Join Date: Nov 2006
Device: Kindle Voyage, iPad Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, N7
Goal: To make a note of all the books I read
Books read for entertainment during 2012
"The Know-it-all", by A.J. Jacobs. Completed 8/1/12
Thoroughly enjoyed this. A very witty account of the author's goal to read the complete "Encylopaedia Brittanica", and the effect that doing so had on his life. Highly recommended.
"The Anonymous Client", by Parnell Hall. Completed 11/1/12
#2 in the "Steve Winslow" series. An excellent legal "whodunnit", in the style of a modern-day Perry Mason. I'm really enjoying this series.
"Starliner" by David Drake. Completed 14/1/12
An average military SF novel. Fun to read, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do so. A large number of very obvious OCR errors, especially prone to "cl" being rendered as "d" - eg "dock" instead of "clock", which was irritating.
"Death in a White Tie" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 21/1/12
The 7th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. Superb. The ending took me completely by surprise.
"Endgame Enigma" by James P. Hogan. Completed 24/1/12
A very good SF thriller by one of my favourite hard SF authors, with a real "twist in the tail". Highly recommended.
"The Railway Detective" by Edward Marston. Completed 27/1/12
A new author for me. Pretty good detective story set in England in 1850. Not exceptional, but certainly worth reading.
"The Alloy of Law" by Brandon Sanderson. Completed 30/1/12
A standalone sequel to "The Mistborn Trilogy". Excellent adventure story, fun and fast-paced. Thoroughly enjoyable.
"Overture to Death" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 4/2/12
The 8th in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. A death at a village bring Inspector Alleyn from Scotland Yard to investigate. Not as good as the two previous books in the series but nonetheless enjoyable.
"Last Bus to Woodstock" by Colin Dexter. Completed 7/2/12.
The first "Inspector Morse" novel. Morse and Lewis solve the murder of a girl found dead in a pub carpark. Absolutely excellent.
"Death at the Bar" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 14/2/12.
The 9th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. Alleyn is called in to investigate the death of a prominent London barrister who is on holiday at a small Devon fishing village. An excellent book. Highly recommended.
"Thraxas" by Martin Scott. Completed 19/2/12.
Extremely funny take on the hard-boiled detective genre. Thraxas is a drunken, overweight PI in the hopelessly corrupt city of Turai. A failed apprentice sorceror and former mercenary, he's down on his luck. But then he's hired by Princess Du-Akai to recover some letters she unwisely wrote. And then his problems really begin... Highly recommended.
"Thraxas and the Warrior Monks" by Martin Scott. Completed 25/2/12.
Sequel to "Thraxas", as above. This time Thraxas gets involved in the case of an apprentice sculptor who is accused of murdering his master, and tried to find the religious statue stolen at the time of the crime. Two rival bands of warrior monks are also looking for the statue, which makes life difficult for Thraxas. A fun fantasy romp. Well worth reading.
"George Passant" by C.P. Snow. Completed 6/3/12.
The 2nd book (chronologically, although it was the first written) in C.P. Snow's "Strangers and Brothers" series. I found this to be much heavier going than the first book, which I hope means that his writing style improved over time. I enjoyed the book, but it was rather heavy going at times.
"Surfeit of Lampreys" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 12/3/12.
The 10th "Inspector Alleyn" novel. Very good. An eccentric aristocratic family and a rather grisly murder of a rich relative. The murder mystery, although good, is secondary to the wonderful characterisation of the family members. Excellent!
"Death Masks" by Jim Butcher. Completed 18/3/12.
The 5th book in the "Dresden Files" series. The best that I've read so far in the series.
"Crocodile on the Sandbank" by Elizabeth Peters. Completed 24/3/12.
The first of the "Amelia Peabody" stories set in an archeological setting in late 19th century Egypt. Excellent. Very highly recommended.
"Moonshot" by Dan Parry. Completed 27/3/12.
A superb account of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Excellent.
"Death and the Dancing Footman" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 3/4/12.
