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Tantalize - Cynthia Leitich Smith - nook - fluffy YA vampire novel. An amusing Twinkie.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker - Leanna Renee Hieber - nook - I picked this up on a recommendation from someone at the bookstore. Didn't like it. Brooding "romantic" hero, fate of the world, yadda, yadda, yadda.....

The Stone Fey - Robin McKinley - reread - I do like this book. Sweet and romantic in all the right ways...

Food Matters - Mark Bittman - very interesting book about how to change your diet, and what to. Recipes included. I plan to try some of them.

The Escape - Katherine Mansfield - like the more boring stuff in high school English. Ick.

Crown Duel & Court Duel - Sherwood Smith - fantastic! Fantasy, lightly romantic, most of the plot focus is not on the romance part, which is excellent.

The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer - nook - reread - delightful romp.

Mina Laury - Charlotte Bronte - wow. Very Gothic and overdone. Mercy.

The Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera - Very interesting book. It has been a long time since I saw the movie, and I had a migraine when I did.

The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories - Charles W. Chesnutt - nook - fascinating set of short stories, written by a black man and set in black culture between the Civil War and the turn of the century. Recommend.

Year's total: 179

Well, I didn't make the 180 goal I set in November. The 2012 goal will be 52, which should be nice and easy.
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Buried by Breakfast - Claudia Bishop -
Carol for a Corpse - Claudia Bishop -
A Dinner to Die For - Claudia Bishop - all three from the Hemlock Falls series. I've decided not to keep them, and I also want to make 180 books this year, and I knew they'd be quick reads.

The Kepi - Colette - a short book. I don't particularly like it.

Night's Rose - Annaliese Evans - romance with monsters, set in the 1750s or so. Not bad.

The Heiress Companion - Madeleine Robins - quite a good Regency romance.

Year's total: 168
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1632 - Eric Flint - read on nook, free from Baen's library, but I did have a hardcopy - frothy story, in which a chunk of West Virginia is transported to the middle of the Thirty Years War. Subtly sexist - almost every main character woman is young, and all are attractive. The men's appearances are all described in terms of fighting, the women's in terms of being cute. I don't believe these people would have adapted as well as they seem to, nor do I believe the 17th century Europeans would have. On the other hand, the characterizations are pretty shallow, so maybe that part just got left out. Also, much too mil-sf for me.

The Door through Space - Marion Zimmer Bradley - pre-Darkover. She stole some of her ideas for Darkover from this book. A nice Twinkie of a read.

Masques - Patricia Briggs - ooooo. Very good story, with a fantastic heroine, a believable romance and a good plot. Will be looking for hardcopy.

Snuff - Terry Pratchett - okay enough. Not one of his best.
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The Apothecary Rose - Candace Robb - historical mystery, set in pre-War of the Roses England. Good enough to find the rest of the series, not good enough to buy them.

Cold Magic - Kate Elliott - mmmmm, yummy. I will be buying the next one in the series, and eagerly anticipating the third!

Thud! - Terry Pratchett - a Discworld Watch book. What more can I say?

Two Years Before the Mast - Richard Henry Dana, Jr. - So my parents gave my brother a copy when we were kids, to encourage him to read. But they wouldn't give me books at that point, because it was established that I was (and continue to be) a voracious reader. And now I have finally read this book. It has a lot of sailing jargon in it. I skimmed over that. The rest of the book is very interesting, especially since I have a slight familiarity with the parts of California he is discussing. Gutenberg has the e-book, if you'd like to try. I will probably read his other travel account, of a trip to Cuba.

Year's total: 158
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El Dorado - Baroness Orczy - yeah, um, I really liked The Scarlet Pimpernel as a 10-15 year old - so romantic - and I assumed I'd like the sequels. Well, I bounced off this. Love at first sight! Putting your mission at risk because she's just that amazing! I... just don't have the patience. Yes, that's a start. But it takes more than that to make a relationship, and I just couldn't deal with this book, so I put it down.

Lamb to the Slaughter - Roald Dahl - a small collection of some of his best stories. And they are fantastic. Much ... sharper ... than his children's books.

Naked City - ed. Ellen Datlow - I admit, I bought it for Ellen Kushner's Riverside story. So good. The rest of the book was not a bad read either. Some of the stories were good, others less so.

