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books, books, books

Currently reading

Guards! Guards!: A Novel of Discworld
Terry Pratchett
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
The Falcon at the Portal
Elizabeth Peters
Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy's Dreadful Secret
Vera Nazarian, Jane Austen
Battle Magic - Tamora Pierce

a. I like to pretend that The Will of the Empress doesn't exist because I thought all the characters came off pretty terribly. She should have written this one first.

b. Not that this was great in any major way. It was a bit unfocused, and the characters just went from place to place because why? There wasn't the emotional impact you'd expect from events that supposedly leave Briar with PTSD, perhaps because the POV jumped quickly. 

c. If she wants to write only about Rosethorn & Briar, ok. But I think the only way these books will become great is if the four actually get together again, and work together positively. That's what made the first series so good, and the second so disappointing. The Will of the Empress doesn't count.

How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate

How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate - Wendy Moore

Really well-written & researched, though the topic makes for difficult reading. I enjoyed the obvious comparison's to Galatea/Pygmalion.

I disagree with Moore's assertion at the end that Day was just misguided & not wicked, because I couldn't help but compare him to modern kidnappers like the late Ariel Castro, especially since both of them were utterly unrepentant of their acts. While clearly the education of Sabrina was influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, I think the comparison between Day's anti-slavery sentiments vs his need to control his wife reveals a deeper...issue, I guess? There's something that makes these men think they are perfectly in the right to enslave a woman...and I find it baffling & disturbing.


Bloodshot - Cherie Priest

I haven't read much urban fantasy, but this was totally fun. Though...I'm not sure if maybe it's a bit of a satire of the genre? Guess I'll just have read some more ;)

Someone in the House - Barbara Michaels I think I knew this earlier, but I'm just not much of a fan for classic horror/gothic/thrillers. It's not the paranormal/scary parts -- it's when the characters do/are nothing but afraid & reactive. Tiresome.
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik Might have considered 5 stars, because this started out really strong, and I was really in to it. The dragons and their personalities were really fun. But something about how the climatic events wrapped up seemed to subtract (?) from the oomph of the characters & world.
There were a few events that happened, but none had a entirely satisfactory resolution - in hindsight, maybe it's the author's style of writing. Though each was distinct, the author spent a minimal amount of time to wrap it up before moving on the next thing. There didn't seem to be much fallout.
Steadfast - Mercedes Lackey I feel like this one was much stronger at the start, then collapsed with the villain. For some reason, instead of having threatening, magical showdowns like in the earlier books, Mercedes Lackey keeps writing these climaxes that happen more due to circumstantial events, and don't measure up to the characters' apparent capabilities. There's no challenge.
Home from the Sea - Mercedes Lackey This was only...ok. The absolute most enjoyable moment of the book was the homage to Amelia Peabody (by [a:Elizabeth Peters|16549|Elizabeth Peters|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1232144920p2/16549.jpg] ).
I really wanted to like to like Nan & Sarah, but I found their passages so boring & tiring. Not just the flashbacks (which were badly incorporated), but also the interactions with Puck. Initially, I really enjoyed Mari & the gumption with which she faced her fate, but everything just piled up against it. The villains were obvious -- I know these are fairytale based, but the policeman was excessive. Plus, her love interest could have really used more character development; in the end he was just as uninteresting/uninvolved as any of her other suitors. Typically, this series has both well-developed male & female characters.
The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley I really ought to have read this years ago -- it's exactly the kind of book I would have loved in middle school, and I really think it would get more enjoyable with multiple re-readings.
Mort - Terry Pratchett I think this is where Terry Prachett's prose has finally matured enough to work for me. The first few books were a bit of struggle because he was having so much fun developing the absurdity of the Discworld, and writing snarky commentary, silly anecdotes etc, etc that the actual plot & action either moved too quickly or was rather shallow. But having read a few of his later books (and loved them), I knew it would get better!
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger Not as immediate fun as the original series (Parasol Protectorate), and definitely in the realm of YA. However, I loved the plays on tropes, like the school for evil geniuses and the rake-in-training--there were lots of little humorous touches. There may have been a few story threads left hanging, but I guess we will have to see if they get picked up in the next one.
Black Rainbow - Barbara Michaels This kinda has me regretting trying to read all of Barbara Michaels' back catalog. The characters were tiresome & predictable, and while there were a few hints towards evil (spirits? a presence? the house? I couldn't even tell), it wasn't enough to explain away the villain's behavior, or the sense of "doom" that hung over Megan.

I would say at best, this could have been the secondary ghost story, like in [b:Ammie, Come Home|140403|Ammie, Come Home (Georgetown, #1)|Barbara Michaels|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348289627s/140403.jpg|2629158]. Maybe that's what [b:Someone In The House|1450937|Someone In The House|Barbara Michaels|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|135320] is about?
Austenland - Shannon Hale This was SUPER adorable. Yes, it's chick lit, but it was pretty cute how it meshed both the historical period and current day -- totally Regency House Party in book form. It was lovely how it referenced Jane Austen both in plot and prose, but it has enough character to stand on it's own.
The Teleportation Accident - Ned Beauman Not entirely sure what I think of it... The prose was sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating. There was really no reason to like the main character except for living up to his surname (a loser, indeed).

It took a bit long to get the story going - I wish the conceptual, cyclical nature of the story wasn't relegated to the second half of the book.
The Changeling Sea - Patricia A. McKillip Lovely, sweet little story.
Specials - Scott Westerfeld More like 2.5 stars..
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories - Susanna Clarke I love her writing. I wish she had a book list 10 times longer...