Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birds of a Feather: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Book 2)


Books Completed: 23
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 360
Publication Date: June, 2004

Reason for Reading: Book Two in the Maisie Dobbs series. I read book one last year, but apparently never reviewed it.
Jacqueline Winspear's marvelous and inspired debut, Maisie Dobbs, won her fans from coast to coast and raised her intuitive, intelligent, and resourceful heroine to the ranks of literature's favorite sleuths. Birds of a Feather finds Maisie Dobbs on another dangerously intriguing adventure in London "between the wars." It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress's old friends are found dead. Is there a connection between the woman's mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would want to kill three seemingly respectable young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers lie in the unforgettable agony of the Great War.
I can't believe I never reviewed book one in this series! I really was slack on the reviewing front last year. Anyway, I actually really like this series, even if it is a mystery series. I am not big on ones set in a more modern period, but I have enjoyed several with historical settings. This series takes place in between the First and Second World War. The Depression years were just about to set in, actually, which is something that was mentioned throughout the book.

My favourite thing about this series, so far, is how there is of course the mystery, but Winspear also works a lot of historical elements into the novel. Maisie might be a bit revolutionary for her time: being a detective and having her own business, but she also is plagued with the same problems that other women of her age and class experienced during the early to mid-twentieth century. Things were going to change again with the declaration of war, but for now, everyone is trying to come to terms with what happened during the first major war and get on with their lives. To solve this case, though, Maisie has to go back to the events of World War I, which I found really interesting.

So, maybe I should mention the case a bit. A local businessman has employed Maisie's services to search for his missing daughter. She has run off before, but this time he really has no idea where she is and wants her back safe and sound in his house. Maisie is not sure what to make of the case or the missing heiress, but it turns out to be quite the chase when other wealthy women starting turning up dead. Could the missing heiress be next, or has she already been murdered? These are just some of the things that Maisie has to wonder as she chases down the truth.

I really like this series so far. There are lots of interesting return characters, not just Maisie. Maisie also is shown to have a life, it is not only about the case with no character development. The same could be said for many of the secondary repeat characters, they also are given time to develop. It makes for a really interesting series, I must say! I am looking forward to reading more!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fables - Volume 7: Arabian Nights (And Days) by Bill Willingham


Books Completed: 22
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 144
Publication Date: June 28, 2006

Reason for Reading: Next Book in the Series. Graphic Novel Challenge.
Collecting issues #42-47 of writer Bill Willingham's Eisner Award-winning creation, FABLES: ARABIAN NIGHTS (AND DAYS) opens a new front in the struggle between the Fables and the Adversary as the worlds of the Arabian Fables are invaded — leading to an unprecedented diplomatic mission to Fabletown and a bad case of culture shock! This seventh volume of the popular Vertigo series also includes "The Ballad of Rodney and June," the 2-part story of forbidden love among the Adversary's wooden soldiers, and features stellar Art by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Jim Fern, Jimmy Palmiotti and Andrew Pepoy.
This is the last book that I currently own in this series. Makes me sad! I plan to get the next two books when I order the new Patricia Briggs book, but I still have to wait! Mind you, I have pretty much read the entire series in a month, so slowing down a bit would probably not be a terrible thing. It's reached the point that even the book descriptions are getting to be spoilers, but it is so hard to review books the farther you get in a series and not ruin it for others!

Anyway, this story includes Sinbad as a character! I thought he was a nice addition. There is also a mention of Aladdin, but he doesn't actually show himself. Sinbad is the leader of a delegation that has come to Fabletown seeking asylum and safety fron the Adversaries army. He also brings a Djinn with him, which might be a spoiler... Anyway, there are language barriers, Prince Charming is not much of a diplomat, so things do not go very smoothly at all. It seems that Mowgli was supposed to be here to greet this delegation, but he has already left Fabletown for other work. The different languages are shown in different style fonts. This was a cool way to do it, some of the other graphic novels I have read lately have '<' and '>' around the text to signify it is another language. Whatever way works, I guess.

There is also a story in this collection that takes place behind enemy lines. “The Ballad of Rodney in June” is a love story between two of the Adversary's soldiers. It was a nice story, actually. We got to see more of what it was like behind enemy lines, and it was also a chance to see the adversary as more than just the destroyer of all the lands! I thought it was a great contribution to this edition.

Now, I am just going to say that everyone should read this series, and shut up because honestly, it is hard to not spoil everything!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fables - Volume 6: Homelands by Bill Willingham


Books Completed: 21
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 192
Publication Date: January 1, 2006

Reason for Reading: Next Book in the Series, Graphic Novel Challenge
Collecting issues #34-41 of writer Bill Willingham's Eisner Award-winning creation, HOMELANDS follows Boy Blue on a mission of revenge as he uncovers the Adversary's true identity! Plus, the 2-part story of Jack's adventures in Hollywood and the one-shot story of Mowgli's return to Fabletown.
Another great book in the Fables series! The book starts off with a look at Jack. Jack left Fabletown back when all the major changes started to occur, and he hasn't been heard from since. It was nice to see what he had been up to while he was apparently living in Hollywood. This also has an appearance from Jill, of Jack and Jill fame. You know, I never noticed before how the same names are used over and over again until I started reading this series! Not just first names, but by just saying 'the wolf' or 'Prince Charming' or whatever. The series just makes it all one character, and I really like the way that they did that! So, Jack climbed the Beanstalk, jumped over a candlestick, fought some giants, went up the hill, and probably other things that I am not remembering! It really is a good idea...

Moving on, after Jack's story is told and we learn that he is gone from Fabletown for good (hence his own spin-off series) we return to plot development in Fable town. Boy Blue has gone back to the Homelands to defeat the Adversary, bring Pinocchio back to his father, and return to Fabletown with the 'real' Red Riding Hood. This is really his story. The identity of the Adversary is also revealed, which really didn't surprise me! I guess there were enough clues in the previous books to deduce his identity, but I don't think I really trusted my thoughts and was waiting for confirmation.

