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So, it's been a while. I'm going to break this posting up into 2 categories, books which are eligible for the Hugos in 2016, and books which are not.

A Family Affair - Rex Stout - weird, because it's Nero Wolfe, but Watergate is happening. Otherwise, good.

After Long Silence - Sherri Tepper - Didn't finish. Won't keep.

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - I wanted to like this more that I did, but the sexism was just annoying and kept pushing me away.

Bell, Book, and Murder: the Bast Mysteries - Rosemary Edgehill - Excellent pagan mysteries. Recommend.

Pudd'nhead Wilson - Mark Twain - obviously written in a time I don't comprehend from living in. More about the white lawyer than the boys switched at birth. I'm sure I'm missing something.

Agent of Change - Sharon Lee - swesome! I get to read the rest of the series!

Carnival - Elizabeth Bear - pretty good scifi with different culture-building and some gay characters. Worth a look.

The Falconer's Knot - Mary Hoffman - a nice medieval mystery, in Italy instead of England. Worth a look if you like this sort of thing.

Midnight Riot (aka Rivers of London)-
Moon Over Soho-
Whispers Undeground -
Broken Homes -
Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch - lovely fantasy, recommend.

The Lorimer Line -
The Lorimer Legacy - Anne Melville - historical, purchased cheap. Not bad.

Redshirts - John Scalzi - Amusing

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells - anthology, ed. Ellen Datlow - grab bag, some were okay, some were good.

Speaking from Among the Bones
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley - More Flavia de Luce. Enjoyable.

Etiquette & Espionage -
Curtsies & Conspiracies -
Waistcoats & Weaponry - Gail Carriger - fun steampunk in a boarding school series. Much enjoyed.

The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn't, the Mummy that Was, and the Cat in the Jar - Gail Carriger - for the completist only.

It's Raining Men - Jennifer Stevenson - okay but not great romance novel.

The King's Rose - Alisa Libby - Catherine Howard. Not remarkable.

From Whence You Came - Laura Ann Gilman - interesting world, but not enough to make me find the rest of the series, which is called Vineart Wars.

Daughter of Mystery - Heather Rose Jones - Awesome cross of fantasy and romance, and a wonderful book. Highly recommend.

Between Two Thorns
Any Other Name
All is Fair - Emma Newman (Split Worlds Trilogy) - very enjoyable series, recommend.
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Burning Bright - Tracy Chevalier - lost interest and put it down.

Detection Unlimited - Georgette Heyer - not a bad mystery.

Ex Utero - Laurie Foos - I think I was in the wrong mood for a woman who loses her
uterus. Literally. It sneaks out or something. The tone of the book just rubbed me
wrong, and I put it down.

Three Parts Dead
Two Serpents Rise
Full Fathom Five - Max Gladstone - very good reads, and a lifesaver because I was
travelling and could distract myself instead of losing my temper.

Last Night's Scandal - Loretta Chase - decent romance.

Night Broken - Patricia Briggs - latest in the Mercy Thompson series, which I like very
much. As I do this book.

Slave Trade - Susan Wright - Surprisingly little sex for a book about sex slaves. A sort
of mil-sf humasn against aliens plot. First of a trilogy. Not bad. Won't be keeping it,

The Squire's Tale - Gerald Morris - Arthurian legend. Forgettable.

Survey Ship - Marion Zimmer Bradley - 5 or 6 late adolescent people leave Earth in a
survey ship, never to return. The entire book takes place before they leave the solar
system, and it's all psychological. It passed the time.

Currently reading:
The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson
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I'm giving up on counting and posting number. I am pleased to say that I've been reading down my shelves a bit more lately. I have 2 tall bookcases of unread books, and really, that's too much.

Toad Words and Other Stories - T. Kingfisher, who is Ursula Vernon but for grownups - Vernon's inimitable take on fairytales. If you like her live journal, you should read this.

The Golden City -
The Seat of Magic - J. Kathleen Cheney - first 2 books of a trilogy, am waiting excitedly for the next. Set in alternate universe turn of the 19th century Portugal, with magic creatures. Mystery/Suspense and Romance, in a nice mix. Very much enjoyed both books, and both aspects of the series so far.

