|12-28-2013, 03:18 PM||#31|
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
Device: Kindle Voyage,Kindle PW, Fire HD 8.9, Fire HD8
Goal: 120 Books, including audio books
With, hopefully, some improved quality overall. I have no idea if I'll be able to keep this list up -- I didn't manage it last year.
Last edited by CRussel; 12-30-2014 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Updated list
|12-28-2013, 05:53 PM||#32|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Device: KPW1, KA1
Main Challenge: Read 14.600 pages in 2014.
Eiji Yoshikawa - Musashi (1,196 pages)
Brooke, Keith - Embrace: Tales from the dark side (131 pages)
Brown, Eric - Ghostwriting (127 pages)
Read in 2014 (25):
Adamns, Douglas - THHGttG  - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (129 pages)
Adamns, Douglas - THHGttG  - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (146 pages)
Adamns, Douglas - THHGttG  - Life, the Universe and Everything (145 pages)
Adamns, Douglas - THHGttG  - So long, and Thanks For All the Fish (122 pages)
Adamns, Douglas - THHGttG  - Mostly Harmless (173 pages)
Colfer, Eoin - THHGttG  - And another thing... (261 pages)
Brooks, Terry - The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara  - Ilse Witch (407 pages)
Brooks, Terry - The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara  - Antrax (315 pages)
Brooks, Terry - The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara  - Morgawr (346 pages)
Brooks, Terry - The High Druid of Shannara  - Jarka Ruus (323 pages)
Brooks, Terry - The High Druid of Shannara  - Tanequil (321 pages)
Brooks, Terry - The High Druid of Shannara  - Straken (352 pages)
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan - The Challenger Works (499 pages)
--- The Lost World (192 pages)
--- The Poison Belt (77 pages)
--- The Land of Mist (201 pages)
--- When the World Screamed (29 pages)
--- The Disintegration Machine (16 pages, not counted, read in 2013)
Eddings, David - The Belgariad  - Pawn of Prophecy (249 pages)
Eddings, David - The Belgariad  - Queen of Sorcery (304 pages)
Eddings, David - The Belgariad  - Magician's Gambit (275 pages)
Eddings, David - The Belgariad  - Castle of Wizardry (336 pages)
Eddings, David - The Belgariad  - Enchanters' Endgame (329 pages)
Eddings, David - The Malloreon  - Guardians of the West (388 pages)
Eddings, David - The Malloreon  - King of the Murgos (394 pages)
Eddings, David - The Malloreon  - Demon Lord of Karanda (358 pages)
Eddings, David - The Malloreon  - The Sorceress of Darshiva (335 pages)
Eddings, David - The Malloreon  - The Seeress of Kell (370 pages)
Bunting, Joe - Let's Write a Short Story! (63 pages)
Liu Cixin - The Wandering Earth (45 pages)
Last edited by Katsunami; 09-14-2014 at 12:28 PM.
|12-29-2013, 12:55 AM||#33|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Device: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle PW2, kindle HDX 8.9, ipad 3, ipad mini 2
52 books and $40 a month max.
My reading goals at least 52 for the year, and to include specifically:
Pride and Prejudice-Austen,
Game of Kings-Dunnett and
A Clash of Kings-Martin
Last edited by pdurrant; 12-29-2013 at 04:02 AM.
|12-29-2013, 03:56 AM||#34|
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Kent, WA
Device: Kindle Touch/IPad
Goal: To read 52 books in 2014
I'll try to read 52 this year.
Stretch goal since I got that one, 30000 pages.
1. Pilgrim's Wilderness
2. Abaddon's Gate
3. Deep State
4. The Lightning Thief
5. Die Trying
6. Hollow City
7. The Sea of Monsters
8. The Diamond Age
9. The Human Division
10. The Maze Runner
11. Fairest Volume 1
12. Fairest Volume 2
13. The Titan's Curse
14. The Infernals
15. Arthur Rex
17. Night of the Living Trekkies
18. Sex Criminals 1 - 5
19. Babel 17
20. Powers (LeGuin)
23. A Talent for War
26. The Terminal Experiment
27. Monster Hunter International
28. Monster Hunter Vendetta
29. Hard Magic
31. The Sea Without a Shore
33. Unfamiliar Fishes
34. Neptune's Brood
35. Crown of Renewal
36. Ancilliary Justice
37. The Eye of the World
38. The Lives of Tao
39. Two Serpents Rise
40. Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite
41. Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You
42. A Symphony of Echoes
43. Just One Damn Thing After Another
44. Freehold (William C. Dietz)
45. The War of the Roses (Adler)
46. The Forge of God (Bear)
47. Monster Hunter Legion (Correia)
48. Monster Hunter Nemesis (Correia)
49. Anvil of Stars (Bear)
50. Under a Graveyard Sky (Ringo)
51. NOS4A2 (Hill)
52. The Cormorant (Wendig)
53. Death Warmed Over (Anderson)
54. Ink Mage (Gischler)
55. The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell (Grant)
56. Steelheart (Sanderson)
56. Fall of Night (Maberry)
57. Sub-Human (Simpson)
58. Post-Human (Simpson)
59. Trans-Human (Simpson)
60. Human Plus (Simpson)
61. Inhuman (Simpson)
62. A Second Chance (Taylor)
63. A Trail Through Time (Taylor)
64. The Bedwetter (Silverman)
65. The Deaths of Tao (Chu)
66. Under the Empyrean Sky (Wendig)
67. Blightborn (Wendig)
68. Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends (Leguizamo)
According to Goodreads: 24058 pages through here
69. The Way of Kings (Sanderson)
70. Lock In (Scalzi)
71. Words of Radiance (Sanderson)
72. Time and Again (Finney)
73. Code Zero (Maberry)
74. War and Peace (Tolstoy) (28,433 pages read)
75. Joyland (King)
76. Robogenesis (Wilson)
I thought I had a ways to go but I must have mis-totaled earlier, because Goodreads has me at 30,244 for the year, and I definitely read everything it has on there this year.
77. Symbiont (Grant-in progress)
Last edited by Ginwen; 12-19-2014 at 03:03 AM.
|12-29-2013, 06:50 AM||#35|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, iPad 3, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Goal: Read 120 books in 2014
After quite a bit of thinking, here's my attempt to make it official:
Read 120 books (any books - DTB, ebooks, separate short stories count if they've been released separately)
Sub-challenges, # of ebooks bought:
Sub-challenges, Doctor Who:
Sub-challenges, books outside comfort genres:
The first and third reading-focused sub-challenge are allowed to overlap (i.e. I can read a DTB that is not in one of my usual genres); the first and second reading-focused sub-challenge are allowed to overlap (i.e. I can read a DTB that is a Doctor Who book).
The second and third reading-focused sub-challenge should not overlap (i.e. while I will count science fiction books for the non-usual genre challenge, I will not count a Doctor Who book as such).
I will add the caveat to the book-buying challenge that if there is a month with especially good deals on books that sound interesting, I will allow myself to go over the limit, but won't spend more than $50 a month.
Last edited by Yapyap; 10-01-2014 at 05:38 PM.
|12-29-2013, 10:09 AM||#36|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Device: Kindle Voyage, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6
To record the books I read and create for the MR library in 2014
"Murder in Mesopotamia", by Agatha Christie. Completed 2/1/14.
This was her 26th novel, originally published in 1936. This novel is written as a "flashback" to events which took place 4 years previously at an archaeological dig in Iraq. Poirot investigates a mysterious murder that takes place within the excavation team.
"The Kingdom by the Sea" by Paul Theroux. Completed 4/1/14.
I always enjoy good travel writing, and Theroux is one of my favourites. This book is the description of his 1982 journey around the coast of Britain, on foot and by public transport. Extremely enjoyable.
"The Steel" by S.M. Stirling and David Drake. Completed 7/1/14.
The 4th book in "The General" series. Raj Whitehall continues his quest to unite the planet of Bellevue. Good military SF.
"Cards on the Table", by Agatha Christie. Completed 9/1/14.
This was her 27th book, and was originally published in 1936.
Mr. Shaitana holds a dinner party to which he invites four detectives, and four people he suspects of being murderers. After dinner, the four murderers play bridge in a room with Mr. Shaitana watching; after the game is over Mr. Shaitana is dead. One of the four must be the murderer, but who?
"The Sword", by S.M. Stirling and David Drake. Completed 12/1/14.
The fifth and final book in the original Raj Whitehall "General" series. A very satisfying conclusion to a good military SF series.
"Rocket Ship Galileo", by Robert Heinlein. Completed 13/1/14.
The first of the "Heinlein Juveniles". Three boys assist the uncle of one them with a trip to the Moon. A rather silly story with a secret Nazi base on the Moon. A sign of better things to come.
"Dumb Witness", by Agatha Christie. Completed 15/1/14.
This was her 28th book, and was originally published in 1937. In this book, Poirot investigates the death of an elderly lady who died, seemingly of natural causes, with a greedy family all wanting her money. The "Dumb Witness" of the title is her dog, Bob, who is a major character (complete with dialogue ) in the book. A good read. Recommended.
"The Chosen", by S.M. Stirling and David Drake. Completed 18/1/14.
This is the 6th book in the "General" series, and is set some 150 years after the end of the original 5-book "Raj Whitehall" part of the series. The scene now switches to the planet Visager where one militaristic nation ("The Chosen" of the title) is about to mount an all-out war to conquer the planet. The ancient battle computer "Center", and the downloaded personality of Raj Whitehall, aid two young men to prevent the conquest. Excellent military SF. Highly recommended.
"Death on the Nile", by Agatha Christie. Completed 22/1/14.
This was her 29th book, originally published in 1937. A beautiful heiress is murdered on a Nile steamer. Poirot investigates, with the assistance of Colonel Race, the British Secret Service agent who we've previously met in "The Man in the Brown Suit" and, only the year before, "Cards on the Table" (a case which is referred to in this book, although no real spoilers).
