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Well, I thought it was time to write a new journal entry, since I'm trying to make something of a comeback around here...
Wow, dA sure has changed a little bit since last I wrote one of these! ^^;
So I figured I'd start with the list of books I'd read last year:

Books read in 2013

1 Changes—Jim Butcher
2 Neuromancer—William Gibson
3 Burning Chrome—William Gibson
4 Wicked—Gregory Maguire
5 Grunts—Mary Gentle
6 Bad News—Donald E. Westlake
7 The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat—Harry Harrison
(The Stainless Steel Rat)
(The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge)
(The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World)

8 The Deathworld Trilogy—Harry Harrison
(Deathworld)
(Deathworld 2)
(Deathworld 3)
9 Mountain Riders—Max Brand
10 Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers—Harry Harrison
11 Silvertip's Chase—Max Brand
12 The Gun Seller—Hugh Laurie
13 Homeworld—Harry Harrison
14 Wheelworld—Harry Harrison
15 Starworld—Harry Harrison
16 Copp On Fire—Don Pendleton
17 The Executioner #1: War Against The Mafia—Don Pendleton
18 The Twisted Thing—Mickey Spillane
19 The Executioner #2: Death Squad—Don Pendleton
20 The Deep—Mickey Spillane
21 The Executioner #3: Battle Mask—Don Pendleton
22 The Hunter—Donald E. Westlake
23 The Executioner #4: Miami Massacre—Don Pendleton
24 The Big Kill—Mickey Spillane
25 The Executioner #5: Continental Contract—Don Pendleton
26 The Mourner—Donald E. Westlake
27 The Executioner #6: Assault On Soho—Don Pendleton
28 Callahan's Crosstime Saloon—Spider Robinson
29 Little Women—Louisa May Alcott
30 Bardic Voices Book I: The Lark and the Wren—Mercedes Lackey
31 Too Many Women—Rex Stout
32 I, The Jury—Mickey Spillane
33 Snuff—Terry Pratchett
34 Bardic Voices Book II: The Robin and the Kestrel—Mercedes Lackey
35 Spirits White As Lightning—Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
36 Mind Light—Margaret Davis
37 The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!—Harry Harrison
38 The Stainless Steel Rat For President—Harry Harrison
39 The Stainless Steel Rat Goes To Hell—Harry Harrison
40 The Man From Mustang—Max Brand
41 Double Star—Robert A. Heinlein
42 Echoes In Time—Andre Norton & Sherwood Smith
43 O Pioneer!—Frederik Pohl
44 Silver Spire—Robert Goldsborough
45 Time Travelers Strictly Cash—Spider Robinson
46 Starship Troopers—Robert A. Heinlein
47 The Voices of Heaven—Frederik Pohl
48 The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues—Harry Harrison
49 Stranger In A Strange Land—Robert A. Heinlein

There was a lot more science fiction on the list...=D
I can't believe it was only a year ago I read William Gibson's Neuromancer!
I also read quite a few by Harry Harrison--I really fell in love with his writing...Pulp sci/fi adventure. Nothing hardcore there, really easy to just pick up and read. Adventurous, humorous, and well-paced. His Stainless Steel Rat books are absolute favorites! Although I found the last one, The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell to be somewhat lackluster. It was missing something in its comedic tone. The characters lacked a lot of the zest they had previously. It was especially noticeable when I had just read The Stainless Steel Rat For President before.
I also started in on Don Pendleton's original books in the Executioner series. Probably the best title (certainly the most successful) in men's action adventure novels. The first book, War Against the Mafia, was certainly different in comparison to the modern novels, (veeeerrry 70s) although it laid down the core of Mack Bolan's character, and he has stayed true to that ever since.
Spider Robinson quickly became a favorite as well, and I ended up starting off this year by reading the rest of the novels we have by him. He writes very believable and compelling characters. I think everyone would benefit greatly from reading the Callahan series. (A lot of empathy in there--really feel good stories.) Like so many good sci/fi novels, it really makes the reader stop to think a bit...
Robert A. Heinlein is of course one of the classic names in sci-fi literature...Stranger in a Strange Land was very though-provoking. Kinda makes me look at things a little differently now.
The Voices of Heaven, by Frederik Pohl was interesting because the main character had a psychosis and it wasn't like the main focus although it was of major concern for the character. (He ends up worlds away from his home without any medication and little hope of getting back to the life he once knew.) It was quite compelling even though there wasn't a whole lot of action going on. Very character driven, with believable portrayals of people in their situation.
Mind Light, by Margaret Davis, was another compelling read...
Echoes In Time, by Andre Norton & Sherwood Smith was rather disappointing. There wasn't a whole lot of action, which wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't built up with the initial bad-assery of the characters. Making a big deal about how tough and competent they were and then not having them do a damn thing.
The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie was really excellent. It would make an AWESOME movie. (I also wish he'd finish writing a sequel.)
I'd forgotten I'd read Copp on Fire last year...I think I enjoyed it a little more than the first book: Copp for Hire.

