Thursday, August 01, 2013

What I Read -- July 2013

“The Crippled Angel” by Sarah Douglass. Ed got it out of the library, and said that even though it was a book 3, it stood on its own, and was fabulous. So I read it. SD certainly has a deft hand, though I found some of the characters’ behaviour inconsistent. That might be because I didn’t read books 1 and 2. Also, a bit too much tell for me sometimes, especially of stuff I’ve been told before, or shown. Sorry to hear she’d died. The decline of Mary was fabulous.

“Rosemary and Rue” by Seanan McGuire. The boy got this for his birthday because he loved Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy, and then he forced it on me. Not that I suffered that much. We were on holiday and I was reading that endless book about French sociology, and I wanted to go seal-watching and mentioned selkies, and the boy started asking me if I’d read this, rather peeved-like. I meant to, really I did! So, I started it. Wow, it started well and kept turning up the heat. The boy was right.

“A Local Habitation” by Seanan McGuire. Forced on me by the boy of course. This one had a better ending, I thought, than the first one.

“Mechanique” by Genevieve Valentine. Library book! Circus! At the beginning it was hard to keep track of all the characters, but chapter 2 was basically a dramatis personae, only better with more detail. The short chapters were great. I loved the creeping sense of doom.

“The Warden” by Anthony Trollope. I’d come across a paperback copy of this on my dad’s girlfriend’s junk pile at the cottage, and thought about “borrowing” it, but that would be mean. And anyway, project Gutenberg had a version for kindle. Never read anything by him before. It was very funny, but at the same time it had no tension. It was like a series of events that were strung together in order to write the entertaining character descriptions. I kept waiting for the horrible thing to happen, disaster to fall, or a surprising twist that never came, but all the characters acted predictably on the courses they had set themselves. I did feel sorry for the almsmen, who seemed to be the real victims here. Interesting social commentary I guess. Something that might have been useful, probably available if I’d read the coles notes version, would have been an explanation of the relative values of the incomes discussed. I have no idea what two shillings a day adds up to in pounds, and times twelve… I have no idea what 800 pounds bought at the time, versus 80, or what the warden would have to pay for out of that.

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