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text 2014-01-05 17:08
2013 Top Ten Reads
After the Golden Age - Carrie Vaughn
Vodnik - Bryce Moore
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Thomas Ott,Jonathan Lethem
The Madman's Daughter - Megan Shepherd
Ashfall - Mike Mullin
Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
Cold Magic - Kate Elliott
14 (Trade Paperback) - Peter Clines
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) - Laini Taylor

It is super hard for me to do top ten favorite book lists for the year because my reading years feel so long. Things that I read way back in January feel eons ago (my perceptions of time have always been a bit strange). I'm going to try, though, by looking at my Goodreads 2013 challenge (which I mad. Tt also included novellas and graphic novels, though... Maybe I should up my challenge goal for each one of those I read this time... We'll see... Anyway I'm not counting graphic novels on my top ten list because I generally don't experience them in the same way that I experience novels.

Anyway, in no particular order...

1. After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

3. 14 by Peter Clines

4. Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

6. Ashfall by Mike Mullin

7. The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

8. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

9. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

10. Vodnik by Bryce Moore

Novella special mention: San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant
Short story collections: Shadow Unit by Emma Bull et al

I kind of wish San Diego 2014 had been a full length novel, though maybe there wouldn't have been enough to sustain it that long. It was a really fun story -- so much so that every time I try to read something from its parent series I think, "Oh, this isn't San Diego 2014... Eh, I'll try to read it later." Now, the Shadow Unit series is really interesting. I've only read the first two volumes, but I keep meaning to read more... They're a creepy, fascinating collection of stories put together by a group of authors who decided to write as if they were doing a tv series so basically every few collections is a "season" with a crazy finale. (or so I presume) You can read them online for free here or buy the cheaply priced Kindle versions and so on. The stories are write by Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, and Amanda Downum, at least as far as I've got. They make it a big experience with the agnts having live journal accounts you can look at and all kinds of stuff if you want to immerse yourself more. 

Some of these books come before I started that booklikes site, so I don't have links to my reviews/ramblings about them, but I included them where I could.

P.S. Part of why I decided to do a top ten was seeing others' but part was also this blog entry about how to help authors you love. Hmm... Maybe I should do a post of anticipated reads, soon to be released...

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review 2012-04-30 00:00
Double Feature - Emma Bull,Will Shetterly This is an excellent book, it's just not a necessary book. That is, it contains some excellent writing. I consider myself to be a fan of both authors, and have read most of their work. That meant, I'd read everything in the book with the exception of an essay on writing fantasy by Emma Bull, and a previously unpublished early work by Will Shetterly. I actually really loved the new/old Shetterly story, even though it came with a disclaimer about how it's a rough, unoriginal, juvenile work. Stop apologizing, man! It's good! (It posits the invention of a device that stops time… but only within a finite bubble. The gadget is useful for preserving food, mementos, creating artwork… and possibly more sinister purposes.)
The bulk of the stories are from the Liavek shared-world series - and they worked better within the context of the original series. Go read them!
The book also includes the excellent novella Danceland, from the Bordertown, series, which I can't praise highly enough. Again, go read them!
Other than that, there's a story set in the world of Bull's "War for the Oaks," which appeared in the Diana Wynne Jones-edited 'Hidden Turnings,' and a Shetterly story which appeared in the Jane Yolen-edited 'Xanadu.'
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review 2011-08-20 00:00
Chimera - Will Shetterly A very enjoyable light read - an adventure/mystery set in a cyberpunk-y near future where gene-spliced hybrid human/animals have become an underclass. I felt like it would make a fun movie.
A beautiful part-cat woman pressures a hard-boiled gambling detective to take her on as a client. Her patron, an activist and scientist in favor of 'chimera' rights, has been murdered - and she could be framed for the crime.
While I liked reading it, I don't feel like it's one of those stories that will stick with me forever...

And, sorry, but I have got to bitch about the cover art. Does the woman on that cover look to you like she has "Mayan cheekbones, a wide nose, and copper-colored skin"? Not to me she doesn't. For that matter, she's not wearing a "short" jumpsuit either, although it IS iridescent green, and her boots are sort of silver, as described in the book.

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review 2011-02-21 00:00
Elsewhere - Will Shetterly Elsewhere is moody. It's from the viewpoint of young people who have dropped out and live on the streets, forming their own families and relationships. I don't especially feel comfortable with the idea of kids living this way, but that's one of the best things about reading. You get to see different worlds, lives, existences, and realize that humans are all the same, no matter what kind of lives they live.Ron came to the Bordertown to find his older brother. He was living in denial, and this trip helped him to find himself, to let go of notions about who he was and what was important in life. I liked seeing him go through that evolution.It was interesting how his name changed as his personality, or should I say who he thought he was, went through transitions. It was kind of ironic that he found peace within when his last manifestation would have seemed the most unfortunate. He found a family in the place he least expected it, but he sort of came full circle. To say more would be spoil the book.This is a thoughtful book, with the capacity to inspire deep emotions in a reader. I picked it up because I am intensely interested in stories about Faerie, and this book is very good for those who like Faerie. Along with those elements is a deep story that gives a little more along with the surface fantastical elements. This book is about how we think we express our identities, purpose, bonds of loyalty and affection. How a person takes all those ingredients and uses them to become who they are meant to be, if they can make it through the painful metamorphosis that leads to the final state: that of the butterfly who emerges from its chrysalis, not without a lot of pain and effort.
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review 2006-04-01 00:00
Elsewhere - Will Shetterly I’d actually read this before and forgotten. It’s a Bordertown novel, complete with punks, drugs, and unreliable magic. I didn’t like the main character at all, but I remember liking him in sequels.
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