WWW Wednesday – Aug 27, 2014

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

My reading of late has been sporadic, fitted around beta reading and proofing.

• What are you currently reading?

After Elizabeth, by Leanda de Lisle. Basic, eminently readable history about James I of England, when the Stuarts came to the English throne. There’s so much out there about Elizabeth Tudor, and about Charles I and the Protectorate, but not all that much about James, who is a complicated figure, to say the least.

Sorcerer’s Feud, by Katharine Kerr.  This is the sequel to Sorcerer’s Luck, in which art student Maya Cantescu, who is a vampire in a way totally unlike the standard vamp, meets up with rune master Tor Thorlaksson.

Sparks fly, leading to romance, danger, magic, in a nifty mix of romantic suspense with plenty of supernatural pizazz. I have been looking forward to the sequel, which I’ve just begun.

I’m reading another romantic suspense, Islands, by Sara Stamey. Archaeology, Caribbean islands, sunken treasure, mysterious travelers . . . so far, it’s got interesting characters and I can’t predict where it’s going at all.

Through the Window, seventeen essays by Julian Barnes. Thoughtful, often acerb explorations of a variety of subjects more or less literary, from Orwell to Kipling to the redoubtable Penelope Fitzgerald. A real pleasure.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Sand of Bone, by Blair MacGregor

Gritty fantasy set in a desert world, with just enough sense of wonder (and  interesting characters with complex moral dilemmas ) to keep it from tipping into grimdark. (Longer review at Goodreads.)

Pen Pal, by Francesca Forrest. This was a reread of what I thought one of the best books published last year. (Longer review at Goodreads.)

Operation Cowboy,The Secret American Mission to Save the World’s Most Beautiful Horses in the Last Days of World War II , by Stephan Talty. The subtitle pretty much sums it up: an interesting look at a all-too-small exercise in hope and cooperation between opposing sides in the horrible snarl at the end of WW II, as a bunch of Americans work with the Germans in charge of the Lippizaner horses to save them from becoming horse burgers to the advancing Russian army.

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

 

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WWW Wednesday – Aug 27, 2014 — 21 Comments

  1. Loved both Pen Pal and Sand of Bone.

    Currently reading Wonderbook by Jeff Vander Meer. Loving it. Will probably read his Booklife next.

      • I did, and enjoyed it as well. Once I discovered familiar names popping up in Sand of Bone, while beta reading, I asked if they were set in the same world. Makes everything a little more exciting.

        (I also had the opportunity to first be exposed to Sword and Chant during review groups at VP.)

  2. Have Read:
    The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
    Writing Down the Dragon: and Other Essays on the Tolkien Method and the Craft of Fantasy by Tom Simon — newly available in paperback!
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
    The Rock, Ash Wednesday, and The Waste Land, all by T. S. Eliot
    Beauty and the Beast: Visions and Revisions of an Old Tale by Betsy Hearne
    Quest by Aaron Becker

    Reading
    Monster Hunter Vendetta by Larry Correia

    To Read
    Still deciding. . . .

  3. I’m nearly done with Patty Templeton’s There Is No Lovely End, which I’ll have a number of things to say about. It appears on first blush to be a sort of a silent-film-style old-tintype of a story of ghosts and mediums, written in a very engaging voice, and it *is* that, but I think it does other things as well. And I’m still working on Love in a Time of Cholera too. Not very fast. It’s not that I don’t like it; it’s just that it doesn’t grab me by the collar and demand that I read it. The librarian scolded me for renewing it so many times. I couldn’t quite believe it. What the heck?! There are other copies in the system and no one is requesting it, so who cares if I renew it a million times? … but I should make an effort to finish it.

  4. Read: Cast in Flame by Michelle Sagara
    Immediate reaction … I want the next one now!! Which I know is not fair to the author even a little bit. I love how Kaylin continues to develop into a productive adult with agency. She seemed less moved around by the story this time around, but to be able to make decisions. I have enjoyed the entire series, but the last 3 or 4 books in particular have become more weighty in some way.

    Reading: Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
    This is one of those books that defies neat pigeon-holing: part legal thriller, part coming of age, part steampunk adventure. It’s fascinating and entirely new. Also, Gladstone doesn’t do a lot of world-building exposition, so I have to put many of the pieces together as I read which is entirely rewarding. I already have the next one sitting by my bed.

    Re-reading: Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
    The next Toby Daye novel hits the shelves next week, and I wanted to review what happened when last I saw our heroine. McGuire hits the creepy side of Faerie so well in this series that I almost didn’t read her Newsflesh series. I’m not a fan of zombies (at all), but these were fantastic!! She saves creepy for the fey and just had all sorts of fun with the zombies.

  5. Read: I also read Cast in Flame, and reread several of the other books in that series. I agree with Kristen B, I liked them from the beginning but like them more and more as they go along.

    Also, Toad Words, by Ursula Vernon writing as T. Kingfisher. Fairy-tale like stories with Ursula’s inimitable take on things.

    Reading: Artemis Awakening, by Jane Lindskold, as soon as I figure out where I left it.

    To Read: Looking forward to the release in early September of Martha Wells’s Stories of the Raksura: Volume 1. I also have on hold at the library Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies, by Alastair Bonnett.