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It's a brand new year! :onfire:
Time to look back on the new titles read over the course of the last 12 months...
It was a fairly modest year of reading--but what I lacked in quantity, well, I feel I made up for in quality. ;)
Read a lot of good ones!
Without further ado, I give reading list:

1 Callahan's Secret—Spider Robinson

2 Callahan's Lady—Spider Robinson

3 The Callahan Touch—Spider Robinson
Started off the year right! Finishing up the Callahan series by Spider Robinson. HIGHLY recommend. Can't recommend his work strongly enough, actually. The man knows how to write believable, compelling characters. Technically science fiction, but with a huge dosage of humanity and compassion. DEE-LIGHTFUL stuff. Humorous with heart.

4 The Fugitive Pigeon—Donald E. Westlake

5 The Busy Body—Donald E. Westlake

6 Somebody Owes Me Money—Donald E. Westlake

7 The Black Bird—Donald E. Westlake

8 Cops And Robbers—Donald E. Westlake

9 Bank Shot—Donald E. Westlake

10 Jimmy the Kid—Donald E. Westlake

11 Don't Ask—Donald E. Westlake

12 Dancing Aztecs—Donald E. Westlake
After holding off for as long as I could--several months--I read through every single Westlake novel I could find in the house. (It wasn't nearly enough.) I DEMAND THAT SOMEONE MAKE A SERIES OF DORTMUNDER MOVIES STARRING WILL ARNETT, HE IS SERIOUSLY THE EXACT PICTURE OF THE CHARACTER OF DORTMUNDER. EVERYTHING FROM THE VOICE TO THE FACE. SOMEONE DO IT NOW. PLZ.

13 Beyond the Pale—Mark Anthony

14 The Keep of Fire—Mark Anthony

15 The Dark Remains—Mark Anthony

16 Blood of Mystery—Mark Anthony

17 The Gates of Winter—Mark Anthony

18 The First Stone—Mark Anthony
Best "epic" fantasy series I've read. EVER. My older brother had originally read the first three aloud to me, back in the early-mid 2000s, and the series continued strong right up to the end. Hugely satisfying. With strong female characters, and a positive portrayal of gay/bisexual characters without having to make it into a big "thing". They were all just really damn good CHARACTERS. Also: magic is dangerous and monsters are flippin' SCARY. The second book involves a fire PLAGUE. It was somewhat horrifying. As were the Ironhearts throughout. Someone make a TV show of this one. Plz.

19 Dragon and Slave—Timothy Zahn

20 Dragon and Herdsman—Timothy Zahn
After too many years, I finally managed to read books 3 and 4 in this series...I'll be curious to see where it goes to/how it ends if I can find the rest. An underrated gem among young adult fiction, I think.

21 The Turing Option—Harry Harrison & Marvin Minsky
VERY interesting look at humanity and machine in this one. Also: a somewhat stark look at what could be the reality of the future for brain surgery.

22 Temeraire: In The Service Of The King—Naomi Novik

(His Majesty's Dragon)

(Throne of Jade)

(Black Powder War)
I definitely look forward to finding more books in this series. Alternate history fantasy where dragons are used against Napoleon. Very compelling, very cool. Flintlock fantasy! That's what the genre is called...'s cool.

23 Werewolf Smackdown—Mario Avecedo
Uh. Uh disappointing. Kinda lame and boring. I actually can't remember it.

24 Catspaw—Joan D. Vinge
VERY good read. A definite page-turner. Some light sci-fi-fluff. But with some hefty stuff as well. A hard look at empathy.

25 Magician's Ward—Patricia C. Wrede
Not nearly as good as the first book: Mairelon the Magician. Didn't have enough Mairelon for one thing, and Kim was practically a side character in the fact that she didn't get to DO much. A let down after the first book...

26 Swords Against Wizardry—Fritz Leiber
Classic sword&sorcery stuff.

27 Valley Thieves—Max Brand
A Max Brand western. What more can I say? I'll read 'em all eventually.

28 Survival Zero—Mickey Spillane
Um. I don't quiiiite remember this one. A Mike Hammer mystery, anyway. I usually enjoy 'em.

29 Royal Assassin—Robin Hobb

30 Assassin's Quest—Robin Hobb

31 Fool's Errand—Robin Hobb
Definite page-turners!!! A bit difficult to read at times, because they're like some sort of classic tragedy. I mean, they're not hugely HAPPY, per se...but they stay with a reader for a time after reading them. At least, I couldn't get them out of my mind!! I MUST find the rest of the series...Addictive to read.

