2011 in Books

*BFB indicates a book that has been contributed to Books for Boobs.


Holidays on Ice: Featuring Six New Stories, David Sedaris
This book was very hit-or-miss for me. When David is on, he is riotously funny, but when he’s off, I feel like I’m wasting my time. “The SantaLand Diaries” is hilarious, and “Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!” is evilly delightful, if overlong, but most of the others varied between “chuckleworthy” to “what the hell am I reading?”
— Short Story Anthology: Memoir/Humor. Paperback.

Snow White And Rose Red, Patricia C. Wrede
Meh. Enjoyable enough that I finished it, but far from Wrede’s best work.
— Fantasy/Fairy Tale Revision. Paperback.

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, Patton Oswalt
Like Sedaris’ collection, this book is a collection of short stories of varying length, some autobiographical and some fictional humor pieces. It’s also an exceptionally quick read, next to the audio books I’ve been mainlining lately. Oswalt is very funny, and the autobiographical parts feel honest and candid.
— Short Story Anthology: Memoir/Humor. Audiobook.

American Gods, Neil Gaiman (REREAD)
I read this book when it first came out, over ten years ago. That blows my mind a little. I really enjoyed it then, even though I was a little young for it, I didn’t have the knowledge of Norse myth I have now, and I’d never been on a proper road trip. It’s an incredibly satisfying book to return to with that much more life experience under my belt. I’m reminded of just why so many people love it. With greater confidence, I can say I’m one of them.
— Contemporary Fantasy/Myth. It has a sequel, but I’m not sure I can call it first in a two-book series, as the tone of Anansi Boys is so different. Audiobook.

Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman
Hilarious and fun literary popcorn! It’s both a loving embrace and nose-tweak to the superhero genre. If you’re going to read this, I strongly recommend you go the audiobook route. Paul Boehmer’s voice for Doctor Impossible is delightfully overblown and pitch-perfect for the character–a great credit to Grossman’s story.
— Superhero Fantasy. Audiobook.

“We Will Not Be Undersold!,” Seanan McGuire (BETA)


Boneshaker, Cherie Priest
Civil War-era dieselpunk with zombies? And it *works*? I am so there! I listened to the audio book, which was ably performed by Kate Reading and Wil Wheaton. It’s not a “Drop Everything And Read This” type of book by any stretch, but I’d recommend it. The main characters took a while to grow on me, but I absolutely adored the setting. The thing that I enjoy most about zombie stories is seeing how society responds and adapts to them, and Priest’s world is exceptionally well fleshed out in that regard. Concerns regarding the blight and the rotters penetrate every aspect of life, and the technology she envisions to enable Seattle’s inhabitants to survive was a delight to read about.
— Dieselpunk Zombie Civil War Alt-History. Audiobook.

Dead to Me, Anton Strout
A very promising debut novel. The writing felt very uneven, but as this is Strout’s first novel, I’m inclined to cut him some slack. Plus, he includes a character who is a total jerk to the protagonist, but who isn’t secretly on the side of evil, a character type which seems infuriatingly rare in popcorn urban fantasy. This endears him to me significantly! Strout has some great ideas, and I look forward to seeing how he develops them over the course of the series. I appreciate his influx of goofy humor to the urban fantasy genre!
— Urban Fantasy. Paperback. BFB.

The Adventures of Sexton Blake, Dirk Maggs
Pat Rothfuss praised this in his blog months and months ago, and I finally got around to buying it. I hope it won’t take you as long to follow my example, because I’d recommend this to anyone who likes things that are wonderful. It’s HILARIOUS! Every member of this star-studded cast brings impeccable comic timing, and the writing is delightfully clever. Thanks, BBC, for continuing to fill my ear-spaces with joy.
— Pulp adventure. Radio drama.

Writing Short Films: Structure and Content for Screenwriters, Linda Cowgill
Required reading for my Short Animated Filmmaking Bootcamp class at SVA. A very solid guide.
— Instructional Non-Fiction. Paperback.

The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (REREAD)
This is the third time I read this book. Every time I come back to it, I love it even more.
— Exquisite, character-driven Fantasy. Audiobook. BFB.

