01 November 2009

What I am reading: October 2009

  1. My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme: Although I haven't seen the movie yet, I understand that it is a mix of Julie and Julia and this book. I read the former in ARC from the BEA and quite enjoyed it, but really, I love Julia Child. What a woman she was, larger than life in all ways. She came to Europe in her mid-30's and she really travelled and lived with a gusto as large as her frame. I had also ordered her "Mastering..." books before I left the US, but they were back-ordered, I'll pick them up next time over. This book only whetted my appetite to read ore of ehr works as well as to read a real biography, rather than a short memoir: what a long and loving and exciting life she lead.
  2. Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs: the third in Briggs' Alpha and Omega series- a good read.
  3. The Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede: I really liked this. Basically post-Revolutionary expansionism, with Magic being wild and dangerous past the Mississippi
  4. On the Edge by Ilona Andrews: This is a new series by the author, who is also three books into her Magic..., series, which I am also enjoying. It seems to bear out my belief that tropes run in groups: it's set. as the above book, on the edge between magic and not, although this book is in modern times. There is an "edge", the ribbon of land that runs between the never touching realms of magic and "the broken", where magic does not work. Rose is an Edger and she can move back and forth between the two, unlike most residents of the "real" realms. But she is also strongly talented with magic and that presents a lure to some. I really liked everything about her and her story: a strong, independent woman. The only thing I disliked was the effiminate woosiness of the depiction of the male lead on the cover, so please ignore that.
  5. You Suck by Christopher Moore: I actually read the "prequel" to this, Bloodsucking Fiends, some time ago and although I liked it, I didn't enough to keep an eye out for more (by Moore). I picked this up in Barcelona and I do like it enough that my initial tepid response to Moore will have to be put aside and I'll keep an eye out for another. It's the continuation of the "love story" between C.Thomas Flood and the girlfriend who turns him. His friends are an issue, the ancient vampire who originally turned Jodie is an issue, and there is a giant shaved cat in this book as well.
  6. Momo by Michael Ende: I was looking for The Neverending Story originally, in translation from the German, but this was what I found in Barcelona.Really quite timeless story of a girl and a race of grey men who attempt to stael time. Very good read.
  7. Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook: Four independent novellas. I purchased this for the Andrews story and was very happy with it. It's an important piece of backstory to a secondary set of characters in her Magic... series. The Harris and Singh were ehh, the former a particular disappointment and the Brrok was quite interesting, though I'd never heard of her. If you read Andrews, worth buying the book for her story. Otherwise, buy an Andrews book and after you have read those and liked them, consider buying this book.
  8. A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi: Obviously purchased as I was leaving Venice. I really enjoy this genre: the expat travel book, as it were. When it includes recipes, even better. I really enjoyed reading about Venice through de Blasi's eyes and was particularly amused when she mentioned of the track areas where we had wandered.  
  9. A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi: I picked this up in Rome, as the Harris book on Pompeii was not finable in English translation. De Blasi and her husband move north, to Tuscany, as he undergoes basically a mid-life transition. As I understand, through looking to see if her herein mentioned Tuscan travel tour actually exists, there is a great deal of exaggeration in her "memoir". I don't care, though, because I enjoyed reading it.
  10. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett: I pre-ordered this from the UK, of course. Wonderful book. I read it non-stop. The general theme being that one can change oneself, that one is not doomed to be what one was made to be, and that it is possible that society can understand and change as well. As a Jew in Europe, and especially in Germany, the theme resonates strongly. The world is not quite as easy as this, I think, but still: Pratchett's writing, the Unseen University, Vetinari.... Top form. And football as well, for those who care as opposed to myself, who looks at it only as a tool of the writing.
  11. Wild Robert by Diana Wynn Jones: What happened here? A hard cover book that appears only to be the first few chapters of an actual novel? What a tremendous disappointment.


Anonymous said...

I loved the Julia Child book and recently saw the movie. Meryl Streep does a fabulous job of embodying the wondrous Julia. The second storyline (the Julie one) was less entrancing, but all-in-all it was a great film.

christina said...

I'm reading My Life in France right now and LOVING it. I grew up with Julia Child and think she is (or was) wonderful. Before diving into this one I read Julie and Julia and Julie's latest book Cleaving and I'm glad I did it in that order because I'm finding My Life in France to be so positive and uplifiting. I'm sure the movie can't do it justice.

Joyce said...

I saw Julie & Julia and immediately went out and bought My Life in France. The book is better than the movie, but the movie is better than a lot of others that try to grab your entertainment dollars or euros. I think you'll enjoy both greatly. The 13th Child is another book I've read, too, and made me hope for further adventures. The twist on the history of magic is great.