Frostflower and Thorn - Phyllis Ann Karr - interesting take on the sword and sorceress duo. Very much conceded with the friendship between the 2 lead characters, who are both women. I'll be looking for the sequel.

The Steerswoman
The Outskirter's Secret
The Lost Steersman
The Language of Power - Rosemary Kirstein - my only complaint is that the rest of the series isn't written yet. Neither SF or fantasy, but both. Well characterized women at the center of the story. I do hope she finishes the series.

Ancillary Sword - Anne Leckie - oh boy was this good and I am eagerly awaiting the third in the trilogy, and the first book won the Hugo as it should have, and this book is just as good in its own way, which is a middle book way, not a first book of introducing you to the place and people, or the last book of tidying all the ends up.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo - interesting take on cleaning up. The book preaches a focussed 6 months or so of working on it, rather than a do a bit at a time. Also, one asks oneself as one is touching each possession, "Does this give me joy?" I am hoping it will help.

China Dolls - Lisa See - interesting story of Asian American women, who are stage performers throughout WWII. Worth a read.

Dreaming Spies - Laurie King - ARC of the latest Holmes/Russell. Excellent! "I was delighted to win the newest Russell & Holmes mystery in the LibraryThing early readers group. I was not disappointed! Nicely paced, characters are interesting as always, mysterious mystery, very much enjoyed."

Never Cry Wolf - Farley Mowat - interesting, relatively short book recounting the experience of a Canadian biologist who lived a year studying wolves in Manitoba. Funny, in parts. I also wonder if he is a dumb about dealing with people as he sometimes makes himself out to be.

iD - Madeleine Ashby - continuation of vN, which ends the story. Decent SF read.

Hob's Bargain - Patricia Briggs - lovely little romantic/ fantasy fluff. Very much enjoyed.

Redemption in Indigo - Karen Lord - recommended. Very hard to describe. Based on a Senegalese folk tale. Much enjoyed.

Hild - Nicola Griffith - I wanted to like this book more than I did.

Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red
Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out - Harry Kemelman - decent enough mysteries.

Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses
One Salt Sea
Ashes of Honor
Chimes at Midnight
The Winter Long - Seanan McGuire - yes, I inhaled them in little more than a week. Excellent urban fantasy, highly recommend.

Death and the Chapman - Kate Sedley - nice medieval mystery.

The Shape of Desire - Sharon Shinn - shapeshifter romance. Not bad, exactly, but I expect the heroine to have more interests in life than just only the hero.

Skin Tight - Carl Hiaasen - Another Carl Hiaasen. Like Dick Francis, the books are enjoyable, but tend to blur together.

Serenity Vol. 1 - graphic novel continuing the Serenity series. How Book became Book.

Tiny Book of Tiny Stories - Joseph Gordon-Leavitt - um, small, cute, and forgettable.

Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner - one of those classic SF things. Sexist by today's standards. A bit homophobic. Interesting structure, of short clips of different types, rather than a straight narrative. Amusingly, the biggest fact the world is built around is the earth holding 7 billion people. And now it does. And it is somewhat different than Mr. Brunner anticipated.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site - Sherri Duskey Rinker - not enough, not any female construction equipment. Otherwise amusing book about all the construction equipment going to sleep for the night.

The Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister - I am a little leery of this book, which either teaches young children to share, or shames them into giving up their scales.

Books I did not finish:
Jack the Bodiless - Julian May - I got Julian May and Gillian Bradshaw mixed up. This book is about super psychic humans in the future, and not to my taste.

The Conquest of Cool - Thomas Frank - nonfiction about advertising. Lost interest….


Sep. 14th, 2014 06:45 pm
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In alphabetical order:

52 Loaves: One Man's Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and the Perfect Crust - William Alexander - an enjoyable book about baking a loaf of bread a week for a year. I am keeping this one.

Classical Whodunnits - Mike Ashley - Not very good. Pre-Roman Aphrodite makes reference to the Vestal virgins in the first story. Seriously.

Quiet as a Nun - Antonia Fraser - I don't remember anything about it, so it wasn't bad.

Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story - Janet Gleeson - Interesting history of the start of porcelain-making in Europe. The porcelain museum in Toronto would have been more interesting if I'd read this first.

