Monday, January 31, 2011

Just for a giggle

I keep seeing this hilarious tape dispenser for sale at work, and I always get a giggle out of it. More of a giggle than I do from some of the other dispensers I've seen, like the shoes ones or the handbag dispenser for post it notes.

I finally gave up and decided I had to share the laughs. Especially as I'm old enough to have had collections of cassettes for my music (still have some of them in fact). I could easily see this on a teen's desk as a curiosity (with them probably wondering why it sets their parents off in fits of laughter).

At least you wouldn't have to go hunting for where the tape is this time (especially with kittens. I've found mine under the sofa and the book shelves a few times, covered in dust).

Poll Results - Favourite P.D. James Novels

Well, the poll results are in. The favourite P.D. James novels are:
The Lighthouse
Original Sin
The Private Patient
The Murder Room
A Certain Justice

But, every single book in the poll got at least one vote.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 31

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at Sheila's blog One Person's Journey Through A World of Books. It's honestly one of my favourite book memes because it kind of keeps me on track with my reading each week.

Last week was a decent one. I finished:
Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey. Science fiction, an older book and the first of a trilogy.
Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey. The sequel to Crystal Singer.
Writing Horses by Judith Tarr. Non-fiction, sent to me through the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing. A book about writing horses properly.

I'm currently reading:
The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost And Found by Mary Beard. Still. This one's been here for a bit now. Non-fiction.

What I'd like to read:
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
Crystal Line by Anne McCaffrey

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dies The Fire - S.M. Stirling

Dies the Fire - S. M. Stirling Dies The Fire
S. M. Stirling
ROC Publishing
Copyright: 2004

According to the back of the book:

The Change Occurred When An Electrical Storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electrical devices and firearms inoperable - and plunged the world into a dark age humanity was unprepared to face....

Michel Havel was flying over Idaho en route to the holiday home of his passengers when the plane's engines inexplicably died, forcing a less than perfect landing in the wilderness. And as Michel leads his charges to safety, he begins to realize that the engine failure was not an isolated incident....

Juniper Mackenzie was singing and playing guitar in a pub when her small Oregon town was plunged into darkness. Cars refused to start. Phones were silent. And when an airliner crashed, no sirens sounded and no fire trucks arrived. Now, taking refuge in her family's cabin with her daughter and a growing circle of friends, Juniper is determined to create a farming community to benefit the survivors of this crisis....

But even as people band together to help one another, others are building armies for conquest.
I've read and reviewed Dies The Fire before, and loved it then - enough to run out and get the rest of the series over the rest of the past year. The book, the first in the series is detailed and vivid - right from the first, the moments just before the Change.

I believe I said this last time too, but Dies The Fire, both times I read the book, left me wondering if I would find myself among the survivors and how I would do should something like that happen here. General consensus I came up with is "not very well". But, it makes for a bit of a thought-provoking story. All of the details of survival just added to the tale - including the very human costs in terms of lives lost both at the very start of the crisis and in the year following.

The various ways that people end up restructuring their lives/ways of life from the clan to the feudal make sense and fit with the characterizations that Stirling has come up with.

I'd like to remember to double check a few names with the Nantucket trilogy (Island In The Sea Of Time, Against The Tide Of Years and On The Ocean Of Eternity), because I was noticing a few more possible connections between the two sets of books, and I did notice some details that connect Dies The Fire with the later books in the series - mostly names of people that I'm pretty sure turn up again in the later books. Thing is there's usually so much of a gap between reading the books that I've forgotten those little details by the time I'm reading those later books.

I'm going to have to say that this is my favourite book of the series, and I do recommend it to people who like reading post-apocalyptic set books. But, as other reviews show, it's not for everybody. There are those who find the levels of coincidence to be too high in this series for their enjoyment. Still, I really liked Dies The Fire and it's sequels. Its definitely worth a try.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What Would You Recommend? - Jack Whyte and Conn Iggulden

This is a question I get asked all the time working in the bookstore: "What would you recommend for somebody who loved "_________"? (fill in the blank)" Usually I can come up with something, but that something can be a bit of a wild guess if it's not a book or genre I normally read. This is where you helpful people come in. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.

A while back I was reading the Conn Iggulden books about Genghis Khan. Both Wolf of the Plains and Lords of the Bow were reviewed here last year. Based on those two books I've been recommending Jack Whyte's books, both The Skystone and sequels and the Templar trilogy (which begins with Knights of the Black and White).

