tardis' 2020 reading record
This is a continuation of the topic tardis' 2019 reading record.
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May your year be full of good books, good friends, tea (or other preferred beverage), and cheese!
For interest (if any), here are my previous reading threads:
2019 journal: https://www.librarything.com/topic/301609 (221 books read)
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)
Mount TBR currently sits at 88 (not counting library books). This is down from last year, but still needs attention.
May 2020 bring you many good reads!
I haven’t counted my TBR lately. I have three library books waiting in the queue.
Wishing you a great year and lots of great reading. You inspire me - one day I too will have a TBR pile of 88... in about 12 or 13 years if things go to plan with my current reducing activity!
Thank you all - I'll be following your threads, too, and looking forward to lots of book bullets :)
1. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. I've read this in print and listened to it in audiobook format many times. The latest re-read was prompted by me watching 1.5 episodes of the TV adaptation, which was one of THE WORST adaptations I've ever seen. I couldn't even appreciate it on it's own merits (sometimes possible - see the Hamish MacBeth series). It was grim, joyless, mis-cast, and they completely mis-read most of the characters and the Chequey organization. Halfway through the second episode I couldn't take it anymore, and I had to re-read the book to flush the show out of my brain.
2. In the Shadow of Spindrift House by Mira Grant. A creepy little Lovecraftian novella featuring a haunted house and four meddling kids. Well, young adults. Very good, but unsettling.
>10 tardis: I totally forgot about The Rook being adapted for TV. That bad, huh?
I'm with catzteach, totally forgot this was being turned into a tv series. Sorry to hear it isn't going well.
>10 tardis: Thank you for watching as much as you did, so that the rest of us can avoid it!
>10 tardis: I’m kind of annoyed that the TV adaptation isn’t going well. I’m kind of possessive about Daniel O’Malley—he’s Australian even if he graduated from the Uni of Wisconsin, and he even worked in the same Australian Government department that I did. Or so the bio in my copy ofThe Rook asserts.
>16 pgmcc: Seconding Tardis (or however you repeat a BB). I loved The Rook even though it’s astonishingly gory in small places.
You're all welcome for the info on The Rook TV show. I was not hopeful (original adaptation was being done by Stephanie Meyer (!) although apparently she parted with the producers over "creative differences" early in filming) but it was even worse than I feared. O'Malley doesn't seem upset about it from he's said on Twitter, but I hope he got paid TONS of money.
And >16 pgmcc:, I hope you enjoy it. It uses one of the tropes I love - the civil service organization defending the ignorant masses from the supernatural (or aliens, or whatever)- see also Laundry Series, The Rivers of London series, Men in Black, etc. It is a bit gory in spots, but not nearly as much so as some things I've read and enjoyed. The sequel, Stiletto is also good.
3. Cast in Flame by Michelle Sagara. Continuing my read through this series. I'm now well into the books that I haven't read before. Kaylen's life gets more and more complicated.
>10 tardis: Well, you saved the rest of us the time and heartache. I didn't even realize it had been adapted.
4. Hidden London : Discovering the Forgotten Underground by Chris Nix, Siddy Holloway and David Bownes with Sam Mullens. Very interesting book about a few of London's lost underground stations. Lots of plans and photographs, both current and historical. Fascinating!
5. Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire. 22 short stories collected from the full length of McGuire's career. None of them come from her main series; they're all stand-alones. Creepy, touching, mordant, twisted - all the things McGuire is good at.
>23 tardis: I need to get this! I'd rather have a hard copy but that seems to be out of print and very expensive so it'll have to be the kindle version.
>10 tardis: Yikes! Thank you for the warning. I love that book--so sorry it was butchered.
6. The Horn of Roland by Ellis Peters. A stand-alone detective story about a composer going back to his home town in the Alps for the first time since the war. Someone is threatening his life and the reasons date back to war time. Very good.
7. Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire. Latest in the Wayward Children series. It just arrived today, and I was lucky enough to have time to read it immediately. Jack (or Jill?) and her girlfriend come back to the school asking for aid, and some of the other students go back with them to The Moors to help out. Very good.
8. A Matter of Metalaw by Lee Correy. An Agent Investigative Team goes to a frontier world to find out why another team has died. Weird, creepy society. Info-dumpy, stilted and really, not sure why I finished it. This has been on my TBR pile for a long time, and it's graduating to the get-rid-of-it pile.
9. The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey. 14th in the Elemental Masters series. It ought to be "spellbound children" really, but whatever. Nan, Sarah, Suki, John and Mary Watson, etc. solve a case of missing children on Dartmoor. Enjoyable.
10. Firefly: The Sting by Delilah S. Dawson. Graphic novel. The ladies of Serenity team up with an untrustworthy former antagonist on a heist. Fun.
>31 reading_fox: I picked up a copy in Foyles' Bookshop on Charing Cross Road on Tuesday. I look forward to reading it.
11. Cast in Honor by Michelle Sagara. Continuing the Elantra series. Nightshade is missing, and there's something really wrong in the city. Very good.
12. Thirteen Orphans by Jane Lindskold. I read this years ago and liked it, so when I ran across a copy in a used book store I bought it and re-read. Still good. The 13 orphans represent the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, plus the Cat, who is the emperor's heir. Exiled from the Lands Born From Smoke and Sacrifice, and eventually ending up in the US, the 13 are hiding and blending in, until someone starts attacking them with magic. Need to get the two other books in the series because I've forgotten how it comes out.
13. Cast in Flight by Michelle Sagara. Continuing the Elantra series. Still good :)
14. Grimspace by Ann Aguirre. First in the Sirantha Jax series. Space opera. The FTL propulsion system is handwavy (although I suppose when is it not?), but the story and the characters are good.
15. Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre. Second in Sirantha Jax series. Continues on directly from the first book. Also good.
16. Cast in Deception
17. Cast in Oblivion
both by Michelle Sagara. The latest two of the Elantra series. There is at least one more to be released this year. It's a long series. I am sure she has a vision and an end planned, but not sure how many more books it will take. In any case, I enjoy these stories.
18. Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre. #3 in the Sirantha Jax series. Jax gets down to the actual ambassadoring that she was assigned to do but sidetracked from in the last book. Politics, diplomacy, intrigue, betrayal. Good.
26. Dead Until Dark
27. Living Dead in Dallas
28. Club Dead
29. Dead to the World
All by Charlaine Harris, from the Sookie Stackhouse series. I have a couple of these on the TBR pile, but they're later in the series and it's been a while since I read the earlier books. Plus the TV series (which as adaptations go wasn't terrible) has also got into my memory. So I decided a re-read of the series was in order. These are fast reads and the ultimate brain candy, but they're by-and-large fairly cheerful, considering the subject matter (vampires, weres, & other supernatural beings, plus lots of blood, murder, betrayal, etc.). Of course, it helps that I can skip whole pages of sex scenes, which after the first couple aren't that necessary to the plot :)
30. Dead as a Doornail
31. Definitely Dead
32. All Together Dead
33. From Dead to Worse
34. Dead and Gone
35. Dead in the Family
36. Dead Reckoning
38. A Touch of Dead
All by Charlaine Harris, all in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series. I've just realized too late to go to the library that I'm missing the final book in the series. I can get it tomorrow, though and I have other books in the mean time. I've cleared THREE books off my TBR pile with this marathon re-read, though.
41. Halfway House by Ellery Queen. 1936 classic American mystery. Bigamy, murder, young love, courtroom drama.
42. Mudlark : In Search of London's Past Along the River Thames by Lara Maiklem. Maikem takes readers on a fascinating trip along the Thames, from Teddington to the Estuary, looking for historical detritus washed up by the tides. I'd say the only flaw in this book is the lack of pictures, but you can see most of what she finds on her Instagram feed, London.Mudlark, and I think there's going to be a special feed that links up with this book.
43. And On The Eighth Day
44. The Player On The Other Side
45. Inspector Queen's Own Case
46. Cat of Many Tails
47. Double, Double
All by Ellery Queen. More classic American mysteries. They're fine mysteries, if more than a bit dated and with sexism typical of the era, but still annoying to the modern sensibility. Less racism than some golden age mysteries I've read. Continuity is NOT Queen's strong suit, which I guess is a bit understandable given that "Ellery Queen" is at least two people, but you'd think they could manage to share at least a basic time line and character sheet. More noticeable as I read a bunch of these close together.
48. The French Powder Mystery by Ellery Queen. Another 1930s mystery, set in a department store. Good.
And that was the last Ellery Queen on my shelves, now deleted from my catalogue and in the pile for rehoming.
50. Wizard's Heir
51. Beggar's Banquet
All by Daniel Hood, in the omnibus edition A Familiar Dragon. Scholar Liam Rhenford goes to visit a wizard friend late one night and finds the wizard murdered and his dragon familiar, Fanuilh, dying. The familiar bites Liam to transfer its familiar link to him and thereby survive. The books are all mysteries, in which Liam and Fanuilh solve various crimes, mostly murders. Quite good.
These are older works (from the 1990s). The last three of the series sat on my TBR pile for a long time, waiting for me to acquire the first two, which I finally did.
52. Scales of Justice
53. King's Cure
Both by Daniel Hood. The last two books in the Fanuihl/Rhenford series. Liam and Fanuilh travel with a circuit judge in the first, investigating and judging crimes. In the second, Liam is charged with delivering a vial that may hold the cure for the ailing king. Very good.
54. The Late Great Wizard by Sara Hanover. Young adult urban fantasy. Tessa, college student, delivers meals on wheels to a bunch of seniors. One of them, crusty old Professor Brandard, is not what he seems. She gets drawn into a world of magic, iron dwarves, demons, and ghosts. Pretty good! Have put a hold on the next in the series.
Hoping the library doesn't notice that my cat put some tooth holes in the cover. They're quite small...
55. Supernatural: Joyride by John Passarella. Tie-in novel to season 12 of the Supernatural TV series. Sam and Dean investigate a town-wide blackout followed by weird behaviour on the part of the townspeople. I enjoyed it. I am a fan of the TV series though. Not sure how it would play with someone who wasn't. On the other hand, would a non-fan even start the book in the first place?
56. Winterwood by Jacey Bedford. Alt-history fantasy in the reign of Mad King George. Cross-dressing female captain of a privateer, Fae, shape-changers, magic, intrigue. I really liked this.
>53 tardis: Curiously, I'm in the midst of reading a real-life, meticulously researched history of a cross-dressing (female) army medic-and-surgeon, who got her degree and (a few months later) commission from the Prince Regent in the last few years of Mad King George's reign. Dr. James Barry took her male-name from an uncle, and is still remembered, mostly fondly, in the Cape to this day.
Edited to make sense.
>54 hfglen: "Stuff You Missed In History Class" (one of my favourite podcasts) has told a few of those stories. The book in >53 tardis: is maybe not the best example - the pirate captain in question uses male dress but is not actually pretending to be male (although it comes in handy if people who don't know her mistake her for male when she's pirating). She goes back and forth between male and female dress throughout the book, depending on what she needs to do. Female dress in the Napoleonic era wasn't exactly convenient for climbing out of windows, visiting seedy taverns, or buckling swash :)
>55 tardis: Interesting. When the person I pointed to was Margaret Anne Bulkley of Cork she stood not a snowball's hope of a life, an education or a career. However when she became James Barry (a role she kept to her dying day, without ever letting on s/he was female) she achieved all of those, and played a very important part in establishing the first public health service in the Cape.
1. Dr James Barry ended his career as a very senior army medic in (eastern) Canada in the 1860s.
2. Am listening to "Stuff you missed in History Class" as I type. I agree on favourite podcast status.
57. Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy. Murphy writes good urban fantasy (as C.E. Murphy) so I was glad to try her foray into cozy mystery. She doesn't disappoint. As cozy mystery goes, this is a good one. Megan Malone is a former Texan and US military veteran, now living in Dublin, Ireland, and working as a driver for a limousine company. When one of her clients (a famed restaurant critic and blogger) dies, she's sucked into the investigation. Good supporting cast, plus bonus puppies. No cutesy recipes or knitting patterns. There's a sequel on the way, and I'll definitely pick it up.
I was due to go to the launch for that book last week. Unfortunately I was out of town for work and did not make it. Catie will be pleased with your review.
I told Catie about your post and her reaction was:
“oh! oh, how LOVELY! tell her thank you! 🙂 ❤”
>59 pgmcc: !! She's very welcome! I follow Catie on Twitter and allowing for the fact that what a person posts on Twitter is only a small slice of who they really are, she's one of the authors I'd really like to meet. I haven't read nearly as many of her books as I'd like, but at least we could discuss jam making :)
>60 tardis: She brings her jams along to conventions. Also, she makes some really delicious fudge.
58. A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris. Gunnie Rose #2. Alt-history western with magic. Lizbeth Rose has hired on with a crew protecting a box in transit from Texoma to Dixie. Very good.
59. Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire. #9 in the Incryptid series, and oh, I wish it had been longer. So good! I don't want to wait a year for the next installment! This is the first of two books with Sarah Zellaby as the lead character, although Artie, Elsie, Annie, Sam, James, and a bunch of their assorted parents are also involved. We learn a lot about Johrlac/cuckoo biology. There's also a great extra story at the end, which you COULD read first if you wanted to - it actually takes place before the main book.
>64 tardis: My copy is on the way! I can't wait to read a story from Sarah's POV!
>64 tardis: I'm waiting for this one too. Unless Canada Post beats their projected delivery time, I won't get it until Monday.
60. A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. I don't know how I missed this when it came out, since Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series is one that I read and enjoyed. Anyway, this one is very different. More traditional fantasy, in a place called Teldwen, told in a series of stories by different characters, recounted by a shape-shifting bard. I really liked it. Looking forward to the next volume in the series.
>68 clamairy: I honestly can't recall the ending of the TV series, so I can't tell you.
>68 clamairy: I never watched the last season of the series. Didn’t like the tv series as much as the books.
63. Lipstick Voodoo by Kristi Charish. Second of the Kincaid Strange series. Enjoyable urban fantasy as voodoo practitioner Kincaid Strange attempts to juggle the demands of a ghost of a nasty wizard, the problem of her friend Nate (a ghost, inhabiting the deteriorating body of a zombie), and finding a killer.
64. Empire of Dust by Jacey Bedford. Space opera, and good, too. Telepath Cara is on the run, and uses Psi navigator Ben to get her away from pursuers. The two are drawn into supporting a pile of anti-tech, anti-psi immigrants to a new planet, and there's politics and all that fun stuff.
65. Crossways by Jacey Bedford. Sequel to Empire of Dust and basically a continuation, with more of the same. Daring rescues, space battles, etc. Very good.
Okay, you posted 74 and 75 only 3 hours apart! And that second one is not a short book.
>76 clamairy: I finished 74 yesterday - just didn't post it until today. I did read the whole of the second one between yesterday and today, though.
66. Down Among the Dead by K.B. Wagers. Second in the Farian War trilogy, which is itself a follow-up to the Indranan War trilogy. Hail Bristol has been captured by the Shen, one of the factions in the Farian War. They want her to kill some gods. Politics, religion, diplomacy, war. Very good. Looking forward to book 3 and anything else Wagers writes.
67. The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood. Phryne Fisher is out dancing when one of the other dancers drops dead on the floor. With her usual aplomb, Phryne sails into action, beautifully dressed and entirely capable as always. I enjoyed it very much.
68. Long Light by Paige L. Christie. Book three in the Legacies of Arnan. This is mainly Kilras Dorn's story, weaving back and forth in time from his childhood forward, and touching on the characters and events of the previous books from Kilras' view. It sounds confusing, but it's not. Christie handles it very well. It's very good, but oh! I wish the author had hired a competent copy-editor, because there are several wrong words and, more annoyingly, quite a few misplaced apostrophes. I'm still eagerly awaiting the next (and final?) book in the series, though.
69. Nimbus by Jacey Bedford. Third (and presumably last) of her Psi-Tech series. The Nimbus, the dark cloud that lives in foldspace and eats people, is stealing more and more ships, and Ben, Cara, etc. have to figure out the problem. Politics, economics, space adventure, etc. Very good.
70. False Value by Ben Aaronovitch. There's a rat among the mice of the Serious Cybernetics Corp. Peter Grant has taken a job doing security with a London-based tech entrepreneur with a thing for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Demon traps, Beverley (pregnant with twins), Ada Lovelace, drones, Librarians. Really enjoyed this.
>82 tardis: Glad to know the next book is out. Do you recommend a re-read of HHGTTG prior?
>83 2wonderY: no, not necessary to re-read HHGTTG - it's just everything in the company has a HHG name - staff are mice, security are Vogons, all the boardrooms are named after planets, etc. It would probably drive me mad to work there, but it was fun to read about :)
71. Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather. A small group of nuns, traveling through space in their living ship, helping where they can. Memories, secrets. Really liked this novella.
>85 tardis: Is this a standalone, or part of a wider setting by the author?
