cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
91 books, 2 of which I read twice (My Friend Cousin Emmie and Ninefox Gambit). Captive Prince, Prince's Gambit, The Wizard of London, Last Call, Death on the Nile and Firestarter are also all re-reads, although not within the year. On demographics I really do need to make an effort to read more nonwhite authors (and, uh, possibly more men). I have not really been reading manga this year apart from a few volumes of What Did You Eat Yesterday that I haven't logged. I also need to tackle some of the (many!) books I've owned for years and haven't read yet.

Favourite new book:

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee. I haven't written this up, sadly, but I loved it - amazing worldbuilding, fascinating characters, intriguing plot, impressive prose, and very cool magic/tech system. I think it's brilliant. I have read the sequel in draft and really enjoyed it too, but the first one just blew me away.

A Notable Woman: the Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt, by Jean Lucey Pratt (ed Simon Garfield) is a close second.

Favourite old book, or possibly favourite new series:

The My Friend(s) series, by Jane Duncan. These I have written up as I've gone through them. They are a stunning masterclass in writing and do so many things so well - character and setting particularly, but the way she explores and exposes motive and personality is outstanding. So far, My Friends the Mrs Millers, in which all the casual assumptions about race that her characters have been making (at this time they are living on a fictional Caribbean island) are suddenly overturned, My Friend My Father, which left me in tears, and My Friend Cousin Emmie, in which the titular character is shown to be both an incredibly difficult character and a truely tragic heroine, are my favourites.

Book I most wanted to love but didn't:

Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer. I love her blog and I think a lot of what this book is doing is fascinating, but as a narrative it never quite cohered for me and it's such a static book. Despite all the authorial work I am unconvinced by the 7-10 lists as worldshakingly important, I dislike urbane serial killers, I like Bridger but am troubled by the reliability of the narrator and the sabotage thread is interesting but only got going in the last chapter. I will however read the sequel and hopefully having lowered expectations will help.

Series I most wanted to love but didn't:

Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad, reviewed here. I did love The Secret Place; the detectives, the mystery and the characters all worked together really well, and hit a lot of my personal buttons. The others haven't been as good - either the narrator (Faithful Place, Broken Harbour or the plot The Likeness) haven't been as compelling, and too many of French's quirks dull with repetition. I do like them and would recommend them, and I'll certainly read the next one, but I have no real urge to own them and will stick to library copies.

Longest time to finish:

Jilly Cooper's Jump!, which I started about seven years ago. Now I'm stalled out on Mount! so, you know, expect an update around 2023.

Still in progress but I will finish soon, no really:

KJ Charles' Jackdaw, which I am enjoying and keep putting down and forgetting about. ZA Maxfield's The Pharaoh's Concubine, which is terrible and despite its name is contemporary m/m (escaped toyboy of Russian criminal mastermind hooks up with former gangbanger), but I'm only a couple of chapters from the end and feel committed, just not compelled. Shirley Barrett's Rush Oh!, historical whaling book, v good but I had heaps of other things to do and lost it in the car until it was overdue from the library and had to take it back.

Picture books:

I have not logged these because the numbers would be ridiculous; we usually have 40-65 out from the library at any one time, plus purchases, second hand sales, gifts etc. My favourites for the year are Tohby Riddle's Nobody Owns the Moon and John Birmingham's Aldo.

Jane Duncan, My Friend Cousin Emmie
KJ Charles, Think of England
Margery Allingham, Dancers in Mourning
Mercedes Lackey, Blood Red
Andy Weir, The Martian
Jane Duncan, My Friends the Miss Boyds
Jane Duncan, My Friend Muriel
Daniel Siegel & Mary Hartzell, Parenting from the Inside Out
CS Pacat, Captive Prince Trilogy (Captive Prince, Prince's Gambit, & Kings Rising)
Jane Duncan, My Friend Monica
Jane Duncan, My Friend Annie
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
Jane Duncan, My Friend Sandy
Jane Duncan, My Friend Martha's Aunt
Jane Duncan, My Friend Flora
Jane Duncan, My Friend Madame Zora
Jane Duncan, My Friend Rose
Frances O'Roark Dowell, Shooting the Moon
Sophie Hannah, A Game for All the Family
Allie Brosch, Hyperbole and a Half
Paula McLain, Circling the Sun
JL Merrow, Relief Valve
JL Marrow, Heat Trap
JL Merrow, Caught!
KJ Charles, Rag and Bone
Tim Pratt, Heirs of Grace
Jane Duncan, My Friends the Mrs Millers
Rainbow Rowell, Carry On
Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests
Jane Duncan, My Friends from Cairnton
Mercedes Lackey, The Wizard of London
Mercedes Lackey, A Study in Sable
Jane Duncan, My Friends from Cairnton
Jane Duncan, My Friend My Father
Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park
Stephen King, End of Watch
Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning
Yoon Ha Lee, Ninefox Gambit
Louise Doughty, Apple Tree Yard
Tana French, The Secret Place
Alex Adams, White Horse
Mabel Esther Allan, The Ballet Family Again
Martin Millar, The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies
Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish, Siblings without Rivalry
Jim Grimsley, How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood
Yoshitoki Oima, A Silent Voice (v1)
Amy Cousins, Off-Campus
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Ailette de Boddard, House of Shattered Wings
Victor LaValle, The Ballad of Black Tom
Barbara Hambly, A Free Man of Color
Tana French, In the Woods
David Levine, Arabella of Mars
Barbara Hambly, Fever Season
Yoon Ha Lee, Raven Stratagem
Mary Berry, Recipe for Life
Tana French, Broken Harbour
Jilly Cooper, Jump!
Matthew Reilly, The Great Zoo of China
Jan Mark, Trouble Half-Way
C.S Lewis, The Silver Chair
Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile
Tim Powers, Last Call
Rose Lerner, Sweet Disorder
Jean Lucey Pratt (ed Simon Garfield), A Notable Woman: the Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt
Tana French, The Likeness
Anthony Quinn, Curtain Call, or, The Distinguished Thing
Tana French, The Trespasser
Dick Francis, Comeback
Matthew Reilly, The Four Legendary Kingdoms
Daryl Gregory, We Are All Completely Fine
Stephen King, Firestarter
JL Merrow, Played!
JL Merrow, Out!
Courtney Milan, Trade Me
Stephen King, Blockade Billy
Kate Wilhelm, Storyteller: writing lessons and more from 27 years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop
KA Mitchell, Put a Ring on It
KA Mitchell, Risk Everything on It
Lyn Gala, Mountain Prey
Kate Sherwood, Dark Horse
Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
Alicia F Lieberman, The emotional life of the toddler
Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
Kameron Hurley, The Geek Feminist Revolution
Greg Rucka, Star Wars: Before the Awakening
Marie Sexton, Making Waves
Megan Derr, The Bastard Prince
Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, Carolyn Jewel, Midnight Scandals
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