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  1. #1
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    What did you read in October 2006?

    Very slow month for me as far as pleasure reading goes:

    October:

    Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham - Second volume in this series and an improvement over the first.

    McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue 13 by Editors of McSweeney's (Compiler) and Chris Ware (Editor) - Compilation of articles about comics and comics themselves, many by artists I wasn't familiar with, so it was a lot of fun.

    Beat to Quarters by C.S. Forester - The first Hornblower book that Forester wrote. I enjoyed it, but not enough to stick to the series. I can see why people get hooked on it though.

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  3. #2
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    The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White. It's funny! I had no idea!

    The Dark Frigate; wherein is told the story of Philip Marsham who lived in the time of King Charles and was bred a sailor but came home to England after many hazards by sea and land and fought for the King at Newbury and lost a great inheritance and departed for Barbados in the same ship, by curious chance, in which he had long before adventured with the pirates. by Charles Boardman Hawes. The title says it all.

    The Phoenix Dance by Dia Calhoun. A variation on The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

    Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. This was a highly disappointing read. It just made me want more stories about Christopher Chant.

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I LOVE it! I could almost just start all over and read it again, and again, and so on.

    Endurance; Shackleton's incredible voyage by Alfred Lansing. It's incredible alright! While I was reading it, the weather felt downright balmy. Which, of course, it wasn't.

    The Constellation of Sylvie by Roderick Townley. It was alright, but nothing like so good as the first one in the trilogy, and I haven't read the second one.

    Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jaques. Not quite as good as I remember it, but good nonetheless.

    Gwinna by Barbara Helen Berger.

    The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E.Nesbit.

    Wet Magic by E. Nesbit. I've read it before, only I didn't realize that when I checked it out, which probably accounts for some of the disapointment. All in all, it wasn't very good.

    The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit.

    The Story Girl by L. M. Montgomery.

    The Wind Singer: an adventure by William Nicholson.

    The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan. Meh. Too many angelic children. It's unnatural.

    Magic or Madness by Justine Larbelestier. The one thing all fantasy authors seem to agree on, is that magic takes energy.

    The Squires Tale by Gerald Morris.


    BOOKS ON TAPE

    The Pushcart War by Jean Merril. This book is absolutely hilarious.

    Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale.

  4. #3
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    Matriarch by Karen Traviss: Awesome as always from Traviss. I can't wait for the final two books in this series, which both come out next year. This was the best book I've read this year.

    Skeen's Search by Jo Clayton: This was the final book in the Skeen Trilogy. What I liked about the series: strong female characters, great aliens, a living ship, neat ways to get insight into the main character. Things I didn't like: too much rape, the series got a bit repetitive, the final book focused a bit too much on a serial killer sub-plot and not enough on the overall plot.

    Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman: I liked this more than I expected to, but the writing itself was pretty bad. The characters were interesting, the magic system was pretty cool, and since it took place in my home state, it felt like home so I didn't have to do a lot of mental gymnastics getting the world-building all mapped out in my head. I'll be reading more in this series.

    I didn't read too much this month because I got sidetracked by my book purge, so I skimmed through a bunch of Harlequins, Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (important and empowering, but way too depressing for me to ever want to revisit), and Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter (I hate paranormal romance for the most part, so this was utter crap IMO).

  5. #4
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    It's been a slow reading month here, too.
    My big read this month was a doozy, though- "La Bonne Cuisine" by Madame E. Saint-Ange. first published in 1927, it was the French 'Joy of Cooking'. Julia Child read it when she lived in France, and it inspired her to become a chef. I can't wait to try the recipes. what I've learned so far is that in 1927, people ate a lot more butter than they do now- but they also ate fresher food straight from the farm in much smaller portions. Her chicken recipe is supposed to feed 6 people, and she's not using anything near a Purdue Oven-stuffer.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by quaisior
    Matriarch by Karen Traviss: Awesome as always from Traviss. I can't wait for the final two books in this series, which both come out next year. This was the best book I've read this year.