Legacy - Susan Kay - historical fiction - Elizabeth I this time. Fascinating read. It covers her whole life, all 70 years. I had been accustomed to sympathizing with Mary Queen of Scots, and this book put Elizabeth into a new light.

The Law of Becoming - Kate Elliot - fourth in the Jaran series. OMG. Just pulled the first three books all together. Amazing. Strongly recommend the series now!

The Freedom Maze - Delia Sherman - received free as an Early Reviewer for LibraryThing. Here is what I posted there:
An amazingly good book! I very much liked how the time travel element was handled, and that it was not an easy transition to the past for the protagonist.

The slavery at the plantation was probably about as "good" as slavery could get, with a mistress who preferred not to have her slaves whipped. The book brings out that even with that, slavery is pretty horrific. One of the slaves comments, wisely, that the overseer's job was to bully and beat people so the mistress could remain kind.

It's worth noting that I am white, and that the author did have beta readers of color.

Year's total: 154
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The Family Tree - Carole Cadwalladr - interesting, and out of my usual, as it is not mystery or sff or historical fiction or a "classic," which might as well be another world, no?

Georgette Heyer's Regency World - Jennifer Kloester - nook - nonfiction, drawn from Georgette Heyer's notes and materials on the Regency. Provides a lot of background to Heyer's novels.

His Conquering Sword - Kate Elliot - third in the Jaran series. Very good. Worldbuilding in the previous books kept up and added to. More disparate focus than the previous books, because it's following a lot more characters.

Year's total: 149
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Callendar Square -
Paragon Walk -
Death in Devil's Acre -
Rutland Place - Anne Perry, all three - all from a long running series, which for some reason, I want to read all of... Not bad mysteries, but I am not sure I will be keeping them.

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici - C.W. Gortner - interesting historical fiction about what was happening in France through Elizabeth's reign. Nice to have non-English historical fiction.

No Proper Lady - Isabelle Cooper - nook - very good romance/ fantasy fiction. Highly recommend. I picked it up because I "know" the author online.

Year's total: 146
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Colors of Space - Marion Zimmer Bradley - nook - I have a hardcopy, but read the project gutenberg edition. Amusing little juvenile. Mostly male.

An Earthly Crown - Kate Elliot - second in the Jaran series. Fascinating.

April Lady - Georgette Heyer - fluff, and not her best.

Year's total: 140
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Both by Alicorn. Twilight fanfic novels (full length). Very good - I think they answer a lot of the criticism I've seen about the original novels.

Year's total: 139
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Arabella - Georgette Heyer - nook - amusing.

Sisters of the Raven - Barbara Hambly - nook - interesting. The nook version has noticable spelling error, which I found annoying. Worth a read.

Powers - Ursula LeGuin - nook - decent YA. As always, good worldbuilding.

Jaran - Kate Elliot - I am not sure how I feel about this book. It's about a woman named Tess, and her relationships with 2 different men - her brother and another one. I find the different cultures fascinating, but I am not sure if the book should be shorter. It's worth taking a look if you like science fiction.

The Reluctant Widow - Georgette Heyer - nook - urgh. If the author was trying to make it clear that the heroine was okay with the things she was agreeing to, she did not succeed very well. There are hints, but it could have been brought out better. Do not recommend.

Regency Buck - Georgette Heyer - nook - okay. The bits in Brighton pavilloin are wayyyy to much description for me. I think the hero is an idiot; he could have explained himself. But then there wouldn't be a book would there?

Under the Duvet - Marion Keyes - a collection of essays previously published. Breezy style, and comfort read before bed.

Year's total: 137
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Gifts - Ursula Le Guin - First of a YA trilogy. A good read.

Voices - Ursula Le Guin - nook - Second in the same trilogy. Better than the first, about people who love books!

Both of the above have Le Guin's fantastic worldbuilding and culture-building, good characters and characterization. I have already started, and started enjoying, the third book.

The Sixth Wife - Susannah Dunn - nook - Retelling of the last few years of Catherine Parr's life. I found it very annoying that I had to use Wikipedia halfway through to figure out who the first person narrator was. The author took some definite liberties with the plot. Would not recommend.

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 6 - Fumi Yoshinaga - another in the series. Very much enjoyed. Manga for grownups.

Lord John and the Private Matter - Diana Gabaldon - nook - unintentional reread. If I had realized earlier, I would not have finished it. Not a bad book, but not great either.

