January 2016


I had a great time with the Pick & Mix challenge last year. Worlds Without End is hosting Pick and Mix reading challenge this year again and I’m joining. This time I’ll use only my TBR books, in order to read more of them.

Do you find that your eclectic reading doesnt match the criteria for most challenges?Then the Pick and Mix is perfect for you,since any book on WWEnd’s award lists,book lists or series is suitable for addition.So if as a busy person you only read a dozen books a year,or you have decide to read all 40 of your Warhammer books lying around the house,or you get through a huge amount of reading,this is the place for you.

We gladly welcome any reviews or even just a brief comment about your reads on the Pick and Mix forum page and want you to feel free to make an occasional comment on interesting books others have added,as sharing our thoughts makes the whole reading experience more enjoyable. You can add as few or as many reviews to the WWEnd database as you desire

Challenge Details
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
Challenge Span: December 2015 – December 2016

Reading Levels
Select your reading level below. You can adjust your level up or down at any time during the challenge.

one scoop = 10 books + 0 reviews
a carton = 20 books + 0 reviews
luxury choc-box = 40 books + 0 reviews
the whole sweet shop = 80 books + 0 reviews

I’m taking the luxury choc-box with 40 books. It’s a lot but hopefully I’ll get my TBR piles lowered that way.

Books read:
1, Nancy Kress: The Probability Sun
2, Judith Tarr: The Forgotten Suns
3, Nancy Kress: The Probability Space
4, Judith Tarr: Queen of the Amazons
5, N. K. Jemisin: The Shadowed Sun
6, Jeff VanderMeer: Authority
7, Anne Lyle: Merchant of Dreams
8, Jeff VanderMeer: Acceptance
9, Terry Pratchett: Raising Steam
10, Anne Lyle: The Prince of Lies
11, Lois McMaster Bujold: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen
12, Patricia C. Wrede: Snow White and Rose Red
13, Judith Tarr: Bring Down the Sun
14, Catharine Asaro: The Phoenix Code
15, Sebastien de Castell: Traitor’s Blade
16, Joanna M. Harris: The Gospel of Loki
17, Aliette de Bodard: Harbinger of the Storm
18, Aliette de Bodard: Master of the House of Darts
19, Tim Powers: The Drawing of the Dark
20, Fritz Leiber: The Swords of Lankhmar
21, Becky Chambers: The Long Way to the Small, Angry Planet
22, Jasper Fforde: Lost in a Good Book
23, Catherynne M. Valente: Deathless
24, Jasper Fforde: The Well of Lost Plots
25, Adam Roberts: Salt
26, Tanya Huff: Sing the Four Quarters
27, Tanya Huff: Fifth Quarter
28, Nancy Kress: Crossfire
29, Fritz Leiber: Swords and Ice Magic
30, Jennifer Roberson: Sword-Dancer
31, Tim Powers: The Stress of Her Regard
32, Jennifer Roberson: Sword-Singer
33, Seanan McGuire: Once Broken Faith
34, Tanya Huff: Summon the Keeper
35, Tanya Huff: The Second Summoning
36, China Miéville: The City and the City
37, Kristine Kathryn Rusch ed.: Women of Futures Past: Classic Stories
38, Matthew Hughes: Majestrum
39, Timothy Zahn: Cobra
40, Tanya Huff: Long Hot Summoning

I’m participating in this year’s comics’ reading challenge.

What counts: graphic novels, collected trade editions, manga, comic strip collections, comic books or combinations of text and bubbles all in the same book. In print or digital. Anything else you feel is suitable. My personal criteria is if it has either frames OR speech bubbles it counts. I’m not going to be the comic police but if you are unsure, ask me in the comments any given month.

You must write a review and link to it for it to count towards the challenge. Reviews may be posted on your blog or goodreads or similar places. Several reviews may be gathered and posted in one link on your blog, but each book must be linked back here in the monthly linkies to count. Come back every month to record your progress.

Here is how the Challenge plays out:

runs from Jan.1 – Dec. 31, 2016

Levels

Modern Age: read and review 12 books during the year (that’s only 1 book a month)

Bronze Age: read and review 24 books during the year (Can you handle 2 books a month.)

Silver Age: read and review 52 books during the year (Are you up to a book a week!)