Another excellent novel by Ngaio Marsh; the 11th in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. A classic "English country house murder mystery", in which Alleyn only puts in an appearance 60% of the way through the book. As always, Marsh's excellent character development really make the book worth reading, and is what separates her from the "cardboard" characters of Agatha Christie, to my mind. A very good book indeed.
"Egypt - How a Lost Civilization was Rediscovered" by Joyce Tyldesley. Completed 7/4/12.
A paper book, unfortunately not available as an eBook. Tells the story of the history of Egyptology by focussing on some of the most colourful characters in the field. A very good read.
"Migration" by James P. Hogan. Completed 20/4/12.
SF, set on board a generation starship. I really can't recommend this. It's a decent enough story, but it doesn't go anywhere. It just finished abruptly and leaves you wondering "well, what happens next?". A disappointing book by one of my favourite "hard SF" authors.
"Colour Scheme" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 6/5/12.
The 12th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series, set in New Zealand. An excellent read - one of her better ones.
"Crusade" by David Weber & Steve White. Completed 11/5/12.
The first book in the "Starfire" series. Excellent military SF. The Terran Federation faces a battle for survival against religious fanatics. A re-read of an old favourite.
"In Death Ground" by David Weber & Steve White. Completed April 2012.
2nd book in the "Starfire" series. Set about 60 years after "Crusade", the Terran Federation is invaded by a race of carnivorous arachnids who goal is extermination of the human race.
"The Shiva Option" by David Weber and Steve White. Completed April 2012.
3rd book in the "Starfire" series, and the 2nd half of the story which began in "In Death Ground".
"Insurrection" by David Weber and Steve White. Completed April 2012.
4th book in the "Starfire" series. The fringe worlds rebel after decades of oppression by the rich corporate worlds of the Terran Federation. Will they succeed in establishing independence or will a bloody civil war destroy the Federation?
"Exodus" by Steve White and Shirley Meier. Completed April 2012.
5th book in the "Starfire" series, set 80 years after "Insurrection". A race fleeing the destruction of their star system in a supernova explosion arrived in Federation space after travelling for thousands of years in generation ships. A war of conquest ensues.
"Etremis" by Steve White and Charles Gannon. Completed April 2012.
6th and (so far) final book in the "Starfire" series. The second half of the story which began in "Exodus".
"Died in the Wool" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 12/6/12.
13th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. Alleyn is still in New Zealand, hunting down enemy agents during WWII. He's called to a sheep station, whose owner, a well-known Member of Parliament, has been murdered, and where top-secret military research is being conducted. I wasn't too impressed by this one; a decent enough murder mystery, but none of the characters really caught my interest..
"Elantris" by Brandon Sanderson. Completed 16/6/12.
Superb standalone fantasy novel. Excellent world-building, a very clever magic and logical magic system, and and an absorbing story. VERY highly recommended!
"Final Curtain" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 23/7/12.
The 14th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. A famous retired actor commissions Alleyn's wife, Troy, to paint his portrait. When he is found dead, apparently from food poisoning, Alleyn (now back from New Zealand) becomes involved in the case. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Interesting characters, and a very clever murder case which I didn't guess the solution to.
"Neither Here Nor There" by Bill Bryson. Completed 25/7/12.
Bill Bryson's book about travelling through Europe in 1990. Extremely funny, and a very good read. Highly recommended!
"The Lost Continent" by Bill Bryson. Completed 28/7/12.
A book describing Bill Bryson's 13000 mile roadtrip through small-town American after having lived in the UK for many years. Very good.
"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. Completed 31/7/12.
SF. A treasure-hunt for keys to unlock the vast fortune left by the creator of the virtual world within which most of the population of mid 21st-century Earth now lives their lives, the clues to which are references to 1980s pop culture. Very good indeed. Highly recommended!
"Notes From a Small Island" by Bill Bryson. Completed 4/8/12.
Bill Bryson travelogue about a journey around Britain. Very amusing. Highly recommended.
"Swing, Brother, Swing" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 9/8/12.
The 15th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. An eccentric peer apparently kills a fellow band-member, while playing in a swing band. An excellent book. Good story, interesting characters, and an ingenious crime.
