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She just sings whatever she's seen

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2011 Reading Analysis

Wow. So this was one my my less stellar years in terms of reading. Ironically, I think that getting a Kindle actually worked against me, as it made it so much easier to be a magpie, play little word games, etc. So time I might otherwise have spent reading got sucked into playing strange logic puzzles. I also think I might have lost a couple of quick reads between October and November.   The Kindle did make it easier to make progress on some of my long-term reading projects, like Ulysses. While I'm still a long way from done, having it with me wherever I have the Kindle means I plugged away more than I would have if the book just stayed by my bed. Also, my copy was lovely in its way, but it is old, has some cover damage and the 60s era cover had to be taped on, so having it in a sleak electronic format is a more friendly reading experience (note that doesn't mean I'm getting rid of the hardcopy :-).   Along those lines, I had hoped to make 2011 the year I finished everything on my previously started list, which clearly didn't happen. I did read at least part of every single book still outstanding and I think it's realistic to think at least 4 of those will be cleared out this year (I've already finished ADWD and just started up with AF again, so that's one down, one probably finished by the end of the month). There's not much left of the Molly Ivins - it's sort of a crime that I've not completed that one, to be honest, and Halloween will be resurrected come fall. So there.   I did discover a ton of new authors this year, reading more than one book (and in a couple of cases, entire series) by Suzanne Collins, , Charles DeLint, Terry Brooks, Lee Carroll, and Daniel Suarez, and one offs by Jacqueline West, Cyril Pedrosa, Tamora Pierce and Daniel Kraus. I also discovered a lot of new possibilities via the Steampunk anthology (which contains a story by one of my dearest friends) and the Halloween anthology (which I shall finish next fall, natch).   Normally, this is where I go through a detailed accounting of new vs. old, genre, etc. But I kind of don't really care. I like knowing what I read and so long as I liked it, I'm not sure it matters that much one way or another.

Em-

Em-

 

Everything you ever wanted to know about books...

Edited 4/4/13 to add links to amz, etc.   Amazon Bookmooch - woefully out of date and a combo of me, my husband and my kid Goodreads - not so much a wishlist, but sort of what I'm poking around with   Okay, maybe not exactly, but it dawned on me that it might not be a bad idea to toss my answers to the recent bookworm swap over this away, for the curious.     What kind of books do you usually like? Any favorite authors, genres, or topics?   I love urban and traditional fantasy, whether it be about vampires, fairies, steampunk or something strange happening in a castle far away. I definitely like the supernatural twist and have a yen for post-apocalyptic tales (e.g. Terry Brooks) and mystery and fantasy kids lit (think John Bellairs, Harry Potter, Neil’s kids books, the Garth Nix "Keys to the Kingdom" series, the Uglies series, and Clive Barker's kids books). I also like straight mysteries (particularly about the southwest US (Nevada Barr, J.A. Jance, Tony Hillerman, Kirk Mitchell) and I also really like Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series) and am woefully behind on new developments in that genre. Fave authors include Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Julliet Marrillier, Robin McKinley, Jacqueline Carey, Catherynne M. Valente, JK Rowling, John Bellairs, Jonathan Carroll, ...I could go on for a while, but the links below should really help. And I'm just getting into Charles de Lint.   Pulling a list from a similar swap (kind of repetitive, but more info is better, right?):   *Urban fantasy(DeLint, Gaiman, lots of people I really need to read, I'm sure) *Magical realism (Jonathan Carroll and the like) *Quasi-historical fantasy (I'm thinking things like a Juliet Marillier and some of the non-adaptation McKinley here and I'd probably put Outlander in this category for my purposes since I don't otherwise tend to enjoy historical romance) *Supernatural romance (vampire, werewolves, zombies, OH MY! Things I'm pretty well caught up on incudes Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Kelly Armstrong, and I've read most LK Hamilton to the point where I just can't anymore ;-) *Sci-fi (although I tend to gravitate toward short stories in this genre - a la Ray Bradbury - and more worldbuilding Steampunky sorts of stuff than hard tech-geeky a-bunch-of-guys-land-on-a-strange-planet sort of stuff) *Mysteries/crime/detective novels (tho I'm more into the actual crime solving than the legal wrangling, so, more Sara Paretsky/Raymond Chandler/Michael Connelley than Scott Turow/John Grisham, also I sort of love true crime, which I rarely admit to and never seek out but adore when it falls in my lap) *Fairy tales (classics and adaptations and totally new interpretations) *Mythology adaptations (really, just kind of in love with adaptations of almost any sort, including comic versions especially the original text classics) *Authurian/Avalon myth (this is a fairly recent acquisition, so it's good mining as well is my guess. I've got MZB covered, but otherwise...) *Comics/graphic novels (not so much superhero stuff for the most part, but there's a lot of BPAL related stuff I haven't read) *Kids lit of any of the above, especially the mystery/fantasy bit (loving Rick Riordan with my 8 year old right now!)   Any authors, genres or topics you really dislike?   I am not a fan of Jim Butcher, oddly. I should be, but he just doesn't grab me. Similarly, Holly Black and I have never really hit it off. I think most of my other "dislikes" are touched on below.   Do you consider yourself "well-read"? Well-read within a particular genre?   Kinda, in that I read all-the-damn-time. There are huge gaping holes in my knowledge base, though, as I'm kind of a magpie.   How do you feel about classics?   I'm kind of embarassed to admit this, but kind of meh. I love Dickens, but otherwise, can pretty much take or leave most lit written before 1900. I know, I'm a philistine.   Would you like something challenging/outside your comfort zone or would you prefer something fairly close to what you know you like?   I would definitely like *something* in my comfort zone. There's a pretty deep well there, I think. I would absolutely love to discover new authors within genres I like and am happy to discover things kind of on the fence. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies sorts of crossovers hold no interest for me, though.   How do you feel about nonfiction?   I'm typically not a huge fan, to be honest. I do tend to like narrative non-fic storytelling along the lines of Sarah Vowell or Chuck Klosterman (I just bought his new novel, FYI), but I really look to recreational reading for escapism. I do love a good political firebrand, but I have a lot of that unread on my shelves at the moment. Although, as noted above, true crime is kind of my secret shame.   Are you ok with something like a graphic novel or young adult book?   Abso-frikkin-lutely. I love graphic novels and YA lit.   What makes you pick a book up and want to read it right away? What makes you put something down and never want to pick it up again?   You know, I have no idea. My main go-to books that I read over and over again are Gaiman's Neverwhere, McKinley's Chalice and the Harry Potter series. They are all escapist fantasy to some extent, but I read plenty of other things in the same genres, but don't feel compelled to read them repetedly. Those books, though, feel like slipping between the pages and into a whole new world, almost like pulling up the covers in bed on a cold night. I know I just mixed my metaphors, but I don't care. ;-) In terms of putting things down, while I have no particular issues with violence and gore, being shocking and gross just for the sake of being shocking and gross just doesn't appeal to me. And I have no issues with genre tropes, but I really really need a story and some fabulous characterization as well.   Would you be open to receiving ebooks? If so, what sort of reader do you have, and do you prefer electronic or physical books?   YES! I would love/prefer kindle books, to be honest, but would be perfectly happy to get physical goodness as well. And for anything with color pics (e.g. graphic novels) the Kindle just won't cut it. For physical books, used is a-ok.

Em-

Em-

 

