various books read in 2009

This is a most likely incomplete list, with some brief thoughts on some things; I didn’t have internet access for half the year and haven’t been keeping good track the rest of the year, but have been reading a lot. I also moved mid-year and got rid of the vast majority of my books (no room). Unfortunately, most new reads were from various libraries, and I know I don’t remember everything I checked out and read, so this list is heavily biased towards things I own reread at various times. I did have a couple of drafts (one August, one done in July or so along with the July entry), which helped.

In no particular order:

  • Liz Williams – Shadow Pavilion (own) — liked, but it seemed a little disjointed, maybe? I am getting ready to reread it after having reread the others (and Snake Agent, at least, is probably technically 2009)
  • Mayer Alan Brenner – Catastrophe’s Spell, part of Spell of Intrigue (some combination of distraction and ambivalence; I own all four books of this series, but have bad feelings about the last one, which contributed to the ambivalence)
  • Barbara Hambly – Bride of the Rat God, The Silent Tower, part of The Silicon Mage (own; I don’t enjoy her books as much as I used to and I don’t know why; of course, once I didn’t have them any more, I wanted to read the Darwath books again)
  • Sherri Tepper – The Family Tree (and was going to read more, but stalled out a few chapters into Grass; someday, I will read The Margarets; I should have tried it before Grass, but ended up returning it unread; own The Family Tree, used to own Grass but got it from the library this time, do not own The Margarets)
  • Mercedes Lackey – The Black Swan, Firebird, The Fire Rose Phoenix and Ashes, The Serpent’s Shadow, The Gates of Sleep, the Diana Tregarde books, Owlflight/sight/night, Storm Warning/Rising/Breaking, Winds of Fate/Change/Fury (Owl before Storm before Winds); thought about reading the SERRAted Edge books, but didn’t even make it through Born to Run, am contemplating The White Gryphon (but not the Black or Silver); all rereads I got rid of the Valdemar books and the SERRAted Ege books when I moved, but got them from the library
  • Terry Pratchett – Monstrous Regiment (own, reread), Unseen Academicals (library; liked it well enough)
  • Jasper Fforde – The Big Over Easy (reread, borrowed from my sister)
  • John Connoly – The Gates (library, and it really reminded me of something else, probably Good Omens in part, but there was something else)
  • Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book (library, and I see why it won all sorts of awards)
  • Carolyn Stevermer – A College of Magics, A Scholar of Magics (own and reread; I love her writing)
  • Lois McMaster Bujold – The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt (own, reread, possibly more than once for the first two)
  • Erle Stanley Gardner – a number of Perry Mason books (new library, new-to-me books)
  • Kristen Brittain – Green Rider (library, reread), First Rider’s Call (library, new) — I think the first was a reread; I know I owned it at one point and am pretty sure I read it because I watched for sequels for a while (but had stopped by the time the sequel actually came out). I didn’t remember any of it, though. I liked the second, but failed to read the third, even though I had it checked out.
  • Hari Kunzru – Transmission (library, started) — I liked this at first, but eventually decided I didn’t really care; I might try it again later, though. I used to own this, but got rid of it when I moved because I’d had it for years and never opened it.
  • Sarah Monette – Melusine, The Virtu, The Mirador, Corambis — I own Melusine and The Virtu, but had not read them since sometime well before The Mirador was released and didn’t remember some things; I read them all when the library got Corambis. Melusine and The Virtu are one book in two parts and have a satisfactory ending; after reading The Mirador I kind of wished I’d stopped at The Virtu, but am glad I read Corambis. Corambis was kind of jarring, though; it had Felix and Mildmay as leads, but had a new character as an additional viewpoint character and was set in a different part of the world, and none of the other characters had more than a brief mention. I do look forward to reading more books by her.
  • Elizabeth Bear — All the Windracked Stars, Seven for a Secret (library) — I adored All the Windwracked Stars and can’t wait for the sequel; I liked Seven for a Secret enough that I did want to read New Amsterdam; it has same main characters and a number of references to events there, but works fine as a standalone; it might have been better to know what had gone before, but enough was explained to follow the story and to understand the character’s backgrounds and relationships (not via infodumping, just with the flow of the story).
  • Chaz Brenchley — all of outremer (own, tried years ago, but stalled out in the fifth book), selling water by the river (own the first, got the second from the library) — I enjoyed all of these, but don’t know if I’d ever read them again.
  • Daniel Fox — Dragon in Chains (library) — I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next, but if I hadn’t known this was book one, I would have been very disappointed in it; I can’t remember if it was clear on the book itself or not, though.
  • Rosemary Kirstein: The Steerswoman’s Road (compilation of the first two), The Lost Steersman, The Language of Power (own) — I kept seeing these mentioned and they sounded like something I might like, so I picked them up a few years ago. I started seeing references to them again and read the first one, and months later finally read the other three. I did know a spoiler about the world itself before I read them and so was interpreting some people’s actions in terms of that, but wonder how long it would have taken me to realize what was going on. I really enjoyed them and hope that she does write more of them; each one is more or less its own story, but there is an overall plot that is being uncovered as the books continue and the final confrontation seems to be approaching. I do have to say that Rowan and Bel reminded me a bit of Xena and (later-seasons) Gabrielle, if Gabrielle had been the viewpoint character; they didn’t really have the same characterization, but the situation (intellectual and warrior wandering together) and their relationship was similar.

Earlier in the year, I binge read Georgette Heyer, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie (owned the Heyer, the rest were a mix of owned and library; they actually had a couple of Christie that I hadn’t read)

Manga, etc. (mostly to decide whether or not to sell):

Alice 19th – Yu Watase (kept for now) — I really like this despite its flaws (it would have been better if it was longer, I think; there were characters that could have used more development)
Aquarian Age: Juvenile Orion (sold) — I still liked it, but not as well as I did when I first read it, and don’t know why.
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (sold) — I still liked it, but not as well as I did when I first read it
Angel Diary 1-10 (one of the only series I’m following)
Vampire Diary 1-? (about half)
Demon Diary 1-7

6 Bloom County books (the last four + two others)
3 User Friendly books
Scott Adams – Freedom’s Just Another Word for People Finding Out You’re Useless (borrowed) — aka Dilbert #32, I think; read because it was there

The Yellow Submarine picture book (many, many times; my nephew likes it) and many other children’s books (read to my nephew)

From the library and only half-remembered, a random steampunk book (might have been a first novel, was self-contained but intended as the first of a series), newish Donna Andrews (and I don’t know if I want to continue reading them if Meg is pregnant; I stopped reading them once, and it wouldn’t take much for me to stop again)

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