December 31, 2014

Books Read 2014

I've noted FAVORITES, FIND MYSELF THINKING ABOUT THE MOST, and MOST FUN at the end of the list. If I've reviewed a book, you will find a link labeled "thoughts" next to the book title and author.


1. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
2. Maman's Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan
3. "A Question of Riches" in A Glove Shop in Vienna and Other Stories by Eva Ibbotson
4. Beauty and the Werewolf (series) by Mercedes Lackey
5. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata (thoughts)
6. Second Watch (series) by J.A. Jance
7. Ethan Frome (novella) by Edith Wharton
8. Maisie Dobbs (series) by Jacqueline Winspear


8.  Notorious Nineteen (series) by Janet Evanovich
9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (thoughts)
10. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (series) by Carrie Vaughn
11. Kitty Raises Hell (series) by Carrie Vaughn
12. Light Boxes by Shane Jones (thoughts)
13. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
14. Kitty's House of Horrors (series) by Carrie Vaughn


15. Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
16. Heartless (series) by Gail Carriger
17. Timeless (series) by Gail Carriger
18. Just Kids by Patti Smith


19. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
20. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
21. Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore
22. Kitty Goes to War (series) by Carrie Vaughn
23. Kitty's Big Trouble (series) by Carrie Vaughn
24. "Are Women Human" (essay) by Dorothy Sayers (thoughts)
25. Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut (thoughts)
26. Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge (thoughts)
27. Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham
28. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
29. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (thoughts)

30. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
31. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut (thoughts - video, thoughts - written)
32. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
33. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (thoughts)


34. The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff (thoughts)
35. Hyperion by Dan Simmons (thoughts)
36. Aya by Marguerite Abouet
37. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
38. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz


39. Matilda by Roald Dahl
40. The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons (thoughts)
41. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
42. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
43. Tokyo on Foot by Florent Chavouet
44. Enchanted Night (novella) by Steven Millhauser
45. 13 1/2 by Nevada Barr
46. Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez


47. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
48. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
49. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
50. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


51. Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie
52. Children of the Night by Dan Simmons
53. Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
54. Twelve (Danilov Quintet) by Jasper Kent


55. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
56. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
57. Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
58. Thirteen Years Later (Danilov Quintet) by Jasper Kent
59. Takedown Twenty (series) by Janet Evanovich
60. The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
61. Kitty Steals the Show (series) by Carrie Vaughn


62. Kitty Rocks the House (series) by Carrie Vaughn
63. Kitty in the Underworld (series) by Carrie Vaughn
64. Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
65. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
66. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
67. The Third Section (Danilov Quintet) by Jasper Kent
68. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
69. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
70. The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
71. The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding
72. How the Stars Fell Into the Sky by Jerrie Oughton
73. "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton" (short story) by Charles Dickens


74. Endymion by Dan Simmons
75. The Night Before Christmas (novella) by Nikolai Gogol
76. The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (novella) by Charles Dickens
77. Little Women (with Good Wives) by Louisa May Alcott

FAVORITES (in no particular order):
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut (thoughts)
Hyperion by Dan Simmons (thoughts)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (thoughts)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

Twelve & Thirteen Years Later & The Third Section by Jasper Kent

Retribution Falls & The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding

December 4, 2014

A Merry Dickens Reading List

This post is based on a read-a-long hosted on BookTube (YouTube) by Samantha at Novels and Nonsense. Sam is an awesome BookTuber and posts fun book tags, reviews, and other book chat. You should go visit her! 

Image John Leech public domain
A Merry Dickens Reading List

A collection of ghost stories might seem an odd choice for a Christmas reading list, but Christmas has long been associated with ghosts and the Victorians were quite adept at the telling of ghost stories around the hearth on Christmas Eve. During this era, Dickens wrote quite a number of ghostly tales that were published thanks to the rise of the periodical press. His ghost stories are not particularly Christian, but are morality tales that give the reader (or hearer) a chance to reflect on life.

All of the stories on this reading list can be read online for free. They are a combination of short story and novellas that revolve around Christmas. They have in common a strong moral message and are by-and-large social commentary.