32 Magic's Pawn—Mercedes Lackey
I really like the character of Vanyel. This one was interesting to read because I'd actually read the second book (Magic's Promise) beforehand. Which stood alone as a very decent introduction to the character. This was a lot more heavy-handed with the drama, but since he was a teen...I guess it balances out. But the age jump between books 1 and 2 may leave a reader wondering at the stuff in between.

33 Krondor: The Betrayal—Raymond E. Feist

34 Prince of the Blood—Raymond E. Feist

35 The King's Buccaneer—Raymond E. Feist

36 Shadow of a Dark Queen—Raymond E. Feist

37 Rise of a Merchant Prince—Raymond E. Feist
This was the year of rereading The Riftwar Saga! I'd originally read Magician, Silverthorn, and A Darkness At Sethanon about 8-10 years ago, so going back to them with an adult's perspective was rather telling. The thing it told me is that Raymond E. Feist isn't a GREAT writer. Not bad, but...uh, his "epic" fantasies can be somewhat tedious when he goes into the whole "big scope" thing. My favorite has been Silverthorn because it's more of a standalone and has a nicely epic feel without, stupid. Also: Jimmy the Hand. Favorite character. Also also: Arutha. Second favorite character. Thirdly also: Martin. Third favorite character. Altogether, Silverthorn was the best book of the original Saga. Krondor reads better as a GAME than a book. Prince of the Blood wasn't bad, but
The King's Buccaneer was a liiittle bit better. (Except for the ending. And the Deus Ex Machina I won't spoil for any of you who've yet to read it.) The two titles there in the Serpentwar Saga have left me unimpressed and not really looking forward to the third book.

38 Feet of Clay—Terry Pratchett
TERRY PRATCHETT. DISCWORLD. NUFF SAID. One of the City Watch, Sam Vimes books. One of my favorite characters to read about!!

39 Storm Front—Jim Butcher
After reading books 2, 3, 4, 9, and 12, I finally got to read book number 1 in this series! (Note: I started with book number 9, White Night.) Okay, Jim Butcher is NOT a great writer. But his books are very addictive. Like popcorn reading. Light, easy to pick up, and before you know it--BAM! You read a whole book in one day. They're page turners, but not great works. He has no strong female characters, he follows certain paranormal tropes to a T, and side characters often seem interesting, but are never used to great effect because it's a first-person narrative. So it makes you wonder why he bothers. Karrin Murphy COULD be a strong female character, but she's wasted in every single book that's not he 2nd. And I don't wanna spoil anything, but she still didn't get a whole lot of screen time in Fool Moon. The first book was fun enough, but again, not a super piece of fiction.

40 The Tomb—F. Paul Wilson
My mom, sister, and older brother have all read this book before me, and now I can understand why they seem reluctant to read any others in the series. This one works really WELL as a stand-alone. It would make for a good movie.

41 Crashcourse—Wilhelmina Baird
Do NOT recommend. Starts off really strong, with a female character that I find intriguing, competent, and compelling. The first half is really GOOD. And then it falls to pieces. With a complete character turn around that leaves you going WTF?! She goes from tough, competent, street savvy thief, to teary girl being lead around by the MALE characters. She doesn't make any major decisions for herself and she's constantly on the verge of tears or so it seems. I mean, jeez, one of the male characters is this pacifist no-getter type, and by the end he's being all assertive and stuff. It just made no sense in context with the first half of the book. Like it was written by two completely different people. Maybe it was. The copyright was under a different name than "Wilhelmina Baird".

42 Warrior: En Garde—Michael A. Stackpole

43 Warrior: Riposte—Michael A. Stackpole
MECH-WARRIORS!!! I coulda done without some of the technical jargon--the mech battle scenes could go a bit overboard with description in technical specs--but these were a pretty decent read, and I look forward to finding the next book.

44 Cheyenne Gold—Max Brand
Another Max Brand western. This one had an interesting take on faith/belief and coincidence. I dunno if he was being ironic, or what. It was fun tho'. Except the ending was a little bit "typical" in its lack of definite resolution for the the characters. And the female characters weren't written in the strongest light. But hey, he's had other, better, female characters in past books.

And that was 2014! As usual, I don't bother counting the titles I RE-read, except for the case of the first three books in the Last Rune series by Mark Anthony. Since Joey had read them aloud to me, and it'd been YEARS ago. Right now I'm re-reading The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie, but I look forward to many new books in 2015. Hope y'all have some good reads!