"I'm a Stranger Here Myself" by Bill Bryson. Completed 11/8/12.
Reprint of a weekly newspaper column written by Bill Bryson on "rediscovering America" after moving back there in 1996, having lived in England for 20 years. The book consists of about 70 short chapters, covering a wide range of diverse topics. Entertaining, and an ideal book for dipping into.
"The Magic of Recluse" by L.E. Modessit. Completed 18/8/12.
1st book in the "Recluse" fantasy series. Lerris must leave the island nation of Recluse because he is bored by the perfection of the order-based society there. On the mainland, he has to come to terms with his own order-based magical abilities and face the threat of chaos-using wizards. Excellent!
"The Towers of the Sunset" by L.E. Modessit. Completed 23/8/12.
2nd book in the "Recluse" saga, set centuries earlier than the previous book, and telling the story of the founding of Recluse by the young storm wizard Creslin. Excellent.
"Opening Night" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 26/8/12.
16th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series and set, like so many of her books, in the world of the theatre. An actor died on the opening night of a new play. Is it murder or suicide? Alleyn investigates. I guessed the solution to this one quite early in the book, but an extremely enjoyable read. Recommended.
"The Magic Engineer" by L.E. Modessit. Completed 1/9/12.
3rd book in the "Recluse" saga. This jumps forward 300 years from "The Towers of the Sunset", which told the story of the founding of Recluse, and we now have the story of Dorrin, who invented the order-based engineering which played a major role in the 1st book in the series. Excellent.
"Spinsters in Jeopardy" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 8/9/12.
In this, the 17th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series, sees, Alleyn is sent under cover to France, with his family (he's gained a 6-year-old son somehow since the last book!) to investigate the connection between an ancient French fortress, occupied by what today we'd call a "new age cult", and an international heroin distribution operation. Many adventures follow, including the kidnapping of Alleyn's young son, Ricky, and his (Alleyn's) attempt to infiltrate the cult to find out what's going on. Thoroughly enjoyable. One of the best in the series so far.
"The Order War" by L.E. Modessit. Completed 25/9/12.
The 4th book in the "Recluse" series. This book tells the story of Justen, whom we first encountered as a minor character in the first book in the series, and his attempt to balance the powers of Chaos, as represented by the white wizards of Fairhaven, with the powers of Order, represented by the black wizards of Recluse. A very good read.
"Scales of Justice" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 19/10/12.
[i]The 18th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series sees Chief Inspector Alleyn investigating a murder in a close-knit rural community. Very well-plotted; I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
"The Curse of the Pharaohs" by Elizabeth Peters. Completed 24/10/12.
2nd book in the "Amelia Peabody" series. A newly discovered tomb in the Valley of the Kings followed by the mysterious death of its discovered leads to press reports of an ancient curse. A very enjoyable romp.
"Last Seen Wearing" by Colin Dexter. Completed 26/10/12.
2nd book in the "Inspector Morse" series. Morse is asked to reopen the case of a vanished schoolgirl. Many twists and turns. Excellent.
"Warbreaker" by Brandon Sanderson. Completed 30/10/12.
Standalone fantasy novel. Great world-building, as is always the case with BS. Very good.
"Off With His Head" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 3/11/12.
The 19th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. A man is decapitated during an ancient folk dance. Alleyn has to discover how and why. Very good plot. Recommended.
"The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn" by Colin Dexter. Completed 8/11/12.
The 3rd book in the "Inspector Morse" series, and another very good read. Morse investigates the murder of a deaf man who worked in a foreign examination syndicate in Oxford.
"Agent of Change" by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Completed 9/11/12.
The first book in the "Liaden" series. Reasonably good SF, but I wasn't blown away by it. Hopefully the series will get better.
"The Mummy Case" by Elizabeth Peters. Completed 14/11/12.
The 3rd book in the "Amelia Peabody" series, this novel follows the Victorian lady sleuth to the "pyramids" of Mazghunah. On her arrival, it seems that the barren area can be of no interest, but a murder in Cairo soon persuades her otherwise... Very enjoyable.
