Random (but not really)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Books of November

As I was late in posting most of the individual reviews, it seems about right I’m late in posting the monthly wrap-up. Winter is a lovely time for reading. And even more reading is done when the weather is too crappy to go hiking.

I stumbled across a new series that I thoroughly enjoyed this month: Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes. The books are as silly as you’d expect from the title, but they’re also charming and sweet and quite a bit of fun. If you like supernatural fantasy, I highly recommend checking this out.

I also got the follow-up to The Gentleman’s Guide…The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, and it was FANTASTIC. It’s not romance (even though the first book was an LGBT romance), and unlike the first book, there are fantastic elements. It’s a story of friendship and being who you are. It’s marvelous.

I also enjoyed KJ Charles’ Band Sinister, which is an historical LGBT romance, and is a bit like Georgette Heyer’s Venetia, but also very much not.

Fantasy, Supernatural

Fred the Vampire Accountant
The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (2014) Drew Hayes (8/10)
Undeath & Taxes (2015) Drew Hayes (8/10)
Bloody Acquisitions (2016) Drew Hayes (8/10)
The Fangs of Freelance (2017) Drew Hayes
Deadly Assessments (2018) Drew Hayes (8/10)
Very Important Corpses (2017) Simon R. Green (Ishmael Jones)
Diamond Fire (2018) Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy)

Fantasy, YA

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (2018) Mackenzi Lee (9/10)
Midnight Hour (2016) C. C. Hunter (Shadow Falls)

Mystery, Historical

Treacherous Is the Night (2018) Anna Lee Huber (8/10) (Verity Kent)
Inspector Hannasyde
Death in the Stocks (1935) Georgette Heyer
Behold, Here’s Poison (1936) Georgette Heyer
They Found Him Dead (1937) Georgette Heyer
The Raven in the Foregate (1986) Ellis Peters (Brother Cadfael)
The Duke’s Gambit (2018) Tracy Grant (Melanie & Charles Rannoch)

Romance, Historical

Not Quite a Husband (2009) Sherry Thomas

Romance, LGBT

Band Sinister (2018) K.J. Charles (8/10)
Wanted, a Gentleman (2018) K.J. Charles
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score (2018) Cat Sebastian

Audio Books

Rivers of London
Midnight Riot, Audio Edition (2011/2012) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (10/10)
Moon Over Soho, Audio Edition (2011/2012) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (9/10)
Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tooth, Audio Edition (2006/2008) Simon R. Green narrated by Marc Vietor (9/10) (Nightside)
Dead Men’s Boots, Audio Edition (2007/2009) Mike Carey narrated by Michael Kramer (8/10) (Felix Castor)

As usual, eBooks lead the day, but I finished four audio books.

eBook: 19
Audio: 4
Multiple Formats: 4
Re-read: 6

Pretty evenly split this month.

Fantasy: 12
Mystery: 10
Romance: 11
YA: 2

Women are still ahead as far as author gender. Including pseudonyms, I’ve read about 70% female authors this year. Not my highest percentage ever, but definitely up there.

Male: 10
Female: 10
Initials: 1
Male Pseudonym: 1
Joint: 1

And those are the books of November.

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Friday, November 2, 2018

The Books of October

How is it November already?

I read some good books, and I also–for me–read a number of really awful books, including one DNF (did not finish). But let’s talk about the good ones!

Pyromantic by Lish McBride is a book I’d been holding off reading, because I tend to love her books, and so was saving it for unknown reasons. It’s a good book, and a good series, and now I want to go back and read the Necromancer series.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee surprised me. I initially had a very difficult time starting it, because the main character was kind of an annoying git. But then you discover more about him, and learn why he drinks so much, and suddenly I was halfway through the story and completely pulled in.

I’m also quite enjoying listening to Simon Green’s Nightside series. Marc Vietor is not an amazing narrator, but he’s solid and he does a good job with it. Plus, I’d forgotten how much I love this series.

So here’s what I read. You can see there were several books I REALLY did NOT like.

