|Aug. 10th, 2014 @ 10:41 am booklog, a shamefully late July|
|I meant to post this on the 23rd, before I left for Alpha, but I forgot. It seemed best to keep July together, even with the number of books I read, because I was going to lose that last week... so, yeah, I apologize. This is late and long. August will be back to normal.|
Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Understood Betsy.
A strangely satisfying book, though the amount of Montessori irritated me. I grabbed it from the free cart and the rec center months ago-- it’s a 1917 book about a child with a serious case of the helicopter aunties sent to rural New England, where everyone is all Montessori all the time. Parts of it are really good, parts of it could be vastly improved with proper communication, and I liked the bit at the fair.
I am not irritated in retrospect by the Christian Science in The Secret Garden. Maybe it’s an age-I-encountered-it thing.
Mercedes Lackey, Blood Red.
I had very little idea of when this was set, the fairy tale was dealt with in the beginning, and you know, this was just about exactly what I thought it was going to be. I could have used a big told-you-so scene at the end, though.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Bloodwitch
Least satisfying book in months, or at least it feels that way. That ending, I mean. That ending.
Sarah Zettel, Bad Luck Girl.
A good conclusion to the trilogy, though parts of it were too easy. I’ll have to recommend this to the Alphans.
Melissa Cutler, The Trouble with Cowboys.
The third one in this set has a really good title, so I was going to bring that home in case it lived up to it, and oh hey there’s three of them....
I had to bring some shirtless cowboys into the house. I’m the only one of us who hasn’t yet.
This has too much family-is-forever for me, but it does a good job of working within the sexy-cowboy trope. Amy, the female lead, has a cowboy fetish. So all the gratuitous boot-ogling is actually a sort of character thing.
Cowboy Justice. Cowboys and people who love them: KEEP YOUR PANTS ON FOR TEN MINUTES. You’re all absolutely stupid with pantsfeelings, and I mean stupid in its truest sense.
Also, the first book opens with a woman who had a meltdown on reality TV wanting to stress-dice some celery. This one opens with a shootout and having to kill your horse. That escalated quickly.
How to Rope a Real Man. Tell me, could you see this title and not be at least a little curious? This book is responsible for the increase in shirtless cowboys at Plumberley.
The set as a whole pulls its punches. Increasingly dire situations are defused with sitting down to actually talk, and because everyone is reasonable, everything is resolved.
But then, I didn’t start these books because I expected them to be good. I expected them to be interestingly tolerable and suitable for an evening’s literary sedative.
Nora Roberts, The Collector.
Meh? Notable mostly because it’s the second romance I’ve read recently involving a lost Imperial Faberge Egg.
Melanie Rawn, Touchstone, Elsewhens, Thornlost.
Okay, just go read everything Marissa Lingen has to say about these three. Such disappointment. Much drugs. Wow.
Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
Thrilling conclusion of a trilogy that involves angels and demons and no Bible. Taylor’s structure is weird again-- oho boy it’s just as weird as the first book only with more frustration-- and there are too many chapter endings that end with... OR SO THEY THOUGHT! or at least very similar tension-mounters, but look, it has Liraz the Most Badass of Them All and Zuzana and Mik being adorable and definable voices-- the standard snarky YA narrator is only present in certain Earth-educated scenes. It has cleverness. I am almost willing to forgive all the characters for not letting anyone on Earth what was going on. But only almost.
Connie Willis, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories.
I started this in 2011 but didn’t want to break Connie Willis’ writing again by binging. So, yeah. Not as good as some of her novellas, but some stories are good.
Robin McKinley, Rose Daughter.
Every single book I have from the library is scary. Every one. And when I saw this on the shelf, I thought, “I want to read a book about housekeeping.”
Jim Butcher, Skin Game.
I guess I’m still reading this series. I’m not thrilled about it, though. But as you may have noticed, I do not have to be thrilled.
At some point, though, all the things I know and notice are wrong will add up to No More Fun Dresden Times.
That said, because really that’s the baseline, this was enjoyable. I like the minor characters quite a lot, even if I have to put up with Harry’s soul-searching and being whapped upside the head with his arrogance (him whapped, not me) to get them.
Elizabeth Bear, Shattered Pillars.
I meant to read the third one just next, but that clearly didn’t happen. Still enjoying them, or at least appreciating them.
Seanan McGuire, Sparrow Hill Road.
I didn’t know what to expect from this, but a short story collection wasn’t it. I liked it as long as it was a collection; a third to halfway through, it grew novelplot and each piece became much less self-contained. Also, gratuitous Incryptid inclusion.
Mary Rickert, The Memory Garden.
In my head there is a genre called ‘like Practical Magic’ that now contains another book. It’s not an easy book to read, not least because I kept wanting to hide the wine, but once I settled into it I enjoyed it a great deal.
Anne Bishop, Written in Blood.
A reread because I wanted light Mary Sue and the sequel’s out. Boy, Bishop’s female antagonists are unilaterally terribly done.
I realized partway through that Meg is not only a Mary Sue-- sort of a Mary Sue?-- she’s a particular type: the one who does everything exactly the way the reader thinks the reader would in that same situation. Not only a good character, but someone whose basic sense informs all decisions. There’s something here that makes Meg different from other characters, more like Beauty in Rose Daughter-- perhaps it’s another book about housekeeping in the end, even with the problematic alternate history. Meg is who we all think we would be in that situation.
Murder of Crows.
A remarkable lack of tension here. Seriously, zero tension, a betrayal of the state No Sexy Werewolves Here, and a bit too Anne Bishop in how gender dynamics work. There are times I like Bishop, but the correct dosage is just under one book until something changes.
Loretta Chase, Mr Impossible.
Possibly my favorite of all of her books, mostly because Rupert is so... bluff. Hearty. Cheerful. He is pretty absent from all the other books in this set, so his reputation as a good-natured hellion is entirely in this one. Normally, that bugs me, but nothing about Rupert can possibly bug me.
I want a Rupert.