Finished in February:
Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier. I have mixed feelings about this book. The subject matter is fascinating and I liked Frazier’s writing style generally. But I felt like he never really figured out what he wanted the book to be: travelogue, social commentary, history? To the extent that it tried to be all of those things, it failed. But I enjoyed it enough that I’ve downloaded samples of Midnight in Siberia and To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World’s Greatest Railroad.
Just read: Patricia Briggs’ Dead Heat. This book was a C- book at best, and it seriously pissed me off. Why the C-? Because the plot was thin and the new characters were not particularly well-drawn. And to pad what was essentially a very, very brief mystery with little or no suspense or tension, Briggs wasted pages on horses, the horse community, showing, blah blah blah. The horse minutia contributed almost nothing to the story.
What really pissed me off was Anna’s approach to Charles and his desire to not have children. She basically patronized him and whined, verging on what felt to me like battering with her desire to have kids. At one point she actually says in the narrative that she’s going to weed out all of his objections to having children and persuade him that he’s wrong. [There is no “wrong” to wanting or not wanting children; just because you want children does not mean others’ desires to not have children is wrong.] It read (to me, YMMV) as putting her desires above his legitimate objections and failing to respect what he wanted when it was inconvenient for her or inconsistent with what she wanted.
Also: if their roles had been reversed and Charles pressured her to have a child she did not want or to be childless when she wanted children, reviewers everywhere would be talking about this. But no. Radio silence as far as I can tell. The Dear Author review merely says that Charles isn’t immediately on board with having kids. That is an understatement at the very least.
Between this and the slut-shaming in the last Mercy book, I am done.