Category Archives: Annual

2013 in Books

2014 has begun, and that means it’s time to look at stuff I read last year!

BOOKS READ 2013

1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
2. Stephen Fry: Moab Is My Washpot
3. Mary Balogh: Dark Angel/Lord Carew’s Bride
4. J.R.R. Tolkien: Silmarillion
5. Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora x2
6. Georgette Heyer: Pistols for Two
7. Anne Brontë: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
8. Toby Barlow: Sharp Teeth
9. John Mullan: What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved
10.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sign of Four
11.  Lucy Worsley: Courtiers – The Secret History of the Georgian Court
12.  John Fowles: The French Lieutenant’s Woman
13.  Lisa Kleypas: Love in the Afternoon
14.  Peter Ackroyd: The Fall of Troy
15.  Toni Morrison: Beloved
16.  Julia Quinn: Splendid
17.  Julia Quinn: Dancing at Midnight
18.  Stephanie Laurens: The Lady Chosen
19.  Scott Lynch: Red Seas Under Red Skies x2
20.  Brandon Sanderson: Warbreaker
21.  Sean Thomas Russell: Under Enemy Colours
22.  Agatha Christie: Murder Is Easy
23.  P. G. Wodehouse: Much Obliged, Jeeves
24.  John Scalzi: Redshirts
25.  Agatha Christie: Elephants Can Remember
26.  Patricia Highsmith: The Talented Mr Ripley
27. Agatha Christie: At Bertram’s Hotel
28.  Gillian Gill: Agatha Christie
29.  Mika Waltari: Tanssi yli hautojen
30.  Mary Balogh: A Summer to Remember
31.  Julia Quinn: An Offer from A Gentleman
32.  Diana Wynne Jones: Charmed Life
33.  Mark Lawrence: King of Thorns
34.  Jonathan L. Howard: Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer
35.  Jonathan L. Howard: Johannes Cabal: The Detective
36.  Torsten Ekman: Aleksanteri I: keisari ja isänmaa
37.  Agatha Christie: Appointment with Death
38. David Lodge: Small World
39.  Agatha Christie: After the Funeral
40.  Georgette Heyer: Bath Tangle
41.  Mary Balogh: The Famous Heroine/The Plumed Bonnet
42.  Jonathan L. Howard: Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute
43.  Desiree Monet: In His World 1
44.  Jonathan Strahan (edit.): Fearsome Journeys
45.  Mary Robinette Kowal: Shades of Milk and Honey
46.  Mary Robinette Kowal: Glamour in Glass
47.  Colin Dexter: Service of All the Dead
48.  Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game
49.  Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan: Beyond Heaving Bosoms – The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels
50.  Kelly McClymer: The Fairy Tale Bride
51.  Courtney Milan: The Governess Affair
52.  Julia Quinn & Eloisa James & Connie Brockway: The Lady Most Likely
53.  Mary Balogh: The Secret Mistress
54.  Julia Quinn: Minx
55. Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility
56. Jillian Hunter: A Wicked Lord at the Wedding
57. Eloisa James: The Duke Is Mine
58. Mary Balogh: A Christmas Promise
59. Jillian Hunter: The Duchess Diaries
60. Gaelen Foley: My Irresistible Earl
61. Eloisa James: Enchanting Pleasures
62. Mary Balogh: A Precious Jewel
63. Tracy Anne Warren: My Fair Mistress
64. Eloisa James: When the Duke Returns
65. Eloisa James: A Duke of Her Own
66. Shannon Hale: Austenland
67. Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
68. Ben Aaronovitch: Rivers of London
69. Rainbow Rowell: Fangirl
70. Saladin Ahmed: The Throne of the Crescent Moon
71. Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
72. Scott Lynch: The Republic of Thieves x2
73. William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
74. Jo Barrett: Nothing to Recommend Her
75. Beverley Kendall: All’s Fair in Love and Seduction
76. Aileen Fish: His Impassioned Proposal
77. Leigh LaValle: The Misbehaving Marquess
78. Ruth Ann Nordin: The Earl’s Inconvenient Wife
79. Larry D. Benson (edit.): Alliterative Morte Arthure
80. Ann Lethbridge: Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress
81. Oscar Wilde: Salome
82. Eloisa James: Winning the Wallflower
83. Eloisa James: When Beauty Tamed the Beast
84. John Cleland: Memoirs of Fanny Hill
85. Nathaniel Lee: Lucius Junius Brutus
86. Elizabeth Bear: Dust
87. Mary Elizabeth Braddon: Lady Audley’s Secret
88. Ally Condie: Matched
89. Sherwood Smith: A Posse of Princesses
90. Eloisa James: The Ugly Duchess
91. Tracy Anne Warren: His Favourite Mistress
92. Eloisa James: Midnight Pleasures
93. Tracy Anne Warren: The Accidental Mistress
94. Loretta Chase: Don’t Tempt Me

