MickyFine's 2013 Literary Adventures, Part the Seventh

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MickyFine's 2013 Literary Adventures, Part the Seventh

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1MickyFine
Dic 9, 2013, 5:19pm


My apartment view. That's what a windchill of -40 looks like. :)

Christmas is just around the corner so let's have festive cups of eggnog and flavoured hot drinks and indulge in the last of the bookish talk for the year!

January
1. A History of Reading - Alberto Manguel
2. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
3. The Spies of Warsaw - Alan Furst
4. Ella Minnow Pea - Mark Dunn
5. Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne (re-read)
6. Okay for Now - Gary D. Schmidt
7. Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde
Favourite read(s):


February
8. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente
9. The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy - Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
10. The Well of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde
11. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There - Catherynne M. Valente
12. Tender Is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
13. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Favourite read(s):


March
14. The Heiress vs the Establishment: Mrs. Campbell's Campaign for Legal Justice - Constance Backhouse and Nancy L. Backhouse
15. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie
16. Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
17. Wrapped - Jennifer Bradbury
18. The Penelopiad - Margaret Atwood
19. Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens - Robert Gottlieb
20. Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
21. Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon - Jane Austen
Favourite read(s):

2MickyFine
Editado: Dic 9, 2013, 5:22pm

April
22. Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare (re-read)
23. Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare (re-read)
24. Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare
25. Princess of the Silver Woods - Jessica Day George
26. The Tinsmith - Tim Bowling
27. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow - Jessica Day George
28. I Know Who You Remind Me Of - Naomi K. Lewis
Favourite read(s):


May
29. The Shore Girl - Fran Kimmel
30. The Stealers of Dreams - Steve Lyons
31. The Key to the Golden Firebird - Maureen Johnson
32. Terrier - Tamora Pierce
33. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
34. The Outlaws of Sherwood - Robin McKinley
Favourite read(s):


June
35. Walls: Travels Along the Barricades - Marcello Di Cintio
36. The Girl with the Iron Touch - Kady Cross
37. An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro
38. The Future We Left Behind - Mike A. Lancaster
39. The Nonesuch - Georgette Heyer
40. Rules of Civility - Amor Towles
Favourite read(s):

3MickyFine
Editado: Dic 9, 2013, 5:23pm

July
41. Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles - Kim Newman
42. The Convenient Marriage - Georgette Heyer
43. How to Save a Life - Sara Zarr
44. Black Sheep - Georgette Heyer
45. The Truth About Forever - Sarah Dessen
46. The False Princess - Eilis O'Neal
47. Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell - Crickett Rumley
Favourite read(s):


August
48. A Spy in the House - Y.S. Lee
49. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
50. When She Woke - Hillary Jordan
51. The Body at the Tower - Y.S. Lee
52. The Traitor in the Tunnel - Y.S. Lee
53. Knoche's Law - Keith Knoche (re-read)
54. Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions - Gloria Steinem
55. The Lifeboat - Charlotte Rogan
56. A Tale Dark & Grimm - Adam Gidwitz
Favourite read(s):


September
57. Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde
58. Lord, Give Me Patience--But Hurry Up About It - Keith Knoche (re-read)
59. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare (re-read)
60. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
61. Beyond Knoche's Law - Keith Knoche (re-read)
62. The Snark Handbook - Lawrence Dorfman
63. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins (re-read)
64. Austenland - Shannon Hale
Favourite read(s):

4MickyFine
Editado: Dic 31, 2013, 12:36pm

October
65. Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins (re-read)
66. Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
67. The Snark Handbook: Cliches Edition - Lawrence Dorfman
68. Selected Poems and Stories - Edgar Allan Poe
69. Woe Is I: A Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English - Patricia T. O'Conner
70. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy - Helen Fielding
Favourite read(s):


November
71. Scandalous Desires - Elizabeth Hoyt
72. Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion
73. Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer
74. The Bride Wore Size 12 - Meg Cabot
75. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
Favourite read(s):


December
76. Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
77. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
78. To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis
79. Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger
80. A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Favourite read(s):

5MickyFine
Editado: Dic 9, 2013, 5:24pm

My rating system:

/ = Ran screaming in the other direction (aka did not finish)
* = Suffered through it for reasons I'm still not sure of
** = Had far more flaws than virtues
*** = A read I don't regret but could use some improvement
**** = A good, solid read that I might revisit
***** = Loved it beyond reason and will probably re-read in short order

6katiekrug
Dic 9, 2013, 5:53pm

I meant to tell you I finished Eleanor & Park last night. I am now in love with Park (and his parents) and my husband is jealous ;-)

I really liked it, but the end had me in tears and I felt kind of let down by it. I think I wanted everything tied up nicely in a pretty bow, though I can see that the ending was more realistic and truer to the story...

