Back from holiday

>> Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hi everyone, I hope 2017 has been treating you well! I got back from Uruguay on Monday and I'm still getting used to the cold and wet of England after weeks of perfect summer weather. On the plus side, I'm enjoying being able to eat out, after the wasteland that is Uruguay for a vegetarian.

I did A LOT of reading while I was away, particularly in the last couple of weeks, when I managed to get out of the city. All I did for days was sit by the pool and practically inhale books.

There were some excellent reads, including several I'd been saving. Courtney Milan's Hold Me was good, and I really enjoyed A Study in Scarlet Women, by Sherry Thomas. The latest JD Robb and Sharon Shinn were solid, and Us, by David Nicholls, was lovely too. Unfortunately, one of the ones I was saving was also the greatest disappointment. Very unexpected, too, since it was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I also loved two which were a bit of a surprise. One was East West Street, by Philippe Sands (which I read early enough to sneak into my best of 2016 list), a non fiction book which might have been dry (it's about the genesis of the concepts of genocide and crimes against humanity), but was really touching. The other was Looking for Group, by Alexis Hall, a really lovely romance set in the world of gaming, where there were entire paragraphs I didn't understand a word of!

Here's a list of everything I read:


Jorrie Spencer,  11 January 2017 at 12:23  

Huh, there are a number of books there I recognize. The Cold Between, which I liked. Gentleman Jole and The Just City, books I really liked. And Sorceror to the Crown which I loved.

I bought Looking For Group and it’s on my iPad. I actually bought it after reading Hassell/Erickson’s Strong Signal that also focused on gaming. Though I suspect the books and focus are entirely different. I don’t game at all, but it’s fun to see those who do, I guess!

Li 11 January 2017 at 12:33  

Happy 2017! That sounds like the PERFECT holiday, you're making me so envious.

What did you think of the LMBs?

I loved the Alexis Hall as well, it was one of my favourite reads of 2016. I totally agree with you about not understanding entire passages, it was like a different world! Fantasy-lite ;-)

I liked THE COLD BETWEEN as well, I grabbed the next book as soon as I finished it.

I haven't bothered getting the HP - I flipped through it in the store and didn't think the script format would work for me. I want to watch the play, but getting tickets is practically impossible...

Sun,  11 January 2017 at 12:41  

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the Vorkosigans and The Woman in Cabin 10.

Marianne McA,  11 January 2017 at 18:42  

I liked the Harry Potter, but thought it had to be read as fanfic - and as fanfic, while it's not the best telling of that generation I've read, it's one of the better. And apparently the staging is amazing: we're going to see it in July, which I'm looking forward to.

I'll be interested in your review of The Just City - I've almost bought it several times. but I'm guiltily aware that I've forgotten all my Plato.

I've never managed to reread Cryoburn: I've reread the first few chapters several times, but never beyond that. (One of these days I'll try starting from the middle.) It seems heresy not to like it, but I might not.

Have you read Ivan's book yet?

Wendy 11 January 2017 at 21:04  

I read the Gerritsen and Woman in Cabin 10 via audio. Really liked the Gerritsen...Woman in Cabin 10 not so much.

I really need to get to the Sherry Thomas. Another one I'll probably turn to on audio just so I can actually GET to it. My reading pace is so slow these days I feel like I'm reading backwards.

Rosario 14 January 2017 at 10:27  

Jorrie: Oh, Strong Signal has gaming as well? I haven't tried Hassell or Erickson yet, but I've been seeing a lot about them. Sounds like that's the place to start!

Li: Thank you! It was! Mind you, I couldn't take more than a couple of weeks of it, but for that duration, it was perfect!

I liked Cryoburn ok, but felt the ending was a bit abrupt and didn't really fit with the tone of the rest of the book (although it made complete sense with the theme of it). I'm still listening to Gentleman Jole and liking it, although so far it's a bit plot-free. I don't mind, I love visiting with Cordelia.

I'm afraid I liked The Cold Between a bit less than you did, although the setup was one that really should have worked for me. And yes, don't bother with the HP!

Sun: See my response to Li for the Vorkosigans. Woman in Cabin 10 I'm still finishing listening to, but so far I'm having mixed reactions!

MarianneMcA: In spite of my dislike of the book, I think I would like to see it staged. I suspect it will feel very different, and some of the stuff that bothered me in the reading might make more sense.

You don't really need to remember your Plato to make sense of The Just City -it's been a long while for me as well!

I did like Cryoburn ok myself, but it's not one I feel particularly in a rush to reread. I'll probably go right from the start when I reread the series, but the ones I really want to read again are certainly others (Memory, particularly!). And yes, I've read Ivan's book, I'm just really late with my review. It was fun!

Wendy: It was audio for me as well with those two! The Gerritsen was great. The ending really made it. Woman in Cabin 10 started well, but I'm starting to get seriously annoyed with Lo. As for the Thomas, I think it might work really well in audio!

Bona Caballero 15 January 2017 at 08:49  

Hi, glad to see you back.
What a bunch of incredible books, I can't wait for your next reviews, mainly because I want to know how your experience was with them in order to decide if I would like them or not. The last Sherry Thomas book, for instance.
I have only three books left in the Vorkosigan Saga and, although not all the books have been great, now I don't want it to end!
BTW - that feeling about vegetarianism and Uruguay? The same thing here, in Northern Spain, where the majority of menues are "Entrantes" (and all the salads have either "jamón" or "bonito" and if you ask to remove the jamón, they add bonito, don't try to explain them anything) - "Carne"-"Pescado"-"Postres".

Rosario 16 January 2017 at 08:46  

Bona: Reviews should be starting pretty soon! :) And yes, lots of mixed feelings reading the last Vorkosigan book. I've been forcing myself to wait in between books, trying to make them last. On the bright side, I will now go onto the Chalion books, and then the Sharing Knife series!

Oh, those salads sound so familiar! And if it's not jamón or bonito, it's chicken, and lately smoked salmon as well. At least Uruguayan menus usually have a pasta section as well, thanks to our Italian influence, and some of those are meat-free. If there is anything else vegetarian it tends to be some sort of meat substitute, like seitan burgers. It gets old pretty soon!

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