Saturday, June 30, 2012

Half-year reading review...

It's time to do my half-year reading summary, since midnight tonight marks the halfway point in the year. I'm not sure where the time has gone, but I've apparently spent at least some of it reading.

This list comes from the Reading Challenge thread over at Ravelry (if you don't know what Ravelry is, Google it), where some of us set a goal for reading for the year and then keep track of what we've read while trying to reach that goal.

I'm not doing too badly so far this year. My goal is to read 40 books this year, and as of a couple of days ago, I've finished 19 books, which is just one below a pace to meet my goal for the year. That's much better than I did last year.

I've posted reviews of many of these books either here or over at my reading and literature blog. That blog decided to go all wonky a few weeks ago, so I won't link to that, although I might try to salvage a few of the reviews later on to post over here.

Looking back over the list, I can only find one that I probably wouldn't recommend - Natural Selection, by Dave Freedman. I'm not sure why I even finished reading it. I'm not shy about giving up on books that I don't like. Still, for some reason I kept reading. When I reached the end of the novel, however, and discovered the cheat Freedman had pulled, I was sorry I had given so much time to it.

I think my favorites from the list are Life, By Keith Richards, with James Fox, on the non-fiction side, while my favorite novel on the list is A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness. I'm looking forward to the sequel, which comes out in a couple of weeks. I also really liked Latter-Day Secrets, by Natalie R. Collins, which I was lucky enough to read before it was published as one of Ms. Collins' beta readers. It's available now as an e-book, and I'd recommend you look for it, especially if you like romance-spiced contemporary mysteries with an historic hook.

Aside from the one book I mentioned earlier, I liked all of the books I've read so far this year, although I did have quibbles with one or two, including Restless Souls, by Alisa Statman with Brie Tate. The review is here somewhere, if you'd like to find out exactly what those quibbles were.

Anyway, here is the list. Maybe you can find something here that you haven't read and might like to spend some time with. For myself, I just hope I can find as many books I will enjoy as much as the books I read in the first half of the year.

(1) Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood 1910 - 1969, by William J. Mann (422 pages)
(2) Gun Games, by Faye Kellerman (375 pages)
(3) Red Mist, by Patricia Cornwell (498 pages)
(4) Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins, by Donald C. Johanson and Kate Wong (309 pages)

(5) Hotel Transylvania, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (252 pages)
(6) Ishmael, by Barbara Hambly (255 pages)

(7) Hangman, by Faye Kellerman (422 pages)
(8) Blood and Ice, by Robert Masello (675 pages)
(9) Victims, by Jonathan Kellerman (338 pages)

(10) A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness (579 pages)
(11) Restless Souls: The Sharon Tate Family’s Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice, by Alisa Statman with Brie Tate (381 pages)
(12) Role Models, by John Waters (304 pages)
(13) Life, by Keith Richards, with James Fox (564 pages)

(14) Natural Selection, by Dave Freedman (414 pages)
(15) Dead Time, by Stephen White (400 pages)
(16) Latter-Day Secrets, by Natalie R. Collins (377 pages)

(17) The Calling: A Year in the Life of an Order of Nuns, by Catherine Whitney (250 pages)
(18) The Blackbird Papers, by Ian Smith (326 pages)
(19) Virgin, by F. Paul Wilson (309 pages)

My next task is to find something good to read. I've started a couple of novels since I finished reading Virgin, and I've put both of them down in disappointment. I might revisit one of them, to give it a few more pages, but I doubt I'll like it any more than what I've already read.

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