graeruby's 100 in 2009

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graeruby's 100 in 2009

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Bearbeitet: Dez. 30, 2008, 11:30pm

I'm about to finish my reading challenge for 2008, so it's about time to start thinking about 2009, right? I'm going to hit 150 by the end of the month, so as long as I'm between 100 and 150 in 2009 I'll be happy.

Dez. 18, 2008, 6:08pm

Fantastic! I easily made 100 this year and have retired just a little over a month ago, so my reading time will increase in 09. Still, I'm setting a goal of 125. I like your idea though of being a bit flexible about it.

Dez. 30, 2008, 7:04pm

Glad you are joining us in the new year, graeruby!

Bearbeitet: Jan. 2, 2009, 2:52am

1. How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill (New)

This book was okay, I guess. It was a little too schmaltzy and heavy on what felt like Starbucks propaganda a lot of the time. The name-dropping from the author's pre-Starbucks life was annoying at times and some of the flashbacks seemed unnecessary. Also, there was a gross abuse of italics.

One thing that I did like though was how Gill portrayed the blue-collar job and the people he worked with. I picked up the book initially because I thought that the idea of a high-powered executive who found himself down on his luck and working at Starbucks was interesting. That aspect of the book was enough to keep me reading and enjoying the book, despite all of the other issues I had with it.

Overall: Not a book that's going to be added to my favorites list anytime soon, but it definitely wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 5, 2009, 1:41am

2. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (New)

I have to admit, this is a book that at first I didn't think I liked. The main characters are Cat (a half-vampire who hunts vampires) and Bones (the vampire who trains her). It took about half the novel before I could get past the similarities to the characters of Buffy and Spike from BtVS. (The Bones-Spike comparison was by far the worst since both are platinum-haired vampires from London.) The beginning of the book also felt rushed to me as though Frost was trying to do too much by setting up the relationship between Cat and Bones and also setting the stage for the eventual plot of the book.

Despite all of my initial problems with it, the book evened out about halfway through. The eventual plot was interesting, if not groundbreaking for the romantic/urban fantasy/vampire genre. The ending was obviously set up to continue on into a series and interested me enough to go out and buy the next book in the series.

Overall: I wouldn't put Frost up with my favorite urban fantasy authors (currently: Kelley Armstrong and Patricia Briggs), but I thought this book was significantly better than a lot of other genre-similar books that are currently being published, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 6, 2009, 3:25am

3. One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (New)

Jan. 6, 2009, 3:25am

4. At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost (New)

Jan. 20, 2009, 11:52pm

5. Simon Says by Lori Foster (New)

It was a somewhat lame, badly written, predictable romance novel, but at least it got me out of the reading slump I've been in lately.

Jan. 22, 2009, 3:23pm

6. True Betrayals by Nora Roberts (Re-Read)

Jan. 27, 2009, 7:33pm

7. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (New)

Jan. 27, 2009, 8:57pm

>10 aslikeanarnian: I read The Warrior Heir and its sequels last year. What did you think of this book?

Jan. 31, 2009, 6:39am

>11 ronincats: I really enjoyed it. I was in the mood for a light, easy, and entertaining read and it fit the bill. I do with that the author had maybe fleshed out the society of the wizards and warriors and enchanters and etc. a little more, but I'm willing to wait and see if that happens in the sequel.

Basically, for a YA genre novel, I thought it was pretty good. Not the best, but I'd recommend it. What did you think of it?

Bearbeitet: Feb. 6, 2009, 5:31pm

8. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (New)

I really, really enjoyed this book. The first half dragged a bit and the second half seemed rushed, but I didn't have many problems overlooking those issues so I could enjoy the book. I enjoyed how the story was told like an old-fashioned fairy tale. The writing focuses a little more on the plot than on the characters, but I think it worked.

I love all of the extras connected with the book. Included inside the book is a collection of artwork--drawings of the characters which come together to make the outlandish things Beddor writes about a little more real. Also, if you go to the book's website there's some really amazing music inspired by the story and characters. I thought it was worth mentioning because I personally enjoy it when I can enter the world of a book I enjoy through different mediums than just text.

Overall: A great, well-written YA book that I would recommend to readers of all ages. Probably the most original book I've read all year.

Jan. 31, 2009, 12:55pm

I liked The Warrior Heir too. I thought it was fairly original and well-written and entertaining. The society does get fleshed out more in the two following books. I would say this series is a good YA series, but won't necessarily translate into adult literature because the latter two books do have a great deal of teen angst in them. However, Cinda handles it well, and I suspect she and these books will be around for quite a while.

What did you think of The Looking Glass Wars? I reread Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass last summer in preparation for reading this, and it is STILL sitting in my TBR pile.

Jan. 31, 2009, 1:33pm

That's good to hear, I'll have to pick up the next book sometime soon. Too bad the third one is still in hardcover...I don't buy books until they're out in paperback.

