Books read 2011


Last year, I read, listened, and reviewed 99 books, and 17 graphic novels.
Here are the best books I’ve read last year:

Fantasy:
Lisa Shearin: Bewitched and Betrayed
Rachel Caine: Firestorm
Seanan McGuire: An Artificial Night
Steven Brust: Iorich
Steven Brust: Tiassa
Marie Brennan: A Star Shall Fall
Lois McMaster Bujold: Paladin of Souls
Seanan McGuire: One Salt Sea
A. M. Dellamonica: Indigo Springs
Marie Brennan: With Fate Conspire

SF:
Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: City of Ruins
C. J. Cherryh: Cyteen
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Anniversary Day

Mix of fantasy and SF:
Liz Williams: The Precious Dragon
Liz Williams: The Shadow Pavilion
Kirsten Imani Kasai: Tattoo

Historical/Mystery:
Kerry Greenwood: Cocaine Blues
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Kerry Greenwood: Flying Too High
Kerry Greenwood: Murder on the Ballarat Train
Kerry Greenwood: Death at Victoria Dock
Kerry Greenwood: The Green Mill Murder

New Authors:
I discovered quite a few new authors this year whom I intend to follow.

Kerry Greenwood and Seanan McGuire are the obvious ones but I also really liked these:
Philippa Ballantine: Geist
Sarah Jane Stratford: Midnight Guardian
Raymond Rose: The Fire Inside
Peter Clines: Ex-Patriots

Series:
I’ve enjoyed several series this year:
Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher historical mystery series was a great find and I hope Audible continues to make the audio books available to us non-USAsians, too.
All of the books have been of equal quality so far. They deal with very serious issues but the humor and the quirky characters make them easier to read.

Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court is another great series. All four books have a great mix of historical London with faeries.

Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series just keeps getting better all the time

And of course, it was great to read two new Vlad Taltos books by Steven Brust.

Best Star Trek:
I read quite a few Trek books this year. I have to say that I enjoyed this one the best:
Greg Cox: Worst of Both Worlds Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Glass Empires
It’s set in the Mirror Universe with a lot of familiar TNG characters.

Best Buffy:
I read mostly Buffy comics last year. I have read the last two albums of the 8th season but since they are continuation of the story line, I don’t think there’s much point in reviewing them. At any case, I didn’t really care for the way season 8 ended. I already had some concerns about the story line in the other albums so I’ll have to go with:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer vol 5: Predators and Prey which is a collection of shorter stories rather than focusing on the big plot.

Best Graphic Novel:
I read Terminator, X-Men, Avenger, Buffy, Matrix, and Lone Wolf and Cub, Tom Strong, and Serenity comics last year. It’s a bit difficult to choose the best ones when they’re quite different from each other. Still, today I feel that the best of the bunch were:
Astonishing X-Men vol. 1: Gifted
Astonishing X-Men vol. 2: Dangerous
Astonishing X-Men vol. 3: Torn

Round up of reading challenges
I managed to complete almost all of the challenges I joined:

1st in a series: my goal was to read 12 books and I ended up reading 25 new first in a series books!
2nds challenge: my goal was to read 12 books and I read 17. Yay!

Chunkster challenge: I read the six books which were my goal. Yay!
New Author challenge: my goal was to read 25 new authors and I ended up reading 30. Yay!

Audio Book challenge: the goal was to listen 12 books for the challenge. I ended up listening a lot more than that but often enough I didn’t comment on the reader because the books tend to be part of series with the same reader(s). Still, I commented on 13 reviews so the challenge is complete!

Graphic Novel challenge: my goal was to read 11 graphic novels and I ended up reviewing 19. I read at least ten more but didn’t review them.
Original TBR challenge: the goal was to read 12 books and I read 16. So I completed the challenge but I’m unhappy with the low number of TBR books I read this year.

Horror and Urban Fantasy challenge: the goal was to read 24 books and I did that. Yay!
Women of Fantasy book club: I’ve still got one more book to read for the Women of Fantasy book club (in my defense, “Gaslight Dogs” adventured in the international mail for over a month so I didn’t get my hands on it until a few days ago). Originally, I intended to read 9 books out of the 11 selected books. However, after researching them I realized that I have no interest in reading some of them (and I’ve read one already) so I ended up reading just 5 of them plus one more to go.

Take a Chance challenge: this one I failed. I read six books out of ten. Also, the recommendation systems kept recommending more of the same author’s books or in the same genre, so it didn’t really work the way I had envisioned. However, I enjoyed all of the books I read for it.

I also took part in a couple of other challenges: Midsummer readathon, RIP challenge, and Once Upon A Time. These were all great and I intend to join up this year too, if I have the time.

