Monday, October 03, 2011

What I read: September, 2011

OWW: 4 (and all in the last week)

“Deadline” by Mira Grant. Bought this in North Conway, NH at the Borders Express going out of business sale. The boy devoured it and then nagged me while I finished “Rebecca”. We got Ed “Feed” for his birthday, so he could read this one. I think he’ll like the science. It was nice to have someone to discuss it with. Intriguing ending. I think Shaun has a reservoir condition in his brain, the boy suggests it might be in the Amygdala (whatever that is).

“Among Others” by Jo Walton. My friend Lucy finished it before I’d even started, and asked if I’d read a lot of SF from back in the day. I said yeah, I had, and then I’d gone to SFContario last year and listened to Jo Walton riff with Ed Greenwood and TNH and someone else about how different writers connect together for an hour, and just written down a reading list. This book makes me want to work on “Toothbrushing Club” again. Maybe I ought to pull it out and do a new draft.

“Last Call: the Rise and Fall of Prohibition” by Daniel Okrent. Social histories are so much more interesting than what gets taught in school. This book was funny and fascinating, all about the disaster that was the 18th amendment, how it happened, and how it was undone 14 years later. I wish it said more about parallels to the anti-abortion movement and the drug war, but I suppose those are inferences I can draw on my own, so subtlety is good.

“Ceremony” by Leslie Marmon Silko. Read this on the train on the way back from Farthing Party. It was a neat magic realism story, other than an occasional unsubtle rant (not all directed at white people). The structure reminded me of Catherynne M. Valente’s Orphan’s Tales, without all the signposts, which is to say I wanted to read it as fast as possible so I wouldn’t forget who was who. The character/POV I identified with the most was Helen Jean, whose description of her fellow young women in town was painful and sticking with me. The was published in 1977, so the main character dealing with the aftermath of WWII was interesting, because he seemed to have a lot of problems that I associate more with people coming back from Korea or VietNam. I guess war really is hell.

“Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut. I do not think I could get away with writing this book.

“Rampant” by Diana Peterfreund. Library book. Unicorns! The first chapter was totally brilliant. It totally did everything a first chapter should do. Throughout the story, there were moments when sometimes the character reactions seemed a bit random (Neal in the first scene with Phil in the office, Phil when she takes charge), and there are a couple of loose ends that I wanted tied up (where is Brandt? Where are these other Llewelyns? What specifically is the remedy? Where are the other hunters?) but overall it was a good read. Maybe all that will be explained in the sequel.

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