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Hi, it’s me again, Blue. This is my 6th year in the 75 Book Challenge group, though I first started tracking my reading back in 2006 (ten years! Wow!). I’m currently finishing up a degree that should help me land a decent job basically by the summer (cross your fingers). So things are going to get busy fast once the semester starts starts and I don’t know if I’ll have the time to read as much as I’d like, but we’ll see.
I read mainly science fiction and fantasy, mostly women authors, both adult and YA books. I reread a lot, so you'll see many of the same books popping up from year to year (and occasionally within the same year), but I try to keep my reading to about half rereads and half new.
50 book challenges: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
75 book challenges: 2011.1, 2011.2, 2012.1, 2012.2, 2013.1, 2013.2, 2014, 2015
For my 2016 goals, I averaged together my results from last year with my goals for last year (which were themselves the average of my results from all my past years):
Total number of books: 140
New reads: 60
Audiobook time: 16d 11h 30m
These book are on this list because I borrowed them from friends and I really should return them eventually:
1. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.
2. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
3. The House in November by Keith Laumer
These books are on the list because I started them and would like to finish them:
4. What you really really want by Jaclyn Friedman (I decided I'm not going to read this book and will PBS it instead)
6. Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson (audiobook)
These are Early Reviewer books that I am a bit behind on:
9. Headstrong by Rachel Swaby
10. Jewish Soul Food by Carol Ungar
11. Weld Like a Pro: Beginning to Advanced Techniques by Gerald Uttrachi
These are books that were on the list last year:
14. Neuromancer by William Gibson
15. Seeing Further by Bill Bryson
16. The Resurrectionist by EB Hudspeth
17. Ace of Cakes by Duff Goldman and Willie Goldman
18. Dreaming Down Under edited by Jack Dann and Janeen Webb
19. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
20. The New Space Opera 2 edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan
21. will grayson, will grayson by John Green & David Levithan
These books were 2015 Christmas gifts from my sister (she also gave me a couple others that aren't going on this list):
22. The Mysterious, Magickal Cat by DJ Conway
To be continued...
This list only includes physical books, not audiobooks or ebooks.
1. Those who hunt the night by Barbara Hambly (PBS)
2. 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (PBS)
3. Ariel by Steven R. Boyett (PBS)
5. Abarat by Clive Barker (SantaThing)
6. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (SantaThing)
8. A Thousand Words for Stranger by Julie Czerneda (PBS)
9. Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff (PBS)
10. Conflict of Honors by Steve Miller & Sharon Lee (PBS)
14. The Trials by Linda Nagata
Unless otherwise noted, these are sent out via PaperBackSwap
1. The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
2. Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
4. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
5. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
6. Future Crime by Cynthia Manson (ed)
7. The 1990 Annual World's Best SF by Donald Wollheim (ed)
8. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
9. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
10. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
11. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
12. Future Crime by Cynthia Manson (Ed), Charles Ardai (Ed)
13. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
14. Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
15. What you really really want by Jaclyn Friedman
16. The Red by Linda Nagata
17. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
18. The 1989 Annual World's Best Science Fiction by Donald A. Wollheim (Ed)
19. The 1988 Annual World's Best Science Fiction by Donald A. Wollheim (Ed)
New read, Nonfiction, Adult, Dead Tree: 318p
My sister gave this to me for Christmas and I read it on the way home. It was alternately disturbing and hilarious (and occasionally both). I doubt I’ll read it again, but it was certainly entertaining.
The Thrawn Trilogy, book 1
Reread, science fiction, adult, dead tree: 404p
I saw The Force Awakens (and really liked it), which gave me the urge to reread the original “sequel” to the Star Wars trilogy. Heir to the Empire takes place a few years after Return of the Jedi, when the New Republic is desperately trying to bring the galaxy together and the Empire is equally desperately grasping on to what space it still occupies. When new allies and technology seem to start tipping the balance in the Empire’s favor, Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest are left scrambling to keep up. At the same time, internal squabbles begin to threaten the delicate balance of the New Republic’s politics.
Zahn did an excellent of translating the worlds and characters to the page, while also giving new locations and people the depth and history they needed to exist in the same galaxy. Heir to the Empire has the vast, far-reaching storylines required in a space opera, but also a variety of smaller, more personal plots and events that give characters on all sides a surprising amount of relatability. There are no paragons or one-note villains in these books; all the characters, protagonist or antagonist, have nuance.
Aside from being an excellent Star Wars book, Heir to the Empire - and its two sequels - are just simply good books.
New read, adult, science fiction, audiobook: 16h 55m
The story in Aurora joins a generation ship as it is about to reach its destination, follows events as a team lands on the planet they’ve been sent to, and then - what happens next. Many, many things. It’s a long book.
