JL's Bibliomania

Also on GoodReads as J L's Bibliomania:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8830421-j-l-s-bibliomania

and Litsy @jlsbibliomania

 

While my first love was SF, I read widely in YA, urban fantasy, police procedurals,  middle-grade, and non-fiction. 

 

 

 

The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

After a rather confusing start, NK Jemisin once again delivers the inventive speculative fiction that I love. 

 

I was confused about the timeline of the story and how the 3 viewpoint characters were connected.  But about 1/2 way through the text confirmed that the story was showing 3 different time periods from the same person's life. 

(show spoiler)

 

Great way to start the reading year!

2018 Reading Goals & Challenges

I studied Hebrew as a child/teen, but stopped before becoming fully fluent.  And then, as happens when a language isn’t used regularly, I lost a lot of what I once knew.  I’ve been thinking about trying to regain my Hebrew for a while, and despite really not having time for ANYTHING except work through at least February, I’ve signed up to audit a Hebrew class that starts January 4th. My goal is to be able to read the newspaper or listen to the Hebrew version of Israel Story.   So as a result my 2018 reading goals are going to be a bit different:

 

  • Keep up with the Hebrew class reading/studying
  • Read at least 12 newspaper or magazine articles in Hebrew (or listen to –and understand – an equivalent number of podcasts).
  • Read (or listen to) more than 52 books
  • Be social in my reading – whether it’s participating in Flat Book Society Reads, Dewey’s Readathon, 24in48, or reading challenges such as Halloween Bingo here on Booklikes.
  • Make progress on the mountain of unfinished series – especially continuing my re-read of the Foreigner series by CJ Cherryh.

 

I like to keep my reading goals low-key, so even though I was intrigued by the Women Writer’s Bingo and browsed through the excellent Master List of 2018 Reading Challenges list of challenges published by Girlxoxo  I’m going to stick to two year-long challenges that are incidental to my existing reading habits 

 

Angel's Guilty Pleasures

 

2018 Library Love Challenge hosted by co-hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and Brooke Blogs. Challenge sign-up is HERE or HERE.  With my no-stress challenge mentality, I’m going to stick with the Overdrive Junkie: Read 36 books Level

 

2018 Audiobook Challenge

 

2018 Audiobook Challenge hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer and  and Hot Listens.  Signup is HERE or HERE. I’m selecting the Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) Level and shooting for 5-10 audiobooks

 

Active Series 2018

While I typically ignore TBR lists in favor of what I see on the new book shelves at the library, I did actually look at the list of many too many series that I’ve started but never finished.  So I decided to update it for 2018.

 

A list Series 

Series Name/Description

Author

Read

# in Series

The Others

Anne Bishop

5

5  (#6 expected 2018)

Ancillary Trilogy

Ann Leckie

2

3

Peter Grant (Rivers of London)

Ben Aaronovich

6

6 (no date for #7)

Foreigner

CJ Cherryh

6

18 (restarted from #1)

The Checquy Files (The Rook)

Daniel O’Malley

2

2 (unclear if there will be more)

Sleepless

Nancy Kress

2

3

Fifth Season

NK Jemisin

2

3

InCryptid

Seanan McGuire

3

5

 

Trilogies & Duologies

Series Name/Description

Author

Read

# in Series

These Broken Stars (Starbound)

Amie Kaufman

1

3

Karavans

Jennifer Roberson

1

3

Siobhan Quinn

Kathleen Tierney

1

3

The Craft Sequence

Max Gladstone

1

2

Paradox (Fortune’s Pawn)

Rachel Bach

1

3

The Aeronaut’s Windlass

Jim Butcher

1

#2 is expected 2018

 

B list Series 

Series Name/Description

Author

Read

# in Series

Gallagher Girls

Ally Carter

3

6

Sirantha Jax

Ann Aguire

4

6

Sookie Stackhouse

Charlaine Harris

10

13

Tillerman Cycle

Cynthia Voigt

1

7 (undecided)

Gabriel Allon

Daniel Silva

13

16

Sean King & Michelle Maxwell

David Baldacci

1

 6 (undecided)

Allie Beckstrom

(Magic to the Bone)

