Monday, March 01, 2010

What I read -- Feb 10

I intended to read five books this month so that I could keep on track to 52 books this year, but somehow that didn't work out. I blame Maire (sweater) that I was knitting.

"Sun of Suns" by Karl Schroeder. He's the TPL writer-in-residence right now, so I thought I should read something he wrote in case I decide to go to one of his lectures or submit my work to him (I was thinking I would submit something, but I'm afraid he'll be all full up by the time I'm ready). He thanks David Nickle in the acknowledgements, another Toronto one degree of separation thing. Does every F/SF/H writer in TO owe David Nickle? V. strange. I didn't like the italic font, and the love interest sub-plot for the main character seemed very sudden. Other than that, it was a neat world, with neat characters. Way better than Ringworld.

Clearly I don't read enough hard SF.

"The Invisible Hook" by Peter T. Leeson. An entertaining look at how golden age pirates (1716-1726) ran their businesses. Because pirate ships were stolen and therefore were kind of owned collectively (or not at all), and because piracy was/is illegal, they were able to make progressive-seeming business decisions. I liked it so much I guess I bubbled, because everyone else in the house wants to read it, too. I kept telling the boy there's no plot, but he insists that's fine. Somehow I made the book sound like mario cart, apparently.

On both the OWW and VP lists, there were discussions recently about how no one reads the preface, and if you have one, just make it chapter 1... Both these books had prefaces that were treated as chapter 1. This annoyed me. Especially the "chapter 1" of the pirate book put me off and made me think it was going to be a much slower, more boring read than it was. I wonder if at some point the same people who now don't read the prolog or preface or introduction are going to stop reading Chapter 1, also.

"Wondrous Strange" Lesley Livingston. I got it for Christmas, presumably because I asked for it. It was on my list, though I don't remember why. Someone must have said it was good. And it was. It covered some of the same ground as, say, Holly Black's "tithe" or those Cassandra Clare books. There was a lot of "Midsummer Night's Dream" in it, which I also have characters out of in Toothbrushing Club (need to work on that, almost pulled out the draft....) But they are different characters than I used, which is good. Toronto author.

While I was reading this, I had a moment of annoyance with JKRowling, which I guess is odd and random. There are a lot of faerie creatures that come up in those stories -- bogarts, red caps, etc., -- and if you don't read much, you think those are her ideas. I'd like her to have done acknowledgements at some point in one of the seven books. That's all.

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