Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap and 2012 Goals

When the year started, I was coming off a high of reading 120 books in 2010 but looking forward to a year of remodeling and possibly moving and realized that there was no way that goal was achievable in the midst of all that so I scaled it back a bit and I'm happy that I was able to not only meet but surpass my original goal.  Admittedly there were some shorter novellas in there which I think had a lot to do with it but there were longer books as well so I think it all balances out.

I think my biggest achievement is that I read 40 new authors this year.  Had to race a bit at the end to get that in but I did and I'm happy I did it.  Some of them I loved (Ilona Andrews, Neil Gaiman, and Karen Marie Morning) and some I simply enjoyed for what they had to offer (Simon Green).  Some I learned a lot from (all the authors of the middle school history series and the autism books).  I can't look back at this year and find one book that I simply didn't enjoy on some level.  Not all were favorites by any means but all had something that could be enjoyed.  I think my least favorite was a toss-up between 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Watership Down.  Neither of them gripped me as much as I wanted them to and seemed to plod quite a bit.  I'd have a hard time picking a favorite tho as there were so many good ones to choose from, so I'm not going to.  

The only bummer is that I wasn't able to complete the page count I had set-up for myself but it was fairly high and my average page count for books was down from the previous year.  This next year will see the end of our remodel and should finally include the move.  It should also include a 5+ day cruise during which I want to see just how many books I can burn through.  LOL

So my goals for 2012 are 110 books, 40 new authors, and 35,000 pages.  My other goal is to see if I can read more books than I end up adding to my to-read list.  Not sure that is actually possible as I get them for gifts, pick up new ones at used book sales and stores, grab what looks interesting from the Kindle freebies, read the ones my kids get that they love and want to share with me, plus get new ones in all my favorite series and by my favorite authors.  Right now according to Goodreads, I have 1,171 books on my to-read shelf.  Shelfari has it 1,164.  Not sure where the discrepancies  are and I'm too lazy to go try and figure it out.  It will be interesting to see where those numbers are in a year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

104:109 The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Kirkman & Bonansinga

Based on the comic and television show, this is the backstory of Philip Blake, the Governor of Woodsbury.  Having run into him in what I've read of the comics, I have to say I wasn't expecting the ending this took but it was a compelling read that drags you in and keeps you reading until the end.  A must read for fans of the comics.  If you are just a fan of the tv show, you might want to wait until he's actually introduced as a character there first.

Page count: 308p/32,165p ytd

And with that, I hit my goal of 40 new authors for the year.  No way am I getting in another almost 3,000 pages read in the next day so that goal isn't going to get met but still, lots of reading has been done and most of it was good.  Time to start thinking about what my reading challenges will be for next year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

104:108 The Analects by Confusious

I have mixed feelings about this one and I think a lot had to do with the translation I was reading.  There were some absolutely brilliant pieces of wisdom in this that I wholeheartedly agree with but for the most part, I found it jumpy with a lot of inconsequential pieces in there (the part about how to draw a bow for example).  I also found it highly repetitive and not just the parts where every sentence would be repeated which made it very confusing.   I've got a different translation which I've heard is better so I'm going to give it another go.  There is so much sense in many of his views on government that it's well worth the read...if you have a good translation. Maybe we could make it required reading for our own governing bodies.

Page count: 160p/31,857p ytd

Monday, December 26, 2011

104:107 Naamah's Curse by Jacqueline Carey

The second book in the Naamah trilogy.  It's been about 2yrs since I read the first one so I admit to not remember many of the finer details but there was enough flashback stuff to remind me of the important bits but not be tedious about the reminders.  Moirin has decided to chase after Bao and the missing part of her diadh-anam that he carries within him.  They are joined and she will not feel complete until they are together again and can figure out how to live with what has been done to bring him back to life.  In her quest to find him, she finds so much more than she bargained for and must face dangers beyond any she had ever dreamed of.  Will she renounce her gods and their destiny for her and how will it affect Bao if her diadh-anam is exstingueshed through that renouncement?  Or will she find the strength to carry-on even if it means death?

A compelling read.  Unlike in the Kushiel series, there is a tenderness and sweetness to Moirin that Kushiel didn't have in the same way.  She's not well-educated and so much is based on her intuition and relationship with nature.  She's rash and impulsiveness but in that way that has you nodding your head and saying "yep, I can see exactly why she did that and I can see myself doing the same thing".  I thoroughly enjoyed this one and will be starting the last book in the trilogy as soon as I get home.

Page Count: 567p/31,697p ytd

Friday, December 16, 2011

104:106 The First Americans by Joy Hakim

Book 1 in the History of Us series which we are using for 5th & 8th grade US History.  It's a two year course so I'll be working on these for a while.  Honestly, I'm not overly thrilled with the series.  It's very jumpy in it's telling and the language isn't as engaging as I was hoping for.  Matthew loved it in 5th grade but hates it now.  I can see why.  It's working well for Jonathan tho with the super short chapters.  So long as it's working, we'll stick with it but I was so hoping for something more engaging like the Oxford series we did for middle school Ancient History.

Page count: 165p/31,130p ytd

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

104:105 Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This book tells the story of a year in her husband's childhood.  It was a wonderful insight into a boys' life in a different part of the country and the attitudes of the time.  I'm enjoying reading about the earlier times in our country's past and I really enjoyed sharing it with Jonathan.

Page Count: 357p/30,965p ytd

104:104 The Story of Martha by Dan Abnett

Doctor Who novel.  This tells of Martha's journey during the year of the Master's reign on Earth.  I had hoped for a bit more of her travels but mostly it concentrates on the stories she tells of adventures with the Doctor that we didn't see in the show.  It was interesting but not fabulous.

Page count: 238p/30,608p ytd

And with that I've made my book count for the year with a few weeks to spare.  I've only read 38 new authors tho and just under 31,000 pages so I'll be working on trying to complete those before the end of the year.

104:103 The Good, The Bad, and The Uncanny by Simon Green

The 10th book in the Nightside series.  Walker is dying and has decided that John is the only person who can take over his job.  Larry Oblivion is still upset by the disappearance of his brother, Tommy, who John was supposed to be taking care of during the Lilith War.  Larry and Tommy's brother Hadleigh, Walker's predecessor and now the Detective Inspectre, has been seen around which is never a good thing.  In all, a typical day in John Taylor's life.

Lot's of stuff goes down in this one and it's interesting to finally get a bit more inside Walker's head as he is taking John around trying to convince him to take his place and I think it will be interesting to see where things go from here now that Walker is gone.  John has said he won't step into his shoes but if he doesn't, who will?

Page count: 273p/30,370p ytd

Saturday, December 10, 2011

104:102 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I really didn't know what to expect from this book.  The cover has a picture of a little girl floating a few inches over the ground and the dust jacket talks about children who may have been more than peculiar, they may be dangerous.  The only other thing I knew is that it was coming highly recommended from the people at my bookstore and a couple of friends.

So what is it about?  Jacob's grandfather has filled Jacob's head with fantastical stories from a young age about monsters and a fairy island and peculiar children with amazing talents.  As with all children tho, Jacob grew up and eventually became disillusioned with his grandfather's tales.  Until the night his grandfather was murdered and Jacob saw something out of a nightmare in the dark.  Now he wants to figure out the meaning of his grandfather's last words and that leads him on an adventure he never could have imagined to find not only his grandfather's past but himself as well.

Incredibly engaging, well written characters.  The black and white photographs woven into the book were a fantastic touch and the whole story was captivating.  A definite must read!

