Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Year in Review

Ok, I thought that it would be fun to do like an end of year/beginning of the year tally to see what I've read, and also, what I remember. Because the true strength of a book is not the impression right after you read it, but the impression that remains. What stays with you, long after the review has been written, long after the book is set aside. So, without further ado, my 114 reads of 2011. And I promise not the cheat and look at my reviews!

1) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: Historical fiction that never quite lived up to what it could have been, but still a great read.

2) Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayword: The authors bickering is easily as funny as the rest of the book. Plus there's a cat, go read it!

3) Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus (Theodosia Book 3) by R. L. LaFevers: I love Theo so much and this third installment did a great job of tying up some loose ends and expanding the possibilities for future books.

4) Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh (Theodosia Book 4) by R. L. LaFevers: Theo finally in Egypt. YEAH!

5) Sense and Sensibility Comic by Nancy Butler: Nancy Butler has no sense (haha) of the truths in the book and therefore brought out a horrid adaptation that misses the boat completely.

6) Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson Book 4) by Patricia Briggs: I don't know why I waited so long to read Mercy Thompson, sooo good. This one we get a Mercy road trip and a semi-traditional house haunting.

7) Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson Book 5) by Patricia Briggs: Not my favorite, just because being lured into a underground fairy world seems a bit too predictable. Ok, another question, when did underground fairy worlds become predictable in my life?

8) Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs: The guys are all drawn as overly hunky, but the depiction of Mercy kind of makes up for this.

9) Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega Book 1) by Patricia Briggs: So glad that the spin off series from Mercy Thompson is as good! Just loved this trek in the wilds of Montana.

10) Madame Tussuad by Michelle Moran: Just fascinating look at the French Revolution through the eyes of the key artist of the day. If there was one flaw, it ended too soon.

11) Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega Book 2) by Patricia Briggs: A little too much like the first... though I loved the werewolves exploring Seattle.

12) The Unicorn's Tale (Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist Book 4) by R. L. LaFevers: Red Unicorns! That's all that needs to be said.

13) Something Rotten (Thursday Next Book 4) by Jasper Fforde: I think this series as really run it's course.

14) First Among Sequels (Thursday Next Book 5) by Jasper Fforde: Yep, totally run it's course.

15) Emma Manga Volume 1 by Kaoru Mori: Wonderful Manga about a maidservant finding love. Not too into the characters yet.

16) Emma Manga Volume 2 by Kaoru Mori: Getting better, starting to fill out the cast with many wonderful characters, and I adore Mori's sum ups at the end, they might be the best part of the book.

17) One of Our Thursdays is Missing (Thursday Next Book 6) by Jasper Fforde: Why am I still reading this series... Jasper has now destroyed and rebuilt the book world. destroying one of my favorite aspects of the series. Pissed that books seven is being pushed ahead and yet no Shades of Grey sequel, which might be one of my most favorite books ever!

18) Emma Manga Volume 3 by Kaoru MoriL So starts the Emma marathon thanks to my library...

19) Emma Manga Volume 4 by Kaoru Mori

20) Emma Manga Volume 5 by Kaoru Mori

21) Emma Manga Volume 6 by Kaoru Mori

22) Emma Manga Volume 7 by Kaoru Mori: But, this isn't the last volume, what do you mean you have no more evil library system (grumble, grumble).

23) The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles Volume 1) by Patrick Rothfuss: Awesome. Tom Brown's School Days plus Harry Potter plus pure awesomeness! AND Patrick is a huge Joss Whedon fan (Evesdown docks, hehe).

24) The Children of Green Knowe (The Chronicles of Green Knowe Book 1) by L.M. Boston: Why have I never read these? In the same vein as The Borrowers and Edward Eager's Magic Books, it's a wonderful world in a moldy old country house in England. LOVE!

25) River Marked (Mercy Thompson Book 6) by Patricia Briggs: Totally wickedly cool demon otters! Also, a nice break in the series making it stand out more because of it's difference. Charlaine Harris take not, keep reinventing yourself.

26) Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale: Just as wonderful as the first time I read it. The transplanting of this German fairy tale to Mongolia shows the universality of fairy tales, and how awesome Shannon Hale is.

27) The Fifth Elephant (Discworld Book 24) by Terry Pratchett: Uberwald yeah! People take vampires and werewolves too seriously these days, and that's why we need Terry Pratchett!

28) The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody Book 5) by Elizabeth Peters: Totally makes sense now why this one went out of print. It wasn't the boredom of England, but the strife between Amelia and Emerson that struck a wrong cord with me.

29) The Guild Comic by Felicia Day: Great little prequel to The Guild, so many things make more sense. I also loved that it wasn't really traditional comic art.

30) The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody Book 6) by Elizabeth Peters: Worst Amelia Peabody book so far. Look an Egyptian culture still thrives in the hidden desert sands. Blurg.

31) Old Habits by Melissa Marr: Why do I keep reading these little short stories that aren't very good and detract from the books?

32) Brisingr (Inheritance Book 3) by Christopher Paolini: I finally finished it! And you know what, I kind of think I might have grown out of these books... we'll see, because I shall (eventually) finish the last book!

33) The Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann: So dumb and plotless and why did Tim Gunn write the intro? WHY!?!

34) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 1 by Kanata Konami: So begins Chi working her cute little cat way into my heart.

35) Castle Waiting Volume 1 by Linda Medley: Wonderful, kind of off, fairy tales. Nuns with beards, what more do I need to say?

36) Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley: Didn't advance the story as much as I would have liked, but still great.

37) Love Letters by Katie Fforde: Horrid, one of the worst books I've read in a long time. Full of chick lit stereotypes and cliches.

38) Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse Book 10) by Charlaine Harris: Much more fun as a re-read. Also, still totally digging the Romanov angle.

39) Shopaholic and Baby (Shopaholic Book 5) by Sophie Kinsella: MUST STOP READING SHOPAHOLIC. Becky hires a PI to spy on her husband, can we say wrong!?!

40) Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse Book 11) by Charlaine Harris: Fun new entry, but I think the series needs to come to a close before it gets too stale. It was mean though of EW to say this was one of the worst books of the year. Totally NOT! I've read far far worse.

41) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: I have and will always hate St. John while adoring Rochester.

42) A Bride's Story Manga Volume 1 by Kaoru Mori: Nice departure for Mori from maids. A little weird that the groom is soo young, and it's hard to tell characters apart sometimes.

43) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: Ok, I know I should love this, but I just didn't. Don't worry, I have been yelled at by many a friend, so I've gotten my scoldings.

44) Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table Mysteries Book 1) by JJ Murphy: I want to go back and hang with these people! Perfect historical mystery!

45) Hair of the Dog (Algonquin Round Table Mysteries Short Story) by JJ Murphy: A "barter" economy might not be so bad.

46) Wrapped by Jennifer Bradley: Wait, this might be the worst book of the year. Making Egyptology stupid and lame, it's a sin! I'll send some deities to deal with you Jennifer Bradley.

47) The Doll Short Stories by Daphne Du Maurier: While the main story didn't live up to the hype, because the ending was given away by everyone, the rest of the stories have Du Maurier's signature spooky and unsettling vibe.

48) Heartless (The Parasol Protectorate Book 4) by Gail Carriger: Just what the last book lacked! Tons of Akeldama! Also, poor Biffy.

49) Anya's Ghost by Vera Brogsol: I want to know why people loved this? A girl gets haunted by a mean ghost. End of story, boring, blah.

50) The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles Book 2) by Patrick Rothfuss: Not as strong as the first book. I loved the kind of Renaissance court, but the fairy sex, really?

51) Withering Tights (The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey Book 1) by Louise Rennison: I was hoping she'd go more grown up with the new book series, instead it feels like a step back with a less likable lead.

52) The Truth (Discworld Book 25) by Terry Pratchett: Terry can get at the heart of anything, even if it's a nebulous as "the truth." Also, still totally relevant because of how the media distorts the news...

53) Doctor Who: The Ripper Comic by Tony Lee: Stupid ARC, didn't even have the damn Ripper story in it.