I have not yet read Conn Iggulden's Rome books about Julius Caesar though. Even so, I think that the two authors are a good match in terms of writing style. What I don't know however, is who else to recommend. A lot of the time people have already read both authors.

What would you recommend?

Pegasus - Robin McKinley

Robin McKinley
Putnam Juvenile
Copyright: November 2010

The product description:
A gorgeously written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her Pegasus.

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

New York Times bestselling Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic. 
I've read and enjoyed a number of Robin McKinley's other books before, especially The Blue Sword (one of my favourites) and Chalice. As a result, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of Pegasus. The e-book version was the easiest - and worked out to be very readable.

Pegasus is a story that works for more than just teens, just as The Blue Sword was (is). The world (shared by humans, pegasi and other magical creatures) is well written and makes a lot of sense to me as a reader. I loved the sense of history that the passages from the old notebooks added to the story. The land itself is beautiful, described with rich colours and detail.

Sylvi is a character I think I could quite get to like as a person, while some of the mages...
And the pegasi. The one thing about them is that even after finishing the book, I don't have a good mental picture of what they look like. Beautiful, yes, but it sounds like their proportions are all different than those of horses (which is what I was visualizing when I started reading the book). Not that it made any difference in my enjoyment of this novel.

I think I remember reading that there is going to be a sequel to Pegasus, but I can't remember where, though I believe it was on Robin McKinley's blog. I really hope there is one, as Pegasus leaves a lot of issues unresolved at the end. I know that I'm definitely looking forward to reading more in this world.

Recommended for anyone from an older child through teens and adults if you like fantasy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - January 24

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books. My favourite meme, as it keeps me reading, at least a little bit.

This past week I read:
Pegasus by Robin McKinley. Teen fantasy novel.

Dies The Fire by S. M. Stirling. I've read the book once before, but just had to re-read it.

Books I'm currently reading:
The Fires of Vesuvius by Mary Beard. Non Fiction about Pompeii.

Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey.

Books I'd like to read:
Writing Horses by Judith Tarr

Valley Of The Kings Reading Challenge

Miss Eliza is hosting the Valley Of The Kings Reading Challenge, a challenge for reading books about or set in Egypt.

The rules are:
(1) Timeline: January 1st, 2011 to December 31st, 2011

(2) Post about this challenge on your blog stating that you are participating. That post is the link that you will include in the Mr. Linky below. The link should be the post link not just your blog link. But you don't have to have a blog to participate! You can be like a guest blogger here and I'll post your review.

(3) Grab the button and display it in the post (use grab code underneath the button) or on your sidebar so others can join in the fun.

(4) You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you are participating in.

(5) You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

(6) Only print books and ebooks count (no audiobooks).

(7) The book doesn't HAVE to be set in Egypt, but has to be significantly about Egypt. For example, the 2nd and 3rd Theodosia books by R.L. LaFevers aren't set in Egypt, but they're all up in the artifacts and mummies.

(8) Choose from one of the five levels:

Hawk Horizon: 1-5 books.
Ibis Incline: 6-10 books.
Jackal Jetty: 11-15 books.
Feline Flats: 16-20 books.

(9) I will have a page dedicated to you, so you can link up your reviews!

(10) At the end of the year I will  pick a participate to win a prize. Could be random, could be most books read, could be best review... we'll just have to see how I feel when the time comes.

The way things have been going for me in terms of reading in the last few months, I'm going for the Hawk Horizon level.

The books I've read for this challenge are:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fonts and Reading Comprehension

Skimming Twitter found me this little gem of an article on fonts and reading comprehension: Hideous Fonts may boost reading comprehension. It makes for interesting reading and raises some rather terrifying points, some of which I've kind of run up against myself.

Namely the one on e-readers and reading comprehension. I've long since discovered that when I read on the computer, I'm reading faster; almost skimming, rather than reading. Not good, when it comes to reading articles or anything for a class, though alright when it's a novel. I'm not sure how it's going to play out with the Kobo to date.

Anyway, this is definitely an article worth reading.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Poll

There's a new poll at the top left of All Booked Up: What is the best P.D. James mystery novel?

I'm asking because I get asked by people quite regularly what the best novel is of hers to read. I know the best known  books of hers are the Adam Dalgleish mystery novels. I'm curious to know what you think the answer is.

