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February book list

1. Seeker, Arwen Dayton

I received an arc from Netgalley in exchange for my thoughts.

Reader, I did not like it.

There's weak and inconsistent world-building. Are we in a medieval
setting with magic, or a futuristic society? It took me way too many
chapters to figure it out.

And there's the same old love triangle. Need I say more? Besides that,
I don't think there's a single fully-drawn character. I didn't connect
with any of them.

Most egregiously, very little is ever explained about the seekers, and
what is explained comes way too late. There's a time to keep the
reader in suspense about basic elements of your book - this was not

2. New York, Edward Rutherfurd (audio)

I think that any book that attempts to cover this time much (from the
Dutch settlers to 9/11) and stay somewhat cohesive will naturally seem
contrived. This felt contrived, and the ending a bit too neat and

Hands down, the best part was when it got to a late enough period
(1750s and onwards) where I could recognize many of the buildings and
places mentioned. Having a personal knowledge of the city adds a lot
to the enjoyment of a book like this.

3. Have His Carcase, Dorothy Sayers

Utterly baffled by the mystery; delightful to see Harriet & Peter
interacting the way they do.

4. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reread this because the of new webseries Misselwaithe Archives (which is currently ... on hiatus? I'm getting worried) and also because it's a good book to read when you think it'll never be spring.

5. Stiff: the curious lives of human cadavers, Mary Roach

Particularly fascinating because two of my grandparents donated their bodies to science. I love this stuff! Yes, it's a little gross, so only read it if you're into that sort of thing.

6. Serenity: Those Left Behind
7. Serenity: Better Days
8. Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
9. Serenity: Leaves on the Wind

I feel a bit short-changed that we don't get much Mal/Inara, but still - very satisfying, funny, and thrilling in all the right places.

10. Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman

Beautiful, thoughtful, not as disturbing as I was afraid of but still deliciously creepy. And a story about Shadow! And a Doctor Who story!

11. A Royal Experiment: the private life of King George III, Janice Hadlow

My goodreads note just said "poor doomed family." It really ... it was just very sad. They tried so hard to make a model family and then things just fell apart. It did take forever to read, but it's just dense, not boring. Very well written.

12. The Nesting Place: it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, Myguillyn Smith

Really excellent and thank you to everyone who recommended it! Of course, the irony is that even the "not perfect" photos are ... perfectly staged to look quirky and interesting. That would be a real challenge with this kind of book, becuase who's going to buy a book with unattractive pictures? But at the same time, it didn't feel like they actually matched what she was saying.

I loved the reminders to take risks, be quirky, and think outside the box.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2015 10:51 pm (UTC)
I always forget how much I like Have His Carcase until I re-read it. The story itself is a bit sad, but the Harriet & Peter bits are so great!
Mar. 6th, 2015 03:01 am (UTC)
I just processed Seeker yesterday and it seemed like kind of a mess. When I first saw it I couldn't figure out why the cataloger had put it in science fiction- it sounded more like fantasy to me. But then there are hover cars and whipsword things. From the bits of it I read (it was a slow day) I couldn't figure out what was going on.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )