Angel (valarltd) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books for 2010

My reading was not as eclectic as I would have liked this year. 
horror 11
erotica 15
SF 5
paranormal 10
mystery 2
fantasy 5
Nonfiction 3

1) Hawg. Stephen Shrewsbury. Stephen is a lovely man, smart and funny. And this book is totally gross. It's the book he wrote when he couldn't place his well-researched and written historical novel. It's a page-turner and quite possibly the goriest thing I've read. Lots and lots of horrid gorey deaths. Massive rapes. Kinky sex. Drug use. Small town corruption. Bad Formatting. (I counted at least a dozen editing errors and more formatting ones) As I tweeted "When [name drop] and Shrews sever penises it's all in a day's work. When I do it, I'm a crazy radical manhater."

2) Deviations III-Discipline. Jodi Payne and Chris Owen. More fun, this time in Paris, with Tobias and his sub, Noah. Hot and sexy.

3) Urban Gothic. Brian Keene. Not so hot on this one. Keene is hit or miss for me. When he hits, he hits big. When he misses, it's because he's being derivative. And this time.... Let's just say moving The Hills Have Eyes to inner city Philadelphia and crossing it with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre did not improve it. Go read Ghoul or Dead Sea instead.

4) Deviation IV-Bondage. Jodi Payne and Chris Owen. Last in the series. Short on bondage, long on relationship. Very good.

5) Alfred Hitchcock's Witches' Brew. A collection of 11 stories about magic and witches and the fae. All excellent quality and included Robert Bloch's "That Hell-Bound Train."

6) Eastern Standard Tribe. Cory Doctrow. I liked the world building but at heart this is just a cyberpunk edisonade. Smartest-kid-in-the-room is sitting on the roof of the asylum and tells us the tale of how he ended up there. An enjoyable read but doesn't hold up under contemplation.

7) Eternal Darkness. Rob Knight, ed. Now how in the HELL did we ALL manage to make blind vampires so boring? Six novellas. And only Syd McGinley's stands out all with the inclusion of an imp.  Out of print

8) Seti's Heart. Kiernan Kelly. GORGEOUS. Seti was cursed by the god Set to live for 5000 years. At the end of that time, he is rescued by a penniless grad student and wackiness ensues. Excellent characterization, well written. Definite keeper.

9) Tom Sawyer Detective. Mark Twain. Huck Finn narrates this little mystery novella as Tom gets swept into a family mess. Period racism, colloquial spelling, but very entertaining.

10) Paths of Iro 2: Carved from Gold. Mike Shade. Shade is an author I'm not fond of, simply because ze lards the books with endless sex. This book had numerous editing errors and it seemed to be basically: Hokonnen (whom I kept calling Harkonnen in my head) is having touble fitting into his new position. The solution is lots of sex. Something evil is trying to destroy him and the temple. The solution is more sex. He and the high priest are hit by lightening and the HP is comatose? Have an orgy to wake the HP. This could have been great, but it was all sex.

11)Rough Draft. Jodi Payne and Chris Owen. Paul and Grey carry on a bicoastal romance via letter. Very good.

12) Myth-ion Improbable. Robert Lynn Asprin. Aahz, Skeeve and Tananda get a treasure map and are off on the hunt. Not a bad entry to the Myth series, funny as always.

13) Kestrel on the Horizon. This one is mine. I hadn't read it since it came out three years ago. I did a full reread prepratory to rewriting. Out of print

14) Dark Elves: Taken. Jet Mykles. Fantasy erotica, heavy on the erotica part. Two human women are taken by an all-male race to be their mates and produce dark-elf babies.

15)Soul of the Mummy. B.G. Thomas. This is an ARC. The actual novella will be out later in the summer. GET IT!

16) Nikolai. Angelia Sparrow. Yep, my own. I'm preparing to write the third in the series. A kinky gay Pygmaliion, set in a dark future Memphis.

17) Niko-Chan. Angelia Sparrow. Sequel to Nikolai. Nick gets more intensive training at the compound in Rome.

18) Conqueror Worms. Brian Keene. When it rains, earthworms come up. What comes to the surface when it rains for forty days and nights? Very good horror. Up there with Ghoul and Dead Sea, a damn sight better than Urban Gothic.

19) Into Dark Waters. Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks. Okay, my own stuff again, and I have no excuse, except I wanted to. A collection of short stories, including kinky sex games, a visit to the Scholomance, a djinn in love with a naga and blind vampires.

20) The Arrangement by Cat Grant  Good little menage a trois. So often one partner gets left as  the odd-man out. With this one, there was never that feeling. Eric neglects both his lovers equally, a hazard of his job. Good characters, nicely written. And the sex was not overwhelming.

21) Depraved by Bryan Smith. Gruesome horror from the master of it. Excellent female characters, a classic cliche--small inbred town with weird customs--with new life breathed into it. If you got the stomach, well worth the read.

22) The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer. I wanted to love this. It's a 566 page book with a 300 page novel fighting to get out. It's got a brilliant premise and storyline, engaging characters, a splendid grasp of Christian mythology, excellent world-building and an over-written style that makes my worst bloviating look like Hemingway. Not to mention enough misuses of "quip" to warrent flogging with a thesaurus. The style kept getting in the way of the story for me, esp because he keeps violating 5, 12 and 13 of Twain's suggestions. Frankly I blame the editor. If you like Christian mythology (by which I mean demons and Nephilim and such) give this a whirl.

