November is over and I find myself with only one more month to go on my challenge. Since I hit 52, I was hoping that I might be able to read 75, but that doesn't look as if it's going to happen. Hopefully I will get to 70. That would be great!
Here's what I read this month:
by H.P. Lovecraft
An unparalleled selection of fiction from H. P. Lovecraft, master of the American horror tale
Long after his death, H. P. Lovecraft continues to enthrall readers with his gripping tales of madness and cosmic terror, and his effect on modern horror fiction continues to be felt--Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker have acknowledged his influence. His unique contribution to American literature was a melding of Poe's traditional supernaturalism with the emerging genre of science fiction. Originally appearing in pulp magazines like Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, Lovecraft's work is now being regarded as the most important supernatural fiction of the twentieth century.
Lovecraft's biographer and preeminent interpreter, S. T. Joshi, has prepared this volume of eighteen stories--from the early classics like "The Outsider" and "Rats in the Wall" to his mature masterworks, "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Shadow over Innsmouth." The first paperback to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style, and establishes him as a canonical--and visionary--American writer.
After 2 years of reading this book, I finally finished. Yes, I said 2 years. It was one of those TBR books that you could only pick up and read a few pages of at at time. I usually couldn't even finish a short story at a time. I expected a lot from it, considering there is so much hype behind Lovecraft, but the stories weren't very good. They were vague and confusing and most of the time quite boring, not to mention racist, classicist and sexist (#). Was it a product of its time? Perhaps, but those things left me more unsettled than any of the ill-defined paranormal happenings (¥)
That being said, I did enjoy a few of the stories more than others; Herbert West--Reanimator, The Rats in the Walls, The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Haunter of the Dark.
by Timothy Zahn
The Empire stands at the brink of total collapse. But they have saved their most heinous plan for last. First a plot is hatched that could destroy the New Republic in a bloodbath of genocide and civil war. Then comes the shocking news that Grand Admiral Thrawn--the most cunning and ruthless warlord in history--has apparently returned from the dead to lead the Empire to a long-prophesied victory. Facing incredible odds, Han and Leia begin a desperate race against time to prevent the New Republic from unraveling in the face of two inexplicable threats--one from within and one from without. Meanwhile, Luke teams up with Mara Jade, using the Force to track down a mysterious pirate ship with a crew of clones. Yet, perhaps most dangerous of all, are those who lurk in the shadows, orchestrating a dark plan that will turn the New Republic and the Empire into their playthings.
As much as I love Star Wars, I find the EU to be a complicated place, wich stories overlapping one another and confusing consistency. I suppose it doesn't really matter anymore, since the EU has been non-canonized by Disney. I've read probably about 20 or so books from the EU, ranging from good, to terrible to most okay. The books that stand out the most for me were The Thrawn Trilogy (and Outbound Flight of course) by Timothy Zahn. So I was really excited to add this book to my TBR this year, knowing I'd be in for a good read. Well, not so much. It's not that it wasn't good, it was just that it didn't really seem to go anywhere. It was more like reading one of the short story books that have a theme in common, in this case; the Camaas genocide. Each story seems to stand on it's own and not really intermix; Leia and Han are off trying to fix intergalactic uprisings, Luke and Mara are doing Jedi things (¥), Admiral Pellaeon is trying to surrender the Imperial fleet, and others are trying to "resurrect" Thrawn. I can see how this book would be a good lead up to the second one, where I imagine everything comes together, but as a stand alone, it's not that exciting. Hopefully the next one will be better and will have more kick-ass women (#)
by Robert Jordan
880 Pages (30:25 hours)
A Crown of Swords, the eagerly awaited sequel to Lord of Chaos, The New York Times bestseller that swept the nation like a firestorm.
In this seventh book of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, Elayne, Aviendha, and Mat come ever closer to the bowl ter'angreal that may reverse the world's endless heat wave and restore natural weather. Egwene begins to gather all manner of women who can channel--Sea Folk, Windfinders, Wise Ones, and some surprising others. And above all, Rand faces the dread Forsaken Sammael, in the shadows of Shadar Logoth, where the blood-hungry mist, Mashadar, waits for prey.
This book starts the lull in this series. It's one of my least favorites, due to the politicking, the bowl of the winds plot and Mat's horrible relationship with Tylin (%)
Good things about this book include lots of Mat time, Lan showing up, Min getting to be with Rand (▲) and the incident in Rebel camp outside of Cairhien. Beyond that, it's a lot of filler.
by Erin Lindsey
The epic saga that started in The Bloodbound continues…
As war between Alden and Oridia intensifies, King Erik must defend his kingdom from treachery and enemies on all sides—but the greatest danger lurks closer to home…
When the war began, Lady Alix Black played a minor role, scouting at the edge of the king’s retinue in relative anonymity. Though she’s once again facing an attacking Oridian force determined to destroy all she holds dear, she is now bodyguard to the king and wife to the prince.
