I read enough books over the last couple of months that I feel the urge to keep track. So!
Have-reads (start date: mid-Dec 2015):Carry on
by Rainbow Rowell: A full novel treatment of the fan-fic world Rowell created for her book Fangirl
. Wonderful, loving critique of Harry Potter, basically. Excellent construction of magic and the laws and rules therein. It’s wonderful to read what’s set up to be the seventh and final book of a series ... where the ‘getting you up to speed on the previous six books’ is actually describing things that are unwritten and don’t exist. Delightful! Dragged a little in the second half, but mostly inventive, clever, and charming. Strong enemies-to-lovers work, and yay for main character queerness. Minor grumble over the fact that they go “oh. we must be gay now, then? okay.” Bisexuality is a thing, okay?When Audrey met Alice
by Rebecca Behrens: What it’s like to be the First Kid, and learning from the diary of a historical First Kid along the way. Also charming. The author goes out of her way to make the First Family Very White, and then casually breaks the mold in other ways -- it’s her dad who gets the research funding at John Hopkins, and its her mother
who’s the President of the United States. There’s also strong, strong message of pro-same-sex marriage, and trying to get that on the political agenda, which was a thing that was actually passed in the US the same year the book was published. The main character drove me nuts when she did various selfish things that were not actually acknowledged as such, but general concept and execution: charming.Shards of honor
by Louis McMaster Bujold: Really remarkably good. Affecting, for all its distanced writing, and wonderfully timed and wry in places. Looking forward to sequel.Story of your life
by Ted Chiang (Short story, 39p, available here
): A linguist attempts to communicate with an alien race whose communication style is structured around knowing how things end before you start them. Beautifully and assuredly written. I didn’t quite ‘get’ it, but I felt achingly for this woman and her daughter.The gunslinger
by Stephen King: I was embarrassing levels of gripped
by the first half, found the second half almost impossible with its dragging, and not wanting ( spoilers )
Willing to read more, though. Strong potential.Not if I see you first
by Eric Lindstrom: An exploration of a teenage girl and her relationships. Gutting to read right now. Really excellent exploration of friendships and romantic relationships, setting boundaries, and the impacts we have on each other’s lives, and how we grieve. Oh, and also being blind. Bugged by the stretches of unattributed dialogue, but that’s a minor quibble.
Next up: Barrayar (Vorkosigan ; 2) or The drawing of the three (Dark Tower ; 2) Barrayar, probably, because shorter, and alternating feels like a good way to go, somehow. Although between the main write up of this post and the actual posting now, I’ve found that my brain is not quite up to the effort it requires, and I’ll probably divert to The drawing of the three
(DNFs: Cinder by Melissa Meyer: I’d heard good things, so I was keen, but it never quite hooked me, and it turns out that the ‘reader is strongly hinted to’ about X, and character finding out about X was waaayy too big a gap for me.)