Okay, here’s what I read in July:

  1. The Grand Tour : Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. Sequel to the “Sorcery and Cecelia” book which I liked rather better, this tells about the wedding trip of both couples, only instead of being written as letters to each other (which gave the first book a better “voice”), this is a journal and a deposition–not nearly as much fun, but still an enjoyable book.
  2. Longshot by Dick Francis. A strugging writer agrees to ghost-write a biography of a famous horse trainer and finds himself in the middle of a murder cover-up.
  3. Decider by Dick Francis. Mystery focusing around a failing race course and one man who owns shares through his dead mother and who may be able to make a difference.
  4. Good Night Mr. Holmes by Carole Nelson Douglas
  5. Good Morning Irene (AKA The Adventuress) by Carole Nelson Douglas
  6. Irene at Large (AKA A Soul of Steel) by Carole Nelson Douglas
  7. Irene’s Last Waltz (AKA Another Scandal in Bohemia) by Carole Nelson Douglas
  8. Femme Fatale by Carole Nelson Douglas
  9. Spider Dance by Carole Nelson Douglas. I do love the Irene Adler mysteries, based on the character from Sherlock Holmes. (Though I skipped the two about Jack the Ripper.)
  10. Fiddler’s Gun by A. S. Peterson. Yawn. A YA book about a misunderstood orphan girl during the Revolutionary War who ends up becoming a pirate … I was bored the entire time, though I suppose for only 99-cents for the Kindle version, that’s okay.
  11. Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin. Gripping YA story–the son of a serial killer, when his father is shot down by police, tells authorities that he is actually one of the boys the man had abducted so that he can go live with their family. Considering how awful his life has been for this boy, and the things he’s seen, and the lie he’s telling, this isn’t a happy book, but oh, it was was surprisingly good and has a great twist at the end.
  12. Wrapt in Crystal by Sharon Shinn. Sci-fi murder mystery taking place on a desert planet where someone is targeting the religious sisters from two different orders.
  13. Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction–and Get It Published by Susan Rabiner and Alfred Fortunato. How-to book for getting a book published.
  14. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Deliciously quirky epistolary novel, told entirely through letters, and about how the island of Guernsey made it through WWII.
  15. Run by Ann Patchett. A lovely book involving the two, black adopted sons of a former mayor of Boston. One is about to be hit by a car on a snowy night when a woman pushes him out of the way and is hit herself, right in front of her teenaged daughter … who tells them that the woman was actually the boys’ birth mother and family lines start getting confused.
  16. Wilder Sisters by Jo-Ann Mapson. Two sisters who haven’t spoken in years but find themselves making up when circumstances force both of them to their parents’ ranch in NM.
  17. Blue Rodeo by Jo-Ann Mapson. Woman heads to NM to be closer to her teenaged son, recently deafened through a case of meningitis.
  18. Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Liaden universe, covering the courtship of Er Thom yos’Galan and Anne Davis, parents of Shan. It’s really a lovely little love sci-fi/regency kind of love story.
  19. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. So, imagine there were some people who were genetically able to time-travel. And then suppose that you had always expected your cousin was the one in your family to have inherited this gift but then it turned out to be you instead? Add in some kind of plot/mystery and there you go–the first in this YA trilogy.
  20. No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting by Anne. L. MacDonald. The social history of knitting in America. It’s been years since I read it, and it’s still fascinating.
  21. The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism by Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud. History about Edward R. Murrow and the other radio news pioneers on CBS during and after WWII.
  22. Scout’s Progress by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Liaden universe. Story of how Aelliana Caylon and Daav yos’Phelium (parents of Val Con in later books) met.
  23. Mouse and Dragon by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Liaden universe. Second in the story of Aelliana Caylon and Daav yos’Phelium, telling of their time together.
  24. Seamless (or Nearly Seamless) Knits by Andra Knight Brown
  25. 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza
  26. Loop-d-Loop Lace: More Than 30 Novel Lace Designs for Knitters by Teva Durham
  27. Knitted Lace: A Collection of Favorite Designs from Interweave by Interweave Press
  28. The Gentle Art of Knitting: 40 Projects Inspired by Everyday Beauty by Jane Brocket
  29. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac: The Commemorative Edition by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Because, yes, I’ve got an old edition, but I couldn’t (finally) resist the new one.
  1. The Greater Journey by David McCullough. Any time David McCullough comes out with a new book, it’s worth looking into. There’s a reason he’s won the Pulitzer Prize, you know? And this book was great–it’s about 19th century Americans heading to Paris and encountering ideas and inspiration and culture and art and all sorts of experiences that just weren’t available here at the time … and then bringing them back to make a difference. Fantastic. (The color illustrations were stunning, too. I had had no idea, for example, that Samuel Morse of dot-dot-dash-dash Morse Code started off as a really gifted artist.)
  2. Belgarath by David Eddings
  3. Polgara by David Eddings
  4. Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
  5. Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings
  6. Magician’s Gambit by David Eddings
  7. Castle of Wizardryby David Eddings
  8. Enchanter’s End Game by David Eddings. So, um, you know that I’ve adored this series of Garion and his friends since I discovered them in high school, right? (Though to be fair, my best friend spotted them first.) All of my copies say “First time in Print” on them and I’ve completely lost count how many times I’ve read them. It’s just something I have to do every now and again. Classic fantasy-style epic adventure, with a sense of humor.
  9. Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by Deb Robson and Carol Ekarius. If you’re even mildly interested in sheep and wool and natural fibers–or even just pretty, pretty pictures of fiber-bearing animals–run, don’t walk, to get your hands on a copy. It’s fantastic, and I go into much more detail here.
  10. Teach Yourself Visually Circular Knitting by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. Review here at Knitting Scholar.
  11. Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd. Fantastic book. Read my review here.
  12. The Two Georges by Richard Dreyfuss and Harry Turtledove. An alternate-reality mystery novel, taking place in an America that never fought a revolution and whose iconic painting of George Washington and George III–the picture which appears in every government building and on every dollar bill–is stolen and Thomas Bushell must find it and bring it back. It’s well thought out and the occasional cameos from “real” people are fun to spot, and I’ve always rather hoped they’d write a sequel.
  13. The Ugly DachshundG.B. Stern. Oh, my, this book was DELIGHTFUL. All I knew was the Suzanne Pleshette/Dean Jones movie from the 60s, with the Great Dane who thought he was a dachshund. THIS is the book it was (loosely) based on, and it’s one of the sweetest books I’ve read in ages. Tono thinks he’s a dachshund and can’t understand why the “Legs” never scoop him up into their laps like they do with the other dogs, or why “Apron Legs” gives him raw meat instead of cooked meals like the other dachshunds. (I adored how every human in the book is referred to as “Legs.” Master Legs, Supreme Legs, Guest Legs. Relative Legs. It all makes perfect sense if you think about what our dogs LOOK at all day long.) This really had no resemblence to the movie and I liked it all the more for it. So, so fun.
  14. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Half a story about a writer trying to write her book and half a historical-fiction story that is not only the book she’s writing but apparently a genetic “memory” of an ancestor who had lived here centuries ago. Enjoyable.
  15. Chalice by Robin McKinley. YA fantasy, where Miralys is “Chalice” to her land in a troubled time as they try to introduce a new Master. This book always makes me wish I liked honey more, because she uses a lot of it.
  16. Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley. An alternate-universe YA, where Jake lives in a national park that houses dragons and ends up with an orphaned dragonet–when it’s illegal to try to keep them alive. McKinley is always a treat.
  17. Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. I’ve read this several times, but it’s charming–an epistolary novel set in early 19th Century London, but a London where magic works. It tells the adventures of two chatty, intrepid cousins–one stuck at home in the country, while the other enjoys her “Season” in London. The authors say in their note that they had sheer FUN writing these letters, and it shows.
  18. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. Interesting look into how dogs experience the world (or so far as we humans can tell. Chappy particularly enjoyed this–I found him giggling at descriptions for bits that I’m guessing she might have gotten wrong. But, still, it was good, and intriguing.

