SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
SarahMichigan
sarahmichigan
50bookchallenge

Books #25-26

Book #25 was "Black Magic Sanction" by Kim Harrison, as an unabridged audiobook. This entire series is brain candy, but I do feel that the author has gotten better over time at weaving strands from past books into future plotlines. I don't care for the character of Pierce and really wish Harrison would kill him off, but otherwise, I enjoyed this book a lot. The main character shows some emotional growth, and the revelations about the way the various non-humans are related to one another get even more interesting in this book.

Book #26 was "George Sand: A Woman's Life Writ Large" by Belinda Jack. I've never actually read any of Sand's books - they fell out of fashion somewhat after her death and only a fraction are translated into English. However, I've known about the author and her interesting "pre-feminist" life for a long time. Sand (aka the Baroness Aurore Dudevant) came from mixed aristocratic blood and working class blood, and cross-class relationships figure into both her life and her writing. She was hugely prolific, full of contradictions and had many famous lovers and friends, from musicians Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin to author Gustave Flaubert and artist Eugene Delacroix. Her reputation is that of both a "frigid lesbian" and a "nymphomaniac," of a man-eater and also a tender mother figure. These apparent contradictions are not entirely due to the gossip about her at the time; it appears the woman herself knew she was full of contradictions and came to embrace them in later life. This biography was well told and kept me turning the pages. I liked all the photos and illustrations as well. My only criticism is that it seemed some sections of the book and of Sand's life were rushed - 7 years with Chopin pass in just a few pages, for instance. But there's plenty of information about Sand's life, including from her own memoirs, and I understand the author had to pick and choose details and scenes or else this book would have been monstrously long. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to those who like French literature and/or strong women/early feminists or those who just generally enjoy well-written biographies.

1. The Battle of the Labyrinth [fiction] - Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
2. Ice Cold [fiction] - Tess Gerritsen
3. Snow Crash [fiction]- Neal Stephenson
4. The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge [fiction]
5. The Brontes - Juliet Barker [non-fiction/group biography]
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks [non-fiction]- Rebecca Skloot (unabridged audiobook)
7. The Moon in Our Hands [fiction]- Thomas Dyja
8. The Algebraist [fiction]- Iain M. Banks
9. Moab is my Washpot [non-fiction/memoir]- Stephen Fry
10. The Last Olympian (Book Five in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
11. Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer [non-fiction/memoir]- Lynne Cox
12. A Year in Provence [non-fiction/memoir/travel]- Peter Mayle
13. A Plague of Doves [fiction]- Louise Erdrich
14. Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles [non-fiction/memoir]- Anthony Swofford
15. White Witch, Black Curse [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
16. The Witches of Karres [fiction]- James H. Schmitz
17. Dawn (Lilith's Brood: Book 1) [fiction]- Octavia Butler
18. Things Fall Apart [fiction]- Chinua Achebe
19. The Bacchae and Other Plays [fiction/dramatic script]- Euripides
20. Meditations from a Moveable Chair [non-fiction/essays/memoir]- Andre Dubus
21. Trumpet [fiction]- by Jackie Kay
22. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea [non-fiction]- Charles Siefe
23. Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact [non-fiction]- Ragen Chastain
24. Alif the Unseen [fiction]- G. Willow Wilson
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