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Secret Santa: I like pretty much anything that's useful and/or interesting, but here are a few specific kinds of things I like:
  • things in little kits or sets
  • things with writing on them in other languages or scripts
  • things with small intricate parts
  • things to do with cooking
  • things that are satisfying to fidget with


Okay, so I was getting tired of having a blank homenode, but I couldn't be bothered to think of any pithy statements or advice for young noders so I decided to put up my list of books that I've read.
/msg me if you want to know what I thought about any of them.

In fact, if you ask nicely, I'll even node one for you--I just can't seem to motivate myself to do it. Pick any one you want, just don't expect it in a timely fashion!

Here is what the abbreviations mean:
YA=young adult (I was a young adult librarian, so I read a lot of these)
JF=juvenile fiction
GN= graphic novel
RR=reread
DNF=did not finish (usually because I didn't like it enough to)

I'm not a young adult librarian any more because now I am the FICTION SELECTOR for my entire library system! All those years with my nose in a book finally paid off.

And now, to be extra nerdy, I'm going to put all my favorites in BOLD TYPE.

Books Read since Halloween 2003

November 2003

  1. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
  2. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Lord John and the Private Affair by Diana Gabaldon
  4. My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr YA
  5. Death, the High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman GN
  6. The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman GN
  7. Three Junes by Julia Glass
  8. Fried Butter: A Food Memoir by Abe Opincar
  9. Bedlam's Bard by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon
  10. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot YA
  11. Stand Tall by Joan Bauer YA

December 2003

  1. Positively Fifth Street by James McManus
  2. Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
  3. Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
  4. Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue
  5. God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant YA
  6. Bloomability by Sharon Creech YA
  7. The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
  8. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
  9. Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer JF
  10. Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey
  11. Sabriel by Garth Nix YA
  12. Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce YA
  13. It Must've Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten
  14. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

January 2004

  1. The Expensive Halo by Josephine Tey
  2. Cobra Trap by Peter O'Donnell
  3. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce JF
  4. Canning Season by Polly Horvath YA
  5. The Castle of Yew by L. M. Boston JF
  6. The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester
  7. Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
  8. A Stranger at Wildings by Madeleine Brent
  9. The Calligrapher by Edward Docx
  10. Princess in Waiting by Meg Cabot YA
  11. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
  12. Stormswift by Madeleine Brent
  13. Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez YA
  14. First Part Last by Angela Johnson YA
  15. The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
  16. Google Hacks by Tara Calishain & Rael Dornfest (skipped overly techie sections)
  17. Golden Urchin by Madeleine Brent
  18. Lirael by Garth Nix YA
  19. How to Read a French Fry by Russ Parsons
  20. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
  21. The Capricorn Stone by Madeleine Brent
  22. The Bargain by Mary Jo Putney

February 2004

  1. Abhorsen by Garth Nix YA
  2. Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
  3. Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse
  4. The Long Masquerade by Madeleine Brent
  5. Psmith Journalist by P.G. Wodehouse
  6. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
  7. Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gas Mask by Jim Munroe
  8. Merlin's Keep by Madeleine Brent
  9. How to Read a French Fry by Russ Parsons
  10. Impossible Odds by Dave Duncan
  11. The Man in My Basement by Walter Moseley
  12. Cathedrals of the Flesh: My Search for the Perfect Bath by Alexia Brue
  13. Travels With Alice by Calvin Trillin
  14. Man Hunting by Jennifer Crusie
The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler YA DNF

March 2004

  1. A Geography of Time by Robert Levine
  2. Thursday's Children by Rumer Godden
  3. Of Sound Mind by Jean Ferris YA
  4. Tithe by Holly Black YA
  5. Third Helpings by Calvin Trillin
  6. Keep Your Brain Alive by Lawrence Katz
  7. Feeding a Yen by Calvin Trillin
  8. Word Court by Barbara Walraff
  9. A Slice of Life by various authors
  10. Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going YA
  11. One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry
  12. Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath YA
  13. Empress of the World by Sara Ryan YA
  14. Everyone In Silico by Jim Munroe
  15. The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson
  16. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
  17. On Basilisk Station by David Weber
  18. Emotional Design by Donald Norman
  19. The Watcher by Margaret Buffie YA
  20. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The Battle of Jericho by Sharon Draper YA skim
Keesha's House by Helen Frost YA skim
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler YA skim
The A-List by Zoey Dean YA DNF

April 2004

  1. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gould
  2. Spindle's End by Robin McKinley YA
  3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton YA
  4. Deerskin by Robin McKinley
  5. Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House by M.C. Beaton
  6. Blacklist by Sara Paretsky
  7. The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth
  8. Choice Cuts, ed. by Mark Kurlansky
  9. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn DNF

May 2004

  1. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud YA
  2. Strings by Dave Duncan
  3. My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey
  4. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
  5. The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
  6. Newton's Cannon by J. Gregory Keyes
  7. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve YA
  8. The Kings are Already Here by Garret Freymann-Weyr YA
  9. Samurai Girl Book I: the Book of the Sword by Carrie Asai YA
  10. Sweetblood by Pete Hautman YA
  11. Traveling Shoes by Noel Streatfeild JF
  12. Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher JF
Darwin's Children by Greg Bear DNF

