Ronincats Reads Restoratively in 2015: Thread 7
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1. A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (message #66)
2. The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley (#99)
3. Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (#142)
4. The Western Lit Survival Kit by Sandra Newman (#161)
5. The Minority Council by Kate Griffin (#192)
6. The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively
7. Deeds of Honor by Elizabeth Moon
8. Arabella by Georgette Heyer
9. The Butler Who Laughed by Michelle Martin
10. The Spirit Gate by Maya Bohnhoff
11. M'Lady Witch by Christopher Stasheff
12. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Shiguro
13. The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson
14. Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan Howard
15. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
16. Nobody's Home by Tim Powers
17. Wordplay by Glenn Bassett
18. The Glass God by Kate Griffin
19. The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor
20. Wonders of the Invisible World by Patricia McKillip
21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
22. The Aspern Papers by Henry James
23. The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan
24. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
25. What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund
26. Hex Marks the Spot by Madelyn Alt
27. Severance by Chris Bucholz
28. Flirting With Felicity by Gerri Russell
29. The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg
30. Prudence by Gail Carriger
31. Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire
32. Only a Novel by Joan Aiken Hodge
33. A God That Could Be Real by Nancy Abrams
34. Third Time Lucky by Tanya Huff
35. The Science of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
36. Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
37. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
38. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
39. Abducticon by Alma Alexander
40. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
41. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
42. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett
43. The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer
44. Carousel Seas by Sharon Lee
45. A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
46. The Girl With the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir
47. I am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
48. Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill
49. Holiday in Death by J. D. Robb
50. The Reformation: A History by Diarmaid MacCulloch
51. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
52. Under the Egg by Laurence Fitzgerald
53. The Origins of Tolkien's Middle Earth for Dummies by Greg Harvey
54. Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
55. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
56. The Occasional Diamond Thief by J. A. McLachlan
57. Saving the Original Sinner by Karl Giberson
58. The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
59. Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff by Lori Baird
60. Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
61. Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
62. Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood
63. The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens
64. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
65. Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
66. Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
67. Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
68. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
69. I Dare! by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
70. Necessity's Child by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
71. Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
72. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas
73. Station Eleven by Emily Mandel
74. Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
75. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
76. A Liaden Universe Constellation by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
77. A Liaden Universe Constellation II by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
78. A Liaden Universe Constellation III by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
79. Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
80. Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
81. Saltation by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
82. Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
83. Dragon Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
84. The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
85. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
86. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
87. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
88. Stolen Magic by Gail Carson Levine
89. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
90. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
91. The Magic Thief: Lost by Sarah Prineas
92. The Magic Thief: Found by Sarah Prineas
93. Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
94. Crystal Dragon by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
95. Tower in the Crooked Wood by Paula Johanson
96. The Magic Thief: Home by Sarah Prineas
97. Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
98. The Just City by Jo Walton
99. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
100. Mars Evcuees by Sophia McDougall
101. Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
102. The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
103. The Outskirter's Secret by Rosemary Kirstein
104. The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
105. A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
106. Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen
107. Speaking from among the bones by Alan Bradley
108. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
109. A Hat full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
110. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
111. I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
112, Three in Death by J. D. Robb
113. The Lost Steersman by Rosemary Kirstein
114. The Language of Power by Rosemary Kirstein
115. Gut by Guilia Enders
116. Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone
117. The Woman who Wouldn't Die by Colin Cotterill
118. The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
119. Thraxis by Martin Scott
120. A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
121. Mad Maudlin by Mercedes Lackey
122. Black Magic Device by Emily Sorensen
123. Fyre by Angie Sage
124. Closer to Home by Mercedes Lackey and
125. Hounding the Pavemet by Judi McCoy
126. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
127. City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Gennett
128. Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix
129. The Astronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
130. The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud
131. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
132. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
133. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
134. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane
135. The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason
136. High Wizardry by Diane Duane
137. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
138. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane
139. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
140. A Wizard's Holiday by Diane Duane
141. Wizards at War by Diane Duane
142. Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger
143. Bad Paper by Jake Halpern
144. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
145. Last First Snow by Max Gladstone
146. The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason
147. The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter
148. Harpy's Flight by Megan Lindholm
149. Winter by Marissa Meyer
150 The Mantle of the Prophet by Roy Mottahedeh
151. The Windsingers by Megan Lindholm
152. Walk on Earth a Strange by Rae Carson
Books Acquired in 2015
* denotes ebooks
1. The Minority Council by Kate Griffin
2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
3. Deeds of Honor* by Elizabeth Moon
4. The Grand Sophy* by Georgette Heyer
5. The Toll-Gate* by Georgette Heyer
6. Wonders of the Invisible World* by Patricia McKillip
7. Great Science Fiction about Doctors
8. The Gathering Storm* by Winston Churchill
9. Their Finest Hour* by Winston Churchill
10. The Grand Alliance* by Winston Churchill
11. The Hinge of Fate* by Winston Churchill
12. Closing the Ring* by Winston Churchill
13. Triumph and Tragedy* by Winston Churchill
14. The Nothing Girl* by Jodi Taylor
15. Severance* by Chris Bucholz
16. Flirting with Felicity* by Gerri Russell
17. The Paper Magician* by Charlie Holmberg
18. Great Science Fiction about Doctors
Happy New Thread, Roni! I hope it's the beginning of some easy time for you to finish out the year.