Overall it was a good year of reading!
And so far I've started off this year well with 24 new books read. (Though now I'm taking a slight break.)

Books so far read in 2014

1 Callahan's Secret—Spider Robinson
2 Callahan's Lady—Spider Robinson
3 The Callahan Touch—Spider Robinson
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
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
19 Dragon and Salve—Timothy Zahn
20 Dragon and Herdsman—Timothy Zahn
21 The Turing Option—Harry Harrison & Marvin Minsky
22 Temeraire: In The Service Of The King—Naomi Novik
(His Majesty's Dragon)
(Throne of Jade)
(Black Powder War)
23 Werewolf Smackdown—Mario Avecedo
24 Catspaw—Joan D. Vinge
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Black Sabbath: Mob Rules
  • Reading: Through Wolf's Eyes (Jane Lindskold)
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:iconohthehumanityplz:
Ohthehumanityplz Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Seems like you had a busy schedule.
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:icon3fangs:
3Fangs Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
Aye, it certainly looks more impressive all listed out like that! ^^;
I usually have a few months where I hardly read ANY books, but it gets balanced out by the months where I go crazy reading. :lol:
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:iconthejenjineer:
TheJenjineer Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014
So glad you put this up, thanks!
Neuromancer and Stranger in a Strange Land are already on a to-read list I have somewhere, but I think I see a couple more I want to add. Stainless Steel Rat, which I'm pretty sure you mentioned before, looks particularly interesting but I need to keep looking for them.

 Here's my list of 2013:

Fairyland #1 - #2 - Catherynne M. Valente (Loved them to bits, gonna list the titles cuz they're fun)
   The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
   The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There
   The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

Phantasmagoria and Other Poems - Lewis Carroll
All's Well That Ends Well, Richard II - William Shakespeare
Sherlock Holmes #4 - #5 - Arthur Conan Doyle
Robot Series #.1 - #3
The Last Days (didn't like this one very much), Leviathan #2, #3 - Scott Westerfeld
Doctor Faustus - Christopher Marlowe
Bartimaeus Trilogy - Jonathan Stroud (thank you SO MUCH for recommending this one. My bro is reading this right now and he is LOVING it)
Ivanhoe - Walter Scott
City - Clifford D. Simak
How to Train Your Dragon #2 - # 7 (those things are just adorable)
The Kitchen House - Kathleeen Grissom (too melodramatic, but I think the author has potential)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - T. S. Eliot
Chaos Walking Trilogy - Patrick Ness
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
Rest of the Narnia Books (#3 - #7), Till We Have Faces (so good, where I got the Psyche idea) - C. S. Lewis
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Rest of the Hitchhiker's Guide (#2 - #5) - Douglas Adams
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Lady Susan - Jane Austen (last Austen I've never read before, siiiiggghhhh)
Arsene Lupin - Maurice Leblanc
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
The Purloined Letter - Edgar Allan Poe
Rest of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles (#3 and #4) - Patricia C. Wrede
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (that one took a while, but worth it)
Coloured Fairy Books #3 - #6 - Andrew Lang
The Colossus and Other Poems, Ariel, and The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (Loved her work, it's too bad there's not much of it)
Peter Pan in Kensington Garden - J. M. Barrie
The Code of the Woosters - P. G. Wodehouse
Leaf by Niggle, The Children of Hurin - J. R. R. Tolkien
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
Brave Story - Miyuki Miyabe
Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy (also took a while, but NOT worth it)
Storm Front - Jim Butcher (didn't appeal to me :/)
The Princess the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie - George MacDonald
Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud
Comics and Sequential Arts - Will Eisner
100 Selected Poems - e. e. Cummings
One Hundred Favorite Poems - bunch of people
Unnatural Creatures, The Graveyard Book, Fortunately the Milk - Neil Gaiman
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier (good, but the movie was better)
Shipwrecks - Akira Yoshimura (super short but FANTASTIC)
Island of the Aunts - Eva Ibbotson
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit - Lucette Lagnado (also fantastic)
13 Clocks, Many Moons, The White Deer - James Thurber (those are fun to read aloud)
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster Norton ( I regret not reading this earlier in my life)
Oliver Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout (didn't care for it, mom loved it, I don't know)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Phillip K. Dick (not as fun as the title)
The Pirates #1 and #3 - Gideon Defoe
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - Tom Stoppard
Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns
The Ordinary Princess - M. M. Kaye
Cyrano de Bergerac - Edmond Rostand
Skulduggery Pleasant - Derek Landy
Chrestomanci #1 and #2 - Diana Wynne Jones
Le Morte de Arthur - Thomas Malory (perhaps my favorite read of this year)
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Is It Just Me - Miranda Hart

And as always, a bunch of comics.

