books

Reading notes, week 29

Currently reading: At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie. Better than I remember, probably one of the best Miss Marples. I wrote in 2014 “I’m pretty sure that I prefer the film” but I’d have to see the film again to be completely sure of that. (I do prefer the film of Murder at the Vicarage,

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Reading notes, week 28

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

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Reading notes, week 27

July 4: Bad Heir Day by Rosemary Edghill. Funny Arthurian story in which Guenhwyfar is the name of the sword, and “merlin” is a job title. The Town Cats and Other Tales by Lloyd Alexander. Fun moralising stories, all cousins of Puss in Boots. Victory by Susan Cooper. Very touching, with some good family and

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Reading notes, week 26

June 27: Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher, as antidote to a couple more Hugo finalist DNFs (military SF, “Game of Thrones on the Moon”). “Of course it bites. It’s a weasel. They don’t kill their prey with pretty words and poisoned sweetmeats.” At times it’s clear that it started as a serial but it

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Reading notes, week 25

Tried to read This Is How You Lose The Time War, Middlegame, Gideon the Ninth and Deeplight, but they were all in various ways Not For Me. I may be able to read Deeplight later, but at the moment I can’t get into it; the other three are various combinations of “too close to the

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Reading notes, week 24

June 12: Gebonden Kapitaal by Almar Otten. Local author, set in Deventer. Very nice to see familiar places and (possibly) disguised local figures (disclaimer: I don’t know many). I read it for the plot, though, not the writing– sometimes very stilted and splainy, and people don’t seem to be speaking actual spoken language (doesn’t the

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Reading notes, week 23

June 6: Do Not Look Back, My Lion by Alix E. Harrow. Hugo short story. Beautiful but painful. Wonderful worldbuilding. A couple of stories from different Hugo finalist magazines, mostly meh. Why the Dutch are Different by Ben Coates, picked up when exchanging ebooks with Spouse. The blurb says “The first book to offer an

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Reading notes, week 22

May 30: A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively. Wonderful! On a par with The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, which I’ve loved since my teens. I read the protagonist as not completely neurotypical but perhaps she’s only shy and imaginative and being brought up by very straitlaced parents. Satanic, Versus by Mercedes Lackey. My first

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Reading notes, week 21

May 22: Harvest Moon, three separate fantasy novellas all having to do with the (full) moon. The first is by Mercedes Lackey, a story about (among others) Leopold and his bride from The Sleeping Beauty having a run-in with the Greek Olympic gods. Second, by Michelle Sagara, in a world I didn’t know yet. Hard

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Reading notes, week 20

May 16: The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey. It took me a while to realise it’s Hansel and Gretel, probably because there are two other subplots first, eventually irrelevant for the main plot. But it was satisfying, with only the villain turning out to be unlikeable (though some other people were a

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