72. Fire Logic
73. Earth Logic
both by Laurie J. Marks. Cultures in conflict when invaders come to a land called Shaftal. Until the death of the G'deon, the earth witch whose magic sustains Shaftal, the invaders are circumspect, but when he dies seemingly without an heir to his power, they attack. A group of odd companions join to try to save Shaftal. I can't say much more without spoilers, but these books are very good and I'm currently on the next in the series.
74. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Audiobook. I've read this several times in print, and it's a lovely book. A definite comfort read for me, as exiled half-elf/half goblin Maia is pitchforked into becoming Emperor when his father and older brothers are killed. The audiobook was well read, but the complicated character names were less distinct in audio and it was sometimes difficult to keep characters straight.
75. Water Logic by Laurie J. Marks. Zanja crosses yet another boundary, this time into the past as old secrets come forward. Very good.
>90 tardis: I really have to move your 74th book closer to the top of Mount Tooby. That is one of the drawbacks of eBooks. They aren't staring you in the face, or visibly teetering off the shelves where you can easily be reminded they exist.
76. Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews. Romance-ish story of a woman reinventing herself after divorce. Late-night insomnia download, but enjoyable fluff.
77. The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold. Audiobook. Historical fantasy. Fiametta, daughter of a sorcerer/artist, copes with an invasion of the town she lives in. That's a terrible description, but I wanted to avoid spoilers. Love this in print, loved it in audio.
78. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams. Another late-night insomnia download. Cozy mystery set in a small town, featuring four damaged women who come together to solve the death of a property developer. A bit twee, but enjoyable that I downloaded the sequel.
79. The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams. Sequel to the above. Same women, still a bit twee, but still enjoyable. A young woman fetches up in town, very secretive, very scared. Nora and the gang biblio- and food-therapize her.
80. Air Logic by Laurie J. Marks. Conclusion to her Logic series. Rebellion, found family, culture clash, war, peace. Very good.
81. Garbology : Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash by Edward Humes. Non-fiction. About the history, current state, and potential future of garbage. Which we produce a stupid amount of. Interesting book. I admit, I skipped over most of the tables.
82. Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe. A space soldier wakes up on a deserted enemy ship, with only the on-board AI for company. Very good. Looking forward to more from this author, since this book is obviously not the end of the story.
>99 BookstoogeLT: Not yet. Velocity Weapon was my first by her. Will look out for more, though!
>100 tardis: I believe that Scorched Continent is a completed trilogy? I haven't read the trilogy, so am not completely sure.
83. A High-End Finish
84. This Old Homicide
both by Kate Carlisle, both late-night insomnia downloads. Decent cozy mysteries featuring a woman contractor who specializes in restoring Victorian houses.
85. An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass. Magical talent is considered evil. A former courtesan with a "gift" rebuilds her life after a fall from grace caused by trying to get her reckless brother out of trouble. Really liked this, hoping for more soon!
>103 Sakerfalcon: Excellent!
86. Forbidden Fruit by Kerry Greenwood. An entry in her Corinna Chapman mystery series. Corinna is a baker in Melbourne with a superb found family and a fulfilling career. This is a mystery, but not a murder mystery. Corinna's boyfriend is looking for a runaway pregnant teen and her boyfriend. Who really has this girl's best interests at heart? Very satisfying.
87. Burn the Dark by S. A. Hunt. First in the Malus Domestica series. Creepy sort-of YA about a girl who kills witches. I can't say I loved it, but I was enjoying it well enough until the end of the book. Which didn't actually finish any part of the story - it just stopped. I hate that.
And that's the last of my print library books. Reading from now on will be print off the TBR pile and e-books from the library and Early Reviewers. I have a couple of ER books that I owe some reviews on.
88. Wise Child by Monica Furlong. A nice little middle-grade/YA fantasy about a girl who becomes the ward of the village witch.
-1 from the TBR pile, too! TBR now at 76.
>106 tardis: I read this and the sequel Juniper when I was in high school. I remember both books being very good. Glad you enjoyed it. (There is a third book too but I haven't read that one.)
>107 Sakerfalcon: Interesting. I didn't look to see if there were sequels. It stands quite well on its own. Someday, maybe I'll run across those.
89. Rooftop Gardens: The Terraces, Conservatories, and Balconies of New York by Denise LeFrak Calicchio and Roberta Model Amon. Photos by Norman McGrath. A lovely coffee table book of aspirational gardens, likely any one of which is worth more per spare meter than my entire house. Especially the ones with a view out over Central Park. Apartment living wouldn't be so bad if I could have a garden like one of these.
90. Beast Heart by Kyle Richardson. This is the beginning of a series, and it shows a bit. It’s laying groundwork and world-building, sometimes at the expense of the plot, and it ends on a cliff-hanger. That said, the ground work doesn’t include some fairly fundamental stuff, like exactly WHY Gabrielle has goggles and a weird hand. I mean, maybe we’ll find out in later books, but it would have made more sense in this one. Anyway, overall, good. I liked the characters, the plot had enough interesting bits to intrigue me, and if I get the opportunity, I’ll read the next book.
This was an Early Reviewer book, and I just realized that my TBR count didn't include the 7 ER books on which I owe reviews, so that's what I'm doing next :)
>109 tardis: Oooh, 7? You'd better get right on that. ;o) They're pretty easy going about enforcing the rules for the ER program. I think I've still got 4 books I didn't finish, but then I bailed out on the program when my life got crazy and I haven't gone back. (Nothing makes me less inclined to read a book than being told I have to.)
(Nothing makes me less inclined to read a book than being told I have to.)
>110 clamairy: Yeah, I know they're easy going about late reviews - some of my 7 go back a couple years. I didn't request anything for most of 2019, because of my backlog, but I always looked at the list. MY big problem is that they're all e-books, and lacking a physical reminder that they exist, they slip down my priority list behind physical books. Because I have requested them, though, so I tend not to resent having to do the reviews. I just get easily side-tracked.
