30 September 2011

What I am reading: September 2011

This will be a lighter month, as I am falling desperately behind in reading my Economist, my German classes have started, I had a concert, two Elternabends, friends visit (yeah!) and Rosh Hashona.--- Then a fast visit to Munich for Oktoberfest made longer by a broken and replaced train change.
  1. Murder Your Darlings (January 2011) by J.J. Murphy: The first in the new series "The Algonquin Round Table Mysteries". I have been looking on my DVD shelves for another series to start, now that I have finished Bones and I realized that, after purchasing the first season of Mad Men,and reading reviews of the second and third seasons, that I don't want to watch it: I don't think I want to be steeped in that era. Perhaps it's too close? But I do find the Prohibition period in NY exciting. Not so much from the explosion of crime point of view, but from the flowering of thought that took place in NY (and of course, in Berlin as well). So I found this book very interesting. It whetted my appetite to learn and see more of the era (and of course I did a bit of on-line research on the Vicious Circle of the Algonquin Round table, which I knew the standard liberal arts educated information about, and I had visited the Algonquin decades ago). A Manhattan murder (which feels as homey as my backyard) and some pithy quotes, both actual and in the style, made me very happy. I will look up the next and I will re-read some public domain Benchley, Wollcott and Parker that I have floating about.
  2. Killer Cuts (2009) by Elaine Viets: This is the ninth in Viets' "A Dead-End Job Mystery". I have read this series, on and off, for years and I think that it has been getting better with this being the best so far. I had an issue with the original premise, that the protagonist (Helen), a successful accountant would give her job up and flee to a series of under the table jobs in an effort to avoid paying alimony to her philandering ex-husband. I just thought the entire concept was silly. Years later though, I have grown to enjoy the character and her cast of friends and acquaintances as she moves through multiple workplaces. This book had a shock ending that made it transitional and I will look forward to grabbing the next two when I am in the US. (DTM)
  3. Blood Challenge (Jan 2011) by Eileen Wilks: I thought I had waited a long time to order this (because I am annoyed that buying the physical book is still cheaper than the Kindle version) but I see that it was only 9 months before I broke and ordered it in from the UK and that, just when I was already for more at the end of the book, that the next one won't be out until November and that once again the e-version will be as expensive as the physical one! I'll try to pack this (the 7th of her "Lupi Novels") away and see if I can once again punish the author (and her publishing house) by not buying a book that I want to read immediately (I still haven't bought the latest Charlaine Harris for exactly this reason). So I clearly like the world that Wilks has created and I like the characters that she has created within it: Lily Yu, tough FBI agent and granddaughter to dragons, Rule Turner, Rho of a Pack, and all the characters and friends and family that surround them as a 3,000+ year old war between deity equivalents (not worshiped so much as served)starts to heat up. (DT)
  4. The City and the City (2009) by China Miéville : I liked this very much, even though it was more surrealistic, perhaps, than sf /fantasy. A strange mix of political fantasy (as 1984) and parallel sideways history (as Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union). Was it fantasy? Was it SF? Was it political dystopic allegory? Whichever it was, it was a good read. (DT)
  5. The Dragon who Loved Me (2011) by GA Aiken: Aiken (who is Shelley Laurenston) writes very funny shifter romances. This pseudonym is the one she used for the world of dragons(with extremely long hair) and the active gods who wander about fighting through different races and peoples. But (unlike Moon's books), these are still light-hearted (and always comedic) romances. (Mobi)
  6. Hidden Steel (2008) by Dorrana Durgin: I really enjoy Durgin's Jess books, and have a few others as well but this is a straight-out romance that I downloaded from I don't know where (perhaps her web site?). Amnesiac heroine awakens in handcuffs, being questioned as to her activities. A nicely written, well-paced genre-sized spy story with a strong female lead. I enjoyed it. (Mobi)
  7. Spider Bones (2010)by Kathy Reichs: I picked this up at the booth while I was waiting to hear Reichs read at the Internationales Literaturefestival Berlin. The 13th Temperance Brennan book (I read the 8th last year), it felt a bit more like an interim book, perhaps because I was familiar with the background already. A fine read.
  8. Wizard's First Rule
  9. Stone of Tears (1995)
  10. Blood of the Fold (1996) by Terry Goodkind: This series has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year but the NPR list made me feel that I should finally get to them. I have finished the first three and I have enjoyed them and am looking forward to the next trilogy.

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