~Snow Bunny Quests~

NEW QUESTIONS ADDED 11.21 3:30 ish   Milk or dark chocolate: Yes please! I like to think that I prefer dark, but really, secretly, I think I like milk just a little better, and I prefer bits in (crispies, caramel, fruit, etc). White is nice too.   Sooo. Yules. Those just happened. What are you interested in, Bunny? I ordered everything that I'm seriously interested in and have updated my wishlist with what I didn't order.   Coin purses: I think I already answered this one, but I probably wouldn't get much use out of one.   If your fox were to knit something for you, would it be a lacy shawl or a pair of socks? Yes please! I really truly would love either.   Would anyone else be interested in a soap dish or something like that? I don't really have a use (or a place) for one, honestly.   Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, which house do you identify with, and why? Would you want knitted things/replicas/accessories in your house colours? YES! I'm mostly Ravenclaw, with a side of either Gryffindor or Slytherin, depending on who's sorting. I would love a house scarf, as I think I already mentioned.   Are there any Yules from *PAST* years that you're interested in trying? Including past winter inquisitions? There's nothing that screams at me, but what I want to try is in my wishlist.   Let's talk about fruit! Do you like dried fruit or h ate it? Like some but not others? I'm not opposed to it, but dried fruit is not something I'd ever actively seek out unless I'm making fruitcake. I do LOVE fruitcake.   How do you feel about cherries? Prefer the sweet or tart versions? Dried? Jam? Salsa? Hot sauce? BBQ sauce? All your cherries are belong to me. I'm not so into hot sauce, though.   Bunnies! What is your general philosophy about patterns for accessories such as socks, scarves, and tights? Do you like solids? Stripes? Polka dots? Weird patterns like harlequin-type stuff? Any of the above? Patterns are love. Random not-so-patterns are also love.   Bunny, are you interested in anything from Geek Chic Cosmetics?   I've never heard of them. I do wear makeup, but other than a nice blue-black mascara, I'm pretty set at the moment.   Chile, yay or nay? Herm. Neither? I like a little heat, but I'm set for spicy chocolate and it's not a flavor I actively seek out otherwise.   Would you rather have an early reveal, or would you prefer one close to the end of the round? I do love me a surprise, but so long as you reveal at some point, I'm good either way.   Stuffed microbes from Think Geek LOVE THEM! Every year I covet the Christmas boxes.   Baking supplies? I think I've covered this pretty well?   Anniversary Update! Does anything interest you, Bunny? The only one I didn't order was Midnight, since the jasmine has the potential to be fatal. I'd love a sniffie of that one, otherwise, I'm set.   Cthulhu, yes or no? Of course!     NEW QUESTIONS ADDED 11.7 @ 2:00ish   A question: reveal, yes or no? Please yes! I hate not knowing who to thank! I do love the suspense of wondering who is sending to me, though. I usually reveal in the last shipment.   Any favorite cuddly characters? I used to be really into Sanrio, but not so much anymore. I love Uglydolls. And Kermit. But mostly I just like soft cuddly things. I don't really collect anything anymore.   Charity gifts? Either fair-trade type stuff, or virtual type gifts, like vaccinations or school supplies being bought on your behalf, or something along those lines? Sure.   Bunny, are you interested in tarts from Two Timing Tart? What scents, if any, are you interested in? Wow, those look amazing. I'd be interested in trying tarts or candles of any of the following: Insomniac, Tease, Teatime With Mary Pickford, Innocence, Bombshell, ANY of the autumn or winter seasonals, Exp 3 or 5, Sex Kitten, Pornography   Do you need any holiday recipes? Is there something in particular that you'd like baked or made for you? And for those of you doing the no sugar/low sugar, etc. thing these days, how about savory things? I don't *need* any holiday recipes, but I'd love any you'd like to share, along with just about any baked goods. I like savories as well as sweets, but there's *no* need to avoid sugar.   Speaking about candles, how much do you look forward to the BPTP candles that will be launched on Etsy? I don't know if there will be other scents than the Samhain and Pumpkin Cookie one, but is there a specific one you are longing for? Both Samhain and Pumpkin Cookie sound amazing.   Does anyone have issues with gently used things like books, etc.? Not at all!   Are you a big ol' nerd for any particular subject? Science, math, linguistics, etc? Or particular authors/fandoms? Not really. The book post I linked below probably answers this best. I am sort of into Harry Potter fandom, but not madly. Probably my nerdiest passion is Shakespearian adaptations, like Kurasawa's Ran and Throne of Blood, Rosencranz and Gildenstern are Dead and the like.   Bunnies, how do you feel about lemon-flavored items, like lemon marmalade, lemon curd, lemon pound cake, or lemon cookies? All your lemon are belong to me.   Fingerless mittens or full mitts? Er...I've never had fingerless, so I have no idea! Although reading some of the comments to this one, it would seem that I need some fingerless gloves for those days when it's frakkin cold in my office and I can no longer use my space heater because it keeps tripping the breaker. Not that I'm bitter about that or anything.   Pink? I don't hate pink, especially if it veers toward raspberry/purply, but it's definitely not a fave.   Thematic scarves? Extrapolating from the Tom Baker scarf discussion, I am not enough of a Doctor Who fan to covet this particular scarf, but I would love a Hogwarts house scarf! Ravenclaw or Slytherin, or Slytherclaw (which would work well with the movie colors).   What are your opinions on traditional holiday cookie flavorings? I'm thinking anise and cardamom in particular. I'm not sure my love for anise and cardamom can be adequately conveyed through the written word. BRING THEM ON!!!!!   Do you like artisan oils and vinegars? Very much. I have rather a surplus of EVOO at the moment though. I keep meaning to make my own infused oils and can never gather the right supplies (bottles and such). In terms of vinegars, I love love love them.   Any crafty pursuits you’ve been dying to experiment with? Would you like a little kit of something you’ve never tried? Do you need any particular items for your new or existing stash? I would love to learn to knit, but I fail miserably at any yarncraft I try. I have done needlepoint in the past and am pretty good at it, but I haven't done it in years.   2012 calendar? Not really. We get really nice freebies through our zoo membership, so I'm set for my wall calendar. A page a day calendar could be fun if my Fox sees something that just screams my name, otherwise, I'm good, calendar wise.   NEW QUESTIONS ADDED 11.4 @ 3:00ish   Stealing coldandsleepy's idea to put the new ones first:   What was the best holiday present you ever got?   Oh wow. A couple of years ago my husband managed to completely and utterly surprise me with a stained glass window that is the perfect complement to one we already had hanging in our living room, which is awesome, both in terms of how well he knows me, how hard it was to find, and the fact that I had ABSOLUTELY no idea. And last year he managed to shock both my son and I with a piano. Also, our daughter was arguably conceived on/around our 13th wedding anniversary.   Bunny, what scent are you desperately wanting to be resurrected this year with the Anniversary update? Hrm. I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess, in terms of wishes, I'd go with King of Spades. Or the original Lugnasadah or Mabon.   Groupon for Moxie Nouveau! Dear Bunneh, is this something that would interest you? Honestly, I'm pretty much a BPAL loyalist. I've tried half a dozen or so other companies and just never like them as much as I do my BPAL.   Bun-bun, what's your favourite colour?   Purple! (Real purple, not lavender)   Your favourite gemstone?   Honestly, as long as it's sparkly and has pretty colors, I don't really have a favorite, per se. I love big chunky rocks of just about any sort.   Your favourite animal (real or imaginary)? Dragons! And spiders and bats and squids and frogs and lizards and penguins and...oh hell. I'm the mom who continues to buy her kid the 1000th stuffed animal because we don't have that species of buffalo yet. In terms of animals to live with, definitely cats and fish and frogs and lizards.   And do you have any intense phobias? Not really. I'm not fond of bees or wasps or other stingy things in my immediate presense, but I love representations of bees.   Facebook/twitter: I use my real name on facbook and pretty much only friend people I actually know and/or have had an extensive online relationship with. I'm emandink on twitter.   Are you Nano-ing this month, bunny? If so, how would you feel about merch/donations to the cause? Not this year, sadly.   Do you like/need boxes for perfume/knicknacks? I like them perhaps a little too much - I actually have some extra boxes, as I moved my BPAL to a cabinet a few years ago.   Coffee or tea? With caffine or without? Flavors (if so, what?) or no? Whole bean/ground/loose leaf/bags? Yes please! Coffee must have caffiene, tea can go whichever way it chooses. Love flavored coffee (vanilla/fruity/caramel/spicy), but only if ground, otherwise, love wholebean dark roasts with fruity/caramel notes. Flavored tea strongly preferred - similar likes + chocolate! Coffee grinding preferences as noted, tea bags are more convenient, but I am fully equiped for a wonderful loose leaf tea.   Do you have a strong preference for any sort of bath and body product brands (i.e. etailer/etsy type cos, department store/specialty brands like Lush) or are you cool with anything that doesn't smell like Bunnybane? I try to stick with small/woman owned companies where I can, but if you find something that seems right up my alley at Target, I will be thrilled no matter what.   ______________________________________________ Good golly y'all!   I'm going to throw this out up front because I totally forgot to mention it in my survey - please do not send me anything with artificial sweeteners. I can sometimes tolerate stevia, but a lot of them give me migraines and I just don't like them. I try to avoid HFCS as well, but I'd rather have something loaded with that than sucrolose or acesulfame.   1. $20 from Walgreens... I'd surely start in the makeup/nail polish aisle and would probably pick up some sort of totally impractical color(s) in one or both areas. Then, if I take it seriously and stay with the fun (as opposed to picking up one of the vitamin supplements I'm low on or something), then I'd probably grab some fun sparkly markers or pens (I love brightly colored sharpies), and then hit the chocolate aisle - depending on what I have left over and my mood, I'd either grab a Cadbury fruit and nut, some Lindt truffles, a marshmallow santa or whatever new strange chocolate caramel concoction is on sale. Or maybe HoHos.   2. I live near a brick and morter location for a really, really good spice store. Would you use cooking spices and if you would, what would you need? (It's Penzey's if you want to Google it.) I got the giant bakers gift crate for Christmas last year. So, er, nothing from that one, I guess. In general, except for curries, I tend to prefer solo herbs and spices to blends, and I have pretty good coverage at the moment for the basics, but I do love the idea. (And for starfish, I think? Their cinnamons are, indeed, amazing.)   