  • Mood: Questionable
  • Listening to: This Is Your Life (tribute album to Dio)
  • Reading: The Gun Seller (Hugh Laurie)
  • Playing: Bejewled 2
  • Drinking: ice tea (the powdered drink kind)

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djeffers Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the lama! :D (Big Grin) 
3Fangs Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014
No problemo! :wave:
GreaseZelda Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Student Filmographer
Thank you for the llama! :)
3Fangs Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014
You're welcome!
Thank YOU for the fav! =D

(OMG, I would totally watch/read something about a dog being voiced by H. Jon Benjamin.) :XD:
When you start posting pages, if I could PAY him to record it, I would. In a heartbeat. :lmao:
GreaseZelda Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Student Filmographer
Hahaha! Right? You're talking about my comic, Sckuzz, right? haha. I totally can just imagine H. Jon Benjamin voicing him, I swear. Have you checked out the introduction strip I posted in my gallery? I haven't gotten down to doing more, but it's a start! haha.
3Fangs Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014
Aye, hadda check it out after you mentioned H. Jon Benjamin in your description. :XD:
My brother got the How To Archer book and it reads just like his character from the show.
The only way it could be better is if I could get my hands on an audio copy with H. Jon Benjamin reading it aloud. (I wonder if there IS one??)
Because I mean. SERIOUSLY.
(I love going though the cocktail chapter.) :laughing:

(I suspect I like Mr. H. Jon Benjamin's voice too much. I even picked it out when my sisters had WordGirl on.)
It's like my crazy love for Nolan North's voice. Or Cam Clark's.
(1 Reply)
Dark-Soulest Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Ohmy goshness!!!! THANKS FOR THE WATCH AND LAMMA!!!:huggle::heart:
3Fangs Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014
No problemo! I thought I'd already given you a llama--I'd meant to after viewing your picture, but I guess I got distracted ^///^--and as for watching you...well, it's as I said. It's more amazing to take the chance to see an artist grow into their talents. I hope to be able to leave you some more comments sometime. And I believe you'll be moving in to digital coloring shortly? That ought to be interesting to see as well. Your grasp of shading with pencil already shows much promise. I know the transition to digital coloring can be tricky (jeez, I think it took me like a year or more to stop using just flat colors, and now I'm falling back to that because I'm too lazy to shade), but I suspect you'll have fun with it, and do well in the medium. :nod:
Dark-Soulest Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Its okie, I understand on getting distracted ^-^ and aaaawww thank you, it'll be a real honor for you to comment on my art C: and hahe I've actually done it before. Draw digitaly and shawdows as well. But because I don't have fancy programs like some do, I get to use MSpaint for almost everything I do ^-^ and dont be lazy, shadowing may be a little hard but its what gives a drawing life and its charm ^-^ and yeah I will (: :huggle: hahe
3Fangs Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014
Aye, distractions happen to the best of us--and boy, they sure seem to happen to me specifically a LOT. :rofl:
OH LOOK, SOMETHING SHINY!!! *wanders off*

(It would be an honor for me to comment on your art.) :iconbowplz:

Oh please, you don't need fancy programs at ALL to make damn fine digital art. :dummy:
My friend :iconkimhura: has only ever used MSpaint for her colored art, and she's always produced such deliciously yummy results.
(Sadly she's cleaned up her gallery, so I don't think you'd see a lot of her stuff on display.)
But she'll be working on a comic soon-ish, and MSpaint will be her coloring tool of choice. B-)

I myself use GIMP (because it's free.)
But I do admit it can be very daunting to the beginner. (But than is Photoshop.)
I started using the GIMP in 2007, and it's changed a fair bit since then, but mostly it's just gotten more efficient with its tools.
Since you're not a Photoshop user, you may find it easier to pick up on--most PS users complain about the layout being different from what they know.
There are also a lot of tutorials out there, and anything written with Photoshop in mind can be converted to the GIMP, though tools may be named something else, or work in a different manner. But everything I learned was through trial and error, and reading Photoshop tutorials here on dA and elsewhere. Experimentation is the artist's best friend.

Another free program is Inkscape, which handles vector images quite well.
But I'm still unable to get the hang of it, mostly because of its layout, I guess.

A still fairly new free program is Fire Alpaca, which has been likened to Paint Tool SAI to some degree.
It looks a little bit easier for the beginner I think, at least judging from some of its layout. Although I still get fuddled and confused.
But I get that way with any program not the GIMP. (I'm used to what I'm used to.) :p

Although if you wanted to try either Photoshop or Paint Tool SAI, I have old free versions of each which should (I think?) be able to work for you if you'd want me to email the files. :shrug:
(But since the PS version is CS2, pretty much you can get the same sort of performance from the GIMP.)

I DID create some basic tutorials for the GIMP, but that was with older versions...I believe the advice therein could still apply though!
But, as noted, it CAN be very daunting for the beginner. I don' know how familiar you are working with multiple layers...(Does MSpaint use layers? I haven't checked it out in ages.)
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