Thursday, September 01, 2011

What I read -- Aug 2011

“The King’s Peace by Jo Walton. I found this book harder to read than her others, mostly because of the sheer number of character names. I wished it had a map, because there were also copious unfamiliar place names. Also, parts of it were too subtle for my undiscriminating eye until the book was almost over – made it seem like there was no plot to speak of and no real bad guy until about 100 pages from the end. All this makes it sound like I didn’t like the book, and that’s not true, but it was more of a challenge than "Tooth and Claw" to get through. There were some really awesome scenes, really nicely worked.

“The Year of our War” by Steph Swainston.
I requested it from the library because an article on her decision to put her writing career aside to teach Chemistry created a lot of discussion on the places I frequent on the Internet. The boy read it first (he told me I wasn’t going to be satisfied with the ending, which was true). Seemed more along the lines of “Perdito St. Station” than I’d expected. When I was done, I googled to find out this is an example of “the new weird” which is good to know. I liked it quite a lot. What an awesomely messed up main character! I loved his “I will never do cat again” statements.

“Norse Code” by Greg Van Eekhout. Also a library book, picked off the shelf because I loved the title. Frenetic. Everyone in the house reada this one.

“The Red Tree” by Caitlin Kiernan. Library book, picked off the shelf. Because I read her every day on LJ, I found the voice really easy to get into. She really has that “write what you know” thing down; this book seemed extremely personal.

“Changes in the Land” by William Cronon. Bought it as research for Fairfax, and also because of his blog post during that Wisconsin thing earlier in the year. If I can’t vote, I can vote with my $$. This book was really interesting, and I’m totally glad I read it.

“Rebecca” by Daphne Du Maurier. This has been on my list for ages, owing to the connection with the Peter Pan guy. Someone had left it at the cottage. I felt like I’d read it before, except the tidbit of information about 2/3 of the way through totally caught me off guard. I know I’ve started it before, don’t think I ever finished it. Lots of sections might have reminded me other, similar books – e.g., Jane Eyre, etc. I spent the first 2/3 of this book wondering if the characters ever had sex, and then the last third agreeing with the “bad guy” that when someone is murdered, the murderer ought to be brought to justice, whether or not the dead person was a bitch (in one character’s estimation). I suppose it’s just as well I didn’t grow up in such a classed society. The technique she used where the main character speculated about what other people were thinking, or had thought, was nice.

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