    Skeen's Search by Jo Clayton: This was the final book in the Skeen Trilogy. What I liked about the series: strong female characters, great aliens, a living ship, neat ways to get insight into the main character. Things I didn't like: too much rape, the series got a bit repetitive, the final book focused a bit too much on a serial killer sub-plot and not enough on the overall plot.

    Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman: I liked this more than I expected to, but the writing itself was pretty bad. The characters were interesting, the magic system was pretty cool, and since it took place in my home state, it felt like home so I didn't have to do a lot of mental gymnastics getting the world-building all mapped out in my head. I'll be reading more in this series.

    I didn't read too much this month because I got sidetracked by my book purge, so I skimmed through a bunch of Harlequins, Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (important and empowering, but way too depressing for me to ever want to revisit), and Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter (I hate paranormal romance for the most part, so this was utter crap IMO).
    you might want to read "Oranges are not the only Fruit". Kind of depressing, but also empowering. And "Rubyfruit Jungle". I never seem to read lesbian novels anymore. But I can tell you this- Leslie Feinberg is pretty cool in real life- I've run into her a few times over the years.

  7. #6
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    Various sewing and quilting books,
    Under the Tuscan Sun,
    The Shadow Sorceress,
    Memoirs of a Geisha

    and

    Sex With Kings which is in progress and very good :)

  8. #7
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    I just finished looking through 'Remembering Jim Crow'- but it was too close to home and too depressing. I grew up on stories like that,from my parents' personal experiences. But the 'resistance' section was interesting- I still use some of those strategies.

  9. #8
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    I started "Oranges are not the only Fruit" in Oct and just finished it. It was an amazing book, i can't wait to read all of Winterson's books. She's one of those really intimate authors who makes you feel like she's talking right to you, I think.

  10. #9
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    CraftinFool, was Oranges the first book by Winterson you've read? I only ask because it's quite different from her normal fare and wanted you to be properly warned. Please note, however, that this is only meant as an informational warning--I certainly don't want to scare you off her books. She's one of my favorite authors and has a beautifully unique voice!

    Anyway, on to my reading this month...which was, unfortunately, pretty minimal. I've been busy on the homefront and had a harder time than expected making my way through one book.

    David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas took me the bulk of the month to read, but it was oh-so-very worthwhile. Anything I would do to describe the book would only cheapen what was a great literary experience. I'll definitely be looking for more by this author.

    I also managed to read The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell, second in a series of books about the Danes and Alfred the Great. I've been a fan of Cornwell since my husband turned me on to his Arthurian trilogy, and these books have been similar in that they use a minor character to give a view onto historically/culturally important people, events and themes.

    Otherwise, I only had the opportunity to look at two crafting books: Supercrafty and Crafty Chica's Art de la Soul. The first I was kind of "meh" about and didn't do much other than flip through it, but the latter really impressed me. The projects were unique and fun, but what really stood out was Kathy Cano Murillo's voice. I mean, the woman even made the introduction to her book fun and inspiring. How impossible of a feat is that? Every page seemed to vibrate with a sense of fun and can-do and why-don'tcha-do that I found just irresistable.

    I also started To Kill a Mockingbird last month--inspired by our thread on classic books--and just finished it this morning. A friend of mine is also going to rent the movie for us to watch some afternoon this week, so I'll be doing a whole lot of cultural catch-up on the Harper Lee front.

    About the book itself, I'll say it certainly deserves to be considered a classic and had just amazing, but utterly believable characters. I'm grateful for the time and attention I gave it.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by artgeek
    David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas took me the bulk of the month to read, but it was oh-so-very worthwhile. Anything I would do to describe the book would only cheapen what was a great literary experience. I'll definitely be looking for more by this author.
    That about sums up how I felt about that book too! I've read Ghostwritten by him, which is also excellent, and plan on reading everything by him eventually.


 
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