This is another book that I mostly liked. I liked the three main characters and how the story followed them over many years and many changes in their lives and the lives of the people around them.
There were a few things, as I said, that marred my enjoyment of the book. One (minor) issue was that there is a period of time in the story that boils down to “and then, three years passed”. There are actually several jumps like that, except this one happens directly after a major conflict and I didn’t find it believable that nothing notable happened during those three years. Secondly, although we follow Freya as a main character from when she’s a teenager until she’s in her 40s or 50s, she never actually seems to grow and change much.
The third problem I have is a completely unnecessary scene near the end of the book, in which
So while I found this book interesting and mostly entertaining, those few things bothered me enoughthat I am hesitant to fully recommend it.
Discworld (publication order), book 15
New read, adult, fantasy, audiobook: 9h 46m
Entertaining, and as it turns out, the source of a popular quote (at least, in some online circles I follow):
The reason the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in the city on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes "Boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
Finished Book 5: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
The Thrawn Trilogy, book 2
Reread, adult, science fiction, dead tree: 440p
As I said in my review of Heir to the Empire, I really like these books.
Feline Wizards, book 1
Reread, Adult, fantasy, dead tree: 354p
I actually read this both as an ebook and a paper book - I borrowed the ebook from the library when I forgot to bring a physical book with me to read at lunch, but had a wifi-enabled device. I have a paper copy at home, so I read that at home. The paper book is too big to easily carry with me, and the screen on the device is a bit small to really be comfortable for reading books. It was a weird situation. I finished it in paper, so I’ll count it as that.
This book is set in the same universe as Duane’s Young Wizards books, but is centered on the cat wizards who keep the worldgates in New York City functioning. Apparently the gates in London are acting up, so they’re asked to go consult with the local team over there.
Yup. The majority of the characters in this book are cats. There are a few humans. Some birds. A dinosaur (sort of). But mostly cats. Luckily, Duane is fantastic at writing nonhuman characters, and is clearly familiar with cats in particular. While I like the Young Wizards books better, I do enjoy these as well.
Young Wizards, book 10
New read, young adult, fantasy, dead tree: 620p
New YW book! *excited dolphin noises* I may have stayed up late Tuesday to read it, and started again immediately when I woke up early Wednesday morning. Just maybe. Heh.
Every eleven years, Earth’s human wizards hold the Invitational, a sort of wizardly science fair competition where the best and brightest young talent are invited to show off their most innovative and exciting new spells. Nita and Kit have been tapped to mentor one of the participants and Dairine (and Spot) another. Culture clashes, personality conflicts, and some really weird visions ensue.
Fantastic as usual! I like that Nita and Kit (and Carmela and Dairine, for that matter) are obviously still young, but are also clearly growing and changing as the series progresses. Many characters from previous books show up, some with brief cameos and some becoming integral to the story. As one review I read said, this is a fan’s book: thoroughly entertaining to a fan of the series but bordering on incomprehensible if you haven’t read the previous books.
Which I think is fine; some series are set up so you can pick any book and immediately understand what’s happening, and some aren’t. Young Wizards has always been written with many references to characters, events, even thoughts and feelings from previous books.
So if you're not already a fan of the YW books, this is not the place to start. But if you are: have fun!
I may have stayed up late Tuesday to read it, and started again immediately when I woke up early Wednesday morning. Just maybe.
So you dozed off in the middle of the night, woke up and carried on? 'S what I do.
I...yes, I think so. I think I went to sleep an hour or so after I usually do, and woke up an hour or so before I usually do. Not great for my concentration in class that day, but I did get a lot of reading done!
Reread, young adult, fantasy, dead tree: 422p
Spindle’s End is Robin McKinley’s take on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, and it is twisted far away from the “traditional” story we’re used to. The princess is raised by fairies, but in this world, fairies are regular people with magical abilities. And instead of growing up beautiful and graceful and charming, Rosie grows up a regular village girl, maybe a little more stubborn and straightforward than some, and generally more comfortable with animals than people.
The animal characters, by the way, are fantastic - the different personalities they have are so appropriate to the species. And as always with McKinley's books, the description is incredible, with so much detail that the world seems to come alive. Truly, this is one of my favorite of McKinley’s books.
The Circle Reforged, book 2
Reread, Young Adult, Fantasy, Audiobook: 8h28m
I tend to prefer the Tortall books as a rule, but Melting Stones doesn't have some of the issues that annoy me about most of the Circle books. There is only one main character in this book and one important setting, and there is one main event/disaster happening. Therefore the story doesn't keep jumping from place to place and person to person like most of the Circle books do, and Evvy's story gets more of the depth it deserves and requires.