Page count: 348p/30,097p ytd

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

104:101 If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight? by Brooke Casillo

A friend recommended this one to me and it was eye-opening.  There were some tools (as she calls them) that I found incredibly helpful and have started using already.  There were some that I had only recently figured out in the last year or so before reading this and it was nice to see validation of what I believed from another source.  There are others that I think it will take more time to internalize and I need to do her exercises on them to fully incorporate but they will be helpful in the long-run.  I read through it quickly the first time to get a feel for the information she was presenting and I want to noodle it a bit before diving into it again.  The 100 Days of Weight-Loss that I am doing seems to be very on track with many of the same concepts but I think the next time I feel my program slipping I will be picking this back up and going over it more slowly, taking time to do all the exercises and letting each one sink in more fully before moving on.

Page count: 246p/29,749p ytd

Thursday, December 1, 2011

104:100 The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this as it was part of a treasury of classics that I've had since I was little but I always just read A Christmas Carol and never kept going.  It was Matt's bookclub read for December so I decided to go ahead and finally read it.

It was a sweet tale and endearing although I could have wished that John had trusted in Dot enough to speak with her although that wouldn't have given us the scene of hearth and home.  

I did try reading it to Jon and Nick but it was too slow moving to keep their attention.   Pretty sure Matt is going to feel the same way.  It definitely feels more like an adult tale than a children's due to the pacing.

Page count: 90p/29,503p ytd

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

104:99 Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

The first book in the popular children's series, Warriors.  We follow Rusty, a pet cat of a few months of age, as he decides to leave his safe, comfortable life to go live with a clan of wild cats in the forest instead and train as a warrior.  Now Rusty is Firepaw, a warrior in training but one who is treated with suspicion as a former kittypet but the clan needs all the warriors they can get as another clan is on the move to take all the territory for themselves.  Will Firepaw become the warrior his clan leader believes he can?  Or will he never be more than a kittypet, destined to return to the human family he left and only ever dream of the freedom a clan cat has?

Nice political intrigue going on, personal dilemmas of growing up and how to deal with more adult situations, but told in an easier way for a younger audience with cats.  Descriptions were well-done with them seeming very human but then throwing in some wording or action sequences to remind you they are cats which keeps it from being too scary.  Matthew has enjoyed these books and I think Jonathan will as well.  Definitely has my recommendation as a good book (so likely good series) for kids.

Page count: 272p/29,431p ytd

Friday, November 25, 2011

104:98 The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

A post-apocalyptic YA.   The concept of the plague was interesting and the divisions in society that cropped up but I didn't feel that the world was well fleshed out.  Totally concentrated on the main character and most other characters were simply there to do what was needed without much development or background.  It was ok but just not gripping.  If there were a sequel, I doubt I would pick it up unless one of the boys decided I had to read it as well.  I just didn't grow to care for any of the characters.

Page count: 278p/29,159p ytd

Monday, November 21, 2011

104:97 Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green

The 9th book in the Nightside series.  The Walking Man, an agent of God's Justice, has come to the Nightside to punish the wicked and his sights are set ultimately on the new Authorities.  Just who are they since Lilith took out the last batch?  The same group of people that have been trying to kill John Taylor from the future his entire life.  And now they want him to stop the Walking Man no matter the cost.  But how do stop someone who is untouchable by the will of God?

Looks like there is at least a touch of a longer reaching story arc getting set-up in this one and it will be interesting to see where that goes.  Otherwise, a fun easy chapter to the series.  It was nice to see this one with a slightly less standard ending.

Page count: 263p/28,881p ytd

Friday, November 18, 2011

104:96 End Game by Luisa Prieto

Ok, this isn't one anyone is going to find on the shelves right now as my friend asked me to critique it for her since it's not her usual genre.  Since it's not published yet, I don't want to say much beyond it's about zombies and after the first bit I absolutely couldn't put it down.  Some technical issues that could use some tweaking and polishing but otherwise, a fabulous story and I so dearly hope it gets picked up and published.

Page count: 255p/28,618p ytd

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

104:95 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

So Neil Gaiman is one of those authors that all my friends have told me that I absolutely must read and this is one of his books that they all refer to as being incredible.  Jonathan had a copy and had started reading it and didn't want to put it down (which says a lot right there).  I ended up at "An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer" a few weeks ago and got to hear him read some of his pieces....I was hooked!  I came home and not so nicely demanded that Jonathan fork the book over to me so I could read it right then and there.

I was blown away.  For a children's book, it's so dark but never in a way that terrifies.  It's scary but you always understand that it will all turn out alright in the end.  It's deep and thought-provoking, poignent and fanciful, endearing and scary.

It's darn near perfection.

I won't spoil it more than that but simply to say that it's truly as incredible as everyone has said (heck, it won't a Newberry so it isn't just me thinking these things).  If you haven't read it yet, go do so.  You won't regret it.

Page count: 307p/28,363p ytd

Thursday, November 10, 2011

104:94 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Set in 1960s Mississippi, it tells the story of 2 black women who work for white households and a white woman who wants to become a writer and finds a story in their lives.  I think for the most part, it did a very nice job of showing the racism and crap that the black women had to put up with on a daily basis but also showed the deeper relationships that could grow between them and their white charges.  While some of what is talked about is bad, my feeling is that much of the horrible things were still mostly glossed over but it feels like this is a good start to talking about what life was like then and how far we still need to come as a society in terms of how we treat each other.  In all tho, it was a fascinating read and I definitely found myself cheering for some characters and wanting to boo others.  Good depth and dimension to them all.

Page count: 464p/28,056p ytd

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

104:93 Walking Dead Compendium 1

I read this because it's one of my son's favorite comics and I enjoyed the first season of the show.  I have to say, this is one of the rare times when I liked the show better.  I found the comic to be slow and plodding at times, overly repetitive dialog, and insanely gratuitous blood and gore inflicted by the living on other living.  I get the whole zombie thing but it seems like the comic was more interested in just how crappy all living people would be to each other when this happened.  Just not my thing.  In addition, I found the artwork bland and had a hard time differentiating between a couple of characters because they simply looked too much alike.

In all, I would say just skip this and watch the show instead.

Page count: 1088p/26,680p ytd

Saturday, November 5, 2011

104:92 Courting Darkness by Yasmine Galenorn

The 10 book in the Sisters of the Otherworld series.  This one is told from Camille's point of view.  Camille, Smoky, Roz, and Iris have just returned from the Northlands where Iris had to confront her past to see if she had any chance of a future.  No sooner so they return home then they are immediately headed back out as a deamon has a message for Camille and will talk to no one else.  The message..."Hyto is near".  A psychotic father-in-law is just what Camille needs right now, especially one who blames all his misfortunes squarely upon Camille and Smokey.  But of course, Camille ends up being captured by Hyto.  Can she escape before he kills her?  And even if she can, what scars will she bear on mind and soul besides her body?

I could not put this book down.  There was so much going on that I just had to keep reading.  Fast-paced, edgy, intense, and a complete page-turner.

Page count: 316p/27,592p ytd

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

104:91 The Unnatural Inquirer by Simon Green

The 8th book in the Nightside series.  Someone has apparently recorded a snippet of the Afterlife and has sold the DVD rights to the Unnatural Inquirer but then disappeared and the paper wants him found so have hired John Taylor to do just that.  With everyone else looking for it as well, possibly even Heaven and Hell, can he find it in time or merely pick up the pieces?

