Monday, October 26, 2015

Where Is My Evil Fairy?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
This week I spent a lot of time doing some volunteer work. Most of this work involved talking to other people, so I had to procrastinate for several hours before each event. I don't know whether to be satisfied or worried at how happy I would be to live as a recluse in a library at the top of a tower or something. Does anyone else watch Disney's Beauty and think the Beast's curse would not be much of a problem? Doomed to live in a castle stuffed with servants who only live to serve and an enormous library? What was the downside again?

 So now The Book Date is collecting the roundups of what everyone is reading and talking about this week at back at her blog. I'll also look in with Teach Mentor Texts which does the same thing for kidlit, but I didn't actually finish any kid books this week so I probably won't sign in.

This week I finished 3 books:

Autobiography of A FaceMing Tea MurderGENTLEMAN JOLE AND THE RED QUEEN

Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy.  I remember reading a book catalog (Daedalus books? something like that) almost twenty years ago and putting this on my to-read list. And then I read Ann Pratchett's memoir about Lucy Grealy, and a few years after that I finally read it myself. Her descriptions of growing up with disfiguring cancer and subsequent surgeries really hit on issues of self awareness, appearance, and identity. And knowing her eventual history lent even more poignancy to the story.

Ming Tea Murder, Laura Childs. The next Library Quest book. I think the large print made the mystery seem even more simplistic, and the cops sillier.

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, Lois McMaster Bujold. I grabbed the e-ARC of the newest Bujold book, and it was a fun although light read. It's about Cordelia and her plans for the next phase of her life, not that Aral is gone. It felt more like a novella than a novel -- the concerns were domestic and there wasn't really that much conflict. The final madcap scenes were less a firework display than a fun sparkler routine, and I was a bit disappointed that the small contracter dispute subplot was solved with a deus machina by Mark rather than by a genius plot by Miles, preferably involving a Cetegandan plumber.

Bookmarks Moved in a few other books:

The High Druid's BladeThe Plague of DovesDreams Underfoot (Newford, #1)Almost AmishTell the Wolves I'm HomeAnna of Byzantium
audio: Defender of Shannara: Druids Blade, Terry Brooks. This is a disconcerting lack of agency in many women here. Kris, the sister, gets kidnapped again, tries to rescue herself, but is thwarted and tortured. The book explicitly spells out that she was vulnerable because of the lies her brother told her, but I don't get any sense that the author (or the brother) thinks he made a mistake. Girls are just prone to kidnapping and failure, that's all, and telling them the truth about the world would just make them worry more before it happens.

Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich. I'm enjoying the different sections from different points of view, all with different views of the town and its events.

Dreams Underfoot, Charles de Lint. This is the author of the Tuesday book club, and I'm reading these stories as well as per the recommendation of my friend. I like them, although paired with the Druid book the casual acceptance of sexual violence against women is marked. This women at least know how to combat and avoid it, even when accepting how central it is in this world.

Almost Amish, Kathryn Cushman. My next Library Quest book! At first I thought it was a Christian romance based in Amish life. Now I realize that it's a Christian romance based on people forced to imitate Amish life, but I'm enjoying the sibling dynamics, both between the kids and the parental sisters.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. Time wise the setting book is not that far off from Dreams Underfoot, so it's interesting to see how huge the gulf is in expectations around homosexuality.

Anna of Byzantium, Tracey Barrett. This is going to end badly for Anna, so I'm reluctant to finish this. On the other hand, it's all history now anyway.

Primary Immersion, Catherine Asaro. I was reshelving some books when I saw this one and grabbed it to reread the middle section, where the protagonist picks up some young boy and enjoys a fling before going back to her destiny in the final section. Asaro's world building is a bit dodgy, but her characters are always fun, especially as they are as bewildered in their worlds as the reader might be.

The next few books I'm not really reading, just dipping into between the books I'm trying to finish so that I can pretend that I'm going to read the books on my bookcases.

The October CountryIf I'm Jewish and You're Christian, What Are the Kids?: A Parenting Guide for Interfaith FamiliesRob Roy  Waiting for the PartyA Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)Reading and Learning to Read

The October Country, Ray Bradbury. Back to horror, with cute kids.
If I'm Jewish and You're Christian, What Are the Kids?, Andrea King. The book's assumption seems to be that it's better to raise the kids Jewish, although King admit that she slants it that way because you don't need a book to raise kids Christians in America. She focuses on the problems with raising them as nothing.
Rob Roy, Walter Scott
Waiting For the Party, Ann Thwaite
A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George
Reading and Learning To Read, Jo Vacca

And I started two new books:
Mischief and MistletoeGateway
Gateway, Sharon Shinn. I like Shinn's books partly because most of the characters are good people. Most of the people I know are good people too, so it makes things more realistic.

Mischief and Mistletoe. Christmas themed Regency romance stories from some of my best known authors.
2015 Challenge Progress:
  1. Reading My Library: Finished another and started the next (a C). Moving along with the B's in audio books.
  2. Where Am I Reading?: 35/51. ANOTHER SOUTH Carolina! Why don't interesting stories happen in North Carolina? Still reading a North Dakota, and I have Maine and Hawaii books on deck.
  3. Award Winning Book Challenge: I have apparently stopped reviewing books. But I've ticked off many awards. 
  4. Book Riot Read Harder: 23/24. I still need an African author.
  5. Alphabetically Inclined:  I V X  Z still missing. 22/26. Since I only count books I own, this is hard.
  6. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled. Maybe time to go back?
  7. Cybils 2014: Complete! I bought the last one as the libraries didn't seem to have it. WOOT!

1 comment:

Kathryn T said...

There was a time when every book I picked up and read seemed to be in either North or South Carolina! Popular setting. Sounds like you have plenty of reading on the go.