Image permission
Victorian Web
The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton
Goblins kidnap a surly, misanthropic grave-digger to teach him some valuable lessons. This is a story within a story and is better known as Chapter 29 of The Pickwick Papers. (Short Story)

The Chimes: A Goblin Story
A poor elderly "ticket-porter" learns that mankind is not naturally wicked, but instead strives for noble things unless crushed or repressed beyond bearing. Yep, more goblins. (Novella)

The Cricket on the Hearth
1848 ILN The Haunted Man
Image public domain
A mysterious elderly stranger, who isn't what he seems, comes to visit a carrier's family. A somewhat sentimental story depicting the happy Victorian home. This one has a guardian angel. (Novella)

Image John Leech public domain
The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain
A story about the spirit of the holidays that addresses the themes of memory, forgiveness, and humility. Yes, there is a ghost. (Novella)

A Christmas Carol
Probably the most well-known of Dickens' Christmas stories. Scrooge has a heart as cold as winter but, just as spring follows winter, Scrooge warms to his fellow man - of course, not before some ghosts get a chance to visit. (Novella)

December 3, 2014

The Classics Club: A Confessional Post

The Classics Club

I was just visiting JoAnn's blog, Lakeside Musing, and was reminded by one of her posts that I had (once upon a time) joined The Classics Club. On March 16, 2012 to be exact. Have I read any books from that list? No. Did I even remember that I had made this commitment? Obviously not or I wouldn't be writing this confessional post. Sooo ...

I have until March 2017 to read through my list. At this point I will be pleased to read at least some of the wonderful classics from this list. I've been terribly neglectful at reading classics lately. I've also been terribly neglectful of my blog and my BookTube (YouTube) channel. While I find it difficult to do all that is required to make videos about my reading and books (prepping, set up, editing, uploading, etc.), there is really no reason for me not to blog. I like writing! I should be writing! Sooo ...

I will try to do two things in the coming year (2015):
  1. Read some of the books from my Classics Club list
  2. Write and post to my blogs (I still maintain Tip of the Iceberg which is meant to be personal essays)
I could use all of the encouragement y'all can send my way. I am VERY out of practice and disconnected from blogging.


  1. Alcott, Louisa May - Little Women (reread)
  2. Arabian Nights, The (trans. Muhsin Mahdi)
  3. Ariosto, Ludovico - Orlando Furioso
  4. Austen, Jane - Sense and Sensibility
  5. Barnes, Julian - Flaubert's Parrott
  6. Beowulf (trans. Seamus Heaney)
  7. Bradley, Marion Zimmer - The Mists of Avalon (reread)
  8. Bronte, Anne - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  9. Bulgakov, Mikhail - The Master and Margarita (reread)
  10. Burnett, Frances Hodgson - The Secret Garden
  11. Campbell, Joseph - The Hero with a Thousand Faces (reread)
  12. de Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote
  13. Cheever, John - Oh What a Paradise It Seems
  14. Colette - Cheri
  15. Collins, Wilkie - The Haunted Hotel
  16. Collins, Wilkie - Miss or Mrs?
  17. Dickens, Charles - Great Expectations
  18. Dickens, Charles - David Copperfield (reread)
  19. Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities
  20. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - The Brothers Karamazov (trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky)
  21. Durrell, Lawrence - Justine (Alexandria Quartet)
  22. Durrell, Lawrence - Balthazar (Alexandria Quartet)
  23. Durrell, Lawrence - Mountolive (Alexandria Quartet)
  24. Durrell, Lawrence - Clea (Alexandria Quartet)
  25. Forster, E.M. - Howard's End
  26. Forster, E.M. - The Longest Journey
  27. Forster, E.M. - A Passage to India (reread)
  28. Forster, E.M. - Where Angels Fear to Tread (reread)
  29. Gaskell, Elizabeth - Cranford
  30. Gaskell, Elizabeth - North and South
  31. Hardy, Thomas - The Mayor of Casterbridge
  32. Homer - The Odyssey (reread)
  33. Hugo, Victor - Les Miserables
  34. Mitchell, Margaret - Gone With the Wind
  35. Polidori, John - The Vampyre
  36. Radcliffe, Anne - The Mysteries of Udolpho
  37. Spenser, Edmund - The Faeire Queene
  38. Stendhal - The Red and the Black
  39. Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
  40. Thackeray, William Makepeace - Vanity Fair
  41. Tolstoy, Leo - Anna Karenina (trans. Pevear & Volokhonsky) (reread)
  42. Trollope, Anthony - Barchester Towers
  43. Trollope, Anthony - The Warden
  44. Twain, Mark - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  45. Verne, Jules - Journey to the Centre of the Earth
  46. Virgil - The Aeneid (reread)
  47. Wharton, Edith - The Age of Innocence
  48. Wharton, Edith - Ethan Frome
  49. Woolff, Virginia - Mrs. Dalloway
  50. Woolff, Virginia - A Room of One's Own (reread)