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The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova
The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
Jill Jonnes
The Land of Painted Caves
Jean M. Auel
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Steven Pinker
The Hakawati
Rabih Alameddine


Redshirts - Endearing characters, and it made me laugh out loud on the subway. That's all I need in a book with this kind of crackfic conceit.

Three Parts Dead

Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone Loved the beginning, liked the end, but felt like the middle was a slog. Incredible worldbuilding, though--worth it for that alone.

American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics

American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics - Dan Savage Very solid; made me cry twice. It's definitely preaching to the choir in my case, but that's a nice relief sometimes.

How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself

How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself - Lindy West, Christopher Frizzelle, Bethany Jean Clement, The Staff of The Stranger, Lindy West Probably should have read the blurb (or the subtitle) before I bought this, as I'm definitely not the intended audience, but it was still a fun read. Would be a great gift for a college-bound relative.


Gaydar - Kim Dare Someone really needs to teach Flynn the concept of informed consent.

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein So fantastically good. Without spoiling it, I can say that it is VERY funny in the first half and VERY moving in the second; that it has a stunningly beautiful portrait of female friendship and is populated primarily with complex, hardworking female characters; that it "worldbuilds" (if that's a fair term for historical fiction) without being didactic; and that I swear I recommended it on twitter a dozen times while reading it, because I was struck over and over again with how fantastic it is. (And unlike this review, it also features beautiful and character-appropriate prose.)
TAILS FROM THE BARK SIDE (ABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK) -- BARGAIN BOOK - KILCOMMONS / WILSON This is one of my favorites--I reread it every year or two. It's not a how-to book, but it's still got a lot to teach. And the stories stick with me better than generalized training instructions; I've often thought of this book when dealing with my pets, or put it down mid-reread to try something new with my dog.

Dark Horse

Dark Horse - Kate Sherwood Highly recommend! This book boasts much more plot and character development than the average m/m. The romance aspect is just one part, not the central conflict; that's a really nice change from the usual. The horse aspects are very well done, and a couple of the horses became favourite characters by the end. It's a comfortable read with plenty of humour. The interplay between the protag, Dan, and his straight best friend, Chris, is particularly enjoyable. There are some great female characters and the sequel adds several more, which is a great asset in an m/m/m book. Overall: Solidly written, great characters, interesting growth, adorable horses, and it definitely had me buying and downloading the sequel before I'd even finished. A real winner of a novel.

Deviations: Submission

Submission - Chris Owen, Jodi Payne Interesting enough but pretentious as all get-out. The phrase "true submission" always makes me roll my eyes; turns out that's true in fiction as well as non.
Brute Strength - Susan Conant As with the whole series, the plot is relatively thin--but who cares about plot with this fantastic set of characters? Even very minor roles are fleshed out in ways that make them feel like someone you might have met. Interactions between all these personalities are riveting, and the whole book flows smoothly and enjoyably to the big finish. Always recommended.


Taken - Edward Bloor Good, but definitely a case of a YA book that really is for young'uns (not just marketing lingo). I'd say it's a fantastic read for a middle-schooler--too bad I read it as an adult! Solid four stars for the intended audience.

The Difference Between You and Me

The Difference Between You and Me - Madeleine George I was blown away by this book. I bought it on a lark after seeing a mention of it on Malinda Lo's blog, and was just swept away by the humour and the groundedness. The author does a phenomenal job of illustrating teenage lust, ambition, and confusion. The three main characters are fascinating, and the backing cast is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to read.Definitely my favorite book this year, and probably on my top-ten list all around.
An Old-Fashioned Unicorn's Guide to Courtship - Sarah Rees Brennan Had to go to the Internet Archive to find it, here.


Bossypants - Tina Fey Laugh-out-loud-on-the-subway funny, and pretty poignant, too. The Sarah Palin section in particular was just fantastic.
Under Contract - Helen Saito I found this book absolutely riveting, and I can't recommend it highly enough.The three main characters are complex, interesting, mature men who know what they want (socially as well as sexually), and who are able to have conversations about their needs and interests. They make rational decisions, and when they behave a little less rationally, they're aware of it, and are able to discuss it. Basically, they're exactly the kind of people who should be involved in the kind of subculture the book portrays: solid, stable, dependable, thoughtful--and really, really hot.All of the secondary characters were equally engaging. I felt like I learned an enormous amount about Demetri, Noah, Brian, and Rhys, and I have a feeling that the author has really thought out all of their backgrounds, relationships, and futures. I really hope she'll put some of that on paper someday--or even a sequel with different characters in the same universe (B&N seems to think this is "Cascade #1," which bodes well).The near-future setting was familiar enough to be comfortable, but with fantastic little hints of the more advanced tech of the society. These aspects of the setting felt like a fun bonus.The sex scenes are incredibly engaging; I never wanted to skip or skim through them, because each of them added something to the plot or to the emotional growth of the characters, as well as being hot. Even where the character's kinks might not be among the reader's interests, the author makes it effective by focusing on how much the characters love the action, rather than the action itself. I've read a lot of terrible or, at best, mediocre books in this genre. This one is neither, and it's absolutely worth a read.

Hell's Aquarium (Meg Series #4)

Meg: Hell's Aquarium - Steve Alten Tremendously, painfully terrible.