From Sophie's Table - Sophie Grigsson - the dessert recipes look best.

Basket Case
Double Whammy
Tourist Season- Carl Hiaasen - All typical Hiaasen.

The Long Divorce - Edmund Crispin - Good enough mystery. Will look for others of the series.

In a Gilded Cage: From Heiress to Duchess - Marian Fowler - Interesting set of character sketches of the 5 women who married British dukes in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Ghostway - Tony Hillerman - Good mystery, as expected.

Alanna: the First Adventure -
In the Hand of the Goddess -
The Woman who Rides Like a Man -
Lioness Rampant - Tamora Pierce - her first set of books - not bad stories, but not as good as the following works. About a girl who dresses up as her twin brother and goes to become a knight.

First Test
Lady Knight - Tamora Pierce - Awesome series about the first girl to become a knight without hiding the fact that she is female. I think I connected with this a little bit because I am an engineer.

Digger: the Omnibus Edition - Ursula Vernon - Graphic Novel. I was one of the kickstarter backers. Awesome!!! I want to be Digger when I grow up.

Cart of Death - Mari Ulmer - decent enough mystery.

Calender of Crime - Ellery Queen - Don't bother.

The Blond Baboon - Jan Willen van der Wettering - not a particularly good mystery - didn't like the detectives.

Little Earthquakes - Jennifer Weiner - about being a new mother. Not bad.

Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit - set of essays about feminism and about being female. Good read.

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 9 - Fumi Yoshinaga - interesting, as always
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It's been a while.

I'm going to get pickier about which books get shelf space from now on, so fewer will be keeps. I'll also be culling the library this summer, I hope.

The Virtu
The Mirador
Corambis - Sarah Monette - very good quartet. (Warning, the first book contains a violent rape in the first 50 pages or so.) Characters well fleshed out, interesting world. I ended up donating Melusine (which I had owned) to a library.

The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) - very good book. Court intrigue, a kind protagonist. Recommend.

vN - Madeline Ashby - a good read about an artificial human, and I will be looking up the rest of the series.

Peyton Place - Grace Metalious - blech. Ponderous. Didn't really get to know any of the characters. Read it for a read-along. At least now I can say I read it.

The Human Factor - Graham Greene - set in the 70s or 80s. Spy novel. How... different from what the world is today. As expected from Greene, characters well drawn.

Murder in Amsterdam - A.C. Baantjer, H.G. Smittenaar translated - 2 Dutch police procedurals in translation. Skip it. Dated, and I don't really need to deal with the sexism.

My Real Children- Jo Walton - Most excellent... An exploration of the parallel lives of a woman, with the two different worlds spinning off (possibly) a choice she made... Highly recommend!

The Wailing Wind - Tony Hillerman - scored a bunch of mystery novels at a used book sale. Good, as expected.

Princess of the Midnight Ball - Jessica Day George - retelling of 12 dancing princesses. Nice enough bit of fluff.

Assassination Vacation - Sarah Vowell - interesting, amusing, but in the end, not as deep as I had wanted. Am not keeping.

Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha - Dorothy Gilman - another pass-the-time mystery. Not worth keeping.

Trio of Sorcery - Mercedes Lackey - What I thought was 3 new Diana Tregarde stories. Which was 1 + non-Diana story. And the Diana story was transphobic. I have decided to wreck the book rather than donate or resell it. The other 2 weren't bad, but I will not have that sort of stuff in my pleasure library.

Good in Bed - Jennifer Crusie - pleasant chick-lit or romance. Enjoyed.

Breakdown - Sarah Paretsky - a V.I. Warshawski mystery novel. As with the whole series, recommended.

Liar's Poker - Michael Lewis - Absolutely fascinating book about Wall Street bond traders in the '80s, written by a former Wall Street person, in the late '80s. The start of bonds based on mortgages, with tranches. It did not feel dated at all, because the echoes and repercussions affect the world today....

Sword-Bound - Jennifer Roberson - Yay! Another Tiger & Del! Wonderful to see a series where the protagonists are married? coupled? raising a family, and still smacking things with swords!

Mastiff - Tamora Pierce - highly recommend. YA, but fantastic, following a young police woman as she starts her career.