Now, one more thing. Over at Knitting Scholar, I compiled a list of new and upcoming knitting books–and there are a LOT of them. Please head over and check them out–there are so many titles, it took TWO posts! Here’s the first post, of recent and soon-to-be-out books. And here’s the list of somewhat further-out but still coming books.

Here’s what I read in May:

Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff. A nice chick-lit kind of book about a woman trying to restart her life by opening a vintage clothing store.

Knitters’ Home Companion by Michelle Edwards. Sweet, heart-warming little book of stories, patterns, and recipes.

Philosophical Breakfast Club by Laura Snyder. The history of science, all in one neat little package. Or, well, not the ENTIRE history of science, but it follows four men who, while at Cambridge, got together and decided they were going to transform the way science was studied and treated … and then went ahead and did it. Fascinating and incredibly wide-ranging.

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. The story about the horse, which I decided I had to re-read after re-watching the movie. It’s still a really great story.

World Without End by Sean Russell, and…
Sea Without a Shore by Sean Russell. You’ve seen this pair on my list a lot. I love this duo—both fantasy books, but taking place in a world much like our 18th century with a main character who would have fit nicely in with the real-life mean in the Philosophical Breakfast Club above.

Alleluia Files by Sharon Shinn. Favorite author. Favorite book. Beautiful cover. Good story. There’s a reason it appears periodically on my list.

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. An interesting and somewhat irreverent approach to the idea of space travel and what we need to do to get ready for a trip to Mars. There might actually be more detail than I really wanted to know about vomiting in space, or how weightlessness affects certain bodily functions, but it’s still fascinating—and entertaining—to read the author’s exploration into sending fragile humans into space.

Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer. Hmm. She’s a good author and talented. The story sounded fascinating, but … I was bored and ended up closing this one before I technically finished it. (Yawn)

The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma. Such a nice little memoir. When she is in third grade, Alice and her father decide to challenge themselves to not missing a night of bedtime reading for 100 nights. When they’ve accomplished that, they decide to go for 1,000 … and then keep going. Right up until she left for college. Sweet. Touching, and full of the love of reading.

Last Bookstore in America by Amy Stewart. A Kindle book that supposes that we all—every one of us—suddenly were so enamored by e-readers that we simply didn’t want paper books any more. (Yes, the author knows that’s a stretch.) How do you suppose the last bookstore in America would survive? Light and entertaining.

Only Mr. Darcy will Do by Kara Louise. Light, fluffy little pastiche based on Pride & Prejudice (because that’s nothing new, right?) This one supposes that Mr. Bennet had passed away shortly after Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth at Rosings. Mr. Collins therefore moves into the Bennet’s house and Elizabeth becomes a governess. And when Mr. Darcy hears about it? Naturally, he invites the family she works for for a visit… An entertaining little look at the “what might have been” theme.

An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan, and…
Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan, and…
These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan. Well, while on a P&P-pastiche kick … I reread this trilogy that tells the whole story from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. They’re not perfect (and book #2 is by far the weakest and most ridiculous of the three), but it’s still fun.

Wildwood Dancing byJuliet Marillier. Fairy tale of 5 Transylvanian sisters who go dancing on the “other side” every full moon.

Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Because everyone should read the original once in a while, right?

What Ho, Automaton by Chris Dolley. Okay … imagine if P.G. Wodehouse were writing steampunk stories about an airhead named Reginald Worcester and his robot valet named Reeves…

Winston’s War by Max Hastings. History of WWII as shaped by Winston Churchill. I so wanted to love this book. It’s thoroughly researched and chock-ful with information (not to mention a certain amount of hero-worship on the part of the author), but I didn’t. It was wordy with the ridiculously circular, passive-verb sentences that are the worst in British writing styles, and it assumed the reader already knew too much. If you had no idea what happened at Dunkirk, or what the Battle of Britain was, you would flounder trying to catch up. No comparison in interest, readability, or good writing to the two-part Churchill biography I read last month.

Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony, and…
Source of Magic by Piers Anthony, and…
Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony, and…
Centaur Aisle by Piers Anthony. Okay, so I loved this fantasy series about Xanth when I was younger. My best friend and I devoured them in junior high and even wrote fan letters to the author, but it’s been years since I read them. And, well, they’re not as much fun as they used to be. The dialog is hopelessly unrealistic, the puns are already taking over the series (which they had completely done by book #7 or so), and yes, God yes, they are so sexist. How did I never see this before? But, still, they’ve got some good laughs and they certainly are creative so I guess revisiting them every 20 years or so isn’t a terrible idea.

The Wish by Alexandra Bullen. A YA book about a girl who wishes to have her dead twin sister back … and thanks to a magic dress, gets it.

Memoir by Ulysses S. Grant, Volume 1. A little too much with the military tactics but that’s certainly no less than one would suspect. This is still interesting and impressive as memoirs go. (Especially knowing that he was dying of cancer the entire time he wrote it.)

Reading Jackie by William Kuhn. A look at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s life through her reading, and the books she edited. Interesting look at the woman and the reasons she worked with the authors she did.

