etben: flowers and sky (rl: yes but wait what)
etben ([personal profile] etben) wrote2013-01-03 08:00 pm

book log 2012

So I did this in 2011, and it was actually really fun - I liked keeping track of things as I read, and I also really enjoyed looking back periodically to remember what I'd read so far that year. Here, then, is Year Two of the book log!

books 2012:

1) Cetaganda, Lois McMaster Bujold. Oh Miles. I also totally loved Ivan in this one, and the descriptions of Ceta society were fascinating to me. (1/3)

2) Ethan of Athos, Lois McMaster Bujold. I was totally charmed by this - the way she sets up the various cultures and then lets them all whack into each other is just great. Ethan is well-written enough that his bullshit viewpoints come off as sincere, if misguided, which makes his eventual change of opinion even more satisfying. (1/4)

3) Brothers in Arms, Lois McMaster Bujold. Predictable? Me? But oh my god I loved Elli Quinn in this - in the last one, too, honestly, but especially here, where she looks Miles dead in the eye and says, yes, I love you, yes, we can totes bone, but oh god don't make me go home with you. YOU GO GIRL. And I loved everything to do with Mark, of course, and all of the twisty-turny double-triple-cross plotlines. (1/4)

4) Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld. OH MY GOD AMAZINGNESS. I loved the worldbuilding of this, the way it's simultaneously a love letter to nature and a love letter to technology, the way it's just a half-step off from history as we understand it. And I love Alek and Deryn, especially because they're not prodigies - they're good at what they do, usually, mostly, but sometimes they fuck shit up, and that's okay, because ultimately they are doing the right thing and making it work. (1/5)

5) Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld. MORE AMAZINGNESS. The worldbuilding of this continues to be absolutely stellar - I loved the political / technological intricacies of Istanbul, and I especially loved Lilit - I wish we'd gotten more of her, but the moment between her and Deryn is FABULOUS. And the romance angle is actually not frustrating for me, because we actually get see why these two are in love with each other - we see the development of the friendship instead of just being told that they're the love interests. (1/9)

6) Goliath, Scott Westerfeld. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL AND I AM SO HAAAAAAAPPY. Excellent conclusion to an excellent trilogy! (1/10)

7) By the Sword, Mercedes Lackey. I just love this book, okay? Okay. Found family and finding your calling and making things and just - ugh, so much completely irrational love. (1/11)

8) Fire Watch, Connie Willis. Conflicted M is conflicted! I really liked some of the stories - Fire Watch is excellent, as were several of the others, but a few of them were either not to my taste or…idk, way more rapey and creepy than I was expecting from Willis? nevertheless, A+ book, would read again. I always forget how much I enjoy short stories! (1/12)

9) Storm Warning, Mercedes Lackey. Every two years I have to reread my favorites of the Valdemar universe, and this series is one of them. Karal! and Tremane, although he's not really so much in this one. (1/14)

10) Storm Rising, Mercedes Lackey. Man, every time I reread this I remember all over again how angry Firesong makes me. STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE, ASSHOLE. But Tremane and Karal make up for it, oh my goodness, I heart their stupid faces. (1/15)

11) Storm Breaking, Mercedes Lackey. IFTEL. also, how obvious is it that I started my practicum this week? Lol never going to have time again ever. (1/22)

12) The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins. I was just going to reread this one, but I forgot how much I liked it - I may have to reread the others as well. (1/25)

13) The Pirate King, Laurie R King. I will never not love Mary Russell Holmes, and that is the end of the story. This one was a little lighter and shorter than hers tend to be, but given the last two in the series, I'm not really surprised. Could have used more Russell + Holmes banter, but then, couldn't everything? Furthermore, wow, it is SUPER OBVIOUS that I have been crazy busy this semester this far. eeesh. (3/16)

14) Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins. I really wasn't wild about this last time I read it, but in the wake of the movie I decided for a reread, and it worked a lot better for me this time! OH KATNISS, WORST DECISIONS EVERRRRRR. (3/29)

15) Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins. I…don't know what I think about this. The ending made me INCREDIBLY angry, but some of the rest of it was so awesome I could barely breathe, so. Idk. (3/31)

16) Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett. On the advice of some strangers on the internet, I decided to go back through the Discworld series, this time skipping anything that doesn't involve Vimes - turns out that my reading experience is considerably better for it! By which I mean, oh, Vimes. (4/3)

17) The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, ??? I pretty much finished this on pure stubbornness - there were a few interesting ideas in it, and I liked Ivy a lot, but ultimately it was too much Jane Eyre and not enough Pride and Prejudice, and it just didn't work for me. (4/17)

18) House of M, comics. Weird and interesting! I need more comics in my life, even if I'm incredibly bad at following a narrative in pictures. (5/6)

19) Winter Soldier, comics. BUCKYYYYYYYY. (5/6???)

