wookiebender's 100 reads in 2015

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wookiebender's 100 reads in 2015

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1wookiebender
dec 27, 2014, 11:27pm

Or at any rate, my attempt at 100 reads! (Not going to make it in 2014, even with creative accounting.)

2wookiebender
Redigeret: jan 8, 2016, 3:06am

Books read

1. The Golem and the Djinni, Helene Wecker
2. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
3. The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the delight of not getting what you wanted, Mark Forsyth
4. Camera Obscura, Lavie Tidhar
5. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins

6. Irregular Creatures, Chuck Wendig
7. The Human Division #1: The B-Team, John Scalzi
8. Yes Please!, Amy Poehler
9. Fly by Night, Frances Hardinge
10. London Falling, Paul Cornell

11. An Officer and a Spy, Robert Harris
12. Smile, Raina Telgemeier
13. Hades, Candice Fox
14. The City, Stella Gemmell
15. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose

16. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, Ambelin Kwaymullina
17. Rat Queens Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'Rygoth, Kurtis J. Wiebe
18. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
19. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
20. Clade, James Bradley

21. The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters
22. How to be Both, Ali Smith
23. A God in Every Stone, Kamila Shamsie
24. Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary: More than 150 stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round, Wendy Bernard
25. The Hawley Book of the Dead, Chrysler Szarlan

26. These Broken Stars, Amie Kaufman
27. This Night So Dark, Amie Kaufman
28. Outline, Rachel Cusk
29. Rags & Bones, Melissa Marr
30. H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald

31. Manhattan Dreaming, Anita Heiss
32. I Feel Bad About My Neck, and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, Nora Ephron
33. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
34. The Disappearance of Ember Crow, Ambellin Kwaymullina
35. A Bachelor Establishment, Isabella Barclay

36. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, Lauren Willig
37. The Masque of the Black Tulip, Lauren Willig
38. Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor
39. The Deception of the Emerald Ring, Lauren Willig
40. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, Lauren Willig

41. The Word Exchange, Alena Graedon
A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler (DNF)
42. The Just City, Jo Walton
43. White is For Witching, Helen Oyeyemi
44. Fairytales for Wilde Girls, Allyse Near
45. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

46. The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Patrick Rothfuss
47. The Gates, John Connolly
48. The Martian, Andy Weir
49. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
50. The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard

51. Infernal Devices, K.W. Jeter
52. The Emperor's Blades, Brian Staveley
53. A Beautiful Place to Die, Malla Nunn
54. Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, Ayelet Waldman
55. Brothers in Arms, Lois McMaster Bujold

56. Shift, Hugh Howey
57. Zeroes, Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti
58. The Aeronaut's Windlass, Jim Butcher
59. A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab

3saraslibrary
dec 30, 2014, 7:37pm

Best of luck, wookiebender! :)

4mabith
dec 30, 2014, 8:01pm

Just marking my place here!

5Eyejaybee
dec 31, 2014, 4:28am

Best wishes for another year of great reading :)

6jfetting
dec 31, 2014, 11:02am

Happy New Year, and here's to some great reads in 2015!

7wookiebender
dec 31, 2014, 8:40pm

Thanks all, and a Happy New Year to everyone too!

My first read of the year will be The Golem and the Djinni, which I'm looking forward to. (Picked it up yesterday, but haven't actually cracked it open yet!! Silly life getting in the way of reading.)

8ronincats
jan 1, 2015, 11:21am

9Berly
Redigeret: jan 2, 2015, 2:32am

Yay! A new thread!! Starred again. Happy New Year--I hope it is a great one for you. I have The Golem and the Djinni around here somewhere. I will await your review....

10wookiebender
jan 2, 2015, 1:57am

Thanks Roni, that's a lovely picture to start the year on!

Hi Berly! Lovely to see you again.

11bookwormjules
jan 2, 2015, 6:33am

Good luck with the challenge!

12bryanoz
jan 2, 2015, 2:50pm

Hope you have a great 2015 wookie, keen for your review, I've got The Golem and the Djinni on a TBR list somewhere.

13aquascum
jan 2, 2015, 4:12pm

Happy new 100! Happy new reading!

14wookiebender
jan 3, 2015, 4:30am

Thanks all!

FYI, I'm about halfway through The Golem and the Djinni and would recommend it (unless it falls off the rails in the second half, but I doubt it will).

15bookwormjules
jan 3, 2015, 8:39am

Good to hear about The Golem and The Djinni. I've had it sitting on my shelf for a while, perhaps I should bumb it up on the TBR list.

16mabith
jan 3, 2015, 10:05am

Glad you're enjoying The Golem and the Jinni! It definitely didn't fall off the rails in my opinion, one of those that I wanted to reread almost immediately.

17SouthernBluestocking
jan 3, 2015, 10:37am

Glad you're enjoying Golem! I liked it-- love the setting(s).

18ronincats
jan 6, 2015, 8:45pm

Been hearing about the fires down there, but don't know where they are relative to you.

19wookiebender
jan 6, 2015, 9:46pm

Finished The Golem and the Djinni, and it was a great read, a fascinating tale of two such disparate people (the wild selfish djinni and the staid golem, created to be an obedient slave), and I agree with SouthernBluestocking, also the late 19th century city of New York (in particular the Jewish and Syrian areas) was a great character in its own right. Will write a review asap (but don't hold your breath :).

Currently reading Camera Obscura (sequel to The Bookman, one of my top 2014 reads), but just realised I've got to read Eleanor and Park by Monday for book group. Whoops, will have to do some book juggling. (Also dipping into a gorgeous knitting book, The Essential Guide to Colour Knitting, a late Xmas present and the source of a lot of distraction this holidays. I want to knit stripes! No, bobbles! No, I need to try slip stitches!)

Thanks for checking in, Roni. I'm safe in Sydney; the fires are horrid, but are in Victoria (capital city Melbourne) and South Australia (capital city Adelaide). Of course, we're just lucky in NSW that we haven't been hit with the stupidly hot weather (yet).

20mabith
jan 6, 2015, 10:29pm

So glad you liked The Golem and the Jinni as I was worrying you'd inexplicably dislike it and the world just wouldn't make sense anymore.