Mowgli also returns to Fabletown and his moment in the spotlight. I think he will become an important character, actually, I know he plays an important role. It is hard to make reviews of these books spoiler-free! Anyway, you probably remember Mowgli from Jungle Book fame. Some of his friends have been included in the series before, but they also make a return in this book.

Another great addition to the series!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm Tink Approved!

"She is spreading her fairy dust, again!"

Thanks, Tink!

Deslily and one other person also gave me the Premios Dardos Award. Now, I really think there is another person, but I honestly cannot remember who I haven't acknowledged yet! I would go search through bloglines, but it is messing up currently and says that I have 1600 feeds to read...

Deslily said:

Kailana (Kelly) is a young lady from Canada who reads well above the norm. I think I met Kelly through Carls Challenge and have enjoyed her writings ever since.

We probably did meet through Carl and his challenges, but it's been a while and my memory isn't that great at times! All I know is that I really enjoy Deslily's blog, too!

Only in Canada, You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language by Katherine Barber


Books Completed: 20
Completion Date: January 20, 2009
Pages: 288
Publication Date: March 15, 2007

Reason for Reading: I live in Canada and I was curious! New Author Challenge. 2nd Canadian Challenge.

Ask any Canadian about a distinctly Canadian form of English, and most will offer an enthusiastic Bob-and-Doug-McKenzie 'eh' in response. A passionate few might also bring up the colour vs. color debate or our pronunciations of 'out' and 'about'. And some may point to the ubiquitous Canadian toque as evidence of a language that is all our own. If this is your idea of Canadian English, then it might surprise you that Katherine Barber, Editor-in-Chief of the best-selling Canadian Oxford Dictionary and author of the best-selling Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do With Pigs, has written a new book filled with nothing but made-in-Canada vocabulary. Only in Canada You Say highlights more than 1,200 words and phrases that are unique to our neck of the woods. Did you know, for example, that every time you ask for Gravol at the drug store, you're using a word that is unknown anywhere else? That those tasty butter tarts your mother used to make don't exist beyond our borders? Or that there are three distinctly Canadian sex words? And jokes about living in the Great White North aside, it is still pretty interesting to discover that there are 17 Canadian words for ice! Organized thematically, Only in Canada You Say covers Canadian English from coast to coast to coast, with sections dedicated to the things we love to do, where we live, how we get around, and what we wear. The entertaining and informative introductions to each section provide a fresh, often eye-opening, perspective on the reality of Canadian English from Canada's own 'Word Lady', Katherine Barber. Only in Canada You Say maybe 'eh' is just the beginning of this story! '
I always love a good book about Canada, so when I saw this reviewed somewhere I added it to my wish list. It just happened to be on the page that I chose for my library browsing, and the library had it, so I was very happy to finally get around to reading it! Canadian language is an entertaing thing, apparently. I highly enjoyed this book, and I would actually like to own my own copy! I was really surprised about the words that I hear or say all the time that are mostly only said in Canada. They are just common wording for me. I mean, I have always been proud of the fact that I am a Bluenoser (live in Nova Scotia) and that I am a Canuck (I think this one people know). Now, I know some of the words that I use that others might not.

The way this book works is it is broken into large sections and then those large sections are broken into related smaller sections. At the beginning of each large section, the author talks about some of the words that are going to be included in this topic. The intros are actually pretty funny because she says things that I would never even think about. Canadianisms are just common to me, so I never considered what it would sound like for people that are not Canadian to hear them. This goes beyond 'eh', of course. I know that is the most common word associated with Canada, and I have to say, I live in Canada and I hardly ever say 'eh'. It is more common in Central Canada, I think, but I could be wrong!

The first section in the book is called "Canadians Say the Darndest Things". This was probably my favourite section because I found myself trying to remember if I have ever said them before or heard them before. Some are of a historical notion, like 'fuddle duddle', which is claimed to be what Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said in Parliament one day instead of a profanity. Not a phrase I have used before, but one that I have heard. One of my favourite, and one that I might have uttered before, is 'holy jumpin'. I was also surprised about some of the ones that come from Atlantic Canada. She says that 'sook/sookey baby' is from my neck of the woods. I just assumed everyone says that! Oh, and I said that quite often when I was younger. I am not sure if I have had much reason for it in later years. Then, there is phrases like: 'done like dinner' or 'go to the washroom'. I have used both of those before.

Then, she moves on to Geography, which includes things like the weather. I was really surprised that the phrase 'spring break-up' is largely Canadian. I am looking forward to the 'spring break-up' right about now! The food and drink topic was another favourite. I was both surprised, and not, by food that is Canadian. I know that 'rappie pie' was largely Canadian, but I didn't think about 'butter tarts' or 'blueberry grunt' being only from around here. (Butter tarts are no big loss, but blueberry grunt is awesome! Unless, well, I cook it... It didn't turn out so well.) Drinks was the same. I know that 'double-double' is from Tim Hortons fame, but I was surprised it was Canadian to say 'two-four'. (Believe me, I have heard two-four my entire life! It was particularly common during my university years.)

I learned a lot from this book. I took special note about words and phrases that are supposed to be from my neck of the woods. There were a lot I have never heard before, so no idea who says them! Then, there is the obvious ones like the 'loonie' and the 'toonie'. I know when I was little, I was in the U.S. and my sister asked at a store for a 'loonie'. The man working had no idea what she was talking about! So, if you want to know more about crazy Canadians, this is a great book to see just how different we really are! For those that live in Canada, though, it is just as interesting. I am very glad I took the time to read it, and I probably will have to add a copy to my household in the future.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog

So, yesterday was a really unfun day, and I have to admit that I am not really all that cheery as a result. If I stay down in the dumps for a bit; I am not sure what that is going to do for my blogging. I do have posts scheduled up until the end of the month so I can catch up on my reviews, but other than that... If I vanish, I'll be back... Or, I could be around more. It really is hard to say at this point and time. I just wanted to say something in case I stop blog-hopping, commenting, and paying attention to my own blog for a bit.

