rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
So, it has been nearly 5 months since I last did one of these.  This is necessarily incomplete because I didn't keep notes, and also because where I did keep notes (e.g. Daily Science Fiction stories), I have way too many to post all at once, so I'll dribble them out over the next weeks.

What I've read: poetry
I Speed Toward The Moon by Constance Hanstedt
At The Forestry Institute, Hanoi by Pepper Trail
Father Son Haiku by Kelvin River
Fallers by Alex Harper

What I've read: short stories
The Family Ghost by Jamie Lackey
Vervain, Grasshopper, Sun by Marissa Lingen
The Thing About Heisenball by Stewart C. Baker
Last Long Night by Lina Rather

While we were in Helsinki I noticed that Lois McMaster Bujold had another Penric novella out - and that it was in the middle of the existing novellas so she'd renumbered the series.  I enjoyed it very much, both for the plot in itself and for the additional worldbuilding about the shamanic and sorcerous magic systems. Then I reread my way through the entire series:
Penric's Demon
Penric and the Shaman
Penric's Fox
Penric's Mission
Mira's Last Dance


What I've read: long fiction
Bookburners: Season 1 by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty and Brian Francis Slattery.  If I'd read this as it was published weekly at Serial Box, I'd probably have listed each episode up in the short-fiction section.  Instead I read one collected ebook with all 16 episodes. A New York police officer ends up getting drawn into a secret society of magical book collectors operating out of the Vatican, and joins the team in hopes of helping her brother.  The overall arc plot gets resolved satisfyingly while leaving an opening for more, and I note that Series 3 is currently unfolding on Serial Box.

I finally read A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and found it pleasant enough but less amazing than some of the hype had led me to believe. It's a good found-family series of minor adventures (in fact, in that sense it reminds me quite a bit of Bookburners) and I'm glad I've read it and will happily read more by Becky Chambers.  But it didn't grab me in the way that e.g. Ancillary Justice or All Systems Red did.

Bewitching Benedict by C.E. Murphy came out last week. It's a historical-romance comedy of manners, which I really enjoyed, especially the grand farcical climax. I am hoping it does well so that the author feels like writing the books to pair off the rest of the eligible bachelors she's introduced here.

Listen to the Moon by Rose Lerner is another in her Lively St Lemeston series, this time focusing on a valet and a housemaid who have lost their jobs due to events in the previous books.  There's a good job for both of them in the local rectory, but the vicar insists he only wants a married couple in post. Luckily they fancy each other like mad; it takes them a bit longer to figure out how to solve some trickier conflicts.

What I'm reading next
Well, now my degree is done, anything I like!  Ahahaha. 

A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner just came out and is waiting on my kindle, which is what prompted me to read Listen to the Moon first. From my long-neglected physical to-read pile, I've pulled out The Scientist in the Crib by Alison Gopnik and The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. 
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
What I've read: poetry
The Question Ever by Wendy Videlock (though I feel the urge to note that 'glove' and 'of' do not rhyme in my accent)
Diss by Makaila Dean
Upon Receiving My Inheritance
by William Fargason


What I've read: short fiction
Nevertheless, She Persisted - a collection of 11 flash fiction pieces for International Women's Day
For me, the standouts were:
Heart Stitch by Jose Pablo Iriarte
The Redshirt's Daughter by Evan Dicken
Attending Your Own Funeral: An Etiquette Guide by Erica L. Satifka

Bride by Mistake
by Nicole Helm (novella-length romance)

Mira's Last Dance
by Lois McMaster Bujold (Penric & Desdemona 4).  This just happened to show up when I was checking Hugo-eligibility of the previous two Penric & Desdemona novellas.  While the first three had quite long gaps of time between them, this one follows almost straight on from the previous, and leaves more than one plot thread unresolved by the end.


What I've read: long fiction
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
I had a couple of days where I really was too ill to do anything but doze or read, and inhaled these latest three.  The endings all struck me as particularly abrupt on this read through, the general destruction-level is getting ridiculous even with authorial lampshading, and there are really a lot of loose threads in play now.  (But I still enjoyed them all very much.)


Currently reading:

The Long List Anthology Volume 2 edited by David Steffen - I was surprised just how many of the short stories collected within I'd read - and surprised by a couple I'd not read but really should have.  Anyway, the quality level so far is excellent.

Hidden Figures
by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I am ... not enjoying this as much as I expected.  It is feeding my thirst for more information about Dorothy Vaughan (in particular) and the other women from the film and NACA/NASA more generally, but its style is both a bit too chatty and a bit too florid for my liking.  Or possibly having two bad colds in three weeks is making me bad-tempered and uncharitable.  Listening to the audiobook version doesn't seem to wind me up the same way, so I'm going to try listening the rest of the way through.


Acquisitions:
Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Tony bought Digital Divide by K.B. Spangler, which has been on my radar for a while, so I may sneak a read of it.  (And/or go back to working through A Girl and Her Fed by same.)

I preordered Provenance by Ann Leckie (out in October) and The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (out in September).

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/678222.html with comment count unavailable comments.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Good grief it has been six months since I managed to write one of these! I find I am not reading very much after work and textbooks, and what I do get round to reading for pleasure has been almost entirely fluffy escapist romances, and fanfic (mostly fluffy escapist romantic fanfic). I am very much appreciating the modern world where I can join the mailing lists run by several authors whose books I consistently like, and who are good at sending email notifications that they have something out, or something at a reduced price, and some of whom helpfully recommend other books they have enjoyed.


What I've read

Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold
Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold
Two further novellas about the characters in Penric's Demon, where several years have elapsed between each one. I like this series very much.