“The Prince is Right,” Seanan McGuire (BETA)


The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
I devoured almost the entire book in four days, despite working a 9-7 job. And this was making an effort to be sane about my reading pace! When I read Rothfuss, everything inessential in my life goes on hold. And now my mind is a whirl with theories about the third book, and I want to reread both books and see what new treasures I glean that I missed on my most recent pass! It’s a sickness. What have you done to me, Pat?

This book was every bit as enthralling and exquisitely crafted as its predecessor. The interplay between the stories of Kvothe the man, Kvothe the boy, and Kvothe the legend attains greater depth as his genuine heroism grows. Yet he still feels human every step of the way. It’s a fascinating study of the way stories are born and how they evolve with the telling.

I’ve seen reviews from people who were frustrated by the lack of movement in one of the “main” plot threads, but so many new threads were introduced and woven together–even in ways that have not been explicitly brought to our attention–that I didn’t care. I’ve always been most fascinated by what else goes on while Kvothe searches for that knowledge.

This book is rich. It’s full. It spans nations and cultures and mindsets and a whole range of emotions. Pat Rothfuss is a master of his craft, and I would recommend this series to anyone within earshot.
— Fantasy of the highest caliber. Hardcover. BFB.

Late Eclipses, Seanan McGuire
Woohoo, Toby is back! This book was a total game-changer, and I’m thrilled at the direction Seanan is taking our heroine. I’m particularly pleased, as I didn’t jive with An Artificial Night, and I’m glad to see “what Seanan wants to write” and “what I want to read” are still in good company. I greatly enjoy my time spent in Toby’s world. The supporting characters are a delight (Toby/Tybalt FTW), the series’ mythology is richly developed, and the nonstop action ensures there’s never a dull moment. I can’t wait for One Salt Sea!
— Urban Fantasy. Paperback.

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston
I’m so glad I listened to this in audiobook format (read by Ming-Na, voice of Disney’s Mulan), as the oral tradition played such a key role in this book. It’s a personal memoir, but the author devotes large portions of the book to the folkore and familial oral history that influence her struggle to define herself. It’s a fascinating insight into different aspects of Chinese and Chinese-American culture.
— Memoir/Folklore. Audiobook.

Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them, ed. Lynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stanish
I contributed the essay, “Brand New Day: The Evolution of the Doctor Horrible Fandom,” and I am giddy beyond belief to be rubbing elbows with such a prestigious bunch of women writers.
— Personal essay collection. Paperback. BFB.


Ghost Story, Jim Butcher
This book is a major departure from Jim’s other works, and at times it felt a little meandering, but as the story went on, I saw how deliberate it was. I think one of the subplots took up more page time than it needed to, but it was still one HELL of a powerful book! Jim is in top form. (April 3, 2011)
— Urban Fantasy. Beta doc. Full disclosure: I am a beta.

And then I promptly reread:
Ghost Story, Jim Butcher (REREAD)
OMG, make plenty of time in your schedules, guys, because this is a book that NEEDS to be reread. I will say nothing more on the subject. (April 10, 2011)
— Still Urban Fantasy. Still from the Beta doc. Full disclosure: Yup, still a beta.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
A fascinating and moving true account of three stories: the lives of Henrietta Lacks and her family; the scientific breakthroughs made through Henrietta’s immortal cancerous cells; and the journey the author and Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah, embark upon in search of understanding.
— Biography. Audiobook.

Elantris, Brandon Sanderson
April, 19 2011: I gave this book another go! While it’s clearly a First Published Novel and uneven at times, I’m finding much more enjoyment the second time around. It has all the hallmarks I love in a Sanderson novel–intriguing religious themes, strong female characters (well, one–while there are a bunch of cool ladies in the background, only one of the principal cast is a woman. At least it passes Bechdel!), a nifty magic system, and political/sociological maneuverings that stay interesting.

I feel his facility with worldbuilding wasn’t as strong here, as Sanderson occasionally threw in a detail unrelated to what we see of the world in the story, intended to make the world seem more “full”, but instead the attempts just felt transparent. So while I wouldn’t recommend reading this immediately after devouring “Mistborn” or “Warbreaker” or “The Way of Kings” or any of Sanderson’s stronger, more recent work, I think Sanderson fans will find it well worth a read.
— Fantasy. Audiobook.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu
Goodreads reviewer Kemper wrote, “This ended up being a book that I wanted to like more than I actually liked it.” I feel exactly the same way.
— Sci-Fi. Hardcover.