91. Heart of Shadows by Lisa Edmonds. 5th book in the Alice Worth series. I haven't read books 1, 3 or 4 but I got book 2 as an early reviewer copy a while back so I'm not totally out of the loop. I thought this was decent, and an improvement on book 2, but still not terribly original. Hot kick-ass heroine, vampire, werewolf, magic, ghost, etc. This one was also from Early Reviewers.
I am still at 7 Early Reviewer reviews owed, because another one just arrived. I need to charge my eReader before I can get on to the next one, though.
92. Reckoner Redeemed by Doranna Durgin, an Early Reviewer book for which I have owed a review for FAR too long. Book 3 of a series - I got #1 as an ER book, too (although apparently never reviewed it, either - have taken care of that now), but never got hold of #2. Missing the middle book didn't seem too critical. Urban fantasy about a small but mighty woman who helps ghosts pass on, and gets mixed up in an inter-dimensional conflict. Good characters - Garrie's team on Earth are great. Trevarr, from the other world is unreasonably hunky, but his companion (not-cat!) is fun.
So, ER backlog now down to 6, but another eBook just showed up from the public library so I'm going to read that before I go back to ER books.
93. Crowned and Moldering
94. Deck the Hallways
95. Eaves of Destruction
All by Kate Carlisle. Quick cozy mysteries about a woman contractor who renovates Victorian houses in a quaint northern California community. Sequels to >102 tardis: above. Enjoyable but I wouldn't want to live near Shannon - she's becoming a positive murder magnet.
96. Voodoo Shanghai by Kristi Charish. Latest in the Kincaid Strange series, about a woman who can raise zombies and bind the dead. Urban fantasy, and quite fun.
97. Lessons in Enchantment by Patricia Rice. A light, cute historical fantasy/romance featuring Lady Phoebe who communicates with animals and wants to be a veterinarian as soon as she can afford tuition and who becomes a governess to the magically-talented nieces and nephew of a crusty engineer. An early reviewer book.
My early reviewer backlog is now down to 5!
>117 tardis: This sounds nice!
And congrats on reducing your review backlog! The end is in sight!
98. A Wrench in the Works by Kate Carlisle. Another fixer-upper cozy mystery. Shannon's sister is in town filming an episode of her reality-TV home repair show. Doesn't go smoothly. Quick light read.
99. A Better Way To Die by Paul Cornell. This collection of 22 short stories come from across Cornell’s career, and really show his breadth of ability as a writer. I’ve enjoyed his other work – for example, the Shadow Police series, the Lychford series, and of course his work on Doctor Who - but most of these are quite different. There wasn’t a lot of humour in them and I can’t say I liked all the stories (one I found completely incomprehensible) but they were all interesting. I also liked the author’s notes, which helped put the stories in context. And that's -1 on the Early Reviewer backlog.
100. The Year of the Knife by G. D. Penman. It took me a while to get to The Year of the Knife, by G.D. Penman, and I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner. This is alt-history urban fantasy, in a world where in 2015 the British Empire rules a good part of North America, the police hire magic users, and Europe has been sealed off after some kind of magical event. The protagonist, Sully, is a skilled magic user and an officer of the Imperial Bureau of Investigation in New Amsterdam. Someone is making murder puppets out of ordinary people, and she’s leading the investigation. She also has a hot vampire girlfriend, although that doesn’t stop her flirting with other girls. Couple of good twists, and some snarky humour. I liked it.
And that's another ER book done!
101. Salt is Leaving by J.B. Priestley. An old British mystery (1966) off my shelf. I don't recall ever reading it before so I probably inherited it from the stuff my mom didn't take when she moved to the coast. Anyway, Salt is a GP, who has sold his practice in and is packing up to move away from the unlovely town he's been working in. But first, he needs to figure out what happened to one of his patients. A decent mystery, and I actually thought I knew where it was going, but I was wrong.
102. Hounds of the Underworld by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray. In Hounds of the Underworld (Path of Ra, book 1), freelance crime scene specialist Pandora “Penny” Yee and her brother, Matiu, get caught up in trying to solve a very weird series of killings in a future New Zealand. They go way beyond the limits of crime scene specialty, even given the standards set by modern TV CSI dramas. I started this a few times and bounced off it, so it took me a long time to read it all the way through, but it’s actually a pretty gripping read. Trigger warning for dog abuse. This is the LAST Early Reviewer book review that I was behind on! Hooray! Now I don't have to feel guilty about requesting anything new, assuming that there's anything that looks interesting.
103. Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn. Audiobook. Daisy Dalrymple goes down to Wentwater Court to write an article about it for a magazine, and there's murder and all. First in the series. Jolly good fun.
104. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Audiobook. Read this in print not too long ago. Still fun.
105. Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Audiobook. First in the Harry Dresden series, which I have read all of. Still good. The reader, James Marsters, is excellent.
106. False Value by Ben Aaronovitch. Audiobook. Latest in the Peter Grant series, which I also read in print very recently, but the reader (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) is fantastic as always. Bonus author and reader interview at the end.
107. Elfhome by Wen Spencer. Third in the Tinker series. I missed the second, but I don't think I'll worry about it. I liked this well enough, but it didn't blow me away. Energizer bunny Tinker annoyed me a bit, but Oilcan was great.
108. The Neon Court by Kate Griffin. The one Midnight Mayor book that I missed when I was reading this series before. Good series, and interesting to get some general history on previous Midnight Mayors and how Matthew is different. Also, Penny is awesome.
109. The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca. A re-read as I decided to treat myself to this series as an isolation present. This is not my favourite in the series, but it's the beginning. Veranix Calvert - magic student by day, anti-drug vigilante by night. Gets himself in a lot of trouble.
