joyce (joyce) wrote,

I haven't done a book post in a few months, and probably no one but me has noticed; however, I enjoy reading other people's book posts (and the to-read list continues to grow) so it only seems fair to babble a bit about what I've been reading...

Crocodile on the Sandbar (Elizabeth Peters) - I forget how I found Peters; maybe someone else's post? These books lightly satirize mysteries and romances and poke fun at themselves while at the same time, providing a highly entertaining romp themselves. I love Amelia, even if some of her more colorful characteristics (such as thwaping people over the head with her parasol) wear thin after awhile. Highly recommended.

The Incredible Shrinking Critic (Jami Bernard) - Eh. All right. Nice to read about someone successfully losing weight the slow and steady way, but she meandered off into talking about the perils of emotional eating way too much for me to connect with. I don't eat too much for emotional comfort; I eat too much because I like food, damn it. :) Some good solid advice and support here, though. Not bad.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Raleigh Legacy (L. B. Greenwood) and
Sherlock Holmes and the Thistle of Scotland (L. B. Greenwood) - Two solid Holmes pastiches that I stumbled across at the library while looking for something else. There's a third one that's been waiting in my queue for awhile. These aren't earth-shattering tomes, but they're entertaining, and she gets Holmes and Watson right. These are the only other Holmes pastiches I've enjoyed, except for Laurie R. King's excellent books, which are different beasts than this. Recommended if you like Holmes.

Point of Honour (Madeleine E. Robins) - Miss Sarah Tolerance is a Fallen Woman in a slightly alternate version of 19th centery Britain. She has fashioned out a profession for herself as - more or less - a private detective. She kicks ass and turns stereotypes of women during her time on her head, to the amusement and horror of those around her, and is honorable to a fault. Think Kinsey Millhone a couple of centuries earlier and a bit more prim and proper. I love love love Sarah Tolerance, and loved this book, and highly recommend it if you like things like this.

A is for Alibi (Sue Grafton) and B is for Bulgalry (Sue Grafton) - speaking of Kinsey... I'm slowly working my way through this in order (very slowly, C has been queued up for awhile), something I've never done, since I started these somewhere around F, my completist streak having not kicked in yet. It's going to be fun watching Kinsey develop from the ground up.

Curse of the Pharoh (Elizabeth Peters) and The Mummy Case (Elizabeth Peters) - more Amelia Peabody. Still fun. Not losing charm yet.

The Mislaid Magician (Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer) - third is a series of novels about two cousins who live in a 19th century Europe where magic is an existent and accepted part of life. Great fun. Start at the beginning for the relationships between the people involved to make the most sense. Highly recommended.

Petty Treason (Madeleine E. Robins) - Sequel to Point of Honour. Dear Ms. Robins, please write a third. Everyone else, read these books. :)

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie) - I've been working my way through the Miss Marple books (I think I have three left) and decided to switch to Poirot for awhile. These are quirky books, from a different time and a different place. The "Poirot is a dear sweet man but really kind of stupid, much stupider than the rest of us" theme wears thin after a bit, but they're still entertaining, which is impressive considering this book is 90 years old.

And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) - another Christie, an impressive page turner, a slick ending.

The Life of the World to Come (Kage Baker) - fifth in Baker's series about the Company, an organization that has figured out time travel and how to build immortal cyborgs. The novels up until now have alternated between Mendoza and Joseph, but this one veered off to focus on Alex Checkerfield, which is why it took me three tries to get into it. I know Alex is one of the linchpins of the whole thing, but I don't particularly care about him or his twenty-fourth century ass. At least, I didn't, until I finally got into the book enough to find out more about what's been going on... I love these books, and I love the characters, immortal cyborgs who are almost more human than we are, at times. Start at the beginning, or you'll have no idea what's going on. I have two more books to get through before The Sons of Heaven, which is the last in the series, which comes out in July, for which I am first in line at the library, and which will finally tell us what's been going on all this time. Getting through the next two is going to be a bit of a slog; I have The Children of the Company, but it once again switches point of view to a character that I don't care about. I know that eventually Baker will tie it together and I'll love it and it will all make sense, but getting there... despite my criticisms, if you like your sci-fi with a sense of humanity and a sense of wonder, all at once, read these books.

A Great Deliverance (Elizabeth George) - plantgirl recommended Elizabeth George to me ages ago, and I picked this up used and I finally pulled it off my shelf... and it was brilliant. Just brilliant. I like my mysteries to read like novels that happen to be mysteries, especially if I'm going to invest my time in reading a series; I have to care about the people, and George's characters are well drawn, fucked up, and achingly human. The mystery was good, too. :) Highly recommneded.

Payment in Blood (Elizabeth George) - and another. Still very, very good.

The Murder on the Links (Agatha Christie) - and the next Poirot. Read as a palate cleanser so I didn't jump straight into the next George novel and OD on her.

Between, Georgia (Joshilyn Jackson) - second novel by the author of gods in Alabama (read last year, also very good). Jackson gets the South right, and gets family ties right, the kind of family ties that you know sometimes are choking you to death, but you have to oblige them anyhow, and then the rewards end up being worth it. It also reads just a touch of a Southern tall tale, the kind of screwed up family situation that seems larger than life... except that you know it could have happened. I'm not sure I'm making much sense, but I swallowed this whole in two days, it was that good.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling) - much, much better than Order of the Phoenix. Despite some of the issues I take with the series, this was way good, and fun, and I want to know what's going to happen. I'm glad I waited to read this until almost right before Book 7 is due out.

I'm at 31 books and 8728 pages for the year.
Tags: books:booklist:monthly

  • (no subject)

    Like a boss.

  • (no subject)

    Yuletide letter placeholder, ahoy!

  • (no subject)

    I did Not Prime Time this year, which made me actually write something for the first time since Yuletide. It was fun! It was also a lot more low key…

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