And the full list of books read in 2011 — all 117 of them. Most of them got at least brief notes which have been posted to the blogs and to LibraryThing, although the ones in the last couple of months have been somewhat neglected.
Book log 2011
1) Dorothy L Sayers — Whose Body
2) Agatha christie – At Bertam’s Hotel [audiobook]
3) Edited by Josie Brown, Rose Mambert, and Bill Racicot — Elf Love
4) Sam Storyteller – Condition of Release
Re-read of a Torchwood fanfic novel, because I felt like reading it again and looked up and found I’d finished it and it was past my bedtime…
5) Iain M Banks — Surface Detail
6) PD James – The Lighthouse
7) Agatha Christie — The Moving Finger
8) Agatha Christie — They Do It With Mirrors
9) Agatha Christie – Nemesis
10) E.C. Tubb — The Luck Machine
11) Jonathan Gash — The Rich and the Profane
12) E.E “Doc” Smith – The Vortex Blaster
13) E.M. Forster – A Room With a View
14) PG Wodehouse — Right Ho, Jeeves
15) Agatha Christie — The Complete Miss Marple Stories
16) Justin Richards — Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man
17) Georgette Heyer – Detection unlimited
18) Dorothy L Sayers — The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
19) Edgar Allan Poe — The Fall of the House of Usher
Short story downloaded from FeedBooks, logged with notes 20 March 2011.
21) James Stephens – Irish Fairy Tales
Part-read, logged 20 March 2011.
22) Carola Dunn — Rattle His Bones
Eighth in the Daisy Dalrymple series about a young aristocrat who writes for a living and has a bad habit of stumbling into murder mysteries. Logged with notes 20 March 2011.
23) Vonda N McIntyre — The Starfarers Quartet: Starfarers
24) Vonda N McIntyre — The Starfarers Quartet: Transition
In progress review posted 22 March, full review of the quartet posted 26 April 2011.
25) Aoike Yasuko — From Eroica With Love 1
Re-read, previously reviewed at LibraryThing
26) Aoike Yasuko — From Eroica With Love 2
Re-read, previously reviewed at LibraryThing
27) Aoike Yasuko — From Eroica With Love 3
Re-read, previously reviewed at LibraryThing
28) Vonda N McIntyre — The Starfarers Quartet: Metaphase
29) Vonda N McIntyre — The Starfarers Quartet: Nautilus
Full review of the quartet posted 26 April 2011.
30) Reginald Hill — There are no ghosts in the Soviet Union, and other stories
Collection of half a dozen crime stories first published in 1987, which has some bearing on the tone of some of them. The collection is laced with a biting humour, and some superb if sardonic observations of human nature. Logged with notes 28 April 2011.
31) Stephen Cole — Doctor Who: The Monsters Inside
Second of the tie-ins published for the new series. It’s a Who tie-in novel, with nothing much to either recommend or disrecommend it. Not one I’m inclined to give permanent shelfspace. Logged with notes 30 April 2011.
32) Agatha Christie — The Body in the Library
Miss Marple novel with, yes, a body in the library. The library in question belongs to an old friend of Miss Marple, but the dead blonde doesn’t. A week or so after reading the book, I listened to the abridged audiobook from Macmillan Digital Audio, read by Ian Masters. It’s a good abridgment on 3 CDs which manages to retain the necessary plot elements without signalling them too broadly. Logged with notes 1 May 2011.
33) Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree
The fourth of the series about the portly chain-smoking Inspector from Singapore’s police service. This time Singh has been volunteered to hold a watching brief on behalf of ASEAN at the Cambodian war crimes tribunal. This is a powerful story, with characters who make you care about their fate. A worthy addition to the Inspector Singh series. Reviewed 2 May 2011.
34) James Herriot – If only they could talk [audiobook]
First of the memoir/novels by James Herriot about life in a rural veterinary practice, abridged to 3 CD length. It’s read by Christopher Timothy, who played Herriot in the 1970s/80s tv adaptation All Creatures Great and Small, and it’s read very well. Logged with notes 2 May 2011.