I have a 2014 list of books so far, saved somewhere. Maybe I'll post it later-ish. I think they have more fantasy this time round. I stopped trying to read all the Sherlock Holmes Stories, but I'm pretty determined to finish most series started/continued in this list.
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:icon3fangs:
3Fangs Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
Awesome! :highfive:
Ha, I see quite a few titles there on MY to read list--man, that's one of the reasons I've been putting off Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep; SUPERB title, but I fear it won't live up to my expectations. (I reeeaaally enjoyed the movie...) *even though it lacked that awesome title*
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the Bartimaeous trilogy! I'm a little bit surprised they haven't made it into a movie yet--I know there was some talk of it, but it must not have taken off because I haven't heard anything since. I wonder if the content isn't kid friendly enough? I admit it has some darker themes, but the overall message seems imminently hopeful to me. Well...I suppose the ending might be off-putting to some. I was a little worried when I first read it aloud to my siblings since they were a lot younger at the time and I wasn't exactly sure how they'd take it. (I've been meaning to check out some of Stroud's other work, because it seems like he has a really engaging narrative and compelling characters.)
Ah, another great name--Something Wicked This Way Comes! That's long been on my list of ones to read...
Man, I think I only ever read the first 2 or 3 How To Train Your Dragon books, but I recall they were really quite cute and amusing--are the others just as good?
I really should get around to reading the Hitchhiker's Guide series--I was somewhat curious to how Eoin Colfer made out with his own story using the characters...I like his writing, but I heard mixed things about And Another Thing...
Oh, what did you think of the Chrestomanci books by Diana Wynne Jones?

And if there's any must-read comics that jump out from among your extensive list, don't hesitate to share!

The good thing about the Sherlock Holmes stories is that they're easy enough to pick up as a casual read every now and then. =)
(And isn't it so hard to keep track of lists? I'm always losing them it seems, even when they're digital!) =p
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:iconthejenjineer:
TheJenjineer Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Yeah, I've noticed a lot of Philip K. Dick stories have really interesting sounding titles, but after that book I never felt tempted to pick up another one. But who knows, maybe you'll be more open to his style than I was and like his work. 
I would LOVE to see it made into a movie. How fantastic would that be? I'm already debating whether getting one actor to play Nathaniel would be best, or to hire three. What I found fun about the book is that it matches the Arab version of "magic" closer than most western fairy tales. The only other story I can think of that did that was Disney's Princess and the Frog with the witchdoctor. When he said "friends from the other side" I immediately thought of djinn. As you can see, the word "magic" has a really negative connotation in Arabic. In English though, it sounds nice and friendly. Fairy godmothers and unicorns spring to mind, not bitter bargains and skulduggery (love that word). 
I liked Something Wicked This Way Comes. I'm a fan of Bradbury in general. I recently read a short story by him called A Sound of Thunder, which involved dinosaur hunting time travel (how awesome is that?). My favourite of his books is the Martian Chronicles though. I usually prefer novels to short story collections like that, but they blended so beautifully together that it felt more like each story was part of the whole. 
I love the How to Train Your Dragon books personally. What made them fun for me was finding David Tennant's reading of the books. That man is not only an exceptional time lord, he is also fantastic with accents and voices. It doubled or tripled the fun for me. 
I thought the Hitchhiker's guide was okay. I liked the robot best. 
I LOVED the Chrestomanci series. I only have one book left, and I'm sort of sad it's almost over. I gave those to my brother too, but he's too wrapped up in midterms and Bartimaeous to get to them right now. 

I got my 2013 list of comics right here. I'm going to skip the ones you already know I like, like superheros and adventure time and so forth, and only list the ones I feel are "discoveries". 

 Avatar comics by Gene Luen Yang, which I loved almost as much as the series itself. My brother read another comic of his called "American Born Chinese" and he liked that one a lot too. I didn't read it myself, but my brohaha has good taste (yes, that's what I call him. He's my bro, he has a funny laugh (haha), and he does cause a lot of brouhaha). 
 I discovered a web comic called Bad Machinery which I LOVED. It's one of those great comics where you can clearly hear the accents in your head without all that confusing apostrophes and things. The writer conveys it with words and phrases instead. 
 Feynman, an biography comic on Richard Feynman. Never read a biography comic before. Strangely works well. 
 Wonderland, which is a cute Alice in Wonderland sequel. The story was nice, but the art is crazy adorable. 
 Anya's Ghost
 Superman Red Son (I know, I wasn't going to list things I already knew about, but this one is so DIFFERENT from the usual superman stuff, and so good. Batman gets to wear a cute hat, I hope that's not a spoiler.) 
 Cow Boy, A Boy and His Horse. It's like a classic western but in a Calvin and Hobbes style. 
 The Underwater Welder - interesting. Not super exciting, but interesting. Can we call this a character study comic? I think so. 
 I Kill Giants. Made me cry but worth it! 

