Wednesday, June 03, 2015

What I read -- May 2015



“Deryni Checkmate” by Katherine Kurtz.. It’s sort of like reading a regency novel, but set in medieval times, plus magic. So much attention to clothes and furniture! The head-hopping seems alien to me now. Being the second book in a trilogy, this had no ending to speak of. The Deryni seem really Jewish.

“Athyra” by Steven Brust. This is what I want to write like. He can get away with things because the voice is so strong. I love every time someone says something blah-blah-blah Sethra that doesn’t sound very characteristic of her, and then Vlad says “Sethra Lavode?” and the other person says “no, Sethra the Younger.” So stylish! That doesn’t happen in this book, by the way.

“Orca” by Steven Brust. It was included in the same volume with the previous, so what choice did I have? I had to race through because I was being chased by Ed. Not that this is a problem, mind you. This was a really well-done example of interauthor, and worked really well. Maybe too much talking. The great thing was getting to see how other people see Vlad in these books, because by now we have a pretty good idea of how he sees himself. I love the normative elf thing, so different for fantasy.

“The Up Side of Down” by Megan McArdle. I read her posts on Bloomberg.com pretty much daily. I don’t always agree with her, but wow she is smart and knows how to structure an argument. I finally requested this at the library. John Scalzi linked to her a few years back, which is when I “discovered” her, so it was nice to see she gave him a shout-out for his poor people essay. The organizational structure was nice, and unlike a lot of people who write books like this, she had plenty of content, and the chapters did not start to seem repetitive as they so often do.

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