Narnia

Jun. 25th, 2015 10:12 am
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Narnia-related conversations in several places have sparked my curiosity: where were you when you understood that the Narnia books are about Christianity? Or did you always know?

my experience )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read I've been travelling and had more time than usual for reading, so there's a few reviews to catch up with. read more )

Also, I'm having lots of fun with [personal profile] jadelennox's Dreamwidth Friending meme. Welcome, new people, and current readers, if you are looking for more people for your DW circle, the meme is well worth checking out.
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read Balancing act by Joanna Trollope. (c) Joanna Trollope 2014, pub 2014 Doubleday Black Swan, ISBN 978-0-552-77855-8. read more (includes spoilers) )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison ([livejournal.com profile] truepenny). (c)2014 Katherine Addison, Pub 2014 Tor, ISBN 978-1-4299-4640-7

read more )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read Tea with the black dragon by RA MacAvoy. (c) 1983 by RA MacAvoy, published Bantam Books 1983, ISBN 0-553-23205-3. read more )
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read: Clive Barker: Imajica (c) 1991 Clive Barker, published Harper Collins Perennial 2002, ISBN 978-0-06-093726-3. read more )

BTW, I am completely loving all your comments on my Passover post. I have the best friends, and I am rather amused at how much of my Passover has ended up being devoted to discussion of whiksy and Trinitarian theology. Thank you all for being interesting and knowledgeable and explaining so patiently.
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
Recently read:
  • The shambling guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty. read more )

    Conclusion: Wednesday reading posts are definitely not quicker to write than my usual style of book reviews. But never mind!
  • liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Joan Slonczewski

    Details: (c) Joan Slonczewski 1986; Pub The Women's Press 1987; ISBN 0-7043-4069-0

    Verdict: A door into ocean has some excellent world-building but I found it a little depressing.

    Reasons for reading it: I've consistently heard this recommended, both as hard SF with plausible biology, and as feminist SF. I've been looking for a it for a while, and not finding it. I know these days you can pretty much get any book published in the 20th century for £3 from Amazon, but I am always reluctant to resort to giving money to the evil empire unless I get desperate.

    How it came into my hands: Happily, [personal profile] forestofglory gave me a copy as a present, which was really exciting, it's so nice to get a book you've been meaning to read!

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Max Gladstone

    Details: (c) 2012 Max Gladstone; Pub 2012 Tor; ISBN 978-1-4668-0203-2

    Verdict: Three parts dead is a great read, with some cool original concepts including magical lawyers.

    Reasons for reading it: Gladstone is nominated for the Campbell, and several friends were enthusiastic about him. I somewhat regret being over-optimistic about how much time I'd have to read the Hugo nominees, and given that I wasn't actually going to get through everything, I should have started with the Campbell, as that's the most interesting category, instead of working my way up through the shorter works.

    How it came into my hands: Tor, unlike Orbit, went out of their way to make sure their nominated authors actually got a decent shot in the Hugo voting, by including full works and even previous episodes in series, in the Hugo packet. So I read this as a professionally formatted, non-DRM ebook.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Mary Renault

    Details: (c) Mary Renault 1953; Pub Virago Press 2013; ISBN 978-1-84408-950-5

    Verdict: The Charioteer is an amazing historical artefact, though as a story has a bit too much angst for my taste.

    Reasons for reading it: I've been searching for this for ages; I've read and appreciated most of Renault's classical setting novels and was really intrigued to read her contemporary stuff where she actually writes directly about people who would be considered gay in the modern sense.

    How it came into my hands: I turned up at the library 5 minutes before closing time on the day my books were due back, and this caught my eye on the promotions table, so I grabbed it and stamped it out in the last few minutes before they threw me out.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: James SA Corey

    Details: (c) 2010 Daniel Abraham & Ty Franck; Pub Orbit 2013; ISBN 978-1-84149-991-8

    Verdict: Caliban's war is an exciting sequel which really improves on the first volume of the trilogy.

    Reasons for reading it: I enjoyed the first in this series, Leviathan Wakes a great deal. And [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel assured me that the sequel benefits from more female characters, fewer vomit zombies which made me all the more inclined to read it.

    How it came into my hands: I attempted to buy it from Barnes and Noble for my new shiny Nook. But something went wrong with the DRM somehow and I couldn't read the file. Which did not exactly give me great faith in using my Nook as intended, a terminal for B&N's online shop. So I kept meaning to break the DRM or download a pirate version or even argue with B&N about taking my money and selling me a file I couldn't use, but in the end I happened on a copy in the library sooner than I got round to doing any of those things.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Kristin Cashore

    Details: (c) Kristin Cashore 2008; Pub 2009 Gollancz; ISBN 978-0-575-08530-5

    Verdict: Graceling is pacy and exciting but fairly generic YA swords-and-sorcery.