"Service of All the Dead" by Colin Dexter. Completed 15/11/12.
The 4th book in the "Inspector Morse" series. Morse and Lewis investigate a puzzling series of murders linked to an Oxford church. Excellent.
"The Death of Chaos" by L.E. Modesitt. Completed 20/11/12.
The 5th book in the "Recluse" series, and a direct sequel to the 1st book in the series. Good solid fantasy.
"Singing in the Shrouds" by Ngaio Marsh. 3/12/12.
The 20th book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. Alleyn goes undercover as a passenger on a freighter sailing from England to South Africa to try to unmask the identity of the infamous "flower killer". Very good indeed. Highly recommended.
"The Dead of Jericho" by Colin Dexter. Completed 7/12/12.
The 5th book in the "Inspector Morse" series. A woman who Morse knew personally is found hanged in her home. It appears to be a straightforward case of suicide, but Morse is convinced that there's more to it, and conducts an unofficial investigation of his own. Excellent.
"Utopia" by Lincoln Child. Completed 11/12/12.
Thriller. A gang of criminals holds a high-tech amusement park to ransom. Excellent.
"Blood Rites" by Jim Butcher. Completed 17/12/12.
The 6th book in the "Dresden Files" series. Mildly amusing. I probably shan't re-read it.
"The Riddle of the Third Mile" by Colin Dexter. Completed 20/12/12.
The 6th book in the "Inspector Morse" series. A distinguished academic vanishes from his Oxford College, and an unidentifiable torso is discovered in a nearby canal. But things are a lot more complicated than they may at first appear. Excellent.
"Tyrannosaurus Canyon" by Douglas Preston. Completed 22/12/12.
A fast-paced thriller set in the badlands of New Mexico, about a search for a valuable T. Rex fossil. Very enjoyable.
"False Scent" by Ngaio Marsh. Completed 24/12/12.
The 21st book in the "Inspector Alleyn" series. A famous but ageing actress is found dead at her own birthday party, apparently as the result of an accident with poisonous pesticide. But Alleyn suspects that all is not as it appears to be. Very enjoyable. Good plot and interesting characters. Highly recommended.
"The Secret of Annexe 3", by Colin Dexter. Completed 28/12/12.
The 7th book in the "Inspector Morse" series. A man is found murdered in a hotel annexe room following New Year celebrations. A complex and interesting investigation follows. Very good indeed!
"Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke. Completed 30/12/12.
The world was on the brink of nuclear destruction when the giant ships of the Overlords appeared in the skies above the major cites, and imposed peace. But what was their purpose in coming to Earth? An SF classic. Excellent.
Total books read: 62
Books proof-read during 2012
"Thuvia, Maid of Mars", by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 1/1/12.
"The Chessmen of Mars", by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 16/1/12.
"The Master Mind of Mars", by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 27/1/12.
"A Fighting Man of Mars", by Edgar Rice Rurroughs. Completed 14/2/12.
"Swords of Mars", by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 4/3/12.
"Synthetic Men of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 27/3/12.
"Llana of Gathol" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 6/4/12.
"John Carter of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Completed 9/4/12.
"A Thousand Miles Up the Nile" by Amelia B. Edwards. Completed 11/5/12.
"Our Mutual Friend" by Charles Dickens. Completed 22/7/12.
"The Mystery of Edwin Drood" by Charles Dickens. Completed 5/8/12.
"A Child's History of England" by Charles Dickens. Completed 1/9/12.
"Queen Lucia" by E.F. Benson. Completed 12/9/12.
"Miss Mapp" by E.F. Benson. Completed 22/9/12.
"Lucia in London" by E.F. Benson. Completed 7/10/12.
"Mapp and Lucia" by E.F. Benson. Completed 15/10/12.
"Lucia's Progress" by E.F. Benson. Completed 14/11/12.
"Trouble for Lucia" by E.F. Benson. Completed 25/11/12.
"Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen. Completed 17/12/12.
Total books proofed: 19
Total books read + proofed: 80
Last edited by HarryT; 01-01-2013 at 06:47 AM.