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Summer Reading

August 10, 2015

The books I talk about here are usually the ones that elicit some kind of strong response, but there are lots of other books I read and reread. At the beginning of the summer I started to pile some books on my desk that I’d read for the first time and which elicited some response, if not a strong one, because I thought I would get around to writing about them sometime. Now the end of the summer is drawing near, and the desk has to be cleaned off.

The end of the summer is nearing fast because of my road trip to Arizona with Eleanor. We’re spending the night in Cape Girardeau, MO, Oklahoma City, OK, Albuquerque, NM, at the Grand Canyon, and then in Tucson, AZ. I will fly back to Ohio the week before classes begin. She will be working for Americorps.

I’ve decided to make a clean sweep of it and put all these books back on the shelf without saying much about them except that if you’ve read one of them and want to talk about it, I’d be delighted.

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
Pig Tale, Verlyn Fleiger
The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
The House of Paper, Carlos Maria Dominguez
The Outlander Series, Diana Gabaldon
The Dead Lands, Benjamin Percy
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Mort, Terry Pratchett

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2015 4:53 pm

    Oh what did you make of The Goblin Emperor? I enjoyed it tremendously with some reservations that would probably keep me from recommending it to folks.

    • August 11, 2015 5:20 pm

      I thought the racism part was interesting, liked that he didn’t completely forgive his cruel guardian, and got kind of bored with the court intrigue, after a while.

  2. August 10, 2015 5:28 pm

    LOVED Ancillary Justice so I read Ancillary Sword which I also loved so much that I’ve pre-ordered Ancillary Mercy. I loved the gender stuff and the multiple bodies for one consciousness and all the trouble that might entail. What did you think?

    • August 11, 2015 5:23 pm

      I did like the two things you mention–the interesting use of gender and multiple bodies. One of these days I mean to get to reading Ancillary Sword. Somehow, though, the story wasn’t so compelling that I felt the need to talk about it much or jump right into the next one.
      I met Ann Leckie at IAFA and she was a nice and interesting person. She came to a panel discussion where I was on the panel talking about satire in SF with authors Kij Johnson and Rachel Swirsky and another literary scholar.

  3. August 13, 2015 12:13 pm

    What did you think of House of Paper? I really liked that one. An odd little book

    • August 13, 2015 6:06 pm

      I read it because you’d liked it. I think maybe I wasn’t in the mood for it; I got impatient with the whimsicality.

  4. magpiemusing permalink
    August 29, 2015 8:53 pm

    I’m about half way through All the Light We Cannot See – which I bought the other day at the urging of my 11yo, who said she wanted to read it because a 14yo in her bunk at camp had liked it. After we got it home, she read a page and I think had second thoughts. I am liking it a lot – and particularly glad to have bought it because I read all of the other books I’d brought on vacation and one cannot be on vacation without a book.

    • August 30, 2015 8:52 am

      I liked it a lot, particularly for the dreamy kind of way it switched points of view. When I was about halfway through it, I picked it up again and started reading where I’d had a finger, rather than the bookmark, and it made almost as much sense that way. This made me fall out of love with it. In the end, I felt like it was kind of loosely constructed.

      • Jenny permalink
        September 9, 2015 1:50 pm

        Way late here, but I wound up falling out of love with this one, too. I thought the writing was very pretty and very sensory, but I felt detached from it (possibly because of the construction) and thought it didn’t have a lot of heft. If your take-home message from WWII is “radio is really amazing,” there might have been something you missed?

        • September 9, 2015 1:52 pm

          Ah, you have put your finger on something there.

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