Sunday, October 19, 2014

Final clean-up

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter.  A story set in the 1970s, where sexism and racism are main plot points, is not the sort of story I would normally pick up.  But we were going swimming, so I really needed a not-library book, and I had an ARC of this hanging about for various unknown reasons.  The first chapters were a little tough to get into, since a new character was introduced in just about each one, and honestly I probably would have put it down had I had anything else to read.  But I ended up really enjoying it and even passed it on to a coworker, who also really enjoyed it.  Mysteries that can keep me engaged and guessing are rare.
I'm not feeling too keen on starting some of this author's series, but this was a new-ish stand-alone.  

Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson.  I've read quite a bit by this author, and this was different enough from her other things to be interesting, but probably not different enough to be enjoyable if you don't enjoy the author's other work. 

The Fairy Godmother, One Good Knight, and Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey.  I had been wanting to re-read this series for a while; turns out I haven't read the most recent one, out a few years ago.  I had mixed up some of these story lines, but it's not as if I'll ever lose at Jeopardy for getting two of the characters confused.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.  I made it nearly half way.  The portion that I did read, I spent the whole time alternating between 1) thinking the book was really deep and inpenatrable and I just wasn't getting it and 2) thinking the book was crap and the author didn't get it.  I settled on 2).

Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse; read by Martin Jarvis.  Turns out most of the short stories in this volume were ones that were familiar to me from the TV series, but they were still enjoyable.  I really liked the reader, although his female voices were all really annoying.  (Fortunately, there are few female characters with many speaking lines.)  

I rarely look for audiobooks except when I'll be driving alone for a couple hours, and it annoys me that I cannot include running time as a search criteria through any of the audiobook portals I use.  You should also make this recommendation to OverDrive and OneClick and maybe they'll actually add it.  I cannot be the only one that would find this useful.

The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.  This was not good enough.  I expect better world-building from Lackey.  The fantasy world was vaguely 1700s-1800s European culture, complete with near-miss place names.  The magical elements are also not really fleshed out.  
Certain plot elements, and especially the ending, were too simple, too lucky, and too neat to be very engaging.  
Worst of all, this is likely to be a very long series, as the not-really-sub-title on the cover says "Book One of the One Dozen Daughters series."  Twelve is way too much anything.

The Guild, "seasons" 1-5, with Felicia Day.  This made me geek out a little (a lot).  Netflix kept suggesting this, but I was reticent.  Now I have recommended it to several people.  It's not super fantastic acting, and from the format, my guess is it was online first (I'm too lazy to actually look that up right now, and if details of its creation are common knowledge, sorry, I live under a rock) instead of being a regular TV show.  

Orange is the New Black, season 2, with Taylor Schilling.  Piper is stupid and I don't feel bad for her, but I super loved some of the backstories for the other characters.  Wow!

If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home by Lucy Worsley.  I did not finish this title.  There wasn't a lot of substance to it, it was too fluffy, too simple, and too repetitive.  Not up to, say, Consider the Fork, which is more what I was expecting.

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh.  From the description, I didn't remember reading this.  However, once I was in a few chapters, I found myself too-correct when intuiting what was coming next.  Obviously not a highly-memorable story.  

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui.  (306.8723)  I read this a whole season ago, when I went to do book talks to the high school AP English classes for SRP.  Wow, that was ages ago.
This is another book like The Nazi Officer's Wife: the author has a story to tell and isn't necessarily a writer.  It's pretty amazing, considering how little formal education the author received.  It's startling that situations like this still happen frequently in quite a lot of places.

The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived by Clive Finlayson.  Why didn't I finish this book?  (Looking at how many books I started this summer but didn't finish makes me feel like maybe I've gotten pretty picky.  But there's so little time!)  I found it dry and repetitive, which is a shame, because it would have been an interesting topic if made more readable.  

Warehouse 13, seasons 4 and 5, with Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly.  I... am actually pretty satisfied with the wrap-up.  I definitely felt like the last episode was the writers' chance to throw in ideas for episodes that had to be cut, but the tie-up wasn't out of the blue or crazy off-kilter. 
But what was up with Pete's hair?  So bad.

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