Monday, February 03, 2014

What I read -- Jan 2014

“A Natural History of Dragons” by Marie Brennan. I basically told the boy to buy me this for Christmas, so he did. He started reading it on the subway on the way home from the store, and then had to find another slipcover to put on it so he could continue reading it in my presence. I was sort of wondering why he was reading “7th Sigma” by Steven Gould again (not that there’s anything wrong with that book), but it  turned out it was the only hardcover he could find in the house that was the same size. So he’s carrying on the family tradition of reading books before giving them away, so when someone gives a book, the recipient can say “thanks, how was it?” He found the author photo at the back intimidating. I loved the narrator’s voice, especially when she dissed her previous book. So charming!

“Vicious” by V.E. Schwab. Got it for Christmas because I asked for it. There were some stressful moments reading this book, but VES did a good job moving things along so the stress dissipated (unfortunately into new stress but whatever). I have a tendency to sometimes read a few pages before bed, and maybe due to the short chapters and the tension, this book threatened to turn into a stay-up-all-night read – I wanted to see what Victor had done, etc. One thing that bugged me was Selena’s motivation – she seemed like the least clearly-drawn character. But I loved Victor’s building of his own morality, reminiscent of Spike in Buffy. A fabulous read.

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler. Another author who I got turned onto by her short stories, in particular one bought by Gwenda Bond for a YA special issue for some mag that was about a mom and her daughter’s vampire boyfriend. And something in that fairy tale collection last year… anyway. Really good.

“Going Bovine” by Libba Bray. Sometimes the order you read things in has a huge impact. After the KJF book, the voice here was extremely off-putting. I hadn’t meant to read it now, but the Toronto Public Library had denied me privileges until I produced some ID with an address, and I don’t go in and not take something out, so here we are. After about 40 pages, I was over that. Still, maybe it wasn’t the book for me. I was annoyed by the “it’s all a dream” implications throughout, but I guess it ended okay.

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