You must sign up for a level, but once you complete that level you may move up and try for the next one.

I had great time reading comics last year and I’ve already continued my FF rearead.
I’m again aiming for Modern Age at first but hoping to reach Bronze.

Comics read
I’m continuing with Hickman’s FF although Sandman reread might be in order, too.
1, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 3
2, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 4: Three
3, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 1
4, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 2
5, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 5: Forever
6, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 6
7, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 4
8, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 3
9, Ms. Marvel vol.1: No Normal
10, John Carter of Mars: Weird Worlds
11, X-Men: Battle of the Atom
12, Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vol.2
13, Indiana Jones Omnibus vol. 1
14, Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vol.1
15, Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vol.3
16, Girl Genius Omnibus vol. 1: Agatha Awakens
17, Prince Valiant vol. 1: 1937-1938
18, Prince Valiant vol. 2: 1939-1940
19, Storm vol. 1: Make it rain
20, Storm vol. 2: Bring the Thunder
21, Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists edited by Chris Duffy
22, The Mighty Thor vol. 1: Thunder in Her Veins
23, Loki, Agent of Asgard vol. 1: Trust Me
24, Loki, Agent of Asgard vol. 2: I cannot tell a lie
25, Star Trek Classics vol. 1: The Next Generation – The Gorn Crisis
26, Star Trek Classics vol. 3: Voyager: Encounters with the Unknown
27, Thor Epic Collection: To Wake the Mangog
28, Amazing X-Men vol. 1: The Quest for Nightcrawler
29, Amazing X-Men vol. 2: World War Wendigo
30, Amazing X-Men vol. 3: Once and Future Juggernaut
31, Rat Queens vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery
32, Nightcrawler vol. 1: Homecoming
33, Nightcrawler vol. 2: Reborn
34, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Serial
35, Rat Queens vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth
36, Star Trek: the Next Generation: Ghosts
37, Star Trek: the Next Generation: Hive
38, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Fool’s Gold
39,

Here’s the post where I’ll gather this year’s reviews all in a one place.

Reading challenges:
Graphic novels & manga (12) 37
Pick&Mix (40) 49
Action heroines (10) 12
Science fiction experience (1) 5
New authors (10) 24
Once upon a time (5) 16
RIP XI (4) 4

January
1, Nancy Kress: The Probability Sun (p&m, scifi exp)
2, Steve Turnbull: Maliha Anderson Mysteries volume 1 (new, scifi exp)
3, Dan Koboldt: The Rogue Retrieval (new, scifi exp)
3, Judith Tarr: The Forgotten Suns (p&m, scifi exp)
4, Richard Matheson: The Shrinking Man (sci-fi exp)
5, Terry Pratchett: Hogfather
6, Nancy Kress: The Probability Space (p&m, scifi exp)

Comics
1, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 3
2, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 4: Three
3, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 1
4, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 2
5, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 5: Forever
6, Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 6

February
7, Peter O’Donnell: The Impossible Virgin
8, John Helfers, ed.: Fiction River: Recycled Pulp
9, Lindsay Buroker: Torrent new
10, Catherynne M. Valente: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
11, Peter O’Donnell: The Silver Mistress
12, Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin: A Vision of Fire (new)
13, Judith Tarr: Queen of the Amazons (P&M)

Comics
7, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 3
8, FF by Jonathan Hickman vol. 4
9, Ms. Marvel vol.1: No Normal

March
14, Phyllis Irene Radford ed.: Dragon Lords and Warrior Women
15, N. K. Jemisin: The Shadowed Sun (p&m)
16, Jodi Taylor: Just One Damned Thing After Another (new)
17, Jeff VanderMeer: Authority (p&m)
18, Wesley Chu: Time salvager (new)
19, Catherynne M. Valente: The Habitation of the Blessed
20, Kris Nelscott: Thin Walls

Comics
10, John Carter of Mars: Weird Worlds
11, X-Men: Battle of the Atom
12, Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vol.2
13, Indiana Jones Omnibus vol. 1
14, Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vol.1

