Friday, January 3, 2014

A Year in Review

As I've done it twice, I might as well keep it up, and, well, it's fun! What I said last year (geez, has it really bee a year, damn) remains true "the true strength of a book is not the impression right after you read it, but the impression that remains." So, how much did a retain of these hundred some books... yeah, you read that right, I read 150 books this year, beating my resolution of 120 by 30 books. And oddly enough, this wasn't the only resolution I was able to keep. I find it interesting that a commitment to reading books and succeeding at that commitment has made harder commitments, like eating right and exercising, easier because I know I can succeed. Go resolutions! Also, stay tuned to this site, because for the rest of January I'll be counting down my best reads of 2013! That's right, you will get to read about the cream of the crop, the best of the best. The ones you can skip ahead and read and avoid all the really bad reads of the past year... because you can't have awesome books without a few bad ones, or even quite a lot of bad ones, at least in my experience.

1) Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: First book club book of the year which has been "unofficially" renamed "Fingerbanging" by the group. It would have been an awesome book if it had ended with a cliffhanger at the end of part one, instead it went on too long, repeated the story from other POVs making it drag, and ended with a whimper, not a bang. Has a steamy sex scene. 

2) Fables, Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham: Stupid Jack, if it wasn't bad enough to read his stories, now he takes over Fables too. 

3) Jack of Fables, Vol. 7: The New Adventures of Jack and Jack by Bill Willingham: Jack is stupid, jack needs to die. PS: This is going to be a recurring sentiment.  

4) The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig: A great first stand alone by Lauren. I loved reading about Kenya but the scene the stuck with me the most was when Addie was trying to party with the bright young things and is just shivering as she temporarily loses the love of her life.

5) Cinderella, Vol. 1: From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson: Um... Cinderella is basically James Bond dressed as a Bond girl.

6) Fables, Vol. 14: Witches by Bill Willingham: When Ozma joins the witches! Love that Oz's mythology is working it's way into the stories more, instead of it just being Bufkin.

7) Jack of Fables, Vol. 8: The Fulminate Blade by Bill Willingham: Will you die already Jack? 

8) Eloise by Kay Thompson: Had to re-read this as my Dad was staying at The Plaza. Yes, she's a spoiled little girl, but the illustrations and the story are so fun you can't help but love Eloise. 

9) Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham: Rose is really being a whiny bitch, she needs to get her shit together.

10) Jack of Fables, Vol. 9: The End by Bill Willingham: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA No More Jack! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Though how this really happened with him being so popular due to those LOTR's like movies is anyone's guess... meaning there's every chance he might show up again. Sigh. 

11) Cinderella, Vol. 2: Fables are Forever by Chris Roberson: More of the same Cinderella spy blah. 

12) Fables, Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham: Um... the title is so vague I have no idea what happened in this issue... is this when they got back Fabletown, in it's new Castle form?

13) A Bride's Story, Vol. 04 by Kaoru Mori: The twins are introduced, along with their desire to get married but not be separated... which means, time to marry some brothers, am I right? 

14) Fables, Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham: Um, yeah... don't really remember this.

15) Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland by Bill Willingham: Seriously totally unnecessary and badly drawn Bigby side story.

16) Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers: Re-reading this book and it was even more awesome. Ismae's voice is so clear and original, and yeah, I kind of just want to live in this book. 

17) Fairest, Vol. 1: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham: Pretty awesome that we finally get back to Sleeping Beauty and I LOVE that the hero thought the ice witch lady was the beauty first.

18) Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf Graphic Novel, Vol 1 by Patricia Briggs: I seriously didn't remember much of the book this is based on apparently. Also, way too short. If you're doing a graphic novel of a book I say don't release any of it till it's done, because I don't like waiting, never have, never will. 

19) Fables, Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland by Bill Willingham: Fables just got about 1000% more dark. Geez. Start killing the cubs, thanks a lot. 

20) Fear of Music by Jonathan Lethem: Perhaps the worst book ever written and easily the worst book about the Talking Heads. If I had a time machine I would go back to that little Lethem in that room and strangle him.

21) Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) by Robin LaFevers: A far far darker tale the Grave Mercy. Sybella's past is so sad, but at the same time, she doesn't have that uniqueness of voice that Ismae possesses. Doesn't mean it's not as good, just different. Can not wait for the final volume in this series!

22) The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford: Much funnier then I remember. The first time I read this book I just couldn't stand Linda, now I can kind of like her but at the same time laugh at her. Also, poor Fanny, really. Also, poor me, I kind of want Fanny's life.

23) Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer: I waited a year for this!?! Instead of getting much new story about Cinder, instead we are stuck with this mushy romance-esque story with werewolves in France. Seriously?

24) Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford: Again, far far funnier then I remember, but still Boy creeps be out with his pedo ways. 

25) Don't Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford: And NOW I know why this has been out of print for so many years. This follow up to two amazing classics is lame, not funny, and untrue to all the characters, even if I was excited to learn what happened to everyone, it wasn't worth reading this horrid book. 

26) The Hippopotamus Pool (Amelia Peabody, #8) by Elizabeth Peters: Um... oh, this has the kids kidnapped... oh wait, that's all of them... there was an "undiscovered" tomb, fake artifacts, a weird house... yeah, they do all tend to blend together don't they?

27) Redshirts by John Scalzi: Pointless parody of shows like Star Trek. I mean, nothing is explained and it's all very meta and then to be all pretentious, there's three afterwards written in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person. I should have just re-watched Galaxy Quest instead. 

28) Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking by Jessica Mitford: A very uneven book. Some of her articles, like the one of the spa, are awesome and sparkle, while others that she supposedly got a lot of credit for, like the Great Author's or Writer's or whatever it was that she exposed, were long, meandering and seemed to actually have no point. 

29) Home to Roost: And Other Peckings by Deborah Devonshire: Again, apparently when the Mitfords write in little stories or vignettes they are amazingly hit or miss. Loved the stories about The Kennedys. 

30) Death in Kenya by M.M. Kaye: Loved this murder mystery in Africa set in a later period then I usually read. Suspenseful, atmospheric and a most read in my mind. 

31) Wigs on the Green by Nancy Mitford: Scathing parody of Nancy's family and their zeal for Hitler and Mosley. Totally understand why it cause such a fuss. If I wrote something like this about my family... well, I don't think they'd be talking to me. Yet despite it all it's so darn funny. I think this book could have done wonders for moral in helping defeat Hitler. The best weapon is to make the thing you fear ridiculous. 

32) Frost Burned (Mercedes Thompson, #7) by Patricia Briggs: I was really happy to get a new Mercy Thompson this year, though it didn't feel the freshest, what with yet more kidnapping. Also... um... Adam's POV really sucked. 

33) The Bolter by Frances Osborne: Very boring book about a subject that could have been interesting. I mean Idina Sackville lived a bizarre and carefree life, but it was plagued with sadness. From a literary point of view it's interesting how snippets of her life have inspired people who write about the Happy Valley Set. 

34) Merry Christmas, Verity Fitzroy by Philippa Ballantine: I remember nothing of this, nothing at all. 

35) Mrs. God: A Novel by Peter Straub: Disturbing and weird short book about an author working at this house where there are rarely ever people allowed. He goes crazy and starts killing, you never know why or what's going on and it's just a mess of a read. On the other hand, I would kill to have a library like the one in this book. 

36) The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton: A lovely surprise after many of the issues I took with the first book of hers I read. Plus, a wonderful twist that, while I saw coming, I think could only really be pulled off in books and would never translate to another medium. 

37) Johannes Gutenberg: Printing Press Innovator by Sue Vander Hook: A book I read for school and have therefore forgotten everything about it...

38) Gutenberg by Leonard Everett Fishe: A book I read for school and have therefore forgotten everything about it...

39) Johann Gutenberg and the Amazing Printing Press by Bruce Koscielniak: A book I read for school and have therefore forgotten everything about it...

