February 16th, 2013

Dead Dog Cat

#14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

I've had quite the week as far as finishing books is concerned. However, not enough time to really sit down and catch up on the list:

First one done was A Storm of Swords, another book of Martin's Game of Thrones, and what a wild ride! I hate to give spoilers in these reviews; I know it would upset me to have surprises ruined, but folks aren't kidding about favorite characters getting killed in this series of books. Wow!

Next, Osprey Elite #14: The British Army in the 1980s, quite the change from the above fiction. Quick read; didn't learn as much as I'd hoped.

Following that, Osprey Elite #75: The Indian Army 1914 - 1947, this one I found quite a bit more interesting.

Then, My Life with Geeks & Freaks by Claudia Christian (Ivanova for the Babylon 5 fans) which is a fluffy, short, biographical book padded out by a lot of fan photos of the actress. Operant word here is "fluff".

Next, Osprey Elite #165: The British Fleet Air Arm in World War II. I've always enjoyed naval history, and the information in this book I found filled in some gaps in my knowledge that I didn't recognize I had. Very good.

Finally, Osprey Fortress #63: The Atlantic Wall (1). Not as interesting as I'd hoped for, it deals with the fixed defenses of the Germans along the coastline facing England.
  • maribou

Holy Wishing Hex; Icelandic Wabi Ocean; Dragon Cubs; Devil Drama

Jerusalem: Chronicles of the Holy City, by Guy Delisle
Hm. I definitely liked this, but I didn't swoon over the way I have swooned over the author's previous books. It may have to do with an increasing focus on the mundanity of figuring out how to handle two kids as the less-working-outside-the-home parent... but I think it's more that he's in a place, this time, that I've already read a lot about. From people who grew up there, who live many different lives there... his outsider perspective is not nearly so compelling as it was for places like Shenzen or Pyongyang that were basically a big blank spot in my mind before reading his books about them... Still, his voice is enough to make this worth reading.

Land of Stories, vol. 1: The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
Delightful story overshadowed the sometimes clunky and cliche-ridden sentences that carry it. It helped that the author read it himself - I eventually stopped noticing the stuff I wanted to edit, because he meant the story part. Heart makes up for a lot, especially in a kid's book, and this one has heart to spare.

Hex Appeal, edited by P.N. Elrod
One of the best light fantasy anthologies I've read. These stories have to do with witches, one way or another, and they're almost all very good. Found a couple of new-to-me but awesome new authors to read more of later, and the Jim Butcher story was a hoot.

Northlanders, vol. 7: The Icelandic Trilogy, by Brian Wood et al
Bleak, bleak, bleak. Loved it. Will miss these.

Wabi Sabi, by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young
Charming picture book. I especially liked the integration of classical haiku, and the smart but mean dog.

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, by Claire A. Nivola
I don't feel like I learned much about Earle's work (which one CAN do in a kids' book), but that's okay - the illustrations for this book were utterly lovely.

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
This pitch-perfect rendition of a 7th grader's year on stage crew seamlessly blends middle-school dating angst, friendships, and a delightful sub-plot about making a cannon work. Bright and fun.

Dragon, Actually, by G. A. Aiken
My wonderful officemate told me that despite the lame naked-torso men on the covers, and the usually-skimmable sex scenes, I would enjoy this romance series about shapeshifting dragons, because it is often (intentionally) hilarious and the family dynamics and friendships are delightful. She has such a sterling track record of recommending books to me that I actually picked one up, despite my intense skepticism. Good thing, 'cause she was right! And now I have another half-dozen of these to romp through.

Lucifer, vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway, by Mike Carey et al (reread)
I read this one single-issue at a time back when it came out, and I could never remember why I stopped reading 'em. After rereading this one, my only guess is that I couldn't stand the wait between issues - I immediately ordered all 10 following volumes through ILL, because I can't wait for the reissues to show up...

Fables, vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland, by Bill Willingham et al
LOVE. Bleaker and darker than previous volumes, but still fundamentally optimistic. As always, I am hungry for more.
  • Current Music
    watching "Burn Notice" with my sweetheart


These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

This book was interesting. The cover basically just said the book was abbout secrets and forgiveness surrounding a little boy and a story of a girl, Allison, who just got out of prison.
The story shifts perspectives between four different women and we learn the boy's story and Allison's story piece-by-piece. But things aren't as they seem early on. There's a slight twist/new revelations in the last quarter of the book I wasn't expecting, that was emotionally triggering and upsetting for me.

Overall this book was pretty good, with a few typos and things the editors missed, and had it not affected me for personal reasons i'd give it 5/5 stars.