Mistborn: A famous economist recommended this one to me so I read it at a conference! It is good.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library: I’m reminded reading this how much more safe American children’s spec fic is compared to British children’s spec fic. There’s no danger in this book, very carefully and specifically every possible danger is neutralized long before it can be a concern. Mr. Lemoncello is worried about lawsuits (or cares about first doing no harm) in a way that Mr. Wonka never could be. A fun light read. After I finished it, DC1 read it three times IN A ROW. I only read it the once.
Drive: It’s ok. It seems a bit facile. I’m not sure how useful it actually is or how much advice I’d want to take from it.
#1 finally read the first Libromancer book (where “read” means read the first two chapters really carefully and then started getting irritated at every female stereotype masquerading as a person, skimmed the rest skipping large chunks, rolled her eyes a lot, and read a few of the reviews online). She agrees with the reviewer who says, “Hines seems to have a reputation as one of the liberal good guys in SFF. Which is odd, because every female character here is a dreadful adolescent male wank fantasy.” She notes that the Princess books were gawdawful, all “rape as plot point rape as back story rape rape rapity rape,” along with dreadful adolescent male fantasy. (Again, reading reviews just now, I’m not the only person who noticed this– here’s a comic one reviewer links to!) It’s sad when “As a human being, he really tries” is a fairly high bar. Should be baseline human decency. #2 has lower standards for female characters having to actually be characterized as people rather than paper dolls and is looking forward to the next book in the series. We both agree that the series would have been much better had Seanan McGuire written it. Of course, MANY things would be better if Seanan McGuire wrote them. It’s weird because his Goblin series doesn’t have such cruddy female characters or plot points and is actually somewhat creative in terms of relationships and things. But you know, no romance in there. He’s not ending up as an adolescent male fantasy. Or maybe 2-d characters just work better in the Goblin universe… that may be what’s going on– Hines does obvious farce well but sucks at real character development, relying on standard tropes.
A Matter of Taste by Richard Lockridge– this one without his wife. It was a super creepy noir psychological thriller (not my usual fare). First sentence is gripping though, “Although he was well into his fifty-second year, Mr. Oliver Hillard had not yet killed anyone.” As always (n=3) with the Lockridges, the first chapter stands as an entrancing vignette, though a particularly creepy one in this case.
Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger. The problem with Gail Carriger books is that after reading the one you’re on, you often need to have the next one right away. And the next one HASN’T BEEN PUBLISHED YET. This is especially true with the penultimate book in each of her two published series thus far. Patience, #2 (who has this on her amazon wishlist for Christmas), and wait for the last book in this series to come out so you don’t have to WAIT A YEAR to find out what comes next.
What do you recommend for holiday reading? What don’t you recommend?