Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hartman
I loved everything about this sequel to Seraphina
- but you really should start with Seraphina
, rather than this one. That said, I loved how the already-rich world Hartman had shown us became richer and more interesting, and a lot of the world-building in this one resulted in "OH THAT *IS* WHY THAT WORKS THAT WAY" from me. Plus the characters also evolve, in a similar fashion. Really enjoyable. I'd read a Rachel Hartman novel every week, in some alternate universe where that could be possible.
(78)The Last Magazine, by Michael Hastings
Oogh, this was a complicated messy book. There is a lot of hilarious, uncomfortable, charming, fascinating stuff about the news magazine world as it existed 10 years ago, which delighted me - and a lot of uncomfortable, fascinating, sometimes hilarious stuff about sex and porn and being both highly sexual and highly dissociated, which felt awkward and like it didn't belong in THIS novel, even though the thematic parallels were fairly clear, and which I didn't particularly want to read, but didn't want to just skim over either. The book definitely suffered from having been pulled off a laptop after the author died. Not sure if I'll go on to read his other non-posthumous works.
(79)The Fall of Arthur, by J. R. R. Tolkien, edited with commentaries by Christopher Tolkien
The poem itself was lovely - I do so appreciate any chance to declaim Tolkien's version of alliterative verse out loud, and that it was new to me, AND stoked my Arthur enthusiasms, were bonuses. I found that I'm a lot more willing, now, to slog through Christopher Tolkien's explications and commentaries than I was as a kid, which makes me wonder whether I'm ready to go back and dig through all the volumes of Lost Tales, etc, that I didn't much care for back then.
(80)Rutabaga the Adventure Chef, volume 1, by Eric Colossal
This comic book about a goofy but self-confident kid who is a cooking wizard, and his combat-ready questing friends, grew on me a lot. At first it was just ok, but by the end I was grinning ear to ear! Very adorable, reminded me of the good shows on the Cartoon Network.
(81, O31)The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans, by Mur Lafferty
These urban fantasy novels about a travel writer who starts working for a supernatural publishing company are occasionally awkward, but mostly they are awesome. Sensible but wonderfully over-adventurous protagonist, lots of geekery, fun plots, interesting characters that are jussst archetypal enough without becoming cliches.
(82, 88)Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
Oh my goodness, I adore this book! It's a satire of upper-middle-class PNW families, in a way - but that isn't very important, other than because it added "Yay, Seattle setting!" to my experience of the book. What is
important is the writing, which sparkles and dances and zips around like a firefly. And the heart the book possesses, without which it wouldn't glow nearly so brightly. I had to force myself to put it down, every time, and I was late coming back from lunch twice. Love love love.