of an unpleasant health guru. I've had it for many years, and I did not at all remember the plot (although I know I read it) but it was good brain candy. Likely not something I'll re-read, so it will be going in the giveaway pile.
>185 tardis: ... needed something to read while the kitten was sleeping on my arm ... That is the most LibraryThing thing ever.
>185 tardis: ... conjures up an absolutely purr-fect scene of domestic tranquillity.
>186 haydninvienna:, >186 haydninvienna: It was pretty sweet. Amy isn't a cuddler, so I've missed that since Rory died.
129. Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara. Next in the Chronicles of Elantra series. Part of the city is experiencing weird magical effects (real prophecies, rain of blood, etc.) and Something is coming. Kaylen & co. need to figure out what and how (if!) to stop it.
>189 tardis: Wasn't there recently a car called an Elantra? I have an idea it was made by Daewoo or Hyundai. That would spoil the series for me.
>190 hfglen: >191 haydninvienna: The car does, in fact, precede the first of Michelle's Elantra books, but I (not being much into cars) can overlook the coincidence.
130. Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby. A nearish-future (about 100 years on) urban fantasy where dragons have become a problem and firefighters can't deal with them. A special squad called Smoke Eaters kills dragons. Not a bad book, although I take serious issue with the author's portrayal of Canadians.
131. The House of Brass by Ellery Queen. Another off the shelf. Again, no memory of reading it before, although I know I did. Ellery is a minor character - the main work here is done by his father and stepmother, who is the recipient of a mysterious message from an eccentric millionaire. Ellery just comes in at the end and wraps it up.
132. Smells Like Finn Spirit by Randy Henderson. 3rd in the Finn series, and as much fun as the first two. Packed with pop culture references (which are fun now but may not wear well) and dysfunctional family dynamics and magic. Finn is still carrying the disembodied spirit of the Fey who replaced him in his body while he was in exile, his evil (and dead) grandfather is still trying to take over the world, and his older brother is being a jerk.
133. Firefly: The Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove. An old flame of Jayne's asks for help against a group of violent toughs plaguing her planet. Against his better judgement, Mal agrees to go. Nice to be back in the 'Verse.
134. Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas. #1 in a series. Delilah Street, small-town reporter on the paranormal, moves to Las Vegas to investigate the doppelganger who was autopsied on television, and runs afoul of the werewolf mob that controls Sin City. This was okay. Would read more in the series but probably won't go out of my way.
135. License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr. Liked this one better than #134. Also #1 in a series. Nola O'Grady is an operative for a secret agency that combats Chaos. Recently returned to her home town of San Francisco, she teams up with a hunky Israeli Interpol agent to track down a werewolf killer. I liked Nola and her gifts, Ari, the Interpol agent, and Nola's weird and variously "gifted" family. The next two books in this series aren't available at the library, so I'll go with #4, and I may or may not track down the other two.
>196 tardis: I have the rest of the books in the Kerr series. I can bring them down if you want. I borrow enough books from you, might be time to return the favour!
>197 NorthernStar: Sure! thanks
136. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig. One day a bunch of people just start walking across the US. They can't be stopped or communicated with. Friends and family go along to protect them. Then there's a pandemic. Came with a ton of hype and lived up to it. Apocalypse and post-apocalypse are not my favourite genres, and I admit to being
137. Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood. Phryne Fisher is engaged to detect a jewel thief on a luxury ocean liner cruising around New Zealand. Not a new volume in the series (from 2005) but I don't recall reading it before. Fun.
138. A Soupçon of Poison by Jennifer Ashley. Novella. Historical mystery, focused on the below-stairs staff. Cook to the nobility, Kat Holloway, is working for a demanding master, but she's coping until there's a murder and she's suspected.
139. Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley. First novel-length story about Kat Holloway. In a new position, she is drawn into intrigue when a kitchen maid is murdered in the larder. Decent historical mystery.
140. Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
141. Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley.
More "Below Stairs" mysteries, featuring Kat Holloway and friends/colleagues.
So sue me - I found the descriptions of household management and cooking more interesting than the mysteries. I mean, the mysteries weren't bad, and I liked the characters, but I mostly enjoyed Kat doing her actual job and the interplay with other staff.
142. Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois McMaster Bujold. Ekaterin Vorkosigan is working with Enrique Borgos (creator of the infamous butter bugs) to develop a radiation-eating bug that will help clean up the irradiated sections of Vorkosigan's district. Someone is stealing the test bugs. Very good, and lovely to see Ekaterin again.