This was Christie's personal favourite "travel" book and it's one of my favourite Christie books. Not only is it a very good detective story with some excellent characters, but the setting is very evocative of Egypt, a country which I know well and spent a lot of time in. I'm sure that most people are aware that it was made into an excellent film starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot (the first of his six appearances as Poirot). Highly recommended.
"The Reformer" by S.M. Stirling and David Drake. Completed 25/1/14.
The 7th book in the "General" series. Good military SF.
"Murder in the Mews", by Agatha Christie. Completed 28/1/14.
This was her 30th book, and was originally published in 1937. The book contains four novellas featuring Hercule Poirot: "Murder in the Mews", "The Incredible Theft", "Dead Man's Mirror", and "Triangle at Rhodes". It was published in the US with the title "Dead Man's Mirror", but without the story "The Incredible Theft". A very good book indeed. Highly recommended.
"Cradle of Saturn", by James P. Hogan. Completed 1/2/14.
This is a Baen ebook that I originally bought in May 2000 (yes, I do have a long reading list ). This is an "end of the world" story based on the (crackpot) theories of Velikovsky. An Earth-size body is ejected by Jupiter and falls into the inner solar system. Will it hit the Earth and kill everyone? Silly conjecture, but good story.
"Appointment With Death", by Agatha Christie. Completed 6/2/14.
This was her 31st book, and was originally published in 1938.
Holidaying in Jerusalem, Poirot overhears Raymond Boynton telling his sister: You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed? Their stepmother, Mrs Boynton, is a sadistic tyrant who dominates her family. But when she is found dead on a trip to Petra, Poirot proposes to solve the case in twenty-four hours, even though he has no way of knowing whether it was murder.
This book, like several others, is based on Christie's travels in the Middle East with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan.
An excellent book. The main location for the book of Petra really enhances the atmosphere. The book was made into a film starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot.
"Space Cadet", by Robert Heinlein. Completed 8/2/14.
Originally published in 1948. This was the second of the Heinlein "Juveniles", and tells the story of a teenage boy, Matt Dodson, and his experiences training to be an officer of the Space Patrol. The book inspired the long-running "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" series, but the original is, IMHO, enormously better. This is one of my favourite books.
"Bull God", by Roberta Gellis. Completed 12/2/14.
A very interesting fantasy novel - a retelling of the story of King Minos of Crete and the Minotaur, told from the viewpoint of Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos who becomes the priestess of Dionysus in Knossos. In this version of the story, the Olympian Gods are real, but magicians, rather than gods, although considered to be gods by the ordinary people.
Very good indeed, especially for anyone with an interest in Greek Mythology.
"Hercule Poirot's Christmas", by Agatha Christie. Completed 15/2/14.
This was her 32nd book, and was originally published in 1938.
A classic "English country house" murder story. The tyrannical father of a dysfunctional family is brutally murdered, seemingly in a locked room. Poirot investigates. Enjoyable.
"Escape" by Ben Bova. Completed 17/2/14.
SF set in the present or very near future. An urban teenage gang member is sentenced to an escape-proof prison, where, despite his best efforts to thwart the system, he is successfully rehabilitated. Very interesting read.
"The Blade Itself" by Joe Abercrombie. Completed 24/2/14.
The first book in the "First Law" trilogy. Rather dark and violent fantasy, but an excellent read. Difficult to describe other than to say that, if you like fantasy, you should give it a go. A new author for me, and I'm very impressed indeed.
"Murder is Easy", by Agatha Christie. Completed 25/2/14.
This was her 33rd book, originally published in 1939.
Luke Fitzwilliam, a retired colonial police officer, happens to share a London bound train carriage with Lavinia Pinkerton, an elderly lady who informs Luke that she is travelling to Scotland Yard to report a serial killer, responsible for the deaths of three people. He assumes that she is a batty old lady, but, when he reads both of her death and that of the man she feared would be the next victim of the killer, he decides to investigate the matter himself.
Inspector Battle, who appeared in earlier Christie novels such as "The Mystery of Chimneys" and "The Seven Dials Mystery", appears in a cameo role in this book, but plays no part in solving the crime.
I really enjoyed this one. Interesting characters and a real "twist in the tail" in the solution. Highly recommended.
"Before They Are Hanged" by Joe Abercrombie. Completed 5/3/14.
The second book in the "First Law" trilogy. Excellent fantasy.
"Time Scout" by Robert Asprin and Linda Evans. Completed 15/3/14.
First book in the "Time Scout" series. Good time-travel SF.
"And Then There Were None", by Agatha Christie. Completed 18/3/14.
This was her 34rd book, originally published in 1939.
Ten people are invited to spend a week on a remote island off the Cornish coast. One by one they are murdered, but who is the murderer?
A masterpiece. VERY highly recommended.
"Wagers of Sin" by Robert Asprin and Linda Evans. Completed 15/3/14.
"Sad Cypress" by Agatha Christie. Completed 20/3/14.
Christie's 35th book, originally published in 1940. A young woman is poisoned, apparently by another young woman. The evidence against her seems damning, but Poirot investigates. Pretty good.
"Like a Mighty Army" by David Weber. Completed 2/4/14.
The 7th book in Weber's "Safehold" series. Non-stop action. I really enjoyed this one.
"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" by Agatha Christie. Completed 6/4/14.
Christie's 36th book, published in 1940. Poirot's dentist apparently shoots himself, but Poirot suspects that he was murdered. Very good.
"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Completed 8/4/14.
Distinctly average YA distopian fiction. Not terribly impressed.
"The Martian" by Andy Weir. Completed 11/4/14.
Excellent hard SF. Highly recommend.
"One Coast To Another: Following Wainwright from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay" by Andrew Bowden. Completed 13/4/14.
A travelogue recounting his experiences walking the "Coast to Coast" path which runs for 200 miles from one side of Northern England to the other. I'm planning on doing the walk myself next year, so want to read as much as I can about it in advance. Good, but full of grammatical errors.
"Evil Under the Sun", by Agatha Christie. Completed 14/4/14.
This was her 37th book, originally published in 1941.
Poirot is on holiday at a hotel off the coast of Devon, when one of the guests, a well-known actress, is found strangled on the beach (which reinforces the view that you know you're in BIG trouble if you find yourself at the same holiday destination as a famous detective!). Poirot investigates.
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. An interesting cast of characters, and an intriguing plot. Highly recommended.
"Manalone", by Colin Kapp. Completed 15/4/14.
An SF novel from 1977 by the (IMHO) much under-rated British author, Colin Kapp, who died in 2007. SF Gateway publish pretty much his entire output, although, like most of the stuff they publish, I don't think they have US rights, so it won't be available there.
"Manalone" is set in a future Britain, where society is crumbling and over half the population is out of work. The protagonist is a physicist who notices that the laws of physics seem to be changing, and the government is trying to suppress all evidence of the past. The book tells the story of his search to uncover the truth of what's happening.
A short book, but very enjoyable. I recommend it.
"Ripping Time" by Robert Asprin and Linda Evans. Completed 18/4/14.
The 3rd book in the "Time Scout" series - one novel split over two books. Set in a future world in which "time tourism" is commonplace, these books tell the story of the "Jack the Ripper" murders. Very, VERY good indeed, but I'd recommend reading the first two books in the series first. All published (or were - I don't know if they're still available) by Baen.
"The House that Jack Built" by Robert Asprin and Linda Evans. Completed 21/4/14.
The second half of the story started in "Ripping Time". Good SF.
"Search for the Sun" by Colin Kapp. Completed 22/4/14.
The first book in the "Cageworld" series. In the future, the continued growth in the human population means that mankind now lives on a series of solid concentric "shells" around the Sun. "Search for the Sun" is the story of an expedition by people from the "Mars Shell" to seek out the mythical "Sun" that is rumoured to lie at the heart of the solar system. Good SF, although Kapp's writing style is a little over the top at times.
"N or M?" by Agatha Christie. Completed 24/4/14.
Christie's 38th novel, originally published in 1941. The third book in the "Tommy and Tuppence" series of hugely enjoyable but wildly improbable "thrillers". Set in contemporary times (ie a background of the early years of WW2), this one is about hunting down enemy agents in a sleepy English seaside town.
"The Body in the Library" by Agatha Christie. Completed 25/4/14.
The second "Miss Marple" novel, and Christie's 39th, originally published in 1942. An ingenious take on a classic theme of detective fiction. Very, very good indeed.
"Five Little Pigs" by Agatha Christie. Completed 27/4/14.
Christie's 40th novel, originally published in 1942. A young woman whose mother was convicted of murder 16 years previously asks Poirot to reinvestigate the case. Excellent.
"Time" by Stephen Baxter. Completed 29/4/14.
"Space". Completed 1/5/14.
"Origin". Completed 4/5/14.
Wonderful hard SF by one of by the best living British SF authors. The three books in the series, "Time", "Space", and "Origin", each tell the story of the same characters, but in alternate universes. "Time" is set in a universe where humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, and explores the evolution of the human race into the unimaginably distant future. "Space" is set in a universe which is full of alien races, where expansion and the resource mining of star systems is rife. Finally, "Origin" tells the story of the origin of the human race by manipulation of different species of hominids in alternate universes. Thought-provoking, and very highly recommended.
"Hull Zero Three" by Greg Bear. Completed 10/5/14.
A man wakes up in a strange place, not knowing where he is or even who he is. He gradually discovered that he's on a huge starship, which seems to be trying to kill him, but why is he there, and what is he supposed to be doing? Pretty good SF.
"Towards Zero", by Agatha Christie. Completed 12/5/14.
This was her 42nd book, and the last in which the always likeable "Superintendent Battle" (who first appeared in "The Secret of Chimneys") appears.
The book starts out with a scene in which an old retired barrister is talking to his friends, and saying that a murder is simply the "Zero Hour" (hence the book's title) of a long sequence of events leading up to that murder, following which we have the story of the sequence of events resulting in a murder at a seaside town (and its solution by Superintendent Battle). A very good story, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
This is one example of a book which links together more than one of Christie's different detectives, in that there's one scene in the book in which Battle refers to Hercule Poirot, and says that he wishes he had his help in the case, because it's one in which he'd be of great help, with his psychological insights into the mind of the criminal.
