harvest 2008

So I swear that this year I will actually stay current and produce my year-end post in a timely manner. I'm even starting it in March. March, I tell you!

And now that it's January, I can see that I did a good job with this during the past year. Even if I'm not posting the harvest until the tenth eleventh of the month.

This was a good year of reading for me. I managed to hit seventy books. Even if I was having to push through the last book of the year, just finishing it with hours to spare.

I think this is the first time I've compiled stats of what I read. This is, surprisingly, more difficult than I had anticipated it would be. I believe this is due to the fluidity and imprecision of labels. Or at least the imprecision with which I labeled books. For example, in reviewing my reviews, I'm not sure why I classified Percy Jackson and The Shadow Thieves as fantasy but Oh. My. Gods. and Pandora Gets Jealous and Gods Behaving Badly as fiction when they're all about the Greek/Roman gods. And why did I label Suck It Up as fiction whereas, had I actually read it, I would have classified Breaking Craptastica as fantasy? So I believe that for my stats, I'm going to have to generalize the categories a bit to make them easier to assess. Perhaps I'll be more precise next year in my labeling.

That said, here are this year's stats:

Books read: 70
Pages read: 20,706

Nonfiction—Inspirational: 1
Nonfiction—Informational: 3
Nonfiction—Essay/Memoir: 1
Poetry: 1
Short Stories: 1
Graphic Novel: 3
General Fiction—Adult: 4
General Fiction—YA: 23
General Fiction—MG: 6
Fantasy—Adult: 3
Fantasy—YA: 8
Fantasy—MG: 8
Sci Fi/Apocalyptic—YA: 5
Sci Fi/Apocalyptic—MG: 3

2008: 32
2007: 21
2006: 5
2005: 3
2004: 3
2003: 2
2001: 2
1988: 1

Books Edited: 15
Books Evaluated for Publication: 4 (1 evaluated twice)

All in all, not a bad year. I think my best books for the year are Thirteen Reasons Why, The Willoughbys, How They Met, Unwind, Suck It Up, Larklight series, Gods Behaving Badly, My Most Excellent Year, The Graveyard Book, Paper Towns, What I Saw and How I Lied, Vintage, and Swish.

There aren't many that I regret picking up, though my least books for the year would include the books of Ember, Click, Changing Jamie, Girl v. Boy, Gifted, Magyk, Broadway Nights, The Shadow Thieves, Big Fat Manifesto, and A Mercy.

And finally, the year in review . . .
  1. The Well of Lost Plots
    I think this may be my favorite Thursday Next book at this point. It's in this one where the world Fforde has created gets truly ingenious. I really love his characters, and Next really becomes likable at this point as she's not out creating her own problems (necessarily, anyway).

  2. Click
    I picked this book up because I thought it was an intriguing idea and I like some of the authors. I like that the narrative is employing a variety of short stories by different authors. I just don't think it worked.

  3. Thirteen Reasons Why
    This book is rather haunting. Good, but haunting nonetheless.

  4. Slam
    I do remember that I picked it up because I like Nick Hornby and I was interested in seeing what he would do when writing YA. Truth be told, I recall being a bit disappointed. The writing was fair enough, it's just that neither the book nor the writing stood out.

  5. The City of Ember
    The first book is, in terms of story and quality, the better book in the series. I think that has to do with the fact that apocalyptic fiction relies on the world you create.

  6. The People of Sparks
    I think the quality of storytelling and writing is in a bit of a decline. Here, I attribute that to my general Dislike of the Sequel. I can't say I was particularly interested in more of Lina and Doon's adventures. And I guess my problem with this is that I find it a bit on the implausible side that Lina and Doon can be the saviors of civilization yet again. Perhaps it would have been better for the author to spread the glory around a bit.

  7. How They Met
    And it's brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. Then again, I have a tendency to think Levithan is brilliant as it is. The best part, though, is that through this book we discover that Levithan has always been brilliant.

  8. Life As We Knew It
    What I like about these books in particular is the idea behind them. I read in an interview with Pfeffer that she intentionally wanted to explore how people respond to cataclysmic events but she wanted to do so without the event being the fault of humans. Hence the asteroid pushing the moon closer to earth. And the books are wonderful because of this.

  9. Repossessed
    It's not my favorite Printz book I've read. It does have one of the sharper covers, but that's not necessarily a reason to recommend it.