3. Do you like knitted goods? If so, what would you like, what colors, and do you have any sensitivites or preference when it comes to type of yarn (ex: wool: yay or nay? Do you prefer machine washable materials? Do you not care?)? Absolutely love knitted goods. Strongly prefer machine washable and soft, but I'm not allergic to wool or anything. I am all about dark colors and jewel tones - black, grey, purple, green, blue, red. Not so much orange, yellow or pink...or white or brown.   4. Hey swap partner... could you use a new mug? I can always use a new mug, size large.   5. Is there any sort of regional food/drink/treat you miss or have always wanted to try? I love flavored/varietal honeys and those maple sugar leaves. Are those regional? Also, Indian and British sweets. In general, I would love to try anything that my Fox considers her regional specialties.   6. Do you do a Christmas tree? If yes is it themed or specially colored or do you just have all different ornaments and such? We do do a tree and it is a total mishmash of things from my childhood, ornaments gifted to the kids (lots of snowmen and alligators, and snowgators...long story) and just pretty things we've purchased over the years.   7. Would you like a special ornament? Sure! We tend to do cute, but not "country", fwiw.   8. Tim Tams. Yay or nay? Yes please!   9. I know some people are squicked out at the idea of eating things that other people make, or the thought of deep fried cookies sends them into cardiac arrest. If you were my fox, would you like to receive some homemade goodies, or would you prefer that your goodies came from the store? I would love homemade goodies. Maybe not deep fried cookies, though.   10. Would any Bunny like to receive Holiday serving bowls, trays, platters etc...? Winter/Christmas or Thanksgiving/Fall themed? Sure! I host Thanksgiving every year and Christmas Eve dinner and love holiday themed dishes.   11. My lovely fluffy Snow Bunny, would you like a body scrub made by me? If so, what scent(s) would you like, if you had to think along the lines of essential oils? And would you prefer sugar or salt? A dryer scrub or one that's more oily/moist? Ooh, absolutely. I love scrubs (oily/moist sugar typically, although I wouldn't say no to a citrussy salt scrub). I think I covered my general scent preferences pretty well in my questionaire, but holiday scents I particularly like are grapefruit + pine/spruce or sweet/cookie type scents with pine/spruce.   12. Dear snow bunny, do you like candles? If yes, then what kind? Scented (what scents), unscented, what colors, do you like them plain/painted on the outside/with decorations attached to the surface/sculpted? Love candles, especially this time of year (holiday cookie/christmas tree/spicy are alwaus good, although not so much cinnamon). I tend to prefer jar candles or votives, since I have kids and need to keep them out of the way.   13. Also what do you think of little soaps? I know most people don't use soaps nowadays but I love the chocolate/vanilla/cocoa/butter/sugar combo scents that I see at beauty stores.... Love them!   14. Socks! Slippers! Do you love them or not really wear them? If you love them, do you also love Sock Dreams? Love socks (generally not more than knee highs, though, and generally in the colors I listed above or holiday. Holiday socks are love!), love Sock Dreams (especially BBella). I do wear slippers, but I'm pretty particular about them, so that could be tough.   15. Would you wear something like http://www.ravelry.c...astic-cowl]this if your Fox were to knit you one? If so, what color? Hrm. That's not really my style, to be honest, unless it were big enough to use as a shawl instead.   16. New question: talk to me of coffee. Whole bean? Ground? Flavored, not flavored? Decaf, whole caff? Favorite roasters? Drip, french press, keurig? BRING ON THE TEA? Whole bean dark roast or flavored ground. Whole caff. (We have a grind and brew combo where you can't just switch out beans.) Locally, I like Beanetics, but I'm really not that picky. Tea is love and I'm all about the seasonal flavors and chocolate blends here, bags or loose.   17. Who else here loves or would like to try Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics? If so, what would you like? I've never heard of them.   18. Have you tried anything from Cocoa Pink and if so, what products and scents do you like or would like to try? I haven't. I'm not really that into hair stuff, as it's short and pretty low maintainance.   19. Anybody into nail polish? Any color or formula preferences? I like painting my toenails (my fingers never last long enough to make it worthwhile, to be honest), but I'm not "into" it, per se. I'd love a cool sparkly blue or green (and I do covet the Muppet colors that someone's supposed to be coming out with soonish), but it's not something anyone should go out of their way for.   20. If you found a $50 bill on the ground and were to place a Lab order, what would be in it? (And shipping is free through the magical BPAL unicorn!) Hmmmm. That's a tough one. Probably Tattered Lace and Ein Kuss Von Krampus from Dark Delacacies.   21. Is there any particular holiday DVD that you don't have that you would like to own? Nothing jumps to mind, as we tend to buy/tivo stuff as we get the itch for it.   22. How do you feel about superheros? Are you a Marvel or DC fan? Do you have a favorite hero? Generally I tend to be more of a Vertigo (Sandman/Hellblazer/Preacher/that sort) of gal. So, DC, I guess. I'm not so much into superheroes as I am darker graphic novel type comics.   23. would you like a Paintbox from Paintbox Soapworks? If so, which scents? That looks awesome, but I try to avoid glycerine soaps.   24. Do you have kids (or kid-like pets) who your fox may want to take into account, either in terms of a little extra goody or simple safety? 2 kids (8 year old boy, 18 month old girl, he tends to inherit all wee toys, stickers and to share in appropriate snacky things). Also 2 cats, but they tend to stick to themselves and actually don't really do the treat thing. Same with the fish/snails and the hermit crab.   25. Lush? I love the Buche de Noel cleanser, Lemony Flutter and I tend to like a lot of the holiday bubble bar scents, so long as they aren't floral (I haven't had a chance to go through this year's offerings though). I don't like their soaps at all, which makes me sad, since they tend to sound delightful.   26. Honey/Beeswax? Honey is an absolute yes. Not sure what I'd do with beeswax, but if it came with suggestions, I'd be game, I guess.   27. TJs - we have them around here but they are always horribly crowded on the weekends and I can just never be bothered. I do really like their crumpets, though.   28. Paintbox Yulies? - So, while I'm not up for the soaps, scrubs and lotion are always good. Snoggin sounds devine, as does Comfort and Joy. White Snow, Bright Snow and the Victorious Sun sound nice too...For that matter, looking at the rest of the LEs, Avast, Guy Faukes, Indian Summer and Smiling Jack all sound lovely.   29. If I were to place ONE LAST Weenie order, (uh, which I will) what would you want me to include for you? (presuming that is that the order can get here in time, bites nails)? I did a pretty good job on this year's Weenies on my on. The stuff on my wishlist is pretty much stuff I just want to sniff. This is prolly as good a place as any to mention that I know my WL is pretty heavy on harder to find/LE type stuff. While I always love BPAL, I totally don't expect it.   Will you be away for any part of the round? Nope.   Anyone else with an Etsy store and a member of Tradeaholics (or you could join) and interested in bartering for gifts for their bunny? Nope.   What type of books do you like? Dying to read anything? I adore books. I keep a running list of everything I've read throughout the year here in my .org blog - it goes back to 2007, I think. Yeep. I may just make a new post with my answers to the Bookworm swap, to be honest, since that's prolly the easiest way to keep track of things (here!. But I do love interesting, not too sappy, holiday stories. And I'm jonsing for some Authurian legends at the moment for some reason (not MZB, as I've either read or have on my to read shelves many of her books). Also, I love a Kindle, if that matters. ;-)   If you like Christmas music (or anyother holiday music, for that matter), what kind of style do you like? Traditional? Modern and poppy? Indie? I love Christmas and holiday music and I'm a sucker for modern/indie compilations. I have a lot of holiday music though (I wanna say 300+ songs on my iPod), but I haven't gotten anything in the past couple of years.   Do you enjoy things that taste like roses? For example chewing gum, turkish delight, delicious goo that you eat by the spoonful out of a glass jar (and they all taste of rose. Yes, we have all these in Greece.)   I do! Lavender as well. I don't really chew gum though.   Also, same question about mastic. Would you be interested in trying it out? (If yes, any preferences? for example you would prefer to try the chewing gum, the turkish delight, an Easter bun, the raw resin itself, anything?)   I don't think I've ever tried it, but I'm always up for new experiences.   I live in the city of the chickenwing. If I were to send you something savory, what's your heat tolerance (or sweet and heat for that matter)? I like things spicy, but not necessarily hot, if that makes any sense? Nothing more than a "medium", basically. I do love sweet-spicy combos (chili chocolate, baked goods, etc, but mostly if I can actually taste the flavors). That being said, I'm really not a huge fan of the chickenwing.   If your fox/bunny were to gift you with a giftcard from anywhere, as in any store food wise, music wise etc. what giftcard would you like? Amazon is always good, as is Starbucks, since I do like to treat myself there ocassionally. Other online only options would be Sock Dreams, Soap Box, Villainess, someplace similar that my Fox wants to surprise me with. I'm always up for discovering new places. Lego would be fun too.   If I were to send you chocolate is there anything I should avoid as in nuts, cherries etc.? Also, what are some of your favorite holiday candies? I'm not real nuts about nuts (HA!), unless there's lots of dried fruit and other stuff (e.g., the aforementioned fruit & nut bar). I love caramel, marshmallow, cherries, other fruity bits. Also, despite not being a huge fan of nuts, I do love marzipan. One thing I've learned about myself recently is that while I do love high quality chocolate (or moderate, even) with bits in, I don't like things that are too outlandish, like curry or fennel. My love affair with Vosges is suffering for this fact, as I like their caramels and truffles, but not so much the candy bars. In terms of holiday faves, divinity, fudge, peppermint chocolates, marzipan and I love me a marshmallow santa.   Does anything from FusionSweets interest you? The caramel marshmallows sound AMAZEBALLS. As do the chocolate orange marshmallows. If I were to do a pick 4, I'd choose the chocolate marshmallow, grasshopper, lavender and vanilla. For caramels, the apple cider, lemon ginger, star anice etc, and French lavender honey all sound fabulous. But I have alot of caramels about right now, so the marshmallows would definitely be my first choice.   Interested in anything from the Elements and Artifacts Yule update? I almost bought these yesterday. Everything else I wanted is long gone.   Mulling spices? I love mulling spices, but unless my Fox likes to make their own amazing blend, I have a jar of Penzy's on hand for this season.