I should perhaps add that this was one of those annoying cases where ITV had run out of "Miss Marple" books to produce TV adaptations of, and started inserting her into completely unrelated stories. Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) replaced Superintendent Battle in the TV adaptation of this story in 2007.
"My Brother's Keeper" by Charles Sheffield. Completed 16/5/14.
Lionel Salkind was a concert pianist. His twin brother, Leo Foss, was a researcher in government work that he couldn't talk about. Then the helicopter they were flying crashed. When he woke up, Lionel learned that both he and Leo had sustained fatal injuries, and he was only alive because the surgeon had used organs from Leo to repair Lionel's slightly less damaged body. More than half of Lionel's brain was gone, and had been replaced with Leo's. Lionel gradually starts to experience memories from Leo, and is drawn in to Leo's world of espionage. A good thriller.
"An Oblique Approach" by David Drake and Eric Flint. Completed 18/5/14.
The first book of the 6-book "Belisarius" military SF series.
In northern India the Malwa have created an empire of unexampled evil. Guided or possessed by an intelligence from beyond time, with new weapons, old treachery, and an implacable will to power, the Malwa will sweep over the whole Earth. Only three things stand between the Malwa and their plan of eternal domination: the empire of Rome in the East, Byzantium; a crystal with vision; and a man named Belisarius, the greatest commander Earth has ever know. . . .
"Death Comes as the End" by Agatha Christie. Completed 20/5/14.
This was her 43rd book, originally published in 1944.
This is a murder mystery set in Ancient Egypt. This is the only book Christie ever wrote that's not set in the 20th century.
The quiet lives of an Egyptian family are disturbed when the father, Imhotep, returns from the North with his new concubine, Nofret, who begins to sow discontent amongst them. Once the deaths begin, fears are aroused of a curse upon the house, but is the killer closer to home?
The novel is based on some real letters from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom period from a man called Heqanakhte to his family, complaining about their behaviour and treatment of his concubine.
Not one of the Christie's best books, to my mind, but a very interesting read.
"The Last Argument of Kings" By Joe Abercrombie. Completed 25/5/14.
The final book in the "First Law" trilogy. Dark and grim fantasy, but enormously satisfying. You won't find many "happy endings" here. A must read for all fantasy fans.
"Sparkling Cyanide" by Agatha Christie. Completed 26/5/14.
This was her 44th book, and was originally published in 1945.
A woman dies from cyanide poisoning at a fashionable restaurant, and her death is ruled to be suicide. Her husband, however, has his doubts and decides to investigate, with tragic results...
This novel is the last appearance in Christie's work of Colonel Race, the former secret service agent who appeared in several of Christie's earlier books. The novel is a rewrite of Christie's early short story, "Yellow Iris", the short story version of which features Hercule Poirot, although the story is changed considerably from the short story version.
I really enjoyed this book. Excellent.
"In the Heart of Darkness" by Eric Flint and David Drake. Completed 28/5/14.
This is the second book in the "Belisarius" military SF series. I actually read it in the omnibus edition called "Thunder at Dawn", which is a re-issued version of the original series. This is an alternate history SF series whose protagonist is the real 6th century Roman general Belisarius, who (in our world) re-conquered the Western Roman Empire on behalf of the Emperor Justinian. In this alternate history he is fighting the Malwa empire in India.
Very, very good military SF. Highly recommended.
"The Hollow" by Agatha Christie. Completed 2/6/14.
Her 45th book, originally published in 1946. Poirot is invited to dinner by neighbours at his new country cottage. When he arrived, he find a man dead by the side of a swimming pool, and his wife holding the revolver that she has apparently just shot him with. But is it the open and shut case that it initially appears to be?
This is an absolutely excellent book, with a real "twist in the tail" that took me totally by surprise. One of Christie's best.
"Spin" by Robert Charles Wilson. Completed 6/6/14.
Excellent hard SF novel that won the Hugo in 2006. One day, the stars disappear, and it is discovered that the Earth has been enclosed by an artificial membrane that slows down time for the planet: for every 1 second that passes on Earth, 3 years go by in the outside universe. Can the mystery be solved before the Earth is destroyed by the expanding sun as billions of years go by in the outside universe? Very, very good indeed, and there are two sequels that I've not yet read.
"The Labours of Hercules", by Agatha Christie. Completed 7/6/14.
This was her 46th book, and was originally published in 1947.
Poirot has decided (yet again) to retire, to devote himself to the cultivation of vegetable marrows. Following a visit from a classicist, Dr Burton, he decides to end his career by taking on 12 cases which mimic the legendary 12 labours of Hercules, his namesake.
A very good collection of short stories. Recommended.
"Destiny's Shield", by Eric Flint and David Drake. Completed 9/6/14.
The third book in the "Belisarius" alternate history/military SF series. I actually read it as the first half of the "Storm at Noontide" omnibus, which also contains "Fortune's Stroke", the fourth book in the series.
Excellent SF. I've read it before, but it more than merits a re-read.
"Taken at the Flood" by Agatha Christie. Completed 12/6/14.
Christie's 47th book, originally published in 1948. Excellent detective fiction.
"Fortune's Stroke", by Eric Flint and David Drake. Completed 15/6/14.
The fourth book in the "Belesarius" alternate history/military SF series. I actually read it as the second half of the "Storm at Noontide" omnibus edition, which contain both the book and the previous one, "Destiny's Shield". Excellent, as have been the other books in the series.
"Crooked House", by Agatha Christie. Completed 18/6/14.
This was her 48th book, and was originally published in 1949. This was Agatha Christie's personal favourite of her own books, and it's easy to see why. The ending is an absolute stunner - something that was, at the time, unique in detective fiction. Very, very highly recommended.
"The Tide of Victory" by Eric Flint and David Drake. Completed 20/6/14.
The 5th book in the "Belisarius" series. Very good.
"A Murder is Announced" by Agatha Christie. Completed 21/6/14.
This was her 50th book, and was originally published in 1950. When an advertisement in the local newpaper announces that a murder will take place at 6:30pm that evening, at Little Paddocks, everyone in the village of Chipping Cleghorn is surprised, none more so than the inhabitants of Little Paddocks. Everyone assumes that it's a joke, but events prove otherwise. Miss Marple uncovers the truth behind the mystery.
A very good book indeed. I saw the stage adaptation of it a few years ago (which doesn't include Miss Marple) and thoroughly enjoyed that, too.
"The Dance of Time" by Eric Flint and David Drake. Completed 23/6/14.
The 6th and final book in the "Belisarius" alternate history/military SF series. An excellent and satisfying end to one of the best military SF series around. I strongly recommend the entire series to any SF lover who hasn't yet read it. The 6 books are available in three omnibus editions from Baen.
"They Came to Baghdad" by Agatha Christie. Completed 24/6/14.
This was her 51st book, and was originally published in 1951.
Christie is of course best known as a writer of detective fiction, but she also wrote thrillers, and this is one of the best of them. Christie's thrillers generally feature independently-minded young women (perhaps the way Christie imagined herself?) who stumble across international conspiracies to overthrow governments (or, in this case, the entire world order). Wildly improbable plots, but terrific fun to read.
In this book, Victoria Jones, a very bad shorthand typist who's just been sacked from her latest job, meets an attractive young man in London, who tells her that he's about to set off for a job in Baghdad, and decides to follow him there for the adventure of it. She soon becomes tangled up in a plot involving secret agents, and an international conference that's about to be held in the city, at which a shadowy organisation is determined to sow dissension between the United States and the Soviet Union.
As I say, a wildly improbable story-line, but a terrific read. Highly recommended. The book is very atmospheric, and is of course inspired by the time that Christie herself spent in Iraq with her archaeologist husband, Max Mallowan.
"King of the North", by Harry Turtledove. Completed 25/6/14.
The first half of the "Tale of the Fox" omnibus. This is a part of my "catch up on my Baen purchases" project: I originally bought this book in June 2000 (yes, I've got quite a lot of catching up to do ).
Ever since the catastrophic Werenight isolated the Northlands from the Elabonian Empire, Gerin the Fox has hoped to settle down as the peaceful ruler of Fox Keep ... but destiny seems to have other ideas. The Voice of the god Biton prophesies danger to the Northlands.
Gerin has already beaten off invaders, both human and inhuman. But this time he faces an invasion by the Gradi, led by their cold, fierce gods. Gerin has to fight fire with fire by invoking all the supernatural help he can get from the capricious god Mavrix, the aloof but powerful Biton, and the more elemental gods of those who live beneath the ground.
Very good fantasy. I don't know if this book is still available to buy but, if it is, I recommend it.
Unfortunately the first two books in the series, collected in a Baen omnibus edition called "Wisdom of the Fox", are not available as ebooks, but don't let that put you off; this omnibus is eminently readable without them.
"Mrs McGinty's Dead", by Agatha Christie. Completed 27/6/14.
This was her 52nd book, and was originally published in 1952. A man has been convicted of the murder of his landlady, Mrs McGinty, in a small village, and is due to be hanged shortly, but Superintendent Spence, the police officer in charge of the investigation, is not satisfied that he is guilty, and asks his old friend, Hercule Poirot, to conduct an unofficial investigation. Poirot believes that she was murdered because she recognised one of four women who were previously involved in notorious murder cases, but which one?
Enjoyable, but not one of Christie's best, to my mind.
"Fox and Empire", by Harry Turtledove. Completed 29/6/14.
The second half of the "Tale of the Fox" omnibus, which I bought from Baen in June 2000. This now completes my Baen reading for June 2000 - on now to July.
And just when things can't get worse-they get worse. Gerin's neighbor, Aragis the Archer, has made one provocative move after another, and Gerin reluctantly decides that war is inevitable. But suddenly, the Elabonian Empire again turns its unwelcome attention to the Northlands, which it regards as a subject territory. Gerin and Aragis are now allies against a common enemy ... and a very formidable one, with forces that outnumber both their armies put together!
Very good fantasy indeed. Highly recommended.