>4 ronincats: - Love the autumn themed food display, especially that cheese ball. Must keep that in mind!
Have a lovely weekend my dear. Hope that you are enjoying the absence of plaster of paris.
Book #126 Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (431 pp.)
This is a fantastic book, in both senses of the word! For a thorough review, go to this link:
I'll just say that although it was a slow start for me (male geek nerd with girl problems), it went so far beyond that and was so finely nuanced that this is one I will definitely read again. And there is not that much fantasy set in an Arab emirate with an Arab/Indian mix protagonist and dealing with the aftermath of the Arabian Spring. Strongly recommended.
ETA the author also writes graphic novel, notably Ms. Marvel.
Hi, Melissa, Joe, Mary and QQ!
So, third time is the charm, so we finally made it to see The Martian today, as well as a trip to the library. The movie is good--not as good as the book but quite good nonetheless. At the library, I picked up the new Jim Butcher book, The Aeronaut's Windlass, the next and last (at the moment) Max Gladstone Craft book, Last First Snow, A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, and finally the nonfiction Bad Paper, highly recommended by several LTers here. But before all that, Amazon had the new Garth Nix in my mailbox first thing this morning, Newt's Emerald. Normally I would drop everything to read it immediately, but I'm now into City of Stairs and can't see myself setting it aside to do so. So many choices!
But first I'll watch The Muppet Show and The Voice tonight, which should give me time to finish up the ruffle scarf I'm working on, and then I'll take a photo of it, along with the hat and fingerless glove set I've finished.
Don't worry, it won't take long. Love that book.
ETA very pretty knitting. But you know that.
>43 xymon81: The OLD muppet show was for adults also. Okay, it was for ALL ages. And Kermit finally deciding to leave a dysfunctional relationship, dumping? I don't think we've seen Denise since the first episode, though.
>44 LizzieD: I remembered your strong recommendation, Peggy. I find it hard to compare those two books, though, because the genre is so different. AJ reminds me of Ursula Le Guin.
Book #127 City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (452 pp.)
This book came highly recommended, which probably is why it took a full year after purchasing it at The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle last year before I got it read. Of course, that mean it counts as a book off my own shelf now! The fantasy is set in an original world and besides being a good story, reflects interesting thoughts on oppression, counter-oppression and the effects on the peoples involved, as well as the nature of Divinity. I see that a second book is due out next year, and I will definitely get it as well. People who enjoyed this book would undoubtedly like the Max Gladstone Craft series and its treatment of Divinity as well.
Glad that you enjoyed it, and I'm off to look at M. Gladstone. Thanks!!
Book #128 Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix (291 pp.)
In his author's note, Nix acknowledges the primary influences for this book--Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen and the entire Aubrey-Maturin series. He does a good job of living up to at least two of these influences in this rollicking Regency England adventure tale with elements of sorcery. However, there is no depth beneath the adventure, no insight into the magical system or the Fey, nor really into any of the characters besides Newt herself. I'd say it is a good YA romance-adventure. If that is damning with faint praise, it is only because of my deep love for the first three Old Kingdom books and that none of his more recent books have matched them.
Have a lovely weekend, Roni.
There's this guy on Etsy selling paperfolding patterns for books.
Book #129 The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (630 pp.)
I've never been a strong fan of Jim Butcher. I've read the first four Harry Dresden books at a desultory pace--not into the strongest ones yet, from what I heard. And I bounced off the first of the Codex Alera books, although I intend to try them again someday, having three of them in my tbr pile. But I thought I'd give this new series a try and...
This is a great story! I'd call it science fiction rather than fantasy, somewhat steampunkish with the technology. The world-building is really good, and shown rather than told--there's still a lot we don't know about this world by the end of the book. Oh, and the book does tell a complete story, so you aren't left on a cliff-hanger even though you know there is more of the story coming--that's one of my pet peeves. And the characters and story-line drew me in immediately. I wanted to keep reading into the night even when I was only 100 pages into this 630 page tome. Although I didn't, I did finish this in two days because I kept coming back to it every spare minute. There are strong female as well as male viewpoint characters, a talking cat who is a person as opposed to a cute accessory (and he only talks Cat, which most humans can't master), flying ships and battles (it's scary how Butcher channels David Weber in Chapter 68!), and much, much more! So glad I got this library copy so quickly, and recommend that you look for it immediately.
>56 ronincats:: I have also not gotten into Jim Butcher. I read the first Harry Dresden book, which was fun but I never continued though I meant to someday -- then this year I read Skin Game, which was supposed to be much better but just felt bloated and middle-chapter-y. So "someday" dropped a couple notches of priority. I may give Aeronaut's Windlass a chance, though.
*wanders confusedly off*
>58 luvamystery65: I've heard that, Ro, and plan to continue in my usual desultory fashion--usually read one during May Mystery Month.
>59 jjmcgaffey: Jenn, I hope you like it.
>60 swynn: Steve, I think it's worth a try.
>61 Whisper1: Hugs to you, Linda!
>62 jnwelch: Joe, I thought of you while reading it, thinking you would enjoy it too.
>63 Kassilem: I don't know that it's better, Melissa, not having read all that much Butcher, but I sure enjoyed it.
