Pretty much everything in this one was a Christmas gift.
108. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling - This is the screenplay of course, but still enjoyable. I really liked the movie.
109. Modern Pioneering by Georgia Pellegrini - Combo of cookbook and reference book on how to do some pioneer/homesteady type stuff. We're looking forward to trying the watermelon keg they demonstrate this summer...
110. Balaboosta by Einat Admony - Cookbook that I've had on my Amazon WL for awhile - Middle Eastern/Israeli food. I enjoyed the recipes a little more than the author's "let me show you my life", but it was all pretty decent.
111. The Animals' Santa by Jan Brett - I bought a copy of this for my nephew, and couldn't resist one of my own. Arctic woodland animals get a visit from a Santa of their very own. Simple but pretty.
So, 111 dead tree books read for 2016.
51. Ever After High: Next Top Villain by Suzanne Selfors - This is one of the "school stories" and deals with Lizzie Hearts and her roommate, Duchess Swann, and their classmates in General Villainy as they "compete" (some with more villainy than others) for the week's good grade. Great look at Lizzie (my favorite) and Duchess.
52. Ever After High: Wonderlandiful World by Shannon Hale - The Jabberwocky is loose in Ever After. Problems ensue, and get fixed. This one was not as good as the other two in #8.
53. Ever After High: Fairy's Got Talent by Suzanne Selfors - This one deals with Faybelle Thorne (the daughter of the Evil Fairy from Sleeping Beauty, and one of the few villains who's really MEAN) competing for the role of Evil Fairy Queen in a play. This one is pretty good, as well - some lessons get learned.
54. Sleepy Kittens - Board book from Despicable Me with some really cute (and sleepy but dont wanna sleep) kittens.
55. Thumbelina (Little Golden Book) - An older one, but nice art. No shockers on the story.
56. Ever After High: Truth or Hair by Suzanne Selfors - This one deals with Rapunzel's daughters, who may have been keeping a few secrets. Not a bad read.
57. Fabulous Five #9: The Boyfriend Dilemma by Betsy Haynes - some late 80s/early 90s middle school issues about boys and friends, and if the two can exist together.
58. Ever After High: Kiss and Spell by Suzanne Selfors - Another school story, this one featuring Ginger Breadhouse (daughter of the Candy Witch) and the son of the Frog Prince. I liked this one a lot as well.
59. The Jet Sex by Victoria Vantoch - Decent read on stewardess history, but a lot of it was either covered in other books or not delved into, and I was expecting more emphasis and pictures on the pretty.
60. BSC Graphix: Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann Martin/Reina Telgemeier - This is one of my early favorites in the Baby-Sitters Club series, and I love the colorized art.
61. Russia Against Napoleon by Dominic Lieven - 520-something pages on the title (all the campaigns, not just 1812). This one was for my class and while good, it's very dense. Lots of people pop up for a page, then go away. But a good read.
62. Blundering to Glory by Owen Connelly - A shorter book on Napoleonic military campaigns that I enjoyed - good use of graphics in the chapters that they actually apply to. It's pretty concise, but does assume you have some military history familiarity. Also for class.
63. Collecting Series Girls Books by John Axe - I've had this one wishlisted for awhile, and while the pricing info isn't current, there's a TON of lovely pictures in the book that make it worthwhile. Heavy emphasis on Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton.
64. Kay Tracey and the Mansion of Secrets by Frances K. Judd - One of those series books. It's okay, but definitely B-rate compared to Nancy and Judy.
65. Nancy Drew #85 Secret of Shady Glen by Carolyn Keene - One of the more modern ones, has an interesting hidden passage deal.
66. Nancy Drew Files #94 Illusions of Evil by Carolyn Keene - Deals with an amusement park in trouble, a magician with a maybe-thing for Carson Drew, and the revelation that he makes cinnamon rolls. A quick read, not bad.
67. Junior Girl Scout Handbook 1963 - Bought for my new experience as a Scout leader this year, interesting to see how much some things thave changed and how they have NOT. Looking forward to working vintage GS experience in for our girls this year.
68. That Darn Cat - Tie-in to the 1965 movie, amusing. It's written from the POV of the cat.
69. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Thorne and Jack Tiffany - I loved this. Loved it. It's got all kinds of good stuff in it, and definitely makes a great LAST book - especially if you were a little put off by the fanfic-like epilogue in Deathly Hallows. It's got funny and sad and hard-hitting and AHA I see what you did there and just everything. This is the way for it to go out. And because it's in script format, I got the pleasure of once more hearing Maggie Smith and others in my head.