Here’s what I read in April folks:

  1. Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones
  2. The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones
  3. Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones
  4. Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
  5. Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones
  6. Cart & Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones
  7. Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones
  8. Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones
  9. Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones–All part of my Diana Wynne Jones memorial tour through the bookshelves, pulling off some books I haven’t read in a while. I miss her already.
  10. Bang the Keys by Jill Dearman–Writing book whose main intent is that you need to sit down and WRITE to get anything done … with tips on how to do just that.
  11. Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip–YA fantasy about a girl who befriends a prince obsessed with the sea and a water drake obsessed with the land…
  12. Od Magic by Patricia McKillip–Charming little fantasy centering around a school of magic. Beautiful and atmospheric as are all her books.
  13. Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  14. Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey
  15. Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey–The news that there may actually be a Dragonriders of Pern movie inspired me to pull out some of my Pern books. Love them as much as ever.
  16. Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle–The very last Sherlock Holmes collection.
  17. Duty, Honor, Country by Bob Mayer–Story of the Civil War centering around the fact that so many soldiers on both sides went to West Point together.
  18. Screenplay by Syd Field–How to write a screenplay.
  19. Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  20. Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  21. Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  22. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  23. I Dare by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  24. Saltation by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller–With their newest book coming out that will FINALLY move past the “It’s kinda complicated” point at the end of “I Dare,” I had to reread all the earlier books, didn’t I?
  25. Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller–Officially not out until August, the authors announced that it was possible to buy the electronic ARC (advance reader’s copy) and, well, I couldn’t resist. I was dying to know how the story moved forward! I so wanted to know what would happen with Theo’s “kinda complicated” problem, and how Korval would settle in on Surebleak … so I splurged and bought the eARC. I couldn’t help myself.
  26. John Marshall by Jean Edward Smith–Biography on our first great Supreme Court Chief Justice.
  27. The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure–The explorations of a woman who grew up obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie books and dove right into “Laura World,” bringing her boyfriend along for the trip.
  28. Modern Top Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan.
  29. Knits That Fit by Potter Craft.

Books read in March:

  • How to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron. (Really, this should have been on last month’s list, but somehow I missed it.) The quick review is that I enjoyed this, her second book. The longer review is over at KnittingScholar, as is an interview with Rachael herself.
  • Oathbound by Mercedes Lackey.
  • Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey.
  • Oathblood by Mercedes Lackey.
  • My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart.
  • Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart.
  • This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
  • Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart. Every now and again, I just itch to read Mary Stewart. Her books are gentle little mysteries with exotic locales, wonderful food, and a brave heroine with a bold hero and they are just delightful. No scientific, CSI-style crime solving here, just heroines stumbling across mysteries (often murders but not always, usually while on vacation or visiting relatives). They’re just such atmospheric books, they are delightful. I usually can’t read more than a few in a row, though.
  • The Big One by David Kinney. The story of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, one of the biggest fishing events on the atlantic seaboard, and something of a religious experience for fisherman from the island and off.
  • One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde. The newest Thursday Next book, which should tell you almost all you need to know. Creative, unique, wacky, interesting, full of puns and nonsense. This takes place almost entirely in the book world, where books get “built,” and the heroine is the fictional Thursday Next. As in, she’s the main character of the book written about the “real” Thursday Next, who happens to be missing. Confused? You’ll fit right in.
  • The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  • The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  • The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  • The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery
  • The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer. So what if I just read this entire series two months ago and felt the urge to read them again. You have a problem with that? They’re delightful!
  • His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle. The next-to-last collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. (Yes, with this title you’d think it would be the last, but his audience was insatiable and Doyle regretted ever having created the character in the first place. Lucky for all of us he did.)
  • The Last Lion: Visions of Glory 1874-1932. (Biography of Winston Churchill, Volume 1) by William Manchester
  • The Last Lion: Alone 1932-1940 (Biography of Winston Churchill, Volume 2) by William Manchester. These are the first two volumes of a projected three-volume set biography of Winston Churchill and they are amazingly good. Huge (one is almost 900 pages, the other almost 700). And, sadly … there’s no volume 3. Yet. The author died several years ago and the 3rd volume was supposed to be almost complete and is being finished … but the manuscript still isn’t done. According to Twitter (because yes, the new author responded to a random tweet of mine when I mourned the lack of III), the manuscript should be done sometime in 2011, so the book should be out in 2012, but … we’ll see. Meanwhile, these were amazingly good.
  • King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conrad. Yes, it’s a movie tie-in book. Yes, that means it’s not as good as the movie, but it’s interesting enough. Based on Lionel Logue’s diaries and other memorabilia, it tells the relationship between him and King George VI.
  • Sheepish by Catherine Friend. I hate to tell you about a book that’s not out yet, but … I got an advance copy to review and I can just tell you that all of you will LOVE this book about a woman who ends up on a sheep farm and falls in love with all things wool. It’s lovely, and it’s due out in May.
  • My Life in France by Julia Child. Something I’d been curious since seeing the “Julie and Julia” movie (which was SO much better than the book it was based on, I thought). This is Julia Child’s memoir of her life in France … duh. Like you couldn’t figure that out. What makes it wonderful, though, is her sheer enthusiasm throughout. It’s a wonderful read about her whole-hearted embrace of everything French in particular, and everything Food in general. Even things I really don’t want to eat sounded wonderful, and she made me long to hop the next flight to Paris.
  • Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn. Beginning with the death of her banished father, Zoe is pulled back to the capital city to wed the King … except, she doesn’t. She slips away instead to find out what she wants for herself and along the way finds that she has more power than she imagined. This is a fantasy, and Shinn is a long-time favorite author, and I am always in awe of her world-building. I like Zoe’s story, but I like almost as much the PLACE, the culture Shinn invented for her. Lovely.
  • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
  • Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones. I’ve loved Diana Wynne Jones for years and years—since my best friend gave me a copy of “Charmed Life” for my birthday when I was in middle school, and I’ve adored her ever since. (The author that is, as well as my best friend.) I kept checking her books out of the library until my late 20s when I finally started buying them instead, and I’ve gotten every book she’s written, and loved almost all of them (and liked the ones I didn’t adore). Well, she died on March 26th, which makes me so sad, because her writing was completely unique—as was she. (Read this tribute from Neil Gaiman. Or from Emma Bull. Not to mention Robin McKinley here and here. Not to mention this post from last summer.) I’ve been revisiting some of her books out of respect, and loving them (and her) just as much as ever.
  • Mr. Adam’s Last Crusade: John Quincy Adams’s Extraordinary Post-Presidential Life in Congress by Joseph Wheelan. What a wonderful book. Did you know that John Quincy Adams, AFTER his Presidential term was over, served as a representative to the House in Congress for the next 17 years, until he died at age 80? And that he was pretty much wonderful at it? What a remarkable man, and such an enjoyable book.
  • Knitting Knee Highs by Barb Brown. Review here at Knitting Scholar.
  • Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design by Shannon Okey. Review here at Knitting Scholar.
  • The Nervous New Owner’s Guide to Angora Rabbits by Suzie Sugrue. Review here at Knitting Scholar. (And we won’t make too much of a fuss that she used one of my photos of Jessica’s Stitches in the book, right?)
  • Spinning Around by Jeannine Bakriges. Review here at Knitting Scholar.