Mystery, Historical

An Excellent Mystery (1985) Ellis Peters (Rating: 7.5/10) (Brother Cadfael)
Malcolm and Melanie Rannoch
Mission for a Queen
(2016) Tracy Grant (Rating: 7.5/10)
Gilded Deceit (2017) Tracy Grant (Rating: 8/10)
Midwinter Intrigue
(2017) Tracy Grant (Rating: 6/10)

Romance, Historical

His at Night (2010) Sherry Thomas (Rating: 7/10)
The Luckiest Lady in London
(2013) Sherry Thomas (Rating: 7.5/10)
Lord of Scoundrels (1994) Loretta Chase (Rating: 8/10)
Captives of the Night
(1994) Loretta Chase (Rating: 7.5/10)
Let Me Be The One
(2002,2015) Jo Goodman (Rating: 7.5/10)
A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis
(2012) Jillian Stone (Rating: 4/10)
A Code of Love  (2014) Jacki Delecki (Rating: 1.25/10)
DNF: An Indecent Invitation
by Laura Trentham

Romance, LGBT
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (2017) Mackenzi Lee (Rating: 8/10)
Unmasked by the Marquess (2018) Cat Sebastian (Rating: 5.5/10)

Fantasy, Supernatural

Pyromantic (2017) Lish McBride (Rating: 9/10) (Firebug)
(2012) Alex Hughes (Rating: 5.5/10)

Audio Books
Nightingale’s Lament, Audio Edition
(2004/2008) Simon R Green narrated by Marc Vietor (Rating: 8/10)
Hex and the City, Audio Edition (2005/2008) Simon R Green narrated by Marc Vietor (Rating: 8/10)
Paths Not Taken, Audio Edition (2005/2008) Simon R Green narrated by Marc Vietor (Rating: 7/10)
Vicious Circle, Audio Edition (2006/2008) Mike Carey narrated by Michael Kramer (Rating: 8/10) (Felix Castor)

And the stats!

eBook: 15
Audio: 4
Multiple Formats: 4
Re-read: 6

Lots of ebooks, fewer audio books, mostly because of the stupid rain.

Fantasy: 6
Mystery: 13
Romance: 9

Majority mystery this month, but quite a few romances in there (that category had the books I REALLY disliked).

Male: 5
Female: 12
Male Pseudonym: 2

Males continue to fall behind in my reading material, and sadly, the romance that I finshed off by hate-reading, was written by a guy. The romance was terrible, but the mystery was ALSO terrible, so theoretically it doesn’t mean that guys can’t write romance. But it really was awful.

And those were the books of October!

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Best Lack All Conviction, While the Worst Are Full of Passionate Intensity

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
— W. B. Yeats (1919)

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Categories: Books & Reading,Politics  

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Books of September

Here we are! The books of September!

Most of the best books I read this month were LGBT historical Romances (with boinking), so take that into consideration.
Non-boinking-wise, I’m still re-reading the Brother Cadfael series, which I truly love and highly recommend, and I finally finished listening to the Raven Boys series, which I also love and highly recommend.

Audio Books

Agents Of Light And Darkness, Audio Edition (2003/2008) Simon R. Green narrated by Marc Vietor  : 8/10 (Nightside)
The Raven King, Audio Edition (2016) Maggie Stiefvater narrated by Will Thomas  : 10/10 (Raven Boys)

Romance, Historical

Cotillion (1953) Georgette Heyer  : 8.5/10
Venetia (1958) Georgette Heyer   : 8/10
The Reluctant Widow
(1946) Georgette Heyer  : 8/10
A Week to Be Wicked
(2012) Tessa Dare  : 7.5/10
Wicked Intentions
(2010) Elizabeth Hoyt  : 7/10
The Richmond Thief
(2017) Lisa Boero   : 6/10

Romance, LGBT

Spectred Isle (2017) K. J. Charles  : 8/10 (Green Men)
Unfit to Print (2018) K. J. Charles  : 8/10
Society of Gentleman
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh (2015) K. J. Charles
A Fashionable Indulgence (2016) K. J. Charles  : 8/10
A Seditious Affair
(2016) K. J. Charles  : 8.5/10
A Gentleman’s Position
(2016) K. J. Charles  : 7/10

Mystery, Historical

A Treacherous Curse (2018) Deanna Raybourn   : 7.5/10 (Veronica Speedwell)
Brother Cadfael
Dead Man’s Ransom
(1984) Ellis Peters  : 8/10
The Pilgrim of Hate
(1984) Ellis Peters  : 8.5/10

No paper this month, and fewer audio books, as I spent far less time in the kitchen.

eBook: 15
Audio: 2
Multiple Formats: 5
Re-read: 6

Genere-wise, not much fantasy this month, and heavy on the romance, mostly because I can’t stomach anything depressing or too dark right now. With romance, at least I know I’ll get a HEA.

