Reading notes 11-23-12

I’ve been enjoying Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books–I finished the first one (The Wee Free Men) a few days ago and then got out the second (A Hat Full of Sky). I’ve tried Pratchett before and didn’t ever fall in love with his books. The emotional heart seemed to be missing; I’m not one for clever books at the moment and Pratchett is nothing if not clever. (As a side note: this is a recent thing. I think I would have really liked Pratchett in high school.) The Tiffany Aching books are funny and clever, but they’re also much more emotionally connected and I really like them. So if, like me, you’ve bounced off Pratchett’s wit in the past, I’d suggest trying one of these instead.

I’m also slogging through The Diviners. I know a lot of people liked it and a lot of people thought it needed a heavy editing hand. Yeah, I’m on the heavy editing hand team. There’s just TOO MUCH here–characters and atmosphere and slang and points of view. I can appreciate what Bray was trying to do, especially in bringing in diverse viewpoints from that time period. But, like a New York cheesecake, it’s may be too rich for some tastes, and it is for mine. There’s also the fact that I’m not a New York person–London is my city forever and ever. And I have not connected with Evie emotionally–her journey is lost in the midst of all the different viewpoints. But I’m a completeist and I feel like I have to finish it.

I read Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill the other night–it’s a very quick and fluffy read, but really nice fluff. Definitely recommended for Stephanie Perkins fans, though it’s a bit lighter, I would say. Is it completely unbelievable if you think about it at all? Yes. But sometimes a little bit of unbelievable sweetness is exactly what you need. Plus London! (See above on cities.)

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Reading notes 11-23-12

  1. The Diviners didn’t work for me either–there are very few books I like set in New York! did you see this article about London-fantasy capital city in the Gaurdian– http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2012/nov/21/london-fantasy-capital-city-damien-walter

    • Maureen E

      I had not seen that! But it’s so neat!

      Struggling to remember any other stories set in NY, but just generally, as I said, it’s not my city.

  2. I really liked Meant to Be. Far more than I have any of Stephanie Perkins’ novels. While I found a couple plot threads to be slightly stretching credulity, I think Morrill did a good job of writing Julia and Jason so they come across as average regular teens. This struck me particularly in Jason’s case because it is so rare to find a male romantic hero in a YA book of this nature who doesn’t behave older. And yay London!

    • Maureen E

      I agree about Jason! Though I wished for once that we had some of his pov, because he came across to me as a little inconsistent. Not so much the being a ridiculous teenage boy but–I don’t know, I wish we had been able to see Julia through his eyes.

      • That would have been nice too, but I rather liked the unreliability of Julia’s narration. None of us sees other people as they actually are and we are really bad at seeing ourselves clearly. I

  3. Hi Maureen,
    Just found your blog and am enjoying it. My deepest sympathies for your dad.
    As for Pratchett and Tiffany, I love your take on those books and think you’re absolutely right. While his other Discworld books are glib and funny, the Tiffany Aching books are all that, but with an extra depth and heart that make them nearly perfect, in my mind. I feel as if he took special care to write these books, while others feel more dashed off.

    Some day you might enjoy Pratchett’s NATION. Not yet though, because it’s very sad in parts.

    Best,
    Stacy

    • Maureen E

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Stacy! I had forgotten that I have read Nation, but yes, that was excellent as well. Although I kept comparing it, perhaps unfairly, with Frances Hardinge’s The Lost Conspiracy, which I looooove.

      As far as Tiffany Aching goes, I think you’re spot on. At one point, I would have really liked the glibness and romp of the Discworld books, but right now as a reader I’m all about heart. I’ve got I Shall Wear Midnight out at the moment and am reading it very slowly because I don’t want it to end.

  4. Pingback: November 2012-January 2013 reading list | By Singing Light

  5. Pingback: Historical Fantasies: 1920s on | By Singing Light

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