  10. The White Darkness
    I had initial difficulty getting into it because I just didn't like Sym. Fortunately, one thing she had going for her was that I could tell that I would more than likely end up liking her. I had to work at this, because she adores her uncle, who I could tell was a very bad seed from the get-go. And she's very passive, which I find to be an amazingly taxing trait to tolerate. She was also a bit slow on figuring out what was going on. I've noticed that I can handle this in third-person narratives, but I don't take it quite as well in first-person narratives.

  11. The Prophet of Yonwood
    In terms of actual writing and storytelling, I felt this book was the weakest of the three. I think that is most evident when you get to the last chapter, which is essentially a required epilogue. And we all know how I feel about those. But DuPrau forced herself into that by leaving too many open threads that needed resolution. And she had to somehow connect this book to the other two, since it's billed as a prequel.

  12. A Really Nice Prom Mess
    Initially, I wasn't digging the book. The action was rather blah and I wasn't overly fond of the protagonist's voice either. Fortunately, that all changed when Cameron left the prom with the bisexual Russian pot dealer. Suddenly there was something interesting happening. And suddenly Cameron's voice wasn't quite so irritating and whiny.

  13. The Willoughbys
    I'm beginning to feel that you can't lose with a Lowry book. I've always enjoyed her writing. I find her to be insightful and well paced. This book is just as entertaining. I like the "old" feel to it. I like the dry, almost macabre, sense of humor to it.

  14. Pandora Gets Jealous
    This book is cute, but it borders a bit on the fluff side. It's still set in Ancient Greece, but the language and attitude is very much contemporary American. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I guess it works well enough. The characters are interesting and seem to work well together.

  15. Unwind
    Yes, it's another sci fi novel. And this one is good too. It's dark, there's no denying that. I mean, consider the premise: as a political compromise between the pro-life and pro-choice camps, legislation is passed that prohibits abortion, though when kids turns thirteen, they can be retroactively aborted, but all their parts must be harvested and recycled. Creepy. (Especially since you actually get to have a scene where a kid is being unwound.)

  16. Attack of the Fiend
    I find that this series gets better and better with each book. Unlike Harry Potter, Tom continues to grow and learn and piece things together on his own. Yes, he makes some poor decisions, but he's drawn in such a way that you care about his learning curve and the conflict he has with his emotions and his profession.

  17. Magyk
    I don't remember much about this book except that I found it to be rather disappointing. And I think I recall corresponding with someone about it (DesMama maybe?) wherein I enumerated its many flaws, but now I can't find those e-mails. Part of me wants to think that the plot was underdeveloped and overly predictable, that the characters were shallow, that there was nothing to stand out about this book. Of course, if it gives kids who are in love with Harry another series to dive into, then go for it.

  18. Broadway Nights
    Whatever reviews I had read of this, they made it sound like this wonderfully written, gleeful romp. By and large, I was disappointed. I guess, when all is said and done, the writing was fine. The Broadway trivia was fun. But where I had issues with the book was with the protagonist. Knowing that, it shouldn't surprise you that I'm now going to complain about how I couldn't respect the character because I don't like books where the plot conflict stems from the character's inherent stupidity. I just have no sympathy for a guy who wants to bitch about how much his love life sucks when he insists on only dating guys who already have boyfriends. For years. If you choose to be the other man, you choose to be miserable.

  19. The Battle of the Labyrinth
    I love it. Lots and lots and heaps and heaps. Basically, this is one of my favorite series. And I really like where Riordan has taken it. I find the way in which he has given the Labyrinth life and character to be intriguing. I like that Percy is still an utterly likable character. I like that he's being put in positions where he has to make difficult decisions. And I like the end and how Percy has chosen to relate to the characters around him. I'm anxious for the next (perhaps closing?) volume in the series.

  20. The Manny Files
    My surprise with this book was the age. I confess that I was expecting it to be an adult novel, taking after Nanny Diaries. But I was wrong. After I adjusted to that massive paradigm shift, I found that I enjoyed the novel.

  21. The Shadow Thieves
    I picked this book up from a Devil's Den end stand that basically said if you like Percy Jackson, you should read this. The employee who put up that stand ought to be fired. The premise behind this book has so much promise, even if it is fairly standard—two kids must venture into the Underworld to save us all. The characters the author has created are actually fairly interesting. But somehow, it all just fell apart and failed to work.

  22. Savvy
    I really liked this book. It's a fairly simple, straight-forward read, but it settles into just the right places. You get the "extraordinary" ability fantasy elements of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but because the author doesn't take you out of this world, it seems all the more endearing.

