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50 books

I haven’t posted a booklist in quite some time, but it isn’t for lack of mind-numbing trashy novels in my life.

Debbie Macomber: The Shop on Blossom Street – These are wildly popular, but to me this exemplified all that’s wrong with “chick lit”.

Lincoln Child: Deep Storm: A Novel – Popcorn adventure – undersea exploration, cool machinery, secret agents, and aliens.

Kim Harrison: For a Few Demons More (Rachel Morgan, Book 5) – Part of a series about a witch sharing an old church with a vampire, a typical example of some of the currently-popular dark fantasies out there.

Jacqueline Carey: Kushiel’s Scion – The focus shifts from Phedre, the heroine of the series so far, to her young ward Imriel.
and Kushiel’s Justice (Kushiel’s Legacy) – Imriel’s adventures continue, for better or worse, and Phedre has only a minor role.

Jacqueline Carey: Banewreaker (The Sundering, Book 1) – This begins a two-book series that is very different from the Kushiel books. Take a grand tale of gods and elves and epic quests, and present it from the perspective of the bad guys. Tries a bit too hard to be Tolkien without being Tolkien, and without the thorough grounding in literature and mythology, but I enjoyed it once I got into it. This book did take several cycles of pick up-put down, though.

Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club – I “read” this one as an audiobook. Sometimes I enjoy that, but I think this tale of murder in 19th century Boston would have been better in print.

Karin Slaughter: Beyond Reach – No comment. Just go read it, if you’ve enjoyed the series so far.

John Scalzi: The Android’s Dream – Fairly clever science-fiction romp.

Kate Elliott: Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, Vol. 7) – At long last, I’ve finished the final volume in a monumental series. Unfortunately, by the end it felt like work rather than the pleasure that I had in the earlier books in the series. I think that’s probably because of the delay I had between books 5 and 6 – long enough to lose track of the myriad characters and complex plot elements.

Norah Vincent: Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back – What if you could pretend to be the opposite sex, and made your way into places where only one gender is found? Norah Vincent does just that, finding her way to places ranging from a bowling league to a monastery. This is memoir rather than anthropology, and so describes the subjective experience.

William Gibson: Spook Country – Gibson is smart and can write. Go read it.

Alexander McCall Smith: The Careful Use of Compliments: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel – I hesitate to use the word “comfortable” to describe this series, but it is. The people could be your neighbors, and the story could be something that happened to the cousin of a friend, with maybe a few extras to keep it interesting.

Aaron Elkins: Unnatural Selection (Gideon Oliver Mysteries) – Elkins’ character Gideon Oliver is an anthropologist, and rants a bit at the beginning of the book about the importance of proper terminology, then almost immediately confuses “ecology” and “environmental”, a pet peeve of mine. Entertaining read, nonetheless.

Jonathan Kellerman: Obsession (Alex Delaware Novels) – Lots of series book in this list. Kellerman writes psychological thrillers that are pretty good reads. This one has less relationship angst for the main character, a relief to the reader.

Eileen Chadwick: The craft of hand spinning – Long out of print, this book is a good basic overview. It has a little of everything, but not a lot of depth.

Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne: Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters’ Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures – I’ve already mentioned this entry in the “social knitting” category.

Jane Sowerby: Victorian Lace Today – I’ve mentioned this too. If you have the least interest in knitted lace, or the history of knitted lace, or pretty pictures of knitted lace, it’s worth a look.

And that is 55 books, well over the target of 50 (by the end of December!). Plus, I’m certain I’ve missed several.

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