Book log for 2010

Book log 2010

In the end I didn’t quite make it to 100 books. Still, 92 books read this year isn’t bad going. I’d have liked to write reviews of more of them, but didn’t always have time and energy to do more than log a book. In fact, I’ve not really been up to reading for review for the last few months, which was a bit of a problem as I had several actual review copies in hand… I still owe Stevie Carroll a review on the full anthology she sent me, even if I did manage to say something sensible about her story in the anthology. However, I finally reviewed an Early Reviewers book from last year, and started requesting LTER books again. I’ve won two this year, the first of which alas I have still not started because I seem to have mislaid it on the Cybook. The second was a print copy of a short story anthology, and I read a few stories from it the first evening I had it. I’d only intended to read one to get a feel for it and leave the rest until I was awake enough to read-for-review, so I think it’s going to get a favourable review once I’ve finished it.

I need to have a tidy up of the Cybook, because although the memory is nowhere near full, the index system on the software leaves much to be desired and gets exceedingly slow when you have a hundred books loaded on one memory card. I may deal with this by buying some extra cards and splitting into sub-collections, should they be cheap in the sales next week. This would also let me put the books I would prefer not to be on public display on a separate card. :-)

January (posted Jan 31)

1) EC Tubb — Veruchia (reviewed Jan 14)
2) Joseph Green — Star Probe (DNF, logged Jan 22)
3) Ellen Kushner, editor — Basilisk (logged Jan 22)
4) Dorothy Sayers — Five Red Herrings (logged Jan 22)
5) PD James — The Private Patient (logged Jan 30)
6) Terry Pratchett — Thud! (logged Jan 31)

February (posted March 7)

7) Agatha Christie — 9:50 from Paddington (logged 3 Feb)
8) Andre Norton and Lyn McConchie — Beast Master’s Circus (reviewed 9 Feb)
9) Agatha Christie — Lord Edgware Dies (logged with brief comments 10 Feb)
10) Reginald Hill — Matlock’s System (logged with brief comments 16 Feb)
11) Agatha Christie — Murder in Mesopotamia (logged with brief comments 17 Feb)

March ( posted April 2)

12) Shamini Flint — Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Mystery (reviewed on 14 March)
13) Ruth Rendell — Portobello (reviewed on 20 March)
14) Dan Abnett — Torchwood: Border Princes (reviewed on 1 April)
15) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the Beales
16) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the Last Rites
17) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the Three Toed Pussy
18) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the Guilt-Edged Alibi

April (posted May 8)

19) Sam Storyteller — Your Face Is Turned (Torchwood fanfic) (reviewed 12 April 2010)
20) Agatha Christie — Peril At End House (abridged audiobook) (logged with comments 24 April 2010)
21) Sam_Storyteller — Condition of Release (reviewed 25 April 2010)
22) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and Death in Stanley Street (reviewed 2 May 2010)
23) James Anderson — The Affair of the Thirty-nine Cufflinks (logged with brief notes May 8)
24) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the Redhead (logged with brief notes May 8)

May (posted May 31)

25) Edward Marston — The Railway Detective (Inspector Robert Colbeck series, book 1)(logged with brief notes 8 May)
26) David Llewellyn — Trace Memory (Torchwood book 5) (reviewed earlier today)
27) Edward Marston — The Excursion Train (Inspector Robert Colbeck series, book 2) (logged 11 May)
28) Edward Marston(– The Railway Viaduct (Inspector Robert Colbeck series, book 3) (logged with brief notes May 31)
29) Alexander McCall Smith — Blue Shoes and Happiness (logged with brief notes May 31)

June (posted July 17)

30) Isaac Asimov, Martin H Greenberg and Charles G Waugh, editors — Catastrophes!
Themed anthology from 1981 (though contents dating back as far as 1938). Reviewed June 19.

31) Bamber Gascoigne — The Heyday
The story of a young woman’s heyday one Edwardian summer, as reconstructed many years later by her grandson from her diary and photographs. It’s a sweet, gentle and often very funny mystery, with a touch of bittersweet romance. Reviewed July 4.

32) Shamini Flint — Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul
Second in the Inspector Singh murder mystery series, and a jolly good read. Reviewed June 22.

33) James Blish — Galactic Cluster
Short story collection. I hadn’t read it for some years, and the collection is older than me. Unlike some 1950s sf, it’s held up reasonably well, at least if you liked it in the first place. Reviewed July 3.

34) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the pea-green boat [audiobook]
Read by Jack Shepherd (who played Wycliffe in the tv series). 3 CD set, generally well-read although I found Shepherd’s use of accents a bit distracting on occasion. Logged June 23.

35) Georgette Heyer — The Unfinished Clue
Country house murder mystery written and set in the early 1930s. Great fun, with an entertaining cast of suspects and some cunning red herrings. Reviewed July 3.

36) Shamini Flint — Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy
The third Inspector Singh, which was marvellous. Flint has really got into her stride with this one. Superb police procedural set in Singapore, by someone who knows the culture from the inside. It’s set in Singh’s home town, so we see more of his Sikh background, not least because a distant relative is involved in the case. Reviewed July 17.

37) Stevie Carroll’s short “The Monitors” in the erotic romance anthology Echoes of Possibilities from Noble Publishing. I still haven’t read the other stories in the anthology, so full review yet to come, but my note at the time was: I expected this to be good, and it was. A science fiction piece that deftly sketches a future culture as background for a ship’s crew shift change encounter that could just lead to something more. It’s a het piece, though not a standard issue m/f piece, as the m in the m/f is a transman in a world where trans surgery is effective but not yet cheap.

July (posted August 4)

38) Edward Marston — The Iron Horse
Fourth book in the Railway Detective series. Victorian era police procedural, this volume being about a very nasty attempt to interfere with the favourites in the Derby. The case starts with the discovery of a severed head in a hatbox… As with the others in the series, I enjoyed this competently written pulp, but not a keeper for me.

39) Georgette Heyer — Death in the Stocks
Another of Heyer’s mysteries, this one being the first of four about Superintendent Hannasyde, or so LibraryThing tells me. Lots of fun, although the characters were occasionally annoyingly rather than entertainingly eccentric. I liked it enough to stay up late finishing it.

40) Jennifer Ashley — The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Bought this one on the strength of the review at Dear Author. Historical romance with a hero who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Very, very well done, and the person who was going to get my copy if I didn’t want to keep it is going to have to buy her own. :-)

41) Val McDermid — Blue Genes
First one from this author that I’ve read, and I liked it a lot. Fifth in the series about Manchester-based Private investigator Kate Mulligan. I will note that part of what I enjoyed about it was the immersion in the city I currently live in. I’ll probably go and get more of these once I’ve reduced the tbr mountain a bit.

42) Isaac Asimov — A Whiff of Death
A university chemistry lecturer finds one of his PhD students dead in the lab. At first glance it looks like an unfortunate accident with a bottle of cyanide, but it’s clear to Lou Brade that his student was murdered — and that he’s the one who had the best opportunity to do it. Lou has a strong motive to find the killer before the police fix on *him* as the prime suspect, but to do so he has to navigate the office politics that could be just as deadly to his career as an outright accusation of murder.

Published in 1958, this is now a period piece and very much of its time in its social attitudes. But it’s still a good read, both in spite and because of that, nicely dissecting the ruthlessness of the academic life. Asimov constructed his story well, and while the habits of chemists and their materials are an essential part of the plot and the story is permeated with chemistry, you don’t need to know any chemistry yourself to follow the story or to work out whodunnit.

43) John Barrowman — Anything Goes
The first volume of Barrowman’s autobiography, which I bought not so much for fangirl reasons but because I learnt from David Niven’s work that well-written actor’s memoirs can be entertaining even if you know nothing about the actor at the time. I’ve been reading this on and off over the last few months, and while it’s not to the same level as some memoirs, it’s an entertaining read. Barrowman comes over as being possessed of both an enormous ego and great generosity of spirit — and as being much more solidly grounded in reality than many celebrities.

44) Alexi Panshin — Star Well
This is one of my comfort reads, and I started it on Thursday night when I was getting over the migraine enough to want to read, but not to feel up to tackling something new. I also didn’t feel like pulling out my current bus book and reading that, so Star Well got pulled off the shelf. I bought it some thirty years ago, and have read it often enough that it’s probably a good thing that I committed the unspeakable crime against its paperback person of sticky-backed plastic. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, it’s an sf comedy of manners that has by now delighted several generations of sf fans, even though it’s been out of print in treeware for years. (Fortunately it is readily available as part of a legal ebook omnibus of the 3 published books in the series, either direct from the publisher or through Fictionwise.)

