Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Reading Roundup

I haven't exactly been reading (or posting!) up a storm lately but here are a few recommendations which will give an idea of what I have been reading lately and whether or not I enjoyed it.

currently reading
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (still!)

The Virgin and the Whale by Carl Nixon
--slow starter but some interesting developments as it goes
Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
--very cool premise, world-building done well
(Dreamquake is the follow-on to above, I'm not sad I read it but I probably wouldn't have been sad to have missed it.)
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
--always enjoyable to read old favorites, the series is good but YMMV A LOT with the most recent
Hombre by Elmore Leonard
Clarkesworld: Year 5 (short stories)
I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
--a bit up and down for me but, in the end, i enjoyed it
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
--cool premise, good world-building
Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale (audiobook)
--much like LK, any NB is better than no NB but I'd feel less than truthful if I didn't state that I thought this was the least satisfying performance of LK's backlist so far
She-Wolves by Helen Castor
--the last of the non-fic that I read surrounding powerful women in England's history

not recommended
The Widow's Daughter by Nicholas Edlin
The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The White Princess by Philippa Gregory 

Bluestocking in Patagonia by Anne Whitehead
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
In Search of an Impotent Man by Gaby Hauptmann
The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall
--however this one did reference a book that sounds really good so I'm glad for that even if I didn't like this one enough to finish it

What have you been reading lately?


  1. I really liked Bitten when it first came out, but that was before PNR and UF were as mainstream as they are now (I think). But I found when trying to reread it and Stolen that they had not aged well. Or maybe my tastes have changed. Elena felt kind of like a precious unicorn -- too flawed to call her a Mary Sue exactly, but The Special One. I'd long since stopped reading Armstrong's urban fantasy, because I didn't care for the YA series and was not that interested in the wider world of her Other World series. I did read the wrap up of her Nadia Stafford trilogy recently. Meh. (Full disclosure: I'd already stopped reading her PNR/UF work when I saw her doing book tours, etc., with Cassandra Clare, which completely soured me.)

    I've been re-reading the Thief series, but am not sure if I'm going to re-read the last book. It was okay, but I think the POV of the series fares better when it is Gen-oriented rather than Sophos.

  2. hey jmc, sorry to be so slow to respond here. have been having computer issues...

    I wondered if I had tried Bitten when the style was first coming about if I would have enjoyed it more but it wasn't just the genre of it that turned me off. I just couldn't get into the writing style. I was not inspired to try any of her others and from your description it sounds like I probably wouldn't get into them.

    I have gone back to books I enjoyed years in the past and then wondered what I saw in them. Sometimes it's clear my tastes have changed but sometimes I think it was just a moment or mood that caught me. No accounting for taste, right? :)

    I have completely stopped recommending the final book. On the mwt scale it's badly written and on any other scale I'd call it meh. It's not the POV for me (though I find Sophos far less interesting than almost any other character (and, further, he makes Eddis the least interesting version of herself)) but the bad writing. I think all the events of that book could have happened off the page. For a normally succinct writer there are entire pages I would have put a red pen through. It makes me so sad because the first three make me fall in love with books and reading all over again (who even knew that feeling would be possible with a consummate reader like me?) but the last book makes me actively think of things to do that aren't reading. So sad.