7PawsforThought
Dic 9, 2013, 6:11pm

Woohoo! Eggnog!

Is your thread the official Christmas party thread now then?

8Ape
Dic 9, 2013, 8:36pm

Wow! What a lovely view you have! :)

9humouress
Dic 9, 2013, 10:06pm

True; nice view.
Brrr.

Wait - eggnog?What? Where?

10saraslibrary
Dic 9, 2013, 10:18pm



Er, yum yum. XP But it was better than the history of eggnog pic, believe me! Micky would give me a frowning of a lifetime if I posted that one. (waves @ Micky)

11LauraBrook
Dic 9, 2013, 10:18pm

*Starred*

12PawsforThought
Dic 10, 2013, 6:19am

10. Haha! The history of eggnog pic is hilarious!

13Morphidae
Dic 10, 2013, 8:28am

>10 saraslibrary: Both those pictures are hysterical! Though the googly eye egg one is rather creepy, too.

14RosyLibrarian
Dic 10, 2013, 8:59am

Wow, love your view!

15MickyFine
Dic 10, 2013, 3:03pm

>6 katiekrug: Glad you liked it, Katie. I was happy with the ambiguous bow that the novel had.

>7 PawsforThought: I doubt it, Paws. But feel free to festive it up.

>8 Ape: Thanks, Stephen. The floor to ceiling windows in my living room are pretty great. That's just one section of my view, but it's the one best captured on my cell phone camera. :)

>9 humouress: *hands Nina a cup of eggnog* Non-alcoholic kind. Hope that's ok. :)

>10 saraslibrary: You're such a weirdo, Sara. My kind of weirdo, but still.

>11 LauraBrook: Thank you, Laura dear. *hugs*

>13 Morphidae: Hi Morphy!

>14 RosyLibrarian: Thanks, Marie. It was one of the big reasons I picked my apartment.

16PawsforThought
Dic 10, 2013, 3:37pm

*starts hanging up garlands and tinsel*

*creates Spotify playlist of danceable Christmas songs*

*spikes the eggnog and the mulled wine a little extra*

17inge87
Editado: Dic 10, 2013, 4:46pm

*waves*

I'll pass on the eggnog and heat up some nice (non-alcoholic) cider.

18PawsforThought
Dic 10, 2013, 6:01pm

17. All great parties have plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives.

19BBGirl55
Dic 10, 2013, 6:49pm

Sorry catching up happy 75.

20saraslibrary
Dic 10, 2013, 7:52pm

I can live with being The Weirdo. :)

21foggidawn
Dic 11, 2013, 10:43am

*waves hello*

22humouress
Dic 11, 2013, 10:46am

>15 MickyFine:: Thanks for the eggnog (*spiking it behind Micky's back*)

;0)

23MickyFine
Dic 11, 2013, 5:04pm

>16 PawsforThought: Can we keep the spiking to individual glasses please? I don't drink alcohol. :)

>17 inge87: Sounds good, Jennifer.

>19 BBGirl55: Thanks, Briony. :)

>20 saraslibrary: Good to hear.

>21 foggidawn: *waves back*

>22 humouress: To each their own.

24PawsforThought
Dic 11, 2013, 6:14pm

23. Absolutely! As I said before, all great parties have non-alcoholic bevereges galore.

25Ape
Dic 11, 2013, 6:35pm

Great, because I don't drink alcohol either. You can spike my apple cider with extra cinnamon though. :D

26PawsforThought
Dic 11, 2013, 7:09pm

25. It's a Christmas party, Stevie-boy. Everything is extra cinnamon!

27Ape
Dic 11, 2013, 7:45pm

Now this is my kind of party! :P

28MickyFine
Dic 11, 2013, 11:35pm

Just made a double batch of ginger cookies for a cookie swap I'm participating in. Anyone want some extras?

29humouress
Dic 12, 2013, 2:05am

As long as there aren't any calories in them. Sounds delicious. I'll bring some extra pirate cupcakes from the batch I made for my son's class party.

30norabelle414
Dic 12, 2013, 8:38am

Your tumblr is cracking me up this morning, Micky. You *almost* make me want a tumblr too. But not quite.