The Guardian's 1000 Books List

Books that are crossed out I have read.

Books that are in italics I own but haven't read yet.

Comedy

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Money by Martin Amis
The Information by Martin Amis
The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge
According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge
Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes
A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes
Augustus Carp, Esq. by Himself: Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man by Henry Howarth Bashford
Molloy by Samuel Beckett
Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Queen Lucia by EF Benson
The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman
A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury
No Bed for Bacon by Caryl Brahms and SJ Simon
Illywhacker by Peter Carey
A Season in Sinji by JL Carr
The Harpole Report by JL Carr
The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington
Mister Johnson by Joyce Cary
The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
Just William by Richmal Crompton
The Provincial Lady by EM Delafield
Slouching Towards Kalamazoo by Peter De Vries
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
Jacques the Fatalist and his Master by Denis Diderot
A Fairy Tale of New York by JP Donleavy
The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
Ennui by Maria Edgeworth
Cheese by Willem Elsschot
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Caprice by Ronald Firbank
Bouvard et Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert
Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn
The Polygots by William Gerhardie
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Brewster’s Millions by Richard Greaves (George Barr McCutcheon)
Squire Haggard’s Journal by Michael Green
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene
Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgkins
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
The Lecturer’s Tale by James Hynes
Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
The Mighty Walzer Howard by Jacobson
Pictures from an Institution by Randall Jarrell
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
The Castle by Franz Kafka
Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane (Gil Blas) Alain-René Lesage
Changing Places by David Lodge
Nice Work by David Lodge
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
England, Their England by AG Macdonell
Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie
Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf by David Madsen
Cakes and Ale - Or, the Skeleton in the Cupboard by W Somerset Maugham
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills
Charade by John Mortimer
Titmuss Regained by John Mortimer
Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul
The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin
La Disparition by Georges Perec
Les Revenentes by Georges Perec
La Vie Mode d’Emploi by Georges Perec
My Search for Warren Harding by Robert Plunkett
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym
Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau
Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler
Alms for Oblivion by Simon Raven
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
The Westminster Alice by Saki
The Unbearable Bassington by Saki
Hurrah for St Trinian’s by Ronald Searle
Great Apes by Will Self
Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe
Blott on the Landscape by Tom Sharpe
Office Politics by Wilfrid Sheed
Belles Lettres Papers: A Novel by Charles Simmons
Moo by Jane Smiley
Topper Takes a Trip by Thorne Smith
The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom by Tobias Smollett
The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark
Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark
A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
White Man Falling by Mike Stocks
Handley Cross by RS Surtees
A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift
Penrod by Booth Tarkington
The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray
Before Lunch by Angela Thirkell
Tropic of Ruislip by Leslie Thomas
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilgore Trout
The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon
Tono Bungay by HG Wells
Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle
The Wimbledon Poisoner by Nigel Williams
Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson
Something Fresh by PG Wodehouse
Piccadilly Jim by PG Wodehouse
Thank You Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
Heavy Weather by PG Wodehouse
The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse

Crime

The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren
Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
Trent’s Last Case by EC Bentley
The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley
The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake
Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary E Braddon
The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Greenmantle by John Buchan
The Asphalt Jungle by WR Burnett
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain
Double Indemnity by James M Cain
True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Poetic Justice by Amanda Cross
The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter
Ratking by Michael Dibdin
Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
Dirty Tricks by Michael Dibdin
A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin
Vendetta by Michael Dibdin
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt
The Crime of Father Amado by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
LA Confidential by James Ellroy
The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellory
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Third Man by Graham Greene
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
The King of Torts by John Grisham
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Fatherland by Robert Harris
Black Sunday by Thomas Harris
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill
A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
Silence of the Grave by Arnadur Indridason
Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes
Cover Her Face by PD James
A Taste for Death by PD James
Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
Misery by Stephen King
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
The Constant Gardener by John le Carre
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
52 Pick-up by Elmore Leonard
Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Cop Hater by Ed McBain
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
Sidetracked by Henning Mankell
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
The Great Impersonation by E Phillips Oppenheim
The Strange Borders of Palace Crescent by E Phillips Oppenheim
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Toxic Shock by Sara Paretsky
Blacklist by Sara Paretsky
Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace
Nineteen Seventy Seven by David Peace
The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos
Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos
Lush Life by Richard Price
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
V by Thomas Pynchon
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
The Hanging Gardens by Ian Rankin
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
Live Flesh by Ruth Rendell
Dissolution by CJ Sansom
Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Le Sayers
The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon
The Blue Room by Georges Simenon
The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
The Getaway by Jim Thompson
Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
A Fatal inversion by Barbara Vine
King Solomon’s Carpet by Barbara Vine
The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Native Son by Richard Wright
Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

