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EMR's book list 2012

Keep track of what you read in 2012. One thread per member, please.
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Post by emr » Fri September 7th, 2012, 7:47 pm

August 2012

100. Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1) by Stacia Kane (4/5)
Good world building, credible characters, action non stop from the first page. My only question is how can Chess even move from the sofa consuming all those pills but hey this is fantasy ;) I like it and I'll be getting the next books.
101. I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio de Giovanni (3.5/5)
Ricciardi is a commissario in Napoles in the 30s and he can see ghosts. Mystery + ghosrs. I love those. And I love that the book is short. It's like watching an old italian movie.
102. Eye of the Red Tsar (Inspector Pekkala #1) by Sam Eastland (4/5)
Compared to Tom Rob Smith's books this one is lacking the feeling of paranoia in a society where everybody is watching you. This is more like an attempt to create a Russian hero survivor of the pre comunist Russia.
103. Misterioso by Arne Dahl (3/5)
104. The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas (5/5)
You know? This book reminded me a little of The World, the Flesh and the Devil one of my all time favorites. The "I made a vow" part... Anyway, great characters, nice story, interesting to learn a bit about flowers and folklore. I want a puppy like that :D
105. Cold Granite (Logan McRae, #1) by Stuart MacBride (4/5)
106. The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1) by Karen White (3/5)
Where to start?
First: editor. Is it that difficult or expensive to find one? The book is full of inconsistencies like drinks changing from one minute to the next or they being in the car and next line somewhere else.
And she complains about losing sight, (in a word she can’t see an elephant if it steps on her toe) but refuses to wear glasses. Still, that’s not a problem to read all kind of letters, diaries and articles.
I won’t comment on the order in which they start the restoration of the house. **cries** And where did the pigeons infestation go??

Second: Our heroine. Did the author pick a book on Psychology and dump on her half a dozen random mental problems? To make her… what? More real? Not by a long shot. Melanie is one of those people who can’t see or say anything positive. Everything is old or dirty, or cracked, or expensive to keep, or an annoyance. She is in permanent denial. She is obsessive compulsive. She can’t stay in a chair without some nervous tick. She is a compulsive liar… But hey, most of her problems go away in around 250 pages and she even descends from her cloud to buy her first pair of jeans. She is 39 by the way. You should read the part of her weeding the garden wearing heels and pearls.
And. She judges men by their taste in tailoring. (!!!)

OK I had to say all that because she kept reminding me of a series of people I’ve known and disliked in my life. I’ve met the always negative person. I’ve met and got wearied of the compulsive liar. I’ve met the person who thinks everything old is crap. I don’t want to read about any of them.
The paranormal part: Melanie sees ghosts but denies it all the time even although everybody around her knows it. I think she doesn’t deserve those friends who can ignore her lies. Of course when she is lied to she has a one week tantrum. :0 I liked how the ghosts walk around. And I loved her grandmother still phoning her after 34 years in the cemetery. Cool :)

The mystery part: Very good. It kept me wondering to the last page. It saves the book and now I’m curious about the next one. 3 stars.
107. The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers.com, #1) by Suzanne McLeod (4/5)
Little surprise at the end. Vamps sexy and scary. I only have 2 problems with this book: the first person pov and scenes being way too long. Still, quite good.
108. Pure by Andrew Miller (4/5)
I'm not very fond of present tense but I recon this time it makes a good work of pulling you to the now. Now being a very unhealthy part of Paris in 1785 where it stood the Innocents Cemetery. A young and utopian engineer is charged with the task to make it disappear. Through the book you see him change, mature, grow. I didn't get the last scene though. I guess it's the consequence of all the graffiti but I'm clueless about what was happening.
109. The Merry Misogynist (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #6) by Colin Cotterill (4/5)
110. The Snowman by Jo Nesbø (5/5)
What a ride. I'm glad I've read this in August or I'd be having nightmares with snowmen for months :0
111. Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2) by Jasper Fforde (5/5)
112. Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (2/5)
I think I get it. A private secretary conducts research, writes drafts and produces reports while a mere secretary is only a typist. But they don’t allow women as private secretaries doing research, writing drafts and producing reports because men are better at conducting research, writing drafts and producing reports. So women only type. They don’t have to conduct research, write drafts and produce reports. **groans
First half of the book was tedious and repetitive. Second half gets more action. Characters are two dimensional. I could care less what happened to them. There are several mysteries mixed here and of course Maggie solves all of them besides giving a lesson in aeronautics, cryptography and topping it with disabling a bomb.
Would a woman in 1940 confess to an abortion to a big circle of friends?

