I have been woefully remiss in keeping track of what I've read this year, so I will try to download things out of my head in a meaningful manner. This is not the order I read things in; half of my books are still traveling from Japan to me, and may or may not ever get here. Thank you, customs in Osaka.
Anyway, here we go!
23. THE ACTOR AND THE HOUSEWIFE by Shannon Hale
I really liked this book; in general, Shannon Hale is an author that I always like. And I found this story amusing and heart-warming and sweet. But it was very, very Mormon to me; the main character had viewpoints and actions that I simply didn't comprehend. It was, at times, like watching an alien creature who acted like a modern woman... but didn't. I disagreed vehemently with many of the character's choices, which perhaps says more about my liberal East Coast upbringing than it does about Mormons themselves. I should clarify that one of my good friends is Mormon, and I know many, many other wonderful people who are that religion. I have nothing against them. I just really disliked the character of Becky in many ways, yet I couldn't stop from reading the book. And that's a mixed review, if there ever was one. =)
24. THE PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL by Jessica Day George
Jodi Meadows said this book was about knitting--it totally was! I really enjoyed it, and now I'm seeking out more of Ms. George's work.
25. MARRIED IN THE MORNING by Lisa Kleypas
It had a good premise, but it didn't feel like a well-realized book to me.
26. LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON by Lisa Kleypas
This was a much better book than the previous one, although not a blow-me-out-of-the-water romance by any means. I do want to try writing an epistolary novel or story now though...
27. TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU by Julia Quinn
This romance novel, on the other hand, was a wonderful romance. Julia Quinn is back, people! I adored this one! Every detail was spot-on--bravo! I do think this has now earned itself a place as one of my favorite Julia Quinn romance novels. =)
28. A SECRET AFFAIR by Mary Balogh
I have a hard time articulating why I didn't fall head over heels in love with this book. The only thing I can think of was that I didn't fall head over heels in love with the characters. Yet, I liked Hannah, the main character, and I did read the book in one four hour sitting. It's a strange quandary--if anyone else has opinions on this one, please share.
29. A MATTER OF CLASS by Mary Balogh
In contrast to the other book, this one was a shining example of a romance novel (novella) done completely and totally right. I can't say much about it for fear of spoilers, but I will say that you should run, not walk, to read it.
30. THE SHADOW QUEEN by Anne Bishop
31. SHALADOR'S LADY by Anne Bishop
More on these later, in a different venue.
32. MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins
33. SERVANTS OF THE UNDERWORLD by Aliette de Bodard
I liked this, but didn't love it with an undying passion.
34. WHEN THE KING COMES HOME by Caroline Stevermer
This was merely ok.
35. A KISS AT MIDNIGHT by Eloisa James
This was wonderful and witty and a true fairy tale. Highly recommended for anyone who likes romantic comedy.
36. LAST NIGHT'S SCANDAL by Loretta Chase
Also wonderful and witty. I love her books so much. I already want the next one!
37. IMADOKI, Volume 2 by Yuu Watase
Fluff manga, but I like it.
38. DRAGON SLIPPERS by Jessica Day George
This was good, but I preferred her YA book more than this juvenile one. I think I was too old for its charms, sadly.
39. MURDER IN ZANZIBAR by M. M. Kaye
If you've never read THE FAR PAVILLIONS by the same author, you're greatly missing out. This was a good, period-set, mystery. It was definitely interesting seeing how things have changed in forty years.
40. BLACK SHIPS by Jo Graham
41. HANDS OF ISIS by Jo Graham
42. STEALING FIRE by Jo Graham
I adored BLACK SHIPS, merely liked HANDS OF ISIS, and absolutely loved STEALING FIRE. I would definitely pick this series up, posthaste.
43. GROTESQUE by Natsuo Kirino
I did not like this one as much as OUT, sadly.
44. THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER by Leanne Renee Hieber
45. THE DARKLY LUMINOUS FIGHT FOR PERSEPHONE PARKER by Leanna Renee Hieber
The first volume is definitely worth picking up, but the second was significantly weaker in terms of story and writing. I was disappointed in it.
46. BITTER SEEDS by Ian Tregillis
This was a great book. Extremely male-centered, but that's ok. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and am awaiting the sequel. I'm cool with evil women. =)
I'm sure I've read other things this summer, but this is what I remember right now. I'll think some more and add some more.