>64 LizzieD: Go for it, Peggy!
>65 humouress: I didn't say I didn't like Alera, just that I bounced off it when I first tried it and haven't gotten back to it yet. And I think you'll like TAW.
I don't know why they titled the book that, though. Aeronaut, yes, but no windlass plays any particular significant role in the story...
Book #130 The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud (374 pp.)
This is the third and just-published book in the Lockwood & Co. series, taking place in an England where 50 years before, the Supernatural suddenly manifested in a continuum of disturbing to fatal forms. Only children can see them and so they have become the ground troops to eliminate the revenants. After a disaster killing the rest of her team, Lucy fled from her home area to London and joined the only company not owned and managed by an adult. This is the third of her adventures and is just as creepy and violent as the others, but either I'm getting tired of them or I didn't like the dynamics with the new team member. Still, a very interesting world. Remember, the pov character is an 11 year old girl, it's a kid's book, and just go for the novelty.
>78 humouress: Oh, you can suppose whatever you wish! ;-)
>82 qebo: Especially a relief to get out in the garden and start prepping the soil for my winter garden--6 weeks later than planned. I want to get those peas started.
On the agenda for today: a trip to the library to pick up Sorcerer to the Crown and The Traitor Baru Cormorant, preparing my stuff (and finishing off some projects) to go to my first farmers' market in 6 weeks, paying some bills, and sweeping through the house. I'm in the middle of the Max Gladstone from the library but last night I finished the first of the books in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series--this is a reread, but my first of the revised Millenial Edition, as I just picked up all 9 books of the series in e-book form at a flash sale price of $25 on the author's website.
Book #131 So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane (403 pp.)
The revisions are pretty much inserting modern technology--cell phones, texting, etc.--into the original story first published in 1983. I really enjoyed this story when I first read it. This time through, the story seemed more juvenile and simplistic and echoed A Wrinkle in Time much more strongly than I recall noticing back in the 80s. I should note, however, that this series is still continuing and the more recent books are much more complex than this initial tale.
DISASTER! OPPORTUNITY! CHAOS! IRRESISTIBLE!
Baen has just made the eARC of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen available. That's the opportunity.
It costs $15. That's the disaster, but it's the same as it was for the Ivan book in 2012.
I will of course still be buying the hardback when it comes out in February because that's what I do with Bujold books. That's the CHAOS.
Of course I've already bought it and put it on my Kindle. It's just SO irresistable!
You seem to be reading lots of books that are on my wishlist; City of Stairs and A Stranger in Olondria are also both on the wishlist.
>56 ronincats: I thought I might dodge a BB for the latest Jim Butcher as I was never really a fan of Harry Dresden either but you got me with that one too.
>67 ronincats: Lovely colours!
>76 ronincats: Hooray!
>89 ronincats: I'm going to try to hold on until February for the Bujold...
(which is a very inelegant thing that I don't actually do)
Have a lovely weekend my dear.
>91 souloftherose: Glad to be of help, Heather!
>92 humouress: Here's a napkin (virtual), Nina.
>93 Familyhistorian: Not so many, unfortunately.
>94 PaulCranswick: Paul, you have just a touch more in the way of distractions on your plate, my dear!
>95 RBeffa: Thank you!
>96 souloftherose: And thank YOU!
Yes, it IS my Thingaversary. Eight years ago today I became a member of LibraryThing and have not regretted it for a second. Indeed, it has added so much to my life!
Yesterday we went to the farmers' market for the first time in a month and a half, and I sold a hat, a pair of fingerless gloves, and 3 pairs of earrings so it was a productive outing.
This morning I woke up at 6 with a horrendous head-banger--took me 10 minutes to pull myself together enough to totter into the bathroom for medication. The most hideous part was gone when I woke up, but I have had tightness and general malaise all day, enough that I didn't go to the pottery, and you know I hate to miss that! That's why I haven't been on earlier today. I took a nap and have tried to just chill out.
So, as a result, I haven't planned my Thingaversary book haul yet. I will continue my practice of justifying pre-orders as part of it. That takes care of 4 books:
Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold: both the eArc and the hardback coming
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
I've been getting so many books from the library that it is difficult to think what I will buy vs. borrow, but clearly I deserve 4 or 5 more books for my Thingaversary, so I will have to work on it.
Happy Thingaversary, Roni. Forget counting the pre-orders, get the 9 books (8+1, right?) and worry about shelving later. You can always ask Paul C for lessons.
Thanks for the heads-up on Gentleman Jole. I'd heard nada. I pre-ordered the hardcover, and I'll try to be patient. Lots of Cordelia - oh, I like the sounds of that.
Here's my haul from the Harvest Festival. The shawl and bag in the lower left corner are Christmas gifts. The back row, from L to R, contains Brandini Toffee, Garlic Festival seasoning, and three delicious barbeque sauces. Lower right are stone slabs for wire-wrap pendants and center is a coffee cat cup for me. Front center is a packet of 20 notecards with original cat designs by Jamie Perry--I love her work which you can see here: http://www.jsperry.com/
Book #133 Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (371 pp.)
