In my January-March wrap up, I forgot to mention the major book-related event in January – I got my Sony Reader. And Catherine Asaro’s “The Ruby Dice” was the first ebook I read on it. It’s funny how that sticks in my mind. I think the first 50 or so pages, my main thoughts were “Wow, I can actually read books on this thing” and “I hope I don’t break it”. And then it became a non-issue and I forgot I was reading an ebook. So yes, love love love my Sony Reader.
Anyway, continuing my rambling review of 2008…
Karen Chance’s “Embrace the Night” (UF) was one of my Top Five releases of 2008, with the other standout read being Eva Ibbotson’s “A Company of Swans” (YA romance, or at least it’s shelved in the YA section). I’ve adored all the Ibbotson novels I’ve read to date, and this was no exception. Lyrical writing, beautiful settings and characters she makes you care about.
I also read the fifth book in Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss series “Night Train to Memphis” (mystery). Ahh… John Smythe. While I still love Amelia Peabody more, I totally understood why Vicky fans were jumping with joy at the prospect of a new VB book coming out later in the year.
Three other books I really liked were Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Passages” (fantasy, Book 3 of the Sharing Knife series), Barbara Michaels’ “Patriot’s Dream” (mystery), and Ann Aguirre’s “Grimspace” (SF romance). The Barbara Michaels was unusual because it had two linked stories set in different timelines, one during the American Revolution and the other in contemporary times – while I loved the history focus, I didn’t think they intertwined with each other very well.
Two author gloms during this month, the first being Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl series, which I’ve already mentioned ad nauseum. So I will restrain myself here. Though does it qualify as a official glom if there were only two books in the author’s backlist at the time of said glom?
The second author was Mary Stewart (romantic suspense) and this definitely qualifies as a proper glom with me reading six Stewarts in May alone. I finally decided to find out why so many bloggers love her novels, and gosh, I fell hard. “Nine Coaches Waiting” became my favourite Stewart, until displaced by “The Ivy Tree” a month later. I’m so fickle.
Anyway, between these two authors, I didn’t read much else during May – oh, I really liked Ilona Andrews’ “Magic Burns” (UF, Book 2 in the Kate Daniels series). Which quite surprised me (in a good way!), because I hadn’t loved the first book in this series. But I enjoyed MB, and can’t wait for the third. I’m glad I like these books because – and this is going to sound really shallow – I like the covers for this series. Heh.
And in June, I read a lot. 20 books in total – I’m not sure where I found the time actually. Especially seeing Wimbledon was on at the same time. Oh yeah, I remember now, it was a rather quiet time at work. How things change.
I continued reading Mary Stewart’s backlist, five books this month including the aforementioned “The Ivy Tree”. So good. Even though I cheated and skipped ahead to the ending. I know. Curiosity killed the cat and all that.
Other standouts: Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Mercy” (fantasy, Book 3 in the Imriel trilogy), a perfect ending to Imriel’s story. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but all I have to do it to read the opening lines of her books, and the way she writes, the cadence of her sentences, they instantly draw me into her world. And I discovered Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English books (mystery / m/m romance) – he’s one of the best new-to-me writers I came across this year. I love his writing and he has me totally invested in Adrien and Jake’s relationship.
So in the first half of the year, I read 83 books altogether. It doesn’t feel like it, but I appear to have had more A reads during the first half of the year compared to the second. I think November and December were good reading months for me, and the more recent reads are sticking in my mind.