frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
My reading challenge: 80 books

Goal: Read as many books as I can from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, including rereads. My Goodreads profile is here. I'm bad about writing reviews, but sometimes I remember to. (Sadly, it's usually for books I didn't like, but I'm trying to improve!)

Books read so far: 51
New: 39
Rereads: 12

Books read:

RR = re-read
+ = extra good
- = extra bad

1. Lock In, John Scalzi (Jan 3)
2. The Girl of Ink and Stars, Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Jan 7) +
3. Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was, Paul McAuley (Jan 7)
4. The Air War, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Jan 13) RR
5. War Master's Gate, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Jan 20) RR
6. Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon (Jan 22)
7. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Jan 25)
8. All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Jan 28)

9. Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Feb 4) RR
10. The Cloud Hunters, Alex Shearer (Feb 4) +
11. On the Edge of Gone, Corrine Duvvis (Feb 5) +
12. Penric's Demon, Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb 11) RR
13. Penric and the Shaman, Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb 12) RR
14. Penric's Mission, Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb 12) RR
15. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb 13) RR
16. The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (Feb 17)
17. Guns of the Dawn, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Feb 18) RR
18. A Conjuring of Light, V.E. Schwabe (Feb 26) +

19. Mira's Last Dance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Mar 3)
20. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, Seanan McGuire (Mar 7)
21. A Mortal Song, Megan Crewe (Mar 10) +
22. The Bear and the Serpent, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Mar 17) +
23. The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Mar 21)

24. A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers (Apr 8) +
25. Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo (Apr 14)
26. Crossroads of Canopy, Thoraiya Dyer (Apr 17) +
27. Cloudbound, Fran Wilde (Apr 26) +

28. The Unbroken Line of the Moon, Johanne Hildebrandt (May 1) -
29. Deerskin, Robin McKinley (May 3) +
30. More Than This, Patrick Ness (May 6) +
31. The Hero and the Crown, Robin McKinley (May 7) -
32. A Tyranny of Queens, Foz Meadows (May 8) +
33. Within the Sanctuary of Wings, Marie Brennan (May 10) +
34. Binti: Home, Nnedi Okorafor (May 17)
35. Komarr, Lois McMaster Bujold (May 29) RR
36. Barrayar, Lois McMaster Bujold (May 31) RR

37. Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer (Jun 11) +
38. The Tomato Thief, Ursula Vernon (Jun 20) +
39. Summer in Orcus, T. Kingfisher (Jun 25) +
40. Embassytown, China Mieville (Jun 30) RR

41. The City & The City, China Mieville (Jul 2) RR
42. The Seventh Bride, T. Kingfisher (Jul 3)
43. The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells (Jul 7) +
44. Seven Surrenders, Ada Palmer (Jul 9)
45. The Serpent Sea, Martha Wells (Jul 10) +
46. The Siren Depths, Martha Wells (Jul 12) +
47. Stories of the Raksura, Vol I, Martha Wells (Jul 15) +
48. Stories of the Raksura, Vol II, Martha Wells (Jul 15) +
49. The Edge of Worlds, Martha Wells (Jul 22) +
50. The Harbours of the Sun, Martha Wells (Jul 24) +
51. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (Jul 25) +
52. Once Broken Faith, Seanan McGuire (Jul 28) RR

53. Moomins and the Great Flood, Tove Jansson (Aug 4) +
54. Comet in Moominland, Tove Jansson (Aug 4) +
55. Moominsummer Madness, Tove Jansson (Aug 5) +
56. Moominpapa at Sea, Tove Jansson (Aug 6) +
57. Moominvalley in November, Tove Jansson (Aug 7) +
58. The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemison (Aug 16) +
59. Penric's Fox, Lois McMaster Bujold (Aug 22) +
frith_in_thorns: (.Bookmark leaf)
I am supposed to be asleep, but instead Ellie and I have been accidentally planning out a future-fic sequel to Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch children's book series where Mildred and Maud are grown up and married. It's called The Worst Wife. They have a very loving and happy and catastrophe-filled marriage and are so cute at each other that their friends are all sickened, while being occasionally guilt-stricken and sure that they are The Worst.

Highlights include:

- They invite literally everyone from school to their wedding. Including Miss Hardbroom, whom they are still rather scared of, but obviously it is The Right Thing To Do. HB is completely baffled by being invited and continues being baffled at the Most Chaotic Wedding of the century. All the food gets mixed up, there is loud and cheerful family everywhere, both sets of grannies think they've been chosen to make the wedding cake because neither Mildred nor Maud were capable of saying no to them.

