Saturday, January 2, 2016

What I Read (2015)

Jan. 2015  Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy by Scott McMillin (ed.)  "Norton collection of stage plays and several contemporary & modern criticism.  Not exactly a page-turner."

Jan. 2015  Origins of the American Revolution by John C. Miller  "Really interesting overview.  Learned a lot about British views of colonialism, divisions amongst colonies, & more.  Will have to read more on military aspects."

Jan. 27, 2015  Candide ou l'Optimisme by Voltaire  "Conclusive rebuttal."

Feb. 22, 2015  A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George  "Great setting for a mystery: the channel island of Guernsey.  Usual great characters let down by mystery that doesn't hold together upon revelation"

Mar. 17, 2015  Portal Through Time by Alice Henderson  "Buffy novel with original plot: time-travelling demons trying to wipe out Slayers in past.  Pretty good, with a couple of nice twists."

Mar. 2015  The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman  "Second in the trilogy, introducing Will and the many worlds concept.  Really good, and I'm looking forward to # 3.  Full cast audio book is fantastic."

Mar. 29, 2015  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger  "I enjoyed this much more the 2nd time around.  Holden has a voice that is so unique yet so representative of youth at the same time.  You can see how it would be a breath of fresh air for many at the time."

Apr. 13, 2015  The Stand by Stephen King  "Epic, apocalyptic tale.  My criticism, and this will sound odd, is that it's not long enough!  The last act is hurried and needs to play out.  Good but not great."

Apr. 14, 2015  The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham  "First Veronica Mars novel.  Fantastic.  Real continuity, perfect characterisation, real ramifications."

Apr. 15, 2015 Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James  "A pseudo-sequel to Pride and Prejudice with a mystery plot.  Well-written, but not my cup of tea."

Apr. 16, 2015  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins  "Last of The Hunger Games trilogy.  Page-turning but thought-provoking.  It sticks with you.

Apr. 26, 2015  Killing Adonis by J.M. Donellan  "Breezily engaging hipster mystery, well worth reading."

May 2015  Club Dead by Charlaine Harris  "Third Sookie Stackhouse book, as Bill cheats and gets kidnapped.  Still very readable."

May 9, 2015 The Long Walk by Stephen King  "Interesting 'Bachman' book, a little like The Hunger Games but with walking!  Needs better alt-history and motivations."

May 2015  Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris  "Fourth Sookie Stackhouse book, as Eric loses his memory and witches try to take his territory.  Still entertaining, if increasingly cheesy."

May 29, 2015 Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson  "Wow, fantastic!  Exciting and clever fantasy novel with great characters and setting.  Described to me as "What if the Dragon Reborn saves teh world but doesn't give up power?"

June 21, 2015 L’Éstrange cas de l’assasinat de Katie la Fêlée by Peter Abrahams "First of the Echo Falls mysteries for young readers.  Really engaging protagonist and good mystery."

June 29, 2015 First Born by James Goss  "Rhys & Gwyn take the baby to hide in a remote Welsh village, where no babies have been born in generations.  Fairly standard alien plot, very choppy and annoying story structure."

July 16, 2015 The Secret Books of Paradyse III & IV by Tanith Lee  "Beautiful and riveting.  Dark and evocative, with a singular feel."

July 26, 2015  The Dead Zone by Stephen King  "Having already known the basic plot, this was a bit of a let-down--but that's not King's fault, as the concept is original and compelling."

Aug. 6, 2015  Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris  "Forgettable Sookie Stackhouse book, as she gets mixed up in Were politics."

Aug. 14, 2015  Firestarter by Stephen King  "Strong effort about pyro kinetic little girl on the run from the government.  A sequel would be welcome."

Aug. 15, 2015 The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday "Fantastically fun and likeable novel, set up well for future books"

Aug. 17, 2015:  Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt "Readable overview of various theories for why there's something rather than nothing."

Aug. 17, 2015  An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris "Third of the Harper Connelly series.  Good, but with a plot development that should have played out a bit longer and more sophisticatedly."

Aug. 18, 2015  Superdad: A Memoir of Rebellion, Drugs and Fatherhood by Christopher Shulgan "Adventures in parenting and crack cocaine.  Has a happy ending and Toronto focus.  Not deeply moving, but likeable."