    Books from March:

    Honestly? None.

    Between worrying about Chappy and feeling lousy, beset with truly terrible seasonal allergies that made me feel cold-ish and asthma-ish for a couple weeks … there just wasn’t time.

    What? You don’t believe me?

    Just because it’s April 1st??

    Books read in February:

    1. The Truth-teller’s Tale by Sharon Shinn
    2. The Dream-Maker’s Magic by Sharon Shinn
    3. Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart by the Shutter Sisters
    4. Exile’s Song (Darkover) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    5. The Shadow Matrix (Darkover) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    6. Traitor’s Sun (Darkover) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    7. Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph T. Halliman
    8. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
    9. Exile’s Honor (Valdemar) by Mercedes Lackey
    10. Exile’s Valor (Valdemar) by Mercedes Lackey
    11. Take a Thief: A Novel of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey
    12. Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey
    13. Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novel by Mercedes Lackey
    14. Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
    15. Magic’s Promise by Mercedes Lackey
    16. Magic’s Price by Mercedes Lackey
    17. Winds of Fury by Mercedes Lackey
    18. By the Sword (Kerowyn’s Tale) by Mercedes Lackey
    19. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

    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

    Books I read in December:

    1. The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler by John Lukacs. Not as riveting as I’d hoped, but interesting nevertheless–Churchill and Hitler feeling each other out.
    2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. More classic Holmes stories.
    3. The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis by Tara Austen Weaver. Here, the author is told by her doctor that she should start eating meat for her health, but she has been a vegetarian her whole life, has never cooked meat of any kind … what is she to do? A little too much agonizing, and the conclusion, while good for her health, seemed to make the whole journey kind of pointless.
    4. The Grey Horse by R.A. MacAvoy. Fantasy. A hundred or so years ago, in Ireland, a grey horse comes courting … love this book. Love Ruari as both a horse and a man. Love the story.
    5. The Lady by Anne McCaffrey. Speaking of horses–this is one of the few non-sci-fi books by Anne McCaffrey and tells the story of 13-year old, horse-crazy Catriona trying to figure out the many changes in her life.
    6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter) by J.K. Rowling.
    7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling.
    8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling.
    9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling.
    10. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.
    11. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling.
    12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J.K. Rowling. Um, yeah. Harry Potter. Do I really need to say more?
    13. Once a Princess (Sasharia En Garde) by Sherwood Smith.
    14. Twice a Prince (Sasharia En Garde) by Sherwood Smith. A duology with a spunky, fighting princess, an alternate universe, a missing father … Cute.
    15. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker. A serious look at how the brain works and we process language. Thorough and interesting, but kind of dry and I confess I put it down halfway through.
    16. Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution by Joel Richard Paul. The behind-the-scenes maneuvering between three unlikely people in France during the war.
    17. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. Yes, more classic Sherlock Holmes.
    18. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn. Fantasy by one of my favorite authors, and one that I keep going back to.
    19. The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry. Another YA fantasy. Lucinda’s parents died years ago and she’s been forced to work for an evil aunt until one day Beryl, known as the Amaranth Witch, walks into their shop and everything changes.
    20. The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson. Basically a retelling of sleeping beauty. Enjoyable and more believable than the Amaranth book.

    Here are my favorite new (to me) books for the year.



    Here’s what I read in September:

    1. Pivotal Decades: The United States, 1900-1920 by John Milton Cooper. History of the first two decades in the U.S. You only THINK they were dull and boring. (Well, no internet, but still…)
    2. Break In by Dick Francis
    3. Bolt by Dick Francis. These two Dick Francis books go together–a rare pair with the same main character, Kit Fielding–possibly my favorite Dick Francis lead. Great mysteries.
    4. The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries) by Lindsey Davis
    5. Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery by Lindsey Davis
    6. Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis
    7. The Iron Hand of Mars: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery by Lindsey Davis
    8. Poseidon’s Gold: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery by Lindsey Davis. The first several books in this mystery series that takes place in ancient Rome. They’re totally enjoyable and I haven’t read them in years. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy all of them as they came out and, even though the series goes on (there’s a new one out in hardcover as we speak), many of them are out of print and I just didn’t have the heart to keep reading when I couldn’t keep going in sequence, so I stopped after five.
    9. Thendara House by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Another old book, one from when I was still in high school. A Darkover fantasy book about a Terran and a Darkovan both trying to fit in. Always been one of my favorites.
    10. Tomorrow Log by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. A stand-alone book, awfully similar to the Liaden books in tone, but having nothing to do with them. But … two of my favorite authors, an engaging story. ‘S’all good.
    11. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 by G.J. Meyer. SUCH a good history of WWI. Heartbreaking, the senseless deaths, but a riveting story. Excellent.
    12. The Ark by Margot Benary-Isbert. Speaking of books from when I was younger, how about this nice children’s book about life in Germany just after WWII? Sweet, and I haven’t read it since I was about 15.
    13. All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
    14. All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor. A little more childhood nostalgia.
    15. Mystic and Rider (The Twelve Houses, Book 1) by Sharon Shinn
    16. Dark Moon Defender (The Twelve Houses, Book 3) by Sharon Shinn.
    17. Reader and Raelynx (The Twelve Houses, Book 4) by Sharon Shinn. Well, you know I love Sharon Shinn, and her books DO live in the hallway right outside my bedroom, so …
    18. Entree to Entrelac: The Definitive Guide from a Biased Knitter by Gwen Bortner. Review here.
    19. Aran Knitting: New and Expanded Edition by Alice Starmore
    20. Knitting it Old School: 43 Vintage-Inspired Patterns by Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro Sheridan. Review here.
    21. Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters: Book Two in the New Pathways for Sock Knitters Series by Cat Bordhi

    Here’s what I read in August:

    1. KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY by Violet Haberdasher. YA book, kind of a Harry Potter wanna-be, but enjoyable enough.
    2. WRITER’S BOOK OF HOPE by Ralph Keyes. How DO you get a book published, anyway?
    3. GAME OF KINGS by Dorothy Dunnett
    4. QUEENS’ PLAY by Dorothy Dunnett
    5. DISORDERLY KNIGHTS by Dorothy Dunnett
    6. PAWN IN FRANKINCENSE by Dorothy Dunnett
    7. RINGED CASTLE by Dorothy Dunnett
    8. CHECKMATE by Dorothy Dunnett. The Lymond Chronicles, one of my very favorite historical fiction series.
    9. BELLWETHER by Connie Willis. Funny and fun. It always gets classified as sci-fi, mostly because Willis usually writes sci-fi, but this one isn’t really. It’s just a good story and fun. Always makes me chuckle. (And I already know that Targhees are sheep.)
    10. EIFFEL’S TOWER by Jill Jones. A look at the 1889 Paris world’s fair, where the Eiffel Tower had its debut.
    11. IT’S A BOOK by Lane Snider. Children’s picture book, so adorable.
    12. CHALICE by Robin McKinley. YA fantasy.
    13. SAVAGE PEACE: HOPE AND FEAR IN AMERICA 1919 by Ann Hagedorn. History about 1919–I had no idea it was such a rough year. WWI ended, but it wasn’t exactly all sunshine and light.
    14. SINGLED OUT by Virginia Nicholson. After WWI, Britain had lost so many men to the war, there were two million “extra” women–practically an entire generation with no-one to marry, at a time when that was the primary goal for most women.
    15. GRIFFIN & SABINE by Nick Bantock
    16. SABINE’S NOTEBOOK by Nick Bantock
    17. GOLDEN MEAN by Nick Bantock. The best part of this trilogy is the illustrations. The story is told via the correspondence between the two characters, but instead of just the text, you get the actual mail pieces–postcards (front and back, illustrated by the characters who are both artists) or actual letters that you remove from their envelopes to read. Very cool. The story, I confess isn’t as charming, but definite points for presentation.
    18. 10 LB PENALTY by Dick Francis
    19. STRAIGHT by Dick Francis. Dick Francis mysteries are always comforting and enjoyable, and, well, I need a fix every couple months!
    20. WEAVER’S IDEA BOOK by Jane Patrick
    22. GIFTED by Mags Kandis
    23. VAMPIRE KNITS by Genevive Miller

    Here’s what I read in July:

    1. MURDER GOES MUMMING by Alisa Craig (184 p.) Light, fluffy, cozy mystery with Janet and Madoc
    2. A DISMAL THING TO DO by Alisa Craig (198 p.) Light, fluffy, cozy mystery with Janet and Madoc
    3. TROUBLE IN THE BRASSES byAlisa Craig (212 p.) Light, fluffy, cozy mystery with Madoc (no Janet, she was home getting pregnant).
    4. BEST OF ENEMIES by Nancy Bond (248 p.) A re-read of one of my all-time favorite YA books, about an “invasion” by the British at Concord, Massachusetts’ Patriot Day festivities. Love this book, love it. So much, that I finally bought myself a copy when I was around 25 because I missed it so much and they weren’t carrying it at the library anymore.
    5. ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein (321 p.) Eh. I know this book has gotten raves, but it mostly left me bored. A life story as told by a dog.
    6. COLD SASSY TREE by Olive Ann Burns (391 p.) Another reread from years ago, a nice bit of Southern Americana
    7. MY LIFE FROM SCRATCH by Gesine Bulloch-Prado (225 p.) Part memoir, part cookbook, all about how Gesine (Sandra Bullock’s sister) left Hollywood to open a small Vermont bakery. It made me hungry.
    8. FLEDGLING by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (375 p.) The story of 14-year old Theo Waitley, part one, as she begins to grow into her pilot skills.
    9. SALTATION by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (325 p.) Theo part two, and ending at exactly the same moment as “I Dare,” did … with a “kinda complicated problem.” Can’t wait for the next one.
    10. PEGASUS IN FLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey (290 p.) In the not too distant future, psychic gifts  can be measured and are scientifically proven to be true …
    11. PEGASUS IN SPACE by Anne McCaffrey (373 p.) The followup, as Peter Reidinger discovers the limits of his own gift–teleporting to the stars.
    12. THIRTEENTH CHILD by Patricia C. Wrede (344 p.) An enjoyable YA fantasy, the first in the “Frontier” series. It takes place in the late 1800s of a slightly alternate universe. Fun.
    13. DRAGONHAVEN by Robin McKinley (342 p.) And the feel of the last one just fed right into this one, in a US just like ours except there are dragons.
    14. EON: DRAGONSEYE REBORN by Alison Goodma (531 p.) An asian-inspired YA that was a little too cliche for me, a girl disguising herself as a boy to be eligible for great honors, yadda yadda.
    15. WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead (199 p.) Oh, fun. A Newbery Award winner and totally enjoyable, with hints of time travel as the main character starts getting mysterious notes that tell the future.
    16. WHITE DRAGON by Anne McCaffrey. One of my favorite Pern books, as Jaxom comes of age.
    17. RENEGADES OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey (384 p.) Not really my favorite, but it’s the perfect (rather necessary) bridge between the last one and…
    18. ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey (404 p.) Also one of my favorite Pern books, as the dragonriders finally manage to rid the planet of the deadly Thread.
    19. TWELVE ROOMS WITH A VIEW by Theresa Rebeck. I found this on a list of “beach reads” and the story sounded intriguing–at her mother’s funeral, Tina’s sisters tell her that their mother inherited a 12-million dollar apartment in New York from their dead stepfather, but that his sons would be bound to protest, and that she should move in right away… It was fun, I enjoyed it.
    20. POEMCRAZY by Susan Wooldridge (208 p.) Inspiration for writing poetry.
    21. BETSY ROSS AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA by Marla R. Miller (362 p.) A biography of Betsy Ross which not only explores the “did she or didn’t she” mystery about her making the first US flag, but which tells about the world she lived in, growing up in Philadelphia, the most important city  in America at the time. Intriguing and enjoyable.
    22. OVER HERE: THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND AMERICAN SOCIETY by David M. Kennedy (390 p.) History of World War I
    23. BELLFIELD HALL by Anne Dean (300 p.) A Jane Austen-esque murder mystery.
    24. THE ART OF KNITTED LACE: With Complete Lace How-To and Dozens of Patterns by Kristin Omdahl. (Review here at Knitting Scholar)
    25. COMFORT AFGHANS: More than 50 Beautiful, Affordable Designs Featuring Berroco’s Comfort Yarn from Berroco. Designs by Narah Gaughan, Margery Winter and the Berroco Design Team
    26. RING OF FEAR by Anne McCaffrey A horse-based romance novel which I basically only read because it’s by Anne McCaffrey. Since I’m not really a fan of romance novels, though, this isn’t one of my favorites, but still, every now and again it’s nice to revisit.
    27. MARK OF MERLIN by Anne McCaffrey. Also a romance, set during WWII, focusing on a girl with her dog.
    28. THE KILTERNAN LEGACY by Anne McCaffrey. Of the three, this is my favorite, Irene Teasey and her 14-year old twins inheriting an estate in Ireland. All three of these I have in one volume, called “Three Women, which has been out of print for years.