- Miss Cackle drinks sherry through the entire wedding, has a wonderful time, and keeps a framed photo of M&M on her office wall. Surrounded by decorative bats.

- M&M are very dedicated Old Girls and go to all the school events and tell all the current girls about the splendid times they had. HB continues to be confused by this remembrance of events.

- Their house is a complete chaotic mess all the time. Both M&M feel very guilty about this. They are both sure that they are dreadful and not sure at all why their wife puts up with them.

- Whenever friends come over M&M rush around trying to make it sort of habitable and desperately explaining that it doesn't usually look this bad, they've just been really busy lately and they really meant to clear away that magical accident detritus and they can actually be organised and their friends are just like ...No.

- Adventures in married life include When We Were Stuck Outside For Hours Because Our Key Turned Into A Fish. And the fish seemed happy as a fish and they feel bad about wanting to turn it back into a key, and can't bring themselves to do this, and after some convoluted method of Mildred climbing through the second-floor window they keep the fish in a tank and are forever anxious about the cats trying to eat it.

- Adventures also include Let's Make A Lovely Meal And Have A Romantic Evening Together Oh No.

- And also Maud Takes Up Knitting And Encodes Dangerous Sigils Into Her Blankets (before the day is saved by the cats ripping it all up)

- "If you were a bat you'd be the prettiest bat ever," Mildred coos to Maud, right before all their friends try and force them to drink Silencing Potions.

- Adventures In DIY Spells also feature heavily. Mildred especially has big ideas for home decoration.

...None of this is based at all on me and Ellie, why would you think that.
frith_in_thorns: (Apt Seda)
Currently I'm still engaged in my reread of Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series, which I'm pretty sure anyone who's asked me for a book rec in the last year and a half is pretty sick of hearing about. (This is mostly my fault. I take pride in my reputation of being very good at matching people to books they then love, but I'm not great at summarising/describing books -- since I do actually have this reputation, my friends tend to mostly take me on trust and look up the title, rather than emotionally reacting to, It's a ten-book epic fantasy series about BUG PEOPLE, guys, it's SO GOOD!)

(It is SO GOOD.)

Anyway, I started this re-read halfway through December and I'm now 68% of the way through book 9, War Master's Gate since I intercut with other books. I did say to myself going in that I would just skip the chapters I wasn't that interested in experiencing all over again (there is a large cast of protags and I definitely have my favourites), but actually I've been surprised by how little I felt like skipping. It turned out to be the scorpion chapters in book 5 and the Lazlo chapters in books 6 and 8. (Sorry, Lazlo, I didn't realise how much I Don't Care.)

It's really funny how much less stressful these books are on a re-read! They were super stressful to read unspoiled, let me tell you.

Also, book 5 was still my favourite. And Cheerwell Maker is still my favourite character. I think she's on my list of "3 characters you overidentify with" now.
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
A book meme! I love round-up memes and had also been vaguely meaning to write up my book-reading, so I immediately copied this from [personal profile] naye.

How many books read in 2016?
86 books -- this is my log. 70 were new-to-me and 16 were re-reads.

Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?
Nonfiction: 1 1/2 (I started a book about geopolitics in early November. WHY, you ask. I asked myself this, and put it aside to finish when it's less depressing.)
Fiction: 85

Male/Female authors?
male: 27 (this is skewed by the fact that one third of these books were the same author)
female: 57
other: 2

Most books read by one author this year?
I read nine books by Adrian Tchaikovsky, since I started a re-read in December of his 10-book (excellent!) Shadows of the Apt series. Also he published like three things this year, what the hell dude.

Any in translation?

Not counting re-reads, because I am utterly unobjective about books I like enough to have read more than twice, it was probably The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison, which was just mind-bending.
Runner ups up include A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwabe, with was DELIGHTFUL, and Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. And shoutout to Goldenhand by Garth Nix because LIREAL.

Least Favorite?
Gilded Cage by Vic James, which is an utterly offensive piece of rubbish. (You want my review?
Runners up were The Traitor Baru Cormorant, which was also infuriatingly offensive and also boring, and The Boy with the Porcelain Blade which was just stupid.