Interesting Thoughts on Shelving Urban Fantasy

Given that I work in a bookstore, I found Anassa's thoughts on shelving the category of Urban Fantasy that she posted at Specnology to be interesting, and something that I rather agree with. But, shelving categories are something that the publishers set (at least as I understand it), although I've seen some real howlers there now and again: A book on the Queen Charlotte Islands was marked to be shelved under the Rocky Mountains, for example.

A section for urban fantasy might well work out well because there's so much of it these days, (some might say the entire teen section counts) but then you'd possibly end up with people going "but why isn't there a section for....?", leading to a gazillion little sub-sections. And it's all over the place.

I almost consider the S. M. Stirling series about the Change (beginning with Dies The Fire) to be Urban Fantasy-ish. It's certainly isn't science fiction, where it's currently shelved! And the same author has a werewolf book/series out now too. David Weber is (I think) due to have an urban fantasy type book come out later this year as well. That'll probably end up in science fiction with the rest of his books (which makes sense from the point of view of having all his books together).

Then there are the Laurell K. Hamilton books. Are they horror or urban fantasy, or something else? They're shelved in Horror, as are the books of Kelly Armstrong. And Kim Harrison. Sometimes I've seen her books shelved in Fantasy, and sometimes in Horror.

But, as Anassa pointed out, once you start, where do you stop? There's a lot of paranormal romance out there now too: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lara Adrian, J.R. Ward and a whole lot of others are writing romances that could easily count as urban fantasy, depending on the definition used.

Initially, I'd just planned on posting the link to Anassa's post, and then commenting there, but the response turned into this, a whole post of it's own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - January 17

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books. It's one of my favourite memes, even though lately I haven't been participating. Mostly because I've been in a real reading slump. With any luck though, I've shaken it this week.

This past week I read the following books:
Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey - fantasy, three novellas.

Finding the Way and Other Tales Of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey

I'm currently reading:
The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost And Found by Mary Beard. Non Fiction book about the ruins of Pompeii and the lives of the Romans.

Pegasus by Robin McKinley. Teen fantasy.

I have no clue what I'm going to be reading next to be honest.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Upcoming Books I Can't Wait To Read

Or at least most of these are. A lot of my favourite authors have books coming out that I can't wait to read. Thankfully, at least some of them are coming soon.

River Marked
Patricia Briggs
Release Date: March 1, 2011

The product description:
Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help... 
I'm honestly a bit confused by this one. is saying March, but the Chapters/Indigo site says that River Marked will be out on January 25. Either way, I can't wait to read it. The Mercy Thompson books are some of my favourite urban fantasy novels.

Kings of the North
Elizabeth Moon
Release Date: March 22, 2011

The product description:
Elizabeth Moon returns to the fantasy world of the paladin Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter—Paks for short—in this second volume of a new series filled with all the bold imaginative flights, meticulous world-building, realistic military action, and deft characterization that readers have come to expect from this award-winning author. In Kings of the North, Moon is working at the very height of her storytelling powers.

Peace and order have been restored to the kingdoms of Tsaia and Lyonya, thanks to the crowning of two kings: Mikeli of Tsaia and, in Lyonya, Kieri Phelan, a mercenary captain whose royal blood and half-elven heritage are resented by elves and humans alike.

On the surface, all is hope and promise. But underneath, trouble is brewing. Mikeli cannot sit safely on his throne as long as remnants of the evil Verrakaien magelords are at large. Kieri is being hounded to marry and provide the kingdom with an heir—but that is the least of his concerns. A strange rift has developed between him and his grandmother and co-ruler, the immortal elven queen known as the Lady. More problematic is the ex-pirate Alured, who schemes to seize Kieri’s throne for himself—and Mikeli’s, too, while he’s at it. Meanwhile, to the north, the aggressive kingdom of Pargun seems poised to invade. 

Now, as war threatens to erupt from without and within, the two kings are dangerously divided. Old alliances and the bonds of friendship are about to be tested as never before. And a shocking discovery will change everything. 
Kings of the North is a book I've been looking forward to since the day the last book, Oath of Fealty came out last March.

Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
Tamora Pierce
Release Date: February 22, 2011

The product description:
Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy. 
Interestingly, on this book I think made a bit of a mistake. Their title notes Tortall and Other Lands to be a Beka Cooper book, but the product description doesn't suggest that at all. Besides, I think the next book in that series is to be Mastiff.

Twilight's Dawn: A Black Jewels Book
Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 1, 2011

The product description:
Return to the world of the Black Jewels with New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop.

