It’s WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.
• What did you recently finish reading?
Under the Dome, by Stephen King, is a monster: 1300+ pages. As with most of King’s work it’s big and ambitious and has a nifty core idea. It’s also 300 pages and two subplots too long, for my money. And there are certain tics–cliffhanger ends to chapters–that get overdone to the point where they became annoying. By the time I finished it I was a little exhausted. Ironskin, by Tina Connolly, is an inventive, clever fantasy strung on the bones of Jane Eyre, in a world that is not quite ours–the book takes place five years after a war with the fey, and the heroine, Jane Eliot, bears a curse as a reminder of that war. She arrives at the house of the mysterious Mr. Rochart, whose daughter is also under a fey curse–one that threatens Rochart’s livelihood, perhaps even his life. I really enjoyed it.
• What are you currently reading?
Judy Tarr’s The Hall of the Mountain King and Roz Kaveney’s Rituals. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to reading the Avaryan books–if the other two are as good that will keep me busy for a while. The worldbuilding–can I tell you about the worldbuilding? It’s wonderful: a complex, thoroughly realized world with religion, politics, customs, and behaviors that are shaped by the collision of personality and society. I’m only 50 pages from the end, and if I didn’t have things I had to get done tonight I’d have finished it already. Rituals is poet-critic-all-around-brilliant-person Kaveney’s first novel, a dense, rich contemporary fantasy–more Neil Gaiman- than Patricia Briggs-style fantasy. I’m reading it slowly, because it’s one of those books where I’ll be reading along and then stop and go “wait, what?” and have to go back again. The layers in this book have layers, and I mean that in the best possible way.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
I’ve had Hilary Mantel’s Bringing Up the Bodies on my TBR stack for months. It’s the sequel to Wolf Hall, and won the Man Booker Prize. I have tried twice to read it, and somehow didn’t get more than a chapter or two in. I’m not sure why, but I intend to give it at least one more chance. Queued up on my Nook I’ve got Bloodchildren, the collection benefiting the Octavia Butler Scholarship, and available through Saturday at Book View Café.
After that it’s back to the TBR stack again…