“Crystal Halloway, Girl Wonder, and the Curse of the Truth Fairy,” (published as “Crystal Halloway and the Forgotten Passage.”) Seanan McGuire (BETA)
“Mister Hadj’s Sunset Ride,” Saladin Ahmed
“Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela,” Saladin Ahmed


Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley
— Noir-style mystery. Audiobook.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Carrie Vaughn
This book is a quick read with a fresh premise, but it didn’t leave me with any particular desire to read further in the series. Looking back, I realize the radio show accounted for the majority of my enjoyment of the story. I spent much of the rest of the book wincing as she put up with (and even defended) her repeated emotional abuse and rape. No thanks!
— Urban fantasy. Audiobook.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Haunting and powerful. The audiobook reader, Tom Stechschulte, was perfectly suited for McCarthy’s spare, bleak prose.
— Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi. Audiobook.

Machine of Death, edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, and David Malki
This book was a delight–an intriguing concept, executed with variety and wit. It was a little long to read in a continuous lump, but a took a week break or two, and it felt fresh again.

I enjoyed seeing many of my favorite online comic writers putting their pens to a different format. I loved finding what Randall Munroe and Ryan North and David Malki could do with a few thousand words, instead of a few dozen, and the illustrations by folks like Kate Beaton, Vera Brosgol, and Dylan Meconis were a great addition. The range and quality of submissions were commendable! Who knew existentialism could be such a treat?
— Philosophical Sci-Fi Anthology. Paperback.

Blackout, Connie Willis
I’m of two minds about this book. From moment to moment, I found it completely engrossing and an intriguing insight into lives of non-combatants in World War II. Overall, however, I felt it was overlong. I also feel the three lead characters were too similar in temperament–when they were put up next to each other, they felt almost interchangeable. I still intend to read the second volume, “All Clear,” but I think I’ll borrow it from the library instead of buying my own copy.
— Historical Sci-Fi. Paperback.

Feed, Mira Grant (REREAD)
I enjoyed the heck out of this book! It was every bit as engrossing on the second read, even though my heart ached at the knowledge of what was to come.
— Political Sci-Fi Horror. Paperback.

Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
“Water for Elephants” is one of those rare, lucky books that ascend to a new level by translation to audiobook. It’s narrated by two actors, corresponding with the shifting POV from Jacob in his 20s to Jacob in his 90s. David LeDoux capably depicts young Jacob and the wide cast of characters that populate his world, but John Randolph Jones’ performance as elderly Jacob is extraordinary, breathing even greater life and sensitivity and pain into Gruen’s words. Superb!

I enjoyed the book on its own merits, of course. Gruen’s vivid depiction of life in a Depression-era traveling circus was clearly well researched. If only my mind didn’t keep flashing back to Carnivale, which has a similar setting. I kept expecting creepy magical realism elements to pop up. :D Of course, this may also be because I don’t read a lot of books outside the sci-fi/fantasy genre.

I recommend this book to anyone yet to be convinced of the brilliance of audiobooks.

Countdown, Mira Grant
Fascinating and evilly heartbreaking.
— Sci-Fi/Zombie Horror. Novella. E-text.

“Rat-Catcher,” Seanan McGuire (BETA)
“I Was a Teenage Bigfoot,” Jim Butcher (BETA)


Deadline, Mira Grant
Does anyone have a TARDIS handy? Because I kind of need to read book 3 RIGHT NOW. This book was a worthy successor to “FEED,” insofar as it also made me cry in public. This series is superb!
— Political Sci-Fi Horror. Paperback.

Faking It, Jennifer Crusie
Pure fun and utterly nuts! My college roommates passed around “Bet Me” and “Faking It” my sophomore year, but I only got to read the former. It’s nice to now know the difference between donuts and muffins!
— Romance. Audiobook.

Sandman 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman
While this volume demonstrates Gaiman’s extraordinary promise, the “fetch quest” story is much weaker than later volumes will prove to be. It’s kind of cool to see Neil experimenting with where he wants to take the story, though the DC character cameos feel gimmicky to me.