113. Kill You Twice (Gretchen Lowell, #5) by Chelsea Cain (5/5)
I am completely hooked with this series. Her characters are so tridimensional they jump out of the book.
114. Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler (3/5)
115. The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt (4/5)
116. The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) by Jasper Fforde (4/5)
117. The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire, #5) by Craig Johnson (4/5)
118. Kings of Morning (The Macht, #3) by Paul Kearney (4/5)
Since the first 2 books ended in tragedy I wasn't expecting this one to have a hea. And it sounds too close to Alexander's history. Not the best of the 3 but the trilogy is still worth reading.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri September 7th, 2012, 8:38 pm

[104. The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas (5/5)
You know? This book reminded me a little of The World, the Flesh and the Devil one of my all time favorites. The "I made a vow" part... Anyway, great characters, nice story, interesting to learn a bit about flowers and folklore. I want a puppy like that :D ]
We must have similar tastes, EMR, I positively LOVED the World the Flesh, and the Devil, -- I even bought a hardbound copy to replace the mm paperback I read it in. Also loved the Flower Reader.

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Post by emr » Sun November 18th, 2012, 8:19 pm

September 2012

119. The Absent One (Department Q, #2) by Jussi Adler-Olsen (4/5)
120. TimeRiders (TimeRiders, #1) by Alex Scarrow (4/5)
121. A Body in Berkeley Square (Captain Lacey, #5) by Ashley Gardner (4/5)
122. The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney (3/5)
But but but... Who was the father?????
Half this book kept me convinced of a solution to the mystery which was so bizarre that I hated to think where the plot was going. Disappointing.

123. Haunted Ground by Erin Hart (4/5)
124. Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair (4/5)
125. Junkyard Dogs (Walt Longmire, #6) by Craig Johnson (4/5)
126. Charlie's Bones by L.L. Thrasher (4/5)
Lizbet is an ex waitress who has inherited a fortune and decides she wants a pool. But they find an scheleton and here comes the ghost to stick day and night by her asking for help.
I liked that Lizbet is not the brightest candle. She often runs out of answers and keeps getting lost every time she drives somewhere. And when in trouble her mother taught her some female tricks. looooool Light, fast read. Fun :)

127. Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1) by Beverle Graves Myers (4/5)
128. Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman (5/5)
"I didn't want him to turn his eyes away, or live any other moment but this one.
A feeling rose in me, and I just let it, because what harm could it do? It only had another thirty-two adagio bars of life in this world. Twenty-four. Sixteen. Eight more bars in which I love you. Three. Two. One.
The music ended and I let him go..."

129. Burned (Henning Juul #1) by Thomas Enger (3/5)
130. Riveted (Iron Seas, #3) by Meljean Brook (4.5/5)
Something I miss in these books is some kind of sketchy map of this steampunk world that has nothing to do with our history. Because every time David says he is a native from the east (??) I have this mental image of some old aborigen standing on one leg. :confused:
Aside from that MB does a great job describing this complex and very imaginative world. So interesting. I think she's been watching old Mellies movies.

131. Snobbery with Violence by M.C. Beaton (3/5)
There is something cartoonish in these books. So fast.
132. Sleepyhead (Tom Thorne, #1) by Mark Billingham (4/5)
133. Love Songs From A Shallow Grave (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #7) by Colin Cotterill (5/5)
I love Dr. Siri. Colin Cotterill is writing these books as a means to teach us what happened in the 70s in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia. How the political borders don't match the distribution of the different tribes. The huge massacres. Terrorific.
134. The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields (3/5)
There is this scene when Grey suspects his grandfather had something to do with the death of his father so he confronts him. When he leaves I have no idea if he is angry or sad or what??
So the 400 pages are like that: telephone posts saying their part but thinking or feeling nothing. No background to the characters. So impersonal.
The mystery part was fine. Very detailed study on witchcraft story.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Post by emr » Mon November 19th, 2012, 8:24 pm

October 2012

135. Pierced (Henning Juul, #2) by Thomas Enger (4/5)
136. The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles, #2) by Carol Goodman (4/5)
I love this series but I want so hard to slap Callie!! Is she blind? Why does she keep leaving things for tomorrow? What's so hard about reading the third line of a three lines spell she needs to save the village? (almost) "Bah later" Geez
Third book can't come too soon.

137. Triptych (Will Trent, #1) by Karin Slaughter (5/5)
Impressive. This is the kind of book that makes you reconsider every single rating you have ever given to a mystery book. You are reading and she tricks you into thinking yah this is the good guy but then he isn't or maybe he is? or not. omg. Just wow.
138. Slash And Burn (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #8) by Colin Cotterill (4/5)
139. Hasty Death by M.C. Beaton (3/5)
140. The Viper by Håkan Östlundh (3/5)
141. Mistwalker by Denise Lopes Heald (4/5)
This was going for 3 stars because I've had to stop and reread every single line in this book. Making up a new language is only fun for the author, not from the reader side. (Example: "Ya won't et betta' anywhar.") :confused: But I've liked the romance part of the book and their exchanges and that clash between educated alien and rough 'greenie'. This book wants a sequel though.
142. Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon (4/5)
143. The Last Renegade by Jo Goodman (4/5)
Great secondary characters.
144. The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yoko Ogawa (5/5)
Box of kleenex kind of story. So sweet. So japanese hehe. Loved it.
145. Low Pressure by Sandra Brown (3.5/5)
Although a good novel, I didn't feel as connected to Bellamy and Dent's lifes and problems as to make it more than an average read. Mystery was good in that you don't figure it out until the end. Romance was k although she got me annoyed every time she kept saying no at the last moment. Something like Yes, yes yeeeees! Oh yes!! ... No!. Poor Dent.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Post by Ludmilla » Mon November 19th, 2012, 8:59 pm

I'll have to try Karin Slaughter next time I'm in a mystery series mood. Since I live in Georgia, I'm interested in how she handles the setting. The Will Trent books have been recommended to me by several readers.

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Post by emr » Fri December 28th, 2012, 1:29 pm

November 2012

146. By Blood Possessed (Pat Montella, #1) by Elena Santangelo (4/5)
When I see these small publishers I always expect something only above fanfic quality and no editing. Well, this time I was wrong. I only caught one word out of place and the story was quite good. Better than many from big names and big publishers. I like Pat's character, so funny at times when her Italian side fights for the right reaction to something. The mystery itself only starts half way. Believable ghosts.

147. One for Sorrow (John the Eunuch, #1) by Mary Reed (3/5)
Not as good as the Yashim novels but it was k.

148. The Crucifix Killer (Robert Hunter Series #1) by Chris Carter (4/5)
Page turner but I had figured out who was the killer...

149. Dominion by C.J. Sansom (4/5)
I don't know what to think about this book. First half of the book was too long and too slow, CJS talks and talks about the history of our heroes but nothing much happens. One step forward and 10 back. The second part moves the story faster. Some more action. Great characters. I'm not very happy with the end. And I'm not happy with the length of the book. Maybe alternate history is not for me.

150. River God by Wilbur Smith (5/5)
"It was here that for the first time many of our company witnessed the miracle of rain. Although of course I had seen it in the LK, they had never seen water fall from the sky. The rain beat down into our upturned and astonished faces, while the thunder rolled across the heavens and the lightning blinded us with its white fire."

151. Sick of Shadows (An Edwardian Murder Mystery #3) by M.C. Beaton (3/5)

152. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (5/5)
I love this series. I can't stop reading and I don't want the book to never end. This one was another good adition although I do prefer the stories with more adventure than romance. Romance is fine yah but she's going to need some new hunks in the future since she has already married off the lot of them. Even Ivan and that was a hard one. (Ask his mother) Memory, The Vor Game and Shards of Honor are still my favorites...

153. The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan, #1) by Eliot Pattison (4/5)

154. Ghost Planet by Sharon Fisher (4/5)

155. Dregs by Jørn Lier Horst (3/5)
There was something odd about the translation. Impersonal? Dunno. Surely there are more ways of closing the car door besides slamming it? Mystery was k.

