36. Eric by Terry Pratchett (fantasy/humor) - Week 32
It's a Terry Pratchett novel. Therefore it's funny more or less by definition. In this particular Discworld novel, the wizely cowardly wizard Rincewind is summoned by an ambitious youth and mistaken for a demon, and one particular demon of Hell realizes that humans are hell of a lot better at thinking up tortures than they are, making all his underlings rather disgruntled. When these two individually amusing follies cross paths, even more funny happens.
37. Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett (fantasy/humor) - Week 33
See above about Pratchett. Here he decides to take the idea of Hollywood magic a little more literally, putting an intriguing Discworld twist (what else?) on the art and science of film-making, with an ending more dramatic than most thing come out of the silver screen.
38. Varför mördar man sin dotter? by Emre Güngör & Nima Dervish (nonfiction) - Week 34
My main frustration with this book, in which the authors explore the phenomenon of families murdering or severely abusing their daughters for the sake of family honor, was that neither author has a first name that I readily recognized as masculine, so it took me maybe half the book to realize that Emre was male, and then quite a few more pages to find that this is the case for Nima, too. While I don't believe that only women should be allowed to discuss the subject, but in fact find such attitudes rather irksome, it colored my impression of the interviews with men who have killed their daughters, nieces, or sisters, and having that impression then forcibly changed was somewhat jarring.
Nevertheless, it was an incredibly interesting look at the phenomenon and the perpetrators' own views of what they had done (mostly "oh that wasn't honor murder!"), from both a cultural standpoint (what causes the clash between Swedish culture and the cultures these families come from?) and from a human standpoint (how do they relate to their actions?).
39. Myth weaver by David J. Normoyle (supernatural, ebook) - Week 35
This novel combines a very interesting compare-and-contrast between Norse and Greek myth with what almost ends up being a belated coming-of-age story for the main protagonist, a young college student with his head stuck firmly in the clouds. When his dream world is invaded by an errant Olympos on one side, and a mysteriously relocated Valhalla on the other, he finds himself trying to make peace between beings endlessly more powerful than himself even in this his own imaginary world, by challenging them to tell him stories from their own mythos that he hopes will help him with his current waking-life or "realwhirl" problems.
The myths are entertainingly and engagingly retold by Prometheus and Loki, and as the protagonist finds himself more and more wrapped up in what might be a much uglier affair than he'd first imagined, his "realwhirl" life becomes at least as captivating until the book finally reaches an ending where some characters have gotten their comeuppance, some have grown, and some stubbornly remain the same as ever.
40. Compact living (original title: Fishbowl) by Sarah Mlynowski (chick lit) - Week 36
I received this book as a gift, and honestly did not have very high hopes for it - while I am a literary omnivore, chick lit rarely grabs my attention. This, however, was one of those rare cases. The voices of the three viewpoint characters - new roommates in an off-campus flat - are clearly distinct, showing the characters' priorities while the other two girls' retellings of the same character's behavior often reveal a contrast between intent and interpretation.
The main conflicts are caused by their vastly different personalities and preferred lifestyles, and Mlynowski has a knack for letting small and seemingly insignificant (if sometimes ill-advised) events later come back to cause much more trouble than any of the people involved could ever have imagined. A very clever and amusing book!