Sunday, January 1, 2017

What I Read (2016)

Book log 2016

Jan 14, 2016:  The Supernaturalists by Eoin Colfer. "YA novel about kids in corporatized future hunting mysterious blue energy monsters.  Some excellent twists, but still falls a bit flat somehow."

Jan. 17, 2016:  What Came Before He  Shot Her by Elizabeth George. "Probably the best of her books so far, and it doesn't even have any of the series' main characters until the last few pages. Gripping and moving story of kids on the edge of spiraling out of control."

Jan. 26, 2016:  Journal d'un degonfle: Carrement claustro! By Jeff Kinney. "Christmas themed and funny."

Feb. 9, 2016:  The Explorers Guild, Volume 1 by Jon Baird. "Fantastic combination of prose novel and graphic novel.  Looking forward to more in the series."

Feb. 28, 2016: The Crystal Star by Vondan McIntyre. "Enjoyable Star Wars novel focussing on Leia and her kids."

Mar. 28, 2016:  Cujo by Stephen King.  "Really good characters in what is a very simple, but engaging plot."

Mar. 28, 2016: Bone Shop by TS Pratt.  "Prequel Marla Mason story.  A bit disjointed in places, but with some interesting ideas."

Mar. 30, 2016: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. "Unforgettable tale of peasant farming in pre-Revolutionary China."

April 23, 2016:  Careless in Red by Elizabeth George. "While walking across England after having quit his job, Lynley comes across a body.  Good, and the whodunnit plot actually seems to work in this one."

April 26, 2016.  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.  "Epistolary novel of mother whose son committed a school massacre.  Gripping and thought-provoking."

May 12, 2016.  Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris.  "Mediocre Sookie Stackhouse book, risking the series becoming formulaic."

June 6, 2016.  Le Guide du voyageur galactique by Douglas Adams.  "Classic, still funny though I missed a lot of jokes given my rudimentary French."

June 18, 2016.  The Running Man by Stephen King. "Fast-paced and interesting, even if predictable."

June 18, 2016.  Brainboy and the Deathmaster.  "Really clever and well-plotted YA novel."

June 21, 2016.  The Torchwood Archives by Warren Martyn.  "Companion book to the first two seasons of the show.  Very cleverly done to seem as realistic as possible."

June 30, 2016.  Sidekicks by Will Kostakis.  "Friend central to web of connections dies, and his friends have to figure out whether they have any real friendship with each other.  Funny and moving, a fantastic read."

July 16, 2016.  Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson.  "Stream of consciousness novel in Joycean vein from perspective of mad woman living alone on a beach.  Painful to read, glad it's over."

July 24: The Plague by Albert Camus.  "Thought-provoking about the essentials of humanity."

August 14, 2016:  A Toaster on Mars by Darrell Pitt.  "Futuristic buddy cop story in strongly Hitchhiker's vein.  Dumb but funny, and I'd probably read a sequel."

August 15, 2016: The Double Helix. "Norton Critical Edition of James Watson's story of his and Crick's discovery of the structure of DNA.  Interesting insight into the sociology of science!"

Sep. 2, 2016:  Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris.  "Forgettable."

Sep. 7, 2016:  A Brief Guide to Secret Religions by David V. Barrett. "Intelligent and objective overview of modern pagan, New Age, and esoteric beliefs.  Better and more credible than the title indicates."

Sep. 12, 2016:  Magnimar, City of Monuments by Adam Daigle and James Jacobs. "Pathfinder game supplement.  Looks solid."

Sep. 24, 2016: Blood of the City by Robin D. Laws.  "Pathfinder novel set in Magnimar featuring a cleverly conceived urban druid.  Stunning twist 1/3 of the way through."

Oct. 9, 2016:  Simples mortels, passez votre chemin! by Charlaine Harris.  "First of the new Midnight. Texas series, as Internet psychic Manfred arrives in an isolated Texas hamlet.  Okay, but not great."

Oct. 17, 2016: This Body of Death by Elizabeth George.  "Strong entry in the Havers/Lynley series, as we meet a new character named Inspector Isabelle Ardery.  The plotting actually holds together well.  Can't wait to read the next one!"

Oct. 31, 2016 Before the Storm by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. "First novel in the Star Wars Black Fleet Crisis trilogy.  Fantastic; a page-turner that is Star Wars at its best."

