Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Book 1, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne / Kady Cross

5 out of 10

Description from Amazon:
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. 

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne was fun, which I believe was its main goal.   The characters you were supposed to like were charming, and it was easy to root for the protagonist.  Moved briskly, lots of action.  Not a lot of internal dialogue or angst.  I enjoyed the length.  I can see how ebooks might be bringing back the novella.  All to the the good.

The villain was a bit lackluster.  The prose was sometimes clumsy, and the book lacked any pretense at subtlety.  I felt the steampunk element was a gimick.   The mad science that is important to the plot is an older, non-steam cliche.  

At the end of the book I noticed it was published by Harlequin Teen.  I believe that is the first Harlequin book I have read.  The author is a woman, so this is a +1 for my resolution that over half the books I read this year will be written by women.  OK, I'm cheating slightly.  I started this a couple days before 2012.  Hang me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Building the 2012 reading list

Staring on the reading list for 2012.  I have resolved that over half of the books I read in 2012 will have been written by women.  I'll be keeping track on this blog to see if I meet the goal.  Recommendations accepted.  List so far:

*White Cat / Holly Black
Shotgun Gravy / Chuck Wendig
Blackbirds / Chuck Wendig
*Among Others / Jo Walton
*The Strange Case of Finley Jayne / Kady Cross
*Power and Majesty / Tansy Rayner Roberts
*Control Freak / Christa Faust
*Something by Barbara Hambly
I Am Not a Serial Killer / Dan Wells
Planesrunner / Ian McDonald

Favorite reads of 2011

2011 was a good year for my reading list.  Mostly due to my incessant podcast listening, plus Twitter, I have found out about so many great books.  These are the books I enjoyed reading most in 2011.  They are the cream of the crop, in no particular order.  Notice they are books I READ in 2011.  Does not mean they were published in 2011.

My Life As a White Trash Zombie / Diana Rowland
The city & the city / China Mieville
Money shot / Christa Faust*
Choke Hold / Christa Faust*
The graveyard book / Neil Gaiman
Leviathan Wakes / James S. A. Corey
The mystic arts of erasing all signs of death : a novel / Charlie Huston
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making / Catherynne M. Valente
Palimpsest / Catherynne M. Valent
The Dragon's Path / Daniel Abraham
Naked lunch / William S. Burroughs

The Failed Cities Monologues / Matt Wallace (audio)

Special category:  Not sure I enjoyed it, but glad I read it.
The Female Man / Joanna Russ

*Favorite author I discovered this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Favorite writer discovered in 2011

Christa Faust -- My favorite writer discovery of 2011, Christa Faust. She's not a "new" writer, she's a veteran, but new to me this year. She writes contemporary hard boiled fiction with female protagonists. And she rocks it. Her work has a pulp sensibility that is fun as hell, and at the same time avoids cliche and gives us very human characters.

I read in this order:
Money Shot
Choke Hold

 I'm proud to say that the county library now has both Money Shot and Hoodtown, thanks to requests from yours truly. Kudos Bernalillo County Library for being so responsive to patron requests.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Resolution 2012

I have decided on a New Year's resolution for 2012. Over half the books I read will have been written by women. This blog has fallen into disuse. I will use it to track the books I read in 2012. Since I read mostly Fantasy and SciFi, I will be relying heavily on the Galactic Suburbia Podcast for recommendations. Recommendations always welcome.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Instant Nostalgia

Instant Nostalgia, originally uploaded by Josh Gentry.

Wow, its been a year since I posted anything here. Here's a picture from June.

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