Best color knitting - two self-striping yarns of different but harmonious colors (I hate weaving in ends). Also, great hat pattern: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter08/PATTvortex.php

21wookiebender
Redigeret: jan 7, 2015, 12:26am

I do like self-striping yarns, they're gorgeous. At the moment, I'm relearning a lot of knitting (I used to knit as a teenager, but got out of the habit, and a friend the other day was showing off her Doctor Who scarf - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bigger-on-the-inside - and she got me inspired to do something more complex). First time with colours! And I'm planning on a Saturday morning class to help me with hats, as I find shaping a bit nerve-wracking.

Currently, I've got a plain scarf in beautiful wool underway for Miss Boo (can't see the right colour, but this is the pretty wool/soybean silk blend we're using: http://morrisandsons.com.au/c1_341_1548/) and a merino scarf in trinity stitch for me (here's the wool: ) and some fun stripes going in squares for a charity (Wrap With Love, 25cm x 25cm squares that are sewn into blankets and given to charity - my last blanket went to South America!).

ETA: Tournament of Books shortlist is up for 2015! http://www.themorningnews.org/article/announcing-the-morning-news-2015-tournamen...

22Berly
jan 7, 2015, 1:56am

I haven;t knitted since just out of college. Not sure I could ever do a hat! Love the list for Tournament of Books, not that I need any more book ideas. : )

23mabith
jan 7, 2015, 4:06pm

Nice yarns! There was a soy/wool blend in the same proportion I used to buy but they stopped making it. I was so heartbroken. I had a period where it felt like all I did was knit, but then I became more interested in embroidery (more room for creativity). Such a handy skill though, particularly if you end up needing many presents for babies and young children and feel like a book isn't enough. We have a needlearts group on LT that always needs new members, if you're interested!

>22 Berly: It's a flat knit hat in the link. :) Hats became my go-to since they're small and fast to finish (and really no harder than a scarf, particularly if you're using circular needles or it's a flat knit).

I've been trying to help my nephew learn to knit, but having trouble since a) I don't think I'm a good teacher of very young children and b) I don't think his manual dexterity is really good enough yet.

24swimmergirl1
jan 7, 2015, 8:16pm

Really enjoyed Eleanor and Park!

25swimmergirl1
jan 7, 2015, 8:18pm

I always have the dilemma of do I knit or do I read? Wish I could do both at once. Not a big books on tape fan or that would solve it I guess.

26mabith
Redigeret: jan 7, 2015, 8:21pm

That's part of why I love audiobooks - I can do all my crafts while I listen (or cook or play certain mindless computer games). It's made reading something in print harder though, because I feel like I'm not using my time productively (I've always considered reading to be a productive use of time, but when you get used to multi-tasking...).

27swimmergirl1
jan 7, 2015, 8:24pm

Maybe I should give them another try, I do sometimes feel I should be doing something else too.

28wookiebender
jan 8, 2015, 5:50pm

Hi Berly! I've only heard of two TOB titles! All the Birds, Singing is Australian and getting great reviews, must pick up a copy. And I read the first Jeff VanderMeer Southern Reach book, but apart from that, they're all unknown to me! Hopefully I can follow along throughout March.

Meredith, I taught Miss Boo how to knit last year - she's got the concept well (I think those Loom Bands that all the kids were crazy over helped!) but, yes, manual dexterity is a tricky one! And she keeps on changing her mind as to what she wants to do. (And insisting that I should share all my expensive wools with her! I think not! :P)

swimmergirl1, Eleanor and Park is great, it's keeping me up far too late at night!! Even last night, after a big day falling out of trees (I have some mighty impressive bruises!), I was up to 1:30, doing "just one more chapter...".

I listen to podcasts when my hands are busy. I'm not a great listener, and the kids will interrupt constantly, so bite sized nibbles of interesting info works for me.

29LShelby
jan 8, 2015, 7:33pm

>25 swimmergirl1: With me it is currently, "Should I read or should I tat." :)

30mabith
jan 8, 2015, 8:00pm

>29 LShelby: I can't help but read that to the tune of Should I Stay or Should I Go.

31LShelby
jan 8, 2015, 9:34pm

>30 mabith:
Just can't seem to choose 'bout that
Should I read or should I tat?
Both seem like a lot of fun
And I want to get them done
Can't do both, so that is that.
Should I read or should I tat?

32mabith
jan 9, 2015, 6:10pm

Ha! Perfect!!

33wookiebender
jan 9, 2015, 6:54pm

:)

And I stayed up late (again!) finishing Eleanor and Park. I wish I had been a teenager when I read this, I would have loved it. As a mostly-grown-up, it did get a bit over the top on angst at times, but it was certainly a page turner and I did love both characters, lovely to see such ordinary (but at the same time, extraordinary) characters front and centre.

34wookiebender
jan 10, 2015, 8:06pm

1. The Golem and the Djinni, Helene Wecker



This was a great read, a fascinating tale of two disparate people (the wild selfish djinni and the staid golem, created to be an obedient slave). Both are very complex characters, trying to pass as human, but chafing at the restrictions. They travel from their homelands and end up in New York in the late 19th century, and the city (in particular the Jewish and Syrian areas) was a great character in its own right.

While all the disparate threads are satisfactorily pulled together at the end, it's also not completely tied up, there are still a few open questions. Highly recommended.

****

35wookiebender
jan 10, 2015, 8:14pm

2. Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell



Eleanor is the new girl at school, Park is Korean American. Neither really fit in at their school in Omaha, in the 1980s. They end up sharing a seat on the school bus, and despite their awkward beginning, a friendship and a romance starts.

I really did enjoy this read, I stayed up very late several nights to finish it, but at times my eyes did roll at all the teen angst. If I were a teenager, this would probably make the list of my Best. Books. Ever. As a grown up, it was a great reminder of how awkward and emotionally intense we were back then, although I'm rather glad it's all well behind me now.

There's some great truth in this, and the characters are adorkably ordinary, while also being quite extraordinary by just being themselves.

****

36wookiebender
jan 10, 2015, 8:21pm

3. The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the delight of not getting what you wanted, Mark Forsyth



Just read a good review of his latest book (thank you, valkyrdeath), and so went hunting for it on the Kindle, only to get distracted by a single essay by Mark Forsyth available with a very eye-catching title. (I'll get around to his full books later!)

And it's a great little read, perfect for a rainy Sunday morning. Only now it's raining too much to get to the bookshop and blindfold myself so I can choose a book at random, which is what I'm desperate to do. Oh well, lucky for me I already have a house full of books to read, from other random trips to the bookshop.

