Reading notes, week 4

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January 30: Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. It was next up in my unread books. I (re)read it online at lightning speed in order to beta-read someone’s Yuletide story, and now wanted to read it at a normal pace. It’s still delightful. I could go on for ages about how it’s so set a hundred years ago so some obvious things are obviously different, but I won’t because I assume my readers know that as well as I do.

January 29: Wizard’s Holiday (Summer Edition) by NightsMistress. To scratch my Young Wizards itch. Nice Ronan and Carmela friendship story.

January 28: Think of England by K.J. Charles. And I sort of wish I hadn’t. Spouse read the first chapter and the end and that was it; I’m not that strong. Promoted as the sequel to Proper English but it’s all about Archie (“Curtis”, Daniel refuses to call him by his first name even when he asks) and Daniel, with Pat and Fen only in a very small role. Unlike in Proper English which had a romance without the usual genre obstacles, the protagonist immediately dislikes the love interest (but it gets better). I don’t much like sex scenes between men, and I don’t like fellatio at all and they all seemed to involve that. Why can a F/F romance be cheerful and fluffy and must a M/M romance involve power play? Can’t they just start out with friendship like Pat and Fen? — Apparently I’m not the target audience for this, because most reviews I read of it are rave reviews except that they mention the period-appropriate bigotry. (It’s very well written, and there was some really good witty humor in it. It’s just that this book is full of stuff I don’t like. Not only the sex, but blackmail, a whole family of evil people, wanton killing.)

Owl Be Home for Christmas by Diane Duane. I know it’s out of season but it was a toss-up between “whee, a new Young Wizards book, pity it’s so short” and “missed the window, have to wait eleven months”. Brilliant! I wanted bird wizards! And a glimpse of grown-up Kit and Nita and Lissa, and leveled-up Tom and Carl, is good too.

January 27: Proper English by K.J. Charles. Historical romance, somewhat out of my comfort zone: I have the same reaction as with Augustine Lang novels, “wonderful people, only I wish they were in another world!” (in fact I read fanfic of it first that got me interested in the setting; the fanfic is completely true to canon) It’s got a side of detective story, resolved somewhat sketchily (the obvious person did it). F/F romance, and the love interest has curves. Total verdict: very okay.

January 26: The Blue Flower by tree_and_leaf. Harry Potter fanfic with Phineas Nigellus. The origin of the Mirror of Erised!

A Presumption of Death by Jill Paton Walsh and, weakly, Dorothy L. Sayers. Lots of Harriet! I don’t understand the people who like it less because it’s got less Peter and more Harriet; so does Gaudy Night, but perhaps they don’t like that either. I like it better now that I read (and write) a lot of fanfic, because that’s what it is, confound it.

January 24: Last Term at Malory Towers. The copy I have is very badly converted, it looks like scanned and OCR’ed without proofreading, and I wouldn’t persevere if I didn’t want to finish the series now. But oh my, it’s obviously okay to bully the fat girl without any consequences. (She’s not a nice girl either, but that’s how she’s been written!) This Goodreads review is harsh but not far from my thoughts (but I’d still give it 2 stars at least).

Index of reading notes is here.

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