Monday, December 30, 2013

hello, december; goodbye, december.

I spent late November and most of December watching movies and madly knitting.  I'm pleased that I finished so many projects.   Then, I realized my stacks of books for this year's Benjamin Franklin awards were on their way, and I did some mad fast reading to cram in things I actually wanted to read before facing my sizable assignment.  (It's "Popular Fiction" this year; last year I was Historical Fiction.  I'm a little nervous.)  Two of three boxes arrived this afternoon, so I'd best get cracking.  And if you're interested in participating as a judge next year, I have a contact you can email to get signed up.

Stargate Universe with Robert Carlyle.  My husband told me to watch this, since I loved Robert Carlyle's character in Once Upon a Time.  I love his character in this, too!  In both, he's such a wonderfully evil person.  I approve.
Although I disapprove of the show being dropped.  And not even a movie to tie it all up!  Boo.

Odd Couples by Daphne J. Fairbairn. (591.4)  I always love a good biology title, but this was pretty dry.  Very interesting, but very textbook-y.  There were many parts that were extremely repetitive; there were some things the author said at least once per chapter.  Interesting to read if you have it, but not otherwise recommended for purchase.

Steamed by Katie MacAlister.  I've checked this book out a couple of times and never so much as cracked the cover.  Apparently I liked it only in theory.  I actually read the first chapter and think it's going to be a bit silly.

Weird Life: The Search for Life that is Very, Very Different from Our Own, by David Toomey.   I almost (almost, almost) finished this, but not quite.  It's very intersting, but I got distracted by other things and it's not the kind of thing you can just jump back in to. 

We Who Are About To... by Joanna Russ.  I thought this would be a bit different.  I don't think I started this with the right frame of mind.  I thought "ah, sci-fi, survival story, maybe a little feminism or something."  I should have been thinking more like "ok, very early sci-fi from a female author, literary fiction outlook needed."  So I didn't really enjoy the book, per se, but I'm not sure that's the book's fault.  I would add this to the list of things I would force other people to read so that I have someone to talk about it with.

The Proposal and The Arrangement by Mary Balogh.  Working on cleaning up series holdings and placing last-minute orders for the year, I found these series installments.  This author is fairly popular at my library and the series sounded actually pretty good.  And it was actually pretty good.
It turns out I read the titles in the "wrong" order (I started with The Arrangement), but I don't think I would have liked them as much if I'd read them properly.  The second book is definitely where it's at.
I liked this series because the situations, if not exactly plausible, are at least less-implausible than much of this genre.  The writing has improved since my first encounter with this author.

The Medici Giraffe by Marine Belozerskaya... again.  In 2010, I read the first portion of this and was unable to finish it.  After I brought it home and reread it, I realized that sometime in the last (I'm going to guess, here) 15 months, I ordered it for my library and finished reading it.  I then apparently forgot to write down that I had done so; rereading the book all the way through, I didn't remember too many details from the first few chapters and was enjoying the repeat, but by the chapter on Josephine, I had myself thoroughly confused.  Obviously I like this book enough to try reading it on three separate occasions!

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