40) Breaking Into Print: Before and After the Invention of the Printing Press by Stephen Krensky: Forgotten most of this book but I do remember it had some pretty illustrations. 

41) From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World by James Rumford: A book I read for school and have therefore forgotten everything about it...

42) Giants of Science - Johann Gutenberg by Anna Sproule: A book I read for school and have therefore forgotten everything about it...

43) Gutenberg the Geek by Jeff Jarvis: One of the books I experienced rage reading during. Led to me actually writing a review on Amazon about how bad it is.

44) Fine Print: A Story about Johann Gutenberg by Joann Johansen Burc: Really weird illustrations, which made it feel very dated. 

45) The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley: I can kind of see why my mom loves this book. Though man, if you're looking for a book so that you no longer romanticize Africa, this one is for you with all the bugs and just, well, eww. 

46) Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman: I just don't get it. Sure he's a cute Steampunk like Panda, but it's thin on fun or anything else... I guess I'm just not the right target age. 

47) The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta: Depressing book about a maybe rapture that results in a fluctuating number of people disappearing (seriously, stick to your own facts in your own book) and some weird cult and a whole lot of unsympathetic characters doing nothing much, unless they are doing each other...

48) Mark of the Lion (Jade del Cameron Mysteries, #1) by Suzanne Arruda: A basic run of the mile mystery that ties in a lot of stories I've already read about Africa, but at least it was kind of refreshing after The Leftovers. 

49) Without a Summer (Glamourist Histories, #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal: So disappointed in this third installment. All the characters seemed to be acting out of character. Vincent and Jane fighting and Melody being the only interesting one. Then what was with the court case, seriously? Interesting historically because of the year without a summer and how Mary weaved that into her worldbuilding. 

50) The Last Word (The Spellmans, #6) by Lisa Lutz: While I don't ever want to see the end of the Spellmans, I loved that Izzy was really the mature one and the image of her parents acting out and showing up for work in their pajamas to play plants vs. zombies is priceless. 

51) The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie: Recently watched the dramatization with David Suchet, and I have to say, that it played a little better on screen then on the page. Was a little too convoluted with who did what and why. But Christie did perfectly capture the house, I can still picture myself there. 

52) The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation, #10) by Lauren Willig: OMG! Miss Gwen is more awesome then I ever thought. I always knew she was awesome, but this is seriously awesome! Also, loved her happily ever after and her purple prose!

53) Far in the Wilds (A Spear of Summer Grass 0.5) by Deanna Raybourn: Inconsequential little prequel to Deanna's new Africa book... shows us a bit for the "hero's" POV and was pretty dull. 

54) Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen: I HATE THIS BOOK! Which makes the fact that I finally finished it so remarkable. Stupid Isak Dinesen, you deserved a life of no happiness. Haha. 

55) A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn: So amazing! Made Africa fresh and alive. There was just some elusive awesomeness that made me connect to this book more then any other I'd read in a long time. Also, I think I so should have given it more then four stars...

56) First Test (Protector of the Small, #1) by Tamora Pierce: Um, yeah. I will not be reading any more of this series. Very juvenile with stupid worldbuilding and a girl whose "pet" birds help protect her when she pees... um, no thank you.

57) The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie: This is so not what I would think of as an Agatha Christie story, it's all slick spies and almost like a bumbling Bond. Though Tommy and Tuppence do have some roaringly good dialogue.

58) The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie: Oh, Poirot you are so awesome. You figured out the scam and knew just what was going on. I was so worried that this would be about golf (blah) but instead just a body on a golf course. 

59) Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie: Lots of short stories, so good, some bad, and too abrupt endings that you didn't see coming. Christie works better in novel form. 

60) Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13) by Charlaine Harris: JUST the ending I wanted for Sookie. Life and Sam, yeah! Suck it haters. 

61) Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1) by Dorothy L. Sayers: Wow... how... um... not what I expected with how many people I know love this series. It was very racist. 

62) Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #2) by Dorothy L. Sayers: Family problems and Lord Peter running around trying to figure things out in a very boring and bland way. Why do people love these, please, someone tell me?

63) Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3) by Dorothy L. Sayers: Yet another Lord Peter book leaving me mystified as to why they are popular. A poisoning, so what, poison them all says I!

64) The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham: Such an awesome quick read with a lovely twist at the end. Doesn't hurt that 1) the victim deserved it and 2) some time hanging in the south of France.

65) The Crime at Black Dudley (Albert Campion Mystery #1) by Margery Allingham: Just so blah, and Campion as only like the humorous buffoon... no. Plus, with all the running around the house in and out of secret passages, why didn't the bad guys just kill them all already?

66) The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin: Fascinating science fiction about what would happen if someone's dreams could change the world. Also Space Turtles! 

67) The Mystery of The Fool and The Vanisher by David Ellwand: Beautiful book that combines a fairy tale, as in more Brian Froud the Brothers Grimm, with photography. So cool.

68) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3) by Stieg Larsson: I FINALLY finished the series! Yeah, go me! After the second book I seriously didn't have any desire to read this one, but it was nice to finally have completion and I am done with all this now.

69) The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1) by Josephine Tey: OK, Tey, so, I mystery needs to be able to be solved by the reader not oh, and here's the killer to admit everything in the last scene, there was no way you would know. Grrr.

70) Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod by Brian Kesinger: I adore the art of Brian Kesinger, the writing is cute, but it's the pictures of Otto and Victoria that are so so awesome. I hope one day to have the art on my wall. 

71) The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne: Two guys are inadvertently staying with a murderer and spend their time laying about pondering what if questions. Kind of a laid back British treat of a book. Also, so cool that Milne, most know for Winnie-the-Pooh did a murder mystery!

72) Isabel Spellman's Guide to Etiquette: What is Wrong with You People by Isabel Spellman and Lisa Lutz: Um, so it's wrong that I agree with everything Izzy says right? Or is it a total win?

73) The Layton Court Mystery by Anthony Berkeley: Like the boring and stupid version of The Red House Mystery. When the killer was revealed I didn't even care. 

74) The Long War (The Long Earth #2) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter: I thought the second volume in this series would be more, oh, I don't know... human expansion outwards, which, I guess it is, but it seemed more to be about how bad humans are and the destruction they can bring to worlds and worlds. Kind of more negative then positive... which, maybe while realistic, was kind of depressing. 

75) Roger Sheringham and the Vane Mystery by Anthony Berkeley: So, I don't know what, but after hating on Roger in the first book, he kind of found his groove sitting on a ledge looking out at the sea and ignoring the facts in front of him. If all crime solving was done in this way all the killers would get free. 

76) The Shining (The Shining, #1) by Stephen King: Shocking to think that until now I had never read this book. I seriously loved it though. Yes, it gets long in parts and boring in parts. But there was something wonderful in the book that made me there in the Overlook Hotel in a way the movie never did. Also, far scarier, in my mind. A true ghost story.

77) The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller: An interesting mystery about seemingly unconnected deaths that all lead back to a horrible event during WWI. Handles the effects of the war well without being too modern in it's storytelling.

78) The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton by Elizabeth Speller: Disappointing followup to the stellar The Return of Captain John Emmett. Felt that characters acted against type and then it got weird and seedy and eww at the end when trying to tie up the case that was more then a little reminiscent of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. 

79) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: An amazing book that feels like a dream or a story you were told long ago. Just read it because anything I say won't do it justice. Also I got to meet Neil Gaiman so neener neener. 

80) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: I had such hopes for this book and hated it so much. It seems to have been written to capitalize on my generation by doing infodumps of 80s references but without any substance. Also the dramatic shift from the first half to the second half was so absurd. Just, gaw, rage reading. 

81) How to Negotiate Everything by Lisa Lutz: A "kids" book that is the book the David Spellman used Rae as a test subject for. Just, read this. It will give you the biggest laugh in a kids book since Go the F**K to Sleep. Also has very useful advice!

82) After the Armistice Ball (Dandy Gilver, #1) by Catriona McPherson: This book was hard to get into because it felt like there was too much information that I should have had but didn't right at the start. So I was confused and perplexed for a large chunk of the book.

83) Brenda and Effie Forever (Brenda & Effie Mystery #6) by Paul Magrs: I refuse to think of this as the end of Brenda and Effie. Totally refuse. Also can't really tell which was the best part, them hanging out with a Phantom in a grotty yet elegant apartment in Paris above a theater, or the Bronte sisters having some scary cult activity going on under Haworth. 

84) The Burry Man's Day (Dandy Gilver, #2) by Catriona McPherson: At least this was easier to follow then the previous volume, but it just dragged on and on. If it had been solved neatly and succinctly, well, that would have been better then what happened. 

85) Requiem for a Mezzo (Daisy Dalrymple, #3) by Carola Dunn: Such fun! This is what modern writing of period pieces should feel like. I loved the whole Opera scene and then the death at The Albert Hall and how Daisy always gets into the investigations. Loved it. 

86) Fairest, Vol. 2: The Hidden Kingdom (Fairest, #2) by Bill Willingham: Ug, awful. The first volume of this spinoff series had potential, and now it's all Rapunzel lesbian and her hair being oddly creepy and her weeping about her children. Skip it. 

87) Murder on the Flying Scotsman (Daisy Dalrymple, #4) by Carola Dunn: Even more Daisy fun! This time on a train! So it's like Daisy does Murder on the Orient Express... only if the train was going to Scotland. I also like how Daisy bonded with Alec's daughter and that the daughter was too annoying or cloying. Adding children well into a series is a hard feat. 

88) Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1) by Kerry Greenwood: So glad it wasn't too much like the tv show so I could enjoy it on it's own. Also I love that Phryne lives by her own set of rules and morals and that she doesn't take shit from anyone. So refreshing. 

89) Murder on the Cliffs (Daphne Du Maurier Mysteries, #1) by Joanna Challis: Young crime solving Daphne Du Maurier! Love the concept, and the execution was pretty good, though I do question sometimes how her father would react, he was, well, a creep and oddly attached to Daphne. He wouldn't have put up with Daphne's affections being elsewhere. 

90) The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter: Peter Rabbit should totally just listen to his mom. Also, but, well, it's kind of a lot darker then I remember... rabbit stew and muffs!

91) The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter: Totally not remember this... short books sometimes leave little impressions on me.

92) The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter: Wasn't the tailor totally ungrateful? Or am I remembering this totally wrong.

93) The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter: I thought Peter was bad?

94) The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter: OK, yes, the mice are kind of bastards, but I love that they are totally like The Borrowers and stealing dollhouse furniture for themselves... and I love that they feel a little bit in debt... at least at the end, once they are no longer so bad.

95) The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter: Just weird... was she anthropomorphic of not? Also, Beatrix Potter needs to not ever draw children, creepy. 

96) The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan by Beatrix Potter: BEST TALE EVER! The dog doesn't want to eat the cat's cooking so he has this elaborate plot to switch out the food and then thinks he's eaten the Patty-Pan, when in fact he's just eaten the wrong pie!

97) The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter: A frog who has water issues... I think he needs some psychological help...

98) Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2) by Kerry Greenwood: Loved that while this had the cliched child in danger plot that Phryne solved it in a totally new and unique way that made it work.

99) Simon's Cat vs. the World by Simon Tofield: I adore Simon's Cat and I adored this book. Enough said, except for perhaps, my cat totally did the vet incident!

100) The Story of Miss Moppet by Beatrix Potter: I remember nothing. 

101) The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter: Nope, nothing again...

102) The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter: Why would anyone let Benjamin Bunny marry their daughter? Benjamin is 1000 times worse with his ways then any other rabbit and he's passing these traits onto his kids! Yes, perhaps I did take it a little too seriously. 

103) The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter: Weird pig wandering around the countryside... just a little too weird for me. 

