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May. 11th, 2011

I just unfriended a group of journals that I think are inactive and not reading anymore. If you can *only* see this post of mine, and want to be reinstated, lemme know, ok?

Books 2011

1. My life as a furry red monster - Kevin Clash (I like Elmo a little more now. A little)
2. Son of a Witch - Gregory Maguire (didn't have the impact for me that Wicked did)
3. The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize - Peter Doherty (I agree with some, not with other parts. Interesting read)
4. Babies, Bellies and Blundstones - Catherine Deveny (well, it's meant to be offensive...)
5. After America - John Birmingham (I like)
6. Your Best birth - Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
7. 1901 - Robert Conroy (alternate history, what if Germany invaded the USA in 1901)
8. The Birth of Venus - Sarah Dunant (what happens if historians start writing fiction. Actually pretty good; young intellectual woman in early 16C Tuscany)
9. The virgin's Lover - Philippa Gregory (lightweight historical fiction. Don't judge :)
10. Paydirt - Kathleen Mary Fallon (my cultural guilt is overwhelming after this. Hits you like Rabbit Proof Fence)
11. The Making of Julia Gillard - Jacqueline Kent (written before the PM takeover)
12. The Death of Bunny Munro - Nick Cave (just like what you would expect of a novel by Nick Cave. :)
13. The Cotton Queen - Pamela Morsi (Women growing up, dealing with crap, growing more, dealing with more crap, accepting selves)
14. Scrumpy Delight for Polly Pinch - Alicia Bessette (I admit I picked this for the title alone. It wasn't bad, but had a lot of heartwarming in it, which seems obvious in retrospect)
15. Birth Your Way - Sheila Kitzinger
16. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (another life story; nothing new here)
17. Bed Rest - Sarah Bilston (Chick lit, oh how I hate you. Women being horrible to everyone for no fathomable reason, then... baby!)
18. Fat, Forty and Fired (gratuitous excuse to publish cute anecdotes about his children and long-suffering wife after he went back to the corporate world)
19. Quicksilver - Neal Stephenson (lots of fun, but took ages and I needed breaks for fluff. I do love science and history, though)
20. Tis - Frank McCourt (I'm on a biography binge at the moment)
21. When Hungry, Eat - Joanne Fedley
22. The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff (plural marriages, sort of a thriller, sort of not)
I think I missed some.
23. Jetty Road - Cath Keneally (set in Adelaide, lots of references to home :)
24. The Mould on Dr Florey's Coat - Eric Lax (discovery of penicillin, perfect for reading when you have a viral disease...)
25. How not to F*** Them Up - Oliver James (more or less attachment parenting with appropriate letting go at the appropriate time. Nothing novel here)
26. The Jane Austen Book Club - Karen Joy Fowler (I have this vague feeling I've read this before)
27. Her Mother's Thighs - Dara Chadwick (raising girls without fucking up their body image. Hard)
28. By A Lady - Amanda Elyot (Time travel and Jane Austen. It was bad, but not bad enough to make me want to poke my eyes out like, say, Heinlein would)
29. The Quilter's Apprentice - Jennifer Chiaverini (It's an American Novel, capitals intentional. Hardly a Great one though)
30. Island of Bones - Imogen Robertson (apparently a series of murder mystery novels set in 18C Britain)
31. boobs, babies and breastfeeding (anthology of first-person stories about breastfeeding, some successful and some not. Great reference, I need to find the proper title and editors, I think lululily would like it very much)
32. Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood (re-read, interesting in light of similar bullying going on at W's school)
33. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth - Henci Goer

And then I had a baby.

34. Baby Love - Robin Barker
35. The Yummy Mummy's Survival Guide - Liz Fraser (OK, so it was mostly fun for reminiscing about pregnancy/birth/etc., and for the advice to look after one's own self-image as a mum)
36. The Darcy's and Bingley's - Marsha Altman (I'm a sucker for Pride and Prejudice follow-ons; this one is the first in a series, and is not too bad)
37. Surviving Step-families - Michael Carr-Gregg (Self help meets parenting advice meets educational reading. Useful in a general sense and also from the "it's ok, you're doing fine" perspective)
38. The Household Guide to Dying - Debra Adelaide
39. Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris
40. A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity - Kathleen Gilles Seidel (what if your kid were popular and you hadn't been? What if she were the mean girl? The bully? Of course, she still dodges the topic as little by making her mean girl the product of a broken home and psycho mother)
41. The Red Queen - Philippa Greggory (I'm a sucker for historical fiction)
42. 22 Nov, 1963 - (forgot to note author)
43. Angels of Vengeance - John Birmingham (I'm counting this because I only had 40 pages left out of 500 on Jan 1; had NYE gone differently I might actually have finished it that day. :)



This year's reading list: lets see if I can maintain it...

1. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters - Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters (better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, actually)
2. Without Warning - John Birmingham (Interesting premise, again, still somewhat annoyingly jumpy)
3. Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood (re-read)
4. Everybody's daughter, nobody's child - Jane Lapotaire (Makes me feel guilty even considering an illegitimate child: still, this is not the 50s)
5. Cleaving - A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession - Julie Powell (I actually like her (written) voice, and unlike many reviewers, I can identify with obsessions that ruin relationships, unfortunately. I actually like that she's weak and whiny and in your face about it.)
6. Sugarbabe - Holly Hill (This one needs to take her "revolutionary ideas about marriage" and go talk to someone in the polyamoury community. Not so original, you know?)
7. The Gathering Storm - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (yes, I read Robert Jordan. But I complain bitterly the whole time - I just need to know how it ends, ok?)
8. The Color Purple - Alice Walker (Not sure how I managed to not read this until now)
9. Rosetta - Barbara Ewing (Mothers give up everything for their children? Sort of)
10. In Ashes Lie - Marie Brennan (Fairies and history, and I accidentally read the second one first)
11. Midnight Never Come - Marie Brennan (The first book; she says it's the result of the backstory for a tabletop game she used to run)
12. Playing the Fat Girl - Mikyla Dodd (part weight loss bio, part lightweight celebrity story. Meh)
13. Labor of Love - Cara Muhlhahn (Business of Being Born midwife; interesting)
14. Ridiculous Expectations, or how to find a prince - Merridy Eastman (ex-Playschool host, mostly optimistic and relatable tale of a 40+ single woman finding a husband and having a baby, among other things. I was not as depressed by it as I might have thought, which speaks volumes for her writing)
15. Sarah - Orson Scott Card (OK, I missed that he is a Mormon, this is the biblical Sarah. It was OK)
16. And then there were three - Forgot this one's author before I returned it (single father to surrogate triplet boys)
17. Pop Salvation A Novel - Lance Reynalds (A boy saved by Rocky Horror, growing up queer and different in the 80s)
18. The Slippery Slope (10) - Lemony Snicket
19. The Grim Grotto (11) - Lemony Snicket (quick reads, on holidays :)
20. Mad Cow - Kathy Lette (why did I do this to myself?)
21. The Penultimate Peril (12) - Lemony Snicket (44 hours to finish the last one)
22. The End (13) - Lemony Snicket (and lo, it is done :D)
23. Thorns - Robert Silverberg (lightweight sci-fi romance. A bit dated, but easy reading)
24. (forgot to write down the details; something about vestal virgins, tragic love story with a burial)
25. Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales for Girls - Danielle Wood (A great deal of fun)
26. The Naked Drinking Club - Rhona Cameron (interesting choice of title, reference to a chapter at the beginning of the book and never featured again...)
27. Au Revoir - Mary Moody (Australian semi-celebrity travel journal to France. Lightweight, only minorly irritating)
28. Redefine your life (12 easy steps to a new you) - Andrea Molloy (self-help book that was actually pretty useful in the transition to action. I guess sometimes I need an "aha" moment)
29. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks (you know, I don't think I read this before. Creepy. Excellent. Ending *slightly* predictable)
30. Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big? - Peter Walsh (Self help #2. I don't know if he's tried to remake this for an Australian audience, or if it's because he's an Australian living in the US, but it reads as a vague mishmash of cultures, which feels odd. Ultimately, ideas for cleaning up and change, all good.)
31. Citizen Girl - Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (By the people who wrote the Nanny Diaries, another 20-something in another exploitative job. Slightly funny, partly depressing)
32. Blood Music - Greg Bear (Once I got past the shonky biology, it actually got pretty good. And then he started throwing in more biology.)
33. Biting The Big Apple - Bella Vendramini (I thought it was another "long way to the top", flip bio, but it turned into something deeper in parts. Emotion! Sexual Violence! OMG!)
