WWW Wednesday (01-16-13)

BVC members have picked up this meme from shouldbereading:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

I’m bouncing between The Light that Failed, which I have on my Nook (part of the exhaustively complete Rudyard Kipling), and Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies, the sequel to Wolf Hall.  The Kipling, in particular, is driving me a little crazy: unlike Kim, which I read last month, Light is set in what was to Kipling contemporary England, is very dialogue-heavy, and many of the conversations that take place are between the hero’s friends, a bunch of bluff young-to-middle-aged men, many of whom are war correspondents.  They share a common patois which I find almost impenetrable.  Look: I read science fiction and fantasy and historical fiction and fiction that was not written, like, last week, or even last century; I grew up reading with my metaphorical head down and ears open, picking up cues. I don’t usually quail at allusions I don’t know and quotes in languages I don’t speak.  So I’m not used to feeling this kind of stupid. It’s probably good for me.  In any case, I’m going to finish the book; the hero has just gone blind and is being a pretty impressively bitter about it, and I’m curious to see where Kipling is going to take him.

The Mantel I’m only a few pages into, but it’s rich and dense: set in England in Henry VIII’s court.  I don’t think things are going to go well for King Henry’s first Queen Anne…

• What did you recently finish reading?

Aside from some manuscripts I needed to go through (I can load them onto my Nook and read anywhere!  I love living in the future!) I just finished Laurie King’s Garment of Shadows, another in her Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series.  Not one of the best of the series, but entertaining (particularly after The Pirate King, the book immediately before, which I found disappointing).

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I think, after The Light that Failed and Bring in the Bodies, I’m going to want something a little lighter.  Maybe a re-read of something, possibly some Dorothy Sayers.  I find when I start re-reading there’s often some sort of subconscious theme I’m working toward in my writing, but I won’t know what it is until I’ve done the reading and seen where it takes me.  (Want me to vague that up for you a little?  I’m sure I could).  If I decide against re-reading, I’ve got Roz Kaveny’s Rituals waiting for me before I dig any deeper in my To Be Read pile.

So that’s my WWW Wednesday.  What’s yours?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own WWW Wednesdays post, or share your answers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!


About Madeleine E. Robins

Madeleine Robins is the author of The Stone War, Point of Honour, Petty Treason, and The Sleeping Partner (the third Sarah Tolerance mystery, available from Plus One Press). Her Regency romances, Althea, My Dear Jenny, The Heiress Companion, Lady John, and The Spanish Marriage are now available from Book View Café. Sold for Endless Rue , an historical novel set in medieval Italy, was published in May 2013 by Forge Books


WWW Wednesday (01-16-13) — 19 Comments

  1. What have I just finished reading?

    Last night, I finished The Child Goddess, a science fiction book by Louise Marley. It was a great book about a nun who has to get through to a frightened child rescued from a planet. The child may have the secret to long life.

    What are you currently reading?

    Haven’t picked out the next book yet.

    I have about five library books — all fantasy — that were off the staff picks shelf. In the next day or two, I’ll pick something that catches my eye and that’ll be next.

  2. Well, now you’ve done it. First off, I really and truly do not like working hard to read for pleasure so you are not tempting me even one little bit to read The Light That Failed. And then suddenly you dangle this: “the hero has just gone blind and is being a pretty impressively bitter about it” and “impressively bitter” has tempted me, you evil woman. Tempted me.


  3. You caught me at impenetrable patois. I’ll have to try that Kipling! (Stalky & Co is a longtime favorite.

    Just finished Gender Reversals, Gender Cultures edited by Sabrina Petra Ramet.

    Working through Rich Cohen’s The Avengers, A Jewish War Story, which is equally vivid and grim, so I can only read it in small doses.

    More of a pleasure is Andrew Wheatcroft’s The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire which offers some interesting insights into the well-known figures. I am especially impressed with his view of the problematical Frederick III.

    For fiction, alternating between Tom Simon’s wry epic fantasy The End of Earth and Sky, which is terrific, but so few females!

    Not nearly as well written but every bit as imaginative (more!) is Ankaret Wells’ The Maker’s Mask, a space opera with delightful female characters.

