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The last of the 2010 reads:

The Altered I - ed. Ursula K. LeGuin - interesting results from an Australian writers workshop. I'll be letting it go.

The Best American Mystery Stories 2007 - ed. Otto Penzler & Carl Hiaasen - Really, it should have been called, "The Best American Stories with Crimes in Them." Mysteries make you try to figure out who did it, and most of these didn't. Not a keeper.

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture - Ellen Ruppert Shell - interesing look at discounting and price setting, and how they influence people to buy. Confirms that I must look for value, not low price.

Firebirds Rising - ed. Sharyn November - simply fantastic collection of YA fantasy stories. Will be looking for my own copy.

The Jealous Extremaduran - Cervantes - meh. Not particularly interesting. Will let go.

Night's Edge - Maggie Shayne, Barbara Hambly, Charlaine Harris - collection of novellas or novellettes. The Shayne one I started, but didn't finish, I enjoyed the Hambly one, and the Harris one was okay.

Piranha to Scurfy: and Other Stories - Ruth Rendell - again, not mystery stories, but suspense, and most of the characters were unlikeable. I don't know why I thought I'd like them. I didn't really like her other collection.

Racing Classics - Dick Frances - part of a novel, and a short story. I like Dick Frances.

Year's final total: 201 + 3 mags

Added 2/8/11:
More Ms. Murder - anthology of murder mysteries written by women. Good enough, but I'm not keeping it.

Year's total: 202 + 3 mags
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Bloodchild and Other Stories - Octavia Butler - awesomeness. Beyone awesomeness. Rich, haunting stories...

Five Letters from an Eastern Empire - Alasdair Grey - sort of ok. I probably won't keep. Tries for poingant, and misses

Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture - Daniel Radosh - nonfiction - Radosh looks at Christian evangelical pop culture, and is a lot more sympathetic than I would be to it, probably. He spends much less time on the things that concern me, the political fights like abortion and gay marriage, and more on the music in particular. It is nice to be reminded that there are people on the other side, but the book is far more focussed on the art than the politics, and I have very little interest in the art when compared to the politics, which affect my life and that of my friends and other people I care about.

Princess Princess Volume 1 - Mikiyo Tsuda - amusing manga. What happens when an all boys high school has a tradition of dressing up a few freshman as girls? Unlike Ooku, not mean to be serious. Glad to have read it from the library.

Year's total: 193 + 3 mags
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Asimov's March 2000 - a nice Kristine Kathryn Rusch story, and another one by Michael Swanwick, I think? that was also very good.

Starlight 2 - ed. Patrick Nielsen Hayden - a book of good short stories, including one from the Riverside world from Ellen Kushner.

Year's total: 189 + 3
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The Serpent's Tale -
Grave Goods -
A Murderous Procession - Ariana Franklin - the rest of the existing "Mistress of the Art of Death" series. Decent reads, well enjoyed.

Fall of Light - Nina Kiriki Hoffman - I really liked "A Fistful of Sky" when I read it years ago, so I went looking for more by her. I enjoyed this book - it's sort of a horror story, with a bit of romance, and the heroine is roughly at the same stage of life I am - grown up, moved out, and sorting out her adult life. Well, hers is sorted; she just had a massive problem dumped into it.

The Quirinal Hill Affair - Barbara Hambly - excellent mystery. The only problem I had was the Roman naming system is completely different from what I was taught in Latin class - Marcus was used as a nomen, and the sister of the hero was called Aemilia, even though his name was C. Marcus Silanus (which would give him the same name as his brother Caius). (Per Wikipedia, Silanus is a cognomen from the Junius gens.) Of course, some high school Latin classes do not make me the expert, and I am quite possibly wrong on this.

Year's total: 188 + 2
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Catching Fire -
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins - very good ya science fiction, sequels to Hunger Games. I'm probably giving my nieces a copy of this trilogy for Christmas.

Engaging the Enemy -
Command Decision -
Victory Conditions - Elizabeth Moon - the last 3 books of the Vatta's War set. The heroine is rather a Mary Sue, but there are a lot of kickass women in the set, which is cool. Not sure I will keep the ones I own.

Year's total: 183 + 2
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Mistress of the Art of Death - Arianna Franklin - nice historical mystery, set towards the end of Henry II's reign in England. Enjoyed, and have taken the rest of the series from the library.

Trading in Danger -
Marque and Reprisal - Elizabeth Moon - space opera/milSF. A five book series, which is a single story. Decent read. Not set in the Familias Regnant world, as I had originally thought.

Six Decades: The Best of Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact - ed. Stanley Schmidt - I'm letting these go, as I have the best of them in other books anyway. (i.e. Vonda McIntyre's Dreamsnake)

Year's total: 178 + 2
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Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins - excellent YA. Looking forward to the next 2 (on order from the library).

Ooku Vol. 4 - Fumi Yoshinaga - more in the series - it's fascinating.

Cryoburn - Lois McMaster Bujold - another good Miles story. Not as fascinating as, for example, Cetaganda, because I think that crogenically preserving yourself for future revival, except in cases of emergency like Miles's, is just squicky, and wrong somehow.

Year's total: 174 + 2
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Pegasus - Robin McKinley - ARC - received from the publisher through the librarything early reviewers program. McKinley has been one of my favorite authors. I'm not exactly disappointed with this book - I enjoyed reading it - but the pacing seems off, and it feels like the first half of a book. Most of the book is spent setting up the characters & the situation, and the crisis point comes in the last 10 pages or so. The writing is slow and dreamy; McKinley seems to have spent a lot of time envisioning the pegasi's culture and way of life. I rather want to shake the protagonist.