****

37valkyrdeath
Redigeret: jan 10, 2015, 9:12pm

The Golem and the Djinni has been on my wishlist for a while and I'm hoping to get to it this year. Nice to see another positive opinion on it.

I didn't know about The Unknown Unknown, so I'll have to check that out. I'm happy that my review helped you!

38ronincats
jan 10, 2015, 9:14pm

Assuming your house is like mine, you can blindfold yourself in almost any room to choose a book at random.

39wookiebender
jan 12, 2015, 1:00am

>37 valkyrdeath: I'm looking forward to finding time to tackle his full length books. He's got a clever and funny way with words.

>38 ronincats: Yep, books in every room except the bathroom. (Only books in kitchen are cookbooks though, and none in the bathroom because a wet book is an unhappy book.)

40Berly
jan 12, 2015, 1:30am

Wookie--Golem is on my radar as well and now I have to add Eleanor and Park. My daughter might enjoy it too. Hope the rain stops soon! >38 ronincats:--Mine looks like that too!

41saraslibrary
jan 12, 2015, 5:31pm

>39 wookiebender: a wet book is an unhappy book -- LOL! Agreed. :)

42SouthernBluestocking
jan 17, 2015, 4:50pm

I'm definitely putting The Unknown Unknown on my list--sounds excellent. (I'm completely fascinated by how our access to information is changing the way we think--so I think this is required reading!)

So glad Golem didn't go off the rails for you. Now I'm longing to reread... but so many other books on my shelves!

43bookwormjules
jan 19, 2015, 6:54am

The Golem and Djinni has been a book I keep seeing pop up. I'm aiming to read it this year, it sounds like a good read, hopefully it lives up to what I've heard.

44Hovav-Heth
jan 19, 2015, 6:58am

Denne meddelelse har fået flere brugere til at hejse et advarselsflag, så den vises ikke længere (vis)
Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan >> http://bit.ly/1unzlJ5
no doubt this is a keeper

45wookiebender
jan 21, 2015, 6:16am

#42> I love the internet, I don't know how we did anything before then. Google is one of the mainstays of my work tools, I download most of my televisual delights, and everything! I love how I can download a book instantly onto my daughter's Kindle, update apps (I love my smart phone!), chat with people online, etc.

It's really changed my world so much, and I do agree that it's fascinating how different we all are now: I keep on telling my kids (as I download them episodes of Doctor Who) how, in my day, if we missed an episode, it was gone for good. We'd have to ask our friends in the playground the next day what happened to Adric, Tegan, Nyssa, and the good Doctor. :)

#43> I think most people have enjoyed the book. So now it's the worry that we oversold it! :)

#44> Go away, you nasty little spammer.

46wookiebender
jan 21, 2015, 6:26am

4. Camera Obscura, Lavie Tidhar



The second of the Bookman Histories, this takes off several years after the conclusion of The Bookman. Rumours have reached France of the incidents that took place in London in the first book, but Milady de Winter has to worry about a dead body in a locked room in the Rue Morgue.

Can I just say that Milady de Winter is probably one of my favourite characters ever. She's mostly de Winter from The Three Musketeers, but there is also hints of the unnamed heroine from Rebecca. (Mostly a dead English husband, poor old Maxim!)

I'm looking forward to the third book, it's all lined up on Mt TBR!

****

47wookiebender
jan 21, 2015, 6:29am

5. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins



This was a re-read, I'm (very slowly) reading the series aloud to Mr Bear. On re-reading, this was a particularly slow novel, we don't get to the games until halfway through. (And Mr Bear had to sit through a number of descriptions of dresses and also a number of descriptions of kissing. I'm amazed he stuck with it!) And then the ending is really annoying and unbelievable. Still, I do love Katniss.

***

48wookiebender
jan 21, 2015, 6:34am

6. Irregular Creatures, Chuck Wendig



A collection of short stories I picked up on the Kindle. Some were great (the first one, with the flying cats), but some were also very very dark, unpleasantly so. He's got a good turn of phrase, but the subject matter (in particular, the one with Thai sex shows) was a turn off. Given that all the main characters were male, I'm thinking I'm not the target audience.

Granted, he did say upfront that some were probably overly disturbing, and I do believe he's not necessarily extolling the virtues of society's underbelly, but I'm not sure I want to read any of his books now. There's only so much darkness I can take.

***

49wookiebender
jan 21, 2015, 6:39am

7. The Human Division #1: The B-Team, John Scalzi



I bought this ages ago on my Kindle, but only just read it. (I even hoard electronic books! Oh my.)

It's a rather fun book, light and cheerful, a good military sci-fi romp. Sadly, it looks as if I'll have to buy the complete book (rather than the series of mini-books that this originally was part of) as they don't seem to be selling the mini-books anymore. Serves me right for not reading this for two years! (Lucky I don't have to dust ebooks...)

***1/2

50jfetting
jan 21, 2015, 2:55pm

I love all the descriptions of dresses in The Hunger Games trilogy, and all the descriptions of food. Neither carry over very well into the movies. The pictures in my head are better than the pictures on the screen.

51saraslibrary
jan 21, 2015, 4:21pm

I love your reads! :) Good job.

52Berly
jan 23, 2015, 1:59am

Wow--you have been busy this week! Mr. Bear gets points for slogging through all that kissy stuff. : )

53wookiebender
jan 23, 2015, 6:41pm

Oh Jennifer, I was happy with the dress descriptions too! But maybe a bit much for a smallish boy. We both appreciated the food descriptions, however. :)

54wookiebender
feb 8, 2015, 12:56am

8. Yes Please!, Amy Poehler

A charming read.

****

(We're moving house. I can't concentrate on reading much right now, and I'm giving away an embarrassingly large number of books to charity. Sigh.)

55wookiebender
feb 8, 2015, 12:59am

The Rise of the Ruddbot, Annabel Crabb

DNF, because much as I love her writing, 2007 is so long ago now (Australian-politics-wise, at any rate), that I'm just not really interested in it right now. (Much more fun watching the current government implode, anyhow. :)

I do remember reading some of these at the time and laughing, maybe this sort of humorous political writing just doesn't have legs?

56Berly
feb 9, 2015, 1:46am

You are moving? How did I miss that? When? Where?

57PaulCranswick
feb 25, 2015, 1:48am

Happy moving Tania. Miss you over at the 75ers............you couldn't move over there too while you're at it could you?!

