Thursday, January 08, 2009


And now…looking back…I kept a record of all the books I read in 2008 and my intention was to write little reviews of them. I did write reviews for a few of them but then I got lazy and I decided just to make notes on the rest. Then I got lazier and I decided to just make notes on a few. It was a very vampire filled year so…you know…just a little more than skin deep, I suppose. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked (and for the record, I only list novels, not novellas, short stories or comic books) so there was some more reading, but still less than I wanted. Maybe this year…

Books Read 2008
Fool Moon-Jim Butcher
The Stupidest Angel-Christopher Moore
Twilight-Stephanie Meyer
The Half-Moon Detective Agency-Eion Coufler
Tall, Dark, and Dead- Tate Hallaway

Clearly January’s books had a supernatural theme running through them. Fool Moon is the second in the Harry Dresden series from Jim Butcher and it was a fun read. I love the character and Butcher adds such nice touches to the story (Dresden has amazing magical powers but they short circuit modern technology, so simple things like email and cell phone calls just don’t work for him. It’s a nice little bit that can certainly heighten the tension of story when you know the hero just can’t call for help or download a file that will contain the info he needs). If you like mysteries and supernatural series, check the Dresden Files books out. And if you happen to catch the series running on sci-fi, that was kind of fun too. Sorry it’s gone.

The Christopher Moore I have read has been hit or miss for me. I loved Lamb but was less enthralled by Bloodsucking Fiends. The Stupidest Angel falls somewhere in the middle. I didn’t dislike it, but it was maybe a little to slapstick for my tastes. Moore does seem to enjoy himself though and his characters are memorable and silly (in a fun way).

Twilight is the first in a series of young adult novels. This one was pretty standard girl loves vampire fare. I didn’t find anything that offended me in it, but nothing grabbed me enough to make me want to continue the story either. I guess I am not the target market on this one though. (Hmmm...well, this was written before all the big Twilight boom this year. It was popular at the time I wrote this but I didn't yet know about HOW big it was or would get. I still think it was pretty boring and I am quite the fan of crappy vampire stories, so...)

The Half-Moon Detective Agency is another Y.A. novel (I know, I have to start reading big kid books!). I am particularly fond of Eoin Colfer, For some reason I feel like he writes like a kid. Rather, he’s got the right mindset to write for a super intelligent kid. I am fond of his Artemis Fowl series but this book, which I suspect will spawn it’s own series was more…fun. It made me laugh out loud while I was reading it and that doesn’t happen all that often. I don’t really know how to put into word the giddiness I felt reading this book and I don’t even know how to tell you WHY I felt that way but it just worked for me, the language, the style, the character development. And finally I see a writer who understands how kids use technology. Books are only just starting to make use of text messages and instant messages and the like in a way that seems natural. Colfer gets that and uses it to great advantage. If you are 8-13 and a looking for a very entertaining mystery novel, this is it. If you are…much older…read this and see if you don’t feel like this guy just gets how a kid’s brain works.

Well, I guess that this would not be the time to deny my fondness for vampire stories. Don’t know what it is, although I do know it’s not that I find them sexy. In fact, I tend to really dislike any stories that make vampires overtly sexual. I get the whole penetration thing, I get the whole blood thing, let’s get to the interesting stuff, eh? But that said, I really do enjoy the Tate Hallaway books.

The Bleeding Dusk-Colleen Gleason
Cakes and Ale-W. Somerset Maughm
Grave Peril-Jim Butcher
Kiki Strike and the Shadow City-Kirsten Miller-Oh hey, wow. I got a real kick out of this YA novel and I will certainly pick up more from this author.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan-Lisa See-I am sorry, I can not really describe how little I liked this book. My mother passed it on to me and I read it because she did but…I should really know better, she did, after all, ask me to read all ten billion pages of The Corrections before confessing that she didn’t like it either. Anyway, a number of years ago we saw a museum…thing…about Lisa See’s family and loved it. The book…not so much.
Thursday Next: First Among Sequels- I love Jasper Fford. If only for that extra eff.
Dead Sexy-Tate Hallaway

Anonymous Rex-Eric Garcia This book kind of took me by surprise. It really sounds ridiculous when you try to explain it (Dinosaurs exist alongside people, hide themselves in people suits and eat herbs) but it worked. It was far more entertaining that I could have expected.

Cross Bones- Kathy Reichs I’d been wanting to read one of the temperance Brennan novels for a while and I did enjoy this. Very different from the TV series “bones” though, so if you are reading it for that…don’t. Still, I enjoyed it and may pick up another eventually.
Wire in the Blood- Val McDermid-Another book I wanted to read due to having seen a tv show. But you know what? It works here. Good book, good tv show. And I guess I was also influenced by an article I read some time ago where Ian Rankin put his foot into it by saying women, especially lesbians, were more bloodthirsty writers than men. Val McDermud, a lesbian and a woman (heh), had a bit to say about that. And I’m gonna toss this quote in just because I think sums it up pretty well

“I’ll tell you what pisses me off more than almost anything: when people say, ‘As a woman, how do you feel about writing on violence?’ Have you ever heard a male crime writer being asked, ‘As a man, how do you feel about writing about violence?’
“There’s a profound disassociation, it seems to me; as if somehow it’s wrong for us to be writing about violence against women, as though somehow we need permission to write about violence against women.”

Romancing the Dead-Tate Hallaway
When Twilight Burns-Colleen Gleason
The Good Fairies of New York-Martin Millar
Summer Knight-Jim Butcher

My Name Is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare-Jess Winfield- Written by a former co-worker of my husband. I felt like I should support the cause.
Any Given Doomsday- Lori Handeland-Preview copy that I got by asking for it on some website. It was…not my cup of tea. Yeah…let’s just be polite and say that.
Northanger Abbey-Jane Austen-Oh hey, I read this with an on-line read along and I really, really enjoyed it, which was cool because I feel like this is the hardest Jane Austen book to like and that there is a lot going on under the surface that goes missing. In fact, I enjoyed this so much that I was inspired to purchase some of the gothic horror novels mentioned in the story. I am currently reading The Mysteries of Udolpho which is one of the books that is repeatedly mentioned.

Roo’d Joshua Klein-this was a Daily Lit read that…I think I read an intereview with Joshua Klein about it. It was entertaining.
Making Money-Terry Pratchett-I am sad about Terry Pratchett’s not so recent diagnosis of a rare and specific type of Alzheimers. It makes me wonder what’s in store for his series of novels and how far he writes ahead. But I feel some amount of relief in the memory that even if he were never to write another word, he will have left quite a legacy behind. But I hope he keeps writing.
Death Masks-Jim Butcher
The Thin Man-Dashiell Hammett I don’t know if I had ever read a Dashiell Hammet book before. I kind of think I read part of the Maltese Falcon, but I don’t remember. I love the Thin Man movies and while the book doesn’t quite match the fun of Willam Powell and Myrna Loy’s version, it clearly defined the concept and for that I am greatful.

Well, I'm almost done my first book of 2009 and it's another supernatural...I think I need to move on to something different. Back to Midnight's Children, I guess.


Jodi said...

Damn you're good. I'm truly, deeply, madly embarrassed to say that I don't believe I read an entire book at all last year. There. I said it. Wow, that is mortifying. Okay, I must get on that. I have a stack of comics and graphic novels on my bedside table to read. I also have a few books that have been loaned to me, including Twilight and Lamb, but haven't cracked either open. I spent way too much time reading online and watching political news. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Janet said...

I LOVE Moore, but I couldn't get through The Stupidest Angel...

How did you like The Good Fairies of New York?