34. The Vintner's Luck - Elizabeth Knox (Interesting. Possibly deeper than I am, possibly very shallow.)
35. The Lucy Family Alphabet - Judith Lucy (Still think she's funny, but I'm getting tired of biographies)
36. You on a diet - Dr Oz and the other guy (These guys are *obsessed* with similes. I wanted to kill them by the 10th page in)
37. Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde (first in a trilogy. You bastard)
38. Mayflower - er, forgot the author (ages ago, forgot to enter it. People have been doing horrible things to each other forever. It's... demoralising, although I see where the joy of the pilgrim legend comes into it)
39. The King's Daughter - Christie Dickason (I... have a weakness for historical fiction sometimes. It was ok, right up to the raunchy sex scene, when it turned a little silly)
40. The 100 Mile Diet - Alisa Smith and JB MacKinnon (Have been trying to buy locally grown foods for a while now. I can see how these things could be impossibly hard for some, and how the blog thing gives one accountability. Of course, my "zone" includes both islands)
41. Ink and Steel -Elizabeth Bear (Fate of England and Faerie tied, Shakespeare and Marley, etc.)
42. Chocolat - Joanne Harris (Church vs. chocolate; troubling thoughts about the conflict between tradition, tolerance, hedonism and restraint. Also chocolate)
43. A Proper Education For Girls - Elaine di Rollo (reads almost as an adventure story for girls, but with adult themes. This worked surprisingly well!)
44. 1940 - Jay Neugeboren (Hitler's Jewish doctor, living in NYC, meets the mother of a mentally disabled 18yo who is due for forced sterilisation. People running away from each other, from reality, in that weird pre/mid-war, isolationist America. Odd. Interesting. Long. Possibly deeper than I can understand)
45. The Crow Road - Iain Banks (Re-reading. Yay. Just... Yay!)
46. Waiting; the true confessions of a waitress - Debra Ginsberg (memoir, fun, justifies the "be nice to everyone who serves you anything" trope. Also, points out that some people choose to be waitstaff, rather than it being the bottom of the heap)
47. Access Road - Maurice Gee (people do horrible things to each other, and there's something not quite right about being amused by the idea of a slow-motion fight between three septuagenerians)
48. Alice I Have Been - Melanie Benjamin (what was it like to be Alice in Wonderland. Also, Lewis Carroll was a perv)
49. The Shadow of the Sun - AS Byatt (Oh, she's brilliant, isn't she?)
50. Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher (I suspect she wrote this in an up phase. Then again, who knows. "I just wanted to turn the sound down and smooth out all of my sharp corners. Block out the dreadfully noisy din of not being good enough". Oh.)
51. The Facts of Life - Graham Joyve (I'm guessing it's the mysticism and spiritualism that got it into the SciFi/Fantasy section. Confusing otherwise)
52. Chernobyl Strawberries - Vesna Goldsworthy (That special sort of homesickness that expats have, who belong but don't in too many places)
53. Passing for Normal - Amy Wilensky (Tourette's, OCD, growing up crazy. Very straightforward memoir; I kept wishing there was a miracle cure)
54. Master your Metabolism - Jillian Michaels (blahblahblah hormones in food, chemicals, etc. Mostly stuff I already knew)
55. The Tuesday Erotica Club - Lisa Beth Kovetz (Chick lit, but not too bad as far as these things go)
56. Katey - Lucinda Hawkins (continuing my biography obsession this year, this is Charles Dickens' daughter. The life of a 19th C celebrity!)
57. Un Lun Dun - China Mieville (In retrospect, something of a teen novel, but still fun. Less dark than I was expecting)
58. Why is sex fun? - Jared Diamond (a lot more lightweight than Guns, Germs and Steel, and somewhat self-evident. But I'm a biologist, so what is self-evident to me is not necessarily so)
59. Sula - Toni Morrison (ow.)

Uh... Missed some.

60. Towers of Midnight - Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan (I think I like these better than the dithery Jordan-alone versions...)


Jumping on a bandwagon

This one from baroquestar:

You have offended the gods, and now it's time to be
smitten, and not in a good way.

What is Your Tragic Flaw?
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