20) Uglies, Scott Westerfeld. Sat down and read this in one sitting at the Norwood public library while I was waiting to meet with my boss. I REGRET NOTHING. (5/15)

21) A Red Herring Without Mustard, Alan Bradley. I do love me some Flavia De Luce! Sociopathic pre-teen scientist of my heart. None of the books have grabbed me as much as the first one did, though - I'm not sure why, but I think it might be that I really loved the audiobook, oddly enough. (5/18)

22) Pretties, Scott Westerfeld. Every time I think I know where he's going with this, I am COMPLETELY BLINDSIDED by what happens next. LOVE IT. Not sure how I feel about the love triangle / quadrangle going on, but I like the moments when Tally's future depends solely on Tally. (5/25)

23) Specials, Scott Westerfeld. iiiiiiinteresting. I still don't think that I liked this as much as the first one (love triangles! I hates them!), but I definitely enjoyed it. (5/29)

24) American Gods, Neil Gaiman. AND THEN CAMP HAPPENED, and i had no time ever to read anything, but I reread this on the plane and loved every second. The strange, slow easiness of the prose - god, it gets to me so bad, formative texts much? (7/15)

25) Graceling, Kristin Cashore. AND THEN I HAD LOTS OF TIME. Love love loved this - Katsa and her robot self and Po and his earnestness and EVERYTHING, ugh, love it, need to read the sequels asap. (7/16)

26) Fire, Kristin Cashore. Somewhere in there I did in fact read this! Just not sure when, quite. Enjoyed it intensely, although not as much as I loved Graceling. (8/??)

27) Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, Rachel Maddow. This is not ANYTHING like my usual fare (as you can tell from the rest of this list), but I heard Maddow talking about the book on NPR, and it sounded just fascinating - and then a few days later I wound up in our local used bookstore and saw it and bought it on a whim. I hesitate to call it delightful, since the subject matter pretty much made me want to cry, vomit, and/or punch somebody, but it's incredibly well-written and engaging. Read most of this on the beach and on our porch - probably the last thing I'll finish for a while. (8/25)

28) A Madness of Angels, Kate Griffin. AHAHAHAHAHA I HATE THE ACADEMIC YEARRRRRR, look at me not reading anything for months and months. That said, I love this book, I love how weird it is and how beautiful and how much love it has for the City of London. BRB, reading all of the sequels! (12/1)

30) The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman. A reread, but a strategically ill-considered one - I read it out on the plane to Points West, and of course now I do not have the sequels with me. BUT AUGH THIS BOOK, ugh, I imprinted on it SO LONG before I ever read the sequels, and I feel like it stands alone in a way the other two really emphatically don't, and I just - Lyra. (12/23)

31-36?) Hawkeye 1-6, Matt Fraction and David Aja. Do I get to count these as books? I don't care, I'm counting them, because I read them and almost broke my wrist flailing at J about Clint Barton. Did you know that I did not have that many Clint Barton feelings before this? BUT NOW I DO, oh god, give me all of the stories about people who have no special powers, but who see something shitty around them and try their damnedest to make it better, because that's what they do. (12/23)

37) Captain Marvel 1, ??? Another plane read! I don't know that I have that many opinions about it as yet, but I really really REALLY like Carol Danvers, and I also super enjoyed the art, which - I don't think I've ever really talked about how bad my visual processing skills are, but my ability to understand / respond to sequential art is basically the worst, and yet I really enjoyed this! Which, tbf, is probably mostly the panel-by-panel reader from Comixology - turns out that if somebody/something is showing me what to look at in what order, I do much better! (12/23)

38) Feed, Mira Grant. To quote Captain Hammer: "Not my usual, but nice!" Or, in other words: A:LKJA:LDKASJD :LAKDJ :LUASHD:OAS. (12/25)

