MickyFine's 2013 Literary Adventures, Part the Seventh
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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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
/ = 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
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...
Is your thread the official Christmas party thread now then?
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)
>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.
*creates Spotify playlist of danceable Christmas songs*
*spikes the eggnog and the mulled wine a little extra*
I'll pass on the eggnog and heat up some nice (non-alcoholic) cider.
...yes, please. I lurrrve ginger. I chew on slices of fresh ginger just because. The more, the better, I say!
>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*
Also, so many fandom feels I may just be incapable of working.
Here, watch this video. It will make you
Hi Micky - I trust the cold snap has been replaced with 'normal' winter weather?
>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.
>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. :)
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.
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.
Celebrate the return of the light with feasts, merriment, and gratitude for all the wonders of this wide green earth.
>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*
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...
>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.
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!
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*
I hope you and yours have a truly wonderful Christmas, Mickey!!
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
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
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.
Stopping by with belated Christmas wishes Micky and wishing you a
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:)
>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.
And Stephen - there aren't any people on the cover (of my copy).
All these reads I've said I'll join in with - can't even remember half of them now :0o
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.
P.S. Wasn't the Bishop family house awesome?!
P.P.S. I think his name was Matthew.
Books read: 5
Female authors: 5
Male authors: 0
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.
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 books read: 68
Non-fiction books read: 12
Books by female authors: 52
Books by male authors: 31
Owned vs. Library
Books on my shelves: 21
Library books: 58
Borrowed elsewhere: 1
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (the whole series really, but we'll stick with one book)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
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
Love the summary and wishing you a Happy New Year, Micky!
>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!