Marcia is Amused.

Jan 01 2013
What I Read in December:
Believe by Lisa Alfonso
Venom by Fiona Paul
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
Reign of Blood by Alexia Purdy
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Seven doesn’t feel like a great number to end the year on, but Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was 1006 pages. And I feel that every December I get busier and busier. I care less and less about Christmas itself, but there is more to do. Such is adult life.
The Bad: Reign of Blood and Believe were both cheap or free Kindle books that I bought just because of that. They both had interesting ideas and poor writing - Reign of Blood is worth it if you’re very interested in Y/A dystopia (bonus: vampires with a twist), but Believe is not (Y/A with a cut off society and memory loss).
The Middling: Venom, which I think I would have liked if I hadn’t been under the mistaken impression that it was about vampires. It’s not. But I kept imagining plot twists. “The plague… VAMPIRES!!” etc. All These Things I’ve Done - it’s been two weeks and I had to struggle to remember what this was about. But when I remembered, I remembered I liked it. A smart daughter of a murdered mob boss trying to make her way - and seemingly not avoiding being sucked back in. The great part - the contraband they deal in is Chocolate. And it’s set in future NYC.
The Above Middling: One Last Thing Before I Go. I think this is my least favorite Tropper, but that’s not saying much. I’m recognizing characters from other books. It took me about a week to read the first half - and an afternoon to read the second half. I think he might need a break to recenter - he’s been so prolific, so popular, I’m sure the pressure is on to just churn out more, but he’s too good  to just devolve into formulaic shit.
The Great: Song of Achilles. The Achilles story told by his best friend Patroclus. Twist (but not really): they’re gay. I feel that this book tries very hard to describe the life of a prince in Ancient Greece, if gods and centaurs etcetera were real. Very moving. Reminded me of my love of mythology. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I don’t know why I didn’t read this earlier. A “history” of magic’s return to the Victorian UK after a 400 year absence, with a fully created world of books, myths, stories, and history referenced in the notes. So well done. Do it.
2012 Stats: 115 books. 43,690 pages. Of those 115 books, I rated six 5 stars:
The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian
How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
All of these were different and beautiful in their own way, but I heartily recommend all of them. The Children’s Hospital is twisted and magical, How to Talk to a Widower is beautiful and sad, Night Circus is fantastical and inventive, The Pale King is a sad shadow of what it could have been if DFW had lived to finish it yet it is still one of the most interesting and moving things I read this year, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is a young, inventive, magical book in the vein of Roald Dahl that completely lives up to that comparison, Mr Fox was different and perfect in its own way.
I love talking to people about books. My askbox is always open. I know several of you asked for reading lists towards the end of the year and I didn’t get back to you - I apologize. Also I’m most likely to recommend the six books above and anything I’ve read in the last two months. Instead, I’d send you to my sister, who is by trade a Children’s Librarian, but she also reads tons of y/a and fantasy for fun, and she’s always abreast of new and exciting things I haven’t seen before. Ask her for books. Also her kids are the cutest ever in the whole world, so that’s a thing.
Next year I’m going to concentrate on BETTER books. This year I read as much dystopian y/a as I could, this year maybe I’ll write one. We’ll see what happens.
I’ve set my reading goal for 2013 on GoodReads at 75, instead of 100 (be my friend there!). And I don’t plan on exceeding it.
Previously:NovemberOctoberSeptemberAugustJulyJuneMayAprilMarchFebruaryJanuary

What I Read in December:

  1. Believe by Lisa Alfonso
  2. Venom by Fiona Paul
  3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  4. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
  5. One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
  6. Reign of Blood by Alexia Purdy
  7. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Seven doesn’t feel like a great number to end the year on, but Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was 1006 pages. And I feel that every December I get busier and busier. I care less and less about Christmas itself, but there is more to do. Such is adult life.

The Bad: Reign of Blood and Believe were both cheap or free Kindle books that I bought just because of that. They both had interesting ideas and poor writing - Reign of Blood is worth it if you’re very interested in Y/A dystopia (bonus: vampires with a twist), but Believe is not (Y/A with a cut off society and memory loss).

The Middling: Venom, which I think I would have liked if I hadn’t been under the mistaken impression that it was about vampires. It’s not. But I kept imagining plot twists. “The plague… VAMPIRES!!” etc. All These Things I’ve Done - it’s been two weeks and I had to struggle to remember what this was about. But when I remembered, I remembered I liked it. A smart daughter of a murdered mob boss trying to make her way - and seemingly not avoiding being sucked back in. The great part - the contraband they deal in is Chocolate. And it’s set in future NYC.

The Above Middling: One Last Thing Before I Go. I think this is my least favorite Tropper, but that’s not saying much. I’m recognizing characters from other books. It took me about a week to read the first half - and an afternoon to read the second half. I think he might need a break to recenter - he’s been so prolific, so popular, I’m sure the pressure is on to just churn out more, but he’s too good  to just devolve into formulaic shit.

The Great: Song of Achilles. The Achilles story told by his best friend Patroclus. Twist (but not really): they’re gay. I feel that this book tries very hard to describe the life of a prince in Ancient Greece, if gods and centaurs etcetera were real. Very moving. Reminded me of my love of mythology. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. I don’t know why I didn’t read this earlier. A “history” of magic’s return to the Victorian UK after a 400 year absence, with a fully created world of books, myths, stories, and history referenced in the notes. So well done. Do it.

2012 Stats: 115 books. 43,690 pages.
Of those 115 books, I rated six 5 stars:

  1. The Children’s Hospital by Chris Adrian
  2. How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
  3. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  4. The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
  5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
  6. Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

All of these were different and beautiful in their own way, but I heartily recommend all of them. The Children’s Hospital is twisted and magical, How to Talk to a Widower is beautiful and sad, Night Circus is fantastical and inventive, The Pale King is a sad shadow of what it could have been if DFW had lived to finish it yet it is still one of the most interesting and moving things I read this year, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland is a young, inventive, magical book in the vein of Roald Dahl that completely lives up to that comparison, Mr Fox was different and perfect in its own way.

I love talking to people about books. My askbox is always open. I know several of you asked for reading lists towards the end of the year and I didn’t get back to you - I apologize. Also I’m most likely to recommend the six books above and anything I’ve read in the last two months. Instead, I’d send you to my sister, who is by trade a Children’s Librarian, but she also reads tons of y/a and fantasy for fun, and she’s always abreast of new and exciting things I haven’t seen before. Ask her for books. Also her kids are the cutest ever in the whole world, so that’s a thing.

Next year I’m going to concentrate on BETTER books. This year I read as much dystopian y/a as I could, this year maybe I’ll write one. We’ll see what happens.

I’ve set my reading goal for 2013 on GoodReads at 75, instead of 100 (be my friend there!). And I don’t plan on exceeding it.

Previously:
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

(43 notes   /   )

  1. strawberrytwin reblogged this from mar-see-ah
  2. lambeck said: I’ve been dying to read Jonathan Strange.
  3. myheartgoespitterpatter said: night circus and art of fielding were my top two in 2012. awesome job with all that reading!!
  4. mar-see-ah posted this
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