Anne Bishop's "darkly fascinating"* (SF Site) Black Jewel novels have enthralled readers and critics alike with their mixture of fantasy, intrigue, and romance. Now in Twilight's Dawn, Bishop returns to the Blood realm with four all-new captivating novellas. 
 Anne Bishop's books are a bit of a guilty secret for me. I enjoy them, and yet there are times (many of them) where the books make me cringe a bit. And yet, I'm looking forward to the release of this one - and I'll probably end up buying it in hardcover. Besides, the cover art is absolutely gorgeous, and has been on all of the other books in this world too.

Lover Unleashed
J.R. Ward
Release Date: March 29 2011

The product description:
#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward's thrilling new novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them? 
Another great series, but I'm feeling like I have some re-reading to do before I read Lover Unleashed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trio of Sorcery - Mercedes Lackey

Trio of Sorcery
Mercedes Lackey
Tor Books
Copyright: November 2010

 The product description:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.

Arcanum 101:  Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.

Drums:  Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.

Ghost in the Machine:  Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.  
 A book with a new Jenny Talldeer story and a new Diana Tregarde? I just had to read it. Never mind the third one. Trio of Sorcery turned out to be just as good as I'd hoped.

The first story in the book, that of Diana Tregarde was easily as good as her three novels: Children of the Night, Burning Water and Jinx High. It had more or less the same feel, and was easy to read and get the gist - even though it's been years since I read the three Diana Tregarde novels. Arcanum 101 is the first Diana Tregarde story as I understand things, so the other three books stand on it, not the other way around.

Drums, the Jenny Talldeer story was a bit more difficult in that way. It's set after Sacred Ground, and again it's been a heck of a long time since I read that book, so I had more than a few "Who?, What?, Why?" moments as I read it. Even so, it made for a great read, once I'd remembered the characters and their relationships, just sucking me into the story. I believe it would be perfectly possible to read this story without the knowledge of  the original novel, but that does help.

The first two stories were the ones I was the most excited about, but Ghost in the Machine turned out to be just as good as the other two, and I'm now hoping that Mercedes Lackey comes up with some more books/stories set in this world. The explanations for magic, and the problems it create fit pretty well in my mind, and certainly made for an interesting take.

Overall, three very good novellas, and a book I'm sure to read again (probably after reading the others first). I loved it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finding The Way - Ed. Mercedes Lackey

Finding The Way And Other Tales Of Valdemar
Ed. Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
Copyright: December 2010
978-0756406332 Product Description:
In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar was the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now readers can take a journey to the world of Valdemar-including Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, and Judith Tarr-each adding their own special touches.
Finding The Way And Other Tales Of Valdemar is the latest anthology of Valdemar/Velgarth related short stories. It's become an annual thing to buy now for me. Some stories I enjoyed more than others of course. Unfortunately, the edition I have, I bought for my Kobo e-reader. Not a problem, except it was somehow formatted so the whole book was just one chapter. So, no easy list of authors and story titles for me to refer to now.

But, there were a number of repeat guests: Judith Tarr, Tanya Huff etc. Even some of the characters are repeat guests from Changing The World etc. Again, there are two stories with Ree and Jem, both good stories, and stories which set the scene for future stories and anthologies. And the same thing with the story about the Haven Watch. Realistic, and a story that made sense to me - although, thinking about it, it's rather similar to the Watch as Tamora Pierce writes it in the Beka Cooper books. It makes sense though, the cultures would be rather similar.

This time I quite liked Judith Tarr's story. It just worked well, and stood out in my mind. That and Mercedes Lackey's stories are my two favourites for this book, I have to say.

On the other hand, there weren't any introductions to the stories for who the authors were and the like. I remember commenting last time that I really liked those, and I missed reading them this time. At the very least, they made for an extra chuckle, and sometimes they sent me off to find new titles to read. Hopefully next year the introductions will be back.

Either way, Finding The Way is a good book for any Valdemar fan, but perhaps not so much for anyone who isn't familiar with the world Mercedes Lackey has created and opened up to other authors.

Monday, January 3, 2011

100+ Books Challenge

I'm going to make another attempt at the 100+ Books Challenge hosted at Home Girl's Book Blog. I was successful at it in the last two years (more than, I think). My results for last year are here (2010 100+ Books Challenge), and the year before's (2009) are here (2009 100+ Books Challenge).

Those past  years I knew I could do it. This year though, I'm not so certain. Between the cats and work, I've barely had any time for reading in the last month. So, this is going to be a real challenge this time.

