Booktalk

Aug. 1st, 2011 02:37 pm
listersgirl: (books)
[personal profile] listersgirl
When I joined Goodreads, I was determined to continue writing up my books here (since not everyone is on Goodreads, but we're pretty much all big readers). I failed. I thought it had been a few months, but the last time I posted about books was October. So here's a shortcut version of what I've been reading.


More books from series I've been enjoying, mostly of the fantasy or urban fantasy genre
Ilona Andrews Magic Bleeds
Patricia Briggs Moon Called
Patricia Briggs Blood Bound
Patricia Briggs Iron Kissed
Patricia Briggs Bone Crossed
Gail Carriger Soulless
Gail Carriger Changeless
Gail Carriger Blameless
Kate Daniels Magic Strikes
Lynn Flewelling Stalking Darkness
Lynn Flewelling Traitor's Moon
Seanan McGuire A Local Habitation
Seanan McGuire An Artificial Night
Seanan McGuire Late Eclipses
Lisa Shearin Armed & Magical
Lisa Shearin The Trouble with Demons

Obviously I enjoyed all of these, or I wouldn't be continuing to read on. [livejournal.com profile] sarcasma, I think you'd really enjoy the Gail Carriger books.

Books recommended by you all
Julian Barnes The Porcupine
Molly Gloss The Hearts of Horses
Shannon Hale Princess Academy
Nina Kiriki Hoffman A Fistful of Sky
Emily Horner A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend
Sebastian Junger A Death in Belmont
David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Arturo Perez-Reverte The Club Dumas
Tim Powers The Anubis Gates
Meg Rosoff How I Live Now
Rebecca Skloot The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Jo Walton Among Others

This is what came in first from the library - I still have lots of your recommendations on hold. Of these, my favourites were the Jo Walton (a really neat book about magic, family, created families, and lots of discussion of sci-fi novels) and the David Mitchell (which I'd already had on hold - loved it, although not as much as his other books, it was missing that something extra). I also quite enjoyed the Meg Rosoff, Tim Powers, Emily Horner, Rebecca Skloot, and Arturo Perez-Reverte. Although I'm happy to have read them all. There weren't any that I didn't enjoy to some extent, and I'll definitely be picking up other books by some of the authors. So thanks!

Books that I always think might be more entertaining than history has proven them to be
Erica Bauermeister The School of Essential Ingredients
Maria Geraci The Boyfriend of the Month Club

I actually did enjoy The Boyfriend of the Month Club, but I think I just have an amazing ability to forget that this sort of book always disappoints me, because I feel it has the chance to be exactly what I need, and it never really is.

Funny (to a greater or lesser extent) personal memoirs
Samantha Bee I Know I Am, But What Are You?
Stephen Fry The Fry Chronicles
Wendy McClure I'm Not the New Me
Rachel Shukert Everything is Going to Be Great

I'd been waiting a long time for the Stephen Fry - I loved his first autobiography so much. This was also excellent, although perhaps a bit exhausting in his adoration of his university years. I enjoyed the others as well, particularly the Samantha Bee. The Shukert made me cringe a bit with her recklessness. Yes, that's right, I am too old for stories about wild drunken trips around Europe. Sigh.

Romance
Loretta Chase Last Night's Scandal
Jo Goodman Never Love a Lawman
Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses
Sarah McLean Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Sarah McLean Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord

The Sarah McLean books are great - clever and entertaining, if sometimes a little too contemporary in feel for a historical romance. And I liked the Loretta Chase (my first by her). The other two I was a bit meh about. This is my second Eloisa James - I had high hopes for her, but I don't know that I'll bother reading another unless a specific one is recommended to me.

Toronto Book Award nominees
Sean Cullen The Prince of Neither Here Nor There
Cary Fagan Valentine's Fall
Lauren Kirshner Where We Have to Go
Mark Sinnett The Carnivore
Dragan Todorovic Diary of Interrupted Days

The Carnivore was the winner, but I think my favourite was Diary of Interrupted Days, the story of a man who leaves war-torn Serbia for Toronto. I was surprised by how much I liked it - I kept putting off reading it because the copy made it sound like a war story, and I really thought I wouldn't like it.