April
21, Anne Lyle: Merchant of Dreams (p&m, once)
22, Anne Lyle: The Prince of Lies (p&m, once)
23, Lois McMaster Bujold: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (p&m)
24, Patricia C. Wrede: Snow White and Rose Red (p&m, once)
25, Peter O’Donnell: Last Day in Limbo
26, Catharine Asaro: The Phoenix Code (p&m)
27, Judith Tarr: Bring Down the Sun (p&m)
28, Catherynne M. Valente: the Folded World (once)
29, Jeff VanderMeer: Acceptance (p&m March)

Comics
15, Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis vol.3
16, Girl Genius Omnibus vol. 1: Agatha Awakens
17, Prince Valiant vol. 1: 1937-1938

May
30, Jordanna Max Brodsky: The Immortals (once, new)
31, Sebastien de Castell: Traitor’s Blade (once, new, p&m)
32, Cat Rambo: Near + Far
33, Joanna M. Harris: The Gospel of Loki (new, p&m)
34, Aliette de Bodard: Harbinger of the Storm (once, p&m)
35, Kris Nelscott: Stone Cribs
36, Aliette de Bodard: Master of the House of Darts (once, p&m)
37, Karen Wyle: Leaders

Comics
18, Prince Valiant vol. 2: 1939-1940
19, Storm vol. 1: Make it rain
20, Storm vol. 2: Bring the Thunder
21, Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists edited by Chris Duffy

June
38, Nayad Monroe ed.: Not Our Kind: Tales of (Not) Belonging
39, Tim Powers: The Drawing of the Dark (p&m, once)
40, Chris Dolley: What ho, automaton!
41, Fritz Leiber: The Swords of Lankhmar (p&m, once)
42, Laura Resnick: Maybe You’ve Heard of Me? (once, new)
43, Leslie Anderson ed.: Steampunk Fairy Tales (once)
44, Elizabeth Wayland Barber and Paul T. Barber: When they severed Earth from the sky: How the human mind shapes myth
45, Becky Chambers: The Long Way to the Small, Angry Planet (new, p&m)
46, Karl K. Gallagher: Torchship (new, p&m)

Comics
22, The Mighty Thor vol. 1: Thunder in Her Veins
23, Loki, Agent of Asgard vol. 1: Trust Me
24, Loki, Agent of Asgard vol. 2: I cannot tell a lie

July
47, Jasper Fforde: Lost in a Good Book (p&m)
48, Kristine Kathryn Rusch ed.: Fiction River: Hidden in Crime
49, Austin Grossman: Soon I will be invincible (new)
50, Catherynne M. Valente: Deathless (p&m)
51, Robert A. Heinlein: Double Star (new)
52, Jasper Fforde: The Well of Lost Plots (p&m)
53, Jeff VanderMeer: The Steampunk Bible
54, Jim C. Hines: Libriomancer
55, Leigh Brackett: Eric John Stark: An Outlaw of Mars (new)

Comics
25, Star Trek Classics vol. 1: The Next Generation – The Gorn Crisis
26, Star Trek Classics vol. 3: Voyager: Encounters with the Unknown
27, Thor Epic Collection: To Wake the Mangog

August
56, Adam Roberts: Salt (new, p&m)
57, Alma Alexander: Empress (new)
58, Kris Nelscott: War at Home
59, Mikkel Birkegaard: The Library of Shadows (new)
60, Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood ed.: Women in Practical Armor
61, S. C. Flynn: Children of the Different (new)

Comics
28, Amazing X-Men vol. 1: The Quest for Nightcrawler
29, Amazing X-Men vol. 2: World War Wendigo
30, Amazing X-Men vol. 3: Once and Future Juggernaut
31, Rat Queens vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery
32, Nightcrawler vol. 1: Homecoming
33, Nightcrawler vol. 2: Reborn

September
62, Genevieve Cogman: The Invisible Library (new)
63, Jim C. Hines: Codex Born
64, Allyson Longueira ed.: Fiction River Presents: The Unexpected
65, Tanya Huff: Sing the Four Quarters (p&m, action)
66, John Helfers ed.: Fiction River: Visions of the Apocalypse (rip xi)
67, Tanya Huff: Fifth Quarter (action, p&m)
68, Claire North: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (new)
69, Nancy Kress: Crossfire (p&m)