Cardington Crescent - Anne Perry - I think I am re/reading the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. This is the first one I've read in a while, though it is not the first in the series. Decent read, though from reading Marriage: A History, the author's take on Victorian marriage may not be accurate.

Imperial Hostage - Phil Cantrell - free through librarything's early review program:

This book was a bit clunkily written, and very obviously the first in a series (Book 1 of the Destruction Series is printed on the cover.).

It is set in an Atlantis-like place called Poseidia, capital of an empire which sort of has modern technology, but also ESP-type stuff. Iron and airships (hydrogen lifted, of course), with no real backstory on how/why they're there.

I grew bored with the amazing, multitalented boy who is the focus of the story. He is the hostage of the title, and befriends various Empire people, but seems to have little or no concern over what would happen to them if he follows his father's directions and figures out how to invade the island that Poseidia is on.

Nitpicking: The Poseidians' names are all hyphenated, which I found incredibly annoying. The elephants, mentioned in passing living on the/an island, kicked me right out of the book. No way! Looking back, they're supposed to be smaller than African elephants, but considering they're called "mammoth elephants," I don't feel bad about my confusion.

Year's total: 130
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The Talisman Ring - Georgette Heyer - a cross between a romance and a mystery. Pleasant light reading.

Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle - Georgette Heyer - one of her better ones; I'll be keeping an eye out for my own copy at some point.

Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer - a romp, totally. Very amusing, but I am not sure how re-readable.

No Will But His - Sarah A. Hoyt - Novel of Catherine Howard. Poor Catherine Howard. It's hard to make a novel of her, because there isn't much there there.

Ghost Story - Jim Butcher - the latest Dresden book. A good read.

Year's total: 123
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Faro's Daughter - Georgette Heyer - nook - unintentional reread; amusing, but really, the end is unbelievable.

The World that Made New Orleans - Ned Sublette (&, my brain adds, Constance Ash) - nook - fascinating book. More about the history of slavery in the United States than I had learned in high school. Highly recommend.

A Scholar of Magics - Caroline Stevermer - amusing book, followup to A College of Magics. A pleasant, amusing read.

My Dear Jenny - Madeleine Robins - on nook, from Book View Cafe - I do like her Regencies. Yum. I may have to figure out how to get a hard copy.

Priceless - Robert K. Wittman - interesting autobiography of an art thief hunter. A quick and easy read.

Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom - Cory Doctorow - nook - interesting, though I did not like the people in it very much.

Ars Magica - Judith Tarr - nook - historical fantasy about Pope Sylvester II, mostly before he became the pope. Not a bad read.

Brain Twister - Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer - nook, gutenberg - not bad. Somewhat dated.

The Chinese Maze Mystery - Robert van Gulick - nook - not bad. I won't be keeping it, though.

Year's Total: 117
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With the cat missing, and my parents visiting, I ended up doing a lot of reading last weekend.

Chicks Kick Butt - ed. Rachel Caine - (read on the nook) - bought mostly because it has a new short story by Susan Krinard, which I enjoyed very much. I did like some of the others too.

Confessions of Peter Crossman - James Macdonald - nook - hardboiled priest/detective. Good for what it is, but I won't be following up on it.

Cotillion - Georgette Heyer - nook - slow start, and a good read. Neat ending. Regency romance.

For Love of Mother-Not - Alan Dean Foster - nook - amusing, and very obviously the start of a series. I might dig the rest out of the library, but not anytime soon. This was a freebie.

Fountain Full of Blood - nook - decent murder/thriller. Again, I might dig the rest out of the library, but not anytime soon. This was a freebie.

The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer - nook - another Heyer - a good read, but marred dreadfully by the antiSemitic scene. I won't be finding this in hardback; it's too icky.

Nomadic Furniture: D-I-Y Projects that Are Lightweight and Light on the Environment - James Hennesy & Victor Papanek - I read the first half already as Nomadic Furniture; this is a reprint of that book and its successor. Interesting ideas, and I love the concept of furniture that packs flat and

Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal - nook - awesome fantasy Regency romance. One of the few books I have ever read set in Regency times that tastes like one of Jane Austen's. Not as sharp as Austen. Absolutely amazing book. Highly recommend, and I will be tracking down other stuff by her.

The Sergeant's Lady - Susanna Frazer - sequel to "A Marriage of Inconvenience" A good read, Regency romance, and unusually, set during the Peninsular Campaign.