  23. Saints of Augustine
    This was a slow book to get into, but in the end, I enjoyed it. It's not at the top of my to recommend list, because I really don't recall much more about it other than the impression that I appreciated how Ryan approached their friendship and the tension Sam brought to it because he wasn't able to own up to his homosexuality or how that would affect his friendship.

  24. Heart to Heart
    Initially, I thought this book was amazing and had decided I was going to get a copy for the kids to have. I really liked that you had poetry inspired by and about art. Now that some time has passed, I find that my feelings of love and adoration have quelled significantly. There was more poetry in there that didn't impress than there was that did. At least in terms of what I remember. I think the organizational breakdown for the book is a good concept but ineffectively realized.

  25. Zen and the Art of Faking It
    This was a cute story. I mean, how can you help but love a boy who finally gets something good from moving every year? Granted, declaring yourself a zen guru can't help but end poorly. But it was a cute story. Nothing to jump up and down about, but cute nonetheless.

  26. Vintage
    I'm frustrated that I've taken so long to get around to writing about this book. It's one of the stories I found most interesting this year. And this considering that I am not generally a fan of ghost stories. (Although, I guess that technically there are two ghost stories I've read in the last year that I've really liked.) Even today, there are particular scenes that were conceived so well that I can still visualize them. That's the talent of this author.

  27. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period
    I remember nothing about this book. Even the book blurb isn't helping me this time. I apparently Goodreaded it three stars. Perhaps I should downgrade that since it obviously wasn't memorable.

  28. Strays
    At this point, I remember rather little about this book. I picked it up because the premise—lonely boy talks to dogs—seemed rather intriguing. And I've enjoyed Koertge in the past. In the end, I enjoyed this book as well. At least that's the impression I have. There was nothing stellar to make it stand out, but it was a good book about learning to find your place in a new pack.

  29. Alt Ed
    Again, not much remembering going on here. Although I think that I'm more fond of it now than I might have been when I read it. On Goodreads, I gave it three stars, so it likely was just an average read. It likely had good resolution. I was likely frustrated with some of the characters. Perhaps, though, because The Breakfast Club is one of those movies from my youth, I couldn't help but not be impressed by this novel.

  30. The Dead & the Gone
    I like how the second one moves from a rural setting to a metropolis setting. I like how her protagonists rise to meet the challenge of surviving. I like how in the second you already know what's going to happen with the weather, which in some ways made the book even more chilling since you knew what the protagonist and his sisters would soon be coming up against.

  31. Changing Jamie
    I'm not sure what to say about this book. I think the story idea is interesting, but I really didn't like the execution.

  32. Something Rotten
    It has been well-established that I lurves me some Fforde. This has been my least favorite book in the series. Not that that's bad—it's still Fforde and it's still the brilliant world he's created. But I think I might be burning out a bit on it. I think that's why I just recently finally started the fifth novel in the series. Regardless, you should read The Eyre Affair so that you too can fall in love with the series.

  33. The Adoration of Jenna Fox
    I had generally overlooked most reviews of this book, partly because the cover just didn't quite catch me. But then I read Abby's review, which did more to intrigue me before it sold me by connecting it to The House of the Scorpion. And it is good. Of course, I have this thing for dystopian/post-apocalyptic sci fi. It's not as good as Scorpion (or at least what my lingering feelings for Scorpion indicate), but it presents an extremely plausible future and sharp questions about bioethics and human environmental responsibility. I like the poetic use of language throughout the book, which even includes poetry to function as chapter breaks.

  34. The Spark
    This book has some good inspiration, but I must confess to not liking the presentation. At all. It's set up in a fictional narrative. Cool concept, but it just doesn't work right. I think this is because we are introduced to all these characters who are intriguing and wise and brilliant in their own way, but they each only get a page and a half to offer up some variation of an anecdotal soliloquy. And that was frustrating.

  35. Outbreak
    I wonder about some of the connections the author draws between epidemics and social changes, and that's perhaps the best thing I pull from this book. But I don't see too many junior high kids wanting to delve further into research pursuing the link between the Romantic worship of tuberculosis with our current obsession with waifish models as the pinnacle of beauty and health.

  36. The Final Farewell
    So let's start with some full disclosure: I love Patricia Wiles. Though I had many authors I enjoyed working with while at Covenant, I can easily—oh so easily—say that Patricia was my favorite. And that's because she's brilliant. Utterly brilliant. Her sense of voice is wonderful. Her dedication to her craft—particularly the revision element of her craft—is absolutely stellar. And she doesn't resent and despise her editor. In fact, she actually takes criticism and praise quite well.

