Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Books read, mid- and late July

Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls. I was rereading before my birthday and enjoying it, so I decided to continue until the end of the month. This was one of the rereads. I like Ista; I like her so much I named my dog after her, even knowing that she was stubborn and had spent some time in her earlier life apparently crazy. But she got sane later! I cling to that, some days, with the dog I mean.

Bradley Denton, Blackburn. Another reread. This is not a gentle book. It smells of prairie. I don't know that I will ever reread it again -- twice through may be plenty for my life -- but I'm not sorry I read it this time. It's just -- serial killer books, cruelty to dogs, not going to be boosted very far up the queue. (The serial killing is largely because other people are being cruel to dogs, rather than being perpetrated by the serial killer protag.)

Eric Flint, ed., The Best of Jim Baen's Universe 2006. I'm in this. I feel like it would be tacky to comment, on those grounds; I am not a very good horn-tooter, perhaps. I'm curious to hear what other people thought, though, including about decisions like separating all the stuff labeled SF into one part of the volume and all the stuff labeled fantasy into the other part. Was that good, bad, neutral?

Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle. I hadn't reread it since seeing the movie. The movie polluted my vision of the book in a very strange way: it became anime in my head. But not the same anime as the movie. Sophie looked very different from in the movie. Just...anime. Bizarre. (I also don't picture, for example, Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Or little wossname as Lucy Pevensie. I'm pretty good at keeping visions unpolluted, probably due to being non-visual. But Orlando Bloom really didn't look like he'd smell like an elf.)

Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters. Reread. Is what it is.

Alistair Reynolds, Pushing Ice. Had long stretches I enjoyed thoroughly, but the things he left as gaps were often more interesting to me than the things he wrote as scenes. Still, I'll keep reading Reynolds's stuff; he does better with the Mysterious Alien Artifact plot than many I've read.

Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars. Reread. Very interesting to read this as an adult writer rather than a teenage physics student. I'd also forgotten how much of the stuff I liked was in Green Mars instead, but part of that may well be the cumulative effect of the two. Still, I wasn't moved to reread Green Mars immediately.

Jeff Sahadeo, Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865-1923. I have this book because a friend had a spare, but the extremely proximate colonialism was interesting to me. It was consciously modeled on English/French/etc. colonialism elsewhere, but all up close and personal-like. Mends some of my crashing ignorance of Central Asia, but that's a long row to hoe.

Dorothy Sayers, The Nine Tailors. Reread. The problem with Dorothy Sayers is, there's nothing else just like her, and there's no more of her than what there is. This time through, I noticed more of the smell of the Great Depression in this book: how a man is perceived as "an ordinary out-of-work," just the bits and pieces of how people are doing things. One of the things I like very much about Lord Peter Wimsey is that he is rooted in his own time. It doesn't date the books in the negative sense, it makes them richer -- it makes them possible. If she'd been shooting for some timeless now-ish, they'd be far more dated. (It tempts me to go read more interwar British novels, but going at it willy-nilly is only likely to frustrate me.)

Delia Sherman (deliasherman) and Ellen Kushner (ellen_kushner), The Fall of the Kings. Reread. Shiiiiny. Just as head-eating as it was the first time through.

Charlie Stross (autopope), The Jennifer Morgue. I had a great deal of fun with this one. Dancing all over the James Bond tropes, wheee!

Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End. One of the few books I can think of that was greatly improved by having a specifically and thoroughly un-sympathetic protag, or at least one of the protags.

Charles Wolfe and Kip Lornell, The Life and Legend of Leadbelly. American folk music history. Good stuff. Managed to get a couple of Leadbelly tunes in my head for most of the month, though.

The new little retaining walls are built but not stained -- reckon we'll do that when we put sealant on the steps. So now we'll be ready to have the asphalt poured when they can do it. Yay, progress. Also the dog has had her hair cut and her shots given and so on; we walked to and from in the heat and humidity, which was not the worst ever in the history of mankind but was not much fun, either. So now we are both drinking water and recovering and attempting to make ourselves useful. Some of us have more successful attempts than others.
Tags: bookses precious
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