104) White Teeth by Zadie Smith: Gaw, hate hate hate this book. No plot, no likable characters, racism, sexism and an old man masturbating. WHY!?! How did this get published. You can't say that she was being ironic or anything, it was too awful to be that. Would have "maybe" worked as a few short stories... short being the key word. 

105) Movie Magic: Practical Props and Exciting Effects by Jody Revenson: Seriously, this book is amazing. You get to see how far the props people really went in creating the world of Harry Potter. It's just amazing. I want to just like have all the props in this book. 

106) Under the Dome by Stephen King: I had to read the book because I was watching the show and I knew I was going to get no resolution. So I read this, the answer is aliens. Yeah, I agree, lame.  

107) The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin: Totally Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl. Quick fun read that moves at a nice clip and doesn't get bogged down with too much description of pointless plot. 

108) Netherwood by Jane Sanderson: Just something so wonderful about this book. It's like coming home to the best period drama ever. Plus there's pies and food and wonderful characters. My favorite thing though was making traditional food in small "duchess sized" servings, so that they became chic canapes! Cannot wait to read the next two books in this series. 

109) The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6) by Alan Bradley: This wraps up the plots for the last five books and gets ready to launch us into a new era of Flavia. I'll be sad to see Buckshaw go but I love that Flavia realizes how important her future is. Plus the whole spy versus spy could lead to some fun cold war stuff in the future.

110) Ten Little Aliens by Stephen Cole: The first of my Doctor Who reads... great worldbuilding, but The Doctor was not only secondary, but only used to wrap things up at the end. Seems like a missed opportunity. 

111) Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman: It's like the 11th Doctor going out to get your groceries and getting sidetracked... a lot... totally fun and a must for Gaiman fans. 

112) The Taming of the Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, #3) by Louise Rennison: I need to stop reading these books. They just make me mad and nothing happens. Louise Rennison needs to do something new and 100% different. 

113) Dreams of Empire by Justin Richards: Ok Doctor Who book about a pseudo Roman Empire with overtones of Napoleon's exile to Elba. Captured Jamie well. I like Jamie. 

114) House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: A book about a book about a movie that I think made me clinically insane while I was reading it. If you want to know what it's like to feel insane, read this book. If you don't, avoid this book. Some of the typesetting was quite ingenious, but it didn't make up for everything else. 

115) Last of the Gaderene by Mark Gatiss: The first fun and camp Doctor Who book I have read for the 50th challenge. Lots of action 3rd Doctor and UNIT trying to stop an alien invasion in a small town with a decommissioned air base. 

116) The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon and Clare, #1) by Lilith Saintcrow: Interesting Steampunk worldbuilding with magic and logic at odds. I am intrigued enough to continue and I like that Bannon and Clare's relationship is more Holmes and Watson (and no, not the slash fan fic kind.)

117) Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1) by Helen Fielding: OK, so, was Daniel Cleaver always this much of a dick? I mean seriously? He's so offensive that you can't take him seriously and the ending with Mark Darcy is so sudden you doubt that they really love each other so quickly. 

118) Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris: HATE THIS BOOK! Stupid Doctor Who book where nothing is really at stake because they keep going back and back and back to the same place only a little earlier and you know The Doctor can't die in a book, you just know, so there's no reason to read it or like it or anything.

119) Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Bridge Jones, #2) by Helen Fielding: A relief to read something funny after the horrid Doctor Who book I just finished. Over the top, insane, Bridget getting in prison is beyond stupid, but it was somehow very enjoyable. IE, it wasn't Festival of Death

120) Fear of the Dark by Trevor Baxendale: One of the more memorable and scary of the Doctor Who books. Takes an emotional toll though in that it's death death and more death. Be ready for something really really dark. You could even say fear it...

121) After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris: Nice little afterward about what happened to the people in Sookie's world. I liked knowing who lived, who died, who was happy, how many kids they had. Sure there were a lot of people I forgot who they were, but I still liked this a lot. 

122) Players by Terrance Dicks: Doctor Who, Boer War, Winston Churchill, very Thursday Next like. Quick read. The End. 

123) Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch: Yeah, cause taking a crappy episode or Doctor Who and dramatizing it an even crappier novel, that's a good idea...

124) Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White (Fables, #19) by Bill Willingham: Seriously!?! Willingham, you're just going to keep ripping out my heart and stomping gleefully on it? Bigby? Seriously!?! TAKE IT BACK!

125) The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells: Having only known the story from the movie, Val Kilmer version thank you, I was shocked I actually really liked the book. But I find not so much the genetic manipulations disturbing, but the hero, Prendick or whatever his name was, has such a low view of animals. He should have agreed more with Moreau because of this not been freaked out.

126) Earthworld by Jacqueline Rayner: Unbearably bad. The 8th Doctor being amnesiac again, plus two really annoying companions, one of which is a female who is a throw back from before women's lib.

127) Only Human by Gareth Roberts: Not horrific, but not great either. Jack trying to teach a Neanderthal how to live in the present is funny, but the weird underground world with people from the future just didn't work. 

128) Valour and Vanity (Glamourist Histories, #4) by Mary Robinette Kowal: Fantastic fourth installment in this series! Such a wonderful surprise after the 3rd book. Venice, Murano, more work with glass, nuns, Punch and Judy...a random appearance by The Doctor! It's Jane Austen meets Ocean's Eleven in perfect awesomeness.

129) Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell: Hatred. Seething hatred. Having human illness and frailty be the real monster. HATE! Being "brave" in the face of continuing suffering. This author knows nothing. 

130) The Silent Stars Go By by Dan Abnett: Aw, finally, ending on the best. It's Christmasy and it's kind of peasanty, and just so wonderful. Does get a bit tiring reading about all the running, but at least you're not the one running.

131) Enter Wildthyme by Paul Magrs: Fun romp around space and time with Iris and Panda. Some time in Paris, some time in a world with a glass castle. Wonderfully camp.

132) Wildthyme Beyond! by Paul Magrs: Great meta Iris. Is she fictional? Was she not at one time? Iris Conventions! Also a great feeling of nostalgia for childhood and children's authors. 

133) The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Under the Bed by Pat Rothfuss: This still is one of the funniest things you'll ever read. It's so sweet it's almost sickening... until it actually becomes sickening. 

134) The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below by Pat Rothfuss: I liked it, but it just didn't have the surprise gut punch of the first book. Also, The Princess getting stressed out and losing her cool, I don't know if that felt authentic to me. 

135) From Wildthyme with Love by Paul Magrs: SO FUNNY! I loved it so much I had to order a hardcover copy because I only had an ARC. Great tongue in check tribute from Iris and Panda to The Doctor on his 50th Anniversary... but has The Doctor maybe been taking some of the credit for Iris's stories? 

136) Misfortune by Wesley Stace: I really wanted to like this warped Dickensian story with overtones of Tom Jones and Tristram Shandy, but in the end I just could really get into it. The characters are their "experiment" with Rose seemed just too too cruel to do to anyone. I mean, there's mental illness and then there's unnecessary experimentation. Also the covers costume are incorrect. I know this has nothing to do with the author, but those are high Regency outfits and this book STARTS in 1820! Bigger sleeves, lower waits illustrator person. 

137) Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3) by Helen Fielding: Hearing in advance that Mark Darcy was dead I thought, no, do I really want to read that? Answer is yes! Darcy had to be gone so Bridget could be the wreck we know and love. Of course she's a horrible parent and I think everyone around her coddles her too much and lets the tragedy of Mark's death let her get off of anything she does wrong, but it was still a fun read. Except the nits. I'm still itching. 

138) Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2.5) by Laini Taylor: I needed something to try to hold me over till the final book. This kind of did it... not much... but kind of. Also so sweet how Zuzanna and Mik finally got together which we only heard about in passing before.

139) Soulless The Manga Vol 3 by Gail Carriger: Pretty little manga on the book that is actually my least favorite in The Parasol Protectorate. The manga has the same problem as the book in that trying to explain the science of the baby, it just gets bogged down in a morass of techno babble.

