etben: flowers and sky (rl: yes but wait what)
etben ([personal profile] etben) wrote2013-12-31 06:46 pm
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books 2013

So for the last two years, I've kept a log of the books I read and what I thought about them - I'm gradually transitioning to using Goodreads, but I kept the log up for posterity's sake / out of sheer cussedness. And since at this point I am unlikely to finish another book in 2013, I might as well post the log!

books 2013

1) Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire. TOBY DAYYYYYYE, ugh, her stupid face. I love the worldbuilding in this - it's like the Dresden files, but with a lady protagonist and WAY less fail. \o/! (1/1)

2) A Local Habitation, Seanan McGuire. I am an absolute SUCKER for good techno-magic, and this most definitely fits the bill. DE-LIGHTFUL. (1/2)

3) An Artificial Night, Seanan McGuire. AUGH TOBY WHAT NO WHY. Rolling around on the couch kicking my feet and freaking out, party of one! This was delightfully creepy, and I love how Blind Michael playing by children's rules made him, if anything, even MORE fucked up. Also I love how, between the general delightfulness of these books, the joy that is reading on the kindle, and my utter unwillingness to go back to real life and do my freaking job, I am plowing through these books like an actual boss. I don't expect it to last, but I'm enjoying it!(1/3)

4) Late Eclipses, Seanan McGuire. Another intensely enjoyable read - I loved the big reveal of Toby's heritage, and TYBALT TYBALT TYBALT. (1/4)

5) One Salt Sea, Seanan McGuire. I don't know what I'm going to do after this next one, because book 7 doesn't come out until the fall. Overall, super enjoyable - I love the worldbuilding in this, and was ridiculously delighted by all of the scenes where Tavis got to interview rocks. Not too bummed about Connor, though, because I honestly find him pretty boring - he's more "the love interest" than somebody I can actually buy Toby being interested in. (1/5)

6) Ashes of Honor, Seanan McGuire. TOBYYYYYY. Ugh, I loved this so much - I loved all of the stuff with the changelings and the court of cats, and I loved everything with Tybalt, ugh, Tybalt, BE MORE AWESOME OH NO WAIT. Super pumped to go and read everything on the archive now. (1/6)

7) The Midnight Mayor, Kate Griffin. I always forget how much I really like this series - it's weird, and sometimes the style doesn't 100% work for me, but there's this sense of wonder at & appreciation of all aspects of life that I really dig. (1/31)

8) The Neon Court, Kate Griffin. This took me FOREVER to finish, with school and everything, but I enjoyed it intensely - Penny is basically my favorite, and the idea of Blackout is terrifying. (2/17)

9) Wild Magic, Tamora Pierce. FORMATIVE TEXTS UGH, I would have reread the Alanna series first but I don't actually own book 3 and I refuse to buy it unless I can buy a matching format, so that's going to be a while. (2/22)

10) Wolf-Speaker, Tamora Pierce. SEAL NOISES FOREVER. I love the wolves, and I love how sympathetic the Stormwings wind up being, and I love EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK. (2/22)

11) Emperor Mage, Tamora Pierce. Stayed up late on a school night to finish this one, because DINOSAURS. I regret nothing at all. (2/28)

12) The Realms of the Gods, Tamora Pierce. My copy of this book has had the spine thoroughly cracked at the kissing scenes, and IDGAF. True story: I almost broke up with my MS bestie because she thought that Daine/Numair ruined the series. YES THERE'S AN AGE DIFFERENCE, I DON'T CARE, I SHIP IT LIKE FEDEX AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT I GUESS WE JUST CAN'T BE FRIENDS ANYMORE. (3/8)

13) Alanna: The First Adventure, Tamora Pierce. LOVE THIS BOOK, LOVE THIS SERIES, DON'T CARE THAT I HAVE IT BASICALLY MEMORIZED. (3/10)

14) Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch. Really neat worldbuilding, but the main character had a bizarrely flat affect - I'm going to read the next one, though, just to see. (5/5)

15) Persuasion, Jane Austen. It's funny - when I read this book the first time, I was, oh, maybe thirteen? And I hated it: I thought Anne was boring, I thought Frederick was boring, I had no sympathy at all for their storyline. Which makes sense: Anne's not as feisty as Elizabeth Bennett, and she's not as much of a well-meaning disaster as Emma Woodhouse - she's a much quieter, much more adult heroine, with a story to match. Thirteen year-old me couldn't understand a story that is, at heart, about getting something back when you've almost given up on hoping for it - but 26 year-old me was rolling around on the couch with tears in my eyes. Ugh, Jane Austen, why are you so great? (5/13)

16) Night Watch, Terry Pratchett. At least I was reading it for school this time? Also ahahahaha end of the year. (7/15)

17) Gulp, Mary Roach. Awesome, gross, awesomely gross; I loved it, but I had to stop reading for, oh, maybe four months there? because I was dumb and had a snack while reading one of the chapters on swallowing. Protip: DON'T DO THAT. (7/22)

18) The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl. I love Roald Dahl something fierce, but my god, some of the stories in this collection are fucked up. The last story in particular - the first story Dahl ever published, in fact - has a couple of lines that have stuck with me for years. (7/26)

19) Tools for Teachers, Fred Jones. YES I READ THIS ON MY SUMMER VACATION; WHEN THE FUCK ELSE WAS I GOING TO HAVE THE TIME? That said, it was an interesting read; I find it compelling but also a bit obnoxious in some indefinable way. Still: good ideas! Now I have a few more! (8/5)

20) The Killing Moon, NK Jemisin. This took me FOREVER to finish and idek why - I did enjoy it, but ultimately I found it a lot less compelling than her other series - possibly because the POV switches didn't work as well for me? And also I found Nijiri to be kind of a twat. Still, I did love the worldbuilding! And the second book has a lady protagonist! Exciting! (8/10)

21) Teaching Large Multilevel Language Classes, Hess. Forgot to log this when I read it, but I did! And it was super useful! (8/15?)

22) The Shadowed Sun, NK Jemisin. Man, I liked the first book in this series well enough, but I LOVED this one. LOVED IT. Mostly, I think, because the first book was all about Nijiri, who was honestly kind of a pain in the ass, and the second one was all about Hanani, who I ADORED. Badass lady-healer, devoted to her cause and determined to do what she feels is right? DO ME ON IT. I was super dubious about the romance subplot at first, but Jemisin handled it really compellingly - both characters change over time, for plausible and compelling reasons, and you can see both why they work well together at the end and why they wouldn't have worked well together at the beginning. A++++ book, will read again. (8/22)

HEADS UP: This book contains sexual assault! I think it's relatively well-handled - it's not played for laughs, it's not gratuitous or gratuitously graphic, it's a horrible thing that has serious repercussions - but it's the sort of thing that merits warning. Hit me up if you want more details.

23) The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia. Huh. I liked the worldbuilding of this a LOT, and I even really liked Mattie - I'm not sure what I think of the ending, though. (8/23)

24-27) Collegium Chronicles 1-4, Mercedes Lackey. I only realized this year that I find all of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar stuff so delightfully idfic-y because I started reading it when I was 11. Formative texts, much? I thought this was a trilogy, but it is actually a QUINTET, and the fifth book doesn't come out until OCTOBER. What is this bullshit, ML? Anyway, this is standard Lackey - lots of stuff about being outcasts, lots of bizarre inventions to explain the fact that she's writing in a pseudo-medieval world where people live past 40. I LOVE IT. (9/1)

28) Chimes at Midnight, Seanan McGuire. RIDICULOUS AND AMAZING AND I LOVE IT. (9/6?)