This is the first novel by an award-winning young Malaysian author, and it's been getting a lot of buzz. This is an alternate history set in Regency England--not the first time that's been done! The novelty has been that its primary protagonist, the eponymous Sorcerer Royal, is a man of color who rose to that position upon the death of his guardian, who bought him, developed his talent for magic, freed him and promoted him as a magician using his influence as the Sorcerer Royal. But Zacharias Wythe is finding that the Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers is even less tolerant of his presence without that influence, and actively seeking to displace him, as well as blaming him for a reduction in the amount of magic available to English magicians. A visit to the border of Faery with England reveals a cork blocking the flow of magic. There are political pressures to show that magic is still powerful enough for the government to subsidize the Society. You'd think all of this would be enough to deal with in a book, but when Wythe detours to a girls' school (where young ladies are taught how to control and get rid of their magic, being too delicate to do magic without harm to their constitutions), he not only sees evidence of substantial magic by females but picks up a half-Indian (East Indian) young woman with loads of magic who has to leave the school and wants to find a rich husband in order to be able to use her magic. Prunella basically hijacks the book from then on--she is a strong character, much stronger than Zacharias, actually. This is interesting, a quick and entertaining read, if not quite what I expected. Naomi Novik calls it "an enchanting cross between Georgette Heyer and Susanna Clarke." Much as I love Heyer, the story had more Heyer than I expected.
Book #134 Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane (387 pp.)
With this second book of the series, Duane moved beyond her inspirations into a full-fledged children's fantasy series with deeper undertones. Kit and Nita are called to join the whales under sea to once again battle the Lone One. I'm enjoying my reread of this series.
>111 RebaRelishesReading: Indeed a lovely day, and a little warmer than I'd anticipated--up to 82 here today.
>112 connie53: Hope you enjoy them, Connie.
Book #135 The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason (356 pp.)
This is really a fun series. Set in an alternate Victorian England, Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker (daughter of Mycroft Holmes and sister of Bram Stoker) were called in by Irene Adler in the first book of the series to help solve a mystery where the two seventeen-year-old girls would be less obtrusive in a delicate situation. I received that book as an ER selection, and supposedly won the third book in the series through ER last month, although I haven't received it yet. So I figured I needed to read the second book. What is so fun is that the girls each tell their own viewpoint chapters and they are so unalike as to constantly irritate each other, as well as the clever references to the source literature throughout the story. Hope that third book shows up soon.
ETA that I hope the kitten managed to get back inside.
I'm sorry to hear about your friend. You have had more than a year of sadness this year. And I have now put A Stranger in Olondria on the old wish list. Thank you again.
Feel really well! (And congratulations on healing quickly.) Get that kitten back inside! Those are my two wishes for you.
So yesterday was the farmers market--sold a plate and 3 pairs of earrings--the latter to someone who'd bought from me before and came specifically looking for gifts. So I made a profit. A busy few weeks coming up: next week is normal but the two weeks after that have 3 events plus the farmers market and, due to the hand fracture, really low pottery inventory. I go to the studio today to glaze one more teapot, the last piece out before these shows.
Book #136 High Wizardry by Diane Duane (375 pp.)
Book three in the series has little sister Dairine taking her Wizard's Oath and her Ordeal. These middle school books are nice light reading and easy to pick up on the run. It's interesting to see the alterations done to the stories to put them in the new time line and update the technology (time starts in 2007 for the first book now, originally published in 1982).
Feeling a little bit of envy about being able to work in the garden ;-)
Beautiful colored pottery!
Sorry about your friend and others I missed in this "quiete a year"...
Well, the errant kitty is now inside and I have 4 deep puncture marks on my inner right forearm. For those who are not completely caught up in my life, we have three cats and one dog. Zoe is the one on my profile page and she is 13 years old and a total sweetie--my husband found her sleeping out in the street as a kitten and brought her in, totally bedraggled but clearly brought up around people. Then Molly, 8 years old, is the dog, and the next year our other two cats were born under our front porch to a feral female. We brought the dark tabby male in when he was old enough to leave mom--he still doesn't let me walk up to him and pick him up, but loves to have me pull him onto my lap when I'm sitting and pet him. That's Cole. And then there is Spook, who never let me pick him up as a kitten (cue puncture wounds) but who followed Cole into the house when he came in and has co-existed with us since then. He actually will walk by be when I'm sitting and lets me reach out and rub the side of his head or down his spine through his tail, but never, never lets me tighten a grip or cuddle or pick him up. It was becoming increasingly clear that, although I had at times coaxed him up to the doorsill, he was never going to actually come in, just sit out on the deck and cry about it. So, sitting on the lounge just outside the door, I finally got him in position, while petting him as above, where I got a good grip on his neck with my right hand and his tail with my left and heaved him through the door and slammed it shut before he could scramble back out again. REally, it's minimal damage all things considered! He should come out of the depths of the closet in a day or so, and may let me touch him again in a couple of weeks...
Sorry to hear the news about your friend. - it has been a tough year for you and yours. But glad you got Spook inside and he hasn't held it against you! Our kitty is still strongly against being picked up or handled and won't sit on laps but does like lots of strokes as long as it's on her own terms.
Glad that Spook is coming around!
Spook is a beautiful cat!
A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane (369 pp.)
Book 4 of the series has Nita being sent to her aunt in Ireland to get her away from wizardry and Kit for a while--anyone think that's going to work? Good grounding in Irish mythology here.