156. The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber (3.5/5)
I have to say that I hate 1st person pov. And only because of that I’m tempted to take out all the little stars. Because there is so much stomach-heart-blood-ears-head flipping-churning-pounding-whatever that I can take. First, I don't think a victorian lady would dream of mentioning any bodily disconfort and, well, who talks like that anyway? "My stomach flipped" (Just try and say that in a public transport and you'll see it empty in seconds. Geez.) But hey she didn’t make me want to slap her so I guess it’s k. The murder investigation was nicely done. The relationship between Kiera and Gage was interesting. It was a good read nevertheless. I did know who was the murderer since page 2 though. The only mystery was the reason why. I don't think I'll continue the series. My head flips only thinking about it...
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Post by emr » Mon December 31st, 2012, 11:50 am

December 2013

157. Kiss That Frog: A Modern Fairy Tale by Cate Rowan (4/5)
Short story. Where can I get a frog like that? ::sigh::

158. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (5/5)
"He looked at her in the darkness, at this woman who was everything to him -mother, Afrida, wisdom, understanding, good things to eat, pumpkins, chicken, the smell of sweet catle breath, the white sky across the endless, endless bush, and the giraffe that cried, giving its tears for women to daub on their baskets; O Bostwana, my country, my place." Excellent not-exactly-a-mystery novel.

159. Our Lady Of Pain by M.C. Beaton (3/5)
I was thinking that this book was slightly better than the first 3 even if her cryptic style makes everybody sound so rude. And then the book (and the series) ends like that... bah.

160. The Blood Royal by Barbara Cleverly (3/5)
In some ways this book is excellent. Because BC excels at drawing a background full with real characters, music, places, exact clothing… K the pavlova dessert wasn’t created until 1926 and this is 1922 but I’m not picky… :D And the historical events are accurate to their pov. My main complain with this book is those endless monologues… Ssssslooow

161. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (5/5)
This book defies genres. What was this? Mystery? well yes. A quest? definitely. The book's descripion hints at fantasy but that's not here. Although there are wizzards and warriors. The modern wizzards and apprentizes work for Google and Pixar. Very well written. Loved it.

162. The Embattled Road (Lost and Found Series) by J.M. Madden (4/5)
Short story. Introduction to a new series.

163. How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #1) by Jax Garren (4/5)
Short story. Maybe inspired by the tv series (the first one not that boredom they are airing this year) Quite original sex scene. You think you have read everything...

164. Water Touching Stone (Inspector Shan, #2) by Eliot Pattison (5/5)

165. The Poisoned Serpent (Medieval Mystery #2) by Joan Wolf (3/5)
Quite far from her Dark Ages series.

166. The Thief-Taker: Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner by T.F. Banks (5/5)
Very well researched imo

167. Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire, #7) by Craig Johnson (5/5)
"When I came back to the truck he was gone (his grandson). I remember the seat cover; it was one of those saddle blanket ones that you can buy anywhere."
He wasn't looking at me any longer but had his eyes focused on the snow.
"I remember the weave of the fabric -what it looked like with him not there, the depression in the seat." The great bear head lifted. "It was the last time I ever saw him."

Title taken from Shakespeare's quote. CJ is brilliant. He takes Longmire solo this time hunting down the devils through a snow storm. He faces his own fears as well. A page turner. Don't judge the books by the washed down tv series. Nothing to do with this. More!

168. Divorce Horse by Craig Johnson (3/5)
Short story. Nothing special...

169. Murder in Montague Place by Martyn Beardsley (3.5/5)
Book is fine though there are a few things bothering me.
For half a book the author seems to be denouncing how children lived and died in the streets but then he loses that flag half way through.
And then I wonder why almost every single woman in the novel seem to be either incoherent or simple or plotting. Given the year I can understand some misogyny in a character or 2 but this is the author talking...

170. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters (5/5)
A little depressing. Very good. Can't wait for the next book.

171. The Heresy of Dr Dee by Phil Rickman (4.5/5)
"According to legend, the restless spirit of Amy Robsart (Lord Dudley's...) at Cumnor Place was removed from Cumnor by ten priests with cadles.
Poor Amy. That seems wrong, somehow."

I liked this mix of mystery and subtle horror. Better than the first book imo

Tadaaaa :) Excluding the 4 short stories I've read 167 books this year, 59,727 pages :D I don't think I can top that...
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa


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