Monday, May 31, 2010

What I read -- May 2010

"Uglies" by Scott Westerfield. Belongs to the boy, but I probably bought it for him. He compared it to "Hunger Games" because they're both future-dystopias. This was a very quick read. One evening I sat down and read 150 pages, which annoyed the boy. (He read "Bitten" after me, by the way, and told me to buy the other books in the series, so I guess he liked it. This is shaping up to be a month of sequels, because I bet I start "Pretties" when I'm done the library book I just got...) The ending was highly unsatisfying, though I do have books two and three lying around, fortunately.

"Maelstrom" by Peter Watts. Sequel to "Starfish", which I read last month. It's kind of weird to come across something that I enjoy so much due to such sucking circumstances on the part of the author, but whatever. The future where the internet has become almost useless in its corruptedness seemed true to me.

"A Paradise Built in Hell" by Rebecca Solnit. I first came across her in newsmagazine stories about the Haiti earthquake. Specifically, there were references to "elite panic—the conviction of the powerful that their own Hobbesian corporate ethic is innate in all of us, that in the absence of centralized authority, only cannibalism can reign." Hence, I looked her up and read her "Wanderlust" a couple of months ago, because there was a waiting list on this one. I really like her writing style and turns of phrase (coercive utopia, etc.) It feels to me like she takes pains to note the counter-arguments to her position, and I like that. This book made me a little bit sad, because the social changes that take place during disaster seem so not permanent.

"Queen of Candesce" by Karl Schroeder. He was the Writer in Residence at the Merril Collection (maybe still is?) and I'd read the first book in this series (Son of Suns) back in February. He talked a bit about the writing of this book when I met with him back in April. And it was cool, so I thought I'd read it. The plot was good -- early on Venera Fanning loses the Key to Candesce, and while she's not exactly the person I'd want having something like that, even less are the people who take it from her. It's set in Virga again, which is a really cool world. Once again, the romance portion of the story seemed sudden, and I felt like I'd missed something about 80% through, but the ending was reasonable and wow, what a great world. As awesome as Ringworld, but with better characters.

"Coraline" by Neil Gaiman. I loved the running Caroline gag. NG really knows how to put a story together.

Update--last minute addition. "Pretties" by Scott Westerfield. These are awesome and addictive. The world is so interesting, and the main character's voice is so interesting, because she's so awesomely an unreliable narrator, with the pretty brain and being bubbly and all. And hoverboards rock.

I started this just before karate camp, and finished on the bus back from the reception at the Merril Collection for Karl Schroeder. I need to get out there and learn how to interact with other writers or something. Someone told me about a crit group that I might try.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read all three of them (Uglies, Pretties and Specials) in 48 hours. As Robyn always says, don't let the fact that they're "teen" lit deter you. Writting for teens means you have to keep the plot moving along at a rapid pace. Which for me, is a good....

Ohhhhh Shiny thing!!!!!

SpagBol forever!!