Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Books read, late September

Paul A. Cohen, History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth. Oh, what a dubiously done book. Cohen is very solid when he snarks at Westerners for knowing a great deal about the scary, scary anti-Western Boxer Rebellion and not nearly so much about the Taiping Rebellion that did a great deal more concrete damage to Chinese people. But he has some pretty seriously wrongheaded notions about what people understand of their own experience and its place in history--particularly when he starts talking about "people" being the little people, because of course the great people sometimes understand that they are making history. And then his historical examples outside late 19th and early 20th century Chinese history, towards making this point, are just laughably wrong, and...well. The scoffing. It was not pretty.

Glen Cook, The Dragon Never Sleeps. It took me awhile to attach to reading this book at all, and I finally figured out what it was. The nature of structure made it feel like a short story to me, so my brain didn't process that I needed to. The chapters are incredibly short--there are over a hundred of them, and there are scenes of less than a page within many or most of them. It's space opera, and eventually I got into the rhythm of it, but it started out feeling very weird that way.

Hilary Davidson, The Damage Done. Discussed elsewhere.

Naomi Novik, Tongues of Serpents. I wanted to see what she was doing with Australia, but it ended up feeling very, very middle-book to me, and the journey structure didn't help with that: they went from here to there, and things happened along the way--it's certainly not the case that nothing happened--and yet. Well. I don't know. This was the point in the series where I got it from the library rather than buying it; I think the next one may be the point where I stop reading them as they come out and wait to see how many it takes before there's anything like an ending.

Cherie Priest (cmpriest), Dreadnought. Discussed elsewhere.

Martha Wells, The Element of Fire. My favorite Martha Wells so far. If you only read one Martha Wells, read this one. Good court, good characters, good fun.
Tags: bookses precious

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