Gibbons Decline & Fall - Sherri Tepper - wonderful, fun sci-fi, if you can stomach the sometimes cudgel-like feminism and environmentalism. What if humans did sex differently than we do now?

The Family Tree - Sherri Tepper - as with the previous book and the cudgel. Very oddly structured, but when the two plotlines come together, much good.

Eye of the Heron - Ursula K. LeGuin - an interesting exploration of pacifism on a different world.

The Warrior's Apprentice - Lois Bujold - Bujold reread; need I say more?

Trickster's Queen
Trickster's Choice - Tamora Pierce - again, YA, again, fantastic! This time, the main character is a spy.

Servants: a Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times - Lucy Lethbridge - I have concluded that no one wants to do housework.

Love Continuance & Increasing - Julian Griffith - most excellent non-standard romance. I will be on the lookout for more from this author.

The Moon is Down - John Steinbeck - did not leave much of an impression.

Nine Goblins - T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon) - very amusing fantasy, I do believe I laughed out loud. Highly recommend.

Books I did not finish & maybe a bit about why:
Priestess of the White - Trudy Canavon - Didn't care enough about anyone to finish the last 50 pages or find the other 2 in the trilogy. Read Wikipedia summary instead.

The Fatal Crown - Ellen Jones - I thought I was getting a decent historical novel. Instead, I got a romance. Between Matilda and Henry, who ripped England in 2 between them. And Henry II ... was Henry's son, not Geoffrey of Anjou. Seriously. I expect the afterword to tell me where the author has taken liberties, not tell me that the author has taken liberties.

A Study in Silks - Emma Jane Holloway - Sherlock Holmes' niece in steampunk London. Once I saw it hung on a cliffhanger at the end, I wasn't interested in finishing.

Nimishia's Ship - Anne McCaffery - didn't connect with any character, and lost interest.

The Faded Sun: Kutath - C.J. Cherry - I want to like all Cherryh's books, but after slogging through the first 2 in the trilogy, I just don't have it in me to finish this one. I am looking forward to catching up on the Foreigner series, though.


Mar. 9th, 2014 06:20 pm
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So, long time no type.

Is anyone interested in the ongoing saga of cleaning my room and organizing my life? My (inconsistent) attempts to try new recipes, and use some of the pile of cookbooks I have amassed? I would blog about work, but it would mostly read: too much work to do, to little time to do it, very frustrated/frustrating.

Well, onward to a few months of book post.

Star Wars: Vader's Little Princess - Jeffrey Brown - cute picture book. Bought for a friend who has a little girl.

The Innocence of Father Brown - (reread)
The Wisdom of Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton - two books of amusing enough mysteries. Watch out for "The God of the Gongs" - the racist tripe is strong in that one. I would not be surprised if there was more subtle stuff in the rest of these 2 books, but I did not notice it. (Published in 1911 & 1914, if that makes it more understandable - I got the books of Gutenberg, and will probably not re-read them ever.)

Agatha Raisin & the Love from Hell - M.C. Beaton - um, I don't remember much about this, except that I dislike it and would not buy another one by this author.

Crewel -
Altered - Gennifer Albin - first two in a YA trilogy; I am looking forward to the third! Set in a world bound to ours, I was intrigued by the premise of embroidering and weaving as methods of making a world. It really doesn't go into depth on those skills, though.

Ascension - Jacqueline Koyanagi - sff, very good. Includes gay and poly characters. The only reason I'm not keeping it is that I have a specific library to donate it to. Will be following the series.

Duchess in Love - Eloise James - a nice enough romance, I'm looking for the sequels.

Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy of the Duck Commander - Phil Robertson - Well, I read this before the brouhaha. And I did not pay for it. The homophobia and racism is there in the book, but not as obvious as it became in the media. And there is very little depth to the book, for a supposed autobiography (as told to type).

Silent in the Grave
Silent in the Sanctuary
Silent on the Moor - Deanna Raybourn - romance crossed with mystery. Good enough I'll be looking for the sequels in the library.

Kingdom of Cages - Sarah Zettel - decent sff. Not as good as some of her other books, and I let it go.

Junia is Not Alone - Scot McKnight - nonfiction about women in the Bible. Meh.