Hexwood, Diana Wynne Jones (1993)

I read several books on their release day, but the most recent of those was The Burning Page, Genevieve Cogman (late December 2016)

Longest Title?
The Land of the Green Man: A Journey through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles, Carolyne Larrington

Shortest Title?
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson

Book that most changed my perspective:
Well, World War Z made me realise that I'm actually sick of zombies? And I found There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom really insightful (title associated trans issues for me but it's about being the "problem boy" in a ~yr 5 class)

Favorite character:
Mulaghesh from City of Blades. I didn't like the first book that much, but this one was about a different character and WOW I LOVE HER. She's a disillusioned, ex-General and life-long soldier who's being forced to help out in a political mess in a hostile colony before she's allowed to retire. And I just fell in love. (Sadly the third book is about a dude I don't care much about, so ugh.)

Favorite scene:
I have read Bitterblue several times now, and the last few chapters in particular are just so important to me.

Favorite quote:
I read most of these books on kindle; sadly I don't have time to skim for quotes!

What do you want to read in 2017?
These ones which I'm too lazy to type out, books already on my kindle, more good fantasy, the continuations of all the series I'm partway through...

Any recs?
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
My reading challenge: 80 books

Goal: Read as many books as I can from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, including rereads. My Goodreads profile is here, although it doesn't log books I've read more than once. I'm bad about writing reviews, but sometimes I remember to.

Books read so far: 86
New: 70
Rereads: 16

Books read:

RR = re-read
+ = extra good
- = extra bad

1. World War Z, Max Brooks (Jan 2) -
2. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley (Jan 7)
3. Coral Bones, Foz Meadows (Jan 11) +
4. The Glorious Angels, Justina Robson (Jan 13)
5. Reflections, Seanan McGuire (Jan 14)
6. The Land of the Green Man: A Journey through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles, Carolyne Larrington (Jan 15) +
7. Five Wounds, Katharine Edgar (Jan 24)
8. Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Jan 25)
9. Hexwood, Diana Wynne Jones (Jan 29)

10. The Heaven Shop, Deborah Ellis (Feb 5)
11. There's A Boy In The Girls' Bathroom, Louis Sacher (Feb 7)
12. Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb 12) RR +
13. The Hallowed Hunt, Lois McMaster Bujold (Feb 16) RR
14. Even in the Cannon's Mouth, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Feb 20)
15. Stormswept, Helen Dunmore (Feb 24) +
16. Saffy's Angel, Hilary McKay (Feb 27) +

17. Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore (Mar 3) RR +
18. Ink and Bone, Rachel Caine (Mar 4) -
19. A Face Like Glass, Frances Hardinge (Mar 5) RR +
20. The Ragthorn, Robert Holdstock (Mar 5)
21. The Ship, Antonia Honeywell (Mar 12)
22. Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (Mar 18) +
23. The Terracotta Bride, Zen Cho (Mar 19) +
24. Quarter Days, Iona Sharma (Mar 20) +
25. Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (Mar 21)
26. Chaos Choreography, Seanan McGuire (Mar 21) +
27. City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett (Mar 25) +

28. Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Apr 5) +
29. Luna: New Moon, Ian McDonald (Apr 7)
30. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Apr 10) RR +
31. A Red-Rose Chain, Seanan McGuire (Apr 12) RR
32. A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwabe (Apr 14)
33. A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwabe (Apr 16) +
34. In the Labyrinth of Drakes, Marie Brennan (Apr 20)
35. The Raven King, Maggie Stiefvater (Apr 28) +

36. The Golem and the Djinn, Helene Wecker (May 5)
37. Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo (May 6)
38. Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo (May 7)
39. Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo (May 7)
40. Sunbolt, Intisar Khanani (May 17)
41. The Witch of Duva, Leigh Bardugo (May 17)
42. The Too-Clever Fox, Leigh Bardugo (May 17)
43. Little Knife, Leigh Bardugo (May 18)

44. The Tiger and the Wolf, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Jun 2) +
45. Stiletto, Daniel O'Malley (Jun 5) +
46. The Book of Phoenix, Nnedi Okorafor (Jun 12)
47. Memories of Ash, Intisar Khanani (Jun 13) +
48. This Savage Song, V.E. Schwabe (Jun 14)
49. City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett (Jun 17) RR
50. Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo (Jun 19)
51. The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickenson (Jun 28) -

