Monday, April 01, 2013

What I read -- March 2013

“Soulless” by Gail Carriger. Book 1, after reading book 2 in Jan. So much fun! I wonder if you have more freedom to do omniscient when you’re writing something somewhat historical.

“Blackout” Mira Grant. The boy finally finished this so I could read it. He said we needed to talk. The divergence of the two Georges was fascinating. And the little interstitial emails conveyed so much story. Without them, the book would have had to have more POV characters I think. It really worked.

“Blameless” by Gail Carriger. I’m addicted.

“The World of Jeeves” by P.G. Wodehouse. I apparently received this for my birthday in 2003, and while some of the stories seem familiar, I’m seeing them with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, so I think I saw some of the episodes, but didn’t read this before. There are 34 short stories in this collection, and the formula is very clear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! The writing is so entertaining, the voice so clear, it proves that formula is only bad when it’s done badly. It’s totally understandable how these came to be a TV series, also. It’s like they were written for it. Still, after binging on the first 6 or so, I started reading one or two a day more as an appetizer for something else, because you do get the idea pretty quick. How Jeeves saves the day every time is still pretty entertaining, and how previous solutions provide future fiascos. Kind of glad I’m done this, though, because I didn’t really want to start another volume of short stories while I had a 600+ page one going.

Also, Ed, me, and the boy were talking about stylized accents and stuff, and I held this up as an example of it working well. Bertie uses abbreviations and truncated words a lot, and it works, not like when people try to write accents. But then, Bertie was quite prescient, as this is how we type when we’re IMing or texting now.

“The Big Con” by David Maurer and Luc Sante. I’d bought this because of Holly Black’s curseworkers, and I started it because I wanted to write a short story about a con artist. She turned out not to be that, but I read the book anyway. The sheer scale of these cons, the number of people involved, was fascinating, as was the way the book was organized, which made it easy to read in short chunks. The cons were ones that took place in the 20’s and 30’s, but I can see a lot of applications to now – for example drug deals and catfishing and other online scams that might require less people and maybe even less risk. Fascinating book.

“Relic” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. A colleague with whom I often talk books lent me this. It was surprisingly fun, with a great ending.

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