Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books for Christmas - 2015

Christmas tradition time! I didn't get quite as many books this year as in previous years, but it is still fun to share...

I had this pre-ordered, but then I cancelled a bunch of my pre-orders... So, I got it now.
From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato's Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of. 
The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as "Pythias" in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it's evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief. 
Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers--including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence--Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find―possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves "Greek." What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.
Had kind of stalled on this series! (Not because it is bad, but just other things getting in the way!)
This volume of the critically-acclaimed AMERICAN VAMPIRE follows the star of AV Volumes 1 and 2, Pearl, and her husband Henry, as he is recruited by a mysterious group of vampire hunters, off to World War II Japan to find a new breed of blood sucker. But what does the notorious vampire Skinner Sweet have to do with it?
Yep. Another one!
AMERICAN VAMPIRE flashes back to two very distinct points in American history. The first tale comes from the early 1800's with the "The Beast in the Cave" featuring art by the legendary Jordi Bernet (Torpedo, JONAH HEX). Learn about the original American Vampire, Skinner Sweet, and his involvement in the brutal Indian Wars, and an ancient evil hidden in the heart of the Old West. Plus, more about the man Skinner used to call his best friend - James Book! 
The second tale comes straight from 1950s America, where AMERICAN VAMPIRE is terrorizing the suburbs with hot rods, teenyboppers and fangs! "Death Race" focuses on ferocious new vampire hunter Travis Kidd - but what is his connection to Skinner Sweet? As the story comes to a violent end, a sworn enemy's identity is finally revealed, and lots of blood is spilled!
Another series I stalled on...
The critically acclaimed, smash-hit series rolls on with this collection of the blockbuster third arc, "P.E.!" The first days were just the beginning - when the faculty cancels classes and sends the students on an outing in the nearby woods, all hell breaks loose, sending the Glories on a mysterious journey through time and space. Nothing is what it seems to be as Academy's hold on the kids collapses and new threats emerge!
Got another one in this series at the same time as well.
Still reeling from the climactic events of "P.E.," the Glories find themselves lost in time and space, confronted by a new group of students who might be even more dangerous than the faculty themselves - the truants! Questions are answered and new mysteries emerge as Season One comes to a shocking end! Collects Morning Glories #20-25.
I have his other two books in hardcover, so wanted to grab this while it was still easy to get in hardcover. Such a pretty book!
Two seemingly unrelated stories--one in words, the other in pictures--come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle's puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.
My friend gave me the first 5 books in this series, so I figured I should grab the last two. I find that once the year gets going, I buy mostly new releases and neglect backlist.
The reign of the Capetian kings has ended and John II, ‘The Good’, second of the Valois dynasty, has taken the throne. Under his leadership the Hundred Years War, one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in history, escalates and England and France begin to tear each other apart. 
Cardinal PĂ©rigord, narrating the drama, shows us a monarch as vain and cruel as he is incompetent. Under his turbulent reign, warring factions plunder the land, famine threatens the people and the Black Death spreads far and wide. France is bleeding to death around the new king.
I accidentally have book 7 before book 6, but you get the idea...
The royal house of France has fallen. Charles IV is dead, fulfilling the curse of the Templars once and for all. This leaves the path to the throne open for Robert of Artois to place his cousin, Philippe of Valois, upon it. Having committed fraud, perjury and murder in the name of the new king, Robert expects to receive a title and his full reward.
But the days of betrayal are far from over and Robert is banished to England. In the land of France’s enemies vengeance sparks fresh conflict as King Edward III and his new ally prepare for war. As swords are sharpened the lion wakes and a pretender threatens France once more …
Instead of ordering this after the fact, I actually received it as a gift.
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
I am going to be lazy and just mention I received books 3-8 in this series as a gift. So excited!

And then I bought a few e-books:
Nymeth mentioned this one and it sounds like a 'me' book.
A history of the fantasy form, this work traces the genre from the earliest years with The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey through to the origins of modern fantasy in the 20th century with such acclaimed writers as Terry Pratchett and J. K. Rowling. An exploration of the great variety of fiction published under the heading “fantasy,” this engaging study seeks to explain its continuing and ever growing popularity.
We are watching the show, so I decided to try the comics. For some reason the trade copies are on the pricey side, so I got the first two as e-books.
Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed super hero — but not a very good one. Her powers were unremarkable compared to the amazing abilities of the costumed icons that populate the Marvel Universe. In a city of Marvels, she never found her niche. The self-destructive would-be Avenger is now the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations — a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases. When she uncovers the potentially explosive secret of one hero’s true identity, Jessica’s life immediately becomes expendable. But her wit, charm and intelligence just may help her survive another day. Thrust into the midst of a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels, has Jessica burned too many bridges to turn to old friends for help?
This book was an e-deal and it is one on my wish list.
The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.
Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .
Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.
Then the dreams begin.
Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It's everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.
Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?
As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?
And, that's it...


  1. I'm reading Alias at the moment too! I'm only a few issues in, and I'm excited to see where it goes. It seems like the Netflix series didn't take much of the comic into the adaptation? Which is good, I think, for my purposes -- I don't feel like I'm just retreading old ground.

  2. Happy New Year, Kailana! Looks like you have some good books to start the year with. I'm most interested in The Lake House. I've seen quite a few mentions of it on favorites lists. Enjoy your new books!


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