Devon Monk

1

9

Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus

Faye Kellerman

19

23

Kate Daniel

Ilona Andrews

3

9 (undecided)

Academy

Jack McDevitt

1

7

The Dresden Files

Jim Butcher

2

17

Naked In

JD Robb

0

46 (partway thru #1)

Temperance Brennan

Kathy Reichs

10

18

Imager Portfolio

L.E. Modessit

7

11

Recluse

L.E. Modessit

2

18

The Queen’s Thief

Meghan Whelan Turner

2

5

Valdemar

Mercedes Lackey

27

34

Elemental Masters

Mercedes Lackey

8

11

Chronicles of Elantra (Cast In X)

Michelle Sagara

3

13

Temeraire

Naomi Novik

6

10

Mercy Thompson

Patricia Briggs

7

10

Weather Warden

Rachel Caine

8

10

His Fair Assassin

Robin LaFevers

1

3 (#4 expected 2018)

Emberverse & Nantucket

S.M. Stirling

5

16

Throne of Glass

Sarah J Maas

3

5

Uglies

Scott Westerfeld

2

4

Liaden Universe

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

3

20

Elemental Blessings

Sharon Shinn

4

4

Alphabet Murders

Sue Grafton

0

25 (considering)

Charlie Hood

T. Jefferson Parker

2

5

 

There’s a real tension between interesting new books being released faster than I can keep up and catching up on these previously started series.

 

2017 Reading Wrapup

2017 Reading Wrap-up

My reading goals for 2017 were:

 

  • Read at least 52 books – DONE! I have 79 books on my 2017 Reads shelf at BookLikes.

 

  • Participate in the Library Love Challenge http://angelsguiltypleasures.com/2016/12/sign-up-2017-library-love-challenge/ co-hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and Bea’s Book Nook. I will commit to becoming an Overdrive Junkie: read 36 books.   I didn’t count the number of reviews, but 69 of the 78 books I read in 2017 came from the library – whether via hard-copy or ebook loan.

 

  • Participate in at least 2 Readathons – with the goal of getting to 12 hours of reading during either Dewey’s Readathon or #24in48 at least once this year – I participated in the April Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, the July 24in48 Readathon, and the 10th Anniversary Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon in October. Didn’t do a good job of tracking time, but I’m happy with my Readathon participation.

 

  • I’ve fallen out of the habit of re-reading, so I challenge myself to reread at least 6 old favorites in 2017 – In part due to binge-reading the Alana Quartet by Tamora Pierce one weekend while ill, and also because of my on-going re-read of the Foreigner Series by CJ Cherryh, 16 of my 2017 books were re-reads.

 

My other, unstated, goal for 2017 was to be more social in my reading.  Between The Flat Book Society, Booklikesopoly this summer, Halloween Bingo this fall, and the aforementioned Readathons, I was much more social about my reading during 2017 and it made me happy.

 

Hybrids

Hybrids - Robert J. Sawyer

Meh.

I'm glad I can now say that I've completed the trilogy.

Hybrids had some good moments, but overall a flawed end to this story arc.

 

(almost 2.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous)

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Merry Christmas to those celebrating today!

Happy Holidays to everyone during this season of festivals of light.  I wish you all the blessings found on this Hannukiah.

 

November Update

Just popping in for a quick update.  I’m swamped at work.  And furiously busy with teen and home related things, not to mention the toddler-dog who needs constant supervision unless he’s crated or sleeping.   So, JL’s Bibliomania is on semi-hiatus.

 

A few quick updates on what I read during November:

 

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermid 

  

I finished Forensics, and my initial opinion of didn’t change much.   I agree with the rest of the folks in The Flat Book Society: While certain anecdotes and chapters were interesting, in general this book is a disorganized mess.  It didn’t live up to expectations as a work of popular science.

 

Sparrow Hill Road - Seanan McGuire 

 

I liked Sparrow Hill Road, despite the repetitive bits.  (It’s really a linked set of short stories and it got a little bit tiresome that Seanan McGuire included the same key bits of world-building in pretty much every chapter).  When I saw her at Philcon, Seanan McGuire shared that a sequel The Girl in the Green Silk Gown is expected out in July 2018, and I’ll definitely take a look.