In the Land of Invisible Women - Qanta Ahmed - interesting account of a Western Muslim female doctor who lived in Saudia Arabia for a few years.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris - short snarky stories featuring animals who act as people. Skip it.

The View from Saturday - E.L. Konigsberg - decent middle grade story.

The Woman in the Wall - Patrice Kindl - another middle grade story about a girl who vanishes in her own house and her family forgets her. Pretty good. Might've liked it better if I were middle grade.

Not of Woman Born - ed. Constance Ash - I read this a few months ago, but never blogged it? I don't really remember it well enough to have an opinion.
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Ancillary Justice - Anne Leckie - very interesting book. I don't want to spoil it,
so I won't say anything more than that I found it original, and very different. The
primary character's language doesn't differentiate between male and female, and
"she" is the pronoun used for everyone. Which is more mindbending than you'd
think, and totally awesome.

W is for Wasted - Sue Grafton - What more can I say about the alphabet series, except
that they do not disappoint?

Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger - YA prequel to a series I read after it. Callouts
would be more obvious if I'd read them first. Quite nice, and I am sending to nieces.

Soulless, Blameless, Changeless, Heartless, Timeless - Gail Carriger - the aforementioned
series. An excellent romp.

Hawk in Silver - Mary Gentle - decent read, not much to set it off in my memory.

The Curse of the Pharaohs - Elizabeth Peters - Another Amelia Peabody.

Ran Away - Barbara Hambly - One of the Benjamin January mysteries. Good, as I as

My Lady of Cleves - Margaret Campbell Barnes - Henry VIII, from Anne of Cleves point of
view. Much enjoyed.

Ooku: The Inner Chambers vol 8 - Fumi Yoshinaga - manga- I am fascinated by this story.

The Blessing Way - Tony Hillerman - competent mystery. Sometimes I wonder how much of
Southwestern & Navajo culture got right...


Aug. 28th, 2013 09:51 pm
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Crocodile on the Sandbank - Elizabeth Peters - decent enough mystery. Interesting
main character, not exactly a reliable narrator, in very obvious ways. Amusing

Cold Magic - (reread)
Cold Fire - (reread)
Cold Steel - Kate Elliot - Well, the third one came out, and I decided to reread the
series. Neither the new book nor the older ones were disappointments. Highly recommend.

The Dazzle of Day - Molly Gloss - Quakers in space. Interesting. I am not sure I
comprehend it. I have heard it described as a middle-relationship book - not about the
start, nor about the end, but about the shifts that may occur in the middle of a

1939: Last Season of Peace - Angela Lambert - interesting look at the London Season of
1939. I was glad to have the background information on how the Season developed, &c.
since it figures so in Georgette Heyer novels.

The Tudor Rose - Margaret Campbell Barnes - Historical about Elizabeth of York. Provided
some depth and insight into the woman which I had not had before. Recommend, if you like
this sort of thing.
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These Old Shades-
Devil's Cub-
An Infamous Army - Georgette Heyer - Read them all together, and the last one for the first time. Heyer, as Heyer. I skipped about 1/3 of the last book, as I am not interested in troop movements....

The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry - standard-genre fiction; not bad; didn't see the twist coming.

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones - okay, zen makes no sense to me, and that is okay.

Gulp - Mary Roach - Excellent nonfiction about the alimentary canal. Highly recommend.

Quiverfull - Katherine Joyce - a bit drier than I'd expected, but then, I read this type of blog...

Summer Falls - Melody Malone - eh, if I'd paid more I'd've expected more.... Doctor Who tie-in

The Winter Palace - Eva Stachniak - interesting fictional account of Catherine the Great's rise to power. I like her much, much better knowing a bit more about her, and it's nice to see non-Tudor historical fiction.

A Betrayal in Winter -
An Autumn War -
The Price of Spring - Daniel Abraham - Very good series, fully fleshed characters. A timescale that allows for repercussions of actions.

Small Gods - Terry Pratchett (reread) - almost as good as I remembered it.

The Foundling - Georgette Heyer - a silly Heyer. Amusing and fun.

A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer - decent mystery novel.

Without a Summer - Mary Robinette Kowal - Third in her series, and very, very good.

