WWW Wednesday – Nov 26, 2014

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

 

• What are you currently reading?

Currently a little more than halfway through Jacey Bedford’s debut space opera, Empire of Dust. I am a sucker for psi in novels when used in an interesting way (with consequences) as well as character-driven skiffy, and this one hits all those. Add in some skillful tension building and interesting world building (about world building!) and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

 

• What did you recently finish reading?

Pari Noskin, Stung. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery, featuring a quirky grandmother who is in mental communication with insects. The best part of the book was the descriptions of what it would be like to commune psychically with bees and other critters–Noskin’s evocation of the sensory experience was terrific. (More at Goodreads.)

Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now.  Basically good, but not great–I give my reasons in a somewhat long review at Goodreads.

So I had to reread Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray. This rough-edge satire I review here: basically, I reread it less for the storyline than for how it fits into literature–and how it sticks its quill into society, literature, and other matters of its day.

A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor. This memoir of a foot journey across Europe in the early-mid thirties is so profoundly brilliant that I need to reread it occasionally. More thoughts here.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Oh, I’ve got too many to list!

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

 

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WWW Wednesday – Nov 26, 2014 — 19 Comments

  1. I have got to get Jacey’s book — I read drafts of it, long and long ago, as part of an online crit group that also did my SUMMER COUNTRY. I need to find out what happened . . .

  2. I recently finished reading Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt, and enjoyed it lots. Am currently reading the second in the series, Heaven’s War. Might wait for the third to come out in paperback, but if the second ends up as enjoyable as the first, I’ll probably purchase the third in the series in hardcover.

    Also have three books in the TBR stack by four different people on my LJ friends’ list. Hope to get to those by the end of the year.

  3. Fun stuff–an item called Princesses Behaving Badly that I got from the library. Some lively accounts of history told with a sense of humor.
    Not so fun but I couldn’t stop reading–All or Nothing by a chef. I thought this was going to be about food. No. It was a harrowing story of his drug addiction and what he put himself and his family through.

  4. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr is a great big historical novel, set in France and Germany during WWII. It was nominated for the National Book Award, and I can see why. I thought the characters were wonderful, the images and ideas were glorious (without ever being infodumps), and the suspense pulled me along. It was a book group pick. Some of the people in the group found it too long. I didn’t even realize that it was long—I was reading it on my Kobo e-reader, and I inhaled it in about 4 days.

    The other book I finished recently couldn’t be more different, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. I picked it from the table at Costco because “choose your own” autobiography is just too silly. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He (with perhaps very expert assistance by his editor) uses the short segments of a choose your own adventure brilliantly to keep the story snappy, and it’s very funny.

    Right now, I’m reading Reginald Hill’s 23rd Dalziel & Pascoe mystery, The Price of Butcher’s Meat. He changes things up by having a big chunk of the beginning of the book be epistolary. One voice is a young woman, a recent college graduate, sending emails to her sister. The other is Dalziel, who is convalescing from the violent events of the previous book. The doctor who would like him to have therapy gave him a little recording device to record an audio journal, and in his boredom he’s actually using it. I do love me an epistolary novel. The story recently switched back to the more usual approach, and I’m still enjoying it. There’s no Pascoe for at least the first third of the book, which may be good, as he can fret too much for my taste.

    My next book should be Lars Kepler’s The Hypnotist, as that’s the next book group pick. I hope it’s not too violent for my tastes.

  5. The space opera one sounds fun! And I remember you and Wakanomori talking about the Patrick Leigh Fermor. I enjoyed your reviews of both Stung and The Way We Live Now over at Goodreads (though I think the latter is not for me, probably).

    I’m enjoying Railonama, a series of reminiscences and stories about journeys by train in India. It’s a collection, and the individual voices are *so* clear. The editor had a *very* light hand, I’d have to say: the stories have way more digressions or heavy-handed moralizing than I’m used to in American essays, and yet for all of that, they’re exceptionally gripping: there’s something very very personal about them that I like. And they’re all interesting.

    The one I just finished was a reminiscence about seeing Gandhi pass through town on a train when the narrator was just four years old, before Independence. The train didn’t even stop, but it slowed down, so that all the people in the tiny town could get a look at the great man. The way the guy told the story, I really felt like I was right in the room with him; it was that intimate.

    … Heh, maybe I ought to put some of this in a Goodreads update…

  6. Read:
    The Raven Ring by Patricia C. Wrede
    The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
    Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia
    Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
    Faust Eric by Terry Pratchett.
    The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
    Reading:
    Monster Hunter Vendetta by Larry Correia
    To Read:
    The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

  7. Finished two books in the last week and a half, sanctuary in a time way too full of housework and relatives (stayed up reading half the night, appropriately). First, The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter–basically a Regency romance with magic and mystery added. Engaging hero and heroine, good supporting cast, nice mystery and what they did about it. Think Georgette Heyer meets Agatha Christie (or really Georgette Heyer romance meets GH mystery, since she wrote both). Done very well on all fronts.

    Then The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Very atmospheric tale of two old magicians setting a duel between their two apprentices, set against the backdrop of a very unusual circus and some of the inhabitants. Can’t say too much more without giving the whole thing away, but very well written. The way things work out in these novels is usually a let-down to me, but here it was beautifully worked out, where you just want to read the whole thing again immediately to go over the relevant bits.

    I borrowed both of these from my husband’s TBR pile and I don’t think he’s going to get either of them back.