 

Books Can Be Deceiving - Jenn McKinlay 

 

I was not impressed by Books Can be Deceiving, which I think may have been recommended by someone here on BookLikes.  I’ve been looking for a new series of cozies, but this is not it and I won’t be continuing with the series. 

 

 Queen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas  

 

I read Queen of Shadows over Thanksgiving Weekend.  If you liked the earlier books in this series, you shouldn’t be disappointed by #4.  It doesn’t hold up to the thrill of the first book, The Throne of Glass, but was better than #3.  Folks seem to either love or hate this series, but it’s worth a look if you like YA fantasy, assassins, and female heroines.

 

Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life - Barbara L. Fredrickson 

  

I’m currently between audiobooks, which is uncharacteristic for me, but don’t have the energy to go pick something.  I saw Nothing Better Than a Good Books’s review of Positivity come across my feed and it seems like a good antidote to all the stress right now, so I’m nibbling through that.  I’ve got a couple of graphic novel biographies available, but just don’t have the energy to read much.

 

I hope to have some time over the Christmas-New Year’s break, but other than that, I expect that my on-line time will be minimal until mid-February.  I am still looking forward to Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life and hope and hope to eke out enough time to read it and participate during the Flat Book Society discussions. 

 

See you on the far-side of the year-end crunch.

Flat Book Society Reading Progress Update: I've read 161 out of 320 pages.

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermid

While the Flat Book Society Read of Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermid officially starts today, I started the audiobook a week or so ago when it came in from the library.

 

My impressions so far are mixed.  While I'm enjoying the book, on the surface, I'm finding it surprisingly similar to Gulp  - a random mish-mash of history, interviews with an expert or two, and then summaries of some recent or notorious court cases. And at least in the 1st couple of chapters not as much explanation of the science as I had hoped (for instance, I didn't learn anything about the use of entomology in crime scene investigation that I hadn't already picked up from Temperance Brennan). 

P.S. It took a while to adjust to the narrator's accent. I'm not sure I'm 100% sold that audiobook is the best format for this. The book does include pictures and the flashbacks to history and chronology are a bit harder to follow in audio format.

 

The 4th Annual Scorpio Races Festival

 

The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater 

 

Fans of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater:  Today is the 1st of November and the start of the  4th Annual Scorpio Races Festival

 

Head on over to http://thescorpioracesfestival.tumblr.com/TSRF2017 to see the rules.

 

(Now I have a real dilemma - Maggie Stievater fangirl or the holiday challenge starting here).

 

 

Autistics Speaking Day

November 1 is Autistics Speaking Day. 

 

If you follow the writings of Autistic adults, the themes in today's posts won't be new.  If you haven't taken the time to explore hear what concerns Autistic adults, today is a good day to get an overview.

Halloween Bingo Finale

Give me an H! for Halloween Bingo!

Give me a cheer for Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for all their hard work!

 

 

Final wrap-up:

11 squares filled with books

4 squares filled with short stories, novellas, or excerpts from books

4 BINGOS

1 partially-filled Sudoku-like puzzle for your solving pleasure

 

Loc

Square

Called

Read

Book

How it fits

A1

Diverse Voices

9/21/2017

10/19/2017

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Unarmed Black Teen is murdered by a cop. The Hate U Give follows the friend who witnessed and the repercussions throughout the community

A2

The Dead Will Walk

10/23/2017

10/21/2017

The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R. Carey

What can you say without spoilers?  Great twist on the classic infection/zombie trope. Would also fit chilling children, but this fits the pattern I'm creating on my card better.

A3

Classic Noir

10/7/2017

9/22/2017

The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Classic Noir buddy read.  Genesis of the successful Noir/Comedy movies of the same name.

A4

Witches

9/13/2017

10/6/2017

Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison

Urban Fantasy set in post-plague Cincinnati & environs.  Witches, Vampires & Pixies Oh My! Death threats, but no murders.

A5

Haunted Houses*

9/23/2017

10/28/2017

The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle & A Haunted House - Virginia Woolf
(The Bell at Seeley Head - Patricia McKillip)

Two short-shorts, available for free online, about ghosts and haunted houses. 
Also started the sound of a ghostly bell and doors that open onto another realm (is it haunted) on the last day.

