What I Read In November 2010

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
A Scholar of Magics by Caroline Stevermer (reread)
Widdershins by Charles de Lint (reread)
Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay (reread)
Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay (reread)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (reread)
All Clear by Connie Willis
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (reread)

I don’t have a lot of brain to recap, but in brief:

All Clear was simply excellent. It was so good I reread the last quarter again, then picked various scenes from Blackout to read in conjunction with scenes from All Clear in order to get a better idea of how things happened in a particular timeline, and then went headlong into rereading The Doomsday Book in order to get more of the Oxford time-travel project.

Catching Fire was good, Mockingjay was problematic. At first I thought the writing/pacing had fallen apart, but then I realised that it hadn’t failed, it was a reflection of a problematic narrator’s state of mind/sanity. Very interesting, though not comfortable, and has generated a lot of criticism around the Internet as a good/bad ending.

Heart’s Blood was a surprise; I had totally missed the fact that there was a new book from Juliet Marillier last year, so I found this one in paperback when it was released. It’s sort of got a Beauty & the Beast theme running through it, only it’s so much more, as you’d expect from Marillier with her Celtic settings and serious political stuff. I was worried it would be a bit too heavy on the romance, but it got very interesting about a quarter of the way in and absorbed me more and more, until I tore through the last third. Oddly, the marketing copy makes it sound like it’s primarily the male protagonist’s story, when in fact it’s told in the first-person from the female protagonist’s POV, and is more about her personal evolution/development that intersects with his.

Little Women has been my iPod book-on-the-go since the beginning of September, what I read if I’m waiting in a line or at the boy’s bus stop in the afternoon. I’d have finished it in October, except someone new moved into the neighbourhood and their kids were assigned our stop, so I had to be social instead of burying my nose in electrons. I’ve moved on to Little Men, also a reread.

Lots of rereads this month. I guess I was looking for comfort or a very particular feel in a novel, and so went to books where I knew I’d find that feeling or style.

Fine. I had more brain to recap than I thought.

ETA: I read both Mouse Guard Fall 1152 and Winter 1152 this month as well. Absolutely gorgeous art!

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