35) James Goss — Torchwood: Ghost Train [audiobook]
2 CD Torchwood story written for audio, and set between second and third series. It’s read by actor Kai Owen, for the very good reason that it’s a first person narrative from one Rhys Williams, haulage manager. What we get is not just “actor reads book”, but “actor in character tells us a story about what happened when he got mixed up in an alien invasion last week”. A great story with plenty of re-listen potential. Brief review 2 May 2011.
36) Reginald Hill — A Clubbable Woman [audiobook]
Abridged audio adaptation of the first book in the Dalziel & Pascoe series (which I’ve previously reviewed), on 3 CDs. It’s read by Warren Clarke, who played Dalziell in the tv adaptation. This is a good abridgement, which from following along in places on the printed edition I thought cut about half the text while retaining everything needed for the plot, plus a good chunk of the characterisations. Clarke does an excellent job of reading. Logged with notes 2 May 2011.
37) Agatha Christie — The body in the library [audiobook]
Audiobook abridged on 3 cds, reviewed as part of the review of the print edition.
38) Hyouta Fujiyama — Freefall Romance
Yaoi manga, and a Did Not Finish for me, mostly because I was half way through when I found some torn pages with large sections of the page missing, and I wasn’t sufficiently interested in finishing it to request a replacement copy. Logged with brief notes 3 May 2011.
39) Bob Shaw — Shadow of Heaven
[NEL abridged edition]
Short novel set in a future where an act of terrorism has rendered much of the world’s arable land unusable without reducing the population. Logged with notes 16 May 2011.
40) Jacqueline Rayner – Doctor Who: Winner Takes All
Third in the New Who novel line. The plot’s interesting and the characterisations for Nine and Rose are good. But where the story really shines for me is in one of the one-off characters. Enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. This one I’ll probably re-read. Logged with notes 16 May 2011.
41) Ursula Vernon — Digger [graphic novel]
And this is what ate my Good Friday in 2011, courtesy of a link at Making Light — the webcomic “Digger”. Logged with notes 16 May 2011.
42) Agatha Christie — A Murder Is Announced
Miss Marple novel. Beautifully constructed mystery, with the clues all there but skillfully disguised, in a lovely study of English village life soon after the end of the Second World War. Logged with notes 17 May 2011.
43) Alexander McCall Smith — The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
The first of a series about Precious Ramotswe, the Botswanan woman who sets up a detective agency. Logged with notes 22 May 2011.
44) Gary Russell — Torchwood: The Twilight Streets
Sixth of the Torchwood tie-in novels, set late in second season and with a lot of canon references. And my most favourite of all the canon references is the return of Idris Hopper, the Mayor’s secretary from the Doctor Who episode Boom Town. :-) Logged with notes 22 May 2011.
45) Georgette Heyer – Footsteps in the Dark
One of Heyer’s mysteries, this one a stand-alone rather than part of a series. Logged with notes 22 May 2011.
46) Alex Epstein — The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan Le Fay
Young adult novel about what happened to the sorceress Morgan le Fay between the point in her childhood when her father was murdered by Uther Pendragon, and her return as an adult to trouble her half-brother King Arthur. Reviewed May 29.
47) Agatha Christie – A pocket full of rye
City businessman Rex Fortescue has a nice cup of tea at the office, and dies of poisoning. The peculiar points to this are the poison used, and the fact that the dead man’s pocket had grains of rye amongst the contents. Reviewed May 29.
48) Justin Richards — Doctor Who: The Deviant Strain
Fourth of the new series tie-in novels. This one has Rose and Captain Jack as the companions, in a story set in a remote Soviet naval base abandoned after the end of the Cold War. Reviewed May 29.
49) Agatha Christie – The mirror crack’d from side to side
Hollywood actress Marina Gregg intends to take part in village life, and this includes hosting a public fund-raising event in the grounds for charity, and inviting various village notables to a private reception to view the refurbishments. As the former owner of the house, Miss Marple’s old friend Mrs Bantry is an honoured guest — which puts her in a prime position to view events at the reception that in hindsight were a prelude to a murder. Reviewed May 30.
