June 12th, 2019


Book 47

Mort (Death, #1; Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think my problem with Discworld is how funny I'm told it is. Maybe my sense of humor is different. I wouldn't think so but I just don't find this stuff funny. Entertaining yes but I'm not really amused at all by it. That's where I was with this. I was entertained but didn't laugh once. Maybe I'm broken.

Mort is an easy character to love. He's a gangly teenager all elbows and knees and apparently with no aptitude for the family business. His uncle suggests to his father to apprentice him out as a way to be rid of him and at least give him a chance. So Dad takes him to get some new clothes (with like three legs or something, I guess that was the funny part?) and puts him in the crowd of wanna-be apprentices in the yearly free for all for such things. At midnight no one has chosen Mort but he refuses to give up until the clock strikes the hour.

That's when Death rides up and Mort has a new master. Of course Dad can't quite see Death as no one can and thinks Mort will be an undertaker (close enough, right?) Mort meets Death's servant, Albert and his daughter, Ysabell (adopted) and at first he's a little horrified that his master is just a walking skeleton but he's a quick study and soon Death throws him in the deep end to work on his own.

Things go terribly wrong. Mort doesn't want the evil duke to kill the lovely princess as he thinks it's love at first sight and he accidentally kills the duke's assassin but it doesn't work that way. Reality thinks Princess Keli is dead and people begin to forget her, except wizards and witches who can see what's happening. Mort's afraid to tell Death of course and from there reality begins to change.

With the help of Ysabell and Cutwell the wizard, Mort tries to fix his mistake but also let Keli live. Death, on the other hand, takes a holiday.

I did like the characters a lot and it's an imaginative fun read. I just didn't find it particularly funny. Also there are a few things in this that most people wouldn't have batted an eye at in the 80s when this was written but would be considered a bit racist today but those are few and far between.

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Books 26-31 (including vacation reads)

26. A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain
This is book two in the Kendra Donovan series. When we last saw our heroine, she was a 21st Century FBI agent stuck in Regency England and trying to figure out how the heck to get back to her own timeline. Needless to say, this didn’t work. The second installment takes place mostly in London, where Kendra and the Duke work to find the real killer of a young woman when the Marquis is accused of the crime. She gets a further education in grand society rules and customs while she continues to chafe at the restrictions placed on her due to class and gender. Though I had somewhat figured out the true culprit, I thought it was an interesting story. All things considered, I’m glad I’m living now and not then. Read 10-13 May.
27. Coffin Road by Peter May
This book takes place in the same setting as the Lewis Trilogy but is not part of the series. The only connection is the local Stornoway detective who worked with Fin McLeod in the first book. It’s another solid mystery revolving around a noteworthy issue, and my appreciation of the story was enhanced by reading it during a cruise through Scotland that included a port of call in the Hebrides. Read 17-23 May.
28. The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara
The preparation, implementation, and aftermath of D Day is portrayed through the eyes of several key players. Part of the author’s WWII series that I may or may not complete, but it was a timely and useful choice for several reasons. Helpful mix of historical facts and imagined expository conversations, with a useful variety of characters and accents. Paul Michael continues his fine audiobook narration. Also read during the cruise and finished right after a port of call at Cherbourg with an excursion to Utah Beach. Fulfills Litsy Booked2019 prompt: soldier’s story. Read 12-26 May.
29. The Silver Dream by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, Mallory Reaves
This is the second book in the InterWorld series I started a few years ago, about the many permutations of Joey Harker who have to work together to save the universe from the realms of magic at one end of the spectrum and technology at the other end. It’s an interesting premise, but I found that the execution and payoff don’t live up to the world building. I really don’t care what happens in the rest of the series, and I was happy to leave this copy in the ship’s exchange library. Fulfills Litsy Booked2019 prompt: book gifted to me. Read 24-29 May.
30. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro
When the author sent off her sample of DNA to a genealogy site, she got the surprising result that the man who had raised her was not her father. If you want to know how this came about, you just have to read the book! It’s an intriguing and poignant story that she tells in a matter of fact and respectful manner. I recommended this for one of my book clubs, and we will discuss it in January, but my hold came through right after I returned from vacation, so I went ahead and read it now. Fulfills Litsy Booked2019 prompt: new in 2019. Read 5-9 June.
31. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Five UCSB professors, Millie and her and four male friends, all need to find a “plus one” for an upcoming faculty gala, so they join an online dating site. Meanwhile, she has surreptitiously hooked up with one of the guys, but for a number of reasons she can’t commit to an actual relationship. As the profiles and matches develop, hilarity ensues – along with some other hijinks. It’s a cute story written in alternating voices by an author duo. In an interesting aside, Millie is a criminology professor, and she mentions reading the Michelle McNamara book that I was too chicken stuff to read for this month’s mystery book club. Read 8-11 June.