Friday Reads · On My Bookshelf · Reading · Reviews

Friday Reads: Welcome March

In like a lion, huh? Well, the weather for the past few days sure has been cooperating with the proverb. Hopefully everyone stays safe. In crazy conditions like this, not everything is certain.


February 2019

Number of books read: 7
Number of pages read: 1,106
Number of hours listened: 23.52


My Ratings (if there’s a hyperlink, that will take you to my review of the book)

5star

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Drew Hayes’ Siege Tactics

This is a very enjoyable installment to this series. We are definitely seeing a lot of series arc plot material at this point, but we still also get to wrap up the book plot without cliffhangers. I love the character development in this volume especially — it seems that the more we learn about these characters, the more I like them.

Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot

This is a really excellent collection of short stories. It pulls you in and wraps you up in the world, and though it seems a bit strange at the start, by the end you think you can see the characters described out of the corners of your eyes.

4star

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Bruce Sterling’s “Maneki Neko”

I found the story at Lightspeed Magazine, here.

Amusing short story. I first heard about this story in Naomi Kritzer’s “Cat Pictures Please,” and I’m glad I followed up and read it. The basic premise is that there’s a ‘net based “pay it forward” system which uses the lucky cats (maneki neko) as a symbol. Of course, it goes deeper than that, and there are still several questions lacking answers at the end of the story. Still, I think it’s a stronger story for the questions, and it was a really fun read.

Terry Prachett’s Mort

I enjoyed this one more the second time around. (I first read it in 2008.) I think having watched several of the Discworld movies helped give Prachett’s humor a better frame of reference for me, and so I’m able to appreciate the books more. Or perhaps I needed to grow into enjoying them, or just the timing was better. Whatever the reason, I really liked my re-read of this book.

Elizabeth Coatsworth’s The Cat Who Went to Heaven

Short and sweet story about love, forgiveness, and doing the right thing. The illustrations (by Raoul Vitale) in the book are stunning, and I like the addition of the poems – the Songs of the Housekeeper.

3star

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John Christopher’s The White Mountains

This was an enjoyable re-read, but not as powerful as it was when I was younger. I think that’s because I was the target audience then, and am not now. I couldn’t help now but imagine what this book would be like if aged-up a bit, with more descriptions and character development and tension. It’s still a great story, but it doesn’t have the same impact now as it did then.

2star

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Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

So many reviewers who liked the book called the stories sensual. I, on the other hand, found them much more tedious than sensual.

Some of the stories are enjoyable. Some of the wording I found interesting. But the bulk of it seemed to be trying too hard. I am left with the overall impression of an author trying to disguise shock value with flowery words. Was that the intent? I have no idea. Probably not. But that’s how it feels to me.


Plans for March 2019

I’m currently reading:

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama (audiobook) — 59% finished
  • Wyrd Sisters by Terry Prachett (paper) — 172/265 pages
  • Beautiful by Fran Laniado (ebook) — 23% finished
  • Nebula Awards Three (paper) — 105/232 pages
  • The City of Gold and Lead by John Christopher (paper) — 18/218 pages

And my plans for March reading:

  • Start Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. Louise at Foxes and Fairytales is doing a #HamilThon read-a-thon in March, where we read books that fit prompts inspired by Hamilton the musical. I don’t know how many of those prompts I’ll do — and I have no illusions that it’s likely I’ll finish this particular beast of a book — but I do want to start reading the biography that started it all.
  • More Discworld. However, I can only manage to read one at a time, and I’m not sure I’ll realistically be able to do more than one such punny book per month. I want to try, though.
  • Read more award-winning stories. In January I was good about reading award-winning books and stories. I read some in February, but I didn’t do as good a job of it. I want to read more again in March. (This is probably going to be a repeated reminder to myself, especially since I want to read 19 each Hugo, Nebula, and Newbery winners this year.)

Not bad progress, if not as much reading as January. Then again, February does have three fewer days. We can call that the reason, right? Okay, it’s just an excuse. Still, I got a lot done this month — even if not all of it is going to be recorded on the blog — so I feel good about the way things are going so far in 2019. Fingers crossed the year continues to be as positive.

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3 thoughts on “Friday Reads: Welcome March

  1. I found it very suggestive, in a freudian way, that you listed Michelle Obama and then had Wyrd Sisters. Becoming…a Witch? 😉

    Don’t burn out on Discworld. Even if you have to stick at one a month…

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