Family and Self

The Face of Another by Kobo Abe
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Epileptic by David B
Room Temperature by Nicholson Baker
Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac
Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
The Crow Road by Iain Banks
The L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett
A Legacy by Sybille Bedford
Herzog by Saul Bellow
Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett
G by John Berger
Extinction by Thomas Bernhard
Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch
Evelina by Fanny Burney
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
The Sound of my Voice by Ron Butlin
The Outsider by Albert Camus
Wise Children by Angela Carter
The Professor’s House by Willa Cather
The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Les Enfants Terrible by Jean Cocteau
The Vagabond by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett
Being Dead by Jim Crace
Quarantine by Jim Crace
The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir
Roxana by Daniel Defoe
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
My New York Diary by Julie Doucet
The Millstone by Margaret Drabble
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Silence by Shusaku Endo
The Gathering by Anne Enright
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Howards End by EM Forster
Spies by Michael Frayn
Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Immoralist by Andre Gide
The Vatican Cellars by Andre Gide
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
Hunger by Knut Hamsun
The Shrimp and the Anemone by LP Hartley
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
The Three Paradoxes by Paul Hornschemeier
Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
The Ambassadors by Henry James
Washington Square by Henry James
The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins
The Unfortunates by BS Johnson
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Ulysses by James Joyce
Good Behaviour by Molly Keane
Memet my Hawk by Yasar Kemal
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence
Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
How Green was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Martin Eden by Jack London
Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
The Chateau by William Maxwell
The Rector’s Daughter by FM Mayor
The Ordeal of Richard Feverek by George Meredith
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Who Do You Think You Are? by Alice Munro
The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul
At-Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien
Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness by Kezaburo Oe
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Good Companions by JB Priestley
The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
A Married Man by Piers Paul Read
Pointed Roofs by Dorothy Richardson
The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney by Henry Handel Richardson
Call it Sleep by Henry Roth
Julie, ou la Nouvelle Heloise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Alberta and Jacob by Cora Sandel
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Unless by Carol Shields
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Three Sisters by May Sinclair
The Family Moskat or The Manor or The Estate by Isaac Bashevis Singer
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
Angel by Elizabeth Taylor
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend
Death in Summer by William Trevor
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
Peace in War by Miguel de Unamuno
The Rabbit Omnibus by John Updike
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Jimmy Corrigan, The Smarest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
Morvern Callar by Alan Warner
The History of Mr Polly by HG Wells
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
Frost in May by Antonia White
The Tree of Man by Patrick White
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
I’ll Go to Bed at Noon by Gerard Woodward
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

Love

Le Grand Meaulnes by Henri Alain-Fournier
Dom Casmurro Joaquim by Maria Machado de Assis
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
The Garden of the Finzi-Cortinis by Giorgio Bassani
Love for Lydia by HE Bates
More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow
Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Vilette by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Look At Me by Anita Brookner
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Possession by AS Byatt
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
A Month in the Country by JL Carr
My Antonia by Willa Cather
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
Claudine a l’ecole by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Cheri by Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette
Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette
The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
Adam Bede by George Eliot
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
A Room with a View by EM Forster
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Living by Henry Green
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
The Go-Between by LP Hartley
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer
Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by WH Hudson
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
Beauty and Saddness by Yasunari Kawabata
The Far Pavillions by Mary Margaret Kaye
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
Moon over Africa by Pamela Kent
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre-Ambroise-Francois Choderlos de Laclos
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence
The Rainbow by DH Lawrence
Women in Love by DH Lawrence
The Echoing Grove by Rosamond Lehmann
The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
Zami by Audre Lorde
Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
Samarkand by Amin Maalouf
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
The Silent Duchess by Dacia Maraini
A Heart So White by Javier Marias
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
So Long, See you Tomorrow by William Maxwell
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
The Egoist by George Meredith
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
Arturo’s Island by Elsa Morante
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Lolita, or the Confessions of a White Widowed Male by Vladimir Nabokov
The Painter of Signs by RK Narayan
Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
All Souls Day by Cees Nooteboom
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson
Pamela by Samuel Richardson
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
Ali and Nino by Kurban Said
Light Years by James Salter
A Sport and a Passtime by James Salter
The Reader by Benhardq Schlink
The Reluctant Orphan by Aara Seale
Love Story by Eric Segal
Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
At Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Waterland by Graham Swift
Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
First Love by Ivan Turgenev
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
East Lynne by Ellen Wood
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Non-Stop by Brian W Aldiss
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster
The Drowned World by JG Ballard
Crash by JG Ballard
Millennium People by JG Ballard
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Darkmans by Nicola Barker
The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
Darwin’s Radio by Greg Bear
Vathek by William Beckford
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite
Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown
Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Coming Race by EGEL Bulwer-Lytton
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The End of the World News by Anthony Burgess
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Erewhon by Samuel Butler
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
The Influence by Ramsey Campbell
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The Man who was Thursday by GK Chesterton
Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Hello Summer, Goodbye by Michael G Coney
Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq
The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R Delaney
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick
Camp Concentration by Thomas M Disch
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Under the Skin by Michel Faber
The Magus by John Fowles
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Red Shift by Alan Garner
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Light by M John Harrison
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein
Dune by Frank L Herbert
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Children of Men by PD James
After London; or, Wild England by Richard Jefferies
Bold as Love by Gwyneth Jones
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Shining by Stephen King
The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski
Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Earthsea Series by Ursula Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Memoirs of a Survivor by Doris Lessing
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
The Monk by Matthew Lewis
A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay
The Night Sessions by Ken Macleod
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin
The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Ascent by Jed Mercurio
The Scar by China Mieville
Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller Jr
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Mother London by Michael Moorcock
News from Nowhere by William Morris
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Vurt by Jeff Noon
The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and CM Kornbluth
A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys
The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
The Prestige by Christopher Priest
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Air by Geoff Ryman
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Blindness by Jose Saramago
How the Dead Live by Will Self
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Insult by Rupert Thomson
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Institute Benjamenta by Robert Walser
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Affinity by Sarah Waters
The Time Machine by HG Wells
The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
The Sword in the Stone by TH White
The Old Men at the Zoo by Angus Wilson
The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe
Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