 I found the 2014 list, but I'm too tired to root through it to delete comics, short stories, and etc. Let's keep it a surprise for 2015. ;)

 Well, it looks like I CAN make super long comments when it comes to books. That's nice to know. =D
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:icon3fangs:
3Fangs Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
I think you're right in thinking they'd probably need 3 different actors to play Nathaniel...the age jump between books is a little more significant than in say, Harry Potter--unless they want to drag out the movie-making process for a single child actor to age effectively? Ha, they'd probably turn a trilogy into several movies!
(If they could turn the Hobbit, a single book, into THREE movies, imagine how many you could get out of three BOOKS.)
I know what you mean--it was really nice to see magic used in such a way to say "it's not all rainbows and sunshine"...showed a much darker edge and made the reader realize that magic DOESN'T solve all your problems. That was one of my peeves with the Harry Potter series--there were no consequences for relying on magic for EVERYTHING. Magic never led to a single bad thing, unless it was the specifically EVIL spells that Voldemort and his followers used.
I've always kinda preferred the Arab view on magic--that it's something dangerous. (Not to be used lightly.)
I've yet to see The Princess and the Frog, but I'd really like to sometime, just for it's animation alone. (And the fact that Keith David does a voice.) :meow:
*still wants them to put out the second part of Gargoyles Season 2* =(

Whoa, man, I gotta read A Sound of Thunder sometime...:O_o:

I can't believe I haven't looked into audio books yet--there so many good ones out there, but my mentality is still on my childhood when we had a very limited selection at our local library that was sort of offputting at the time. (Although I did listen to a pretty decent Dracula one with Joey years ago...) But I adore good voice-overs, and there are some superb selections out there in this day and age. I may have to look into the ones by David Tennant...

Thanks for the list of comic recommends! I'll be keeping my eye out for them! (And Bad Machinery looks delightful--adding that to the list of webcomics I need to catch up on.)

May you have another excellent year of reading to speak of next year!!! :wave:
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:iconthejenjineer:
TheJenjineer Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
 Yeah, now that I think about it 3 actors is definitely better. Especially when you consider the changes he goes through, he gets a new "look" at every book. 
 
 Well, I guess a person could argue that their reliance on magic created a sort of pride in their craft that made them feel superior to the non-magical, which in turn created the mentality that drove Voldemort and his like, but that's a really weak argument... 

 I read the story over here: www.lasalle.edu/~didio/courses…
 
 I'm really glad I thought of audiobooks for my commuting problem, I actually enjoy my drives now. What I've been meaning to look into next is radio plays. I've only heard two in my life, one was Dracula and the other was Cyrano. They were pretty fun, both BBC I think. I found them by accident on youtube. 

 You're welcome! Do you have any noteworthy comics of 2013? I'm also always on the lookout for more to read. 

 And may you have a spectacular reading year as well. :bow:
 
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:icon3fangs:
3Fangs Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
Man, audiobooks are the way to go for long commutes. :w00t:
I've only ever heard a couple radioplays we have on cassette--a couple Nero Wolfe stories (they weren't bad), and a few episodes from The Shadow radioplay, which I found really amusing. They were different than the books, but they had a pulpy style that made them really fun.
I haven't had much opportunity to see what's available online, so I don't really know what's out there...

I didn't really read many (or, really, any =p) comics last year...And I've only started catching up with webcomics this year.
Though I did read a really good one called A Redtail's Dream--have you heard of that one? www.minnasundberg.fi/comic/pag…
I thought it was super adorable and sweet. And I loved the colors and art. (Plus the panel layouts were really amazing.)
The dreamlike quality of the story reminded me rather strongly of Patricia A. McKillip's Sorceress and Cygnet novel.
You can also check out the artist's work here on dA. :iconminnasundberg:
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:iconthejenjineer:
TheJenjineer Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
 I've added the comic to my piperka list. That's ANOTHER great thing I found in 2013. It's a website that keeps track of your webcomics. It shows you what updated all in one convenient page, and bookmarks where you left off. I love it so much. :heart:
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:icon3fangs:
3Fangs Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
Whoa, I'd never heard of that before--and here I had been struggling to organize my bookmarks into some semblance of order! :doh:
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