The Stars Compell - Michaela Roessner - alternate history with some type of magic. Not a bad read, but I won't be chasing down the previous book, and I'm not keeping it.

all by Margaret Frazer - all on the nook - I'll count as 1 book. Set of mystery short stories (Sister Frevisse and Bishop Pecock). Worth reading.

The Midwife's Tale
The Simple Logic of It
The Stone-Worker's Tale
Volo Te Habere
The World's Eternity
Winter Heart
The Witch's Tale

Unfinished - Crystal Rain - Tobais Buckell - didn't take. Freebie anyway.

About the nook - I end up getting the book right away! This is so cool. I am worried about formats, readability thereof, and making sure I can read what I want in 20 years if the format changes, and the things I really adore I will buy on paper.

Year's total: 108
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A Red Heart of Memory - Nina Kiriki Hoffman - interesting book, a good read. A book about putting yourself and other people back together.

License to Pawn - Rick Harrison - I like the show, and this is very much a piece of it. It fills in the backstory of the people in the show somewhat.

On the nook - yes, I have a new nook! Details in the next post.

Half a Crown - Jo Walton - third of the Farthing series. I want to believe in the ending.

Venetia - Georgette Heyer - very sweet and amusing book. I have a fondness for Heyer, though

A Marriage of Inconvencience - Susanna Frazer - nice modern Regency romance. The ending was a bit abrupt, but otherwise a good book.

Year's total: 97
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Blacklist - Sara Paretsky - the V.I. Warchawski I hadn't yet read. very good. I've decided not to keep the series; I will get them from the library if/when I want to reread.

Warrior Wisewoman - ed. Roby James - short stories around the theme. Decent; I'm keeping for a while.

Sword & Sorceress XV - ed. Elizabeth Waters - Excellent, as usual.

Lovers in the Night - Fumi Yoshinaga - one off explicit yaoi manga. Didn't do much for me; will let go.

Caravan - Dorothy Gilman - interesting enough story, light read.

Once a Hero -
Rules of Engagement -
Change of Command -
Against the Odds - Elizabeth Moon - the last four of a 7 book series. Milsf/ space opera. More of a single story split into 7 books. It seemed to run out of steam in the last book. Why do women change their names when they marry?

Year's total: 92
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Reading levels will be dropping; I have a new job which has a 50 minute commute each way. I may eventually start listening to audiobooks in the car; these will be noted as listened to, rather than read.

At Home - Bill Bryson - more of a set of essays that jump off different rooms in the house than a comprehensive history of each individual room. A good read!

Clockwork Phoenix - ed. Mike Allen - okay set of short stories. Not fantastic.

Too Many Murders - Colleen McCoullough - yes, the thorn birds woman. Set in 1967, which is good, because otherwise it might have been a bit grating in some of its attitudes. Not a bad mystery book.

Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman - graphic novel. I don't like the art style, the stories are okay. I may end up reading the series just so I can say that I have read it. Dream looks like Neil Gaiman.

A Woman of the Iron People - Eleanor Arnason - very interesting SF read. Recommend.

Year's total: 83
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Kinsman's Oath - Susan Krinard - technically romance. Actually an interesting science fiction novel with steamy sex scenes. A good read.

Tooth and Claw - Jo Walton - Trollope with dragons. V. amusing. Has inspired me to try Trollope again - reading "The Warden" with my friend Meir. Recommended.

I'll Be With You in the Squeezing of a Lemon - Elizabeth David - small book carried for several months in my purse. Interesting enough, but I have little use for the recipes and won't be keeping it.

Year's total: 78
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All more Dresdens by Jim Butcher:

Turn Coat -
Changes - whoa.
Side Jobs - apparently most of the short fiction collected in one place.
Small Favor - yes, I read out of order.

Interesting to see where the series goes from here....

Year's total: 75
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Summer Knight - Jim Butcher - oops, missed a Dresden. This was #4.

White Nights - Jim Butcher - another Dresden. I keep reading them, they're good twinkie books.

Just Desserts - Claudia Bishop - one of the Hemlock Falls mystery series. Comfortable.

Killing the Black Body - Dorothy Roberts - Thought-provoking book about the intersection of reproductive rights, feminism, and race. It was first published in the late 1990s, but it is well worth a read today.

Year's total: 71


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November 2015



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