58Berly
feb 28, 2015, 1:03pm

Hello?! Tania? How did the move go? : )

59wookiebender
Redigeret: mar 18, 2015, 7:29am

Sorry guys, was so busy with the move I haven't had a chance to pop in! The move was because the owners of our old house needed to move back in, but we found a gorgeous big victorian house on the other side of our suburb. it's a little "original features" with an outdoor laundry and the "second bathroom" is the outdoor (under the house) loo. But it's also got gorgeous details (fireplaces, woodwork, a lovely big tiled verandah).

And kookaburras in the backyard. AWESOME.

I lost my reading mojo what with the exhaustion of the house hunt, and then the packing, then the move (so many book boxes!), and then the cleaning of the old house. (I never want to move again. EVER.) But I've finally finished the book I started before the move (London Falling, which was excellent). Yay for reading! Half-yay for only having half the book boxes unpacked (but a victory in that I found Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince the day after Miss Boo finished The Order of the Phoenix). And I've run out of shelf space. How on earth did I fit them all into the old house??

60Berly
mar 18, 2015, 11:49pm

Hi Wookie--good luck unpacking those boxes!! It's a pretty good excuse for not being here, so I forgive you. But I miss you, so come back as soon as you can!!

61wookiebender
mar 21, 2015, 7:37pm

Thanks Berly! Just popping in to quickly update my reading. (Having a stupidly social weekend. Spent almost all of yesterday out of the house, and I'm just madly doing housework and tidying before running off to my nephew's birthday party this afternoon. Phew!)

62wookiebender
mar 21, 2015, 7:41pm

9. Fly By Night, Frances Hardinge



An absolutely delightful romp with Mosca Mye, her murderous goose, and the con man Eponymous Clent. What a wonderful find, I'm sorry it took me so long to finally get this one off the shelves and read it! (It was recommended by a fellow reader at a Harry Potter high tea I attended some years ago, and I bought it that day. Then Frances Hardinge was one of the guests on the charming "Tea and Jeopardy" podcast recently, and that finally got me reading it.)

****1/2

63wookiebender
mar 21, 2015, 7:47pm

10. London Falling, Paul Cornell



A gritty crime novel set in London, with four dysfunctional cops battling Evil (with a capital "E", as a friend of mine said). While it does have blurb from Ben Aaronovitch, this is much (much) darker than the Rivers of London series. So much so that I had to put it to one side a couple of times to hyperventilate. And then pick it up again to find out what happened.

The characters are not necessarily likeable, but by the end I was cheering them all on. I still wouldn't want them over to dinner any time soon, but I'm glad they're out there protecting London from Evil-with-a-capital-E. And I have to find the next book soon!!

****1/2

PS, Paul Cornell was another lovely guest on "Tea and Jeopardy", and is also one of the regulars on the "SF Squee" podcast (which sadly isn't as active as it once was).

64wookiebender
mar 21, 2015, 7:52pm

And all caught up! (Much sooner than usual...)

It has been a very very quiet reading year so far, given the upheaval of a new house. I'm already saying I will NOT make 100 books, but it's not going to stop me from trying anyhow. :) (Went to a knitting class yesterday morning and the teacher said we wouldn't finish the hat she was teaching us to knit that morning. I apparently took that as a challenge and was the first person to ever finish a hat in one class. I think I have a problem with being told I can't do things. :P)

Currently reading An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris which is a pretty good story, about the Dreyfus Affair in late 19th century France. Passed on by a friend.

65Berly
mar 22, 2015, 9:20pm

Wookie the Wonder Woman!! Not a competitive bone in her body. ; )

66mabith
mar 22, 2015, 9:43pm

A large part of the joy of hat knitting is that you can finish some of them in an hour or two! There's a reason I don't knit sweaters or blankets, and it's only partly that buying enough decent yarn for such things is so expensive...

Hope the last moving pains end soon. A lovely old house makes up for a lot of less than modern features, I find.

67wookiebender
mar 26, 2015, 6:57am

#65> I've actually become less competitive in my mellower middle age. But I still tend to eyeball parents I don't like and think "MY child will wipe the floor with YOUR child..." (and sometimes they actually do). Hopefully my kids aren't actually picking up on my vicarious competitiveness. :)

#66> I do love old houses too. We're now up tp to the fun bit of moving: organizing and unpacking the random boxes. (I found my charm bracelet and favourite amber ring that I wore every day until I packed them in a box some weeks ago...)

Housewarming drinks and nibbles this weekend. I get to get the new oven a real run for its money with some serious baking planned. (I've threatened guests with unpacking book boxes if they start looking bored... ;)

68Berly
mar 30, 2015, 1:38am

Hope you had delicious drink and nibbles. And I hope you put the guests to good use! And, BTW, if you put the > before the #, it will show the reader's name. : )

>67 wookiebender:

69SouthernBluestocking
Redigeret: mar 31, 2015, 4:14pm

Happy unpacking--hope it's done! I moved in October, and today, underneath a crate of spring/summer clothes in the garage, I found three unpacked boxes of books. Hadn't even missed them--and now the rest of my books have most definitely multiplied to fill any shelf space that those books might once have occupied. Oh well... time to start building book forts in the living room.

70wookiebender
Redigeret: apr 3, 2015, 6:06am

>68 Berly: Thanks, I can never remember the right format to get that nice link, it just seems backwards to me! :)

Housewarming was fun, a nice range of friends, lovely weather, a jug of Pimms, and a lot of baking (chocolate brownies, cupcakes, and egg and bacon tartlets).

>69 SouthernBluestocking: Most people reckon the unpacking is never completed. :) I have to say I've stalled badly. Had a super lazy day today, which was lovely. Needed a good break.

From the last move, I spent *ages* looking for my copy of a book, only to find it in an unpacked box mere weeks after buying a new copy. Nyargh. (This time, I think I packed two copies of Tallulah Rising, so maybe I did finally find that lost copy that I replaced...)

71wookiebender
apr 3, 2015, 6:26am

11. An Officer and a Spy, Robert Harris



This was a very solid and well written retelling of the Dreyfus Affair, a scandalous miscarriage of justice from late 19th century France, when a Jewish officer was convicted (and sent to Devil's Island) of spying for the Germans. The book picks up at Dreyfus's disgrace, when he is marched in front of the army and stripped of his insignia. This is witnessed by a young Major Georges Picquart, who for his somewhat underhand help in convicting Dreyfus is promoted to Colonel and put in charge of army intelligence (much to his annoyance). There, he finds evidence of another spy within the army, and the similarities are so similar to the Dreyfus affair, that he starts digging into that. Slowly, he comes to realise that Dreyfus was wrongly convicted, and the second half of the book is his struggles to reopen the case and give Dreyfus a fair trial.