State of the Nation

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe
London Fields by Martin Amis
Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
La Comedie Humaine by Honore de Balzac
They Were Counted by Miklos Banffy
A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave by Aphra Behn
Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett
The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen
Room at the Top by John Braine
A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
The Virgin in the Garden by AS Byatt
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
The Plague by Albert Camus
The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
Disgrace by JM Coetzee
Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coeztee
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Underworld by Don DeLillo
White Noise by Don DeLillo
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
Sybil or The Two Nations by Benjamin Disraeli
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
USA by John Dos Passos
Sister Carrie by Theodor Dreiser
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
Effi Briest by Theodore Fontane
Independence Day by Richard Ford
A Passage to India by EM Forster
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Recognitions by William Gaddis
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Counterfeiters by Andre Gide
The Odd Women by George Gissing
New Grub Street by George Gissing
July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
Mother by Maxim Gorky
Lanark by Alastair Gray
Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
South Riding by Winifred Holtby
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
Chronicle in Stone by Ismael Kadare
How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman
The Leopard by Giuseppi di Lampedusa
A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin
Passing by Nella Larsen
The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Amongst Women by John McGahern
The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Of Love & Hunger by Julian Maclaren-Ross
Remembering Babylon by David Malouf
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
The Time of Indifference by Alberto Moravia
A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul
McTeague by Frank Norris
Personality by Andrew O’Hagan
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Ragazzi Pier by Paolo Pasolini
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Moon and the Bonfire by Cesare Pavese
GB84 by David Peace
Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock
Afternoon Men by Anthony Powell
Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
The Human Stain by Philip Roth
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Shame by Salman Rushdie
To Each his Own by Leonardo Sciascia
Staying On by Paul Scott
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr
The Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon
God’s Bit of Wood by Ousmane Sembene
The Case of Comrade Tulayev by Victor Serge
Richshaw Boy by Lao She
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovtich by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
This Sporting Life by David Storey
The Red Room by August Stringberg
The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Couples by John Updike
Z by Vassilis Vassilikos
Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
Germinal by Emile Zola
La Bete Humaine by Emile Zola

War and Travel

Silver Stallion by Junghyo Ahn
Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
Darkness Falls from the Air by Nigel Balchin
Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard
Regeneration by Pat Barker
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
Fair Stood the Wind for France by HE Bates
Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Monkey by Wu Ch’eng-en
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
The History of Pompey the Little by Francis Coventry
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Bomber by Len Deighton
Deliverance by James Dickey
Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos
South Wind by Norman Douglas
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Justine by Lawrence Durrell
The Bamboo Bed by William Eastlake
The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford
The African Queen by CS Forester
The Ship by CS Forester
Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
The Beach by Alex Garland
To The Ends of the Earth trilogy by William Golding
Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
Count Belisarius by Robert Graves
Life and Fate by Vassily Grossman
De Niro’s Game by Rawi Hage
King Solomon’s Mines by H Rider Haggard
She: A History of Adventure by H Rider Haggard
The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
Covenant with Death by John Harris
Enigma by Robert Harris
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
Rasselas by Samuel Johnson
From Here to Eternity by James Jones
Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
Confederates by Thomas Keneally
Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
Day by AL Kennedy
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
La Condition Humaine by Andre Malraux
Fortunes of War by Olivia Manning
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat
Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville
Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
History by Elsa Morante
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Burmese Days by George Orwell
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
The Valley of Bones by Anthony Powell
The Soldier’s Art by Anthony Powell
The Military Philosophers by Anthony Powell
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolp Erich Raspe
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Crab with the Golden Claws by Georges Remi Herge
Tintin in Tibet by Georges Remi Herge
The Castafiore Emerald by Georges Remi Herge
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa
Sacaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer
The Hunters by James Salter
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald
Austerlitz by WG Sebald
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal
Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson
A Sentimental Journey by Lawrence Sterne
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
Williwaw by Gore Vidal
Candide by Voltaire
Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh
Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh
The Island of Dr Moreau by HG Wells
The Machine-Gunners by Robert Westall
Voss by Patrick White
The Virginian by Owen Wister
The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
The Debacle by Emile Zola

So, 59/1001... Not really a fantastic number, but I wouldn't read a lot of the books on this list, anyway! There are also a lot I have never even heard of before!8

Men of the Otherworld: A Collection of Otherworld Tales by Kelley Armstrong


Books Completed: 19
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 384
Publication Date: January 27, 2009

Reason for Reading: Enjoy Armstrong's Otherworld Series. Pub 2009 Challenge. Received a review copy from Random House.
Kelley Armstrong – Globe and Mail and New York Times bestselling author – is back with a true gift for her fans: an exclusive glimpse into the minds and hearts of the men of the Pack

Kelley Armstrong has made a huge name for herself with her trademark portrayals of the strong, unusually gifted women who populate her Otherworld.

But her fans have always wanted to know more about the men who love these women, and revealed in the pages of this collection are the life stories – and secrets – of Clay and Jeremy, two of the sexiest and most mysterious men of the Otherworld.

Originally published by the author on her website (but since removed), these thrilling tales reveal how Clay became a werewolf, how he came to be adopted by Jeremy, Jeremy’s struggles to become the Alpha of the Pack and his terrible conflict with his father, Malcolm. A brand-new story, written for this collection, reveals how Jeremy came to be a visionary and healer: touchy-feely qualities uncommon in a werewolf.

The result is a perfect companion to Kelley’s bestselling series and a treasure for fans.
I am really glad that I never got around to reading the stories that Kelley Armstrong had on her website. I liked the fact that I was reading them all for the first time! I have to admit, I was not sure about this book! I was expecting a short story collection, and I am not always really interested in short story collections, but this actually read more like a novel. The stories all flowed into each other that I never really felt like I was reading a short story collection at all. I started wondering if I was just imagining that it was supposed to be short stories, but it says right on the front of the book that it is.

The best thing about this book is I could read it and it didn't really interfere with the fact that I am rather behind in reading the Women of the Otherworld series. You could read this book as a standalone, just to get a taste for the characters, or you could count it as part of the series. I have sort of jumped around in order with this series, but I know who the werewolves are. I know that Clay and Elena are together. I also have read enough in the later books to know who Jeremy's girlfriend is, so I don't think I spoiled anything for myself. I was actually really excited to get more Jeremy because he is actually my favourite male character in the series!

