Daily Archives: January 17, 2003


My luck with books has been so-so for the past few months. Last week I finished the pile of books I got for Christmas, so I sorted through my many shelves of books to see if I could find something that (a) I hadn’t read, (b) I had abandoned, or (c) really wanted to re-read. I pulled out Shadows Over Lyra and said, Woo, a whole three books I haven’t read! I had picked up this three-in-one omnibus edition of some Lyra novels by Patricia C Wrede six years ago and couldn’t get past the second chapter, so I put it away. Perfect, I thought!

Well, I got further than the second chapter, but wow, is it ever boring, and I think it’s about to be re-shelved. I think I might need to find another home for it. Before I do, I might try skipping to the second book in the omnibus, and then the third. Maybe it’s just the first novel that’s bland and derivative and has boring characters. (I can hope, can’t I?) I’m a bit confused, because I love Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, all her short stories that I’ve read, and her epistolary novel co-written with Caroline Stevermer.

Other books I’ve given up on: Carole Nelson Douglas’ Chapel Noir, which is a novel about two women investigating a series of grisly Parisian murders that echo the little Ripper affair in Britain the previous year. When my favourite character (who has narrated the previous four novels in this series) was kidnapped, and I realised that she wasn’t coming back in this book, I really lost interest. Another book to put back on the shelf. It’s been sitting on my bedside table, where books I’m getting tired of sometimes go so that I can fall asleep (I won’t get caught up in the action and read ’till two, you see), but being a grisly murder investigation, it’s really not the type of thing that’s conducive to relaxing, you know?

I’ve been valiantly trying to read Bernard Cornwell’s The Winter King for t!, but the writing style really leaves me so completely neutral. It’s a retelling of the Arthurian story in a style that imagines what actual Celtic history might have been like at the time – none of this flowery knights in plate armour stuff. It’s about war chiefs and mud and politics, and while it’s a nice change from the usual, I’m just not interested in reading yet another Matter of Britain right now. Nor have I been for the past five or six months, which is how long I’ve taken to read half the book.

I’ve have a bunch of books on order since the beginning of December – for example, the new Robin Hobb, the Charles de Lint Newford collection that came out in November, and the new Robert Jordan (which claims to be an end, but my sources indicate that the claim is ludicrous). (My view on reading Jordan at this point: I am in blood / Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er. (Macbeth III.v.) I’m also re-reading Ceri’s novel. And I did another scan through my bookshelves and found Broken Blade, the third book of an Ann Marston trilogy that I put down half-read four years ago, having lost my reading momentum when she decided to change from third-person to first-person narration after the first two novels, which jarred me at the time. And my mother sent me home with a set of mystery novels by Dianne Day which look good, so maybe I’ll tackle those next.

Reading’s just been sort of fnyeh lately. You know?