I use Google Docs to track my reading (an idea shamelessly nicked from Jennie at the beginning of this year) and the link is sort of hidden away on my 2008 Books page.
However, I’ve never really gotten around to posting my reads for the month. I think part of me feels that if I don’t do a “proper” post explaining what a book is about and exactly how I felt about it, I shouldn’t really post about it. Which is slightly stupid, seeing that I like seeing other people’s monthly reads list!
So here’s what I read in July – I read twelve books in total (LOL, I can’t count – I said it was eleven on Nath’s blog), with the standouts being Naomi Novik’s “Victory of Eagles”, Tanya Huff’s “The Heart of Valor”, Sherwood Smith’s “King’s Shield”, and Suzanne Brockmann’s “Into the Fire”. Seven fantasy books (two children’s and one YA in there), three romances, one mystery, and one SF, which sounds about normal for me!
Books and comments below (pretty much copied and pasted from my Google Docs spreadsheet):
“Duchess by Night” by Eloisa James (historical romance): I was really enjoying it up to the last third, when the conflict that was introduced just felt ever-so-slightly forced to me. A good read, nonetheless. B
“Fearless Fourteen” by Janet Evanovich (mystery): Ms Evanovich once said that the Stephanie-Morelli-Ranger triangle would never go anywhere (err… paraphrasing horribly here). I disagree – Stephanie and Morelli feel so comfortable now and they’re just right together. I think it’s time for her to stop lusting over Ranger, because that bit is now feeling slightly unrealistic. Better than the last book, IMO (though still not as funny as the earlier ones!). B-
“Shadows Return” by Lynn Flewelling (fantasy): An unexpected fourth book set in her Nightrunners world. I remember loving this series way back when – did it stand up to the test of time? Okay, Seregil-Alex’s relationship felt a bit umm… 2D in the beginning (maybe because I’ve been reading Josh Lanyon’s books, and he writes m/m really well), but as the book progressed, I became caught up in the plot. The next book (out in 2009, I think) will definitely be on my to-buy list. B
“Phantom of the Night” by Anne Stuart (contemporary romance): I read this for my TBR Day challenge. C+
“Victory of Eagles” by Naomi Novik (historical fantasy): Fifth in the Temeraire series. Loved. I really enjoy Ms Novik’s wonderfully thought-out world. B+
“The Heart of Valor” by Tanya Huff (military SF): A surprisingly enjoyable read, err… surprising to me because although I love Ms Huff’s urban fantasy, I’ve never been that into her SF books. Until now. A definite rec if you like military SF. Although I can’t really remember the previous books in the series, I think it reads reasonably well as a standalone. Now I’m tempted to get the next… but it’s in hardcover. Sigh. B+
“The Summoning” by Kelley Armstrong (YA urban fantasy): Ms Armstrong’s YA debut and first in a trilogy. Umm… scarier (i.e. more horror-ish) than I thought it would be, and the plot didn’t feel that original to me – I’m almost sure I’ve read similar setups by other authors. And I hate open-ended stories. Having said that, I do like her writing and I finished this in one sitting. B
“The Fox” by Sherwood Smith (fantasy): Second in her Inda series. While I got somewhat lost with the huge cast of characters and the number of plotlines (seeing that it’s been two years since I read the first book), it was engrossing enough for me to go out and buy the third book immediately… B
”King’s Shield” by Sherwood Smith (fantasy): … which I enjoyed more, probably because I remembered who was who in this one! Am looking forward to the fourth (and final, I think) book now. B+
“Oakleaf Bearers” by John Flanagan (children’s fantasy): Fourth in his Ranger’s Apprentice series, which I am officially addicted too. It’s not great writing (I think it’s the occasionally ominprescient viewpoints which throw me off), but it’s very good story-telling. B
“House of Many Ways” by Diana Wynne Jones (children’s fantasy): A sort-of sequel to "Howl’s Moving Castle", which I loved. This, not so much (mainly because Howl and co don’t take centrestage – i.e. it’s not you, it’s me), but still filled with DWJ trademark style and humour. B-
“Into the Fire” by Suzanne Brockmann (romantic suspense): I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this so much, because I’m a Jules fangirl and he only makes a very minor appearance in this book. But I did and stayed up (very) late to finish it. A word of warning however, I’ve been following the series from the start and so knew everyone who turned up, but newcomers to the series may find the large cast of characters and their backstories slightly confusing. B+