30 November 2010

What I am reading: November 2010

  1. Masques by Patricia Briggs: Wolf and Aralorn
  2. Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs: more Aralorn and Wolf: It's fun when an author has the chance to revisit an early book and give it the polish that she has acquired as she becomes a best-selling author. I enjoyed this book when I first read it yonks ago and was glad of the opportunity to read the sequel. Well written fantasy.
  3. The Wizard of Karres by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer
  4. The Sorceress of Karres by Eric Flint and Dave Freer-- Sequels to the original by James Schmitz and not as well written. I hope that I am not as disappointed in Scalzi's reboot of another period classic, Little Fuzzies.
  5. Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee: Really nicely written book outside of the sf genre that I generally read Lee in. Magic, guardians of the land, and a carousel: what more could we want. I hope she does another in this world.
  6. Enchanting the Lady
  7. Double Enchantment
  8. Enchanting the Beast by Kathryne Kennedy: The first was a free Kindle download and I enjoyed it enough to read its "sequels" within the same genre of Steam-punkish were magic and romance.
  9. Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare: A free Kindle book, werewolf Regency. A fun and very fluffy read.(M)
  10. Hunted by James Alan Gardner: I love Gardner. Why aren't there more books out by him in the last few years? I actually sought this out and bought it because I so much wanted to read it (a little embarrassing when I look at the number of books surrounding me in piles that I need to read!). (M)
  11. Death Loves a Messy Desk (2009) by Mary Jane Maffini: Perhaps it's because I am such a messy person (paper chaos everywhere), but I especially enjoyed the protagonist, Charlotte Adams (a professional organizer) saying that when one is happy in one's home and can find one's things that perhaps some clutter can just be homey. Or maybe my paraphrase is a bit off:). Third in a series (I don't have the first two), I enjoyed it although I felt the characters could have enjoyed more fleshing out. Genre mysteries seem to stay between 275 and 300 pages and in this case although I enjoyed the story I would have preferred more character exposition. I would be happy to read more of the series, though.(DTM)
  12. A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar: This is a coming of age book, the first book by an author who also fled Kuwait as a young girl. I found it t be extremely problematic in its treatment of violence against women and wife and child abuse. That is, not that those were parts of the story; although this book was not marketed as YA it fit the genre and those topics are common in YA books. What was problematic was how poorly the topics were treated: glossed over and not dealt with. An interesting first novel, but I don't know to whom I could recommend it: not to teenagers, because of the poor handling of important topics and as an adult there are other books within this genre and topic that handle the issues better. Perhaps, as a heavy reader interested in expat issues, I am the market for this book. (DT)
  13. Sonnet of the Sphinx (2006) By Diana Killian: The third in a series (but the first I have read), I enjoyed this mystery set in England's Lake District. The protagonist is an American scholar (Grace Hollister) of the Romantic Poets who is involved in a relationship with the owner of an antiques shop, who himself appears to be Raffles based. There's a third leg to the romantic triangle: the local police inspector. The title refers to a lost sonnet by Shelley. I enjoyed it and will look for the next.(DTM)
  14. Bon Bon Voyage (2006) by Nancy Fairbanks: I quite enjoyed this continuing adventure of Carolyn Blue, 40-something food writer and spouse to an authority on toxins and chemicals. I remember reading another of these some time back and not being as enthusiastic (although Carolyn mentions an adventure in Barcelona that I'd like to find now that I have been there). Perhaps I enjoyed this one more as I remember not liking the husband so well (I think he is infantalizing and disrespectful of her abilities) or perhaps it's just the setting of a cruise ship and her interaction with her friend Luz. She is also traveling with her mother-in-law Vera: I did read the prior mystery where Vera was accused of murder and exonerated through Carolyn's efforts. Once again, Vera is treated as a cardboard feminist and feminism is mocked through her poor and poorly thought out behaviors, but if one can ignore this aspect, the rest of the book is charming and fluffy good read. (DTM)
  15. The Accidental Florist by Jill Churchill (2007): Why do I think the title is so inappropriate? The lack of connection between that and any of the actual story line just makes it annoying rather than amusing. However, I enjoyed the book. The mystery was completely ancillary to the story, which was that of Jane Jeffry's engagement and planed wedding to her long time beau detective Van Alstyn. So much of this novel was tossed away: a familial death, a house expansion, a blackmail attempt— it's amazing I finished it. It was tremendously weak and there were so many wasted opportunities:(. (DTM)
  16. Murder 101 by Maggie Barbieri(2006): I enjoyed this book very much.The first of a series, the protagonist is an English professor at a small college in what appears to be Westchester County (Professor Allison Bergeron lives in Dobbs Ferry). She has just divorced her philandering husband (also a professor) when her car is stolen and when it is found the body of an undergraduate who has been involved with her ex is in the trunk. I like the setting and the characters. (DTM)

The (M) stands for Mobipocket (the generic form of the file that Kindle Reads) as well as AZW and PRC, the other forms readable by Kindle. Let's leave DT as Dead Tree books. (And perhaps I should add M for books borrowed from my mother:).)I think it's clear what percentage of my reading is becoming e-format. The vast majority are also free, either as public domain or as promotional offers through Amazon and the other online sources I frequent. B stands for Baen, the best of the on-line stores by so many orders of magnitude there is no comparison.

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