I’ve been mostly offline for the summer, in terms of keeping up with reader/bookish blogs. I sort of missed some things about it and sort of didn’t.
I owe Beth all the words about her book, which I loved.
Aside from Beth’s book, I’ve gotten a little reading done this summer:
The Road Beneath My Feet – Frank Turner’s memoir. One one hand, I like the narrative style, as tour dates beginning when he went out on his own. It’s interesting to read about his life on the road and how he developed his band and touring philosophy, etc. On the other hand, while he has clearly worked hard to get where he is, he sometimes comes across as cavalier about his opportunities (white, middle class English dude who attended Eton and London School of Economics) even as he occasionally acknowledges his good fortune. Which kind of circles back to my ambivalence about the lyrics/message of “Photosynthesis” about doing what you love vs having a job merely to earn a living. Also, his editor really should have cut back on the use of “in the event” in the text. Worth reading if you like his music and can find a copy, since I don’t think it’s been published in the US yet. [FYI, his new album, Positive Songs for Negative People, came out a couple of weeks ago and is pretty good. Not my favorite, since England Keep My Bones is pretty awesome, but I like Get Better and Love Forty Down.]
Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This needed serious editing. The Eastern European fairy tale/mythology was interesting, but the story was not particularly original otherwise. And if you (like me) are expecting actual dragons a la Temeraire, you will be disappointed.
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews. It was okay? I wasn’t all that engaged by the Big Mystery. And the volume of little discontinuities or errors was irritating, but par for all of Andrews’ books. Also, why no commas when using multiple adjectives to modify nouns? Is that a dying part of grammar?
The Kizuna Coast by Sujata Massey. A Rei Shimura Mystery. I thought Massey had left this series behind, and so wasn’t looking for a new book when I ran across this in a display at the library. Set in Japan after the 2011 earthquake. I guessed whodunnit pretty early but not why exactly. It was nice visiting this series again but I found the domestic/relationship piece to be a little cloying, although I’m not sure I can articulate why exactly. Maybe it felt like the narrator was trying too hard to show how happy/compatible Rei and Michael were? I don’t know.
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold. LOVED this short story. It’s set in her Chalion world but centuries before The Curse of Chalion. If you haven’t read the three other books and wonder if you’ll like the world, it might be a good place to start.
What else have I done all summer? I feel like I’ve worked a lot mostly, which is weird since summer tends to be slower. Except it’s also when a lot of people are out on vacation, so even if volume is down, there are fewer people around to deal with things, so… When work and other things were not making me cranky, I went to Chicago for a long weekend. I’m working on a baby blanket for a friend. Hemmed and hawed and then ponied up for a 10 game ticket plan for hockey. I picked games where I’ll be able to cheer against the Caps – Pens, CBJ, MTL, SJS, Preds, etc. Flirted with the idea of Istanbul for a vacation in November or February until there were more bombings in the tourist areas and gunfire at the consulate; I think maybe that window has closed for now.