The book starts off being about the generation before Jeremy was even born. It is a story of his father's generation. Then, Clayton takes up the story and he is the narrator right up until the very last story, where Jeremy takes a turn. Clayton is an interesting character. Instead of being born a werewolf, he was bitten by a werewolf as a child. This was something new for the werewolves because normally you are either bitten as an adult or you don't come into being a werewolf until your late teens. Jeremy decides when he finds out about Clay that Clay needs to be shown how to be a civilized person, as well as be a werewolf. Clay had been raising himself and he was not really sure how either 'side' of himself was supposed to work. It is not easy at first, but Jeremy has the patience to make something of a very wild Clay. It makes Clay one of the more interesting characters in the series. While telling of his own up-bringing, we also learn a lot about Jeremy and how his life has been. It makes a lot of who he is later in life make sense. He also narrates the last story, so we get some taste of that as well.

If this collection had been a bunch of random stories, I am not sure what I would have thought about it. Since the stories seem to flow together to easily be a novel, though, I found that I really liked the way the book was written. It was interesting to see the male point-of-view for a change and learn more about Clay, Jeremey, and the other male werewolves. Another great book from Armstrong! Now, I really need to go back and work on her other books...

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I have to laugh at myself. I decided that I was going to get rid of three boxes of books from when I was in elementary school and a bit older. So, I was going through the boxes and all that happened was I started remembering why I collected the books in the first place! Needless to say, I only ended up getting rid of one box. I think I might make some of the series I have left over from when I was younger a reading project. You see, when I was reading these series, I didn't exactly have the internet at my fingertips. If I couldn't find the next book in a series, it was not always an easy thing to remedy. Plus, I didn't exactly have a large budget for book-buying. So, in the middle of my sorting, I picked up a couple of series that I really enjoyed and didn't have all the books for to see if it was possible to acquire them. I had some success with the library, but they didn't have all of them. Some will have to be inter-library loaned, while others are not available at all. Still, I think I might try and read some of the series in their entirety. Or, close to their entirety. I wish I had lived in such a technological age when I was hooked on the series. I still look at second-hand stores for them, actually. Anyway, I don't think the dates are adding up to elementary school. They more add up to when I was going through my horses/animal stage, so reading levels didn't really matter!

The two series that I am strongly considering for this project:
Riding Academy by Alison Hart
Animal Inn by Virginia Vail

Then, I have series in their entirety like:
Sweet Valley High - Which I didn't actually like at all when I was reading them...
Sweet Valley University - I liked these slightly better
Baby-Sitter's Club - The acceptable thing for me to be reading when I was like 5 or 6... It drove me crazy how the first chapter was always exactly the same!
Baby-Sitter's Little Sister - See above
Nancy Drew - I actually prefer The Hardy Boys. I should try and get the entire set of Hardy Boys...
Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries - There are several of these I don't have, and I actually like this series the best.
Lurlene McDaniel's - Really depressing books, but I do think I used to like her.

See, this is why I didn't like books for my reading level when I was younger. They really were not that great.... I used to just read my mothers random books because she would only buy me the series seen above, and, well... I would have preferred fantasy and science-fiction. When I had my own money I started reading Star Trek and Madeleine L'Engle. But, there are a few gems from above. There were also The Boxcar Children and Saddle Club. My library has like all The Saddle Club books. I don't know how extensive this trip down reading memory lane will wind up being, but I do hope to read some of them! Then, I might give them away.... Right...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets by Jon & Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson


Books Completed: 18
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 224
Publication Date: October 2008

Reason for Reading: I have seen the show on television and I was curious! Review copy sent to me by Harper Collins. New Author Challenge.
Three years after giving birth to twin daughters, Kate and Jon Gosselin became pregnant again—with sextuplets. Kate’s candid and emotionally-charged book chronicles the exhausting challenges she and Jon faced from the time the babies were conceived through the first two years of their lives, and the faith it took to get through each day.
I am not much of a television watcher, but I have to admit that I have been known to watch this television show from time to time. When I saw that there was a book out; I decided to give it a try. When I was looking for a synopsis online, because I am too lazy to type one, I found that reviewers have been arguing about this book. It was interesting to read the reviews because a lot of the people that wrote them hadn't even read the book, they just decided that they wanted a platform to stand on! I actually did read this book, though. I was just curious. They don't exactly have a normal situation, and I wanted to know how they have coped with everything that life has thrown their way.

Anyway, so I read this book in about a day. It is not really all that long, but it was interesting. I could not imagine having 8 kids! (Not that I could any easier imagine having one child, but that's not the point!) I am just amazed at what they have had to put up with and go through to have a 'normal' family. It is not an easy task, when you think about it. They were not exactly prepared to have eight children and even when they found out that this was going to be the case, it is not exactly an easy thing to prepare for! Kate talks very candidly about what life was like for her before and after the sextuplets were born, and I found it all rather interesting, but I can't say that I was really blown away by the book.

I can really just sum it up by saying that while I find the journey was worth reading about, I am not totally sure why I felt compelled to read the book. It is really not my type of read at all, but I can't say that I really minded it. I might even read more from them in the future. I liked learning about the children's personalities and their development. While I didn't love the book, I didn't hate it either. To be honest, it was the religious nature of the book that really didn't work that well for me, but I don't want to start a religious debate on my blog, so I am trying to shy away from offering opinions on the subject!

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Entertainment Weekly's "New" Classic List

I saw this on Booklogged's blog and thought that I would see how many I have read! I actually did pretty good... 22! I own a lot more of them, though, and just haven't got around to reading them...