I finished this book earlier but forgot to note it down, apparently. Whoops.
New read, young adult, fantasy, dead tree: 362p
My sister gave me this book for Christmas.
Li Lan is the daughter of a formerly-well-to-do merchant. As her father’s business declined, so did his interest in his family and society, so Li Lan is a young woman of marriageable age with no prospects and few other options when her father mentions in passing that a wealthy family asked for her to be the ghost bride for their dead heir. He refused, but unbeknownst to them, events were already set in motion, as Li Lan soon finds out.
Fantastic! I really liked this book. The writing is excellent, the story keeps moving along at a good pace, and the end was actually not quite what I was expecting, which is always nice. Recommended.
>30 foggidawn: It looks like the books are still (or again) on deep discount at DD's website, if you read ebooks. That sale ends today, but they seem to do one every month or two.
Velveteen, book 1
Reread, Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook: 7h 17m
Finished Book 13: Indexing by Seanan McGuire, read by Mary Robinette Kowal
Indexing, book 1
Reread, adult, fantasy (fairy tale retelling), audiobook: 12h 5m
Seanan McGuire’s take on superheroes (Velveteen) and fairy tales (Indexing).
Agent of Change by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee (dead tree)
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (audiobook)
I'm not sure I recommend the audiobook, though. The reader has kind of...odd inflections.
Liaden (publication order, book 1)
New read, adult, science fiction, dead tree: 320p
I was going to say I don’t know who recommended this to me, and then I remembered that I started keeping notes in “private comments” so I would know why something was in my TBR list! Ronincats recommended this to me a few years ago and I finally got a copy from PBS. I quite liked it (I loved the Clutch!) and I’ll have to see if I can get some more from this series.
Finished Book 15: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook: 10h 50m
I love this book, but as I said to humouress, I’m not sure I recommend the audiobook. The reader had odd inflections on sentences and would frequently ignore the adjectives describing speech (eg a sentence “she said flatly” is read with lots of emotion). Actually, I’m having the same problem with the audiobook I’m currently listening to, also, which is what that particular example is from.
(Both of these books probably have more content warning stuff that I’m not thinking of right now. Probably in general books have content warnings that I don't think of, but I'm doing my best.)
Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (dead tree)
Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire (audiobook)
Sorcery and Cecilia is fun, and I'm currently working on Indexing: Reflections.
So, audiobooks. Yeah, I like 'em.
I love the Indexing books! Such a unique way of writing about fairy tales. Not that I'd expect anything less from Seanan, of course. She's amazing.
I agree, Seanan is amazing!
ETA correction in caps.
I'm reading the Velveteen vs. stories that Seanan has on her LJ right now, which are great too.
>41 norabelle414: Right? I tend to listen to a lot of Tamora Pierce and Seanan McGuire and John Scalzi when I have migraines, because I've already read them so many times, it's not an effort. Sometimes I get tired of the same books over and over again, no matter how much I love them, so I listen to a new one - and then I end up rewinding (as it were) a lot, because whoops, I just fell asleep for an hour and what's happening now?
A book you've read before
Take your pick, really, but ok:
Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
A book recommended by friend/family
This book was recommended by roni here and by Carol, one of my best friends irl:
Agent of Change by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
A book recommended by a librarian/bookseller
I'm counting my sister as my librarian, so:
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
A book you can finish in a day
Velveteen vs. the Multiverse by Seanan McGuire
Which I have finished but just not posted about here yet...
A book published in 2016
Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane
These goals, I know (or have plans) what I'm going to read for them:
A book you've been meaning to read
Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire (done)
A book previously abandoned
Moonsinger's Friends edited by Susan Shwartz (done)
A book that was banned at some point
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (planned, assuming I actually have a copy of it, otherwise maybe I'll reread The Giver)
A book published before you were born
The House in November by Keith Laumer (planned, off my TBR list)
A book that intimidates you
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr. (planned)
A book you should have read in school
Velveteen vs, book 2
New read, adult, science fiction (superheroes), ebook: 312p
Technically I read all the stories on McGuire’s livejournal, but whatever, close enough. I would really like to own physical copies of both Velveteen vs. books, but I think they are out of print. Sigh.
Book 17: Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Sorcery and Cecelia, book 1
Reread, young adult, fantasy, dead tree: 336p
InCryptid, book 5
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree: 356p
Verity (or rather, Valorie) is invited to participate in a reunion season of Dance or Die, the reality show that made her a minor celebrity a few years ago. Of course, weird things start happening.
Great characters, great worldbuilding, lots of humor, and fast-paced and slightly twisty plot. I didn't find the reality show setting particularly interesting, which I think is why this will never be my favorite book in the series. Still a fun read, though!
