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?