List for 2011
#01. Deathlands - #1: Pilgrimage to Hell by James Axler -- the first in a many-volume series set in post-apocalyptic America. It's got a definite B-movie feel to it, but it was entertaining.
#02. Deathlands - #2: Red Holocaust by Laurence James -- a continuation of the adventures of Ryan and his band. Very graphic descriptions, some of it pretty disturbing, but a good story overall.
#03. The Myst Reader by Rand and Robyn Miller -- a set of three books that provides some background to the Myst universe. Very entertaining, although the first part of the second book was awful slow.
#04. Fabled Lands 1 - The War-Torn Kingdom by Dave Morris -- a unique gamebook that allows for open-ended, nonlinear gameplay. Much fun!
#05. Death at Bishop's Keep by Robin Paige -- "Gosick" has got me interested in Victorian mysteries. This one's not bad: American Kate Ardleigh learns that she's the sole heir of an estate in England. She moves there and finds murder and intrigue...
#06. Death at Green Gallows by Robin Paige -- the second book in the Kate Ardleigh series. This one gives the reader an interesting glimpse into poaching and the life of law enforcement at that time.
#07. Gosick by Kazuki Sakuraba -- A quick read, but highly entertaining!
#08. Death at Daisy's Folly by Robin Paige -- the third book in the Kate Ardleigh/Charles Sheridan Victorian mystery series.
#09. The Empire Strikes Back by Donald Glut -- the novelization of the best Star Wars movie.
#10. Return of the Jedi by James Kahn -- the novelization of the last Star Wars movie. The writing wasn't all that great, but the scenes with Luke, Vader, and the Emperor were well done.
#11. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony -- the first of the Xanth novels. A lot of ecchi moments in this fantasy setting.
#12. Death at Devil's Bridge by Robin Paige --the fourth book in the Kate & Charles Sheridan Victorian mystery series.
#13. From Caveman to Chemist by Hugh Salzberg -- an overview of the history of the development of modern chemistry.
#14. Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev -- 33 games with entertaining annotations.
#15. The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson -- a collection of Norse myths written in the 13th century. Very interesting stories.
#16. Into the Niger Bend by Jules Verne -- I learned that the series Secret of Cerulean Sand was based in part on this book and its sequel, The City in the Sahara, so I figured I'd check them out. Interesting Victorian-era explorer novel. I picked up some new vocabulary words: spondulics, haberdashery, trumpery, palaver, and bustard.
#17. The City in the Sahara by Jules Verne -- the conclusion of the Barsac Mission. Secret of Cerulean Sand was an excellent adaptation of this story and in some ways was even better than the book.
#18. The Castle of the Carpathians by Jules Verne -- Verne's only "gothic" novel. A very entertaining read, set in Transylvania, complete with mystery, romance, and adventure.
#19. The Clipper of the Clouds by Jules Verne -- Also known as 'Robur the Conqueror.' It was sort of like '20,000 leagues in the air.'
#20. The Wreck of the Grosvenor by William Clark Russell -- A classic 19th century tale of drama and suspense on the high seas. The text was heavily laden with nautical terms related to sailing ships of the period, but this didn't really interfere with the enjoyment of the story.
#21. The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton -- an old Roman-era soap opera set just before Vesuvius blows its top, with love triangles, intrigue, religious tensions, and, of course, gladiators. The author makes use of the discoveries made at Pompeii in the story and attempts to recreate the decadent lives of the wealthy at the time. Quite a good read, though heavy in the use of "thee's" and "thou's."
List from 2010
#01. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne -- a great adventure tale...except for the long-winded species descriptions.
#02. Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi -- a collection of 11 short stories, most of them post-apocalyptic with a dash of social commentary. Very dark, very gritty stuff. The author has one of the stories, The Fluted Girl, posted on his website here. My favorite was The Calorie Man.
#03. Doctor Who: The Eight Doctors by Terrance Dicks -- time travel fun with the world's most famous Time Lord. It provided a good overview of the Doctor Who universe as the eighth Doctor visits his seven previous incarnations.
#04. Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter -- that was quite a romp. George Dower gets caught up in a web of mystery and intrigue in this Victorian fantasy of clockworks and mad science.
#05. Bloodring by Faith Hunter -- the setting would make a great RPG: an ambiguous apocalypse occurs, one based loosely on judeo-christian mythology. Winged "seraphs" from the realm of light wage war against demons who abide underground. Humans get caught in the middle. Some humans have become mages and are able to manipulate creation energy. Thorn St. Croix is a "stone mage" and secretly lives among humans in a small town in the Appalachians. Recent events threaten to reveal her identity...
#06. The Black Star by Lin Carter -- an older fantasy/adventure novel set in Atlantis. Pretty standard sword & sorcery fare, with a satisfying conclusion. It was supposed to have been the first of a trilogy, but the other two books never materialized.
#07. Time Machine 16: Quest for the Cities of Gold by Richard Glatzer -- this is one of those old "choose your own adventure" books. Luckily, I chose the correct item in the beginning so I didn't get caught in one of those infinite time loops.
#08. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest -- steampunk & zombies!
#09. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull -- it's geared towards younger readers, but it was still a great read.
#10. The Guardians of Time by Poul Anderson -- a compilation of scifi short stories written in the 50's and 60's, all revolving around the Time Patrol and agent Manse Everard. Not as good as Anderson's Time Wars, but interesting nonetheless.
#11. Son of Darkness by Josepha Sherman -- a modern fantasy tale set in NYC, complete with museums, magic, & a Sumerian demon unleashed by cultists.
#12. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi -- an awesome adventure tale set in Bacigalupi's realistic and plausible vision of a post-apocalyptic Earth.
#13. Everyday Life in Early America by David Freeman Hawke -- very vivid and interesting portrayal of life in 17th century colonial America.
#14. Jennifer Government by Max Barry -- that was a blast, a very fun & fast-paced read. It explored the sort of world we'd all live in if the anarcho-capitalists/libertarian lunatics ever got their way.
#15. The Reshaping of Everyday Life, 1790 - 1840 by Jack Larkin -- the second in a four-volume series on life in early America.
#16. Spice and Wolf, Vol. 1 by Isuna Hasekura -- that brought back a lot of good memories; the anime was pretty faithful to the book.
#17. Flyte by Angie Sage -- Volume 2 of the Septimus Heap series. A quick read, as it's geared towards younger readers, but it was still interesting, with some clever gimmicks peppered throughout.
#18. The Expansion of Everyday Life, 1860 - 1876 by Daniel Sutherland -- the third installment of the "everyday life" series, focusing on the years of the Civil War, the rise of industrialization, and the westward expansion. It's fascinating reading, with a lot of old diary entries mixed in with the narrative.
#19. The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia -- very cool steampunk fantasy tale. A sentient clockwork automaton trained in alchemy finds herself caught up in a political struggle between the alchemists and the mechanics.
#20. Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony -- this was a revisit to the fantasy novel that got me into fantasy about 30 years ago, read on my new Sony pocket e-reader. It's interesting how the visualizations I had back then came back as I was reading it.
This blog has no comments. Leave one now!