maharetr: Comic and movie images of Aisha's eyebrow ring (The Losers) (Default)
( May. 15th, 2016 10:35 pm)
Vaguely keeping track of my reading, as I remember to do it. I'll try and remember to keep spoilers vague, and/or under a cut.

Book reviews

Paperweight by Meg Haston. An apparently run-of-the-mill story of a girl coming to terms with her eating disorder and the death of her brother, and yet near the end of it I wanted her story to just roll on forever. I would have read chapters/years more of so many of these characters, and felt a pang leaving them. I liked many of these characters, or were at least very interested in their stories, and what made them tick, and the glimpses we got of their lives. The main character, Stevie, is unlikeable and bitchy for much of the first half of the novel, but in ways that were, to me, clearly presented as unreliable narrator/defensive measures, and realistic ones at that. (I also give her kudos for the complexity of the relationships she writes about, and for no one blinking about making out with boys or girls, just ‘what was that like for you? what was the impacts surrounding that? what was that relationship like for you?’ etc) This was actually a really impressive piece of work, in retrospect. I’d totally look up more by this author.

Sandstorm by James Rollins. Was recced to me as ‘like Dan Brown, but good’, and the 50 or so pages I read backed that up: mysterious artifacts wreaking havoc! Ancient mysteries! Rollins gets bonus points for having several main female characters doing multiple things and having differing agendas. It wasn’t quite enough to keep me reading, but if you’re after a Dan Brown, but good, this looks like it would solidly, solidly fill that bill.

Mort by Terry Practchett. This was his third, and it shows -- I finished it, but I was only ever charmed, and not emotionally invested in Mort, or in the princess he was trying to save. The plot seemed to take a relatively long time to appear, and it all seemed sliiightly noticeably self-conscious as a piece of writing. I’m currently reading Guards, Guards, which is noticeably stronger all round, and I’m enjoying much more.

Shipwrecks, Sailors, and 60,000 years by Jackie French. Early Australian history with a children’s audience in mind. THIS is what I want out of my Australian history. It finishes with Captain Cook, but it starts with all the Indigenous history available and easily digested, and literally spends almost half of the 170 page book focusing on how the original settlers lives, and their nations, and their ways of life and their rich cultural histories. And then it talks about the known-in-detail discoveries of the continent, never once assuming the “and Captain Cook settled the land, of course!”. I appreciated this book so much. Would absolutely read more of her Fair Dinkum Histories series. Highly recced.
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