54) Evelyn Evelyn by Amanda Palmer: Had to read something by Neil Gaiman's missus... I think if I had known that Evelyn and Evelyn where "real" I would have got it more.

55) Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach: The swearing Dr. Suess, totally the hit book of the year for parents.

56) Away in a Manger: A Very Turnip Wedding Night by Lauren Willig: My favorite Lauren Willig character gets his nasty on.

57) Today I Will Fly (Elephant and Piggy Book 1) by Mo Willems: Why have I never read these books? Granted they're for little kids, but they're soo cute!

58) My Friend is Sad (Elephant and Piggy Book 2) by Mo Willems: I am totally the elephant, Gerald, just saying.

59) I Am Invited to a Party (Elephant and Piggy Book 3) by Mo Willems: Just, get these if you have little kids, ok?

60) A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 1) by GRRMartin: A re-read of the books before the new one!

61) A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson: It's Downton Abbey in book form, really it is!

62) A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 2) by GRRMartin: How I love these books, and how I hate you Onion Knight, most annoying new character.

63) I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia De Luce Book 4) by Alan Bradley: Might be the best Falvia yet, and so wonderfully Christmasy.

64) I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: I should have read this long ago. Just wonderful story of a girl and her castle, which a very dysfunctional family inside it's walls.

65) Two L by Lauren Willig: First non-Pink book of Lauren's which is Shakespeare retold at Harvard. Works oddly well, probably because all academics think they are in Shakespeare.

66) Q's Legacy by Helene Hanff: Best of Helene Hanff's books... well, maybe Duchess of Bloomsbury is better, but this covers more time.

67) The Addams Family: An Evilution by Charles Addams: Charles Addams is a God.

68) Apple of My Eye by Helene Hanff: Kind of out of date "travel guide" to New York. She also hates the MET, who could hate the MET!?!

69) My Sister's Song by Gail Carriger: Sort little story about poison honey.

70) The Girl from the Candle-lit Bath by Dodie Smith: Awful, understandably out-of-print. Self centered stupid characters, grrr.

71) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 2 by Kanata Konami: Yeah, more kitty antics!

72) A Charmed Death (A Bewitching Mystery Book 2) by Madelyn Alt: Kind of cosy mystery meets Twin Peaks, so much fun!

73) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 3 by Kanata Konami: I really need a cat.

74) The Wizard of Oz (Oz Book 1) by L. Frank Baum: The true American Classic, they really all very self-centered aren't they?

75) The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris: Don't read this as a book, it's a slog. Just read it if you need to look up some obscure fact.

76) Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick: Brilliant! Different generations and secrets and pure awesome.

77) Austenland (Austenland Book 1) by Shannon Hale: Ok, I was harsh the first time I read it. Yes, it's funny and sweet and I am looking forward to the movie.

78) Midnight in Austenland (Austenland Book 2) by Shannon Hale: Darker take on Austenland, like Agatha Christie and Midsomer Murders in one. Basically, if you let the Brontes re-write Austen.

79) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 4 by Kanata Konami: Kitty!

80) The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Book 8) by Lauren Willig: Another wonderful entry in the Pink books, this time Augustus gets off the floor (where he's reciting his cantos) and gets a little action.

81) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 5 by Kanata Konami: Yes, I take out my need for a cat by reading manga... so?

82) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 6 by Kanata Konami

83) Hark! a Vagrant by Kate Beaton: Great comics from Kate Beaton, though the best ones I've already read on her website.

84) Never Learn Anything from History by Kate Beaton: I think actually better than her newer and more popular book because it has less well known comics. Also, not out of print if you order it from her.

85) Endless Night by Agatha Christie: Such high expectations that where dashed in this crappy book. No death for 200 pages! IE, 20 pages from the end of the book!

86) Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic Book 6) by Sophie Kinsella: Really someone stop me. I need an intervention. These books are so bad yet I keep reading them...

87) Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandmand Comic Voume 1) by Neil Gaiman: Kind of a meh start to what everyone tells me is such an awesome series.

