Reading notes, week 28

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Leaving The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern here because I don’t know when (or even whether) I’ll return to it. I feel kind of obliged to finish it: it’s probably even better than The Night Circus, and it’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s too dense and heady at the moment and there was a little thing that badly squicked me at the beginning. Goodreads says collectively that there’s no horror in it but body horror is horror, people, even on a small scale. (Half of Goodreads, the one- and two-star reviewers contingent, also says collectively that there’s no plot, but I’ve never minded that in a book.)

July 11: Ask Miss Mott by E. Phillips Oppenheim. Comfort reading. Spouse warned that the epub was broken but I didn’t have to fix it in Calibre, I could go past it and back to the break and read the rest without any problems. These are originally magazine stories, I think, so it wasn’t very strange that the first and second were almost identical (even down to a couple of literal sentences) and that not all secondary characters were consistent, but calling a pair of women Rebecca and Martha on the first page of a story and Caroline and Eliza later is a bit of an oversight, no? Good twist that the villain wants to marry the protagonist because she has too much information on him and a wife can’t testify against her husband.

July 10: The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus by Ginn Hale. I think I’ve acquired a taste for steampunk! Interesting, and ends well, but I badly need to acquire genre conventions as well.

Gave up on another book by Ginn Hale because it is, though not strictly horror, fantasy-with-devils, and lots of people whose taste I trust like it but I’m not in the mood for it.

July 9: (yes, this is a ramble, written while I was reading it; won’t fix) Hemel(R), Hel(R), God(R), Seks(R) en meer verouderde producten by Almar Otten, the same who wrote the locally-set thrillers. Can’t find any information about it except the download link on the writer’s website. Humorous (?) take on the Apocalypse (I must admit that I peeked at the ending and it seems that the Apocalypse gets postponed for a while). God is a Dutch CEO who has dozens of children in the world. Too silly to be serious –some of the silliness comes from the tacit assumption that All Things Happen In The Netherlands, which would probably annoy me if it was the USA–, too grim to be funny. And soooo much sex (mostly of the unimaginative kind). I don’t like the protagonist and, come to think of it, at 25% haven’t met a single character I do like. I hate the premise (“humanity is dying out because God’s corporation discontinued sex”). I keep telling myself “you don’t have to read this” but I still want to know how things happen, so I suspect Almar Otten is a really good thriller writer. The book reminds me of Sam, of de pluterdag, which I enjoyed as a teen but I don’t think I can reread it any more. Later on, it’s more like what I know of Left Behind (yes, and all I know of that I know from Fred Clark). Tempted to DNF it at 83%, and perhaps I should have because it didn’t get any better. And very badly proofread, and with hardcoded line height so I couldn’t get the Kobo to make it more comfortable, but I don’t feel called to fix it like I did Prydain.

July 8: Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector by Nicole Kimberling. A romp in a shared universe, a compilation of longer and shorter stories, and though I almost DNF’ed the first one because of a squick (cannibalism) it’s done bearably. But I still don’t see why books with gay protagonists MUST include sex — obligatory sex scene at 22%, fairly graphic. (Or why books must include sex at all, to be honest.) The descriptions of food do make me crave Raffaele‘s smoked beetroot and goat cheese salad. Somewhat disconcerting that every new story recaps the previous ones as if we haven’t read them in the very same book! Happy ending, at least.

July 6: Best Game Ever by R.R. Angell. Thriller set in a US college in the nearish future, from the Pride Month bundle. It took me about 5% to get used to the genre and atmosphere but then I stayed interested. I’d have preferred it to end on the penultimate chapter, though: closure and a promise of a happy ending for some nice people. Instead we get a teaser hook. (Also, a writer giving their own book 5 stars on Goodreads is going a bit too far IMO! And grr, I notice just now that Autism Speaks is in the list of autism resources.)

Index of reading notes is here.

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