June 2004

  1. Samurai Girl Book II: the Book of the Shadow by Carrie Asai YA
  2. A Calculus of Angels by J. Gregory Keyes
  3. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  4. First Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  5. Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter RR
  6. Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch
  7. The Distant Summer by Sarah Patterson RR
  8. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling JF RR
  10. Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn YA
  11. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  12. White Boots by Noel Streatfeild JF RR
  13. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan YA
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke YA DNF

July 2004

  1. Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw YA
  2. Mama Makes Up Her Mind by Bailey White RR
  3. Zeitgeist by Bruce Sterling
  4. Straight Man by Richard Russo
  5. Pirates! by Celia Rees YA
  6. The Family at Caldicott Place by Noel Streatfeild JF
  7. East by Edith Pattou YA
  8. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi GN
  9. Election by Tom Perotta
  10. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  11. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
  12. The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook by Cook's Illustrated
  13. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett JF
  14. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
  15. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
  16. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  17. Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary by Pamela Dean
  18. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann

August 2004

  1. Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
  2. Children of God by Mary Doria Russell
  3. New Improved Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechtel GN
  4. The Perfect Score by David Levithan YA
  5. Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes YA
  6. The Secret Country by Pamela Dean
  7. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

September 2004

  1. The Scar by China Mieville
  2. Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy
  3. Changing Planes by Ursula LeGuin
  4. The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
  5. Samurai Girl Book III: the Book of the Pearl by Carrie Asai YA
  6. Samurai Girl Book IV: the Book of the Wind by Carrie Asai YA
  7. Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
  8. Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett
  9. Why Girls are Weird by Pamela Ribon
  10. The Coma by Alex Garland
  11. Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich
  12. Replay by Ken Grimwood
  13. The Mount by Carol Emshwiller
  14. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
The Egyptologists by Kingsley Amis DNF

October 2004

  1. Kings of Infinite Space by James Hynes
  2. Evolution's Darling by Scott Westerfeld
  3. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
  4. The Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price YA
  5. A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass YA
  6. Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
  7. Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate-Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer YA
  8. Isn't It Romantic by Ron Hansen
  9. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
  10. The Inner Circle by T.C. Boyle
  11. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce YA
  12. The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington
  13. Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany by Ben Schott
  14. America (The Book) by Jon Stewart & The Daily Show
  15. Oblivion by David Foster Wallace
  16. Uncle Fred in the Springtime by P.G. Wodehouse
  17. Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies
The Golden Age by John C. Wright DNF

November 2004

  1. Leaven of Malice by Robertson Davies
  2. A Mixture of Frailties by Robertson Davies
  3. Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff
  4. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  5. Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
  6. The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
  7. Sexual Healing by Jill Nelson
  8. The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
Hell by Kathryn Davis DNF
Count Geiger's Blues by Michael Bishop DNF

December 2004

  1. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  2. Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig
  3. I, Lucifer by Peter O'Donnell RR
  4. The Big Year by Mark Obmascik
  5. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray YA
  6. Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde YA
  7. Night of Morningstar by Peter O'Donnell RR
  8. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  9. Be Prepared: A Guide for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden
  10. The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis
  11. Whiteout by Ken Follett
  12. I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel
Love in a Dead Language by Lee Siegel DNF

January 2005

  1. Blessed Are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch
  2. Sabre-Tooth by Peter O'Donnell RR
  3. The Game by Laurie R. King
  4. The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick
  5. Wild Life by Molly Gloss
  6. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen YA
  7. The Hipster Handbook by Robert Lanham
  8. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan YA
  9. Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

February 2005

  1. Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow
  2. Feed by M.T. Anderson YA
  3. Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie NF
  4. Madeleine is Sleeping by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
  5. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson YA
  6. Hieronymous Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hans Belting NF
  7. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Otherwise Engaged by Suzanne Finnamore DNF

March 2005

  1. Prom by Laurie Halse Andersen YA
  2. The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida NF
  3. Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox NF
  4. Welcome Chaos by Kate Wilhelm
  5. Ferney by James Long
  6. Hopeless Savages Vol. 1 by Jen Van Meter GN
  7. The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist by Michael Chabon GN
  8. The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops by George Carlin DNF
The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable YA DNF

April 2005

  1. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby NF
  2. Babyji by Abha Dawesar
  3. The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
  4. Jumper by Steven Gould
  5. Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson NF
  6. The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn YA
  7. The Helm by Steven Gould
  8. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  9. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
  10. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl NF
  11. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
  12. Candyfreak by Steve Almond NF
  13. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool NF
  14. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith
The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin DNF