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (1996)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1999)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996) (The first one..)
47. World’s Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (199
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1999)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators’ Ball, Connie Bruck (1989)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling by David Wolman


Books Completed: 17
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 224
Publication Date: September 29, 2008

Reason for Reading: Received from Publisher. TBR Challenge 2009. New Author Challenge.

Righting the Mother Tongue tells the cockamamie story of English spelling. When did ghost acquire its silent 'h'? Will cyberspace kill the one in rhubarb? And was it really rocket scientists who invented spell-check?

Seeking to untangle the twisted story of English spelling, David Wolman takes us on a wordly adventure from English battlefields to Google headquarters. Along the way, he pickets with spelling reformers outside the national spelling bee, visits the town in Belgium, not England, where the first English books were printed, and takes a road-trip with the boss at Merriam-Webster Inc. The journey is punctuated by spelling battles waged by the likes of Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie and the members of today's Simplified Spelling Society.

Rich with history, pop culture, curiosity and humor, Righting the Mother Tongue explores how English spelling came to be, traces efforts to mend the code and imagines the shape of tomorrow's words.

First things first. Yes, I know we were supposed to read a category romance, but I never read category romance, so this is going to have to do! Secondly, I know that I only got this book in 2009, but that is because the copy I was supposed to get in 2008 never made it to me, so I had to wait to have it sent again! And, lastly, I am so way later with this review than I meant to be, but it is still in time...

This book was really interesting! I am an English major, so the English language interests me as both a reader and a student (even if I have graduated). My boyfriend is always saying that it is because of the technology today that people cannot spell. I found it really interesting to read this book, where that topic was looked at, as long as a lot of other spelling ideas. It is kind of interesting. Before I went to university my friends called me a spelling Nazi, but I have got so slack in later years. When I started this blog I was still in university, and I used it to be casual because I had to be perfect all the time! I rarely reread what I wrote, and believe me, it shows! (I try to do better now, but it is still normally a hasty attempt at the English language!) I do use complete sentences when I send text messages or IM's, though... What about you folks?

This book is in many ways the history of spelling. The English language is rather complicated, in case people haven't noticed, so it was interesting to read about the evolution of it. He also talks about people that advocate for a simpler form of spelling. There were examples, and they actually made my head hurt! They might be the words 'correctly' sounded out, but I have read so much over the years that I just read. In many ways my mind just assumes the word and only pauses when I come across a word that is not in my normal vocabulary. So, I don't know if I could handle changes to spelling... As complicated as it is, I can get by! When I actually put my mind to it, I can spell and use grammar quite well!

I do recommend this book. It was really interesting and written in a fun way. It wasn't dry, or at least, I didn't find it dry. I especially enjoyed the history lessons, because history has always been a hobby of mine. He even talks about the creation of spell-check and the advantages and disadvantages of it. I know that I love spell-check. It is not necessarily for spelling mistakes for me, though; it is really more for the typos that I might not notice otherwise! While not perfect, it is helpful!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fables - Volume 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham

Books Completed: 16
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 168
Publication Date: April 1, 2005

Reason for Reading: Next book in the Fables series. Graphic Novel Challenge.
Collecting issues 22 and 28-33 of the hit VERTIGO series, this trade paperback features two tales of Bigby's exploits during World War II as well as "The Year After," which follows the aftermath of the Adversary's attempt to conquer Fabletown — including the birth of Snow White and Bigby's children!
After the heavy packed fourth addition to this series, this volume slows down a bit. It is necessary, though, because there are some storylines that need to be developed and worked on. The book begins with Prince Charming's three ex-wives having lunch together. I thought that was rather entertaining! Snow White has been with the series since the beginning, Briar Rose had some character development in volume 3, and now, I guess, it is Cinderella's turn. She plays a lot of roles expertly, but you learn quickly that there is more to her than meets the eye! A character from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow joins the cast, which I really enjoyed! I like how diverse these stories are.

Then, it is Bigby's turn for character development. Jack (of beanstalk fame) was shown in an earlier war, but Bigby was in WWII. He was involved in some secret missions, and the last surviving member of his team has reached the end. He calls Bigby over to talk about old times. Scenes from Frankenstein appear in his story. Then, we return to 'regularly scheduled programming'. Snow White is now a mother and I love her children! I am really interested in seeing what happens with them as they grow up because they don't have 'normal' parents, so there is a lot of potential there. Because of their strange parents, though, Snow White is forced to move with them to the Farm (central in volume 3), a place where Bigby Wolf is not allowed to go. Also included is Prince Charming's rise to fame, Snow White and Bigby Wolf stepping down, and another threat to both Fabletown and the Farm.

Another great addition to the series! I am really looking forward to reading the next book! I am thinking that will probably end up being today, because I want to see what happens next!

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Following the "absolutely superb"(Diane Haeger, author of The Secret Bride) Mademoiselle Boleyn, novelist Robin Maxwell delves into the life of Caterina-the adventurer, alchemist, and mother of Leonardo da Vinci.

Caterina was fifteen years old in 1452 when she bore an illegitimate child in the tiny village of Vinci. His name was Leonardo, and he was destined to change the world forever.

Caterina suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother and had no recourse when her boy was taken away from her. But no one knew the secrets of her own childhood, nor could ever have imagined the dangerous and heretical scheme she would devise to protect and watch over her remarkable son. This is her story.
Head on over to Historical Tapestry for your chance to win!