"They Do It With Mirrors" (US title, "Murder with Mirrors"), by Agatha Christie. Completed 29/6/14.
This was her 53rd book, and was originally published in 1952.
As the story opens, Jane Marple is paying a visit to her old friend Ruth Van Rydock. The two, along with Ruth's sister Carrie Louise, were all friends together at the same school in Italy when they were young women. Ruth, a wealthy, oft-married socialite, is worried that something is very wrong at Stonygates, the Victorian mansion where her sister, Carrie Louise, lives with her husband Lewis Serrocold. She can't explain any real reason for these worries, but she fears that Carrie Louise may be in danger of some kind. Ruth asks Miss Marple to visit her and find out what is going on.
Carrie Louise is delighted to have Jane Marple for a visit at Stonygates. The old Victorian mansion, though owned outright by Carrie Louise, has been converted into a home for delinquent boys which is run by Carrie Louise's husband, Lewis Serrocold. Lewis Serrocold is actually Carrie Louise's third husband; she was also once widowed and once divorced. Carrie Louise has always been attracted to men who had their minds on noble causes. Her first husband, Mr. Gulbrandsen, was a great philanthropist, and Mr. Serrocold is devoted to the idea of reforming juvenile delinquents and teaching them how to contribute to society.
The inevitable murder soon occurs, and Miss Marple investigates.
Not one of Christie's best books, to my mind, but still worth reading if you've nothing to do for an afternoon or evening.
"With the Lightnings", by David Drake. Completed 3/7/14.
The first book in the "Lt Leary" military SF series. I bought this book from Baen in July 2000, and although I've read it before, it was an enjoyable re-read. Highly recommended.
"After the Funeral" by Agatha Christie. Completed 4/7/14.
This was her 54th book, and was originally published in 1953.
After the funeral of the wealthy Richard Abernethie, his remaining family assembles for the reading of the will at Enderby Hall. The death, though sudden, was not unexpected and natural causes have been given on his death certificate. Nevertheless, one of the attendees, Mrs Cora Lansquenet, says, "It's been hushed up very nicely ... but he was murdered, wasn't he?" The family lawyer, Mr Entwhistle, asks Poirot to investigate.
A very, very cleverly-plotted detective story, with an ending that took me completely by surprise. Very highly recommended.
"The Fata Morgana" by Leo Frankowski. Completed 5/7/14.
Baen SF, which I bought in July 2000.
Description from Baen:
The ancient tales of European Man, carefully recorded by pious monks and hedge wizards alike, are insistent about the Western Isles. One of the tales of Doubting Thomas, the apostle, has it that he Christianized these islands and stayed there until the end of his days. The Arthurian legends clearly state that Arthur's father, Uther, came from the Western Isles.
Ancient and Medieval maps agree in showing them as being off the Western Coast of France. Lyonnesse was a part of the Western Islands, as was the City of Ys, Avalon, and the Land of Dahout.
Up until the time of the First Crusade, there are records of pilgrims visiting the Holy sites of the Western Islands. The remains of mercantile records of those days hint of trade with the islands of the west. Irish records and legends, which are generally regarded as reliable back to preChristian times, have many references to great floating islands being pushed by ocean currents and winds alike past the Emerald Isle, and sometimes becoming snagged there for a time.
The Icelandic Eddas make similar references.
Modern sailors and travelers sometimes sight great, many tiered cities near the ocean's horizon, but these people are rarely believed. It is easier for modern, technocentric man to believe in an optical illusion, the Fata Morgana.
This book is about two modern, hardheaded engineers who find the Western Islands.
Not really SF at all: I'd classify this more as the "lost civilisation" type of adventure story that was popularised by 19th century writers such as Sir Henry Rider Haggard with books like "King Solomon's Mines" and "She".
Reasonably good, but nothing special.
"A Pocket Full of Rye", by Agatha Christie. Completed 6/7/14.
This was her 55th book, and was originally published in 1953.
When upper middle class businessman Rex Fortescue dies after drinking his morning tea, the police are called in to investigate. The cause of death is eventually confirmed as poisoning by taxine, an alkaloid poison obtained from the leaves or berries of the yew tree. His wife is the main suspect in the murder, until she also is murdered, after drinking tea laced with cyanide. Going on the only clue, a pocket full of rye found on the victim, Miss Marple begins investigating. Marple realises the murders are arranged according to the pattern of a childhood nursery rhyme, "Sing a Song of Sixpence."
Very good indeed. Quite an unexpected ending. Recommended.
"Lt Leary Commanding", by David Drake. Completed 8/7/14.
This is the second book in the "RCN" series, and I bought it from Baen in July 2000. I really enjoyed this - a good action space yarn, and much better than the first book in the series. It's actually an old-fashioned naval story, because starships in this series navigate through "bubble universes" with masts and sails, and hence the strategies employed in battles can be conveniently "borrowed" from 19th century naval history.
"Destination Unknown", by Agatha Christie. Completed 10/7/14.
This was her 56th novel, and was originally published in 1954.
Hilary Craven, a deserted wife and bereaved mother, is planning suicide in a Moroccan hotel, when she is asked by British secret agent Jessop to undertake a dangerous mission as an alternative to taking an overdose of sleeping pills. The task, which she accepts, is to impersonate a dying woman to help find the woman's husband, Thomas Betterton, a nuclear scientist who has disappeared and may have defected to the Soviet Union...
A typical Christie thriller, involving international conspiracies and missing nuclear scientists, but one of her better ones. Highly recommended.
"T.N.T: Telzey and Trigger" by James H. Schmitz. Completed 13/7/14.
This is the second (of four) collections of his "Hub Federation" stories published by Baen. A very enjoyable SF collection. Schmitz is a greatly underestimated author, to my mind.
"Hickory Dickory Dock", by Agatha Christie. Completed 14/7/14.
This was her 57th book, and was originally published in 1955. When Miss Lemon, Poirot's normally highly-efficient secretary, makes mistakes in a routine letter, Poirot learns that she is worried about her sister, who runs a hostel for students in London. The establishment has been plagued by a spate of minor but bizarre thefts of personal property. Poirot offers to investigate, and soon uncovers a situation far more serious than it initially appears...
Not one of Christie's better works, to my mind. The plot is extremely far-fetched, and the cast of characters rather unsympathetic. I can't recommend this one.
"Realtime Interrupt" by James P. Hogan. Completed 15/7/14.
I bought this from Baen in August 2000.
Joe Corrigan wakes up in hospital, having lost his memory. Over the next few years, he struggles to re-integrate with society, but can help thinking that there's something not quite right. He gradually realises that he's living inside a virtual reality simulation - one that he helped to create (not a spoiler - this occurs pretty early in the book). The book then switches between what Joe's doing in the VR world and a series of flashbacks which explain how he ended up there.
Excellent "hard SF" which will particularly appeal to computer geeks. Highly recommended.
"Dead Man's Folly" by Agatha Christie. Completed 20/7/14.
This was her 58th book, and was originally published in 1956.
Famed crime novelist Ariadne Oliver is invited to plan a "Murder Hunt" at a stately home in the SW of England. She is uneasy about the situation she discovers there, and asks her old friend Hercule Poirot for help. Despite Poirot's presence, the murder soon becomes real, and Poirot investigates.
Not one of Christie's better books, to my mind. It's all a bit of a caricature of an "English Country House" murder and really didn't work for me.
"Sentry Peak" by Harry Turtledove. Completed 24/7/14.
The first book in his "War Between the Provinces" trilogy. I bought this from Baen in September 2000.
This is an "alternate history" (Turtledove's speciality) fantasy retelling of the American Civil War with, in this case, the kingdom having been split by the new King's proclamation freeing the "blond" serfs from the estates of the nobles, and the North of the country declaring independence as a result. Army officers ride unicorns (!) and battles are conducted with crossbows, pikes, catapults, and magic, with armies being transported on "glideways" (magic carpets which travel along fixed routes).
Very good indeed. I've read it before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"4.50 From Paddington" by Agatha Christie. Completed 27/7/14.
This was her 59th book, and was originally published in 1957.
Mrs. Elspeth McGillicuddy has come from a shopping expedition to visit her old friend Jane Marple for Christmas. On the way, her train passes another train running parallel to her. Then, a blind in one of the compartments flies up and she sees a man with his back to her strangling a woman. She reports the crime to the police, but no body can be found, and nobody except Miss Marple believes her story. Miss Marple employs a young woman to investigate the matter on her behalf...
An absolutely excellent detective story, with lots of twists and turns in the plot. One of Christie's best.
"Rats, Bats and Vats" by Dave Freer and Eric Flint. Completed 28/7/14.
Baen book I bought in September 2000.
Chip Connolly was a conscripted grunt in trouble. Here he was, stuck behind enemy lines with a bunch of cyber-uplifted rats and bats. Rats with human speech, but with rat values. Rats that knew what was worth fighting for: sex, food and strong drink. True, they were holed up on a ruined wine-farm with enough brandy to swim in. Trouble was, there wasn't much food. And with shrew-metabolism the rats had to eat. He was next on the menu. The bats were no help: they were crazy revolutionaries planning to throw off the yoke of human enslavement—with high explosive. As if that wasn't bad enough, there was the girl they'd rescued. Rich. Beautiful. With a passionate crush on her 'heroic' rescuer. She came with added extras: a screwball Alien tutor, and a cyber-uplifted pet galago—a tiny little lemurlike-critter with a big mouth and delusions about being the world's greatest lover.
So: he'd volunteered for a suicide mission. Of course things only got worse. The whole crew decided to come along. Seven rats, five bats, a galago, two humans, a sea-urchin-like alien and an elderly vineyard tractor without brakes . . . against several million inimical aliens. He was going to die.
Mind you, not dying could be even more terrible. That girl might get him.
Very amusing, and good military SF, too. Highly recommended.
"Ordeal by Innocence" by Agatha Christie. Completed 3/8/14.
This was her 60th novel, and was originally published in 1958.