Also, the balance of genres is tipped more sharply towards horror, which is not where my interests lie. I heard Neil Gaiman speak last night at the 92nd Street Y, and he touched on that very subject: in those stories–particularly “24 Hours”–Horror was the main course, rather than a seasoning, and that wasn’t the brain-space he wanted to inhabit. I have no taste for horror pie, though I’ll happily consume mythology with horror masala! Bring on the rest of Sandman!
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Sandman 2: The Doll’s House, Neil Gaiman
I was sitting in sunny Bryant Park, reading this book during my lunch hour. Without warning, a six-year-old boy raced up to me and asked me what comic I was reading. Never before have I shut a book so quickly. :D

This book was exceptionally rich. Paging back through, I find myself stunned that so many stories were told in this one volume. It’s a delight to return to the text and see all the little puzzle pieces Neil dropped early in the series. I last read the books in high school, nearly a decade ago, but I remember enough to smile at the plot hooks when I see them.
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Green Arrow/Black Canary: The Wedding, Judd Winick
— Superheroes. Graphic Novel.

Kindred, Octavia Butler
My first experience with Octavia Butler was a very negative one. I picked up Fledgling and was squicked all to hell. After many long months, I picked up Kindred, and I found it much more to my taste. Butler approaches complex issues with great sensitivity, and the fantastical components are handled in a credible way. Great book!
— Science Fiction/Historical. Audiobook.

Sandman 3: Dream Country, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

“Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions,” Saladin Ahmed
“For Want of a Nail,” Mary Robinette Kowal
“Go the F*** to Sleep,” Adam Mansback
“The Faithful Solider, Prompted,” Saladin Ahmed


Sandman 4: Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Sandman 5: A Game of You, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Sandman 6: Fables and Reflections, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Sandman 7: Brief Lives, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Bossypants, Tina Fey
— Memoir/Humor. Audiobook.

Sandman 8: Worlds’ End, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Ghost Story, Jim Butcher (REREAD)
I had to listen to the audiobook! It’s lamentable that Marsters was unable to read this audiobook, but life happens. Glover made a perfectly serviceable replacement on such short notice. I enjoyed his performance for about 90% of the book, but the last 10% was a crushing disappointment. He didn’t inject enough emotion into the really devastating emotional scenes (read: pretty much everything involving Molly), and those were the scenes I cared the most about! Le sigh.
— Urban Fantasy. Audiobook. BFB. Full disclosure: My betahood continues apace.

Sandman 9: The Kindly Ones, Neil Gaiman
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

The Griff, Christopher Moore
Entertaining, but unremarkable. As a fan of Christopher Moore, I expected more of it.
— Sci-Fi. Graphic Novel.

Sandman 10: The Wake, Neil Gaiman
Oh my holy god and all his pretty ponies. This series is deserving of every scrap of praise heaped upon it. Can’t wait to read the Annotated Sandman starting in January.
— Fantasy. Graphic Novel.


Sorcery 101, Kel McDonald
Very enjoyable! Fun characters.
— Urban Fantasy. Graphic Novel.

Hounded, Kevin Hearne
A number of my friends have raved to me about the Iron Druid Chronicles, so when I met Hearne at Comic Con, I could only reflect their squee and express my intention to read his book soon. He excused himself for a moment, then came back with a signed copy for me. Generous guy! I’m now kicking myself for not reading it sooner, so that I could’ve offered him in-person squees of my own.

This book is ridiculous amounts of fun. I occasionally find myself suffering from Urban Fantasy Ennui, but Hearne’s world feels fresh and different. Also, I love Oberon to an absurd degree. I look forward to reading the next books in the series!
— Urban Fantasy. Paperback. Full Disclosure: Hearne is a classy dude!

Hexed, Kevin Hearne
Every bit as enjoyable as the first! On to book 3!
— Urban Fantasy. Paperback.

Hark, A Vagrant!, Kate Beaton
Kate Beaton’s brain is a Canadian national treasure. Bonus coolness: My copy was from the SDCC limited-edition set, sold to me by Seanan McGuire. I in turn donated it to Books for Boobs. Spread the love!
— Mostly Historical Comics Plus Other Geekyawesomelarious Topics, Hardcover. BFB.

