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I keep forgetting to post my book journal entries from here and crosspost them to my reading LJ. Ugh!
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Well, I've finished off some, but started others, so I think there's over 50 series I'm currently in the middle of. Oy!

this list is way too long )
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I've been reading like a fiend this month! I hope it keeps up now that my desktop computer is finally fixed and I have all of the Sims 2 expansions installed, finally, plus I installed the Sims 3 as well, but I need a different video card to play it.

Farscape: House of Cards by Keith R. A. DeCandido: I don't read much media SF anymore but I'm a Farscape addict, so now that I have all three tie-in books, I'm reading them. This one was really good and I can see why DeCandido was chosen to write the Farscape comics. He's spot-on with the characterization and this almost felt like watching an episode of the show. I've heard the other two Farscape books aren't nearly as good, but I'll read them anyway (and possibly put them back out into the book swapping pool when I'm done). House of Cards is a keeper though.

A Different Light by Elizabeth A. Lynn: Several years ago, I read Lynn's Chronicles of Tornor Trilogy and I liked book one, disliked book two, and loved book three. I have most of her other books but hadn't read them, so the time had come to finally tackle another one. I found A Different Light unpleasant, mostly due to the physical abuse, interference with an indigenous culture, and depressing ending. I liked that bisexuality was the norm though and I liked the psychics. If this book hadn't been so short, I doubt I would have finished it.

Dead in the Scrub by B. J. Oliphant (pseudonym for Sheri S. Tepper): I'm not much of a mystery reader, but I collected all of Sheri S. Tepper's mysteries since I love her SFF so much. This book was so much fun to read and I loved how Oliphant worked in some of Tepper's politics into a completely different setting. The mystery was compelling, the setting was so well describe that I felt like I was in Colorado again, and I love Shirley McClintock. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Blood Price by Tanya Huff: I think I've made it pretty obvious that I don't usually like urban fantasy, especially the vamps and weres variety, but I hadn't read any old school, pre Anita Blake and Buffy UF when I said I didn't like it. I gave this book a chance because I loved Huff's Quarters series and I also liked the show Blood Ties. I ended up liking it quite a bit and I'm planning on finishing the whole series, plus the sequel trilogy this year. I've shied away from horror over the past 10 years or so and the horrific elements here did bother me, but the good things balanced things out. I also love Vicki Nelson- she goes on the ever-increasing list of female SFF characters I adore. One thing that really drew me in here was the detail about Toronto. Most of my real world meets fantasy world reading has been of Clive Barker's parallel world dark fantasy where the magical world was the star of the show or LKH's books which I'm drawing a blank about the outside world because I think the supernatural world took precedence, so St. Louis was just a backdrop rather than really feeling like I was moving through it (if that makes sense). And Henry didn't get on my last nerve because he wasn't an over-bearing jerk (yes, I'm looking at you, Jean-Claude).
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I looked back over my novels read for last year and I'm disappointed with myself, so I've made firm goals for this year. So far, I've read three books this month, which is considerably better than most months last year.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle: Finally! I've loved the movie ever since I first saw it on HBO back in the 80's but I never read the book. I loved it and Beagle's writing style is so beautiful. I found this to be bittersweet and while I loved it, I felt a bit melancholy in the end. I have A Fine and Private Place in my TBR and put Tamsin on my PBS wishlist and it already got posted, so it's on its way.

Foundation by Mercedes Lackey: I love reading Lackey's books in the winter because they are such amazing comfort reads. Mags seemed a bit too important for such a young character and only a trainee, but whatever. My favorite sequence was the Midwinter Festival. I'm looking forward to the rest of this trilogy (?).

Stormqueen! by Marion Zimmer Bradley: Well, I finally got back to Darkover. I read Darkover Landfall over 10 years ago and was less than impressed so I never got back to the series, even though I kept collecting it. I liked this one a lot better, even though the end was so tragic. I particularly liked that this book addressed a lot of my misgivings from the first book (chronologically) about the breeding program and forced pregnancy. I was intrigued by the Towers and the matrix stones and can't wait to read more. (And yes, I can see the MZB influence on Lackey's writing).
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I decided that 50 books isn't enough of a challenge for me now that my health is a bit better, plus I really need to attack my TBR pile. Therefore, I'm doing a 75 books challenge- not counting audiobooks and manga. But at least 50 of those books have to be books I own, at least at the time I'm reading them (if I don't like them enough to keep, they will go on swap sites). So my 50 book challenge and my read your own books challenge are exactly the same this year.

