Books I read in 2005!

This is a list of the books I read in 2005, with a few of my thoughts on each.

Go here for 2004's list! Go here for 2006's list!
Go here for the jump-off point of all the years I've been recording my reading list, separated by year!

12/6/05 Lynne Truss
Talk to the Hand
The author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves comes through again with a fuddy-duddy book about rudeness. I agree with her on pretty much everything and join her in throwing my hands in the air screaming, "what happened to common decency??" Excellent book. Fun read.
11/22/05 Emily Brontė
Wuthering Heights
I'd never read it and wanted to know the story. It was really kinda shocking. So much hate and discontent and wickedness and ugliness in what is ultimately a love story. It's almost violent with its passion. I really liked it.
10/19/05 Carl Hiaasen
Hiaasen's work is usually funny and fast-paced, and this for-kids volume is no exception. The main character had that typical (for the author) weird braveness and superior wittiness about him, and the plot was amusing, with its more-up-front-than-usual environmental message. I recommend it to kids and adult Hiaasen fans alike.
10/18/05 Lemony Snicket
The Penultimate Peril
A Series of Unfortunate Events #12 was odd, not quite as openly funny, and blatantly confusing at times. I do find myself wondering how the hell Mr. Handler is going to get us out of this in one more book. That said, it was great; lots of gags about tossing the book in a pond and play on reversed reflections and the mixing up of triplet managers. Coool.
10/15/05 Christopher Paolini
This book was crap, but I have to say it wasn't as bad as its predecessor, Eragon. That said, I still hated it. :P
9/21/05 Francesca Lia Block
Necklace of Kisses
A wonderful addition to the Dangerous Angels series! It's a mid-life crisis Weetzie Bat trying to find the kiss she missed at her high school prom. It's magical and screwy and full of the kind of imagery and story elements and symbolism Ms. Block is famous for. Huge bravo on this one! I loved it!
9/20/05 Darren Shan
Cirque du Freak #10: The Lake of Souls
Oh look, a digression from the vampire/vampaneze war. It was pretty exciting though. You get to find out who Harkat used to be in his former life, it's all about a quest to get his soul back and stuff. And there's dragons! Whoopee!
9/7/05 Louise Rennison
". . . Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers"
Another of the rude British schoolgirl Georgia Nicolson chronicles. She goes to America and acts like a moron, and eventually finds herself torn between Masimo the Italian Stallion, Robbie the Sex God, and (believe it or not) Dave the Laugh. Maybe in the next book she'll realize she wants to shag Dave like a sheep. Hrmm?
9/3/05 Joan D. Vinge
Eyes of Amber
A short story collection by the fab Ms. Vinge, I'd never read it so I picked it up. It's old stuff. Some of the stories were so beautiful they made me cry.
8/15/05 Mercedes Lackey
The Gates of Sleep
Never read a Mercedes Lackey book before this one, so I picked up the one that had something to do with the Sleeping Beauty story. It wasn't a bad story, but I was only really into it at one point, and I'm not a fan of her strangely overly informative writing style.
7/17/05 J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Meh. I'm happy this book had less frustration than the last one and that Harry frickin' stood up for himself, and that all the romantic couple wannabes got their heads out of their asses and did something about it. There weren't as many cutesy things in it as in previous books (though they were still annoyingly there), and I'm impressed that she got the word "slut" through our censors. It was a good book but I wasn't captivated to the extent I supposed I "should" have been over a book getting the kind of reception this one has.
7/6/05 Robin McKinley
Spindle's End
It was an interesting and mostly character-oriented Sleeping Beauty retelling, but there were a lot of bits of it that seemed really convoluted, like a lot of the magical things that happened at the end that worked, you had no idea why they worked or what the characters would have done if, say, jumping off a high place with a whole crapload of horses hadn't somehow been the right thing to do, not to mention how bloody convenient it was that she had a friend who looked so much like her (couldn't see THAT switch coming).
6/11/05 Chuck Palahniuk
More of Palahniuk's usual gruesome descriptions and gritty writing. Victor is a sex addict, a tourist attraction, a professional con artist, and . . . the savior of all mankind? Okay then. I enjoyed this book despite its really graphic sexual language and whatnot. Word to the wise: If you can't handle descriptions of anal beads being used and misused, don't read this.