50) Leslie Charteris – Enter the Saint
Second book in the Saint series, a trio of novelettes/novellas rather than a novel. Logged with brief notes May 30.
51) Edward Marston — Railway to the grave
Seventh in the Railway Detective series, about a Victorian detective inspector specialising in railway crime in the early days of the railways. Reviewed May 30.
52) John Carnell, editor — New Writings in SF 20
One of the 1972 editions of the long-running science fiction anthology series. Reviewed
53) Agatha Christie — A Caribbean Mystery
Miss Marple’s nephew has paid for her to have a holiday in the Caribbean as part of her convalescence after a bad bout of pneumonia. The setting is very different to St Mary Mead, but the behaviours on display amongst the ex-pats are only too familiar. Reviewed May 30.
54) Elisabeth Beresford — The Wombles
First in what became a series of over 20 books about the creatures living in a large burrow underneath Wimbledon Common, who make a living by collecting and re-using the rubbish left behind by careless humans.
55) Una McCormack — Doctor Who: The Way Through the Woods
I bought this one because I’ve known the writer for years and have admired her writing since back when she was writing fanfic in My One True Fandom. It should be assumed that I am not capable of giving an unbiased opinion, but this book is full of squee for me.
56) Frank Herbert – The Eyes Of Heisenberg
Short sf novel from 1966 about a far distant future where genetic engineering has brought longer lives for all and immortality for a minority.
57) Reginald Hill — An Advancement of Learning
Re-read of the second Dalziel and Pascoe novel.
58) Jonathan Swift — Gulliver’s Travels
Or to give it its full and proper title, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships. Logged June 11.
Free public domain ebook at Feedbooks
59) Christopher Wakling — The Devil’s Mask
Note – I received a free review copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme.
A page-turner that brings to life the physical and moral price paid for the profits of the slave trade, even after abolition. Reviewed June 12.
hardcover at Amazon UK
Kindle at Amazon UK
paperback at Amazon UK (release date March 2012)
60) Alexander McCall Smith — The Tears of the Giraffe
Second of the series about Precious Ramotswe, the No.1 and indeed only lady detective in Botswana. A gentle, heartwarming book that blends entertaining detective stories with wonderful characterisation and sense of place. Logged July 9.
61) Ben Macallan — Desdaemona
A welcome return to dark urban fantasy for Chaz Brenchley, writing under the name of Ben Macallan. It’s often very funny, and sometimes terrifying, and occasionally heartbreaking; all the more so because it shows how the monsters can be only too human. Reviewed July 10.
First chapter as free sample at Book View Cafe
Desdaemona paperback at Amazon UK
Desdaemona Kindle edition at Amazon UK
62) Reginald Hill — Ruling Passion
Third of the Dalziel and Pascoe books. This is a superb study of a policeman struggling and frequently failing to retain his professional detachment in the face of a crime that strikes only too close to home. Logged July 16.
63) Gareth Roberts — Doctor Who: Only HUman
Fifth of the New Who novels, with Nine, Rose, and Captain Jack. A Neanderthal turns up in 21st century Bromley, and the Tardis crew turn up to investigate why someone is using a particularly primitive, and stupid, method of time travel in the area. Logged July 16.
64) WJ Burley — Wycliffe: Death In A Salubrious Place [audiobook]
Abridged audiobook on 3 CDs of the fourth book in the Wycliffe series. Logged July 12.
65) Ian Rankin — Watchman
An early one from Rankin, a standalone spy novel written between writing the first and second Rebus novels. Probably not a keeper for me, but I’m glad to have read it. Logged July 12.
66) Reginald Hill — An April Shroud
Fourth in the Dalziel and Pascoe series. Logged 7 August.
67) Margery Allingham — My Friend Mr Campion and other mysteries
Collection containing the novella The Case of the Late Pig, four short stories, and a short essay excerpted from a radio broadcast by Allingham. Logged 7 August.
68) Alan Hunter — Landed Gently
Fourth in the Inspector George Gently series, and the first that I’ve read. Logged 7 August.
