My reading slump continues. I need to figure out something to write about because I’m really out of the habit of writing thoughtfully about the media I consume. I write a fair amount for work but the results are pretty technical and blunt, very to the point with a specific purpose and a different kind of analysis and use of persuasive language. So, I’m going to make an effort with the goal of one post per week about some sort of media, even if it is not about published fiction.
I have managed to read some stuff this summer though.
- Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. Rosario posted a very good review of this book, although she may have liked it more than I did. It felt really derivative of Roberts’ Montana Sky, which was once a favorite. It might still be, maybe, but I’m a little afraid to re-read after 5+ years, because what if it doesn’t stand up? Or what if it irritates me the way this one did? The clustered family felt really claustrophobic to me, and the dismissal of urban lives seriously pissed me off. (Disclosure: I grew up in the middle of nowhere in an old house set in the middle of fields of cows and corn. I now live by choice in a sort of rust-belt city with serious race and crime issues. There are good and bad things about both. Community is not exclusive to small towns and rural life.)
- Skin After Skin by Jordan Castillo Price. A new PsyCop novel. Eh, I didn’t love it? It was interesting to get a different POV on Victor Bayne and other PsyCops, but there were a lot of inconsistencies between it and the earlier novels that didn’t seem really attributable to just a change of POV.
- The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch. A short story or novella in the Rivers of London series. Really liked seeing Abigail and a plot that didn’t involve Leslie or the Faceless Man.
July – just Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember by John Feinstein. This follows Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine during the 2007 season. As someone who learned to love baseball via the Orioles in the late 90s, Mike Mussina was the ace, the starting pitcher, the hero. Glavine, eh, National League, so I didn’t pay much attention except for the occasional interleague series. It’s interesting to read Mussina’s perspective on his contract negotiations with Angelos/management as he played his final year as an Oriole and then departed for The Enemy. Feinstein writes that Mussina felt like the fans were critical of him; as a fan, I remember feeling like the ownership/management was shortchanging their ace. In fact, the last game that he started, I remember seeing a season ticket holder with a sign that read, “If Mussina doesn’t come back, neither do I.” Anyway, it was a good read but I would probably only recommend it to baseball fans. For lack of a better phrase, it’s kind of inside baseball and assumes a certain base knowledge about the game and its history and operations.
August – nothing, according to LibraryThing. Is that right? Nope, Amazon says I downloaded Lois McMaster Bujold’s new novella, Penric’s Fox. Although this was just published in August, it fits chronologically as the third book/novella in the series, set after Penric and the Shaman and before his later adventures in Penric’s Mission and Mira’s Last Dance. IMO, it is just as well, because I found Mira’s Last Dance to be fairly disappointing and appreciated the return to mystery/adventure.
September – I know it’s early for this, but I read at the beach and am likely to spend the rest of the month inching through the nonfiction I started on Friday, so…
- God Save the Queen by Kate Locke – steampunk + paranormal. Steampunk has been really hit or miss for me, other than Meljean Brook’s work. And I used to love paranormal but got vampired and werewolved out a long time ago. (Would Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten stand up to a re-read, or would it irritate me now? I don’t know.) But this was interesting in the set up of plot/conflict and some of the world-building. I liked it enough to seek out the second book of the series.
- The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke. Maybe I should have left this series at the first book? Or perhaps not read it shortly after the first of the series? In any case, I’m not wasting time or money on the third book. The POV character’s use of the same phrase about having her trusty lonsdaelite dagger tucked into her corset became irritating after the fourth or fifth repetition, and she was a giant Mary Sue.
- Secrets in Death by JD Robb. It was fine. It was JD Robb. There was bloody murder, Eve was conflicted about things, she and Summerset snark at each other, Roarke owns everything, etc.
- Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. I’m only about 25% through this book. The massive incompetence, outright fraud, criminal activity, hypocrisy, and bloated-ego-fest that was the CIA through its first decade or so (as far as I’ve read) is terrifying and infuriating and shame-inducing.