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Ludmilla's 2009 Reading List

What have you read in 2009? Post your list here and update it as you go along! (One thread per member, please.)
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Ludmilla
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Posts: 1345
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Fri July 31st, 2009, 1:35 pm

July Reading
Travel Light, Naomi Mitchison (Fairy tale with elements from Norse myth & legend)
The Corn King and the Spring Queen, Naomi Mitchison (Mythic-Historical, 228-187 BC, from Scythia to Sparta under Kleomenes III to Ptolemaic Egypt)
Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey (SF/F)
Bog Child, Siobhan Dowd (2009 Carnegie Medalist)
A Signal Victory : A Novel of the Last Days of the Maya & Their Strange Adopted Son, David Stacton (Historical with a definite, philosophical bent, Spanish Conquest of the Maya, Yucatan, 1511-1536)
Riders of the Storm, Julie Czerneda (SF, book 2 of the Stratification trilogy)
Rift in the Sky, Julie Czerneda (SF, book 3 of the Stratification trilogy)
A Thousand Words for Stranger, Julie Czerneda (SF, book 1 of the Trade Pact trilogy)
The River Wife, Jonis Agee (Historical, life on the MS River along MO's boot heel, 1811-1930s)
Last edited by Ludmilla on Fri July 31st, 2009, 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1345
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Mon August 31st, 2009, 8:41 pm

August Reading
Ties of Power, Julie Czerneda (Adventurous SF, book 2 of a trilogy)
To Trade the Stars, Julie Czerneda (Adventurous SF, book 3 of a trilogy)
Before Adam, Jack London (Speculative Fiction, boy dreams of a past-day race experience during the Mid-Pleistocene)
Morning Girl, Michael Dorris (Fiction, Juvenile, Pre-Columbian life; more snapshot than story, but beautiful and poetic writing style)
Enemy Women, Paulette Jiles(Fiction, Historical, American Civil War, Missouri)
Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War, Tony Horwitz (NF, History, American Civil War; turns into a commentary about bigotry and southern culture)
My Antonia, Willa Cather (Fiction, Prairie Life, late 19th Century, Nebraska)
Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (Fiction, Historical, American Civil War, Blue Ridge Mountains)
Hallam's War, Elizabeth Payne Rosen (Fiction, Historical, American Civil War, Western Tennessee, Battle of Shiloh, 1859 - 1863)
Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea, Noah Andre Trudeau (NF, American Civil War, 1864, Georgia)
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather (Fiction, American West, New Mexico, mid-19th Century)
Last edited by Ludmilla on Thu September 3rd, 2009, 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1345
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Wed September 30th, 2009, 1:28 pm

September Reading
Company of Liars, Karen Maitland (Fiction, Middle Ages, England, 14th Century, Plague Literature, HFO August Book of the Month) 4/5 stars
A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, Stacy Schiff (NF, US History, Franklin's years in France from 1776 - 1785) Took me two weeks to read, but worth it. Interesting depiction of French courtier scene at that time. 4/5 stars
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield (Fiction, 20th Century, England, Mystery with Gothic overtones) A page-turner. 3.5/5
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Fiction, Contemporary with historical flashbacks to Medieval Germany, Psychological) Loved this one! Will definitely be interested in checking out future Davidson releases. 4.5/5
The Red Tree, Caitlin Kiernan (Fiction, Psychological Horror, Rhode Island) Loved it; one of those books that could easily fall through the cracks and deserves more notice than it's getting. If you like haunting novels where there's doubt about what is real and what is in the mind, I highly recommend this one. Don't be fooled by the Urban Fantasy cover; it's more sophisticated than the cover would suggest. 4.5/5
The Magnificent Ambersons, Booth Tarkington (Fiction, 1919 Pulitzer Prize Winner, turn of the 20th century about the social changes that occurred during the end of the Second Industrial Revolution) This was a re-read; although the writing style and dialogue might feel old-fashioned, the themes stand up very well. 4/5
Ghost Story, Peter Straub (Fiction, Horror, small town New York) Good page turner, creepy atmosphere, with a large cast of characters--becomes a bit unwieldy as it jumps from one character to the next. 3.5/5
The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff (Fiction, Family History, Templeton serves as an analogue for Cooperstown, NY) This was a fun read. Enjoyed the family history (loved the insertion of family photos) and quirky oddness of it; there's humor too. 4/5
Last edited by Ludmilla on Wed September 30th, 2009, 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludmilla
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Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Tue November 3rd, 2009, 2:34 pm

