Friday, November 21, 2014

What I read this year (January)

Anybody browsing my blog would think that I only look forward to reading, and never actually read anything; it seems like all I post any more is Waiting on Wednesday, and I've missed that the last couple of weeks on account of my arbitrary cutoff of only posting those about books that are coming out in the same calendar year. (Watch this space: I'm already queuing up January releases.)

Since I've run out of anticipatory posts for this year I thought I might switch to a retrospective. Here's what I read in January 2014:
1. Remembrance of the Daleks, by Ben Aaronovitch (finished January 2). This is, of course, a Doctor Who novel, in which the seventh Doctor and Ace return to 1963 London to find two opposing factions of Daleks fighting over a Time Lord device the Doctor had left there six regenerations ago. In honor of the 50th anniversary last year, the BBC reissued a set of eleven novels, one for each Doctor we knew about at the time, and of course being the geek that I am I bought them all...except for the four my husband gave me as a Valentine's Day present, him being the geek that he is. This is the only novelization of a televised serial included in the anniversary set, adapted and expanded by the original scriptwriter, who I already loved for his other work.

2. Rattle His Bones, by Carola Dunn (January 5). Eighth in the Daisy Dalrymple series of cozy historical mysteries, which I always enjoy when I'm in the mood for some fluff. Daisy manages some excellent deduction in this one, when she is first on the scene for a murder at the Museum of Natural History.

3. Fairest, vol. 2: The Hidden Kingdom (January 10). In which Rapunzel follows up a message about her missing children. I didn't make a note of the actual writer of this one, though of course the series creator is the inimitable Bill Willingham. To be honest, the darkness of this particular storyline made me a little reluctant to carry on with the series.

4. The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood, by Susan Wittig Albert (January 12). Third in the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series of historical mysteries, in which Miss Potter advertises for cats, helps the local children look for fairies, and uncovers a fraud or two. I was interested that there's no murder in this one; it's always nice when mystery writers remember that there are other crimes.

5. Farthing, by Jo Walton (January 15). In which a Scotland Yard inspector investigates a murder at a house party, and the daughter of the house tries to prevent the blame from being fixed on her innocent--but Jewish--husband. Absolutely fascinating semi-historical murder mystery, with very strong overtones of Sayers and Tey, but set in an alternative England that made peace with Hitler in 1941 and is being overcome by a creeping fascism a decade or so later.

6. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell (January 19). In which college is more complicated than Cath expects. Entertaining, authentic and funny, as I said at the time.

7. Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (January 20). In which Cyclops puts together a hand-picked team to be the new faces of the X-Men, and to start acting like superheros. I stopped reading X-Men comics a long time ago, but I mean: written by Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday? Not skipping that one. I'd actually read the first of these two volumes a long time ago, but it was fun to catch up with the rest in spite of what they did to Kitty Pryde.
If I'd kept up that pace I'd be a lot closer to reading 100 books in the calendar year again, even though I didn't sign up for my library's challenge this year.

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