June 2014 reads

>> Tuesday, July 01, 2014

My reading during the second half of this month has been woeful. I've spent most of my time watching football, reading about football and listening to football podcasts. The results can be seen below.

1 - The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Wall
The Kraken King Part VII: The Kraken King and the Empress'Eyes
The Kraken King Part VIII: The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure
Grade for the book as a whole: A-

The last three parts in the Kraken King serial. They were a fitting end to a novel with truly excellent romance and adventure. I particularly like the way these two elements have combined to basically develop one another. The serial format? Mixed success. I liked the pause for thought, but found my rhythm disrupted by real life, more than it would have been if this had not been a serial. I might try another one, but I won't rush to do so.

2 - Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson: A-
review coming soon

Audiobook. Closes a fantasy trilogy which has been just amazing. Elisa's growth from a scared, powerless little mouse to an ruler comfortable with the exercise of her own power was fantastic.

3 - Dying for Siena, by Elizabeth Jennings: B+
review coming soon

This has just been republished (after apparently extensive rewriting) as Murphy's Law, under the author's Lisa Marie Rice name. It's a mystery with a little bit of romance. It has a mathematician heroine who really seems to do mathematician stuff (not just sums in her head) and is set in Siena during the Palio. I really enjoyed it and found it extremely funny.

4 - A Murder of Crows, by Anne Bishop: B-
review coming soon

This starts right where Written in Red left off, and concentrates on human plans to destroy the Others. It wasn't quite as absorbing as book 1 (way too many meetings, which strangely, weren't quite as gripping as Meg sorting the mail).

5 - Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez: still reading
review coming soon

I'm reading this in the original Spanish, so technically it should be El Amor En Los Tiempos del Cólera. It's the book for my book club next month, and I'm enjoying it very much. The man could definitely write!

6 - Sweet Disorder, by Rose Lerner: still reading
review coming soon

I love politics in historical romances. The heroine here is a widow in a marginal constituency. Her husband was able to vote, and the rules in the area allow her to transfer that vote to her husband, if she marries again. Both Tories and Whigs are after her, trying to get her to marry a candidate who'll vote for them. The hero is the brother of the Whig candidate. So far so good, I like Lerner's voice.


CD,  1 July 2014 at 20:45  

Wow - that's your slow month?! I've had the last month off (coinciding altogether coincidentally with the World Cup...)and have only managed two books. Grrrr.

I'm on the fence about whether or not to start with THE KRAKEN KING or wait for all the bits to come out in one book. Decisions decisions...

BTW, what football podcasts are you listening to?

Li 1 July 2014 at 22:18  

"...way too many meetings, which strangely, weren't quite as gripping as Meg sorting the mail"

You make me laugh! But it's true.

I thought the Rae Carson was very strong too, and have been meaning to read Rose Lerner for quite a while now.

Rosario 2 July 2014 at 06:20  

CD: Hahah, maybe I shouldn't complain, it's just that it didn't feel like I was reading at all!

If you're at all intrigued by the idea of a serial and how it would work for you, I would try to read The Kraken King that way. I suspect we're not going to get a romance one that's so well done.

Re: football, I'm listening to the Guardian World Cup daily podcast (they can be annoying some times, but usually good) and the World Football Phone-in from 5 live, plus bits and pieces from Up All Night. Also The Anfield Wrap, which has been talking about the World Cup in addition to transfer talk and that sort of thing. Have you been listening to any yourself?

Li: Did you find the second one less satisfying, too?

It's a shame there aren't more people talking about the Rae Carson series. It's one of the most satisfyingly feminist books I've read in years.

Li 2 July 2014 at 19:51  

I actually found the 1st book of the trilogy the weakest - just a bit too predictable. The second surprised me as it read much more like romance compared to the first, the third was the strongest IMO - it brought everything together, Elisa grows up, and wins through quite satisfyingly!

Rosario 3 July 2014 at 06:47  

Li: Oh, I think I liked book 1 better than book 2. I didn't find it predictable, maybe because I'm not that widely read in the genre. I was particularly surprised by the romantic elements. I wasn't expecting her relationship with Alejandro or with Humberto at all! I do agree the 3rd was the strongest, though!

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