November 2014 reads

>> Monday, December 01, 2014

It feels like I'm really enjoying fewer and fewer romances these days, but this was a pretty good month for them!

1 - Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel: A-
review here

It's 20 years after a flu pandemic killed a huge proportion of the world's population and made civilisation collapse. Our protagonists are in a travelling theatre company specialising in Shakespeare plays, which they perform in the tiny settlements that have developed over the years. An excellent book. It made me feel quite sad, but at the same time, positive about humanity.

2 - The Fall, by Kate Sherwood: B+
review here

Small-town m/m romance with a lot of really interesting family dynamics and personal growth. Sherwood is a newish author to me, and I'm liking her books very much.

3 - Gentle On My Mind, by Susan Fox: B+
review here

Another small-town romance, one with a great heroine. Brooke is in her 40s, a recovering alcoholic and has only recently got successful treatment for bipolar disorder. Into her ordered life comes an undercover cop looking for a murderer in her town. Really good.

4 - Indexing, by Seanan Maguire: B+
review coming soon

This is set in a version of reality where fairy tale narratives are determined to manifest in people's lives (usually with horrendous results). It's about a police team that specialises in keeping the narrative under control. I liked it, it was clever. It even had a couple of quite nice romances!

5 - Blackout, by Tim Curran: C+
review here

Novella about an alien invasion. I liked the very creepy start, but it didn't have characters who were developed enough for me to care what happened.

6 - About The Baby, by Tracy Wolff: C+
review coming soon

Hero and heroine are both doctors: he works in an inner-city clinic, she's an epidemiologist tracing outbreaks in far-flung places. They're best friends, and a one-night stand when the heroine is in a difficult place emotionally leads to the baby in the title. I found the romance pretty meh, but I liked some of the external drama.

7 - Midwinterblood, by Marcus Sedgwick: D
review here

A series of 7 linked vignettes, all taking place in a mysterious Nordic island and going back further and further in time with each vignette. I never really got what the point of the whole thing was, I'm afraid.

8 - Playing Dirty, by Susan Anderson: DNF
review coming soon

The hero did a very bad thing to the heroine in high school and publicly humiliated her. Now he's hired her house and her services to film a documentary, which throws them together. The writing wasn't working for me, plus I felt the hero wasn't trying to make amends, but to make himself feel better when he badgered the heroine with his apologies.

9 - Christmas With Her Boss, by Marion Lennox: DNF
review here

The heroine is the hero's PA and invites him to her family home for Christmas when he's stranded in Australia (her responsibility, they both think, which I didn't get). It felt very old hat, and it annoys me when not wanting to participate in Christmas cheer is portrayed as something that must be fixed.

10 - Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, by Connie Willis: still reading
review coming soon

Does what it says on the tin. It's my book club's pick for December. I liked Willis' take on the traditional stories and her weird angles. I'm forcing myself to read only one a day.

11 - The Secret Heart, by Erin Satie: still reading
review coming soon

Historical with a heroine who is a ballerina and a hero who is a boxer. It's a dense, angsty historical, and I'm enjoying it.

12 - The Shape of Desire, by Sharon Shinn: still reading
review coming soon

Urban fantasy, about a woman who's been in a relationship with a shape-shifter for many years. I'm having trouble rooting for this relationship (he spends most of his time in animal form and just shows up at her house when he becomes human again, very occasionally), but we'll see.


Barb in Maryland 1 December 2014 at 20:08  

I've read all three of Shinn's shapeshifter books and enjoyed them to varying degrees. I'll comment further when you post your review, as I don't want to possibly spoil this one for you.

Rosario 1 December 2014 at 22:01  

Now I'm very intrigued :)

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