Good Nightside book but without an overarching plot, the series has gotten thin.  John Taylor can always use his gifts or some other Deux Ex Machina to get out of every situation he encounters with almost no help from anyone these days.  I keep hoping that they'll come up with something else besides he is just super powerful so always wins ones of these days.

Page count: 246p/27,276p ytd

104:90 Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur

The second book in the Dark Angels series.  Risa has made a deal with the devil (ok, Madeline Hunter old vampire and head of the Directorate so same diff) and she wants Risa to pay up by searching for whatever is killing Vampire Council members.  Of course, this is while Risa is being besieged on all sides to find the keys to the portals as well.  No matter where she turns, someone is after her for some reason and no one is playing nice.

A great installment to the series, lots of action and very fast-paced.  I like that Riley is around but only occasionally as this is really Risa's story.  Really wondering what is going on with Lucien and really hating that his basically ends on a cliff-hanger and I dont' know when the next one is coming out.  Ack!!!!

Page count: 342p/27,130p

Thursday, October 27, 2011

104:89 Hellbent by Cherie Priest

The second book in the Chesire Red series.  Raylene has somehow managed to collect people which is strange  considering how long she'd been on her own.  Now when she finds out that Ian is in danger due to vampire family politics, she's off to try and find a way to save him.  But how to do that while she's also on the prowl for a box of magic artifacts with the potential to earn her millions?  Some days, a girl's life can't get any stranger....even when she's undead.

I really liked this one a lot better. Raylene's voice didn't sound nearly as forced as it did last time and the rest of the characters clicked well.  I'm now wondering when the next one in the series will be coming out and bummed that I have to wait.

Page count: 338p/26,789p ytd

Sunday, October 23, 2011

104:88 Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein

So this is my review from 2008 when I read these with my oldest.  Now I'm reading them with the next one and while he's not enjoying them so much yet, I still am and I think he'll enjoy it as the action starts to be more prevalent.


I last read these books back in 1991-1992, something like that. I remember enjoying them but also being put-off by the intense descriptive scenes which didn't seem to move the plot along (please, no flames on this, I was like 16 at the time, teenagers are stupid). I've moved them several times and always meant to give them another chance, especially after the movies, but there always seemed to be something new to read or worlds where I didn't remember being so bored so I kept putting it off.

Until that is, I found the LOTR curriculum and went "Wow! This is way cool! I gotta do this with Christopher!" And I'm of the mind that if my kids are reading something for school, well, since I'm their teacher I should read it too. So we are reading it together. I stay about a chapter ahead of him and then stop (which surprisingly is starting to annoy me LOL). Now that I'm enjoying it with him and reading it with better appreciation for literature, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I can't add much to what has already been said about it by so many thousands of other people in the world except that if you tried it years ago and found it dry, try it again. Don't give up on it. It's truly worth the read. And even better, read it with someone you love and enjoy discussing it together. It just adds to the experience.

Page count: 479p/26,451p ytd

104:87 Bloodshot by Cherie Priest

Raylene is a vampire and a thief but in a world where most vampires are affiliated with Houses of their own kind, she's unusual in her determination to go it alone.  And she has, quite successfully for a long time.  Now tho, she has a vampire as a client and what he wants from her will get her noticed by all the wrong people.

I thought the story was good but the voice of the main-character didn't totally grip me.  There's a second book in the series so I'm going to continue and see if it mellows a bit into something I can enjoy.

Page count: 359p/25,972p ytd

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

104:86 Hell to Pay by Simon R. Green

The 7th book in the Nightside series by Simon Green.  Lilith is gone and defeated but in her wake she has left despair and devastation including the removal of The Authorities who were nominally in charge of the Nightside.  Now there is a power-vacuum and someone has to step in.  Good money is on Jeremiah Griffin who managed to become immortal centuries ago and has spent that time accumulating money, power, and enemies.  So why is Griffin calling upon John Taylor?  Someone has kidnapped his granddaughter, the one he just rewrote his will to leave everything to and when you need someone found, who else do you call?  The only problem is that this time, something is blocking John's gift and he has to go about trying to find her the old fashioned way.

A fun book with some nice twists and turns.  Wondering if things at this point will just be basically stand-alone stories or if another arc is going to come about now that the one concerning his mother is resolved.

Page count: 264p/25,613p ytd

104:85 War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

I know why I never picked this up before since it is more in the SciFi side of things than Fantasy which is my preferred playground but since it was Matthew's book club read this month I figured I should pick it up.  In all, I really enjoyed it and can easily see how it has withstood the test of time and become a classic.   For those who haven't read it, Martians invade the Earth which is woefully unprepared for their level of technology.  This deals with the first two weeks of the assault.

And for the record, Matthew won't put it down.  I haven't seen him this excited about reading a book since Douglas Adams.

Page count: 251p/25,349p

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

104:84 Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth by Simon R. Green

The 6th book in the Nightside series.  John Taylor's mother, Lilith, is back and she is disappointed in the way her creation, the Nightside, has gone.  It has not lived up to her vision for her and she is determined to remake it the way she wanted it.  To do so tho, she needs to tear down what it is currently and John Taylor is just as determined to stop her.  The only question is how do you stop the most powerful being ever in a place where neither Heaven nor Hell have any power?  And for John, how do you do it without creating the future that he keeps seeing where the battle between them has destroyed not just the Nightside, but all of civilization?

Another fun page turner.  Fear of John's mother has been a big part of the series to this point so it will be interesting to see where the series will go from here.

Page count: 247p/25,098p ytd

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

104:83 The Iron Butterfly by Choon-Ok Jade Harmon

Memoir of a Martial Arts Master and the True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter.  This is an autobiography of the highest ranking woman in Kuk Sool Won, a traditional Korean martial art.  It tells of her life from birth to present and everything she has gone through to get to where she is today: a 9th degree black belt in Kuk Sool Won, married to another 9th degree black belt, mother of two.  She shows how all her hard-work and dedication to what she believed in has brought her the life she always dreamed of.  A truly inspirational story.

On a personal note, I have not had the honor of meeting her but I was privileged to meet her husband and be instructed by him once and he is an incredible instructor and wonderful man.

Page count: 221p/24,851p ytd

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

104:82 Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur

This is the first in her new Dark Angels series set in the same universe as the Riley Jensen series.  It's been about 20yrs since we left Riley.  She has left the Directorate and has the family life she dreamed of and every Thursday, she has lunch with Dai and her daughter Risa.  Risa is now 28yrs old and as a half-Aedh/half-werewolf, she has some unusual characteristics.  She has some clairvoyance but what makes her very unique is her ability to see the Reapers, the energy beings who escort departed souls to the light or dark path and eventual rebirth.  Her mother has asked her to go pay a call on some friends to see if their daughter will pull through her illness and what Risa finds instead is that the child's soul has been ripped out and destroyed so there will be no rebirth for this little one.  Now she is being followed around by her own Reaper and everybody is after her trying to find out more about her father whom she has never met but who apparently holds the key to destroying the gates on the dark path.

Really loved coming back to this world but with fresh new characters.  There is just enough appearances by the familiar old characters to satisfy but their story was told and it's Risa's turn now.   As a part werewolf in this universe, there is definitely time spent getting hot and heavy but there is a good deal of character building, backstories, and plot that it's not just a simple romance.  If you liked the Riley Jensen books, especially the first four, you'll enjoy this one.  The second one comes out next month and I'm so glad I don't have to wait after the way this one ended.