31dk_phoenix
Dic 12, 2013, 8:52am

GINGER COOKIES!!!

...yes, please. I lurrrve ginger. I chew on slices of fresh ginger just because. The more, the better, I say!

32Ape
Dic 12, 2013, 8:57am

I'll take cookies, calories and all! :)

33MickyFine
Dic 12, 2013, 2:39pm

>29 humouress: Well, these ones are virtual so... yes! Calorie free! :P

>30 norabelle414: Aw thanks. I have to start reblogging more stuff. I just passed 500 liked posts (only half of which are gifsets of Captain Hook, I swear ;)) but I need to put more stuff on my own blog. If you ever do crack on the tumblr front, let me know. I will totally follow you. :D

>31 dk_phoenix: *hands cookie to Faith* Enjoy, friend!

>32 Ape: And for you, sir. *hands Stephen a cookie*

34norabelle414
Dic 15, 2013, 9:02pm

OMG Micky did you watch the winter finale of Once Upon a Time yet?!?

35MickyFine
Dic 16, 2013, 10:31am

Not yet. I'll be streaming it on my lunch break today. Promise to come back with my reaction. :D

36norabelle414
Dic 16, 2013, 11:22am

>35 MickyFine: It's so amazing. Particularly the last 10 minutes or so. And make sure you watch the promo for the second half of the season when you're done. When I saw it I yelled so loud I scared Rory.

37MickyFine
Editado: Dic 16, 2013, 3:03pm

Ok, now that I'm over my urge to sob... Sooooooooo good. Why is March so far away?!?!

Also, so many fandom feels I may just be incapable of working.

38norabelle414
Dic 16, 2013, 3:08pm

I KNOW RIGHT.

Here, watch this video. It will make you capable of working really happy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCDgJiPBxfI

39MickyFine
Dic 16, 2013, 3:51pm

Nora, you know me so well. :) *dances around*

40norabelle414
Dic 16, 2013, 4:04pm

>39 MickyFine: Speaking of ships, did you notice Aurora and Prince Phillip in the promo for the rest of the season? I'm hoping we get some kind of resolution to the Mulan/Aurora tension. Preferably that Prince Phillip dies and Mulan steps in to help raise the baby, and one thing leads to another . . . .

41MickyFine
Editado: Dic 16, 2013, 5:28pm

>40 norabelle414: *takes break from chair dancing* I have to admit I was too busy looking for every Captain Swan moment that I missed it. *watches again* Oh they're right at the beginning. I'm interested to see how the writers take Mulan and Aurora. My first assumption with that dynamic is that Mulan is in love with Phillip but the internet has me viewing things differently. Now, I'm back to swooning over Hook and Emma work.

42norabelle414
Dic 16, 2013, 5:33pm

No she's totally in love with Aurora. She only spent like 10 minutes with Phillip.

43foggidawn
Dic 16, 2013, 6:06pm

Okay, okay, I have placed the first season on hold at my library . . . happy now?

;-)

44lkernagh
Dic 16, 2013, 8:59pm

Humm.... I am almost caught up with >i/>Once Upon a time but if the winter finale is going to leave me hanging until March, I will slow down on episode viewing!

Hi Micky - I trust the cold snap has been replaced with 'normal' winter weather?

45MickyFine
Editado: Dic 17, 2013, 4:20pm

Apologies bookish friends, I'm about to do some TV fandom theorizing stuff. Please ignore at your preference.

>42 norabelle414: Not quite true. Mulan was hanging out with Phillip from the moment Belle introduced them, which would include some convalescing plus the searching for Aurora time. I've always been a bit unclear about how the 28 years in the Enchanted Forest worked out but one can assume they spent that time together too. Not to say that she isn't in love with Aurora, I just think there was a huge chunk of time where she could have fallen in love with Phillip.

>43 foggidawn: Very. Very, very happy. As shall you be, Foggi. :)

>44 lkernagh: I don't have that kind of restraint, Lori. Also, I can just rewatch past episodes during the hiatus so I think I'll survive the wait. As for the weather, it was actually really warm the past couple days (highs of 3C and freezing rain on Saturday) but we're supposed to be headed back to normal winter temperatures tomorrow.

46DorsVenabili
Dic 17, 2013, 12:51pm

Hi Micky! Just popping in to say hello. Unfortunately, I know nothing of enchanted forests, but I do hope you're having a lovely holiday season!