“Another Man’s Burden,” Harry Connolly
“The Bone Orchid,” Harry Connolly
“Soldiers of a Dying God,” Harry Connolly
“The Blood Cord,” Harry Connolly


Circle of Enemies, Harry Connolly
Harry Connolly is one of the most innovative new voices in Urban Fantasy, and I wish his sales numbers reflected how mind-blowingly awesometasticsauce his books are. Harry creates original monsters that are truly formidable, not just because they appear difficult to defeat, but because they are so strange and alien that those fighting them often have no idea what their weaknesses are, or if those who fall prey to the monsters have any chance of being saved. This series is gritty and brutal and uncompromising and impossible to put down!
— Urban Fantasy/Lovecraftian Horror. Paperback.

Old Man’s War, John Scalzi
How could I have gone so long without reading a John Scalzi book, even though everyone and their parakeet recommended him to me? I must endeavor to be less of a dumbass in the future. What imagination! I’ll definitely be reading more from him in the future.
— Military Science Fiction. Audiobook.

Hammered, Kevin Hearne
I am really, really conflicted about this book. On one hand, it has all the delightful character interaction, solid action scenes, and fun and fascinating new spins on mythology I’ve come to expect from Hearne. But on the other hand, as the story unfolded, a flaw in Hearne’s world that’s been ignorable until now was brought screaming to the surface. And something happened that turned my stomach against Atticus, and therefore the series in general. My review contains spoilers, so I won’t post it here, but those interested in reading it can do so at my Goodreads page.
— Urban Fantasy. Paperback.

One Salt Sea, Seanan McGuire
It is deeply awesome to see Seanan’s writing improving with each novel. Characters I wasn’t 100% sold on in previous books were given new vitality and dimensionality. Seanan deftly balances humor, action, drama, and kickass worldbuilding, delivering an extremely satisfying and entertaining story.

The ending took me by surprise, as I was expecting Seanan to go in a different direction, but I am now even MORE curious to see where the story will take Toby and her friends next! As a reader, I know I’m in good hands. Because those hands are also carrying a machete.
— Urban Fantasy. Paperback.

The Magician King, Lev Grossman
I don’t know how to rate this book. I think the author was very successful in executing the story he wanted to tell, and I can appreciate his craftsmanship and his skewering of fantasy tropes in general and the Harry Potter and Narnia series specifically, but parts of it were just too bleak and frustrating for my literary tastes. I found myself saying, “Oh, come ON!” more than once. And I know that’s the reaction the author *wanted* from me, but… argh.
— High/Urban Fantasy Hybrid. Audiobook.

Goliath, Scott Westerfeld
I enjoyed the heck out of this book every bit as much as I enjoyed the heck out of “Leviathan” and “Behemoth.” Westerfeld delivers an extremely satisfying conclusion to a truly excellent trilogy.

Bonus: I got the audio book, so I had the privilege of listening to Alan Cumming performing the story. He does a fantastic job! Now I must hie to the nearest bookstore to leaf through the book and admire all the illustrations.
— Alt-History Biopunk/Dieselpunk. Audiobook.

Fuzzy Nation, John Scalzi
A simple, delightful story, told with charm and style. John Scalzi is a freaking genius, and Wil Wheaton’s performance of the audiobook is pitch-perfect.
— Sci-Fi. Audiobook.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
I enjoyed the protagonist’s unique voice and point of view, but it eventually grew stale. The story didn’t sustain my interest to the end.
— Mystery/Psychological Fiction. Audiobook.

“B is for Bigfoot,” Jim Butcher


Turn Coat, Jim Butcher (REREAD)
I injured my eye and was unable to look at a screen or a book for very long, so I curled up with a Dresden Files audiobook to pass the time–comfort food for the ears!

I’ve read or listened to this book half a dozen times at this stage, so it was fun to sit back and close my eyes and observe how Jim structured the book and imagine how I’d compose various shots if I were shooting this book as a film. It’s a well-paced, engaging story with compelling characters, and holy GODS do I ship Harry/Murphy like FedEx at Christmastime.

