Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Hello, I Am Still Alive; Also, More Short Book Reviews

Still figuring out all the things.  Health!  Work!  Children!  What am I even doing with my life!  A lengthy and bitter small-town dispute with a large company!  Arguing with Mountain U's IT department!  Trying to get the material for the class I'm teaching in two weeks! The woe of local elections!  Fraud on my bank account!  Etc.  It is boring.

I am looking for more reading material, preferably by women, for the new year.  So, if you have something, please leave me a comment!



Recent reads:

English Country House Murders: If this is your thing, truly excellent.  A fantastic selection of non-violent murder mysteries by an assortment of authors; inspired me to look some of them up.

Unquiet Land (Sharon Shinn): Fourth in a series.  Okay.  The first one had interesting drama; this one is more of the people wandering around and talking variety. Villians are always foreign, but a nice diversity of national origins in the books themselves.  Female protagonist.  Recommend as a library book.

Dragons series (Patricia Wrede, re-read): Excellent as always, though my favorite is the first.  Most protagonists are female and they are all independent and funny.  Now I want to read Sorcery & Cecilia again.

All of Agatha Christie that my library has, re-read: Wow.  Stranger than I remembered, especially the spy-flavored ones (a... secret compound in the desert run by a strange millionare? sure...) and, of course, racist and anti-Semitic in the most casual of ways, but enjoyable for their soothing (although all-white) predictability.

The Siren (Tiffany Reisz): Y'all, this book was Not My Thing.  So meta! (A writer who writes about S&M/erotica has written a book about writer who is into S&M/bondage and who lives with a young man and who is writing a book about a writer who is into S&M/bondage and lives with a young man.)  So full of angst about people who are into S&M!  So pleased with itself for being edgy! Nope.

The Gourmet cookie book : inspired me to make several kinds of interesting cookies, and modify a recipe for benne wafers to use tahini instead. Library book, worth borrowing if you like cookies.

All of Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London books, re-read: I still really love these, even if the author is a dude.  There are plenty of women who are not background, and it's (IMO) a well-done urban fantasy.  Faintly reminiscent of Charlie Stross (one of the few other men I'll still read) but less disturbing and apocalyptic.  Main character is a British-Nigerian male police officer who's a wizard.  Recommend.

10 comments:

  1. Have you read any of the Inspector Gamache mysteries by Louise Penny? They're not sci-fi or fantasy, but they're well-written with good character development.

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    1. All of them! Some were quite disturbing but I did enjoy them all.

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  2. fizzchick4:53 PM

    Temeraire series, Naomi Novik. Sort of a Patrick O'Brien homage, with dragons. Two protagonist characters are male (human and dragon), but the human one is continually forced to reevaluate his opinions of what women can do, and rapidly (within the first book) learns to treat them as colleagues. The dragon never had difficulties with that. Many many deaths, as expected for something set during an alt-Napoleonic Wars, but fun, and over the course of the series explores a lot of neglected non-Western cultures in a respectful way.

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    1. Thanks! I read the first few and then it was so full of dudes and dude dragon doing dude things and... too much! Was interesting though!

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    2. Maybe there would have been more ladies if I persevered but the place I teach is >>>50% male and I am permanently all dude-d out.

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    3. Nope, still all dude AND the series starts to drag.

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    4. fizzchick11:24 PM

      Fair enough. There are a few prominent female characters, but it remains pretty dudely throughout.

      How about Tamora Pierce? Lots of strong female characters, many of the subseries focus mainly or exclusively on girls/women. Also cannot forget Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswomen series, which is so *#$!@$% awesome about having women who do the same jobs as men and are presumed competent at them by default that it threw me out of the book at first. But it's seriously cool, as long as you're ok with decades between volumes coming out. Lastly Ann Leckie's Ancillary trilogy. Space opera with a protagonist who defaults to she for all pronouns.

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  3. Have you gone through The Fifth Season and the Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin? Hugo-winning female author of color, great world-building and story.

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    1. I read the rest of her stuff! Will have to see abt those, thanks!

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  4. Hello! New reader on your blog, so I don't quite know your style yet, but you asked for female authors and I just finished 'Americanah' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I couldn't put it down. It's not a perfect book but some parts hit me so hard and felt so raw and beautiful. It's been a while since I've read a good dragon book, thanks for the recommendation!

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