143. The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher. Sequel to The Clockwork Boys, which I read last year. A motley crew have to figure out the source and how to defeat a bunch of automatons. Very good.
144. Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines. #2 in the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series, and just as much fun as #1. Mops and crew are running from the Krakau and trying to figure out what happened to Earth and humanity, and they meet some awesome Librarians.
145. Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low. Sent to me because I won the second book in the series as an Early REviewer book. I am seriously late with my ER reviews (which is why I'm not requesting anything right now), and haven't quite finished the second book yet. This one was kind of intriguing, but full of unsympathetic characters in a debauched society.
148. Reticence by Gail Carriger. The 4th Custard Protocol book, and the focus is on Percy Tunstall. The Spotted Custard has a new crew member: Doctor Arsenic Ruthven. Some old friends show up. Lots of fun, as usual.
149. The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion by Matt Whyman. Kind of like DVD extras, but in print form. Lots of photos, cast and crew interviews, etc. Fun.
150. The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman. Pretty much what it says. I loved the original book and the TV series, so this was also lovely.
151. Love on the Run by Katharine Kerr. 4th Nola O'Grady novel. Urban fantasy, multiple worlds, psychic powers, squid, etc. Fun.
152. Owl and the Tiger Thieves by Kristi Charish. Owl (antiquities thief) is supposed to be collecting supernatural weapons for the dragon, Mr. Kurosawa, but she's really looking for tokens that will lead her to the Tiger Thieves, because they may have the key to rescuing her lover, possessed by a samurai suit. Yes, it's complicated, but, like the previous Owl books, good. Need to have read the previous books, though.
>209 tardis: That one sounds intriguing. How necessary is it to complete the series in order to enjoy each book?
>210 -pilgrim-: Very necessary to read all of the series in order. Some things will not make sense if you don't.
>209 tardis: I read the first two books and mostly enjoyed them but found Owl a bit too impulsive and prone to doing stupid things. I appreciated the complex plots and the archaeological focus but wanted Owl to mature a bit. Captain is awesome though!
>212 Sakerfalcon: Owl is a bit impulsive still. It helps to not read the books too close together :)
153. Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara. In the Chronicles of Elantra series. Kaylin is still having etiquette and magic lessons with dragons, and not enjoying either. The fief of Tiamaris is being invaded by Shadows and has become home for refugees from another world. Very good, but not a standalone.
Mount TBR is currently sitting at 94 books, since I knocked one off this evening.
154. Winking at the Brim by Gladys Mitchell. A good mystery and a quick read. Mitchell's forensic psychologist, Dame Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley, is almost a secondary character in this story. The main is her granddaughter, Sally Lestrange, who goes on an expedition to a Scottish loch (not Ness) to help look for a monster. The murder takes quite a long time to happen, but there's no question who the victim will be.
>211 tardis: I have realised that my original question was phrased so as to be completely ambiguous! I did not intend to ask whether it was necessary to read the books sequentially. What I was concerned about was whether each books stand alone well, or whether they can only really be enjoyed by completing the series.
>215 -pilgrim-: Ah, sorry! I would say that the first book stands relatively well on its own, but after that there are quite a few loose ends.
155. Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen. A Royal Spyness mystery. Georgie and new husband Darcy O'Mara are on honeymoon in Africa. The British community in Kenya in the 1930s was pretty terrible. The murder victim deserved it. Several other characters also deserved it but survived. In any case, enjoyable fluff.
>216 tardis: Thank you. You have tempted me to try the opening novel, although I am a little wary re Sakerfalcon's warnings about impulsive heroine's.
I am trying to avoid starting new, long sequences these days. I am already chastened by the realisation that I will never read the end of the (excellent) Legends of the Condor Heroes.
156. Temping Fate by Esther Friesner. Teenager Ilana Newhouse is having trouble getting a summer job, but the Divine Relief Temp Agency takes her on and sends her out on her first job... with the Fates. Mythology, Bridezilla (Ilana's sister), teen angst. Fun.
157. A Tangled Weave by Michael Skeet. Mike is an old friend, so I'm pleased to report that I enjoyed this story as much as the one before, A Poisoned Prayer. It features Robert, a minor (but important) character in the previous book, is shaken out of his dilettante ways when he meets Victoire, an impoverished young noblewoman with a side hustle as a cloth smuggler. Very good.
158. Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low.
