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Time:05:12 pm
53. Marina and Sergey Dyachenko The Key to the Kingdom

07.03.2007 – 13.03.2007. A teenage fantasy about an ordinary girl from our world who is invited to go to a magic kingdom as a mage’s apprentice. Interesting enough, but I grew used to a much more… rich stuff published here as teenage fantasy. This book is just what it seems. Well-done, but…

54. Oksana Pankeeva The Road that Chose Us

30.03.2007. Seventh book in a series. I think it’s set up to finish on the eighth, and this book feels more thin than the previous ones. There’s rounding down going all around, and several characters I like behaving quite stupidly in the name of love (and male pride) which I dislike.

55. Caroline Stevermer Scholar of Magics

14.03.2007 – 11.04.2007. A lovely, unhurried story. I liked especially how Jane was developed here — a very independent person who doesn’t feel like a 21st century girl dropped into another time. But one thing kept bugging me — from the previous book I somehow had no sense at all that Greenlaw was in France, so here it was confusing to see that it was.

56. K.S. Latourette A History of Christianity

14.01.2007 – 18.04.2007. Necessarily a bit sketchy, to fit all this into one volume, but in general a useful book (though I found Middle Ages more interesting than further developments, but that may be because I have more of a background to imagine medieval happenings).

57. Carolly Erickson The First Elizabeth

18.04.2007 – 19.04.2007. Readable, but doesn’t feel trustworthy — seems she collected all the gossip about Elizabeth and made a great big heap of it.

58. A. L. Rowse Christopher Marlowe

19.04.2007 – 21.04.2007. I took this out of the library mostly because I am not well informed about Marlowe. But Rowse’s style and Rowse’s way to do biography also give a lot of entertainment.

59. Sarah Caudwell The Shortest Way to Hades

23.04.2007 – 24.04.2007. A reread to lift my mood — and it did help. Julia and Selena at the orgy especially never fail to make me smile.

60. Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth the Great

21.04.2007 – 25.04.2007. I cannot help comparing this one to Erickson. I am not entirely sure about the author’s main idea, about the influence of her father’s … style of solving marital problems not just on Elizabeth’s unwillingness to marry but also on her fear of actual sex — but at least she has an idea and is capable of arranging her narrative into some order. Also, lots of interesting details.
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Time:07:41 pm
44. Jonathan Kellerman Therapy

45. Jonathan Kellerman Cold Heart

46. Jonathan Kellerman The Murder Book

47. Jonathan Kellerman Monster

48. Jonathan Kellerman The Clinic

49. Jonathan Kellerman Self-Defense

50. Jonathan Kellerman Rage

01.03.2007 – 06.03.2007. I always liked Kellerman — for psychological thriller genre his books are curiously soothing. I think it’s because Alex, his protagonist, obviously enjoys life. I think The Murder Book, the one about Milo’s past, was the most depressing, but even there it was good to see that one of the girls suspected to have been murdered survived and had a good life.

51. Terry Pratchett Hogfather

09.03.2007 – 10.03.2007. Reread. I still haven’t managed to watch the film but people discussed this one so much around me that I had to remind myself of the details. As always, I love Susan the most when she is dealing with the normal world.

52. Henry Lyon Oldie Shmagic

09.03.2007 – 11.03.2007. A prequel to another story I read before; a fantasy with a mystery plot and the authors’ love of language play; but I love it a bit less than that other book — maybe because of the characters.
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Subject:Catching up again
Time:11:53 am
Current Mood:busy
31. Caleb Carr The Italian Secretary

09.02.2007. A Sherlock Holmes book set in Scotland and connected with the Rizzio murder. It began better than it ended — I liked Watson here, but the mystery was a bit too slight, and Holmes’s hints about ghosts and such a bit too weird.

32. David Drake The Far Side of the Stars

07.02.2007 – 11.02.2007. Third book in the RCN series; at the beginning it was slow going because I’ve read it before on the Baen site or something like this, but then it turned out to be fun. I liked the connection with Three Circles Conspiracy.