Page count: 383p/24,630p ytd

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

104:81 Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn

The 2nd book in the Indigo Court series.  Myst has Grieve and Cicely's fate is completely entwined with his. The vampires and summer court are pulling her in one direction but her heart and conscience are pulling in another.  When she has to make the choice, which will win?  And what will it cost her?

Absolutely non-stop book.  Action, politics, intrigue, and oh yeah, past life regression and demons too.  What more could a girl want?!  Another incredible series by Ms. Galenorn.  I can't wait for the next one!

Page count: 317p/24,247p ytd

Saturday, September 17, 2011

104:80 Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn

The first book in the Indigo Court series by Yasmine Galenorn (author of the Sisters of the Otherworld series). Cicely Waters is a magic-born, a witch, who has been on the run with her mother for years but now she's been called back home for the Indigo Court is stirring and she may be the key to their downfall.  Can she save her aunt? Her friend? Her lover?  And what will the cost be to save any of them?

I read this in 2 days, it was soooo good and so hard to put down.  An interesting mix of fae, vampires, shape-changers, and witches are brought to life in this tale with Ms. Galenorn's usual artistry.  I love her extreme attention to detail that she weaves in so well without slowing down the story in the slightest.  This looks to be another excellent series by her and I'm thankful to have the next one waiting for me.

Page Count: 317p/23,930p ytd

104:79 These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

A simply lovely story detailing the courtship of Almanzo and Laura as well as Laura's growing up.  You see the steady, innocent affection shared by both of them and enjoy the quiet but sure way their relationship grows.  It was lovely to read a book where things were basically happy and good for all after everything we've seen the family go through. To know that their goodness and faith have brought them through to such a good helps to restore faith in the universe.

Page count: 289p/23,613p ytd

Thursday, September 15, 2011

104:78 Paths Not Taken by Simon R. Green

The 5th book in the Nightside series by Simon Green.  Last book John Taylor finally found out that his mother was none other than Adam's first wife, Lilith.  A being with incredible power and who created the Nightside.  She's back and has decided that the Nightside has lost it's way and is no longer serving the purpose for which she intended so she is preparing to destroy it and start anew.  But not if her son has anything to say about it.

John proposes going back through time to the beginnings of the Nightside to see if he can gain clues from that to help him thwart his mother in the upcoming battle.  Father Time sends him back but only part way and from there, John and his companions are on their own.

A lot of mysteries are cleared up in this one and it sets the stage nicely for the war to come.  So glad I have the rest of the series (that's written so far) waiting in the wings.  It's a fun series that's capable of entertaining me without making me think but it's easy enough to read a few pages and the put down and go about my day.  And the best part is my teenager likes them so it gives us a series that we both enjoy to chat about.  There is nothing better than that!

Page count: 262p/23,324p ytd

104:77 The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

September runs away with the Green Wind to Fairyland where he must leave her to have her own adventures.  Unfortunately, Fairyland used to be a wonderful place under Queen Mallow but she disappeared and now it's been taken over by The Marquess who has imposed all these rules and regulations and nothing can fly but the winged cats, not even dragons or lovely wveryns.  September ends up in front of the Marquess who threatens her new friends if September doesn't do her a favor.  Little do either of them know what the consequences of her accepting will be...

An interesting take on Fairyland.  I found it to be a bit of a slow read with the complex explanations and long-winded tone it takes from time to time, mostly in the beginning.  I enjoyed it overall tho but I'm not sure how long my boys would sit still for it although I'll try and find out at some point since it is a children's book and I'd like to get the children's take on it.

Page count: 247p/23,062p ytd

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

104:76 Countdown & Apocalypse Scenario #683 by Mira Grant

One short novella and one short story by Mira Grant set in the Newsflesh world.  I'm counting them as one book since they are so short.

I read this one as she was publishing it on her blog in the 30 days before the release of Deadline so much was familiar but this was definitely tightened up and flowed better.  Such a fabulous author and it was incredible to read about the events that led up to the world we are introduced to in Feed.

Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box
A group of friends gather on a Friday night as they have every Friday for the past 15yrs to discuss a situation where the world ends and how they would deal with it.  This time, the friend who started it and whose turn it is has left a taped message with her scenario as she is missing for the third week in a row.  Only her scenario may not be fictional after all...

Wasn't my favorite of her work.  Not bad but predictable except this person wasn't involved in the Kellis-Amberlee virus that brings about The Rising.  The ending was good tho and made me want to scream at her for not finishing it.  Maybe this is where she goes in this world after Shaun and George's story is told?

(no page count as these are eBook format only)

104:75 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The first book of short stories pertaining to Sherlock Holmes.  These are much more the sort of thing that you think of when you think of Sherlock Holmes rather than the first book.  I enjoyed them but found that due to the short story format, while the mysteries were fun the solution was frequently rushed through.  There were no clues laid out that the reader might follow rather it was "Holmes went out and came back with the solution" and then you are told what he found and how that told him the clues.  I would rather follow Holmes on the chase for clues and see them as he does.

Page count: 320p/22,815p ytd

Saturday, September 10, 2011

104:74 One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

The 5th book in the October Daye series.  The sons of the Duchess of Saltmist have been kidnapped and Toby must find them in order to prevent a war between Land and Sea.  Whoever has taken them tho, is very determined to have this war happen and will stop at nothing, not even Oberon's Law, to make it happen.  Even if Toby can find the boys, it may not stop the war.

Another absolutely amazing and brilliant addition to this series.  I had to stop at a few points near the end because the intensity was just becoming too much.  I kept thinking, "Ok, this is just too much for me right now (at midnight). I'll put it down and finish in the morning" but I just couldn't.  I'd set it down for a moment, take some deep breaths and dive right back in.  Absolutely one of my favorite urban fantasy series around!

Page count: 354p/22,141p ytd

Monday, September 5, 2011

104:73 Kitty's Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn

A collection of short stories set in Kitty's world.  Only a few of these stories dealt directly with Kitty, rather most were about other characters that we know and finding out more about them including Cormac and Rick.

Can I just say, OMG!  I absolutely loved this book.  There were a few stories that were only "good" but the majority were just incredible.  Learning about Cormac's background and then what happened when he was in prison, the relationship between him and Ben.  Just really made me like him even more.  And then Rick's story! I have to say that was my only disappointment with the whole book is that while we now know how he was turned, that's got to be only the tip of the iceberg and we that's all we got!  I wanted more and can only hope that he will continue to be explored in the future.

Page count: 318p/22,141p ytd

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

104:72 Lover Unleashed by JR Ward

The 9th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  This one is supposedly the story of Payne (V's sister) and her mate but thankfully that's only marginally the main story.  Their courtship is the same one we see every time that reminds me of what people think a Tarzan movie should be.  It boils down to a man beating his chest and declaring "female mine!" after getting first glimpse at said female.  Female basically swoons and opens her legs.  They don't bother to get to know each other, likes/dislikes, or anything else before the dance begins.  Maybe, just maybe they'll get a little bit of that before they end up mated for life...but not usually.  As usual, she starts off with a human/vampire pairing that would of course be forbidden but oh, hey lookie here, that human actually has vampire blood in him so now it's all good.

The only interesting part of the book was the "side story" between V and Jane where he finally got his head put on a bit straighter.  In all tho, this book had the same storyline as all the previous ones.  Nothing really progresses in the world since that can only happen every 3rd book or so apparently, and all the problems are solved with a magic wand so two people who don't know each other can be together and we'll barely ever see mention of them again in future books.