That’s a rather satisfying list, considering how worried I was that the exchange semester would hold me back. I got through quite a lot of romance in August though, so that sort of balanced out the quieter months – and as you can see, the last couple of weeks of the year were romance-heavy as well. My goal at Goodreads was 70 books, and I’ve clearly over-read it with 94. Some of the titles on the list are novellas and plays so they are shorter, but I decided they count.

Now, let us announce the WOW of the year! To those who don’t know, every year I choose one book that rocked my socks off. The rules are that it cannot be by an author I’ve read before, and it must be the first book by that author I’ve read. Here are the previous WOWs:

2009 – Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora)
2010 – Ellen Kushner (Privilege of the Sword)
2011 – Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns)
2012 – Sgt Dan Mills (Sniper One)

and for 2013

Mary Robinette Kowal (Shades of Milk and Honey)!

I’d heard about Shades of Milk and Honey here and there, and when I found it and the sequel Glamour in Glass from the book sale at Finncon I decided I might as well give them a go. I read the first page of SoMaH and almost screamed because it was so up my street and no one ever explained how much for me the book was! It’s Regency, it’s romance, it’s a bit mystery, it’s magic, and it’s just amazing. As a Janeite I appreciate all the nods towards Austen’s work, and as a lover of mannerpunk – well. It’s just perfect.

Other books who are on my list for this year’s favourite are John Scalzi’s Redshirts (it took my by surprise and I was very upset after finishing it), Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker (it would have been WOW of 2013 had I not read Mistborn a couple of years ago), Peter Ackroyd’s The Fall of Troy (which I liked a lot against all expectations) and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (reading which I put of for years and years).

So I suppose that’s it for 2013! I bought quite a lot of books, among them two copies of Republic of Thieves, lived abroad, met a lot of people, sunk deeper into romance… A lot of good stuff. This year, I’ve set my reading goal to 85 books, to be adjusted as I see how this year unfolds. I also promise to read at least one Russian classic, since I slacked in that respect in 2013 – I haven’t decided which one I want to read, but I think it’s going to be either Brothers Karamazov or Doctor Zhivago. And I also want to reread War and Peace, but that may have to wait.

Blog-wise, my resolution is to return to regular blogging and book reviewing, so keep an eye on this spot!

That’s it from me. Have a really good year 2014, everyone!

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2012 in Books

Now is the time to take a look at what the heck I read all last year! After the list there’s also the announcement of the WOW of the year, which took me by surprise in every way.

The goal this year was 70 books. According to Goodreads I got to 73, because GR doesn’t count rereads, but I do, so my own counting gives me the much better result of 81 (different) books.