The Last Vanity
Bowman Strikes Again - Hartley Howard - Decent mysteries of the hardboiled variety. I won't pay full price for them, but for $2.99 not bad.

Overdressed - Elizabeth Cline - fascinating look at our clothing and where it comes from. Highly recommend.

Year's total: 40
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Crystal Singer -
Killashandra -
Crystal Line - Anne McCaffery - So, the first 2 were rereads of books first read about 25 years ago, and I hadn't realized there was a third, so it was not a reread. I enjoyed them very much for the fluff they were. I was in a very stressful time at work, and they were an excellent diversion.

The Kingmaker's Daughter - Phillipa Gregory - Some help straightening out the Wars of the Roses. I still like Richard III.

Nation - Terry Pratchett - nook - not a Discworld. More of a young adult book. Good, but not his best for me.

Dragons Love Tacos - Adam Rubin - a children's book. Not bad.

Frost Burned - Patricia Briggs - I just read this today. Another one in the Mercy Thompson series. Very much like the whole series. Especially enjoy the relationship between Adam and Mercy.

A Wicked Liason - Christine Merill - amusing enough romance novel.

A Shadow in Summer - Daniel Abraham - nook - first of a quartet. Absolutely awesome. Interesting worldbuilding, fantastic characters.

Year's total: 23
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Peacful Journey - Shelley Lynne Cummins - a book of a few yoga poses, yantras, and aromatherapy, which came with a cd ith mantras on it. I've had it for years, and this might be a re-read.

Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem - I lived in Brooklyn for at least part of the time covered in this book. Stylistically very interesting, and not too bad for an "arty" sort of book. A decent mystery as well. I don't see much re-read value, and won't be keeping it.

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things - Steketee and Frost - nook - fascinating book. I recognized a lot of the behaviors in the book, both from myself and others, and I am thankful that I managed to not follow that path....

Where's My Cow? - Terry Pratchett - fantastic! especially if you already know Discworld.

Go the F*** to Sleep - ??? - I can only imagine it's better if you have a child, and I thought it was amusing.

The Constant Gardener - John Le Carre - Suspenseful read; new bad guys, now that the USSR is no more....

Fair Game - Patricia Briggs - I think the best of the Alpha/Omega series, and just the right substantial fluff I needed....

North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell - Absolutely amazing. Seriously, I think the author is every bit as good as Austen, though with a different tone, and certainly better than Dickens.

The Merchant's War
The Revolution Business
The Trade of Queens - Charlie Stross - really, I was probably in these at just the time that I posted the last book thread about 7 weeks ago. Excellent series, recommend.

The Glenstal Book of Prayer - should technically be in 2012. Oh well. I am looking for new and interesting prayers, and this book had some of those in it.

The Snow Queen - Mercedes Lackey - again with the substantial fluff. It's that type of life for me right now, folks!

The Faded Sun: Kesrith
The Faded Sun: Shonjir - C. J. Cherryh - (I'm in the middle of the third now.) Interesting story of an after-the-war, of interstellar politics, and of cultures that don't really understand each other.

Year's total: 14
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Cinder - Marissa Mayer - very interesting retelling of Cinderella, with Cinder the cyborg as the princess. First of 3, I think. Very good YA SF.

Year's total: an amusing 123
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The Wrong Reflection - Gillian Bradshaw - excellent science fiction. I don't want to spoil it, so I will just recommend it.

Mort - Terry Pratchett - okay Pratchett is good, and this is okay Pratchett

Jane Austen's Town and Country Style - Susan Watkins - worth the read to get a visual on various Regency houses, dinnerware, styles, etc.

Prince of Annwn - Evangeline Walton - retelling of the first branch of the Mabinogenon. I am probably going to read the rest of the series, which I have, then let them go.

The Family Trade -
The Hidden Family -
The Clan Corporate - Charlie Stross - fascinating series. Just the thing to disappear into on holidays when I don't want to deal with anyone.

Year's total: 122

Today is a vacation day, and I am sitting here in the living room, a the cat curled up beside me, catching up on all sorts of niggling little to dos and generally feeling both relaxed and productive.
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The Secret History of the Pink Carnation - Lauren Willig - amusing fluff - sort of fits right with The Scarlet Pimpernel. May or may not read the series.