159. Detox in Letters by Cheryl Low.
The latter was sent to me as an Early Reviewer book, and the former is the first book in the series, which the publisher sent me at the same time. Good thing, too, because Book 2 would have been pretty hard to follow without reading Book 1 first. I've taken far too long to get to the review. Compelling reading, considering I disliked the dissolute society and most of the characters. Family drama, a highly stratified society, drugs, politics, magic, dragons. There's clearly at least one more book to come in the series, and I'll probably read it to find out what happens.
160. The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen. Another oldie off my shelf, which will now transition to someone else's shelf. A pretty good mystery, but very much of its time (1957), what with all the smoking and such. A man is murdered in a theatre, and his missing hat seems to be a big clue.
161. Gods and Demons by Melissa Sercia. Another ER book which should have been reviewed a long time ago. Despite this being the second in a series and not having read the first, it was easy enough to follow and I enjoyed it. It wasn't terribly original (kick-ass magical heroine with a horrible backstory, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.) but it was well done. Will read more if I come across them.
162. The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire. Latest October Daye book, and I loved it. Toby and associates accompany the Luidaeg to the Kingdom of Ships to right an ancient wrong. Want more!
163. Lumberjanes: Jackalope Springs Eternal by Shannon Watters, et. al. Graphic novel. Always fun to go back to camp with the Lumberjanes.
164. Terns of Endearment by Donna Andrews. Latest Meg Langslow mystery. Meg's grandfather, uber-naturalist Montgomery Blake, is asked to do lectures on a cruise ship and wangles cheap tickets for the rest of the family. Of course the cruise goes awry. Fun, as always.
165. The Mangle Street Murders by M.R. Kasasian. Period mystery set in late 1800s London. After her father's death, March Middleton goes to London to stay with her guardian, a personal detective named Sidney Grice. They are drawn into a murder case with lots of twisty bits. I enjoyed it, although Sidney is a pill.
166. Holiday With Violence by Ellis Peters. Four young people are backpacking around Italy when they run afoul of jewel thieves. You wouldn't expect them to go to the police, but they do! Amazing! And it's still a great and suspenseful story! Liked it a lot.
167. Ilario : The Lion's Eye
168. Ilario : The Stone Golem
both by Mary Gentle. Basically one story in two volumes. Ilario is a true hermaphrodite in an alt-Europe. They want to be an artist, to apprentice to a master of the "New Art" which seems to be a) painting what you see and b) using perspective. Released from slavery as "The King's Freak" in an Iberian court, they travel to find such a master, and also fleeing their mother, who has tried to murder them. Very good.
169. The Second Biggest Nothing by Colin Cotterill. Dr. Siri is back! He and Comrade Civilai are still working on their movie, but someone with a grudge from the past is threatening to kill all of Siri's loved ones and then Siri himself. Siri recounts some stories from his past, trying to figure out who the murderer is. Contains Mme Daeng awesomeness.
170. Truthseeker by C. E. Murphy. Urban fantasy, about a mousy tailor who knows when people lie. A prince of Faerie asks her to come to another world to find the prince's brother's murderer. Enjoyable.
171. Wayfinder by C.E. Murphy. Sequel to Truthseeker. Finishes up the story fairly neatly, and I enjoyed it.
172. The Curse of the House of Foskett by M. R. C. Kasasian. Sequel to The Mangle Street Murders. Not a bad story, but Sidney is still a pill and I got fed up with March's little asides back to the dead fiancee. Not likely to continue with this series.
173. Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep. Sequel to Crown of Shards, and very good. Everleigh Blair is now Queen of Bellona, and playing palace politics and international diplomacy while pining over Lucas Sullivan. The slightly annoying anachronisms (I don't know a better word, but I don't mean out of the right time, but out of place in this world, like kiwi and champagne) aside, I like the characters and it was enjoyable. Looking forward to the third book.
174. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. A book bullet from several LT members, this stand-alone fantasy was just excellent. It's a bit of a door-stop book, but well worth the time to read. Politics, religion, secrets, great characters, absorbing story.
175. The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard. Very short - more a long short story than anything, but very good. Sherlock Holmes pastiche, but Holmes is a woman and Watson is a shipmind (sentient starship). Like this universe.
>232 tardis: Aliette de Bodard was the AI designer and safety officer on the first panel at Worldcon. The panel was a discussion as to whether space exploration should be conducted by robots or humans. The panelists were an AI designer, a robot engineer who has worked on the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers that are on Mars, a professor of Astronomy, and an astronaut. What a dream team for that topic.