Jacko Argyle was convicted of the murder of his adopted mother two years before, and died in prison, but now a witness comes forward who proves that Jacko was innocent. The police re-open the investigation, and what follows is a novel exploring the psychological impact on a family of the suspicions of each family member, wondering who actually committed the murder. Unlike the typical Christie detective novel, but I very much enjoyed it.
"The Forlorn" by Dave Freer. Completed 9/8/14.
A Baen book originally bought in September 2000. Baen description:
The relentless search is on: Find the opal-like sections of a matter transmitter, scattered across a continent. Without them the only human colony-planet dies. The pieces are hidden in the vast deserts, tangled jungles, medieval cities and stark fortresses of this world. They are defended by fanatics. The fifteen sections are technological miracle-workers, more precious than fist-sized diamonds in a colony regressed to the 14th century level. Yet, the various hunters will let nothing in their way.
Against humanity's questers race the Morkth, space-traveling xenophobic alien destroyers of Earth. They are determined to destroy all these human vermin, soon. But first they want the matter-transmitter. They want it badly, and they destroy anything that tries to stop them. They have nukes and lasers to the colonists' swords and spears. It's no contest.
All that stands between the Morkth and the destruction of the planet are three unlikely heroes A street-child thief, a dispossessed and totally spoiled brat of a sixteen year-old princess, and a confused, amoral, Morkth-raised human. If they can gather all the transmitter sections before the Morkth do, then there is a chance of survival. But the Morkth already have several sections, and the others are lost, or guarded and hidden It seems like a lost cause... a Forlorn Hope. But it's all humans have.
I enjoyed it on the whole, but the ending seemed very rushed, and was rather unsatisfactory.
"Cat Among the Pigeons" by Agatha Christie. Completed 11/8/14.
This was her 61st book, and was originally published in 1958. Poirot investigates a series of murders at a well-known English girls' school. This is one of the very best of Christie's later novels, to my mind. An excellent story with interesting characters. Highly recommended.
"Mother of Demons", by Eric Flint. Completed 17/8/14.
I bought this from Baen in September 2000. Very good SF about a human expedition to a planet of the star Tau Ceti providing the catalyst for revolution among the local inhabitants (who resemble giant molluscs). My only complaint about this book is one common to many Baen books: an inability to spell the words "millennium" and "millennia" correctly! Why so many people think there is only one "n" is the words I honestly don't know, and it really annoys me when a professional publisher gets it wrong, not just once, but in many books.
"The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" by Agatha Christie. Completed 18/8/14.
This was her 62nd book, and was originally published in 1960. It's a collection of six short stories, three of which would be called "novellas" today. Five of them feature Hercule Poirot, and one Miss Marple. Extremely enjoyable, and highly recommended.
"The Rising" by James Doohan and S.M. Stirling (although I suspect that Mr Doohan didn't do very much, if any, of the writing!). Completed 19/8/14.
Bought a long time ago (2000-ish) from Baen.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this. One doesn't really expect much from books supposedly "written" by TV stars (Doohan was, of couse, "Scotty" in the original "Star Trek" series), but this is actually very good indeed. In fact, it's excellent.
Peter Raeder became the Commonwealth's first ace pilot in the war against the secessionist Mollies. That battle cost him his hand-and his right to fly the nimble Speeds that had been his first love. Now he's Flight Engineer on the fast carrier Invincible, a crack new ship with a picked crew, ready to fight the Mollies who control the universe's richest anti-hydrogen mines, and the loathsome spider-like alien Fibians who have come to their aid.
There are only a few problems. The pirate raiders who attack the convoy taking him to his new posting, for one. And closer to home, the traitor onboard the Invincible who engineered the grisly death of Peter's predecessor, and who'll kill the entire crew unless Peter can stop him....
I look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy.
"The Pale Horse", by Agatha Christie. Completed 21/8/14.
This was her 63rd book and was originally published in 1961.
A dying woman gives a confession to a Roman Catholic priest, and the priest is subsequently murdered because of what he's been told. Mark Easterbrook, a friend of the police surgeon who examines the priest's body, gets drawn into an affair in which people are murdered for payment, seemingly by supernatural means.
I really enjoyed this book. An excellent and well-written story. Ariadne Oliver, the writer of detective stories who appears in many Poirot novels, and is Christie poking fun at herself, appears as a minor character in the book. Highly recommended.
"Privateer", by James Doohan and S.M. Stirling. Completed 24/8/14.
The second book in the "Flight Engineer" trilogy, and just as good as the first, which I praised a few days ago. I bought this from Baen in September 2000.
Description from Baen:
"The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side" by Agatha Christie. Completed 28/8/14.
This was her 64th book, and was originally published in 1962. This is a "Miss Marple" story, and is a loose sequel to the earlier Miss Marple novel, "The Body in the Library". Gossington Hall, formerly the home of the local "squire", in whose library the aforementioned body was found, is now occupied by an American film star, Marina Gregg and her husband. During an fete to raise money for charity, a local woman dies after drinking a poisoned cocktail, apparently intended for Marina Gregg. Miss Marple investigates.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In it, Miss Marple, now a very old lady, reflects on how the world of the 1960s, and life in her small village of St Mary Mead, has changed since her own youth. Although this is far from being Christie's last book, or even the last "Miss Marple" book, it is notable in being the last book that Christie wrote to be set in a small English village, and very much represents the end of an era in that sense.
The title comes from the poem "The Lady of Shalott", by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which is quoted a number of times in the book:
"A Hymn Before Battle" by John Ringo. Completed 2/9/14.
I bought this from Baen in October 2000, and it's the first book in his (and other authors') long-running "Posleen" military SF series. In this book, Earth is contacted by a confederation of alien races to warn them that the Earth is next on the invasion route of an aggressive alien race (the Posleen) who have so far conquered 70 planets. The Galactics are pacifists, psychologically incapable of fighting, so Earth is recruited to furnish troops to stop the Posleen, with the aid of Galactic technology. Very good - this was back in the good old days when Ringo wrote decent SF, rather than right-wing political manifestos, which are what he now seems to churn out.
"The Clocks" by Agatha Christie. Completed 5/9/14.
This was published in 1963 and was her 65th book. The book has two interwoven plots: the main plot involves a young woman from a secretarial bureau who is sent to the house of a local blind women teacher for some work. When she arrives, she goes into the woman's house and discovered the body of a man, in a room full of clocks which were apparently put there by the murderer. There is a subplot of a secret service agent investigating communist spies (the agent is the main narrator of the book). Poirot is fairly peripherally involved in the story, and the two storylines come together at the end. Pretty good, but not as good as the previous book.
"The Legend That Was Earth", by James P. Hogan. Completed 10/9/14.
This is a Baen book that I bought in October 2000.
"A Caribbean Mystery" by Agatha Christie. Completed 16/9/14.
First published in 1964. Miss Marple has been sent on holiday to the West Indies by her novelist nephew, Raymond. The usual deaths ensure, and Miss Marple investigates. An extremely good book - one of the best of the later Christies. Interesting characters, and a good plot. Recommended.
"Demon Blade", by Mark A. Garland and Charles C. McGraw. Completed 20/9/14.
I bought this from Baen some time in the late 1990s, although it's one of the many books that are no longer available from Baen, presumably due to rights issues. Its sequel, "Frost", is still available.
A very good fantasy novel. Madia, the daughter of the King of Ariman, is exiled from court due her wilful disobedience of her father. While she is absent from court, the kingdom is taken over by the Grand Chamberlain, Lord Ferris, who is in fact a Demon Lord in disguise. Madia must seek the aid of the Wizard Frost to try to regain her kingdom, but in order to defeat Ferris, Frost needs the aid of the Demon Blade, a sword forged in the distant past in the demon wars, but now lost.
"At Bertram's Hotel", by Agatha Christie. Completed 24/9/14.
Originally published in 1965.
Jane Marple, the elderly amateur sleuth, takes a holiday at London's Bertram's Hotel, a place of which she has fond memories from her youth. The establishment has retained a mixed Edwardian and Victorian atmosphere, from its prim staff to its elderly patrons. In its tearoom Miss Marple encounters a wartime friend, Lady Selena Hazy, who reveals that she frequently thinks that she recognises people in the hotel only for them to turn out to be complete strangers. Miss Marple is intrigued by her fellow guests, who include the famous adventuress Bess Sedgwick, 20-year-old Elvira Blake and her legal guardian Colonel Luscombe, and a forgetful clergyman, Canon Pennyfather. Miss Marple's curiosity about the hotel is interspersed with a back-story about a Scotland Yard investigation into a series of daring robberies from banks, mail trains, etc. (and naturally the two turn out to be connected!)
An excellent book: one of the best of the later Christies, to my mind. Interesting to note that Christie was 75 when she completed this book: the same age as Miss Marple herself is depicted in the book. Bertram's hotel is based (not the criminal elements of it, obviously!) on the real "Brown's" hotel in London.
Very highly recommended.
"Frost", by Mark A. Garland and Charles C. McGraw. Completed 27/9/14.
I bought this from Baen sometime around 2000-ish. This is the sequel to "Demon Blade", which I read a few days ago. "Frost" is still available from Baen, but "Demon Blade" is not, presumably due to rights issues.
The story follows straight on from the events of "Demon Blade". Having recovered the legendary sword known as the "Demon Blade", the wizard "Frost" decides to return to his homeland to try to put right a wrong he did when he was a young man, when he was tricked into helping an evil man win the throne. Word is spreading far and wide, however, that Frost has recovered the Demon Blade, and everyone is determined to take it from him.
Very good fantasy and a worthy sequel to "Demon Blade". The ending leaves scope for a sequel, but sufficient loose ends are tied up to make it a worthwhile read. Recommended.
"Third Girl", by Agatha Christie. Completed 28/9/14.
Originally published in 1966.
A girl visits Hercule Poirot, saying that she thinks she may have committed a murder, but then flees before she tells her story. Poirot investigates the circumstances, and uncovers a complex web of circumstances. Pretty good, and an interesting look at London in the "swinging 60s" as seen from the viewpoint of someone of an older generation (Poirot, who is of course reflecting Christie's own - generally disapproving - view of the changes that have occurred in society.)
