Finally! A genuine post instead of a bunch of tweets!
First, the best book I've read in the past month is The Magicians and Mrs. Quent
by Galen Beckett - it's a really original fantasy. My Amazon.com review is here
and as ever, I'd appreciate it if you read the review, voted Yes for it, and commented on it if you have the time and willingness to do so.*
Then, books that I tweeted, but haven't mentioned in more detail:Salvation in Death
- JD Robb, latest in her Eve Dallas series, not bad, has to do with a televangelist who suddenly goes honest.Bones
- Jonathan Kellerman, latest in his Alex Delaware series; Alex and Milo sound more alike than ever, both of them frequently leaving any personal pronouns off the beginnings of sentences; the new sidekick that Milo acquires in Obsession shows some promise as a character.The Best of Michael Swanwick
- anthology of short stories, some of which I had already read when they appeared in SF magazines; perhaps the most famous is "The Feast of St. Janis."
A graphic novel of Thor
based on the comic books of the same name; the book uses up quite a bit of space on the set-up of why Thor is coming back, and a lot of it is pretentious panels that show almost nothing. Thor establishes a new Asgard - hovering over a farm in Oklahoma. There are some good bits in here, such as when someone from the town wants to deliver an invitation to the residents of Asgard to attend a town hall meeting, and has to first install a mailbox under Asgard, so he has something to deliver it to. Also the scene where the gods come to the town meeting - that's where the quote "What unfortunate day's events are not made gladder by cake?" comes from.Manga Shakespeare Julius Caesar
- worst in the series so far; the artwork is so ugly it makes it nearly impossible to tell the characters apart. And having the characters wearing togae in one scene, and then put on zoomy helmets and hop on motorcycles, is so wrong. I can't see where anyone would ever be drawn to a deeper understanding of Shakespeare or toward reading more of his plays, from this presentation; if anything, it'll drive new readers away.Cretaceous Dawn
by L. and M. Graziano - sorta like Jurassic Park, except it involves the scientists actually being dumped back in time. A couple of characters seem real; others are cardboard, but overall it's readable. Manages to involve a turf war between OSHA and ONR (Office of Naval Research) and a couple of crooked physicists, to give more interest to the modern end of things. The entomologist gets the girl.A Very Private Enterprise
by Elizabeth Ironsides - from the cover illustration, and even the back cover blurb, I thought this was going to be a historical mystery, but it turned out to be modern, far too British for me to understand what was going on, and it had a totally implausible ending where after everything is over and one person is left packing up, the real killer just wanders in and confesses.
And a few I hadn't mentioned at all yet:Stat-Spotting
by Joel Best - lightweight, but good summaries. Perhaps his best chapter is the idea of knowing benchmarks - there are about 300m americans, 4m babies born each year in US, 2.4m die each year and a few other general ones - so that you can recognize totally bogus stats (like one claim I heard, from a relative, that there are 150 million abortions a year in the US - oh yes, 50% of every man, woman, and child in the country had an abortion last year? Really?)Free-Range Knitter
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - a lot about her daughters. No sense anyone who doesn't knit or haunt yarn shops reading it. It's humorous, but only for yarn addicts.Ageless Memory
- Harry Lorayne - a reminder of the old trick of putting absurd images to things you need to remember. I used to do that and then didn't and now Lorayne has reminded me that it works.A Just Determination
- John Hemry (not Henry) - well-written and fascinating, and at the same time way too much detail of every sentence needed to launch a ship or start a court-martial. He's best known for a particular mil-fic series, which I haven't read and which this isn't in. This one has a touch of Young Adult coming-of-age stuff in it, but it isn't juvenile. I liked it. Our boy is a newly minted lawyer (well, that's not what they call it, but that's what it is) on a battleship on a supposedly peaceful mission. Which of course goes awry. Warning: unless you're already deeply into Navy stuff, you'll spend a while getting straight about the difference between Captains and Commanders and whatnot, and the exact chain of command, and who isn't on the usual chain, and more of that nature.
Gaaah, and there's still a short stack of books here - I'll include the 4 remaining in a second post, before this one gets big enough to invade a small nation.