  37. Suck It Up
    It's part vampire novel/part superhero novel/part gay metaphor novel. But it's fully enjoyable. The author has done a grand job of creating a character—Morning McCobb—who is so fully likable. And that's nice for a change. I like the snippets of the website that have been included. (Though I was greatly disappointed to find out that when you log on to that website, it is not the IVLeague website but is merely a redirectional link to the author's website.)

  38. Girl v. Boy
    So, let's just get it out on the table. We all know by page five (if not when we pick up the book) that Luisa is going to end up dating the boy writing the male perspective. Fortunately, Luisa and her friends know and acknowledge this as well, though she does her best to ensure she doesn't date Scoop. That said, the one thing I must completely commend the authors for are the red herrings and other diversions to make us believe that maybe Luisa isn't actually dating Scoop. There is one very good diversion thrown in there, and I was impressed by it.

  39. Gifted
    I don't think there is really anything touching or tender about it, and it's a far cry from compelling (as evidenced by the five other books I completed during its reading). I also question anyone who claims that the novel is funny. Tragic, perhaps. But certainly not funny. (I found it to lack even a semblance of a sense of humor.)

  40. Larklight
    What I find to be most enjoyable about this book is the voice. It is written with a Victorian sensibility that can only be achieved with a twenty-first century enjoyment of the currently perceived absurdity of the Victorian voice. ("I felt a little like saying 'Eeeeeeeeek!' myself, but seeing Myrtle so afraid reminded me that I was British, and must be brave.") This carries through from narrative voice through chapter titles to even the subtitles of the book itself. The characters are also very likable and fun to spend time with. And they're not the cause of the problems. I really like that in a character.

  41. Rapunzel's Revenge
    Personally, I'm rather meh about this novel. I think the story is interesting, but I would have preferred the phenomenal, full-fleshed version that I know Shannon can produce. That said, kudos to her for delivering a girl power book with a heroine who actually has some internal power, as opposed to that unnamed-travesty-that-I-have-still-not-cracked-open-regardless-of-the-glee-I-feel-in-all-the-negative-reviews-I've-read-of-it. Most of the graphics are rather cool, but I feel that quality was sometimes inconsistent. Of course, that's coming from a non–graphic-novel-reader perspective. It's not my favorite book out there, but I'm glad it iis out there.

  42. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
    I find the method of storytelling here to be fascinating. I think the subject of old movies works well, particularly when considering how the author has reinforced that feel by framing each page in black. I can't say I'm gaga over the style of the illustrations or even the quality of the writing, but I can say that I'm impressed with how the illustrations and story work so well together and enhance the overall feel. I don't believe the book earned the effusive praise it garnered for quality (as everything is merely average), but it does merit the attention it has received for its uniqueness.

  43. Gods Behaving Badly
    This book is clearly not for everyone (chapter two is Apollo and Aphrodite going at it—bored—in the bathroom). That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So much. I'm trying to think of how to describe this book to give it justice. Basically, I found myself laughing. Often. I was so entertained by it. Your main character in this one is Artemis, which was pleasant to see since she's often ignored in mythological retellings for the other more boisterous gods, and she's rather disgruntled and unhappy. Of course, you cram the gods and their larger-than-life personalities into a London town home when they're dying because people no longer believe in them and that's bound to happen. Though, truth be told, Hermes is my favorite god in this book. Of course, that's likely due to him getting some rather choice scenes.

  44. Starcross
    Starcross continues the Larklight saga, and it's every bit as enjoyable as the first one. What's especially nice is the quick pacing, especially from the get go. Of course, this is possible because the world has already been set up, and we know how to approach it. Art is still quite enjoyable in all his proper British stiff upper lipness.

  45. Audrey, Wait!
    I'm torn on how much I actually enjoyed this book. Let me explain . . . While I was reading this book, I was proofreading a book that also deals with a rocker and his best friend who happens to be his muse and he writes many songs about her not loving him and blah blah blah. Anyway, Audrey is clearly such a better book. But I'm unsure if I liked Audrey on its own merits or on its comparative merits.

  46. Oh. My. Gods.
    Overall, I'm left with an average impression of Oh. My. Gods. I take a bit of issue with Phoebe neglecting the good, nice guy, even though he is every bit as much a god as the jerkwad she does go after. I think the overall plot and world development is a bit shallow and unsatisfying. I'm not sure if I even like Phoebe. However, it's nice to read a sports book about a girl. The moments about running are genuinely good in terms of description and feeling. (During these scenes, it made me think of Samantha.) I really liked that this novel didn't constrain itself to the pantheon, as a good portion of the kids are descendants of the minor gods.