Indexing: Reflections by Seanan McGuire (audiobook)
Moonsinger's Friends edited by Susan Shwartz (dead tree)
I almost bought the new Fairyland book by Cat Valente, too, but I realized I'm a couple behind on that, so I didn't. Also that's a few too many new books to get at once just now, so, later. I need to get those last two Fairyland books on my tbr list, though.
Indexing, book 2
New read, adult, fantasy, Audiobook: 12h 18m
Finished Book 20: Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper, book 1
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook: 15h 3m
Finished Book 21: Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, read by Mark Oshiro
Discworld, book the somethingth
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook: 11h 18m
Finished Book 22: Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce, read by Mark Oshiro
Emelan, book the somethingth
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook:
Finished Book 23: Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
New read, young adult, science fiction, audiobook: 10h 21m
So...that was kind of dramatic. I mean, I enjoyed it, but between the melodramatic writing and the melodramatic narration, it was super dramatic. I would recommend the movie over this novelization, because good lord. It was entertaining, but not always in a good way.
Also, it just goes to show how different people can interpret things differently, because
The Dream Thieves’ by Maggie Stiefvater (audiobook)
Moonsinger’s Friends edited by Susan Shwartz (dead tree)
Battle Magic is...a difficult book. Also it contradicts previously established canon in several ways, which irritates some readers. But aside from that, the story is emotionally difficult and even though I've read it several times and know what happens, it's still upsetting at times.
And it contradicts established canon
Personally neither of these bother me much, although the discontinuity with Briar bugs me a little more than the other. I get why they bug other people, though.
I haven't read any of your recent books, except The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, and I'm trying to acquire the sequels - but they're rather exorbitant!
Young Wizards book 9.6
reread, young adult, fantasy, ebook: 280p
Finished Book 25: Moonsinger’s Friends edited by Susan Shwartz
New read, adult, fantasy anthology, dead tree: 342p
Checking “book previously abandoned” for that list (and for a reason, apparently)
This book took me way longer than I expected to read because, honestly, I didn't like most of it. The reason I got it in the first place is because there is a Diane Duane story in it and I liked that one, but most of the others were really a pain to slog through. Usually I stop reading books I dislike that much, but I wanted to actually finish it for some reason. What a waste of time.
The Inheritance Trilogy, book 1
Reread, adult, epic fantasy, audiobook: 11h50m
Finished Book 27: The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
The Inheritance Trilogy, book 2
Reread, adult, epic fantasy, audiobook: 11h28m
Finished Book 28: The Kingdom of Gods by NK Jemisin
The Inheritance Trilogy, book 3
Reread, adult, epic fantasy, audiobook: 13h45m
I love this series and felt like rereading it.
October Day, book 6
reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook: 12h 26m
Finished Book 30: Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 7
Reread, Adult, Fantasy, Dead Tree: 357p
Finished Book 31: The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, Book 8
Reread, Adult, Fantasy, audiobook: 11h 57m
More rereads, another series I'm particularly fond of.
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree: 176p
Nancy’s parents send her to boarding school. They think it’s a place where she’ll get better from whatever it is they think happened, but it’s really a place for her to learn to live with what really happened. To be with other people who had similar experiences. Other people who found a door and walked through it into another world, only to be sent back one day.
New book by Seanan! This book is fantastic and I love it. The premise is wonderful. Imagine the Alices and Susans and Dorothys of the world (or at least of the US) gathered together, trying to deal with the fact that they’re never going back to Wonderland or Narnia or Oz. Mix in a little murder mystery, and there it is.
Another thing I love about it is that (character related spoilers, not plot-related)
October Daye, book 9
reread, adult, fantasy, dead tree: 368p
Finished Book 34: The Red: First Light by Linda Nagata
The Red, book 1
New read, Adult, science fiction, dead tree: 405p
Lieutenant James Shelley keeps getting “feelings”, intuition about things that that he couldn’t possibly know, that save his life and the lives of his squad. If it’s not some sort of precognition - and there’s no such thing - then what is feeding him this information, and why?
The Red: First Light is a sort of near-future science fiction, with a lot of technology that we're starting to see hints (or more than hints) of today but isn't yet in common use, like mechanical exoskeletons to help people carry heavy loads, prosthetic limbs that are somewhat beyond what is currently possible (as far as I know, anyway), and computers connected to the brain. Some of it is neat and some of it is pretty creepy, as tends to be the case in near-future SF.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book overall. I liked it, but it wasn’t quite the story I wanted it to be. I am curious if the sequel(s) will bring it more around to the hows and whys of what’s happening and focus less on military actions.