Nov. 5, 2016.  The Dark Tower by Stephen King.  "First novel in the Gunslinger series.  Has great epic feel."

Nov. 7, 2016.  Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.  "Eric's feud with Victor comes to a head, and Sookie discovers more about her fae past.  Fun and exciting."

Nov. 7, 2016.  Inner Sea Monster Codex by John Compton, et al.  "Descriptions and NPCs for ten of Golarion's more obscure monstrous races.  Well-written, nice art, and some interesting ideas."

Nov. 12, 2016.  Steppe by Piers Anthony.  "Clever and original; a real Mongol is brought from the past to portray Genghis Khan in an MMO-like historical reenactment."

Nov. 13, 2016.  Into the Dark by Peter Abrahams.  "Third and so far last of the Echo Falls mysteries. Fantastic, with real life issues mixed with mystery.  Wish there were more!"

Nov. 16, 2016.  The City Who Fought by Anne McCaffrey and S.M. Stirling. "Science-fiction novel about space station ran by a human consciousness.  Surprisingly interesting."

Nov. 18, 2016.  O Pioneers! by Willa Cather.  Classic tale of settling the Nebraska prairie, with a strong female protagonist.  The theme of connection to and reverence for the land reminds me of The Good Earth."

Nov. 18, 2016.  Hexenhaus by Nikki McWatters.  "Three stories of young girls affected by witchcraft hysteria.  Pretty interesting!"

Nov. 23, 2016.  The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett.  "Really interesting and original fantasy novel about humanity that had to cower from demons behind wards.  Looking forward to the sequel."

Nov. 27, 2016.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  "Norton Critical Edition.  Great and evocative. Fantastic essay by Lawrence Lipking."

Dec. 1, 2016.  Prince of Wolves by Dave Gross.  "First Pathfinder novel.  Set in Ustalav and featuring alternating chapters of an aristocratic Pathfinder and his streetsmart bodyguard.  Pretty good."

Dec. 2, 2016.  The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.  "Worthy of reputation as SF classic.  It is mind-boggling to think of what space travel at relativistic speeds would mean, and how the fundamental premises of war would change.  Some odd social predictions that border on problematic."

Dec. 4, 2016.  The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.  "Norton Critical Edition.  Good introduction to the various interpretations of the text."

Dec. 7, 2016.  Sos the Rope by Piers Anthony.  "Weird story about post-apocalyptic world where nomads challenge each other to duels, while, secretly, hidden repositories of civilisation look on. Crazy gender problems and unconvincing motivations."

Dec. 9, 2016.  Changeling by Chris Kubasik.  "Shadowrun novel.  The cover art is ridiculously bad, but the story is surprisingly good!  The plot, about a troll who wants to be human again, has a thematic depth that works quite well in the setting.  Do not judge this book by its cover."

Dec. 12, 2016.  A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway.  "Mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes' niece in a Victorian setting with magic and clockwork mechanisms.  A bit over-long, but I'd still read the next in the series."

Dec. 14, 2016.  Dungeons of Golarion by Jason Buhlman, et al.  "Pathfinder sourcebook providing brief backstories and level outlines of six mega dungeons in the setting.  Interesting reading, but would require a LOT of work to flesh these capsule descriptions into something playable."

Dec. 19, 2016.  One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde.  "Fifth in one of my very favourite series.  Fantastically clever and thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end."

Dec. 20, 2016.  Mystery Monsters Revisited by Richard Pett, et al.  "Sourcebook for bringing ten monsters from real-world folklore into Golarion.  A couple of interesting entries, but far from essential."

Dec. 27, 2016.  Castles of the Inner Sea by Alyssa Faden and Tim Hitchcock.  "Pathfinder book containing full descriptions and quality maps of six different castles in Golarion.  More directed to adventuring locales rather than PC-friendly bases, but a quality book."

Dec. 27, 2016.  Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.  "A story about love, books, and a love of books.  A perfect novel, the best I've read this year.  Funny and moving and sure to be remembered."

Dec. 29, 2016. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster.  "Classic novel about British colonialism in India. At heart, whether a pair of men can be friends across the barrier of nationalism.  Excellent."

? 2016.  Spider-Man: Attack off the Heroes by Rich Thomas Jr..  "Kids book involving Spider-Man investigating while other heroes like Daredevil have suddenly gone bad.  Mediocre."

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