The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan

Three and a half to four stars. Read for the first time in 2007, and again in February 2021. Some things Robert Jordan writes too much of: What songs are called in different places where the characters travel People using made-up swear words unbearably earnestly How Aes Sedai can’t be trusted (they never lie, but…

Fictional Items I Wish I Could Have

Renly Baratheon’s crown, just because it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Lucy’s cordial, from The Chronicles of Narnia, because health care is motherfucking expensive. The Pensieve from Dumbledore’s office, because the ability to store my own memories and experience them again would be absolutely priceless. Elven lembas bread. Because…

Storm Front, by Jim Butcher

First read summer 2010, read again summer 2018. Approximately four stars. Oh, Harry Dresden. I still really enjoyed this, but the way I read is so different now from eight years ago, when I first read it—fresh off the heels of N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Becky Chambers, Garth Nix, Rat Queens, Saga, and all the other incredibly…

New Volumes of My Favorite Comics

Saga, Vol. 8, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Four stars. Excellent as always, less robot penis than usual, so plenty of good news. For the bad news, in chapter 47: oh my god, Brian K. Vaughan, no, absolutely fucking not. That is too far. Such excruciatingly graphic sexual violence against women is fetishistic, and…

The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Four stars, read in June/July 2017. I loved the premise and the atmosphere of the post-Arthurian setting, and found the first half of this book very engaging. It follows characters who live in sort of medieval villages of Britons and Saxons, and although no one seems to remember any specifics, we know it’s been a…

Jane, Unlimited, by Kristin Cashore

One star, read in October 2017. This did not work for me. Graceling and Bitterblue are two of my all-time favorites, and some of the little YA that I am still able to read, so I was really hopeful for Cashore’s first book outside that series. But, in the first place, I wish I could…

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

Two and a half stars, read in October 2017. Eh. This book has a great premise, and Gaiman is surprisingly good at narrating his own book, though I can’t figure out how he sounds exactly the same whether I’m listening at regular speed, 1.2x times it, or even 1.4x. (Have to admit, I ended up…

Notes on a Harry Potter Reread

These are small posts that come from my old blog, but which I hadn’t previously reposted here, from the last time I reread the Harry Potter series (in 2014). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I wish I could remember exactly how many times I’ve read the earlier books in the series; obviously it’s more…

Slade House, by David Mitchell

Four stars, read in August 2017. I love the format of this book, the way each section is told from the perspective of one of the house’s victims. It felt especially intimate that way, making the story personal and a little emotional as well as creepy. This is the sixth of Mitchell’s books that I’ve…

Series I’ve Yet to Start

Surprise! They’re all fantasy. Because I love fantasy, but god, those giant tomes are daunting. Check out everyone else’s Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Kojiki, by Keith Yatsuhashi

Three and a half stars, read in August 2016. The cover on the left is the one I read, but I think if you look for it now, the cover on the right is the one you’ll find. I actually really like them both. This was very enjoyable with mostly-small problems here and there. I…

The Thickety: A Path Begins, by J.A. White

Four stars, read in April 2015. The Thickety is surprisingly dark for juvenile fiction: grisly murders, horrifying creatures, dark magic, the extreme torment of small children by an entire village of cruel religious cult members. I liked it a lot even while I was annoyed by some silly things (the twelve-year-old girl’s dead mother’s dress “fit…

Song of the Lioness, by Tamora Pierce

Four stars, read in May 2014. I knew this series was written in the 1980s, but somehow I could tell just by reading it, too; I think there was a certain style for young adult and middle grade fantasy back then, kind of condensed and sped up compared to YA written today. It’s a little…

Abhorsen, by Garth Nix

Four stars, read from November 2014 to January 2015. Before reading Sabriel I don’t think I’d have been able to imagine how a story could be both action-packed and incredibly slow at the same time, and I honestly don’t know if that’s the book itself or just me. I found it fascinating already from the prologue,…

Fablehaven and the Invasion of the Sexist Cover Art

One night several years ago, I found Fablehaven at the grocery store for five dollars and decided to try it out. Within about a week I’d lent it to my husband and bought a second copy to give to our niece, and they both also loved it. We recommended it to my parents and my siblings…

Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling, Narrated by Jim Dale

Five stars, read (listened to) throughout the summer of 2012. I’ve read the Harry Potter series several times, but this was my first time listening to the audiobooks, and I’m so glad I finally heard them that way. Audio will never replace physical books for me, but I’ve discovered a particular love for them in the last few…

The Invasion of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

Four stars, read in August 2015. Regardless of how I feel about various plot developments, I hated for this book to end. It’s even worse than when I finished the first, because I read that only two months before this was released, and now I know I’ll have to wait a long time before the…

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

Two stars, read in June 2012. Before we go any further, I must address the fact that, yes, I purchased the tie-in cover. Usually I would never, but there weren’t many other options at the Wal-Mart in Childress, Texas—one of many small, small towns on the road trip from Dallas to Salt Lake City—and I didn’t care…

Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

Four stars, read in 2010. This book was a huge surprise to me. To begin with, I did not want to read it. I’ve still never seen the musical—although with the benefit of several years’ distance, I now think it’s likely that I’d enjoy it—but I worked in a movie theater when it first came…

Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson

Four stars, read August 2011. This book is really, really exciting. Brandon Sanderson is pretty much the master of the last-minute completely-unforeseeable twist. I want to start The Well of Ascension, but since I have a queue of about twenty books on the bookshelf by my bed, I can’t decide if I want to bump…

The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Four stars, read in fall 2011. I haven’t finished this yet, but being close to the end of The Two Towers—and already knowing the story from the movies—I feel like I can safely review at this point. For once in my life, I’m really glad to have seen the movies before I read this book….

Abarat, by Clive Barker

Three stars, read in 2010. This book is as interesting as the cover looks. It’s almost 400 pages, but goes quickly because many of the pages are beautiful, full-sized illustrations done by the author. Barker has a kind of impressionist style, and the characters and places in the book are imaginative, sometimes a bit grotesque. Even the setting…

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Four stars, read in 2012 for Banned Books Week. I liked this even better than The Lord of the Rings (which I haven’t technically finished, but I’ve read The Fellowship of the Ring and most of The Two Towers). With a few exceptions, The Hobbit went faster and had more compressed action—which isn’t necessarily a thing that makes me…