The Reading List Archive – 2011

This is the archive of the books I read (or started) in 2011.  For the books I’ve read or am currently reading, check out The Reading List.
I’ll put an X behind those that I recommend and a XX behind those that I highly recommend. Books with one X will likely only be popular with those who are fans of the genre, while XXs are those I’d recommend regardless of genre preference.
63.  What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz (27 Dec 2011) – X
———-> Read: My review of What the Night Knows
62.  Blockade Billy by Stephen King (26 Dec 2011) – X
—–This is a very small book with two short stories.  Blockade Billy, a baseball story that reads somewhat like an interview, and Morality, a very short story that delves a little into deciding what you can live with doing for money and then trying to live with it.
61.  Four Past Midnight by Stephen King (27 Nov 2011) – X
—–It’s a safe bet that anything King writes will get at least one X from me.
60.  Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (1 Nov 2011)
—–I didn’t like this book of “Short Fictions and Wonders.”  There were a couple that I found interesting, but I had to force myself to slug through most of it.
59.  Neverwinter:  The Neverwinter Saga, Book II by R. A. Salvatore (19 Oct 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of Neverwinter
58.  The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, Book Two) by Rick Riordin (5 Oct 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of The Throne of Fire
—–I liked this one.  It lays out 38 things to avoid and some suggestions on how to accomplish them.  Very concise.  Only one X because if you aren’t a writer, there’s likely no interest.
56.  City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Book 1) by Cassandra Clare (18 Sep 2011) – XX
—–Interesting story with good pacing and characters.
———-> Read: My review of City of Bones
55.  Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) by Jeaniene Frost (11 Sep 2011) – X
———-> Read:  My review of Halfway to the Grave
54.  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (4 September 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of Neverwhere
53.  A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (13 August 2011) – XX
———-> Read: My review of A Dance with Dragons
52.  Creating Characters Kids Will Love by Elaine Marie Alphin (22 July 2011)
—–I’m conflicted about this one.  I didn’t get much out of it.  There were a couple nuggets, but at times it also seemed like too much time was spent pumping her own books/stories.  Now, to be honest, I didn’t do the activities suggested in the chapters.  Maybe, I’d have gotten more out of it, if I had.
51.  The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) by Rick Riordan (10 Jul 2011) – XX
50.  The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design by Flint Dille & John Zuur Platten (25 Jun 2011) – X
—–Having not read any other books on “how to write” for video games, this book was quite informative with a lot of exercises to do and sample documents based on the authors’ real-world experience.
49.  Songs of Love & Death:  All Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (7 Jun 2011)
—–At first glance, you may wonder if I just missed putting an X down since most of the books I’ve read (on this list) I’ve given at least one X.  Nope, I didn’t miss a thing.  Out of all the stories in the book, two or three really had my interest.  I forced myself to complete the book, even though I skipped most of one of the stories and skimmed through another.  I am very glad I picked this up at a huge discount when my local Borders was closing.  I’d have been bummed if I’d have paid more than $5-6 for it.
48.  A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (17 May 2011) – XX
—–New Point of View characters, more death, at least one character I used to dislike, I’ve come to like.
47.  A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (25 Apr 2011) – XX
—–More characters die, more grow, and still ‘Winter is Coming’
46.  A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (10 Apr 2011) – XX
—–Continuing on where A Game of Thrones left off… don’t get too attached to all the characters, nor expect them to never change.
45b.  Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs (26 Mar 2011)
—–started reading this while still in Game of Thrones because I didn’t want to risk dropping GoT in the water while reading in the tub.  GoT is hardback. This is paperback…less costly to replace.
—–The best of the Mercy Thompson series so far.
45a.  A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (20 Mar 2011) – XX
—–I think it’s highly possible that people who don’t normally read fantasy could like this book.  It isn’t heavy on the magic or the supernatural.  It really is very heavily character driven…and those characters are very well-defined.
44.  Masques by Patricia Briggs (12 Mar 2011) – X
—–a nice little story–heavy on the relationship building of the protagonists, light on fighting
#33, revisited:  A Tale of two Cities (13 Feb 2011)
—–gave up again.  Made it about a third of the way through it before putting it down, though.  Then caught up on some backlogged issues of Writer’s Digest before moving on to #44 above.
43.  Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs (8 Feb 2011) – X
—–With the exception of the contrived ending, this one is again a decent outing.
42.  Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (4 Feb 2011) – X
—–The third book in the Mercedes Thompson series finally hits stride with a good combination of action, characters, and story.
41.  Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter Book I by R.A. Salvatore (30 Jan 2011) – XX
—–A fantastic start to a new series.  Closing some chapters in Drizzt’s life, opening new ones.
———-> Read: My review of Gauntlgrym
40.  Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (26 Jan 2011)
—–Better than the last one, but still can’t bring myself to recommend it
39.  Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (22 Jan 2011)
—–Light-weight, vamp, wolf, witch stuff.  Only one relatively complex character.
38.  Percy Jackson & The Olympians:  The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (17 Jan 2011) – X
—–Great wrap-up to a superb series.  Very good momentum and pacing.
37.  The Difference Maker by John C. Maxwell (11 Jan 2011) – X
—–While a positive attitude isn’t all that’s necessary to be successful, it is a huge factor in success.  A great book about what a positive attitude can and can’t do for you.
36.  The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Philip Athans (6 Jan 2011) – X
—–Fantastic book.  I’d give it a ‘XX’, but if you aren’t interested in becoming a Fantasy and/or Science Fiction Writer, you won’t have much use for this one.
———->  Read: My review of The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction
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5 thoughts on “The Reading List Archive – 2011

  1. marjnhomer March 27, 2012 / 08:06

    how do you pick up books to read?

    • lorwynd March 27, 2012 / 13:13

      When I have no idea what I’m going to read next and find myself in a bookstore, I hit the Fantasy/Sci-Fi section and go to the New Releases section. From there, if there’s an auther I’ve read and enjoyed before, I’ll pick that up first to see what the story is about. The title and/or cover art are what grab my attention next, but if the description of the story in the jacket (back cover or inside liners) doesn’t interest me, I put it back down. After that, I walk the shelves looking for older books by authors I like that I haven’t read.

      Some choices are from authors that I’ve been reading for many, many years, like Stephen King. I got into Dan Simmons and Dean Koontz because a reviewer on one of their books or in a news article had compared them to Stephen King…or the book had praise from him on it.

      In recent years, I’ve been reading a lot more young adult fantasy because my daughter is an avid reader and I like to keep up with what she’s reading or to be able to recommend books to her…or to tell her certain ones are off limits until she gets older.

      Finally, some books are based on recommendations from friends and co-workers. I’d been told to read The Hunger Games by about three different people so when I saw the trilogy on sale I picked it up.

      Oh, yeah. I also try to pick up a “how to write” book at least a few times a year. I also mix in a self-improvement (leadership, character, etc.) book now and then.

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