I absolutely loved it. I'm working on a review right now that I'm going to add sometime today or tomorrow (probably tomorrow considering I work all afternoon today), but the short version is that I thought it was amazing. It had this sort of...old-timey fairy tale quality that I wasn't expecting at all. It took me a little bit to adjust to that, but once I did I really got into it. I've been in this strange reading funk all this month where I've been reading a bit out of obligation as opposed to actually enjoying what I've been reading, but this was the first book that made me go: "Oh yeah! This is why I like to read!" It wasn't a perfect book by any means, but I was able to overlook any of the problems I had with it.

Jan. 31, 2009, 1:43pm

Nice to know. I'll await your full review with bated breath and move The Looking Glass Wars up on my TBR mound.

Feb. 6, 2009, 5:58pm

9. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Re-Read)

Feb. 8, 2009, 3:04am

10. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (Re-Read)

Feb. 8, 2009, 11:21am

11. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (Re-Read)

Feb. 13, 2009, 2:28pm

12. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (Re-Read)

I love this book. If I were forced to pick a favorite book (a task that seems impossible) I would probably choose this one. This is a book that understands me when I feel the most misunderstood by everyone I know. It's comforting when I most need to be comforted.

Feb. 13, 2009, 3:03pm

A Grief Observed is my favourite book. Which usually means a conversation in which someone asks me what my favourite book is, goes in directions they really didn't intend it to. It's the most honest, most human piece of writing I've ever engaged with.

Feb. 21, 2009, 4:45pm

13. Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut

Everything I've ever read of Vonnegut's reads so differently than pretty much everything else on my bookshelf. I really enjoy his non-linear style of storytelling. I didn't like this book as much as I liked some of his other books, but I still thought it was fantastic.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 23, 2009, 6:36pm

14. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

This book was like...reading a piece of art. (I suppose this is ironic because I totally only bought it because I liked the cover.) The writing was lyrical and perfect for an old-school fantasy/fairy tale. I've never actually seen the movie so I can't make any plot comparisons, but I can't imagine liking the movie more.

I thought there was a good balance between the serious storyline of the last unicorn trying to find others of her kind and the parts that I found to be laugh-out-loud funny. I love it when characters in a fairy tale are aware of the fact that they live in a fairy tale world which is how this book is written.

It reminds me a lot of Stardust by Neil Gaiman, so if you've read that and liked it I think you'd like this and vice-versa.

Overall: I think that anyone who likes fantasy should like this book. I certainly did.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 23, 2009, 6:36pm

15. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I love Neil Gaiman.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way...this was a fantastic book. It was funny and serious and deliciously creepy and I loved pretty much everything about it. I thought it was awesome how much of the world Gaiman tells the reader about without actually saying "this is how things are." There are a lot of things you can figure out by inference by the end of the book and that really worked well for this particular novel.

Also? the illustrations are awesome and totally add all sorts of awesomeness to the book.

Overall: I totally get why this book has gotten so many positive reviews and why it won the Newberry Award. I can't wait until it comes out in paperback so I can buy it.

Feb. 23, 2009, 12:05pm

And what did you think of your last two? Definitely some classy fantasy there!

Feb. 27, 2009, 5:08pm

16. The Warlord's Daughter by Susan Grant

Feb. 27, 2009, 5:09pm

17. Promises In Death by J.D. Robb

I think it's pretty impressive how much I look forward to a new Eve Dallas book to come out. Especially considering that this was the 28th book in the series. I've been reading this series since high school and it's one of the few from back then that I still enjoy at the same level as I always have. I know there's nothing particularly groundbreaking about it, and I'm not deluded enough to think that it's an example of literary genius, but as far as comfort reading goes, this series is up at the top for me.

I felt like this had a fairly even balance of focus between Eve's personal life and her case. I really liked that Morris, the medical examiner was the minor character that Robb decided to highlight this novel. He's one of my favorite minor characters, and I always like it when I get to see more of him.

Every time a new book in this series comes out, I have to say once again how much I love that this series is following a relationship after whatever it was that originally brought the couple together. As a reader who is interested in characters first and plot second it's really cool to have the insight into both the major and minor characters that 28 books has given me.

Overall: This wasn't one of my favorites in the series either in terms of the mystery or the view the reader is given into Eve's personal life, but it is exactly what I want and expect from a book in this series and so I'm pleased with it.

Mrz. 1, 2009, 3:12am

18. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Mrz. 8, 2009, 4:24am

19. Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen

Mrz. 8, 2009, 4:25am

20. Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop

Mrz. 20, 2009, 2:46am

21. The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop

Apr. 11, 2009, 2:13pm

22. Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

23. Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop

24. Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop

25. Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop

26. TwoWay Street by Lauren Barnholdt

27. Tribute by Nora Roberts

28. The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

29. Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld

Mai 5, 2009, 11:19pm

Did you enjoy Westerfeld's Midnighters series - I just got my 12yr old daughter to read the first one and she loved it. I like all his books and thought this series was quite fun to read with some neat ideas in it.