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Bookkeeping [Feb. 5th, 2014|10:43 pm]
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I keep a diary of what I have been reading. It has been slipping away from me for some time, the pile of books to be written up in the big spiral-bound book getting larger - it is now several piles, plus a written list which I use to re-establish the piles when one or more of them fall over. You may point and laugh. But I persevere, I do not give up hope, and when I reach the end of a volume, I index it. So here's - not what I've read, but what I have entered in my diary since November 2011:
Neal Adams / Dennis O'Neil: Green Lantern / Green Arrow
Alain-Fournier: Le Grand Meaulnes
Rafael Albuquerque / Scott Snyder: American Vampire
Ric Alexander (editor): Cyber-Killers
Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang: Wonder Woman: Blood

Elizabeth Bear / Kyle Cassidy: Véronique is Visiting from Paris
Stella Benson: Living Alone
Peter Bennet: Bobby Bendick's Ride / The Game of Bear
Enid Blyton: Claudine at St. Clare's
Leah Bobet: Above
Georgina Boyes: The Imagined Village
Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Chaz Brenchley: Dispossession / House of Bells / House of Doors / The Keys to D'Espérance / Rotten Row
Elinor M. Brent-Dyer: The Head Girl of the Chalet School / The Princess of the Chalet School
Frances Brody: Dying in the Wool / A Medal for Murder / Murder in the Afternoon / A Woman Unknown
Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess
A.S.Byatt: The Children's Book

EddieCampbell: The Lovely Horrible Stuff
Ann Cleeves: A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy / Dead Water / The Glass Room / A Lesson in Dying / The Sleeping and the Dead
Diane Cockburn: Electric Mermaid
Lesley Cookman: Murder by Magic
Andy Croft: 1948
Gillian Cross: A Map of Nowhere

D.C. Daking / Hilary Clare (editor): The Fine Companion
Marion Davies: The Times We Had
Jamie Delano et al.: Hellblazer: The Family Man
Michael Donaghy: Safest
Stella Duffy: Mouths of Babes

Martin Edwards (editor: Perfectly Criminal
Dave Eggers: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Warren Ellis: Hellblazer: Haunted / The Invincible Iron Man: Extremis

Anne Fine: Blood Family / Bored in School / The Devil Walks /The Killer Cat Runs Away
Cordelia Fine: Delusions of Gender / A Mind of Its Own

Neil Gaiman: A Calendar of Tales / M is for Magic /Sandman: Brief Lives / World's End / The Kindly Ones / The Wake
Neil Gaiman / Terry Pratchett: Good Omens
Janet Gleson: The Arcanum
Golden West Publishers: California Cookbook
Catherine Graham: Signs
Simon R. Green: Drinking Midnight Wine
Lev Grossman: Codex

Ann Halam: The Skybreaker
Tony Hillerman: The Shapeshifter

Diana Wynne Jones: Reflections

Laurie R. King: The God of the Hive / The Language of Bees / Locked Rooms
Kazuo Koika / Goseki Kojima: Lone Wolf and Cub 1: The Assassin's Road

Valerie Laws: All That Lives / Lydia Bennet's Blog
Penelope Lively: Spiderweb
Hugh Lofting: The Twilight of Magic
Ria Loohuizen: On Chestnuts: the Trees and their Seeds
Jason Lutes: Jar of Fools

Ben Macallan: Desdæmona / Pandæmonium
Rose Macaulay: Told by an Idiot
Karen Maitland: The Falcons of Ice and Fire
Frank Margerin: Lucien: Weekend Motard
Robyn Marsack / Chris Scott: GiftED
Armistead Maupin: Mary Ann in Autumn
Val McDermid: Trick of the Dark / Union Jack
Hilary McKay: Wishing for Tomorrow
Medieval Murderers: Hill of Bones
Stephen Mellor: Down Among the Yla / Ghostkin
Mark Millar / Andy Kubert: Ultimate X-Men: The Tomorrow People / Return to Weapon X
Alan Moore / Kevin O'Neil: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 / 1963 / 2009
Alan Moore /J.H. Williams III / Mick Gray: Promethea
Alan Moore/ Jacen Burrows: Neonomicon
Terry Moore: Rachel Rising: Fear no Malus
Will Morris: The Silver Darlings
Grant Morrison: Supergods

Patrick O'Brian: Master and Commander
Baroness Orczy: The Old Man in the Corner
Katsuhiro Otomo: Akira, vols 1 & 2
Elsie J. Oxenham: The Abbey Girls in Town / The New Abbey Girls / Robins in the Abbey / Girls of the Hamlet Club

Pauline Plummer: From Here to Timbuktu
Gillian Polack: Ms Cellophane
Terry Pratchett: Snuff

Adam Rex: The True Meaning of Smekday

Alexei Sayle: Stalin Ate My Homework
Charles Schulz: Peanuts Jubilee
Manda Scott: Boudica: Dreaming the Serpent Spear / The Crystal Skull
Nat Segnit: Pub Walks in Underhill Country
Janni Lee Simner: Bones of Faerie / Faerie Winter
Barbara Sjoholm: The Palace of the Snow Queen
Dodie Smith: It Ends With Revelations / The New Moon with the Old / The Town in Bloom
Natasha Solomons: Mr Rosenblums's List
Kari Sperring: The Grass King's Concubine
Francis Spufford: I May Be Some Time
John Steinbeck: Cannery Row
John Sutherland: Where Was Rebecca Shot?