6/8/05 Orson Scott Card
Cool. A retelling of Sleeping Beauty with Card's unusual spin on it. This was very well-written, a story of Ivan who awakens the princess and has to help save her kingdom from Baba Yaga in ancient Russia. Wow. One of the better books I've read in a while.
5/24/05 Patricia MacLachlan
Sarah, Plain and Tall
Read this in one day during work breaks: A Newbery Award-winning book about an old-time motherless prairie family who puts out an ad looking for a new mother and wife. Sarah answers, and travels out to a trial month with the new family, leaving behind the sea that she loves. I thought the book, though relayed in simple images and language, was nice and complex--you could feel the sadness and hope in the pages despite the simplicity. I enjoyed it.
5/23/05 Rebecca Wells
Ya-Yas In Bloom
Another series of interrelated short stories, like Little Altars Everywhere, involving the same characters we got to know in the earlier books but skipping around to anecdotal periods in their lives. I liked it, but I hope sometime soon Ms. Wells tries her hand at another full-on sequential novel.
5/10/05 Steve Martin
Yup, I read Steve Martin's book and it was pretty good. I enjoyed how character-oriented it was, and how the main character WAS the story, she was a journey in itself.
5/8/05 Darren Shan
Cirque du Freak #9: Killers of the Dawn
I feel so let down. I've been pretty much enjoying this series even though the first one wasn't so good. The writing in this one reminded me of the first one. First of all I thought they were being all original when they didn't do the predictable thing and make Darren's sworn enemy show up as the leader of the bad guys. His sworn enemy was only a protector of the leader of the bad guys. I thought it was cool they were breaking the mold and that the author had tricked me. Too bad it turned out they did the little "ooh look, a revelation!" and did the predictable thing after all, and on top of that they ended the book happily and then you turn the page and it starts a new chapter with "I wish that had been what had happened," leading you into a horrific reversal of what you'd just read and ending with a very important character dying. Oh wonderful. That's just bad form, man. Bad form.
5/1/05 Julie Anne Peters
Wow cool, I want to read more of this author! This was a book told from the point of view of a girl with a transsexual brother, and how it was growing up knowing she was the only person her brother could depend on to accept him for who and what he is. I think reading it would really help anyone who has gender issues understand that they're not alone or crazy. This author writes other things about difficult teen situations, so I think I'm gonna have to check her out! The writing style is very good and the characters are realistic and well-written.
4/30/05 Sheri S. Tepper
Another Sleeping Beauty rewrite, though of course this one also gave me Snow White, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and probably lots of others, I don't know if I missed some. Anyway it had a lot of interesting takes on fairies, time travel, the power of imagination, and the fate of humanity. It seemed too weirdly convoluted and convenient sometimes, but I enjoyed reading it.
4/25/05 Anne Bishop
The Pillars of the World
I enjoyed this despite its being traditional fantasy (which I usually don't like much). I liked some of the ideas behind the constructions of the imaginary world and I generally liked the characters. I thought it was well-written even though its subject matter isn't usually up my alley.
4/?/05 Sue Monk Kidd
The Mermaid Chair
I read this because I loved The Secret Life of Bees by the same author. This time it was about a woman with a failing marriage and an eccentric mother. The thing that touched me the most about it was that when she left her husband behind to go try to help out with her mother's troubling behavior (most of which appears to be the result of weird religious dogma coming through her mental illness), the main character really experienced so much vitality and newness and reinvention of herself that she really learned what it means to live. So many of the myths about adultery and religion are addressed and pondered (without necessarily justifying bad behavior), and the protagonist's conflicts and renewed joy are wholly believable. I was also touched by the ending, though it did disappoint me that the way it ended made me not want to share it with my mom since it is so close to something she went through but with an opposite ending.
4/6/05 Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl 4: The Opal Deception
