30 November 2009

What I am Reading: November 2009

  1. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon: If you haven't been reading this series for the last, what, 18 years?, there's probably little to say. Most of my other books are boxed up and sitting in a storage unit in New York, so I can't go back to revisit them, as I often do when a new book in a long running series comes out. I enjoyed it and at 814+ pages in the British edition, that says something. This book was especially interesting to me as it was set in my home area and I enjoyed the immediacy of reading about events that I know well in an historical perspective. For those who might be intrigued, check out the wiki article and go from there. The concept is time travel through standing stones and other "holy areas", a well-used fantastic concept, but the novels are gritty, interesting, romantic, and well-researched. 
  2. Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells: The first in a running trilogy that uses the concepts that vampires are one of the branches from Adam through Lilith and that all red hair is a sign of blood attachment to that root. The beginning of a war between the Vampires and the Mages, with some mention of the Faery. Interbreeding, divided loyalties, etc. A decent read a first sale for the author, I think she will get better and look forward to reading the next.
  3. Venetian Dreaming by Paula Weideger: The author, a writer, falls in love with Venice. This is the story of her growing attachment to the city and most especially her love of the apartment she rents (in a palazzo) and her interactions with the noble owners and other members of "high- read rich" society in the arts and culture areas.  Very interesting in light of the current news especiall as regards her view of the "moos". Yesterday was my first German class of the semester and I spent far too much of the chatting with the Italian next to me about my love for his area of Italy (he's from outside of Venice) and we spent 10 minutes talking about the actual deployment of "the moos" and how the decision to build it was Mafia controlled.
  4. The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett: Not certain if I've reviewed this before, but since I reread it, I'll mention it again. I love Terry Pratchett. I am never disappointed in one of his works and it is a modern tragedy that he is now a victim of early onset Alzheimers, becuase his command of language and humour are his life. I met him many years ago at an SF con in San Antonio, before I really understood how important his work was, and he was just as modest and funny and charming in person as one might expect from his works. This is a Discworld novel and I was grateful for every one of its 459 pages. Everyone had an opportunity for character development, with special emphasis on Vimes and Lady Sybil, Carrot and Angua, Nobby and Gaspode, and a deepening understanding of Uberwald and it's three-legged balancing act between dwarves, werewolves and vampires as Vimes is sent by the Patrician to Uberwald to act as Ank-Morpork's ambassador to the crowning of the Low King.
  5. Dragon Actually
  6. About a Dragon and
  7. What a Dragon Should Know by GA Aiken: Terribly guilty pleasures. These are three slightly more graphic romance novels than I am used to— there's clearly been a change since the Mills&Boone years— but my gosh, these were fun. In each book there were multiple laugh out loud moments. The novels tell the stories of three brothers and how they each meet their mate, while interacting with a large and amusing family in a well-drawn out medieval period fantasy world.  The women are interesting, amusing, intelligent and with skills of their own. The gods occasionally stick their noses in. And the brothers (I can't say protagonists, because the women are really the stars) are dragons. Great, great fun for those interested in this genre of amusing romance. I hope that there are more forthcoming.
  8. Me and My Shadow by Katie MacAlister: Another Silver Dragon novel, but closely tied in with Aisling, as she and Efrijim are secondary characters throughout the book.May Northcott, a doppelganger, develops into her own person in the paranormal romance. I definitely am seeing a turn to the romantic from the fantastic.
  9. Chalice by Robin McKinley: I love McKinley's writing. Another re-telling of Buaty and the Best and yet different. I could almost hear the buzzing of the bees and feel the warmth of the sushile, golden as honey.


Joyce said...

It's the time of year that I reread old favorites. Currently that means Lois McMaster Bujold (early Vorkosigan, but I should go over to the fantasies next) and Jane Haddam (her holiday mysteries). Somehow, that kind of reading matches cookie baking and looking forward to seeing family.

Hope you're all enjoying Chanukah.

Katinka said...

Hey, I'm not exactly sure how I got here but I thought I'd say hi and leave a comment anyway. I'm German and my boyfriend is American. We are trying to figure out where we wanna live. Any ideas? how do you like it in Germany as an American? :) Happy Tuesday :)

Lynda said...

Are you still reading? Haven't written anything since last year... ??? Did you fall off the wagon? I will probably make it to Berlin sometime this year.. a good friend of mine has just been made GM at a swanky hotel and I want to visit her.

G in Berlin said...

Joyce and Lynda- Still reading, but I have been sucked into my Kindle. I need to come up for air! And life has just been crazy busy, for many reasons including being stuck in the UK and apartment hunting. I'll try to catch up soon.
As I said Lynda- tell me when you are coming so I can make plans! But Joyce, if you want to come, I'd be happy to meet you in Italy- better weather and better food!