47MickyFine
Dic 17, 2013, 4:21pm

>46 DorsVenabili: Hiya Kerri. You have managed to drop in at a point where I am doing some hardcore fangirling. Sorry about that. Thank you for the well wishes. All the same to you. :)

48DorsVenabili
Dic 17, 2013, 5:09pm

#47 - No worries! I'm actually looking for a new show, as my two just ended for the season, but I don't think that's quite my cup of tea, although I could be wrong. Really, I'm looking for something a bit more robot-oriented. As usual.

49MickyFine
Editado: Dic 17, 2013, 5:32pm

>48 DorsVenabili: Well, if you like interpretations of fairy tales at all, I'd give Once Upon a Time a try. As for robots, I haven't tried it but Almost Human is a new show with Karl Urban in it. Robots and hot Australian dude... ;) Otherwise, I'm kind of out.

50norabelle414
Dic 17, 2013, 10:24pm

I like Almost Human! Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are hilarious together. Some other good robot-ish-kinda shows are Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Revolution. If your definition of robots includes advanced technology in general.

51DorsVenabili
Dic 18, 2013, 7:06am

#49 - 50 - Thank you for the recommendations! After seeing the previews, I was a tad skeptical about Almost Human, but perhaps I'll give it a try.

52dk_phoenix
Dic 18, 2013, 8:52am

I found the first few eps of Almost Human fairly decent, but I'm behind on it now. To be honest, I think I watch too many shows these days (and have too little time to keep up), because I forgot about it... LOL.

53humouress
Dic 18, 2013, 11:00am

>48 DorsVenabili:: I suspect we're a season behind on Once Upon a Time; a season finished some weeks ago here, but I'm a bit messed up, what with being away in Australia, and different scheduling there.

>50 norabelle414:: Maybe I'll have a look at Almost Human, then.

54MickyFine
Dic 18, 2013, 2:24pm

>50 norabelle414: Oooh, I do like S.H.I.E.L.D. :)

>51 DorsVenabili: You're welcome. :)

>52 dk_phoenix: I started off the television season with 14 shows I was keeping tabs on and I've now gone down 6-8 (depending on how you count Doctor Who and Sherlock).

>53 humouress: I can't imagine trying to keep track of shows during an international move. Feel free to fangirl over OUAT here any time, no matter where you are in the story arc. :)

55MickyFine
Dic 19, 2013, 5:14pm

Book 78


To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis

Ned Henry is exhausted. Sent on countless missions to WWII era Coventry to try and track down the bishop's bird stump for Lady Schrapnell who is rebuilding the Coventry Cathedral in 2057, Ned has succumbed to severe time lag - Difficulty in Distinguishing Sounds, maudlin sentamentality, and all. In order to avoid Lady Schrapnell, Ned is sent back to Victorian England to recuperate and help solve the problem another historian, Verity Kindle, caused by bringing something forward in time. But can a man in Ned's state really help solve the problem and stop history itself from unravelling entirely?

A delight from start to finish, I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a time travel novel more. With fantastic comedic moments, excellent historical descriptions of both England during the Blitz and the Victorian era, and a complex mystery that sits at the core of the novel, the novel never lulls. While loosely connected to Willis' previous novel, Doomsday, it isn't necessary to read the first to truly enjoy this novel and those who have are in for a surprise at the massive shift in tone. If you like time travel stories or even if you just want a good historical read, this book shouldn't be missed.

Rating: *****

56Ape
Dic 19, 2013, 8:13pm

I've been meaning to read that one for some time, even though I just felt so-so about Doomsday Book. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

57lkernagh
Editado: Dic 20, 2013, 12:26am

One of the Willis books is on my radar screen for a group read next year. Don't ask me which one..... maybe it is for a Willis month? Not sure. I think I will need to go and investigate but either way, you have convinced me that To Say Nothing of the Dog is worth reading and I am very happy to find out that I don't have to read Doomsday first if I don't want to!

58humouress
Dic 20, 2013, 2:25am

>55 MickyFine:: Nggh. Book bullet. Maybe a double hit.

I've seen that title around, but hadn't realised it's time travel. Now I'm curious.

>54 MickyFine:: I'm a bit bummed about Eureka, which I really liked, but it was on cable or not available in Aus. When I got back to Singapore, they were advertising the final season, but I never managed to catch more than a couple of episodes. Am hoping (assuming) for re-runs.

59humouress
Dic 20, 2013, 2:36am

And I went straight from here to SandDune's thread, and ran straight up against her review of Doomsday Book.

