2010: Recap of My Reading Year Part 3

And the final four months of 2010…

September

I’m not quite sure what happened in September – no, actually, I do, it was a complete nightmare work-wise – but I ended up only reading six books this month.

But they were good ‘uns – I read Seanan McGuire‘s third Toby Daye book, “An Artificial Night” (oh, I have some crazy love for this series), and also really liked Jo Beverley‘s latest Georgian historical, “The Secret Duke”.  I read very few historical romances nowadays, but Jo Beverley remains on my autobuy list because she brings her historical settings to life (and she writes in the Georgian period – I am a total sucker for men adorning themselves in lace and jewellery).

And I discovered Manna Francis‘s Administration series – a (free) online science fictional m/m series that I glommed over the month.  Some really excellent writing set in a dystopian universe, with two main characters (one rather damaged to start with) growing over the series arc, and eventually giving you a HEA you can believe in.  I know it doesn’t sound like the cheeriest of stories, and it’s not – it’s dark and violent and grim (I’m really selling this, aren’t I?) – but trust me, incredibly satisfying when you reach the end.

Oh – and I received my new Kindle, which deserves a whole other post of its own (there is one sort of fermenting away in draft status).  Suffice to say it has replaced my Sony Reader in my affections…

October

I read eight books during October – the highlight being the long-awaited new Miles Vorkosigan book, Lois McMaster Bujold‘s “Cryoburn”.   You know how I said I could not wait for Elizabeth Peters‘ new Amelia Peabody?  This was exactly the same, but even more so – seriously.  And “Cryoburn” didn’t disappoint.  It was perfectly-written on so many levels – it could be read as a straight Miles adventure/mystery (and Miles was very definitely at his “forward momentum” best in this one) , and then you hit the last pages and realisation comes crashing down on you, and you think “oh”.  And start re-reading all over again.

I also liked Sharon Shinn‘s latest fantasy, “Troubled Waters”, and Ilona Andrews‘ new paranormal romance “Bayou Moon” – the latter met with almost universal praise throughout the blogosphere, while the former had more mixed reactions, IIRC.

November

I went on holiday and read a massive 24 books over this month.  Bliss.

I glommed new-to-me YA author Jaclyn Moriarty‘s fantastic epistolary-style novels following a group of teenagers attending both private and public high schools in Australia – they were completely addictive reading, cheeky and irreverent, yet completely compelling and poignant at times.   I followed that up by reading four of Diana Wynne Jones‘ equally-addictive Chrestomanci YA fantasy novels – just so fun and inventive and plain good story-telling.  And then to mix things up, I read all three of Erin McCarthy‘s stock-car racing contemporary romances – which were steamy, funny, and yes, addictive.

Yes, I do glomming in a big way – why do you ask?

Other books I enjoyed this month – Nalini Singh‘s “Play of Passion”, her latest Psy/Changeling paranormal romance, which I thought breathed fresh air into this long-running series (and just in time for the big Hawke/Sienna book next year), new-to-me m/m romance author Indigo Wren‘s “The Trap”, based on the Dear Author review which promised melodrama and angst in spades (it delivered), and Sharon Lee‘s contemporary fantasy “Carousel Tides”, which is one of the books that has done that weird trick of “the more I think about it, the more I realise how much I liked it”.

December

I wrapped up the year with 20 books (yep, more holidays) .  However, not many books stood out for me – the biggest surprise was that I ended up reading a number of Joan Wolf‘s Regency romances.  I used to love her historicals and stocked up on her backlist when they were re-released as ebooks at Fictionwise – they’ve sat unread until now, when for some strange reason, I just felt like dark brooding heroes, horse-mad heroines, and sweet romances.

And finally, new-to-me authors this month included Elizabeth C Bunce‘s “Starcrossed” (YA fantasy), Kalayna Price‘s “Grave Witch” (urban fantasy), Marie Sexton‘s “Strawberries for Dessert” (m/m romance) – I didn’t fall in love with any of these books, but I would definitely read more by these authors.

And that’s it!  Next up will be the lists and statistics post, and maybe one about 2011 resolutions…

Previous 2010 wrap-up posts

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “2010: Recap of My Reading Year Part 3

  1. Estara

    Ann Somerville says she is great and so do you, I really have to try Manna Francis after all…

    By the way, you should read Ann Somerville’s Darshian Tales. If you don’t want to buy them right away, there are large excerpts at her site and for the length of the books (they’re not over long – the story is just epic) they’re very good value for money. And they have m/m pairs at the centre of the action.

    I think I already said those drabbles in Cryoburn had me in tears. It was a masterstroke – it’s a completely new life once again for Miles and all his family and relations.

    Incidentally I just started Troubled Waters today.

  2. Thank you. :)
    I just wanted to post that the print versions of The Adminstration series has some extra stories that aren’t available on the website. And I have got to get round to completing my reviews of the series.

    • Oh, your reviews were definitely the tipping point for me and I’ve no regrets!

      I have been eyeing the print versions, but am hoping ebooks are released – I would so definitely buy them.