Here are the books, listed as I read them:
  1. Finding the Way And Other Tales of Valdemar - Ed. Mercedes Lackey
  2. Trio of Sorcery - Mercedes Lackey
  3. Pegasus - Robin McKinley
  4. Dies the Fire  - S.M. Stirling
  5. Crystal Singer - Anne McCaffrey 
  6. Killashandra - Anne McCaffrey
  7. Writing Horses - The Fine Art of Getting It Right - Judith Tarr
  1. Overtime - Charles Stross (Short Story)
  2. Crystal Line - Anne McCaffrey
  3. All Employees Are Marketers - Richard Parkes Cordock
  4. Little Princes - Conor Grennan
  5. Owlsight - Mercedes Lackey 
  6. In Fire Forged - Edited by David Weber 
  1. Journey To The Center of the Earth - Jules Verne
  2. Twilight's Dawn - Anne Bishop
  3. Dreams Made Flesh - Anne Bishop
  4. The Shadow Queen - Anne Bishop
  5. Shalador's Lady  - Anne Bishop
  6. River Marked - Patricia Briggs 
  1. Land of Painted Caves  - Jean M. Auel
  2. Kings of the North - Elizabeth Moon
  3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
  1. The Call of the Wild - Jack London
  2. Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran 
  3. Divergent - Veronica Roth
  4. Lover Unleashed - J.R. Ward 
  5. The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon
  6. Heidi - Johanna Spyri
  7. The Ravens of Falkenau and Other Stories - Jo Graham  
  1. Soul Surfer - Bethany Hamilton
  2. The Parafaith War - L.E. Modesitt 
  3. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance And Survival - John Vaillant 
  4. Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail - Caitlin Kelly
  1. Stealing Fire - Jo Graham
  2. The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
  3. The Fellowship Of The Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien 
  1. Living Wild: The Ultimate Guide To Scouting And Fieldcraft - Bear Grylls
  2. The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien 
  3. The Giver - Lois Lowry 
  4. The Wizard of London - Mercedes Lackey
  5. Bookstore Lore - Tom Lichtenberg  
  1. My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George
  2. Peony In Love - Lisa See
  3. St. Patrick's Gargoyle - Katherine Kurtz
  4. White Tiger - Kylie Chan
  5. Changes - Mercedes Lackey
  1. Red Phoenix - Kylie Chan
  2. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend - Susan Orlean 
  3. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen 
  4. Hannah And The Spindle Whorl - Carole Ann Shaw 
  5. War Horse - Michael Morpurgo 
  6. Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey 
  7. Mr. Toast and the Woolly Mammoth - Stuart Brent 
  1. Blue Dragon - Kylie Chan
  2. Letters From Father Christmas - J.R.R. Tolkien 
  3. Star Wars: The Jedi Path - Daniel Wallace 
  4. Restoree - Anne McCaffrey 
  5. Black Horses For The King - Anne McCaffrey 
  6. Get Off The Unicorn - Anne McCaffrey 
  7. Facing The Frozen Ocean - Bear Grylls 
  1. A Beautiful Friendship - David Weber
  2. The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey 
  3. Under The Vale - Edited by Mercedes Lackey 
  4. Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit - Mercedes Lackey 
  5. Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right - Judith Tarr 
  6. Empire From The Ashes - David Weber

                      Sunday, January 2, 2011

                      Unread Books 2011

                      This is the 2011 version of the Unread Books list. I have to admit that it's just as scary this year as it was for the last two years. I can't figure out how to actually whittle it down very far. For every book I manage to take off of the list, I seem to add at least two more. Titles in strikethrough are currently boxed away in storage.