Recommended mainly from the viewpoint of the description of 1960s London, although the crime has interest, too.
"The Chick is in the Mail", edited by Esther Friesner. Completed 30/9/14.
Bought from Baen in October 2000. Another book in the series of short story collections featuring women warriors of all descriptions. A lot of it not at all "P.C." (lots of chain-mail bikinis here!) but great fun to read. Highly recommended.
"Endless Night", by Agatha Christie. Completed 2/10/14.
Originally published in 1967. The book is narrated by Michael Rogers, a young man from a poor background who meets, falls in love with, and then marries, a rich American girl, but their happiness is blighted by strange events and a curse from an old gypsy woman...
One of the very best books Christie wrote, to my mind, and has a real shock ending. Very highly recommended.
"Time Traders" by Andre Norton. Completed 4/10/14.
Bought this from Baen in November 2000.
Petty crook Ross Murdock is given the choice of facing a new medical procedure called Rehabilitation or volunteering to join a secret government project. He chooses the latter, and discovers that he has "volunteered" by a time-travel project in which teams of agents are being infiltrated into the distance past to attempt to discover the source of advanced technology that Russia is gaining, seemingly out of nowhere.
Pretty good SF. The first book in the "Time Traders" series.
"By the Pricking of My Thumbs" by Agatha Christie. Completed 6/10/14.
First published in 1968. A not terribly good "Tommy and Tuppence" thriller. Can't really recommend it.
"The Independent Command" by James Doohan and S.M. Stirling. Completed 8/10/14.
Bought from Baen around November 2000.
"Hallowe'en Party", by Agatha Christie. Completed 11/10/14.
Originally published in 1969.
Crime novelist Ariadne Oliver is staying with her friend, and helps out at a Hallowe'en party that a woman in the village has organised for the local children. At the party, a girl says that she once witnessed a murder, but nobody believes her. At the end of the evening, however, the girl is found murdered: drowned in a bucket of water. Ariadne Oliver asks her friend, Hercule Poirot, to help in the investigation.
Quite a difficult book to read in many ways, with its theme of child murder (and children who commit murder), but well written, and a well-constructed plot. Recommended.
"Thrice Upon a Time" by James P. Hogan. Completed 12/10/14.
Originally bought from Baen in November 2000. Excellent Hard SF with the theme of communication through time, and the paradoxes inherent in that.
"Passenger to Frankfurt" by Agatha Christie. Completed 15/10/14.
Originally published in 1970.
Sir Stafford Nye's flight home from Malaya takes an unexpected twist when the bored diplomat is approached in an airport by a woman whose life is in danger. He agrees to lend her his passport and boarding ticket. Suddenly, Stafford has unwittingly entered a web of international intrigue, from which the only escape is to outwit the power-crazed Countess von Waldsausen who is hell-bent on world domination through the manipulation and arming of the planet's youth, which brings with it what promises to be a resurgence of Nazi domination. Unwittingly the diplomat has put his own life on the line. His Great-Aunt Matilda hints to him of a terrible world-wide conspiracy that has something to do with Wagner and "The Young Siegfried". When Stafford meets the mystery woman again, he finds himself drawn into a battle against an invisible and altogether more dangerous enemy.
The usual convoluted and improbable fare of the Christie thriller. Can't really recommend it.
"The Right to Arm Bears" by Gordon R. Dickson. Completed 18/10/14.
Bought from Baen in December 2000. Two novellas and a short story set on the same planet, with a common theme of humans outwitting the natives of a planet where the locals look like 8' tall bears, with immense physical strength. Very enjoyable indeed. Highly recommended.
"Nemesis" by Agatha Christie. Completed 20/10/14.
Originally published in 1971.
Miss Marple is surprised to receive a posthumous letter from the wealthy financier Jason Rafiel, who she met in the earlier book "A Caribbean Mystery". Rafiel leaves Miss Marple a large sum of money in his will, on the condition that she investigates an unspecified crime connected to him. A very enjoyable novel follows. This was the last "Miss Marple" novel that Christie wrote. Again, highly recommended.
"The Sacred Pool" by L. Warren Douglas. Completed 24/10/14.
Originally bought from Baen in January 2001.
Douglas takes the history and mythology of "dark ages" Provence in France, and weaves an excellent fantasy novel around it, based around the conflict between the ancient Celtic gods, and the spreading influence of Christianity. Pierette, a young woman, sets out on her journey to become a sorceress. The first in a trilogy, but a completely satisfying self-contained novel. Again, highly recommended to any fantasy fan.
"Elephants Can Remember" by Agatha Christie. Completed 27/10/14.
Originally published in 1972.
At a literary luncheon, Mrs Burton-Cox, to whose son Celia Ravenscroft is engaged, approaches Mrs. Ariadne Oliver, a school friend of the late Margaret Ravenscroft and godmother to her daughter. Mrs Burton-Cox asks Mrs Oliver what she believes is an important question: which of Celia's parents was the murderer, and which was murdered?
The last "Poirot" novel that Christie wrote, and very, very good, although Christie's failing faculties are only two evident in parts of the book, with the same murder having apparently occurred 12, 15, and 20 years ago. Again, highly recommended.
"Trigger and Friends" by James H. Schmitz, edited by Eric Flint. Completed 1/11/14.
This is the third volume in the collected edition of Schmitz's "Hub Federation" stories, and I bought it from Baen in Jan 2001.
An extremely enjoyable collection, consisting of a novel ("Legacy"), plus half a dozen shorter works, plus an interesting essay from Eric Flint describing how (and why) he edited the stories in the book, which is a fascinating insight into what editors actually do. Apparently Flint got a lot of flak from some people for having edited the stories, and here he explains why he thought the edits were necessary, and he gives the "before" and "after" versions of the text.
Highly recommended. Schmitz is a much under-rated author, to my mind.
"Postern of Fate" by Agatha Christie. Completed 4/11/14.
This was the last novel she wrote (but not the last to be published), and was originally published in 1973.
Now in their seventies, Tommy and Tuppence move to a quiet English village, looking forward to a peaceful retirement. But, as they soon discover, their rambling old house holds secrets. Who is Mary Jordan? And why has someone left a code message in an old book about her 'unnatural' death? Once more, ingenuity and insight are called for as they are drawn into old mysteries and new dangers.
I have to say that this is a simply dreadful book, and should honestly never have been published. Christie was clearly severely failing in her mental faculties, and it shows clearly in the book. A conversation occurs in one chapter, and then a virtually identical conversation takes place a couple of chapters later, for example (about how to get away with poisoning someone). The characters agonise for chapters about solving the most blindingly obvious of puzzles. It really is almost embarrassing to read, and doesn't do Christie (who was 82 years old at the time of the book's publication) any favours. Avoid!
"Galactic Derelict" by Andre Norton. Completed 5/11/14.
The second book in the "Time Traders" omnibus, published by Baen. I bought this in 2000.
When an alien spacecraft is brought forward through time from the distant past, where it had crash-landed, it accidentally launches, taking four men with it, on a series of adventures on various alien planets.
Distinctly average SF. I wouldn't really recommend it.
"Poirot's Early Cases", by Agatha Christie. Completed 7/11/14.
Originally published in 1974. A collection of 18 short stories featuring Hercule Poirot, most of which had originally been published in magazines. Very enjoyable.
"The Defiant Agents", by Andre Norton. Completed 8/11/14.
The third book in her "Time Traders" series, and the first half of the Baen "Time Traders II" omnibus. Typical Norton, by which I mean that it was a decent enough story, but didn't really draw me in to the story. Average.
"Curtain", by Agatha Christie. Completed 9/11/14.
Originally published in 1975.
Christie wrote "Curtain" - the final "Poirot" novel - in around 1940, and stored it away in a bank vault to be published after her death, along with the corresponding final Miss Marple novel, "A Sleeping Murder". In the event it was actually published a few months before Christie died.
Captain Hastings is invited to Styles Court - the scene of his first encounter with Hercule Poirot - and now converted into a hotel, to meet up once again with his old friend. He finds Poirot crippled by arthritis, confined to a wheelchair, and on the point of death from heart failure. Poirot tells him that he has gone there to conduct his final investigation: to identify "X", a mystery man (or woman) who has committed at least five murders, undetected by the police, and whom he believes to be one of the other guests. Crippled as he now is, he wants Hastings to be his "eyes and ears" in the investigation.
A wonderful book, written at the height of Christie's powers. I don't mind admitting that I had a tear in my eye as I came to the end of it. I've read every one of the Poirot books, in order, over the last couple of years, and I feel a real sense of loss at having come to the end. Very highly recommended.
"Key Out of Time", by Andre Norton. Completed 11/11/14.
The fourth and final book in her "Time Traders" series, and the second half of Baen's "Time Traders II" omnibus which I bought in around 2001.
...Meanwhile, Murdock is trapped in the ancient past of the water world of Hawaika, facing terrifying wizards in a kingdom he knows will soon be utterly annihilated by an alien empire that is bent on the conquest of the entire galaxy.
Pretty good - I enjoyed this book probably the most of any of the books in the series. Recommended.
"Sleeping Murder" by Agatha Christie. Completed 13/11/14.
Originally published posthumously in 1976. Like the final Poirot novel, "Curtain", Christie wrote the final Miss Marple novel in the 1940s, and put it away in a bank vault to be published after her death.
Newly-wed Gwenda Reed travels to England and buys a house which strongly appeals to her. She starts remembering all sorts of things about the house, and eventually discovers that it was the house in which she lived with her father and step-mother as a very young child. One day, while attending the theatre, she has a terrifying vision of a woman being strangled in the hallway of the house, while she watches from above. Is this a real memory, or just a nightmare? She turns to Miss Marple for help...
An absolutely excellent book. Thoroughly recommended.
"The Spheres of Heaven" by Charles Sheffield. Completed 15/11/14.
Originally bought from Baen in 2001.
"Miss Marple's Final Cases", by Agatha Christie. Completed 17/11/14.