29) OffBeat Bride, Ariel Meadow Stallings. Enjoyable, but not as well-written as the website posts are, and you can see where her writing has improved over time. (9/19)

30) Bastion, Mercedes Lackey. AT LEAST I FUCKING FINISHED IT. The series as a whole could have been about 30% shorter, but, whatever, I FINISHED IT. (10/22)

31-32) Saga, Vol 1&2, Brian Vaughn. DYYYYYING, oh my god, the art in this alone !!!!!! but also just the storytelling and the world building and everything, ugh, everybody please go buy this right the fuck now so that I can cry about it some more with you. (10/30)

33) Indexing, Seanan Mcguire. Read this as a serial novel, LOVED IT. Fairy tale structures coming to life and FUCKING SHIT UP, sign me up. (10/31)

34) Widdershins, Jordan L Hawk. SUPER SILLY, SUPER FUN. Recommended by [livejournal.com profile] misspamela! (11/03)

35-6) The Duke & I, The Viscount Who Loved me, Julia Quinn. TERRIBLE but a lot of fun. Sometimes a girl just needs some trashy as shit romance novels, especially if those novels involve ARRANGED MARRIAGES and PINING. (11/12)

37) Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson. Super interesting read: posits that technology is not so much changing the way that we think, as we are integrating technology into ways we have always thought. (12/08)

38) The Midwife’s Apprentice, Karen Cushman. A reread from my childhood - it was interesting to come back to this as an adult. There are parts that resonated a lot less, and parts that resonated a lot more. (12/08)

39) Divergent, Veronica Roth. IDKKKKKK, I was super unpersuaded by this? But otoh I read it all in one night, so. (12/09)

40) Huntress, Melinda Lo. DID NOT LIKE, NOT SORRY. I need a little bit more in terms of emotional oomph - this did not make me care about the protagonists at ALL. (12/23)

41) Le bleu est une couleur chaude, Julie Maroh. Sad queers! Always with the sad queers! Beautiful art, amazing storytelling…but so many sad queers. :( (12/26)

42-3) A Lady Awakened / A Gentleman Undone, Cecilia Grant. These were stupid and I enjoyed them tremendously! The first one has a lot of REALLY BAD SEX (for reasons of plot)—not coercive, just not enjoyable. The second one is better, though, AND it has a courtesan who enjoys her job tremendously, and is also a card sharp. If you like this sort of thing, you’ll like these. (12/26-7 ish?)

44) Cold Magic, Kate Elliot. I didn’t think I liked this one - the first time I tried to read it, I only made it about 30 pages before it had to be returned to the library. Turns out that it gets SUPER EXCITING at about page 35. /o\ Some of the world building was kind of heavy-handed - like, sit down and read a solid wall of text explaining how shit works - but it was well-done enough that I didn’t really mind? Especially because by the time she dropped a block of exposition, I was invested enough in the characters that it was actually super helpful to know those details. Reading the second book now! Not going to finish it this year! (12/31)

thoughts:

• I read MORE books in 2013 than in 2012! :O Did not expect that one, but I am pretty pleased.

• 2013 was also the year that I got a Kindle, which is where I read 17 of my 44 books. Go me, saving trees!

• 2013 was also the year I learned how to download ebooks for free from the public library, which explains my sudden tumble into ridiculous romance novels. They are 10000% comfort food for my brain and I don't care.

• I'm still not great at reading on a regular basis—I very obviously binge when I have free time and then stop reading for months when I don't. (e.g. April and June)

• 10 rereads, which is pretty close to last year. What can I say? I know what I like.

• I read more widely than I thought I had, actually: I'm still very obviously a SFF girl at heart, but I read a fair amount of nonfiction (and have two more books on my shelves), and a number of new-to-me authors. Goodreads has been good for finding new stuff, or more precisely for helping me track the stuff I find and want to read eventually.

A good year in books, on the whole! Tomorrow you should all bring your hangovers over here so that we can talk (quietly!) about books.

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