110. A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Second in the overall Maradaine series, and first in the Maradaine Constabulary sub-series. Satrine Rainey, with a disabled husband and two daughters to support, tricks her way into an Inspector's job with the constabulary. Her partner, Minox Welling, is an untrained mage. Someone is killing mages and they are assigned to the case. I do like a police procedural :)
111. The Last Emperox by John Scalzi. Conclusion to the Emperox trilogy, and well worth it. There were some things I didn't expect (not a complaint!), and I found it sufficiently satisfying even though I didn't want it to be over.
>128 tardis: Very happy to hear this series holds up, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
112. The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams. Another cozy Miracle Bookshop mystery. I still like the characters, but the mystery was a bit weak.
113. The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells. First in a series, and really good. Ile-Rien is losing a war against invaders from another dimension, and dilettante playwright Tremaine is called to help in the fight because she has a link to a mysterious sphere with magic powers. Did I say really good? Yup.
114. City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing by Lorraine Johnson. Non-fiction. Johnson talks community gardening, guerrilla gardening, urban chickens, food security, and more, using examples from around the world, although mostly Canada and the US. A fairly quick read.
>130 tardis: The Ile-Rien books are great! I thought the next two in the trilogy were even better than the first.
115. Death and Relaxation by Devon Monk. Small town doubles as vacation spot for immortals. One of the gods is killed and police chief Delaney Reed needs to find out who and also find a new vessel for the god's power on a short deadline. Enjoyable. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
>135 clamairy: Yup. I've never read a book of hers that I didn't love.
116. Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs. Latest in the Mercy Thompson series. Something is biting people and making them do terrible things. Also there's drama in Mercy's personal life. Quelle surprise! But definitely up to the standards of previous books in the series and I enjoyed it.
>136 tardis: You are reminding how far behind I have got on that series. :(
>137 -pilgrim-: I'm so far behind in so many things, it's nice to be caught up in one :)
117. Defy or Defend by Gail Carriger. Dimity and a hunky baronet go undercover at a vampire hive in Nottingham to find out why the queen is hiding in a cave and the rest of the hive members are going goth. Fun and a bit silly.
118. The Way of the Shield by Marshall Ryan Maresca. 3rd in the overall Maradaine series, and 1st in the Maradaine Elite subseries. Straight arrow Dayne Heldrin, 2nd year candidate in the Tarian Order, comes back to Maradaine from assignment in Lacanja. There are many, many problems in Maradaine, and Dayne gets stuck in the middle of some doozies.
119. The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca. 4th in the overall Maradaine series and first in the Streets of Maradaine subseries. The Rynax brothers are trying to go straight, but when someone burns the block where they live and are trying to start a business, they can't let it go.
120. The Alchemy of Chaos by Marshall Ryan Maresca. 5th in the overall Maradaine series and second in the Thorn subseries. Someone is playing horrible (and lethal) pranks on the students and staff of the University, and Veranix, 3rd year magic student and part-time vigilante, and his pals have to figure out who's doing it. While passing exams and shutting down the effite (drug) trade, of course. Veranix is getting better at letting others help him.
121. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. This was a BB from somewhere on LT, and it was sweet. Possibly a bit too sweet, as career by-the-book bureaucrat Linus Baker learns the meaning of life and the importance of family. Utterly predictable, but sort of charming.
122. Crush the King by Jennifer Estep. Conclusion (probably) to the Everleigh Blair series. Evie and co. go to the local version of the Olympics to build alliances and hopefully kill nasty King Maximus of Mortan. It was a good story and fitting conclusion, even if Evie is a bit to good/strong to be true. My biggest problem with this series is, as usual, the sloppy world-building. Drinking champagne, eating kiwis and referring to jalapenos (complete with tilde over the n) in a world without France, New Zealand, or Mexico is just dumb. I guess at least she didn't call the kiwis "Chinese gooseberries." And these are only three examples.
123. An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca. #2 in the Maradaine Constabulary sequence and #6 in the overall Maradaine series. Satrine and Minox have to solve the murder of a foreign dignitary while trying not to inflame racial tensions and battling personal demons. Very good. I think the Constabulary is my favourite of the four inter-twined Maradaine series.
124. Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews. A mystery/romance about a reporter who loses her job, moves back to her home town, joins the family business (a newspaper), and falls in love. Honestly, nothing original, but a pleasant summer read. Andrews is reliable like that.
>140 tardis: That is a familiar issue! But, since presumably there is no England or America, the characters are not actually speaking English either? So you can treat the champagne, kiwis etc. as a result of translating the local language into English.
(That is my usual mental fudge for it anyway.)
126. The Attenbury Emeralds by Jill Paton Walsh. Audiobook, read by Edward Petherbridge. A Lord Peter Wimsey sequel, and ever so faintly off compared to Sayers' original books, but a decent enough mystery for all that. Certainly Petherbridge reads it well.
127. Lady Henterman's Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Second of the Streets of Maradaine subseries, and seventh in the overall Maradaine series. Another heist story, as the Rynax brothers and their crew try to find more information on the people who paid the arsonists that burned their street.
128. Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews. Late-night insomnia download, but a fun story about an intergalactic innkeeper and her guests. A re-read, but the last time was a few years ago.
129. Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews. Innkeeper Dina and her team host an intergalactic peace summit. Does not go to plan.
130. A Magical Inheritance by Krista D. Ball. First in the Ladies Occult Society series. Enjoyable story of a young lady who inherits the magical library of her beloved late uncle and builds a circle of like-minded ladies. I kept expecting a romance to start but it never did.
131. The Imposters of Aventil by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Someone is impersonating the Thorn, and the real thing (Veranix Calbert) has to find out who and stop them. Intersects with the Constabulary series.
132. Shield of the People by Marshall Ryan Maresca. It's a holiday in Maradaine, with parades and a fancy new department store opening, combined with parliamentary elections. Dissidents abound. Dayne and Jerinne are on the outskirts of the Tarian order, but still living the ideal. Very good.