  47. Generation Dead
    Since I'm still unwilling to pick up the Vampire Craptastica burdening my shelves, it makes perfect sense that I would instead pick up a book about zombies. I found this to be an intriguing book. For starters, I really like the premise—some teenagers are undead, and we have no idea why. I like that instead of being about popularity (like the other zombie books out there), this one is about social integration and community tolerance.

  48. The Maze of Bones
    This book is a little bit Westing Game meets DaVinci Code meets Baudelaire Orphans meets Harry Potter.

  49. The Last Apprentice: Wrath of the Bloodeye
    For starters, I'm not happy with the flap copy as it's quite misleading. The Fiend (a.k.a. the Devil) is roaming the County, intent on destroying everything in its path. And yes, it wants to destroy Tom, but it has its reasons for sending its daughter Bloodeye after Tom instead. And I really don't see the "critical mistake" that Tom makes. True, he makes a questionable choice, but it really isn't a mistake. Unless all choices that lead to difficult or trying circumstances are mistakes. I always figured that was just part of living life and growing.

  50. My Most Excellent Year
    This was such an enjoyable book. Really. I found myself entertained throughout. The flap copy doesn't really tell you much about the plot. Part of that is because what really matters in this book is the characters. Fortunately, unlike the award-winning atrocity that is Criss Cross, this character-driven book has well-drawn characters who you can actually like. It also has wit and heart. As another blog I came across at one point (but can't find now) put it, this is a book about the family you're born with and the family you choose.

  51. Big Fat Manifesto
    For starters, I'd say this book is far from hilarious. As a point of fact, I really didn't like this book. At all. Oprah's Kids Reading List be damned. I'm not even sure now how this book ended up on my To Read list, seeing as how I can't find any reviews of it in the blogs I generally haunt.

  52. A Giant Problem
    I confess that I wish I hadn't picked up the first book in this series as I feel compelled to complete the series. They should have left well enough alone with the first series. Fortunately, this second book is paced much better without the self-referential crap of the first one. I'm even starting to like the protagonist. Even better, it looks like this series is only going to be a trilogy instead of a pentology.

  53. The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second
    For starters, let me say how pleased I am that this book wasn't promoted as a YA novel just because it has a teenaged protagonist. I'd say there's far too much discussion of sexuality for them to consider doing that, but, well, Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging anyone?

  54. The Loser's Guide to Life and Love
    By and large, I was disappointed with this book. I'm sure that it likely failed for me because of higher-than-appropriate expectations. The mechanics of the writing weren't bad, but I feel the novel as a whole lacked spark.

  55. The Graveyard Book
    I must confess to being very pleased with this book. It has a slow start as far as pacing goes, but the writing really is quite lovely. And the characters are drawn rather well. I like the layout, with the novel being composed of a number of short stories that tie together to reveal the overarching plot and denouement. Overall, it works quite nicely. And I think it is also a rather appropriate seasonal book.

  56. Paper Towns
    I really really really like John Green's writing. Paper Towns is no exception. Sure, all three of his books seem to follow the somewhat geeky, antisocial boy who is obsessed with the ever enigmatic and illusive girl. But it works. And it works well. I like the intelligence and wit that Green brings to his characters. Even when his characters are built around one or two primary characteristics, they still feel like they've been fully rounded out. And I find them to be likable.

  57. Do Not Open
    As is seemingly the case with all nonfiction, it took me a while to read this book. Unlike most nonfiction, though, that seems perfectly fine for this book. For starters, all the information is typically bundled into two-page spreads. As is the case with most DK books, text is clumped into one- or two-sentence fact bites. And it's interesting. I really like the randomness of it all. Another feature I find intriguing with the layout on this book is the little bubble at the bottom of each spread pointing you to a couple other related topics. Which means that you don't have to read the book linearly.

  58. Out of Patience
    Out of Patience is delightfully quirky in the same way that Holes is quirky, though not quite as complicated. And what's not to love about a story that revolves around the history of toilets and plungers and a bizarre curse? Where the local baseball team gets up for the Seventh Inning Stench as the trucks from the local fertilizer company drive by making their deliveries? The characters are realistic and truly likable. I think this is something Meehl does well, as I compare his two books. He creates protagonists that are quirky and lovable and who you really want to succeed.

  59. Mothstorm
    Really, there's not much to say about Mothstorm that hasn't been said about the previous two books in the series. I enjoy the voice and writing. I enjoy the story and the alternative world the author has created. It all just makes me quite happy.