39) Deadline, Mira Grant. SOBBING HYSTERICALLY FOR DAYS. Oh my god, J was super sneaky about this book, so I was COMPLETELY unspoiled for all of the big reveals, which basically meant I spent some quality time sitting on the couch with tears streaming down my face. SHAUN. GEORGE. A:LDKAJD:LAKSJD :ALDHLKDSJFHASFASDAS DYYYYYYYING. (12/27)

40) Blackout, Mira Grant. SCREAMING AND HYPERVENTILATING IN PUBLIC PLACES 5EVERRRRRRR. This book was SO GOOD, oh my god, I actually almost fell out of my seat on the airplane at several points. SHAUN AND GEORGE AND SHAUN AND GEORGE A:LSDKJAS :DLKASJD :LASDJ!!!!!!! (12/28)

Thoughts:

• I read 40 books in 2012 - fewer than in 2011, but more than I'd honestly expected to.

• I am not necessarily super varied in my reading habits, but looking back, only 9 of those 40 were re-reads, which is pretty good for me. I discovered several new authors (Seanan McGuire / Mira Grant, DO ME ON IT NOW), all of whom were excellent. This is probably because I've also been keeping a running list of Books To Find And Read Someday - it gives me something to flip through when I am not sure what I want to read.

• ...not that that happens too often, since on my coffee table alone I can see seven books that I want to read soon (plus Night Watch, which I need to reread) (plus my kindle, which has EVERYTHING EVER on it, including Les Misérables in French and in English) (...I may be here for a while, is my point)

• I stalled out somewhere in the middle of the Vorkosigan saga, and I somehow never did finish the third NK Jemisin. Get on that, self!

• 40 books / 365 days = just over .1 book a day, except ahahahahah LOL NO. Realistically, looking at the dates it is SUPER OBVIOUS that I binge on my school breaks and completely forget about books otherwise.

• Relatedly, goals for 2013: read a little bit every day! Which, since I am finally reading the Toby Daye series, seems possible - right now I am averaging 1 book / day in 2013, because I am a terrible human. It won't last (the reading, I mean; the terribleness is basically my destiny), but it's so much FUN to be really really ridiculously into something again.

HEY INTERNET, LET'S TALK ABOUT BOOKS.

[identity profile] misspamela.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
Oooh, I just started the Toby Daye books too! I'm trying to space them out a bit so I don't do that thing where I read a whole series in one gulp and then I can't remember what happened when.

I also just started a reread of the Hobbit for reasons and I'm planning on reading the new Dresden Files that just came out. Mr. MissP is reading it too and he will make faces at me about spoilers until I read it!

I read almost nothing in 2012 except a veritable shit ton of romance novels. Like, an embarrassing number of romance novels. Not always even good ones.
ext_842: (rl: yes but wait what)

[identity profile] etben.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I thought about doing that? But I am enjoying them waaaaaay too much to stop now. And I am probably going to read the new Dresden Files as well, although if I can find a way to do so without paying for it I will do that - I am honestly kind of burnt out on Harry Dresden as a character right now. And, ooh, the Hobbit! I need to do a massive LOTR reread, and the Hobbit will probably come as part of that.

Dude, romance novels are the SHIT. Like, there is something seriously excellent about a book where you know exactly what's going to happen - there will be trials! and tribulations! and misunderstandings! and hot sex! and WITTY BANTER. and then in the end the good will end happily and the bad will end unhappily and maybe there will be a sequel about how Her Cousin (or His Brother) finds True Love. Sometimes that's exactly what you want, you know?

[identity profile] misspamela.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 03:39 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my god, you just reminded me that it's a new month and I can go borrow more free Kindle romances. YES.

The problem with rereading the Hobbit is that you get to the part with Beorn and then you have to stop and flail all over yourself with HOW FUCKING AWESOME BEORN WILL BE IN THE NEXT MOVIE.

[identity profile] shoemaster.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 01:25 am (UTC)(link)
WE WILL NEED TO HAVE A CHAT ABOUT TOBY DAYE FEELINGS BECAUSE I READ THEM ALL IN LIKE, THREE DAYS AND ADORED THEM.
ext_842: (rl: yes but wait what)

[identity profile] etben.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
UGGGGH YES I NEED TO FINISH THEM SOONEST SO THAT I CAN FLAIL AT EVERYBODY AND ALSO READ EVERYTHING ON THE ARCHIVE / WRITE ABOUT TOBY AND TYBALT BANGING.