Aug. 20, 2015 Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris. "Sookie goes to New Orleans with new beau Quinn and gets wrapped up in vampire royalty problems.  Solid."

Aug. 21, 2015  Who Fears the Devil?  The Complete Tales of Silver John by Manly Wade Wellman. "Short story collection about guitar-playing wanderer who travels Appalachia and dispenses with supernatural threats via a pure heart and silver strings.  Varied plots and interesting."

Aug. 24, 2015  With No One as Witness by Elizabeth George. "Serial killer plot works well alongside character development.  One of the best of the Lynley/Havers series."

Aug. 28, 2015  A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (Norton Critical Edition). "Turgid and repetitive prose, but an important historical argument premised on equal rationality and universal virtue."

Sep. 4, 2015  Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card. "Last of the Ender quartet.  Agonisingly slow plot progression, and I'm glad it's over."

Sep. 12, 2015 Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn. "Kitty has to resolve things with her old pack once and for all.  Good supporting characters, interesting direction."

Sep. 16, 2015  Ghost Town by Will Sutton.  "Western about dying mining town and an easterner who ends up helping them.  Enjoyable for the genre."

Sep. 18, 2015 Go Fer Yer Gun! by Simon Washbourne. "Western RPG."

Sep. 27, 2015  Roadwork by Stephen King "Man about to lose his house to eminent domain gets desperate.  Well-written and page turning."

Oct. 16, 2015  All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris. "Sookie attends a major vampire summit.  Exciting and explosive ending."

Oct. 16, 2015 Hour of the Black Wolf by Mark P. Lynch. "Western involving ID artist trying to get to victim through criminal gang."

Oct. 20, 2015  A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. "It's surreal that I have now finished this series that I started reading when I was 13 or 14.  It's been such a part of my life, and my indispensable books.  All I can say is this:  What was, what will be, and what is, will never fall under the Shadow."

Nov.28, 2015 From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris. "Sookie Stackhouse novel that is more a loose series of events than a single major plot.  Still interesting, and I really liked the ending."

Nov. 30, 2015  Danse Macabre by Stephen King. "Discussion of horror in movies, TV, and novels.  Although dated, still interesting."

Dec. 6, 2015  Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. "Second Veronica Mars novel.  Fantastic--perfect characterisation and continues developing long-term plots.  I really hope they write another one!"

Dec. 16, 2015 The Cleric Quintet by R.A. Salvatore. "Five novels telling the life's work of Cadderly, a cleric of Deneir.  Nice progression of character from book to book, and a real sense that a meaningful story has been told.  Bittersweet but moving ending."

Dec.22, 2015 The Nightingale Before Christmas by Donna Andrews. "My annual Christmas mystery.  This one involved murder at a decorators's show house and was enjoyable, with a solid plot and likable characters."

Dec. 23, 2015 Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Craner. "Okay.  I think maybe the premise works best in smaller chunks, but I appreciate the humanism of the writing."

Dec. 25, 2015 Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan "Fun, light, clever book about a mysterious secret society devoted to books."

Dec. 27, 2015 Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea. "Good but not great over the top SF about ex-merc."

Dec. 30, 2015 Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn. "Kitty the werewolf ends up in Las Vegas to get married, and gets caught up in cult problems.  Still likable and readable."

Dec. 30, 2015  Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood "Third in the Miss Fisher series.  Less dense plot, perhaps need more depth to main character."


Juricon said...

Wish I read as much as you do ... or as fast as you do anyway...

Some suggestions for your 2016 reading list...

The Stormlight Archive (granted only the first two books are out at this time but I really enjoyed them both ... "Way of Kings" and "Words of Radiance")

Joyride - Stephen King
Mr. Mercedes + Finders Keepers - Stephen King

Jeremy Patrick said...

I'm slow working my way through the Stephen King books, in chronological order (I'm up to Cujo now). Will check out the Stormlight Archive.

Re: wishing you read as fast as I do--you say that every year! :) I don't really read especially fast, but the trick is discipline: I make myself read 50 pages every weeknight, which means that I finish an average-sized book at least every week or two. (and more when I'm on vacation, etc.)