I was curious about Bodard's books. She mentioned this one during the session. Good to hear you liked it.
>233 pgmcc: That does sound like a fab panel! Overall, I like de Bodard's books, but they can be odd. House of Shattered Wings and sequel (haven't read the third book yet) were (in my memory) very atmospheric and dream-like, but also sometimes gritty. Beautiful writing, but sometimes the pacing is too slow or inconsistent. I liked The Tea Master and the Detective better.
>219 tardis: - I felt the same way about those ER books. Far from the worst I've had out of ER.
>226 tardis: I first encountered Murphy through ER, and I've always meant to chase up her works, she's written quite bit since, and it all seem to get positive reviews. Adds to list.
>233 pgmcc: - sounds wonderful, did they reach a conclusion? I suspect it would very much depend on the stated goals for the mission. I didn't get on with Shattered Wings.
>208 tardis: - I wasn't so impressed by the first in that series, but I do mean to read more of her work.
They concluded that the two approaches were complementary as each had it's strengths. As you say, it depends on the mission.
They also concluded that they were terrible panelists as they agreed with each other and did not cause any controversy. The audience disagreed with the latter conclusion.
NB: All errors as a result of working on a smart phone screen.
176. A Victory Garden for Trying Times by Debi Goodwin. Picked this because of the title out of the on order list at the library, assuming it was a gardening book with maybe some philosophy about how gardening helps one cope mentally with the current assorted trash fires afflicting the world. It turned out to be a rather touching memoir of a woman using gardening to cope with her husband's cancer diagnosis and all that came after. I guess one could draw parallels for people facing other trying situations, but it was such a personal journey.
Today is my 14th Thingaversary! I am going to risk the wrath of the enforcers by not buying the suggested 15 books (that is a lot!) but I did pre-order the next Rivers of London installment, False Value, which should count for something, and I've got a hold to pick up from the library, which might help, too. I've also got some rather nice cheese on hand to distract the enforcers, should they drop by for a "chat" about my lack of new books.
Did someone say "cheese"?
*arrives promptly to congratulate tardis on her Thingaversary*
>239 tardis: Happy Thingaversary! You remind me that mine is creeping up very soon.
Happy thingaversary! I shall unilaterally appoint myself an enforcer and arrive expecting cheese on Monday.
Thanks, all! (and NorthernStar, I hope there will be cheese left LOL).
177. Amnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly. Finale of the Amberlough series. Heavy on politics and personal relationships, with nobody coming out looking very good, but I really had to finish it, so I'd recommend it if you like that sort of thing.
>217 tardis: Amazon has really been pushing Rhys Bowen's books at me lately. I think I snagged one as a Kindle First Read at some point. Have you read others of hers?
>230 tardis: Glad you liked this one. It's on Mount Tooby. Seemed like a good Winter read.
>239 tardis: Happy Thingaversary! Cheese is the best way to celebrate any milestone, IMHO.
>232 tardis: Took a bullet in that one! Too bad I can't get it through ordinary channels (the sf/f bookshop, the library system, any other bookshop in Sweden...) but the search will continue.
And belated happy Thingaversary. Cheese and books!!!
Thank you all for the Thingaversary wishes! Once Harvest Season and my trip to Nova Scotia (with husband and NorthernStar) are done I will have a Do Nothing But Read day to celebrate properly, but in the mean time, I have a hundred pounds of pears to deal with and the plane leaves at stupid-early Tuesday morning.
>249 clamairy: I've read a lot of Rhys Bowen - possibly all her books. I find them light-weight but enjoyable. I'm unlikely to re-read them, so I get them from the library, but I always look forward to them.
178. A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw. Former British Intelligence agent Lane Winslow leaves England for a quiet life near Nelson, BC, but a corpse blocking her water supply, which turns out to have her name on a piece of paper in its pocket, may mean her past hasn't let her go. Good mystery. Will be reading more in the series.
179. Death in a Darkening Mist by Iona Whishaw. Second Lane Winslow mystery. Russian spies, embezzlers, murder. Good. Must grab next in series off the shelf and put the 4th on hold from the library so I can continue after I go home.
180. An Old, Cold Grave by Iona Whishaw. Third Lane Winslow mystery. A child's skeleton is found when the Hughes ladies' root cellar collapses. A crime dating back many years. Who is the child?
