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I know I’ve been lax and I just sort of randomly taking a blogging hiatus, but that’s all right. It happens. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last dozen years, it’s that sometimes you just gotta go with real life!

Among other things, I’ve picked up a public affairs calling at church which I’m super excited about. This works well with my journalism background and love of all things newsy! That’s kept me busy for the first half of May. A very happy first half of May.

DId I mention that it is May? I love the spring. Flowers blooming, sun shining, and gorgeous weather. It just fills me with such joy!

I want to apologize for skipping my end of quarter book post a month and a half ago. What was my problem? I don’t know. I kept meaning to… and I kept forgetting! Ooops! So here goes…

Lady Ozma’s 2011 book montage

Your Coffin or Mine?Aunt Dimity Beats the DevilJust One BiteSucker for LoveBoys that BiteStake That!Girls That GrowlBad BloodDeath's DaughterWicked GameBad to the BoneDeeply, Desperately
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyUtterly CharmingThoroughly KissedNight SchoolCat's ClawHeat StrokeChill FactorThe TurningAbsolutely, PositivelyWakeFadeDon't Make Me Choose Between You and My ShoesCompletely Smitten
Soul IdentityRiver MarkedVampire Knight, Volume 1Vampire Knight, Volume 2Days Gone ByeMiles Behind UsSafety Behind BarsThe Heart's DesireThe Best DefenseThis Sorrowful LifeThe Calm BeforeMade to Suffer
The Walking Dead Vol. 9: Here We RemainThe Walking Dead Vol. 10: What We BecomeThe Walking Dead Vol. 11: Fear the HuntersThe Walking Dead Vol. 12: Life Among ThemThe Walking Dead Vol. 13: Too Far GoneThe Walking Dead Vol. 14Blue BloodsAngel

I loved how this looked for my end of year recap so here’s the covers of my 2011 reading thus far:

That’s 45 books read this year and I’ve been a super busy girl! I’ve managed to whittle down the TBR pile a little, though not much. I tore through some graphic novels. I’ve read several books people recommended to me. I even joined a twitter YA group.

Here’s a summary with thoughts:

Dead End Dating: I love this series. I think the “born vampire” thing is cool, plus I gotta admit I love the theme of a vampire matchmaker. The last few books in the series got buried in the stacks, but I sat down with them at the start of the year and tore right through them. They are a combo of paranormal-cozy-chicklit. You really can’t go wrong. I hope there’s more in the series to come!

Blood Coven books 1-5: A YA vamp series that was enjoyable. Consistency over the four books left a little to be desired and often this felt like a huge mashup of fan fics rolled into one universe. That said, I like that the world poked fun at the fan fic portion of things. The letter to Joss Whedon was the winning touch. I found the idea of a vamp eternal bonding at time of vamping interesting. Besides, mistaken identity between twins is just fun. Not the best I’ve read, but not the worst. Bonus: No one sparkled.  Even after finding out the girls were faerie. (Faerie vamp vamp-slayer? Yeah. That’s just made of the win.)

WVMP Radio: I’ve read two of these now. They are OK. The whole getting stuck in the time that the vampires lived through seemed a little Buffy to me. In a good way. It’s like the author heard that one random line from Buffy and ran with it. I’m not sure I get the whole “fading” aspect, however. I LOVE that the vampires use their getting stuck in their “living years” to rock it as DJs. Great idea! I also enjoy the mystery aspect in both books.

Calliope Reaper-Jones: Two books by Tara from Buffy. Revolving around the daughter of Death. As in the Grim Reaper. Need I really say more? Really? Awesome. I love that she goes to Hades. I love more that she adopts one of Cerebus’s pups. I REALLY love the tangent taken with the Indian gods ruling Bollywood. Anything incorporating Bollywood is awesome. Admit it!

Weather Warden 1-2: I have a huge stack of these. HUGE. So my goal is to read a couple here and a couple there. These are nothing short of brilliant. I love the world created with weather ‘wardens” that help control/soothe the weather. I could use some powers like that when we’re having those horrid “dump on you” winters. I highly recommend this series.

Super Popular Series:

Angel – Maximum Ride… wow. I love those bird kids. My entire family tears through each book in this series. This year, Caramon gave me the latest book as a birthday/mom’s day gift. Nice, right? A gift he could profit from? Smart kid. I read it within 24 hours of receiving the book. Yeah. Get it. Read it. Love the bird kids.

River Marked – Wow, Mercy and Adam are off on a honeymoon and well… the honeymoon is now over. Like we really thought that it would last long? This latest book is GREAT. The part I loved the most was Mercy learning a little bit more about who/what she IS. Yes, that’s a big “is”. We learn a little more about her father and well… no spoilers… WOW!

The Walking Dead graphic novels 1-14. Each graphic novel contains 6 comic books. What is our love of zombies? I don’t know. These are gritty post-apocalyptic creepy fun. I think what I like is that it’s not really about zombies, it’s about society. It’s about people. You look at how quickly things break down, you see people in very stressful trying situations, you see a lot of bad reactions. It takes a lot to survive the end of the world.  I wouldn’t recommend this to many people, but if you like zombies and/or gritty… this might be the graphic novel for you.  If you are of weak constitution – leave it on the shelf. You will not like it. I don’t want to hear people complaining. I warned you!  PS This is where the A&E series came from. The A&E series is even grittier and gorier. It’s zombies.

There were a few other books, but I felt these deserved the most notice.

–Lady O