Tuesday, December 30, 2008

looking book back on 2008

[pssst! check out my other blog for a retrospective on 2008, and a pic of my niece!]

So, if I'm seeing my list on GoodReads correctly, I (only) made it through 49 books this year. Coincidentally, that's the same number as last year. Heh, if nothing else I suppose I'm starting to read at a consistent rate?

2008 was the year I actively hunted down vampire-related books, or at least some sort of "darker" angle to the fantasy I usually read. I really enjoyed the Noble Dead series by Barb & J. C. Hendee, Dhampir (Noble Dead, Book 1)where a half-vampire and her elf companion, accompanied by an elemental reborn "dog" form, start out being fake vampire hunters, then real ones, then finding themselves enmeshed in a much wider web of deceit... On a totally different angle, I found Vicki Pettersson's Sign of the Zodiac series promising: its romance elements were not overwhelming, and did not detract from the plot (unlike Lois McMaster Bujold's foray into the romantic fantasy arena - I remember laughing out loud at the love scenes!). There was the total flop that was Charlaine Harris' southern vampire series - it is to my dismay that this series has been made into a tv series that seems to have many fans... perhaps it translates better onto the small screen than in my mind?

2008 was also a year of discovery. Joe Abercrombie's First Law series (I've read 1 & 2, impatiently awaiting 3!) was an excellent read: full of detailed nitty gritty, and not very pleasant characters, and yet, they grow on you. Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn) Then there was Brandon Sanderson: I'd heard of him only because he's going to be completing the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and figured I'd see what he's produced. I've only read one book, but me likey! Then there was Alex Bledsoe's A Sword-Edged Blonde - another enjoyable read in fantasyland.

2008 was a year of children's books. Well, okay so I only read two "children's books", but they were pretty famous ones. Unfortunately, both kinda disappointed. I guess I just don't have the patience to read such simple language? I do want to pick up L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for a reread - I probably haven't read it since 1984 or so. Then I'll reread Wicked. :) Look out for these titles in my 2009 list next year :)

2008 was a year of borrowed-but-not-read. The Tibetan Book of the Dead;The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise From its Ashes; Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land; ... only three? No, I'm sure there were more ... Sometimes I borrowed more than I could handle. Sometimes there was that one book that just. stalled. everything. else. Like that Crusades book. Grrrr!

Existential Joss Whedon: Evil And Human Freedom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly And SerenityI am currently reading The Existential Joss Whedon: Evil And Human Freedom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly And Serenity (if you've been paying attention, you'll know I started it in November! After one chapter, I banished it to bathroom reading, where it's been competing with Sudoku for my attention when I'm there, LoL!): I suppose I'll limp into the new year with this tome...!

I hope that 2009 will see me making a dent in the 129 or so books in my to-read list!

And for those who are curious, here's a brief list of what I read in 2008. More information, and my "reviews" of them, can be found if you follow this link to my 2008 GoodReads page.

  1. Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud - Julia Navarro
  2. Season of the Witch - Natasha Mostert
  3. The eternal self and the cycle of saṃsāra: Introduction to Asian mythology and religion - Rajeshwari Pandharipande
  4. The Good Fairies of New York - Martin Millar

  5. The Overlook - Michael Connelly
  6. The Devil's Hearth: A Fever Devilin Mystery - Phillip DePoy

  7. The Witch's Grave: A Fever Devilin Mystery - Phillip DePoy
  8. The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) - Joe Abercrombie
  9. Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Medicated a Nation - Charles Barber
  10. Jar City: A Reykjavik Thriller - Arnaldur Indridason

  11. Silence of the Grave: A Thriller - Arnaldur Indridason
  12. Metro - Alexander Kaletski
  13. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement - Lois McMaster Bujold
  14. The Sharing Knife: Legacy - Lois McMaster Bujold
  15. Dhampir (Noble Dead, Series 1, Book 1) - Barb & J. C. Hendee
  16. Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10) - Jim Butcher
  17. My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time - Liz Jensen
  18. Deepwood: Karavans - Jennifer Roberson

  19. Thief of Lives (Noble Dead, Series 1, Book 2) - Barb & J. C. Hendee
  20. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore
  21. Dexter in the Dark - Jeff Lindsay
  22. The Scent of Shadows: The First Sign of the Zodiac - Vicki Pettersson
  23. The Taste of Night: The Second Sign of the Zodiac - Vicki Pettersson
  24. The Secret History of Moscow - Ekaterina Sedia
  25. Speak of the Devil: A Novel of Suspense - Richard Hawke
  26. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) - Charlaine Harris
  27. Voices - Arnaldur Indridason

  28. Sister of the Dead (Noble Dead, Series 1, Book 3) - Barb & J. C. Hendee
  29. Traitor to the Blood (Noble Dead, Series 1, Book 4) - Barb & J. C. Hendee
  30. The Sharing Knife: Passage - Lois McMaster Bujold
  31. Rebel Fay (Noble Dead, Series 1, Book 5) - Barb & J. C. Hendee
  32. Before They Are Hanged (The First Law: Book Two) - Joe Abercrombie
  33. Child of a Dead God (Noble Dead, Series 1, Book 6) - Barb & J. C. Hendee
  34. Ysabel - Guy Gavriel Kay

  35. Flesh and Spirit - Carol Berg
  36. Breath and Bone - Carol Berg
  37. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
  38. Give It Up!: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less - Mary Carlomagno
  39. The Tyranny of the Night - Glen Cook

  40. The Total Zone - Martina Navratilova & Liz Nickles
  41. To Hell and Back: An Autobiography - Meat Loaf

  42. The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  43. Lord of the Silent Kingdom - Glen Cook

  44. The Sword-Edged Blonde - Alex Bledsoe
  45. The Story of Forgetting - Stefan Merrill Block

  46. Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, Book 1) - Brandon Sanderson
  47. Backup - Jim Butcher

  48. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  49. The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam (Bampton Lectures in America) - Jonathan Riley-Smith


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  1. Happy New Year to you! Cheers to another great year ahead.. :)

  2. impressive list of books. if you include audio books, i think i only made it through... four?
    1) wicked, 2) small favor, 3) willy wonka, 4) backup. or do graphic novels count? when did we each read "buffy - season 8, vol 1" and "the gunslinger born"? oh - and i guess it was this summer that i finished off the balance of the harry potter books. still have "House of God" on the nightstand not even half-done, and not even partially calling to me.

    btw, i'm surprised that you admit here to brown-flagging your library materials (ref to seinfeld) - hehe.

    one day i hope to credit myself with reading a book by you!



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