181. A Fatal Winter by G. M. Malliet. Second installment in the Father Max Tudor series, and not terrible, but not great either. Max is annoyingly perfect, and the way the police solicit his help is completely unbelievable.
182. Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews. Catalina Baylor is head of House Baylor, and the associated investigative agency. When a friend's mother and sister are murdered, she steps in to help figure out what happened, both helped and hindered by sexy hit-man Alessandro. Andrews' books always satisfy.
183. A Campfire Girl's Chum by Jane L. Stewart. A vintage (1914) girl's adventure book I picked up recently. Very quick read. Aside from the cringey (to modern sensibilities) Native American themes of the Camp Fire organization, it was enjoyable enough, if a bit simplistic. The themes of friendship and looking out for each other were nice. It's the second in a series, and some of the plot points depend on what happened in the first book as Bessie and Zara are still being threatened by the evil farmer and Zara's dad is in jail for counterfeiting. I presume all that gets wrapped up later in the 6 book series.
>260 tardis: One of my friends has just been given a few Camp-Fire girls stories by different authors. I don't think this one was among them but it is interesting to see how popular they must have been in their day.
184. The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp. This would appeal to American Gods fans. Jude Devereaux is hiding. He has a touch-based gift that makes contact with people difficult, his mother was human but his father was a god (not that he knows which one), and he's trying not to work for some bad people. Twisty and good.
>262 tardis: Yay! I'm surprised, but my library has that title in five different formats. Sounds like a good one.
>262 tardis: I just read this and was a bit underwhelmed. I thought it would have been much better written in Jude's voice, because I felt like the omniscient narrator was telling rather than showing. I'm glad you enjoyed it though - the author's understanding of New Orleans post-Katrina was very good, I thought.
>264 Sakerfalcon: I thought >262 tardis: was good but I can definitely see your point.
185. Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart. Following the loss of her job as a deputy sheriff, Constance Kopp is at a loss. Her sister Norma signs all three sisters (including Fleurette) for a National Service School training camp to help prepare women for US entry into the Great War. Constance ends up running the camp. Side story is of Beulah Binford, a formerly notorious woman who also ends up at the camp in her continuing efforts to reinvent herself. I liked it.
Three more by Ione Whishaw:
186. It Begins in Betrayal - Inspector Darling gets called back to England because of an investigation into the death of one of the airmen in his crew in WW2. Lane follows.
187. A Sorrowful Sanctuary - A gravely injured man floating in a rowboat on the lake and home-grown Nazis.
188. A Deceptive Devotion - A Russian countess, various spies (British, Canadian, Russian, double agents, defectors, etc.), and Ottawa is still twitchy from the Gouzenko affair.
189. Stray Souls by Kate Griffin. Sharon Li starts a support group for magical misfits, discovers she's a shaman, and has to rally her motley crew to save London. Enjoyed this quite a bit, and will be looking out for the rest of the series. This book is kind of in the middle, but stands alone well enough.
>265 tardis: I'm way behind on that Amy Stewart series. Happy to hear they're up to snuff. Thanks for the reminder to get back to them.
>265 tardis: I have only read the first book, although I purchased at least one or two more in the series. They are languishing in my Kindle library.
>269 2wonderY: Yes! Also loved Gretel, the gourmand troll :) I have two of the earlier books (about Matthew the sorcerer) from the library now, so will be starting them shortly.
190. Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang. A cozy mystery set in a bookshop in a castle on an island. The nosiness of the main character stretches credulity, but it was okay. Anyway, it was the middle of the night, I was suffering from insomnia, and I needed a book that I could download to my phone. Gotta love the public library!
191. The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch. I already read this in print this year but this time was the audiobook version, which was just as good. A different reader from the other Rivers of London series books, because the main character is German and white, but he was excellent. I have listened to it twice.
192. The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss. I do love this series - the members of the Athena Club may be (technically) monsters, thanks to their famous fathers (Moreau, Hyde, Jekyll, Frankenstein, etc.), but they're great characters and it's a fun story. This is the third book, and I'm not sure if there will be more, but I hope so.
193. A Madness of Angels: or the Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin. (Urban Magic book 1)
194. The Midnight Mayor: Or, the Inauguration of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (Urban Magic book 2)
195. The Minority Council by Kate Griffin. (Urban Magic book 4)
Sorcerer Matthew Smith and his passengers, the blue electric angels, come back from the dead and fight evil in book one. In book 2, Matthew becomes the Midnight Mayor of London, and fights more evil. Ditto in book 4. I couldn't get book 3 from the library, but likely more of the same. Sounds a bit dry but actually very good. Wry humour. Although Matthew gets injured a ridiculous amount.
196. Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass. Another insomnia-inspired download from the public library's selection of e-books. Bog-standard urban fantasy, with beautiful kick-ass (but damaged) heroine and sexy kick-ass (also damaged) hero.
196. The Glass God by Kate Griffin. The Midnight Mayor, Matthew Smith, has disappeared, after appointing Sharon Li as his deputy. Sharon would really rather just keep managing Magicals Anonymous, but someone has to find Swift and also the mysterious missing knife of Old Man Bone. Sharon muddles through with help from Management for Beginners and her Magicals Anonymous pals. Very good.
>276 Marissa_Doyle: I hadn't looked up her other work yet. Will have to take a look.
197. Rivers of London: Action at a Distance by Ben Aaronovitch and others. Graphic novel. Enjoyable story featuring Nightingale and a friend tracking down a serial killer in the 1950s. As usual, the art is very good.
198. Shield of the People by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Second novel in Maresca's "Maradaine Elite" subseries. Election shenanigans, multi-layered plots, and politics. Dayne Heldrin is still the Captain Carrot/Constable Benton Fraser of the Tarian Order, and getting no appreciation for it from his superiors. Still manages to save the day, although not by himself :) That said, I really enjoy Maresca's work and look forward to more.
I had not heard of Marshall Ryan Maresca before. But your description of his protagonist is pretty tempting!!!
>279 -pilgrim-: Maresca is pretty new. There are four sub-series, all set in the city of Maradaine. Each focuses on different characters, although there's some overlap, especially in the later books. I recommend reading them all. The Thorn of Dentonhill is the first and I've just spent way too much time editing the series listings here on LT to put them in both chronological and publication order. Although there's a problem with a couple of them - everything I've found on the web says that chronologically, Shield of the People comes before Parliament of Bodies, but I'm pretty sure that's not right. Oh, well. Can fix later :)
199. To the Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith. Latest No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel. At a wedding, Mma Ramotswe sees an old friend that she thought was late and they reconnect. Mma Makutsi re-investigates a closed case. Charlie tries to figure out how to make enough money to marry his girlfriend. Very much as usual for this series - warm, peaceful, and gentle.
200. Differently Morphous by Yahtzee Croshaw. Another late-night/early morning library download. A serial killer is targeting gelatinous refugees from another dimension in the English countryside, and the Department of Extradimensional Affairs isn't coping well. Fun.
201. Chaotic by Kelley Armstrong. Another late-night/early morning library download. Novella in the Otherworld 'verse. A half-demon tabloid journalist has a really bad date, and finds out her employer hasn't told her some things. Good, as usual.
202. Becoming Superman: My Journey From Poverty to Hollywood "with stops along the way at murder, madness, mayhem, movie stars, sex cults, slums, sociopaths, and war crimes." By J. Michael Straczynski. JMS made one of my favourite TV shows ever, Babylon 5, and I've always admired his work. This, his autobiography, is pretty much what the title promises. Hard to read in places, due to the abuse perpetrated by his family (especially his father), but very good.
>282 tardis: You are getting too good at this! That is another solid hit for my Wishlist. Pity the paperback version is not going to be released here for a while.
I agree with you about Babylon 5, but hasn't really followed what JMS has been doing since. I had no idea that he had had such a rough start in life.
203. Shattered Bonds by Faith Hunter. Latest in the Jane Yellowrock series. Jane is sick due to using magic, and has retreated with her friends to the Appalachian Mountains to heal or die. Of course she isn't left in peace - the Son of Darkness that she didn't kill in the last book is coming for her. Very good.
204. The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt. White Raven's captain and crew pick up a survivor from a centuries-old exploration vessel they happen across near Neptune. The wrecked ship has come a long way in far too short a time. Great diverse characters, fun story. Hits the same spots as Becky Chambers' books and Tanya Huff's Peacekeeper series.
207. The Princess Beard by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. These people NEVER met a pun they didn't want to commit to paper. This story of a bearded princess, a dryad who wants to be a lawyer, pirates, centaur suffering from toxic masculinity, otters, elves, etc., etc., is quite the mish-mash of odd pop-culture references and swashbuckling. Funny in a punny, groan-inducing way.
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