Improvement. Still pain. But improvement. Yay.
Books read, early October:
John M. Ford, The Last Hot Time. Reread. Sigh. I don't really care to discuss how my reactions to this book changed since last time -- that is, not in public; some of you can ask away in private. But it's still good.
Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes, editors, Children of Magic. This is a book I bought because it had one of ksumnersmith's stories in it. And I liked Karina's story, so everybody wins. Some of the other stories were good -- I thought Tanya Huff's relied too heavily on having read a particular one or two of her books, but as I had read at least one of the relevant volumes, I was okay. But some of this anthology I found just plain unreadable -- a mass of cliches and social conformity plugged into paint-by-numbers fantastical settings. So: a mixed bag, really. I expect that of anthologies, I suppose.
Thaddeus Holt, The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War. Uff da, this was a brick. It had been clogging up my nonfiction pipeline for months: I would think of reading nonfiction and then realize I was in the middle of this and not want to start anything else. But it was so physically unwieldy that I had a hard time motivating myself to read it, either. The other problem with it was that it was fairly episodic -- not much for overarching structure -- and as a result, finishing one interesting, well-written piece of the book still didn't do much to motivate me to pick the thing up again. However, it was interesting, well-related, worth the time if you're interested in the topic. Some nonfiction I would recommend generally, though, and this isn't on that list.
Nalo Hopkinson, The Salt Roads. If I hadn't read Hopkinson's previous books, I probably wouldn't have picked this one up -- what do I care for Baudelaire's mistress? -- but it pulled me along pretty readily. The ending was less than I'd hoped for.
Naomi Kritzer (naomikritzer), Freedom's Sisters. The last in her most recent trilogy. Beads. Djinni. Various permutations of freedom. Cool.
John D. MacDonald, The Lonely Silver Rain. The last book in the Travis McGee series. Pretty melancholy stuff. I think McGee's formula was about played out, though, so I'm not suffering for lack of another. Maybe one or two more would have been the right number, but certainly not more than that.
Sherwood Smith (sartorias), Inda. Eeeeee! It took me awhile to get into this book -- particularly with a large cast having long last names, plus first names, plus nicknames -- not the best thing to start reading in the airport -- but once I got into it, I loved it, and want more promptly. My main early complaint was that I was more interested in the characters who weren't being shown as much, but by the middle they were getting more time, and I was more interested in the people who had been getting their share all along. So. More more more.
Rex Stout, The Black Mountain, The Golden Spiders, Three Men Out. All Nero Wolfe books borrowed from dd_b. Some permutations around the general Nero Wolfe theme -- The Black Mountain was the furthest outside it of the ones I've read so far. I was kind of surprised at the turn things took fairly early in The Black Mountain, as I expected to see more of both of the murder victims in such a long series.
Scott Westerfeld, Uglies. I was not thrilled with the other Westerfeld book I read, the first in the Midnighters series. I didn't think it was bad, I just thought it was a little too obvious in buttons it was attempting to push. Uglies hit several important notes very well, though, instead of pushing buttons, and I immediately added its sequel to my Amazon list upon finishing it. I was worried about the "pretty-stupid" correlation it seemed might be coming up, but I think Westerfeld handled it very sensibly in context.
Now I'm reading John Boswell's The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance. So far he is spending a lot of time arguing with other historians. Watching historians fight often amuses me. In fact, I think I'm going to get myself some water and flop on the couch with my book and see if there's a puppy interested in some time with a monkey who is sensibly willing to stay put. (This is a problem she often has with monkeys.)