Comics
34, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Serial

October
70, Elizabeth Peters: The Street of Five Moons (rip)
71, Elizabeth Peters: Silhouette in Scarlet (rip)
72, Fritz Leiber: Swords and Ice Magic (rip, p&m)
73, Jennifer Roberson: Sword-Dancer (p&m, rip)
74, Tim Powers: The Stress of Her Regard (p&m, rip)
75, Jennifer Roberson: Sword-Singer (p&m, rip)
76, Seanan McGuire: Once Broken Faith (p&m)
77, Tanya Huff: Summon the Keeper (p&m)

Comics
35, Rat Queens vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth

November
78, Kris Nelscott: Days of Rage
79, Tanya Huff: The Second Summoning (p&m)
80, China Miéville: The City and the City (p&m, new, scifi month)
81, Peter Clines: the Fold (scifi month)
82, Kristine Kathryn Rusch ed.: Women of Futures Past: Classic Stories (scifi month, p&m)
82, Rachel Aaron: The Spirit Thief (new)
83, Matthew Hughes: Majestrum (p&m, new)
84, Karl K. Gallagher: Torchship Pilot

Comics
36, Star Trek: the Next Generation: Ghosts
37, Star Trek: the Next Generation: Hive
38, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Fool’s Gold

December
85, Peter O’Donnell: The Night of the Morningstar
86, John David Krygelski: Time Cursor (new, exp)
87, Timothy Zahn: Cobra (p&m, exp)
88, Roger Zelazny: Damnation Alley (exp)
89, Tanya Huff: Long Hot Summoning (p&m)
90, Karen A. Wyle: Who: a novel of the near future (exp)
91, Naomi Novik: League of Dragons

Books read: 89

New-to-me authors: 34
Books by women: 46 (+ 2 which have both a male and a female writer)
Short story collections: 4 (+1 written by one author)

Science fiction books: 39
Fantasy books: 27

Most read authors this year: Kristine Kathryn Rusch (7), Carol Berg (4), and E. R. Burroughs (4)

Best fantasy:
Catherynne M. Valente: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden and Catherynne M. Valente: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice

This duology blew me away with its originality and creativity. But it’s not an easy read; to get the most out of it, reader has to keep thinking and make connections between the nested stories. And keeping track of the stories within stories within stories wasn’t easy, too. I’m going to read a lot more from Valente this year.

Kara Dalkey: Euryale

Myth, mystery, and history in Ancient Rome.

Anne Lyle: The Alchemist of Souls

Alternate Elizabethan history with magic. I already have the next books and plan to read them soon.

Joss Llewlyn: The Razor’s Edge

One of the first reads last year, this was almost an opposite to Orphan’s Tales; a fun and easy read.

Terry Pratchett: Witches Abroad

What can I say; I love the witches.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Reindeer Moon

A young woman’s survival tale during Stone Age, with a little bit of magic.

Best science fiction:

Hannu Rajaniemi: The Quantum Thief

Very ambitious book with lots of high concepts and original stuff.

Scott E. Tabert: A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

It’s heavily based on Midsummer Night’s Dream with lots of gags and lines for Shakespeare fans. Another fun and light-hearted read.

Karen Lowachee: Warchild

A thoughtful exploration of war and cultures meshing, from the POV of a troubled, orphaned teenager.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Masterminds

I loved how Rusch ended her long-running Retrieval Artist series.

Favorite non-SFF books:

Howard Pyle: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

This 1800c retelling (for kids) gathers up the most famous tales and a couple I don’t remember encountering before. It’s available at Gutenberg.org.

Judith Tarr: Lord of the Two Lands

Historical fiction with Alexander the Great!

Kris Nelscott: Smoke-Filled Rooms

Rusch writing historical mystery set in the turbulent times of Chicago in the 1960s.

Comics read: 35 (I actually read a lot more comics but didn’t review them.)
Best comics:
Elfquest: Fire and Flight
Elfquest: 2: The Forbidden Grove
Elfquest: vol. 3: Captives of Blue Mountain
Complete Elfquest vol. 4: Quest’s End

The original ElfQuest comics are still one of the best I’ve ever read. And they’re available online for free: elfquest.com

Best movies:
I saw only 16 movies in theatres in 2015, somewhat less than I’d intended.

The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Inside Out
Avengers: Age of Ultron

Biggest movie disappointment:
Fantastic Four

Words fail me with this.

I hope everyone has an excellent year 2016!

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