52. Plastic Smile, S.L. Huang (Jul 1)
53. Ashes of Honor, Seanan McGuire (Jul 18) RR
54. Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Jul 20) RR
55. The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Jul 27) +

56. Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Aug 3) RR
57. Spiderlight, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Aug 9) +
58. The Drowning Eyes, Emily Foster (Aug 20)
59. An Accident of Stars, Foz Meadows (Aug 21) +
60. The Jewel and her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Aug 27) -
61. The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Aug 28) +

62. Once Broken Faith, Seanan McGuire (Sep 1)
63. The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe, Kij Johnson (Sep 19) +
64. Cold-Forged Flame, Marie Brennan (Sep 23)
65. Crashing Heaven, Al Robertson (Sep 25)
66. Gilded Cage, Vic James (Sep 28) -

67. The Red Knight, Miles Cameron (Oct 8) +
68. Goldenhand, Garth Nix (Oct 9) +
69. Feedback, Mira Grant (Oct 11) -
70. Monstrous Regiment, Terry Pratchett (Oct 15) RR
71. Children of Earth and Sky, Guy Gavriel Kay (Oct 24) +
72. The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Meg Elison (Oct 26)

73. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Nov 5) +
74. The Boy with the Porcelain Blade, Den Patrick (Nov 11) -
75. The Tin Princess, Philip Pullman (Nov 12) RR +
76. The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Nov 19) RR
77. An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir (Nov 26) +

78. The Art of Space Travel, Nina Allan (Dec 2)
79. Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee (Dec 3) +
80. Empire in Black and Gold, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dec 17) RR
81. Dragonfly Falling, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dec 18) RR
82. Blood of the Mantis, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dec 20) RR
83. Salute the Dark, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dec 23) RR
84. The Burning Page, Genevieve Cogman (Dec 25) +
85. The Scarab Path, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dec 26) RR
86. Heirs of the Blade, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Dec 31) RR

Recommendations always welcome!
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Default)
I read 104 books in 2015! Plus loads of picture books which I didn't log.
Complete list of books here! )

Some stats: (I like stats)

Brand new books read: 81
Books reread: 23
Brand new authors read: 37

Books by women: 67
Books by men: 37
Female authors: 41 (26 new-to-me)
Male authors: 19 (11 new-to-me)

I didn't stat for race, but it's quite white. I think at least the diversity of my reading is growing year on year. Nnedi Okorafor was particularly delightful to discover, and I'm waiting impatiently for the sequel to Akata Witch. It also took me shamefully long to get around to reading S. L. Huang's action series starring a heroine who's a mathematical genius and does all her own stunts, but they're super fun.

Actually, one thing that's surprised me was how low the proportion of re-reads is -- I'd have guessed it would be much higher! I know that being able to snap up kindle deals definitely made a difference in trying out books I wouldn't have considered, and probably also the fact that I've been publicly documenting my reading also made me want to keep reading new books rather than just returning to perennial favourites. (Also I think maybe 2014 was a year when I re-read lots and lots of my favourite series, and therefore didn't need to read them again for a while. They may make a reappearance in 2016!)

Now, ask me questions about my list please? I can't think of what to say on my own! To start off: my best new author discovery this year was undoubtedly Adrian Tchaikovsky. I genuinely cannot rate these highly enough, although avoid Children of Time if you have a spider phobia. (If you have always wanted a story documenting the rise of spider civilisation over thousands of years THIS IS THE BOOK YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!) The worst two books I read were Firehurler and Throne of Glass. They were so bad.
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
Stolen from [personal profile] yohjideranged!

My reading challenge: 80 books

Goal: Read as many books as I can from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, including rereads. My Goodreads profile is here, although it doesn't log books I've read more than once. I'm bad about writing reviews, but sometimes I remember to.