Some tired tropes that I wish the author hadn’t succumbed to: while there are a variety of minor female characters, the only main characters who are women are the girlfriend and the antagonist. The antagonist is also the only woman in any position of power (doctors, generals, journalists, etc, are all men).
Protector of the Small, book 3
Reread, Young Adult, Fantasy: Medieval, Audiobook: 10h48m
Finished Book 36: The Pharos Gate: Griffin & Sabine’s Lost Correspondence by Nick Bantock
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree: 60p
The Pharos Gate is as beautiful as the rest of the Griffin & Sabine series. It is fun to read letters to and from Maud and Maud’s friend Francesca alongside the desperate, lovesick messages by Griffin and Sabine, and the chilling notes from Froletti. Not my favorite book in the series, but a solid addition.
Reread, Adult, Fantasy, dead tree: 615p
It is interesting to reread this now, since apparently my views on books and stories have changed some in the past few years. I still like the worldbuilding and many of the characters and even a lot of the story well enough, but I have way more issues with the book than I used to.
For example, there is basically one main woman protagonist, and she’s only important because of who she married. And she has almost no power except for what she forces her father-in-law to give her by playing on his prejudices against women: acting silly, deliberately misinterpreting things he says, that sort of thing. She joins a revolution to overthrow the king, which is entirely made up of men. She does meet a group of wives and ladies, but she’s never one of them, she’s very much the “not one of those girls” trope, which is just tiresome. And none of the wives/ladies manages to break through their - awe? Fear? Whatever, to realize she’s just a person like them. So she has no female friends for the entire book. Literally all her friends are old men.
There is one other supposedly-important woman character, but as soon as she joins forces with the main male protagonist, she basically disappears.
I liked this book way more the first time I read it. How disappointing.
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook: 7h 27m
But on another note, how much fun is it to listen to Mark read the Young Wizards books? So much fun! I actually didn’t read them in order way back when I first found them, the first one I found was High Wizardry, the third in the series, so I never had this fresh, unspoiled view of So you want to be a wizard that Mark experienced. It’s too fun. I love this series, and the joy he’s finding in the books as well.
Finishing School, book 3
New read, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook: 8hr 53m
Fun but not particularly memorable.
Finished Book 40: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reread, young adult, science fiction, Audiobook: 11h 14m
Finished Book 41: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Reread, young adult, science fiction, Audiobook: 11h 41m
Finished Book 42: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Reread, young adult, science fiction, Audiobook11h 43m
Finished Book 43: Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
New read, adult, fantasy, Audiobook: 10h 18m
Definitely my least favorite Discworld book so far. I imagine he intended to lampoon racist stereotypes but instead just managed to, well, write a lot of racist stereotypes. Ugh.
New read, adult, science fiction, dead tree: 867p
I actually started reading the audiobook, then got a copy through LTER and read the second half on paper.
Something huge hits the moon hard enough to break it into pieces. At first scientists think it’s going to stay like that, the chunks of the moon orbiting each other and staying generally where the moon used to be, but then they start bumping into each other and shattering. They realize that the remnants of the moon will eventually fall to earth and destroy life as we know it. The solution? Well, there is no solution, but the plan to save the world is to send many people into space, in and around the International Space Station.
Seveneves has a lot of drama and excitement, mixed in with plenty of science and technobabble (which appears to be less babble-y than some, but even so…). I liked it more for the characters than for the science, which occasionally delved a little deeper than I care about in the middle of a story. But the characters! I loved the characters. Especially (and not surprisingly) our POV character Dinah.
The book is separated into three parts; the first part spent preparing for the moon to start falling, the second part in the first few years after it happens, and the third part is far in the future, when the earth is becoming habitable again. It almost seemed like it should have been three separate books, since each section clearly had much more going on than there was space to put it. The third section in particular, while entertaining, seemed to be missing a lot, and also ended at a point where things were just starting to get interesting.
Overall: I enjoyed it and would recommend it if you like (or can tolerate) a high amount of technobabble in your science fiction, if you like lots of great women characters, and if you’re interested in this kind of end-of-the-world type of story.
Memoires of Lady Trent, book 2
New read, adult, fantasy, audiobook: 10h 39m
Thoroughly enjoying this series, looking forward to reading the next two books.
Books I have recently given up on:
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
It was simply too graphically violent for me.
Maskerade by Terry Pratchett (currently in progress at Mark Reads)
I wanted to like this book, I really did. A Discworld story based on Phantom of the Opera with a fat woman main character? Sounds great! And Agnes is great. But I can see women insulted, mocked, and not given credit for their accomplishments just because they're fat all around the real world. I don’t need to read about it in my fantasy stories, too. You know what I'd like? The occasional story with a non-stereotypical-looking protagonist who isn't mocked and belittled for it, who doesn't have to "overcome" it, who just is.
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook: 8h 17m
Finished Book 47: Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi, read by Wil Wheaton
Reread, adult, science fiction, audiobook: 8h 49m
Interestingly, I find I don’t like this as much as I used to.
Finished Book 48: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Reread, adult, science fiction, audiobook: 9h 58m
Still thoroughly enjoy this series, though. Amusingly it’s already a bit dated (the idea that all 75-year-olds would be unfamiliar/uncomfortable with or not already have their own devices is quickly getting laughable. My parents are 70 and they had smartphones and tablets before either my sister or I.).
Finished Book 49: Carniepunk: Daughter of the midway, the mermaid, and the open lonely sea by Seanan McGuire
Reread, adult, fantasy (short story), audiobook: 53m
Finished Book 50: What makes this book so great by Jo Walton
New read, adult, non-fiction, dead tree: 448p
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and quickly got a pencil and paper to start writing down books that piqued my interest. I ended up with a list of a dozen books, not counting the Bujold books that make up a good chunk of the reviews (I had to skip those after a few, because I haven’t read many and she wasn’t worried about spoilers), since the series is already on my tbr list.
The 5 or so books that I read the first few chapters of were mostly (though not entirely) off this list, to see if I was as interested in the actual book as I was in Walton’s description of it. There was one that didn’t grab me, but the rest did.
Finished Book 51: Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree: 375p
Silver on the Road was recommended by the friend I was staying with, and she was right. I found it very interesting and entertaining, I really liked the characters and setting, and I’m very curious what’s going to happen in the sequel.
Finished Book 52: Stage of Fools by Seanan McGuire
New read, adult, fantasy, short story, ebook: 28p
I’m completely guessing on the page length here because I don’t have a copy of the story myself. My friend got it by supporting Seanan’s patreon and let me read it while I was visiting but wouldn’t give out copies (and rightly so).
Finished Book 53: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Reread, adult, science fiction, audiobook: 10h 28m
Finished Book 54: The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
Reread, adult, science fiction, audiobook: 1h 34m
I love this story but the audiobook I have is only so-so. Sometime I’ll have to check out the professional version.
>77 bluesalamanders: Have you joined us yet on the Vorkosigan saga group read? There are still a few of us *cough, cough* lingering along.
I'm not good at group reads. I tried for a while, but anything that feels like an assignment puts me right off (I'm so far behind on my ER books...). Also, I'm having trouble finding the next books in the series.
But I guess I'm one of those 'power users', to a certain extent. I know my parents have, like, 90% stopped using their laptops and now do everything on their smartphones and ipads.
So I manage on my phone and tablet.
Since we have been using laptops for a long time, we've gotten used to doing things that can only be done on a laptop. I think people younger than us don't ever start doing "laptop stuff", so they don't miss it.
>85 norabelle414: Yeah but like...job hunting? How can you do stuff like that on a phone? Write a cover letter and resume? And do people just ignore websites that don't have apps or mobile sites? Honestly, it just baffles me. But then I find even things like checking e-mail frustrating on the phone, because I feel like I can't think properly without a real keyboard.
>86 ronincats: Sometimes I wish I had two computers! I end up with so many programs/windows/tabs open at once and I literally have to stop whatever I'm doing and spend time shutting things down before before I can continue. I haven't had a desktop in ages, though. And my parents got rid of their (one) desktop a few years ago and got (two) laptops, one for each of them, before they'd gotten (or at least before they'd started seriously using) tablets or smartphones.
Finished Book 55: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
New read, adult, fantasy (steampunk), dead tree: 352p
Finished Book 56: Calling On Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook: 6h 12m
Finished Book 57: Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook: 6h 38m
Finished Book 58: The Last Colony by John Scalzi
Reread, adult, science fiction, dead tree, 336p
Finished Book 59: Jhereg by Steven Brust
Vlad Taltos (Publication Order), book 1
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree, 239p
Finished Book 60: Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook, 5h 53m
Karen Memory and Jhereg were both recommended by my friend Carol, who has very similar tastes to mine and we often recommend books to each other. I really enjoyed both of them.
Congratulations on reading so many books, dead tree and non dead tree.
New read, adult (?), science fiction, graphic novel, 264p
I’m actually not sure whether to classify this adult or YA? I don’t usually read comic books, so I don’t really know how the leveling works for them. I enjoyed it? Mostly? I’m not a big comic book reader, as I said, so I don’t always know how to read them - what order to read the panels, etc - which can make things a little weird.
