Date:

September 1st, 2007

New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear. (24) [specfic]. I checked this book out of the library. I LOVE this book. It may be my favorite Bear thus far. I may have to buy it. More of this, please! Maybe I’ll review it, full-fledged, later (I seem to be doing that less now that I do these mini book reports). Finished 06/26/07.

Catalyst by Nina Kirki Hoffman. (25) [YA, specfic]. I checked this book out of the library. It was very good, Kiriki Hoffman is one of my favorite writers. I wasn’t completely comfortable with the sexual nature of it, but it was well within tone, and not gratuitous at all, just a little unsettling. Finished 06/28/07.

The 60 second organizer by Jeff Davidson. (26) [non-fiction]. Checked this out of the library. Summer reading vacation 07. This was the worst book I’ve read in a long, long time. If I can just keep one other human being from reading this book, I will consider it a good deed accomplished. Among the tidbits of wisdom the author offers are shameless plugs for his other books, and buying (and presumably carrying around) a pocket scanner so you can scan anything you need to keep at any moment. Not only is much of the advice pointless or counter-productive, a lot of it is uselessly vague: “make profound choices” and “‘work smarter’ for real”. He actually recommends using GANTT charts in your personal organizing! Oh, and get this, the entire book is phrased in first or second person, except for one little part. The part about cleaning house, when we suddenly get a third person female named Rhonda for our example. Right….because the ‘you’ of the rest of the book must be a man…or maybe the only people who clean house are women…or…I don’t know, pick your own offensive stereotype. Yes, the cleaning house section comes with this little gem of advice:”Thereafter, only a few maintenance activities are necessary, and with enough nagging, she can get her husband to do those.” Organizational professionals upping the ante in gender stereotyping and degrading male/female relationships everywhere. Give this one a miss, if you’re thinking of reading it. Finished 06/30/07

Little Big by John Crowley. (27) [specfic]. I bought this book secondhand, basically on Elaine’s endorsement. Summer reading vacation 07. I enjoyed it, which is no surprise. Any book that steeped in Alice in Wonderland is bound to give me moments of joy. I didn’t feel it was quite as epic and earth-shattering as maybe it should have been, but it was intelligent and interesting, which is enough. I return to thinking about it periodically and may read it again someday. Finished 07/02/07.

The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones. (28) [specfic, YA]. Got this book as a gift, I think for my birthday last year. Summer reading vacation 07. Man, I love Diana Wynne Jones. No exception here. The Welsh grandfather was the bomb. Finished 07/03/07.

Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold. (29) [specfic]. I bought this specifically for reading vacation, because it never hurts to have some Bujold in your reading vacation. Summer reading vacation 07. Loved the characterization in this one. Finished 07/05/07.

Violet Eyes by Nicole Luiken. (30) [specfic, YA]. This was the intruder book, the one I was told to read by someone else (Marlee). Summer reading vacation 07. The pacing in this book was relentless and drew you on well, but this book followed on some stereotypes that really bothered me, beginning with the appearance worship and following onto the big bad guy being fat. Ugh. Still, glad I read it. Also, wtf, pseudo-1986 without a Cold War? I mean I realize it’s Canada, but still! Finished 07/06/07.

The Watchman by Robert Crais. (31) [thriller]. Second of the intruder books, loaned to me by Doug MacLean. Summer reading vacation 07. An interesting read, not my sort of thing, but it does me enormous good to read books with implacable pacing, since I’m more of meanderer. Finished 07/07/07.

A Farewell to Summer by Ray Bradbury. (32) [specfic]. Checked this out of the new arrivals section of the library (along with Catalyst and New Amsterdam, both of which are better books…I’m a danger to myself and others in the new arrivals section of the library, apparently). Summer reading vacation 07. I really didn’t care for it at all. Some sentences were gorgeous, some ideas made me pause but overall a gigantic meh. So sad. At least it was brief, and a quick read. Finished 07/07/07.

Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones. (33) [specfic, YA]. I own this. I bought it secondhand when I realized I had the first and fourth of the series but not two and three. I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I liked Cart & Cwidder or the Spellcoats. I guess thematically, it meant more to me when it was tied to music and than when it was tied to sailing and the water. Possibly a strictly personal feeling. Finished on 07/18//07.

Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones. (34) [specfic, YA]. I own this, bought secondhand. I really liked this book. The rugcoats were awesome. Finished around 07/20/07.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. (35) [specfic, YA]. I borrowed this from Kate Grumke. Rowling didn’t botch the ending, which is admirable, considering how much momentum and how much weight the whole thing needed to really satisfy. I’m impressed, and I enjoyed it. Finished on 07/24/07.

The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones. (36) [specfic, YA]. I own this. I think I was given it. I was kind of annoyed that this book was almost exactly like a fictionalized version of the “Tough Guide” (which I was also reading, but returned to the library unfinished because I didn’t want to read the same book twice at the same time). I also was put off by the tone shift between the more serious, earlier books and this book. Except for that while it started funny, it ended pretty serious. And there were lots of little things about it I liked (the whole griffin children thread was just beautiful) and so finally it won me over. Finished late 07/07.

The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones. (37) [specfic, YA]. I checked this out of the library, but oh, I want to own it. I love the Chrestomanci universe. It’s my favorite place DWJ plays. I hope she writes more books there. Finished at the first of August, before the 11th (08/07).

Whiskey and Water by Elizabeth Bear. (38) [specfic]. Checked this out of the library (new arrivals section, still trawling where I shouldn’t) I was happier with costs in this one than I was in Blood & Iron and there were some really cool things about the world (the competing hells concept was really intriguing, for example) and how it continues to unfold, but overall I’m a little meh about the trilogy so far. I love Arthuriana, so it should really be hitting my interests, but I like all the stuff in it better than I like any of the people (maybe except Ian and his father and the kelpie…surely, everyone loves the kelpie?) and I was like omg, Marlowe AGAIN? How often in Bear’s work am I going to have to put up with him? OTOH, I read her blog while she wrote this, and she complained bitterly about the omniscient point of view and how difficult it was to write and how nobody would like it and so on and so forth and that part of it is just perfect. Loved the POV stuff. Finished on 08/21/07.

Dark Reflections by Samuel Delany. (39) [fiction]. I checked this out of the library. Man, this guy can seriously write. If you had given me a synopsis of the book I would have passed it up, but I was interested, engaged and blown away by how beautifully it is all stitched together. Can I use the word poignant? Or is that too twee? I was drawn inside the world, I was captivated, I was moved. That is all. I seriously have to get off my lazy behind and read Dhalgren. Seriously. Finished on 08/27/07

So wow, only the first of September and I’ve read 40 books (ok, 39, but close enough). Looks like I may make 52 this year, because this is only week 35. I’m 4 books ahead, woohoo!

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