Friday, December 30, 2011

Year-End Wrap-Up

It's that time again--the time of year to review what's gone on in the reading world as it revolves around me. The official book total for the year: 68 new books read. (I don't count the number of books I read over and over again, otherwise Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards! would be on the list a hundred and fifty times by now). Most of these books were for school, and since I had to transfer from LivingSocial to Good Reads, I can only accurately describe the books that I read from July as books from this year. In any case, the best books (that I read) of 2011 (in no particular order except for the first one):

1. Snuff - Terry Pratchett. As I said in my review before, while this is not the funniest or my favorite Terry Pratchett book, it is, without a doubt, the best book he's ever written.

2. Heir to the Empire - 20th Anniversary Edition - Timothy Zahn. Okay, so I realize that this kind of skirts my rules on books, but you know what? There's so much new stuff in this edition that it qualifies. It's amazing to go behind the scenes and get a glimpse of Zahn's thought process as he relaunched Star Wars for the next generation--and I'd like to point out that it's a sight better than anything else that has come out of Del Rey for Star Wars in a long time. I've quit reading the Fate of the Jedi series, as I discussed with a friend via texting today.

3. Choices of One - Timothy Zahn. The above statement, of course, does not apply to anything Tim Zahn writes. Thrawn being badass? Yes, please.

4. Ghost Story- Jim Butcher. It's not my favorite Dresden book--and things have gotten a whole lot darker. But it was still great and I'm still panting for more.

5. Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin. I read this for my American expatriate novel class, and I'm still struck by how hauntingly beautiful it is.

6. Gabriel's Ghost - Linnea Sinclair. I'm continually disappointed that I can't find more of her books in the bookstore. Though this is a romance novel, I'm amazing at her world-building ability.

7. Twilight's Dawn - Anne Bishop. Black Jewels' verse short stories. This is one that I've kept coming back to since I got it--especially the last story, set after Janelle's death.

On the other end of the spectrum, books I hated this year:


2. Death Echo - Elizabeth Lowell. I usually love Elizabeth Lowell, but this was just painful to read.

3. Just Like Heaven - Julia Quinn. It's not that this book was bad, necessarily. But when I look back, it really was one of the biggest disappointments--I had much higher hopes for this book than there was material to fulfill it.

Lastly, the discovery of the year? Eloisa James. I can't wait to read more of her stuff.

What's that? I'm posting before the end of the year? I have time to read a book tomorrow?

Buahaha. My husband bought me a WoW subscription for Christmas and my sister-in-law updated my subscription to Just Cross Stitch magazine. Yeah, right, I'm going to read anything but cross stitch patterns tomorrow.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethelehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, and they were greatly afraid.

Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For born unto you this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Luke 2:1-21 (NKJV)