Sakuran: Blossom Wild - Moyoco Anno - manga. Not what I'd expected. I suppose I'd hoped for more depth, and a different ending.

Rimrunners - C.J. Cherryh - excellent SF, set in the Alliance-Union universe.

Red Threads - Rex Stout - decent mystery.

The Needlework of Mary Queen of Scots - Margaret Swain - Not enough pictures in color for me. Will not be keeping.

Kalpa Imperial - Angela Gorodischer; trans U. LeGuin - very odd sort of book. A series of shorter vingettes, sort of dreamy and story-telly.

The Last Warrior Queen - Mary Mackey - just ... not that good.

Lessons after Dark - Isabel Cooper - excellent romance.

Fever Season - ed. Cherryh - Merovingen nights series. Most good.

Healer - F. Paul Wilson - reminds me of Foundation, but a completely different story. Lent to Dad.

The Fair Folk - anthology - very good set of stories about the Gentry.

Dragonfield and Other Stories - Jane Yolen - nice set of short stories by one author.

Cold Days - Jim Butcher - the latest Harry Dresden. What can I say? What an ending!

Captain Vorpatril's Allianc - Lois McMaster Bujold - highly recommend the whole series. Excellent reading for Thanksgiving with the family.

Year's total: 115
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3 to the Highest Power - 3 novellas? Novellettes? by Sturgeon, Bradbury, and Oliver. Dated, and unmemorable.

A Companion to Wolves - Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette - interesting, and deals with the implications from the Pern books. I recall reading something about how the wolf packs are very far off real wolf packs, which are family groups.

Black Horses for the King - Anne McCaffery - nice YA King Arthur about how the horses came to Britain.

The Between - Tananarive Due - horror, and thus not my bag, but an interesting story and well told.

Magic in Ithkar 2 - anthology - science fiction/ fantasy and a nice collection of stories.

The Chinese Gold Murders - Robert Van Gulik - decent enough mystery, part of a set and I've read one of the others.

Mr. Campion, Criminologist - Margery Allingham - decent enough collection of Campion short stories. Mystery.

No Love Lost - Margery Allingham - not mystery stories, and sort of only okay.

Dead on Sunday - A. J. Orde - I like these mysteries, and this is no exception.

The Crown Jewels - Walter Jon Williams - nice light amusement of high society.

Final Curtain - Ngaio Marsh - one of the Alleyn series. Focusses on his wife, and a good read. I will probably hunt out the others.

The Golden Key - Melanie Rawn, Kate Elliot, Jennifer Roberson - a good read (vacation!) and interesting story.

Closet Control: The Ultimate Guide to Revitalizing Your Wardrobe and Revolutionizing the Way You Store It - Barbara Horowitz - not much help. Lots of instructions on how to cut apart your T-shirts.

The King's Peace - Jo Walton - alternate universe King Arthur. Very good read.

Clarion II - anthology - I don't remember it, I read it so long ago. Many short stories.

Stellar 1 - anthology - I don't remember it, I read it so long ago. Many short stories.

The Assassin's Edge - Juliet McKenna - I think the series got too long and complicated for me, so I gave up on this book.

Fires of Azeroth - C. J. Cherryh - The first two of the set were a drag, and I finally gave up.

Year's total: 101
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Dangerous Visions - anthology - ed. Harlan Ellison -
Again, Dangerous Visions - anthology - ed. Harlan Ellison - many of the stories in these try to use interesting narrative techniques (hello James Joyce stream of consciousness!) for the SF stories they are telling. I am not interested in interesting narrative techniques. I skipped the stories that did not catch my attention in the first few pages, and I did not bother to read many of Ellison's introductions. I dislike the person he presents on the page - in the second book, he goes off on people who complain about his selections when they have received a free review copy. I found the statement that James Tiptree is the man to beat for the Hugo highly amusing.

Bab: a sub-deb - Mary Roberts Rhinehart - humorous, set in the late teens. I can't help but be sympathetic to the main character, who has been raised to make a good marriage, but is stymied by not being out, as her older sister is not married yet.

Black Sheep - Georgette Heyer - amusing Heyer.

Unveiled -
Unclaimed -
Unlocked -
Unraveled - Courtney Milan - Regency romances. Fairly well done. Read them all in 1 weekend.

