Monday, May 30, 2011

What I read -- May 2011

“A Book of Tongues” by Gemma Files. I bought this one at Ad Astra after hearing her read (I got it signed! I can’t read what it says!), and I started reading it, and OMG I could totally hear her reading voice in every word. And it was laugh-out-loud funny. Though perhaps my idea of funny is not everyone’s. One of my coworkers asked if I’d read “Not wanted on the Voyage” by Timothy Findlay a few days ago (actually, he sort of assumed I’d read it, which was true) because his son is reading it for school and having a rough time getting through it, because it’s so grim. And I said, sure, there are some dark bits, but it’s so funny! Anyway, like for example in this book one character is describing a horrific stoning of a presumed witch, and another character says “Only way, sometimes,” and I thought that was so funny! But I can see where other people might think it’s sick.

“Ha’penny” by Jo Walton. After I read this in January, I said I wanted to buy about ten Farthings and give them away. I gave one to my friend Lucy. She went out looking for this one, so I thought I’d better read it so I can continue to discuss reasonably. I got it for Christmas. I thought it was, if possible, even better than the last one, which had a few moments of awkwardness and a little bit too much twee (but was still awesome). JW did a brilliant job of the “you won but really you lost” ending here. I read it in less than a day.

“What I didn’t see: and other stories” Karen Joy Fowler. She’d had two stories in MMSKMMFHAM (that I read in April), one that I thought was fabulous, and the other that I have no memory of, and then the story in the YA edition of the subpress mag (I read that at work, giggling the whole time, so one of my neighbours asked me what was so funny, so I sent her the link, but she didn’t giggle the whole time, and she said “so how old was he, anyway? They never said,” which I totally caught his age, so I guess I read differently than some, and KJF’s rhythm works for me. Also, it’s pretty rare for a short story to make me cry, and “King Rat” did that.

“Half a Crown” by Jo Walton. When I finished Ha’penny, I requested this from the library. I found it a much more stressful read than the previous two, maybe because I’d read the previous one so recently. Also, the stakes were higher. I carried this book around for an entire weekend at karate camp trying to get in enough time to read the last 75 pages. She wrapped up the problem that started in the first book and gave me a really satisfying ending. I wasn't sure the schtick of having alternating chapters between Carmichael and whatever young woman is featured in this book was going to work after "Farthing", but it did. I love Jo Walton.


Gemma Files said...

It probably says "Go on and hit that!", because that's what I almost always write. But I'm glad you found the book so amusing.;)


Gemma Files.

Robyn said...

Yep, that's it!