August (posted Setember 5)

Logged with brief notes on 14 August:

45) Lillian Stewart Carl — Ashes to Ashes
46) Agatha Christie — The ABC Murders (audiobook)
47) Nancy Mitford — Don’t Tell Alfred

Logged with brief notes on 20 August:

48) Edward Marston — Murder on the Brighton Express
49) Georgette Heyer — Behold, Here’s Poison
50) Jonathan Fast — Mortal Gods
51) Frank Herbert — The Green Brain

Logged August 26:

52) David Niven — The Moon’s a balloon (audiobook)
53) John Brunner — Born Under Mars

And I posted a discussion thread for The Heyday on August 21, where Stevie and I had some spoilerific discussion of the book.

September (posted October 2)

54) Agatha Christie — Sparkling Cyanide [audiobook]
Reviewed 12 September.

55) Agatha Christie — The Blood-Stained Pavement and other stories [audiobook]
Reviewed 15 September.

56) Brian Aldiss — “Equator” and “Segregation”

57) Philip Jose Farmer — Timestop

58) Frank Herbert — The worlds of Frank Herbert

59) Diana Dors — Behind closed Dors
Logged with brief notes on 19 September.

60) Miss Read — Village School
Logged with brief notes on why DNF on 25 September.

61) Roger Elwood — Continuum 1
Logged with notes about individual stories on 26 September

62)Georgette Heyer — They Found Him Dead
Logged with notes 2 October

63) MC Beaton — Death of a Gossip
Logged with notes 2 October

64) MC Beaton — Death of a Cad
Logged with notes 2 October

65) John Wray — Lowboy
Reviewed 2 October

Plus a book discussion thread about Shamini Flint’s “Inspector Singh Investigates” series, posted on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal on 18 September.

October (posted November 1)

66) Reginald Hill – Midnight Fugue (logged with notes October 17)
67) Georgette Heyer – A Blunt Instrument (logged with notes October 17)
68) Arthur C Clarke – Dolphin Island (reviewed October 24)

69) Alan E Nourse – Trouble on Titan
YA book published in 1954, which alas has had at least a light sprinkling of pixie dust from the sexism fairy.

70) Arthur C Clarke – The Deep Range
SF novel for adults published in 1957, which has some broad similarities to the later Dolphin Island (at book 68)

71) Paul Cook — The Alejandra Variations
SF novel for adults published in 1984

72) Agatha Christie – The Blue Geranium, and other stories (audiobook)
More Miss Marple short stories read by Joan Hickson

73) Dick Francis – Knockdown
Thanks, Green Knight, this was partly from you talking about his writing techniques. I decided to try one of his books since they were on offer in The Works, and now regret not buying more while they were in stock.

74) Edward Marston – The Silver Locomotive
Sixth in the Railway Detective series. Good pulpy fun, and by the end there is finally some development in one of the character relationships, after six books’ worth of nothing happening.

November (posted December 1)

75) Jennifer Ashley — Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage
Victorian romance, second of a quartet. Logged with brief notes on 6 November.

76) Edward Marston — The Frost Fair
Fourth in a mystery series set in Restoration London. Logged with brief notes on 14 November.

77) MC Beaton — Death of a Perfect Wife
Fourth in the Hamish Macbeth mystery series, and the last I’ll be reading. Logged with reasons why on 14 November.

78) Erich Maria Remarque — All Quiet On The Western Front
Logged with notes on November 14, Remembrance Sunday

79) Sam Storyteller — Your Face Is Turned (re-read)
Logged on November 14, previously reviewed on 12 April

80) Georgette Heyer – No Wind of Blame
Logged with brief notes on 21 November.

81) Joseph Green – The Loafers of Refuge
Logged with brief notes December 1

82) Sharyn McCrumb – Zombies of the Gene Pool
Logged with brief notes December 1

83) Laurie R King — The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Logged with brief notes December 1


84) Val McDermid – The Grave Tattoo
Logged with brief notes December 7

85) Val McDermid — Killing the Shadows
Logged with brief notes December 21

86) Carola Dunn — Damsel in Distress
87) Carola Dunn — Dead in the Water
88) Carola Dunn — Styx and Stones

Logged with brief notes December 21

89) Leslie Charteris — The Saint Meets the Tiger
Logged with brief notes December 21

90) Agatha Christie – The Blue Geranium, and other stories (audiobook)
Re-read, logged with brief notes December 31
LibraryThing entry

91) Thomas Burnett Swann — Moondust
Logged with brief notes December 31
Librarything entry

92) Colin Kapp — The Wizard of Anharitte
Logged with brief notes December 31
LibraryThing entry


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