A Little Neighborhood Murder - A. J. Orde (i.e. Sheri Tepper) - the first of a nice series. Much enjoyed

The Pot and How to Use It - Roger Ebert - save your money, and google the original blog post. The post is expanded into chapters, with very little added, which takes up 77 pages of an 128 page book. I had expected more recipes - if I wanted to experiment, I would not have bought a cookbook!

Year's total: 171 + 2
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All My Darling Daughters - Fumi Yoshinaga - josei, definiately for adults, very good.

Analog Sept 1999, Feb 2000 - forgettable.

Year's total: 168 + 2
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This Body of Death - Elizabeth George - as much about Lynley and the new boss, and some about Havers, as it is about the mystery itself. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Last Chance Saloon - Marian Keyes - very nice fluffy novel.

Year's total: 167
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Hidden Warrior - Lynn Flewelling - second of a trilogy, which is rather one book in 3 volumes. Quite good.

Joanna and Ulysses - May Sarton - a short simple book, nicely written. I suppose it is great fiction, but I will not be keeping it.

Miscalculations - Elizabeth Mansfield - nice Regency. Short on the physical descriptions of sex, which was nice.

Greywalker - Kat Richardson - first of a series - urban fantasy. Too dark for me right now. Will be letting go.

Lifelode - Jo Walton - hard to find a copy. Very, very good book, but may be hard to find. Unusual poly family. One of the few novels I've seen that brings out the amount of work keeping house is/can be. I need to reread this one in a few years.

Year's total: 165
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Sleight of Hand - Kate Wilhelm - more of a trial thriller than a mystery. Disappointing. I might have liked it better if I knew the characters in the books from the previous 8 books.

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies -
Blue Shoes and Happiness - both Alexander McCall Smith - 2 more in the Precious Ramotswe series. Light and enjoyable.

Year's total: 160
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A Taste of Life - Sara Paretsky - 3 short stories in a small book. Interesting reading, but I am not keeping them.

The Red Queen - Philippa Gregory - I am glad that this is a library book. Margaret Tudor is a very unpleasant person; I have never liked her, and this book has not changed my mind.

Dead & Buried - Barbara Hambly - excellent Benjamin January book. Recommend the series!

Year's total: 157
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Cut my Cote - Drorthy Burnham - thin but fascinating book about cutting arrangements for fabric and clothesmaking when cloth was labor intensive and expensive.

Hardball - Sara Paretsky - another V.I. Warchawski. Very good.

If I were You (Deception) - Joan Aiken - (rec'd by Jo Walton on Tor) Nice light book, set in the Regency. Recommended for those who like historical novels.

Year's total: 154
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Except the Queen - Jane Yolen & Midori Snyder - a good fantasy book, dealing with the Faery. Liked.

Red as Blood - Tanith Lee - fantastic set of short story retellings of fairy tales, for grownups.

Year's total: 151
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Body Work - Sara Paretsky - another V.I. Warshawski. Very good. I'm now out of order on the series, but that's okay.

The Bone Doll's Twin - Lynn Flewelling - first of a trilogy; very good. Slower paced than I'd anticipated, and I think the series is more like one book in three parts than three interconnected books.

The Awakening and Selected Stories - Kate Chopin - I find her an interesting writer, and liked a lot of the short stories selected for this anthology. (I did not reread The Awakening.)

The Janissary Tree - Jason Goodwin - interesting mystery set in the 1830s Ottoman Empire. Will look for the rest of the series.

Year's total: 149
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A Play of Knaves - Margaret Frazer - one of the Joliffe series, and a joy.

The Full Cupboard of Life - Alexander McCall Smith - another about Mma Ramotswe. I am pacing these, because individually, they are charming, but taken too closely one after another, they could get old.

Little Scarlet - Walter Mosely - decent enough Easy Rawlins mystery.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu - Susanna Clarke - I prefer this book of short stories to Norrel & Strange. Easier to take in smaller doses than a gigantic tome

The Other Side of the Story - Marian Keyes - decent read, but following 3 characters splits the focus more than I liked. I do like how the plots resolved. I will not be keeping this one, as I have more than enough books by her.

Citizen Girl - Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - Very interesting exploration of feminism and idealism from a 3rd wave-ish point of view, with hard choices and dark undertones. I suspect this book is a surprise for lovers of The Nanny Diaries, and people who picked it up expecting something light and fluffy. I liked it very much.

Smoke Filled Rooms-
Thin Walls -
Stone Cribs - Kris Nelscott - Fantastic series about a black detective in Chicago in 1968-9. It started off with A Dangerous Road. In some ways, that and the first two listed here are a single story split across 3 books. Recommend.

Year's total: 145
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Teatime for the Traditionally Built - Alexander McCall Smith - another in the series. Fluffy reading.

I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith - decent read. I understand a lot of people love this book, but I am not that head-over-heals with it. It was a decent read.

Read til end of writing:
it's 42 chapters so far, and an interesting read

Year's total: 136
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Through the early reviewer's program:

French Fried - Chris Dolley - This book was mildly entertaining. I never really got a feel for any character other than the author, and was irked by his attitude toward his wife and her mother. He was too self-consciously trying to be amusing to actually amuse me. The details about life in southern France were very interesting; I wish there had been more about that. I would not recommend this book.

Year's total: 134
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U is for Undertow - Sue Grafton - a good read. I've read all the series to date!

The Servant's Tale - Margaret Frazer -
The Prioress' Tale - Margaret Frazer -
The Maiden's Tale - Margaret Frazer - Sister Frevisse series. Good reads.

Devil in a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley - I've been meaning to read these for a few years; this is the first in the series. Quite good.

Year's total: 133


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November 2015



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