Non-fiction
Steve Ettlinger Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats
Nathan Rabin My Year of Flops: The A.V.Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep Into the Heart of Cinematic Failure
Mary Roach Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Gail Vaz-Oxlade Never Too Late: Take Control of Your Retirement and Your Future
Carolyn Whitzman Suburb, Slum, Urban Village: The Transformation of Toronto's Parkdale Neighbourhood
Paul Yee Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese in Vancouver

Non-fiction always has the longest titles. Okay, I recommend Never Too Late to all Canadians. But you really have to do all the exercises, prepare the budgets, that sort of thing, to get anything out of it. I think if you just skim you won't really get anything from it. The Mary Roach was excellent, as always. The others were informative and excellent, but maybe a little long for my interest in the subject.

Books I read because they were on the Quick Reads shelf at my parents' library while I was visiting, none of which were particularly great, although I've enjoyed other books by the same authors
Marian Keyes The Brightest Star in the Sky
Amanda Quick Burning Lamp
Nora Roberts Black Hills

Books I didn't finish
Paul Murray Skippy Dies
Nora Roberts The Reef
Catherynne M. Valente In the Night Garden

Books I finished but wouldn't recommend to anyone
Karen Chance Midnight's Daughter
Laurell K. Hamilton A Kiss of Shadows

My favourites of what's left
Terry Fallis The High Road: More adventures of the world's most unlikely MP and his reluctant assistant. Very idealistic, very detailed about the workings of Parliament, and very funny.

William Gibson Zero History: The last (I believe) in the series of books that began with Pattern Recognition, one of my favourite Gibson books. I didn't love it as much as that one, but it had the idea of someone working their way down through layers of story, which I quite liked.

Daryl Gregory Pandemonium: Sometimes a book just grabs you, even though you can't totally figure out why. That's this book, which sets up a world which is basically our world, except that since the mid-20th century, people have been possessed (short-term) by a number of archetypal demons. And adventure happens.

Nick Harkaway The Gone Away World: What I remember most about this book was that it was full of lines that were so funny I wanted to tell someone. Mostly I just ended up repeating them out loud to the empty living room. Don't judge. Edgy and funny.

Connie Willis All Clear: The second half of Blackout. I loved these books so very much. I'm waiting for them to erase themselves from my brain somewhat so I can read them again.

And the rest
Aimee Bender The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Joshua Ferris The Unnamed
Tana French Faithful Place
Laura Anne Gilman Hard Magic
Allegra Goodman The Cookbook Collector
Elizabeth Kostova The Swan Thieves
China Mieville Kraken
Chloe Neill Some Girls Bite
Pamela Ribon Why Moms are Weird
Gary Shteyngart Super Sad True Love Story
Brady Udall The Lonely Polygamist
Catherynne M. Valente Palimpsest
Alissa York Fauna

I also did a bunch of re-reading, mostly when all my library books were hardcovers and too big to carry around.

Is anyone else on Goodreads and not yet my friend?

Date: 2011-08-02 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maybe-sparrow6.livejournal.com
I loved the Twinkie book. Oh course that may have something to do with reading it directly after The Revolution will not be Microwaved. Pop science is much more readable then angry hippie musings on roadkill. (She says as she heats up a frozen pizza)

Date: 2011-08-02 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarcasma.livejournal.com
The first of the Carriger series is waiting for me at the library! And I've added a few more to my to-read list thanks to this post.

Not that I'd want you to wait most of a year till your next books post, but the way you categorized this epic one was both entertaining and useful. :)

Date: 2011-08-02 03:21 am (UTC)
starfishchick: (reading)
From: [personal profile] starfishchick
I had promised to lend my copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to someone when I got it back from ListersGirl... was it you?

Date: 2011-08-02 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liquid-siftings.livejournal.com
I'm not sure whether we are friends on Goodreads or not. My username is my actual name: David Eadington.

Date: 2011-08-02 03:21 am (UTC)
starfishchick: (reading)
From: [personal profile] starfishchick
I loved the way you organized this post! :)

Date: 2011-08-02 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anglaisepaon.livejournal.com
I couldn't finish Skippy Dies, either. Meh.

Date: 2011-08-18 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sh1mm3r.livejournal.com
I heard the audio book is really good... but it is also really long. I'm not sure it is worth it if the book itself isn't good.

Date: 2011-08-02 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] globetrotter1.livejournal.com
I love this kind of post. I always end up adding books to my 'to read' pile.

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