33. Zenon Kosidovsky The Evangelists’ Tales

08.02.2007 – 20.02.2007. Reread from very long ago. A good popular book on problems of New Testament history; even though it’s very much Marxism-influenced, it gives a decent survey of other views. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s too light on detail, and sometimes he skips logic in explaining his own views.

34. Charles de Lint The Riddle of the Wren

20.02.2007 – 22.03.2007. A nice enough fantasy in quasi-medieval setting (I did not even at once detect the quasi-ness), but somehow it felt a bit too flat for me. No life in the characters — at least, I didn’t feel any.

35. W.E.B. Griffin Murderers

22.02.2007 – 23.02.2007. I like Griffin’s books because I like military thrillers/adventure and he does them well. This one is actually a police book but I also found it a lot of fun — brief portraits of nice people and the general feeling of order.

36. Carol O’Connell Mallory’s Oracle

37. Carol O’Connell The Man Who Lied to Women

38. Carol O’Connell Killing Critics

39. Carol O’Connell Stone Angel

40. Carol O’Connell Shell Game

41. Carol O’Connell Crime School

42. Carol O’Connell Dead Famous

43. Carol O’Connell Winter House

25.02.2007 – 28.02.2007 At first I found Mallory a bit too Mary Sueish, but I was too ill to read anything but mysteries and so went on. It gets better and more complicated; other people in this universe are very much people, etc. The only two things that trouble me are the lack of influence of Stone Angel on the following books and the ending of Winter House.
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Time:10:26 am
21. Rebecca West Family Memories

26.01.2007 – 29.01.2007. More about her family than her, but her personality and her attitudes can be seen very clearly here. It’s interesting, but I think I liked The Birds Fall Down more precisely because it’s less personal.

22. G. K. Chesterton Man with a Golden Key

26.01.2007 – 31.01.2007. I love Chesterton very much, and always find in his writings something very appropriate to my current mood. This time I also wondered about how curiously on-topic his novels seem for today’s politics.

23. P.D.James Black Tower

04.02.2007. Reread. I’ve read this one several years ago, and now that I’ve reread it, it felt a bit similar to her later Death in Holy Orders. I usually like the later Dalgliesh mysteries more, but this one was quite good, too.

24. Julie Czerneda Beholder’s Eye

04.02.2007. Lately I seem to see repetitions everywhere; here, too, it felt a bit like Czerneda’s first book A Thousand Names for Stranger. A heroine from an intriguing civilization gets into a difficult situation, meets a human man, trusts him and goes on an adventure with him, with lots of world-hopping.

25. Henry Lyon Oldie The Hero Must Be Alone

04.02.2007 – 05.02.2007. A fantasy retelling/reimagining of the Hercules myth (and quite a few other Ancient Greek myths on the way). I liked this a lot, both because of the genre and of the way it was done.

26. Lois McMaster Bujold The Hallowed Hunt

05.02.2007. An interesting book, but I’m not sure I find it as interesting as The Curse of Chalion. Same world, different cultures but the hero is a bit similar in type. I liked Horseriver, though; an interesting character.

27. Alexandra Brushtein The Road Goes On

05.02.2007. Reread from very, very long ago — one of the favourite books of my childhood. An autobiographical novel about a girl growing up in the late 19th – early 20th century in Russia. It is full of politics and revolutionary leanings, and it feels a bit weird to realize that such a big part of intellectual and professional classes felt like this. A very clear sign that the situation couldn’t have gone on.

28. Doreen Tovey Double Trouble

05.02.2007. Another book about Siamese cats in the family. First several chapters are fun, but then it gets a bit too repetitive for my taste.

29. G. K. Chesterton Everlasting Man

06.02.2007. The Chesterton book I disagree with the most — usually I just read and nod. This, however, is a bit too sweeping, and he misses things that are a bit too important for generalizations. But the things I like him for still shine through, mostly his joy of living.

