Ink Thinkin

Random thoughts from Dy Larson of Ink Think, freelance editor and copywriter

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Year in Books

It's the first day of a brand new year. Time to look back at last year's reading.



Because I keep my booklog in the pages of my day planner and therefore have to page through the whole thing to figure out if a book I remember is the book I thought it was. Listing my 2005 booklog here gives me a place to put/see the whole year at once, so here goes!

***Please note the opinions, etc. below are solely those of the blog author and in no way reflect on the quality of the work in question --it's just how I felt. ***

1/3 - London Bridges by James Patterson: I like his books, I really do, but they have gotten less than memorable. Please don't ask me what this was about because I honestly don't remember.

1/3 - The Journal of Abraham Van Helsing by Allen C. Kupfer: An interesting Dracula derivative.

1/12 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (UK Edition) by J.K. Rowling: Picked this up at a local bookcrossing meeting because I've wanted to read the UK editions for a while. I worked with a Brit for 7 years so I had to re-read this after my first read-through to spot the differences since my brain just auto-translated the brit-speak bits. I enjoyed it a good deal and would eventually like to own a full set of HP UK editions.

1/14 - Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix: I'm on a children's writers' yahoo group, so I read a lot of YA. Plus I love faery tales and, especially, unconventional variations on them (except Gregory Maguire, he just bores me to tears).

1/18 - The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde: If you've never read a Thursday Next novel you really have to try it, especially if you love books. Start with The Eyre Affair.

1/31 - Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll: I read it but I don't remember it.

2/4 - State of Fear by Michael Crichton: I *loved* this book. It was another bookcrossing book and I really need to get my own copy since I do want to follow up on some of the references he provided at the back of the book. Can't believe it's been 11 months since I read this.

2/9 - Bee Season by Myla Goldberg: Not bad; not remarkably good, either. Without the hype about this one I never would have read it and would not have missed it.

2/16 - The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester: Nowhere near as interesting as the flap copy and Amazon made it sound. No, really. I kinda liked it for the interesting notes about the history of the OED, but a scintillating read it was not. My book group felt the same.

3/1 - River God by Wilbur Smith: I can read this one and over again and have. By far the best of Taita books.

3/2 - Magic Spells by Christie York: This is the last time I'm going to say I don't remember a book, I'm just gonna start leaving the ones that made no lasting impression blank.

3/4 - In the Face of Death by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: I will read anything she writes that involves or takes place in the world of the vampire Ragoczy St. Germaine. Period. (The Olivia books aren't as good, IMO, because she is a flatter character).

3/5 - Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: Loved it!

3/9 - The Eye of Horus by Carol Thurston

3/14 - Mermaid Tales from Around the World by Mary Pope Osborne

3/19 - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: Wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Still don't get it.

3/22 - Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde: More Thursday Next! Yay!
Cold Service by Robert B. Parker: I don't know what I'm going to do when Parker dies and I have no more new Spenser books to look forward to.

3/26 - Warlock by Wilbur Smith: The Taita novel I'd never read. MUCH darker tone than River God and, IMO, not nearly as good.

3/31 - The Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke: Yes, it's a cookbook mystery, but I like those. I like them WAY better than any of the tediously numerous mystery series featuring somebody's supposedly brilliant house cat!

4/1 - The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith: Last of the Taita books and while significantly better than Warlock still not as good as River God.

4/29 - Temple by Matthew Reilly: Improbably and formulaic, but kind of entertaining in its badness, like a B movie.

(Dunno why I didn't finish much in April, other than the ole calendar says it was a hella busy month...)

5/10 - Elegy for a Lost Star by Elizabeth Haydon: Ya gotta read the whole Rhapsody series, this was the last one.

5/11 - Dark of the Sun by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: More St. Germaine, and I learned some cool stuff about a period of history about which I knew nothing and a natural disaster that was felt across continents.

5/21 - Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton: I still read her, but won't buy her anymore since her books have become very long on the sex scenes and extraordinarily short on the plot development.

5/23 - Serving Crazy with Curry by Amulya Mulladi: I really liked this. I picked it up at the library based on the title and the blurb and was rewarded with a really good story.

6/6 - The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler: I thought this was okay, but I've never read Austen so a lot of it was lost on me, I think.