    Here’s what I read last month:

    1. JENNA STARBORN by Sharon Shinn (381 p.) a sci-fi version of Jane Eyre (which, frankly, I prefer over the original which I realize is sacrilege, but what can I say?)
    2. MOUSE AND DRAGON by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (357 p.) A new Liaden book by two of my favorites, AND it’s a sequel to one of my other favorites, telling the story of Da’av and Aelliana, right from the end of “Pilot’s Choice.” Love.
    3. THE ONE THAT I WANT by Allison Winn Scotch (270 p.) What if you had a perfect life, and then one day, you were given the gift of clarity? And started seeing that maybe things weren’t as perfect as you thought?
    4. RUNEMARKS by Joanne Harris (526 p.) A YA based roughly on Norse mythology, but telling what might have happened hundreds of years after Ragnorak.
    5. EIGHT DAYS OF LUKE by Diana Wynne Jones (150 p.) And then, suppose the Norse gods were real, and Loki was imprisoned for something he hadn’t done?
    6. BENEATH THE VAULTED HILLS by Sean Russell (480 p.) Book one…
    7. COMPASS OF THE SOUL by Sean Russell (407 p.) …and Book two of this fantasy duology telling the story of Erasmus Flattery. I love this world of Farr the man has created, similar to ours from the 18th century, only, along with emerging sciences, there are the remnants of magic.
    8. EMPATHIC CIVILIZATION by Jeremy Rifkin (668 p.) History book discussing the emergence of the concept of empathy, and how it has affected the evolution of civilization.
    9. SPOOK by Mary Roach (295 p.) A scientific (if somewhat snarky) examination of the possiblity of life after death.
    10. SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A classic! Mary’s parents are killed and she is sent to Misselthwaite Manor and finds a lost garden and a lost cousin and finally a chance of happiness.
    11. WORLD WITHOUT END by Sean Russell. Book one…
    12. SEA WITHOUT A SHORE by Sean Russell …and Book two of Russell’s other (well, his first) fantasy dualogy taking place in Farr.
    13. MY MAN JEEVES by P.G. Wodehouse. Because, how can you go wrong with Wodehouse writing Jeeves and Wooster?
    14. PINT OF MURDER by Alisa Craig (186 p.) Fluffy little cozy mystery about Madoc Rhys the Mountie and Janet Wadman.
    15. PHOEBE’S SWEATER by Joanna Johnson (Review here at Knitting Scholar). Adorable little picture book with sweater patterns.
    16. KNITTING MOCHIMOCHI by Anna Hrachovec. (Review here at Knitting Scholar). Also adorable.

    Here’s what I read in May.

    1. SEEING A LARGE CAT by Elizabeth Peters (386 p.)
    2. APE WHO GUARDS THE BALANCE by Elizabeth Peters (376 p.)
    3. FALCON AT THE PORTAL by Elizabeth Peters (366 p.)
    4. HE SHALL THUNDER IN THE SKY by Elizabeth Peters (400 p.)
    5. LORD OF THE SILENT by Elizabeth Peters (404 p.)
    6. THE GOLDEN ONE by Elizabeth Peters (429 p.)
    7. CHILDREN OF THE STORM by Elizabeth Peters (400 p.)
    8. SERPENT ON THE CROWN by Elizabeth Peters (350 p.)
    9. TOMB OF THE GOLDEN BIRD by Elizabeth Peters (381 p.)–Because it’s fun to read the Amelia Peabody books!

    10. LAPSING INTO A COMMA by Bill Walsh (227 p.) One of the best titles for a style guide ever. Useful information, too.

    11. DUST OF 100 DOGS by A.S. King (329 p.) Well, this IS an interesting book. It’s YA, and completely unique. Emer is a pirate in the caribbean who, just as she is killed, is dusted with the ashes of 100 dogs and doomed to live 100 dog lives before being reborn again as a human, hell-bent on retrieving the treasure she buried. Fantastic writing, a little violent.

    12. GENERAL WINSTON’S DAUGHTER by Sharon Shinn (342 p.) YA. Averie visits occupied Chiarrin to see her father and her fiance. She’s thrilled to be there, to learn the new culture, but there are rebels and it’s not as safe as they think…

    13. SOMETHING MISSING by Matthew Dicks (292 p.) Interesting. Martin is a thief. A quiet, unassuming thief who never takes anything that will be missed. Some toilet paper, extra towels. The occasional piece of extra jewelry. Then, one day, he accidentally knocks a “client’s” toothbrush in a toilet and is wracked with guilt. He can’t bear the thought that she will use a contaminated brush and suddenly he starts doing little things to help, thinking of himself as a guardian angel. In doing so, he meets a woman, falls in love, and ultimately becomes a hero.

    14. HEART OF GOLD by Sharon Shinn (359 p.) One of my favorites. Favorite book from one of my favorite authors. Love it.

    15. QUATRAIN by Sharon Shinn (369 p.) Four short novels, one from each of her primary worlds. All good, even if I do prefer full-length works.

    16. BALANCE OF TRADE by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (454 p.) A stand-alone Liaden book, and one of my favorites if only because Jethri is such an appealing character, and I love seeing the two worlds trying to get to know each other. I still hope for a sequel one of these days.

    17. CRYSTAL SOLDIER by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (321 p.)
    18. CRYSTAL DRAGON by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (359 p.) These two go together, kind of pre-Liaden books, telling the story of how Cantra, Jela and the Tree all came together and fled to settle Liad.

    19. LORDS OF FINANCE by Liaquat Ahamed (505 p.) History book about the financial geniuses who more or less brought about the Great Depression. Interesting, even if some of the economics went over my head.

    20. FREEDOM’S LANDING by Anne McCaffrey (342 p.)
    21. FREEDOM’S CHOICE by Anne McCaffrey (293 p.)
    22. FREEDOM’S CHALLENGE by Anne McCaffrey (277 p.)–A nice little sci-fi trilogy that starts just after an alien force coming to Earth and carrying away whole cities into slavery, and follows Kris Bjornsen to the planet Botany, where she and her fellow “settlers” try to survive, and, oh yes, to defeat the Eosi who caused all the havoc. It’s a fun series, if a little “convenient” that the people who get dropped on Botany just happen to have the perfect skills for what they need to do. (Oh, and there’s a 4th book but it’s pretty atrocious, so I mostly just pretend it never happened.)

    Here’s what I read in April.