Book #138 A Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane (435 pp.)
I knew this one would be hard--Nita's mother is discovered to have a malignant brain tumor, and Nita deals with the limits of wizardry. It's very well done, and I'm a big fan of having kids be able to deal with difficult things in fiction as a preparation for RL (one of the reasons I get so irate at things like changing the ending of A Little Princess in the film)--it's probably at this point in the series where Duane develops the depth to make the series a classic. I shed a few tears, but I'm okay now.
The fall color in Missouri and Kansas is underwhelming this year. Good on you for taming the feral kitties!
>134 connie53: thanks, Connie. He's definitely a Halloween kind of cat.
Books read: 14
Pages read: 5971
Average pages/book: 426
Average pages/day: 199
10 new reads, 4 rereads
7 library books
1 book off my shelf
2 science fiction
Book #139 A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane (355 pp.)
Nita and Kit try to make contact with a young autistic wizard and cope with the development of Kit's dog's abilities. Another excellent installment.
I am planning reading a fair amount of fantasy in November and started with One Good Knight from Mercedes Lackey, now I am just finishing up a re-read of The Lies of Locke Lamora so I will be ready for the rest of the trilogy soon. I picked up Plain Kate by Erin Bow at the library this morning and I have The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley on the TBR as a lot of LTers have said this was one of their favorites.
>138 DeltaQueen50: Count me in as a fan of The Blue Sword, Judy. HOpe you like it too.
>139 foggidawn: Doesn't she, foggi?
>140 avatiakh: Yes, owners of black cats in this country are urged to keep them in and safe around Halloween. I hope he shows up.
We are having a rainy night with lightning and thunder! So rare here in SD, and so enjoyable. We are actually putting the windows down tonight as the temperature has dipped into the 50s.
Manners & Mutiny showed up first thing this morning, but I'm still working on Wizards at War so haven't started it yet. Got my KU Jayhawk paraphernalia out today--first game is tomorrow night!
I love Cetaganda also. It's really one of my favorites. Interesting to note, too, that Cetaganda is one of Jo Walton's least favorites. Can't remember xactly why at this moment, but I'll try to refind it.
FYI, Roni, I'm now reading a long series of her essays on her reread of the Jhereg series. She may be convincing me to try another one!
>140 avatiakh: Yes, hope he returns safe and sound soon. My daughter has a black cat, Wynstyn (yes, a pretentious name, but she's a NYC actress so... anyway, she calls him Bubbie ~ don't ask because I don't know), and keeps him inside for many reasons, one of which is the stupid superstitions of some people. Mostly because of NYC traffic.
I liked Cetaganda too, and Komarr is another really good one, but my very favorite (as I think I've mentioned) remains A Civil Campaign. Hmm, 2016 may be a good year for a reread of the series before reading her new installment that's coming out in February. Also, come to think of it, I still haven't gotten around to Falling Free. Bad Mary.
>145 sibylline:, >142 sibylline: Hah, Walton convinced you, huh? There are some options--
If you want some history of how Vlad became connected to Morrolan and Sethra, plus some very interesting insight into the Dragearan gods, go with Taltos.
You can't get to where Vlad's lifestyle starts causing problems and he starts making changes without getting through Yendi into Teckla.
If you are tired of Vlad and are a fan of Dumas' writing and The Three Musketeers, go before Vlad's time to The Phoenix Guards.
>144 humouress: *waves back at Nina* Hope your air is clearing up.
>143 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. I hear our rain may be causing snow in Denver--are you getting any of it? I love all those other Bujolds as well.
Switched over my summer and winter wardrobes yesterday and today. As often happens, forgot to put on my Fitbit after my bath, so have several hours on my feet that did't get logged in addition to the 3622 steps that did. And that's all in the house. Woke up this morning to the sounds of the tree removal crew taking out the 25' tall yucca back by the rental where it was starting to push up the foundation. They were done in an hour and a quarter--great job!
Last night I finished Wizards at War and started Manners & Mutiny, but haven't had time to read today--what little I did read was starting the first chapter of my nonfiction, Bad Paper.
Book #141 Wizards at War by Diane Duane (563 pp.)
Book 8 of the series is even more complex and emotionally satisfying than the previous books. More would be spoilers for previous books. The next and final (at the moment) book in the series is the only one I have read, and it's been on my tbr shelf since it came out in 2011. But I'm taking a break from Nita and Kit and working on M&M tonight.
Edited to add, I missed A Wizard's Holiday, which was book #140, so adding it here to keep the count accurate.
Book #142 Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (326 pp.)
This concludes the Finishing School quartet and is more of the same. Our plot resolution lines are nicely tied up with some explosive action, but it just didn't grab me like her others. It may have been me.
Saturday I put in a marathon (okay, 3.5 hours) at the Pottery, trimming and throwing and glazing up a storm, and had this to bring home from last week.
And I finished a new hat. The button is hand-made from polymer clay by an artist in the Spanish Village.
Yes, we got a light dusting of snow, but it's all gone now. So are the last of my tender annuals. The peony bush is still green, as are many of the leaves on the pear tree out back and the linden tree-bush and the lilacs. Also the kale looks like it's very happy. I guess kale likes a bit of frost.
RL hiatus this year.
