What are we reading these months?

#1 read After the Golden Age.  This is very good.  DH says it’s really an anti-super-hero book… exactly the opposite formula.  I liked it immensely.  (Did not much care for Discord’s Apple, however.  It was dull and I just don’t care for dystopias all that much.)

May Contain Traces of Magic: #2 wants to know whether it’s good!  Um… I think it was ok.  Obviously not memorable!  Tom Holt’s earlier works are his best.  I didn’t send it on, so it must be worth rereading.

The Quality of Mercy by Faye Kellerman:

Enh. The book was ok, but too long. Get it from the library only. If you want to read about someone inspiring Shakespeare, read King of Shadows by Susan Cooper instead.

In other notes, did you know that a lot of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories are extremely similar to each other?  If you’ve got a “best of” collection, that’s probably all you need.  How many interminable stories about men flying a hot-air balloon to the moon do you want to get through?  And boy these are sure sausage-fests.  The stories and poems you’ve heard of still hold up, of course (The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado), though “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is hampered by my total lack of belief that (SPOILERS!) an orangutan actually acts that way.  It’s a somewhat uninformed fantasy as far as animal behavior.

Anyway, I’ll keep the Poe volume but my local library / Goodwill is going to get a donation of books pretty soon.

I finished The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross, and I continue to love all three of the series by him I am reading (the Laundry Files, the Family Business, and the Halting State series).  I eagerly await sequels.

Also I am apparently the last fantasy reader in the world to read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemison, but it was definitely worth it.  Read it, if you haven’t. Powerful and interesting. I am eager to read the next one! (#1 had not heard of it and has added it to her wishlist.)

Also I read The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb.

This book is amazing and powerful and like woah.  However, it is also insanely depressing.  Every bad thing the in the world happens to the protagonist.  Pretty much the only awful thing that doesn’t happen is millions of snakes fall from the sky and they scratch your cornea WITH POISON.

Goblin Quest, by Jim C. Hines, OTOH, was pretty cool in a not depressing way, and although bad things happen to the protagonist, they cause him to grow as a goblin.  Quite good for something that’s essentially a D&D dungeon crawl from the perspective of a kidnapped goblin.  I’m ordering the set of 3 books in one after having checked out the first from the library.  (DC has been looking at the library paperback cover longingly, and says ze wants it to be around when ze is old enough to read it.)

I was really disappointed with Monster by A Lee Martinez.  It’s the first of his books I haven’t liked, the first one without likeable characters, and the first one that seemed like a mix of books he’d previously written.  In this case, it was like a mix of  and minus anybody we could possibly care about. This from an author who gets us to love kobalds in the wonderful .

Memo to self:  Alan Dean Foster’s books are Just.  Not.  Good.  I don’t know why I keep trying to read them.  Stop!  They range from terrible to not-my-taste.  Every one I read is not enjoyable.  Don’t be fooled by the cover blurb, Self, you will not like them.  (#1 Disagrees!  She is fond of the Pip and Flinx series and enjoyed a few of his funny early works, particularly the one about the aliens who look like giant rabbits.  Also she thinks there was one about cats being in charge of the universe but doesn’t remember it exactly.)

You guys been reading anything interesting out there in grumpyland?

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18 Responses to “What are we reading these months?”

  1. Tree of Knowledge Says:

    I keep a summer reading list over on my blog. I have lists for the last 4 years plus this summer–lots of fantasy and mystery. Christine Johnson’s _Clare de Lune_ and _Nocture_ are YA and very good–about female werewolves and a teen learning that she is one. I just finished Nocturne; the high school drama is a little grating at first, but works well with the overall plot. Werewolves in urban fantasy that isn’t misogynist FTW!

    Robin McKinley’s _Sunshine_ is fantastic–I reread it at least once a year. Everything by Jasper Fforde is good–clever, funny, well-written; start with the Thursday Next series. I also suggest Catherynne Valente and Kelly Link. A lot of Link’s short stories are available free on her website. Link is amazing.

  2. graduate.living Says:

    I’m going to second your praise of Wally Lamb’s The Hour I First Believed – so powerful! I also just recently finished Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, which, while incredibly dense, was wonderful. From what I could find, it looks like Dan Brown was heavily influenced by Foucault’s Pendulum when writing The Da Vinci Code, and I thought Eco’s book, while awfully pedantic at times, was a way better read.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      heehee, yes, Eco can be awfully pedantic… haven’t tried reading him since high school

      I also liked Miguel de Unamuno back in the day. I think he’s got a bit more of a sly sense of humor.

  3. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    Sadly, I am reading “Becoming Sisterwives.” My mom gave it to me thinking that I would enjoy it and I felt like I should read it. It is stupid.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      If you don’t like it, stop reading. I give you permission! There’s too much good stuff to read instead. Tell your mom (if anything!) that you just couldn’t get into it. Shrug and move on.

  4. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    Too late~! I’m almost done and I now know way more about polygamy than I ever needed to. I did find out with certainty that I am not in any way interested in plural marriage. Now I can move in to more interesting material!

  5. Linda Says:

    My last really engaging reading experience was when I stumbled on the India Black series by Carol K. Carr. I am eagerly awaiting the third in the series which is due out in December. (Too long to wait!!!) I have to get my reading mojo back because right now I’m only interested in articles, blog posts, and cook books.

  6. Cloud Says:

    I just finished Swamplandia! for book club. It was good, but maybe not the right book for me right now. I could objectively appreciate the storytelling and the construction, but I was misled as to its themes (I won’t say more for fear of spoiling) and it turned out to be a little dark for my current mood.

    I also just finished an ARC of a book about the woman who discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. THAT was really good. Not perfect, but really good. It is called Soundings, and I’ll have a full review of it up on my blog soonish.

  7. Rumpus Says:

    Redshirts was entertaining…and the audiobook was narrated by Wil Wheaton.

  8. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Have you read “Alive”? It’s about some plane crash survivors who eat their dead comrades to survive in the Andes mountains until they are finally rescued.

  9. darchole Says:

    I like Voices of Dragons much better than Carrie Vaughn’s other non-Kitty books. And it looks from her Blog she’s finally writting a sequel to it.

  10. Revanche Says:

    Picked up a new-to-me author’s books from Top Shelf: Nate Powell. His Swallow Me Whole just absolutely killed me, it was so good. Much more serious than I probably needed right now, all things considered, but his rendering of mental illness was powerfully done, and resonant with my memories of living with people struggling with it.


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