  4. Just finished reading: the latest in Ruth Downie’s Medicus series. I think the title is Semper Fidelis. Nothing at all to do with the Marine corps; the series is about a Roman doctor in 2nd century Britain who finds himself unable to avoid being thrown into the role of detective over and over again. The doctor has a very jaundiced view of life. For some reason, my mental image of him is that of Anthony Bourdain.

    Currently: Nothing else picked up yet.

    Next: no idea. I have read everything that is loaded on my Kindle right now, and I am not sure what I want to put there next.

  5. Argh, don’t do this to me! Head cold makes it impossible to think. I’m reading easy, with a lovely concept–CLEAN, by Alex Hughes. Future world after tech wars with people with extra abilities. Our hero got hooked on an experimental drug and struggles with addiction while working for the cops as a high grade telepath–an ability guaranteed to drive anyone to drink and drugs.

    • There is nothing wrong with reading easy, Pat.

      I should, I suppose, mention that I’m also reading the copyedit of my own Sold for Endless Rue in between running at the Kipling and the Mantell, but that seemed oddly self-serving.

  6. Hmmm. I really liked The Light That Failed, though I did have to go to the dictionary a couple of times. (I’d be biter, too — not only was he an artist, but it’s not as though there was any sort of support structure available.)

    I’m in the middle of Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance. Just finished The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making. Next is probably Wicked Business, as a palate cleanser. All were Christmas booty for my wife or I.

  7. I have never been able to get into LIGHT THAT FAILED, but I did thoroughly enjoy BRING UP THE BODIES and just finished GARMENT OF SHADOWS, which is not very interesting. King tried to break out of the formula unsuccessfully with PIRATE KING, and now she is back to the grind. It is difficult, to successfully give a series an entire new twist.

    I just finished “Labyrinth”, part of a reread of all the Miles works on my Ipad. Right now I am reading Mary Gentle’s THE BLACK OPERA, which you would enjoy. Weaponized opera music! Next up: the second Agatha Heterodyne novel.

  8. Pingback: WWW Wednesday Jan 16th « Story Crumbs

  9. I liked Pirate King and Garment of Shadows — surely I’m not alone?

    I just finished Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. It’s the story of two girls growing up in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples in the 50s and 60s. Wonderful characters and a vivid picture of a world I knew nothing about.

    I’m reading Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses now. I guess I’ve veered from girls in Italy to boys in Norway. I’m only up to page 50, but I think things are going to be a lot darker.

    Next will probably be Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312.

    • I didn’t care for “Pirate King,” but I did find “Garment of Shadows” enjoyable. I feel like King just needs to slow down a little. She’s on a super-fast publishing schedule, and I think it shows.

      • The further I go with the Sarah Tolerance books, the more I appreciate how hard it is to keep things fresh. I was pleased with “Garment of Shadows” because it seemed to find some things King hadn’t mined yet…

  10. Just finished reading: “The Sunshine When She’s Gone” by Thea Goodman, an advance reader copy I got via the Amazon Vine program. It’s about a wealthy Brooklyn couple in their mid-thirties who have a new baby and all the attendant angst, but one morning, the dad decides to take the baby out for breakfast, and then impulsively gets in a cab to JFK and goes to Barbados instead. It sounds like a satire, but it’s not. It’s actually some of the best writing about what happens to a couple after having a baby that I’ve ever read. But I found both main characters, at bottom, pretty unsympathetic, so I can’t exactly say I liked it.

    In the middle of: “Can You Forgive Her” by Anthony Trollope — more fun than you’d think; one character early in the book has this great line of dialogue: “You’re ruined, but I’m ruinder.” Trollope does go on at excessive length sometimes, but he can also be incredibly funny. Also reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson novel “The Titan’s Curse,” which I somehow missed reading when my son was into that series.

    Just starting: “Lady In Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustave Klimt’s Masterpiece, _Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer_” by Anne-Marie O’Connor. This is for our book club, which is meeting Sunday, and I’m on page 4. So, yeah. It’s reasonably interesting so far, but I’m much more into both the Trollope and the Riordan.

  11. I lost my box of current reading in the move, and finally located it yesterday. Go, me! As usual I’m working on several things — for fiction, I have Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews, a team that produces some of my favorite contemporary fantasy. I’m reading The New Well-Tempered Sentence for a punctuation update, and also Japanese Tales by Royall Tyler.