WWW Wednesday – Nov 5, 2014

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

 

• What are you currently reading?

Stung, by Pari Noskin. Of course I would instantly be hooked by the prospect of a psychic grandma and her counter-culture granddaughter, especially as her psychic ability is expressed through contact with insects. Add a mystery element, some very vivid sensory descriptions, interesting characters and before I know it I’m deeply into it.

Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios. I’ve found that too many ‘issues’ anthologies are packed with earnest, grim, bleak, message-heavy fiction that is a real trudge to get through. That is not the cast here. I’m about six stories in, and so far, only one was a bit of a trudge, but that might be because I’m not particularly a fan of weird time anomalies. Thoroughly enjoying this anthology so far.

Into Exile, by Elin Toona Gottschalk. A personal history about Gottschalk’s family fleeing Estonia during WW II, and what happened to them, and the country, afterward. Full of maps and quotes from letters, immensely readable, though not comfortable reading.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, by Claire Harman. This is an immensely readable combination of biography, literary analysis, and personal essay, both exasperating and enlightening.

It is at its most exasperating when Harman attempts to tell us what Austen or her contemporaries were thinking, or what they really meant; it is best at uncovering facts and patterns relating to Austen’s publication history, reviews, biographies, and mentions in wildly ranging contexts after Austen’s death. (review here.)

The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch. This is my favorite of the three so far. I loved the structure, shifting back and forth from past to present, the past segments informing developments of the present ongoing lethal craziness that you expect to be boiling around Locke and Jean’s ears.  (review here)

The Thousand Names, by Django Wexler. This is the first book of a fantasy series, the second of which is out. Humor, good female characters, excellent military scenes overcome some minor world building quibbles (that might not bother anyone else): review here

Exo, by Steven Gould. My favorites of this series are the first, Jumper (before the awful movie, and equally awful novelization), and the latest before this, Impulse, featuring the teenage daughter of Davy and Millie.

This one takes place not long after Impulse ends. I appreciate how Gould is trying to do different things with these books. This one is an earnest attempt to evoke all the gosh-wow about space that excited my peers back in the fifties and sixties. I don’t know how it will succeed with teen readers–if that is who it’s aimed at. It is very science-heavy, and there are times when Cent sounds like, and thinks like, a science professor and not a kid.

That said, I still enjoyed it. There is a story wrapped around all the science, and some vivid descriptions of what it is like to be in space. I love Cent’s ability to think for herself. I hope Gould does more with this series.

 

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

 

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WWW Wednesday – Nov 5, 2014 — 24 Comments

  1. Reading — I think I was in a comic mood:
    Scientific Progress Goes “Boink” by Bill Watterson
    Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons by Bill Watterson
    The Days are Just Packed by Bill Watterson
    Frazz: Live at Bryson Elementary by Jef Mallett
    Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
    Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
    99 Percent Perspiration: A Frazz Collection by Jef Mallett
    Frazz 3.1416 by Jef Mallett
    Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
    Reading:
    The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel by L. Jagi Lamplighter
    Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
    To Read:
    Mort by Terry Pratchett

  2. Currently Reading:

    Full Fathom Five: The third of Max Gladstone’s “Craft” series, the book seems to start tying threads from the previous two volumes into a bigger picture. I still love how these absolutely defy description. Strong characters and mysterious story lines add to my enjoyment.

    Drawn Blades: I was greatly looking forward to this next installment of the adventures of Aral Kingslayer and his shadow-dragon companion. The last book ended with a plot twist that seemed to point the larger story arc in a new direction, but this newest book seems more like earlier books in the series. I’m a little disappointed.

  3. So glad you’re enjoying Kaleidoscope! I’ll be very interested to hear which stories are your favorites in the end. (And interesting: I *liked* that time-anomaly story–but then, I haven’t read bunches of them, and I liked the conceit of the names for the different special-destination sites the characters had to choose.)

    And Stung sounds very cool.

  4. I’m reading Building the Japanese House Today by Brackett & Rao. For the mindset of my hero in the next book. Also, just lovely houses and construction.

    Also finished Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews. All the great world building the Andrews’ always do, wonderful supporting characters, good plot–but the psychopath hero seems to be a bridge too far for me. Andrews fans should try this series, but it won’t be for everyone.

  5. I have been reading The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen. Non-fiction lends itself to being put down more easily while I’m working through busy spells.

    Books I hope to read soon include Beth Cato’s Clockwork Dagger, Beth Bernobich’s The Time Roads, and yours and Rachel’s new book that’s coming out next week.

  6. I’m currently reading The Future Falls (Tanya Huff) and Swordspoint (Ellen Kushner).
    Just finished The Privilege of the Sword (Ellen Kushner) and a Touchstone trilogy re-read (Andrea K Höst) – nothing like all the weddings & family fun of Touchstone’s Gratuitous Epilogue to chase the autumn glooms off 🙂
    Most likely next up will be the rest of the Riverside series (maybe a go at finding the short stories scattered about?) and the bulk release of Robin McKinley books when they come out on kindle this month.

  7. I read a bio of Michelangelo–can’t remember the author but the title was something like a Life in Masterpieces. Very nice on his life and work and included all three media: sculpture, painting, and architecture.
    Also had much fun rereading Lhind and The Trouble with Kings over the weekend.

  8. I recently read:

    The 10 p.m. Question by Kate DeGoldi (Not bad depiction of the experience of anxiety in a twelve year old, some funny bits, cool weird family, I do find myself wondering why the “agoraphobic mother” is such a popular character these days.)

    The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway (Memoir by a woman with dwarfism who was born in 1890. A lot of it centers around buying a house and her creative experience as a writer.)

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Trippy. Very dark, but it is Shirley Jackson after all.)

    13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison (The plot has some rather amusing holes in it and I skimmed a bit. Some of the situations the fairies left Tanya in were pretty funny, though.)

    I’m currently reading:

    Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy (So far it appears to be what it says on the label.)

  9. Currently re-reading “At Home: A History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson. I love Bryson, he has an incredible eye for the absurd and is great at demonstrating how things that seem to have happened inevitably actually came very close to never happening at all.

    And I have finished “The Final Formula” by Becca Andre (currently free on Smashwords) and bought the rest of the series. I really enjoyed the magical system and I appreciated the 7 year age difference between the h/h, as opposed to the usual 100+ year age difference!