23) Labyrinth of the Dead . Sara M. Harvey. ARC. Go preorder this! No spoilers. The sequel to Convent of the Pure, it surpasses the original by an order of magnitude.  More Christian mythology, this time nephilim. The major problem I have is that Nephilim is plural. The singular is Nephil. And through the book, the characters are apparently plural.

24) Soultaker. Bryan Smith. Lamia has chosen this little town to harvest, and she's hungry after 100 years. Sexy, deranged and complete grossout.

25)  Beta  for Cat Grant. Hush hush, no spoilers.  It;s out now. The First Real Thing.

26) Dear Mr. President. Jaelyn Storm. Cute, but the adults were not quite there

26) Beta for Sara Harvey. Again, full length novel, but no spoilers.

27) Circus of the Damned. Laurell K. Hamilton. I love Anita Blake in the early books, when she still hates Jean-Claude. She reminds me of reannon 

28) An Uncommon Whore. Belinda McBride. The third book I've encountered with a human sex toy owned by a sentient reptile. Excellent writing, good characters. Thoroughly engaging.

29) Lunatic Cafe. Laurell K Hamilton. Someone is killing lycanthropes and Anita has to find out who. Can I just say how much I love Richard Zeeman, her werewolf boyfriend? Any man who cooks for me, unasked, while wearing a Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies apron is a keeper.

30) The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling. It's been too many years.

31)Narcissus in Chains. This was a SLOG. Some people say it's all sex. My reaction was that it was all angst and about all the wrong things. Anita and Richard are trying SO HARD to live by their principles and all they're managing to do is make life unnecessarily difficult and hurt everyone around them. Had it been me, the principles would be GONE the minute I realized they were doing more harm than good. But Anita is SO determined to be her own person, to not be anything to anyone, that she mucks everything up. This would have been a better book if it had actually focused on the mystery--the missing shifters--instead of resolving it all in 7 pages at the end.

31) Undead and Unreturnable. Queen Betsy, vampiric shoe fiend, and her half-sister, the Devil's Daughter, track down a serial killer. Funny, but the gag is getting old.

32) Blue Moon. Yes, I'm reading Anita all out of order. This one was horrificly gruesome and pretty awesome. She finally does Richard (at long last). The villains and assorted henchgoons are terrific.

33)Dead Until Dark. Charlaine Harris. I picked this up because I enjyed True Blood. Harris' writing style does not engage me. She is just uninteresting in terms of voice.

34) Blue Ruin 1: Some Kind of Stranger. Katrina Strauss. Nice little BDSM novel about a top who takes in a rescue.

35) Cerulean Sins. Laurel K. Hamilton. I know, I know. I swore off after Narcissus, but I got stuck at the library and decided to try it. Anita is back, in excellent form, raising zombies, dealing with vamp politics and solving murders. Still a lot of sex. Good one.

36) Jennifer Government. Max Berry. In a not too distant future, corporations own and run everything. All services are privatized, to the point that people take the surnames of the comapny they work for. Government has been reduced to nearly nothing, but one ambitious man wants it gone completely so he can wage literal war on his competitors. Smart, funny and engrossing.

37) Pet Rescue. Syd McGinely. Dr. Fell takes home a badly beaten boy who pushes all his buttons. Sad, sexy and all-around good. (reread)

38) Little Brother. Cory Doctrow. Brightest kid on the block gets nabbed by Homeland security after a bombing and decides to get even. Interesting if implausible.

39) Saving Melanie. Elizabeth Donald. Nifty SF tale of terraformers who dream planets into being.  Go get it for 2.50!

40) Portrait of a Serial Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed. Patricia Cornwall. Detailed, elaborate procedural in tracking down Jack the ripper, including use of mitochondrial DNA. She believes it's Walter Sickert, the artist.

41)Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns. Pauline Kiernan. This was filthy and fun. I'm not sure I see all the dirty jokes she does, but it makes the Bard much more entertaining.

42) Monster. A Lee Martinez. Monster Dionysius works for animal control, crypto-biological department. He has a succubus girlfriend and has just gotten tangled up with a girl he doesn't like at all. This was a fun little novel, light reading, that lampshaded most of the conventional romantic comedy tropes.

43) A Study in Scarlet. A. Conan Doyle. The first the Holmes adventure. Very entertaining. I've only read a couple of Holmes stories before, now I'm inspired to read the rest.

44) Harlan County Horrors. Mari Adkins, editor. Horror tales set in and around Harlan Kentucky. Lots of them deal with the mines and things under the earth. Some work better for me than others and Aletha Kontis is freakin' BRILLIANT. Highly recommended.

45) Orgy of Souls. Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddus. Samson must collect 20 souls to save his dying brother's life. Beautiful, haunting, gruesome, sexy, intense and amazing. These guys are terrific.

46) Just One Bite, Vol 1. Sexy paranormal tales abound in this 100 page collection. A shy vampire. A genie. Magic that gives treasure beyond words.  All here. All good.

47) Like An Iron Fist. ARC proof of erotic dystopia. This will be out in the spring, and is awesome.

48)  Tarot for Dummies. Amber Jayanti. Useful guide for beginning and intermediate readers.

49) A-Viking. Kiernan Kelly. A viking warrior is dumped in modern Florida. Wackiness ensues.

50) The great God Pan. Arthur Machen. Early horror novella, and primary influence on Lovecraft. alas, it is showing its age, and has been done and redone until this piece is predictable. You know the feeling, like Tolkien is a complete Shannara rip-off. 8)

51) Mama's Boy and other Dark Tales. Fran Friel. Amazingly good collection.
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