Barking Up The Right Tree by Lilly Grant. A lovely fluffy short contemporary romance about a hunky apple farmer and the bored programmer who freelances as a web designer when not at the day job who makes him a great website for his farm.

Hold Me by Courtney Milan. Second in the Cyclone series, I adored the first, I was very excited about this one, read it through the day I bought it, read it again a few days later, loved it. [personal profile] skygiants wrote a great review of it.

Zero Day Exploit by Cole McCade. I quite liked the geeky setting but was a bit meh about the story.

The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian. A m/m Regency romance with class conflict, a mystery to solve, and a domestic abuser to get rid of. I thoroughly enjoyed this and will definitely look out for more by this author.

Protection, Inc. #1-#4 by Zoe Chant. Bodyguard shapeshifter romances with a "one true mate" trope. They are all shortish novels featuring peril, hurt, comfort, and hot sex, and therefore right up my street.

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner
The Liar's Dice by Jeannie Lin
These are two of the five novellas in a historical romance collection, Gambled Away, which I am enjoying very much. These were the first two in the book, and coincidentally the two by authors I've already read.  They were both excellent; I'm looking forward to the rest of the collection.


Acquisitions this week
Fortune Favours the Wicked by Theresa Romain (recommended by Rose Lerner)
A HumbleBundle of ebooks about astronomy, and another of ebooks about coding games.

Plus 2 seasonal gifts from my brother:
Thors: Battleworld
by Jason Aaron, Chris Sprouse & Goran Sud┼żuka
The Making of Pride and Prejudiceby Sue Birtwistle & Susie Conklin
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I owe thanks to [personal profile] naath for alerting me that this was out, and "thanks" to the dratted cough I currently have for giving me several hours of insomnia to beguile last night.

I enjoyed it very much but it isn't quite what I was expecting: it is very much a story of the delights of peacetime, domesticity and science rather than the excitements of lethal politics, galactic intrigue etc.  About what you do when you've saved the Empire a few times and it doesn't need you to do that any more.

Cordelia is at the centre of it, three years a widow and beginning to think about what she wants to do next.  Being Cordelia, rather than Miles, the plot proceeds sensibly and in a measured way, rather than breakneck chaos. There's a lot of Cordelia and Jole dealing with administrative hassles on Sergyar, getting paperwork done and carving time out of busy schedules.  There's a lot of reminiscing too, seeing various major incidents of the past 40-ish years from a different point of view.  There's very little actual peril (which really threw me because based on previous Vorkosigan books I kept expecting things to escalate that didn't ...)

Everything's political, and there's definitely something about the way that stories of WAR and DEATH seem more important than stories of building, creation and family.  Of the previous Vorkosigan books, it's probably most like A Civil Campaign only without the farce (and, thankfully, nothing as excruciating as That Dinner Party).   I think the genre is "family-saga in a space opera setting".

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
What I've read
Mostly comfort-reading: I was predictable and went for Kushiel's ChosenKushiel's Avatar to follow up Kushiel's Dart.  I also picked up and demolished the next in the Eloisa James Regency farcical romances: The Taming of the Duke, ditto one of my extensive to-read pile: Sleeping Tiger by Rosamunde Pilcher.

I mentioned the new novella Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold already: I've reread it once since and it's still very good.  On second viewing I was struck by Penric's essential kindness to people around him and how this ultimately works to his benefit, rather like Cordelia Naismith.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of a new Lia Silver book being released: Mated to the Meerkat is a delightfully funny shapeshifter romance and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's pretty short, but it was also only 99p, and it brightened yesterday morning and lunchtime considerably.  Worth every penny, A+, will read again.


What I'm reading
I continue to enjoy updates from [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan greatly, and I'm still making my way through A Girl and Her Fed archives in fits and starts.  I'm also listening my way through podfic of your blue eyed boys, mostly at bedtime to stop myself staring at bright light before sleep, and I'm very much enjoying the reader's voice and interpretation. It's a slower way of taking in the story for me, and I find I realise details and turns of phrase I hadn't in the rush of reading it myself.


What I'll read next
For the next few evenings at least, my next assignment for the OU takes priority.  Thrill at costing methods! Gasp at budget variances! Despair when numbers don't reconcile!

After that, who knows? I feel I should round up some enthusiasm for Hugo reading before I completely run out of time to vote.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
... in that I found out about it from a friend on irc who'd just bought it.

First chapter is on Bujold's Goodreads blog.  I got through the first chapter and promptly bought it.  (bah, to-read pile and budget doom, it was worth it)

Penric's Demon is set in what was the Chalionverse and is now apparently the World of the Five Gods, and the story is set in yet another country we haven't previously visited, though with references to the existing known polities.

(I was mildly taken aback / smuttily amused when I searched for it on Amazon UK and got asked if t to search for penis demon.)

As you discover in the first chapter, Penric is a young man on the way to his betrothal, who accidentally acquires a demon from a dying sorceress, thereby missing the betrothal.  Instead he gets dispatched to the big city and the religious authority over demons, all the while trying to understand his new situation, his new passenger, and what they can do together.

I liked it very much; maybe not quite as much as The Hallowed Hunt but that's praising with faint disparagement.

Also posted at http://rmc28.dreamwidth.org/589402.html with comment count unavailable comments.
rmc28: (books)
On holiday I spent a happy evening reading all of Jo Walton's reviews of the Vorkosigan books, in publication order, and was inspired to reread.

Can anyone lend me The Warrior's Apprentice and/or Mirror Dance? Those are the only ones I don't have on the shelf.

Edit: Solved, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hilarityallen.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
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