Books read so far: 104
New: 81
Rereads: 23

Books read:

1. Hild, Nicola Griffith (3/1)
2. Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (4/1)
3. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (4/1)
4. The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman (9/1)
5. Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks RR (16/1)
6. The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Gouge RR (28/1)

7. Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine (6/2)
8. Zero-Sum Game, SL Huang (6/2)
9. Half Life, SL Huang (12/2)
10. Cursor's Fury, Jim Butcher RR (18/2)
11. Captain's Fury, Jim Butcher RR (20/2)
12. Princep's Fury, Jim Butcher RR (22/2)
13. First Lord's Fury, Jim Butcher RR (25/2)

14. InCryptid short stories, Seanan McGuire (8/3)
15. Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (16/3)
16. The Body Electric, Beth Revis (20/3)
17. Gullstruck Island, Frances Hardinge (22/3)
18. The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland (For A Little While), Cathryn Valante (23/3)
19. The Boy Who Lost Fairlyand, Cathryn Valante (26/3)
20. Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore RR (31/3)

21. Fire, Kristin Cashore RR(2/4)
22. Echo City, Layla Lawlor (3/4)
23. Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire RR (4/4)
24. A Local Habitation, Seanan McGuire RR (4/4)
25. The Winter Long, Seanan McGuire RR (5/4)
26. The Fire Sermon, Francesca Haig (15/4)
27. Pocket Apocalypse, Seanan McGuire (18/4)
28. Rolling in the Deep, Mira Grant (20/4)
29. Chasing Ravens, Jessica E. Paige (25/4)

30. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (1/5)
31. The Voyage of the Basilisk, Marie Brennan (3/5)
32. Firehurler, J. S. Morin (7/5)
33. The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (10/5)
34. The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin (11/5)
35. City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett (13/5)
36. The Rook, Daniel O'Malley RR (17/5)
37. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison RR (27/5)
38. Uprooted, Naomi Novik (29/5)

39. A Swarming of Bees, Theresa Tomlinson (5/6)
40. Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery RR (7/6)
41. Anne of Avonlea, L. M. Montgomery RR (14/6)
42. Anne of the Island, L. M. Montgomery RR (15/6)
43. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black RR (18/6)
44. The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black (20/6)
45. Thorn, Intisar Khanani (22/6)

46. The Girl With All The Gifts, M. R. Carey (5/7)
47. Penric's Demon, Lois McMaster Bujold (17/7)
48. Please Do Not Taunt The Octopus, Seanan McGuire (18/7)
49. Gates of Thread and Stone, Lori M. Lee (24/7)
50. Empire in Black and Gold, Adrian Tchaikovsky (26/7)
51. Dragonfly Falling, Adrian Tchaikovsky (27/7)
52. Blood of the Mantis, Adrian Tchaikovsky (30/7)

53. Salute the Dark, Adrian Tchaikovsky (5/8)
54. The Scarab Path, Adrian Tchaikovsky (8/8)
55. The Sea Watch, Adrian Tchaikovsky (14/8)
56. Heirs of the Blade, Adrian Tchaikovsky (15/8)
57. The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black RR (17/8)
58. The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard (21/8)
59. The Air War, Adrian Tchaikovsky (23/8)
60. The Wind Singer, William Nicholson RR (23/8)
61. War Master's Gate, Adrian Tchaikovsky (26/8)
62. I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett RR (27/8)
63. The Shepherd's Crown, Terry Pratchett (27/8)
64. Seal of the Worm, Adrian Tchaikovsky (30/8)

65. A Red Rose Chain, Seanan McGuire (1/9)
66. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Becky Chambers (4/9)
67. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (6/9)
68. Clariel, Garth Nix (10/9)
69. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, Bradley P. Beaulieu (12/9)
70. The Martian, Andy Weir (13/9)
71. Uprooted, Naomi Novik (15/9) RR
72. No Such Thing As Dragons, Philip Reeve (17/9)
73. Fever Crumb, Philip Reeve (19/9)
74. Half Bad, Sally Green (20/9)
75. A Web of Air, Philip Reeve (21/9)
76. Scrivener's Moon, Philip Reeve (21/9)
77. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson (26/9)
78. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke (30/9) RR

79. Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (2/10)
80. Root of Unity, S. L. Huang (3/10)
81. Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (7/10)
82. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein (8/10)
83. Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (11/10)
84. Updraft, Fran Wilde (14/10)
85. Soonchild, Russel Hoban (16/10)
86. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (18/10)
87. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Lois McMaster Bujold (25/10)
88. The Mirror Image Ghost, Catherine Storr (28/10)

89. Children of Time, Adrian Tchaikovsky (5/11)
90. Empire Ascendant, Kameron Hurley (8/11)
91. Of Sorrow and Such, Andrea Slatter (12/11)
92. The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater (18/11)
93. The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater (20/11)
94. Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater (22/11)
95. Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas (29/11)
96. Guns of the Dawn, Adrian Tchaikovsky (30/11)

97. Shadow Scale, Rachel Hartman (1/12)
98. Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (5/12)
99. Chimera, Mira Grant (6/12)
100. The Masked City, Genevieve Cogman (11/12)
101. Railsea, China Mieville (13/12) RR
102. Sky Hawk, Gill Lewis (17/12)
103. Last Song Before Night, Ilana C. Myer (21/12)
104. The Force Awakens (Movie tie-in novel), Alan Dean Foster (31/12)

104 / 80 (130.00%)

Recommendations always accepted!

