joyce (joyce) wrote,

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december books...

since i doubt i'm going to finish anything tomorrow, and i'm in the mood to do this tonight:

Cutdown : a Claude McCutcheon novel - John A. Miller - this was a random pick off the mystery shelf. the protagonist is a most unconventional lawyer who has a client who steals some documents he shouldn't in a murder... the plot is almost secondly to the characters, who are pretty gritty and almost bigger than life. i enjoyed reading this, but i'm not sure i'll bother with any other books with this protagonist.

Night ferry to death / Moyes, Patricia - another random pick off the mystery shelf. this is your typical genteel British murder mystery, where a member of Scotland Yard figures out whodunnit and you never really feel like anyone's in danger despite the bodies lying about. it was great fun and a quick read, and i intend to read more of the series. in fact, i think there's another lying about the living room somewhere...

Bootlegger's daughter / Margaret Maron - and a third random pick off the mystery shelf at least it got me to reading new authors this month. :) i generally avoid reading local fiction, since i usually end up muttering at the author about what they got wrong. :) however, i didn't find myself doing that with this book. this is the first in a series set in a fictional "Colleton County" about 45 minutes east of Raleigh with 95 running through it. heh. the author has life in eastern NC down pretty well, and the characters are believable. the protagonist is a defense attorney running for a judgeship, and while there are murders happening around her, the book is also about her campaign, practicing law in a small Southern town, and family. i plan on gobbling up the rest of the series.

Father Arseny: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father - this isn't my normal sort of thing. i borrowed it from ambermae, who was reading it for her church book club. i was expecting more of a narrative, but it's shorts about an Orthodox priest and his work in and out of a Russian prison camp, written for the most part by his spiritual children. more testimony than narrative, this took me forever to read. in the end, my agnostic self was left with the impression that Father Arseny was certainly a great man, and that he definitely had some sort of blessing over him, to survive the trials that he did in the manner in which he did, all the while helping others. i don't have a whole lot else to say on the subject yet that i'm putting up for public consumption. (however, i was amused by the story towards the end of the book about the young man who got most of the way through seminary and suddenly decided that he needed to be married two weeks before he was ordained, because "a priest needs a wife", but they can't marry after they're ordained. not that i'd disagree with the statement that priests work better with life partners..., but i don't think i'd have put it off for that long... )

Southern discomfort / Margaret Maron - see above. the second book in the Deborah Knott series. i ate this one whole.

and this year, i read:

1. Portrait in Death (J.D. Robb)
2. Purity in Death (J.D. Robb)
3. Wolves of the Calla (Stephen King)
4. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
5. Deception Point (Dan Brown)
6. Digital Fortress (Dan Brown)
7. One of the Money (Janet Evanovich)
8. Two for the Dough (Janet Evanovich)
9. A is For Alibi (Sue Grafton)
10. Word Freak (Stefan Fatsis)
11. Blowfly (Patricia Cornwell)
12. Reunion in Death (J.D. Robb)
13. Portrait in Death (J.D. Robb)
14. Divided in Death (J.D. Robb)
15. Obsidian Butterfly (Laurel K. Hamilton)
16. Grift Sense (James Swain)
17. Last trout in Venice / Doug Lansky
18. An Italian Affair (Laura Fraser)
19. Smoke and mirrors : short fictions and illusions / Neil Gaiman
20. Bet your life / Richard Dooling
21. Almost French : love and a new life in Paris / Sarah Turnbull
22. Enterprise, The First Adventure (Vonda N McIntyre)
23. Funny money : a Tony Valentine novel / James Swain
24. A year in Provence / by Peter Mayle
25. Consuming passions : a food obsessed life / - Michael Lee West
26. Ashes of eden / William Shatner
27. The man who ate everything : and other gastronomic feats, disputes, and pleasurable pursuits / Jeffrey Steingarten.
28. Sucker bet : a Tony Valentine novel / James Swain
29. The return / William Shatner
30. Under the Tuscan sun : at home in Italy / by Frances Mayes
31. Glass Mountain - Cynthia Voight
32. Avenger / by William Shatner
33. A Time to Kill / John Grisham
34. Remember when / by Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb
35. The Runaway jury /John Grisham
36. The great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald
37. Cold fall / John Gardner
38. The Hobbit - J.R. Tolkien
39. Black Fire - Sonni Cooper
40. The last juror / John Grisham
41. Little house in the big woods; Laura Ingalls Wilder
42. Ice station / Matthew Reilly
43. Heavy weather / Bruce Sterling
44. Aunt Dimity digs in / Nancy Atherton
45. Angels & demons / Dan Brown
46. Area 7 / Matthew Reilly
47. Prey to all / Natasha Cooper
48. Song of Susannah / Stephen King
49. If I ever get back to Georgia, I'm gonna nail my feet to the ground / by Lewis Grizzard
50. Scarecrow / Matthew Reilly
51. Visions in death / J.D. Robb
52. 1st to die : a novel / by James Patterson
53. On the oceans of eternity / S. M. Stirling
54. Hawkes Harbor / S.E. Hinton
55. Uhara's Song / Janet Hagan
56. Ten Big Ones / Janet Evanovich
57. Creeping Ivy / Natasha Cooper
58. Bleachers / John Grisham
59. The Dark Tower / Stephen King
60. Lucifer's hammer / by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
61. The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary / Simon Winchester
62. "R" is for ricochet / Sue Grafton
63. Dies the fire / S.M. Stirling
64. Crisis on Centaurus / Brad Ferguson
65. Spectre / William Shatner
66. Cutdown : a Claude McCutcheon novel /John A. Miller
67. Night ferry to death / Moyes, Patricia
68. Bootlegger's daughter / Margaret Maron
69. Father Arseny: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father
70. Southern discomfort / Margaret Maron

so i read 70 books. not bad. :) i see a few patterns in my reading. i like mysteries (duh. i have pretty much since i could read at all, starting with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys). i tend to find an author i like an stripe through their works with frightening speed (I did this last year with Laurel K. Hamilton. i od'ed on her books and couldn't touch one for months.) there's a fair number of new authors on that list and not many rereads (6), which pleases me. i went through a travel book stage this summer. i went through and am still going through an apocolyptic fiction stage. i'm really getting into alternate history.

i'd be hard pressed to pick favorites - this year, i finally got it through my head that if i really didn't like a book, i didn't have to keep reading it, so most of what i read was tolerable, and a great deal of it was good. i was glad to finally get to read the end of the Dark Tower series. finishing the Island in the Sea of Time triology by SM Stirling was very satisfying, and i loved Dies the Fire. i liked the non-fiction i read, particulary Word Freak. the Star Trek books were much fun.

this coming year, i'd like to hit 100 books, but i'm not going to beat myself up if i don't. (have i mentioned that i have SEVENTEEN textbooks for next semester? and only two of those (Stats and Research Methods) are marginally unlikely to require gobs of reading.) i'd like to read more non-fiction, more historical fiction, and more apocalyptic fiction. developing and continuing non-fiction interests include history, religion, survivalism, travel, and cooking.
Tags: books:booklist:monthly, books:booklist:yearly

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