Finished Book 62: The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
New read, adult, science fiction, audiobook, 11h 16m
Finished Book 63: Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede
Reread, young adult, fantasy (anthology), dead tree, 256p
Finished Book 64: The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 8
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 11h 57m
Finished Book 65: High Wizardry by Diane Duane, read by Mark Oshiro
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook, 7h 37m
New read, adult (?), science fiction, graphic novel, 112p
Faith is a fat woman who happens to have superpowers. She is awesome and adorable and I loved this a lot.
Finished Book 67: Imprudence by Gail Carriger
The Custard Protocal, Book 2
New read, young adult, fantasy, Dead tree, 368p
Finished Book 68: The Book of Night With Moon by Diane Duane
Feline Wizards, book 1
Reread, adult, fantasy, ebook, 404p
Finished Book 69: The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones
Reread, young adult fantasy, Audiobook, 9h 59m
Finished Book 70: Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, read by Mark Oshiro
Discworld, book 19
New read, adult, fantasy, Audiobook, 9h 32m
October Daye, book 1
Reread, adult, fantady, Audiobook, 11h 20m
Finished Book 72: Bloodshot by Cherie Priest
Cheshire Red Reports, book 1
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 11h 16m
Finished Book 73: A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 2
Reread, adult, fantady, Audiobook, 11h 52m
Finished Book 74: An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 3
Reread, adult, fantady, Audiobook, 12h 32m
Finished Book 75: Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 4
Reread, adult, fantady, Audiobook, 11h 51m
New read, adult, science fiction, dead tree, 336p
I read Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon and it was great! It starts off that this colony is being evacuated - I forget exactly why - and the main character, an old woman, decides she's not going. She's lived there for 40 years, she'd like some solitude, she knows how do everything she needs to do to survive, so she just - stays behind.
And everything is great for a while, but then of course things happen...
It was fantastic, I really enjoyed it.
New read, adult, paranormal romance, ebook, 117p
Finished Book 78: A Pair of Bears by Zoe Chant
New read, adult, paranormal romance, ebook, 86p
Finished Book 79: The Billionaire Dragon Shifter’s Mate by Zoe Chant
New read, adult, paranormal romance, ebook, 64p
Finished Book 80: Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 10
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree, 420p
Ahhhhh new Toby book!!! So much love! I am not writing a review, I am just kind of emoting all over the place:
One of my favorite things about this series is all the continuity. Like, Toby can’t stand the smell of roses (she’ll have trouble if her mother ever comes back, doesn’t her magic smell of roses?) and also her magic smells more like blood the more fae she becomes.
I sort of wish we could have seen Raysel woken, and also seen May and Raj’s reactions to all the crap Toby got up to while they were locked out of Arden’s knowe. But that would probably have added another 30 pages or something, so I get why it wasn’t there.
New read, poetry (non-fiction), ebook: 156p
It feels weird to call poetry non-fiction, but it is mainly autobiographical (as far as I can tell) so yeah. I’m not usually a huge poetry fan, but I found this book both enjoyable to read and deeply moving.
My favorite line, which is near the end of part three, ‘the queen’, is:
all of the oceans
conspire together to
just so i could
- startling fact #1.
Finished Book 82: One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, book 5
Reread, adult, fantasy, Audiobook, 12h 42m
Finished Book 83: The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin
The Broken Earth, book 2
New read, adult, fantasy, dead tree, 410p
Amazing, as expected.
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook: 7h 54m
Finished Book 85: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
Incryptid, book 1
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 11h 20m
Finished Book 86: Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
Incryptid, book 2
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 10h 59m
Finished Book 87: Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
Incryptid, book 3
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 10h 17m
Finished Book 88: Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire
Incryptid, book 14
Reread, adult, fantasy, dead tree, 352p
Finished Book 89: Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Reread, adult, fantasy, Dead tree, 320p
Finished Book 90: A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane, read by Mark Oshiro
Young Wizards, book 4
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook, 8h 14m
Young Wizards, book 5
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook, 10h 31m
Finished Book 92: The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 6
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Dead tree, 432p
Mark Reads started Dilemma and it is a very emotional book that I don’t think I’ve read since
Finished Book 93: The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, read by Zachary Quinto
New read, urban fantasy, audiobook, 2h 19m
About ten years ago, murder victims suddenly stopped dying. People still die in accidents, or of natural causes, or of suicides, but murder victims vanish and reappear in their homes. Suddenly there is a new job out there: the Dispatcher, who kills people before they die, so they’ll come back to life.
Weirdly really liked this. It's definitely way better than Scalzi's previous attempty at fantasy, which I didn't like at all.
Content warning: Obviously contains a lot of death (a LOT of death), including accidents, suicides, and murders.