However, this year I’m going to focus on really lowering that TBR mountain.

Last year I took part in a challenge where every book read counted for points and I kept track of them in a single post. This turned out to be a great way to list all the books I’ve read. Even though I don’t have a similar challenge this year, I’m still gathering books from this year to this single post. I’m also adding my challenges here.

Challenges:
Urban fantasy and Horror (24), read so far: 24 Yay! Done!
1st in a series (12) 25 Yay! Done!
2nds 2011 (12) 15 Done! Yay!
TBR 2011 (12) 15 Done! Yay!
Take a Chance (11) 3
Audio (12) 13 Done! Yay!
Chunckster (6) 6 Done! Yay!
Women of Fantasy I’m aiming to read 9 of the listed 12 books, read: 4
2011 Graphic Novels Challenge (11) read: 19 Yay! Done!
New authors: (25) 30 Done! Yay!
Once upon a Time V (5) 11+2 Done! Yay!
RIP VI challenge (4) 2+5 Done! Yay!


January
(audio 3)

1, Lisa Shearin: The Trouble with Demons audiobook
2, Lisa Shearin: Bewitched and Betrayed (audio) audiobook
3, The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe (TBR)
4, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin (Women of fantasy, 1st)
5, Seanan McGuire: Rosemary and Rue (H&UF, 1st, audio) audiobook
6, C. J. Cherryh: Chanur’s Legacy
7, Laura Anne Gilman: Bring it on (H&UF)
8, Athena’s Daughters: Television’s New Women Warriors (The Television Series)

Comics:
1, Terminator Omnibus vol. 1
- The Terminator: Tempest
- The Terminator: One Shot
- The Terminator: Secondary Objectives
- The Terminator: Enemy Within

2, Terminator Omnibus vol. 2
- The Terminator: Hunters and Killers
- The Terminator: Endgame
- The Terminator: Suicide Run
- The Terminator: Death Valley
- The Terminator: The Dark Years

February (2)

9, Tara Maya: the Unfinished Song: Initiate (1st)
10, Christopher L. Bennett: Orion’s Hounds
11, Amber Benson: Cat’s Claw (2nds, H&UF)
12, Lois McMaster Bujold: the Spirit Ring
13, Skinwalker by Faith Hunter (H&UF, audio, 1st) audiobook
14, Liz Williams: The Precious Dragon
15, Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass (H&UF, audio, 1st) audiobook

Comics:
3, Matrix Comics vol. 2
4, Lone Wolf and Cub vol. 1: The Assassin’s Road
5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer vol 5: Predators and Prey
6, Buffy the Vampire Slayer vol 6: Retreat

March (6)
16, Ben Bova: Orion (1st, audio) audiobook
17, Kerry Greenwood: Cocaine Blues (1st, audio, New) audiobook
18, Bram Stoker: Dracula (Chunkster, H&UF, New)
19, Amanda Quick: Second Sight (1st, Audio, New) audiobook
20, Marjorie M. Liu: Darkness Calls (H&UF, 2nds)
21, Rachel Caine: Chill Factor (H&UF, audio) audiobook
22, Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (New, Chance)
23, Seanan McGuire: A Local Habitation (2nds, H&UF, audio, Once) audibook
24, Rachel Caine: Windfall (H&UF, Once) audiobook

Comics
7, Serenity: Those Left Behind
8, Serenity: Better Days

Relisten, no review: 1
25, Lois McMaster Bujold: Curse of Chalion

April (2)
26, Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns (New, Chance)
27, Rachel Caine: Firestorm (H&UF, Once) audiobook
28, Marjorie M. Liu: A Wild Light (H&UF, Once)
29, R. R. Subramanyam, Shobhit Mahajan, Archana Madhukar: The Story of Science: From Antiquity to Present
30, Rachel Caine: Thin Air (H&UF) (audiobook)
31, Kate Elliott: Traitors’ Gate (Chunkster, Once)
32, Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (New, Once, H&UF, Women, 1st)
33, Evangeline Walton: Prince of Annwn (Once, 1st, New, TBR)

Comics
9, Angel: After the Fall, vol 1
10, Angel: After the Fall, vol 2: First Night

TV
1, Angel: Season 1

May (3)
34, Sarah A. Hoyt: Ill met in Moonlight (New, Once, TBR)
35, Tara Maya: Taboo (2nds)
35, Kerry Greenwood: Flying Too High (2nds) audioobok
36, Tim Powers: On Stranger Tides (2nds, TBR)
37, Jon Courtenay Grimwood: the Fallen Blade (New, Audio, Once, 1st) audiobook
38, Philippa Ballantine: Geist (New, 1st)
39, Emma Bull: War for the Oaks (New, Once, H&UF, Women of Fantasy)
40, Anne Perry: The Face of a Stranger (New, 1st, Audio) audiobook