>150 qebo: Katherine, I've been following along on your threads--as if dealing with the roof issue were not enough, the community garden stuff as well! Sending you lots of positive energy!
>151 Storeetllr: It's the writing machine, churning it out! Way to go, Mary!
Well, the World Fantasy Awards were announced today. Of the 5 novels, I had read 3, but of course not the one that won. What do you think, those of you who have read The Bone Clocks--is it worthy?
Winner: The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Random House; Sceptre)
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)*
City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway; Jo Fletcher)*
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy, Jeff VanderMeer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
My Real Children, Jo Walton (Tor; Corsair)*
*Ones I have read.
>154 Storeetllr: Haven't read ARea X or even heard anything about it.
>155 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks for saying hi, Reba! Sometimes I feel neglected and love the waves.
>156 sibylline: I did review them in my thread. Hard to say--they are very different. The Goblin Emperor was the most accessible, traditional fantasy in a good way, and feel-good of the three. My Real Children was the most involved, creative, and mundane of the three. City of Stairs was most similar in feel to other fantasy series I'm enjoying--the Matthew Swift books of Kate Griffin and Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence--and also well done with great world-building and complex plots.
Finished my first non-fiction of the month:
Book #143 Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld by Jake Halpern (240 pp.)
This sounded interesting when Jim (drneutron) reviewed it, and it was. I was already aware that debts were sold and bought like mortgages were, and that collection agencies were trying to collect on debt that was beyond the statute of limitations for this state, but this journalist tracked down and talked to the people doing the collecting. Not great writing, but interesting characters and an eye-opener if you didn't realize what has been going on.
Area X is the name of the combined series: I've seen good comments about the individual books
Okay, it's feedback time. I'm finally started making more holiday earrings, since my show starts on Friday (yes, I'm a procrastinator who needs pressure to move!). Here's what I've made today. I've only shown one of each model so that I can fit more into one photo. Which earrings should I concentrate on, style-wise? The one on the left is an ear-climber, shown pointing down.
I really enjoyed City of Stairs and liked Bone Clocks OK, but I was expecting more from it. I'll be researching the others.
And like Katie and foggidawn, I find the center earring most pleasing. I think it's the big green bead at the bottom that does it for me. I also like the tree on the left with fewer beads.
And here are the 4 pairs of ear climbers on their cards, one of which was in the photo in >159 ronincats:
It's been a busy day. I went to the pottery this morning since I won't be able to on Saturday and trimmed all sorts of stuff like crazy. Then we went down and set up for the Victorian Christmas Festival at the Chula Vista Elks tomorrow and Saturday. I'm just home and relaxing for a minute before turning out some more earrings and getting my stuff ready for tomorrow. Oh, and I sold the hat in >148 ronincats: to another vendor while we were setting up!
Have a lovely weekend.
>171 ronincats: If you have lots of corks, you must have opened a lot of wine bottles. Hmmm.... ;0)
I prefer the one with the wire wound around the cork, because the cork is more integrated into the decoration.
ETA >174 PaulCranswick: Paul, I think they'll look very nice on you.
I'm glad you had such a great start to the craft fair. Good wishes for today.
I hadn't seen the cork decorations before - I think you just haven't found the right crowd for them. I picked up a wine cork hot pad/coaster at a craft fair and it was a very popular item at a 'dirty Santa' gift giving a couple years back.
I'm excited that I've read some fantasy books that you haven't and can offer advice! (I think that's a first from me to you!). Area X is indeed sort of Dystopic/Fantasy/Horror if that isn't too much of a melange. Is it good and would I recommend it? Hmm, not sure. The first one is certainly worth a go, and I think you can probably stop there unless you really get hooked. It is pretty weird and disturbing and quite unlike anything else I've ever read. Basic plot is this: there's a weird area of a recognisable present day US that is just.....altered somehow. The only way in and out is through a mysterious portal, under hypnosis, and once inside very weird and almost always unpleasant things are liable to happen to you, but on the positive side, it has reverted back to be a pristine wilderness with absolutely no trace of pollution in any of the flora and fauna, much of which is unique to the area. The Southern Reach is the shadowy government department set up to look into this weird phenomena, and over the course of the three books we gradually find out more about it just what the heck is going on in there - or do we?? Did I mention it's pretty disturbing, but in a very low key way. But; disturbing. So, does that sound like fun or...?
Marina is really enjoying the Lockwood & Co. series:)
>173 Familyhistorian: Well enough to keep me busy, Meg!
>174 PaulCranswick: Joker!
>175 humouress: Oh, yes, I contributed everyone of those corks myself, Nina.
>176 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I've got a bunch of ideas on my Pinterest board for cork ideas to try out.
>177 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I'll make up a pair with all green beads--may not all be dark green, depends on what I have. If you pm me your email, I'll send you info on where I'll be Thursday and Saturday--after that, we'll be gone for 2 weeks.
>178 HanGerg: I think Richard just reviewed the first book in the series. Thanks for the info--I'm still undecided.
>179 HanGerg: I don't think there's a group, but there probably should be.
>180 DeltaQueen50: Oh, Judy, so glad you love it!!
>181 humouress: Seconding the YAY!
>182 sibylline: Not at this minute, but I had good sales. Thanks for the good thoughts, LUcy.
>183 AMQS: Isn't that series fun, Anne?
