In which we read some more

What are we reading these days?

Heresy by S. J. Parris.  First in a series of historical mysteries starring (the later-burned-as-a-heretic) Giordano Bruno.

Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher.  You know how paper boys deliver the morning paper on their bikes?  Some of them are girls.  And some of those girls have seen some weird, creepy, unnatural stuff around their town.  Number two is out now!

Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu (incredibly excellent ending!).  Highly recommend, yes.

First Second Press (:01) is really killing it with their publications these days, I tell you what.  I also have The Undertaking of Lily Chen out from the library.  Unfortunately I ended up not liking any of the main characters very much.

What’s #2 reading?

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett.  This one doesn’t flow as well as the general Discworld– it feels like it’s missing a final editing, which it most likely did.  Things that would, in previous volumes, be more subtle are a bit more heavy-handed and overt.  Things that would previously have been more streamlined stand out as clever short vignettes.  But I still like it very much.  The messages are good.  The commentary important.  And, importantly, I feel like it is a fitting ending for our relationship with Ankh-Morpork, as we usher it on into the next long-century saying our final good-byes to favorite characters.  Ankh-Morpork will move forward into the future, even if we are no longer watching.  If the last Tiffany Aching is as good, then I will be happy.

So we’ve got this Loretta Chase thing going, but we can’t really fully recommend her.  Like… Lord of Scoundrels was a little problematic but a huge page turner.  Mr. Impossible was entertaining and had a great pair of main characters… but… the author used every vaguely racist Empire Cliche when dealing with the people of Egypt; it’s painful to even think about listing them.  Knaves’ Wager was a disappointment– a hodgepodge of other romance novels and characters and tropes but still managing to be dull.  She relied on the tropes too much to fill in the romance without actually showing things (like the hero says, “you’re too X to be trapped in this kind of marriage” but nowhere in the book up to this point has she shown herself to be X to the hero, not once)– it was pretty weak tea and I wish I hadn’t succumbed to the $2.99 kindle fee.  Most of the rest of her work seems to rely on the hero not taking no for an answer.  Which the heroine is secretly fine with when he is rich and titled.  The only difference between the hero and the villain in one of her books is that the villain is bad with money!


Two more quick ones from #1:  I finished Secondhand Souls from Christopher Moore.  You probably need to read the first book before you read it.  And I’m in the middle of The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, which so far is excellent.  The very best part is the official Utterances from the AI.

Read, Grumpeteers, read!  What do you have on tap?


23 Responses to “In which we read some more”

  1. Linda Says:

    I always love to see your recommendations, even if there are only a few that appeal to me. I’m reading a book that was on one of your previous recommendation lists now: Maplecroft. I’m not being drawn in as deeply as I had hoped, but that may partly be because it is a print copy (all the library system has for this particular book) and I’m having some challenges reading regular-sized print right now. The last book I read that really sucked me in was The Water Knife. Actually, it’s probably a good thing that I’m not deeply engaged by a book since that makes it difficult to work. :-)

  2. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Heads up: the links in your last paragraph don’t work. I love Christopher Moore and was curious what the first book was. I love when you guys post these. I am reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. In November I read, A Madness so Discreet, Drama, Gone, Breakfast with Buddha, Take this Bread, and Bone Crossed. I’ve got Soundless on deck and I have to put in my library requests for new books so I’m going to see if I can track down that Corpse book you’ve got there. HOORAY READING!

  3. chacha1 Says:

    I am reading “Murder for Christmas,” an anthology of classic holiday-themed short stories from Mysterious Press (old book). Just downloaded “Act Like It” by Lucy Parker, based on Smart Bitches review.

  4. Revanche Says:

    I don’t know that I can read Raising Steam for a long while yet. I have a problem with saying goodbyes, particularly to book worlds, and I find myself putting it off for as long as I can.

    I’m looking forward to sampling Kate Elliott’s work. She comes highly recommended by some friends.

  5. sallydemarest Says:

    I read “Heresy” by Parris a while back and liked it! In a similar vein, I’m currently reading “Instance of the Fingerpost” by Iain Pears. In the queue are “Wine of Angels” by Phil Rickman, “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” by Susanna Clarke, and “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Scwhab. I have also been busy scouting good books for my 12.5 year old son who is getting into sci-fi (the not-so-fantasy-like-kind, but the computer-geek-gamer-space-nerd kind).

  6. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    Some Cherie Priest, Shepherd’s Crown (MEH), Ancillary Mercy (yay!), a surprisingly good novel by Mercedes Lackey (Hunter), a couple of rather disturbing novels from Lilith St. Crow. Also, the Vampire Academy series, out of boredom (okay, not great).

    I also disliked Strange/Norrell and didn’t finish it. Not my cup of tea at all. Big fan of Parris here.

  7. Linda Says:

    So many good recommendations in the post and comments! I’ve added several books to my To Explore list. Thanks, all!

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