( Cursed Child Spoilery Feels )
Adrianna and I also read Cherry Ames, Army Nurse. Now I need a break from Cherry, so we're on to A Little Princess (with Tasha Tudor illustrations).
I didn't want this one to get lost in the list.
Shirley Kennedy is a name I know from category Regencies, but recently she's branched into Western historicals. The first one, Wagon Train Cinderella, had a Cinderella-motif that was okay, although the main character was a bit of a doormat. (I was sort of waiting for some big reveal that she was an illegitimate child, but she seemed to just be an orphan.) But it fit with the story.
However, another Kennedy Western historical, called Heartbreak Trail, came up on the Kindle deals, so I went ahead and bought it.
I read it. I enjoyed it. But... well, let's put it this way. If I were to give you a snappy summary full of pop culture markers, I'd say that the book is basically what I'd expect if George R.R. Martin played Oregon Trail for a day straight, then wrote a romance novel about it. I gave it 3 stars on Amazon.
Why? Let me tell you (with spoilers)...
Since the Kindle lists things alphabetically, Dame Agatha's collection comes up first. There's currently 18 items in it - but the Agatha Christie collection does not include titles that are listed in my Desert Island collection, or the separate collection of Christie shorts.
I don't have all of her work on Kindle, although it's mostly represented in my print collection (with a few titles that I didn't like) since Harper Collins put out some lovely trades. I do keep my eye on Kindle Daily Deals to add to the collection.
The collection includes: Murder on the Links, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Five Little Pigs, Towards Zero, Poirot's Early Cases, The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side, 4:50 from Paddington, At Bertram's Hotel, A Murder is Announced, Murder in Mesopotamia, Endless Night, Peril at End House, Lord Edgware Dies, The Murder at the Vicarage, and Sparkling Cyanide.
There are also a few titles that aren't strictly Christie mysteries. John Curran's Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks is in here (which I found fascinating from a writer's POV, just seeing some of the different paths she didn't take), as well as Clues to Christie, which is a sort of roundup of Christies work. It also includes the new Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah, called The Monogram Murders. It was a decent read, but I'm glad I got it on a Daily Deal and not in HC.
Time for another Kindle roundup!
26. The Last Houseparty by Peter Dickinson - This was one of those books where I liked the blurb, but the story didn't work for me. The Kindle version could have used some more obvious breaks (the book has a number of flashbacks/time trips), but the mystery really didn't get solved. Amazon review is here.
27. Harvest of Blessings by Charlotte Hubbard - This is part of an Amish country series (book 5) but has a number of characters who deal with the English world. I enjoyed it, the author lets you know there's continuity but you're not lost if you haven't read the other books, and I definitely want to read more. This is focused on Nora, a woman who ran away from her Amish community as a teen when she was raped and got pregnant by a respected member of the community. She's lived English a long time, and ends up not going back to the Amish ways, but turning Mennonite instead. Very readable. Amazon review is here.
28. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Classic creepy story of Victorian days, and done so that it's hard to tell if there really are "designs" on the woman or not. CPG was a huge feminist, so not sure if the husband was deliberately trying to drive the wife over the edge, or if it was just benevolent but badly carried out behavior of the "poor little woman" type. Amazon review is here.
29. Blood Justice: True Story of Multiple Murders by Tom Henderson - True crime, deals with a pair of murders that were seemingly unconnected, and an offender who kept getting away because his initial crimes were no big deal. It was a good book, not overly sensational, and humanizing. Amazon review is here.
30. Etiquette (1922) by Emily Post - I read this because it was nominated for Yuletide (specifically the characters in the examples). I may be doing a NYR on it. It's an etiquette book, so no real huge surprises.
31. Flights of No Return by Steven A. Ruffin - Good roundup of flights that took off and never came home. Some of them are missing-presumed-crashed planes, such as the Avengers of Flight 19, Glenn Miller's last flight, and MH 370. There are some in here that I had not heard of, but if you've read anything on this subject, there will be some golden oldies. Good overview of the subject. Amazon review is here.
32. Helmets and Lipstick: An Army Nurse in WW2 by Ruth Haskell - Good WW2 memoir, but not one of the better nurse ones. This one is very focused on the hurry up and wait mentality of the US Army, and there's not very much about actual medicine at all. (The author had to be evacuated due to an injury of her own, which may account for some of this.) It's very readable and entertaining though. Amazon review is here.