Books read 2012

1. Maurice Leblanc: The Hollow Needle
2. Scott Lynch: Red Seas Under Red Skies x2
3. Julia Quinn: Ten Things I Love About You
4. Georgette Heyer: Frederica
5. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment
6. Franz Kafka: Metamorphosis
7. Mikhail Bulgakov: Master and Margarita
8. Ian McEwan: Atonement
9. Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games
10. Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South x2
11. Julia Quinn: What Happens in London
12. Jane Austen: Persuasion
13. Georgette Heyer: The Spanish Bride
14. John le Carré: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
15. George Orwell: Animal Farm
16. Patricia Briggs: Moon Called
17. Neil Gaiman: American Gods
18. Gregory Maguire: Out of Oz
19. Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire
20. Suzanne Collins: Mockingjay
21. Richard Morgan: The Steel Remains
22. Stephanie Laurens: The Promise in a Kiss
23. Mary Balogh: First Comes Marriage
24. Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora
25. Mary Balogh: Then Comes Seduction
26. Jane Aiken Hodge: The Private World of Georgette Heyer
27. Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express
28. Mary Balogh: At Last Comes Loves
29. Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman: Good Omens
30. Terry Pratchett: Unseen Academicals
31. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles
32. Mary Balogh: Seducing an Angel
33. Paul Torday: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
34. Loretta Chase: Lord Perfect
35. Mary Balogh: Dark Angel / Lord Carew’s Bride
36. Charles Dickens: Great Expectations x2
37. Douglas Hulick: Among Thieves
38. Mary Balogh: The Secret Pearl
39. Eleanor Herman: Sex with the Queen
40. Mary Balogh: A Secret Affair
41. Patricia Briggs: Cry Wolf
42. Maggie Stiefvater: Shiver
43. Robin McKinley: Sunshine
44. Brent Weeks: The Way of Shadows
45. Georgette Heyer: The Nonesuch
46. Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
47. Mark Lawrence: Prince of Thorns
48. Elle Kushner: The Privilege of the Sword
49. J.B. Priestley: The Prince of Pleasure and His Regency
50. E.L. James: Fifty Shades of Grey
51. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
52. Glen Duncan: Talulla Rising
53. Kim Newman: Professor Moriarty and the Hound of the D’Urbervilles
54. Geoffrey Trease: Byron – A Poet Dangerous to Know
55. Mary Balogh: The Temporary Wife / A Promise of Spring
56. Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
57. Martin Amis: Time’s Arrow
58. Andrzej Zaniewski: Rat
59. George Eliot: Middlemarch
60. William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair x2
61. Orhan Pamuk: White Castle
62. Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers
63. Herta Müller: The Passport
64. Hannu Rajaniemi: The Fractal Prince
65. J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit
66. Nick Foulkes: Dancing into Battle – A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo
67. Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
68. Anne Rice: The Wolf Gift
69. Toby Barlow: Sharp Teeth
70.  Jules Verne: The Castle of Carpathians
71. Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows
72. Georgette Heyer: An Infamous Army
73. A.A. Milne: Winnie the Pooh
74. Sgt Dan Mills: Sniper One
75. P.L. Travers: Mary Poppins
76. Charles Dickes: A Christmas Carol
77. Diana Wynne Jones: Howl’s Moving Castle
78. Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
79. Cassandra Clare: City of Bones
80. Neil Gaiman: Neverwhere
81. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

It’s a good list, I think, yet it still feels like I read next to nothing. This is bookwormery for you – 80 books a year isn’t a proper pace at all! I’m terrified of 2013, since I will probably have less time to read…

On to the WOW of the year! WOW of the year is a book that I enjoyed very very much and took me by surprise. My rules say that it has to be an author I haven’t read before, so that unfortunately ruled The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi out (although it was definitely one of the best books I read). Previous WOWs have been

  • 2009 – Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora)
  • 2010 – Ellen Kushner (Privilege of the Sword)
  • 2011 – Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns)

This year was a little different, as I read very little new fantasy, and what I did read didn’t really enchant me. So, the WOW of 2012 is…

Sniper One by Sgt Dan Mills

I didn’t know I could enjoy a novel about war, let alone modern war. I do fine with 18th and 19th century warfare but I’ve always thought the modern stuff would be beyond me. Turns out it isn’t, not completely, and Mills’s book proved this to me. It’s engaging, exciting, and informative. A great read!

Other favourites this year, looking back at the list, have been the aforementioned The Fractal Prince by Rajaniemi, Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan. All the four Russian classics (Crime and Punishment, Master and Margarita, War and Peace, Anna Karenina) also turned out to be excellent.

That be year 2012. Let us move on to 2013!

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