Relaxing today, cleaning up around the house and laundry, later maybe replenish my stock of ear climbers...
I'm not attracted to the corks, but I love all those Christmas trees in 187 - the red ones especially. That surprises me because green is my favorite color, and I tend to love yellow and brown. Thanks for posting all your good stuff!
>193 foggidawn: I didn't pierce my ears until I was around 40 and I'd say it took five patient years to get them to settle down.
>192 scaifea: Oh, Amber, it's a whole 'nother world out here. Having just spent two full days in the high 70s on the patio for my Victorian Christmas Show, I wasn't even thinking about Wisconsin in November! Glad I gave you an opportunity to laugh.
Book #144 Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (351 pp.)
I really enjoyed Caine's first book, Ill Wind, which started her Weather Warden series in 2003. It was chicklit in urban fantasy form, but I liked the snark and the world-building. But as it became a series, each book got more out there and more violent as she attempted to bring in something new--something known to happen when a first book becomes popular and then is stretched into a series without a clearly defined story line ahead of time. So I stopped reading her after about the 5th Weather Warden book and never got into any of her other series afterwards. The premise of this first book in her new series pulled me in, however, and I'm glad it did.
The Great Library of Alexandria controls all knowledge. Librarians are above national loyalties and conflicts, serving only knowledge. Owning actual books, unless stamped and licensed as duplicates, is illegal, but people have access to literature through "blanks" where any book requested appears and is read (Amazon Kindle, is that you?) for a period of time, then disappears. No room for abuse of power in this scenario, right? Jess comes from a book-smuggling family--his father pays for him to apply to be a Librarian. This is his story as he learns to see the Library for what it truly is.
Caine has learned from her experience. The story line is clearly delineated and controlled and you can see it is planned through to later books in the series. I loved the world-building and thought it entertaining reading indeed. Recommended.
>199 foggidawn: The current situation is resolved at the end of the book, foggi, but this is clearly a series where the action will continue. There is a natural break in the story here.
Well, I'm starting my natal day with a short craft show from 10 to 1, then I'm free for the rest of the day. Struggling to finish Last First Snow for over a week now. Not that it's a bad book but it's a prequel to Two Serpents Rising and I hate seeing bad things happen to good people.
And Happy Birthday to you!
I don't think I read past Rachel Caine's first book, and I can't remember why, other than 'not impressive'. But I'll keep an eye out for the librarians.
The craft show was slow and hot. Only 3 hours, it's an annual charity fund raiser in the parking lot of Symitar up in Kearny Mesa, and many the employees stroll past our books at their break and lunchtime in order to get to the food booths at the far end. We didn't see as many people buying this year as last year, but I still sold 5 of my ear climbers and my neighbor the soap lady bought two of my crocheted cowls to wear up to a show in Julian (60 miles east up in the mountains and definitely chilly there), so I did fine for a short show. Others weren't so lucky.
It was very nice to come home and relax afterwards, talk to family on the phone, and I'm transferring CDs to iTunes to my iPod for the trip home next week. Wish my husband was open to audio books.
Book #145 Last First Snow by Max Gladstone (380 pp.)
This is the 4th and newest book of the Craft Sequence published, but the first in chronological order. As such, it had to conform to events in Two Serpents Rise and that often constrains the story. As I said earlier, when bad things happen to people you like, it slows my reading down as I distance myself from the story, but I got through it and it was as well written as the others. Still a very interesting universe!
>219 ronincats: Must get around to the Craft Sequence too ...
And happy Yesterbirthday!
>224 scaifea: LOL. I guess I've built up some stamina...
Love the photos of your newest creations. Reba's silver earrings are especially pretty, and I love the idea of the cork ornaments. Every time I go somewhere on vacation I look for a unique ornament as a memento, and those would certainly be the kind of thing I'd go for.
I did indeed read the Southern Reach trilogy. I don't do horror either, and it was - at least to me - much more atmospheric and reminiscent of Lost. Weird for sure, and the first book is pretty short if you do decide to give it a go. I also haven't read The Bone Clocks, and I'll definitely have to read City of Stairs soon as now both you and Jim have recommended it.
And finally (but most importantly) a belated happy birthday! I hope you had a chance to celebrate over the weekend.
Book #146 The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason (351 pp.)
This is the third in a series. The first one was an ER book, and I got the second one to read from the library when I learned I had won this one as another ER book. The books feature two 17 year-old girls; one is the sister of Bram Stoker and the other the daughter of Mycroft Holmes. In a steampunk Victorian England where electricity is illegal, the girls have been involved in several mystery cases under the auspices of Irene Adler (Sherlock Holmes fans will need no introduction here). The girls have very different personalities and the conflicts between their points of view (the story is told in alternating first person between the two) as well as the introduction of some interesting young men add to the mystery and interest. I enjoy the interplay of personalities and the allusions to the world and literature we know as much as the mystery plot.
I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving in the USA and are starting off a good weekend elsewhere in the world!
Have a great weekend! Enjoy decoratin' the castle!
It should be sunny the rest of the week, if not particularly warm (but above freezing!). Thanks for dropping in, Ellen, Mary and Reba. Looking forward to getting back to San Diego weather!
It was raining and then it started to freeze?