[identity profile] shoemaster.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
YOUR OPINIONS ARE ALREADY GOOD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL GREAT.

[identity profile] mistresscurvy.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
Oh god, GRACELING. I love that book SO FUCKING MUCH. I like Fire a lot too, although I don't find it as narratively satisfying, but the author has a LOT of really interesting things to say about gender and privilege and STUFF in a way that's not preachy or didactic at all. I recommend Bitterblue, her most recent book, if you haven't pick it up yet. It's REALLY DIFFERENT than I was expecting it to be, and the plotting and general arc wasn't as perfectly crafted as Graceling (or perhaps it's just not the arc of my SOUL like Graceling's is), but it's worth reading, for sure.

My goal for 2013 is officially to read 50 books, but really after reading not even TEN last year I just want to ACTUALLY READ THINGS WITH PAGES, virtual or otherwise. ♥
ext_842: (rl: yes but wait what)

[identity profile] etben.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I definitely enjoyed Graceling more than Fire - they're both really interesting, but Graceling grabbed me a lot harder. And I actually have Bitterblue! but I picked it up as an ebook from somewhere, ant it turns out that I actually totally hate reading ebooks on the computer - I can handle the longest of longfic, but actual books just don't work for me. Thank heaven for the kindle, which I had always considered to be something ridiculously self-indulgent and pie-in-the-sky and now love unconditionally.

Yay reading books! If you are looking for suggestions, I recommend basically everything on this list, and would be delighted to answer questions / play the "if you liked this, you might also like..." game. OM NOM NOM BOOKS.

[identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 08:52 am (UTC)(link)
YAY BOOKS! I will be interested to see what you think of the Toby Daye ones!

And please do report back as and when you get back to Miles, too. *grin* (Must. Live. Vicariously. Always.)

<3
ext_842: (rl: yes but wait what)

[identity profile] etben.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Ugh, I am so in love with Toby Daye that it is actually embarrassing. I keep comparing her to Harry Dresden, is the thing, because that's the obvious comparaison, and Toby is just HANDS DOWN more interesting than Harry, and can be relied upon to be less of a douchecanoe, too.

And MILES, omg, MILES VORKOSIGAN, someday I will return to you and you will do something ridiculous on a wing and a prayer and make it work anyway and I will giggle for days.

[identity profile] brooklinegirl.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 02:29 pm (UTC)(link)
I LOVE this list, and I love the idea of tracking the books read and giving thoughts on them as the year goes along. I am going to try this for this year - your list was fascinating, both for what you read (MERCEDES LACKEY! <333333), and for the breaks where you had NO time to read (this made me feel much better about my own gaps).

brb going to hunt down a bunch of books from your list.
ext_842: (rl: yes but wait what)

[identity profile] etben.livejournal.com 2013-01-05 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
Ugh, T, it is SO SATISFYING - like, I like knowing what I read, duh, obviously, and also it's really interesting to look at the chronology of things and say, "oh, right, I was really busy then!" And, honestly, the content of the list is BASICALLY MY ID: ridiculous SFF adventures where shit blows up on the daily and people are improbably witty.

(omg MERCEDES LACKEY, ULTIMATE COMFORT READING, she is my Holy Grail of Readable, Ridiculous, and Predictably Satisfying - like, the prose isn't great, but it's not BAD, and CRAZY SHIT is constantly happening, but you know the end everybody will end up with somebody to love and good will triumph over evil. GOTTA LOVE THAT SHIT.)

Let me know if you want anything from this list! I have a good chunk of these books, either in hard copy or as ebooks, and I am always glad to share!

[identity profile] fox1013.livejournal.com 2013-01-07 03:17 am (UTC)(link)
I totally forgot til I read this that I didn't finish the Leviathan trilogy. GOOD WORK AMY.

I have nothing to say about the Uglies trilogy except that the entire series works better if you read it as the Epic Love Story of Tally and Shay and also pretend Extras doesn't exist.

ALSO SECONDING THE BITTERBLUE RECOMMENDATION IT IS GRATE. (Although I actually prefer Fire to Graceling, because I'm weird. But I feel like Graceling is more YA than Fire is. IDK. I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS?)