33 & 34. Sending Jack Off to Jesus and My Big Fat Southern Gay Wedding by Sara York - These books, along with Pray The Gay Away, make up a trilogy focused on young gay men living in the South. Jack, the son of a very anti-gay preacher, is the main character. In Sending, Jack gets sent off to one of the places where they try to make young men not gay anymore, and almost gets killed from mistreatement - luckily his mother defies her husband and gets him out of there. Jack has a partner, Andrew, who also has issues with family not accepting him as he is. After a lot of tension in Sending, including Andrew hitching around the country, MBFSGW goes a little too far towards the "we're gay and everyone's okay with it" side (not to mention about a third of the young male cast at that point revealing that they're also gay) but to be honest, you're kind of enjoying the happy ending. The author does not have everyone convert to insta-acceptance, which I appreciated. I also appreciated the way she communicated safe sex messages (protection and consent) without coming across as preachy. Amazon review here and here.
35. She by H. Rider Haggard - This was one I had not read, so when it was free I pounced on it. However, it's not one of the better ones, like King Solomon's Mines. It's got everything you expect from a Haggard novel, and no real surprises. Amazon review is here.
36. The Blooding by Joseph Wambaugh - I had read this one ages ago, but it's a pretty hefty mass market paperback, so I was happy to find it on Kindle for $1.99. This is about the first case in Britain (or ever) to be solved by DNA, with a little about the discovery of DNA. Wambaugh's gift for writing shows here, and for a long book it keeps you engaged. Amazon review is here.
37. The Glitter Dome by Joseph Wambaugh - This is one of his novels, about cops in LA during the 1970s and 1980s. It's readable and entertaining, but may not be to everyone's taste (very un-PC). The end has a twist I saw coming about two seconds before it happened. Amazon review is here.
38. What Wendy Wants by Nikki Sex - This is an erotica book with an interesting twist - husband and wife accidentally get their Kindles switched, and he discovers she has some very naughty stuff on there. This causes him to realize how much their sex life has degraded, so he decides to give her the fantasy for real. It's got a definitely cheesy vibe to it, but it goes so far into the cheese that you're actually entertained. It is a fantasy - I mean, what else would you call a book where the male lead can't remember the last time he orally pleasured his partner, and in the next chapter he's got a FetLife account? Amazon review is here.
39. Writing Irresistable Kidlit by Mary Kole - This is a pretty good book about writing in general, with an emphasis on things specific to kidlit (young adult and kids books). Worth reading. Amazon review is here.
40. The Chase of the Golden Plate by Jacques Futrelle - A sleight-of-hand historical mystery romp. It's readable but not a standout.
41. Ruse and Romance by Suzanne G. Rogers - Enjoyable but pretty forgettable historical romance (vaguely Victorian era). The entire cast sort of has TSTL syndrome. Amazon review is here.
42. Retirement Basics by Donna Davis - Rundown of retirement stuff (current for 2016). It was free when I got it, but I wouldn't recommend paying for it, strictly an overview and no real shockers. There's also a ton of plugs for other stuff by the author in the body of the book, which irritates me. Amazon review is here.
43. The Seven Secrets by William LeQueux - A historical fiction mystery that's pretty engaging and readable - I definitely wanted to find out how it ended - but even for Victorian-era writing, the narrator (a medical doctor, you don't say, narrating a mystery!) is kind of a misogynistic tool who jumps to conclusions about someone.
Example: "When I think of all my own little love episodes, and of the ingenious diplomacy to which I have been compelled to resort in order to avoid tumbling into pitfalls set by certain designing Daughters of Eve, I cannot but sympathise with every other medical man who is on the right side of forty and sound of wind and limb."
Amazon review is here.
44. Terri by Sharon Srock - This is an inspirational fiction book, part of a series. I'd read one of the other books and enjoyed it, so I decided to give this a try. It was also readable but not as good as the other book (Callie). Not overly preachy, which is good. Amazon review is here.
45. The Dating Manifesto by Lisa Anderson - This is written by someone who works for Focus on the Family, but it was cheap. It was actually pretty good, although not really relevant to my interests. Amazon review is here.
46. Make Me Whole by R.C. Matthews - This is an erotica title that deals with a MFM threesome. There's a twist, though, because one of the Ms has become paralyzed. The sex scenes showed promise (hot and inventive) but the overall theme of the book is helping the paralyzed M come to terms with his new life, rather than being resentful over what he's lost. It was good, but I take points off for the soap opera-y elements towards the end. This was a title I was given through Choosy Bookworm to review. Amazon review is here.
47. The Thinking Machine on the Case by Jacques Futrelle - Another of the books dealing with The Thinking Machine, Professor Van Dusen. This was a better approach, because the short stories in it make the Thinking Machine less annoying, and more entertaining. The book-length one I read got a little too quirky for my taste. There is an editing issue where parts of a story get mixed up with another story, but it's pretty clear where the mistake happens. Amazon review is here.
48. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - My first exposure to John Carter of Mars, but I guarantee it won't be my last. Very readable. Amazon review is here.
49. Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux - One of her Chandler Twins two-book set (and a start to her Taggart family offshoot of the Montgomery series). I had read it years ago, but cheap on Kindle... so hard to resist. It was still enjoyable.
1. Animal Farm by George Orwell - I have read this one before, of course, but I enjoyed it much more this time around. Found it on Gutenberg, I think.
2. Calendar of Crime by Ellery Queen - 12 short stories featuring Ellery Queen. I really enjoyed the one about the Emperor's Dice. Worth reading but the regular price Kindle edition is a little pricey. Amazon review is here.
3. Devil's Wind by Patricia Wentworth - Adventure/romance in the Indian Mutiny era. Amazon review is here.
4. Ethel Morton at Rose House by Mabell S.C. Smith - Early 20th C teen fiction. Available at Gutenberg.
5. His Last Bow: Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - Collection of later Holmes stories.
6. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling - Classic, available on Gutenberg.
7. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery - One of her non-Anne works that I had never heard of. This one is available for Kindle for only $0.99 and well-worth the price. The best way to describe it is that it's a story Anne herself might have told and thrilled to. Amazon review is here.
8. Mary Louise by L. Frank Baum - No trip to Oz, but it's an early 20th century teen adventure melodrama. Available on Gutenberg.
9. Nan Sherwood at Rose Ranch by Annie Roe Carr - More early 20th century girls' books. This one is okay, for the period. Available on Gutenberg.
10. Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer - This was a surprisingly good book, based on actual historical events. Early 20th century Amish community has members move to settle in Mexico after their children are taken away and forced to go to school. Very good, doesn't whitewash Amish but makes them relatable. Amazon review is here.
11. Philomel Cottage (short story) by Agatha Christie - Good short story about a woman who finds she's inadvertently married a Bluebeard type.
12. Tabitha by Vikki Kestell - This one ended up in my Bad Examples folder. It's a way overwrought Christian historical combined with Cherry Ames. Amazon review here.
13. The Automobile Girls in the Berkshires by Laura Dent Crane - Early 20th century girls' adventure book based on group of girls who go for automobile tours. This one does have a great deal of period racism towards Native Americans. Available from Gutenberg.
14. The People of the River by Edgar Wallace - White man's burden fiction about an English commissioner in Africa. However, the commissioner actually treats the natives like people (children, perhaps) and individuals. It belongs to its period, but it's an entertaining read. For Bujold fans, the main character could be said to take an auditorial approach, at times.
Example: Bosambo he trusted in all big things, though in the matter of goods movable and goods convertible he had no such confidence.
Amazon review is here.
15. The Yellow Iris by Agatha Christie (short story) - Short story version of Sparkling Cyanide, but worth the read.
16. Triangle at Rhodes by Agatha Christie (short story) - Short story version of the love triangle in Evil Under The Sun, with a twist. Enjoyable read.
17. Booby Trap by Rex Stout - A Nero Wolfe novella set during World War II. A little unusual ending for Wolfe (in my reading, at least). Allows you to have the enjoyable image of Major Archie Goodwin in uniform.
18. James Beard Theory and Practice by James Beard - An interesting read from one of the cooking masters on not only how, but why.
19. In the Pulps by Rex Stout - A collection of various Stout short stories, many with an ironic twist. They are not all mysteries. Amazon review here.
20. The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison - The original award-winning script for the TOS episode of the same name, and an introductory essay by Ellison. I had no idea there were so many behind-the-scenes things. I still love the original episode as aired, but I would have liked to see this one filmed as well. Amazon review is here.
21. The Wicked Marquis by E. Phillips Oppenheim - Good historical fiction piece. The titular Marquis isn't really wicked, but you'll pity the people who have to deal with him. Amazon review is here.
22. Ravished Armenia by Aurora Mardiganian - Supposed to be a true historical account, but I have read that it was intended as propaganda based on actual events compiled together.
23. 15 Minute Healthy Organic Meals Under $10 by Susan Patterson - Trying to appeal to this niche but not very good. My review says it all.
24. The Land of Ararat by Stephen Gregory - Good obscure historical stuff about Armenia but HORRIBLE Kindle conversion with artifacts and OCR scan issues.
25. Unfinished Murder: Pursuit of a Serial Rapist by James Neff - Solid true crime book about a serial rapist in 1980s Cleveland, with strong emphasis on how the victims dealt with it - or didn't deal with it. Amazon review here.
