31 August 2009

What I am reading: August 2009

  1. You're so Vein by Christine Warren: Another in her series of Other books. This time Ava finally meets her match. Fluffy airplane read.
  2. Storms Can't Hurt the Sky by Gabriel Cohen: I was reading this at the same time as The Lizard Cage and I found that to be a lucky chance. This book is sub-titled A Buddhist Path through Divorce and it has some relatively simplistic but readable descriptions and explanations of Buddhist thought. I ordered it not because I am contemplating divorce, but because the favorable reviews I read said that it was a very helpful guide to overcoming or dealing in a healthy way with, problems in relationships and I thought that would be a useful skill to start practicing. I found the book useful although shallow and it has definitely given me food for thought and the desire to continue reading, in a deeper way, on Buddhism.
  3. The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin: I really liked the first two, but I am finding what I consider to be anachronisms (using the term Miss) and modern attitudes and sentiments without an understanding of why they would exist in the magical, medieval milieu, too distracting.
  4. The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff: Anew, fantasy, series. The protagonist is a witch from a family of witches and clan associated with rituals reminiscent of Wicca. Enjoyable and sets Alysha Gale up to star, with a supporting cast, in future books. Set in Calgary and I enjoyed the magic.
  5. The Lizard Cage by Karen Connolly: A read for my book club, I just told a friend (and another blogger)that this is the best book that I have read so far this year. The context is mid-90's Burma, the protagonist is a political prisoner and the subject matter is dire, but the lyricism of the words lifted me through the narrative and allowed me to read without needing to stop and go away. The chapters were also very short: it seemed that when I reached a limit where I might otherwise have put the book down for a while, I reached a chapter ending that allowed me to take a deep breath and start again. I was reading it at the same time as the next book, and I think the understanding of Buddhism that I gained was helpful to me in understanding certain contexts within this book. I thought it was a very authentic and moving book.
  6. A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (2002): This was more what I had been looking for when I read reviews of Hoffman that compared her to Zenna Henderson, although more modern and less classic in writing. Also interesting in the difference between a people lost here on this Earth from another and a "native race" of magic holdiners. Loved it. It's exactly the type of thing that I enjoy and better than the above noted Huff.
  7. A Red Heart of Memories by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (1999): I had already read Past the Size of Dreaming (2001) (reviewed last month) and this is the book that led into that, where we meet Matt and Edmund (and they meet each other) for the first time. I like it and am rereading the sequel right now to settle the details that I missed (such as the "magic gold" and why it was gone) and am glad that I brought these all back from the US with me. Although I read the sequel without realizing that I needed to read the first book, I now know how important it was.

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