Great discussion over there about it.

60alcottacre
Dic 20, 2013, 5:15am

#78: I greatly enjoy Willis' books. Glad to see you do too, Micky!

61BekkaJo
Dic 20, 2013, 10:30am

#55 Oooh...that looks interesting. Will be on the look out!

62richardderus
Dic 20, 2013, 2:40pm

In happy hopes that 2014 will bring ever greater pleasures to your reading world, Micky:



Celebrate the return of the light with feasts, merriment, and gratitude for all the wonders of this wide green earth.

RMD

63MickyFine
Dic 20, 2013, 3:29pm

>56 Ape: I think you should definitely give it a try, Stephen. Even if our shared admiration of an increasing number of books must mean the world is ending. :P

>57 lkernagh: Glad I could oblige, Lori.

>58 humouress:/59 You're welcome, Nina. Hmm, it's interesting to see the varying opinions on Doomsday. I quite enjoyed it and didn't really notice all the flaws the review pointed out. As we're forever learning around here, not all books work for all readers. :)

>60 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. Nice to see your face around here! :D

>61 BekkaJo: Hope you like it, Bekka.

>62 richardderus: Thank you, Richard dear. *smooches*

64Ape
Dic 20, 2013, 6:32pm

63: Haha, well, you do seem to have an influence on what I read, so I think it's all your fault. :P

65MickyFine
Dic 20, 2013, 8:50pm

I'm the kind of librarian who loves doing reader's advisory. I can't help having an influence on what you read.

66Ape
Dic 20, 2013, 9:01pm

Yeeeessssss, master. *Bows*

67MickyFine
Dic 21, 2013, 5:49pm

*stares at Stephen confusion* What are you doing? The bowing and scraping only happens on Thursdays. How many times do I have to tell you? Saturdays you bring me large bowls of popcorn and platters of chocolate. Really, it's so difficult to find good minions these days.

68Ape
Dic 21, 2013, 7:13pm

Right...I ate the popcorn and chocolate...sorry. :(

69TinaV95
Dic 22, 2013, 12:52pm

I've got the last episode of Once Upon a Time waiting on my DVR... Now you have me anxious to watch, but knowing I'm going to be left miserably hanging.... Which they do at the end of each season, so it's no surprise. I thought it was pretty clear that Mulan was in love with Aurora the last time we saw them together. No?

Is Almost Human back on yet? It's another of my favorites, but it hasn't recorded in ages, so I was thinking it must be a summer series or something...

70MickyFine
Dic 22, 2013, 3:22pm

>68 Ape: I'm going to have to demote you to hanger-on if you don't improve.

>69 TinaV95: Just watch it, Tina. Join us of the "why isn't it March yet?" camp. ;) As for Aurora and Mulan, that is the general consensus.

I don't watch Almost Human but here's the episode info. Looks like the last episode aired December 16 and the next one won't be until January 6.

71Ape
Dic 22, 2013, 8:04pm

*Bursts into tears*

72humouress
Dic 23, 2013, 11:35am

Stephen, how old are you? That's a tactic my youngest uses : if he's got a guilty conscience (rare, I grant you), he bursts into tears the second you scold him.

73Ape
Editado: Dic 23, 2013, 12:09pm

Guilty conscience? Never heard of it. ;)

74MickyFine
Dic 23, 2013, 2:40pm

>71 Ape: Your tears are unimpressive. And where are my Monday tea and biscuits?

>72 humouress: Aww, poor little one.

75humouress
Editado: Dic 23, 2013, 3:14pm

>73 Ape:: Mmmhmm. I'd get Micky her tea & biccies pronto.

>74 MickyFine:: Nah. He just pulls that because he knows he's cute. And it's rare. Usually, the brazen little monkey thinks whatever he's done wrong is funny.

76MickyFine
Dic 23, 2013, 5:03pm

>75 humouress: Hahaha. Sounds like my little brother when he was young.

77DorsVenabili
Dic 24, 2013, 11:18am

Happy Holidays, Micky! I hope they're delightful!

78humouress
Dic 24, 2013, 1:06pm



Sending you tropical heat to keep you warm through the winter, Micky.

Wishing you the best for the festive season and for a wonderful 2014!

79BBGirl55
Dic 24, 2013, 1:58pm

Happy (almost) Christmas!

80MickyFine
Dic 24, 2013, 3:27pm

Thank you, Kerri, Nina, and Briony.