I realize this is not the most traditional or even informative review, but meh. This book completes my “52 books in 2011” Goodreads challenge, so I have earned the right to include some irrelevant blather. :D
— Urban Fantasy. Audiobook.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, Sam Kean
The Disappearing Spoon is a fascinating read. It’s not the sort of work I could devour in one sitting, but it was a pleasure to partake of in bits and pieces. Kean’s insights into scientists’ personal lives and the elements’ roles in history are intriguing, and I wish my high school chemistry class had explored some of this territory. Kean’s prose is approachable and often humorous, rendering even higher-level physics comprehensible and enjoyable by the layman. Recommended to science and history geeks alike!
— Chemistry/Physics/History. Audiobook.

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (REREAD)
I read this book several times many years ago, and it was a joy to revisit!
— Fantasy Humor with Religious Elements. Audiobook.

Snuff, Terry Pratchett
While far from Pterry’s best, even Pterry’s worst would still garner five stars from me.
— Fantasy Humor. Hardcover.


Twenty Palaces, Harry Connolly
While I rant and rail at the heavens at the injustice of such a brilliant series being canceled, if it had to happen, I’m glad it was in an era in which e-publishing is gaining such traction and accessibility. I’m so grateful Harry Connolly was able to tell this story and that plugged-in fans were able to read it. After the third book, I wanted so desperately for there to be more, but… sigh. This review is not about my woe. This review is about joy!

This book was excellent, as everything I’ve read from Connolly’s keyboard has proven to be. I loved this insight into this period of Ray’s life. At times I wondered why this wasn’t the first book, but then I reread the first page of “Child of Fire,” and I thought, “Oh, yes. So he could open the series like THAT.” Still, this is a rare prequel that I feel newcomers to the series will enjoy just as much as folks who have read the full trilogy.

This series is powerful, innovative, and uncompromising. Check it out!
— Urban Fantasy/Lovecraftian Horror. Kindle.

The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson
This book is lighter fare than the epic, world-sprawling tomes Sanderson usually pens, but in true Sanderson style, it’s still highly entertaining, with a well-integrated magic system, great action, and compelling characters you can’t help but adore. I wanted to draw little hearts in the margins whenever Wayne was present. I wanted to draw BIG hearts in the margins whenever the characters of the original trilogy were alluded to, particularly Spook. Good lord on a stick, do I love Spook.

I debated giving it four or five stars, because the story just didn’t feel as “big” as Sanderson’s usual work. I just kept reminding myself that this book started as a short story, and it’s wide open for a sequel, so I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more from these characters.

The other aspect that didn’t sit well with me is–naturally–a spoiler. You can read about it in my GoodReads review.

I’d heartily recommend this book to any Mistborn fan, though I’d recommend any fantasy fan who hadn’t read Mistborn to devour the trilogy first. The trilogy isn’t required to understand the events of this book, but there are so many wonderful little details one needs to be a Mistborn fan to appreciate. I wouldn’t want a reader denied that enjoyment.
— Steampunk Fantasy Western. Kindle.

“Bigfoot on Campus,” Jim Butcher (BETA)
“One Hell of a Ride,” Seanan McGuire (BETA)


Did I seriously not finish a single novel in this month? I am the most useless being in the universe. I betaed a massive chunk of Seanan McGuire’s Midnight Blue Light Special, but as she hasn’t finished the book, it doesn’t count in this tally.

I guess the whole “packing up one’s life and moving 2500 miles cross-continent” thing cuts into one’s reading time.

“A Christmas Card from the Middleman,” Javier Grillo-Marxuach
“Lord of Reavers,” Harry Connolly

Literary Podcasts Consumed:


Books I read in:
Hardcover – 4
Paperback – 28
Audiobook – 24
Ebook – 2
Beta – 2 (well, one read twice in its entirety, in addition to the 5 or 6 times I reread each chapter as they’re written), 8 short stories
Short Stories/Novellas – 21
Total – 61 Novels, 21 Short Stories/Novellas

Male/Female Author ratio: 25.5:15.5 (mixed authorship of Machine of Death)
Fiction: 53.5 Novels, 21 Short Stories (mix of truth and fiction in Sedaris’ collection)
Non-Fiction: 7.5 Novels
Written By and/or Starring a person of color: 7 novels (mixed authorship on Whedonistas and Machine of Death; each counted as a half), 5 short stories.

