113-

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

5-11

Jan. 3rd, 2008 11:53 am
fiveforsilver: (Geek [Curiosity])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in January of 2007 (multiple posts combined) in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

5. *Conrad's Fate by Diana Wynne Jones (375)

A Chrestomanci book. Really, I couldn't put it down! I went to the bookstore this morning for some other things, had a bagel while I was there and needed something to read, so I picked this up. I read probably a quarter of it at the store, before I had to leave, and the rest of it at home later (before and after class).

6. *The Grand Tour by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (469)

Sequal to Sorcery and Cecelia, which I read in December. I got this from the library on Monday, was distracted by it from the book I was reading (a reread, not a big deal), and then was distracted from it to read Conrad's Fate.

I enjoyed both this and Cecelia, my only problem being keeping track of which girl was writing which part (letters in the first book, journal entries in the second) and which characters are which. Even though the girls were written by two different authors, the styles were not so distinct that I could easily tell them apart, and Thomas and James were such similar characters that I frequently got them confused.

7. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (403)
8. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (444)

Some of the most recent books in the Tortall series. Another strong female character - with magic. Aly is possibly more a Mary Sue than any of the other heroines, but even so, I find these books enjoyable and often hilarious. The spying and intrigue remind me at times of what used to be one of my favorite tv shows, Alias.

However, due to having read these books a number of times and possibly due to reading more, er, better-written books recently, I'm starting to notice a lot more flaws than I used to as I read these - unnecessary text that just bloats it instead of adding substance, the degree to which Aly gets nearly nothing wrong, or what she does get wrong turns out to not be a problem in the end (or is even an asset).

I probably won't read these books again for a long time.

9. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (389)

I am a McKinley fan, so I bought Sunshine as soon as it came out. I wasn't sure about it the first time I read it - it is so totally different from all her other books, I really didn't know what to think - but with each subsequent reading, I love it more and more. I identify in many ways with the main character, because she thinks things that I would think - when faced with a wold that includes far too many of the bump-in-the-night types of supernatural creatures and nowhere near enough of the three-wishes-and-happily-ever-after sort, she thinks "Who invented this system?"

Some people don't like Sunshine because they find it slow, and at times the action is interrupted for explanation, like someone getting sidetracked when telling a story (oh, and that reminds me of this thing I've been meaning to tell you...). McKinley takes great pleasure in giving a huge amount of little details about the universe she has created, little bits of information about different kinds of demons and other Others (non-humans), and for me, things like that can bring a depth to the world that it wouldn't otherwise have. The narration has a conversational tone, as though you're sitting across the table (maybe in Charlie's Cafe, with a plate of muffins or some dessert "with no socially redeeming value") and listening to her tell you the story.

10. *Earth by David Brin (652)

This book was long, technical, at times confusing, very detailed, and really, really great.

There were characters I liked, there were characters I loved, there were characters I hated from the moment I was introduced to them. There were characters I didn't much care for, but then grew to like. There was at least one character who I totally misunderstood - as I was supposed to - until the end.

It was not an easy book. It's taken me several weeks to read (with some interruptions), when a less complex book of the same length would take me a week or less.

No, I haven't explained the plot...to explain the plot is to give too much away. If you like SF - particularly hard SF - check it out, it's right up your alley.

11. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (299)

I had some free time today - long enough that I had to find something to do and not long enough to walk back home and actually do something. So I went to the library and read this.

It's fun enough. It's clearly a YA book. I got through the whole thing in a little over two and a half hours (though I've read it before, which of course makes it go faster). Since I tend to go on about how Pierce's heroines are Mary Sues, I'd say that Daine is more a Mary Sue than Kel (and on par with or more than Alanna) but definitely less than Aly.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 11 / 85 books (12.9%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 4 / 25 new books (16.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 3,954 / 30,000 pages (13.2%)


Currently reading:
*A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
*The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies by John Scalzi

101-102

Dec. 30th, 2007 08:45 pm
fiveforsilver: (Firefly [Simon])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted December 15, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

101. Forty Signs of Rain* by Kim Stanley Robinson (432)

I love KSR's SF - the Mars trilogy is (are?) some of my favorite books, and I liked Antarctica, which is similar in many ways to the Mars books. Forty Signs of Rain, though it is evidently the first book in a series, reminds me most of Blue Mars, the final book in that trilogy. Both books include more politics than what is generally thought of as SF. Apparently I should give Blue Mars another try - I haven't yet been able to finish it - because I found this book much more interesting than I would have a few years ago.