I'll be making the Christmas rounds at some point tomorrow when I get back from my parents'. Until then, the merriest of Christmas Eve wishes for all who wander in here. :D *smooch*

81TinaV95
Dic 24, 2013, 10:47pm

Silly note... Almost Human is not the same show as Being Human, which is the one I watch. Duh.

I hope you and yours have a truly wonderful Christmas, Mickey!!

82ChelleBearss
Dic 24, 2013, 11:02pm


Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

83inge87
Dic 25, 2013, 12:24am

Merry Christmas, Micky!

84Morphidae
Dic 25, 2013, 1:25pm

Have yourself a merry little book-filled Christmas!

85katiekrug
Dic 25, 2013, 3:25pm

Merry Christmas, Micky!

86AMQS
Dic 25, 2013, 4:37pm

Merry Christmas, Micky! Congrats on reaching 75+! I'm glad you enjoyed To Say Nothing of the Dog. I read that one earlier this year and really enjoyed it. It wasn't like anything I'd read before. Happy reading in 2014!

87MickyFine
Dic 25, 2013, 10:46pm

Thank you, Tina, Chelle, Jennifer, Morphy, Katie, and Anne.

I've had a truly excellent Christmas. I'll post my Christmas book haul later. Must watch Doctor Who Christmas special and sob my eyes out. :P

88MickyFine
Dic 26, 2013, 12:38am

Ok, that's done (and if anyone cares to react to the Christmas special feel free to chat here or PM *looks in Nora's direction*). Now on to all the books I got for Christmas this year.

First, from my 75er Xmas Swap sender, rosalita, I received:

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

From various family members I received:

Frederica - Georgette Heyer
Not Quite the Classics - Colin Mochrie
Loving Mr. Darcy - Sharon Lathan
Geek Girls Unite - Leslie Simon
It's a Book - Lane Smith
A Homecoming Christmas - Bill and Gloria Gaither

89swynn
Dic 26, 2013, 3:02am

Micky, hope your Christmas was merry and that you new year will be happy!

90Morphidae
Dic 26, 2013, 8:27am

Frederica! Now we have to have a 2014 group read!

91norabelle414
Dic 26, 2013, 11:36am

>88 MickyFine: No cable TV means it'll be awhile before I get to the Doctor Who special. I might end up buying it from somewhere. I'll let you know.

92MickyFine
Dic 26, 2013, 12:27pm

>89 swynn: Thank you, sir! :)

>90 Morphidae: I'm game, Morphy.

>91 norabelle414: I don't have cable either. Happily, though, I can stream it from the Canadian Space channel website. :)

93RosyLibrarian
Dic 26, 2013, 12:32pm

I hope you had a nice Christmas Micky! Thanks for stopping by my thread. :)

94MickyFine
Dic 26, 2013, 2:28pm

I had an excellent Christmas, Marie! :)

95MickyFine
Dic 26, 2013, 3:09pm

Book 79



Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger (Book the Second in the Finishing School series)

Sophronia Temminnick has received the highest grade of all her class in the six-month evaluation exam, which has left her ostracized by all her friends. This leaves Sophronia in a tight spot as she tries to determine who might want to hurt her friend, Dimity (who isn't speaking to her). Meanwhile, Mademoiselle Geraldine's has taken on male passenger's from Bunson's school for evil geniuses and is floating towards London to observe a flight test in the aetherosphere. Sophronia may just not be able to handle all of the investigations, ploys, and flirtations she has to balance as a result.

A fun second romp in this YA series. Sophronia's adventures are just as entertaining as in the first book with the groundwork being laid for sources of conflict in future books in the series. Characters from this series remain as endearing as ever and a few familiar and friendly faces from the Parasol Protectorate series make cameos as well. Recommended if you liked the first book.

Rating: ****

96lkernagh
Dic 26, 2013, 6:35pm

Love the Christmas book haul!

Stopping by with belated Christmas wishes Micky and wishing you a

97dk_phoenix
Dic 26, 2013, 7:29pm

Looks like you had a great, bookish Christmas! Yay!

98rosalita
Dic 26, 2013, 8:27pm

I'd be interested in a group read of Frederica as well, Micky and Morphy. Liz tells me that's the next Heyer I should read, and I always do what Liz tells me. :-)

99MickyFine
Dic 27, 2013, 2:13pm

>96 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori!

>97 dk_phoenix: Sure did, Faith.