Fables - Volumbe 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham

Books Completed: 15
Completion Date: January, 2009
Pages: 240
Publication Date: November 1, 2004

Reason for Reading: Next book in the Fables series. Graphic Novel Challenge.
Bill Willingham's runaway hit series FABLES continues its success in this fourth trade paperback, collecting issues #19-21 and #23-27 (issue #22 will appear in a future collection) and featuring the rise of a new threat to Fabletown. Also included is the Prestige Format Special Fables: The Last Castle. When Little Red Riding Hood suddenly walks through the gate between this world and the lost Fable Homelands, she's welcomed as a miraculous survivor by nearly everyone - everyone except her old nemesis, Bigby Wolf, who smells spying and subversion more than survival. But will he be able to prove his case before disaster strikes? And how will it all affect Prince Charming's upstart campaign to become the new mayor of Fabletown?
This book is a bit thicker than the ones that came before it. That is probably because a lot happens in the pages of this book! The story opens with Boy Blue. He has been a main character in the series since the beginning, but we don't really get to know him until this story. Today, he tells the story of how he escaped to our world a century ago. He was a member of the army that was battling the Adversary and his co-horts, but the leader of the Fables insisted that Boy Blue wait until the battle was over and then join the last ship to safety. Bluebeard was the captain and that was the last time that anyone successfully moved between the two worlds. Boy Blue also tells the story of his ill-fated love for Red Riding Hood. This all leads up to the arrival of Red Riding Hood who says that she has been a hostage of the Adversary for all these years, but now suddenly has escaped and successfully made it to safety. Bigby Wolf is automatically suspicious.

There is a lot going on in this book. The last group of Fables to make it to Fabletown celebrate the loss of those that were left behind. Prince Charming is running against King Cole to become the next mayor of Fabletown. King Cole has been in power for centuries and never had anyone run against him, but Prince Charming is always scheming for power. If he wins, Beauty will take over Snow White's job and Beast will take over Bigby's. Charming is positive that those two will not want to stay in power when he assumes it. Snow White is moving closer to her due date, so the events that will happen she has to watch from the side lines. She does her job well, though. This is the story that will test whether or not the characters are really safe in Fabletown.

Another fantastic addition to the series! This one is a little darker than the previous installments, but there is a lot of plot development, and we know that the adversary was going to have to eventually become a character. Judging by the events of this story, it won't be long before that is reality. I really hope people take a chance on this series and give it a read! It is wonderful!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Musings

Books finally came in for me at the library! It apparently takes a week for movement from one branch to another... That's crazy! Three more are in movement right now, so maybe tomorrow? I am going to have to stay off the library web site. I brought three books home and then requested four more! I do have books of my own to read, so I will have to block the site for a month or something... Anyway, I got:

Only in Canada, You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language by Katherine Barber
Birds of a Feather: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

I have already started the Barber book. I find it really interesting! Words or phrases that I hear or use all the time are Canadianisms. I am not sure if that is how you would spell that if it was a word, but anyway! I highlighted a few interesting ones, so hopefully I can have a discussion of this book when I review it. I want to hear other countries impressions of both whether they are only Canadian and if you think we are crazy for saying them! (And, yes, this goes beyond eh!).

Then, I got two books in the mail on Friday and never mentioned them:
A Member of the Family by Cesar Millan (I read his other two books in 2007, I think)
Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier (a companion book to Wildwood Dancing which I read in 2007, too, I think.)

Today, I won a book. Yay!
The New Space Opera edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan

Thanks Carl!

Speaking of Carl. The books I requested from the library?
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (Nymeth is quite the fangirl)
Castle Waiting by Linda Medley
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Starry Rift edited by Jonathan Strahan (This is why the Carl reference. He told me I should get this, so I did! Actually, it came up when I was looking for Uglies and I figured that meant it was looking for me...)

Anyway, I should probably vacuum. I have been putting it off for like 3 hours now!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Short Story Sunday: The Sci-Fi Experience


The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin

Apparently when this story was first released, it was very controversial. I can understand that, though! Carl recommended it on his blog as one of the best short stories he had ever read, so since I trust him, I decided to give it a try! I totally agree with him. Godwin writes a really good story. The thing I liked the best, though, was that it wasn't something that had been done a million times before. It was a fresh story. While not necessarily progressing the way I wanted it to, it all made sense at the end.

Paying it Forward by Michael A. Burstein

I didn't know if I was going to like this story or not, but it actually turned out to be rather good! I like the idea behind this story. One thing about science fiction is that since it hasn't happened yet, I always find pieces of technology that leave me thinking it would be nice if they were possible. This story is also rather up-lifting, which is not really how science-fiction generally is, but it works for this story. Another good short story experience for the weekend!

The Cauldron by Rocky Keele

Okay, so not a short story, more a novella, but more my style. I find that short stories normally end too soon and I am left wanting more. Alien visitors to Earth always lead to interesting storylines, when you think about it. There are so many ways in which things can play out. This story has three intertwinning perspectives, so you get to see the story from different angles. There is also a dog, which I thought was a nice touch. For a novella, the dog shows its personality well. And, the aliens were not exactly what you would expect. I really enjoyed reading about them discovering new things. Very much worth a read!

The Crystal Spheres by David Brin

David Brin is a sci-fi author that I have heard of before, but never got around to reading! Judging by the quality of his writing, though, I think I am going to have to remedy that before long. This story was really interesting! Once again I am left enjoying the idea behind it. It is stories like this that leave me thinking and wishing that I could be experiencing them, not just reading them. Especially when they start off the story getting to see Atlantis. I would love to see Atlantis! I really wish this was a novel, though. I was just getting caught up in everything, and it ended.

The Home Team by Greg Wickenhofer

This short story is only two pages, so it won't take very long to read at all! And, it was great! It is the technology of today, only they can talk... I laughed my way through this story, and I am sure others will too!

The Egan Thief by Gord Sellar

I am not sure what to think of this short story. It wasn't terrible, but it didn't really grab me like the others. It is about an author the discovers that Greg Egan is stealing his story ideas. It's a strange story. I really can't decide what to say about it. I think I would have to read it again...

**** Edited to Add

The Menace From Earth by Robert Heinlein

Carl suggested that I read this one, so I managed to squeeze it in! Fantastic story. All I can say is that I want to fly!