BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

What I’ve been reading, May 2011

on June 1, 2011

Got off to a slow start this month. And then I bought a Kindle. Oh dear…

  • The Virgin Homeowner, Janice Papolos. Thanks for the recommendation, Georgette! I finished it right before the home inspection, and so felt more prepared for that. (Dead tree version.)
  • Lady Susan, Jane Austen. (Kindle. Free.) Novella. It’s a series of letters between the characters. Interesting, but then the end is simply a narrative of what happened to wrap everything up. Disappointing, really. But does have the distinction of being my first Kindle read.
  • “All Cats are Gray”, Andre Norton. (Kindle. Free.) One thing about the Kindle books is that they don’t really tell you what you’re about to read — novel, short story, etc. (There’s the little dots under each book, but what are they relative to?) This one was a short story. Not that I minded; just it would be nice to know. Advantage: Dead Trees.
  • Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey. (Kindle. Free.) A western, and a name I’d long known as a writer of good westerns. And it did not disappoint.
  • Lilith, a romance, George MacDonald. (Kindle. Free.) This was… interesting. Reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy.
  • Trashy romance novel. What can I say? It was free. (And was surprisingly well-written.)
  • The Book of Dragons, E. Nesbit. (Kindle. Free.) Short stories centering on dragons.
  • Arsene Lupin, Maurice Leblanc. (Kindle. Free.) I’m in love! J’adore! Lupin is wonderful! (He’s also a “professor of Jiu-jitsu.”) Love, love, lovelovelove. Did I mention that I loved this book? (BTW, if anyone knows the anime Lupin III, that’s this Lupin’s grandson.)
  • Star Hunter, Andre Norton. (Kindle. Free.) Novella.
  • Allan Quartermain, H. Rider Haggard. (Kindle. Free.) Well, it appears I read the sequel first. (I know better than to just guess, but I did anyway. Silly grrl.)
  • Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll. (Kindle. Free.) I had actually never read it; I don’t know why.
  • The Dragon Reborn and The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan. Dead-tree version. Book 3 of “The Wheel of Time.” I borrowed these from Jennie & Joe. In Book 4, the main group begins to splinter off, and each smaller group is acquiring new allies (and enemies); now the cast is becoming just slightly too big to keep up with.
  • The Four Million, O. Henry. (Kindle. Free.) Short stories, all with O. Henry’s twists at the end. Love O. Henry.
  • Bright of the Sky, Kay Kenyon. (Kindle. Free [promotional].) First book in a series. Wouldn’t recommend, and won’t read the rest, not even if they were also free. Clunker. You can see what she’s trying to do, but it rarely manages to hit anything well. Pacing was all off, for one. The end of the book was just a string of dropping plot bombs that seemed designed only to make you eager to read the next book to see what happens (and several of them, you knew anyway if you’d been paying attention, but she had to beat you over the head with them anyway), but by that point I didn’t really care about any of the characters anyway. Several places where the attached third-person switched between characters with no warning or transition, so you’d get halfway through a paragraph before realizing someone else was thinking now. Or where the main character, who has lost his memory of this other universe, has internal dialog that mentions things that he doesn’t know yet — and then he learns them a chapter or two later and never remarks that he had actually already remembered them (i.e., bad editing). Also, the way it was set up in the Kindle did not work well — the line & paragraph spacing differed throughout, and the word wrap/hyphenation didn’t work. Typos all over, too. I wanted it to be good, because the story & the world I did like, but it never happened. Now I feel like finding a romance novel to scrub this one out of my head.
  • Trashy romance novel that wasn’t as trashy as expected. And that managed to keep the third-person attached narration with the proper character. (Someone could learn a lesson.)
  • The Blonde Lady: Being a Record of the Duel of Wits between Arsène Lupin and the English Detective, Maurice Leblanc. Lupin must be on his guard now — the French have brought in that formidable English detective, Homlock Shears, and his assistant, Dr. Wilson. Er, wait, who? (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle refused to allow his contemporary Leblanc to use his character as a foil for Lupin, so Leblanc instead introduced Homlock Shears and Herlock Sholmes. My brother is currently reading all the Conan Doyle books.)
  • The Hollow Needle: Further Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Maurice Leblanc. This time, a French schoolboy plays detective and unravels Lupin’s greatest plan and reveals a long-lost secret of the French kings.

3 responses to “What I’ve been reading, May 2011

  1. Kintanon says:

    “The Dragon Reborn and The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan. Dead-tree version. Book 3 of “The Wheel of Time.” I borrowed these from Jennie & Joe. In Book 4, the main group begins to splinter off, and each smaller group is acquiring new allies (and enemies); now the cast is becoming just slightly too big to keep up with.”

    The cast of characters levels off here and you’ll find that there are really only 6 you have to follow. Rand, Matt, Perrin, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne. Others will float in and out of the narrative, but those 6 are your key threads for the entire rest of the series. I found myself enjoying Matt and Perrin’s story lines more than the others for books 6-10, but Rand has a strong storyline in 6 and picks back up pretty well in the middle of 10.
    The girls get less whiny and annoying around book 7, but until then I spent a lot of time wishing someone would slap Egwene for her complaining. Rand also stops being such an “OH WOE IS ME!” jackass somewhere around there.

    The series stays surprisingly strong for something as large as it is, but there are some weak spots and slow chunks. And some of the slow chunks can be 100 pages long. I found the series worthwhile enough to have reread the entire thing each time a new book was released from #6 onwards though…

    • leslie says:

      I figured they were. I think my main problem was that they had headed off in so many different directions and there were so many new people showing up; so there were a lot of story lines to keep up with, since they would pick back up several chapters later.

      I love Perrin. Mat hasn’t done much so far except jump through doorways that he (probably) wasn’t supposed to, though he got told that he has to do several things.

      And yes, the girls are currently all too whiney.

      Now I just hope I can hold on to everything until I can get settled in the house and have time to pick up books again!

  2. Shark Girl says:

    I am so jealous that you are reading all that great stuff!

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