Why do I read them?  In all honesty, I wasn't going to read this one.  I read the others because my SIL raved about them but they are dull, copies of the first one.  I thought the world had potential but the author refuses to actually build the world up any more than needed for the thin storyline she concocts to bring two people of different worlds with nothing in common together.  I only grabbed this one from the library because I was in a headspace where I wanted to read but didn't want to concentrate on anything of any substance and didn't care if I remembered any of it after reading it.  Something with simple words and no real plot.  This totally fit that bill.

Page count: 489p/21,823p ytd

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

104:71 An Age of Science & Revolutions by Toby E. Huff

Middle School History covering 1600-1800AD.  The Age of Reason, Scientific Discovery , and Enlightenment. I learned a lot reading this one and it's probably one of my favorite of the series.  Some truly remarkable thinkers which I wish were more listened to today.  I also find it fascinating to see the steps in how people built upon the knowledge that had gone before or the realizations they came up with by asking the right questions at the right time.  Just goes to show that asking questions is always a good idea.

Page count: 160p/21,334p ytd

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

104:70 Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton

The 20th book in the Anita Blake series.  This series is a trainwreck that I just can't help but reading.  I've finally put my foot down to myself and refused to buy this one but got it from the library instead.  Why? Simply because the last 10 books or so have just gone downhill from having meaningful plots, murders to solve, and strong characters to a whiny main character always moaning about her fate with a string of porn scenes that were basically all the same except with lots of different men (to provide more whining about) with a thin attempt at a plot to try and tie the sex scenes together.  So why read this one?  As I said, it's a trainwreck.  The first several books were so good for the genre and every once in a while, you get a glimpse at what used to be and it gives you hope that she's turning it around...until she yanks the rug out from under you and the next one is nothing but sex.

This is one of the better ones.  First, there was only one sex scene in the whole book, it was short and sweet and didn't show up until halfway through.  Second, there was an actual to goodness plot!  Edward is back, as are Olaf and Bernardo.  There is a serial murderer out there and Anita knows who it is.  The Harlequin are back under the direction of Mommy Darkness and they want Anita.  Lots of detective work piecing things together, lots of action scenes.  The ending was a bit too pat but at least it made sense and drew on powers that Anita had acquired in other books rather than an orgy to give her more powers than g-d again.

I do think that the way this one ended while leaving a few loose ends was a great place to end the series.  Unfortunately, I doubt that Ms. Hamilton will.  I will say tho, that if you enjoyed the earlier books, you will enjoy this one.

Page Count: 320p/21,174p ytd

Sunday, August 14, 2011

104:69 Hex and the City by Simon Green

The 4th book in the Nightside series by Simon Green.  John Taylor has been hired by Lady Luck to find the origins of the Nightside, something that has been around forever and no one knows how.  John brings along Sinner, his demon love Pretty Poison, and Madman.  Each play a unique part in the quest that could bring about the destruction of the Nightside.  Obviously, the Authorities know about this and have sent Walker to stop him, no holds barred.

No major spoilers but John does finally learn the truth of his past and his mother's identity but only after destroying several Powers of the Nighstide.  I continue to enjoy the series, a bit slow moving at times but the tongue in cheek noire keeps me coming back for more.

Page count: 246p/20,854p

Friday, August 12, 2011

104:68 An Age of Voyages by Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks

Middle-school history detailing the impact of trade and seafaring on civilizations around the world from 1350CE-1600CE.  I found that this one, unlike many in the series, focused more on the impact on Europe from trade.  There was one chapter on China, one on Africa mostly discussing how slavery impacted Europe, and then one on Central and South America that talked about how Spain benefited from what they got there.  Very little was discussed on how those things hurt the natives and what the long term impact was on them which I found disheartening.  Otherwise, it was pretty standard and a bit duller than the previous ones but still better than many textbooks covering this topic.

Page count: 179p/20,608p ytd

Thursday, August 11, 2011

NPR Top 100 SciFi/Fantasy

Ok, one thing I have to admit.  I'm kind of a list nerd when it comes to my books.  I didn't use to be this way and I'm not sure quite when or how it happened but I'm definitely pretty OCD when it comes to my books.  I have my to-read stuff on both Goodreads and Shelfari.  Shelfari actually has my read list as well for the last several years and I'll be porting that over to Goodreads too as soon as I have some time to do so.  I researched several lists of classics to figure out what books I should search out and read outside of my normal genre.  I then comprised a spreadsheet which is still in progress that lists all those books and how many lists they appear on and then calculates that to give each book a numerical value in terms of how quickly I should get to reading it.  It also lists if I own the book or have it on a wishlist and whether or not I've read it.  It's kind of a work in progress since I'm constantly finding new lists that I feel have books of worth on them that should be added to this project.

Told you I was an OCD list nerd when it came to my books.

Today's favorite new list is the NPR Top 100 SciFi/Fantasy list: here
From there you can also check out the top 237 finalists that people got to vote on.  I printed that one out as well so I could add all of them to my spreadsheet.  I figured I will have read the majority of the top 100 (I was right, I have) and have most of the rest already sitting around in the to-read stack but that those were going to have a popular element to them while many more obscure titles would get left out but are equally good, if not better than, the ones that made the cut.

Enjoy the reads!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

104:67 Home Improvement Undead Edition edited by Harris & Kelner

An anthology featuring tales of haunted home repair and surreal estates.  As with all anthologies, this one had good, mediocre, and bad all in one.

The Good:
Gray by Patricia Briggs - A vampire story set in Mercy's world (but without Mercy).  New characters and a lot of fun.

Squatter's Rights by Rochelle Krich* - A couple is remodeling a house that turns out to have ghosts trapped in it which are poisoning the wife's mind.  Very creepy.

The Mansion of Imperatives by James Grady* - Some friends buy a house to flip but the house has other ideas.  Very creepy.

The Strength Inside by Melissa Marr* - 2 Bori's are trying to bring their siblings more mainstream but creating the right environment to raise them in is proving difficult due to the HOA.  I liked the different mythos and the characters were warm but in an off way.

Through This House by Seanan McGuire - A Toby Daye short that bridges Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea.  Toby is trying to take possession of Evening's knowe, Goldengreen, but Evening has been dead for almost 2yrs and others have moved in.  So glad to have a bit of Toby again and this didn't disappoint!

Full-Scale Demolition by Suzanne McLeod * - Genny is a pixie-catching, non-spell working, sidhe who gets called in for more than she bargained for.  Old world fae, lamia, and kelpies equals a lot of fun and an intense read.

It's All in the Rendering by Simon R. Green - A House set between reality and fantasy that guards the gateway between is suddenly garnering interest from both sides. Can it's keepers keep it safe?  Not sure if this is part of one of his other series but it was well-detailed and drew me in.

Blood on the Wall by Heather Graham* - A cult-leader is suspected of murdering his cult and the only one who believes him is the detective whose family tomb he's been defiling.  Interesting but not totally gripping.

Woolsley's Kitchen Nightmare by E.E. Knight - Woolsley is a translife Gordon Ramsey, helping out failing restaurants to win back their clientele.  I got the feeling that I might have liked this more if I had more background on the "world".  Some things got enough explanation through the story to make sense by the end but others didn't and had me scratching my head.

The Path by S. J. Rozan* - The ghost of a monk must get the head of the Buddha statue returned before he can move on to his next life.  I wanted to like this one more, especially with the Chinese mythos but it was a little too slow and plodding although a good premise.