    1. BELONG TO ME by Marisa de los Santos–second book, telling about Cornelia’s married life in a new neighborhood. This is only this woman’s second book and I’m already pantingly eager for her to come out with a third.
    2. SWEATER QUEST by Adrienne Martini (full review here at Knitting Scholar)–The story of a woman daring to knit an Alice Starmore design in one year.
    3. THREE MEN AND A MAID by PG Wodehouse–A light bit of fluff from the man who brought us all Bertie Wooster and Jeeves … not that they’re in this one, but does it matter? He’s always fun and lighthearted to read.
    4. BEEKEEPER’S APPRENTICE by Laurie R King
    6. LETTER OF MARY by Laurie R King
    7. JUSTICE HALL by Laurie R King
    8. LOCKED ROOMS by Laurie R King–My favorite (to date) books in the Mary Russell series, telling about Sherlock Holmes’ 15-year old protege.
    9. ENCHANTED GLASS by Diana Wynne Jones–A new book by DWJ is always a treat, and this was fun as always.
    10. WRITING JANE AUSTEN by Elizabeth Aston–An interesting idea–a struggling novelist gets the chance to complete a recently discovered, unknown manuscript from Jane Austen … except, she’s never read a Jane Austen book in her life (and is proud of it). Yet, she kept putting it off and putting it off until I wanted to slap her … though her JA marathon once she finally started was the highlight of the book.
    11. MISS HARGREAVES by Frank Baker–An old book from the beginning of the last century, telling the story of Norman, a man who, on a whim, makes up an old acquaintance … and then she shows up, just as he described her. Hilarity ensues. (Nice companion to that PG Wodehouse earlier)
    12. NORTHERN KNITS by Lucinda Guy (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    13. SOCK KNITTER’S WORKSHOP by Ewa Jostes and Stephanie van der Lineden (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    14. ONE BALL KNITS: GIFTS (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    15. KNITS MEN WANT by Bruce Weinstein (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    16. KNITTING GREEN by Ann Budd (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    17. SATURDAY STYLE by Doreen Marquart (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    18. COLOR KNITTING THE EASY WAY byMelissa Leapman (full review here at Knitting Scholar)
    19. KNITTING LACE by Suzanna Lewis (full review pending at Knitting Scholar)
    20. TWEED by Nancy J Thomas (full review pending at Knitting Scholar)
    21. MUMMY CASE by Elizabeth Peters
    22. LION IN THE VALLEY by Elizabeth Peters
    23. DEEDS OF THE DISTURBER by Elizabeth Peters
    24. THE SNAKE, THE CROCODILE, AND THE DOG by Elizabeth Peters–Because how can you not enjoy a fun Amelia Peabody mystery? A Victorian Egyptologist bashing about Egypt with her husband and precocious son, solving murders…
    25. POWER CABLES by Lily Chin (full review pending at Knitting Scholar)
    26. GET SPUN by Symeon North. (full review pending at Knitting Scholar)

    Here’s what I read in March. (No fooling.)

    1. Plan B by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller–Reread of one of my favorite sci fi/space-opera-ish stories.

    2. How to Knit a Love Song by Rachel Herron–Rachel’s new book! Review here.

    3. I Dare by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller–Reread of one of my favorite sci fi/space-opera-ish stories.

    4. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford–Absolutely fascinating story. I really had no idea how enlightened and even-tempered dear Genghis was … as long as you were either fighting on his side, or surrendered promptly. Really fascinating, really enjoyable read.

    5. Initiate Brother by Sean Russell–Reread of one of my favorite fantasy books, part 1

    6. Gatherer of Clouds by Sean Russell–Reread of one of my favorite fantasy books, part 2. Asian-inspired, beautifully written, wonderful story. Great.

    7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold–Loaned by a co-worker, interesting. I’d been curious but not curious enough to buy a copy.

    8. Broken for You byStephanie Kallos–Reread of her first book. Just lovely, with a nicely played out ending. Love.

    9. Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker–Intriguing story of a girl who’s been raised by her father to be perfectly safe (no cooking, she could cut herself. no playing outside, she could get skin cancer), but when he gets sick, she leaves to go looking for her brother … and finds out that her father has been lying all these years.

    10. Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen–A Jane-Austenish kind of romance.

    11. Copenhagen Connection by Elizabeth Peters–Light fluff, but entertaining. I mostly read it this time around because it so nicely matched the movie Mom and I had just watched. (“Year of the Comet”)

    12. Client by John Grisham–Young Mark Sway witnesses a mob lawyer’s suicide and suddenly the FBI and the mob all want to talk to him.

    13. Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett–My favorite of this, a favorite author’s works. I don’t know why this particular story resonates so much, but I love it. Sabine is newly-widowed, her (gay) magician husband having suddenly died from an aneurism. It’s only then that she finds out he had lied about his childhood and his mother and sisters–whom he had never mentioned–were alive and well in Nebraska.

    14. Paris to the Moon by Adam  Gopnick–Memoir from the five years he and his wife spent in Paris after their son was born. Charming.

    15. Love Walked in by Maris de los Santos–Her first book, and also a favorite. It all starts when a man who looks just like Cary Grant walks into Cornelia’s coffee shop…

    16. Toe Up Socks for Everybody by Wendy Johnson (Review here)

    17. Natural Dyeing by Eva Lambert and Tracy Kengall (Review here)

    18. Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Paden (Review here)

    19. Emma by Jane Austen

    Here’s what I read in February:

    1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
    2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
    3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
    4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
    5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
    6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling
    7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

    8. Writing to Learn by William Zinsser

    9. Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

    10. Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    11. Scout’s Progress by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    12. Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    13. Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
    14. Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

    15. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
    16. Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott

    17. Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip

    18. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

    19. Sock Club by Charlene Schurch & Bet Parrott

    20. Nature’s Wrapture by Sheryl Thies

    21. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

    Here’s what I read in January–a remarkably short list for me, but I blame that on the “fiction diet” I put myself on, to encourage me to work on my OWN book…

    1. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo (226 p.) Such an adorable book, really. After Harry Truman’s presidency was over, he and Bess took a road trip, driving cross-country. No Secret Service. No security. No entourage or motorcade. Just he and Bess and a bunch of road maps. How cool is that? Imagine how surprised the police officer who pulled him over for speeding was?

    2. Abigail Adams by Woody Holton (412 p.) A new biography of Abigail Adams, and quite enjoyable, too.

    3. Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont (135 p.) Great book on spinning.

    4. Essential Guide to Color Knitting by Margaret Radcliffe (313 p.) Really great book on different ways to use color in your knitting. Seriously, one of the best references I think I’ve seen.

    5. Reversible Knitting by Lynne Barr (192 p.) How can you beat a knitting book that not only has creative patterns, but 50 brand-new knitting stitches, all reversible?

    6. Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly (375 p.) Tips and rules on how to be a great copywriter

    7. Script and Scribble by Kitty Burns Florey (186 p.) A book on handwriting, old styles, methods of writing, and how to improve your handwriting in general. Fun little book.

    8. Dreadnaught by Robert Massie (908 p.) This monster of a history book has been on my shelf for years, and I finally got around to reading it, and am glad I did. A look at the events that led up to WWI (with an emphasis on the navy), focusing on each of the people involved. Love that.

    9. Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg (313 p.) Based on her blog, Orangette, a book of stories and recipes about her life.

    10. Under Enemy Colors by S. Thomas Russell (491 p.) One of my favorite fantasy authors (Sean Russell) writing under a different name, this is a story about events on a British navy ship during the Napoleonic wars. It was enjoyable, but a little too heavy on sailing details for my taste. Good, but … I wish he’d go back to writing books about Farrland.