The author kept the tension building well, and Picquart is a great character. The story is fascinating, one I've heard of before, but didn't know much about. So not only was I entertained, I was educated. :)

***1/2

72wookiebender
apr 3, 2015, 6:38am

12. Smile, Raina Telgemeier



This was forced on me by Miss Boo, who picked it up at the school library yesterday and read it several times in one day. It's a great little autobiographical story about the author losing her two front teeth as a young girl (tripped while running with friends) and the subsequent long term dental treatments while having to deal with everyday life: school, boys, frenemies, and an earthquake. I'm really glad that Miss Boo enjoyed it as much as she did, I think she's the perfect age for this story with its themes of self-acceptance and growing up.

****

73wookiebender
apr 3, 2015, 7:03am

13. Hades, Candice Fox



A nasty read about Hades, a fixer: he makes bad things go away. Only one night, he's asked to clean up after a bungled kidnap attempt, to bury the bodies of two young children. Instead, he kills the perp, and then discovers that the children are still alive. Since their parents were killed, he steps into the role of parent to Eden and Eric, who are both seriously affected by their shocking experience. The book jumps around between their upbringing with Hades, their current occupation as homicide detectives in Sydney, and the serial killer that Eden and her new partner Frank are chasing.

Not a pleasant character in the bunch, and not a believable one either.

Pluses are the interesting serial killer. He's completely unbelievable, but had an interesting modus operandi (he kills people for their organs for transplantation, making the recipients also culpable in the victims' murders). And one of the victims, who refuses to be a victim, but fights her way free and leads the cops to his base. And while I usually enjoy books set in Sydney, the city didn't seem well depicted, more like the author was just choosing suburbs at random. (Why would a homicide cop from Parramatta be investigating an attempted murder in Watsons Bay? Unless the author just wanted to bitch about Parramatta Road, which is Hell on earth for commuters.)

I only finished this because it was a bookgroup read.

**

74wookiebender
apr 25, 2015, 8:56pm

14. The City, Stella Gemmell



A big sprawling fantasy novel, set in The City, which is pretty much a character in its own right, millennia old, and built (and built again) on the ruins of previous cities . The story starts in the sewers under The City, following some of the dwellers who live there, scavenging on the debris washed down from above. It's dangerous work: rain in The City causes floods under it, not to mention the filth, and the risk posed by other dwellers. Just as I got used to this world, the book jumps to a devastated plain, where an endless pitched battle is underway. Then, just as I got used to all the fighting, we jumped to The City itself. Etc. There's a lot of jumps in this book.

There are also a lot of characters, who may have a brief role in an earlier chapter, and then end up being one of the major protagonists in a different section. It pays to keep your wits about you, reading this one. Really, it reminded me mostly of the Malazan series: big chunky fantasy that you need to concentrate on, or you'll get lost in the plots and forget who is who.

I don't want to give much of the plot away, I really enjoyed the slow peeling away of what was happening, as the characters we're following (none of whom are in the upper echelons of The City's ruling elite) slowly discover more and more about The City. But expect lots of fighting and lots of death.

My main quibble with the book would be the lack of affect the characters have, so I never really felt drawn into their personal worlds. It did make it hard to be completely immersed in their struggles (although my heart was in my throat during some of the battles, this author is not afraid to kill off named characters).

****

75wookiebender
maj 1, 2015, 11:36pm

15. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Francine Prose



Thanks to whoever recommended this first in this group! It was a great novel, set in a very interesting (if dark) time, 1930s Paris, with the threat of Nazi Germany on their doorstep and the rise of right wing nationalism in France. The Chameleon Club is run by a Hungarian woman, Yvonne, famous for her red dresses and sad songs about her lost sailor love. At the Chameleon Club, all sorts meet and mingle and cross dress. We get the perspective of a number of characters as the story moves along its inexorable path towards World War 2. Some characters are forced to flee Paris when the Germans invade; some join the Resistance; and yet others collaborate with the Nazis.

The interweaving of the different characters' stories was very well done, they contradict each other and give different perspectives on the same events. You also get spoilers for the plot, but that heightened the sense that the ending was inevitable. Oddest of all was Lou's story, which was done via a biography written by a very strange self-obsessed woman.

And I had to keep on stopping myself from Googling Gabor's photos, or Rossignol motor cars, or Lou's athletic career; I was so suckered into the stories at times that I really did believe these characters had existed in the real world.

****

76mabith
maj 2, 2015, 12:28pm

Major book bullet for Lovers at the Chameleon Club! Sounds great.

77wookiebender
maj 4, 2015, 11:50pm

I hope you like it! It was such an interesting time, and a great cast of characters.

78wareagle78
maj 7, 2015, 1:28am

You are on the mark about getting sucked in to the Chameleon Club fiction. I might just have done some Googling on those topics myself. Just maybe...

79wookiebender
maj 7, 2015, 6:32am

Did you find anything? I'd love to see the actual "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" photo. :)

80wookiebender
maj 7, 2015, 7:04am

16. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, Ambelin Kwaymullina



This is the first novel by Ambelin Kwaymullina, an Australian aboriginal woman (from the Palyaku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia), and is a young adult dystopia, set in the far future, after the world's ecosystem and human society has collapsed. The world is a very different place now, all the continents have merged back together, and, while humans have resurrected their societies, they are in scattered cities, separated by forests and grasslands filled with saurs, and other dangerous creatures. Some humans are now also manifesting with various talents: super fast speeds; being able to create and control fire; and in the case of Ashala Wolf, she can Sleepwalk. People with these skills are considered Illegal and are kept in detention centres.

To say that the world building stretched my credulity to breaking point would be putting it mildly. :) She did try to cram far too much into it, although most of it was important for the plot in one way or another in the end.

Luckily, this was also a very entertaining read - the heroine is awesome, and there's a plot twist I didn't see coming. (Until it happened, I was also pretty sure that it was going to be a pretty average YA dystopia novel, so it was a great plot twist.) The author's Aboriginal heritage is not a major plot point (although there's a good nod in the direction of the rainbow serpent), it did seem to flavour a lot of the setting: pro living under the stars, nature, that sort of thing. (While I enjoyed that from a book point of view, I'm a firm believer in having a comfy bed, a roof, and working plumbing in the real world.) It's also very interestingly constructed, with a slow reveal of the plot through various levels of flashbacks.