88) A Bride's Story Manga Volume 2 by Kaoru Mori: I really should have re-read the first book because I was confused by all the characters.

89) Snuff (Discworld Book 39) by Terry Pratchett: I had overly high expectations after the Discworld Convention this year, so obviously, it didn't live up to them... I also missed a lot of my favorite characters as too much time was spent on politics.

90) Chi's Sweet Home Manga Volume 7 by Kanata Konami: Kitty! But now I'm all caught up so what do I do?!?

91) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: BEST BOOK THIS YEAR!

92) The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: When in doubt, to spice up a boring book, and incest and a little dash of girl on girl, NOT! Such a horrid stupid book.

93) The Doll's House (The Sandmand Comic Voume 2) by Neil Gaiman: Meh... I'm really not seeing the appeal.

94) The Charles Addams Mother Goose by Charles Addams: Sick, in the best possible way.

95) The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi: Totally not what I expected, and boring to boot. All the males look the same and you can't keep track of anyone.

96) The Snake, The Crocodile and The Dog (Amelia Peabody Book 7) by Elizabeth Peters: I liked that we got to see the spark of Amelia and Emerson all over from the beginning, I just still don't grasp how the titles fable fits in.

97) It Ends with Revelations by Dodie Smith: Shockingly good book that deals with issues of sexual identity and love.

98) The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Book 2 by Jacques Tardi: Again, I can't tell who anyone is, and what's with the angry rant at the end about no one buying his other book!?!

99) Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (Oz Book 4) by L. Frank Baum: Snarky cats make books 1000 times better. Snarky cats who want to eat piglets, 1000000 times better.

100) Trail of the Spellmans (Spellmans Document 5) by Lisa Lutz: More serious, but still enjoyable, though I'm starting to miss the old young Rae.

101) You Might As Well Die (Algonquin Round Table Mysteries Book 2) by JJ Murphy: Dorothy Parker and Houdini make the best crime fighting duo in ages!

102) The Road to Oz (Oz Book 5) by L. Frank Baum: Um... boring.

103) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Book 1) by Stieg Larsson: Again with the incest! Also, what's with stealing the ending from Val McDiarmid!?!

104) Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Book 1) by Robin (R.L.) LaFevers: Female Assassin's in Brittany who work for death. Wonderful!

105) Tintin in the Congo (Tintin Book 2) by Herge: Really racist, not surprising because of the time it was written, but using dynamite on a rhino is a bit much.

106) Dream Country (The Sandmand Comic Voume 3) by Neil Gaiman: Ok, I'm starting to see the appeal...

107) The Bro Code by Barney Stinson: 100% pure Barney. Must read for fans of How I Met Your Mother!

108) The Secret History by Donna Tartt: Incest again!?! What's with that people. It's icky not titillating, which this author seems to think. Also, just kill someone and move on, slow ass paced book.

109) Season's of Mist (The Sandmand Comic Voume 4) by Neil Gaiman: Ok Neil, you totally lost me with your endless pages of the politics of the endless.

110) Piggie Make Me Sneeze! (Elephant and Piggy Book 9) by Mo Willems: Again, so cute.

111) We are in a Book! (Elephant and Piggy Book 13) by Mo Willems: Awesome breaking of the 4th wall.

112) Happy Pig Day (Elephant and Piggy Book 16) by Mo Willems: Because everyone can party on pig day!

113) Never the Bride (Brenda and Effie Book 1) by Paul Magrs: The Bride of Frankenstein running a B and B. Totally wonderful, like Mapp and Lucia for the undead.

114) The Chimneys of Green Knowe (The Chronicles of Green Knowe Book 1) by L.M. Boston: So different from the movie, which started me reading these books, but still so fascinating. Interesting look into blind culture too.


Thanks for including my books on your list this year! I'm intrigued by some of your choices...I'll have to give those Jasper Fforde books a try.

The first book in his series, The Eyre Affair, is so brilliant and clever about an alternate earth where people are rapid fans of books, it just had to go downhill after that. But his book Shades of Grey, so amazing! A world divided by which colors people can see.

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