Warprize - Elizabeth Vaughan - a decent fantasy story masquerading as a romance. Will be looking for the followups.

The Score - Donald Westlake - I do not like the protagonist; I finished it because I wanted to see how it turned out; I will not be looking for any more.
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Uncharted Territory - Connie Willis - okay. Sort of thin, compared to her other books.

Earthmen and Other Strangers - an old anthology. Nothing to make me want to keep it.

The Quiet Gentleman - Georgette Heyer - I do believe this will be one of my favorites by her.

The Stone War - Madeleine E. Robins - Interesting, and a good read.

Elemental Magic - anthology - well enough, but I gave it to a friend, instead of keeping it.

Great Science Fiction by Scientists - anthology - Well. All the scientists are men. As are all the characters. Some stories were decent, but I see no reason to keep it.

The Thief's Gamble -
The Swordsman's Oath -
The Gambler's Fortune -
The Warrior's Bond - all by Juliette McKenna - with a fifth book, which I've stalled in for a bit, really a single books spread across separate spines. Very good, with well rounded female and male characters. Much enjoyed. If I don't keep these, they're going to my nieces.

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 7 - Fumi Yoshinaga - most excellent series. I am looking forward to reading all of them in sequence, once they are all out.

Stories from the Twilight Zone - Rod Serling - passes time. Not bad.

Year to date: 85
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Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary - Pamela Dean - interesting read; all the plot happens in the last 20-50 pages or so. If you don't mind that you might enjoy it.

Beyond Grimm - anthology - BVC - A nice collection of riffs on fairy tales by some of my favorite authors. Good summer reading.

V is for Vendetta - Sue Grafton - a nice murder mystery. I do like this series

Pulchritude - Ana Mardoll - ebook - very interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. Recommend.

Charity Girl - Georgette Heyer - a little less amusing that I usually like from her.

Lady of Quality - Georgette Heyer - much better than the above.

The Wind Done Gone - Alice Randall - oh my. What a brilliant different take on Gone With the Wind. Highly recommend if you've read the original.

Year to date: 73
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Royal Blood
Royal Flush
Naughty in Nice - all by Rhys Bowen - amusing fluff, much as the rest of the series.

Raven's Shadow
Ravens's Strike - Patricia Briggs - fun duology. Really a single book in 2 covers. Well drawn characters, interesting world. Recommend.

Luck in the Shadows - Lynn Flewelling - the first of an ongoing series. Muchly enjoyed. Will be looking for all the next ones (Casket of Souls just came out!)

Daddy-Long-Legs - Jean Webster - light little epistolary novel. Saw the major plot twist coming. It may mean more if I had read it at the right age to identify with the protagonist.

The Dreaming Place - Charles de Lint - apparently his first YA novel. Set in Newford. Okay, but not great, and a shorter read than many of his are now. Will be passing on.

Lady John - Madeleine Robins - read on nook - one of her Regencies. I highly recommend all of them, along with the Sarah Tolerance books.

Bitterblue - Kristin Cashore - What happens after the heroes save the kingdom? Very good read - third of a trilogy. Recommend all 3.

Drift - Rachel Maddow - I have never seen so many curse words in a non-fiction books, which tells you what dry tomes I usually read. An interesting look at how the deliberate restraints on warmaking built into the U.S. Constitution have been subverted, but Democrat and Republican alike. Recommend.

Year's total: 67
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Cold Fire - Kate Elliot - a good read. Muchly looking forward to the next one!

Fire - Kristin Cashore - awesome YA. Muchly looking forward to the next one!

Glamour in Glass - Mary Robinette Kowal - sequel to Shade of Milk and Honey. Different, because the first was about finding a husband, at least partly, and this one is about how to make a life together.

The Power of Habit - James Duhigg - Interesting nonfiction for the non-scientist. Full of anecdotes. Recommend.

Her Royal Spyness -
A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen - Silly murder mysteries, featuring a cousin of the British royals as a detective in the early 1930s. Amusing fluff.

The Stepsister Scheme - Jim Hines - a take on what happens after the fairytale ends. Not bad. Might take the rest of the series out of the library.

Year's total: 56


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November 2015



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