30. William Shakespeare Henry IV part 1

01.02.2007 – 06.02.2007. Interesting, and in many ways quite unlike Richard II. I didn’t like the Falstaff parts much; I think the rebels amused me more, and Hal’s relationship with his father felt more intriguing.
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Time:04:09 pm
16. John Wain The Living World of Shakespeare

18.01.2007 – 20.01.2007. This is dubbed ‘playgoer’s guide’, and it was interesting to read about the setup in Elizabethan theatre and the way the plays would have looked then. I liked the analysis of plays too, brief that it is.

17. Anthony Burgess Shakespeare

21.01.2007 – 23.01.2007. This book was translated badly and, as far as I could tell, written a bit whimsically, which reads oddly in a clumsy translation. But even aside from all this I didn’t like it too much — a bit too much of Burgess for a Shakespeare biography.

18. Barbara Tuchman Guns of August

20.01.2007 – 25.01.2007. Reread. I seem to have forgotten much about this book: I remembered it as being more on the political side. Fascinating, though at times depressing; though I guess it’s easy to read about the past and yell internally “Oh god, what you people are doing!”

19. Daniel Kluger The Baskerville Mystery: The History of Classical Detective

24.01.2007 – 25.01.2007. The first part of the title is right, the second isn’t: it’s not a history of classical detective. It’s the author’s theories and comparisons of the detective genre with fairy tales, complete with reading of detectives as creatures of myth/underworld/etc (and asides about Dracula). It’s an interesting enough read, though.

20. Thomas of Woodstock

21.01.2007 – 26.01.2007. It’s interesting to compare this to Shakespeare’s Richard II; a much less ambiguous play, and much more eventful — things keep happening onstage.
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Time:05:03 pm
11. Anthony Trollope A Small House in Allington

06.01.2007 – 14.01.2007. I still love Trollope’s way of writing and presenting characters, but this novel brought in me more conflicting feelings than Barchester Towers. Mostly because of the heroine; I don’t think I can like Lily Dale, and I do not believe in her love.

12. Marina and Sergey Dyachenko The Scar

14.01.2007. A story of a young man who met his punishment for being arrogant and cruel and through this punishment grew to be more than he was. An interesting read, and I do love how these authors do potentially tragic love stories, but I am a little unsatisfied that the evil the heroes battle against each time turns out to be both pointless and unexplained.

13. N.B. Vakhtin, E. V. Golovko Sociolinguistics and sociology of language

15.01.2007 – 16.01.2007. A textbook I found by chance in the library and took out because this topic started to interest me. It’ s quite accessible, and while I don’t think I learned that much new, I got a useful framework for further study, I think.

14. William Shakespeare Richard II

08.01.2007 – 19.01.2007. Not sure why I read this so slowly, but it was a lot of fun, both plotwise and, in the end, poetry-wise.

15. Doreen Tovey Cats in the Belfry

17.01.2007 – 20.01.2007. An amusing read; a story of the family with Siamese cats made me feel Yuki’s practically a model cat.
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Time:10:31 am
6. Agatha Christie An Autobiography

04.01.2007 – 07.01.2007. An absolutely lovely and very readable book. Christie is very good about not just describing incidents, places and people, but showing what they meant for her and thus making them alive and at the same giving the reader a glimpse of herself. And she seems to have been a very interesting person, and very good at enjoying life.

7. Julie Czerneda A Thousand Words for Stranger

05.01.2007 – 07.01.2007. A fun readable SF adventure with an intriguing heroine and an interesting look at telepathy. It’s also a romance of a kind, and while I am not that fond of romances, here it was more or less justified by the plot setup. However, towards the end the story became too rushed; and I am not fond of the “hero betrayed by nearest and dearest for politics or profit” unless we get a good look at the betrayer and how it came about. This story didn’t have it.