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Books for 2011

Books read/started/finished/etc. in 2011.   Read Entirely in 2011 1. I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett (F) (YA) (S) (368 pages) 2. Lord John and the Hand of Devils - Diana Gabaldon (F) (SW) (S) 3. Hellboy: The Wild Hunt - Mike Mignola (F)(GN) (S) 4. Rough Country - John Sanford (S)(M) 5. Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (F)(S)(YA) 6. Steampunk - Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (SF) (SW) (400 pages) 7. Bread and Butter Indian - Anne Culver (YA) (R ) 8. Graphic Classics Edgar Allen Poe (GN) (partial reread for text) 9. The Shadows (Elsewhere Book 1) - Jacqueline West (YA) (F) 10. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan (YA) (F) (S) 11. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (F)(S)(YA) 12. Mad With Wonder - Frank Beddor, Sami Makkonen (GN) (F) 13. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan (YA) (F) (S) 14. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (F)(S)(YA) 15. Mystery and Dream - Charles DeLint (F) 16. The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan (YA) (F) (S) 17. The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan (YA)(F)(S) 18. The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan (YA)(F)(S) 19. Pale Demon - Kim Harrison (F)(V)(S) 20. The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery (YA) (R ) 21. Muse and Reverie - Charles de Lint (F)(SW) 22. River Marked - Patricia Briggs (S)(V) 23. The Mystery of Grace - Charles de Lint (F) 24. The Painted Boy - Charles de Lint (F)(YA) 25. Three Shadows - Cyril Pedrosa (GN) (F) 26. Burn - Nevada Barr (S)(M) 27. Dingo - Charles de Lint (F)(YA) 28. Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book - Tamora Pierce (YA)(F)(S) 29. Widdershins - Charles de Lint (F) 30. Chalice - Robin McKinley (F)® 31. Armagaddon's Children - Terry Brooks (F) © 32. Elves of Cintra - Terry Brooks (S)(F) 33. Storm Born - Rachelle Mead (S)(V)(F) 34. The Black Swan - Lee Carroll (S)(V)(F) 35. Angel Fire East - Terry Brooks (S)(F) 36. Thorn Queen - Rachelle Mead (S)(V)(F) 37. Freedom - Daniel Suarez (S) (SF) 38. Daemon - Daniel Suarez (S)(SF) 39. Bad Boy - Peter Robinson (S)(M) 40. Santa Olivia - Jacqueline Carey (F)(V) 41. Rotters - Daniel Kraus (YA) 42. The Watchtower - Lee Carrol (S)(F) 43. Iron Crowned - Rachelle Mead (S)(V)(F) 44. Downtown Owl - Chuck Klastermam 45. Rule 34 - Charles Stross (SF) (S) 46. Endangered Species (Lost novelizations) (S)(SF)(F) 47. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens ®   Chapter books read with Son 1. The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush - S. Jones Rogan (2010) 2. The London Eye Mystery 3. The Curse of the Romeny Wolves - S. Jones Rogan 4. Leprechaun in Late Winter (MTH 43) 5. Crazy Day with Cobras (MTH 45) 6. Tales from the Oddessey v1 7. Tales from the Oddessey v2 8. D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths 9. D'Aulares Norse Gods and Monsters ® 10. Greek something 11.Greek something 12. The Lightning Thief 13. Sea of Monsters 14. The Titan's Curse 15. The Red Pyramid 16. Abarat 17. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury 18. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident     Started in 2010 or before, finished in 2011   In progress (if not started in 2011, starting year in parens) Ulysses - James Joyce (started 2005, completely restarted in 2011) Who Let the Dogs In - Molly Ivins (2008) (SW) (NF) Everything You Know About God is Wrong - Russ Kick (NF) (SW) (2010) Dances With Dragons - George R.R. Martin (S)(F) Halloween - Paula Guran (SW) (F) Artimis Fowl - Eoin Cofer (S)(YA)(F)       Island of the Could Not Finish   Some coding:(AOC) = Author of Color(F) = Fantasy(GN) = Graphic Novel(M) = Mystery(NF) = Non-fiction(R ) = Reread(S) = Series(SF) = Science Fiction(SW) = Short Works(V) = Vampires, werewolves, and witches, oh my!(YA) = Young Adult

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2010 Reading Analysis

This year may be the year that gets me to start tracking pages read; because while I did not come terribly close to 100 books (totaling 82 books in their entirety, 84 with the ones started before 2010, although 132/4 with the ones read with my son, but I typically don’t count those toward my own totals) I would be willing to bet that I came pretty close to my page totals for previous years, thanks largely to discovering Diana Gabaldon and rereading the entire Harry Potter series. I also did a lot of magazine and other non-tracked reading (I am not counting skimming through pregnancy and baby-care books, for example) and had a fair amount of external distraction (hello new baby and having not been totally alone in my house since May).   Just skimming, this year had fewer really short (>300 pages) YA and urban fantasy/paranormal romance sorts of books, fewer graphic novels which I tend to polish off in a few hours as most, and a lot more really dense, really long books.   Some quick totals:   82 books read in their entirety. 2 books finished from previous years. 50 chapter books read in whole or in part with my son. 4 books which I just could not finish – interestingly, all by authors that I have really enjoyed in the past and 3 of which were installments in series where I’ve enjoyed the other books.   Of the 82 books I read in full, they breakdown along my coding as follows:   Author of Color – 1 (wow, that’s pathetic) Fantasy – 44 (my most common genre this year with 5 more than last year) Graphic Novel – 19 (hum, actually 2 more than last year- but at least two of what I categorized as GN were fairly long) Mystery - 3 (way fewer straight mysteries this year than in the past – probably because I’m completely caught up with the series I read and haven’t introduced any new ones) Non-fiction – 1 Reread – 15 total rereads and 2 graphic novel adaptations where I’d read the original story, but not the adaptation Series –60 Science Fiction – 9 Short Works – 9 Vampires, werewolves, and witches, oh my! – 25 (3 more than last year, maybe because I included the 7 HPs?) Young Adult – 16 (way fewer than last year and tending toward the longer end (i.e. 300 plus pages))   Interestingly, even with almost ¾ of my reading being from series, nearly half – 40 total- unique authors are represented, with 12 totally new authors this year. That’s about the same number of unique authors, although fewer new ones this year.