  60. The Adventures of You
    The point where I'm most befuddled about my feelings is the voice. To preface, the publisher is the same as produced the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I dearly loved in my youth. They were fun and empowering for a reader. This book, as were those, is told in the second person. I find the novelty of that to be intriguing, and so when the publisher sent me the book, I was anxious to read it and see how it worked.

  61. Chains
    I picked up Chains because it's one of the NBA finalists. I was looking forward to it because of its author. Unfortunately, I find myself grossly underwhelmed by it.

  62. Runaways
    I don't read graphic novels very often as they're just not something I'm all that into. But someone at some point blogged about this series, and it sounded intriguing to me. Basically, you have a group of kids who discover that their parents are super villains who intend to bring about the end of the world. Throughout the series, you get some cross-pollination with other heroes (presumable from the Marvel universe, but my knowledge here is lacking). There's treachery and heroics and all sorts of stuff. I guess it was okay. If nothing else, they were easy Trax reads. I'm sure I know others who would appreciate them better than I do.

  63. Cal Cameron by Day, Spider-Man by Night
    I'm actually a bit surprised that I hadn't read this particular book before, but I'm glad I hadn't. You see, it's nice to come across something that is older. It's oddly refreshing. It's nice to have a story that's told rather straight forwardly. It's nice to have normal characters who aren't riddled with dysfunction and abnormality. The writing is good. The characterization is good. Actually, this is how good the characterization is—Cannon actually got me to be sympathetic toward and like a quarterback. That in and of itself is a feat worth commending. I really like how she walked us through his growth to where he becomes a better, truly likable person.

  64. What I Saw and How I Lied
    Despite an intriguing opening scene, I feared I was in for more blah. The beginning is slow. The initial looks at the characters are as through a dirty window. The setting and atmosphere are okay, but nothing to shake a stick at. But then it kicks in. And the book is good. More than anything, Evie turns out to be phenomenal. Her growth and development is unexpected and wonderful. You watch her do hard things, impressed that she's actually able to do them. And yet she redeems herself so that you're not as worried about who she might become.

  65. The Book of Animal Ignorance
    This is so my kind of nonfiction book. Trivia. Lots and lots o' trivia. It's smartly written. Entries are brief. It's quite an enjoyable book. And it's instructive. Oh. And the authors are clearly dog people, which means they're good people.

  66. One False Note
    When I reviewed the first book in the series, I complained about the alternating first-person chapters, because I hated being in Amy's head. Fortunately, Korman has moved the story to third person, which works a lot better for me as a reader (even if I'm not fond of third-person omniscient or Korman's frequent shifts in character POV throughout the novel). I think it also works better for the story. There's something to be said for following the mystery while observing the action as opposed to being the action.

  67. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
    I'm glad that Rowling is not letting the Harry Potter universe fade away. As I've noted before, I'm not overly fond of Harry himself, but I do like the universe in which he exists. So I'm glad we get some of the fairy tales that form the core of that universe. I'm pleased that we get Dumbledore's commentary with them; he's so much more likable than Harry.

  68. Swish
    To say that I loved this book would be a bit of an understatement. Such joy and amusement while reading. (If you ask Dec, too much joy and amusement, otherwise he wouldn't have told me to be quiet so he could sleep or concentrate on his sudoku.) Derfner has a voice and attitude rather similar to Dan Savage, and I think we all know how much I love Savage. When it comes down to it, Derfner is a good cross between Savage (wit and wisdom) and Sedaris (narrative storytelling).

  69. Science Fair
    The story itself has an intriguing premise and quirky characters. But it just doesn't come together in the end. Furthermore, the wit and charm seemed to be largely MIA. When all is said and done, I felt the book was far too long, and I was just yearning for it to be over. (Stupid Must-Finish-the-Book curse.)

  70. A Mercy
    It should not take three weeks to read a 165-page book. I picked this book up because I heard Morrison on the Diane Reams show (which Dec tells me is being rebroadcast today). It sounded interesting to me, and because I'd never read any Morrison before, I thought I'd give it a go. To say I didn't like it would be somewhat of an understatement. Truth be told, the only reason I finished it when I did was because I wanted desperately to finish seventy books this last year.


ann cannon said...

Incredibly impressive. Wish I'd read as much as you have.

Hope your new year is a fantastic one.

Janssen said...

Great reviews. My 2008 list has a lot of crossover with yours. I LOVED Thirteen Reasons Why.