Fantasy: 3
Mystery: 5
Romance: 12
YA: 1

Simon R. Green was the only male author I read this month, but I read as many books where the author was hiding behind a male pseudonym or initials as I did by authors with straight-up female names. Take that as you will.

Male: 1
Female: 8
Initials: 6
Male Pseudonym: 2

And that’s the month of September in books!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Books of August

It’s too hot to get excited, even though I do have some excellent books here. And some not so excellent books, as I had one DNF and two books I disliked.

I’m slowly re-reading Brother Cadfael, which is an historical mystery series set in the England – Wales border in the 1130s. I love these stories.

I finished Marie Brennan‘s Lady Trent series, which was utterly marvelous. You really need to check out these books–and give them to a fantasy-loving young person in your life.

Historical Fantasy

Within the Sanctuary of Wings (2017) Marie Brennan (9.5/10) (The Memoirs of Lady Trent)

I’m listening to the Raven Boys series, which I adore and which breaks my heart. I love this series, and Will Paton does a marvelous job with the narration. This is a YA series, but everyone should read it. Really.

I read one very good historical romance series, the Haverston Family series by Alissa Johnson. These are boinking books, but I do love her storytelling.

Historical Mystery

Brother Cadfael
Monk’s Hood (1980) Ellis Peters
Saint Peter’s Fair (1981) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Leper of Saint Giles (1981) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Virgin in the Ice (1982) Ellis Peters (8/10)
The Sanctuary Sparrow (1983) Ellis Peters (8.5/10)
The Devil’s Novice (1983) Ellis Peters (8.5/10)

Historical Romance

Haverston Family
Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson (8.5/10)
An Unexpected Gentleman (2011) Alissa Johnson (8/10)
Practically Wicked (2016) Alissa Johnson (8.5/10)
The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke (2017) Tessa Dare (7/10)
Widdershins (2012) Jordan L. Hawk (7/10)
Lord of Secrets (2013) Alyssa Everett (6.5/10)
The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter (2018) Mimi Matthews (6.5/10)
Dreaming of You (1994) Lisa Kleypas (5.5/10)
Silent Revenge (2012) Laura Landon (4/10)
Six Impossible Things: DNF (2017) Elizabeth Boyle

Audio Books

Raven Boys
The Raven Boys, Audio Edition (2012) Maggie Stiefvater narrated by Will Patton (9.5/10)
The Dream Thieves, Audio Edition (2013) Maggie Stiefvater narrated by Will Patton (10/10)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Audio Version (2014) Maggie Stiefvater narrated by Will Patton (10/10)
The Devil You Know, Audio Edition (2006/2007) Mike Carey narrated by Michael Kramer (8/10) (Felix Castor)
Something from the Nightside, Audio Book (2003/2008) Simon R. Green narrated by Marc Vietor (7.5/10) (Nightside)
A Deeper Sleep, Audio Version (2007) Dana Stabenow narrated by Bernadette Dunne (8.5/10) (Kate Shugak)
Silence Fallen, Audio Edition (2017) Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King and George Newbern (7/10) (Mercy Thompson)

And now: the stats!

More reading time than expected, because it was hot, and because Michael’s work was crazy busy, so we didn’t get much hiking in this month.

Lots of ebooks this week, five of which I also own as e-books and/or paper books. And a lot of re-reads, partially due to the audio books, and partially because I needed something I knew I’d like to wind down at the end of the day.

eBook : 16
Audio : 7
Multiple Formats : 5
Re-read : 14

Genre-wise, this is an odd and oddly even split.

Fantasy : 8
Mystery : 8
Romance : 8
YA : 4

Sorry guys, women are still leading the pack of authors I’m in the mood to read.

Male : 2
Female : 14
Male Pseudonym : 6

And those are the books of August!

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Books of July

It’s that time! Although I got birthday books, I also have been listening to a lot of audio, so not as many new reads as I’d expect.

Some of my favorite books of the month were the next two entries in Marie Brennan’s Memoirs of Lady Trent series: Voyage of the Basilisk (Rating: 8.5/10) and In the Labyrinth of Drakes (Rating: 8.5/10). This series is fantastic. You really should check it out, and then give it to any aspiring natural historians or research scientists in your life.