Rick the Brave by Stacia Kane* - A world where ghosts are real and can cause real damage, Rick goes to earn some quick money in a house renovation where unfortunately the house has a portal to the ghosts' city.  Again, I think I would have liked this one a lot more if I had more experience with the "world".  The characters were fairly flat but I got the sense that there was a lot of history there that would have made this fun if I'd known it.

The Brightest Day by Toni P. Kelner* - What do you do when the revenant (pc term for zombie) keeps dying before he can finish his task and this gets the loas on your case?  I liked the voodoo aspect to this and there was enough background for me to not be in the dark but while it read quickly, it felt plodding.  I had things figured out very early on.

The Bad:
If I had a Hammer by Charlaine Harris - Sookie short story but really, you could have put any names on it and it wouldn't have mattered.  The characters had no life and it was a typical, lay the ghosts to rest type.  I feel sorry for people who bought the book for this story alone.

Wizard Home Security by Victor Gischler* - A wizard's house is broken into so he gets a wizarding security firm to upgrade his defenses which then trap him when he is broken into again.  Just didn't do much for me.

In all, I was happy with the McGuire and Briggs stories which were the reason I bought it.  I found some new authors to put on my wish-list.  But I'd still have to give the overall book a 3.5 stars because the meh and bad ones really brought it down.

* = new author

Page count: 225p/20,094p ytd

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

104:66 Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

The 13th full novel in the Dresden series by Jim Butcher.  Harry Dresden is dead.  Shot through the chest and fallen into deep lake dead.  Really, really dead dead.  But hey, sometimes a ghost's got to do what a ghost's got to do.  And in Harry's case, that's go back and help his friends.  Oh, and figure out who killed him.  Little details like that.

I liked the way Mr. Butcher handled having his main character die by bringing him back as a ghost and one that has a hard time interacting with the living since, well, he's a ghost.  Lots of good action, same Harry.  A good read and I loved up until the last chapter.  I won't spoil it except to say, it wasn't a shock but it was a disappointment.

Page count: 477p/20,094p ytd

Friday, July 29, 2011

104:65 Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong

The 12th book in the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong.  At the end of the last book, Savannah Levine had just come off of her first case by herself and thought to herself that she would give up all her powers if it would mean that a little girl's grandmother and entire world wouldn't go to jail.  Apparently something took her up on that because now Savannah, daughter of a powerful witch and sorcerer, can't even cast a light spell.  As someone used to using her magic for everything, suddenly being powerless is taking quite a bit of getting used to.
Unfortunately, no powers doesn't mean that there aren't several groups vying for her attention or at least her presence.  A war looks to be coming to the supernatural world and Savannah appears to have a big role to play, with or without her powers.

I liked this one but it's not my favorite of the series.  Savannah just doesn't grip me as much as a character and there is very little of any of the other characters as anything more than plot devices again.  With the lack of her powers and other supernaturals in the book and all her pining for Adam, it really felt more like a YA teen angst drama than a proper Otherworld book.  I know things are leading up to the grand finale of the series with the next book and that these final three are supposed to be all about Savannah but she just doesn't do it for me and I really hope that we see a bit more of the other characters in the last book.

Page count: 325p/19,617p ytd

Thursday, July 28, 2011

104:64 Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

The 5th book in the Kate Daniels series.  Kate and Curran have finally worked things out and are officially mated.  This isn't to say that they don't have things that they are still negotiating tho and things get put seriously to the test when Kate's first case as a private investigator is to find someone who invented something who was stolen by someone.  What she eventually finds out is that the device invented destroys anyone with any magic in their blood which means she and the whole Pack are in serious danger if they can't recover this device before it gets used.  And worst of all for Kate is when Julie is attacked by a were-lynx and infected with the Lyc-V virus in amounts that guarantee she'll go loup if they wake her up.  Kate always wants to save everyone but this time, it will take a lot more than she's got to make that happen.

A fast read as always, gripping and hard to put down.  You know Kate and Curran will make it through but all other characters are up for grabs as always.  The ending note from Hugh has me chomping at the bit for the next one but unfortunately I'm guessing at this point I have almost a year to wait to get it. *pout*

Page count: 308p/19,292p ytd

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2011 to date - 63 books read

  1. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher – fun (482p/482p)
  2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare – tragic (131p/613p)
  3. Angelic by Kelley Armstrong – quick (104p/717p)
  4. Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong – fun (141p/858p)
  5. White Night by Jim Butcher – fun (452p/1,310p)
  6. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – fun (384p/1,694p)
  7. The Ancient American World by William Fash & Mary Lyons – fascinating (160p/1,854p)
  8. The Death of Joan of Arc by Michael Scott – meh
  9. The Passage by Justin Cronin – interesting (766p/2,620p)
  10. Blood Wyne by Yasmine Galenorn – awesome (302p/2,922p)
  11. Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning – awesome (337p/3,259p)
  12. Faefever by Karen Marie Moning – awesome (370p/3,629p)
  13. Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – interesting (112p/3,741p)
  14. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning – awesome (362p/4,103p)
  15. Small Favor by Jim Butcher – fun (341p/4,444p)
  16. Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning – incredible (594p/5,038p)
  17. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – intense (103p/5,141p)
  18. Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – interesting (86p/5,227p)
  19. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder – interesting (334p/5,561p)
  20. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher – fun (545p/6,106p)
  21. The European World by Barbara A. Hanawalt – informative (173p/6,279p)
  22. Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green – interesting (230p/6,509p)
  23. Changes by Jim Butcher – interesting (546p/7,055p)
  24. Growing up on the Spectrum by Lynn Kern Koegal, Ph.D, and Claire LaZebnik – fabulous (370p/7,425p)
  25. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire – fabulous (384p/7,809p)
  26. River Marked by Patricia Briggs – fun (326p/8,135p)
  27. The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer – fun (92p/8,227p)
  28. Our Town by Thornton Wilder – interesting (98p/8,325p)
  29. The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams – typical anthology, some good/some not (486p/8,811p)
  30. Agents of Light and Darkenss by Simon R. Green – interesting (233p/9,044p)
  31. Pale Demon by Kim Harrison – fabulous (439p/9,483p)
  32. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – fabulous (374p/9,857p)
  33. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – riveting (391p/10,248p)
  34. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – good (390p/10,638p)
  35. The African & Middle Eastern World by Randall Pouwels – fascinating (160p/10,798p)
  36. Mercy Burns by Keri Arthur – fabulous (320p/11,118p)
  37. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris – ok (325p/11,443p)
  38. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – fascinating (272p/11,715p)
  39. The Warlock by Michael Scott – fun (383p/12,098p)
  40. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – disturbing (208p/12,306p)
  41. The Asian World by Roger Forges & John Major – interesting (160p/12,466p)
  42. Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay – must read (255p/12,721p)
  43. Torchwood: Bay of the Dead by Mark Morris – fun (238p/12,959p)
  44. Deadline by Mira Grant – incredible (608p/13,567)
  45. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – beautiful (375p/13,942p)
  46. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – poignant (543p/14,485p)
  47. The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer – childish (205p/14,690p)
  48. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – thought-provoking (209p/14,899p)
  49. An Age of Empires by Marjorie Wall Bingham – interesting (145p/15,044p)
  50. The Zombie Chasers: Undead Ahead by John Kloepfer – childish (204p/15,248p)
  51. Hexed by Andrews, Galenorn, James, & Stein – fabulous (326p/15,574p)
  52. Watership Down by Richard Adams – ok (475p/16,049p)
  53. No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey – cute (142p/16,191p)
  54. Kitty’s Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn – fun (307p/16,498p)
  55. The Word for the World is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin – wonderful (169p/16,667p)
  56. Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey – interesting (482p/17,149p)
  57. Dragon’s Time by Anne & Todd McCaffrey – interesting (321p/17,470p)
  58. Nightingale’s Lament by Simon R. Green – interesting (217p/17,687p)
  59. The Pearl by John Steinbeck – poignant (118p/17,805p)
  60. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews – interesting (260p/18,065p)
  61. Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews – wonderful (260p/18,325p)
  62. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews – wonderful (310p/18,635p)
  63. Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews – wonderful (349p/18,984p)
I've read 22 new authors so far counting each anthology as 1 as well as only counting 1 for books where authors collaborated. And with that, I'm caught up!