69) Agatha Christie — “How does your garden grow?” and other stories [audiobook]
Five short stories taken from the collection “Poirot’s Early Cases”, read on 3 CDs by the man who plays him so perfectly on tv, David Suchet. Logged 14 August.
70) Edward Marston — The Amorous Nightingale
Second in the Christopher Redmayne historical mystery series, set in London just after the Great Fire of 1666. Logged 20 August.
71) Barry Perowne — Raffles of the M.C.C.
Not the original Raffles stories, but one of the pastiche collections.
72) Steve Lyons — Doctor Who: The Stealers of Dreams
Sixth of the tie-in novels for New Who, and the last to feature the Ninth Doctor (and thus also pre-immortality Jack).
73) James Goss — Torchwood: Department X [audiobook]
One of the audio-only tie-in novels, read by Kai Owen on 2 CDs, and set between series 2 and 3.
74) Alexander McCall Smith — Corduroy Mansions
Good-natured and enjoyable, but about two-thirds of the way through I found that it simply wasn’t holding my interest any longer. Logged 28 August.
76) Colin Kapp — Patterns of Chaos
This is a solid piece of 1970s space opera, with a plot on the grand scale combined with some fascinating details to flesh out the universe, and some well-realised characters. Logged 3 September.
77) Bernard Knight — the Witch Hunter
The eighth in a crime fiction series set in the twelfth century, following the cases of Crowner John, a knight who has been appointed as the first coroner of Devon by Richard the Lionheart. This was the first I’d read, and will be the last even though I have another in the TBR pile, because it was a Did Not Finish for me. Logged 3 September.
78) Jacqueline Rayner — Doctor Who: The Stone Rose
Seventh of the tie-in novels to go with New Who, and the first featuring the Tenth Doctor. Logged 11 September.
79) Pati Nagle – Pet Noir
Short fix-up novel about a genetically engineered cat whose creation is commissioned by the security chief of a large space station. The chief wants an undercover agent who’ll be overlooked by criminals who might be suspicious of humanoids. Reviewed for LibraryThing Early Reviewers on September 11.
81) EF Benson — Mapp and Lucia [audiobook]
82) Stephen Cole – Doctor Who: The Feast Of the Drowned
83) Alan Hunter — Gently Through the Mill
84) Ruth Rendell — From Doon with Death (Inspector Wexford 1)
85) Roger Bax — Blueprint for Murder
86) Ruth Rendell — Wolf to the Slaughter (Inspector Wexford 2)
87) James Goss: Torchwood: First Born
88) Agatha Christie — The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side [audiobook]
89) Lois McMaster Bujold — Cryoburn
90) Michael Swanwick — Stations of the Tide
91) Alan Hunter — Gently in the Sun
92) Agatha Christie — The 4:50 From Paddington [audiobook]
93) Joseph Lidster — Torchwood: In the Shadows [audiobook]
94) Michael Kring — The Space Mavericks
95) Michael Kring — Children of the Night
96) August Derleth — The Casebook of Solar Pons
97) Sarah Pinborough — Torchwood: Long Time Dead
98) Daniel Fox — Hidden Cities
99) Ruth Rendell — A New Lease of Death
100) Terry Pratchett — Wyrd sisters [audiobook]
101) Guy Adams — Torchwood: The Men Who Sold the World
102) Edward Gorey — The Lost Lions
103) Alexander McCall Smith – Morality For Beautiful Girls
104)Alexander McCall Smith – The Kalahari Typing School For Men
105) Leslie Charteris — The Saint closes the case
106) Ruth Rendell — The Best Man to Die
107) Ruth Rendell — A Guilty Thing Surprised
108) Ruth Rendell — No More Dying Then
109) Alan Hunter — Gently to the summit
110) Alan Hunter — Gently with the painters
111) Lucia’s Progress [audiobook]
112) John Barrowman — I am what I am
113) Alan Hunter — Gently go Man
114) Diane Purkis — Fairies and Fairy Stories: A History
115) Ruth Rendell — Murder being Once Done
116) Mary Stewart — Madam, will you talk?
117) Carola Dunn — Death at Wentworth Court