The List )
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Conquest: Unicorn and Dragon II by Lynn Abbey: Reading this was very frustrating because the series was cancelled after only two books, which means this one ended with a cliffhanger that will probably never be resolved (unless Abbey can get the rights to put something on the Closed Circle web page, which was the coolest book news I had all year last year). I liked Wildecent so much and warmed up to Ambrose and I wanted them to have a romance, damn it! I also, not surprisingly, had major issues with the rape in this book. I think if there had been another book and the healing process had been examined, I might have been a lot better with it.

Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke: The dolphins were adorable and despite this book being a bit dated, it was a fun read. I'm kind of tired of boys' adventure stories though so I'm going to focus more on teenaged heroines for 2010. I have a lot of issues with most Golden Age era SF books, especially those written by men, but there's just something about Clarke's books, even though his women characters aren't the greatest. Maybe it's because 2010 was the first adult SF book I ever read and it got me hooked.

And a bunch of manga:
Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 21: Awesome, as always. I'm looking forward to the resolution of this series but I'll be really sad when it ends.

Cross Vols. 3-5: Well, this was also a let-down because the series just sort of ends. It was kind of worrying that the mangaka said she was having family and health issues and then the manga ended, so I don't know if something happened to the author or what. I liked this series well enough although it was a bit outside my comfort zone.

Peach Fuzz Vol. 1: Definitely too young for me and I found both the heroine and Peach to be really annoying. I did enjoy Peach's fantasy world in which she was a gladiator fighting the "handra" though.
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1) Twist by Colby Hodge (1/1)
2) The Night Bird by Catherine Asaro (1/12)
3) UpLink by Jane S. Fancher (1/21)
4) Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre (1/31)
5) The Sharing Knife: Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold (2/10)
6) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 13 by Hiromu Arakawa (2/17)
7) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (2/22)
8) Harmonies of the 'Net by Jane S. Fancher (2/28)
9) The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald (3/6)
10) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 14 by Hiromu Arakawa (3/12)
11) An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair (3/13)
12) Fruits Basket Vol. 21 by Natsuki Takaya (3/14)
13) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 15 by Hiromu Arakawa (3/23)
14) Impostor by Valerie J. Freireich (3/30)
15) Phantom Dream Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya (3/30)
16) Fruits Basket Vol. 22 by Natsuki Takaya (4/1)
17) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 16 by Hiromu Arakawa (4/9)
18) The Stars Down Under by Sandra McDonald (4/16)
19) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4/24)
20) Diamond Star by Catherine Asaro(4/30)
21) Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (5/7)
22) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (5/13)
23) Lace and Blade edited by Deborah J. Ross (5/19)
24) Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan (5/31)
25) The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (6/4)
26) The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey (6/10)
27) Star Hunter by Andre Norton (6/11)
28) The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (6/16)
29) Greylorn by Keith Laumer (6/24)
30) Farscape: The Beginning of the End of the Beginning by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Keith R. A. Decandido (6/25)
31) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (7/2)
32) Starman's Quest by Robert Silverberg (7/6)
33) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 17 by Hiromu Arakawa (7/9)
34) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (7/12)
35) A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (7/13)
36) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (7/18)
37) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (7/19)
38) Fruits Basket Vol. 23 by Natsuki Takaya (7/19)
39) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 18 by Hiromu Arakawa (7/19)
40) Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design by Faythe Levine & Cortney Heimerl (7/21)
41) Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (7/25)
42) The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (7/28)
43) The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum (8/2)
44) Bleach Vol. 7 by Tite Kubo (8/5)
45) Bleach Vol. 8 by Tite Kubo (8/5)
46) The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (8/9)
47) Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith (8/17)
48) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 19 by Hiromu Arakawa (8/18)
49) Court Duel by Sherwood Smith (8/25)
50) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (8/30)
51) Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (9/8)
52) Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (9/19)
53) A Book Dragon by Donn Kushner (9/27)
54) Hidden in Sight by Julie E. Czerneda (10/9)
55) The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (10/13)
56) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 20 by Hiromu Arakawa (10/15)
57) Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre (10/18)
58) Farscape: Strange Detractors by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Keith R. A. Decandido (10/20)
59) Farscape: D'Argo's Lament by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Keith R. A. Decandido (10/25)
60) Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier (10/27)
61) Graceling by Kristin Cashore (11/5)
62) Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier (11/15)
63) Quatrain by Sharon Shinn (11/20)
64) How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn (11/24)
65) Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey (12/1)
66) The Valdemar Companion (12/6)
67) Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (12/10)
68) Unicorn and Dragon by Lynn Abbey (12/17)
69) The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (12/21)
70) Conquest by Lynn Abbey (12/27)
71) Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 21 by Hiromu Arakawa (12/27)
72) Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke (12/29)
73) Cross Vol. 3 by Sumiko Amakawa (12/29)
74) Peach Fuzz Vol. 1 by Lindsay Cibos & Jared Hodges (12/30)
75) Cross Vol. 4 by Sumiko Amakawa (12/30)
76) Cross Vol. 5 by Sumiko Amakawa (12/31)