We're been having warmer weather than usual here in Ohio. It hasn't even snowed yet this year, and it was above 60 on Dec 1. This works out well for me because I can bike around, but I don't think it's going to last much longer.
My sister came home from work last night after a day that reached into the low 50s and said, "Did you get out today? It was so hot!" *sigh* Amazing how two sisters living in the same place can have such completely different perspectives.
Safe travels, Roni!
>250 Storeetllr: We are always amused at ourselves how our idea of "warm" shifts each month. Right now in Vermont 45 is starting to look pretty good! (Full confession: I'm in Florida. Where I noticed people wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants today because it was hovering around 70! We, of course, were more lightly clad!)
A much-belated Happy Birthday and wonderful personal new year to you! And safe travels to you.
Drawing your attention to The man who spoke snakish by Andrus Kivirähk which I'm about to read, it sounds very promising, an Estonian bestseller.
Only 9 books for November, due at least in part to two weeks of travel and family. Of those, 4 were finishing up the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, rereads but of the new millennial edition. Those were all works I had at home and the final one was a BOTS for me. Then there was the latest Gail Carriger, the final book of the Finishing School quartet, three library books, one nonfiction and 2 fantasies, and then a mystery/fantasy ER book. Four of the books were published this year. About 3451 pages.
Currently working on a fantasy and an nonfiction, not moving too fast in either. Fighting to keep from pulling the Ki and Vandien quartet off my shelves to reread while Lucy is reading them--they are such fun. I'm at the top of the list at the library for Winter, Six of Crows, and Walk on Earth a Stranger, so should be bringing them home this month to read.
BTW, on getting a .mobi file onto a Kindle - https://askleo.com/how-do-i-get-a-mobi-ebook-onto-my-kindle/ has a nice overview of the two ways to do it (and also how to read it without a physical Kindle at all).
And it will make a CSV "catalog" of all its books that, with slight fiddling, will import to LT. I've been doing that with my ebooks, it makes things much easier (speaking of single location for books!). I leave off the ISBN and add it back after the import, so that the import will put in _my_ info about title, author, publication, etc.
Book #147 The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter (419 pp.)
This is set in an alternate history Europe, in a societal and technological setting similar to the late 1700s, early 1800s. It took me a little while to get into it, but I enjoyed the world-building quite a bit. The plot was interesting even though the romance was predictable, and the characters were well-drawn.
Nina and Jenn and Mary, great conversation going on here! I have Calibre on my desktop but haven't really figured out how to use it yet.
Joe, I am heading off for the library soon on my way to pottery to pick up Winter--it is finally IN!
Have a wonderful Sunday xx
Here's what I brought home from the pottery yesterday. I glazed three more bowls--didn't do any throwing, but came home a bit early so I could see the KU-Oregon State game at 5. Nothing special here. A lot of the little bowls for the shaving soap/brush ensembles, a two-person pie place, a pouring bowl, a big mug, a small mug and a vase.
>56 ronincats: In the middle of the audio of Aeronaut's Windlass, which I'm enjoying a lot. Full of action and interesting characters, and great world building! Loving the Master Aetherist and Folly and Lord Albion. Gwen, though...there have been times I wished someone would slap her. I just hope she grows out of her irritating mindset.
Glad you are loving The Aeronaut's Windlass. Yes, Gwen is definitely an entitled prima donna, but she does have her moments! Enjoy!
I'm also glad you finished a book. I know the feeling of life being so busy.
I hope you have a good week ahead of you!
>281 jnwelch: I'll be starting Winter tonight, Joe. I certainly hope you get TAW for the holidays as well--I think you'll really like it.
Book #148 Harpy's Flight by Megan Lindholm (202 pp.)
This is a re-read. Lucy read this, the first of a quartet around the same characters, just recently and reminded me that I had not revisited them for far too long. Published in 1983, when Robin Hobb was still Megan Lindholm, I loved the strong female character and the interesting world-building in a time when that was far rarer.
Judy, that's a good book. Hope you continue to enjoy it.
Lucy, I've put The Windsingers on hold while I read Winter but I'll be back to it soon.
So, the Kirkus Review was listing their best nonfiction books of 2015, and this book sounded interesting.
The House of Twenty Thousand Books by Sasha Abramsky
Has anyone heard of it? Anyone read it? I think I may have to have it. AND the library has it!
There are lots of 'best of for 2015' lists floating around LT, but I haven't seen any other NF lists - (other than Darryl's earlier Wellcome Prize list, of course). I've only heard of a few on that list.
>291 FAMeulstee: Thanks for the good wishes, Anita. It was slow, but I had an order from one of the other vendors for the 7 small shaving soap bowls and a hat, so started out in the black immediately. Then sold a bracelet, necklace, pair of earrings and a cork ornament for Christmas gifts and finally a small bowl at the very end. So I probably did better than practically anyone else there in the end.
Today the KU game is on at 11 this mornining, then off to the pottery to pick up the three bowls I glazed last week and finally start on some new THROWING! Then maybe this evening I can get back to Winter.
And here's what I brought home:
ETA thought this might interest you http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/fashion/why-handmade-ceramics-are-white-hot.ht...
Very interesting article--thanks for sharing!
Great article! I have some lovely pottery from the 70s that's still in one piece, and I treasure each piece. Glad the craft is making a come-back!