31 October 2011

What I am reading: October 2011

  1. Silver Shark
  2. Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews: This is an interesting concept: e-book shorts/novellas. Set in the world of the Kinsmen, psionic clans in a world mostly populated by (non-Kinsmen) drones. I liked them a lot— a very (updated) 50s style. I have always been a sucker for espers and psionics. Strong characters, interesting world building, related stories.
  3. Cast in Ruins by Michelle Sagara: I really like this series by Sagara.
  4. Mandarin Plaid (1996)by S.J.Rozan: The third of what are now 11 books featuring Chinese-American PI Lydia Chin and her partner Bill Smith. Borrowed from my mom, I think I actually first read this 15 years ago. Now, I'm just enjoying the nostalgia and looking at how the world has changed: The opening scene mentions a restaurant that I used to eat at, downstairs from one of the offices I worked in; Lydia feeds a payphone (in Chinatown) with quarters- lord, how long has it been since I have seen a payphone? In NY, I assume they were all long ago broken down for their copper wiring!; there's some discussion of how a woman doesn't want her WASP son to marry a beautiful ABC (American Born Chinese) woman, who is successful and highly educated— I am not certain if I ever actually came into contact with that feeling from the "white" side of a couple, although the other side (also shown here) I have seen: that marrying outside one's ethnic community is strongly frowned upon. But in the Northeast US, Asian has been a favored minority for a very long time; the sexism: that really brought it all back. I had been working on Wall Street in the 80's and for myself in the 90's — sexism wasn't necessarily in your face at this point, but I felt it and saw it, in a way that I am seeing again now. Really enjoyed the book, it makes me want to start re-reading the series (and SJ Rozen is giving an e-short away on Amazon in this world- check it out.)
  5. Temple of the Winds (1997) by Terry Goodkind: It's such an investment, reading a series like this— each book in the 750-850 page range. The start of the second trilogy, as Richard and Kahlan discover the danger of the Empire and its ruler Jagang, now the walls between realms have been destroyed. I enjoy each book, but sometimes I just need to put them down and read something smaller(lighter, easier to carry, with an end in sight!). (DTB)
  6. Snuff (2011)by Terry Pratchett: What can one say? It's Pratchett. A great book in the CityWatch cycle. I really don't want to give anything away, but Goblins are the theme in the same way that one might say another species was in Unseen Academicals.
  7. The Thai Amulet(2003) by Lyn Hamilton: I read this series intermittently, when I grab one from my mom (last read was The Chinese Alchemist). Ahh, darn it. I checked to see which order these were in and she has died. Cancer in 2009. I am sorry to see that The Chinese Alchemist (2007) was the last of her 11 novels featuring Lara McClintock, antique store owner, whose trips allowed Hamilton's love of foreign climes and cultures to be shown. The Internet age allows much knowledge but also much lingering disinformation to be found: her blog still exists, but it appears that no one has cared for it in many, many years: there are ads for "medical products" displayed and not notation at all that she is no longer productively and currently writing. I look forward to reading the few that I haven't read. In a bittersweet way.(Here is an interview with Ms. Hamilton just before The Thai Amulet — the 7th in the series—was published.)
  8. Winter and Night (2002) by SJ Rozan: After I read Mandarin Plaid, I knew that I had another Rozan floating around so I pulled it out to re-read (and to return to Mom). Rozan's series alternates in viewpoint between Lydia Chin and her partner Bill Smith and this is from Smith's viewpoint. We learn more about his background and family, their estrangement, and how his character was formed through parental abuse. There are echoes of Columbine (April 1999) as Smith discovers that a death which has involved his nephew bears a terrible resemblance to a death involving the high school group of his brother-in-law.

1 comment:

Anne said...

thanks for the recommendations! I'm going to get some of the Lyn Hamilton books while home in the US and give them a shot.