This is WebGenii, with an installment from my Reading Diary. So what have I been reading lately?
First Up, Charlaine Harris's latest Sookie Stackhouse outing. "Deadlocked", published by PYR. I have been reading Charlaine Harris since her mystery days (and if you haven't read any of her mysteries, you should). I have lectured complete strangers on how she exposes character through action. I have argued that her inclusion of housework, HOUSEWORK! in a paranormal romance is actually a subversively feminist act. And I adore the character of Sookie. So it's a no-brainer, that I enjoyed "Deadlocked". Once again, Sookie has a mystery to solve and vampire politics to contend with. Oh, and I think she resolves her HEA in a nifty twist at the end of the book. If this is the end of the series, Charlaine has wrapped it up nicely. Otherwise, poor Sookie is really worn out by everything she's gone through, so I hope Charlaine gives her some vacation time. If you are a Sookie Stackhouse fan it's recommended.
Next, I found "How Carrots Won the Trojan War", by Rebecca Rupp, published by Storey Publishing. A book so charming I immediately bought a copy for my mother. It's is a collection of facts and histories of various fruits and vegetables. It is an enjoyable read, perfect for days so sweltering that the ability to concentrate has disappeared. Plus, it is an excellent gift book (see above). Recommended.
Next, I tucked into my reviewer copy of "Thief's Covenant" by Ari Marmel, published by PYR. I heard Ari Marmel on Adventures in SciFi Publishing discussing his underpowered god concept. This is an idea I found amusing and clever. The story is told partially in flashbacks, which explain how our heroine became wealthy, famous and most importantly; became the single worshipper of a minor god. This is a Young Adult story, told with great pacing and personable characters. The heroine - Widdershins, relationship as the sole worshipper of her god, means that her god can focus exclusively on her well-being. Unfortunately, since the god has only a single worshipper it isn't very powerful and can only protect her through acts like causing a pursuer to suffer a sneezing fit or trip. Mr. Marmel gets a lot of physical comedy out of this. Recommended.
Next, I read "Passion Play" by Beth Bernobich, published by Tor. l was looking forward to reading a new book by Ms. Bernobich and "Passion Play" didn't disappoint. Ms. Bernobich takes a standard fantasy storyline and bends it into her own shape. The beginning of the story, where the rebellious daughter refuses to marry the husband arranged for her by her father and runs away instead could have been a fantasy retread. Instead the consequences (SPOILER) lead to Therez prostituting herself in order to retain her freedom. Ms. Bernobich doesn't shy away from depicting this in a way that is both creepy and affecting. Therez suffers both emotionally and physically, in a way that seems pretty realistic to me. This isn't an anti-sex book, rather one where the consequences of choice are explored. Recommended.
"Keep Calm and Pray for Dawn" is one of the tag lines for "God Save the Queen" by Kate Locke, published by Orbit. This book is set in a steampunk modern world. Queen Victoria is still on the throne in 2012. It reminded me of "A Clockwork Orange" mashed up with Gail Carriger's "Parasol Protectorate" series. And I'm all over the map with my response to this book. Which by parts I loved and equally snorted in annoyance at. I feel that Ms. Locke missed the opportunity to explore what it would really mean to have an undead, unchanging, political elite ruling. But that is undoubtedly a more serious storyline than the book was designed for. This is clearly the start of a series, so I'll be curious how book two performs. I'll put it in the "mileage may vary" pile.
And look what came in from the library today. "How to Shit Around the World" by Dr. Jane Wilson-Howard, published by Travelers' Tales Press. Subtitled - the art of staying clean and healthy while traveling. Cued by a BoingBoing story, I read the article on using a squat toilet. http://www.worldhum.com/features/how-to/use_a_squat_toilet_20060923/. Since I couldn't find an ebook version. I did the next best thing - Interlibrary Loan! Now I just have to keep my little boy from chanting the title while I read it.
Just to recap, the books that I mentioned today were:
- "Deadlocked", by Charlaine Harris, published by PYR.
- "How Carrots Won the Trojan War", by Rebecca Rupp, published by Storey Publishing.
- "Thief's Covenant" by Ari Marmel, published by PYR.
- "Passion Play" by Beth Bernobich, published by Tor.
- "God Save the Queen" by Kate Locke, published by Orbit.
- "How to Shit Around the World" by Dr. Jane Wilson-Howard, published by Travelers' Tales Press
This has been WebGenii letting you know what is on my reading list.