Here are the books I read in January.

  1. Balance of Trade by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. An old favorite book from their Liaden series, following Jethri as he tries to learn Liaden manners as well as Trade. Love it, and am thrilled that the authors are planning a sequel.
  2. The Paradise War (The Song of Albion) by Stephen Lawhead. I love this author’s King Arthur series, and this book gets rave reviews at Amazon, but … I just can’t get into it. I’ve tried twice now, and while I finished it, I really didn’t care at all about the characters one way or another.
  3. Grant by Jean Edward Smith. Excellent biography of a great man. I didn’t know much about U.S. Grant other than that he won the Civil War and was elected President, but the more I read of this book, the more I liked him for his determination, his fairness, and his generosity of spirit. No histrionics or puffed-up ego, he just did the job he needed to do, every time, if humanly possible—and didn’t make excuses when it didn’t work out.
  4. The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  5. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  6. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  7. The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  8. The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  9. The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer. Oh, oh, oh! These books were so much FUN!! Enola is the (much) younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft, living with their mother and never seeing her brothers until, on her 14th birthday, their mother disappears. She sends word to her brothers who come and “threaten” her with boarding school since their mother has so obviously neglected to teach her the things she needs to know. How will she ever find a husband? But she wants nothing to do with boarding school (especially since she knows how detrimental they are to a girl’s health), and so she runs away. Except, knowing her brothers are brilliant, she runs to the last place they’d expect–London–where she starts looking for their mother as well as, along the way, a series of other missing people. All while trying to keep away from her brothers. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed these 6 books. Every time she bumped into or outsmarted her brothers, I wanted to cheer. I started with grave doubts (Sherlock Holmes with a younger SISTER?), but ended up loving everything about them. Except, well, that there are only 6 books. Totally fun.
  10. Learning to Swim: A Novel by Sara J. Henry. An advance-copy of this book which I’ll tell you you MUST read. Remember I told you about the contest I’ll be having closer to its release in a couple weeks? Trust me—you’re going to want to read this book. It all start when Troy, sees what she believes to be a person fall overboard from a passing ferry and, without thinking, dives in to save the life of a little boy. But when she gets him to land and doesn’t see any frantic parents or rescue crews, she starts to wonder—did he fall? Or was he thrown?
  11. Dark Lord of Derkholm
  12. Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones. An utterly delightful pair of YA fantasies by one of my favorite authors. Imagine an alternate universe that’s been turned into an amusement park for … us! And what happens when they all decide to rebel? (You know, in a fun, amusing way.)
  13. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James MacPherson. Well! There’s no question why this book won the Pulitzer Prize. What an excellent history of the Civil War. Totally fascinating.
  14. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley. Retelling of Sleeping Beauty by a dearly-loved author.
  15. The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Sauvage, Ed Gandia. Because who couldn’t use some great tips on how to be a better freelancer?
  16. Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel.
  17. Vintage Modern Knits: Contemporary Designs Using Classic Techniques by Courtney Kelley & Kate Gagnon Osborn.
  18. Knitting Plus: Mastering Fit + Plus-Size Style + 15 Projects by Lisa Shroyer.
  19. Fearless Fair Isle Knitting: 30 Gorgeous Original Sweaters, Socks, Mittens, and More by Kathleen Taylor

3 Thoughts on “Books Read in January 2011

  1. When I read the first of the Enola Holmes books back in the fall (after a long wait of having them on my TBR list), I was so excited to find it well-done. But then I heard that the series had already run its course. I suppose I’m glad to know that the entire series is good, rather than having it linger on too long and degrade over time, but we just need more plucky heroines!

  2. Interestingly, Spindle’s End might be my least favorite McKinley book. Of course, there’s several I haven’t read as I’m saving them for the future! (Weird, but you can only read a book for the first time once and hers are usually the best for that.)

    Have you ever read Jones’s Tough Guide to Fantasyland? I LOVED IT, even if it was more an encyclopedia of ridiculous fantasy cliches.

  3. You’ve made the Enola Holmes books sound like great fun reads, I’ll have to check them out. Because that was my reaction – a “C’mon, Sherlock Holmes sister?!”

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