Originally published in 1979. This is a posthumously-published collection of six "Miss Marple" short stories, together with two other non-Marple stories. The title is rather misleading: these are not Miss Marple's "final" cases at all, but are simply a reprint of stories which had originally been published in magazines, many years earlier.
One of the stories which is presented here as a Miss Marple short story, "The Case of the Caretaker", was subsequently greatly expanded (with the same plot, but different character names) as the standalone novel "Endless Night".
Very enjoyable, and thoroughly recommended.
"The Web Between the Worlds" by Charles Sheffield. Completed 19/11/14.
The builder of the longest bridge in the world is commissioned by a reclusive billionaire to tackle a far greater challenge: building a "beanstalk" or orbital tower, which will connect the Earth directly to orbital space, and revolutionise the ease and cost of lifting materials into orbit. An excellent "Hard SF" novel which I bought from Baen in 2001.
"Problem at Pollensa Bay" by Agatha Christie. Completed 20/11/14.
Short story collection originally published in 1991 containing 2 Poirot short stories, 2 Parker Pyne stories, 2 Harley Quin stories, and 2 "standalone" stories. Very enjoyable, although I'd read several of the stories before.
"By Any Other Name", by Spider Robinson. Completed 24/11/14.
An SF short story collection , which I originally bought from Baen in 2001. Extremely enjoyable, particularly the novella which is the "title story" of the book. Highly recommended, although I should perhaps note that a couple of the stories in the book are sexually explicit.
"While the Light Lasts" by Agatha Christie. Completed 27/11/14.
The last unread fictional work by her in my "Agatha Christie Reading Challenge". A book of miscellaneous short stories, each of which has an interesting write on about its history. Recommended.
"License Invoked" by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye. Completed 30/12/14.
An "urban fantasy" novel I bought from Baen in March 2001. Liz Mayfield, special agent for the British government Office of Occult & Paranormal Sightings Investigation (OOPSI) is assign to guard Irish folk rock singer Fionna Kenmare on a tour of the United States, because the singer claims to be under occult attack. An enjoyable piece of fluff. No depth to it, but a fun was to pass an evening or two. Recommended.
"Come, Tell Me How You Live" by Agatha Christie. Completed 1/12/14.
A short book Christie wrote in 1944 describing her experiences in the late 1930 accompanying her husband, Max Mallowan, on archaeological expeditions in Syria. Absolutely fascinating, and hilariously funny. If you haven't read this gem, you really should. VERY highly recommended indeed!
Recently completed 4 books:
Firstly, the 3 books in the "A J Jacobs Omnibus". Mr Jacobs, for anyone not familiar with him, is an "experimental author", who takes on projects and writes about his experiences with them in a very amusing manner. I highly recommend his books. The three books in the omnibus are:
The Know-It-All, in which he reads the whole of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica".
The Year of Living Biblically in which Mr Jacobs, who is a non-observant Jew, attempts to live for a year following all the Bible's precepts on how Jews should live.
My Experimental Life, in which Mr Jacobs undertakes a series of shorter, month-long, experiments, such at outsourcing his entire life to India, trying to get an online date for his children's nanny, and passing himself off as a film star.
All very highly recommended!
"Gust Front", by John Ringo, Completed 23/12/14.
Bought from Baen in April 2001. The second book in his "Posleen War" series, and excellent military SF. It's a direct sequel to the first book, "A Hymn Before Battle", so don't read it in isolation. Again, highly recommended: this was the time when Mr Ringo wrote good military SF, as opposed to his more recent books, which are unpleasantly right-wing political diatribes (to my eyes - I'm sure they appeal to some people).
My final four books of the year:
"An Autobiography" by Agatha Christie. Completed 25/12/14.
A fascinating, although certainly "selective", account of Christie's life. She certainly led an interesting life - eg after reading in the newspaper an account of Leonard Woolley's excavations at Ur in the late 1920s, she travelled on her own overland to Iraq to see the site for herself, which was a very unusual thing for a single woman to do at the time. Fascinating reading. Highly recommended.
"Keeper of the King" by Nigel Bennett and P.N. Elrod. Completed 26/12/14.
The first book in the "Ethical Vampires" series. Originally bought from Baen probably around 2000-ish, but seems no longer to be available from them, although later books in the series are.
"Fer-de-Lance" by Rex Stout. Completed 30/12/14.
The first book in the "Nero Wolfe" series. This is my first encounter with this author (and series), and I really didn't know what to expect, since I am mainly a lover of classic British detective fiction, in which the clues are laid out, and it's the reader's task to try to solve the crime along with the detective. This isn't like that at all. In case anyone else hasn't read it, Nero Wolfe is an "armchair detective" - an enormously fat man private investigator who never leaves his New York home, but has a team of helpers, primarily Archie Goodwin (the narrator of the book) who does his "legwork" for him.
In this story, Wolfe is commissioned to try to track down Carlo Maffei, an Italian immigrant who is the brother of the wife of one of Wolfe's associates. Carlo turns up dead, and Wolfe is embroiled in a case involving the death of a high-profile university president and booby-trapped golf clubs.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
"His Father's Son" by Nigel Bennett and P.N. Elrod. Completed 31/12/14.
The second book in the "Ethical Vampires" series, which I bought from Baen in May 2001. Unlike the first book in the series, this one is still available.
"Persuasion" by Jane Austen. Completed 4/2/14.
"The Benson Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 10/2/14.
"The Canary Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 20/2/14.
"The Greene Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 10/3/14.
"The Bishop Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 18/3/14.
"The Scarab Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 23/3/14.
"The Kennel Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 3/4/14.
"The Dragon Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 11/4/14.
"The Casino Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 16/4/14.
"The Garden Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 30/6/14.
"The Kidnap Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 5/7/14.
"The Gracie Allen Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 12/7/14.
"The Winter Murder Case" by S.S. Van Dine. Completed 15/7/14.
"The House Without a Key" by Earl Derr Biggers. Completed 22/7/14.
"The Chinese Parrot" by Earl Derr Biggers. Completed 29/7/14.
"Behind That Curtain" by Earl Derr Biggers. Completed 8/8/14.
"The Black Camel" by Earl Derr Biggers. Completed 19/8/14.
"Charlie Chan Carries On" by Earl Derr Biggers. Completed 29/8/14.
"Keeper of the Keys" by Earl Derr Biggers. Completed 15/9/14.
"The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens. Completed 31/12/14.
Overall Total: 149
Last edited by HarryT; 12-31-2014 at 10:29 AM.
|12-29-2013, 08:25 PM||#37|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Auckland NZ
Device: Sony PRS 300, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Kobo Mini
Goal: 30,000 pages in 2014
OK, a redo of last years aborted target - 30,000 pages......and GO!
(Oh, and I will be counting Graphic Novels this year!)
1 - Nothing to Lose - Lee Child - 426 pages
2 - Calico Joe - John Grisham - 198 pages
3 - Ready Player One - Ernest Cline -374 pages
4 - Under the Eagle - Simon Scarrow - 256 pages
5 - Summer Knight - Jim Butcher - 371 pages
6 - Caught Stealing - Charlie Hutson - 246 pages
7 - Dragons of Winter Night - Weis/Hickman - 395 pages
8 - The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan - 279 pages
9 - Gone Tomorrow - Lee Child - 443 pages
10 - Full Circle - Michael Palin - 320 pages
11 - The FN FAL Battle Rifle - Robert Cashner - 80 pages
12 - Wolverine : Origin - Paul Jenkins - 200 pages (G/Novel)
13 - Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett - 377 pages
14 - The Longest Siege : Tobruk - Robert Lyman - 336 pages
15 - Conan Vol 7. Cimmeria - Timothy Truman - 192 pages (G/Novel)
16 - Where have all the Bullets Gone? - Spike Milligan - 283 pages
17 - Conan Vol 8. Black Collossus - Timothy Truman - 152 pages (G/Novel)
18 - Lullaby Town - Robert Crais - 296 pages
19 - Conan Vol 9. Free Companions - Timothy Truman - 184 pages (G/Novel)
20 - 61 Hours - Lee Child - 492 pages
21 - The Eagle's Conquest - Simon Scarrow - 434 pages
22 - Black Widow : The Name of the Rose - Marjorie M Liu - 144 pages (G/Novel)
23 - MG34 and MG42 Machine Guns - Chris McNabb - 80 pages
24 - Xmen : Psylocke - Christopher Yost - 168 pages (G/Novel)
Last edited by pdurrant; 04-01-2014 at 02:16 PM.
|12-30-2013, 09:26 AM||#38|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Device: Kobo Touch, Kindle Touch, Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo HD, Nexus 7, Kindle PW2
Goal: To read 40 books in 2014
List of Read Books:
List of Short Stories:
(* aka the "Triple Dog Dare" challenge I've already signed up for)
Last edited by latepaul; 01-22-2014 at 06:18 PM.
|12-30-2013, 02:33 PM||#40|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Device: Kindle 4/Kindle Fire HD/Kindle Fire HDX 7"
Goal: Read 30 books, including all "Honorverse" books (minus the YA ones).
Read 30 books, including all "Honorverse" books (minus the YA ones).
Fill in the rest of the 30 with spy novels and maybe a flier or two.
#1-Honor of the Queen by David Weber
#2-The Short Victorious War by David Weber
#3-Hondo by Louis L'Amour
#4-Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic by Peter Green and Rory Jones
#5-Kill Whitey by Brian Keene
#6-Celiac Disease for Dummies by Ian Blumer, Sheila Crowe
Last edited by mcrow; 05-16-2014 at 02:36 PM.
|12-31-2013, 03:16 AM||#41|
Snoozing in the sun
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: iPad Mini, Kobo Touch
Goal: Read at least 60 books in 2014
This has been the first year I have ever kept a note of the books I have read, and I managed 60 books this year, so I am going for the same number. I have two aims:
1. Read each of the books selected in the Literary Book Club (as long as I can get hold of them - that is occasionally a problem.)
