March 18th, 2011


Books 13 - 15 / 75

13. The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way - Bill Bryson
                  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading some of his sources too.  Languages and etymology fascinate me, and I thought this was a good book for a beginner in the history of the English language.  Bryson was amusing as always, and there were so many interesting things I'd never heard before that I found myself wanting to turn to total strangers on the subway and bore them with all the little things I was learning.

14. Graceling - Kristin Cashore
              I felt like I needed a break and so I decided to go with some Young Adult fiction.  This was an all right book.  I didn't love it, but that might just be because I'm getting too old for most YA stuff.  I liked the writing style, the main character was a totally BAMF woman, and the villain was one of the creepiest I've read about in a while. 

15. The Shadow of the Hegemon - Orson Scott Card
                   Another Ender Wiggin book, sequel to Ender's Shadow.  What can I say?  If you like the Ender books, you'll like this one.  I love reading Card's dialogue, because it's so clever and full of one-upping.  I like Bean as much as or more than Ender, and Achilles is wonderfully psychotic. 
  • cat63

Book 17 for 2011

Liverpool Miss by Helen Forrester. 346 pages

Second volume of Forrester's autobiography. Things have improved a little for the family now that Helen's father has a job, but he and her mother still have no sense and buy hire purchase furniture before thinking of providing food and clothes for their children, especially Helen.

I was a tad exasperated at Helen's behaviour in parts of this one - at one point she brings a borrowed typewriter home and is surprised when her ghastly mother pawns it - but I suppose parental authority was far more strict in those days and it was much harder to realise that one's parents were only human and, in this case, not to be trusted.

This book didn't seem to have such a logical end point as the first one, but it was still interesting enough. I think I may have to hunt out the next one at some point.

Books 7, 8 and 9 - 2011

Book 7: The Star Prince by Susan Grant – 395 pages

Description from Amazon:
Collapse )

Another enjoyable Susie book! I liked this one - I liked Ian and I like Tee'ah, and I really liked the little side plot with Gann and Lara (please, please, please Ms Grant comment on this in the next one) and the good thing about Grant's books is that her 'second book in the trilogy' never feels like that. My only grievance was with Rom's weird behaviour - one minute he was telling Ian he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, the next he was ordering him home like a naughty child and then in the next he was congratulating him for a job well-done that involved defying orders. It was weird and Grant didn't explain it well enough. Nonetheless, that's an aside to core story, and I really like how Grant's manages to 'borrow' from our sci-fi (predominately Star Trek, in my view) without making it feel as if she's ripping them off, but rather is telling her own stories. A good fun read!

7 / 50 books. 14% done!

2399 / 15000 pages. 16% done!

Book 8: The Star Princess by Susan Grant – 371 pages

Description from Amazon:
Collapse )

Really loved this one. Ilana is my kind of character, more bold and strong than her mother (who was in The Star King), ambitious enough to be realistic. I really liked Che too, though I didn't expect to initially (much like Ilana). I think I have a thing for kings and princes - there always my favourite characters. I really liked their relationship because it wasn't pure lovey dovey; they were sarcastic and funny and argumentative and passionate. Ilana refrained from becoming too clingy or ridiculous after they hooked up, and there was no instant 'Oh my god, i love you' but an acknowledgment that despite the circumstances of their marriage they weren't necessarily in love yet. I liked the little side story with Muffin and Cooper too though I do wish Grant had made mention of the relationship between Gann and Lara referred to in the previous book. There were things I didn't like about this story, issues I took with some of Grant's world and society creation, but overall I could overlook these in my enjoyment of the story.

8 / 50 books. 16% done!

2770 / 15000 pages. 18% done!

Book 9: Jennifer Government by Max Barry – 335 pages

Description from
Collapse )

I've been meaning to read this book for years, after playing the game Nation States (which is based on the book) on the net when I was in high school. It's basically a look at a world where capitalism has been taken to its extreme. Corporations run the world, there's no such thing as tax, and everyone takes their company's name as their surname. When Nike launches a marketing campaign that involves the murder of 10 customers (in order to create street cred and involving the police as the shooters), they raise the interest of Jennifer Government, government agent, former marketing executive, bearer of a barcode tattoo just beneath her eye. Jennifer goes after the perpetrator of this event, chasing him from Melbourne (part of the Australian Territories of the USA) to London to Los Angeles. Of course, Jennifer and John Nike, mastermind of the marketing murders, have a history making their games all the more amusing. There's a strong cast of supporting characters and Barry uses them perfectly, jumping perspectives consistently to keep the story driving at its breakneck speed. It's not a deep character analysis, but rather an interesting look at greed, corruption, power and in its own way, the benefits of government, tax and regulation. Love, love, love it!

9 / 50 books. 18% done!

3105 / 15000 pages. 21% done!

Currently reading:
- Angelology
by Danielle Trussoni – 453 pages
- Under the Dome
by Stephen King – 877 pages
- Beyond the Elastic Limit: An Epic Fable
by Howard Loring – 375 pages

And coming up:
- The Davinci Code
by Dan Brown – 593 pages
- Bare Bones
by Kathy Reichs – 417 pages
- The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder
by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages