Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:51 pm
fiveforsilver: (Cats [Apple])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
145. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern by Lillian Jackson Braun (192)

Instead of his beloved crime beat, Qwill is given an assignment about interior design from the newspaper. But (as usual) it all goes awry when something goes wrong at every home that is photographed. Also, the introduction of Yum Yum.

These are light, pretty sweet books, even with the murder and occasional mayhem.

146. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (225)
147. Extras by Scott Westerfeld (417)

I really like these books - I need to buy some more Westerfeld next year.

148. *Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones (256)

I remembered where it was - I lent it to my sister. I must've finished it, but the end must not have been particularly memorable. All in all it was a hilarious book, though.

149. Looking for the Mahdi by N. Lee Wood (293)
150. *The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (499)

At the time I'm posting this, I haven't quite finished either of these, but I am nearly done with both and will finish them today.

Final stats:

(I have two books numbered 71)
151 / 150 books (101%)
72 / 70 *new books (102%)
49196 / 50000 pages (98%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:48 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [PotS])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in November of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

138. *Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff (404)

Second book in the Smoke Trilogy, sequel to the Blood books. I liked this, although it was definitely one of the creepiest books I've ever read. I don't usually read horror (at all) and while this probably isn't as scary as as "real" horror books, it was scary enough in the middle that I had to put it down and read something else before I went to bed.

Tony, Henry, and the various other characters were strong enough in themselves that I didn't find myself missing Vicki and Mike much as I read it.

139. *Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff (407)

Third and final book in the Smoke Trilogy. This book was actually...hilarious. There were so many pop-culture references - and Tony was dealing two old-beyond-measure people who didn't pay attention to that sort of thing - that it made me laugh out loud about every third page. I also enjoyed the story, and the characters. Leah was a well-written character and Tony really came into his own.

140. *The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi (100)

I'm counting this as a new read because listening to the audio version and reading the actual book are two very different experiences. I love the audio version, but there are things I got out of the book that I didn't catch or understand in the audio. It's a wonderful novelette.

141. Squire by Tamora Pierce (380)

I'd misplaced this before when I really wanted to read it, and when I found it I used it as my "I must read something else now" book while I was reading Smoke and Mirrors. This is possibly my favorite Tamora Pierce book - Kel is my favorite, the most realistic, the least Mary Sue, of her heroines, and Squire is my favorite of the PotS books.

I read more than one book at once, and my reading speed drops dramatically:

142. *The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones (480)

Loved it, absolutely loved it. I love the old Chrestomanci books like Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant but the latest ones are, if possible, even better. This one starts out just a little bit slow with some necessary build-up, but once it gets going, it gets going and is a cracking good story the rest of the way through.

143. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (352)

I forgot I'd already read this until I was halfway through, but these books don't take long to read. And I couldn't remember what happened, so I finished it anyway. They're brain candy, light, (mostly) fluffy, fun books. Hilarious, too, I kept laughing out loud at things that happened or bits of dialog (and I was sitting in the bookstore cafe, so I was trying to be quiet).

144. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (416)

Still up there as my favorite book.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 144 / 150 books (96.0%)
Zokutou word meter 70 / 70 *new books (100.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 47,314 / 50,000 pages (94.6%)

Currently reading:
*Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:45 pm
fiveforsilver: (Blood Ties [Henry])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in October of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

126. *A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (403)

It was ok. I think I missed something, though, because I don't know what the title has to do with the story. It seemed like a story of what might have happened to Sara Crewe or Mary Lennox if magic had been real in their worlds, but their stories are far more magical. Maybe my expectations are too high - most of the YA books I have read recently have either been old favorites (which means all sorts of authorial sins can be forgiven) or new favorites with an inspiring level of writing ability (such as Scott Westerfeld). I expected the writing to be more lyrical; it was too flat for the times and places and events that were being portrayed.

Also, while many things were left unexplained at the end of the book, the events within it were tied up neatly. This left me with a vague curiosity about some things (what was the Order? why was that boy chasing Gemma? what are the Realms and what will happen to that girl now?) but no desire or need to read further in the series.

This is a classic case of 'don't judge a book by its cover'. The cover art is beautiful, and the title brings great expectations, and neither quite lives up to its promise.

Last books of October:

127. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (320)
128. Page by Tamora Pierce (288)
129. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (409)

Rereads. Inputting data into LibraryThing's Common Knowledge made me want to read these again.

Fist books of November:

130. *So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (225)

I think this was Westerfeld's only YA book that I hadn't read (because I couldn't find it before). It is an excellent book, as usual. It reminded me of William Gibson's Pattern Recognition (both are about advertising and people who see advertising in ways that the rest of us don't).

131. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (403)

Also a reread, ditto above. However, I should put the Trickster books away for a while - a very long while - because lately Aly's Mary Sue-ness is so irritating that I can barely enjoy all the things I do like about these books.

132. *It's the Little Things: 300 Simple Ways to Indulge Yourself by Amy Collins (300)

I picked this up randomly at a library book sale earlier this year or last year. I put off reading it because (once I got it home) I was afraid it would be stupid or annoying. To my surprise, there are a lot of good suggestions and it is calming to just sit down and read a few pages from it.

133. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (444)

Yeah, I skimmed quite a bit while rereading this. Aly really started to irritate me.

134. *Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (310)

In a world where vampires and werewolves (and so on) are real (if not accepted), Quincie's uncle is starting a vampire-themed restaurant. Then bad things start happening to the people connected with it.

The first half of this book is fairly blah. It's all setup for what happens in the second half of the book. The second half is much more interesting, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. There are twists that aren't normally found in the vampire books (at least, not the ones I've read).

spoilers )

135. *Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint (271)

Another YA urban fantasy by Charles de Lint. This is an updated version of the Littles or the Borrowers -type of story, it's really a cute story with as much urban as fantasy. I didn't love it like I loved the Blue Girl, but I liked it.

136. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi (394)

Reread. Hilarious book. I can't wait for the sequel.

137. *Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff (396)

First book in the Smoke Trilogy, sequel to the Blood books. More vampire Henry Fitzroy. So far (I'm halfway through book two) they're just as much fun as the first series, although I miss Vicki and Mike.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 137 / 150 books (91.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 66 / 70 *new books (94.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 44,775 / 50,000 pages (89.5%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:40 pm
fiveforsilver: (Text [A dark night...])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in October of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

Last books of September:

113. *You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing by John Scalzi (319)

This is a book on writing - mostly the business of writing, as opposed to the act or art of writing (though there's some of that, too). Actually, a lot of the business aspects and ideas aren't field-specific. Some of them are, but there are also lots of good general home-business, self-employed kinds of advice. Also, it's just plain good, entertaining reading.

114. *Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (629)

Book three in the Twilight series. These books are getting better as they go along - the writing, the character interaction, and so on. I still don't think they're particularly good, but Eclipse is definitely better than the previous two. As with those, however, I have read it once and have no interest in ever reading it again.

115. *Blood Price by Tanya Huff (272)

Book one in the Blood series, a supernatural crime novel. I was not expecting a whole lot from this book, so I got just what I wanted: it was fun, a little sexy, and an enjoyable fluff read.

116. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (212)

Cimorene hates being a 'proper' princess, so she runs away and volunteers to be princess for a dragon. This is an old favorite, a sort of fantasy/fairy tale parody or whatever you want to call it. It's a wonderful little book, a quick read with great characters and a fun story.

Wow it's been a while since I've updated. This is since the beginning of October.

117. *Blood Trail by Tanya Huff (304)

This was another book with interesting werewolf pack dynamics, with, of course, the Henry/Vicki/Mike dynamics mixed in. I enjoyed this book - this whole series is nice sexy fluff reading without being over-the-top and I like it a lot.

118. *Blood Lines by Tanya Huff (271)

Creepier than the previous books, but still an enjoyable read.

119. Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede (234)

A book of fantasy short stories, two of which are related to the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. More fun, light reading. I particularly like Roses and The Lorelei.

120. Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (242)

The only book from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles that I could find at the moment. These books have always been some of my favorites, fairy tale parodies with great main characters and fun stories.

121. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley (247)

Rereading one of my (many) favorite McKinley books after the disappointment of Dragonhaven.

122. *Extras by Scott Westerfeld (417)

And he does it again! I just love Westerfeld's YA books. Extras was fantastic, a wonderfully detailed society, great characters, a part in the middle that actually made me gasp out loud with surprise. The twist at the end caught me totally by surprise, but was totally appropriate to the characters and the world. Just perfect!

123. *Blood Pact by Tanya Huff (332)
124. *Blood Debt by Tanya Huff (330)

I can't really say much about these without lots of spoilers. The twist at the end of Pact surprised me, though maybe it shouldn't have. But I like how it played out in Debt.

125. The Woman Who Rides Like A Man by Tamora Pierce (253)

I was adding info to the Common Knowledge thing on LibraryThing and it made me want to read these books again.

I decided to raise my challenge rates after all, mostly for aesthetic reasons. The over-100% meters were starting to look pretty ugly.
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 125 / 150 books (83.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 61 / 70 *new books (87.1%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 41,015 / 50,000 pages (82.0%)

Currently Reading:
Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:36 pm
fiveforsilver: (Default)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in September of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

108. Old Man's War by John Scalzi (313)
109. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (317)

I very much like these books. I would like to reread The Last Colony, the third book in the trilogy, which I've only read once, but I lent it to my sister some months ago and she hasn't returned it yet (hint hint).

110. *Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (455)

I have seen the movies Night Watch (dubbed) and Day Watch (with subtitles) and I really liked both of them - even the dubbing in the first one didn't bother me after I got used to it, though the subtitles are astonishingly well integrated into the movie, in a way I've never seen before. So, my sister lent me this book, which I believe both movies are based on.

I will have to reread it - I kept comparing it to the movies, not in quality because both the movies and the book are very good, but in plot and even somewhat characters, which are different. I understand why the changes were made for the movies, and I think they did a wonderful job, but it makes what is already a dense and somewhat confusing story even more so.

So, I really liked the book, but I don't think I can really judge it properly without reading it again.

111. *The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (573)

I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. I stayed up late reading and so on and so forth. It was a good sequel to Mistborn, a complex plot with characters I cared about and a world I believed. Also, I really like Brandon's writing style.

But I really didn't like the end.

possible spoilers )

112. *Dragonhaven by Robin Mckinley (342)

I was very disappointed with this book.

Long review. Contains spoilers. )

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 112 / 100 books (112.0%)
Zokutou word meter 53 / 50 *new books (106.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 36,953 / 30,000 pages (123.2%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:30 pm
fiveforsilver: (Default)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in September of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

Last two books from August:

101. *Evolution's Darling by Scott Westerfeld (290)

I got this book from the library because I love Westerfeld's YA science fiction and fantasy books. This, I didn't like so much. I couldn't really connect with the characters, I didn't really care about them. It didn't have anything to do with the fact that one of them is an artificial intelligence - I've read numerous other books with AI characters that I liked or loved. This seemed more like an exercise in how many weird things could be packed in one short novel. And there was a lot of sex. Really strange sex.

I did very much like the end of the book, but it didn't make up for the rest of the weirdness.

102. *Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (643)

I read really liked this book. I enjoyed the unusual kind of magic in this fantasy world, the dynamics between the characters, and the mystery in the plot - they're fighting against something they don't really understand and don't know how to fight. It's also very well-written.

(I left the original of the above entry in place here because there are a couple of comments from the author of Mistborn there :)

103. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (312)

Great book. The writing is excellent, the story is intriguing, and the characters are believeable. It's fun to read a different take on the vampire myths.

Midnighters Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
104. The Secret Hour (383)
105. Touching Darkness (439)
106. Blue Noon (505)

I like these books - I just love Westerfeld's writing style and ability to create distinct, believeable characters in unique settings. Well, ok, the high school setting isn't exactly unique, but the secret hour certainly is.

107. *The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint (289)

This book was disappointing. I read de Lint's urban fantasy The Blue Girl earlier this year and thought it was wonderful, so when I was at the library, I picked up another of his books. This one is high fantasy, though, not urban, and it is...just...blah. Everything is Standard Fantasy; Standard Fantasy main character, Standard Fantasy plot devices, Standard Fantasy help along the way. It's just boring.

Zokutou word meter 107 / 100 books (107.0%)
Zokutou word meter 50 / 50 *new books (100.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 34,953 / 30,000 pages (116.5%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:24 pm
fiveforsilver: (Text [I don't know if your wings are rea)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in July and August of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

Like the previous post, this isn't in order, because I lost track of what order I read all these books.

80. Do-It-Yourself Magic by Ruth Chew (128)
81. The Magic Coin by Ruth Chew (128)
82. Earthstar Magic by Ruth Chew (128)

These are some old YA books that I loved as a kid. They're still fun little books.

83. The Morning Star by Nick Bantock (56)

Book 5, I think, in the Griffin and Sabine series. The first three books are the best, but the others appear to be growing on me a little. These books are actual postcards and letters - envelopes and all - with beautiful drawings and paintings on them.

84. Old Man's War by John Scalzi (313)

The first book in a trilogy. It's set in a future time, and all elderly people on Earth are given the option of joining the CDF (Colonial Defense Forces) when they turn 75. If you do it, you are taken off Earth and - on Earth, at least - declared legally dead. Nobody on Earth knows exactly what happens next...except that they somehow make you young again, to fight in the war.

I've been busy getting read to move and then moving over the past month. I was going to wait until I had time to write something about all of these to post it, but I'm just getting further and further behind, so I won't bother. Suffice to say I like all these books. Scott Westerfeld is a new favorite author.

85. The Fuzzy Papers by H. Beam Piper (407)
86. *Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld (383)
87. *Midnighters 2: Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld (439)
88. *Midnighters 3: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld (505)

89. *Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (312)
90. *The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld (304)
91. *His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (353)
92. *The Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (398)

93. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (231)
94. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (249)
95. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (317)
96. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (389)

97. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (292)

Well...I didn't like this much better than the last time I read it. This has got to be my least favorite of all of McKinley's books. It just doesn't quite fit together; either there are a lot of ideas sort of smushed together to make this book or there was some overzealous editing.

98. Crystal Line by Anne McCaffrey (313)

Brain candy. I'm not a huge fan of McCaffrey's style but somehow these bother me less than the Pern books.

99. *Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowlings (784)

Hm. This one gets a resounding 'eh'. The writing is improved over the previous book, there were a few laugh-out-loud moments, but overall it was mediocre and predictable.

100. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (248)

An old favorite.

Zokutou word meter 100 / 100 books (100.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 47 / 50 *new books (94.0%)
Zokutou word meter 32,092 / 30,000 pages (107.0%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:21 pm
fiveforsilver: (Scientology [Zapped])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in June of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver (accidentally numbered two books 71):

71. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane (332)
72. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane (403)

The 4th and 5th books in the Young Wizards series. In the former, Nita is sent to visit family in Ireland and is put on call there. In the latter, she faces a terrible choice.

73. *Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (448)

I was surprised by this book. I'd heard a lot about it, but nothing really specific, and I hadn't really heard how good it is. If this one book is anything to base my opinion on, that Scott Westerfield really knows how to write. I'm impressed and I look forward to reading the other books in the trilogy.

74. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane (320)

The 6th book in the YW series. This, along with the first three, is one of my favorites. It deals with the aftermath of Wizard's Dilemma, along with new problems, and very realistic tension between Nita and Kit.

The books in this post and the next one are not in order, because I remember what books I've read but not what order I read them in.

75. Wizard's Holiday by Diane Duane (416)
76. Wizards at War by Diane Duane (551)

Currently the final two books in the Young Wizards series (although there is a 9th book in the works). Holiday is a fun book. Because of all the stress and issues in the previous couple of books, Dairine decides to sign herself and her sister up for a sort of wizardly student exchange program during spring break. She gets in trouble for signing them up without asking anyone first, so instead of her and Nita going, Nita and Kit go, while Dairine stays home to help her dad deal with the exchange wizards that come to stay at her house. Hijinks ensue...and some saving the world, too.

Wizards at War is a lot more serious, although there are less-serious bits to lighten the mood. This is only the second time I read this book, and I liked it better this time, but part of it still reminds me too much of another book related to the series, and that bothers me.

77. *Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (384)
78. *Specials by Scott Westerfeld (384)

Sequels to Uglies, which I read not too long ago. I was at first turned off by the titles, and even the plot, of these stories, but it turns out that they are extremely well-written YA science fiction books, with interesting characters, engaging plots, and a credible world. I was impressed by the writing in the first book and am still impressed; I plan to read more of this author's work.

79. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi (394)

This is a very funny humorous science fiction novel that is actually has nothing to do with Philip K. Dick or has any references other than the title (in fact, it is becoming a trilogy, each of which will have a Dick-ian title). It's about...well, saving the world. And the girl, too. Through unconventional means.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 79 / 100 books (79.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 39 / 50 *new books (78.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 25,415 / 30,000 pages (84.7%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:17 pm
fiveforsilver: (Pluto)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in May and June of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

64. Teklords by William Shatner (293)
65. Teklab by William Shatner (308)

I left the book I was reading - Deep Wizardry - at home when I went to visit my parents, and I saw these books on the shelf when I was looking for something to read. They are fairly mindless entertainment and it's been at least 10 or 12 years since I read them. I actually remember the movies better than the books (as I recall, they were about the same quality - mindless entertainment).

66. *The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (525)

This, on the other hand, was actually pretty good. It's a YA book that also includes drawings and pictures, and it's an intruiging story as well as compelling pictures.

I did think that the end came too quickly, though - everything was figured out and tied up all at once, and then suddenly it was over.

Last books of May:

67. The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones (182)

A fun YA book.

68. Tek secret by William Shatner (292)

The third of the three Tek books that my parents have. I think there are two others that they don't. Again, mindless fun.

69. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane (226)

First books of June:
70. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane (272)
71. High Wizardry by Diane Duane (269)

This series includes some of my favorite books and I reread them probably once a year at least.

I may have forgotten one or two books, since this is a lot longer than I usually take between updates, but, well, whatever. Not a big deal.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 71 / 100 books (71.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 36 / 50 *new books (72.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 21,783 / 30,000 pages (72.6%)

Currently Reading:
A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
fiveforsilver: (Text [What's with today?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in May of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

Here are the books I've tried to read recently and am giving up on. They're all library books, too, so I didn't waste any money on them :)

Expanded Universe by Robert Heinlein

Not because I didn't think it was well written or good stories or whatever - I did. But the stories are all so depressing! They're all about nuclear war and so on, and I just couldn't deal with a dozen short stories, one after another, by the same author on that same topic.

It's possible that the later stories weren't like that, but that is my impression after getting halfway through the book, so enough is enough.

The Victorian Fairy Tale Book edited by Michael Patrick Hearn

I thought this was going to be interesting, but instead it was boring. Perhaps I should have skipped this one story once I realized that it would just not stop - there is this magic ring that makes whoever wears it seem beautiful and charming and intelligent and attractive, but once you take it off, you of course revert to your original state, so these princes and princesses and ladies and so on just kept accidentally passing this ring amongst themselves and falling in love with whoever was wearing the ring and out of love when they took it off and...every time I thought it was over, a whole new round started up. Bah. I got a third of the way through and set it aside.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

I tried, I really tried to like this. A friend suggested it to me. But Hoff is so anti-intellect, anti-science, that I just couldn't take it. I struggled halfway through the book and just couldn't take it anymore. All these people who think science is so awful should go live somewhere without science. No central heating, no vaccinations or modern medicine, no supermarkets or modern kitchens, etc. Then talk about how worthless intelligence and science are.

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro

Another one I tried to like. I don't remember how far I got into this one, but it was a ways. I simply can't relate to the main character. Or basically anything that happens to her. Since I don't smoke and I don't drink and I've never been drunk, and basically all the stupid shit this girl does is because she's drunk. And it's one thing to hear a story every once in a while from a friend, but this book, I just didn't enjoy it at all. Oh, well.


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