|Books read, late February
||[Mar. 2nd, 2010|11:30 am]
Not a good half-month for books: I had less reading time than usual, and more of it was given over to trying things I didn't like and ultimately discarded unfinished. So there's just:|
Elizabeth Bunce, A Curse Dark as Gold. A Rumplestiltskin retelling set when English cloth mills were changing substantially. I would particularly recommend this to that subset of fantasy fans who are also Georgette Heyer fans (or vice versa, I suppose: the interesection of the two really). That thing I've talked about where modern writers are reluctant to make debt and money a concern: that is not at all the case here, and it's handled in a very period-appropriate way. Also I liked the characters, and the mill town, and...I just thought this was well-done. I also think that the non-standard sister was picked to be the heroine, in personality terms, and I liked that, too.
Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. Gawande's two previous books were very engagingly written, and so is this one. The difference is that this time he's selling something. I don't mean that he's selling it for money, aside from the money from the sales of his book, but Gawande is pretty clearly very enthusiastic about what checklists can do to reduce errors in complex jobs, and he really really wants the reader to see the advantages. As a result, there's a certain, "Who are you going to call?" tone to The Checklist Manifesto. (Um. Possibly not everybody has a Ghostbusters reference in their head for that.) And the thing is, I don't think he's wrong. The numbers do look really good on this. I'm just not sure this book's mode of selling it is going to have the results he's looking for.
Reginald Hill, A Killing Kindness. This...is the last Dalziel/Pascoe mystery I haven't read and have readily available to me. Sigh. I'll be scouring used bookstores for the others, although Felony & Mayhem is putting out the early ones, so maybe just patience will do, since most of what I'm missing is mid-series. Anyway, there was a lot more Wield in this one than in other early ones, and I like Wield lots.
Charles Stross (autopope), Wireless. I'd already read some of the stories in this collection, but that's to be expected: if I like an author enough to read their collection, I almost always like them enough to seek out stories elsewhere. Good mix of stuff, and I agree with markgritter's reaction that Charlie's Time Patrol story out-Time Patrolled Poul Anderson.
Ursula Vernon, Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs. My godson was absolutely sure we needed to share this experience with him. It's the second in its series of children's books with illustrations that are more integrated with the text than the standard for an illustrated children's book and less than the standard for graphic novels. Good fun, and I think a good way to transition kids into reading bigger blocks of text if they're balking.