June 2012 book list

Books I already talked about:
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
The Game of Kings, and again by Dorothy Dunnett
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones
Heart of Gold by Sharon Shinn
The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh
The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

Catch of the Day
You Are My Only
Too Good to be True
All I Ever Wanted
Until There was You
Somebody to Love
by Kristan Higgins: Chachic left a comment here awhile ago, suggesting Kristan Higgins. I did enjoy her books a lot–they’re great when I want to read something but don’t have a lot of brain power. I think, though, that I generally like Jennifer Crusie a little more, despite the fact that Crusie is more scandalous.

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Baciagalupi: The sequelish book to Baciagalupi’s Printz-winning Ship Breaker (link takes you to my review). I liked the way the world has developed, and the complexity of the moral decisions. Also, when I realized exactly what the Drowned Cities is, it was kind of gut-punchy. Still, I didn’t get the extreme emotional reaction I did from reading Ship Breaker. Not sure if that’s a function of having some idea what I’m getting into, or if it was just less personally affecting.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner: I can’t believe I’d never read this book before! I loved the world, which seems sort of alt-Georgian, but isn’t quite specific enough to call it that. And the characters, and the plotting. Generally, it was just a love-fest all round.

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne: Re-reading Pooh is such a lovely thing, taking me straight back to the best parts of my childhood. And I remain captivated by the story of the Hundred Acre Woods, from Rabbit to Eeyore. I think part of the secret is that I can see different aspects of myself in all of them. Piglet–I am a Very Small Animal, after all–and Eeyore’s conviction that no one will celebrate his birthday.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella: I’d seen several positive reviews for this one, so I decided to give it a try. I did like it, though the heroine is more scattered than the characters I tend to like. So then I tried Can You Keep a Secret?, and discovered that one book of that type was fine, two was a bit much.

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner: I think I actually liked Swordspoint better, but I’m struggling to come up with a reason. It’s not that Kushner’s writing is bad in either case, or that I disliked the characters. I was actually very fond of Katherine and Marcus. Having read them in order, the Duke is more tragic than anything else. But I think Swordspoint will be the one I revisit more often.

Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones: A bittersweet read–the last Diana Wynne Jones. It reads pretty young and I prefer her older books. But the genuine kookiness and slightly unlikeable characters that make up so much of her work are definitely present.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: I’m not sure how I feel about this one. On one hand, I wasn’t annoyed by it and I’m often seriously dubious about Austen re-tellings. Mostly I just don’t read them for fear of rageiness (Hush, it is a word). However, I also felt like Kai’s character in particular didn’t quite measure up to the original. I wanted to like him, but for most of the book he just seemed like a bit of a jerk, whereas Captain Wentworth doesn’t. But then, I really liked what Peterfreund did with the world and the class aspect. So I am conflicted.

Black Ships by Jo Graham: A re-telling of the Aeneid, from the point of view of Aeneas’s oracle. It made an interesting counter-point to Ursula LeGuin’s Lavinia, which I loooooooved. Graham’s retelling is very solid, with a sense of the world changing around the characters, which generally speaking I really enjoy. And Gull is a lovely narrator.

Getting Rid of Bradley
What the Lady Wants
by Jennifer Crusie: I was trying to read all of Crusie’s books, so I could have a record and go back to re-read my favorites when I want. I think I still like the ones I first read the best, but these two were decent.

The Poison Eaters by Holly Black: I thought this was a very strong short story collection. I’d read a couple of them before, but others were new to me. Black has such an interesting prose style, and vivid descriptions of the magical world.

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud

His Own Good Sword by Amanda McCrina: longer review coming soon!


Filed under bookish posts, monthly book list, reviews

7 responses to “June 2012 book list

  1. Pingback: Diana Wynne Jones | By Singing Light

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