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Books For 2010

Books read/started/finished/etc. in 2010.   Read Entirely in 2010 1. Frostbitten - Kelly Armstrong (S) (V) 2. Heart's Blood - Juliet Marillier (F) 3. Sandman: Fables and Reflections - Neil Gaiman (S)(R )(GN) (F) 4. Cybele's Secret - Juliet Marillier (S)(YA)(F) 5. The Man with the Golden Torc - Simon R. Green (F)(S)(SF) 6. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon (S)(F) 7. The Well of Shades - Juliet Marillier (F)(S) 8. Sandman: Brief Lives - Neil Gaiman (R )(S)(GN)(F) 9. The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden - Catherine M. Valente (F)(S) 10. Mercy Thompson: Homecoming - Patricia Briggs (V)(GN)(S) 11. The Orphan's Tales: Cities of Coin and Spice - Catherine M. Valente (F)(S) 12. Once Dead, Twice Shy - Kim Harrison (V)(YA) 13. Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris (S)(V) 14. Flirt - Laurel K. Hamilton (S)(V) 15. Paladan of Souls - Lois McMaster Bujold (F) (S) 16. Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 17. City of Glass - Cassandra Claire (YA)(S)(F)(V) 18. Devine Misdemeaners - Laurel K. Hamilton (S)(V) 19. Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species (NF)(GN) 20. The Summoning - Kelly Armstrong (S)(YA)(V) 21. Men of the Otherworld - Kelly Armstrong (S)(V) (SW) 22. Sandman: World's End - Neil Gaiman (R )(S)(GN)(F) 23. Touch of Dead - Charlaine Harris (S) (SW)(V) 24. Lord Sunday - Garth Nix (S)(YA)(F) 25. Personal Demon - Kelly Armstrong (S)(V) 26. Living With the Dead - Kelly Armstrong (S)(V) 27. Sandman: The Kindly Ones - Neil Gaiman (R )(S)(GN)(F) 28. Fables: War and Pieces - Bill Willingham (S)(GN)(F) 29. Black Magic Sanction - Kim Harrison (S)(V) 30. Child of Fire - Harry Connelly (S)(V) 31. Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape - Bill Willingham (S)(GN)(F) 32. Fables: The Dark Ages - Bill Willingham (S)(GN)(F) 33. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman (R )(F) 34. Fables: The Great Fables Crossover - Bill Willingham (S)(GN)(F) 35. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 36. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 37. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 38. Sandman: The Wake - Neil Gaiman (R )(S)(GN)(F) 39. Voyager - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 40. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 41. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 42. Imago - Octavia Butler (S) (AOC)(SF) 43. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 44. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling (R )(S)(F)(YA) 45. Alex and the Ironic Gentleman - Adrienne Kress (YA) 46. Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut (SF) 47. Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 48. A Door in the Hedge - Robyn McKinley (F)(SW)(YA) 49. Tales of the Otherworld - Kelly Armstrong (S)(V) (SW) 50. The Firey Cross - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 51. Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs (S)(V) 52. Lord John and the Private Matter - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 53. The Homecoming - Ray Bradbury & Dave McKeon (SW)(GN)(R for story) 54. Pictures that Tick - Dave McKeon (SW)(GN) 55. Alibi Man - Tami Hoag (S) (M) 56. House of Mystery - Bill Willingham (GN) (S)(f) 57. Namaah's Curse - Jacqueline Carey (S) 58. Identity Crisis - Brad Meltzer & Rags Morales (GN) 59. Vampires Don't Sleep Alone - Elizabeth Barrial and DH Altair (V) 60. Peter and Max - Bill Willingham (S)(F) 61. World's End - Mark Chadbourn (S)(SF) 62. Exit Wounds - Rutu Modon (GN) 63. Darkest Hour - Mark Chadbourn (S)(SF) 64. The Gates - John Connolly (F) 65. A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 66. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 67. Always Forever - Mark Chadbourn (S)(SF) 68. Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris (S) (V) 69. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown (S)(M) 70. Exile - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S)(GN) 71. Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon (F)(S) 72. Now and Forever - Ray Bradbury (SF) 73. The Last Unicorn - Peter S. Begle (F) 74. Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett (SF) (S) 75. The Fall of Atlantis - Maron Zimmer Bradley (F) 76. A Christmas Carol and other Stories - Charles Dickens (R ) 77. Storm Prey - John Sanford (S)(M) 78. Angels and Other Strangers - Katherine Patterson (R ) (SW) 79. The Runaway Dragon - Kate Combs (YA) (F) 80. Steven Colbert's Tek Janson - (GN)(SF) 81. The Anarchist Convention and Other Stories - John Sayles (SW) 82. Sandman: The Dream Hunters - Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russel (F) (GN) (R for story)     Chapter books read with Son 1. Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman 2. D'Aulaire's Norse Gods & Giants - Ingri D'Aulaire 3. Fire and Wings: Dragon Tales from East and West - Marianne Carus 4. Favorite Norse Myths - Mary Pope Osborne 5. A Ring of Tricksters - Virginia Hamilton 6. The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China - Leonard Everett Fisher 7. The Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya - Leonard Everett Fisher 8. Children of the Dragon - Sherry Garland 9. Spellbound - Anna Dale 10. Kenny and the Dragon... 11. Magic Tree House 44 12. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens 13. The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush - S. Jones Rogan (in progress as of 12-29) 14-37. The A-to-Z Mysteries - Ron Roy (Letters: A-L, N-U, W-Y, Special 1) 38. The Calendar Mysteries - Ron Roy (January) 39-50. The Boxcar Children Mysteries - Gertrude Changler Warner (1, 3-6, 8, 11, 14, 25, 51, 65, Special 11)   Started in 2009 or before, finished in 2010 Lover Avenged - J.R. Ward (2009) (S)(V) Jambalaya - L. Tisch (2007) (AOC) (NF)   In progress (if not started in 2010, starting year in parens) Ulysses - James Joyce (2005) Who Let the Dogs In - Molly Ivins (2008) (SW) (NF) Everything You Know About God is Wrong - Russ Kick (NF) (SW)   Island of the Could Not Finish 13 1/2 - Nevada Barr (2009) (M) Curse of Challion - Lois McMaster Bujold (F) (S) Lover Mine - JR Ward Bullet - Laurel K. Hamilton   Some coding:(AOC) = Author of Color(F) = Fantasy(GN) = Graphic Novel(M) = Mystery(NF) = Non-fiction(R ) = Reread(S) = Series(SF) = Science Fiction(SW) = Short Works(V) = Vampires, werewolves, and witches, oh my!(YA) = Young Adult

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2009 Reading Analysis

Wow, so, definitely met the standing 100+ books goal with 120 unique books last year. In addition, there were 2 books that I started prior to this year and finished, one that’s part of a mystery series, another non-fiction history of Haitian voodoo. I gave up on 5 books entirely. Of these, 3 were by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed, including one adaptation from a book I enjoyed originally and one sequel. As of Jan. 1, I had 5 books still in progress (note that of the 2 started in 2009, 1 I’ve given up on and 1 is completed, but that’s for a year from now). The 3 remaining are from previous years. Maybe this will be the year I actually plow through Ulysses.   I got pretty haphazard about tracking reading with the boy this year. Ultimately, I just started noting books that I would/have read on my own as well. I’m just not up for keeping track of 40 Scooby Doo chapter books.   As for the rest of the analysis: • 15 of these were rereads, and that doesn’t count that I read 1 book twice. • 83 were books in series of various kinds. • In terms of genre, 39 were fantasy (as defined personally), 37 were YA, 19 sci-fi, 22 involved vampires, werewolves or other staples of urban fantasy (I categorized these differently, because Anita Blake just feels different to me than, say, Mists of Avalon), 11 were mysteries • In terms of form, 5 were short works (usually short stories), 17 were graphic novels and 4 were non-fiction (and 1 of those was a graphic novel) • Looking at authors, only 8 books were written by authors identified as non-white, 26 total were new to me (accounting for roughly 38 books read) and approximately 58 distinct authors represented overall.   Every year I tend to beat myself up for the fact that I read a lot of genre fiction and not a lot of “classics” or books that are generally heralded as books of substance. But screw that. I read for entertainment and what entertains me are stories about vampires and fictional societies where magic exists in some form and dystopic alien worlds and mysteries where I can lose myself for a while. I could whip out my hairshirt about the fact that I don’t really enjoy biographies and non-fiction much outside of humorous pop-cult essays, but really, why bother. I still read more than probably 90% of the population and I’m teaching my kid to value reading for its own sake and am continuing to discover new sub-genres and authors that I thoroughly enjoy. So, go me. Or something like that.