    Reasons for reading it: There's been quite a bit of buzz about it as the next big thing in YA so I was curious.

    How it came into my hands: Charity shop.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Francis Spufford

    Details: (c) Francis Spufford 2002; Pub Faber and Faber 2003; ISBN 0-571-21467-3

    Verdict: The child that books built is readable and erudite but left a bad taste.

    Reasons for reading it: [livejournal.com profile] papersky recommended it strongly. Lots of people in my circles find Spufford charming and I liked the idea of a memoir of childhood reading.

    How it came into my hands: [personal profile] jack lent it to me.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Marie Brennan ([personal profile] swan_tower)

    Details: (c) 2013 Bryn Neuenschwander; Pub Tor 2013; ISBN 978-0-7653-3196-0

    Verdict: A natural history of dragons is delightful fluff.

    Reasons for reading it: I've enjoyed [personal profile] swan_tower's acerbic comments about bad historical fantasy, so I was intrigued to find out whether she can do it better. I liked the premise of a lady explorer investigating dragons. And then several people mentioned it in [personal profile] rachelmanija's post looking for genre novels with major Jewish characters (a discussion I intend to respond to properly), on the grounds that the setting is an alt history where Judaism is the major European religion. And I wanted something relatively light and pleasant to read after scaring myself with Ambient, so it seemed a good time to pick up from my to-read pile a book about a Jewish lady explorer who meets dragons.

    How it came into my hands: [personal profile] jack lent it to me.

    detailed review )

    Overall I found aNHoD a pleasant read, but a bit on the frothy side.
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Jack Womack

    Details: (c) 1987 Jack Womack; Pub 1991 Tor; ISBN 0-812-51605-2

    Verdict: Ambient is original and highly disturbing.

    Reasons for reading it: I've read several others in the same series, and Heathern and Random acts of senseless violence impressed me greatly.

    How it came into my hands: I found it more or less by accident due to wandering into a Toronto bookshop to escape from the torrential rain. Which bookshop turned out to be a gay bookshop with a rather good SF section.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Gillian Flynn

    Details: (c) Gillian Flynn 2012; Pub Phoenix 2013; ISBN 978-0-7538-2766-6

    Verdict: Gone girl is in some ways an effective thriller but not as clever as it thinks it is.

    Reasons for reading it: There's been a lot of buzz about it, and reviews I've read seem strongly divided on whether it's terrible or great, so I was intrigued.

    How it came into my hands: The bookshelf of take-me-home books in the staff room at work.

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Sofia Samatar

    Details: (c) 2013 Sofia Samatar; Pub 2013 Small Beer Press; ISBN 978-1-931520-77-5

    Verdict: A stranger in Olondria is a fascinatingly original take on hero quest fantasy.

    Reasons for reading it: Mainly because Jo Walton listed it as one of the decade's most exciting works of fantasy. It's Abigail Nussbaum's review that convinced me to bring the book up to the top of my to-read pile.

    How it came into my hands: I went on a spree buying stuff to put on my e-reader for when I was travelling to Canada and I can't remember which store exactly sold me aSiO.

    detailed review )

    I'm certainly convinced that aSiO is really innovative in genre. I didn't absolutely adore all of it, but it's a very strongly written book.
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Julian Barnes

    Details: (c) Julian Barnes 2011; Pub Vintage 2012; ISBN 978-0-099-56497-3

    Verdict: The sense of an ending is clever but too depressing for me.

    Reasons for reading it: [personal profile] doseybat's mother really pressed it on me, and I generally quite like Julian Barnes anyway.

    How it came into my hands: [personal profile] angelofthenorth lent it to me (and in a particularly beautiful edition, too!)

    detailed review )
    liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
    Author: Audrey Niffenegger

    Details: (c) Audrey Niffenegger 2004; Pub Vintage 2005; ISBN 978-0-099-46446-4

    Verdict: The time traveler's wife is well-written but doesn't quite live up to its potential.

    Reasons for reading it: There was a lot of buzz about it when it came out and it seemed like it might lead to some interesting conversations.

    How it came into my hands: I grabbed it from a charity shop five for £1 table, which is a very good way of acquiring bestsellers from a few years ago.

    detailed review )

    Soundbite

    Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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