Overall, I would recommend this, I had a lot of fun hanging out with Ashala and her Tribe of other runaway Illegals, and I could ignore a lot of the odd concepts while enjoying the plot.

***1/2

(Thanks to http://www.executivestyle.com.au/why-i-read-only-nonwhite-books-for-a-year-1mucy... for bringing this - and others! - to my attention.)

81wookiebender
maj 13, 2015, 5:01am

17. Rat Queens Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'Rygoth, Kurtis J. Wiebe



A (late) Mother's Day present, and one much appreciated. The Rat Queens are up to their usual partying (following straight on from their victory party at the end of Volume 1, if memory serves me right) and hangovers. Oh yeah, and saving the world.

Much blood, sex, drugs, and foul language. I love these ladies.

*****

82Berly
maj 18, 2015, 9:21pm

Just catching up here...not paying any attention to any Chameleon Club stuff. Nope I am not! You can't make me. No more books!!! Well, maybe....

83wookiebender
maj 21, 2015, 11:34pm

LOL, it's hard to read any thread on LT that doesn't make one want to rush out and buy books! Just succumb to it, Berly, don't fight it...

84wookiebender
maj 21, 2015, 11:39pm

18. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

Oooh, there's summat nasty in the woodshed! And there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm. And then Seth lounges panther-like and undoes another button...

This was a re-read, and still great fun. A wonderful spoof of a genre that no longer exists (some sort of gothic bucolic novel), but I don't think one needs to know about the original genre to enjoy this one.

****1/2

85wookiebender
maj 24, 2015, 7:40am

19. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

Yes, it is as good as people are saying. But you'll need your wits about you, with three timelines, many cultures, a narrator who is gender neutral and sometimes part of a warship's AI and sometimes the warship and sometimes neither, and a very complex plot. But it's definitely worth the effort.

****1/2

86mabith
maj 24, 2015, 9:13am

>84 wookiebender: So excited for Cold Comfort Farm! I got my book club to make it our pick for July, which I've felt was half a mistake, as I'd have liked to get to it earlier.

87Eyejaybee
maj 24, 2015, 11:39am

>84 wookiebender: I was delighted to see you mention Cold Comfort Farm too. I remember loving it when I read it as a teenager. I hadn't thought about it for years, but am definitely looking forward to digging it out again

88wookiebender
maj 24, 2015, 6:18pm

Hurrah for the Cold Comfort Farm love! Has anyone seen the movie? (The movie was the first I'd heard of Cold Comfort Farm, although I didn't get around to seeing it then - or since. I just remember friends talking about it, as they were fans of the book.)

89wookiebender
maj 26, 2015, 9:26pm

20. Clade, James Bradley



From Wikipedia: A clade (from Ancient Greek: κλάδος, klados, "branch") or monophylum (see monophyletic) is a life-form group consisting of an ancestor and all its descendants—representing a single "branch" on the "tree of life". (Because I had no idea what a clade was, even by the end of the book.)

The book starts with Adam and Ellie and the story of their love, which stumbles when Ellie becomes desperate to have a baby and they discover that it isn't as easy as they'd hoped. In the background, Adam is researching climate change. The story unfolds over ten chapters, with long gaps in our protagonists' lives as each chapter jumps forward years at a time or concentrates on (up to then) peripheral characters.

This was an excellent read, I gobbled it up in just a couple of days, and it reminded me very much of A Visit from the Goon Squad (although without the PowerPoint chapter). The story is rather bleak, with our world crashing around our ears due to climate change (plus a well-deserved sideswipe at our current refugee policy), but still moments of beauty and humanity within.

The ending sadly seemed slightly weak to me, it didn't really fit in with the rest of the story, although I did like the note he left us on.

****1/2

90nrmay
maj 27, 2015, 9:40pm

Happy to see you liked Clade as I have that one from the library to read soon.
I think I'll like it after seeing your remarks.

91wookiebender
maj 29, 2015, 8:01pm

I hope you like it!

92SouthernBluestocking
jun 2, 2015, 1:28am

>75 wookiebender:. I spent the whole time I was reading Lovers at the Chameleon Club on Google too-- the cars, the clubs, the gowns, the photos... I can see I'm going to have to reread that book!

93Berly
jun 8, 2015, 2:00am

Delurking to say Hi!

94wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 12:35am

Hi All! Meep, looks as if I'm delurking to say hi on my own thread! Better do something about that...

95wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 12:40am

21. The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters



The Paying Guests was a bit of a disappointment (and not worthy of its Bailey's Prize shortlist spot, IMO). It all seemed a bit melodramatic and tawdry, and a disappointingly ordinary storyline for Sarah Waters. But, considering she does reference a book on women's fiction of the 1920's - 1930's, maybe that was the point. And the heroine is too self righteous to like (which is okay in literature, but this felt like it missed the literature mark, so she was just annoying). On the plus side, it was a very quick read (for all its size), and there were some very good minor moments, not to mention a wonderful recreation of London on the early 1920's, with unrest from returned servicemen and a city and society left badly damaged by war. From another author, I would have rather liked it, but from Sarah Waters, it was disappointing.

***1/2

96wookiebender
Redigeret: jun 20, 2015, 12:46am

22. How to be Both, Ali Smith



It would have been much easier to read with some quotation marks (considering the main character is such a grammar pedant, I was a bit disappointed she wasn't a punctuation pedant too). But it's a great slow reveal of a nicely twisty story, not everything is resolved, and the second half was completely unexpected. And the main character is great, I obviously approve of grammar pedants over upper class spinsters. (See The Paying Guests, above. :) Sadly, I think the writing style (lack of quote marks, plus the second half is pretty stream of consciousness) threw me out of the story a bit too much, so I wasn't as involved in the story as I would really have liked to be.

However, it is a very clever book, and I am rather curious about her experiment, where half the editions have the story the other way around, with the Renaissance painter first, and the modern girl second. I liked my edition, I thought it was interesting doing the stories in a non-chronological order. Would I have liked it as much the other way around? Anyway, this is a book I shall be pondering for a while.

