WWW Wednesday 1-29-14

WWW Wednesday. This meme is 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 am lost in the worldview of Rosemary Kirstein’s The Steerswoman.  This was the original first novel of The Steerswoman series, more recently combined into The Steerswoman’s Road.  I’m going to need to get my hands on The Outskirter’s Secret, the original #2 of the series, now rolled into an omnibus with The Steerswoman.  This is character-driven fantasy/SF at its finest.  Rowan has been trained as a steerswoman–explorer, cartographer, investigator, walking encyclopedia.  Unable to lie, steerswomen wander freely asking questions and answering them across their known world.  But when her questions about a tiny jewel attract unfriendly attention from the wizards, mysterious individuals of power, her own fate and that of her entire guild is at stake.

Kirstein has created a world where the steerswomen (and the very few steersmen) look at the world differently, and their presence, their questions, and how they answer others, keenly impacts their world.  Every group Rowan interacts with has a different flavor to their speech, their concerns, their lives, that make the simple (and yet deeply complex beneath the surface) world come alive.  It’s anthropology, adventure, and also one of those fantasies that is really SF, if you’re paying attention.  But it’s so well done you don’t resent the intrusion of SF into the narrative.  I’m liking this a lot.

Also working my way slowly through Dojo Wisdom, a simple breakdown of the many lessons study of martial arts can bring to an observant student.  Will you become stronger, calmer, and more courageous through reading this book?  Quite possibly.  At the least, a future character will be a well-rounded person, if a tad mysterious.

• What did you recently finish reading?

I have returned from a visit to the chalk witches, personified in the form of Tiffany Aching.  In A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett, our heroine makes her second appearance (the first was in The Wee Free Men) and thoroughly captivates her audience.  This is a character that could be friends with my Alfreda, I think–she is gently wise, very practical, and woven from the land where she was born.  In this tale, she has to go out and gain a bit of education, since witches aren’t born knowing everything they should know.  And she promptly gets herself into trouble, as she keeps one secret too many, and that one threatens Tiffany and everyone around her.  Her friends the Wee Free Men, the six-inch-high pictsies (who may be the greatest thieves in the world) are always lurking, ready to lend a hand, track her down at a distance, save the day when they can, and make you laugh out loud.  Pratchett proves that he’s not only a master of fantastic comedy–he can do it in a YA novel, too, with all his gifts intact.  This book is on more than one level, and well worth your time.

Believe it or not, I can’t remember the last book I read before this–mercifully.  It was a murder mystery with a pretty good premise, but the relationship between the protagonist and the Texas Ranger was clearly designed by someone who either previously wrote a certain type of romance, or aspires to do so.  It was so annoying I skipped ahead to assure myself that I knew who did it, and then left the book at my travel destination in hopes that it would find a reader who liked that kind of thing.

It’s been a horribly busy month–and apparently life is too short for my subconscious to remember books it didn’t like.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

It all depends on my vision, sadly.  The cedar is at historic levels, and I literally am having trouble reading small print.  I have new books by Deborah J. Ross (Seven-Petaled Shield), Kari Sperring (Living with Ghosts and Grass King’s Concubine), and N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) to read, but the print, especially in the first two, is very small.  They may have to wait until cedar season is past.  So it may be Wintersmith, the next Tiffany Aching book by Terry Pratchett.  Tiffany is thirteen, and now has boy trouble–and when that boy is the Wintersmith, the personification of winter itself, there’s a danger that Spring may never come again!

What about you? What are you reading, have you been reading, wanting to read next?

 


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About Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

Cat Kimbriel has just finished a new Alfreda book and is working on a short Nuala piece, a contemporary fantasy about curses, and a few other things as well. You can find her fantasy & science fiction, including free samples, at her Book View Café bookshelf. Cat builds worlds that contain compassion and justice -- come join the journey.
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4 Responses to WWW Wednesday 1-29-14

  1. Mary says:

    Read:
    All Things Considered by G. K. Chesterton
    Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson
    Wrede on Writing: Tips, Hints, and Opinions on Writing by Patricia C. Wrede
    Reading:
    The Wandering Duke by Susan Dexter
    To Read:
    not sure, yet