6/15 - The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud: aka Bartimaeus, book 2. This one was a lot harder to get through (for me) than The Amulet of Samarkand. I think, in large part, because the main human character is so very unsympathetic as is Bartimaeus, and being terribly clever only gets you so far. Still good though, and I'll buy book three when it comes out.

6/16 - Playing with Fire by Dotti Enderle: Fortune Teller's Club #2

6/17 - The Magic Shades by Dotti Enderle: Fortune Teller's Club #3

6/19 - The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Connor: I really expected to like this, and didn't. So I shared it with the world through bookcrossing. The craft, however, the actually writing, was good. The characters, however, were purely unsympathetic and I figured out the big secret waay early and had to wade through the rest of the book waiting for the author to reveal that yea, I was right. The author is in a couple of my yahoo writing groups, so it kind of pains me to say these things. I really, really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't.

6/21 - Triad by Mary Leader

6/24 - Dead Man's Bones by Susan Wittig Albert: I love all the China Bayles books.

6/25 - The Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanna Fluke: Love Hannah Swenson, too. I love mysteries, I understand that they can be formulaic, but part of what I love is seeing how different authors spin the formula in order to entertain.

6/30 - The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan: (Wheel of Time #1) Good book, but started me on the world's most drawn out series, ever! Predictions are made in book 2 or 3 that involve characters we don't even meet til book NINE! Drives me batty, but I read all 10. I will not, however, ever buy them.

7/5 - The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time #2

7/10 - The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time #3

7/19 - The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time #4 - Oh, and did I mention this series is really wordy and kinda slow going? The first one was a quick read, I think to lull you in, and each one since has been a bit harder. I had to renew book 10 TWICE at three weeks a pop to finally get it read.

7/31 - The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time #5

8/9 - Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time #6

8/19 - A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan: WoT #7

8/26 - The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan: WoT #8

8/31 - Fire Sale by Sara Paretsky: V.I. Warshawsky. What more do I need to say?

9/4 - Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris: Sookie Stackhouse books are sorta like Anita Blake does comedy... But with less gratuitous sex, although the violence quotient seems to be going up a little more with each new title.

9/5 - Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris: more Sookie.

9/11 - Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan: WoT #9

Had to take a break for a while, the Paretsky and the Harris were non-renewable library books that I'd been waiting for.
10/21 - Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King: I've never read King's modern series but I adore the Mary Russell books.

Business picked up in September and I went out of state with a 4yo or about a week at the beginning of October and my reading suffered.
10/24 - Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich: Yea, I like to read things that don't take themselves too seriously and Stephanie Plum tops the heap in that regard.

10/28 - Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan: WoT #10 - Finally! I decided to take an extended break before requesting the new release, book 11, from the library. Still haven't requested it as of today, 1/1/06.

10/31 - Harry Potter and the sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I pre-ordered HP6 from Amazon and had my copy in hand on July 16th, but was in the middle of the Wheel of Time at the time. I have a curious little ritual when a new HP comes out; I have to re-read the preceding ones before I can read the new one. This serves to A - refresh my memory for events B - increase my appreciation of a book I sped through the first time and C - drag out the time it takes me to get to and finish the new one before I have to wait and wait and wait for the next, now the last, one.

11/9 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

11/12 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

11/16 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling: I am a geek and went to a midnight showing of the movie version of this on 11/17 and promised myself NOT to read the book before seeing the movie ever again. It made me look at the movie more critically than I wanted to since the book was so fresh in my head.

11/20 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling: I was pleasantly surprised when I re-read this. It was better than I remembered and made more sense than I thought when I wasn't reading it in such a hurry.

11/26 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: I blogged bout this one here.

12/2 - Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: I am apparently in the minority of fans of this author pair in that I'm not particularly enamoured of Pendergast and wish they'd get back to cool stuff like Riptide, Ice Limit, and Thunderhead.

12/10 - Unsigned by Julie Kaewert: Ok, I don't know any British men personally, but, from my vantage point, this American woman did a great job putting us inside the head of a British man. The plot was a little on the too-farfetched-to-enable-me-to-suspend-my-disbelief side, but I'll prolly read others in her Book Lover's Series anyway.

12/30 - Once Upon a Summer's Day by Dennis L. McKiernan: Not as good as the first one, Once Upon a Winter's Night, but then I like the fairy tale that one is based on more than I like the one that was loosely the basis of Summer Day.

Whew. Time to start a new list.


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