B3

Aliens

9/29/2017

9/28/2017

Defender - CJ Cherryh

Volume 4 in the continuing saga of Bren the translator between the humans who settle on the world, the alien Atevi, and the human of the starship crew.

C3

RAVEN

9/1/2017

9/16/2017

Gulp - Mary Roach

Flat Book Society Group read including anecdotes of various creepy crawlies you can find in your gut

D2

Supernatural

10/29/2017

9/7/2017

Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Murder with various crypozoological wonders including basiliks and occasional cameos from the Aeslin Mice

D3

Country House Mystery

10/17/2017

9/16/2017

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

10 people, an island, a creepy poem/prophecy and one masterful author

D5

Terrifying Women

9/19/2017

10/20/2017

All The Crooked Saints - Maggie Steifvater

Miracles abound in this newly-released stand-alone novel by a female author.  Would fill the Magical Realism or Supernatural categories.

E1

Monsters

10/25/2017

9/15/2017

Norse Mythology- Neil Gaiman

Norse myths are full of giants, trolls, dwarves and gods.  In addition, at least 3 of Loki's children the 8 legged horse Sleipnir, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr would qualify as a monster.

E2

Horror

9/7/2017

10/21/2017

The Call of Chthulu - H.P. Lovecraft

I grew up with folks wearing Miskatonic University t-shirts to SF Cons and making Chthulu jokes.  Figured it was about time to actually read the story that started it all.

E3

In the Dark, Dark Woods

9/5/2017

9/8/2017

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

Takes place in the woods near Tarrytown NY

E4

Darkest London

10/1/2017

10/31/2017

Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley

In His Majesty's Secret Secret Service accompanied by bioengineers from the Continent.

E5

Amateur Sleuth

10/19/2017

9/30/2017

Fool Me Once - Steve Hockensmith & Lisa Falco

Alanis McLaughlin inherited her con-man mother's shop The White Magic Five and Dime.  She and the Tarot cards search for the true murderer to clear on of her most loyal customers from the charge of murdering her abusive husband.

 

* While I don't think I'll be able to finish before midnight, I decided that the 2 short-shorts I read felt too skimpy and started another book that I believe would qualify for the Haunted Houses Square.

 

 

Stiletto

Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley

I did finish before the end of Halloween Bingo! This novel of VERY SECRET Secret Agents starts slowly and develops into a worthy sequel to The Rook  

 

 

 

Bingos #2 + 3 & Halloween Bingo Week 8 Update

Took a few minutes out from Stiletto to read a couple of short stories about Haunted Houses, which brings me to BINGO #2 in the rightmost column and BINGO #3 from 4 corners & the center.

 

 

White ghost = called

Grey monster = read

Brainy Guy = read + called

 

Loc

Square

Called

Read

Book

How it fits

A1

Diverse Voices

9/21/2017

10/19/2017

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Unarmed Black Teen is murdered by a cop. The Hate U Give follows the friend who witnessed and the repercussions throughout the community

A2

The Dead Will Walk

10/23/2017

10/21/2017

The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R. Carey

What can you say without spoilers?  Great twist on the classic infection/zombie trope. Would also fit chilling children, but this fits the pattern I'm creating on my card better.

A3

Classic Noir

10/7/2017

9/22/2017

The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

Classic Noir buddy read.  Genesis of the successful Noir/Comedy movies of the same name.

A4

Witches

9/13/2017

10/6/2017

Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison

Urban Fantasy set in post-plague Cincinnati & environs.  Witches, Vampires & Pixies Oh My! Death threats, but no murders.

A5

Haunted Houses

9/23/2017

10/28/2017

The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe - Arthur Conan Doyle & A Haunted House - Virginia Woolf

Two short-shorts, available for free online, about ghosts and haunted houses. Considering how little time these stories took, it almost feels like cheating that I got 2 bingos from filling this square!

B3

Aliens

9/29/2017

9/28/2017

Defender - CJ Cherryt

Volume 4 in the continuing saga of Bren the translator between the humans who settle on the world, the alien Atevi, and the human of the starship crew.

