I also just stayed up WAY too late reading Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman. I disagree with her on a few points, which I expected (mostly about fatness), and of course I believe that my viewpoint is more right than hers [ed note: it probably is, unless it’s about breast size]. BUT! This book is funny and awesome and strident (in the very best complimentary way) and I love how recent and moving it is. The cover says it’s like a British version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants, but I think it’s better than that book even (and I liked Bossypants a lot!). Everyone should read this book and see what you think. Do itte.
#2 just finished Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells and liked it. Big thanks to #1 for sending it to me! It’s been hard to brain these days, but a little reading every night keeps me sane. Current re-read is Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold, which is an omnibus following the early life of the character Miles Vorkosigan. Fun.
Shadow Magic by Patricia C. Wrede. I’d recently reread The Seven Towers and thought I’d give some of her other earlier work a try. Plus I’m a big fan of the cover artist on the copy (same person who did the Ace covers for Asprin’s Myth series). This was a pretty lousy book. There’s promise, but one kind of wonders how it got published and through the editorial process. I kind of think she should go back and rewrite this one (which is something I hear she has done with other books), only this time spending more time on the character building and less time on the boring stuff and maybe even just sticking to one or two points-of-view to drive the story. Also more foreshadowing and less deus ex machina (and really, should it end the same way The Blue Sword and many many other books with similar female protagonists do?). Oh, and if there are three mystery races of legend and they’re all supposed to be in the united kingdom, perhaps she should spend some time with the third race and not just the first two. From a literary standpoint with the prophecy etc., that would work better. Hmm, LibraryThing is telling me she re-released this in 2011, so maybe she did rewrite it. Wish I’d read that version instead!
Pyramids by Terry Pratchett. A standalone Discworld. Not one of the best. But #2 loves the opening part with the Assassins’ Guild testing. Pretty funny. The ending is far less satisfying than most other Discworld endings.
The Friday Society— Sadly not worth it. Great concept, great cover… badly needed editing, or just a better writer. The flaws probably wouldn’t have bothered me that much when I was 12, but at my age I get titchy when characters switch back and forth from modern prose talk to really poorly written attempting to be 19th-century dialect. And there are some other problems.
Rereading Fools Errant, because I was going to loan it to a friend who likes spec fic but hadn’t read any Matthew Hughes, but it didn’t have a description on the back so I was all, which one was this? And then I was hooked again. In case you’re wondering, it’s like Bertie Wooster (sans Jeeves) was the heir to a kingdom and took a road trip across a futuristic Gulliver’s Travels.
Have you read anything great or mediocre lately, Grumpeteers?