December 30th, 2009

mt hood

Books of 2009

My book goal for 2009 was 50 books.  While I didn't meet my goal, I did manage to read 35 books.  All were pretty good, my favorites are marked with an *

*The Picture of Dorian Gray
A Christmas Carol
*Home Accross the Road
Old School
The Awakening
*Strange Pilgrims
*Farewell to Arms
*The collected works of Gabriel Gracia Marquez
Lies my teacher told me
A Framework for Understanding Poverty
*Demascus Gate
Children of the New World
*Breaking the walls of Silance
*House of Sand and Fog
*My War at Home: A memoir
Snow Falling on Ceders
*Chronicle of a Death Fortold
*I Killed Hemmingway
Kite Runner
*Three Cups of Tea
A Thousand Splended Suns
In an Ancient Land
*My Journey to Lasha
A Good Rat
The Book of Samson
*Tuesdays with Morrie
Nowhere Man
Running and Racing after 35
Mallory and Irving
Winds of War
Symbols of Buddhism
Buddist Scripture

For 2010 my reading goal is still 50, first book up: Winkie

Crossposted to my journal

Gwenhyfar: The White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey

Title: Gwenhyfar: The White Spirit
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Genre: Arthurian fantasy.
Setting: The Britain of the Round Table.
Reason for Reading: I read almost everything that Lackey writes.
Pages: 401
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: A battered shield with several points missing. A plain, slightly rusty sword.
First line: "The talk at the hearth of the high hall of her father's castle was all of magic that wild evening."
Best part: This Arthurian fantasy has the least mention of Arthur in any I've read and that made it so interesting.
Worst part: Evil lookalike sister? Fer realz?
Imaginary Theme Song: "Take the Road" from Never After
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Anyone who likes to read about badass women warriors.
Related Reads: By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey, The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Because I'm a follower!

Everyone else was doing it and I don't think I'm going to finish my book in two days especially since I'll be doing nothing but drinking tomorrow.  Here is my book list for 2009!! I am actually one book over my 50 book goal. I put how many stars I gave it (out of five) next to the book. You can read reviews for all of them at my Goodreads Account. (I have a 2009 books read list.)

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Favorite Book of the Year: Honestly, I think it might be Paper Towns. I haven't read something that FUNNY in such a long time.

Least Favorite Book of the Year: A Katrina Moment. That book wasn't worth the paper that it was printed on.

Biggest Surprise: Hack. I wasn't expecting to like that book SO MUCH. It was well written, emotional but also witty. That doesn't often happen in non-fiction but Plaut pulled it off well. There were a few others (A Break With Charity and The Naming: The First Book of Pelinor were two books I bought with very low expectations and then pleasantly surprised me.) but Hack was still the one I least expected.

Biggest Disappointment: Perks of Being a Wallflower. I mean, don't get me wrong, I really liked it. I just was expecting so much more out of it that I just didn't get. I had heard nothing but good things and then it just fell really short of my expectations.

Overall Reaction to List: There were more re-reads than I realized this year, but that's OK. I got into a mood and just re-read a BUNCH of YA literature. The YA lit was a little heavy this year, but I also read a lot of non-fiction! That's new because I've never really been interested in it before. The fact that eight books this year were non-fiction is something I'm really proud of.
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Help! Japanese Literature Recommendations

Hello everyone, I do hope I'm not interrupting any last minute reads for the end of the year, but I'm in need of some help.  For Christmas, I was given two Barnes & Noble gift cards totaling 45$.  But its been so long since I've been able to buy a book that isn't a text book or grammar, that I can't find anything of interest to me.  So here I am, coming here for help.

I'm looking for books that center around Japan.  I love the country and stories set there.  But so far I've only been able to get my hands on Memoirs of a Geisha and the Scent of Sake, and I would really like something more.  I'm partially fond of things that are more about the cultural and historical side of Japan.  I've put Tale of Genji into the cart already, at a steal of a price I might add, but would any of you be willing to make some recommendations for me, please?

fail. =[.

I didnt complete my 50 book challenge of this year, even though i started a little early. 

though in my defence, i've moved home twice, started my last year of an intensive uni course AND had to work upto 30 hours a week because my student loan didn't come through on time. 

my full list is here. 
does anyone have any recommendations for me for next year from these? 

books: is there anything they can't do?

Review: House of Mystery, vol.1: Room and Boredom

# 95: House of Mystery vol. 1: Room and Boredom by Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham and Luca Rossi:

"Over the years I've worked up a brief yet effective speech introducing the bar and some of its more outre elements. It saves a lot of trouble with the new kids.