                      1. Breath of Snow And Ashes - Diana Gabaldon - Fiction
                      2. Lord John And The Brotherhood of the Blade - Diana Gabaldon - Fiction
                      3. Lord John And The Hand Of Devils - Diana Gabaldon - Fiction
                      4. Star Wars: X-Wing Omnibus 3 - Michael Stackpole - Fiction (Graphic Novel)
                      5. Strange Candy - Laurell K. Hamilton - Fiction (Anthology)
                      6. The Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      7. On Faerie Stories - Ed. Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
                      8. The Tolkien Legendarium - Ed. Carl Hostetter - Non Fiction
                      9. Splintered Light: Logos And Language In Middle-Earth - Verilyn Flieger - Non Fiction
                      10. Life In A Medieval City - Francis and Joseph Gies - Non Fiction (History)
                      11. Life In A Medieval Castle - Francis and Joseph Gies - Non Fiction (History)
                      12. The Histories - Herodotus - Non Fiction (History)
                      13. The Peloponnesian War - Thucydides - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
                      14. The Name Of The Rose - Umberto Ecco - Fiction
                      15. The Eagle - Jack Whyte - Fiction
                      16. The Battle For Middle-Earth - Bonnie Rutledge - Non Fiction
                      17. The Ring Of Words - Jeremy H. Marshall - Non Fiction
                      18. Greek Lives - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Biography, Primary Source)
                      19. Roman Lives - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Biography, Primary Source)
                      20. The Forever Hero - L.E. Modesitt - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      21. A Flame In Hali - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      22. The Fall of Neskaya - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      23. Zandru's Forge - Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      24. Ravens of Avalon - Diana L. Paxon - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      25. Ancestors of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      26. God's War - Christopher Tyerman - Non Fiction (History)
                      27. Barbarians To Angels - Peter Wells - Non Fiction (History)
                      28. The Eagle and the Raven - Pauline Gedge - Fiction
                      29. On The Oceans Of Eternity - S. M. Stirling - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      30. Tolkien: A Celebration - Joseph Pearce - Non Fiction
                      31. Beowulf - Trans. Seamus Heany - Poetry (Primary Source)
                      32. Job: A Comedy Of Justice - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      33. Darwin's Paradox - Nina Munteanu - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      34. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Reader's Guide - Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull - Non Fiction
                      35. The History Of The Hobbit: Mr. Baggins - John Rateliff - Non Fiction
                      36. The History Of The Hobbit: Return To Bag-End - John Rateliff - Non Fiction
                      37. The Last Light Of The Sun - Guy Gavriel Kay - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      38. Masters Of Fantasy - Anthology (Fantasy)
                      39. Lives of the Twelve Caeasars - Suetonius - Non Fiction (History, Biography, Primary Source)
                      40. The Annals - Tacitus - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
                      41. An Imperial Possession - David Mattingly - Non Fiction (History)
                      42. The Peloponnesian War - Donald Kagan - Non Fiction (History)
                      43. Augustus: The Life Of Rome's First Emperor - Anthony Everitt - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      44. Cicero - Anthony Everitt - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      45. The Dark Champion - Kinley MacGregor - Fiction (Romance)
                      46. Caesar - Adrian Goldworthy - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      47. The Fall Of The Roman Empire - Peter Heather - Non Fiction (History)
                      48. Xenophon's Retreat - Robin Waterfield - Non Fiction (History)
                      49. Isabella - Alison Weir - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      50. Anthony And Cleopatra - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      51. Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      52. Richard III - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      53. The Comedy Of Errors - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      54. All's Well That Ends Well - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      55. Troilus And Cressida - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      56. Henry IV Part One - Shakespeare - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      57. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer - Poetry (Primary Source)
                      58. The Saga of Grettir The Strong - Fiction (Primary Source)
                      59. The Conquest Of Gaul - Julius Caesar - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
                      60. The Annotated Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      61. Rome And Jerusalem - Martin Goodman - Non Fiction (History)
                      62. The History of Britain - Simon Schama - Non Fiction (History)
                      63. A Distant Mirror - Barbara Tuchman - Non Fiction (History)
                      64. Thomas More's Magician - Toby Green - Fiction
                      65. Metamorphosis - Ovid - Poetry (Primary Source)
                      66. Mary Queen Of Scots and Lord Darnley - Alison Weir - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      67. Mary Queen Of Scots - Antonia Fraiser - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      68. Thomas Cromwell - Antonia Fraiser - Non Fiction (History, Biography)