  3. I have to admit, now, I’m very curious about Jaclyn Moriarty… however, I looked and finding Cassie Crazy doesn’t seem to be available in Canada, hmmm.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the Nalini Singh :) and are you planning to review Grave Witch? I thought of buying it, because I love reading about witch… but I’m not convinced yet, especially after I read a review telling about the heroine needs for heat ^_^;

    • Oh, Cassie has a different title in North America – in fact, most of her books do, which really drives me nuts. I just checked – it’s “The Year of Secret Assignments”, try looking this one up? It’s been released in the States so hopefully you can get it in Canada.

      Err… probably too late for me to do a proper review of Grave Witch as I’ve a memory like a sieve; however if you haven’t seen my 2010 spreadsheet, I had the following comments:
      I’m glad I picked this book up, because it has potential. I liked the concept of grave witches – possibly necromancers under a different name? One thing that bugged me – her reaction to the term “magic eye”, she never quite conveyed to me why it was such a nasty term and as a result, her reaction was OTT to me. I am liking the Death/Falin triangle (and that is something I never thought I would write…). I’ll definitely get the next book in this series – hoping it lives up to my expectations.

      So not quite 100% there, but I’m thinking this series has POTENTIAL. It’s not so much witches though, they were more akin to necromancers IMO.

  4. I held out on the Kindle front until December, but in the end I gave in and replaced my Sony 505 as well. Really, really good decision. When I switched from the ebookwise to the Sony I didn’t love the latter immediately… for a while I missed some things about the ebookwise, like the backlight, the touchscreen, the bigger page-turn buttons and the quicker page turns. With the Kindle, though, it’s no contest. So much better!

    • Estara

      From what I gather the Sony 650 has the same advantages in comparison (both use the same screen) as the current Kindle, but to each their own. It definitely has certain features that a Sony doesn’t have.

      I like not being tied to Amazon and the curb on my spending by the fact that I have to sit in front of the pc to get my books and then sideload them onto my reader. I like the fact that my reader can’t send back my reading habits information to the seller and no one can delete any of the books I downloaded already (also the fact that so far I have been able to remove the drm on all my purchased books).

      As for German books – if I read them – the Kindle would be pretty much a bust. Ebooks haven’t taken off as much in Germany yet in any case, but the biggest selection is not on Amazon.de but the German bookselling sites, they mostly offer .epub.

      When I have money again sometime, I’m likely to buy the 650 unless any newer Sony version is better.

      • Estara – Yeah, I’ve mixed feelings about the wireless feature. I love the convenience of buying books without having to connect to my PC, but the trade-off is that Amazon could potentially access files on my Kindle.

        I compromise by keeping the wireless functionality turned off unless I’m downloading a book, and also, I use Google Docs etc so arguably this is nothing new to me privacy-wise. All in all though, I think the trade-off between convenience and privacy is worth it to me – I am just lazy ;-)

        I totally agree that a lot depends on the Amazon ebooks selection, and I’m still not finding all the books I want on Amazon UK, though massively improved.

        Dipping into the slightly grey areas, I’ve heard you can de-drm Amazon books, though I haven’t looked at this in detail. I still buy quite a few books from other retailers, so wouldn’t say I feel tied to Amazon – it is, well, just more convenient…

      • Estara

        Yes, that and the fact that they can follow your reading habits because that’s how that’s how the synching and everything works (I would not be surprised if at some point you’d find an app that can insert advertisments into the books you’ve already bought at their end) and that they are trying to become a monopolist bookseller.

        But for small authors or midlist authors of course the visibility in the Amazon store is very helpful (however the contract they sign when they publish via the Kindle self-publishing software is highly dubious).

        I personally have a big mistrust of big brother behaviour ^^.

      • I think ebooks, and Amazon especially, is massively expanding the audience for smaller/midlist authors. Not only do we get OOP books, it’s just so much easier to buy a book on Kindle as opposed to going to a hundred and one different epublishers and setting up accounts etc.

        But at the same time, it would be a shame if one company completely monopolises the industry. I’m wondering if Google could be a viable competitor – I haven’t paid much attention to what they’re doing as it’s US-only at the mo, but could be interesting…

      • Estara

        Well, I’d rather support the smaller sellers. They still have a lot more ease of service than when I used to save up every year to travel to London for three days just to buy a suitcase full of books ^^.

        Watching the demise of Borders in the US from afar makes me believe that keeping the smaller sellers alive is in the interest of all readers, just in case we don’t like the direction the big one eventually takes…

      • You make a good point – I grumble now about having to go to multiple websites to buy my ebooks, when a few years ago, I had to wait days for books to be physically delivered… and pay a delivery charge!

      • Estara

        Right! On the one hand I’m amazed at what is possible in such a short span of time, on the other hand my 40-year-old self is worried there will be some e-revolution she won’t want to follow and she’ll get left behind (know anyone who is playing only his SNES and its games these days? His Dreamcast?).

        I already refuse to use my mobile phone for anything else but calling in an emergency. I have never in my life sent a text message (and while I fiddled around with IM at the time I also was playing online mmorpgs I have found I get too distracted if I have an IM open in the background, so I gave that up – I gave up online mmorpging when I got another full-time employment job – books and online journals simply allow me to share with others when time allows, all hail!

    • Rosario – *glee*

      Another Kindle convert! IIRC, my main niggles were around collections and file organisation and the whole locations thing. The former is still an issue for me (but I don’t think any ereader out there has cracked that one) but I’m working out the latter and replacing with % read and the tracking bar.

      And I’ve just posted about this, but the Amazon UK Kindle store is now so much better…

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