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Books Read, 2004

Another list to sum up the past year. Inspired by Jamie and Jason's lists, here's my list of books read in the past year. It was a good year of reading, though I'm still nowhere near finishing up with my To Read Pile:

1. Harry Potter 3, J.K. Rowling (a good, fun yarn)
2. Blood Engines, Tim Pratt (sorcererpunk adventure, read in manuscript format)
3. A Whisper To a Scream, Charles de Lint (good, gritty Newford tale, read on my Palm Pilot)
4. Tapping the Dream Tree, Charles de Lint (read most of the stories, some of 'em got a bit same-y)
5. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (still one of my favorite books, if not the favorite)
6. Harry Potter 4, J.K. Rowling (this one was loooong)
7. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, W.P. Kinsella (nice mix of history, baseball, and magic realism, a good primer for my own baseball novel)
8. Song of Susannah, Stephen King (a pretty good read, but I zoomed through it so fast I couldn't remember much of it)
9. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (pretty silly with paper-thin characters, but nice research and some cool attempts at "secret history")
10. The Jane Austen Book Club, Karen Joy Fowler (a good read, even if I haven't read any Austie!)
11. Skin and Bone, Leslie Walker (nifty alternate world dark fantasy, read in manuscript format)
12. The Aremac, Jerry Weintraub (wacky SF, read in manuscript format for the novel workshop)
13. Dreamside, Graham Joyce (fine, understated writing and wonderful characters)
14. Dark Sister, Graham Joyce (read in its entirety on the flights from Raleigh to Portland, Oregon -- a good read if a bit slight)
15. Storm Front, Jim Butcher (nice mix of mystery and wizardry, also a bit slight, but a cool concept for a series)
16. The Dark Tower, Stephen King (the end of Roland's quest is a bit of a copout)
17. Hamadryad, Jim C. Hines (cool characters and "rural fantasy" instead of urban fantasy, read in manuscript format)
18. Down the River Havoc, Greg van Eekhout (young adult kung fu SF with a huge squid -- it's a can't-miss)
19. Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gold (wonderful historical fiction about illusionists in the early years of the last century)
20. The All Nations Team, Michael Jasper (uneven, rough-around-the-edges historical fiction about a mixed-race baseball team and the bitter, angry former slave who is their coach, has some potential, read in manuscript format)

I'm currently reading the massive Armchair Book of Baseball, a collection of stories and articles about baseball over the years, and it's great reading. It may even get me motivated to get back to work on revising my own baseball novel. (Thanks for the xmas gift, Mom!)

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