The latest literature round-up

The original point of this blog was in part to document the books I read. I have been very lax.

In no particular chronological order, in the last three months I have read:

Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon
– good, engrossing and still leaving me with historical references to explore, most recently the documentary on Operation Meatloaf on BBC2
Mary S. Lovell: The Mitford Girls
– may have sparked a love/hate with Jessica Mitford. I’m slightly obsessed with Nancy, but Decca’s firebrand nature is more my style. Quite breezy, all in all, I may have to go buy some primary sources now (especially Nancy/Evelyn Waugh’s letters).
Ken Macleod: The Night Sessions/The Cassini Division
– Night Sessions was OK, near future, robots and religion. Not unenjoyable, but I wasn’t drawn into it. Cassini Division was much better, much more my style, but resolved too well.
Fiona McIntosh: Odalisque
– I didn’t want to like this book, it seemed like too many fantasy clichés and colonialist exoticism of the near East. The characters were rather weak, as promised by the cover and the description (stud muffin hero, impending love triangle, strong-but-disempowered harem girl) but McIntosh was a good enough writer that I finished the book, and was upset the library didn’t have the second in the series. Don’t know that I would read it again, but I would probably read the rest of the series if I didn’t have anything else to do.
Alistair Reynolds: assorted novels
– I still haven’t worked my way through the library’s collection of Reynolds’ books, but I’m getting there. Good stuff, reminds me slightly of Elizabeth Moon’s excellent space opera, but with a harder edge. Pushing Ice is still the favourite.

Obviously there have been more, but they weren’t notable, or recent, enough to stick in my head.

In other news, I discovered the ‘Pets’ section of the local library. How I missed this for six months, I’m not sure. I might have blocked it out, a real possibility since it is directly across from the ‘Food’ books and my horrible slum of an apartment doesn’t allow pets. It’s probably for the best, as any dog I had would have frozen to death while I am at work since chipboard and plaster walls with a brick facade don’t stand up well to 20f temperatures. (Neither does my olive oil, fact).

I’m not sure if it was a wise idea, but I brought back about eight books on dogs. I just finished  Jan Fennell’s ‘A Dog’s Best Friend’ with the obligatory tears. Short anecdotal vignettes on what makes a good dog owner.

It’s going to be a year next week since my dog died.


About tara

Often heard to refrain "I left San Francisco for this?" Formerly homeschooled. Living the dirt-poor post-student expat life in various non-urban areas of England's North. Sanity preserved by cooking yummy foods for a multiple allergy diet.
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