Basically, it serves two purposes. The first is to be my "desert island" collection/travel companion. The second is to read stuff that is only published on e-readers, mostly cheap or free. I subscribe to several of the free/cheap e-book emails, and I've found some stuff that I wouldn't have without the Kindle.
I track (I know, everyone's shocked) my Kindle reading on a separate page of the book catalog, and will update about my Kindle reading as I fill up a full sheet page of titles.
And the Kindle lets you keep everything in collections, which makes me a very happy camper. Currently the following categories exist:
Agatha Christie, Bad Examples (so bad they're good), Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, Christie Shorts, Classics, Desert Island (the actual Desert Island collection), Elsie Dinsmore, Erotica, Etiquette, Everest (yes, like the mountain), Fiction, Food, Free Jinger (related to the discussion board of the same name), Heyer, Historical Fiction, History, Kids, LMM (LM Montgomery), Marjorie Dean, Mystery, Non-Fiction, Perry Mason, Pre-History, Reference, Regency, Romance, Ruth Fielding, SF/F, Stout and Wolfe, Stratemeyer Syndicate, Sweet Valley, Teen Books, True Crime, Wedding Reference, and Women's Issues.
I will highlight the various collections throughout the year on LJ.
I also got a new Kindle, as the old one was beginning its death throes. So now I am on Kindle #3. The Paperwhite is nice, especially the illuminated screen, but the interface is not as intuitive for people who've been using the older ones. Finally have it all figured out, after some unhappiness. It was a nice Christmas gift from Paul, and one of my favorites. (He also got me a pretty pink case to keep it safe.)
I plan to post more about reading, including a list of what I'm reading this year, both books and Kindle titles. Thinking about dusting off one of the 30 days of Kindle memes to start off with.
I also need to post about Yuletide, but I'm waiting for the fandom_stocking reveal so I can roll those works in as well.
I've been reading a lot (shocker, I know), especially since Amazon has a Big Deal going until the 11th. There's been some stuff worth reading in there, including several Perry Mason novels. Now I want to a) rewatch the show and b) need a Nancy Drew/Perry Mason crossover. Some of the early ones are definitely pulpy but enjoyable. Loving the sparks between Perry and Della.
Right now, I'm reading an American Western historical by Carla Kelly, who has written several very good Regencies with people in need of redemption. This book, Her Hesitant Heart, is just as good if you're a Carla Kelly fan - $1.99 in the Big Deal.
Starting to think about Yuletide (I know, it's only May) and what I want to ask for. I have my assignment for Night on Fic Mountain that makes me happy, and I have my long ND fanfic to finish. Finally. I know.
I think I want to branch out and ask for Twilight Zone - specifically, "The Odyssey of Flight 33". Trying to buy it from iTunes, but no cooperation from internet here. I had to pack the disc away.
Oh, and a 10 page paper for my final in class.
Thinking about bookplates for the library.
I found and fixed the error in my checkbook, so that's good.
Just a typical Thursday here. Fridays are late days for everyone else, so good days for me. Plenty of peace and quiet to get things accomplished.
Ordered the MV's Halloween costume - she is going as Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High.
I finished my comfort read of Murder on the Orient Express (one of my favorite Christies) and am now having a "why didn't I ask for fic about THIS?" moment. Watching (or rather, listening) to the movie now. There are differences in source material, but they both work wonderfully.
ETA: I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a slight fault in the Kindle version of Murder on the Orient Express. It is missing at least one sentence from the scene where Poirot is interviewing Greta Ohlsson and asks about her roommate (Mary Debenham)'s dressing gown.
I need to polish off my NYR tonight so it can get uploaded tomorrow. Then maybe I should knock out some of the homework. Now getting off the Internet to finish watching the movie and read a little.
I am not doing all that great on time today, either - priorities are Yuletide nominations, paper that's due on Sunday, and trying to read the free LKH story so I can snark on it.
The new Yahoo Mail is not user-friendly - apparently it did not occur to some that there is a reason why we've stuck with Yahoo and not gone Gmail? It's annoying because some of the features do not show up at work, which is where I read most of my email.
I posted on lkh_lashouts for a change. I couldn't resist reading and flogging just a little...especially since Amazon will let you return Kindle titles within 7 days.
I tried reading 2 other books from this month's 3.99 or less deals, both disappointing.
There is apparently a limit to the amount of highlights that can be stored on your Kindle. I know because I hit it.
I haven't said much about the shutdown, since I'm not being affected as much as some. We're getting our pay.
I managed to finish off both the chapter (so it's off with my beta) and the Nora Roberts book (much squeeing and rereading). Now I'm working on the next chapter and successfully avoiding my history reading.
So now it's time to work on the next chapter and do a little photo organizing...