January 2012 Books Read

1 Feb

My new year’s resolution for 2012 was to read more books. I used to love reading, but I’ve fallen out of the habit (even though I have much more free time than I used to). I read embarrassingly few books in 2011 – not including cookbooks and re-reads of old favourites, I think I read a grand total of 6 books.

I figured that buying a Kindle would help me read more, and I was right! In January I’ve read 13 books.

To keep the Kindle dust free I ordered a sleeve from The Office of Minor Details.

As everyone told me, if you own a Kindle (or other e-reader) Calibre is absolutely indispensable. I have a system where if I enjoy a book I keep it on the Kindle for easy access, but otherwise I delete it from the Kindle and just keep the book in Calibre. So here are the books I read in January 2012:

*** Deleted ***

Crimson Kiss by Trisha Baker
Crimson Night by Trisha Baker
Crimson Shadows by Trisha Baker
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton
Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Lady Most Likely by Connie Brockway, Eloise James and Julia Quinn

The Crimson Series was truly awful. I forced myself to read it because it was a hassle to get ahold of the mobi files for an out of print series, and the secondhand copies are sold for $40-70 on eBay so I thought there had to be some redeeming element. Nope. It wasn’t well-written, and the main character kept shouting at everyone, which the author probably felt made her passionate, but actually made her seem deranged. I wanted to punch almost every character, and the ones I didn’t were all killed off anyway. If the book hadn’t been so earnest (and didn’t pre-date the explosion of the vampire romance genre by about a decade) I would have assumed it was satire.

The Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton are pretty easy reading, and after the Crimson books they seem like great literature. Apparently a couple of books from now the author loses her nut and her personal life spills into the books in a toe-curlingly embarrassing way. I read five of the series to see if would grow on me (like I said, it’s easy reading), but I’m not really getting into it. If this is as good as it gets I’m don’t think I’ll stick around for the downturn.

The Lady Most Likely was pretty “meh”. I normally enjoy Connie Brockway for escapist romance but it wasn’t one of her better efforts.

*** Kept ***

Wool by Hugh Howey
Wool 2 by Hugh Howey
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

I’ve always thought that Stephen King’s best writing is in his short stories and novellas. His full length stories often suffer from bloat, but his short stories are much punchier and the endings are much better. My all time favourite ending of King’s is The Mist – absolutely sublime. Full Dark, No Stars is not his strongest collection of shorts (that goes to Skeleton Crew), but they are solid King and well worth reading.

The Wool series is my happy Kindle find. It’s a series of novellas priced at 99c each (except for Wool 5 which is full length and $2.99) and is about a future where humanity lives in an immense underground silo because the world outside is too toxic to sustain life. I have a soft spot for dystopian fiction, and Wool is good at sustaining its quietly oppressive atmosphere. I already have Wool 3-5 loaded, ready to go for February.

Stories of Your Life and Others is one of the best collections of short stories I’ve ever read – pretty much every one is a winner. A must-read.


12 Responses to “January 2012 Books Read”

  1. Ormi February 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Yes at round about book 6 the Anita Blake books get disturbingly kinky, which is where I dropped them. The monster fighting/crime detection stuff was enjoyable, the graphic monster sex, not so much 😛

    • pamperedhousewife February 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      Apparently Richard = her first husband and Micah = her second husband. And once she and her first husband divorced the books got really bad, and she started writing his character really badly and talking about what a giant dick her second husband’s character had. Awkward.

      • Ormi February 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

        I don’t remember/didn’t read far enough to encounter Micah. I wonder who Jean Claude was based on (if anyone).

        And yeah, although it wasn’t at all egregious by the stage I dropped out, you could see Richard’s different characterisation coming through in the last book I read (either 6 or 7, I forget).

      • pamperedhousewife February 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

        Check out the second photo on this website. Huge mental cringe!

  2. bibliopirate February 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Wow, it’s been ages since I read Anita Blake. Enjoy!

    • pamperedhousewife February 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Yeah I think I got onto it heaps later than everyone else. I’m pretty slow out of the gate!

  3. Kalo February 2, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    i read the anita blake graphic novel (which was the first book split into a series) and i liked it so i borrowed one of the books from the library… 😦 fk that was a bad idea

    read ‘the road’ – cormac mccarthy for awesome dystopian fiction & ‘a second chance at eden’ – peter f. hamilton for a very good short story collection (sci-fi stuff, so if you don’t like sci-fi don’t)

    • pamperedhousewife February 2, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      I have The Road in paperback. I enjoyed it, but man it was bleak – I think I curled up and whimpered afterwards.

      I enjoy sci-fi so will check out Peter F. Hamilton. I have something by him already but it’s not the one you mentioned, it’s something called The Evolutionary Void.

      • Kalo February 2, 2012 at 9:54 am #

        thats the 3rd book in a trilogy..? why did you read that and not the series??

      • pamperedhousewife February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am #

        I haven’t read it – I just have it!

  4. Kalo February 2, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    read it in order or i will punch you >:-(

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