“Recently published… Nov 7th, 12:59 pm”
Um. That’s a while. Hi?
Believe it or not, I’m not dead, I haven’t stopped reading, and I haven’t given up on blogging.
Weeks do tend to go by between my post when college is in full swing. The last thing I want to do in my last year is flunk out because of missing something really important like a paper or midterm. So for the next couple of weeks it’s not really that unusual that I wouldn’t update.
Then a week before Thanksgiving, I got bronchitis. I spent the next two weeks hacking up my lungs every five minutes and wishing for death in the intervals. It took two bottles of cough medicine and a round of antibiotics to get through that.
Then finals happened, in which a horrible three-inch centipede-like creature fell from the ceiling next to my head while I was taking my Chinese Civ final. I spent the rest of the entire exam time in terror that another was going to fall down the back of my neck.
Then came Christmas. Then school again. Then the polar vortex. At least I can now say that I have survived subzero temperatures (-10, to be exact).
So nothing really catastrophic happened. Just things that can take up a bunch of time. When I did have writing time, I was using it on a story that’s turning into The Godfather with vampires. And of course, I was reading. Because what else is there to do in subzero temperatures?
So here’s a brief sampling of what I’ve read and am currently in the middle of thus far.
The Black Count by Tom Reiss. A biography of the father of Alexandre Dumas, this was a fantastic read. Between the politics of the French Revolution and the trials of the Napoleonic Wars, Alexandre Dumas Sr.’s story is pretty amazing to read about, not least because he was the illegitimate son of a French nobleman and a slave. Definitely recommend, even if you’re normally not into history or non-fiction.
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. The second book in the Kate Daniel’s series, which, along with Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville books, is rapidly becoming my popcorn series. The books are easy to get through, with good characters and fun plots. The worldbuilding- a kind of apocalypse where magic comes in waves knocking out technology and ruining cities- is wonderful.
Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire. I’ve said before that Seanan McGuire’s a great worldbuilder, even if her mystery telling is weak. This book is much better suited to her strengths, which are fun characters and supernatural shenanigans. Once you adjust to tons of cryptid monsters running around NYC, it’s a boatload of fun to read about. Verity Price is a great narrator and though there are character and narrative clichés, they aren’t bad enough to take away from the entertainment of the story.
White Knight by Jim Butcher (reread). For some reason I remembered this one as being a lackluster installment in The Dresden Files, but I have no idea why because it was a lot of fun the second time through. It’s pretty late in the series though, so I wouldn’t recommend starting with it. However if you like sarcastic narrators and great worldbuilding, I cannot recommend this series enough.
Lots of Tony Hillerman mysteries. The main characters here are two policemen (one of whom eventually retires) in the Navajo Tribal police force. They usually end up working on different angles of cases that turn out to be related. These are great rainy-day books- they’re fun to get into, but you can put them down without screaming at whatever interrupted you.
A Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Connor. What the title sounds like- a book of prayers and meditations written during her college years that shed light on how she viewed herself and her place as an artist and a Catholic. Simultaneously made me inspired to write and made me certain that I’m kind of a terrible person, because she was younger than me/my age when she wrote it, and she had more humility and ability then than I will ever see in my lifetime.
Reamde by Neal Stephenson. Terrorists, computer games, ransom shenanigans, and spies. It’s completely crazy in the most awesome way imaginable.
A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I need to quit this series. Nothing has happened to move the plot forward and I’m more than 100 pages in. I know the book is a thousand pages, but come on, Martin, really? I really need to summon up the willpower and accept that A Song of Ice and Fire is never living up to the promise it had.
Valor’s Choice/The Better Part of Valor by Tanya Huff. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but this 2-book copy was cheap at the bookstore and sounded interesting. And it is!. There’s alien alliances, difficult diplomacy and battle. It’s been a blast to read.
Hopefully I’ll be posting here a little more consistently. I’m working full-time this college quarter (journalism requirements, how I love thee) but the commute isn’t too bad. I’ve got some reviews and essays to write up and post, as well as a huge backlog of posts to read. So once more unto the breach!