May 2005

  1. A Devil's Chaplain by Richard Dawkins NF
  2. Reflex by Steven Gould
  3. The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston
  4. Wrong about Japan by [Peter Carey NF
  5. On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins NF
  6. Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card
  7. Confessions of a Backup Dancer by Tucker Shaw YA
  8. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson YA
  9. Little, Big by John Crowley
  10. Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care by John McWhorter NF
  11. Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin YA
  12. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff YA
  13. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal NF
The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr DNF

June 2005

  1. The Confusion by Neal Stephenson
  2. A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
  3. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi GN
  4. Twins by Marcy Dermansky
  5. Turning the Tables by Steven Shaw NF
  6. Job Hopper by Ayun Halliday NF
  7. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowel NF
  8. More Book Lust by Nancy Pearl NF

July 2005

  1. The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
  2. Magic Street by Orson Scott Card
  3. Snobs by Julian Fellowes
  4. The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce YA
  5. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout NF
  6. Whores on the Hill by Colleen Curran
  7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling YA
  8. Ready or Not by Meg Cabot YA
  9. Naked in Death by JD Robb
  10. Looking for Jake: Stories by China Miéville
  11. The People of Sparks by Jeanne Du Prau YA
  12. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
The Double by Jose Saramago DNF

August 2005

  1. Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg
  2. Damned If You Do by Gordon Houghton
  3. The Family Trade by Charles Stross
  4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Old Man's War by John Scalzi
  6. French Women Don't Get Fat by Mirelle Guiliano NF
  7. In The Little World by John H. Richardson NF
  8. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
  9. Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin
  10. The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach
  11. The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm NF
Rococo by Adriana Trigiani DNF
The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova DNF
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers DNF

September 2005

  1. Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich
  2. Air by Geoff Ryman
  3. Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe YA
  4. Here, There and Everywhere by Chris Roberson
  5. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld YA
  6. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld YA
  7. Away From You by Melanie Finn
  8. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead RR
  9. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

October 2005

  1. Affinity by Sarah Waters
  2. Are We There Yet? by David Levithan YA
  3. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  4. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
  5. I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
  6. Post-Captain by Patrick O"Brian
  7. Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross DNF
New Rules by Bill Maher DNF

November 2005

  1. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
  2. The Wilder Shores of Love by Lesley Branch NF
  3. Seraglio by Janet Wallach
  4. Spook by Mary Roach NF
  5. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
  6. The Hidden Family by Charles Stross
  7. The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
  8. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
  9. Mission to America by Walter Kirn

December 2005

  1. The 13 ½ lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
  2. Avalon High by Meg Cabot YA
  3. Inside Job by Connie Willis
  4. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
  5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer YA
  6. Don't Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff NF
  7. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
  8. Touched by Venom by Janine Cross
  9. White Tigress by Jade Lee
  10. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett RR
  11. The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall

January 2006

  1. PopCo by Scarlett Thomas
  2. Bachelor Boys by Kate Saunders
  3. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  4. The Perfect Paragon by M.C. Beaton
  5. Company by Max Barry
  6. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
  7. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale YA
  8. Rainbow Party by Paul Ruditis YA
  9. Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks NF
Imaginary Men by Anjali Banerjee DNF
Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson DNF

February 2006

  1. Numbers Don't Lie by Terry Bisson
  2. Looking for Alaska by John Green YA
  3. The Astonishment of Words by Victor Proetz NF
  4. Buffalo Gals by Ursula Le Guin
  5. Underdog: How I Survived the World's Most Outlandish Competitions by Joshua Davis NF
  6. Temeraire by Naomi Novik LJ
  7. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak YA
  8. The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov
  9. Little Birds by Anais Nin
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer DNF
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall JF DNF
Rabbit, Run by John Updike DNF
A Taxonomy of Barnacles by Galt Niederhoffer DNF

March 2006

  1. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  2. A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
A Princess of Roumania by Paul Park DNF

April 2006

  1. Accelerando by Charles Stross

May 2006

  1. Iron Council by China Mieville
  2. Doctors and Nurses by Lucy Ellmann
  3. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  4. The Best People in the World by Justin Tussing
  5. Fledgling by Octavia Butler
  6. Misfortune by Wesley Stace
  7. Personal History by Katharine Graham NF
  8. Rumo and his Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers
  9. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
  10. ReadyMade: How to Make (almost) Everything NF
  11. Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent NF
  12. Lobster by Guillaume Lecasble

June 2006

  1. The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
  2. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
  3. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
  4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  5. Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
  6. A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer
  7. Samurai Girl VI: The Book of the Heart by Carrie Asai
The Embedding by Ian Watson DNF

July 2006

  1. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  2. Forever Summer by Ray Bradbury
  3. By a Lady by Amanda Elyot
  4. Starseed by Spider Robinson and Jeanne Robinson
  5. Summer by Edith Wharton
  6. Mélusine by Sarah Monette
  7. Life House by Spider Robinson
  8. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld YA
  9. Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Sky Coyote by Kage Baker DNF

August 2006

  1. Collapse by Jared Diamond NF
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  3. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel GN
  4. Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin NF
  5. Woman in the Mirror by Richard Avedon NF
  6. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
  7. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman YA