Favorites: The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, The Sharing Knife: Horizon by Lois McMaster Bujold, Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier, Crown Duel duology by Sherwood Smith
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I swore I wouldn't join any more challenges, but this one was too tempting to pass up: The Big Book Challenge. I only have to read one book over 500 pages. I'm not sure exactly which book I'll read yet but I have A Plague of Angels by Sheri S. Tepper, Inda by Sherwood Smith, Jerlayne by Lynn Abbey, and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on my TBR. I guess I figured that the Chunkster Challenge wasn't quite enough. ;-)
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I had already planned to join the Read Your Own Books Challenge for 2010, but there wasn't a Mr. Linky up for it yet. I should probably push myself with this one and try to read 50 of my own books (since I have over 1000 unread and really need to attack Mt. TBR).
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This is it, I swear!
I'm going for the Obsessed level since most of my book collection is speculative fiction and it's a majority of what I read, so 24 books shouldn't be too difficult.
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I hate it that I didn't always keep lists of the books I read. There are a few that stand out in my memory, especially from my teen years, which I would love to revisit, only I can't remember the titles or the authors. If I could find them, I'd put them on my BookMooch and Paperback Swap wishlists.

I had a serious addiction between 7th and 9th grade to the teen romance series like Sweet Dreams, Wildfire, Two By Two, and Crosswinds/Keepsake. My mom and I would go to the library with two huge bags and she's fill up one and I'd fill up the other. A week or two later, we'd go back and do it all over again. I also discovered Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Robin McKinley at that same library.
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I can't believe how much I'm reading this month. I've been crocheting and sewing all month and I'm still finding time to read. My SAD has been a lot less noticeable lately due to doing yoga, which helps a lot because I don't fall asleep reading all the time now. Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier: Yay, I finished the series this year! I enjoyed this more than Child of the Prophecy and only a little less than Daughter of the Forest and Son of the Shadows. I'm looking forward to Seer of Sevenwaters, plus the book after that (I'm hoping that the 6th book will be about Maeve). I've really enjoyed Marillier's female protagonists in this series. And these books are the perfect example of the type of romantic fantasy I love.

Unicorn and Dragon
by Lynn Abbey: Technically, this was a re-read, but it was more like reading a new-to-me book because I only remembered one scene and two characters. I never got to read the sequel, Conquest, so I wanted to re-read this before reading the second book. I liked Wildecent, Stephen, and Ygurna. I believe when I first read the book, I liked Alison a lot, but this time, I found her pretty annoying. Obviously, I'm enjoying the Celtic fantasy I've read this year (see above), so my favorite elements of Unicorn and Dragon dealt with the ancient magics.

The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende: Well, this was a surprise. I thought I'd love this book because I loved the movie as a tween and was hoping to watch it again. But the movie is only based on the first half of the book, which I also enjoyed. But then, bam, Bastian ends up in Fantastica and becomes a brat. Everything I liked about him from the first half was erased and he just wasn't Bastian anymore. Plus the story got really boring once Bastian went to Fantastica. Also, he and Atreyu are said to be instant friends, but they didn't really act like friends. I wish I had stopped reading at the midway point because the second half ruined the entire book for me.
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I'm keeping track of my 50 Book Challenge in a separate post, but here's my progress for my other challenges:
Here are the lists )
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Here's my list of 12 books, plus 12 alternates for the 2010 TBR Challenge:
1. Stormqueen! by Marion Zimmer Bradley
2. Fourty Thousand in Gehenna by C. J. Cherryh
3. Survival by Julie E. Czerneda
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
5. Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
6. Frostflower and Thorn by Phyllis Ann Karr
7. Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey
8. Sword of Ice edited by Mercedes Lackey
9. The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier
10. His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
11. Dead in the Scrub by B. J. Oliphant (Sheri S. Tepper)
12. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

