Looking back at the first half of 2009:
I started the year off with a bang, falling in love with Juliet Marillier’s “Heir to Sevenwaters” (warning: very spoiler-y post) and officially becoming a Marillier fangirl. I then somehow started on LM Montgomery’s short stories and really, couldn’t stop – I pretty much spent the latter half of January immersed in LM Montgomery’s turn-of-the-century Prince Edward Island.
Eleven books read in total, counting the six LM Montgomery short story collections – I did say I was addicted, didn’t I?
Standout book of the month was Patricia Briggs’ “Bone Crossed” (urban fantasy) – did you even have to ask? She has a gift for storytelling and I can’t get enough of her Mercy Thompson books.
And it was obviously quality, not quantity, that counted in February, because while I only read five books (seriously, what was I doing?), I also read and loved Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Horizon” (fantasy), which was a note-perfect ending to her Sharing Knife series, and Josh Lanyon & Laura Baumbach’s “Mexican Heat” (romantic suspense m/m), which I thought delivered both romance and suspense in spades.
Not a massively exciting month reading-wise, with seven books read over the course of the month. I mostly read the latest books in various ongoing series, including Deanna Raybourn’s “Silent in the Moor” (historical mystery, with a wonderfully Gothic atmosphere) and Kelley Armstrong’s “Made to be Broken” (romantic suspense, and a solid read, as per my expectations).
But swept away in a wave of nostalgia after reading LM Montgomery back in January, I started re-reading Elinor M Brent-Dyer’s Chalet School books, and gosh, this brought back so many memories – I adored them as a kid and wanted to go to boarding school so badly. I loved doing these re-reads, and even invested in some new-to-me Chalet School books – and ouch, these are expensive nowadays.
Now April was an excellent month for reading.
Ilona Andrews’ “Magic Strikes” (urban fantasy) wowed me – from a rather so-so first book, the Kate Daniels series has grown into one of the best UF series out there, IMO. I also loved Sarah Monette’s “Corambis” (fantasy), an incredibly satisfying finale to her Doctrine of Labyrinths series.
I read nine books this month, very much dominated by the fantasy genre, but also including two Agatha Christie mystery short story collections, which had a nice mixture of new-to-me stories and old favourites.
Ah, May. I read seven books in total, but there were two standouts for me.
And I finally got my hands on Eva Ibbotson’s “Magic Flutes”, thanks to Young Picador re-releasing her backlist in the UK. Her historical romances are pure joy to read – some of her turns of phrase are almost magical, and I am in love with her ever-so-slightly exotic continental European settings. And of course, the enchanting characters.
Well. I did a minor Josh Lanyon glom, reading three of his novellas (“Lovers and Other Strangers”, “Someone Killed His Editor”, and “Don’t Look Back”) in quick succession, all which had his trademark wry humour and wonderful characterisation.
And read two more books, neither of which I fell in love with, and then I sort of went into a reading slump.
So that was the first half of my reading year: 44 books read in total, with some excellent ones in there, but ending on a bit of a downer. However, things improved substantially in the next month…
To be continued…