Fantasy, Supernatural

Mercy Thompson
Night Broken (2014) Patricia Briggs
Fire Touched (2016) Patricia Briggs (Rating: 8/10)

Mystery, Historical

The Alienist (1994) Caleb Carr (Rating: 8.5/10)
Brother Cadfael
One Corpse Too Many (1979) Ellis Peters (Rating: 8.5/10)
A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) Ellis Peters (Rating: 8/10)

Fantasy, Historical

Memoirs of Lady Trent
Voyage of the Basilisk (2015) Marie Brennan (Rating: 8.5/10)
In the Labyrinth of Drakes (2016) Marie Brennan (Rating: 8.5/10)

Audio Books

Mercy Thompson
Silver Borne, Audio Edition (2010) Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King
River Marked, Audio Edition (2011) Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King
Frost Burned, Audio Edition (2013) Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King
Alpha & Omega
Dead Heat, Audio Version (2015) Patricia Briggs narrated by Holter Graham
Fair Game, Audio Edition (2012) Patricia Briggs narrated by Holter Graham (Rating: 8/10)
Burn Bright, Audio Version (2018) Patricia Briggs narrated by Holter Graham (Rating: 7.5/10)

The Stats! The Stats!

eBook: 7
Audio: 6
Multiple Formats: 2
Re-read: 11

As I said, a lot of audio books this month, all of which were re-reads. And for bedtime reading I started re-reading the Brother Cadfael series. It’s good and I can read it at any time, but it shouldn’t keep me awake reading when I need to sleep. And note about the multiple formats–those are books I own in multiple formats. I borrowed most of the audio books from the library, because I don’t like the narration enough to own them.

Fantasy: 10
Mystery: 3
Romance: 3
YA: 2

Mostly fantasy this month.

Male: 1
Female: 10
Male Pseudonym: 2

And male authors were all but missing this month. More than twice the number of female authors as male so far this year.

And those are the books of July!

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Friday, July 6, 2018

The Books of June

It’s time for the books of June! We started repainting the (inside of the) house, so that ate up a fair amount of time. And then the month ended with hanging out with small people, so less reading than previous months (but still not shabby).

Some of the better books I read were Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint, which is the first Newford anthology. And I particularly liked The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian which is the sequel to The Lawrence Browne Affair and one of the heroes was a rather unlikable prig when he made his appearance in that book, so it gets kudos for changing my mind about him. (Cat Sebastian writes M/M historicals, so they’re NOT for everyone, but I quite like the twist that gives to the relationship, in that the men have to trust each other to some degree, and a long term relationship is never expected, since the relationship was illegal.)

Fantasy, Urban

Dreams Underfoot (1993) Charles de Lint Rating: 8.5/10

Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery

By the Sword (1991) Mercedes Lackey  Rating: 8/10

Historical Mystery

Lady Helena Investigates (2018) Jane Steen  Rating: 8/10
The Service of the Dead (2016) Candace Robb Rating: 7/10
DNF: A Lady in the Smoke (2016) Karen Odden DNF

Historical Romance

The Lawrence Browne Affair (2017) Cat Sebastian Rating: 8/10
The Ruin of a Rake (2017) Cat Sebastian Rating: 8.5/10

Audio Books

Mercy Thompson
Blood Bound, Audio Edition (2007/2009) Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King Rating: 7/10
Iron Kissed, Audio Version (2008) Patricia Briggs
Bone Crossed, Audible Edition (2009) Patricia Briggs narrated by Lorelei King Rating: 8/10
Alpha & Omega
Cry Wolf, Audible Edition (2008) Patricia Briggs narrated by Holter Graham  Rating: 8/10
Hunting Ground, Audible Edition (2009) Patricia Briggs narrated by Holter Graham Rating: 8/10

And now: THE STATS!!!!!

Of the 11 books I finished (no matter what percent I complete, a DNF doesn’t count) it was split pretty evenly between e books and audio books. Lots of listening while painting the house. And lots of re-reads (unsurprising with 5 audio books).

eBook: 6
Audio: 5
Multiple Formats: 2
Re-read: 7

Split mostly between fantasy and romance this month (remember, books can fall into multiple categories, so there were romances with fantasy elements)

Fantasy: 7
Mystery: 2
Romance: 6

Male authors fell way behind in June, dropping them to 31% for the year.

Male: 1
Female: 10

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