27 December 2011 @ 04:42 pm
Bookchallenge round-up  
I can't seem to get the hang of keeping track of these challenges. Since my last entry was once again in May I can't remember what I read this year, especially the ones that I borrowed from the school library, but these are the ones that I could either remember or could piece together from my Amazon account. HTML

I left out re-reads if I read them more than once this year and some books by Terry Pratchett, and as always everything I read for school. 


Celibate Lives by George Moore
Depressing realist novellas on queer lives at the turn of the century. Among them is the story of Albert Nobbs, which was recently turned into a movie with Glenn Close. 


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 
Dystopian North America hosts deadly games to punish an area which lost a war to the dominant region. The main character Katniss takes the place of her younger sister when she is drafted to fight in them. 
Reading this right now, I'm not sure so far. I haven't heard much about the series, but from what a friend told me this might be a book which beats my challenge! 

The Echo by Minette Walters. 
The corpse of a homeless man raises a lot of questions and a journalist takes it upon himself to find out more. I enjoy Walter's books and re-reading this one was fun. 

Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett.
When the Hogfather goes missing, someone has to fill in for him. 
I felt like something Christmassy. 

North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell. 
Margaret Hale moves to the North of England with her family and gets to know the life and suffering of the Northern mill workers, quite a change from her previous middle-class life. I've been wanting to read this one for a while, after seeing a promising adaptation, and predictably, I rather enjoyed it.  

Die Unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende. 
Bastian escapes from his problems in the real world when he reads about the world Fantasia in a book he stole at a book store only to discover that the book's reality is closer to his own. Beautiful prose, one of my childhood favourites. 

Sabriel, by Garth Nix
Girl attends a boarding school, realises that she has special abilities forbidden where she currently lives which she has to use when her father goes missing. There are a lot of passages in this book that are absolutely ridiculously implausible considering how old the heroine is and how all adults around her behave. 

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
A werewolf falls for a human girl. Even though there are several really bad books on this year's list, this one is clearly the most boring. The characters have personalities that are defined by one single characteristic, they are ridiculously uninteresting and you don't care about their stories one bit. I couldn't finish this one. 

Achtung Baby, by Michael Mittermeier.
A German comedian's account of his first months with his first child. Another excellent train book, it's fun, it's easily put away when you have to get off the train, and it's funny and heartwarming at times. 

Making Money, by Terry Pratchett
Moist von Lipwig is saved from a job at the Post Office which has become boring and revolutionises finance. Again, train rides, excellent.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
Moist von Lipwig is saved from the noose and revolutionises the Anck-Morpork post office. I seem to be rereading these a lot - they're excellent for train rides. 

Snuff by Terry Pratchett
Sam Vimes goes on a country holiday trip and surely, a policeman on holidays is in want of a crime - he stumbles on a corpse and soon on slavery. 
Boy, this was painful - I think I can see what he was trying to do, but his depiction of slavery was simplistic and disappointing. 


An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain by John O'Farrell
A humorous look at the twentieth century in particular. I enjoyed the last one, this one does get a little too bogged down in details that aren't that significant and tangents that aren't that funny. 


Einsame Freundinnen? by Kirsten Ploetz
An account of the lives of lesbian and bisexual women outside of Berlin in the early twentieth century. Especially a case near Bremen is absolutely heart-breaking - a woman is "accused" of being a lesbian, has to quit her job, sues, and then subsequently fiercely writes against other people who either are or whom she suspects to be queer. 

The Wave by Morton Rhue. 
A classroom experiment re-enacting the mechanisms which lead to obedience from the German troops in Nazi Germany goes too far. 

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser
Two boys snap after being bullied, run amok and take hostages at their school. The novel is constructed out of text snippets consisting of statements from other students, chatlogs and extracts from articles. The mulitple perspectives work well to construct the stories and paint a three-dimensional picture of the situation. 

Heteronormativität und Homosexualitäten by Rainer Bartel
Contemporary studies on heteronormativitiy and homosexualities.

Gallows Curse by Karen Maitland
Medieval England during the plague and King John's reign, a servant girl is dragged into a plot to absolve her master's sinsm but something goes horribly wrong. Crocky and I haven't finished this yet because we never had the time, but it has a promising start. 

The Guild by Felicia Day
Codex escapes her real life problems online. Do graphic novels count? I hope they do. This is the graphic novel accompanying the webseries The Guild, showing Codex' backstory.

Christmas Belles by Susan Carroll
Cpt. Trent had planned to enter a convenience marriage with the oldest of his wards to ensure her and her family's financial well-being when her spirited younger sister keeps running into him in her attempts to drive him out of her life. A fairly predictable historic romance novel set in the Regency period, I believe. I once borrowed it from [livejournal.com profile] jaywalker23 and finished it on the same day. It's about an emotionally up-tight though ripped ship captain falling for the bubbly younger sister of the person he wanted to have a marriage of convenience with. The style redeems it and makes it a fun read (in spite of the fact that the love plot is the plot).
I read it together with Crocky this summer and we had a great time. 

Spirit Fox by Mickey Zucker Reichert and Jennifer Wingert 
Love this book. The main (love-)plot is terribly boring, but other than that it's awesome. The villains have their own motivation that makes sense from their point of view - in fact, they're trying to help. There is a fat, female character who has a love plot! I know!! There are people being spirit-bonded to animals, too, which is fun. I really enjoy the characters, the love plot does not feature that strongly and there is only one mention of a rape. It's pretty amazing. 

How to Train Your Dragon Book 7: How to Ride a Dragon's Storm, by Cressida Cowell. 
I loved the others, I liked this one. I did get apprehensive when I realised that this one featured slavery and native Americans, but I liked it regardless. The characters are a delight as always. 

How to Be a Villain: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans, and More!!!, by Neil Zawacki and James Dignan
I discovered it at a local bookstore and bought it for my brother's birthday, but it was so funny I wanted it for myself. It's Peter Anspach's Overlord List in book form, basically, with a lot of handy tips. 

Unicorn Vengeance by Claire Delacroix.
Where to begin...! Arguably the worst book ever written, but hilariously so. 

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson.
A stroll through impressions on psychopathy. Not scientific in any way, though an entertaining, if ableist as fuck read. 
All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Mensen and Joey John.
The dinosaur is sad because, well, all his friends are dead. Only including this for completion's sake. This is a book that is only about two pages long and very cute in a Gashlycrumb Tinies kind of way, though the style obviously differs a lot. 

Reality is Broken, by Jane McGonigal.
What gaming teaches people and how these effects and game mechanics can benefit the world. The author makes a compelling case for changes to the educational system she considers necessary in a world as stimulating as ours, though she is a bit too optimistic about the powers of gaming in my opinion. Still, what she has to say about gamification is brilliant, and the chapter about ARGs contained a lot of things that I didn't know before and had been itching to somehow include in my lessons.  

Surpassing the Love of Men, by Lillian Faderman.
This needs a proper review, though I do remember liking the cases she presents, but disagreeing with some of the conclusions she draws from them about the history of lesbianism.