                      69. The Medieval World - Eds. Peter Linehan & Janet L. Nelson - Non Fiction (History)
                      70. The Archer's Tale - Bernard Cornwell - Fiction
                      71. Albion - Peter Ackroyd - Non Fiction (History)
                      72. Europe And The Middle Ages - Edward Peters - Non Fiction (History)
                      73. The Age of the Cathedrals - Georges Duby - Non Fiction (History)
                      74. A History Of Private Life I - Non Fiction (History)
                      75. A History Of Private Life II - Non Fiction (History)
                      76. The Peasantries Of Europe - Ed. Tom Scott - Non Fiction (History)
                      77. Law And Life of Rome - J. A. Crook - Non Fiction (History)
                      78. The Temple And the Lodge - Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh - Non Fiction
                      79. The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception - Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh - Non Fiction
                      80. The Battle Of Salamis - Barry Strauss - Non Fiction (History)
                      81. The Knights Templar - Piers Paul Read - Non Fiction
                      82. The Lost Tomb Of Alexander The Great - Andrew Michael Chugg - Non Fiction (History)
                      83. Empire Of Ivory - Naomi Novik - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      84. Guilty Pleasures 1 - Laurell K. Hamilton - Fiction (Graphic Novel)
                      85. Guilty Pleasures 2 - Laurell K. Hamilton - Fiction (Graphic Novel)
                      86. Greek Lyric Poetry - Trans. Sherod Santos - Poetry (Primary Source)
                      87. Khubilai Khan's Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada - James Delgado - Non Fiction (History)
                      88. The Sharing Knife - Lois McMaster Bujold - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      89. On Sparta - Plutarch - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
                      90. A History Of My Times - Xenophon - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
                      91. On The Prowl - Anthology (Romance)
                      92. Knight Of Darkness - Kinley MacGregor - Fiction (Romance)
                      93. Sword of Darkness - Kinley MacGregor - Fiction (Romance)
                      94. Sword and Sorceress VIII - Fiction (Anthology)
                      95. Sword and Sorceress XV - Fiction (Anthology)
                      96. Sword and Sorceress XIV - Fiction (Anthology)
                      97. Sword and Sorceress X - Fiction (Anthology)
                      98. Sword and Sorceress VI - Fiction (Anthology)
                      99. Sword and Sorceress IX - Fiction (Anthology)
                      100. Rocket Ship Galileo - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      101. The Real Middle Earth - Brian Bates - Non Fiction (History)
                      102. To Sail Beyond The Sunset - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      103. Roman Poets Of The Early Empire - Poetry - (Primary Source)
                      104. Readings In Medieval History - Patrick Geary - Non Fiction (History)
                      105. Troilus And Criseyde - Geoffrey Chaucer - Poetry (Primary Source)
                      106. Falls The Shadow - Sharon Kay Penman - Fiction (History)
                      107. The Reckoning - Sharon Kay Penman - Fiction (History)
                      108. Eleanor Of Aquitaine - Alison Weir - Non Fiction (Biography)
                      109. Growing Up In Medieval London - Barbara Hanawalt - Non Fiction (History)
                      110. The Lost Capital Of Byzantium - Steven Runciman - Non Fiction - History
                      111. Charmed Destinies - Anthology (Fantasy)
                      112. The Ties That Bound - Barbara Hanawalt - Non Fiction (History)
                      113. Making A Living In The Middle Ages - Christopher Dyer - Non Fiction (History)
                      114. The Art Of Medieval Hunting - John Cummins - Non Fiction (History)
                      115. Medieval English Prose For Women - Eds. Bella Millett & Jocelyn Wogan-Browne - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
                      116. **Water For Elephants - Sara Gruen - Fiction
                      117. **The Parafaith War - L. E. Modesitt Jr. - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      118. For Us The Living - Robert Heinlein - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      119. Sword and Sorceress I - Fiction (Anthology)
                      120. Sword and Sorceress V - Fiction (Anthology)
                      121. Sword and Sorceress VII - Fiction (Anthology)
                      122. Against The Odds - Elizabeth Moon - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      123. Dictionary Of Mythology - Non Fiction
                      124. Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World - Viki Myron - Non Fiction (Animal Stories)
                      125. Hadrian - Anthony Everitt - Non Fiction - Biography
                      126. The Inheritance Of Rome - Chris Wickham - Non Fiction (History)
                      127. Josephus - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
                      128. Women in Early Medieval Europe 400-1100 - Lisa M. Bitel - Non Fiction (History)
                      129. An Illustrated History of its First 12000 Years: Toronto edited by Ronald F. Williamson - Non Fiction (History)
                      130. Becoming Modern In Toronto: The Industrial Exhibition - Keith Walden - Non Fiction (History)
                      131. The Complete World Of The Dead Sea Scrolls - Phillip R. Davies, George J. Brooke and Phillip R. Callaway - Non Fiction (History)
                      132. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
                      133. Born of Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon - Fiction (Romance)