2. The rest of the 60 books to come from my tottering pile of TBR books, both paper and electronic.
1. The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood. **
2. Found in Translation by Linda Jaivin.****
3. Inferno by Dante. (Not sure how to rate it - brilliant and horrible simultaneously.) ****
4. Stoner by John Edward Williams. ****
5. The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier. **
6. All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard. ****
7. The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories by Connie Willis. ****
8. Changing Babies by Deborah Moggach. ***
9. Black Dogs by Ian McEwan. ****
10. Fools Crow by James Welch. ****
11. Ragnarok by A S Byatt. ****
12. Nemesis by Jo Nesbo. **
13. Stranger Magic by Marina Warner. ****
14. A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor. *****
15. The Winds of Heaven by Monica Dickens. ****
16. An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris. ****
17. Where Three Roads Meet by Salley Vickers. ****
18. The House in Lordship Lane by A E W Mason **
19. Akhenaten - Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz. ****
20. The Prisoner in the Opal by A E W Mason. ***
21. The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde ***.5
22. In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard. ****
23. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. *****
24. Last Friends by Jane Gardam. ****
25. Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad. ***
26. Cluetopia by David Astle. ***
27. They Wouldn't Be Chessmen by A E W Mason. ***
28. The Golden Fleece by Robert Graves. Abandoned 50% through it.
29. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. ****
30. The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde. ****
31. Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor. *****
32. The Club of Queer Trades by G K Chesterton. ****
33. Being Dead by Jim Crace. *****
34. Runaway by Alice Munro. *****
35. What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. ****
36. Close to Home by Deborah Moggach. ****
37. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. *
38. The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk. *****
39. Final Demand by Deborah Moggach. ***
40. The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo. ***
41. The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris. **
42. Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim. ****
43. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang. ****
44. A Dwarf Kingdom by Nicolas Freeling. ***
45. Driving in the Dark by Deborah Moggach. ****
46. Greatness by James Hamilton-Paterson. *****
47. Augustus Carp Esq by Henry H Bashford. ****
48. O Pioneers? by Willa Cather. **
49. A Question of Upbringing by Anthony Powell. ****
50. A Buyer's Market by Anthony Powell. ****
51. The Acceptance World by Anthony Powell. ****
52. Cross Channel by Julian Barnes. ***
53. The Overcoat and Other Short Stories by Nikolai Gogol. ****
54. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. *****
55. The Social Cancer: A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal. **
56. Under Fire by Henri Barbusse. In progress.
Last edited by Bookpossum; 12-15-2014 at 03:05 AM.
|12-31-2013, 11:03 AM||#42|
Redblacks! (No kidding!)
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Raleigh, NC
Device: jetBook Lite, Kindle 4
My goal is to finish 12 books in 2014.
Because the publishing industry defines an "avid reader" to be someone who buys 12 books per year, my goal will be to finish 12 books in 2014.
1...1/07...The Little League That Could - Ken Rappoport
2...1/30...Hard-Boiled Detectives - Weinberg, et al., eds.
3...2/10...The 34-Ton Bat - Steve Rushin
4...2/17...Bad Sports - Dave Zirin
5...3/03...Return of the Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett
6...3/31...The Battle for Bond - Robert Sellers
7...4/28...Marry Smart - Susan Patton
8...5/12...Jazz Anecdotes: Second Time Around - Bill Crow
9...5/24...The Outlaw League - Daniel R. Levitt
10...6/02...Pitchers of Beer - Dan Raley
11...6/06...My Word is My Bond - Roger Moore
12...6/07...Prince Valiant, vol. 1 - Hal Foster
13...6/10...Last Team Standing - Matthew Algeo
And with that, I have reached my goal for the year!
14...6/20...The Business of Books - Andre Schiffren
15...7/09...Prince Valiant, vol. 2 - Hal Foster
16...7/21...Prince Valiant, vol. 3 - Hal Foster
17...7/30...End Zones and Border Wars - Ed Willes
18...8/25...Prince Valiant, vol. 4 - Hal Foster
19...8/31...Prince Valiant, vol. 5 - Hal Foster
20...9/05...End the Fed - Ron Paul
21...9/27...Simple Wisdom - Sterling Marriner
22...9/29...Founders - James Wesley, Rawles
23...10/11...Prince Valiant, vol. 6 - Hal Foster
24...10/26...Prince Valiant, vol. 7 - Hal Foster
25...11/22...The Portable Curmudgeon - Jon Winokur
26...11/25...Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! - Bob Stanley
27...12/01...The Continental League - Russell D. Buhite
28...12/02...We're Just Like You, Only Prettier - Celia Rivenbark
29...12/22...The Cookie That Did Not Crumble - Cookie Gilchrist
30...12/26...Choice of Colours - John Danakas
31...12/30...China Clipper - Richard Brignall
Last edited by GA Russell; 12-30-2014 at 10:59 PM.
|12-31-2013, 06:38 PM||#43|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Device: Sony PRS-300, Sony PRS-T2, Kindle (7th Gen)
Goal: To keep a record of all the books I finish in 2014 (not including rereads)
1. The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty (paper book)
2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (paper book)
3. The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (paper book)
4. A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock (paper book)
5. Curious, If True: Strange Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell (ebook)
6. Parasite by Mira Grant (paper book)
7. More Than This by Patrick Ness (paper book)
8. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (paper book)
9. The 2014 Nebula Award Short Story Nominees (ebook)
10. Planesrunner by Ian McDonald (paper book)
11. Forever in the Memory of God: And Other Stories by Peadar Ó Guilín (ebook)
12. The Futurological Congress by Stanisław Lem (paper book)
13. Vertigo by Bob Shaw (paper book)
14. Dark Night in Toyland by Bob Shaw (paper book)
15. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (paper book)
16. The Palace of Eternity by Bob Shaw (paper book)
17. Ash-Tree Press Macabre Volume Two (ebook)
18. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi (ebook)
19. Starshadows by Pamela Sargent (paper book)
20. The Ginger Star (The Book of Skaith #1) by Leigh Brackett (paper book)
21. A Crack in Everything by Ruth Frances Long (paper book)
22. Hurricane Fever by Tobias Buckell (ebook)
23. The Volunteer by Peadar Ó Guilín (paper book)
24. The Shunned House by HP Lovecraft (ebook)
25. Folk'd by Laurence Donaghy (paper book)
26. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells (ebook)
27. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (paper book)
28. The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
29. The Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
30. The Incredulity of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
31. The Secret of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
32. The Scandal of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (ebook)
33. Sand by Hugh Howey (paper)
34. Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell (ebook)
35. Good Red Herring by Susan Maxwell (paper)
36. Death & Co by D. J. McCune (paper)
37. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green (ebook)
38. City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare (paper)
39. Collected Stories by Elizabeth Bowen (paper)
Last edited by Hatgirl; 01-02-2015 at 03:19 PM.
|01-01-2014, 09:00 PM||#45|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Device: Sony PRS-505, Kindle 3, iPad, iPhone 5, Sony T1, NOOK HD+
No Goal; Benchmark (highest to date) is 94
List of my books on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/1210212
1. Naked Heat by Richard Castle
2. Live Out Loud by Heather Wardell
3. Heat Rises by Richard Castle
4. Blank Slate Kate by Heather Wardell
5. Frozen Heat by Richard Castle
6. Finding My Happy Pace by Heather Wardell
7. Emma by Jane Austen
8. Too Big To Miss by Sue Ann Jaffarian
9. Deadly Heat by Richard Castle
10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
11. All at Sea by Heather Wardell
12. Curse of the Holy Pail by Sue Ann Jaffarian
13. 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom
14. Good to Myself by Heather Wardell
15. Persuasion by Jane Austen
16. Hex Appeal by Linda Wisdom
17. Pink is a Four Letter Word by Heather Wardell
18. The Call of Zulina by Kay Marshall Strom
19. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (audio)
20. Through the Fire by Shawn Grady
21. Wicked by Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom
22. Everybody's Got a Story by Heather Wardell
23. False Refuge by Steve Anderson
24. Hex in High Heels by Linda Wisdom
25. Fifty Million Reasons by Heather Wardell
26. The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper
27. A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow
28. Demon's Are a Girl's Best Friend by Linda Wisdom
29. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gababldon (audiobook)
30. Never Buried by Edie Claire
31. The Voyage of Promise by Kay Marshall Strom
32. Along Came a Demon by Linda Welch
33. A Demon Does It Better by Linda Wisdom
34. The Triumph of Grace by Kay Marshall Strom
35. Man of Steel by Dave Conifer
36. Never Sorry by Edie Claire
37. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
38. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
39. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
40. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper
41. Never Preach Past Noon by Edie Claire
42. Never Neck at Niagara by Edie Claire
43. Einstein's Refrigerator: And Other Stories from the Flip Side of History by Steve Silverman
44. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
45. Never Kiss Goodnight by Edie Claire
46. Cruel Justice by M. A. Comley
47. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
48. Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
49. They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
50. The Pathfinder by James Fennimore Cooper
51. Palm Trees on the Hudson by Elliot Tiber
52. Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
53. Firefly Island by Daniel Arenson
54. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
55. Never Tease a Siamese by Edie Claire
56. Impeding Justice by M. A. Comley
57. Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O'Connell
58. A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie
59. Code Blue by Richard L. Mabry
60. The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper
61. Never Con a Corgi by Edie Claire
62. Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry
63. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gababldon (audiobook)
64. Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon (second reading)
65. One O'Clock Jump by Lise McClendon
66. 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
67. Never Haunt a Historian by Edie Claire
68. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie
69. Murder on the Mind by L. L. Bartlett
70. The Prairie by James Fenimore Cooper
71. Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
72. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon (audiobook)
73. Cloudburst by Ryne Douglas Pearson
74. Never Thwart a Thespian by Edie Claire
75. Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
76. A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
77. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
78. The Bluejay Shaman by Lise McClendon
79. At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie
80. The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas
81. Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman
82. Opal Fire by Barbra Annino
83. Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown
84. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
85. Nemesis by Agatha Christie
86. Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown
87. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
Last edited by sakura-panda; 01-05-2015 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Updated List
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