Jul. 14th, 2010


The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter - Susan Wittig Albert

I don't even KNOW where to start. Oh. In case that sentence is misleading - these books make me REALLY REALLY HAPPY. I'm currently about to start book 4; The Tale of Hawthorn House. And I admit to being ever so pouty that there will only be 8 books in the series. I currently own two - picked up a year or so ago at a library sale that I only got around to reading now (the joys of discovering yet another box that hasn't been unpacked). And I've borrowed four from the library.

I love these books. The mysteries involved so far, aren't always murder (most foul). I love the continued characters of the village. I love the description of village life. Despite even one occasion of 'cannibal savages' mentioned (eta: and now *sigh* 'gypsies' stealing babies), I can still identify with the gossip, and nosiness and sense of extended family. And in this case it's not just the humans who're extended family, the village animals are too. Cats, dogs, an Owl, a family of badgers - it's wonderful.

I remember when I picked up the first two, Zvi cracked up. "You're buying RPF? You're buying professionally published RPF!" And then there was the laughter. And there I was going. "But it's RPF about Beatrix Potter. BEATRIX POTTER! How can you not understand how cool that is?!!" But I'm going to bet that the adventures of cotton tail rabbits and kittens who lose their mittens aren't as set in her heart as happy childhood memories of good booky times, as Potter's books are for me.


I thought I'd posted, turns out I hadn't. So I get to do the eta about the 'gypsies' and sigh about how tired I am of looking away or trying to let things slide in order to have some form of entertainment and more importantly, not implode on myself with continued fury at the casual isms of the world and the obvious ways authors show which isms are important to them to address. Still at least there's been some pointing out so far in this book 4, that everything gets blames on gypsies and foxes because it's easier and oblique reference that the more the farmers believe tales and run off the caravans, the less work the Rom find as harvest hands, the more they need to poach etc, to make ends meet.

Nov. 13th, 2008


Skullduggery Pleasant (unfinished)

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Not a good book. Not a good book at all.

As I said in my private journal, I have a finely tuned hair trigger against the minimization of trauma. When G.W.Bush was telling the country after 9/11 to go on as if nothing had happened, I got incredibly pissed off. It took therapy to help me realize why. And yet I took three or four attempts at this book, unable to understand why I just couldn't sink into it.

The writing of itself is not pedantic. This is ok prose. And the setting and premise while somewhat cliche hinted at new possibilities of storytelling. So it took me a while to realize why I wasn't biting.

Spoilers here )

Jul. 17th, 2008


Flesh & Spirit / Breath & Bone - Carol Berg

My original, very short review of Flesh & Spirit sometime earlier in the year was :

Really enjoyed this one. Despite the first person pov, I felt suspense, urgency and peril/panic of dire situations. Oddly it made me think of Anita Blake done right, only without vampires, sex and 80's clothing.

I've just finished Breath & Bone and I really, really enjoyed it. Even if it took me 9 weeks to finish reading it. The suspense was so much I kept putting it down because I couldn't handle anything else happening.

So I think it's safe to say the main character does not have it easy. But I adore him. I absolutely adore him.

About Valen )

Jul. 5th, 2008


Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

I believe a friend, [info]ephemera.livejournal.com, had read and liked this novel. I so far have not. I've borrowed the audio version, as I've discovered that books I want to read but which I may be currently unable to read (but still able to comprehend) are best via audio. I listened to chapter 1 and I think if I'd been reading it I'd have stopped before the chapter even finished.

The pace is horrible. It's the end of the chapter and all I know is that there's a Wizard with secrets who practices magic and a bunch of stuffy others who only deal with theory and out of those stuffed pots two who have hunted the sneaky wizard down. That's it. I don't know how magic is viewed by the populace. I don't know how it contributed to the growth of the Empire. I don't have a clue why people stopped using it, or if it happened all at once or not.

I understand what happened to magic is part of the mystery of the book and yet I'm not bloody well intrigued at all. The book's just page after page of We're Quirkily Old School British But About Magic, Don't You Love Our Gentleman's Club. And the my reply is a resounding no.

In my eyes it's a very watery (thrice used tea bag) version of The Bartimaeus Trilogy.

[originally posted in my Posterous on June 30th]


Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

Introduced to my state library system's ebook and audiobook via download lending system, this was my first test borrow. It was listed in Science Fiction & Fantasy. I eagerly snatched it up.

But over and over again the book made me wince or shudder or just plain mashed the zombie dance all over my TOTALLY WRONG button.

Grr argh. I'm frustrated )