140)  A Bride's Story Vol 5 by Kaoru Mori: Every volume is so good but also a little confusing. This one was less confusing, beautifully drawn as always, and had some nice resolution to the twins. But still, I feel like the story is so slow (and obviously it would be when you look at the drawings) that I want some sort of history primer so that I know what's the historical backdrop for this series of stories. And as always, the afterword was the best.

141) Fairy Debt by Gail Carriger: Skewed fairy tale told from the fairy's point of view, that is maybe a little too cutesy for me. Liked the Grimm twist at the end though.

142) Thief of Time (Discworld Book #26) by Terry Pratchett: While I love all Pratchett, this one was hard to get into because I don't really like the History Monks, and, well, with lots of them and not much Susan, it was slow going at times. But the fact that Nanny Ogg made in appearance made up for a lot.

143) Chi's Sweet Home Vol 10 by Kanata Konami: I want a kitty so bad. This series started out for me as a kind of, you can't have a kitty, read this, feel better. Now it makes me want a kitty even more. Plus a mouse just ate my shoelace. I'm sure a kitty would take care of that bastard who ate my expensive shoelace on my winter boots!

144) The House at Riverton by Kate Morton: Boring, boring, boring. No plot, no plot, no plot... wait, is this a plot? Yes, it is the plot to The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. Oh look, there was a twist I saw coming hundreds of pages ago. The end. Yeah. 

145) Going Home by Harriet Evans: I'm sorry, but I can't get behind a book where the heroine spends all her time with her head buried in the sand ignoring what is happening in her life. Gaw. Chick lit should be fun and not make me want to strangle the protagonist!

146) The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig: Lauren is always a favorite writer of mine, but she totally excelled herself in this ode to the hero Turnip. Ah, how I wish Turnip were real and mine... Holds up to repeat readings and is wonderful for a holiday gift for those who love Jane Austen and have a wicked sense of humor.

147) Away in a Manger: A Very Turnip Wedding Night by Lauren Willig: Not part of the book as it's a little bit sexy sexy... but it does add a nice final chapter to the happiness of Turnip and Arabella. Sigh. Though like Sally I wish I had been invited to the wedding!

148) The Duchess's Tattoo by Daisy Goodwin: Not what I expected. Having read The American Heiress and loved it, I thought that this would be more historical about the monarchy's philandering and Cora's Mother-In-Law, but instead it was a kind of lame story about Cora's naivete in England. 

149) Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman: A Short story written about the 11th Doctor. It's got all the signature Neil Gaiman spookies, from people with creepy/changing faces to buildings that live. Highly recommended for those who miss Matt Smith and were disappointed by his farewell episode.

150) Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons: So, I had been waiting for years to finally read the titular story in this collection. Needless to say, it was boring, short, and a disappointment. Yet, the book itself wasn't a disappointment in the least! All the other stories were interesting and thought provoking. I love the one about the murderer and also the one about the popular author. Though I do NOT love that several pages fell out of the book, what are you playing at Penguin?


Aloha, Thanks for not forgetting the title of my book at least. I suppose asking someone to be interested in printing presses and bookmaking when that person is only interested in books is like asking someone to be interested in cars engines and car manufacturing when that person is only interested in going places and just plain getting there. Too bad the book was made dull by school. Take another look at it. I always put something in each of my books for everyone. See what I put there for you. Aloha, James Rumford

I find it interesting that you assume I am only interested in books. Books are my hobby, but art is my living. In fact, letterpress is a passion of mine and I did an extensive research project on Gutenberg. So please, don't try to categorize me based on your preconceptions.

Aloha, I apologize if I offended you. I was speaking generally. Delighted to hear that you are interested in letterpress. Perhaps you might like to visit to see my printing press. Then, as you are interested in Gutenberg, a visit to to see FROM THE GOOD MOUNTAIN: A COMPANION GUIDE to the children's book that you read. Too bad you live so far away. I'd invite you over to see my Manoa Press. Aloha, James Rumford

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