If you want to copy this in your turn, here's a helpful little html box!
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
Why you should all be reading Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series

This 10-book epic fantasy series kind of ate my life this summer. And then I surfaced to find that most of my friends have never heard of it, so I feel the need to correct that.

This post is as vague-squee as possible - if other people have read this series and want to talk about spoiler things (yes please! please talk to me!) I'd be really happy to put another post up.

Read more... )

frith_in_thorns: Red teapot with a teacup (.Teapot)
Hi, new friends! (Also hi old friends, ilu too!) I feel I should start this post by saying I still have slots in my December meme which I would love to fill :)

I have been ridiculously busy lately. Small children in the daytime, different small children in the evenings. I'm still at the Autism school and still absolutely loving it. And I'm there until at least the middle of January! One of the fun things about agency TA work is getting to go into loads of schools and get a really broad range of experiences, but it's also really nice to have the next few months locked down in one place.

(I was sorely tempted to fill this post entirely with little anecdotes of adorable things my class said/did, but they are probably vastly less interesting to people who aren't me and are less fascinated by small children than I am, so I will spare you.)

I have also been reading lots of new-to-me books lately. The Mirror Empire, the four current Steerswoman novels, Twilight Robbery, the Graceling series... I highly recommend all of these. (Steerswoman subjectively slightly less than the others because of worldbuilding quirks that have been frustrating me.) Then after those, a few days ago I started reading Guy Gavriel Kay's latest, River of Stars... and put it down after less than a chapter. The lack of women kept jarring me out of the story. THIS IS A FANTASY AUTHOR I REALLY LIKE. READING WOMEN-WRITTEN FANTASY HAS RUINED ME FOR DUDE-FANTASY. Even dude fantasy authors I usually really like, apparently :P So I re-read Ancillary Sword instead and will go back to GGK sometime later. I got used to the casual inclusion of women in key roles all over the place!

Writing: I am finally approaching the end of the first draft of the story I started writing for nanowrimo last year! :P This is even less impressive once I tell you that it's in the 8-12/YA SFF age category, which has recommended word counts of 40-60k. But it's now the longest story I've ever written, having beaten out both the White Collar apocafic and a long-ago CSI:NY one.

On a related note, I accidentally started writing a multichapter White Collar bookshop AU. I know. I JUST MISSED WRITING THEM TOO MUCH.
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
I am currently experiencing "being driven crazy by vague memories of a children's book". Can anyone help me? (I've also cross-posted the below to [community profile] whatwasthatbook.)

I'm looking for a book I had as a child (in the 90s), but was already quite old.

It was a collection of poems about various monsters/creatures, all of which were original to that book. It had a lot of non-colour line illustrations among the text.

I don't remember the names of any of the creatures, but there was a species rather like dragonflies but with six wings, one where the creatures were shaped like eggs and hopped on a singular leg, one which had large eyes and lurked at the edge of a park, and some massive sort of mammoth/elephant thing.

Anyone recognise any of this? Please feel free to suggest your own reward...
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
I am picking up the December posting meme again, because I'm just that awesome!

[ profile] imbecamiel asked, What makes you love a book?

The short answer to this is: characters. I need protagonists that I like and sympathise with. They don't necessarily have to be good people, but I still have to empathise with them (even if it's while simultaneously thinking, "Wow, you're a terrible person!" I'm having a problem coming up with an example off the top of my head, but the movie In Bruges would be a perfect one. If it were a book.) When I don't care about anyone I tend to wonder why I'm reading a book at all and wind up totally hating it. (See: Wuthering Heights.)

Also definitely important is the story itself, and the worldbuilding, and how both of those relate back to the characters. I like plots which are expanding, and uplifting, and end with the characters being better and deeper than they were before. I love stories which are difficult, and dangerous, but are ultimately about growth and joy. Sam Vimes and October Daye and Tiffany Aching and Miles Vorkosigan and Lirael and Tris.