Books auctioned for Books for Boobs in 2011: 54
Money raised in Books for Boobs auctions: About $2600?
Books in B4B auction queue: 53

Most Nerdgasmic SDCC Experience Ever: Small, quiet dinner with Jim Butcher, Pat Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Chris Paolini, and Chris’ Sister, followed by squishy taxi ride with Rothfuss and Butcher, followed by W00tstock. Plus much chillage with Seanan McGuire, who I am rooming with next year. Whaaaaat.

Priscilla in Publishing:

  • I illustrated my second map for a fantasy series, the Crescent Moon Trilogy by Saladin Ahmed. The first book, Throne of the Crescent Moon, arrives February 2012.
  • My personal essay, “Brand New Day: The Evolution of the Doctor Horrible Fandom,” was published in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them, from Mad Norwegian Press. I rub elbows with Seanan McGuire, Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne M. Valente, Jane Espenson, Nancy Holder, and other luminary ladies of sci-fi/fantasy!
  • Through “Virtual Signing” sales of the Alera Map posters, I raised $600 for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, $60 for City Harvest, and $950 for Kiva. That Kiva money has already been reinvested multiple times, to the tune of $1,725 worth of loans to help support entrepreneurs and fight poverty. As in 2010, I also donated a map signed by Jim and me to Pat Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders charity, benefiting Heifer International.

2011 in Review: My goal for 2011 was to read 52 books, and I kicked that goal’s butt! I’m very proud of myself for reading so many more books this year. It’s just shy of double last year’s embarrassing 34.

However, just like last year, a staggering number of books I read were published in the last few months. Thankfully, unlike last year, I actually read two books published before my birth: The Woman Warrior (1976) by Maxine Hong Kingston and Kindred (1979) by Octavia Butler.

I deviated from the Urban Fantasy in many exciting ways, including an assortment of comedic memoirs; historical volumes that confronted issues of race, gender, and science; alternative histories infused with genre elements; and even some romance!

My Reading Resolution for 2012: Same as my resolution for 2011. Read more nonfiction and non-fantasy fiction, read more stuff written before my birth, and read more stuff by POC authors.

My Reading Goal for 2012: In December, I quit my job and moved to Los Angeles, so I expect my 2012 reading list will be lower than 2011. As I’ll be driving instead of taking public transportation, I’ll be listening to audiobooks rather than reading during my commute, and that’s much slower. Also, I won’t be listening to audiobooks at work, which allowed me to devour SCADS of them at a clip. I’ll be able to listen at the gym, but that doesn’t add up to much. I may have to downgrade my Audible membership.

I think I’ll set my 2012 goal at 35 books, with the certain expectation that I will trounce that goal’s shiny backside.

This Post Needs More Lists

Books I Started, But Haven’t Finished Yet:

  • Shadow Ops: Control Point, Myke Cole (ARC)
  • Midnight Blue Light Special, Seanan McGuire (BETA)
  • Mistress of Magic, Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Charitable Getting, Sam Starbuck
  • Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin
  • The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson

Books I Started, But Don’t Intend To Finish:

    Kraken, China Mieville — I read half of this book, and I found the ideas fascinating and inventive, but I just didn’t feel connected to any of the characters.

Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2012:

  • 01/04: Annotated Sandman: Vol 1 (and subsequent volumes), Neil Gaiman
  • 01/31: Shadow Ops: Control Point, Myke Cole
  • 02/07: Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (featuring my map!)
  • 02/28: Friends With Boys, Faith Erin Hicks
  • 02/28: Fated, Benedict Jacka
  • 03/06: Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire
  • 03/??: Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch (speculative; fingers crossed!)
  • 04/10: Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal
  • 05/03: The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin
  • 05/22: Blackout, Mira Grant
  • 06/07: The Shadowed Sun, N.K. Jemisin
  • 09/06: Ashes of Honor, Seanan McGuire
  • ??/??: Cold Days, Jim Butcher (projected fall 2012)

And whenever they come out:

  • Nick Harkaway’s second book
  • Stormlight #2, Brandon Sanderson
  • The Doors of Stone, Pat Rothfuss
  • Shades of Grey sequel, Jasper Fforde
  • Raising Taxes/Scouting For Trolls/the Next Discworld Novel, Terry Pratchett