October Reading -- not really a lot of historical fiction this month
His Excellency: George Washington, Joseph J. Ellis (NF, US Presidents, Biography) 4 stars
Martha Washington: An American Life, Patricia Brady (NF, First Wives, Biography) 4 stars
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (Fiction, Children's, 2009 Newbery Medalist) 3.5 stars. Good, even charming, but not quite up to my expectations for Gaiman.
Odd and the Frost Giants (Fiction, Children's, Norse mythology) 4 stars. Probably geared for the younger half of the 8-12 bracket but can be enjoyed by all ages.
Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger (Fiction) 4 stars.
The Innkeeper's Song, Peter S. Beagle (Fiction, Fantasy) 3.5 stars. Good, but the writing style put me off a little; however, I'm still interested in his collection of stories set in this world.
The Underneath, Kathi Appelt (Fiction, Children's, 2009 Newbery Honor book) 4.5 stars. I loved this book, thought it was better than Gaiman's, in fact, and probably the strongest of this year's Newberys.
Jamaica Inn, Daphne du Maurier (Fiction, Gothic, Historical, Cornwall) 4 stars
Teattro Grottesco, Thomas Ligotti (Short Stories, Horror) 4 stars. Trippy, Lovecraftian and Kafka-esque.
Ice Land, Betsy Tobin (Fiction, Iceland, Norse mythology) 4 stars. I'm guessing I liked it better than Misfit. :D
Flesh and Spirit, Carol Berg (Fiction, Fantasy, book 1 of a duology that won this year's Mythopoeic award) 4 stars.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Tue November 3rd, 2009, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludmilla
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Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Sat November 28th, 2009, 3:20 pm

November Reading

Breath and Bone by Carol Berg (Fiction, Fantasy, book 2 of a duology that won this year's Mythopoeic award) 4 stars.

Harold the King by Helen Hollick (Fiction, Historical, 11th Century, Norman Conquest) 3 stars. Good historical detail but I wasn't keen on the characterizations and some of the dialogue drove me batty.

The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley (Fiction, Historical, Greenland settlement between 1340s and early 15th century) 5 stars. Instantly went to my top 10 favorites list. I love the cadence and spare tone of the sagas, and Smiley doesn't miss a beat in this one.

Giants in the Earth by O.E. Rolvaag (Fiction, Historical, US, 1870s, Dakota Territory, Immigrant Pioneers) 4 stars.

Gosta Berling's Saga by Selma Lagerlof (Fiction, Sweden, 1820s) 4 stars. Fans of silent films might already be familiar with the story, as the 1924 film starred a young Greta Garbo. Lagerlof was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. I like the way she weaves legends of place with sparkling descriptions of the landscape in her work.

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier (Fiction, Fairy tale inspired Fantasy) 3.5 stars.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Mon December 21st, 2009, 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Ludmilla
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Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Fri December 11th, 2009, 2:37 pm

December Reading
Hawaii by James Michener (Fiction, Time Sweep) Panoramic sweep through Hawaii's history. After the opening vignette where the Polynesian settle in Hawaii during the 800s, the main action fast forwards to the 1820s through 1950s. My favorite character was the Chinese woman (Wu Chow's Auntie) who lived to the ripe, old age of 106. 4 stars.

A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz (Fiction, Juvenile/YA) A young orphan is adopted by three, elderly women running a spiritualist scam in 1909. A decent read for kids the right age (10-14), but fairly predictable for jaded adults. 3.5 stars

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (NF, Exploration, the Pacific voyages of Captain Cook) 4 stars.

In Siberia by Colin Thubron (NF, Travel Literature, Siberia) 4 stars.

The Outlander by Gil Adamson (Fiction, early 1900s, Canadian Wilderness, Journeys) 4 stars.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Fri January 1st, 2010, 2:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: updated for end of year.

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