Thursday, 18 August 2016

A portion of the TBR pile

I came home from work tonight with a small pile of books to read.  It's not as though my existing TBR isn't already significant, but things just kept jumping out at me today.

Current loans from work include:

New Guard, by Robert Muchamore - the latest "Cherub"
A Call to Duty, by David Weber and Timothy Zahn - first of the new Manticore Ascendant sub-series
The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff
While We Run, by Karen Healey
Queen Isabella by Alison Weir
Gay and Lesbian, Then and Now: Australian stories from a social revolution

So - how long will it take me to get all these read...?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Wednesday reads - 10 August 2016

It's been a while...

What I've just finished reading:

The Heir/The Crown  - the final two "Selection" books by Keira Cass.  These two were unexpected sequels to the first three "Selection" books, a sort of "The Bachelor" dystopian YA... In The Heir and The Crown, it essentially becomes "the Bachelorette" as Eadlyn Schreave tries to find a husband.  The premise is dodgy, and the writing isn't brilliant, but it says plenty that I came back to this series after having read three books of it already.  I do feel the world building in the final two lacked something from the first three: there simply wasn't as good a sense of the wider world.  But Eadlyn was sympathetic, while flawed, protagonist, and both books hooked me sufficiently.

The White Rose - Amy Ewing, second in the Lone City trilogy.  I believe my summary of the first book in this series, The Jewel, was "Margaret Attwood did it before you, and better than you.'  Needless to say, this is still true. But the story has gripped me sufficiently that I've already put the final book on hold, and I probably wouldn't have done that I hadn't decided that I should follow up The Jewel to see if I liked the continuing story.  It's just that it took a while for me to decide that.

What I'm reading now:

Currently 75% through At All Costs, the next Honor Harrington in the sequence.

I picked up Cadogan Square by Carol Drinkwater today, a two-in-one British My Story compilation of Edwardian stories: it's pedestrian but the time period interests me.

What I'll read next:

I plan to return to Leanda de Lisle's The Tudors, and while I want to get through enough of the Harringtons to finally finish Torch of Freedom in sequence, I'm feeling Harrington fatigue at the moment and may put it off for a while.  I need to go back to the final Netherwood book, Eden Falls, but that will depend whether it's available from the library.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Discovering the second book first - When We Wake/While We Run, by Karen Healey

I rather startled my colleagues today.

I came into the returns room, saw a book on the shelving trolley, pounced on it and began to bounce with excitement.

The book was "When We Wake" by Karen Healey.

The reason I was so excited was that while I was working on Saturday, I'd picked up "While We Run", and began to read it.  I got 30 or 40 pages in, well into the actual plot, when I looked on the back cover and realised that it was the second book of two.  I really wanted to keep reading that story.  It had grabbed me really hard, in a way that was noticeable because "The Dreams of the Chosen", a Brian Caswell that I'd been very excited about, just hadn't grabbed me.  But I also wanted to read the first story first.

So I went off to the library catalogue, and promptly misread it as saying there was a copy of the first book, "When We Wake", on the shelf at the library (it was at a different branch), put it on hold, and was very disappointed on Monday morning when I discovered that it wasn't on shelf at all.

But today it arrived.  And I am so excited.

I have already begun reading "When We Wake" in spare moments.  It's future/dystopia set in Australia (not unlike "The Dreams of the Chosen" and, in fact, the two Ambellin Kwaymullina books that I really want to read soon if not next.)  There's politics and action and science and I cannot wait to get into these two books properly.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

I became a member of the World Science Fiction Society

So, I signed up for membership of WorldCon 75.

I did so the day that the shortlist of Hugo Nominees was released for WorldCon74 (2016), because that shortlist was so hideously stacked by the nominees of the Rabid Puppies slate.

I won't get to vote for the Hugo winners for 2016, because even the supporting membership for WorldCon74 is prohibitively expensive at the current exchange rate.  Besides which, the two categories I was most interested in - Best Fancast and Best Related Work - are complete puppy takeovers, which greatly disappoints me.

(I really, really, really wanted Letters to Tiptree to get on the shortlist, but of course I couldn't vote for them because, not a member.  Next year, I will be nominating!  And Galactic Suburbia will be top of my list for fancast.)

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reading Plaidy - May 2016

More than a year ago I promised to post about my progress with reading through the Plaidy books.  Then I totally failed to post a single thing.  I will rectify that right, now!

Epitaph for Three Women is just not sitting with me.  I have no idea why, because Katherine de Valois! Jeanne d'Arc!  But I think I'm just too eager to get to Margaret of Anjou, and the wars, and I have to admit that I'm disappointed in myself.

I have been variously dipping into a couple of the Georgian books, but not actually finishing them, and during a recent visit to a library that is not the one I work for, I borrowed what is technically the first of the Tudor saga, Uneasy Lies the Head, but which I tend to think of as I'm reading it as the end of the Plantaganet Saga, even though I was trying really, really hard to read them properly in order.  But see above re finding EfTW frustrating.

I've now bought Red Rose of Anjou, but ULtH needs to go back to the library fairly shortly, (actually, I have, just this moment, renewed it online) so unless I decide to be good and go back, yet again, to EfTW, I'll be working my way through the book of the first Tudor king.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Wednesday Reads - 11th May, 2016

What I just finished reading: 
The Tangled Thread - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Book 10 of the Morland Chronicles.

The Emperor - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Book 11 of the Morland Chronicles

What I'm reading now:
The Victory - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  I think this one is heading for Nelson's victory at Trafalgar? On, you know, the HMS Victory.

Red Rose, White Rose -  Joanna Hickson.  About Cicely Neville, wife of Richard of York, and mother of Edward IV and Richard III.

Stormbird - Conn Iggulden.  First historical in a long, long while that I've read written by a male author.  First of his Wars of the Roses quartet.

Cecily's King Richard - Sandra Heath Wilson.  Trainwreck reading.  A horrifyingly bad book about the daughters of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, and their apparent sexual obsession with their uncle, Richard III.  No, I do not know WHY I'm still reading this dreck.

Uneasy lies the head - Jean Plaidy.  Because Harrod-Eagles aside, I'm apparently reading across the entire Wars of the Roses period all at once.

What I'll read next:
The Regency - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Book 12 of the Morland Chronicles

Eden Falls - Jane Sanderson.  Final of the Netherwood series.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Morland Chronicles #9, "The Flood-Tide" (and Hamilton)

It's the War of Independence and the Morlands!

One of the things this book is really good at is demonstrating the length of the war, and the uncertainty of it all.  That said, of course it's very much from the British point of view, but that didn't stop me singing "The world turned upside down" at the end of the Battle of Yorktown.

I really wanted this review to be peppered with Hamilton quotes. I've been listening to this musical since the moment the soundtrack was announced and I love it to pieces, but I'm just not creative enough to drop bits and pieces in as easily as I'd like.

That said - Charles' story was poignant.  Calculated to appeal to the British reader, but also very interesting, and something I hadn't so much thought of.  It wasn't only the British who were threatening to kill friends and family...

William's plot may convince me to read Patrick O'Brien and other Age of Sail authors.  I was so sad about poor dear Charlotte, but William has a wonderful story... of guns and ships. And oh, Thomas - you see, this is the problem with writing the review two books later: I forgot Thomas!  Key to the battle of Yorktown, where the world turned upside down, for Charles, for Flora (for the other Charles...)

Next up: the French Revolution and The Tangled Thread - everyone give it up for America's favourite fighting Frenchman!

(Maybe I didn't do so badly on the Hamilton quotes after all.)