There are some genres in which I'm more likely to find books I love -- sci-fi and fantasy over real life; although Anne Fine's All Bones and Lies is one of my comfort reads, and "traditional" male-dominated SFF leaves me cold. Guy Gavriel Kay's alternate history over actual history, with exceptions for Rosemary Sutcliff. Stories about women. Stories about young girls being powerful and changing the world.

I love... imagination. Patriarchal romance is boring when there are lesbian sky-pirates and bloggers documenting the zombie apocalypse and female faerie private investigators and Regency academic magicians and crystal dragons which are the secret hearts of mountains. I love stories which show that there's more, and characters who embrace that.

These are books which I love.
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
I feel I should do That Thursday Book Meme thing, just because I actually do like talking about books a lot but never really get around to it. I mean, I'm rubbish at actual reviews, but I love flailing about specific things!

What I've just read
The Will of the Empress, by Tamara Pierce. I was gifted Battle Magic by Eleanor's parents for Christmas, and it made me remember how much I loved the Circle of Magic books, particularly Tris. So I went on a Tris kick and re-read all of the ones with her. (Tris is a character I severely over-empathise with. She seriously is me, even down to looks! In temperament and even way of speaking we are identical. It's hilarious.)

What I'm reading now
How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea, by Mira Grant. It's a novella set in the Newsflesh universe, and it's my favourite one so far (I'm 62% through, according to my kindle.) In it, Mahir goes to Australia and is horrified by everything. It is hilarious and incredibly adorable, and Mahir was one of my very favourites in the trilogy so I'm delighted to have a whole story for him. Also I love the way that, as opposed to the rest of the world, Australia's reaction to the zombie apocalypse was, "Meh, the country's always been trying to kill us. This isn't terribly impressive."

My favourite bit so far has been Mahir's horror at being told that even if he's being attacked by a zombie koala, he could still get in deep legal trouble for shooting it. Because it's easy to get more humans, but koalas are endangered.

What I'm going to read next
Brsis lent me her copy of Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, which I am really excited about reading! Although it has already been STOLEN by Eleanor, so I will need to wrest it back first.
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
Meme brought over from FB:

List 10 books that have stayed with you. Don't take but a few minutes, and don't think too hard - they don't have to be the 'right' or 'great' works, just ones which have touched you.

1. The Little Bookroom, by Eleanor Farjeon
2. The King of the Copper Mountains, by Paul Biegel
3. The Wind on Fire trilogy, by William Nicholson
4. Feet of Clay, by Terry Pratchett
5. The Lion Tamer's Daughter, by Peter Dickinson
6. The Tin Princess, by Philip Pullman
7. Catkin, by Antonia Barber
8. The Wanderings of Odysseus, by Rosemary Sutcliffe
9. The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
10. Skellig, by David Almond
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
[ profile] naye asked me to talk about the October Daye book series, by Seanan McGuire.

I have LOTS TO SAY about them.

Spoilers - although I'm trying to persuade people to read the books, so I'm keeping them minor )

In short: Read these books! They're awesome!

The books so far:
Rosemary and Rue
A Local Habitation
An Artificial Night
Late Eclipses
One Salt Sea
Ashes of Honor
Chimes at Midnight
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (SGA - Jennifer+Teyla - chibis)
Guys. The next time it takes me such a long time to get around to reading such an utterly fantastic book as Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, you have my permission to start hitting me around the head with it. In fact, I will consider it a moral failing if you don't. (I note that this would work especially well with Strange & Norrell, since it's such a large book.)

Historical fiction set in the reign of George III with magic and academic rivalries and academic rivalries about magic and footnotes referencing biographies about the main characters written by other characters, and faerie! And main characters who are less important than they imagine themselves to be, and side characters who are awesome. And wonderfully dry commentary on race and gender and class without at all breaking the historical tone.

Seriously, guys, read this book. (I note that the first 100 pages are my least favourite; do not give up until you have met Strange.)

In not-really-related news, I have over half the required word count for my big bang fic with nearly a month to go, due to having sacrificed a load of internet time in favour of writing obsessively*. I suspect I may have been replaced with a pod person (although clearly a really defective one, because I seem to have picked up a throat infection. Maybe it's a symptom of me being taken over). On the other hand, it seems to be elongating exponentially -- the characters are only now at the point where I thought they'd be less than a thousand words in. Also I am so far being horrendously mean to Diana. I feel slightly guilty, but it's done with love.