Still, she is unprepared for what the revival of the war will mean. Erik is willing to take drastic measures to defend his domain, even if it means sending Prince Liam into a deadly web of intrigue and traveling into the perilous wild lands of Harram himself.
Only the biggest threat to the kingdom might be one that neither Alix nor Erik could have imagined, or prepared for…
If you are looking for a book where everything works out in the end, this is not the book for you. This is the book where Murphy's Law always seems to be the case. Anything that can go wrong, will. Worried about being attacked by mountain people? You better be, because your best scouts won't even see them coming and some of them aren't going to like you (%)
Trying to get somewhere before time runs out? Don't stress, late is much better than never, right?Have big negotiation that have to go off without a hitch? Not a chance in hell.
Having 2 women have a conversation that has nothing to do with men? Not on your life (#)
Need to earn respect even though your a Bastard? A King? hahaha... no respect for you either. Then again, you might just be possessed or something. Who knows? The Villain does, although you may groan at his new plan. As if having a bastard half-brother who loves the same girls as you (▲) wasn't bad enough of a plot twist in the first book, well just you wait.
Trying to save your Kingdom? Good luck with that.
by Anna Godbersen
As spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new roles as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.
Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty - but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.
In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?
I love a book series that gives you everything you want in the last book. Not happily Ever Afters, but good solid endings that the characters deserve.
This was a very guilty pleasure type of book for me. I'm not usually one to get caught up in love triangles (▲) and high society, but it's just oh so good! I adored Elizabeth and Diana and even Carolina, who wanted the life so badly, and abhorred Penelope, even while desperately wanting to know what she would do next. I highly recommend this series for a good old fashioned indulgence. I can't wait to read her next series.
by Rowena Cory Daniells
For nearly 300 years the mystics have lived alongside the true-men, who barely tolerate them, until...
King Charald is cursed with a half-blood mystic son. Sorne is raised to be a weapon against the mystics. Desperate to win his father’s respect, Sorne steals power to trigger visions. Unaware King Charald plans their downfall, the mystics are consumed by rivalry. although physically stronger, the males’ gifts are weaker than the females. Imoshen, the only female mystic to be raised by males, wants to end the feud. But the males resent her power and, even within her own sisterhood Imoshen’s enemies believe she is addicted to the male gifts.
Sorne tries, but cannot win the respect of true-men. When he has a vision of half-bloods in danger he has to ask himself where his loyalty lies.
Convinced he can destroy the mystics, King Charald plans to lay siege to their island city. Will Imoshen win the trust of the mystic leaders and, if she does, will she believe the visions of a half-blood?
This was one of those books that I looked at every time I went into the bookstore. I would pick it up, read the back and then put it back down. Yet I always came back to it. So I finally just bought it and I'm glad that I did. I wasn't at first, due to the cliche of special children who will change the course of the World (¥) and the constant skipping forward in years, but once I got into the story, I couldn't put it down.
It's very interesting to see how the different societies interact with one another. They all seem to hate each other. The True-men wage war among themselves and the T'en are separated by gender and divided by brutalities (%)
One of the things that I did like was that almost every T'en was either gay or bisexual. Being divided by gender certainly makes this seem very natural. It's nice when it's not assumed that everyone is straight.
by Robert Jordan
685 Pages (23:25 hours)
The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne's rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan.
In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness are appearing among the Asha'man.
In Ghealdan, Perrin faces the intrigues of Whitecloaks, Seanchan invaders, the scattered Shaido Aiel, and the Prophet himself. Perrin's beloved wife, Faile, may pay with her life, and Perrin himself may have to destroy his soul to save her.
Meanwhile the rebel Aes Sedai under their young Amyrlin, Egwene al'Vere, face an army that intends to keep them away from the White Tower. But Egwene is determined to unseat the usurper Elaida and reunite the Aes Sedai. She does not yet understand the price that others—and she herself—will pay.
First off, I just want to say that the person who wrote the above description, must have been as bored with this book as I was, and couldn't really find anything to say, otherwise he wouldn't be adding in all sorts of stuff from book 9 to make it sound more interesting than it actually it. This is another filler book and boy can you feel it. Even listening to it on audiobook can't make it any more interesting. Considering it's a 14 book series, it has to eventually hit a slump and this is the lowest part of that slump. (▲)
Books that I am currently reading
by Ian Fleming
69 of 192 Pages
by Katharine Kerr
80 of 396 Pages