Oh, the plot? Global warming, of course.

102. Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot* by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (320)

Written as letters between two young ladies in the early 1800s, in a world where magic is real. Not sure if it's exactly the same AU as Mairelon the Magician, though there are similarities. Kate and Cecy are likable, amusing characters who get caught up in a magical feud of sorts. Cute, fun, a bit stressful at times. I liked it.

Zokutou word meter
102 / 100 books
(102.0%)

Zokutou word meter
30 / 30 new books
(100.0%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
37,474 / 50,000 pages
(74.9%)


Wow! 30 new books this year. I never would've done it if not for this challenge, since I don't read that many new books in the general way of things. I'm more of a re-reader myself.

Currently reading:
The Left Hand of Darkness* by Ursula K. Le Guin

89-94

Dec. 30th, 2007 08:39 pm
fiveforsilver: (Seasons [Spring - rain])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted December 05, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver

89. Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede (280)
90. Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede (288)

A street thief, Kim, is hired to break into the wagon of a market magician, Mairelon, to see if he has a certain silver bowl. Little does she know he isn't simply a market magician...

I was going to read some more new books, when someone on my flist mentioned The Ordinary Princess, which I read when I was young, which got me on a nostalgia kick. I was visiting my parents at the time, so I searched my bedroom and found my copy, and some other J/YA books I read around the same age. So here's what I've read the past couple of days:

91. The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (128)

What happens when Princess Amythest turns out ordinary instead of beautiful and silly, like a "normal" princess?

92. The Farthest-Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks (130)

Dakin dreams of finding the secrets of the Farthest-Away Mountain.

93. The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks (118)

Adults don't usually see fairies, but Jan and Tiki become friends. So after Tiki gets in trouble with the Fairy Queen for helping Jan, Jan and her husband Charlie must help Tiki in return.

94. The Last Slice of Rainbow and Other Stories by Joan Aiken (144)

A series of unrelated fantasy short stories. They all have morals (sharing, not being rude, not being greedy, etc) but they're not overwhelming.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
94 / 100 books
(94.0%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
26 / 30 new books
(86.7%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
35,536 / 50,000 pages
(71.1%)


In the same vein...currently reading:
The Castle in the Attic

Up next:
Eyes in the Fishbowl
Afternoon of the Elves

And possibly From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

39-41

Dec. 29th, 2007 10:05 pm
fiveforsilver: (Default)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted June 07, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver

39. Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (255)

The fourth book in the Enchanted Forest series (the previous two were in my last post).

40. Sabine's Notebook by Nick Bantock (48)
41. The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock (48)

These are the second and third books in the Griffin and Sabine trilogy (there are further books in the series, but the first three are - in my opinion - the best by far). The trilogy is - are - whatever - some of my favorite books. They're not long books; I read these two over lunch in a bookstore, where I was amused to find them shelved in the "art" section. Although maybe it's fitting. It's not so much reading books as it is having an experience, and it feels almost voyeuristic at times - how often do you read someone else's love letters, and a pair of artists at that? The rich artwork is as important a part of the story as the letters and postcards that you read.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41 / 100 books
(41.0%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 30 new books
(36.7%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,710 / 50,000 pages
(29.4%)

35-38

Dec. 29th, 2007 10:03 pm
fiveforsilver: (John Hensley)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted May 31, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver

I'm currently reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (642, hardcover) and since it's not exactly easily portable (for a book), I read these in the meatime:

35. Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (242)
36. Calling on Dragons by Patracia C. Wrede (244)

These are fun books, dragon and princess fantasies with a lot of other fairy tale parodies thrown in. These are the second and third in a series of four (Dealing with Dragons is the first, Talking to Dragons is the fourth, and there is a short story anthology that includes several related stories called Book of Enchantments).

37. A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazney (280)

One of my favorite books, this is the story told from the perspective of a dog, Snuff. I can't come up with anything better than a bit of what's on the back of the book: It's not often that you read a book that forces you to root for Jack the Ripper to save the universe, but Roger Zelazny is not your typical author...

38. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (249)

A sweet book about a little girl who goes from incredible wealth to complete poverty in an instant when her beloved father dies after losing his fortune. She is forced to work practically as a slave at the boarding school where she had been the star student, mocked by girls who once envied her and all but starved by the headmistriss who had never liked her.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
38 / 100 total books
(38.0%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11 / 30 new books
(36.7%)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,349 / 50,000 pages
(28.7%)

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