133. A Parliament of Bodies by Marshall Ryan Maresca. The third of the Maradaine Constabulary subseries, but it brings in Dayne Heldrin and others from the Maradaine Elite subseries, and although unnamed, Verci Rynax (Streets of Maradaine subseries). Someone is creating horrific clockwork death machines and trapping people in them, even on the floor of Parliament itself. Very good. Couple of loose ends at the finish, though, and I know they're not resolved in the next book (which is back to the Streets subseries) so I hope they are in the finale of the series!
>146 tardis: Someone is creating horrific clockwork death machines and trapping people in them, even on the floor of Parliament itself: Oh, how I sometimes wish. I've gotta little list ...
>147 haydninvienna: ... and they'd none - of - them - be - missed! :-)
Since we could all do with some of that in these times, I am starting to worry about you too, haydninvienna.
The important question is: do you have a big enough axe?
Merriment alert: The Mikado, in full. I defy anybody not to smile while listening to the overture.
Why are there so few filmed versions of the Mikado? This is the Jonathan Miller production for the English National Opera.
ETA for the burn in "I've Got a Little List" ... Starts at 27:45.
EATA Here's the original broadcast version of the same production, with Lesley Garrett, Eric Idle, Richard Van Allen and Felicity Palmer Act 1 and Act 2.
As someone said in the comments to the first one I posted, Eric Idle was the greatest Ko-Ko ever. Anyone who thinks that The Mikado isn't wonderful has missed something in their life. I took Katherine to a performance in Edinburgh a few years ago, and she, knowing nothing about it, laughed herself silly the whole time.
I adore The Mikado. Also very fond of HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance. I am less familiar with the other works of G&S. There was a fine version of The Mikado done at the Stratford Festival (Stratford, Ontario) many years ago, which the CBC filmed. Their sly digs at then-Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau are delicious.
And these days, I think we've ALL got a little list!
>149 Sakerfalcon:, >158 reconditereader: The thing about that book that super annoyed me was the way women were marginalized and controlled by men. Not that it was inaccurate for the time, but still!
134. The Fenmere Job by Marshall Ryan Maresca. The most recent of the Maradaine books, and the second last in the series. Asti and Verci Rynax and their team are settling into legal life, but there are new drugs coming into the neighbourhood and someone has to take a stand. Chuck in the Thorn, and there's action galore. Always a good time.
135. The Sumage Solution by G.L. (Gail) Carriger. Gay werewolves and other supernatural beings. I normally really enjoy Gail's work, but some of the novellas she's been self-publishing lately are not doing it for me. This series (The San Andreas Shifters), for example, features an insufficiently explained magic system, too much relationship angst, and WAY too much sex and sex talk, not balanced by enough actual story. Although the kitsune drag queen was kind of cool. Thank goodness I borrowed it from the library. I'll be cancelling my hold on the next book in the series.
136. Ingredienti : Marcella's Guide to the Market by Marcella Hazan. A very opinionated little tome on how to choose the best ingredients for Italian cooking in North America, including veg, pantry essentials (e.g. olive oil, pasta), and salumi. No actual recipes, but lots of descriptions of how to use things. Chatty and interesting. Published after the author's death. I'm going to pass this on to my mother-in-law, who is also an Italian immigrant of the same vintage, although she came to Canada rather than the US.
137. Wolf Who Rules by Wen Spencer. #2 in the Tinker trilogy, of which I already read #1 and #3. It suffered less from middle-book syndrome than I expected - it actually had an ending that would have sufficed if there hadn't been a book 3. Tinker is a bit of a one-person wrecking crew, but she means well.
138. The Wounded Ones by G. D. Penman. The Wounded Ones by G.D. Penman. Witch of Empire series, #2.
Sequel to The Year of the Knife, and in this one, Iona “Sully” Sullivan is a general in the rebellion of the US colonies against the British, or is she? This jumps back and forth in time a bit and it’s somewhat hard at first to figure out what’s going on. She has a wife in one of the time periods, and a vampire fiancée in another. It’s also not that long since I read the first book and I felt a bit at sea at first because I didn’t see how Sully got from working for the IBI to the army. It was like a big chunk of the story was missing. Still, I enjoyed it. This eBook was received free through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program in return for an unbiased review.
139. The Ghosts of Sherwood by Carrie Vaughn. A short novella about Robin and Marian's children, who are kidnapped, but not as defenseless as one might think. Enjoyed it very much.
140. Shada : The Lost Adventure by Gareth Roberts from leftovers by Douglas Adams. A 4th Doctor adventure by Douglas Adams, never filmed and mostly lost. Roberts, also a Doctor Who writer, pieced it together and filled in the blanks. The Doctor and Romana answer a call from old pal Professor Chronotis, and get tangled up in a plot to take over the universe. Fun.
141. Time Trap by Keith Laumer. An oldie (1970) from the creator of galactic diplomat Retief. Roger Tyson accidentally causes a motorcycle crash and with her last breath, the victim directs him to take a message to her people. Jumping around in weird time pockets, Roger is clueless and chauvinistic, and even getting body-swapped with a female doesn't slow the sexism much. Now I wonder if I should just get rid of my Retief books without re-reading them, because back in the day I thought they were hilarious, and now I'm afraid the suck fairy will have claimed them.
142. The Mind Brothers
143. Assassins from Tomorrow
both by Peter Heath. The first two of a three-part series, published in 1967. Book 1 is relatively self-contained, but book 2 ends rather abruptly, and I don't have book 3. Not that I mind much - honestly these two books, featuring a hero, Jason Starr (no relation) who is brilliant, handsome, fit, a magnet for the ladies, etc. and his "mind brother", the mysterious Adam Cypher, owes a lot to Bond and his ilk. Lots of action. These were on my TBR pile, but I won't be keeping them, and I can live without finding book 3.