8. Estelle Monbrun Murder at Colette’s

08.01.2007. Not a satisfactory detective story: almost every character sounds unsympathetic, and the murder plot is obvious because of flashbacks in the beginning.

9. Michael White Tolkien: A Biography

09.01.2007 – 13.01.2007. I am interested in the topic, but I’ve heard worrying things about this book. I tried it because a friend of mine liked it. After finishing it I must say that I am not qualified enough to find most of the mistakes (though I noticed some glaring ones) but I found the general tone of the book unpleasantly familiar towards Tolkien, the author presuming to guess his thoughts and feelings etc.

10. Humphrey Carpenter The Inklings

25.12.2006 – 14.01.2007. This one is markedly different in style from White (I’ve read Carpenter’s Tolkien biography a while ago; maybe it’s due for a reread). I liked this book’s style, the way Carpenter carefully presents his evidence and examines everything before stating any conclusions.
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Subject:The first of 2007
Time:08:28 pm
1. Sally Wright Pride and Predator

31.12.2006 – 01.01.2007. I am a little worried by the murderer… I do not believe in him – too big a contrast between his usual personality and what turned to be his real one.

2. J. L. Laynesmith The Last Medieval Queens

29.12.2006 – 02.01.2007. I borrowed this book from the library because of the time period — later half of the 15th century. I am a bit of a Ricardian, after all, and I do not know much about Anne Neville. The book turned out not to have that much about her, actually — few sources survived from the short time of her queenship, and the focus of the book was not the queens’ personal histories but the institute of queenship.
It still turned out to be quite interesting, though not in the ways that I expected. The 15the century is not quite my time and I am a bad and half-formed historian, so I cannot say much about the validity of the author’s ideas, but basically what she wanted to say was that the role of the queen was a bit more complicated than just to bear children and be a bringer of mercy on the citizens of Calais model. From the examples of the queens’ role that she offered the one that interested me most of all was their place in networks of contacts, and most of all women’s contacts and personal interactions that turned out to be political. I admit I do not know much on that topic, but I certainly like to explore that. The details Laynesmith offers feel like a fascinating glimpse into secret lives of these women, and their lives do not seem to be as enmity-ridden as the usual political history makes them feel. I quite like the idea that Cecily Neville and Margaret Beaufort might have been friendly with each other.

3. Kerry Greenwood Heavenly Pleasures

01.01.2007 – 03.01.2007. The second Corinne Chapman book; I read two of these and one Phryne Fisher and I think I like Corinne books a bit more. They are cozier. Both series give the feeling of enjoying life, but I can get into Corinne’s way of doing it much easier than into Phryne’s. Then again, maybe it’s the difference in eras: 1920s are close enough and yet different. I certainly plan to buy the next Phryne book too.

4. Elena Rabinovich Rhetorics of Everyday Life

03.01.2007 – 04.01.2007. A collection of articles on language and (partly) literature. The ones I found most useful were on social aspects of language, on gendered names of professions and on the way we were taught language (she analyzed the textbook I had in school! And it made me think about the kind of work I do writing teaching materials). I think several articles will be due for a reread, as they give me food for thought.

5. Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm

04.01.2007 – 05.01.2007. Lovely book! It’s about a girl who comes to live with her relatives on a farm, and they are a set of weird characters practically out of some novel (it is a bit of a parody). And she, being a modern and sensible young woman, tidies up their lives to make them normal. It’s the kind of a story that I would have told to myself if I could — because I am fond of the idea of tidying up — and now I keep thinking whether it’s possible to tidy up Russian classics. Because they certainly need it.
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Subject:The rest of 2006
Time:01:54 am
I thought I'd keep this as a basic booklog and write in detail in my main LJ... Not sure about the form this will take but this is the idea for now. So here are books 111 - 153 for year 2006.

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Subject:Still catching up...
Time:01:04 am
... cleaned up my records and by now I have 152 books finished since the beginning of the year.

Books 101-110.

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