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Books for 2009

Books read/started/finished/etc. in 2009.   Read Entirely in 2009 1. Heat Lightning - John Sandford (S) (M) 2. The Discworld Graphic Novels (The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic)- Terry Pratchett (GN) (SF) (S) 3. Brisingr - Christopher Paolini (YA) (S) (F) 4. Stolen - Kelly Armstrong (S) (V) 5. MacBeth (original text graphic novel) (GN) 6. Blood Lite (anthology) (SW) (V) 7. Buried Onions - Gary Soto (AOC) (YA) 8. The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues - Ellen Raskin (YA) (R ) (M) 9. The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin (YA) (R ) (M) 10. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy (AOC) 11. City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau (YA) (SF) (S) (F) 12. Fables: Sons of Empire - Bill Willingham (GN) (S) 13. Wild Ducks Flying Backwards - Tom Robbins (SW) 14. Blue Light - Walter Mosley (AOC) (SF) 15. Snow White and Rose Red - Patricia Wrede (F) 16. Coraline - Neil Gaiman (R ) (YA) 17. Fledgling - Octavia Butler (AOC) (V) 18. Dawn - Octavia Butler (AOC) (S) (SF) 19. American Gods - Neil Gaiman (F) (R ) 20. All the Colors of Darkness - Peter Robinson (M)(S) 21. White Witch, Black Curse - Kim Harrison (S) (V) 22. Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs (S) (V) 23. Chalice - Robin McKinley (F) (read a second time in December) 24. Beauty - Robin McKinley (F) 25. Dinosaur Tales - Ray Bradbury (R of most stories) (SF) (SW) 26. Wolfskin - Juliet Marillier (S) (F) 27. The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge - John Bellairs/Brad Strickland (M) (S) (YA) 28. Wolf Tower - Tanith Lee (S) (F) (YA) 29. Superior Saturday - Garth Nix (F) (S) (SF) (YA) 30. Dime Store Magic - Kelly Armstrong (S) (V) 31. Industrial Magic - Kelly Armstrong (S) (V) 32. Four is a Crowd - Emily Chase (S) (YA) 33. Dead Girls are Easy - Terry Gerey (S) (V) 34. Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere - Kate Harding & Marianne Kirby (NF) 35. Taste of Night - Vicki Pettersson (S)(V) 36. Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley (S) (SF) 37. Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs (S) (V) 38. Tithe - Holly Black (S) (F) (YA) 39. Uglies - Scott Westerfeld (S) (SF) (YA) 40. A Match Made in Hell - Terry Garey (S) (V) 41. Pretties - Scott Westerfeld (S) (SF) (YA) 42. Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris (S)(V) 43. Nation - Terry Pratchett (YA)(SF) 44. Damage Control - J.A. Jance (S)(M) 45. Haunted - Kelly Armstrong (S) (V) 46. Specials - Scott Westerfeld (S) (SF) (YA) 47. Broken - Kelly Armstrong (S) (V) 48. Hatter M - Frank Beddor, et al (S)(GN)(F) 49. A Child Across the Sky - Jonathan Carroll (F) 50. Stormy Weather - Carl Hiassen 51. Foxmask - Juliet Marillier (S) (F) 52. Jenny of the Tetons - Kristiana Gregory (YA) 53. Appointment with Death - Agatha Christie (M) 54. Adulthood Rites - Octavia Butler (AOC) (S) (SF) 55. Lucky You - Carl Hiassen 56. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (R ) (S) (F) (YA) 57. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (F) (R ) (S) (TA) 58. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation - Ray Bradbury, Tim Hamilton (R for text) (GN) (SF) 59. Wicked Prey - John Sanford (M) (S) 60. Naamah's Kiss - Jacqueline Carey (S) (F) 61. 8th Confession - James Patterson (M) (S) 62. Extras - Scott Westerfeld (S) (SF) (YA) 63. The Forest House - Marion Zimmer Bradley (S) (F) 64. Heir to Sevenwaters - Juliet Marillier (S) (F) 65. Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs (S) (V) 66. Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman (GN) (R ) (S) (F) 67. Rose Daughter - Robin McKinley (F) 68. White Apples - Jonathan Carroll (F) 69. Making Money - Terry Pratchett (S) (SF) 70. The Dark Mirror - Juliet Marillier (S) (F) 71. Fables: The Good Prince - Bill Willingham (GN) (S) 72. Embroideries - Marjane Satrapi (AOC) (GN) (S) 73. The Blade of Fortiu - Juliet Marillier (S) (F) 74. Sandman: The Doll's House - Neil Gaiman (GN) (R ) (S) (F) 75. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (v.1) - Alan Moore (GN) (S) (SF) 76. Coraline: The Graphic Novel - Neil Gaiman (GN) (R ) (F) (YA) 77. Succubus Blues - Rachelle Mead (S) (V) 78. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (v.2) - Alan Moore (GN) (S) (SF) 79. Skin Tight - Laurel K. Hamilton (S)(V) 80. Palimpsest - Catherynne M. Valente (F) 81. A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. LeGuin (F) (S) 82. A People's History of the American Empire - Howard Zinn, et al (GN) (NF) 83. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement - Lois McMaster Bujold (F) (S) 84. The Gates of Sleep - Mercedes Lackey (S) (F) 85. Sandman: Dream Country - Neil Gaiman (GN) (R ) (S) (F) 86. Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier (S) (F) (YA) 87. Skinny Dip - Carl Hiassan 88. Bread and Butter Journey - Anne Culver (YA) (S) (R ) 89. Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs (S) (V) 90. No Humans Involved - Kelley Armstrong (S) (V) 91. Double Whammy - Carl Hiassan 92. The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll (F) 93. Lady of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley (S) (F) 94. The House Where Nobody Lived - Brad Strikland (YA) (M) (S) 95. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare (S)(YA) (V) 96. Touch of Twilight - Vicki Pettersson (S)(V) 97. The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury (R ) (YA) (SF) 98. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 99. Sandman: Season of Mists - Neil Gaiman (GN) (R ) (S) (F) 100. Real Food for Mother and Baby - Nina Planck (NF) (S) 101. The Austure Academy - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 102. The Ersatz Elevator - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 103. The Vile Village - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 104. The Hostile Hospital - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 105. The Carniverous Carnival - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 106. The Slippery Slope - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 107. The Grim Grotto - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 108. The Pentultimate Peril - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 109. The End - Lemony Snickett (YA) (S) 110. Quicker than the Eye - Ray Bradbury (SW) (SF) 111. Feminist Theory from Margin to Center - bell hooks (NF) (AOC) 112. The Ghostway - Tony Hillerman (S) (M) 113. The Sharing Knife: Legacy - Lois McMaster Bujold (F) (S) 114. Sandman: Game of You - Neil Gaiman (GN) (R ) (S) (F) 115. The Sharing Knife: Passage - Lois McMaster Bujold (F) (S) 116. City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare (S)(YA) (V) 117. Kissing the Witch - Emma Donoghue (YA) (SW) (F) 118. The Sharing Knife: Horizon - Lois McMaster Bujold (F) (S) 119. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (R ) 120. Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman (YA) (F)   Chapter books read with Son 1-7 The Magic School Bus Chapter Books (v. 5, 14, 16-20) 8-11. Captain Underpants (v. 1, 3-5) Dinosaurs - Magic Treehouse Reference Book Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major - Ron Kidd Chasing George Washington - Ron Kidd Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone - JK Rowling (R for me) (S)   Started in 2008 or before, finished in 2009 1. Shakespeare's Christmas - Charlaine Harris (2008) (S) 2. Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods of Haiti - Myra Deren (2006) (NF)   In progress (if not started in 2009, starting year in parens) Ulysses - James Joyce (2005) Jambalaya - L. Tisch (2007) (AOC) (NF) Who Let the Dogs In - Molly Ivins (2008) (SW) (NF) 13 1/2 - Nevada Barr (M) Lover Avenged - J.R. Ward (S) (V)     Island of the Could Not Finish Guilty Pleasures v 2 - Laurel K. Hamilton (GN) (S) (V) One for the Money - Janet Evanovich (S)(M) Tag Against Time - Helen Hughes Vick (YA) (S) (SF) Un Lun Dun - China Mieville (YA) (F) No Defense - Kate Wilhelm (S)(M)   Some coding: (AOC) = Author of Color (F) = Fantasy (GN) = Graphic Novel (M) = Mystery (NF) = Non-fiction (R ) = Reread (S) = Series (SF) = Science Fiction (SW) = Short Works (V) = Vampires, werewolves, and witches, oh my! (YA) = Young Adult