>98 rosalita: Awesome. We'll definitely have to set one up then. :)

100Morphidae
Dic 27, 2013, 5:19pm

How about a group read of Frederica in February - the month of romance? And it's all Fffff's.

101MickyFine
Dic 27, 2013, 5:27pm

Sounds good to me, Morphy.

102Ape
Editado: Dic 27, 2013, 7:51pm

Magnificent Morphy Makes a Marvelous...muggestion...

103MickyFine
Dic 27, 2013, 10:39pm

Excellent attempt at alliteration, Stephen. Care to join us for our group read of Frederica?

104lkernagh
Dic 28, 2013, 12:40am

I will re-read Frederica if Stephen joins the group read and reads it! Come on, Stephen..... it's a great read. I should know, I read it only 5 months ago. ;-)

105Ape
Editado: Dic 28, 2013, 8:43am

Well, I did learn when I read Jane Eyre earlier this year that I'd sooner read romance from that era than the more superficial modern romances, but I think reading a romance novel in February is probably a very bad idea for me, so I'll probably give it a pass.

106BBGirl55
Dic 28, 2013, 3:44pm

Nice christmas haul.

107MickyFine
Dic 28, 2013, 3:57pm

>105 Ape: Aw, c'mon, Stephen. I've been single even longer than you and I'm reading it... Plus you'd be depriving Lori of the pleasure of a group read.

>106 BBGirl55: Yes, I have some very generous friends and family.

108Ape
Dic 28, 2013, 7:45pm

Yeah, easy for you to say, you're optimistic! :P

109AMQS
Dic 28, 2013, 8:41pm

Dear, dear Micky,

I wanted to let you know that I gave my daughter Marina the first of The Agency books (A Spy in the House) for her 12th birthday (Dec. 19) and the other two for Christmas and she positively DEVOURED them! She is well into a reread of the series (she finished each book in about a day) and can't stop talking about how much she loves them. Thank you SO MUCH for recommending those! Hopefully she'll be willing to share:)

110MickyFine
Dic 28, 2013, 11:31pm

>108 Ape: Not always. When it comes to my relationship status, I'm a realist. :P

>109 AMQS: I am so glad she liked them, Anne! I can relate to devouring them, I did that as well. She should be pleased to hear that there's a new Mary Quinn novel scheduled to come out in 2014. Crossing my fingers for you that she'll let you borrow them at some point.

111humouress
Dic 29, 2013, 10:10am

OK - I have Frederica on my new Kindle, so I'm in for a group read.

And Stephen - there aren't any people on the cover (of my copy).

;0)

112LauraBrook
Dic 29, 2013, 10:18am

I'll invite myself along for the group read, if you don't mind! I forgot I had it on my shelf!

113MickyFine
Dic 29, 2013, 9:35pm

Glad to have you both join in, Nina and Laura. February is shaping up to be a good month with all these awesome people reading such a fun book. :)

114humouress
Dic 29, 2013, 10:41pm

Has anyone put it on the Group reads thread?

All these reads I've said I'll join in with - can't even remember half of them now :0o

115MickyFine
Dic 30, 2013, 10:41am

Just checked, Nina, and it looks like Morphy has been on it already. :)

116MickyFine
Editado: Dic 31, 2013, 4:40pm

Book 80



A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

Diana Bishop is the last of the Bishop witches and can trace her family tree all the way back to one of the witches burned at the Salem witch trials. Diana, however, has firmly turned her back on her magical lineage and has pursued a career as professor of history of science. While doing research on alchemical manuscripts at the Bodleian, Diana calls up Ashmole 782 - an alchemical text thought long lost by the magical community. Suddenly Oxford is swarmed by magical creatures all determined to discover the content of Ashmole 782 and how Diana managed to access it after hundreds of years. Among these creatures is Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, who may be interested in more than just the manuscript. As Diana and Matthew's relationship develops it will lead to a journey that crosses continents and have implications for the entire magical community.

While by no means perfect, I enjoyed this book thoroughly and raced through its pretty hefty page count in just a few days. I'll start out with the bad and end on a positive note. In terms of bad, the characterization of the leads had me sighing over traits that I find increasingly troubling. In the trope of male vampire leads, Matthew is possessive and commanding and while Diana is supposed to be an independent-minded woman with potential for great magical ability, she spends a lot of time in damsel territory. But even with those flaws I devoured this book. The settings are lusciously described and brilliantly evoked from the quiet academic atmosphere of Oxford to rural France to a small town in New York state, each described in delicious prose. Harkness also creates a fascinating mythology for her fantasy world which is complex and intriguing. Plus, there are fascinating historical flashbacks as is bound to occur when you an ancient vampire at the core of the novel. The plot itself is a complex web with many threads left unresolved but not so many that I'm in a panic to get my hands on the next book now. If you enjoy a quieter, complex urban fantasy with a dash of historical fiction thrown in, give this one a try.