Finished Book 94: The Voice of Lions by Seanan McGuire
October Daye, short story
New read, adult, fantasy, Ebook: 76p
Finished Book 95: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Graceling, book 1
Reread, young adult, fantasy, audiobook, 12h 31m
Graceling, book 2
Reread, young adult, fantasy, Audiobook, 12h 40m
Finished Book 97: On Ordeal: Roshaun ke Nelaid by Diane Duane
Young adult, 9.6 (part 1)
New read, young adult, fantasy, Ebook, 148p
Finished Book 98: On Ordeal: Mamvish fsh Wimsih by Diane Duane
Young adult, 9.6 (part 2)
New read, young adult, fantasy, Ebook, 84p
Finished Book 99: Velveteen Vs the Junior Super Patriots by Seanan McGuire
Velveteen vs, book 1
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 7h 17m
Finished Book 100: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Old Man’s War, book 1
Reread, adult, science fiction, Audiobook, 9h 58m
Finished Book 101: The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi
Reread, adult, science fiction, dead tree: 396p
Finished Book 102: Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee
Archer’s Beach, book 1
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 11h 59m
Finished Book 103: The Martian by Andy Weir
Reread, adult, science fiction, dead tree: 448p
I think there was a particular reason I felt like reading Deersking? I like it a lot, but it's not one I read that often, for obvious reasons. And often when I do read, I skip large parts of the first section. I think I saw a movie based on the same fairy tale (talk about creepy and uncomfortable!) and I wanted to read (in my opinion) a better adaptation.
The Obelisk Gate is amazing. Jemisin has quickly become another one of my favorite authors. I can't reread her books as often as I do Seanan's, but every time I do they blow me away.
I don't think I've read anything by Susan Dexter. The name sounds familiar...I have one of her books on my tbr list, though.
Imperial Radch, book 1
Reread, adult, science fiction, audiobook, 13h 47m
Finished Book 105: Among Others by Jo Walton, read by Katherine Kellgren
Reread, adult, fantasy, audiobook, 10h 39m
I really like both of these books, though they are very different in subject, tone, genre, everything. I have paper copies of them but I wanted to try the audiobooks. Kellgren reads Among Others with a slightly dense accent (to my American ear) but once I got used to it, it was pleasant to listen to. At first Ciulla seemed to have trouble referring to all characters as 'she' (one of the unusual artifacts of the main POV character's native language in Ancillary Justice); there was an odd inflection here and there that didn't make sense in context. Those minor quibbles aside, I enjoyed both audiobooks a lot.
Wouldn't it be nice if 2017 was a year of peace and goodwill.
A year where people set aside their religious and racial differences.
A year where intolerance is given short shrift.
A year where hatred is replaced by, at the very least, respect.
A year where those in need are not looked upon as a burden but as a blessing.
A year where the commonality of man and woman rises up against those who would seek to subvert and divide.
A year without bombs, or shootings, or beheadings, or rape, or abuse, or spite.
Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!
Season's Greetings to you and everyone!
Vorkosigan (chronological), book 5
New read, adult, science fiction, dead tree, 342p
I actaully read this book in every different format. Started in audiobook on Hoopla (which has a lot of books my libraries don't), switched to ebook when i realized I had one, and finished in paper after the copy I requested from PBS arrived and I carried it with me to visit my family for the holidays. Heh.
I like this series, but only in small doses I think. It took me a while to get through this book, whatever the format (I finally finished it while stuck in the airport for 4 hours waiting for a delayed plane). Miles is not my favorite character; he’s ok, but I would prefer more stories about Cordelia.
Content warnings that I recall:
To all my friends here at Library Thing, I want you to know how much I value you and how much I wish you a very happy holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and the very best of New Years!
Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year!
Finished Book 107: An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
Manifold Worlds, book 1
New read, fantasy, adult, dead tree, 494p
Portal fantasy for adults! I have no idea how to review this book. There were things I didn’t love about it, but not anything that would make me not recommend it. It was a fun read, there are great characters, the worldbuilding was solid and I’m looking forward to the sequels.
So, while it’s not my favorite book that I read this year, I liked it a lot and I’ll certainly reread it someday.
Content warnings that I remember:
107 finished books totaling 14,782 pages and 24d 15h 42m
New or Old:
42 new reads, 65 rereads
32 YA, 75 Adult
75 Fantasy, 26 Science Fiction
3 Fiction, 3 Non-Fiction
35 Dead Tree, 2 Graphic Novel
58 Audiobook, 12 eBook
86 female, 23 male
85 in series, 22 standalone
I am trying not to be disappointed by how many fewer books I read this year than the past few years, although I guess to be fair audiobooks do take a lot longer to read than paper books. So if I can get myself to read a few more paper (or at least text) books and fewer audiobooks, I may shift those numbers some. Hm.