On the 18th December 2010, at the Wellington Botanic Gardens, my brother Luke got married, and now I have a wonderful new sister-in-law, Jess.
It was a beautiful sunny day, a change after the rain and drizzle of the day before. The bride and bridesmaids even got a little sunburnt, and I didn’t freeze in my short-sleeved dress!
Luckily, I didn’t cry during the ceremony (like I did at my sister’s wedding) even if I did get a little sniffly during the speeches.
Everybody looked either handsome or pretty, and it was lovely to catch up with relatives, meet some of Luke and Jess’s friends, and generally have a wonderful time.
A Pensive Flowergirl
Me, My Brothers, And My Sister
The Happy Couple
Congratulations Luke and Jess!
One of my favourite authors, Ilona Andrews, created Ilona’s Compendium Of Leading Men, a tongue-in-check guide to the common types of leading men found in movies and books today.
The Rake is an enigma. He can be a cowboy, a British Lord, a pirate, or an Italian gazillionaire, but he is always charming, clever, and handsome as sin. He may pretend to be brainless, but he never is. He pursues women passionately and abandons them the moment after they succumb to his charms. Strangely, despite this cruel treatment, he is usually well liked, perhaps because he’s quite entertaining and because he makes a dangerous enemy.
The Rake is usually damaged by a deep childhood trauma. He has definite trust issues and taming him requires kindness and a great deal of patience rather than sharp wit and beauty. However, once properly tamed, he makes the most faithful of husbands.
Click here to find out about the Aristocrat, the Madman, the Hero, the Victim, the Mercenary (eg: Han Solo), and the Genius.
Also check out The Compendium Of Leading Ladies: the Rebel, the Innocent, the Professional, the Shrinking Violet, and the Milady.
Even graffiti just wants to be loved.
What do you do when Match Day falls on Valentine’s Day? Puma came up with an awesome solution!
Computer technician Jack Fletcher is no hero, despite his unwelcome reputation as one. In fact, he’s just been the victim of bizarre circumstances. Like now. His sister happens to disturb one of his nanoelectrical system experiments, and suddenly they aren’t where they’re supposed to be. In fact, they’re not sure where they are when…
they wake up to find a woman with the reddest hair Jack has ever seen – and a gun. Octavia Pye is an Aerocorps captain with a whole lot of secrets, and she’s not about to have her maiden voyage ruined by stowaways. But the sparks flying between her and Jack just may cause her airship to combust, and ignite a passion that will forever change the world as she knows it.
What you expect from this book will affect how much you enjoy it. If you’ve read any of Katie MacAlister’s books before then you’ll know that they contain zany characters, witty banter, very little angst over the romantic relationship and some plot coincidences that you just don’t want to look at too closely.
In fact this entire book doesn’t want to be looked at too closely – I could list the ways that Steamed doesn’t work, point out all the holes in the plotting, and the thin characterisation, but that would detract from what Steamed actually is - a light, funny, fast read that didn’t tax my brain.
In fact, I think the perfect analogy is to compare Steamed to candyfloss*: it looks good and goes down easy; yes, it’s insubstantial and too much is unhealthy; but as a treat, it’s just right.
* cotton candy, fairy floss, spun sugar…
I know, it’s a bit late for a Best Of 2009 list! I had to think about the December books for a while and get some perspective on them, and I had to figure out how I defined “Best Of”.
When I find an author I enjoy, I will track down and read as many books by them as I can, so I’ve broken my “Best Of” into two sections:
- Awesome authors I discovered in 2009
- Amazing Books I read in 2009
But first, lets look at my reading statistics – I am a scientist after all.
In total, I read 194 books in 2009 (including audio books). I read the most in December (22) and the least in April (11).
Looking at genre, in 2009 I read:
107 fantasy books (55%)
13 science fiction books (7%)
31 romance books (16%)
16 graphic novels (8%)
21 fiction books of other genres (mystery/thriller/chick lit/whatever) (11%)
and 6 non-fiction books (3%)
In conclusion, I really like fantasy! (Please note that some of the romance and most of the graphic novels could be also be defined as fantasy.)
Awesome Authors I Discovered In 2009
Can there be anything more fun than reading an amazing book that blows you away and then finding out the author has a backlist of books for you to glom? I don’t think so!
- Ann Aguirre
- Kristin Cashore
- Colin Cotterill
- Jeaniene Frost
- Linnea Sinclair
- Nalini Singh
Amazing Books I Read In 2009
These books all have something extra that makes them stand out in my memory. (To get on this list I had to have read these books for the first time in 2009.)
- Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
- Thief With No Shadow by Emily Gee
- Fire by Kristin Cashore
- Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
- The Eight by Katherine Neville
- A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham
- Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair
- Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman
- Fables: The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham
Wow – these authors and books are pretty wonderful! I only hope that I can find some equally amazing new authors and equally special books in 2010.
I think Connie Willis writes nearly perfect Christmas stories – not too sentimental, not too cynical, a touch of romance and a lot of humour!
All Seated On The Ground is one of my favourites, about uncomunicative aliens, authority figures who don’t listen (this is a common theme), church choirs and christmas carols.
I’d always said that if and when the aliens actually landed, it would be a let-down. I mean, after War of the Worlds, Close Encounters, and E.T., there was no way they could live up to the image in the public’s mind, good or bad.
I’d also said that they would look nothing like the aliens of the movies, and that they would not have come to A) kill us, B) take over our planet and enslave us, C) save us from ourselves à la The Day the Earth Stood Still, or D) have sex with Earthwomen. I mean, I realize it’s hard to find someone nice, but would aliens really come thousands of light-years just to find a date? Plus, it seemed just as likely they’d be attracted to wart hogs. Or yucca. Or air-conditioning units.
I’ve also always thought A) and B) were highly unlikely since imperialist invader types would probably be too busy invading their next-door neighbors and being invaded by other invader types to have time to go after an out-of-the-way place like Earth, and as to C), I’m wary of people or aliens who say they’ve come to save you, as witness Reverend Thresher. And it seemed to me that aliens who were capable of building the spaceships necessary to cross all those light-years would necessarily have complex civilizations and therefore motives for coming more complicated than merely incinerating Washington or phoning home.
What had never occurred to me was that the aliens would arrive, and we still wouldn’t know what those motives were after almost nine months of talking to them.
Read the rest of this story here.
Books I have reviewed by Connie Willis: Uncharted Territory
Because some Regency romances really deserve to be made fun of:
A group of rogues enters to find the heroine looking innocent and sexy.
Rogue 1: We are a group of handsome, rouguish friends!
Rogue 2: Note how disgustingly wealthy we all are!
Rogue 3: We’re like a pack of wild, roguish, devastatingly handsome wolves!
Rogue 4: A pack made up entirely of alpha-males!
Rogue 5: This causes no problems in the group dynamic at all, believe it or not.
Rogue 6: We have terrible reputations as rakes and scoundrels!
3: Because…. *suspenseful music plays for a second* we stay out all night gambling, drinking, and sleeping with loose women!
1: Not that we’re alcoholics. That would be unattractive. And we don’t lose any money at the gambling tables.
4: We do sleep with a lot of women, though.
Heroine: Everyone knows that reformed rakes make the best husbands, because they have the four qualities women desire most in a husband: sexual prowess, commitment issues, promiscuity, and a diverse selection of venereal diseases!