144. Devils and Details
145. Gods and Ends
146. Rock Paper Scissors
147. Dime a Demon
All by Devon Monk. More fantasies set in the small town of Ordinary, where gods go to vacation and even the other inhabitants are not all human. The police force mainly consists of three sisters: Delaney, Myra and Jean, who try to keep the peace and everyone safe while not letting on how weird things really are. I quite enjoyed these, although Myra in the last book was a bit annoying.
148. Vault of the Ages by Poul Anderson. A few hundred years after an apocalypse, a young man braves taboo to explore the possibilities of a vault of old technology. A 1952 YA SF novel, from back when SF was for boys. There are maybe two named female characters, neither important to plot. That said, it wasn't a terrible book. Just terribly out-dated. A quick read, and not a keeper.
One more off the TBR pile, which now stands at 70. Or would if Newt didn't keep knocking things off the pile and playing with them.
149. Pocket Gardening : A Guide to Gardening in Impossible Places by Marjorie Harris. You can garden just about anywhere, according to Marjorie Harris. She's such a calm, reasonable gardener, with a friendly writing style and lots of encouragement. A useful book, although mainly for less-experienced gardeners.
>171 tardis: I was so impressed by my sister-in-law's garden when I went to visit last weekend. She has very little water to squander (pumped from the ground by a solar pump), her ground is filled with very large lava rocks, not easily cleared. They have carved out a little area though (maybe six by nine feet?), where they have planted asparagus, onions and a couple of other things. Surrounded by a fence because of deer. She also has several plastic garbage cans she has planted potatoes in, and hanging from her eves (where the deer can't reach) she has pots of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. She uses the leaves of the broccoli and cauliflower as they grow to get the most of them. Very tenacious gardening, I thought.
>172 MrsLee: that sounds like a great garden. I love all the ways people grow things, especially food.
150. Mystery at Peak House by Arthur J. Rees. Well, this was nearly a DNF, because racism, speciesism, sexism, really unpleasant vivisection. It's a 1933 gothic mystery, in which a young woman with expertise in an African language, is hired to be secretary and translator for a returned explorer who for reasons of paranoia about his work being stolen, has written all his expedition notes in that same African language. Big creepy house, stern, mysterious scientist, handsome young neighbour man, etc. The young woman is a drip, honestly. Due to the terrible condition of this copy, not to mention the dubious content, it's actually going in the recycle bin.
>173 tardis: Ouch! Sounds like that's the best place for it. (As much as it pains me to say so.)
>174 clamairy: Yeah, it goes against the grain, but it was falling apart and not worth fixing.
151. The Ships of Air
152. The Gate of Gods
both by Martha Wells, #2 and 3 in the Fall of Ile-Rien series. So good. Tremaine and friends continue to battle the Gardier, traitors, and spies, not to mention some dodgy allies.
>176 Sakerfalcon: Yeah, I can see re-reading the series in a year or two.
153. Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are in Venice when Russell gets a chance to sail to Monaco, and takes it, because that's where Mrs. Hudson might be. Bohemian society, artists, murder. Good as always.
154. The Delightful Life of a Suicide Pilot by Colin Cotterill. Someone has sent Dr. Siri the diary of a WW2 Japanese soldier, and he is fascinated and wants to know more about the mysterious author. He and Mme Daeng travel to the village in the diary to trace the 35 year old mystery. Siri and Daeng are a delight, as always, and the side plot featuring their police friend Phosy solving a mysterious death is also fun.
>178 jillmwo: Is it the end of the series? It didn't feel like an ending. I mean, it was a satisfying book, but nothing that said "end of series" to me.
>179 tardis: Here's what I read in a marketing blurb for the book: After 15 cunning, mischievous, heartbreaking, hilarious, eye-opening, and atmospheric installments, Colin Cotterill's award-winning Dr. Siri Paiboun series comes to a close. Make sure you don't miss this last chapter, a deliciously clever puzzle that illuminates the history of World War II in Southeast Asia.
I don't really know more than that, but I'll poke around for interviews to see if there's more information.
>180 jillmwo: Well, if that's the last, then it's a good ending IMO. I can see the whole gang just continuing to live their lives, doing their thing :)
155. The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer. High school kid (Joshua) becomes a werewolf and meets a vampire, an angelic monster killer, a medium, Marie Antoinette, and more werewolves. I liked this, with reservations. The way Joshua reacted to the vampire and all the puppy imagery used to describe him, more or less an adult human, but a "baby" werewolf, was kind of squicky.
156. Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher. No reservations here! Loved this novella about a 12 year old minor mage who has to travel to the mountains to find rain for his drought-stricken village. Also, his snarky armadillo familiar? Awesome :)
157. The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho. A young nun of the Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water joins a troup of bandits travelling to meet the buyer of some merchandise they're carrying. Found family, gender issues, China. So good.
>184 jillmwo: I thought it was better, and I also very much enjoyed Sorcerer and its sequel. Just so you know, Order is a very short book - novella at best. I loved the "China that never was" setting, and some characters are not what they seem, in a good way.
>186 Sakerfalcon: I guess I was so annoyed by Joshua that Elise didn't bother me, but now that you mention it, I do remember that being a thing as well.
All by Julie Czerneda. An enjoyable trilogy (Species Imperative) featuring salmon researcher Mackenzie "Mac" Connor, who is annoyed to have her research on the north Pacific coast near Haida Gwaii disrupted by an alien visitor. From there, she gets dragged away from her beloved fish into interstellar politics, research, and trying to save the universe. Very good.
And that's three books off Mount TBR!
161. Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle. Cozy mystery featuring building contractor Shannon Hammer and her pals. Renovating a house for a philanthropic billionaire is a great gig, but when his sustainability conference is disrupted by murder, Shannon gets involved (again).
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