    11. The Spirit Lens by Carol Berg (464 p.) A new book by a fantasy author I usually enjoy, but, I don’t know if I just wasn’t in the right mood, or what, but this one didn’t quite do it for me.

    Here’s my December reading list:

    1. Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones (341 p.) YA book … Howard comes home from school one day to find a goon in his kitchen, demanding his father write 2000 words for Archer, or he’s not leaving. But, who’s Archer? 2000 words of what?

    2. Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia McKillip (291 p.) A beautiful little fantasy book. You have orphans adopted by the kingdom’s library, a new, very young, queen who seems to be able to do magic, a magic student sent to study to help his uncle’s ambitions but who starts to love Nepenthe, one of the library’s orphans, and a mysterious book, written in an alphabet that looks like thorns, that seems to tell the story of the most successful conquerer the world has ever known … but what does that have to do with Nepenthe, who only wants to see how the story ends.

    3. Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones (293 p.) An odd little YA book. It’s not told sequentially at all (on purpose) and is a big confusing, though ultimately that’s because the characters are confused themselves. It all centers around Hexwood Farm, where strange things seem to be happening … but they’re stranger than you think, and connected to an intergalactic dynasty. Throw in a splash of King Arthur-type heroics, all of which seem completely unnecessary except for getting out of the wood … or are they?

    4. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (237 p.) One of the best inspirational writing books, this basically takes one of Lamott’s writing seminars and puts it in one volume for everyone else–what can you expect from your first drafts? What do you do when you get stuck? Light and readable and chock-full of good advice for writers.

    5. String in the Harp by Nancy Bond (365 p.) I’ve loved this YA book for as long as I can remember. It tells two stories–a displaced American family trying to settle into a new, strange life in Wales after losing their mother in a tragic accident, and that of the ancient bard Taliesin. One one of his lonely walks, Peter found what appears to be Taliesin’s harp key, and from then on, it “sings” to him, telling him the story of its owner. It’s a wonderful book, and I always enjoyed reading about the family’s domestic struggles just as much as the parts about Peter figuring out what the key wants him to do. This one is an old, old friend.

    6. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (177 p.) Speaking of old friends, imagine being a boy and running off to the Catskills woods to live inside a hollow tree with your specially-trained falcon named Frightful. Seems unlikely? Well, sure, but it’s also the idea behind this great back-to-nature adventure story. The author, years later, wrote a couple sequels to this, but they can’t compare to the original … which is particularly handy to read if you ever plan on trying to boil water in a leaf one day.

    7. Island of the White Cow by Deborah Tall (234 p.) I’ve had this book since college and love pulling it off the shelf every few years. It’s a memoir of the author who, right after college, spends 5 years on an isolated Irish island with one of her professors. They embrace the traditional lifestyle in their house with no electricity or running water, but all the time witness the hardship and grief of the islanders, stuck with no apparent future. It’s a wonderful picture of both the islanders but also of the way we view the world.

    8. Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett (498 p.) A fantasy book with a large dose of Jane Austen. There are so many features of Austen (and the Brontes) in here … the manners, the poor daughters trying to find husbands, the entailed estate … all that, but there is also something mysterious going on among those people who can do magic. I enjoyed this one, but didn’t love it. It was a good read, but it felt like something was lacking–though I can’t say exactly what. No regrets about reading it, though.

    9. Matters at Mansfield by Carrie Bebris (286 p.) Speaking of Jane Austen .. imagine a series of mysteries where Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are the sleuths who solve the murders. Yes, a bit of a long-shot, especially when you pull in the characters from other Austen novels–in this case, Henry Crawford, who elopes with Darcy’s cousin, Anne de Bourgh, just as her mother is arranging a marriage for her. Um, well, I would have enjoyed it more if one of the characters hadn’t apparently died TWICE, after having created an entirely false identity for himself years before and getting amnesia … a few too many narrative stretches all at once there, for me!

    10. Foundation by Mercedes Lackey (418 p.) Well, I like Mercedes Lackey, and Valdemar is an appealing place, but this book felt like it was written on auto-pilot. Mags is a little too quick at picking up the Herald-trainee lifestyle after living his entire life in a mine, and that’s just a little too unbelievable that he would be asked by some of the most powerful people in the city to help them, when he’s only been a trainee for a couple months. And then, there is a big deal made out of the bodyguards to a foreign embassy, and were they trustworthy, did they have some ulterior motive? Yet, they disappear from the story with no conclusion, and there’s an abduction of one of Mags’ friends thrown in that seems completely out of place. I know that this is meant to be the first of another trilogy, but usually the plots are more tightly constructed than this. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t as good as some of the others.

    11. Storm Warning by Mercedes Lackey (438 p.)
    12. Storm Rising by Mercedes Lackey
    13. Storm Breaking by Mercedes Lackey (435 p.) One of the better Valdemar trilogies, with the effects of the millenia-ago mage storms reflecting back onto Valdemar, leaving them trying to figure out how to save the world–even if that means dealing with age-old enemies at the same time.

    14. Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky (352 p.) Not technically out until next week, I got this as a review copy. It’s the first Delinsky book I’ve read, but I enjoyed it. Susan is the high-school principal in a small New England town who learns that, not only is her 17-year old daughter pregnant, so are two of her best friends–all “good” girls but making Susan’s accomplishments as principal pale beside her supposed “bad-mother” skills. In some ways this was predictable, but it was a good story–and, the best part? (And apparently the reason I got the review copy?) Susan and her three best friends run a hand-dyed wool company and yarn and knitting run through the entire book. ALL the main characters knit to ease their stress, so, what’s not to like?

    15. Morning Glory Farm by Tom Dunlap. Mostly a cookbook, but also partly a paean to a way of life. This book tells the story of the family who run Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Filled with gorgeous photos and some tasty-sounding recipes (I haven’t had time to test any of them yet), it captures what a family farm really should be.

    16. Keeping Days by Norma Johnston (238 p.)
    17. Glory in the Flower by Norma Johnston The first two “Tish Sterling” books, which are sadly out of print, these are also books that I’ve loved since I was about 13. Tish is a sensitive teenager growing up in 1900 in the Bronx. She’s got an older sister who is a beauty and being courted by their father’s best friend, a down-to-earth grandfather, a high-tempered mother who tends to speak in half-sentences, and … well, she’s got a bunch of characters making her life interesting. I love these books and dearly wish they were in print again–if only so I could get copies of books 3 and 4, too!

    18. Titanic’s Last Secrets by Brad Matsen (308 p.)  A really interesting analysis of what really caused the Titanic to sink. (You know, other than the iceberg.) This tells the divers that found something new, but also the people who built the ship in the first place. Really enjoyable read.