                      134. Alexandria - Nick Bantock - Fiction
                      135. Morningstar - Nick Bantock - Fiction
                      136. Gryphon - Nick Bantock - Fiction
                      137. Londinium - John Morris - Non Fiction - History
                      138. The Archaeology Of Roman Britain - R. G. Collingwood - Non Fiction - History
                      139. Lord of the Two Lands - Judith Tarr - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      140. Daily Living In The Twelfth Century - Non Fiction (History)
                      141. Cathedral, Forge And Waterwheel - Francis And Joseph Gies - Non Fiction (History)
                      142. Medicine And Society In Later Medieval England - Caroline Rawcliffe - Non Fiction (History)
                      143. **Peony In Love - Lisa See - Fiction
                      144.  Variable Star - Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      145. Zoe's Tale - John Scalzi - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      146. Mariana - Susan Kearsley - Fiction
                      147. Red Land Black Land - Barbara Mertz  - Non Fiction (History)
                      148. The Forgetting Room - Nick Bantock - Fiction
                      149. Sex, Dissidence And Damnation: Minority Groups In The Middle Ages - Jeffrey Richards - Non Fiction (History)
                      150. The Life Of Christina Of Markayte - Trans. C. H. Talbot - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
                      151. Elantris - Brandon Sanderson - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      152. Medieval Costume And Fashion - Herbert Norris - Non Fiction (History)
                      153. The Venetian's Wife - Nick Bantock - Fiction
                      154. Medieval Households - David Herlihy - Non Fiction (History)
                      155. Special Sisters: Women In The European Middle Ages - Arthur Fredrick Ide - Non Fiction (History)
                      156. Everyman And Medieval Miracle Plays - Ed. A. C. Crawley - Non Fiction (Primary Source)
                      157. The Last Apocalypse - James Reston Jr. - Non Fiction (History)
                      158. The Museum At Purgatory - Nick Bantock - Fiction
                      159. People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks - Fiction
                      160. Lysistrata/The Clouds  - Aristophanes - Fiction (History, Primary Source, Play)
                      161. Shadow Of The Swords - Kamran Pasha - Fiction
                      162. Sword of the Lady - S. M. Stirling - Fiction (Science Fiction)
                      163. The Forest Laird - Jack Whyte - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
                      164. **Tiger- John Vailant - Non Fiction
                      165. The Grand Design - Steven Hawking - Non Fiction
                      166. American Vampire - Scott Snyder, Steven King - Fiction (Graphic Novel)
                      167. **Finding The Way And Other Tales of Valdemar - Edited by Mercedes Lackey - Fiction (Fantasy, Anthology, E-book)
                      168. **Trio Of Sorcery - Mercedes Lackey - Fiction (Fantasy, E-book)
                      169. **Pegasus - Robin McKinley - Fiction (Fantasy, Teen, E-book)
                      170. Lavinia - Urusla Le Guin - Fiction
                      171. Marley and Me - Josh Grogan - Non Fiction
                      172. A Game Of Thrones - George R. R. Martin - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      173. Stray - Rachel Vincent - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      174. The Lion Wakes - Robert Low - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
                      175. Queen By Right - Anne Easter Smith - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
                      176. Midwife Of Venice - Roberta Rich - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
                      177. Dreams of Joy - Lisa See - Fiction (Historical Fiction)
                      178. **Rin Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend - Susan Orlean - Non Fiction (Biography)
                      179. **Changes - Mercedes Lackey - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      180. **White Tiger - Kylie Chan - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      181. **Red Phoenix - Kylie Chan - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      182. Rosemary and Rue - Seanan McGuire - Fiction (Fantasy)
                      183. The Axe and the Oath - Robert Fossier - Non Fiction (History)
                      184. A Short History of the Middle Ages - Barbara Rosenwein - Non Fiction (History)
                      185. Pausanias Guide to Greece Volume One Translated by Peter Levy - Non Fiction (History, Primary Source)
                      186. The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History - James J. O'Donnell - Non Fiction (History)
                      187. Atlas of Medieval Europe - Non Fiction (History)
                      188. Shanghai Girls - Lisa See - Fiction (History)
                      189. The Art of The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien - Non Fiction (Fantasy)
                      190. By Fire By Water - Mitchell James Kaplan  - Fiction (History)

                      New Year's Resolutions

                      Yes, I've been absolutely horrible about posting to All Booked Up over the course of the Christmas season, but, really I haven't had anything to post about. Between work and the two kittens (not to mention the fact that I was making scarves for everyone for Christmas this year) I haven't read a book since about the first week of December. Instead I got something like seven scarves crocheted over the course of November and December (before Christmas).

                      Anyway, my New Year's resolution for the year is to get at least one book a week read and reviewed. A drop from last year, but an increase over what I've been managing over the last couple of months.


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