Opal's back! Boy howdy. Again we get to see all the characters we love (well, except Juliet, I think she's at bodyguard school or something): Butler, Artemis, Holly, Foaly, Mulch, and (gulp) Root . . . and all I can say is, he just gets better and better at making you care about characters. One line for you: "How can you fail to take over the world with a booty box full of truffles?"
3/28/05 Jane Yolen
Briar Rose
All right! Another Sleeping Beauty take . . . sort of. It wasn't a fairy tale; it was about a girl investigating her beloved grandmother's past. Very poignant and focused on the Holocaust survivors even as it mixed in elements of the famous story.
3/23/05 Emily Drake
The Magickers
A friend recommended this because I told her I like modern fantasy. Unfortunately, I also like books that don't suck, and this one did so mightily. Every supposedly innocent occurrence was written specifically so certain scenes could be stitched into the action; there was no solid ending; characters were just butt-ass one-dimensional; and a whole bunch of continuity glitches had a big fat party in the text. I only finished it because I wanted to make sure it was the same through and through before I gave it a deserving review on
3/20/05 Cameron Dokey
Beauty Sleep
Interesting take on the Sleeping Beauty story (which as you may know I'm very interested in, having rewritten that story myself). I liked the way she portrayed magic, but I didn't like how it was occasionally predictable, yet handled its predictable parts like they were revelations. Ah well, YA fiction will sometimes be that way.
3/14/05 Eoin Colfer
The Artemis Fowl Files
Finally remembered I had this thing and read the last story in it today, completing it. I love Colfer. The story about Holly Short's experience in trying out for Recon is hilarious and awesome, and the extra information is fun. Did I mention I love this guy?
3/14/05 Laurel Winter
Growing Wings
Happened to see this on the sale table at work and read it while standing at the desk, 'cause so kill me I like books about flying people. Surprise! It was kind of a weird book, strangely written and in some ways the continuity bothered me, but it was an interesting (though sort of goofy in the end) concept. Maybe that's why it's $1.97 on the sale table.
3/12/05 Tori Amos and Ann Powers
Piece By Piece
Tori Amos's biography, written with the help of Ann Powers, a rock journalist. I really enjoyed hearing about her journey and most of all her experience being an artist, how she thinks about her music and herself. Recommended!
2/28/05 Keith Miller
The Book of Flying
Written in a sort of whimsical (but kind of dark) fantastical way, this book is about love, determination, and self. Pico, the librarian, is a gentle and lovable soul who goes through unbelievable difficulties and changes to make himself acceptable to the one he loves. More than anything, it was the sort of episodic quest feeling with an emphasis on loving stories that made this story so easy to love.
2/14/05 Nancy Kress
Beggars in Spain
I have the complaint that this author's characters seem to *be* their situations--I never really felt like I *knew* any of them--but her storytelling is smooth and her plot and CONCEPTS were pretty wowing. This involved people genetically modified to not require sleep. Partially inspired by this book to wish I didn't have to sleep either, I did a sleep experiment using polyphasic sleep and have had much success with it. So, thanks to Nancy Kress's idea and the Uberman Schedule posted on , I have been very positively affected. Yahoo!
2/14/05 Ann Brashares
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood
This is just like its two prequels; each girl finds painful and joyous personal experiences easier with the sharing of their girlfriends and their Pants. I enjoyed it.
1/29/05 Swami Chetanananda
The Breath of God
A book written by a guy who knows how to just be, and seems like he'd be a really good teacher. He speaks candidly about finding peace and losing tension and going with the flow. Soothing and uplifting book.
1/8/05 J.D. Salinger
Catcher in the Rye
I read this once as a kid and totally didn't remember it later (except that it had bad language and involved the main character sneaking into a sibling's room). I read it again and I am a Holden fan. Good God. Now I know why this book rules. So . . . where DO the ducks go anyway? And does he ever get a hold of old Jane Gallagher? I too catch bodies comin' through the rye.

Go here for 2004's list! Go here for 2006's list!
Go here for the jump-off point of all the years I've been recording my reading list, separated by year!

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