2010 Book List - 120 books read

1. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – interesting (254p/254p)

2. The Story of O by Pauline Reage – meh (199p/453p)

3. The Key to Midnight by Dean Koontz – typical (419p/872p)

4. Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield – okay (249p/1,121p)

5. Bone Magic by Yasmine Galenorn – awesome! (281p/1,402p)

6. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum – lovely (256p/1,658p)

7. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – enjoyable (309p/1,967p)

8. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – ok (375p/2,342p)

9. Carrie by Stephen King – okay (245p/2,587p)

10. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – ok (279p/2,866p)

11. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan – ok (312p/3,178p)

12. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – ok (361p/3,539p)

13. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan – ok (381p/3,920p)

14. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling – ok (156p/4,076p)

15. Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs – fun (287p/4,363p)

16. The Ancient Near Eastern World by Amanda H. Podany & Marni McGee – interesting (159p/4,522p)

17. The American Indian Story by May McNeer & Lynd Ward – fascinating (95p/4,617)

18. Anthem by Ayn Rand – interesting (68p/4,685p)

19. Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick – wonderful! (131p/4,816p)

20. Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton – fun (171p/4,987p)

21. The Green Mile by Stephen King – okay (465p/5,452p)

22. Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament by S.G. Browne – wrong, but wonderfully so (310p/5,762p)

23. The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson – okay (204p/5,966p)

24. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson – fun (451p/6,417p)

25. A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris – ok (192p/6,609p)

26. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – awesome! (208p/6,817)

27. Pet Semetary by Stephen King – bleh (411p/7,228p)

28. The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald – fun (175p/7,403p)

29. 1984 by George Orwell – disturbing (268p/7,671p)

30. The Spark by Chris Downie – fantastic! (160p/7,831)

31. The Ancient Egyptian World by Eric H. Cline & Jill Rubalcaba – awesome! (172p/8,003p)

32. More Adventures of the Great Brain by John. D. Fitzgerald – fun (142p/8,145p)

33. The World According to Clarkson, vol 2, by Jeremy Clarkson – fun (318p/8,463p)

34. Favorite North American Indian Legends edited by Philip Smith – interesting (90p/8,553p)

35. On the Banks of the Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder – wonderful (358p/8,911p)

36. Me and My Little Brain by John D. Fitzgerald – wonderful (137p/9,048p)

37. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – wonderful (376p/9,424p)

38. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris – fun (307p/9,731p)

39. The Great Brain at the Academy by John D. Fitzgerald – wonderful (164p/9,895p)

40. Last Words by George Carlin with Tony Hendra – fabulous (297p10,192p)

41. The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events #13) by Lemony Snicket – miserable (337p/10,529p)

42. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott – fantastic (375p/10,904p)

43. The Magician by Michael Scott – fantastic (464p/11,368p)

44. The Great Brain Reforms by John D. Fitzgerald - fun (165p/11,533p)

45. Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda – interesting (235p/11,768p)

46. The Sorceress by Michael Scott – fantastic (488p/12,256p)

47. The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich – incredibly fantastic (637p/12,893p)

48. Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione – wonderful (400p/13,293p)

49. The Ancient South Asian World by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer & Kimberely Heuston – awesome! (159p/13,452p)

50. Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione – wonderful (380p/13,832p)

51. The Return of the Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald – fun (150p/13,982p)

52. Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione – wonderful (460p/14,442p)

53. Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione – wonderful (410p/14,852p)

54. The Great Brain Does It Again by John D. Fitzgerald – fun (129p/14,981p)

55. Dark Designs by Luisa Prieto – wonderful (437p/15,418p)

56. Thinner by Stephen King – meh (319p/15,736p)

57. American Vision by Glencoe/McGraw/Hill – okay (1,037p/16,773p)

58. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs – fantastic (342p/17,115p)

59. Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong - awesome(387p/17,502p)

60. The Necromancer by Michael Scott – wonderful (389p/17,891p)

61. Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison – fantastic (487p/18,378p)

62. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris – fun (311p/18,689p)

63. The Great Brain is Back by John D. Fitzgerald – fun (120p/18,809p)

64. Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur – wonderful (395p/19,204p)

65. Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton – ok (356p/19,560p)

66. Eragon by Christopher Paolini – good (509p/20,069p)

67. North by Northwestern by Captain Sig Hansen – interesting (304p/20,373p)

68. The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty – interesting (201p/20,574p)

69. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman – must read (201p/20,775p)

70. Eldest by Christopher Paolini – good (681p/21,456p)

71. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams – wonderful (166p/21,622p)

72. Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn – fun (334p/21,956p)

73. The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke – incredible (84p/22,040p)

74. Storm Front by Jim Butcher – ok (322p/22,362p)

75. Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner – fabulous (307p/22,669p)

76. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher – ok (342p/23,011p)

77. California Demon by Julie Kenner – fabulous (342p/23,353p)

78. Demons are Forever by Julie Kenner – fabulous (292p/23,645p)

79. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini – ok (763p/24,408p)

80. Deja Demon by Julie Kenner – fabulous (326p/24,734p)

81. Demon Ex Machina by Julie Kenner – fabulous (308p/25,042p)

82. Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong – incredible (309p/25,351p)

83. As You Do by Richard Hammond – fun (257p/25,608p)

84. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – fabulous (453p/26,061p)

85. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – ok (447p/26,508p)

86. Grave Peril by Jim Butcher – ok (378p/26,886p)

87. Dark Lover by JR Ward – fun (393p/27,279p)

88. The Ancient Chinese World by Kleeman & Barrett – interesting (157p/27,436p)

89. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – ok (214p/27,650p)

90. By the Shores of the Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder – lovely (290p/27,940p)

91. The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum – enchanting (261p/28,201p)

92. The Truth Machine by James Halperin – thought provoking (416p/28,617p)

93. Lover Eternal by JR Ward – fun (441p/29,058p)

94. Lover Awakened by JR Ward – fun (434p/29,492p)

95. Lover Revealed by JR Ward – fun (455p/29,947p)

96. Lover Unbound by JR Ward – ugh (502p/30,449p)

97. Lover Enshrined by JR Ward – fun (534p/30,983p)

98. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher – fun (371p/31,354p)

99. The Ancient Greek World by Jennifer T. Roberts & Tracy Barrett – interesting (175p/31,529p)

100. Lover Avenged by JR Ward – good (647p/32,176p)

101. Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn – fun (299p/32,475p)

102. Feed by Mira Grant – incredible (599p/33,074p)

103. Death Masks by Jim Butcher – fun (374p/33,448p)

104. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – wonderful (177p/33,625p)

105. Harvest Hunting by Yasmine Galenorn – wonderful (273p/33,898p)

106. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – ok (310p/34,208p)

107. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper – wonderful (430p/34,638p)

108. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan – ok (404p/35,042p)

109. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga – awesome (311p/35,353p)

110. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire – fun (346p/35,699p)

111. The Ancient Roman World by Ronald Mellor & Marni McGee – wonderful (176p/35,875p)

112. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher – fun (372p/36,247p)

113. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – fun (377p/36,624p)

114. An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire – wonderful ( 354p/36,978p)

115. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus – wonderful (201p/37,179p)

116. Sin Undone by Larissa Ione – wonderful (400p/37,579p)

117. Lover Mine by JR Ward – good (512p/38,091p)

118. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher – fun (424p/38,515p)

119. Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain – excellent (184p/38,699p)

120. Fated by S.G. Browne – hilarious (352p/39,051p)

2009 Book List - 104 books read

  1. Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong - awesome! (523p)
  2. The Cat Who Went up the Creek by Lillian Jackson Braun – yawn (226p/749p)
  3. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris – okay (291p/1040p)
  4. Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum – lovely (270p/1310p)
  5. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris – shrug (292p/1602p)
  6. Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris – fun (293p/1895p)
  7. Dr. Who: Stone Rose by Jacqueline Rayner – fun (249p/2144p)
  8. The Cat Who Brought Down the House by Lillian Jackson Braun – yawn (228p/2372p)
  9. Casino Royal by Ian Fleming – good (181p/2553p)
  10. The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting – wonderful (157p/2710p)
  11. Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur – awesome! (321p/3031p)
  12. The Cat Who Talked Turkey by Lillian Jackson Braun - shrug(181p/3212p)
  13. The Private Life of the Cat Who... by Lillian Jackson Braun – shrug (137p/3349p)
  14. Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong – awesome! (372p/3721p)
  15. Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong – awesome! (369p/4090p)
  16. The Cat Who Went Bananas by Lillian Jackson Braun – shrug (223p/4313p)
  17. Dragonheart by Todd McCaffrey – very nice (538p/4851p)
  18. The Cat Who Dropped the Bombshell by Lillian Jackson Braun – yawn (187p/5038p)
  19. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien – fabulous! (447p/5485p)
  20. The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers by Lillian Jackson Braun (190p/5675p)
  21. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie – wonderful (155p/5830p)
  22. 1984 by George Orwell – disturbing (268p/6098p)
  23. Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card – fun (377p/6475p)
  24. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris – fun (291p/6766p)
  25. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris – fun (295p/7061p)
  26. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris – fun (324p/7385p)
  27. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris – fun (342p/7727p)
  28. Cooking with Ergot by Luisa Prieto – fun! (200p/7927p)
  29. Witchling by Yasmine Galernorn – fun (276p/8203p)
  30. Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton – very good (135p/8338p)
  31. Deadly Desire by Keri Arthur – awesome (352p/8690p)
  32. Changeling by Yasmine Galenorn – fun (278p/8968p)
  33. Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson – lovely (349p/9317p)
  34. Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn – fun (281p/9598p)
  35. Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn – fun (280p/9878p)
  36. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin – incredible (145p/10,023p)
  37. Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn – blech (307p/10,330p)
  38. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – intense (228p/10,558p)
  39. Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. LeGuin – interesting (115p/10,673p)
  40. Your Ten-to-Fourteen-Year-Old by Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D, Frances L. Ilg, M.D., & Sidney M. Baker, M.D. – okay (323p/10,996p)
  41. Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin – wonderful (159p/11,155p)
  42. Tehanu by Ursula K. LeGuin – wonderful (281p/11,436p)
  43. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons – intense (416p/11,852p)
  44. Animal Farm by George Orwell – very good (139p/11,852p)
  45. Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin - enjoyable (314p/12,305p)
  46. Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks – fun (247p/12,552p)
  47. The Other Wind by Ursula K. LeGuin – good (211p/12,763p)
  48. From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris – fun (321p/13,084p)
  49. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – intense (102p/13,186p)
  50. Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton – Ugh! (486p/13,672p)
  51. Demon Mistress by Yasmine Galenorn – fun (285p/13,957p)
  52. Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn – ok (259p/14,216p)
  53. Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn – fun (339p/14,555p)
  54. Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn – fun (303p/14,858p)
  55. Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn – fun (326p/15,184p)
  56. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs – enjoyable (288p/15,472p)
  57. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs – enjoyable (292p/15,764p)
  58. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs – enjoyable (287p/16,051p)
  59. Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz – ok (481p/16,532p)
  60. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs – enjoyable (294p/16,826p)
  61. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien – fabulous! (520p/17,346p)
  62. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Phillip K. Dick – interesting (244p/17,590p)
  63. Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey – enjoyable (943p/18,533p)
  64. Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey – enjoyable (703p/19,236p)
  65. Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey – enjoyable (653p/19,889p)
  66. Beowulf by Anonymous – incredible (247p/20,136p)
  67. Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey – enjoyable (645p/20,781p)
  68. Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand by Carrie Vaughn – fun (282p/21,063p)
  69. Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn – fun (312p/21,375p)
  70. Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy by Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., & Frances L. Ilg, M.D. – informative but with some awful advice (151p/21,526p)
  71. Homeschooling the Teen Years by Cafi Cohen – informative (318p/21,844p)
  72. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison – fun (416p/22,260p)
  73. The Good, The Bad, & The Undead by Kim Harrison – fun (453p/22,713p)
  74. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin – incredible! (400p/23,113p)
  75. The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz - typical (369p/23,482p)
  76. Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison – fun (501p/23,983p)
  77. A Separate Peace by John Knowles – quietly intense (204p/24,187p)
  78. A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison – fun (510p/24,697p)
  79. Midnight by Dean Koontz – typical (470p/25,167p)
  80. For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison – fun (536p/25,703p)
  81. California Gold Days by Helen Bauer – informative (110p/25,813p)
  82. Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz – typical (403p/26,216p)
  83. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith – great fun! (320p/26,536p)
  84. Your Eight-Year-Old: Lively and Outgoing by Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D & Carold Chase, M.A.- informative (134p/26,670p)
  85. The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison – Wow! (528p/27,198p)
  86. The Tao of Meow by Waldo Japussy – cute (120p/27,318p)
  87. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – fun (202p/27,520p)
  88. White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison – wonderful (564p/28,084p)
  89. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder – enjoyable (238p/28,322p)
  90. Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong – love it! (339p/28,661p)
  91. Bound to Shadows by Keri Arthur- love it! (346p/29,007p)
  92. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. (246p/29,253p)
  93. Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs – fabulous (286p/29,539p)
  94. Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton – first ½ was good (333p/29,872p)
  95. The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw – nice story (248p/30,120p)
  96. The Early Human World by Peter Robertshaw and Jill Rubalcaba – interesting (160p/30,280p)
  97. Blue Finger by Cheryl Aylward Whitesel – cute (247p/30,527p)
  98. Grayson by Lynne Cox – enchanting (153p/30,680p)
  99. Kitty’s House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn – gripping (292p/30,972p)
  100. Your Four-Year-Old: Wild and Wonderful by Louise Bates Ames – helpful (136p/31,108p)
  101. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow – scary (384p/31,492p)
  102. At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft – intricate & intense (110p/31,602p)
  103. Doctor Who: Winner Takes All by Jacqueline Rayner – meh (245p/31,847p)
  104. Baby’s First Mythos by C.J. Henderson & Erica Henderson – awesome! (40p/31,887p)