1. The Grand Tour by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
2. Shapechangers by Jennifer Roberson
3. Senrid by Sherwood Smith
4. Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen
5. Dancing Jack by Laurie J. Marks
6. The Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth
7. Gate of Ivory by Doris Egan
8. Elvenbane by Andre Norton & Mercedes Lackey
9. The Wild Swans by Peg Kerr
10. The Wedding Bargain by Victoria Alexander
11. The Wooden Sword by Lynn Abbey
12. Eggheads by Emily Devenport
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Yay, the details for the Chunkster Challenge have been posted. I'm once again going for Mor-Bookly-Obese since it was so successful for me this year. I've tagged most of my chunksters (some don't qualify for the challenge, but I personally count any 450+ book as a chunkster) on LibraryThing and I have over 100 to choose from. And my Julie E. Czerneda and Juliet Marillier personal challenge overlaps with this one, so I might get all of my chunksters taken care of with just those two authors.
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Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier: This was my least favorite of the Sevenwaters series (I'm almost done reading Heir to Sevenwaters), but I still enjoyed it. I like how things worked out, even if my favorite character ended up dying. I love Marillier's combination of history, fantasy, Celtic religion, and romance.

Quatrain by Sharon Shinn: I hate to say it, but this was disappointing. Two of the novellas ended up being prequels when I wanted sequels and the Summers at Castle Auburn follow-up featured a very annoying, spoiled brat heroine. I loved the Heart of Gold sequel story though, even if I barely remember that book.

How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn: The first half was very enjoyable and funny, the second half was annoying and nearly made the book a wall-basher. I have issues with non-consent of any kind in fiction and the hero hauling the heroine around like a sack of potatoes "for her own good" was infuriating. This is why I rarely read romance anymore.

Take a Thief by Mercedes Lackey: A typical Lackey read, which was exactly what I was looking for. The Velgarth series has turned out to be comfort reading for me, even though characters get put through the ringer. The dialects in this book gave me fits, but I enjoyed a not so goody-goody protagonist.

The Valdemar Companion: I needed to refresh my memory a bit for the older Velgarth novels but I ended up reading the whole book- well, aside from the Concordance, but I flipped through that a lot too. It's been ten years since I read Magic's Pawn, which started my headlong dive into the world of Velgarth and my memory is so rusty that I almost feel the need for a re-read, but I have so many TBR books that I don't dare re-read anything until I get my TBR pile under control (as if that's ever going to happen with Paperback Swap, BookMooch, used bookstores, and the library). Anyway, I especially found the story of how Lackey got her start in filk, then did seventeen re-writes of Arrows of the Queen to be fascinating.
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Since I'm already signed on to do a fantasy challenge, I will focus only on SF for this one. I'll probably do the Pluto Voyage, which would allow me to mix up several categories. I don't read Golden Age SF and I read less and less SF by men (I've had so many DNFs of SF books by men this year!). Most of the Hugo and Nebula winners written by women are books I've already read, so I feel constrained sticking to the winners lists.

Here's my potentials list:
Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Witch World by Andre Norton
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
Bone Dance by Emma Bull
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Royal Reviews is hosting four challenges that I joined today.

The romance challenge has multiple levels this time, so I'm going for the easiest level which is called Curious (3 novels) since I only managed two romance genre books this year (I attempted a bunch more and ended up with about 20 romance DNFs).

The Finish That Series Challenge is something I'm sort of attempting to do anyway, but officially joining a challenge for it will probably be better. I think I should probably go for the Obsessed level here since I have so many unfinished series. I think I can manage to finish 10 series.

I was planning to do the Audio Book Challenge anyway, if I can get my computer fixed so I can access iTunes again. Grrr. I'd love to do the Obsessed level here too since I usually listen to audio books while I'm out walking for an hour a day, so 20 should be easy if I have a working iPod.

And the Fantasy Reading Challenge might be too easy for me, but I'll go for the most difficult level. I've averaged around 20 fantasy books over the past few years.


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March 2010

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