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Analysis of 2008 Reading

First off, hot damn, did I ever meet my goal of 100 books for 2008.   I did a couple of things differently this year - first, because my son is now super into having me read him chapter books - which have ranged from classics like The Wizard of Oz to insipid Transformers tie-ins, I started tracking those separately, instead of counting substantive classics that I might actually choose to read on my own as part of my own count (as I did with things like Roald Dahl last year. The second is that I gave myself permission to not read things that I wasn't enjoying. Which means that rather than having my "couldn't finish" list consist of one book that actively revolted me, if a book didn't engage me and I didn't care about picking it up again, I just didn't. It was kind of a lovely feeling, and I actually wonder if it contributed to my longer reading list, since I wasn't forcing myself back to things that didn't capture my attention. The third change was how I listed - going in order of reading, as opposed to alphabetically by author. I like all of these changes and plan to keep them for 2009.   Anyway, my totals: 117 books read entirely in 2008 2 started in 2007, finished on 2008 62 books read with the boy 6 books in progress (one of which I finished just this morning) 2 books in progress with R 9 books kicked to the curb   An interesting thing about those last 9, too - 5 of them were by authors that I've read before and liked and of those, I read and enjoyed books by 4 of them just this year. Three were books in series were I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but just couldn't get into the second. Three of the 9 were books in well regarded YA series. Another was a television tie in for a show I enjoy.   Of the books in progress, one I've already finished, two are books of short stories or essays that I fully expect to finish in 2009. I suppose I should make finishing the other three part of my reading resolutions for this year, in addition to reading another 100 books in their entirety.   The reading with my son doesn't really take too long to look at - most were series books, most were at least mildly educational, either by design or by virtue of being classics.   Now, the meat. Breaking down the 117 that I read entirely in 2008: * 108 were new to me, 9 were re-reads (if you count the fact that I had already read the text of Stardust) * 20 were children's/ya books (I didn't count some things are are sometimes shelved as YA in the library, such as some of the manga/graphic novels which were not specifically aimed at these age groups, S. Myers "The Host" or the Juliet Marillier books, which while certainly appropriate to a YA audience don't struck me as being marketed as YA - so, this could potentially be about 10 higher) * 22 were graphic novels, 1 of which was a GN version of a book I've read several times, another of which was related to a book series) * 2 were non-fiction (1 book of essays, 1 true crime) * 10 were books of short fiction * 83 were installments of various series, of which 13 were YA, 17 were graphic novels, * I read 13 new authors, accounting for 37 of books read * there are 47 unique authors represented   I am rediculously pleased that I read way more than my 100 book goal - I want to read more of substance next year, though.

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Shameless Self Promotion

There is no reason why anyone would even read this thing (since it essentially consists of a bunch of lists for my own record keeping), but I've started a real, honest to goodness, ranting about politics/social issues/isisms blog: I'm Just Not Impressed.   Visit?

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Analysis of 2007 reading

So, to start, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't reach 100 books. At some point, I thought I'd counted and was way ahead of 89 - 93 if you count the books I finished in 2007 that I'd started previously, 99, if you count books which I didn't finish in 2007 as well - I can get to 100 if you count the one book I read about 75 pages of then decided to abandon. Although I think I'd still have to go with 99, since I don't think I actually read anything of Ulysses last year.   Braking down the 89 that I read entirely in 2007: * 78 were new to me, 11 were re-reads * 22 were children's/ya books * 6 were graphic novels + a 7th novelization based on a comic series * 3 were non-fiction (2 books of essays, 1 of literary criticism) * 41 were installments of fantasy/sci-fi/historical fantasy series * 35 were by authors which were new to me in 2007 * there are 42 unique authors represented

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Book List 2008

Books read/started/finished/etc. in 2008.   Read Entirely in 2008 1. Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out - McSweeney's YA Short Story Collection 2. Lunatic Cafe - Laurel K. Hamilton 3. M is for Magic - Neil Gaiman 4. Dead as a Doornail - Charlene Harris 5. For a Few Demons More - Kim Harrison 6. The Cat's Pajamas - Ray Bradbury 7. The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost - John Bellairs 8. The Thief of Always - Clive Barker 9. Burnt Offerings - Laurel K. Hamilton 10. Blue Moon - Laurel K. Hamilton 11. Obsidian Butterfly - Laurel K. Hamilton 12. Train Man v1 (manga) 13. The Innocent Man - John Grisham 14. 6th Target - James Patterson/Maxine Gross 15. Narcissus in Chains - Laurel K. Hamilton 16. The Dark Secret of Whetherend - John Bellairs 17. Definitely Dead - Charlene Harris 18. Cerilean Sins - Laurel K. Hamilton 19. The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter 20. Kushiel's Scion - Jacqueline Carey 21. Incubus Dreams - Laurel K. Hamilton 22. Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War - Clive Barker 23. Yuki Huma Dream Shoppe (manga) 24. Wild Ones v.1 (manga) 25. Not Safe After Dark - Peter Robinson 26. Micah - Laurel K. Hamilton 27. Friend of the Devil - Peter Robinson 28. Farewell Summer - Ray Bradbury 29. Serenity Rose Vol. 1 (graphic novel) 30. Mistral's Kiss - Laurel K. Hamilton 31. Grave Sight - Charlene Harris 32. Shakespeare's Landlord - Charlene Harris 33. Danse Macabre - Laurel K. Hamilton 34. Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman 35. Roomates - Emily Chase 36. My Roomate is Missing - Emily Chase 37. Kushiel's Justice - Jacqueline Carey 38. Strange Candy - Laurel K. Hamilton 39. The 13th of Never (graphic novel) 40. Hellboy - Seed of Destruction - Mike Mignola (v. 1 graphic novel) 41. Justice Denied - J.A. Jance 42. Emerald Magic, Tales of Irish Fantasy - Andrew Greeley Ed. 43. The Harlequin - Laurel K. Hamilton 44. Nature Girl - Carl Haissian 45. 7th Heaven - James Patterson 46. Grave Surprise - Charlene Harris 47. The Outlaw Demon Wails - Kim Harrison 48. Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris 49. You're No Friend of Mine - Emily Chase 50. My Dead Girlfriend (graphic novel) 51. Kushiel's Mercy - Jacqueline Carey 52. Keeping Secrets - Emily Chase 53. Hellboy - The Chained Coffin and Others - Mike Mignola (v. 3 graphic novel) 54. Hellboy - The Right Hand of Doom - Mike Mignola (v. 4 graphic novel) 55. An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris 56. Shakespeare's Champion - Charlaine Harris 57. Hellboy - Conqueror Worm- Mike Mignola (v. 5 graphic novel) 58. Hellboy - Strange....- Mike Mignola (v. 6 graphic novel) 59. Rose - Jeff Smith & Charles Vess (graphic novel) 60. Dark Side of the Moon - John Sanford 61. Stardust - Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess (reread of text, first time w/illustrations) 62. Lady Friday - Garth Nix 63. Watchman - Alan Moore (graphic novel) 64. Parable of the Sewer - Octavia Butler 65. From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris 66. Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi 67. A Lick of Frost - Laurel K. Hamilton 68. Glasshouse - Charles Stross 69. Daughter of the Forest - Juliet Marillier 70. Hellboy - The Troll Witch and Other Stories - Mike Mignola (v. 7 graphic novel) 71. Son of the Shadows - Juliet Marillier 72. Persepolis 2 - Marjane Satrapi 73. Child of the Prophesy - Juliet Marillier 74. Storm Front - Jim Butcher 75. Maus I - Art Spiegelman 76. Maus II - Art Spiegelman 77. Kindred - Octavia Butler 78. Summer Blues - Emily Chase 79. Best Friends Forever - Emily Chase 80. Blood Noir - Laurel K. Hamilton 81. Wild Seed - Octavia Butler (in Seeds of Harvest) 82. Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens 83. Invisible Prey - John Sandford 84. Hellboy - Wake the Devil - Mike Mignola (v. 2 graphic novel) 85. Hellboy - Darkness Calls - Mike Mignola (v. 8 graphic novel) 86. Mind of My Mind - Octavia Butler (in Seeds of Harvest) 87. Clay's Ark - Octavia Butler (in Seeds of Harvest) 88. Patternmaster - Octavia Butler (in Seeds of Harvest) 89. Twilight - Stephanie Meyer 90. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman 91. Parable of the Talents - Octavia Butler 92. The Host - Stephanie Meyer 93. Bloodchild and Other Stories - Octavia Butler 94. Lover Enshrined - J.R. Ward 95. Across the Wall - Garth Nix 96. Phantom Prey - John Sandford 97. Survivor - Octavia Butler 98. Winter Study - Nevada Barr 99. Bitten - Kelly Armstrong 100. Exit Wounds - J.A. Jance 101. Dead Wrong - J.A. Jance 102. Halting State - Charles Stross 103. Silver Screen - Justina Robson 104. Swallowing Darkness - Laurel K. Hamilton 105. Shakespeare's Trollop - Charlaine Harris 106. Scent of Shadows - Vicki Peterson 107. The Marriage of Sticks - Jonathan Carrol 108. Moon Called - Patricia Briggs 109. A Secret Rage - Charlaine Harris 110. Shakespeare's Counsler - Charlaine Harris 111. The Egypt Game - Zilpha Keatley Snyder 112. A Cristmas Carol - Charles Dickens (annual reread) 113. Angels and Other Strangers - Katherine Patterson (annual reread) 114. Outlaws of Sherwood - Robin McKinley 115. The Shining - Stephen King 116. The Final Death (Anita Blake Graphic Novel) 117. Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling (read stories to son as well)   Chapter books read with Son 1. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White (reread with son) 2. Stuart Little - E.B. White (reread with son) 3. Matilda - Roald Dahl (with son) 4. Trumpet of the Swan - E.B. White (reread w/son) 5. George's Marvelous Medicine - Roald Dahl (w/son) 6 - 45. The Magic Treehouse series (v. 1-40) 46. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler - E.L. Koningsberg (reread with son) 47. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling (abridged, w/son) 48. Who Really Killed Cock Robin - Jean Craighead George (reread w/son) 49-60. The Magic School Bus Chapter Books (v. 1-4, 6-9, 11-13, 17) 61. The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum (w/R) 62. Cam Janson an the Mystery of the Missing Dinosaur Bones - David Adler 63. Transformers: The Search for the Allspark   Started in 2007 or before, finished in 2008 Dead to the World - Charlene Harris (2007) Les Mis - Victor Hugo (via LJ) (2007)   In progress (if not started in 2008, starting year in parens) Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods of Haiti - Myra Deren(2006) Ulysses - James Joyce (2005) Jambalaya - L. Tisch (2007) Who Let the Dogs In - Molly Ivins Blood Lite (anthology) Shakespeare's Christmas - Charlaine Harris   In progress with R The Magic School Bus Chapter Books (v. 10, 14)   Island of the Could Not Finish Death of a Darklord - Laurel K. Hamilton Hand of Evil - J.A. Jance Children of Chaos - John C. Wright Black House - Steven King/Peter Straub (2007) Artimis Fowl - Eoin Coifer Fool Moon - Jim Butcher Septimus Heap Book 1: Magyk - Angie Sage Mr. Monk in Outer Space - Lee Goldberg Inkspell - Cornelia Funke

