Continuing my month-by-month recap of 2010 (the first third of the year covered here):
Amongst the ten books I read in May was the excellent “Magic Bleeds” by Ilona Andrews. This series has grown in leaps and bounds – I remember not being impressed by the first book way back when, but am rather glad I persevered. I think if I had to name my top three UF series, it would be this one, together with Patricia Briggs‘ Mercy books and Seanan McGuire‘s Toby Daye series.
Nothing else stands out during May. Scanning the titles I’ve jotted down show that I ranked all the rest as “Glad I read”, which is pretty much what it says – I’m glad I read the book, it wasn’t a waste of time (or money!) but it’s not one that really stood out for me.
Oh, I’ve experimented with a new grading system this year (it was a very quiet experiment and I don’t think I mentioned it anywhere!), moving on from letter grades (A, B, C, etc) to a statement-based one (“Glad I read”, “Wish I’d passed”, and so on). This was because I never really used the full extent of the letter-based grading scale, and wanted to try something more meaningful as opposed to marking everything a B grade (obviously I’ve just moved on to “Glad I read” instead).
Seriously, I’ve found this more useful, but I’m thinking of moving to the equivalent of 1 to 5 stars in the New Year because I’ve started a Goodreads account (err… one review and one friend – hi Estara! – at last count, so don’t all rush over at once). We’ll see – I don’t shout very loudly about what grades I give books and it took me a couple of years to actually change my grading system, so it’ll probably continue being rather unobtrusive here on the blog…
After that slight detour into my grading system, back to books read… I read ten books this month, unusually two re-reads amongst them, though very different ones - Louisa May Alcott‘s “Eight Cousins” and Sharon Lee & Steve Miller‘s “Conflict of Honors”.
“Eight Cousins” was inspired by Angie’s review of its sequel “Rose in Bloom”, and it was fascinating to re-read this as an adult – it is very much a product of its times (1875), for example, when talking about what a woman’s role should be, but at the same time, surprisingly modern in its views on, say, fresh air and exercise.
“Conflict of Honors”, on the other hand, is very much a comfort read for me, and re-reading this book straight after the authors’ latest release “Mouse & Dragon” gave me a slightly different perspective – I’ve always loved how the authors somehow manage to combine space opera with a fantasy of manners, but this time around, having just read the prequel, the events just prior to the start of this book (avoiding spoilers!) felt more immediate and hard-hitting, so there was more of an emotional impact.
New-to-me author – I read Meg Burden‘s “Northlander”, again based on an Angie rec, which turned out to be the type of coming-of-age YA fantasy that presses all the right buttons for me. Loved.
Oh, and I think I may have finally kicked my Laurell K Hamilton‘s Anita Blake habit this month as well.
There were some good ones in the nine books I read this month. I remember very much enjoying Julia Quinn‘s “What Happened in London”, even though I actually had to go and look up the book to try and remember what the plot was about. Ahem. I do recall liking it very much at the time, and thinking it had her trademark Quinn humour.
I loved Sarah Rees Brennan‘s “The Demon’s Covenant”, so much so it was one of the very few books I actually blogged about this year – bearing in mind how much I blogged this year, you know I really really liked it if I posted about it. Oh, and I enjoyed Kelley Armstrong‘s latest Otherworld novel, “Walking the Witch”, though points deducted for yet another blasted cliffhanger ending. Seriously. I have stopped reading series before because of cliffhanger endings – I completely detest them.
Wrapping up a post that turned out to be slightly longer than anticipated – I read another nine books in August, including my first books from Carina Press, which has been an excellent addition to the epublishing scene. I loved both Josh Lanyon‘s “Fair Game” and new-to-me author Harper Fox‘s “Life After Joe” – Josh Lanyon was already an autobuy m/m romance author, and Harper Fox’s lyrical writing and fantastic sense of place makes her another one for me.
I also got around to reading my second Steve Kluger, “My Most Excellent Year”, which was just as good as the first – a very feel-good book.
And I finally read Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games trilogy, all three in a month – it didn’t exactly disappoint, but I’m not entirely sure it lived up to all the hype. On the other hand, what book could? I ended up liking the middle book, “Catching Fire”, best, but all three were very good summer reading.
So that was the middle third of 2010 – final four months next…