Thursday, February 09, 2017

What I read -- Jan 2017

“The Farmer’s Daughter” by Jim Harrison. Even though I have tons of books around the house that I want to read, my library card was expiring, and I needed a reason to go in so I took one of my books off “inactive” status. So, here we are with a book I put on my list like 10 months ago. The problem with my massive hold list at the library is, there’s no way for me to remember why I chose a certain book. It must have been for the werewolf story.

I started with no expectations, and it’s written or maybe edited in more “literary” style I guess. At least in the first story (it’s a collection of three novellas) here are a lot less commas than I’m used to, for example. That first story had a rape in it, and I sort of feel like from all the criticism I read (in general not of this story) that we’re supposed to be mad about rape in stories. Here it felt completely inevitable and didn’t bother me at all.

“Wolfhound Century” by Peter Higgins. Got it for my birthday. It was on my list. It’s a story set in a faux-Soviet Moscow (Mirgarod), kind of skewed urban fantasy, and I loved the language. Describing the gusty swirls of a rainstorm: “Rain sparrows, rain pigeons, crows of rain.” Beautiful.

“First Term at Malory Towers” by Enid Blyton. The woman at the next desk from me was referring to a colleague as one of the horrid girls from these books, so I thought in the service of more effective communication, I would find out what she was talking about, and got this from the library. It was not that long.

It was not that good either, I must say. Omniscient POV is out of style now and the shifts (sometimes within a paragraph) were disconcerting. Though the book did explain some of the quirks of my coworker’s personality. Maybe she thinks the way these girls interacted was normal? There was a huge impulse towards improving other girls, etc.

“Gemini Cell” by Myke Cole.  And since the Blyton was relatively short, I got something longer too. Military fantasy – modern military with Zombies. It was a page-turner, even if there were some moments that I thought were, I don’t know, illogical? Thinking it through, it was the military that seemed like it was making the bad choices, and of all the things in the story, that’s the thing about which MC is the expert way over me, so I’ll let it go. I assume there is or will be a sequel. What about Chang? Really fun read.

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