Sunday, July 29, 2012

suddenly, summer

I feel like I've been posting alot, but now I see I haven't posted in a month.  This may be because I am now doing quite a bit of the posting for our library's blog (also using blogger).

Trickster's Choice, by Tamora Pierce.  I get that a ton of women and girls totally love this author.  I have to say, no way, man.  It's great that she identifies a societal issue to focus on in her books, but then she proceeds to totally beat them to death.  (the issue or the book, I'm not sure; sorry, that pronoun was a little vague.  Either way.)

This novel is very dependent on ones that have come before it.  Since it has been quite a while since I read any titles linked to this one, there was a lot I had forgotten.  It's difficult to read by itself.

Also, I am constantly annoyed by the author describing everything everyone is wearing in every scene.

Blood Oath, by Christopher Farnsworth.  I am seriously considering using my library powers for ill.  I want this book's sequel, and I want it now.

This book, along with The Last Werewolf, has made me conclude that the world needs more paranormal written by dudes.  Action-y, fast, no soul-withering romance, enough gore to give it a touch of horror: perfect.  More.  now.  (There are kind of a lot of characters, and since they aren't really introduced much, it was sometimes hard to track.)

(also, Good news, everyone!)

False Harbor: A San Juan Island Mystery, by Michael Donnelly.  This book has been sitting on my shelf for literally years.  It has moved with us three times, including two cross-county moves.  I keep feeling like I really ought to read it, and I keep reading the first few chapters, which are so full of crappy-mystery conventions and fall-backs that I can never get any farther.  So this is leaving my house, never to return.  Ha!

Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum, by Richard Fortey.  I only made it to page 68.  The idea for this book sounds really interesting, but the execution is very poor.  Instead of talking about the interesting and amazing things and people inside the Museum, the author forces in his views on social issues, religion, etc.  That has no place here.  He also takes every opportunity to mention how prestigious he is in his field, how many fossils have been named after him (apparently it's bad manners to name a species after yourself, but not to brag about how many people have named species after you), how instrumental he has been, la la la.  Finally, the writing style (sentence structure, vocabulary) is understandable, surely, but you can tell the author is trying to be as hoity-toity as possible.

Death of a Prankster, by M.C. Beaton.  I'm done with this author.  She is dead to me.

Wicked Business, by Janet Evanovich.  Book 2 of the spin-off series.  Not as good as the other new series at all.  She is already heading towards insanity, with her whole death-to-cars thing: she didn't quite make it to car explosions, but some vehicles didn't make it.  Plus, the whole sentient monkey thing?  It creeps me out. 

Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America, by Jo B. Paoletti.  646.  There's a back story with this.  I ordered it, intrigued by the subject matter.  My son loves pink.  It is totally his favorite color, and that's pretty cool with us. I would buy him more pink clothes but, as the author points out, you can't just buy pink shirts anymore.  You can only get pink shirts that also have puffy sleeve caps and an applique princess on the front.  However, I fully intend to get some things that can be cut down to his size (see below, about who uses the sewing machine in our house).  Also, we recently picked up a little book shelf at a yard sale that needed a little cleaning up; I let my son choose the colors, since it was for his room.  He choose bright pink, with orange polka dots.

The book has some pretty interesting information.  It's written in an approachable way (although the author does repeat herself quite a bit) and a pretty quick read, for nonfiction.

I have a quote from the book I have to share: "Writing in 1970, journalist Barbara Wyden found the idea of longhaired daddies in beards and shorthaired mommies in pants disturbing enough to suggest that adult unisex fashion choices were 'a symptom that their family needs help.'"  pg. 107.  This is hilarious to me.  What would this lady say about my family? I have super-short hair and pretty well alternate skirts & pants.  My husband has long hair, usually in a pony tail, and goes back and forth between having a mustache and not (no beards allowed by his employer or he'd be all over that); he wears pants to work (requirement, not his choice) but kilts at all other times.  We both work full-time, but I provide the health insurance.  My husband uses the sewing machine, and he provides more of the child-care, because of our work hours.  I do the dishes, he does the laundry, and in the last few months he has started doing almost all of the cooking.  Well, Wyden?  I wonder if our family's flaunting of traditional gender roles is a reaction to earlier times, the way the author traces clothing trends by how adults were dressed as children. 

Talulla Rising, by Glen Duncan.  Very good, especially for the second book in a series.  It was weird to change character view points for the second book; I'd rather we still had the first.  This is a second book that you could read by itself; the author recaps enough of the story thus far that reading The Last Werewolf is not strictly required.  You could also stop here and the story feels pretty wrapped up (however, Wikipedia tells me there will be another.  OK, I can live with that).

I might have abused my power and ordered some of this author's older work for my collection.  But I fully intend to read it.

One librarian note: (I don't know about the first book, since I read it on my Nook.) This book has black page edges.  If readers (especially the first, I dunno, 5 or so at least) aren't careful, you'll get newspaper-looking thumb-print smudges on the pages.  It looks really cool, but not a good choice, publisher. 

The President's Vampire, by Christopher Farnsworth.  I know that, when I've read two books, usually in a series, by the same author, I review them together.  However, these are different enough that I feel the need to review them separately.  I was very much looking forward to this, but, like many second novels, it was a little disappointing.  The bad-guy entity, while really cool, is based on mythology/ies that aren't very well-known.  Alot of information and back-story was sacrificed to keep the book short-ish.  Still very compelling, but definitely lacking in some areas.

Red, White, and Blood, by Christopher Farnsworth.  Read entirely within a 24-hour period.  This one is back up to par; the bad-guy thingy was a good choice, and any reader has enough background that this is great and makes sense.  It's obvious there will be more volumes to follow, although this would also be a nice place to end it. 

Enchantress Mine, by Bertrice Small.  So for a while I had been wanting to go back and read a romance I read a long time ago.  I really loved the book in question at the time; it's the first book I remember reading twice because I wanted to, not because it was the only thing around.  I didn't remember the author, the title, or any of the character names, but I thought I remembered enough of the plot elements that I could find the book.  I searched and searched, and this book kept coming up, sometimes as the only result.  I read the description for this book, and it was way, way off.  However, since it was the only title that fit any of the searches, and I do trust my searching abilities, I decided to try it.  And yes, this was the book.

This is appalling in many ways.  But we know it's a romance, so I don't have to dwell on it.  I can see why young-me would have loved it: the period detail (although not always seamlessly interwoven) is copious and fascinating.  Now-me still kind of liked that part.


dreamndigital said...

There is something intriguing about books, they seem to stick to you and follow you through life, like an old memory filed beautifully filed away in the back of your mind. Oh for the love of books. :)

Ms. Yingling said...

I love Pierce but not her most recent works, which got to be a bit long. Give me some Alanna, though! I'll have to look at the Blue and Pink book-- I memorized Free to Be You and Me before my children were born, and my kids have turned out pretty well!