Bryan Talbot: Grandville, Bête Noire / Grandville, Mon Amour
Bryan & Mary M. Talbot: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes
Andrew Taylor: The American Boy
Osamu Tezuka: Barbara

Jill Paton Walsh: The Atterbury Emeralds / Birdy and the Ghosties
T.H. White: Darkness at Pemberley / The Goshawk
Liz Williams: A Glass of Shadow / Precious Dragon / The Shadow Pavillion
Liz Williams / Trevor Jones: Diary of a Witchcraft Shop
Liz Williams / Sue Thomason (editors): Fabulous Whitby
Bill Willingham / Mark Buckingham: Fables: Superteam / Cubs in Toyland
Lydia Wysocki: Celebrity Homes

Hoshino Yukinobu: Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure

Some great stuff, and some not so great. Less of it seems to have been written up in LJ than previously; but then, some of what has been, has been written up at inordinate length. So it goes.

[User Picture]From: desperance
2014-02-05 10:46 pm (UTC)


If you reread a book you have written about already in your diary, do you write about it again? And contrast and compare how you felt then to how you feel now, and so forth?
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-06 11:06 am (UTC)


Oh, yes. Though what I write the second time might be no more than 'I still love this book'.

The worrying thing is how often I reread thinking I am seeing new patterns, having new insights - and then find that actually I wrote the exact same thing last time round!
[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2014-02-05 11:10 pm (UTC)


What did you think of the Stella Benson? I never get to talk about that book with people.
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-06 11:16 am (UTC)


I read it on nineweaving's recommendation, and although it was an interesting curiosity and worth reading, I didn't love it the way she did.

The sad truth is that although I enjoyed the texture of the writing, I was alienated by her treatment of the Committee: I have clearly been on all too many committees! Yes, they [Benson's Committee] are joyless and unpoetic, but they are doing their best to help people, some of whom do need their help. And the resolution of the love story, where the son of one of the Committee ladies turns out to be the lost True Love of the one working class woman in the hostel, felt engineered as a gigantic "so there!" to the Committee.

It's not a good sign that I can't remember anyone's name, is it?

[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2014-02-05 11:25 pm (UTC)


A good mix of books with some interesting ones u might look out for , especially Gaiman and Pratchett
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-06 11:19 am (UTC)


Don't treat this as a list of recommendations, since it's everything I read, whether I liked it or not! But some of it is highly recommended, certsinly - and Gaiman and Pratchett are just the most obvious ones.

Edited at 2014-02-06 11:19 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2014-02-06 12:24 pm (UTC)


I keep a list which I post monthly and comment on here briefly about stuff I'd recommend, but as reviewing makes me part of my living, I don't feel inclined to write full reviews on here!
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-06 07:27 pm (UTC)


Oh, yes, I see your monthly lists, and am impressed by how much you get through, even bearing in mind that much of it is work.

Very occasionally I try to write an actual review, if I'm really excited about a book and want to recommend it, for one reason or another. But mostly I find formal reviews extremely difficult - so often what I want to write about is the overall shape of the book, including the ending. I'm enjoying working my way through the Mary Poppins books, for example, but you wouldn't call that reviewing.

And much of what I write in my diary I wouldn't want to put online: too negative, or too trivial, or too personal, or...
[User Picture]From: weegoddess
2014-02-06 01:36 pm (UTC)


Um, wow. ::is impressed::

Then again, your house has more interesting books by sheer tonnage than any house I've ever experienced. I could spend hours just perusing your bookshelves.
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-06 07:29 pm (UTC)


This does represent a good couple of years' reading - and did you notice how much of it is comics? But I admit that the Great Unread which surrounds me gives me a sense of security - I know I won't run out of things I want to read!
[User Picture]From: gillpolack
2014-02-08 01:55 am (UTC)


What I love about your reading is the sheer variation. It makes a really good list for recommending, because it covers such a vast range.

I was so busy noting down the books I want to read from your list that I only just got as far as the books I had read and I didn't notice the book I had written.
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-02-09 10:50 am (UTC)


...until you did, of course! Your book is one of those about which I would have liked to write a proper review, but my thoughts about it were too incoherent: a mixture of "Ooh, that's good! Oh, I love that!" and "What? She did what? Really?" so I didn't.

It makes me nervous when you treat it as a list of recommendations, as I said to davesmusictank: but I think there are only a couple of things on it that I'd actively DISrecommend, not at any price; rather more that I'd say don't prioritise, but if you're interested, go ahead. So the odds are in your favour.

[User Picture]From: gillpolack
2014-02-09 11:11 am (UTC)


I wasn't thinking of it as a list of "These are the best books in my life" but more of as list of "Books wot I have read" - and the sheer variation in your reading makes me want to read things on it.

I admit to being curious about what you'd say in a proper review of Cellophane, but mostly I'm very pleased you read it. I'm at the stage of my career where I assume no-one has read my stuff until they do and then I'm surprised.