31 May 2009

What I am reading: May 2009

  1. An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris: This is from another of Harris' series (not Sookie Stokehouse/TrueBlood) and it is an interesting one. The protagonist was struck by lightning and along with various chronic physical disabilities, she ained the ability to find dead people. Not to speak to or hear ghosts, but to feel the reverberations of their end of life. Ironically, she and her step-brother have not been able to find Harper's sister, who disappeared as a young girl from their broken and abusive home. This is the 3rd "Grave" book and I was surprised by a personal twist and enjoyed reading it: I like all of Harris' work.
  2. Under Cover of Darkness ed. by Julie E. Czerneda and Jana Paniccia: It's always a crapshoot when one buys a collection. In this case, there were several authors whose work I expected to enjoy and the premise was an interesting one: tales about unseen powers operating in secret. But it palled. The Friesner in particular was so self-referential as to be cloying. I quite like the Tanya Huff and the Larry Niven, found the Durgin and the Pollotta interesting, and the rest a slog.
  3. The Story Girl by Lucy Maude Montgomery: Not sure quite where I got this, not sure quite why. It looks like it was a freebie and therefore I am quite satisfied with it. A slight and picturesque novel by the author of Anne of Green Gables.
  4. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama: I should have read this before Audacity of Hope because Obama has improved so much as a writer that it is a bit shocking to go backward. I did enjoy learning more about the President's background and the ideas and experiences that made him into the person that he is today and that formed te individual whose ideas I so greatly agree with.
  5. Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong: A prequel to Bitten, this tells the story of the origin of Clayton and his childhood and the ascension of Jeremy as Alpha, as well as a short story about Jeremy's origins and antecedents. I enjoyed it.
  6. Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer:This is probably what Big Love was based on. Elissa Wall was married against her will from a polygamous FLDS family at 14 and this is the story of her escape and her life. It makes the queasy feeling I sometimes get when watching the HBO series quite clear.That series makes me feel guilty because although the family we watch seems as if it should be allowable, but it exists on the fringe of horrible child abuse and psychological and physical repression of women and children: it's a form of slavery. By watching the glossy "outside" family, who ask why their exotic form of marriage should not be legal, we are blinded to the reality of the sexual abuse of women and children. Elissa was very strong and she lost her family: I am ashamed that this is allowed to exist in the US. If we had a stronger safety net and children's and women's rights, I think it would not.
  7. The Chinese Alchemist by Lyn Hamilton: I like this series (my mother follows it), which has as a protagonist an antique dealer who through both her work and that of her SO, a RCP, comes into contact with unsavory elements and crime. She travels a lot on buying exhibitions and I find her stories interesting and intriguing as I read about different cultures, countries and antiques.
  8. Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl: I love Roald Dahl. I think he was a totally cool person and I am sad that I never wrote him a fan letter, which I could have, because, like Heinlein, I was certainly old enough to do by the time he passed. However, I know that others did and I am glad. Everything Dahl wrote was wonderful. While I was in London in January, one of the things that I did was pick up new editions of his Charlie books and this- although I had previously read Boy, the first section of his memoirs, I had never read Going Solo, the seond. Makes me want to take a summer vacation in Norway and also makes me realize how very many of the anecdotes from his novels and short stories drew from his life experiences.
  9. Find Me by Carol O'Connell: I have read O'Connell's Mallory series on and off for years, never terribly into it (too procedural for me, usually). I borrow them from my mom, who really does enjoy them. But this one was different.Although I once again didn't love the concept: serial child-killer, I enjoyed the actual and amazing character development and the exploration of Mallory's back story. If she develops in a more human way in the future, I might actually read the series.
  10. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer: reviewed here.
  11. Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett: Pratchett is one of my favorite writers. In the storage unit where the majority of my books live, I have more than one box of Pratchett hardcovers. I don't know how I missed this one, as it was originally published back in 1994. I picked it up in London when I got Nation (waiting TBR). This is Pratchett firing on all hysterical cylinders and using some of my favorite characters (Death, his grand daughter, Binky...) and I loved it.

1 comment:

honeypiehorse said...

I also love Lucy Maude Montgomery, Roald Dahl and Terry Pratchett. Some of the others sound good too although I haven't read them.