Rating: ***

117norabelle414
Editado: Dic 31, 2013, 4:07pm

>116 MickyFine: Just wait til you read the next one. It's Elizabethan world-building-porn with a dash of plot thrown in. Delicious.

P.S. Wasn't the Bishop family house awesome?!

P.P.S. I think his name was Matthew.

118MickyFine
Dic 31, 2013, 4:38pm

Oh yay for awesome world-building with a soupcon of plot! And yes, the house is fantastic. Also, thanks for the catch on the name error. I have corrected it. :)

119MickyFine
Dic 31, 2013, 4:51pm

December Summary




Books read: 5

Fiction: 5
Non-fiction: 0

Library: 5
Mine: 0
Borrowed: 0

Re-reads: 0

Female authors: 5
Male authors: 0

Pages: 2,096

Average rating: 3.8

Favourite book(s): For making me laugh aloud in inopportune places the prize this month goes to To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

120MickyFine
Dic 31, 2013, 5:06pm

2013 Year End Reading Stats

Adapted from Stephen's epic methods

Books read: 80
Pages read: 26,173

Average book size: 327 pages

Average rating overall: 3.86 stars

Fiction/Non-fiction
Fiction books read: 68
Non-fiction books read: 12

Gender
Books by female authors: 52
Books by male authors: 31

Owned vs. Library
Books on my shelves: 21
Library books: 58
Borrowed elsewhere: 1

121MickyFine
Dic 31, 2013, 5:13pm

Top 5 Books of 2013

5.
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

4.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

3.
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (the whole series really, but we'll stick with one book)

2.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

1.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

122Ape
Dic 31, 2013, 5:33pm

Yay for stats!!!! :D

123MickyFine
Dic 31, 2013, 5:41pm

Finally, the meme in which every response is the title of a book I read this year.

Describe yourself: Fangirl

Describe how you feel: Okay for Now

Describe where you currently live: Lost in a Good Book

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Your favorite form of transportation: The Key to the Golden Firebird

Your best friend is: The Girl with the Iron Touch

You and your friends are: Warm Bodies

What’s the weather like: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

You fear: Something Rotten

What is the best advice you have to give: Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell

Thought for the day: Tender is the Night

How I would like to die: Princess of the Silver Woods

My soul’s present condition: Wrapped

124Ape
Dic 31, 2013, 6:01pm

Great answers, Micky. I want to live where you live! :)

125foggidawn
Dic 31, 2013, 6:15pm

Love those answers!

126LauraBrook
Dic 31, 2013, 7:36pm

Yay for stats, and all sorts of year-end-wrapping-up-ness! Love that house in Discovery of Witches too - wish it were real, if only for the endless room for books!

127lkernagh
Dic 31, 2013, 7:39pm

I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I saw your answer to the best advice question .... that is perfect!

Love the summary and wishing you a Happy New Year, Micky!

128MickyFine
Dic 31, 2013, 8:00pm

>124 Ape: Thanks, Stephen. It really is the kind of place where anyone can live. :)

>125 foggidawn: I'm very pleased with them, Foggi.

>126 LauraBrook: Thanks, Laura. The house definitely has a Room of Requirement kind of vibe.

>127 lkernagh: I must admit, Lori, it's the answer I'm most proud for this year's meme. Glad you found it amusing as I did. Happy New Year to you as well!

129Ape
Dic 31, 2013, 8:22pm

Oh! So are you inviting me to move in!? :P

130saraslibrary
Dic 31, 2013, 11:22pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR, MICKY! :)

131MickyFine
Ene 1, 2014, 1:26pm

>129 Ape: Hysterical. Being Lost in a Good Book is a place that exists everywhere and nowhere. In other words, stay in Ohio. :P

>130 saraslibrary: Happy New Year, Sara!

133humouress
Ene 2, 2014, 11:13am

I've been thinking about reading A Discovery of Witches but I can never find it when I remember to look for it.

Omigosh - everyone's doing stats! I'll just hang in there and manage to keep track of what I'm reading at the moment.

Off to find your new thread ...