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To everything there is a season

After almost two decades of protests, my alma mater, the University of Illinois, has decided to retire its mascot "Chief Illiniwek". They will retain the name "Fighting Illini", desipite the fact that tribe that gives the state, and the Chief, and the sports teams their name, the Illiniwek tribe, were a peaceful tribe that didn't fight - which probably helped account for the fact that they were completely wiped out in earlier centuries.   I'm taking the time to write about this because it is in part, the culmination of years of effort that I was a part of back in the early 1990s when I was a student at UofI. As a freshman and later I marched against the Chief, I met with the off-campus protesters. Somewhere I have the Daily Illini photo, not online, alas, of my sophomore year roomate and I holding up a banner bearing the admonishion - "What if the Pope were our mascot?", complete with little pope mugs and t-shirts. I think I still have the mug cut out somewhere as well.   Robert Novak and his ilk are up in arms about the PC police and caving in to political pressure. But what this really should be about is basic respect. Respect for the people around you. Respect for Native Americans on campus and for the tribes who are portrayed in the Illiniwek dance.   It's about time. And it's overdue.

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2007 Book List

So, evidently I am going to primarily be using my blog for lists.   This is a list of books I've read/started/finished/etc. in 2007. 'Cause, you know, it's the in thing.   Read Entirely in 2007 1. The Trolley to Yesterday - John Bellairs 2. The Lamp from the Worlock's Tomb - John Bellairs 3. Vengence of the Witchfinder - John Bellairs 4. Doom of the Haunted Opera - John Bellairs 5. The Secret of the Underground Room - John Bellairs 6. The Great Snape Debate - Amy Berner, Orson Scott Card, Joyce Millman 7. Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey 8. Kushiel's Chosen - Jacqueline Carey 9. Kushiel's Avatar - Jacqueline Carey 10. Neverwhere - Mike Carey, Garth Ellis (graphic novel) 11. Alice in Wonderland - Louis Carroll (reread for forum Book Club) 12. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (reread with son) 13. The Witches - Roald Dahl (reading with son) 14. A Christmas Carol and Other Stories - Charles Dickens (annual reread of ACC, first go round with "The Chimes" and "Cricket in the Hearth") 15. Geek Love - Katherine Dunn 16. Interworld - Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves 17. Vanished - Tess Garretson 18. Hell to Pay - Simon Green 19. Guilty Pleasures - Laurel K. Hamilton 20. The Laughing Corpse - LKH 21. Circus of the Damned - LKH 22. Bloody Bones - LKH 23. The Killing Dance - LKH 24. A Kiss of Shadows - LKH 25. A Caress of Twilight - LKH 26. Seduced by Moonlight - LKH 27. A Stroke of Midnight - LKH 28. Dead Until Dark - Charlene Harris 29. Living Dead in Dallas - Charlene Harris 30. Club Dead - Charlene Harris 31. Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison 32. The Good, the Bad, the Undead - Kim Harrison 33. Every Which Way but Dead - Kim Harrison 34. Fistfull of Charms - Kim Harrison 35. Native Tongue - Carl Hasissian 36. Injustice for All - J.A. Jance 37. Trial by Fury - J.A. Jance 38. Taking the Fifth - J.A. Jance 39. Improbable Cause - J.A. Jance 40. A More Perfect Union - J.A. Jance 41. Dismissed With Prejudice - J.A. Jance 42. Payment in Kind - J.A. Jance 43. Without Due Process - J.A. Jance 44. Failure to Appear - J.A. Jance 45. Lying in Wait - J.A. Jance 46. Breach of Duty - J.A. Jance 47. Long Time Gone - J.A. Jance 48. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman 49. Swordpoint - Ellen Kushner 50. A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin 51. The Hedge Knight (graphic novel) - George RR Martin 52. Deerskin - Robyn McKinley 53. The Hero and the Crown - Robyn McKinley 54. Spindle's End - Robyn McKinley 55. Sunshine - Robyn McKinley 56. Moby Dick - Herman Melville (via LJ) 57. V for Vendetta (graphic novel) - Alan Moore 58. Sir Thursday (The Keys to the Kingdom) - Garth Nix 59. Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell (reread from childhood) 60. 3rd Degree - James Patterson 61. 4th of July - James Patterson 62. 5th Horseman - James Patterson 63. Angels and Other Strangers - Katherine Patterson (reread from childhood) 64. Clockwork - Phillip Pullman 65. The Firework Maker's Daughter - Phillip Pullman 66. The Antipope - Robert Rankin 67. Brightonomicon - Robert Rankin 68. Piece of My Heart - Peter Robinson 69. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling (reread) 70. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling (reread) 71. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban - J.K. Rowling (reread) 72. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling (reread) 73. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling (reread) 74. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling (reread) 75. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling (x2) 76. Broken Prey - John Sandford 77. Subterranean (Hellblazer novel) - John Shirley 78. Perfume: Story of a Murderer - Patrick Suskind 79. The Secret History - Donna Tartt 80. Take the Cannoli - Sarah Vowell 81. Dark Lover - J.R. Ward 82. Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward 83. Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward 84. Lover Revealed - J.R. Ward 85. Lover Unbound - J.R. Ward 86. Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) Graphic Novel v. 7 - Bill Willingham 87. Fables: Wolves Graphic Novel v. 8 - Bill Willingham 88. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall Graphic Novel (prequel) - Bill Willingham 89. Lord of Light - Roger Zalany   Started in 2006 or before, finished in 2007 Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman The Neverending Story - Michael Ende Cages - Dave McKeon (2005) Life of Pi (originally started in 2005, completely restarted because I lost the book and refound it!)   In progress (if not started in 2007, starting year in parens) Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods of Haiti - Myra Deren(2006) Ulysses - James Joyce (2005) Les Mis - Victor Hugo (via LJ) Jambalaya - L. Tisch Black House - Steven King/Peter Straub Dead to the World - Charlene Harris   The island of the just couldn't finish Haunted - Chuck Palonick

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