|12-28-2013, 02:18 PM||#31|
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
Device: Kindle PW, Fire HDX 8.9, Fire HD8.9, Fire 7HD, Surface 2
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; 07-20-2014 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Updated list
|12-28-2013, 04:53 PM||#32|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Device: Kindle Paperwhite
Main Challenge: Read 14.600 pages in 2014.
Adamns, Douglas - THHttG  - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (129 pages)
Read in 2014 (18):
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)
Last edited by Katsunami; 07-16-2014 at 02:40 PM.
|12-28-2013, 11:55 PM||#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.
After reading pdurrant #18 post, I went and added up how much I had spent for December alone. I was absolutely flabbergasted and appalled. A few months like that and I could have bought a new stove! So my goal is similar. I have budgeted $40 a month.
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 03:02 AM.
|12-29-2013, 02:56 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.
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 (in progress)
Last edited by Ginwen; 06-22-2014 at 07:15 PM.
|12-29-2013, 05:50 AM||#35|
Join Date: Nov 2011
Device: Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle 3, Sony PRS-505, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S II
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; 07-16-2014 at 01:45 PM.
|12-29-2013, 09:09 AM||#36|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
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.
"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.
Overall Total: 86
Last edited by HarryT; Yesterday at 07:01 AM.
|12-29-2013, 07:25 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 01:16 PM.
|12-30-2013, 08:26 AM||#38|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Device: Kobo Touch, Kindle Touch, Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura 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 05:18 PM.
|12-30-2013, 01:33 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 01:36 PM.
|12-31-2013, 02:16 AM||#41|
Snoozing in the sun
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kobo Touch (mine), Sony PRS-T1 (husband's)
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. In progress
Last edited by Bookpossum; 07-16-2014 at 09:09 PM.
|12-31-2013, 10:03 AM||#42|
Esks still undefeated!
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
Last edited by GA Russell; Yesterday at 04:54 PM.
|12-31-2013, 05:38 PM||#43|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Device: Sony PRS-300, Sony PRS-T1
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. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (paper book)
15. The Palace of Eternity by Bob Shaw (paper book)
Last edited by Hatgirl; 07-05-2014 at 11:15 AM.
|01-01-2014, 08:00 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. N'aked 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 Blook by Diana Gabaldon
Last edited by sakura-panda; 07-07-2014 at 01:57 PM.
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