Now then, this is the House of Mystery. It's a mystical place located at a supernatural crossroads between many worlds. Anyone who can find it is welcome to enter. We have a fully stocked bar, the kitchen is open until midnight, and we don't serve anything that's still alive. There was an incident.

This is a pretty mixed crowd, as you can see, so you discuss politics and religion at your own risk. Sex is fine--just not on the tables. If you do cause any trouble, you'll instantly regret it, because the scary pirate lady will hurt you and then toss you out on your ass.

Monday is ladies' night."

Synopsis: A graphic novel about a haunted house, bar and girl. Not necessarily in that order.

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my 2009 reads


'Tis the time for year-enders eh? Members of Livejournal group bookish  here lists their worst reads of the year.

I'll just list the books I enjoyed this year. For individual reviews of some of these books, just click on "books" and/or "reading".

Boy do I read a lot.
  1. Rosemary's Baby
  2. A Game of Thrones
  3. The Haunting of Hill House
  4. The Blind Assassin
  5. Transmetropolitan
  6. The Swamp Thing Vol. 1
  7. Year's Best SF 14
  8. Solaris Book of New SF
  9. Trese 1-3
  10. Boogers Are My Beat
  11. Sleepaway, an anthology of writings on summer camp edited by Eric Simonoff
  12. Big If
  13. The Green Mile
  14. Revolutionary Road
  15. Mrs. Dalloway
  16. A Clockwork Orange
  17. Lunar Park
  18. Blindness
  19. Then We Came to the End
  20. Heart-Shaped Box
  21. The Year of Magical Thinking
  22. Nouveau Bored (poetry)
  23. You Are Here (poetry)
  24. Libot ng Durungawan (poetry)
  25. Kundi Akala (poetry)
  26. The Highest Hiding Place (poetry)
I'm still reading The Beauty Myth and Ender's Game, but I'm pretty sure they'll be first on my 2010 list. :)

Happy New Year, all. :D
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Another One Bites the Dust: Jennifer Rardin

This is the second title in the Jaz Parks series, by Jennifer Rardin (I want to know who makes her covers, actually). It is a 300 page (exact) length. As always, minor spoilers.

Jaz is an assassin who works with Vayl, a 250+ year old vampire. They have found out that Bergman (one of the characters), a tech whiz, has created a new armor using biotechnology that has been stolen by a Chinese vamp, and there's a good chance he's planning to use it to overthrow the government.

As with the first book, the action moves very quickly, but Rardin retains her sharp humor. Supporting characters Bergman and Cassandra are developed (especially Bergman, who in the first book was just a tech-head who had a thing against magic). Though I liked the book, it doesn't stand out (I've read books 1-5 so far). I'm afraid, though, that in the massive, over-saturated genre of vampire-novels, it won't stand out. It's a good read, though.

Rating: 4/5 stars. Recommended for anyone who isn't afraid of blood and violence. Or disgusting hell-spawn. Otherwise, quite fun and Rardin has a way with her words.

Biting the Bullet: Jennifer Rardin

This is the third book in Jennifer Rardin's Jaz Parks series. Spoilers.

In this installment, Jasmine and Vayl--two assassins with the CIA--are sent to Iran. In fact, they are sent to Jasmine's twin brother's Special Ops squad, which has a mole. Cassandra, a Seer, and Bergman, the technology expert, are also along for the ride. They have received information about the Wizard, one antagonist that the CIA has been meaning to take down for awhile.

I really liked this book. It has a bit of a plot twist that makes everything make sense (without the deus ex machina tactic). The thing I really liked, though, was how Jaz and Vayl interacted. *Spoilers* Vayl lost his two sons (a disgruntled farmer shot them) and he has been hunting for their reincarnated souls for almost three hundred years. He is usually quite rational, except with his sons, and when the Seer he goes to talk to tells him that his sons are in Iran, he is overjoyed and agrees to pay her price--turn her into a vampire. It was very interesting to see how Jaz reacted to this and how their characters changed. It also talks about loyalty and how that can be shattered, especially when it pertains to Jaz and David.

Rating: 4 and a half/ five. I detect an Euro-centric (or is America-centric?) view here.
back in black and white, reading

Books of 2009

Hey everyone. I've noticed that many people seem to be posting their end of the year reading lists and have decided to join in the fun! I'd post it here except, umm, my list is too long to fit in one post. ^^; This year I decided to try writing a few of my thoughts on each book if I felt like it so the word count built up. Also I am a crazy person who reads far far more than some might consider sane. So without further ado:

(Book List Part I)

(Book List Part II)

If you see anything you've been planning to read and would like to know what I thought just ask! I am always willing to ramble on about books. Alternatively, if you'd like a recommendation drop a comment. I'm sure I can find something suited to your taste among the huge amount of things I read this year.