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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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Graceling - Kristin Cashore - excellent. If I had a daughter, I'd buy this book for her. Spoiler ROT13'd: Fb avpr gb unir n ebznapr gung qbrfa'g raq va zneevntr!

Dark Moon Defender -
Reader and Raelynx -
Fortune and Fate - Sharon Shinn -
Really good series. Am contemplating for my nieces. A variety of relationships, and relationship types, and the last book is what happens after the war is over, which is a really nice thing.

Isabella - Loretta Chase - ebook - Regency fluff. Amusing.

The Fifth Elephant - Terry Pratchett - one of the Watch Discworlds. A good read. I really do prefer the Witches to everyone else, I think.

Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer - ebook - amusing enough.

Year's total: 48
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Pentecost Alley -
The Hyde Park Headsman -
Belgrave Square -
Brunswick Gardens -
Bluegate Fields -
Ashworth Hall -
Southhampton Row -
Seven Dials -
all by Anne Perry. If you couldn't tell, I'm reading myself out on these, and then donating them to the library.

Cousin Kate - Georgette Heyer - nook - a somewhat Gothic Regency romance. Don't read if you have issues with representation of mental illnes....

The Thirteenth House - Sharon Shinn - second in the series. Quite a good read. Am waiting on the last 3 from the library

Never After - anthology - good reads - subverted fairy tales.

I am Half Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley - another Flavia De Luce; good enough, but not great.

Dragon Bones - Patricia Briggs - another excellent read by someone who is consistently a good read!

The Broken Kingdoms - N. K. Jemesin - It took me a while to remember from the first book. Interesting read.

Year's total: 41
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Silence in Hanover Close - Anne Perry - ending a bit abrupt; otherwise, nicely crafted murder mystery. I especially like the bits where one character is acting as a lady's made in 1887 London. Not pleasant.

The Story of the Stone - Barry Hughart - amusing mystery. I will find the others in the set, but not buy them.

To the Resurrection Station - Eleanor Arnason - interesting book. Rather ... unfocussed? Atypical plot arc. Won't be keeping. Thinner book from the 70s; not as fleshed out as it would have been written 20-30 years later. Publisher would have allowed doorstop.

Mystic and Rider - Sharon Shinn - first of at least 5. Very good. Am in the second now. Probably won't keep. The entire book is spent on a trip to gather information and bring it back to the king. Obviously part of something larger. I do tend to like her books.

Year to date: 27
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The Thorn and the Blossom - Theodora Goss - received free from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program

This book is beautifully designed. The clever accordion binding allows one to read the story from the point of view of either of the main protagonists. The artwork is fantastic.

The story is a sort of mystical romance story. I was hoping for something more explicitly fantasy. I also find the protagonists unbelievable, in what they give up and where they end up at the end of the story. The ending is also ambiguous, which is not something I care for.

Year's total: 23
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The Secret Lives of Wives - Iris Krasnow - received free through the LibraryThing early reviewers program.

I was expecting something with more numbers and studies in it. Instead, this is a collection of anecdotes, and commentary on the author's own marriage.

As someone who is contemplating marriage, and in a 9 year relationship but not yet married, this book scares me. There is a lot of emphasis on how hard marriage is, and I saw very little in it that might encourage me to pursue one. I seem to recall hearing that marriage is detrimental to women's health. That research is not even brought up in this book.

The author has a definite viewpoint - you should get married, and stay married. And children are the glue that holds a marriage together. You should stay together if you are bored, unhappy, uncomfortable, for the sake of having a family, and not ripping apart the tapestry that a family becomes. You owe it to your forebears, and to your descendants, to maintain your place.

The background seems to be: A woman will get married, she will lose herself in taking care of the kids, then when they grow up and are out of the house, she will have the time and financial freedom to take up old hobbies and interests.

Most of the women she interviews are very well off indeed. 6 figure salaries. Enough money to take separate vacations.

She seems shocked at the swingers, in an open marriage.

She is very gender essentialist - she and her female friends seem to have some sort of "Sex in the City" thing going. She believes that you should have good male friends, but being friends with a guy is very different from being friends with a woman. Cherish the straight guys who actually want to have a conversation with you. Seriously. You can't expect your husband to talk to you, or listen to you. I find this a deeply weird attitude - people are people, friends are friends - why would I want to be with a person who doesn't talk to me?

I do agree with some of the underlying things in this book: do not expect your husband to be everything to you. Maintain interests outside of the relationship - a job, hobbies, friends.

This book was a disappointment, and I would not recommend it to anyone.
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Quatrain - Sharon Shinn - a collection of novellas set in four different worlds, some of which I'd met before. Excellent.

Troubled Waters - Sharon Shinn - a nice story of a young woman finding herself.

Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett - fun witches story.
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Eternal - Cynthia Leitch Smith - second in the trilogy that started with Tantalize. Seems to have no link to its predecessor. A nice Twinkie like its predecessor.

Blessed - Cynthia Leitch Smith - third of the trilogy. Ties them all together. Again, a pleasant, quick, fluffy read.

Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - nook - oh. What a good read. Less action, and more portrait of the people. Recommend.

Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett - reread. Since this was published, lots of people have remembered how ... dangerous the Fair Folk are.

Sword & Sorceress XXVI - latest in the series. Enjoyed.

Motel of the Mysteries - David Macauley - amusing book. Illustrated. Future historians excavate a motel, and explain (wrongly) what they find.

Beauvallet - Georgette Heyer - ick. Do not recommend.

The Sleeping Partner - Madeleine E. Robins - fantastic mystery/ alternative history/ Regency fun. Yay! Another will be coming!

Moon Called -
Blood Bound -
Iron Kissed -
Bone Crossed -
Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs - Mercy Thompson series. Coyote in a pack of werewolves. I really like how the love triangle doesn't last for more than a few books.

Cry Wolf -
Hunting Ground - Patricia Briggs - 2 more in the same world as Mercy Thompson. No coyote, only werewolves. Not quite as good.

Wolfsbane - Patricia Briggs - continuation of Masques. It is really nice to see a couple working out how they are going to be a couple, not just the start of, "Oooo! I like him!"

Steal the Dragon - Patricia Briggs - another in the Sianam series, set about 10 years after Masques.

When Demons Walk - Patricia Briggs - a fourth Sianam book. Set a few years after Steal the Dragon.
If you couldn't tell, I really like this series.

Year's total: 18


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November 2015



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