April 2015 reads

>> Sunday, May 10, 2015

I'm very late with this, but I've been on holiday and then really busy on my return (not to mention, feeling pretty depressed and disheartened after the UK election result, so I haven't really been in the mood for blogging, or even reading). Anyway, here's what I read in April.

1 - A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold: A
review coming soon

Culmination of the romance between Miles and his lady-love. Perfection!

2 - Shining Through, by Susan Isaacs: A
review coming soon

Reread of an old favourite, which has stood up wonderfully. It tells the story of Linda Voss, who at the start of the book is a legal secretary in 1940 New York. She doesn't stay a secretary for very long, let me tell you! Fun plot, great characters and I love Isaacs' voice.

3 - Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell: B+
review coming soon

YA. Coming of age story. It features a socially awkward heroine who writes fanfic, and it was lovely to see her come out of her shell and start making a life *for herself*.

4 - The Shape of My Heart, by Ann Aguirre: B+
review coming soon

New Adult, third in a series which I love because it has characters who feel real. This one might be my favourite.

5 - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers: B+
review coming soon

Sci-fi. It's basically about the multi-species crew of a spaceship having adventures, but it's very character-focused. I really liked it.

6 - The Three, by Sarah Lotz: B
review here

Horror. Four simultaneous plane crashes, 3 child survivors, people convinced something's not quite right with them. Creepy as hell. Not a great ending, but that was ok.

7 - Obsession in Death, by JD Robb: B
review here

Someone is obsessed with Eve and starts killing her "enemies" as a favour to her. Good, although there's a lot of reference to earlier books and I struggled to remember them.

8 - The Shamless Hour, by Sarina Bowen: B-
review coming soon

New Adult. I liked that it's about a heroine who loves sex and is unashamed of having lots of it, but I wasn't really crazy about the romance. And the crap Spanish annoyed me.

9 - Otherwise Engaged, by Amanda Quick: C+
review here

Historical romance. Good start, but lost steam. JAK always overcomplicates her mystery subplots.

10 - The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 7, by Maxim Jakubowski (editor) and many authors: DNF
review here

Anthology containing a huge number of stories. I read about a quarter of them and they didn't appeal. Since they are all chosen by the same person and our tastes clearly don't match, I didn't see any point in reading the rest.

11 - To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee: still reading
review coming soon

Reread (I think. I'm pretty sure I did read it once, but many, many years ago). I'm really enjoying it, but I must admit that a big part of me bristles at the message that we must respect the views of even vile racists.

12 - Temeraire, by Naomi Novik: still listening
review coming soon

Fantasy, set in a version of the 19th century where dragons exist and the different countries' armed forces use them as weapons. The protagonist is a sea captain who accidentally bonds with a hatchling, which turns his life upside down. I'm liking it very much.

13 - Shadow Scale, by Rachel Hartman: still reading
review coming soon

Second in a series. I loved the first book, Seraphina, but I'm finding myself a bit bored with this one.


Samantha 10 May 2015 at 15:24  

So glad to see that you read and enjoyed The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. I've been considering reading that one, now I'll def. have to check it out. :D

Li 10 May 2015 at 19:37  

You had a pretty good reading month!

I've never seen that A CIVIL CAMPAIGN COVER before... she is not blessed by the cover gods.

I loved FANGIRL - I think it was the fanfic elements that really made it for me.

Marianne McA,  10 May 2015 at 19:53  

I've now bought 'The Long Way...' because you liked it, and it has just the best title.

jmc 11 May 2015 at 01:29  

A Civil Campaign is the first Vorkosigan book I read. I have to say that I enjoyed it as a space Regency on its own, but it reads much better when read in proper order. Miles's letter to Ekaterin is second to Captain Wentworth's to Anne Elliott as my favorite fictional love letters.

The Temeraire audiobooks are very good, I think. They and the Rivers of London audiobooks are two where I think sometimes the narrators make the stories better. (Although I do think Novik needs better editing.)

Rosario 11 May 2015 at 06:40  

Samantha and Marianne: I just mentioned to someone the other day, The Long Way... reminded me a little bit of The Goblin Emperor. It wasn't so much the writing, or what it's about, but the way it felt. Very nebulous, I'm afraid, but there it is!

Li: I chose that cover to upload because it's (a resized version of) the one that came with the audiobook from audible. I agree, not very good. It makes Miles look sort of hulking, when he's really skinny and hyperactive!

As for Fangirl, I loved the fanfic elements as well, even though I don't read it myself!

jmc: Agreed. It reminded me of Sayers' Gaudy Night, in that sense. And yes, that letter! I can't blame Ekaterin for not being able to help herself from keeping it in her breast pocket permanently.

I'm actually listening to the Temeraire audiobook, and it really is very good. I still haven't got very far, since I was listening to something for book club next Wednesday, but that's done now, so I should be able to push forward!

Marianne McA,  12 May 2015 at 23:18  

Just to add, I finished 'The Long Way...' this afternoon, and I also really enjoyed it. Thanks for the heads up.

Rosario 17 May 2015 at 08:56  

Marianne: I'm really glad to hear that! I'm curious: you've read The Goblin Emperor, right? Did you see the similarities or is it just me?

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