WWW Wednesday – October 8, 2014

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?

Rondo Allegro by Sherwood SmithEver since I heard about Sherwood Smith’s new romance Rondo Allegro, I’ve looked forward to reading it. I’m now nearly finished with the book and it hasn’t disappointed. Set in the Napoleonic era, the novel is a lush and sometimes sobering depiction of a time of great upheaval in Europe. The heroine, Anna, roams over war-torn Italy, France, Spain, and then experiences true terror aboard an English ship in the midst of the naval battle of Cadiz.

The book dances around Anna’s very unromantic marriage of convenience, which at first seems probable to fail. Anna herself is very young when married to an English naval captain in exchange for strategic information. Her dying father has arranged the marriage to provide for his daughter, but when he is gone Anna’s husband disappears also, and the subsequent departure of Anna’s patron sets her adrift in a ravaged continent. She grasps at the few chances offered to provide for herself and her loyal maidservant, and grows up fast as she struggles to reconcile the need to earn a living the only way she can – by singing – with her dead mother’s hope that she would marry well and become an English lady.

Anna’s adventures in Europe occupy much of the book, but the battle of Cadiz is pivotal and brings her husband back into her life. From there, things do not go entirely smoothly, but the reader can see Anna’s path toward her mother’s fondest hope.

The book is charming, with rich detail about Europe in the early 19th century. It is an historical romance, emphasis on the historical. For me, that makes it even more enjoyable.

ZelazneyANightintheLonesomeOctoberA Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny is an October tradition around here. This year, my spouse and I are reading it aloud to each other, one chapter per day (the book has 31 chapters).

The protagonist is Snuff, a hound. His master is Jack, who is one of many mysterious folk preparing for an annual Event. Snuff accompanies Jack on excursions to procure Ingredients for the fateful day. When not occupied with that, Snuff keeps watch on various Things which are imprisoned about Jack’s house, and goes on his own ventures to explore the neighborhood and see what the other Players are up to.

An absolutely delightful read, made even more delightful by Gahan Wilson’s creepy illustrations.

• What did you recently finish reading?

OwensGhostSeerGhost Seer by Robin D. Owens is the story of Claire, who has started seeing ghosts and doesn’t want to, and Zach, who has lost his career as a sheriff because of a debilitating injury. Neither is particularly happy with their life, but they end up working together to keep the ghost of a past gunfighter from going berserk, and find strength in each other and a resolution to their problems. A fun read for those who like paranormal adventures.

Moore-WalkingContradiction-100x150Walking Contradiction by Nancy Jane Moore is a lovely collection of short science fiction stories that left me wanting more. Moore’s favored themes, at least in this collection, include the future of genders, war, and the life of the loner. Highly recommended.

LakeGreenGreen by Jay Lake, beloved and giant-hearted writer, is a book that begins with loss and grief. The protagonist is a young woman, telling the story of her life from the moment of her grandmother’s funeral and her subsequent sale to a stranger by her father. She is taken across land and sea and placed in training in a house that is actually her prison for years to come. She is given things she never had and as a poor farmer’s daughter never would have had – fine clothes and exotic food and knowledge – but neither she nor the reader ever forgets that she is there against her will.

The early part of the book is something of a grind because of this. Green’s suffering almost makes the reader want to put the book down (and yes, I have been justly accused of writing the same sort of thing). Once she reaches her inevitable crisis of rebellion, though, the story swiftly changes and becomes more of a classic fantasy adventure. Green’s world is richly envisioned, and one reads of her successes with a great sense of satisfaction.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Maybe Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. Or maybe The Hound of the Baskervilles.

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

 

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WWW Wednesday – October 8, 2014 — 11 Comments

  1. Read:
    Satan’s World by Poul Anderson
    Trader To the Stars by Poul Anderson
    The Earth Book of Stormgate by Poul Anderson
    The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
    Red Plenty by by Francis Spufford
    Magic by G. K. Chesterton
    The Star Fox by Poul Anderson
    Queen Zixi of Ix: or the Story of the Magic Cloak by L. Frank Baum
    Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
    Reading:
    The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde
    To Read:
    The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle

  2. I need to read something totally different. I may read THE LAST SCHOLAR, by Jill Paton Walsh. She is writing more Lord Peter Wimsey stories, and although most of them are mediocre for some reason the last one absolutely caught fire. So maybe she has the tiger by the tail, and this next one will be dynamite? One must hope.