Comics:
11, Angel: After the Fall, vol 3
12, Spike: After the Fall

June (2)
41, Liz Williams: The Shadow Pavilion
42, Diane Duane: Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses (TBR)
43, Joe Haldeman: the Forever War (New) (audiobook)
44, Linda Hawley: Dreams Unleashed (New, 1st)
45, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro: Hôtel Transylvania (New, 1st, TBR)
46, Poul Anderson: A Midsummer Tempest (New, Once)
47, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: City of Ruins (2nds, Audio) audiobook
48, Kim Harrison: Fistful of Charms (H&UF, Chunkster, TBR)
49, C. J. Cherryh: Gate of Ivrel (1st)

Comics:
13, Tom Strong: Book One
14, Tom Strong: Book Two

TV
Angel: Season 2

July
50, Naomi Novik: Tongues of Serpents
51, Gayle Lynds: The Book of Spies (audio, new) audiobook
52, Melissa Scott: Shadow Man (new, TBR)
53, Seanan McGuire: An Artificial Night
54, Sarah Jane Stratford: Midnight Guardian (1st, New)
55, C. J. Cherryh: Faded Sun: Kesrith (1st)
56, Ben Bova: Vengeance of Orion (2nds) audio
57, Raymond Rose: The Fire Inside (New, 1st)
58, Elizabeth Bear: All the Windwracked Stars (1st, Women of Fantasy)

Comics
15, Astonishing X-Men vol. 1: Gifted
16, Astonishing X-Men vol. 2: Dangerous
17, Astonishing X-Men vol. 3: Torn

August
59, Geoffrey Throne: Star Trek: Titan: The Sword of Damocles (New, TBR)
60, Steven Brust: Iorich
61, Kerry Greenwood: Murder on the Ballarat Train
62, Steven Brust: Tiassa
63, Walter Greatshell: Xombies: Apocalypso
64, Layton Green: The Egyptian (New, 2nds)
65, Jocelynn Drake: Dayhunter (2nds, H&UF)

Comics:
18, Astonishing X-Men vol. 4: Unstoppable
19, Avengers: The Korvac Saga

September
66, Kerry Greenwood: Death at Victoria Dock (audio)
67, Jocelynn Drake: Dawnbraker (H&UF)
68, Susan Wright: Star Trek: Dark Passions, Book 1Susan Wrigt: Star Trek: Dark Passion book 1 (TBR, 1st)
69, Susan Wright: Star Trek: Dark Passions, Book 2 (TBR, 2nds)
70, Giulio Leoni: The Mosaic Crimes (TBR, RIP, New)
71, Marie Brennan: A Star Shall Fall
72, Lois McMaster Bujold: Paladin of Souls
73, Baroness Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel (New) audio
74, Jacqueline Carey: Kushiel’s Scion (1st, RIP, Chunkster, TBR)

Movies:
Hellboy: Sword of Storms
Hellboy: Blood & Iron

October
75, Greg Cox: Worst of Both Worlds Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Glass Empires
76, C. J. Cherryh: The Faded Sun: Shon’Jir (2nds)
77, Peter Clines: Ex-Patriots (New, Audio, 2nds) audio
78, Donna Andrews: Murder with Peacocks (1st, New, TBR)
79, Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Obsidian Alliances
80, Karen A. Wyle: Twin-Bred (1st, New)
81, Julia Spencer-Fleming: In the Bleak Midwinter (1st, New, TBR)
82, Peter Clines: Ex-Heroes (1st, H&UF, RIP) (audio)

November
83, Cherie Priest: Boneshaker (1st)
84, Linda Hawley: Guardian of Time (2nds)
85, Elizabeth Bear: By the Mountain Bound (2nds)
86, Seanan McGuire: Late Eclipses (H&UF)
87, Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows
88, Seanan McGuire: One Salt Sea (H&UF)
89, Ursula LeGuin: Rocannon’s World

December
90, Carrie Vaughn: Kitty Goes to Washington (2nds, H&UF, Take)
91, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: the Retrieval Artist
92, Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder: Buffy: Halloween Rain (new)
93, Baroness Orczy: The Elusive Pimpernel (2nds)
94, C. J. Cherryh: Cyteen (Chunkster)
95, Elizabeth Bear: Chill (2nds)
96, Roger Zelazny and Thomas T. Thomas: The Mask of Loki tbr

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