Feb. 15th, 2010 09:39 am
fiveforsilver: (Cats [We're watching you!])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
20. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 6
Adult, Mystery, 262 pages

21. *Angelmass by Timothy Zahn
Adult, Science Fiction, 531 pages

I've been told that Zahn's regular science fiction books are better than his Star Wars books, but I didn't think this was. I would have preferred more focus on fewer characters, maybe a few less random plot devices, and the twist at the end to make more sense or be more meaningful.

22. *The God Engines by John Scalzi
Adult, Fantasy, 136 pages

It's hard to say anything about this book without revealing the whole story. It's a kind of fantasy/science fiction mix. There is space travel using captured gods to power the ships and prayer and rituals have tangible effects, but things may not be quite as they seem.

This was an interesting book and well-written as always, but definitely not one my favorites Scalzi books.

23. The Cat Who Blew The Whistle by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Cat Who, book 17
Adult, Mystery, 311 pages

In some of the later books, things just start getting kind of ridiculous, and this is one of those. Everything seems rushed, there is so much going on that seems important but only happens in the background, and the characters - the reason I enjoy reading this series - take a back seat to moving the plot (such as it is) along. Not one of her best.

24. *Judge Sn Goes Golfing by John Scalzi
Android's Dream series, book 2 (chapbook)
Adult, Science Fiction, 32 pages

Short story. Judge Sn golfing and gets interrupted by people trying to assassinate him (repeatedly). Hilarious.

24 / 160 books. 15% done!

10 / 80 *new books. 13% done!

0 / 7 ^non-fiction. 0% done!

6278 / 48000 pages. 13% done!
Audiobooks: 9h03m


Jun. 14th, 2009 08:24 am
fiveforsilver: (Text [Obliviate])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
72. Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede (234) YA/Fan

Collection of fantasy short stories by Wrede:

Rikiki and the Wizard
A sweet story about a greedy wizard and his kind and beautiful daughter.

The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn (Enchanted Forest)
The middle princess from a kingdom where nothing is quite as it "should" be goes out to seek her fortune. The palace cat goes with her and they meet a haughty unicorn. Cute and funny.

Roses by Moonlight
An older sister meets an unusual woman and takes a walk through a unique garden. This story is different in that not a whole lot actually happens, and yet at the end, it still feels as though it did. I love this story.

The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd
An Arabian Nights type story with a wizard-monarch who curses everyone who makes him angry. Funny.

This is a dark, sad story of love and war. I never feel like I've quite understood it, but it's moving nonetheless.

The Sword-Seller
Classic good-vs-evil high fantasy, with a few twists. Dark and dramatic.

The Lorelei
Some students on a school trip to Germany make an unexpected stop at the Lorelei cliffs. A great story and I love the main character.

Stronger Than Time
Sleeping Beauty gone awry. The end is unexpected.

Cruel Sisters
A beautiful and sharp retelling of an old ballad.

Utensile Strength (Enchanted Forest)
Queen Cimorene and King Mendanbar must find the wielder for a powerful enchanted weapon. Absolutely hilarious. Recipe included.

73. Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn (439) A/SF
74. The Last Command by Timothy Zahn (467) A/SF
75. Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn (416) A/SF

75 / 150 books. 50% done!

39 / 75 *new books. 52% done!

2 / 10 ^non-fiction. 20% done!

23324 / 45000 pages. 52% done!


Jun. 13th, 2009 09:12 am
fiveforsilver: (Books [PotS])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
End of May:

67. Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce (344) YA/Fan

Daine's wolf pack from her former home asks her to talk to the humans in their new territory about the destruction of the land, the water, and the hunting grounds in the new valley they have moved to, but it turns out that the situation is much different - and much worse - than anyone could have guessed.

Wolf-Speaker is one of my favorite Tortall book. Although the main characters are (as usual in Pierce's books) just a touch too good to be true, Daine grows and learnes and makes mistakes throughout the story and people besides her play roles vital to the plot. I particularly like Maura, a young noblewoman who is terrified but brave, and Tkaa, one of the immortals that Daine meets and befriends.

68. Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce (384) YA/Fan

Daine and her friends are sent to Carthack, to meet with the Emperor. Daine's duty is to see if she can heal the Emperor's pet birds and otherwise to stay out of trouble, but unfortunately for her, the god-touched don't have a choice about where and when they're called on to intervene.

Emperor Mage is another thoroughly enjoyable Tortall story. The Immortals series really improves with each book. I love Daine's interactions with the gods and how she chooses to use her borrowed power in a way that reflects her so very well (and which is not precisely the way she is expected to use it).

69. Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (338) YA/Fan

Daine and Numair go up against a group of magical creatures of a kind they've never seen before and when it turns out that neither Daine's wild magic nor Numair's Gift can effect them, rescue comes from a surprising direction. But now they're stuck in another realm while war threatens Tortall.

There are a lot of new and interesting characters introduced in this last book in the Immortals series, including various gods, dragons, and other immortals and magical creatures, and Daine's prejudices against Stormwings are tested. The realm of the gods itself is an intriguing place to read about, with different rules from the moral realm and wonders and dangers all its own. It's a fitting end to the series.

69. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (404) A/SF
70. *The Seven Towers by Patricia C. Wrede (336) YA/Fan
71. Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (320) YA/Fan

71 / 150 books. 47% done!

39 / 75 *new books. 52% done!

2 / 10 *non-fiction. 20% done!

21768 / 45000 pages. 48% done!


Oct. 31st, 2008 08:34 am
fiveforsilver: (Books [pile])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
127. A Knot in the Grain by Robin McKinley (192)
128. Wise Child by Monica Furlong (228)
129. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198)
130. Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn (416)

I've been sick and loopy (due to prescription meds) all week, so the idea of reading new books is pretty much beyond me. These are all books I've read before - all except the Zahn are books I've read many, many times before.

130 / 150 books. 87% done!

63 / 75 *new books. 84% done!

5 / 10 ^non-fiction. 50% done!

35204 / 40000 pages. 88% done!

Abandonded books:

Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

I tried. I really, really wanted to like this book. I think the characters and the story and the humor have a lot of potential, and I generally think Sanderson is a great writer, but something about this book just rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it was the way that Alcatraz kept talking to the reader, which I tend to find uncomfortable. I think I would have liked it a lot better if it had just been a straight fantasy book rather than one of those books that insists that it's not actually a fantasy book, it's really actually true!

101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived by Dan Karlan, Allan Lazar, and Jeremy Salter

The idea of this book is fantastic. The excecution? Not so much. I was expecting a book by people who had researched how various characters had influenced Western society. With, you know, actual research and credentials and stuff. Not a couple guys sitting around trying to think up who they thought were the most influential fictional characters. I was extremely disappointed by this book.


Jun. 29th, 2008 08:18 am
fiveforsilver: (Darth [Stormy laugh])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
66. *Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn (416)

The first three of Zahn's Star Wars books are still the best, but the others are enjoyable as well. I think there might be another one coming out, too.

67. Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. wrede (255)

Daystar's mother melts a wizard, gives him a magic sword, and sends him on a quest, all in the same day. But...she doesn't tell him what the quest is for. Part of his quest is figuring out just what he's supposed to be doing.

Not my favorite book in this series, but fun nonetheless.

68. *Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (367)

Technically this was a reread, but I remembered nothing but a few names from the first time I read it. I liked it.

68 / 110 books. 62% done!

29 / 75 *new books. 39% done!

3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!

20549 / 33000 pages. 62% done!


Mar. 20th, 2008 09:36 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver

23. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (231)
24. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce (240)
25. The Woman Who Rides Like A Man by Tamora Pierce (253)
26. Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce (320)

It was interesting to read these (yet) again. Alanna isn't nearly as much of a Mary Sue as I remembered, especially in the first couple of books.

27. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (404)
28. Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn (439)
29. The Last Command by Timothy Zahn (467)

I really like these. They really are a continuation of the movies - the characters have the same feel, the universe has the same feel, and they're darn good stories to boot.

29 / 110 books. 26% done!

8 / 75 *new books. 11% done!

9270 / 33000 pages. 28% done!


Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:18 pm
fiveforsilver: (Space [Google Moon])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in March of 2007 (multiple posts combined) in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

34. *New Moon by Stephanie Meyer (564)

I read this at the bookstore yesterday afternoon. The writing was better than in Twilight; the diaologue is quite good. I did think the friendship between Jacob and Bella worked well but then went far too quickly from a renewed friendship to best friends and it was uncomfortable every time she referred to him as that, but other than that, I thought the story progressed nicely.

Overall, and unusually, I thought this second book, New Moon, was better than first.

35. Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson (266)

I recently reread The Door in the Hedge and A Knot in the Grain, so I decided to reread McKinley's third anthology as well.

This one is rather hit-and-miss. There are some stories that I liked a lot (Mermaid Song by Dickinson and The Sea-King's Son and A Pool in the Desert by McKinley) and some that I didn't like as much (Sea Serpent and Kraken by Dickinson and Water Horse by McKinley).

36. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (404)
37. Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn (439)
38. The Last Command by Timothy Zahn (467)

I really like these books. I recently re-watched the original Star Wars trilogy (sans additions) and I generally feel like reading these books after I watch those. I think Zahn really captures the feel of the universe and the characters. I need to look into some of his non-SW science fiction, which I've heard is as good or better.

39. *Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (534)

I liked this book a lot. It was a little slow to start and, as I recall, the last quarter or so was the most interesting and exciting part, but the rest of it was good as well. I'm trying to get the sequal, Inkspell, from the library, but it hasn't been available whenever I've tried.

I partially read a book that I'm not counting - I borrowed Melusine by Sarah Monette from the library the other day because nothing I was looking for was available (in transit, processing, checked out, damaged: Thursday was not a good library day for me...), I saw it, and recognized it from some people on LT talking about how much they liked it. I, on the other hand, hated it. I disliked it from the very first page and by page 19, I absolutely hated it. I tried, I swear, I tried to give it a decent go before giving up, I tried at least to get to page 50, but I got stuck somewhere around page 37 and I haven't been able to bring myself to open it again. It went back to the library today, when I got the books listed below.

39 / 85 books (45.88%)
23 / 50 *new books (46.00%)
12580 / 30000 pages (41.93%)

Currently reading:
Helm by Steven Gould

Up next (because they're library books that will have to be returned):
The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
Ecstasia by Francesca Lia Block
Expanded Universe by Robert Heinlein


Dec. 30th, 2007 08:54 am
fiveforsilver: (Text [Obliviate])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted November 02, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

75. The Outlaws of Sherwood, Robin McKinley (278)
76. Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn (404)
77. Dark Force Rising, Timothy Zahn (439)
78. The Last Command, Timothy Zahn (467)

Rereads while I waited for my inter-library loan books to come in.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
78 / 100 books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 30 new books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
30,139 / 50,000 pages

Currently reading:
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (514)

Up Next:
Assassin's Apprentice, by Robin Hobb (435)
Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb (581)
Assassin's Quest, by Robin Hobb (757)


Dec. 29th, 2007 10:13 pm
fiveforsilver: (Text [Dare disturb the universe])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted August 16, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

60. *Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton (267)

For the second time, reading a blog made me want to read the blogger's books. Unfortunately, my library only has this one, but I'll request Dancing Barefoot sometime. The book is excerpts from his early blogging and expanded stories about what he'd written about then. Wil talks about some very emotional subjects in this book; some stories brought tears to my eyes and a number of the stories made me laugh out loud (quite a feat for any written text).

61. *Specter of the Past by Timothy Zahn (416)
62. *Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn (720)

The Hand of Thrawn books, sequels to The Thrawn Trilogy, in which Zahn ties up a lot of the loose ends from the trilogy. There were a few spots that were a little confusing and a few places where the way things tied up seemed just a bit strained, but overall I like the books very much.

63. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (320)

Book 1 of The Immortals Quartet
Even in a world filled with magic, Daine Sarrasi's gift with animals stands out, and between her unusual gift and having to hide the secrets from her past, it's easier for her to connect with animals than people. It takes time (and some gentle and not-so-gentle coaxing from friends and mentors) for Daine to come to trust her new acquaintances.

I really enjoy these books and always like the strong women characters that Pierce writes, but she does have a tendency to do things like pound us over the head with the idea that something bad had happened in her past, long before we find out what it is. A few fewer - or more subtle - mentions of how she can't trust these new people with her secret because they'd surely hate her would have been just as effective, if not more so. But things like that aside, it's a good story and a fun, easy read.

* New reads

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
63 / 100 books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
15 / 30 new books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
23,552 / 50,000 pages

Currently reading:
Spindle's End by Robin McKinley
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (I got stalled maybe a third of the way through this...hopefully I'll get started up on it again.)


Dec. 29th, 2007 10:09 pm
fiveforsilver: (Bantock [shattered glass])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted July 11, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

49. Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn (404)
50. Dark Force Rising, Timothy Zahn (439)
51. The Last Command, Timothy Zahn (467)

I like these books. I recently watched the original (well, updated) movies, then read Zahn's new book, Outbound Flight, and I felt like rereading these three again. I need to find his other books in the series, and also his not-SW books, as I've heard that they're better than his SW.

52. The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman (518)

With all the talk I've heard about these recently, I felt like rereading some, and this third one is my favorite.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
52 / 100 books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12 / 30 new books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
19,122 pages / 50,000


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