Books

I read a fair number of books (although I don’t always write about them). Recently I engaged in a discussion about rating books on Goodreads in which we discussed how 5-star rating systems don’t work very well. What does a 3 mean for instance? I proposed simply stack ranking my reviews and winding up with a system that simply shows relative quality (according to me).

Kicking that off:

  1. Spinning Silver – Maybe it’s hot this summer and the snowy setting won me over but I really liked this book and couldn’t put it down.
  2. Circe – I knew the story of Circe only through the Odyssey. This book really brought everything to light. Seems I am reading a lot of “retellings” lately.
  3. The Name of the Wind – No idea where the story of Kvothe is going but it sure is well written.
  4. Vindolanda (1 and 2) – Romans in Britain. No idea why but I am a sucker for Romans in Britain stories. This one is about a grumpy old cavalry centurion.
  5. L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home – cute story of an American trying to refurbish an apartment in Paris.
  6. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution – the first time I enjoyed a book by China Mieville. I know he is a literary darling but his books are too grim for me. I enjoy this book as a nicely written account of the year leading up to the Russian Revolution in 1917.
  7. Akata Warrior – Follow up to Akata Witch which I liked a lot better. I never quite figured out what this book was about but I still liked reading about these four witches in Africa.
  8. Outlaw – Retelling of Robin Hood and his trusty knave Alan. Sheesh, I am really in a rut with all the retelling books.
  9. Mortal Heart – #3 of a trilogy and definitely my least favorite. Contrived books all around (why do such powerful female characters need a guy?) but the world/historical fiction element is lovely.
  10. Grey Sister – Better I think than Red Sister but still not all the way there yet. I love the idea of a dying sun and a cooling world but it feels like the book just hasn’t hit on that theme yet.
  11. Quillifer – fun world, decent character, clever writing
  12. Red Sister – decent world-building, decent characters, didn’t absolutely love it.
  13. Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels For A New Life In Rural France – I like books about bike touring even while I no longer want to do tours by bike. This was a lovely book, not as good as Tim Moore’s epics, but nice.
  14. Coyote Blue – I like the books of Christopher Moore, but this one wasn’t very good. I like the idea of Coyote but this was a disjointed mess.
  15. Cookham To Cannes: The South of France – Lobsters & Lunatics – Couple of Brits move to France and work as “guardians” for insane people.
  16. The Invisible Library – Couldn’t get through it.
  17. Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels For A New Life In Rural France – what a dud. Not much about France, loads and loads about not finding a love life, woe is me.
  18. Uncorked: My year in Provence studying Pétanque, discovering Chagall, drinking Pastis, and mangling French by Paul Shore | Goodreads – absolutely terrible