Amazing, thoughtful book by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I really reserved my opinion until I read the entire book but it made it to the end without a wrong note. 21 hours ago
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Another Sharon Shinn; lovely, wistful, fully satisfying. Square. Could perhaps have reached a little higher. 3 weeks ago
A wistful art-across-time book, more magical realism than fantasy. 4 weeks ago
Another teen book, nice but bland. The only really interesting part was where one character wanted cosmetic surgery to please her boyfriend, and her friends talked her out of it in a plausible way “What will he want you to change next? What if you break up and the next boy wants it back the way it was?” etc. 1 month ago
Pegasus is a really good ANne McCaffrey sci-fi, with interesting exploration of the role of people with extra skills and how they make a place for themselves. It’s the second in the series; I haven’t read the first. 37 Things is a teen book – very simple writing and nice exploration of themes. I read it in one day. 1 month ago
Totally silly crochet-themed mystery with a nice older-couple love plot running through it. It’s more telling than showing but the story is good and I kept picking it up again though I wasn’t sure at first I would finish it. 2 months ago
The second of Elizabeth Peters’s books starring Jaqueline Kirby, and it shows, a bit, the character is a little underdeveloped and the plot is more than usually hard to follow. Too many characters without sufficient differentiation, coupled with each character dressing up as a not-corresponding historical figure from the life of RIchard III. Would have benefitted from a neat list in the front of Dramatis Personae with a brief description, and maybe a little chart drawing lines from the historic figures to the story characters.
It would also (unusually) have benefitted from being longer. At 230 pages it is very short compared to modern lengths (it’s from 1974) and the plot feels overly compressed, with no time for character development.
I appear to be reading the (sadly only 4) books in reverse order, though the quality has decreased so I’m not sure I’ll bother tracking down The Seventh Sinner. My time might be better spent getting caught up on the more recent Amelia Peabody clan books. There are a grand total of 19 and there are at least 3 or 4 I have not read at all. She started in 1976 and is still writing them. 2 months ago
Next up in the “Mystic and Rider” series. It continues interesting though not truly outstanding. 2 months ago
Another Sharon Shinn – start of a different series. Still excellently written, intriguing, and unconventional, though this one is more the classic epic-fantasy-with-a-group-riding-around-having-adventures.
Hooray, more than halfway done! 3 months ago
ANother Elizabeth Peters staffing Jaqueline Kirby. Ridiculous, over the top, and quite entertaining as before. 3 months ago
My first (successful) foray into a non-Amelia-Peabody Elizabeth Peters mystery. And quite successful, too. Kind of ridiculous, but I would have been disappointed with a simple, understated narrative. Love the main character; Jacqueline Kirby, especially for her bottomless handbag, and some thoughtful quotes to remember later, too. 4 months ago
“As the winter weather whirls about you, may you find the right kind of library to spend endless hours catching up on your reading list…” 4 months ago
The second book about the Underworld Detection Agency (I have not read the first). Funny and cute, lots of bits I wanted to share/read out loud, including a vampire movement to bring back the old style of Nosferatu, Bela Lugosi and Count Chocula and get away from Twilight “Some young vampire is going to see that, go out in the sunlight, and get burned to a crisp!” so they are always out protesting in front of movie theaters wearing velvet smoking jackets and the like. 5 months ago
Still loving the Gini Koch books. Had to remind myself that I found them by picking up random books in the branch library and reading book five first.
Book 6 doesn’t come out til December, though she plans to keep writing the series for at least 4 more books. But for now I have to find something else to read. 7 months ago
I read #5, then #4, then #1, then #2. They are all funny, cute, original, action-filled, and some have pretty nice sex scenes in them.
I don’t really recommend reading them wildly out of order as I did, as she does not go back and explain things every time and I was pretty confused about some of the plot. 7 months ago
Very interesting Sharon Shinn book; a little less polished than the Samaria stuff. Will definitely require a second read before I am quite sure I’ve thought it through. Blue-skinned matriarchy vs. gold-skinned patriarchy. I’m fascinated by how she managed to make a matriarchy where the women are still women and yet have the ingrained sexist assumptions that come from a gender-dominated society. 8 months ago
All of the Above: nice story about a poor school where a teacher tries something different to motivate kids (building a very large tetrahedron) and is successful. Based on a true story
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy:Also based on true events, and it doesn’t end happily. I’m not sorry I read it though. Turn of the century small-town Maine, lots of racial conflict and many characters die. Lots of joy in it, too, though.
The Shape-Changer’s Wife: Sharon Shinn’s first novel; won awards. It’s pretty good, it’s not my favorite style of fantasy. It lacks her polished voice; it could easily have been an early novel of half a dozen fantasy authors (Robin McKinley, Pat Wrede in a dark mood, Patricia McKillip). 8 months ago
Angel-Seeker is yet another Sharon Shinn, beautiful and original. I have learned to expect that there will be a pretty intense crisis at the climax of the book but that most of the characters will emerge from them. Sadly we do lose one in this book.
One More River is a children’s book about a family that emigrates to Israel from Canada. It is thoughtful and interesting. I know very little about Israel though this book agrees with the few things I have heard from Israelis about life there. 9 months ago
Third by Sharon Shin, again I can sort of see where the characters will end up but not at all predict how they will get there from here. Some obvious echoes of earlier characters but tons of new material, she is definitely not rehashing the same story.
I particularly like the long gaps between books. Rather than deciding to write a 12-book epic that depicts every plodding step she focuses in on the interesting times and has sufficient world-building skills to create a plausible sense of time and events gone by without detailing them.
(Though no one can match Patricia McKillip for world-building with very little, like a traditional Asian painting that shows the whole ocean and sky with just a faint hint of ink here and there). 9 months ago
I read fewer new books than I realized when I started this goal. Oh well, so it’ll take longer than I thought it would. 9 months ago
Jill Patton Walsh has been finishing Dorothy Sayers books and writing new ones. This one’s pretty good; neither as terrible as you might fear nor as good as you might hope. A little more heavy-handed with the references than Sayers is (or else I just got more of them), and a lot less innocent (Sayers mostly wrote in before WWII), but things are handled lightly and in the right tone. 9 months ago
It’s all right. Interesting narrative style and structure, contains some sexual assault, and a lot less talking about Jane Austen than I expected. 10 months ago
title and description. Excellent, very satisfying, a lovely collection of geeky tales, some very empowering from some well-known authors. 10 months ago
(Got a little out of order here, but who cares.) Another Diane Duane: good, though not her absolute best. I still love High Wizardry best. Cloaked is a charming modern fairy tale set in Florida (Miami and Mars both keep cropping up lately…) 12 months ago
Ivy is quite interesting; teen novel set in early 19th century London. THe inside jacket made it sound like Girl with a Pearl Earring, but it’s so not. Very modern in tone. The other is a cute little kid’s book, just barely a chapter book. MY sister is a book buyer and says that particular category is slim pickings, so I’m trying to read some of those on her behalf. 12 months ago
Heinlein. Quite good, but maybe a little because I expected it to crash and burn at the end and it more sort of trailed off. 12 months ago
A pretty literal private-high-school rendering of Pride and Prejudice; not really amazing or super well-written, but charming and nicely presented. 13 months ago