A Reader's Diary

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I've been reading in 2010...

Wow, it's been over a year since I last updated this blog. In my defense, I've been quite busy with school and other things and haven't had the chance to read much, let alone reflect on the books afterwards.

Well, here's what I've been reading lately:

  • The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I loved Outlander when I read it last year, but I heard that the next book didn't begin until 20 years later (as I think I mentioned in a my last blog post here), so I didn't feel like reading the next in the series, thinking it would simply jump ahead to focus on the next generation. Whoops! Good thing I checked out the next book, because there WAS more about Jamie and Claire before the big 20-year leap, and even after that the books were as good as ever. I'm now in the middle of reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which is the 6th book in the series. Part historical fiction, part romance, and part scifi/fantasy, I really love this series.
  • The Mistress of the Art of Death series by Ariana Franklin. I read the 3rd book in the series first (oops), since it just happened to be the one available at the library at the time. I've since gone back to read books 1 and 2, and I think the series has gotten better over time. They aren't the rich type of historical fiction that Outlander is, but they are entertaining myteries. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, A Murderous Procession (which I think I'm saving for my next airplane trip).
  • Since I heard that Terry Pratchett has a new book coming out (I Shall Wear Midnight) in the Discworld sub-series that began with The Wee Free Men (which I *adored*), I thought I should catch up with the last book published, #3 in the sub-series, which is Wintersmith. Terry Pratchett shows his usual brilliance here once again. I loved it.
  • And finally, the latest in Kathy Reichs' series: Spider Bones. I really liked this one a lot better than her last few novels, perhaps because the ending/answers weren't so obvious from the beginning. There were so many bodies and so many characters and plot threads that it was difficult to keep them all straight, but this complexity had the effect of keeping the mystery's solution(s) a surprise.

So that's the latest from my reading list.

As always, happy reading to you!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Summer reading

I just finished Jacqueline Carey's 2nd Kushiel trilogy (Kushiel's Scion, Kushiel's Justice, and Kushiel's Mercy). I'd held off reading them for a long time, not sure how I would like hearing Imriel's perspective. But I really enjoyed it. And I'm sad that's the end of the story, for the most part, for them. I was prompted to read them in part because Carey's new book, Naamah's Kiss, was just released. But that story takes place several generations later.

I also read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (finally!), realizing too that there is another book in that series to be published soon (#7, due out in September). Loved it, but am a little sad to see when I look ahead to Book 2 that it takes place many years after the events of the first. I still look forward to reading the rest of the series, though.

And Kathy Reich's latest Devil Bones. Once again, good for reading on the airplane. A little annoying to figure things out (once again) about 200 pages before the protagonist did, and I don't think I had to be a physical anthropologist myself to do it. But hey, an interesting quick read nonetheless.

That's all the (fictional) reading I've done so far this summer.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Graveyards and Gods

Just read two new books: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Small Gods by Terry Pratchett.

I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, though in both cases something felt a little missing. In the case of The Graveyard Book, which was inspired by Kipling's Jungle Books, I felt that perhaps if I had read those, I might have gotten more out of The Graveyard Book.

Or perhaps my reading tastes are changing as I get older. Maybe I would have liked these books a lot more 10 years ago.

Small Gods seemed to have rather a lot of torture and mature content references for a kids book, however. But it was fabulous, as per usual for Terry Pratchett. Several lines that made me burst out laughing (luckily I was alone), which is typical with his books, even though this story was fairly dark overall in comparison to even books like Mort.

If you are good with listening to stories, you can hear (and watch) Neil Gaiman read The Graveyard Book here: http://www.mousecircus.com/videotour.aspx

That's all for now. I'm back to my nonfiction/textbook reading.

~Happy reading!

Friday, July 04, 2008

June Books Recap: The Ghost Map and Bones to Ashes

Other than my academic books, this month I only read (and all due to having time on airplanes):

(non-fiction) The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World, by Steven Berlin Johnson. Very good, I recommend it. It corrects a lot of misconceptions previous published about the story of John Snow and the Broad Street Pump. And it's well-written.

(fiction) Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs. Not bad. Interesting bits about Acadian history. Not enough suspense if you know much paleopathology and can guess things ahead of time, but if you've read the series so far it's worth reading to keep up; Devil Bones comes out in August.

I'm looking forward to hopefully squeezing in a little more novel-reading this summer, in between the stacks of academic articles and books (very interesting academic articles, but still. I miss fiction).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bones and Ochre

I'm currently reading Bones and Ochre: The Curious Afterlife of the Red Lady of Paviland, by Marianne Sommer. It's non-fiction and traces the history of the interpretation of these ancient human remains since they were found in 1823.

I'm hoping that I can do up a book review of it to be published in an academic journal, so I won't review it here right now. If I don't get it done for the journal, I'll post my review here. And if I don't, then probably I'll write a shorter summary review for here.

I haven't read any novels in a while, it's all journal articles right now, though I few months back I finished the Kushiel's Dart trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, and really enjoyed it. Maybe when I get another break I can pick up with the second trilogy that follows it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year, new books!

I didn't have much of a chance last semester to read for "fun"... Over the holiday break, mostly on planes and in airports, I read Dan Brown's Deception Point, Charles de Lint's Jack of Kinrowan, and Max Allan Collins's Bones: Buried Deep (based on the TV show characters). All fun, quick reads. Next on my list, if I ever get time this semester, is the latest Kathy Reichs, Break No Bones. I was waiting for the paperback, but since I just discovered there is a trade paperback out (I was waiting for the pocket version), I'll just go for that one when I get a chance.

So, mini-review of Bones:Buried Deep today: As a fan of the show, I enjoyed it. Better than your average fan-fiction. Wasn't the best mystery I'd ever read, but it pleasantly passed the hours on the airplane. Not the lightest read with the forensic details, but not a lot of analysis required either (actually, thinking too much about details here is probably not recommended, you will probably just get annoyed). A nice break from the textbooks, however.

~Happy New Year and happy reading!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

REVIEW: Kushiel's Dart

Today's review: Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (adult fantasy)

Summary: Phedre, born with a red spot in her left eye, is sold into indentured servitude as a small child, raised first in the Night Court and then bought by Anafiel Delaunay, who teaches her to spy and tells her she is marked by Kushiel, which means she finds pleasure in pain. She enters the service of Naamah and becomes a courtesan, working her way towards freedom while weaving through political plots and schemes. What she learns one night sets her off on a dangerous and desperate path. Phedre, the only anguisette born in three generations, must find a way to save her beloved country, the beautiful and unique Terre d'Ange where all are bidden to follow the commandment of the Blessed Elua: Love as thou wilt.

My thoughts: A beautiful, creative novel that reads like historical fiction yet is filled with the wonder of fantasy. Full of adventure, action, suspense, mystery, intrigue, and romance, there is something for everyone here. My one little annoyance with this story is the lack of any mention of menstrual periods or pregnancy scares among the servants of Naamah. Maybe in a race descended from angels, such things are not issues. The first in a trilogy, I look forward eagerly to reading the sequel.

~Happy reading!