C3

RAVEN

9/1/2017

9/16/2017

Gulp - Mary Roach

Flat Book Society Group read including anecdotes of various creepy crawlies you can find in your gut

D2

Supernatural

 

9/7/2017

Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Murder with various crypozoological wonders including basiliks and occasional cameos from the Aeslin Mice

D3

Country House Mystery

10/17/2017

9/16/2017

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

10 people, an island, a creepy poem/prophecy and one masterful author

D5

Terrifying Women

9/19/2017

10/20/2017

All The Crooked Saints - Maggie Steifvater

Miracles abound in this newly-released stand-alone novel by a female author.  Would also fill the Magical Realism or Supernatural categories.

E1

Monsters

10/25/2017

9/15/2017

Norse Mythology- Neil Gaiman

Norse myths are full of giants, trolls, dwarves and gods.  In addition, at least 3 of Loki's children the 8 legged horse Sleipnir, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr would qualify as a monster.

E2

Horror

9/7/2017

10/21/2017

The Call of Chthulu - H.P. Lovecraft

I grew up with folks wearing Miskatonic University t-shirts to SF Cons and making Chthulu jokes.  Figured it was about time to actually read the story that started it all.

E3

In the Dark, Dark Woods

9/5/2017

9/8/2017

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

Takes place in the woods near Tarrytown NY

E5

Amateur Sleuth

10/19/2017

9/30/2017

Fool Me Once - Steve Hockensmith & Lisa Falco

Alanis McLaughlin inherited her con-man mother's shop The White Magic Five and Dime.  She and the Tarot cards search for the true murderer to clear on of her most loyal customers from the charge of murdering her abusive husband.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 205 out of 580 pages.

Stiletto - Daniel O'Malley

I think I may have been too ambitious when I chose Stiletto as my choice for Darkest London. I forgot to take into account I typically don't read as much as usual in the week or so immediately post-Readathon.  So we'll see if I finish by the end of next Tuesday.

 

So far Stiletto is a well enough done sequel, but it misses the tension and the vivacity The Rook. Dissapointingly, Rook Myfanwy Thomas is a supporting character not the star of this story. I'm hopeful that the book will pick up soon since Viewpoint Character A and Viewpoint Character B have just met and will be thrown together for at least the next while (but it took 165 pages to do so). 

 

In the world of the Checquy, the Grafters, who hail from what would become the Spanish Netherlands, are the masters of biological sciences and the British excel in psychic and superhero powers. In the world of Leviathan created by Scott Westerfeld, it's the British that are the bioengineering geniuses, and the Continental powers are Clankers who excel in mechanical marvels.  While it's based on false cognates created by the Germanic-sounding names like Grootvader and Broederschap, my brain keeps flashing back to Westerfeld's world and wanting the British to be the biomasters. 

 

Bookish garb

The Husband pointed out that in preparation for NaNoWriMo the current Woot Shirt Derby is for bookish-related items. 

 

Go. Vote...Consider buying a shirt. Spend the $ on more books instead!!!

10th Anniversary Dewey's Closing Survey

Now that I've slept, gone to work for a few hours, and steered my older son through a mountain of homework, I finally have a minute for the Dewey's Readathon closing survey.

 

Which hour was most daunting for you?

Definitely Hour 16 as I tried to finish up before my planned bedtime


Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

I read 1 book – The Girl With All the Gifts

and 1 short story – The Call of Chthulu

For a total of 428 pages


Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?

The Girl With All the Gifts is a great choice to read in one gulp.

I typically recommend picture books for the transition times, and that’s worked better than the dense short story I picked this time.


What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you smile?

I loooved the cheering mini-challenge in hour 12 this time and hope it continues.  I’ve really missed both being a cheerleader and having folks cheering for us non-Twitter people.  The rad thing you could do would be to open up the list of anticipated attendees a few days before the event so that those of us who like to cheer could select folks to cheer for as part of our pre-readathon prep rather than having to steal reading time to wade through the participant list.


How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again?

Schedule permitting, I’ll see you on April 28, 2018.  I also hope to see you during 24in48 in January.

 

Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?

I was a GoodReads co-host for the first time and enjoyed that. I’d definitely be willing to help out on the day of, and might well sponsor a Book Depository prize next time.

Currently reading

Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski
Progress: 13/288pages
My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir by Evan Fallenberg, Meir Shalev