****1/2

97wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 12:48am

23. A God in Every Stone, Kamila Shamsie



Well, not quite sure what to make of A God in Every Stone. Buzz had me thinking it was going to be the outstanding on the Bailey's Prize shortlist, but I was underwhelmed. (Maybe it was oversold?) Interesting time, interesting history, but I think there may have been too much assumed knowledge or something. At any rate, I felt like I was struggling to keep up and never really got into it fully. (Hint to future authors: quotation marks were invented for a reason. Use them.)

***1/2

98wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 12:52am

24. Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary: More than 150 stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round, Wendy Bernard



An excellent book, I did several patterns from it, teaching myself to knit lace. (And now I know how to, I don't have to do it any more. What fidgeting!)

*****

99wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 12:58am

25. The Hawley Book of the Dead, Chrysler Szarlan



The Hawley Book of the Dead wasn't bad, but wasn't pitch perfect either. The start was very over-written, but she either got better, or I got used to it. And I never quite liked the idea of a romance when our main character was still grieving her lost husband, it all seemed too quick. (Note: it's not the falling-in-love again bit I disliked, it was the fact that he'd only died two months previously. While I guess love can't be planned, it was a little discomforting.) Needed a bit more punch somewhere, too, there seemed to be a lot of wailing and not much happening.

It's the first in a quartet (although there's no cliffhanger at the end of this one), I probably won't read on, unless I hear great things or I stumble across them at the library (as I did with this one).

***

100wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 1:03am

26. These Broken Stars, Amie Kaufman



Boy meets girl, girl rejects boy, spaceship explodes, and boy and girl need to learn to get along and survive on a deserted planet. Or is it...

Good fun, took a while for the sci-fi elements to come in, for a while there it looked as if it was going to be a pretty standard YA romance, albeit with an unusual setting. Of course, I was enjoying the romance anyhow, but having an extra layer to the plot did make it more satisfying, overall.

Australian author, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

****

101wookiebender
jun 20, 2015, 1:03am

There we are, all caught up. :) I'm currently reading Outline, another Bailey's Prize shortlisted book.

102saraslibrary
jun 22, 2015, 10:54pm

Nice caught-up list! :)

103wookiebender
jun 23, 2015, 9:37pm

Thanks! :)

Although I should update to say: I'm currently reading Outline, Rags & Bones, and H is for Hawk. Because stuff.

104saraslibrary
jun 26, 2015, 3:11am

>103 wookiebender: Rags & Bones looks awesome! I love the line-up of authors. Good luck with that one. :) I hope it turns out great.

105Berly
jul 22, 2015, 2:29am

Good books and awesome reviews!! Can't go wrong here. : )

106wookiebender
aug 4, 2015, 3:01am

>104 saraslibrary:, Rags & Bones was a good read. Like most short story collections, some were better than most (I particularly liked Garth Nix's retelling of "The Man Who Would be King", but they were all pretty good.

>105 Berly: thanks for dropping by! Again, it looks as if other people are paying more attention to my thread than I am. :)

107wookiebender
Redigeret: aug 4, 2015, 5:30am

27. This Night So Dark, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner



Bit of a filler between the first two books, this short story felt like the authors needed their characters to have some extra knowledge before we start the next book. Still fun.

***1/2

108wookiebender
Redigeret: aug 4, 2015, 5:28am

28. Outline, Rachel Cusk



Picked up as it's one of the Bailey's shortlisted books this year. Returned to the library unread because life is too short for books without a plot. It wasn't a difficult or a hard read, it was just a book that didn't appeal to me.

DNF, no rating.

109wookiebender
aug 4, 2015, 5:25am

29. Rags and Bones, edited by Melissa Marr



This was a collection of retelling of classic tales (not that I picked the first one at all, seems to be based on a sci-fi short story of E.M. Forster of all people). Some good authors (I grabbed it for Saladin Ahmed, because the library doesn't seem to have his novel on the shelves any more, botheration, but also has Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, etc).

There were some good stories in this collection, plus some okay stories. No duds (IMO). Most interesting to me was the wide and varied inspiration (wish I'd written them all down before I returned it to the library!). My favourite was probably Garth Nix's retelling of The Man Who Would be King by Kipling, I must read the original now!

110wookiebender
aug 4, 2015, 5:51am

30. H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald



H is for Hawk left me with mixed feelings. I still have too much love for TH White's The Goshawk (and The Sword in the Stone) to be happy about any book that is going to be critical of such an important part of my childhood reading. (Plus, and I feel rather awful saying this, but I couldn't relate to the depth of her grief, she went off the deep end so completely and I just wanted to slap her and tell her to get over it. I'm an awful person.) Book group reaction was mixed, too, for varied reasons. Glad I read it, but not fun.

***1/2

111wookiebender
aug 4, 2015, 5:54am

31. Manhattan Dreaming, Anita Heiss



Okay, the writing was rather pedestrian, but gold stars for having a non-white protagonist (which is why I picked it up). Plot is obvious, and characters tend towards simplistic. Best thing about it was seeing a chick-lit novel from the point of view of a non-white person, but I wouldn't recommend it as a chick-lit novel (there are much better ones out there).

Glad I finally read something by Anita Heiss though!

***

112wookiebender
aug 4, 2015, 5:58am

32. I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, Nora Ephron



I Feel Bad About My Neck proved to be one of those books that one can read (and enjoy!) in a day, even a working day. Some of the columns were about things I care nothing about (makeup, mostly) but they were still entertainingly written. Fun stuff, recommended.

****

113wookiebender
aug 4, 2015, 6:09am

33. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel



Set in the not-too-distant future, where 99.9% of the population has been wiped out by a virus. The story jumps between the final days of civilization, and the small remaining bands of survivors, trying to eke out an existence in a very different world from that of today. It's not as gloomy as it could be - sure, there are madmen masquerading as prophets; minor ailments can kill you without proper medication; and life is hard. But the overall feel for me was one of hope, with humanity not just surviving, but still creating art and finding a new society. "Survival is Insufficient".

****1/2

114ronincats
aug 6, 2015, 11:38pm

I also enjoyed Station Eleven and thought it was overall hopeful, not a dystopia.

115wookiebender
aug 7, 2015, 12:24am

Oh, it was awful that so many people died (and the survivors often had no idea what happened to their loved ones, as they were separated when everything went bad), but it was a future where humanity survived. (Don't get me started on The Road, which I found horribly depressing.)

I've still got a few more reviews to write, I got sidetracked on the weekend while I was halfway through the mammoth catch up of reviews!