Also. Thinking about the logistics involved in epidemic/pandemic response is fascinating. (This is totally one of the reasons for my love for Mira Grant's zombie books -- she clearly finds it really fascinating too. I could just sit and read about adaptations and responses for ever.) (I will also note here that one of my favourite sci-fi books is about an alien race working out Einsteinien+ physics all the way from first mathematical principles. That is the entire plot, and it is awesome.)

And now I'm going to ask stupid questions of my flist: is there any canon for where Elizabeth's parents live? And does she have any siblings? (I suspect the answer is "no" on both counts, but I'm really unsure.)

*When I put it like that I feel I should have more words to show for my time than I actually do. But I'm a really slow writer...
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
I just heard that Iain Banks died this morning.

I was introduced to his science fiction books (published as Iain M. Banks) when I was fourteen and doing work experience at QinetiQ, by a scientist who, on finding out that I already loved Wyndham and Asimov and Bradbury but had no real idea of how to go about locating more sci-fi outside of the children's section of my very tiny local bookshop, immediately lent me The Player of Games and The State of the Art. I didn't have the context to understand all the themes in them, but I loved them.

I read and re-read all of his Culture novels over the next few years. I own them all (except for The Hydrogen Sonata which isn't out in paperback yet). I love the alien races that feel alien, the discussions of sentience and morality, and the idea of how acting brings one to significance in such a huge galaxy. I love how the main protagonists in his books are often not the characters who think that they are. I love the sense of wonder, and scope, and this is what we can be.

Two years ago, I met him at the Hay festival. My mother and I went together, to see four authors on one day, and then camped overnight and waited until the evening of the next day so that I could see Banks. He was lovely. Massively enthusiastic and all but bouncing around the stage as he talked about writing and space and science. The audience got to ask questions, and I asked him about gender and sexual identity in the Culture (while my mother pretended not to know me) and he gave it serious thought and we had a brief discussion and it was great :D Then I queued up afterwards to get some of my books signed and he recognised me and we chatted about this some more and he said he liked being asked questions he wasn't sure how to answer. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I wanted to write sci-fi too. He laughed and said, "Well, why the hell not! Get out there!"

He wrote books that make me want to write books too, and he seemed like a really, really lovely and intelligent and kind person, and I'm truly upset by his death.
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Neal+Peter 1)
End of year meme: Fandom Edition!

I am talkative this evening. )
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Mechanisms - snow's forces)
Fandom_stockings are going up! Mine is here. And I have an entire browser window full of people I want to write things for. I think I'm probably going to use this opportunity to try and write things for people in tiny fandoms I don't usually write in (things like Fallen London, Eternal Lols Law etc). Because, since I'm actively trying to promote Once Upon A Time (In Space)/[community profile] the_mechanisms at the moment Sentient space pirate ships! Fairytale reworkings! Awesome women! All the canon femslash!, I think the least I can do is spread it around.


Unrelated: I also seem to have started making a fanmix entitled "dysfunctional Neal&Peter songs". So far it has "Lost Kitten" by Metric and "Piano Pieces For Adult Beginners" by Woodpigeon. I blame several people. (Most of them are me.)

This is apparently also the week in which I fail at getting to bed at sensible times...
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (DW - Tardis - Snow)
I have decided it is close enough to Christmas to make mince pies, so I made quite a lot today. I have bought more pastry cutters since last year, so they have leaves on rather than sharks. (I would really like dinosaur mince pies, but alas have found no dinosaur cutters small enough.)

This hasn't been a productive weekend (unless you count the mince pies), but it's been fun, and has involved a lot of Mass Effect 3. Also I finished reading Paladin of Souls and my love for Ista is huge. She is so awesome. ♥ [ profile] helle_d and I have been trading off on books to read, so while I've been getting through Chalion she's been reading Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy (which Mark of Mark Reads is also reading right now, I believe), and to my delight she has been enjoying it. More people should read these books!

I've fallen off with my writing the past few days, though. I'm not feeling all that inspired, argh. It's annoying. I want to wriiiiiiite!
frith_in_thorns: Unfortunately, you'll also all blow up. (Books - Discworld - Words)

Song of the Lonely Mountain - The Hobbit closing credits song

Why do I have to wait til the 11th December to buy this??

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