Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books read in 2010

  1. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
  2. Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake Book 3, started in 2009), Laurell K. Hamilton
  3. Lunatic Café (Anita Blake Book 4), Laurell K. Hamilton
  4. Bloody Bones (Anita Blake Book 5), Laurell K. Hamilton
  5. The Killing Dance (Anita Blake Book 6), Laurell K. Hamilton
  6. Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake Book 7), Laurell K. Hamilton
  7. Play With Me, Leslie Kelly (Harlequin trash) *
  8. Blue Moon (Anita Blake Book 8), Laurell K. Hamilton
  9. Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse Book 10), Charlaine Harris
  10. Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake Book 9), Laurell K. Hamilton
  11. The Virgin’s Lover, Philippa Gregory 
  12. The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz 
  13. Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake 10), Laurell K. Hamilton
  14. On What Grounds (Coffeehouse Mystery Book 1), Cleo Coyle
  15. Cerulean Sins, Anita Blake Book 11, Laurell K. Hamilton
  16. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress Book 1), Jeaniene Frost 
  17. Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson
  18. Warbreaker, Brandon Sanderson 
  19. Mistborn (Mistborn Trilogy Book 1), Brandon Sanderson *
  20. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & The Olympians Book 1), Rick Riordan
  21. Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson & The Olympians Book 2), Rick Riordan *
  22. Darkfever (Fever series Book 1), Karen Marie Moning
  23. Innocent Traitor, Alison Weir 
  24. No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
  25. Tightrope Walker, Dorothy Gilman 
  26. Changeless (Parasol Protectorate Book 2), Gail Carriger 
  27. Shakespeare’s Trollop (Lily Bard Book 4), Charlaine Harris 
  28. Tears of the Giraffe (Ladies Detective Agency Book 2), Alexander McCall Smith
  29. Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera Book 1), Jim Butcher
  30. Kardashian Konfidential, Kardashian Sisters
  31. Slave (Cat Star Chronicles Book 1), Cheryl Brooks 
  32. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens *

    [* = did not finish]

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Anita Blake

    Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Aaah, Anita Blake. This series has sucked me in in the past, and then spit me back out again. At this point in time I have read up to about the ninth or tenth book in the series, but I had to take a break. Around book five and six I was really into it, but after a while all of the darkness, gore, and sadistic vampires sort of started to wear on me. But I love the fact that these books are such a staple of the urban fantasy genre, and ultimately I do think Anita Blake is one bad-ass heroine, even if she is an emotional mess.

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    Night Huntress

    Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    After reading all of the hype this series has I felt a little let down. 3/4 of the beginning was pretty lackluster in plot, it got semi-interesting by the end, but I wasn't terribly impressed. I will probably read the next book, just to see if the series gets any better.

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    WarbreakerWarbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This was my first time reading anything by Brandon Sanderson, and I really enjoyed it. The balance of it's unique magic system, dark humor, and well thought out characters made it really hard to put down. And the last fifth, or so, of the book was very intense, told at break-neck speed. The plot twists were (for the most part) unexpected, and the character development was probably what truly made this book so good. My only complaint was the really clipped ending. It sort of left me wanting more, not fulfilled.

    Overall, a great read, and I will definitely pursue reading his other series.

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    Parasol Protectorate

    Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless by Gail Carriger
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Love this series by Gail Carriger. I picked it up because of the kick-ass cover [my absolute favorite covers at present], and the plot doesn't disappoint: Victorian England, a sarcastic protagonist, werewolves, etiquette, and parasols. It doesn't get much better than that. I enjoyed the second book in the series more than the first, but I look forward to anything this author produces. Her website has a wealth of Victorian customs, dress, Steampunk goodies, etc. My favorite feature of her website is the Victorian dress-up doll feature. Definitely worth checking out.

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    No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

    The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1)The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    What a charming read. I've really enjoyed the first book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Mma Ramotswe is a wonderful character. I found it incredibly heart-warming, honest, and clever. I loved the African sensibility and learning about Botswana, and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, human nature, and overall goodness and compassion.

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    Cat Star Chronicles

    Slave (Cat Star Chronicles, #1)Slave by Cheryl Brooks

    This was a free nookbook, and since these books were vaguely familiar to me since I'd seen them at work, I randomly started reading it. It is absolutely, hands-down, a total cheeseball story, horrible writing, outrageously sexual crap. I will only continue reading it until I just can't take it anymore. I'm only reading it now because it is mindless entertainment for my overworked brain. But this is why I don't read Romance. I hate that the plots are weak, and everything is completely unbelievable. And this coming from someone who loves fantastical stories. One good point for this book: it's made me want to read an actual science-fiction novel.

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    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Things that inspire me...

    Old fashioned keys, clouds, music,
    birds chirping,
    color, cute stationery,
    the scent of food cooking, pastries baking, and vanilla.
    Thomas Kinkade paintings, trees with character, the state of Hawaii,
    and sitting at the edge of the world and watching the clouds drift by.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    A penny for your thoughts

    I don't like when people reviewing books on re-hash the entire plot for you. I already know the plot, I just want to know what you thought about the book...

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    You prefer paper, I prefer trees.

    I've decided that eBooks are to real books as Protestantism is to Catholicism in 16th century England. You're up against thousands of years of tradition, so a lot of people won't exactly be jumping on the bandwagon. So, I can't exactly hold it against those people who snootily say, "no thanks, I prefer REAL books."

    God, I think of the weirdest shit sometimes.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    For Delia

    There's this woman, Delia, who comes into the store every week or so. She must be in her 60's or 70's, slightly feeble but by no means immobile, quite grumpy, callous. She is always dressed very nicely, has her hair styled and her red lipstick on. Most of my co-workers try to avoid helping her, and so seeing as how I seem to have a special knack for dealing with difficult I usually wind up helping her. She always needs extra special care: poring through English-Spanish Catholic Bibles, trying to find a font she can read, helping her finding a seat and then taking the stuff she doesn't want, etc. No big deal. I try to be extra sweet and attentive to her needs, listening to her complaints about our lack of public restroom and offering to pass her concerns on up. I try to give her the most pleasant experience possible while she is in our store just so she's not unhappy and because it makes everything easier for everyone. It's hard for me to understand why a person would be so cranky all of the time. Maybe it's because she has a hard life, maybe she is alone. But something really struck me the other day with Delia. She came in, coiffed and all made up as usual, to ask if her special orders were in. They were not, so I reminded her that she can just call us beforehand so that she doesn't make a trip for nothing. She said that it didn't matter, that she just lives down the street anyway. That was when it occurred to me that just maybe Delia gets up each day, gets dressed and puts her makeup on, and goes out because she has to.

    There's something so sad to me about an elderly lady living alone. My heart breaks at the thought. Life is so fleeting, and to be nearing the end and without a companion makes me so sad. This reminds me of Jeannie, another customer who was taken a very strong liking to me who I suspect is also alone. She calls and chats with me about every day things (for an abnormally long amount of time if I do not interject), but I just cannot bear to interrupt her sometimes when I imagine her so desperate for a friend.

    Maybe I am too "soft" as my boss would say. But if I can be a little ray of sunshine in these ladies lives, how can I turn away? Delia was in the other day. I asked how she was doing (ill, sadly), told her it was nice to see her, and found her a seat.