116wookiebender
aug 19, 2015, 11:18pm

34. The Disappearance of Ember Crow, Ambelin Kwaymullina



The second of The Tribe novels, this one kicks off a little bit after the first, The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, finished. It's another good story, the world building of the first is less annoying (possibly because she could stop and build on what she's already started), but the structure is a bit more ordinary.

And apparently the third is now available in bookshops. Perfect timing! :)

***1/2

117wookiebender
aug 19, 2015, 11:22pm

35. A Bachelor Establishment, Isabella Barclay



Rather fun little Regency romance, from the author of the truly delightful St Mary's series. The dialogue is delightfully snarky, and it's lovely to see an older woman as heroine. The plot was a little disjointed though, the leads went from hate to love without much transition period.

Overall, needed more time travelling historians.

***1/2

118ronincats
aug 20, 2015, 12:12am

This sounds like fun, and I can borrow it for free as a Prime member! Thanks for the heads-up, Tania.

119wookiebender
aug 20, 2015, 8:04am

Hope you enjoy it, Roni!

120ronincats
aug 21, 2015, 4:38pm

It was fun. I imagine Taylor is a Heyer fan, as I recognized several subplots, but she doesn't do the side characters and the dialogue quite as well. Still, quite enjoyable.

121wookiebender
aug 31, 2015, 1:00am

Ah, I haven't read enough Heyer to be able to recognise her subplots being used elsewhere, but I'm not surprised. Aren't all great writers fans of Heyer? :)

And that book got me onto The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, and I happily gobbled up the first four in that series. Now reading some more genre stuff, will get onto reviews one day. Soonish.

122ronincats
aug 31, 2015, 1:24am

>121 wookiebender: Oh, I read the first of those earlier this summer. I need to get back to them!

123wookiebender
aug 31, 2015, 6:43pm

They are fun! But I think reading four in a row has somewhat sated me for the Regency-spies-with-silly-floral-names genre. :) But I'm glad there are more to read once I'm in the mood for them again!

124Berly
sep 14, 2015, 2:03am

Hi Wookie! Loved Station 11 and I Feel Bad About My Neck. Love the St.Mary's series, but not sure a 3.5 star is enough to hook me. Thanks for not loving Hawk; now I don't have to feel bad about skipping that one. Hugs. : )

125wookiebender
sep 21, 2015, 12:18am

Hi Berly! H is for Hawk definitely gets a lot of love from a lot of people. I was hoping to like it much more than I did. (Our consensus for the book group's next reading choice was "something with less introspection and more action". :) We went with Scaramouche, but I was in a bit of a reading slump and didn't get very far into it :( Tonight we'll be discussing All The Light We Cannot See which I just finished in my lunch break!)

126Berly
sep 26, 2015, 11:52pm

I enjoyed ATLWCS very much although the ending was not quite what I was expecting. You?

127wookiebender
dec 9, 2015, 9:57pm

Berly! Of course, I cannot remember enough of the end of ATLWCS to make any sort of cogent argument for or against the ending of the book. :/

Oh dear. My poor neglected thread. I am still alive (and still reading!), no end in sight to work stress (yeesh) but Xmas is just around the corner, so three weeks off and lots of books under the Xmas tree :)

I hope I do better next year.

128wookiebender
dec 9, 2015, 10:03pm

36. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, Lauren Willig ****
37. The Masque of the Black Tulip, Lauren Willig ****
38. Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor ***
39. The Deception of the Emerald Ring, Lauren Willig ****
40. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, Lauren Willig ***1/2

41. The Word Exchange, Alena Graedon ***1/2
A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler (DNF)
42. The Just City, Jo Walton ****
43. White is For Witching, Helen Oyeyemi ****
44. Fairytales for Wilde Girls, Allyse Near ****
45. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr ****

46. The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Patrick Rothfuss ****
47. The Gates, John Connolly ***1/2
48. The Martian, Andy Weir ***1/2
49. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins ***1/2
50. The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard ***1/2

51. Infernal Devices, K.W. Jeter ***1/2
52. The Emperor's Blades, Brian Staveley ****
53. A Beautiful Place to Die, Malla Nunn ****
54. Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, Ayelet Waldman ****
55. Brothers in Arms, Lois McMaster Bujold ***1/2

56. Shift, Hugh Howey ***1/2

129wookiebender
dec 9, 2015, 10:05pm

Hm, not going to make 100 books this year! Still, some good reading happening. :)

130wookiebender
dec 15, 2015, 1:48am

57. Zeroes, Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti



Zeroes is a YA novel about teens with superpowers. It's written by three authors. Scott Westerfield, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti. (The last two are Australian, the first is an honorary Australian. :)

Overall, Zeroes was rather good fun, a bit YA-esque at times, but it WAS young adult, so I shouldn't quibble about that. An interesting cast of characters struggling with an odd range of superpowers, a decently complex plot, and I couldn't tell which author wrote which chapter (but if there was a fair amount of description, I did assume Margo Lanagan :).

****

131ronincats
dec 23, 2015, 3:48pm

It isn't all about the numbers!



For my Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Holiday image this year (we are so diverse!), I've chosen this photograph by local photographer Mark Lenoce of the pier at Pacific Beach to express my holiday wishes to you: Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All!

132Berly
dec 26, 2015, 3:43pm


133wookiebender
jan 8, 2016, 3:08am

Thanks! It is most certainly not all about the numbers, and I did read a lot of fun books overall. :)

134wookiebender
Redigeret: jan 8, 2016, 3:14am

58. The Aeronaut's Windlass, Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher dips his toes into the world of steampunk, with flying ships and talking cats. The world building is impressive, the characters are fun. Possibly some pacing issues (there were days when I was less than keen to return to his world, but that could just been pre-Xmas exhaustion kicking in), but overall recommended.

And frankly, he had me at "talking cat." Rowl deserves a whole series just about him. (And, typical cat, you know he knows he deserves such a thing.)

****

135wookiebender
jan 8, 2016, 3:13am

59. A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab

Magic! Multiple Londons! Gorgeous clothes! Cross dressing wannabe pirate! Regency!

Ahem. I enjoyed this book very much.

****

136wookiebender
jan 8, 2016, 3:15am

Finished with a couple of fun reads. Now onto 2016!

https://www.librarything.com/topic/210991#

137ronincats
jan 10, 2016, 6:02pm

So glad you enjoyed The Astronaut's Windless--I thought it was so much fun. And talking cats, YES!